Sunday, May 31, 2009
Pakistan may have developed a second-strike capability to again attain nuclear parity with India even as the United States has breathed new life into long-dormant talks in Geneva for a multi-nation treaty to cap production of bomb-making fissile material.
The Pakistani breakthrough was disclosed in a US Congressional report prepared last month, amid growing concern in world capitals about the safety and security of its nuclear arsenal even as Islamabad is reported to be accelerating and expanding its nuclear program.
''Pakistan has reportedly addressed issues of survivability through second strike capability, possible hard and deeply buried storage and launch facilities, road-mobile missiles, air defenses around strategic sites, and concealment measures,'' the Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in a May 15 report to US lawmakers.
The reported breakthrough ties in with President Asif Ali Zardari’s statement in late 2008 that Pakistan will not be the first to use nuclear weapons against India, in what was virtually an offer of a no-first use pact. The statement, pilloried by hawks in the Pakistani establishment, was seen at that time as an off-the-cuff remark by an inexperienced leader eager to make peace with India.
But it now appears that it stemmed from new-found confidence that Pakistan has developed a second-strike capability.
India’s has long had an official no-first use policy because its nuclear stance is based on a defensive posture that factors in surviving a first strike and then retaliating. In contrast, Pakistan has deliberately adopted a first-strike policy, in part because of its smaller and more vulnerable arsenal. That aspect now appears to have been addressed by ensuring survivability – through dispersion, concealment and enhanced security and protection.
The CRS report offered some clues as to how Pakistan came to develop its second-strike capability. It transpires that as the US prepared to attack the Afghan Taliban after September 11, 2001, President Musharraf ordered that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal be redeployed to ''at least six secret new locations.''
''This action came at a time of uncertainly about the future of the region, including the direction of US-Pakistan relations,'' the CRS report notes, adding that ''Islamabad’s leadership was uncertain whether the US would decide to conduct military strikes against Pakistan’s nuclear assets if Islamabad did not assist the US against the Taliban. Indeed, it recalls, President Musharraf cited protection of Pakistan’s nuclear and missile assets as one of the reasons for Islamabad’s dramatic policy shift.
Such exigencies, including the military face-off with India in 2002 following the attack on India’s parliament by Pakistani terrorists, appear to have compelled Islamabad to ensure survival of its nuclear arsenal from a first strike.
The disclosure of proliferation by A Q Khan also pushed Pakistan into developing better security systems.
The CRS report recalls that US plans to secure Pakistani nuclear weapons in case of a loss of control by the Pakistani government were ''famously'' addressed in Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s confirmation hearing in January 2005.
In response to a question from Senator John Kerry asking what would happen to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in the event of a radical Islamic coup in Islamabad, Secretary Rice answered, ''We have noted this problem, and we are prepared to try to deal with it.'' The report also notes that the Pakistani Foreign Office spokesperson subsequently said that, ''Pakistan possesses adequate retaliatory capacity to defend its strategic assets and sovereignty.''
To the extent Pakistan attains the same status and adopted the same posture as India, some analysts reckon it might help defuse tensions arising from Islamabad’s past display of eagerness to use its nuclear weapons in any confrontation with India. But experts also caution that the dispersion of the weapons -- the key to survivability and second-strike capability -- has its downside, including making it vulnerable to any attempted jihadi snatch.
''The guardians of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal currently sit on the horns of a dilemma: Consolidation of Pakistan’s nuclear assets would protect most effectively against insider threats, while dispersion of Pakistan’s nuclear assets would protect most effectively against preemption by external threats,'' notes Michael Krepon, co-founder the Stimson Center and an expert on risk reduction in the region.
Disclosures about Pakistan’s advances in nuclear weapons survivability came even as Washington achieved an important breakthrough in Geneva, where the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament decided to resume talks on the so-called Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), aimed at capping production of bomb-grade material.
The initiative was led by the US, replete with excess of fissile material, while it was largely resisted by countries such as China, India and Pakistan, each of which believed it did not have enough fissile material to deter its rival further up the nuclear hierarchy.
But on Friday, the 12-year old deadlock on the issue was broken, amid mounting concerns over developments in Pakistan and North Korea.
The breakthrough came on the heels of President Obama’s landmark April 5 speech in Prague, where he revived Washington’s non-proliferation agenda starting with slashing US. and Russian arsenals, adopting the treaty banning all nuclear tests, and negotiating a ''new treaty that verifiably ends the production of fissile materials intended for use in state nuclear weapons.''
The previous Bush administration had said such a pact could not be verified by inspections and monitoring.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
As much as seven months before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Administration was deeply involved in planning and mobilizing for the invasion and military occupation of both Iraq and Afghanistan. None of the activity was remotely related to Osama bin Laden or counterterrorism of any stripe.
This is the fundamental truth, it is beyond dispute, and it is fully documented.
The incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq were premeditated, hegemonic wars of conquest and territorial occupation, to gain the geostrategic control of Middle Eastern energy resources. Bald acts of unprovoked military aggression, they are direct violations of the charter of the United Nations. The wars are therefore international crimes, but they were not undertaken until the horror of September 11, 2001 provided a CIA/DIA/MOSSAD/MI6 spectacular smokescreen. A fraudulent label--the “war on terror”—was concocted to disguise the premeditated violence, and it was quickly unleashed.....
Obama has admitted that the U.S. was involved in the Iranian coup in 1953.
When will the U.S. admit that the U.S. was not only "involved", but - as documented by the New York Times - Iranians working for the C.I.A. in the 1950's posed as Communists and staged bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected president (see also this essay)?
And when will America admit that - as confirmed by a former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence - that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and blamed the communists, in order to rally people’s support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism. As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: "You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security."
And when will we admit that - as confirmed by recently declassified documents - in the 1960's, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. If you view no other links in this article, please read the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings?
The Georgian upstart overplayed his hand, reflecting divisions among Western states on strategy in the Caucasus.
The US has always pursued a 'Grand Area' strategy. In this design, whole areas of the planet are presumed to be under its command. American planners had an unprecedented opportunity when the USSR broke down
Contrary to some opinion, the placing of 'lily-pads' in the Caucasus and Central Asia did not begin under Bush or after 9/11, but under Clinton in 1997. Encirclement of Russia is a bipartisan policy.
The US political class is less divided. McCain is staking out the most belligerent territory, but Obama is catching up rapidly. His foreign policy advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski has compared Putin to Hitler and complained that Western access to crucial oil pipelines will be cut off by Russia's action - which suggests that any administration that takes his advice would be far more aggressive toward Russia than the Bush administration has been.
Obama wants to pour troops into Afghanistan and shore up the Central Asian frontier. Brzezinski has already supplied the rationale for this in The Grand Chessboard: "Eurasia is the world's axial super continent. A power that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world's three most economically productive regions, Western Europe and East Asia
Eurasia accounts for 75% of the world's population, 60% of its GNP, and 75% of its energy resources. Collectively, Eurasia's potential power overshadows even America's."
In this account, control of the Middle East is a secondary aim.
You may recall Obama's sabre-rattling toward Pakistan
It would seem that US control of its Pakistani ally is tenuous, and that the US has to threaten it with a bit of ultra-violence to keep it in line.
So Obama was being perfectly realistic about what he might be expected to do.
In his most recent book, Second Chance, Brzezinski offers a future president the purported means to reverse America's declining power. One of his recommendations is to pay more attention to Russia, disrupt its increasingly close relationship with China and make a concerted effort to contain Putin's efforts to restore Russian power. Brzezinski, I suspect, is speaking for a lot of people in the American establishment. So, don't buy the line that Obama is just tail-coating McCain when he talks tough about Russian aggression. It is an integral component of the global 'Grand Area' strategy of a significant component of US power.
One of the most strident anti-Russian voices was that of former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, a supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. In comments to the British Guardian and the German Die Welt, he compared Putin to Hitler and Stalin, and the Russian intervention in Georgia to the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939. “Georgia is to an extent the Finland of today, both morally and strategically,”
Brzezinski pointed to the central role of oil, particularly the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline built over the last decade with US support to bring oil from the region to the world market, bypassing Russian territory. “If Georgia no longer has its sovereignty, it means... that the West is cut off from the Caspian Sea and Central Asia,”
The strategists of US imperialism have broader interests than oil, however. Brzezinski himself has long sought the breakup, not only of the old Soviet Union, but of the Russian republic which comprises the bulk of the land mass of the former USSR. As the Guardian observed Monday, “The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is only a minor element in a much larger strategic equation: an attempt, sponsored largely by the United States but eagerly subscribed to by several of its new ex-Soviet allies, to reduce every aspect of Russian influence throughout the region, whether it be economic, political, diplomatic or military.”
The breaking up of INDIA is approaching fast...
clipped from: www.bharat-rakshak.com
India is ringed by failed / failing states.
On our North, in addition, we face China, the guru that influences / or uses as proxy other countries mentioned earlier in every possible way to weigh India down.
capabilities are more important than perceived intentions, as China has demonstrated not only to India but also to the world. It has intelligently diverted international focus away from itself to North Korea, Pakistan and countries like Iran. For example, in the six country nuclear talks with North Korea , it is Beijing that calls the shots. It can switch on or off the negotiations at its will
since its creation, Pakistan has perpetually been resorting to war and export of terrorism to appropriate more Indian territory. Pakistan faces a negative profile of indoctrinated and unemployed youth trained in Islamic Jehad Factory against us. The obsession to harm us ultimately allured Pakistan to become rent-a–state country. It lives on others money. Despite being broke, Islamabad continues to fuel anti-India activities through Nepal and Bangladesh with impunity. India remains the target and operating ground for Islamic fundamentalists and terrorist groups orchestrated by ISI
New Delhi needs to evolve an alternative strategy to comprehensively defeat the adversary’s nefarious activities that poses military, nuclear and demographic inversion threats. This is a do-able proposition provided our elders can think beyond the overwhelming burden created by the inherited fault line.
New Delhi needs to move on three axes simultaneously
- New Delhi –West Asia ,
- New Delhi–Southeast Asia and
- New Delhi–Central Asia .
Second, as the second largest consumer of oil and gas in Asia , and as one of the engines that will power the world economy, energy security is the most critical factor in India ’s national security calculus.
This resource rich territory will fall prey to Pak sponsored Talibanisation if India and other countries do not preempt it.'
it may be prudent for American capital to join hands with the Indians in a JV
This will in turn check the destructive influence of Islamabad and balance the Chinese strategic thrust
Nepal continues to slip into the Chinese sphere of influence due to counter-productive policy by New Delhi
In Nepal , the Maoists have a sizeable influence in 45 of the 75 districts, their most formidable presence being in mid-western Nepal . The Maoists have linked up with the Peoples War Group (PWG) in India . The latter in a bid to expand its influence has carved a corridor encompassing the states of Andhra Pradesh–Madhya Pradesh–Chhatisgarh–Orissa–West Bengal–Jharkhand–Bihar as shown in the map. This corridor that has been formed with ease depicts the Indian Fault Line with stark clarity on ground.
· Combine the bleak picture above with Bangladesh and Myanmar borders and the Indian Fault Line engulfs most of the eastern half of the Union
. Insurgency in varying degrees impacts on the Northeast with the exception of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh and has trans-border dimensions with Myanmar and Bangladesh .
The 21 to 65 km wide and 200 km long narrow Siliguri corridor between Nepal and Bangladesh is delicately poised when also considering China in the north. This corridor threatened by Kamtapuri insurgency and demographic inversion by Bangladesh can cut off the only land link to the Indian Northeast and in such an eventuality supplies will have to be maintained by air.
Consequently, Bhutan may also slip into the Chinese sphere of influence.
There is already a nexus between Maoists in Nepal and ULFA in Assam and is being enlarged to include PWG in India and Islamic terrorist groups in Bangladesh . With Dacca ’s geographical interface with five Indian states i.e. West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram; Indian security stands threatened by: demographic assault, arms and drug smuggling, and safe havens for Indian insurgent groups.
Islamic groups in Bangladesh under ISI tutelage, Saudi finance, and China ’s patronage, have become more vicious, thus adding another dimension to India ’s security headache.
if a vertical line from Central Uttar Pradesh southwards to Eastern Andhra Pradesh were drawn, it would lead to an ineluctale observation that India ’s Eastern Half is in turmoil. The Western Half is not only relatively progressive and peaceful but also generates most of the wealth along with the South
Just imagine the result if the Eastern Half along with Kashmir can be put in order through development and bold counter-measures, to ensure the requisite peace and stability, conducive to generation of wealth.
The battle of the ports... India Vs. China, US Vs. ???
clipped from: acorn.nationalinterest.in
The 218-km road connecting Delaram (on the Kandahar-Herat highway) to Zaranj, on the border with Iran has been completed.
It will provide landlocked Afghanistan an alternative access to the sea, the Iranian port of Chahbahar, allowing it to break free from Pakistan’s traditional stranglehold.
it remains to be seen if Iran will prove to be a better neighbour than Pakistan.
For Afghanistan, this is an opportunity to regain better access to the Indian market that it lost in 1947. For India, it is an opportunity to regain better access to Central Asia that it too lost in 1947.
US MILITARY SUPPLY ROUTE TO AFGHANISTAN
The Taliban has all but shut down the Pakistan supply route to Afghanistan. Russian routes are an option. The other option is to use the Iranian port of Chahbahar. The Indian government has spent over $1 billion to construct a multi-lane highway from the western Afghan city of Heart to the Iranian border to meet up with the road from Chahbahar. Some form of political deal with the regime in Tehran would enable the US and NATO to redirect most, if not all, the traffic that currently goes to Karachi—providing they retain control over Herat.
CHINA ALSO HAS A PLAN
clipped from: http://gawadarinnltd.com/page_1161468194468.html
In fact, Gwadar enjoys the status of a third Deep Sea Port of Pakistan which has a special significance with reference to trade links with Central Asian Countries, Persian Gulf, East Africa, United Arab Emirates and North Western India.
The Gwadar project came about as a result of a Sino-Pakistan agreement in March 2002, under which China Harbor Construction Corporation will build the port.
Beijing has provided $198 million for the first phase of the project and Islamabad's contribution has been $ 50 million. The scope of phase-1 includes construction of three multi-purpose berths each 200 meters long and capable of handling vessels up to 30,000 DWT.
By virtue of its excellent location, Gwadar port is also visualized to become a regional hub serving incoming and outgoing commercial traffic of the Middle Eastern and Gulf countries, the Xinjiang province of China, Iran in the west and Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the south and east.
According to some sources, Beijing also intends to take advantage of Gwadar's accessible international trade routes to Central Asian republics and Xinjiang. The plan envisages extending China's east-west railway from the border city of Kashi to Peshawar.
The incoming and outgoing cargo from Gwadar can then be delivered to China through the shortest route from Karachi to Peshawar. The same road and rail network can also be used for the supply of oil from the Gulf to the western provinces of China.
Additionally, China could also gain rail and road access to Iran through Pakistan's internal road and rail network. Use of Gwadar port by China should accelerate the growth and development of the port and the hinterland and enhance its overall commercial and strategic value.
India is helping develop the Chabahar port and that would give it access to the oil and gas resources in Iran and the Central Asian states, in this it is competing with the Chinese which is building the Gwadar port, in Pakistani Baluchistan.
Iran plans to use Chabahar for transhipment to Afghanistan and Central Asia while reserving the port of Bandar Abbas as a major hub mainly for trade with Russia and Europe.
India, Iran and Afghanistan have signed an agreement to give Indian goods, heading for Central Asia and Afghanistan, preferential treatment and tariff reductions at Chabahar
Work on the Chabahar-Melak-Zaranj-Dilaram route from Iran to Afghanistan is in progress. Iran is with Indian aid upgrading the Chabahar-Melak road and constructing a bridge on the route to Zaranj. India's BRO is laying the 213-kilometer Zaranj-Dilaram road. It is a part of its USD 750 million aid package to Afghanistan.
The advantages that Chabahar has compared to Gwadar are the greater political stability and security of the Iranian hinterland and the hositlity and mistrust that the Pakistani Baluchis hold against the Punjabi dominated Pakistani Federal government. The Baluchis consider Sino-Pak initiative at Gwadar as a strategy from Islamabad to deny the province its deserved share of development pie. They also look with suspicion on the settlement of more and more non-Baluchis in the port area.
The Chabahar port project is Iran's chance to end its US sponsored economic isolation and benefit form the resurgent Indian economy. Along with Bandar Abbas, Chabahar is the Iranian entrepot on the North - South corridor. A strategic partnership between India, Iran and Russia to establish a multi-modal transport link connecting Mumbai with St. Petersburg. Providing Europe and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia access to Asia and vice-versa.
Roll Back RUSSIA and "Contain" China.... IRAN is the PIVOT
"Defense Planning Guidance for 1994-99", [ Just a reminder of where we were in 2007....]
- "Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union,"
This remains the principal aim of US strategy today, but it has now been joined by another key objective:
- to ensure that the United States - and no one else - controls the energy supplies of the Persian Gulf and adjacent areas of Asia
This classic geopolitical contest began early 2001, White House
- unilaterally repudiating the US-Russian Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and
- announcing new high-tech arms sales to Taiwan,
May 4 (2006), when Vice President Dick Cheney went to Lithuania,
- He accused Kremlin officials of "unfairly and improperly" restricting the rights of Russian citizens and of
- using the country's abundant oil and gas supplies as "tools of intimidation [and] blackmail" against its neighbors. He also
- condemned Moscow for attempting to "monopolize the transportation" of oil and gas supplies in Eurasia - a direct challenge to US interests in the Caspian region.
The next day, Cheney flew to Kazakhstan,
- urged that country's leaders to ship their plentiful oil through a US-sponsored pipeline to Turkey and the Mediterranean rather than through Russian-controlled pipelines to Europe.
June 3, 2006, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld weighed in on China,
- Beijing's "lack of transparency" with respect to its military spending "understandably causes concerns for some of its neighbors".
- publicly announced plans for increased US spending on sophisticated weapons systems such as the F-22A fighter and Virginia-class nuclear attack submarines that could only be useful in a big-power war for which there were just two realistic adversaries - Russia and China.
China ... aggressive energy policies - ...
- its increasing attempts to nail down oil and gas supplies for its burgeoning, energy-poor economy. ...
- China's use of arms transfers and other military aid as inducements to such countries as Iran and Sudan to gain access to energy reserves ...
- acquiring warships "that could serve as the basis for a force capable of power projection" into the oil-producing regions of the planet.
Iran occupies a pivotal position on the tripolar chessboard.
- abuts both the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, positioning Tehran to play a significant role in the two areas of greatest energy concern to the United States, Russia and China.
- abuts the strategic Strait of Hormuz - the narrow waterway from the Gulf to the Indian Ocean through which about one-quarter of the world's oil moves every day.
- could be used as the most obvious transit route for the delivery of oil and natural gas from the Caspian countries to global markets, especially in Europe and Japan.
- possesses the world's second-largest reserves of petroleum - an estimated 132 billion barrels (11.1% of the world's known reservoirs); and also the second-largest reserves of natural gas - 971 trillion cubic feet (27.5 trillion cubic meters, or 15.3% of known reservoirs).
For China's energy plans, Iran's "pariah" status has certainly been a boon.
- US firms are barred from investing and European companies face US economic penalties if they do
- China signs deal US$50 billion in 2004 to develop the massive Yadavaran gas field and to
- buy 10 million tons of Iranian liquefied natural gas annually for 25 years.
Russia, has an abiding interest in not seeing
- energy-rich Iran fall under the sway of the US and,
- as a major supplier of nuclear equipment and technology, also has a special interest in lending a profitable hand to Iran's energy establishment.
- The Russians are completing the construction of a civilian nuclear reactor at Bushehr in southwestern Iran, a $1 billion project, and are
- eager to sell more reactors and other nuclear-energy systems to the Iranians
- the replacement of the clerical government in Tehran with a US-friendly regime would represent a colossal, threefold accomplishment:
- it would eliminate a major threat to America's continued dominance of the Persian Gulf,
- open up the world's No 2 oil-and-gas supplier to US energy firms, and
- greatly diminish Chinese and Russian influence in the greater Gulf region.
Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the
- US position in both the Persian Gulf region and Central Asia has noticeably deteriorated.
- greatest weakness remains the schism in US-European relations created by the unilateral US invasion itself
- Europeans have largely refrained from helping out either in the counter-insurgency effort in Iraq or in
- funding the reconstruction of the country.
This has imposed a ghastly and mounting cost on the United States.
the Russians and Chinese have begun to create something of a counter-bloc to the United States in Central Asia, using the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as a vehicle.
- went so far as to invite Iran to join as an observer - to the obvious displeasure of Washington.
At the same time, the United States has sought to line up its own allies -
- including South Asian wildcard India - for a possible military confrontation with Iran.
- The German press has also reported that former CIA director Peter Goss visited Turkey late last year (2005) to request that country's assistance in conducting air strikes against Iran.
Russia is planning to build a strong military contingent in Central Asia within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) comparable to NATO forces in Europe, a Russian business daily said on Friday.
The CSTO, a post-Soviet regional security bloc comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, has already agreed to create a joint rapid-reaction force, but Russia is preparing a new, larger-scale project.
"The work is being conducted in all areas, and a number of documents have been adopted," the Kommersant newspaper quoted an unidentified source in the Foreign Ministry as saying.
"It will be a purely military structure, built to ensure security in Central Asia in case of an act of aggression," the source said.
Russia already has joint military contingents with Belarus and Armenia in the CSTO framework.
The new force will comprise large military units from five countries - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
"It will include armored and artillery units, and a naval flotilla in the Caspian Sea," CSTO press secretary Vitaly Strugovets said earlier.
The creation of a powerful military contingent in Central Asia reflects Moscow's drive to make the CSTO a pro-Russian military bloc, rivaling NATO forces in Europe.
Russia's security strategy until 2020, recently approved by President Dmitry Medvedev, envisions the CSTO as "a key mechanism to counter regional military challenges and threats."
CSTO leaders are scheduled to gather for a summit in Moscow on June 14 to sign an agreement on the creation of a joint rapid-reaction force as an interim step toward the creation of a larger military grouping.
The rapid-reaction force will include an airborne division and an air assault brigade from Russia, and an air assault brigade from Kazakhstan. The remaining members will contribute a battalion-size force each, although Uzbekistan would "delegate" its detachments to take part in operations on an ad hoc basis
Friday, May 29, 2009
The IRAN "policy" debacle is unfolding fast....while US/ISRAELI Covert OPS. continue unabated...throughout the greater Middle East and beyond...http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB28/
Is Obama's Iran policy doomed to failure? Despite the president's promise to pursue “honest” negotiations with the Islamic Republic, is he actually following the advice of a senior advisor who instead believes that showing a willingness to negotiate is simply a tactic to build support for a war against Iran?
Serious concerns about Obama's approach are already being voiced by prominent pro-engagement Iran experts who are generally sympathetic to Obama's foreign policy ideas. In a NY Times Op-Ed, Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett put forth a disturbing thesis: “President Obama's Iran policy, in all likelihood, has already failed.” Meanwhile, Gary Sick writes on his new blog site, “The Leverett article is a timely cautionary note, which reminds us that we need to watch the new administration with a careful and critical eye.” While Sick pleads for greater patience in assessing Obama's Iran performance, the Leveretts and Sick share deep concern over the appointment of veteran diplomat Dennis Ross as a figure shaping Obama's Iran approach.
Flynt Leverett and his wife Hillary, who say they voted for Obama, are former National Security Council staffers who dealt with Iranian affairs and have maintained direct communications with Iranian officials since leaving government service. While applauding Obama's symbolic outreach to Iran since taking office, they argue that he is now “backing away from the bold steps required to achieve strategic Nixon-to-China-type rapprochement with Tehran.”
The Leveretts say Obama “has done nothing to cancel or repudiate” Bush's covert program to destabilize Iran. Moreover, they add, Obama is refusing to pursue a “grand bargain,” i.e., “a comprehensive framework for resolving major bilateral differences and fundamentally realigning relations.” Instead, they say, Obama's “approach to Iran degenerates into an only slightly prettified version of George W. Bush's approach — that is, an effort to contain a perceived Iranian threat without actually trying to resolve underlying political conflicts.” They cite their belief that Obama's team is buying into the “delusion” of creating a grand anti-Iran alliance of Arab states and Israel, and worry that Obama is already putting a “deadline” for successful talks. The problem, they argue, is that getting Iran policy right “would require a president to take positions that some allies and domestic constituencies won't like”—an apparent reference to Israel and its supporters in the U.S. What is needed, they conclude, is “strategic vision, political ruthlessness and personal determination.”
The Leveretts single out their deep concern over the “disturbing” role that Dennis Ross may be playing in developing Obama's Iran policy. Ross, it will be recalled, served as a Middle East envoy in various Republican and Democratic administrations, and was presiding over years of Israeli-Palestinian mediation when the negotiations collapsed with the outbreak of a Palestinian uprising in 2000.
They complain that Ross has long been an advocate of “engagement with pressure”—a strategy for showing a willingness to negotiate with Tehran mainly in order to win over broader regional and international support for intensifying economic pressure on Iran. The Leveretts damningly quote Ross from a conversation they held with him before Obama's election. Why negotiate with Iran if you believe that such talks will probably fail? “Because, he told us, if Iran continued to expand its nuclear fuel program, at some point in the next couple of years President Bush's successor would need to order military strikes against Iranian nuclear targets,” the Leveretts wrote. “Citing past ‘diplomacy' would be necessary for that president to claim any military action was legitimate. Iranian officials are fully aware of Mr. Ross's views — and are increasingly suspicious that he is determined that the Obama administration make, as one senior Iranian diplomat said to us, ‘an offer we can't accept,' simply to gain international support for coercive action.”
Gary Sick, also a former NSC staffer serving several presidents up to Reagan, questions some of the Leveretts' assumptions. He says Obama was correct not to rush into talks with Iran during the Iranian presidential election season. He also says you shouldn't confuse the desirable outcome of talks with the negotiating strategy to get there; that if a “grand bargain” is the ultimate goal, it doesn't necessarily mean that you commence negotiations by putting the whole package on the table at the start. Sick also questions whether Obama has really set the deadline that the Leveretts fretted about. Referring to Obama's recent comments after meeting Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu last week, Sick writes: “Although he appreciated the danger of indefinite talk with no action, he rejected the idea of an ‘artificial deadline.' Obama is very careful with his use of words, and it is important to pay attention to what he actually says, rather than the words that advocates on various sides may try to put in his mouth. That was no deadline.”
Sick, though, shares the Leveretts' concern about Dennis Ross's approach, citing his alleged shortcomings at some length:
Dennis Ross started about three years ago to refashion himself from a Palestinian-Israeli maven into an Iran expert. Over that period he wrote a number of papers and op-eds, and he participated as a signatory in other studies and web sites – all of which fit the pattern identified by the Leveretts as favoring lip service to negotiations while insuring failure.
Until just before he was nominated for his present position, Dennis Ross was, among other things, the chair of the Israeli-based Jewish People Policy Planning Institute which is supported by the Jewish Agency and which produces “professional strategic thinking and planning on short and long-term issues of primary concern to the Jewish People, with special attention to critical choices that have a significant impact on the future.” He was for seven years, quite simply, an informal (but well paid) policy planner for the Israeli government, writing policy papers for the president of Israel, among others. That his policy positions parallel those of the Israeli government should surely come as a surprise to no one. That he favors a pro forma attempt at negotiations with Iran, followed by far more severe sanctions or even military action if and when they fail, should also not be a surprise to anyone who reads the Israeli newspapers.
True, that's a pretty worrying background for an Obama advisor if the president is sincere about trying to reach out to Iran's government. But Sick argues that it is not at all clear that Ross has the key role the Leveretts attribute to him.
Sick explains that “there is an emerging Washington parlor sport of trying to figure out who is actually driving U.S. policy on Iran… There have been a number of leaks and un-sourced press reports claiming that Ross is functioning as the principal manager of the Iran policy review. A lot of those reports read as if they might have originated with Ross himself, who originally proclaimed himself a kind of Iran policy czar and who clearly aspires to that role. However, when the United States met with the other major powers on the subject of Iran in London recently, Washington was represented by Undersecretary of State Bill Burns and Ross was nowhere in sight… The real question is whether Dennis Ross is actually in charge of U.S. Iran policy.”
Sick is less concerned about the appointment of the more-hawkish-than-Obama Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, arguing that it's part of the psychological “game” that Iran plays, too; “The tough words of Secretary Clinton could be regarded as a positive factor, if only to let Iran know that there is opposition inside the administration to any easy deal and they should not expect a pushover.”
Yet, the Leveretts do raise a hugely important question about whether the appointments of Clinton and Ross will leave Obama with an “incoherent” Iran policy. If Obama is sincere when he tells Iran's leaders that he is “committed to diplomacy…that is honest and grounded in mutual respect…and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community,” that is simply not consistent with the appointment of a top advisor who favors “lip service to negotiations while insuring failure.” The danger is that if Obama can't figure out whether he wants to truly engage or fight, he risks the same policy drift that has pushed the U.S. and Iran closer and closer to armed conflict. Policy drift eventually enabled the hawks to trump the doves in America's march to war in Iraq in 2003. Obama says the “buck stops here” in the Oval Office, but will it already be too late once it does?
Sick is sensible to conclude, however, that “before we give up on Obama's negotiating approach, I suggest that we wait until there are actually some negotiations. Let us not start at the end of the process but rather at the beginning, where we (and the Iranians) still find ourselves.”
Netanyahu presented in 1996, in a speech to the joint session of the U.S.Congress, the fundamentals of a neocon policy paper called ‘Clean Break' enthusiastically as his policy. This doctrine, tinkered together by Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and his wife Meyraw, aimed at redrawing the map in the Middle East by ultimately getting at Iran.
The main milestones along this path were getting rid of Saddam Husein and, subsequently, attacking Iran, after first eliminating potential proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Also, Israel had to make a ‘clean break' with the Oslo accords of 1993 to regain the strategic initiative.
It looks as if Netanyahu, according to Avnery an unimaginative man mainly living on the intellectual capital, such as it is, provided by his pa, is still sticking to this script.
There have been setbacks. Efforts to eliminate Hezbollah and Hamas or, alternatively, to provoke Iran into a first strike by attacking these alleged proxies, have thus far failed.
Plans to bypass these stages and get at Iran directly have stranded on the resistance of Washington. According to a long article by David Sanger in the NYT of 1/10/09,it refused last year a request from Israel for specialized bunker busting bombs and denied it permission to fly over Iraq to reach Iran's major nuclear complex at Natanz.
The Israelis were told that the US was trying to subvert Iran's nuclear affairs by penetrating its nuclear supply chain abroad and undermining its electrical - and computer systems. There are also ongoing efforts to foment unrest within Iran by playing the ‘ethnic card'. According to the latest issue of Asia Time both the US and Israel have been stirring up the Kurds who have been waging daring cross-border attacks.
In the past Iran has accused both the US and Israel to be behind subversive activities by the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jundallah. A joint Iranian-Pakistani operation in Pakistan's Balochistan region made this group ineffective.
It doesn't look as if Washington is any more enthusiastic now to support a direct Israeli attack. Secretary Gates said recently that he feared the prospect of pre-emptive action against Iran as much as that of the country acquiring a nuclear weapon.
According to a recent report by William Pfaff there is now talk in European and Arab diplomatic circles of Iran being designated a ‘civil nuclear power' that can exercise its right under the ‘Nonproliferation Treaty' to develop power for civilian uses. Iran, of course, has signed this treaty as Israel has not. The country has persistently claimed that it wants nothing more than what this Treaty should grant it.
If those European-Arabic ideas prevail in the diplomatic campaign, whatever Iran has achieved along the military line is left in place - as ‘facts on the ground' so to speak.
The pathetic efforts of the hasbara spreaders to convince the outside world that Iran rather than Israel is the potential aggressor have been quite ineffective.Israel's only hope is now to set a trap for Iran which might make it nominally the aggressor after which Tel Aviv can claim 'self defense' (and draw the Americans in)....
coffee shop, a few feet from the spot where he and his Irgun cohorts had set off a bomb on July 22, 1946. 91 people were killed, 17 of whom were Jews. On May 17, 1977 Begin was elected Israel's Prime Minister, and in 1978 he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize. Yitzchak Shamir was a member of the Lehi, the most militant faction of the Irgun," ordering the assassination of UN Middle East Rep. Bernadotte in 1948. He became PM in 1986....
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Hundreds of Tribes with Flags to come....courtesy of the Pentagon's Killers
Every movement in history has a direction, a quantum, a modus operandi. According to the father of the philosophy of war Carl Von Clausewitz everything in strategy moves slowly, imperceptibly, subtly, somewhat mysteriously and sometimes invisibly. The greatness of a military commander or statesman lies in assessing these strategic movements.
The USA inherited a historical situation in the shape of 9/11.At this point in time it was not making history if we agree that 9/11 was the work of Al Qaeda for which so far the USA has failed to furnish any solid evidence. After 9/11 when the USA attacked Afghanistan ,US leaders and key military commanders were making history. They had a certain plan in mind. The stated objectives of these plan were the elimination of Al Qaeda. The unstated objective was the de-nuclearisation of Pakistan. This scribe has continuously held this position held consistently in articles published in Nation from September 2001,all through 2002,2003,2004,2005 and till 2009.
The US strategic plan followed the following distinct phases:
* An initial manoeuvre occupying Afghanistan in 2001.
* Establishing and consolidating US military bases near the Afghan Pakistan border. Most prominent being the Khost, Jalalabad, Sharan and Kunar US bases. Some military bases like Dasht I Margo in Nimroz and three other bases in Kandahar, Badakhshan and Logar were so secret that their construction was not even advertised. Even in case of sensitive areas the contracts were awarded to the US Government owned Shaw Inc and the CIA proxy operated Dyncorps Corporation. Patriotic Afghans trained in USSR were removed from Afghan Intelligence because they would not agree to be a party to USA’s dirty game in between 2001 and 2007.Similarly many patriotic Afghan officers trained in USSR were removed from the Afghan military establishment.
* Cultivating various tribes in ethnic groups on the Pakistan Afghan border by awarding them lucrative construction and logistic sub contracts.
* Forcing the Pakistani military to act against the FATA tribes thus destabilising Pakistan’s North West area close to the strategic heartland of Peshawar-Islamabad-Lahore where Pakistan’s political and military nucleus is located.
* Creating a situation where mysterious insurgencies erupted in various parts of Pakistan including FATA, Swat and Balochistan.
* Carrying forward urban terrorism into Punjab through various proxies.
Now it appears that the strategic plan is entering its final stage of launching a strategic coup de grace to Pakistan. These may be assessed as following :–
* US military buildup in Afghanistan and launching of an offensive against Taliban with an aim of pushing them into Pakistan.
* Simultaneously pressurising the Pakistan Army into launching an operation in Waziristan. Thus Pakistan Army gets severely bogged down and hundreds of thousands of refugees enter Pakistans NWFP and Balochistan provinces. Infiltrators and fifth columnists being a heavy promiscuous mixture of this movement.
* Since 2001 the USA has spent a great fortune collecting information on Pakistan’s strategic nuclear assets. It appears that in 2009 it has sufficient data to launch a covert operation.
* The covert nuclear operation could have a civilian and a military part. The civilian part may involve an attack on Pakistan’s non-military nuclear reactors like Chashma and KANUPP. The military covert operation could involve an attack on any of Pakistan’s strategic nuclear groups anywhere in Pakistan. Once this type of attack is done the USA with its NATO lackeys like Britain, France and Germany would go the UN and manoeuvre an international resolution demanding denuclearization of Pakistan. The international opinion may be so strong that Pakistan’s government may capitulate.
* Once Pakistan is de-nuclearisaed the USA would encourage Pakistan’s Balkanisation into a Baloch US satellite , a city state of MQM in Karachi, a Pakhtunistan badly bombed and in tatters and a Punjab stripped of nuclear potential , kicked and bullied by India. A Northern Area republic which is a US lackey unless China decides to call the US bluff by occupying the Northern Area.
What is the answer to this:
* An immediate clean break with USA/NATO and closing all NATO/US supply lines to Afghanistan.
* Mining and barbed wiring the Afghan Pakistan Border.
* Allowing the FATA agencies to import goods for Afghanistan duty free and scrapping the old Afghan Transit Trade Accord thus economically boosting the FATA.
* A military alliance with China with a Chinese Naval base at Gwadar.
* A rapprochement with Russia and offering the Russians free port facilities at Gwadar.
* Creation of a maritime province in Gwadar and Lasbela districts insulating these areas from the Baloch Sardars on payroll of US intelligence.
* Creation of a Pashtun Province in the Pashtun districts of Balochistan with Quetta as its capital.
* Cancelling all mineral concessions to all European/Australian/American companies in Balochistan and grant all mineral concessions to Chinese companies.
Everything is not inevitable in history. The ablest navigators can defeat the worst sea storms. Pakistan needs strategic and political vision. It may be necessary to have a military government to do all this in case the civilians prove inept.
Indian Naval Chief, Admiral Sureesh Mehta said in February 2008 that the Gwadar port has "serious strategic implications for India." "Being only 180 nautical miles from the exit of the Straits of Hormuz, Gwadar, being built in Baluchistan coast, would enable Pakistan take control over the world energy jugular and interdiction of Indian tankers," he said.
The Indians and USA are alarmed by the new Chinese plans as Indians feel they are encircled by China from three sides – Myanmar, Tibet and Pakistan. To counter that India has brought Afghanistan and Iran into an ‘unholy’ alliance.
India has built Chabahar Port in Sistan-Balochistan province of Iran just adjacent to Gawadar. Gawadar port is also called the Chinese Gibraltar by US. On the other hand Indians are also helping Iran in building a 200 km road that will connect Chabahar with Afghanistan. There are reports that Indians have used this route for military transport into Afghanistan.
A silent, reptilian war had been going on for years between the US-favored Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline and its rival, the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline, also known as the "peace pipeline". This past weekend, a winner emerged. And it's none of the above: instead, it's the 2,100-kilometer, US$7.5 billion IP (the Iran-Pakistan pipeline), with no India attached. (Please see Pakistan, Iran sign gas pipeline deal, May 27, 2009, Asia Times Online.)
This whole saga started way back in 1995 - about the time California-based Unocal started floating the idea of building a pipeline crossing Afghanistan. Now, Iran and Pakistan finally signed a deal this week in Tehran, by which Iran will sell gas from its mega South Pars fields to Pakistan for the next 25 years.
According to Iranian energy officials speaking to the ISNA news agency, the final deal will be signed in less than three weeks, slightly after the first round of the Iranian presidential election. The last 250 km of a 900-km pipeline stretch in Iran between Asalouyeh and Iranshahr, near the border with Pakistan, still needs to be built. The whole IP pipeline should be operational by 2014.
The fact that Islamabad has finally decided to move on is pregnant with meaning. For the George W Bush administration IPI was simply anathema; imagine India and Pakistan buying gas from "axis of evil" Iran. The only way to go was TAPI - an extension of the childish neo-conservative belief that the Afghanistan war was winnable.
Now, IP reveals Islamabad's own interests seemed to have prevailed against Washington's (unlike the virtually US-imposed Pakistan army offensive against the Taliban in the Swat Valley). The Barack Obama administration has been mum about IP so far. But it will be very enlightening to hear what former Bush pet Afghan Zalmay Khalilzad - who's been infiltrating himself as the next CEO of Afghanistan - has to say about it. (Please see Slouching towards Balkanization, May 22, 2009, Asia Times Online.) Khalilzad's Pipelineistan dream, since the mid-1990s, has always been a trans-Afghan pipeline capable of bypassing both Iran and Russia.
IP, IP, hurrah
India, for a number of reasons (the pricing system, transit fees and above all, security) de facto shelved the IPI idea last year. Had it not been the case, IPI would become a powerful vector in terms of South Asian regional integration - doing more to stabilize India-Pakistan relations than any diplomatic coup. Nevertheless, both Iran and Pakistan still have left an open door to India.
India's (momentary?) loss will be China's gain. Since 2008, with New Delhi having second thoughts, Beijing and Islamabad had set up an agreement - China would import most of this Iranian gas if India dropped out of IPI. China anyway is more than welcome business-wise to both Iran and Pakistan. Only in transit fees, Islamabad could collect as much as $500 million a year.
For Beijing, IP could not be more essential. Iranian gas will flow to the Balochistan province port of Gwadar, in the Arabian Sea (which China itself built, and where it is also building a refinery). And Gwadar is supposed to be connected to a proposed pipeline going north, mostly financed by China, along the Karakoram Highway (which by the way was largely built from the 1960s to the 1980s by Chinese engineers ... ).
Pakistan is the absolutely ideal transit corridor for China to import oil and gas from Iran and the Persian Gulf. With IP in place and with multi-billion-dollar, overlapping Tehran-Beijing gas deals, China can finally afford to import less energy via the Strait of Malacca, which Beijing considers exceedingly dangerous, and subject to Washington's sphere of influence.
With IP, not only China wins; Russia's Gazprom also wins. And by extension, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) wins. Russian deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yankovsky told the Kommersant business daily, "We are ready to join the project as soon as we receive an offer."
The reason is so blatant that Gazprom officials have not even bothered to disguise it. For Russia, IP is a gift-from-above tool in rerouting gas from Iran to South Asia, and away from competing with Russian gas. The big prize, in this case, is the Western European market, dependent almost 30% on Gazprom and the source of 80% of Gazprom's export profits.
The European Union is desperately trying to keep the Nabucco pipeline project - which bypasses Russia - afloat, so it may reduce its dependence on Gazprom. But as anyone in Brussels knows, Nabucco can only work if it is provided enough gas by either Iran or Turkmenistan. The Turkmenistan distribution system is controlled by Russia. And a deal with Iran implies no more US sanctions - still a long way away. With IP in place, Gazprom reasons, Nabucco is deprived of a key supply source.
All eyes on Balochistan
With IP firmly in place, the strategic spotlight focuses even more on Balochistan. (Please see Balochistan is the greatest prize, May 9, 2009, Asia Times Online.) First of all, there's an internal Pakistani question to be settled. An editorial in the Pakistani daily Dawn has stressed how Islamabad must be serious about hiring indigenous Balochi labor and making sure "the gains of the economic activity ... are focused on Balochistan for the benefit of its poverty-stricken people".
The port of Gwadar, in southwest Balochistan, near the Iranian border, is indeed bound to become a new Dubai - but not the way the vice president Dick Cheney and gang in Washington once dreamed of. Gas from the South Pars fields in Iran will definitely flow though it. As for gas from the Daulatabad fields in Turkmenistan, assuming TAPI ever gets built though war-torn Afghanistan, that's much more unlikely.
This all raises the crucial question: how will Islamabad deal with ultra-strategic Balochistan - east of Iran, south of Afghanistan, and boasting three Arabian sea ports, including Gwadar, practically at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz?
The New Great Game in Eurasia rules that Pakistan is a key pivot to both North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the SCO, of which Pakistan is an observer. Balochistan de facto incorporates Pakistan as a key transit corridor to Iranian gas from the monster South Pars fields, and not to a great deal of the Caspian wealth of "gas republic" Turkmenistan. For the Pentagon, the birth of IP is mega bad news. The ideal Pentagon scenario is the US controlling Gwadar - in yet one more prime confluence of Pipelineistan and the US Empire of Bases.
With Gwadar directly linked to Iran and developed virtually as a Chinese warehouse, the Pentagon also loses the mouth-watering opportunity of a long land route across Balochistan into Helmand, Nimruz, Kandahar or, better yet, all of these three provinces in southwest Afghanistan, where soon, not by accident, there will be another US mega-base in the "desert of death". From a Pentagon/NATO perspective, after the "loss" of the Khyber Pass, that would be the ideal supply route for Western troops in the perennial, now rebranded, GWOT ("global war on terror").
Islamabad has promised an all-parties conference "within days" to seriously deal with Balochistan. No one is holding their breath. Over a year ago, Balochistan was promised greater control over its immense natural resources - the undisputed, number-one Baloch grievance - and a massive aid package. Not much has happened.
Punjabis derisively refer to Balochistan's "backwardness". But the heart of the matter is systematic, hardcore pillage by Islamabad - combined with hardcore repression and serial Latin America-in-the-1970s-style "disappearances" of political activists and senior Baloch nationalists. Not to mention virtually no investment in health, education and job creation. This Third World dictatorship catalogue of disasters fuels Baloch nationalism and separatism.
Islamabad's paranoia is "foreign involvement" in the different strands of Balochistan's nationalist movements. That would be, in fact, the CIA, MI5 and the Israeli Mossad, all engaged in overlapping agendas which manipulate Balochistan for balkanization of Pakistan purposes and/or as a base for the destabilization of neighboring Iran's southeast. While the Taliban, Afghan or Pakistani, can roam free across Balochistan, Baloch nationalists are intimidated, harassed and killed.
Sanaullah Baloch, a secretary of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal, told Dawn how "several Baloch political parties tried to file charges against [former president General Pervez] Musharraf, but the country's institutions lack the will or courage to accept our plea against him." Studies show that rural poverty in Balochistan when Musharraf was in power increased 15% between 1999 and 2005.
Sanaullah Baloch roundly denounces the "civil-military elites" of Pakistan as implicated in the systematic repression going on in Balochistan; "Without their consent, no political regime can undo their policy of continued suppression."
And his analysis of why Islamabad has made a deal with the Taliban in Swat but won't do a deal with Balochis could not be more enlightening: "The establishment in Pakistan has always felt comfortable with religious groups as they do not challenge the centralized authority of the civil-military establishment. The demands of these groups are not political. They don't demand economic parity. They demand centralized religious rule which is philosophically closer to the establishment's version of totalitarianism. Islamabad's elite are stubborn against genuine Baloch demands: governing Balochistan, having ownership of resources, and control over provincial security."
So Islamabad still has all it takes to royally mess up what it has accomplished by approving IP. For the moment, Iran, Pakistan, China and Russia win. The SCO wins. Washington and NATO lose, not to mention Afghanistan (no transit fees). But will Balochistan also win? If not, all hell will break loose, from desperate Balochis sabotaging IP to "foreign interference" manipulating them into creating an even greater, regional, ball of fire.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Hardly had Barack Obama come to power, he said that stabilizing the situation in the Middle East was one of the first priorities of his team. When George W. Bush presented his plan to enforce democracy in the region, then-President of France Jacques Chirac stated that it was up for the countries of the Middle East to decide if they needed “missionaries of democracy.” The majority of other G8 leaders shared Chirac’s opinion on the matter.
Bush’s plan stipulated the interference into internal affairs of the region’s states. Those who supported Bush’s initiative claim that his plan was justifiable because the situation in the Middle East posed a serious danger to the world.
As a matter of fact, such dangers should be discussed at the UN Security Council. It is the UN Security Council that must determine the measures to neutralize the danger. However, all countries of the Middle East were supposed to accept the Western system of democracy in accordance with Bush’s plan.
Russia’s former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov stated that the US plan of enforcing democracy in other countries could be compared to the Trotskyists propagating the export of revolution during the 1920s. “They were not confused about the fact that the countries, which they selected, had no vestiges of the revolutionary situation. This is why their export failed,” Mr. Primakov said.
Europe was the center of the US-led foreign politics during the 20th century. The 9/11 terrorist attacks changed the priorities, and the USA became entirely concentrated on the territory from Pakistan to Northern Africa. The region’s immense crude resources and Israel ’s actions in the region became the central battlefield with those who stood up against the USA ’s global interests. As a result, many countries of the Middle East found themselves in chaos because of George W. Bush’s plan.
Experts say that the number of casualties in Iraq exceeded the number of victims of genocide in Rwanda during the 1990s. US troops and their allies suffer serious loses in Afghanistan. A civil war gripped Lebanon. Palestine is in the middle of the humanitarian catastrophe because of Israel’s repressions. The situation in Pakistan is at the peak of its tension, not to mention the growing confrontation between Syria and Israel.
The USA was approaching all those conflicts as the struggle between good and evil. In the Middle East, the conflicts led to the growing number of refugees, as well as illegal arms and drug deals. The instability and the ongoing military standoff have exhausted the states of the region. For example, there is no system of joint governmental authorities in Afghanistan. The country suffers from the humanitarian crisis; the production of drugs has increased 44 times within 7.5 years.
The blockade of Iraq, which continued for nearly 13 years before Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003, seriously undermined the nation’s economy. The interethnic strife in the country became much more intense after the arrival of the US troops in the country. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and Syria became involved (either expressly or by implication) in the conflicts in Iraq following their own geopolitical interests.
Strange as it may seem, but it was the USA that strengthened the influence of the “axis of evil” in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Palestine. The Middle East that the world has today is not the Middle East that the United States thought the world would have.
America has the new president now, but the politics in the region does not change for the better....
Sejil-2 is a two-stage surface-to-surface ballistic missile of a new generation, with a range of some 1,240 miles. It can presumably hit targets in Israel, Asia Minor and the Balkans.
However, analysts doubt that it is a completely new missile and believe Iranian television showed the launch of the Shahab-3 missile created in the early 2000s on the basis of North Korea's Nodong missile.
But this does not change the essence of the debate. The main issue is the possibility of Iran using its missiles and the number of troops and equipment necessary to respond to a potential Iranian strike.
The political importance of Iran's missile program is greater than its military implications. The creation of new missiles increases Tehran's political bargaining power with the West. The broader capabilities Iranian missile designers show, the more Iran may receive in response for its potential concessions.
This tactic does not entail any real threat of the use of these missiles. A potential Iranian missile strike will almost certainly result in the total destruction of Iran's missile capability and in heavy losses for the country and its economy. This cannot justify the relatively minor damage Iran would likely exact from its adversaries.
Therefore, the announcement of new missile tests and missile characteristics should be viewed as PR spin aimed at raising Iran's stakes in the global political game.
However, the situation may become sinister if Iran creates nuclear warheads for its missiles. This upping of the stakes will almost definitely tighten military tensions around Iran and rule out the possibility of talks on different problems.
This is what is now happening on the Korean Peninsular after North Korea held its second nuclear test. In fact, it has pushed Pyongyang into nearly complete isolation.
The situation around Iran is also being influenced by the other key regional country, Israel, which can and will deliver a strike at Iran's nuclear facilities under certain conditions. It is unclear if and when Israel will cross the thin line into a military operation, disregarding world public opinion.
At the same time, the United States is deploying ballistic missile defense (ABM) systems to ward off Iran's missile threat. The ABM system has provoked heated debates between the U.S. and Russia, which claims that the systems, if deployed as planned, are designed to intercept Russian rather than Iranian missiles.
Russia has several times proposed an alternative plan of deploying interceptor missiles on Iran's borders - in Turkey, Kuwait and possibly Iraq. This would simplify the task of intercepting Iranian missiles without endangering Russia's nuclear missile capability.
The plan provides for using not the expensive silo-launched GBI missiles but the theater high-altitude area defense (THAAD) U.S. PAC-3 and Israeli Arrow (Hetz) missiles, and other mobile (and possibly naval) systems.
Does the United States consider the Iranian missile threat to be serious, or is it using it as a pretext for deploying its ABM systems spearheaded against Russia? We will know the answer when Washington responds to Russia's proposal.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
May , 2009 -- The neocons' "final solution" for minorities takes shape under Obushma
The neocon Democrats are back in power in Washington, DC. The tell-tale signs are the massacres of innocent brown and black skinned civilians that are taking place around the world. During the Clinton administration, there were wholesale slaughters of civilians in Rwanda, Congo/Zaire, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Palestine, Haiti, South Yemen, Nepal, Peru, and other countries that were carried out by U.S., British, South African, and Israeli mercenary companies, U.S. military "advisers," and U.S. and British special operations forces.
Under eight years of Team Clinton, ethnic minorities and indigenous groups who took on dictatorships backed by multi-national corporations for control of their resources and lands could expect to face the military power of the United States and that of its allies in Britain and Israel. Clinton foreign and national security policy officials Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger, William Cohen, Susan Rice, Richard Holbrooke, and others portrayed a kinder and gentler imperialism on the oppressed peoples of the world.
During the eight years of Bush and Cheney, the world's ethnic minorities had no illusions about what they were up against. Bush and Cheney took Clinton's extraordinary rendition policy and turned it into a giant drift net that picked anyone up who was in the wring place at the wrong time and subjected them to institutionalized torture and sexual molestation.
With Obama, some of the same Clinton players are back, including Rice, Holbrooke, and James Steinberg, and so is the policy of massacring those who stand up to multinational corporations, globalization, and Western hegemony. To ensure Clinton policies are resurrected and adhered to, Hillary Clinton serves as Secretary of State, Albright's old job.
During Clinton's administration, it was Lebanon, Rwanda and Zaire/Congo that took the brunt of Clinton/Tony Blair "Third Way" imperialism. Under Obama, it is Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Palestine, and Nigeria that are in the cross-hairs of the globalists and their corporate and neocon lackeys in Washington, London, Paris, and Tel Aviv/Jerusalem.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip continue to be under siege by Israeli troops and an inhumane economic blockade continues to be enforced by the extreme right-wing expansionist regime of Binyamin Netanyahu, Zionist racist Avigdor Lieberman, and neo-Labor Ehud Barak in Jerusalem.
May 2009 will go down in history as the month the Obama administration adopted and embarked on bloody Clintonian "Third Way" final solutions to ethnic uprisings around the world.....
The viciousness of the Israelis' "final solution" in the Gaza Strip has been emulated by Sri Lanka on the Jaffna Peninsula in the north of the country. Some 100,000 civilians have been forced into concentration camps by Sri Lanka's government, which launched an all-out successful offensive against the separatist Tamil Tigers, killing the top leadership of the movement in the process. Tens of thousands of Tamil civilians had been trapped in the narrow Mullaitivu strip on Jaffna where they were then exposed to an incessant Sri Lankan military offensive. Herding innocent civilians into narrow strips and laying siege to them in a "final solution" now appears to be the order of the day for the regimes in Jerusalem and Colombo.
Not only did Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's military receive counter-insurgency and intelligence support from Israel but he was attending the Group of Eleven Summit of Middle-Income States on Jordan's Dead Sea at the same time his troops were routing the last Tamil Tiger leaders in their final solution campaign. The Jordan Summit was also attended by Israeli government representatives, as well as by Georgian President Mikhael Saakashvili, a virtual stooge of the Israelis and global troublemaker George Soros. The Jordan Summit was being held at the same time as the Bilderberg globalists were meeting in Greece.
Rajapaksa's predecessor, Chandrika Kumaratunga, upgraded relations with Israel in 2000. Quickly, Israeli technicians from Israel Aircraft Industries began upgrading Sri Lanka's Israeli-made Kfir fighter planes with advanced weapons systems and avionics. Israel also supplied Sri Lanka with Superhawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In October 2005, an Israeli UAV, operating from the Vavuniya base north of Colombo, crashed in Tamil rebel-held territory in the north of the island nation. In January 2003, another Israeli UAV crashed in the north of the country.
Israel's use of Sri Lanka as a military training base goes back to the 1980s. In January 1985, the Indian weekly Blitz reported that the Mossad was providing weapons and intelligence training to Afghan mujahidin insurgents at bases in Sri Lanka.The Afghans reportedly arrived in Colombo from Pakistan carrying Pakistani passports. The Paris-based magazine Afrique-Asie reported that Mossad budgeted $100 million for training and bribing Afghan mujahidin insurgents. It would not be the first time that Mossad would be linked to the Afghan mujahidin insurgents. During the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan, Mossad agents reportedly operated in Afghanistan with a "wink and a nod" not only from the Taliban but from so-called "Al Qaeda" insurgents, some of whom had been trained by the Mossad in Sri Lanka during the 1980s and the mujahidin war against the Soviet Union.
While Sri Lanka's Tamils have sought assistance from their brethren Tamils in India's Tamil Nadu to the north, the Tamils of the Indian state should not be so sanguine about facing problems from Israeli military advisers. In 2003, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu of the state to the north of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, concluded an agreement with the Israeli security company Nirtal to beef up security and police services in the state. Naidu visited Tel Aviv and met with Nirtal's chairman, General Assaf Hefetz, a former head of the Israeli National Police and who formed the Israeli Police Counter-Terrorist Unit. Nirtal has assisted in counter-terrorism operations in the United States, Mexico, and Greece.
At the same time that Sri Lankan troops and their Israeli advisers were ethnically cleansing Tamils on the Mullaitivu Strip, Nigerian forces, trained by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) trainers and Israeli advisers, were attacking civilian villages in the Niger Delta region, which has been environmentally decimated by Royal Dutch Shell and other multinational corporate ogres.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), viewed as much a terrorist organization by Nigeria and the Tamil Tigers were viewed by Sri Lanka, claimed that Nigerian used missiles and bombs on several Ijaw communities in Nigeria's Delta State. The Ijaw National Congress said that Nigerian forces waged an air, sea, and land military campaign in which over 1,000 civilians were killed.
MEND and Ijaws have retaliated against oppression from Nigeria and Shell by attacking oil tankers and pipelines in the Niger Delta region.
Where did Nigeria learn its new tactics of "blitzkrieg" and a "final solution" to restive ethnic minorities? In January 2001, Israel's ambassador to Nigeria, George Obiozor declared that the relationship between Israel and Nigeria had vastly improved in the area of "military strategic training."
At the same time Israel was providing training to the Nigerians in the art of genocide against the people of the Delta region, the U.S. mercenary firm, Military Professional Resources Inc. (MPRI) had already provided counter-insurgency training to the Nigerians. MPRI cut its teeth in providing the Croatian military and the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) with training and other support to attack the Serbs during the Madeleine Albright-led Balkans war against Belgrade.
The editor wrote about MPRI in the August 1999 Progressive: "[MPRI] which, according to Jane's Intelligence Review, is involved in internal conflicts in Angola and the Congo, as well as the Balkans--did more than $48 million in business in 1997. MPRI's motto is: 'Our integrity is our most treasured asset.' Some of the military leadership of the KLA includes veterans of MPRI-planned Operations Storm and Strike, 1995 Croatian military offensives that resulted in the ethnic cleansing of Serbs from eastern Croatia. One former CIA official confided that he is not surprised that MPRI is now involved with the KLA. 'It fits the pattern,' he said. The military commander of the KLA, Agim Ceku, is a former brigadier general in the Croatian army, and, according to the London Independent's Robert Fisk, an 'ethnic cleanser' in his own right. Along with MPRI military advisers, Ceku helped plan the Croatian offensive that drove some 350,000 Croatian Serbs from Krajina province. Croatian forces also destroyed more than 10,000 Croatian Serb homes."
MPRI's relationship with the Nigerian military received a boost from the Bush administration. Two Bush officials, Theresa Whelan, Africa director in the Defense Department's Office of International Security Affairs and Victor Nelson, a former U.S. military attaché in Abuja and Whelan's director for West Africa, visited Abuja to boost the MPRI training link with Nigeria's military. MPRI established a Joint Combined Arms Training System in Abuja that planned operations against the hapless peoples of the Niger Delta who were opposing further encroachments by oil companies owned and operated by George W. Bush's and Dick Cheney's friends. Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon brought Nigerian officers and non-commissioned officers to Fort Polk in Louisiana for specialized counter-insurgency training targeting the Niger Delta peoples.
The U.S. military training project was spurred by then-Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is now under investigation by Nigerian prosecutors for receiving bribes from Cheney's firm Halliburton/Kellogg, Brown & Root to award the company and its partners a lucrative liquefied natural gas project -- the so-called Team JKS project, led by a consortium of Kellogg, Brown and Root, Snamprogetti and JGC of Japan. .
The U.S.-supported ethnic cleansing that occurred in Croatia and other nations under Clinton's "Third Way" of "Third Reich" behavior is now repeating itself under the neo-Third Way policies of Obama and Clinton's wife. For many of the world's beleaguered ethnic minorities who are facing Israeli- and American-trained professional mass murderers of the infamous White House Murder INC, ......that is "change" they do not want to believe in.....