US Sends Planes Armed With Depleted Uranium to Middle East
A type of airplane, the A-10, deployed this month to the Middle East by the US Air National Guard’s 122nd Fighter Wing, is responsible for more Depleted Uranium (DU) contamination than any other platform, according to the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW). “Weight for weight and by number of rounds more 30mm PGU-14B ammo has been used than any other round,” said ICBUW coordinator Doug Weir, referring to ammunition used by A-10s, as compared to DU ammunition used by tanks.
Public affairs superintendent Master Sgt. Darin L. Hubble of the 122nd Fighter Wing told me that the A-10s now in the Middle East along with “300 of our finest airmen” have been sent there on a deployment planned for the past two years and have not been assigned to take part in the current fighting in Iraq or Syria, but “that could change at any moment.”
Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright told me, “There is no prohibition against the use of Depleted Uranium rounds, and the [US military] does make use of them. The use of DU in armor-piercing munitions allows enemy tanks to be more easily destroyed.”
On Thursday, several nations, including Iraq, spoke to the United Nations First Committee, against the use of Depleted Uranium and in support of studying and mitigating the damage in already contaminated areas. A non-binding resolution is expected to be voted on by the Committee this week, urging nations that have used DU to provide information on locations targeted. A number of organizations are delivering a petition to US officials this week urging them not to oppose the resolution.
In 2012 a resolution on DU was supported by 155 nations and opposed by just the UK, US, France, and Israel. Several nations have banned DU, and in June Iraq proposed a global treaty banning it – a step also supported by the European and Latin American Parliaments.
Wright said that the US military is “addressing concerns on the use of DU by investigating other types of materials for possible use in munitions, but with some mixed results. Tungsten has some limitations in its functionality in armor-piercing munitions, as well as some health concerns based on the results of animal research on some tungsten-containing alloys. Research is continuing in this area to find an alternative to DU that is more readily accepted by the public, and also performs satisfactorily in munitions.”
“I fear DU is this generation’s Agent Orange,” US Congressman Jim McDermott told me. “There has been a sizable increase in childhood leukemia and birth defects in Iraq since the Gulf War and our subsequent invasion in 2003. DU munitions were used in both those conflicts. There are also grave suggestions that DU weapons have caused serious health issues for our Iraq War veterans. I seriously question the use of these weapons until the US military conducts a full investigation into the effect of DU weapon residue on human beings.”
Doug Weir of ICBUW said renewed use of DU in Iraq would be “a propaganda coup for ISIS.” His and other organizations opposed to DU are guardedly watching a possible US shift away from DU, which the US military said it did not use in Libya in 2011. Master Sgt. Hubble of the 122nd Fighter Wing believes that was simply a tactical decision. But public pressure had been brought to bear by activists and allied nations’ parliaments, and by a UK commitment not to use DU.
DU is classed as a Group 1 Carcinogen by the World Health Organization, and evidence of health damage produced by its use is extensive. The damage is compounded, Jeena Shah at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) told me, when the nation that uses DU refuses to identify locations targeted. Contamination enters soil and water. Contaminated scrap metal is used in factories or made into cooking pots or played with by children.
CCR and Iraq Veterans Against the War have filed a Freedom of Information Act Request in an attempt to learn the locations targeted in Iraq during and after the 1991 and 2003 assaults. The UK and the Netherlands have revealed targeted locations, Shah pointed out, as did NATO following DU use in the Balkans. And the United States has revealed locations it targeted with cluster munitions. So why not now?
“For years,” Shah said, “the US has denied a relationship between DU and health problems in civilians and veterans. Studies of UK veterans are highly suggestive of a connection. The US doesn’t want studies done.” In addition, the United States has used DU in civilian areas and identifying those locations could suggest violations of Geneva Conventions.
Iraqi doctors will be testifying on the damage done by DU before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Washington, D.C., in December.
Meanwhile, the Obama Administration said on Thursday that it will be spending $1.6 million to try to identify atrocities committed in Iraq . . . by ISIS.
Iran wants sanctions lifted as part of nuclear deal
The announcement came amid intensifying efforts to conclude a definitive pact.
The six powers in the talks with Iran include Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany, known as the P5+1, have set November 24 as the deadline.
“If we want a definitive accord on November 24, there must be an immediate lifting of sanctions,” he told a news conference in Paris.
A Western diplomat close to the negotiations with Iran on Monday said a firm deal by the deadline was highly unlikely, saying Tehran would have to make “significant gestures.”
The aim is to close avenues towards Tehran ever developing an atomic bomb, by cutting back its enrichment programme, shutting down suspect facilities and imposing tough international inspections.
Detente declared as US, Iranian interests align over Iraq, Syria
- The Wall Street Journal
- October 30, 2014 12:00AM
The shift could drastically alter the balance of power in the region, and risks alienating key US allies such as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, which are central to the coalition fighting Islamic State. Sunni Arab leaders view the threat posed by Shia Iran as equal to or greater than that posed by the Sunni radical group Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
Israel contends the US has weakened the terms of its negotiations with Iran and played down Tehran’s destabilising role in the region.
Over the past decade, Washington and Tehran have engaged in fierce battles for influence and power in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Afghanistan fueled by the US overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and the Arab Spring revolutions that began in late 2010. US officials still say the option of military action remains on the table to thwart Iran’s nuclear program.
Yet recent months have ushered in a change as the two countries have grown into alignment on a spectrum of causes, chief among them promoting peaceful political transitions in Baghdad and Kabul and pursuing military operations against Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, according to the officials.
The Obama administration also has markedly softened its confrontational stance towards Iran’s most important non-state allies, the Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Lebanese militant and political organisation Hezbollah.
US diplomats, including Secretary of State John Kerry, negotiated with Hamas leaders through Turkish and Qatari intermediaries during ceasefire talks in July that were aimed at ending the Palestinian group’s rocket attacks on Israel, according to senior American officials.
US intelligence agencies have repeatedly tipped off Lebanese law-enforcement bodies close to Hezbollah about threats posed to Beirut’s government by Sunni extremist groups, including al-Qa’ida and its affiliate al-Nusra Front in Syria, Lebanese and US officials said.
“This shows that although we see Turkey and Arab states as our closest allies, our interests and policies are converging with Iran’s,” said Vali Nasr, dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a former Obama administration official.
“This is a geostrategic reality at this moment, more than a conscious US policy.”
Obama administration officials stressed they were not directly co-ordinating their regional policies or the war against Islamic State with Iran. They also said pervasive US economic sanctions remained in place on Tehran, Hamas and Hezbollah.
Still, the officials said the intensive negotiations the US had pursued with Iran since last year on the nuclear issue could help stabilise the Middle East and had improved understanding.
“The world is clearly better off now than it would have been if the leaders on both sides had ignored this opening,” Wendy Sherman, the lead US negotiator with Iran, said last week.
Administration critics, including Israel and Arab states, see the White House as determined to seal a deal with Iran as a monument to President Barack Obama’s foreign policy record.
“The Iranian regime is revolutionary and can’t get too close to us. So I’d be wary of any rapprochement,” said Scott Modell, a former CIA officer now at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “I think they are hell-bent on pursuing a number of courses that run counter to US interests.”
Iraq has been at the centre of a regional proxy war between the US and Iran since the George W. Bush administration invaded Baghdad in 2003.
Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards established and trained a network of Shia militias that attacked US and coalition troops stationed in Iraq over the past decade, according to US defence officials. Tehran, according to US officials, also introduced into Iraq the most dangerous kind of improvised explosive devices, the roadside bombs that the Pentagon says were the largest single cause of deaths among American servicemen who fought in the war.
Since the US resumed military operations inside Iraq in August, however, the Revolutionary Guards corp has explicitly ordered its local proxies not to target American military personnel conducting and co-ordinating attacks against Islamic State from bases near Baghdad and in Iraq’s Kurdish region, according to US officials who have tracked Iranian communications.
General Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Guards’ overseas operations, known as the Quds Force, instructed Iraqi Shia militias long at war with the US, such as the Mahdi Army and Kata’ib Hezbollah, that US efforts to weaken Islamic State were in the long-term interests of Tehran and its allies, said the officials.
“It has gone quiet because these guys have been told by the (Revolutionary Guards) not to attack,” said a US intelligence officer who tracks General Soleimani.
“The Iraqi Shi’ite groups went to Soleimani and said they wanted to go after the American embassy and target Americans. Soleimani said: ‘No, no, no. Unless they get into your areas of control, don’t attack’.”
Meanwhile, the US military is planning to play down and avoid publicity for the annual minesweeping exercise being organised by the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet. In past years, the exercise has been used to highlight unified opposition to Iranian activities in the Persian Gulf, according to a US official.
Some officials say not emphasising deterrence against Iran could be destabilising, signalling to the Revolutionary Guards that the US isn’t going to take steps to counter their measures.
However, the US now has gone beyond the use of signals. US officials said the Obama administration had passed messages to Tehran by using the offices of Iraq’s new Shia Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, as well as Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, one of Shia Islam’s most senior clerics.
The US has also made it clear to Tehran that its stepped-up military strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria won’t be turned on forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to US officials.
Assad is Iran’s closest Arab ally. And the Revolutionary Guards and General Soleimani have mobilised Iranian military personnel and Lebanese and Iraqi Shia militiamen to fight inside Syria in support of the Damascus regime.
Any US strikes on Assad’s security forces could end up hitting Iranian or Hezbollah soldiers and advisers, sparking a broader conflict.
“They (the US) want to focus on ISIL and they are worried about antagonising the Iranians, which they say may cause them to react or the Shiite militias in Iraq to react against our embassy and interests in Iraq and derail the (nuclear) talks,” said a senior US defence official working on Iraq.
The Wall Street Journal
New York, NY – In a Quake, Brooklyn Would Shake More Than Manhattan
By Brooklyn Eagle
New York, NY – The last big earthquake in the New York City area, centered in New York Harbor just south of Rockaway, took place in 1884 and registered 5.2 on the Richter Scale. Another earthquake of this size can be expected and could be quite damaging, says Dr. Won-Young Kim, senior research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.
And Brooklyn, resting on sediment, would shake more than Manhattan, built on solid rock. “There would be more shaking and more damage,” Dr. Kim told the Brooklyn Eagle on Wednesday.
If an earthquake of a similar magnitude were to happen today near Brooklyn, “Many chimneys would topple. Poorly maintained buildings would fall down – some buildings are falling down now even without any shaking. People would not be hit by collapsing buildings, but they would be hit by falling debris. We need to get some of these buildings fixed,” he said.
But a 5.2 is “not comparable to Haiti,” he said. “That was huge.” Haiti’s devastating earthquake measured 7.0.
Brooklyn has a different environment than Haiti, and that makes all the difference, he said. Haiti is situated near tectonic plate boundaries, while Brooklyn is inside the North American plate, far from its boundary.
“The Caribbean plate is moving to the east, while the North American plate is moving towards the west. They move about 20 mm – slightly less than an inch – every year.” The plates are sliding past each other, and the movement is not smooth, leading to jolts, he said.
While we don’t have the opportunity for a large jolt in Brooklyn, we do have small, frequent quakes of a magnitude of 2 or 3 on the Richter Scale. In 2001 alone the city experienced two quakes: one in January, measuring 2.4, and one in October, measuring 2.6. The October quake, occurring soon after Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, “caused a lot of panic,” Dr. Kim said.
“People ask me, ‘Should I get earthquake insurance?’ I tell them no, earthquake insurance is expensive. Instead, use that money to fix chimneys and other things. Rather than panicky preparations, use common sense to make things better.”
Secure bookcases to the wall and make sure hanging furniture does not fall down, Dr. Kim said. “If you have antique porcelains or dishes, make sure they’re safely stored. In California, everything is anchored to the ground.”
While a small earthquake in Brooklyn may cause panic, “In California, a quake of magnitude 2 is called a micro-quake,” he added.
Lawsuit Spotlights US Charities That Fund Israel’s Secret Nuclear Weapons Program
A federal lawsuit seeks immediate release of a closely held government report about how American branches of Israeli charitable and educational institutes fund secret nuclear weapons research and development programs.
An unclassified 1987 study conducted for the Department of Defense titled “Current Technology Issues in Israel” discovered Technion University technicians developing nuclear missile re-entry vehicles and working at the Dimona nuclear weapons production facility. Hebrew University computer scientists working at the Soreq nuclear facilities were “developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs.” Israel’s Weizmann Institute “studied high energy physics and hydrodynamics needed for nuclear bomb design, and worked on lasers to enrich uranium, the most advanced method for making the material dropped on Hiroshima in 1945″ say sources attributed to the report cited in the lawsuit.
IRmep filed suit for the report in the DC District Court as part of a public-interest drive to obtain long overdue enforcement of the Symington and Glenn Amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act. The laws prohibit U.S. foreign aid to nuclear weapons states such as Israel that are not signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
A recent Google Consumer Survey (PDF) reveals that despite longstanding Israeli and US government gag orders on publicly discussing the arsenal, 63.9 percent of Americans now believe Israel possesses nuclear weapons. 60.7 percent of Americans oppose sending the largest share (9 percent) of the US foreign aid budget to Israel.
Israel’s Weizmann Institute, Technion, and Hebrew University raise substantial tax-exempt charitable funding through affiliates in the United States creating a “tax gap” that must be financed by individual American taxpayers. According to their most recent IRS filings, American branches of the three organizations raise a combined $172 million in annual US tax-exempt funding. IRmep’s “request for determination” filings with the IRS reveal that secret foreign nuclear weapons development has no recognized US tax-deductible “social welfare” purpose.
Defendants Department of Defense, the DC US Attorney Office and Attorney General have until October 30 to respond to IRmep’s public interest lawsuit demanding release of the explosive report. The Center for Policy and Law Enforcement is a unit of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington. Inquiries about the lawsuit or opinion poll results may be directed to Grant F. Smith at email@example.com or 202-342-7325.
Iran favors unity among world Muslims, Khamenei says
Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with officials in charge of Hajj pilgrimage in Tehran Oct. 28, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported.
He advised officials in charge of Hajj rituals to help augment people’s knowledge, address their spiritual needs and strongly deal with the smear propaganda campaign of enemies of Islam.
The enemies of the Muslim world try to build a wall between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the rest of the Islamic world, said the Supreme Leader.
Hajj ceremony is a suitable opportunity to destroy the wrong concepts and beliefs propagated by the enemies, Khameni added.
The officials in charge of Hajj rituals should address the needs of people by offering better services and meeting the spiritual needs of pilgrims, he said.
As for the spiritual aspects of the Hajj rituals, special programs should be arranged to address the requirements of pilgrims, said Khamenei.
Islamic unity is among the principled mottos of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khamenei said, adding that it means the Muslim people should avoid enmity and back each other in dealing with global developments.
All should help remove the wall created by the enemies with an aim of separating Iran from other parts of the Muslim world, Ayatollah Khamenei said, advising that all should do their best to remove such a hurdle. To attain this goal, Hajj rituals is the best opportunity, he said.
The enemies try to shatter the image of Shiism by disseminating wrong information, underlined the Supreme Leader.
The root cause of such false propaganda should be detected and uprooted, he said.
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Here’s How The US Reacted To China’s First Nuclear Test 50 Years Ago
This month marks 50 years since one of the most consequential events in the history of nuclear proliferation — a reminder of the very high stakes that led the international community to prevent additional countries from crossing the nuclear threshold.
On October 16, 1964, China tested its first nuclear weapon, a 16-kiloton bomb detonated at the Lop Nur facility in Inner Mongolia. Documents recently published by George Washington University’s National Security Archive give a sense of some of the uncertainty that followed.
Prior to the test, some US officials doubted China had the capability to build a nuclear weapon. Afterwards, American officials and regional allied governments were left to speculate as to what a nuclear-armed Beijing would mean for the US and for the balance of power in Asia.
The picture that emerges should be a familiar one for anyone who’s followed the North Korean nuclear saga, or even the ongoing Iran negotiations. Anxious allies considered rash and possibly ill-advised military action. Global actors were taken by surprise. Officials wondered how they could make the new landscape work to their advantage. Some believed little had actually changed and the global balance of power wouldn’t be disrupted.
But everyone seemed to generally realize that a confusing new variable had been thrown into a then-fragile global security environment.
Here are some of the most notable reactions from the National Security Archive’s release of 33 documents related to China’s historic first nuclear test.
Taiwanese leaders wanted to launch a US-supported pre-emptive strike on China to prevent Beijing from further developing its nuclear capabilities. If there was one big loser in China’s nuclear test, it was Taiwan. In 1964, the island was home to China’s US-recognized government, and held a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. The Taiwanese had to realize a nuclear-armed Beijing would leave the international community with little choice but to eventually shift its recognition to the mainland, something that eventually happened about a decade later.
Taiwan even viewed a nuclear-armed China as a potential existential crisis. A secret State Department telegram sent a week after the test described the ruling party’s read on the event’s significance. “Top leaders have expressed private view that [China] can cause ‘crisis of confidence,’ eroding people’s will to resist [Beijing] on Taiwan and elsewhere.”
Some in Taiwan were looking to a military option: “Among military, already existing awareness of bleak prospects for successful action against mainland in absence of full US cooperation.” Even so, some believed that the prospect of reduced US support, along with Beijing’s gaining military edge, meant “action must therefore be taken now,” with some “among the military in favor of a ‘do or die’ attack even if US should refuse cooperation.”
No such attack was ever launched — Taiwan was outnumbered, possibly outgunned, and didn’t get the US support for an attack that Taipai wanted. The US withdrew recognition of Taiwan in 1979, but the island remains a de-facto independent state, albeit one living under the constant threat of invasion from the mainland.
In the immediate aftermath of the test, US intelligence didn’t know how China had gotten enough weapons-grade Uranium for a bomb. A November 2nd, 1964 “research memorandum” from the State Department’s Office of the Director of Intelligence and Research has an ominous opening line: “Our pre-October 16th estimates did not anticipate that [China] had the capability of producing the U-235 isotope.”
So either China had enrichment capabilities that were significantly more advanced than what the US was aware of, or it obtained its uranium from an unknown outside supplier, most likely the Soviet Union.
Neither possibility was especially comforting. And no explanation seemed sufficient on its own: the memo’s author doubts the Soviets would provide enough U-235 for a bomb, and counters with the possibility of a hidden enrichment facility or advanced capabilities within China’s single known enrichment site on technical grounds.
The paper offers no solution to one of the more important issues the test raised.
Some US officials thought the test was alarming enough to warrant non-proliferation work with the Soviets. The Chinese test came about two years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, three years after the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, and at a time when the US was deepening its commitments in South Vietnam — in other words, during a period of nearly unprecedented tension between the US and the Communist bloc.
Still, on October 30, two weeks after the Chinese test, top-level American officials openly discussed the possibility of working with the Soviets to prevent China’s neighbors from going nuclear, perhaps by assuring India that China’s capabilities wouldn’t threaten it. State Department official Leonard Meeker raised the question of whether we should concert assurances with the Soviets;” deputy undersecretary of state Llewellyn Thompson cautioned that “at most, we should sound out the Soviets on their view of the non-proliferation question in light of the Chinese communists’ nuclear explosion.”
American officials believed it was worth trying to work with the country’s enemies to make sure the Chinese nuclear test didn’t set off a larger and even more unpredictable global arms race.
The US military believed its hands were still free in Asia. An assessment from the Joint Chiefs of Staff on December 3rd, 1964, determined “the acquisition by Communist China of nuclear weapons will not, for the indefinite future, alter the real relations of power among the major states, or the balance of military power in Asia.”
The Joint Chiefs believed the US military’s hands were still free in Asia, even with a Chinese bomb. “A [Chinese] nuclear capability need not impose new military restrictions on the US response to aggression in Asia,” the report concluded.
This would become a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy — by the end of the 1960s, the US would have hundreds of thousands of combat troops in Vietnam.
This guesswork begins each time terrorists inflict tragedies ranging from killing individuals, to attacking public gatherings, mosques, churches, trains, airports, offices of the defence forces, and army, air force and naval bases. Pakistan’s establishment keeps pointing its finger on militant religious outfits, although without foreign backing this divided terrorist lot can’t do all this.
Last week, while being interviewed by an Indian TV channel, Pakistan’s former army chief General Musharraf (Retd) accused India of inciting trouble on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, and in Balochistan. He said “I think it’s very unbecoming that you are trying to take advantage of Pakistan’s internal problems that we are trying to confront, especially terrorism.”
This was a rare occasion when a Pakistani who matters, labelled India as the troublemaker not just on Pakistan’s Eastern but Western border as well. But this finger pointing too, followed weeks of turmoil on the Eastern borders where India’s Border Security Force kept targeting villages inside Pakistan, killing farmers and destroying their homes. These incidents are visible realities; pointing to India’s role therein isn’t a revelation. But over terrorist acts inside Pakistan, fingers are rarely pointed at the backers of the terrorists. Although killing and arrest of terrorists and confiscation of their weapons is disclosed regularly but countries training, arming and financing the terrorist outfits remain a mystery.
Before General Musharraf’s (Retd) revelation, in April 2009, in a long in-camera session of the Senate, Rehman Malik had revealed Indian and Russian involvement in terrorism on Pakistan’s Western borders. But a foreign office spokesman quickly clarified that Rehman’s reference to Russia was in an historic context; Russia was no longer involved in terrorism in Pakistan.
In his revelations, while Rehman admitted that terrorists had modern weapons, he didn’t disclose their origin – a gap in his disclosures because without detailed supporting evidence (that was available), pointing fingers at foreign countries could be questioned, as was pointed out by the media. Since then silence has prevailed on this sensitive subject.
For unknown reasons, Pakistan’s establishment rarely discloses the origin of the weapons being used by the terrorists. Whether this issue is taken up on the diplomatic level is anybody’s guess because nothing thereabout appears in the media. Hopefully, involvement of foreign countries with a host of warring terrorist groups isn’t being overlooked.
Not highlighting the role of foreign countries in terrorism in Pakistan is no ordinary lapse because the world doesn’t come to know which elements are making Pakistan progressively a graver security risk. We haven’t learnt any lessons from the way India has been damaging Pakistan by accusing it openly of involvement in terrorist acts in India.
BJP (and the Congress Party under BJP’s pressure) blamed Pakistan’s security agencies for using religious outfits as their proxies in attacking India’s parliament and Taj Mahal Hotel. In July 2013, a former Indian home ministry official Satish Verma made some startling disclosures before the Indian court investigating these attacks to establish responsibility there for.
According to him, these attacks were carried out by Indian secret agencies for two state-defined purposes – justify drafting of India’s anti-terror laws, and blame Pakistan, and both attacks were carried out at the behest of the BJP and Congress regimes that were in power at the time, and both regimes ‘orchestrated’ these attacks to blame Pakistan’s intelligence agencies.
Passage of the Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act followed the 2001 attack on India’s parliament, and amendments to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act followed terrorists’ siege of Bombay’s Taj Mahal Hotel in 2008. Indian governments (vocally supported by Richard Holbrooke) used these incidents to label Pakistan the ‘epicentre’ of threat to South Asian security.
Apparently, Indian trickery wasn’t highlighted to the US defence “experts” directing the US war-on-terror, despite their marginalising of the contribution of Pakistan’s intelligence services in this “crusade”. If that’s so, it was a serious lapse because it prevented the build-up of pressure on the US (at home and abroad) for taking up this grave issue with India.
Any reasonably prudent individual can see that Taliban aren’t a religious outfit. Their defiance of every tenet of Islam in broad daylight leaves none in doubt about their being bent upon putting in place anything but an Islamic governance system; the ruthlessness with which they butcher Pakistanis proves that they are on a mission dictated by Pakistan’s enemies.
The mission of these outfits is to destabilise Pakistan to justify their foreign backers’ access to Pakistan’s nuclear assets because their foreign backers can’t accept a Muslim state’s becoming a nuclear power – an Israeli worry shabbily camouflaged in Western and Indian concerns over Pakistan’s involvement in terrorism. Is it still difficult to identify who these foreign backers are?
The sole US concern is the danger of Pakistan’s nuclear assets falling to the ‘wrong’ Taliban outfit.
How much is the US bothered about stability of an economically hard-pressed Pakistan (that has also been lethally wounded by the US war-on-terror) was reflected in President Obama’s assertion that even economic aid to Pakistan won’t be a “blank cheque”.
While Pakistan’s establishment doesn’t speak openly about camouflaged foreign intervention on Pakistan’s Western borders, commentators in the Western media keep pointing to it. With its huge unexplored natural resource reserves, Balochistan is the target of many foreign entities that also manipulate their governments for achieving their aims.
Against this backdrop, is it wise not to identify the countries that are fuelling terrorism in Pakistan? Shouldn’t they be exposed to let the world know the reality behind terrorism in Pakistan? Hasn’t Pakistan suffered enough? Don’t its administrators see the continuing slide in Pakistan’s risk rating, and consequently, in all other ratings? What does India’s increased preference for Israeli arms imply?
Pakistan’s sliding risk ratings have made it unattractive for investment – a trend that is hurting Pakistan because not enough job opportunities can be created for its bludgeoning youth population. This trend foretells tough times as more young men opt for crime as their source of livelihood. Youth are bundles of energy; which way they are forced to go depends on the state and the society at large. While the society is conscious of its obligations, and is doing what it can to slow this trend, the state isn’t doing enough; its virtual silence, instead of exposing the foreign interests that are bent upon tarnishing Pakistan’s image, is simply amazing.
Sadr bloc seeks to ‘expel’ US advisors from Iraq
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 17:23
A prominent member of Al-Ahrar (Freedom) parliamentary bloc of Al-Sadr movement, led by Shia cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, said today that his bloc is determined to end the presence of American advisors in more than one Iraqi province. He pointed out that his bloc would take all necessary measures to end what he called “the new American occupation”.In a statement to a reporter from Anadolu Agency, Mithaq Al-Mozani said: “No legal cover justifies the presence of US advisors in Iraq and their presence is part of a plan for occupation different to the 2003 occupation.”
He added that Al-Ahrar bloc pressured the government to prevent any US military presence in Iraq, and that it will work to expel US advisors from the country by any means necessary.
On the other hand, Al-Mozani said he felt that US presence in Iraq “does not contribute to containing the Islamic State (ISIS) gangs, but actually achieves the opposite”. He considered the fact that the American planes accidently dropped military and food aid recently to ISIS fighters in Kobani, Syria, by mistake as well – he did not specify the date this occurred – to be “an indication of US support for terrorists”.
Al-Mozani added: “We will confront the US presence under the pretext of acting as advisors and will use all means to expel them from Iraqi cities.” He did not give details regarding the means Al-Sadr’s bloc may resort to eliminate the presence of these advisers.
No confirmation could be obtain regarding Al-Mozani ‘s comments.