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Progress of the Operation Zarb-e-Azb

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Map of Pakistan

By Sajjad Shaukat

The ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb which started on Jun 15, 2014 against the militants

in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) is successfully achieving its objectives.

On June 10, this year, Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Raheel Sharif, while recounting the successes

of security forces in the Zarb-e-Azb said, “Terrorists have been cleared and dislodged from their

strongholds in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency and fight now is moving into last few

pockets close to Afghan border.” He laid emphasis on “continuation of the operations till

elimination of the last expected and probable terrorists groups and sanctuaries.”

When the Pakistan Government decided to launch this operation, Pakistan’s Prime Minister

Nawaz Sharif took the nation into confidence through parliament, asserting that Pakistan would

not be allowed to become safe havens of terrorists. Earlier, DG, ISPR Directorate, Major-Gen.

Asim Saleem Bajwa had stated, “Armed forces of Pakistan have launched the operation against

foreign and local terrorists…who had been waging a war against the state of Pakistan by

disrupting our national life in all its dimensions, stunting our economic growth and causing

enormous loss of life and property…with the support of the entire nation, these enemies will be

denied space across the country.”He further stated that military operation would continue till

achievement of ultimate objectives.

On June 16, 2014, Gen. Raheel Sharif also pointed out, “Operation Zarb-e-Azb has been

launched with the objectives of rooting out terrorists, eliminate their sanctuaries in NWA and rid

the country of terrorism.”

After the militants of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) massacred 132 school children at

Army Public School and College in Peshawar on December 16, 2014, while emphasizing

national unity against terrorists, Gen. Raheel had repeatedly stated, “Our resolve has taken new

height”, and added “We will continue to go after the inhuman beasts, their facilitators till their

final elimination.”

And Gen. Raheel Sharif has himself started supervising the military action against terrorists as

part the operation, Zarb-e-Azb.

However, since June 15, 2014, the jets of Pakistan Air Force have bombed militants’ hideouts in

North Waziristan, and killed thousands of insurgents including foreign militants, while Pak

Army has also killed several terrorists through ground offensive and many of them surrendered

before the Army.

Undoubtedly, the noble cause followed by troops enabled them to eliminate terrorists, destroyed

their strongholds/sanctuaries, demolishing tunnels and factories producing IED (Explosives),

while drying the sources of their funds and sinking their public support.

In fact, the different war between Pakistan’s Armed Forces and the TTP insurgents is simply a

‘clash of wills’ between two entities. Military thinkers agree that although the physical force will

determine the type and scale of war, yet it is the ‘will to fight’ or ‘moral force’ that determines

the outcome of war. Clausewitz puts it this way, “One might say that the physical force seems

little more than the wooden hilt, while moral factors are the precious metal, the real weapon.”

In his book, “Fighting Power: German and U.S. Army Performance, 1939-1945”, Creveld

identifies the elements of ‘moral force’, whom he calls “fighting power, the willingness to fight

and the readiness, if necessary, to die.” The greater these elements, the less vulnerable an armed

force will be to demoralization. ‘Moral force’, then, is the crucial factor in determining the

combat power of any belligerent.

During the successful military operation, Zarb-e-Azb” retreat of the Taliban from North

Waziristan has proved that such elements like ‘will to fight’ and ‘moral force’ have been more

found in Pakistan’s Armed Forces then the Taliban militants.

Nevertheless, there are other causes which demoralized the insurgents of the TTP and their

affiliated militant outfits. Firstly, strong determination and cohesiveness as noted in Pakistan’s

Armed Forces played a key role in expelling terrorists from North Waziristan Agency. In this

regard, airstrikes by Pakistan Air Force targeted their strongholds. And during street to street

fighting, without bothering for their lives, and by air-dropping commandos at the risky places,

our forces made a great headway in disrupting the Taliban supply routes. They besieged them at

various hotspots, rendering them unable to send reinforcements to their fighters. Secondly,

morale of Pak Army was very high. Thirdly, local people started denying the Taliban

sanctuaries, and disrupted their links with each other. Fourthly, general masses of the area

opposed the brutal acts of these terrorists which compelled them to leave their houses. They

came to know that under the cover of Islamic laws—terror, not Sharia was these militants’ real

agenda. Hence, they were misusing Jihad which does not allow suicide attacks in killing their

own Muslim brethren.

Undoubtedly, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have successfully broken the backbone and organized

capability of terrorists to launch well thought-out attacks against the government assets and on

innocent people. They have met serious setbacks in operation Zarb-e-Azb, and shall finally be

totally eliminated from Pakistan. It appears, as if the militants of TTP have lost major grounds,

and in severe frustration, they are trying to create some kind of so-called pressure on the

government and the Armed Forces through some terror-activities which are due to external

support of Indian RAW and other anti-Pakistan powers to these terrorists. But, Armed Forces

have castigated them to put up strong resistance.

It is notable that the North Waziristan Agency was the largest tribal agency with difficult and

complicated topography. But, by sacrificing their own lives, Armed Forces successfully cleared

the region. Therefore, the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have been returning to North

Waziristan, and Pak Army helped them in their resettlement.

As terrorists had accelerated their anti-social, undemocratic and un-Islamic practices, while they

had challenged the writ of the state, and had frightened the entire nation by their terror-acts.

Therefore, leaders of various political and religious parties including all segments of society and

media anchors—particularly commentators of TV channels, who wanted that a handful of

terrorist elements must not be allowed to dictate their agenda and to impose their self-perceived

ideology on the majority of Pakistanis are admiring the successes, achieved during the operation

Zarb-e-Azb. Now, the whole nation is united against terrorism and is backing the military

operation against these brutal militants.

No doubt, the progress of the operation Zarb-e-Azb is very encouraging, as it is fruitfully

advancing towards its logical end. At present, especially Pakistan’s media need to show sense of

hope and optimism by indicating that the present broad-based military operation will annihilate

the terrorists.

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Balochistan: Anti-Punjab and Anti-Army Propaganda

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By Sajjad Shaukat

The ink on Pak-China agreements related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was

barely dry when some western media, especially Indian secret agency RAW started playing up

the Baloch insurgency. In this regard, the director of The Second Floor (T2F), a social activist

Sabeen Mahmud was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Karachi on April 24, 2015, followed

by a bomb blast in Sibi, which killed several persons on April 26. However, she had left T2F

after attending the session on Balochistan province, when she was targeted. She was likely to

conduct a seminar at LUMS in Lahore about Balochistan. Earlier, on April 11, gunmen killed 20

laborers at a dam construction site in the Turbat district of Baluchistan. On May 29, 2015, 20

people were killed when unknown militants opened fire at the kidnapped passengers in Mastung

area of Balochistan—after abduction of two buses. Particularly, on May 13, 45 people were

killed when gunmen brutally opened fire on a bus of the Ismaili community in Karachi. Ahmed

Marwat, a spokesman for Jundullah which is the affiliated group of the Tehreek-e-Taliban

Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the bus attack.

Like these terror attacks which continue in some way or the other, Karachi bus incident was also

handy work of RAW to sabotage the CPEC by showing that if Pakistan government is not able to

provide security to its citizens, how it can protect CPEC. Ismailis belong to Hunza

(Gilgit/Baltistan) or have a spiritual linkage with this area, are Pakistanis. The CPEC would also

originate from the same region.

Similarly, RAW was behind the assassination of Sabeen Mahmud-a well thought-out plan not

only to try to harm Pak-China CPEC project, but also to accuse Pakistan’s Inter-Services

Intelligence (ISI). Another aim was also to drive a wedge between Balochistan and rest of

Meanwhile, Indian high officials themselves proved that India is sponsoring terrorism in various

regions of Pakistan, particular in Balochistan. In this respect, Indian Defence Minister, Manohar

Parrikar, while using the Hindi phrase “kante se kanta nikalna’ (removing a thorn with a thorn)

assertively said, on May 23, 2015, “We have to neutralise terrorists through terrorists only…why

does my soldier have to do it…the issue could not be discussed beyond this…there are certain

things that I obviously cannot discuss here.”

Indian External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj recognized, on June 1, this year that India

strongly “opposes $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.”

In this respect, while addressing a ceremony during his Bangladesh tour, Indian Prime Minister

Narendra Modi Modi openly admitted on June 7, this year that Indian forces helped Mukti

Bahini to turn East Pakistan into Bangladesh. He elaborated that former prime minister Atal

Bihari Vajpayee had played an active role in separating Bangladesh from Pakistan, and he had

also come to Delhi in 1971 to participate in the Satyagraha Movement launched by Jana Sangh

as a volunteer to garner support for the Mukti Bahini members.

In the recent past, Indian former Army Chief Gen. VK Singh openly confessed that during his

tenure, he supervised special army unit, Tactical Support Division (TSD) on the instructions of

the then defence minister to sponsor subversive acts in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan.

These blatant admissions by New Delhi endorsed that RAW has well-established its network in

Afghanistan, and with the tactical assistance of some anti-Pakistan secret agencies, it is fully

backing cross-border incursions and terror-activities particularly in Balochistan so as to

destabilize Pakistan. It has continuously been assisting the Baloch separatist elements and anti-

Pakistan groups like BLA, Jundullah and TTP including their affiliated outfits with logistic

support—the militants kidnapped and killed many innocent people and the security personnel in

the province through suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and sectarian violence. They

also abducted and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals. Therefore, they are responsible for

dumped bodies and extrajudicial killings and the missing persons in the province. On a number

of occasions, these insurgent groups claimed responsibility for their acts of sabotage, but India

and some external powers have been shifting the blame game of human rights violations in

Balochistan towards Pak Army.

In this context, these entities continue a deliberate propaganda campaign against Pakistan Army

by always making Army role controversial. They indicate that Punjabi Army never killed people

in Punjab; carried out military operations in other provinces like Balochistan. Their main aim is

to create resentment among the Baloch against Punjab and Army. In this connection, those who

are building Sabeen Mehmood murder case as a campaign for Baloch rights are in fact more

interested to demonize Army and ISI rather than helping the poor masses of Balochistan.

Whereas Army has not only been successful in uprooting the anti-state elements, but also

contributed a lot in socio-economic development of Balochistan. It is mentionable that besides

protecting mega projects, and promoting other developments works, Pak Army set up a number

of institutes in Balochistan, which have been providing especially technical training to thousands

of Balochis. Pak Army has also been imparting military training to the Baloch youth. The

purpose is to bring them in the mainstream of the country.

As a result of the general elections 2013, the government led by a nationalist leader Chief

Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch was established. And on December 7, 2013; local

bodies elections were largely held in a peaceful manner in Balochistan. The successful elections

have greatly negated the cause of terrorist groups, who always claim to enjoy the majority

support. These elections also proved that majority of the Baloch are loyal to the federation, as

they have rejected the case of separatists, being projected by India and other major countries.

And a Gallup survey of the UK official body, DFID, conducted on July 20, 2012 had disclosed

that the vast majority of the Baloch people oppose the idea of an independent Balochistan.

It is notable that CPEC is to be economic game changer in whole the region, which is badly hit

by below average living conditions, while people of Balochistan would be the main beneficiaries

of the CEPC project. Two decades down the timeline, Gwadar would be a thriving metropolitan

providing economic opportunities to the youth of Balochistan.

But, RAW University New Delhi is continuously conducting research and destabilizing the

region through its political and terrorist assets located in UK, Sweden, Karachi, Balochistan and

It is mentionable that with the inception of new political governments both at the center and the

province, a meaningful negotiation with all the armed separatist groups have been initiated by a

high level reconciliation and negotiation committee, comprising seasoned Baloch, Pashtoon and

Sindhi leaders to initiate dialogue with Baloch separatists.

Open offers to negotiate issues have been made to armed Baloch groups who have owned the

responsibility to kill many innocent persons. On the instruction of New Delhi and some foreign

anti-Pakistan entities, these groups continue to deny such offers on various reasons.

In this connection, as part of propaganda, all these anti-Pakistan entities are linking Balochistan

with dismemberment of East Pakistan and Kashmir struggle which is nothing, but a deliberate

effort to twist the facts. The Kashmir liberation movement is a rightful struggle and is the UN

stature—unresolved agenda item. Likewise, the separation of East Pakistan was not based purely

on indigenous movement or the policies of West Pakistan; it was in fact India who exploited the

situation by promoting militancy in East Pakistan, and then militarily occupied it to install

government of their choice. The involvement of RAW in Balochistan is the continuation of the

same Indian policy to cause maximum damage to Pakistan.

As a matter of fact, during its operations, natural calamities and humanitarian services, Pak

Army never discriminated between Punjabis and non-Punjabis. It was due to uncontrolled violent

events in Sindh, Balochistan and FATA that Army was compelled to conduct military

operations, but with the public support of every segment of society including provincial and local

people of those areas.

Nonetheless, our media entities must indicate that terrorists, operating in Balochistan are against

Pakistan and pursuing the agenda of the vested interests of their foreign masters, especially

pointing out Indian support to Baloch separatists.

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AFGHANISTAN: Elderly man accused of being a spy is beheaded by Zio-Wahhani ‘ISIS’

 NOVANEWS

AFGHANISTAN: Elderly man accused of being a spy is beheaded by the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi ‘ISIS’ doing business as Khorasan .

WARNING: CHILDREN DO NOT WATCH THIS 

elderly-man-beheading-khorasan-isis-in-afghanistan-500x281

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi ‘ISIS’ in Afghanistan, bearing the name of Khorasan, is doing what other factions of ISIS do:

kill opponents and destroy places of worship and other buildings, relics, and items of cultural significance…Just like the Taliban mujahideen did to all the Buddhist temples and statues there. 

The video was released under the title “Healing Lives By Beheading a Spy Part 1. Stay tuned for Part 2.

CLICK SCREEN BELOW TWICE TO SEE VIDEO:

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A deep, dark, secret love affair

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Image result for Singapore ISRAELI FLAG

Haaretz

A team of IDF officers, known as the `Mexicans,’ helped Singapore establish an army. It was the start of a very special relationship.
By Amnon Barzilai Jul. 16, 2015

Christmas Eve, 1965, is the unofficial date of the start of the great and continuing love story between Israel and Singapore, a love affair that was kept a deep, dark secret. The international press, like the Israeli media, tried to bring the tale to light. Occasionally, scraps of information leaked out; some were published, some were denied, many were disregarded. The Israelis, as usual, wanted to rush to tell all their friends, but managed to overcome that desire. The fear that the thies would be terminated if they became public knowledge had its effect. Israel imposed a total blackout on the story and the secret was preserved. Until the other side could no longer contain itself.

In his book, “From Third World to First: The Singapore Story 1965-2000,” published in 2000, Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding father and its first prime minister, disclosed the secret that had been kept for almost 40 years: It was the Israel Defense Forces that established the Singaporean army. The Israeli military mission was headed by Yaakov (Jack) Elazari, then a colonel, who was later promoted to brigadier general. After leaving the army, he became a consultant to the Singaporean army. Hedied 15 years ago. “To disguise their presence, we called them `Mexicans.’ They looked swarthy enough,” Lee wrote.

Singapore’s army is today considered the strongest and most advanced of the military forces in Southeast Asia. The alliance between the Israeli and Singaporean defense establishments intensified and expanded, and it now encompasses cooperation between the two countries’ military industries, as well. The scope of the deals, according to foreign sources, indicates that the Singaporean army is one of the major clients of Israeli combat means and military technology. Singapore’s aircraft industry is cooperating with its Israeli counterpart and with Elbit Systems in upgrading the F-5 warplanes of the Turkish Air Force. A few years ago, Singapore’s defense minister revealed that the Gil antitank missile, which is manufactured by Raphael (Israel Armaments Development Authority), was developed in cooperation between the two countries.

Surrounded by Muslims

Lee explained the need to maintain secrecy to his close friend in the leadership, and the first defense minister in his government, Dr. Goh Keng Swee. “We have to ensure, as far as possible, that the arrival of the Israelis will not become public knowledge, in order not to arouse opposition among the Malay Muslims who live in Malaysia and Singapore,” the prime minister summed up. That, in essence, is Singapore’s problem. The residents of the small island, which has an area of about 670 square kilometers (Israel is 30 times as large), are mainly Chinese, and they live between the two Muslim countries of Malaysia and Indonesia. Life in the shadow of the large Muslim majority and fear of a Malaysian incursion are an integral part of the history of the two countries. Until 1965, Singapore was part of Malaysia. In that year, the British government decided to withdraw from all its colonies east of the Suez Canal. In a rapid process it was decided to sever Singapore from Malaysia and to establish it as a new and separate country.

Singapore declared its independence on August 9, 1965. At the time of its creation, it had only two infantry regiments, which had been established and were commanded by British officers. Two-thirds of the soldiers were not residents of Singapore, and in any event the leaders of the nascent state had no faith in the strength of the minuscule army. The defense minister, Goh, contacted Mordechai Kidron, the former Israeli ambassador to Thailand, and asked for assistance. Kidron arrived in Singapore within days, along with Hezi Carmel of the Mossad. “Goh told us that they think that only Israel, a small country surrounded by Muslim countries, with a strong army, could help them build a small, dynamic army,” Carmel says. The two Israelis met with Lee, who writes that he “told Keng Swee to put it on hold until Lal Bahadur Shastri, the prime minister of India, and President Nasser of Egypt replied to my letters seeking their urgent help to build up our armed forces.”

It’s not clear whether Lee, in fact, believed India and Egypt were capable of, or interested in, building up Singapore’s army. Many Israelis believe the two leaders were approached only for appearance’s sake. After a few weeks of waiting, India and Egypt congratulated Singapore on its independence but did not offer military aid. Lee ordered Goh to push ahead in contacts with the Israelis.

At the same time, in the wake of reports sent by Kidron and Carmel, the Israeli defense establishment deployed to supply military aid to Singapore. In discussions conducted by the chief of staff, Yitzhak Rabin, with the participation of the deputy chief of staff and head of the Operations Branch, Ezer Weizmann, it was decided to make Major General Rehavam Ze’evi, who was then deputy head of the Operations Branch, responsible for building the Singaporean army. Ze’evi (nicknamed “Gandhi” ) paid a secret visit to Singapore and the preparatory work began on his return. “Gandhi said he wanted to create an ideal army for Singapore, something we hadn’t built here,” Carmel says. “Instead of setting up a Defense Ministry and a General Staff, Gandhi suggested an integrated organization, a more economical structure. So there wouldn’t be too many generals and too few soldiers.”

Ze’evi appointed Elazari, who worked under him in the Operations Branch, as head of the team he established. Lieutenant Colonel Yehuda Golan, then-commander of an armored division (he retired from the IDF with the rank of brigadier general), was subsequently added to the team. Some members of the team “concentrated on writing the chapters that dealt with building army bases. I wrote the chapters dealing with the establishment of an infantry,” Golan says. Initially they produced the “Brown Book,” dealing with combat doctrine, followed by the “Blue Book,” dealing with the creation of the Defense Ministry and intelligence bodies. The Brown Book was translated into English and sent to Singapore’s government for its perusal. In October 1965, a military delegation from Singapore arrived in Israel.

“The delegation arrived in order to tell us: `Well done, but to implement the book, you are invited to come to Singapore,’” Golan recalls. Prior to setting out, the members of the military mission were invited to the chief of staff’s bureau. “Dear friends,” Rabin said, “I want you to remember several things. One, we are not going to turn Singapore into an Israeli colony. Your task is to teach them the military profession, to put them on their legs so they can run their own army. Your success will be if at a certain stage they will be able to take the wheel and run the army by themselves. Second, you are not going there in order to command them but to advise them. And third, you are not arms merchants. When you recommend items to procure, use the purest professional military judgment. I want total disregard of their decision as to whether to buy here or elsewhere.”

Wake-up at 5:30

On December 24, 1965, about five months after Singapore became an independent state, six IDF officers and their families set out on an unknown mission. “Elazari and two other officers dealt with the establishment of the Defense Ministry,” Golan relates. “My task, along with three other officers, was to establish the army.”

Elazari operated according to a number of basic principles, from which the original Israeli team and those who followed did not deviate. The first was to build up a cadre of local commanders and instructors. The second was that the instructional material would be written by the cadets who would be trained as officers. And the third was that practical training would be conducted by Singaporean instructors.

“We wanted to recruit a group of 40-50 people who had some sort of military experience and would be ready to serve in a career army,” Golan explains. “We organized things so that they would appoint one of their number to serve as commander. As head of the group, the cadets chose someone of Indian origin named Kirpa Ram Vij, who would eventually become chief of staff of the Singapore Armed Forces. For three months we gave an intensified officers course.”

The first course had an IDF format: wake-up at 5:30 A.M., calisthenics, personal arrangements, parade. Training began at 7:30 A.M. and went until 1 A.M. “After a few days of training a group of cadets showed up and said, `Colonel Golan, the Arabs aren’t sitting on our heads here. What do we need this madness for?’ I called Elazari and explained the situation. He arrived a few days later with Defense Minister Dr. Goh, who told the cadets, `Do what Colonel Golan tells you to do, otherwise you will do double.’”

Parallel to conducting the course, the Israeli team supervised the establishment of the first military base, based on plans of the Israeli Engineering Corps. Construction of the base was completed in three months.

In under a year, the Israeli team conducted a course for new recruits, a platoon commanders course and an officers course, on the basis of plans that were sent from Israel. All told, about 200 commanders were trained.

Jobless instead of soldiers

Once the staff of commanders was ready, it was possible to start creating the standing army on the basis of conscription. The Israelis prepared to establish two more infantry regiments, according to the IDF model, with each regiment consisting of three companies of riflemen, an auxiliary company and an administrative company – a total of 600 soldiers. Lieutenant Colonel Moshe Shefi, who was an instructor in a company commanders course, was sent as an adviser. “We discovered that there was psychological resistance to conscription in Singapore,” he relates. “Of 10 professions, that of soldier was ranked last. In first place was the artist, followed by the philosopher, the teacher and the merchant, and the thief was in ninth place. Soldiering was considered a contemptible profession. In Singapore, conscription was considered a means to overcome unemployment.”

The Israelis faced a problem. To evade service, most of the young men of draft age (18-24) who were of Chinese origin furnished proof that they were employed. Some 70 percent of the inductees were unemployed and of Malaysian origin – the opposite of their proportion within the population. Elazari and Golan complained to Lee and Goh, but the prime minister was undeterred. “I want you to recruit the most primitive people in the country, the uneducated and the jobless,” he told them. Stunned, the Israelis tried to persuade him to reconsider, but he was adamant: “In the Second World War, I saw the Japanese and the British. All the British soldiers were intelligent and educated. But as soldiers they were worthless. The most primitive Japanese soldier gets an order and executes it, and they were extraordinary soldiers. The fact is that the Japanese army defeated the British army.”

Golan says, “Yaakov and I tried to explain to him that it’s not a question of education but of motivation. The Japanese soldier was motivated because he was fighting for his emperor, who for him was God. For him, he was ready to sacrifice his life. What motivation did the British soldier have, who fought thousands of kilometers from his home?” The explanations about the spirit of combat and about how to generate motivation persuaded Lee.

Along with the two tracks of compulsory service and career army, Singapore also adopted the IDF’s model of reserve service. Every soldier who completed his regular service was obligated to serve another 13 years, until the age of 33. A system to mobilize the reserves was established and the Defense Ministry carried out surprise call-up exercises. Because of its small size and its lack of areas for live-fire training, Singapore had to establish training bases in friendly neighboring countries.

Surprise tanks

The unquiet in Singapore, and above all the fear of an invasion by Malay forces, together with the rapid development of the Singaporean army, generated additional needs. With the creation of the infantry, the Israeli team made an in-depth study of the battles fought by the Japanese in Southeast Asia during World War II and of how they succeeded in invading Malaysia and Singapore. Shefi was given the task of delivering a talk on the subject to Singapore’s government.

On the basis of the lessons the Israelis drew from the engagements fought by Japan and Britain, they created a naval force based on sampans. “The boats were made of wood and could carry 10 to 15 soldiers, and they were appropriate for the conditions of the sea and for the jungle rivers,” Golan says. “On a stormy sea they can be operated with oars or a motor. We asked the Singaporeans to purchase 20 boats and we set up a small base where infantry companies trained in raids and navigation.”

Retired Colonel Asher Dar says, “The second team that arrived in Singapore applied what Yehuda Golan did in the form of combat doctrine. We trained in flanking maneuvers with small boats and in live fire using artillery. When the head of the training department, Yitzhak Hofi, visited Singapore, we carried out a model landing of an infantry brigade that set sail in boats at night at a distance of 12 kilometers with the aid of shore navigation only.”

The waiting period in Israel on the eve of the 1967 Six-Day War was a rough time for the Israeli team in Singapore. “We were relieved the Israelis were not defeated or our SAF [Singapore Armed Forces] would have lost confidence” in the Israeli instructors, Lee writes. In January 1968, Singapore decided to create an armored corps. In great secrecy, an agreement was signed for the purchase of 72 AMX-13 light tanks from IDF surplus. It was a bold decision: Malaysia, the country’s large neighbor, didn’t have tanks.

On Independence Day, August 9, 1969, a major surprise awaited the invited guests, including the defense minister of Malaysia: 30 tanks rolled past the reviewing stand. “It had a dramatic effect,” Lee writes. Malaysia had cause for concern. Its defense minister recommended to his guests that they take steps to persuade the Malaysian government that its intentions were not hostile.

In the wake of the Israeli victory in 1967, the veil of secrecy over the ties between the two countries was lifted a bit. The Singapore delegate at the United Nations abstained in a vote on a resolution condemning Israel that was sponsored by the Arab states. Contacts began to establish full diplomatic relations. In October 1968, Lee permitted Israel to establish a trade mission and in May 1969 authorization was given for the establishment of an Israeli embassy in Singapore. The status of the Israeli military mission to Singapore was also strengthened, and the mission heads who followed held brigadier general rank. The first Israeli military delegation laid the foundations for an extensive network of relations between Israel and Singapore.

Foundations of the air force

The small Israeli team in Singapore was augmented by professional military advisers for the various corps. The chief armored corps officer, Major General Avraham Adan, arrived to give advice on procuring armored vehicles. In 1968, Adam Tzivoni, a retired colonel who had been head of the planning and weapons branch in the air force, was appointed adviser to the Singapore Armed Forces in regard to the creation of an air force.

“As compensation for the hasty departure of the British army, the British government gave Singapore a grant of 50 million pounds to acquire British-made aerial systems: planes, helicopters and surface-to-air missiles,” Tzivoni relates. “The British didn’t like me at all. My first task was to approve the deals. It turned out that the English tried to sell Singapore junk. Apart from a deal for Hunters, I vetoed all the deals.”

Under Tzivoni’s supervision, a flight school was established in Singapore, as well as a technical school, a squadron of Alouette 3 helicopters was purchased and 40 mm anti-aircraft guns were acquired.

Uzis and Israeli marching songs

After the creation of the Singaporean army’s infantry regiments, the question arose of what weapons the nascent armed forces would use. The commanding officers wanted the Uzi, the Israeli submachine gun. The Israeli team took an objective view and rejected the idea. True, the Uzi was considered a superb weapon in the 1960s, but only for short ranges. A regular army needs an assault rifle, the Israeli team asserted. Representatives of Israel Military Industries exerted pressure on the Defense Ministry to sell the new Galil assault rifle. However, the team decided that the rifle wasn’t yet full ready and recommended the American M-16.

Another major headache for the Israelis concerned the decision about which mortars to procure for the new army. Infantry regiments are equipped with 60 – 52 mm and 18 mm mortars. The weapons, which were developed and manufactured by the Soltam company, based in the town of Yokne’am, were sold to the Israel Defense Forces and exported worldwide. “Even though we thought these were the best mortars, we decided not to recommend them but to make use of an independent source in order to reach a decision,” says Yehuda Golan, a member of the team sent to Singapore.

The Israeli team asked a British firm that dealt in organization and consultation on military subjects to examine a series of mortars and recommend the best one. The report stated that the best of the lot was an 18 mm mortar manufactured in Britain. However, considering the price, the recommendation was to buy the Soltam product. The Singapore Armed Forces acquired the Israeli mortar.

“The Israelis emphasized military skills and high motivation. Smartness on parade and military tattoo, the SAF [Singapore Armed Forces] never learned from the `Mexicans.’ Whatever smartness the SAF had” derived from the British officers who commanded the army’s first two regiments, Lee writes.

“Our motto was that we would not stick our nose into what the Singaporeans could do themselves,” Golan notes. “They wanted us to organize the Independence Day parade for them. We argued that a state military parade reflects the country’s mentality and its history.” The Singaporeans didn’t make an issue of it. However, they had a problem that demanded an immediate solution – which marches to play as the soldiers marched in unison. The head of the Israeli mission, Yaakov Elazari, brought notes from Israel and the Singapore army strode to Israeli marching songs.

The jungle combat manual

The Singaporeans took the Israelis by surprise when they insisted on getting a course on jungle combat. Singapore has a tiny natural jungle of no more than five or six square kilometers, but the neighboring states have larger jungles. Yehuda Golan: “I told them they were right but that I wasn’t the right guy, because I knew nothing about jungles.” Nevertheless, the Israeli team began to find out how to cope with the subject. It was decided to send two Singapore officers as guests of the Malaysian army for a course on jungle combat.

“Three months later, the two officers returned with the knowledge they acquired in Malaysia, and we decided to conduct a course in jungle combat,” Golan continues. “Out of curiosity, I decided to join. It looked very bad – it was clear that they had taught them British methods from the Second World War period. I decided to take a group of 10 officers. We entered the jungle and started to engage in war games. We trained in navigation, deploying forces, search and assault. We went through the American training manuals on combat in Vietnam. We developed methods of night navigation. We learned how to function with a fighting company in the dense undergrowth. After a few weeks of training, I wrote the training manual of the Singapore Armed Forces for jungle combat.”

Posted in Far East, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Pakistan closes Zionist-run charity for spying

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Image result for Save the Children LOGO
Rehmat’s World 

On Thursday, the Pakistani government ordered Islamabad police to shut-down the local office of London-based Save the Children charity. It also ordered all its foreign employees to leave Pakistan within next two weeks.

Pakistan’s government took the decision on recommendation from Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI. The agency claims that the NGO is conducting spying missions in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, which long has been on the US-Israel radar.

Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali claimed on Friday that several NGOs working in Pakistan work for the interests of the US, Israel and India.

Many analysts believe that despite the NGO’s commendable work in helping children, mostly victims of western wars on third world countries, Save the Children, has a political agenda too.

Judging by Washington’s reaction, it seems the NGO must have working links with CIA, MI6 and Mossad. According to AFPWashington warned Islamabad on Friday that it was only hurting itself after Save the Children was expelled for working against the country.

In 2012, the government expelled the expat staff of Save the Children, which has worked in Pakistan for over 35 years and employs 1,200 Pakistanis. Pakistani doctors have long been suspicious of foreign and local medical staff attached with the NGO of using fake vaccination injections which were harming young children in remote areas of Pakistan. In 2011, even the France-based Médecins Sans Frontières, an international medical aid group accused the NGO of using these injections as cover for CIA activities in Pakistan and many other countries in the world.

Save the Children has been producing faked documentaries over the plight of children in Syria, Sudan, Libya and other countries for CIA to justify the West’s “humanitarian” wars against anti-Israel regimes. The NGO was banned in Syria, Sudan and Libya ahead of the West’s ‘regime change’ wars in those countries. Now, it works in Syria’s bordering countries, Turkey, Jordan and Israel to exploit the Syrian children killed and injured by the ISIL and other pro-Israel rebel groups.

The Save the Children is headed by Justin Forsyth, a British Zionist diplomat who held top posts under the country’s two pro-Israel and Islamophobe prime ministers, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair. A Malaysian international court declared Tony Blair WAR CRIMINAL a few years ago. Now, he is appointed to lead Europe’s largest Jewish lobby group.

Last year, Justin Forsyth honored Tony Blair with the NGO’s Global Legacy award.

Last year, the UK’s ex-ambassador to Uzbekistan exposed the evil face of Save the Children – a 176 million pounds annual charity.

Posted in Pakistan & Kashmir, UK0 Comments

Vietnam: Napalm girl

NOVANEWS

photographer returns to place he took this iconic image of the Vietnam War exactly 43 years later.

Huynh Cong “Nick” Ut's iconic photo of South Vietnamese forces following behind terrified children, including nine-year-old Kim Phuc, centre, as they run down Route 1 near Trang Bang after an aerial napalm attack. Photo: AP

He stands in the northbound lane of Vietnam’s Highway 1, traffic swirling around him, horns honking. He is pointing. Right there, he says – that’s where it happened. That’s where the screaming children appeared. That’s where I made the picture that the world couldn’t forget.

Huynh Cong “Nick” Ut was 21 on that day more than half a lifetime ago when he stood on the same road, pointed his camera northeast and captured one of history’s most famous images – a naked Vietnamese girl screaming and fleeing after South Vietnamese planes looking for Viet Cong insurgents attacked with napalm from the air.

On Monday, 43 years later to the day, Ut went back to document some of his Vietnam War memories with a tool from an entirely different era – a four-ounce iPhone 5 equipped with the ability to send photos to the world in the blink of a digital eye.

Pulitzer winning photographer Nick Ut is photographed near the place he took his iconic ‘Napalm girl’ photo 43 years ago. Photo: AP

“I stood here and watched the bombs come down,” Ut said of those long-ago moments just before he exposed a frame of Kodak Tri-X black-and-white film that carried the likeness of nine-year-old Kim Phuc, her body severely burned.

“I was so young then,” the longtime Associated Press photographer said.

Ut’s June 8, 1972, image of Kim Phuc, now known as the “napalm girl,” helped crystallize the debate America had been having for more than half a decade about a far-off war that was lethal to so many. But the image began its persuasive work on newspaper pages many hours later, not in the instantaneous fashion we see today.

So when Ut returned to the village of Trang Bang, he came equipped with something more era-appropriate: He brought his iPhone with him and was given custody of AP Images’ Instagram account for the day.

That gave him the power to upload, instantaneously, images that during the war would have taken hours to get 25 miles south to AP offices in Saigon, then in and out of the film-developing process before a print could be beamed to the world.

Sitting in a van bound for Trang Bang, Ut, a digital Leica around his neck, took a few practice shots with the iPhone. As he headed north from Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, the scenery revealed the ways Highway 1 has changed since the war. Today’s roadside attractions include a restaurant called “Sushi World” and a roadside vendor hawking a small-scale Statue of Liberty.

Then, as the van crossed a bridge, he announced arrival at the site of the famous image: “Right here! Right here!”

He pressed the phone against the windshield to photograph the road, then followed up with an image of the temple where Kim Phuc and her family took refuge before the bombing.

Ho Van Bon, 52, right, points at himself in the iconic ‘Napalm girl’ photo. Photo: AP

Ut has made this journey often – usually at least once a year in recent years, he says. It remains significant to him. He and the picture – and, by extension, the village – are forever linked.

In Trang Bang, Ut visited a roadside stall operated by two of Kim Phuc’s cousins, then walked a kilometre down the road to where he made the famous image. There, he faced a gaggle of photographers as traffic changed lanes to avoid them.

The scene that unfolded was a curious one: Ut taking pictures, Ut taking pictures of his own pictures, people taking pictures of Ut taking pictures. By the time it wrapped up, it was unclear whether more images were taken by Nick Ut or of him.

Ut ended up posting six images of Trang Bang on Instagram, including one of Ho Van Bon, 54, Kim Phuc’s cousin and the boy to her left in the 1972 photo. Today, sitting at the roadside stall, he says instantaneous photo sharing can be a potent force when bad things happen.

“If this were to happen right now, it’s much better for the world now for these social networks to have instant attention for something,” he said through a translator. “It makes the world a better place.”

It wouldn’t just be Ut uploading, though. His photo, as powerful as it is, would have had competition for the eyeballs of the world.

“Imagine what it would have been like in 1972 if you had all the technology and systems of 2015,” says David Campbell, a visual storytelling expert and teacher in Newcastle, England.

“Some of those people escaping that napalm attack would have had their own smartphones. Some of the soldiers would have had smartphones,” Campbell says. “In 1972, you got to see a very curated, edited selection of images that were much more isolated pieces of time. Now you would see greater scope, greater time scale and a much more comprehensive view.”

Nick Ut talks to the media at the place where he took his iconic ‘Napalm girl’ photo 43 years ago in Trang Bang, Vietnam. Photo: AP

Ut, whose AP photographer brother Huynh Thanh My was killed in the Vietnam War in 1965, suspects the conflict would have played very differently for people back in the United States – and their policymakers – if instantaneous photo sharing had existed then. He says that before he even got his film back to Saigon, “it would have been on Facebook.”

“My God. Today in Vietnam everybody has a phone,” Ut says. “A couple hours, that was too long. Now two minutes you get it to the world. I couldn’t have imagined.”

Posted in Asia, Far East, USA0 Comments

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Asks Militants to Assassinate Pakistani Officials

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Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime has sent a secret letter to leader of the Hezb-e Islami political party Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to assassinate Pakistani officials, an Arab media report said.

Saudi Arabia Asks Militants to Assassinate Pakistani Officials
The Arabic-language Alwaie News said Riyadh has demanded Hekmatyar to stage terror attacks on the lives of senior Islamabad officials after they refrained from joining the Zio-Wahhabi-led coalition in the war on Yemen two months ago.

“The Saudi kingdom has demanded the leader of Afghanistan’s Hezb-e Islami to stage the terror operations in Pakistan to take revenge from Islamabad for its defiance,” the website wrote.

The report said Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime has demanded Hekmatyar to stage a series of terror operations on the lives of Pakistani leaders, figures and tribes, but declined to reveal any further details.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is the founder and active leader of the Hezb-e Islami political party, and a designated “global terrorist” by the United States. After escaping from prison in Afghanistan in 1973, he moved to Pakistan.

Hekmatyar voiced his full support for the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi aggression against Yemen since the airstrikes started over 80 days ago. He has also declared his readiness to join the coalition with his troops.

Posted in Pakistan & Kashmir, Saudi ArabiaComments Off

The hegemony games

NOVANEWS
By Jack Smith
The hegemony games

The most important political relationship in today’s world is between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Whichever way the relationship goes will have a major impact on global developments for many decades. Big changes are beginning to take shape. Matters of peace or war are involved.

This relationship between Washington and Beijing has existed somewhat uneasily since the early 1970s after the PRC broke with the Soviet Union mainly over intense ideological differences within the communist movement. In effect the Communist Party of China (CPC) joined with capitalist America in an informal tacit alliance against Russia. This was a geopolitical triumph for the U.S. but not for China. In the last couple of years Beijing and Moscow have developed a close relationship, largely as a repost to Washington’s expressions of hostility toward both countries.

China was considered a revolutionary communist country from the 1949 revolution until the deaths of party leader Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai in 1976. The left wing of the CPC was then crushed, and the leadership in 1977 went to “paramount leader” Deng Xiaoping, a long time revolutionary and high government official in many posts who had earlier been purged twice “for taking the capitalist road.”

Deng set about in 1980 to develop a dynamic capitalist economy under the slogan of “using capitalism to build socialism.” By 1990, after the U.S. and others imposed sanctions against China for the Tiananmen Square confrontation with students seeking certain democratic changes, Deng issued the following instruction to the CPC: “Observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership.”

The Chinese economy after 35 years is one of the wonders of the capitalist world, particularly since it is still maintained by the CPC, as are all other aspects of Chinese society. The PRC’s political system is officially described as being “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” though the socialist aspect has been abridged.

Challenges to U.S. global domination

For many of these decades the U.S. superpower and global hegemon has gradually sought to position China within America’s extensive orbit of states that look to Washington for leadership. Beijing came closer with warmer relations, joining the World Trade Organization, respecting the World Bank and IMF, even sharing war games with the Pentagon — but never so close as to be stifled by Washington’s dominant embrace. This didn’t inconvenience the U.S. as long as China was mainly involved with internal growth, building huge cities, massive infrastructure projects and becoming the global manufacturing center.

But then two things changed. 1. By the time Xi Jinping became general secretary of the CPC and president of China less than three years ago, the PRC was about to surpass the U.S. as the world’s economic giant and was universally recognized as a significant major power. It had plenty of cash, ideas, supporters and incentives to contemplate a larger independent role for itself on the international stage. 2. Given China’s growth, it evidently seemed that strict compliance with Deng Xiaoping’s defensive suggestion to hide China’s light under a bushel was outdated.

The Obama Administration is not pleased with China’s more forward stance. Relations between Washington and Beijing are cooling quickly but both countries have a mutual desire to prevent this situation from getting out of hand. The key difference, and it is of great significance to both parties, is that China opposes hegemony in principle, and the U.S. is determined to remain the global hegemon.

Contradiction is ever present in U.S. foreign/military policy, and things are rarely as they seem to an American people largely uninformed or misinformed about the realities of international affairs. This observation is occasioned by the extremes to which U.S. policy and interference around the world are being taken by the Obama Administration and its Republican congressional alter ego, obstructive on domestic matters but complicit with President Obama’s principal international monomania — the retention of Washington’s unilateral global hegemony.

The Obama Administration appears to be preoccupied day and night gallivanting throughout the world issuing dictates, administering punishments, rewarding friends, undermining enemies, overthrowing governments, engaging in multiple wars, subverting societies not to its liking, conducting remote control assassinations, listening to every phone call and examining the daily contents of the Internet lest someone get away with something, jailing honest whistleblowers, upgrading its nuclear stockpile and delivery systems, moving troops and fleets here and there, and that’s only the half of it.

This is happening for one main reason. The U.S. has arrogated world rule to itself, without authority, competition, or oversight, since the implosion of the Soviet Union nearly 25 years ago. There is nothing more important to America’s ruling elite. Every possible danger to Washington’s hegemony must be neutralized. And looming in East Asia is the cause of Washington’s worst anxieties — China.

In his victory speech after winning the 2008 election, Barack Obama — a humdrum one-term U.S. Senator with no foreign policy experience after serving several years as an obscure Illinois state legislator — announced that with his assumption to the presidency “a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.” He was referring to his own leadership restoring U.S. international domination greater than ever after eight years of blundering President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

No one seemed to think twice about this. Democrats applauded; Republicans nodded. After all, isn’t that what the United States is supposed to do?

Expanding global supremacy is a popular promise in America. Extreme nationalism often wildly inspires the masses of a powerful country as it blinds them to the equality of nations and humanity, and guides them to another proposed conquest; and the prospect of greater profits through intensified world domination compensates the powerful corporations and families that contributed to Obama so generously in both elections.

The President frequently repeats his jingoist mantra about the necessity of American “leadership,” at times accompanied by pandering clichés such as “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being.” Speaking at an Air Force Academy graduation in 2012 Obama told the cadets, “never bet against the United States of America… [because] the United States has been, and will always be, the one indispensable nation in world affairs.” Applause, hats in air, now go out and kill.

Since the vast corporate capitalist mass media is entirely in agreement with the sacrosanct principle that only the United States is morally, politically and militarily equipped to rule the world, Obama’s flag-waving imperial intentions are rarely if ever criticized by the press, Democrat or Republican. At least 90% of the American people obtain virtually all their scatterings of information about foreign affairs from a propagandistic ultranationalist media powerhouse controlled by just six billionaire corporations.

Many millions of Americans have opposed Washington’s frequent and usually disastrous imperialist wars. But far fewer challenge the concept of U.S. global “leadership” — the euphemism for ruling the world that allows Washington carte blanche to engage in wars or bullying whenever its perceived interests appear to be challenged. It may seem like a century, considering the carnage, but it is important to remember that Washington only obtained solo world power when the Soviet Union imploded less than a quarter century ago. The next quarter century, as a new world order is beginning to take shape in the very shadow of the old, will be rough indeed as the U.S. government resists inevitable change.

The days of American hegemony over the nations of the world are numbered. This is perhaps the main and certainly the most dangerous contradiction deriving from America’s determination to lead the world as carried forward by President Obama and undoubtedly to be continued by the next and the next administrations. There are many secondary contradictions strewn throughout the world, but almost all are related to first.

The U.S. government is recklessly flailing its arms and interfering in all the global regions to impose its will in order to indefinitely continue enjoying unilateral domination and the sensation of luxuriating in the extraordinary advantages derived from being the world’s top cop, top judge, only jury, mass jailer and executioner extraordinaire. If you doubt it, just look about at the human, structural and environmental anguish created in the last 15 years by the action or inaction of Bush-Obama world leadership. Think about the trillions of U.S. dollars for destruction and death, and the paucity of expenditures for construction and life. A better world can only emerge from a better and more people-friendly political and economic global order.

Obama’s policy of enhanced American “leadership” has created havoc these last six years as a result of the collusion between the Democratic White House and the Republican Congress — partners in the projection of American armed power around the world. The main target — despite all the elbowing and ranting about Russia, Putin, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, Yemen, Islamic State, ad infinitum — is and will remain China. The U.S. does not want a war with China, though one is certainly possible in time. It would prefer warm, friendly and mutually beneficial relations, under one condition: The U.S. is boss, and leads, while China — rich and powerful if it wishes — is subordinate, and follows, even in its own natural sphere of influence. Beijing does not seek hegemony, but it will not kowtow to the United States.

China’s strategic goals

In the midst of all this rumbling and grumbling from the White House, it may be interesting to become acquainted with the enormous but modest main national strategic goal of the Communist Party of China. It is “to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2021; and the building of a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious by 2049. It is a Chinese Dream of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” So goes the Chinese “menace.”

China is not a newcomer to world politics and economic power, as the U.S. government has at times suggested of one of the world’s oldest and most creative civilizations. As James Petras has written: “The study of world power has been blighted by Eurocentric historians who have distorted and ignored the dominant role China played in the world economy between 1100 and 1800.”

This period ended because of Western imperialist intervention and plunder, including the Opium War, which brought about the humiliation and decline of Imperial China’s final dynasty, which fell in 1911. A form of semi-democracy/semi-feudalism prevailed until the Communist revolution of 1949, when, in the words of Mao Zedong announcing victory, “The Chinese People have stood up.” In these last 66 years China removed about 700 million citizens from poverty, and has become the world’s manufacturing center and a major economic power.

The Chinese Communist government is calibrating its rise very carefully, intent upon avoiding offense to the crouching, tail twitching American imperial dragon. On May 21, Peoples Daily quoted a recent talk by President Xi Jinping: “China aims to become stronger but not seek hegemony; the strategic choice of cooperation and win-win [for all sides] is the path that China chooses. China has always been a peace-loving nation that cherishes harmonious relations. Its adherence to the five principles of peaceful coexistence and anti-hegemonism has shown China’s determination to stick to peaceful development.”

The five principles have governed New China since the revolution. They are: “Mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; mutual non-aggression; non-interference in each other’s internal affairs; equality and mutual benefit; and peaceful co-existence.” There have been a few minor lapses, but these principles have remained stable and effective all these years. China’s concept of harmonious relations is of ancient philosophical extraction. Frankly, in this writer’s view, there are times when China’s criticism of an extremely inhumane aspect of one or another state’s internal affairs would do some good — but non-interference, much less non-aggression, is vastly superior to Washington’s endless interference and aggression.

Xi’s statement is an accurate representation of China’s foreign relations. This is the PRC’s long-term global strategy of development. It needs and wants peace. Washington knows all this, but that’s not the point. Xi declared that Beijing opposed the very concept of global hegemony by any nation, including itself, and, of course, the U.S.. President Obama’s primary foreign policy objective, and assuredly that of succeeding administrations, is the retention of global rule. This contradiction will eventually have to be resolved through negotiation or hostilities.

China will certainly not confront the U.S. on this matter within the foreseeable future. Beijing’s reading of the tea leaves suggests that world trends will encourage the incoming tide of multipolar world order and displace the outgoing tide of unipolar dominion. Such thinking emerges from America’s evident decline, the imminent rise of the developing nations, and the mounting dissatisfaction with the results of Washington’s global rule among countries not dependent upon Fortress Americana.

Writing in Time June 1, Ian Bremmer noted: “Emerging countries are not strong enough to overthrow U.S. dominance, but they have more than enough strength and self-confidence to refuse to follow Washington’s lead.” This is a recent development that will continue to unfold in the next decade or two.

At this point, equipped with the seven league boots only possessed by a superpower, the U.S. is far ahead of its detractors in the emerging competition to determine whether only one, or many nations in combination, will shape the future. The UN may figure in this, but only after the preponderant influence of the U.S. and certain other countries is reduced and more evenly shared with the rising countries, a number of which surely realize it’s time for a change. They wish to avoid a dreadful future of devastating wars, rampant climate change, poverty and scandalous inequality.

The “Pivot to Asia”

The fact remains: Washington is determined to keep the keys to the kingdom, and it is taking measures daily to strengthen its intention to constrain China by depriving it of exercising even the regional power to which it is entitled on the basis of its huge economy, a population of 1.4 billion people, and its peaceful rise and intentions.

President Obama is quite visibly seeking to confront China, politically, militarily, and economically and politically in the Asia/Pacific region. This is what the “pivot” to Asia is about, containing Chinese influence within its own geographical environment.

The U.S. is at least two decades ahead of China in war technology, equipment, nuclear weapons, various missiles, planes, ships — everything. John Reed wrote in DefenseTech a few years ago: “Even China’s newest military gear is reminiscent of Western or Soviet technology from about 20 years ago, or more.” People’s Liberation Army (PLA) leaders certainly want to catch up and are making progress, but they can only approach near proximity if Pentagon scientists decide to sleep for the next two decades. Instead, Washington’s immense military, several times that of China, is increasing the gap in real time.

U.S. military spending this year will amount to 4.5% of GNP, and that does not count a number of military expenses concealed in nonmilitary budgets such as the new 20-year multi-billion dollar program to modernize U.S. nuclear weapons and delivery systems (charged to the Department of Energy). China’s spending this year, with four times the American population, is 1.5% of GDP.

China’s extremely important cyber warfare advances may or may not be equal to those of the U.S., but it is the only area of relative equivalence, and it’s causing headaches in the Pentagon.

The U.S. is frantically surrounding China with military weapons, advanced aircraft, naval fleets and a multitude of military bases from Japan, South Korea and the Philippines through several nearby smaller Pacific islands to its new and enlarged base in Australia and, of course, intercontinental ballistic missiles from the United States. The U.S. naval fleet, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines patrol China’s nearby waters. Warplanes, surveillance planes, drones and spying satellites cover the skies, creating a symbolic darkness at noon. By 2017, the Pentagon plans to encircle China with “the most advanced stealth warplanes in the world,” according to RT. “The Air Force’s F-22s and B-2s, as well as a fleet of the Marine Corps’ F-35, will all be deployed. This buildup has been going on for three years and it is hardly ever mentioned in the U.S.

Washington seems to fear China’s military defense capability more than its potential offensive abilities, though that remains a serious concern. In the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress May 8, all 31,000 words were devoted to “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2015,” including these:

“China is investing in capabilities designed to defeat adversary power projection and counter third-party — including U.S. — intervention during a crisis or conflict…. The PLA is developing and testing new intermediate- and medium-range conventional ballistic missiles, as well as long- range, land-attack, and anti-ship cruise missiles that extend China’s operational reach, attempting to push adversary forces— including the United States — farther from potential regional conflicts. China is also focusing on counter-space, offensive cyber operations, and electronic warfare capabilities meant to deny adversaries the advantages of modern, informationized warfare…. China’s military modernization has the potential to reduce core U.S. military technological advantages.” Concern was also expressed for “China’s development and testing of missile defense.”

Much of the Pentagon report is far more objective and informative about China than statements from the White House, Congress and the provocative corporate mass media: First of all it describes China’s political goal realistically: “Securing China’s status as a great power and, ultimately, reacquiring regional preeminence.” Question — Why is the Obama Administration doing everything possible to thwart China’s regional preeminence? Answer — Because it is unwilling to share a regional portion of its own world preeminence with any country that will not bend a knee to Washington’s supremacy.

The report says accurately: “China continues to regard stable relations with the United States and China’s neighbors as key to its development. China sees the U.S. as the dominant regional and global actor with the greatest potential to both support and, potentially, disrupt China’s rise. Top Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping, continued to advocate for a ‘new type of major power relations’ with the United States throughout 2014. China’s ‘new type’ of relations concept urges a cooperative U.S.- China partnership based on equality, mutual respect, and mutual benefit.”

Most interestingly, the Pentagon also recognized that “Chinese leaders see a strong military as critical to prevent other countries from taking steps that would damage China’s interests and to ensure China can defend itself, should deterrence fail. China seeks to ensure basic stability along its periphery and avoid direct confrontation with the United States in order to focus on domestic development and smooth China’s rise. Despite this, Chinese leaders in 2014 demonstrated a willingness to tolerate a higher level of regional tension as China sought to advance its interests, such as in competing territorial claims in the East China Sea and South China Sea.”

The Wall Street Journal May 13 defined the South China Sea as “one of the world’s busiest shipping routes and a strategic passage between the rich economies of Northeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. As much as 50% of global oil-tanker shipments pass through its waters…. China often intercepts and protests over U.S. naval ships and aircraft conducting surveillance near its coastline in the South China Sea…. Six governments – China, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines — claim the waters, islands, reefs and atolls in whole or in part, making the area a potential flashpoint.” Two countries, Japan and South Korea, have claims in the East China Sea to the northwest, so eight nations are involved. China has long claimed authority over almost all the islands on the basis of evidence the other states consider inadequate.

The Obama Administration is navigating with abandon and roiling the political waters throughout both seas, enthusiastically supporting the claims of all the smaller nations against China’s claims. This is a very important and delicate matter because verified claimants are entitled to exploit energy, mineral and other abundant resources in the proximity as well as to deploy them for military purposes, if large enough, but most are tiny. This is clearly a complex matter that should be resolved over time through peaceful negotiations, and give and take dispute resolution. The continuation of America’s self-appointed role as advocate and protector of the counter-claims of smaller countries against China will only cause more trouble.

The U.S. has absolutely no authority in this matter, and it even refuses to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which is equipped to mediate territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas. Actually, Obama doesn’t give a fig about the claims. The only purpose of his intervention against China’s claims is to consolidate and expand Washington’s large and growing cheaper-by-the dozen gaggle of regional client states — some of which (Japan, S. Korea, the Philippines) have been U.S. protectorates since the end of World War II. All these countries will support America’s global political, economic and military intentions in East Asia, including that of confining China’s influence within its own borders to the extent possible. If not, they will be escorted to the door.

In this connection the U.S. is also exaggerating the fact that China is involved in land reclamation efforts in five small reefs in the Spratly Islands. It’s expanding them by adding sand and making infrastructure additions, including an airfield in one. The White house says up to is about 2,000 acres are at issue. Obama said a month ago that China was “flexing its muscles” to browbeat smaller nations into accepting Beijing’s sovereignty over disputed islands, and more recently Washington implied it might send navy ships and aircraft to the islands — but soon backed off because China’s actions were entirely legal.

In mid-May, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Daniel Russel told the Washington Post: “Reclamation isn’t necessarily a violation of international law, but it’s certainly violating the harmony, the feng shui, of Southeast Asia, and it’s certainly violating China’s claim to be a good neighbor and a benign and non-threatening power.” At that point, the heavens finally intervened with a lighter moment. Wrote the Wall Street Journal May 21: “Chinese Taoist priest Liang Xingyang is rebutting the U.S. official’s understanding of feng shui. The term, which translates directly as ‘wind water,’ refers to the Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing the human being with the surrounding environment. In fact, claims Mr. Liang, China’s reclamation efforts are improving the region’s feng shui…. Mr. Liang maintained that feng shui ‘belongs to the whole world, but the power of interpretation stays with China.’”

Soon after the Pentagon report, China outlined a new military strategy to boost its naval reach May 26. In a policy document issued by the State Council, China vowed to increase its “open seas protection,” switching from air defense to both offense and defense, and criticized neighbors who take “provocative actions” on its reefs and islands. A statement in the document declared: “In today’s world, the global trends toward multipolarity and economic globalization are intensifying…. The forces for world peace are on the rise, so are the factors against war…. There are, however, new threats from hegemonism, power politics and neo-interventionism.” China will speed up the development of a cyber force to tackle “grave security threats” to its cyber infrastructure. Cyberspace is highlighted as one of China’s four “critical security domains”, other than the ocean, outer space and nuclear force.

The Trans Pacific Partnership

In addition to military threats, and encouraging allies to assist in containing China, Washington’s “pivot” includes strong intervention intended to increase America’s economic clout in East Asia and reduce Beijing’s. Obama’s chosen vehicle — the Trans Pacific Partnership — so favors corporations at the expense of U.S. jobs, the interests of working people, the environment and national sovereignty that many Democrats in Congress, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are sharply opposed. In the words of Public Citizen:

“The TPP is a massive, controversial ‘free trade’ agreement currently being pushed by big corporations and negotiated behind closed doors by officials from the United States and 11 other countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
The TPP would expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) “trade” pact model that has spurred massive U.S. trade deficits and job loss, downward pressure on wages, unprecedented levels of inequality and new floods of agricultural imports.

“The TPP not only replicates, but expands NAFTA’s special protections for firms that offshore U.S. jobs. And U.S. TPP negotiators literally used the 2011 Korea FTA – under which exports have fallen and trade deficits have surged – as the template for the TPP.

In one fell swoop, this secretive deal could: offshore American jobs and increase income inequality, jack up the cost of medicines, sneak in SOPA-like threats to Internet freedom (i.e., Stop Online Piracy Act), and empower corporations to attack our environmental and health safeguards, expose the U.S. to unsafe food and products, roll back Wall Street reforms, and ban Buy American policies needed to create green jobs.”

The Japan Times sounded like recalcitrant U.S. Democrats when it reported May 15: “One big problem with the TPP talks is the secrecy of the negotiating process. The participants are required not to publicize developments in the talks and draft agreements while they are still being negotiated. The talks are going forward without the Japanese public and lawmakers being given relevant information on what is being discussed or agreed upon. For example, it is impossible to know the details of discussions on regulations the TPP nations can adopt for environmental protection and food safety. Even when the trade pact takes effect, the participants will be forbidden from disclosing internal documents on the negotiation process for four years.” Japan has not signed the TPP deal yet. It is demanding concessions on automobiles and agricultural products.

The Senate rejected Obama’s demand for a fast track arrangement in mid-May, 52 to 45, but after corporate howls, promises and dollars it was passed days later 62-37. Most Republicans supported the trade plan from the beginning. Winning over his own party has proven so difficult that Obama has introduced the false patriotism of anti-China rhetoric to shame recalcitrant Democrats into changing their views. Speaking in May he said: “If we don’t write the rules for trade around the world, guess what? China will.” Actually, China is far more cooperative with U.S. trade proposals than obstructive. On the TPP Beijing simply understands that it is aimed against China and that it has many shortcomings, as Warren has repeatedly pointed out.

Chinese economic initiatives

Although China earlier appeared deeply concerned about the TPP, it now seems indifferent. Over the last several months, President Xi has combined a well-financed, spectacular package of trade, banking, and infrastructure projects that are bound to significantly advance China’s power and prestige in Asia, Europe and North Africa as well.

The two most important and far reaching projects are the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the visionary, immensely expensive One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project. The latter initiative is also referred to as the New Silk Road after the 4,000-mile trade route between China and the West that developed from 114 BCE to the 1450s. The accompanying maritime trade lanes were called the Spice Route. OBOR, too, consists of a land and sea route. When New China does things it’s often in a big way, often with a touch of long-past history in mind.

China’s recent creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment B

Posted in China, USAComments Off

India will carry out military strikes at any ‘place and time’, says minister

NOVANEWS
The statements came after the minister lauded the Indian Army and Air Force for their operation in Myanmar that killed 20 terrorists on Tuesday. —Reuters/File
The statements came after the minister lauded the Indian Army and Air Force for their operation in Myanmar that killed 20 terrorists on Tuesday. —Reuters/File

Following a rare cross-border attack conducted by the Indian Army in Myanmar, Junior Minister for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said that based on intelligence “we will carry out surgical strikes at the place and time of our own choosing”.

“Western disturbances will also be equally deal.

t with,” the information minister said during a press briefing on Wednesday when asked if attacks could be carried out on the western (Pakistan) border, according to a report published on IBNLive.

The statements came after the minister lauded the Indian Army and Air Force for their operation in Myanmar that killed 20 terrorists on Tuesday.

“Our PM ordered hot pursuit in which two camps were completely annihilated. While the army carried out the strike, helicopters were on stand-by,” he said.

Read: Indian troops hunt, kill militants ‘in Myanmar’

Rathore asserted that attacks on Indians are unacceptable and based on effective intelligence

The minister added that the operations were a message for all neighbours of India who harbour terror groups.

“Friendship and zero tolerance will go hand in hand. This is a beginning. India is strong. This message should go to everyone,” he said.

The minister also hinted that the operation against Myanmar’s northeast terrorists has altered India’s strategy in dealing with such groups.

“I think it was the need of the hour as well, the entire nation wanted it and that’s perhaps a reason why they voted a strong government at the Centre. It had become like a habit [for terrorists]. It is not like a ‘kushti’ match that if you go back into your area nobody will catch you. This message is very critical that we will strike you wherever you are,” he said.

Rathore referred to the surgical strike inside Myanmar as an “unprecedented” and “extremely bold” step by the Indian government.

“Myanmar is a friendly nation and therefore there was complete cooperation, if the need required” Rathore said when asked whether the operation had support of the Myanmar government and army. The minister added that the operation was carried out by the Special Forces “entirely on their own.”

India has long blamed top Pakistan for stoking a revolt in Muslim-majority Kashmir as well as giving material support to militants for attacks in other parts of India, including a bloody 2008 assault in the city of Mumbai.

Pakistan denies the accusation and says it is fighting militants.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has long advocated a tough stance towards Pakistan including the option of hot pursuit of militants. Since coming to power Modi has sought to ease tension but ties remain fragile.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said last month that his Indian counterpart’s recent statement about sponsoring terrorism to counter terrorism had confirmed “our assertions of Indian involvement in terrorist activities on Pakistani soil”.

He had said the statement of Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was a blatant admission of sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan.

Read more: RAW instigating terrorism, says army

Last month, the military’s top brass accused the Indian intelligence agency RAW of supporting terrorism in Pakistan. RAW has often been blamed by law-enforcement agencies for being involved in subversive activities in Pakistan.

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry had also said the Indian intelligence agency is involved in various terrorist activities across Pakistan.

Also read: RAW involved in terrorist activities across Pakistan: foreign secretary

Chaudhry added that the matter had been taken up “a number of times” at the highest level with India through diplomatic channels.

Posted in India0 Comments

Dalit women and village justice in rural India

NOVANEWS
Dalit women

By Graham Peebles

The vast majority of India’s 1.3 billion people live in its 630,000 villages. They have seen little or no benefit from the country’s economic growth. Over 80 per cent do not have “approved sanitation”, according to the United Nations children’s fund, UNICEF, and are forced to defecate in public; village health care, where it exists at all, is poor and inaccessible; education is basic, with large class sizes and schools lacking desks and chairs, let alone books.

Institutionalised discrimimnation

The caste system dominates all areas of life and, despite the fact that the Constitution of India prohibits discrimination based on caste, violent exploitation and prejudice are the norm. Add economic and gender divisions to this medieval Hindu social system, and a multi-layered structure of separation begins to surface. At the bottom of the social ladder are girls and women from the Dalit caste (previously known as the “Untouchables”), who are born into a life of exploitation, entrapment and potential abuse: “discrimination and violence systematically deny them opportunities, choices and freedoms in all spheres of life”, the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) report for the UN makes clear.

The police are negligent, discriminatory and corrupt, and village justice, as dispensed by the village council, or Panchayat, is archaic. The Panchayat “consists of five members… [that] sit as a court of law” and adjudicate in cases which the Encyclopaedia Britannica describes as relating to “caste offences”. These “offences” are trivial one and all, and range from a Dalit woman taking water from a well reserved for higher caste families, breaching eating, drinking or smoking restrictions or, God forbid, having a relationship with a man from a neighbouring village. The punishments meted out by thePanchayat are extreme, often brutal, and always unjust.

Victimised

The most common victims of village justice are Dalits (of which there are an estimated 167 million in India – 16 per cent of the population): poorly educated, landless with few employment opportunities, they are dependent on the very people who mistreat them – men and women of the higher castes. It is a dependency based on vulnerability, allowing exploitation and abuse.

Dalit girls and women are victimised and violated in villages, towns and cities up and down the country: the Dalit Freedom Network (DFN) records that they are murdered and burned alive, “raped, held captive in brothels and temple ceremonies, and forced to work as bonded labourers”; young girls are kidnapped and trafficked into prostitution or trapped into domestic servitude. All because they happen to have been born into a particular family, in a particular place.

Kessi Bai has lived in Thuravad village in Rajasthan for 21 years. In November last year the 45-year-old mother of five was accused of murder, with no evidence whatsoever, by a mob of villagers led by the village council and violently punished: stripped naked, her face was blackened with charcoal, her head shaved and she was repeatedly beaten with wooden sticks. Her husband and son were locked inside their home while she was paraded for six hours around neighbouring villages on a donkey.

The procession returned to Thuravad at around 8 pm, she was thrown from the donkey and again beaten, before the police finally arrived. When I met this frail, desperately poor Dalit woman in December, she would not show her face, wept repeatedly and had not left her house since the distressing incident.

In a similar recent case in Utter Pradesh, the Mail Online reports “15 Other Backward Castes (OBC) villagers stripped five women of the Dalit community, paraded them naked, caned them and then put them on show on the highway because one of their daughters had allegedly eloped with a Dalit’s son”.

And, most shocking of this trinity of injustice: last January in the remote village of Subalpur in West Bengal, a 20-year-old Dalit woman who was “found in the company of a married man from another village”, was, the Guardian reported, “dragged out by her neighbours… tied to a tree then raped by up to 15 men as punishment for the illicit liaison”.

The woman, known only as “W” has since been regarded as a “woman of bad character” who “’spoiled the atmosphere of the village’ by going against local customs” – medieval customs of suppression and division enforced by thePanchayats, which are widespread in India’s villages and support a deeply patriarchal society that has no place in any civilised country.

National neglect

The Panchayat is elected by villagers and paid by the Indian government: it is in effect the first level of local governance; all members are duty bound to maintain communal harmony and discharge their office, the legislation says, in “a fair and judicious manner without fear or favour, affection or ill-will”. This all seems democratically sound; however, as with many areas of Indian life, what is universally lacking is the implementation of such liberal legislation.

Complacency and corruption are two of the major obstacles to the observation of universal human rights and the realisation of democracy in India. If the Indian government, under the leadership of the Hindu nationalist Naredra Modi, wishes to build a truly democratic state, it needs to enforce its legislation on caste, ensure village Panchayats operate within the law, and provide Dalit women with the justice and support that they so badly need.

Posted in India0 Comments

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