China warns of ‘serious damage’ if Obama meets Dalai Lama: report

The warning comes after three weeks of increasingly irate exchanges between the US and China over contentious issues including internet censorship, trade and a decision by the Obama administration to sell £4bn of arms to Taiwan.

Although the Chinese government routinely objects to any foreign leaders meeting the exiled Tibetan spirutal leader analysts say the strength of the latest condemnation reflects genuine anger in Beijing at a perceived hardening of US attitudes towards China.

Zhu Weiqun, a vice minister of the united front work department of China’s ruling Communist Party, which steers policy on religious affairs said any meeting would “seriously undermine” the political basis of China-US relations.

“If the U.S. leader chooses this time to meet the Dalai Lama, that would damage trust and co-operation between our two countries, and how would that help the United States surmount the current economic crisis?” added Zhu.

The apparent linking of the economics to the widely expected meeting comes after Beijing took the almost unprecedented step of threatening economic reprisals against US companies participating in the Taiwan arms deal, including the aircraft maker Boeing.

The White House has yet to formally confirm the timing of a meeting with the Dalai Lama who is due in Washington later this month, however officials have made clear that Mr Obama fully intends to meet the Tibetan leader at some point.

A White House spokesman, Mike Hammer, said last month that “the President has made clear to the Chinese government that we intend to meet with the Dalai Lama, it has been his every intention.”

Mr Obama was accused by rights groups of appeasing the Chinese leadership when he failed to take an opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama before his maiden visit to China last November.

Chinese officials are understood to be keen to avoid a meeting before the Chinese President Hu Jintao makes a reciprocal visit to Washington, possibly this April.

The Tibet issue has always been highly sensitive for the Chinese government, but became more so after widespread riots in 2008 seriously shook the party leadership’s confidence in its control over the Himalayan region.

Beijing regards the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Laureate, as a “dangerous separatist” intent on regaining independence for Tibet which he fled in 1959 after a failed uprising, setting up a government-in-exile in the Indian hill station of Dharamsala.

The Dalai Lama, whose profile on the world stage infuriates Beijing, says he wants “meaningful autonomy” for the region, however the latest round of talks between his representatives and Chinese officials ended last week with both sides “sharply divided” according to the Chinese side.

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Another U.S. War? Obama Threatens China and Iran

The possibility of yet another U.S. war became more real last week, when the Obama administration sharply confronted both China and Iran.  The first aggressive act was performed by Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who “warned” China that it must support serious economic sanctions against Iran (an act of war).

Clinton said: “China will be under a lot of pressure to recognize the destabilizing effect that a nuclear-armed Iran would have, from which they receive a significant percentage of their oil supply.”

The implication here is that China will be cut off from a major energy source if they do not support U.S. foreign policy — this, too, would equal an act of war.

A more direct military provocation occurred later when Obama agreed to honor a Bush-era military pact with Taiwan, a small island that lies off the mainland coast of China, and is claimed by China as its own territory. Taiwan has been a U.S. client state ever since the defeated nationalist forces fled there from China in the aftermath of the 1949 revolution. Taiwan has remained a bastion of U.S. intrigue and anti-China agitation for the past six decades.  Obama has recently upped the ante by approving a $6.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan, including:

“… 60 Black Hawk helicopters, Patriot interceptor missiles, advanced Harpoon missiles that can be used against land or ship targets and two refurbished minesweepers.”  (The New York Times, January 30, 2010).

The same article quotes a Chinese government official who responded, accurately, by calling the arms sale “… a gross intervention into China’s internal affairs, [and] seriously endanger[ing] China’s national security…”   In 1962, When Russia supplied missiles to Cuba, near Florida’s coast, the U.S. interpreted this to be an act of war.

China responded harshly to the Taiwan arms deals, imposing “an unusually broad series of retaliatory measures… including sanctions against American companies that supply the weapon systems for the arms sales.”  These U.S. arms manufacturers are giant corporations who have huge political influence in the Obama administration, and are likely to further push the U.S. government towards an even more aggressive response.

Obama’s polices against China have been far more aggressive than Bush’s, making a farce out of his campaign promises of a more peaceful foreign policy. Obama’s same, deceitful approach is used in South America, where he promised “non-intervention” and then proceeded to build military bases in Colombia on Venezuela’s border, while giving a green light to the coup in Honduras.

Hillary Clinton also threatened China about internet censorship last week, while Obama consciously provoked China by agreeing to talks with the Dalai Lama, who advocates the removal of Chinese influence from Tibet.

Still fresh in the memories of both the U.S. and China is the recent trade flair up, when Obama imposed taxes on Chinese imports; and China responded with protectionist measures against U.S. companies, which brings us to the heart of the matter.

The attitude of the U.S. government towards China has nothing to do with the Dalai Lama, internet censorship, or human rights.  These excuses are used as diplomatic jabs in the framework of a larger, geopolitical brawl. Chinese corporations are expanding rapidly in the wake of the decline of the U.S. business class, and Obama is using a variety of measures to counteract this dynamic, with all roads leading to war.

This grand chessboard of corporate and military maneuvering reached a dangerous standoff yesterday, with the U.S. military provoking Iran. The New York Times explains:

“The Obama administration is accelerating the deployment of new defenses against possible Iranian missile attacks in the Persian Gulf, placing special ships [war ships] off the Iranian coast and antimissile systems in at least four [surrounding] Arab countries, according to administration and military officials.” (January 30, 2010).

The same article mentions that U.S. General  Petraeus admitted that “… the United States was now keeping Aegis cruisers on patrol in the Persian Gulf  [Iran’s border] at all times. Those cruisers are equipped with advanced radar and antimissile systems designed to intercept medium-range missiles.”  Iran knows full well that “antimissile systems” are perfectly capable of going on the offensive — their real purpose.

Iran is completely surrounded by countries occupied by the U.S. military, whether it be the mass occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the U.S. puppet states that house U.S. military bases in Arab nations.  Contrary to the statements of President Obama, Iran is already well contained militarily.  Iran’s government — however repressive it may be — has every right to defend itself in this context.

It is possible that these aggressive U.S. actions will eventually force Iran’s government to act out militarily, giving the U.S. military the “defensive” excuse it’s been waiting for, so the tempers of the U.S. population can be cooled.

A separate New York Times editorial outlines the basic agreement on Iran shared by the Democrats and the Republicans.  It says:

“It is time for President Obama and other leaders to ratchet up the pressure with tougher sanctions.”

And:

“If the [UN] Security Council does not act quickly, then the United States and Europe must apply more pressure on their own [Bush’s Iraq war strategy]. The Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would punish companies for exporting gasoline to Iran or helping Iran expand its own petroleum refining capability [another act of war]” (January 29, 2010).

The U.S. anti-war movement must organize and mobilize to confront the plans of the Obama administration.  Obama’s policies not only mirror Bush’s, but have the potential to be far more devastating, with the real possibility of creating a wider, regional war.  Iran and China are far more militarily capable than puny Afghanistan or Iraq; the consequences of a war with either will cause countless more deaths.

Bring All the Troops Home!

U.S. Military Out of the Middle East! (by Shamus Cooke: Global Research)

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Obama Administration Orders World Bank To Keep Third World In Poverty

Paul Joseph Watson | Under the provably fraudulent and completely corrupted justification of fighting global warming, the Obama administration has ordered the World Bank to keep “developing” countries underdeveloped by blocking them from building coal-fired power plants, ensuring that poorer countries remain in poverty as a result of energy demands not being met.

Even amidst the explosive revelations of the United Nations IPCC issuing reports on the Himalayan Glaciers and the Amazon rainforest littered with incorrect data, the U.S. government has “Stepped up pressure on the World Bank not to fund coal-fired power plants in developing countries,” reports the Times of India.

The order was made by U.S. Executive Director of the World Bank Whitney Debevoise, who represents the United States in considering all loans, investments, country assistance strategies, budgets, audits and business plans of the World Bank Group entities.

By preventing poor nations from becoming self-sufficient in blocking them from producing their own energy, the Obama administration is ensuring that millions more will die from starvation and lack of access to hospitals and medical treatment.

Not only does strangling the energy supply to poorer countries prevent adequate food distribution and lead to more starvation, but hospitals and health clinics in the third world are barely even able to operate as a result of the World Bank and other global bodies ordering them to be dependent on renewable energy supplies that are totally insufficient.

A prime example appeared in the documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, which highlighted how a Kenyan health clinic could not operate a medical refrigerator as well as the lights at the same time because the facility was restricted to just two solar panels.

“There’s somebody keen to kill the African dream. And the African dream is to develop,” said author and economist James Shikwati. “I don’t see how a solar panel is going to power a steel industry … We are being told, ‘Don’t touch your resources. Don’t touch your oil. Don’t touch your coal.’ That is suicide.”

The program labels the idea of restricting the world’s poorest people to alternative energy sources as “the most morally repugnant aspect of the global warming campaign.”

As we have previously highlighted, the implementation of policies arising out of fraudulent fearmongering and biased studies on global warming is already devastating the third world, with a doubling in food prices causing mass starvation and death.

Poor people around the world, “Are being killed in large numbers by starvation as a result of (climate change) policy,” climate skeptic Lord Monckton told the Alex Jones Show last month, due to huge areas of agricultural land being turned over to the growth of biofuels.

“Take Haiti where they live on mud pie with real mud costing 3 cents each….that’s what they’re living or rather what they’re dying on,” said Monckton, relating how when he gave a speech on this subject, a lady in the front row burst into tears and told him, “I’ve just come back from Haiti – now because of the doubling in world food prices, they can’t even afford the price of a mud pie and they’re dying of starvation all over the place.”

As a National Geographic Report confirmed, “With food prices rising, Haiti’s poorest can’t afford even a daily plate of rice, and some must take desperate measures to fill their bellies,” by “eating mud,” partly as a consequence of “increasing global demand for biofuels.”

In April 2008, World Bank President Robert Zoellick admitted that biofuels were a “significant contributor” to soaring food prices that have led to riots in countries such as Haiti, Egypt, the Philippines, and even Italy.

“We estimate that a doubling of food prices over the last three years could potentially push 100 million people in low-income countries deeper into poverty,” he stated.

Even if we are to accept that fact that overpopulation will be a continuing problem in the third world, the very means by which poorer countries would naturally lower their birth rates, by being allowed to develop their infrastructure, is being blocked by global institutions who craft policies designed to keep the third world in squalor and poverty.

This goes to the very heart of what the real agenda behind the global warming movement really is – a Malthusian drive to keep the slaves oppressed and prevent the most desperate people on the planet from pulling themselves out of destitution and despair.

Welcome to the Stone Age

Samson Simon Sharaf | Did Richard Armitage make an understatement when he threatened to pulp Pakistan to Stone Age? And in reaction, had Pakistani policy makers averted a conflict through unstinted support and secure ultimate national interests? As I have repeatedly asserted, the public through media is merely exposed to a very small fraction of the reality eclipsed with subtle propaganda. The unknown is of grave concern. Eight years hence, after all that has happened, Pakistan’s security perspectives have only deepened.

The ‘shock and awe’ phase of the invasion of Afghanistan witnessed the worse use of violence for global domination. In deciding the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan (Afpak), the Capitol Hill strategists chose to ignore a basic lesson of the American Civil War in which the North despite a ragtag army defeated the more sophisticated South; any use of violence related to hate and revenge will ultimately fail. ISAF, USA and the Afghan Combine, unlike Pakistan have ceded more and more ground to the Afghan resistance. The third surge seems to be lea-ding nowhere and prospects of an imminent US withdrawal look dimmer by the day. The question arises, then why Afghanistan?

In a conflict not of our choosing, but in many ways of our own making, landmarks crucial to a winning national strategy are elusive. Following military operations, Pakistan holds more ground in troubled areas. However, in a counter insurgency operation, ground is not always the most vital. In a conflict lacking manoeuvres and firepower, the insurgent has the option to melt away and float in the milieu like fish in water. The method, time and target to strike are always flexible, invariably punctuated with surprise. In contrast, the security mechanism remains stretched to limits, predictable and static. Devoid of any noteworthy economic and moral support, for how long will the country be able to sustain an ongoing asymmetrical conflict that is now costing more than all the wars in the past combined?

The effects of the Afghan conflict on Pakistan are damaging on all counts. The malaise is like a squamous with tentacles spread to every sinew of our society. The military to some extent may succeed in dominating the geographical and cyber space, but what of the individuals whose mind cannot be reached and tamed and who have the capacity to proliferate? They inevitably matter in a society fractured by poor economic conditions, sectarianism, crime and population explosion. Seen in the context of the ongoing political controversies, economic recession and fault lines within the society, it will take a very long and herculean efforts to restore normalcy. Given the obtaining environments, conditions are most likely to worsen before we could hope for a turn for the positive. What happens during the interim and how, we as a nation contend is the concern of every Pakistani. Tragically, a national policy to win hearts and minds in general and at the grassroots in particular is conspicuously missing. For how long can we play the flute while Pakistan burns?

Barring military operations daringly led by young officers, all other indicators of a national well being have gradually plummeted. Unplanned urbanisation in mega cities is rapidly morphing into bigger pockets of poverty providing breeding grounds for minimalist agendas. Wheat, sugar, rice, cotton, fertilizer, pesticide, cement and communication cartels are on an unchecked loose. Value added exports are being manipulated to dwindle in face of raw exports, pricing issues, time delays, energy shortages, transportation costs and high interest rates. Agricultural products like cane, cotton, wheat and paddy have virtually suffocated through pricing mechanisms, water shortages and energy inputs. Two years of bumper crops are now hampered by lack of winter monsoons and extremely low water particularly in the river systems. The GDP other than the incidental 1.1 is virtually at a halt. Barring the import bill, Pakistan’s economic downturn does not appear to be affected by the global recession. The question arises that despite positive home grown indicators, why Pakistan’s economy is being allowed to slide into shortages, hyperinflation and dependency?

Just like the insurgents need a cause and outside support to sustain themselves, counties fighting them also need a powerhouse to defeat them. Even the best military plans are doomed to fail in the absence of an all encompassing national strategy. So far the entire might of ISAF and USA with full international support and massive resources has only resulted in ceding more areas to Taliban. In contrast, Pakistan despite economic constraints, manipulative political economy and practically non-existent international assistance/support has cleared area after area. In terms of success ratios to economics, the results have been at a fraction of what ISAF and USA spend in Afghanistan. Yet the unending chants of ‘do more’ grows vociferous and threatening by the day. India has been showered far more praises in this WOT than Pakistan that has done the donkey’s work and remains a donkey.

Gratitude to Pakistan in this disowned conflict usually makes headlines in form of leaks by the American and British media reflecting an uneasiness with Pakistan’s nuclear capability and complicity with terrorism. This propaganda is followed by statements of US and UK officials synchronised with threatening statements and posturing from India and their military establishment. With the Baghliar Dam in operation and numerous ‘run of the river’ power generating units on rivers leading to Pakistan in place, India manipulates water flow at will.

What has the government done to formulate a cohesive national policy?

Rather than venture on an all-encompassing national austerity programme, boost domestic growth particularly in the agrarian sector, facilitate value addition of exports and initiate rehabilitation plans for young men exposed to militancy, the government seems to adopt and pursue policies to the contrary. International financial institutions with their unfriendly conditions are back. Price structuring is grossly manipulative and exports discouraged. At the same time the government is involved in serious political differences with its allies, military establishment and the judiciary. Rather than channelise all efforts into the conflict and nation building, resources are being wasted on issues not of immediate significance. It appears that Pakistan’s policy makers have willingly chosen to recluse the nation to backwardness. President’s recent tirades are unequivocal in that ‘if we go, everything goes with us’. This is indeed a very poor reflection of a country and its leadership at war.

Least metaphorically, lanterns and candles are back but expensive. Earthen oil lamps have replaced energy savers and petromax. Raw brown sugar is now a household substitute. In rural areas, donkey carts and bullocks are becoming the preferred mode of transport. A generation bred on consumerism and leasing is rushing to cycle shops.

Being loyal that we are, we will do it ourselves and save USA the bother. Welcome to the Stone Age!

Chaotic Kabul

Afghan security forces gather at the scene of attack in central Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Taliban militants struck the heart of the Afghan government in Kabul on Monday, prompting fierce gunbattles after a suicide bomber blew himself up near the presidential palace. (Ahmad Massoud/AP Photo)

It is quite obvious from yesterday’s incidents that the huge US-led ISAF force of over 100,000, has failed even to secure the Afghan Capital Kabul against attacks from the resistance. All they have done during the past eight years or so in the country is to cause widespread havoc, kill people by the tens of thousands, lay waste vast tracts of land and pulverise mountains.

Characteristic of guerrilla tactics, fighters of the Afghan resistance suddenly emerged from nowhere to strike at principal official buildings in Kabul on Monday, after they had reportedly quietly slipped into the Capital. There were explosions near the southern gate of the Presidency and a huge pall of smoke circled overhead. Smoke was also seen near the Central Bank and the Justice and Finance Ministries, and Kabul’s only four-star hotel Serena and two shopping centres were on fire. There were chaotic scenes, as the people ran away from the directions from where the noises of exploding rockets and grenades and gunshots were being heard. NATO and international forces, working with the Afghan security, were busy trying to secure the area, as the Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid warned that as many as 20 of his men were engaged in the fighting that, latest reports suggest, has left 10 dead and many more injured. Officials maintain that among the dead are four suicide bombers.

To be exact, the resistance fighters did not have to come from anywhere; they are the ordinary Afghan citizens, who are determined to drive out the occupation forces, and might as well be living in the city. To cloud this reality, however, they are called Taliban – terrorists in the US and allies’ terminology.

And if the world had thought that the freezing winter of the country would dampen their fighting spirit, it was badly mistaken. In fact, by the time summer sets in, the 37,000-odd US and NATO surge that would most probably be in place by then to augment the strength, would find a revitalised resistance ready to face the new challenge.

The solution clearly is not the surge but withdrawal without further delay. The resentment caused by the presence of foreign forces in the country has been swelling the ranks of resistance fighters. One hopes that the Americans intend living up to their declarations, as repeated by Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke, that negotiations should be held with the Taliban. They must acknowledge the fact that there is little distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban when it comes to the urge for independence. The only right course for them is to leave Afghanistan and let the people work out a system of governance that reflects the country’s ethnic mix and suits them best, and for Pakistan to stop fighting its own people and settle differences through negotiations.(The Nation)

U.S. Mourns the Loss of Lebanon

It is only a few years ago that Rafiq el Hariri was assassinated and barely a few hours after his assassination the US and Zionist controlled media were already blaming Syria.  The pro-Syrian government in Lebanon resigned.   The US’ fueled and financed “Cedar’s ‘revolution’ ” took place while world media covered it from every angle and played its complicit political role.

The majority of the Lebanese fell for the American/Zionist trap and the UN was quick to pass resolution 1559 to “free” Lebanon from Syria… but not from occupying Israeli forces of course.  The Syrian army left while Israeli agents spread like bushfire into Lebanon in order to prepare for the US/Israeli engineered war of 2006 aimed at getting rid of Hezbollah.  Surprise however… the resistance stood its ground against the mighty Israeli army and against years of covert operations and attempts to incite sectarian strife inside Lebanon along with massive media campaigns designed to discredit and weaken Hezbollah and Lebanon itself.

Today… the “Cedars revolution” has become a bad memory of the past…  while the pillars of the March 14 Forces have shifted position and have aligned with Hezbollah, the Lebanese opposition,  Syria… and Iran.  Today, the US mourns the loss of Lebanon and stands more isolated than it already was in the Middle East.  Of course… there is always Israel to console the Unites States with another war or another conflict somewhere… sometime..

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Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad el Hariri, in Turkey:

“Defending Lebanon is not an act of terrorism, but attacks on Lebanon are terrorism itself… Israel is an enemy of Lebanon… We have to stand shoulder by shoulder against the enemy’s plans… We have to stop Israel”

Lebanese MP, Walid Jumblatt (Druze Party Leader) met with MP Michel Aoun (Free Patriotic Movement Leader) in Rabie on Monday, stating:

“Enough is enough. My meeting with Aoun brings the reconciliation process to an end,”

In a joint press conference, Jumblatt told reporters from Aoun’s residence Rabieh.

“The meeting was not directed against anyone … It is in the interest of the country and the nation and national unity.”


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Hariri from Turkey: Defending Lebanon is Not Terrorism

PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey and PM Saad ed Deen Rafiq al-Hariri, Lebanon meet in Turkey

Naharnet – Turkey and Lebanon signed Monday a number of cooperation agreements including an accord on visa-free travel between the two countries and other deals envisaging cooperation in the military, agriculture and transport realms.

The signing ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan, at a joint press conference with Hariri, assured support for Lebanon at all levels.

“We are continuing to put pressure on Israel to implement international resolutions and I have asked Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to visit Lebanon,” Erdogan said.

He slammed the Israeli overflights as “unacceptable action that threatens global peace.”  Erdogan said Turkey would supply natural gas and electricity to help meet Lebanon’s energy needs and that the two countries planned a ferry service between their Mediterranean coasts.

Hariri, for his part, said: “We are not advocates of war, but advocates of the return of our stolen land.”

“Defending Lebanon is not an act of terrorism, but attacks on Lebanon are terrorism itself… We have to stand shoulder by shoulder against the enemy’s plans… We have to stop Israel,” said Hariri answering a question.

Hariri hailed Turkey’s improving ties with Arab countries and increased activism in peace efforts in the Middle East.

“We hope and expect Turkey to continue playing a positive role in trying to bring peace,” he said.

Later Monday, Hariri and the accompanying delegation visited the Turkish parliament in the afternoon.

The premier crowned his talks by an evening meeting with the Turkish President Abdullah Gul in presence of Lebanese Ministers Ali al-Shami, Ziad Baroud, Jerban Bassil, Mohammed Jawad Khalifeh, Mohammed Rahhal, Salim Wardeh, and a number of top Turkish officials.(Naharnet-AFP)


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Now consider the following article published in the Washington Post on January 11. The U.S. and the WP still cannot swallow what happened to them in Lebanon… and still wonder “if the momentum of the Cedar’s ‘Revolution’ has been lost”!!  Read below as the the Washington Post speaks of pro-US camps winning the elections… conveniently ignoring the popular vote and the facts on the ground…


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Hariri’s struggles in Lebanon show limits of U.S. influence
By Howard Schneider Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, January 11, 2010


BEIRUT — The victory by a pro-U.S. faction in last June’s parliamentary election has given way to a situation in which Hezbollah will keep its large arms stockpile and a veto over major government decisions, while efforts are underway to repair relations with neighboring Syria.

The compromises made by new Prime Minister Saad Hariri as he assembled a governing coalition are seen by supporters as unavoidable in a country in which complex internal politics and the influence of outside powers can make governing difficult. But they also show the practical limits of the Obama administration’s overture to the Islamic world.

The June election victory by Hariri’s coalition came just after Obama delivered a major speech from Cairo and just before violent street demonstrations rattled the government in Iran, considered an important influence in Lebanon because of its support for Hezbollah. Some Obama advisers went so far as to attribute Hariri’s success to the mood of reform the president had brought to the region.

But victory at the polls did not translate so smoothly on the ground. Hariri spent six months trying to form a government, and could do so only after accepting key Hezbollah demands and giving up on a main aim of his coalition: to curb the Islamist group’s influence.

He also agreed to visit Damascus and meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad, a difficult symbolic step because of Syria’s suspected involvement in the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father, former prime minister Rafiq Hariri. A United Nations tribunal is still investigating the killing. It is one of a number of political assassinations that led to a U.N. resolution and other outside pressure, prompting Syria to end its longstanding military presence in Lebanon.

“We won the election, but it looks like we lost,” said Marwan Hamadeh, a member of parliament and supporter of the “Cedar Revolution,” which has aimed to curb the influence of both Syria and Iran in the country at a time when other power brokers, especially the United States, want to talk with both nations. “There has been a lot of realism and a lot of frustration. The Cedar Revolution forces were convinced: Why look for a fight when everyone is trying to negotiate with Iran and Syria?”

The shape of Hariri’s coalition is not seen by U.S. officials as a major setback; they view it instead as far preferable to a coalition dominated by Hezbollah and its allies. Hezbollah maintains a militia that it justifies as necessary for potential conflict with Israel, despite a U.N. resolution ordering the group to disarm. The United States regards Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The group’s opponents in Lebanon argue that its arms stockpile puts the country at risk of another war, such as the one in 2006 in which Israel maintained that all of Lebanon would be held accountable for Hezbollah’s actions.

U.S. military and economic aid to Lebanon is continuing, largely to strengthen the Lebanese armed forces and other state institutions and undermine Hezbollah’s argument that the country can’t defend itself. The United States has contributed about $400 million to Lebanon’s military since 2006, a level expected to continue in the form of supplies that range from armored personnel carriers to new boots.

“It’s glass half empty, glass half full,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said as he toured the country last week. “Does Hariri’s visit to Damascus mean you have to beg for Damascus’s dispensation, or does it mean that Bashar wants a new relationship? It remains to be seen.”

It is a question central to the discussion here and connected to U.S. efforts to turn Syria away from Iran, derail Iran’s nuclear program, and limit Iran’s influence through proxies like Hezbollah here and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Hariri’s visit to Damascus, according to his supporters and others, was brokered by Saudi Arabia, which has been taking its own steps to repair relations with Assad. What’s less clear — and under debate here — is whether the Saudis were hoping to weaken Syria’s long-standing alliance with Iran by making amends or were hedging against the possibility that Obama will fail in his efforts to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons technology.  The White House has its own policy of engagement with Syria, though progress has been fitful. The expected return of a U.S. ambassador to Damascus has not occurred, and there is still U.S. dissatisfaction with Syrian efforts to control its border and halt the flow of insurgents into Iraq.

Hariri’s meeting with Assad did produce some concessions, including an expectation that the countries will work more closely on defining borders and other issues that are considered a source of instability inside Lebanon and between Lebanon and Israel.

Diplomats and analysts also regarded Assad’s willingness over the past year to exchange ambassadors with Lebanon as an important acknowledgment of Lebanon’s sovereignty.

But there is still worry here that the momentum of the Cedar Revolution has been lost, and skepticism that U.S. efforts to engage Syria and Iran will change the behavior of either. The shape of the new government has only added to those concerns.

“Everybody is waiting to see if the Syrians will deliver, and if the Iranians win or lose their battle” both internally and with the United States, said Ghattas Khoury, a former member of parliament who is close to Hariri. “I think everyone reached the conclusion that these were not things you can do much about.”(Washington Post)


Cherifa Sirry (Axis of Logic)

False flag operation & subterfuge

False flag operations are covert operations by the states and agencies designed to deceive the public at large. In 1970, Italy’s ultra-right used such methods to conduct operations against the leftists. During Algerian civil war and struggle for independence, French government had resorted to similar tactics to crush the freedom movement. Some investigating journalists and organizations had also described 9/11 attacks as false flag operation conducted by the CIA, Mossad and the RAW to take on the Muslim world. In ‘Online Journal’, Wayne Madsen quoting WMR’s intelligence sources wrote: “The Christmas Day attempt by Farouk Abdulmuttalab, the son of a prominent Nigerian banker and business tycoon connected closely to top Nigerian leaders to detonate a chemical improvised explosive device aboard Delta Airlines flight 253 from Amsterdam Schiphol to Detroit, was a false flag operation carried out by the intelligence tripartite grouping of the CIA, Mossad, and India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)”.


Israel is known for such operations, as it had deliberately attacked USS Liberty with unmarked fighters and torpedo boats causing 174 American casualties in an attempt to blame Egypt and garner American support during 1967 war. It had tricked America into bombing other nations such as in the attack on Libya in 1986. One could go on and on about Israel’s treachery. According to quite a few analysts, 9/11 eleven was also a ‘false flag operation’ carried out immaculately to incite and provoke America and the West to take on the Muslim world. Apart from America’s desire to continue controlling the world resources and dominating the world, the second most important reason for turmoil, conflicts and death and destruction in most countries in the world is Israel, which was created through the intrigue of the British at the end of the First World War. After 9/11, former US president Bush had asked the question why people throughout the world hate America, though it is so obvious that it is due to America’s unconditional to support to Israel.



Reportedly, once again the CIA and Mossad are jointly planned false flag operation to expand operations against Yemen, as US President Barack Obama had vowed that the United States would not rest until all those responsible for a failed bomb attack on a US-bound plane are brought to justice.


He went on to say that America would follow those terrorists whether they are from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen or elsewhere. In his first public comment since the failed Christmas Day attack, Obama said he had ordered reviews of the US watch-list system and airport screening procedures. “This was a serious reminder of the dangers that we face and the nature of those who threaten our homeland. Had the suspect succeeded in bringing down that plane it could have killed nearly 300 passengers and crew, innocent civilians preparing to celebrate the holidays with their families and friends,” he added. There are many questions such as the CIA did not tell the FBI about Farouk Abdulmuttalab. Secondly, the State Department had received the report about the meeting with his father but it did not revoke his visa.


It appears that the neocons in Obama administration also wanted to create fear and anger in American public so that they can extend the war on terror to Yemen and other parts of the Arab world. And it is in this backdrop that the drama of the failed terrorist attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab on the Detroit-bound plane was stage-managed.


Two passengers, Haskell and his wife, told CBS News that they witnessed a well-dressed Indian man arrange for Muttalab to board Delta 253 without a passport at the check-in desk at Schiphol. According to WMR “the Indian man is suspected by Asian intelligence services of being a RAW agent who used his influence to convince airline and airport security personnel that Umar Farouk Muttalab was a bona fide Sudanese refugee. Reportedly, the security company that cleared Umar Farouk in Schiphol is ICTS, a firm whose headquarters are in Israel and Amstelveen, Netherlands. In December 2001, the firm had also cleared attempted shoe bomber Richard Reid for a Miami-bound American Airlines flight from Paris.


On November 19, Abdulmuttalab had visited the US embassy in Nigeria and met with the CIA Station Chief at the US embassy in Abuja, He told the CIA official that his son has gone missing and may be hanging around with Yemeni-based extremists, adding he was concerned about the radicalization of his son who posed a significant security risk. But it seems that the official did not take the lead seriously. According to the Newswweek story John Brennan the president’s chief counterterrorism advisor received an alarming briefing at the White House from Muhammad bin Nayef, his Saudi counterpart. Nayef had just survived an assassination attempt by an Al Qaeda operative using a novel method ie the operative: operative had flown in from the border region with a bomb hidden in his underwear”. The question arises as to how Umar Farouk’s got away with chemicals/explosives in his underwear? In response to the elder Abdulmuttalab’s warning, the US embassy in Abuja sent a message to the State Department and NCTC on November 20. However, Muttalab’s name was not added to the no-fly list. Why?


Millions in the Muslim world blamed the attacks on Lebanon, on Libya, on Iran, on Afghanistan and on Iraq as a direct result of Israel’s control over America. Apart from its continuous reign of terror in Gaza Strip, Israel attacked Lebanon on the pretext that it had kidnapped two soldiers, though abduction of Lebanese and Palestinians was a matter of routine for Israel. There had been worldwide condemnation of Israel’s air strike on a shelter for displaced people in Qana that killed 65 civilians including 37 children, which had fuelled world pressure for a ceasefire in Israel’s war in Lebanon against Hezbollah guerillas.


As the steel was callously tearing into the hearts of the Lebanese children and civilians, people throughout the world were wondering that how human beings could descend to such depravity? Anyhow, the projection of the Israeli military might in Lebanon was described by many an analyst as demonstration of a baser bellicosity of an inebriated state that drew its strength from the world’s sole super power.

–Mohammad Jamil

How US, UK lost Iraq, Afghan war?

Wars are planned, financed and fought by governments, not by groups or ordinary people. Wars are based on political agendas and they long for complete control over resources, people and territory. Most wars would have multiple reasons, domestic, foreign and global outreach. The American-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are fought to maintain US domination worldwide, to occupy the untapped natural resources of the Middle East, in particular oil and gas, and to protect the value of American dollar as a stable international reserve currency. In September 2000, the proactive policy paper written by the neoconservative intellectuals to envision the “Project for the New American Century” (PNAC): sets the milestone, seeking American domination over the rest of the world powers and to meet its energy needs, plans to occupy by force all the oil resources in the Arab Middle East. The blueprint supports military occupation of the oil-exporting Arab countries and regime change where it is necessary – to fulfill the PNAC policy aims of global domination. Centuries ago, German historian Carl Von Clausewitz wrote On War: “War is not merely a political act but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means.” The wars are declared by few and not the majority masses. The small ruling elite who plans and wages war is often afraid of citizenry reaction and refusal to accept the rationality of a war. Throughout history, European nationalism institutionalized the doctrine of war as a necessity to promote national interest and racial superiority over “the other” by using war as a means to that end. Most proponents of wars have used “fear” as one of the major instruments of propaganda and manipulation to perpetuate allegiance from the ordinary folks to the elite warmongers in a crisis situation. Sheldon Richman (“War is Government Program” ICS, 05/2007), notes that “war is more dangerous than other government programs and not just for the obvious reason – mass murder….war is useful in keeping the population in a state of fear and therefore trustful of their rulers.”



Ordinary citizens do not have passion for war as it disturbs their safety and security, and destroys the living habitats. The ruling elite, the actual warmongers, force people to think in extreme terms of hatred and rejection of others so that people would be forced to align with the rulers to support and finance the war efforts. Sheldon Richman describes how Herman Goering, Hitler’s second in command, understood the discourse of war making: “Of course the people don’t want war but after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether, it’s a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a parliament or a Communist dictatorship.” (Sheldon Richman, “War is Government Program”)


Paul Craig Roberts (“The Collapse of America Power”: ICS, 03/2008), attempts to explain how the British Empire had collapsed once its financial assets were depleted because of the 2nd World War debts. Correlli Barnett (The Collapse of British Power, 1972) states that at the beginning of the WW2, Britain had limited gold and foreign exchange to meet the pressing demands of the war. The British Government asked the U.S. to help finance their ability to sustain the war. Thus, ‘this dependency signaled the end of British power.’ For its draconian wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, America is heavily dependent on China, Japan and Saudi Arabia. It is well known that American treasury owes trillions of dollars to its foreign debtors and therefore, its financial dependency is increasingly becoming an obvious indicator of the end of American global hegemony and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now that the US financial system has broken down and some of the leading banking institutions have gone into bankruptcy, the roller coaster repercussions can be seen across the American economic, social and political spectrum of life. Under the Bush administration, American capability and vitality has shrunk and in fact appears to be dismantled as a superpower in global affairs. It is no wonder that other nations of world no longer seem to take the U.S. and its traditional influence, seriously.

In the collapse of American power, Paul Craig Roberts stated: “Noam Chomsky recently wrote that America thinks that it owns the world. That is definitely the view of the neoconized Bush administration. But the fact of the matter is that the US owes the world. The US “superpower” cannot even finance its own domestic operations, much less its gratuitous wars except via the kindness of foreigners to lend it money that cannot be repaid. It is undeniable that the US is “bankrupt” because of the on-going wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. David M. Walker Comptroller General of the US and Head of the Government Accountability Office (December 2007). reported that “In everyday language, the US Government cannot pass an audit.”


Did the US hegemonic war achieve any of its set goals for world domination? Have the US and UK Governments secured any viable hydrocarbon energy routes to ensure their depleting gas and oil stocks and the much planned control over the Arab oil reserves? Is the US dollar still a welcomed international currency used by the world nations?


Mike Whitney quotes the retired U.S. Army General Ricardo Sanchez challenging the prevailing notion of the Bush Administration “Mission accomplished” in Iraq, when he asserted that the occupation of Iraq is a “nightmare with no end in sight.” The General claimed that the US administration is “incompetent” and “corrupt” and that the most American people could hope for under the present circumstances is to “stave off defeat” in Iraq war.


America and Britain appear lost, not knowing how to come out of the self-engineered defeat in wars against Islam. Both superpowers are led by ignorant and arrogant elite not having any knowledge to fight the wars except thinking big and jumping here and there to demonstrate their material possessions and transitory power. They even do not know the enemy and do not have one, well defined in their plans to fight against. Masses have sympathi
es with the true believers and the Islamic Resistance appears to have lost nothing. Taliban or other mujahideen fighting against the aggressors know their enemies and enjoin support of the masses without bribes and bank balances. They had no banks to declare bankruptcy and no Bush and C heney to go down in disgrace. The Mujahideen remain intact and active on all the fronts even buying weapons from the US and Russia to fight against them. American, British and Russian business establishments know well how to trade in global arms market. America and Britain lost the wars , the day they invaded Iraq and Afghanistan.


As a declining superpower, the US is extremely nervous not knowing how soon it could be replaced by smaller nations of the developing world or a combination of new emerging economic powers such as China, India and others. America is in desperate need of a Navigational Change. President Obama got elected with the moving slogan – “Yes We Can.” Would President Obama know how to make a navigational change when there is nothing left to navigate for Change?

—Dr Mahboob A Khawaja

Obama’s UNSC nuclear agenda

The UN Security Council is to meet on September 24 in a session to be chaired by President Obama. The focus will be on arms control and disarmament, specifically within the nuclear context. The Obama Administration has already put forward a draft for a UNSC resolution on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Disarmament. Ironically, the Obama draft has many crucial elements reflecting the thinking of the Bush Administration. This should not come as a total surprise given how many of the emerging foreign and security policies of the Obama Administration are seeming more and more like a continuation of the Bush policies – especially in relation to Afghanistan and Pakistan and nuclear proliferation.

In the latter context, despite rhetoric to the contrary, the Obama Administration has gone along with the Bush policy of fast-tracking a US sponsored draft of a Fissile Material Control Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva. The problem is that this draft fails to include some of the basic points demanded by most of the other main players – including China and Pakistan. For instance, the US draft leaves out provisions for a verification structure regarding fissile material stockpiles. Instead it refers only to national technical means of verification. Now Pakistan has already learnt the hard way that without verification provisions, international agreements relating to weapon material stockpiles are unreliable. After all, despite a bilateral Pakistan-India treaty relating to chemical weapons, Pakistan was duped by India until the multilateral Chemical Weapons Convention revealed Indian stockpiles of these weapons — which India had informed Pakistan it had already destroyed! Nor does the US draft FMCT deal with PAROS – the prevention of an arms race in outer space – a major issue with China. But for the US with its Ballistic Missile Defence programme, PAROS is hardly a priority.

We have seen the Obama Administration recognize the need for safeguards, but it is not prepared to alter the Bush-introduced FMCT draft. Perhaps the most critical issue for Pakistan is that there is no provision for reduction of existing stockpiles – without which an FMCT would put Pakistan at a permanent disadvantage. Despite all these adverse factors, Pakistan is being pushed into accepting the US-drafted FMCT without movement on the related issues – which is against the international consensus achieved in the Shannon Mandate.

So undoubtedly, in the forthcoming session of the UNSC we are going to see Obama push the US draft resolution on nuclear proliferation through. This would be detrimental for countries like Pakistan because some of the clauses in the US draft are deliberate attempts to politicize technical nonproliferation issues by widening the scope of the UNSC and reducing the role of the IAEA – despite the fact of the independent El Baradei’s departure and the coming of a US-compliant DG at the IAEA.

Amongst the clauses that are of concern are Articles1 and 2.

Article 1 is a dangerous clause because it seeks to bring nuclear matters, which normally come under the IAEA, to the UNSC – thereby politicizing them and giving the UNSC a wider scope of punitive action. In fact, such a clause will prevent the IAEA from seeking compromise solutions through a technical focus and an apolitical approach – something Baradei tried to maintain vis a vis Iran despite enormous US pressure. Also, this clause would encourage powerful states like the US to politicize genuinely technical issues in order to punish hostile states.

Article 2 presents indirectly an absurd interpretation of Article IV of the Non Proliferation Treaty by demanding that states comply fully with their NPT obligations but that the benefits of the NPT were conditional with such compliance. There is in fact no conditionality factor present in Article IV which is supposed to offer civilian nuclear technology to NPT members as well as allowing them equal rights to develop civil nuclear technology.

All in all, the US draft resolution for the UNSC is wrought with the same problems that surfaced in the Bush Administration’s approach to nuclear nonproliferation. It tries to bring in the terrorism issue into the nuclear ambit despite the fact that terrorists do not need to acquire nuclear weapons to implement their agendas. Preambular para 16 is interesting because it talks of a grave concern over the “threat of nuclear terrorism, including provision of nuclear material or technical assistance for the purpose of terrorism”. Pakistan should be wary of this as it will be used against the country and its scientists, especially Dr A Q Khan. The US has tried so many different tacks to get access to Dr Khan and this is bound to be another stick with which to beat Pakistan and Dr Khan.

The constant US refrain of a nuclear terrorist attack on the US homeland from our part of the world is so ridiculous that one cannot seriously discuss it. Suffice it to say that how would a terrorist with a nuclear device or even material transport it across the ocean to the US? Would he parcel it to an accomplice and hope the radioactivity would go unnoticed through all the multiple security checks? Or would he carry it on his person and hope no one would detect it? No. If there were to be an act of nuclear terrorism in the US it would have to be carried out from within the US – where nuclear security is a major issue. Not only have there been nuclear material leaks at power plants; the US Air Force temporarily lost live nuclear weapons as recently as 2007. So much for stable command and control structures!

Unfortunately, the Obama draft ignores the real security concern regarding nuclear issues. This is the safety of nuclear installations in terms of leakages and missing fissile material. The most abysmal record on this count is that of Japan, Russia and India, while the US has been proliferating to Israel for decades now. Japan has one of the most developed civil nuclear programmes in the world and has caused concern in its neighbourhood with a controversial reprocessing plant and with the accidents at its nuclear plants. With the end of the Soviet Union, there have been a spate of reports dealing with stolen Russian and Ukrainian uranium being sold in the black market. Reports have also been published of missing radioactive material in India.

So, if the Obama Administration really wanted to zero in on the security factor in the nuclear domain, it would have focused more on nuclear safety and less on nuclear terrorism – which, while it can never be eliminated as a concern, is not rationally a viable one at present. However, it does have abundant political mileage which the US and its allies never tire of exploiting.

All in all, it is unfortunate to see Obama’s electoral rhetoric on nonproliferation dissipate so quickly – just as his rhetoric on the so-called war on terror has slipped into Bush gear!

With such a hostile and discriminatory nonproliferation draft resolution before it, what will Pakistan’s stance be? Will Haqqani push the US agenda as always or will the FO hold its ground in the absence of its Secretary? Will our rulers make us victims of yet another deal? We shouldn’t hold our breath. Dr. Shireen M Mazari

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