Archive | November, 2013

Suppressing the Truth on Syria: Mother Agnes Mariam and Britain’s Self Proclaimed “Antiwar Movement”

Global Research


Here’s what it looks like when a respected reporter tweets about his blackmail note to an established anti-war organization regarding the organization’s upcoming conference in a tweet on November 15:

I’ve informed organizers of @STWuk that I will not participate in their conference if Mother Agnes is on the platform.

— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) 15 Novembre 2013

The reporter is Jeremy Scahill, who was booked as the keynote speaker and to show his film “Dirty Wars” (based on his book “Dirty Wars”) at the November 30 International Anti-War Conference in London, put on by Stop the War Coalition (STWuk), which was first organized in 2001 in opposition to an American attack on Iraq. More than 12 years later, the coalition notes dryly on its webpage for the conference, “We need more effective anti war resistance internationally. This conference is a chance to analyse, build links and lay plans.”

Scahill’s threat to boycott the conference soon became moot the following day, when the dreaded Mother Agnes withdrew from participation. Her letter read, in part:

“It has come to my attention that my participation in your conference has become a matter of serious contention, even prompting some other speakers to consider withdrawing. This is apparently due to a campaign of cruel and unsubstantiated accusations which seek to work against my efforts and those of the Musalaha (Reconciliation) Initiative in Syria.

“The basis of our work toward peace is reconciliation and forgiveness. This means extending an olive branch to some who may initially refuse it, and accepting an olive branch from others who are despised, even by our friends….

“Some may feel that an injustice will be done if I speak at your conference. Others may think that injustice will be done if I do not. Because my participation in your conference may be used by some to distract from your valuable efforts towards peace, non-violence and reconciliation, I believe it best to withdraw from participation.”

Why did Stop the War invitation to nun working to stop war raise objections?

Push comes to shove, and Mother Agnes is an apparent pushover. She’s also not flogging a movie. And the abuse she’s suffered online was as real as the pressure on Scahilll and others to have nothing to do with her. It’s hard to find any evidence that Mother Agnes has committed anything worse than what others consider thought-crimes and politically incorrect observations, some of which are actually correct.

Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross is a Carmelite nun and mother superior of the Monastery of James the Mutilated in Qara, Syria, which has a community of three monks and twelve nuns. Born in Lebanon in a refugee camp 61 years ago, she is Palestinian on her father’s side and has worked in Syria for about 20 years. She is the spokesperson for the Catholic Information Center in Beirut, where the Musalaha Initiative also has its office. Mother Agnes became a nun at 19, after several years in the late 1960s as a self-styled “hippie,” traveling to Europe, India and Tibet. Unlike others with an equally public profile, Mother Agnes has no Wikipedia page.

In June 2012, Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire praised Mother Agnes as a peacemaker:

“In her community her voice has been clear, pure and loud. And it should be so in the West. Like many people in Syria she has been placed in life threatening situations, but for the sake of peace she has chosen to risk her own existence for the safety and security of others. She has spoken out against the lack of truth in our media regarding Syria and about the terror and chaos which a ‘third force’ seems to be spreading across the country. Her words confront and challenge us because they do not mirror the picture of events in Syria we have built up in our minds over many months of reading our newspapers and watching the news on our televisions. Much of the terror has been imported, we learn from her. She can tell us about the thousands of Christian refugees, forced to flee their homes by an imported Islamist extreme.”

What makes her controversial to people around Stop the War Coalition is their perception of her as a supporter of the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. Clear reasoning behind this perception is hard to come by. The reality for Christians in Syria is that their choice of friends is limited: the government represses them along with everyone else, but some rebel groups have taken to massacring Christians. With rebel groups numbering 1,000 or more, none is likely to be a reliable protector.

Mother Agnes’s heretical view of the Damascus chemical attack

In August 2013, when the world learned of the still murky chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb, Mother Agnes questioned the prevailing western view that the Assad government carried out the attack. She prepared a 50-page report questioning the authenticity of videos of the aftermath and submitted her findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council. As the New York Times of September 21 reported:

“When Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, wanted to bolster his argument that rebels had carried out the poison gas attacks near Damascus on Aug. 21, he pointed to the work of a 61-year-old Lebanese-born nun who had concluded that the horrifying videos showing hundreds of dead and choking victims, including many children, had been fabricated ahead of time to provide a pretext for foreign intervention.

“’Mr. Lavrov is an intelligent person,’ said the nun, Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross, with a wide smile in a recent interview in this Lebanese mountain town. ‘He will never stick his name to someone who is saying stupidities.’”

Taking a position on the chemical attacks that is supportive of the Assad government has led to intensified criticism of Mother Agnes as an Assad pawn. French reporters have written a book accusing her of conspiring with the government to kill another French reporter in 2012. She has sued the authors for libel.

The Syrian uprising started with peaceful protests in March 2011, but soon turned violent. Mother Agnes accuses the West of fomenting the violence to create a pretext for military intervention and re-ordering Syria. In November 2011, she wrote an open letter to President Assad, challenging the government over its treatment of hospital patients and prisoners, as reported in Vatican Insider in November 2011:

“Dear Mr. President, I have lived and worked in Syria since 1994, and I have learned to esteem the unique position Syria holds in the world of culture and of religions. But I am shocked to learn from Amnesty International that in the hospitals run by the government the wounded suffer discrimination and maltreatment because of their ideology. And I am saddened to find that, in the prisons, there are people there who have never been tried in court, or even accused of anything…. I ask for a serious inquiry into the hospitals and prisons, under the supervision of the International Red Cross, together with the creation of a committee to accelerate the exercise of justice.”

In late October, Mother Agnes, through the Musalaha Initiative, was involved in establishing a cease-fire andevacuating some 5,400 civilians from Moadamiya, a rebel-held city near Damascus.

Mother Agnes is currently on a six-week speaking tour in North America, largely ignored by most media. In Cleveland on November 14, she received a special peace award from the mayor, a congressman, and a senator. The tour ends December 4.

Jeremy Scahill has yet to explain his own behavior, but columnist Neil Clark, writing for Russia Today, blames “liberal hawks and neo-cons” for silencing the nun because:

“Mother Agnes’ testimony reveals that the so-called ‘War on Terror’ is a sham – that in Syria, the western countries and their regional allies, Saudi Arabia and Israel, are on the same side as the extremist Islamic terror groups that we are told are our greatest enemies.”

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Why has Mother Agnes been kicked off the MI5 Mouthpiece?

Why has Mother Agnes been kicked off the StW platform?


Stop the War: choosing ‘left’ imperialism over anti-imperialism!

Stop the War’s ‘international anti-war conference’ on 30 November has a big gap in its line-up of speakers, thanks to the persistence of the pro-war lobby and the spinelessness of its own leadership.

These leaders have recently been trying to take credit for the heroic work of the Syrian people’s resistance and of diplomats from a number of countries, principally Russia, who between them managed to stall the all-out war plans of US and British imperialism. StW has been quick to claim a victory for itself, however, insisting that ‘anti-war activity’ by its members stopped the invasion.

If only that were true! In reality, meaningful mobilisation by StW against the barbaric assault on anti-imperialist Syria, and in support of the Syrian people’s desperate struggle to maintain their freedom from superexploitation, has been notable only by its complete absence.

What ‘anti-war’ activity there has been (the odd meeting and petition) was rendered worse than useless by the StW leaders’ hysterical repetition of all the imperialists’ lies about how evil and tyrannical Syria’s leaders are – a repetition that plays right into the hands of imperialism by seeming to justify its hoped-for invasion on ‘humanitarian’ grounds

In reality, far from being an evil ‘dictator’, Bashar al-Assad is a popular leader, head of a freely elected, national-unity coalition government that firmly opposes imperialist meddling in Syria. In Britain, however, where imperialist moguls reign supreme, such simple facts are never aired in the corporate mass media.

Not so much with the peace and love

In line with imperialism’s ‘no tolerance’ policy towards the truth, the initially publicised list of speakers for this weekend’s conference was nearly all firmly anti-Assad. One unexpected and notable exception was Mother Agnes, a carmelite nun who lives in Syria, and who has been working to establish temporary ceasefires between government and terrorist forces in order to help civilians escape from battle zones.

Living in Syria, she understands that the vast majority of Syrians support their government against the proxy terrorist forces that have been armed, funded and directed by western imperialism. Living in Syria, she can see through the claims of the terrorists and their backers that the Syrian government launched poison-gas attacks on its own people, and so has asked some very pertinent questions about the spurious claims of the warmongers.

Why, asked Mother Agnes, were there no terrorists among the dead? Why were there so many children in an area that had been mostly cleared of civilians? Why were the same dead children appearing in pictures of gas victims that were supposed to be from different sites? And why were parents of children that had been kidnapped by terrorists many miles away able to identify their children in the gory pictures that were served up to the world’s media as proof of President Assad’s ‘brutality’?

This first-hand knowledge of the situation in Syria has led Mother Agnes to ask another, entirely logical, question: Why would the Syrian government need to use poison-gas attacks when it is clearly winning the war using conventional weapons, and when its soldiers are welcomed as heroes and liberators by Syrians who have been forced to live under terrorist control?

Such an outrageous adherence to facts and logic has made Mother Agnes a target for all kinds of scurrilous attacks, with her many detractors in the imperialist world claiming that she is everything from anti-muslim and an apologist for war crimes to just plain stupid. Human Rights Watch, a thoroughly pro-imperialist organisation, has been particularly vocal in trying to besmirch Mother Agnes’s motives and reputation.

Labour careerists run for cover

Another equally pro-imperialist outfit that has been indulging in a frenzy of abuse against Mother Agnes is political weblog The man who runs Pulse is Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, a fervent supporter of FSA and al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria who has openly called for imperialist bombing of the country.

In a piece for Al Jazeera US, he opposed the idea of ‘non-intervention’ and concluded that an “externally imposed solution is less egregious than dooming Syria to prolonged war”. So rabidly pro-war is Ahmad that he has even accused StW’s supine leaders of a “dogmatic opposition to western intervention and disregard for suffering Syrians”!

Pulse targeted the two ‘biggest’ names (in that they both make a living as high-profile ‘left-of-centre’ commentators in the corporate media machine) on the conference platform, subjecting Jeremy Scahill and Owen Jones to a tweeting assault that they did not even attempt to resist. Ahmad told these career-minded worthies that they would be sharing a platform with a ‘supporter’ of the ‘tyrant Assad’: a woman who ‘lies’ for the cruel regime that is murdering thousands of Syrians daily – a war criminal, no less!

Scahill and Jones didn’t take much pushing. All their ‘anti-war’ convictions were quickly overcome when faced with the prospect of national media headlines linking them to the stated enemies of imperialism, and they went running for the exit with all haste. These two fearless activists were not going to share a platform with an apologist for war crimes, the conference organisers were told. In double-quick time, Mother Agnes was off the list and Scahill and Jones were back on.

We are not sure how Mother Agnes came to be invited by StW in the first place, but she would have been the only speaker to have brought the authentic voice of the Syrian majority to this supposedly ‘anti-war’ event.

Having big ‘names’ and acceptable politics is much more important to Corbyn, German, Murray, Rees and the rest of the clique that runs StW, however. None of them want to risk getting labelled as ‘pro-Assad’, either! Clearly, that would be a total career killer in an imperialist country like Britain, whose rulers are still desperate for the overthrow of Syria’s fiercely independent government – by whatever means necessary.

Let us suppose for a minute that Mother Agnes really is just a mouthpiece for President Assad, and that Assad himself is every bit the demon that imperialism paints him as – would that really be enough to stop Jones and Scahill from speaking alongside her?

Owen Jones, like StW chair Jeremy Corbyn, is a member of the Labour party. Both men callon British workers to support, join and vote for a party  that is drenched in the blood of millions of innocents – victims of imperialist wars their party has launched while inoffice or has supported when playing the role of Her Majesty’s loyal opposition.

Not to mention the blood of untold millions who have died as a direct result of the looting of their countries by British corporations – or even the thousands who have died in our own country as a result of NHS privatisation and other welfare cuts. Whether in or out of office, Labour has consistently supported all these murderous activities of our ruling class.

The idea that someone from this  filthy  stable is really fussy about sharing platforms with war criminals is laughable. After all, Jones has shared platforms with Labour poli-ticians who were key architects of the invasions and genocides in Iraq and Afghanistan  – some of the worst crimes of the modern era.

New leadership needed

Far too many ‘leaders’ in the trade-union, labour and peace movements in Britain are of the same ilk. Are they merely gutless seekers of ‘pelf and place’ who dare not stick their necks out for fear of losing existing or anticipated careers? Or have they intentionallyworked their way into positions of leadership just so they can hold back the development of a real struggle against imperialism in Britain?

In the end, it doesn’t really matter. In politics, motivations are irrelevant; it is theoutcome of their actions on which our political leaders and activists must be judged. What we need to understand is that, whether accidentally or on purpose, StW’s leaders alwaysmanage to come down on the side of imperialism, helping to demonise the victims of imperialist aggression and to neutralise the opposition to imperialist war at home.

Mother Agnes has single-handedly demonstrated that Stop the War is not about stopping the war; it is about keeping the anti-war movement within limits that are acceptable to the imperialist warmongers. It is about the warmongers keeping the masses of anti-war activists under tight control.

Until we have exposed and replaced these bankrupt careerists who control our movement,  we will be unable to mobilise British workers to fight effectively against imperialist  war, no  matter  how  genuine we are in our  desire to do so, nor  how much the British people might agree that the wars are wrong

Defend Syria! Down with imperialism!

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GAZA: PNGO and Human Rights Organizations Calls for Immediately Ending Suffering of Civilians Due to Electricity Outages


Joint Press Release

The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO) and human rights organizations in the Gaza Strip express their deep concern for the deteriorating humanitarian conditions of the population of the Gaza Strip due to the continued tightened closure imposed by Israel on 1.8 million people and its impact on all aspects of their lives, while the international community remains silent towards human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli occupation forces.  PNGO and human rights organizations are deeply concerned for the aggravation of the crisis of electricity outages resulting from these policies which leads to an imminent humanitarian disaster seriously impacting all vital interests of the population, including water and sanitation services, educational services and all daily necessary vital services.

PNGO and human rights organizations are concerned that the deterioration in all aspects of the population’s life may further aggravate as a result of the continuous consequences of the Palestinian political split and the failure of its two parties to solve the power and fuel crisis which has been persistent since late June 2006 when Israeli forces bombarded the Gaza Power Plant.

PNGO and human rights organizations observe with deep concern the deterioration of humanitarian conditions of the Gaza Strip’s population since 01 November 2013, when the Gaza Power Plant was forced off due to the lack of fuel.  Both governments in Ramallah and Gaza have failed to take any effective steps to overcome this crisis and its consequences, and accordingly all daily basic services needed by the population have disastrously deteriorated.  As a result of the crisis, electricity supplies to all vital facilities, including houses and health, environmental and educational facilities, have been sharply decreased; electricity is off for 12 hours and then on for 6 hours only.

PNGO and human rights organizations believe that the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip is essentially a result of Israeli systematic policies against the civilian population, including bombarding the sole power plant in the Gaza Strip in late June 2006, and decreasing fuel supplies to the power plant in the context of the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip.  PNGO and human rights organizations are aware of the continuous deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip due to the crisis of electricity outages, while the international community remains silent towards human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli forces, which have created and perpetuated the crisis, including targeting the infrastructure of the electricity sectors, such as supply and transmission lines and towers, during repeated incursions into the Gaza Strip, or using fuel and other consumptive goods as a means to punish the population, and the Israeli authorities’ failure to meet their obligations as an occupying power to maintain the operation of medical facilities and water and sanitation services.

It is worth noting that the electricity crisis has become a serious challenge to normal life of the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, which poses imminent risks to all aspects of daily life due to its direct impacts.  Currently, the crisis has led to suspension of many health care programs and services, waste water treatment, water supplies, especially to high buildings, and educational services.  Vital economic sectors, especially workshops and commercial stores, have sustained large economic losses, due to Israeli attacks and the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip.  Life for Palestinians living in high buildings has become extremely difficult due to the lack of electricity that is necessary to operate elevators and provide water supplies.  The crisis has also impacted the educational process and the economic and living conditions of the population due to their inability to provide alternatives to electricity supplies, especially with the high prices of fuel which the population cannot afford. Additionally, the electricity crisis and the population’s efforts to find alternatives have caused horrible human tragedies.  According to information of human rights organizations, 16 Palestinians, including 14 children and one woman, have died by fire, and 9 others, including 5 children, have sustained burns since the beginning of 2012.

PNGO and human rights organizations strongly condemn the failure of relevant parties to fulfill their obligations and take practical steps to ensure ending the suffering of the civilian population, while all justifications claimed by them are not acceptable.  There are concerns that the Gaza Strip may turn into an area of a disaster due to the deterioration of humanitarian conditions.  PNGO and human rights organizations believe that all concerned parties, including the international community, the occupying power pursuant to its international legal obligations and both governments in Ramallah and Gaza, should ensure protection of and respect for the inherent human dignity as a value whose waste can never be justified, or be subject to material or political bargains.  Causing this human suffering that may lead to loss of lives can never be justified.

PNGO and human rights organizations in the Gaza Strip call upon all parties to immediately act to stop the suffering of the civilian population and find sustainable and strategic solutions that take into the consideration the civilian population’s needs and ensure protection of their lives and respect for their basic rights, including supplying all consignments of medicines and foods and basic services that are necessary for the population.  PNGO and human rights organizations emphasize the following:

1. Israeli occupation authorities are legally responsible for the deteriorating humanitarian conditions of the Gaza Strip’s population and the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip as a form of collective punishment, as Israel is an occupying power according to the international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

2. The international community is responsible for the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip due to its failure to fulfill its legal and moral obligation and compel Israel to lift the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip.

3. Both governments in Gaza and Ramallah must immediately and seriously act to end the electricity crisis, overcome the differences whose price is paid by the Gaza Strip’s population, abstain from pushing basic services and sectors into the political conflict, put an end to the suffering of the civilian population and find sustainable and strategic solutions that protect basic rights of people and the requirements for their adequate living conditions.


Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network
Palestinian Center for Human Rights
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
Aldameer Association for Human Rights 


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Real Character of Fazlullah


By Sajjad Shaukat

After the killing of the Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Chief Hakimullah Mehsud in a US

drone attack on November 1, this year, Taliban Shura decided to appoint the most ferocious and

notorious militant Maulana Fazlullah as chief of the TTP.

In this regard, a controversy arose for the selection of new leader, as many TTP insurgents had

been intensely whispering against Fazlullah by arguing that their head should have been from

Mehsud tribe, as many voted for Khan Saeed alias Sajna who belongs to the same tribe. Setting

aside the rift between TTP ranks and files, Taliban Shura favoured Fazlullah. This came as a

shock to all Mehsud tribal cliques who have serious objections against Fazlullah’s selection as

A majority of the Mehsud tribe believes that only Mehsuds have the right to lead TTP, and they

also assert that selection of Fazlullah has created differences among TTP factions. Mehsuds also

feel disturbed as TTP’s leadership has been taken away from them, whereas till now they were

On the other side, the TTP new Chief Maulana Fazlullah dismissed the proposed peace

negotiations with the government as a “waste of time”, and vowed to target the prime minister,

chief minister, chief of army staff and corpse commanders.

In fact, Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike on information provided by a

senior TTP leader Latifullah Mehsud who was captured by US Special Forces in Afghanistan.

He disclosed the secret location of Hakimullah Mehsud to American investigators. He did so

because he wanted to get money from US. Moreover, he was against Hakimullah for agreeing

to start peace talks with Pakistan Government. Reportedly, internal differences and rift in TTP

leaders existed which was exploited by Fazlullah to get top leadership of the outfit.

Notably, unlike the TTP new Chief Maulana Fazlullah, Saeed is a moderate, who strongly

supported the peace dialogue with the government.

The choice of Fazlullah as the new head of TTP has no significance because of his obvious

vicious trend and stained mind set. The people of Pakistan, Swat and law-enforcing agencies

have no doubt about his stature as a non-state actor with power-motives and greedy agenda.

However, Fazllulah is a familiar character, also known as Mullah Radio due to his infamous

FM Radio Operations conducted against the state of Pakistan and Pak Army in Swat, while

People of Pakistan especially the inhabitants of Swat recognize him as a killer with a history of

criminal pathology, social delinquency, wicked brutality and cruel outlook. In this context, his

real character needs special attention.

Maulana Fazlullah who belongs to Babukarkhel clan of Yusafzai tribe of Swat district, is son-
in-law of Maulana Sufi Muhammad who had founded Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi

(TNSM), which was banned by Pakistan Government. On January 12, 2002, he became the

leader of TNSM since Sufi had been sent to jail. During his control in Swat, he left no stone

unturned in misinterpreting Islam by broadcasting his fiery speeches, preaching virtue and

exhorting the people to abstain from vices in order to get their sympathy.

Having duality, he opposed the western system, and propagated that imposition of Islamic

laws was the sole cure for all the evils in the society. As his supporters grew in size, he started

taking practical action against so-called evil-doers by torching electronic and video shops. His

militant threatened barbers not to shave beards and were forced to close their shops. Fazlullah

also rejected anti-polio move in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while his insurgents targeted even women

in this regard. He prohibited women from taking part in education and imposed ban on female

education in Swat district. Some 400 schools enrolling 4000 girls were shut down and 170

schools were burnt. He had also ordered death of Malala Yusafzai because she favoured the

During his reign of terror in Swat and other adjoining areas, Maulana Fazlullah allowed

his militants to follow un-Islamic activities such as forced marriages, slaughter of captives,

beheadings in public, floggings, kidnappings for ransom, suicide bombings, targeted killings,

and eliminating the dissidents. It was due to his brutal methods that Green Square in Mingora

earned the name of ‘Khooni Chowk.’ He acted upon cruel methods to frighten the people so as to

impose his brand of hard-line Shariah on them.

In some tribal areas and Swat, insurgents led by Fazlullah have been involved in a number of

anti-social and un-Islamic practices like drug-smuggling, car-snatching etc. They justified that

thus, they collect money to wage the holy war. From wealth, collected through unfair means,

he constructed a Madrassa in Mingora worth Rs 25 crores, which became his base of operation

and he used it for the purpose of training terrorists. While making Swat a state within a state, his

militants also killed several personnel of the security forces.

Optimistically, the Pakistan Government signed peace deals with Maulana Sufi and Fazlullah by

agreeing to introduce Nizam-e-Adal in Malakand District and these insurgent leaders agreed to

renounce violence. But, contrarily, Fazlullah’s terrorists occupied Dir and Buner by transgressing

When Pakistan’s armed forces successfully ejected the TTP militants out of these areas through

Swat and Malakand military operations, the new leader of the TTP Maulana Fazlullah who had

close connections with Pakistan-based TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud, had run to Afghanistan.

Based in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan—with the support of Indian secret agency

RAW, Afghan spy service, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) which also have tactical

backing of the US, his insurgents intensified subversive activities in Pakistan by sending heavily-
equipped militants. Notably, in the past few years, in connivance with the South Wazirstan-based

TTP and its affiliated outfits, his militants killed thousands of persons across Pakistan through

suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings, beheadings, assaults on military troops, police

stations, sectarian violence etc. Besides, they also targeted mosques, Imambargahs, mausoleums,

It is mentionable that Latifullah Mehsud also confessed that Afghanistan and India were

involved in promoting terrorist activities inside Pakistan. He revealed that while waging proxy

wars in Pakistan, terrorist attacks on Gen. Sanaullah Khan Niazi in Upper Dir, at Peshawar

Church, in Qissa Khawani Bazar and elsewhere had been planned by Indian and Afghan

intelligence agencies. Particularly, regarding terror-attack at Peshawar church, TTP did not claim

responsibility, but it proved when the outfit misinterpreted Islam by indicating that it was in

Nevertheless, Maulana Fazlullah and his so-called followers have also been playing a key role in

recruiting very young boys—and after their brainwashing through indoctrination; they train them

for suicide bombings. The planners misguide these Muslims by convincing that they will have a

noble place in the Heavens in exchange of suicide attacks.

As a matter of fact, Fazlullah is a hypocrite, as he deserted his followers in Swat due to Army

operation, and managed his own survival because he was standing through foreign funding and

supply of arms cache to launch terrorist attacks inside Pakistan. In these terms, his morality is

also questionable and so is the case of his heroism.

Simply speaking, Fazlullah represents ‘bad’ Taliban who are at war with Pakistan on behest

of their foreign masters. His open verdict for not resuming peace talks with the Pakistan

Government points at his future strategy to continue terrorist attacks. To Fazlullah’s full

appeasement, TTP has already declared to avenge Hakimullah Mehsud’s death.

Nonetheless, return of Fazlullah as TTP leader is not a big deal, as all stake holders in Pakistan

exactly know his double game. He is undoubtedly an instrument of foreign secret agencies which

back him to destabilize Pakistan.

So, our political, religious entities and domestic media must assertively project the real character

of Fazlullah and his terrorist activities. They must expose the anti-Pakistan forces which do not

approve the idea of peace talks with TTP and would certainly go on assisting idiotic criminals

like Fazlullah to further weaken Pakistan.

Pakistan’s public must also know that Maulana Fazlullah is not a Mehsud by tribe, but gained

popularity in TTP due to his links with external secret agencies and maliciously harsh conduct.

He is a propagandist who quickly manipulates information about current developments to keep

him relevant in criminal band of TTP.

Fazalullah is a hypocrite who propagates Islamic laws, but violates all norms and values of

Islam to gratify his power-motives. He only understands the language of force and his time

appears to be up, unless he mends his ways.

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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Anonymous Assurances Bring No Comfort to WikiLeaks’ Assange

– Andrea Germanos

Recent reporting citing unnamed officials stating that the Justice Department is unlikely to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange offer no real assurance, the organization says, and urges the DoJ to “do the right thing: close the investigation and formally and unequivocally tell WikiLeaks that no charges will be brought.”

Assange supporters outside the Ecuadoran embassy in London, where has been for over a year. (Photo: Vertigogen/cc/flickr)On Monday, the Washington Post reported:

The Justice Department has all but concluded it will not bring charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing classified documents because government lawyers said they could not do so without also prosecuting U.S. news organizations and journalists, according to U.S. officials.

The officials stressed that a formal decision has not been made, and a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks remains impaneled, but they said there is little possibility of bringing a case against Assange, unless he is implicated in criminal activity other than releasing online top-secret military and diplomatic documents.

According to the paper, the officials said there was a “New York Times problem,” meaning that if the DoJ prosecuted Assange for publishing classified documents, it would have to prosecute other news organizations who have done the same, like the Times and the UK’sGuardian.

Ahead of that story, the Washington Post also reported this:

Federal prosecutors have not filed a sealed indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, despite persistent rumors that a nearly three-year-old grand jury investigation of him and his organization had secretly led to charges, according to senior law enforcement sources.

“Nothing has occurred so far,” said one law enforcement official with knowledge of the case. “But it’s subject to change. I can’t predict what’s going to happen. The investigation is ongoing.”

Firedoglake’s Kevin Gosztola points out that the wording of the second paragraph was changed from its original form, and originally read:

“Nothing has occurred so far,” said one law enforcement official with knowledge of the case. “If Assange came to the U.S. today, he would not be arrested. But I can’t predict what’s going to happen. He might be in six months.”

Gosztola writes that “The ‘law enforcement official’ was either being flippant or inadvertently revealed that the Justice Department is still working on its investigation and could reach an indictment in six months.”

The Washington Post story appears with this clarification:

This story was updated to include a quotation that was substituted for one that appeared in the original version online. The quotation, attributed to a law enforcement official, was replaced with another from the same interview because the original quotation created the erroneous impression that the official was saying Julian Assange would not be arrested if he came to the United States. The official said Assange would not be arrested on U.S. charges. He did not address any possible extradition request from another country.

In a statement released Tuesday, WikiLeaks responded to the “much-hedged statement by someone who cannot be identified claiming that the government may not indict Julian Assange for publishing” as providing no real assurance to either their organization or to anyone else interested in a truly free press.

Further, the statement continues:

The anonymous assertion that Julian Assange may not be indicted for publication of classified documents, even if true, only deals with a small part of the grand jury investigation. That investigation has been primarily concerned with trying to prove somehow that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks were involved, not merely in publication, but in a conspiracy with their sources. There is also the question as to the status of the DoJ investigations into WikiLeaks involvement in the Stratfor and Snowden matters. […]

Rather than caveat riddled claims from anonymous officials with undefined motivations, the government ought to do the right thing: close the investigation and formally and unequivocally tell WikiLeaks that no charges will be brought. Despite our lawyers’ repeated requests, they refuse to do so. Presently, the situation for WikiLeaks and its publisher Julian Assange remains unchanged. Perhaps with such an assurance this dark chapter for freedom of the press can be closed.

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I$raHell’s Evolution towards a Fascist Racist State

Global Research

This is a powerfully written book, a mixture of current events, historical data, and personal anecdotal comments and stories. Throughout there are pervasive themes that clearly outline the nature of the Israeli state as it exists today. From May 2009 up to early 2013, Max Blumenthal passed “many prolonged stays in the Holy Land,” from which he derived this current assessment.

The over-riding themes, and they all tend to intermingle within the right wing ideologies of the Netanyahu/Leiberman government, are all based on the demographic threat that Israel perceives to be the main problem – and indeed acknowledges to be, and has always been seen as a problem from the earliest Zionists.

While in the past there were some at least minimally effective two-country advocates, the current situation has developed into one of over-riding racist state fascism. This expresses itself in the ongoing settlements developments, now more overtly antagonistic to the Palestinians, the many race based laws prohibiting Palestinian participation in society, accompanied by overt acts of racism to Palestinians and African refugees, and open expressions of hostility indicating the desire to simply get rid of both groups.

The idea of a “Jewish and democratic state” also comes to a crashing halt as there are many instances of political leaders essentially indicating that they would choose Jewishness before democracy.

The first section of the work provides the current events background that gives rise to the Netanyahu/Leiberman government. Blumenthal quotes Netanyahu as telling Israelis “To steel themselves for ‘an ongoing national exertion and the possibility of periodic bouts of international confrontation.’” He says this summarizes “the colonial logic animating his approach to the Palestinians and rationalizing it to the outside world.”

Blumenthal continues from there, discussing various domestic laws, the banning of certain books, the use of IDF and Shin Bet personnel to control the education system, the rise of security overcoming democratic concerns, and the gradual erosion of the Supreme Court in face of Zionistic fascism within the “tribalistic culture.” The much more open and hostile racial and fascistic comments keep coming, the national disguising of the news as in the Mavi Marmara incident, the effects of the national propaganda in keeping with the Knesset resets shows “the end of democracy is an inevitable outcome,” while the “occupation is hidden behind all these layers of fake democracy.”

The next section recalls the violence of the occupation, demonstrating that with the current events within the West Bank and in Gaza, the Days of ‘48 have come again, now with a “fascist government that has proven itself capable of massacring the unarmed.” That violence all comes back to ethnic/racial identity “that is the basis of apartheid.” A quick review of the initial attacks of 1948 and the original quotes of that era survive: “there is no room in the country for both people;” and “Not one village must be left, not one tribe.”

The holocaust is another theme throughout the book as it has become a theme of daily Israeli life, brought back as an excuse to continue their own violence towards others. Yet, as seen by a few, “We perpetuate death, and that’s why we will never become a normal people.”

The military is another obvious centralizing theme throughout the work. It covers the main part of two chapters, and its overall pervasiveness creates “a colonial culture in which Jewish Israeli youth become conditioned to act as sadistic overlords toward their Palestinian neighbours, and of a perpetual conquest that demanded indoctrination begin at an early age and continue perpetually throughout their lives.” The military has become the “most important institution of socialization and indoctrination” in Israeli society. Within that institution are the wellsprings of the misogynist nature of society and the highly sexualised nature of the racial taunts.

But even more powerful than the military, in liaison with it, religious nationalism now trumps both the military and justice systems. From this extreme right group now in control lie the “harbingers of wild racial violence in the future.” Part of this future are “concentration camps…erected by the Israeli rulers” as foreseen by Yeshayahu Leibowitz. The criminalizing of refugees – Palestian and the blacks from the Sudan – demonstrates “a harrowing vision of what was possible when the government chose to tap into the public’s unfathomably deep wellspring of prejudice.”

Towards the end of the book, Blumenthal discusses the wall mentality – the security wall, the Gaza walls, the walls of the Sinai, the new walls along the Jordanian border and with Syria. Some realize, “This is our future…we’ve become a frightened nation that imprisons itself behind fences and retreats into defensive walls,” making “increasingly rigid psychological barriers.”

In his final view, Blumenthal shows that the sexualized racial taunting, the overt racial violence, is “an increasingly common feature of Israeli political language” in “the adventurous world of Israeli proto-fascism….The status quo…so entrenched, and the occupation…so manageable, [they] no longer felt compelled to mask their agenda with disingenuous appeals to Western opinions….Annexing the West Bank had finally entered the mainstream.”

One final irony highlighted itself: thirteen per cent of Israeli citizens now live outside the country. They tend to be the affluent, educated, secular and liberal younger members of Israeli society. The irony is strengthened in that Berlin has become one of the main expatriate colonies, where the Israelis go to find an open liberal more free environment to live.

Israel currently maintains diplomatic and trade relationships with many other countries, much of that on a military/security level. The image of Israel presented in Goliath is one of a fearful, arrogant, racist, non-democratic state controlled by a select right wing group. It has captured the media, the military, the Knesset and the justice system into one over-riding racialized fascist theocracy, far removed from any democracy, perpetuating its systems of fear in order to keep power intact.

Goliath is a powerful and distressing book for a view on what life in modern Israel is like.


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Meet George Zoley, America’s Highest Paid “Corrections Officer”


(Madison, WI) – The Center for Media and Democracy’s (CMD) series of profiles on “America’s Highest Paid Government Workers” today puts the spotlight on George Zoley, Chief Executive Officer of GEO Group, one of America’s largest for-profit prison firms providing services to states and the federal government.

George Zoley

GEO Group’s revenue in 2012 exceeded $1.4 billion and CMD estimates that 86% of this money came out of the pockets of taxpayers. CMD’s investigation of GEO Group unearthed how the company’s cost-cutting strategies lead to a vicious cycle where lower wages and benefits for workers, high employee turnover, insufficient training, and under-staffing results in poor oversight and mistreatment of detained persons, increased violence, and riots.

But according to SEC filings, top officials at the firm are doing just fine. From 2008-2012 George C. Zoley raked in $22 million in compensation. Thank you taxpayers!

Since its founding nearly 30 years ago, GEO Group has profited from federal and state policies that have led to a dramatic rise in incarceration and detention in the United States — an increase of more than 500 percent over the past three decades. In recent years, with crime rates dropping and sentencing reform spreading, GEO Group has found a new way to keep its profits high: many of its contracts contain bed guarantees or “lock up quotas” that require that a state keep prisons full, and put taxpayers on the hook for empty beds.

For many years GEO Group participated in the task force of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that pushed bills that lengthened time in prison, such as so-called “truth-in-sentencing” and “three strikes” legislation, as models for states to adopt across the nation. Today, locking up non-violent illegal immigrants is a new profit center for the firm.

“America’s highest paid workers aren’t your hardworking teachers, firefighters, or corrections officers. They are CEOs who take over public services and divert millions of tax dollars out of our local communities and into their pockets,” said Lisa Graves, Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy.

Over the next few weeks, CMD will continue to profile some of the other CEOs who are living large off the taxpayer dime. The effort is part of our ongoing project,, which focuses on the 12 firms doing the most to privatize public services.

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Alleged Voting Irregularities Mar Honduran Elections


Left leaning opposition Libre Party decries electoral fraud, refuses to recognize official results indicating win for ruling right wing National Party.


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US ‘Zero Option’ for Afghanistan Arrives as Ultimatum to Karzai

With Afghan people caught in the  middle the idea of a negotiated peace or a thoughtful withdrawal are not part of the dialogue
– Common Dreams

National security adviser Susan Rice. The US insists the deal must be finalised by the year’s end. (Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)A full and complete U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan—known as the “zero option”—has now been floated by U.S. officials at the highest levels.

The plan, however, has not been offered as a responsible solution to the plague of war and occupation that has ravaged the country since 2001, but delivered as an ultimatum in order to pressure the Afghan government to agree to U.S. terms over a pending security agreement.

Following the surprise refusal by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a security agreement outlining the terms of a prolonged U.S. occupation, U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice issued the “zero option” threat after the Afghan president, citing a “lack of trust,” announced his desire to wait to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement until after the next presidential elections in April.

“Ambassador Rice reiterated that, without a prompt signature, the US would have no choice but to initiate planning for a post-2014 future in which there would be no US or Nato troop presence in Afghanistan,” said a White House spokesman.

“Deferring the signature of the agreement until after next year’s elections is not viable, as it would not provide the United States and Nato allies the clarity necessary to plan for a potential post-2014 military presence.”

Despite cautious approval of the agreement after the loya jirga—an assembly of the nation’s tribal leaders—concluded Sunday, negotiations reportedly soured over a diplomatic dinner between Karzai and Rice during which the Afghan president raised the question of the release of Afghan prisoners from Guantánamo Bay Detention Facility.

The Guardian reports:

President Karzai’s spokesman said on Tuesday that a blunt response from US ambassador James Cunningham, when Karzai raised the question of the release of Afghan prisoners from Guantánamo, soured what had previously been a constructive meeting.

“The beginning until almost the end was pretty calm and good, although there were disagreements,” Aimal Faizi, the spokesman, told the Guardian. “But the comments of the ambassador at the end … that changed the meeting, from that point.”

Cunningham, Faizi said, told Karzai that the peace process was not the responsibility of the US, and the release of prisoners was not part of the strategic pact.





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Victory to Syria


Having failed miserably in its attempts to overthrow the Syrian government through its jihadist terrorist mercenaries, imperialism is in the final stages of its preparations for a direct military onslaught against the people of Syria and their lawful and popular government. By a concerted campaign, orchestrated by its political and ideological representatives, duly assisted by its gigantic propaganda machine – a veritable host of TV and radio stations and thousands of newspapers – which spews out non-stop lies about its intended victim, imperialism has built up an unstoppable momentum for yet another unlawful, unjust, bloody and predatory war. In the next few days, the Syrian people will find themselves to be the recipients of ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’, ‘human rights’ and ‘rule of law’ delivered by cruise missiles and other deadly weapons, which are bound to cause tremendous loss of life and material damage.

The pretext for this barbarous war is the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against its own people – a charge that cannot withstand the slightest scrutiny. Why would the Syrian government use chemical weapons when its forces are inflicting decisive defeats on the bloodthirsty brutes unleashed by imperialism, just when a UN team is in the country investigating the use of these weapons, and that too in an area where the Syrian army is present in large numbers. Even the right-wing Zionist website WND expressed the view that the chemical attack was the work of the Syrian opposition forces.

All the evidence points in the direction of imperialism staging a provocation, through the use by its proxies of sarin and other nerve gases, so as to provide imperialism with an excuse for going to war against Syria with the hope of saving the skin of its surrogates who are on the verge of a complete rout.

Faced with this murderous war, the proletariat needs to know the unvarnished truth and not be palmed off with plausible lies. The proletariat needs to know:

• that the war presently being waged by imperialism and its stooges against the Syrian people did not simply and
spontaneously erupt in March 2011, but has actually been in preparation for at least a decade.

• that this war has nothing to do with humanitarianism, rule of law or democracy, which are merely catchwords that
imperialism uses to hide its real aims … it is a war for domination, for booty, plunder and brigandage;

• that in an effort to subvert the revolutionary movements of the people of the Middle East and the Maghreb, the
combined imperialist powers of Nato first targeted Libya and overthrew its government, murdering its undisputed
leader, Muammer Gaddafi, and are now intent on repeating their ‘humanitarian’ blitzkrieg against Syria;

• that Syria has become the target of imperialist subversion and aggression for pursuing independent economic
and foreign policies, for opposing the war in Libya, for its support for the Iraqi resistance, for its support for the
cause of the liberation of Palestine from zionist occupation, and for its alliance with Iran and the Lebanese resistance
movement, Hizbollah; in short, for its position in the axis of resistance that today stands in opposition to the
Zionist-imperialist axis of evil;

• that in the end this war is directed against China and Russia – the two countries which stand in the way of imperialist
domination of the world.

The proletariat must therefore condemn imperialism and its stooges in the most resolute terms and give its wholeheartedsupport to the Syrian people and their leadership, who are bravely defending the independence, sovereignty, honour and dignity of their country against imperialist brigandage.Those who claim to be socialist must take to the working masses the message of non-cooperation with imperialism’s predatory and criminal wars by refusing to play any part in moving materials, making munitions, pointing guns or
broadcasting imperialism’s warmongering propaganda lies.

From the very beginning of the counter-revolutionary rebellion in Syria, inspired, funded and aided by imperialism, we in the CPGB-ML have consistently called for the defeat of imperialism and the victory of the Syrian people led by President Assad, for we are firmly convinced that: “The revolutionary movement in the advanced countries would actually
be a sheer fraud if, in their struggle against capital, the workers of Europe and America were not closely and completely united with hundreds upon hundreds of millions of ‘colonial’ slaves who are oppressed by capital” (Lenin, The Second Congress of the Communist International, 1920).

We make a last-ditch appeal to our opponents in the working-class and ‘anti-war’ movement, especially the leadership of the Stop the War Coalition, who have hitherto deployed one excuse after another, one dishonest pretext following another, to undermine the anti-imperialist Syrian government, just as they did in the case of Libya, to join us in our
correct stance, if they do not want their hands to be dripping with the blood of the Syrian people, just as will be the hands of the imperialists. Failure to do so, whatever their intentions, objectively puts them in the camp of imperialism.

No cooperation with imperialism’s wars!
Victory to the Syrian people led by the Ba’ath Party and its progressive allies!
Death to imperialism and its Zionist and Arab stooges!


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