[Tolo News] Russia is worried that Afghanistan will once again become a safe haven for Taliban and terrorists, which will be a threat to Russian territory as well.
Welcome to the real world, Vlad...
In a trip to northern Balkh province on Saturday, Russian ambassador to Afghanistan, Andrey Avetisyan, said that terrorism and drug trafficking have remained a major challenge in the region and to fight this challenge, a strong army is necessary for Afghanistan.
Mr Avetisyan also showed support on presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan and said that these forces should fight alongside the Afghan forces to remove this challenge from the region.
"We are concerned that once again Afghanistan turns into a safe haven for international terrorism, which is a direct threat to Russian Federation," Mr Avetisyan added.
He also urged the international community particularly the regional countries to fight drug trafficking and eradicate opium cultivated farms.
"The only way to tackle the problem of drug production and trafficking is a joint combat. A joint combat by Afghanistan, Russia and other countries in the world which have major losses from drug cultivation and trafficking," he added.
Provincial governor of Balkh province, Atta Mohammad Noor, once again supported the presence of foreign troops but strongly opposed the existence of foreign military bases in Afghan territory.
He also urged the international community to help Afghanistan in education, training of both ground and air defence forces and as well as in technology.
"We don't want to rely on others, we need to stand on our own feet, the international community can help us in education, training of our military forces, equipping our air defence forces and in terms of technology."
At a recent conference held in Kabul, the 'Art of Asia' countries pledged to cooperate with Afghanistan to fight drug trafficking as well as in investment and peace building.
Russia has a major problem with terrorists. They see a future of trouble within and from without.
In my opinion many of their actions are related to this concern. Better to work with them and share the expense than go it alone. They want security and commerce. I believe they want more interaction with the west. I believe they have an historic distrust of the Chinese as the Chinese do for them.
I believe they have an historic distrust of the Chinese as the Chinese do for them.
Something about living under the Mongol yoke for generations. The only successful invasion and occupation came from the East.
Nappy and the Austrian Paperhanger didn't get to stay around long on their visits from the West.
[Tolo News] Several foreign countries are making conspiracies against Afghanistan in order to destabilise the country, Head of Afghanistan's High Peace Council Salahuddin Rabbani said today.
Speaking at a conference held by Afghan Women Network (AWN), Mr Rabbani cited the role of women very important in bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan adding that the enemies of Afghanistan are trying to bring chaos in the country and disrupt peace negotiations.
"Our country has been faced with challenges in the course of history, we have been patient towards all the disasters and shown bravery. Still there are some internal issues and foreign conspirators are trying to challenge peace negotiations," Mr Salahuddin added while speaking at the Hope for Peace conference held in Kabul on Saturday.
Meanwhile, ...back at the pie fight, Bella opened her mouth at precisely the wrong moment... member of Afghan High Peace Council, Mohammad Amin Waqad believes in a strong role of civil society organizations including universities, parliament, political parties and education entities.
"High Peace Council needs cooperation from parliament, civil society organizations, political parties, universities and education sector,"
"The grinding of the peace processor is Afghan-owned and Afghan-led, and the peace council can only represent Afghan people."
Lack of transparent and honest cooperation of the neighbouring countries including Pakistain has caused major challenges for peace negotiations in Afghanistan. The council officials are still calling on the neighbouring countries to support the Afghan grinding of the peace processor.
This comes as in the conference held in Kabul last week, regional countries including Iran and Pakistain pledged to support Afghanistan.
(Sh.M.Network)-An official of Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a (ASWJ), a pro-Somali government group, affirmed that their recent abandon from towns in central Somalia was just "a military tactics" and he said they will move back to their former positions before long.
Sheik Ahmed Abdullahi Ilka-case, the chairman of ASWJ's executive council in central Somalia, told Shabelle Media in a telephone interview on Saturday that his fighters abandoned the towns after changing their military combat against Al shabab Death Eaters in Hiiran and Galgadud regions.
He denied claims that top ASWJ officials have disagreed with the military strategy against Al shabab Death Eaters in centralSomalia.
Last week, Hundreds of gun-toting Al-Shabaab ... the personification of Somali state failure... fighters have moved back into central Somali towns, including El Bur, Wabho and other neighboring areas in Hiiran and Galgadud region in central Somalia that abandoned by ASWJ and Æthiopian troops over unknown circumstances.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Headstones on World War II military graves in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi have again been desecrated in the second such attack in four months, local officials said on Saturday.
"On Thursday, Christian graves were desecrated for a second time in Benghazi," Mohammed al-Quzairi of the local security committee told AFP, adding that the identity of the assailants was unclear.
The Benghazi civilian council said it was trying to track down those responsible.
"We are cooperating with the security committee to ascertain the identity of the assailants and bring them to justice as quickly as possible," its front man, Khaled al-Jazawi, said.
A similar attack hit the same military cemetery in February.
The assailants shattered headstones of British and allied servicemen who fought in North African desert campaigns against the Nazis during World War II.
Reports at the time blamed the act on Salafists ...Salafists are ostentatiously devout Moslems who figure the ostentation of their piety gives them the right to tell others how to do it and to kill those who don't listen to them... angered by the burning of the Koran at a NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and organization.... base in Afghanistan in early February.
Benghazi, Libya's second city and the cradle of the 2011 revolt that toppled Muammar Qadaffy ...Custodian of Wheelus AFB for 42 long years until he was ejected from the gene pool by his indignant citizens... , has witnessed a wave of attacks against Western targets in recent weeks.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] As Egyptians voted for a new president on Saturday, many of the country's Coptic Christians said they were backing Ahmed Shafiq, a former prime minister they believe can stem a rising Islamist tide.
In the working-class Cairo neighbourhood of Shobra, home to a large Christian community, 30-year-old Makram was proud to declare his support for Shafiq, the last premier to serve under ousted president Hosni Mubarak ...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011...
"We are backing the one who can ensure a measure of security for our community and the country," the government employee said.
"Since the end of the first round on May 24, we launched a mobilisation campaign to get the community to vote for Shafiq and encourage those who are reluctant to go and vote on Saturday and Sunday" in the runoff poll, he added.
Makram denied that the Coptic Church leadership had urged the faithful to vote one way or another, but even without such an endorsement, the Christian community has largely swung their support behind Shafiq's campaign.
And in Shobra, men and women joined long queues outside polling stations set up in local schools from the early hours of the morning, determined to cast their ballots.
While Shafiq's critics dub him a "felool," a pejorative term used by some Egyptians to refer to members of the old regime, Makram countered that his candidate had "a clear vision for the future of the country."
And Shafiq's experience, as a prime minister, aviation minister and air force chief, "will allow him to re-establish security and protect those who are discriminated against," he said.
CAIRO -- They toppled a pharaoh, but now the small circle of liberals, leftists and Islamists who orchestrated Egypt's revolution say they realize they failed to uproot the networks of power that Hosni Mubarak nurtured for nearly three decades.
They were naïve, they say, strung along by the generals who seized power in their name.
Almost as if it was part of a plan...
"The system was like a machine with a plastic cover, and what we did was knock off the cover," said Islam Lotfy, back then a rising star in the Muslim Brotherhood who had predicted that if they ousted the head of state its body would fall. The roots of the ruling elite were "much deeper and darker" than they initially understood, he said.
It's almost as if the ruling military got what it wanted all along -- Mubarak out of the way, his son Gamal especially out of the way to avoid a hereditary state, and the military elite firmly in charge. Funny how that worked...
Even before Egypt's highest court
The cat's paws of the military...
dissolved Parliament on Thursday, and its military rulers reimposed martial law, the once close-knit team of young professionals who guided last year's uprising had been pushed to the sidelines of a presidential runoff between two conservatives: Ahmed Shafik, Mr. Mubarak's last prime minister, and Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group that was Mr. Mubarak's main opposition.
Some said they had become too taken with their own fame, distracted by the news media's attention, and willing to defer to their elders in the Mubarak-era political opposition. They failed to build a movement that could stand against either the Muslim Brotherhood or the old elite.
"We are the spark that ignites the world; we know how to inflame things," said Ahmed Maher, 31, a leader of the April 6 Youth Movement and one of the early organizers. "But when we have a strong entity that can stand on its own feet -- when we can form a government tomorrow -- then we become an alternative." He said his group was embarking on a five-year plan to start building such a movement.
Some said they almost welcomed the rise of Mr. Mubarak's former protégé, Mr. Shafik, because his return could help them rally the public once again.
"When you think about it, the revolutionaries were never in power, so what kind of revolution is it?" said Sally Moore, an Irish Egyptian leftist who was at the forefront of a movement to boycott the elections.
Many of the young leaders say that in those early days they were too afraid of appearing to grab power for themselves. Some say they were just intoxicated by their victory over Mr. Mubarak. "You could say we just wanted to be happy," said Asmaa Mahfouz, another early organizer.
Activists like her became celebrities overnight, she said, and some wrongly believed that appearing on television would spread their ideas and mobilize the public. "We didn't understand that the media isn't an alternative to the streets."
All now say they were successfully manipulated by the military leaders.
Well let's see: you had Mubarak, a military guy, and Sadat, who was a military guy, and Nasser, who was a military guy, and King Farouk, who I think went to Sandhurst...
"We were duped," Mr. Maher of April 6 recalled. "We met with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces on Feb. 14, and they were very cute. They smiled and promised us many things and said, 'You are our children; you did what we wanted to do for many years!' " Then they offered the same smiles and vague promises the next week, he said, and the next month after that.
You could be duped only if you were willing to be duped...
Others fault the Muslim Brotherhood, the 84-year-old Islamist group, Egypt's best-organized political force. Before Mr. Mubarak's ouster, the Brotherhood lent its full support to a united front pushing for the presidential candidacy of the Nobel Prize-winning diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei, an inspiration and mentor to the young organizers. During the revolt in Tahrir Square, the Brotherhood became a pillar of the protests, its leaders taking their cue from the youth.
It's generally how other Islamicist movements (and communist movements for that matter) run a revolution. While the evil king/president/emperor/dictator is in power, the movement plays along with all the other opposition in a 'united front'. As soon as the big cheese is gone the movement asserts itself and jails/exiles/murders the other members of the united front, who then wonder how it was they were duped and betrayed...
But since Mr. Mubarak's ouster, Brotherhood leaders have shown little interest in listening to the younger leaders or consulting with Mr. ElBaradei. Instead, the Brotherhood almost immediately began preparing for elections. With the generals, it backed a referendum scheduling parliamentary elections before the drafting of a new constitution.
"They betrayed us at the first corner and continue to betray us," Ms. Moore said. The resulting timetable killed any hope of unity against the military among those mobilized by the revolt.
"Even though not many of the revolutionary movements got into the Parliament, they were still affected by the polarization," Mr. Maher said. "They were accusing each other of treason, even among the youth groups."
Mr. Lotfy, the Brotherhood's former rising star, was expelled from the group and founded a political party, the Egyptian Current. It allied with the presidential campaign of the dissident Brotherhood leader Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, trying to combine an Islamist background with liberal positions on individual rights and social justice.
Tried to square the circle, did he?
Mr. Lotfy called their centrist project the best hope to defuse the polarization between Islamists and secularists, but most of the liberals or leftists he worked so closely with at the start shunned their efforts because of their Islamist roots. He said he could no longer speak with Ms. Moore, a Coptic Christian who publicly defended the Brotherhood during the initial uprising, "because of the difference in backgrounds."
"Egyptian liberals are not real liberals," he said, accusing many former allies of "Islamophobia."
That word does not mean what you think it means...
Others in their circle say they still talk occasionally but cannot agree. Mr. Lotfy and Mr. Aboul Fotouh "still come from the Brotherhood world," said Shady el-Ghazali Harb, a liberal who voted for a Nasserite socialist in the first round of the presidential race, to avoid either an Islamist or Mr. Shafik. "We cannot have our choice between true Islamists and not-true Islamists," Mr. Ghazali Harb said.
He then joined Ms. Moore in pushing to boycott the election that is now in doubt altogether, hoping the effort would give rise to a broader movement in opposition to the Brotherhood and the old military-business elite.
"You don't find a lot of people around us now," Ms. Moore said. "And we are fighting on two fronts, which makes it difficult."
Mr. Ghazali Harb said he and the others had fallen out of touch with perhaps their group's most prominent member, Ziad el-Elaimy, who was elected to Parliament. Mr. Elaimy has receded from public view since he was censured by parliamentary leaders a few weeks ago for comparing Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the governing military council's leader, to a donkey. Mr. Elaimy did not respond to requests for an interview.
"He disappears a little bit," Mr. Ghazali Harb said, suggesting that perhaps Mr. Elaimy considered his seat in Parliament to be enough for now.
Many young activists who helped start the revolt are returning to Mr. ElBaradei. After he quit the presidential race, saying it was doomed under military rule, he is trying to organize a political movement for liberals opposed to Islamists and military-backed authoritarianism.
Mr. Lotfy, Mr. Maher and Ms. Moore, however, are each going separate ways. Whoever wins the presidency, all vow to keep fighting. "If it is Morsi, I will be in the opposition," Mr. Lotfy said. "If it is Shafik, asylum."
[Yemen Post] The Security Authorities on Saturday launched a comprehensive campaign against all armed scenes and disorders as well as spread and carrying of weapons in Yemen's capital Sanaa, officials said.
The campaign came under orders from the Interior Ministry, which has recently started major efforts to combat security disorders and carrying weapons in main cities, the officials continued.
All security systems are participating in the campaign, which also aims to restore the rule of law and maintain security, promote traffic rules, combat random building and other uncivilized practices in Sanaa, the officials said.
The campaign comes amid persistent unrest including demonstrations by the youth-led people who erupted into the streets to demand the departure of the former regime in early 2011.
The protesters in Yemeni cities have refused to leave the change and freedom squares, even after a West-backed power transfer deal was signed in November, vowing they are staying in their tents until all the gals of the revolution were met.
The two problems have been deepened by the 2011 unrest, with rustics and others roaming the capital and other cities with guns to threaten the public security and peace.
Yemen is one of the countries, where spread of weapons in civilian hands remains a major concern, especially amid soaring rates of illiteracy.
In recent years, the authorities have launched campaigns to disarm the public, but little progress has been reported.
According to some statistics, there about 60 million weapons in civilian hands, more than double Yemen's total population.
(Sh.M.Network) -- The White House is partially lifting the lid of secrecy on its counterterrorism campaign against al-Qaeda in Yemen and Somalia by formally acknowledging for the first time that it is conducting lethal attacks in those countries.
I would comment that this was revealed just in time for the election, but I'd be called both cynical and racist for that...
The White House's semiannual report to Congress on the state of U.S. combat operations abroad, delivered Friday, mentions what has been widely reported for years but never formally acknowledged by the administration: The U.S. military has been taking "direct action" against members of al-Qaeda and affiliates inYemen and Somalia.
The report does not elaborate, but "direct action" is a military term of art that refers to a range of lethal attacks, which in the case of Yemen and Somalia include attacks by armed drones. The report does not mention drones.
The report applies only to U.S.military operations, including those by special operations forces -- not those conducted by the CIA.
"In all cases we are focused on those al-Qaeda members and affiliates who pose a direct threat to theUnited Statesand to our national interests," Pentagon press secretary George Little said after the report's release. "This report contains information about these operations owing to their growing significance in our overall counterterrorism effort."
The report does not provide details of any military operations in eitherYemen or Somalia. It merely acknowledges they have happened. Killings of terror suspects overseas are acknowledged by the administration, but it does not mention the involvement of drones. The CIA and military have separate drone fleets.
The decision by President Barack Obama I mean, I do think at a certain point you've made enough money... to declassify the existence of the counter terror actions in those two countries amounts an incremental move toward greater openness about the use ofU.S.force overseas.
It does not reflect any change in the intensity or basic character of theU.S.campaign to defeat al-Qaeda.
A previous step in the direction of greater official transparency came in April when the White House's counterterrorism chief, John Brennan, made the first formal confirmation that theU.S.uses armed drones against terrorists. But he did not mention their use in specific countries.
The new information in Friday's report comes amid outcries from some in Congress about leaks to the news media about details of classified activities such as the existence of a White House "kill list" of targeted al-Qaeda orcs.
The accusation, mostly by Republicans, is that the White House has orchestrated the leaks to improve Obama's re-election chances, an allegation the president has rejected as "offensive" and "wrong."
Three administration officials who briefed The News Agency that Dare Not be Named on the decision to declassify the existence of the military's counterterrorism campaigns inYemen and Somalia said Obama determined that the time was ripe, in part because theU.S.has built closer relations with the Yemeni government and with governments interested in eliminating thug elements in Somalia.
Somalia has not had a fully functioning government since 1991.
The officials said the declassification of further details in future reports to Congress would remain under White House review. Under the War Powers Resolution of 1973, the White House is required to report to Congress every six months on U.S. combat operations abroad. Friday's report includes a secret attachment with classified details, which was not released publicly.
The last report, on Dec. 15, 2011, made no mention of Yemen or Somalia. Instead it said that in relation to efforts against al-Qaeda, the U.S. was working with partners "with a particular focus on countries within the U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility," which is a broad swath of territory that includes the entire Middle East and Central Asia.
Friday's report was more explicit. It said that in Somalia the U.S. military has worked to counter the terrorist threat posed by al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-associated elements of a orc group called al-Shabaab ... Harakat ash-Shabaab al-Mujahidin aka the Mujahideen Youth Movement. It was originally the youth movement of the Islamic Courts, now pretty much all of what's left of it. They are aligned with al-Qaeda but operate more like the Afghan or Pakistani Taliban...
"In a limited number of cases, theU.S.military has taken direct action in Somalia against members of al-Qaeda, including those who are also members of al-Shabaab, who are engaged in efforts to carry out terrorist attacks against the United States and our interests," it said.
It said theU.S.military also has been working closely with the Yemeni government to "operationally dismantle and ultimately eliminate" the terrorist threat posed by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.
It called AQAP "the most active and dangerous affiliate of al-Qaeda today."
"Our joint efforts have resulted in direct action against a limited number of AQAP operatives and big shots in that country who posed a terrorist threat to the United States and our interests," the report said.
They're not confused - they're just on the other side.
The BBC has come in for further criticism of its national events coverage after it refused to broadcast the unveiling of the RAF Bomber Command Memorial on its main channels.
Bomber Command veterans enlisted the help of Telegraph readers to raise the £5.5 million cost of the monument, which will be unveiled soon.
The RAF Bomber Command Association has been campaigning for a permanent memorial to the 55,573 crew who lost their lives during the war Instead of the showing the event attended by the Queen, eight members of the 7,000 veterans and families the BBC will be showing repeats or live tennis.
Instead, they buried short coverage of the unveilling on one of their channels with the fewest viewers.
The move has been condemned by campaigners who have worked tirelessly to raise the £6 million for a fitting tribute to the 55,000 airmen killed during the Second World War.
It also comes just a fortnight after the BBC was heavily criticised for its lacklustre coverage of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Thames river pageant.
The crews of Bomber Command fought night after night under heavy fire and extreme conditions with grievous losses. For example, of any 100 airmen who flew, 55 were killed on operations or died as result of wounds: three were injured on operations or active service: 12 were taken prisoner of war: two were shot down and evaded capture, while 27 survived a tour of operations (approx. 30). Approximately 4,000 Australians died in Bomber Command in the Second World War. 10,000 Canadians, 1,700 New Zealanders and nearly 1,000 Poles also made the supreme sacrifice. Many other nationalities such as Americans (Hundreds of whom served in RAF Bomber Command), French, Belgians, Czechs and South Africans also died in the service of Bomber Command. It is also often forgotten that around 1,500 ground crew and over 90 WAAFs were also killed.
Over 55,000 Bomber Command aircrew were killed.
At long last a memorial to these crews has been built and is due to be opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 28th June 2012
Her business partner, Abid Hussain, a former activist with a radical Islamic group who has a conviction for violence, secured an invitation to meet David Cameron at Downing Street, raising questions over the Prime Minister's security.
Lady Warsi's decision not to take part in the debate follows allegations that David Cameron banned her from attending a prominent Muslim conference in London last weekend.
She personally paid for potential customers, one of whom was in negotiations over a deal with her firm, to attend a Conservative Party lunch with the Prime Minister last month.
The Sunday Telegraph has also learnt that her business partner, Abid Hussain, a former activist with a radical Islamic group who has a conviction for violence, secured an invitation to meet David Cameron at Downing Street, raising questions over the Prime Minister's security.
The disclosures put Lady Warsi under fresh scrutiny.
Mr Cameron has already asked Sir Alex Allan, the independent adviser on ministerial conduct, to investigate after The Sunday Telegraph disclosed that she had not declared a majority stake in Rupert's Recipes, a restaurant supply firm whose other shareholder is Mr Hussain.
However the disclosure that she apparently used a political function to promote her business appears to breach clause one of the Ministerial Code, which states: "Ministers must ensure that no conflict arises, or appears to arise, between their public duties and their private interests."
Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, will reveal the scheme to build a new nuclear deterrent in a move which will cause tensions with the Liberal Democrats.
He will announce a deal ordering nuclear reactors for a new class of submarines to replace the current Vanguard fleet, which carries Britain's Trident nuclear arsenal.
The decision is the most public statement yet that the Government is committed to a full-scale replacement of Trident - something opposed by the Lib Dems, who want a cheaper way of maintaining nuclear weapons.
Mr Hammond will say that a Rolls-Royce plant at Raynesway, in Derby, will be given the order to build the reactors, and that the Ministry of Defence will fund an 11-year refit of the plant. The contract will create 300 jobs and many more in the factory's supply chain.
But it will create a rift with the Liberal Democrats. One senior Liberal Democrat source told The Sunday Telegraph this weekend that the replacement of Trident remains a "massive fault line" between the Coalition's two parties.
The Lib Dems pledged in their 2010 manifesto that they would oppose a "like-for-like" replacement of the submarines and the nuclear warhead-carrying missiles which they fire.
Nick Harvey, the Lib Dem defence minister, is leading a review into cheaper ways to maintain the nuclear deterrent and wants to abandon the so-called "Moscow criterion", which recommends Britain retains an arsenal capable of destroying the Russian capital.
The new contract, to be announced in the next few days, represents the Government's biggest commitment to replacing the ageing Trident fleet, at a total cost of up to £20 billion. Ministry of Defence sources said that it was possible to go ahead with the reactor contract now because defence cuts and reforms to procurement meant new investments could begin.
A senior MoD source said: "This is good news for the Royal Navy and a great boost for jobs. These cutting edge reactors will support the UK's submarines for decades and are a vital part of ordering long lead items for the new nuclear deterrent submarines.
"We have balanced the MoD's books and can now get on with ordering major pieces of equipment for the armed forces to protect us against future threats."
Conservatives are determined to replace "like for like" the Vanguard submarines, which are expected to be decommissioned in the late 2020s, Their Trident II D-5 missiles are expected to remain in service until 2042. It is undecided whether the Government will opt for three or four submarines.
Twenty years after the end of the Cold War, there are many new threats to international security, with growing fears surrounding Iran, China and Russia, Conservatives say. It is also claimed that failing to commission a new wave of submarines could cost up to 15,000 British jobs.
Although the Coalition Agreement between the Tories and Lib Dems said the parties would "maintain Britain's nuclear deterrent", it also said that "Liberal Democrats will continue to make the case for alternatives".
A £350 million contract to design the new submarines went to BAE Systems, Babcock and Rolls-Royce. But the symbolism of ordering reactors is far greater.
The new nuclear submarine contract with Rolls-Royce will be seen as one in a series of policies launched by the Tories which are designed to reconnect with the party's grassroots. In recent weeks, Conservative ministers have unveil a crackdown on illegal immigrants and foreign prisoners, pledged new action on anti-social families and given ground on the prospect of a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU.
The decision by Conservatives ministers to sign such a high-profile contract comes at a time of tense relations between the two parties. Many Tory MPs are seething with the Lib Dems for failing to support Jeremy Hunt in last week's Commons motion calling for an investigation into the Culture Secretary's handling of News Corporation's BSkyB bid.
And it was made despite Sir Menzies Campbell, the Lib Dem grandee, making an open public call for ministers to abandon the "Moscow criterion".
"Nuclear weapons have no intrinsic merit," the party's former leader said recently, adding that "it is unthinkable today that Britain would contemplate the destruction of the heavily populated capital of Russia -- or any other city."
However, opposition to a new generation of nuclear weapons will not be confined to Liberal Democrats. A poll two years ago found that 63% of the public said they supported scrapping Britain's nuclear deterrent to cut the deficit in the public finances.
Some senior military figures have also opposed Trident, arguing that it consumes too much of the defence budget and leaves less money for front-line forces.
General Lord Dannatt, the former chief of the army staff, previously said in an interview: "It is a very fine judgement as to whether we should continue to have a nuclear deterrent or not.
"I think if we are looking at the character and nature of future conflicts and if we think we will be dealing with hybrid warfare or asymmetric threats, then may be for the next few years it makes sense to keep that ultimate deterrent in case some government in five, ten, or 15 years would want to threaten the security of our country.
"At present we should keep it but not forever."
The push towards a new generation of nuclear submarines comes as the military is facing deep cuts, with the number of armed forces personnel set to be cut from 180,000 to 150,000 over the next five years.
A report published earlier this year by CentreForum, a liberal think tank, said: "Replacing Trident is nonsensical. There is no current or medium-term threat to the UK which justifies the huge costs involved.
"A critical assessment of the UK's strategic position and military requirements leads to a clear conclusion: Trident makes no effective contribution to our security.
"Cancelling it will provide a unique opportunity to re-balance and revitalise Britain's forces for the 21st century."
Continued on Page 49
[Jerusalem Post] Bülent Yildirim, a key figure behind the 2010 Gazoo flotilla, under investigation for funding terror group, Turkish media reports.
Turkish legal authorities are investigating allegations that one of the key figures behind the May 2010 Gazoo flotilla, Bülent Yildirim, was involved in transferring funds to al-Qaeda, Turkish daily Habertürk reported on Friday.
Bülent Yildirim is the president of the IHH, a Turkish charity that was one of the main planners of the Gazoo flotilla. On May 31, 2010, IDF commandos raided one of the flotilla vessels attempting to break the blockade of the Gazoo Strip, the Mavi Marmara, killing nine Turkish pro-Paleostinian activists. While Turkey has accused Israel of unprovoked aggression and demanded an apology for the deaths, Israel maintains that the commandos were confronted by violent IHH gunnies when they boarded the vessel and acted in self defense.
The IHH is widely considered a terrorist organization by a number of bodies - including the Israeli government, and has been accused of maintaining ties with a number of terror organizations.
According to the Habertürk report, special prosecutors in both Istranbul and Diyarbakir are conducting separate investigations into claims that Yildirim has been secretly "providing financial aid to al-Qaeda via his foundation."
The IHH, short for the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (Insani Yardim Vakfi), is an Widows & Orphans Ammunition Fund that was founded in the mid-90s to provide aid to Bosnia Moslems. Since then, it has been involved in charity operations in a number of Moslem and Middle Eastern countries, including Indonesia, Pakistain, Iraq, Leb and aid missions to the Paleostinian territories.
According to the Israeli NGO The Intelligence and Information Center, the IHH is affiliated with Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, and the Union of the Good, an Islamic umbrella affiliated with the Moslem Brüderbund.
In 2006, a report issued by the Danish Institute for International Studies stated that during the 1990s the IHH maintained links with al-Qaeda and a number of "global jihad networks." The report also said that the Turkish government launched an investigation into the IHH starting December 1997 after receiving intelligence that the IHH had bought automatic weapons from Islamist terrorists.
The report said that following the revelation, the Turkish government launched a raid on the organization's Istanbul offices, where they found weapons, explosives, and instructions for bomb-making. The report added that an examination of documents found at the IHH office indicated that the group was planning to take part in terrorist activities in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Bosnia.
According to the study, a French intelligence report found that in the mid-1990s Yildirim recruited soldiers for jihad activities in a number of Moslem countries and that the IHH transferred money, firearms, and explosives to jihadists in said countries.
[Dawn] A orc commander in northwest Pakistain has warned polio ...Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by infection with the poliovirus. Between 1840 and the 1950s, polio was a worldwide epidemic. Since the development of polio vaccines the disease has been largely wiped out in the civilized world. However, since the vaccine is known to make Moslem pee-pees shrink and renders females sterile, bookish, and unsubmissive it is not widely used by the turban and automatic weapons set... vaccination teams to stay away from his area bordering Afghanistan.
The statement by Hafiz Gul Bahadur is an obstacle to efforts to beat polio on Pakistain, one of only three nations where the virus is endemic.
The threat came in a pamphlet distributed Saturday in markets in the troubled North Wazoo tribal region. It said spies could enter the region under the cover of vaccination teams.
Bahadur controls territory there. He has focused on battling US and NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all.... troops across the border in Afghanistan and is believed to have a truce with the Pakistain army.
DR AQ Khan turns pro-Imran
Pakistain's father of the nuclear bomb Dr AQ Khan told Mashriq that Zardari was a PhD in politics but he should learn politics of reconciliation from Imran Khan. Nawaz Sharif learned nothing from his decade of exile and when he got ready to return to Pakistain he left his brains abroad. He said PPP, ANP, N-League and JUIF were all opportunists. He said he had not yet decided to join Imran Khan. (He later did?)
Taliban spent 2 crore on Bannu jailbreak
Daily Mashriq reported that the Taliban had admitted that they spent Rs 2 crore
According to this handy on-line converter, 2 crore equals US $0.359 million, or as we would say $359,000, which is a lot of money. Oops - my apologies, that was using Indian rupees. In Pakistani rupees it equals $213,000, which is somewhat less.
to bribe the bureaucratic chain of commend to effect the jailbreak that released 186 Islamic fascistiand criminals. They said that they were successful because of the support they got from the local population of Bannu. Maps of the jail building were provided to them.
AQ Khan on Nawaz Sharif's corruption
AQ Khan wrote in Jang that Nawaz Sharif ... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf... 's yellow cabs scam cost the banks $500 million, of which he pocketed about $60 million. His Lahore/Islamabad Motorway scam was worth $160 million. He had got loans written off worth $140 million. He pocketed $60 million as refund for the export of sugar. He siphoned off $58 million in the purchase of wheat from the US and Canada. There may be many more such instances, he wrote, which have not been reported.
Imran Khan upbraids courts
Quoted in Mashriq Imran Khan ... aka Taliban Khan, who is the lightweight's lightweight... said that he was not satisfied with the working of the Supreme Court and he felt that it had come under pressure. He said the people too were disappointed. He said if the government was made to stay in office a few months more Pakistain would be overtaken by a storm of high prices and unemployment. He said his party will change the fortunes of the country.
He works by the Poof Method, you know. He says, "Poof!" and it is so.
Loans of Foreign Minister's family
Daily Jinnah reported that the father in law of the foreign minister Mrs Khar, Arif Gulzar, husband Feroz Gulzar, and brother in law Asad Gulzar had cases of default against them which were taken on Galaxy Textile Mill but were written off.
I think I'm distantly related to the family, too: second cousins four times removed through my paternal great-aunt. Family lore says that's where we got our eyebrows.
What about your high cheekbones?
Those came from the other Indian continent...and in the end I couldn't get any money for having them, darn it. But the above story makes me hope for some profit from the eyebrows.
Siachen not disputed!
Daily Nawa-e-Waqt editorialised that Nawaz Sharif while in Gyari sector of Siachen where Pak troops were buried by an avalanche recommended that Pakistain should unilaterally come down from the 'disputed' glacier so that Pakistain could cut down on expenses and spend the money on the poor masses. But Nawaz Sharif should know that Siachen was not disputed but a part of Azad Kashmire which is inside Pakistain and that India had occupied it.
Allah recreates history at his whim as well as the entire universe, which is how we know the above is true.
AQ Khan on Zardari's corruption
Writing in Jang father of Pak nuclear bomb Dr AQ Khan stated that when Benazir became prime minister in late 1988 after the death of Gen Ziaul Haq, she immediately posted 26,000 hardcore PPP activists on important positions, including those in the nationalised banks. She and Zardari gouged bank loans and skimmed off Rs 410 million, with which they bought majority shares in three sugar mills. Zardari managed to receive Rs40 million through his crony, the fake doctor Usman Farooqi, managing director of Pakistain Steel Mills.
Nawaz Sharif stands firm on Siachen!
Daily Express quoted Nawaz Sharif as saying that despite criticism of his statement that Pak troops should withdraw from Siachen unilaterally he still believed that there would be no harm if Pakistain called down its troops without India first agreeing to withdraw simultaneously (pehlay fauj bulanay mein koi qabahat nahim).
Imran opposed to unilateral climb-down
Daily Express quoted Imran Khan as saying that Nawaz Sharif was wrong to advise that Pak troops should unilaterally climb down from Siachen heights. He said the solution lay in both India and Pakistain agreeing to recall their troops together.
Who will own eunuchs?
"Not I," said the duck.
Daily Express reported that khwaja sara (eunuch) community was at a loss to write their father's name on the ID card applications. Some did not know who their father was and had known only the guru whose property they also inherited by reason of being a part of the guru's household. The ID card for the khwaja sara persons had become a subject of disagreement.
General Aurakzai speaks out
Retired General Ali Jan Aurakzai told Nawa-e-Waqt that in his latest book he had recounted how he had arranged peace deals with the Taliban in 2002 which were violated under the influence of the Americans. Aurakzai was first corps commander then governor NWFP and was known for the peace deals he made in the Tribal Areas. He said he had told the story in his book. Once President Bush asked whether he was scared of Taliban killing him; to which Musharraf had replied that he himself belonged to the Tribal areas and was popular there. Aurakzai was given a bullet proof vehicle by Musharraf.
Hindu girls convert of free will?
No. What fun would that be?
Reported in Jinnah the Supreme Court let the Hindu girls who had converted to Islam and married Mohammedan boys walk away with their new partners after ascertaining from them their willingness. On the other hand the Hindu parents of the girls objected that their daughters were under pressure and could not express their real intent - which was to return to the parents. They said they would appeal once again to the Court to pay regard to the fact that the girls converted because of the tough lowly status of the Hindu community.
Of course there are good Pakistanis. But the Land of the Pure has chosen to embody every form of evil.
Haroon Rashid versus Nawaz Sharif
Writing in Jang Haroon Rasheed stated that Nawaz Sharif was wrong to say that Pakistain should unilaterally (pehel karo) withdraw its troops from the Siachen front. This would be like letting someone occupy a piece of one's property and then instead of ousting him get oneself ousted so that the trespasser should stay there permanently. Will Nawaz Sharif satisfy his party workers in Azad Kashmire on this position?
Col Safdar on Siachen
Columnist Hamid Mir wrote in Jang that the visit of Nawaz Sharif to Gyari post will do a lot of good in the Gilgit-Baltistan region whose 60 sons had been lost under the avalanche. He added that Nawaz Sharif's pilot Col Safdar once saved the life of a British climber but was served a show-cause notice for doing so against the rules; but after the BBC announced that Col Safdar was cited in the UK for bravery the show-cause notice was withdrawn and Tamgha-e-Shujaat given to him.
Haroon Rasheed versus Imran Khan
Prize winning columnist Haroon Rasheed wrote in Jang that Imran Khan was wrong in saying that contact of Pakistain with the people of Kashmire had weakened because the Kashmiris are now set on the road to seeking independence. This was a wrong position to take because Imran Khan cannot shape his strategy like this (khaak lahiya amal ikhtiar karen gay.) Imran Khan did not understand the significance of the half a century of struggle of the Kashmire cause.
People steal Imran Khan's chairs
Daily Express reported that the grand meeting of Imran Khan's Tehrik Insaf in Quetta became unruly after Imran Khan had delivered his speech. About 12,000 people got out of control and workers got on to the stage and started breaking everything in sight. People began taking away the chairs provided for their seating while others simply resorted to throwing them around. Some disgruntled workers also indulged in hostile slogan-raising.
OMG! Hostile slogan raising? One simply cannot associate with such people!
[An Nahar] Turkey's foreign minister called Saturday on the U.N. Security Council to take "a new measure" in Syria to stop the crisis there from getting worse after U.N. observers suspended their mission.
"In the event that this observer mission pulls back, there is need for the U.N. Security Council to immediately do a situation assessment and take a new measure to ensure the humanitarian tragedy does not move onto a next level," Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told news hounds.
The minister's remarks came after U.N. observers announced they were suspending their mission in Syria, on grounds that the intensifying violence risked their lives and hindered their ability to observe and report.
"The announcement (of suspension) came at a time we were expecting an increase in the number of observers and a more effective deployment on the ground," Davutoglu said.
He also spoke of the risks to the observers, which he said necessitated a re-evaluation by the Security Council "to secure the presence of the U.N. on the ground with a more effective mandate," without elaborating.
His comments come against the backdrop of a call from Burhan Ghalioun, politburo chief of the opposition Syrian National Council, for the U.N. to deploy armed peacekeepers on the ground.
As violence continues to escalate in Syria, the number of Syrian refugees who flee into Turkey also rises, Davutoglu said.
"The flow of refugees into Turkey worries us extremely, also for humanitarian reasons," he said.
Multiple camps established close to the Syrian border in Turkey's southeast are now home to 30,900 Syrians who have fled the violence in their homelands since the uprising in Syria started 16 months ago.
[An Nahar] Israel expressed concern ...meaning the brow was mildly wrinkled, the eyebrows drawn slightly together, and a thoughtful expression assumed, not that anything was actually done or indeed that any thought was actually expended... on Saturday after reports emerged that Syrian president Bashir al-Assad may be losing control over military assets, including air defense base.
According to Israeli channel 10, concern is mounting in Israel over the possibility that Hizbullah will try to move sophisticated weaponry, including Scud missiles, from Syria to Leb to protect them in the event of Assad's downfall.
The channel obtained air footage of the scud missiles transport to unknown whereabouts.
The channel news hound Alon Ben-David said that the video increases the Israeli authorities fear over the possibility of the Syrian arms reaching organizations like Hizbullah.
The scud missiles are shown to be moved from the Syrian capital Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... as the regime fears that its missile arsenal is being jeopardized.
"With Syria in the midst of an uprising, there is concern that Hizbullah might try to move the missiles into Leb to prevent them from being captured by rebels or militias," the Jerusalem Post newspaper said.
The daily noted that the delivery of Scud missiles to Hizbullah would be a significant increase to the organization's capabilities.
Syrian Scud Ds have a range of about 700 kilometers and can carry non-conventional warheads.
[Iran Press TV] The deputy chairman of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) says Turkey's interference in the internal affairs of Syria serves the interests of the United States and Israel.
Oktay Vural said in a presser in Ankara on June 14 that Turkey's interference in Syria is aimed at ensuring the security of Israel.
Vural also stated that Washington is seeking to get Turkey engaged in the Syrian turmoil that began in March 2011.
The Turkish politician also warned against a foreign plot to disintegrate Turkey by inciting "ethnic division" in the country.
The comments came several days after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan censured the government of Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Light of the Alawites... over its approach to reforms in the Arab country.
"I have not seen him (Assad) approach reforms with a democratic understanding," Erdogan told news hounds in Ankara on June 3.
The Turkish prime minister also stated that President Assad is taking "an autocratic approach" to the issues inside Syria.
Erdogan made the remarks on the same day when Assad said in a televised address to the parliament that Syria is "facing a war from abroad."
Turkey has also expressed its support for arming the rebels fighting against the Syrian government over the past months.
On March 4, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the "international community's message might be conveyed to the Syrian administration via certain methods including the arming of the (so-called) Syrian National Council (SNC)."
The Syrian president said the country was also "facing attempts to weaken Syria [and] breach its illusory sovereignty."
"Standing up against the conspiracy is not easy, but we will overcome the obstacles," Assad stated.
The US-born terror criminal mastermind Anwar al Awlaki used more than 60 e-mail addresses and sent several thousand e-mails to his followers, some with encryption and code words, while under FBI surveillance -- according to a five-month investigation by FOX News.
Some of those e-mails were exchanged with accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan.
"FOX Files: The Enemy Within," which debuted on FOX News Channel at 10:00 p.m. on June 15, draws on exclusive interviews and firsthand accounts of the Fort Hood massacre that killed 13 people and injured at least 43 others on Nov. 5, 2009. For the first time, victims of the shooting, as well as senior Sherlocks, break their silence about the worst act of terrorism on US soil since 9/11.
Anwar al Awlaki's communications with MAJ Hasan were investigated by the San Diego field office of the FBI's JTTF for an as yet unspecified period of time, but generally referred to as "years". This is a "blame game" between the Field Office and the Bureau in Washington, and quite likely a very shabby administration and DOJ cover up. Most will recall, whilst the principal was the subject of a lengthy investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the administration was initially reluctant to classify the Fort Hood shooting as an act of terrorism.
California was one of six states to initially test the DHS Homeland Security Information System-Intel(HSIN-Intel) pilot, which allows fusion centers to directly share classified information to identify trends and patterns that may represent links to terrorism. San Diego and L.A. use the Intelligence & Terrorism Alert Network for Southern California (TITAN), which is an info and sharing initiative owned and operated by the California JTTF.
The notion that for years no one in the San Diego JTTF permitted Anwar al Awlaki and MAJ Nidal Hasan intelligence collection to be TITAN fused and shared with DoD is quite difficult if not impossible to fatham. What we do know is that al Awlaki was killed by a CIA/JSOC drone strike in Sept of 2011, and is no longer available to testify or provide additional information.
The 40-year-old al-Awlaki had been in the U.S. crosshairs since his killing was approved by President Obama in April 2010, making him the first American placed on the CIA "kill or capture" list. The shooting at Fort Hood took place on 5 Nov 2009. Again, Anwar Al Awlaki was pushed to the top of the "drone zap" list and was killed in Sept of 2011. Evidently further exploitation of Anwar Al Awlaki's extensive network of terrorist contacts was no longer desired.
Quite obviously, MAJ Hasan was a valuable intelligence source and link to Anwar Al Awlaki and his followers. Permitting MAJ Hasan to graduate from terrorism sympathizer to terrorist operator could have been prevented through his detention on any number of illegal activities not the least of which, encouring Muslims via his web site, to kill US soldiers. Unfortunately, this apparent failed source operation resulted 13 soldiers paying the ultimate price and another 30 being seriously wounded.
At least in my view, in the category of botched US intelligence operations, the MAJ Hasan case leads the pack. The death of Anwar Al Awlaki however, provided the opportunity for a total cock-up to be transformed into a terrorism head-count victory. A victory for some anyway.