April 17, 2012
A British peer has allegedly announced a £10-million bounty for Barack Obama and George W. Bush, prompting his suspension from the UK’s Labour party. Lord Ahmed denies this, saying his comments about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were misunderstood.
It all began with the announcement from Washington of a $10-million bounty for information that would lead to the capture and conviction of Hafiz Saeed, suspected of taking part in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
“If the US can announce a reward of $10 million for the captor of Hafiz Saeed, I can announce a bounty of £10 million on President Obama and his predecessor George Bush,” Ahmed was quoted by Pakistani newspaper the Express Tribune as saying. The paper also said Lord Ahmed was prepared to arrange the bounty at any cost, even if that meant selling all his personal assets, including his house.
Lord Ahmed allegedly made the comments at a reception in his honor in Haripur, Pakistan.
The Labour party, of which Lord Ahmed is a member, responded swiftly by suspending his membership and starting an investigation into the matter.
“If these comments are accurate we utterly condemn these remarks which are totally unacceptable,” a party spokesperson told the BBC.
Lord Ahmed denies the claims he set up a bounty.
February 24, 2012
By Charlie McGrath
Is it time to panic? If you listen to the current administration, then the answer is, No. Things are getting better, and an 8.3% unemployment rate proves it.
With the exception of Ron Paul, the GOP candidates seem to be more concerned with reproductive choice and lowering gas prices. In fact, the rhetoric from both ‘teams’ is about what we’d expect, being that we’re headlong into political playtime.
Looking at the world through twisted prism of the mainstream may leave you feeling that things are a bit challenging, but under control. But nothing could be further from the truth. We have a gathering storm front, and it promises to be a vicious storm indeed.
The fact that US military expansion is not the number one story nightly by Western media is utterly amazing. Ron Paul works hard at every opportunity to show how military projection is not only destroying our country financially, but also in the eyes of much of the world we are rapidly turning into the freedom-hating, terror-loving fanatics we claim to be fighting.
This world perception of the U.S. is with good reason: 900 bases in over 100 countries is one reason, but the constant beating of the drums of war is nearly deafening to the rest of the world, yet is barely mentioned on the nightly news or in one of the neverending GOP debates, unless it is in the context of how we need more war.
Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Nigeria, Uganda, Yemen, Syria, and the list keeps growing. Iran seemed to have sealed its fate when announcing the end of support of the petro dollar, but of course the public is told it is because they hate freedom, Israel, rights, women, Democracy, Christians, puppies, anything and everything but the truth — control over the region’s energy resources.
If the tension over the threat of war is bad, then the economic condition of the planet is catastrophic. Countless billions have been spent, swelling ‘sovereign’ debt globally to save Big Banks from loss; bringing an end to representative Government to most of the world — that is, of course, unless you can pay to be represented.
February 14, 2012
By Tony Cartalucci
“The BBC is just the UK’s version of FOX, MSNBC, and all of the other 24-hour ‘news’ machines.” –KTRN
It has been recently reported by The Independent, that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) “will today apologize to an estimated 74 million people around the world for a news fixing scandal, exposed by The Independent, in which it broadcast documentaries made by a London TV company that was earning millions of pounds from PR clients which it featured in its programming.”
While The Independent focuses on scandals revolving around the Malaysian government, members of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak’s regime, and corporations like Microsoft, the reek of propaganda wafting off from all that BBC involves itself with has been a case study for years.
Three overtly suspect projects BBC recently backed immediately come to mind, including “Thailand: Justice Under Fire” together with “Secret Pakistan,” and “The Lady,” regarding US and British-funded Myanmar proxy, Aung San Suu Kyi. These three “works” have been exposed as overt propaganda, peddling an agenda rather than anything resembling objective documentaries. BBC’s “Secret Pakistan,” for example, literally attempted to rewrite 10 years of history where Pakistan, rather than Al Qaeda or “Bin Laden” was retrospectively made responsible for the ongoing violence in Afghanistan and the death of Western troops.
And while The Independent offers up their handful of negligible admissions regarding Malaysia, Egypt, and Microsoft, exposing how special interests compromised BBC’s “integrity,” the special interests behind other BBC “documentaries” are easily identified — granted you do not watch them in suspended disbelief, accepting everything as truthful, and fully trusting in BBC’s obviously non-existent credibility.
BBC is not only guilty of making fraudulent, deceitful propaganda dressed up as “documentaries,” but their general “reporting” is also a breathtaking daily assault on truth, objectivity, and journalistic integrity. No where can this be seen better than in BBC’s coverage of the events in Egypt and Libya last year, and in particular illustrated in an excerpt from February 2011′s “Libya Conquered in the Dark: BBC’s Breathtaking Propagandizing:”
January 23, 2012
By Chris Allbritton
The death of a senior al Qaeda leader in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal badlands, the first strike in almost two months, signaled that the U.S.-Pakistan intelligence partnership is still in operation despite political tensions.
The Jan 10 strike — and its follow-up two days later — were joint operations, a Pakistani security source based in the tribal areas told Reuters.
They made use of Pakistani “spotters” on the ground and demonstrated a level of coordination that both sides have sought to downplay since tensions erupted in January 2011 with the killing of two Pakistanis by a CIA contractor in Lahore.
“Our working relationship is a bit different from our political relationship,” the source told Reuters, requesting anonymity. “It’s more productive.”
U.S. and Pakistani sources told Reuters that the target of the Jan 10 attack was Aslam Awan, a Pakistani national from Abbottabad, the town where Osama bin Laden was killed last May by a U.S. commando team.
They said he was targeted in a strike by a U.S.-operated drone directed at what news reports said was a compound near the town of Miranshah in the border province of North Waziristan.
That strike broke an undeclared eight-week hiatus in attacks by the armed, unmanned drones that patrol the tribal areas and are a key weapon in U.S. President Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism strategy.
The sources described Awan, also known by the nom-de-guerre Abdullah Khorasani, as a significant figure in the remaining core leadership of al Qaeda, which U.S. officials say has been sharply reduced by the drone campaign. Most of the drone attacks are conducted as part of a clandestine CIA operation.
January 11, 2012
By Greg Miller
The Obama administration’s counterterrorism accomplishments are most apparent in what it has been able to dismantle, including CIA prisons and entire tiers of al-Qaeda’s leadership. But what the administration has assembled, hidden from public view, may be equally consequential.
In the space of three years, the administration has built an extensive apparatus for using drones to carry out targeted killings of suspected terrorists and stealth surveillance of other adversaries. The apparatus involves dozens of secret facilities, including two operational hubs on the East Coast, virtual Air Force cockpits in the Southwest and clandestine bases in at least six countries on two continents.
The emergence of hunter-killer and surveillance drones as revolutionary new weapons in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in counterterrorism operations in places such as Pakistan and Yemen, has spawned a multibillion-dollar industry.
Other commanders in chief have presided over wars with far higher casualty counts. But no president has ever relied so extensively on the secret killing of individuals to advance the nation’s security goals.
The rapid expansion of the drone program has blurred long-standing boundaries between the CIA and the military. Lethal operations are increasingly assembled a la carte, piecing together personnel and equipment in ways that allow the White House to toggle between separate legal authorities that govern the use of lethal force.
In Yemen, for instance, the CIA and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command pursue the same adversary with nearly identical aircraft. But they alternate taking the lead on strikes to exploit their separate authorities, and they maintain separate kill lists that overlap but don’t match. CIA and military strikes this fall killed three U.S. citizens, two of whom were suspected al-Qaeda operatives.
The convergence of military and intelligence resources has created blind spots in congressional oversight. Intelligence committees are briefed on CIA operations, and JSOC reports to armed services panels. As a result, no committee has a complete, unobstructed view.
With a year to go in President Obama’s first term, his administration can point to undeniable results: Osama bin Laden is dead, the core al-Qaeda network is near defeat, and members of its regional affiliates scan the sky for metallic glints.
January 3, 2012
The time has long since past when it became fashionable to talk about a new world order. The collapse of the Soviet Union provided an opportunity to fashion one. But instead of using that opportunity to create a new security architecture in Europe, Nato expanded eastwards as the military anchor for democracy promotion. Not content to have seen off one global military competitor in the Soviet Union, the western military industrial complex and the think-tanks they funded scurried around for a worthy replacement. When 11 September happened, they thought they were in business again. For a brief moment, al-Qaida seemed to fulfil some of the characteristics of communism: it could pop up anywhere in the world; it was an existential enemy, driven ideologically and uncontainable through negotiation; and it was potentially voluminous. Neither the doctrines of the pre-emptive strike, nor attacking a foreign country abroad to ensure security at home, were new. Swap the domino theory of the Vietnam era for the crescent of crisis of the Bush and Obama eras, and you had the same formula for a foe that hopscotched across the globe.
But here’s the curious thing. Al-Qaida failed, not by being bombed out of the tribal areas of Pakistan or by losing its video-hugging leader. It failed as an ideological alternative, in its own terms and for its own people. It failed in Egypt, the country that mattered most to its chief thinker, the Egyptian-born doctor Ayman al-Zawahiri. When the opportunity arose for millions of Muslims to shed their brutal Arab yoke (this was supposed to be the fourth phase in the construction of the Caliphate, to be accompanied by physical attacks against oil suppliers and cyber ones on the US economy), nothing of the sort happened. Islam is indeed winning the day, but it is political rather than military. It seeks alliances with the apostate and says it is committed to democratic partnership and the rule of law.
December 2, 2011
The Sydney Morning Herald
By Chris Brummitt
“This report shows the US military is to blame over the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers. How could the world’s ‘best’ military make this kind of ridiculous error?” –KTRN
US officials gave Pakistan soldiers the wrong location when asking for clearance to attack militants along the border last weekend, Pakistani military officials say.
The strike resulted in the deaths of 24 soldiers and a major crisis in relations between Washington and Islamabad.
The claim was the latest in a series by mostly anonymous officials in both countries trying to explain what happened before and during last week’s bombing of two Pakistani border checkpoints by US aircraft.
NATO and the US have expressed regret for the loss of lives, but have rejected Pakistani allegations it was a deliberate act of aggression.
The incident has pushed already strained ties between Washington and Islamabad close to rupture, complicating American hopes of securing Pakistan’s help in negotiating an end to the Afghan war.
In retaliation for the raid, Islamabad has already closed its western border to NATO supplies travelling into landlocked Afghanistan.
Thousands of Islamic extremists and other demonstrators took to the streets across the country after Friday prayers to protest the November 26 strike.
Some called on the army to attack the US-led coalition in Afghanistan.
Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has ordered military commanders on the Afghan border to respond to any repeated attack by NATO, said Information Minister Firdous Awan.
She said Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani told a national security council meeting on Friday that: “It is a unanimous decision after consultation at the leadership level.”
US officials have told The Associated Press that Saturday’s incident occurred when a joint US and Afghan patrol requested backup after being hit by mortar and small arms fire by Taliban militants.
Before responding, the patrol first checked with the Pakistani army, which reported it had no troops in the area, they said.
November 30, 2011
By Omar Waraich
“If Ron Paul was president, we wouldn’t be fighting in this bogus war to being with. They want us to leave and we should listen. Why are we there if we are not wanted?” –KTRN
Pakistan has angrily rejected claims that its troops opened fire on Afghan and Nato forces before Nato airstrikes left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead on Saturday. In an escalation of tensions, the Pakistan army has said that the attack was deliberate and unprovoked.
“There was no fire from this direction,” said Major General Athar Abbas, the Pakistan military’s chief spokesman. “If there was any fire, where are the casualties on their side? Where’s the effect of our firing?”
Afghan officials had claimed that the Pakistanis started the firing, forcing them to call for close Nato air support that led to a retaliatory strike.
Gen Abbas also said that Pakistan had already given Nato the coordinates of two border posts that were attacked, 300 metres inside Pakistani territory, dismissing suggestions of a mistake.
The border posts were established in the Mohmand tribal agency after the Pakistan army pushed militants across the border into Afghanistan. Some 24 Pakistani soldiers and officers manned each of the posts.
November 28, 2011
By SEBASTIAN ABBOT
“If this story isn’t proof that we need Ron Paul as president, who knows what is. If it were up to Paul, we wouldn’t be fighting in Pakistan to begin with. Yay for war.” –KTRN
Pakistan has blocked vital supply routes for U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan and demanded Washington vacate a base used by American drones after coalition aircraft allegedly killed 24 Pakistani troops at two posts along a mountainous frontier that serves as a safe haven for militants.
The incident Saturday was a major blow to American efforts to rebuild an already tattered alliance vital to winding down the 10-year-old Afghan war. Islamabad called the bloodshed in one of its tribal areas a “grave infringement” of the country’s sovereignty, and it could make it even more difficult for the U.S. to enlist Pakistan’s help in pushing Afghan insurgents to engage in peace talks.
A NATO spokesman said it was likely that coalition airstrikes caused Pakistani casualties, but an investigation was being conducted to determine the details. If confirmed, it would be the deadliest friendly fire incident by NATO against Pakistani troops since the Afghan war began a decade ago.
A prolonged closure of Pakistan’s two Afghan border crossings to NATO supplies could cause serious problems for the coalition. The U.S., which is the largest member of the NATO force in Afghanistan, ships more than 30 percent of its non-lethal supplies through Pakistan. The coalition has alternative routes through Central Asia into northern Afghanistan, but they are costlier and less efficient.
Pakistan temporarily closed one of its Afghan crossings to NATO supplies last year after U.S. helicopters accidentally killed two Pakistani soldiers. Suspected militants took advantage of the impasse to launch attacks against stranded or rerouted trucks carrying NATO supplies. The government reopened the border after about 10 days when the U.S. apologized. NATO said at the time the relatively short closure did not significantly affect its ability to keep its troops supplied.
October 24, 2011
By Augustine Anthony
Afghanistan would support Pakistan in case of military conflict between Pakistan and the United States, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in an interview to a private Pakistani TV channel broadcast on Saturday.
The remarks were in sharp contrast to recent tension between the two neighbors over cross-border raids, and Afghan accusations that Pakistan was involved in killing the chief Afghan peace envoy, former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, by a suicide bomber on September 20.
“God forbid, If ever there is a war between Pakistan and America, Afghanistan will side with Pakistan,” he said in the interview to Geo television.
“If Pakistan is attacked and if the people of Pakistan needs Afghanistan’s help, Afghanistan will be there with you.”
Such a situation is extremely unlikely, however. Despite months of tension and tough talk between Washington and Islamabad, the two allies appear to be working to ease tension.
In a two-day visit to Islamabad, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued stern warnings and asked for more cooperation in winding down the war in Afghanistan, but ruled out “boots on the ground” in North Waziristan, where Washington has been pushing Pakistan to tackle the Haqqani network.
The Haqqani are a group of militants Washington has blamed for a series of attacks in Afghanistan, using sanctuaries in the Pakistani tribal region along the Afghan border.
Pakistan is seen as a critical to the U.S. drive to end the conflict in Afghanistan.
Pressure on Islamabad has been mounting since U.S. special forces found and killed Osama bin Laden in May in a Pakistani garrison town, where he apparently had been living for years.
The secret bin Laden raid was the biggest blow to U.S.-Pakistan relations since Islamabad joined the U.S. “war on terror” after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
Karzai said tensions between the United States and Pakistan did not have any impact in his country’s attitude toward Pakistan.
The TV channel, Geo, did not say when the interview was conducted.
Afghans have long been suspicious of Pakistan’s intentions in their country and question its promise to help bring peace. Karzai repeated that concern in his remarks.
“Please brother, stop using all methods that hurt us and that are now hurting you.
“Let’s engage from a different platform, a platform in which the two brothers only progress toward a better future in peace and harmony,” he said.
Following the death of Rabbani, Karzai said he would cease attempting to reach out to the Afghan Taliban and instead negotiate directly with Pakistan, saying its military and intelligence services could influence the militants to make peace.