Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Moves & Feints in Eurasia and Greater Middle East ;It is the Energy Pipelines, Stupid.

New Moves & Feints in Eurasia and Greater Middle East ;It is the Energy Pipelines, Stupid.

 

To an observer of fast changing and dangerous developments for the world, there is no shortage of tactical or strategic moves and feints , something akin to the rotation in a kaleidoscope of its colored glass pieces representing various nation states, small and medium and big powers like USA, Russia and China.

 

As in ancient times and recent  past when Greater Middle East and Eurasia was the theatre of decisive battles and wars , it continues to remain so even now, just 60 years after World War II .In table top nuclear Cold War , USSR lost out and collapsed. Washington is still ramping up but the situation is quite different now .Obama tries to give the impression of Napoleon and Hitler about to gatecrash into Moscow.

 

There have been two interesting news stories, one relating to the government of Iran showing its interest in Nabucco gas pipeline project. Another news story was about Moscow wanting to buy Iran's oil and gas and help it out against U.S.-led sanctions.

 

Moscow and Cairo have signed agreements for purchase of Egyptian goods including agricultural products and Russian industrial investment in doubling Suez Canal handling capacity etc .Iraq's defence minister visited Moscow recently for arms purchases.

 

After Moscow's partial counter sanctions in the wake of US led West created turmoil, destruction and misery in Ukraine, the agriculture community in Europe Union and Mother Britannica 's litter and other poodles  are feeling the pinch. It would be interesting to see if West European states under the heels of Washington since WWII will finally turn even like a worm when its vital economic and other interests are undermined, with little damage to USA, a bankrupt nation living on the securities  purchased by the world because of dollars being the reserve currency .Counter measures are being taken including the creation of BRICS New Development Bank and nonuse of dollars for bilateral trade .

 

Some time ago I had written an article on Texan Poker Bluff and Persian Chess moves.  Tehran has survived .Iran was easily able to out maneuver United Kingdom which made an ass of itself.

 

http://tarafits.blogspot.in/2012/04/texan-poker-bluff-and-persian-chess.html

http://www.boloji.com/analysis2/0207.htm

Obama has taken over old policies dictated by military industry complex ,energy and other corporate interests. Tehran has been under tremendous Western pressure since 1979 after the overthrow of Shah of Iran ,Washington's police man in Middle East, but Iran is unlikely to take any steps which  go against its interests, which many times coincide with Moscow's , notwithstanding historic , tactical and even strategic differences  between  Moscow and Tehran , as recent as the Second World War and up to 1979. While Washington may try to seduce Iran by handing out some concessions regarding sanctions it would be difficult to believe that Iran will go with the West. My hunch is that Tehran is using Takyya ( not telling the truth under duress) to get the best out of the two sides .

 

Washington is probably quite worried about Iran ,India, Pakistan and Mongolia joining Shanghai Corporation Organisation. In the interface between the forces ,the West is led by USA while forces in the East ie  Russia, China and others seem quite determined. While Beijing has not said much so far publicly and would not mind lack of attention from Washington especially in the Pacific, but is quite clear where its interest and sympathies lie. It knows that militarily if Russia is degraded, then the next in line would be China.

 

In this regard, it interesting to note the advice given to various plutocratic regimes in Washington by the likes of Zbigniew Brzezinski  who is no better than an intellectual pimp and whore .After claiming responsibility in interview with French newspaper le Observateur  that he helped destroy USSR , (never mind the Al Qaida, Taleban , ISIS etc were created ), he described the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq and brutal occupation the greatest catastrophe. He is once again selling his intellect and misguiding the current regime in Washington ie on moves in Eurasia based on his very influential book "the great chessboard of Central Asia ". Brzezinski is not a born American, but is of Polish origin .His hatred of Russia is understandable genetically and viscerally .He loathes  Russia. So does the current regime in Warsaw. Throughout history, Poland has been a battleground between Moscow on one hand, France and Germany earlier and now USA led West European countries. It is quite clear that Moscow is once again threatened by forces from the West, comprising of non- Orthodox Christian states. Let us hope and pray that Obama led brinkmanship does not lead to a shooting war between the two sides.

 

K.Gajendra Singh , 20 August, 2014.

 

Et Tu, Mullah?

Did Iran Just Knife Putin in the Back?

By Mike Whitney

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39446.htm

August 18, 2014 "ICH" - "Counter Punch" -- On Thursday, Ukraine's parliament passed a law that will allow foreign investors to lease up to 49 percent of Ukraine's transit pipelines and underground gas storage facilities. The bill, which had failed to pass just weeks earlier, was approved by the slimmest of margins, 2 votes, suggesting that there might have been some arm twisting or bribery behind the scenes. The new law is a victory for the Obama administration and western elites who want to control the flow of gas from Russia to the EU, set prices, and make sure that transactions continue to be denominated in dollars. Here's a little more background from an article in Reuters:

"Ukraine's parliament approved a law on Thursday to allow gas transit facilities to be leased on a joint venture basis with participation from firms in the European Union or United States….The government has said the joint venture will bring in investment and remove the need for the South Stream pipeline, which Russia's Gazprom is building to take gas to southeastern Europe across the Black Sea, avoiding Ukraine.

If South Stream is built, it threatens to deprive Ukraine's badly strained budget of the transit fees that it currently receives from Russia for gas heading towards Europe.

The EU imports 30 percent of its natural gas needs from Russia, and about half of that comes via Ukraine, with some already having been diverted through the Nord Stream pipeline under the Baltic Sea." ("Ukrainian parliament backs bill to open gas pipelines to EU, U.S. firms", The Star)

You can see that the bloody, fratricidal conflict in Ukraine has nothing to do with democracy, sovereignty or even "evil" Putin. It's all about gas and pipelines. It's all part of Washington's grand plan to put a wedge between Russia and the EU, control the flow of vital resources, and establish NATO bases on Russia's western flank. The fact that the article mentions South Stream is particularly revealing.  The Obama administration is doing everything in its power to sabotage South Stream so that Russia will be unable to bypass troublemaking Ukraine and sell its gas directly to countries across Europe. (Here's a map of South Stream.)

Washington doesn't want free trade between neighbors.  Washington wants every drop of Russian gas to pass through its tollbooth so it can maintain a stranglehold on Europe's economy and on Moscow's revenues. Here's more on South Stream from Bloomberg:

"The $46 billion South Stream project, spearheaded by OAO Gazprom, is on hold and will probably remain in limbo for years as Russia continues to foment armed conflict in eastern Ukraine and the EU retaliates with bans, Eurasia Group said.

That means the war-torn country will remain a key transit point for about half of Gazprom's shipments to Europe, according to the New York-based risk research group. The EU previously had mixed positions on South Stream. With Russian troops massing near the Ukraine border, the bloc now has little choice but to stand united in opposition.

"There's no way Europe is going to put South Stream negotiations back on the table now, given the larger geopolitical context of the Ukraine crisis," Emily Stromquist, a Eurasia analyst in London, said in an interview.

The proposed 2,446-kilometer (1,520-mile) pipeline would run under the Black Sea and enter the EU in Bulgaria. That would end Gazprom's dependence on the Ukrainian gas-transit system." ("Putin's Pipeline Bypassing Ukraine Is at Risk Amid Conflict", Bloomberg)

So, you see, the US is using every trick in the book to prevent Russia from selling its gas to the EU.

But, why?

Because the US is left out, that's why. Washington doesn't want what's best for the EU or Russia. Washington wants what's best for Washington. What they want is to pivot to Asia by pitting Moscow against Brussels, thus, creating the pretext for deploying cat's-paw NATO to Ukraine so they can point their missiles at the Russian capital and bully everyone in the region. That's the plan.

By the way, the claim that "Russia is massing troops by the Ukrainian border" is nonsense.  An International team of inspectors was sent to Russia to check things out and here's what the found:

"No instances of violations by Russia along the Ukrainian border had been registered by the inspectors," the ministry said. "The last four months have witnessed 18 separate inspections along the Ukrainian border with the Russian Federation, all in line with the Vienna Open Skies Treaty and the Vienna agreement of 2011." (RT)

See? It's all baloney, just like most of what you read in the western media about Ukraine is baloney. In fact, there have been a number of excellent articles written on the topic just recently, notably articles by Ron Unz and Karel Van Woldferen. Having done considerable research on the topic, businessman and political activist, Unz is amazed at, what he calls "the utter corruption and unreliability of the mainstream American media", adding that  "the events of the last dozen years should have bankrupted any faith we have in our government or media." ("American Pravda: Who Shot Down Flight MH17 in Ukraine?", The Unz Review)

In a similar vein, Dutch journalist and retired professor at the University of Amsterdam, Karel Van Wolferen, takes aim at both the media and the state, but saves his most devastating salvo for Washington:

"America's history," he says, "since the demise of the Soviet Union, of truly breathtaking lies: on Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, Libya and North Korea; its record of overthrown governments; its black-op and false flag operations; and its stealthily garrisoning of the planet with some thousand military bases, is conveniently left out of consideration. ….Decent Europeans cannot bring themselves to believe in the dysfunction and utter irresponsibility of the American state." ("The Ukraine, Corrupted Journalism, and the Atlanticist Faith", Karel Van Wolferen, The Unz Review

Both articles are worth reading in full.

In any event, readers would be well advised not to trust anything they read in the media about Ukraine. It's all bunkum. Just like the ridiculous article, that popped up in the Guardian last week (that was intended to start World War 3) is bunkum. Here's the scoop: Last Thursday, journalists from the Guardian and the Telegraph reported that a convoy of Russian military trucks and armored vehicles crossed the border into Ukraine. Here's a clip from the article in the Guardian:

"The Guardian saw a column of 23 armoured personnel carriers, supported by fuel trucks and other logistics vehicles with official Russian military plates, travelling towards the border near the Russian town of Donetsk – about 200km away from Donetsk, Ukraine.

After pausing by the side of the road until nightfall, the convoy crossed into Ukrainian territory, using a rough dirt track and clearly crossing through a gap in a barbed wire fence that demarcates the border. Armed men were visible in the gloom by the border fence as the column moved into Ukraine. Kiev has lost control of its side of the border in this area.

The trucks are unlikely to represent a full-scale official Russian invasion, and it was unclear how far they planned to travel inside Ukrainian territory and how long they would stay. But it was incontrovertible evidence of what Ukraine has long claimed – that Russian troops are active inside its borders."  ("Aid convoy stops short of border as Russian military vehicles enter Ukraine", Guardian)

"Incontrovertible evidence", you say? No photos, no satellite imagery, no nothing. We are asked to believe that two professional journalists didn't even have a workable cell phone with which they could take a picture. That's Incontrovertible evidence?

Shortly after the alleged incident, Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko issued a statement saying "that his country's armed forces had destroyed part of an armed convoy that the Guardian saw moving through a gap in a border fence on Thursday night."

Got that? So, now they not only SAW the phantom convoy they also blew it up. Not bad for a day's work.

Okay, so where are the prisoners? Where are the blown up hulks of the armored vehicles? Where are the casualties? Where's eyewitness testimony of the people who first appeared on the scene? Where's the photographic proof from US satellites that were combing the area at the time? There's has to be something to substantiate a claim as serious as this; a claim that could lead to a declaration of war on Russia.

Nothing. They have nothing; not a shred of hard evidence. It's all just fluff.

This is sadly reminiscent of the bogus claims of "mobile weapons labs" and "aluminum tubes" that were used launch the war on Iraq. Similarly, all the media fell in line, reiterating the same basic narrative with zero evidence. Here's a blurb form the New York Times:

"The government of Ukraine, pushing to oust pro-Russian rebels from their last enclaves in the east while nervously eyeing a stalled Russian aid convoy, said on Friday that its force had destroyed a number of Russian military vehicles that it said crossed into Ukraine late Thursday through a border area controlled by the separatists." (NYT)

And the Telegraph:

"There was growing concern over the Ukraine crisis on Friday night after Kiev claimed to have destroyed parts of a column of Russian military vehicles, with Nato accusing Moscow of launching an "incursion". Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president, told David Cameron, the Prime Minister, that government artillery had destroyed a "considerable part" of a small military convoy that entered the country." (Telegraph)

And the Kyiv Post:

"Ukraine claims it has destroyed Russian military vehicles in the country's east, a day after a column was spotted moving across the border. Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, told David Cameron by phone that his country's armed forces had destroyed part of an armed convoy that the Guardian saw moving through a gap in a border fence on Thursday night." (Kyiv Post)

Propagandize. Wash. Repeat.

Russia's Defense Ministry basically laughed off the allegations as politically motivated lies saying:

"No Russian military column that allegedly crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border at night or during the day ever existed….Such statements – based on fantasies, or journalists' assumptions, to be precise – should not be subject for a serious discussion by top officials of any country," said Major General Igor Konashenkov. (RT) 

Ask yourself this, dear reader, if Russia had sent armored personnel carriers across the border into Ukraine, do you really think they'd do it on the same freaking day they were trying to get a green light for their humanitarian convoy? And if they did; do you really think that that Poroshenko would give the humanitarian convoy the go-ahead?

Of course, he wouldn't. He'd be too busy declaring war on Russia. But he's not declaring war on Russia nor has he stopped the humanitarian convoy.

Why? Because he knows that the whole story is bullshit, that's why. His behavior proves it's a lie.

PIPELINE POLITICS

If you follow pipeline politics, there was a development last week that will blow your socks off. In a nutshell: Iran sold out and switched over to the dark side. Don't believe me? Take a look at this from World Bulletin:

 "As the Ukraine crisis puts Russia and Europe at odds, leaving Europe with no choice but to search for alternative natural gas resources, Iran looks likely to fulfill Europe's demand. Iran's deputy oil minister Ali Mejidi has indicated that the Nabucco Project, which was presented as an alternative to Russian gas with the potential of fulfilling a large proportion of Europe's need before being put on hold last year, is now back on track.

Speaking to Russian press, Mejidi confirmed that two separate delegations were sent to Europe. "With Nabucco, Iran can provide Europe with gas. We are the best alternative to Russia," he said.  Mejidi also said that though a number of routes to deliver the gas to Europe were being considered, Turkey was the "right address."

The Nabucco project, which was first presented in 2002, plans to pump gas to Europe via Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. The project will also pump 31 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani and Iraqi natural gas to Europe."  ("Iran to provide Europe with alternative to Russian gas", World Bulletin)

Wow.  What a kick in the teeth that is. This is a huge blow not just to Putin, but to everyone who seeks a multi-polar world run by sovereign nations who believe in the rule of law.

How did this happen? And why is Iran climbing into bed with the Great Satan instead of pushing for their original plan which was to build a pipeline from Iran-Iraq-Syria? Could it be that Uncle Sam is going to make sure that that pipeline never gets built? Is that why Washington is letting a couple thousand homicidal maniacs (ISIS) run around Syria and Iraq lopping off heads and wreaking havoc; so it will be impossible to lay pipe or transit gas?

It sure looks that way, but there's more too. Check out this blurb from an article by William Engdahl:

"In 2009, the Emir of Qatar went to Damascus to negotiate an agreement with President Bashar Assad for a Qatari gas pipeline from their huge offshore gas field, North Dome, which is contiguous with the Iranian South Pars field in the waters of the Persian Gulf dividing the two countries. The South Pars/North Dome field is the world's largest gas field, shared between Iran and Qatar….. Qatar's proposition to Assad was to build a gas pipeline that would bring Qatari gas through Syria and into Turkey, a close Qatari ally. Assad refused,  citing Syria's strong energy relations with Russia.

In March 2011, Assad signed another gas pipeline deal: this time with arch-Qatar enemy, Iran. Qatar is fundamentalist Sunni and home to the radical Muslim Brotherhood. Iran is fundamentalist Shiite Muslim and Iraq is ruled by a Shiite Prime Minister. Both Iran and Iraq back Assad in the current war for control of Syria. The Iranian gas pipeline would extend from its Persian Gulf field through Iraq and through Syria. No sooner was the ink dry on the Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline when a full-scale terror war, financed by Qatar to the tune of billions of dollars,  exploded across Syria.

Now Russia has stepped in, after the failure of Qatar, the Saudis and Turkey to topple the Assad regime and replace it, either with a fundamentalist Wahabite Saudi regime or a fundamentalist Salafist Muslim Brotherhood, one that would do business with them and not with Russia." ("Syria attraction: Russia moving into Eastern Mediterranean oil bonanza", William Engdahl, RT)

In other words, if you don't do what you're told to do, and sign on the bottom line; then we'll start a terrorist war in your backyard and you'll get nothing. Isn't that what's happening to Syria?

You bet, it is. Still, that doesn't explain why Iran sold its former friends down the river. For clues to that, we need to look back to before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was elected and the western media was all atwitter about what a "moderate" he was. (Moderate is a euphemism that is usually applied to US puppets.) It all started back in September, 2013, when Rouhani opened up a channel for talking with Obama. It was obvious from the get-go that the White House figured they had a guy in Tehran, they "could work with". Here's a little background for the incident the pundits called "the phone call":

"President Barack Obama and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke by telephone on Friday, the highest-level contact between the two countries in three decades and a sign that they are serious about reaching a pact on Tehran's nuclear program….

As president, Rouhani is the head of the government but has limited powers. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the ultimate authority in Iran with final say on domestic and foreign policy, though Rouhani says he has been given full authority to negotiate on the nuclear issue….

In his speech to the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Obama cautiously embraced Rouhani's gestures as the basis for a possible nuclear deal and challenged him to demonstrate his sincerity. However, the failure to orchestrate a handshake between the two leaders that day, apparently because of Rouhani's concerns about a backlash from hardliners at home, seemed to underscore how hard it may be to make diplomatic progress." ("Obama, Iran's Rouhani hold historic phone call", Reuters)

Of course, they couldn't shake hands, because they are supposed to be mortal enemies. But, clearly, Rouhani has been busy behind the scenes cozying up to Obama. And it's paid off too. Check this out from UPI:

"Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed delegates gathered for an economic forum in the Iranian capital. He said sanctions pressure has eased in coordination with multilateral negotiations over Iran's controversial nuclear program.

Iran under the terms of a multilateral agreement reached in November can export around 1 million barrels of oil in exchange for curbing nuclear research activity. Rouhani said moving forward with nuclear talks with the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France, plus Germany, should bring benefits to the international community.

"Western and eastern countries are telling us the sanctions have harmed them and their removal will benefit all," he said.

The Iranian Oil Ministry said Tuesday its oil sales for the first four months of the year were up 5 percent when compared with last year."  ("Iran: Easing sanctions brings global relief", UPI)

Iran's fictional "nuclear program" had nothing to do easing sanctions. The whole thing is a red herring. The nuclear program is just a stick the US uses to beat up Tehran whenever they get the urge.    Here's what's really happened:   Washington agreed to ease up on the sanctions if Iran caved in on the gas deal, which it did. Now the US-backed Nabucco pipeline is back in business, while Russia's South Stream is on the rocks.

You got to admit:  US really knows how to play smash-mouth politics when it has to.

One last thought: The only way Washington would do a deal with arch-enemy Iran, is if there was some other country they hated even more.

That would be Russia.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

 

Monday, August 18, 2014

MH 370 and MH17; Barring Obama Led Western Lies No Closure Yet

 

MH 370 and MH17; Barring Obama Led Western Lies No Closure Yet


"In The West Respect for Truth No Longer Exists",& "Western media comprises either a collection of ignorant and incompetent fools or a whorehouse that sells war for money," Dr. Paul Craig Roberts  former US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.

It is incomprehensible that US satellites, which can even read automobile plate numbers ,have not come with any help or explanation about the vanishing of the Malaysian flight 370 .

 

Below is what Dr.Leuren Moret, a very well known expert and whistle blower said on her website .She and I have corresponded for quite some time but we met with at Kuala Lumpur in 2008 for a conference and a trial by an Independent Tribunal composed of international Jurists of George Bush Jr, Tony Blair and others for War Crimes of illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 and its consequent brutal occupation. The terrible consequences still continue to unfold every day even now .The latest being havoc in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic Caliphate created by US, Sunni Arab allies led by Saudi Arabia , Turkey, Jordan etc .

 

http://leurenmoret.info/currents/flight-370-downing.html

 

Leuren Moret: Flight 370 Downing was U.S. Navy Energy Weapons Demo for Putin;

Payback for Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Verdicts vs. Israel, US and UK

Published on Mar 13, 2014 

 

VANCOUVER, BC – In an exclusive EcologyNews.com interview with Alfred Lambremont Webre, radiation and directed energy expert Leuren Moret, MA, PhD ABT, revealed that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 of March 8, 2014 was, by the evidence, shot down by a newly unveiled U.S. Navy Laser Weapons System (LaWS). 

 

According to Leuren Moret, the location of the downed Malaysia Flight 370 as first confirmed by an admiral of the Vietnamese armed forces was correct, while the U.S. and Malaysian media have published a continual stream of disinformation as a diversion to cover-up this military false flag operation by the U.S. Navy.

 

Motives for the false flag operation – Why?

In the course of her interview, Leuren Moret elaborated on the apparent motives for this false flag operation by the U.S. Navy, including:

 

I. Response to Putin & demonstration of LaWS Weapons system - Lauren Moret details why the March 8, 2014 U.S. Navy LaWS directed energy system attack was in response to an earlier public test of the Topol missile system by Vladimir Putin's Russian armed forces, as part of a strategic dynamic unleashed by the confrontations around Crimea and the Ukraine.  On March 6, 2014, two days before the attack on Flight 370, the U.S. Navy released a promotional video and major news release around its directed energy weapons LaWS system. Then two day later, on March 8, the U.S. Navy demonstrated its LaWS directed energy weapons system against Flight 370. The profile of available evidence as to how Fight 370 was downed fits the targeting profile of the LaWS directed energy weapons system.

 

March 6, 2014 U.S. Navy Video for LaWS Laser Weapons system VIDEO:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px87SP01eKw

 

Payback for Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal verdicts against Israel, U.S. & U.K. – The interview details how the March 8, 2014 U.S. Navy attack against Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was payback for genocide war crimes verdicts in 2013, 2012, and 2011 against Israel, U.S. and U.K. by the Kuala Lumpur War Crime Tribunal, founded by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad.  A wide corporate and political network of top decision-makers in Malaysia, including the President of Malaysia Airlines and the Prime Minister of Malaysia, funded the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal.

 

According to Leuren Moret, there may have been other levels of motive connected to twenty employees of Free scale Semiconductor on Flight 370, headed for a conference in Beijing.

 

MH17; Western lies continue

 

As for the shooting down of flight MH17 I had circulated my comments and articles questioning Obama led western white lies and its media whores, which began soon after the shooting down of the flight over Eastern Ukraine .Both international experts and evidence provided so far suggest that the aircraft was shot by a missile by a govt of Ukraine fighter jet, which also machine gunned the disabled aircraft. I repeat for easy reference URLs of my comments and articles I had circulated and are available on my blog.

 

1. Flight MH 17; Lying West Brings the World to Boil; Remember 2013 False Charge of Syria Chemical Gas Attacks 23 July, 2014.

http://tarafits.blogspot.in/2014/07/flight-mh-17-lying-west-brings-world-to.html

 

2. US Interference in Ukraine, Eurasia & Elsewhere.26 July 2014

http://tarafits.blogspot.in/2014/07/us-interference-in-ukraine-eurasia.html

 

3. MH17-Was Putin the target? As Obama led Western Lies exposed by Experts and Evidence

10 August, 2014

http://tarafits.blogspot.in/2014/08/mh17-was-putin-target-as-obama-led.html

 

 

I reproduce below two articles, the first on the blatant lies of Western leaders and the other by reputed Brazilian journalist Pepe Escobar in his stinging language.

 

K.Gajendra Singh 18 August, 2014.

 

In The West Respect for Truth No Longer Exists

By Paul Craig Roberts

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39441.htm

August 17, 2014 "ICH" - The Western media have proved for all to see that the Western media comprises either a collection of ignorant and incompetent fools or a whorehouse that sells war for money.

The Western media fell in step with Washington and blamed the downed Malaysian airliner on Russia. No evidence was provided. It its place the media used constant repetition. Washington withheld the evidence that proved that Kiev was responsible. The media's purpose was not to tell the truth, but to demonize Russia.

Now we have the media story of the armored Russian column that allegedly crossed into Ukraine and was destroyed by Ukraine's rag-tag forces that ISIS would eliminate in a few minutes.

British reporters fabricated this story or were handed it by a CIA operative working to build a war narrative. The disreputable BBC hyped the story without investigating. The German media, including Die Welt, blared the story throughout Germany without concern at the absence of any evidence. Reuters news agency, also with no investigation, spread the story. Readers tell me that CNN has been broadcasting the fake story 24/7. Although I cannot stand to watch it, I suspect Fox "news" has also been riding this lame horse hard. Readers tell me that my former newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, which has fallen so low as to be unreadable, also spread the false story. I hope they are wrong. One hates to see the complete despoliation of one's former habitat.

The media story is preposterous for a number of reasons that should be obvious to a normal person.

The first reason is that the Russian government has made it completely clear that its purpose is to de-escalate the situation. When other former Russian territories that are part of present day Ukraine followed Crimea, voted their independence and requested reunification with Russia, President Putin refused. To underline his de-escalation, President Putin asked the Russian Duma to rescind his authority to intervene militarily in Ukraine in behalf of the former Russian provinces. As the Russian government, unlike Washington or EU governments, stresses legality and the rule of law, Russian military forces would not be sent into Ukraine prior to the Duma renewing Putin's authority so to do.

The second reason the story is obviously false is that if the Russian government decides to invade Ukraine, Russia would not send in one small armored group unprotected by air cover or other forces. If Russia invades Ukraine, it will be with a force capable of rolling up the rag-tag Ukrainian forces, most of which are semi-private militias organized by nazis. The "war" would last a few hours, after which Ukraine would be in Russia's hands where it resided for hundreds of years prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Washington's successful efforts in 1991 to take advantage of Russian weakness to break apart the constituent provinces of Russia herself.

The third reason that the story is obviously false is that not a single Western news organization hyping the story has presented a shred of evidence in its behalf.

What we witness in this fabricated story is the total lack of integrity in the entirety of
the Western media.

A story totally devoid of any evidence to support it has been broadcast world wide. The White House has issued a statement saying that it cannot confirm the story, but nevertheless the White House continues to issue accusations against Russia for which the White House can supply no evidence. Consequently, Western repetition of bald-faced lies has become truth for huge numbers of peoples. As I have emphasized in my columns, these Western lies are dangerous, because they provoke war.

The same group in Washington and the same Western "media" are telling the same kind of lies that were used to justify Washington's wars in Iraq (weapons of mass destruction), Afghanistan (Taliban = al Qaeda), Syria (use of chemical weapons), Libya (an assortment of ridiculous charges), and the ongoing US military murders in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.

The city upon the hill, the light unto the world, the home of the exceptional, indispensable people is the home of Satan's lies where truth is prohibited and war is the end game.

Update: After pretending that the Russian humanitarian truck convoy contained a hidden invasion force, the stooge Kiev government was forced by facts on the ground to officially acknowledge that the trucks only contained aid for those that the Kiev stooge government has been bombing and attacking with artillery. http://rt.com/news/180844-ukraine-recognizes-russia-humanitarian-aid/

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.

THE ROVING EYE
Vanishing point …
By Pepe Escobar  Asia Times 15 8 14
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-02-150814.html


First, passenger airliner MH370 vanished from Planet Earth. Then MH370 vanished from the news cycle. First, MH17 was shot down by "Putin's missile" - as Planet Earth was told. Then MH17 vanished from the news cycle. 

Where's Baudrillard when we need him? Had he been alive, the dervish of simulacra would have already deconstructed these two Malaysian planes as mirror images; from absolute vanishing to maximum exposure, then vanished again. They might as well have  been abducted - and shot - by aliens. Now you seem them, now you don't. 

Black boxes, data recorders - everything MH17 is now floating in a black void. The British are taking forever to analyze the data - and if they have already done so, they are not talking. It's as if they were singing, I see a black box / and I want it painted black … void. 

The Pentagon, with 20-20 vision over Ukraine, knows what happened. Russian intelligence not only knows what happened but offered a tantalizing glimpse of it in an official presentation, dismissed by the "West". The best technical analyses point not to "Putin's missile" - a BUK - but to a combination of R-60 air-to-air missile and the auto-cannon of an Su-25. 

A reader led me to this fair assessment by former USAF and Boeing engineer Raymond Blohm: "With proper vectoring, a Su-25 need not be quite as fast as a Boeing 777 in cruise. It just has to get to a missile-firing position. Since the 777 was not maneuvering, it would be simple to pre-calculate when to get in a certain spot in the sky below the 777. From there, it's the missile that has the speed and altitude capability to hit the 777. (The R-60 is a very capable missile.) After the missile takes out an engine, both the 777's max speed and its max altitude are well within the Su-25 fighter's speed & altitude capabilities. Then, the Su-25 can show off its cannon power." 

Follow the engine wreckage. Follow the cockpit wreckage. Follow the motive. One cannot even imagine the tectonic geopolitical plates clashing were the Kiev regime to be deemed responsible. It would be the vanishing point for the whole - warped - notion of the Empire of Chaos's "indispensable" exceptionalism. 

So as MH370 totally vanished, the MH17 story must also totally vanish. The Dutch and the British might eventually come out and hold a high-profile press conference telling the world what His Master's Voice finally redacted. Still, one may count on certified, residual outrage, if not puzzlement, by a large number of grieving Dutch families. And one may count on certified outrage by Malaysia as a nation. As in Why Us? And not once but twice? 

Moscow, after deconstructing the "logic" of the ongoing Russia/Putin hysterical demonization, knows that whatever they say will be invalidated by the Orwellian Thought Police. Yet as much as His Master's Voice controls what the Dutch and the British might eventually reveal, Russia can counterpunch by leaking the crucial scenario to Malaysia. And Malaysia will talk. 

MH370 vanished as in a video game. MH17 was hit as in a video game. Now their respective narratives are being vanished. It's as if we are living a tiny rehearsal of the black hypothesis of post-history. 

Postmodernist star Jean-Francois Lyotard and later Flemish thinker Lieven De Cauter were the rarified few who dabbled in studying the black hypothesis. The black hypothesis is the ultimate dystopia - playing out in the cosmological time of the death of the sun, something like 4.5 billion years away. Basically this is about techno-science surviving the death of the sun and the death of humanity itself. 

So MH370 may have vanished into an antechamber of the black hypothesis. But MH17 is much more prosaic; it could have been just a false flag gone wrong. Thus, under Empire of Chaos's rules, it must also vanish. The question is whether global civil society will accept it - or has already entered its own vanishing point. 

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). 

He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.
 

 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Maiden Speech on Independence Day

 

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Maiden Speech on Independence Day.

 

Like most Indians, if not all , I was curious, even anxious and hopeful  at the same time about what PM Narendra Modi would say from the ramparts of Red Fort in Delhi on 15 August morning. Like most people I also listened to what he had to say very carefully and objectively.

 

Let me make myself clear that since 2002, I have been anti-Modi ,even during his election campaign, which was very impressive ,but his many utterances more than his actions had left me in some anxiety .Yes ,his interaction with leaders of neighboring countries at his coronation  and with leaders of Brics summit in Brazil gave a glimpse of his changing outlook and also thankfully for India prepared him for an independent policy ( from USA ) to safeguard and promote India's strategic and economic interests.

 

I was uneasy because since the BJP majority win there have been divisive and even reckless statements by obscurantist extreme right-wing speakers, like Ashok Singhal, Swami Aditya Nath and other rabble rousers and just criminal elements from Sangh Parivar both inside the Parliament and outside .They were shocking and disturbing .Modi had kept quiet during all this time. He also did not say anything when it was quite obvious that RSS and many BJP leaders were creating communal incidents especially in western UP keeping in view the forthcoming by-elections and a general encouragement to right-wing Hindutva forces.

 

So his extempore oration, never mind his life long career as a RSS pracharak (preacher) came as a pleasant surprise when in clear, but not very aggressive terms, he spoke against differences based on communal and other factors, asking for a 10 year moratorium .It should act as a check on India's right-wing forces. But with Amit Shah as BJP president and elections in 4 states and even Delhi, the priority to win elections would outweigh other compulsions .Let us wait and see.

 

Modi also made it abundantly clear and fairly convincingly that he wants to be the Prime Minister of all Indians, beginning from the bottom of the polity and across the political spectrum. We have to see how policies of the government especially on social issues unfold. It was heartening to learn that there was little reference to bombastic claims on foreign policy .If at all he hinted that we are competing with China in manufacture and economic growth and not for influence at the behest eternal warmongers USA and West Europe. He also made it very clear that India would like foreign investors to manufacture in India and then, if possible export .In this endeavour India can cooperate with China, Japan, South Korea and other countries. Quite obviously the speech will not go down well in Washington, whose envoys still use patronizing terms and use India against other powers and states. It was as well that Washington had denied Modi a visa, which gave Modi time to think about US attitude while at the same time he prepared himself for the current onerous task by visiting Russia, China and Japan. He has made it very clear that he is in favour of Asian nations to come together for economic growth, prosperity and peace.

 

Frankly, it was bold, educative and well delivered speech .By promising to be the Prime Minister of all Indians he has also sent a message to the Brahmins of Nagpur that he will be his own man and not be at the mercy of RSS cadre .Even Prime Minister Vajpayee was able to keep away from Nagpur influence quite successfully.

 

From the decisions and policy measures, it is clear that Modi is his own man. For all practical purposes, so far he has made it clear that he will run the government in all its aspects directly or through his trusted aides and politicians. Frankly only a strong leader can keep the country together and make it strong especially with its end Moghul era polity, feudal with mediaeval outlook .Since I started understanding nation states, I have a feeling that a country like India needs a strong ruler, if not a presidential system itself .With state leaders with 30 or 40 MPs hoping to become PMs as in two disastrous exercises ,it reminds of the era of Holkars , Scindhias , Jats ,Rohillas and other marauding bands trying to dictate terms to a hapless Moghul emperor in the Red Fort.

 

Let me quote from a media report;

 

"However, despite this push for change, Mr. Modi did not belittle the achievements of his predecessors, and he sought to recognise the contribution of all previous prime ministers and past governments to the growth of the country since Independence. Also, Mr. Modi seemed keen to move forward on the basis of consensus rather than on functioning on the basis of his party's majority in Parliament. Even for those who feared his divisive agenda, Mr. Modi had some words of reassurance: he pointedly referred to the "poison" of casteism and communalism, which, he said, was a hindrance to progress. From the ramparts of the Red Fort, Mr. Modi certainly appeared more inclusive than he was on his campaign. If his speech, shorn of hype but full of hope, is any indication, Mr. Modi looks ready to make the transition from a skilled political orator to an able administrator."

 

Below are two Oped page articles one by SHIV VISVANATHAN in Hindu and another  by Pratap Bhanu Mehta in the Indian Express , the latter written soon after the end of the speech, so mercifully, it is devoid of his usual heavy phrases popular in US social studies program. He should learn to write in simple idiomatic English like Bertrand Russell, Huxley and others.

 

There is something in Mehta's comparison of Narendra Modi with late French leader Gen Charles de Gaulle. De Gaulle hated the British for the ill treatment meted out to him during WWII when he was forced to stay put in UK. Thus, the American denial of visa and behavior would help Modi understand US better and treat Washington and its perpetually warmongering leaders with disdain and at arm's length .Modi did point to violence around the world. The Americans only want to sell their equipment, commercial or military and control India. Modi's clear preference to make hardware and equipment in India is an encouragement to Russia in military hardware, China, Japan and others in Asia for commercial production of other goods.

 

Coming back to Gen de Gaulle, he had changed the French unstable political system with revolving door like brief coalition (of Dharma type) unstable governments .The presidential system has brought stability to French politics .He had said that the French cannot agree on what cheese they will choose, there are many hundreds of varieties, then how can they agree on which party to choose from. Therefore, the presidential system in which the winner must get 50% plus one vote (generally in two rounds) is the best to give a real mandate to leader. India should change the electoral system away from the centrifugal and chaotic British system as early as possible .If France has so many varieties of cheeses and wines , India has more varieties of languages, religions ,beliefs ,ethnicities, levels of education, poverty and richess , thus the directly elected leader is best for the country. The governors posts in the states can be done away with and the Chief Minister be elected directly .In India, there is no clear separation of the executive and the legislature as in USA. Rich industrialist or their proxies  get elected to lower house or buy seats in the upper house, become members of Parliamentary committees making policies on their industries and enable decisions in their favour  You can see the result , endemic large-scale pervasive corruption and scams .With Modi's  tried reputation for personal honesty and integrity, let us hope for the best.

 

K .Gajendra Singh 16 August, 2014.

 

Ushering in a new era

 

SHIV VISVANATHAN Hindu Oped 16 8 14

Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech was an attempt to evoke an everyday civics, replacing empty policy as the first step to development

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/ushering-in-a-new-era/article6321749.ece?homepage=true

Sometimes a nation creates the new by restating the old. It is an act of symbolic gardening, where dead clichés once again become live values, where unity is no longer equated with unanimity but with inclusiveness. A new frame recreates a new nation. One could see it semiotically in the staging of Narendra Modi's August 15 address.

Announcing a new era

The languor and still life speeches of Manmohan Singh's era had to be forgotten. First Mr. Modi enters exuding confidence. He knows he has to announce a new era. He goes beyond Nehruvianism by appealing to the civics of Swadeshi. This is not the language of politics but of virtue, of the qualities required for nation building. He is attired in a saffron turban with a green border: a Bandhini, Kutchi in its origin. He evokes a new style and his voice resonates a different world. India is not making tryst with destiny. It is going to meet the future by reconstructing it. The camera widens the frame. Lal Quila is not just a fortress. It is a landscape of temples, history and a sense of a bigger city. He is standing at the ramparts announcing a new era by reworking the grammar of the old. There is no big statement on productivity, no appeal to economics, no cliché about foreign policy, no reference to corruption, hardly any mention of China or Pakistan. It is a day for positives, for a nation to recharge itself. The language is simple: it is not politics, not policy; it is a simple sermon on values, simply done, almost faultless.

This Independence Day speech does not begin with 1947. It begins with a salute to those who build the nation. The first shift in attitude is here. Mr. Modi says, "I address you not as Prime Minister but as the first servant of the nation." He then suggests a nation is not made by a great man but by its people. A nation is built by its soldiers, its farmers, its youth, its workers, its teachers, its scientists, its martyrs. Politicians and government don't build a nation; they merely rule it. A salute to a people is a salute to ancestors and predecessors. Suddenly you realise that Mr. Modi is making the transition from politician to statesman. There is little reference to the parochial and the divisive. A speech is tailor-made for the occasion. The hectoring battles of party politics yield to measured rhetoric. This nation, like Mr. Modi, has many selves and he is appealing to the best of each.

He begins autobiographically. He says he came to Delhi as an outsider where an elite class treated him as an untouchable. But in two months, he got an insider view which was devastating. He talks of a labyrinth called Delhi where each department stands like an empire. There are governments inside the government and worse, department battles before the Supreme Court. Unity breaks because of divisiveness of bureaucracies.

He moves to a softer reflective tone. He refers to punctuality — to the people's surprise that clerks are punctual, that offices open on time. He then remarks that if this new punctuality is news, then we as a nation should be embarrassed about ourselves, about the depths we have fallen into.

He refers to the new individualism which asks, "What is in it for me?" He answers: Everything is not for the individual. The individual does not exhaust the nation. The social needs other solidarities and one can hear in this voice all the pracharak strains from the past. The nation is the ultimate construct of the social. He shifts gears. A nation without civics, responsibility and freedom is empty.

He talks of rape. He says when a daughter reaches ten; the parents play out the politics of anxiety, asking her where she is going, when she will return. The mobile phone is perpetually on, tracking her movement. But then, he says, there is not a word about the son, about his behaviour, where he goes, who he meets. If the victim is a woman who needs to belong to a family, so is the rapist. Parents need to ask sons what they are up to. To think of rape only as a wider problem is not adequate. Rapes too begin at home.

He begins with rape to talk of the position of women, of the place of daughters in our lives. He says a man with one loving daughter is better off than a man with five sons in old age because a daughter will never abandon her parents. He lashes out at foeticide, hinting that a society that values sons will be a society with old age homes.

He wants a society proud of women's achievements and cites the medal haul of our athletes as a sign of the new achievement. One senses he is not talking of rights, of freedoms, but about institutions, responsibilities and duties.

The shift from family to governance is fluid. He makes a folklore distinction between a man in a private industry describing his work as "a job" and a man in government calling his work "service." Mr. Modi emphasises the idea of service. Service is civilisational. It is not a secular idea of employment. English does not capture service. Service is the ability to prioritise the other. It goes beyond the individualism of careers, a point the Prime Minister borrows from Vivekananda.

He then examines the innards of society, claiming a decent society cannot ignore the fact of agricultural suicides. He then promises an India where every farmer has a bank account and every family an insurance of Rs. one lakh.

From farmers dying to unemployed youth, Mr. Modi returns to his favourite project: the re-skilling of youth. Skill is what gives employment, what makes India mobile across the globe. Organised skill is manufacture and it is manufacture that has to be the core of dynamic India. He gives it a step slogan: "No defect, no effect." A product should be of high quality and should be environmentally sensitive. Such a product will take India to the world of global excellence. "Made in India" becomes the new dream of Swadeshi.

He talks of his dream of a digital India — not a network for the rich, but a digital India for the poor where digitality helps development, and where e-governance is easy, effective and economical.

To a digital India, he adds a tourist India, portraying tourism as that inclusivity which provides employment for the poor, for the channawala, the pakoda seller, the chaiwala. He adds that what stands in the way of tourism is dirt. It is interesting Mr. Modi begins with dirt rather than corruption. The word he uses is swatchtha (cleanliness) — cleanliness as a mentality, an activity, as a way of life. Interestingly, the values Mr. Modi brings in are civilisational values like seva (service) swatchtha. He is indigenising a way of life with a vocabulary that is civilisational. He invokes corporate social responsibility, not for some fancy dream, but asks corporates to use their wealth to create toilets in schools, including a separate toilet for the girl. The tenor of the speech of a Prime Minister talking about sanitation, dirt, toilets, cleanliness is almost Gandhian. This is an attempt to evoke an everyday civics which replaces empty policy as the first step to development.

The burial of an institution

Yet, those who are waiting for a word about policy are not fully disappointed. Mr. Modi refers to the Planning Commission. He talks of it as an institution which was adequate for its time but then dismantles it like a magician, hinting that the commission was anachronistic. India needed a new institution with a new soul, sensitive to federalism. It is the quickest burial of an institution one has witnessed. A whole vision, a whole network of vested interests and academic cronyism collapses before Mr. Modi. The new governance makes its first step with the death of the Planning Commission.

By now the rhetoric is clear: a new self has been articulated, an old divisiveness is exorcised as Mr. Modi talks of fighting poverty as a dream of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations. He dreams of a neighbourhood of developing nations, a dream of non-violence, where a nation state returns to its sources in a civilisation.

It is a perfect performance, crafted in ease, delivered with confidence. A nation, proud as an elite, looks puzzled. This man is not a new entrant to power, he is rewriting Delhi. As a semiotic act, it is difficult to beat. The success is almost matter-of-fact. Lutyens' Delhi smells a new regime as India senses the new era. Looking back, if politics is performance, the Oscar goes to Mr. Modi. Even Bollywood could not have done it better. India has discovered a new myth maker.

(Shiv Visvanathan is a professor at Jindal School of Government and Public Policy.)

Command performance: The first Independence Day speech that did not lean upon authority or pedigree

 

Pratap Bhanu Mehta | Twitter@@pbmehta | August 15, 2014  Indian Express

SUMMARY

The clear message was that our big problems are not market failure or state failure, but social failure.

 

Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech was a commanding oratorical performance. It embodied a peculiar kind of democratic sensibility, but not one that we are used to, and can therefore easily miss. Historical comparisons are fraught, but Modi's democratic sensibility, seems closest of all people, to De Gaulle. De Gaulle was described by one biographer, Jonathan Fenby, as a republican monarch. This phrase was not meant to suggest an oxymoron or hypocrisy. It was meant to rather capture something distinctive about the nature of De Gaulle's democratic engagement: his unique ability to both wield authority and yet personify the people. Modi's engagement has a similar quality. It is deeply democratic in the sense that it rested on the conviction that authority does not come from any source other than people. Modi's was the first Independence Day speech that did not lean upon the authority or pedigree of anything else, but the people. It does not invoke a pantheon, a pedigree or even a party. Modi carries the imprimatur of authority because it was animated by a confident sense that he embodied the nation whose first servant he had declared himself to be. It has the confidence only self made men can have. It is democratic in the sense of being direct: its extempore quality refusing a script as itself being an intolerable form of mediation between the people and its leaders. It called for democratic consensus, a marching in lock step where the people are together. And in times recently marked by a paralytic rancour, this message resonates.

 

The strength of this form of democratic sensibility is that it allows unpalatable truths to be told with a rare conviction. In almost any other leader so far, talk of toilets or cleanliness, either carried the faint odour of a paternalistic elitism, or a grim reminder that we all want clean so long as someone else is doing it for us: cleanliness was something you escaped into, not a general condition for the country you desired. Privileged politicians exposed their elitism on their issue; less privileged ones wanted to escape the whole matter. If nothing else, Modi's singular achievement has been politically and administratively mainstreaming this issue. It has been to tell an unpalatable truth with rare political directness, conviction and lack of embarrassment: you cannot be a great country if you cannot take care of your filth and your shit. The practical goals set in this area, the synergies being enlisted between the political, the state and the corporate sector, were the most convincing part of the speech. If this is followed through, it is actually big bang reform in a deep sense.

 

The oratory was at its finest on these social issues. The clear message was that our big problems are not market failure or state failure. They are rather social failure. And that is just right. The admonition to parents who restrict their daughters but seemingly give unbridled license to sons was in this spirit, as was the constant reminder that India falls embarrassingly short of a healthy modernity. But only someone who effortlessly personifies the people can make that a central message.

 

The speech was remarkable for its lack of defensiveness and negativity. Our relations with neighbours are being created on a new foundation: the joint fight against poverty. It is the same theme: rancour keeps us poor. It might be easy to dismiss the speech as being short on major policy announcements. Financial inclusion is a work in progress; as is broad banding. Free insurance, was an inevitable reminder of a democratic commitment to the poor. The only moment he seemed genuinely at sea was in describing what might replace the Planning Commission. The "sansad adarsh gram" scheme sounds like a cross between a centrally sponsored scheme and MPLAD in disguise: institutionally dubious. On the economy, the sense of aspiration was palpable. "No defect" manufacturing is a much better aspiration than the self justifying homilies to jugaad we are used to. But Independence Day Speeches are not meant for policy wonks, and the Prime Minister rightly kept away from that.

 

A republican monarchy can enlist energies in a unique way. But it also has its drawbacks. The first is that when you imagine the people marching in lock step, how do you account for disagreement? Is the invocation of consensus and unity an ideological mystification? Is criticism, something to which he referred, understood as genuine, or simply to be dismissed as obstructionist rancour? Citizens will rightly point to Modi that the gap between his dream and its institutional incarnation is wide. He clearly has understood how communalism can wreck the country that we need to rise above the "us versus them" binaries. How does a communalism free India translate in the killing fields of UP or the hallowed chambers of Parliament, where the Prime Minister's colleagues have certainly added fuel to fire? Strong affirmative action for Dalits is required. But how does a new caste paradigm emerge, when the BJP government three days ago endorsed reservations for the Jat community? The idea of "no effect" manufacturing that has no deleterious impact on the environment is terrific. But how do we explain the fact that the Ministry of Environment seems to be gutting what meagre environmental protections we have?

 

Modi's unprecedented democratic strength has an energy, vigour and elements of a vision. But the capillaries of institutional power that will nourish this vision are still absent. He has grasped that a measure of discipline in government is one aspect of this institutional regeneration. His commitment to renewing government in the opening lines was admirable. But this disciplinarian aspect is at most, only a small aspect of what is required. Indeed, the emphasis on discipline can sometimes render problems invisible. One historian, Hall, wrote of De Gaulle, " His cabinet meetings, by all accounts, were not discussions, but rather series of ministerial reports, the various discussants being treated like school children being graded by their disciplinarian teacher." This proved to be a weakness as well. Democracy is about getting the right balance between consensus and difference; it is not about producing a regimented unity.

 

When you incarnate the people in you, it gives tremendous power and confidence. But it can also sometimes render invisible the mediating institutions that have an effect on them. The words uttered on August 15, are a welcome departure. But their effects will be secured by institutions built in their image. De Gaulle, thought that what would make France new was simply the fact that he was new. Modi should not make the same mistake.

 

 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Another long march in Pakistan; And Terror connection with ISIS Founder

Another long march in Pakistan; And Terror connection with ISIS Founder

 

There has been a peaceful transfer of power from Congress led coalition to BJP (which has a clear majority) led coalition in India .The newly minted PM Narendra Modi made a very forceful and quite inclusive down to earth speech on India's Independence Day highlighting some very crucial social and political issues .For all its faults, democracy is still the best form of government.

 

Not that US has real democracy .It is a plutocracy , ruled by bankers, military and other corporate interests  , who decide who should be the next president , he obeys the instructions of his corporate masters .

 

It is sad that democracy is not taking roots in Muslim states .Even the secular republic of Turkey. Fashioned out of the ashes of Ottoman Empire by Kemal Ataturk, is changing course under its autocratic leader, Erdogan, leaning more and more towards Islamisation of the polity.

 

Situation in Pakistan

 

US led west supported by petrodollar rich Saudi led Gulf and other Muslim countries since 1979 have destroyed the peace and stability of the state of Pakistan. Its leaders military and civilians have transferred huge funds abroad as future nest .The country is in turmoil again with two long marches on to Islamabad.

 

According to media reports clashes broke out on 15 August as tens of thousands of Pakistani protesters from two anti-government movements slowly converged on the capital, presenting the 15-month-old civilian government with its biggest challenge yet.

 

The unrest has raised questions over stability at a time when the nuclear-armed nation of 180 million is waging an offensive against Pakistani Taliban militants and the influence of anti-Western and sectarian groups is growing.

 

A stone-throwing mob attacked the convoy of former cricket star and opposition politician Imran Khan as he led supporters through the eastern city of Gujranwala. Men brandishing ruling-party posters attacked his convoy, throwing shoes and stones.

 

Khan's convoy was shot at but he was not injured, his spokeswoman said. The government insisted shots were not fired and promised an investigation into the incident.

 

"The Chief Minister of Punjab has ordered an inquiry and all those responsible for scuffle will be held accountable," the statement said. "There were absolutely no gunshots fired at his rally and such PTI-driven sensationalism is unfortunate."

 

Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party and supporters of populist cleric Tahir ul-Qadri are slowly heading towards Islamabad, where they plan to occupy main streets until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns.

 

In the capital, authorities blocked main roads with shipping containers and barbed wire in an effort to control the marches.

 

Riot police were out in force but hundreds of protesters began to gather, banging drums, singing and dancing as they prepared to welcome their comrades approaching the city.

 

"We have come to save our country because of the call of our leader, Imran Khan," said 36-year-old Ajaz Khan in central Islamabad. "We will not leave from here until our leader tells us to go."

In the latest violence, 10 militants were killed and 13 members of the security forces were wounded in attacks on two air force bases in the city of Quetta late on Thursday, the third time since June airports had been targeted.

 

Some members of Sharif's party have suggested the protests are secretly backed by elements in the powerful military, which has had an uneasy relationship with Sharif.

 

How far Khan and Qadri succeed in destabilizing the government is likely to depend on the stance taken by a military, which has a long history of mounting coups.

 

Few people fear a coup but many officials think the threat of unrest will increase the military's hold over the government.

 

The military has been frustrated with the government, in particular over the prosecution of former army chief and president Pervez Musharraf for treason.

There has been disagreement too between the government and the army on how to handle the Taliban. The army favours military action but the government insists on peace talks.

 

The government is further struggling to overcome daily power shortages, high unemployment and spiralling crime - the legacy of decades of corruption and neglect.

 

Anger over the economy means the protests appeal to many disillusioned young Pakistanis.

Both protest leaders also command intense personal loyalty from their followers. Khan is a famed former international cricketer, known for his charity work, who now heads the third largest legislative bloc in the country.

 

Qadri, a cleric and political activist who usually lives in Canada, controls a large network of schools and Islamic charities. His followers intend to occupy Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad's main thoroughfare.

"We will not go back until Sharif resigns," said Qadri's spokesman, Shahid Mursaleen. "They killed our people, there is no way we can make a deal with them."

 

Qadri has accused police of killing 22 of his supporters during clashes in the eastern city of Lahore in June and this month. Police confirmed 11 deaths. About 2,000 of Qadri's supporters were also arrested this month, police said.

 

Khan is protesting against alleged electoral irregularities in last year's voting.

Most observers expect the military to play referee - to maintain security but not support action to force Sharif out.

 

"Imran will not get from the army what he was expecting," said an analyst close to the military.

"If there was any confusion earlier about whether the army would help Imran or rescue him or topple the government, there should be none now. There is no question of army intervention."

 

I am reproducing two articles by Kamal Ahmad on the long march and how extremists and terrorists from all over world have been allowed to make Pakistan ( and Afghanistan) their playground . The failed state and its overflow poses constant danger to India's security and well being.

 

Like in most authoritarian states including Turkey now and others , it is difficult to survive  for independent and outspoken journalists , so it is in Pakistan .If you upset the army or Extremists , you might be eliminated , as was Saleem Shahzad , I knew from Asia Times .Kamal Ahmad writes how by touching toes of these organisations he has survived in Pakistan.

 

K Gajendra Singh 15 August , 2014.

 

Touching foot in Pakistan

Khaled Ahmed | August 9, 2014

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/touching-foot-in-pakistan/

 

 

And another long march

Khaled Ahmed | August 14, 2014

SUMMARY

As Imran Khan and Tahir-ul Qadri face off with Islamabad, will the past be repeated?

 

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/and-another-long-march/99/

 

Pakistan is reeling under the good/ bad news of revolutions. I thought the only revolution possible here was that of the Taliban, which has pledged to establish "superior" Islamic order and has the power to bring it about through much slaughter. It has already accomplished part of this goal, which the victims, whose extremism matches that of the killers, would welcome as divinely ordained in the holy books.

I thought "revolution" was different from "change", but Imran Khan and his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, currently on the warpath, seem to conflate the two. Change, I thought, was democracy, with its inbuilt period of change of government. And revolution was a sanguinary uprooting that comes after a long period of authoritarian oppression. The other "revolutionary" who wants to overthrow the "rotten system" — read democracy — is Tahir-ul Qadri of Pakistan Awami Tehreek, a fabulously rich cleric who lives in Canada but can mobilise global funds of untold quantity. Both are cult leaders backed by supporters willing to "face bullets".

In Pakistan, most politicians prefer to name their parties "tehreek", meaning "movement" rather than "party", because tehreek implies a spontaneous massing of people intent on achieving an objective — which is what a revolution looks like when it starts. The half-hidden intent behind each tehreek is violent change, while also implying the inspiration of a higher "cause", preferably mixed with religion.

What do the two cult leaders want? Khan says he wants a change of government through a "long march" on Islamabad, where an incumbent prime minister is wobbly — not because he is bad, but because Pakistan has been getting less and less governable over the past decade because of terrorism. The prime minister may have been guilty of unrealistically promis ing the moon but not of doing something deserving constitutional dismissal. All prime ministers will be wobbly for the foreseeable future in Pakistan and, therefore, vulnerable to "revolutionary" attacks from opposition parties posing as "movements".

I develop a moronic tic when such a moment is reached. An evil glint appears in my eyes as I predict "revolution" will come after the storming of Islamabad through a well-timed move by the Pakistan army. (Revolutions through such interventions have been pathetic hot air so far.) That is what has happened in the past, and it is accepted in Pakistan that the army is the only powerful institution in the state, running external policy and internal order. Hasn't Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif offended the army by not letting General (retd) Pervez Musharraf duck a trial for treason and leave Pakistan to enjoy his wealth abroad?Khan may once have been the army's "candidate" for coronation as an anointed ruler of the country through the familiar interruption of a "corrupt" democratic order. But he may not be "anointed" today — he has opposed new army chief General Raheel Sharif's war against the Taliban, which has a soft corner for Khan, whose province, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it has nevertheless laid waste through bombings and extractions. Why should the general headquarters lend a hand if Khan is soft on the Taliban? Hence, one can say that both Khan and Sharif have offended the army.

That leaves Qadri — also called Sheikh-ul-Islam, a status probably stemming from a dream he once had in which the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) "chose" him as his deputy after rejecting all the other schools of thought in Pakistan's religious hierarchy — and his "movement" based on revolutionary pledges that would put India's Arvind Kejriwal to shame: employment for all, free education, free health, free housing and free food if someone goes hungry.

He says he doesn't want a mid-term election like Khan but will somehow take over the state after his march on Islamabad and "change the system". The problem is that the system he will bring about will not be acceptable to the people of Pakistan in the thrall of a brand of Islam opposed to Qadri — he is a Barelvi who offends other Barelvis by reinterpreting the infamous blasphemy law to spare its non-Muslim targets and makes the Deobandis, favoured by the state and feared by the people, bristle. The Taliban in Pakistan is expected to get him one of these days.

Pakistan has collapsed materially in the face of Taliban terror. It has also collapsed intellectually when you examine the political intent of the Khan/ Qadri duo. Both rely on angry statements. Their spittle-rich but empty-minded speeches convey a sense of outrage that puffs up their cult following and prompts violence. Subliminally, both expect their followers to get to Islamabad and clash with the police, which normally takes to its heels when not firing its defective British Raj rifles into the mob. Then, they hope, somehow Sharif will fall to his knees and concede to holding elections after a year in power.

Like Muslims elsewhere in the world, I feel mentally defective because, at some level, I accept all this as normal. Cretinous politicians mouthing new formulas of surrender to stupidity are about to fall into the Pakistani lunacy of repetitive behaviour. Don't blame me. I have been in Pakistan too long to be normal.

The pattern of downfall is like this. The now-besieged prime minister held his "long march" from Lahore to Islamabad in 2009 against the PPP government on the pretext of restoring the supreme court, which had been dismissed by Musharraf. He had reached halfway when the then army chief intervened and forced the government to reinstate the fired chief justice, who then proceeded to fire the prime minister, who had a majority in parliament, and allowed his son to become a billionaire through leveraged gouging of state contractors, while a low-IQ population led by semi-criminalised lawyers clapped thinking the judiciary had become "independent".

Sharif was prime minister in 1993 with a two-thirds majority in parliament when the opposition PPP, led by Benazir Bhutto, decided to tip him off his throne through long marches and a climactic address at Rawalpindi's Liaquat Bagh — the venue where the Taliban finally killed her in 2007 — amid police violence that produced the needed scenario. "Revolution" defeated democracy and Sharif was kicked out with a little help from you know who. Ditto happened to Bhutto in 1996, when her own president fired her under an enabling "hara kiri" provision in the constitution.

Why does Pakistan behave the way it does? If it is a generic Muslim angst, it started much before it infected the Arabs. As a Pakistani, I am most likely to blame it on America, at whose side are two ominous entities, India and Israel, which I see in my daily "denial" nightmares. I can prove that India has done us in without doing much. The 1999 toppling of the Sharif government happened after our brave army chief, General Musharraf, tried to deliver the much-deserved trophy of Kargil and was forgivably defeated by India. Was Pakistan sad, reeling under a "victory hype" unleashed by the media, after Sharif was overthrown? Not at all. That day, I ate a lot of what, in the vocabulary of overthrows in Pakistan, is called "sweetmeat".

The writer is consulting editor, 'Newsweek Pakistan'

 

Terror connection

Khaled Ahmed | July 31, 2014 

 

SUMMARY

Pakistan plays a role in the story of ISIS founder Abu Musaab al Zarqawi

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/terror-connection/99/

 

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has mutated into the Islamic State after capturing parts of Syria and Iraq. The historic Islamic term "Sham" is the name given by al-Qaeda to Syria, which the Syrians don't like because it means "left hand" and "shame", and instead use the pagan term, Suriya, based on the correct pronunciation of the Greek letter "y" in Syria.

The Islamic State is a Sunni terrorist organisation, linked to al-Qaeda in the past but now on its own. First formed by Abu Musaab al Zarqawi in 2003, it is led today by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, also known as Caliph Ibrahim. Baghdadi is supposed to have gone to Afghanistan in the late 1990s with Zarqawi, a Jordanian street fighter who died in Baghdad in June 2006 as an international terrorist with $25 million on his head.

Zarqawi went for jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980s. He established a training camp there to prepare guerrillas against Jordan. He was jailed for seven years in Amman on his return but was soon back in Afghanistan training jihadists in Herat, and was also in Tora Bora with Osama bin Laden in 2001. He got injured in Kandahar during the American invasion and was evacuated through Iran by Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who had good contacts in Tehran. He moved to Iraq after that, well in time to see the Americans invade the country, and joined the Kurd-led jihadi militia, Ansar al-Islam, there. Ansar al-Islam, recently revived, was founded as a terrorist group by one Mullah Krekar, who went to the International Islamic University (IIU) of Islamabad as a lecturer in the 1980s and later joined the jihad in Peshawar.

At the age of 23, Zarqawi went to Pakistan, only to find that the Soviet Union had already pulled out of Afghanistan. He began to frequent the inner circles of al-Qaeda, which had just been founded. He lived in Hayatabad, Peshawar, and met such jihadi leaders as the Palestinian intellectual Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, Pashtun warlord Hekmatyar and Tajik clerical leader Burhanuddin Rabbani. He also met for the first time another personality who had arrived there from Jordan, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi.

Maqdisi was violent, attacking Western modernism, particularly its liberal democracy. Eighteen of his articles were found in the personal effects of Mohamed Atta, the leader of the Hamburg Cell, who attacked the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001. He was close to Azzam, who taught at the IIU. The two were seen eating at restaurants in Islamabad. Maqdisi's second close friend in Pakistan was Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the man who planned the 9/11 strikes.

Zarqawi remained in Peshawar and Afghanistan till 1993. While working at a magazine run by Khalid Sheikh Muhammad's brother in Peshawar — which first announced the founding of al-Qaeda under Azzam — he got his three sisters married off to the jihadists. While at the magazine, Zarqawi made his way to the Sada camp of the Wahhabi Afghan warlord Abdul Rasul Sayyaf in Afghanistan, to be in the company of Ramzi Yousef, al-Qaeda's first bomber who is now in an American prison, and Khalid Sheikh Muhammad.

In Hayatabad, Zarqawi was welcomed by the Pakistani Wafa Humanitarian Organisation, later banned by the UN, which provided funds for al-Qaeda and false passports for jihadists. Finally, many of the important al-Qaeda terrorists, including Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the man who had planned the attack on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, were arrested from Hayatabad in 2004.

One of Zarqawi's sisters was already living in Peshawar, married to a religious scholar. Zarqawi's mother came up to Peshawar to see her son in 1999 and stayed there for a month. Soon his wife and children too joined him. That year, the international community became impatient with Pakistan. From 1994 to 1999, almost 1,00,000 Pakistanis had been trained in the Afghan camps run by al-Qaeda, and the clerics of Pakistan had begun to sense monetary and military advantage in aligning themselves with Osama bin Laden.

On Jordan's request, Zarqawi was arrested and sent to jail. He was released after a week although he was listed as a terrorist in Jordan. With an exit permit in his hand, Zarqawi left for Karachi first, then went to Kabul to be one of the trainers of terrorists. In Kabul, he was given a house before being sent to Herat as a trainer. He called his family over from Hayatabad, but not before he had married a young girl, aged about 13, in Kabul after falling in love with her. He was to marry yet another girl of 16 in Iraq.

By 2000, Zarqawi had succeeded in becoming an important mid-level leader in al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda papers found in Jalalabad after 2001 refer to him. Later letters sent by al-Qaeda to Abu Qatada, the radical cleric in the United Kingdom, speak well of Zarqawi as a leader in charge of the camps in Herat. Then Zarqawi returned to the battlefield in Kandahar, where he was wounded, and was treated in Karachi — by two Pakistani al-Qaeda doctors who later fled to North Waziristan. After this he decided to fight the Americans in Iraq and made his way to Kurdistan in northern Iraq through the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Ironically, Iran helped him pass through its territory on the request of Hekmatyar, not knowing that he would give birth to the most effective Shia-killing machine in the annals of sectarian history. Iran's favours also included safe haven for Osama bin Laden's son, Saad, through the intercession of the same Hekmatyar.

Zarqawi was in Iraq in 2001, two years before the Americans invaded it after then US secretary of state Colin Powell's public statement about Saddam Hussein's terrorist connections. Powell also named Zarqawi, wrongly, as a Palestinian terrorist. Zarqawi struck back in April 2004, when he captured and personally beheaded the American hostage, Nicholas Berg.

Leaning on the sectarian writings of the great 18th century Indian scholar, Shah Abdul Aziz, he killed Shias in Nasiriyah, Baghdad and Karbala, which culminated in his murder of 50 Iraqi National Guards at a training camp in Kirkuk. His most decisive act, which unleashed the sectarian war in Iraq, was the 2006 destruction of the tomb of Imam Askari in Samarra.

Al-Qaeda tried to ditch Zarqawi but couldn't because of the support and funding he was receiving from Muslims in UK. He was killed in an American bombing raid in Baghdad in 2006. Today, ISIS is once again at odds with al-Qaeda. But, once again, all auguries point to a reconciliation which may see Ayman al-Zawahiri taking a backseat to al-Baghdadi.

As reported in the Daily Jang (June 10, 2006), Jamaat-ud-Dawa (the old Lashkar-e-Toiba) carried out a funeral prayer in absentia for Zarqawi in Lahore and condemned the foreign office for saying that the death of the Shia-killer in Iraq was an achievement in the war against terrorism. The congregation that blessed Zarqawi kept weeping loudly for the great shaheed. In the Pakistan National Assembly, the clerical alliance, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, demanded fateha prayers for Zarqawi but was denied by the speaker.

The writer is consulting editor, 'Newsweek Pakistan'