[Maghrebia] The Moroccan UN Ambassador called for intensifying regional co-operation in the fight against terrorism, MAP reported on Thursday (May 28th). Speaking during a UN debate Tuesday regarding sanctions against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Mohamed Lolichki noted that the Maghreb region continues to be exposed to terrorist acts. Given the increasingly close links between international terrorism, organized crime and drug and human trafficking, "individual States cannot succeed without collective action at the regional and international levels", he said. The ambassador also affirmed Morocco's commitment to supporting all initiatives to eradicate the terrorism threat.
Interpol just won't cut it anymore, it seems. Good for Morocco. But then, their king traces his lineage back to Mohammad.
Posted by: Fred ||
05/29/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in North Africa
Morocco has always been a bright spot in Africa. They were the first country to officially recognize the fledgling United States. The royal family there dates back centuries, and have always been moderate, while moving ahead with the rest of the world only with what they considered to be compatible with their Islamic faith. It also has one of the most diverse populations in Africa, and allows several Islamic sects near-total religious freedom. The Jews driven out of Spain in the early 1500s found a home in Morocco.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
05/29/2009 13:13 Comments ||
[Iran Press TV Latest] Ecuadorian Defense Minister Javier Ponce Cevallos says his country is going beyond the Cold War rules and seeking defense ties with Iran. In a snub to US complaints, Ponce said, "we have our own policies, our own geostrategic positions, and what interests us, with Iran for instance, is boosting information technology and our national defense strategies," he told a radio channel in Ecuador.
Where else would you look for IT help other than Iran?
Actually, Iran's main university has a pretty strong IT program. They turn out a lot of students with strong math skills too. Meanwhile this country is in serious trouble with our younger workforce skills. I've been meeting with a lot of research teams in the US the last several months - by far the vast majority of grad students have been Iranian, Chinese and Indian, with a smaller contingent of eastern Europeans, Pakistanis and Arabs. I can count on one hand the number of native born American grad students/post docs in my science field that have been on those teams. Not a good time for us to be complacent - we are in real trouble, folks, and it WILL affect our defense posture and economic situation in the next decade.
Hokay, I stand corrected ...
He explained that Ecuador is trying to "open up to collaboration with nations that are very willing to help Ecuador develop its own defense industry."
The Ecuadorian and Iranian presidents in 2008 agreed to expand relations by establishing embassies in Tehran and Quito. This comes as the White House has expressed discomfort with Iran's growing influence in Latin America.
Ponce commented on the issue and said that his country plans to shut the US military base at Manta in western Ecuador within four months. "I believe that eventually there will be nothing left, and the US is removing all its infrastructure," he said.
Halfway down the article, and I'm still coming to terms with our interlocutor operating under the name of "ponce". I think I need to take a nap.
Despite strong domestic opposition, former Ecuadorian president Jamil Mahuad signed a deal that allowed the US in 1999 to use the base for ten years. In February, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Iran's close alliance with certain Latin American countries has caused more concern for him than Russia's recent naval maneuvers in the region. "I'm concerned about the level of frankly subversive activity that the Iranians are carrying on in a number of places in Latin America," Robert Gates told a Senate committee, without elaborating on what he meant by "subversive."
A number of leftist states in the region, namely Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, have all become allies of Iran in recent years and support Tehran's opposition to the unipolar international order built around US interests. Gates also accused Iran of "opening a lot of offices" in the region to meddle in the internal affairs of Latin American countries, despite the fact that the US has been meddling in Latin America's internal affairs -- often violently -- for over a century.
By adopting the so-called "Monroe Doctrine" [(named after James Monroe, the fifth US president 1817-1825)], the US has claimed for itself paternalistic oversight in Latin American affairs, in what it considers its 'backyard'. This view is rejected by the new set of democratically-elected, left-leaning governments of that continent which have replaced the US-backed military juntas.
Just as it was rejected by the old set of leftist revolutionaries and rightist juntists not backed by the US. The romantic idea of Latin America is that they didn't do it to themselves. No doubt this round will end just as poorly for the participants.
I can count on one hand the number of native born American grad students/post docs in my science field that have been on those teams. Not a good time for us to be complacent - we are in real trouble, folks, and it WILL affect our defense posture and economic situation in the next decade.
Why bother, the two decades of H1B visa programs has basically removed any incentive to put the time in only to see the lobbyists in Washington undermine your employment opportunities by making hiring foreign more cost effective for corporations. H1B was to be a temporary solution to a shortage, but has by its long run killed the process of growing our own.
Sad. Equidor is ideally placed as a spaceport. The capital is high, not far from ocean and potential rail traffic. Pretty much right on the equator with mass jungle downrange. I'd love to see Equador team up with one of the new space racing nations rather than the mullahs, a move which really seems to be a bluff for more CIA money.
The problem in all Latin American countries, from Mexico to Chile, is that the monied class makes all the decisions, and the poor remain poor, with little chance for improvement. That's one reason we see tens of thousands of immigrants from those countries coming across the US border every month. Hugo is popular because he claims he's going to change the system. He is, but not the way the locals believe. Hugo is a socialist who wants to make everyone equally miserable under his dictatorial rule. The destruction caused by such dictators is why Latin America has never reached its lofty rhetorical goals, and why so many people remain poor. While the US has not always been "right" in interfering, most of the time it did so because some local tinpot was killing Americans simply because they were Americans. IIRC, the US has never invaded any nation in South America.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
05/29/2009 13:24 Comments ||
[Kyodo: Korea] A key U.S. policymaker on East Asian security issues said Thursday the U.N. Security Council should adopt a resolution with ŽŽteethŽŽ in order to show North Korea ŽŽconsequencesŽŽ for its recent nuclear test. Michael Schiffer, the newly appointed U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense, criticized the test as ŽŽextremely provocative and extremely bellicoseŽŽ and called for Pyongyang to abide by a joint statement issued in September 2005 at the six-party multilateral talks on denuclearizing the communist country.
[Iran Press TV Latest] The Kremlin, in its latest statement, has opposed the "language of sanctions" against North Korea over its nuclear tests. "We need to show self-possession and patience and hold consultations on all the questions of concern to the parties dealing with this problem," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said on Thursday. It's been 56 years.
In a veiled reference to the US and Japan, he said, "We hope that the latest actions by North Korea will not be used by other states as an excuse for the forced build up of their military potential and will not be turned into a new... arms race in the region." What's North Korea doing, if not an "arms race"?
The statement comes after Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for a 'tough' stance against North Korea in response to its nuclear testing. "Define 'tough'."
The US and its allies at the UN Security Council are pressing for additional sanctions against North Korea. Which seem appropriate.
The issue has sparked fears of a regional war. The US and South Korea are on high alert as a result of an announcement by the North that it had scrapped the treaty that ended the Korean war about 50 years ago. The one they made when they were getting their asses kicked.
North Korea shut down its main reactor in Yongbyon in June 2007 and made a declaration of its nuclear assets a year later, in return for better relations with the US and financial aid. That worked well.
However, relations deteriorated again when the US did not deliver on its promised aid and then sponsored a UN Security Council resolution against North Korea when the country launched a rocket carrying a communications satellite in April 2009. It sure looked like a ballistic missile launch.
Following the anti-North Korea resolution, Pyongyang expelled inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency and resumed its nuclear activities, culminating in a nuclear explosive test on May 25. It was a communications explosion.
North Korea's nuclear testing earlier this week triggered noisy reactions from the US and its regional allies South Korea and Japan.
Heh, I think we need a pic of Louie Armstrong to go along with our pics of the Fat Lady and the Accordion Lady ...
Posted by: Steve White ||
05/29/2009 9:41 Comments ||
Bush should have removed the executive order forbidding assassinations. Obama should do so now. There is no reason we should allow entire populations to suffer when a single death can potentially solve the problem and send a strong message to other leaders. PLus as a Democracy with orderly change of government in our make-up we are far better positioned for an assassin war type scenario (and besides our Secret Service is awesome and could protect our guy far better anyway).
Second, what's the point of having the Democrats in charge if we can't have James Carvell or someone similar blast back at the North Koreans with insane upside-down and inside out rhetoric?
Third I wish someone would have listened to James Lilecks and next time they have a nuke test, nuke the site with a small scale bomb that might be mistaken for the bomb being tested, thus destroying the testing and anyone associated with it. Then we can deny any connection and threaten them for their dangerous ways.
North Korea's nuclear testing earlier this week triggered noisy reactions from the US and its regional allies South Korea and Japan.
If Darth Cheney had ever really earned his reputation, we would have long since implemented a quiet policy of assassination for little shits like this Iranian anklebiter and the North Korean mic frothers. It might not accomplish anything, but at least it would have bred some basic respect into the insolent little bastards, and taught them to think twice before mouthing off at the giant.
I suppose it's too late now - Obama & Co. are busily sawing us off at the ankles, so it's likely that our days of gianthood are numbered.
Posted by: Mitch H. ||
05/29/2009 12:41 Comments ||
Than what, Russia? Do you really think my filing cabinet is empty on this?
To hell with you. China gets it.
You use it to weaken the west. Won't work.
Let the Ruskies and the Chicoms know, if Kimmie does anything and we have to retaliate, we're coming after them. Kimmie is their baby. If they don't do something about it or at least step aside while we do then they are responsible.
[Kyodo: Korea] Prime Minister Taro Aso indicated Thursday that the government has been urging the United States to put North Korea back on its blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism following MondayŽs nuclear test by Pyongyang. In response to a lawmakerŽs request that Japan pressure the United States to return North Korea to the list, Aso said, ŽŽThings are moving in line with what you hope for, although I cannot tell you what I talked about (with U.S. President Barack Obama) on the phone.ŽŽ
WORLD MIL FORUM > IIUC JAPANESE PRIME MINSTER TARO ASO: JAPAN PROBABLY HAS THE LEGAL ABILITY/RIGHT TO PREEMPTIVELY ATTACK NORTH KOREA IFF NECESARY [1955 US-Japan treatise]. JAPAN'S RULING LDP PARTY ALSO BELIEVES THAT SHOULD HAVE THIS LEGAL RIGHT AND MILITARY ABILITY.
There is a new Sheriff in town, and he's a big talker. Mr Taro Aso, you should probably be planning to protect your own ranch for awhile. The threat alone, might get some other neighbors to help stop the bandits.
Japan should consider purchasing Israeli arms(nukes) to defend themselves, backing up any agreements with the US, and to get China's attention. All hands should be on deck to ensure everyone fully cooperates.
The Japanese don't need to buy Israeli nukes. They can just pull the plans out of storage & fire up the manufacturing process. Admittedly, they wouldn't be turning out LGM-118A Peacekeepers, but it's not as if they'd be necessary to flash-fry Pyongyang.
Posted by: Mitch H. ||
05/29/2009 12:44 Comments ||
On the opening day of any war between North and South Korea, the US should turn the Demilitarized Zone into a nuclear dustbowl. We should sell the USS Kitty Hawk to Japan, with broad hints that they should extend their military to the point where they are able to defend the Ryukyus and re-integrate the Kuriles the next time Russia falls apart. Such an ability would also allow them to defend themselves from any rash activity by Kimmie or his successor(s). If I were a betting man, I'd be betting that Japan is secretly building up a nuclear arsenal and delivery capability, and began shortly after the first Nork test. IIRC, Japan has an indigenous capability to provide most of its own military hardware, including hunter/killer submarines. Japan also needs to build an indigenous aircraft capable of reaching the Yalu and returning to bases in Japan.
North Korea has a huge army, armed with equipment "given" to them by the Soviets and China. They have little in the way of logistics and maintenance, however, and battlefield damage can't be readily repaired or replaced.
If you haven't already read it, I highly recommend "Red Phoenix", by Larry Bond. It is set in Korea during the time of a second Korean War. It's a little optimistic, but does highlight some of the problems the Norks would have in invading the South.
Posted by: Old Patriot ||
05/29/2009 13:38 Comments ||
[Kyodo: Korea] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday reiterated the strong U.S. commitment to defending Japan and South Korea as North KoreaŽs nuclear and missile tests heightened the security concerns of these U.S. allies. ŽŽI want to underscore the commitment that the United States has and intends always to honor for the defense of South Korea and Japan,ŽŽ she said. ŽŽThat is part of our alliance obligation, which we take very seriously.ŽŽ
WORLD MIL FORUM > IIUC VALUES OF THE GENERATIONS [Gener Gap]: CAN CHINA'S [youthful/young] ARMY WIN THE NEXT WAR?; + NOT "DEFENSE IN DEPTH, BUT OFFENSE IN DEPTH": CHINA HISTORICALLY EMERGES IN A FAR BETTER OR STRONGER GEOPOL POSITION WHEN IT WAGES WAR AGZ ITS ENEMIES OUTSIDE OF CHINA. IOW, e.g. CHINA AS THE HISTORICAL "Sick Man of Asia" + Boxer Rebellion + Sino-Japanese Wars.,......@ milyuhns of casualties and loss, destruction of territories; versus PLA-led US defeat in Korean War, US failure in Vietnam, 1960's Sino-Soviet Border Clashes, + 1979 Sino-Vietnam Border War.
* SAME > CHINA'S STRATEGISTS ARE STEADILY COMING TO RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF PROLIFIC STRATEGIC AIR-SPACE POWER IN SUPPORT OF GROUND ARMY, NAVAL OPERATIONS AND OTH FORCE PROJECTION. IN ITS PAST, CHINA DID NOT HAVE NOR USED ITS AIR FORCES TO SUPPORT THE ARMY TO THE EXTENT THE US DID DURING WW2, KOREA, + VIETNAM, NOT EVEN DURING ITS 1979 BORDER WAR AGZ VIETNAM.
SAME > BRITISH MEDIAS: CHINA PLANNED TO BUT 210 MIRAGE-2000's. OUT OF 3400 COMBAT AIRCRAFT IN THE PLAAF, THE USAF ESTIMATES 2325 WILL NEED TO BE REPLACED DUE TO OBSOLESCENCE; + US-JAPAN-TAIWAN SHOCK: VENEZUELA MAY TRANSFER US-MADE F-16's TO CHINA. US 1982 sale to Venez of F16A/B versions + via F16 trasnfers to China via other Latin Amer nations = 1980's US Latin Amer allies. Despite their age + block versions, these older F16's would be among the most advanced and potent in the PLAAF's inventory, even agz more contemporary/newer RUSS SU30's. The USA = USAF, USDOD also fears F16 tech transfers to China via improvements in PRC-TAIWAN RELATIONS???
Whats telling is that the Japanese feel so secure they aree going to ditch their constitution, build up an army, and acquire nukes. Good show Obama, oh wait can I blame him without being called a racists?
Seriously, if Japan quietly sent word to China that it was going to develop nukes in response to the Nork tests, China would have no choice but to get tough on Kim.
And don't think it would be an idle threat. Japan has the technology to go nuclear (even thermonuclear) and develop a sophisticated delivery system pretty darn quick. For that matter, the same is true of South Korea.
Our assurances mean nothing, and probably delay a real solution to the problem.
From the 1980s on, Japan has had the plutonium, the technicians, and the military technology to build very sophisticated thermonuclear weapons. Last declassified report I saw said it would take the Japanese 6 weeks to begin production from first approval, and that they would have 250 5-10 megaton warheads within 6 months.
Another point is that Japan launches its own satellites and if you can put TV satellite in a stable orbit, you can deliver nukes on time and in the proper place with the same rocket/missile.
WORLD MIL FORUM > IIUC RUSSIA SHAKING: SUCCESSFUL IRAN, NORTH KOREAN TESTS SHOW RUSSIA CHINA, AND CENTRAL ASIA AT FUTURE THREAT FROM NUCLEAR ISLAMISM/TERRORISM. NUCLEAR MILITANTS SLOWLY WINNING THE "BATTLE/WAR FOR CONTROL OF MIANLAND ASIA".
Lest we fergit, "US IMPERIALISM" + COMMUNIST-ISLAMIST COLLLUSION > no one should be surprised iff both Radical Islamism and their anti-US Commie-Anarchist colluders ride the post-9-11 tails of so-called "US GLOBALISM/IMPERIALISM" under POTUS Dubya + GWOT, by and for the sake of OWG-NWO + thier separate premises of a GLOBAL SUPER-STATE. IFF AND WHEN THE USA IS DEFEATED OR SUBORNED, THE ANTI-US, ETC. PRO_OWG-NWO HONEYMOON BETWEEN LEFTIST-SOCIALIST + RADICAL ISLAMIST WILL BE OVER.
[Kyodo: Korea] The five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Japan and South Korea are considering listing financial sanctions in a resolution they are working out in response to North KoreaŽs second nuclear test, U.N. diplomatic sources said Wednesday. The seven key players discussed the Security CouncilŽs response to MondayŽs nuclear test based on a draft resolution Japan and the United States outlined earlier, the diplomatic sources said.
How about we have a test and EMP blast in the area the North tests their nukes. Since most of North Korea is pre-industrial the civilian population would be spared (as long as we ensure neighbors are not effected).
Former President George W. Bush on Thursday repeated Dick Cheney's assertion that the administration's enhanced interrogation program, which included controversial techniques such as waterboarding, was legal and garnered valuable information that prevented terrorist attacks.
Bush told a southwestern Michigan audience of nearly 2,500 -- the largest he has addressed in the United States since leaving the White House in January -- that, after the September 11 attacks, "I vowed to take whatever steps that were necessary to protect you."
In his speech, Bush did not specifically refer to the high-profile debate over President Obama's decision to halt the use of harsh interrogation techniques. Bush also didn't mention Cheney, his former vice president, by name.
Instead, he described how he proceeded after the capture of terrorism suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in March 2003.
"The first thing you do is ask what's legal?" Bush said. "What do the lawyers say is possible? I made the decision, within the law, to get information so I can say to myself, 'I've done what it takes to do my duty to protect the American people.' I can tell you that the information we got saved lives."
Bush avoided the sharp tone favored by Cheney in recent weeks and stressed he does not want to disparage Obama.
Nothing I am saying is meant to criticize my successor," Bush said. "There are plenty of people who have weighed in. Trust me, having seen it first-hand. I didn't like it when a former president criticized me, so therefore I am not going to criticize my successor. I wish him all the best."
The former president was speaking to the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan. In a change in format, he agreed to answer questions directly from the audience instead of responding to pre-submitted questions provided to a moderator.
He repeated his disclaimer about not passing judgment on Obama later when asked about North Korea's nuclear test. Before answering, the 43rd president said he is "in no way trying to shape my successor's decisions or criticize them."
"I know there are news people here, and they love conflict," he said. Bush then went on to say that diplomacy is impossible without leverage.
"A lot of times people want to give out the carrots," he said. "My attitude is, you give out the carrots when the behavior changes."
After his opening remarks, Bush engaged in a nearly hour-long back-and-forth with audience members that touched on nearly all aspects of his presidency, from the September 11 attacks to his ban on embryonic stem cell research, to his consultations with advisers as the economic crisis hit last year.
He strongly defended his Troubled Asset Relief Program in response to the economic crisis at the end of his presidency, calling it crucial to preventing capital markets from freezing up, which he said would have led to another Great Depression. However, he said he remains "a free-market guy."
Asked what he thinks about conservative pundits who say the Obama administration's fiscal policies are opening the door to socialism, Bush said: "I think the verdict is out. I think people are waiting to see what all this means."
The former president received a noisy standing ovation when answering a question about what he wants his legacy to be.
"Well, I hope it is this: The man showed up with a set of principles, and he was unwilling to compromise his soul for the sake of popularity," he said.
He also revealed the topic of the first chapter in his forthcoming book, which he said will be about "the stories of my administration, as I saw them." That first chapter, he said, will answer the question: "Why did I run for president?"
News organizations asked a federal judge on Thursday to grant the media access to copies of audio and video court records key to the upcoming trial against a terrorism suspect. The motion seeks access to about 12 hours of an audiotaped FBI interview with Syed Haris Ahmed, who is set to go on trial Monday on charges that he aided a terrorist group. It also seeks videos that prosecutors say he and another suspect filmed of potential terrorist targets in Washington.
Ridiculous! They can observe the material presented at trial, just like everyone else.
"The public is entitled to understand the basis for the government's prosecution of Defendant Ahmed, and these audio and video exhibits are essential to properly appreciate the evidence in this case," wrote Thomas Clyde, an attorney who represents The Associated Press, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CNN and WSB-TV.
The audio and video tapes were submitted as evidence by federal prosecutors in January 2008, and Ahmed's attorney asked that the exhibits be sealed. A federal magistrate denied the request, but said the order was pending a review by a federal judge. The motion contends the judge has yet to address the order.
Clyde said providing the press with a transcript of the tapes won't suffice. The audio tapes, he argued, help portray the "demeanor, tone and conduct" of Ahmed shortly before his arrest and indictment. He contended the videos will show the "sophistication - or lack thereof - of the defendants' planning efforts, which cannot be conveyed properly to the public through a transcript."
Ahmed, a 24-year-old former Georgia Tech student, and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee were indicted in July 2006 on charges of providing material support to terrorists and related conspiracy counts. Both have pleaded not guilty to all charges. Sadquee's trial is set to begin in August. Since the charges were filed, the government has sought heightened secrecy surrounding elements of its case against the men.
They are accused of discussing terror targets with Islamic extremists and undergoing training to carry out a "violent jihad" against civilian and government targets, including an air base in suburban Atlanta. Prosecutors say the two traveled to Washington to film possible targets, including the U.S. Capitol and the headquarters of the World Bank, and shared the recordings with another suspected terrorist based in Britain.
For Pakistan, there are still two kinds of Taliban - the good and the bad. Hafiz Gul Bahadur of the North Waziristan tribal area is reckoned as good Taliban. He is Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud's rival and has signed a ceasefire agreement with the Pakistani security forces. Being a member of the Shura of Mujahideen, he only fights against foreign forces in Afghanistan. However, his involvement in the abduction late last year in Bunna, North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), of Canadian journalist Beverly Giesbrecht, who converted to Islam and who is now known as Khadija Abdul Qahhar, exposes the problems of dealing even with "good" Taliban, and the mess they can cause because of their connections with Pakistan.
People involved in the backroom negotiations for the release of Khadija, 52, say that she suffered heart problems this week and that her condition is serious. She has a history of heart problems. But the militants holding her will not release her as there is still haggling over the amount of ransom to be paid. "We had set up all the measures for her release," former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official, retired Squadron leader Khalid Khawaja, told Asia Times Online on Friday. He has been involved in the negotiations for the release of Khadija and her translator Suleman, 18.
"Maulana Fazlur Rahman [the chief of the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam party, a coalition partner in the federal government] was involved on behalf of the Canadian government. Initially, the militants did not want to release her, saying she was an American proxy. But after Fazlur's involvement, they agreed to let her go for a sum of 60 million rupees [US$740,000]. The deal was finalized and the Canadian government had arranged the money. Then [a few weeks ago] another development took place and everything was spoiled," said Khawaja.
"Everything was being routed through the political agent in North Waziristan [the representative of the federal government]. He demanded that he receive 50% of the payment. According to him, a portion of the money had to go to Governor's House in Peshawar [capital of NWFP], which would then pass on a share to the President's Office in Islamabad. This demand [which meant the Canadians would have to pay an additional 30 million rupees] needed new approvals in the Canadian system, and the Canadians lost interest," said Khawaja.
In April 2002 - the month she converted to Islam - Khadija launched Jihad Unspun, an aggregation Internet site for news and opinions related to the Middle East and the "war on terror". It was considered strongly anti-American.
"Now we are getting information that Khadija has had a heart attack, but the militants are not ready to release her. Our strongest link to the militants was Shah Abdul Aziz [a former member of parliament on whose advice Khadija had fatefully traveled to Bunna]. But he was apprehended by the security agencies on Wednesday, and now our only option is to appeal to the militants through the press," Khawaja said.
Asia Times Online tried to reach two spokesmen at the President's Office - Farhatullah Babar and Farhanaz Ispahani - but neither responded.
The U.S. is embarking on a $1 billion crash program to expand its diplomatic presence in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, another sign that the Obama administration is making a costly, long-term commitment to war-torn South Asia, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
The White House has asked Congress for -- and seems likely to receive -- $736 million to build a new U.S. embassy in Islamabad, along with permanent housing for U.S. government civilians and new office space in the Pakistani capital.
Senior State Department officials said the expanded diplomatic presence is needed to replace overcrowded, dilapidated and unsafe facilities and to support a "surge" of civilian officials into Afghanistan and Pakistan ordered by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Continued on Page 49
The Lahore bombing is the latest sign, according to ABC News, that diverse militant groups from across the country are uniting.
The Taliban and Punjabi militant groups "are working hand in glove," says Malik Iqbal, the former Lahore city police chief. "Ultimately we're going to reach a tipping point where the Taliban will have opened so many fronts in Punjab that it will be almost impossible for the army to deploy against so many fronts which are so distant from each other geographically," says Ahmed Rashid.
US officials believe the Punjabi groups are stronger and more radical than ever.
Pakistani and US officials say Lashkar-e-Jhangvi teamed up with the Taliban to attack the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, as well as helping destroy Marriott Hotel in Islamabad last year. "Police is not trained for this purpose. It's a force against crime. It's not a force against terrorism," said Saud Aziz, the police chief in Multan.
Another problem is the inability to crack down on the militant groups, Aziz said.
But why are they unable to crack down on militant groups? she asked innocently.
US officials believe that the funding comes mainly from Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia. But they admit that despite efforts, they have not been able to convince the Saudis that their money is going to help fund terrorism. "The money is pouring in. The money is there. The weapons are there. The philosophy is there," one senior police officer in southern Punjab said, wishing to remain anonymous. "This is our problem. And we are not concentrating."
Posted by: Fred ||
05/29/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Pakistan
US officials believe that the funding comes mainly from Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia.
Bottom line Saudi Arabia wants to turn Pakistan into a similar intolerant Islamic Wahabbi Country!!!
The sooner we become less reliant on the Saudis oil/help?the better!!!!
Radical Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr has ordered the "depravity" of homosexuality be eradicated but warned against the anti-gay violence that has recently erupted, a spokesman said on Friday.
"The purpose of the meetings is to fight the depravity and to urge the community to reject this phenomenon," said Sheikh Wadea al-Atabi, referring to a Thursday seminar attended by clerics, tribal leaders and police.
"The only remedy to stop it is through preaching and guidance. There is no other way to put an end to it," he said, stressing that the movement could not resort to violence after a series of killings of gay men in Baghdad.
"Al-Sadr rejects this type of violence ... and anyone who commits violence (against gays) will not be considered as being one of us," Atabi said.
In the sprawling Baghdad Shiite district of Sadr City, police last month recovered the bullet-riddled bodies of three men said to have been homosexuals.
Another three men were found dead on the outskirts of Sadr City, with police saying an additional four men were found tortured but alive.
Also in April, a group calling itself "Brigades of the Righteous" posted signs around Sadr City listing alleged homosexuals and threatening to kill them.
The recent persecution prompted rights group Amnesty International to write a letter to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki last month urging government protection of homosexuals.
It said that as many as 25 boys and men had been killed in Baghdad alone because they were either gay or believed to be amid concerns that religious leaders may be inciting violence against Iraq's gay community.
Homosexuality is forbidden in Islam, frowned upon in Arab society and illegal in many Middle Eastern countries. Iraq has no law against homosexuality but prominent religious authorities have harshly condemned it.
At Thursday's seminar, which was held in Sadr Cirty, Al-Sheikh Dawud al-Enezi, a Sadr movement leader, said "we must correct the morals of the nation. Homosexuality "is a disaster that has come to the community."
Abu Hussein, a tribal leader in Sadr City, said: "Everybody has to work to preserve the morals of young people from the corrupt phenomena of the West."
Actually, a lot of the Iraqis in the police and army are gay. I guess when you can't go anywhere with a member of the opposite sex, you end up being real close with your buddies, really close....
Think about it, between the ages of 13-19, most American men are hanging out with females, going on dates, parking in cars, and trying to score on the levee. Arab men can't go anywhere alone with a female unless they are married. They end up with a warped sense of sexuality. These are the same arabs that get upset at the sight of a playboy magazine, but they see nothing wrong with three men laying naked under a blanket together in a dark corner of a police station....NUTS!
Also, an US Army advisor to an Iraqi army unit unit once told me, "Whatever you do, don't use your thermal sights to look at their [the iraqis] hootches at night. You'll see things no grown American man would ever want to see..."
And I wish I could express the look on his face when he said it...kinda like a 1,000 yard stare!
Someone (a Brit, I think) did a study on this. The conclusion, as I recall, was that a lot of the Muzzie rage is due to sexual repression (I mean, c'mon, the sight of a woman's ankle gets them all hot and bothered?) and it's because of the 'culture'.
Or ... maybe they need to engage in a contact sport to get rid of some of that pent up anger? Probably would be un-Islamic to suggest it, though, huh?
"is a disaster that has come to the community."
Interferes with the sheep and goat markets, eh?
Posted by: Mullah Richard ||
05/29/2009 17:07 Comments ||
#5 Someone (a Brit, I think) did a study on this. The conclusion, as I recall, was that a lot of the Muzzie rage is due to sexual repression (I mean, c'mon, the sight of a woman's ankle gets them all hot and bothered?) and it's because of the 'culture'.
Or ... maybe they need to engage in a contact sport to get rid of some of that pent up anger? Probably would be un-Islamic to suggest it, though, huh?
AND, this GREAT comment from Belmont club, best bullets-point ever :
Wretchard, you ask your readers to imagine a Catholic movement of a nature that has not existed for centuries. Its a useful exercise. I propose another.
Imagine a society which places no value on scientific or technical investigation, but only on the rote memorization of the sacred writings of its faith. That society places so much value on that rote scriptural memorization that there is a title used throughout the lands for any man who can demonstrate that rote learning, and that honorific will bring more respect and privilege to those who claim it than any academic degree, or technical or medical certification.
Imagine that the society all agree that female children will not be allowed education, nor to show their faces in public, nor to wear cosmetics, nor to be seen in the company of any male outside their immediate family, and that punishment for defiance of these restrictions may be whipping, poisoning, beating, caning, stoning, hanging, bombing, machine-gunning or beheading, at the discretion of the males of the females household. Or ANY male of the culture who feels a female has strayed from approved behavior.
Imagine that since no learning is valued other than rote learning of sacred texts more than a thousand years old, and since females are punished for any learning at all, there are very few people who have skills beyond those necessary for subsistence.
Imagine that this society accepts the dictate of its sacred writings that anyone who disavows the faith is subject to execution, to be carried out by any faithful member of the society, and that no person of faith who performs such an execution is subject to any penalty, but rather honor and reward. Ditto for any one who is accused of insulting the faith, its founder, or its sacred text.
Imagine a society which adheres to a faith which dictates to its followers that any who do not accept the faith may be enslaved, murdered, beaten, cheated, lied to, and otherwise abused so long as they refuse to submit and convert; that its faith is the only faith, and any other religion is false, blasphemous, and evil, and not to be tolerated, but attacked ruthlessly until its followers convert, submit to domination and tributary tax, or die.
Imagine that this society allows each man four wives, and dictates that those wives are his to order and punish, even to the point of death.
Imagine that because of all these factors, most of this cultures young men have no skills that will earn them enough income to support one wife, much less four wives. As a result, enormous numbers of young men are idle and overflowing with unchannelled creative energies. Imagine a powder keg looking for a match.
Imagine a faith which promises those young men that if they die while slaughtering the opponents of the faith, or even while merely TRYING to slaughter unbelievers, they will be transported instantaneously to heaven, to be greeted by 42 eager and willing female virgins, ready to provide endless sexual delight to the freshly deceased martyr.
Imagine that while this culture and its faith also profess to honor the concepts of tolerance, patience, mercy, and generosity, that those are specifically ordered for others of the faith, and may be disregarded for unbelievers.
Imagine that even though many of this society and faith actually do behave with civility, courtesy, tolerance, and mercy, to their unbelieving neighbors, that a significant and militant plurality of the culture consistently behave savagely to both their coreligionists and all unbelievers.
Now, think hard, dear readers.
See if you can put a name to a religion that fulfills all those imaginings.
May 19, 2009 - 8:04 pm
Sadr has dreams about homosexual men taunting him. Big, naked, oily and *dirty* homosexual men, doing exercises until they are all sweaty. Then they start laughing at him, pointing at him, and he realizes that he is naked and greasy as well.
Then he wakes up in a cold sweat, his heart racing, and the only thing he can do to settle down is take a cold shower. Homosexuals are evil to make him have these feelings, these dreams.
[ADN Kronos] Israel continues to constrain the freedom of movement for Palestinians living in the West Bank, according to a new report released by the United Nations' humanitarian arm. The UN's office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs said while Israel has introduced measures to ease traffic flow into the Palestinian cities of Nablus, Hebron, Tulkarem and Ramallah, other actions have further restricted Palestinian access.
Physical obstacles, including checkpoints, roadblocks and the separation barrier, as well as administrative and legal restrictions, such as prohibited roads, affect Palestinians' vehicular and pedestrian access throughout the West Bank, the UN agency said.
"The Israeli authorities have justified this system as a temporary measure to contain violent confrontations with Palestinians and to protect Israeli citizens, both in Israel and in the West Bank settlements, from Palestinians," the report said.
During its reporting period -- September 2008 to March 2009 -- OCHA field teams said they documented 634 physical obstacles.
The expansion of checkpoints, which often entails the seizure of Palestinian land in the vicinity of an existing checkpoint, as well as the replacing of rudimentary obstacles with more permanent ones, are among the measures which are entrenching restrictions on Palestinians, the report said.
"Without improvement, the possibilities available for the Palestinian population to address its own needs will necessarily remain limited," it added.
Israeli settlements erected in the West Bank since 1967, according to the report, are perhaps the most important factor driving the restrictions.
The areas within the boundaries of the nearly 150 settlements, comprising three percent of the West Bank, are inaccessible to Palestinians and further fragment the territory.
Jewish settlements and outposts, considered illegal under international law, are a major source of friction between Israelis and Palestinians.
Over 450,000 Israeli settlers live in the Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as their capital in a future state.
The OCHA report concluded that the movement and access restrictions "have resulted in a contraction of the overall space available for Palestinian development and a decrease in the degree of control that Palestinians have over that space".
[ADN Kronos] Israel said on Thursday it will press ahead with housing construction in West Bank settlements despite a surprisingly strong US demand that it cease building activity. US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Wednesday the US wanted an end to all settlement construction - including "natural growth." It looks like not only the bad guyz have assessed B.O.'s administration as being toothless.
She was referring to Israel's insistence that new construction is necessary to accommodate the growth of families already living in existing settlements. Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev responded to the demand by saying that some construction would continue in existing settlements. "What're y'gonna do about it? Invade us?"
However, Regev said Israel pledged not to build any new settlements and to remove unauthorised Jewish outposts in the Palestinian territories. "The fate of existing settlements will be determined in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians," said Regev, quoted by Israeli daily Haaretz. "It won't be dictated, no matter how organized your community is."
Clinton had reiterated that a freeze on the construction of illegal Jewish settlements was a key step in reaching a future peace accord between Israelis and Palestinians. "He (US president Barack Obama) wants to see a stop to settlements -- not some settlements, not outposts, not 'natural growth' exceptions," Clinton said after meeting her Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Aboul Gheit. "We think it is in the best interests [of the peace process] that settlement expansion cease," Clinton said.
Israeli rights group Peace Now, said in a report earlier this year that 285,000 settlers live east of the 1967 Green Line that separates Israel from the West Bank. The figures exclude East Jerusalem settlers which number over 191,000. East Jerusalem is the city Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.
Israel's construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has increased distrust of Israel's intentions among Palestinian negotiators. Things were just peachy keen before.
Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law and are a major source of friction between Israelis and Palestinians. They are one of the most contentious issues in the long-running conflict.
For "humanitarian" reasons, US immigrants have been allowed to have their extended family members join them, including "adopted" family not matched by DNA. Maybe a DNA search for all those Lost Tribes could bring long lost Israelis home to the West Bank, as the original inhabitants that pre-date the Paleos?
[Iran Press TV Latest] The International Monetary Fund denies negotiating with the Hezbollah movement on a possible loan ahead of Lebanon's June elections. An IMF spokesperson, however, confirmed that its mission in Beirut met with a Hezbollah representative in February and March to discuss economic reform in the war-torn country. Hezbollah has not yet commented in this regard.
"The IMF has not negotiated with Hezbollah members or sympathizers in Lebanon over a possible loan. By no means were future fund arrangements discussed," the official said. The denial came after both The New York Times and Financial Times claimed that the IMF had considered offering Hezbollah a possible loan ahead of Lebanon's June elections.
Many experts predict an election victory for Hezbollah and its allies. The IMF has helped Lebanon under an Emergency Post-conflict Assistance program since 2007.
Posted by: Fred ||
05/29/2009 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Hezbollah
"The Jooooooooos... Extorted the Pope During His Recent Visit to Paleostine - So He Would Mention the Figure Of Six Million... Jooooooooos"
Anwar Raja: "Lets be realistic - the Jooooooos have managed to falsify history, using the shameless mentality that views history according to one's interests. The Jooooooos have managed to exert pressure on the world, so that history would be rewritten as they desire. They extorted the pope during his recent visit to Paleostine, so he would mention the figure of six million Paleostinians... Jooooooos in the Holocaust.
"I do not know who stood at the gates of the crematoria and counted. I don't know who came up with this figure. All the facts point to inflation, falsification, and exaggeration."
Interviewer: "The French thinker Robert Faurisson of the school of [historical] revisionism said: 'I calculated that the number of Jooooos in Europe at the time was 150,000, so where did the figure of six million come from?'" [...]
"Hitler Was No Worse Than The Current U.S. Administration... The Zionist Entity Must Be Wiped Out"
Anwar Raja: "In my opinion, if Hitler had won - and incidentally, Hitler was no worse than the current U.S. administration... If Hitler had won, we would be reading a different version of history, sir. Our history was written by the victors of World War II, and they found they had a common interest with the Jooooooos - the consolidation of the Zionist entity in Palestine.
"We say: the Right of Return is sacred. It must be fulfilled, and the Zionist entity must be wiped out. Paleostine will be restored to its people - from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River. If Europe - especially Britain and America - wants to avoid repercussions and consequences, it should rectify the historical mistake it made with regard to an entire people."
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.