KASHMIR – The Dispute That Continues to Rock South Asia

By Shahid R. Siddiqi

The Conflict

A cartoon published in an American newspaper in 2002 showed former president George Bush sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office, utterly confused by a news report he was reading about India and Pakistan going to war over Kashmir. “But why are the two countries fighting over a sweater,” he asked Dick Cheney who stood by with his usual sly smile on his face.

Besides reflecting the intellectual capacity of the American president of the time, the cartoon was a realistic portrayal of the understanding that American leaders have generally shown of this longstanding dispute between Pakistan and India.

The unresolved Kashmir conflict has rocked South Asia for six decades. It has created an environment of distrust and acrimony, forced the people to sink into poverty with bulk of the resources consumed by the war machines and claimed lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians as well as soldiers who died in the three wars fought between India and Pakistan. India, whose forcible occupation of Kashmir in 1947 created the conflict, refuses to settle it. The other stake holders, the Kashmiri people and Pakistan, insist on a fair solution. The international community including the US and the United Nations played little or no role in diffusing it either. Consequently, the conflict has developed into one of the most intractable problems of international politics that remains a continuing threat to peace of the region.

Indian Brutalities & The International Reaction

India has not hesitated to use brutal force to maintain its hold on Indian occupied Kashmir and suppress revolt. The US, UN and other international organizations failed to take note of grave human rights violations. They failed to provide any specific, actionable proposals for a permanent solution. All they extended were diplomatic courtesies, suggested vague formulas and generalities that are open to multiple interpretations.

Although the US considers South Asia to be a sensitive and strategically important region from its geopolitical, security and economic standpoint and has expressed the desire to see peace prevail, yet it has so far paid only lip service to finding a permanent solution. It would not chastise India for human rights violations, which would have attracted its immediate attention if these were taking place in a country that it had chosen to punish, for fear of displeasing or alienating India which it has aggressively been courting in recent years.

This situation was compounded by the Indian dreams of regional hegemony that led it to dismember Pakistan in 1971 and go on to become a nuclear power, which forced Pakistan to develop its own nuclear deterrent for safeguarding its security.

Consequently, India has consistently and blatantly refused to honor the will of the people, negotiate Kashmir’s future status and stop the use of brutal force.

The Conflict Leads To The First Kashmir War

In the wake of the August 1947 partition of British India that brought into existence two sovereign states of the Indian Union and Pakistan, the British left after having midwifed the Kashmir dispute that has since bedeviled peace between the two countries. Essentially, the agreed principle that governed partition was that Muslim majority states to the east and west of British India would form Pakistan, while rest of the subcontinent was to form Indian Union.

Decisions by several Muslim rulers for accession of their states to Pakistan that had Hindu majorities (Hyderabad, Junagadh and Manavadar being cases in point) were rejected on the grounds that a Muslim ruler did not have the right to overrule the will of the Hindu majority population. But the decision of the Hindu Raja of the princely state of Kashmir, which was predominantly a Muslim majority state and should have acceded to Pakistan, was immediately accepted by the British viceroy and the Indian government, despite a popular Kashmiri revolt against his decision. Although an agreement of non-intervention in Kashmir had been signed between India and Pakistan, the new Indian government sent troops into Kashmir at the request of the Hindu ruler to enforce the instrument of accession and forcibly occupy the territory, in disregard of the agreed principle of accession applied elsewhere.

This led to the first Kashmir war in 1947 between India and Pakistan. In 1948 India sought cease fire, taking the issue to the UN Security Council, which passed resolution 47 on 21 April 1948 that imposed an immediate cease-fire along the line of actual control of territory by both parties and called on them to withdraw their troops. It also ruled that “the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.” The cease fire was enacted in December 1948, with both governments agreeing to hold the plebiscite in areas under their control. Ever since, India has been rejecting all resolutions of the Security Council and the proposals of the UN arbitrators for demilitarization of the region – all of which were accepted by Pakistan.

The Security Council Steps In

Although the resolutions of the Security Council were regarded as the ‘documents of reference’ for a durable and internationally acceptable solution, no steps were ever taken for their implementation. This was because in technical terms these were not mandatory – not having been based under Chapter VII of the Charter. This allowed India to get away, dashing the false expectations of the Kashmiris as to the possible role of the United Nations as facilitator of a solution to the Kashmir problem.

This injustice to the Kashmiri people was intrinsically linked to the veto privilege of the permanent members of the Security Council and the lack of unanimity between them for enforcement measures according to Articles 41 and 42 of the Charter. Their plight is similar to that of the Palestinians, in whose case also resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) that call upon Israel to withdraw from occupied Arab territories are not based on Chapter VII and have hence enabled the occupying country, Israel, to ignore them.

That the United Nations Organization follows double standards was clearly visible when it adopted compulsory resolutions in other conflict situations, such as in case of the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990-1991, where the US – a permanent member, having an interest in the matter, was able to force the hand of other permanent members to do its bidding.

The cease fire line between the Indian and Pakistani sides of Kashmir has since become the Line of Control and continues to be monitored by UN observers. Read more of this post

Indigenous protesters in Kashmir

Half a million people gathers in Freedom March call at Eidgah Srinagar, Indian Occupied Kashmir

by Ali Sukhanver

Kinza Fatima, a sixteen years old Kashmiri girl wrote to me three weeks back, “Death and blood, cries and shrieks, injured, smashed and emaciated bodies of our dear and near ones; what else we are left with? You writers! Keep on writing but be sure that no one among the Indian Army deputed here in the valley of Kashmir, is going to read what you write. The world around us is deaf and dumb; there will be a time when you would realize that you have been wasting the energy of your words. Your words could never bring back my brother because he is now somewhere in the realms beyond your imaginations, high above the sky.” She further said, “My seventeen years old brother Ahmed Ali was kidnapped by a team of the Indian Army one evening while he was on his way back to home six months ago. We tried our best to locate where they had detained him but we could find nothing. Five days later we found scattered parts of his body floating in a clear water stream.” The most painful sentence of her mail which really made my eyes water; “Dear writer, do you know why the people of valley get frightened when they see a shrieking crowd of wild crows circling around a mountain top: because their circling and shrieking indicates the presence of some dead body brutally thrown there by the Indian security forces.”

A Kashmiri Muslim girl during a demonstration displays a photograph of her elder brother who was subjected to enforced disapperance by indian troops in srinagar, Indian Occupied Kashmir

This mail of innocent Kinza Fatima must be very much agonizing for all those who have a humane heart. I personally feel that it is something very easy to pen down the brutality and portray the hardships the people of Indian occupied Kashmir have been facing for more than seventy years but almost next to impossible is to bear these atrocities even for a single moment. It is simply the courage and determination of the people of Kashmir which has still kept them energetic and alive. If it were the Americans or the British or the Israelis, they would have lost all their hopes very long ago, in the very beginning. Ask the innocent children of Kashmir; ‘who is going to be our saviour?’

The people of Kashmir are of the opinion that it is nothing but the presence of the Indian army in the valley which has deprived them of their basic human rights. But the Indian Army Chief General V.K. Singh has a different point of view in this context. In his recent statement he said, “The basic reason behind the flare up in the Kashmir Valley is the failure to build on the gains that had been made by the security forces in the ‘troubled state’. The army had brought the situation under control to a certain level from where other steps should have been taken to carry forward the process and bring peace in the Valley. There are people who are passing instructions on phone. They have to be identified.

The situation in the valley of Kashmir is nothing but the result of the loss of confidence.” This statement of the army chief has many important points which require a very keen type of analysis. First of all he has admitted that there is a situation of ‘flare up’ in the valley. Secondly he has admitted the failure of the security forces and thirdly he has accepted that Kashmir is a troubled state. And above all is his admittance of the fact that the people of Kashmir have lost their confidence in the government of India and the Indian forces. The situation can be very easily improved if all these factors pointed out by the Army Chief are taken care of sympathetically. Farzana Versey is a Mumbai-based author and columnist. Here is an extract from her recent piece of writing published in the Countercurrents. ‘It does not need to be reiterated that the Kashmir issue is a complex one, but when the armed forces fight civilians, it is not only a matter of separatist aspirations. It is also about a badly-administered state that is not providing basic infrastructure and opportunities to the citizens. The freedom of individuals to express their own anger is being manipulated by various power centers, it is a precious irony’.

Sumit Ganguly holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University at Bloomington. In one of his recent articles he states, ‘The problem that the government confronts has no military solution. The anger that has spilled out into the warren-like streets of Kashmir’s villages is not the work of Pakistan-supported jihadi terrorists or organized indigenous separatists. Instead it is the spontaneous outburst of a generation of young Kashmiris who have witnessed much hardship over the last two decades of the insurgency. This anger has its roots in economic stagnation. The coalition state government has done little to attract investment into the troubled state. Kashmiris, especially young men, have limited employment opportunities’.

Let us put together the statement of General V.K.Singh, the opinion of Farzana Versey and the analysis of Sumit Ganguly to form the real picture of Kashmir. The only reason behind is nothing but injustice and human rights violation. The Indian political and military hi-ups are never ready to pay any heed to the actual root cause. They always try to deny the facts and mitigate the situation by commenting the Kashmir issue as an internal affair of India. Kashmir has never been an internal affair of India; it is the actual bone of contention between the two neighbouring countries India and Pakistan. It is because of the Kashmir conflict that India is always eagerly ready to drag Pakistan into every incident of terrorism which takes place on the Indian soil. The Mumbai attacks of 2008 are the worst example in this regard. The Indian hi-ups are mistakenly of the opinion that Pakistan is supporting the people of Occupied Kashmir through different jihaddi groups. Read more of this post

Palestine problem is not only the problem for the people of Palestinian origin but the Muslims of the whole world

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by Afshain Afzal:
Like Friday, March 12 and March 5th 2010, as usual, there is lot of tension in the Palestinians areas due aggression by Israeli police in trying to stop peaceful Muslim protesters. There were prayers all over Palestine and around the world for the protection of Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Muslims’ holy places in Palestine. The world bodies like United Nations Organization (UNO) and the International Non Governmental Organizations, which claim to be the sole spokes-bodies for the human right throughout the world are silent spectators as if nothing has happened.

Over six decades back, on the recommendations of UNO’s Special Committee on Palestine, General Assembly partitioned Palestine to accommodate illegal and illegitimate Jew immigrants against the wishes of the Muslim world and other nations which opposed and voted against it. To this unjust partition is associated most of the unrest in Arab world, Middle East and other parts of the world. The recent tension was part of international conspiracy due to Israeli announcement of February 21, 2010 that the Cave of the Patriarchs (Ibrahim Mosque) in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb (Bilal Mosque) in Bethlehem will be part of a list of sites for preservation and rehabilitation as national heritage. To add fuel to the fire, Israelis approved 1600 new house at Jerusalem. The latest move, in which US along with the Britain are equally involved, aims to create tension in the Middle East and rest of the Muslim world and to single out those countries which oppose the US-British-Israeli conspiracy. Ironically, US being main architect behind this conspiracy has criticized the move as “provocative and unhelpful” and Israeli behaviour ‘insulting’ despite the fact that everything is being done by its consent.

In protest against Israeli Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announcement regarding Muslims’ holy place, several thousands of Palestinian Muslims carried out peaceful protests on March 5th but were charged by Israeli policemen near Al- Aqsa Mosque, who fired stun grenades to disperse at the assembly. Around 60 of Palestinian protesters fainted or injured and were treated for teargas inhalation, 5 policemen were also slightly injured.
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Political hypocrisy of industrialized countries

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Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla:

MR. PRESIDENT;
IT TOOK 60 million deadly casualties during World War II to develop the concept of human rights, particularly the right to life and human dignity. Much progress has been made in developing the human rights concept; very little has been done to guarantee its implementation. This issue has become one of the fundamental pillars of the United Nations, as well as international development, peace and security. However, this is the area where the ideological manipulation, political hypocrisy and double standards of industrialized countries have caused most ravages.

Those who take upon themselves the role of watchdogs of human rights and attempt to question others, are precisely the ones who are directly responsible for the most serious, systematic and flagrant violations of human rights, particularly the right to life.

They were the ones who masterminded the colonial system that was imposed to plunder the countries of the South and doom them to live in underdevelopment. They are the ones who bear responsibility for the present international economic order that silently murders tens of millions of human beings who fall victims of starvation, poverty and preventable and curable diseases. They are the ones who impose the modern wars of conquest that kill millions, mostly civilians, whom they amazingly call “collateral damages.”

They are also the beneficiaries of single thought, exclusive models and values, media warfare, the creation of immanent truths, the subculture of commercial advertisement, the imposition of conditioned reflexes, the deceitful, docile, stultifying embedded press that justifies or conceals massacres.

The US and its European allies resorted to the manipulation of terrorism to launch the wars whose aim was to control and conquer the energy resources in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have taken a toll on two million human lives and also served to justify involuntary disappearance, torture, secret renditions and detention centres where there is no recognition for International Humanitarian Law or the human being condition. It was the pretext to pass laws such as the “Patriot Act” whose implementation has just been extended by the US government, which encroaches on the liberties and guarantees conquered by the civil rights movement after several centuries of struggle.

Who will take responsibility for the brutal acts committed in Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantanamo and other centres of torture and death? When will the responsible face trial, thus putting an end to impunity?

Who will take responsibility in European countries for the secret renditions, the clandestine prisons in these territories and their involvement in acts of torture?
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21st Century Strategy: Militarized Europe, Globalized NATO

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Rick Rozoff:
With the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms expiring last December 5 and its successor held up almost three months in large part because of U.S. missile shield provocations in recent weeks, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is forging ahead with the formulation and implementation of a new Strategic Concept.

On February 5 Russia unveiled its new military doctrine, which identified further NATO expansion eastward to its frontier and American and NATO interceptor missile deployments on and near its borders as the “main external threats of war.” [1]

On February 23 NATO held its fourth seminar on the new – 21st century – Strategic Concept decided upon at the sixtieth anniversary summit in April of 2009 in Strasbourg, France and Kehl, Germany. After previous meetings in Luxembourg, Slovenia and Norway, the final – and far most important – meeting was held in Washington, DC. Entitled Strategic Concept Seminar on Transformation and Capabilities, it was conducted at the National Defense University in the nation’s capital.

The Strategic Concept endorses expansion of the bloc deeper into the Balkans and the former Soviet Union, broadening global partnerships outside the Euro-Atlantic zone and consolidating an interceptor missile system to cover all of Europe as a joint U.S. and NATO project.

Russian concerns and NATO designs are at complete loggerheads, which accounts for among other problems a new START agreement remaining in limbo. And for Russia’s new military doctrine.

The results of the four seminars, masked as deliberative proceedings and even public information forums when in fact all important matters were decided years in advance, will be presented to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on May 1 and formally adopted at the NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal this November.

The meetings that matter, those in the American capital where the White House and the Pentagon are situated, were presided over by former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell Jeroen van der Veer and their Group of Experts, alternatively Wise Men. The speakers at the Washington seminar included the U.S. foreign policy triumvirate of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Adviser James Jones, the last NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander from 2003-2006. Other talks were given by the same principals on the preceding evening.

The U.S. permanent representative to NATO, Ivo Daalder, and Alliance chief Rasmussen also gave presentations.

Gates demanded the world’s only true military bloc and certainly the sole one currently involved in a war “uphold the long legacy that has made NATO the most successful military alliance in history.” [2]

All the American speakers laid particular emphasis on NATO’s Article 5, in effect a mutual assistance provision for armed conflicts.

Robert Gates: “Few would have imagined that the first invocation of Article 5 in the alliance’s history would follow an attack on the United States homeland by a non-state entity based in a nation far beyond NATO’s traditional borders….”

“[T]he Strategic Concept must be clear that Article 5 means what it says: an attack on one is an attack on all. The concept also must go further to strengthen Article 5’s credibility with a firm commitment to enhance deterrence through appropriate contingency planning, military exercises, and force development.”

Hillary Clinton: “I want to reaffirm as strongly as I can the United States’ commitment to honor Article 5 of the NATO treaty. No Ally – or adversary – should ever question our determination on this point. It is the bedrock of the Alliance and an obligation that time will not erode.” [3]

Ivo Daalder: “Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which says that an attack against one is an attack against all, remains the bedrock of the alliance. And in order to have that Article 5 operate effectively in the world that we live in today, we need the deployability of forces, we need the ability for forces to move from different places across territory, we need to be prepared through exercising and planning to show and ensure that NATO is prepared to confront the threats that we face….” [4]

James Jones went even further in stating “NATO must be more lean, agile, and flexible to effectively address the security challenges before it. NATO must move beyond its doctrine of static defense of the 20th Century to become a more proactive Alliance for the modern era.”

“NATO must be prepared to address, deny, and deter the full spectrum of threats, whether emanating from within Europe, at NATO’s boundaries, or far beyond NATO’s borders.” [5]

NATO and American officials were equally unequivocal on the deployment of global interceptor missile facilities in Europe and beyond. NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said “Clearly, the development of a common Missile Defence capability will be more efficient and more cost effective if it is developed in common.” [6]

More specifically, he said that “missile defence has become a strategic imperative. To my mind, missile defence makes the most sense in an Alliance context. That way, you get forward-based sensors and infrastructure. Allied defence systems can fill the gaps in the US system’s coverage.” [7]

Daalder linked that project with NATO’s Article 5:

In his words, it is necessary “to make territorial missile defense a mission of this alliance, a mission to defend against a new kind of armed attack, that which arrives on ballistic missiles, whether these weapons come from Iran and hit Western Europe or North Korea and towards North America. In both instances, they would be a responsibility for Article 5 to be dealt with.”

Specifically mentioning the “120-some-thousand troops” from fifty nations serving under NATO command in Afghanistan and ongoing NATO naval operations in the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa, he added: “Those are the kinds of operations that we are engaged in, that we are likely to continue to engage in, some of which will follow under Article 5. A defense against ballistic missile attack – even those of ballistic missiles come from very far if they attack NATO territory – would be an Article 5 contingency.”

Daalder came to his current post as U.S. ambassador to NATO from being Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and before that director for European Affairs on the National Security Council from 1995-1996, where he was responsible for the Clinton administration’s Bosnia policy.

He was an avid supporter of and advocate for the wars against Yugoslavia in 1999 – co-authoring a 2000 book titled Winning Ugly: NATO’s War to Save Kosovo – against Iraq in 2003 and against Afghanistan from 2001 to the present.

In his years at Brookings he co-authored a number of articles with James Goldgeier, a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, including a 2006 piece called “For global security, expand the alliance” which stated “since the challenges NATO faces are global, its membership should be as well.”

The authors added “NATO must become larger and more global by admitting any democratic state that is willing and able to contribute to the fulfillment of the alliance’s new responsibilities.

“NATO’s ability to bring together countries with similar values and interests to combat global problems is constrained by the exclusively trans-Atlantic character of its membership. Other democratic countries share NATO’s values and many common interests – including Australia, Brazil, Japan, India, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea – and all of them can greatly contribute to NATO’s efforts by providing additional military forces or logistical support to respond to global threats and needs.” [8]

In the same year Daalder and Goldgeier wrote an article for Foreign Affairs, the publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, entitled “Global NATO.” In contents included the contention that “the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has gone global” and that its alleged “forward defense often requires a global military reach.” [9]

The new Strategic Concept, in addition to codifying a 21st century and expeditionary NATO (the terms are those of Alliance officials and advocates), will fully launch global NATO, the world’s first international military axis.

The project promoted by Daalder and his colleagues since the early 1990s is to be brought to fruition. He was given his post last year to assist in achieving that objective.

In the tendentious journalism he practiced in the pages of major U.S. dailies and journals while senior fellow at the Brookings Institution from 1998-2009 Daalder frequently criticised the ineffectuality of the United Nations, and his program for a global NATO – his exact term, recall – is meant not to supplement but to supplant the UN. [10]

Madeleine Albright, who delivered the opening and closing remarks at the February 23 Strategic Concept seminar, has similarly derogated the role of the UN; she who was U.S. ambassador to the organization from 1993 to 1997 when she led the successful effort to depose UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in 1997 after conspiring behind his back with Kofi Annan to obtain UN authorization for NATO’s bombing of Bosnian Serb positions in August and September of 1995. (The following month Annan was appointed UN special envoy to NATO.)

In speaking of “our vision for a revitalized Alliance for the 21st century,” Hillary Clinton celebrated Albright’s efforts throughout the post-Cold War period in her address in Washington on February 22: “She helped bring some of the countries represented here tonight into NATO in the late 1990s – an effort that many questioned at the time but which I believe has proven to be a major success. She played a central role in developing NATO’s last Strategic Concept eleven years ago.”

The vision of what NATO is to become in the new millennium was officially disclosed by Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on February 7 at the annual Munich Security Conference. He unabashedly called for a global NATO.

Ahead of the Strategic Concept meeting in Washington, he urged that “NATO can be the place where views, concerns and best practices on security are shared by NATO’s global partners. And where … we might work out how to tackle global challenges together.” [11]

His view was seconded by Madeleine Albright, who said “I think we are talking about how we can have some coordinating mechanism for all the various organizations that exist in the world.” Raising a rhetorical question as to “which organization can make the biggest difference,” she answered it with “While I am a great admirer of the United Nations, I know what it can and cannot do.” [12]

A Russian news source responded eleven days later by revealing “NATO’s new strategy authorizing the alliance to use force in any part of the globe arouses deep concern in Moscow.

“Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said this strategy contradicts the United Nations’ Charter.”

Russia’s Lavrov warned that with the Alliance’s new Strategic Concept “NATO’s sphere of interests may cover the entire world.” [13]

That is precisely what the new doctrine and policy is designed to effect and what Rasmussen, Albright, et al. bluntly state its intention to be. The United Nations and international law will take a back seat to global NATO.

NATO “is working on a new military strategy which will let the alliance…use force globally,” of which Russia Foreign Minister Lavrov said “It does not fully comply with the UN Charter, and, of course, raises our concerns.” [14]

Not only does the Western military bloc’s plans to undermine, supersede and ultimately scrap the entire post-World War II international diplomatic and security order “not fully comply with the UN Charter,” it is a direct attack on it.

The new concept also reiterates and intensifies the complete militarization of Europe, the retention of U.S. nuclear arms and the stationing of missile shield components there and the deployment of the continent’s troops to war zones abroad. 35 of 41 European nations have deployed troops to Afghanistan on NATO’s behest, for example. [15]

It also advocates the right of the North Atlantic military bloc to intervene anywhere in the world and is increasingly reviving discussion of activating its Article 5 provision for confrontation with Russia in Europe and the South Caucasus.

Earlier this month Belgian Prime Minister Belgian Yves Leterme stated that his nation and Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway would issue a joint declaration urging consideration of the removal of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe. Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands are among five NATO countries housing the warheads, the others being Italy and Turkey. [16]

Nevertheless NATO’s position is to support the continued basing of American nuclear weapons, and the bloc will defer to Washington’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, scheduled to be submitted to Congress last December but delayed for several months.

NATO is the Pentagon’s nuclear Trojan horse in Europe.

After the founding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in April of 1949 – four months before the Soviet Union successfully tested its first atomic bomb – the U.S. began to station nuclear weapons in Europe, as many as 7,300 by the early 1970s. [17]

The Pentagon retains as many as 350 nuclear weapons in the five nations mentioned above, a full twenty years after the end of the Cold War.

At the Strategic Concept seminar on February 23 in Washington Ivo Daalder repeated the sixty-year NATO position on nuclear weapons in stating, “We need to continue to rely on a deterrence based on a mix of conventional and nuclear forces.”

He also linked three integral components of NATO’s now global strategy – the threat to employ nuclear weapons, a worldwide interceptor missile system and the bloc’s Article 5 war clause – in asserting that “we need, in the new environment, to make territorial missile defense a mission of this alliance, a mission to defend against a new kind of armed attack, that which arrives on ballistic missiles, whether these weapons come from Iran and hit Western Europe or North Korea and towards North America. In both instances, they would be a responsibility for Article 5 to be dealt with.”

To underscore the point – that NATO would marshal the combined military might of its 28 member states in Europe and North America in alleged defense of any member requesting it – he added, “A defense against ballistic missile attack – even those of ballistic missiles come from very far if they attack NATO territory – would be an Article 5 contingency.”

“We would like the alliance to embrace the notion that the territorial defense of our – of – that territorial missile defense is a mission of NATO and therefore ought to be a fundamental part of what NATO does on a day-to-day basis. Whether that’s in the Strategic Concept or is a separate decision at the Lisbon summit is less important. Article 5 is going to be in the Strategic Concept. Ballistic missiles that are directed at the territory of a NATO state would be an armed attack and therefore fall under the definition of Article 5.

“We believe NATO should be in the business of missile defense. The United States has offered its new approach to missile defense as its U.S.-funded contribution to a NATO system. And we hope that by Lisbon [the NATO summit in November], the entire alliance will embrace this as a mission and we move forward together in defending against the threats that are out there in the 21st century.”

Defense Secretary Gates spoke in the same vein: “The threat from rogue nations is real – in particular Iran, which is focusing its efforts on short-and-medium-range missiles that could strike most of Europe. Last year, the Obama administration announced a new plan for missile defense in Europe – a phased, adaptive approach that will give us real capabilities in a shorter period of time than the previous plan. We consider this a U.S.-funded contribution to NATO missile defense, which is critical to the collective-defense mission….”

Collective defense, sometimes deemed collective self-defense, are the NATO codewords for activating Article 5 and ordering all members to respond militarily to a threat – real or fancied – to one or more members.

Clinton followed suit in stating “Missile defense, we believe, will make us safer because, clearly, we see a threat. We see a threat that is emanating from the Middle East and we see a threat that can only be addressed in the spirit of collective defense.”

Targeting the same countries earlier identified by Daalder (two of the three so-called axis of evil nations identified as such by former president George W. Bush), she said, “nuclear proliferation and the development of more sophisticated missiles in countries such as North Korea and Iran are reviving the specter of an interstate nuclear attack. So how do we in NATO do our part to ensure that such weapons never are unleashed on the world?”

In no manner does Iran raise the “specter of an interstate nuclear attack” and Clinton knew that. But it is the pretext required by the U.S. and NATO to base interceptor missile sites along Russia’s western borders from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.

The excuse needed to support Clinton’s demand that, more than twenty years since the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, NATO members still “need to invest in deterrence, nuclear deterrence as well as missile defense….”

The U.S. nuclear shield, linked with NATO’s Article 5, is being extended from Europe to Asia, the Middle East and ultimately the entire world. Global nuclear NATO.

In keeping with the conference held on NATO’s new Strategic Concept in London last October 1, hosted by Lloyd’s of London, in which the bloc’s Secretary General Rasmussen identified no less than seventeen nominal threats – all of them non-military in nature and all of them without geographical limitations – that NATO was prepared to respond to, [18] the Washington conference also highlighted the boundless and timeless mandate that NATO was arrogating to itself.

Rasmussen’s speech on February 23 included these observations:

“We must face new challenges. Terrorism, proliferation, cyber security or even climate change will oblige us to seek new ways of operating.

“As we deploy in operations with over 40 participating countries – Allies as well as partners – we have to move beyond a multinational force to become a truly unified force – a force where information and capabilities are shared among all to the benefit of all, and to get the job done.

“I have decided to establish a new division at NATO Headquarters to deal with new threats and challenges. Naturally Allied Command Transformation will be a key partner for this new division, which will become operational after the summer.” [19]

The previous evening Rasmussen spoke at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and elaborated on the Alliance’s Article 5 in practice rather than just in theory:

“The problems of the 21st century can only be solved multilaterally. And there is no stronger, more effective framework for that cooperation than NATO. But did you know that, on September 12th, all of America’s Allies in NATO declared that they considered this attack on America as an attack on them as well? Did you know that NATO sent aircraft to patrol the skies here in the United States? Did you know that all NATO countries put their ports and airfields at US disposal for the operation into Afghanistan? Or that most of them sent Special Forces, alongside US soldiers, in the initial military response?

“44 countries have soldiers in Afghanistan, under NATO command. Sharing the risks, the costs and the burdens with the United States. The non-US members make up 40% of the total number of forces. They also take 40% of the casualties.” [20]

He also indicated which nation NATO may next invoke its collective military assistance clause against: Russia. Unnamed but not needing to be in the context he was discussing.

“Our NATO Ally Estonia suffered a few years ago from a sustained, directed cyber attack that shut down a lot of essential services.
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Himalayan melting by 2035? Scientists just assumed so

CALIFORNIA : A warning that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after the United Nations body that issued admitted a series of scientific blunders.

Two years ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming, http://www.timesofindia.com reported. A central claim was that the world’s glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035. Read more of this post

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