On a baking hot day this week, the people of Libya's most prosperous city flocked to the beach and splashed in the cooling waters of the Mediterranean. Such happy scenes were unthinkable in Misrata a year ago, when the world watched in horror as Muammar Gaddafi's forces encircled and besieged this port city, unleashing what he called the 'forces of Hell'. Today, a year on from the horrors endured by ordinary Libyans, Misrata's buildings remain riddled with holes from bullets and tank shells. But shops and cafes are open. There are funfairs for children. And there are those families enjoying the beach.
Yet there is one stretch of sand where no soul ever ventures. This is an area of scrub and dunes just back from the sandy coves. Called Funduq Al-Jannah - Arabic for Heaven Hotel - it is an execution ground where up to 1,000 of Gaddafi's fighters were taken by the victorious rebel army, then slaughtered in cold-blooded vengeance.
Many of the victims were from Tawerga, a town 30 miles from here, where some 50,000 black Libyans once lived in happy co-existence with their neighbours in Misrata. But since Gaddafi fell, the rebels have been targeting its black population in indiscriminate revenge attacks for the despot's deployment of thousands of African mercenaries recruited from outside the country against them.
Some Tawergans undoubtedly took money to join Gaddafi's forces. But vast numbers never joined in the fighting - and are being attacked simply because their skin colour is associated with Gaddafi's mercenaries. Today, Tawerga has been ethnically cleansed of its black Libyans, and largely destroyed. Militia fighters regularly drive out there from Misrata to make sure none of the population have sneaked back in. Signs bearing the town's name have been painted over. What remains of the shattered homes, shops and restaurants have been daubed with vile graffiti: 'Black dogs! No blacks.'
Some 25,000 Tawergans have now been placed in 'refugee camps', which are, in effect, little more than prisons.The people in these camps do not dare leave: Misrata militias scour the country for anyone from Tawerga and regularly kidnap and torture black Libyans suspected of helping Gaddafi. And even in the camps, fortified with barbed wire and watched by armed guards, the refugees are not safe from the marauding militias.
A report from Amnesty International this week warns the country is in the 'stranglehold' of hundreds of militias acting above the law. Medical charities now refuse to work in Misrata. They pulled out after accusing rebels of bringing torture victims in for treatment - only to take them back for more torture once their wounds had recovered sufficiently for their bodies to cope. In recent days, one Libyan journalist was abducted by Misrata militias from the seafront in Tripoli, the capital, after saying these armed groups are out of control and need a 'stick taken to them'.
The killings highlight the bitter divisions and violence in Libya as its people vote today in their first election for a 200-member national assembly that will name a prime minister, enact legislation and appoint a committee to draft a constitution. For the truth is that, since Gaddafi fell, Libya has been run by a National Transitional Council which has overseen a descent into anarchy. With the country descending into a spiral of lawlessness and revenge, and with no national army to impose order, people all over this vast country are stock-piling weapons. So bad has the situation been that some want the Nato-backed rebels to be tried for war crimes. The tragic irony is that Britain, France and the U.S. imposed a no-fly zone and helped overthrow Gaddafi to stop him committing war crimes.
For [the] election, thousands of police have been ordered on to the streets to show the world that Libya is safe. But the police are the only people in this country without guns: the militia fighters who overthrew Gaddafi with the help of British-backed Nato airstrikes say they cannot be trusted with weapons.
West African presidents met Saturday with Malian civil leaders in a bid to secure a national unity government that can tackle a power grab by Islamist gun-hung tough guys in the country's desert north.
However, a person who gets all wrapped up in himself makes a mighty small package... Mali's president and prime minister were not there, northern representatives walked out, and supporters of the military coup that threw Mali into turmoil in March staged a counter demonstration.
Mali, once a beacon of democracy in West Africa, was thrown into chaos by the March 22 coup, which allowed ethnic Tuareg separatists and al-Qaeda-linked Islamists to sweep across northern Mali in a rapid offensive.
The Islamists have since chased the Tuareg out of key towns, imposed sharia law, and last week destroyed ancient Mohammedan shrines they deemed un-Islamic in the U.N. world heritage-listed desert city of Timbuktu.
Regional body the Economic Community of West African States has sought to help restore political stability in Mali and offered to send an intervention force of 3,300 troops into the northern conflict zone.
The ECOWAS top mediator, Burkina Faso ...The country in west Africa that they put where Upper Volta used to be. Its capital is Oogadooga, or something like that. Its president is currently Blaise Compaoré, who took office in 1987 and may be in the process of being chased out now... 's President Blaise Compaore, opened the talks Saturday in his capital Ouagadougou with five other regional heads of state.
Compaore told the meeting of politicians, religious and trade union leaders that the main aim was a consensus government that could "take urgent steps to confront the terrorist peril in the north of the country".
ECOWAS chairman Alassane Ouattara ...the current president-for-life of Ivory Coast. He actually beat his predecessor in an election before having to eject him from the presidential palazzo.... , the president of Ivory Coast, told the meeting also attended by leaders of Niger, Togo, Benin and Nigeria, that "we cannot tolerate the partition of a brother country".
The meeting took place in the absence of Mali's interim president Dioncounda Traore, who has been receiving medical treatment in Gay Paree since he was attacked by a mob in his office in May.
Also absent was Prime Minister Cheikh Modibo Diarra, whose relations with ECOWAS have been strained as the regional grouping has been searching for what it has called a more inclusive government in Mali.
Representatives from Mali's north walked out just before the opening of the meeting, for unknown reasons.
Mali's renegade soldiers, who toppled the elected president on March 22, later agreed under intense regional and international pressure to hand power back to a civilian administration but have retained considerable influence.
The Popular Movement of March 22, which supports the coup, staged a protest rally in Bamako of "patriotic" groups against the ECOWAS meeting. Organizers said 500 rallied at a stadium while police put the figure at 250.
"This meeting is a protest against the meeting organized by ECOWAS," a rally organizer, Nouhoum Keita, told Agence La Belle France Presse, stressing that the people of Mali alone must create a national unity government.
Keita said a national convention would be held July 14-16.
At the ECOWAS meeting, meanwhile, Ouattara urged Traore to return quickly to Bamako and called for a broad-based government with an action plan for a united, democratic Mali.
The coup -- which soldiers justified by saying they were too poorly equipped to fight the northern rebels -- has left Mali effectively split in two, with Islamist controlling an area larger than La Belle France or Texas.
The U.N. Security Council in a resolution Thursday expressed "deep concern" at the presence of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) fighters, who have been blamed for kidnappings and attacks in several countries.
But the council held back from giving a U.N. mandate to any West African force that could help Mali's interim government take back the territory.
Guinean President Alpha Conde told AFP on Tuesday that ECOWAS wants a request for military intervention to come from a broader unity government in Mali, an issue that leaders had hoped to settle on Saturday.
A Yemeni politician, Abdul-Karim Jadban, urged on Saturday the Saada-based Houthi ...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is "God is Great, Death to America™", Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews" ... group to participate in the dialogue conference only if the government apologized for "wars launched against the group".
He demanded to deal with the Houhis "in the same way that the southerners are dealt by the government".
Positions of the Houthi group regarding the participation in the national dialogue to be held in September swing from acceptance to refusal. They have no a firm position.
The former Yemeni regime headed by President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh ... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, but he didn't invite Donna Summer to the inauguration and Blondie couldn't make it... engaged in six war with the Houthi group, with Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face... involved in the last round of the fighting, ending in February 2010.
However, if you can't say something nice about a person some juicy gossip will go well... Yemeni analysts and politicians claim that Saleh, who was forced to step down after a year of popular protests, cooperates and coordinates with the group to impede the interim government and raise turmoil.
The group that currently controls on Saada and some parts of other governorates tries to take control on some areas of Hajja and Amran.
Media outlets occasionally reported that Saleh met with representatives of the Houthi group and that one of his family met with the Iranian ambassador to review joint cooperation, indicating that fighters of the Houthi group were brought to military camps led by Saleh's son, Ahmed, to be trained there.
The Saada-based Al-Houthi group frequently arranges protests in which it demands to end US interventions in Yemen's affairs, accusing the United states of violating Yemen's illusory sovereignty and killing Yemenis.
[Yemen Post] The Yemeni authorities must complete the repairs to the Marib oil pipeline this week and crude is expected via it again before Ramadan, Saba reported quoting oil minister at a meeting with SEPOC on Saturday.
"The decision to repair this pipeline and resume pumping is a' fateful decision'; hence, the authorities must do that right now," Hisham Sharaf was quoted as saying at the meeting that was dedicated to the progress on the repairs started recently.
"Yemen will beat with an iron fist those who think of attacking such public properties".
Sharaf said the Marib pipeline, which carries about 110,000 barrels a day, is a key economic pillar that contributes $3 billion to the national revenues a year.
The international community, especially the ten countries sponsoring a power-transfer deal, pay more attention to the efforts aimed at restoring economic, political security stability in Yemen, he said. "The Marib pipeline is among the top priorities of these countries," he was quoted as continuing.
Saboteurs have tried to disrupt the repairs to the pipeline more recently but the interior ministry has dispatched more military units to protect the repair technical teams.
This year, Sharaf said the shutdown of the Marib pipeline since October has led to $4 billion losses.
Wearing a V-neck sweater, leggings and running shoes, Princess Sara dresses like any Westerner and refuses to wear a veil. Her nails are bright red and her hair is in a plait because she has not had time to wash it before an interview that has taken many days -- and several false starts -- to organise.
This is the kind of thing the Ikhwan will use to attack the Saudi royals, probably with overwhelming support from the troglodyte Saudi populace. Public piety combined with not abiding by halal dietary practices.
Defence giant BAE Systems is in the running to provide the United States Air Force with a new training jet.
BAE Systems has emerged as the frontrunner to provide the United States Air Force with a new training jet in what would be a major boost for Britain's biggest manufacturer and the UK economy.
Senior figures within BAE believe the T-X program to provide the US air force with 350 training jets presents a "very significant opportunity" and that the company is well positioned to win the deal.
The contract is estimated to be worth more than $11bn (£7.1bn). BAE believes its Hawk jet has a strong chance because budget constraints in the US mean the air force is not looking for a brand new aircraft.
A side effect would be to keep an ally's beseiged military capability a little more viable.
If the company wins the contract, the Hawk, which is used by the Red Arrows, would be assembled in the US. However, around half the components would be produced in the UK, delivering significant support to domestic manufacturers.
BAE is working on its bid with Northrop Grumman and L-3 Link. A final decision is expected to be made by the USAF in early 2014, with the aircraft in service by 2020.
Oh Lord....not again. By the time the USAF is done with them thy'll cost more each than a wing of F-22s.
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski ||
Call them T/F/A-35's and Congress will never know...
Posted by: Steve White ||
...Want to make clear - my opposition to this is no reflection on the Hawk. It is a superb little aircraft at what it does (training, light attack, and even not bad at air-to-air). The shame of it is that our procurement system is so broken that we can't come up with a make-'em-like-hotcakes little bird like this any more.
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski ||
and Congress will never know...
Or care, as long as the 'appropriate' amount is spent in the right states and Districts.
[buzzfeed.com] On June 28, Lt. Col. Roy Tisdale, a Texas A&M alum, was killed during a training exercise at Fort Bragg by another solder who then shot himself. The Westboro Baptist Church, known for protesting soldiers' funerals with anti-gay messages, posted plans to show up at Tisdale's funeral on their website.
A fellow "Aggie", Ryan Slezia, came up with a plan to create a human wall to block any protesters from getting near the funeral, and invited fellow Texas A&M students and alum to join. One participant tweeted that over 650 people showed up in maroon shirts to create a "maroon wall". It appears that the Westboro protestors never showed up.
Lots of dead maulanas and unruly lawyers thus week. Enjoy!
Ahmad Mukhtar American Defence Minister!
Daily Nawa-e-Waqt quoted Aslam Beg ...occasionally incoherent retired four-star general who was the Chief of Army Staff of the Mighty Pak Army, succeeding the creepy General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, after the latter was rubbed out died in an air crash in 1988. The general was involved up to his hairy ears in the Mehran bank scandal, shuffling millions in public money to buy or lease politicians, and is believed one of the prime movers in the sale of Pak nuclear technology to Iran. He ranks second only to Hamid Gul in the volume and flavor of his anti-Western vitriol.. , Hamid Gul The nutty former head of Pakistain's ISI, now Godfather to Mullah Omar's Talibs and good buddy and consultant to al-Qaeda's high command... , Abdul Ghafur Haideri (JUIF) and General (Retd) Naseer Akhtar saying that Pakistain's Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar was a confused man (bokhla gaya) and was defending opening the NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... supplies. Munawwar Hasan of JI said he sounded more like the defence minister of America and therefore it was dangerous to keep him in the job.
Haqqania holy man killed
Daily Nawa-e-Waqt quoted JUI chief Samiul Haq as condemning the kidnapping and murder of Maulana Naseeb Khan of Madrassa Haqqania in Nowshehra and warned that unless the Deobandi holy man's murderers were captured he would start a countrywide agitation.
Dr Samar Mubarak in 'trubbel'
Daily Express reported that famous nuclear scientist Dr Samar Mubarak Mand claimed that in the coming weeks his work at Thar in Sindh would start producing gas which would be cheaper by three times the gas being produced now. He said China and several other countries were willing to invest in his project.
"So you should, too. I take cash and money orders only."
But the father of the Pak bomb nuclear scientist Dr AQ Khan stated that Dr Samar Mubarak Mand was dishonest (badd-dayanat) in his handling of Reko Diq in Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... and Thar in Sindh and had sacrificed the projects to his greed.
Maulana Syed Mohsin assassinated
Daily Nawa-e-Waqt reported that in Laki Marwat the chief of Jamia Haleemia Syed Mohsin was shot to death while he was sleeping inside the madrassa. The Deobandi scholar was a close friend of JUI's Maulana Fazlur Rehman Deobandi holy man, known as Mullah Diesel during the war against the Soviets, his sympathies for the Taliban have never been tempered by honesty ... and was head of the local Jirga.
Maulana Aslam Sheikhupuri killed
Daily Nawa-e-Waqt reported that Maulana Aslam in charge of a Deobandi madrassa in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... was shot by killers riding a bike while the holy man was going to one of his seminaries in Landhi. Seven of his followers also died with him under a rain of bullets.
Kuwait chooses more death penalties
Daily Jang reported that Kuwait's parliament moved further to the right to choose to legislate minimum death sentence for anyone who insulted the Holy Prophet (PTUI!), the Holy Koran, and the sanctified wives of the Prophet (PTUI!). Death will also be given to those insulting Allah which is not the law as yet in Pakistain.
Shahbaz Taseer about to be released?
Daily Jinnah reported that a secret agency had succeeded in getting the son of the late governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseer released from the gunnies in North Wazoo near the safe haven of Haqqani network. The report said that Shahbaz would soon be reunited with his family.
Tayba Cola fraud in the name of Islam
Daily Jinnah reported that one fraudulent drink Tayba Cola named in sacred Islamic words was busted in Sheikhupura when news hounds entered the factory to find children working there with dangerous ingredients in extremely unhygienic surroundings and piles of rubbish. The health inspectors were found to be taking 'monthlies' from the Cola makers.
Stop ranting about honour!
Writing in Jang Saleem Safi stated that the US and Afghanistan have concluded a strategic agreement while Pakistain is ranting about national honour (ratt qaumi waqar aur khud mukhtari ki lagai hui hai). Retired military officer whose children are studying in the US have turned themselves into strategy experts and are making Pak delusional about how the US can do nothing in Afghanistan without Pakistain without telling us that we too can do nothing without America.
Justice Khosa and Kahlil Gibran
Writing in Jang Hamid Mir stated that in a judgement given after 21 hearings the passion for martyrdom of PM Gilani was not assuaged
That's certainly one way to put it. Another would be that he was obeying the law that the president has immunity while in office, and therefore the prime minister has no business demanding the Swiss banks reveal his secrets.
and one of the judges who handed down the verdict was Justice Asif Khosa - who once studied at the Government College Lahore together with PM Gilani - quoted from Arab poet Kahlil Gibran musing about the downfall of an entire nation (qabil-e-reham qaum).
Thus neatly proving that at some point in his law training he had learnt to read.
But the judiciary in the past had punished a prime minister wrongly by siding with a military dictator in what is called judicial murder. Some judges should have read Gibran before taking oath under Chief Justice Dogar.
Chinese diplomat clears confusion
Daily Nawa-e-Waqt reported Chinese ambassador in Islamabad Liu Jian as saying that India made a lot of hue and cry over the material China sent to Pakistain as flood relief through the Sinkiang-Gilgit road. The version spread around the world was that the Chinese army had arrived in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The two are not incompatible -- the Chinese army would be very good at delivering aid. After all, the American one is.
Lawyers go crazy!
Reported in Nawa-e-Waqt lawyers called wukla in the sessions court in Lahore fell upon a police officer (thanedar) named Zohaib and thrashed him thoroughly. One lawyer Abdul Rasheed together with his hooligan son Shahid and other loutish lawyers became aggressive in the extreme and could not be restrained by the public at the court. The maimed policeman refused to forgive the lawyers through compromise.
What on earth do they teach in law schools in the Land of the Pure? It most certainly isn't dignity...
Hizb leader finally nabbed
According to Nawa-e-Waqt leader of the bully boy Islamist organization directed from London was finally enjugged Book 'im, Mahmoud! in Lahore. Naveed Butt had been enjugged Book 'im, Mahmoud! in the past also but the seriousness of what the Hizbut Tahrir ...an al-Qaeda recruiting organization banned in most countries. It calls for the reestablishment of the Caliphate... will do after imposing khilafat on Pakistain was not realised before the arrest of some army officers plotting to overthrow the democratic order in Pakistain.
"But they're so cute when they stampt their little feet and threaten jihad on us -- they couldn't possibly have meant it!"
Mushahid Husain's verdict
Talking to Mashriq PMLQ leader Mushahid Hussain stated that America had once again proved that it was not a reliable friend of Pakistain.
Not a friend at all, but a temporary ally: we want access to Afghanistan, and you want money for your Swiss bank accounts, toys for your army, and targets for your pet jihadis.
The establishment in Washington which was running the war in Afghanistan had treated Pakistain shabbily as a result of which a good American ambassador Munter had to leave in protest. He said if Pakistain got hurt by America's conduct then America too will not be able to avoid damage.
Aslam Beg on 'qaumi ghairat'
World famous inventor of the doctrine of strategic defiance ex-Army chief Aslam Beg told Nawa-e-Waqt that if the NATO supply line is resumed it will be disrupted in many places again and again because it will not carry the will of the people. He said the real question at the root of the problem was national honour (qaumi ghairat).
...and Pakistan's complete lack of such a commodity.
Supreme Court verdict out of legal context
Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan was quoted by Mashriq saying that the Supreme Court judgement punishing PM Gilani was out of the legal context set by the court itself in the indictment. He said those who were favouring the verdict and commenting on it were the same people who were included in the cabinet of a military dictator. Today these people were converted into moral priests.
Jamaat leader killed in Punjab University
Daily Express reported that Owais Aqeel who was a caretaker nazim ...small time big shot, the chief elected official of a local government in Pakistan, such as a district, tehsil, union council, or village council... of the Islami Jamaat Tulaba ...the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami... student wing of Jamaat Islami was killed in a quarrel over the occupation of a hostel room. After the killing the students attacked VC's office. The faculty staff was manhandled who went on strike asking Punjab government to get them security and said that student leaders were not students of the University. Daily Jinnah reported that Hostel number 9 was the place of conflict where Imran Tarar and others had started shooting. It said two student organizations contesting the turf in Punjab University were causing the disorder.
[Dawn] The nexus between the clergy and feudal is hampering the growth of peace and harmony in South Asia, said Prof Ram Puniyani, a visiting scholar from India, on Friday.
He was speaking at a seminar 'Secular Values in South Asia: Are there lessons from the European experience?' held at the Area Study Centre for Europe, the University of Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... ASCE Director Dr Moonis Ahmar presided over the seminar.
A bio-medical engineer who turned into a peace activist later in life, Prof Puniyani was also a part of the Indian People's Tribunal that investigated the human right violations, particularly towards the Christian minority, in Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.
In a talk that lasted around 45 minutes, he gave a riveting rundown of how secularism changed the course of the western world and why the subcontinent was unable to tap the potential it offered.
In his opening remarks, he described how secularism has turned into a pejorative term in the past 50 years in the sub-continent.
"Rational thinking is not new. There was Charvek (C#arv#aka) that was there for long that allowed people to question," he said as he went on to explain significance of secularism.
"The notion, that pope is a link between god and the people and hence unquestionable, was challenged and so were the misconceptions," he said.
Similarly he broke down the caste and class systems in Europe based on religion (Presbyterian, Methodist), in Hinduism (Brahamins, Dalits, etc) and Islam (Arabi, Ajami) and showed how similar the role of men of religion was in all three when it came to oppressing the masses.
"Liberation of serfs, women and society from the grips of clergy led to change," said Dr Puniyani.
"The church, the bishop the pope were controlling and exploiting the society. Liberation from the clutches of the feudal and clergy is what appealed to the French back then. Even now, women and minorities remain the biggest driving force behind secular movement," he noted.
In the present situation, he said that the Indian religious zealots were trying to curb down on personal freedoms.
"In 1992, when Babri mosque was demolished, I thought that this is not about casts and religion. Rather the fundamentalism is about oppression, to subvert the lower classes and subjugate women to a lower status, pretty much how the fascists worked. Their aim is to oppress people," he said.
He acknowledged that unlike Europe, where the renaissance led to improvement in the life of people, the subcontinent has failed despite the fact that secular voices were there.
Trouncing the 'myth' in India wherein the Indians believe that they were ruled by the Mohammedan rulers and later by the British and were robbed off their resources, he said: "The Mohammedan rulers never took away the wealth from India unlike the British."
'Rail, mail and jail' or transportation, communication and punishment changed the course of the Indian society when the British used these to strengthen the empire, he said. "It was not for the benefit of the Indians that the British developed ports and communication networks," he added.
Talking about Jinnah, he said that the Mohammedan League was full of feudal minds who exploited religion for personal gains. Jinnah was a very secular person but that didn't help the cause, he said, adding "A secular person cannot survive in a communal body."
"How can you survive in this environment? They might have placed him right up calling him Qauid-e-Azam but the feudal or elites were anything but secular," he said. A participant asked him how the subcontinent would be if partition had not occurred, Dr Puniyani said: "I would not have had to move to India at the age of one from Jhang. But yes, there would have been a much brighter future for the country."
Speaking to Dawn, he commented that there are secular voices in Pakistain. "There is a great impact of fundamentalists here but there is also a significant section of society that wants progressive forces at the front. I was in Islamabad earlier and then in Bloody Karachi, I came across so many people who are committed to the cause of secularism."
He said Paks must realize that secularism is not against religion and there is space for progressive voices to be heard.
"But I feel that the academia is hesitant in spreading these values. Also, in terms of research, both India and Pakistain need to step up efforts," he said.
He opined that the uncertain environment in Pakistain along with rising religious bigotry might have been a contributing factor as the academia might fear for its wellbeing.
In his concluding remarks, Dr Ahmar highlighted the dire need for defining secularism in Urdu and taking away the 'ladinyat' label from it.
He highlighted how partition changed cities like Dehli, Bombay and Bloody Karachi, particularly in terms of religion.
"Bloody Karachi at the time of partition was not a Mohammedan majority city. What later became minorities like Hindus, Parsis and Christians were in a majority then. Even 50,000 Jews lived here. Similarly, Delhi then boasted some 45 per cent Mohammedans but now things are altogether different," he said.
Laying emphasis on the need for secular and rational thinking, he opined that one must look beyond religion in order for things to improve in South Asia.
[Dawn] Pakistain Tehrik-e-Insaf ...a political party in Pakistan. PTI was founded by former Pakistani cricket captain and philanthropist Imran Khan. The party's slogan is Justice, Humanity and Self Esteem, each of which is open to widely divergent interpretations.... (PTI) chief Imran Khan ... aka Taliban Khan, who who convinced himself that playing cricket qualified him to lead a nuclear-armed nation with severe personality problems... , strongly condemning United States drone strike in North Wazoo which killed 24 people, said on Saturday latest drone attack speaks volumes about so-called close working partnership between Pakistain and the US in ongoing war.
The PTI chief said rulers reopened NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions... supply routes against strong sentiments of people and bypassed parliamentary resolutions to appease the US which reciprocated by continuous drone strikes, last of which killed 24 people on Friday.
He said continuing drone assaults were in clear violation of international humanitarian laws. There is complete media censorship in tribal areas and resultantly no way to ascertain identities of those killed in these strikes.
Khan demanded that government should disclose identification details of causalities so that "we know how many women children and ordinary civilians have been killed."
He asked will any other nation allow indiscriminate killing of its citizens? The fact that their identities are not disclosed casts serious doubts on claims that those killed in strikes were beturbanned goons, he added.
Khan said the government is equally responsible in indiscriminate elimination of its citizens as it has consciously avoided disclosing identification details of those killed in American drone strikes.
"Our rulers are blindly supporting US claims of high precision drone strikes and minimum collateral damage when they are actually aware of details of civilian casualties in tribal areas," he added.
Rejecting the claims that these strikes are primarily carried out against foreign beturbanned goons, he said statistics from independent organizations suggest that both US and Pakistain government are grossly under reporting civilian casualties. Accounts of local, western journalists suggest large number of civilians killed in these strikes.
The PTI chief said the government avoided commenting on stopping unilateral drone strikes that was one of most critical parliamentary preconditions before reopening NATO supply routes.
[Dawn] Chief Justice of Pakistain (CJP) Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said that Article 8 of the constitution empowers the Supreme Court to strike down any legislation which encroaches upon the basic rights of the citizens.
The chief justice said this while speaking at a ceremony for newly enrolled advocates on Saturday at the Supreme Court's Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... Registry.
Referring to a misconception in the minds of people regarding supremacy of the parliament, he said that it is the constitution which expresses and embodies the will of the people.
He further said that the apex court was fully empowered to strike down any law which is in conflict with the constitution.
Moreover, he said that, even in the United Kingdom itself, the doctrine of supremacy of Parliament is now seen to be out of place. The chief justice further emphasized that it is time, after 65 years of Pakistain's independence, that "we free ourselves from the shackles of obsequious intellectual servility to colonial paradigms and start adhering to our Constitution."
"We should only examine our own Constitution to ensure that the will of the people prevails which is the very essence of a democratic system," said the chief justice.
He said that we should only examine our own constitution to ensure that will of the people prevails which is the very essence of a democratic system.
The chief justice also emphasized the need for an independent judiciary in the country and said that only a free and independent judiciary could ensure that will of the people is enforced in its true spirit. Reference in this regard was made to Article 190 of the constitution which bounds all executive and judicial authorities to act in the aid of the Supreme Court.
We want supremacy of law and the Constitution in the country, said the chief justice, stressing that the constitution is to be followed, preserved and protected at all costs.
[Dawn] An All Parties Conference (APC) held under the umbrella of Difa-e-Pakistain Council (DPC) on Saturday has come to an agreement on different issues regarding national autonomy, security and integrity.
However, a clean conscience makes a soft pillow... the priority will be given to get the US forces out of the region, vacated all air bases of Pakistain and blocked the drone attacks.
The DPC has announced its long march schedule against NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... supply reopening according to which the march will commence from Lahore at 10:00 am on Sunday. The participants will stay in Gujrat at night and will march towards Islamabad via Rawalpindi.
The APC held here at a local hall on Saturday was attended by representatives of as many as fifty political and religious parties. Among them eminent were Jamaat-e-Islami ...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores... (JI) chief Syed Munawar Hassan ... The funny-looking Amir of the Pak Jamaat-e-Islami. He joined the National Students Federation (NSF), a lefty student body, and was elected its President in 1959. He came into contact with the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) Pakistan and studied the writings of Mawlana Syed Abul Ala Maududi, The Great Apostasizer. As a result, he joined IJT in 1960 and soon he was elected as President of its University of Karachi Unit and member of the Central Executive Council. He was Assistant Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistain in 1992-93, and became Secretary General in 1993. After years of holding Qazi's camel he was named Amir when the old man stepped down in 2009... , Jamaat-ud-Dawa ...the front organization of Lashkar-e-Taiba... (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed ...who would be wearing a canvas jacket with very long sleeves anyplace but Pakistain... , Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, General Hamid Gul The nutty former head of Pakistain's ISI, now Godfather to Mullah Omar's Talibs and good buddy and consultant to al-Qaeda's high command... , Maulana Fazlur Rahim, Maulana Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, Khadim Hussain Dhillun, Allama Ibtisam Ilahi Zahir, Hafiz Abdul Ghaffar Ropri, Ameer Hamza, Qari Muhammad Yaqub, Maulana Abdur Rauf Farooqui, Abdur Rahman Makki and others.
Addressing the gathering and later speaking to media representatives, DPC chairman Maulana Samiul Haq deplored that US once again had openly flouted the security and autonomy of Pakistain by recent drone strikes in North Wazoo that killed 24 people on Friday.
He lamented that the government had sold Pakistain's illusory sovereignty and autonomy for $1.1 billion while the US and its allies were suffering a loss of billions of dollars per day.
He said the US had at once paid back Pakistain in shape of drone attacks and "gifted" Pakistain with 22 bodies including women and kiddies. If Parliament and Supreme Court had defended Pakistain, the situation will not have become so miserable, he added.
Maulana Sami-ul-Haq regretted that DPC invited other politicians including PML-N president 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... , PTI Chairman Imran Khan ... aka Taliban Khan, who who convinced himself that playing cricket qualified him to lead a nuclear-armed nation with severe personality problems... , JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman Deobandi holy man, known as Mullah Diesel during the war against the Soviets, his sympathies for the Taliban have never been tempered by honesty ... and others to come forward for the 'defence' of the country but no one attended the APC. If anyone wants to lead the movement, we are ready to work his leadership, he offered.
He categorically denied the notion that DPC was working under the patronage of military or secret agencies and it had no political objectives.
The JI chief while addressing the APC, warned that if the nation will not get united on the issue, Pakistain will become a slave country. He deplored that the rulers had passed over the Parliament resolutions and ignored the apex court decisions.
He strongly reacted to the statement of PM's Interior Advisor Rehman Malik Pak politician, Interior Minister under the Gilani government. Malik is a former Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) intelligence officer who rose to head the FIA during Benazir Bhutto's second tenure. Malik was tossed from his FIA job in 1998 after documenting the breath-taking corruption of the Sharif family. By unhappy coincidence Nawaz Sharif became PM at just that moment and Malik moved to London one step ahead of the button men. He had to give up the interior ministry job because he held dual Brit citizenship. said the government itself never obeyed any law.
He reiterated his demand that government should pull out from "War on Terror" for formulation of independent foreign policy. He said the country was being pushed toward anarchy in order to block Pakistain's nuclear program.
The host of the APC Hafiz Muhammad Saeed appealed to the masses to get united in order to transform Pakistain into a real autonomous and sovereign country.
Jordan has forcibly returned Paleostinian refugees fleeing Syria and threatened to deport others, Human Rights Watch ... dedicated to bitching about human rights violations around the world... said Wednesday.
Since April, Jordanian authorities have arbitrarily cooled for a few years Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out! Paleostinians fleeing Syria in a holding center, the report said.
Thousands of Syrian refugees have entered Jordan without passing through an official border crossing after the Syrian state forces started to crush an opposition movement 16 months ago, according to the rights group.
Unlike Syrians, Paleostinian refugees have been cooled for a few years Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out! without possibility of release unless they return to Syria, according to Human Rights Watch.
Said al-Wadi al-Manasir, general secretary at the Jordanian Interior Ministry, told Human Rights Watch that the policy of releasing Syrians and detaining Paleostinians was because Paleostinians were not facing violence in Syria.
He was unable to explain why Jordan changed its policy in mid-April, before which Paleostinians were freed from the detention center like Syrians once they had established their identity and found a guarantor.
Al-Manasir denied Jordan had returned any Paleostinians to Syria, but refugees told Human Rights Watch that they had been forced back to the country.
Paleostinians in Syria told Human Rights Watch in June that Syrian security forces are detaining hundreds of people, including Paleostinians, in the Yarmouk suburb of Damascus ...Home to a staggering array of terrorist organizations... where 200,000 Paleostinians live.
They said that thousands of Paleostinians have recently fled the city of Homs and its suburbs because of the violence there, as well as from Daraa due to recent heavy shelling, and have sought refuge in Yarmouk.
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The World Bank on Tuesday said it paid $22.3 million to the Paleostinian Authority to help with a budget crisis.
The funds are from a trust paid into by the governments of Australia, La Belle France, Kuwait, Norway, and the UK, the World Bank said in a statement.
It noted that the aid was slated to support education, health care and other social services and for the economic reforms undertaken by the West Bank government.
The Paleostinian Authority labor minister said Saturday that due to the government's worsening financial crisis, public sector salaries would not be paid on time in July.
Israeli and Paleostinian officials told Rooters on Monday that Israel had sought a $1 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund for the Paleostinian Authority to prevent its financial collapse.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz said the IMF turned down the request because it did not want to set a precedent of one state getting a loan on behalf of a non-state body.
Leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Saturday criticised the slow pace of peace talks with the government, and warned that some members were growing dissatisfied. The comments came as thousands attended a gathering at the MILF camp in Mindanao, including heavily armed fighters and government peace negotiators.
MILF chairman Murad Ebrahim said despite the sluggish pace of talks his group remained committed to the negotiations. He told MILF supporters, "It is sad... that even though the MILF has drastically scaled down its position, negotiations with the government are moving at a snail's pace. The Philippine government is not too inclined to solve the armed conflict but (wants) to manage the armed conflict to a level where it can... rule the (Muslim people) and exploit the resources of (their) homeland."
Murad said he hoped the government of President Benigno Aquino would be different from administrations in the past. He said, "It is only when negotiations fail that we will consider all other options that may be available."
MILF vice-chairman Ghazali Jaafar said his group was seeking self-determination for Muslim Filipinos and not just a halt to the fighting. He added, "Because of the very extensive and lengthy negotiations, other (MILF) leaders view the negotiations with uncertainty."
(SANA)- The Popular Front for Defending the Syrian People and Its National Leadership on Sunday held an event to express solidarity with Syria in Shaab village in al-Jaleel.
A number of Moslem and Christian clergymen participated in the event, in addition to national figures and a huge crowd of the different spectrums of the Paleostinian society, along with delegations from Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan.
The participants expressed full solidarity with Syria, leadership and people, considering the conspiracy hatched against Syria as a targeting of the whole Arab nations.
They denounced the instigative media campaign against Syria asking for boycotting the tendentious ad biased media outlets and voicing strong condemnation of the terrorist attack which recently targeted the Syrian al-Akhbariya TV channel and all other terrorist attacks and bombings in the country.
They saluted the Syrian Arab Army, saying it is a symbol of the unity of Syria and its people, calling upon the Syrians to cooperate and stand together to stop the violence and foil the conspiracy against their homeland.
SANA_ The United Nations ...the Oyster Bay money pit... envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... , criticized Western comments on Russia with regard to the crisis in Syria, inquiring, at the same time, about the other countries which "send weapons and money."
In an interview with the French daily "Le Monde", published Saturday, Annan said the countries, which comment on Russia, claim they want a peaceful solution in Syria, but they take individual or collective initiatives that undermine the UN Security Council resolutions.
Annan added that the focus on Russia irritates Russian officials too much, expressing regret over the Syrian opposition's rejection of the Geneva Conference decisions.
" It is strange for the opposition to claim that it was betrayed or sold," Annan said.
The envoy added that the principle of "the responsibility to protect", which was used in Libya, has created a problem since China and Russia have considered that they were deceived.
Annan said "It has been 16 months since the crisis in Syria began, but I didn't start work but since three months," noting that he has exerted utmost efforts to resolve the crisis "peacefully and politically,"
"We have failed and there is no guarantee that we will succeed", he said, adding: "Have we considered alternatives? Do we have other options on the table? I said that before the Security Council,"
Annan saw that Russia has an influence on the situation in Syria, but "I am not sure that the events will be determined by Russia only," he said.
" Iran is a player as it should be a part of the solution and we can't ignore that." Annan concluded.
(SANA) -- The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the meeting of the so-called "friends of Syria" group in Gay Paree is unilateral, politically wrong, and immoral, because these "friends" are relying exclusively on just one part of the opposition.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Ministry's front man Alexander Lukashevich said that Russia, China and other countries that are bound by friendship to Syria refused to join the ranks of those "friends" for the aforementioned reasons.
Lukashevich stressed that being friends with only a part of the Syrian opposition will just lead to intensifying contradictions and confrontation within Syria and making the stances of the conflicting sides in Syria more extreme, which can only lead to continuing violence and more tragedies.
He said that there's an impression that some of those who participated in the meeting in Geneva on June 30th aren't taking the responsibilities which are entailed by the resulting document seriously, noting that the final document issued by the meeting stipulates for all sides of the work group to work toe encourage all sides in Syria to fully implement the plan of UN Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo...
"Instead, they present theatrical and political propaganda shows that are similar to conferences of political parties, in which the fate of Syria is discussed in the absence of its main representatives and loud calls are made for the opposition to go into battle to undermine the Syrian leadership," Lukashevich said, noting that all of this is given generous financial and economic support with signs given backstage indicating the possibility of resorting to the brute force scenario.
He went on to stress that Moscow adheres precisely to the plan for peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis by the Syrians themselves without foreign intervention, and that general directives for such a settlement were laid down in Geneva.
Lukashevich affirmed the need to unite the Syrian opposition on the basis of the aforementioned directives and initiate dialogue with the government, which would allow the Syrians to decide upon their country's fate independently and democratically within the framework of Syria's illusory sovereignty, independence, national unity and territorial integrity.
Chairman of the Social Council at the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Korotchenko, said that the Turkish aircraft downed in the Syrian territorial waters had violated Syrian airspace on an intelligence mission for the NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and organization.... aiming at measuring the capabilities of the Syrian anti-air defenses.
In an interview with Russia Today, Korotchenko said that the Syrian defenses showed high skills in downing this aircraft, stating that this shows that Syrian air defenses can confront any threat.
He said that this is quite important as the west will think deeply about undertaking aerial operations against Syria in the future because it realizes that the losses in planes and pilots will be very significant.
Korotchenko said that Russia has documented information on the infiltration of the aircraft which confirm the truth about the aircraft's mission and its crew's orders, adding that the aircraft was destroyed legally as it was within the Syrian airspace.
He said that the aircraft was conducting espionage and photo reconnaissance of important site, and that the Turks didn't anticipate that the Syrian anti-air defenses will be able to down this aircraft due to its high maneuverability and low altitude, expecting it to return safely to base after finishing its mission.
Korotchenko said that Turkish intelligence sought to obtain information about Syria's anti-air defenses for the benefit of NATO, and that the efficiency of these defenses were proven which constitutes a blow to the Turkish air forces due to this failure.
He also refuted the Turkish officials allegations regarding this incident, saying that Turkish diplomacy is making considerable efforts to appear innocent and lay full blame on Syria.
Korotchenko said that Turkish intelligence sought to obtain information about Syria's anti-air defenses for the benefit of NATO, and that the efficiency of these defenses were proven which constitutes a blow to the Turkish air forces due to this failure.
Rubbish! But please tell me, how many Orders of Lenin were issued the missile crew?
On June 25th an Iranian diplomat allegedly attempted to sexually abuse a 10 year old girl in Frankfurt. He allegedly tried to kiss her and held her hips.
Seven days later he was arrested in a park but immediately released at the police station as he was carrying a diplomatic passport. Apparently he was relying on diplomatic immunity. I didn't know chutzpah was a Farsi loanword.
This was 'a slap in the face' for the girl's mother. However the Frankfurt prosecutor's office is still investigating the case and the scope of the diplomat's immunity.
This diplomat might enjoy only a qualified immunity covering official acts but not private conduct like Strauss Kahn.
The Iranian consulate did not comment. Iranian media reported a diplomat was attacked by an African woman and thereafter abused by German police. Looks like there's some racial angle here.
Of course. How dare those infidel dogs protest the attentions of one of Allah's Beloved?
If he has immunity make him PNG and send him home.
Probably that's what'll happen. I think they did the same with the diploperv in Brazil.
A Lebanese Salafist cleric who has emerged over the past year from obscurity to become a leading and controversial Sunni activist has launched a sit-in in this port city to press for the disarming of the powerful Shiite Hezbollah organization.
A brave man.
A year ago, Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir was known only to a small group of followers who attended his sermons at the Bilal bin Rabeh mosque in Sidon. But with neighboring Syria mired in ever worsening violence, the sheikh's calls for support for the Syrian rebels and his outspoken criticism of Hezbollah have earned him a national platform and drawn admirers among frustrated Lebanese Sunnis who feel overshadowed by their powerful Shiite rival.
"The imbalance in Lebanon, all the economic problems in Lebanon, all the political problems are a result of the weapons of the Resistance [Hezbollah]," he told the Monitor in an interview. "But every time we raise the subject of the non-state weapons, they accuse us of being [pro-Israel] traitors."
Sheikh Assir and his followers have blocked off a 200-yard stretch of the main highway bypassing the city center which connects south Lebanon to Beirut, 23 miles north of Sidon. The Lebanese security authorities have chosen for now not to intervene to avoid a confrontation with the cleric. The cleric is certainly media savvy. His polite, smiling walkie-talkie-carrying aides quickly usher reporters into his presence and ply them with bottles of water and cups of coffee as Sheikh Assir delivers his message - an unusually bold one at that.
In an interview on Lebanon's Al-Jadeed television on June 23, Sheikh Assir accused Hezbollah and the leader of the Shiite Amal Movement of using their political weight to dominate Lebanon and isolate the Sunni community. The offices of Al-Jadeed were firebombed two days later by suspected Shiite supporters of Mr. Berri, who is also Lebanon's parliamentary speaker.
Still, not every Sunni supports Sheikh Assir's sit-in. Not all Sunnis are against Hezbollah. The Shiite party traditionally champions Sunni-Shiite harmony, believing that Muslims should unite to face the greater threat of Israel. Hezbollah has spent years winning over Sunnis to its cause. Even Sunni politicians from the mainstream Future Movement, itself a bitter rival to Hezbollah, have criticized the sheikh's tactics even while agreeing with his core message. However, Sheikh Assir's uncompromising rhetoric and activist stance threaten to undermine the more moderate established Sunni politicians.
But Sheikh Assir is unrepentant and says that his protest will continue.
"We have reached the point of no return," he says. "Even if they bribe us with palaces, we need to keep our dignity."
Lots of lean men in deerstalker hats and magnifying glasses are running around, finding clues. Yesterday they found three lost dogs no one had even known were gone.
[An Nahar] Opposition MP Butros Harb stressed on Saturday that he will delay briefing the public about the details on the liquidation attempt against him.
"I've already said that I will inform the public about the results of the investigation and I thought it would happen on Monday, but the probe requires few additional days to analyze the obtained information," Harb told news hounds after holding talks with Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji at his residence in Hazmieh.
He stated that the investigations are going on in a proper manner.
"The information obtained by the security agencies gives us hope that we're on the right track to reveal the identities of the offenders," the politician said.
Asked if the data obtained by Qahwaji coincide with that obtained by Internal Security Forces Chief Ashraf Rifi, he said: "the security agencies are cooperating among each other."
Harb noted that he's "incapable yet" of determining the side behind the attempt on his life.
"I have no desire to accuse anyone without making sure, but the general conditions in the country are responsible," he pointed out.
Qahwaji briefed Harb on the latest developments regarding the investigations, stressing that the army intelligence is cooperating with the ISF to reveal the sides behind his attempted liquidation.
Harb called on the state to become more "aware," urging the politicians to become more patriotic.
He voiced his support to the army and the other security agencies, saying: "They can't fully carry out their tasks unless the Lebanese people give up the illegal arms."
Harb escaped an liquidation bid on Thursday after residents of a building in which his office is located in the Beirut district of Badaro discovered individuals trying to booby-trap the elevator.
[An Nahar] Al-Mustaqbal ... the Future Movement, political party led by Saad Hariri... parliamentary bloc leader MP Fouad Saniora accused on Saturday the cabinet of covering up for "criminals and liquidation groups," wondering if Prime Minister Najib Miqati is waiting until all the opposition leaders are "liquidated" until he decides to hand over the telecommunications data.
"The citizens are wondering if the liquidation bids returned while the cabinet is still under the influence of the political rift," Saniora said at a national gathering in Majdelyoun.
He pointed out that the cabinet is fully aware that the only way to uncover the liquidation bids is by allowing the security agencies to obtain the telecom data, "isn't it suspicious" that they are blocking the agencies from obtaining it?"
The March 14 opposition coalition has held the government responsible for the liquidation bid on Harb for withholding the telecom data to uncover similar plots.
MP Butros Harb was the target of a murder attempt on Thursday after residents of a building in which his office is located in the Beirut district of Badaro discovered individuals trying to booby-trap the elevator.
"They tried to assassinate (Lebanese Forces A Christian political party founded by Bashir Gemayel, who was then bumped off when he was elected president of Leb... leader) Samir Geagea ... Geagea was imprisoned by the Syrians and their puppets for 11 years in a dungeon in the third basement level of the Lebanese Ministry of Defense. He was released after the Cedar Revolution in 2005 ... , then they tried to murder MP Butros Harb, is he (Miqati) waiting until all the members of the opposition are liquidated?" Saniora wondered.
He lashed out at the cabinet, describing it as "a government with no vision."
Saniora addressed the centrists in the state, saying "that the continuing obstruction of the telecom data is a decision to assassinate all those who are opposing the arms of Hizbullah and the cabinet."
He stressed that the March 14 forces want to expose those who are behind the liquidation bids.
Saniora stated that the illegitimate arms are "shutting the mouths, silencing the media, collapsing cabinets and forming others."
"The problem is with the illegal arms," he said.
He said that the current cabinet can't oversee the upcoming 2013 elections, noting that there is still time to form a salvation cabinet, "before it's too late."
[Bangla Daily Star] A US federal judge has ordered Iran to pay more than $813 million in damages and interest to the families of 241 US soldiers killed in the 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks in Leb. Right. Good luck with that.
"After this opinion, this court will have issued over $8.8 billion in judgments against Iran as a result of the 1983 Beirut bombing," Judge Royce Lamberth wrote in a ruling this week, a copy of which was seen Friday by AFP.
"Iran is racking up quite a bill from its sponsorship of terrorism," the Washington judge added, noting that "a number of other Beirut bombing cases remain pending, and their completion will surely increase this amount."
On October 23, 1983, 241 American soldiers, including 220 Marines, were killed in Beirut when a truck packed with explosives rammed through barricades and detonated in front of the US barracks near Beirut's international airport.
The attack was one of the deadliest ever against Americans.
The same day, in a coordinated attack, 58 French paratroopers were killed by a truck bomb at the French barracks in Beirut.
The twin bombings have been blamed on Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran.
Lamberth, whose ruling was delivered Tuesday, wrote that "no award -- however many billions it contained -- could accurately reflect the countless lives that have been changed by Iran's dastardly acts."
The nearly $813.77 million verdict is the eighth against Iran resulting from the 1983 bombing.
In 2007, under a law allowing foreign governments to be sued in US courts, the same judge ordered Iran to pay $2.65 billion to victims' families, an amount he wrote at the time "may be the largest ever entered by a court of the United States against a foreign nation."
"The court applauds plaintiffs' persistent efforts to hold Iran accountable for its cowardly support of terrorism," Lamberth wrote in this week's ruling.
One of the pragmatic reasons for Iran to dev NucWeaps is to avoid the casualties of the 1980's Iran-Iraq War, includ as per both the SCUD-centric "War of the Cities", as well the deadly at-sea confrontations between the IRGC + the US-NATO Navies.
IMO Iran is NOT ready yet to even attempt to carry out its "grand strategery" of restricting the US CVNS + Gator Boyz/Amphibs to the Sea of Oman + beyond - at this point in time, I see it as more willing to wage a LIMITED LAND WAR to mil defend its ally Syria or its interests in Central Asia + AFPAK. AS BEFORE, IRAN WILL PREFER TO REMAIN AMAP ALAP ON THE MEDIA, DIPLOMATIC, + MILPOL STRATEGIC DEFENSIVE DESPITE ANY RHETORIC TO THE CONTRARY, + AVOID ANY MAJOR CONFLICT WID THE US.