Video: Al-Qaeda Does not Exist

Al Qaeda Doesn’t Exist is the forthcoming documentary by The Corbett Report. It interrogates the theory that Al Qaeda is a centrally-operated terrorist organization run by Osama Bin Laden that perpetrated the attacks of 9/11. The documentary looks at Al Qaeda’s roots, its ties to western intelligence agencies and the fictions that have been created to enhance its myth in the corporate-controlled media.

Al Qaeda — the Database

Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that “Al Qaeda” is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. Courtesy of World Affairs, a journal based in New Delhi, WMR can bring you an important excerpt from an Apr.-Jun. 2004 article by Pierre-Henry Bunel, a former agent for French military intelligence.

Wayne Madsen Report

“I first heard about Al-Qaida while I was attending the Command and Staff course in Jordan. I was a French officer at that time and the French Armed Forces had close contacts and cooperation with Jordan . . .

“Two of my Jordanian colleagues were experts in computers. They were air defense officers. Using computer science slang, they introduced a series of jokes about students’ punishment.

“For example, when one of us was late at the bus stop to leave the Staff College, the two officers used to tell us: ‘You’ll be noted in ‘Q eidat il-Maaloomaat’ which meant ‘You’ll be logged in the information database.’ Meaning ‘You will receive a warning . . .’ If the case was more severe, they would used to talk about ‘Q eidat i-Taaleemaat.’ Meaning ‘the decision database.’ It meant ‘you will be punished.’ For the worst cases they used to speak of logging in ‘Al Qaida.’

“In the early 1980s the Islamic Bank for Development, which is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, like the Permanent Secretariat of the Islamic Conference Organization, bought a new computerized system to cope with its accounting and communication requirements. At the time the system was more sophisticated than necessary for their actual needs.

“It was decided to use a part of the system’s memory to host the Islamic Conference’s database. It was possible for the countries attending to access the database by telephone: an Intranet, in modern language. The governments of the member-countries as well as some of their embassies in the world were connected to that network.

“[According to a Pakistani major] the database was divided into two parts, the information file where the participants in the meetings could pick up and send information they needed, and the decision file where the decisions made during the previous sessions were recorded and stored. In Arabic, the files were called, ‘Q eidat il-Maaloomaat’ and ‘Q eidat i-Taaleemaat.’ Those two files were kept in one file called in Arabic ‘Q eidat ilmu’ti’aat’ which is the exact translation of the English word database. But the Arabs commonly used the short word Al Qaida which is the Arabic word for “base.” The military air base of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is called ‘q eidat ‘riyadh al ‘askariya.’ Q eida means “a base” and “Al Qaida” means “the base.”

“In the mid-1980s, Al Qaida was a database located in computer and dedicated to the communications of the Islamic Conference’s secretariat.

“In the early 1990s, I was a military intelligence officer in the Headquarters of the French Rapid Action Force. Because of my skills in Arabic my job was also to translate a lot of faxes and letters seized or intercepted by our intelligence services . . . We often got intercepted material sent by Islamic networks operating from the UK or from Belgium.

“These documents contained directions sent to Islamic armed groups in Algeria or in France. The messages quoted the sources of statements to be exploited in the redaction of the tracts or leaflets, or to be introduced in video or tapes to be sent to the media. The most commonly quoted sources were the United Nations, the non-aligned countries, the UNHCR and . . . Al Qaida.

“Al Qaida remained the data base of the Islamic Conference. Not all member countries of the Islamic Conference are ‘rogue states’ and many Islamic groups could pick up information from the databases. It was but natural for Osama Bin Laden to be connected to this network. He is a member of an important family in the banking and business world.

“Because of the presence of ‘rogue states,’ it became easy for terrorist groups to use the email of the database. Hence, the email of Al Qaida was used, with some interface system, providing secrecy, for the families of the mujaheddin to keep links with their children undergoing training in Afghanistan, or in Libya or in the Beqaa valley, Lebanon. Or in action anywhere in the battlefields where the extremists sponsored by all the ‘rogue states’ used to fight. And the ‘rogue states’ included Saudi Arabia. When Osama bin Laden was an American agent in Afghanistan, the Al Qaida Intranet was a good communication system through coded or covert messages. Read more of this post

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Will “PakMil” recognise the real foe?

By Dr Shireen M Mazari

It is ISI bashing time again and this comes easy for the Western and Indian media especially, but also for the media at home since the ISI has figured as a larger than life organisation since the US-led war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. And undoubtedly the ISI has at times been highly controversial in the activities it has undertaken especially domestically. Both during period of civilian democracy and military rule, the ISI has been used by those in power and even today the ruling party is not devoid of this temptation, unfortunately.

Of course, like all intelligence agencies with an external agenda, such as CIA and RAW, the ISI has its own external agenda. But it needs to also be understood that the ISI is not an independent entity and the decision-making hierarchy of the organisation comes on routine postings from the military, primarily the army. So its external activities reflect the policies of the government, but especially the military. Be that as it may, post-9/11, the ISI has had to pay for its past sins in seeing itself demonised by the US and India – even though the former is supposed to be an ally of this country. Every time the chips are down for the US in Afghanistan, somehow or the other the ISI is lambasted by “leaks” to the Western, especially the compliant US media. It would appear that the CIA’s failures, as well as the US and NATO military failures, are all a result solely of the ISI! Now if only the ISI was really so effective, efficient and powerful, India’s occupation of Kashmir would have ended and Afghanistan’s future would have been moulded according to its desires! Unfortunately, that is not the case and the ISI is as riddled with inefficiencies as any large bureaucratic organisation is, but undoubtedly, it has better ground intelligence in this region than the US and its CIA since the latter has a blunderbuss approach to human intelligence gathering and has no sensitivity to nuances of any kind.

Be that as it may, the latest round of ISI bashing rather obviously sponsored by the CIA to hide its own failures in Afghanistan, once again, has come with the WikiLeaks’ story. Apart from The Guardian newspaper which showed some healthy scepticism about the leaked information, for the biased US media like The New York Times this was a journalistic feast – enough to feed the deep-seated anti-Muslim and especially anti-Pakistan bias that now dominates the American media. But let us get some facts straightened first and one has to concede that WikiLeaks itself is credible anti-war site. But what the media has done in terms of factual distortions of even these unverifiable leaks is dangerous and cannot simply be ignored by Pakistan because we are once again the targets. First of all, the leaked documents are based entirely on field reports filed by a variety of operatives in Afghanistan, allegedly primarily belonging to the Northern Alliance. Second, out of the 92,000 leaked documents, only 180 contain ISI references and of these only 30 mention the ISI in negative terms regarding Taliban-supporting activities. Third, of these 180 documents with references to the ISI, most of these reports have a disclaimer by the author at the end where the source was referred to simply as an “informant” and it was stated that this source was either not reliable or working only for monetary gains for either the Afghan intelligence, Indians or Afghan warlords! Or else the source was referred to simply by initials! Interestingly where the ISI is mentioned, it also states in the disclaimer that the information cannot be verified and therefore cannot be “used to make policies” (all this is on the website). So where does that leave the actual content of these leaked reports?

Officials in Pakistan are convinced that the CIA, when it found out about the leaks, sought to divert the expansive details of its own failures in Afghanistan by shifting the focus on to the ISI – a favourite bete noir of the Western media. According to WikiLeaks the source for the leaked documents sought to prevent the publication of some of them for fear of sensitive information! There is also a feeling in some quarters that the CIA has deliberately chosen to once again target the ISI because of the rising anti-war tide within the US. Most observers in the know now recognise that the US and NATO have lost the war militarily in Afghanistan and bad intelligence is certainly one of the causes. So what better way to escape blame than to put everything on the ISI. The timing of the “leaks” is not without purpose.

Be that as it may, the fact is that it is time for Pakistan to sever its links and cooperation with the US. How can we have information and intelligence sharing with a country that has systematically done and continues to do a hatchet job on our premier intelligence agency, as well as the Pakistan military in general? From our nuclear programme to the ISI, there is a continuous ongoing war being waged on us by the US. It may not be a military war but it has economic, political, diplomatic and psychological components. What is simply absurd is why the “PakMil” – a term Mullen has coined to show his intimacy with General Kayani and is used only by him when he meets the COAS apparently – is not seeing the ground realities? Instead of the ISPR issuing press releases now suddenly condemning the drone attacks in an attempt to fool the Pakistani nation, when they know only too well that these are being carried out with the support of the Pakistan civil and military leadership, the military should take a long hard look at what the US is doing to Pakistan on all fronts. If the Pakistani government, including the military, sees the drones as doing more harm than good, why do they remain complicit in this policy? Should they not send a clear message to the US by downing one of these drones? Read more of this post

Destabilizing Pakistan – Operation Breakfast Redux

By Tom Engelhardt and Pratap Chatterjee

Almost every day, reports come back from the CIA’s “secret” battlefield in the Pakistani tribal borderlands. Unmanned aerial vehicles – that is, pilotless drones – shoot missiles (18 of them in a single attack on a tiny village last week) or drop bombs and then the news comes in: a certain number of al-Qaeda or Taliban leaders or suspected Arab or Uzbek or Afghan “militants” have died. The numbers are oftenremarkably precise. Sometimes they are attributed to U.S. sources, sometimes to the Pakistanis; sometimes, it’s hard to tell where the information comes from. In the Pakistani press, on the other hand, the numbers that come back are usually of civilian dead. They, too, tend to be precise.

Don’t let that precision fool you. Here’s the reality: There are no reporters on the ground and none of these figures can be taken as accurate. Let’s just consider the CIA side of things. Any information that comes from American sources (i.e., the CIA) has to be looked at with great wariness. As a start, the CIA’s history is one of deception. There’s no reason to take anything its sources say at face value. They will report just what they think it’s in their interest to report – and the ongoing “success” of their drone strikes is distinctly in their interest.

Then, there’s history. In the present drone wars, as in the CIA’s bloody Phoenix Program in the Vietnam era, the Agency’s operatives, working in distinctly alien terrain, must rely on local sources (or possibly official Pakistani ones) for targeting intelligence. In Vietnam in the 1960s, the Agency’s Phoenix Program – reportedly responsible for the assassination of 20,000 Vietnamese – became, according to historian Marilyn Young, “an extortionist’s paradise, with payoffs as available for denunciation as for protection.” Once again, the CIA is reportedly passing out bags of money and anyone on the ground with a grudge, or the desire to eliminate an enemy, or simply the desire to make some of that money can undoubtedly feed information into the system, watch the drones do their damnedest, and then report back that more “terrorists” are dead. Just assume that at least some of those “militants” dying in Pakistan, and possibly many of them, aren’t who the CIA hopes they are.

Think of it as a foolproof situation, with an emphasis on the “fool.” And then keep in mind that, in December, the CIA’s local brain trust, undoubtedly the same people who were leaking precise news of “successes” in Pakistan, mistook a jihadist double agentfrom Jordan for an agent of theirs, gathered at an Agency base in Khost, Afghanistan, and let him wipe them out with a suicide bomb. Seven CIA operatives died, including the base chief. This should give us a grim clue as to the accuracy of the CIA’s insights into what’s happening on the ground in Pakistan, or into the real effects of their 24/7 robotic assassination program.

But there’s a deeper, more dangerous level of deception in Washington’s widening warin the region: self-deception. The CIA drone program, which the Agency’s Director Leon Panetta has called “the only game in town” when it comes to dismantling al-Qaeda, is just symptomatic of such self-deception. While the CIA and the U.S. military have been expending enormous effort studying the Afghan and Pakistani situations and consulting experts, and while the White House has conducted an extensive series of seminars-cum-policy-debates on both countries, you can count on one thing: none of them have spent significant time studying or thinking about us.

As a result, the seeming cleanliness and effectiveness of the drone-war solution undoubtedly only reinforces a sense in Washington that the world’s last great military power can still control this war – that it can organize, order, prod, wheedle, and bribe both the Afghans and Pakistanis into doing what’s best, and if that doesn’t work, simply continue raining down the missiles and bombs. Beware Washington’s deep-seated belief that it controls events; that it is, however precariously, in the saddle; that, as Afghan War commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal recently put it, there is a “corner” to “turn” out there, even if we haven’t quite turned it yet.

In fact, Washington is not in the saddle and that corner, if there, if turned, will have its own unpleasant surprises. Washington is, in this sense, as oblivious as those CIA operatives were as they waited for “their” Jordanian agent to give them supposedly vital information on the al-Qaeda leadership in the Pakistani tribal areas. Like their drones, the Americans in charge of this war are desperately far from the ground, and they don’t even seem to know it. It’s this that makes the analogy drawn by TomDispatch regular and author of Halliburton’s Army Pratap Chatterjee so unnerving. It’s time for Washington to examine not what we know about them, but what we don’t know about ourselves. Tom


Operation Breakfast Redux

Could Pakistan 2010 go the way of Cambodia 1969?
by Pratap Chatterjee

Sitting in air-conditioned comfort, cans of Coke and 7-Up within reach as they watched their screens, the ground controllers gave the order to strike under the cover of darkness. There had been no declaration of war. No advance warning, nothing, in fact, that would have alerted the “enemy” to the sudden, unprecedented bombing raids. The secret computer-guided strikes were authorized by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, just weeks after a new American president entered the Oval Office. They represented an effort to wipe out the enemy’s central headquarters whose location intelligence experts claimed to have pinpointed just across the border from the war-torn land where tens of thousands of American troops were fighting daily.

In remote villages where no reporters dared to go, far from the battlefields where Americans were dying, who knew whether the bombs that rained from the night sky had killed high-level insurgents or innocent civilians? For 14 months the raids continued and, after each one was completed, the commander of the bombing crews was instructed to relay a one-sentence message: “The ball game is over.”

The campaign was called “Operation Breakfast,” and, while it may sound like the CIA’s present air campaign over Pakistan, it wasn’t. You need to turn the clock back to another American war, four decades earlier, to March 18, 1969, to be exact. The target was an area of Cambodia known as the Fish Hook that jutted into South Vietnam, and Operation Breakfast would be but the first of dozens of top secret bombing raids. Later ones were named “Lunch,” “Snack,” and “Supper,” and they went under the collective label “Menu.” They were authorized by President Richard Nixon and were meant to destroy a (nonexistent) “Bamboo Pentagon,” a central headquarters in the Cambodian borderlands where North Vietnamese communists were supposedly orchestrating raids deep into South Vietnam.

Like President Obama today, Nixon had come to power promising stability in an age of unrest and with a vague plan to bringing peace to a nation at war. On the day he was sworn in, he read from the Biblical book of Isaiah: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” He also spoke of transforming Washington’s bitter partisan politics into a new age of unity: “We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another, until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices.”

Return to the Killing Fields

In recent years, many commentators and pundits have resorted to “the Vietnam analogy,” comparing first the American war in Iraq and now in Afghanistan to the Vietnam War. Despite a number of similarities, the analogy disintegrates quickly enough if you consider that U.S. military campaigns in post-invasion Afghanistan and Iraq against small forces of lightly-armed insurgents bear little resemblance to the large-scale war that Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon waged against both southern revolutionary guerrillas and the military of North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh, who commanded a real army, with the backing of, and supplies from, the Soviet Union and China.

A more provocative – and perhaps more ominous – analogy today might be between the CIA’s escalating drone war in the contemporary Pakistani tribal borderlands and Richard Nixon’s secret bombing campaign against the Cambodian equivalent. To briefly recapitulate that ancient history: In the late 1960s, Cambodia was ruled by a “neutralist” king, Norodom Sihanouk, leading a weak government that had little relevance to its poor and barely educated citizens. In its borderlands, largely beyond its control, the North Vietnamese and Vietcong found “sanctuaries.”

Of the 60 cross-border predator strikes carried out by the Afghanistan-based American drones in Pakistan between January 14, 2006 and April 8, 2009, only 10 were able to hit their actual targets, killing 14 wanted al-Qaeda leaders, besides perishing 687 innocent Pakistani civilians. The success percentage of the US predator strikes thus comes to not more than six per cent. And countless civilian deaths in the 1st two months of 2010........

Sihanouk, helpless to do anything, looked the other way. In the meantime, sheltered by local villagers in distant areas of rural Cambodia was a small insurgent group, little-known communist fundamentalists who called themselves the Khmer Rouge. (Think of them as the 1970s equivalent of the Pakistani Taliban who have settled into the wild borderlands of that country largely beyond the control of the Pakistani government.) They were then weak and incapable of challenging Sihanouk – until, that is, those secret bombing raids by American B-52s began. As these intensified in the summer of 1969, areas of the country began to destabilize (helped on in 1970 by a U.S.-encouraged military coup in the capital Phnom Penh), and the Khmer Rouge began to gain strength.

You know the grim end of that old story.

Forty years, almost to the day, after Operation Breakfast began, I traveled to the town of Snuol, close to where the American bombs once fell. It is a quiet town, no longer remote, as modern roads and Chinese-led timber companies have systematically cut down the jungle that once sheltered anti-government rebels. I went in search of anyone who remembered the bombing raids, only to discover that few there were old enough to have been alive at the time, largely because the Khmer Rouge executed as much as a quarter of the total Cambodian population after they took power in 1975.

Eventually, a 15-minute ride out of town, I found an old soldier living by himself in a simple one-room house adorned with pictures of the old king, Sihanouk. His name was Kong Kan and he had first moved to the nearby town of Memot in 1960. A little further away, I ran into three more old men, Choenung Klou, Keo Long, and Hoe Huy, who had gathered at a newly built temple to chat.

All of them remembered the massive 1969 B-52 raids vividly and the arrival of U.S. troops the following year. “We thought the Americans had come to help us,” said Choenung Klou. “But then they left and the [South] Vietnamese soldiers who came with them destroyed the villages and raped the women.”

He had no love for the North Vietnamese communists either. “They would stay at people’s houses, take our hammocks and food. We didn’t like them and we were afraid of them.”

Caught between two Vietnamese armies and with American planes carpet-bombing the countryside, increasing numbers of Cambodians soon came to believe that the Khmer Rouge, who were their countrymen, might help them. Like the Taliban of today, many of the Khmer Rouge were, in fact, teenage villagers who had responded, under the pressure of war and disruption, to the distant call of an inspirational ideology and joined the resistance in the jungles.

“If you ask me why I joined the Khmer Rouge, the main reason is because of the American invasion,” Hun Sen, the current prime minister of Cambodia, has said. “If there was no invasion, by now, I would be a pilot or a professor.”

Six years after the bombings of Cambodia began, shortly after the last helicopter lifted off the U.S. embassy in Saigon and the flow of military aid to the crumbling government of Cambodia stopped, a reign of terror took hold in the capital, Phnom Penh.

The Khmer Rouge left the jungles and entered the capital where they began a systemicgenocide against city dwellers and anyone who was educated. They vowed to restart history at Year Zero, a new era in which much of the past became irrelevant. Some two million people are believed to have died from executions, starvation, and forced labor in the camps established by the Angkar leadership of the Khmer Rouge commanded by Pol Pot.

Unraveling Pakistan

Could the same thing happen in Pakistan today? A new American president was ordering escalating drone attacks, in a country where no war has been declared, at the moment when I flew from Cambodia across South Asia to Afghanistan, so this question loomed large in my mind. Both there and just across the border, Operation Breakfast seems to be repeating itself.

In the Afghan capital, Kabul, I met earnest aid workers who drank late into the night in places like L’Atmosphere, a foreigner-only bar that could easily have doubled as a movie set for Saigon in the 1960s. Like modern-day equivalents of Graham Greene’s “quiet American,” these “consultants” describe a Third Way that is neither Western nor fundamentalist Islam.

At the very same time, CIA analysts in distant Virginia are using pilot-less drones and satellite technology to order strikes against supposed terrorist headquarters across the border in Pakistan. They are not so unlike the military men who watched radar screens in South Vietnam in the 1960s as the Cambodian air raids went on. Read more of this post

Report: Israeli Hasbara (propaganda) is failing

Rehmat’s World

The Tel Aviv-based security and socioeconomic think tank Reut Institute’s report Eroding Israel\’s Legitimacy in the International Arena, submitted to the Zionist government on Thursday, has warned that Israel is “facing a draumatic assault on the very legitimacy of its existence as a Jewish and democratic state (another Zionist myth). The groups promoting this delegitimacy aim to isolate Israel and ultimately turn it into a pariah state.

The report cites the increasing anti-Israel demonstrations on campuses, protests when Israeli atheletes compete abroad, moves in Europe to boycott of Israeli products and threats of arrest warrants for Israeli leaders visiting London (UK).

The report has highlighted the major hubs independent bloggers in London (UK), Toronto (Canada), Brussels, Madrid (Spain), San Francisco (US) and Univesity of California (US) – using internet to challenge Israeli point of views and project the Zionist entity as worse than the Nazi regime. The report also admit that the anti-Israel groups and individuals with the exception of a small minority – are not Muslims or Arabs or Palestinians but mostly liberal Christians and Jews. The later believe that the actions of Israel in occupied Palestine and Lebanon are fuelling anti-Semitism in the West.

According to the report these “delegitimizers” co-operate with organizations engaging in legitimate criticism of Israel’s policy in the occupied territories such as, Amnesty International and Human Right Watch, “blurring the line between legitimate censure and delegitimization. They also promote pro-Palestinian activities in Europe as ‘trendy’.”

Israel’s ambassador in London (UK), Ron Prosor, adds his ‘Islamophobe sause” into Hasbara curry by saying: “The combination of a large Muslim community, a radical left, influential English-language media and an international university center makes London fertile ground for Israel’s delegitimization”. In simple language, the con-man wants the world to believe that BBC, the Bank of England, Oxford and the British government – are all owned by Muslims and not by the Jews or the pro-Israel Zionists. On would wonder, why France which has Europe’s largest Muslim population (between 6-8 million), has a former Mossad agent, Sarkozy, as country’s President while both its foreign minister and defense ministers are Zionist Jews? Read more of this post

Foreign organisations have imperialist agenda

ISLAMABAD – The notorious reputation of some foreign organisations working outside their mandate glued with sheer indulgence in questionable activities and interference in governmental affairs in Pakistan is not a new phenomenon, as the Western media has time and again reported this.


The imperialist agendas of such agencies lead one to recall the pre-partition days when the infamous East India Company had penetrated deep down the very roots of the Sub-Continent under the garb of trade.

Renowned former banker and author of famous book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man,” John Perkins, has narrated a detailed confessional account of his dark corporate past in the aforementioned book. The writer provides an eye-opener of the extent to which corporate Western organisations in the form of multinationals, industrial groups, developmental agencies and monetary set-ups like the USAID, World Bank and IMF, with CIA at their back, bribe, influence, seduce, provoke and even threat individuals or countries to get the things go their way. In one of the confessional statements he published in the book, he wrote, “Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign aid organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families, which control the planet’s natural resources. Their tools included fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalisation.”

So mightily powerful these omnipotent corporate organisations are as they can influence, buy, harass or terminate anyone who hinders the course of their expansionist agendas. Perkins disclosed in the same book that suspicious deaths of two Presidents; Jaime Roldos of Ecuador, and Omar Torrijos of Panama, were not accidental rather CIA killed them. “They were assassinated because they opposed that fraternity of the corporate, government, and banking heads whose goal is global empire. We Economic Hit Men failed to bring Roldos and Torrijos around, and the other type of hit men, the CIA-sanctioned jackals who were always right behind us, stepped in,” he writes alleging that CIA killed Omar Torrijos for he negotiated with Japanese government to build a sea-level canal and refused to bow before American pressure. (Omar was killed) “In a fiery plane crash which was connected to a tape recorded with explosives in it,” John revealed.

Jeremy Scahill, in one of his recent articles, in which he wrote that a Pakistani firm had hired a former US government official Roger Noriega “to lobby the US government, including the State Department, USAID and Congress,” revealed the questionable intent of USAID in Pakistan. Later, in a subsequent interview, an anchorperson had asked the American journalist if Blackwater personnel in Pakistan posed as USAID workers, he replied, “They may be posing as aid workers.”

TheNation reported on January 31 last how USAID was all set to propagate one of its controversial educational programmes by bypassing Education and Information Ministries in collusion with Chairman PEMRA, before a “conscientious babu” Mansur Sohail, who heads the Information Ministry, stopped them from doing so.

Besides, the lucrative FATA-based project $45 million monitored by the USAID that failed miserably without yielding any significant results further questions of what use an agency like USAID is for Pakistan.

Perkins rightly noted that when economic hit men fail, the jackals step in for outright intervention. One wonders if Pakistani Government would ever wakeup to the repeated interferences of economic hit men and hegemonic jackals. Sikander Shaheen

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The media plays a significant role in manufacturing Islamophobia within western societies

The media plays a significant role in manufacturing Islamophobia within western societies by manipulating and shaping an individuals opinion on anything and everything.  It presents us with distorted images of Islam and that in turn conjures stereotypes and prejudice.

For people who are sceptical about the notion of ‘Islamophobia’, a study was conducted in the US where  the public were asked to write down, with as little thought and as much honesty as possible, all the words that come to mind when you think of the words “Islam” or Muslim”.

Most people gave an almost routine set of answers.  The names and events they thought of tended to be associated with violence, e.g., Osama Bin Laden, 9/11, Palestinian suicide bombers.  The ideas and practices were associated with oppression, e.g., Jihad, veiling, Islamic law. And the places were limited to the Middle East, e.g., Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran.  Of course some answers escaped the pattern, e.g., the Qur’an, pilgrimage to Mecca, Muhammad Ali, but these were relatively few.  When asked about their answers, many responded unfortunate as such associations may be, Muslims and Islam feature prominently in many of the world’s conflicts and injustices, and this they conclude says something about their religion.  Judging from the portrayals of Muslims and Islam in Western media, it’s hard to argue with them.

In September 2005, the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Postem, published 12 depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.  Awareness of the cartoons became widespread and a global protest soon grew, typified by peaceful gatherings of thousands of protestors in many places.  Unfortunately some Muslim’s reacted violently.

Islamophobia is even presented in popular films such as Hollywood blockbusters and children’s cartoons.  A report by the Islamic Human Rights Commission argues that films such as Aladdin and East is East have contributed to demonizing Muslims as dangerous and violent.  For example, in Aladdin, rather than presenting the Arab culture and Islamic religion in a positive way, it is associated with harsh punishments and oppressive practices.  In the British film East is East, a mixed raced Anglo-Pakistani family is presented struggling with their traditional background forced upon them by their father.  The representation of the Muslim husband is of a polygamous wife beater.


Sadly, media outlets consistently overlook the voices of moderation that come from the majority of Muslims.  When violence flared in 2006 over the controversial Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, very few of America’s frontline newspapers reported the condemnation of the violence issued immediately by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), one of the most important Islamic organisations In the US and only one of many that decried the attacks.  In another instance the year before, a Connecticut newspaper ran an editorial decrying the lack of public statements by Muslim leaders against the then recent terrorist attacks in London.  The state chapter of CAIR wrote back asking why the newspaper had not mentioned its own denunciation of the violence, which the group had sent the newspaper.  In fact, since this event, a great variety and number of Muslim leaders in the US and abroad condemned the attacks but received little coverage by the American media.

The media is always quick to stereotype Muslims as terrorists by linking the news to religion when Muslims have done something wrong.  But does the media link crimes carried out by Westerners to religion?

The answer is no.  The Columbine High School shooters religions were not disclosed, nor are the religions of any Western perpetrators.  The media believes that any Muslim who commits a crime is doing so in the name of Islam and therefore feels the need to disclose his religious views.

Because Muslims seldom appear in news reports or other media sources except as perpetrators of violence, supposedly in the name of Islam, many Westerners understandably conclude that all Muslim’s act from inherently religious motivations and that Islam is dangerous. Muslims become two-dimensional, existing only as Muslims, seemingly never sharing identities or interests with non-Muslims.  However, Westerners engage with Muslims in thousands of ways every day: a student and her classmates, a banker and his customer, a homeowner and her neighbours.  The globalised world we inhabit makes possible increasingly intimate connections between distant individuals with increasing speed.  So why, despite all this contact, do domestic news and entertainment sources seldom mention the terms “Muslim” or “Islam” except in the context of conflict, violence and bloodshed?? By: Ismail Farooki. Cambridge –England

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Colour-Coded Revolutions and the Origins of World War III

Part 2
by Andrew Gavin Marshall


This is Part 2 of the Series, “The Origins of World War III”

Part 1: An Imperial Strategy for a New World Order: The Origins of World War III

Part-3: A New World War for a New World Order

Introduction

Following US geo-strategy in what Brzezinski termed the “global Balkans,” the US government has worked closely with major NGOs to “promote democracy” and “freedom” in former Soviet republics, playing a role behind the scenes in fomenting what are termed “colour revolutions,” which install US and Western-friendly puppet leaders to advance the interests of the West, both economically and strategically.

Part 2 of this essay on “The Origins of World War III” analyzes the colour revolutions as being a key stratagem in imposing the US-led New World Order. The “colour revolution” or “soft” revolution strategy is a covert political tactic of expanding NATO and US influence to the borders of Russia and even China; following in line with one of the primary aims of US strategy in the New World Order: to contain China and Russia and prevent the rise of any challenge to US power in the region.

These revolutions are portrayed in the western media as popular democratic revolutions, in which the people of these respective nations demand democratic accountability and governance from their despotic leaders and archaic political systems. However, the reality is far from what this utopian imagery suggests. Western NGOs and media heavily finance and organize opposition groups and protest movements, and in the midst of an election, create a public perception of vote fraud in order to mobilize the mass protest movements to demand “their” candidate be put into power. It just so happens that “their” candidate is always the Western US-favoured candidate, whose campaign is often heavily financed by Washington; and who proposes US-friendly policies and neoliberal economic conditions. In the end, it is the people who lose out, as their genuine hope for change and accountability is denied by the influence the US wields over their political leaders.

The soft revolutions also have the effect of antagonizing China and Russia, specifically, as it places US protectorates on their borders, and drives many of the former Warsaw Pact nations to seek closer political, economic and military cooperation. This then exacerbates tensions between the west and China and Russia; which ultimately leads the world closer to a potential conflict between the two blocs. Read more of this post

Pakistan rejects ST story

ISLAMABAD (APP) – Pakistan on Sunday strongly rejected a report of Christina Lamb in Sunday Times claiming that “Elite US troops ready to combat Pakistani nuclear hijacks” and termed it rubbish and figment of the imagination of the reporter.

Talking to a private TV channel, Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit stated that the assertions and insinuations made in the story are baseless. Pakistani government also devised and continued to implement a foolproof safety and security regime for nuclear-related materials.

Western media keep repeating such self-serving baseless propaganda.

However, Pakistan does not bother it as at official level no such assertions exist from west, he said while quoting a statement of US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, giving clean chit to Pakistan in respect to nuclear material’s safety.

Complaining discriminatory behaviour of the western media, the foreign office spokesman said Pakistan never want to made South Asia an atomic region and never take part in armed race.

Pakistan only wants to fortify its defence, he said, adding that Pakistan went nuclear in response to Indian threats. Pakistan cannot be blamed and any wrong use of nuclear arsenal is simply out of question.

Admitting Pak-America differences over drone attacks, he said Pakistan was trying to convince the US that persistent drone attacks could endanger consensus in Pakistan to fight terror war.

It is hoped that the policy of erstwhile Bush administration would be revisited as it is proving counter productive, he said.

Responding to a question, he said if Pakistani media is critical of the US it directly links American policies. In response to constructive criticism of Pakistani media, the western media retorts with baseless propaganda against Pakistani nuclear-related material.

It is pertinent to mention here that Sunday Times in a report published on January 17, quoting a former CIA officer reported that the US army is training a crack unit to seal off and snatch back Pakistani nuclear weapons in the event that militants, possibly from inside the country’s security apparatus, get their hands on a nuclear device or materials that could make one.

Not so ‘Shining India’

What most of the world today perceives through the lens of the Indian and western media about Hindustan (Republic of India) is indeed very disturbing. The west befooled by the Indian opinion-makers, like Fareed Zakaria, refers to India as “the emerging powerhouse of the 21st century.” In his recent treatise, The Post American World, Fareed Zakaria (true to his Indian roots) has described the great story of our times as ‘Rise of the Rest’ – the growth of countries like China, India, Brazil, Russia, South Africa and Kenya…and we in Pakistan (courtesy some of our own media channels) think that India is the biggest democracy and the star of South Asia. The media of the West and India, which is being referred as Windia, has become the spin-doctor trying to convince the rest of the world that India should be included in countries that can save the world from the current global economic mess and scourge of terrorism. But the million dollar question is, how is it possible for a country to save the world when it has a population of a billion plus of which 400 to 500 million live below poverty line, when it has more than 100 active insurgencies, when its hundreds of thousands die due to pollution and starvation annually, and when it has militarily intervened directly or indirectly in almost every country in its neighbourhood?

Nevertheless, it is important to mention here that there is a huge difference between poverty in an average country like Pakistan and India. India’s poor live in subhuman conditions. Whether it is food or basic shelter, the Indian poor don’t have that; almost an estimated one million die due to starvation and malnutrition every year. The people in the poor neighbourhoods of Mumbai and Delhi sleep on footpaths. Moreover, there are timings for this facility; you have to share the footpath space as per the prescribed timings. That is the reason why the poor in India live and die on the roads and footpaths; if in doubt, watch Slum Dog Millionaire. In the same vein, there is severe shortage of basic public facilities (toilets).

Furthermore, the Dalits or untouchables in India were and are treated like animals. The Hindu stratification enshrined in The Dharma is turning the poor in India against its own state. Undoubtedly, the world’s biggest insurgencies are active in India. Here, I am mainly referring to the Naxal Republic, the three Ks of Khalistan, Kerala and Kashmir, Gurkhaland and the seven sisters adjacent to and including Assam. Other than Kashmir, the most effective insurgency is the Naxalite movement. As per Wikipedia: “Naxalite or Naxalvadis (name from the village of Naxalbari in the Indian State of West Bengal where the movement originated), are a group of far-left radical communists, supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology. In recent years, they have spread into less developed areas of rural central and eastern India, such as Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

“As of 2009, Naxalites are active across approximately 220 districts in 20 states of India accounting for about 40 percent of India’s geographical area, they are especially concentrated in an area known as the ‘Red Corridor’, where they control 92,000 square kilometres. According to India’s intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, 20,000 armed cadre Naxalites were operating apart from 50,000 regular cadres working in their various mass organisations and millions of sympathisers, and their growing influence prompted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to declare them as the most serious internal threat to India’s national security “.

At the same time, India treats its minorities ruthlessly by violating religious and human rights. Kashmir, Babri Mosque, Golden Temple and burning of churches in Orissa by extremist Hindus are a few examples. The non-Hindus are being forced to accept pagan traditions in the name of their practicality and logic. Mysterious rituals, where people are forced to marry frogs and dogs to remove evil curses, are common. In a number of Indian cities there are thousands of monkeys allowed to freely roam and pollute streets, causing solid waste problems and harm to the citizens, all in the name of divinity of Hanuman. Drinking cow urine was religiously followed in the country side, it is now becoming fashionable in Indian elite and their night clubs, a re birth of novo Morar Ji Desaies in the name of Pavitarta and divinity of the holy cow.

Then again, India has another problem of managing its water resources. Indian rivers are the most acidic rivers in the world. As per Lifestyle india.com: “Water pollution is a serious problem in India as almost 70 percent of surface water resources have serious pollution problem and a growing number of ground water resources are already contaminated by various pollutants. Though River Ganga’s water has not polluted totally, its pollution has reached a critical point since its water is not fit for bathing or drinking. Over the years, of the 3000 aqua creatures found in the Ganga, only 205 have survived.” Surely, the basic reason is their belief of throwing ashes of the dead in the river Ganges.

The major deception being played in projecting Shining India is through the media – Windia. This media projects India as the ‘Golden State’ and ultimate redeemer of the world. Channels like Zee, Star Plus, BBC, National Geographic, Discovery and Bollywood project the themes of milk and honey flowing through the Ganges River. Some of our Pakistani channels (with the big slogan of ‘live and let live’), are dying to project India as the ultimate success story of South Asia, despite all of what happens in India, 80 percent of the news about India appears to be from Bollywood or Indian Cricket. They need to be more objective on India.

Windia’s India is like a city with its walls painted with pictures of heaven, but once you enter its gates you realise that you have entered hell. Three cheers for Incredible India, the boggy of Windia. — Umar Waqar

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