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In the Name of God بسم الله


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  1. This video will show if you are correct or others who wrote above are sycophants. April 4, 2011 How Anarchy Beats Out Tradition Two or Three Things You Need to Know About Afghanistan By SHAUKAT QADIR Throughout its complex history Afghanistan has been a thorn in the side of most conquerors. Apart from Ahmed Shah Durrani, who was himself an Afghan, no other conqueror has been able to hold this land with its inhospitable terrain and disparate peoples. Why? The two characteristics of this country cited above are the basic reasons. First, the terrain: the north is divided by a low extension of the Hindu Kush, ideal for guerrilla warfare. The south is desert, and those familiar with the exploits of T. E. Lawrence will be aware that the desert is equally friendly to guerrillas. Division on ethnic lines is also impossible since, however far the ethnic groups might go in their internecine wars, and there is nothing inhuman that they have not been guilty of, they cling very fiercely to their ‘Afghan’ identity and heritage: a fact, apparently incomprehensible to the western mind. It is essential to dwell briefly on some background, to understand the present. I keep reading learned western authors explaining the concept of Pakhtoonwali, the traditional Pashtun code of honor, their traditional sense of egalitarianism and justice, their respect for elders and tribal and personal honor; all of which observations were indeed true. However, the most learned of historians do not take into account the events of the last three decades to understand the extent of the metamorphosis. A few aspects of the traditional Pashtun tribal system merit understanding: a) Justice in the tribal system is egalitarian and is meted out irrespective of class, color, creed, religion, wealth, or political influence. Paradoxically, however, only scions of selected families can qualify to become ‘Tribal Elders’ and, therefore, members of the Jirga, The Tribal Council of Elders. Not all members of these can become elders, nor is the membership of the Council hereditary, but those selected are scions of these few families; the ‘Blue Blooded’ families of each tribe. The Tribal Council elects its leader by tribal customs. Traditionally, the Jirga has acted as the policing authority, prosecution, judge, and jury. Traditionally, the system seldom erred. Finally, the Cleric, though as equal as any other member of the tribe, under law, was traditionally held in low social esteem. He had no real means of livelihood and, therefore, was dependent on hand-outs from locals, not far above a menial. Since the absence of traditional leaders left a vacuum, it has often been filled by a Cleric, in defiance of traditional tribal custom. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, the Uzbeks and Tajiks in the north were the first to face the brunt and their tribal leaders led them. Though real generals (Ahmed Shah Masood, the Lion of Panjshir, being the most prominent of them) were thrown up amongst them by the war, they too were from the traditional tribal elders. Inland, however, amongst the Pashtun tribes, most tribal elders delegated responsibility for the ant-Soviet campaign; some to their sons, like Hamid Karzai, others to nephews or other, younger and trusted relatives. After the Soviet withdrawal, many of those appointed warlords, decided to exploit the following acquired in the decade of war and assume tribal leadership; deposing traditional tribal elders. No wonder then that the result was anarchy; not only in Kabul, where the jostling for power was for the premiership of the country, but also within tribes, for tribal leadership. Many tribes were splintered, with factions formed under their choice of leaders; traditional concepts of respect for elders, traditional leaders, and all that went with it were thrown out of the window. Enter the Taliban. From ’95 after the capture of Kabul, to ’96 when OBL entered Afghanistan to change everything, things returned to normal, though traditional tribal leaders had fled Afghanistan. Women went back to work and could be seen shopping, unescorted even after dark; justice was swift and egalitarian, in traditional norms, but without the cruel inhumanity that the world was to witness post ’96. This brief period witnessed a government closest to being a representative democracy. The Taliban ruled through Tribal and Village Councils, who decided matters in the traditional tribal custom of egalitarian justice. Of necessity, however, since the traditional tribal elders were absent, fresh leadership emerged, from the non-Blue-Blooded Pashtun. Post ’96, Mulla Omer, under the influence of OBL, imposed strict Wahabi’ism. Once again, women ceased to work and went back into their traditional veils, confined to the four walls of their house, to venture forth only under the escort of a close family member. But worse was to come; the religious police was empowered to mete out rough and ready justice on the spot. Hundreds of men and women would suffer public humiliation daily for the mildest transgression of whatever displeased members of the religious police. Men could be made to bend over and receive ‘Benders’ on their buttocks if their beards were not of just the right size. Accompanied women (wife, mother, sister, or daughter) could receive the same treatment if a member of the religious police felt that their veil was not worn correctly, or if their conduct, under veil, was ‘forward’, while her male companion watched in helpless humiliation! The proud Afghan was proud no more; he was a humiliated beggar, at the mercy of the Taliban. And their Pashtun brethren across the Durand Line, in Pakistan, witnessed all this helplessly, while seething in rage and hate for the Taliban. And all this while, the traditional tribal elders lived in comfort and luxury in Pakistan, India, the US or any other corner of the world, having deserted the rank and file of their tribes to the mercy of what the Taliban had become. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were the two Muslim majority countries supporting the Taliban, while the US also supported them, but less actively. No wonder then that a vast majority of the Pashtun on both sides of the Durand Line began to look on Pakistan as the principle Taliban supporter and transferred their hate to Pakistan. Much of it exists to this day, though with ever decreasing intensity. Then comes the US to their rescue. I can testify that on both sides of the Durand Line the announced US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, was celebrated; the unexpectedly swift fall of the Taliban was not due to the extraordinary prowess of US forces, or the assistance of the Northern Alliance, but most of all, due to the mini revolts by the humiliated Afghans in each province. As the Taliban had conquered the bulk of Afghanistan, without battle, since supporters of marauding warlords deserted their chiefs to flock to the Taliban promise of a return to justice and equality; so too did the Taliban fall, without offering many battles, at the hands of those who had suffered their oppression and were offered fresh hope by American intervention. Alas, that hope too was destined to be short lived. The American ‘liberators’ were soon discovered to be tyrants and oppressors and, the tribal elders who returned, after abandoning their tribe(s) to the Taliban, could no longer muster a following. In fact, they were often treated with contempt. Thus began, what should have been referred to as the “Afghan Freedom Movement”, supported by their Pashtun brethren in Pakistan. This, more appropriate term was, for obvious reasons, unacceptable to the occupation forces in Afghanistan as well as their media. Consequently, the struggle for Afghan freedom from American/NATO/ISAF forces of occupation began to be referred to as a ‘resurgence of Taliban and Al-Quaida’. With the passage of time, the Afghans began to forget their humiliation at the hands of Taliban and Al-Quaida and remembered only that they had challenged the all-powerful USA. They began to be viewed as the Afghan David vs the US Goliath. Consequently, Afghan Freedom Fighters willingly began to accept the title of Taliban and, in time, inevitably merged with them for the pragmatic concerns of weapons, munitions, and resources. Witness Hamid Karzai, appointed President, surrounded by his tribesmen, Popalzai Durranis as his personal guards; six months later to date, he remains under the exclusive protection of US troops. As a far more eloquent senior officer remarked after reading my first op-ed on the subject, in a local daily, in 2004, “the fabric of the traditional tribal structure has been torn asunder.” Something very similar has happened in the tribes bordering the Durand Line on the Pakistani side, though for slightly different reasons. In Pakistan, traditional tribal leadership has been systematically targeted and eliminated. What this background information intends to put across is the fact that whenever there is a return to some kind of ‘normalcy’ in Afghanistan, and its resultant normalcy on the Pakistani side of the Durand Line, a fresh tribal system will emerge. If there is a return to the concept of Blue Blooded families; these families will not be the same as the ones before. Egalitarianism in justice will remain an essential ingredient, but this time it might be closer to a democratic system sans the social schisms that were traditional to the Pashtun tribal system and the Cleric will inevitably become ‘more equal’ than he was in the traditional system. So, those dreaming of reviving the traditional tribal system and the traditional concept of Pakhtoonwali better take another long hard look at what has changed. Time alone will tell how it actually works out, but it has to begin to work out, before a fresh tribal structure can emerge. And this is only possible when the Afghans are permitted to sort things out for themselves without interference by any outside party; least of all the American Army of Occupation. Shaukat Qadir is a retired brigadier and a former president of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute. He can be reached at shaukatq@gmail.com This one above does not know that if colonialism had not happened, islamic civilization would have reached the moon 100 years before the west.
  2. Shah Latif, What a beautiful sig - Manam aan qatra-e-shabnam, ba-nok-e-khaar me raqsam..

    plz send me this ghazal too

  3. Shah Latif, What a beautiful sig - Manam aan qatra-e-shabnam, ba-nok-e-khaar me raqsam.. Sibel Edmonds surfaces again - FBI caught in public with pants down http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3216737.ece January 20, 2008 FBI denies file exposing nuclear secrets theft The FBI has been accused of covering up a file detailing government dealings with a network stealing nuclear secrets INSIGHT THE FBI has been accused of covering up a key case file detailing evidence against corrupt government officials and their dealings with a network stealing nuclear secrets. The assertion follows allegations made in The Sunday Times two weeks ago by Sibel Edmonds, an FBI whistleblower, who worked on the agency’s investigation of the network. Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office. She says the FBI was investigating a Turkish and Israeli-run network that paid high-ranking American officials to steal nuclear weapons secrets. These were then sold on the international black market to countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Related Links * For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets One of the documents relating to the case was marked 203A-WF-210023. Last week, however, the FBI responded to a freedom of information request for a file of exactly the same number by claiming that it did not exist. But The Sunday Times has obtained a document signed by an FBI official showing the existence of the file. Edmonds believes the crucial file is being deliberately covered up by the FBI because its contents are explosive. She accuses the agency of an “outright lie”. “I can tell you that that file and the operations it refers to did exist from 1996 to February 2002. The file refers to the counterintelligence programme that the Department of Justice has declared to be a state secret to protect sensitive diplomatic relations,” she said. The freedom of information request had not been initiated by Edmonds. It was made quite separately by an American human rights group called the Liberty Coalition, acting on a tip-off it received from an anonymous correspondent. The letter says: “You may wish to request pertinent audio tapes and documents under FOIA from the Department of Justice, FBI-HQ and the FBI Washington field office.” It then makes a series of allegations about the contents of the file – many of which corroborate the information that Edmonds later made public. Edmonds had told this newspaper that members of the Turkish political and diplomatic community in the US had been actively acquiring nuclear secrets. They often acted as a conduit, she said, for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency, because they attracted less suspicion. She claimed corrupt government officials helped the network, and venues such as the American-Turkish Council (ATC) in Washington were used as drop-off points. The anonymous letter names a high-level government official who was allegedly secretly recorded speaking to an official at the Turkish embassy between August and December 2001. It claims the government official warned a Turkish member of the network that they should not deal with a company called Brewster Jennings because it was a CIA front company investigating the nuclear black market. The official’s warning came two years before Brewster Jennings was publicly outed when one of its staff, Valerie Plame, was revealed to be a CIA agent in a case that became a cause célèbre in the US. The letter also makes reference to wiretaps of Turkish “targets” talking to ISI intelligence agents at the Pakistani embassy in Washington and recordings of “operatives” at the ATC. Edmonds is the subject of a number of state secret gags preventing her from talking further about the investigation she witnessed. “I cannot discuss the details considering the gag orders,” she said, “but I reported all these activities to the US Congress, the inspector general of the justice department and the 9/11 commission. I told them all about what was contained in this case file number, which the FBI is now denying exists. “This gag was invoked not to protect sensitive diplomatic relations but criminal activities involving US officials who were endangering US national security.” An FBI spokesman said he was not familiar with the case file but he added: "if the FBI says it doesn't exist, it doesn't exist." Insight: Chris Gourlay, Jonathan Calvert and Joe Lauria
  4. A new fresh video , Khalid Sheikh Mohammed To Face Military Tribunal PETE YOST 04/ 4/11 12:48 PM ET WASHINGTON — Professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators are being referred to the system of military commissions for trial, a federal law enforcement official said Monday. The decision by the Obama administration is an about-face from earlier plans to have the five go on trial in civilian federal court in New York, which created intense political opposition among Republicans and even some Democrats, particularly in New York. The official spoke on condition of anonymity about the switch, which Attorney General Eric Holder was expected to announce at an afternoon news conference. Republican critics have roundly assailed the administration, first for the decision in late 2009 to try the men in New York City, then for a long delay in making a decision on whether to have them face military commission justice instead.
  5. A lot of nice comments have been given with references from the HQ. Basically, your responsibility is to give authentic advice after study, demonstrate the teachings in your character and leave the result with patience on Allah. I think the divine advice on the Holy Prophet (pbuh) was not to grieve and putting faith is the job of the Almighty. His was only to convey the message.
  6. All these good things by the noun "bani israel" etc refer to the truthful, honest people like the exalted rabbis of neturei karta, such as Rabbis Dovid Weiss and Israel Domb and their pious followers whose videos you can see on youtube, and the former, I consider a sincere friend. For the other side people should go to these very gentleman (ie Rabbis) and listen to what they say on youtube about the zionists ... and i am afraid the things wont improve among them according to their trajectory and according to the divine predictions.
  7. Do you have any other concepts for security ? This is your chance to show us your prowess because I was using a slightly better concept but still it was hacked . I challenge everyone to show better ideas and critique others as improvement is attained by cutting obsolete idea and finding better one like ascending a mountane I wait for a few days giving ppl more chance to explain and compare as well.
  8. very nice work brother for the videos. Jazak Allah for your efforts and please keep it up. Keeping Well informed is a very important work.
  9. We who ? those who cant fight the taliban cant fight the Nato - any talk of choice is utterly false Nato/US is there to impose western civilization and control the oil and steal lithium and minerals Nato/US is there to put its foot on the face of the world. View Postshiasoldier786, on 02 April 2011 - 03:16 PM, said: Hazaras should arm themselves and look for ways to protect themselves rather than begging the NATO to stay. Actually, some direct talk and educational exchange with the taliban can solve and better strengthen the bond. If taliban can be convinced and shown that Iran itself follows freedom of worship and cooperation, and that unity is mutually beneficial and sustainable and desirable despite doctrinal differences, I dont see any reason for mutual hostility for either side. Show me where is the basis for shia sunni hostility in the Holy Quran ? La Iqraha Fid Deen As far as Hezbollah is concerned, that's against the double invaders of palestine and lebanon - and a very intelligent one who pride themselves on being a "democracy" while taliban have little education beyond rote memorization. Correct thinking requires taking measure.
  10. But I am not hopeful that our community would wake up even after such a strong insult
  11. Turkey and Pakistan too. If "the evil ones" take one of us out, the turn of the next will automatically arrive and as they say, the one who runs from a fight lives to fight another day but under worse circumstances. Alas, no one is living and preparing as if the war was the next day
  12. how stingy give some details and comparison plez, this is insufficient, i am looking for well researched and tested info, not to become a tester myself is this the only concept you have ? can the mods give any info from their extensiv expers
  13. Yarmouk - Even when they were very strong they divided muslims. I find this fact fascinating During the last Byzantine–Sassanid Wars in 610, Heraclius became the emperor of the Byzantine Empire,[7] after overthrowing Phocas. Meanwhile the Sassanid Persians conquered Mesopotamia and in 611 they overran Syria and entered Anatolia, occupying Caesarea Mazaca. Heraclius, in 612, managed to expel the Persians from Anatolia, but was decisively defeated in 613 when he launched a major offensive in Syria against the Persians.[8] Over the following decade the Persians were able to conquer Palestine and Egypt. Meanwhile Heraclius prepared for a counterattack and rebuilt his army. Nine years later in 622, Heraculis finally launched his offensive.[9] After his overwhelming victories over the Persians and their allies in the Caucasus and Armenia, Heraclius, in 627, launched a winter offensive against the Persians in Mesopotamia winning a decisive victory at the Battle of Nineveh thus threatening the Persian capital city of Ctesiphon. Discredited by these series of disasters, Khosrau II was overthrown and killed in a coup led by his son Kavadh II,[10] who at once sued for peace, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territories of the Byzantine Empire. Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem with a majestic ceremony in 629.[11] Meanwhile there had been rapid political development in Arabia, where Prophet Mohammad had been preaching Islam and by 630, he had successfully united most of the Arabia under a single political authority. When the Prophet died in June 632, Abu Bakr was elected Caliph and his political successor. Troubles emerged soon after Abu Bakr's succession, when several Arab tribes openly revolted against Abu Bakr, who declared war against the rebels. In what became known as the Ridda wars (Arabic for the Wars of Apostasy, 632–33), Abu Bakr managed to unite Arabia under the central authority of the Caliph at Medina.[12] Map detailing the Rashidun Caliphate's invasion of the Levant. Once the rebels had been subdued, Abu Bakr began a war of conquest, beginning with Iraq. Sending his most brilliant general, Khalid ibn al-Walid, Iraq was conquered in a series of successful campaigns against the Sassanid Persians. Abu Bakr's confidence grew, and once Khalid established his stronghold in Iraq, Abu Bakr issued a call to arms for the invasion of Syria in February 634.[13] The Muslim invasion of Syria was a series of carefully planned and well coordinated military operations that employed strategy instead of pure strength to deal with Byzantine defensive measures.[14] The Muslim armies, however soon proved to be too small to handle the Byzantine response, and their commanders called for reinforcements. Khalid was sent by Abu Bakr from Iraq to Syria with reinforcements and to lead the invasion. In July 634, the Byzantines were decisively defeated at Ajnadayn. Damascus fell in September 634, followed by the Battle of Fahl where the last significant garrison of Palestine was defeated and routed.[15] Caliph Abu Bakr died in 634. His successor, Umar, was determined to continue the Caliphate Empire's expansion deeper into Syria.[16] Though previous campaigns led by Khalid were successful, he was replaced by Abu Ubaidah. Having secured southern Palestine, Muslim forces now advanced up the trade route where Tiberias and Baalbek fell without much struggle and the Muslims conquered Emesa early in 636. From thereon, the Muslims continued their conquest across the Levant.[17] [edit] Byzantine counterattack Having seized Emesa, the Muslims were just a march away from Aleppo, a Byzantine stronghold, and Antioch, where Heraclius resided. Seriously alarmed by the series of setbacks, Heraclius prepared for a counterattack to reacquire the lost regions.[18][19] In 635 Yazdegerd III, the Emperor of Persia, sought an alliance with the Byzantine Emperor. Heraclius married off his daughter (according to traditions, his grand daughter) Manyanh to Yazdegerd III, an old Roman tradition to cement the alliance. While Heraclius prepared for a major offensive in the Levant, Yazdegerd was to mount a simultaneous counterattack in Iraq, in what was meant to be a well-coordinated effort. When Heraclius launched his offensive in May 636, Yazdegerd could not coordinate with the maneuver—probably owing to the exhausted condition of his government—and what would have been a decisive plan missed the mark.[20] Umar won a decisive victory against Heraclius at Yarmouk, and used great strategy[citation needed] to engage and entrap Yazdegerd[citation needed]. Three months later Yazdegerd lost his imperial army at the Battle of Qadisiyah in November 636, ending Sassanid control west of Persia. map of Muslim and Byzantine troop movement prior to yarmuk Muslim and Byzantine Troop Movements before the battle of Yarmouk. Byzantine preparations began in late 635 and by May 636 Heraclius had a large force concentrated at Antioch in Northern Syria.[21] The assembled army consisted of contingents of Byzantines, Slavs, Franks, Georgians, Armenians and Christian Arabs.[22] This force was organized into five armies, the joint leader of which was Theodore Trithourios the Sakellarios. Vahan, an Armenian and the former garrison commander of Emesa,[23] was made the overall field commander,[24] and had under his command a purely Armenian army. Buccinator (Qanateer), a Slavic prince, commanded the Slavs and Jabalah ibn al-Aiham, king of the Ghassanid Arabs, commanded an exclusively Christian Arab force. The remaining contingents, all European, were placed under Gregory and Dairjan.[25][26] Heraclius himself supervised the operation from Antioch. Byzantine sources mention Niketas, son of the Persian general Shahrbaraz, among the commanders, but it is not certain which army he commanded.[27] At that time, the Rashidun army was split into four groups: one under Amr in Palestine, one under Shurahbil in Jordan, one under Yazid in the Damascus-Caesarea region and the last one under Abu Ubaidah along with Khalid at Emesa. As the Muslim forces were geographically divided, Heraclius sought to exploit this situation and planned to attack. He did not wish to engage in a single pitched battle but rather to employ central position and fight the enemy in detail by concentrating large forces against each of the Muslim corps before they could consolidate their troops. By forcing the Muslims to retreat, or by destroying Muslim forces separately, he would fulfill his strategy of recapturing lost territory. Reinforcements were sent to Caesarea under Heraclius' son Constantine III probably to tie down Yazid's forces which were besieging the town.[25] The Byzantine imperial army moved out from Antioch and Northern Syria sometime in the middle of June 636. The Byzantine imperial army was to operate under the following plan: * Jabalah's lightly armed Christian Arabs would march to Emesa from Aleppo via Hama and hold the main Muslim army at Emesa. * Dairjan would make a flanking movement - moving between the coast and Aleppo's road — and approach Emesa from the west, striking at the Muslims' left flank while they were being held frontally by Jabalah. * Gregory would strike the Muslims' right flank, approaching Emesa from the northeast via Mesopotamia. * Qanateer would march along the coastal route and occupy Beirut, from where he was to attack weakly defended Damascus from the west to cut off the main Muslim army at Emesa. * Vahan's corps would act as a reserve and would approach Emesa via Hama.[28] [edit] Muslim strategy The Muslims discovered Heraclius' preparations at Shaizar through Roman prisoners. Alert to the possibility of being caught with separated forces that could be destroyed, Khalid called for a council of war. There he advised Abu Ubaidah to pull the troops back from Palestine and from Northern and Central Syria, and then to concentrate the entire Rashidun army in one place.[29][30] Abu Ubaidah ordered the concentration of troops in the vast plain near Jabiya, as control of the area made cavalry charges possible and facilitated the arrival of reinforcements from Umar so that a strong, united force could be fielded against the Byzantine armies.[31] The position also benefited from close proximity to the Rashidun stronghold of Najd, in case of retreat. Instructions were also issued to return the jizya (tribute) to the people who had paid it.[32] However, once concentrated at Jabiya, the Muslims were subject to raids from pro-Byzantine Ghassanid forces. Encamping in the region was also precarious as a strong Byzantine force was garrisoned in Caeseara and could attack the Muslim rear while they were held in front by the Byzantine army. On Khalid's advice the Muslim forces retreated to Dara’ah (or Dara) and Dayr Ayyub, covering the gap between the Yarmouk Gorges and the Harra lava plains,[29] and established a line of camps in the eastern part of the plain of Yarmouk. This was a strong defensive position and these maneuvers pitted the Muslims and Byzantines into a decisive battle, one which the latter had tried to avoid.[33] During these maneuvers, there were no engagements save for a minor skirmish between Khalid's elite light cavalry and the Byzantine advance guard.[34]
  14. My computer was hacked a few weeks ago What are good softwares to protect PC ? I had almost up to date virus definitions using Norton. Any help or advice on AV and other viruses ? Who uses windows 7 or vmware or xen etc. ?
  15. This is what counterpunch says http://counterpunch.org/cockburn04012011.html CounterPunch Diary Battling the Beast By ALEXANDER COCKBURN Libya has dislodged from the headlines a nuclear catastrophe in Japan, on top of a seismic one, that’s one of the epic dramas of the past half-century and what’s doubly weird is that the actual fighting in Libya is a series of tiny skirmishes. The muscle-bound adjectives and nouns used to describe the military engagements – if they even deserve that word – in press reports remind me of a Chihuahua trying to mount a Newfoundland. Ambition far outstrips reality, which is in this case is a nervous rabble motley insurgents – maybe 1,500 or so at most, posing for television crews and then fleeing back down the road to the next village (“strategic stronghold”) at the first whiff of trouble. By my count, the mighty armies contending along the highway west of Benghazi would melt into the bleachers at a college baseball game. News stories suggest mobile warfare on the scale of the epic dramas of the Kursk salient in World War Two. But most of the action revolves around one tank. I’ve seen it in hundreds of video feeds. Like the tooth passed from witch to witch in Greek myththis tank performs many functions and to judge from the graffiti on its turret, it’s always the same vehicle. Maybe that’s why there’s endless bickering about whether the U.N. resolution covers the supply of arms and heavy equipment. The war’s PR men want to freshen up the visuals. The “no-fly zone” prompted, just as it did in Iraq, endless US sorties aimed at destroying antennas that might be picking up data useful to Libya’s anti-aircraft defenses, which scarcely exist. As with any bombing, civilians died. A team of Russian doctors wrote to the president of the Russian Federation, the oleaginous Dmitry Medvedev, as follows (as cited on the Global Research site on March 28): “Today, 24 March 2011, NATO aircraft and the U.S. all night and all morning bombed a suburb of Tripoli - Tajhura (where, in particular, is Libya's Nuclear Research Center). Air Defense and Air Force facilities in Tajhura were destroyed back in the first 2 days of strikes and more active military facilities in the city remained, but today the object of bombing are barracks of the Libyan army, around which are densely populated residential areas, and next to it - the largest of Libya's Heart Centers. Civilians and the doctors could not assume that common residential quarters will be about to become destroyed, so none of the residents or hospital patients was evacuated. “Bombs and rockets struck residential houses and fell near the hospital. The glass of the Cardiac Center building was broken, and in the building of the maternity ward for pregnant women with heart disease a wall collapsed and part of the roof. This resulted in ten miscarriages whereby babies died, the women are in intensive care, doctors are fighting for their lives. Our colleagues and we are working seven days a week, to save people. This is a direct consequence of falling bombs and missiles in residential buildings resulting in dozens of deaths and injuries, which are operated and reviewed now by our doctors. Such a large number of wounded and killed, as during today, did not occur during the total of all the riots in Libya. And this is called ‘protecting the civilian population?” NATO planes fly thither and yon looking for targets. There was a rumor that George Monbiot had handcuffed himself to the Libyan nuclear research center to show solidarity with Qaddafi’s alleged commitment to research into nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuels, but the word from Monbiot HQ was that that the silliest man in Great Britain is planning a symbolic flyover of Chernobyl as a monument to the safety of nuclear power, before inaugurating a “nuke camp” next to Daiichi 2 at Fukushima. Everything is out of proportion. Qaddafi is scarcely the acme of monstrosity conjured up by Obama or Mrs. Clinton or Sarkozy. In four decades, Libyans have gone from being among the most wretched in Africa, to considerable elevation in terms of social amenities. President Obama’s hands are stained with more blood and suffering than those of the man who has given the world endless diversion through two generations. In terms of evil deeds, is Qaddafi a Mobutu, a Bokassa, a Saddam, or any U.S. president? Surely not. Obama’s speech this week, belatedly seeking to rationalize his latest war, was ludicrously disproportionate too: pompous and offensive treacle about America’s special role as savior of the afflicted ladled over one more plateful of folly in the nation’s downward slide. These “humanitarian interventions” follow a familiar script: demonization, hand in hand with romantic effusions about the demon’s opponents, whether the Mujahiddeen in Afghanistan reinvented as Robin Hoods of the Hindukush or the Albanian mafiosi tarted up as freedom-loving Kossovars. The U.S.-led war on Iraq in 1991 included a propaganda campaign contracted by the government of Kuwait with the pr firm Burson Marsteller, which produced such triumphs as the babies allegedly hurled by Saddam’s troops from their respirators in a Kuwait hospital – a fraud I think I can claim to have been the first to expose. In this connection, one does have to wonder, at least for a moment, about that woman bursting into the journalist’s hotel in Tripoli, claiming to have been raped by some of Qaddafi’s troops, though if the intent was to rally liberals in America to the cause of intervention, allegations planted by Burson-Marsteller or some kindred outfit of a “hate crime” against gay Libyans, or a negative attitude to gay marriage on the part of Qaddafi might have been more effective. But substantial slabs of what passes for the left in America are ecstatic at the intervention – a “good one” at last -- and excitedly pass from hand to hand the vacuous “letter to the left” by Professor Juan Cole, replicated on almost every progressive website. You can tell Cole is a liberal academic by his disdain for any discussion of the fact that aside from other considerations the war launched by Obama and his secretary of state is an outrage to the U.S. Constitution, for which he merits impeachment, as pursued by Rep Dennis Kucinich. Liberal academics have not the slightest interest in the Constitution, since the document doesn’t address issues of tenure and preferment. They evince similar loathing for the jury, putting their faith in “good judges”. Cole’s role is somewhat akin to that of Todd Gitlin, another liberal academic now pensioned out to rich pasture at Columbia. Their credential, beloved by the press, is as fearless tribunes of the truth, bravely wagging their fingers at the cowardly left. Back in 2005 Cole was counseling the heightened use in Iraq of "special forces and air power." Two weeks ago I outlined some of the evidence that the freedom fighters of Benghazi might have close connections to al-Qaida, and since then it’s become matter of some embarrassment to the NATO coalition. A senior Pentagon commander says yes, there are intelligence reports suggesting an al-Qaida connection. The Daily Beast this week had a very loosely sourced story about Libyans fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan – some 200 – packing up and heading home to carry the torch of Islamic fundamentalism against Qaddafi and presumably the Great Satan shortly thereafter. In The First Post, Robin Fox cites reports relayed to the Pope by Franciscan monks in eastern Libyan about these same al-Qaida connections. The Pope was concerned enough to dispatch a special Vatican envoy to the London conference. Shaukat Qadir, formely a brigadier in Pakistan’s army and with excellent intelligence connections, instructively deployed in his reports for CounterPunch, emailed me Wednesday night from Lahore that “Every single Muslim majority country has its share of Muslim extremists; it should be no surprise that Libya has some too. However, I would like the fellow who authored the Beast piece to tell me which individual in the Haqqani group the Beast’s source has contacts with? To my knowledge, Libyans in Afghanistan/Pakistan are less than 20 and, while some might have left, I have not heard of an exodus. I do not know if the Beast piece is a U.S. government plant for justification, but it is a carefully woven piece mixing little fact with lots of fiction.” It requites no great prescience to see that this will all end up badly. Qaddafi’s failure to collapse on schedule is prompting increasing pressure to start a ground war, since the NATO operation is, in terms of prestige, like the banks Obama has bailed out, Too Big to Fail. Libya will probably be balkanized. The CIA, on some accounts, had already some time ago sent back its supposed asset, an ex-Colonel of the Libyan army, Khalifa Heftir who has been living in Virginia, not far from Langley to command the motley forces mentioned above. Vijay Prashad described yesterday how “the Benghazi council chose as its leader the colorless former justice minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil. Jalil’s brain is Mahmoud Jibril, a former head of the National Economic Development Board (NEDB). A U. S. embassy cable from May 11, 2009 (09TRIPOLI386) describes Jibril as keen on a close relationship with the U. S. and eager ‘to create a strategic partnership between private companies and the government.’ Jibril’s NEBD had collaborated with Ernst & Young and the Oxford Group to make the Libyan state more ‘efficient.’ Jibril told the ambassador that ‘American companies and universities are welcome to join him’ in the creation of new sectors outside hydrocarbons and that ‘we should take him up on his offer.’” The “allies” will stab each other in the back, seeking advantage. It’s all reminiscent of Charles Dickens’ great description at the start of the Tale of Two Cities: “The Dover mail was in its usual genial position that the guard suspected the passengers, the passengers suspected one another and the guard, they all suspected everybody else, and the coachman was sure of nothing but the horses; as to which cattle he could with a clear conscience have taken his oath on the two Testaments that they were not fit for the journey.” On the intervention and on Obama I yield the floor to Bill Blum who gave us an acrid Philippic, on this site last week: “So who are the good guys? The Libyan rebels, we're told. The ones who go around murdering and raping African blacks on the supposition that they're all mercenaries for Gaddafi. …During the 1990s, in the name of pan-African unity, Gaddafi opened the borders to tens of thousands of sub-Saharan Africans to live and work in Libya. That, along with his earlier pan-Arab vision, did not win him points with The Holy Triumvirate. Oh, and did I mention that Gaddafi is strongly anti-Zionist? “Does anyone know what kind of government the rebels would create? … Will they do away with much of the welfare state that Gaddafi used his oil money to create? Will the state-dominated economy be privatized? Who will wind up owning Libya's oil? Will the new regime continue to invest Libyan oil revenues in sub-Saharan African development projects? Will they allow a US military base and NATO exercises? Will we find out before long that the "rebels" were instigated and armed by Holy Triumvirate intelligence services?... “If John McCain had won the 2008 election, and then done everything that Obama has done in exactly the same way, liberals would be raging about such awful policies. I believe that Barack Obama is one of the worst things that has ever happened to the American left. The millions of young people who jubilantly supported him in 2008, and numerous older supporters, will need a long recovery period before they're ready to once again offer their idealism and their passion on the altar of political activism.” I wouldn’t have put that last paragraph as politely as Bill. There was plenty of evidence available in 2008, much of it amassed by CounterPunch, allowing conscientious enquirers to conclude that Obama was very bad news, in the pockets of the banks and big corporations. How about the words “dumb” and “credulous”, right next to “idealism and passion”? A good point raised by Frank Brodhead Alexander Cockburn’s brief characterization of [Obama’s NSC aide] Samantha Power’s Problem from Hell as a study of "US foreign-policy response to genocide" is not quite accurate. Among its "case studies," the book includes only those situations/countries where the genocide was outside the US sphere/area of control. It does not include any studies about genocides that took place in areas within the US sphere/area of control, such as Indonesia, Guatemala, Turkey/the Kurds, etc. I asked her about this at one of her lectures; she said my complaint was false, because her chapter on Saddam's gassing of Halabja was of the period in which Saddam was a US ally/client. Not much of a defense….Whether deliberately or not, Power's argument for US intervention against mass killing is framed as an argument for expanding the United States' military reach, while not troubling itself about mass killing within its own sphere of control/influence. Frank Brodhead Why the Pentagon Budget Keeps Going Up Back in 1983 Andrew Cockburn published The Threat the only accurate assessment of Soviet military potential in the 20 years before the fall of the Soviet Union. Now our latest CounterPunch newsletter features a brilliant, extended special report by Andrew of what, in terms of Pentagon expenditures, the Cold War was really about, and what has happened to U.S. military spending between the collapse of “the enemy” and today. “It mattered little,” Andrew writes, “what the Soviet enemy was actually doing. All that was required was for an announcement that ‘intelligence’ had revealed an ominous ‘gap”’ between U.S. and Soviet capabilities, and the money flowed….Commentators referred to the Cold War defense environment as the “arms race.” It is important to understand that there was little or no element of military competition with the Soviets, rather one of mostly one-sided budget enhancement.” Andrew probes arms spending scandals, from the Korean war (“Like some threadbare guerilla army, GIs would raid enemy trenches to steal the warm, padded boots provided by the Communist high command.”) to corporations today like CACI, a corporation that has risen to great prosperity (with a headquarters building emblazoned with its titular acronym looming over I-66 on the western approach to Washington, D.C.) without actually making anything at all.” Also in this newsletter hot off the presses a marvelous report from Andrea Peacock on the battle over: “a smallish piece of land, 130,000 acres southwest of the reservation. Technically, the Badger-Two Medicine is national forest land and, to the naked eye, is not distinguishable from the rest of the Lewis and Clark National Forest. But the Badger is the key to what happened here and why. The Badger-Two Medicine is part of the Backbone of the World. It’s full of mountains named for the supernatural beings who live there, “other-than-human persons,” as one writer calls them: Morningstar, Poia, the colorful Thunder bird, Wind Maker, and Medicine Grizzly. “It is precisely this mythic understanding of kinship and reciprocity with the land – all rocks, plants and animals – which empowers the Badger-Two Medicine as a sacred landscape,” writes Jay Vest in his 1988 article, “Traditional Blackfeet Religion and the Sacred Badger-Two Medicine Wildlands.” “When oil companies Chevron and Fina were poised in 1993 to send in their drilling rigs, Floyd “Tiny Man” Heavy Runner told reporters, ““What you’re doing is putting us on the road to extinction. We are here to notify you that we have no alternatives. We are not going to stand back.” Heavy Runner, leader of the warrior Brave Dog society, explained that the nature of the Blackfeet’s relationship to the Badger-Two Medicine is not something that can be taken into account by the oil companies’ talk of “improved technology,” “small footprints” and “seasonal occupancy.” If one drop of oil were spilled on the land , he said, the place would be ruined.” Subscribe now! And once you have discharged this enjoyable mandate I also urge you strongly to click over to our Books page, most particularly for our latest release, Jason Hribal’s truly extraordinary Fear of the Animal Planet – introduced by Jeffrey St Clair and already hailed by Peter Linebaugh, Ingrid Newkirk (president and co-founder of PETA) and Susan Davis, the historian of Sea World, who writes that “Jason Hribal stacks up the evidence, and the conclusions are inescapable. Zoos, circuses and theme parks are the strategic hamlets of Americans’ long war against nature itself.” Alexander Cockburn can be reached at alexandercockburn@asis.com.
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