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NATO Expands Afghan War Into Pakistan

September 30, 2010 1 comment

On October 7 the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization military allies will begin the tenth year of their war in Afghanistan, over 3,000 miles from NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

The following month midterm elections will be held in the U.S. and NATO will hold a two-day summit in Portugal. The American administration is eager to achieve, or appear to have achieved, a foreign policy triumph in an effort to retain Democratic Party control of the Congress and NATO something to show for the longest and largest military mission in its 61 years of existence.

President Barack Obama has tripled the amount of American combat troops in Afghanistan to 100,000 and along with forces from other NATO member states and partner nations there are now over 150,000 foreign troops in the nation, the most ever stationed in the war-wracked country. 120,000 of those soldiers are now under the command of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the most ever serving in a North Atlantic Alliance-led military operation. NATO Kosovo Force at its peak had 50,000 troops, but they entered the Serbian province after an almost three-month air war had ended.

The 120,000 NATO forces currently in theater – from 50 nations already with more pegged to provide troops – are at the center of the world’s longest-lasting and increasingly deadly hot war. NATO’s first ground war, its first combat operations in Asia.

Last year was the most lethal for the U.S and NATO in what is now a nine-year conflict and this year has already proven even more costly in terms of combat deaths. And there are three more months to go.

Washington and Brussels could decide to save face and end the fighting through some combination of an internal political settlement and a true international peacekeeping arrangement – rather than the subversion of the International Security Assistance Force that was established by a United Nations mandate in December of 2001 but which is now the Pentagon’s and NATO’s vehicle for waging war in Afghanistan. And in neighboring Pakistan.

But the military metaphysic prevalent in Washington over the past 65 years will allow for nothing other than what is seen as victory, with a “Who lost Afghanistan?” legacy tarnishing the president who fails to secure it and the party to which he belongs being branded half-hearted and defeatist.

As for NATO, the Strategic Concept to be adopted in November is predicated upon the bloc’s expansion into a 21st century global expeditionary force for which Afghanistan is the test case. A NATO that loses Afghanistan, that loses in Afghanistan, will be viewed more critically by the populations of its European member states that have sacrificed their sons and daughters at the altar of NATO’s international ambitions. In the words of then-Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer six years ago: “What is NATO doing in Afghanistan? Defending values at the Hindu Kush in the present day international climate. We have to fight terrorism wherever it emerges. If we don’t do it at the Hindu Kush, it will end up at our doorstep. In other words, this perception gap [of the North Atlantic military alliance operating in South Asia] in the long run must be closed and must be healed – that is, for NATO’s future, of the utmost importance.” [1]

Not satisfied with the Vietnam that Afghanistan has become, NATO has now launched its Cambodian incursion. One with implications several orders of magnitude greater than with the prototype, though, into a nation of almost 170 million people, a nation wielding nuclear weapons. Pakistan.

As the U.S. delivered its 20th deadly drone missile attack of the month inside Pakistan on the 27th, five times the amount launched in August and the most in any month since they were started in 2004, NATO conducted a series of attacks with helicopter gunships in Northwest Pakistan. Claiming the “right of self-defense” and in “hot pursuit” of insurgents that had reportedly attacked a NATO camp, Combat Outpost Narizah, in Afghanistan’s Khost province near the Pakistani border, this past weekend NATO attack helicopters conducted two forays into the Federally Administered Tribal Areas where U.S. drone strikes have killed a record number of people this month.

Estimates of those killed, dutifully referred to in the Western press as insurgents, militants or terrorists, were 30, then 50, afterward 60, 70 and later “82 or higher.” [2]

The amount, like the identify, of the dead will never be definitively known.

Press reports stated the targets were members of the Haqqani network, founded by veteran Afghan Mujahedin leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, who when he led attacks from Pakistani soil against Afghan targets slightly over a generation ago was an American hero, one of Ronald Reagan’s “freedom fighters.” Two years ago the New York Times wrote: “In the 1980s, Jalaluddin Haqqani was cultivated as a ‘unilateral’ asset of the CIA and received tens of thousands of dollars in cash for his work in fighting the Soviet Army in Afghanistan, according to an account in ‘The Bin Ladens,’ a recent book by Steve Coll. At that time, Haqqani helped and protected Osama bin Laden, who was building his own militia to fight the Soviet forces, Coll wrote.” [3]

As to the regret that the otherwise praiseworthy Haqqani has of late allied himself with the Taliban, one voiced by among other people the late Charlie Wilson who once celebrated Haqqani as “goodness personified,” in an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press last year Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari told his American audience that the Taliban “was part of your past and our past, and the ISI and the CIA created them together. And I can find you 10 books and 10 philosophers and 10 write-ups on that….” [4]

On September 27 two NATO helicopters attacked the Kurram agency in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, killing six people and wounding eight. A local Pakistani government official described all the victims as civilians. According to Dawn News, “Nato has also shelled the area before.” [5] Three attacks in three days and as many as 100 deaths.

On the same day a U.S. drone-launched missile strike killed four people in the North Waziristan agency. “The identities of the four people killed in the attack were not known….” [6]

The above events occurred against the backdrop of the revelation in Bob Woodward’s new book Obama’s Wars that “a 3,000-strong secret army of Afghan paramilitary forces run by the Central Intelligence Agency had conducted cross-border raids into Pakistan.” [7]

After mounting in intensity for two years and consisting in part – helicopter gunship attacks and special forces assassination team raids – of covert operations, the U.S. and NATO war in Northwest Pakistan is now fully underway and can no longer be denied.

The Pentagon – the helicopters used in the attacks on September 25 and 26 were American Apaches and Kiowas – defended the strikes over the weekend as falling within its rules of engagement and Defense Department spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said the U.S. had adhered to “appropriate protocol” and “Our forces have the right of self-defense.” [8]

A spokesmen for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force initially denied that Alliance forces had launched any attacks inside Pakistani territory, although Afghan police officials had confirmed that they did. On September 27, however, the International Security Assistance Force verified that NATO forces had conducted the deadly strikes. As the third attack by NATO helicopters occurred on the same day, “Coalition officials said the cross-border attacks fell within its rules of engagement because the insurgents had attacked them from across the border.” [9]

A NATO official informed the press that “ISAF forces must and will retain the authority, within their mandate, to defend themselves in carrying out their mission.” [10]

Mehmood Shah, former top security official of the Pakistani government in the region where the helicopter gunship and drone strikes have killed over 200 people so far this month, said of the recent NATO attacks: “This should be considered a watershed event. They [Nato] must be warned: the next time you do this, it can lead to war. Our units should be deployed to fire upon them. This border has sanctity. Nato must realise they have a mandate to operate in Afghanistan, not in Pakistan.” [11]

On September 27 Interior Minister Rehman Malik denounced the NATO raids as a violation of Pakistani territorial integrity and national sovereignty and told the nation’s Senate that the Afghan ambassador to Islamabad would be summoned to explain the attacks. Malik and the Pakistani government as a whole know that the Hamid Karzai administration in Kabul has no control over what the U.S. and NATO do in its own country, much less in Pakistan. The interior minister’s comment were solely for internal consumption, for placating Pakistani popular outrage, but as Pakistan itself has become a NATO partner and U.S. surrogate [12] its officials, like those of Afghanistan, will not be notified of any future attacks.

Nevertheless domestic exigencies compelled Malik to denounce the strikes inside his country and assert “I take the drone attacks in Pakistani territory as an attack on the sovereignty of Pakistan.” A senator from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz “asked the government to inform the parliament about any accord it had reached with the US under which drone attacks were being carried out.” [13]

At the same time Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit went further and lodged what was described as a strong protest to NATO Headquarters in Brussels over the weekend’s air strikes, issuing a statement that said in part: “These incidents are a clear violation and breach of the UN mandate under which ISAF operates,” as its mandate “terminates/finishes” at the Afghan border.

“There are no agreed ‘hot pursuit’ rules. Any impression to the contrary is not factually correct. Such violations are unacceptable.” [14]

By the evening of September 27, after the Pakistani complaints were registered, NATO’s ISAF attempted to conduct damage control and reverted to the military bloc’s original position: That it has not launched attacks inside Pakistan at all. On that very day it had dispatched two more helicopter gunships for the third raid in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

NATO will continue to launch lethal attacks inside Pakistan against whichever targets it sees fit and will proffer neither warnings nor apologies. The U.S. will continue to escalate attacks with Hellfire missiles against whomever it chooses, however inaccurate, anecdotal and self-interested the reports upon which they are based prove to be.

The death toll in Pakistan this month is well over 200 and for this year to date over 2,000. The justification for this carnage offered by the U.S. and NATO is that it is intended to extend the policy of Barack Obama to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat” insurgent networks in Afghanistan into Pakistan, supposedly the sooner to end the war.

Forty years ago Obama’s predecessor Richard Nixon began his speech announcing the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia with these words: “Good evening, my fellow Americans. Ten days ago, in my report to the nation on Vietnam, I announced the decision to withdraw an additional 150,000 Americans from Vietnam over the next year. I said then that I was making that decision despite our concern over increased enemy activity in Laos, in Cambodia, and in South Vietnam. And at that time I warned that if I concluded that increased enemy activity in any of these areas endangered the lives of Americans remaining in Vietnam, I would not hesitate to take strong and effective measures to deal with that situation.” [15]

He claimed that “enemy sanctuaries” in Cambodia “endanger the lives of Americans who are in Vietnam,” and “if this enemy effort succeeds, Cambodia would become a vast enemy staging area and a springboard for attacks on South Vietnam along 600 miles of frontier: a refuge where enemy troops could return from combat without fear of retaliation.”

The course he ordered was to “go to the heart of the trouble. And that means cleaning out major North Vietnamese and Vietcong occupied territories, these sanctuaries which serve as bases for attacks on both Cambodia and American and South Vietnamese forces in South Vietnam.”

The practical application of the policy was that “attacks are being launched this week to clean out major enemy sanctuaries on the Cambodian-Vietnam border.”

In language that has been heard again lately in Washington and Brussels – with nothing but the place names changed – Nixon claimed: “We take this action not for the purpose of expanding the war into Cambodia, but for the purpose of ending the war in Vietnam….”

Washington indeed expanded the Vietnam War into Cambodia, with what disastrous effects the world is fully aware, and soon thereafter departed Southeast Asia in defeat, leaving vast stretches of Vietnam and Cambodia in ruins.

Afghanistan and Pakistan will not fare any better.

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Netanyahu is an assassin, stresses Ahmadinejad

September 23, 2010 Leave a comment

NEW YORK: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday on a U.S. news talk show Iran does not have a nuclear weapon and has “no interest” in getting it.

In an interview with Larry King on CNN, Ahmadinejad said all nations, including the United States and Israel, should disarm.

“We are not seeking the bomb,” he said. “We have no interest in it and we do not think that it is useful.”

Asked about concern within Israel and the United States that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, Ahmadinejad called Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a killer who should “be put on trial for killing Palestinians, for putting Gaza under siege.”

“The U.S. government should stop using taxpayers money to assist him,” the Iranian leader said.

“Netanyahu is a professional assassin. All dictators in history accuse others to turn the spotlight away from themselves,” the Iranian president said when asked about the Israeli prime minister’s worries about Iran.

“It is questionable [why] American media feel responsible for this person (Netanyahu),” Ahmadinejad said, adding that “you (American media) are afraid of Netanyahu’s warmongering.”

Asked about Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, both 28 — two Americans being held in Iran since July 2009 for crossing the border from Iraq — Ahmadinejad said it was possible their cases might be expedited but that would be up to judges hearing the matter.

“I have no influence over it,” he said.

However, he did acknowledge he had “suggested” the case of Sarah Shourd — who was arrested with Fattal and Bauer — “be regarded with clemency, mercy and more kindness and compassion to allow her to return to her family.”

Shourd, 32, returned to the United States Sunday after being locked up for more than a year. Fattal and Bauer are awaiting trial in Iran on espionage charges.

The Iranian president said the US and Israel’s nuclear weapons are the main threat to the world, and they are mistaken to think they can divert attention from this issue by using propaganda campaigns and spreading lies about others.

“Iran is firmly after the nuclear disarmament of the US and Israel.”

Ahmadinejad added that Israel is an “illegitimate regime” and an “occupier” and that the US easily starts wars and massacres people, “they are not qualified to have nuclear weapons and should be disarmed as soon as possible.”

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Iran unveils home-built combat drone

August 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Iran unveils its first domestically-manufactured long-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in a ceremony marking Defense Industry Day in the country.

The unveiling of the home-made drone, named Karrar took place in the presence of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a number of defense officials.

The Karrar UAV is capable of carrying a military payload of rockets to carry out bombing missions against ground targets. It is also capable of flying long distances at a very high speed.

Iran’s defense industries have demonstrated spectacular progress in the recent year, launching numerous domestically-built armaments, including aerial and sea-borne military vehicles such as submarines, combat frigates, and various types of missiles.

Iran inaugurated the production line of two domistically-built UAVs with bombing and reconnaissance capabilities.

The two hi-tech drones named ‘Ra’d’ (Thunder) and ‘Nazir’ (Harbinger) are capable of performing long-range reconnaissance, patrolling, assault and bombing missions with high precision.

Ra’d, a UAV especially designed for assault and bombing missions, has the capability to destroy specific targets with high precision.

Tehran established an arms development program during the 1980-88 war that Iraq waged against Iran to counter the weapons embargo imposed on it by the US and its Western allies. Since 1992, Iran has manufactured its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes.

Iran successfully tested a home-made radar-evading UAV with bombing capabilities in June 2009.

In 2008, the Islamic Republic’s Defense Industries launched production lines of two home-built fighter jets, namely Saeqeh (Thunderbolt) and Azarakhsh (Lightening).

Superpower Democracy Mass-Murders Abroad! Largest Democracy Mass-murders Its Own Children

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Superpower Democracy Mass-Murders Abroad! Largest Democracy Mass-murders Its Own Children

  • The half-billion Indians who are nourished, and the millions that are over-nourished go about their lives and occupations in full knowledge and awareness of this mass death, though distracted by India’s commercial media’s entertainments, advertising to consume, dramatization of religious conflict and promoted fear of neighboring nations.
  • How many millions more over the age of five and how many of their parents perish is perhaps best illustrated by this month’s UN report that one third of the world’s starving ‘live’ in India. (India’s population is 1,150,000, 000, billion, one third would be 38,000,000.)
  • 42 percent of all Indian children under the age of 5 being underweight
  • Should Indian Leaders Who Spend Billions on Submarines While Others Starve Go Unpunished?
  • “While 2 million children die of malnutrition and starvation, India builds and buys submarines at the cost of this pathetic death and the stunted development of over 40% of its children who along with their parents suffer hunger.
  • About 60% children in Madhya Pradesh state are malnourished. Lying on a bed is a tiny malnourished child.

US media have never called millions killed in their own homes, by US military during invasions and occupations since Korea through Iraq, mass murder. Likewise, the annually legislated starvation of millions of Indians in the ‘largest democracy in the world’, is never called mass murder. India buys WMD, with money saved, seeks to use the market to solve the problem. NY Times fields a question, “Should Food be a Right?

CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS, the New York Times and the Washington Post have never called the millions killed by U.S. military in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, along with the thousands in the Dominican Republic, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the hundreds in Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Grenada, Somalia and Yemen, mass-murder. The monolithic, Pentagon-fed, conglomerate owned U.S. media has presented each one of these invasions as just, and, as a way of excusing the killing, reminded us that ‘war is war.’

However, war was never declared during any of these death bringing activities. They were called “police actions,” ‘peace keeping’ or ‘protective’ military interventions. In every case, initially, Congress carefully avoided calling any of these invasions a war.

Shooting people dead in their very own country, more often than not, in their very own residences is simply mass-murder, whether justified as anti-communism, anti-terrorism or the protection of capital investments. One doesn’t have to be Einstein himself to see this clearly.

Likewise, U.S. corporate commercial mass-media, would never call India’s consistent, year after year, intentional allowing of millions of its citizens to die of starvation, mass-murder. India is always described as the world’s largest democracy, and media and U.S. politicians make a show of proudly promoting support for democracy. everywhere. So, no criticism of India, corporate ally of U.S. imperialism and globalization – certainly no charge of homicidal crime for its annual starvation of millions of its citizens.

But, in jurisprudence, when a parent is arraigned in court for having intentionally caused the starvation death of a child, the charge is murder. If a homicidal crime is judged to have been caused by unpremeditated neglect, the charge will be reduced from murder to manslaughter. In the case of India, the officials of the Indian government have witnessed millions of its citizens dying of year after year in photographs, video, testimony and detailed written material from annual government investigations, as they approved legislation that assured its continuance.

UN statistics over decades have shown no improvement in reducing this horrendous and painful death toll, and often, even recently, a worsening of the amount of its citizens dying for having been denied food has been documented. Yet year after year this mass death goes on being legislated.

The half-billion Indians who are nourished, and the millions that are over-nourished go about their lives and occupations in full knowledge and awareness of this mass death, though distracted by India’s commercial media’s entertainments, advertising to consume, dramatization of religious conflict and promoted fear of neighboring nations.

UN statistics show death by starvation or from malnutrition caused diseases for two million of India’s children under the age of five every year. How many millions more over the age of five and how many of their parents perish is perhaps best illustrated by this month’s UN report that one third of the world’s starving ‘live’ in India. (India’s population is 1,150,000, 000, billion, one third would be 38,000,000.)

That same New York Times that regularly nicknames India ‘the world’s largest democracy’ got around to feature a horrific side of India’s particular type of formal democracy with pathetic photo of a mother sitting next to her starving child on the front page of its August 8, 2010 edition.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/world/asia/09food.html?th&emc=th

India Asks, Should Food Be a Right for the Poor? by Lynsey Addario

“JHABUA, India — Inside the drab district hospital, where dogs patter down the corridors, sniffing for food, Ratan Bhuria’s children are curled together in the malnutrition ward, hovering at the edge of starvation. His daughter, Nani, is 4 and weighs 20 pounds. His son, Jogdiya, is 2 and weighs only eight.

Jogdiya, 2, lay with an intravenous drip in the Jhabua District Government Hospital as his father, Ratan Bhuria, looked after him and his 4-year-old sister. [More Photos]

Landless and illiterate, drowned by debt, Mr. Bhuria and his ailing children have staggered into the hospital ward after falling through India’s social safety net. They should receive subsidized government food and cooking fuel. They do not. The older children should be enrolled in school and receiving a free daily lunch. They are not. And they are hardly alone: India’s eight poorest states have more people in poverty — an estimated 421 million — than Africa’s 26 poorest nations, one study recently reported.”
.
The best part of the article is where the talk turns to making money from feeding the starving as an incentive. (Financial gain being a preferred motive if not common provision within capitalist economics,)

“The question is whether there is a role for the market in the delivery of social programs,” said Bharat Ramaswami, a rural economist at the Indian Statistical Institute. “This is a big issue: Can you harness the market?”

There follows shocking and massive incriminating evidence of simple cruel murder of the poor, victims of the controlling private investment banking and its police enforcement inherent in a government of, by and for conscienceless free enterprise:

“India vanquished food shortages during the 1960s with the Green Revolution, which introduced high-yield grains and fertilizers and expanded irrigation, and the country has had one of the world’s fastest-growing economies during the past decade. But its poverty and hunger indexes remain dismal, with roughly 42 percent of all Indian children under the age of 5 being underweight.”

The New York Times and all U.S. media, while didactically supporting parliamentary democracy in capitalist economies while excusing the amoral byproducts of business priorities and exploitation of class division, have always jumped to designate as mass murder any loss of life caused in revolutions against the world ruling imperial system, caused precisely by desperation to feed hungry children.

For example, the killing during the bloody civil war in Russia created by the invasion of armed forces from fourteen nations and the immense starvation in its aftermath are attributed to communism. Allied invasions (two American armies among them) were meant to overthrow the Bolshevik led fledgling Soviet Union, a new popular government come to power peacefully by consensus in the bloodless October Revolution. (“Bolshevik’ means ‘majority’). But the invader nations are not accussed of mass murdering.

Many of the various efforts of the Mao Zetong led revolution to prevent the starvation of millions under the foreign banking backed government of Chiang Kai-shek are still characterized in capitalist media as mass murder. In other words, starvation is only murder if it happens under communist and anti-imperialist rule. The earlier horrendous starvation that precipitated revolution is never referred to as mass murder.

U.S. media can have it anyway they want it, but millions dying of starvation, as they have been for so many years, under the formal (or pseudo) democracy of huge India cannot be excused as unintended, or accidental or attributed to merciless forces of Nature. No! Nature has provided the wherewithal in resources for there to be no starving. These resources have been stolen from these people, to make money and buy things other than food, as indicated in the OEN published article August of last:

http://www.opednews.com/populum/page.php?p=1&f=Should-Indians-Who-Spend–by-Jay-Janson-090806-253.html

Should Indian Leaders Who Spend Billions on Submarines While Others Starve Go Unpunished?

– synopsis:
“While 2 million children die of malnutrition and starvation, India builds and buys submarines at the cost of this pathetic death and the stunted development of over 40% of its children who along with their parents suffer hunger. Lets help bring public awareness to bear on this homicidal horror of misplaced values by India’s political leaders. We speak up to save the children.”

In New York, when Prime Manmohan Singh was to address the UN General Assembly, a petition was circulated by the The Riverside Church Global Justice and Peace Ministry and the All Souls Unitarian Church Peace Task Force:

“Riverside Global Justice and Peace Ministries Endorsed Event

Petition

India Prime Minister Mammohan Singh Please!

SAVE MILLIONS OF CHILDREN DYING OF STARVATION & ALNUTRITION while
$BILLIONS for NUCLEAR SUBMARINES are being spent

Indian Prime Minister Mammohan Singh launched a 3 billion dollar nuclear submarine. A sub that can carry Russian built missiles equipped to deliver India’s Atomic bombs. A submarine made at the cost of taking bread from the mouths and life from the chests of Prime Minister Singh’s fellow citizens. Both the cost of building nuclear submarines, and the purchasing of others, are paid for with funds drawn on the treasury of a “democracy’ that does not feed its children.

Singh’s India is a gigantic torture chamber for the 47% of its children under five who suffer malnutrition. [47% is a World Bank estimate] Malnutrition makes children prone to illness and stunts their physical and intellectual growth for a lifetime, with dire consequences for mobility and mortality. Its also torture for the parents who watch in agony as 2.1 million of their kids die before their fifth birthday from malnutrition and preventable illnesses. [UN estimate from Malnutrition in India, Wikipedia]

As Indian Growth Soars, Child Hunger Persists by Somini Sengupta, New York Times, 3/12/2009

“NEW DELHI “Small, sick, listless children have long been India’s scourge “a national shame,” in the words of its prime minister, Manmohan Singh. after a decade of galloping economic growth, child malnutrition rates are worse …” Seems by the Prime Minister’s own admission, his wife breaking the bottle of champagne on the bow of this incredible investment last month becomes a hideous spectacle of death over life.

Akshay Mangla in Delhi complains that the pathetic state of child health and education in India should be seen as no less than a total failure of its democracy, public institutions and civil society.

Malnutrition getting worse in India by Damian Grammaticas, BBC News, Madhya Pradesh

“About 60% children in Madhya Pradesh state are malnourished. Lying on a bed is a tiny malnourished child. Her limbs wasted, her stomach bloated, her hair thinning and falling out. She stares, wide-eyed, blankly at the ceiling. Roshni is six months old. She should weigh 4.5kg. But when she is placed on a set of scales they settle at just 2.9kg.

BBC News, 7/26/09 India launches nuclear submarine. “… a second one is due to be constructed shortly. Pravda, Russia, 20.08.2008 “India places two-billion-dollar order for Russian missiles ” made for submarines of the Indian Navy. The nearest order is seven submarines.” Manasi Kakatkar, ForeignPolicyBlogs.com, “”India getting two Akula class nuclear powered attack submarines from Russia, and six Scorpene submarines from France”

With its attention getting front page article India Asks, Should Food Be a Right for the Poor? featuring a photo unbearable to look at, the New York Times has broadened responsibility for this ultimate inhumanity to include its readers outside India.”

Starvation on a planet where obesity is a growing problem is grotesque commentary on the indifferent heartlessness of otherwise decent people in the desperate, and sometimes savage, commodified and commercialized society most of us have accepted as necessary. But when staring at the photo of one dying child among millions, few of us escape seeing something of ourselves or our own children in that expiring life pictured in the newspaper.

Jay Janson is archival research peoples historian activist, musician and writer, who has lived and worked on all the continents and whose articles on media have been published in China, Italy, England and the US. He now resides in New York City
. Superpower Democracy Mass-Murders Abroad! Largest Democracy Mass-murders Its Own Children By jay janson, 14 August, 2010, Countercurrents.org

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/world/asia/09food.html?th&emc=th

India stand alone in opposing Pan-Afghan solution

July 12, 2010 1 comment

Bharat (aka India) stands alone in opposing the Pan-Afghan reconciliation solution in Afghanistan. It is trying to reverse the Afghan Jirga’s desire to make peace among Afghans. Delhi is also attempting to reverse the US and UK sponsored London conference which approved the recommendations of all the neighbors of Afghanistan (Istanbul Conference) for a move to reconcile all the diverse elements in Afghanistan. Earlier still Iran, and Pakistan had agreed to the Afghan proposal for reconciliation and peace.

Bharat today wants to bifurcate Afghanistan along ethnic lines because it thinks it has sway over Mr. Adbullah Abdullah a Tajik (though his mother was Pakhtun–he cannot speak proper Pushto or Darri). The Bharati plan is to stand in front of the steam roller and try to stop a train which has left the station. Delhi is attempting to thwart the peace plans because of it paranoia about Pakistan. Islamabad is simply facilitating the peace process that has been agreed upon by all the parties. Some recalcitrant opposition figures are smelling victory and may have to be brought to the table kicking and screaming. Others have to be cajoled. Some have to be dealt with. Pakistan is helping the US with a face saving exit. Delhi wants to colonize Afghanistan and thinks of Curzon and his policies as the natural boundary of Greater Bharat.

Sify News reports that Mr. Krishna is now attempting to reverse the tide of history and somehow put the genie back i the bottle. Bharat does not have a foreign policy, it has a plan to disrupt peace, partition Afghanistan and continue the war forever.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will represent India at the July 20 conference of international donors in Kabul that will review reconciliation moves between the Hamid Karzai regime and the Taliban, a cause of anxiety for New Delhi.Krishna goes to Kabul shortly after his July 14-16 trip to Islamabad for the foreign ministers-level talks aimed at reviving dialogue between India and Pakistan.

The focus of the first Kabul-hosted international conference on Afghanistan will be on finding Afghan solutions to the dragging conflict against the Taliban, officials have said.

More than 70 countries are expected to send their representatives for the conference where the Karzai government will seek help to bolster governance and national stability.

The conference will also take up the contentious proposal of reconciliation and reintegration of the Taliban, a move backed by the earlier London conference and endorsed by the peace jirga.

India has reiterated its concerns many a time about the reintegration proposal as it fears it may end up propping up anti-India Taliban elements back in the saddle in a power-sharing arrangement in Kabul.

Pakistan’s intensified efforts to influence power-sharing negotiations in Afghanistan has added to New Delhi’s worries, specially in view of the July 2011 deadline for withdrawal of US forces from that country.

India has followed closely reports of a recent meeting between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Al Qaeda-linked militant commander Sirajuddin Haqqani.

The meeting was allegedly arranged by Pakistan’s Army Chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

According to a report by Al-Jazeera, Karzai met Haqqani along with Kayani and Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Ahmad Shuja Pasha in Kabul for ‘face-to-face talks’. Both Kabul and Islamabad have denied these reports.

Kayani and Pasha, according to sources, tried to influence Karzai to accommodate the Pakistan-backed Haqqani network which has targeted Indian assets in Afghanistan.

India conveyed its unease about the Taliban power-sharing deal when Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Eklil Ahmad Hamiki came to New Delhi this week. Amid Pakistani moves, Krishna to attend Kabul meet 2010-07-10 17:10:00

Delhi is well advised to take care of its problems in Kashmir, Assam, and 40% of the territory which is controlled by the Naxals. Its attempt to cross NATO, ISAF, the US, and the world will cost it dearly in terms of diplomatic jilting and scorn–already seen in Washington, London and Beijing.

Pakistan to go ahead with Iran gas deal

Pakistan has brushed aside the unilateral US sanctions against Iran, saying it will go ahead with the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project as planned.

“We could start the project as soon as possible to meet the energy crisis which the country faces,” a Press TV correspondent reported Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit as saying on Wednesday.

Basit added that measures were underway by the Pakistani government to start implementing the multi-billion-dollar contract on the import of natural gas from Iran in 2014.

The comments come days after Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced the sealing of a deal between Islamabad and Tehran in view of Pakistan’s growing energy needs.

“This agreement is in the interest of Pakistan and it will only see its interests and the international laws…… the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline agreement will not come under the ambit of the sanctions on Tehran,” Qureshi said on Monday.

Earlier in the week, the US special envoy to Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, warned Pakistan not to “over-commit” itself to the deal as it comes in violation of new US-adopted sanctions against the Islamic Republic which target the Iranian energy sector.

Iran, however, has completed the construction of more than a third of the 2,600-kilometer gas pipeline, which is estimated to cost $7 billion.

Under the deal, Iran will supply its southeastern neighbor with 760 million cubic feet (21.5 million cubic meters) of gas per day, which amounts to 20 percent of the recipient’s demands.

Iran urges Islamic states’ aid to Gaza

With new international efforts underway to deliver aid supplies to Gaza, Iran has called on Islamic countries to provide financial support for the besieged territory.

Addressing the 35th annual meeting of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Board of Governors in Azerbaijan, Iranian Minister of Economy Shamseddin Hosseini condemned the silence of human rights advocates about the crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinian people, saying their approach is “shameful.”

“The oppressed people of Gaza are in need of the all-out support of Islamic countries and free-spirited nations of the world to break the blockade of the strip,” Hosseini was quoted by IRIB as saying on Wednesday.

The comments come a day after Israeli Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said Tel Aviv would block Iranian and Lebanese aid shipments to the Gaza Strip, referring to them as “flow of arms.”

“We have the right to inspect and prevent the flow of arms into Gaza. We can’t let Gaza become an Iranian port,” Ashkenazi said on Tuesday.

His statement followed earlier remarks by Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast, announcing plans to send two Iranian aid ships carrying humanitarian relief and medical supplies to the Gaza Strip.

The pro-Palestinian campaign comes after Israeli commandos stormed the Gaza Freedom Flotilla aid convoy on May 31, killing at least 9 civilian activists and injuring dozens of others in international waters.