Archive | February 20th, 2014

Chicago Tribune Stands Behind State’s Fantasy of Radical Terror, Even Though ‘NATO 3′ Acquitted of Terrorism


Few terrorism cases are lost by the government prosecutors in the United States, whether at the federal level or, in rare instances, at the state level. However, last week, a jury came to a verdict in the “NATO 3″ trial that acquitted three young men of all the terrorism charges they had faced.

(Photo: Creative Commons / Flickr / by Ping Ping)

It was a huge defeat for Illinois State’s Attorney of Cook County, Anita Alvarez, who angrily refused to admit the state had lost during a press conference after the verdict was announced.

Alvarez emphasized that the “NATO 3″ had still been found guilty of possession of an incendiary device with the intent to commit arson as well as two mob action offenses. However, the state did not bring this case as an arson or mob action case and all along the public had been led to believe that these were “terrorists” on trial. And they were so dangerous that the men were going to be charged with offenses under a largely untested state terrorism statute.

Rather than react to the outcome in the trial by examining the decision by Alvarez to abuse her authority and bring this case as a terrorism case when there was no shred of evidence for such charges, the Chicago Tribune editorial board published a state-identified editorial on February 10 that was a fervent defense of all that Alvarez and other prosecutors did in this case. It stood in sharp contrast to an editorial from the Chicago Sun-Times, which stated, “The Chicago Police and State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez almost comically overreached.”

The Tribune editorial board seemed to argue that defense attorneys were the ones who erred, not prosecutors or police. “Defense attorneys were way out of line when they stepped to the microphones, post verdict, to bash Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez for pursuing terrorism charges,” according to the editorial.

The notion that this case “trivialized” terrorism or that this was a “politically motivated prosecution” was outright dismissed, as the Tribune editorial board followed the example of prosecutors and pulled more comments from recorded conversations to further demonize them. The editorial board also repeated this wild notion that an attack on four police stations was ever going to happen, even though prosecutors never put forward evidence to prove there had ever been such a plot to attack Chicago police.

Alvarez’s press conference remarks after the verdict were quoted. “Let me ask you: What do you think they were going to do with these devices?” she asked. The Tribune editorial board said, “That’s a very good question.”

It is actually “a very good question.” It was the job of prosecutors in the trial to answer the question with evidence, especially because they were the ones bringing charges. Lucky for prosecutors, they were able to convince the judge to give the jury an “entrapment” instruction that would help members downplay the role the undercover police officers played in the construction and possession of Molotov cocktails.

Fear, innuendo and the existence of the beer bottles managed to be enough to convince the jury to convict the three men of arson charges. They found words from recorded conversations—seemingly disparate, said during different days yet linked together by prosecutors—to be enough to discern some “intent” to commit a crime, and prosecutors did not totally lose the case.

But the facts brought out during trial showed that Officer Mehmet Uygun had been the only one to talk about “terrorizing” Chicago. He is the one who raised the idea of buying gas when he said he had $2 for gas. He cut the bandannas to make the wicks for the Molotov cocktails, and he had control of the Molotov cocktails, hiding them from the “NATO 3″ so they would be found when police raided the apartment. And, on the day of May 16, when the Molotov cocktails were made, it is undercover Officer Nadia Chikko, who first raised the idea of making them.

The Tribune editorial board does not appear to be interested in the facts brought out during the trial. They instead put forward an answer driven by the same confirmation bias that led Alvarez to wrongly pursue this case as a terrorism case.

In fact, this excerpt of the editorial is reflective of what was most foul about the case:

Church, Chase and Betterly [the “NATO 3”] came to Chicago looking for trouble. A lot of people did. Remember that week? Thousands of protesters aired countless grievances — about everything from capitalism to European austerity measures to the Keystone pipeline — against the backdrop of the summit, at which heads of state met to discuss international security issues.

Most of the protesters were peaceful, and city officials went to great lengths to facilitate their right to assemble. But police took lots of abuse from the self-described anarchists, who curiously advocated violence as an antidote to war.

Remember the masked agitators, dressed in black, snaking their way to the front of the parade ranks as the Sunday afternoon protest stepped off? Remember the hours long standoff between police and demonstrators bent on storming the summit after the veterans’ anti-war ceremony? Remember how the officers assigned to keep things safe and orderly turned the other cheek as the marchers chanted “One, two, three! (Expletive) CPD!”?

So, when Chase remarked that gasoline “smells like victory” as he assembled Molotov cocktails in the dark, should police have discounted the danger because he cluelessly requested a lighter so he could see better? No. [emphasis added]

In those four paragraphs, the Tribune editorial board reassure the public that the “NATO 3″ were “dangerous” and would have plotted violence because there were apparently others like them, who were part of a tense standoff with police at a protest that was supposed to be peaceful. This is what prosecutors did throughout the trial—expressed their bias against the “NATO 3″ as if it were evidence of crimes.

The paragraphs inaccurately suggest the police were peaceful. Here is a photo of a shirt a plainclothes officer was seen wearing:

Beating the crowds is what some police eventually did as they swung batons at a front line of protesters frantically and violently on May 18 during a mass demonstration against NATO.

The scene prompted CNN’s Don Lemon to say on air, “Every time I see it, I just can’t imagine being any of the people who are on the ground or in front of those police officers. I don’t know. Does anybody deserve that?”

Better, can any reasonable person call this “turning the other cheek”?

How about this clip? Keep in mind the police have riot gear and instead of using that protection to go in and grab anyone they might see throwing anything at them, this group of police decided to just rage against protesters:

On May 9, 2012, ten days before the NATO meeting, police stopped the three men in their car. Video was recorded of police saying, “See these guys know, ’68, these guys know all about ’68.” Another officer asked, “What did they say back in ’68?”  ”Billy club to the fucking skull,” a cop added. When race was mentioned, an officer said, “Okay, now we’ll beat your white ass.” And, once the “NATO 3″ were free to drive away,” after one of them said they would see the police next weekend,” an officer said, “We’ll come look for you, each and every one of you.”

There was no reasonable basis for the stop other than the fact that the officers knew they were out-of-town protesters.

The Tribune editorial board’s use of the phrase “masked agitator” has deep roots in Chicago history. “Agitator” was what one would use to describe the rabble-rousers they thought would bring about worker violence when labor was struggling for rights. The editorial board believes “masked agitators,” like the “NATO 3,” would have provoked significant protester violence and so police state powers used against demonstrators are called for in the same way they were urged by press against anarchists, communists, socialists or other radicals in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

As expressed later in the editorial:

…When a 20-year-old calls himself an anarchist in such a setting, you don’t question whether he’s man enough to mean it…

Such a statement basically says you are not allowed to be an anarchist during major events like the NATO meeting when large demonstrations will occur. Your political beliefs are such that you should be targeted by domestic police spying operations and tracked by police to neutralize and suppress you as you seek to engage in your First Amendment right to express your anger with the system. And it accepts the myth that anarchists will commit violence no matter what, refusing to accept the reality that police are often the first to provoke and invite a violent reaction by fostering a climate of repression through their actions and heavy-handed presence.

Notably, there is no nod to the history in Chicago of police targeting and suppressing radical protesters through Red Squad operations in the 1960s or 1970s or in the aftermath of the Haymarket incident, which touched off an anarchist scare. There is no reflection on the part of the editorial board on the issue of prosecuting dissenters as if they are terrorists. However, with this case, all of that seemed to be resurrected by police and prosecutors, as they executed a “public safety mission” ahead of the NATO meeting that really was a modern-day Red Squad operation that included infiltrating Occupy Chicago.

It apparently does not bother the Tribune editorial board that prosecutors asked a judge to give the “NATO 3″ a $5 million bond for each defendant. The judge granted the state a $1.5 million bond to keep each of them in prison. They were brought into a courtroom during an early hearing in shackles and chains and treated in a way that murderers are not even treated.  They were held in “protective custody,” which essentially means authorities were able to keep them in conditions that amount to isolation since they were terror suspects in the eyes of the state.

Zealously, the Tribune editorial board urged the judge to “throw the book” at the “NATO 3″ and put them in prison—for a long period, one presumes. Nearly two years and being treated as “terrrorists” is not enough “justice” for the editorial board.

Finally, even though the men were acquitted of all terrorism charges, the editorial board endorsed Alvarez’s invoking of the Boston marathon bombing:

“Have we forgotten about Boston here?” Alvarez said after the verdict, adamantly defending her decision to pursue terrorism charges. “Have we forgotten about homemade bombs in backpacks? We were able to stop people from being hurt, and I would do it again.”

We should all rest easier knowing that.

Actually, we should not. We should not rest easy if it means denying there was a massive abuse of prosecutorial discretion in this case. We should not rest easy if it means that Alvarez would do this all over again and if a major newspaper’s editorial board in Chicago, which had a diligent reporter covering the trial, walked away after the verdict with a conclusion that everything is okay and there is no one in power who should have to answer for anything.

Molly Armour, one of the defense attorneys in the case, when she was asked if “overcharging” was a justifiable strategy for winning the case, plainly stated, “A prosecutor’s job is to do justice. The prosecutor’s job is to evaluate the case. And they did not because if they had they could have seen clearly what 12 jurors saw, which is there was no terrorism here.”

Such institutionalized delusion and willful ignorance on the part of police, prosecutors or the press is likely to cause more pain and suffering for individuals in the future when prosecutorial discretion is blatantly abused again. That, primarily, is why none of what the Tribune argued should be accepted.

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Enthusiasm and Energy of the Pakistani Youth


By Sajjad Shaukat

Past experience proves that the youth played a key role in the nation-building of the developed

countries, while pulling them out of any crisis due to their zeal and zest.

Unlike the developed countries, Pakistan has been facing multi-faceted problems such as acute

financial crisis, poverty, unemployment, social inequities, lack of security, loadshading of

electricity and gas in wake of continuous acts of terrorism. But, our young persons have shown

a greater enthusiasm and energy in coping with these multiple problems. In these terms, their

vitality and power of determination is praiseworthy.

On the on side, enemies of the Pakistan are using various schemes to manipulate the youth by

provocating them to join the militants in order to conduct subversive activities, on the other side,

a majority of the Pakistani youth is well-determined in thwarting the nefarious designs of the

terrorists who are involved in brutal acts of terrorism and have brought embarrassment to the

Now, Pakistan’s environment has been darkened with the perennial incidents of bomb blasts,

turmoil and unrest, as the insurgent target educational institutions, public places like festivals,

parks, business centers, hospitals, places of entertainment and worship. Our youth which is too

sensitive and mindful of the terrorism-related phenomenon of trauma surrounding them, cannot

remain oblivious to the same, as it is agonizing for them.

Knowing the memories of their relatives and dear ones who lost their lives in various terrorist

acts like bomb blasts, suicide attacks, targeted killings, ethnic and sectarian violence, the

youth has urged the various organs of the state—the government and the judiciary including

law-enforcing agencies and media to take effective steps to get rid Pakistan of the menace of

While some political and religious entities including some media analysts are misguiding the

youngsters that it is elseone’s war, not Pakistan’s war, but the youth is well-aware that it is

our own war against terrorism, as the militants are being supported by external enemies of

the country. They know the reality that entrenched in Afghanistan external secret agencies

like American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad have perennially been arranging acts of

sabotage in various regions of Pakistan, especially in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Balochistan and

Karachi through their affiliated militant groups such as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP),

Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Jundollah (God’s soldiers) including other insurgent

groups and some Baloch feudal lords (Sardars) to fulfill the secret strategic designs of US, India

and Israel at the cost of Pakistan, China and Iran. Besides martyring several personnel of law-
enforcing agencies and security forces in various parts of the country, in Balochistan, these

foreign-backed entities kidnapped and massacred many Punjabis, Pushtuns, Shias, people of

Hazara community, patriot Balochis and Iranian Shias. In the past few years, they abducted

and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan. On a number of occasions, BLA,

Jundollah and other separatist groups claimed responsibility for their subversive acts. So, the

young persons know that these terrorists have accelerated their anti-social, undemocratic and un-
Islamic practices in the country where their merciless activities continue unabated. Hence, they

are showing vitality by emphasizing the necessity of unity to fight the ruthless enemy.

No doubt, the youth in Pakistan is fully cognizant of the fact that all convicted terrorists

especially those who were awarded death penalty by the courts of law should be executed

without any delay, as it will send a strong message to the militants. And Judiciary on its part

must ensure speedy disposal of all cases pertaining to terrorism, otherwise, justice in cases of

terrorist attacks will remain delayed. According to a maxim, “justice delayed is justice denied.”

Nevertheless, the Pakistani youth is fully aware of the dangers which lurk ahead and the

impediments which lie in the path of realizing their full potential and a brighter future. In this

respect, the government of Pakistan needs to take serious measures to positively exploit the

enthusiasm and energy of the youth not only in coping with the political instability, social strife

and economic problems, but also menace of terrorism in the country.

For the purpose, our own media must show courage by denouncing all acts of terrorism, and stop

providing space to these terrorists, as media statements by the spokesmen of the militant groups

simply glorify the cause of terrorism in one way or the other.

It is good sign that the Pakistani youth like its counterparts around the world also uses the social

media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace etc. effectively. In the cyber-age, social media

which means online platform for interactive dialogue, have equally been utilizing by the peoples

of the developed and less developed countries. In this context, the Facebook site originally was

created for students of Harvard to get acquaintance with one another, but later, it was utilized by

other colleges and universities as well, and now allows anyone to get registration.

In fact, these sites are creating communities which allow people to keep tabs of their social

relationships by exploring and finding other persons with similar interests. In these terms, social

media services like Twitter and Facebook are really playing the revolutionary role.

In this regard, a study suggests that online chatter about revolution often began just before actual

revolution took place. And social media also served as an outlet for citizens of the region to tell

their stories of revolution, which played an inspirational role for neighboring countries. The

study explains that social media carried a cascade of messages about freedom and democracy

across North Africa and the Middle East, and helped raise expectations for the success of

political uprising—in Egypt where the Arab Spring blossomed—Howard and his team found

that the number of tweets that mentioned revolution in that country exploded from 2,300 per day

to more than 230,000 per day. The number of videos, Facebook updates and blog posts about

government opposition also rose dramatically.

Moreover, there is virtually no control over the sites, and some of the users can misuse by giving

false information or spread disinformation. According to a NGO, the photos of flogging of 17

year old girl in Swat in 2009 displayed on the Facebook was engineered, which had brought

Nonetheless, our youngsters who know the art of using social media sites through internet must

utilize the same for encountering anti-Pakistan propaganda of the external enemies, and in

improving the image of the country in the eyes of international community. Thus, they can also

unite various segments of the society in fighting the different war against terrorists.

It is notable that general elections 2013 witness the youth of Pakistan participating

wholeheartedly in the electoral process. Optimistically speaking, if democracy prevails, the

youth, being in majority, will actually dictate the type of government which will reside in the

corridors of power. The current government’s recognition of the power of the youth is likely to

motivate and to empower them.

It is mentionable that education and research are very essential for the development of a country,

as we can see in the west. So, strenuous efforts for peace and an atmosphere conducive to the

pursuit of education, research and vocational interests are of prime importance in relation to the

Consequently, Pakistani youth which is full of enthusiasm and energy has expressed firm resolve

to fight the menace of terrorism, and to play their role for the security of Pakistan, while helping

the country in diversified fields for nation-building purposes.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

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Oposición venezolana muestra su carácter derechista, racista y anti-obrero en las calles de Washington, D.C.


Un cuento de dos manifestaciones: informe en vivo

En frente de la Embajada de Venezuela – Washington, DC, 15 de febrero 2014

Ayer (sábado, 15 de febrero) en una manifestación en Washington, DC, el carácter racista, privilegiado y mimado de los opositores al gobierno revolucionario de Venezuela se reveló de manera grotesca.

Con mucha vividez desenmascararon la verdadera naturaleza de clase de la oposición al gobierno progresista de Venezuela, los niños enfurecidos de la clase alta de Venezuela, que viven una existencia mimada en Washington  DC,  gritaron insultos y difamaciones racistas contra un grupo multirracial de manifestantes que se reunieron durante seis horas para condenar al gobierno de EE.UU. y la CIA por tratar de llevar a cabo otro golpe de estado contra el gobierno progresista liderado por Nicolás Maduro.

De pie frente a la Embajada de Venezuela en la sección de Georgetown, en Washington, DC, la manifestación fue una de las muchas que tomaron lugar en todo los Estados Unidos en contra de los esfuerzos de la CIA para llevar a cabo otro sabotaje y desestabilización en América Latina.

“Nosotros, el pueblo de los Estados Unidos, estamos armando movilizaciones en todo el país con un mensaje simple: el gobierno de los Estados Unidos está tratando de usar la táctica de los trastornos económicos y sabotaje para derrocar a la Revolución Bolivariana. El gobierno de EE.UU. habla en nuestro nombre, pero nosotros, el pueblo, nos oponemos a esa política”, explicó uno de los manifestantes a través de un megáfono. .

Los niños empoderados de la élite de Venezuela se volvieron locos.

“Cubanos hijos de…”, coreaban. Señalando a los manifestantes negros , gritaron: “Vuelve a tu refugio para desamparados. Elegante, bien vestida y a la moda, la élite de Venezuela llegó durante varias horas en sus carros caros para llevar a cabo una contramanifestación. Trajeron un equipo de cuatro impecablemente cuidados, pequeños perros de pura raza, adornados con trajes, y procedieron a posar para tomarse fotos con ellos.

Ellos reflejan la arrogancia típica de los que han vivido con sirvientes a lo largo de la vida. Pasaron todo su tiempo derramando abuso y odio hacia la manifestación de las personas de la clase trabajadora que habían salido porque se oponen a que el gobierno de los EE.UU. utilice su vasto poder en un intento de hacer fracasar la revolución que tanto  beneficia claramente a los pobres de Venezuela .

Llamaron a los manifestantes, progresistas multirraciales “estúpidos ” y ” perezosos” y, por supuesto, “comunistas“. Los estadounidenses que lucharon por los derechos civiles o el fin de la guerra de Vietnam reconocen estos ecos de nuestros propios fanáticos derechistas. Pero la arrogancia de la comunidad próspera de Venezuela en Washington, DC, parecía sin límite.

Estos niños ricos de Venezuela — que van a la Universidad de Georgetown, que cuesta más de $58.000 al año — gritaron a la manifestación en la que mayoría de los participantes eran trabajadores en Washington, DC, “¿por qué no consiguen un trabajo” y “¿quién eres tú” y “regresa a casa”.

Fue una demostración mala de la clase alta de Venezuela. A pesar de que estaban en Washington, DC,  se comportaba como que eran los dueños del lugar. Son una clase propietaria y no pueden ocultar su arrogancia. Están convencidos de que siempre deben poseer una vasta riqueza de Venezuela, mientras que la mayoría de la población debería vivir en la pobreza extrema. ¿Por qué no ser los dueños de las calles de Georgetown también, mientras que gritan a la gente de la clase trabajadora en Washington, DC, que se deben “ir a casa! ”

Ellos estaban goteando con los privilegios de clase. Estos adolescentes mimados y veinteañeros se azotaban a sí mismos en un frenesí. Mostró a la gente el dedo medio, y gritaban y gritaban cosas como: “¿Quién te paga?” Y “Ven a nuestro lado y vamos a pagarles dos veces el salario mínimo”.

Llegaron en turnos para no permanecer en el frío por demasiado tiempo. Pero estaba claro que la manifestación progresista estaba decidida a quedarse. La temperatura estaba bajo cero. Hubo un fuerte viento, haciendo que se sentía aún más frío y la nieve cayó durante una parte del tiempo.

La cifra de la derecha disminuyó y se redujeron. A las 4:30 de la tarde, el último de ellos se retiró y los manifestantes progresistas levantaron sus carteles y pancartas y corearon: “¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido”.

Animamos a todos a unirse a este próximo evento:

Opóngase a las mentiras de la derecha

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Nelson Mandela memorial held in New York City


Event took place at historic Riverside Church

Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro

On Feb. 8, 2014, the July 26 Coalition hosted an event called Mandela Presente! at Riverside Church in New York City. This event was organized to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela as well as explicitly state the role Cuba played in defeating apartheid in South Africa.

Speakers included Rodolfo Reyes, Cuba’s ambassador to the United Nations and a veteran of the Angolan War, who recounted Cuba’s internationalist commitment to the fight for African liberation. In addition, a representative of South Africa spoke honoring Mandela’s legacy and gratitude towards Cuba.

The surprise guest and keynote speaker was Mariela Castro Espin, daughter of Cuban revolutionary leaders Vilma Espin and Raul Castro. Mariela Castro Espin is the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education in Havana and an activist for LGBT rights in Cuba. Castro Espin spoke of Cuba’s strategic orientation towards Africa as a way to combat the racist legacy that colonialism, neoliberalism and capitalism create and impose upon oppressed people. Cuba’s importance in fighting for and supporting the liberation of Angola, South Africa and Namibia demonstrates its commitment to uniting with oppressed people in fighting capitalism and colonialism.

Castro Espin also emphasized that Cuba’s revolution cannot be considered complete or successful until all oppressed people across the globe have been liberated. In Spanish, the word “presente” means that the presence of that person or nation lives among those who call upon it.  Mandela recognized Cuba’s key role in ending apartheid and he fought for socialism in South Africa with Cuba’s continued support. Mandela Presente! Cuba Presente! Sudafrica Presente! La revolucion vive!

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U.S. promotes sectarian violence to divide Iraq


From the ANSWER Coalition archives

Supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr, who called for Sunnis and Shiites to hold joint prayers.
Photo: Reuters/Atef Hassan

From the ANSWER Archives:

March 19, 2014, marks the 11th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. During the next six weeks the newsletter will feature key articles from the ANSWER Coalition archives that ANSWER and associated groups published before and during the invasion, and throughout the U.S. occupation of Iraq. This is a critical period of U.S. history and the voices of those who led the mass anti-war and anti-occupation movement during this period are largely erased from the U.S. mainstream media. Please read and share this important article originally published in April 2006 about a key moment in the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Share it with young people who were not yet teenagers when the Bush administration invaded Iraq in one of the greatest war crimes in modern history.

By Richard Becker
Originally published on April 2006

 The destroyed Golden Dome mosque in Samarra.
Photo: Reuters/Stringer 

“Maybe the war was wrong, but now that we’re there, we have to finish the job.” So goes a common justification by liberal commentators for keeping U.S. troops in Iraq. By “finish the job,” they presumably mean the establishment of a U.S.-style system in Iraq. But based on what they have suffered during a decade and a half of U.S. intervention, the average Iraqi couldn’t be faulted for thinking that the real aim of “finishing the job” is to finish them off altogether.

The outbreak of sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite communities in Iraq in late February has only added to that sentiment—and for good reason. The reality, ignored by the corporate media propaganda machine here, is that U.S. policy for many years has been to promote conflict between different national and religious groups in Iraq.

It’s not just the policy of the U.S. imperialists but one used by all colonizing powers. Without divide-and-conquer, it would have been impossible for the small island of England to rule much of the world, including Iraq. Today, the British are back as junior partners in the U.S.-led occupation, and there is recent evidence that they are up to their old tricks.

In a highly publicized but still unexplained September 2005 incident, two British soldiers were arrested by Iraqi police in the southern port city of Basra. When arrested, the soldiers were dressed in traditional Iraqi clothing and carrying explosives. The British army launched an all-out assault on the Iraqi police station where they believed the soldiers were being held, despite the fact that the Iraqi police inside had been trained by British advisors.

What were the arrested soldiers doing? Were they caught in the middle of carrying out what was intended to look like a sectarian bombing, for the purpose of whipping up hostility between Iraqis?

That question took on even greater relevance six months later, after the Feb. 22 bombing of the Askariya shrine, sacred for Shiite Muslims, located in the city of Samarra. The destruction of the Askariya shrine, also known as the Golden Dome, was followed by outbursts of violence in many parts of Iraq. Over 100 Sunni Muslim mosques were damaged or destroyed, and more than 1,300 people were killed in the following days.

While a majority of the Islamic world is Sunni, Shiites are the majority in Iraq. About 60 percent of Iraqis are from Shiite Arab backgrounds, around 20 percent are Sunni Arabs, 16 percent are Sunni Kurds and the rest are Turkomans and Assyrian, the latter being mainly Christian. The cities of Iraq have diverse populations, with much intermarriage between peoples of different religious and national backgrounds.

Imperialist intrusion and sectarian conflict

The capitalist media promotes the false and racist notion that everyone in Iraq and the Middle East has been fighting and killing each other for thousands of years.

Over the past 150 years of western intrusion into the Middle East, it has been the colonizing powers that have repeatedly instigated and inflamed conflicts between national and religious groupings. The pattern has been repeated in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and elsewhere down to the present day.

As of this writing, no organization has claimed responsibility for the Askariya bombing. Regardless of who detonated the explosives, it is no mystery who stands to gain from this crime.

The main beneficiary of fighting between Iraq’s religious or national groups today is the U.S. occupation. As Daniel Pipes, a right-wing analyst known to be influential with the Bush administration, put it in an ABC interview on March 2, “I don’t think from the point of view of the coalition it is necessarily that bad for our interests… In the first place, there would be fewer attacks on our forces in Iraq as they fight each other.”

Pipes expressed his hope that the religious conflict would spread. “More broadly outside Iraq, there would be fewer attacks on us as the Shiites and the Sunnis attack each other.”

While the Bush administration officially decries “sectarian conflict” in Iraq, there is no doubt that both military and civilian officials share Pipes’ hopes that inter-Iraqi fighting will diminish the level of armed resistance to the occupation.

Since the first U.S. war on Iraq in 1991, every U.S. administration—Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush Jr.—have sought to encourage division, conflict and the weakening of Iraq. In the immediate aftermath of the 1991 war, Bush I urged the Shiite and Kurdish populations to rise up against the central government headed by Saddam Hussein and the ruling Arab Baath Socialist Party, which had just suffered a catastrophic defeat. The revolts were crushed. Bush Sr. had never intended to give material support to these uprisings. Washington wanted to cause the maximum amount of conflict within Iraq.

In 1996, Clinton extended the “no-fly zones” in the country. All of Iraq above the 33rd and below the 35th parallels was off limits to Iraqi aircrafts. The “no-fly zones” were patrolled night and day for 12 years by U.S. and British warplanes, which dropped bombs with increasing frequency whenever and wherever they wanted. The clear aim of the zones was to weaken or end Iraqi sovereignty over most of the country.

In October 1998, Clinton signed the “Iraq Liberation Act,” stating openly that the objective of U.S. policy was to overthrow the Iraqi government.

Frank Ricciardone was appointed as director of “transition” in Iraq. Asked by the Turkish newspaper Milliyet in 1999 if the U.S. policies were leading to a partition of Iraq and possibly civil war, Ricciardone replied that Iraq “could hardly be considered a unified country today, given the no-flight zones over the north and south.”

A large part of northern Iraq, with a majority Kurdish population, became an autonomous U.S.-UN protectorate following the 1991 war, and maintains that status today.

In December 1998, Clinton forced the United Nations to withdraw all weapons inspectors from Iraq in order to unleash a massive bombing campaign between Dec. 16 and Dec. 19, 1998, known as “Operation Desert Fox.” Contrary to the myth promoted in the U.S. mass media, Iraq did not expel the inspectors. More than one thousand bombs and missiles were dropped on Iraq during this three-day period, and it inaugurated what turned out to be the almost daily bombing of Iraq until the “Shock and Awe” invasion of March 20, 2003.

The U.S.-authored 2005 constitution transfers power and revenue from the future central government to regional or provincial control.

The entire U.S. policy over the past 15 years, including the deadly sanctions, were aimed at making Iraq a weak, divided and thus easily exploitable country for many years to come.

Sunnis and Shiites speak out 

On March 5, it was reported that commandos from the Interior Ministry attacked a Sunni mosque in west Baghdad, killing three people and injuring seven others.

The Associated Press refers to the Interior Ministry as “Shiite-controlled.” This formulation, repeated throughout the media, is really another propaganda falsification intended to exacerbate religious conflict.

It is a well-documented fact that occupation forces did not turn the Interior Ministry over to “Shiites” in general, but to one particular organization, the Badr Brigade—an infamous paramilitary death squad. The Badr Brigade is the military wing of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. The SCIRI leaders, like most of those today in leadership in the Iraqi client government, had been in exile from Iraq and only returned alongside the U.S. invading army in 2003. A spin-off of the Badr Brigade is the Wolf Brigade, noted for its extreme brutality, including against Palestinian refugees in Iraq.

Under the direction of former U.S. ambassador John Negroponte—now elevated to director of national intelligence—the Iraqi Interior Ministry became the new secret police, organizing torture and death squads against Iraqi resistance forces that the United States could not defeat. Negroponte had plenty of previous experience with death squads. In the early 1980s, as U.S. ambassador to Honduras, he was a key operative in creating a reign of terror against the peoples of Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras.

The Interior Ministry death squads have almost exclusively targeted Sunni political, religious and resistance-connected leaders and activists. In the fall, hundreds of tortured and starving people were discovered imprisoned in the basement of the ministry. But very little, if anything, has changed since that discovery.

At the same time, the Al-Qaeda organization in Iraq has reportedly called for war against the Shiite population, and has taken responsibility for many deadly bombings aimed at Shiite mosques and people.

The danger of such developments is clear to many in Iraq. On March 5, a group of Sunni and Shiite clerics, including the Shiite religious and political leader Moqtada al-Sadr, made a joint appeal for Muslim unity and the protection of religious sites.

The statement read in part, “Extinguish the flames of the sectarian treachery… Every drop of blood shed is a waste.” (AP, March 5, 2006) The signers, like most Iraqis, place primary responsibility for the violence on the occupation.

The vast majority of Iraqis are in favor of national unity and opposed to both chauvinist violence and foreign occupation, all key elements throughout the history of modern Iraq.

Anti-colonial revolts, 1920 to today

In May 1920, the Arabs of Iraq, Syria and Palestine rose in mass revolt when they discovered that rather than achieving independence after hundreds of years of Ottoman (Turkish) rule, they had instead been incorporated into the largest colonial empires of the day, the British and the French.

Syria and Lebanon became French colonies, according to the agreement signed in San Remo, Italy on April 24, 1920. Iraq, Palestine and Jordan were taken over by Britain. All of this was done under the cover of “mandates” from the League of Nations, the forerunner to the United Nations.

As part of a backroom deal, U.S. oil companies were given a 23.75 percent share of Iraq’s oil, with equal amounts awarded to Britain, France and the Netherlands. Iraq owned exactly zero percent of its vast oil resources.

The British approach in Iraq, which it militarily occupied in 1918, was similar to that employed throughout its empire. It aimed to secure its domination by pitting different sectors of the colonized people against each other, while seeking to co-opt the elites of each community or nationality. In Iraq, this meant fomenting antagonism between Shiite and Sunni, and between Arab and Kurd.

But to the surprise of the British, something took place that was very unusual for the time. The Marxist historian Hanna Batatu wrote of the 1920 revolt, “For the first time in many centuries, Shiites joined politically with Sunnis, and townsmen from Baghdad and tribesmen from the Euphrates made common cause.

“Unprecedented joint Shiite-Sunni celebrations, ostensibly religious but in reality political, were held in all the Shiite and Sunni mosques in turn … the proceedings culminating in patriotic oratory and poetic thundering against the English.

“Indeed, it would not be going too far to say that with the events of 1919-20, and more particularly with the bond, however tender, that was created between Sunnis and Shiites, a new process set in: the painful, now gradual, now spasmodic growth of an Iraqi national community.” (“The Old Social Classes and Revolutionary Movements of Iraq,” Princeton University Press, 1978)

It took the powerful British military several months to put down the 1920 revolt. In the struggle, 2,000 British troops were killed, including their commander, and 10,000 Iraqis perished. Tens of thousands more were wounded at a time when the population was barely 3 million people. Winston Churchill, then in the British colonial office, ordered the development of poison gas bombs to be used against the revolt. In 1925, British forces dropped those bombs on rebelling Kurds in northern Iraq.

The history of Iraq under British rule from 1920-1958 was the history of one rebellion after another in which the people of all communities and religious affiliations joined.

On July 14, 1958, a military revolt led by nationalist officers turned into a country-wide popular revolution, putting an end to British domination and establishing Iraq as an independent country.

Iraq’s existence as an independent state was terminated by the U.S.-British invasion in 2003. It is that independence that the resistance forces are fighting to restore.

Posted in IraqComments Off on U.S. promotes sectarian violence to divide Iraq

Investigating Hugo Chávez’s death



FOIA filed demanding information on possible assassination plans

Within hours of the announcement of the death of President Hugo Chávez, civil rights groups in the United States filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) demands with federal agencies seeking information and documents that “relate to or reference or discuss any information regarding or plans to poison or otherwise assassinate the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez.”  The records demands have been made to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, and the Defense Intelligence Agency and have been filed by the civil rights legal organization, the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, the anti-war group, ANSWER Coalition and Liberation Newspaper.

The Venezuelan government is also calling for an investigation into the circumstances of President Chávez’s illness, specifically whether he was poisoned or deliberately exposed to cancer causing elements, according to NBC News and other media outlets.

The opening of the Freedom of Information Act reads as follows:

We are writing to request the following information on behalf of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), and Liberation Newspaper, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552:

All records and documents, including but not limited to, emails, letters, cables or other communications, memoranda, notes, minutes, photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, digital recordings, intelligence assessments, communications, records or other data that relate to or reference or discuss any information regarding or plans to poison or otherwise assassinate the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, who has just died.

This request in made in light of the U.S. government’s acknowledged history of knowledge and possession of information regarding, and/or participation in, attempts to assassinate foreign leaders. The acknowledged attempts by the U.S. Government to assassinate foreign leaders, include Fidel Castro,  Rafael Trujillo, and General René Schneider Chereau (See, e.g.., January 3, 1975 Memorandum of Conversation between President Gerald Ford and CIA Director William E. Colby), among others [secured by the National Security Archives pursuant to the FOIA].

This request is also made in light of the exhumation of Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat’s body to determine whether his death was caused by poisoning, including media reports that “[t]he Institute de Radiophysique discovered abnormal levels of polonium-210” in his personal effects, Chris McFreal, The Guardian, November 27, 2012, Yasser Arafat Exhumed and Reburied in Six-Hour Night Mission: Samples Taken From Corpse of Late PLO Leader Will Be Used to Investigate Claims He Was Poisoned With a Radioactive Substance; Arafat’s Body is Exhumed for Poison Tests, New York Times, November 28, 2012.

As described further below, the public has an urgent and compelling need for information underlying any effort to assassinate the President of Venezuela, including any knowledge the U.S. government has or had regarding such efforts and in particular any role the U.S. government had in such efforts. According to multiple media sources, the Venezuelan government is also calling for an investigation into the circumstances of President Chávez’s illness, specifically whether he was poisoned or deliberately exposed to cancer causing elements. See, e.g. “Venezuela VP: Chávez’s cancer was an ‘attack’ by his enemies,” NBC News, March 5, 2013.

Posted in VenezuelaComments Off on Investigating Hugo Chávez’s death

Venezuelan opposition shows its right-wing, racist and anti-working class character in the streets of Washington, D.C.



A tale of two demonstrations: Eyewitness report

In front of the Venezuelan Embassy – Washington, D.C., Feb. 15, 2014

En Español

Yesterday (Sat., Feb. 15) at a demonstration in Washington, D.C., the racist, privileged and pampered character of the ultra-right-wing opponents of Venezuela’s revolutionary government revealed itself in a grotesque display.

Vividly unmasking the true class nature of the opposition to Venezuela’s progressive government, the enraged children of Venezuela’s upper classes, who live a coddled existence in Washington, D.C., yelled insults and racist slurs against a multi-racial group of demonstrators who rallied for six hours to condemn the U.S. government and the CIA for trying to carry out another coup against the progressive government led by Nicolas Maduro.

Standing in front of Venezuela’s Embassy in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C., the demonstration was one of many taking place all over the United States in opposition to the CIA’s effort to carry out another sabotage and destabilization in Latin America.

“We, the people of the United States, are mobilizing around the country with a simple message: the government of the United States is trying to use the tactics of economic disruption and sabotage to overthrow the Bolivarian Revolution. The U.S. government speaks in our name but we, the people, oppose this policy,” explained one of the demonstrators over a bullhorn.

The empowered children of Venezuela’s elite went nuts.

“You are Cuban mother****ers” they chanted. Pointing at Black demonstrators, they yelled: “Go back to your homeless shelter.”  Stylish, well dressed and chic, Venezuela’s elite arrived for several hours in expensive cars to conduct a counterdemonstration. They brought a team of four impeccably groomed, small, purebred dogs adorned in costumes, and proceeded to pose for pictures with them.

They reflected the typical arrogance of those who have lived with servants throughout life. They spent their entire time pouring out abuse and hatred toward the rally of working-class people who had come out because they oppose the U.S. government using its vast power in an attempt to derail a revolution that is so clearly benefiting Venezuela’s poor.

They called the multi-racial, progressive demonstrators “stupid” and “lazy” and, of course, “communists.” Americans fighting for civil rights or an end to the Vietnam War recognize these echoes from our own homegrown right-wing bigots. But the arrogance of Venezuela’s affluent community in Washington, D.C., seemed boundless.

These empowered rich kids from Venezuela – who go to Georgetown University, which costs over $58,000 a year to attend – screamed out at the demonstration that was attended mostly by working-people in Washington, D.C., “why don’t you get a job” and “who are you” and “go home.”

It was a bad showing for Venezuela’s upper classes. Even though they were in Washington, D.C., they acted like they owned the place. They are an owning class and they cannot conceal their arrogance. They are convinced that they should always own Venezuela’s vast wealth while the majority of the population lives in dire poverty. Why not own the streets of Georgetown too while yelling at working-class people in Washington, D.C., that they should “go home!”

They were dripping with class privilege. These coddled teenagers and twenty-somethings whipped themselves into a frenzy. They gave people the middle finger, and yelled and screamed things such as “Who’s paying you?” and “Come over to our side and we’ll pay you twice the minimum wage.”

They came in shifts so they wouldn’t have to stay out in the cold too long. But it was clear that the progressive demonstration was determined to stay. The temperatures were below freezing. There was a stiff wind, making it feel even colder, and snow for part of the time. The numbers of the right wing dwindled and dwindled. At 4:30 p.m., the last of them retreated and the progressive demonstrators raised their signs and banners, and chanted: “The people united will never be defeated.”

Posted in VenezuelaComments Off on Venezuelan opposition shows its right-wing, racist and anti-working class character in the streets of Washington, D.C.

Concerning “Pillar of Defense” Victims, For the First Time Zio-Nazi Committee Headed by General Doron Almog Initiates Investigation in a Case Followed-up by PCHR


For the first time concerning operation “Pillar of Defense” victims, the Israeli authorities responded to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights’ (PCHR) demand and initiated an investigation in the case of targeting the photography section of al-Quds satellite channel. The Israeli authorities formed an investigation committee headed by Israeli General Doron Almog and the legal advisor of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. On 10 February 2014, PCHR’s lawyers received a request from the liaison office at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing that the witnesses – eight staff members from the photography section – should testify before the committee.

On 11 February 2014, only six victims: Darweesh Bolbol, director of photography section; photographer Mohammed al-Akhras; photographer Khader al-Zahhar; assistant photographer Omar al-Efranji; sound technician Hussein al-Madhoun and driver Hazem al-Da’our headed to Beit Hanoun crossing to testify. Lawyers Mohammed al-Alami and Mohammed Bseiso from PCHR accompanied the victims.

The case relates to the attack that took place on 18 November 2012, when Israeli warplanes fired a number of missiles at al-Quds channel’s photography section in a building in Gaza City. As a result of the attack, the section was partially damaged while eight staff members inside sustained various wounds.

The eight victims empowered PCHR to follow up the case. On 08 January 2013, PCHR filed a complaint to the Israeli Military Prosecutor of Operational Affairs calling for initiating a criminal investigation in the attack. On 12 May 2013, PCHR received a positive reply from the Military Prosecutor that an investigation in the attack would take place and that a committee headed by a senior officer would be formed for that purpose.

It should be noted that Israeli forces launched a military offensive on the Gaza Strip (14-21 November 2012) codenamed operation “Pillar of Defense”, during which hundreds of victims were killed or wounded.

From the very beginning, PCHR documented the Israeli violations and crimes against Palestinian civilians, built 79 legal files and contacted the Israeli Military Prosecutor. PCHR received 24 negative replies and 2 replies on initiating investigations in 2 incidents related to targeting journalists, including journalists working at al-Quds satellite channel.



Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Concerning “Pillar of Defense” Victims, For the First Time Zio-Nazi Committee Headed by General Doron Almog Initiates Investigation in a Case Followed-up by PCHR

Zio-Nazi forces continue systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and property in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)


Protest in Palestine


  • Zio-Nazi forces continued to open fire at border areas in the Gaza Strip.

–       7 civilians were wounded in the northern Gaza Strip.

  • Zio-Nazi forces launched 2 airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

–       8 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children and 3 women, sustained glass shrapnel wounds.

–       A building in a training site was destroyed and 4 houses, a school and a workshop sustained partial damage in the first airstrike.

–       A well, a house and 5 greenhouses were completely destroyed and a house and another 11 greenhouses were damaged in the second airstrike.

  • Zio-Nazi forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters in the West Bank.

–       2 Palestinian civilians were wounded in Kofur Qaddoum protest, northeast of Qalqilia.

–       19 civilians, including 2 children, were wounded in 2 protests organized at the entrances of al-Jalazoun refugee camp and Selwad village.

–       4 civilians, including a child, were wounded during Israeli incursions.

  • Zio-Nazi forces conducted 72 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

–       At least 58 Palestinians, including 3 children and a woman, were arrested.

–       An explosion in a house in al-Far’ah refugee camp, south of Tubas, took place.

  • Zio-Nazi has continued to impose a total closure on the oPt and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.

–       Zio-Nazi forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank.

–       At least 6 Palestinian civilians were arrested at checkpoints.

  • Zio-Nazi navy forces continued targeting Palestinian fishermen in the sea.

–       Zio-Nazi naval forces opened fire 4 times at Palestinian fishing boats but no casualties were reported.

  • Zio-Nazi forces continued to support settlement activities in the West Bank and Zio-Nazi settlers continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

–       Zio-Nazi forces demolished 14 residential tents, 10 tents to shelter livestock, 3 barns and 6 kitchens, 52 civilians became homeless in the Jordan Valley.

–       6,000 olive seedlings and forest trees in the south of Hebron were cut down.

–       A group of settlers uprooted 1,745 olive and almond seedlings and 20 fruitful olive trees in the north of Ramallah.


Zio-Nazi violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (30 January – 05 February 2014).


During the reporting period, Zio-Nazi forces wounded 32 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Twenty-five of whom, including 3 children, were wounded in the West Bank and 7 others were wounded in the Gaza Strip. Zio-Nazi forces also launched 2 airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, 3 shooting incidents along the border fence and 4 shooting incidents at fishing boats.

In the Gaza Strip, on 31 January 2014, 7 civilians were wounded when Zio-Nazi forces stationed along the border fence, east of al-Shuhada’ cemetery, in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at young men near the said fence.

Zio-Nazi forces launched 2 airstrikes on military and civil targets in northern and southern Gaza Strip.

On 31 January 2014, Zio-Nazi forces stationed along the border fence, in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at open areas. However, neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

On 01 February 2014, Zio-Nazi forces stationed along the border fence, in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at open areas. However, neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

In the context of targeting fishermen, on 24 and 26 January 2014, Zio-Nazi navy forces opened fire 4 times at Palestinian fishing boats, but no casualties were reported.

In the West Bank, Israeli forces used excessive force against peaceful demonstrations organised by Palestinian civilians, international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest at the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, 2 civilians were wounded during Kofur Qaddoum protest, northeast of Qalqilia.

In the same context, 19 civilians, including 2 children, were wounded during protests at the entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, and Selwad village, northeast of the city.

On 02 February 2014, 2 civilians, including a child, were wounded during Nabi Saleh weekly protest, northwest of Ramallah.

On 05 February 2014, 2 civilians were wounded when Zio-Nazi forces moved into al-Far’ah refugee camp, south of Tubas and opened fire at young men and children gathering in the camp.


The full report is available online at:

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Zio-Nazi forces continue systematic attacks against Palestinian civilians and property in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

Creating Fissures between Pakistan and China




By Sajjad Shaukat

From time to time, shift occurs in international politics, depending on the relationship of big

countries and their strategic rivalries.

In this regard, Pakistan has a strategic geo-political location at the corridor of world’s major

maritime oil supply lines, and has close proximity to oil rich Central Asian countries. Its location

could influences Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East. Besides, Balochistan’s mineral

resources and geo-strategic location with deep Gwadar seaport, entailing Islamabad’s close ties

with Beijing pinches the eyes of the US, India, Israel and some western countries which intend to

destabilize Pakistan for their common interests. These hostile powers are trying to create fissures

between Pakistan and China so as to sabotage their alliance.

Availing the opportunity of the western propaganda, secret agencies like CIA, RAW and

Mossad have also increased their secret activities against Pak-China relationship by supporting

subversive acts in various regions of Pakistan, and by backing the insurgents of Balochistan.

In 2013, a day before Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Islamabad; Chinese engineers being

driven through Clifton Block-1 in Karachi escaped a major bomb attack. Afterwards, foreign-
assisted Baloch separatist elements targeted Chinese engineers, working at Gwader. In fact,

external supported-militant groups such as Balolchistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Jundollah

(God’s soldiers) including other insurgent groups are fulfilling the secret strategic designs of

the US-led countries at the cost of Pakistan and China. In the past few years, these militants

abducted and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan. On a number of occasions,

these insurgent groups claimed responsibility for their heinous activities.

Plot by foreign elements against Balochistan and China could also be judged from the “Indian

Defence Review,” of Jan-Mar 2009. The Review, while suggesting the disintegration of

Pakistan, wrote that for New Delhi, “This opens a window of opportunity to ensure that the

Gwadar port does not fall into the hand of China. Afghanistan will gain stability…India’s access

to Central Asian energy routes will open up.”

It is due to covert strategic aims that the US which signed a nuclear deal with India in 2008

seeks to dismember both Pakistan and Iran—particularly to counterbalance China by making

India superpower of Asia. During his visit to India in 2010, US President Barrack Obama signed

multiple agreements with New Delhi in various fields. Owing to these agreements, India has also

been purchasing C-17 and F35 aircrafts along with latest defence-related arms and equipments

from America and other western countries, especially Israel.

Setting aside the Indian irresponsible record of non-proliferation, defence agreement signed

between the US and India on July 20, 2011 as part of the deal about civil nuclear technology,

agreed upon by the two countries in 2008. America also pressurized International Atomic Energy

Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group to grant a waiver to New Delhi for obtaining civil

nuclear trade on larger scale.

Especially, on July 20, 2011, while hinting towards Pak-China ties, the then US Secretary of

State Hillary Clinton urged India to be more assertive in Asia, saying that as American ally,

the country should play more of a leadership role. She explained, “India has the potential to

positively shape the future of the Asia-Pacific.”

The United States seems determined to keep around 10,000 troops in Afghanistan permanently

after the withdrawal of NATO forces in 2014. Besides, US has also planned to maintain Indian

role in Afghanistan to complete hidden agenda against Pakistan and China.

Taking cognizance of the enemy’s intensions, during his trip to Beijing, Pakistan’s Prime

Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang signed eight agreements on

July 5, 2013 in various fields. The most important one envisages the establishment of China-
Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) between deep Gwadar seaport of Balochistan and the

historic Silk Road city in western regions-Xinjiang of China—connecting to Gilgit-Baltistan

through Khunjerab Pass. Beijing has also offered to build an international airport, while the

roads infrastructure in Gwadar would be connected with the communication network of rest of

the country to facilitate transportation of goods. By rejecting US growing pressure, Pakistan has

handed over the control of Gwader seaport to China.

In fact, Pak-China relations signify manifestation of mutual deference, deep feelings of affinity

and natural political alliance. Their ties are based on principled pledges. Consequently, both

the countries honorably supported each others proposals, plans and interests at regional and

international levels including conventions at the UNO and global trade forums—resolution of

regional and international disputes and initiatives to espouse ethical and legal issues. In this

respect, China courageously supported Pakistan on its righteous stand on Kashmir and related

UN resolutions. Both countries are still in consonance with each others strategic and policy

framework. Pak-China relations simply reflect all-seasoned friendship free of petty prejudices

and arid localized notion. History of Pak-China friendship and enhanced sense of mutual

compassion enable them to reap the fruits of their all-weather strategic partnership. Due to fresh

avenues of development and economic opportunities in commerce, trade, business etc., Pak-
China friendship seems to attain new optimism.

Unfortunately, regional and international powers including US, Western powers, India and

Japan, driven by their sense of economic competition, imperial designs to seize and grab energy,

gold and other natural resources, and power motives to augment their political influence, are

trying to create a wedge between China and Pakistan. Their misleading analysis and skewed

reports using irritating jargons and threatening hunches are targeting the general public to create

a sense of mistrust and misperceptions among them.

A recent analysis titled, “China in Pakistan: An Awkward Relationship Beneath the Surface,”

published by Royal United Strategy Institute (RUSI Newsbrief, on January 15 2014) is a

case in point. US and some western powers, being economic rivals of China are trying to create

suspicions between Beijing and Islamabad, while the two friendly countries are planning to

undertake mega economic projects like CPEC, construction of dams and Chinese investment

in Pakistani textile, energy, banking, trade and industrial sectors including numerous other

It appears as if evergreen Pak-China friendship has become a major source of concern for anti-
Pakistan elements and economic adversaries of China. In this context, Shaheen Sehbai in his

article titled, “Cheen Ki Wikileaks,” published in a renowned Urdu daily, on January 27, 2014

also expressed bitterness over Pak-China cooperation claiming that rampant corruption in China

will be hazardous for Pakistan—suggested that the Pakistan Government should not place all

eggs in Chinese basket. His article has frightening contents for Islamabad as Chinese are likely to

be misguided. Although he claims to have picked up details of Chinese corruption from foreign

Website (The Global Mail and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists), yet timings

of such reports clearly point at a mindset and a game-plan to create disappointing impressions

of Chinese partnership with Pakistan. However, external propagandists are launching their anti-
China campaign through multifaceted drive involving Pakistani writers like Shaheen Sehbai to

As a matter of fact, CPEC seriously irritates China’s rivals, while slow progress provides

them an opportunity to comment negatively on the agreement. Chinese security in Pakistan is

being blotted to stop Chinese investment in Pakistan. This is incorrectly linked to anti-Chinese

sentiments in Pakistan which holds Beijing in high esteem, considering it as an all-seasoned

friend and so is the case in China.

Propagandists are falsely trying to link issue of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM)

in Xinjiang (insurgency in China) to Pakistan and Taliban. The truth does not validate such

allegations as Islamabad is not involved in any scheme detrimental to Beijing, as India is

supporting the militancy in Xinjiang. Pakistani media must assert that linking Pakistan in such

fundamentalist ideologies is totally erroneous and unjust.

Sino-Pakistan relations are being propagated in terms of trade, while it is argued that China has

also invested in other regional countries like India and Afghanistan, and there is nothing special

about Pak-China friendship. Our media must also project that both China and Pakistan cherish

their friendship and consider their relations as everlasting. Chinese affinity towards Pakistan is

jealously, felt by the rivals who lead to propagate against their companionship.

Besides, false corruption reports, published by selected group of journalists in West regarding

China need to be responded by our media commentators. They should also indicate that Pakistani

writers like Shaheen Sehbai must not promote foreign propaganda against China—a strategic

partner and all-weather friend of Pakistan, while Pakistan must make efforts to enhance ties

with China. Sino-Pakistan old partnership must exploit regional economic opportunities and

complete mega development projects to realize the dream Chinese and Pakistani peoples. This

will automatically counter anti-China propaganda. It is the right response to those lobbies which

are trying to create fissures between Pakistan and China with a view to negatively impact their

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in China, Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Creating Fissures between Pakistan and China

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