Rev. Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi

January 24, 2013

Written by BALDEV SINGH
ZoneAsia-Pk

Dear Oprah,

I am writing this letter because I think of you as an enlightened person. This letter is about the statements you made during the show you dedicated to the memory of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. During that show, you compared Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King with Mahatma Gandhi.

In one of your statement you said something like “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s sacrifice.” Oprah, what about those countless unknown and unsung heroes, who preceded Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. They too suffered hardships and sacrificed their lives for freedom and justice for the black people. As a matter of fact, black people revolted against slavery and started struggling for freedom the moment they were captured in Africa and the chains of slavery were put around their necks. Since that moment black people have expressed their suffering, sorrow, helplessness and burning desire for freedom and justice through their songs. That is the reason why black people have contributed so much for the creation and development of new music.

The mentality or thinking, which was responsible for slavery, made it sure that the history of slavery and their struggle for freedom and justice is not known to the world. And if this story has to be told, then it must be told the way that “mentality” wants it to be told. There are people even today who think that slavery was benign and slaves were happy and contented with their situation. These people also justify colonial rule by saying, “It was necessary to civilize the uncivilized.” On the contrary, it is our conviction that a civilized man doesn’t deny another man’s humanity. He doesn’t enslave another man or subjugates another man in any form or manner- politically, economically, socially and religiously.

Deliberate efforts have been made to blot out the history of slavery and black peoples’ struggle for freedom and their contribution to human society in all walks of life. For instance, you go to any major city in the USA, you find all sorts of museums, but you don’t find the one about slavery. The US Congress was very enthusiastic about Jewish holocaust museum in Washington D. C. However, the same Congress has been unwilling so far to establish a museum about slavery. Moreover, what about a holocaust museum of native Americans, the Indians? Whereas Jewish holocaust took place in Europe, the slavery of blacks and the genocide of the native people took place in the USA. I leave it for you to draw your own conclusion. However, I believe that it takes moral courage to look into the eyes of evil and not just empty moral rhetoric.

The emergence of independent Africa had a major positive impact on the “black civil rights movement” in the United States and the anti apartheid movement in South Africa. It boosted the morale of these movements and brought worldwide recognition to Dr. Martin Luther King and Mr. Nelson Mandela. That’s why, who knows how many “great men” were lynched in the United States and how many were tortured to death in solitary cells in South Africa before Dr. Martin Luther King and Mr. Nelson Mandela, respectively.

During that show, you compared Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King with Mahatma Gandhi. I think your information about Mahatma Gandhi is probably based on the writings of European and Hindu “myth makers” (historians). Had you known the truth about Mahatma Gandhi, you wouldn’t have said that Dr. Martin Luther King was following the policy of the great Mahatma Gandhi.

I think it is disgraceful to compare Dr. Martin Luther King with Mahatma Gandhi. For example, whereas Dr. King represented the aspirations of all black people, Mahatma Gandhi represented the interest of only high caste Hindus who constituted 10-12% of the Indian population. Whereas Dr. King appealed to all Americans to rise above their prejudices of race, religion and gender to form a just society, Mahatma Gandhi was the mastermind behind the partition of India into two nations, one Hindu and the other Muslim. Here are some facts about Mahatma Gandhi.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in the state of Gujrat in Baniya caste whose occupation is business. After obtaining a law degree from England he returned to India. However, after a short stay he decided to move to South Africa where he thought he could make more money. A large number of Indians from Gujrat State were brought to South Africa as indentured servants. Being a caste conscious Hindu, he looked down upon the natives. He used to say:

I can see why a white man discriminates against an African, but why against us. We Indians have the same values, the white man has.

Besides his law practice he worked for the British army recruiting Indians during the Boer War and the Zulu rebellion. He was the commander of an ambulance corps made up of Indians.

The Bolshevik revolution of 1914 in Russia inspired worldwide nationalist movements against colonialism and dictatorships. To sabotage Indian national movement, the British colonists brought Gandhi to India. What the “myth makers” don’t tell is that the Indian National Congress Party, which was later controlled by Gandhi was set up under the patronage of the British Government and it was dominated by high caste Hindus, who constituted only 10-12% of the Indian population. Anybody who was considered a threat to the interest of the British or high caste Hindus was thrown out of the party. The high caste Hindus, who had control over the Indian economy, also wanted to usurp political power after the departure of the British. But there was one formidable obstacle in their path to achieve this objective. And that obstacle was the Muslim majority states of Punjab, Bengal, Sindh, Blouchistan and Northwest Frontier.

To exclude these Muslim dominant states from the Indian union, the Hindu leaders of Congress Party headed by Gandhi started making provocative statements to instill doubt and fear in the minds of Muslim population that their future in independent India under the control of Hindu majority was not safe. Muslim leaders started asking for constitutional guarantees to safeguard their future, which the Hindu leaders were not willing to provide.

Frustrated, Muslim leaders asked for partition of the country to create a Muslim state. They did not see the trap that “high caste Hindus” had laid for them. They fell into that trap without realizing the impact their demand would have on the future generations of people of the Indian subcontinent. The stage was set for the partition of India into Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India. Gandhi and his associates congratulated each other for accomplishing their objective while holding Muslims responsible for the partition of the country. This is the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi for which future generations of Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis would pay dearly, God knows for how long!

The cruel and deceitful nature of Gandhi was revealed when he counseled Hindu and Sikh refugees, who came to see him in April 1947, after they were driven out of their homes following a terrible massacre of Hindus and Sikhs in the Ravalpindi area of Punjab. Gandhi asked them to go back to their homes, as he exhorted them that he wouldn’t accept the partition of the country. He kept repeating like a parrot, “I won’t allow the partition of the country. The country would be partitioned only over my dead body.” You can imagine the level of his depravity, because his Congress Party had already accepted with his blessing the partition of the country as a condition for Independence. And a few months later on August 15, 1947 the Indian union was divided in two nations, one Muslim and the other Hindu.

The claim that Gandhi won freedom for India peacefully without shedding a drop of blood is the biggest fabricated lie of the 20th century.

Up to the start of World War II, the British government categorically rejected the demand for the independence of India in the immediate future. However, the situation changed dramatically after the war. The war was so devastating to the British power that their government found it impossible to build the infra structure and economy of the homeland while coping with the growing national liberation movements in the colonies. The British government wisely decided to grant freedom to its colonies.

It wasn’t Gandhi’s movement which drove the British out of India, it was the impact of second world war, which made it impossible for the British to hold on to their Empire. Shortly after the independence of India, other colonies in Asia, Africa and Caribbean gained their independence peacefully. So what is so unique about India’s independence? Had there been no World War II, India would still be a British colony!

The other story that the “myth makers” do not tell is that the Independence of India was marked by one of the greatest upheavals of the 20th century. Two Indian states, Punjab and Bengal, were partitioned at the time of independence causing untold suffering and loss of life and property. In Punjab almost all the Hindu and Sikh population of about five millions were forced to leave their homes and properties on the Pakistan side where their ancestors had lived for hundreds of years. Similarly, about five million Muslims were forced to vacate their home and properties on the Indian side.

In the ensuing communal frenzy and carnage, may be as many as one million people perished and thousands of women were kidnapped and raped. About one third of the population of Punjab was engulfed in the inferno created by the independence of India. Of the total population of about five and half million Sikhs, about 40% were rendered homeless due to Independence. The population of Bengal was much higher than that of Punjab and you can imagine the human suffering there! The claim that Gandhi won freedom for India peacefully is a cruel joke on Punjabis and Bengalis.

To my knowledge only in two places, the United States of America and Ireland, the force of arms drove out the British colonists. Everywhere else the British freed the colonies peacefully. On what ground it is claimed that Gandhi won freedom for India peacefully without shedding a drop of blood.

The claim that Gandhi worked for the uplift of Dalits (untouchables) is also a myth.

Gandhi was a Hindu revivalist, who upheld every aspect of Hinduism including the caste system, which is the essence of Hinduism. His writings, speeches and statements confirm this.

I don’t believe the caste system to be an odious and vicious dogma. It has its limitations and defects, but there is nothing sinful about it. Harijan, 1933.

I believe in Varnashrama (caste system) which is the law of life. The law of Varna (color and / or caste) is nothing but the law of conservation of energy. Why should my son not be scavenger if I am one? Harijan, 3-6-1947.

He (Shudra, low caste) may not be called a Brahmin (uppermost caste), though he (Shudra) may have all the qualities of a Brahmin in this birth. And it is a good thing for him (Shudra) not to arrogate a Varna (caste) to which he is not born. It is a sign of true humility. Young India, 11-24-1927.

According to Hindu belief, he who practices a profession which does not belong to him by birth, does violence to himself and becomes a degraded being by not living up to the Varna (caste) of his birth. Young India, 11-14-1927.

As years go by, the conviction is daily growing upon me that Varna (caste) is the law of man’s being, and therefore, caste is necessary for Christians and Muslims as it has been necessary for Hinduism, and has been its saving grace. Speech at Trivandrum, (Collection of Speeches), Ramanath Suman (1932).

I would resist with my life the separation of “Untouchables” from the caste Hindus. The problem of the “Untouchable” community was of comparatively little importance. London Round Table Conference 1931.

I call myself a Snatana man, one who firmly believes in the caste system. Dharma Manthan, p 4.

I believe in caste division determined by birth and the very root of caste division lies in birth. Varna Vyavastha, p 76-77.

The four castes and the four stages of life are things to be attained by birth alone. Dharma Manthan, p 5.

Caste means the predetermination of a man’s profession. Caste implies that a man must practice only the profession of his ancestors for his livelihood. Varna Vyavstha, p 28, 56, 68.

Shudra only serves the higher castes as a matter of religious duty and who will never own any property. The gods will shower down flowers on him. Varna Vyavastha, p 15.

I have noticed that the very basis of our thought have been severely shaken by Western civilization which is the creation of the Satan. Dharma Manthan, p 65.

How is it possible that the Antyaja (outcastes) should have the right to enter all the existing temples? As long as the law of caste and karma has the chief place in the Hindu religion, to say that every Hindu can enter every temple is a thing that is not possible today. Gandhi Sikshan, Vol. 11, p 132.

The caste system can’t be said to be bad because it does not allow inter-dining and inter-marriages in different castes. Gandhi by Shiru, p129.

If the Shudar (low caste) leave their ancestral profession and take up others, ambition will rouse in them and their peace of mind will be spoiled. Even their family peace will be disturbed. Hind Swaraj.

The superiority of caste and race is deeply imbedded in the psyche of upper caste Hindus irrespective of their upbringing or the level of education or the place where they live. For example, in the words of a socialist leader, Madhu Limaye, “Nehru practiced both racism and casteism, despite his modern upbringing and outlook” (Telegraph, Calcutta, November 21, 1987).

In a revealing passage about his “making”, Nehru wrote, “Behind me lie somewhere in the sub-conscience, racial memories of hundred or whatever the numbers may be, generations of Brahmins. I cannot get rid of that past inheritance” (Jawaharlal Nehru, An Autobiography, (1936), Delhi, 1980, p 596.).

Sir V. S. Naipaul is a Nobel laureate in literature. His Brahmin ancestors were brought as indentured servants to Trinidad long time ago. He grew up in Trinidad and has spent most of his life in England. In his earlier work An Area of Darkness, 1964 he was unforgiving of India. Later the “Brahmin” in him stirred up and came out spewing hatred and venom. He condoned the massacre of thousands of Sikhs in June 1984, when Indira Gandhi ordered a military attack on the Golden Temple complex on the day when thousands of Sikh pilgrims had gathered there to celebrate the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev (A Million Mutinies Now, 1990). In 1992 he justified the destruction of a 400 hundred-year-old mosque (Babri Masjid) by Hindu mobs lead by Bhartiya Janta Party (a fascist Hindu party) because of the mistreatment of Hindus by Muslim rulers centuries back in the past. He has become the darling of Hindu fascist organizations.

Mahatma Gandhi, whose Baniya (Vaisha) caste is two steps lower than the uppermost Brahmin caste, was a vigorous defender of the caste system.

“The caste system, in my opinion, has a scientific basis. Reason does not revolt against it. It has disadvantages. ………Caste creates a social and moral restraint……I can find no reason for their (castes) abolition. To abolish caste is to demolish Hinduism. There is nothing to fight against the Varnasharma (caste system). I don’t believe the caste system to be an odious and vicious dogma. It has its limitations and defects, but there is nothing sinful about it” (Harijan, 1933).

Gandhi’s calling “Untouchables”, as Harijans is a cruel joke on the Untouchables by an insensitive and depraved man.

Harijan literally means “child of God”. However, in India this label is used for the illegitimate children of temple girls (anchoress) fathered by priests. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the leader of the Untouchables, vehemently opposed Gandhi’s use of Harijans for the Untouchables. Recently, Ms Mayawati, a leader of the Untouchables asked rhetorically, “If we are Harijans then what are the upper castes like Nehru, Gandhi and Patel? Are they bastards?”

That Gandhi was an “apostle of peace” is not true.

Gandhi was a “Hindu revivalist” and “Hindu politician” combined in one, who used nonviolence as a tool for political objectives. He used to coerce others to concede to his demands by threats of “going to fast unto death”. He was no pacifist as is shown by his stand on the issue of Kashmir.

“One naturally thought that he would offer a nonviolent solution to the Kashmir issue and raise his moral stature. But no! He proved to be a false prophet. Seervai has documented that nonviolence with him was a political weapon. (H. M. Seervai, Partition of India, Legend and Reality, Bombay, 1989, p 172-173). He sanctioned the use of armed forces and laid the foundation of Kashmir problem which continues to haunt the subcontinent till today” (Sangat Singh, The Sikhs in History, 4th ed., 2001, p 258.)

According to Seervai, in a meeting with Viceroy Lord Wavell on August 27 1946, Gandhi thumped the table and said, “If India wants bloodbath, she shall have it and that if bloodbath was necessary, it would come about in spite of nonviolence.” Wavell was dumbfounded at these words coming from the mouth of “apostle” of nonviolence.

Gandhi was a very cunning man. He was not satisfied with the title of “apostle of peace”, he also wanted to project himself as a holy man, which for a Hindu required the practice of celibacy. He was a married man and proclaimed to be celibate at a relatively young age under forty. However, he used to test his celibacy by asking young girls to lie over him to find out whether he was in full control of his sexual feelings. I leave up to psychologists and psychiatrists to analyze what was in Gandhi’s mind and what happened to the emotions of those poor girls! He was always surrounded by women.

So what is Gandhi’s legacy to mankind?

The obvious one is the partition of subcontinent into “Hindu India” and “Muslim Pakistan and Bangladesh”. These three nations are a “living hell” for minorities. For example, India which claims with pride to be the biggest democracy in the world has killed more Indians in the last fifty years than the British colonists killed in 300 years. More than 95% of those killed by Hindu governments are Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and Dalits (Untouchables). While the populations of these countries are groaning under the weight of poverty, hunger, illiteracy, ignorance and disease, India and Pakistan have built nuclear weapons. The next nuclear war will most probably be fought over the disputed territory of Kashmir in spite of the fact that neither India nor Pakistan has ever asked the Kashmiris what they want.

That Hindus are peace loving people and coexist peacefully with non-Hindus is also not true.

When Taliban destroyed Lord Buddha’s statue in Afghanistan, there were worldwide protests against this heinous crime against humanity. The most vociferous demonstrations and protests were held in India. However, how little did the Hindu mobs realize that the first damage to the statue was done by Hindu rulers of Afghanistan during the frenzy of Hindu revival? Buddhism flourished as a major religion in India for several centuries. During the Hindu revival, Buddhists were given three choices like Jews and Muslims during the Spanish Inquisition. Either convert or leave the country. Large number of Buddhists fled to neighboring countries. Those who resisted were killed, Buddhist monasteries were destroyed, monks were murdered, and nuns were raped. Buddhist literature was burned and their religious centers were converted into Hindu centers. The famous place in Bihar State where Lord Buddha is supposed to have received his light (knowledge) is still under the control of Hindus in spite of the protests of international Bhuddist community.

The “myth makers” keep repeating that Hindus have lived peacefully with Muslims, Christians and others for hundreds of years. What they don’t tell you is that during that period Muslims or the British ruled over the Indian territory. But look at the attitude of Hindus towards non-Hindus when Hindus were the rulers? During the revival of Hinduism they eradicated Buddhism from the land of its birth. All other progressive movements, which opposed the caste system were either crushed or subverted.

Immediately after independence in 1947, the so-called secular and liberal Hindu rulers lead by Jawahar Lal Nehru adopted an Indian Constitution, declaring “Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains” as Hindus with the stroke of a pen. Sikhs have been protesting against this heinous crime ever since. No Hindu leader worth the name has ever protested against this abominable injustice to the minorities. Imagine! How would the minorities react if the US Congress were to pass a law declaring all minorities as Christians?

The word Hindu is not found in any Hindu religious text or any other ancient writing. People who lived on the western side of Hindu Kush (killers of Hindus) mountains gave this name to the natives of India. The word Hindu means black, slave, robber, thief and a waylayer.

From my discussions with Americans about the caste system over the years, I have the impression that most of them think that caste system is like segregation or apartheid. Caste system may look like segregation or apartheid on the surface, but if one were to scratch the surface one would find that the Brahmnical caste system is the worst oppressive and exploitative system that exists on planet earth. Slavery and segregation in America and apartheid in South Africa have ended in a relatively short period, but the heinous caste system, which has been practiced in India for thousands of years, is still going strong. It is because the caste system was invented, taught, practiced and ordained by the Brahmnical (Hindu) religion.

Under segregation and apartheid the black people were denied their rights and had very few opportunities for advancement in comparison to white people. However, a black person under those circumstances could become a doctor, a teacher, and a minister or choose whatever occupation was available to them. Whereas the caste is stamped on you the moment you are born. There was no escape from this watertight multistory building with no stairs or ladder. You are born and die in the same caste, no matter how good or bad a person you are.

For example, a person born in a scavenger’s family would also be a scavenger in spite of his great intelligence. He couldn’t choose any other occupation. So a scavenger’s descendents remained scavengers for thousands of years. This destroyed the creativity of the Indian population. No wonder the Hindu civilization, which is as old as the Chinese civilization has made insignificant contribution to the development of human society in comparison to the Chinese civilization.

It is a mistake to think that Nazism was the product of Hitler’s sick mind. The roots of Nazism lie in the Hindu caste system. European colonists were intrigued by the Hindu caste system. They were astonished how Brahmins, who formed about 5% of India’s population, were able to exploit the rest of Indians for thousands of years by asserting their caste and racial superiority. The British used the same Brahmnical strategy, they proclaimed their racial and intellectual superiority over Indians to control their vast Empire in India. At the pinnacle of British rule, there were only about 200,000 British personnel in India. Who you think managed the Empire? They were the brown-Englishmen (subjugated Indians) who managed the Empire.

European writers like Max Muler were also fascinated by the Hindu caste system. They admired the way the Brahmins maintained the caste and racial superiority over thousands of years. Why shouldn’t the Europeans assert their racial and intellectual superiority the same way over black, brown, tan and yellow people? So people like Max Muler planted the seeds of racial superiority on the European soil. Others like him nurtured the seedlings, and the plants came into full blossom under Hitler. It is no coincidence that the Nazis used swastika, a propitious Brahmin symbol, as the emblem of the Nazi party.

I am willing to debate these issues with any one, anywhere, and on any stage.

Authors Note: An article Gandhi as a racist by Dr. Velu Anamlai (USA) published in Sikh Virsa, June 1997, was consulted for writing this letter.)


Victim’s family ‘open’ to Aafia’s repatriation in ‘exchange’ for Davis

March 2, 2011

KARACHI: Family members of one of Raymond Davis’ victims, Faheem, said they are open to exchanging Davis for Dr Aafia Siddiqui.


A man holds an image of U.S. national Raymond Davis while chanting slogans during a rally against Davis in Islamabad February 28, 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS

Faheem’s family, including his brother Waseem, father and uncle, were addressing the media at the residence of Siddiqui’s sister Dr Fauzia’s residence in Karachi. They had arrived in the city to meet with Siddiqui’s family.

Faheem and Faizan, killed by Davis in Lahore, were neither robbers nor had any criminal record, said Waseem while addressing the media. The weapons had been planted on them later to implicate them, he asserted.

Before the Americans can even talk about repatriating Davis, they need to release Aafia, said Dr Fauzia.

Meanwhile, Siddiqui’s mother added that it was the right of the families of Davis’ victims to ask for monetary compensation or demand Siddiqui’s release.

Faheem’s family, however, said they would resist pressure by the US and Pakistan government to accept blood money as compensation.

Earlier, Faheem’s family was received at Karachi airport by supporters of a rightwing political party that had invited Faheem’s family to Karachi.

The supporters chanted slogans against Davis and demanded he be hanged.

The government’s efforts to release Davis will be resisted at every level, said Pasban president Altaf Shakoor while addressing the gathering at the airport. He condemned the US authorities for ‘falsifying facts to get the killer released.’


An American Honor Killing: One Victim’s Story

March 1, 2011

By NADYA LABI / PEORIA

Noor al-Maleki Faleh al-Maleki Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office The parking lot outside the Department of Economic Security where Noor al-Maleki was killed

“Dude, my dad is here at the welfare office,” a 20-year-old woman named Noor al-Maleki texted a friend on Oct. 20, 2009. Noor was at the Department of Economic Security (DES) in Peoria, Ariz., helping Amal Khalaf fill out paperwork for food stamps. Noor was living with Khalaf, a maternal figure whom she’d known since childhood.

Noor was estranged from her parents, who disapproved of what they considered her American ways – a fondness for tight jeans and makeup, and a reluctance to accede to their plans for her. Those plans included an arranged marriage to a man in Iraq. Her father, Faleh al-Maleki, was furious when Noor abandoned the marriage, later becoming involved with one of Khalaf’s sons. A few weeks before he turned up at the DES office, according to Khalaf, the father warned her that if Noor continued living with her family, “something bad would happen.”

He meant it. Faleh, who had become a U.S. citizen two months earlier, told his son that he went to the DES to apply for benefits; he had lost his job. But after apparently seeing the two women there, he stalked out. Khalaf went outside to talk to him but couldn’t find him. It was a sunny day, in the mid-80s, so Noor suggested going to a Mexican restaurant across the parking lot for a drink.

Walking slightly ahead of Noor, Khalaf glanced to her side and saw a gray jeep bearing down on them. Faleh was in the driver’s seat. Khalaf saw him turn the wheel sharply and head toward her and Noor. She made eye contact with him, throwing her hands in the air and yelling, “Stop!”

Faleh kept going, plowing into the women and speeding off. Khalaf never felt the impact. She awoke on the ground to strangers huddled over her.

Khalaf couldn’t see Noor, gasping for breath as blood gushed out of her mouth. The jeep had rolled over her. She suffered a head injury and multiple facial fractures, among other injuries. She never regained consciousness.

On Feb. 22, Faleh al-Maleki was convicted of killing his daughter, committing aggravated assault against Khalaf and leaving the scene of a crime. His defense attorney argued that he had intended to spit on Khalaf and accidentally ran over the two women. Prosecutors had pressed a first-degree murder charge. They characterized his actions as an “honor killing,” a controversial term that refers to a family member or members killing a relative, usually a girl or young woman, whose behavior is judged to have tarnished the family honor.

“Some families think that the women of the family represent their reputation,” Rana Husseini, a Jordanian journalist who has spent nearly two decades campaigning against the practice and author of the book Murder in the Name of Honor, explains. “If a woman has committed a violation in their point of view, they believe if they kill her, they have ended the shame.

Blood cleanses honor.” According to the most recent U.N. Population Fund estimate, which is more than a decade old, 5,000 such killings occur worldwide each year. Experts believe the real number is actually much higher.

The jury found Faleh guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree murder, finding that he didn’t plan the act in advance. They also found the existence of aggravating factors, which means he could face up to nearly 46 years in prison. The evidence presented at trial made clear, however, that Faleh was influenced by a warped sense that Noor had impugned his family’s honor.

Most honor crimes take place in villages in the developing world, however, not in the parking lot of a nondescript American welfare office. The U.S. is supposed to be the melting pot, where immigrants assimilate into the larger culture, discarding much of their native selves. But some communities – like Faleh’s – have stubbornly resisted that transformation. Noor’s murder was an anomaly, but the attitudes that facilitated it don’t spring from the brain of a single deranged man – they are deeply rooted in an Iraqi community that insists on its right, its American right, to believe in the justifiability of practices like honor killings.

A Bloody History

The exact origins of honor killings are not known; the practice likely existed among different ancient cultures. Among northern Arabian tribes, the practice predates Islam in the 7th century. In a typical honor killing, the victim is judged to have engaged in a transgression that can encompass just about anything – from wearing Westernized dress to becoming a target of gossip to balking at an arranged marriage to being raped. The murder is often a collective family decision, with the father, a brother or male cousin carrying out the act; rarely, a female relative like the mother does the killing.

The crimes occur most commonly in the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa. Without decent statistics, it’s impossible to ascertain which countries are the worst offenders, but Husseini points to Pakistan, Yemen and Iraq. In those countries and elsewhere, honor killers are treated with lenience; they often get a slap on the wrist if they plead honor as a mitigating circumstance.

It used to be that an honor killer in Jordan could plead a “fit of fury” defense – similar to the crime-of-passion defense in Western penal codes – and do little or no time at all. In 2009, Jordan toughened the application of its laws, making it harder for honor killers to invoke the fit-of-fury defense. To elude even the light penalties that often exist for honor killings, however, families sometimes delegate the bloody task to male juveniles.

Islam doesn’t sanction honor killings, and the practice is not limited to Muslims. The crimes also occur in Christian communities in the Middle East and in non-Muslim communities in India. Last July, for example, after a number of Hindu girls were killed for dating out of caste, the Indian Prime Minister convened a commission to investigate whether harsher laws are needed to curb the crimes.

The majority of crimes, however, do occur in Muslim communities, and some of the perpetrators seem to believe that killing for honor is their religious duty. Strict attitudes toward sexual behavior in Islam – sexual relations outside marriage are punishable by death in Saudi Arabia and Iran – don’t discourage that mind-set.

Americans would like to believe that a Phoenix suburb, with concrete strip malls that look like any other in the U.S., except that some storefronts have writing in Arabic, is a far cry from a rural village in Jordan or India. But is it?

The practice has followed immigrants from countries like Yemen and Iraq to the West. Phyllis Chesler, an emerita professor of psychology and women’s studies at the City University of New York, has documented 40 attempted and successful honor crimes in North America and Europe between 1989 and 2008; 10 of those were in the U.S. According to Layli Miller-Muro, executive director of the U.S.-based Tahirih Justice Center, which provides free legal service to women fleeing violence, her nonprofit organization has received a number of calls in the past several years from young women who fear being killed for honor because they refused an arranged marriage.

New Land, New Ways

More than 36,000 Iraqis have settled in the Phoenix area in the past four decades, according to Farouk al-Hashimi, chairman of the Iraqi Cultural Association in Glendale, Ariz. They arrived in three waves: the first consisted of largely educated, upper-middle-class Iraqis in the 1970s and ’80s, the second was dominated by refugees of the first Gulf War, and the latest has been people displaced by the recent war. The second group comprised Shi’ite soldiers of limited education, al-Hashimi says, adding, “They struggle to adapt to American thinking and American standards.”

Among the second wave, Faleh seemed eager to accept America on its own terms. After living in a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia, he resettled with his family in Dearborn, Mich., in 1994. He got a job as a truck driver, often leaving home for days or weeks at a time. Back then, Faleh’s and Khalaf’s families were, as Khalaf says in Arabic, “like one big family.” Both families are from Basra in southern Iraq, and they lived within doors of one another in Dearborn.

Wearing a black-and-white sheer scarf over her hair, with a similarly colored tunic over black pants, Khalaf is sitting at her home. She has largely recovered from the fractured pelvis and femur that she sustained during the attack. Her son and Noor’s sweetheart, Marwan al-Ebadi, a skinny 21-year-old with tattoos running up his left arm, is translating, while her husband listens.

When the Ebadis moved to Glendale in 1999, the Malekis followed, living with them for a couple of months. In Arizona, according to his friends and family, Faleh became a heavy gambler, often borrowing money from friends. He rejected their suggestions that he go to a mosque. His wife got a job simulating the role of Iraqis in training exercises at a U.S. military base in California.

Despite embracing aspects of American culture, the Malekis didn’t allow their children the same latitude. They expected the children to speak Arabic at home, dress modestly and be obedient. “They all basically had a cage around them. They had so much stuff to talk about, and they couldn’t,” Khalaf recalls. “Once they said something, they got hit.”

During her teenage years, Noor began asserting herself. She was striking, with long, dark hair and tawny eyes, and she flirted with the idea of modeling – a taboo for a good Muslim girl. She worked hard at school, getting good grades and writing for the school newspaper, but she also wanted to hang out with her friends and have fun.

Faleh felt his control slipping away. He told Thamer al-Diney, his friend and a fellow truck driver who had lived with him in the Saudi camps, “Noor gives me a hard time. She tires me.” Al-Diney advised Faleh to take Noor back to Iraq. According to al-Diney, Faleh responded, “I will take her, marry her [off] and say, ‘Stay here.’”

When Noor was 17, Faleh took her to Iraq, marrying her to a man who wanted to emigrate to the West. Noor went along with her father’s plans at first, but she returned to the U.S. after half a year, without the husband, stalling on the paperwork to facilitate his green card. “In her mind,” al-Ebadi says, “she wasn’t married.”

Noor’s parents saw matters differently, and her relationship with them deteriorated. In May 2008, Noor got into an accident in her father’s car; he tried to press criminal charges against her for theft. He told the police that he’d argued with Noor because he’d seen a photograph of her with men he didn’t know. In Noor’s interview with the police, she explained that she was in the process of moving out of the family home. Over the speakerphone on Noor’s cell phone at the police station, Faleh told Noor that he wanted her to return home because of how her being gone “would look on the family.”

Noor returned home, only to argue once more with her parents. Soon after, Khalaf told the police, she found Noor sleeping in a van in the driveway and took her in. Noor’s parents went looking for her, but they didn’t find her. Meanwhile, Noor began exploring how to get an order of protection against her father.

By summer’s end, Noor had learned that her mother was casting spells on a doll that was supposed to be her. “You may refer to me as Layla Diab,” she wrote to al-Ebadi, informing him that she was changing her name. (Al-Ebadi was in prison for having hit Noor; he insists it was an accident.) Noor explained, “This way when my crazy mother does witchcraft or whatever evil it is she does, it won’t affect me.’”

The Manhunt

Fortunately, a Phoenix suburb differs from an Iraqi village in at least one sense. While their counterparts abroad might look the other way, the police and prosecutors in Arizona pursued Faleh aggressively.

As soon as Faleh sped off, the Peoria police were on the case. Lead detective Chris Boughey and his partner met with Ali, Faleh’s oldest son, who initially said that he hadn’t spoken to his father since before the assault. The next day, another detective called Noor’s mother, Seham, as she was driving home from California. Seham was so difficult to interview – she kept yelling at the officer that Khalaf was a liar – that the police asked a local Muslim leader to act as an intermediary.

Within a week, Faleh was apprehended when he tried to enter the U.K. He had headed to Mexico and then flown to London. He was extradited to the U.S.

In an interview with Boughey and another officer, Faleh characterized the incident as “kind of an accident,” saying he “lost control.” He insisted that he loved Noor, saying that he had pictures of her on his cell phone to prove his claim.

Faleh told the officers that in his culture, his daughter should not have left the house and was not supposed to be “Americanized.” He added, “I know the culture is outside, and we are inside, we are outside. You see what I’m saying?”

When Boughey probed deeper, Faleh admitted that he had wanted to “scare” Noor. Boughey then asked if he tried to hurt Noor. Faleh looked down, sighed and nodded his head in agreement. According to the police transcript of the interview, he made a final attempt to explain himself, comparing Noor’s behavior to part of his house being on fire and asking the detective, “So we burn all the house, let the house burn or we try to stop the fire?”

The Peoria police said they were investigating the extent to which family members were involved, but to date, no charges have been brought against anyone other than Faleh. Both Ali and Seham initially denied speaking to Faleh after he ran over Noor, just before 2 p.m. But records of his cell phone showed five calls between Faleh’s phone and Ali’s between 1:16 p.m and 2:30 p.m. In a similar time frame, there were 12 calls between Faleh’s phone and the phone Seham told police she was using in California. Faleh also called a male relative in Detroit. And about 15 minutes after the crash, he called his cousin in Phoenix.

In the days following his disappearance, police learned that Ali and Seham had filled a prescription for Faleh, an insulin-dependent diabetic, and stopped by the workplace of the cousin.

Faleh also admitted to Boughey that he called the cousin for money; the cousin sent someone over the border with $1,900.

While they appeared to have helped Faleh escape, did the family members know beforehand that Noor was in danger? During a phone call in Arabic to her husband at the jailhouse (Faleh didn’t know the police were taping his calls), Seham scolded him for killing Noor, saying, “You rushed into it, Faleh. Honestly, you rushed into it.”

Aftermath of a Murder

“The whores … burned us,” Faleh said in another jailhouse conversation with his wife. He added, “They destroyed me.” Seham responded, “May God seek revenge on them, God willing.”

Seham reassured her husband that “the people are not letting you down. They know you are a good-hearted person and have nothing.” At a later point, Faleh urged her to round up Iraqis from his tribe to protest his imprisonment at the American consulate. “No one hates his daughter, but honor is precious, and nothing is better than honor, and we are a tribal society that we can’t change,” Faleh said. “I didn’t kill someone off the street; I tried to give her a chance.”

At her husband’s advice, Seham tried to drum up support and raise more than $100,000 in cash for a lawyer. She met with the imam at al-Rasool Mohammed, a Shi’ite mosque in Peoria popular among the Iraqi immigrants, many of whom speak limited English. Seham attended the mosque a few times, but she stopped going when no money was forthcoming. She also petitioned the Iraqi Cultural Association, without success.

It is easy for the community to distance itself from Faleh now that he is a convicted murderer. But who spoke up for Noor when she was reportedly being brutalized at home and forced into an arranged marriage? Did any of Faleh’s contemporaries defend her right to dress herself how she wished? Why is Khalaf’s husband so quick to insist that Noor was a virgin and never involved with his son? Why do the teenage girls at al-Rasool mosque scold Noor for violating the precepts of their religion?

The attitudes that fueled Faleh’s rage are widespread in his community. It is no coincidence that Faleh believes that Iraqis in the U.S. and abroad will judge him more kindly if they think it’s an honor killing. “Connect it to honor,” Faleh advised Jamal from jail.

Asked whether the community has taken away any lessons from Noor’s murder, the owner of an Iraqi grocery store in Peoria nods, explaining, “They don’t want their daughters to become like Noor.”

Saher Alyasry, a mother in her mid-30s praying at al-Rasool mosque, speaks out firmly, in Arabic, while her teenage daughter, rocking a newborn, translates. “I think what he did was right. It’s his daughter, and our religion doesn’t allow us to do what she did,” she says. “A guy who cares about his reputation, he should do that because people will start talking about him if he doesn’t.” When asked if honor is more important than love, she responds, “Yes. What’s the point of loving her if she’s bad?”

According to the police report, as Noor lay in a coma, every time Seham touched her daughter, Noor’s heart rate spiked. She was unplugged after her doctors informed the family that she was clinically brain dead. Only then did she reach a place where her family could no longer hurt her.


Memo # 3 US Ambassador Cameron Munter – 31 December 2010

January 7, 2011

by Ahsan Waheed

From Cameron Munter
US Ambassador to Pakistan
Islamabad, Pakistan
To: Under Secretary of State for South Asia
Department of State
Washington, DC
Date: December 31, 2010
Re: Pakistan the first quarter

Having been in Pakistan since October, I am forwarding a brief review of my first personal impressions.

1) View about America: Survey after survey has shown that the populace at large has very unfavorably views US government and policy. The perception in the corridors of power is very different. Given their propensities to focus on conspiracy theories most of them have a notion of US influence in Pakistan that far exceeds our real capabilities. Sometimes I feel as the “Governor General” from a bygone past caught in a historic time warp. From the highest office down to midlevel functionaries, perception becomes reality, when it comes to viewing US as the kingmaker. This mostly helps us in stacking the deck of cards in our favor but also works against us at times when diplomacy is seen as failing. The dilemma for our policy is incongruence between our objectives and the popular sentiment of the people in Pakistan. Changing this is not merely a matter of perception and has to be more than a public relations exercise. It will require a significant change in our strategic trajectory.

2) The Social divide: Having served in Iraq I have experienced the divide between the elites and the common citizen, which is quite typical of the Middle East and South Asian countries. In Pakistan however it takes unparalleled heights. My first private party at a key ministers residence, the opulent lifestyle was in full contrast to the plight of those serving us. White gloved waiters were standing with ashtrays so that the corpulent minister and guests could smoke their Cuban cigars at will, and with utmost disdain flicker the ash at random intervals to be caught by the gloved waiter with unsurpassed skill. Alcohol, which is, otherwise not in public display in this Islamic country was flowing from an open bar. Our hosts were shocked that most of the American guests did not drink. I was taken aback at the presence of so many blond Pakistani women, on inquiring was told by our bemused social secretary about the miracle of peroxide and modern hair coloring which seems to be the fashion statement of the day for well groomed (sic) modern Pakistani women. As we pulled out to leave, the sight of an army of drivers was something to behold, huddled in the frigid night until the wee hours, for the masters to terminate their fracas. Service is legitimate but this smacked of servitude, opprobrium reminiscent of attitudes of European aristocracy and our own experience with slavery.

3) Hypocrisy a new dimension: I was stunned to hear form a very senior political functionary about US interference in the internal affairs of the country. When pointed out that this interference could be curtailed if the Government of Pakistan would refuse to take Billions of Dollars in US aid annually, his response was that monies were for services rendered in the fighting terrorism. Purloin of developmental funds to support the prodigious lifestyle of the ruling elite seems to be the normative. This can be only rationalized as a self-entitled narcissism of a collective of people with a rapacious appetite to loot the country.

4) The common man: My contact has been limited but even with limited exposure they continue to amaze me. In abject poverty and mired in the maelstrom of illiteracy they display a dignity and authenticity that is in stark contrast to the capriciousness of the pseudo westernized elites. Hospitable to a fault and honest despite being in the vortex of poverty the common everyday people of Pakistan display great ingenuity to survive against formidable odds, a gristle of the soul, that must come from a past rooted in spiritual life of a different sort.

5) Democracy: In Pakistan democracy has taken a dimension that borders on mockery of true representative government. The elected representatives come almost exclusively for the elite and privileged class. Rather than representing the populace they are more like local regional ‘viceroys’ representing the federal government and their own vested interests in the regions. Most are in politics not with a sense of public service but more to maximize the opportunity to make money, which they do with total disdain. The mainstream political parties are oligarchies controlled by the founding patriarchs or their heirs. One wonders if this is the model, we seek to perpetuate? Given my background as a history professor I have my druthers.

6) Alchemy of change: The polarization in the society makes significant change likely in the near future but given the deficit of leadership and organization it is not inevitable. This situation is unlikely to be remedied in the short term. If such a leadership were to emerge then conflict between the polarized segments would likely ensue. Under these circumstances we will not be able to count on the Military as a stabilizing force. The Military though a disciplined and well led, is a egalitarian body with much of its leadership and rank coming from middle, lower middle and poor classes. Their support of any move to perpetuate the rule of the elite will be at their own peril. The current military leadership is unlikely to prop the existing structure if such a conflict was to occur and possibly may even be catalytic toward such change. This is in stark departure form the past.

Pakistan is a fascinating place the contradictions are glaring but the promise is great, ironically what may be good for Pakistan may at least in the short term not be good for furtherance of our policy goals. We need to take a long view and it may be worthwhile to cut our losses, uncouple from the ruling elite and align our self with popular grassroots sentiment in the country. This would change our perception in the short term and when change does come we, for a change, will be on the right side.


India invades Pakistan again, who will the US support?

January 6, 2011

Jeffrey Souter

The Pakistani government’s decision to halt the flow of NATO supplies into Afghanistan through the Torkham Gate during the first week of October has led many Americans to believe that Pakistan is not fully committed to the fight against militant extremism.

That notion is insulting. Pakistani support of U.S.-led efforts in Afghanistan is complicated. Pakistan has more than 147,800 troops deployed conducting combat operations in the tribal areas along the Afghan border.

The Pakistan army has lost more than 3,200 soldiers in recent fighting against Taliban forces along their border with Afghanistan, with another 6,400 injured. They sustain an average of 10 casualties each day, not counting the Pakistani civilians killed by suicide bombers. Pakistan is committed to this fight, but maybe not fully committed to the United States. It is right to be cautious.

To understand the relationship between the United States and Pakistan, one must look at it from a Pakistani perspective as well. When the Soviet Union was fighting in Afghanistan 25 years ago, the United States hailed the Afghan Mujahedeen as freedom fighters, struggling for the right to practice their faith free of an oppressive atheist government.

The United States provided material support to the Mujahedeen through Pakistan in an attempt to keep the Soviet Union engaged and bleeding. The Pakistani government convinced its populace that the Soviets were a threat, and that the Mujahedeen were worthy of support and admiration. After the Soviets left Afghanistan, the United States also disengaged from the area, setting the conditions we are struggling with today.

Soon after working with Pakistan to fight the Soviets, we passed the Pressler Amendment and cut off all foreign aid to Pakistan. The United States is a fair weather friend to the average Pakistani, interested in engagement when something is to gain. The damage caused by this policy still affects attitudes today.

Why should the average Pakistani citizen reject the former Mujahedeen and support U.S.-led military action against them? The government of Pakistan is making the case that the Taliban are no longer the famed Mujahedeen, that they abandoned their cause and are now a threat.

This war must be a Pakistani war to the Pakistani people, and the wishes of the United States should not factor in. The employment of the Pakistan army against fellow Muslims is sensitive. Any hint of U.S. pressure threatens the legitimacy of Pakistan army operations in the eyes of the Pakistani populace.

It is safe to assume the Torkham Gate border closure was in response to the accidental fratricide incident that occurred Sept. 30.

In an incident barely covered by U.S. media, a U.S. attack helicopter illegally (accidentally or otherwise) crossed into Pakistani airspace and fired on a position thought to be occupied by militants.

The position was actually occupied by six Pakistani soldiers, and U.S. action killed three and wounded three. These men are our allies in the war on terror, and this incident sent shockwaves throughout Pakistan.

A delegation of high-ranking Pakistani officers traveled in late August to meet with officials at U.S. Central Command in Florida. After nearly 24 hours of travel, before boarding their final flight, one of the generals remarked, “I am glad this is our last flight,” or words to that effect.

A passenger complained about the remark, and the delegation was detained for hours by the TSA. The delegation left the United States in protest despite efforts from the Pentagon, and the Pakistani media ran stories for weeks about the grave insult.

While this issue did not receive attention from the U.S. media, the Pakistani government was once again caught between the emotions of its people and its relationship with the United States.

Combine these Pakistan-specific incidents with recent threats to burn Qur’ans and the protests against the construction of an Islamic Center in New York City, and you have a relationship that is difficult for the Pakistani government to convince its people to support.

Pakistan remains a key ally, and they remain dedicated to the fight against the Taliban and militant extremism.

Before we criticize Pakistan’s commitment to the United States, we should ask ourselves how committed we are to Pakistan. What will our relationship be in five years, after we draw down our forces in Afghanistan? We continue to invest heavily in India’s tech and service sectors, so who will we favor in 15 or 25 years? If India invades Pakistan again, who will we support?

From the Pakistani perspective, maybe they aren’t the ones with commitment issues.

Jeffrey Souter, a major in the U.S. Army, is a student at the Fort Leavenworth Command and General Staff College who specializes in Middle Eastern studies. He worked at the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan in 2009.


Mass Assassinations Lie at the Heart of America’s Military Strategy in the Muslim World

January 3, 2011

By Fred Branfman

Greatly expanded U.S. military Special Ops teams, U.S. drone strikes and private espionage networks run by former CIA assassins create a threat to our security.

“[General McChrystal says that] for every innocent person you kill, you create 10 new enemies.” — “The Runaway General,” Rolling Stone, 6/22/10

The truth that many Americans find hard to take is that that mass U.S. assassination on a scale unequaled in world history lies at the heart of America’s military strategy in the Muslim world, a policy both illegal and never seriously debated by Congress or the American people. Conducting assassination operations throughout the 1.3 billon-strong Muslim world will inevitably increase the murder of civilians and thus create exponentially more “enemies,” as Gen. McChrystal suggests — posing a major long-term threat to U.S. national security. This mass assassination program, sold as defending Americans, is actually endangering us all. Those responsible for it, primarily General Petraeus, are recklessly seeking short-term tactical advantage while making an enormous long-term strategic error that could lead to countless American deaths in the years and decades to come. General Petraeus must be replaced, and the U.S. military’s policy of direct and mass assassination of Muslims ended.

The U.S. has conducted assassination programs in the Third World for decades, but the actual killing — though directed and financed by the C.I.A. — has been largely left to local paramilitary and police forces. This has now has changed dramatically.

What is unprecedented today is the vast number of Americans directly assassinating Muslims — through greatly expanded U.S. military Special Operations teams, U.S. drone strikes and private espionage networks run by former CIA assassins and torturers. Most significant is the expanding geographic scope of their killing. While CENTCOM Commander from October 2008 until July 2010, General Petraeus received secret and unprecedented permission to unilaterally engage in operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, former Russian Republics, Yemen, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, the Horn of Africa, and wherever else he deems necessary.

Never before has a nation unleashed so many assassins in so many foreign nations around the world (9,000 Special Operations soldiers are based in Iraq and Afghanistan alone) as well as implemented a policy that can be best described as unprecedented, remote-control, large-scale “mechanized assassination.” As the N.Y. Times noted in December 2009: “For the first time in history, a civilian intelligence agency is using robots to carry out a military mission, selecting people for killing in a country where the United States is not officially at war.”

This combination of human and technological murder amounts to a worldwide “Assassination Inc.” that is unique in human affairs.

The increasing shift to direct U.S. assassination began on Petraeus’s watch in Iraq,where targeted assassination was considered by many within the military to be more important than the “surge.” The killing of Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was considered a major triumph that significantly reduced the level of violence. As Bob Woodward reported in The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008:

“Beginning in about May 2006, the U.S. military and the U.S. intelligence agencies launched a series of top secret operations that enabled them to locate, target and kill key individuals in extremist groups. A number of authoritative sources say these covert activities had a far-reaching effect on the violence and were very possibly the biggest factor in reducing it. Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) responsible for hunting al Qaeda in Iraq, (conducted) lightning-quick and sometimes concurrent operations When I later asked the president (Bush) about this, he offered a simple answer: ‘JSOC is awesome.’” [Emphasis added.]

Woodward’s finding that many “authoritative sources” believed assassination more important than the surge is buttressed by Petraeus’ appointment of McChrystal to lead U.S. forces in Afghanistan. McChrystal’s major qualification for the post was clearly his perceived expertise in assassination while heading JSOC from 2003-’08 (where he also conducted extensive torture at “Camp Nama” at Baghdad International Airport, successfully excluding even the Red Cross).

Another key reason for the increased reliance on assassination is that Petraeus’ announced counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan obviously cannot work. It is absurd to believe that the corrupt warlords and cronies who make up the “Afghan government” can be transformed into the viable entity upon which his strategy publicly claims to depend — particularly within the next year which President Obama has set as a deadline before beginning to withdraw U.S. troops. Petraeus is instead largely relying on mass assassination to try and eliminate the Taliban, both within Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The centrality of assassination to U.S. war plans is revealed by the fact that it was at the heart of the Obama review of Afghan policy last fall. The dovish Biden position called for relying primarily on assassination, while the hawkish McChrystal stance embraced both assassination and more troops. No other options were seriously considered.

A third factor behind the shift to mass assassination is that Petraeus and the U.S. military are also determined to attack jihadi forces in nations where the U.S. is not at war, and which are not prepared to openly invite in U.S. forces. As the N.Y. Times reported on May 24, “General Petraeus (has argued) that troops need to operate beyond Iraq and Afghanistan to better fight militant groups.”

The most significant aspect of this new and expanded assassination policy is President Obama’s authorizing clandestine U.S. military personnel to conduct it. The N.Y. Times has also reported:

In roughly a dozen countries — from the deserts of North Africa, to the mountains of Pakistan, to former Soviet republics crippled by ethnic and religious strife — the United States has significantly increased military and intelligence operations, pursuing the enemy using robotic drones and commando teams, paying contractors to spy and training local operatives to chase terrorists (Military) Special Operations troops under secret “Execute Orders” have conducted spying missions that were once the preserve of civilian intelligence agencies.

Particularly extraordinary is the fact that these vastly expanded military assassination teams are not subject to serious civilian control. As the N.Y. Times has also reported, Petraeus in September 2009 secretly expanded a worldwide force of assassins answerable only to the military, without oversight by not only Congress but the president himself:

The top American commander in the Middle East has ordered a broad expansion of clandestine military activity in an effort to disrupt militant groups or counter threats in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and other countries in the region, according to defense officials and military documents. The secret directive, signed in September by Gen. David H. Petraeus, authorizes the sending of American Special Operations troops to both friendly and hostile nations in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa. Unlike covert actions undertaken by the C.I.A., such clandestine activity does not require the president’s approval or regular reports to Congress. [Emphasis added]

Although sold to the American public and Congress as targeted, selective assassination aimed only at a handful of “high value” insurgent leaders, the program has in fact already expanded far beyond that. As personnel and aircraft devoted to assassination exponentially increase, so too do the numbers of people they murder, both “insurgents” and civilians.

While it is reasonable to assume that expanding the number of Special Operations commandos to its present worldwide level of 13,000 will result in increasing assassinations, the secrecy of their operations makes it impossible to know how many they have murdered, how many of those are civilians, and the effectiveness of their operations. It is not known, for example, how many people U.S. military assassins murder directly, and how many they kill indirectly by identifying them for drone strikes. Much of their activity is conducted, for example, in North Waziristan in northwest Pakistan which, as the N.Y. Times reported on April 4 “is virtually sealed from the outside world.”

More information, however, has emerged about the parallel and unprecedented mass mechanized assassinations being carried out by the C.I.A. drone programs. It is clear that they have already expanded far beyond the official cover story of targeting only “high-level insurgent leaders,” and are killing increasing numbers of people.

The CIA, of course, is no novice at assassination. Future CIA Director William Colby’s Operation Phoenix program in South Vietnam gave South Vietnamese police quotas of the number of civilians to be murdered on a weekly and monthly basis, eventually killing 20-50,000 people. CIA operatives such as Latin American Station Chef Duane “Dewey” Clarridge also established, trained and operated local paramilitary and death squads throughout Central and Latin America that brutally tortured and murdered tens of thousands of civilians, most notably in El Salvador where CIA-trained and -directed killers murdered Archbishop Romero and countless other Salvadorans.

But the present CIA assassination program in Pakistan and elsewhere is different not only because it is Americans who are themselves the assassins, but because of the unprecedented act of conducting mechanized mass assassination from the air. The CIA, as Nick Turse has reported for TomDispatch.com, is exponentially increasing its drone assassination program:

“(Drone) Reapers flew 25,391 hours (in 2009). This year, the air force projects that the combined flight hours of all its drones will exceed 250,000 hours. More flight time will, undoubtedly, mean more killing.”

There were already signs in 2009, when drone strikes were a fraction of what they are now, that they were striking large numbers of civilians and proving militarily and politically counterproductive. Most Pakistanis believe it is largely civilians who are being killed, and anti-American hatred is growing accordingly. A Gallup poll conducted in July 2009, based on 2,500 face-to-face interviews, found that “only 9 percent of Pakistanis supported the drone strikes.” A Global Research study documented the drone murder of 123 civilians in January 2010 alone.

A particularly significant indication of the drone strikes’ military ineffectiveness has come from Colonel David Kilcullen, a key Petraeus advisor in Iraq, who testified to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on May 23, 2009, that, “Since 2006, we’ve killed 14 senior Al Qaeda leaders using drone strikes; in the same time period, we’ve killed 700 Pakistani civilians in the same area. We need to call off the drones.”

Kilcullen’s testimony was ignored, however, and as drone strikes have not only been continued but exponentially increased, there are increasing signs that they have vastly increased the scope of the killing far beyond the claimed “high-level insurgent leaders.” The N.Y. Times reported on Aug. 14:

[The CIA has] broadened its drone campaign beyond selective strikes against Qaeda leaders and now regularly obliterates suspected enemy compounds and logistics convoys, just as the military would grind down an enemy force.

Reuters reported on May 5 that:

The CIA received approval to target a wider range of targets in Pakistan’s tribal areas, including low-level fighters whose identities may not be known, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. Former intelligence officials acknowledged that in many, if not most cases, the CIA had little information about the foot soldiers killed in the strikes.

What this means is clear: the CIA is assassinating an expanding number of “low-level” people, labeling them as “fighters,” but has little if any idea of who they really are. The history of such mechanized campaigns from the air, such as Laos where I have studied the U.S. 1964-’73 air war intensively, is that increased warfare from the air inevitably becomes increasingly indiscriminate, destroying civilian and military targets alike. As the drone program continues to expand, it will inevitably wind up killing more civilians — and, if McChrystal is right, exponentially create more people committed to killing Americans.

Numerous moral, legal and ethical objections have been raised to this program of mass assassination. Philip Alston, the United Nations special representative on extrajudicial executions, has stated that “this strongly asserted but ill-defined license to kill without accountability is not an entitlement which the United States or other states can have without doing grave damage to the rules designed to protect the right to life and prevent extrajudicial executions.”

The notion that a handful of U.S. military and CIA officials have the right to unilaterally and secretly murder anyone they choose in any nation on earth, without even outside knowledge let alone oversight, is deeply troubling to anyone with a conscience, belief in democracy, or respect for international law. It was precisely such behavior that made the Gestapo and Soviet secret police symbols of evil. Since the U.S. Congress has never reined in an Executive Branch that has routinely ignored international law since 1945, however, it is likely that the question of whether this program will be continued will be determined by its perceived effectiveness, not its morality.

The evidence is mounting that U.S. assassinations are so ineffective they are actually strengthening anti-American forces in Pakistan. Bruce Reidel, a counterinsurgency expert who coordinated the Afghan review for President Obama, said: “The pressure we’ve put on (jihadist forces) in the past year has also drawn them together, meaning that the network of alliances is growing stronger not weaker.”

Reidel’s striking conclusion that jihadi forces in Pakistan are stronger after six years of drone airstrikes the CIA claims are weakening them, is echoed by numerous other reports indicating that General Petraeus’ strategy of using military force against Al Qaeda, Afghan and local insurgent forces in Pakistan has pushed them further east from isolated northwest areas into major cities like Karachi, where they operate freely and work together far more closely than before. The general’s miscalculations regarding Pakistan are reason enough for him to be replaced.

In the long run, General Petraeus’ strategy of expanding both ground and mechanized assassination throughout the 1.3 billion-strong Muslim world is likely to do the greatest disservice to his country’s interests. It is true that U.S. leaders have used local forces to assassinate tens of thousands since 1945 and that while these programs were largely ineffectual, they did not lead to attacks on American soil.

But 9/11 has changed the calculus. It is clear that in today’s wired and globalized world, marked by large-scale immigration, cheap telecommunications and airline travel, where crude technologies like car bombs or IEDs can be as easily detonated in New York as in Kandahar, and where America’s enemies are growing increasingly technologically sophisticated even as nuclear weapons proliferate and become miniaturized, it is the height of folly to foment geometrically growing anti-American hatred in the volatile Muslim world.

A growing number of military and counterinsurgency experts support Colonel Kilcullen’s belief that these assassination programs abroad are not protecting Americans at home. Both the “Underwear” and the “Times Square” bombers attributed their attempts to blow up Americans to their anger at the drone strikes. While Americans were saved by their incompetence, the U.S. may not be so lucky the next time, and the time after that. One thing is crystal clear: inflaming anti-American hatred throughout the Muslim world can only exponentially increase the numbers of those committed to killing Americans.

Such fears are increasing in Washington, as the N.Y. Times reported in the wake of the Times Square bombing:

A new, and disturbing, question is being raised in Washington: Have the stepped-up attacks in Pakistan — notably the Predator drone strikes — actually made Americans less safe? Are they inspiring more attacks on America than they prevent? As one American intelligence official said, “Those attacks (on two Pakistani Taliban leaders) have made it personal for the Pakistani Taliban — so it’s no wonder they are beginning to think about how they can strike back at targets here.”

As General Petraeus and the U.S. military “make it personal” to increasing number of people throughout the Muslim world, they are recklessly sowing a whirlwind for which many of us, our children and grandchildren may well pay with our lives for decades to come.

It is difficult for most Americans to grasp the fact that their leaders’ incompetence — Republican and Democrat, civilian and military — poses one of the single greatest threats to their own safety. But only when Americans do so will there be any hope of making America more secure in the dangerous years to come.

A clear place to begin protecting America is to abandon the assassination approach to war, ditch General Petraeus, end the military and CIA’s focus on worldwide and mechanized mass assassination, and halt its reckless expansion of U.S. war-making into nuclear-armed Pakistan and so much more of the Muslim world.

Final Note: Duane ‘Dewey’ Clarridge: The True Face of U.S. Policy Toward the Muslim World

We’ll intervene whenever we decide it’s in our national security interest. And if you don’t like it, lump it. Get used to it, world!” — Duane Clarridge, interviewed by John Pilger in “The War on Democracy”

As the N.Y. Times reported, Clarridge is presently advising CIA assassination efforts in Pakistan. (“Duane R. Clarridge, a profane former C.I.A. officer who ran operations in Central America and was indicted in the Iran-contra scandal, turned up this year helping run a Pentagon-financed private spying operation in Pakistan.”) Watch an extraordinary three-minute video interview with Clarridge that reveals the true face of U.S. policy in the Muslim world.

Fred Branfman, the editor of “Voices From the Plain of Jars: Life Under an Air War” (Harper & Row, 1972), exposed the U.S. secret air war while living in Laos from 1967 to 1971.


Yvonne Ridley slams US moral selectivity

December 29, 2010

By Yvonne Ridley

I wonder if Hillary Clinton really believes in the pompous invective that shoots from her lips with the rapidity of machine gun fire.

We had a classic example of it just the other day when she let rip in her grating, robotic monotones over a Moscow court’s decision to jail an oil tycoon.

To be fair to Clinton, she was not alone. There was a whole gaggle of disapproving foreign ministers who poured forth their ridiculous brand of Western arrogance which has poisoned the international atmosphere for far too long.

The US Secretary of State said Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s conviction raised “serious questions about selective prosecution and about the rule of law being overshadowed by political considerations”.

Although Khodorkovsky, 47, and his business partner, Platon Lebedev, 54, were found guilty of theft and money laundering by a Moscow court, critics like Clinton say the trial constitutes revenge for the tycoon’s questioning of a state monopoly on oil pipelines and propping up political parties that oppose the Kremlin.

Clinton’s censure was echoed by politicians in Britain and Germany, and Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, urged Moscow to “respect its international commitments in the field of human rights and the rule of law”.

Now while it may appear to be quite touching to see all these Western leaders express their outrage over a trial involving the one-time richest and most powerful man in Russia’s oil and gas industry, you have to ask where were these moral guardians when other unjust legal decisions were being made in US courts, for example?

So why have the Americans and Europeans rushed to make very public and official statements so quickly on a matter of oil and gas, in another country? Okay, so it is a rhetorical question!

But shouldn’t Clinton put a sock in it? The USA is still squatting in Cuba overseeing the continuing festering mess caused by one of the biggest boil’s on the face of human rights – yes, Guantanamo is approaching a decade of incarcerating men without charge or trial. At least Khodorkovsky had his day in an open court and can appeal.

Instead of sticking her nose in to other country’s courts, perhaps the US Secretary of State would care to look into her own backyard and tell us why one of her soldiers was given a mere nine month sentence earlier this month after shooting unarmed civilians in Afghanistan?

And after he’s served his sentence US army medic Robert Stevens can still remain in the army, ruled the military hearing. His defence was that he and other soldiers were purely acting on orders from a squad leader during a patrol in March in Kandahar.

Five of the 12 soldiers named in the case are accused of premeditated murder in the most serious prosecution of atrocities by US military personnel since the war began in late 2001. Some even collected severed fingers and other human remains from the Afghan dead as war trophies before taking photos with the corpses.

By comparison, just a few months earlier, Dr Aafia Siddiqui, was given 86 years for attempting to shoot US soldiers … the alleged incident happened while she was in US custody, in Afghanistan. She didn’t shoot anyone although she WAS shot at point blank range by the soldiers. The critically injured Pakistani citizen was then renditioned for a trial in New York. The hearing was judged to be illegal and out of US jurisdiction by many international lawyers.

Did Clinton have anything to say about that? Did any of the foreign ministers in the West raise these issues on any public platform anywhere in the world? Again, it’s a rhetorical question.

Of course a few poorly trained US Army grunts, scores of innocent Afghans, nearly 200 Arab men in Cuba and one female academic from Pakistan are pretty small fry compared to an oil rich tycoon who doesn’t like Vladamir Putin.

But being poor is not a crime.

Exactly how would the Obama Administration have reacted if Russian President Dmitry Medvedev criticized the lack of even handedness in the US judicial system and demanded Dr Aafia Siddiqui be repatriated? What would be the response if Medvedev called an international press conference and demanded to know why 174 men are still being held in Guantanamo without charge or trial?

Just for the record the US judicial system imposes life sentences for serious tax avoidance and laundering of criminally-received income – crimes for which the Russian tycoon has been found guilty. Sentencing will not take place until Moscow trial judge, Viktor Danilkin, finishes reading his 250-page verdict, which could take several days.

In her comments Clinton said the case had a “negative impact on Russia’s reputation for fulfilling its international human rights obligations and improving its investment climate”.

How on earth can anyone treat the US Secretary of State seriously when she comes out with this sort of pot, kettle, black rhetoric? This from a nation which is morally and financially bankrupt, a country which introduced words like rendition and water-boarding into common day usage.

My advice to Clinton is do not lecture anyone about human rights and legal issues until you clean up your own backyard. In fact the next time she decides to open her mouth perhaps one of her aides can do us all a favour and ram in a slice of humble pie.

British journalist Yvonne Ridley is the European President of the International Muslim Women’s Union as well as being a patron of Cageprisoners.


JB Campbell: Anti-American

December 14, 2010

by J. Bruce Campbell

The leakers are being called “anti-American.”

What decent person, anywhere in the world today, is not anti-American? Is there anyone more dangerous than our typical ignorant, arrogant American “citizen,” who very likely couldn’t find America on a marked map of the world? Well, yes: the American military man, who is the most dangerous son of a bitch on the planet. And I don’t mean that in a good way.

I’m anti-American. I really wasn’t until I returned to Rhodesia in January, ’73 to join up and help in their struggle against Communist terrorists. I’d been down there in ’71 for discussions with the government on bringing Americans and others wanting to be part of a new country project based on a book by my boss, Michael Oliver, called A New Constitution for a New Country. The plan was to have a minimum of a hundred square miles with no taxes and no draft, replacing the former tax-haven in Freeport, Bahamas. Thousands of productive Americans and others were ready to relocate.

Mike’s real name was Olitsky and he was a Lithuanian Jew who’d fled into Germany to escape Stalin’s Red Army. He wound up in Dachau for four years. He introduced me to Holocaust Revisionism when I ventured to ask him about his experience. He shrugged and said, “It was a factory. We worked during the day and stayed in a dormitory at night.”

“But what about the, uh, the-”
“The what?”
“You know, the killings.”
“I never saw any of that.”

Four years in Dachau, never saw any of that. Okay. He did see the US Army “liberate” the camp in April, ’45. The SS and Alpine troops recuperating there had negotiated a surrender to the Americans, who entered the camp and started shooting the guys who thought they were surrendering. Then the Americans marched the surviving soldiers (all the prison guards had fled days earlier) up to a wall near the hospital and set up a machine gun. Three hundred forty-six German soldiers on R&R were slaughtered in a few minutes, five hundred twenty in all that morning. George Patton handled the cover-up and protected the war criminals. The army doctor on the scene, Col. Howard Buechner, described it in his book, Dachau: Hour of the Avenger. Of the 32,000 inmates freed, about 1,200 were Jews, including Mike.

My new country project discussions were with the Rhodesian minister of internal affairs, Jack Howman. He rather indignantly turned us down. Nevertheless, I did return and take part in their war against Communist terror. I suppose it was during those two years that I became reluctantly anti-American. Our country, the good old USA, supported the Communist war of terror against the Rhodesian people, black and white. Our country put Robert Mugabe in power, just as it put Nelson Mandela in power a few years later. Mandela was Member Number One of the South African Communist Party. America put every Communist party in power in every single Communist country since 1917. That includes Lenin & Trotsky, Mao Tse Tung, Kim Il-sung, Ho Chi Minh, Tito, Pol Pot and Fidel Castro. Our government kept Stalin in power from 1924 until his death in ’53. It went to war in ’41 to rescue Stalin from well-deserved German destruction. Billions (trillions in today’s worthless money) were given by America to save Soviet Communism.

An itinerant writer named Robert K. Brown came to Salisbury, Rhodesia in 1974 to interview me. He said he was freelancing for Esquire Magazine and Guns Magazine. He wanted to know what would make a Californian such as I come over to this little country in southern Africa and fight terrorism? The interview eventually appeared in the first issue (Summer ’75) of a strange magazine called “Soldier of Fortune.” I took Brown up to Mt. Darwin and introduced him to my farmer friends who were on the front lines of terrorism every day and night of their lives. I asked him not to quote me because I could be prosecuted for “mercenary activities” by the State Department. He quoted the hell out of me but changed my name to “Mitchell McNair.” But the point of this is that he told me what he did for the CIA back in the ’50s… Brown was in the CIA’s Special Forces and was part of the assassination team that murdered Rafael Trujillo in ’61. But in ’58 and ’59, Brown ran guns to Fidel Castro to assist in his coup against Fulgencio Batista. Once Castro came to power, the CIA pretended to be against Castro to justify its gigantic power-grab of the government. But Castro, along with every other Communist leader in the world, was put in power by the US government. Then our government exploited the “threat” presented by Communism to justify “defense spending” and lucrative no-win wars. Today, the Chicoms, those ultimate Communists, are our business partners and we have arranged for the anti-Communist Moslems to be our new worst enemies.

Brown’s magazine was funded by the CIA and was immediately put to use in recruiting mercenaries for their ludicrous operation in Angola. I called Brown in Boulder at one point to ask why the hell he was recruiting for the foul Angolan terrorist, Holden Roberto? He said lamely, “Well, the CIA likes him.” Any questions so far?

The more I studied US history over the next few years, the more I came to hate everything this country stands for, or pretends to stand for. American history turns out to be one gigantic lie, as phony as a Hollywood movie. In fact, all we have come to believe about ourselves has pretty much come from Hollywood. This is no exaggeration. The American myth was created by a few Russian Jews who ripped off Tom Edison’s film process in New Jersey and split for the coast to avoid prosecution. Neal Gabler wrote a book entitled An Empire of Their Own, How the Jews Invented Hollywood. The inescapable fact is that not only did they invent Hollywood, but the entire myth of America as the promised land.

For Russian Jews, it was. America was the land of milk, honey and suckers by the millions. Our self-image as Americans is a Jewish image. The slaughter and rip-off and exile of American Indians to Bantustans we call “reservations” was glamorized (authorized) by Hollywood Jews. The reality of this genocide makes American condemnation of Zionist genocide of Palestinians meaningless. That is, it would be meaningless if any American politician condemned Israel, which hasn’t happened yet. If we had some bacon we could have bacon and eggs, if we had some eggs.

The whole American experience is based on mass murder and land-grabs and lies (broken treaties). Not one treaty made by the US Army with the Indians was left unbroken. Maybe the one with the Yakimas, but I’m not sure about that. Up in this country where we live, you see the slogan once in a while, “Custer Had It Coming.” When you investigate what all he did to the Lakota, Cheyenne and others, such as mass murdering women and children, for no reason other than ethnic cleansing, you have to conclude that he and his war criminals definitely had it coming.

Custer worked for Phil Sheridan and Bill Sherman, both of whom are in the War Crimes Hall of Fame. Their crimes against the Southern people and the Indian people will turn your hair white with shock. American (Yankee) war of aggression and genocide are the bases of all modern total war. The buffalo were exterminated just to cripple the Plains Indians. To punish the Nez Perce for resisting another broken treaty, the army slaughtered thousands of their Appaloosa horses. The army put the Nez Perce in boxcars in the winter of ’77 and shipped them to Ft. Leavenworth. This is the actual American way.

I’ll skip over our genocidal adventures in the Philippines and our Jewish-engineered role in the Great War and go right to the World War, or rather its aftermath in Europe. Our mopping-up method is described above with the Dachau massacre of surrendered troops. Such sadistic butchery was encouraged by a 1941 book “highly recommended” to the troops by Franklin Roosevelt, a book by an obscure Jew in advertising named Theodore Kaufman, entitled “Germany Must Perish!” It was the basis for what became known as the Morgenthau Plan for Germany, which called for the extermination of a large percentage of Germans, the forced sterilization of the rest and the destruction of all industry or its removal to the Soviet Union, flooding all mines and turning Germany into a goat pasture. Henry Morgenthau was FDR’s Jewish treasury secretary. George Patton writes in his memoirs that Eisenhower gave Morgenthau his plan, which was eventually drafted by another Jew named Weiss (Harry Dexter “White”). Upon war’s end, Eisenhower put the plan into effect with his order to starve to death all captured German PoWs. This is documented in James Bacque’s Other Losses. Over a million German prisoners died eating grass and bugs out in open fields in the American starvation program from May to December, 1945.

Then, Ike starved millions more German civilians throughout that period ’til 1947, when the Cold War started and America needed Germany to pretend to fight our erstwhile ally, Stalin. This merciless starvation program is documented also by Bacque in his Crimes & Mercies. Naïve people have doubted this crime against humanity and asked, “Why didn’t the Germans complain, if what you say is true?” Answer: For one thing, the Germans are not a complaining people, the way Jews are. This is not a good thing, but it’s the way they are. They shut up and take it. But the real point is, to whom could they complain if they were complaining people? The Americans? The British, the Soviets, the French, all of whom were participants in the American genocide program? Bacque estimates that between nine and thirteen million Germans were slaughtered in Eisenhower’s starvation and forced exposure operation in two years.

Then there was the Eisenhower program officially called by the army, Operation Keelhaul. If you still think that being an American is a good thing, consider this one… During the war, millions of Russians, Ukrainians, Cossacks and others escaped from Soviet slave-terror into Italy, Austria, Yugoslavia and other countries. Many of them were Red Army soldiers captured by the German army at Stalingrad, Leningrad, Kursk and countless other battles and sent to PoW camps in Germany and Poland and Italy. The hysterical beast, Josef Stalin, who fled Moscow at the approach of the German army, gave the order that any Red Army soldier who surrendered was to be shot when the war was over. This was well-known. Nevertheless, Dwight Eisenhower broke all international laws regarding treatment of captured enemy forces and ordered the rounding up and handing over of these men and their families. Approximately five million of them were forced into boxcars by US Army soldiers at bayonet point and sent east to Hungary, where they were taken off the trains and either shot by the tracks or sent to the Gulag Archipelago to be worked to death over the next year. This was documented also by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his monumental record of Soviet/American bestiality. I have interviewed veterans who participated in this unimaginable betrayal of humanity.

Reportedly, the only photo on Ike’s Oval Office desk was one of Josef Stalin-autographed.

In 1956, our President Eisenhower encouraged the Hungarians to rise up and kick the Soviets out of Budapest, promising them American help if they showed they deserved it. So the Hungarians rose up and seized all the Jews that Khrushchev and Stalin had installed over them, hanging and shooting many hundreds, and forced the Soviets out of Budapest. Khrushchev wrote in his memoirs that he waited a couple of weeks for Eisenhower to follow through on his promise of aid, but it never came. So he ordered the tanks back in and the wiping out of the freedom fighters.

This is the actual American way, administered by respectable political pukes such as Dwight David Eisenhower, nicknamed in the 1915 West Point yearbook as “The Terrible Swedish Jew.”

We are just now learning what the army and air force did to the Koreans during the Korean War. Millions were slaughtered. We Americans wonder why the crazy North Koreans are so paranoid and ready to fight? We wonder because we don’t know what the hell our government did to those people in the 1950s. We have no idea that our government approved the Soviet occupation of North Korea in 1945, making it Communist in ’48. Then we drew an arbitrary line across the 38th parallel and created “South Korea” and prepared to go to war against “North Korea” when everyone was ready in 1950. War made to order with unbelievable profits to the bankers and “defense contractors.” 34,000 Americans killed – for what?

Viet Nam. Did you know that Ho Chi Minh was a US intelligence agent during World War II? He made his reports to the OSS at the Texaco office in Hanoi. Did you know that the American OSS installed Ho Chi Minh in power in the northern half of Indochina in 1945? An arbitrary line was drawn across the 17th parallel in ’54 and our northern puppet started the war against our southern puppet in ’59, which we of course lost in ’75. Another war made to order with unbelievable profits to the bankers and “defense contractors.” Millions of Vietnamese slaughtered by our wonderful boys, 58,000 of whom were also slaughtered – for what?

The United Nations is a US front. It was devised by American traitors in the Council on Foreign Relations in 1945 and has always been housed in New York. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. donated the sixteen acres in Manhattan and built the edifice in 1951. Its first crime against humanity was the creation of the Israeli nation of parasites in 1948, while the UN was still headquartered on Long Island. The UN waged war against Rhodesia and South Africa throughout the ’60s and ’70s, always subsidized by American taxpayers. Most Americans don’t know or remember that the Korean War was fought by American soldiers under the blue and white flag of the United Nations.

And now, our wonderful boys are fighting for Israel against Moslems in Iraq and Afghanistan and secretly killing thousands in Pakistan and Yemen. These wars are based on Israeli lies stemming from their massacre of 9/11. Even though the American FBI director, Mueller, admitted there was no evidence of Moslem hijackers, we invaded Afghanistan. Americans don’t know that the Taliban were our guys until they objected to a Unocal pipeline being constructed across their country. Richard Armitage told them they could either have a carpet of gold (if they went along with the pipeline) or a carpet of bombs if they didn’t cooperate. They didn’t cooperate and virtually overnight, the Americans categorized them as the enemy, showering our gold on a rival group, the Northern Alliance. Our former friends, the Taliban, are kicking our butts, which is only fair. You invade someone’s country based on your own lies, you deserve to have your butt kicked.

Football star and millionaire Pat Tillman fell for the 9/11 legend and joined the Army Rangers to hunt down Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. But then he and his brother were sent to Iraq, which puzzled them both. Why Iraq? Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 (but neither did Osama or Afghanistan). Pat Tillman signed his own death warrant with his questions and complaints about invading Iraq. So he was sent back to Afghanistan to be silenced. In one of the dumbest excuses for a skirmish I’ve ever heard of, he was sent forward to engage with some non-existent enemy fighters. Then he was shot at by his own guys behind him. The odd thing is that his forehead had three .22 caliber bullet holes in it. The M-4 rifle shoots a .22, of course, but it’s a high-power, high-velocity .223 that does serious damage. The fact that his forehead had three .22 holes and wasn’t obliterated means he was executed with three low-powered. 22LR bullets from a pistol. The general in charge of the official heroic lies about enemy action and then “friendly fire” was Stanley McChrystal, an infamous black ops leader of The Secret Team and organizer of many, many assassinations.

And so, I’m anti-American. I suspect that if Pat Tillman were alive he’d be just as anti-American. Real patriots can get that way quickly when they realize they’ve been hustled.

Don’t start about the Constitution. Don’t tell me that if we just stuck to the Constitution we’d be in good shape. I’ve found that people who go on about the Constitution have never read it. They don’t understand that it’s just a seven-part plan for running the government. They don’t understand that it was crafted by Freemasons using Masonic lodge rules of order as a template. They don’t know or forgot that the founders sneaked the Constitution on us when they were supposed to modify the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union between the States.

The Bill of Rights was our friend and it was added by Patrick Henry and truly patriotic friends to protect us from the Constitutional government. But George Bush and his PATRIOT Act destroyed the Bill of Rights. Obama is a foreign-born CIA asset so he has no understanding of the Bill of Rights. Apparently both he and his strange wife lost their law licenses several years ago anyway and I suspect they missed Bill of Rights day in law school.

I’m not sure what it is about America that we’re expected to love. The government? The Federal Reserve? The IRS? Our banking system? Wall Street? How about our schools? The way we conduct our foreign policy? How about the CIA and sanctioned kidnapping, torture and false imprisonment and killing Israel’s enemies with our cowardly Predator flying death machines? Maybe the FBI, America’s number one terrorist organization?

Tell me, what is there to love? Our farms and Monsanto suicide seeds and all our fake food? Our labor unions that don’t try to protect American jobs? How about NAFTA that was jammed down our throats by Bill Clinton and Rush Limbaugh? You don’t remember that 1994 tag-team?

Maybe we should love Wal-Mart and all the Chinese junk inside. How about our great industries? Wait a minute-we don’t have any industries. They’re all in China.

Should we love our cities? How about the War on Drugs and the War on Terror. We really need a War on Warmongers and Profiteers. I won’t even ask if we’re supposed to love our politicians, our judges and our news media. Our ranches are nice, except the cattle are full of growth hormones and antibiotics.

Nope. Sorry. Nothing here to love, if we’re honest. Maybe if we brought our occupation forces home from the 120 countries they’re occupying, this country wouldn’t be so hateful. But there’s a gene in us that makes us extremely dangerous and destructive. We have been conditioned to view ourselves as exceptional-better than other people-and deserving of whatever other people have, such as land, gold, oil, water, whatever. You can see this gene metastasizing in the leaked videos of Americans slaughtering Iraqi civilians from our multi-million dollar attack helicopters. I say they’re ours because we’re on the hook for them.

Somebody is going to say, Well partner, you better love your right to shoot your mouth off and you can thank a veteran for that right. Uh, huh. You mean the guy over in Iraq, blowing away a family that misunderstood orders in a foreign language to stop at this goddamned roadblock (that wasn’t here yesterday)? You think I owe my free-speech right to a guy who spent the war spraying Agent Orange on foreign civilians? Do you think any of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights was reinforced by the crew of the Enola Gay? My old man was a marine in the first World War. I said to him, Man, you made the world safe for Democracy! He just looked at me, like, very funny.

It is not safe to shoot your mouth off these days and hasn’t been for a long time. The military is not making it any safer, in fact, just the opposite. The US military is breaking the law wholesale by acting as “law enforcement,” in complete violation of the law (Posse Comitatus). But shut my mouth, because there is no law anymore. We’re under the law of the gun, or Deuteronomy, which is the same thing.

Most people today are afraid even to READ my material, let alone comment on it. Let alone write something along these lines. Why do you suppose there’s so much fear in this country since 9/11? Is the military relieving this fear or reinforcing it? What about the reports that the military will be rounding up dissidents? Don’t believe them? They’re already illegally working as cops. The military does not protect ANYONE’s rights. The military kills people and destroys property. No American is safer because our military is killing Moslems in Iraq or Afghanistan-just the opposite. Not only is the military killing the world with depleted uranium munitions, but it is causing a blinding hatred of us. Just imagine armed thugs breaking into your house or your relative’s house and what it would do to your mind, assuming they didn’t blow you away because of the look of resentment on your face.

I discovered myself, years ago, that the FEMA camps are staffed by the 300th Military Police POW Command headquartered in Inkster, Michigan.

An honest American has to admit that he hates this country, not just the government. The government is a reflection of the people who pay for it. This country isn’t what you thought it was and it never has been. We’ve been conditioned to pledge allegiance to the flag and to the nation for which it stands, but what it stands for isn’t what Hollywood has had us believing since we were little kids.

All leaks are good, as long as they’re the real deal, not redacted or altered to make us support Israel. The only way we can survive is to know the truth about what government and the corporations have been secretly doing to us and others. The truth may be anti-American, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.


US Media Defends Zardari, Attacks Geo And Judiciary

October 25, 2010

This is a new chapter in US meddling in Pakistani politics.

By AHMED QURAISHI | Thursday, 21 October 2010.
WWW.PAKNATIONALISTS.COM

WASHINGTON, DC-If you want evidence the US media has been mounting a quiet campaign over the past year in support of embattled Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari and against his critics in the media and Pakistan’s Supreme Court, read this report: Pakistan’s Media Piles On President, published by Washington Post and focused on Pakistan’s largest newspaper and television network, The News and Geo.

The above report is an indirect but strong criticism of Geo and of anyone in Pakistan critical of Mr. Zardari. The fact that such one-sided and biased reporting can appear in Washington Post shows there are power centers in Washington that take any attack against the incumbent Pakistani government very personally. And, as shown later here, this report is part of a pattern.

I broke the story at PakNationalists.com in Dec. 2009 about a secret meeting between then-US ambassador Anne Patterson and two senior politicians from an opposition party in a farmhouse on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital, the exact time of the meeting and the middle(wo)men who arranged it. Apparently the ambassador left the embassy in an unmarked car, no security cars trailing her, and met the two senior politicians for one purpose: to request them to avoid destabilizing the government of President Zardari. In return she offered US support for the two politicians and their party. [The two politicians politely asked for time to think about it and didn't commit to anything]. This was one of several similar meetings Ms. Patterson had with a limited number of opposition politicians at the time for the same purpose. None of them were reported or publicly acknowledged.

The point is, regardless of how many times US officials say they are sickened by Pakistani government’s corruption, they are firmly behind this government. Certainly there is a debate inside Washington on the utility of Mr. Zardari and whether he’s an asset or a burden for the US. But it’s quite obvious which viewpoint is dominating. The generous US flood aid after initial reluctance to send helicopters, and financial support in other areas, are all meant to shore up Mr. Zardari’s government. Washington came to Mr. Zardari’s rescue when it became clear his government was teetering before an emboldened military and an agitated public opinion.

Interestingly, the WashPost reporter omitted a significant piece of information: the siege of the headquarters of The News and Geo in Karachi in August. When Mr. Richard Holbrooke paid a visit to Jang offices, the parent company of The News and Geo, on Sept. 15, his gesture was largely symbolic. There never was a strong and equivocal condemnation of the government-sponsored harassment that Jang received after covering president’s UK visit. Even the article written by former US ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlin, defending Geo, made indirect references to US grievances over ‘conspiracy theories’ in Pakistani media, a euphemism now for anything critical of US policy in Pakistan.

The best part of the WashPost report is that it gives itself the right to decide the good protagonists and bad protagonists in Pakistani politics.

For example, in the same report, the reporter paints Mr. Zardari’s government as a helpless victim of unnecessary media criticism. A portion of the report is dedicated to proving the young age of most Pakistani journalists, implying they are immature. The American reporter summarily dismisses several Pakistani media accounts of government-linked feudal politicians playing a role in worsening flood impact in Sindh. At one point, the WashPost reporter creates the illusion that Mr. Zardari is responsible for the growth in independent media in Pakistan.

On Geo’s role in criticizing Mr. Zardari, the reporter sarcastically observes that “Geo is not a political opposition group, but rather Pakistan’s most popular television network.”

The WashPost reporter then goes on to make this skewed remark, “Whether this is a healthy free press at work or a destabilizing force in a tense and turbulent democracy is the subject of much debate.”

Really?

It’s amazing that the mainstream US media is now deciding how the Pakistani media should conduct itself. I guess it’s a natural follow-up to US politicians and think-tank types deciding who should rule Pakistan and who shouldn’t, and who should be the designated enemy of Pakistan and who isn’t. In blaming the Americans, we also blame ourselves, our political and military rulers who emboldened foreigners to meddle in our affairs.

This WashPost report is not one-off but underscores a trend in the US media over the past one year when it comes to Pakistan and the government of President Asif Zardari.

Just a week earlier, the same theme was discernible in the story, Pakistan’s Emboldened Judiciary Threatens Government Stability, also published by the Washington Post on 13 Oct. 2010. Two different reports in Washington DC’s newspaper of record, harping on the same theme: that Pakistan’s media and judiciary are destabilizing the government and democracy.


Pakistan should learn from modern Turkey and not look towards Bangladesh

October 25, 2010

Is Turkey turning its back on the West

No. But it might if Europe and America cannot come to terms with its success

Its strategic position, next to the Middle East and Russia and astride Europe and Asia, means that Turkey has always mattered. But over the past decade its significance has hugely increased. For Turkey has gone through two big, and not always widely recognised, transformations: in its economic performance and in its foreign policy.

For most of the post-war years the Turkish economy was, to reuse Tsar Nicholas I’s 19th-century phrase, “the sick man of Europe”, plagued by erratic growth, soaring inflation and periodic banking busts. Today inflation is far lower, the banks are solid and Turkey boasts the fastest-growing economy in the OECD club of rich countries. Because it is resource-poor, this growth reflects fundamental strengths, especially in manufacturing and construction. Turkey makes things like furniture, cars, cement (it is the world’s biggest exporter), shoes, televisions and DVD players. In a sense, it is Europe’s BRIC: it might be called the China of Europe.

On foreign policy this long-standing member of NATO, with an army second in size only to America’s, has always been a bulwark of the West. Turkey and Norway were the only NATO members to border the Soviet Union. But Turkey’s pro-Western stance led it to neglect its neighbourhood, including many countries once in the Ottoman empire. Here, too, there has been a transformation. Backed by its strong economy, Turkey has become highly active in its diplomacy across the Middle East, in the Balkans and as far afield as Africa-and not always to the satisfaction of its allies. In a sense, Turkey has become a local diplomatic giant-the Brazil of the region.

You might imagine that Western powers would welcome such an advance. Instead, a more prosperous, bumptious Turkey is jangling many nerves. Europeans are trembling over the prospect of being asked to admit such a populous state into the European Union. The United States, which used to scold the Europeans for their reluctance, is uncomfortable with Turkey’s newly adventurous foreign policy. Critics in the West are prone to hide behind the idea that Turkey is drifting towards Muslim fundamentalism and somehow “being lost” by the West. This judgment is completely wrong; yet the more that people in the West persist in making it, the greater the chance that they may genuinely lose Turkey.

The perils of democracy

In foreign policy, the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan has certainly fallen prey on occasion to excessive Muslim solidarity. It has been too nice to Sudan’s ghastly president, Omar al-Bashir, ignoring his indictment for war crimes. It made a mistake by joining Brazil in an ill-fated Iranian nuclear initiative that led to the embarrassing sight of Turkey, a member of the UN Security Council in 2009-10, voting against tougher sanctions on Iran. And its increasingly strident attacks on its once-close ally, Israel, have angered not only the Israelis but also many Americans, especially after the Turkish-led flotilla that tried to “relieve” the siege of Gaza this summer.

But wait a moment. Brazil was nice to Iran, without anyone doubting its Western credentials. On Israel, Mr Erdogan has certainly at times played to the Arab street. But many of Turkey’s complaints, such as over settlement-building in the West Bank, are hardly controversial. It may have been ill-judged for the government to have been involved with those who launched the Gaza flotilla, but this would not have turned into such a catastrophe had the Israelis not killed nine people on board the leading ship. More fundamentally, the Turkish government is doing what democracies tend to do: reflecting its people’s views. Many Muslims think the Palestinians have been ill-treated. From an Israeli viewpoint it is no doubt awkward to have its human-rights record questioned by an elected prime minister, rather than by the usual Arab dictators. But who would America rather hear as a Muslim voice? The autocrats in Egypt and Saudi Arabia? The clerics in Iran?

The Europeans are also in a funk-over Turkey’s possible membership of the EU. Negotiations have formally been going on for over five years. No country that has begun such talks has ever failed to be offered membership. But the leaders of France, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands seem dead set against Turkish entry, as is much of their public opinion. The unresolved Cyprus dispute seems a near-insuperable roadblock. Yet if the EU chooses to exclude its own China, it will be turning away the fastest-growing economy in its neighbourhood. It will also lose any hope of influencing the region to its east. At a time when many Europeans fret about being ignored in the world, this would be an historic mistake.

How Western are they?

The common excuse for these follies is the claim that Turkey is not really Western-and is becoming ever less so. Once again, Mr Erdogan has done some unhelpful things. Critics note that, ever since his mildly Islamist Justice and Development (AK) party came to power in 2002, it has been engaged in a battle with the Kemalist secular establishment. He is intolerant of dissent, shown in his battles with critical media commentators. And he is increasingly impatient with the EU.

Yet fears of Turkey turning into the next Iran are absurd. A new tolerance of the headscarf in universities does not imply a sudden lurch into stoning adulteresses. Mr Erdogan’s run-ins with his opponents have certainly created a polarised society; he should adopt a more conciliatory tone if he wins re-election next June. But his opponents in the media still write their critical columns. It is troublemakers in the army who have posed a greater threat to democracy in recent times.

In short, Turkey is heading in a good direction. It remains a shining (and rare) example in the Muslim world of a vibrant democracy with the rule of law and a thriving free-market economy. Much though Western leaders would like to turn the argument into one about Turkey, the real question is for them. Are Americans and Europeans prepared to accept Turkey for what it is: a Muslim democracy, with a different culture and diplomatic posture, but committed to economic and political liberalism? This newspaper hopes the answer is yes.


Encountering Anguish and Anxiety Across America

October 12, 2010

By JOE KLEIN

On a blistering evening in Phoenix recently, a group of prominent civic leaders met to talk about America. It didn’t take long for the conversation to get around to the fall of the Ottoman Empire. That’s what happens when smart Americans get to talking about politics these days. Topic A is the growing sense that our best days as a nation are behind us, that our kids won’t live as well as we did, that China is in the driver’s seat.


Peter van Agtmael for TIME / Magnum

This is a popular, perhaps even dominant, theme in the U.S. this season – but it doesn’t begin to describe the anguish that dominated every conversation about politics I witnessed during a four-week trip across the country. With a month to go before a crucial election and campaign ads cluttering the TV, people were in a heightened state of political awareness. I’ve covered more than a few midterm campaigns, but this one seems particularly fraught.

I talked to dozens of politicians running for office and hundreds of voters. The voters were, with few exceptions, more eloquent and unpredictable – and, of course, candid – than the politicians. They tended to be extremely frustrated with the national conversation as presented by the news media. They tended to be more anxious than angry – although the infuriated, fist-shaking third of the electorate, the Tea Party cohort, seemed a far more powerful and immediate presence in people’s minds than the President of the United States or his party. Republicans seemed more talkative than Democrats, and more precise about their solutions: lower taxes and less spending. “People say to me, ‘I don’t like the Democrats because I don’t know what they stand for,’ ” said Lisa Urias, a Latina businesswoman in Phoenix. “I tell them, ‘I hate the Republicans because I know exactly what they stand for.’ “

I found the same themes dominant everywhere – a rethinking of basic assumptions, a moment of national introspection. There was a unanimous sense that Washington was broken beyond repair. But the disgraceful behavior of the financial community, and its debilitating effects on the American economy over the past 30 years, was the issue that raised the most passion, by far, in the middle of the country. Many Americans also were confused and frustrated by the constant state of war since the terrorist attacks of 9/11. But for every occasion they raised Afghanistan, they mentioned China 25 times; economics completely trumped terrorism as a matter of concern.

Road trips are nourishment for the mind and the soul, if not the body (given the quality of roadside food); from Huckleberry Finn to The Hangover, they have been a classic American pastime. The trip exploded my personal Beltway Bubble, which turns out to be more a state of mind and a set of habits than an actual place. Driving 6,782 miles in four weeks, I was forcibly weaned from my usual engorgement of newspapers, magazines, blogs and books. I watched no more than 15 minutes of cable news per day but listened to music obsessively. I was cleansed and transformed, a news junkie freed from junk news, and able to experience Americans as they are – rowdy and proud, ignorant and wise.


No method to the madness

September 27, 2010

By Yousuf Nazar

More than one trillion dollars and nine years later the alleged and self-confessed master mind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has not been convicted. Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zahwari, and Mullah Omar have not been caught, dead or alive; the Talibans instead of being eliminated are set to take over Kabul again, and Pakistan which hardly had a Taliban presence on September 11, 2001 has been rocked by bomb blasts and has had its worst year of violence since 2001. And Americans still cannot see what the problem is?

But then if their policies had a bit of wisdom, we never would have had Vietnam, Cambodia would not have been ruined, Shah of Iran would never have been allowed to suppress dissent, Afghanistan would not have been abandoned after 1989, and a just settlement of the Palestine conflict would have been achieved. It is easy to forget lessons of history in the confusion and noise of day-to-day reporting and in the age of 30 second sound bites of electronic media.

And it is ok for much over-rated Newsweek and its editor to declare Pakistan as the most dangerous country and the home of Al Qaeda and confess, without much regret or shame, three years later that Al Qaeda is not really that deadly a threat.

I would like to believe this sensational bit of journalism had little to do with the fact that Newsweek magazine had been making losses for years. As of 2003, worldwide circulation was more than 4 million, including 2.7 million in the U.S; however as of 2010 it is down to 1.5 million. The financial results for 2009 as reported by the Washington Post showed that advertising revenue for Newsweek was down 37% in 2009 and the magazine division reported an operating loss for 2009 of $29.3 million compared to a loss of $16 million in 2008. During the magazine’s first quarter of 2010, it lost nearly $11 million. By May 2010, Newsweek was said to be up for sale. The magazine was sold to audio pioneer Sidney Harman for just $1 on August 2, 2010.

Fareed Zakaria, then a Newsweek columnist and editor of Newsweek International, attended a secret meeting on November 29, 2001 with a dozen policy makers, Middle East experts and members of influential policy research organizations to produce a report for President George W. Bush and his cabinet outlining a strategy for dealing with Afghanistan and the Middle East in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. The meeting was held at the request of Paul D. Wolfowitz, then the deputy secretary of defense. The unusual presence of journalists at such a strategy meeting was revealed in Bob Woodward’s 2006 book State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III.

In the May 9, 2005, issue of Newsweek, an article by reporter Michael Isikoff stated that interrogators at Guantanamo Bay “in an attempt to rattle suspects, flushed a Qur’an down a toilet. The magazine later revealed that the anonymous source behind the allegation could not confirm that the book-flushing was actually under investigation, and retracted the story under heavy criticism. But the damage had been done.

Yet, some make so much of the trash that is published in magazines like Newsweek and ignore the counsel of experienced and mature hands like Dr. Brzezinski.

The U.S. military and intelligence budgets have crossed all decent and reasonable limits. The intelligence budget alone has gone up by more than 250% since 2001 to $75 billion and the defenders of U.S. madness in Afghanistan and Pakistan do not see the irony of a mad campaign that has not achieved anything and destroyed much, including American credibility and standing in the world.

Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the foremost foreign policy experts in the U.S., who started the American involvement in Afghanistan in 1978-1979 as President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser, warned the U.S. government about the potentially disastrous consequences of its foreign policy in a testimony before the U.S. senate foreign relations committee on February 1, 2007. “If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large. A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a “defensive” U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.”

He dismissed the fears about Al Qaeda saying: “A mythical historical narrative to justify the case for such a protracted and potentially expanding war is already being articulated. Initially justified by false claims about WMD’s in Iraq, the war is now being redefined as the “decisive ideological struggle” of our time.”

Dr. Brzezinski warned: ” Vague and inflammatory talk about “a new strategic context” which is based on “clarity” and which prompts “the birth pangs of a new Middle East” is breeding intensifying anti-Americanism and is increasing the danger of a long-term collision between the United States and the Islamic world.”

He added: “One should note here also that practically no country in the world shares the Manichean delusions that the Administration so passionately articulates. The result is growing political isolation of, and pervasive popular antagonism toward the U.S. global posture. “

One consequence of the bloody military and covert operations is that the control of many aspects slips out of the hands of the politicians and away from Congressional oversight. Guantanamo Bay is one such example. Dozens were kept under detention without any trial and then released without much explanation. Abdullah Mahsud was one.. captured in December 2001 and released in May 2004.

Dissent was stifled with the neo-fascist rhetoric of “either you are with us or against us”, and thus giving the press little choice but to accept the official story line without much questioning or reasoning. The psychology of fear was used to pursue a Middle East policy that had everything to do with oil and little to do with terrorism as has been acknowledged by eminent figures such as General (rtd) Wesley Clarke, former supreme commander of NATO, Bill Clinton’s economic adviser Jeff Sachs, and the former FED chairman Alan Greenspan.

The latest casualty of the U.S. military and intelligence establishment’s what Brzezinski called a “mythical narrative” is Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. She may or may not have been involved with Al Qaeda. I do not know. No court ever charged her with any terrorist act. So all that noise is irrelevant in so far it relates to her sentencing by a U.S. court for 86 years on charges of committing a crime in Afghanistan as a Pakistani citizen. If the U.S. defense and intelligence establishment wanted to delay the case and avoid provocation, which it knew it would cause in Pakistan, it could have easily delayed the trial as it did in the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed for reasons that remain obscure.

I won’t speculate on the motives for carrying on this trial at this time lest some naïve or biased readers accuse me of a conspiracy theory but the repercussions are obvious. It is a clear provocation even if that was not the intent. It is mystifying that while on one hand, the U.S. gives $405 million for aid for the floods; but it increases the frequency of drone strikes which for sure are going to destroy any good will it would have hoped to generate. Are they so stupid? But then even $10 billion is a small sum in the big power games when the total cost of the War on Terror is coming to over a trillion dollars according to the official figures and more than $2 trillion according to independent U.S. economists.

I quoted Dr. Brzezinski at length to make the points that some of us make but are dismissed as anti-Americanism. I worked for an American bank for 20 years. I have nothing against Americans. But their establishment’s Middle East and Central Asian policies are wrong, short-sighted, counter-productive and ultimately self-defeating. There is no method to their madness but only one way to prevent more harm than they have already caused, belated though it might be. They should get the hell out of Afghanistan and Pakistan and stop supporting or manipulating their puppets, be it in civvies or muftis. The world would be a better place if President Obama can focus on the ailing U.S. economy, which is not only in a long term decline but is not recovering well, and put an end to all costly overt and covert misadventures overseas.


When Will We See the Next Mass Murder?

September 7, 2010

By Jeff Gates

(Special to Opinion Maker) Here’s a news flash for Tel Aviv: it’s not a sign of respect when the bulk of humanity views you as psychopathic. Pakistan, in particular, should be concerned.

The concerns of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are misplaced. The legitimacy of Israel is no longer threatened. It’s already lost. Long gone. Kaput.

Nation states are shared states of mind. The mindset in Iceland differs from India. Israel is the most unlike of all. Founded by extremists and terrorists, it’s been downhill ever since.

Psychopaths want to be loved. That’s why they’re so charming, albeit only superficially. They’re also pathological liars, egocentric, callous and remorseless.

Those qualities have long been familiar to Israel’s neighbors, particularly the Palestinians. After WWII, Harry Truman was charmed into treating this extremist enclave as an ally.

That decision may well go down in history as America’s greatest mistake.

Though we’ve served for 62 years as Israel’s patron, pocketbook and apologist, the respect and affection has flowed in only one direction.

Psychopaths should not be confused with megalomaniacs. The mental states are quite different. Megalomaniacs seek to be feared, not loved. Control is the common trait.

That not-so-subtle distinction matters, at least for those of us who are not dual citizens.

For instance, it’s now known that Israel and its advocates fixed the intelligence that took us to war in Iraq. That fact is no longer in dispute.

That fact alone confirms the split personality evident in the shared state of mind we call Israel. Those who share that state charmed us into committing our blood and treasure for goals long sought by Israel. That’s the psychopath component.

The megalomaniac component felt they had a right to make us fearful. As Chosen (by a god of their own choosing), devotees of this shared mindset truly believe it’s their right to deceive. Those complicit see themselves as “of us but above us.”

When we dispatched our military to pursue their goals, Americans were killed and maimed as we borrowed our way into a fiscal morass from which there’s no clear route to recovery.

Score another victory for the U.S.-Israel special relationship.

Why Don’t Americans Get It?

Nothing about this “state” is legit. Never was. Its founding traces to a multi-decade reign of terror built on a phony historical foundation. Even the most dull-witted now question how Israel came into being. And why the U.S. ever deemed it special.

Americans are learning to fear Israel-as they should. A few of us remain charmed-despite the facts. For the True Believer, facts are likely to remain irrelevant.

Those familiar with the facts know better. Thus the fast-growing concern that troublesome behavior patterns are emerging once again.

Those most knowledgeable are deeply concerned about recent events.

On August 26th, a leaked memo from the Central Intelligence Agency cited American Jews as exporters of terrorism. Then came the news on August 30th from Sephardi chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef who urged that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas “vanish from our world” and that “God strike (Palestinians) down with a plague.”

Neither story gained traction in mainstream U.S. media. Instead, news coverage was reserved for August 31st when four Israelis were shot dead in the West Bank.

The most lethal attack in four years-blamed on Hamas-occurred just hours before Netanyahu’s scheduled meeting with Hamas leaders and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The timing revived memories of the many well-timed “incidents” during the reign of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. No one dares suggest that Tel Aviv may be the source of this latest incident. Yet consider just a few of the many precedents:

On April 12, 2002, at the same moment Secretary of State Colin Powell was meeting with Ariel Sharon, a suicide bombing occurred in Israel, killing 8 and injuring 22.

On May 10, 2002, at the same moment President Bush was meeting with Ariel Sharon, a suicide bombing occurred in Israel.

On June 11, 2003, on the same day Ariel Sharon visited the White House, a suicide bombing killed 17 and wounded 100 on a bus in Jerusalem.

On November 11, 2003, while the president of Italy was visiting the U.S., Italy suffered its greatest wartime casualties since WWII when 19 Italians were killed in Iraq.

On November 20, 2003, while President Bush was visiting Prime Minister Tony Blair in London, the British envoy to Istanbul was among 27 killed by a blast.

On November 30, 2003, while the president of Spain was visiting the U.S., seven Spanish intelligence officers were killed in Iraq.

The Source of Terror

What happens to Israel’s fast-fading legitimacy if the fear of terrorism-all of it-traces back to those long known for their expertise at waging war “by way of deception.” That’s the founding credo of the Mossad, Israel’s foreign operations directorate infamous for its worldwide expertise as an agent provocateur.

Would a state founded by terrorists resort to terror to sustain a narrative essential to its survival? Would Tel Aviv again deceive the U.S. to pursue its expansionist goals?

Zionist media mogul Haim Saban spoke candidly when, in the May 10th issue of The New Yorker, he boasted of “three ways to be influential in American politics:” make donations to political parties, establish think tanks and control media outlets.

His only omission: terror.

Was this dual citizen conceding how the U.S. was induced to war-for Israel?

Was he describing how Zionists shape U.S. policy-in plain sight?

Was he describing how psychopaths wage war on the U.S.-from within?

Was he divulging how megalomaniacs influence U.S. decision-making-with fear?

Americans have long been charmed by this “special” relationship. Now it’s time to be fearful. When a mental state of this malevolent sort becomes transparent and its operatives apparent, that’s when “psycho-megalomania” becomes its most dangerous.

Will we see another terrorist attack? You can bet on it. The only question is: When?

Special days are often chosen for special events. Will the next mass murder be on Rosh Hashanah (September 8th)? How about the ninth anniversary of September 11th? Or Yom Kippur on September 17th?

Will the next incident be nuclear or conventional? Will it be staged in the U.S. or the E.U.?

And most important of all: will it be blamed on Hezbollah or Hamas? Or will the “Pakistan Taliban” be portrayed as the requisite Evil Doer responsible for the next mass murder?

Stay tuned.

A Vietnam veteran, Jeff Gates is a widely acclaimed author, attorney, investment banker, educator and consultant to government, corporate and union leaders worldwide. He served for seven years as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. He is widely published in the trade, popular and academic press. His latest book is Guilt by Association: How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War. His previous books include Democracy at Risk: Rescuing Main Street From Wall Street and The Ownership Solution: Toward a Shared Capitalism for the 21st Century. Topical commentaries appear on the Criminal State website.


New campaign to counter US anti-Islam sentiment

August 31, 2010

WASHINGTON – A coalition of US Muslims launched a Web-based campaign Monday aimed at countering what they called a rising tide of anti-Islamic sentiment and to show themselves as Americans who love their country.


Front page of MyfaithMyvoice.com

The group launched a website and online video featuring brief clips from American Muslims, including young children, with comments such as “I’m an American,” and “I don’t want to take over this country.”

The campaign is in response to the controversy over plans to build an Islamic center near the site of the World Trade Center in New York destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The group said it takes no position on the Ground Zero mosque itself, but wants to counter the anti-Muslim atmosphere stemming from the polemic.

“We are concerned about this rising tide of anti-Muslim sentiment,” said Hassan Ahmad, a Washington lawyer who is one of the coordinators of the campaign.

Ahmad added that “there is no way that this coalition could take a position on (on the New York mosque) because we are just a diverse coalition of ordinary Muslims.”

He added: “There is no organization behind this, there is no mosque that can take ownership of this. This is just the voice of American Muslims, plain and simple.”

David Hawa, producer of the one-minute video, said it offers a message that is “fresh and unique.”

“We often hear from certain circles that Muslims are trying to take over America of impose our faith on you,” Hawa said. “We are trying to showcase that this not what we are trying to do.”

The group’s Web page, http://www.myfaithmyvoice.com, allows Muslims to upload their own video clips and comments and “speak directly to the American public about what is in their hearts and on their minds.”

For now, the message is distributed only on the Internet, although the group may raise funds to air the ad on television later, organizers said.

The campaign comes amid an increasingly heated campaign over the Islamic center proposed near Ground Zero, which has provoked demonstrations from supporters and opponents and stirred up emotions nearly nine years after the September 11 attacks.

Hassan said the new campaign would not address whether to build the center but that Muslims are “talking about the anti-Muslim rhetoric and fear-mongering that has unfortunately stemmed from that.”


Why General Kayani should stay till 2013

July 28, 2010

By Charles Ferndale

The editorial of July 24 “Democracy and the generals” discusses how General Kayani will now serve till November 2013, which “means that he will now stay in office beyond the tenures of both the prime minister and the president”. The decision was announced by the prime minister, the purpose of which, the editorial suggests, was to give a veneer of democracy to a decision which was really out of the hands of the civilian government, but rested rather with the army and the Americans. It goes on to say, “There can be no doubt that as yet the balance of power between the military and the civilian set-up has not been righted. Until this happens we can expect only further bumps on the road that leads to democracy”.

May I suggest that what needs to happen is more complicated than “balancing the power between the military and civilian set-up.” What Pakistan needs is an honest, just, intelligent, responsible, truly representative elected government, whose principle interest is the good of the entire country. Until that happens there will be no chance of civilian government here “establishing control over its military”. But no civilian government in Pakistan has even come even close to meeting such criteria. The past civilian governments of this country have competed to see which can be the most corrupt. And whenever their outrageous conduct has been checked, they have quickly dismantled, or subverted, what weak protections this country might occasionally have against abuses of power. The military has never replaced democratic governments in Pakistan; it has replaced pseudo-democracies that have really been autocratic cleptocracies. Though the military has always seized power undemocratically, it should be remembered that they have often done so because the civilian governments they have replaced had become grotesquely corrupt.

What is surprising is that the military does not seize power now, for never has a Pakistani government been more damagingly corrupt than the present one. And their continuance in power is the surest evidence we have that Pakistan’s political affairs are run, not by the army, but by the Americans. Regrettably, however, were the army to give relief to the people by overthrowing the present mob, they too would soon go on to commit most of the sins their seizure of power was meant to check. The abuse of power is part of the very social structure of Pakistani power groups. In Pakistan army bashing is popular because it seems to offer a feasible, discrete, solution to the country’s persistent political tragedy: keep the army in the barracks and all will be well. That belief is an illusion. Pakistan’s problem is the endemic, widespread abuse of power by all those who hold it. Its culture of power is undemocratic.

Pakistan’s political tragedy so pains me that I too often find myself dreaming of possible solutions, one of which might be this: the army takes power, removes from government all its corrupt members, creates a level playing field in which money does not decide the outcome of elections, guarantees equal time in the media for all contenders, punishes liars with banishment from politics and ensures that an honest government, independent of foreign bullies, is freely elected; a government whose edicts the military would be proud to obey and which, because of its fairness, the Pakistani people would be proud to obey. If the military were to do such a thing, Pakistan would become an independent sovereign state whose future would shine like the sun; it would be a unified country. A sure sign that the country was on the right road would be that the Americans and their allies would scream blue murder.

Whenever American (and other external) interests conflict with those of the Pakistani people, the people’s interests are sacrificed. The government is obedient to America’s fancied long-term interests, and this comes at the expense of Pakistan’s own long- and short-term interests. Until the dream of honest government might be materialised, perhaps the protracted presence of General Kayani, and the Chief Justice, until 2013 might offer at least some stability to the country. Both these figures have shown a modicum of honour and independence from foreign influence. And in Pakistani politics that is rare.

The writer is a charity worker who divides his time between Pakistan and the UK (charles.ferndale@tribune.com.pk)


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