Turning this center over to the host nation will have a chilling effect on intelligence collection and the removal of Taliban from the battlefield. We should only be handing them the keys as the last US soldier boards the plane home.
[Dawn] United States President Barack Obama This is a teachable moment... and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai ... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use... agreed in a video conference on Thursday to continue a "partnership" tested by violence sparked after US troops burned Holy Korans.
The two leaders also discussed regional security and Afghan-led reconciliation talks with the Taliban, White House front man Jay Carney said.
"The leaders noted progress toward concluding a strategic partnership that reinforces Afghan illusory sovereignty while addressing the practical requirements of transition," he added, referring to the deal that would lay out US involvement in Afghanistan beyond 2014, when most foreign combat troops are due to leave.
The agreement has been held up for months by disagreement over night raids and control of detention centers now managed by foreign forces.
Carney also noted an agreement by both leaders to stay in close contact as the transfer of power nears.
[An Nahar] Egypt's Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr on Thursday warned of regional consequences should the crisis in Syria "explode", during talks with U.N.-Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... envoy to Syria Kofi Annan, his front man said.
Quite unlike Egypt, whose internal melt-down will only affect those living along the Nile.
Amr said that an "kaboom" of the situation in Syria "would not only have internal consequences but will spread to the whole region," Amr Roshdy told news hounds.
The foreign minister was holding talks in Cairo with Annan, who was recently named special envoy to Syria and is due to fly to Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... on Friday.
On Wednesday, Amr warned that arming rebel fighters in Syria, mainly Syrian army defectors, would "lead to an escalation in the military conflict and spark a civil war in Syria."
Some Arab countries, such as Qatar and regional powerhouse Soddy Arabia, have spoken in favor of arming the rebels.
The opposition Syrian National Council has said it wants to organize arms deliveries to the rebels and announced a "military bureau" to coordinate and serve as a conduit for weapons from abroad.
[An Nahar] Tribesmen and politicians in Libya's oil-rich east have polarized public opinion, raised fears that the country might break apart and prompted some of his sharpest statements yet from the interim leader.
Analysts say the problem lies not with the federalism they are proposing but with the unilateral way in which a political movement in the second city of Benghazi is seeking to carve out an autonomous territory in the oil-rich region.
On Tuesday, tribal and politicians in Benghazi declared the eastern region of Cyrenaica as autonomous but recognized the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) as Libya's legitimate representative in foreign affairs.
Libyan university professor Sadiq Budawara said "many may agree that federalism is the most appropriate form of government for Libya and that it doesn't necessarily pave the way for partition.
"But it is an entirely different matter when the decision to go federal is made by one region unilaterally without consulting other regions. This will split the land."
Libya was a federal union from 1951 to 1963 under the late King Idris I, which divided the country into three states -- Cyrenaica, Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of thich is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn... tania and Fezzan.
Partisans of a return to federalism say it will prevent the east from being marginalized as was the case for decades, while opponents fear it will spark a power struggle that splits the country well before elections.
Benghazi-based Libyan political analyst Mohammed bin Hariz told Agence La Belle France Presse federalism would exacerbate rather than ease tensions in Libya, which is striving for national reconciliation after last year's conflict.
"Advocates argue that federalism is a safety valve for national unity but federalism and unity are contradictory terms that cannot co-exist," bin Hariz told AFP.
The distribution of oil wealth, he warned, could engender conflict, especially since the issue of marginalization is a claim that can be easily staked across Libya, including poorer neighborhoods of the capital.
"What did federalism achieve in Iraq," he asked, pointing to the ongoing struggle between the autonomous oil-rich northern region of Kurdistan and the central government in Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate...
Jamal bin Dardaf, member of the National Campaign to Raise Political Awareness, said the call for an autonomous region is a reaction to the problems caused by "the sharp centralism" of Qadaffy.
That centralism meant that all official business had to be conducted in the capital, an expensive proposition for most pockets.
But dividing Libya into separate states joined by a loose federation, as was the case under the monarchy, might not present the best formula because present conditions differ entirely from those days, he said.
"Libya is a vast country and (back then) its areas where disconnected," making regional autonomy a necessity, he said. Today, telecommunications and road networks facilitate greater cooperation and cohesion.
Political analyst Abdel Salam al-Raqiyi says it is normal for the country to debate what system of governance it wants but that any decisions need to wait until the election of a constituent assembly in June.
"The federalists have a democratic right to express their thoughts on the type of government they want and to field candidates for the election of a constituent assembly just like the other parties," he said.
"But if the intention was to secession of the region of Berqa (Cyrenaica) and the establishment of an independent date, then the move has no legitimacy and moreover no one will agree to it," Raqiyi continued.
Senior officials in Tripoli, including interim leader Mustapha Abdul Jalil and Prime Minister Abdul Rahim al-Kib, have flatly rejected the federalist project as a throwback to the past.
Instead, they promote a program of decentralization that would give more than 50 local councils considerable decision-making powers and discretionary budgets.
On Tuesday, Abdul Jalil said he had been surprised by the Benghazi declaration, as Libyans from east to west had fought together to overthrow the dictatorship of Muammar Qadaffy ... the like of whose wardrobe will never be seen again. At least that's what we hope... in 2011.
He also charged that some unnamed Arab nations were supporting and financing "sedition" in eastern Libya to thwart the success of the revolution and prevent the so-called Arab Spring from reaching their doorsteps.
On Wednesday, the usually soft-spoken leader toughened his tone, threatening force to preserve the country's unity and calling on his brothers in the east to not be fooled by "infiltrators" and remnants of Qadaffy's regime.
In a nod of support to the interim authorities, which have struggled to exert their authority across Libya, a political party dominated by the Moslem Brüderbund said it too was opposed to federalism.
"Like all Libyans, we reaffirm our rejection of federalism," read a statement issued by the newly formed Justice and Construction party, which is headed by a member of the Moslem Brüderbund but includes other Islamists and independents.
"Federalism is an inadequate model for Libya, both in the short term and the long term," it said.
Ahmed Zubair al-Senussi, who was appointed head of Cyrenaica's governing council on Tuesday, downplayed fears that the federal model would splinter the country.
"This is not sedition," he said in an interview with Agence La Belle France Presse, arguing that federalism, which thrived in the United Arab Emirates, is the most suitable form of government for Libya.
Senussi is a relative of the late king, who was tossed by Qadaffy in a 1969 coup, and was the longest serving political prisoner under Qadaffy's regime. He is also a member of the NTC.
As was noted a few days ago, until after WWII, Libya was basically three or two administrative countries. And those divisions were likely sensible, such as why Libya is a different country from either Egypt or Tunisia and Algeria.
Comparatively, federalism is often like water that seeks its own level. East Libya feels rather exploited by West Libya because its oil wealth goes West to Tripoli with little to show for it in the East. This was a big factor in the split of Sudan.
So far, Iraq has made a success of its major federal division between southern Iraq and Kurdistan, because the Arabs have wisely not been terribly oppressive of the Kurds. So from the point of view of the Kurds, the alliance with the Arabs (in light of Turkey) is better, for the time being than going it alone.
However, at the same time, the restive Sunni western Iraq has written a lot of checks that it cannot afford. So the Shiites have made it abundantly clear that they either toe the federal line or they face expulsion.
[Yemen Post] Governor of Abyan Saleh Al-Zawari has accused military and political services of surrendering Abyan to Al-Qaeda.
In remarks to a local Aden radio, he called to form a commission to investigate into the events, hold the responsible people accountable and bring them to justice.
The governor also revealed that tanks, cannons and other military equipments were surrendered to Al-Qaeda bully boyz without any resistance, pointing out that those behaviors were clear evidence of the collusion of some military services with Al-Qaea.
He affirmed that the Yemeni military will recapture Zinjibar and Jaar in this month.
Meanwhile, ...back at the wreckage, Captain Poindexter awoke groggily, his hand still stuck in the Ming vase... Yemen parties and human rights ...which often include carefully measured allowances of freedom at the convenience of the state... organizations strongly condemned the events of Abyan in which over 180 soldiers were killed by bully boyz connected to Al-Qaea.
The alliance of the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) has said there was a collision behind the massacre committed against the Yemeni military in Al-Kood and Dofas in Abyan.
Deputy Chief of Staff , Major General Mohammad Ali Salah and the new Commander of the Southern Region Salem Ali Qatan and other senior officers visited some military units positioned in Abyan.
Salah urged the troops to be alert and prepare to defeat the terrorist groups that try to undermine security and stability of the nation, as he said.
Separately, the terrorist group of Ansara Al-Sharia (Supporters of Sharia) threatened to kill 73 jugged troops in case the Yemeni government does not release its operatives imprisoned inside government jails.
They called the relatives of the troops to press on the authorities and the new Yemeni President Abdu Rabo Hadi to release al-Qaeda members in return for freeing the troops.
[Yemen Post] Director of the Yemeni Petroleum Company Omar Al-Arhabi has resigned following a wave of protests organized by the company's employees.
They accused Al-Arhabi of standing behind assaults against some of the employees who headed to the cabinet demanding the resignation of Al-Arhabi.
They said Al-Arhabi was involved in corruption issues and looting of the company's assets, threatening to carry out an inclusive strike from March 16th if a new director is not appointed.
Al-Arhabi attributed his resignation to health reasons that forced him to resign.
In a resignation letter presented to President Abdu Rabo Mansour Hadi, Al-Arhabi said he did best to maintain and develop the company and its employees, indicating that he could provid the oil derivatives during the political crisis that hit the country in 2011.
A committee presided over by the State Minister Jawhra Hamoud along with ten representatives of the financial and oil ministries was formed with the aim of resolving the problems of the company and its employees.
Media sources revealed that Al-Arhabi had left the country after two days of his resignation.
Some employees of the company cited that they were interrupted by gunnies affiliated with Al-Arhabi they prevented them from heading to the cabinet to sit in.
Well-informed sources said that the government accepted the resignation of Al-Arhabi and tasked the Oil Minister Hisham Sharaf to appoint a new director.
What is recently known as the institution revolution hit many public authorities and resulted in the ouster of tens of corrupt officials in Yemen, as employees and students insisted on firing them.
Several military and security units demanded the removal of officers accused of corruption or involvement in the deadly crackdown on protesters.
[Dawn] A US envoy said on Thursday he was confident proposed food aid to North Korea would flow to those who really need it,
The greatest need is in the concentration camps, not the elites of Pyongyang or the army.
but stopped short of announcing a final deal, part of a nascent agreement to restart nuclear disarmament steps by Pyongyang.
The US envoy for human rights One man's rights are another man's existential threat. in North Korea, Robert King, said talks with North Korean officials in the Chinese capital helped clear administrative roadblocks to the aid.
King suggested that worries about the food possibly being diverted by the North Korean government for its own needs had been dealt with.
"We've had very productive, positive talks," King told news hounds, many of them Japanese and South Korean, at Beijing airport. "I'm very satisfied with our discussions."
King said one of main topics of the talks was US concerns that the aid would go to truly needy people, and he answered "yes" when asked if he was confident on this point.
"We're still working on the details. Not all of those questions have been worked out," said King, when asked about when North Korea would begin receiving new aid shipments.
South Asian experts say there is a lack of Asian support for a possible US or Israeli attack against Iran as it could destabilize the whole region and jeopardize its energy needs.
As the war rhetoric against Iran amplifies in Israel and the US, Iran's neighboring countries like China, India and Pakistan have expressed their disapproval of a new conflict in the already turbulent region.
As I recall, India is Iran's largest customer for oil, and China also buys a lot. Pakistan is standing with its Muslim brother. None, I suspect, will actively intervene to protect Iran against attack, although China can veto things in the UN Security Council.
Recently, in a meeting with US President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that time was running out for the Iranian regime. Although the US president downplayed the war talk, he did not rule out a military option to stop Iran from getting atomic weapons.
Dr. Gulshan Sachdeva, professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University of Delhi, told Deutsche Welle that India would not like to get involved in the conflict.
"Any kind of attack on Iran, or any sort of disturbance there, will have long-term energy security problems for India because it imports a significant amount of oil from Tehran," said Sachdeva. He was of the opinion that New Delhi would like to see a peaceful solution to this problem.
"It would be a very difficult situation for India but it all depends on how this conflict evolves."
[Dawn] the late Osama bin Laden ... who no longer has to waste time and energy breathing... spent his last weeks in a house divided, amid wives riven by suspicions. On the top floor, sharing his bedroom, was his youngest wife. The trouble came when his eldest wife moved into the bedroom on the floor below.
Others in the family, crammed into the three-storey villa compound where Bin Laden would eventually be killed in a May 2 US raid, were convinced that the eldest wife intended to betray the Al Qaeda leader.
The picture of Bin Laden's life in the 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.... compound comes from Brig Shaukat Qadir, a retired army officer who spent months researching the events and says he was given rare access to transcripts of Pak intelligence's interrogation of Bin Laden's youngest wife, who was jugged in the raid.
Brig Qadir was also given rare entry into the villa, which was sealed after the raid and demolished last month. Pictures he took, which he allowed The News Agency that Dare Not be Named to see, showed the villa's main staircase, splattered with blood. Other pictures show windows protected by iron grills and the 20-foot high walls around the villa.
Brig Qadir's research gives one of the most extensive descriptions of the arrangements in Bin Laden's hideout when US SEAL commandos stormed in, killing him and four others. His account is based on accounts by an official of Inter-Services Intelligence agency who escorted him on a tour of the villa, the interrogation transcription he was allowed to read, and interviews with other ISI officials and Al Qaeda-linked Death Eaters and rustics in the Afghan-Pakistain border region.
The compound where Bin Laden lived since mid-2005 was a crowded place, with 28 residents, including Bin Laden, his three wives, eight of his children and five of his grandchildren.
Bin Laden lived and died on the third floor. One room he shared with his youngest wife, Amal Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sada, a Yemeni who was 19 when she married the Al Qaeda leader in 1999. Another wife, Siham Saber, lived in another room on the same floor that also served as a computer room, Brig Qadir said.
The arrival of his eldest wife, Saudi-born Khairiah Saber, in early 2011 stirred up the household, Amal said in her ISI interrogation, according to Brig Qadir.
Eldest, one of the oh so superior Saudis, and the youngest was the favourite. Mr. Bin Laden created his own personal hell, a pleasant thought.
There was already bad blood between Khairiah, who married Bin Laden in the late 1980s, and Amal because of Bin Laden's favouritism for the younger Yemeni woman, Brig Qadir said he was told by tribal leaders who knew the family.--
[Dawn] Pak Taliban capos are locked in talks, trying to heal a damaging rift that has inflamed tensions over whether to pursue peace efforts with the government, insiders say.
After months of relative calm, bomb and suicide kabooms are again hitting the country's northwest, raising fears that gun-hung tough guys are again on the offensive despite reports late last year that commanders were exploring peace contacts.
"The one-point agenda is how to adopt a uniform policy," a Taliban capo told AFP from Qazi's guesthouse an undisclosed location on condition of anonymity.
The umbrella Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) is a loose confederation of rival commanders. Divisions first came to the fore after founder Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike in August 2009.
The young and radical Hakimullah Mehsud --a clan relation to Baitullah --ultimately won a leadership battle, pushing the TTP closer to al Qaeda and overseeing some of Pakistain's bloodiest gun and suicide attacks yet.
Mullah Omar ... a minor Pashtun commander in the war against the Soviets who made good as leader of the Taliban. As ruler of Afghanistan, he took the title Leader of the Faithful. The imposition of Pashtunkhwa on the nation institutionalized ignorance and brutality already notable for its own fair share of ignorance and brutality... , the Afghan Taliban supreme leader, reportedly asked TTP commanders to stop attacks as his movement explores confidence-building talks with the Americans at the start of a nascent grinding of the peace processor in Afghanistan.
The only TTP commander who refused to comply was Hakimullah Mehsud, putting him at odds with his arch-rival, the older and more measured Wali-ur Rehman, sources say.
Differences appeared to bubble over Sunday with the sacking of Mehsud's deputy, Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, who is considered close to Rehman, at a TTP meeting.
"Dialogue with Pakistain is a secondary issue. First, we're trying to end our disputes and after that we will decide on holding talks with Pakistain," the Taliban capo told AFP.
"There are serious differences between Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali-ur Rehman which everybody wants to end," he added.
The TTP leadership has held several meetings with representatives from the Afghan Taliban and Afghanistan's krazed killer Haqqani network to try to unite, but commanders are constantly on the move, worried about US drone missiles.
"Several rounds of talks have taken place but commanders can't sit together in one place for long as they fear drone strikes," another source told AFP.
Experts are divided over the significance of Mohammad's sacking with the government and former officials convinced that the TTP is now weaker than ever, hit hard by the US drone strikes and by Pak military offensives.
"Hakimullah Mehsud has his group with its own weight but TTP commanders are scattered. Some are in Afghanistan, some in the tribal areas. There is a lack of communication," said Mehmud Shah, a former tribal belt security chief.
"There are commanders who aren't listening to Mehsud... The shura (meeting) of some of its leaders is just to show their importance. The TTP structure is broken and they are making efforts to rebuild it and remove difference," he added.
Mohammad has insisted that he initiated peace contacts in Bajaur, his home district and one of seven in Pakistain's northwestern tribal belt, with the full knowledge of Mehsud's TTP leadership as a "test case".
"They told me that first the grinding of the peace processor should take place in Bajaur and then be expanded," he told AFP by telephone.
Malik Sultan Zeb, an elder in the Mamund tribe in Bajaur, said rustics were keen to cut a deal with the TTP provided that the gun-hung tough guys were willing to stop attacks.
"America is holding peace talks with (Afghanistan's) Taliban and we also want to have peace talks with the krazed killers," he said.
A Pak security official, speaking on condition of anonymity ... for fear of being murdered... and saying his information was based on informants, said the message to unite came from Mullah Omar in December.
"He sent a message saying, peace in Pakistain is imperative for us," the official said.
"Hakimullah Mehsud is still reluctant about various issues, but intermediaries from Afghanistan are trying to solve the rifts," he told AFP.
[Dawn] Pakistain is advertising for companies to install an Internet filtering system that could block up to 50 million Web addresses, alarming free speech activists who fear current censorship could become much more widespread.
"Think of the kids."
Internet access for Pakistain's some 20 million Web users is less restricted than in many countries in Asia and the Arab world, though some pornographic sites and those seen as insulting to Islam are blocked. Others related to separatist activities or army criticism have also been, or continue to be, censored.
Few nations have so publicly revealed their plans to censor the Web as Pakistain is doing, however. Last month, the government took out newspaper and Web advertisements asking for companies or institutions to develop the national filtering and blocking system.
"They are already blocking a lot of Internet content, and now they are going for a massive system that can only limit and control political discourse," said Shahzad Ahmad, the director of Bytes for All Pakistain, which campaigns for Internet freedom. "The government has nothing to do with what I choose to look at."
The government doesn't currently list the sites it has blocked, or their number, or say who sits on the committee that decides what pages to shut down. Pakistain's Telecommunication Authority instructs the country's 50 Internet Service Providers to block sites. The ISPs, which receive their license from the PTA, are obliged to obey.
In November, the PTA ordered cell phone companies to block text messages containing a list of more than 1,500 English words it said were offensive. But the plan was dropped after public ridicule and complaints from cell phone companies about practicality.
The plan to censor the Internet comes amid unease over a set of proposals by a media regulatory body aimed at bringing the country's freewheeling television media under closer government control. With general elections later this year or earlier next, some critics have speculated the government might be trying to cut down on criticism.
The media proposals call for television stations not to broadcast programs "against the national interest" or those that "undermine its integrity or solidarity as an independent and sovereign country" or "contain aspersions against or ridicule the organs of the State."
Pakistain's Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan denied Wednesday that the government was seeking to curb the media.
"We want to see the media growing. We want to strengthen it," Awan said, emphasizing that the proposals were just that, and the government wouldn't implement them without the media's consent.
The government advertisements state it wants a system capable of shutting down up to 50 million Web addresses in multiple languagesrevealed with a processing delay of not less than one millisecond.
The head of Pakistain's ISP association, Wahajus Siraj, said he supported the proposed system, saying his ISP and others in the association didn't have the time or money to take down the sites. He also said rights activists had nothing to worry about.
"They don't fully understanding the concept of it," said Siraj. "This is not new censorship. It's making the manual system more efficient. I respect their point of view, but decent freedom of speech should not be blocked."
Siraj, who sits on the board of the government-run technology fund seeking proposals for the blocking system, said there had been many expressions of interest to create the system, including from two Western firms. He declined to name them.
Websense Inc, a Sa with a n Diego-based Internet security firm, has already said it is not bidding for the Pakistain project.
"We call on other technology providers to also do the right thing for the citizens of Pakistain and refuse to submit a proposal for this contract," it said in a statement. "Broad government censorship of citizen access to the Internet is morally wrong."
US technology companies have been criticized for helping foreign governments censor the Internet to their citizens. Cisco Systems Inc, which makes networking equipment that could be used in official efforts to monitor and control Internet use, is often cited; the company insists it does not provide any government with any special capabilities and cannot control what its customers do with the products.
Like in many Asian cn Diego-ountries where pornographic materials are banned, Pakistain currently tries to block adult websites. It also seeks to censor what it sees as "blasphemous" content toward Islam, as other Moslem nations do.
In 2008, the government blocked YouTube because of anti-Islamic movies on the site; in 2010, it blocked Facebook for two weeks amid anger over a page that encouraged users to post images of Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
Other sites that have, or continue to be blocked, are those containing news and views from 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... , a southwestern province where a separatist insurgency has simmered for years in the face of army crackdowns. There have been other cases where sites have been blocked apparently after they triggered the anger of members of the military and political elite.
Rollingstone.com has been offline since July last year, reportedly because it ran a short story critical of the amount of budgetary funds allocated to the army. Rollingstone.com didn't return e-mails seeking comment.
Asked for comment, the telecommunication authority sent a statement that explained the blocking system was being installed because the Pak people wanted a "ban on blasphemous and objectionable contents that were being used to harass, deface and blackmail the innocent citizens of Pakistain."
Blocking pornographic websites and those seen insulting to Islam is not unpopular in Pakistain; many would say it is obligatory under Islam. Many of the most high-profile blocks have been a result of court orders acting on petitions from members of the public.
"I'm with the government on this one. They have right the intention," said Ahmjad Alvi, founder of Brainnet, one of the country's first ISPs. "Think of the kids."
[Dawn] Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Thursday reiterated Pakistain's desire to have better relations with the world, including the United States. However, nothing needs reforming like other people's bad habits... the decision to restore the 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 line would only be taken by the Parliament, she added.
Speaking at the Foreign Affairs Academy in Islamabad, the foreign minister said that the Parliament was in the process of reviewing Pak-US relations.
In reply to a question, Khar said that a stable and peaceful Afghanistan was in Pakistain's interest. "We would have to give Afghanistan the respect that we desire for ourselves," she said.
A report by the BBC on Thursday claimed that some Pak officials -- involved in back-door diplomacy between the US and Pakistain after the deterioration of relations after the Salala checkpost attacks on Nov 26, 2011 -- are hopeful the Americans will officially apologise soon.
According to the report, a senior military official claims that the Pak report on the Salala incident has helped convince American policy-makers to a great degree that the demand for a formal apology by the US is not unjustified.
An official in the Pak embassy in the US has also confirmed that the two-month diplomatic process aimed at mending ties between the two countries has finally concluded, adds the report.
The official, wishing not to be named, said that the two-month process of back-door diplomacy included not only the Pak foreign minister, Pakistain's Ambassador to the US, and their US counterparts, but also senior military officials from both sides. We don't have a graphic for "back-door diplomacy." If we did, it would be dirty.
[Dawn] President Asif Ali President Ten Percent Zardari ... sticky-fingered husband of the late Benazir Bhutto ... Thursday reiterated the commitment of the government to improve the situation 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 said that mega development projects would help address grievances of the Baloch people.
Talking to Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Muhammad Aslam Khan Raisani and newly elected senators from Balochistan who called on the president at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, he said measures under the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan will bring Balochistan at par with other provinces in terms of socio-economic development.
The president congratulated the newly elected senators from Balochistan and expressed the hope that they will work with full devotion for strengthening democracy and democratic institutions in the country.
He expressed confidence that the newly elected senators would play their active role for the welfare and development of their respective areas and also to safeguard the rights of the people of Balochistan.
Developmental projects, law and order, the political situation in the province and the implementation status of Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package also came under discussion during the meeting.
Benjamin Netanyahu has triggered fresh speculation that he could authorise military action against Iran by declaring that a unilateral Israeli strike would not cause an irreparable rupture in relations with the United States.
The Israeli prime minister countered domestic critics who have argued that an attack would antagonise the Jewish state's most powerful patron by pointing to predecessors who had defied Washington without doing long-term damage. The Six Day War of 1967, the Suez Crisis of 1956 and the bombardment of an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 were all launched in opposition to US wishes.
He's got a point. If Israel is to wait for US approval it will never come. Easier to beg forgiveness...
In his first public comments since returning from a tense encounter with President Barack Obama at the White House this week, Mr Netanyahu yielded few clues over his intentions with regards to Iran, but again hinted that his patience with diplomacy was waning.
"We're not standing with a stopwatch in hand," he said in an interview with Israeli television to be broadcast on Saturday evening. "It's not a matter of days or weeks, but also not years. The result must be the removal of the threat of nuclear weapons in Iran's hands."
"The Israeli prime minister countered domestic critics who have argued that an attack would antagonise the Jewish state's most powerful patron by pointing to predecessors who had defied Washington without doing long-term damage. ... the Suez Crisis of 1956 ... all launched in opposition to US wishes."
One could say that the Suez Crisis of 1956 changed everything and not in a good way for Israel as it was not long afterwards that their European friends dismantled their empires and found it convenient to bash Israel at every opportunity.
If I were the Israeli PM (less likely to happen than becoming POTUS, though when you're that close to zero it's hard to tell), I would already have whacked Iran using the best tools I had available.
And if that wasn't enough, I'd whack 'em again.
Posted by: Steve White ||
Saw this recently, and its apt for the Iranian Leadership and radical Islamists:
"I know nothing of philosophical philanthropy. But I know what I have seen, and what I have looked in the face in this world here, where I find myself. And I tell you this, my friend, that there are people (men and women both, unfortunately) who have no good in them--none. That there are people whom it is necessary to detest without compromise. That there are people who must be dealt with as enemies of the human race. That there are people who have no human heart, and who must be crushed like savage beasts and cleared out of the way."
Kofi Annan, the former UN chief appointed joint UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, has been accused of "living on Mars" after saying he wanted the Assad government and opposition to enter dialogue.
Mr Annan has said his mission was to start a "political process" to resolve the conflict in the country. He is due this weekend in Syria where he will meet with Assad.
In comments made in Cairo on Thursday after talks with Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby, Annan warned against further militarisation of the Syrian conflict and urged the opposition to come together with the government to find a political solution.
"I hope that no one is thinking very seriously of using force in this situation," Annan said. "I believe any further militarization would make the situation worse."
Gee, who might be using force right now Kofi? How about Pencilneck and his goons? Kofi is advocating unilateral disarmament, but then, he IS from the United Nations...
He also said he would be making "realistic" proposals to resolve the conflict. He did not elaborate.
After all, lunch as yet to be served...
Activists however rejected his calls for dialogue.
"It seems he lives on Mars," said Mohammad Saeed, an activist in the Damascus suburb of Douma.
"Between us and Bashar Assad are the bodies of 5,000 martyrs. We can't hear each other even if we wanted to," he said. "What dialogue are they talking about?"
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Which are usually cemented in by folks like Kofi Annan.
Jeezus, he was useless before and now he's worse than useless. Fortunately, most people seem to be aware of that now, and soon he can go back to Ghana and do whatever it was he was doing there before someone got the bright idea to dust him off and send him up to Syria to accomplish absolutely nothing.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry said Thursday the violent crackdown by Bashar Assad's regime in Syria should not be tolerated, but the world must respond "in a responsible way", Associated Press reported.
'Responsible' is the progressive code word for not using the icky military in a situation that would tend to go against the interests of progressives, like liberating a long-suffering people...
Kerry said there are stark differences between the situation in Syria and in Moammar Gadhafi's Libya, at the time the United States and others intervened, and that Assad has stronger air defenses. Asked about U.S. intervention, the Democrat said: "Is that the right thing to do tomorrow or the next day? I think not," he said in a nationally broadcast interview.
Remember, he's the senior senator in foreign relations because Bumblin' Joe got kicked upstairs...
Kerry told CBS television's "This Morning" show that Washington "can't just jump up some morning and say, 'Let's go and drop some bombs on Syrian tanks.' "
We could, actually, no one would stop us, least of all the Syrians. Even Vlad Putin would get out of our way if he saw we were serious. But we're not.
The senator also said he believes Russia and China gave Assad "a kind of get-out-of-jail card" when the two countries vetoed a U.N. effort to force him out.
Mr. Kerry just had one of his twice-a-day moments...
Kerry's Senate colleague, Republican John McCain, has called for the United States to arm the Syrian opposition forces and lead an international coalition with airstrikes against Assad's regime to end the slaughter. But that proposal has drawn little support in Congress, the Obama administration or among the Republican presidential candidates.
Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said in a separate interview that the decision by Russia and China is "costing them mightily" in terms of reputations in the international community.
"We're all outraged" by what's happening in Syria, she said. But Rice said the distinction between the situation in Syria and in Libya is that "there's not the clear-cut unified opposition (in Syria) that controls a clear piece of territory."
In an interview on MSBNC, Rice said the United States is trying "to ramp up, to the extent possible, economic pressure on President Assad."
"The best answer to this is not more arms. It's not air strikes against a very complex and capable air defense," she said, adding that "we don't think it's appropriate to put American boots on the ground."
"We're all outraged" by what's happening in Syria, she said. But Rice said the distinction between the situation in Syria and in Libya is that "there's not the clear-cut unified opposition (in Syria) that controls a clear piece of territory."
We're rightsizing and no longer need our NATO partners in Afghanistan. Outcomes in Lybia had left a very bad aftertaste as well.
[An Nahar] United Nations ...what started out as a a diplomatic initiative, now trying to edge its way into legislative, judicial, and executive areas... and Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan on Thursday urged the Syrian opposition to cooperate to resolve the conflict that has left thousands dead in the past year.
Former U.N. chief Annan, speaking to news hounds in Cairo, urged "the Syrian opposition to come together to work with us to find a solution that will respect the aspirations of the Syrian people."
Annan was in Cairo for talks with officials ahead of a trip to Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... on Friday.
"We will do whatever we can to urge and press the cessation of hostilities and an end to the killing and violence," he said ahead of talks with Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr.
"But of course the ultimate solution lies in the political settlement," Annan said.