[An Nahar] Mali's new Prime Minister Diango Cissoko called Thursday for military intervention by an African force to help take back the Islamist-controlled north "as quickly as possible". "Please don't let them kill me!"
"We have confidence in this intervention," Cissoko told journalists in Abidjan after meeting with Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara ...the current president-for-life of Ivory Coast. He actually beat his predecessor in an election before having to eject him from the presidential palazzo.... , the current head of the West African bloc ECOWAS which is preparing the intervention force.
This operation "will take place as soon as conditions are met and we are doing all so those conditions are met as quickly as possible," he said.
The U.N. Security Council on December 20 approved the deployment of an international force in Mali, but in stages and without a precise timetable. It also insisted on the need for dialogue with the gangs in the north which reject terrorism and the partition of the country.
Armed Islamist groups, some with al-Qaeda links, seized northern Mali in the wake of a March coup in Bamako, and have imposed a brutal form of Islamic sharia law.
An interim government has taken over in Bamako and Cissoko said "credible" elections would be held when conditions allow.
U.N. chief the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon ... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan... recently pressed Mali's government to hold free elections as soon as possible as part of preparations for the intervention force.
[Magharebia] Political leaders from across Africa and the Arab world gathered in Nouakchott at the week-end for the second congress of Islamist party Tawassoul.
"The presence of symbols of Islamist movements who came to attend this conference had great significance for Islamists in Mauritania, highlighting their ability to mobilise and garner support", Tawassoul member Mohamed Ould Slama said.
It was also an opportunity to promote the party's moderate Islamist approach, he told Magharebia at the event's conclusion on Saturday (December 22nd).
The gathering provided an occasion for Islamist movement leaders to share insights on a variety of topics.
The head of Tunisia's ruling Ennahda party, Rachid Ghannouchi spoke at a session titled, "A Nation Between Two Stages".
"The winds of change will include all Arab countries, and Arab rulers have to respond to their peoples to spare them revolutions," Ghannouchi said.
"The rulers must know that we're in the time of freedom and democracy, and if change doesn't come from within the regimes themselves, they will be swept away by floods, like other stronger and fiercer regimes in some Arab countries," he added.
With Tunisia still suffering from the repercussions of the revolution, Ghannouchi did not present his country in a rosy way.
"Tunisia, like all other Arab Spring countries, is still in transition," he said. "However, it's easy to be generous with someone else's money... we're proceeding with national reconciliation to get past this stage."
Talking about the reasons for Arab Spring, Ghannouchi noted, "It came after 50 years of absence of development, repression and numbing of peoples. However, man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them... we're required to exert more efforts to realise peoples' dreams."
Discussions also covered the experiences of Islamist movements in running governments and the challenges they face.
General Supervisor of the Moslem Brüderbund in Libya, Bashir Kabti said, "Moderate Islamists in Libya played a major role in the revolution that toppled Qadaffy's regime."
"Today, they represent the second largest political force in terms of representation in the General National Congress," he added. "They have chosen to take part in government rather than compete against other forces," Kabti said.
Pakistan and Iran might continue to use terrorist groups to mount attacks on other countries out of a strong sense of insecurity in the next 18 years, says a new report by the US intelligence community.
Every half-decade, the National Intelligence Council's "Global Trends" series produces analysis considered to be the best long-range geopolitical forecasting conducted by the US government. The 140-page "Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds" report has a chapter titled "Future of Terrorism" which calls Pakistan what it is -- a state supporter of terrorism.
"States such as Pakistan and Iran feel threatened by what they perceive as stronger, threatening powers in their regions or globally. Therefore, they seek asymmetric options to assert power and deter attack; using terrorist groups as proxies and pursuing nuclear weapons are two such asymmetric tools," says the report.
US intelligence experts are now echoing what India has always maintained. Pakistan trains Islamic terrorists to launch attacks on India as part of its claim on Kashmir. Anti-India jihadist groups were deliberately created and nurtured as a policy to achieve short-term Pakistani tactical objectives. These Islamic terrorist groups were not thrown up because of Pakistani government weakness, but as a matter of policy.
Totalitarian regimes generally like to have an external enemy/threat or two, just to keep domestic attention focused on something other than their miserable lot of the common man. Also enables the regime to maintain a substantial military (or a multitude of Federal, military-like, police agencies) which are a key control element of any totalitarian regime.
I'm sure that the investigations, data analysis and documents compilation for this report only cost us taxpayers $7.98 or thereabouts.
We probably could have come to the same basic conclusion for a lot less by reading the derivative data and using some common sense, but therein lies the rub.
Posted by: Mullah Richard ||
In other news, the Santa Claus was shot and killed from stray gunfire over the skies of Chicago on Christmas Eve.
Posted by: Charles ||
whoops, wrong thread for previous comment. Santa could have easily been killed over Pakiland and nobody would bat an eye in DC. It's common sense that Pakistan supports terrorism. It's just acting "innocent" to avoid getting nuked by everyone with a ICBM.
Posted by: Charles ||
And in other shocking conclusions in the same report, water is wet, and on sunny days, the sky is blue.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia ||
[Pak Daily Times] Interior Minister Rehman Malik Pak politician, Interior Minister under the Gilani government. Malik is a former Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) intelligence officer who rose to head the FIA during Benazir Bhutto's second tenure. Malik was tossed from his FIA job in 1998 after documenting the breath-taking corruption of the Sharif family. By unhappy coincidence Nawaz Sharif became PM at just that moment and Malik moved to London one step ahead of the button men. He had to give up the interior ministry job because he held dual Brit citizenship. has said that the Taliban's offer of conditional truce is unacceptable, saying that Taliban groups cannot dictate the state. "Taliban leader Ismatullah Muavia through his offer of conditional truce, has tried to dictate the government which is totally unacceptable," he said while talking to newsmen at the Sukkar Air port Thursday. "Muavia is a by-product of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi ... a 'more violent' offshoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain. LeJ's purpose in life is to murder anyone who's not of utmost religious purity, starting with Shiites but including Brelvis, Ahmadis, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Rosicrucians, and just about anyone else you can think of. They are currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda ... and Lal Masjid. I had challenged Hakimullah Mehsud that if he acknowledges Ehsanullah Ehsan as his front man then as to why he himself does not come to open," he held. "I dismiss every claim of Ehsanullah Ehsan unless Hakimullah Mehsud authenticates his claim of being his representative," he declared. Malik said enemies want to derail the democratic system in the country, but their nefarious designs will be foiled with unity. "The faceless myrmidons who have tried to destabilise Pakistain are working on the bidding of someone else and they will soon come to open. In this context we have asked President Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai ... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use... to hand over Moulvi Fazlullah and Pirul Haq to us," the minister said. "No foreign hand is behind the terrorist activities taking place within the country, but our Pak brothers are involved therein," he remarked.
[Pak Daily Times] The Pak Taliban have outlined conditions for a ceasefire, including the adoption of Islamic law and a break with the United States, a front man said Thursday, an offer dismissed out of hand by the interior minister.
The Taliban, in a letter, also demanded that Pakistain stop its involvement in the war pitting Afghan forces of Evil against the Kabul government and refocus on a war of "Dire Revenge™" against India. The letter from Taliban front man Amir Muawiya comes as the focus in Afghanistan shifts from a military push by NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... troops to potential peace talks, and amid speculation of a rift between top Pakistain Taliban leaders.
Military officials told Rooters last month that Pakistain Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud had lost operational command to his deputy, Waliur Rehman, considered to be more open to reconciliation with the Pak government. The Taliban deny Mehsud has lost command. The Pak Taliban are a separate entity allied to the Afghan Taliban. Known as the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP), they have launched devastating attacks against the Pak military and civilians.
The ceasefire conditions, confirmed by front man Ihsanullah Ihsan in a phone call to Rooters, said Pakistain should rewrite its laws and constitution according to Islamic law. Interior Minister Rehman Malik Pak politician, Interior Minister under the Gilani government. Malik is a former Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) intelligence officer who rose to head the FIA during Benazir Bhutto's second tenure. Malik was tossed from his FIA job in 1998 after documenting the breath-taking corruption of the Sharif family. By unhappy coincidence Nawaz Sharif became PM at just that moment and Malik moved to London one step ahead of the button men. He had to give up the interior ministry job because he held dual Brit citizenship. rejected any offer of a ceasefire unless it came from the Pakistain Taliban leader. "I reject all these offers, and any future claims, of Ihsanullah Ihsan, unless and until Hakeemullah Mehsud owns them himself," Malik said. A second government official, who asked not to be identified, dismissed the proposal as "preposterous".
"They are a bunch of criminals. This is not the Afghan Taliban. They are not open to talks," The official said. "No one can take such an offer or terms seriously. The TTP is not a proper entity, certainly not one any government can negotiate with." In his comments, Ihsan said the Pak Taliban were ready to abide by a ceasefire "as long as they meet our demands, that an Islamic system should be put into place, they should fix their foreign policy and stop agreeing to America's demands".
The gunnies accused Pakistain's army of acting as "mercenaries" for America and pledged to continue attacks on two major political parties they say serve US interests. "The big mistake (the government) made is that they fought America's war in Afghanistan and brought it into Pakistain," Ihsan said. NATO troops are due to hand over control of most operations in Afghanistan to Afghan forces next year and officials have been eager to start peace talks with the Taliban there.
But the Taliban insurgency in both Pakistain and Afghanistan is fragmented and commanders often disagree over strategy. Ihsan said that even if there was a peace agreement signed with the government, the Taliban would not disarm. "We do not accept Pakistain's present secular and pro-West system and its constitution," he said. "We also oppose Pakistain's pro-West foreign policy and if the government wants us to announce a ceasefire, it will have to accept all our demands."
Paleostinians threw a pipe bomb at IDF soldiers near Rachel's Tomb. The bomb fell in Paleostinian territory and did not cause injuries or damage. Dozens of Paleostinians simultaneously hurled stones in the direction of the tomb.
O brave, brave Lions of Islam! Such a jihad y'all are waging!
[An Nahar] A delegation of pro-Paleostinian activists, mainly French and Egyptian, crossed into Gazoo from Egypt on Thursday to deliver aid, AFP correspondents at the border reported.
How many Iranian missiles did they bring with them?
The "Welcome to Paleostine" delegation of about 90 people is to stay in the territory until January 1, in solidarity with the people of Gazoo and in protest against the Israeli blockade in force since 2006, organizers say.
Organized by French group EuroPaleostine, the delegation includes 60 French members and 25 Egyptians, and entered Gazoo through the Rafah border terminal, the only land crossing between the territory and the outside world not dependent on Israel, which also maintains an air and sea blockade.
The visitors brought drugs, surgical supplies and French textbooks, the organizers said.
In the past, several similar "Welcome to Paleostine" initiatives failed when activists were refused entry by air to Tel Aviv and by land from Jordan into the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The Israeli blockade on Gazoo was first imposed in June 2006 following the capture by Orcs and similar vermin from the territory of an Israeli soldier, who was eventually freed in October 2011 in a trade for 1,000 Paleostinian prisoners held by Israel.
It was strengthened in 2007, when the Islamist Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, movement took control of Gazoo, then eased somewhat following an international outcry over the killing of nine activists in a 2010 Israeli commando raid on a flotilla trying to break the naval blockade.
In 2011, a U.N. report found the commandos used excessive force but ruled that the blockade itself was legal.
Israel says that its restrictions do not affect the civilian population of Gazoo and that it allows 50,000 tons of goods to enter each week.
Thai border patrol police and army soldiers will be assigned to teach in state-run schools in Thailand's southernmost provinces, according to the Thai defense minister.
Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol Suwanatat, who stayed overnight in Narathiwat province on Tuesday during his two-day inspection trip to the far South, said instruction by police and military personnel will be a temporary measure due to a shortage of Thai Buddhist teachers.
He said the assignment of teaching jobs to soldiers, rangers and border patrol police was agreed to by the Federation of Teachers in Three Southern Border Provinces.
A series of attacks against Thai Buddhist teachers in the area has devastated the morale of educators, many of whom have sought permission from the Education Ministry to transfer from the region.
[An Nahar] The Syrian vice president's criticism of leader Bashir al-Assad has highlighted the cracks in the regime's highest ranks, pitting supporters of compromise against the president's hardline inner circle.
Assad's closest aides believe the regime should keep fighting and that they can still win a war against rebels which has left more than 44,000 dead in almost two years.
"Power has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of just a few people in Assad's clan, which has grown autistic and seems to have chosen to just keep going," Gay Paree-based expert Karim Bitar told AFP.
Assad's circle includes his brother Maher, 44, who heads the army's elite Fourth Division and his wife Asma, an analyst told AFP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.
The group also includes Assad's notorious businessmen uncle Mohammed Makhluf, 80, cousin Rami Makhluf, 43, and Damascus ...The place where Pencilneck hangs his brass hat... security chief, Hazem Makhluf, 41.
Like Assad, all are members of the minority Alawite community, except his wife, who is a Sunni Moslem.
Presidential affairs minister since 2009, Mansur Azzam, 52, and former al-Jazeera journalist Luna al-Shibl are also close to Assad. Both are members of the Druze community.
Alawite Hussam Sukkar, a security advisor to the president, is also key, as are two Sunni veterans: National Security director Ali Mamluk and Political Security chief Rostom Ghazali.
"This is the group that takes the decisions," the analyst said. "Bashar, who runs the show, only listens to people who owe him, for the most part, for their rise."
But several high-level officials, members of the state apparatus and part of the army command, understand -- like Vice President Faruq al-Sharaa -- "that neither the rebels nor the army can secure an all-out victory," said Bitar.
"As such, they are hoping for a negotiated solution, which would prevent them all being swept away should Assad fall,."
In an interview published in a pro-Damascus Lebanese daily, Sharaa, who for 22 years served as foreign minister, said he favors a negotiated solution to the conflict, rather than the president's strategy of crushing the revolt militarily.
Assad "does not hide his desire to press on militarily until the final victory (and he believes that) after this, political dialogue will actually still be possible," Sharaa told Beirut-based al-Akhbar.
Experts say that out of those who share Sharaa's views, two women stand out.
One of them is Buthaina Shaaban, a 59-year-old Alawite who was close to Assad's father Hafez, and worked as his translator before becoming minister of expatriate affairs. In 2008, Shaaban became Bashir al-Assad's advisor.
The other is Najah al-Attar, a 79-year-old Sunni, who was minister of culture from 1976 to 2000, and was then appointed vice president along with Sharaa in 2006.
"It seems this group has been totally excluded from decision-making, because they think the war should end with no winner or loser," said a former minister who took a distance from the regime when the revolt broke out in March 2011.
Assad's clique, the minister added on condition of anonymity, "treats them like cowards."
The journalist who interviewed the vice president for al-Akhbar said "Sharaa is not in the decision-making circle, and communicates infrequently with the president."
On Sunday, Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi played down Sharaa's assessment. "It is one opinion among 23 million opinions in Syria, which is a state led by institutions and leaders who will give the final opinion," he said.
After 50 years in power, differences have emerged even among Alawites, as young members of this offshoot of Shiite Islam are killed daily in battle.
[An Nahar] Iran's diminutive PresidentMahmoud Short Round Ahmadinejad has sacked Health Minister Marizeh Vahid Dastjerdi, the sole woman in his cabinet, state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
reported on Thursday.
The minister had proposed price hikes for a number of medicines due to the plunge of the Iranian rial against the U.S. dollar and Western sanctions imposed on the country over its disputed nuclear program.
But Ahmadinejad was opposed to the price rises and dismissed the minister.
Although the sanctions do not directly target medicines, they limit their importation because of restrictions on financial transactions.
Iran produces 97 percent of the drugs on its market, but their ingredients are imported.
In October, an Iranian official acknowledged the price of locally produced medicines had increased by 15-20 percent in the past three months, and 20-80 percent for imported products.
Fatemeh Hashemi, head of the Foundation for Special Diseases, sent a letter to U.N. chief the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon ... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan... in August asking him to make a case to the West for easing sanctions that are detrimental to patients.
Tehran is under different rounds of sanctions designed by the United States, European Union ...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing... and the U.N. Security Council to pressure it to curb its nuclear program.
Western powers suspect Iran is using the program to develop atomic weapons capability. The Islamic republic denies that and says its nuclear activities are purely peaceful.
[An Nahar] La Belle France said on Thursday that Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Horror of Homs... should not have any role in Syria's political transition as he had too much blood on his hands.
"Bashir al-Assad, who is still ferociously repressing his people and bears responsibility for the 45,000 victims of this conflict cannot be part of the political transition," foreign ministry deputy front man Vincent Floreani said.
The statement came after international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi called for "real change" and the installation of a transitional government with full powers until elections can be held.
"The transition period should not lead to the collapse of the state and its institutions," Brahimi said, making no mention on the fate of Assad, whose current term expires in 2014.
[An Nahar] International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on Thursday called for "real" change in war-torn Syria and the installation of a transition government with full powers until elections can be held.
"We need to form a government with all powers... which assumes power during a period of transition. That transition period will end with (presidential or parliamentary) elections," the U.N. and Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... envoy told news hounds.
Brahimi made the remarks at a news conference in Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... , during his latest bid to persuade Syria's warring parties to negotiate an end to the 21-month conflict estimated to have killed at least 45,000 people.
The Algerian diplomat had arrived in Syria on Sunday for his first visit to the country since October.
A diplomat at the U.N. Security Council said, however, that the veteran troubleshooter had received no support from either side during his talks in Syria.
Meanwhile, ...back at the chili cook-off, Chuck reached for the green sauce... Syria's opposition National Coalition replied to Brahimi's proposal on Thursday, saying it would agree to any solution for a political transition as long as it excludes Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs... and his family.
"We will accept any political solution that does not include the Assad family nor those who harmed the Syrian people," Coalition front man Walid al-Bunni told a presser in Istanbul.
"Our first condition for them is to leave the country," Bunni said in remarks translated from Arabic, referring to the Assad family and the regime's inner circle.
[An Nahar] Russia on Thursday warned of "bloody chaos" in Syria should peace talks led by U.N.-Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... envoy Lakhdar Brahimi fail to end the 21-month conflict estimated to have claimed more than 45,000 lives.
"The alternative to a peaceful solution is bloody chaos. The longer it continues, the greater its scale -- and the worse things get for all," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the Interfax news agency.
Lavrov's comments followed his meeting earlier in the day with a senior Syrian delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad.
Russia remains Syria's most important international ally and is one of the few nations to have unlimited access to Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Lord of the Baath... 's government.
Lavrov's meeting with the Syrians came as Brahimi wound down several days of talks in Damascus ...Home to a staggering array of terrorist organizations... by calling for "real change" and the quick introduction of a transition government "with all powers".
Assad's government has still not responded to Brahimi's call.
But the armed opposition immediately rejected any transition plan that would see either Assad or his immediate cohorts retain their positions of authority.
Brahimi will meet Lavrov in Moscow on Saturday in hopes of convincing Russia to do all it can to make sure that Assad accepts an accord that would gradually ease him from power.
Lavrov did not disclose the full details of his talks with the visiting Syrian delegation.
But he conceded that hopes were fading for a Russian-backed initiative drafted in Geneva in June that made no explicit call on Assad to step down -- an alternative the ruling regime appeared to accept.
"Considering what is happening in Syria, the chances for such a solution based on the Geneva communique... are diminishing," Lavrov told Interfax.
"But they still exist, and we must fight for them," Lavrov added.