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Silencing The Critics

Posted by Admin on February 23, 2012

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29383

by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Global Research, February 20, 2012

paulcraigrobert.com – 2012-02-19

RevolutionisingAwareness-Newsletter---February-2012-Edition-CP-ML-For-Web

In 2010 the FBI invaded the homes of peace activists in several states and seized personal possessions in what the FBI–the lead orchestrator of fake “terrorist plots”–called an investigation of “activities concerning the material support of terrorism.” 

Subpoenas were issued to compel antiwar protestors to testify before grand juries as prosecutors set about building their case that opposing Washington’s wars of aggression constitutes giving aid and comfort to terrorists.  The purpose of the raids and grand jury subpoenas was to chill the anti-war movement into inaction.

Last week in one fell swoop the last two remaining critics of Washington/Tel Aviv imperialism were removed from the mainstream media. Judge Napolitano’s popular program, Freedom Watch, was cancelled by Fox TV, and Pat Buchanan was fired by MSNBC.  Both pundits had wide followings and were appreciated for speaking frankly.  

Many suspect that the Israel Lobby used its clout with TV advertisers to silence critics of the Israeli government’s efforts to lead Washington to war with Iran.  Regardless, the point before us is that the voice of the mainstream media is now uniform. Americans hear one voice, one message, and the message is propaganda.  Dissent is tolerated only on such issues as to whether employer-paid health benefits should pay for contraceptive devices. Constitutional rights have been replaced with rights to free condoms.

The western media demonizes those at whom Washington points a finger. The lies pour forth to justify Washington’s naked aggression:  the Taliban are conflated with al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, Gaddafi is a terrorist and, even worse, fortified his troops with Viagra in order to commit mass rape against Libyan women. 

President Obama and members of Congress along with Tel Aviv continue to assert that Iran is making a nuclear weapon despite public contradiction by the US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and the CIA’s National Intelligence Estimate.  According to news reports, Pentagon chief Leon Panetta told members of the House of Representatives on February 16 that “Tehran has not made a decision to proceed with developing a nuclear weapon.” http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_19978801?source=rss   However, in Washington facts don’t count.  Only the material interests of powerful interest groups matter.

At the moment the American Ministry of Truth is splitting its time between lying about Iran and lying about Syria. Recently, there were some explosions in far away Thailand, and the explosions were blamed on Iran.  Last October the FBI announced that the bureau had uncovered an Iranian plot to pay a used car salesman to hire a Mexican drug gang to kill the Saudi Ambassador to the US. The White House idiot professed to believe the unbelievable plot and declared that he had “strong evidence,” but no evidence was ever released. The purpose for announcing the non-existent plot was to justify Obama’s sanctions, which amount to an embargo–an act of war–against Iran for developing nuclear energy.  


As a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty, Iran has the right to develop nuclear energy. IAEA inspectors are permanently in Iran and report no diversion of nuclear material to a weapons program. 

In other words, according to the reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the US National Intelligence Estimate, and the current Secretary of Defense, there is no evidence that Iran has nukes or is making nukes.  Yet, Obama has placed illegal sanctions on Iran and continues to threaten Iran with military attack on the basis of an accusation that is contradicted by all known evidence. 

How can such a thing happen? It can happen because there is no Helen Thomas, who also was eliminated by the Israel Lobby, to question, as a member of the White House press, President Obama why he placed war-like sanctions on Iran when his own CIA and his own Secretary of Defense, along with the IAEA, report that there is no basis for the sanctions.   

The idea that the US is a democracy when it most definitely does not have a free watchdog press is laughable.  But the media is not laughing.  It is lying.  Just like the government, every time the US mainstream media opens its mouth or writes one word, it is lying. Indeed, its corporate masters pay its employees to tell lies. That is their job. Tell the truth, and you are history like Buchanan and Napolitano and Helen Thomas.

What the Ministry of Truth calls “peaceful protesters brutalized by Assad’s military” are in fact rebels armed and financed by Washington.  Washington has fomented a civil war. Washington claims its intention is to rescue the oppressed and abused Syrian people from Assad, just as Washington rescued the oppressed and abused Libyan people from Gaddafi. Today “liberated” Libya is a shell of its former self terrorized by clashing militias. Thanks to Obama, another country has been destroyed.

Reports of atrocities committed against Syrian civilians by the military could be true, but the reports come from the rebels who desire Western intervention to put them into power. Moreover, how would these civilian casualties differ from the ones inflicted on Bahraini civilians by the US supported Bahraini government, the military of which was fortified by Saudi Arabian troops? There is no outcry in the western press about Washington’s blind eye to civilian atrocities committed by its puppet states.

How do the Syrian atrocities, if they are real, differ from Washington’s atrocities in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo prison, and secret CIA prison sites?  Why is the american Ministry of Truth silent about these massive, unprecedented, violations of human rights? 

Remember also the reports of Serbian atrocities in Kosovo that Washington and Germany used to justify NATO and US bombing of Serbian civilians, including the Chinese consulate, dismissed as another collateral damage.  Now 13 years later, a prominent German TV program has revealed that the photographs that ignited the atrocity campaign were grossly misrepresented and were not photographs of atrocities  committed by Serbs, but of Albanian separatists killed in a firefight between armed Albanians and Serbians. Serbian casualties were not shown.  http://www.freenations.freeuk.com/news-2012-02-19.html  

The problem that truth faces is that the western media continually lies. On the rare instances when the lies are corrected, it is always long after the event and, therefore, the crimes enabled by the media have been accomplished. 

Washington set its puppet Arab League upon Syria in order to establish Syria’s isolation among its own kind, the better to attack Syria. Assad forestalled Washington’s set-up of Syria for destruction  by calling a nationwide referendum on February 26 to establish a new constitution that would extend the prospect of rule beyond the Ba’athists (Assad’s party). 

One might think that, if Washington and its Ministry of Truth really wanted democracy in Syria, Washington would get behind this gesture of good will by the ruling party and endorse the referendum.  But Washington does not want a democratic Syrian government.  Washington wants a puppet state.  Washington’s response is that the dastardly Assad has outwitted Washington by taking steps toward Syrian democracy before Washington can obliterate Syria and install a puppet.

Here is Obama’s response to Assad’s move toward democracy: “It’s actually quite laughable–it makes a mockery of the Syrian revolution,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One. 

Obama, the neoconservatives, and Tel Aviv are really pissed. If Washington and Tel Aviv can figure out how to get around Russia and China and overthrow Assad, Washington and Tel Aviv will put Assad on trial as a war criminal for proposing a democratic referendum. 

Assad was an eye doctor in England until his father died, and he was called back to head the troubled government. Washington and Tel Aviv have demonized Assad for refusing to be their puppet.  Another sore point is the Russian naval base at Tartus. Washington is desperate to evict the Russians from their only Mediterranean base in order to make the Mediterranean an american lake. Washington, inculcated with neocon visions of world empire, wants its own mare nostrum

If the Soviet Union were still extant, Washington’s designs on Tartus would be suicidal.  However, Russia is politically and militarily weaker than the Soviet Union. Washington has infiltrated Russia with NGOs that work against Russia’s interests and will disrupt the upcoming elections. Moreover, Washington-funded “color revolutions” have turned former constituent parts of the Soviet Union into Washington’s puppet states. Shorn of communist ideology, Washington does not expect Russia to push the nuclear button. Thus, Russia is there for the taking.  

China is a more difficult problem.  Washington’s plan is to cut China off from independent sources of energy.  China’s oil investment in eastern Libya is the reason Gaddafi was overthrown, and oil is one of the main reasons that Washington has targeted Iran. China has large oil investments in Iran and gets 20% of its oil from Iran. Closing down Iran, or converting it into Washington’s puppet state, closes down 20% of the Chinese economy.

Russia and China are slow learners. However, when Washington and its NATO puppets abused the “no-fly” UN resolution concerning Libya and violated the UN resolution by turning it into armed military aggression against Libya’s armed forces, which had every right to put down a CIA sponsored rebellion, Russia and China finally got the message that Washington could not be trusted.  

This time Russia and China did not fall into Washington’s trap. They vetoed the UN Security Council’s set-up of Syria for military attack.  Now Washington and Tel Aviv (it is not always clear which is the puppet and which is the puppet master) have to decide whether to proceed in the face of Russian and Chinese opposition.  

The risks for Washington have multiplied. If Washington proceeds, the information that is conveyed to Russia and China is that they are next in line after Iran. Therefore, Russia and China, both being well-armed with nuclear weapons, are likely to put their foot down more firmly at the line drawn over Iran. If the crazed warmongers in Washington and Tel Aviv, with veins running strong with hubris and arrogance, again override Russian and Chinese opposition, the risk of a dangerous confrontation rises.

Why isn’t the american media raising questions about these risks?  Is it worth blowing up the world in order to stop Iran from having a nuclear energy program or even a nuclear weapon?  Does Washington think China is unaware that Washington is taking aim at its energy supply? Does Washington think Russia is unaware that it is being encircled by hostile military bases?

Whose interests are being served by Washington’s endless and multi-trillion dollar wars?  Certainly not the interests of the 50 million americans with no access to health care, nor by the 1,500,000 american children who are homeless, living in cars, rundown motel rooms, tent cities, and the storm sewers under Las Vegas, while huge amounts of public funds are used to bail out banks and squandered in wars of hegemony. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suJCvkazrTc  

The US has no independent print and TV media. It has presstitutes who are paid for the lies that they tell. The US government in its pursuit of its immoral aims has attained the status of the most corrupt government in human history. Yet Obama speaks as if Washington is the font of human morality.

The US government does not represent americans. It represents a few special interests and a foreign power.  US citizens simply don’t count, and certainly Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, Somalians, Yemenis, and Pakistanis don’t count.   Washington regards truth, justice, and mercy as laughable values.  Money, power, hegemony are all that count for Washington, the city upon the hill, the light unto nations, the example for the world.


Paul Craig Roberts is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Paul Craig Roberts
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Will Obama send U.S. citizens to Guantanamo? Outrage as President signs off law to detain home-grown terror suspects indefinitely

Posted by Admin on December 21, 2011

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2074576/President-Obama-signs-law-detain-terror-suspects-indefinitely.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

  • Drops his threat of a veto against the defence bill even though he didn’t like certain controversial provisions
  • Now American citizens can be arrested within the U.S. and sent to Guantanamo if they’re linked to Al Queda or Taliban
  • Senate voted 86-13 to pass the massive $662billion defence bill

By MEGHAN KENEALLY

Last updated at 2:00 PM on 16th December 2011

President Barack Obama faced a civil liberties backlash today after he  signed a law that will allow terror suspects to be held indefinitely- even raising the prospects of U.S. citizens being sent to Guantanamo Bay.

The controversial move, revealed last night, effectively extends the laws of the battlefield to American soil.

The move shows a clear hardening of Mr Obama’s anti-terror policies, and a major shift from the liberal stance that helped him sweep into power three years ago.

Under fire: President Obama is expected to sign the defence authorization bill, in spite of stipulations that allow prisoners to be held indefinitely

After campaigning heavily on the need to close the controversial terrorist detention base at Guantanamo Bay, he failed to deliver when met with legal obstacles.

Now, showing that he has truly moved to the opposite end of the spectrum, he is endorsing the tools and civil powers that he once rallied against.

‘It’s something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration,’ said Human Rights Watch spokesman Tom Malinowski.

‘It establishes precisely the kind of system that the United States has consistently urged other countries not to adopt. At a time when the United States is urging Egypt, for example, to scrap its emergency law and military courts, this is not consistent,’ Mr Malinowski continued.

Considering he is now in the midst of running for re-election, comparisons between Mr Obama and Mr Bush are certainly not something the President wants going into the 2012 race.

Civil rights groups are outraged after he dropped the threat of a veto Wednesday, meaning the bill will become a law and implement several controversial provisions, like the ability to keep all terror suspects imprisoned.

Though there are already 46 ‘indefinite detainees’ at Guantanamo currently, this new provision would allow the government to consider  Americans with close ties to Al Queda or the Taliban.

Controversial: The military base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba has always been a divisive topic because of the limited rights given to prisoners

One part of the debate has been whether terror suspects should be prosecuted as criminals and tried in a civilian court, as Mr Obama would like, or if they are deemed ‘enemy combatants’ and given trials in military courts which have less civil liberties for the defendants, which Republican lawmakers would prefer.

The defence bill with the controversial position shows that in light of the continued setbacks in the push for closure of Guantanamo, the Republicans are seemingly winning the fight.

Head office: Mr Obama has consistently wanted the ability to have prisoners tried in civilian courts

‘While we remain concerned about the uncertainty that this law will create for our counter-terrorism professionals, the most recent changes give the president additional discretion in determining how the law will be implemented, consistent with our values and the rule of law, which are at the heart of our country’s strength,’ the White House statement said.

Congress passed the massive $662 billion defence bill Thursday , the Senate voting 86-13 for the measure. It would also authorize money for military personnel, weapons systems, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and national security programs in the Energy Department for the financial year beginning October 1.

The legislation is $27billion less than Obama wanted and $43billion less than Congress gave the Pentagon this year, a reflection of deficit-driven federal budgets, the end of the Iraq war and the drawdown in Afghanistan.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, the House voted 283-136 for the measure late on Wednesday. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said Thursday the cooperation was a ‘little ray of sunshine’ in a bitterly divided Washington.

It also shows some foreign-policy muscle in pre-emptively freezing hundreds of millions of dollars tentatively headed to Pakistan in aid unless the defence department gets firm assurances that the country will help cut off the production and proliferation of homemade bombs.

In addition to the concerns over a curtailing of civil liberties, some critics speculate that the bill may give leeway to Republicans in next year’s presidential elections by highlighting Mr Obama’s flip-flopping on the issue.

 ‘It’s really distressing that the White House clearly shares the concerns of the national security establishment [against the bill], but feels like a veto is not politically sustainable,’ said Heather Hurlburt, executive director of the non-profit National Security Network.

CAMP OF CONTROVERSY: THE SAGA OF GUANTANAMO

The camp, which he once called a ‘sad chapter in American history’ seems to be one that will be going on for longer as his plans to close the controversial camp have failed his repeated attempts.

Different rules: Military and civilian courts give detainees different rights, and the new bill will allow the military rules to continue without civilian trials

Originally opened by President George Bush in January 2002, the camp was originally used as a place to store particularly dangerous prisoners as they were not given any rights granted under the Geneva Conventions.

Though their legal standing has changed slightly throughout the years, the camp is widely seen as a symbol of diminishing civil rights standards.

During the 2008 campaign, Mr Obama promised to close the camp within his first year in office. He first took action within his first two days in office, issuing a suspension of prosecutions at the camp.

Even though he followed up with an executive order, his efforts were thwarted by bureaucracy and legal posturing.

First, they found the proper legal files on individual prisoners were not kept up to date, preventing a quick reassignment to other prisons elsewhere.

The next problem was where to put them when moved out of Cuba: options in Kansas, Michigan and Illinois were exhausted after the local legislators put up fights because their constituents didn’t want to be living near terrorists.

The biggest blow to the effort came in January of this year, when President Obama signed the Defence Authorization Bill stopping the talk of transferring the prisoners to mainland America or foreign countries who had offered to house the prisoners.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2074576/President-Obama-signs-law-detain-terror-suspects-indefinitely.html#ixzz1hBrp61XG

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How Have We Become the United States of Fear?

Posted by Admin on December 20, 2011

http://www.truth-out.org/how-have-we-become-united-states-fear/1323880893

Thursday 15 December 2011
by: Mark Karlin, Truthout | Interview

(Image: Haymarket Books)

Tom Engelhardt‘s “The United Sates of Fear” is yours with a minimum one-time donation of $25, or a monthly commitment of $10 or more to Truthout. If you’re a fan of TomDispatch, this book weaves together Engelhardt’s trenchant and incisive thoughts about America’s declining empire – and how it impacts all aspects of our society.

Mark Karlin: Your last chapter in so many ways embodies what you have covered in TomDispatch, and what is at the core of our crisis of democracy today: imperial decline. When did our American empire begin to implode?

Tom Engelhardt: Well, I have no doubt that, economically speaking, we’ve been losing traction for quite a while on that downhill slope, but a crucial “moment” was certainly Washington’s decision to follow what I call “the Soviet path.” After all, in those last years of the Cold War, the Soviet Union, the far weaker of the two superpowers, threw money into its military while its deficits rose and its infrastructure crumbled – and of course it got mired in a terrible war, a “bleeding wound,” in Afghanistan. It all sounds eerily familiar, no? Washington’s decision, in its moment of Cold War triumph, to follow essentially the same path and the Bush administration’s wild belief that it could drive U.S. military power unilaterally into the heart of the Greater Middle East and establish a Pax Americana there (the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were only supposed to be the beginning of the process) had a similar effect. Now, of course, we have soaring deficits, rotting infrastructure and unending war in Afghanistan (and elsewhere). It could give you the chills.

MK: How is the instigation of a state of national fear tied into the effort to maintain empire?

TE: I think that the real thing it’s tied into is an effort over this last decade to turn what I call the “national security complex” into America’s growth industry. Fear – of terrorism and nothing else – has been the “drug” that has powered the national security state to heights and a size it never reached when it had a genuine superpower enemy with a nuclear arsenal. Today, the intelligence bureaucracy dwarfs what existed in the Cold War era; the Pentagon budget is so much larger and so on. Give credit where it’s due: it’s been quite a feat based on remarkably little when you think about it.

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MK: If 9/11 hadn’t been carried out by al-Qaeda, would it had to have been invented to justify the measures that have been carried out to attempt to maintain America’s military footprint around the world, at such great expense to our society?

TE: It’s a good question that is, of course, impossible to answer. What-if history is fascinating, but always remains what-if. It’s easy to forget, for instance, that in the period before 9/11 the Bush administration had essentially rejected Clinton administration and other warnings about terror and al-Qaeda because they considered China the future enemy to grow the Pentagon and the rest of the national security state upon. Without 9/11, many things might have been different. For one thing, to offer an example, on September 10, 2001 the Bush administration polling was lousy. It was already a remarkably unpopular administration in the political doldrums. Had it wanted to do something like set up a Department of Homeland Security, it probably would have gotten all snarled up in Congress and not succeeded. The Patriot Act, never. Etc. etc….

MK: Isn’t the concept of an ongoing “terrorist threat” fulfilling the need of an ongoing enemy that we lost with the collapse of the Soviet Union?

TE: Yes, it’s played that role. Or put another way, at most a few thousand scattered terrorists and a couple of ragtag minority insurgencies (in Afghanistan and Iraq) with poor arms and limited funds have, miraculously enough, fulfilled the role of an actual superpower! That speaks to the deceptive power of the 9/11 attacks which managed to look apocalyptic – hence the nuclear term “Ground Zero” that was almost immediately applied to the spot in New York City where the towers came down – without being so. Americans dealt with the 9/11 moment as if a major power had hit us with a nuclear weapon and so declared “war” on what? Those who wanted to deal with the event, which was terrible but not exactly civilization-threatening, as a criminal act were laughed out of the room and all the rest followed.

MK: Clearly, you believe that President Obama has not only failed to restore many of our civil liberties taken away under the Bush/Cheney administration, but, in fact, has gone further than the neocons? What happened to his constitutional scholar principles?

TE: Increasingly, I don’t speculate much on the motives of the players in our national drama, in part because I think we humans are all like the unreliable narrators of modern fiction, not to be trusted when we claim to know why we do things. We’re mysteries – perhaps to ourselves above all. It is clear, however, that the Obama administration, like those before it, hasn’t exactly been eager to give up the prerogatives of an imperial presidency, much expanded under the Bush administration and in some cases has been at work expanding them further. This has been the direction the presidency has taken in our lifetime – ever expanding power – whatever the constitutional bona fides of the occupants of the Oval Office.

MK: Obama promised government transparency during his 2008 campaign, but you would argue the maintenance of a shadow government that operates in secrecy is necessary to operate the military-industrial complex. Why is this so and why is Obama going along with it?

TE: I would argue that our ever expanding national security state has, like a mother ship leaving Earth, simply lifted itself out of our world and, surrounded in secrecy (which helps the process along), has entered a space above us all where its denizens need be accountable for nothing and, unlike the rest of us, are assured of never being subjected to the legal system for whatever acts they take – with a single exception: whistleblowing. If you or I break into a house and commit acts of violence, we’ll undoubtedly be arrested and brought before a court of law. But if the national security state breaks into another country and does the same, if it kidnaps, tortures, assassinates, those who do it will not be prosecuted. It’s essentially a guaranteed. Obama’s “sunshine” policies were simply swallowed whole and disappeared almost without a trace into the new national security state.

MK: All of the rollbacks of our constitutional rights taken by the executive branch and government and Congress are being done in the name of fighting terrorism. How serious a threat is terrorism and what are the alternatives for dealing with it?

TE: Since 9/11, even if you include the attempted assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the guy who ran his plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas, terrorism has ranked above shark attacks but below just about anything else that has the ability to harm Americans here in the US. As a comparison, my crude calculations show maybe 25 domestic terror victims, including in the incidents above, whereas some 30-odd thousand Americans a year die on our roads in traffic accidents. Yet terror is the only thing where the government promises us something close to 100% safety. Generally, terror attacks can be tragic, but they are relatively minor dangers for Americans, even if they have been used to engorge our national-security-homeland-security state.

MK: Getting back to the issue of America and empire. Isn’t it ironic that the US was founded as a nation in a war against the reigning empire of its time: British military rule that spanned the world?

TE: I don’t know how strange it is. Militant republics seem quite capable of becoming empires from Rome to France, no? It is true, however, that the anti-imperial tradition that began with the American revolution here has historically acted as at least some kind of brake on imperial thinking, however modestly. Americans at least didn’t like to think of themselves as imperial. It was part of the national self-image – until, at least, the George W. Bush years and when such thinking took hold among right-wing pundits, it was – or should have been – a sign that something was coming unglued.

MK: You discuss drones and advanced military technology in your book and TomDispatch. No technology is exclusive for long. Isn’t the American reliance on current superior technological warfare bound to boomerang against us in the end?

TE: “Perfect weapons,” the atomic bomb included, never fulfill the promises made for them, but by the time that’s obvious, they’ve embedded themselves in our world. Something in the range of 40-50 nations now either have drones, are at work designing them, or are planning to buy them. The (un)friendly skies are going to be filled with them and when the first Iranian or Russian or Chinese drones start to take out their version of bad guys, we’re not going to be so happy. When the first “suicide drones” hit we’re going to be even less happy. What we’ve done in these years is to create a rationale for overriding national sovereignty and assassinating whomever we care to wherever we care to. Think of it as the globalization of death and, in the end, it will indeed by an ugly precedent for the planet.

MK: Although we are currently in a state of perpetual war, most Americans don’t think of us being at war. Why is this so and compare it to the national consciousness of World War II, for example, when everyone was suffused with contributing to the war effort?

TE: After the U.S. Army nearly collapsed in Vietnam – a draft or citizens army, that is – the high command and other interested parties in essence said “never again.” They created the All-Volunteer Army in part to detach the military (and so the wars it fought) from and insulate it from, our society, from citizen pressure. In that they succeeded. Americans, as I (and others) at TomDispatch have regularly pointed out, are now remarkably detached and insulated from the wars fought in our name and, increasingly, even those wars are fought with an eerie detachment, at least the drone part of them. In essence 1% of Americans who run things send 1% of Americans (those in the armed services) out to fight their wars and the other 98% are left out of things. It’s not exactly the definition of a democratic republic, is it?

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Pakistan and “The Haqqani Network” : The Latest Orchestrated Threat to America and The End of History

Posted by Admin on September 30, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26797

by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Global Research, September 27, 2011
– 2011-09-26

Have you ever before heard of the Haqqanis? I didn’t think so. Like Al Qaeda, about which no one had ever heard prior to 9/11, the “Haqqani Network” has popped up in time of need to justify America’s next war–Pakistan.

President Obama’s claim that he had Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden exterminated deflated the threat from that long-serving bogyman. A terror organization that left its leader, unarmed and undefended, a sitting duck for assassination no longer seemed formidable. Time for a new, more threatening, bogyman, the pursuit of which will keep the “war on terror” going.

Now America’s “worst enemy” is the Haqqanis. Moreover, unlike Al Qaeda, which was never tied to a country, the Haqqani Network, according to Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, is a “veritable arm” of the Pakistani government’s intelligence service, ISI. Washington claims that the ISI ordered its Haggani Network to attack the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 13 along with the US military base in Wadak province.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a member of the Armed Services committee and one of the main Republican warmongers, declared that “all options are on the table” and gave the Pentagon his assurance that in Congress there was broad bipartisan support for a US military attack on Pakistan.

As Washington has been killing large numbers of Pakistani civilians with drones and has forced the Pakistani army to hunt for Al Qaeda throughout most of Pakistan, producing tens of thousands or more of dislocated Pakistanis in the process, Sen. Graham must have something larger in mind.

The Pakistani government thinks so, too. The Pakistani prime minister,Yousuf Raza Gilani, called his foreign minister home from talks in Washington and ordered an emergency meeting of the government to assess the prospect of an American invasion.

Meanwhile, Washington is rounding up additional reasons to add to the new threat from the Haqqanis to justify making war on Pakistan: Pakistan has nuclear weapons and is unstable and the nukes could fall into the wrong hands; the US can’t win in Afghanistan until it has eliminated sanctuaries in Pakistan; blah-blah.

Washington has been trying to bully Pakistan into launching a military operation against its own people in North Waziristan. Pakistan has good reasons for resisting this demand. Washington’s use of the new “Haqqani threat” as an invasion excuse could be Washington’s way of overcoming Pakistan’s resistance to attacking its North Waziristan provence, or it could be, as some Pakistani political leaders say, and the Pakistani government fears, a “drama” created by Washington to justify a military assault on yet another Muslim country.

Over the years of its servitude as an American puppet, the Pakistan government has brought this on itself. Pakistanis let the US purchase the Pakistan government, train and equip its military, and establish CIA interface with Pakistani intelligence. A government so dependent on Washington could say little when Washington began violating its sovereignty, sending in drones and special forces teams to kill alleged Al Qaeda, but usually women, children, and farmers. Unable to subdue after a decade a small number of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, Washington has placed the blame for its military failure on Pakistan, just as Washington blamed the long drawn-out war on the Iraqi people on Iran’s alleged support for the Iraqi resistance to American occupation.

Some knowledgeable analysts’ about whom you will never hear in the “mainstream media,” say that the US military/security complex and their neoconservative whores are orchestrating World War III before Russia and China can get prepared. As a result of the communist oppression, a signifiant percentage of the Russian population is in the American orbit. These Russians trust Washington more than they trust Putin. The Chinese are too occupied dealing with the perils of rapid economic growth to prepare for war and are far behind the threat.

War, however, is the lifeblood of the profits of the military/security complex, and war is the chosen method of the neoconservatives for achieving their goal of American hegemony.

Pakistan borders China and former constituent parts of the Soviet Union in which the US now has military bases on Russia’s borders. US war upon and occupation of Pakistan is likely to awaken the somnolent Russians and Chinese. As both possess nuclear ICBMs, the outcome of the military/security complex’s greed for profits and the neoconservatives’ greed for empire could be the extinction of life on earth.

The patriots and super-patriots who fall in with the agendas of the military-security complex and the flag-waving neoconservatives are furthering the “end-times” outcome so fervently desired by the rapture evangelicals, who will waft up to heaven while the rest of us die on earth.

This is not President Reagan’s hoped for outcome from ending the cold war.

Paul Craig Roberts is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Paul Craig Roberts

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Open Letter On Scientific Evidence for Extraterrestrial Implants

Posted by Admin on September 30, 2011

http://battleofearth.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/open-letter-on-scientific-evidence-for-extraterrestrial-implants/

Source: http://www.doctorkoontz.com/Letters/Implants_001.htm 
Posted here: Thursday, September 22, 2011 @ 7:00 PM

Full Report On the Alleged Alien Implant Removed From An American Scientist Code-Named “John Smith”

Koontz states that the object he analyzed seems to be a remote listening device composed of iron, with cobalt, nickel and a large amount of iridium, normally found in meteorites. It has a surface coating that appears to be sensitive to sound waves and it emits electromagnetic radiation, something an ordinary piece of iron does not do. The object also appears to be programmed to absorb soundwaves and to be able to transmit soundwaves, as well.

Even more extraordinary, these objects appear to self-organize. This is an intelligent material that, when broken, reassembles itself. There are carbon nano-tubes in these devices and we don’t find those in nature.

May 26, 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a Ph.D. experimental nuclear physicist, and I was once with the US Navy’s Naval Security Group. While assigned with the National Security Agency, I taught electronics related to remote intelligence gathering. My clearance is a lifetime National Security Agency Top Secret with Cryptographic Endorsement and Code-Word Access.

In the web page linked to below, I have posted news articles and background information that substantiate my credentials.

http://www.doctorkoontz.com/bio/Deep_Background/index.htm

Regarding Whitley Strieber’s reports about alien implants and his recent interview of Dr. Roger Leir, and also regarding Whitley’s interview of an American scientist who says he was implanted with some sort of technological device, I find the evidence very compelling.

In particular, I note the reported non-terrestrial isotope ratios of the putative implant, the reported emissions of electromagnetic energy and the apparent microstructure of the possible device. This is physical evidence that has been and can be analyzed.

I also note that the interviewed scientist seems quite clear-headed and sensible. Furthermore, the scientist has demonstrable knowledge about carbon nano-tubes and appears to indeed be the scientist he claims to be.

I see no reason whatsoever to discount what these men are saying. Indeed, quite the opposite is true: My opinion is that this matter should be taken very seriously and, eventually, should be openly addressed by both federal authorities and by the public.

However, I realize that federal authorities are unlikely to openly address this matter, and my opinion is that mainstream news media will not write even a single, unbiased, article on the subject.

Nevertheless, if it is true that extraterrestrial persons are placing implants in the bodies of US citizens and US scientists, then the matter is of a national security nature that could be more serious than the threat from al-Qaeda and North Korea.

It is possible that my comments will be met with mockery and derision in some quarters. But that does not dissuade me in the least. Let the chips fall where they may. Truth is an ally; possible life on what could turn into a slave planet is not.

Sincerely,

Dr. Robert W. Koontz, Ph.D.
Web Site: http://www.DoctorKoontz.com

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U.N. flies food into famine-hit Somali capital

Posted by Admin on July 28, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/u-n-flies-food-famine-hit-somali-capital-175012420.html

By Abdi Sheikh | Reuters – 29 mins ago

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – The United Nations airlifted emergency food for starving children into the Somali capital Mogadishu on Wednesday as aid groups warned of a growing influx of hungry families from the famine-hit south of the country.

Some 3.7 million Somalis — almost half of the population — are going hungry with drought hitting some 11.6 million people across what local media have dubbed a “triangle of death” straddling Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

Though the U.N. food agency had already distributed food in the capital, this is its first airlift of food into Somalia since the food crisis began.

“We need to scale up our programs, and especially the nutrition programs, in order to avoid children falling into severe malnutrition,” Stephanie Savariaud, a U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) spokeswoman, told Reuters.

“Then they need to get hospitalized and it’s much more difficult to save them.”

The U.N. plane carried 10 tonnes of so-called therapeutic food — the type used to feed malnourished children under five. The shipment will feed 3,500 children for a month, WFP said.

The agency said it has an additional 70 tonnes ready in Kenya, which it will fly to Somalia over the coming days.

Aid agencies say they cannot reach more than two million Somalis facing starvation in the parts of the country where Islamist militants control much of the worst-hit areas.

WFP officials have said they will try to deliver food to the areas controlled by the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab rebels over the next week and that they will consider food drops from aircrafts as a last resort.

There are about 400,000 displaced people in the capital Mogadishu, with about 1,000 new arrivals each day, the U.N.’s refugee agency (UNHCR) said in a statement on Tuesday. It estimated that 100,000 internally displaced people have arrived in the city over the last two months.

People in makeshift settlements are fighting over food being distributed by local charities, with the weaker ones unable to push through the crowds to get it, UNHCR said.

“Even if people are able to obtain the food and water being distributed, they often lack even the most basic containers to carry it. Often, they must haul food and water in plastic bags,” UNHCR said.

The WFP has set up 16 feeding centers across the capital, providing hot meals to new arrivals using supplies delivered by sea from Kenya and Tanzania.

Boats are continuing to shift food in but they can take months to arrive. They are escorted by the European Naval Force to Somalia to deter pirate attacks.

(Additional reporting and writing by Katy Migiro in Nairobi; Editing by Barry Malone and Elizabeth Fullerton)

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Fighting turns southern Yemen town into “hell”

Posted by Admin on June 9, 2011

Ali Abdullah Saleh

Ali Abdullah Saleh

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110608/wl_nm/us_yemen

By Mohammed Mukhashaf and Asma Alsharif Wed Jun 8, 1:42 pm ET

ADEN/JEDDAH (Reuters) – Bodies lay in the streets of a southern Yemeni town Wednesday as government forces battled Islamist militants, a local official said, underscoring the gravity of Yemen’s multiple conflicts.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh, 69, wounded Friday when rockets hit his palace, is having treatment in the Saudi capital Riyadh but there were conflicting reports about his condition — ranging from fairly minor, to life-threatening 40-percent burns.

A truce between his forces and tribesmen who back pro-democracy protesters was holding in Sanaa. Western and Arab powers have been working to persuade Saleh to stay away and allow a long-negotiated transition of power to begin.

Saleh has left a country in crisis, with Yemeni civilians bearing the brunt of fighting. Medical staff are having trouble reaching the wounded, and electricity and water are scarce, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.

Some 20 bodies have been retrieved in and around Sanaa since Saturday by ICRC and Yemen Red Crescent teams, including seven Tuesday in al-Hassaba, north of the capital, the ICRC said.

“Because of the fighting, it has often been difficult for medical personnel to reach certain parts of Sanaa,” said Jean-Nicolas Marti, the head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen.

The U.N.’s World Food Program (WFP) said Yemenis are going hungry as the fighting disrupts food supplies and pushes up the price of gas, water, fuel and other basic commodities.

“There is a sharp deterioration of the food security situation in Yemen,” WFP’s representative in Yemen Gian Carlo Cirri told Reuters in an interview. “We are close to food prices having doubled on average since last year when it comes to key commodities such as wheat flour, vegetable oil and sugar.”

Sanaa was calm in Saleh’s absence, with a ceasefire holding between government forces and tribesmen loyal to Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar, head of the powerful Hashed tribal confederation, who have turned against the president.

More than 200 people have been killed and thousands have fled Sanaa in the last two weeks as fighting intensified.

Al-Ahmar’s men withdrew from around seven government buildings, including the state news agency Saba which suffered heavily in fighting last week.

But many government ministries were not functioning as staff stayed away Wednesday and much of the city was suffering from cuts in electricity, fuel and water supplies.

GUNFIRE AND BLOOD

Officials and residents described dire scenes in the southern Abyan province where the army and Islamist militants have fought for days, causing thousands of residents to flee.

“There is a cat-and-mouse game going on in the streets now between the army and armed men. I can’t tell who’s who among them any more,” said resident Khaled Abboud by telephone. “There is a smell of gunfire and blood in the air. I only stayed to protect my home, but now I want to get out of this hell.”

The fighting has reduced Zinjibar, once home to more than 50,000 people, to a ghost town without power or running water.

Health official Alhadar Alsaidi said disease was spreading from dead bodies on the streets and wild dogs eating them. “I call on local and international health organizations to help us removing bodies from the streets and burying them,” he said.

The Yemeni army said this week it had killed 30 militants in Zinjibar, where a local official said 15 soldiers had also died in battles for the town seized by gunmen nearly two weeks ago.

Some of Saleh’s opponents have accused the president of deliberately letting al Qaeda militants take over Zinjibar to demonstrate the security risks if he were to lose power.

The volatile situation in Yemen, which lies on oil shipping lanes, alarms Western nations and neighboring oil giant Saudi Arabia, who fear that chaos would give al Qaeda free rein there.

They see Saleh’s absence as an opportunity to secure his exit after nearly 33 years ruling the poorest Arab state.

The United States and Britain have called for a peaceful, orderly transition in Yemen, based on a Gulf-brokered plan.

There was no clear word on Saleh’s health.

“I visited him yesterday evening and he was good. He talked to us and asked about the Yemeni expatriates and he is better than the others who were injured. He is very good and talks. He was sitting on a chair,” said Taha al-Hemyari, head of Yemeni community affairs at the Yemeni embassy in Riyadh.

A Saudi doctor familiar with Saleh’s case also said his burns were not as serious as some officials suggested, saying he may be able to leave Saudi Arabia in less than two weeks.

SEVERE BURNS?

The Yemeni embassy in Washington said in a statement Saleh’s health was improving and reiterated that his deputy Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was in charge in a caretaker capacity.

“President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s health condition is stable and continues to improve… President Saleh will return to Yemen … to reassume his duties soon after he recovers,” it said.

Yemeni and U.S. officials said Tuesday that Saleh was in a more serious condition with burns over roughly 40 percent of his body. Saudi newspaper al-Watan cited a Yemeni diplomat on Wednesday as saying another operation on Saleh was possible.

Saleh was initially said to have been hit by shrapnel and Hadi said Monday the president would return within days.

Forty percent burns would mean Saleh’s life could be in danger: “Somebody of that age, with that percentage of burns, has got a pretty poor prognosis, especially if these are full thickness burns,” Brendan Eley, chief executive of the Healing Foundation at Britain’s Royal College of Surgeons.

Saudi officials say it is up to Saleh whether he returns home but they, and their Western allies, may want to revive a Gulf-brokered transition deal under which the Yemeni leader would quit in return for immunity from prosecution.

Yemen said a donation of three million barrels of crude oil from Saudi King Abdullah had arrived in Aden Wednesday.

Thousands of protesters, who have been in the streets since February demanding Saleh quit, gathered at his vice president’s residence Tuesday. They want him formally to assume power in order to effect Saleh’s final removal from office.

Troops loyal to army general Ali Mohsen, who has sided with the protesters, shot into the air in an effort to persuade them to leave, but the activists stayed put.

(Additional reporting by Martina Fuchs, Mohammed Ghobari, Reem Shamseddine, Kate Kelland and Stephanie Ulmer-Nebehay; writing by Andrew Hammond; Editing by Alistair Lyon and Alastair Macdonald)

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Thousands of Yemenis protest for Saleh to stay out

Posted by Admin on June 7, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110607/wl_nm/us_yemen

By Mohammed Ghobari and Mohammed Mukhashaf 22 mins ago

SANAA (Reuters) – Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the Yemeni vice president’s residence on Tuesday, demanding the acting leader for wounded President Ali Abdullah Saleh form a transitional council to create a new government.

Outside the peaceful protest in the capital of Sanaa, battles raged in a southern town held by Islamist militants.

Around 4,000 demonstrators in Sanaa, who have been calling for Saleh to step down for five months, called for a “million-man march” for him to stay in Saudi Arabia, where he has been treated for injuries since an attack on Friday.

“The people want to form a transitional council, we will not sleep, we will not sit until the council is formed,” the protesters chanted.

Protesters carried banners saying “The blood of the liberated achieved victory,” while others waved banners saying “Our revolution is Yemeni, not Gulf or American.”

“We will remain in front of the residence of the vice president for 24 hours to pressure him for the formation of a transitional council,” youth activist Omar al-Qudsi said.

“The era of Saleh has ended,” he told Reuters.

Saleh, 69, was wounded on Friday when rockets struck his Sanaa palace, killing seven people and wounding senior officials and advisers in what his officials said was an assassination attempt. He is being treated in a Riyadh hospital.

The volatile situation in Yemen, which lies on vital oil shipping lanes, alarms Western powers and neighboring oil giant Saudi Arabia, who fear that chaos would enable the local al Qaeda franchise to operate more freely there.

They see Saleh’s absence for medical treatment in Riyadh as an opportunity to ease the president out of office after nearly 33 years ruling the impoverished Arab nation.

“We are calling for a peaceful and orderly transition,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday.

British Prime Minister David Cameron called Vice President Abu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, appointed by Saleh as acting president, and pushed for a ceasefire.

Hadi has insisted that Saleh would return within days.

Saudi officials say it is up to Saleh whether he returns home or not, but they and their Western allies may want to revive a Gulf-brokered transition deal under which the Yemeni leader would quit in return for immunity from prosecution.

“Saleh’s departure is probably permanent,” said Robert Powell, Yemen analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

“The Saudis, as well as the U.S. and European Union, are pushing hard for him to stay in Saudi Arabia, as they view the prospect of his return as a catastrophe.

“Prior to his departure, the country was slipping inexorably into a civil war. However, his removal has suddenly opened a diplomatic window to restart the seemingly failed GCC-mediated proposal. It seems Saudi Arabia and other interested parties are unwilling to allow Saleh to derail it this time.”

CLASHES IN SOUTH

Saudi Arabia is worried by the activities of the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has staged daring if not very effective attacks on Saudi and U.S. targets.

The army said it had killed dozens of Islamist militants including a local al Qaeda leader in the southern town of Zinjibar, capital of the flashpoint Abyan province.

A local official said 15 soldiers had been killed in the battles for control of the town seized by militants some 10 days ago.

Some of Saleh’s opponents have accused the president of deliberately letting AQAP militants take over Zinjibar to demonstrate the security risks if he lost power.

The fighting has reduced Zinjibar, once home to more than 50,000 people, to a ghost town without power or running water.

Fighting also flared again in the city of Taiz, south of Sanaa, where anti-government gunmen have clashed sporadically with troops in the past few days.

A Saudi-brokered truce was holding in the capital after two weeks of fighting between Saleh’s forces and tribesmen in which more than 200 people were killed and thousands forced to flee.

POWER TRANSFER

Saleh has defied pressure to accept the transition plan brokered by the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Three times, he has backed away from signing it at the last minute.

“The transition seems to be on track as per the GCC initiative. There will be many obstacles down the road, but without Saleh’s destructive presence, we can overcome them,” said Yemeni political analyst Abdul-Ghani al-Iryani.

The future of Yemen, where shifting alliances of tribal leaders, generals and politicians compete for power, is uncertain. Saleh’s sons and relatives remain in the country, commanding elite military units and security agencies.

Other contenders in a possible power struggle include the well-armed Hashed tribal federation, breakaway military leaders, Islamists, leftists and an angry public seeking relief from crippling poverty, corruption and failing public services.

Youthful protesters have been celebrating Saleh’s departure, but are wary of any attempt by the wily leader to return.

“In the near term, the biggest challenge is to set up a viable political reform process that has the general backing of the population, and allows Yemen to return to normal after months of unrest,” the EIU’s Powell said.

“In the medium term, Yemen’s biggest challenge is economic — already the poorest country in the Middle East, it is running out of oil and water, and unless it can find alternative drivers of growth an economic collapse is entirely feasible,” he said.

(Additional reporting by Nour Merza in Dubai, Arshad Mohammed in Washington and Alistair Lyon in London; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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Saudi Arabia brokers new truce in Yemen: Saudi source

Posted by Admin on June 5, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110604/wl_nm/us_yemen;_ylt=AkB46xdRf6XpfNqkl7K..d9vaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTI5djdoMW0wBGFzc2V0A25tLzIwMTEwNjA0L3VzX3llbWVuBGNwb3MDMQRwb3MDMgRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawNzYXVkaWFyYWJpYWI-

SANAA (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has brokered a fresh truce between a powerful Yemeni tribal federation and forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a Saudi source said on Saturday, and a tribal leader said his followers were abiding by it.

A Saudi-brokered truce agreed a week ago held for only a day before fresh street battles broke out in the capital Sanaa, leading to the most intense fighting there since the uprising against Saleh’s 32-year role began.

Broadcasters Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, citing Yemeni and Saudi sources, said Saleh was on his way to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, a day after suffering head wounds in a shelling attack on a mosque in the presidential compound, but Yemen’s deputy information minister denied the reports.

Seven people were killed when what appeared to be rockets hit the presidential palace and several government officials were wounded. Saleh blamed a tribal federation for the assault.

“The rocket was devastating. It was a clear assassination attempt against the president,” said Abdulla Ali al-Radhi, Yemen’s ambassador to the United Kingdom.

The BBC reported that the attack left Saleh with shrapnel near his heart and second-degree burns to his chest and face. It said sources close to the president had told the broadcaster Saleh had a piece of shrapnel almost 7.6 cm long under his heart.

Four months into a deadly revolt, worries are mounting that Yemen, already on the brink of financial ruin and home to al Qaeda militants, could become a failed state that poses a threat to the world’s top oil exporting region and to global security.

Saleh’s forces retaliated by shelling the homes of the leaders of the Hashed tribal federation, which has been engaged in street fights with his forces. Spokesmen for the group said 10 tribesmen were killed and dozens injured while denying responsibility for the palace attack.

A growing number of people in Saleh’s inner circle feel the attack may have carried out by General Ali Mohsen who has broken from Saleh, sided with the protesters and called the president a “madman who is thirsty for more bloodshed.”

An expert on Yemen with close ties to Sanaa’s leadership said: “Nobody could have done this with such military precision other than a military man.”

Global powers have been pressing Saleh to sign a Gulf-brokered deal to end his 33-year rule. Leaving Yemen, even for medical care, would make it hard for Saleh to retain power and could be seen as the first step in a transfer of leadership.

A Yemeni official told Reuters that Saleh “had suffered minor wounds to his head and I believe his face.”

“It’s not easy for the president. He has lost people close to him and who were sitting next to him when it happened,” the official said.

Saleh has exasperated his former U.S. and Saudi allies, who once saw him as a key partner in efforts to combat Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Defying world pressure, Saleh has thrice reneged on a deal brokered by Gulf states for him to quit in return for immunity from prosecution, even as he haemorrhages support at home.

‘BULLETS EVERYWHERE’

Residents in Sanaa faced worsening fears after fighting between the Hashed tribal federation and Saleh’s forces spread to new parts of the divided capital on Friday, prompting a fresh exodus of war-weary civilians.

Tensions in the flashpoint of Taiz, about 200 km (120 miles) south, eased after police and military units withdrew from the city following a week of clashes with pro-reform demonstrators that left dozens dead.

The U.N. human rights chief was checking reports that more than 50 people had been killed in Taiz since Sunday.

Nearly 200 people have been killed in the capital in the past two weeks as street battles using machineguns, mortars and rocket propelled grenades shuttered shops and forced Sanaa’s airport to ground flights twice.

Sanaa roads were clogged when the sun rose by civilians fleeing violence that has engulfed more of the city.

“Bullets are everywhere, explosions terrified us. There’s no chance to stay any more,” said Sanaa resident Ali Ahmed.

Spain said it was evacuating its citizens and diplomats in Yemen, while Germany ordered the temporary closure of its embassy, adding to the number of countries shutting the doors on their diplomatic missions in Sanaa due to the fighting.

At least 420 people have been killed since the uprising against Saleh began in January, inspired by the movements in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled their long-standing leaders.

The battles are being fought on several fronts, with popular protests in several cities and military units breaking away from Saleh to protect the protesters.

There has also been a week-long campaign in Zinjibar by locals and Saleh’s soldiers to oust Islamist and al Qaeda militants who seized the southern coastal city near a shipping lane where about 3 million barrels of oil pass daily.

(Additional reporting by Mohammed al-Ramahi in Sanaa, Mohammed Mukhashaf in Aden, Khaled al-Mahdi in Taiz, Mahmoud Habboush in Dubai, Samia Nakhoul in London, Erik Kirschbaum in Berlin and the Madrid bureau; writing by Jon Herskovitz; editing by Tim Paerce)

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Yemen on brink of civil war as clashes spread

Posted by Admin on May 28, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110527/wl_nm/us_yemen

By Samia Nakhoul and Mohammed Ghobari Fri May 27, 4:16 pm ET

SANAA (Reuters) – Yemeni tribesmen said they wrested a military compound from elite troops loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh outside the capital Sanaa on Friday as fighting spread, threatening to tip the country into civil war.

Yemeni fighter jets broke the sound barrier as they swooped over Sanaa, where battles between Saleh loyalists and the Hashed tribal alliance led by Sadeq al-Ahmar erupted this week after failure of a deal to ease the president out.

Clashes spread northeast of Sanaa on Friday, where tribes said in addition to seizing a military post in the Nahm region, they were also fighting government troops at two other positions south of the capital.

In Sanaa, tens of thousands of people gathered after Friday prayers for what they branded a “Friday of Peaceful Revolution” against Saleh, releasing white doves and carrying the coffins of about 30 people killed in clashes this week.

Tens of thousands turned out for the rally, inspired by the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions, though their numbers had dwindled compared to previous weeks after thousands fled Sanaa and the government closed roads around the city to keep out tribes trying to reinforce the Ahmars.

Machinegun fire and sporadic blasts rattled the city before fighting eased after mediation efforts. Ahmar’s fighters evacuated government ministry buildings they had grabbed this week in return for a ceasefire and troops quitting their area.

“We are now in mediation and there has been a ceasefire between the two sides,” Ahmar, close to an Islamist opposition party, told protesters in “Change Square.” “But if Ali Abdullah Saleh returns (to fighting) then we are ready. We are steadfast and victorious.”

“We wanted it (revolution) to be peaceful but Saleh, his sons and his clique wanted war. We will not leave them the opportunity to turn it into a civil war,” Ahmar told Reuters.

But in a sign of hostility between the sides, a government source ridiculed Ahmar for his grandiose statements, saying the state had taught him a “small lesson” and urging him and “his gangs” to turn themselves in to face justice.

Battles this week, the worst since protests began in January, killed around 115 people and let Saleh grab back the initiative, overshadowing the protest movement with the threat of civil war. Yet protesters were determined to see him go.

“We are here to renew our resolve for a peaceful revolution. We reject violence or being dragged into civil war,” said Yahya Abdulla at the anti-Saleh protest camp, where armed vehicles were deployed to protect those praying.

A few kilometres (miles) away, government loyalists staged a short rally, waving Yemeni flags and pictures of Saleh, who has ruled the Arabian Peninsula state for nearly 33 years.

Worries are growing that Yemen, already a safe haven for al Qaeda and on the verge of financial ruin, could become a failed state that would erode regional security and pose a serious risk to neighboring Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter.

The United States and Saudi Arabia, both targets of foiled attacks by a wing of al Qaeda based in Yemen, are concerned any spread of anarchy could embolden the militant group.

BATTLE AT MILITARY COMPOUND

In Nahm, 100 km (60 miles) northeast of Sanaa, a tribal leader said fierce fighting over three military posts killed 19 and wounded dozens. He said tribesmen had seized one post and were battling for two more as military planes bombed the area.

“There had been some skirmishes between the tribesmen supporting the youth revolution from time to time, but today it became a big armed confrontation,” Sheikh Hamid Asim said.

He had earlier said anti-Saleh fighters killed the commander of the military post they seized. A separate tribal source said the Yemeni air force dropped bombs to prevent the tribesmen from seizing an arms cache there.

The defense ministry blamed the opposition coalition, comprised of Islamists and leftists, for the fighting in Nahm. State television, citing a military source, denied any posts were seized. “These are lies with no basis in truth,” Yemen TV quoted him as saying.

If confirmed, the Republican Guard’s loss of a military post to tribesmen armed with machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades would be an embarrassing setback for Saleh, whose country has become the poorest in the region.

Mediators have been increasingly exasperated with Saleh, saying he had repeatedly imposed new conditions each time a Gulf-led transition agreement was due for signing, mostly recently demanding a public signing ceremony.

Leaders of the G8 leading industrialized nations called on Saleh to step down during a summit in France, but analysts said global powers have little leverage in Yemen, located on a shipping lane through which 3 million barrels of oil pass daily.

FEAR OF CIVIL WAR

Sanaa residents had been streaming out of the capital by the thousands to escape escalating violence in recent days. Others stocked up on essentials and waited in trepidation.

“There is absolute poverty because of this regime. We want change,” said Abdulrahman al-Fawli, 42, an engineer. “But I’m terrified of civil war. I dread this prospect.”

The recent fighting between tribal fighters and loyalists has ignored a commitment to peaceful demonstrations by protesters, many of whom are sceptical about the vested interests of both sides in the armed conflict.

“Saleh and his forces and the al-Ahmar tribe cannot make the civilian state that the protesters want. They stole the limelight of the revolution and undermined it with their fighting,” said Ali Mohammed Subaihy, a doctor.

In the south, dozens of armed men believed to be from al Qaeda stormed into the city of Zinjibar in the flashpoint province of Abyan, chasing out security forces while seizing several government buildings and setting off blasts in others, residents said.

The army had withdrawn from Zinjibar after a battle with militants in March, but later regained control.

Friday’s violence, which killed at least seven people including a civilian, sent hundreds of families fleeing their neighborhoods as shelling continued and warplanes roared overhead. Smoke billowed from a military building.

Similar clashes broke out in Lawdar, also in the south, a government official said.

Saleh has said his removal would be a boon to al Qaeda, but the opposition, which includes the Islamist party Islah, accuses him of exploiting militancy to keep his foreign backing and argues that it would be better placed to fight al Qaeda.

Washington, which long treated Saleh as an ally against al Qaeda, has said it now wants him to go. Saleh’s attempts to stop protests by force have so far killed around 280 people.

(Additional reporting by Mohamed Sudam and Khaled al-Mahdy in Sanaa, Mohammed Mukhashaf in Aden, Erika Solomon in Dubai and from Barbara Lewis in Geneva; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Louise Ireland)

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Al Qaeda confirms bin Laden is dead, vows revenge

Posted by Admin on May 7, 2011

http://in.news.yahoo.com/al-qaeda-confirms-bin-laden-death-monitoring-group-122219860.html

By Augustine Anthony | Reuters – Fri, May 6, 2011

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Al Qaeda confirmed on Friday that Osama bin Laden is dead, dispelling doubts by some Muslims that the group’s leader had really been killed by U.S. forces, and vowed to mount more attacks on the West.

The announcement by the Islamist network, which promised to publish a taped message from bin Laden soon, appeared intended to show its adherents around the globe that the group has survived as a functioning network.

In a statement online, it said the blood of bin Laden, shot dead by a U.S. commando team in a raid on Monday on his hideout in a Pakistani town, “is more precious to us and to every Muslim than to be wasted in vain.”

“It will remain, with permission from Allah the Almighty, a curse that hunts the Americans and their collaborators and chases them inside and outside their country.”

Al Qaeda urged Pakistanis to rise up against their government to “cleanse” the country of what it called the shame brought on it by bin Laden’s shooting and of the “filth of the Americans who spread corruption in it.”

“Before the sheikh passed from this world and before he could share with the Islamic nation in its joys over its revolutions in the face of the oppressors, he recorded a voice recording of congratulations and advice which we will publish soon, God willing,” the militant group said.

The statement also warned Americans not to harm bin Laden’s corpse and to hand it and those of others killed to their families, although U.S. officials say bin Laden’s body has been buried at sea and no other bodies were taken from the compound.

Some in the Muslim world have been skeptical of bin Laden’s death. One survey conducted in Pakistan this week by the British-based YouGov polling organization found that 66 percent of over 1,000 respondents did not think the person killed by U.S. Navy SEALs was bin Laden.

Anger and suspicion between Washington and Islamabad over the raid in Abbottabad, 30 miles (50 km) from the Pakistani capital, showed no sign of abating.

A U.S. drone killed 17 suspected militants in northwest Pakistan, despite warnings from the Pakistani military against the mounting of attacks within its borders. About 1,500 Islamists rallied in the southwestern city of Quetta to vow revenge for bin Laden’s death and there were small protests elsewhere. Afghan Taliban and Islamist Indonesian youths made similar threats.

“FIVE YEARS” IN COMPOUND

One of bin Laden’s wives, Amal Ahmed Abdulfattah, told Pakistani interrogators the al Qaeda leader had been living for five years in the compound where he was killed, a Pakistani security official told Reuters.

The revelation appeared sure to heighten U.S. suspicions that Pakistani authorities have been either grossly incompetent or playing a double game in the hunt for bin Laden and the two countries’ supposed partnership against violent Islamists.

Pakistani security forces took 15 or 16 people into custody from the Abbottabad compound after U.S. forces removed bin Laden’s body, said the security official. They included bin Laden’s three wives and several children.

In Washington, a U.S. official said U.S. intelligence had established on-the-ground surveillance in Abbottabad in advance of the raid.

U.S. officials also said among materials found at bin Laden’s hideout was some evidence indicating al Qaeda had at one point considered attacking the U.S. rail system on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks later this year.

The fact that bin Laden was found in a garrison town — his compound was not far from a military academy — has embarrassed Pakistan and the covert raid has angered its military.

Pressure is building in the U.S. Congress to suspend or at least review U.S. aid to Pakistan. Republican Representative Ted Poe has introduced a bill to ban more aid until Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can certify Pakistan did not know bin Laden’s whereabouts, or if it did, told the U.S. government.

The Pakistan army, for its part, threatened on Thursday to halt counterterrorism cooperation with the United States if it conducted any more similar raids.

It was unclear if such attacks included drone strikes which the U.S. military regularly conducts against militants along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.

Pakistani security officials have charged that U.S. troops, after landing by helicopter, shot the unarmed al Qaeda leader in cold blood rather than in a firefight, as U.S. officials first suggested.

Amid differing accounts this week of how much hostile fire the SEALS encountered in the compound, one Pakistani security official said on Friday that U.S. forces should release video footage he said they “must have” of the operation.

U.N. human rights investigators called on the United States to disclose the full facts “to allow an assessment in terms of international human rights law standards.”

“It will be particularly important to know if the planning of the mission allowed an effort to capture bin Laden,” Christof Heyns and Martin Scheinin said in a joint statement.

FEW QUALMS AMONG AMERICANS

The Pakistani military also said on Thursday it had decided to reduce the U.S. military presence in the country.

In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Colonel David Lapan said the Defense Department had not received notice from Islamabad about any decision to change the size of the U.S. military contingent in Pakistan. He said there are a little under 300 U.S. military personnel in Pakistan, many of them trainers.

Few Americans appear to have qualms about how bin Laden was killed, and on Thursday people cheered President Barack Obama when he visited the site of New York’s Twin Towers, leveled by al Qaeda on Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people.

Seeking to repair ties, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Rome on Thursday that Washington was still anxious to maintain its alliance with Islamabad.

(Additional reporting by Erika Solomon in Dubai, Michael Georgy in Islamabad and David Alexander, Susan Cornwell and Mark Hosenball in Washington; writing by Andrew Roche and Patrick Worsnip; editing by Eric Beech)

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