[An Nahar] Leading Egyptian dissident Mohammed ElBaradei on Saturday unveiled a new party he said was aimed at rescuing last year's uprising from a "tragic" transitional period under the ruling military.
The former U.N. nuclear watchdog chief and Nobel Laureate said the goal of his new Constitution Party was to "to rescue the great January revolution that has diverted from its course."
ElBaradei, who had considered standing in next month's presidential election but ultimately decided against it, called the military-led transitional period since the uprising ousted president Hosni Mubarak ...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011... in February 2011 "tragic."
"When we undertook the revolution, we did not imagine the situation we are in today, nor the tragic transitional period we are living today," he said at a news conference.
The outspoken dissident and critic of the ruling generals said the economy had deteriorated while the elected parliament was not fully representative of all Egyptians.
He also criticized next month's presidential election, which will be held before a new constitution defining the leader's role is in place.
"For these reasons, and others, we decided the time has come to start organized political work," he said.
"The majority of Egyptian people... undertook this revolution to achieve goals no two people would differ about. To live free in our country, for each Egyptian to have the right to a dignified life," he said.
Britain's military has told residents of an upscale apartment development near the Olympic Park in east London it is installing a missile battery on top of a tower within their housing complex to defend the 2012 Games this summer.
The site is one of a number around the capital the army is considering as bases for surface-to-air missiles to protect the London games from an aerial attack, the Ministry of Defense said.
Is there likely to be an airborne attack against London in honour of the Olympics? To me a jacket wallah or knapsack bombs in the subway or a sniper seems more likely... though granted I have absolutely no expertise in the matter.
Controversial US pastor Terry Jones has burned more copies of the Koran and a depiction of the prophet Mohammed to protest the imprisonment in Iran of a Christian clergyman, The Gainesville Sun reported.
The newspaper said Jones and another pastor, who carried out their protest in front of their church in Gainesville, Florida on Saturday, demanded the release of Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from an Iranian prison.
Jones said Nadarkhani faces execution.
According to the report, the Pentagon urged Jones to reconsider, expressing concern that American soldiers in Afghanistan and elsewhere could be put at greater risk because of the act.
In March 2011, Jones' assistant, pastor Wayne Sapp, burned a copy of the Koran and broadcast the ceremony on the Internet.
The images incited violence in northern Afghanistan, in which at least 12 people were killed.
Later, a man wearing an Afghan border police uniform shot dead two US military personnel.
About 20 people attended Saturday's burning, the paper said. Several Gainesville police officers were stationed across the street from the church.
Moments after the ceremony, the Gainesville fire department issued the church a citation for violating the city's fire ordinances, the paper noted.
US Navy, Air Force, ground, intelligence and special forces units based at home, in Europe and the Middle East, took part this week in a special exercise ordered by President Barack Obama I inhaled. That was the point... to simulate reactions to a potential US-Israel strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, debkafile's exclusive military and Washington sources report.
Sunday, April 22, the US also transferred a number of advanced stealth F-22 fighter bombers, believed to be from the 302nd Fighter Squadron 302, from the joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska to the Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.
According to our sources, the F-22 jets will join the F-15s of the Massachusetts Air National Guard's 104th Fighter Wing which were transferred to the Al Udeid base a month ago.
Their mission will be to destroy the Iranian air force and air defense batteries so as to clear the way for US and Israeli bombers to go into action against Iran's nuclear sites and the strategic infrastructure of its army and Revolutionary Guards Corps.
This unprecedented US buildup of air might - supplementing the aircraft on the decks of the USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Enterprise, to be joined by a third carrier as soon as the offensive gets underway -- shows Tehran that the B.O. regime is serious about using military means as extra pressure on Iran to give way in diplomatic negotiations -- both with the six powers and with the US through clandestine channels.
Both moves took place as the United States and five other world powers prepares for the second round of talks with Iran scheduled for next month to rein in its nuclear program.
The comment Israel's chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz made to AP on April 26 about "other countries" having readied their armed forces for a potential strike "to keep Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons" referred to the deployment of the F-22 stealth jets. He did not name the other countries.
His comment was received in Washington as Israel's strongest message till now that it will not be alone in attacking Iran but will have partners, presumably the US - and possibly also Britannia, La Belle France, German, Holland or Italia.
At the end of the US exercise simulating Day One of this attack, debkafile reports that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ...current SecDef, previously Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Panetta served as President Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1997 and was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993.... and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey submitted to the White House three conclusions:
1.┬ Iran's response to a military strike will be "measured," both to limit the damage to the regime and to conserve military resources for a possible follow-up attack;
2.┬ The Iranians will go back to work on building a nuclear weapon within a short time;
3. ┬ The destruction of core elements of its nuclear program is expected to change Iran's attitude in negotiations, making it less cocky and more submissive to international demands.
Like so many others, the final decision to pull the trigger on the world's most-wanted man was delegated to an admiral who undoubtedly would have been thrown under the bus had the mission failed.
It's been almost a year since President B.O.'s leadership and foreign policy bona fides were allegedly established by the operation that killed the late Osama bin Laden. ... who was laid out deader than a mackerel, next to the mackerel... A campaign film narrated by Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks tells of the president's alleged solitary, agonizing decision. "It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly a shot rang out! Then another shot! Then six or seven more! Maybe it was a dozen!..."
With apologies to Vice President Biden, maybe President B.O. doesn't carry quite as big a stick as Joe would lead us to believe.
As reported by Big Peace, Time magazine has obtained a memo written by Leon Panetta, ...current SecDef, previously Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Panetta served as President Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1997 and was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993.... then-director of the Central Intelligence Agency and now-Secretary of Defense, that says "operational decision-making and control" was really in the hands of William McRaven, a three-star admiral and former Navy SEAL.
"The timing, operational decision-making and control are in Adm. McRaven's hands," the memo says. "The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the president. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the president for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and, if he is not there, to get out."
In other words, it was McRaven's call to pull the trigger or not on the raid.
Some would say that this is a distinction without a difference, sort of like a head coach in football drawing up the game plan and letting his offensive coordinator actually call the plays. Then, technically, President George W. Bush gets the credit, since it was on his watch our war on terror was declared, Navy SEALs and Special Forces funding was increased and the hunt for Osama bin Laden began.
The Panetta memo, rather than presenting a profile in courage, says "approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the president." This left enough wiggle room to blame the operation planners and controllers if the raid had gone as wrong as President Jimmy Carter's ... the worst president ever. Maybe the second worst. The votes aren't all in yet... famous failure to rescue American hostages held by Iran. This memo left room for the blame for another "Blackhawk Down" snafu to be blamed on anyone and everyone but President B.O.
Luckily, operational control was in McRaven's hands, and the planning, execution and decision-making were virtually flawless. There was no repeat of the incident years before of Sandy Berger, last seen stuffing classified documents in his pants, telling a CIA and Northern Alliance team in Afghanistan, on that occasion literally a matter of feet away from bin Laden, that if they want to grab him, they'll have to do it on their own. So they didn't.
In other words, it was McRaven's call to pull the trigger or not on the raid.
No┬...no it wasn┬'t. The CiC made the call. The Admiral had operational control. That┬'s called chain of command. Perhaps, The O-Teams' shameful political exploitation of the event invited the predictable pushback. But this Op/Ed is both intellectually dishonest and flat-out petty. One can expect the O-Minions to initiate ┬"Operation Sore-Losers┬" post haste.
No┬...no it wasn┬'t. The CiC made the call. The Admiral had operational control. That┬'s called chain of command.
It simply means that the operation was approved by higher authority, but Admiral McRaven had the authority to approve a 'go', or to cancel the raid. Sort of the old-fashioned way of running an operation, as opposed to the White House or the Pentagon being the final approval authority for engaging a target(ask me how I know).
The question, to me, is whether the President was in from the start. Or as some sources suggested, he was boxed into it. A minor thing, but telling.
Gurdaspur: Women officials of the Border Security Force (BSF) reportedly shot dead an intruder allegedly of Pakistani origin on Sunday afternoon.
According to reports, the intruder was trying to enter India through the Derababa outpost in the Gurdaspur sector. The Derababa outpost is guarded by women personnel of the 71st battalion of the BSF.
According to the BSF, the intruder cut the border fence when he noticed that women officials were guarding the post. He was reportedly shot dead by the women officials when he tried to attack them after being told to stop.
"Two women BSF personnel of 74 Battalion noticed the movement nearby barbed wire on the border and they challenged the intruder to surrender as he was illegally trying to sneak into the Indian territory from the Pakistan side," DIG, BSF, PS Bains said.
Mr Bains said that the BSF recovered a sim card belonging to a Pakistan mobile operator, but the intruder's identity was yet to be ascertained.
The incident took place in the Gurdaspur district at around 1:30 pm on Sunday.
[Dawn] The United States was told categorically on Friday that progress towards re-engagement would not be possible without an apology over last year's air strikes in which 24 Pak troops bit the dust.
"President Asif Ali President Ten Percent Zardari ... sticky-fingered husband of the late Benazir Bhutto ... has said that after Pakistain has followed the democratic course for re-engagement with the United States ..., it was now the turn of the US... to help Pakistain in reaching closure on Salala," said a statement issued by the presidency after Mr Zardari's meeting with a US delegation led by Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistain Marc Grossman.
President Zardari went to the extent of indicating willingness to restore NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... supply lines under new terms in a bid to get the apology as quid pro quo, but the Americans appeared to be uncompromising.
"We have already initiated an inter-agency consultation process and broad parameters have been developed for an agreement on Isaf/NATO supplies through Pakistain," Mr Zardari said.
Instead of apologising, the Americans want Pakistain to settle for invitation to Chicago Summit in return for the reopening of ground supply routes.
Other officials engaged in dialogue with the US for rebooting ties also said that the US reluctance to apologise had stymied the normalisation process and the first round of talks in Islamabad ended without making any headway.
The Nov 26 attack on the Salala post threw Pakistain-US ties, which had already been weighed down by the challenging events of 2011, into a tailspin and Pakistain reacted by ordering revision of terms of engagement with Washington, suspending NATO supply routes and evicting the Americans from the Shamsi airbase.
On completion of a protracted review process, parliament sought apology and punishment for those responsible for the deadly strike in addition to other demands, including cessation of drone attacks and cutting down American footprint in Pakistain.
The US has already refused to negotiate on drone strikes, leaving Pakistain to push for alternatives that could at least satisfy its illusory sovereignty concerns.
President Zardari made mention of this during his meeting and said: "Drone attacks are highly counter-productive in the war against cut-throats ... both sides should consider setting up a framework of mechanism to find mutually acceptable alternatives."
The US has also reneged on its commitment to apologise for the Salala incident. The US, officials said, had communicated to Pakistain during the London meeting between Secretary of States Hillary Clinton ... sometimes described as The Woman to Call at 3 a.m. and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as Another Richelieu ... and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar that both civilian and military leadership would apologise. Gen Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was to apologise on behalf of the military and Secretary Clinton on behalf of the politicianship.
But that couldn't happen for a variety of reasons, chiefly President Barack Obama's Because I won... domestic political compulsions.
[Dawn] High-level talks on ending a diplomatic deadlock between the United States and Pakistain have ended in failure over Pak demands for an apology from the United States, The New York Times ...which still proudly displays Walter Duranty's Pulitzer prize... reported Saturday.
The newspaper said US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistain Marc Grossman left Islamabad Friday night with no agreement.
The departure followed two days of discussions aimed at patching up the damage caused by a US air strike last November that killed 24 Pak soldiers on the Afghanistan border, the report said.
The United States refuses to apologise for the strike.
The incident has damaged the precarious US-Pak partnership and provoked outrage in Islamabad, which has retaliated by cutting off NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all.... supply routes to Afghanistan.
The United States and Pakistain disagree about the precise sequence of events in the deadliest single cross-border attack of the 10-year war in Afghanistan.
Addressing Pakistan's National Assembly for the first time following his conviction in the contempt of court case, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said that he could only be de-notified by the speaker.
"My crime is that I protected the constitution," Gilani said while addressing the parliament.
Nearly a year after Osama bin Laden was killed by US commandos, Pakistan's intelligence service is claiming credit for helping the CIA track down the terror leader.
Stung by lingering suspicions that it was complicit in sheltering bin Laden, an unnamed senior official with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) told The Washington Post, "The lead and the information actually came from us."
Another official said, "Any hit on [terror group] al Qaeda anywhere in the world has happened with our help."
Al Qaeda head bin Laden was killed May 2 last year by US Navy SEALs who launched an audacious raid on his secured compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad, north of Islamabad.
The fact that the world's most wanted terrorist was living right under the noses of Pakistan authorities put further strain on already tense relations between Washington and Islamabad.
As the anniversary of the successful US operation nears, the Pakistani officials told the Post that the ISI provided the CIA with a cell phone number in 2010 that eventually led to an al Qaeda courier, along with information that the phone had last been detected in Abbottabad.
The ISI said it did not know then that the number belonged to the al Qaeda courier.
"They [US officials] knew who the number belonged to," an official told the paper. "But after that their cooperation with us ended."
"It is the story of an extreme trust deficit and betrayal," the other ISI official complained.
The ISI officials said Washington officials were happy to acknowledge their help in private -- but never in public.
Washington denied the claims.
"The fact is our knowledge of the number didn't come from them telling us about it," an official said.
Aslam Beg tried to bribe Ch Shujaat
Quoted in Jinnah PMLQ leader Mushahid Hussain stated that army chief Aslam Beg had invited Ch Shujaat Hussain to his house and tried to persuade him to take Mehrangate money in order to oust the PPP. But the Chaudhrys refused to take the bait and declined to support Aslam Beg.
┬ Even Sartaj Aziz took Mehrangate money!
Quoted in Jinnah Pervez Perv Musharraf ... former dictator of Pakistain, who was less dictatorial and corrupt than any Pak civilian government to date ... stated that that the claim of Younus Habib was correct and the truth is that everybody took money before the 1990 election. He said that it was true that even Sartaj Aziz of the PMLN took the money.
Jamaat Ali Shah speaks out on Indian dams!
Ex-Indus Waters Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah who was rumoured to have decamped abroad spoke in Lahore to Jinnah
...which suggests the rumours were false...
saying that the Baglihar Dam Case against India was ruined by Pervez Musharraf and he should be held responsible. He said India was building illegal dams on Pak rivers because it was allowed by high officials in Pakistain who were appointed without merit. He said if anyone called him a traitor who had sold out Indus waters to India would be taken to court by him. According to Nawa-e-Waqt, Jamaat Ali Shah also said that Indus Waters Treaty should be carefully read because it allows India to take waters from Pakistain's rivers for domestic use.
┬ 'The robe of PMLN is without a spot!'
There was no comment on the status of the undergarments, however.
Quoted in Jinnah Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah stated that the robe of his party the PMLN was without a spot (daman saaf hai) as far as Mehrangate money was concerned. He said the scandal was raked up by corrupt rulers to distract public attention from their own misdeeds. He added that Younus Habib was a certified agent of the establishment.
┬ Javed Hashmi accuses PPP
Tehrik Insaf leader Javed Hashmi who is accused of taking ISI money as a member of PML told Mashriq that the accusers Younus Habib and Yusuf Memon were both linked to the PPP. He said 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... and all politicians accused of taking bribe for the 1990 elections should present themselves for accountability. According to Nawa-e-Waqt, Hashmi claimed that Younus Habib was a turncoat who once offered to be a witness against Asif Ali President Ten Percent Zardari ... sticky-fingered husband of the late Benazir Bhutto ... Aslam Beg's son-in-law got Rs 155 million
According to Jinnah Imtiaz Ali son-in-law of Army Chief General Aslam Beg got Rs 155 million
At an exchange rate of PKR 90.89 to the dollar, 155,000,000 PKR = 1,705,418.10┬ USD, which is rather a large bribe by American standards.
for his firm from the Mehrangate funds arranged by the general through Younus Habib. As for the family and friends of Nawaz Sharif they received Rs 20 crore from the same source.
┬ Mian Mehbub defends Objectives Resolution
Ex-Chief Justice of Lahore Court Mian Mehbub Ahmad was quoted by Nawa-e-Waqt as saying that Pakistain's Objectives Resolution of 1949 was greatly similar to the Mithaq-e-Madina, the charter proclaimed for the city of Madina after Hijrat. He said both ensured the rights of the non-Mohammedan minorities.
Was that when Mohammed was still preaching kindness to those Allah hates, before he got into the conquesting and enslaving and paying jizya?
He was speaking to a meeting in Lahore.
┬ Lord Nazir and America
Member of the House of Lords in the UK Lord Nazir was quoted in Nawa-e-Waqt as saying that America was not Pakistain's friends but an enemy that used hypocrisy (munafiq) in its relationship with Pakistain.
Quite unlike Pakistan, which uses taqiyya, because as Mohammed said, "War is deceit."
He said China alone qualified as Pakistain's best friend
Is not Saudi Arabia Pakistan's best friend and benefactor? What happened?
and he claimed that Pakistain soon will enter a period of peace and prosperity.
Said peace and prosperity being demonstration of Allah's approval. But what will happen if Allah continues not to approve?
IJI was Satan's party
Columnist Hasan Nisar wrote in Jang that the IJI alliance made with Mehrangate money by Army Chief Aslam Beg was the Party of Satan which is formed to drink the blood of the people of Pakistain. The IJI, though named as an Islamic alliance, had nothing to do with Islam; in fact it brought a bad name to Islam and insulted the Pak people.
┬ A poor country of rich senators
Daily Jinnah reported that a number of senators in Pakistain were very rich owning assets abroad more than in Pakistain. Chairman Senate Nayyar Bukhari owned plots in Islamabad valued at more than a billion rupees. Interior minister Rehman Malik Pak politician, current Interior Minister under the Gilani administration. Malik is a former Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) intelligence officer who rose to head the FIA during Benazir Bhutto's second tenure. He later joined the Pak Peoples Party and was chief security officer to Bhutto. 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. owned 40 kanals in Sialkot worth crores, a plot 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... DHA and a house in London worth Rs33 crore. Ishaq Dar too owned big business and property abroad.
┬ 'I will drag PPP rulers on roads!'
Fearless chief minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif was quoted in Express as saying that after the next election he would catch hold of the 40 thieves of PPP and drag them on the road from Larkana and Bloody Karachi all the way to Lahore. He said the prime minister did not want to write a letter to Switzerland ...home of the Helvetians, famous for cheese, watches, yodeling, and William Tell... because he wanted to protect the looted wealth of Zardari. He said Zardari wanted to hide his wealth behind the grave of his wife Benazir Bhutto ... 11th Prime Minister of Pakistain in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996. She was the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, founder of the Pakistain People's Party, who was murdered at the instigation of General Ayub Khan. She was murdered in her turn by person or persons unknown while campaigning in late 2007. Suspects include, to note just a few, Baitullah Mehsud, General Pervez Musharraf, the ISI, al-Qaeda in Pakistain, and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, who shows remarkably little curiosity about who done her in... Plastic surgery not allowed
Quoted in Express Allama Ibtisam Elahi Zaheer of Ahle Hadith said that plastic surgery was not allowed in Islam but those suffering from a birth defect could resort to it. Some other holy mans said that if a nose is crooked it can be put right through plastic surgery. But a eunuch said plastic surgery was necessary for his class because they became gay after surgery.
┬ Lawyers thrash court officials
Reported in Express a group of lawyers went berserk at a court of Lahore Cantt when court officials did not register their case according to their desires. They attacked the court notary (muharrir) and gave him a good thrashing and people who came to rescue were threatened by the lawyer gang (wukla-gardi). They were also deprived of their money and other belongings by the enraged wukla. The court officials decided to close down the court and go on strike.
┬ Pakistan is a very, very special place.
ISI didn't know
Columnist Hamid Mir wrote in Jang last time he was London a member of parliament said to him that since he had met Osama bib Laden he should be able to tell if the ISI was in the dark about Osama living for years in Abbottabad ... A pleasant city located only 30 convenient miles from Islamabad. The city is noted for its nice weather and good schools. It is the site of Pakistain's military academy, which was within comfortable walking distance of the residence of the late Osama bin Laden.... . To which Hamid Mir replied that he was sure the ISI and the Army did not know that Osama was staying in Abbottabad. It was incompetence (na-ehli) of the two rather than complicity.
┬ Imran Khan is like Gadafi
Reported in Mashriq Salman Rushdie said in India that Imran Khan ... aka Taliban Khan, who who convinced himself that playing cricket qualified him to lead a nuclear-armed nation with severe personality problems... had joined the Army and the Mullah in his politics and was not sincere. He added that Imran Khan would end up being like Libya's Gadafi who caused so much suffering to his people. Imran Khan even looked like Gadafi and if someone likes to make a film of on Gadafi Imran should star in it. He said in his youth he used to call him playboy but now he simply calls him an idiot.
┬ Memogate ended Pasha's career
Daily Mashriq reported that ISI chief General Ahmad Shuja Pasha ended his career by mounting the Memogate case against the PPP and left his job after implicating Pakistain in an expensive litigation in which the main character Mansoor Ijaz lied to protect American interests to an extent that the case became jeopardised.
IJI was Satan's party
Columnist Hasan Nisar wrote in Jang that the IJI alliance made with Mehrangate money by Army Chief Aslam Beg was the Party of Satan which is formed to drink the blood of the people of Pakistain. The IJI, though named as an Islamic alliance, had nothing to do with Islam; in fact it brought a bad name to Islam and insulted the Pak people.
There is some hope in Pakistan with articles like above.
Also how are the Chinese best friends when they are Godless like the Russians?
[An Nahar] Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi on Saturday attacked Paleostinian Authority "censorship" after authorities in Ramallah shut down websites criticizing President the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas ... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial... "Paleostine should not promote censorship, whether on the Internet or in other forms of communication," Ashrawi, an MP and Paleostine Liberation Organization executive committee member said in a statement.
"The blocking of Paleostinian news websites and other measures that prevent access to information and curb freedom of expression are in complete contradiction to the principles enshrined in the (Paleostinian) Basic Law," she said.
Paleostinian telecommunications minister Mashour Abu Daqqa announced his resignation on Friday, after the public prosecutor ordered the closure of several political websites.
[An Nahar] Official Syrian newspapers accused U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Saturday of "encouraging terrorists" and U.N.-Arab envoy 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... of failing to deliver on his promises.
At the same time, Arab and other countries were denounced for ignoring bombings in Syria, which the regime attributes to "terrorists" and the opposition to the government itself.
State newspaper Ath-Thawra wrote that "Kofi Annan boasts of the reports of his observers, and Ban Ki-Moon can invent any accusation he has been told to, but will they respect their promises and obligations?"
"Why don't they request the withdrawal of these terrorists? Why not mention their presence, their role and their supporters and financiers? And the killers who made them and allowed them to infiltrate our streets and exist among us?"
It said that those Arab countries "supported from abroad" do not want Annan's six-point peace plan to succeed.
"Groups and individuals were quick to declare (the plan's) failure ... with the alternatives being blood and terror and systematic killing and liquidation."
Government newspaper Tishrin wrote in an editorial that "the secretary general avoids talking about abuses by gangs and focuses his blame solely on Syria, as usual. He encourages these groups to continue to commit more crimes and terrorist acts, which at the end of the day, the Syrian citizen pays for with his life, blood and security."
The paper asserted that a Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... suicide kaboom on Friday proves that "armed terrorist groups" are continuing their aggression in violation of the U.N. ceasefire and in spite of the arrival of the international observers.
"Arab and international silence regarding the terrorist bombings in Syria (and) encourages the snuffies to repeat their crimes amid applause from countries such as Qatar, Soddy Arabia and Turkey."
The Baath newspaper, mouthpiece of the ruling party, accused the Saudis and Qataris of a "comprehensive escalation of crime" because it is the only way left "to derail the Annan plan."
The Syrian accusations contrast with widespread international condemnation, including from Ban and Annan, of the Syrian regime for not complying with its commitments under the plan. These include a ceasefire and a withdrawal of troops and heavy weapons from flashpoint cities.
In future, instead of just pasting the URL, try writing a word or phrase, highlight it, then click on the little globe icon below "Pic-a-Nic" below the comment box. Paste the URL into the box that pops up, click OK, and Fred's clever programming will create a hot link for you. Enjoy!
[An Nahar] Russia on Saturday said it backed delivering a "decisive rebuff" to "terrorists" operating in Syria a day after state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
reported 11 people killed in a kaboom outside a Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... mosque.
"We are convinced that the forces of Evil operating in Syria need a decisive rebuff, and that all domestic and outside players need to prevent any support" from reaching the rebel forces, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The wretched plight of the troops manning Syrian defense divisions defending the Golan border and Mt. Hermon was clearly visible from lookout points on the Israeli side in the last two days, DEBKAfile┬'s military sources report. The regular water and food supplies to their bases, the backbone of Syria┬'s defense lines against Israel, were stopped and redirected to the units fighting anti-Assad rebels in other parts of the country. Large groups of armed soldiers have gone AWOL to hunt for food. For the first time in years, some have approached the border fence. They don┬'t ask Israeli soldiers for food, but parcels thrown across the fence vanish in a trice.
According to our sources, the 5th Division posted in the Golan town of Quneitra has suffered the largest number of desertions, estimated at more than 1,500 officers and men, around 15 percent of the full complement. But hundreds of dropouts occur daily from the 15th, 9th and 7th Divisions stationed in central and southern Golan.
The district commands have meanwhile lost control of the Syrian-Israeli border deployment. Military facilities are deserted with no one to guard against trespassers. Gangs, local and from across Syria┬'s eastern borders with Jordan and Iraq, were quick to realize the bases are unguarded and have begun stripping them of equipment and looting everything they can lay hands on.┬ These gangs are working stealthily so as not to drawing the attention of Assad┬'s security forces which might stop the looting. But they are most likely being used by Assad┬'s Sunni enemies in Iraq and Jordan as vehicles to plant terrorist cells inside Syria for attacking military targets.
DEBKAfile┬'s intelligence and counter-terror sources disclose this is what happened at the Golan village of Sahm al-Jolan near Quneitra Friday, April 20 when a large (100 kilo) bomb blew up as a Syrian military convoy was passing through. At least 10 soldiers were killed and 35 injured. The Syrian authorities stated that a remote-controlled explosive device blew up against a bus carrying soldiers.
It is believed that a Jordanian Sunni terrorist band was responsible.┬ That day too, five Syrian soldiers were killed in another attack in the southern Syrian town of Karak near the flashpoint town of Deraa.
This is from the same appeasement playbook that was used in the 1930s with Hitler and we all know how that turned out. In fact it is also from the EUnik playbook that worked so well with Saddam and the MMs.
O & Co should have never have sent the bust of Churchill back to Britain. They could have learned some lessons about appeasement from Churchill.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
I'm guessing that last sentence means something else from what you wrote.
A year after the Navy SEAL raid that killed the late Osama bin Laden, ... who no longer exists... the Al Qaeda that carried out the Sept. 11 attacks is essentially gone but its affiliates remain a threat to America, U.S. counterterrorist officials say. The situation's similar to the end of World War II: Europe (the world, in fact) was still crawling with fascists and Nazis, but they weren't a major threat anymore. The literature of the time still featured evil Nazi villains, but the real world news had moved on to other things.
Core Al Qaeda's new leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, ... Formerly second in command of al-Qaeda, now the head cheese, occasionally described as the real brains of the outfit. Formerly the Mister Big of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Bumped off Abdullah Azzam with a car boom in the course of one of their little disputes. Is thought to have composed bin Laden's fatwa entitled World Islamic Front Against Jews and Crusaders. Currently residing in the North Wazoo area. That is not a horn growing from the middle of his forehead, but a prayer bump, attesting to how devout he is... still aspires to attack the U.S., but his Pakistan-based group is scrambling to survive, under fire from CIA drone zaps and lying low for fear of another U.S. raid. That has lessened the threat of another complex attack like a nuclear dirty bomb or a biological weapon, the officials say. This is probably the spot to note that the Paks still wax indignant over the drone zaps, even though they are theoretically to the benefit of the Paks. North Wazoo is way outside the control of Islamabad, though they still maintain liaison with the Qaeda-allied groups, including Jalaluddin Haqqani's little empire, various Pak Taliban groups, and the remnants of TNSM. Sami ul-Haq's Darul Uloom Haqqania madrassa, in Akora Khattak, turns out a thousand "Islamic scholars" a year. Mullah Sandwich is, of course, known as "the Father of the Taliban" and the madrassa is the "Harvard of the Taliban movement." Sami is unmolested and in fact revered in Pakistain, even having sat in the senate for a few years. He probably needed two chairs to accommodate the size of his ego.
Al Qaeda's loyal offshoots are still dangerous, especially Yemen's Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP. Some are, some aren't.
Al-Qaeda in Britain appears to be defunct, as does al-Q in Europe. We occasionally hear of an al-Q in Turkey kaboom, but the Grand Turk seems diligent about rounding them up and letting them see how they like being in a Turkish prison.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq died when Zarqawi got his. The level of violence has been dropping since he was stuffed and mounted, and the Iraqis are now capable of rounding up the Islamic remnants. They won't become a threat to the state unless the state starts to collapse.
Jemaah Islamiya, in southeast Asia, is similarly not quite defunct but getting there. Abu Sayyaf is reduced to being little more than bandidos, which is what they started out as, and the Pentagon Gang doesn't seem to be with us anymore.
JMB and HuJI in Bangladesh are also goners. Keep in mind that Bangla is a tangle of corruption and personality politics. All it takes to control terrorism is
to keep terrorism enablers like Jamaat-e-Islami out of the government and
a certain degree of ruthlessness.
Bangla has the second with the Rab, and they got the first when the government of Sheikh Hasina won over the loathsome BNP coalition of Khaleda Zia.
Qaeda in North Africa seems to have been mostly run out of Algeria, never got a toehold in Libya or Morocco, and hasn't even done well in Mauritania. The best they've been able to do recently is link up with the Tauregs and capture Timbuktoo from Mali, which is one of those things where you'd be surprised if they couldn't do it.
The Ethiopians are in Somalia, kicking Islamic butt for the second time. The Islamic Courts have been broken up -- the only guy they had who seemed to have any sense is now president of Somalia, while al-Shabaab, which was a mere murderous faction, is being forced out by the Aethiops, the AU, and domestic Islamist but not Qaeda groups. The turbans are now trying to take over Puntland, which will probably be a lot harder than they expect.
Boko Haram is on the rise in Nigeria and it presents a major threat that I don't think the Nigerian government quite comprehends. They're already picked up on two important facts: it's sponsored and financed by Nigerian politicians for domestic political ends, which is sure recipe for having your monster eat you at some point in the future; and there is significant foreign involvement. At some point they will either get serious and start rounding up holy men, or they'll have another civil war that will make Biafra look like... ummm... jello wrestling.
While not yet able to carry out complex attacks inside the U.S., ... which was the whole idea behind the War on Terror...
such groups are capable of hitting Western targets overseas ... and always will be. It doesn't take much in the way of hardware of training to commit an act of terror. Witness Breivik, the Norwegian anti-Islamist nutbag.
and are building armies and expertise while plotting violence, The "armies" are infinitesimal. Every time they pop up, except for Pakistain and possibly Timbuktoo, they get chopped to pieces. Usually it's by the local government, sometimes by Aethiops. Even in Yemen, which is a failed state by any definition except perhaps (and only perhaps) the one current in Sana'a, they're getting chopped up. They had to get rid of Saleh, and now they're getting rid of Saleh's minions, but they're hitting back in the south, and last we saw they were in the process of retaking Zinjibar. Like the maggots they are, al-Q thrives on decay and corruption. Once an even remotely competent government is in place they revert to being nothing but nuisances, if occasionally fatal nuisances.
according to senior U.S. counterterrorist officials who briefed reporters Friday. "Each will seek opportunities to strike Western interests in its operating area, but each group will have different intent and ability to execute those plans," said Robert Cardillo, a deputy director at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. That's kind of a plain vanilla statement of the obvious. I wonder why they call it Fox "News"?
The shift from a single, deadly group to a more amorphous threat may not seem much of an improvement. If you're being attacked by a horde of screaming Huns and General Aetius shows up with his legions to break the horde into smaller, digestible groups, your situation's improved. If you're foolish enough not to follow up and finish the job, and maybe even have Aetius bumped off, then failure's your own damned fault.
But the U.S. believes that the bin Laden raid and continued U.S. counterterrorist action have reduced the chance of a sophisticated, multipronged attack on the U.S. like the attacks of Sept. 11 or the deadly bombings in Madrid in 2004 and in London in 2005. The threat's "reduced" only because they're in the past. Young fellows who think turbans are neat continue running off to Pakistain to buy curly-toed slippers and to learn how to blow things up. It does not take a lot of money or a lot of training to commit an act of terror, especially when the agent is considered expendable. Every major act of terrorism in at least the past five years and maybe ten (I haven't checked in detail) has had at least one Pak involved at the controller level. The willingness to expend human life to achieve relatively minor ends is a hallmark of al-Q, and especially of Pak-based al-Q. Their level of respect for human life would make Fu Manchu blanch. Even Thulsa Doom would come down with the vapors.
An attack with weapons of mass destruction -- chemical, biological or nuclear -- by any Al Qaeda-related terror group also seems less likely in the coming year, Cardillo said. ... unless they can fit them into a boom jacket...
Al Qaeda's Zawahiri has not managed to harness multiple groups into a cohesive force focused on a single, catastrophic attack, officials said. Al Qaeda's key affiliates in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq and North Africa have pledged allegiance to Zawahri but, unimpressed with his leadership, "have not offered the deference they gave bin Laden," Cardillo said. Zawahri has a reputation as an abrasive manager and a less than charismatic speaker. He's argumentative and dogmatic, but he's also likely to have people he disagrees with blown up. His own end could very likely be at the hands of an indignant Mehsud whose second cousin's car blew up after an argument with Screech.
That loss of a single, charismatic voice likely means "multiple voices will provide inspiration for the movement," leading to a bout of soul-searching as to what the splinter groups want to target and why, Cardillo said. "There will be a vigorous debate about local versus global jihad within and among terror organizations," he said. The charismatic leaders will also be the guys who get that clenchy feeling between their shoulder blades whenever they hear a jet aircraft.
Another potentially positive sign is Al Qaeda's failure to hijack the Arab Spring revolt in Egypt, Tunisia or Libya. On the negative side, the officials said, Al Qaeda is working hard to co-opt rebels in Syria. Thre's been considerable alarm taken over the success of the Moslem Br├╝autderbund and al-Islah in the new Arab Spring governments. Since I don't have to live under their rule I'm considerably more sanguine. They're the cowpox to the al-Qaeda smallpox. The same people who are Islamist today were Nasserites or socialists fifty or sixty years ago, fascists 75 years ago, or Baathists at any time within that span. We're looking at a society where people follow the guy who has all the answers. The MB will now be given the chance to show their stuff, which will mean another thirty or forty years of oppression, just oppression that's of a different flavor than the oppression of the uniformed dictators they've been living under. There'll be another "Arab Spring" at some point in the future (I'll be dead by then) and the MB will be replaced by some other bunch that has all the answers. And so on for another thirty or forty or even fifty years.
If the political wrangling in any of the post-revolt nations fails to produce stable, responsive governments, Al Qaeda and its ilk may be able to seize the void, the officials said. But they'll only be significantly successful if the governments collapse completely, as in the case of Yemen, Somalia, or northern Mali. Or if there's government connivance, as in the case of Pakistain.
That's what has occurred in Yemen, where AQAP has taken full advantage of the local government's preoccupation fighting multiple political opponents.
Top of the list was getting rid of Saleh and then making sure he continues to be gotten rid of. The Thing That Wouldn't Leave assumed that because Hadi had been his vice president he would simply become the power behind the throne. Hadi's turned out to be more independent minded than expected, and the power behind the throne thing hasn't been working as well as expected.
Second on the list is AQAP, which Saleh also seems to have tried to remote control.
A close third behind them is the "legitimate" southern autonomy (or independence) movement. Yemen used to be divided into North and South Yemen, and the two weren't fond of each other. That was the "civil war" that put Saleh in the Seat of All Power in the first place.
Fourth would be the Houthis in North Yemen. Iran plays the same part with them that AQAP plays with the "legitimate" southern autonomy guys.
We can add in finally, not in actual fifth place but overlaying everything else, the competing tribal structures that are similar to those in Somalia or the Pashtunistan. Hadramaut, for instance, used to be a separate sultanate, not as big as Oman but nearly as independent. There are major linguistic and cultural differences...
When you come right down to it lots of Yemenis simply don't like each other, and with good reason
AQAP has grown in size and territory covered despite constant and expanded targeting by Yemeni and U.S. counterterrorist forces, the officials said. Actually they've waxed and waned. They were waxing when they hit the USS Cole in 2000, they waned post-9/11, to the point where the "Aden-Abyan Army" winked out of existence. Then they started waxing again when Saleh's troubles started and he needed something to threaten his opposition with and to try and round up support from the U.S. and the Brits. Now I think they're slowly starting to wane again as Hadi tries getting them under control and we keep dronezapping.
Another threat they cited: Homegrown extremists, either lone actors or small groups inspired by Al Qaeda, who remain intent on committing violence. These are the nuisance guys that we'll never be rid of unless we start catching them on Monday, trying them on Tuesday, and hanging them on Wednesday.
The officials also noted that every time U.S. counterterrorist forces strike, they must take care to avoid everything from civilian casualties to hitting the wrong target, lest the blowback produce more enemies. "The key challenge will be balancing aggressive counterterrorism operations, with the risk of exacerbating the anti-Western global agenda" of Al Qaeda and its affiliates, Cardillo said. Whether we kill innocent bystanders or not, the Urdu press and the Iran news agencies will report that we did. Green Helmet Guy and his analogs are still around. So I don't think unreasonable care is actually called for.
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