Archive | March 5th, 2012

LOL!!!!!! Peres tells AIPAC that Iran ‘aims to control the Middle East’

NOVANEWS

President calls Tehran an “evil, cruel, morally corrupt regime” that must be stopped; ahead of Obama meeting, he asserts there is “no space” between J’lem, Washington on Iranian issue.

ed note–remember as you read these words from Peres, as he makes the claim that Iran is ‘trying to control the Middle East’, the words that the Jews use in justifying their position in the region–

…On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abraham, saying “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates”… Genesis, 15:18

God spoke unto us saying, ‘Go to the hill-country and all the places nigh thereunto… in the Arabah, the hill-country and in the Lowland… in the South and by the sea-shore, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates…Go in therefore and possess the land which the Lord swore unto your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, unto them and to their seed after them… Deuteronomy 1:6–8

Every place whereon the sole of your foot shall tread shall be yours, from the wilderness, and Lebanon, from the river Euphrates, even unto the hinder sea shall be your border…Deuteronomy 11:24

…From the wilderness, and this Lebanon, even unto the great river, the Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your border…Joshua 1:4

Now please, someone tell me again, JUST WHO is trying to ‘control’ the Middle East??????????????????????????? 

jpost.com

Iran aims to control the Middle East, thereby controlling a major part of the world’s economy, President Shimon Peres told the AIPAC Conference in Washington Sunday, asserting that Tehran “must be stopped, and it will be stopped.” Using especially harsh rhetoric against Iran’s rulers, the president called the Iranian government an “evil, cruel, morally corrupt regime” based on destruction, adding that it is “an affront to human dignity.” Tehran is the central sponsor and financier of world terrorism, he added, charging that it threatens Berlin, Madrid, Delhi and Bangkok, in a reference to recent attacks against Israel diplomats in India and Thailand.

Noting Israel’s experience with the horrors of war, Peres assured that peace is always the first choice but warned that if Israel is forced to fight, “trust me … We shall prevail.”

Shooting down Cold War comparisons regarding the Iranian threat, the elder Israeli statesman said the policy of containment was not suitable and reiterated that all options are on the table. The United States and Israel, he added, share the same goals vis-a-vis Iran – preventing its proliferation of nuclear weapons.

“There is no space between us,” he emphasized, hours before sitting down with the US president. Peres also addressed his vision of Israel’s democracy and its historic relationship with the United States. Israel has been forced to exercise its right to defend itself through every decade of its existence, Peres told AIPAC Conference attendees, noting that “no day of war ever interrupted a day of democracy.”

Comparing the Jewish state to the United States, the president said Israel was born as an idea and in defiance of history, describing how both countries have created “a new world by drawing on the values of the past and the innovations of the future.” Peres also expressed his personal pride in Jerusalem’s alliance with Washington, along with his pride in being Jewish and Israeli. Noting the support of AIPAC and American Jewry, he extolled the “dedication and excellence” of the organization and specifically the younger generation in attendance, telling them “the future belongs to you.”

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Turkey steps up rhetoric on Syrian ‘massacre’

NOVANEWS

guardian.co.uk

Turkey has called the violence in Syria “a crime against humanity” on the scale of the 1990s bloodshed in the Balkans, as a Red Cross convoy was once again barred from entering the Homs suburb of Baba Amr.

The comment by Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu follows similar remarks from the EU on Friday, which called for the documentation of war crimes in Syria.

“No government, no authority, under no circumstances, can endorse such a total massacre of its own people,” Davutoglu said. “The international community must speak louder. The lack of international consensus is giving Syria the courage to continue.”

The criticism came at the end of a week in which the UK and France closed their embassies in Syria, and China and Russia appeared to shift position in calling for President Bashar al-Assads regime to admit UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos.

“The situation in the field seems to resemble Sarajevo or Srebrenica. This seems to be the way we are heading,” Davutoglu said at a joint news conference with Giulio Terzi, Italy’s foreign minister. “We believe that diplomatic pressure on the Assad regime must be increased. We say this not only from the point of view of the EU. We believe all international institutions must do this.”

China  urged the government and the rebels to immediately end all acts of violence, especially against civilians. A foreign ministry statement urged both sides to “launch an inclusive political dialogue with no preconditions” under the mediation of former UN secretary- eneral Kofi Annan, the newly appointed UN-Arab League envoy on the Syria crisis, .

On Friday, current UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said he had received “grisly reports” that Assad’s troops were executing, imprisoning and torturing people in Homs. Syrian forces continued to pound the battered city and authorities handed over the bodies of two journalists killed in Baba Amr last month – including Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times – to diplomats in Damascus.

Meanwhile, the wounded French journalist Edith Bouvier described for the first time how she feared her attempt to escape from Homs had ended inside a dark, three-kilometre tunnel that rebels were using to supply the besieged district of Baba Amr when the Syrian army bombarded its exit.

Bouvier was abandoned, taped to a stretcher with a broken leg, as rebels and dozens of wounded headed back to the neighbourhood. “One of them placed his Kalashnikov on me. He put his hand on my head and said a prayer. It wasn’t very reassuring. Then he left,” Bouvier told Le Figaro newspaper, for which she was working in Syria. “I didn’t know what was going to happen. Was the exit blocked? Were Syrian soldiers going to enter? I wanted to run away, before remembering that I was taped to a stretcher.” Bouvier and French photographer William Daniels, who stayed with her, were finally rescued by a rebel who drove down the tunnel on a motorbike.

Concern was mounting for civilians in freezing conditions in battered Baba Amr, where trucks from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were still blocked from entering. “The ICRC and Syrian Red Crescent are not yet in Baba Amr today. We are still in negotiations with authorities. It is important that we enter today,” ICRC spokesman Hicham Hassan said.

Anti-government activists said they feared troops were keeping out the ICRC to prevent aid workers witnessing a massacre. UN chief Ban blamed Damascus for the fate of civilians. “The brutal fighting has trapped civilians in their homes, without food, heat or electricity or medical care; without any chance of evacuating the wounded or burying the dead. People have been reduced to melting snow for drinking water. This atrocious assault is all the more appalling for having been waged by the government itself, systematically attacking its own people.”

Bashar Ja’afari, Syria’s UN ambassador, said Ban’s remarks included “extremely virulent rhetoric which confines itself to slandering a government based on reports, opinions or hearsay”.

Elsewhere in the country, Syrian state news agency Sana said a suicide car bomber in the town of Deraa, near the border with Jordan, had killed two people and wounded 20. Residents claimed seven people had been killed, and anti-Assad activists denied the attack was a suicide bombing. Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said anti-Assad fighters had earlier killed six soldiers and wounded nine in al-Herak.

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WikiLeaks Email: Bin Laden’s Corpse Not Dumped at Sea

NOVANEWS

Stratfor Claims Osama’s Body Brought to US

ed note–IF true (and I do stress IF) than it begs the question–What ELSE have we been lied to about?

antiwar.com

In May of last year, the US killing of Osama bin Laden was immediately followed by debate over the disposal of his corpse. The Obama Administration claimed bin Laden was put in a bag and hurled into the sea, which it insisted was “in keeping with Islamic practices,” whereas some were calling for his body to be kept around so it could be overtly desecrated.

WikiLeaks’s release of Stratfor emails, however, shows that the company’s Vice President Fred Burton did not believe that was the case, and told members of the company’s mailing list that bin Laden’s corpse was Dover bound,” referring to the Dover Air Force Base which is also the site to which US soldiers slain overseas are brought.

Another email from Burton said bin Laden’s body was “bound for Dover, DE on CIA plane” andonward to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda.” Technically this would have meant the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, since the AFIP operations were folded into Walter Reed as part of a consolidation plan.

If confirmed, this revelation would be significant for a number of reasons, including the Obama Administration’s repeated claims to the American public that the body was disposed of at sea. It would add yet more intrigue to Dover Air Force Base, already under enormous scrutiny for its mishandling of corpses and disposal of remains at a Virginia landfill.

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Palestinian seriously wounded by Zio-Nazi grenade in West Bank

NOVANEWS

Zio-Nazi at work

Haaretz

A Palestinian man was seriously wounded on Monday as a result of a tear gas grenade fired by Israel Defense Forces soldiers near a West Bank checkpoint north of Ramallah.

According to the Palestinian news agency Ma’an, the 19-year-old Palestinian was brought to the hospital with critical head wounds and was rushed to surgery.

The man was reportedly part of a group of Palestinian youths that clashed with IDF soldiers near Atara checkpoint early Monday morning. The youths threw stones at the soldiers stationed at the checkpoint, who responded with the firing of tear gas canisters.

Palestinian officials say that the group arrived at the IDF checkpoint to mark the second anniversary of the death of five members of the Awwad family, who were killed in an accident when their car crashed into an IDF vehicle.

IDF officials said that 15 Palestinians had gathered near an IDF checkpoint and threw rocks at the soldiers. The soldiers, the IDF said, responded by firing tear gas in order to scatter the protest. The IDF Spokesperson said the circumstances of the incident are under investigation.

Last week, a Palestinian was killed during a demonstration near Qalandia military checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, according to Palestinian sources.

The sources said Talat Ramieh, 25, was killed when hit by a live bullet fired by Israel Defense Forces soldiers at dozens of stone-throwing Palestinians.

An initial IDF investigation into the incident shows that 20 Palestinians gathered next to the Ramah camp southeast of Ramallah in the West Bank, and threw stones at IDF forces. One of the Palestinians threw fireworks directly at the soldiers. The soldiers, sensing danger, opened fire at the Palestinians as per military orders. The IDF explained that the youth was hit in the shoulder, and was taken to the hospital in Ramallah.

The IDF also said that use of fireworks as weapons during riots has become more commonplace in recent months.

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Finkelstein Slams BDS: a Paradigm Shift or a Guilty Conscience?

NOVANEWS

“A one-state solution will be a demographic suicide for the Israelis, no doubt about that. And Finkelstein, or the Jewish part of him, wants no a part in that gloomy scenario.”

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

“I’m exasperated with what I think is a whole lot of nonsense; this solidarity movement, namely “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions”- BDS … it’s just a cult … they think they’re growing! … Well, they can’t even reach a public opinion. Let’s be honest … they want the end of occupation … they want the right of return for the Palestinian refugees … they want equal rights for the Arab Israelis … And they think they’re so clever, because you know what is the result of implementing the three tiers … there is NO ISRAEL”

…Those were the fiery words triggered at the BDS campaign not by some heavy weight Zionist bully, but, and to my own astonishment, Prof. Norman Finkelstein.

This is a very recent interview of Norman Finkelstein, filmed at the Imperial College London on Feb.9, 2012. Finkelstein is interviewed by a young pro-Palestinian activist, named Frank Barat, who obviously thought very highly of Prof. Finkelstein.

Never doubting where Finkelstein stood on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mr. Frank kept a faint smile on his grateful face while nodding his head to everything Finkelstein had to say at the beginning of the interview.

But then, and bit by bit that smile began to fade away, only to be replaced by a slack-jawed gape of surprise, until the young gentleman almost fainted by the painful punches Finkelstein kept throwing at everything Mr. Frank and a whole lot of us knew was the right and righteous way, for a civil society, to fight the illegal Israeli “apartheid” and occupation of Palestinian land.

It’s obvious, Finkelstein had come to the interview with a premeditated intention to exploit the whole discussion and steer it his way. This was not yet another interview with Finkelstein, in which he would elaborate on his pro-Palestinian advocacy; rather it was the birth of a new stance for the man.

Wasting no time, and replying only to questions on his mind, Finkelstein began to elaborate on the one topic that seemed to have lately haunted him, namely the right of Israel to exist regardless of Tel Aviv’s continuing aggressive and expansionist policy, Israel’s apartheid and despite Israel’s disrespect for UN resolutions and international law- the same law Finkelstein adamantly refers to, in the video, as the unambiguous and clear arbiter on the Middle East conflict

Now, the term “paradigm shift” is used to suggest the groundbreaking importance of statements such as those issued by Prof. Finkelstein in his latest video.

The political science professor has made a career out of being the son of Holocaust survivors. And because of the very lessons his parents taught him and his two siblings, as he frequently declared in his lectures and discussions, he wouldn’t, and indeed couldn’t, be silenced by Israel over its crimes against Palestinians.

But that was Finkelstein we all knew and respected for the moral attitude he has publicly adopted since 1980s on the Palestinian issue, not to mention his scholarly method and bold personality.

But whoever appeared in that video is someone else; I personally had a difficult time recognizing him. Though the man in the video had the same looks, the same monotonous and loud voice and same defiant eyes of Finkelstein … but he was missing the rationale of good old Finkelstein.

This time Finkelstein talked only about Israel.

Of course he mentioned Palestine and Palestinians, but he talked not about the occupied Palestine, rather the incipient country that should respect the international law if one day her dream of statehood were to be realized.

He also did mention the Palestinians, but Finkelstein referred to them as some people, though suffered so long under occupation and ethnic cleansing, but also whom, he thinks, are reasonable enough to be willing to live with the status que- albeit unfair and painful.

Finkelstein in the interview was scared of the prospect, which is actually getting more than ever closer, of resolving the long conflict by enforcing a one-state solution. Finkelstein is no fool; he knows how that solution will eventually work out for the Israelis, exactly as it did for the Brits in South Africa.

A one-state solution will be a demographic suicide for the Israelis, no doubt about that. And Finkelstein, or the Jewish part of him, wants no part in that gloomy scenario.

Finkelstein slammed BDS campaign & any other pro-Palestinian movements, that promoted Boycotting Israel, for dragging the issue of equal rights for the Arab Israelis, aka Arabs of 1984 in Jerusalem to the public discourse. And he was totally pissed off by the idea/trend he nervously tossed this question back in the face of his interviewer

“ every country has its mistreated minority, why focus only on Israel’s minority groups, where the world is full with similar examples of discrimination, like the untouchables in India, to say the least of it.”

Well, I’m not going to expose the fallacy of comparing the situation of India’s untouchables to the Arab Israelis, for the untouchables in India is a primarily cultural thing that could get resolved over the years by more education and better social development but the inequality/apartheid in Israel is politically motivated by a highly developed racist/siege mindset which led the Zionists/settlers always to see themselves as victims even when they were killing other people.

There is a lot said in the video that we could argue against, but what really grabbed my attention was Norman Finkelstein himself and his sudden change of heart, or apostasy if you like.

Some will argue that he never changed; rather he only made it clear where he stood on the issue of Israel’s right to exist.

But this is not how I see it, Finkelstein is a smart man and a renowned intellectual who never shied away from picking a fight with Israel’s backers, and who unabashedly defended the rights of Palestinians whom he envisioned as the tyrannized indigenous people being systematically cleansed from their native land.

So, what exactly happened that made this American Radical denounce his 30 years of courageous battles against the Israeli Holocaust Industry.

vimeo 

Has Prof. Finkelstein finally flinched? Has he capitulated to the global Zionist machine?

I personally don’t like to be rushed into assuming that he did, meanwhile, I believe we could detect a hint of a clue in Finkelstein’s own words as he concluded his interview saying “I’m 59 years old, I’ve been involved in this for 30 years …, I gave my life to the cause … I’m not wasting time anymore. I’m tired of it … I lost patience with it.”

Maybe Finkelstein has definitely proved himself, over the last thirty years, to be a tough fighter and a stubborn opponent to Israel’s expansionist and apartheid policy in Palestine and the Middle East, but throughout the lapsing years as he was busy caught up in his crusade he never bothered with, the now incessant question“How will the world, and specially the Israelis, remember him after he dies?”

This might have seemed a silly and rather insignificant question some twenty years ago, but for a 59 years old man, and who at the end of the day is seen as a member, albeit a renegade, of a Jewish family his position on the right of Israel to exist needed a clear cut clarification on his behalf.

Finkelstein in the video is saying one thing; though he has practically spent all of his life fighting on the Palestinian side he certainly wouldn’t like to be remembered as an anti-Semite who advocated Israel shouldn’t exist. Though he never said that outright, but come to think of it, I wonder if a twelve- minute-video will ever be enough to redeem the American radical of thirty years of anti-Israeli heresy.

In other words, how big a chunk of his legacy Prof. Finkelstein is willing to throw away to ease his guilty conscience?

Related event: Commemorating Palestinian Land Day: Join the BDS Global Day of Action on 30 March 2012!

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Duff: Islamophobic teachings still shared in US military (Press TV Video)

NOVANEWS

Video:  Gordon Duff on Press TV

Afghanistan and the Koran Burnings

Press TV US Desk


YouTube –

Gordon Duff, a senior editor of Veterans Today, says, “There are still troops in the American military who share the Islamophobic teachings of the Bush era.”

He made the remarks in an interview with Press TV’s U.S. Desk Thursday when asked about Qur’an burning in a U.S military base in Afghanistan and the follow-up protests not only in Afghanistan but also in many other countries.

More than 500 people took to streets in southwestern Pakistan on Thursday to condemn the incident.

He added that “in reality American intelligence and military intelligence officers all know he (Osama bin Laden) died in 2001.”

Best Weekly Video from Mainstream Media This Week:

YouTube –

 

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Google+ Plus and the L-Shaped Ambush (Part two)

NOVANEWS

“Google+ is the greatest leap in social media technology since the invention of the telephone”

 

by Ken Smith

(Part two of a two part story)

In my earlier writings about the Google+ platform I suggested to my readers that this Google product was perhaps the most significant leap in social media technology since the invention of the telephone. After spending just over a month inside of the Google+ community of users, investigating and researching the features of the platform, I stand by that statement.

Before I leap into the rest of the story that I have written, I wanted to point out to the reader that Google+ is a community of diverse users and personalities and at the end of this story and journey I will describe some of the terms that are used throughout the story. Terms like Hangout, Troll, Circle of Friends and other assorted inside expressions that are easy for some of the users I have interviewed to discuss, as they have been using the tool since the day it opened, but for newbie’s like me, and maybe even you, it’s a help to get your mind around the entire community you have entered.

I am going to point out to you the reader here in this story, that this social media platform Google+ is a game changer for disabled veterans. In particular for veterans who are blind and veterans who are deaf. When I say it’s a game changer, I can’t emphasize that enough. You see, myself and a small group of veterans are experimenting right now, as you read this story,  with ways to teach a blind veteran to sit inside of a Google+ hangout and make relay calls (phone calls) for a deaf veteran. This will  happen when both veterans are communicating using chat inside of a hangout and when the deaf veteran types in a number to be called and when the blind veteran speaks to whomever answers that call, explaining it’s a relay call for his fellow deaf veteran and then types the message responses back and forth to the deaf veteran in real time. Sounds simple enough, and sounds like something that anyone could or should be able to do, but to the core group of veterans who are deaf or hard of hearing, having someone who can make a phone call , in particular another veteran, without any strings attached or government involvement, that accomplishment is huge, with a capital H. You will find out more about this breaking development and other projects that that this small group of dedicated veterans are developing inside of the story.

As most of you already know, I am an American disabled veteran’s advocate. In my work supporting combat wounded and disabled veterans I try to level the internet playing field for those who have given a piece of themselves while in services in the military, physically or emotionally, in defense of our country. You may agree or disagree with that statement, and honestly, I really don’t care. You see, the veterans that I know are not politicians, so if you have any beef with any particular war or incursion overseas by any aspect of our military, then that beef you have has to be taken up with those who ordered our armed forces into battle. The veterans that I know have little to say about where or when he/she goes into battle. All they are told is that a mission has been selected and an objective has been determined.

I begin part two of this column by telling you a thing or two about a blind veteran that I met who is being taught Google+, in particular Google+ hangouts and we are now attempting to find ways to get him into Google+ hangouts with Extras’, so far, the remote training all has an emphasis on Google+ Hangouts. This blind veteran is learning how to enter a hangout using software that blind people use everyday to navigate the Internet, (screen reader technology) and this vet is leaning how to post, how to chat with anyone who asks a question in a hangout and how to do the things that each of you do all day long without thinking twice about it. You see things on your computer screen while your hanging out but he can’t. It’s as simple as that. So, without being able to see, he has to use screen reader  software that become his eyes. Sounds strange at first and even when you actually witness it, it is kind of strange, but in order to fully understand the impact Google+ and Hangouts in particular has had on this veteran, read his story first,  what happened in Iraq, why he is blind and I will then get back to the rest of the column in a minute.

Captain Tim:

It hadn’t rained once at the Baghdad airport in the month and half that he was in country and the constant helicopter traffic that was landing and taking off across from his Bradley fighting vehicle lager position kicked up dust and gravel that was as sharp as shrapnel. It was late November of 2004 and 1st lieutenant Timothy Hornik had been in Iraq a total of 48 days.

“Another day” he said to his platoon Sargent at the 5am muster call where he assembled his platoon of 25 men and half dozen Bradley fighting vehicles for another day of mission patrol in Iraq. Another dollar.

This particular mission that he had been handed at the morning command briefing by the “Old Man” (the company commander), was just like the other 30 or so other missions he had overseen as platoon commander of 4/5 (1st Cav). He was to patrol the most dangerous road in the world “Route Irish”. The Baghdad Airport Road is a 12 kilometer (7.5 mi) stretch of highway in Baghdad, Iraq linking the International Zone, (The Green Zone) a heavily fortified area at the center of Baghdad, to Baghdad International Airport (BIAP). It also links different parts of Baghdad to the Airport and connects neighboring areas to each other. It became prominent after the 2003 invasion of Iraq following its capture by the Coalition Forces in a book called “Thunder Run”; I highly recommend that book by the way. Although it was commonly referred to by the military Main Supply Route (MSR) designation Route Irish, the route from the International Zone to the airport stretches over two MSRs: Route Aeros, the section leading into and out of the International Zone, and Route Irish, which stretches east from the airport then turns south (past the junction with Route Aeros) to a junction with Highway 1 (MSR Tampa). Irish was the main road from the Bagdad airport, thru the green zone, and right into the heart of downtown Baghdad. In 2004 it was the most dangerous road in the world.

This particular mission had started out bad. One of the Bradley fighting vehicles had some kind of engine trouble and was held back by the motor pool officer. He was one track down for the day.

Your going to be down one Brad today sir, said the motor pool sergeant as Hornik’s soldiers assembled for muster.
“It is what it is” said Hornik, it’s always something.

Paroling this particular stretch of highway in Iraq with his small platoon of infantry everyday was always dangerous he thought to himself. IED’s, snipers, mortars, suicide bombers, you name it, they saw it.

Hour after hour, turn after turn, mile after mile the patrol was always on guard.

As the platoon commander, 1st lieutenant Hornik worked the communications systems connecting the platoon patrol and the company commander back at the airport with the battalion operations center located int the green zone.

Late in the afternoon of this day, after hours of almost nothing happening he heard his name called in his ear piece.
“Blue hornet 14” this is “Blue hornet actual over” it resonated with crystal clarity as it went into his radio headset.

Hornik answered with his radio call sign.

“Blue hornet 14, go head”

Blue hornet 14, this is Blue Hornet actual you are to take your patrol to coordinates Mike-lima 236799, do you copy, over?

Roger copy, move patrol to Mike-Lima 236799

Blue hornet 14, when on station, use code Alpha Alpha 237 for further instructions, you copy that?
Roger, Blue Hornet actual, I copy. Out

Crap thought Hornik, what the hell. It was late in the afternoon and their eight hour patrolling mission for the day was supposed to be up in less than an hour. What is this?

Hornik was adorned with all the usual ceramic body armor and assorted protective gear that everyone else was wearing, but for him, the last 48 days in Iraq had been an absolute hell.

You seem to sweat a lot more than anyone else lieutenant Hornik said one of his grunt dismounts? You ok?
I am just getting used to this heat, that’s all. Said Hornik

In reality, Horniks last duty station, just over 50 days ago, before reporting to god-awful hot Iraq, had been on the 38th parallel at camp casey up on the demilitarized zone in Korea, where it snowed the day he left. The difference in temperatures and climate was drastic. His body was screaming from the the moment he got off the plane in Kuwait.

Blue hornet 14, this is blue hornet actual  over Lots of static in the air now made it hard for Hornik to hear.

Shhhhhhhh, 6799 and report to shhhhhhh, do you copy, over?

Ah, blue hornet actual can you say again over?

THIS IS BLUE HORNET ACTUAL, are you at the coordinates yet? Screamed the company commander.

Blue hornet actual, that’s a roger, over.

Then go up net and use your Iraqi interrupter and coordinate with the Iraqi commander on scene. Your platoon is going to help secure a perimeter around the Blue mosque on Route Irish. The Iraqi National Guard platoon will be doing an Infantry assault on that mosque looking for our bad guy Zarqawi, now, let me know when this mission is complete, over.
Roger Blue hornet actual, said Hornik, over and out.

Crap, another babysitting mission for the incompetent Iraqi National Guard he said to himself. Since the capture of Saddam, all missions had turned into an intensified hunt for Al Zarqawi. Since this al Qaeda madman had cut off the head of an American contractor on live TV, the missions to find, capture or kill this guy had come fast and furious all across Iraq. Word on the street was that Zarqawi was using this very same Blue mosque to hide and manage operations when he was in the Bagdad area.

Using platoon radios between the six Bradley’s Hornik soon had everyone up, ready and on the move.

Twenty minutes later the platoon was spread out in a V formation around the Blue mosque.

Something just wasn’t right Hornik thought to himself as he reviewed the layout.

There were no people out on the street and all the shop windows and doors were closed.

Crap, this is not good he found himself saying out loud.

Everybody, be on your toes he said into his radio, it seems they knew we were coming.

The dismounts (grunts), loaded out of each Bradley and made their way to whatever cover they could find, all with their rifles pointed towards supporting the Iraqi National Guard which was about to storm the Blue Mosque.

Then a single shot rang out, Zingggggg, instantly the call for Medic went out over the radio, “Medic, Medic up” was heard by everyone. One of the grunt dismounts covering for the Iraqi’s entering the mosque had been shot in the back by a sniper. The ceramic armor protection he wore saved him from being killed, but the round still penetrated and this young 19 year old dismount from Kentucky needed to get to a hospital soon, he had a collapsed lung and breathing was difficult.

SNIPER!!! SNIPER!!! SNIPER!!! Went the call on the radio

Everyone stopped and scanned and looked up at the four story buildings surrounding the mosque scanning and looking again at each field of fire that they were assigned to cover, just like in training thought Hornik, you could cut the tension of the platoon with a knife. Where was this guy thought Hornik? Everyone was doing what they had been trained to do in the event of a sniper; everyone had a particular part of the hands of the clock to cover. Jones had noon to 2, and Smith had 2 to four and Williams from 4 to 6, etc.  There was complete 360 viewing of everything and yet no sniper could be seen.

The TC (tank commander) of the soldier who had been shot had left his position in his Bradley to attend to the wounded soldier along with the platoon medic. Since they were only 10 minutes from the e-vac hospital located in the green zone it was faster to drive the wounded soldier there themselves in a Humvee rather then call for a “Dust off” or a medical helicopter ambulance to evacuate this guy.

Can you take over as tank commander for me lieutenant? Asked Sargent Johnson, the tank commander of the Bradley. I am going to load PFC Williams into the medical Humvee for transport to the evac hospital.

Sure, said Hornik and he proceeded to move from his communications command position and into the upper turret position on Johnson’s Bradley. This Bradley was parked right at the spear point of the V, and was the one Bradley looking right at the front door of the blue mosque. Standing up in the turret with a set of field glasses pressed to his eyes, scanning right and then left,  Hornik scoured the buildings around him looking for the sniper.

What Hornik didn’t know at the time was that the al Qaeda sniper had him squarely in his sites already. The Iraqi sniper was disciplined and good, real patient in his shot selection, and he took his time. He wanted a head shot. The sniper checked windage using the small flags he had planted two days ago on the buildings down the block and he rechecked his distances with the stakes he had placed yesterday every 50 meters from the mosque. He took a shallow breath, and then he fired.

BLAM, the round hit the binoculars Hornik was holding smack in the center of the adjustment bar and the ricochet tore through the top of Hornik’ s helmet which caught the full force of the small but deadly explosion of shrapnel. Glass fragments, metal shards and all kinds of plastic crap went flying into Hornik eyes. The last thing that lieutenant Tim Hornik remembers seeing, the last thing he actually did see were the pieces of the blown up binoculars moving away from his face. Then he fell down into the Bradley turret and Johnson’s driver located right below him caught him as he fell and saw all the blood.

The lieutenant is down, the lieutenant’s been shot, screamed the driver. Medic, Medic up. Those were the final words that lieutenant Hornik remembers as he slipped into a semi fog.

 

Fast forward to today.

Former captain Tim Hornik was medically discharged from the US Army in late December of 2011 as a 100% service disabled, combat blinded veteran. He is now a licensed clinical social worker, living in Kansas with his wife and young daughter.

Tom Miller, someone else I know, is the executive director of the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) of the USA. A little over a month ago I wrote an e-mail to Tom asking for his help in trying to locate blinded American veterans who were users of Google+ technology, or blinded veterans who were somewhat computer savvy. He sent my request for assistance down his chain of command where it landed on one of his capable staff members desks, Christina Hitchcock, and within a week Christina had sent out an e-mail newsletter request asking the thousands of veterans across the country that were part of the blinded veterans Association if they wanted to participate with a writer (me) who was writing a story on the accessibility of the new social media platform Google+.

That was how I found and was introduced to Tim Hornik. Here is where the story actually begins.

Imagine that you are blind for one minute, a full 60 seconds. Close your eyes and make believe. It’s hard to do, because you can actually open your eyes at any time and the make believe part goes away. That’s not how it works for anyone who is blind. The make believe part is the reality part for those who are blind and they just can’t open their eyes and see again. Memories of what things looked like, memories of colors and other images float across the distant horizon of their mind when they talk to you or me about any subject. Most everyone has been told at some point that when you lose your sight your other senses attempt to compensate. That’s true. You can smell better, you can feel things and touch things better and of course you can actually hear a whole lot better.

Now, imagine you are deaf. This is not easy. We are surrounded by sound everywhere we go. Google+ is almost 50% audio and 50% visual. You may have a radio on in your house right now as your reading this story or you may be hearing the wind against your window during a rain storm, or maybe you can hear a jet flying by way up in the sky. You surely can hear the neighborhood dogs bark when the newspaper boy delivers his papers in the morning and you can hear the phone ring and you know someone has called to talk to you. It’s just the way it is for most of us. But when you can’t hear, the whole world has changed. You can see of course, but there is no sound to what you see so you are trapped in a dimension of space and time that is all about being alone. You can see other people talking and you wonder to yourself what they are talking about. You can watch some TV, the small amount of shows on TV that are “Closed captioned”, but for the most part, TV is not really fun. You can read of course, and you do with a passion. You read everything you can lay your hands on about any new development in the science of hearing. You follow the most obscure research developments and you wait. You wait for the miracle that will return your hearing.

In the mean time, in order for you, a deaf veteran to make a phone call, to call the VA hospital and change a medical appointment, or to call his daughter at college and wish her happy birthday, or to call Dominos and order a large peperoni, all of these things come with challenges. It’s hard to find the way to make communications happen. Deaf veterans lose out because they can’t just call someone’s cell and start talking, they can’t hear, and if they can’t text, or don’t answer their email quickly, their at a huge disadvantage. It’s just not fair you think to yourself. It’s hard enough learning to live with hearing loss and now they have to learn to live with the loss of communication, they have to learn to be alone in a world that is mostly sound. They just can’t use the phone as they don’t know if anyone picked it up. It’s just not fair.

Google+ and the Answer

Now, comes +Robert Anderson and +Gary Levin and +Tim Hornik and +Mark Wilson and Google+ Hangouts.   This small team of veterans and this software platform, all dedicated to working on the accessibility issues of combat wounded and disabled veterans has come upon an idea whose time has come.

To those of you who use Google+ hangouts you know that if you and I were in a hangout right now, and we wanted to call my friend Mark, I could easily use the “Invite” feature, then the phone feature and then I could actually enter in a US based phone number, call that number for free and I could include Mark in the hangout as a conference call participant with you and me. This is the “Lighting in the Bottle”, secret sauce that is going to make it possible for Blind veterans to sit in a hangout someday soon and when asked, make real time relay phone calls for veterans who are deaf.
You may be asking yourself, “What?” making what?

Relay phone calls. Imagine the deaf veteran comes into a hangout and enters in his/her phone number that he/she wants called in the “invite, phone” feature, and the blind veteran actually hears the conversation with the caller who answers the phone, and then the blind veteran chats the results back to the deaf veteran in real time. The deaf veteran will be able too communicate (using chat), having the blind veteran ask questions to the caller, get answers, change appointments, order Pizza, call a cab, you name it, its now possible. Thus, we call this communications leap, lightning in a bottle.

Now, at the same time, what is amazing to me is that Google+ and the Google+ hangout senior engineers have embraced this concept with open arms. I think they see what we see. If we can make this concept of relay calling using blind veterans helping deaf veterans work for American disabled veterans, we can then make it work for any country that has a community of hearing loss and vision loss citizens. And at the same time, this is possibly a way for the vision disabled community to find some work. Yes, I said it, work.

The development of this experiment came from the +skunx works meetings of the ‘Veterans Workshop”, which is a loosely affiliated group of American veterans with visions of technology accommodations for their brothers and sisters who have combat injuries. Finding useful ways to capture off the shelf software and cloud based technology to help in the integration of an American veteran who has given so much to you and me is the goal. Think about it, some veteran who gave the use of his ears, or her eyes, or his arms or her legs, think about that for a minute, some veteran who lives in east pork chop USA has in the defense of our nation made a huge sacrifice on our behalf. Do we as a community within Google+ owe these wounded warriors anything? I think that where ever they may live, we owe them at least the chance to be as much like you and me in the use of the Internet and the social media communities we all share? I think so.

I said in an earlier story (part one) that I would speak about the title to this story “Google plus and the L-shaped Ambush”.  For the non veterans who are reading this story, an L-shaped Ambush definition is “An L-shaped Ambush is when a short leg of firing units are placed to enfilade (fire the length of) the sides of the linear kill zone. In other words, a unit is in the shape of an L and the enemy walks into that shape.

It is my opinion that Face book has walked into an L-shaped ambush sprung by Google.  Face book is larger as a social media tool than Google+ that’s a fact, but if you take the time to talk to FB users and G+ users you will see that the differences in the communities is the ability of G+ users to actually communicate, not just post something on a wall, or post an image, but to actually, physically, communicate. That is a game changer in my mind.

I spoke in the last story about the actual Google+ engineers who are making this all happen, I don’t need to beat a dead horse here, we all know that Chee Chew and his team are responsible. Here are some other G+ users you should find, circle, and read what they post. They have tremendous insight on what is happening within this community. Before I tell you who they are, remember this. When you meet someone from Google+ outside of the  virtual world, that is called a HIRL. That stands for “Hangout in Real Life”. I know about this, as I did one recently. It was special. Now, here are some folks to find and circle.

It starts with +Robert Anderson – again my teacher and a sure fire obi wan kenobi of the way that this tool works, and who uses it.

+Gary Levin – the Navy eye doctor who has spent countless hours getting the right definitions and the right access for those who have lost their sight. A surgeon and a smart as a whip friend of the veteran.

+Tim Hornik – The main feature of this story, but a veteran who personifies the very essence of sacrifice.

+Amanda Blain – Now, I haven’t spoken to her personally, but she is a force here in the community and someone that is gracious and considerate of others. If you get the chance, you should find her in here.

+Daniel Fontaine – Now, if your smart, you will find this guy, circle him and watch for his posts. He is concise, accurate and right on target when it comes to the use of this tool

+Bruce Garber – Another user who has his arms around the way that this tool box works. He has tons of posts that are helpful and insightful. Look him up.

+Guy Kawasaki – This is one of the significant movers and shakers within this community. This guy (no pun intended), is like E.F Hutton. When Guy talks, everybody listens.

+Paul Roustan – This is an artist within the community that has by far, the most interesting work I have ever seen. You need to find and follow this guy for sure. You won’t be sorry.

+Eric Offenberg – Former chair of the Newport Chamber of Commerce.  Low profile, powerful guy.

I have found myself  on a couple of occasions going to this hangout, and you should too: It’s called Tech and Coffee, you will find this hangout online almost all the time. When you go, here is who you will find, if you click their name, it will take you to their page in Google+.  You need to add them to your circles,  it will be worth the investment of time. I have spoken to George Doscher a few times and to Yvonne, who are both very nice and attentive to newbies like me, and in my last visit to the hangout, I met the Bishop, Bruce Turner. All of these people are nice and you should find the time to stop by their hangout and chat.

The Admin people are:

 

Featured Hosts:

 

There is an unofficial permanent hangout called “the network” hosted by the biggest jerk on the planet. As I said in part one of the story, this guy is a colossus of a  loser and you should steer clear of him if possible. I actually found out that he is actually a Troll. What is a troll you may ask? Good question.

Trolls- (definition provided to me) is someone in Google+ who is being falsly provocative, they pretend to have an emotion. It’s a form of mental illness I have been told.

Anatomy of a troll:

Above the Neck

  • Thorny Crown of Political Correctness: emblematic adornment of their self imposed suffering.
  • Mischief Factory/Flame War Generator: may include but not limited to using false emotion and stating opinion as fact.
  • Furrowed Brow: result of strongly focused and possibly misguided anger.
  • Green Eyes: jealousy is a powerful monster.
  • Permanently Up-turned Nose: makes it easier to look down at everyone else.
  • Blood Thirst Gland: to each their own is not a empathetic emotion the troll is capable of.
  • Hearing Loss: trolls are deaf to anything but their own yammering.
  • Extra Molars: for gnashing teeth.
  • Tusks: mostly for intimidation purposes… and they do look kind of cool.

 

Below the Neck
Hunched Shoulders: so the forum troll can appear larger and more important than the actually are.

Pity Eradicator / Pity Generator: usually displayed and cultivated in pity exchange posts.
Rage Inducing Sector: see above.

Bile Mass Production: usually cockled in the cauldron and on the lips of media. Often celebrated in the SVU division of the news.

Bitter Irony Housing: trolls often live in glass houses but paradoxically insist on throwing stones in order to perpetuate victimhood and insist on unequal treatment for others while demanding special conditional treatment for themselves. Often refereed to as “equal treatment” under a suspended state of logical and often arbitrary inclusion/exclusion of self referencing rules of relativism, i.e.. George Orwell’s Animal Farm. “All Pigs are Equal. Some Pigs are More Equal.”

Below the Belt
Biological Bits: as a basis of argument centered around perceived and or pseudo prejudice of orientation, diminutive accusation or association and false projection.

Shoes that are Too Small: being in a perpetual state of discomfort helps maintain their boundless capacity for antagonism.

Perpetual Shadow: indicative of the pall that they cast over an entire forum community.

Know thy trolls. Don’t feed the trolls. They grow up and tend to suffer from moral insanity as well as enjoy careers as crusaders of the absurd. The truth is often much sadder than the hype.

Until you have at least literally scrubbed a third degree burn patient don’t talk to me about or claim to be the victim of a flame war. It is the internet and according the the TOS you are an adult. Cull your circles, use your filters or simply turn off your computer, go outside and smell the roses. Unless you have allergies to that too in which case I recommend that see your doctor.

Finally, a special message to all flame war contributors, bystanders and pundits; “bullies, trolls and those who feed them, you suck.” Life is short don’t be such a dick.

I will be adding additional stories from time to time and am interested in any interesting stories that you may have.  Please pass them along to me.

 

Posted in USAComments Off on Google+ Plus and the L-Shaped Ambush (Part two)

Iceland – No More Bankster Lap Dances

NOVANEWS

Iceland’s Special Prosecutor Blows Stack on Bankster Bosses

by  Jim W. Dean, VT Editor

Iceland Blows It’s Stack on Bank Fraudsters

American remains on its knees to our 911 investigation fraudsters, and the mortgage, banking and Wall Street derivatives pirates, a sad legacy to a once great country.

In contrast to the cowardice and Congressional corruption evident here, little Iceland is leading the way in going after our contemporary Viking looters…a wonderful irony in itself.

Several weeks ago I published the Sicily Pitchfork revolt on a similar ironic theme. A broad coalition of grassroots groups there shut the whole island of five million down for almost two weeks in protest over fuel tax hikes of 40%.

Among their list of demands were the arrests of all corrupt officials, huge cuts in political office pay, perks and benefits, and a complete turnover of all long serving public employees. Imagine that!

I pushed the piece because mass media had a black out on what was a great story. Here you had Sicily, the land of historical corruption,  and the good folks rising up against their political and business mobsters…but not here in the land of the free…not yet anyway.

The article did surprisingly well on VT. Who knew that a Sicily Revolt would catch on. But my gut feel was right. The uniqueness of the mixed age and makeup of the Pitchfork movement, and the media blocking out the story hit a nerve.

The readers picked up on it right away, with a lot of comments wondering when the rest of us would wake up and start working together more to fight our elitist aliens.

As often happens with VT hit pieces, the hundreds of international bloggers and websites who follow us picked the article up. When I googled the title with Jim W. Dean, I found it posted all over the place.

That is something we don’t mind really as the name of the game here is to get the word out. So yes, I am trying to double dip on this Iceland story.

I had heard that their public at large was protesting the ‘Greek Fire’ IMF solution…a generation or more of servitude to pay bankers and regulators for something that they caused, or allowed to happen through greed, corruption and blissful incompetence.

Whereas most people, like here, would have focused on debt reduction and forgiveness…but not Iceland. These Viking blood folks want some bankster heads on pikes, legally speaking. Their special prosecutor has not only been raiding their offices, but their homes, also. I may have missed it, but I don’t think that happened here.

Some of these investigations are several years old, but the prosecution net of those being targeted continues to grow. It looks to me like they mean to hunt down every last one and give them the full Monty, to borrow the Brit phrase. From Businessweek:

A new coalition, led by Social Democrat Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir, was voted into office in early 2009. The authorities are now investigating most of the main protagonists of the banking meltdown.

Iceland’s special prosecutor has said it may indict as many as 90 people, while more than 200, including the former chief executives at the three biggest banks, face criminal charges.

Larus Welding, the former CEO of Glitnir Bank hf, once Iceland’s second biggest, was indicted in December for granting illegal loans and is now waiting to stand trial. The former CEO of Landsbanki Islands hf, Sigurjon Arnason, has endured stints of solitary confinement as his criminal investigation continues.

Can you believe that, solitary confinement DURING an investigation? Seems like these Icelandic post Vikings consider the financial rape and pillaging of the country a serious offense, and not just a regulation flaw or an accounting irregularity.

The Iceland Review reported on February 6th that even the banks accounting firms are getting drawn in now:

Three employees of the auditing firm KPMG were questioned on behalf of the Office of the Special Prosecutor on Thursday and documents concerning the investment company Milestone and related companies were confiscated at KPMG’s headquarters.

From the Financial Times on February, 23rd, by Michael Stothard in Stockholm we have this incredible admission from Britain’s Serious Fraud Office that they have bungled  their investigation.

So how does little Iceland, with much less resources, manage to get it right? Might it be that there is no political corruption protecting the guilty?

Iceland’s Kaupthing probe leads to charges

Kaupthing Bank in Prosecutor’s Cross hairs

The Icelandic probe into the collapse ofKaupthing Bank in 2008 made a big leap forward this week just as the UK’s Serious Fraud Office was admitting it hadmishandled its investigation in the same affair.

The Icelandic special prosecutor charged Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson, the former chief executive of the failed lender, and Sigurdur Einarsson, the former chairman, with fraud and market manipulation. They are due to appear in court next month.

The move was the culmination of a three-year investigation by the special prosecutor, which was set up following the country’s 2008 banking crisis to look into “suspected criminal conduct before, during and following the events that led to the so-called ‘collapse’ in Iceland”.

“This is a good moment for the people of Iceland, many of whom are still very angry about the events of 2008,” said Thorolfur Matthiasson, professor of economics at the University of Iceland.

The indictments will come as a relief to Olafur Hauksson, the special prosecutor leading the case, who has in the past faced criticism for lack of progress. His fortunes are today in stark contrast to those of Richard Alderman, director of the SFO, which has been investigating Kaupthing’s UK ties.

The British agency was forced on Wednesday to admit “very regrettable errors” in the way it handled part of its Kaupthing inquiry involving Vincent Tchenguiz, the property tycoon, who was a major borrower from the bank.”’

The SFO joined the investigation into possible criminal activity at Kaupthing in 2009 because of the sizeable operations it had in the UK and also because several UK-based figures were among its biggest shareholders and borrowers, including Mr Tchenguiz and his brother Robert.

Over the next three years, the SFO and Icelandic special prosecutor co-operated on numerous operations, launching a raid on offices in Luxembourg, which was an important offshore base for Kaupthing…..

Legal Sparks are Flying in Iceland – Who Will Get Burned in the End?

Why have the Banksters gotten a free ride?

So despite our huge Justice Department resources here, rather than honoring their oaths of office our own public officials are tripping over each other trying to shake down the business community for giving them a pass on their pillaging if they can be generous enough with their begotten loot.

In all of the financial stories I have read there is a nary a whiff of potential criminal prosecution. The way they play the scan here is that if you steal a little you actually do risk possibly going to jail.

But if you can actually steal a huge amount, then you can use the country’s well being as your human shield…that to prosecute your company criminally would hurt a lot of innocent stockholders who might remember that come election time.

Our legislators have been very chummy with them on legislation creep that has made corporate criminal cases virtually a thing of the past. And as for our regulators and protectors, what do you think their odds are for a lucrative post government career would be for those who made a name for themselves with criminal corporate prosecutions?

Is this an election issue? Of course it isn’t. When it is question 22 on a polling list of five issues, it doesn’t do very well. I heard of one poll where gas/fuel prices ranked 20th on a list of concerns. I have never since a list of 20 polling questions in my life.

VT Senior Editor

And not an issue…when rigged gas prices are holding back our economic recovery? Gordon Duff, with his international oil and banking work has written multiple articles on how oil should be $40 a barrel based on demand and gas $1.75 a gallon.

Inflation would be down and the public would have a lot more spending money that is now going to the oil Vikings, the Gulf pirates, Russia, Iran, Uncle Chavez.

And I ask again, this is not a presidential campaign issue?

What more proof do you need that mass psychology is an advanced art and they really do control much of what we think based on what they allow to be seen being discussed in public, and what they don’t.

It works, it pays, and they do it. So now what are we going to do? We know what the New Iceland Vikings are doing.  They want to have a Bankster barbecue. Are you getting my drift? Yes…we need to hire some of them, do an exchange program, anything…but show us the way!

Dear Iceland, send Viking special prosecutors over here now, the mean ones please. All I want out of it are the rights to the reality TV series. May the lava pools in Iceland be hell on earth for you know who.

He has been writing, speaking and doing public relations, television, radio, and now multimedia consulting for a variety of American heritage, historical, military, veteran and Intel orgs. Jim has appeared on PBS most recently in the Looking for Lincoln documentary withProf. Henry Lewis Gates. He has also  lectured at the Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Why Can’t We Americans Duplicate What the Icelanders are Doing to Their Banksters?

Posted in USAComments Off on Iceland – No More Bankster Lap Dances

The IsraHell Lobby – Dershowitz, Threats and Smears

NOVANEWS

Tales of the Israel Lobby: Threats, Dershowitz, & Embedded Lobbyists

James Abourezk represented South Dakota in Congress from 1971 to 1979.  CNI asked Senator Abourezk about his experiences with the Israel Lobby. In his first response he told of anIsraeli plot to assassinate him. In this column he discusses threats to his family, Alan Dershowitz, and Israeli lobbyists embedded in the U.S. State Department:

by James Abourezk

When I was Chairman of the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC), we had two bombing incidents. I had no idea who was responsible, but I had a guess. Someone unknown placed a bomb in the doorway of ADC’s Boston headquarters. The staff there called the Boston police, who came and were in the process of disarming the pipe bomb that they found there. If I recall correctly, the police had put the bomb in a metal barrel, and it exploded in the face of one of the police officers, seriously injuring him. We all felt terrible about the policeman being injured and we tried as best we could to console his family. The whole incident was covered by a Boston TV station, and I assume they still have the footage of the explosion on file.

At around the same time, someone unknown firebombed the ADC headquarters in Washington, D.C. I was out of town at the time, but no one was hurt, and I was able to get back in time to accompany the arson expert with the D.C. police department, who showed us exactly where the bomb was thrown and how the fire had spread from that point.

Because we were all gripped with fear of what might be next, I decided to tighten up the security on my home, if nothing more than to calm down my family. I had bought a Rottweiler dog sometime earlier both for protection of my family and of our home. I learned that Rottweilers would automatically attack anyone who came near our home, unless we had introduced the dog to person visiting. I had a security expert—someone who had once worked as a Secret Service agent in the White House—make recommendations to insure that we would be a difficult target for someone who would wish us harm. We followed his advice and made the house a bit more invulnerable. He also told us that it would be impossible to make any home 100 per cent safe, but we could make it so a potential bomber would be discouraged enough to give up trying.

I also hired a 24 hour guard for the house. The first night the guard, a young man wearing a blue blazer and armed with a weapon situated himself inside, near the front door. At one point during the night, he ran upstairs to our bedrooms and shouted that there was something making noises outside. I suggested that, since he had the gun, that he should check it out, but he wanted me to go with him. So I dressed, took the Rottweiler with me on a leash and the guard and I did a search around the house. Finding nothing we went back in. The guard spent the rest of the night immediately outside my bedroom door, I suspect more frightened that I was, and the next day, I fired the security service.

After the bombing of the ADC headquarters in Washington, I was still extremely nervous about what might happen, but I put on my brave face and held a press conference, announcing to the world that “we would not be intimidated” by these kind of terrorists, and that we were going to work harder than ever to bring justice to the Palestinians and others in the Middle East who were victims of Israel’s aggression.  But I honestly had a hard time staying calm and preventing myself from running out of the room to find a safe place to hide.

What Has Been Your Experience with Alan Dershowitz?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ

I remember Alan Dershowitz, not as a Harvard Law Professor, but as the person who wrote an op-ed column in one of our national newspapers in which he said that Palestinians need not worry about justice in the Occupied Territories, as the Israeli Supreme Court would always make certain that they were fairly treated. I’ve been reading Mondoweiss online, which has a daily list of Palestinians whose homes are leveled by U.S.-made bulldozers, of land outright stolen by Israeli settlers for the use of the settlers, most of whom come from the United States to live in the West Bank. I know that Dershowitz’s words about the Israeli Supreme Court are a great comfort to those Palestinians in the West Bank who have been killed, maimed, and their property stolen.

A few short years ago when I was in Damascus, I did an interview on Al Manar Television, which is Hizbollah’s channel in Lebanon. During the interview I mentioned that Alan Dershowitz was a “snake.”

There is a pro-Israeli group here in the U.S. which calls itself “MEMRI” which tapes television shows broadcast in the Middle East. They had taped my interview, which I suppose is where Alan Dershowitz heard about my description of him. He thereupon wrote a column in the Jerusalem Post in which he called me an “anti-Semite.” That slur is the favorite of Pro-Israeli Lobbyists and it works a lot of the time, often succeeding in silencing critics of Israel or of its policies.

“I was a journalist in waiting, but I didn’t want to be chasing fires and monitoring police calls,” she writes in her third book, “Front Row at the White House.”

Later, when I was invited to speak to the ADC gathering in Washington honoring Helen Thomas, who was herself the target of the same smear, I spoke about Dershowitz’s attempt to silence me by calling me an anti-Semite. I told the audience at that dinner that anti-semitism means that the person charged disliked Jews as Jews. I further said that I do not dislike Jews, but I only disliked Alan Dershowitz and Abe Foxman, the head of the B’nai B’rith, and that my dislike of them had nothing to do with anti-semitism, but with how they operated.

My speech that night was later published on the Counterpunch site, which prompted the ever vigilant Dershowitz, after he had read the speech, to vehemently deny that he had labeled me an anti-semite. The co-editor of Counterpunch, Alex Cockburn, somehow located the old Jerusalem Post column written by Dershowitz, and there it was, plain as day, with him very cleverly saying about me that, when it comes to anti-semitism, “if the shoe fits, wear it.”

Here is the relevant portion of Alexander Cockburn’s column, quoting Dershowitz:

“In his [CounterPunch] article entitled ‘Honoring Helen Thomas’ dated November 22, 2010, James Abourezk makes the following statement:

‘I once called Alan Dershowitz a snake on Al Manar television. Al Manar is Hezbollah’s news channel in Lebanon. When he found out what I had said, he wrote a column in the Jerusalem Post, calling me an anti-Semite.’

[That] is a lie. Here is a link to my article to which he refers. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-dershowitz/a-real-snake_b_65194.html?view=print)   I challenge him to find the term ‘anti-Semite’ in the article. I also challenge your readers to read the article and judge Abourezk’s credibility. Now I will characterize Abourezk: He is a liar.”

Cockburn went on:

“I duly clicked on the Huffington Post link thoughtfully provided by prof. Dershowitz and indeed, there is no use of the term ‘anti-Semite’ in the column by the noted Harvard law professor, published on September 21, 2007. But since the prof. is a notoriously slippery fellow, I put a couple of sentences from that same column into the google search engine, pressed button A and, hey presto, up came the same Sep 21, 2007 Dershowitz column, printed that same day on the site of the United Jewish Foundation. And lo! there was a final paragraph, omitted from the Huffpost version. Here it is.

‘Well maybe former Senator Abourezk isn’t so different from the late Senator Bilbo after all. He uses the word ‘Zionist’ in precisely the same bigoted way Bilbo used ‘kike.’ [Huffington Post version ends here.]

‘It is true that not all anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic, but just because it is anti-Zionist does not mean it is not also anti-Semitic. If the shoe fits…’ (C2007 FrontPageMagazine.com 09/21/07).

“Anti-Semite”… “anti-Semitic” … A minute difference on which the slippery prof. would no doubt try to hang his hat, but to any impartial observer it’s plain enough that Abourezk’s memory is true. Dershowitz was sliming the former distinguished Senator from South Dakota as an anti-Semite. It’s maybe why Huffington Post dropped the final paragraph as libelous, unless Dershowitz reserved the slime for the version he sent FrontPageMagazine which, the vigilant reader will have noted, was credited as its source by the United Jerusalem Foundation.”

And here is my response to Alex after he found the “anti-semite” article:

Alex:

Dershowitz is neither a good lawyer nor a good liar. He is trying to slither out of what has become nearly a full time occupation–that of branding any criticism of Israel as coming from someone who hates Jews. That does not work on me, as I’m secure in my anti-racist feelings. I’ve had any number of Zionists who are devoid of any reasonable argument throw the anti-semitism charge at me. Sorry, but it doesn’t work, and Dershowitz is not clever enough to make the “shoe fit” no matter how hard he tries. Does he think that pointing to an incomplete article reprinted in Huffington Post will do the trick? Obviously he does, which makes his lie even more prominent. That’s a trick that even a first year law student would be smart enough not to try. He’s been caught lying and no amount of his flailing about will make that vanish. I hadn’t realized that it would be that easy getting a job teaching law at Harvard. Had I been younger, armed with this knowledge I would have applied for the job.

Jim Abourezk

We’ve heard nothing from Dershowitz since that time, but he’s still out there somewhere, apologizing for Israel’s dirty deeds.

Letters of 76 Senators

This great snapshot,shows Gerald Ford with then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, just days after Nixon’s resignation. Photo courtesy of Library of Congress.

When Gerald Ford was President and Henry Kissinger was his Secretary of State, the two decided, during U.S. backed peace talks to bring Israel around to U.S. thinking by withholding American aid to Israel. That effort ended quickly when 76 U.S. Senators signed an AIPAC drafted letter to President Ford containing a thinly veiled threat to Mr. Ford if he continued to withhold military aid to Israel. The letter prompted President Ford to give in to the Lobby’s demand and to resume aid to Israel.

What happened leading up to the publication of the letter in the U.S. press is an interesting story. I had dinner with one Senator—who shall go unnamed here—the night before the letter was released to the press. He told me that he had no intention of signing it.

 

The next day, when the letter appeared in the Washington Post, I asked my friend what had happened.

“Jim, I received phone call after phone call all during the day yesterday, calls from people who had gone beyond just supporting me in my election, but people—lawyers, doctors, professional people and businessmen—who had interrupted their careers to work in my campaign. I couldn’t say no to them, which is why you saw my name on the letter.”

AIPAC Founder Isaiah L. Kenen and Ted Kennedy

Later, in the Senate cloakroom, a number of us were standing together, talking about the letter. Ted Kennedy spoke first. “I knew that’s what would happen when I was approached to sign the letter, and I don’t like it at all. We should, next time, get together before signing such a letter, and all of us say no at the same time.” What Kennedy was referring to was the Israeli Lobby’s practice of picking off the Senators by going to one Senator, saying, “Senator So- and-so has signed, and you’d better not be the only potential presidential candidate not on the letter.” They would then go to Senator So-and-so and say the same thing. Ultimately, all of the leading Senators—especially those who wanted to run from President—would put their signature on the letter.

Kennedy’s statement was what spurred me to say something, during a mini-debate I had with Hyman Bookbinder before a section of the D.C. Bar Association’s meeting in D.C. We were promoting a book we had written together as a debate on the Middle East—Through Different Eyes—and I mentioned that Senators would cheer on Israel in public but would bad mouth both Israel and the Lobby in private. One lawyer raised his hand and asked, “name just one U.S. Senator who would do that.”

I said, simply, “Ted Kennedy,” hoping he was politically strong enough to resist the Lobby’s counter-attack.

Two or three days later, Ted Kennedy called me and said, “Abourezk, what the hell have you done to me?” I guess Ted had underestimated his own political strength, or at least, did not want any of it diluted in a tiff over the Middle East. And he for sure did not want to spend his time defending himself from the Israeli Lobby.

Getting help from the lobby

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1948, at age 17, immediately after I graduated from High School. After training in San Diego, I was ordered to Japan to become a member of the occupation. I was stationed on quasi-shore duty in Japan, actually aboard a non-propulsion barracks ship tied up in the heart of Tokyo, on the Sumida River. The ship was essentially the barracks for members of the Admiral’s staff. Early on in my tour there, the Kodokan Judo University in Tokyo sent a few Judo instructors to our ship in order to recruit students for their Judo school. The delegation included the then world champion, Ishikawa-san, and a slightly built man in his eighties, named “never fall Mifune.” We converted a large empty cabin on the ship into a Judo room, with mats on the metal floors to break our falls.

There I learned the essence of the art of Judo—using your opponent’s strength and momentum against him in order to win.

That lesson was very useful in helping me get a Committee assignment I wanted while in the Senate. When North Carolina’s celebrated Senator Sam Ervin retired from the Senate after masterfully chairing the Senate Watergate Committee, I decided to try for his seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Jim Allen, from Alabama, also decided to try for the seat. But he was senior to me so it was obvious to everyone that I had an uphill battle.

With the lessons I learned studying Judo in mind, I caught David Brody, one of the Israeli Lobbyists, in the corridor, telling him that I was trying for the Judiciary Committee seat that Sam Ervin was vacating. I casually mentioned that if I didn’t get on Judiciary, I would then try for Foreign Relations. That, I knew, would get his attention.

Although I never saw any evidence of the Lobby’s actions, even though Allen was senior to me, I surprisingly got the most votes from the Senate Steering Committee, which makes Committee assignments. So I later thanked Dave Brody for his help, but he never acknowledged that he had done the job.

Embedded Lobbyists.

It is difficult to describe how deep into the U.S. Government the Israel Lobby is embedded, but occasionally signs of the depth of its penetration become obvious. I can cite two instances where it was more than obvious.

I received a call one day from a career State Department diplomat, someone I had met during a trip I had made to the Middle East. He was my “control officer” when I was in Egypt on that trip, the diplomat whose job it was to stay with me during my stay there.

His call came out of the blue, at least two or three years after having met him in Cairo. He sounded both desperate and frantic, telling me he had to come to my apartment to talk to me about something.

When we met, he was totally different than when I had met him in Cairo, then a very suave professional diplomat. The day he came to my apartment he was both nervous and frantic, telling me that someone had to do something about the Israeli Lobby. They were “everywhere” in the State Department, he said, leaning on anyone who had anything to do with the Middle East. By that, he explained, he had witnessed both Lobby representatives and Israeli officials working over U.S. diplomats in every kind of setting, that is, he saw them doing so in restaurants, in State Department offices, virtually everywhere.

All he wanted to do, he said, was to stop it, and he didn’t know how. I had to confess that I didn’t either.

I’m not certain that anyone in Washington, D.C. knows the total amount of money and favors our government gives to Israel, largely due to its Lobby.

Aside from the several billions of dollars in aid that goes from our Treasury to Israel, there are a great number of top secret contracts that we sign with the Israeli government that could not stand the light of day should they be disclosed.

I do remember that our taxpayers funded the “Arrow” air defense system Israel has now to deter incoming rockets and missiles.

I also knew about Israeli Aircraft Industries having an office at the airport in Wilmington, Delaware, presumably to handle air force contracts between Israel and the U.S. government. Why else would there be such an office in Delaware?

Other avenues for the Lobby to Pursue?

After I left the Senate and began practicing law in Washington, D.C. I was retained by a very wealthy Palestinian who had spent a number of years attending schools in the United States. He received a PhD from Columbia University in New York, and had spent a lot of time making money and investing it in real estate in various parts of America, as well as in Europe. He was married to a Palestinian woman and they had two sons, both of whom were born in New York during his schooling there.

My client was building a satisfying life, traveling in Europe and the United States to tend to his business interests, until, one day, he was surprisingly denied entry into the United States. He was accused of being a member of the PLO. Other than all Palestinians considering themselves belonging to the Palestinian liberation movement, he had never done anything that would brand him as a terrorist. He suspected that someone who was an enemy had deliberately told the U.S. government that he was a PLO member, hoping to cause him problems.

This was during the Reagan Administration, so my first move was to hire a Republican law firm to help lobby for a visa for him. He not only had business interests in the United States, but his two sons were both in college here, so not being allowed to come into the U.S. was a decided handicap.

Aside from the law firm charging great amounts of money for whatever time they spent on his case, the lawyer assigned to his case was ultimately never able to get him cleared to enter the U.S.  Finally, the lawyer/lobbyist told my client that he had a Jewish partner in the firm who was well connected in Israel, and would be able, he said, to travel to Israel to plead his case and to obtain Israel’s approval for his entry visa into the United States. He was told that the cost would be extra for the service.

My client looked at him, dumbfounded, and to his credit, said that he would prefer not to enter the U.S. if it came to relying on the Israeli government’s intervention to get him a visa.

Source: Council for the National Interest


Read more articles on: ANTI-SEMITISM, WHAT IS IT ?

Maidhc O’ Cathail, Anti-semitism – Zionism’s Indepensible Alibi

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Post Mortem of Grievances of Balochistan

NOVANEWS

by Asif Haroon Raja

 

When East Pakistan was part of Pakistan, it was much smaller in size than West Pakistan but was more populated. Common complaint of the Bengalis was that they being in majority were deprived of political empowerment and economic benefits and that West Pakistan was prospering at the cost of East Pakistan, which was rich in jute. Federal government and Punjab were projected as the villains who had made East Pakistan its colony. In March 1971, when full blown insurgency erupted, the Army was demonized and termed as an occupation Army involved in genocide and rapes. Bengali leadership sought Indian help to gain independence December 1971.

After four decades of that catastrophe, Balochis in Balochistan are now complaining that irrespective of the fact that the population of their province is the lowest as compared to other three provinces, it is the largest province and given a raw deal since budget allocation is done on the basis of population and not on area. Dissident Sardars keep referring to East Pakistan to convey their future designs. Federal government, Punjab and Army (mischievously called as Punjabi Army) are held responsible for their woes and demonized. Ongoing insurgency is in continuation of earlier insurgencies in Balochistan. It is raging since 2005 and is graver than the earlier ones since the three major Baloch tribes together with several nationalist Baloch leaders are taking part and it is supported by several countries. Wrath of the dissident Baloch is falling upon the unarmed innocent non-locals settled in Balochistan since ages.

Grievances of Baloch nationalists and dissidents have revolved around political and economic deprivation, provincial autonomy, control over natural resources, detention of political workers, bigger share in NFC, special quota in federal jobs, enhancement of royalty for gas, taking back decision to build cantonments in interior Balochistan, reducing Army’s presence, curtailing intelligence agencies role, attrition of Baloch identity and Balochis being reduced to minority due to heavy influx of outsiders. Later on, emphasis shifted towards missing persons, mutilated bodies and trial of Musharraf. Encouraged by foreign powers, the fugitive Baloch leaders are now demanding independence.

Economic and political deprivations, poverty, lack of education and justice because of exploitative rich class are common to all developing countries and are present even among the developed world. If interior Balochistan is a backward and neglected region, so is rural Sindh, southern Punjab, FATA, parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir. Punjab with a better industrial base, communication network and business opportunities at the time of partition was better placed to make rapid progress as compared to other under developed provinces. Central Punjab is relatively more prosperous not because it is eating up major share of the federal budget but because Punjab is blessed with five rivers, agriculture is its backbone because of fertile land and people are very industrious. This dissimilarity is there in India as well as in all other developing countries. Poverty in some of the eastern states of India where insurgencies are raging because of the discriminative attitude of the Brahman rulers is far greater. Even in the economically and militarily strongest country USA, there are 99% poor and only 1% rich.

In Bangladesh, the poor segment of Bengalis that was poor in 1971 has gone poorer while the rich have grown richer. Most of the grievances aired by Mujibur Rahman and his cohorts proved to be perceived and false. Only 9% of Bengalis had sought independence while the rest were terrorised and quietened. Once they realized that they had been duped and had falsely been promised moon, and also saw the real face of India, they killed Mujib and his entire family and buried the whole lot in an unmarked mass grave. Hasina Wajid survived because she was abroad. Today, over 70% of the Bengalis are pro-Pakistan. Their love for Pakistan and hatred for India can be seen on the occasions of cricket matches taking place in Dacca, or when interactions take place. We in Pakistan do not curse them for treachery but understand that they had been misled and we love them and wish them well.

If Balochistan is backward and the Balochis cannot qualify in competitive exams, fault is of their own leaders who have intentionally kept the province backward and the people uneducated. Why so much of hullabaloo on Balochistan where the Sardars are tyrannical, repressive and averse to development? Isn’t it true that the Baloch Sardars are real exploiters and oppressors of Baloch people? I may like to remind Khan of Kalat Daood Sulemen Khan in exile that historically Khans of Kalat are Ahmadzai Pathans and not Baloch or Brahvis. Kalat was awarded by Ahmad Shah Abdali to Khan of Kalat in exchange for commitment to provide 9,000 troops for his Army. Later on, when the British captured India, they created Nawabs and Sardars all over the occupied country including the four states of Balochistan called Turan, which went under their suzerainty in 1854 through a pact for Rs 50,000. The titles were given to enable them to keep their respective tribes in control. Present day Balochistan came into being in 1970 after the breakup of One-Unit Scheme by Gen Yahya’s regime. Quetta and Kalat divisions were merged and named Balochistan.

All chief ministers of Balochistan have been/are Baloch Sardars? What have they done for the uplift of Balochistan? Have they not been receiving development budgets and gas royalty every year? Rs 250 million are being allocated to each minister in Balochistan Ministry for development each year. Where has all the money vanished? Nawab Akbar Bugti used to receive Rs 9 crores annually from the government but he didn’t spend a penny on his tribe. Isn’t it true that the Sui Gas Company employed 2000 Bugti tribesmen on paper and their salary including fake medical bills used to be pocketed by Akbar Bugti? He had shunted out Mastoi tribe from Dera Bugti since it had defied his oppressive policies. Long ordeal of the Mastois ended in 2007-08 when they were brought back and rehabilitated. None can deny that the Sardars and Nawabs are at the centre of the problem. They have been usurping development funds and kept their respective tribes illiterate and backward to keep them dependent upon them and to maintain Sardari system. They maintain private armies and jails to keep the people terrorised.

Power hungry and greedy Sardars instead of developing the province have remained engaged in inter-tribal war since ages. The most powerful tribes of Bugtis, Marris and Mengals were daggers drawn till as late as 2003. The US brought the warring Sardars together and made them turn their guns of hostility towards Pak security forces. Morally corrupt Sardars accepted the US offer to betray their country after they learnt that the US had made up its mind to convert Afghanistan into a permanent military station and had evinced keen interest in Balochistan. They sold their souls to the highest bidder in the hope of sharing the riches of the province with the US and its allies.

Why the uproar when there is general acceptance of neglect by the rulers and efforts are in hand to gradually remove the inequities of the province? Isn’t it a fact that with only 4.7% of Pakistan population, it is receiving 9% of the total federal budget? Haven’t Balochistan got the best share in NFC Award at the cost of Punjab? Isn’t the socio-economic package in the form of Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan a good beginning to address their inequities? Aren’t the Army, FC and Navy wholeheartedly engaged in bettering the lives of the rural Balochistan and inducting thousands of Baloch youth in armed forces and paramilitary forces? So how is it given a raw deal? Given the internal and external challenges faced by Pakistan, state of economy which is virtually on the verge of collapse because of the US imposed war on terror, sense of deprivations in several parts of Pakistan, it is humanly not possible to change the fortunes of Balochistan overnight, particularly when law and order situation in that province has almost broken down and performance of provincial government as well as of federal government is deplorable. How can worthwhile development works take place when a handful of insurgents working on foreign agenda have made the peace of Balochistan hostage to their acts of terror?

If the Baloch are complaining about military operation, the fact is that Gen Musharraf had ordered an Army operation in 2006 when the writ of the provincial government had been challenged and law and order had got seriously disturbed. The operation lasted for six months after which the Army withdrew and ever since the Frontier Corps assisted by Frontier Constabulary and Police have been assigned the task of maintaining law and order. The Army has no role to play in their employment. The Army is engaged in development and welfare jobs only. The FC is undertaking security duties and hardly a day passes without a skirmish with armed Baloch militants in interior Balochistan and its men getting killed or injured in the process. Foreign trained and equipped Baloch militants are involved in laying ambushes, attacking security check posts, laying explosive devices, abductions and target killings.

Military operations in actuality are being conducted by the Army in FATA and PATA since 2003 without a pause. The responsibility of security of FATA and other disturbed regions has been handed over by the federal government entirely to the Army. The rebellious tribesmen are fighting the security forces but are not demanding separation, or openly inviting foreigners to come to their rescue and make FATA independent. In Swat, the locals assisted the security forces in freeing the tourist resort from the clutches of terrorists. Operations in Balochistan were carried out in the past in response to open rebellion against the state and foreign powers had got involved. Isn’t it true that the history of Baloch is replete with treachery against the state? Haven’t they been hobnobbing with foreign powers and seeking their support to harm the interests of Pakistan? Moreover, the big question is who started the trouble in Balochistan in 2004? Haven’t the Baloch rebels been sabotaging gas pipelines, electric grids, railway lines and other installations causing loss of billions of dollars to Pakistan? Wasn’t Sui gas pipeline sabotaged 273 times causing loss of billions of dollars to Pakistan? Which government in the world would tolerate mutiny against the state and that too supported by foreign powers?

The other complaint is about target killings. It is not specific to Balochistan. Karachi has become notorious for target killings and not a single target killer has so far been punished. About the issue of mutilated bodies, phenomenon of dead bodies wrapped in jute sacks has remained in vogue in Karachi since 1986. Trend of abductions and missing persons is common to all provinces. Who started the process of ethnic cleansing of settlers and Hazaras? Haven’t the BLA, BRA and BLF been ruthlessly target killing non-local doctors, teachers, professors, businessmen, bankers and other professionals in the name of Baloch nationalism? BLA, BRA and Brahamdagh Bugti himself have been proudly claiming to have killed Punjabis. None including our partisan media talk of the horrors faced by the non-locals. Is blood of the non-locals thinner than the Baloch?

Hypothetically, if we accept that the FC or ISI is involved in murdering anti-state Baloch, the question is why they should mutilate the bodies and then dump them on the roadside for the public to see and fill their hearts with revulsion? It is like showing a red rag to the enraged bull and creating more problems for themselves. Logically, should they not be getting rid of the poison secretly and burying the dead in inaccessible areas? Public display of bodies and that too in mutilated form is done by those vested groups who want to rouse up emotions of the public and instil deep-seated hatred even among neutral and patriotic elements. There is no denying the fact that this grisly practice is the handiwork of foreign agencies with ulterior motives, or BLA/BRA. Vested interests are killing two birds with one stone by terrorizing the militants desiring to give up militancy and arousing Baloch nationalism by blaming security forces and agencies.

Concerning military cantonments, it is a fact that these help in bringing prosperity as in the case of cantonments in interior Sindh. Pannu Aqil Cantonment is a case in point. Quetta city, Hannah and Urak picnic spots owe their prosperity to Quetta Cantonment, and so does Sibi city to military garrison. Planned military cantonments in Sui and Kahan were not meant to benefit the Army but to remove sense of deprivation of those backward regions and also deter foreign adventurers. The plan has been abandoned and now Sui and Kahan are being developed as education cities by the Army. The suggestion to withdraw FC from undertaking counter insurgency is preposterous and mischievous. Have the rebellious Baloch leaders shown any flexibility or softness from their agenda of separation or agreed to talk? If not, why Balochistan should be handed over in a platter to the small band of separatists?

If the rebellious Sardars are daydreaming that the US would happily hand over the riches of Balochistan to them, they are sadly mistaken. So far there is not a single instance to quote where imperialist powers benefited the colluding traitors. They take away the lions share and leave the crumbs to the loyalists to chew at and in most cases they get rid of them and induct fresh lot of loyalists. Like the parasitical Sardars in Balochistan, Waderas in Sindh, Chaudhris in Punjab and Maliks in KP and FATA are also blood suckers. While Maliks and Chaudhris have to a large extent been bridled by the middle class, absence of this class in Sindh and Balochistan has enabled the Waderas and Sardars to retain their exploitative hold over the poor.

Apart from wholesome socio-politico-economic package directed towards uplift of the province to address genuine grievances of the Baloch, the foremost requirement is to break the cycle of insurgency. The first is to effectively seal all routes of supplies to insurgents from Afghanistan, India and Iran and their sources of funding dried up. Diplomatic pressure should be exerted on countries providing safe havens to Baloch leaders involved in terrorism to either extradite them or restrain them from indulging in anti-Pakistan propaganda. As long as funds and weapons keep pouring in, insurgency will not die down. From among patriotic Baloch which are in majority, nationalistic leaders should be lionized and through them the disgruntled Baloch leaders discredited. Urgent steps should be taken to abolish Sardari system. I am surprised as to why our media is only encouraging dissident Baloch leaders to explain their anti-Pakistan agenda in TV talk shows and not inviting patriotic Baloch which are in majority. From among the three million Baloch living inside Balochistan the rebellious elements are not more than 2500. Why no opinion has ever been gathered from 3 million Baloch living in Balochistan and 14 million Baloch residing in Punjab and Sindh by so many organisations like Transparency International, Pew etc? The great majority of Baloch, who are highly patriotic and honourable people, must be given all what they want, while the disgruntled elements should be sidelined with the help of patriots. Media will have to step forward and play its nationalistic role rather than playing to the tunes of foreign powers. If our federal and Balochistan governments have failed to expose involvement of foreign agencies, the media should do so. The police should be depoliticised and held responsible for allowing the target killers to play havoc and for failing to collect enough incriminating material and witnesses to get the arrested terrorists convicted by law courts.

The perception among the Baloch that Gen Musharraf had murdered their hero Nawab Akbar Bugti has sunk deep into their psyche. A murder case has been registered against him in Balochistan High Court and nothing short of his trial will satisfy them. Musharraf who disagrees with the charge should voluntarily appear before the court to clear his position. A fair and free trial will help in removing the misperceptions and mollifying the high tempers of the Baloch. It may be recalled that the Baloch insurgents had given up violence in 1978 after ZA Bhutto was unseated by Gen Ziaul Haq and charged with murder of Ahmad Raza Kasuri, and socio-economic uplift programs were initiated in Balochistan. We will have to find another Gen Rahimuddin type honest and dedicated administrator to sort out the mess of Balochistan. 

Aslam Raisani and his corrupt and inefficient team members are involved in massive corruption, nepotism, car lifting and kidnappings and have no time to tackle the problems of the province for which they had been elected. Balochistan government’s apathy can be gauged from the fact that so far it has not passed a resolution to condemn the US Congress controversial bill seeking right of self-determination for the Baloch people. It is part of the problem and not the solution.

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