Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Richard Daly and Nasir Khan on Israel and Palestine Issue

March 12, 2013
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Editor’s remarks: Dr Richard Daly is an anthropologist who is active in writing and publishing. He wrote me a letter in which he raised some serious questions about my approach to Israel and Palestine. In response I wrote to him a letter in which I explained my views on the matter but without getting into any detailed discussion of our differing views. As mutually agreed,  I am publishing our exchanges on my websites and some other internet sites. In doing so we hope that our respective views will be useful to clarify the issues for readers, political actors and peace activists. Any private and personal information we exchanged has been deleted.

Nasir Khan, Editor

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Richard Daly to Nasir Khan:

March 5, 2013,

Hello,

[Text deleted.]

I am  fully with you on Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, but I think you are wildly wrong on your commentary re Palestine and Israel. Too Islam-oriented. The focus cannot be on religion or physical violence. Too incendiary and full of hatred. It has to focus on Israel’s refusal to stop expansion and engage in peace.

I think we have to be pulling the world toward some kind of rational tolerance and peace in the region, and fanning flames of hatred –which does not have a shortage of the same–is counterproductive.

We have to stress not the bestiality of Israel, because all of us know how to be beasts when we are pushed into frenzies of intolerance, but to stress their leaders’ constant violation of the world’s desire for peace in the region, their violation of everything human by their armed occupation and expansion of Palestinian land.

I do not think the zionists have anything positive to contribute, but I do not think it reasonable or just, at this stage in the game, to drive Israelis into the sea. Israel has arrived. It cannot be pushed out, but nor should it be allowed to push out the long-term inhabitants on the basis of some Old Testament belief in ethnic primogeniture.

They must be led by world public opinion either to leave the country and make their mischief somewhere else, or work together with Palestinians to build a successful and peaceful country, an operation that could be a success if the whole world both criticizes and assists the process. How about calling for dismantling Israeli and Iranian nuclear installations, and, by the way, those of the big shots too.

Of course it cannot be done without a weakened and discredited late capitalism. Western capital is in crisis but that is another question. Pushing for a serious peace is a way of weakening capital and its aims even further, and giving some influence to the world’s peoples instead of to their so called leaders.

Your approach is shrill and incendiary and might one day contribute to massive communal violence rather than pressuring Israel and its backers  to make concessions for their own good, as well as for some degree of harmony is the powder keg that the region is. By all means, show the high walls, the roadblocks, the stunted Palestinian lives, the new towns on Palestinian farms, but many of your images — brutal acts to individuals — go beyond that and verge on hate literature, from my perspective.

I am sorry but I had to write this and I do not have time to become a blogger.

Richard
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Nasir Khan to Richard Daly:

March 10, 2013

Hello Richard,

[Text deleted.]

You have set forth some of your ideas on the Israel-Palestine issue including some critical remarks towards my approach to Israel and Palestine. Even though I have some reservations about what you say, but nonetheless I fully appreciate your sombre thoughts that show your good-will and your concern for peace and a peaceful settlement of the conflict. In fact, I also desire the same and have yearned for such goals for almost half-a-century. When it comes to analysing the specifics of Israeli policies, which I will rather call Zionist policies and goals, then our views seem to diverge on some points because they are based on our different experiences, involvements, perceptions and presuppositions.

Contrary to what you assume about my position, I also stand for peace and toleration in the region and for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Meanwhile, the old Zionist lie perfectly tailored to misleading the world while they carried out their systematic  expansion for the last 6 decades has been to play the victim-card: Israeli Jews are under threat of being wiped out! This deception has duped many people everywhere, especially those whose ears are used to listening to the customary sermons of Judaeo-Christian common roots of the Western civilisation. Therefore, it was interesting to see you also repeating the favourite Zionist catch-phrase ‘to drive Israelis into the sea’!

Zionism has not been a religious organisation with a philanthropist outlook or mission. Its aims were and continue to be political: to expand, exploit and dominate. Not only within the Middle East but also far beyond. The strategy to extend the Zionist power and control is a story of success: the rulers of the United States and its Congress dance to the tunes of Zionist masters and lately Canada has joined their political chorus. Britain and France were their traditional supporters and they follow what Tel Aviv tells them to do. Earlier on, the way they managed to prevail over the British government to get the Balfour Declaration (1917) shows their strength and their methods. During the British Mandate (in other words, British colonial rule) over Palestine in the inter-war period, the British facilitated the task of the Zionists within Palestine.

The Jewish emigration to Palestine increased during and after the Second World War. The people of Palestine were ignored while their land was being taken by Jewish organisations who soon used terrorist methods to take control of the land. The British rulers, the patrons of Zionist cause, were not spared either. Now the next step was to get the British out of the way to take Palestine. Under Zionist terror, the British fled leaving behind a story of betrayal, apathy and deception.

But the old colonial master had opened the door for the European Zionists to create a new colonial-settler state of ‘Israel’. Now was the time to get UN to declare the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 by partitioning Palestine. More than 78% of Palestine to Israel, only 22% the rest to the ‘native’ population of Palestine! That was the partition by the imperialist powers towards which the USSR also acquiesced. The Zionists had their day. The Arabs of Palestine had been betrayed and left to organised Zionist terrorists who wasted no time to expel a large population from their land by terror and violence. The Nakba had started and since then it has chartered the course of the ethnic cleansing in the occupied Palestine.

Obviously, I am quite aware that to offer an adequate reply to some of your critical comments I should present my views in much greater detail. But unfortunately I am unable to do so at this time. Instead, I will briefly reply to some of your direct questions.

Are my comments and outlook on Palestine and Israel ‘Islam-oriented’? I hope not, as far as I can see. To my mind it has been a political problem where the Zionists have taken over the land of the people of Palestine, Muslims and Christians, and expelled them from their land. They are the Palestinians who have been pushed out of their land, not the Israelis ‘into the sea’!

Since 1967 the further colonisation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem has been going on unabated. The world has been watching and not able to do anything to stop Israel. Why? The Zionist power in the US and the rest of the Western world is the key to understanding this.

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Numerous UN resolutions condemning Israeli settlements in the occupied land produced no result. The Israeli response has been one of total defiance and rejection of international law and international conventions with regard to their illegal settlements in the occupied territories and their treatment of the captive Palestinians. USA, Canada, etc. support Israel in all crimes against the people of Palestine. This is still going on. Now the question is how to respond to all this?

Well, we can play lip-service to the problem and say that peace will eventually prevail if we show only patience. I suggest, better still we keep our eyes closed and ears shut so that we don’t see or hear what is going on in the occupied Palestine. In that way, the angel of peace may appear on the horizon and pronounce the message of peace and justice and everything will turn fine! In fact, this is the attitude of the people who are neutral spectators of the tragedy within the occupied territories of Palestine. How the Palestinians are killed, beaten and terrorised by Israel has no meaning for such noble neutral onlookers. I was somewhat surprised that a well-read academic like you also comes with a prognosis that ‘focus should not be on religion and physical violence’.

But it is fair to ask why I support the Palestinians while so many other people including numerous political analysts, historian and journalists do not concentrate on their plight. Why I have sided and still do with the oppressed people of Palestine is not due to their religions, Islam and Christianity, but rather it is because of my awareness as a humanist to the great calamity that had fallen these people. We know that right-wing Jewish settlers who have been placed in various illegal settlements by the Israeli government in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are religious extremists and fanatics. It is the Zionists who use Jewish religion for their political agenda and misleading propaganda. This is something which I have tried to make clear. But I have never tried to see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in terms of religion, Islam and Christianity, versus Judaism. That will be too crude a position for a humanist like me to take! Neither, have I ever put forward Islam to define and defend the Palestinian cause. In my ideological and socio-political orientations, I have been a socialist, a non-compromising secularist and a humanist. As a matter of my humanist convictions, I do not play with religions or become a plaything of religions or religious people. Therefore to impute any religious label to my political work or views may be due to some misperception; this is quite easy because my Indo-Islamic cultural identity seems obvious.

Equally, it is vital to underscore that Israel has not been using physical violence and torture against the Palestinians for fun, but as a tool for its expansionist and colonising project. Such methods are brutal, barbarous and inhuman, and these are used routinely against other human beings. Should I ignore and not say what is happening in this regard? On the contrary, it is my duty as a human being to expose such cruel and inhuman violence against the people of Palestine. Obviously, the ‘Friends of Israel’ will rather have a lid on such information from leaking or displayed in the media. I am not against any religion or the followers of any religion or any mystic faith. But I am not a defender of Zionism, which as I mentioned earlier, is a political and not a religious movement. However, I am not the only one of the kind to think so, either.

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On my blogs and other alternative websites that care to side with the oppressed and victimised people, I try to highlight the human rights issues in many countries including Palestine and Israel. Because it is by exposing the violence and terror of the Zionists of Israel can we show to the world what the Zionists are doing. If we don’t that, we are giving our tacit approval to such atrocities by our silence and indifference. This is more so in the case of politically-conscious people, the people who know what is happening but remain indifferent. In this regard, my position is unambiguous and my views are clearly goal-oriented: Israel should stop all such criminal activities against the people and the occupied land of Palestine.

It is well known what the Zionists in and outside Israel, AIPAC, and the Israeli Lobby in America, Canada, Britain, France and other European countries stand for. The US Government and the US Congress as the staunch backers of Israel and the Friends of Israel throughout the western hemisphere support the policies of Israel vis-a-vis the occupied people of Palestine. They give their full backing to Israel for its continued oppression and the colonisation of the rest of the West Bank and the gradual annexation of East Jerusalem by obliterating its Arab complexion. Thus new facts on the ground that Israel has been creating would decide the shape of things to come. Who can doubt that? This is a realistic assessment of the situation which the people of Palestine do not and cannot accept. We who sympathise with them continue to voice our support for their national rights and their protection from a brutal occupier. This oppression and violence is still going on and people are being killed, imprisoned, brutally beaten and humiliated.

The shrivelled tracts of land in the West Bank that were still owned by the Palestinians have been and are still being taken over by Israel for Jewish settlements, while confiscations and demolitions of the Palestinian homes take place in East Jerusalem and other places. It happens all the time, almost on daily basis. Western spectators and mass media have their own affiliations, sympathies and much apathy towards the plight of the Palestinian people. Contrary to what you say that my approach is ‘shrill and incendiary’ that may contribute to massive communal violence, I see the violence against the Palestinians a crime against humanity and war crimes. I am one of those who oppose the violence and brutalities of the occupying power. My task here is to inform others and highlight the issues so that Israel changes its expansionist and terrorist course and stops killing and destroying the Palestinians. As a historian, a blogger and a peace activist that’s all I can do in solidarity with a people who are more like the Red Indians of America of the previous centuries who were pushed by the European colonists out of their homes and hearths and have since those times being portrayed as incorrigible wild tribal people who were mostly put to death and their remaining descendants pushed to some barren reservations to live in social isolation, powerlessness and penury in the land which they once had owned as a free and independent people. The situation of Palestinians is not much different for that of the old generations of the Red Indians or First Nations of Canada.

In other words, my approach to the conflict is not much different from that of other peace activists who are working for peace and justice. Among such people I will also mention the names of some prominent Jewish writers and peace activists like Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Richard Falk, Gilad Atzmon, Miko Peled, Avi Shlaim, Ilan Pappe, etc. My views and work in this area are in line with these upholders of  the Palestinians’ rights and they are meant to contribute to ending the conflict and putting an end to the enslavement, oppression and degradation of a people.

I still believe only one democratic and secular state solution in historic Palestine is the best solution to the conflict. In no way, a well-informed person will see my approach as amounting to ‘hate literature’ or inflammatory. As you know, the Jewish writers, historians and peace activists I mentioned are not the enemies of Israel. Indeed, they are aware of the harm Zionism has done to the cause of the Jewish people and the long-term dangers which Israel is creating for itself and other people of the region. These views are appropriate to end an oppressive control over the life and destiny of the people of Palestine. With such views, I completely agree. But if you or anyone else will also call what they write including my articles and comments as ‘hate literature’ and ‘incendiary’ then that is something which I find deeply regrettable.

In the end, I thank you for your frank views and criticism. That also shows your perspective in a complicated conflict, which is a positive thing for exploring the possibilities from various angles. In addition, I much appreciate honestly-held views of a friend and well-wisher like you.

Cordially yours

Nasir

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Richard Daly To Nasir Khan:

March 10, 2013

Nasir,

[Text deleted.]

As for the Palestine question, there is nothing in what you write that I disagree with. In fact the hegemonic presence of Zionism in Toronto is regularly brought to our attention by an activist friend who works with Jews for Justice in Palestine. She is up to her eyes in the lies, threats and obfuscations of Zionism every day, and is a firm anti imperialist but constantly meets hysteria from the Canadian media, state and almost all other Jewish organizations.

The only difference you and I may have is how to frame the huge injustice and huge oppression such that this hegemony will be increasingly isolated by masses of bloggers and face bookers etc. Just exposing crimes without trying to affect a positive response to the situation, It seems to me –just pointing out the vicious acts of Israeli/Zionist officials and soldiers and settlers has to be done is ways that encourage organized resistance and not just gut-hatred based on tribal alliances,that can lead to more violent retaliations (which is what Zionism needs in order to justify its very military existence and its expansion). They provoke and we respond with angry retaliations, and the cycle goes on, and the leaders of the world, the monopolists continue to conduct business as usual.

Thanks for the long and serious reply. I did not feel it was an argument that I wanted, at this point to take to the Facebook crowd, which is an audience I find generally very superficial and highly manipulated by market forces and a difficult forum for serious issues.

Richard
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UN demands prosecution of Bush-era CIA crimes

March 5, 2013
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RT,  March 04, 2013
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AFP Photo / Paul J. Richards

AFP Photo / Paul J. Richards

A United Nations investigator has demanded that the US publish classified documents regarding the CIA’s human rights violations under former President George W. Bush, with hopes that the documents will lead to the prosecution of public officials.

Documents about the CIA’s program of rendition and secret detention of suspected terrorists have remained classified, even though President Obama’s administration has publicly condemned the use of these “enhanced interrogation techniques”. The US has not prosecuted any of its agents for human rights violations.

UN investigator Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, said that the classified documents protect the names of individuals who are responsible for serious human rights violations.

Continues >>

Obama forsvarte krigen i fredstale

December 11, 2009
«Plattform»: Nupi-rådgiver Helge Lurås reagerer på at Nobelkomiteen ga USAs president «en plattform for å forsvare og begrunne» USAs militære rolle i verden.
Klassekampen/Norge, Fredag 11. desember, 2009
Forsvarte krigen i fredstale
Forsvarte: Barack Obama forsvarte USAs opptrapping i Afghanistan i sin takketale etter utdelingen av fredsprisen. Foto: Scanpix

USA president Barack Obama brukte store deler av sin takketale etter utdelingen av Nobels fredspris i går på å forsøke å argumentere for at krig kan være nødvendig, og brukte USA og de alliertes krigføring i Afghanistan som et eksempel på en slik krig.

Obama påpekte at han er det amerikanske militærets øverstkommanderende, og at USA står midt oppi to kriger, Irak og Afghanistan.

Continues >>

CIA detention programme: Criminal investigations long overdue

August 28, 2009

US Attorney General Eric Holder, June 2009

US Attorney General Eric Holder, June 2009

© APGraphicsBank

Amnesty Internaional, 27 August 2009

US Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement on Tuesday that he has ordered a “preliminary review” into some interrogations of some detainees in the secret detention programme operated by the CIA after the attacks of 11 September 2001, while a welcome first step, does not go far enough, Amnesty International said.

“The USA needs to ensure that every case of torture is submitted for prosecution, whether or not perpetrators claim to have been following orders, and those who authorized or ordered the commission of torture or other criminal abuse of detainees must also be brought to justice,” said Rob Freer, Amnesty International’s researcher on the USA. “The USA should also establish an independent commission of inquiry to investigate all aspects of the USA’s detention practices in what the previous administration called the ‘war on terror'”, he said.

Continues >>

George Galloway tours U.S. for Palestine

April 30, 2009

By Aaron Moore and Jacqueline Moore | Socialist Worker, April 28, 2009

GARDEN GROVE, Calif.–“With controversy comes interest, and with interest comes more support.” These are words that British MP George Galloway must be intimately familiar with. His support of the Palestinian cause is not the only brush with controversy that Galloway was referring to at an Al Awda event drawing some 1,000 people on April 7.

Galloway is well-known as an unflinching supporter of social justice causes that are often considered to be politically unpalatable to his colleagues. He has also challenged the government’s policies on Iraq, arguing that “Iraq is not separate from the question of Palestine,” and has written a biographical portrait of Fidel Castro.

What you can do

For more information on Viva Palestina and to read about the tour, visit their Web site.

Banned from scheduled speaking events in Canada due to “national security concerns,” this was Galloway’s last speaking appearance on his latest tour of North America. After an introduction by Al Awda co-founder Zahi Damuni, Galloway started his lecture with a description of how he became active in the Palestinian cause in the 1970s, and the events that took place along the route of his Viva Palestina project.

The Viva Palestina project succeeded in bringing over £1 million in aid to Gaza in February, after making stops throughout Europe and Africa. One theme of his talk was that common citizens are generally in support of the Palestinian cause once they hear the truth about the illegal Israeli occupation. He explained how he became involved in the issue after listening to a Palestinian activist.

Galloway noted the turning tide of public opinion toward a desire to end the occupation and reach peace. “There’s a new atmosphere in the U.S. over Palestine,” he said. “The phenomenal response to this tour demonstrates that.”

He argued that activists shouldn’t settle for a two-state peace solution, but should instead demand a one-state solution where people of all ethnicities and religions can dwell together in peace with equal rights for all.

He argued that Israel has “spent its entire bank of public support” during its recent 22-day assault and ongoing siege on Gaza. Galloway condemned Israel for “[taking] the precautions of locking all the doors,” giving the population of Gaza nowhere to run and nowhere to hide from the violence of the assault.

Galloway emphasized the gravity of the current situation in Gaza under the siege, and condemned the lack of media attention it has been getting: “At least when they were being bombed, they were in the news. Now they suffer in silence.” He also condemned the lack of support from surrounding Arab nations, specifically Egypt, stating, “This is an Arab siege, unless Egypt is no longer a country.”

He went on to announce plans to launch Viva Palestina USA, a convoy modeled after Europe’s to cross the Egyptian border into Gaza with aid from Americans. He said it would be co-led by Vietnam veteran and long-time peace activist Ron Kovic, who was also present at the event. The convoy would leave on July 4, as a symbolic gesture to acknowledge that Gaza’s right to self-determination is as significant as America’s

International Law and Israel’s War on Gaza

January 25, 2009

by Francis A. Boyle

Global Research, January 24, 2009

mwcnews.net

When the Oslo Document was originally presented by the Israeli government to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations in the Fall of 1992, it was rejected by the Delegation because it obviously constituted a bantustan. This document carried out Menachem Begin’s disingenuous misinterpretation of the Camp David Accords–expressly rejected by U.S. President Jimmy Carter–that all they called for was autonomy for the people and not for the land too.

Soon thereafter, unbeknownst to the Delegation and to almost everyone else, the Israeli government opened up a secret channel of negotiations in Norway. There the Israeli government re-presented the document that had already been rejected by the Palestinian Delegation in Washington, D.C. It was this document, with very minor modifications, that was later signed at the White House on 13 September 1993.

Before the signing ceremony, I commented to a high-level official of the Palestine Liberation Organization: “This document is like a straight-jacket. It will be very difficult to negotiate your way out of it.” This PLO official agreed with my assessment and responded: “Yes, you are right. It will depend upon our negotiating skill.”

Of course I have great respect for Palestinian negotiators. They have done the best they can negotiating in good faith with the Israeli government that has been invariably backed up by the United States. But there has never been any good faith on the part of the Israeli government either before, during or after Oslo. Ditto for the United States.

Even if Oslo had succeeded, it would have resulted in the imposition of a bantustan upon the Palestinian People. But Oslo has run its course! Therefore, it is my purpose here today to chart a NEW DIRECTION for the Palestinian People to consider.

An agenda for an international legal response:

First, we must immediately move for the de facto suspension of Israel throughout the entirety of the United Nations System, including the General Assembly and all U.N. subsidiary organs and bodies. We must do to Israel what the U.N. General Assembly has done to the genocidal rump Yugoslavia and to the criminal apartheid regime in South Africa! Here the legal basis for the de facto suspension of Israel at the U.N. is quite simple:

As a condition for its admission to the United Nations Organization, Israel formally agreed to accept General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) (1947) (partition/Jerusalem trusteeship) and General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) (1948) (Palestinian right of return), inter alia. Nevertheless, the government of Israel has expressly repudiated both Resolution 181 (II) and Resolution 194 (III). Therefore, Israel has violated its conditions for admission to U.N. membership and thus must be suspended on a de facto basis from any participation throughout the entire United Nations System.

Second, any further negotiations with Israel must be conducted on the basis of Resolution 181 (II) and its borders; Resolution 194 (III); subsequent General Assembly resolutions and Security Council resolutions; the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949; the 1907 Hague Regulations; and other relevant principles of public international law.

Third, we must abandon the fiction and the fraud that the United States government is an “honest broker.” The United States government has never been an honest broker from well before the very outset of these negotiations in 1991. Rather, the United States has invariably sided with Israel against the Palestinians. We need to establish some type of international framework to sponsor these negotiations where the Palestinian negotiators will not be subjected to the continual bullying, threats, harassment, intimidation and outright lies perpetrated by the United States government.

Fourth, we must move to have the U.N. General Assembly impose economic, diplomatic, and travel sanctions upon Israel pursuant to the terms of the Uniting for Peace Resolution (1950), whose Emergency Special Session on Palestine is now in recess.

Fifth, the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine must sue Israel before the International Court of Justice in The Hague for inflicting acts of genocide against the Palestinian People in violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention!

Sixth, An International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI) can be established by the UN General Assembly as a “subsidiary organ” under article 22 of the UN Charter. Article 22 of the UN Charter states the UN General Assembly may establish such subsidiary organs as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions. The purpose of the ICTI would be to investigate and Prosecute suspected Israeli war criminals for offences against the Palestinian people.

On January 4, 2009, Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire wrote to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and Father Miguel D’Escoto President of United Nations General assembly adding her voice to the many calls from International Jurists, Human rights Organizations, and individuals, for the UN General Assembly to seriously consider establishing an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel in view of the ongoing Israeli atrocities against the people of Gaza and Palestine.

Francis A. Boyle is Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois. He was Legal Advisor to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations (1991-93)

Dispute over deadly US Afghan raid

January 24, 2009
Al Jazeera, January 24, 2008

The US-led international force has come under strong
criticism by the Afghan president [AFP]

A claim by US forces in Afghanistan that they killed 15 Taliban fighters in the eastern province of Laghman, has been disputed by village elders.

A US statement said on Saturday that soldiers killed the fighters after coming under fire from opposition fighters.

But the elders say all those who died were civilians.

“The operation in Mehtar Lam District, approximately 60km northeast of Kabul City, targeted a Taliban commander believed to conduct terrorist activities throughout the Kabul, Laghman and Kapisa provinces,” a US military statement said.

“As coalition forces approached the wanted militant’s compound, several groups of armed militants exited their homes and began manoeuvering on the force.”

Nine fighters were killed by small-arms fire and four killed by “precision close-aire support”, the statement said, adding that two other fighters were killed during a subsequent serach of the houses in the compound.

‘Civilians killed’

One of the attackers killed in the initial fight was later identified as female, the US military statement said.

But Hamididan Abdul Rahmzai, head of the provincial council in Laghman, said village elders had told him in the hours after the raid that those killed were civilians.

Rahmzai relayed questions from the Associated Press news agency to the village elders directly, who responded by saying that swear on the Quran that all those killed were innocent.

They said that women and children were among the dead, and told Rahmzai that they have no link to Taliban fighters.

Independent assessment by journalists and human-rights monitors of the competing claims is complicated by the level of danger in the territory to unarmed outsiders.

Competing claims

While Afghan villagers have been accused of inflating civilian death claims to receive more compensation, the US military has in the past been charged with not fully acknowledging the deaths of civilians due to its raids.

In the immediate wake of a battle in August in the village of Azizabad, the US military said no civilians were killed.

Eventually a US investigation found that 33 civilians had been killed in that raid.

The Afghan government and the UN said that 90 civilians died in the incident.

Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, said last week that the US and countries serving in the Nato military alliance are continuing air raids in civilian areas, despite his call for them to stop.

Kabul recently sent Nato headquarters a draft agreement that would give Afghanistan more control over future Nato deployments in the country.

The draft also says that Nato troops should no longer conduct searches of Afghan homes.

The US military is facing a stern challenge in maintaining order in Afghanistan in the face of a resurgent Taliban.

Extra troops

US marines are ready to leave Iraq quickly so that 20,000 soldiers can be sent to Afghanistan, James Conway, Marine Corps commandant, said on Friday.

“The time is right for marines to leave Iraq,” the senior marine officer said.

About 2,200 marines are currently serving in Afghanistan, as part of the 34,000-strong US military contingent there.

In all, US military planners are expected to deploy a total of 30,000 extra troops to the country in the next 12 to 18 months, reflecting the emphasis that Barack Obama, the US president, is putting on the war in Afghanistan.

And while the US prepares to boost its forces, Karzai is coming under international pressure over the efficacy of his leadership.

“They have been holding on to Karzai in the hope of bringing about some semblance of governance in Afghanistan but recently Nato secretary-general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said that the problems in Afghanistan stem from governance rather than from terrorism,” Imtiaz Gul, a political analyst in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, told Al Jazeera.

“If we are to go by what Scheffer says, Karzai’s days are numbered. There are going to be very tough elections in Afghanistan in the next few months.”

Kashmiris seek independence now, not Indian poll!

October 12, 2008

Not by Curfews alone, Mr. Governor!

By Dr Abdul Ruff Colachal | Kashmir Watch, Oct 11, 2008, Part 32

Muslims are being tortured and killed almost everywhere, in conservative countries, autocracies and the so-called democracies.  Anti-Islamic regimes kill them to quench their blood thirst, while the Muslim nations do the same in order to appease the terrorist nations led by the USA which many developing countries vie to gain nuclear contracts. Muslims are being butchered in Kashmir, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere and yet none is capable to raise their serious concern against those waging poisonous tails against Muslims. In anti-Muslim Hindu conservative India, even Muslims are made to be work against their own legitimate interests.

Terrorist India that occupies its neighbor Jammu Kashmir by brutal force has over decades created a terror force to kill Kashmiris and groomed a band of anti-Muslim militant-minded journalists to pursue the state agenda of anti-Muslimism who in the name of combating terrorism only keep the inter-civilization wedge intact  if no t further fueling it. They promote only anti-Islamic opinions in the media under their control and influence abroad especially in developing world, more importantly in Middle East. Indian journalists, thriving on “terrorism” cash, see only terrorism in Indian and Kashmir Muslims in one form or the other. They denounce anything “not pro-India’ and term them as ” anti-India” and terrorize even the non-Muslim journalists who make living on terrorism theme.

India is country of hidden agendas at home and abroad. State terrorism has remained the hallmark of Indian policy. As soon as it clinched the nuclerism with USA, it went further to showcase its power to Jammu Kashmir. Indian leaders, including the military top brass, are yet to admit the fact that terror forces are illegally occupying Jammu Kashmir. India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to stay away from Kashmir issue and let the Kashmiris seek independence all by themselves. It is very particular that Kashmir is kept out of purview of any bilateral talks between them. Will India, then, resolve the issue now and surrender Kashmir for good?

Indian and JK governments have complicated the life of freedom leaders particularly Syed Ali Geelani who is being repeated arrested and mentally tortured. During the recent curfew clamped by Vohra regime in Srinagar has further deteriorated the health of this veteran leader.  The Majlis Shoura of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC-G) has appointed Ghulam Nabi Sumji as acting chairman of the amalgam because of the ill-health of Chairman Shah Geelani, who has been advised to get his pacemaker replaced and is being shifted to Delhi for treatment. The condition of Geelani had deteriorated because of his continuous detention and house arrest. He was admitted to a local hospital on October 5.

Geelani criticized the authorities for imposing curfew in the valley and arresting separatist leaders and asked the people not to heed rumors and foil any attempt by miscreants to harm unity. However, in a message to the people of Kashmir, he stressed the need for unity among all pro liberation groups.

People’s power is indeed great and purposeful. Kashmiris have shown that if people are united and fight for a just cause the rulers would be ruined sooner than later.

Discovered by UK in 19th century, the Amarnath temple structure outside India has all of sudden become a Hindutva symbol of Hindus in India and Jammu region of Kashmir. India and its Hindu representatives in Jammu Kashmir seem to have accorded to the Amarnath the status of NRI. After the destruction of Babri Mosque on the pretext that it was once Hindu structure, the Hindu India has taken up a new agenda in Hinduizing occupied Jammu Kashmir. They were under illusion that what they want to do in India and Jammu Kashmir will have to be accepted by Muslims as the final law. But Muslims Kashmir are totally different form those in India made with completely pro-Hindu mindset, and they don’t want to be a part of terrorist India that has killed over lakh [100,000] Kashmiris so far.

Unlike the slavery minded Muslims in India who even don’t have the capacity to fight for the reconstruction of the Babri Mosque demolished by Indian Hindu terrorists, Kashmiris continue to demand freedom from occupying India. Muzaffarabad March sacrificed a prominent freedom leader among others, but it evoked the inner consciousness of freedom seeking Kashmiris who are overwhelming in Jammu Kashmir.  After protestors thronged the United Nations Military Observer Group’s (UNIMOGIP’S) office in Srinagar demanding the resolution of Kashmir dispute the United Nation Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has formulated plans to pay a visit to India towards the end of this month or early November. Ban has criticized the India terrorism in Kashmir but, as usual, prompted resented by India. UN chiefs visit to India will be closely watched by the pro liberation camp in the Valley. Many pro liberation leaders are planning to seek a rendezvous with the UN chief and plead for his intervention in resolving the six decades old Kashmir sovereignty issue.

Pertinent to mention that freedom leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had during a rally held at TRC grounds on August 18 asked Ban Ki-moon to pay a visit to the Valley and ascertain the facts, besides getting a firsthand account on the uprising in Kashmir. Hopefully, UN chief’s visit to this “democracy’ killing Kashmiris for fun will pave way for freedom of Jammu Kashmir.

Not by Curfew alone!

A high level meeting held in New Delhi discussed the Kashmir situation and unanimously decided to impose curfew in the Valley to scuttle the Lal Chowk March. The security agencies were already directed to erect long iron-made barricades at various entry points including Kokerbazar, Amira Kadal, Jehangir Chowk, Regal Chowk to prevent people from marching towards Lal Chowk. “Massive deployment of troops has already been put in place and Lal Chowk will be made out of bound for the people. Meanwhile, authorities have imposed section 144 in Ganderbal and Baramulla districts of Kashmir to prevent assembling of more than four persons at a place.

The curfew comes in the wake of Lal Chowk Chalo March call given by Coordination Committee, a freedom conglomerate, to press for its demands which include opening of Line of Control roads for trade, release of all detainees and revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act. A number of freedom leaders, including Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yaseen Malik were put under preventive custody. Hardline freedom leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani was shifted to a hospital after he complained of pain in lower abdomen. Among those placed under house arrest were Chairman of moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Jamiat-e-Ahl-e-Hadith chief Maulana Showkat besides senior separatist leaders Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Lone and Sajjad Lone.

A virtual siege was laid around Lal Chowk as a large posse of gun-toting security personnel took up position in and around the area. All entry and exit points in Srinagar city have been sealed. There were some sporadic protests when the paramilitary forces refused to entertain curfew passes. However, the issue was resolved later. The new anti-riot vehicles, procured by the Jammu and Kashmir Police recently, were positioned at strategic locations, especially those which had witnessed violence earlier. Due to indefinite curfew imposed by the authorities in Srinagar and elsewhere in Kashmir and the government’s failure to provide adequate number of curfew passes to our staff, distributors and hawkers, the print editions. Some of the local newspapers failed to hit the stands as publishers decided not to print them accusing the government of not providing enough curfew passes to their staff, a charge denied by the government. A private television channel — Sen TV– was banned for allegedly inciting people to disturb public peace and tranquility.

Indian agents in Jammu Kashmir headed by Governor Vohra are trying all tricks including state terrorism techniques to quell the freedom move in Jammu Kashmir by clamping curfews intermittently adding more harm to the Kashmiris. After creating enough trouble for the Kashmir Muslims the Hindu “brethren” in Jammu region are enjoying life by being agents of New Delhi.

Continued . . .

Iran, Syria and Uncle Sam

October 8, 2008

Dr Abdul Ruff Colachal

Only USA has the right to categorize people and nations according to its imperialist formula. Thousands and thousands of Muslims have been killed so far by the US terror forces in the company of other “democratic” nations of the “secular” West. Declared by the USA, Uncle Sam, as the rogue states or axis of evils, Iran and Syrian have been under the Washington’s close watch. Condemned by Israel, Iran is on its final stage of developing nuclear facility and has declared it would share the technology with all Islamic nations interested in the nuclear technology. USA-led UNSC has slapped three rounds of sanctions and a “final warning” to drop its nuclear ambitions.

The US administration suspects Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon and there are a number of competing views in Washington about what President Bush should do. Some Republican hawks are in favor of taking military action against the Islamic state. Iran denies that it has ambitions to build a nuclear bomb and says its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only. There has been much speculation that the US or Israel may try to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. But why is unnecessarily Washington concerned about Iran?

In this nuclear era, Tehran considers its right to have nuclear facility and other advanced technology and warned the USA against any attempts to deny Iran the benefits of advanced scientific and technological progress. USA and it western allied have been coercing Iran to fall in line and stay away from nuclear weapons. Iran says it will continue enriching uranium, which it says is for civilian purposes only, despite the latest UN resolution calling on it to stop.

As a usual stunt to bully the weak nations that disobey the dictates of the USA, the Bush administration also accuses Syria of sponsoring terrorism, by supporting the Palestinian elected Hamas and Islamic Jihad and letting “Islamic militants” enter Iraq from its territory. It also accuses Syria of backing the Lebanese Shia’s militant group Hezbollah, which fought Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon and is still involved in border conflicts with Israel.

Many political leaders in the 1990s accepted the continued Syrian presence as a necessary counter-weight to the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. Syrian involvement in its neighbor was formalized by two treaties signed in 1991. Once the Israelis withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, pressure grew for the Syrians to pull out. Opinion in Lebanon is divided between those who support Syria ‘s presence in their country and those who do not. However, threat of Israel to Lebanon has been a major issue.

Iran’s pro-Islamic move

Not only Iran had a revolution to revitalize Islamic way of life, it has also made strenuous efforts to reach out to Islamic world, particularly the Arab nations in the “terrorism” era and under threats from the US-led anti-Islamic nations. After the fall of Saddam’s government in Iraq, it is Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad who has been keeping the Islamic torch up against the anti-Islamic looters, challenging in the process the world most important power, though currently under serious economic crisis.

Iran has been making efforts to make up with its Islamic neighbors and chart out an Islamic program for all Muslim nations so that the anti-Islamic block of nations cannot try to invade any of the Muslim nations in future. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board comprises of 35 members elected annually by the body’s highest policy-making body, the General Conference of all member states. Syria and Iran had both been competing for the seat reserved for a Middle Eastern and South Asian country. Iran and Syria have both been accused by some countries of engaging in clandestine nuclear activity.

Recently, Damascus allowed IAEA inspectors to visit the site at al-Kibar in June but has refused any follow-up trips. Iran, also accused by some countries of clandestine nuclear activity, dropped its bid for a seat on the IAEA board, saying it wanted to make way for regional ally Syria to join instead. On Oct 03 Friday, Syria dropped its bid for a place on the IAEA board, leaving the post open to Western-backed Afghanistan. Both had been vying for the same seat on the board, representing the Middle East and South Asia (Mesa) group. The body had been facing a divisive and unprecedented vote on the issue.

Iran was keen to make Syria a member of IEAE, but opposed by Uncle Sam. “The Islamic Republic has officially refrained from pursuing its right to be nominated to the board to pave the way for the membership of Syria,” Tehran has dropped its bid for a seat on the board of the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA. Iran wanted to make way for its regional ally Syria to become a board member instead. Syria has the backing of the Arab League, which makes up a significant proportion of the regional group.

World moves according to US whims and fancies only. Only Russia opposes this nasty global pro-US and pro-imperialist trend. USA got Afghanistan into the IAEA, finally. Earlier, USA made Ban Ki-moon the UN Secretary General. Opposition to Syria’s election – and Iran’s before its withdrawal – is led by the US, which wants the seat to go to its close ally Afghanistan.

Iran and Syria have announced that they have formed a mutual self-defense pact to confront “threats” now facing them. Tension increased after former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who had called for the withdrawal of Syrian troops from the country, was killed in a bomb attack in Beirut on 14 February. Iran is under pressure from the US over its nuclear program, while Syria has come back into sharp focus after the apparent assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. USA and many in the West accuse Syria of involvement in the attack, a charge Damascus denies.

What is Syria’s involvement in Lebanon? The Syrian troop presence in Lebanon dates back to 1976, when it intervened in Lebanon’s civil war to protect the Christian minority against what looked like the imminent victory of radical Palestinians and pan-Arabists. Syria saw that as a threat to its stability.

Syria

US-Israel combine has indeed taken the Iranian whistle quite uncomfortably and of late does not even give out any ultimatum to Iran scrapping its nuclear mission. The US has already imposed a number of sanctions against Syria as well. Last year, it banned US exports to Syria, apart from food and medicine. It also stopped Syrian aircraft from flying to and from the US and froze the assets of Syrians suspected of violating a law designed to “halt Syrian support for terrorism” passed in 2003.

USA has forced the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to probe Syria’s nuclear sites.  Syria has denied the allegations as “ridiculous and the government was “co-operating with the agency in full transparency. IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei said Syria’s co-operation had been “good”, but it needed to show “maximum co-operation” for the agency to draw any conclusions. A Syrian officer reported to have been in charge of facilitating the IAEA probe was killed in unexplained circumstances last summer, further delaying the proceedings.

The IAEA investigation follows US allegations that Damascus was close to completing a nuclear reactor at a secret location, which was bombed by Israel last year. The head of Syria’s nuclear program has said that the country’s military sites will remain off-limits to international nuclear inspectors. Damascus said it would co-operate with IAEA inquiry only if it did not threaten its national security. The watchdog is investigating claims of a secret Syrian nuclear program.

Israel destroyed a nuclear reactor site in an air strike in 2007. Syria denies any nuclear proliferation or hiding any activities from the watchdog. The International Atomic Energy Agency has been investigating Syria over US intelligence allegations that it was building a secret, plutonium-producing reactor. Preliminary inspections by an IAEA team have shown no evidence of the US allegations.

Syria is the power the USA sees behind the scenes in neighboring Lebanon and has some 15,000 troops stationed in the country. The US, supported by the UN Security Council, has for years demanded that those troops be withdrawn. Last year, the Security Council passed resolution 1559, which called for their withdrawal, and concern has been building in Washington over what it sees as Damascus’s foot-dragging in response to the resolution.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has said recently it would be a catastrophe if a peaceful solution could not be found to the Iranian nuclear row. Assad was speaking after a meeting in Damascus with French President Nicolas Sarkozy aimed at improving bilateral ties. The leaders also held discussions on Syria’s relations with Israel.

In the 1980s, there was much animosity between the two rival Baathist leaders, President Hafez al-Assad and Saddam Hussein of Iraq. The US, while not blaming Syria directly for the assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has recalled its ambassador for consultations. This is a common way of displaying diplomatic displeasure. Syria was the only Arab country to support Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. Syria and Iran also both provide support for Hezbollah.

France and Syria

At the beginning of February, President Bush showed support for the negotiations in his State of the Union speech. He also indicated that he would be working for regime change in Iran but not by force. On the other hand, Britain, France and Germany have been leading the international effort to negotiate with Iran.

Of late France has taken interest in resolving the crises in the region, on Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. French President Sarkozy’s two-day visit to Syria – which was formerly ruled by France under a mandate of the League of Nations – is the first by a Western head of state in five years. He hosted Assad in July and he appears determined to bring Syria, a long-time foe of the US and Israel, back into the international fold. Relations between Paris and Damascus had plummeted after the murder of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri in 2005. Syria’s critics accuse Damascus of being behind the assassination.

During the Paris summit, Syria and Lebanon, an important ally of France, agreed to open embassies in each other’s capitals for the first time since the 1940s. In a joint news conference with Sarkozy, Syrian President Assad said that any attack on Iran over its nuclear program would be a catastrophe. He said it was clear there was no trust between Iran and other countries but that Syria would continue to work towards a solution through conversations with both Iran and France. In a newspaper interview earlier, Sarkozy said that Syria could “provide an irreplaceable contribution to solving Middle East issues and it is important that Syria plays a positive role in the region, adding that peace in the Middle East “passes through” Syria and France.

Sarkozy has offered French support for direct peace talks between Israel and Lebanon, when the time was right. Assad said his country was “in the process of building foundations for the peace talks” and would need help from the US and others for direct negotiations to take place. Both parties have talked about a new era in relations but that Sarkozy will be under pressure from his Western allies to show that engagement with Syria can work. And Syria must decide how flexible they can be on the key contentious issues.

The two presidents will be joined by top officials from Turkey and Qatar for talks on Lebanon and Syria’s indirect peace talks with Israel. Ankara has been mediating for several months in the Israeli-Syrian talks, while Qatar brokered a deal in May to resolve Lebanon’s prolonged political crisis.

Meanwhile, Israeli officials have warned that Europe should be “very careful in its relationship with Syria “. Tel Aviv is unhappy over any better understanding among the West and Islamic world. “Except for a slight change in tone, Syrian policies have not changed,” said foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor, criticizing Syria’s connections with the Palestinian movement Hamas and the Lebanese Shia’s “militant” group Hezbollah. On the strength of US support and armament, Israel wants to dictate its own term to Palestinians, Lebanese and other Arabs.

US game of Sunni vs. Shia

USA has been capitalizing the divide between Sunni and Shia. Western experts say the leaders of several Sunni countries in the region are worried about the rising influence of Shiite Iran. The two nations kept their wary relations until the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 made them both nervous. Syria, feeling particularly vulnerable, pushed for a mutual defense pact with Iran that included parts of Lebanon, then under Syrian control.

USA is also keen to split the support from Islamic world for Iran. As if to appease Tehran, Washington has recently given rare approval for a research body to open an office in Iran, although it stressed United States policy had not changed. The American Iranian Council was given a license to establish a presence in Tehran by the US Treasury Department. The US state department, which guides the policy for issuing non-governmental organization (NGO) licenses to places under US sanctions, like Iran, Sudan and Cuba, said the move did not signal any change in policy. Iran also did not see any positive thinking in Washington, either.

Dr Abdul Ruff Colachal has been a university teacher, and has worked in various Indian institutions like JNU, Mysore University, Central Institute of English FL, etc. He is also a political commentator, researcher, and columnist. He has widely published in India and abroad, and has written about state terrorism.

Arab Traitors

September 30, 2008
By Robert ThompsonAxis of Logic, Sep 29, 2008

Our Arab friends have to suffer many sad things, but perhaps the saddest of all is when their suffering is due to the cowardice and treachery of Arab rulers, whose only interest is in staying on their thrones or presidential armchairs. They are willing to force their weaker brethren to bow down before the military might of the clapped-out former super-power, the USA, and to permit the expansion of the Zionist colonisation of the Holy Land and subjection of adjoining lands to the Zionist ‘state’.

It is particularly galling when these traitors are lauded by the Angle-Saxon media as being “moderate”, when we all know that they are among the most repressive régimes in the world. Certain Arab rulers stand out by their refusal to betray those who have every right to expect their help, and we can see the moves made by the presidents of Syria and the Lebanon, despite severe interference by the rulers of the USA, and even by the Emir of Qatar, in contrast with too many other rulers.

The present rulers of the USA continue to pretend that there was a link between the late Saddam Hussein Takriti and al-Qaeda, when they know that this movement was set up, as were the Taliban, by the Mossad/CIA to cause as much damage as possible to the former Soviet empire, without any thought for the future effects on the whole world. The Mossad/CIA, the worst and most powerful terrorist organisation in the world, has as its main aim the total destabilisation of the Arab world. The ordinary taxpayer in the USA is thereby funding those whose aims are certainly not to help said taxpayer.

If the present rulers of the USA really wished to fight terrorism, they would put an immediate end to the Mossad/CIA, and remove the obvious excuses for others to indulge the same bloodthirsty whims by copying this organisation. This is, of course, highly unlikely, since these rulers, like the treacherous Arab rulers, only hold on to power by the use of such means. With such “friends” as the Zionists and their puppets in the USA, these rulers feel safe behind their bodyguards and barriers. But we have to hope that all their respective reigns may end as speedily as possible.

© Copyright 2008 by AxisofLogic.com


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