[Afghan Govt forces today claimed in the Chinese press to have killed noted Taliban Leader, Mullah Mohibullah (follower of Dadullah), a former inmate of Guantanamo, who has already been reported to have been killed in 2010 and again in 2011. Mentally unbalanced inmate, Pfc. David Lawrence,
probably regrets having killed Mohibullah the first time, when he executed him in his cell in Afghanistan in 2010. Mohibullah’s last execution was in 2011, when he was reportedly eliminated in a high-publicity airstrike, allegedly intended to be against the guy who shot-down a Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan, killing 25 members of Seal Team 6. Since they missed the guy who fired the lethal rpg, they had to have a high-level Taliban to offer to the press gods.
Too bad, the Afghan Govt didn’t do their research before killing Mullah Mohibullah for the third time.]
GHAZNI, Afghanistan, April 30 (Xinhua) — Four Taliban militants including a group commander have been killed as clash erupted in Ander district of the eastern Ghazni province on Saturday, an army spokesman in the province Mohammad Hanif Rezae said.
“Taliban rebels stormed some checkpoints of national army in Gilan and Andar districts early Saturday and the troops returned fire killing four insurgents including a group commander Mullah Mohibullah and injuring three others,” Rezae told Xinhua.
The official however asserted that no security personnel had been hurt in the firefight.
Taliban militants who are active in parts of Ghazni province and have been fighting the government forces, are yet to make comment.
“Let me clarify this today – we are not expecting Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. We, however, call on Pakistanis to keep the promises they made in the quadrilateral agreement and carry out military operations against those who, according to our intelligence organizations, the intelligence organizations of our international partners and senior Pakistani officials, have centres inside Pakistan and whose leaders are residing inside Pakistan.”
President Ghani’s speech to the Afghan houses of parliament, as broadcast live on state-owned National Afghanistan TV on 25 April 2016 (translated by BBC Monitoring)
In the name of Almighty Allah, the most compassionate, the most merciful.
[President Ghani begins in Pashto] Your Excellences, [Speakers] Mr Ebrahimi, Mr Moslemyar, [Vice-President] Mr Danesh, Mr Chief Justice, respected Pir [Gilani], Mr Khalili [possibly former vice president], esteemed members of the cabinet, the nations’ representatives, members of the senate, journalists, countrymen! Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatolla-he Wa Barakau [greetings].
[The president switches to Dari] In the past two weeks, our country has gone through some important political and military developments as been the victim of a horrifying terrorist incident. Despite all the efforts made by the people and our government to put an end to the fighting, the rebels of this era, with their foreign supporters, have beaten the drum of battle and insurgency and declared the genocide of our innocent people. But they are not aware that our brave security and defence forces are committed to finding them across the whole country and defending the lives and property of their people by suppressing them. The members of the two esteemed houses of the national council echoed the voice of the government at a meeting at ARG [presidential palace] last week and pledged full political support for the government and national security forces with regards to peace and fighting. Exactly just one day after this consensus, the wicked Taleban committed the most horrifying inhuman crime and left our innocent countrymen killed. I would like to use this opportunity to pray for all the martyred of this land and particularly the victims of the recent terrorist attack and wish a complete recovery for the injured.
Dear countrymen! The incident in Kabul on Tuesday [massive car bomb] is not the first act by the criminals of this group. Their despicable killing of innocent people, their depriving people of freedom, are just part of their long history of slaughter and mercilessness. They enjoy shedding innocent people’s blood and tearing people’s bodies apart. But, regardless of their blood lust, there is a large number of genuine sons of the nation who rushed to the hospitals and donated millions of litres of their blood to their injured countrymen from across the whole country, demonstrating their unity and solidarity and expressing their loathing for this terrorist group. As you know, the world, including the Islamic countries, and especially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the United Nations, the majority of Asian and European countries, the USA, China, Japan, Australia and Canada have also called this criminal act by terrorists unforgivable.
[President Ghani reverts to Pashto] Sisters and brothers! These criminals are not the seekers of knowledge [literal meaning of “Taleban” is seekers of knowledge]. They are rather rebels and militants who stood against the legitimate government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan [applause]. The real Taleban study in madrasahs. Those who murder people, who are the enemies of education and who destroy mosques have no right to call themselves “Taleban”. Based on the Holy Koran’s explicit instruction, we have the right to defend our people against rebels and militants and to punish them [applause]. This group is led by some of those enemies of our country in Peshawar and Quetta who shed the blood of their countrymen and enjoy destroying the people of Afghanistan. They feel no goodwill towards the people of Afghanistan. They have no respect for the demands and hopes of the people of Afghanistan. In the political arena, they have proved their ignorance and unworthiness. I call upon the religious scholars of Afghanistan to show to these fools and misdirected people what the right direction is.
Esteemed audience! The enemies of our people wanted to force the Afghan government to declare a state of emergency by spreading fear and brutality. But they did not know, and still do not know, that Afghans are not going to join in the unrest soon [applause] The Afghan soul does not accept unrest and we will never impose restrictions on the freedom that the constitution has given to us [applause].
[Dari] Esteemed members of parliament! I have received a list that contains 24 chapters, if I remember correctly. I will refer to part of this list which is of vital importance and I will leave the remaining part for some monthly meetings at the presidential palace in the future.
I have come to parliament today, to the highest tribune of Afghanistan, to share with you and the people that we used all our resources last year to put an end to violence through peaceful manners. We also tried our best to defend our people against the undeclared war and to continue strengthening our defensive and security forces relentlessly. We have also called for a consensus among our international partners that this is not an internal war, but rather a war launched by terrorists and their regional supporters against our country and our people to achieve their unlawful objectives. They will achieve this objective only through barbarity and terrorism.
We have stepped up efforts to put an end to the fighting through non-military means at the national, regional and international level. Meanwhile, we have also used our military channels against terrorist groups. In the last 13 months, the country’s brave security and defence forces have carried out more than 40,000 combat operations and over 16,000 resolute operations in various parts of the country. Currently, as I speak, the brave sons of this land are busy suppressing the terrorists of the Haqqani network, the Taleban and other terrorist groups in seven provinces, as part of 15 ongoing military operations.
The fighting ability of the national security and defence forces has been enhanced significantly compared with the past. Within less than a year, at least 50,000 of our patriotic families have sent their sons and daughters to join the ranks of our security forces. We thank our patriotic families and each and every mother and father who gave birth to such brave children. Our security forces were given a warm welcome all across the country. Some housewives in various parts of the country have even voluntarily provided food to our security forces while they were engaged in military operations. The modest women of this land still remember the oppression of these fools [from when the Taleban were in power] and will never tolerate this group [applause].
Based on the security requirements and in the light of the lessons learnt from previous years, we have established a military unit in Konduz and an army brigade in Badakhshan Provinces [applause]. We have also created a deputy command for special forces in order to enhance coordination among special security units. We are proud of the sacrifices made by this unit.
Among some of the units recently set up within our security forces are: the technical, weaponry and artillery section; the 777 special air force brigade; the coordinating centre for the Kabul Garrison command – led by the chief of army staff and we thank him; the regional hospital of the 215 army corps; directorates for technical affairs and operations and maintenance within the army corps and army brigades; the centre for evaluation of intelligence threats and the radio intelligence centre.
[Speaking in Pashto] Esteemed audience! Last year when we had a limited number of helicopters and planes, we began the renovation of the country’s air force and now our air force is active to the extent that they are able to launch air operations against our enemies in some of the mountainous regions such as Khostak and Kohestani [applause].
The military coordination centre that we established last year has become the most effective centre with regards to coordination and decisions. Our intelligence abilities in various areas have progressed substantially.
More than 80 generals of our country were retired after reaching pension age to make way for our youth and to inject more young blood into our army and make it more powerful. The reform process in this area is ongoing.
Today, our security and defence forces have the support of some Islamic countries, the People’s Republic of China, Russia, Australia, Japan, Canada, India, NATO member states and other international partners. We are pleased to say that a consensus has been established among international donors to support our defence and security forces in the context of a five-year security plan [applause]. This plan will be finalized in the near future at the Warsaw Summit. Before that, we will discuss the plan with you at the palace. This consolidation is the result of the hard work of the National Security Council members and especially esteemed Mr Atmar and esteemed Mr Stanekzai. I thank them very much.
Esteemed MPs and senators! In the next few days, the national defence minister and the heads of the intelligence agency will be presented to you for a vote of confidence. I hope for your cooperation in this regard. This will fill the gap [applause] We will no longer continue with acting ministers. We echo your voice [applause].
Esteemed MPs and senators, we must stand against the Haqqani Network and other Taliban groups as they are serving foreign interests and have formed an alliance with international and regional terrorists and the drugs mafia and are seeking to return our people and country to the dark era of history. History testifies to the fact that whenever we have remained united, the strongest combat armies of the world have knelt down in front of us. In order to defend our religion, country and constitutional values, we must unanimously and practically demonstrate unity. There will be no compromises and we will take action against those who work in this system and government and who harm our national unity by exploiting its resources and knowingly or unknowingly joining the enemy’s psychological warfare. I request that you, the MPs and leaders of this country, introduce this moral discipline and incorporate it into a law, so that we can more successfully respond to the enemy’s psychological warfare. You requested an explanation for friend and foe from me at our meeting in the presidential palace a few days ago. Our friends are the citizens of this country, regardless of whether they support or do not support the system, the political opposition that has a different position and perspective, but is committed to the supreme national interests and protects and guards them as much as they can. However, our enemies are those who exploit the sacred religious emotions of our young people and are part of the drugs mafia and are making their fortune through this. The enemies of Afghanistan are the slaves of foreigners, such as Da’ish, Al-Qa’idah, the Haqqani Network, the Taliban and other savage groups which take pleasure in shedding the blood of their compatriots and continuing war and terrorism. Talks with the slaves of foreigners cannot be held. However, we have opened our doors for reconciliation talks with those Taliban who are willing to cooperate with their country in ending the bloodshed and restoring peace and stability. However, this is not an everlasting opportunity.
Esteemed nation and audience, our efforts to build an effective international mechanism to end war and bring about international consensus, in particular to meet the genuine demands of our people, have proven effective. Despite the problems, the mechanism of quadrilateral talks has prepared the ground for better recognition of the fact that the demands of our people and governance are genuine and that a political solution must be sought [to the current crises]. As a result of these efforts and an active diplomacy, we have extensive relations with our key international partners in the region and the world, including key Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, based on mutual trust. And those who have failed to honour their commitments within this international framework, who did not want to honour them, have been more isolated than ever before.
Pakistan promised to use military force against those Taliban elements who do not renounce violence and reconciliation [with the Afghan government]. Let me clarify this today – we are not expecting Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. We, however, call on Pakistanis to keep the promises they made in the quadrilateral agreement and carry out military operations against those who, according to our intelligence organizations, the intelligence organizations of our international partners and senior Pakistani officials, have centres inside Pakistan and whose leaders are residing inside Pakistan. We also call on Pakistan to hand over these criminals to our courts to be punished unless it is willing to launch an operation against them itself.Our relations with Pakistan are based on mutual obligations and rights. We and the world expect our neighbour, Pakistan, to drop the policy of “good terrorists” and “bad terrorists” and to launch operations against them all, meaning that there is no good terrorist or bad terrorist because a terrorist is a terrorist. Pakistan’s government should act as a responsible government. There is no good terrorism or bad terrorism. And whoever believes in this will in the end themselves be harmed by the terrorists. Our people are expecting us to take the issue of sanctuaries, equipment and resources being provided to terrorist groups on Pakistan’s soil for use against Afghanistan to the UN and several other international institutions as well as international civil society, because this is against the UN charter and international conventions. No country should support terrorists against another country. We believe their expectation is genuine. Despite our efforts and desires to shape regional cooperation, we have no choice but to refer to the UN Security Council and take serious diplomatic steps unless [Pakistan] changes its policy. Furthermore, we will take steps to pursue criminals whose hands are stained with the blood of our people outside Afghanistan with the help of international institutions.
Esteemed MPs, senators, dear audience, sisters and brothers,
The government never halts its peace efforts, in view of the holy verse “peace lies in reconciliation”. However, we will pursue peace only through Afghan channels and the Afghan government will reach peace only with those who do not want war and violence, who accept Afghanistan’s constitution and who completely cut their ties with terrorists. However, I want to make it clear to everyone that if we want peace, it does not mean that criminals will walk freely and a blind eye will be turned to the acts of murderers. Our defence and security forces, who enjoy the backing of their nation, in particular of the religious scholars, have decided and devised a programme to destroy the centres of the Haqqani Network and its friends – militants, Da’ish, Al-Qa’idah and other savage groups and send these rebels to hell. The enemies of Afghanistan must realize that if they are caught during a combat operation or while conducting an act of terrorism against the people of Afghanistan, they will definitely be handed over to the law and will be punished according to the law. I assure our esteemed MPs, senators, elders and the pious people of Afghanistan that as the president and guard and protector of the rights and security of the people of Afghanistan, I will deal severely with those who shed the blood of our innocent people and soldiers and will show no mercy when punishing them. No-one will be pardoned anymore. The Afghan government is committed to executing the rulings of the courts and legal and judicial authorities strictly, including where it concerns capital punishment.
The execution of these orders with strong determination delivers a clear message: our justice system is strong enough to punish criminals and terrorists. But it is clear that our resolve to apply the law must conform to the constitutional injunctions, our commitment to human rights and just policies. You will see how those who have rejected our call for reconciliation will beg us to join the peace process after being defeated on the battlefield. Henceforth, we will achieve lasting and dignified peace through tough military action throughout the country.
Esteemed MPs, senators, sisters and brothers, all of our people stress the need for reform and a fundamental change. We are committed to honouring our promises in this regard. Reform of the electoral bodies has started and elections will be held on time. I request both houses of parliament to pass the [electoral] law submitted to them as soon as possible. One of the weak points in our government, which the enemy is exploiting, is corruption. The perpetrators have weakened the military capabilities of our defence and security forces and are serving the country’s enemies. We will mete out serious punishment through our courts to these perpetrators who commit treason. I request you all to support reforms and the elimination of corruption in every institution, in particular in the security sector, to completely depoliticize our security institutions. And those who exploit their positions should not be supported at all. We can secure victory over the enemy on the battlefield only by introducing reforms and creating cleaner institutions. I request you to support the government in achieving this goal.
In order to fight corruption, the legal and judicial system and the independence of the judiciary must be further strengthened. More attention must be paid to the protection of our esteemed judges and prosecutors against the perpetrators of organized crime. I should thank the lower house of parliament for giving a vote of confidence to Attorney-General Mr Hamidi and for preparing the ground for completion of the High Judicial Council. As part of the reforms in the judicial system, Mr Halim and his friends have transferred, replaced or appointed new judges over the past six months and have launched capacity building programmes for judges. The National Security Council will approve a new regulation for the formation of Afghanistan’s judicial and legal police. This will help judges and prosecutors to fulfil their duties confidently. I thank those judges and prosecutors who have issued death sentences to rebels and assure them that we will protect them. Moreover, the government is making efforts to improve the economic situation and create employment opportunities. The Brussels conference on Afghanistan will be held and will be attended by more than 70 countries and 20 international organizations who will announce their commitment to economic development and the promotion of good governance for the next five years.
Development projects which were launched last year will continue this year and the TAPI [gas pipeline project], the CASA-1000 [project for] electricity supply from Turkmenistan, the Aqina-Turkmenistan railway track and Herat-Khawaf [railway track] are among these projects.
Esteemed MPs and senators, I call on you once again to continue supporting your courageous and brave security and defence forces. Your political support will help our security and defence forces to fight the enemies of Afghanistan more confidently and, God willing, this year will see the last and final defeat of terrorists and murderers.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (L) speaks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during the BRICS/SOC emerging economies summit in the Russian city of Ufa in July 10.
Major global powers are apparently backing a new Pakistani push to resume direct peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
Western, Afghan, and Pakistani sources say Islamabad is eager to secure the breakthrough as it hosts a major regional diplomatic conference early next month.
The nascent process, however, faces huge challenges. Kabul is deeply suspicious of Islamabad’s motives in facilitating talks with Afghan insurgents whom it says Pakistan covertly supports and openly shelters.
Increasing infighting among Afghan Taliban factions jockeying for control over the once-united hard-line movement poses additional obstacles to jumpstarting a process aimed at ending four decades of Afghan wars through a negotiated solution.
A Western source briefed on the recent deliberations between senior U.S. officials and Pakistan’s powerful Army Chief General Raheel Sharif says the Pakistani leader mostly talked about resuming the Afghan reconciliation process that stalled soon after the first direct meeting between Kabul and the Taliban in early July.
Brokered by Islamabad, the talks were backed by Washington and Beijing. But the announcement of the Taliban’s founding leader’s death in late July unleased a succession struggle among Taliban leaders who renounced the talks. In addition, the most violent Taliban summer fighting campaign in 14 years prompted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani toabandon his quest for a Pakistan-brokered settlement with the insurgents.
“They will try to agree on a new round [of talks between Kabul and the Taliban] at the Heart of Asia meeting in Islamabad [on December 7],” he said.
The source says Islamabad is offering new concessions to convince Kabul to buy into the new initiative. “[In addition to] bringing the Taliban to table, Pakistan wants an agreement on ceasefire or reduction of violence agreed at this meeting,” he said.
The source says Washington is trying to get an agreement between Kabul and Islamabad to move forward with these proposals. He says the initiative is supported by China, most regional powers and Afghanistan’s neighbors. All of these countries are part of Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process, which aims to promote “regional security and cooperation for a secure and stable Afghanistan.”
An Afghan source close to the presidential palace in Kabul confirmed General Sharif is likely to visit Kabul within the next few weeks to attempt to persuade skeptical Afghan leaders to rejoin a Pakistani-brokered reconciliation initiative between Kabul and the Taliban. The source says that visit is being encouraged by Washington.
The Afghan source says Sartaj Aziz, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s adviser on foreign affairs, might visit Kabul before General Sharif’s trip because there is still no preliminary agreement between Kabul and Islamabad.
The Western source says Kabul is placing tough demands before joining the process. “[It] mainly [includes] something to reduce the violence and show that the enemies of Afghanistan are [also] the enemies of Pakistan,” he said.
In August, Ghani said he told Pakistani leaders that “the government of Pakistan should have the same definition of terrorism in regard to Afghanistan just as it has for its own.”
In recent years, Pakistan fought vigorously against Islamist insurgents involved in attacking security forces and civilian targets. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which once controlled large swaths of territory in northwestern Pakistan, now only operate as small insurgent cells that mostly engage in hit-and-run attacks.
But Afghan officials and domestic critics accuse Islamabad of aiding and sheltering Afghan insurgents and turning a blind eye to Pakistani militants fighting for the Taliban, Hizb-e Islami, and even the Islamic State in Afghanistan. On November 21, an official in northwestern Lower Dir district, confirmedthat the bodies of 22 men recently killed in southeastern Afghanistan have been buried in the region.
A source in Pakistan who requested anonymity like the Western and Afghan sources says Kabul is asking Islamabad for “some practical steps to remove the trust deficit” between the two neighbors that widened after the Taliban captured large parts of rural Afghan provinces this summer and briefly overran a major city, Kunduz, in northeastern Afghanistan in September.
“With the expansion of war [this year], the Taliban wanted to increase their weight [at the negotiating table],” he said.
The source, who was briefed by Pakistani and Afghan diplomats about their latest deliberations, says Kabul would like to see “some kind of a cut-off date for ending sanctuaries to achieve some semblance of neutrality.”
He says the relatively open large Taliban gathering to select the organization’s new leader, Akhtar Muhammad Mansur, in southwestern Balochistan Province in July deprived Islamabad of plausible deniability.
“It will not be enough to just bring the Taliban to the negotiating table,” he said. “Ensuring there will be a lasting ceasefire will be the most important question. The Afghan side would like to get some guarantees to avoid what happened after the first round of talks in July.”
During the past 14 years, Pakistani officials vehemently denied sheltering or aiding the Taliban. But in an interview in February, former Pakistani military dictator General Pervez Musharraf admitted Islamabad supported the Afghan Taliban to undermine former President Hamid Karzai’s government.
Even if Pakistan and Afghanistan agree to cooperate on the peace process, growing Taliban infighting now poses a serious challenge.
While the Taliban attempted to overrun large parts of restive Afghan provinces in the south and north of the country this summer, differences between factions loyal to and opposing Mullah Mansur have now escalated to infighting aimed at eliminating opponents.
Afghan officials and locals in southern Afghanistan say scores of fighters died in pitched battles between Mansur loyalists and followers of Mansoor Dadullah, who recently became a top deputy in a breakaway Taliban faction.
Dadullah reportedly died in a clash in the southern province of Zabul on November 12. But Abdul Manan Niazi, another senior leader of the faction, claims the brother and son of the late Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar have once again turned against Mansur for escalating differences within the Taliban ranks into armed clashes.
He told Radio Free Afghanistan thatMullah Abdul Manan Akhund and Mullah Muhammad Yaqub have abandoned their new positions within the Taliban hierarchy to protest Mansur’s policies. The two swore allegiance to Mansur in September.
“They had joined Mansur to prevent Taliban infighting,” Niazi said. “But he didn’t listen to them and unleased infighting in Zabul and committed atrocities, which prompted them to part ways with him.”
Mullah Omar’s family and the Taliban have not publicly commented on the claims, but the group’s propaganda machine, controlled by Mansur, has consistently downplayed reports of fragmentation within the movement that once prided itself over unity in its ranks.
Abdul Hai Mutmaeen, a former Taliban official, says fanning differences among the Taliban faction will not help in negotiating peace with them.
“If the Taliban fragment into factions, it will further complicate the Afghan peace process,” he said.
Radio Free Afghanistan correspondents Ajmal Aand and Ahmad Takal contributed to this story.
The Taliban militants group in Afghanistan has made a plea to international organizations including the international human rights and International Committee of Red Cross to intervene as the Afghan government mulls hanging militants convicted to terrorist related activities.
Warning that the hanging of militants would have serious repercussions, the Taliban group said “The Islamic Emirate also calls upon international human right organizations, independent media outlets, ICRC and other free impartial committees to not remain indifferent in using their influence concerning matter of prisoner execution.”
Noting the announcement by President Ghani regarding the implementation of judiciary institutions verdicts regarding the terrorists, the group said it “will respond with everything within its power to defend its oppressed nation.”
Meanwhile, President Ghani has reportedly received a list of militants on death row, a day after deputy presidential spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazvi said the list will be provided to the President.
Murtazvi further added that the terrorists would be hanged to death once the cases have been reviewed in a bid to ensure fairness in the verdicts.
The decision to review and implement the judiciary institutions’ verdicts regarding the terror suspects was taken days after Kabul was hit by a deadly attack.
At least 64 people were killed and 347 others were wounded after a group of insurgents launched coordinated attack on VIP protection unit in Pul-e-Mahmood Khan area of the city on 19th April.
TEHRAN, Apr. 27 (MNA) – Iran’s defense minister has addressed the 4th Moscow Conference on International Security.
Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan who was addressing the meeting in Moscow on Wednesday, expressed thanks to his Russian counterpart for inviting Iran for an international meeting on security; “I would like to thank Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu for hosting the conference,” he added.
“In the last year’s edition of the conference, I had warned about spread of terrorism and militancy in the Middle East, Caucasia, Central Asia, India, western China, and Europe. Now, we see that terrorism and extremism have improved themselves, reaching their culmination in virtually all regions with heinous crimes and mass killing of Muslims and non-Muslims alike; surprisingly and unfortunately, some governments of the region have continued their support in resources, logistics, and arms to these fundamentalists,” Dehghan told the meeting.
“We believe political despotism, poverty, destitution, and political vassalage to great powers outside the region who at the same time act as proxies of these powers contribute to the vicious circle of terrorism and social and political under-representation and denigration of nations; the confounding factors are ethnoreligious hatred and conflict of interests which invite foreign intervention,” he emphasized.
“Double-standards in dealing terrorism by the US and its allies and in justification of their interests in the region is another important contributor to this circle; these conducts, we believe, will precipitate the conditions very similar to those preceding world wars,” Dehghan added. “Realism however would provide some solutions to this question of looming global conflict and other questions; in a world of insecurity, instability, and rife with horrors of terrorists’ crimes, the US and Zionists have been seeking their own interests.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran systematically opposes any militarization of the outer space as violating the principles of international peace and stability and of unrepairable damage for all nations,” he emphasized, voicing the same opposition to proliferation and stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction across the globe. “We believe the Zionist regime is a threat to international peace and that the NPT members should be motivated enough to promote international peace and a world free of nuclear weapons,” he concluded.
AP THEN AND NOW: “The similarity, however, between 2016 and 1999 is that the real reason for the army’s need to remove the Prime Minister may not necessarily be corruption.”
By removing 13 of his officers, the army chief has all but asked the Prime Minister to quit — and the oligarchic warfare in Pakistan has turned more complex than ever before
So is Pakistan’s military getting ready to take over the government for a fifth time in its 69 years of existence to play its self-acquired additional role of defending national integrity? The country’s all-powerful army chief seems to have implicitly asked the third-time elected prime minister to quit. After names of some members of Nawaz Sharif’s familyappeared in the recent Panama Papers leak, General Raheel Sharif made a pitch asking the Prime Minister to offer himself for an above-the-board accountability, which basically means to resign. The general is now joined by the GHQ’s new political creations, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Mustafa Kamal’s Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP). Mr. Sharif snapped back by giving a televised speech in which he questioned the moral authority of the military to question him. Given excessive publicity since he took over as army chief, General Sharif seems to have greater moral authority to poke Mr. Sharif where it hurts. The television speech did not earn the political Sharif kudos, but it did indicate his intent to fight back.
Just like 1999?
The situation is a reminder of the friction between the heads of government and army after the Kargil operation in 1999. Even then, the main charge for removing the Sharif government was corruption. The then army chief, Pervez Musharraf, seemingly made appropriate laws and organisation to fight corruption. The National Accountability Ordinance (NAO, 1999) was framed as a draconian law to pursue the corrupt, track looted money and bring it back where it belonged.
But available evidence suggests that he gave up his overzealous pursuit of corruption within months of taking over. He was advised against scaring men with money out of the country at a critical time for the economy. Moreover, he needed civilian partners to bolster his own political career, due to which he brought on board numerous tainted politicians. Instead of recovering looted money from the Sharifs, as was claimed, General Musharraf cut a deal and sent the family in exile. Later, he withdrew a critical case being pursued in Swiss courts against Benazir Bhutto and her husband Asif Ali Zardari as part of the NRO deal. The situation is not likely to be any different now despite General Sharif making a linkage between terrorism and corruption. He appears to have even got the endorsement for this linkage from the Americans. But it still seems he will wait for Mr. Sharif’s boat to capsize under the burden of excessive criticism.
The real similarity, however, between 2016 and 1999 is that the real reason for the army’s need to remove the Prime Minister may not necessarily be corruption. Many believe that the army chief’s source of anxiety is with Mr. Sharif’s desire to challenge the military’s power through a permanent regional policy change and buying into the senior officer cadre. Every time he is in power, Mr. Sharif tends to divide the echelons. The fact of the matter is that this is essentially a battle between oligarchs. The army is the most organised and powerful oligarch which is also responsible for creating other oligarchs. Starting from the late 1960s, the army midwifed most political leaders. But that does not mean that they will not evolve and try to come into their own. In fact, the problem is that the PML-N and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have rebelled in their own way, especially when they signed the Charter of Democracy in 2006. Mr. Sharif also seems to have divided the judiciary, which was subservient to the GHQ for a long time. Though it is not entirely free of the military’s influence, there are members who have cosied up to Mr. Sharif as a way to gain freedom from the military. According to the British legal expert Martin Lau, traditionally Pakistan’s judiciary engaged in Islamic judicial activism in order to gain ascendency over the military. Now they have a partner. This leaves the army with its under-construction oligarchs such as the PTI and PSP or its older partners such as the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam. Even the Jaish-e-Mohammed has become increasingly critical of Mr. Sharif’s ‘liberalism’ and ‘corruption’.
Certainly, the oligarchic warfare in Pakistan has turned more complex and interesting than ever before. The consequences are not as predictable as they used to be. The generals continue to turn on the heat, which is very obvious from the manner in which news of the army chief removing 13 of his officers, including a lieutenant general, a major general and five brigadiers, was publicised. General Sharif can’t be bothered about creating the impression that he is on the same page as the government. In fact, such a notion has proved to be a total farce. We know that the military and civil leaderships were never on the same page. Even when it seemed to be the case, they were reading different lines. Now, the general wants to test his credibility to take on a prime minister. He is trying to convince the people and the world at large that he is more credible than the civilian dispensation. If he can sack his officers for corruption, then why can’t the political government go?
But it is not the first time that senior officers have been sacked. General Waheed Kakar also removed a couple of lieutenant generals. Nonetheless, it is the first time that the Director General (DG) of Inter Services Public Relations, Lt. General Asim Bajwa, leaked the news. This creates the impression that if the army, considered like Caesar’s wife — above questioning — can put itself through the accountability mechanism, then why not the civilians? Furthermore, there is systematic image-building of the chief. Thus far, General Sharif doesn’t seem to have any skeletons in his cupboard, but that itself does not say much about the accountability of his institution, which tends to manipulate laws to exploit state resources and label it as legal. After all, the general did make choices. He was instrumental in General Musharraf’s latest escape from accountability.
It is almost like watching the Turkish soap on the Ottoman empire that is very popular in Pakistan. There are incessant intrigues and conspiracies to protect individual power. Sadly, there is little hope for a positive outcome whichever way the battle turns. While General Sharif’s victory is bad for the country, the likelihood of great gains from Mr. Sharif’s would be equally dismal. The stakes are so high that it is not likely that they will learn the fundamental lesson that accountability and transparency are necessary for survival of both state and society.
The Afghan government on Thursday raised questions over the recent trip by a Taliban delegation, from Qatar, to Pakistan.
A Taliban delegation reportedly arrived in Pakistan this week to allegedly address problems faced by Afghan refugees.
This comes close on the heels of President Ashraf Ghani’s speech earlier this week where he said peace talks between some factions of the Taliban were off the table.
“The Taliban delegation’s trip to Pakistan from our prospective is totally questionable. A terrorist group does not have the right to travel to countries. We expect Pakistan to have government-to-government relations with Afghanistan,” said Shahussain Murtazawi, the deputy spokesman for Ghani.
Kabul meanwhile urged Islamabad to honor its pledge and suppress the militants who are engaged in violence in Afghanistan.
“Action should be taken against the militants who are involved in terrorist activities from Pakistan’s soil in Afghanistan. This is the demand that our allies have as well,” said Tawab Ghorzang, spokesman for the National Security Council (NSC).
The National Unity Government (NUG) meanwhile threatened to take revenge on the Taliban and other militants.
“Afghan security forces’ aim is to defend Afghanistan, defend our values and defend the people of Afghanistan…. We will take revenge of the blood of our people on terrorists,” said Jawed Faisal, the deputy spokesman for Chief Executive Office Abdullah Abdullah.
It seems that following Ghani’s order, Afghan security forces have expanded their military operations to suppress militants.
“Besides ground achievements, we had good achievements in our night raids. Whenever the enemies have risen up, we have either eliminated them, or have arrested them,” said Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD).
“We haven’t seen [results] in the battleground so far. However, we can say that they (security forces) are devising plans and should act in accordance with the newly devised plans,” said Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, the former Deputy Minister of Interior.
Currently, security forces are conducting 15 large-scale operations in 11 provinces.
The Sept. 11 attacks were a series of suicide attacks by al-Qaeda upon the US on Sept. 11, 2001. On that morning, 19 Islamist terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda hijacked 4 passenger jet airliners.The hijackers intentionally crashed 2 of the airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in NYC. 2,974 people died in the attacks.
The United States of America is clearly responsible for the dire situation in modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the consequences of this is that global Sunni Islamic jihadists are still bent on causing more mayhem. So why did ex-President Jimmy Carter, and other leaders of America, develop such a pro-Sunni Islamic terrorist network? Also, why aren’t past leaders like Jimmy Carter and ex-National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, being made accountable for their failed policies?
Of course it is true that radical Islam is not a new concept and Sunni Islamic forces have used terror and war since the 7th century. After all, you will find very few traces of Christianity in modern day North Africa outside of Egypt and the same applies to Buddhism in modern day Afghanistan. Similar statements can be used about the defeat of Zoroastrianism by Islamic forces or the ongoing marginalization of Hinduism in modern day Pakistan.
Yes, “Islamic apologists” will point the finger at past Christian misdeeds in South America, and so forth, or they will make up a multitude of excuses. However, in the 21st century we are still witnessing the ongoing Islamic jihad movement and this movement desires to crush religious liberty, freedom, democracy, the rights of women, and the richness of diversity.
Yet the real tragedy is simple, because democratic forces, creeping secularism, moderate versions of Islam, and so forth, were springing up throughout the Middle East and much further afield where Muslims were a majority. Therefore, in nations like Indonesia the Christian faith was allowed to spread and Muslims and Christians had a united bond, this bond was humanity.
It appeared that the “notion of Islamic jihad” was on the wane, just like radical Christian forces had been challenged by new ideas in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Therefore, pan-Arabism, socialism, and other forces, alongside passive Islam, was changing the make-up of society.
This is an over-simplification because the topic is so vast, however, new laws were being implemented in nations like Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Syria, and a host of other mainly Muslim nations, whereby greater freedoms were being enforced. So just like Europe, which once had its brutal Catholic-Protestant inter-wars, a new era looked liked it was going to “dawn.”
However, this era was soon about to collapse but the reasons behind this collapse are galling because the hands of America and Saudi Arabia can be found everywhere. Therefore, let us now focus on the unleashing of Sunni Islamic “dark forces” via American and Saudi Arabian sponsorship of terrorism.
To place an exact date is complex because links between America and radical Sunni Islamic forces run deep but it is clear that democratic forces, nationalistic movements, pan-Arabism, socialism, and other more moderate forces were seen to be the enemy. For example, Egypt went from being secular under Nasser to adopting Islamic laws under the pro-American, Anwar Sadat.
The same scenario would happen in Pakistan because America welcomed General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq who took power in the late 1970s. Therefore, Pakistan was transformed into a more Islamized nation whereby laws and other institutions would be Islamized. In time the USA would strengthen their ties with Zia-ul-Haq in order to fund the Islamic insurgency in Afghanistan.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) implemented Operation Cyclone and this policy was aimed at supporting the Afghan Mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski began a new policy whereby America would support radical Islam in the full knowledge that this meant supporting terrorism and a movement which supported killing all apostates from Islam and persecuting women.
Just like Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski, the next leader of America, Ronald Reagan, would continue this policy. Jimmy Carter stated that “The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is the greatest threat to peace since the Second World War.” However, the greatest threat to global peace was America and the Sunni Islamic terrorist movement which was funded by the CIA and other important American operatives.
For unlike communism or pan-Arabism, or other political ideologies, these movements are temporary. Yet radical Islam had sprouted up throughout history after periods of relative decline and it is not a movement which can be switched on and off. After all, we are talking about a radical ideology which is fused with religion and this makes it more potent.
Therefore, both political parties in America were involved in the funding of radical Sunni Islam. People like Michael G. Vickers, a Special Forces NCO, was commissioned by the CIA to support radical Islamic forces. Of major importance was coordination and launching attacks against the Soviet Union which would prove to be successful. Given this, Vickers, and other covert operatives, would train terrorists and in time they would unleash a force that could not be contained.
The CIA’s regional head, Gustav Avrakotos, alongside people like Charlie Wilson, Gordan Humphrey, Fred Ikle, William Casey, Joanne Herring, and a host of others, were all responsible in spreading radical Islam in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Therefore, the “dark forces” of radical Sunni Islam were being unified via enormous funding and military training. So the CIA, political leaders, and the people mentioned above, would all play their role in the future destabilization of Afghanistan and Pakistan and in making September 11th happen.
Of instrumental importance was Pakistan and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) unit which would work hand-in-hand with the CIA and other covert networks. Other nations were also involved, including the British, because MI6 and the SAS, would help to train Islamic terrorists and of course Saudi Arabia would provide ample funds in order to spread radical Sunni Islam.
Therefore, America, China, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, funded “the year zero Islamic jihadists” for different reasons. For China, it was based on hostile factors related to the Soviet Union. Yet it is clear that America and Saudi Arabia were instrumental in spreading radical Islam and of course the British “tail” also “wagged” in order to appease Washington.
Between 1981-1987 the USA provided over US$3.2 billion dollars and this was followed by a further $4.2 billion dollars. More important, the CIA, MI6, the SAS, and other covert agencies, were involved in training radical Islamists. The outcome being a multi-ethnic jihadist movement which would be armed and trained by America, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and others, but with America and Saudi Arabia being the cornerstone, and with Pakistan being the unifying factor because of geopolitical factors.
So major Sunni Islamic warlords like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar would be funded and trained. Hekmatyar in turn would develop relations with Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda and the nucleus of this would come by helping Maktab al-Khadamat.
The late Benazir Bhutto stated that “You are creating a Frankenstein.” Benazir Bhutto stated this when she met President George H. W. Bush in the late 1980s. This “Frankenstein” would certainly come back to haunt America and Pakistan, and of course undermine Afghanistan to this day.
Given this, then it is abundantly clear that the killing of Christian converts from Islam, stoning women to death, flogging people, chopping hands and feet off because of Islamic Sharia punishments, were all tolerated by America and the people who supported radical Islam in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. So why no accountability, after all, America supports war crimes in the Balkans but why not try past America leaders or CIA operatives, and others, who have unleashed mayhem and disaster?
Even today, America is “turning a blind eye” towards Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan and Pakistan are in crisis. Yet look at the people on the ground, it is women who now fear persecution in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is minorities, like Shia Muslims, Christians, Ahmadiyya’s, and others, who face death daily or the fear of persecution.
September 11th, the destruction of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the spread of radical Islam to moderate nations like Indonesia, can all be blamed on past American leaders and names that I have mentioned already. So why aren’t these people facing the consequences of their actions?
For they have unleashed “a potent” and radical Sunni Islamic movement which is destroying the fabric of society in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Just like the same Islamists caused mayhem and bloodshed in Algeria and other parts of the world. The road to September 11th and “year zero Islamic jihadists” was created by the forces of America and Saudi Arabia, alongside other important players like Pakistan. Yet what about real accountability and “the real story being told?”
ISLAMABAD: Afghan Taliban on Wednesday formally confirmed that a delegation from their political office in Qatar was visiting Pakistan and promised “fruitful results”, but rejected the impression that the group was there to discuss participation in peace talks with Kabul.
Muhammad Naeem, a Qatar-based spokesman for the Taliban, told journalists that Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour had instructed the group to visit Pakistan.
He said the visit “would be in the interest of both countries and would have fruitful results”.
This was first official confirmation by the Taliban of the visit of a three-member delegation from their Doha office, whose arrival was earlier reported by the media. The delegation includes Shahabuddin Dilawar, Jan Muhammad and Mullah Abbas.
The arrival of the group, which coincided with the visit of US Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Jonathan Carpenter, led to speculations that the Taliban leaders had come to talk about the start of the peace dialogue.
The Taliban spokesman, however, said that the delegation was in Pakistan for talks on wide-ranging issues, including refugees’ matters, problems in Helmand, Nangarhar and Paktia provinces of Afghanistan, and seeking an end to restrictions on the movement of Taliban leader Mullah Baradar.
Talking to VoA about reconciliation being discussed during the trip, he said: “The delegation, which has gone [to Pakistan] from here [Qatar] is holding talks on the issues that I have stated already and has no other particular item on the agenda”.
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, responding to a media question about the visit of Taliban leaders from their Qatar office, said he had no information about the trip.
Mr Chaudhry also rejected the possibility of expansion in Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG), which is working for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
He said the four-nation group’s attempts for opening direct talks between the Afghan government and Taliban did not bear fruit so far, but the group was continuing its efforts.
The foreign secretary’s remarks came against the backdrop of expression of interest by Russia to contribute to peace efforts in Afghanistan. Interfax news agency cited the Russian special envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, as saying that Moscow could help in the peace process if interests of all parties taking part in it were respected.
Mr Kabulov was dismissive of the efforts of QCG, which includes Pakistan, Afghanistan, the US and China, and said Moscow was not interested in becoming part of the group.
He said Russia was ready to create a new format for peace talks.
The official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova believes that the project of creation of the black sea fleet, NATO has seriously undermined security and stability in the region. This is stated in the document, published on Wednesday, April 27, at site Department. Zakharova said that the plans of the Alliance are forcing Moscow to take adequate steps to ensure their own security.
“It is obvious that the conversations on this topic, not to mention practical solutions, if they, of course, will be, will not promote the conservation of the Black sea as a region of peace and good neighborliness”, — said the representative office. Zakharov stressed that the bloc’s leadership, this project does not comment.
In April, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said, that Kiev is ready to join the creation of the black sea fleet. In January, the media reported that the Ministry of defence of Romania start the negotiations with NATO on the issue of formation of such Alliance connections.
To be part of the new naval group that Bucharest wants to see in the region can, Navy ships, United States, Germany, Italy and Turkey. It is assumed that a new fleet may be similar in structure with the already existing ones that do not reside in the Black sea. The project is under control of Prime Minister of Romania, Dacian ciolos and the Minister of national defence of Mihnea Motoc.
In the Black sea regularly come warships of US, UK and other non-black sea countries-members of NATO. So, in October 2015 there was American missile destroyer “porter”, which conducted exercises with the Ukrainian Navy ships and coast guard of Georgia, visited Odessa and Batumi.
The residence time of ships nachimovsky States in the Black sea is limited to 21 days. This term is defined by the Montreux Convention, signed on 21 July 1936, USSR, Turkey, great Britain, France, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Yugoslavia, Australia and Japan.
MOSCOW, April 26. /TASS/. Attempts to resolve the Afghan issue without Russia have no prospects, Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday
“There are certain attempts to find a solution to the Afghan issue without Russia. I believe this is wrong, the more so because no one has cancelled geography, and it’s common knowledge that Central Asia has had ties with Russia for many centuries,” Karimov said.
The Uzbek leader noted that he felt Russia’s interest in cooperating with Central Asia. “We believe this is much in demand,” he added.
Karimov pointed out that the war in Afghanistan is not coming to an end, and “there is no light at the end of the tunnel.” “This problem requires not just an exchange of views but clarification of positions,” he said.
Tensions in Afghanistan threaten neighboring countries’ security
According to the president, the tense situation in Afghanistan continues to pose a threat to the security of neighboring countries.
“The current situation in Afghanistan can be described as a smoldering standoff between the warring parties. If this confrontation persists, there will be a real risk that this instability could spill over to neighboring countries and regions,” he said.
Karimov pointed to the need of Russia’s participation in resolving the situation in Afghanistan.
The Uzbek leader also said he believes it is important to resume the talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban movement. “However, the parties should not link the beginning of the negotiation process to any preconditions,” he added.
Besides, Karimov said it was important for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to avoid being involved “in the military and political processes” in Afghanistan.
Why is the US so enamored of regime change? From coups (too many to count) in Latin America, to destroying democracy in 1950s Iran, to now and the present chaos in the Middle East. For anyone with basic knowledge of this history, the shameless hypocrisy accompanying the familiar trope of bringing ‘freedom and democracy’ appears callous and outrageous in light of all the human suffering and lives lost.
The US public is constantly being told their country has brought freedom to women in Afghanistan. Truth be told the women already had freedom under a progressive regime in the 1970s; unfortunately for it, it happened to lean towards the Soviet Union. That was unacceptable to Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s staunchly anti-Soviet adviser. So they stoked up the religious extremists and formed the Mujaheddin. Then after the Soviets left came the fighting warlords, and eventually the Taliban — of course followed by the US in the longest war in its history.
The US still has not ended its involvement completely, and neither has the Taliban; in fact the civil war continues. Afghanistan has been destroyed. It was once famous for fruits and nuts, but those trees take years to mature; the opium poppy does not. Afghanistan now is the world’s largest supplier of heroin.
There is a postscript to this story involving Pakistan. Told ‘you’re either with us or against us’ by the Bush administration, and, according to President Pervez Musharraf, adding a threat to bomb Pakistan ‘back to the stone age’ by the US State Department representative, Richard Armitage, Pakistan complied with assistance in the Afghan War. Terrorist attacks on the civilian population were a rare occurrence in Pakistan at the time. Look at it now.
Women in Iraq participated actively in the country’s economic life — Zaha Hadid the famous architect, who passed away recently, is an example of those times — until regime change. Ditto in Libya which boasted the highest Human Development Index on the African continent until another regime change pitting Islamic extremists against a secular government — as in Afghanistan in the late 1970s and 1980s — but supported heavily by airpower in an open terrain so the fight was brief.
Then to Syria where proxies of proxies have been used. The US facilitated arms transfers from Saudi Arabia to the so-called moderate rebels some allied with al-Qaeda. The only difference this time … the army staunchly stood by the regime and Russia said enough’s enough.
These countries have been devastated. Millions of refugees pouring into Europe are destabilizing the fragile European Union, which is therefore tightening its immigration rules while toddlers’ bodies wash up on beaches and little children die of cold in refugee camps.
Much used to be made in the West of Assad Sr.’s brutal put down of a rebellion by Islamic fundamentalists in Homs. The death toll widely circulated (possibly inflated) was 10,000. Now that hundreds of thousands are dead, the Homs episode on this new scale of death and destruction is barely a blip, and no longer trotted out by the media.
Meanwhile, the abject failure of this policy is evidenced by the deaths of a half million plus — 300,000 in Syria alone — and the displacement and ruined lives of many millions more. Refugees are at an all time high since the end of the Second World War according to the UN. An unintended consequence has been the burden imposed on Europe, fracturing its open borders policy, and imposing untenable hardships on front-line states like Greece without adequate support from the economically advantaged North.
China will start reclamation at the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea later this year and may add an airstrip to extend its air force’s reach over the contested waters, a military source and mainland maritime experts say.
A source close to the PLA Navy said Beijing would ramp up work to establish a new outpost 230km off the coast of the Philippines as the US and Manila drew their militaries closer together.
An upcoming ruling on territorial claims by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, widely expected to go against China, would also accelerate the plan, the source said.
Manila wants the court to declare that Beijing’s claims must comply with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the decision could come next month or in June.
“Beijing will take action to carry out land reclamation at Huangyan Island within this year,” said the source, who requested anonymity, referring to the shoal.
“China should regain the initiative to do so because Washington is trying to contain Beijing by establishing a permanent military presence in the region.”
The US and the Philippines began joint patrols in the South China Sea in March, US defense chief Ash Carter revealed during his latest visit to the region. US forces will also have access to at least eight military bases in the Philippines, with two air bases in Pampanga, 330km from Scarborough Shoal.
Terror suspect Salah Abdeslam was described by his Belgian lawyer as “a little moron” who “is worth gold” in the investigation into the Paris attacks last November.
In an interview with Jean Quatremer for the French newspaper Liberation, lawyer Sven Mary opened up about his client and what it was like defending Abdeslam.
“He’s a little moron from Molenbeek involved in petty crimes; more of follower than a leader. He has the intelligence of an empty ashtray. He is the perfect example of the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ generation who thinks he lives in a video game,” Mary said.
Mary said he has spoken to his client only seven or eight times in jail.
Moreover, Abdeslam’s pathway to radicalization has been hard to establish. “A year ago and a half he was still clubbing in Amsterdam,” Mary said. “I asked him if he read the Coran, and he said he had read interpretations on the Internet.”
While Mary believes everyone is entitled to an attorney, he said he thought about quitting the case, especially after the attacks in Brussels last month, which happened three days after Abdeslam was arrested.
“I was assaulted several times, verbally or physically. Two guys even waited for me in front of my office […] and police officers had to accompany my daughters to school twice,” Mary said.
Mary said Abdeslam is collaborating and communicating with officials. Abdeslam was transferred from a Belgium prison to France this morning after a European arrest warrant was issued by France on March 19, according to the Belgian federal prosecutor.
Russia is ready to join stuttering peace talks on Afghanistan if interests of all parties taking part in them are respected, including Afghanistan itself, Interfax news agency cited Russian envoy on Afganistan Zamir Kabulov as saying on Wednesday.
Russia considers inefficient the current format of the talks, sponsored by the four-power group of Pakistan, Afghanistan, the United States and China, and does not plan to join in, although Moscow is ready to create a new format, he said.
The Afghan government refused to take part in the talks just a week after a massive bomb blast in Kabul killed at least 64 people and wounded hundreds on April 19.
A front-page caricature went public in a popular Dutch daily De Telegraaf, showing Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan as a sinister ape squashing freedom of speech in Europe.
The cartoon illustrates a brawny ape with President Erdogan’s face – turned red and puffy – squashing a slim woman resembling Dutch columnist Ebru Umar.
In the caricature, called “The long arm of Erdogan”, the Turkish president stands on a rock labeled “Apenrots,” Dutch for “ape rocks.” The word is also used to refer to a place in The Hague where the Foreign Ministry’s premises are located.
The Dutch cartoon is a reflection on the latest developments in Ankara’s crackdown on freedom of speech in Turkey and beyond.
Umar’s case appears to be the most recent in the growing log of media crackdowns in Turkey. She was arrested on Saturday over tweets Ankara said “insulted” Erdogan, and released on Sunday on condition she stays in Turkey and reports to the police.
In another case, earlier in April, German TV comic Jan Böhmermann read out a poem accusing Erdogan of child abuse and inclination to bestiality after Ankara expressed anger at a satirical clip by rival show Extra 3. Responding to Turkey’s demand to indict Böhmermann, Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed him to be prosecuted under a little-used law dating back to the 19th century.
Merkel’s decision created a storm in Germany, with some critics accusing the government of making concessions to Ankara and saying the EU is largely dependent on Turkey to stem the flow of refugees.
On Tuesday, German prosecutors said in a statement that they want to interview Böhmermann to decide if there are any grounds to proceed with his case.
In Turkey, the opposition media are under severe pressure from the government. Previously, the Cihan news agency was raided and seized by the police, just days after a similar action against the popular opposition newspaper Zaman.
Scheduled to open in June 2016, BEST WESTERN PLUS Ivy Wall is a brand new midscale hotel that provides both business and leisure travelers with convenient access to all the city’s main landmarks and attractions.
It is located just a few minutes from Puerto Princesa International Airport, which has regular flight connections to Manila and other cities across the Philippines, and 1.5 hours’ drive from the stunning, UNESCO World Heritage-listed Puerto Princesa Underground River.
“Best Western’s expansion in the Philippines continues to gather momentum, and I am delighted to be able to welcome guests to another exciting destination in this vibrant country,” said Olivier Berrivin, BEST WESTERN Hotels & Resorts’ Managing Director of International Operations – Asia.
“Puerto Princesa and the island of Palawan are becoming new tourist hotspots in Southeast Asia, with an increasing number of travelers eager to experience this tropical paradise. With idyllic beaches and bays and the breath-taking Puerto Princesa Underground River, which has been listed as one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of Nature’, Puerto Princesa is a wonderfully unique and attractive destination for tourists.
With its contemporary style and range of international amenities, I am confident that BEST WESTERN PLUS Ivy Wall will become a firm favorite among the rising number of travelers to Puerto Princesa,” Mr. Berrivin concluded.
A modern midscale hotel, BEST WESTERN PLUS Ivy Wall offers 120 rooms and suites, all of which feature a contemporary Filipino design and come equipped with 42-inch LCD televisions, DVD players, mini-bars, spacious work desks and complimentary tea and coffee making facilities.
And as with all BEST WESTERN hotels worldwide, Wi-Fi is free-of-charge both in guest rooms and public areas.
When they are not exploring the stunning local scenery, guests can unwind with a treatment at the hotel’s spa, plunge into the tropical outdoor swimming pool, or enjoy exquisite local and international cuisine at the on-site restaurant. There is also a poolside bar, allowing guests to unwind with a refreshing cold drink during the heat of the day.
For the corporate and events market, the hotel features a business center, three meeting rooms and a 300m² ballroom, plus a VIP dining room which is served by a private butler and can host intimate dinners.
Best Western Plus Ivy Wall becomes the eighth BEST WESTERN hotel in the Philippines, joining existing properties in Manila, Makati City, Cebu City, Subic Bay and the resort island of Boracay.
Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Alexander Mantytskiy, has said the negotiations for the delivery of Mi-17 helicopters to Kabul are underway.
Briefing the reporters in Kabul on the bilateral ties between both nations, Mantytskiy said Moscow has agreed to deliver helicopters to the Afghan Army following the recent meeting between President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, reports Khaama Press.
He also maintained that the recent delivery of Mi-25 gunships to the Afghan Army by India concluded with the agreement of Russia, insisting that the equipment could only be transferred once the country of origin agrees with it.
Mantytskiy asserted that gunship helicopters were being used to counter the insurgency led by the Taliban group and ISIS loyalists in the country.
Asserting that 10,000 Ak-47 rifles were already delivered in the country to support the Afghan national security forces, besides 49 army cadets sent to Moscow for trainings in February, the Russian Ambassador hoped the agreement between Moscow and Kabul is concluded to further help strengthen the Afghan armed forces.
He revealed that at least 75 army cadets were last year sent to Russia for military trainings.
India shouldn’t have exaggerated expectations of any real breakthrough
The Pakistan army regards itself as being above the law, disregarding even court notices.
PAKISTAN is one of the few countries today, which puts its defence minister in a virtual “purdah”. All those who deal with Pakistan, have heard of, or seen the ubiquitous Gen Raheel Sharif. Does anybody, however, know the name of the person who holds the high office of the defence minister in Pakistan? The peripatetic General Sharif is in Washington on one day, in Kabul on the next. He is also frequently travelling with Nawaz Sharif to countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran. When VIPS, including Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, or US Vice- President Joe Biden visit Pakistan, they visit the GHQ, to pay respects to the army chief. But defence minister Khwaja Asif, a Muslim League stalwart, is rarely seen or heard. Pakistan’s defence ministry hardly has the gumption or authority to turn down anything that the army chief based in the GHQ in Rawalpindi says or does. General Sharif has never been seen accompanying, meeting or talking to the hapless Khwaja Asif. He is only seen sitting opposite, or besides the Prime Minister, behaving like a co-equal of the Prime Minister. Even federal ministers and the Prime Minister’s brother and Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, have to seek permission to meet the regal General Sharif in his hallowed GHQ. The army regards itself as being above the law, disregarding notices from the Supreme Court on its operations in Baluchistan and undermining the court’s efforts to bring Musharraf to book for violating Pakistan’s constitution. Given this exalted role of the GHQ, one was surprised to recently read a widely publicised statement made to a parliamentary committee by Pakistan’s defence secretary. Incidentally, given their contempt for “bloody civilians”, the Pakistan army routinely insists that the defence secretary should be a retired army officer. Defence secretary Lt Gen Alam Khattak told the parliamentary committee on April 6 that India’s “infamous” R&AW had set up a “special cell” to sabotage the much-hyped “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor”, which the Pakistan army believes is the “magic wand” to solve all the country’s economic ills. General Khattak’s statement came the day after General Sharif said the same thing while blaming India for “destabilising” Pakistan. General Khattak added the usual “masala” to his statement by alleging that Indian consulates in Jalalabad, Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan were working with that country’s National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Afghan counterpart of the ISI, by carrying out “subversive activities” in Baluchistan and the Pashtun tribal areas of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan. Such allegations against India are not new. The recent addition has been the references to that “notorious” Indian “spy” Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was first said to have been arrested along the border with Afghanistan and was later claimed to have been arrested in Baluchistan. But here again, Pakistan finds itself in a bind. By denying India customary “consular access” to an arrested Indian national, statements made by Jadhav while under Pakistani custody will be seen to have been made under coercion. If Pakistan releases him, which seems unlikely for the present, Jadhav will sing a different tune and severely embarrass his captors with the many truths he will reveal. The Jadhav episode has also cast a shadow on Pakistan’s efforts to mend its strained relations with Iran. The bumptious General Sharif chose not to be present when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met visiting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. With his customary swagger stick in his hand, he separately met President Rouhani the next day. The obedient army spokesman dutifully tweeted that his exalted boss had given “evidence” to the Iranian President about the evil Indians using Iranian soil to destabilise the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. An obviously irritated President Rouhani bristled with anger, when he was asked about this, noting that India, like Pakistan, was a friendly country. The Iranian embassy reiterated this a few days later. All this is occurring at a time when Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan are going through a critical phase. With great difficulty and with significant help of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of the infamous Taliban linked Haqqani Network, the ISI has united a number of top Taliban leaders, including members of Mullah Omar’s family, with its handpicked protégé, Mullah Akhtar Mansour. The ISI calculation had been that with the Obama Administration beating a hasty retreat from Afghanistan, its Taliban protégés would take over, with China facilitating this process of transition. China obviously expects that a Pakistan-sponsored regime in Kabul would help it in eliminating the insurgency by its Muslim population in its neighbouring Xinjiang province. With the Taliban determined to seize control of more and more territory, one can expect heavy casualties in the ensuing months in Afghanistan. More so, as the China-US-Pakistan brokered peace talks, which are said to be “Afghan led” and “Afghan owned”, are going to be headed nowhere. Pakistan cannot remain unaffected by the conflict across the Durand Line. General Sharif’s operation Zarb-e-Azb in Pashtun tribal areas has resulted in nearly one million Pashtun tribesmen being uprooted from their homes, with bleak prospects of early return and rehabilitation. The Tehriq-e-Taliban, now operating from Afghan soil, has hit back, with attacks on institutions in Pakistan, linked to the Pakistani military. For the first time, the army is fighting its citizens in all four provinces of Pakistan. With Pashtuns comprising around one-fourth of the army, its generals will have to start looking at the reliability of its Pashtun soldiers. General Sharif has obviously learnt nothing from history. The only time Punjabi soldiers have prevailed over Pashtuns was under the command of a Sikh General, Hari Singh Nalwa, during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Sadly for Pakistan, General Sharif does not have the attributes of military leadership of
Hari Singh Nalwa.
It is clear that the present dispensation in Pakistan has neither the imagination, nor foresight, to escape the inevitable consequences of its blunders in Afghanistan. Moreover, after the revelations of Nawaz Sharif’s family’s offshore accounts in Panama, Pakistan’s Prime Minister himself faces an uncertain future and tempestuous times ahead. While continuing a process of engagement with Pakistan, we should not have exaggerated expectations of any significant “breakthrough”. General Sharif should be left to stew in his own juice, along Pakistan’s western frontiers.
A key congressional Republican hopes to use a major defense bill to give the Pentagon more leverage in policy fights with President Obama’s White House aides, following complaints from past defense chiefs that the West Wing has tried to micromanage national security and military policy and ice the Defense Department and other agencies out of major decisions.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry plans to offer an amendment to the defense authorization bill to cap the size of the National Security Council, now headed by close Obama aide Susan E. Rice. The bill also could subject the council’s head to congressional confirmation in the future, The Washington Times has learned.
News of the amendment comes in the wake of sharp criticism from Mr. Obama’s former defense secretaries — Robert M. Gates, Leon E. Panetta and Chuck Hagel — that their access to and influence over the president were often stymied by an inner circle of less-experienced White House officials.
The move would have little effect on the remainder of Mr. Obama’s term but would be a clear sign of congressional unhappiness with the way the president has run his defense policy team and serve as a warning to future chief executives.
Four months ago, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, Arizona Republican, said dissatisfaction of the White House among those serving in uniform was at its highest level since Vietnam.
Another aide said Mr. Thornberry does not intend to introduce the proposal until the $610 billion defense spending bill makes to the House floor in coming weeks because other committees with jurisdiction would have to scrutinize the measure. The move on the National Security Council was first reported in The Washington Post over the weekend.
While there is some legal murkiness of whether the Armed Services Committee can demand structural changes to the council, the aide argued that Congress created it nearly 70 years ago during the Harry S. Truman administration.
“Of course, even the committee chairman cannot do something that is the jurisdiction of other committees, but any House member can offer any amendment, regardless of the issue, once the [national defense spending authorization] is on the floor,” the aide said.
The measure would be just a small part of a massive spending and policy blueprint for the Pentagon made public Monday. The draft bill would add billions of dollars to pay for more ships, jet fighters, helicopters and more, The Associated Press reported.
Mr. Thornberry’s blueprint shifts $18 billion from the account that finances ongoing war operations to prohibit further troop cuts and buy weapons the Pentagon didn’t include in its $583 billion request. To make up for the large shortfall in war spending, the next president will have to submit a supplemental budget to Congress early next year.
The blueprint rejects the Pentagon’s proposal to cut one of the Navy’s 10 carrier air wings. It also includes 11 additional F-35 stealth fighter jets, which cost roughly $100 million each, more Black Hawk and Apache helicopters, and troop-carrying V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft, according to the AP.
“SEAL Team 6 has received extensive coverage, what could be considered the military story of the twenty-first century, the massive, ongoing expansion of a secret force (functionally the president’s private army) cocooned inside the U.S. military — now at almost 70,000 personnel and growing — has gotten next to none. Keep in mind that such a force is already larger than the active-duty militaries of Australia, Chile, Cuba, Hungary, the Netherlands, Nigeria, and South Africa, among a bevy of other countries.”–A Secret War in 135 Countries
The Pentagon pushed back Monday afternoon against criticism that deploying 250 troops to Syria constitutes mission creep in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), saying the deployment is needed to meet current requirements.
“These are specific capabilities … specific needs right now as we talk to our partners,” Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook told reporters. “And including our assessment, talking to local leaders on the ground in Syria, these are decisions that we think makes sense to accelerate this campaign and to further enable those local forces.”
“This is not a question of putting in thousands of American forces to wage this fight,” he later added. “We are looking to others to carry this fight out but to do what we can to support them.”President Obama announced Monday he had authorized sending another 250 troops to Syria. Previously, just 50 special operations troops were in the country.
Monday’s news, coupled with the Pentagon’s announcement last week that about 200 more troops will be sent to Iraq, has led to lawmakers from both parties slamming the administration’s incremental increase in the number of troops being sent to the region. Republicans say more are needed, and Democrats argue the gradual increases risk drawing the United States deeper into the conflicts.
Rather, their role will be to connect with, train and assist local forces, and provide intelligence from the ground, Cook said.
The Pentagon expects the troops to act similarly to the original 50 special operations forces sent in, he added.
“Force multipliers is the best way to look at this,” he said. “A small number of Americans with these kinds of capabilities can bring an enormous weight to bear in this fight and in support of these forces. And those forces who have come into contact and worked with U.S. forces, I think would attest to that.”
In additional to special operations forces, the 250 troops will include medical and logistical personnel, Cook said.
The administration settled on 250 on the recommendation of military commanders, Cook said.
Cook did not rule out the possibility of sending more troops to Iraq or Syria down the line.
“We’re going to continue to look at every single opportunity we have, work with our local partners, to see how we can accelerate this campaign,” he said. “As you have seen from these specific — very specific — deployments and decisions, that what we’re looking at here is specific capabilities.”
MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. The number of militants of the Islamic State terrorist group in Afghanistan has increased many times over recent years, which poses a serious threat to Central Asia and Russia, Russian president’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department Zamir Kabulov told a news conference on Tuesday.
According to the diplomat, one of the new factors is the appearance of IS in Afghanistan, while the Taliban have rejected the idea of global jihad and position themselves as a national military-political movement.
“There are more than 10,000 militants of Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) in Afghanistan now. Just a year ago there were 100 IS militants there as a maximum. Such growth rates are impressive. The IS Afghan wing is specifically tailored to Central Asia – even Russian is among the working languages in their training camps. They are definitely prepared not for the Afghan war, but for the war against Central Asia, against Russia’s interests,” Kabulov said.
Russia to stop regarding Taliban as terrorists if they meet national reconciliation conditions
According to the official, Russia will not have grounds to continue regarding the Taliban as a terrorist organization if they are ready to meet the national reconciliation conditions.
“When the Taliban were included in the so-called Russian sanctions list after being blacklisted by the U.N. Security Council, we started regarding them to be a terrorist organization and we had every ground to do that,” Kabulov said.
“We have been studying and watching the Taliban actions carefully after the movement has introduced changes to the principles and guidelines mentioned it its program. If the Taliban are ready to meet the three national reconciliation conditions – the recognition of Afghanistan’s constitution; cessation of military hostilities and the abruption of ties with extremist organizations, then we will no longer have grounds to consider them to be a terrorist organization. They will turn into one of the political forces in Afghanistan that will have the right to exist and be recognized,” the Russian diplomat said.
“But it’s not up to us to decide. It should be confirmed by the Afghan government and recognized by the U.N. Security Council,” Kabulov stressed.
Afghanistan is experiencing a full-blown crisis that threatens its statehood, Kabulov went on to say.
“The situation is also aggravated by the fact that the load of unresolved problems kept growing over several years,” the envoy said.
The situation that has developed in that country gives us the grounds “to speak about a full-blown crisis that threatens Afghan statehood. The national unity government was a compromise between two conflicting camps,” the Russian presidential envoy said.
“We see the growing influence of Taliban and other extremist forces,” the Russian diplomat said.
“This combat season promises to be especially hot this year. Taliban fighters are using a new strategy and they have kept forces inside Afghanistan. They are setting the task of strengthening control over the country’s’ large regions,” the diplomat said.
US refuses to cooperate with Russia on Afghanistan
According to the official, the United States and NATO do not cooperate with the Russian side on Afghanistan but Moscow is not going to persuade anybody into interaction.
“They have announced – both NATO and the Americans – that we do not have cooperation. Yes, we can talk but we do not cooperate,” Kabulov said.
“We are professionals, and so we talk to them via diplomatic and military channels. They are talking and even cooperating with us in Syria when they need that badly,” he added.
“We have been unsuccessful in doing that in Afghanistan so far. But we are not going to persuade anybody,” the diplomat said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry is surprised by the fact that the United States bombs the Taliban that have refused to cooperate with the Islamic State terrorist group and leave alone the field commanders that keep in contact with IS.
“In some majestic way those field commanders that refused to cooperate with IS in Afghanistan – it’s their detachments that come under the American aviation strikes,” Kabulov said. “And those who cooperate (with IS) are left alone,” Kabulov said.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday pulled the plug on his failing effort to start peace talks with the Taliban and issued a direct challenge to Pakistan to battle the insurgents who he said originate from its territory.
In an address to parliament, Ghani said he would no longer pursue the negotiations that have been a centerpiece of his foreign policy since taking office more than 18 months ago. Instead, Ghani said, Afghan security forces would take on the Taliban and other armed opposition groups directly.
Ghani called on Pakistan to act as a “responsible government” and launch military operations against the Taliban and its allies who are widely believed to be based in Pakistan’s tribal belt. He said that if Pakistan didn’t do so, Afghanistan was willing to bring the issue to the United Nations Security Council.
“We do not expect Pakistan to deliver the Taliban for negotiations,” Ghani said, adding that Pakistan should instead keep promises it has made to carry out military operations against insurgents on its soil.
His remarks came nearly a week after a truck bombing killed 64 people and wounded more than 347 others in Kabul, one of the deadliest attacks in the Afghan capital in years. An initial investigation by Afghan intelligence attributed to the attack to the Haqqani network, a Taliban-allied group based in Pakistan.
The diplomatic outreach Ghani made to Pakistan since taking office now appears to be over. Hoping to persuade Pakistan to bring Taliban leaders to the negotiating table to help end a conflict now in its 15th year, Ghani opened the door for Afghan military cadets to train in Pakistan, and announced an intelligence-sharing agreement between the two countries.
The moves sparked fervent criticism from opposition politicians and many Afghans who blame Pakistan for turning a blind eye to or directly supporting militant groups in Afghanistan.
Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, chief executive of Afghanistan’s unity government, had previously spoken out against Pakistan, particularly following a truck bombing in August that wounded nearly 400 people. But in the ensuing months, both leaders tempered their stance against Islamabad after Pakistan joined Afghanistan, China and the United States in a four-nation effort to start peace talks with the Taliban.
That effort has faltered as the main Taliban leadership has shown little inclination to negotiate while instead continuing offensives that have challenged the government’s control over parts of northern and southern Afghanistan.
“We did not spare any efforts to peacefully put an end to the violence in the country,” Ghani said Monday. “Meanwhile, we have made every effort to defend our people in the undeclared war against us.”
Ghani also referred to the Taliban as “terrorists,” a departure for the Afghan leader, who has previously spoken of the insurgents in more conciliatory tones.
Ghani said Afghan security forces were engaged in 15 military operations, across seven of the nation’s 34 provinces, meant to suppress the Taliban, the Haqqani network and other allied groups. He also told lawmakers that he would nominate a new defense minister and intelligence chief within days.
The current defense minister, Massoom Stanekzai, has been serving in an acting role for more than a year now. The former intelligence chief, Rahmatullah Nabil, resigned in December after he reportedly opposed Ghani’s approach to Pakistan.
Ghani said he would no longer offer “amnesty” to insurgents — an apparent reference to the policy of former President Hamid Karzai, who some experts said freed thousands of captured militants who claimed to have renounced violence. One attacker responsible for the Kabul truck bombing last week had reportedly been freed by Karzai’s administration.
It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a “socialist.” He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism. What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector. Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama’s point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies, without having to use President Bush as a scapegoat all the time. Government ownership of the means of production means that politicians also own the consequences of their policies, and have to face responsibility when those consequences are disastrous — something that Barack Obama avoids like the plague. Thus the Obama administration can arbitrarily force insurance companies to cover the children of their customers until the children are 26 years old. Obviously, this creates favorable publicity for President Obama. But if this and other government edicts cause insurance premiums to rise, then that is something that can be blamed on the “greed” of the insurance companies.
The same principle, or lack of principle, applies to many other privately owned businesses. It is a very successful political ploy that can be adapted to all sorts of situations. One of the reasons why both pro-Obama and anti-Obama observers may be reluctant to see him as fascist is that both tend to accept the prevailing notion that fascism is on the political right, while it is obvious that Obama is on the political left. Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely — and correctly — regarded as being on the political left. Jonah Goldberg’s great book “Liberal Fascism” cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists’ consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left’s embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s. Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left. It was in the 1930s, when ugly internal and international actions by Hitler and Mussolini repelled the world, that the left distanced themselves from fascism and its Nazi offshoot — and verbally transferred these totalitarian dictatorships to the right, saddling their opponents with these pariahs.
What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people — like themselves — need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat. The left’s vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves, as superior beings pursuing superior ends. In the United States, however, this vision conflicts with a Constitution that begins, “We the People…” That is why the left has for more than a century been trying to get the Constitution’s limitations on government loosened or evaded by judges’ new interpretations, based on notions of “a living Constitution” that will take decisions out of the hands of “We the People,” and transfer those decisions to our betters. The self-flattery of the vision of the left also gives its true believers a huge ego stake in that vision, which means that mere facts are unlikely to make them reconsider, regardless of what evidence piles up against the vision of the left, and regardless of its disastrous consequences. Only our own awareness of the huge stakes involved can save us from the rampaging presumptions of our betters, whether they are called socialists or fascists. So long as we buy their heady rhetoric, we are selling our birthright of freedom.
[The following is the Brit press allegedly explaining the Mullah Mansour/Dadullah Faction split for our edification. First, we have the known truth, that the British press is the official propaganda pipe-organ for the global Establishment; Second, we have the disturbing fact, that ALL of the top leaders of the anti-Taliban faction (a.k.a., Fidai Mahaz or Dadullah Front) have been molded into the leaders that they are, by having spent long periods of time in custody of either US, Afghan, or Pakistani authorities, all of them dominated by the CIA.
Haji Najibullah, was held after at least two arrests/captures…Mansour Dadullah was held for at least six years by Pakistan…Mullah Zakir/Rasoul spent his hard time in Guantanamo. This holds to the familiar pattern followed by all of the credible terroristic resistance forces, engaged by Western forces, Afghan Taliban, Al-Qaeda In Iraq, Islamic State, Al-Qaeda In Arabian Peninsula, Al-Qaeda In Magreb…all organized and run by CIA-conditioned leaders.
The slow release of Guantanamo prisoners, as well as the closures of US Army run POW camps in Iraq and Afghanistan (Camp Bucca being the most notable), has been very selective, always serving to increase the strength of individual terrorist outfits. All of the targeted releases under the US “proactive counter-terrorism” program have served to improve the P.R. images of the outfits being fought in the so-called “War On Terrorism”, making them appear to be more “credible enemies,” while increasing their combat capabilities.
A real misnomer if ever there was one, the War On Terrorism, should be understood for what it actually is…a War To Breed Terrorists. Why Do We Fight? We fight, so that we might stay there, on the battlefield…just another violent outpost of the Empire of blood.]
Desperately ill and growing weaker, one of the world’s most wanted terrorist masterminds summoned his men to his bedside.
Mullah Omar, once the all-powerful Taliban ruler of Afghanistan, was dying after years in exile, his kidney disease worsened by poisons slipped into his medicine.
Bearded men filed into the darkened room, their AK47s close to hand, and bowed to the 65-year-old fighter and scholar they called Amir ul-Momineen – Commander of the Faithful.
Omar’s inner circle, led by his deputy and would-be heir Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, listened intently as their leader whispered his final will.
Mansoor discovered he was not to be made leader. His hand on a nine-millimetre pistol hidden in his garments, he suddenly interrupted him and asked why.
Then, with Omar refusing to give the answer he wanted and staring back defiantly with his one eye, Mansoor drew the gun and shot him – once in the face and twice in the stomach.
The murderous coup was a treacherous end, even for a man whose fighters caused the deaths of 454 UK troops and thousands of civilians in Afghanistan’s 13-year-war.
And it is feared his execution, described in chilling detail by former senior Taliban commander Omar Khitab, may now spark a perfect and unprecedented storm of terrorism and bloody civil war.
A security source told the Daily Mirror: “This has deadly implications. Mansoor’s influence could plunge the region back into horrific chaos. And as Afghanistan stares into the abyss, so will the rest of the world.”
There have been previous claims that Omar was poisoned in the Afghan city of Kandahar or that he died at a Karachi hospital in Pakistan. But Khitab said an investigation he conducted found that the mullah was murdered by Mansoor.
Khitab quit the Taliban in 2011 when he heard that its deputy chief, acting as caretaker leader because Omar was ill, was opening an office in Qatar.
He claimed that Mansoor struck secret deals allowing the CIA to leave more than 1,000 special forces troops in Afghanistan and promised Shia-run Iran he would wage war on Islamic State, whose brutal Sunni fanatics have now gained huge territories across Asia and North Africa.
And he said Omar, far from controlling the Taliban, was kept prisoner by Mansoor for about two years, too ill to object.
Khitab, now head of an Islamic group called Fidai Mahaz, went on: “When Amir ul-Momineen was reciting his will, Mansoor told him, ‘You can’t name anyone else chief as I’m running the movement. Say I will be chief.’
Mullah Omar said he had already given so much. He recalled he sacrificed his Emirate of Afghanistan by protecting al-Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden after 9/11 in 2001 and refusing to hand him over to America, thereby starting the war.
“He also told Mansoor he could not give the Taliban leadership to someone who wanted to do such dishonourable deals.
“So Mansoor shot him in the face and stomach. Amir ul-Momineen was killed, first by poison then shot. He needed medicine for his illness and Mansoor told him Pakistani treatment available could not be trusted. So he offered to get medicine from Dubai – and put poison in it.
“That poison damaged Omar’s liver. As he was dying Mansoor and his cronies tried to force him to make the will. When he refused they martyred him.”
He claimed Omar died at the southern Afghanistan hide-out in the afternoon of about April 23, 2013 – three days after the poisoning started.
Khitab said he visited Omar’s grave at Zabul province in southern Afghanistan – but the burial site is being kept secret in case intruders abuse the body of the man who created the Taliban in 1994.
“But I have pictures of the grave and we may reveal the spot when the time is right,” he added.
Anarchy already blights Afghanistan less than a year after the last British and American troops pulled out.
The threat of more war there looms as Mansoor’s shadowy pledge to the CIA to fight IS means old Taliban alliances will split and explode in violence.
Former Taliban warlord Hafiz Saeed Khan is now in charge of IS operations in Afghanistan, northern Pakistan and part of Iran – and may harbour grudges against his former fellow fighters.
IS hates Shia Muslims, who form most of Iran’s population, and has committed atrocities on them across the Middle East and North Africa.
If Khitab’s claim is correct that Mansoor is doing deals with Iran to attack IS, it could mean Tehran will be arming his Taliban network for such a conflict.
And that has horrific implications for the world, as the weapons could be sold on or given to third parties.
The security source said: “The passing-on of arms by a nation to influence internal war has often gone spectacularly wrong. In the 80s the UK and US gave weapons to the Mujahideen fighting the Russians in Afghanistan, then worried about those same weapons being used against them.
“Ground-to-air missiles were good for attacking Soviet helicopters but can also bring down passenger jets. When the Taliban controlled Afghanistan in the 1990s, there were fears residual weaponry may fall into the hands of guests al-Qaeda. It’s the same thing in Iraq and Syria, where rebels have been given weapons to oppose Assad and now IS has them.
“Afghanistan’s Taliban have not so far been interested in jihad abroad. But with IS getting a foothold there and deals made with jihadists to take them on, their new head Mansoor has proved less a stickler for rules than Mullah Omar.
“Either Afghanistan beats IS off, and that’s unlikely, or forms allegiances with it – and that is a big worry.
“Then you are talking about a war between Iran and Afghanistan’s jihadists, and the West will be forced to take part.”
Let’s say you live in one of the many isolated areas of Scioto County in which cellular service is non-existent and that hasn’t bothered you in the past because you have landline service. But what would happen if you suddenly lost your landline service as well? You may find out.
Ohio has put in the most recent budget, House Bill 64, a law allowing telephone companies to stop offering traditional phone service. That means we are possibly headed in the direction of a day when that dinosaur known as landline service could be going away.
A spokeswoman for the office of State Senator Joe Uecker said it was split in two parts so there may also be parts of it in the Mid-Biennium Review.
“What was put in House Bill 64 wasn’t as extreme as the original legislation,” the spokeswoman told the Daily Times. “It still gives the individual the ability to legally go to the Public Utilities Commission (PUCO) and say – if the local provider is removing access and there’s no other options, then they are not allowed to do it.”
One local official says there are two sides that need to be considered.
“I’m not 100 percent in favor especially in our county and south central/east region of Ohio,” Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis told the Daily Times. “The cons are as such…we have major internet/cell phone blackout areas in the northwest part and remote areas of our county. We still have people on land lines in our area. Our senior citizens, low income (and even a few no to low tech middle aged adults) may not have cell phones or computers.”
Davis said it is also because several areas that do not have cell service access to emergency medical services or police/sheriff protection may be hampered, especially in the area’s older citizenry whom he says needs it the most.
“If the electric goes out, computers go out after a few hours and only if they are on battery backup,” Davis said. “Land lines usually carry enough current in the copper lines to keep a connection going. I’m not certain comparable voice over options with comparable cost exist in our remote rural areas.”
Davis said just as there are cons, there are also pros.
“The pro’s for the phone companies are that they can invest in new technologies bettering service instead of re-investing in old technology,” Davis said. “I get it but I’m concerned about public safety mostly.”
Davis said if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) want to do take that action the federal government and state of Ohio needs to fully fund and finish what Connect Ohio started and get the remote areas such as Otway, Rarden and others adequate reliable broadband access before doing it.
“Even then I am concerned about power outages in remote areas that could cost lives,” Davis said.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.
Deputy presidential spokesperson [Dawa Khan Meenpal], referring to yesterday’s suicide attack in Kabul, stated that on the basis of the Quartet’s commitment to meeting America, Afghanistan, Pakistan and China, should this trend be acting against opposition groups.
The regional office Tasnim , “Dow Khan Minapal” deputy spokesman for the Afghan president announced that the fourth meeting of the Quartet for Peace in America, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan in Islamabad, it was agreed that serious action to be taken against groups opposed to the peace process in Afghanistan.
He referred to the attack in Kabul yesterday to Voice of America said that Pakistan should be agreed upon at a meeting of the Quartet, the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table in the first week of March this year leads.
Ashraf Ghani, deputy spokesman reiterated that the Government of Afghanistan to a meeting of the Quartet Committee to continue regional consensus for peace is still looking for the results of past meetings. The Quartet meeting commitments, must now against those who breach of peace, action.
Earlier, the Afghan Taliban, Pakistani authorities had warned that in case of non-participation in the Afghan peace process will not end well.
Chief executive of the Afghan government in Kabul following the attack yesterday postponed his visit to Pakistan.
According to experts, some Afghan officials, the attack was designed outside Afghanistan’s borders.
Afghan National Security chaired yesterday’s attack 64 killed and more than 347 wounded.
Afghan authorities have repeatedly urged Pakistan to act honestly in the Afghan peace process.
On April 11, CBS’s “60 Minutes” led with an important segment about the tragedy of 9/11 and how a 28-page chapter of a congressional investigation has been withheld from the American people for almost 13 years.
This was not a cover-up. It was the result of aggressive deception. Your government has purposely used deceit to withhold the truth.
The reason for deceit: to protect the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from its complicity in the murder of 2,977 Americans. On April 15, The New York Times reported: “Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.”
If that is not sufficient to get your blood boiling, read on: “The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage …” Of the many unanswered questions of 9/11, the most significant, I believe, is whether the 19 hijackers operated alone or were aided by a support network. The official position of the U.S. government is that they acted alone. Like myself, the lead investigators of 9/11 find it implausible that these 19 poorly-educated Arab men — most unable to speak English and with no prior experience in the U.S. — could have conducted such a complex plot without assistance from within our country.
The forms of aggressive deceit have been multiple. A few are illustrative:
The 28 pages, which have been reported to disclose the sources of funding for the attack, have been under review for purposes of declassification for three years — three times the amount of time required for the congressional inquiry to research, analyze and issue an 838-page report.
The 28 pages are the most iconic, but not the only, evidence to be withheld from the report of the congressional inquiry. The report is pocked by hundreds of specific redactions.
Investigations at locales where the hijackers lived and plotted prior to the attacks also have been classified. One of those involves Mohamed Atta, the leader of the hijackers, and two of his henchmen who are alleged to have collaborated with a prominent Saudi family who lived in Sarasota for six years before abruptly departing for Saudi Arabia two weeks before 9/11.
The FBI publicly described its Sarasota investigation as complete and said it found no connection between the hijackers and the family. Later, responding to a Freedom of Information lawsuit, the FBI released an investigative report that said the family had “many connections” to individuals tied to the terrorist attacks. The FBI now claims the agent who prepared the report was incompetent, yet refuses to make public the findings upon which that 20-year career agent was thrown under the bus. Some now say, why worry about events that will soon be 15 years old? There are at least three reasons to continue demanding full transparency:
• Justice: The legislation referred to in The New York Times article is designed to modernize the procedures under which Americans can seek justice in an American court for murder or lesser crimes inflicted on U.S. soil by foreign terrorists. Without this, justice to the families of the victims is denied.
• National security: The Saudis blatant attempts to avoid liability as co-conspirators in the crime of 9/11, and the U.S. government’s acquiescence by refusing to release information (and opposition to reforming laws that would hold collaborators in murder to account) has been a clear signal to the Kingdom that it is immune from U.S. sanctions. With that impunity, it continues to finance terrorists and fund mosques and schools used to indoctrinate the next generation of terrorists in intolerance and jihad.
• Democracy: The American government is founded on the consent of the governed. To give that consent, the people must know what the government is doing in its name. Distrust in government is reflected in the speeches of today’s presidential candidates. The public’s sometimes angry response is fueled by a sense of betrayal and deceit.
Bob Graham is a former governor of Florida and U.S. Senator and was a co-chairman of the 2002 congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks.
Lawsuit accuses two former Air Force psychologists out of Spokane of endorsing and teaching torture
Interrogation program has since been discontinued and widely discredited
ACLU sued the psychologists on behalf of three former CIA prisoners
The Associated Press
A federal judge Friday said he won’t dismiss a lawsuit against two Washington psychologists who helped design the CIA’s “harsh interrogation techniques” in the war on terror. The decision means a continuation of the closely watched case that will likely include the disclosure of once-secret information.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued James E. Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen in October on behalf of three former CIA prisoners. The suit said that the psychologists, despite having no expertise on al-Qaida, devised an interrogation program for the CIA that drew from 1960s experiments involving dogs and a theory called “learned helplessness.”
The lawsuit accused the two former Air Force psychologists, who worked as independent contractors for the CIA, of endorsing and teaching torture tactics under the guise of science.
“The defendants committed war crimes,” said Dror Ladin, an attorney for the ACLU. “This case is about the treatment of prisoners.”
But defense attorney James Smith said his clients simply designed a program and were not involved in carrying it out.
“The government controlled every facet of the decision-making process,” Smith said, adding his clients “did not decide who was dealt with or how.”
But Judge Justin Quackenbush in Spokane said the lawsuit alleged that the defendants aided and abetted the interrogation program, and that he would allow the suit to move forward.
The judge also gave the parties 30 days to offer plans on how they will deal with secret material during the information-sharing stage known as discovery.
The interrogation program designed by the two has since been discontinued and widely discredited.
The ACLU sued the psychologists on behalf of three former CIA prisoners. One, Gul Rahman, was alleged to have been interrogated at a CIA-run prison in Afghanistan known as “the Salt Pit,” and subjected to isolation, darkness and extreme cold water, and was later found dead of hypothermia.
The other two, Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, were detained in CIA prisons but never charged with crimes and are now free.
The case is expected to involve secret information as it moves forward, and a system must be devised to protect that secrecy. Those procedures could include having Justice Department lawyers in the room during depositions or being given the opportunity to review disclosures by the defendants about the interrogation program.
Earlier, the Justice Department signaled that it wouldn’t try to block the lawsuit. Experts called the government’s stance unprecedented, but also a recognition that a once-secret program is now largely out in the open.
Although the Justice Department isn’t part of the case, it submitted a filing ahead of Friday’s hearing saying that it wanted to ensure that certain classified information, including identities of interrogators and locations of detention sites, remains private as the suit moves forward.
In the past, the Justice Department has successfully fended off multiple lawsuits by invoking the state secrets privilege.
The veil of secrecy surrounding CIA interrogations was pierced by the 2014 release of the executive summary of a scathing Senate report on the program. That report said the interrogation techniques — including sleep deprivation, waterboarding and beatings — had inflicted pain on al-Qaida prisoners far beyond the legal limits and did not yield lifesaving intelligence.
Mitchell and Jessen designed the torture methods and performed illegal human experiments on CIA prisoners to test the program and took part in torture sessions, the ACLU has said.
Torture methods they devised included slamming prisoners into walls, stuffing them inside coffin-like boxes, exposing them to extreme temperatures and ear-splitting levels of music, starving them, inflicting various kinds of water torture, depriving them of sleep for days, and chaining them in stress positions designed for pain, the ACLU has said.
The two psychologists in 2005 founded a Spokane-based company — Mitchell, Jessen & Associates — that won a contract with the CIA. According to the Senate report, the government paid the company $81 million over several years.
The plaintiffs are suing under the Alien Tort Statute, which allows federal lawsuits for gross human rights violations, for their commission of torture; cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; nonconsensual human experimentation; and war crimes.
The Embassy of Russia in Kabul has rejected reports regarding Moscow’s cooperation with the Taliban group in fight against the loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group in the country.
According to a statement by the Embassy of Russia, the statements by the Russian Presidential Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov have been repeatedly altered.
Dismissing the reports as baseless, the statement further added that the reports have sparked anger among the Russian officials, specifically the misinterpretation of the statements following the deadly attack in Kabul.
The statement also added that rumors circulating in social media are aimed at provoking the public view against the Russia, warning that such moves will have a negative impact on relations between the two nations.
The Russian Embassy also insisted that Moscow’s stance towards the Afghan peace process is clear, emphasizing that the Taliban group should accept the Afghan constitution, refrain from violence and terminate links with al-Qaeda and other terrorist networks.
The statement said Russia remains committed in supporting Afghanistan to bolster security and capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces.
This comes as reports earlier emerged regarding the growing concerns of Moscow as the loyalists of the Islamic State are expanding foothold and terrorist related activities in Afghanistan.
Moscow is mainly concerned that the loyalists of the terror group are looking to further expand foothold by infiltrating into the Central Asian countries and Russia.
“Advisor Aziz affirmed the Government of Pakistan’s resolve to take effective action against United Nations-designated terrorist individuals and entities, including al-Qa’ida, the Haqqani Network, and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and its affiliates, as per its international commitments and obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions and the Financial Action Task Force.”—U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue Joint Statement
Jalaluddin Haqqani (R) of the Haqqani network points to a map of Afghanistan during a visit to Pakistan. (File Photo)
The US expressed concern on Saturday over Pakistan’s continued tolerance for terrorist groups like Haqqani network and said that it has raised this issue at the highest level with the authorities in Islamabad.
“We have consistently expressed our concerns at that the highest level of the government of Pakistan about their continued tolerance for Afghan Taliban groups, such as the Haqqani network, operating from Pakistani soil,” state department Spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said.
America’s concerns were raised with Pakistan again after the dreaded terrorist attack in Kabul this week in which more than 70 people were killed. Afghan authorities have blamed this to the Haqqani network and alleged this had the backing of the Pakistani establishment.
“We have pressed the government of Pakistan to follow up on its expressed commitment not to discriminate between terror groups, regardless of their agenda or their affiliation by undertaking concrete action against the Haqqanis,” Trudeau said in response to a question.
Pakistani authorities have reiterated their commitment that they will not discriminate against those groups, she noted.
“We continue to call on them to live up to that commitment,” the spokesperson said. “I think words matter and we continue to encourage them to have their actions match those words,” Trudeau said responding to Afghan allegations that Pakistanis helped the Haqqani network in this Kabul attack.
“Any attack the Haqqani group conducts is not possible without Pakistan’s help and this has been repeatedly proven in the last 14 years,” a presidential spokesperson, Dawa Khan Meenapal, was quoted as saying by Voice of America on Saturday.
“Our race is the Master Race. We are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects. In fact, compared to our race, other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Other races are considered as human excrement. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. Our earthly kingdom will be ruled by our leader with a rod of iron. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves.” Menahem Begin, 6th Prime Minister of Israel’s speech to the Knesset (24 June 1982) – Quoted in “Begin and the Beasts” Amnon Kapeliouk, in The New Statesman (25 June 1982)
“I will build my assembly, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” Matthew 16:18
“Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Judahites and are not, but lie– I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.” Revelation 3: 9
These racist Zionists don’t realize that the First (Old) Covenant has been deemed obsolete by the Apostle Paul:
“By calling this covenant new, he has made the first one obsolete and what is obsolete is outdated.” Hebrews 8:13
There is only one Covenant in play today, the New Covenant of Christ.
“Whoever is not with me is against me…” Matthew 12: 30
Israel was created on stolen Palestinian land by Ashkenazi Zionists using terrorist groups such as the Irgun, the Stern gang, and Haganah to terrorize, kill, and displace the Palestinian population. They built it on the foundation of the obsolete Old Covenant while systematically rejecting Jesus Christ and His New Covenant. It is against Christ and therefore THE PROBLEM. Such a country with its anti-Christ spirit has repudiated the Prince of Peace’s message of neighborly love and peace and has embraced the genocidal spirit of conquest and subjugation which has injected into the Middle East a cesspool of conflict and hate that has begun to metastasize worldwide.
Israeli-born writer Gilad Atzmon gave us a glimpse of such a metastasis: “What was all this French fuss about the burka? Who led this war on Muslims at the heart of Europe? Was it really in the name of tolerance? Freedom and laughter are precious indeed, but isn’t it the French ‘socialist’ government that has been harassing and banning the best and most successful comedian in France, Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, because he satirized the Holocaust religion? Who pushed the French government to take such harsh actions against an artist; wasn’t it the Jewish lobby group CRIF? If Europe wants to live in peace, it might consider letting other nations live in peace. By following the whims of The (Jewish Israeli) Lobby we have destined Paris to the fate of Aleppo…. France should ask itself why it has been dropping bombs on Muslims. Who enthusiastically advocated these ‘interventionist’ wars? What was the role of (the Jewish) Bernard-Henri Lévy, the prime advocate of the war against Libya for instance?”
Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts explained the Charlie Hebdo massacre in France: “There is as much circumstantial evidence that the CIA and French Intelligence are responsible for the Charlie Hebdo shootings as there is that the shootings were carried out by the two brothers whose ID was conveniently found in the alleged get-away car. As the French made certain that the brothers were killed before they could talk, we will never know what they had to say about the plot… (Jewish) Neoconservatives arrayed in their Washington offices are congratulating themselves on their success in using the Charlie Hebdo affair to reunite Europe with Washington’s foreign policy. No more French votes with the Palestinians against the Washington-Israeli position. No more growing European sympathy with the Palestinians.”
Osama Bin Laden went deeper: “Palestine has sunk under military occupation for more than 80 years. The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years; years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation. The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals. And of course there is no need to explain and prove the degree of American support for Israel. The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased. Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay its price, and pay for it heavily.”
ISRAELI-CREATED TERRORISM AND WARS
The Israeli Lobby AIPAC managed to involve the US in countless conflicts throughout the world: Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran and Ukraine in order to strengthen either Israel or Israeli/Jewish interests. Conflicts that have so far resulted in over 5 Million refugees and 2 Million dead including Christians while draining trillions upon trillions from the US treasury. See How the Ashkenazi Jews conquered the West.
“[Israel is] double-dealing withHamas andISIS,” explained Dr. Steve Pieczenik, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. “For as long as I have known the Israeli security apparatus—part fantasy/part braggadocio—they have always been in partnership with a host of terrorist groups from the very day that these groups were even conceived.”
Consequently, only Israel benefits from so-called “Islamic Terrorism” as it is Israel’s way of committing false flag terrorism to be blamed on Muslims so they can go on stealing more Arab lands as well as deflecting the attention from their war crimes in Gaza and their Apartheid regime, which in turn makes oppressing the Palestinians justifiable – especially as unrest is growing in the occupied territories. It doesn’t hurt either that every so-called “Islamic Terrorist Act” causes the West to clam up about the comatose peace process that the Israelis refuse to see through.
In the end, the accumulated result of such a metastasis has given us what in the parlance of the Washington Establishment is known as the War on Terror with all its frightful garnishes of loss of privacy, loss of civil liberties, police state, endless war, war casualties, fear replacing faith, hate replacing love, countries lying in ruins, unlimited defense spending that leads to budget deficit, hate around the world, etc. All because Zionist Jews pretending to be Hebrews – whose ancestors never lived neither East nor West of the Jordan – with the complicity of brainwashed ignorant “Christians” wanted to steal Palestine in order to resurrect the Old Covenant while spitting on the spirit of the New.
Still, compare how Muslims and Jews view Jesus Christ.
Muslims believe that Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary, was a prophet to the ancient Israelites, was not crucified to death, went to heaven without dying, and is expected to return soon.
However, according to Talmudic Jews, Jesus was a sorcerer and a demon-possessed liar who is now boiling in excrement in hell and whose mother Mary was a whore.
“In Gittin 56b, 57a a story is mentioned in which Onkelos summons up the spirit of Yeshu [or Yeshua (Jesus)] who sought to harm Israel. He describes his punishment in the afterlife as boiling in excrement.”
“In addition, at the 1240 Disputation of Paris, Donin presented the allegation that the Talmud was blasphemous towards Mary, the mother of Jesus (“Miriam” in Hebrew) and this criticism has been repeated by many Christian sources. The texts cited by critics include Sanhedrin 67a, Sanhedrin 106a, and Shabbath 104b.”
Thus it appears that Muslims are much closer to Christ than are Jews.
All the above groups are converts to Judaism and none can claim to trace their ancestry to Abraham, Jacob, or Judah. In other words, they’re not the chosen Hebrews of the Bible with whom God had the Old Covenant and therefore cannot claim the land of Palestine as their Abrahamic inheritance. And resurrecting the dead Hebrew tongue after centuries in the dustbin of oblivion in order to make it modern Israel’s official language won’t change those facts, much like parking a Subaru in a Lamborghini dealership won’t turn it into a Veneno Roadster.
Besides, when was the last time you heard of a prophet whom God sent to anoint a King over modern Israel as He used to do in the old days? What of the animal sacrifices? What of the lamb to be killed and eaten during Passover like Jesus did when He established the new covenant with his disciples, a lamb that was killed and eaten in a private home? The sacrifice of the Passover Lamb in the Hebrew home was God’s very contract with each individual ancient Hebrew and that’s why Jesus repeated it with his disciples in order to introduce the new contract. Do Jews today kill a lamb for Passover in their own homes to keep the old contract alive? Is modern Israel comprised of only Judea and Samaria as it was in the Old Testament and divided into 7 lots as God directed Joshua with each tribe settling on its own parcel? Are the bloodline descendants of the Levites still around to restock a future Temple because no other Hebrew tribe can?
The answer to all of these questions is resoundingly negative. And ironically, Judea and Samaria of the Bible (i.e., the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel) are today mostly inside the West Bank of Palestine (aptly named Judea and Samaria even today by Zionists) and not inside Modern-Day Israel. See The Hebrew Disease.
Given its racist Zionist ideology, Modern-day Israel is a cancer on the earth. Unfortunately, as long as it exists in its current form, and as long as it continues to manipulate the US Government, there will never be peace in the Middle East nor an end to the World War on Terror. Therefore every country in the world including the United States must impose a fair and equitable solution on the Palestinian issue and on those of Syria (Golan Heights), Lebanon (Shebaa Farms), and Iran (Nuclear Issue) that Israel must abide by. Otherwise, full-blown Apartheid sanctions a la Apartheid South Africa must immediately follow. Meanwhile, every conscientious individual should implement a personal boycott of Israel and everything made there.
“No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.” Psalm 101:7
For over 13 years, from October 7, 2001 until December 28, 2014, the US and NATO were conducting combat operations in Afghanistan.
And, although combat operations were meant to have stopped and the US had begun withdrawing troops from the country by the end of 2014, continued gains by the Taliban and the seeming weakness of the Afghan National Army have forced the US to continue its role in the war torn country.
Overall, the US maintains a force of nearly 10,000 in Afghanistan, although President Obama plans to draw that force down to 5,500 in 2017. At that point the war would have lasted for 16 years.
In response to this continuation of US presence in the country, cartoonist Jack Ohman of The Sacramento Bee published this cartoon, which helped him win the 2016 “Editorial Cartooning” Pulitzer Prize.
A combination of a file picture and a handout file picture made on March 28, 2014 shows Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) giving a press conference in Brussels on January 21, 2014, and a handout picture released by Zaman Daily shows exiled Turkish Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen (R) at his residence on September 24, 2013 in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. Erdogan and Gulen were once close allies who transformed a political landscape that had for decades been the domain of secularists and coup-happy generals. Today Erdogan’s declared nemesis is the moustachioed 73-year-old imam Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric he accuses of running a parallel “deep state” from faraway rural Pennsylvania. Embroiled in political turmoil and out on the campaign trail ahead of Turkey’s March 30, 2014 local elections, Erdogan has declared war on a shadowy enemy and vowed to “liquidate” his foes. AFP PHOTO / THIERRY CHARLIER / ZAMAN DAILY / SELAHATTIN SEVI = RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO/ZAMAN DAILY/SELAHATTIN SEVI” – NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE =
ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey’s supreme court of appeals has overturned the convictions of 275 people, including a former military chief, who allegedly plotted to overthrow the country’s Islamist-leaning government. The decision opens the way for a re-trial and possible acquittal.
The high court on Thursday cited several flaws in the trial of ex-military chief Ilker Basbug, other officers as well as lawyers, academics and journalists. They were accused of membership in a organization dubbed Ergenekon which allegedly plotted in 2003-2004 to topple Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then prime minister and now the nation’s president.
The lengthy trial contributed to the gradual erosion of the powers of the army, which long viewed itself as the guarantor of secularism.
The appeals court said the lower court had, among other flaws, failed to prove Ergenekon’s existence.
Any hope for the Afghan reconciliation process have been shattered after the Taliban announced the launch of a fresh spring offensive against government strongholds backed by suicide and guerrilla attacks in Afghanistan. Pakistan, as part of the quadrilateral coordination group involving Afghanistan, China and the US, was trying to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, but this latest announcement of the Taliban has made the prospects of a peace process uncertain. Islamabad is irked by the decision of the Taliban, and it has warned them to shun violence or pay a heavy price. The Taliban earlier this month had announced the start of Operation Omari, named after the late Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, pledging to launch large-scale offensives to oust the west-backed Afghan government from power.
After the stalling of the Murree talks, a second round of meetings has been initiated to find a roadmap to bring the bloodshed to an end in Afghanistan, but all have proved futile so far. It is still unclear which faction of the Taliban is ready to become part of the peace talks since internal divisions within the Taliban stepped up attacks in Afghanistan, and their refusal to hold talks with the incumbent Kabul government has added uncertainty to an already complicated situation. On its part, Pakistan is making efforts to convince the Taliban to join the talks. Pakistan is making efforts to mediate between the Taliban and Afghan government. According to a media report, Pakistan had agreed to cut off financial support to the Taliban fighters, including in Quetta and Peshawar. If true, the development shows that Pakistan’s role is critical in bringing peace to war-torn Afghanistan. After recent development, Pakistan can no longer deny the presence on its soil or its links with the Afghan Taliban. So far Pakistan has remained silent on the presence of the sanctuaries of the Taliban in Pakistan. Islamabad itself has realized that it could no longer hide its links with the Taliban who are posing a real threat not only to Afghanistan but Pakistan too. The involvement of China and the US is significant as it can help strike a peace deal with the Taliban. Those militants who are ready to quit violence must be engaged in talks while those who are not ready to lay down their arms should be eliminated. Peace is in the interests of all stakeholder countries, the region and the world. Now there is a scenario where the Taliban leaders have announced that they will increase their intensity of attacks to derail any dialogue process. Given this scenario, Pakistan’s much vaunted influence over the Taliban, upon which the hope for the resumption of the peace process is reliant, seems increasingly doubtful. But, even when all pessimistic prognoses are made, the talks remain the only viable solution for the problem of the Afghan insurgency. The process, no matter how fraught or uncertain, must be persisted with for the sake of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the entire region. The only alternative is continuation of war, which is not affordable anymore.
Tuesday’s deadly attack on the intelligence unit tasked with the protection of VIPs was reportedly carried out by the Haqqani Network, said officials Wednesday.
Kabul NDS Chief Mohammad Omar Azizi said at a press conference in Kabul that the attack was organized outside the country.
In Tuesday’s attack 64 people were killed and 347 were wounded.
The question being asked however is how did a truck, loaded with explosives, reach the intelligence unit, which is part of the greater ring of steel within Kabul city?
In a bid to test the level of security within the city, Sharif Amiri, TOLOnews’ correspondent, on Wednesday traveled through the heart of the capital in the same type of truck used in Tuesday’s bombing.
Amiri traveled a distance of seven kilometers, from Pul-e-Charkhi in east Kabul and went through five check posts.
Not once was the truck stopped and searched.
“From which way they came? Have there been neglected duty? Or enemy used their especial tactics?,” said Abdul Rahman Rahimi Kabul Police Chief.
Asked who was behind the attack, Kabul NDS Chief Mohammad Omar Azizi said: “The group have across borders connections which is clear for all of us, we are working on this issue and after completion of investigations we will let know the journalists,”.
Meanwhile, the blast site was still cordoned off to the public on Wednesday.
Despite numerous attempts to view the intelligence unit, the closest Amiri could get was to Eid Gah mosque, which is the second largest mosque in Kabul, and is adjacent to the blast site.
According to mosque officials, the mosque sustained over $500,000 UDS worth of damage in the blast. They said reconstruction work will take at least a year.
“Not only in Kabul but in provinces mosques and religious scholars were targeted and this is an act of inhuman and non-Islamic and we condemn it,” said Deputy Minister of Hajj and Religious Affairs, Daee-ul-Haq Abid.
“The site of a simulated underground enemy command point, located some 200km from the launch position, was turned into a smoking hole,” the ministry said, describing the result of the strike shown on the video.
The exercise of an artillery brigade based in the Orenburg region in central Russia involved 400 troops and 70 pieces of military hardware, the statement said.
Iskander-M is a variant of the Russian tactical missile system designated SS-26 Stone by NATO. It can fire two types of missiles, the quasi-ballistic 9M723 and the cruise 9M728. Both types can maneuver quickly on their flight path to make interception by enemy anti-missile weapons more challenging.
Earlier, an Iskander-M launcher was shown in footage from the Russian Khmeimim airbase in Syria. The Defense Ministry didn’t comment on the apparent deployment.
Tell me again, once we deprived al Qaeda of the use of Afghanistan as a base, and once we shot its founding genius through the eye in the dead of night, why is this country still tangled up in Afghanistan, where too many people have wanted to kill too many people for far, far too long?
Tuesday’s bombing happened during the morning rush hour in Pul-e-Mahmud, a busy neighbourhood where homes, mosques, schools and businesses nestle close to the Ministry of Defence, other ministries and military compounds. Soldiers and security officers are reported to be among the casualties, but the majority are civilians, says the BBC Afghan Service’s Waheed Massoud. The blast shattered windows up to 1.6 km (one mile) away. The Associated Press quoted a police officer as saying it was one of the most powerful explosions he had ever heard, and he could not see or hear anything for 20 minutes after. It appears the initial blast cleared the way for Taliban fighters to enter the area—a commonly used tactic.
There is no solution to the problem of Afghanistan except a conscious decision made by the people of that country to stop killing each other. This is a solution impervious to outside influence. Going back to Alexander the Great, the great powers have decided that, for their own purposes, they can get the people of Afghanistan to stop killing each other. All that accomplished was giving them an enemy that they could agree temporarily to start killing. Once the outside forces limped back through the Hindu Kush, the people of Afghanistan went right back to killing each other again.
I’m fully aware of the bloody legacy of the various imperialisms that have afflicted this battered place for almost as long as the world has been aware of Afghanistan. I’m fully aware that its impoverished people have been used as pawns by blundering Western opportunists from the Viscount Melbourne to Charlie Wilson. I’m fully aware that its impoverished people have been ground up as empire fodder by everyone from Queen Victoria to Mikhail Gorbachev. All of these things add up to a long, bloody, and tragic history that should have been a caution to American policymakers. All of these things do not add up to a reason for the people of Afghanistan to keep slaughtering each other in the marketplace.
We are trying to create and sustain a country among people who are not sure they really want one, and who are extremely sure that they don’t want one that relies on outside support to survive. We’ve exchanged the British East India Company for Unocal, and the hatred of the oligarchical meddling by Western business interests has been constant and unchanging. We make the same mistakes, over and over again, because we can’t get our own vision of Afghanistan out of the way long enough to see the real people who live there.
Unconfirmed claims suggest they managed to breach the defences of the National Directorate of Security, the main spy agency which protects high-ranking government officials. The presidential palace—only a few hundred metres from the blast—condemned the attack “in the strongest possible terms.” “Such cowardly terrorist attacks will not weaken the will and determination of Afghan security forces to fight against terrorism.”
This is brave talk, but it dodges the question of whether or not the “Afghan security forces” represent the people of Afghanistan or simply “the government.” If this is a fight between “terrorism” and “the government,” in neither of which is the great mass of the population particularly engaged, then what is this except a battle between forces whose credibility rests on the gun? And what the hell precisely is the dog that the United States of America has in that fight?
The “war on terror?”
What is that anymore?
We sacrificed most of whatever credibility we had as an honest broker in that place when we bailed after the Russians bailed. We sacrificed the rest of it when we briefly made the landscape bounce after 9/11 until the Avignon Presidency got down to its real business of grabbing Iraq oil. I’m not entirely sure what we’re propping up there, but it will come to no good end. Please stop killing each other.
President Barack Obama has said the classified pages of the 9/11 Commission report that do not “compromise major national security interests” may “hopefully” be soon released, but argued against any potential legal action against Saudi citizens.
Obama, who flew to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, discussed in an interview with Charlie Rose his relationship with the Saudi regime and the controversially-classified 28 pages of the report, which some believe contain links between 9/11 terrorists or Al-Qaeda and Saudi officials.
The full conversation aired Tuesday night on PBS after initially airing highlights on CBS News.
Former US Senator Bob Graham, who has seen the pages as intelligence committee chair, had already told the CBS program “60 Minutes” that he believes the Saudi government helped the 9/11 hijackers.
When asked by Rose if he had read the pages, Obama said he “had a sense of what’s in there.”
While admitting it has been a long time since the US intelligence started evaluating the data contained in the classified pages, Obama said that “a whole bunch of stuff” needs to be “verified.”
He hinted that “hopefully this process will come to a head very soon.”
“But this has been a process which we generally deal through the intelligence community, and Jim Clapper, our director of intelligence, has been going through to make sure that whatever it is that is released, is not going to compromise some major national security interests of the United States, and my understanding is that he’s about to complete that process,” said Obama.
Rose also asked about legislation that would allow the relatives of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudis, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, but has yet to be voted on by the full body.
Obama has said that he doesn’t support the bill, due to the possibility of foreign citizens – presumably victims of US wars and drone strikes – suing the government.
“If we open up the possibility that individuals in the United States can routinely start suing other governments, then we are also opening up the United States to being continually sued by individuals in other countries,” the commander-in-chief said.
The Saudis have reportedly threatened to sell its $750 billion in US assets if Congress passes the law.
Obama also discussed his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Rose interviewed for two hours last September in advance of his speech at the United Nations.
The US president commented on the phone conversation he had with Putin about Syria shortly before he recorded Monday’s interview.
“My call today to him was to indicate that we’re starting to see it fray more rapidly. And if the United States and Russia are not in sync about maintaining it and getting a political track and transition moving, then we could be back in a situation we were three, four weeks ago,” Obama told Rose.
Obama said Russia is “very much committed to maintaining the structure of the Syrian state, which in theory, we don’t object to either.”
“Where we have continually butted heads, and this has been true for six years now is [Putin’s] insistence that he cannot back unilaterally the removal of [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad], that that’s a decision that Assad and the Syrians have to make,” the president added.
During Rose’s marathon interview with Putin in Moscow, he asked the Russian leader if he thought Obama listened to him and whether he thought Obama considered Russia and Putin an equal.
“Well, you ask him, he’s your president,” Putin said after laughing.
The IDF launched an unannounced military-air exercise in northen Israel Monday April 18. It will also be held in the Jordan valley, strategically located south of the Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee. Despite the official explanation that the drills are part of the IDF’s training schedule for 2016, it is difficult not to see it as a follow-up to the Cabinet meeting on the Golan the previous day, including Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s declaration that “Israel will never withdraw from the Golan.”
Just as the Cabinet meeting was an “emergency” one, the exercise is not part of standard training, as an IDF statement claimed, but rather part of the overall picture of the war in Syria on the other side of the northeastern border.
The drill is mainly intended to prevent a possible attack by ISIS, Syrian, Iranian or Hizballah forces aimed at torpedoing Netanyahu’s discussions in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, April 21. debkafile’s military sources report that the IDF exercise shows only half of the military picture in the area.
On the other side of the border, in the triangular pocket where the Israeli, Syrian and Jordanian borders meet, heavy fighting has been underway for several days between Syrian rebels and forces of the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigades and the al-Muthanna organization, which have both sworn allegiance to ISIS. The battles are taking place across from Israel’s Hamat Gader, south of the Sea of Galilee, which is the reason why the exercise is also being held in the Jordan Valley.
On Sunday, the leader and commander of Al-Muthanna was killed during the fighting. The goal of the rebel attack is to capture the Syrian villages in the territory held by ISIS, which threatens the Galilee and the Golan communities of Tel Katzir, Shaar Hagolan and Masada. Sources in Kuwait reported last week that Jordanian special forces and Israeli drones marked in the colors of the Jordanian air force are participating in the battles. The developments on the ground indicate that the goal of the attacking forces is to uproot ISIS from the Israeli and Jordanian border areas. debkafile’s sources provided the following exclusive details on April 17:
The Israeli cabinet holds its weekly session Sunday April 17, on the Golan. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu will visit Moscow on Thursday, April 21 to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and to launch the most important battle of his political career, and one of Israel’s most decisive contests of the last 10 years: the battle over the future of the Golan Heights. debkafile’s intelligence sources and its sources in Moscow report exclusively that Israel’s top political leaders and military commanders were stunned and shocked last weekend when they found out that US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to support the return of the Golan to Syria. The two presidents gave their top diplomats, Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the green light to include such a clause in a proposal being drafted at the Geneva conference on ending the Syrian civil war.
Israel captured the Golan from the Syrian army 49 years ago, during the Six-Day War in 1967 after the Syrian army invaded Israel.
In 1981, during the tenure of then Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Israel passed a law defining the Golan as a territory under Israeli sovereignty. However, it did not state that the area belongs to Israel.
While Israel was preparing for a diplomatic battle over the future of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, Obama and Putin decided to deal a diplomatic blow to Israel and Netanyahu’s government on an unexpected issue, the Golan.
It is part of an endeavor by the two powers to use their diplomatic and military cooperation regarding Syria to impose agreements on neighboring countries, such as Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
For example, Washington and Moscow are trying to impose an agreement regarding the granting of independence to Syrian Kurds, despite Ankara’s adamant opposition. The two presidents are also pressuring Riyadh and Amman to accept the continuation of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s rule, at least for the immediate future. debkafile’s sources report that just like the other diplomatic or military steps initiated by Obama and Putin in Syria, such as those for Assad’s eventual removal from power, the two powers see a resolution of the Golan issue as a gradual process that may take a long time, perhaps even years. But as far as they are concerned, Israel will have to withdraw from the Golan at the end of that process.
It should be noted that Prime Minister Netanyahu is not traveling to Washington to discuss the Golan issue with Obama. The frequent trips by the prime minister, senior officials and top IDF brass to Moscow in recent months show where the winds are blowing in the Middle East.
However, Moscow is not Washington, and Israel has no lobby in the Russian capital defending its interests.
It should be made very clear that the frequent trips by senior Israeli officials to Moscow have not created an Israeli policy that can influence Putin or other senior members of the Russian leadership. Putin has made occasional concessions to Israel on matters of minimal strategic importance, but on diplomatic and military steps regarding Syria and Iran he has shown little consideration of Jerusalem’s stance.
It should also be noted that there has been no basis for the enthusiasm over the Russian intervention in Syria shown by Netanyahu, Israeli ministers and senior IDF officers.
All of the calls by a number of Russia experts, mainly those of debkafile, for extreme caution in ties with Putin have fallen on deaf ears among the political leadership in Jerusalem and the IDF command in Tel Aviv.
Amid these developments, three regional actors are very pleased by Washington and Moscow’s agreement to demand Israeli withdrawal from the Golan: Syrian President Assad, the Iranian leadership in Tehran and Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
Now, they do not need to risk a military confrontation with Israel over the Golan because Obama and Putin have essentially agreed to do the dirty work for them.
The stagnation pervading Central Asia’s oil industry could be alleviated by a couple of big announcements in the coming months, on the Kashagan and Tengiz fields.
But industry veterans are more heedful of the numerous obstacles presented by the region, from the geological to the bureaucratic, and an unpromising global context.
Home to some of the world’s largest oil and gas fields, ex-Soviet Central Asia and particularly Kazakhstan was once an exciting frontier for the industry. But of late Kazakh oil production has stagnated at around 1.7 million barrels per day, partly because of a decade of delay starting output from the giant Kashagan project.
A consortium led by Chevron has also delayed plans to increase output at Tengiz from around 600,000 b/d to nearly 900,000 b/d, a project that could cost tens of billions of dollars.
In neighboring Turkmenistan, planned gas exports to Europe have made little headway due the cost of building a trans-Caspian pipeline, doubts about European demand, and difficult regional politics.
Turkmenistan’s gas exports have increased — the International Energy Agency expects it to have pipeline capacity for 80 billion cubic meters/year of exports to China by the early 2020s — and it has hopes of eventually building another pipeline across Afghanistan to South Asia.
But for now Turkmenistan is increasingly reliant on China as a sole client. More marginal projects, in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, are languishing.
Kazakhstan might have thought it need not worry, until oil prices collapsed. But its economy is at a standstill and state finances suffering.
State producer KazMunaiGaz has been at daggers drawn with its upstream subsidiary, a semi-independent entity listed in London.
A row over the parent company’s under-payment for crude appears to be resolved on April 4, but the subsidiary’s scrapping of dividends for 2015 disappointed investors.
Confidence could get a boost if Kashagan starts producing. Foreign executives and Kazakh officials involved in the project have said it will start toward the end of this year.
The project has been dubbed a “failure of the industry” by a top official from France’s Total, chief financial officer Patrick de la Chevardiere, after leaking pipes forced the Kashagan consortium to abort an attempted startup in 2013.
The World Bank has warned that low oil prices increase the chances of further delay.
Whether Kashagan will be trouble-free once it starts producing is also unclear. The field is still at the frontier of what the industry can handle, due to high sulfur levels, which led to the leaks, and intense pressures below the Permian salt layer.
Estimates of how much Kashagan will produce following startup vary. Theoretically it will have a capacity of 370,000 b/d, but Platts has been told the “real” level will be 300,000 b/d annually, reflecting the fact that staff will be barred from the main artificial island used for operations when well intervention work is under way, due to the risk of hydrogen sulfide poisoning.
Once the field starts up, President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s leadership is likely to need additional projects to absorb Kazakh labor and materials. But Kazakhstan’s reputation as a place to invest has been tarnished by sluggish administration, the lack of an independent judiciary and use of strong-arm tactics.
In the latest dispute with investors, the state is demanding $1.6 billion from the consortium that runs the giant Karachaganak oil and gas field. Operated by Shell and Italy’s Eni, Karachaganak produced 390,000 b/d of oil equivalent last year, about 60% being liquids, and is also due for expansion.
The parties “are determined to find a consensual solution and to peacefully resolve the issue,” Kazakhstan’s energy ministry has said.
Paradoxically, some executives argue in private that the tightening of international anti-bribery regulations has made it more difficult to operate in Central Asia.
The story of the former Soviet Union’s oil sector has long been tainted by claims of corruption, ranging from the mundane giving of fax machines to, in the case of Kazakhstan, transfers of fur coats, speedboats and payments for Swiss boarding schools.
Some reasons for disillusion are less controversial. Geologically, the north Caspian and Kazakhstan’s coast have been thoroughly explored and where resources might still be abundant, corruption is not the only issue.
Tajikistan has hopes of uncovering subsalt resources near the Afghan border perhaps akin to the Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan, thought to be the world’s second largest.
But in impoverished Tajikistan even basic letter writing skills are lacking among younger officials, let alone industry or economic competence, a foreign oil executive told Platts, requesting anonymity.
The joint venture conducting a 2D seismic survey across a swathe of Tajikistan has found it hard going. The survey has involved drilling deep holes for the laying of explosives in order to get clear seismic images from beneath the salt layer, adding to costs “significantly,” Julian Hammond, the chief executive of Tethys Petroleum, said.
Tethys, which set up the joint exploration venture with Total and China’s CNPC in 2013, is now under pressure to withdraw due to its inability to meet its share of costs.
While a vibrant mix of large and small companies might revive Central Asia’s oil sector, in reality smaller companies, lacking connections, financial weight or expertise, have struggled.
Reports from London-listed Roxi Petroleum outline numerous difficulties involving the need to pump vast amounts of drilling fluid into its deep, high pressure wells in Kazakhstan to keep them under control, resulting in them becoming clogged, as well as various objects getting stuck thousands of meters below ground.
Others have been overwhelmed by a licensing system that stipulates long periods of “trial” production when oil must be sold domestically at controlled prices.
Getting permission to export typically involves building facilities for eliminating flaring, but this can be difficult when the state forbids the raising of additional funds on stock exchanges without its permission.
The pricing issue was a major reason why Australian independent Jupiter Energy shut down its production in February. It says it could be producing 2,500 b/d of oil from its existing wells, but would fetch just $3-6/b.
“The company continues to endure a frustrating operating environment,” Jupiter said last month.
Use existing criminal and civil laws to shut down his anti-American juggernaut
Another thoughtful, provocative column from Capital Research Center’s Matthew Vadum: By Matthew Vadum (originally published by FrontPageMag)
It is time to hold radical ringleader George Soros to account for the growing civil unrest that he has helped to foment in this presidential election cycle and his efforts to shut down Donald Trump rallies using physical force and intimidation.
Soros, the billionaire speculator, is the preeminent funder of the activist Left in America, which means he is the Number One funder of the domestic terrorism that is part and parcel of the Left.
He has used his vast fortune to topple governments in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. He “broke” the British pound, was accused of wreaking havoc on the Malaysian ringgit, and was called an “economic war criminal” in Thailand. A French court convicted him of insider trading.
America is his current target.
Soros calls America “the main obstacle to a stable and just world order” and hails Communist China for having “a better-functioning government than the United States.” He says European-style socialism “is exactly what we need” and funds open-borders groups in order to corrode the nation’s culture and change its electorate.
And he’s at the forefront of the Left’s push to defeat Trump by any means possible — lawful or otherwise.
What do the violent mobs assaulting Donald Trump fans and supporting the Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street movements have in common? Money from Soros and the huge philanthropies he has endowed to turn America into a socialist country. Black Lives Matter and Soros-funded MoveOn have been heavily involved in hardball tactical strikes against Trump and his supporters.
The morally flexible Soros works the American system from the inside and the outside, using both lawful and unlawful, illegitimate tactics.
Some of the anti-Trump activism he funds consists of conventional political activities.
Soros recently contributed $5 million to a new super PAC called Immigrant Voters Win. The PAC’s FEC filings indicate it is run out of the Washington, D.C. office of a Soros-funded 501(c)(4) nonprofit called Center for Community Change Action (formerly called Campaign for Community Action). ACORN alumnus Deepak Bhargava is the nonprofit’s executive director and Sixties radical Heather Booth is a member of its board. It is expected to conduct a $15 million voter-mobilization effort against Trump in Colorado, Florida, and Nevada.
But when Soros funds activist groups involved in illegitimate efforts to deny Americans their right to participate in the political process he crosses a line.
There is no right to riot or to silence one’s political adversaries.
“Although the right to peacefully protest is enshrined in the Construction,” law professor John F. Banzhaf III writes, “there is no constitutional or other legal right to commit criminal acts to make a point.”
And as legal analyst Andrew Napolitano wrote after unruly Bernie Sanders supporters and other left-wing activists forced the cancelation of the Trump rally March 11 at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the law imposes on police “an affirmative obligation to take all reasonable steps to protect the speaker’s right to speak, the audience’s right to hear and the protesters’ right to protest.” Put another way, “protest of political speech is itself protected speech, but protest cannot be so forceful or dominant that it vetoes the speaker.”
Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. added that “The First Amendment does not confer upon you or me or [Fox host] Steve Doocy the right to go to someone’s rally and try to disrupt it, or destroy it, or to pull apart posters, or to start fights, or to attempt to commit an assault on a presidential candidate.”
Johnson’s comments came after admitted Bernie Sanders and Black Lives Matter supporter Tommy DiMassimo dramatically rushed the stage March 12 in Ohio when Trump was speaking. The college student, who was grabbed by security before he got to Trump, said he intended to silence the Republican candidate he accuses of having what he called “violent white supremacist ideas.” He had previously bragged on Twitter that he planned to “spit on their false king [i.e. Trump.]”
What these so-called protesters do when they try to bring about a desired political result by frightening people amounts to terrorism. Terrorism isn’t always about blowing up buildings or killing people. It can also consist of activity intended to frighten, demoralize, or neutralize an enemy—in other words, a variety of psychological warfare.
“Terror means make it impossible to go to the public square. Make people afraid to go to Times Square. Make them afraid to go to train stations. Make them afraid to travel. Make them afraid to go to a Donald Trump rally. Make them afraid to go to any political rally. Make them afraid they might be hurt, they might be arrested, they might be intimidated, they might get sued … ”
The outrageous behavior by left-wing activists that is now routinely tolerated by police today would have quite properly landed a person in jail earlier in America’s history.
But the social justice warriors of the Left, who perversely fetishize political protest as if it were the highest expression of civic responsibility, have defined deviancy down.
Whatever left-wingers do for their cause cannot be bad. And if it’s violent, they find a way to excuse it and the media cheers them on, hailing them as heroic visionaries, early adopters, and trailblazing influencers.
Left-wingers believe that using physical force and intimidation for the right reasons is legitimate political protest protected by the First Amendment. In the leftist worldview, which holds that the U.S. Constitution protects everything they consider to be good whether or not it’s mentioned in the actual text, this right to agitate on behalf of their twisted ideology supersedes all other rights.
The right to protest is exalted above property rights, according to Baltimore’s joke of a mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D). While her city burned last year after black career criminal Freddie Gray died in police custody, the street gang-loving mayor consoled the rabble, implying their violent activities constituted legitimate contributions to public discourse.
“I made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech,” she said. “We also gave those who wished to destroy, space to do that as well.”
Black Lives Matter organizer DeRay Mckesson describes rioting as “a cry for justice.” He told Yale students that “looting for me isn’t violent, it’s an expression of anger,” and that “The act of looting is political. Another way to dissolve consent. Pressing you to no longer keep me out of this space, by destroying it.”
Prosecutors and law enforcement need to start thinking outside the proverbial box and begin using the ample tools the law provides to deal with Soros, the most dangerous man in America, because he leads a massive, well-funded effort to deny the American people their right to participate in free and fair elections. The protesters whose groups Soros pays to break up political rallies are criminal thugs little different than the brown-shirted Sturmabteiling (S.A.) of the Third Reich.
If the tables were turned and a conservative billionaire were to lead and finance a violent organized insurgency against his political adversaries how long would it take before the authorities took action against him?
The criminal and civil provisions of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), state racketeering statutes, and class-action lawsuits could be used to end Soros’s long-running scheme to interfere with the civil rights of Americans and fundamentally transform the country.
American law protects free speech, the right of peaceable assembly, and the right to protest, but it does not protect efforts aimed at silencing people or preventing them from getting involved in the democratic process.
David French argues at NRO that leftist activities like blocking roads and “every other protest tactic that violates the rights of innocents” need to be punished. He writes:
“The leftist media loves to love this lawlessness, and public officials are relentlessly pressured into administering the most meaningless slaps on the wrist — sometimes even letting protesters walk without charges. The Left demands most-favored-criminal status for its social-justice warriors, and it typically gets exactly what it demands. Criminality largely goes unpunished, so-called direct action is rewarded with fawning accolades from the media and celebrities, and the rule of law is diminished.”
When police refuse to combat unlawful, disruptive protest, they fail in their “basic duty to protect the law-abiding public,” while creating “waves of bitterness and resentment.”
French says unspecified parties should work around “spineless local prosecutors” and sue the protesters into penury.
“Answer each lawless act with a civil complaint, seek injunctions, take discovery to reveal the full extent of leftist astroturfing — do you really think these protests represent spontaneous, uncoordinated events? — and collect money damages. Protesters aren’t deterred by small fines and short detentions, but financially ruinous damage awards raise the stakes.”
Protesters, he notes, broke the law in Arizona when they recently blocked a major highway leading to a Trump event and created a 10-mile backup. “The threat of arrests — only three reportedly occurred — and fines weren’t much of a deterrent.”
“Effectively trapping people in cars by blocking traffic satisfies the elements of false imprisonment,” which clears the way for civil litigation, according to Banzhaf.
The recent actions against Trump are just the beginning. Activists are going to become more aggressive in disrupting Republican events as the campaign heats up. He writes:
“Now spreading to political campaigns is what we have unfortunately all too often tolerated on college campuses — protestors who interrupt speakers to prevent others from hearing them, who physically block attendees’ access, and who threaten violence to squelch speech. Unless we do something about it, the problem will persist — and could get worse.”
Using civil legal action has been “so effective in fighting for civil rights, women’s rights, smokers rights (to obtain damages), nonsmokers’ rights (to clean air), gay rights, gun rights, and in many other areas,” that it is time to consider using lawsuits to shut down criminal disrupters.
“Victims of disrupters can also sue for civil conspiracy even if their individual actions, such as yelling out at a rally, aren’t themselves criminal, but become so when done as part of a conspiracy to unlawfully cause harm.”
An added benefit of civil proceedings is that they would “open the door to discovery, including those aimed at verifying concerns expressed in various media that those with even deeper pockets are involved in the planning, funding, and/or execution of these criminal disruptions.”
In other words, George Soros.
More trouble is on the horizon.
Soros-funded groups, including MoveOn, Institute for Policy Studies, Demos, People for the American Way, and National People’s Action, have endorsed Democracy Spring, a leftist project that among other things aims to overturn the Citizens United ruling and thereby gut the free speech protections of the First Amendment.
Demonstrations are scheduled to begin April 2 in Philadelphia after which participants will spend 10 days walking 140 miles to the U.S. Capitol for what is being billed as “the largest civil disobedience action of the century.”
According to lead organizer Kai Newkirk, Democracy Spring is not — wink, wink — an explicitly anti-Trump event. But it is certain to become one as Newkirk more or less admits in a lie-filled screed posted online. “Trump’s statements, proposed policies, and threats of violence concerning undocumented immigrants, Muslims, the KKK, protesters exercising their First Amendment rights, and others have crossed a very serious line into the territory of fascism and hate speech.”
And anyone who remembers the Arab Spring of 2011 knows that an event named after it isn’t likely to be peaceful.
Bulgaria’s Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov. File photo by BGNES
Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov has confirmed that Bulgarian authorities have information about attempts being made to destabilize the state.
In an interview with daily 24 Chasa, he has reiterated that data provided by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov matches reality and “his information is correct”.
Earlier this week Borisov suggested there had been attempts to bring to Bulgaria a crisis “from neighboring states”, referring to Greece and Macedonia and the migratory pressure to which the two countries are subjected.
Neither Borisov nor Tsatsarov have elaborated as to who is behind the so-called “destabilization” efforts, but Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova does not rule out the videos of citizen’s arrests done by migrant hunters might also be linked to these attempts.
Tsatsarov has also lashed out at volunteering patrols, whose efforts to “protect the borders” from migrants had been welcomed by authorities before the video with detained Afghan migrants was published this week.
“No-one could take away functions from the state. No-one can think they could tie up people, detain them and pretend to be a police officer… They will be prosecuted, regardless of protests,” he has made clear, commenting on recent protests in support of migrant hunters which nationalist groups organized this week but which were marked by low participation.
However, the Chief Prosecutor warns that the citizen organizations going after migrants appeared because the state is not “effective enough” to carry out its duties on the borders with Turkey and Greece.
The volunteer squads are also owed to the “ultranationalist and other sentiments that could be seen anyway from time to time”.
Despite the actions of volunteer patrols and concerns of authorities, reported pressure on Bulgaria’s borders has been far below the one applied on Greece or Macedonia.
In the interview, he defends his proposal to ban the wearing of burqas in public, saying they prevent authorities from identifying citizens.
His recent idea has sparked a debate, with some activists claiming it will only incite hatred among Muslims and marginalize them, but has also been endorsed by the mayor of Pazardzhik, a town where controversial inflows of money from Saudi charities have sparked a scandal over supposed radicalization on financial grounds in the past few years.
“With my due respect, [wearing burqas] is not part of traditional Islam… [It] started in Pazardzhik for financial reasons. The investigation found out there had been monthly payment for it.”
Tsatsarov has also commented on the Panama Papers case, emphasizing that there is no ground for the prosecution to launch any inspection into Bulgarians who are listed in the documents unless tax authorities find any financial irregularities.
Last week the National Revenue Agency announced it had demanded data from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) – which published the findings of an investigation based on 11.5 million documents about politicians, celebrities and entrepreneurs’ offshore dealings – about the dozens of Bulgarians who are said to be part of the list.
Tsatsarov also says he welcomes the move to divide the Supreme Judicial Council, magistrates’ top decisionmaking body, into two colleges – one of judges and the other for prosecutors – despite having been a staunch opponent in the beginning.
Now he calls it a “positive” opportunity to show judges and prosecutors are able to solve their problems separately.
Across the globe—in the US, Europe and China—oil companies big and small are scrambling to stay afloat, cutting expenses to the bone, and shelving flesh-and-muscle projects worth a collective millions of barrels a day in the future market. The likely repercussions include lower-than-expected profit in coming years, a crude oil shortage, and stunted global GDP growth.
But into the breach has marched Saudi Arabia, the world’s go-to swing producer since the 1970s. While ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and BP are slashing investment by tens of billions of dollars, Saudi Aramco’s is soaring: As of March, the number of rigs drilling for oil in the kingdom had tripled to 69, from 23 in January 2011.
Many leading analysts continue to argue that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), including Saudi Arabia, has lost its punch, and no longer heavily influences the oil markets. Yet oil prices are trading at a five-month high ahead of an April 17 meeting in Doha involving Russia and some members of OPEC. They are up again this morning in European trading, to $43.37 a barrel.
This run-up hinges on confidence that the petro-states will figure out a formula to more or less freeze global production, begin to stem the oil glut, and push prices back up. In other words, the oil traders bidding up prices believe that OPEC can grow back its teeth.
But petro-states are unlikely to corral the oil surplus, because one of the group’s most important members—Iran—will reject the production freeze. Having just escaped Western sanctions, Iran is insisting on adding hundreds of thousands of barrels to its exports in order to make up for lost profits during the three-year sanctions period. It won’t surrender this position.
But the Saudis are reasserting themselves
Still, there is something to the market’s confidence. The Saudi drilling binge reflects its determination to maintain market share, and thus local and geopolitical influence, once the dust settles and prices are at a materially higher band than the current doldrums.
Neil Beveridge, an analyst with Sanford Bernstein, says that since the 1990s, the Saudis have on average held 12% to 13% of the global oil market (see chart below). Right now, this means producing more than 10 million barrels of oil a day, with about 2.5 million barrels a day of production capacity kept idle for use if they choose to try to balance the market.
By 2020, Beveridge reckons that global oil demand will have risen to 100 million barrels a day, up from the current 93 million. If the current proportions hold, by that time the Saudis will have to produce 12 to 13 million barrels a day. If you tack on the usual 2 million barrels a day of spare capacity, it looks like the goal for total Saudi production capacity is 15 million barrels a day.
“I think that is what is really happening here,” Beveridge told Quartz. “I don’t think this is to grow share but to defend it and meet a market where demand is growing fairly strongly.”
This view is a bit of an outlier. Jamie Webster, an oil analyst in Washington, DC, argues that the Saudis have had no specific plan, other than reacting to events as they happen. In terms of Saudi drilling, this is to maintain current production, not to increase capacity, he told Quartz.
What the consensus seems to miss, but Bernstein’s Beveridge captures, is how wrapped up the Saudis are in holding onto their stature as oil’s senior statesman. A new Saudi generation is moving into power, but that remains a deeply held self-image. And its influence is based on how much oil the country drills and exports.
Obama’s complicity in covering up the crimes of the Saudi Monarchy more than rise to the standard for immediate impeachment. The Sixty Minutes broadcast had been ready for airing for months, and the fact that the show was broadcast ten days before Obama’s scheduled visit to Saudi Arabia to meet with GCC leaders, is an indication that growing forces have come to recognize what Lyndon LaRouche declared as early as April 2009: Obama is a tool of the British Monarchy and their Saudi butchers, and the very survival of the United States is in jeopardy every day that he remains in office.
The Sixty Minutes documentary brought in a number of well-established national security veterans, from former Navy Secretary John Lehman, to former CIA Director Porter Goss, to former Sen. Bob Graham, who all demanded the immediate release of the 28 pages. Joint Congressional Inquiry member Tim Roemer fingered former FBI Director Robert Mueller as one of the key figures engineering the cover up of the Saudi role.
The airing of the Sixty Minutes expose came just a week after the release of the “Panama Papers,” which revealed the really dirty underbelly of the British Empire: the offshore dirty money centers that launder drug money, other criminal money, and run tax evasion and other crimes. As Lyndon LaRouche has made clear for decades, the British Empire is a criminal oligarchy, bent on mass genocide. Now, there are 11 million pages of evidence against the London-centered empire of crime and murder.
This one-two punch to the heart of the oligarchy also comes at a moment when the British are desperate to start a world war against Russia and China, in response to the fact that their system is hopelessly and irreversibly bankrupt. Obama is their pathetic tool in this war drive, and his removal from office is the only true war avoidance option at this time.
The 28 pages fight has now reached a point where it can bring down Obama and the whole rotten Anglo-Saudi system. It’s about time!
President Obama at a Sept. 11 ceremony in 2015. The Obama administration argues that the bill would put Americans at legal risk overseas.Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.
Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom’s message personally last month during a trip to Washington, telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.
Several outside economists are skeptical that the Saudis will follow through, saying that such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling the kingdom’s economy. But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States.
The administration, which argues that the legislation would put Americans at legal risk overseas, has been lobbying so intently against the bill that some lawmakers and families of Sept. 11 victims are infuriated. In their view, the Obama administration has consistently sided with the kingdom and has thwarted their efforts to learn what they believe to be the truth about the role some Saudi officials played in the terrorist plot.
“It’s stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens,” said Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and who is part of a group of victims’ family members pushing for the legislation.
President Obama will arrive in Riyadh on Wednesday for meetings with King Salman and other Saudi officials. It is unclear whether the dispute over the Sept. 11 legislation will be on the agenda for the talks.
A spokesman for the Saudi Embassy did not respond to a message seeking comment.
Saudi officials have long denied that the kingdom had any role in the Sept. 11 plot, and the 9/11 Commission found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization.” But critics have noted that the commission’s narrow wording left open the possibility that less senior officials or parts of the Saudi government could have played a role. Suspicions have lingered, partly because of the conclusions of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the attacks that cited some evidence that Saudi officials living in the United States at the time had a hand in the plot.
Those conclusions, contained in 28 pages of the report, still have not been released publicly.
The dispute comes as bipartisan criticism is growing in Congress about Washington’s alliance with Saudi Arabia, for decades a crucial American ally in the Middle East and half of a partnership that once received little scrutiny from lawmakers. Last week, two senators introduced a resolution that would put restrictions on American arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which have expanded during the Obama administration.
Families of the Sept. 11 victims have used the courts to try to hold members of the Saudi royal family, Saudi banks and charities liable because of what the plaintiffs charged was Saudi financial support for terrorism. These efforts have largely been stymied, in part because of a 1976 law that gives foreign nations some immunity from lawsuits in American courts.
The Senate bill is intended to make clear that the immunity given to foreign nations under the law should not apply in cases where nations are found culpable for terrorist attacks that kill Americans on United States soil. If the bill were to pass both houses of Congress and be signed by the president, it could clear a path for the role of the Saudi government to be examined in the Sept. 11 lawsuits.
Obama administration officials counter that weakening the sovereign immunity provisions would put the American government, along with its citizens and corporations, in legal risk abroad because other nations might retaliate with their own legislation. Secretary of State John Kerry told a Senate panel in February that the bill, in its current form, would “expose the United States of America to lawsuits and take away our sovereign immunity and create a terrible precedent.”
The bill’s sponsors have said that the legislation is purposely drawn very narrowly — involving only attacks on American soil — to reduce the prospect that other nations might try to fight back.
In a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill on March 4, Anne W. Patterson, an assistant secretary of state, and Andrew Exum, a top Pentagon official on Middle East policy, told staff members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that American troops and civilians could be in legal jeopardy if other nations decide to retaliate and strip Americans of immunity abroad. They also discussed the Saudi threats specifically, laying out the impacts if Saudi Arabia made good on its economic threats.
John Kirby, a State Department spokesman, said in a statement that the administration stands by the victims of terrorism, “especially those who suffered and sacrificed so much on 9/11.”
Edwin M. Truman, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said he thought the Saudis were most likely making an “empty threat.” Selling hundreds of billions of dollars in American assets would not only be technically difficult to pull off, he said, but would also very likely cause global market turmoil for which the Saudis would be blamed.
Moreover, he said, it could destabilize the American dollar — the currency to which the Saudi riyal is pegged.
“The only way they could punish us is by punishing themselves,” Mr. Truman said.
The bill is an anomaly in a Congress fractured by bitter partisanship, especially during an election year. It is sponsored by Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, and Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York. It has the support of an unlikely coalition of liberal and conservative senators, including Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, and Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas. It passed through the Judiciary Committee in January without dissent.
“As our nation confronts new and expanding terror networks that are targeting our citizens, stopping the funding source for terrorists becomes even more important,” Mr. Cornyn said last month.
The alliance with Saudi Arabia has frayed in recent years as the White House has tried to thaw ties with Iran — Saudi Arabia’s bitter enemy— in the midst of recriminations between American and Saudi officials about the role that both countries should play in the stability of the Middle East.
But the administration has supported Saudi Arabia on other fronts, including providing the country with targeting intelligence and logistical support for its war in Yemen. The Saudi military is flying jets and dropping bombs it bought from the United States — part of the billions of dollars in arms deals that have been negotiated with Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf nations during the Obama administration.
The war has been a humanitarian disaster and fueled a resurgence of Al Qaeda in Yemen, leading to the resolution in Congress to put new restrictions on arms deals to the kingdom. Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, one of the resolution’s sponsors and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that Congress has been “feckless” in conducting oversight of arms sales, especially those destined for Saudi Arabia.
“My first desire is for our relationship with Saudi Arabia to come with a greater degree of conditionality than it currently does,” he said.
It sounds like an April Fool, but no: Report as various US-Zionist media plans a group of wealthy major donors of Republicans who for the time being to remain anonymous, to install this year a senior military as US president, and for this purpose has already strategists Päsidentschaftskampagne Bush hired.
Tim Mak reported in the Zionist propaganda spin Daily Beast last week that a dozen billionaires plan to make
US General James Mattis
president. John Noonan, a campaign aide Jeb Bush, who was involved in the project, had added:
“Trump is a fascist madman and Hillary have one foot in jail. This means the maniac can win. “
The also involvoerte in the project of installation of a high-ranking military as US President Republican “strategist” Rick Wilson was quoted as saying this:
“In a moment when the American policy was turned over to the left as the right and where the leading candidates of both parties have been compromised, the time may be ripe, where a uniquely qualified and uniquely credible third-party alternative as General Mattis may take the stage . “
The project team plans to be a candidate General Mattis as independent or third-party candidate, Tim Mak wrote on. The chance is very small that the general would be elected in the presidential election in November as US president, but the project team would rely on the fact that the General can win some states at least, and thereby the running on the Democratic and Republican tickets candidates it can deny each, a majority of 270 electors zusammenzubekommen in the general election, which is necessary for winning the presidency. If no candidate gets together the majority of 270 electoral votes, the US Congress determined in free decision about who is US president. And because as the supported by the major donors Republican establishment has the say, the project then General James Mattis could by pushing in Congress as a “compromise” for the office of President.
A report does not make a story. But on Monday, the well-known as a CIA closely prominent journalist David Ignatius made in neocon fight leaflets Washington Post (in German translation in the Wiener Zeitung published) strongly advocate a high-ranking military as US president, or at least the Republican presidential candidates, to make. David Ignatius refers to the article in the Daily Beast, and recommends, if, as was to be expected, neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz in Cleveland have an absolute majority in the Republican nominating convention in July, since then, because both Trump and Cruz as President were unacceptable, instead of a high-ranking retired US military James Mattis, Stanley McChrystal, Mike Mullen or David Petraeus or former head of the intelligence Committee Mike Rogers for Republican presidential candidates to elect.
It is not difficult to guess who is behind the project and why: the Mafia . The Israel Lobby and the form of backing from major donors fear in the event that Trump, Cruz or Sanders President is to their power, and therefore, that the new president is not everything, including all military resources advocate to the Middle East in Israeli sense to customize and protect the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv against the consequences of its policy of apartheid. With President Clinton, the Mafia would indeed be satisfied, but her candidacy may burst at any moment, if it is charged in the affair of their e-mail server suddenly because of secret treason and perjury.
What is missing in both media reports about the project to install a military as US president, of course, is the method by which something usually the population is made palatable, namely the strategy of tension . If there is plenty of violence and terror in the US in the next few months, then the population will yearn for someone who provides security. And who better than a general? So should the plan of the project to install a military as US President in particular provide to stir in the US with False flag terror and unrest panic, above all when Trump and Sanders should prevail each presidential candidate.
Chancellor Merkel has allowed German authorities to launch an investigation into satirist Jan Böhmermann. Turkish President Erdogan requested the inquiry, saying he was insulted by a Böhmermann poem.
In a widely anticipated press conference, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that prosecutors should pursue charges against Jan Böhmermann. The satirist broadcast a poem that allegedly insulted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“The outcome is that the German government will give the authorization in the current case,” Merkel said, stressing that the decision “means neither a prejudgment of the person affected nor a decision about the limits of freedom of art, the press and opinion.”
Merkel also announced on Friday that her government will draft a proposal to replace the current law that criminalizes insulting foreign heads of state, making it “dispensable in the future.”
Erdogan pressed charges against Böhmermann for insulting him personally and as a foreign head of state, which is illegal under German law. In order for an investigation against Böhmermann to begin, the inquiry needed the approval of the German government.
The private defamation case could result in a one-year prison sentence for Böhmermann while insulting a foreign head of state can be punished by up to five years in jail.
Coalition spat over satire
During Friday’s press conference, Merkel admitted “there were different opinions between the coalition partners – the conservatives and the SPD (Social Democrats)” in coming to a decision.
The infighting was made apparent by coalition partner reactions on social media following the announcement.
The SPD’s parliamentary head, Thomas Oppermann tweeted his disapproval: “I think the decision is wrong. Prosecution of satire because of ‘lese-majeste law’ doesn’t fit with modern democracy.”
The general secretary of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), defended the Chancellor’s decision on Twitter, writing: “The government takes the rule of law seriously. Even when it sometimes hurts.”
Justice Minister Heiko Maas – a member of the SPD – said the decision on whether or not Böhmermann’s poem was satire or defamation, is entirely up to the courts.
“The question of whether Böhmermann’s comments were satire or defamation will be decided nevertheless by the courts in accordance with the law and independent of whether the request for prosecution is granted or not,” Maas told reporters.
Maas also confirmed Merkel’s desire to do away with Germany’s antiquated defamation law at the heart of the case. He tweeted: “We want to abolish paragraph 103. Special provisions for insulting foreign heads of state has fallen behind the times.”
“Deliberately offensive” poem
Böhmermann read his sexually explicit poem about Erdogan two weeks ago during his comedy show on German public broadcaster ZDF. The poem was supposed to illustrate what would not be allowed in Germany, in contrast to an earlier satirical song that poked fun at Erdogan with milder language.
Merkel previously defended the satirical song as being protected by the right to freedom of expression, but she later criticized Böhmermann poem as “deliberately offensive.”
The Böhmermann case has sparked a diplomatic crisis for Merkel
On Thursday, Böhmermann declined to sign a “cease and desist” order from Erdogan’s German lawyer, while ZDF defended the poem as “legally permissible” under German law. ZDF did, however, remove a video of the poem’s broadcast from its online archive.
Merkel to travel to Turkey
The Böhmermann case has unleashed a diplomatic crisis for Merkel, who has had to defend freedom of speech in Germany as well as downplaying Ankara’s political influence as the two countries work together to implement a controversial EU-Turkey refugee deal.
It was also announced on Friday that Merkel and top EU officials will visit Turkey on April 23. The trip is meant to be a “follow-up” to the EU-Turkey deal to stem the flow of migrants into Europe.
European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans will accompany Merkel to the southern Turkish town of Gaziantep, which is home to many Syrians who fled the civil war in their home country.
Flame and smoke are seen from destroyed Malaysian vessels off the coast of Kuala Langsa in Aceh, Indonesia on April 5, 2016. Photo: Xinhua
Indonesian authorities on Tuesday blew up 23 foreign vessels that were captured for fishing illegally in the country’s waters.
The boats, 13 from Vietnam and 10 from Malaysia, were blown up simultaneously in seven ports from Tarakan in northern Kalimantan to Ranai on the Natuna Islands in the South China Sea.
Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti witnessed the destruction, which was coordinated by the navy, coast guard and police, via live-streamed Internet video at her office in downtown Jakarta.
Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation, has taken a tough stance against illegal fishing since President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo took office in 2014.
Pudjiastuti has overseen the capture of nearly 200 illegal fishing boats from several countries after declaring a fishing moratorium for foreign vessels.
A total of 174 illegal fishing boats have been blown up. The fates of 20 others await court rulings.
Last month, Indonesia destroyed the Nigeria-flagged Viking with explosives. The ship was wanted around the world for illegally taking toothfish from southern waters.
It was seized by the Indonesian navy on February 25 while operating in waters south of Singapore.
Short title, extent, application and commencement
(1) This Act may be called
the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2015.
(2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan.
(3) It shall also
apply to every citizen wherever he may be, and to every other person
for the time being in Pakistan.
(4) It shall come into force at once.
(1) In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or
to information system” means gaining control or right to use to the
whole or any part of an information system
whether or not through infringing any
“access to data” means gaining control or right to read, use, copy, modify or
delete any data held in or generated by any device or information system;
Authority” means Pakistan Telecommunication Authority established under
Pakistan Telecommunication (Re
organization) Act, 1996 (Act No.XVII of
“authorization” includes authorization by law or the person empowered to
make such authorization;
“authorized officer” means an officer of the special investigation agency
authorized to perform any function on behalf of the special investigation
agency under this Act;
“Code” means the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act No.V of 1898);
“content data” means any representation of facts, information or concepts in a
form suitable for processing in an information system,
including source code
or a program suitable to cause an information system to perform a function;
“Court” means the Court of competent jurisdiction designated
“critical infrastructure” includes the infrastructures so designated by any
Government in Pakistan and
such other assets, systems and networks, whether
physical or virtual, so vital to the State or its organs including judicature that
their incapacitation or destruction may have a debilitating effect on national
security, economy, public health,safety or m
atters related thereto;
Obtained by Bolo Bhi
“critical infrastructure information system or data” means any information
system, program or data that supports or performs a function with respect to a
to an information system” includes any change in the ordinary
working of an information system impairing its performance, access, output or
change in location whether temporary or permanent and with or without
causing any change in the information system
“data” includes content data and traffic data;
includes altering, deleting, deterioration, erasing, suppressing,
changing location of data or making data temporarily or permanently
“device” includes any physical
device or virtual device capable of being
connected with any information system;
“electronic” includes electrical, digital, magnetic, optical, biometric,
electrochemical, wireless or electromagnetic technology;
“identity information” means any information which may authenticate or
identify an individual or an information system and enable access to any data
or information system;
“information” includes text, message, data, voice, sound, database, video,
signals, software, computer programs, codes includ
ing object code and source
“information system” means an electronic system for creating, generating,
sending, receiving, storing, reproducing, displaying, recording or processing
“intelligence” means any speech, sound, data, signal,
writing, image or
video;“investigating officer” means an officer of the special investigation
agency designated for investigation of offences under this Act;
“offence” means an offence punishable under this Act;
“references” (i) to an “act” includes a series of acts;
(ii) to an act by a “person” shall include acts done or to be done by such
person either directly or through an automated information system or device
and whether having temporary or permanent impact;
reference to doing an act includes a reference to causing an act to be
(iv) a reference to impairing, damage, interference, preventing
hindering something includes a reference to doing so temporarily;
“rules” means rules made under this Act;
Obtained by Bolo Bhi
“seize” with respect to information system or data includes taking possession
of such information system or data or making and retaining a copy of such
information system or data;
“service provider” includes
a person acting as a service provider in relation to sending, receiving, storing,
processing or distribution of electronic communication or the provision of other
services in relation to electronic communication through any information system;
a person who owns, possesse
s, operates, manages or controls a public
switched network or provides telecommunication services;
any other person who processes or stores data on behalf of such
electronic communication service or users of such service; or
person who provides premises from where or facilities through
which the public in general may access information systems and the
internet such as cyber cafes;
“special investigation agency” means the law enforcement agency established
or designated under
“subscriber information” means any information held in any form by a service
provider relating to a subscriber other than traffic data;
“traffic data” means any data relating to a communication indicating its origin,
destination, route, time,
size, duration or type of service;
“unauthorized access” means access to an information system or data without
authorisation or in violation of the terms and conditions of the authorization;
“unauthorised interception” shall mean in relation to an inf
ormation system or
data, any interception without authorization;
(3) Other expressions used in the Act or rules framed under it but not defined herein,
unless their context provides otherwise, shall have meanings assigned to the
expressions in the Pakist
an Penal Code 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 and
Shahadat Order 1984, as the case may be.
OFFENCES AND PUNISHMENTS
Unauthorized access to information system or data
(1) Whoever with
gains unauthorized access to any information system or data shall be
punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine
which may extend to one hundred thousand rupees or with both.
4. Unauthorized copying or transmission
and without authorization copies or otherwise transmits or causes to be transmitted,
Obtained by Bolo Bhi
any data whether by gaining access to such data or otherwise, shall be punished with
imprisonment for a term which may extend to si
x months, or with fine which may
extend to one hundred thousand rupess or with both.
5. Unauthorized access to critical infrastructure information system or data.
gains unauthorized access to any critical infrastructure
information system or data shall be punished with imprisonment upto three years or
with fine which may extend to one million rupees or with both.
Interference with information system or data
malicious intent and without authorization interferes with or damages or causes to be
interfered with or damaged any information system or any part thereof, or data or any
part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to two years or
with fine which may extend to five hundred
thousand rupees or with both.
Explanation: Interference refers to doing of any unauthorized act in relation to an
information system or data that may disturb normal working of such information
system with or without causing any actual damage to such info
Interference with critical infrastructure information system or data
Whoever with malicious intent and without authorization interferes with or damages,
or causes to be inferred with or damaged, any critical information system or any part
thereof, or critical infrastructure data or any part thereof, shall be punished with
imprisonment which may extend to seven years or with fine which may extend to five
million rupees or with both.
Whoever commits or threatens to commit any of the offences
under sections 5 and 7 where
(a) the use or threat is designed to coerce, intimidate, overawe or create a sense of
fear, panic or insecurity in the Government or the public or a section of the public or
community or sect or create a sense of fear or insecurity in society; or
(b) the use or threat is made for the purpose or motive of advancing a religious, ethnic
or sectarian cause;
shall be punished with imprisonment of either description
for a term which may
extend to fourteen years or with fine which may extend to fifty million rupees or with
(1) Whoever, for wrongful gain, interferes with any
information system, device or data, with intent to cause damage or injury to the public
or to any person, or to make any illegal claim or title or to cause any person to part
with property or to enter into any express or implied contract, or with intent to
commit fraud by any input, alteration, deletion, or suppressi
on of data, resulting in
unauthentic data with the intent that it be considered or acted upon for legal purposes
Obtained by Bolo Bhi
as if it were authentic, regardless of the fact that the data is directly readable and
intelligible or not shall be punished with imprisonment
of either description for a term
which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to two hundred and
fifty thousand rupees or with both.
(2) Whoever commits offence under sub
section (1) in relation to a critical
infrastructure information system or data shall be punished with imprisonment for a
term which may extend to five years or with fine which may extend to five million
rupees or with both.
Whoever for wrongful gain interferes with or uses any
information system, device or data or induces any person to enter into a relationship
or with intent to deceive any person, which act or omission is likely to cause damage
or harm to that person or any other person shall be punished with imprisonment for a
term which may extent to two years or with fine which may extend to ten million
rupess, or with both.
Making, supplying or obtaining devices for use in offence
makes, generates, adapts, exports, supplies, offers to supply or imports for use any
information system, data or device intending it primarily to be used or believing that it
is primarily to be used to commit or to assist in the commission of an offence under
this Act shall, without prejudice to any other liability that he may incur in this behalf,
be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 6 months or with fine
which may extend to fifty thousand rupees or with both.
(1) Whoever obtains, sells, possesses or transmits another
person’s identity information, without lawful justification shall be punished with
imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with fine which may
extend to fifty
thousand rupees, or with both.
(2) Any person whose identity information is obtained, sold, possessed or retains may
apply to the Court competent to try offence under sub
section (1) for passing of such
others as the Court may deem fit in the circumstances for securing, destruction or
preventing transmission of any such data.
13. Unauthroized issuance of SIM cards etc.
sells or otherwise provide
subscriber identity module (SIM) card, re
usable identification module (R
other portable memory chip designed to be used in cellular mobile or wireless phone
for transmitting and receiving of intelligence without obtaining and verification of the
subscriber’s antecedents in the mode and manner approved by the Authority shall be
punished with impr
a term which may extend to three years or with fine
which may extend to five hundred thousand rupees or both.
14. Tempering etc. of communication equipment.
Whoever changes, alters,
tampers with or re
programs unique device identifier or international mobile station
equipment identity (IMEI) number of any stolen cellular or wireless handset and
unlawfully or without authorization starts using or marketing it for transmitting and
receiving intelligence through such mobile or wireless handsets
shall be punished
with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to
1 million rupees or both.
Obtained by Bolo Bhi
Whoever intentionally commits unauthorized
interception by technical means of
(a) any transmission that is not intended to be and is not open to the public, from or
within an information system; or
(b) electromagnetic emissions from an information system that are carrying data,
be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may
extend to two years or with fine which may extend to five hundred thousand rupees or
. Offence against dignity of natural person
(1) Whoever, with malicious intent,
nowingly and publicly exhibits, displays, transmits any electronic communication
that harms the reputation of a natural person, threatens any sexual acts against a
natural person; superimposes a photograph of the face of a natural person over any
explicit images; distorts the face of a natural person; or includes a
photograph or a video of a natural person in sexually explicit conduct, without the
express or implied consent of the person in question, intending that such electronic
communication cause that person injury or threatens injury to his or her reputation,
his or her existing state of privacy or puts him or her in fear for him or her safety shall
be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine
which may ext
end to one million rupees or with both.
(2) Whoever commits an offence under sub
section (1) with respect to a minor, shall
be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with
fine which may extend to ten million rupees or w
(3) Any aggrieved person or his guardian where such person is a minor, may apply to
the court for passing of such orders for removal, destruction or blocking access to
such material referred in sub
section (1) and the Court on receipt of such application
may pass such orders as deemed proper in the circumstances.
17. Malicious code.
Whoever wilfully writes, offers, makes available, distributes or
transmits malicious code through an information system or device, with intent to
cause harm to any
information system or data resulting in the corruption, destruction,
alteration, suppression, theft or loss of information system or data shall be punished
with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may
extend to one
million rupees or both:
Provided that the provision of this section shall not apply to the authorized testing,
research and development or protection of any code for any lawful purpose:
For the purpose of this section the expression “malicious
includes a computer program or a hidden function in a program that damages any
information system or data or compromises the performance of the information
system or availability of data or uses the information system resources without proper
Obtained by Bolo Bhi
18. Cyber stalking.
(1) Whoever with intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass any
person uses information system, information system network, internet, website,
electronic mail or any other similar means of communication to,
obscene, vulgar, contemptuous, or indecent intelligence;
(b) make any suggestion or proposal of an obscene nature;
(c) threaten any illegal or immoral act;
(d) take or distribute pictures or photographs of any person without his
consent or knowledge
(e) display or distribute information in a manner that substantially increases
the risk of harm or violence to any other person
commits the offence of cyber stalking.
(2) Whoever commits the offence specified in sub
section (1) shall be punishable with
imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may
extend to one million rupees, or with both:
Provided that if the victim of the cyber stalking under sub
section (1) is a minor the
punishment may extend to three years or with
fine may extend to ten million rupees,
or with both.
(3) Any person may apply to the court for issuance of a restraining order against an
accused of cyber stalking and the court upon receipt of such application may pass
such order as deemed appropriate in the circumstances of the case.
Whoever transmits harmful, fraudulent, misleading, illegal or
unsolicited intelligence to any person without the express permission of the recipient,
or causes any information system to show any such intelligence commits the offence
Whoever commits the offence of spamming as described in sub
section (1) shall
be punished with fine not exceeding fifty thousand rupees if he commits this offence
of spamming for the first time and for every subsequent commission of offence of
shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to
three months or with fine which may extend to one million rupees
or with both.
(1) Whoever dishonestly, establishes a website or sends any
intelligence with a counterfeit
source intended to be believed by the recipient or
the website, to be an authentic source commits spoofing.
(2) Whoever commits spoofing shall be punished with imprisonment for a tem which
may extend to three years, or with fine which may extend to five hundred thousand
rupees or with both.
Obtained by Bolo Bhi
Legal recognition of offences committed in relation to information systems
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, an offence under this Act or
any other law shall not be denied legal recognition and enforcement for the sole
reason of such offence being committed in relation to, or through the use of, an
(2) References to “property” in any law creating an offence in relation to or
concerning property, shall include information systems and data.
(3) References in any law creating an offence to an act shall include actions taken or
use of an information system.
(4) References to an act by a person in this Act or any law establishing an offence
shall include acts done or to be done by or through automated mechanisms and self
executing, adaptive or autonomous devices, programs or in
22. Pakistan Penal Code 1860 to apply
The provisions of the Pakistan Penal Code
1860 (XLV of 1860), to the extent not inconsistent with anything provided in this Act,
shall apply to the offences provided in this Act.
ESTABLISHMENT OF INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION AGENCY
AND PROCEDURAL POWERS FOR INVESTIGATION
Establishment of investigation agencies and prosecution
(1) The Federal
Government shall designate the
Federal Investigation Agency or any other law
ment agency as the special investigation agency for the purposes of
investigation and prosecution of offences under this Act.
(2) Unless otherwise provided for under this Act the special investigation agency, the
special investigating officer, prosecution
and the court shall in all matters
procedure laid down in the Code
to the extent that it is not inconsistent with any
provision of this Act.
(3) The Government shall organize specialized courses in digital forensics,
information technology, com
puter science and other related matters for training of the
officers and staff of the special investigation agency.
No warrant, arrest, search, seizure or other power not provided for in the
(1) No person whether a police officer, investigation
officer or otherwise, other
than an investigating officer of the special investigation agency shall investigate an
offence under this Act:
Provided that the Federal Government or the Provincial Government may, as the case
may be, constitute joint investi
gation team comprising of the officers of special
investigation agency and any other law enforcement agency including Police for
Obtained by Bolo Bhi
investigation of events involving commission of offences under this Act and any other
law for the time being in force.
person other than a prosecutor designated as such by the special investigating
agency shall prosecute any offence under this Act.
Expedited Preservation of data
(1) If an investigating officer is satisfied that
stored in any information system or by means of an information system, is
reasonably required for the purposes of a criminal investigation; and
(b) there is a risk or vulnerability that the data may be modified, lost, destroyed or
the investigating officer may, by written notice given to a person in control of the
information system, require the person to ensure that the data specified in the notice
be preserved and the integrity thereof is maintained for a period not exceeding n
days as specified in the notice.
(2) The period provided in sub
section (1) for preservation of data may be extended
by the Magistrate if so deemed necessary upon receipt of an application from the
investigating officer in this behalf.
Retention of traffic data.
A service provider shall, within its existing or
required technical capability, retain its traffic data for a minimum period of ninety
days or such period as the Authority may notify from time to time and provide that
to the special investigating agency or the investigating officer whenever so
The service providers shall retain the traffic data under sub section (1) by
fulfilling all the requirements of data retention and its originality as provided under
sections 5 and 6 of the Electronic Transaction Ordinance, 2002 (LI of 2002).
Any person who contravenes the provisions of this section shall be punished
with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may
extend to or
Warrant for search or seizure
(1) Upon an application by an investigating
officer that demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Court that there exist reasonable
grounds to believe that there may be in a specified place an information syste
device or other articles that
(a) may reasonably be required for the purpose of a criminal investigation or criminal
proceedings which may be material as evidence in proving a specifically identified
offence made out under this Act; or
s been acquired by a person as a result of the commission of an offence,
The U.S. military’s top commander in the Pacific is arguing behind closed doors for a more confrontational approach to counter and reverse China’s strategic gains in the South China Sea, appeals that have met resistance from the White House at nearly every turn.
Adm. Harry Harris is proposing a muscular U.S. response to China’s island-building that may include launching aircraft and conducting military operations within 12 miles of these man-made islands, as part of an effort to stop what he has called the “Great Wall of Sand” before it extends within 140 miles from the Philippines’ capital, sources say.
Harris and his U.S. Pacific Command have been waging a persistent campaign in public and in private over the past several months to raise the profile of China’s land grab, accusing China outright in February of militarizing the South China Sea.
But the Obama administration, with just nine months left in office, is looking to work with China on a host of other issues from nuclear non-proliferation to an ambitious trade agenda, experts say, and would prefer not to rock the South China Sea boat, even going so far as to muzzle Harris and other military leaders in the run-up to a security summit.
“They want to get out of office with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of cooperation with China,” said Jerry Hendrix, a retired Navy captain and defense strategy analyst with the Center for a New American Security.
The White House has sought to tamp down on rhetoric from Harris and other military leaders, who are warning that China is consolidating its gains to solidify sovereignty claims to most of the South China Sea.
Pacific Command chief urges new capabilities as tensions mount with China
National Security Adviser Susan Rice imposed a gag order on military leaders over the disputed South China Sea in the weeks running up to the last week’s high-level nuclear summit, according to two defense officials who asked for anonymity to discuss policy deliberations. China’s president, Xi Jinping, attended the summit, held in Washington, and met privately with President Obama.
The order was part of the notes from a March 18 National Security Council meeting and included a request from Rice to avoid public comments on China’s recent actions in the South China Sea, said a defense official familiar with the meeting readout.
In issuing the gag order, Rice intended to give Presidents Obama and Xi Jinping “maximum political maneuvering space” during their one-on-one meeting during the global Nuclear Summit held March 31 through April 1, the official said.
“Sometimes it’s OK to talk about the facts and point out what China is doing, and other times it’s not,” the official familiar with the memo said. “Meanwhile, the Chinese have been absolutely consistent in their messaging.”
The NSC dictum has had a “chilling effect” within the Pentagon that discouraged leaders from talking publicly about the South China Sea at all, even beyond the presidential summit, according to a second defense official familiar with operational planning. Push-back from the NSC has become normal in cases where it thinks leaders have crossed the line into baiting the Chinese into hard-line positions, sources said.
Military leaders interpreted this as an order to stay silent on China’s assertive moves to control most of the South China Sea, said both defense officials, prompting concern that the paltry U.S. response may embolden the Chinese and worry U.S. allies in the region, like Japan and the Philippines, who feel bullied.
South China Sea standoff: ‘Both sides need to step back’
China, which has been constructing islands and airstrips atop reefs and rocky outcroppings in the Spratly Islands, sees the South China Sea as Chinese territory. President Xi told Obama during their meeting at the nuclear summit that China would not accept any behavior in the disguise of freedom of navigation that violates its sovereignty, according to a Reuters report. The two world leaders did agree to work together on nuclear and cyber security issues.
Experts say administrations often direct military leaders to tone down their rhetoric ahead of major talks, but the current directive comes at a difficult juncture. U.S. leaders are struggling to find an effective approach to stopping the island-building without triggering a confrontation.
The NSC frequently takes top-down control to send a coherent message, said Bryan Clark a former senior aide to Adm. Jon Greenert, the recently retired chief of naval operations. While serving as Greenert’s aide, Clark said the NSC regularly vetted the former CNO’s statements on China and the South China Sea.
Critics say the administration’s wait-and-see approach to the South China Sea has failed, with the island-dredging continuing in full force.
“The White House’s aversion to risk has resulted in an indecisive policy that has failed to deter China’s pursuit of maritime hegemony while confusing and alarming our regional allies and partners,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in a statement to Navy Times. “China’s increasingly coercive challenge to the rules-based international order must be met with a determined response that demonstrates America’s resolve and reassures the region of our commitment.”
When presented with the findings of this article, Harris declined to comment through a spokesperson. A spokesman for the chief of naval operations had no comment when asked about Harris’ proposals and whether the CNO was supporting them.
An administration official said the Navy’s operations in the South China Sea are routine and that the administration often seeks to coordinate its message.
“While we’re not going to characterize the results of deliberative meetings, it’s no secret that we coordinate messaging across the inter-agency-on issues related to China as well as every other priority under the sun,” the official said.
The gag order has had at least one intended effect. The amphibious assault ship Boxer and the dock landing ship Harpers Ferry, both carrying the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, steamed through the South China Sea in late March to little fanfare.
‘The status quo has changed’
Meanwhile evidence is mounting that China aims to build another island atop the Scarborough Shoal, an atoll just 140 miles off the coast of the Philippines’ capital of Manila and well within the Philippines’ 200-mile economic exclusion zone, that would extend China’s claims. Chinese missile batteries and air-search radars there would put U.S. forces in the Philippines at risk in a crisis.
Harris and PACOM officials have been lobbying the National Security Council, Capitol Hill and Pentagon leaders to send a clear message that they won’t tolerate continued bullying of neighbors. Part of the approach includes more aggressive, frequent and close patrols of China’s artificial islands, Navy Times has learned.
“When it comes to the South China Sea, I think the largest military concern for [U.S.] Pacific Command is what operational situation will be left to the next commander or the commander after that,” said a Senate staffer familiar with the issues in the South China Sea. “The status quo is clearly being changed. Militarization at Scarborough Shoal would give [China’s People’s Liberation Army-Navy] the ability to hold Subic Bay, Manila Bay, and the Luzon Strait at risk with coastal defense cruise missiles or track aviation assets moving in or out of the northern Philippines.”
The administration is negotiating rotational force presence in the Philippines that would put the U.S. in a position to counter China’s moves in the region but the focus on the big picture isn’t changing the China’s gains in the here and now, the staffer said.
“Force posture agreements and presence operations are important, but the administration has yet to develop a deterrence package that actually convinced Beijing that going further on some of these strategic-level issues like Scarborough … is not worth the costs.”
Stepped-up patrols and of the South China Sea like the one conducted by the carrier John C. Stennis and her escorts in early March are part of the PACOM response to China, but actual freedom of navigation patrols in close proximity to China’s islands must be authorized by the White House.
The patrols to date have been confusing, critics argue, because they have been conducted under the right of innocent passage. For example, the destroyer Lassen’s October transit within 12 nautical miles of Chinese man-made islands in the disputed Spratly Islands chain, was conducted in accordance with innocent passage rights. Some officials saw that as tacit acknowledgment that China did in fact own the islands and were entitled to a 12-mile territorial sea around them.
Destroyer’s patrol in South China Sea shadowed by China’s navy
During innocent passage, warships are not supposed to fly aircraft, light off anti-air systems or shoot guns — just proceed expeditiously from point “A” to point “B.” All those activities are fair game in international waters.
The lack of a more aggressive response has only encouraged continued expansion, critics say, including the new Scarborough Shoal project, which China seized from the Philippines in 2012.
The Lassen was the first U.S. warship to pass within 12 miles of China’s man-made islands in three years and was followed by the destroyer Curtis Wilbur’s patrol of the disputed Paracel Islands in January. But if the goal of those patrols was to stop China from constructing man-made islands, it has clearly failed, which was noted last month by the U.S. military’s top officer.
China strongly condemns U.S. for sending warship near island
“In the South China Sea, Chinese activity is destabilizing and could pose a threat to commercial trade routes,” Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said at a March 29 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “And while our exercise of freedom of navigation provides some assurance to our allies and partners, it hasn’t stopped the Chinese from developing military capabilities in the South China Sea, to include on territories where there is a contested claim of sovereignty.”
Administration officials say they’ve been tough on China’s claims, supporting military patrols by U.S. Air Force bombers and Navy ships, as well as sending high-tech military assets to the region, including two more destroyers and the sophisticated X-band AN/TPY-2 missile defense radar system. The U.S. is also negotiating rotational presence for U.S. troops on bases in the Philippines, right on China’s doorstep.
“The idea that we are somehow inconsistent or that we are giving China a free pass just isn’t supported by the facts,” said a U.S. official who spoke on background to discuss internal deliberations.
Harris wants to double down on the close island patrols but conduct them on the assertion they are in international water, sources who spoke to Navy Times said.
Clark, now an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments who has followed Harris’s strategy, said he thinks Harris is lobbying for more assertive freedom of navigation patrols that include military operations such as helicopter flights and signals intelligence within 12 miles of Chinese-claimed features. Such patrols, Clark said, would make clear the Navy does not acknowledge Chinese claims and that the surrounding waters are international.
“He wants to do real [freedom of navigation operations],” Clark said. “He wants to drive through an area and do military operations.”
“Failing to prevent the destruction and Chinese occupation of Scarborough Shoal would generate further irreversible environmental damage in the South China Sea — and more importantly, further irreversible damage to the principles of international law,” Liedman wrote in a late March blog post. “It would further consolidate the Chinese annexation and occupation of the maritime features in the South China Sea, which would be essentially irreversible in any scenario short of a major regional conflict.”
Liedman said the Navy should consider taking military actions like disabling Chinese dredging boats to steps to impair the land-reclamation effort.
Failing to stop China’s expansion in the South China Sea into territory also claimed by its neighbors is only heightening the chance of getting into an armed confrontation, said Hendrix, the retired captain.
“The Obama administration has tended to take the least confrontational path but in doing so they created an environment where it’s going to take a major shock to reestablish the international norms in the South China Sea,” he said. “Ironically, they’ve made a situation where conflict is more instead of less likely.”
[The US Govt has vested interests in prolonging the Afghan war for as long as possible, to serve as a Pentagon “lily pad” (launching pad) for projecting war into the Indian subcontinent, as well as Iran and Central Asia. Afghanistan is typical of all of America’s recent wars, the Pentagon does NOT end wars, it only starts them. To that end, the CIA has been practicing its black arts with other secret agencies, to destroy efforts at creating peace and development in the region, as a means of stopping the flow of gas and oil as much as possible, in order to aid American/Western oil interests. Resource wars are not so much about obtaining new sources of scarce resources, as they are about blocking the harvest of scarce, new resources.
WASHINGTON: Talk about biting the hand that feeds. Even as it bilked billions of dollars in aid from the United States, Pakistan is now revealed to have funded the 2009 attack on a CIA camp on its border with Afghanistan that killed seven American agents and contractors and three others.
The explosive disclosure comes in a declassified 2010 cable published by the national security archive, that, despite being redacted in parts, asserts unequivocally that “some funding for Haqqani attacks are still provided by the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, including $200,000 for the December 30, 2009, attack on the CIA facility at Camp Chapman.”
a Jordanian doctor and double agent, whom the CIA was trying to use to infiltrate al-Qaida in Pakistan in its hunt for Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri. Instead, he was turned around the Haqqani group, a terrorist proxy for Pakistan’s intelligence agency.
Al-Balawi’s suicide attack on December 30, 2009 at the Camp Chapman forward post, which the CIA used to gather intelligence for drone attacks in Pakistan, killed ten people, including two female American CIA agents: Jennifer Lynne Matthews, 45, and a mother of three, who commanded the base, and Elizabeth Hanson, 30, a targeting analyst. The attack was memorialized in a movie titled Zero Dark Thirty.
While it has long been known that Pakistan’s terrorism sponsorship has claimed the lives of Indian and American civilians and military personnel, the revelations about bankrolling the Camp Chapman attack, kept secret from the public so far, is certain to inflame tensions between the two sides, particularly their military-intelligence outfits. Successive US administrations — particularly the state department led by John Kerry — have long ladled out pabulum that Pakistan is a front-line ally in the war on terror while funneling billions of dollars of aid, despite multiple terrorist attacks across the world originating from Pakistan, including in San Bernardino, New York, and London.
The timing of the attack and the sequence of cables detailing the ISI’s role in organizing the attack suggests that the US administration lied to the American public about Pakistan being a frontline ally in the way on terror even as it funneled $ 7.5 billion in US taxpayer money to a country’s whose military-intelligence establishment was killing American soldiers and spooks. Then senator John Kerry, who later became secretary of state, took the lead in presenting Pakistan as a worthy ally as he engineering with senator Lugar the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009, which put $ 1.5 billion in US aid into the Pakistani coffers.
The Act, stemming from what is known as the Kerry-Lugar Bill was introduced to Congress on September 24, 2009, and passed into law on October 15, 2010. The ISI-sponsored attack on Camp Chapman occurred on December 30, 2009. By February 6, 2010, the date on the explosive cable detailing the Pakistani role, Washington knew ISI had engineered the attack on the CIA forward post.
“During discussions at an unknown date between Haqqani, Salar, and an unidentified ISID officer or officers, Haqqani and Salar were provided $200,000 to enable the attack on Chapman,” the cable relates in an unredacted portion. “Haqqani then provided the money to Salar who then communicated the planning details to Mullawi (Sakh). Sakh then contacted Arghawan Afghan border commander of the Khost Provincial Force.
The cable then goes on to say that Arghawan was promised $100,000 for facilitating the attack by the then unnamed Jordanian national (whose identity came to be known only later), but since Arghawan himself was killed in the attack, Salar kept the $100,000.
Which means, despite knowing Pakistan bankrolled the killing of its personnel, including two female agents who put their lives on line in a remote forward post, Washington still went ahead and rewarded Islamabad with billions of dollars in aid — and has continued to do so to this day with finance and armaments.
The Camp Chapman attack is counted as the second largest single-day loss in the CIA’s history, after the 1983 United States Embassy bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, which killed eight CIA officers.
Two Russian Su-24s buzzed past the destroyer in the Baltic (file photo) US Navy/Reuters
Russia has rejected complaints by US officials who claimed attack planes buzzed dangerously close to a Navy destroyer in the Baltic Sea.
Two Russian warplanes repeatedly buzzed a US Navy destroyer in the Baltic Sea earlier this week in what American officials described as a “simulated attack”.
At one point, the Su-24 attack planes came so close to the ship – an estimated 30ft – that they created wakes in the water around it.
Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian defense ministry, said the pilots of Russian Su-24 jets saw the ship and turned back “while using all measures of precaution.” Konashenkov said he was baffled by what he described as the “distressed reaction of our American counterparts.”
The Russian planes appeared to be unarmed but did not respond to attempts to contact them by the crew of the USS Donald Cook.
He said the ship was operating in international waters 70 nautical miles off the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. It had departed the Polish port of Gdynia on Monday.It is currently unclear whether the US government will formally protest to Russia. US Navy photographs of the incident have not been released.
On Monday, a pair of Russian Su-24 planes made 20 passes over the ship, coming as close as 1,000 yards at an altitude of about 100 ft.
US officials say they regard it as a violation of rules to prevent unsafe incidents at sea agreed in the 1970s (AFP/Petrut Calinescu)
A Polish helicopter aboard the Cook was scheduled to conduct flight operations but those manoeuvres were cancelled because of the Russian actions, the official said.
On Tuesday, a Russian KA-26 submarine-hunting helicopter circled the Cook seven times, taking photographs, he added.
Later that day, another pair of Su-24 attack planes, apparently unarmed, buzzed the Cook 11 times.
The incident comes after months of continuing diplomatic tensions between Moscow and Washington over Russia’s role in conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.
GWADAR: General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Tuesday said the security agencies would leave no stone unturned for security of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Samaa reported.
“As chief of army staff, I assure you security of CPEC is our national undertaking. We will continue close watch at every step,” DG ISPR Lt-Gen Asim Bajwa quoted Gen Sharif as saying.
He was addressing a seminar on peace and prosperity in Balochistan and CPEC during his visit to Gwadar.
He termed CPEC as a project of peace and prosperity for the entire region. “CPEC is a grand manifestation of deep rooted ties between China and Pakistan,”
“Having passed through tough fight against terrorism, we have come a long way in our struggle for stability and development,” he said.
Highlighting the importance of OperationZarb-e-Azb in tribal region, the COAS said that the military offensive was not only an operation but also a wholesome concept aimed at breaking the syndicate of terrorism, extremism and corruption.
Gen Sharif urged the international community to not only acknowledge the country’s successes and sacrifices, but also come forward and block external help to terrorist organizations, facilitators, abettors and their financiers.
He said that transparency and good management is important for sustainability of the CPEC.
He said that wide appreciations from world powers for CPEC’s potential also raised many eyebrows by those competing for influence in region.
“Hostile intelligence agencies averse to this grand project, especially Indian RAW is blatantly involved in destabilising Pakistan,” Gen Sharif said.
“We will not allow anyone to create impediments and turbulence in any part of Pakistan. Hence, important for all to leave behind confrontation and focus on cooperation,” he added.
He said that army engineers are involved in unprecedented development of communication infrastructure in the province. –Samaa