Author Topic: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins  (Read 684038 times)

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Offline Biggs

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #80 on: September 15, 2008, 07:11:02 am »
Pakistani soldiers have fired shots at US troops attempting to cross the border from Paktika into South Waziristan, good for them for standing up for their national soveriegnty. Note that the firing is described as warning shots, yet they also state that the firing 'lasted for several hours' which implies something more than firing a few warning shots. Doubtless we will get more news on this from other sources as the next day or two goes by.

Pakistan soldiers 'confront US'
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7396366.stm

Pakistani troops have fired shots into the air to stop US troops crossing into the South Waziristan region of Pakistan, local officials say.


Reports say nine US helicopters landed on the Afghan side of the border and US troops then tried to cross the border.

South Waziristan is one of the main areas from which Islamist militants launch attacks into Afghanistan.

The incident comes amid growing anger in Pakistan over US attacks along the border region.

The confrontation began at around midnight, local people say.

They say seven US helicopter gunships and two troop-carrying Chinook helicopters landed in the Afghan province of Paktika near the Zohba mountain range.

US troops from the Chinooks then tried to cross the border. As they did so, Pakistani paramilitary soldiers at a checkpoint opened fire into the air and the US troops decided not to continue forward, local Pakistani officials say.

Reports say the firing lasted for several hours. Local people evacuated their homes and tribesmen took up defensive positions in the mountains.

The incident happened close to the town of Angoor Adda, some 30km (20 miles) from Wana, the main town of South Waziristan.

A Pakistani military spokesman in Islamabad confirmed that there was firing but denied that Pakistani troops were involved.

Diplomatic fury

It emerged last week that US President George W Bush has in recent months authorised military raids against militants inside Pakistan without prior approval from Islamabad.

There have been a number of missile attacks aimed at militants in Pakistan territory in recent weeks.

Pakistan reacted with diplomatic fury when US helicopters landed troops in South Waziristan on 3 September. It was the first ground assault by US troops in Pakistan.

Locals in the Musa Nikeh area said American soldiers attacked a target with gunfire and bombs, and said women and children were among some 20 civilians who died in the attack.
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Offline Biggs

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #81 on: September 15, 2008, 07:22:54 am »
{edited out some MSM propaganda crap}

Pakistan order to kill US invaders

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24336245-2703,00.html

Bruce Loudon, South Asia correspondent | September 13, 2008

KEY corps commanders of Pakistan's 600,000-strong army issued orders last night to retaliate against "invading" US forces that enter the country to attack militant targets.


The move has plunged relations between Islamabad and Washington into deep crisis over how to deal with al-Qa'ida and the Taliban

What amounts to a dramatic order to "kill the invaders", as one senior officer put it last night, was disclosed after the commanders - who control the army's deployments at divisional level - met at their headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi under the chairmanship of army chief and former ISI spy agency boss Ashfaq Kayani.

Leading English-language newspaper The News warned in an editorial that the US determination to attack targets inside Pakistan was likely to be "the best recruiting sergeant that the extremists ever had", with even "moderates" outraged by it.

The "retaliate and kill" order came amid reports of unprecedentedly fierce fighting in the Bajaur Agency of Pakistan's tribal area.

...................................

The order to retaliate against incursions by "foreign troops", directed specifically at the 120,000 Pakistani soldiers deployed along the border with Afghanistan, follows US President George W. Bush's authorisation of US attacks in Pakistan.

Washington's determination to launch such attacks has caused outrage across Pakistan, with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani last night strongly backing a warning by General Kayani that Pakistan would not allow its territorial integrity to be violated.

The "kill" order against invading forces, and the sharp deterioration in relations with the US, has far-reaching implications for the war on terror.

Anger at all levels in Pakistani society was summed up last night in The News, not normally sympathetic to the militants.

"There is an escalating sense of furious impotence among the ordinary people of Pakistan," the newspaper said.

"Many - perhaps most - of them are strongly opposed to the spread of Talibanisation and extremist influence across the country: people who might be described as 'moderates'.

"Many of them have no sympathy for the mullahs and their burning of girls' schools and their medieval mindset.

"But if you bomb a moderate sensibility often enough, it has a tendency to lose its sense of objectivity and to feel driven in the direction of extremism.

"If America bombs moderate sensibilities often enough, you may find that its actions are the best recruiting sergeant that the extremists ever had."
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Offline Biggs

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #82 on: September 15, 2008, 07:50:41 am »
now Pakistani tribals who have previously helped the US and Pakistani forces are threatening to switch sides and join the Taliban and other rebel groups in jihad, this woudl spell BIG trouble for the US/NATO and Pakistani militaries.

Pakistani tribal chiefs threaten to join Taliban
Saeed Shah, The Guardian

www.uruknet.info?p=47243

www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/sep/15/pakistan.usforeignpolicy


· US warned of uprising if armed incursions continue
· New counter-terror policy backfires on Washington

Islamabad, Monday September 15 2008

A controversial new US tactic to mount counter-terrorist operations inside Pakistan has met with fresh hostility, it emerged yesterday, as Pakistani tribesmen representing half a million people vowed to switch sides and join the Taliban if Washington does not stop cross-border attacks by its forces from Afghanistan.


Reacting to American missile attacks in north Waziristan last week, which followed an unprecedented cross-border ground assault earlier this month, tribal chiefs from the area called an emergency meeting on Saturday.

"If America doesn't stop attacks in tribal areas, we will prepare a lashkar [army] to attack US forces in Afghanistan," tribal chief Malik Nasrullah announced in Miran Shah, north Waziristan's largest city. "We will also seek support from the tribal elders in Afghanistan to fight jointly against America."

The development threatens to widen the conflict, with previously moderate people from Pakistan's tribal border region with Afghanistan in danger of joining Taliban militants based in the area. They have reacted furiously to intensified American missile attacks on targets in the tribal territory in recent weeks.

The issue is likely to feature in talks between Gordon Brown and Pakistan's new president, Asif Ali Zardari, this week. Zardari, who is on a private visit to Britain, is due to meet Brown tomorrow. The prime minister is likely to press for greater Pakistani action against militants in the tribal area and may go along with US calls to integrate the tribal territory into the conflict in Afghanistan as one theatre of war, an idea Pakistan will fiercely resist.

Zardari and Pakistan's prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, said in a joint statement at the weekend: "The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country should be respected at all cost." During the past month, there have been seven US missile strikes in the tribal area, about the same number as in the whole of last year. A US ground assault in south Waziristan provoked a sharp rebuke from the Pakistan army.

Washington believes that Taliban and al-Qaida militants fighting the western coalition in Afghanistan are using Pakistan's tribal area as a safe haven.

But Ayaz Wazir, a retired Pakistani diplomat who is a tribal chief from south Waziristan, warned: "If the Americans are coming to sort it out with force, they would create more enemies. The Americans might have supersonic jets and we might have to fight with stones in our hands, but we will stand up."

Up to now, only a tiny minority of the tribesmen have joined the Pakistani or Afghan Taliban movements, but incursions by the US could ignite the area.

The heightened US activity comes just as some Pakistani tribes have risen against the Taliban in the border areas of Dir and Bajaur. But hatred of America would far surpass any dislike for Islamic extremists.


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Offline bigron

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #83 on: September 15, 2008, 08:10:08 am »
Did the Pakistani Gov't Order its Army to Fire on U.S. Troops?

The sorrows of Empire indeed.


By Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Posted on September 13, 2008, Printed on September 15, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/www.alternet.org/98715/



This is called "sovereignty," and it's a huge pain in the ass for those who believe they have imperial prerogatives anywhere in the world as part of some amorphous "war on terror":


The Pakistani Army has been given orders to retaliate against any unilateral strike by the Afghanistan-based U.S. troops inside the country.


Army Spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas confirmed the orders in a brief interview with Geo News on late Thursday night.


The decision was made on the first day of the two-day meeting of Pakistan's top military commanders to discuss the U.S. coalition's ground and air assault in Waziristan region which killed dozens of civilians.


Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani chaired the meeting which began in Rawalpindi on Thursday at the Army General Headquarters.


Pakistan's military commanders expressed their determination to defend the country's borders without allowing any external forces to conduct operations inside the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, sources said.


A senior official said the military commanders also discussed the implications of the American attacks inside Pakistan and took stock of the public feeling.


"In his statement, Genral Kayani has represented the feeling of the entire nation, as random attacks inside Pakistan have angered each and every Pakistani," he said.


Earlier on Wednesday, Kayani rebuffed the American policy of including Pakistani territory in their operations against the al-Qaeda and Taliban linked militants hiding in the areas near Afghan border.


Also, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani noted that Kayani's remarks on country's defense were true reflection of the government policy.

Of course he did -- he's been the PM for six months, a new president, Asif Ali Zardari, was sworn in 4 days ago, and they're trying to create some stability in a chronically unstable (nuclear) state.

But, according to the Arab News, they may have backed off of the threat -- it may have been a bit of "muscular diplomacy" designed to get the Bushies to understand that pissing off a couple of tens of thousands of heavily armed folks from the boondocks may not be such a great idea:


Pakistan's Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar yesterday said that the nation would take a "pragmatic approach" to prevent missile attacks by the US inside Pakistan's tribal regions. His statement indicated that Pakistan is backing off suggestions it might confront US troops making raids into its territory in search of militants. It also hinted that Islamabad would deal diplomatically with Washington over the stepped-up tactics.


Although officials are still unhappy over a recent surge in attacks aimed at Taleban and Al-Qaeda havens in the areas near the Afghan border, they also seem to realize there is not much they can do other than try to convince the US that the strategy is counterproductive because it is generating sympathy for the militants and public anger against both governments because of civilian casualties.


US President George W. Bush secretly approved more aggressive cross-border operations in July.


A group of tribal elders representing about a half-million people in the North Waziristan area near the Afghan border, where most of the missile attacks have occurred, threatened yesterday to join forces with Taleban militants in Afghanistan.


"If America doesn't stop attacks in tribal areas, we will prepare a lashkar (army) to attack US forces in Afghanistan," chief tribal elder Malik Nasrullah told a news conference in Miranshah.

Wonderful. Just beautiful.

(By the way, isn't it pathetic that this is all coming from the foreign press -- no word of any of this on CNN while I was at the gym on that damned treadmill.)

Anyway, this stuff -- bombing anyone whom we deem to be "extremists" -- is Barack Obama's "good war," the one he talks about expanding whenever he wants to talk tough to those mean Republicans.

In case you missed the piece I ran on September 11, here are a few nut graphs -- I think the point bears repeating:


[In] Pakistan, most Americans believe we're allied with the government and a majority of the Pakistani people against a small group of Al Qaeda extremists who are undermining the U.S.-led battle against their terrorist brethren in Afghanistan (where we are allied with that government and most of that country's people). American politicians expend much hot air accusing the Pakistani government of "not doing enough to rein in extremists" in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.


But as Princeton scholar Zia Mian wrote in July, "most damaging of all for the United States is that people in Pakistan overwhelmingly see the United States as the problem." Mian cited a poll (PDF) conducted in May by the Pakistan Institute for Public Opinion, which found that "60 percent of Pakistanis believe the U.S. 'war on terror' seeks to weaken the Muslim world, and 15 percent think its goal is to 'ensure U.S. domination over Pakistan.'" About a third had a positive view of al Qaeda, twice as many as the number that viewed the United States in a positive light. Mian touched on what is probably the key finding in the study -- and one that speaks to our officials' utter lack of credibility when they say that they're fighting "extremism" or "terrorists." The poll found that "44 percent of Pakistanis believe the United States is the greatest threat to their personal safety ... (while) the Pakistani Taliban, who ... by some estimates have up to 40,000 fighters, are seen as a threat by less than 10 percent. Al Qaeda barely registers as a threat, slightly surpassing Pakistan's own military and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI)."


With almost half of the population saying the United States is the greatest threat to their own personal safety, any Pakistani government will be left between a rock and a hard place. In that part of the planet, the real-world consequence of our government's credibility gap is that the cooperation Washington seeks from Islamabad -- both internally and with neighboring Afghanistan -- can only result in destabilizing an already unstable political scene.

What a clusterf**k.

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet.

© 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/www.alternet.org/98715/

Offline bigron

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #84 on: September 15, 2008, 09:18:05 am »
Tribesmen say they are with army, warn US

Staff Report

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\09\14\story_14-9-2008_pg1_11

MIRANSHAH: Tribal elders in North Waziristan on Saturday vowed to defend the country’s frontiers by fighting alongside security forces against any ‘possible American attack’.

Malak Nasrullah, Malak Qadar Khan, Malak Mamoor, Malak Muhammad Afzal Khan, Malak Mumtaz and Malak Habibullah welcomed Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani’s statement, adding that it was the voice of eight million tribesmen.

They said that if the American forces did not stop attacking the Tribal Areas, they would feel the repercussions of such attacks in Kabul, Bagram and Kandahar.

The elders said that their tribal brethren living on the Afghan side would also join the fight, as the foreign troops were subjecting them to gross injustices.


Offline bigron

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #85 on: September 15, 2008, 09:53:31 am »
Pakistan troop fire turns back U.S. helicopters


Zeeshan Haider
Reuters North American News Service
http://wiredispatch.com/news/?id=349151

Sep 15, 2008 06:48 EST

ISLAMABAD, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Firing by Pakistani troops forced two U.S. military helicopters to turn back to Afghanistan after they crossed into Pakistani territory early on Monday, Pakistani security officials said.

The incident took place near Angor Adda, a village in the tribal region of South Waziristan where U.S. commandos in helicopters raided a suspected al Qaeda and Taliban camp earlier this month.

"The U.S. choppers came into Pakistan by just 100 to 150 metres at Angor Adda. Even then our troops did not spare them, opened fire on them and they turned away," said one security official.

The U.S. and Pakistani military both denied that account, but Angor Adda villagers and officials supported it.

Pakistan is a crucial U.S. ally in its war on terrorism, and its support is key to the success of Western forces trying to stabilise Afghanistan. But Washington has become impatient over Islamabad's response to the threat from al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in Pakistan's tribal regions on the border.

At least 20 people, including women and children, were killed in the South Waziristan raid earlier this month, sparking outrage in Pakistan and prompting a diplomatic protest.

Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Kayani said in a strongly worded statement last week that Pakistan would not allow foreign troops onto its soil and Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be defended at all costs.

Another security official said on Monday that U.S. armoured vehicles were also seen moving on the Afghan side of the border, while U.S. warplanes were seen overhead.

He said Pakistani soldiers sounded a bugle call and fired in the air, forcing the helicopters to return to Afghan territory.

CONFLICTING VERSIONS

Military spokesman Major Murad Khan confirmed that there had been shooting. But he said the American helicopters had not crossed into Pakistani airspace and Pakistani troops were not responsible for the firing.

"The U.S. choppers were there at the border, but they did not violate our airspace," Khan said.

"We confirm that there was a firing incident at the time when the helicopters were there, but our forces were not involved."

A spokesman for the U.S. military at Bagram Airbase, north of Kabul, said its forces had not reported any such incident.

"The unit in the area belongs to the (U.S.-led) coalition. They are not reporting any such incident," the U.S. military spokesman said.

But the official denials were contradicted by Pakistani civilian officials and villagers in Angor Adda.

One official told Reuters by telephone that "the troops stationed at BP-27 post fired at the choppers and they turned away".

Two Chinook helicopters appeared set to land when troops began shooting, alerting tribesmen who also opened fire on the intruders, said a senior government official in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province.

A resident described the tension in the village through the night. "We saw helicopters flying all over the area. We stayed awake the whole night after the incident," he said.

The fiercely independent tribesmen of the region carry weapons regardless of whether they are militants.

PAKISTAN ARMY FIGHTING MILITANTS

The New York Times newspaper reported last week that U.S. President George W. Bush has given clearance for U.S. raids across the border.

The raid on Angor Adda on Sept. 3 was the first overt ground incursion by U.S. troops into Pakistan since the deployment of U.S. forces in Afghanistan in late 2001.

The United States has intensified attacks by missile-firing drone aircraft on suspected al Qaeda and Taliban targets in Pakistani tribal lands in the past few weeks.

Despite apparent U.S. frustration with Pakistan, the Pakistani army has been involved in fierce fighting with Islamist militants in Bajaur, another tribal region, and Swat, a valley in North West Frontier Province, close to the tribal lands.

Pakistani forces, using helicopter gunships and artillery, killed at least 16 fighters and wounded 25 in Bajaur on Sunday. More than 750 militants have been killed in an offensive there that began in late August.

The U.S. pressure comes at an awkward time for President Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Zardari was elected on Sept. 6, having forced former army chief Pervez Musharraf to quit last month, almost nine years after Musharraf took power in a coup.

The new Pakistani president is in London and due to meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown to talk over the border situation.

Bush held a video conference with Brown last week to discuss a new strategy for the lawless Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier.

Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani have both endorsed the stand taken by General Kayani. (Additional reporting by Alamgir Bitani; Writing by Simon Cameron-Moore; Editing by Paul Tait)

Source: Reuters North American News Service


Offline bigron

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #86 on: September 15, 2008, 09:55:32 am »
US Army general warns Pakistan of new war

Daily Times Monitor
http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\09\15\story_15-9-2008_pg7_29

LAHORE: A new war could begin if Pakistan does not step up its fight against terrorists, Maj Gen Jeffrey J Schloesser of the US Army said in a report published in an American weekly on Sunday.

“If militants escape into Pakistani territory and Islamabad does not step up, a new kind of war could well begin,” he said.

According to the report, Gen Schloesser, who leads 19,000 US soldiers operating on the frontier, estimates that his forces are facing some 7,000-10,000 insurgents in eastern Afghanistan – a higher number than previously disclosed by any US commander.

He said he planned to keep his troops operating deep inside Taliban territory this winter. He hoped they would be able to take advantage of the mobility to seek out any safe havens and facilitation areas and any places the terrorists can go for ‘rest and recreation’ in Afghanistan. He said he would give terrorists the options to flee, get killed or captured, or reconcile.


Offline bigron

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #87 on: September 15, 2008, 09:58:33 am »
Raids into Pakistan: What U.S. authority?

Bush's orders to send special forces after Taliban militants have roots in previous presidencies.


By Howard LaFranchi | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the September 15, 2008 edition
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0915/p02s01-uspo.html


WASHINGTON - Orders President Bush signed in July authorizing raids by special operations forces in the areas of Pakistan controlled by the Taliban and Al Qaeda and undertaking those raids without official Pakistani consent, have roots stretching back to the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

In an address to a joint session of Congress nine days after 9/11, President Bush said, "From this day forward any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."

But even before that declaration, two key steps had been taken: One, Congress had authorized the use of US military force against terrorist organizations and the countries that harbor or support them. Two, Bush administration officials had warned Pakistan's leaders of the dire consequences their country would face if they did not unequivocally enlist in the fight against radical Islamist terrorism.

What Mr. Bush's July orders signify is that, after seven years of encouraging Pakistan to take on extremists harbored in remote areas along its border with Afghanistan and subsidizing the Pakistani military handsomely to do it, the US has become convinced that Pakistan is neither able nor willing to fight the entrenched Taliban and Al Qaeda elements. Indeed, recent events appear to have convinced at least some in the administration that parts of Pakistan's military and powerful intelligence service are actually aiding the extremists.

"We've moved beyond the message stage here. I think the US has had it with messages that don't get any action, and that is why the president authorized this," says Kamran Bokhari, director of Middle East analysis for Stratfor, an intelligence consulting firm in Washington. "This says loud and clear, 'We're fed up.' "

Even before the July order, the US had undertaken covert operations in Pakistan's tribal areas. Moreover, the CIA over the past year has stepped up missile attacks by the unmanned Predator drones it operates to hit targets in the region. That increase has coincided with a deterioration of the war in Afghanistan, where the Afghan Army and NATO forces have come under increasing attack from militants crossing over the rugged and lawless border from Pakistan.

But Bush's orders, first reported in The New York Times Thursday, mean that operations against insurgent sanctuaries will become overt and probably more frequent. A Sept. 3 ground assault involving US commandos dropped from helicopters targeted a suspected terrorist compound. Missile attacks by the CIA's unmanned drones, including one Friday reported by Pakistani officials to have killed at last 12 people, are also on the rise.

Precedence for the orders authorizing the attacks on terrorist havens can be found in President Bill Clinton's authorization of retaliatory attacks in 1993 (against Iraqi intelligence facilities) and in 1998 (against terrorist camps in Afghanistan and Sudan), and in President Ronald Reagan's bombing of Libya, legal scholars say.

The administration has debated the use of commando raids in Pakistan for years, but the tipping point came in July, as relations with Pakistan's civilian and military leaders deteriorated, intelligence sources say. The "kicker," according to one source who requested anonymity over the sensitivity of the issue, was two July events: the bombing of India's embassy in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, an act that US intelligence officials concluded was aided by Pakistani intelligence operatives; and a July 13 attack on a US military outpost in eastern Afghanistan that killed nine US soldiers. The outpost attack was carried out by Taliban militants who had crossed over the nearby border from Pakistan.

The evolution of operations in Pakistan from covert to overt actions is reminiscent of a trajectory followed in some aspects by the Vietnam War, some analysts note.

Patrick Lang, a former Middle East analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency, says the evolution in Pakistan is similar to what occurred in Cambodia during the Vietnam War, when US operations against Vietcong sanctuaries there were initially covered up.

"We initially crossed into Cambodia as covert forces, but that changed," says Mr. Lang, who was part of special forces that carried out the Cambodia operations. By 1970, cross-border operations against enemy sanctuaries were being carried out in the open. Looking at the evolution in operations in Pakistan, the national security analyst says, "We are letting [Pakistanis] know this could evolve into bigger things."

Adds the intelligence source who requested anonymity, "The message is to the new civilian leadership and the military, 'We have bought all these toys for you – if you don't use them and do things in these areas that are causing us problems, we'll do them for you.' "

The new orders reflect flagging confidence in Pakistan's civilian and military leadership to address the problem of the Taliban and terrorist havens, which are thought to harbor Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri. For seven years the Bush administration focused its Pakistan policy on President Pervez Musharraf and his assurances that he was battling the militant sanctuaries. But Mr. Musharraf was forced to resign last month after suffering a crushing electoral defeat earlier in the year, and the US appears to have little confidence in the new civilian and military leaders.

"Musharraf was a one-stop shopping center for US relations with Pakistan, but that no longer exists," says Stratfor's Mr. Bokhari. Senior State Department officials have met with Pakistan's new civilian leaders, he notes, while top Pentagon officials have met with the military leadership including Army chief of staff Gen. Ashraf Parvez Kayani, the top military commander.

"The sense I get is they were given the runaround, and they came away from all these meetings convinced the leadership structure has become much more complex at a time when the Taliban are becoming stronger and the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating," Bokhari says. "The feeling was the US couldn't sit by and see how the leadership sorts itself out."

Bush's orders authorizing cross-border incursions into Pakistan mean in a sense that the rules governing US special operations have shifted from yellow to green. The military will no longer need a presidential "finding" for each operation – and that, military analysts say, means the handling of forays into Pakistan will fall increasingly into military rather than CIA hands.

That has some intelligence officials worried that the consequences of stepped-up US operations in Pakistan – in terms of Pakistani public opinion and the stability of the government – will get short shrift. According to intelligence sources, officials from the National Intelligence Council recently briefed the Bush administration's national security team on the potentially dire consequences of US actions that could destabilize the government of a country with nuclear weapons.
 

 
Find this article at:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0915/p02s01-uspo.html 

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #88 on: September 15, 2008, 10:01:06 am »
“The Gloves Have Come Off” - US Attack in Pakistan No Isolated Incident

Posted September 14, 2008
For article and many links go here:

http://news.antiwar.com/2008/09/14/the-gloves-have-come-off-us-attack-in-pakistan-no-isolated-incident/


An early morning attack on a South Waziristan village by US helicopters and ground forces on September 3rd may have been unprecedented, but according to a report by National Public Radio, this was no isolated incident but rather “phase one” of a three stage plan to escalate attacks in Pakistani tribal regions aimed at targeting al-Qaeda safe havens. NPR quotes one source as saying “the gloves have come off”.

Though neither the Pentagon nor the Bush Administration would discuss the report, it is in keeping with other reports received in the past few days regarding a secret directive by the Bush Administration which came to light last week. The directive came entirely without approval from Pakistan’s recently elected civilian government or its military, according to officials.

The South Waziristan attack which killed 20 civilians, though the only one involving ground troops so far, is not the only US strike on Pakistani territory in recent days. Two airstrikes near the North Waziristan town of Miramshah last week by US Predator Drones, one on Monday and one on Friday, killed 23 and 14 people, respectively. Both strikes targeted militants, but women and children were also reported among those killed. No prominent al-Qaeda or Taliban figures were killed in either of the attacks.

Pakistan’s populace and government have both reacted quite negatively to the attacks. Both houses of Pakistan’s parliament passed resolutions condemning the South Waziristan attack, and the opposition has called for the government to withdraw from the war on terror if the US strikes don’t cease.

This has put newly elected President Asif Ali Zardari in a tough position. On the one hand, he has pledged his commitment to “stand with the United States” in its war, but he must attempt to balance that with his increasing dependence on tribal area MPs to maintain his coalition’s dwindling majority. Beyond that, with much of Pakistan’s military committed to fighting large scale offensives in Swat Valley, Wazir tribesmen have threatened to withdraw from a long-standing peace deal with the government if they are unable to halt the American attacks.

Pakistan’s military has also spoken out strongly against the US strikes, with Chief of Army Staff General Parvez Kayani warning that foreign forces would no longer be allowed to conduct missions on Pakistani soil. Another high ranking military official later confirmed that the army has been ordered to retaliate against any foreign troops inside the country. Major General Jeffrey Schloesser warned Pakistan recently that if it does not step up its fight against the militants “a new kind of war could well begin”.

NATO seems to appreciate the palpable danger in attacking targets inside Pakistan over the objections of its government, and has announced that it will not participate in any US strikes. The Bush Administration appears not to feel the same way, the agreed to rules of engagement with Pakistan notwithstanding. But with sentiment towards to US government already suffering severe harm from “phase one,” can the alliance possibly survive the next two phases, whatever they may be?

compiled by Jason Ditz [

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #89 on: September 15, 2008, 10:10:00 am »
Smiling's over  !

Pakistan's new president is a clone of Musharraf


By ERIC MARGOLIS


http://www.edmontonsun.com/Comment/2008/09/14/6762186-sun.html
 
 
The inauguration this week of Pakistan's new president, Asif Ali Zardari, widower of the slain Benazir Bhutto, should have brought some hope and direction to embattled Pakistan.

It did not. A sense of weary deja vu hung over the event.

Zardari's first major policy statement was a vow to continue waging the so-called "war on terror" in northwest Pakistan. His choice of the Bush administration's terminology was a clear message to Washington that he intends to pursue the hated policies of disgraced former U.S.-backed dictator, Pervez Musharraf. Pakistan will continue to dance to Washington's tune.

In fact, Zardari seems set to inherit the ills of Musharraf's failed regime. Pakistan is bankrupt, with only 60 days of foreign exchange left to import fuel and food. Half its 165 million people subsist on under $2 daily.

Infusions of $11.2 billion in U.S. aid since 2001, and tens of millions in covert payments, rented the grudging services of Pakistan's armed and security forces, and halfhearted co-operation of its government.

But 90% of Pakistanis oppose the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, which they, like most Europeans, see as a modern colonial war to secure U.S. domination of Central Asia's energy. They despised Musharraf for sending 120,000 Pakistani troops to fight pro-Taliban Pashtun tribesmen in northwest Pakistan, killing thousands of civilians in the process, and for enabling the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan.

Now, Zardari, who was helped into power with Washington's financial and political support, appears set on the same course. Considering only 26% of voters support him, Zardari is heading for major trouble.

Zardari's refusal to reinstate justices of Pakistan's supreme court purged by Musharraf is a slap in the face of democracy and further evidence of his fear of indictment over serious corruption accusations that dog him. Widely known as "Mr 10%" from when he was minister of public contracts, Zardari denies any wrongdoing, insisting these charges were politically motivated.

Plans by the U.S. to launch ground attacks inside Pakistan's Pashtun tribal zone (known as FATA) have ignited a new crisis. Zardari apparently has approved more U.S. raids against his own people. But Pakistan's powerful chief of staff, Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani, says the nation's 650,000-man armed forces will not tolerate U.S. violation of its borders. The stage is set for possible head-on clashes between Pakistani and U.S. troops.

Whether Canada will be drawn into fighting in Pakistan's tribal areas is uncertain. The Harper government's former defence minister rashly called for Canadian troops to invade Pakistan.

ATTACKING TRUCKS

Truck convoys, upon which the U.S. and NATO depend for fuel, water, and munitions, face increasing attacks by Pakistani pro-Taliban groups as they make their way up to the fabled Khyber Pass.

A vicious cycle is now at play. The U.S. pays Pakistan's armed forces to attack pro-Taliban tribesmen along the border, and aid the U.S. war in Afghanistan. U.S. and Pakistani warplanes bomb Pashtun villages in FATA.

Furious Pashtuns retaliate by staging bombing attacks against government targets (aka "terrorism"). The government and U.S. launch more attacks as Pakistanis demand their government stop killing its own people.

Musharraf was detested as an American stooge. If Zardari continues Mush's failed policies, he also will meet the same fate.

The U.S. is about to kick yet another hornets' nest by ground attacks on Pakistan. Unable to crush growing national resistance to the U.S.-led occupation of Afghanistan and secure planned pipeline routes, the frustrated Bush White House is launching a new conflict when it lacks the soldiers or money to subdue Afghanistan.

Spreading the Afghan War into Pakistan is perilous and foolhardy. It threatens to destabilize and tear apart fragile Pakistan, just as the U.S. has dismembered Iraq. A fragmented Pakistan could tempt India to intervene. Both are nuclear armed.

Asif Zardari is sitting atop a ticking bomb. He needs some new thinking. So do his western patrons, who urgently must end the futile Afghan War before it blows Pakistan apart.



Offline bigron

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #90 on: September 15, 2008, 10:54:23 am »
US forces the terror issue with Pakistan

By Syed Saleem Shahzad
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/JI16Df01.html

KARACHI - The United States had been aware of North Vietnamese sanctuaries in Cambodia since 1966, but the US avoided attacking them due to possible adverse international repercussions. However, as the going got tougher in Vietnam, in 1969 president Richard Nixon extended the war theater to Laos and Cambodia, which only plunged the region in a quagmire and ultimately led to the conclusive defeat of American interests.

Similarly, in the South Asian war theater, Washington has been aware of Taliban and al-Qaeda sanctuaries in the Pakistani tribal areas for many years, but President George W Bush deferred to Pakistan to deal with them.

This has changed in recent months, given the Taliban's resilience in Afghanistan, largely made possible by their bases inside

 

Pakistan. US Predator drones and US special forces have carried out five attacks in September inside Pakistan's tribal areas, even though Washington is well aware of the consequences of such cross-border action.

These include a possible revolt in Pakistan's establishment against the "war on terror" and a spurt in anti-American sentiment, which could cost the pro-US administration of President Asif Ali Zardari dearly.

Clearly, Washington is frustrated with the situation in Afghanistan, and it no doubt rankles that the American "empire" is being thwarted by a bunch of "cave-dwellers".

In the years following the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Pakistan handed over a number of al-Qaeda members to the US. Whether or not they were significant was not so much the point as the arrests created a feeling in the US that the "war on terror" was working, and funds and troops for it flowed freely.

Those arrested included Abu Zubaida, the alleged military operations commander of al-Qaeda, in 2002. A joint Pakistan-US raid in the southern port city of Karachi created a stir on the first anniversary of September 11, 2001, when the alleged 20th member of Hamburg cell, Ramzi Bin Shib, was arrested. He was unable to join his co-conspirators in the September 11 attacks in the US as he could not get a visa for the US.

Then come Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, an alleged mastermind of September 11, followed by many others who made the headlines. Altogether, Pakistan handed over 700 "icons of terror", but in 2007 the arrests stopped. There are several reasons for this.

The US placed high rewards on the heads of suspects, for instance, US$25 million for Khalid Sheikh. But invariably, all but less than 1% went to the Pakistani government, and not the people involved in the investigations and capture, or the informants.

Further, the Pakistani courts under now deposed chief justice Chaudhary Iftikahar began to challenge extra-judicial arrests, which put a brake on the free-wheeling security agencies.

And last but not least, al-Qaeda members became much more cautious about moving or living in Pakistan's cities, instead retreating to safe havens in the tribal areas or in Afghanistan, where it was virtually impossible to track them down.

This situation was not good enough for the US, especially in a presidential election year. The first US demand came in 2007 in president Pervez Musharraf's time.

But as al-Qaeda members were no longer roaming the streets of the cities, they could not be delivered. The best Pakistan could do was provide information on their likely locations and descriptions of them.

Pakistan and the US then agreed on intelligence-sharing, with the understanding that the Americans, with their superior technology, would pinpoint suspects, notify Islamabad, then attack them.

According to a top Pakistani official who was a part of the recent strategic dialogue with the Americans, none of these understandings was documented - they were verbal agreements between US officials and Musharraf. When Zardari's government was reminded of such agreements by Washington, a Pakistani official who had accompanied Musharraf confirmed them, although there were no minutes. On this basis, the US went ahead with its drone and special forces attacks inside Pakistan.

Now, for the first time, there are efforts to institutionalize Pakistan-American relations as well as that between the Central Intelligence Agency and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence.

There are many issues to sort out.

Pakistan keeps on giving the US information on the hideouts of Baitullah Mehsud, the anti-Pakistan tribal warlord and self-proclaimed head of the Tehrik-i-Taliban. But Washington wants information on Taliban figures such as Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin, as well as veteran mujahid Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whose arrest or killing would better boost the image of the "war on terror" in the US.

Similarly, Pakistan has repeatedly given information on Egyptian ideologue Sheikh Essa, who was once hit by a drone attack but only wounded, whereas the US wants the low-down on Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri - a much more difficult or even impossible task.

The US is not waiting around, though, and it can be expected more attacks will be made into Pakistan, even though, in its impatience, the US is notching up new Mai Lais - the mass murder of hundreds of unarmed citizens in Vietnam by US Army forces on March 16, 1968.

Last week, more than 20 women and children were killed by US special forces in a raid on Angorada in South Waziristan. The US later admitted the soldiers had followed the wrong target.

As with the bombing of Cambodia and Laos nearly 40 years ago, the latest US offensive could mark a decisive turning point in South Asia.

Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online's Pakistan Bureau Chief. He can be reached at [email protected]

Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #91 on: September 15, 2008, 01:18:34 pm »
Pakistani troops fire on US soldiers near Afghan border, reports say
Security officials say soldiers were trying to enter South Waziristan by helicopter
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/sep/15/pakistan.afghanistan1
Pakistani soldiers near the Afghan border. Photograph: Matiullah Achakzai/EPA

Pakistani troops opened fire on US soldiers trying to enter the country's lawless tribal area today, according to reports, marking a dangerous further deterioration in relations between the two anti-terror allies.

Details of the incident, in South Waziristan, are unclear. According to local security officials and tribesmen, however, two US helicopters breached Pakistani airspace in the early hours but were forced to retreat when they came under fire.

The US forces were likely to have been on a hit-and-withdraw mission against suspected militants in the area, similar to the first documented US ground raid into the tribal territory earlier this month, when choppers flew in commandos. That enraged the Pakistani army and public.

One security official in South Waziristan said: "American helicopters came, and there was a space [border] violation. Pakistani scouts [paramilitary troops]) fired artillery as a warning and they left. The helicopters did not land."

Other reports said troops had directed gunfire at the helicopters, which were just inside Pakistani territory. One official said the fire had come from Pakistani soldiers based at a border checkpoint known as BP-27.

The Pakistani army admitted a skirmish had taken place, but it denied that its soldiers had been involved. "The villagers had some firing incident," said Major General Athar Abbas, a Pakistani army spokesman. "But who fired at who, I cannot confirm."

The US military denied that there had been any operation.

The US raid earlier this month, which killed up to 20 people, including civilians, was finally admitted by the Pentagon - though not on the record. "We did not have any forces or helicopters on or near the border," said Mark Swart, a spokesman for the US military at Bagram airbase, in Afghanistan. "I don't know where the reports are coming from."

The US believes the tribal area is being used as a safe haven by Taliban and al-Qaida militants fighting US and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Last week, the US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen said a new strategy that incorporated the tribal territory was needed for Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the US president, George Bush, is believed to have signed a secret order allowing US soldiers to stage operations in the tribal area even though the UN mandate for international forces in Afghanistan does not extend into Pakistan.

The Bush administration is thought to be in a desperate push for results in Afghanistan and a trophy strike against al-Qaida's top leadership, which is likely to be based in the tribal area, before the presidential terms ends. CIA agents from all over the world have reportedly been pulled into the Afghan-Pakistan border area.

Analysts believe the new policy risks a confrontation between the Pakistani and US militaries, and threatens to undermine the new democratic government in Islamabad.

As well as the unprecedented ground assault, there has been a huge increase in the number of US missiles fired from unmanned aircraft at militant targets in the tribal area. These, too, have claimed dozens of civilian lives.

"This kind of situation cannot go on, because any government in Pakistan will get destabilised," said Hasan Askari Rizvi, a security analyst based in the eastern city of Lahore. "This is what the Americans don't realise: that if there is an instability in Pakistan, their war on terror cannot be pursued. If everybody turns against America, then no [Pakistani] government will be in a position to support the war on terror."

Washington believes Pakistan is not cracking down on some of the jihadist groups because it had a close relationship to them in the past and is still providing clandestine support. Pointedly, two recent US missile strikes in the tribal belt have targeted groups believed to be close to Pakistan's shadowy ISI intelligence agency, the network of militants run by Jalaluddin Haqqani and the al-Badr group.

Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #92 on: September 17, 2008, 02:52:39 pm »
 ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Air-fired missiles hit a militant compound near the Afghan border and killed at least six people Wednesday evening, officials said, soon after a senior American officer met with government leaders to discuss the furor over U.S. attacks inside Pakistan.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080917/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan

The airstrike was likely to further fan anger among Pakistanis over a surge in cross-border operations by U.S. forces that have strained the two countries' seven-year alliance against terrorist groups.

Two Pakistani intelligence officials told The Associated Press that several missiles hit a compound in the South Waziristan tribal area that has been used by Taliban militants and Hezb-i-Islami, another extremist group involved in escalating attacks in neighboring Afghanistan.

One official said a pilot-less drone of the type used by the CIA and U.S. military forces in Afghanistan was heard in the area before the attack. Both said informants in the area reported six people killed and three wounded, but their identities were not immediately clear.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Capt. Christian Patterson, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, said he had no reports of any attack into Pakistan. Officials at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad could not be reached immediately. The White House declined to comment on the report.

Hours earlier, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, met separately with Pakistan's prime minister and the army chief, both of whom have voiced strong protests to attacks on suspected militants havens in the country's restless northwest.

According to a U.S. Embassy statement, Mullen "reiterated the U.S. commitment to respect Pakistan's sovereignty and to develop further U.S.-Pakistani cooperation and coordination on these critical issues that challenge the security and well-being of the people of both countries."

President Bush made a similar statement about Pakistan's sovereignty in July after meeting with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in Washington.

Since then, suspected U.S. missile attacks inside Pakistan have intensified, and U.S. commandos staged a helicopter-borne ground assault in a South Waziristan village Sept. 3.

American officials complain Pakistan has not done enough to keep militant groups from using the tribal belt as a base to stage attacks in Afghanistan. The tribal areas are semiautonomous regions where the Pakistani government has traditionally had limited influence.

"The Pakistani government has to take control on its side of the border and we are working in a variety of ways to help the Pakistani government build its capabilities," Richard Boucher, U.S. assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, told reporters in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday.

Pakistan acknowledges extremist groups and al-Qaida fugitives are in its frontier region and concedes it is difficult to prevent militants from slipping into Afghanistan.

But it insists it is doing its best to flush out militants and paying a heavy price. It points to the deployment of 120,000 soldiers in the northwest, heavy losses by security forces, and recent military offensives that have drawn a wave of retaliatory suicide attacks by the Taliban.

One such offensive, against insurgents in the Bajur border region, has garnered U.S. praise amid signs it is helping reduce violence on the Afghan side of the border.

On Wednesday, Pakistani troops backed by jet fighters killed at least 19 suspected insurgents there, officials said. The army says more than 700 suspected militants and 40 soldiers have died in six weeks of fighting. It declines to estimate civilian casualties.

But the U.S. ground attack and missile strikes from drones have embarrassed Pakistan's government and military, threatening to intensify anti-American sentiment. Many Pakistanis say the country is being made a scapegoat for Western failures in Afghanistan and contend the cross-border attacks only fuel militancy.

The army commander, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, issued a strong public rebuke to the U.S. last week, insisting Pakistan's territorial integrity "will be defended at all cost" and denying there was any agreement for U.S. forces to operate there.

Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, the army's chief spokesman, told the AP on Tuesday that Pakistani commanders had received orders to fire on any intruding forces following the Sept. 3 cross-border raid.

Some analysts said it was unlikely Pakistan would risk losing billions in American aid by targeting U.S. soldiers or aircraft. Civilian leaders have stressed that they must solve the issue through diplomacy.

"We cannot pick up guns and say that 'here we are coming,'" Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar told Dawn News television Wednesday. "I don't want to say anything which can jeopardize this relationship we have with the Americans on the issue of terrorism."

He said President Asif Ali Zardari would take up the issue during an upcoming trip to Washington.

__

Associated Press writers Stephen Graham in Islamabad, Ishtiaq Mahsud in Dera Ismail Khan, Habib Khan in Khar and Paul Ames in Brussels, Belgium, contributed to this report.

Offline bigron

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #93 on: September 18, 2008, 06:25:24 am »
Washington Is Risking War with Pakistan

By Robert Baer
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1841649,00.html?xid=rss-world

17/09/08 "Time" - -- - As Wall Street collapsed with a bang, almost no one noticed that we're on the brink of war with Pakistan. And, unfortunately, that's not too much of an exaggeration. On Tuesday, the Pakistan's military ordered its forces along the Afghan border to repulse all future American military incursions into Pakistan. The story has been subsequently downplayed, and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Mike Mullen, flew to Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, to try to ease tensions. But the fact remains that American forces have and are violating Pakistani sovereignty
You have to wonder whether the Bush administration understands what it is getting into. In case anyone has forgotten, Pakistan has a hundred plus nuclear weapons. It's a country on the edge of civil war. Its political leadership is bitterly divided. In other words, it's the perfect recipe for a catastrophe.

All of which begs the question, is it worth the ghost hunt we've been on since September 11? There has not been a credible sighting of Osama bin Laden since he escaped from Tora Bora in October 2001. As for al-Qaeda, there are few signs it's even still alive, other than a dispersed leadership taking refuge with the Taliban. Al-Qaeda couldn't even manage to post a statement on the Internet marking September 11, let alone set off a bomb.

U.S. forces have been entering Pakistan for the last six years. But it was always very quietly, usually no more than a hundred yards in, and usually to meet a friendly tribal chieftain. Pakistan knew about these crossings, but it turned a blind eye because it was never splashed across the front page of the country's newspapers. This has all changed in the last month, as the Administration stepped up Predator missile attacks. And then, after the New York Times ran an article that U.S. forces were officially given the go-ahead to enter Pakistan without prior Pakistani permission, Pakistan had no choice but to react.

On another level the Bush Administration's decision to step up attacks in Pakistan is fatally reckless, because the cross-border operations' chances of capturing or killing al Qaeda's leadership are slim. American intelligence isn't good enough for precision raids like this. Pakistan's tribal regions are a black hole that even Pakistani operatives can't enter and come back alive. Overhead surveillance and intercepts do little good in tracking down people in a backward, rural part of the world like this.

On top of it, is al-Qaeda worth the candle? Yes, some deadender in New York or London could blow himself up in the subway and leave behind a video claiming the attack in the name of al-Qaeda. But our going into Pakistan, risking a full-fledged war with a nuclear power, isn't going to stop him.

Finally, there is Pakistan itself, a country that truly is on the edge of civil war. Should we be adding to the force of chaos? By indiscriminately bombing the tribal areas along the Afghan border, we in effect are going to war with Pakistan's ethnic Pashtuns. They make up 15% of Pakistan's 167 million people. They are well armed and among the most fierce and xenophobic people in the world. It is not beyond their military capabilities to cross the Indus and take Islamabad.

Before it is too late, someone needs to sit the President down and give him the bad news that Pakistan is a bridge too far in the "war on terror."

Robert Baer, a former CIA field officer assigned to the Middle East, is TIME.com's intelligence columnist and the author of See No Evil and, most recently, the novel Blow the House Down.


Offline bigron

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #94 on: September 18, 2008, 06:54:05 am »
September 18, 2008
Vested Interests Drove New Pakistan Policy

 
by Gareth Porter
The George W. Bush administration's decision to launch commando raids and step up missiles strikes against Taliban and al-Qaeda figures in the tribal areas of Pakistan followed what appears to have been the most contentious policy process over the use of force in Bush's eight-year presidency.

That decision has stirred such strong opposition from the Pakistani military and government that it is now being revisited. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Pakistan Tuesday for the second time in three weeks, and US officials and sources just told Reuters that any future raids would be approved on a mission-by-mission basis by a top US administration official.

The policy was the result of strong pressure from the US command in Afghanistan and lobbying by the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and the CIA's operations directorate (DO), both of which had direct institutional interests in operations that coincided with their mandate.

State Department and some Pentagon officials had managed to delay the proposed military escalation in Pakistan for a year by arguing that it would be based on nearly nonexistent intelligence and would only increase support for the Islamic extremists in that country.

But officials of SOCOM and the CIA prevailed in the end, apparently because Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney believed they could not afford to be seen as doing nothing about bin Laden and al-Qaeda in the administration's final months.

SOCOM had a strong institutional interest in a major new operation in Pakistan.

The Army's Delta Force and Navy SEALS had been allowed by the Pakistani military to accompany its forces on raids in the tribal area in 2002 and 2003 but not to operate on their own. And even that extremely limited role was ended by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in 2003, which frustrated SOCOM officials.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, whose antagonism toward the CIA was legendary, had wanted SOCOM to take over the hunt for bin Laden. And in 2006, SOCOM's Joint Special Operations Command branch in Afghanistan pressed Rumsfeld to approve a commando operation in Pakistan aimed at capturing a high-ranking al-Qaeda operative.

SOCOM had the support of the US command in Afghanistan, which was arguing that the war in Afghanistan could not be won as long as the Taliban had a safe haven in Pakistan from which to launch attacks. The top US commander, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, worked with SOCOM and DO officers in Afghanistan to assemble the evidence of Pakistan's cooperation with the Taliban. .

Despite concerns that such an operation could cause a massive reaction in Pakistan against the US war on al-Qaeda, Rumsfeld gave in to the pressure in early November 2006 and approved the operation, according to an account in the New York Times Jun. 30. But within days, Rumsfeld was out as defense secretary, and the operation was put on hold.

Nevertheless Bush and Cheney, who had been repeating that Musharraf had things under control in the frontier area, soon realized that they would be politically vulnerable to charges that they weren't doing anything about bin Laden.

The July 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) was the signal for the CIA's DO to step up its own lobbying for control over a Pakistan operation, based on the Afghan model – CIA officers training and arming a local militia while identifying targets for strikes from the air.

In a Washington Post column only two weeks after the NIE's conclusions were made public, David Ignatius quoted former CIA official Hank Crumpton, who had run the CIA operation in Afghanistan after the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks, on the proposed DO operation: "We either do it now, or we do it after the next attack."

That either-or logic and the sense of political vulnerability in the White House was the key advantage of the advocates of a new war in Pakistan. Last November, the New York Times reported that the Defense Department had drafted an order based on the SOCOM proposal for training of local tribal forces and for new authority for "covert" commando operations in Pakistan's frontier provinces.

But the previous experience with missile strikes against al-Qaeda targets using predator drones and the facts on the ground provided plenty of ammunition to those who opposed the escalation. It showed that the proposed actions would have little or no impact on either the Taliban or al-Qaeda in Pakistan, and would bring destabilizing political blowback.

In January 2006, the CIA had launched a missile strike on a residential compound in Damadola, near the Afghan border, on the basis of erroneous intelligence that Ayman al-Zawahiri would be there. The destruction killed as many 25 people, according to local residents interviewed by The Telegraph, including 14 members of one family.

Some 8,000 tribesmen in the Damadola area protested the killing, and in Karachi tens of thousands more rallied against the United States, shouting "Death to America!"

Musharraf later claimed that the dead included four high-ranking al-Qaeda officials, including al-Zawahiri's son-in-law. The Washington Post's Craig Whitlock reported last week, however, that US and Pakistani officials now admit that only local villagers were killed in the strike.

It was well known within the counterterrorism community that the US search for al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan was severely limited by the absence of actionable intelligence. For years, the US military had depended almost entirely on Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, despite its well-established ties with the Taliban and even al-Qaeda.

One of the counterterrorism officials without a direct organizational stake in the issue, State Department counterterrorism chief Gen. Dell L. Dailey, bluntly summed up the situation to reporters last January. "We don't have enough information about what's going on there," he said. "Not on al-Qaeda, not on foreign fighters, not on the Taliban."

A senior US official quoted by the Post last February was even more scathing on that subject, saying "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then."

Meanwhile, the Pakistani military, reacting to the US aim of a more aggressive US military role in the tribal areas, repeatedly rejected the US military proposal for training Frontier Corps units.

The US command in Afghanistan and SOCOM increased the pressure for escalation early last summer by enlisting visiting members of Congress in support of the plan. Texas Republican Congressmen Michael McCaul, who had visited Afghanistan and Pakistan, declared on his return that was "imperative that US forces be allowed to pursue the Taliban and al-Qaeda in tribal areas inside Pakistan."

In late July, according to the Times of London, Bush signed a secret national security presidential directive (NSPD) which authorized operations by special operations forces without the permission of Pakistan.

The Bush decision ignored the disconnect between the aims of the new war and the realities on the ground in Pakistan. Commando raids and missile strikes against mid-level or low-level Taliban or al-Qaeda operatives, carried out in a sea of angry Pashtuns, will not stem the flow of fighters from Pakistan into Afghanistan or weaken al-Qaeda. But they will certainly provoke reactions from the tribal population that can tilt the affected areas even further toward the Islamic radicals.

At least some military leaders without an institutional interest in the outcome understood that the proposed escalation was likely to backfire. One senior military officer told the Los Angeles Times last month that he had been forced by the "fragility of the current government in Islamabad," to ask whether "you do more long-term harm if you act very, very aggressively militarily."
 
 
Find this article at:
http://www.antiwar.com/porter/?articleid=13474 

Offline bigron

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #95 on: September 18, 2008, 06:58:49 am »
Tribesmen to fight US if incursions continue’

* 3,000-strong jirga accuses Kabul of misleading US about Qaeda presence in FATA

By Iqbal Khattak

http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\09\18\story_18-9-2008_pg7_9

PESHAWAR: Every Ahmedzai Wazir tribesman will fight US forces on Afghani soil if their incursions into South Waziristan continue, a 3,000-strong jirga ruled on Wednesday.

The jirga consisting of pro-government tribal elders and pro-Taliban clerics was held in Wana.

“Each and every Ahmedzai Wazir tribesman, be young or old, will take up arms against the US and fight alongside the Pakistan Army,” eyewitnesses told Daily Times, quoting pro-Taliban Noor Muhammad reading a unanimous resolution at the end of the jirga.

The resolution came hours after US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen met the Pakistani political and military leadership in Islamabad to defuse tension between the two countries following the September 3 US-led ground assault in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

“We will take the war to Afghanistan to confront the Americans,” the resolution said.

Tribal elders said on condition of anonymity that clerics developed differences over the time to deliver the resolution, adding Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) clerics had wanted to delay the resolution until JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman returns from Umra. “Other clerics opposed the delay, saying the US needs urgent response,” the tribal elders added.

Kabul: The resolution also accused Kabul of ‘misleading’ the US forces about the presence of Al Qaeda in South Waziristan. “Let it be clear to the Americans that the Kabul regime is misleading them. Tribesmen have no business to do with Al Qaeda,” the resolution stated. Jirga members lauded Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani’s statement to defend the country against foreign aggression, and reprimanded the political leadership for its ‘soft stand’ on the issue.

The jirga demanded a more active political administration, suggesting military actions in FATA should require the political administration’s approval. The jirga participants said they wanted a true implementation of the collective responsibility clauses of the Frontier Crimes Regulation.

The political administration has become ineffective after the Pakistani military started doing operations in FATA following the September 2001 attacks in the US.


Offline Biggs

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #96 on: September 18, 2008, 12:37:39 pm »
SATIRE - very good read

Pakistan Invades America --"Without Permission"
M. Junaid Levesque-Alam

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m47316&hd=&size=1&l=e


September 17, 2008



The U.S. State Department lodged a sharp protest over ongoing Pakistani missile strikes and ground raids today, saying the Islamic Republic was violating American sovereignty.

"We will try to convince Pakistan . . . to respect [the] sovereignty of the United States -- and God willing, we will convince," State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.1

The controversy stems from the Pakistan Army's recent decision, leaked in a prominent Pakistani newspaper, to mount intensifying air attacks and new ground assaults against extremists hiding in American safe havens across the ocean.

American papers reported that under the new policy, the Pakistani military will no longer seek America's permission in killing Americans, but will inform American diplomats about these killings as a friendly gesture between close allies.2

Pakistan Army General Ashfaq Kayani told reporters outside Islamabad late last night that the new strategy was justified.  "We are working to prevent more attacks on the Pakistani people," he said.3

The general's stance signified strong Pakistani dissatisfaction with America's reluctance to crack down on religious fundamentalists and neoconservatives, who, experts note, have deep ties to American intelligence services and military leaders.  The largely unchecked extremists, experts observe, have used America to bolster the agenda of their ideological counterparts across the ocean in Israel, and to strike directly against Pakistan and other parts of the Muslim world.

"We have to strike them over there so that they cannot order strikes against us here at home," General Kayani said, referring to American firepower that has terrorized hundreds of thousands of civilians on either side of the Pak-Afghan border and in the Middle East.

As Kayani spoke, new precision attacks and commando raids were being conducted against ranches in Texas, small towns in Alaska, the offices of AIPAC and energy-related lobbying firms in Washington, D.C.  Commandos were also dispatched to America's unruly federally-administered Bible Belt, where resentment of government authority runs high.

Several high-value targets were killed in the attacks.  Local media outlets claimed 50 civilians were also killed, but these assertions could not be independently verified.  Pakistani officials said they would send in their own team to investigate the claims, time permitting.

Seeking to assuage domestic concerns, American officials downplayed the actions of their staunch ally.  "The nation should not be upset by the statement of Pakistani General Kayani," White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said in an official statement.4  "Pakistan respect U.S. sovereignty and looks at us as partners," she added.5

U.S. officials also insisted no secret deal had been reached beforehand allowing Pakistanis to strike inside American territory.  "Media reports about authorization for Pakistani raids into the U.S. are incorrect," the American ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, told Fox News last night.  She added that the South Asian country had "no aggressive designs or postures" toward America.6

Regimes allied to Pakistan, including those in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Palestine, expressed support for the new Pakistani strategy, citing the need to "remove and destroy" strongholds where key militants have masterminded attacks against their countries.7

Informed of this, Ambassador Patterson appeared unfazed, saying,  "Pakistan respects American sovereignty."  She insisted that Pakistani officials provided her with assurances that "no such order had been given" for new rules of engagement.8  Finally, the ambassador explained, America had already carried out its own recent military offensive that left hundreds of rural Americans dead, relieving the need for further Pakistani intervention.

But in Islamabad, Pakistani corps commanders said their new strategy would see continued implementation in the coming weeks.  Speaking on condition of anonymity, one commander said that as far as Pakistan was concerned, "most things have been settled in terms of how we're going to proceed."9

 
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Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #97 on: September 20, 2008, 09:32:12 am »
http://www.dawn.net/wps/wcm/connect/Dawn%20Content%20Library/dawn/news/pakistan/blast+outside+marriott+hotel+islamabad
ISLAMABAD: A powerful explosion outside the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad rocked the capital on Friday evening, according to initial reports from Dawn News.

 
Police suspect an explosive laden vehicle rammed into the gates of the Marriott Hotel. At least two people have been killed and twenty five injured, including foreigners.
 
Television footage shows flames coming out of the building and several vehicles destroyed.

Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #98 on: September 20, 2008, 09:33:30 am »
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/09/20/pakistan.bombing/
 ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN)  -- A suicide bomber crashed into a military convoy in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing six people.

The attack happened at 11:30 a.m. (2:30 a.m. ET) in North Waziristan, a part of Pakistan near the Afghan border that is home to thousands of Islamic extremists.

The convoy was carrying fuel and supplies from Bannu to Miranshah when a car coming from the opposite direction crashed into the convoy and exploded, according to Murad Khan, a spokesman for the Pakistani military.

Khan said three soldiers and three civilians, including a child were killed. Five people were also injured.

Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #99 on: September 20, 2008, 09:38:42 am »
More chaos as the country collapses:
http://news.smh.com.au/world/five-dead-in-pakistan-school-bomb-blast-20080919-4kby.html
Five dead in Pakistan school bomb blast

September 19, 2008 - 11:44PM
Advertisement

A bomb exploded in a religious school in insurgency-hit southwestern Pakistan, killing five people, police said.

The bomb was planted inside a school 15 kilometres north of Quetta, capital of Baluchistan province.

"We have sent our teams to investigate the blast inside the school, which killed five students and wounded seven others," senior police official Wazir Khan Nasir said.

Nobody has so far claimed responsibility for the explosion.

Tribal rebels in gas-rich Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, are waging an insurgency, demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region's natural resources.

Hundreds of people have died in violence in the province since the insurgency flared in late 2004.

The province has also been hit by attacks blamed on Taliban militants.


http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/09/20/asia/AS-Pakistan-Attack.php
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: An army spokesman says a roadside bomb has ripped through an army convoy, killing two soldiers and wounding three in Pakistan's volatile northwest.

A suicide attack on another convoy earlier Saturday killed three soldiers and three civilians in a nearby region.


Maj. Murad Khan says the roadside blast occurred as the convoy was headed to Wana, the main town in the volatile South Waziristan tribal region.

The U.S. has pressured Pakistan to clamp down on militants in its tribal regions. Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters use the regions as bases from which to plan attacks in neighboring Afghanistan.

Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #100 on: September 20, 2008, 09:45:39 am »
More about the blast in the Mariot Hotel in Islamabad:http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/1350821-pakistan-bomb/images
About 15 minutes ago, 7 am PST, 2 pm GMT on Saturday 20 September, an explosive laden truck rammed into Islamabad's Marriott Hotel setting four floors ablaze and cracking the roof. Initial reports state that the main lobby roof may have collapsed as well. The Marriott is alight with flames leaping from several floors. The street in front of the hotel was littered with rubble, car chasis, uprooted trees and human limbs. Smoke and dust are everywhere. Several foreigners were reported to be among the casualties.

The explosion could be heard up to ten miles away in neighbouring Rawalpindi and shattered the windows of nearby buildings. The building next door is a Software Technology Park which houses several IT firms. Down the road is the Pakistan Television Building and several other Government offices.

Eight casualties were initially reported, at the time of filing of this report, but casualties are expected to rise much further. All the city's ambulances and fir engines are at the scene and a red alert has been declared in all hospitals.

Only a couple of hours before the blast, newly sworn in President Zardari had addressed a joint sitting of the parliament, diplomats and Government and Military officials. He had declared his intention to broaden and deepen Pakistan's relationship with the USA.

Offline Biggs

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #101 on: September 20, 2008, 12:35:00 pm »
now reporting at least 60 dead, at least 100 wounded, much of the front half of the hotel destroyed by fire, death toll expected to rise

300 people banqueting in a function room at the hotel, the restaurant area destroyed at peak dining time - in places like islamabad hotels are one of the top places to go and socialise if you can afford it, far more so than in western cities.

more than one local analyst has stated on tv that this is the worst attack ever on a pakistani city
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Offline ConcordeWarrior

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #102 on: September 20, 2008, 12:48:30 pm »



AP
Explosion at Pakistan Marriott hotel kills 40

By ASIF SHAHZAD, Associated Press Writer 37 minutes ago

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A massive suicide truck bomb devastated the heavily guarded Marriott Hotel in Pakistan's capital Saturday, killing at least 40 people and wounding at least 100. Officials feared there were dozens more dead inside the burning building.

The blast targeting the U.S. hotel chain appeared to be one of the largest terrorist attacks ever in Pakistan, leaving a vast crater some 30 feet deep in front of the main building, where rescuers ferried a stream of bloodied bodies.

The five-story Marriott had been a favorite place for foreigners as well as Pakistani politicians and business people to stay and socialize in Islamabad despite repeated militant attacks.

The attack came just hours after President Asif Ali Zardari made his first address to Parliament and days ahead of the new leader's meeting with President Bush Tuesday in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

Rehman Malik, the head of Pakistan's Interior Ministry, told The Associated Press that authorities had received intelligence that there might be militant activity due to Zardari's inaugural address. Security had been tightened, he said.

Though there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, Pakistani officials have warned that militancy could heat up following a wave of cross-border strikes on militant bases by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, which had angered public opinion.

"This is terrorism and we have to fight it together as a nation," Malik told reporters at a hospital overflowing with the wounded.

Witnesses and officials said a large truck had rammed the high metal gate of the hotel at about 8 p.m., when the restaurants would have been packed with dinners, including Muslims breaking the Ramadan fast.

Senior police official Asghar Raza Gardaizi said rescuers had counted at least 40 bodies at the scene and that he feared that there "dozens more dead inside."

Associated Press reporters saw at least nine bodies scattered at the scene. Scores of people, including foreigners, were running out — some of them stained with blood.

Two hospitals said 10 foreigners were among those in their treatment, including one each from Germany, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Afghanistan.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Lou Fintor said officials were in the process of accounting for embassy staff and any other Americans that may have been affected.

A U.S. State Department official led three colleagues through the rubble from the charred building, one of them bleeding heavily from a wound on the side of his head.

One of the four, who identified himself only as Tony, said they had begun moving toward the rear of the Chinese restaurant after the first blast when the second one threw them against the back wall.

"Then we saw a big truck coming through the gates," he said. "After that it was just smoke and darkness."

Ambulances rushed to the area, picking their way through the charred carcasses of vehicles that had been in the street outside. Windows in buildings hundreds of yards away were shattered. Tropical fish from the tanks inside lay among the torn furnishings in the entrance area.

Mohammad Sultan, a hotel employee, said he was in the lobby when something exploded, he fell down and everything temporarily went dark.

"I didn't understand what it was, but it was like the world is finished," he said.

In January 2007, a security guard blocked a suicide bomber who triggered a blast just outside the Marriott, killing the guard and wounding seven other people.

Pakistan has faced a wave of militant violence in recent months following army-led offensives against insurgents in its border regions, including several in the capital.

In July, a suicide bombing killed at least 18 people, most of them security forces, and wounded dozens in Islamabad as supporters of the Red Mosque gathered nearby to mark the anniversary of the military siege on the militant stronghold.

In June, a suicide car bomber killed at least six people near the Danish Embassy in Islamabad. A statement attributed to al-Qaida took responsibility for that blast, believed to have targeted Denmark over the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

In mid-March, a bomb explosion at an Italian restaurant killed a Turkish woman in the capital, and wounded 12 others, including four FBI officials.

IntelCenter, a group which monitors al-Qaida communications, said senior al-Qaida leader Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, who claimed the Danish Embassy bombing, threatened additional attacks against Western interests in Pakistan in a video timed to the recent anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

___

Associated Press writers Zarar Khan, Stephen Graham and Munir Ahmad in Islamabad contributed to this report.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080920/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan_explosion
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Offline Biggs

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #103 on: September 20, 2008, 09:03:13 pm »
latest is 60 confirmed killed, 250 wounded, but many people are feared to have been trapped in the burning hotel and the death toll is expected to rise significantly

21 of the dead confirmed so far are foreigners
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Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #104 on: September 21, 2008, 05:31:49 am »
COMPLETE INSIDE JOB
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Marriott_Hotel_bombing#American_Presence
Quote
US soldiers causing security breach

A member of parliament for the ruling Pakistan People's Party, Syed Mumtaz Alam Gilani from the Punjab city of Bahawalnagar,[21] has come forward with testimony evidencing a purportedly serious security breach at the Marriott on Friday night, the day before the bombing.[22] In Pakistan's second largest English-language newspaper, The News International, Mumtaz Alam Gilani describes how he and two friends witnessend steel boxes being unloaded from a US Embassy truck by US Marines soldiers and, according to someone at the hotel upon being queried by one of Mumtaz Alam Gilani's friends, transported to the fourth and fifth floors of the hotel.[22] Among the several people who witnessed this incident was also PPP leader Sajjad Chaudhry,[22] however, Alam Gilani was the only one who objected to and protested the apparent security breach taking place, but was met with silence from the American soldiers. The hotel security staff did also not respond to Gilani's protests as they passively watched what was taking place, not being allowed to go near the boxes by the US soldiers.[22]

Offline bigron

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #105 on: September 21, 2008, 07:21:50 am »
USA Has Bared Its Teeth

By Asif Haroon Raja

http://www.asiantribune.com/?q=node/13336

21/09/08 "Asian Tribune" -- The US and its allies succeeded in toppling Taliban regime in November 2001 and replacing it with a puppet regime, but the Taliban were neither militarily defeated nor eliminated from the system. But for effective encirclement of Afghanistan from all directions and massive air support provided by USA, the Northern Alliance could not have made any progress. Once the Taliban realised that they were no more in a position to offer resistance particularly after Pakistan ditched them, they considered it prudent to carry out a tactical withdrawal from Kabul and most took shelter in Pashtun dominated southern and eastern Afghanistan. Some trickled into FATA and Baluchistan where they had their kith and kin and some moved into Iran. They remained inactive till 2002 but utilised this time to regroup and refit themselves to be able to strike back at the invading forces that had devastated their country. Bush and his teams of neo-cons felt complacent that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda had been taken care of and only the remnants had to be flushed out. It was this smugness which impelled them to invade and occupy Iraq in March 2003.

In the meanwhile, the vices that had been eliminated by the Taliban during their short rule reappeared in a big way. Besides lack of justice, war lordism, corruption, poppy growing, drug business and nepotism reigned supreme. The Taliban and their supporters were either brutally killed or put in Bagram jail and subjected to horrendous torture. The Pashtuns being in great majority were persecuted and power got concentrated in the hands of non-Pashtun Northern Alliance elements and war lords. The occupation forces inflicted heavy collateral damage on civilians whenever they confronted the militants. These developments disillusioned the Afghans and sympathy wave among the Pashtuns living both sides of the border started to shift towards the Taliban. Induction of NATO forces in 2003 together with deteriorating law and order situation provided the spark to ignite insurgency.

When Gen Musharraf submitted to US pressure after 9/11 and ditched the Taliban in Afghanistan, he provided air bases as well as logistics support and shared intelligence with CIA. He allowed CIA and FBI to recruit agents in FATA and other places and to establish their outposts. The focus of ISI and other agencies was shifted towards hunting and nabbing so-called terrorists all over the country, in monitoring dissident elements within the army and in political wheeling and dealings. The CIA acquired all the links ISI and MI had both sides of the Pak-Afghan border and gradually took most agents on ISI payroll within its fold. By virtue of having better technology and means the CIA was able to take over intelligence acquisition and dissemination system. As a consequence the troops operating in FATA became entirely dependent upon CIA inputs. Taking advantage of complete liberty of action, CIA succeeded in buying the loyalties of many tribal chiefs and notables in FATA by doling out dollars in sacks since it knew that the Pashtun could not be crushed by force but could be purchased. Those not falling in line were got killed.

In FATA, Nek Muhammad was first cultivated and provided logistic support. When he entered into a peace deal with Pak Army in July 2005, he was killed using precision guided missile. Abdullah Masood, an Afghan war veteran who had also fought the Northern Alliance in October-November 2001 was captured and brainwashed during his two years internment in Guantanamo Bay. He was released after agreeing to work on terms dictated by CIA and he soon was able to takeover the leadership role. His death at Zhob at the hands of Pak security forces was a loss for CIA.

Baitulah Masood and Fazlullah had not taken part in Afghan jihad and do not qualify to head Taliban; yet 30 year old Baitullah has managed to create Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Fazlullah calls the shots in Swat. Mulla Omar had never shown interest in establishing any links with Pakistani Taliban and had warned Nek Muhammad not to operate under the brand name of Taliban. It is being questioned as to how come Baitullah, Fazlullah and their spokesmen desperately wanted by Pakistan security forces have escaped the hawk eye of USA, particularly after they have been seen giving detailed interviews to media and using their cell phones? ISI had once given six figure coordinates of Baitullah and yet no Hellfire missile was fired on his hideout by CIA. The TTP that has spread its influence in all the seven agencies of tribal belt and in neighbouring settled districts of NWFP has succeeded in making inroads into Punjab, particularly southern Punjab. Large number has got recruited from Chiniot, Bahawalpur, Dera Nawab, Bahawalnagar, Faisalabad, Sialkot and other places. Though they do not speak a word of Pashto, but are fighting side by side with Pathan Taliban.

After Shakai peace deal with the militants in South Waziristan in July 2005, Pakistan was subjected to a calculated slander campaign. Having fixed more than one lac troops into the furnace of FATA it was scoffed at for not doing enough to control militancy in FATA. Pakistan was also accused of nuclear proliferation and IAEA kept up the pressure to hand over AQ Khan for interrogation. Musharraf accepted the charge and forced AQ Khan to make a confession to defuse the heat. The religious extremist threat was blown out of all proportions and it was repeatedly stated that Pakistan’s nuclear assets had become unsafe. Musharraf accepted this charge as well and promised to fight extremism and terrorism with full force.

After declaring Pakistan as the most dangerous country, FATA was declared as the most dangerous place on earth. Pakistan was blamed for growing turbulence in Afghanistan since in view of US military leaders and Karzai; Pak army was not doing enough to control militancy. The phenomenon of missile attacks by drones commenced in January 2006 when a suspected target in Damadola was attacked killing scores of innocent civilians. Another deadly missile attack was launched on a Madrassa in Bajaur in October that year killing 80 students. Ever since, this phenomenon continues unabated.

Once the ISI got freed from wild goose chase of so-called terrorists and came under pressure on account of missing persons, it started to concentrate on its primary task in the troubled spots. To its horror it found far too many militant groups and criminal gangs operating under the guise of religious militants and cultivated by foreign agencies. They were the ones involved in carrying out gruesome beheadings of security personnel and torching girls’ schools to defame the real Taliban who had a peaceful agenda. Besides CIA, RAW and RAM, even Iran and Uzbekistan had developed its tentacles in Baluchistan, Swat and Kurram Agency. Most of the pro-Pakistan groups had been purchased or neutralized and those not coming to terms were eliminated by groups sponsored by CIA. Things had gone topsy-turvy and ISI found itself at a loss how to differentiate between friend and foe.

It is when the ISI began to recover the lost ground and renewed its old contacts in FATA and started to expose and block clandestine activities of CIA, RAW and RAM that all hell broke lose on ISI. Instead of feeling ashamed of what they were doing, USA had the cheeks to start making hue and cry that ISI was linked with the Taliban and that it must be emasculated. The three colluding partners lost their cool when the Indian Embassy in Kabul was subjected to a suicide attack on 7 July 2008. The trio fumed with anger and blamed ISI without even carrying out preliminary investigations. It was alleged that the perpetrator of suicide attack belonged to Gujranwala. Adm. Mike Mullen and Deputy Director CIA Stephen Kappes came huffing and puffing to Islamabad on 12 July and expressed their concern in strong words. Both Gen Tariq and Gen Kayani were told to bring the ISI to heel and to control militancy on their side of the border. The details of suicide bomber provided by the visitors proved false. It transpired later on that it was a bomb planted in a parked jeep which was detonated with the help of a remote control and was master minded by Mossad.

In the meanwhile Bush gave a green signal to Pentagon to extend the sphere of operations in Afghanistan into neighbouring FATA in July. He said that besides Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan is the third battleground. The military was told to hit targets whenever any actionable intelligence was available without notifying Pakistan. US troops started to man mobile posts all along Pak-Afghan border with Paktika as their main forward base camp. These hostile steps were taken in spite of the fact that the new government under Zardari had abandoned its policy of dialogue and resumed the policy of force against the militants. After a month long Frontier Corps led operation in Khyber Agency, the army was employed in Hangu to control the unrest. In continuation of offensive policy, the army launched powerful operations in Swat in July and in Bajaur on 6 August backed by jetfighters, gunship helicopters, tanks and artillery guns and started to make rapid progress against the well entrenched militants. Operations in these two restive areas are still going in with full steam and several hundred militants have been killed. Instead of getting pleased, the Americans got disturbed since they never intended to control militancy but to spread the flames of militancy into cities and create anarchic conditions.

The month of September saw intensification of missile attacks and each attack resulted in loss of innocent lives. To create fear and panic among the peaceful residents of Waziristan and also to target pro-government elements, missile attacks were intensified and each attack killed innocent men, women and children. The idea was to antagonise pro-government Waziris and also to force them to migrate as had happened in case of Bajaur. To further up the ante, Pakistan was declared as a battleground and a first ever ground attack was carried out by US troops on the night of 3 September at Angoor Adda killing 15 men women and children. A deadly missile attack was conducted on pro-Pakistan Jalaluddin Haqqani house in North Waziristan on 8 September killing 25 inmates mostly women and children. He was blamed for carrying out attack on Indian Embassy. The intruding drone was forced to beat a hasty retreat on 12 September when own jets got airborne and started to track it. A ground attack on 15th was also thwarted by the troops and locals. So far 62 border violations have been carried out by US-ISAF forces including 36 after the takeover by PPP government in March 2008. So far 30 missile attacks have been made killing innocent people. In none of the attack any Al-Qaada operative or militant Taliban was killed.

The nexus in Kabul is working upon a scripted plan to make FATA lawless and beyond the control of security forces, push militancy into settled areas and then into major cities and thus create a civil warlike situation to prove their contention that Pakistan was the most dangerous country in the world and that the extremists were on the verge of taking over power and nuclear weapons. After inflaming South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Mohmand Agency, Khyber Agency, Darra Adam Khel, Kurram Agency, Hangu and Swat, Bajaur Agency was built into a stronghold of militants where huge cache of arms and ammunition was dumped. By virtue of being located at the crossroad of the tribal belt and also linked with Dir, Swat and Afghanistan, it was to act as bulwark and a launching pad to provide reinforcement to other areas.

10,000 Indian troops are stationed in Afghanistan under the garb of supervising construction of road Jalalabad-Port Chahbahar project that has now been completed. Whereas India has officially declared 14 Indian consulates in Afghanistan, on ground they have 107 in which 20 intelligence units are burning their midnight oil to destabilise Pakistan. Many mercantile shops run by Indians have an intelligence office in the rear. In Wakhan, a religious Madrassa run by Indian Muslim clerics is functioning since 2002 under the patronage of RAW and Mossad. Very young boys, mostly orphans, destitute or homeless are recruited. Recruits are mostly Afghans, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Caucasians. The latter being fair skinned and resembling Europeans are trained to hit targets in Europe or in USA to once again create a 9/11 like situation.

Reportedly, 10,000 ideologically motivated terrorist and suicide bombers have been trained. Besides receiving military training, they have also been made to learn Pashto and customs of Pathans. They are regularly infiltrated into troubled spots of Pakistan. Posing as volunteers they join the rank and file of militants to fight the army. They are the ones who are destroying schools, CD shops, bridges and other installations and carrying out brutal beheading of captured personnel. The idea is to create chaos and confusion and also to defame the real Taliban that have not come under their influence. They are also responsible for creating cleavages within the people of FATA and in disrupting peace deals. In Kurram Agency, Afghan officers and soldiers are actively involved in the sectarian conflict by way of providing arms and ammunition to Shias belonging to Tori tribe and physically participating in duels with Sunnis. In Swat, Fazlullah led militants are supplied with war munitions as well as fighters.

Likewise, dissident tribal chiefs in Baluchistan including late Akbar Bugti were also taken on board. The CIA helped in reincarnating BLA and providing all sorts of war munitions to Baloch militants belonging to Bugti, Marri and Mengal tribes and establishing over 60 Farari camps in Baluchistan. Shamsi airbase that was handed over to USA in October 2001, houses Blackhawk helicopters primarily engaged in monitoring the entire length of Iranian border. CIA has cultivated Sunni Iranian Baloch Jandullah group (not the one that had operated against 5 Corps commander). It is anti- Iranian regime and was utilised by CIA to carryout acts of sabotage in Iran through Zahidan. Iran has now constructed a stone wall all along its border to prevent cross border terrorism from Baluchistan. It has clouded Pak-Iran relations since the latter feels that such activities could not have been undertaken without the blessing of Pak government.

It is now clear that our so-called friends have been playing a double game. Now that USA has bared its teeth and let its intentions known, to pretend that it would stop short of achieving its objectives will be like living in fools’ paradise. It is simply degrading to unashamedly say that we cannot fight the Americans. It is also preposterous to assume that Pakistan may not survive without American support. Pro-American elements within Pakistan on US payroll have been parroting this theme since creation of Pakistan to safeguard their vested interests. North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Iran, Somalia are living examples who have survived despite adopting hostile posture against USA. It is high time that we gird up our loins and put our act together to face up to the challenge boldly.

The army under Gen Kayani has expressed its resolve to confront the threat and safeguard country’s sovereignty irrespective of the consequences. It is now up to our week-kneed rulers oblivious of the ominous threat and still busy in power game as to how they stand up to the test. It will be naive to expect that the threat will be warded off with diplomacy alone. We must make USA realise that it will become exceedingly difficult for US led allied troops to operate in Afghanistan if Pakistan opts out of fighting US war of terror and refuses to provide transit facility to carry oil and food supplies to its troops in Afghanistan. The magnitude of dependence can be gauged from the fact each day over 400 containers ply from Karachi and Quetta to Afghanistan transporting food, munitions and 300 million gallons of fuel for US-Nato troops in Afghanistan. We may also consider bridling CIA’s unchecked activities and closing down four bases in control of USA.

Asif Haroon Raja is a defence and a political analyst.

-Asian Tribune -

Offline Biggs

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #106 on: September 21, 2008, 07:50:25 am »
COMPLETE INSIDE JOB
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Marriott_Hotel_bombing#American_Presence

thank you for that eye opening info David, I saw on the news this morning a video of the truck as it pulled up to the security gate at the end of the driveway fo the Marriot hotel.

a small fizz and spark occurred and then the DRIVERS CAB went up in flames and the security guards got a fire extinguisher and tried to put it out as the whole cab went up. They did not show the actual explosion however, it very much looked like a device which did nto go up as intended.

So if the device just fizzed and the detonators did nto set off an excplosion, then the driver's cab goes up in flames, how exactly did the bomb go off if the people in the cab were on fire?

Was it set off remotely somehow and the driver's detonation sequence was just a decoy to keep them quite, or indeed were they even aware of a bomb?

Why did the whoel hotel burn down when the damage from the blast was not that bad, most of the blast seemed to have gone down into the ground and the building structure was enitrely intact (although windows, awnings and so on had all gone - hence the high number of wounded 266 at last count)

but the building structure was ENTIRELY intact, yet the fires raged through it after the event, well after, could it be that these steel boxes were incendiary deivces ensuring that the death toll was reasonably high and the hotel burned fully ?

Also, the crater was truly vast, I do not understand why, perhaps blast barriers deflected the blast wave bak into the ground, but really a truck bomb should not leave such a big crater - yes a missile or air to ground bomb, yes artillery shells, they all impact into the ground at speed before exploding, but why a stationary truck bomb where the device is 3, 4 or mroe feet off the ground? I do not udnerstand how such a crater is made.

Starting to look like another coordinated event where the truck drivers may have had little knowledge of what was happening and the western intelligence agencies may have had a geat deal of knowledge.

An attempt to keep Zardari and Kiyani and co onside in the GWoT? well we could not put it past CIA/Delta/MI6/SAS/Mossad types coudl we.

yet again many unanswered questions.
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Offline Biggs

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #107 on: September 21, 2008, 08:01:09 am »
STOP THE KILLING NOW
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Offline thadividedsky

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #108 on: September 21, 2008, 11:52:22 am »
How can people not see that this was a false flag terror attack to blame on the taliban? For that much damage to be done by a truck like that, you need a huge amount of explosives or a small amount of very high explosives, such as what the U.S. military industrial complex make. I doubt the taliban could get such explosives, same with al-cia-duh (unless we give it to them, which I wouldn't doubt). This smells of U.S. job. And people give me crap when I say Im no longer proud to be an american? Am I supposed to be proud of this? Am I supposed to be proud of my country killing over 3,000,000 innocent iraqi men, women and children? Im supposed to be proud of proven cases of rape by our troops? Am I supposed to be proud of the kids who've lost limbs because of us? Am I supposed to be proud of our forces using DU and dooming a whole society to the horrors of cancer? NO, I am NOT poud of being associated with mass murder. I want the old America back, where we fixed problems, saved countries and helped the poor nations develope. I WANT THE REPUBLIC BACK DAMNIT. NEW WORLD ORDER, WE'RE COMMING FOR YOU SOON. Don't forget, we know where you live and we know who your families are. LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC AND LONG LIVE HUMANITY. WE ARE NOT YOUR SLAVES.
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Offline Biggs

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #109 on: September 21, 2008, 06:45:48 pm »
fascinating article by a Pakistani journalist on the current situation in Pakistan, some eye opening stuff to be writing in a major newspaper, just shows how far ahead of the game these people are compared to our press & media

USA Has Bared Its Teeth

By Asif Haroon Raja

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20819.htm

21/09/08 "Asian Tribune"
-- The US and its allies succeeded in toppling Taliban regime in November 2001 and replacing it with a puppet regime, but the Taliban were neither militarily defeated nor eliminated from the system. But for effective encirclement of Afghanistan from all directions and massive air support provided by USA, the Northern Alliance could not have made any progress. Once the Taliban realised that they were no more in a position to offer resistance particularly after Pakistan ditched them, they considered it prudent to carry out a tactical withdrawal from Kabul and most took shelter in Pashtun dominated southern and eastern Afghanistan. Some trickled into FATA and Baluchistan where they had their kith and kin and some moved into Iran. They remained inactive till 2002 but utilised this time to regroup and refit themselves to be able to strike back at the invading forces that had devastated their country. Bush and his teams of neo-cons felt complacent that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda had been taken care of and only the remnants had to be flushed out. It was this smugness which impelled them to invade and occupy Iraq in March 2003.

In the meanwhile, the vices that had been eliminated by the Taliban during their short rule reappeared in a big way. Besides lack of justice, war lordism, corruption, poppy growing, drug business and nepotism reigned supreme. The Taliban and their supporters were either brutally killed or put in Bagram jail and subjected to horrendous torture. The Pashtuns being in great majority were persecuted and power got concentrated in the hands of non-Pashtun Northern Alliance elements and war lords. The occupation forces inflicted heavy collateral damage on civilians whenever they confronted the militants. These developments disillusioned the Afghans and sympathy wave among the Pashtuns living both sides of the border started to shift towards the Taliban. Induction of NATO forces in 2003 together with deteriorating law and order situation provided the spark to ignite insurgency.

When Gen Musharraf submitted to US pressure after 9/11 and ditched the Taliban in Afghanistan, he provided air bases as well as logistics support and shared intelligence with CIA. He allowed CIA and FBI to recruit agents in FATA and other places and to establish their outposts. The focus of ISI and other agencies was shifted towards hunting and nabbing so-called terrorists all over the country, in monitoring dissident elements within the army and in political wheeling and dealings. The CIA acquired all the links ISI and MI had both sides of the Pak-Afghan border and gradually took most agents on ISI payroll within its fold. By virtue of having better technology and means the CIA was able to take over intelligence acquisition and dissemination system. As a consequence the troops operating in FATA became entirely dependent upon CIA inputs. Taking advantage of complete liberty of action, CIA succeeded in buying the loyalties of many tribal chiefs and notables in FATA by doling out dollars in sacks since it knew that the Pashtun could not be crushed by force but could be purchased. Those not falling in line were got killed.

In FATA, Nek Muhammad was first cultivated and provided logistic support. When he entered into a peace deal with Pak Army in July 2005, he was killed using precision guided missile. Abdullah Masood, an Afghan war veteran who had also fought the Northern Alliance in October-November 2001 was captured and brainwashed during his two years internment in Guantanamo Bay. He was released after agreeing to work on terms dictated by CIA and he soon was able to takeover the leadership role. His death at Zhob at the hands of Pak security forces was a loss for CIA.

Baitulah Masood and Fazlullah had not taken part in Afghan jihad and do not qualify to head Taliban; yet 30 year old Baitullah has managed to create Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Fazlullah calls the shots in Swat. Mulla Omar had never shown interest in establishing any links with Pakistani Taliban and had warned Nek Muhammad not to operate under the brand name of Taliban. It is being questioned as to how come Baitullah, Fazlullah and their spokesmen desperately wanted by Pakistan security forces have escaped the hawk eye of USA, particularly after they have been seen giving detailed interviews to media and using their cell phones? ISI had once given six figure coordinates of Baitullah and yet no Hellfire missile was fired on his hideout by CIA. The TTP that has spread its influence in all the seven agencies of tribal belt and in neighbouring settled districts of NWFP has succeeded in making inroads into Punjab, particularly southern Punjab. Large number has got recruited from Chiniot, Bahawalpur, Dera Nawab, Bahawalnagar, Faisalabad, Sialkot and other places. Though they do not speak a word of Pashto, but are fighting side by side with Pathan Taliban.

After Shakai peace deal with the militants in South Waziristan in July 2005, Pakistan was subjected to a calculated slander campaign. Having fixed more than one lac troops into the furnace of FATA it was scoffed at for not doing enough to control militancy in FATA. Pakistan was also accused of nuclear proliferation and IAEA kept up the pressure to hand over AQ Khan for interrogation. Musharraf accepted the charge and forced AQ Khan to make a confession to defuse the heat. The religious extremist threat was blown out of all proportions and it was repeatedly stated that Pakistan’s nuclear assets had become unsafe. Musharraf accepted this charge as well and promised to fight extremism and terrorism with full force.

After declaring Pakistan as the most dangerous country, FATA was declared as the most dangerous place on earth. Pakistan was blamed for growing turbulence in Afghanistan since in view of US military leaders and Karzai; Pak army was not doing enough to control militancy. The phenomenon of missile attacks by drones commenced in January 2006 when a suspected target in Damadola was attacked killing scores of innocent civilians. Another deadly missile attack was launched on a Madrassa in Bajaur in October that year killing 80 students. Ever since, this phenomenon continues unabated.

Once the ISI got freed from wild goose chase of so-called terrorists and came under pressure on account of missing persons, it started to concentrate on its primary task in the troubled spots. To its horror it found far too many militant groups and criminal gangs operating under the guise of religious militants and cultivated by foreign agencies. They were the ones involved in carrying out gruesome beheadings of security personnel and torching girls’ schools to defame the real Taliban who had a peaceful agenda. Besides CIA, RAW and RAM, even Iran and Uzbekistan had developed its tentacles in Baluchistan, Swat and Kurram Agency. Most of the pro-Pakistan groups had been purchased or neutralized and those not coming to terms were eliminated by groups sponsored by CIA. Things had gone topsy-turvy and ISI found itself at a loss how to differentiate between friend and foe.

It is when the ISI began to recover the lost ground and renewed its old contacts in FATA and started to expose and block clandestine activities of CIA, RAW and RAM that all hell broke lose on ISI. Instead of feeling ashamed of what they were doing, USA had the cheeks to start making hue and cry that ISI was linked with the Taliban and that it must be emasculated. The three colluding partners lost their cool when the Indian Embassy in Kabul was subjected to a suicide attack on 7 July 2008. The trio fumed with anger and blamed ISI without even carrying out preliminary investigations. It was alleged that the perpetrator of suicide attack belonged to Gujranwala. Adm. Mike Mullen and Deputy Director CIA Stephen Kappes came huffing and puffing to Islamabad on 12 July and expressed their concern in strong words. Both Gen Tariq and Gen Kayani were told to bring the ISI to heel and to control militancy on their side of the border. The details of suicide bomber provided by the visitors proved false. It transpired later on that it was a bomb planted in a parked jeep which was detonated with the help of a remote control and was master minded by Mossad.

In the meanwhile Bush gave a green signal to Pentagon to extend the sphere of operations in Afghanistan into neighbouring FATA in July. He said that besides Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan is the third battleground. The military was told to hit targets whenever any actionable intelligence was available without notifying Pakistan. US troops started to man mobile posts all along Pak-Afghan border with Paktika as their main forward base camp. These hostile steps were taken in spite of the fact that the new government under Zardari had abandoned its policy of dialogue and resumed the policy of force against the militants. After a month long Frontier Corps led operation in Khyber Agency, the army was employed in Hangu to control the unrest. In continuation of offensive policy, the army launched powerful operations in Swat in July and in Bajaur on 6 August backed by jetfighters, gunship helicopters, tanks and artillery guns and started to make rapid progress against the well entrenched militants. Operations in these two restive areas are still going in with full steam and several hundred militants have been killed. Instead of getting pleased, the Americans got disturbed since they never intended to control militancy but to spread the flames of militancy into cities and create anarchic conditions.

The month of September saw intensification of missile attacks and each attack resulted in loss of innocent lives. To create fear and panic among the peaceful residents of Waziristan and also to target pro-government elements, missile attacks were intensified and each attack killed innocent men, women and children. The idea was to antagonise pro-government Waziris and also to force them to migrate as had happened in case of Bajaur. To further up the ante, Pakistan was declared as a battleground and a first ever ground attack was carried out by US troops on the night of 3 September at Angoor Adda killing 15 men women and children. A deadly missile attack was conducted on pro-Pakistan Jalaluddin Haqqani house in North Waziristan on 8 September killing 25 inmates mostly women and children. He was blamed for carrying out attack on Indian Embassy. The intruding drone was forced to beat a hasty retreat on 12 September when own jets got airborne and started to track it. A ground attack on 15th was also thwarted by the troops and locals. So far 62 border violations have been carried out by US-ISAF forces including 36 after the takeover by PPP government in March 2008. So far 30 missile attacks have been made killing innocent people. In none of the attack any Al-Qaada operative or militant Taliban was killed.

The nexus in Kabul is working upon a scripted plan to make FATA lawless and beyond the control of security forces, push militancy into settled areas and then into major cities and thus create a civil warlike situation to prove their contention that Pakistan was the most dangerous country in the world and that the extremists were on the verge of taking over power and nuclear weapons. After inflaming South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Mohmand Agency, Khyber Agency, Darra Adam Khel, Kurram Agency, Hangu and Swat, Bajaur Agency was built into a stronghold of militants where huge cache of arms and ammunition was dumped. By virtue of being located at the crossroad of the tribal belt and also linked with Dir, Swat and Afghanistan, it was to act as bulwark and a launching pad to provide reinforcement to other areas.

10,000 Indian troops are stationed in Afghanistan under the garb of supervising construction of road Jalalabad-Port Chahbahar project that has now been completed. Whereas India has officially declared 14 Indian consulates in Afghanistan, on ground they have 107 in which 20 intelligence units are burning their midnight oil to destabilise Pakistan. Many mercantile shops run by Indians have an intelligence office in the rear. In Wakhan, a religious Madrassa run by Indian Muslim clerics is functioning since 2002 under the patronage of RAW and Mossad. Very young boys, mostly orphans, destitute or homeless are recruited. Recruits are mostly Afghans, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Caucasians. The latter being fair skinned and resembling Europeans are trained to hit targets in Europe or in USA to once again create a 9/11 like situation.

Reportedly, 10,000 ideologically motivated terrorist and suicide bombers have been trained. Besides receiving military training, they have also been made to learn Pashto and customs of Pathans. They are regularly infiltrated into troubled spots of Pakistan. Posing as volunteers they join the rank and file of militants to fight the army. They are the ones who are destroying schools, CD shops, bridges and other installations and carrying out brutal beheading of captured personnel. The idea is to create chaos and confusion and also to defame the real Taliban that have not come under their influence. They are also responsible for creating cleavages within the people of FATA and in disrupting peace deals. In Kurram Agency, Afghan officers and soldiers are actively involved in the sectarian conflict by way of providing arms and ammunition to Shias belonging to Tori tribe and physically participating in duels with Sunnis. In Swat, Fazlullah led militants are supplied with war munitions as well as fighters.

Likewise, dissident tribal chiefs in Baluchistan including late Akbar Bugti were also taken on board. The CIA helped in reincarnating BLA and providing all sorts of war munitions to Baloch militants belonging to Bugti, Marri and Mengal tribes and establishing over 60 Farari camps in Baluchistan. Shamsi airbase that was handed over to USA in October 2001, houses Blackhawk helicopters primarily engaged in monitoring the entire length of Iranian border. CIA has cultivated Sunni Iranian Baloch Jandullah group (not the one that had operated against 5 Corps commander). It is anti- Iranian regime and was utilised by CIA to carryout acts of sabotage in Iran through Zahidan. Iran has now constructed a stone wall all along its border to prevent cross border terrorism from Baluchistan. It has clouded Pak-Iran relations since the latter feels that such activities could not have been undertaken without the blessing of Pak government.

It is now clear that our so-called friends have been playing a double game. Now that USA has bared its teeth and let its intentions known, to pretend that it would stop short of achieving its objectives will be like living in fools’ paradise. It is simply degrading to unashamedly say that we cannot fight the Americans. It is also preposterous to assume that Pakistan may not survive without American support. Pro-American elements within Pakistan on US payroll have been parroting this theme since creation of Pakistan to safeguard their vested interests. North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Iran, Somalia are living examples who have survived despite adopting hostile posture against USA. It is high time that we gird up our loins and put our act together to face up to the challenge boldly.

The army under Gen Kayani has expressed its resolve to confront the threat and safeguard country’s sovereignty irrespective of the consequences. It is now up to our week-kneed rulers oblivious of the ominous threat and still busy in power game as to how they stand up to the test. It will be naive to expect that the threat will be warded off with diplomacy alone. We must make USA realise that it will become exceedingly difficult for US led allied troops to operate in Afghanistan if Pakistan opts out of fighting US war of terror and refuses to provide transit facility to carry oil and food supplies to its troops in Afghanistan. The magnitude of dependence can be gauged from the fact each day over 400 containers ply from Karachi and Quetta to Afghanistan transporting food, munitions and 300 million gallons of fuel for US-Nato troops in Afghanistan. We may also consider bridling CIA’s unchecked activities and closing down four bases in control of USA.

Asif Haroon Raja is a defence and a political analyst.

-Asian Tribune -
STOP THE KILLING NOW
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Offline rustygunn

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Pakistani Troops Open Fire on U.S. Choppers
« Reply #110 on: September 22, 2008, 05:03:56 am »
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan —  Pakistani troops and tribesmen opened fire when two U.S. helicopters crossed into the country from neighboring Afghanistan, intelligence officials said Monday.

The alleged incident late Sunday in North Waziristan came as the Muslim country struggled to respond to a suicide bombing at a luxury hotel in the capital that killed at least 53.

Pakistan's army and the U.S. military in Afghanistan said they had no information on the reported incursion, which will likely add to tensions between Islamabad and Washington.

A spate of suspected U.S. missile strikes into Pakistan's border region and a raid by U.S. commandos that killed about 15 people have angered and embarrassed Pakistani leaders.

President Asif Ali Zardari is in New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly. The newly elected leader is also expected to meet U.S. President George W. Bush.

The two intelligence officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. They said informants in the field told them of the incursion about one mile (two kilometers) inside the disputed and poorly demarcated border in the Alwara Mandi area.

The helicopters did not return fire and re-entered Afghan airspace without landing, the officials said.

A week ago, U.S. helicopters reportedly landed near Angoor Ada, a border village in South Waziristan, but returned toward Afghanistan after troops fired warning shots.

A military spokesman said last week that Pakistani soldiers had orders to open fire in case of another cross-border raid by U.S. troops.

Meanwhile, suspicion hardened that Al Qaeda or the Taliban were behind Saturday's blast at the Marriott hotel in Islamabad. Some 270 people were wounded, while the dead included the Czech ambassador and two U.S. Department of Defense employees.

While no group claimed responsibility, officials and experts said the scale of the blast and its high-profile target were the hallmarks of media-savvy Al Qaeda.

Senior Al Qaeda leader Mustafa Abu al-Yazid threatened attacks against Western interests in Pakistan in a video timed with the recent anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

Mahmood Shah, a former government security chief for Pakistan's tribal areas, said while the attack had "all the signatures" of an al-Qaida strike, homegrown Taliban militants probably had learned how to carry out an attack of this magnitude.

Al Qaeda was providing "money, motivation, direction and all sort of leadership and using the Taliban as gun fodder," he suggested.

Khalid Hussain Abbasi, a rescue official, said search teams finished a second round of checks at the gutted hotel and had not found more bodies Monday.

Dramatic surveillance footage released Sunday showed how the explosive-laden truck sat burning and disabled at the hotel gate for at least 3 1/2 minutes as nervous guards tried to douse the flames before they, the truck and much of the hotel forecourt vanished in a fearsome fireball.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the attack was an attempt to "destabilize democracy" in Pakistan, which this year emerged from nine years of military rule.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,425803,00.html


Offline Biggs

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #111 on: September 22, 2008, 10:01:57 am »
please read the bits in bold, the author seems to be of the opinion that the US is set to directly attack Waziristan and perhaps other parts of FATA aencies and are making concrete preparations to do so. This author, although not always right about Al Qaeda, is the best source I have found about events in Pakistan and coverage of Afghan Taliban. If he is saying it then it is very likely to be accurate, which is clearly worrying. Any direct operations by US forces inside Pakistan can only lead to disaster for pakistan, the region as a whole and US/NATO forces inside Afghanistan. Talk about stirring up a hornets nest.

The gloves are off in Pakistan
By Syed Saleem Shahzad

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/JI23Df01.html

KARACHI -
Pakistani authorities have compared Saturday evening's devastating truck suicide attack on the Marriott Hotel in the capital Islamabad to the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

In terms of its psychological effect, the blast, which killed more than 80 people, injured hundreds and burnt out the hotel, has traumatized the nation, and, like 9/11, marks the beginning of a new battle: this time not the "war on terror", but the war by terrorists.

Pakistan is now the declared battleground in this struggle by Islamic militants to strike first against American interests before the United States' war machine completes its preparations to
storm the sanctuaries of al-Qaeda in Pakistan.


The attack on one of the hotels in the chain of the US Marriott group was one of the worst in Pakistan's history and involved the sophisticated use of over 600 kilograms of TNT explosive blended with RDX and phosphorous, detonated when a truck rammed into a security barricade in front of the hotel

Among the dead were the Czech ambassador to Pakistan, two US Marines, members of the US embassy staff, Saudi nationals and other European diplomats. More than 250 people were injured and dozens of parked cars were destroyed.

There was immediate speculation the attack was prompted by the fact of many marines living in the top floor of the hotel. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani claimed the real target was his residence, where President Asif Ali Zardari, army chiefs of staff and the entire cabinet were gathered for an Iftar (Muslim breaking of the Ramadan fast) dinner. Security was so tight, the theory goes, that the driver instead went to the nearby Marriott.

But on Monday afternoon, Rehman Malik, the Pakistani prime minister's advisor for the interior, told a group of reporters at the Islamabad airport: "An Iftar Dinner was scheduled at Marriot on September which was hosted by National Assembly Speaker Dr Fahmida Mirza and where all dignitaries including the prime minister, president, cabinet and all services chiefs were invited. However, at the eleventh hour the dinner was shifted to rime minster's house which saved Pakistan's entired military and political leadership."

"Perhaps, the earlier information of the dinner was leaked to the militants and therefore they hit Marriot hotel,"Rehman added.

However, Asia Times Online's investigations, including talks with highly placed security experts, indicate that the Marriott attack signals the opening of a major battle which is about to start in Pakistan in a new phase of the "war on terror".


Preparations for a new battle
Saturday's blast occurred on the day of Zardari's first presidential address to a joint session of parliament, after which he was due to depart for New York for the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.

He was also scheduled to meet leading US officials to discuss contentious issues in the "war on terror", especially the US's aggressive military incursions into Pakistan's tribal areas in recent weeks to attack al-Qaeda figures and militants.

Already, though, events had been set in motion to shape this new battlefield.

Approximately 20 kilometers from Islamabad lies Tarbella, the brigade headquarters of Pakistan's Special Operation Task Force (SOTF). Recently, 300 American officials landed at this facility, with the official designation as a "training advisory group", according to documents seen by Asia Times Online.

However, high-level contacts claim this is not as simple as a training program.

In the mid-1990s, during the government of Nawaz Sharif, a special US Central Intelligence Agency unit was based at the same facility, tasked with catching Osama bin Laden. They left after Pervez Musharraf came to power in a coup in 1999.

Now, the US has bought a huge plot of land at Tarbella, several square kilometers, according to sources directly handling the project. Recently, 20 large containers arrived at the facility. They were handled by the Americans, who did not allow any Pakistani officials to inspect them.

Given the size of the containers, it is believed they contain special arms and ammunition and even tanks and armored vehicles - and certainly have nothing to do with any training program.

There is little doubt in the minds of those familiar with the American activities at Tarbella that preparations are being made for an all-out offensive in North-West Frontier Province against sanctuaries belonging to the Taliban and al-Qaeda led by bin Laden. Pakistani security sources maintain more American troops will arrive in the coming days.


Pakistan recently offered ceasefire agreements to militants in the North Waziristan and South Waziristan tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan. These were not only summarily rejected, but followed with attacks in the two Waziristans on security forces, and then the Marriott operation.

For both the militants and the United States, the gloves have come off. Clearly, Washington is concerned at the lack of progress in clipping the wings of the militancy in Pakistan (read al-Qaeda fugitives) and that the Taliban have bases in Pakistan to fuel their insurgency in Afghanistan.

In the crucial few weeks before the US presidential elections there is nothing the George W Bush administration would like more than a real smoking gun to justify the long years of its "war on terror". The soldiers now based Tarbella are on the trail. But so are the militants.

Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online's Pakistan Bureau Chief. He can be reached at [email protected]
STOP THE KILLING NOW
END THE CRIMINAL SIEGE OF GAZA - FREE PALESTINE!!!!!!!

Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #112 on: September 22, 2008, 01:55:00 pm »
Anyone still wondering if they want a civil war in Pakistan? This is madness, but they have a deadline of 2015...
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/11/19/america/19cndpolicy.php
U.S. considers enlisting tribes in Pakistan to fight Al Qaeda
By Eric Schmitt, Mark Mazzetti and Carlotta Gall
Published: November 18, 2007

This article was reported and written by Eric Schmitt, Mark Mazzetti and Carlotta Gall.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 — A new and classified American military proposal outlines an intensified effort to enlist tribal leaders in the frontier areas of Pakistan in the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, as part of a broader effort to bolster Pakistani forces against an expanding militancy, American military officials said.

If adopted, the proposal would join elements of a shift in strategy that would also be likely to expand the presence of American military trainers in Pakistan, directly finance a separate tribal paramilitary force that until now has proved largely ineffective and pay militias that agree to fight Al Qaeda and foreign extremists, officials said. The United States now has only about 50 troops in Pakistan, a Pentagon spokesman said, a force that could grow by dozens under the new approach.

The new proposal is modeled in part on a similar effort by American forces in Anbar Province in Iraq that has been hailed as a great success in fighting foreign insurgents there. But it raises the question of whether such partnerships can be forged without a significant American military presence on the ground in Pakistan. And it is unclear whether enough support can be found among the tribes.

Altogether, the broader strategic move toward more local support is being accelerated because of concern about instability in Pakistan and the weakness of the Pakistani government, as well as fears that extremists with havens in the tribal areas could escalate their attacks on allied troops in Afghanistan. Just in recent weeks, Islamic militants sympathetic to Al Qaeda and the Taliban have already extended their reach beyond the frontier areas into more settled areas, most notably the mountainous region of Swat.

The tribal proposal, a strategy paper prepared by staff members of the United States Special Operations Command, has been circulated to counterterrorism experts but has not yet been formally approved by the command's headquarters in Tampa, Florida Some other elements of the campaign have been approved in principle by the Americans and Pakistanis and await financing, including $350 million over several years to help train and equip the Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force that currently has about 85,000 members and is recruited from border tribes.

Ever since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration has used billions of dollars of aid and heavy political pressure to encourage General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president, to carry out more aggressive military operations against militants in the tribal areas. But the sporadic military campaigns Pakistan have conducted there have had little success, resulting instead in heavy losses among Pakistani Army units and anger among locals who have for decades been mostly independent from Islamabad's control.

American officials acknowledge those failures, but they say the renewed emphasis on recruiting allies among the tribal militias and investing more heavily in the Frontier Corps reflect the depth of American concern about the need to address Islamic extremism in Pakistan.

The new counterinsurgency campaign is also a vivid example of the American military's asserting a bigger role in a part of Pakistan that the Central Intelligence Agency has overseen almost exclusively since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Small numbers of United States military personnel have served as advisers at the division and corps level of the Pakistani Army in the tribal areas, giving planning advice and helping to integrate American intelligence, according to one senior American officer with long service in the region.

In the past, American Special Forces have gone into foreign countries to work with local militaries to improve the security of those countries in ways that help American interests. Under this new approach, the number of advisers would increase, officials said.

American officials said these security improvements complemented a package of assistance from the Agency for International Development and the State Department for the seven districts of the tribal areas that amounted to $750 million over five years. These improvement and would involve work in education, health and other sectors. The State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs is also assisting the Frontier Corps with financing for counternarcotics work.

Some details of the security improvements have been reported by The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. But the classified proposal to enlist tribal leaders is new.

"The DOD is about to start funding the Frontier Corps," one military official said, referring to the Department of Defense. "We have only got a portion of that requested, but it is enough to start."

Until now, the Frontier Corps has not received American military financing because the corps technically falls under the Pakistani Interior Ministry, which is normally outside the Pentagon's responsibility.

But American officials say the Frontier Corps is in the long term the most suitable force to combat an insurgency. The force, which since 2001 has increasingly been under the day-to-day command of Pakistani Army units, is now being expanded and trained by American advisers, diplomats said.

The training of the Frontier Corps remains a concern for some. NATO and American soldiers in Afghanistan have often blamed the Frontier Corps for aiding and abetting Taliban insurgents mounting cross-border attacks.

"It's going to take years to turn them into a professional force," one Western military official said. "Is it worth it now?"

At the same time, military officials fear the assistance to develop a counterinsurgency force is too little too late. "The advantage is already in the enemy hands," one Western military official said.

Local Taliban and foreign fighters in Waziristan have managed to regroup and reorganize since negotiating peace deals with the government in 2005 and 2006, and last year they were able to fight all through the winter, the official said. Militants have now emerged in force in the Swat area, a scenic tourist region that is a considerable distance inland from the tribal areas on the border.

The planning at the Special Operations Command intensified after Admiral Eric Olson, a member of the Navy Seals who is the new head of the command, met with Musharraf and senior Pakistani military leaders in late August to discuss how the military could increase cooperation in Pakistan's fight against the extremists.

A spokesman for the command, Kenneth McGraw, would not comment on any staff briefing paper that had been circulated for review. McGraw said Friday that after Olson returned from his trip, he "energized the staff to look for ways to develop opportunities for future cooperation."

A senior Defense Department official said that Olson also prepared a short memorandum outlining how Special Operations forces could assist the Pakistani military in the counterinsurgency, and that he shared that document with several senior Pentagon officials.

Four senior military or counterterrorism officials confirmed that planning was under way at the command headquarters.

One person who was briefed on the proposal prepared by the Special Operations Command staff members, and who spoke on condition of anonymity because the briefing had not yet been approved, said it was in the form of about two dozen slides. The slides described a strategy using both military and nonmilitary measures to fight the militants.

One slide showed a chart that categorized one to two dozen tribes by location — North Waziristan and South Waziristan, for example — and then gave a brief description of their location, their known or suspected links to Al Qaeda and Taliban, and their size and military abilities.

The briefing said that United States forces would not be involved in any conventional combat in Pakistan. But several senior military and Pentagon officials said elements of the Joint Special Operations Command, an elite counterterrorism unit, might be involved in strikes against senior militant leaders under specific conditions.

Two people briefed on elements of the approach said it was modeled in part on efforts in Iraq, where American commanders have worked with Sunni sheiks in Anbar Province to turn locals against the militant group Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the homegrown Sunni extremist group that American intelligence agencies say is led by foreigners .

The success of these efforts, together with the consensus in military and intelligence circles that the grip of the original Al Qaeda in the tribal areas continues to tighten at a time when the Pakistani government is in crisis, led planners at the Special Operations Command to develop the strategy for the tribal areas.

A group of Pakistan experts convened in March by the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that empowering tribal leaders, known as maliks, could be an effective strategy to counter the rising influence of Islamic religious leaders and to weaken Al Qaeda. But a report on the session found that such successes "would be difficult to achieve, particularly in the north (Bajaur) and south (North and South Waziristan)."

Many tribal leaders have been killed by the Taliban in the tribal areas, leaving the tribal system largely destroyed.

"The face on this would be a local one," said one person who has been briefed on the proposal. But that person cautioned that whether a significant number of tribal leaders joined an American-backed effort carried out by Pakistani forces was "the $64,000 question."

Offline Biggs

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #113 on: September 23, 2008, 05:41:23 pm »
Because You'll Believe Anything: Unknown Terrorist Group Claims Responsibility For Marriot Bombing
Winter Patriot


www.uruknet.info?p=47445

Link: winterpatriot.blogspot.com/2008/09/because-youll-believe-anything-unknown.html

September 23, 2008

In a phone call to an Islamabad TV station, "a group calling itself Fedayeen-i-Islam" has claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Marriot Hotel in Islamabad, according to the Pakistani newspaper Dawn.


Fedayeen-i-Islam is "a little-known group" according to Bloomberg. But just how little-known?

Dawn's report quotes "a senior [Pakistani] government official" as saying:
"We have not heard the name of the organisation but we are trying to locate its network."
Amazing.

Ever since Saturday night's bombing the media have been wrestling with the big question: "Why did al Qaeda do this?"

But now they have to deal with a different question: "How is Fedayeen-i-Islam related to al Qaeda?"

It goes without saying that Fedayeen-i-Islam must be a violent radical Islamofascist group and that they must have bombed the hotel. And they must have been assisted, if not directed, by al Qaeda, and probably the Taliban as well. After all, who else but the world's most violent Islamic terrorists could make an anonymous phone call to a TV station?

It's nice to know the big questions are looked after. That gives us leeway -- here in the frozen corners of the blogosphere -- to ask meaningless little insignificant questions, like:

What were US Marines doing in the Marriot Hotel just before the attack?

According to Pakistan Daily, after the blast, a fire broke out on the fourth and fifth floors of the hotel.

Why these floors and not the others? The official explanation didn't make much sense. On the other hand, according to an eyewitness report from a member of Pakistan's Parliament, a group of US Marines had recently visited the hotel, while Admiral Mike Mullen was there.

According to the eyewitness, all access to the hotel was closed off while the Marines unloaded steel boxes from a white US Embassy truck, bypassed both Pakistani and hotel security, and took these boxes directly to the fourth and fifth floors of the hotel -- just where the fires mysteriously broke out.

Were the Marines loading the building with incendiaries? It certainly wouldn't be the first time a building was primed by insiders for a subsequent "terrorist attack".

I wasn't kidding in my prior post when I called the Marriot bombing "Pakistan's 9/11". But I didn't explain myself particularly well, either.

There's a long list of similarities between the two attacks, including the rush by both politicians and the media to cast the event as "an attack on democracy", when in both cases the attacks came at critical times for governments which falsely claimed to have been legitimately elected.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari can now claim to be in an all-out war against radical Islamic terrorists, and he may even be able to build up enough "political capital" to drag his nation in a direction in which it doesn't wish to go.

As usual, the attack has been followed by a barrage of media nonsense, such as a report from the Financial Times which says men with ties to al Qaeda have been arrested in Pakistan in connection with the Marriot bombing.
Pakistani investigators yesterday said they had found new evidence of al-Qaeda's involvement in the suicide truck bombing of Islamabad's Marriott hotel. Intelligence officials also reported the arrest of up to five militants in connection with planning attacks [...]

According to an intelligence official, two of the five arrested men "came with conclusive evidence of close links to al-Qaeda. Their connection to the militant group is beyond any doubt."
Let's see now: The police are arresting members of one group while another group claims responsibility. Does this not undermine the claims of the police?

If you were tripped up by this little bit of logic, you must be a Democrat, since according to the Republicans, the Democrats have failed to learn the lessons of September 11th, 2001.

And the primary lesson from September 11th, of course, is that logic, evidence, and science are all past their prime.

Therefore, we don't use forensic evidence to solve crimes anymore; we label the crimes acts of war, destroy the forensic evidence, and attack defenseless countries instead. For revenge. Or something.

If you believe that this massive bombing attack was perpetrated by a Pakistani terrorist group that the Pakistani government has never even heard of, then it's not much of a stretch to believe that this hitherto-unknown group must have hitherto-unknown ties to al Qaeda, as well.

As the AP reported (via the Toronto Star):
Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik said "all roads lead to FATA" in major Pakistani suicide attacks – referring to Federally Administered Tribal Areas, where U.S. officials fear Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda No.2 Ayman al-Zawahri are hiding.

And there you have it; it doesn't matter who did it; it doesn't matter who claimed responsibility; it doesn't matter why Marines were acting mysteriously (and evading security) in the building shortly before it was attacked; it doesn't matter what evidence is collected during the investigation; it doesn't even matter whether there is an investigation.

What matters is that the media and the politicians have already decided who's going to be blamed, and who's going to pay the price. And once again -- just like 9/11 -- it won't be the perpetrators.

STOP THE KILLING NOW
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Offline bigron

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #114 on: September 24, 2008, 07:08:46 am »
Published on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 by CommonDreams.org



A US-NATO War In Pakistan? – An Anatomy of the Current Crisis



by Alan Nasser


On Saturday evening, the Marriott hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, one of the city's two most luxurious hotels, located near the presidential office, the parliament building, and a host of foreign embassies, was devastated by a bomb blast that left fifty three dead, including the Czech ambassador and two U.S. Defense Department officials.

The recent background to this latest in a series of increasingly sophisticated and bold insurgent strikes is revealing: since September 3, the U.S. has launched ground incursions and six missile attacks in Pakistan's border regions. The U.S.-NATO aim is to cripple supporters along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border supportive of the anti-occupation resistance in Afghanistan.

The destruction of the Marriott was the latest response to Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari's complicity with Washington in the military assaults on the perceived center of insurgent support in Pakistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), including the North-West Frontier Provinces (NWFP). Just hours before the Marriott blast Zardari told the country's parliament that he is determined to free Pakistan from "the shackles of terrorism."

This pledge confirmed Zardari's determination to continue to order the Pakistani military, an institution harboring more than a few sympathers with the insurgents, to launch assaults on suspected insurgent -"terrorist"- strongholds. It is common knowledge that this policy is a response to pressure from Washington.

Pakistan's ambassador to Germany, Shahid Kamal, expressed not only his own but the majority resentment against Zardari's subservience to Washington's demands on Pakistan when he told The New York Times "This [the Marriott bombing] is a reaction to what is going on in FATA. We have been implementing a reckless and careless policy.... What's happening in FATA is that Pakistanis are killing Pakistanis."

Here we see reflected both the popular indignation at the new Pakistani president's political apeing of his predecessor, the Washington puppet and military dictator Pervez Musharraf, and the deep divisions within Pakistan's state apparatus regarding Pakistan's alliance with the U.S.-NATO, which the majority of Pakistanis see as waging a Western-Christian attack on global Islam.

An overview of the backgound to Washington's stepped-up aggression in Pakistan is in order.

The Bush Doctrine Is Extended to Pakistan
On September 9 George W. Bush announced that Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan were "all theatres in the same overall struggle." This declaration was intended to justify Bush's July approval of ground assaults by U.S. Special Operations forces inside Pakistan, without Islamabad's approval.

Thus, the Iraq-Afghanistan disasters are to be sustained and widened to include the sixth most populous country in the world, with 20 million Muslims, the overwhelming majority of whom are known to be increasingly infuriated with the recent succession of air and ground attacks inside Pakistan, and whose government possesses a nuclear arsenal.

Rising Public Outrage in Afghanistan and Pakistan

In response to the public outcry in Pakistan against Bush's policy statements and the military attacks, on September 17, Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, pledged to the Pakistani leadership that Washington would respect the nation's sovereignty.

But less that one day after Mullen's promise the U.S. launched another missile attack against a compound in Waziristan, killing at least five villagers. This was only the latest in a series of ground and air assaults against tribal areas in Pakistan since early this month.

After the first gound incursion, on September 3, Pakistani officials temporarily closed the most crucial land route for transporting supplies to U.S.-NATO's troops in Afghanistan. Pakistan's parliament unanimously called for the use of force in response to further attacks. Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani declared that the territorial integrity of his country "will be defended at all costs." This rebuke was intended both to chastise Washington and to bolster the enraged Pakistani public's confidence in the army. Anti-Americanism in Pakistan has reached a record high, and the army is threatened with a loss of perceived legitimacy if it is unable to repel U.S. incursions.

Kayani's threat was dismissed as mere bluster in Washington. But Washington was forced to think twice when, on September 15, two U.S. armed helicopters attempting to cross into Pakistan were forced to retreat by firepower from Pakistan-based forces. The following day the head of the military's press liason branch announced the military's policy regarding future U.S.-NATO attempted air or ground crossings into Pakistan: "The orders are clear... open fire."

Bush's September 9 announcement about the inclusion of Pakistan in the "overall struggle" in Iraq and Afghanistan came at the same time as United Nations reports that the number of Afghani civilians killed in the ongoing war there has risen forty percent in the past year. Since the beginning of the year, NATO has dropped almost four hundred tons of bombs on Afghanistan. There were more deaths in August than in any month since the 2001 expulsion of the Taliban at the commencement of the U.S.-NATO invasion.

Major General Zaher Azimi, spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, reflected large scale public sentiment when he declared last week that "It is difficult for the Afghan people to tolerate any more. Civilian casualties are now so much on the rise." Recent intelligence estimates indicate that at least sixty percent of Afghanis want total U.S.-NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The Response of the Insurgent Leadership: The Taliban, the Tribal Chiefs, and al-Qaeda

In response to these attacks, and to Bush's stated disregard for Pakistan's national soveriegnty, Waziristan's tribal chiefs held an emergency meeting on September 13th. The meeting concluded with this announcement from tribal chief Malik Nasrullah: "If America doesn't stop attacks in tribal areas, we will prepare an army to attack U.S. forces in Afghanistan. We will also seek support from the tribal elders in Afghanistan to fight jointly against America."

The representatives of 500,000 tribesmen made it clear that they would officially join forces with the Taliban if the U.S. does not cease its cross-border attacks. We shall see below that de facto incorporation of Pashtun tribesmen into the Taliban is already well under way.

The animus in response to U.S. policy is shared by all the major players in the Pakistani and Afghani resistance. The result has been a coalescence of hitherto independent forces increasingly intolerant of escalating U.S.-NATO aggression. Let us begin with the Taliban.

A large portion of the Afghani Taliban retreated into Pakistan at the start of the U.S.-led invasion of 2001. They continued to train and recruit in the original camps where they were once nurtured by both the Pentagon, the CIA, and the latter's Pakistani counterpart the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI).

The failure of the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan, evident shortly after the war began, led to the gradual return of the Taliban to their home country. They have regained a significant measure of popular support as an effective resistance to foreign occupiers/aggressors. The extensive bombing and its overwhelmingly civilian casualties, and the lack of social and political reform that might have improved the material conditions of life in that already very poor war-ravaged country, are the main reasons for the Taliban's resurgence.

President Hamid Karzai is widely viewed as a corrupt American puppet. His authority does not extend much beyond Kabul, and the resulting power vacuum across Afghanistan has been swiftly filled by the Taliban, who have built an effective and increasingly popular parallel administrative infrastructure in key areas across the south and east of Afghanistan.

NATO spokesmen have expressed concern at the improved communication networks, better intelligence gathering and more sophisticated attacks of the Taliban this year. Taliban battlefield successes have risen ; the three summer months have been the worst for the coalition since 2001. Record numbers of U.S., French and Canadian troops were killed. 50,000 U.S.-led coalition troops have been unable to stem these developments.

Pakistan's frontier provinces are in fact, as Washington has charged, a major training ground for the Taliban. The provinces have also spawned the so-called neo-Taliban, new and younger recruits to the movement. These growing ranks have become an effective part of the burgeoning parallel administration of resistance in Afghanistan. And they are the dominant power in the NWFP of Pakistan, whose capital city Peshawar is increasingly surrounded by Taliban cadres, a growing number of whom now organize in the city.

The Afghani parallel administration makes and enforces laws designed to address the most pressing insecurities of local populations. From legitimate property disputes to theft, the Taliban have imposed a consistent system of laws, often based on traditional Islamic principles, that settle disputes without the years of delay and ubiquitous bribes that are typically required within the Karzai government's system.

This combination of more streamlined organization, the sustained attempt to address widespread grievances in local villages, quicker replacement of wounded and killed cadres, and more effective armed resistance to "Christian invaders" has enabled the Taliban to regain control of more than half of Afghanistan.

Most of the Taliban are drawn from Sunni Pashtun tribes. The Pashtun are a decisive force in the Pakistani resistance, and a significant element in Afghanistan as well. Who are the Pashtun?

The Pashtun constitute Afghanistan's largest ethnic and linguistic community, comprising just over half the population, concentrated in the eastern and southern areas of the country. In Pakistan, they are the country's second largest ethnic group, the dominant tribe in the NWFP, the FATA, and are a significant presence in the western Balochistan provinces. Thus, many Pashtun straddle the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

It is the Pashtun's overriding sense of tribal, rather than national, identity that makes them effective allies of the Taliban and a major source of resistance to U.S.-NATO designs in the region. They consider themselves Pashtun first and Afghani or Pakistani second. Thus, Washington's insistence that cross-border arms transfers and troop movement from Pakistan to Afghanistan cease fall on deaf Pashtun ears.

The Pakistani Taliban's roots in local Pashtun who identify with their tribal brethren in Afghanistan make the Pashtun a powerful obstacle to Washington-NATO's aims. The Taliban and the Pashtun are driven by different values. The former are motivated by their interpretation of Islam, and the latter by non-Islamic tribal loyalties and traditional abhorrence to foreign intrusion, especially Western aggression by powers associated with colonialism. But these differences are trumped by their common aim, which is to repel attempts by the Christian West to render them subservient to U.S.-NATO global designs.

And the Pashtun are not unschooled in the arts of armed resistance. They fought against the British in the nineteenth century, contributing in some measure to the weakening of the British empire. And they formed a highly effective force within the anti-Soviet muhajedeen in the war of the late 1980s-early 1990s.

Finally, al-Qaeda too has reorganized after 9/11 and established a presence in the tribal areas of north Waziristan, which was the site of their original training by the CIA and the ISI in preparation for the defeat of the Soviet-allied government of the 1970s. More recently they have, like the Taliban, made inroads into territory adjacent to Peshawar, the capital of the NWFP.

Al-Qaeda's plan is the one they learned from their CIA-ISI trainers twenty years ago. Just as they had sucked Soviet troops into Afghanistan, they now hope to suck the U.S. military into Pakistan. They are making two bets: that the U.S. attacks will outrage public opinion in Pakistan, and that Pakistan's army will be unable effectively to follow U.S. orders to eliminate al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

One has the feeling that Washington has barely an inkling of the strength and determination of the resistance, and of the corresponding defeats, it faces in its intensification of what Bush, McCain and Obama agree is the "good" war.

Deep Ambivalence Within the Pakistani Military and the ISI

Pakistan's military finds itself caught between a rock and a hard place. It is a powerful institution some of whose leaders have risen to the top of the country's political totem pole. It commands a huge budget. It justifies this ascendant position by its claim to be the only institution that can uphold and sustain the independent integrity of the country.

But the credibility and legitimacy of the military is put under tremendous strain by Zardari's continuation of Musharraf's subservience to Washington's demands. If the army cannot stop U.S. military aggression in Pakistan against the local citizenry, it loses face and legitimacy. If it follows Washington's orders and launches a comprehensive assault on Pakistani tribespeopole and villagers, it suffers mass opprobrium.

Both the military and the ISI are sites of mixed and ambiguous loyalties. Many in the military are Pashtun, and are loathe to slay their tribal cousins. And sympathizers with the Taliban are also not hard to find in both the military and the ISI. Indeed, U.S. intelligence is convinced that a number of operations against insurgent positions in both Pakistan and Afghanistan have been foiled by military and ISI tips to the resistance.

Washington-NATO cannot count on the Pakistani army or the ISI.

Washington's Current Strategy and Obama's Stated Policy

In response to the crisis, Washington has agreed to cease, at least for the time being, further Special Operations into Pakistan. But there is a catch. Pakistan must "cooperate" by taking up the slack. The Pakistani military must execute increased military operations in FATA. Washington has already set the stage for this strategy.

The New York Times reported early this year that the CIA has a drone base inside Pakistan. And Musharraf had given the CIA permission to launch drone missile strikes against the border regions. This is what U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte meant last week when he said that "Unilateral solutions are not a viable solution over a prolonged period of time. The best way forward is to try to deal with the situation in that border area on a cooperative basis."

It should be clear from the overall picture drawn above that this plan will outrage Pakistanis and bolster the resistance no less than unilateral U.S. action. And no one can be sure that the Pakistani army will commit itself effectively to this plan.

Barack Obama is currently commited to unilateralism. In August 2007, a year before Bush's July approval of unilateral U.S. military assaults, Obama called for direct U.S. military action in Pakistan, irrespective of Pakistani approval. Obama staed that "If we have actionable intelligence about terrorist targets and president Musharraf won't act, we will."

And more than a few key members of Obama's recently announced Senior Working Group on National Security share this view. Among president Obama's top advisors would be James Steinberg, Bill Clinton's Deputy National Security Advisor. Here is Steinberg's position on unilateralism, as expressed in a recent co-authored article titled "The Future of Preemption": "Unilateralism is not the only alternative to the UN Security Council. Regional organizations and a new coalition of democratic states offer ways to legitimize the use of force when the Council fails to meet its responsibility." In other words, the U.S. will do as it pleases with the approval of selected clients. Iraq is the model.

Alan Nasser is professor emeritus of Political Economy at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wa. His articles have appeared in The Nation, Monthly Review, Commonweal, Global Research, and a number of professional journals.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Article printed from www.CommonDreams.org

URL to article: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/09/23-5

Offline Biggs

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #115 on: September 24, 2008, 01:33:21 pm »
again more useful if mainstream analysis of the latest situation in Pakistan

Militants shake off Pakistan's grip

By Syed Saleem Shahzad

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/JI25Df01.html

KARACHI
- Behind closed doors in Washington, London and Islamabad a few months ago, the consensus was to initiate a strategic phase of "conflict escalation" in the region, even though it was acknowledged that the price for this would be a surge in militancy in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

This is what happened, and, given the popularity of the Taliban among Pashtun tribes in Afghanistan and Pakistan, peace treaties were then viewed as the best solution, provided the terms and conditions were set by the international and regional players and not by the Taliban.

This did not work, as militant activities have broken the will of


 

Pakistan's leaders, so much so that they are using back channels to sign new peace agreements, but this time on the Taliban's terms.

But the militants are obsessed with their own "conflict escalation" until their ultimate goal is reached, whether in the shape of Taliban rule or broader regional peace agreements.

The devastating suicide attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad at the weekend in which more than 80 people died is viewed from a different perspective in the Pashtun-dominated tribal areas, where militancy has a strong foothold.

Journalist Rahimullah Yousufzai, a renowned expert on Pashtun culture, tribalism and the Taliban, argues that just as Islamabad's elite, foreign diplomats and undercover international intelligence agents are devastated by the Marriott bombing, the tribals are equally incensed by the daily aerial bombardment of Bajaur Agency and Dara Adam Khel in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

The Pakistani security forces don't make any concessions for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan and its main rituals, such as the pre-dawn feast (sahur) and the evening breaking of the fast (Iftar).

The tribals believe that non-Pashtun Pakistanis don't care about the massacre of Pashtun tribes by the security forces or the large-scale displacement of people - over 400,000 have been displaced from Bajaur during recent operations there.

The upshot is that the writ of the state of Pakistan has been reduced to the offices of the chief minister and the governor's house in the capital of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), Peshawar.

Information gathered by Asia Times Online through contacts in the Taliban suggests that over the past few months of military activities in the tribal areas, the Taliban have identified the main weakness of the Pakistani security forces in Bajaur - they cannot take control of land. Instead, they have resorted to aerial bombing, which allows the militants to easily take shelter in the maze of mountains that runs across the border into the Afghan province of Kunar.

If the Pakistani forces do try to establish land control, militants can quickly return to Bajaur and force them to retreat.

The Taliban's main regional commander, Qari Ziaur Rahman, has alone taken custody of over 100 Pakistani security personnel. As the number of prisoners soars, the conviction of the security forces to attack the militants weakens.

The situation further deteriorated this week when the Taliban's commander in Mohmand Agency, Abdul Wali, previously largely impartial in the recent conflict, joined hands with Rahman and sent hundreds of fresh guerrillas to attack the Pakistani security forces.

A senior Pakistani defense analyst admitted that despite the difficulties, the Bajaur operation was the only ray of hope for the security forces. If this battle is lost, Pakistan will not be able to stop the march of the Taliban towards the cosmopolitan centers of the country.

Already, the Taliban's success in Bajaur has emboldened them. They have made incursions into Peshawar and, loaded with sophisticated weaponry, they have forced the police to restrict themselves to their stations.

This enabled the Taliban on Monday to abduct Afghanistan's ambassador-designate to Islamabad from the upscale Hyatabad neighborhood of Peshawar, and this in broad daylight. Abdul Khaliq Farahi was apparently first taken to Khyber Agency and remains missing. It is likely he will be used as a Taliban bargaining chip in any negotiations with Kabul.

The Taliban have shown they will go to any lengths in their struggle, even if it means harming fellow Pakistani citizens, including Muslims.

On Monday, the Taliban tried unsuccessfully to hit the main oil depot of Peshawar. According to a militant who spoke to ATol, the aim was to wipe out Peshawar's power for at least 15 days, during which time the Taliban could launch attacks.

Four rockets were also fired at Peshawar's airport on Monday and again on Tuesday. If nothing else, these attacks have created something of a reign of terror in the provincial capital. This is likely to spill over to the outskirt districts of Shabqadar, Charsada, Matni, Dara Adam Khel and Kohat. For the past two weeks, a main trade artery - the Kohat tunnel - has been closed to traffic due to military operations in Dara Adam Khel.

One of the most significant developments has been in the strategic Khyber Agency, the main North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) supply route into Afghanistan.

The majority population here has traditionally been of the anti-Taliban Sufi school of thought. A recent tribal council (jirga) decided to close down the activities and offices of all religious organizations in the agency. The only exception, the jirga agreed, would be the Taliban. It was mutually agreed that the Taliban would not disturb the peace in the area or intervene in local affairs, and the tribes would not get involved in the Taliban's activities.

On Sunday, the Taliban seized four containers belonging to NATO. According to militants who spoke to ATol, they were carrying food and water supplies.

Swat Valley continues to be in the hands of militants, despite intense military operations. On Tuesday, a suicide car bomb killed nine Pakistani soldiers at a security checkpoint in the northwest of the valley.

Taliban commander Abdul Wali has also declared war against Pakistani security forces in Mohmand Agency.

The North Waziristan and South Waziristan tribal areas are completely ruled by the Taliban. On Tuesday, militants shot down a US Predator drone in South Waziristan.

In sum, across NWFP, the only areas that remain outside the militants' grip are a few government buildings and military camps, and even these are under attack. This can safely be termed a mass Taliban-led tribal rebellion against Pakistan.

An added woe for the leaders in Islamabad is information acquired by the security agencies suggesting the growing strength of militant organizations in the largest province of Punjab. These groups could carry out attacks such as the one on the Marriott.

In response to this creeping militancy, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, while in New York for the United Nations General Assembly meeting, is talking with US officials about creating a joint border force comprising American, Afghan and Pakistani troops to hunt down the Taliban.

At the same time, in Islamabad, the federal advisor to the Interior Ministry, the powerful Rehman Malik, recently contacted the Taliban leader in South Waziristan, Baitullah Mehsud, and other Taliban commanders such as Faqir Muhammed to negotiate a ceasefire agreement.

The offers were turned down. This leaves Islamabad in a very awkward situation. It cannot afford another Marriott incident, let alone attacks in major towns and cities. It needs more breathing space, but the militants are not prepared to provide it, leaving conflict escalation the only remaining option.

Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online's Pakistan Bureau Chief. He can be reached at [email protected]
 
 
 
STOP THE KILLING NOW
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Offline Biggs

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #116 on: September 25, 2008, 04:22:52 pm »
somebody is pissed at the USA

Shots fired in US-Pakistan clash
 
US action along the Pakistan border has raised tensions

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7636845.stm

The United States military says US and Afghan forces have exchanged gunfire with Pakistani troops across the border with Afghanistan.


A senior US military official says a five-minute skirmish broke out after Pakistani soldiers fired warning shots near two US helicopters.

No-one was hurt in the incidents and the US maintains its troops did not cross the border from Afghanistan.

Cross-border action by US-led forces has angered Pakistan in recent weeks.

The latest incident took place along the border of the eastern Afghan region of Khost, which is a hotbed of militant groups.

Escorting troops

A US Central Command spokesman, Rear Admiral Greg Smith, said the helicopters had been escorting US troops and Afghan border police when they were fired on by Pakistani troops.

He said that coalition ground forces then fired rounds - not to hit the Pakistani troops, he added, but simply "to make certain that they realised they should stop shooting".

The patrol had been moving about one mile (1.6km) inside Afghanistan, he added.
 


However, the Pakistani military gave a different account.

In a statement, commanders said troops fired warning shots at the helicopters when they strayed over the Pakistan border.

"When the helicopters passed over our border post and were well within Pakistani territory, our own security forces fired anticipatory warning shots," a statement said.

"On this, the helicopters returned fire and flew back."

In New York, Pakistan's new prime minister gave another version of events when he said that Pakistan forces had fired "flares" to warn the helicopters they were near the border.

Tension between Washington and Islamabad has risen since 3 September, when the US conducted a ground assault in Pakistani territory, its first, targeting what it said was a militant target in the tribal region of South Waziristan.
STOP THE KILLING NOW
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Offline bigron

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #117 on: September 26, 2008, 03:43:19 pm »
U.S., Pakistani troops clash on Afghan border 


26/09/2008 05:00:00 PM GMT
http://aljazeera.com/news/newsfull.php?newid=165821

 


 The U.S. says the Pakistani army and the American troops have exchanged fire near the Afghan border.


The U.S. says the Pakistani army and the American troops have exchanged fire near the Afghan border after tensions over incursions flared.

The latest incident took place along the Pakistani border with the eastern Afghan region of Khost on late Thursday.

A senior US military official said skirmishes broke out after Pakistani soldiers fired warning shots near two US helicopters.

US Central Command spokesman Rear Admiral Gregory Smith said Pakistani soldiers at a border checkpoint were observed firing on two US OH-58 Kiowa helicopters covering a patrol of Afghan and US troops about a mile and a half inside Afghanistan.

"The ground forces then fired into the hillside nearby that checkpoint, gained their attention, which worked," Smith added.

"Unfortunately, though, the Pak unit decided to shoot down a hillside at our ground forces. Our ground forces returned fire," he noticed.

The incident on Thursday marks the first time US officials have confirmed an attack by Pakistani forces and exchange of fire.

The incident came just days after a pilotless US drone was shot down in the northwestern Pakistan when local tribes and Pakistani troops fired at the plane while crossing the border, local media reports said. The US denied the report.

Meanwhile, the tactic to mount counter-terrorist operations inside Pakistan has met with fierce opposition.

Anger in Pakistan has been rising since the US began conducting cross-border commando raids as well as stepping up the number of attacks from unmanned Predator drones in the tribal region.

US Predator drones usually armed with missiles have killed dozens of Pakistani civilians during recent weeks.

Pakistani leaders including the president and premier have lashed out at the United States over alleged violation of its air and ground space and killing of innocent civilians.

President Asif Ali Zardari said Thursday that Pakistan's military is firing "flares" to warn NATO helicopters about the exact location of Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.

Later, Zardari launched his verbal attacks at the United States at his UN speech over alleged violation of air and ground space on the border with Afghanistan.

Premier Seyed Yousuf Raza Gilani earlier reiterated that his country would not tolerate violations of its sovereignty after a series of strikes in recent weeks.

The experts say Zardari's speech and Gilani's comments underscore significant tensions between the so-called "war on terror" allies.

The political analysts say that border clashes have added to US-Pak Tensions.

They also believe though there's no war going on between the US and Pakistan yet, but recent exchanges involving American and Pakistani forces along the Pak-Afghan frontier are sounding like a sputtering fuse that's growing ever shorter.

Some others also fear break out of an all-out war between the two countries after the relations reached at its lowest level since last sixty years.






-- Press TV

 

Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #118 on: September 27, 2008, 11:01:52 am »
US troops making sure no pro-US candidate wins Pakistan election, they best way to destroy the country is by radicalizing the people: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080904/ap_on_re_as/pakistan
US raid complicating Pakistani's presidential bid
y NAHAL TOOSI, Associated Press Writer  Thu Sep 4, 3:12 PM ET

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A deadly American-led raid on a Pakistani village embarrassed the government and eroded support for the pro-U.S. presidential front-runner Thursday just two days before the election.

Furor continued to mount over the first known foreign ground assault inside Pakistan against a suspected Taliban haven. The government summoned the U.S. ambassador for an official protest, while Parliament passed resolutions of condemnation.

In news likely to stoke more anger, intelligence officials said a missile strike was suspected in a blast Thursday that killed at least four people in North Waziristan, part of the tribal belt where Osama bin Laden and his deputy are thought to be hiding. Previous such strikes have been blamed on the U.S.

The ground assault, with troops helicoptered in, occurred in adjacent South Waziristan early Wednesday. Officials said at least 15 people died, including women and children. The Foreign Ministry said no militant leaders were killed and there was no sign the attackers detained anyone.

U.S. officials declined public comment. But a U.S. military official said intelligence had indicated the presence in the village of people "clearly associated with attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan." He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of cross-border operations.

The raid has complicated life for presidential front-runner Asif Ali Zardari and his governing Pakistan People's Party heading into Saturday's vote by legislators to elect a successor to former President Pervez Musharraf, who resigned under pressure last month.

The party, which came to power after defeating Musharraf's allies in February, is generally supportive of Washington's war on terrorism. But it has to tread carefully because many Pakistanis blame the alliance for fueling violence by Islamic militants in their country.

Still, the party has tried to convince Pakistanis they cannot duck the fight.

In a column published Thursday in The Washington Post, Zardari, widower of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, said Pakistan is committed to fighting terrorist groups.

"We stand with the United States, Britain, Spain and others who have been attacked," wrote Zardari, whose wife was assassinated in a gun-and-bomb attack last December. "Fundamentally, however, the war we are fighting is our war. This battle is for Pakistan's soul.

"I will work to defeat the domestic Taliban insurgency and to ensure that Pakistani territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on our neighbors or on NATO forces in Afghanistan."

The cross-border raid has cut into support for Zardari's presidential bid.

The leader of a group of lawmakers from the tribal areas along the Afghan border, Munir Khan Orakzai, said they would not vote for Zardari, calling the attack evidence that the new government has failed to bring peace to their troubled region.

Zafar Ali Shah, a lawmaker from the chief opposition party of ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, said Pakistan should tell America: "Enough is enough, and we will not help you if you kill our people. The American war against terrorism has become a war against Pakistan."

A People's Party spokesman, Farhatullah Babar, acknowledged the attack embarrassed the government and said it threatens to undermine joint efforts with the West. He said Zardari condemned the attack and wanted compensation paid to the victims.

"We have been very clear that any action on this side of the border must be taken by the Pakistani forces themselves," Babar said. "It is very embarrassing for the government. The people will start blaming the government of Pakistan."

Pakistan's ambassador in London, who knows Zardari well, said American attacks inside Pakistan pose a "big problem" for the government in trying to rally domestic support for confronting militants.

"We want, and have been trying to convince our Western friends that this democratic government has just come into being — and that we'll complete the democratic process by electing Zardari or someone else — but then please give us some space so that we can implement our plans," Wajid Hasan said.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino declined to comment Thursday on the attack or on Pakistan's condemnations.

"What I will reiterate is that we've been working closely with the new civilian government of Pakistan, which is feeling its way and trying to establish itself," Perino told reporters.

Analysts said that despite public anger, Pakistan is too economically dependent on the U.S. to risk cutting ties. Washington has given billions of dollars in aid, and past protests over suspected U.S. missile attacks inside Pakistani territory have had little effect on relations.

Still, Talat Masood, a political and military analyst, said the U.S. would be wise to avoid another ground assault.

"If this is repeated in any way, I am certain that it will have a very serious impact," Masood said. "This government is trying to change the perception of the people that this is our war. It was trying to get a good relationship with the people of Pakistan and the United States. And then there comes this intervention."

American officials say destroying militant sanctuaries in Pakistani tribal regions is critical to ending the growing Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan.

A wave of violence has hit Pakistan in recent weeks, including suicide attacks that Pakistani Taliban leaders have called revenge for the government's military offensives in the Bajur tribal region and the Swat Valley on the restive frontier with Afghanistan.

Officials said Thursday that security forces killed 37 militants in fighting the previous day.

A military spokesman, Maj. Murad Khan, confirmed a blast occurred in North Waziristan and said authorities were investigating.

Two Pakistani intelligence officials said a missile strike was suspected in the explosion, which killed at least four people in Char Khel village near the border.

Azeemullah Wazir, a resident of the area, said the blast destroyed a house known to host foreigners. He said he had seen an unmanned aircraft fly over hours before he heard three blasts. He later saw Taliban militants surround the site.

Associated Press writers Munir Ahmad, Zarar Khan and Stephen Graham in Islamabad, Ishtiaq Mahsud in Dera Ismail Khan, Paisley Dodds in London and Pamela Hess in Washington contributed to this report.

Offline David Rothscum

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Re: Civil War is being Incited in Pakistan - a new murderous phase begins
« Reply #119 on: September 27, 2008, 03:27:46 pm »
As you can see here, there's a bigger reason they want to destroy Pakistan, it's an indirect attack on China: China, Pakistan to further enhance military ties
www.chinaview.cn 2008-09-26 16:50:38         Print
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-09/26/content_10116317.htm
Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie (R) talks with Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the Army Staff of Pakistan, during their meeting in Beijing, capital of China, on Sept.26, 2008.

Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie (R) talks with Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the Army Staff of Pakistan, during their meeting in Beijing, capital of China, on Sept.26, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
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    BEIJING, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan was ready to work with China to enhance bilateral strategic cooperation under the new circumstances, said a senior Pakistani military official here on Friday.

    Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the Army Staff of Pakistan, made the remarks in a meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie.

    Speaking highly of the good relationship between the two armed forces, he said Pakistan would continue to push forward bilateral ties and the relationship between the two armed forces.

    Liang, also a state councilor, said China and Pakistan, as good neighbors, enjoyed an all-weather friendship.

    "China attaches great importance to its friendship with Pakistan and will further strengthen Sino-Pakistani ties and relations between the two armed forces," said Liang.

    He said China would promote friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields so as to raise the bilateral strategic partnership of cooperation to a new level.