TWF.org OPINION – the author’s
May 26, 2011
by Thierry Meyssan
Within months, three pro-Western governments have fallen in the Arab World: parliament removed Saad Hariris Lebanese government, while popular movements drove out Zine el-Abbidine Ben Ali of Tunisia and Husni Mubarak in Egypt.
These changes have been followed by demonstrations against U.S. domination and Zionism. They politically benefit the Axis of Resistance, comprised of Iran and Syria at the state level and at the non-state level by Hezbollah and Hamas.
To lead the counter-revolution in this region, Washington and Tel Aviv have relied on their best support: the Sudairi clan, which embodies despotism at the service of imperialism unlike any other.
You have probably never heard of them, but for decades the Sudairi have been the worlds richest political organization.
Among the fifty-three sons of King Ibn Saud, founder of Saudi Arabia, the Sudairi are the seven that he sired with Princess Sudairi. Their leader was King Fahd, who ruled from 1982 to 2005. Only six are still alive. The eldest is Prince Sultan, minister of defence since 1962, who is 85. At 71, the youngest is Prince Ahmed, deputy interior minister since 1975. Since the 60s, it was their clan that organized, structured, and funded the pro-Western puppet regimes of the Greater Middle East.
A look back is required here.
Saudi Arabia is a legal entity created by the British during the First World War to weaken the Ottoman Empire. Although Lawrence of Arabia had invented the concept of the Arab nation, he never managed to make a nation of this country, let alone a state. It was and still is the private property of the Al-Sauds. As the British inquiry on the Al-Yamamah Scandal brought to light, in the 21st century there are still no bank accounts or budget for the Kingdom. It is the accounts of the royal family that serve to administer the Kingdom, which is its private domain.
The area fell under U.S. control after the Second World War, when the United Kingdom could no longer maintain its empire. President Franklin D. Roosevelt made an agreement with King Ibn Saud: the family of Saud guaranteed oil supplies to the United States which in return guaranteed the military assistance necessary to keep the House of Saud in power. This alliance is known as the Quincy Agreement, negotiated on a ship by the same name. It is an agreement, not a treaty since it does not bind two states, but a state and a family.
The founding king, Ibn Saud, having had 32 wives and 53 sons, serious rivalries between potential successors were not slow to emerge. Thus it was decided that the crown would not be handed down from father to son, but from half-brother to half-brother.
Five of Ibn Sauds sons have already sat on the throne. The current king, Abdullah I, 87, is a rather open-minded person, although totally out of touch with todays realities. Aware that the current dynastic system is headed for ruin, he intends to reform the rules of succession. The crown would thus be appointed by the Council of the Kingdom this means selected by representatives of various branches of the royal family – and could potentially go to a younger generation.
This wise idea does not suit the Sudairi. Indeed, given the various abdications to the throne for health reasons or self-indulgence, the next three candidates belong to their clan: Prince Sultan, formerly appointed Interior Minister, 85; Prince Naif, Interior Minister, 78; and Prince Salman, the governor of Riyadh, 75. If it were to be applied, the new dynastic rule would work to their disadvantage.
One can easily understand that the Sudairi, who never cared much for their half-brother, King Abdullah, hate him at present. And, also, that they have decided to throw all their forces into the current struggle.
The Return of Bandar Bush
In the late 70s, the Sudairi clan was headed by Prince Fahd, who noticed the rare qualities of one of his brother Sultans children: Prince Bandar. He sent him to Washington to negotiate arms contracts and was impressed by the way he handled an agreement with President Carter.
When Fahd ascended to the throne in 1982, Prince Bandar was a trusted aid. He was appointed military attaché, then ambassador to Washington, a post he held until his abrupt dismissal by King Abdullah in 2005.
The son of Prince Sultan and a Libyan slave, Prince Bandar is a brilliant and ruthless character that has distinguished himself within the royal family despite the stigma attached to his maternal origin. He is now the working arm of the gerontocratic Sudairi clan.
During his long stay in Washington, Prince Bandar befriended the Bush family, in particular George H. Bush, with whom he was inseparable. The latter likes to portray him as the son that he would have liked to have, so much so that his nickname in the capital is Mr. Bandar Bush. What George H. former director of the CIA and U.S. president appreciated most about him is his taste for illegal actions.
Mr. Bandar Bush made a place for himself in U.S. high society. He is both a manager for life of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Bohemian Grove. The British public first found out about him during the Al-Yamamah Scandal: the biggest arms deal in history as well as the largest corruption scandal. Over two decades (1985-2006), British Aerospace, soon renamed BAE Systems, sold $80 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia while quietly dropping a portion of this windfall into the bank accounts of Saudi politicians and probably British politicians, with $2 billion going to Prince Bandar alone.
This is because His Highness has a lot of expenses. Prince Bandar has taken over responsibility for numerous Arab fighters trained by Pakistani and Saudi intelligence during the Cold War to fight the Red Army in Afghanistan at the request of the CIA and MI6. Of course, the best known figure in this milieu was none other than billionaire guru turned anti-communist jihadist, Osama bin Laden.
It is impossible to say precisely how many men Prince Bandar has at his disposal. Over time, we have seen his involvement in many conflicts and terrorist acts across the Muslim world from Morocco to Chinas Xinjiang. For example, one may recall the small army that he had planted, by the name of Fatah Al-Islam, in the Palestinian camp of Nahr el-Bared in Lebanon. The mission of these fighters was to incite the Palestinian refugees, mostly Sunnis, to proclaim an independent emirate and to fight Hezbollah. The affair turned sour when the salaries of the mercenaries were not paid on time. Ultimately, in 2007, Prince Bandars men entrenched themselves in the camp. 30,000 Palestinians were forced to flee, while the Lebanese army waged a two-month battle to gain control of the camp. This operation cost the lives of 50 mercenaries, 32 Palestinian civilians and 68 Lebanese soldiers.
In early 2010, Bandar staged a coup to overthrow King Abdullah and to place his father, Sultan, on the throne. The plot was discovered and Bandar left in disgrace without however losing his official titles. But in late 2010, the declining health of the king and his surgery gave the Sudairi the upper hand and they engineered Bandars comeback with the support of the Obama Administration.
It was after having visited the king, who was hospitalized in Washington, and having concluded too quickly that he was dying, that Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri rallied to the side of the Sudairi. Saad Hariri is a Saudi, born in Riyadh, but with dual nationality. He inherited his fortune from his father, who owed everything to Saud. He is therefore obligated to the king and became Prime Minister of Lebanon at his urging, while the U.S. State Department was concerned about his ability to fill the position.
During the period when he had to obey King Abdullah, Saad Hariri began to reconcile with President Bashar al-Assad. He withdrew the accusations he had made against him about the assassination of his father, Rafik Al-Hariri, and apologized for having been manipulated to artificially create tension between Lebanon and Syria. In endorsing the Sudairi, Saad has made a political volte-face. Overnight, he renounced King Abdullahs policy of conciliation towards Syria and Hezbollah and launched an offensive against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad, for the disarmament of Hezbollah, and for a compromise with Israel.
However, King Abdullah came out of his semi-comatose state and didnt wait long to demand accountability. Deprived of this essential support, Saad Hariri and his government were overthrown by the Lebanese Parliament in favor of Najib Mikati, another bi-national, but less adventurous, billionaire. As punishment, King Abdullah ordered a tax investigation into Hariris largest Saudi society and had several of his associates arrested for fraud.
The Saudiri legions
The Sudairi have decided to launch the counter-revolution in all directions.
In Egypt, where they financed Mubarak on one hand and the Muslim Brotherhood on the other hand, they have now imposed an alliance between the Brotherhood and pro-U.S. army officers.
This new coalition has shared power by excluding the leaders of the revolution in Tahrir Square. It refused to convene a National Assembly and contended itself with amending the constitution marginally.
First, they declared Islam the state religion to the detriment of the Coptic Christian minority (about 10%) who were oppressed by Husni Mubarak and who mobilized en masse against him. In addition, Dr. Mahmoud Izzat, the number two of the Brotherhood, called for the rapid introduction of Sharia law and the restoration of Sharia punishment.
Young Wael Ghoneim, who had played a leading role in the overthrow of the tyrant, was barred from the podium during the victory celebrations, February 18, which rallied nearly 2 million people. Conversely, the star preacher of the Brotherhood, Youssef Al-Qardawi, returning after 30 years of exile in Qatar, was allowed to speak at length. He, who had been stripped of his citizenship by Gamal Abdel Nasser, projected himself as the incarnation of the new era: that of Sharia law and peaceful coexistence with the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv.
Nobel Peace Prize Muhammad Al-Baradei, whom the Muslim Brotherhood opted as a spokesman during the revolution to give themselves a more liberal image, was physically assaulted by the same Brothers during the constitutional referendum and was ejected from the political scene.
The Muslim Brothers made their formal entry into politics through the creation of a new party, Freedom and Justice, with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and by imitating the profile of the Turkish AKP (The same strategy was chosen in Tunisia with the Renaissance Party).
In this context, violent attacks were perpetrated against religious minorities. Thus two Coptic churches were burned. Far from punishing the aggressors, the Prime Minister offered them a guarantee: he dismissed the governor that he had appointed in the province of Qenna, the respected General Imad Mikhael, because he is a Coptic Christian and not a Sunni Muslim.
In Libya, the Sudairi transferred armed fighters into Cyrenaica pending the green light from France and Britain to start the insurrection against the government of Tripoli. They are the ones who distributed weapons and the red-black-green star and crescent flags, symbols of the Senoussi monarchy. Their goal is to get rid of troublemaker Gaddafi and restore Prince Mohammed on the throne of what was once the United Kingdom of Libya.
It was the Gulf Cooperation Council that was the first to call for military intervention against the government of Tripoli. At the Security Council, it was the Saudi delegation which led the diplomatic manoeuvres for the Arab League to endorse the attacks by Western armies.
Colonel Qaddafi for his part declared in several speeches that there was no revolution in Cyrenaica, but that his country was facing an Al-Qaeda destabilization operation; claims that wrongly elicited smiles and which were personally confirmed to his great embarrassment by General Carter F. Ham, U.S. AfriCom commander. In charge of the initial U.S. military operations before being supplanted by NATO, General Ham was surprised at having to choose his targets based on information from spies on the ground who were known to have fought against the Coalition forces in Afghanistan in short, bin Ladens men.
Bahrain, meanwhile, presents itself as an independent kingdom since 1971. In reality, it is still a territory dominated by the British. During their rule they had chosen a Khalifa as prime minister and the position has been maintained for 40 years continuously, from the fiction of independence up until today. This is a continuum which is not displeasing to the Sudairi.
King Hamad has granted an important concession to the United States, which established its Central Command and the Fifth Fleet naval headquarters in the port of Juffair. In these circumstances, the popular demand for constitutional monarchy would imply access to real independence, the end of British rule, and the departure of U.S. forces. Such a development would certainly have a domino effect in Saudi Arabia and threaten the foundations of the system.
The Sudairi convinced the king of Bahrain to bloodily crush the hopes of the population.
On 13 March, U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert Gates arrived in Manama to initiate the coordination of operations, which began with the entry of Saudi special forces, known as Nayef Eagles, under the command of Prince Nayef. Within days, all the symbols of protest were destroyed, including the public monument erected in Pearl Square. Hundreds of people died or went missing. Torture, which had been abandoned for almost a decade, was again widespread. Doctors and nurses who treated injured protesters were arrested in their hospitals, detained incommunicado, and brought before military tribunals.
But, the most important element in this terrible repression is the determination to transform a classic class struggle, between an entire population and a privileged class tied to foreign imperialism, into a sectarian conflict. The majority of Bahrainis are Shiites while the ruling family is Sunni. The Shias are seen as the vehicle of the revolutionary ideal of Ruhollah Khomeini, who was designated as a target. In one month, the “Nayef Eagles” razed 25 Shiite mosques and damaged 253 others.
21 of the main political protest leaders will soon be tried by a special court. They face the death penalty. More so than the Shiites, the monarchy is going after Ibrahim Sharif, the party chairman of the Waad (a secular leftist party), whom they accuse of not playing by the rules because he is a Sunni Muslim.
Having failed to destabilize Iran, the Sudairi have concentrated their attacks against Syria.
The Destabilization of Syria
In early February, when the country had yet to experience any demonstration, a page titled The Syrian Revolution 2011 was created on Facebook. It called for a “Day of Wrath on Friday 4; the call was relayed by Al Jazeera, but did not resonate anywhere. Al Jazeera deplored the lack of reaction and stigmatized Syria as the kingdom of silence (sic).
The name The Syrian Revolution 2011 is puzzling: it is in English and has the characteristic of an advertising slogan. But what genuine revolutionary would think that if he fails to realize his objectives in 2011, he would simply go back home?
Even stranger, on the day of its creation this Facebook page registered more than 80,000 friends. Such enthusiasm in a few hours, followed by nothing, suggests manipulation carried out with computer software that creates multiple accounts. Especially considering that the Syrians have a moderate level of internet use and have only had access to ADSL since January 1st.
The troubles began a month later in Deraa, a rural town located at the Jordanian border and a few miles from Israel. Vandals paid adolescents to tag anti-government graffiti on the walls of the city. Local police arrested the students and treated them as criminals to the annoyance of their families. Local notables who intended to settle the dispute were turned away by the governor. The young men were beaten. Furious, the families attacked the police station to set them free. The police responded with even more brutality, killing protesters.
President Bashar Al-Assad then intervened to punish the police and the governor a cousin whom the President had appointed to Deraa, far from the capital, to keep him out of sight. An investigation was opened to shed light on the police killings. The officials responsible for the violence have been indicted and put under bail. Ministers have apologized and offered condolences to the victims families on behalf of the government, gestures which have been publicly accepted.
Everything should have returned to normal, but suddenly masked snipers stationed on rooftops fired on both the crowd and at police, plunging the city into chaos.
Taking advantage of the confusion, the gunmen went outside the city to attack a government building that houses the intelligence services responsible for the observation of the Syrian Golan Heights territory occupied by Israel. The security services fired back to defend the building and its archives. There were deaths on both sides.
This type of confrontation has recurred. People sought protection from the army responding to the attackers who stormed the city. Three thousand men and tanks were deployed to protect the inhabitants. Ultimately, a battle has pitted the infiltrated fighters against the Syrian army in a scenario similar to the Lebanese army siege on Nahr Al-Bared. Except this time, the international media has distorted the facts and accused the Syrian army of attacking the people of Deraa.
Meanwhile, clashes erupted in Lattakia, a port which has long been the home of criminal organizations that specialize in maritime smuggling. These individuals received arms and money from Lebanon. They vandalized the downtown. The police intervened. On presidential order, the police were armed only with batons. The gangsters then unleashed war weapons, killing dozens of unarmed policemen.
The same scenario was repeated in the neighboring town of Banias, a town of less importance, but which is much more strategic because it is home to the main oil refinery in the country. This time the police used their arms and the confrontation turned into a pitched battle.
Finally, individuals in Homs, a major city, came to participate at a mosque and called their fundamentalist followers to demonstrate against the regime that is killing our brothers in Latakia.
Reacting to the unrest, the Syrian population descended en masse to affirm its support for the Republic. Huge demonstrations, unprecedented in the history of the country, drew hundreds of thousands of people in Damascus, Aleppo, and Latakia to the cry of God, Syria, Bashar!.
While the clashes were intensifying in the localities concerned, the police managed to stop the fighters. According to their televised confessions, they were recruited, armed, and funded by a pro-Hariri MP in Lebanon, Jamal Jarrah, which he denies.
Jamal Jarrah is a friend of Prince Bandar. His name had been cited in the case of Fatah Al-Islam in Nahr Al-Bared. He is the cousin of Ziad Jarrah, a jihadist accused by the FBI of being responsible for the hijacking of Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. He is also the cousin of the Ali and Yousef Jarrah brothers, who were arrested by the Lebanese army in November 2008 for spying for Israel.
Jamal Jarrah is a secret member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which he also denies. In 1982, the Brotherhood tried to seize power in Syria. They failed and became victims of a terrible repression. Since the amnesty proclaimed by President Bashar Al-Assad it was believed that these painful memories had been forgotten. On the contrary, this branch of the Brothers is now funded by the Sudairi. The role of the Banias Brotherhood in the clashes has now been acknowledged by all.
Allegedly, Jamal Jarrah also used Lebanese Hizb ut-Tahrir militants, an Islamist organization based in London and especially active in Central Asia. Hizb ut-Tahrir, which advocates non-violence, is accused of masterminding many attacks in the Ferghana Valley. It was with the intention of curbing this group that China began its rapprochement with Russia within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Despite much debate in the House of Commons about the group, its representatives in London have never been inconvenienced and they all occupy positions as high-level executives in Anglo-American multinationals.
Last year, Hizb ut-Tahrir opened a branch in Lebanon. On that occasion, it organized a conference to which foreign dignitaries were invited, including a Russian intellectual of international repute. During discussions, the organizers called for the establishment of an Islamic state, stating that Lebanese Shiites, Druze, and even some Sunnis are not real Muslims and should be expelled like the Christians. Flabbergasted by such outrageous remarks, the Russian guest promptly gave television interviews to disassociate himself from these fanatics.
At first, Syrian security forces appeared to be overwhelmed by events. Trained in the U.S.S.R., senior officers used force without worrying about the consequences on the population. But the situation was gradually reversed. President Bashar Al-Assad took control of the situation. He changed the government. He repealed the state of emergency and dissolved the State Security Court. He granted citizenship to thousands of Syrian Kurds who were historically denied citizenship because of a disputed census. In addition, he took a number of other measures, such as repealing the fines for late payment of public utilities (electricity, etc.). In doing so, he satisfied the main demands of the population and mitigated opposition. On the Day of Rage (Friday, May 6) the overall number of protesters in the country did not reach 50,000 people out of a population of 22 million.
Specifically, Mohammed Al-Shaar, the new interior minister, called for anyone who was involed in the riots to report voluntarily to the police and be granted amnesty in exchange for complete cooperation. Over 1,100 people responded. Within days, the principal conduits were dismantled and many weapons caches seized. After five weeks of violence, calm slowly returned to almost all the troubled cities.
Among the ringleaders identified and arrested, several were Israeli or Lebanese officers and one was a politician with close ties to Saad Hariri. This attempt at destabilization has a sequel.
An open conspiracy
What was originally a plot to overthrow the Syrian regime turned into open blackmail through destabilization. Realizing that the revolt was not picking up steam, the anti-Syrian Arab press shamelessly echoed the negotiations that were in progress.
They reported the visits of negotiators going to Damascus to present the requirements of the Sudairi. If we are to believe the newspapers, the violence will not stop until Bashar Al-Assad bends to two requirements: break with Iran; and stop supporting the resistance in Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq.
The Sudairi want a Western military intervention to end the Syrian resistance, along similar lines as the aggression which is unfolding in Libya. To do this, they mobilized propaganda specialists.
To everyones surprise, the satellite TV station Al Jazeera abruptly changed its editorial line. It is no secret that the station was created by David and Jean Frydman, the French billionaire brothers who were counsellors to Ytzakh Rabin and Ehud Barak. They wanted to create a medium that allowed a debate between Israelis and Arabs, since such a debate was forbidden by law in each of the countries concerned.
To set up the network, they called on the Emir of Qatar who initially acted as a cover. The drafting team was recruited among the BBCs Arabic Service, so that from the beginning the majority of journalists were leading British MI6 agents.
However, the Emir took political control of the network, which became the working arm of his monarchy. For years, Al Jazeera has indeed played a role of appeasement by promoting dialogue and understanding in the region. But the network has also contributed to trivializing the Israeli system of apartheid, as if the violent methods emplyed by IDF were merely unfortunate blunders on the part of a basically acceptable regime, whereas they constitute the essence of the regime itself.
Al Jazeera, whose coverage of the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt was outstanding, abruptly changed its editorial line with the Libyan case to become the mouthpiece of the Sudairi.
This about-face deserves an explanation. The attack on Libya was originally a Franco-British plan conceived in November 2010, i.e. well before the Arab Spring, in which the U.S. has been involved. Paris and London intended to settle scores with Tripoli and defend their colonial interests. Indeed, in 2005-2006, the Libya National Oil Company (NOC) had launched three international tenders for exploration and exploitation of its reserves, the largest in Africa. Colonel Gaddafi had imposed his own game rules on Western companies, forcing them to accept agreements that were hardly advantageous in their eyes. They even represented the less favourable contracts to multinationals worldwide. In addition, there were several disputes related to the cancellation of lucrative contracts for equipment and armament.
From the earliest days of the alleged Benghazi uprising, Paris and London set up the Transition National Council that France officially acknowledged as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people. This Council has created a new oil company, the LOC, which was recognized by the international community at the London summit as the holder of the rights to the countrys hydrocarbons. During the gathering, it was decided that the marketing of oil stolen by the LOC would be done by … Qatar, and that the contact group of allied states would henceforth meet in Doha.
On cue, tele-evangelist Youssef Al-Qardawi started howling for the overthrow of President Bashar Al-Assad on a daily basis. Sheikh Al-Qardawi is president of the International Union of Scholars and also of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. He is the icon of the Muslim Brotherhood and preaches for an original brand of Islam, a mix of U.S. market democracy and Saudi obscurantism: he recognizes the principle of elected officials provided they undertake to enforce the Sharia in its most limited interpretation.
Youssef Al-Qardawi was joined by Saudi cleric Saleh Al-Luhaidan who urged: kill a third of Syrians so the other two-thirds may live (sic). Kill one-third of the Syrian population? That would imply slaying the Christians, Jews, Shiites, Druze and Alawite. So that two-thirds may live? That would amount to establishing a Sunni state before it cleanses its own kind.
To date, only the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, appears to resist the seductive power of the Sudairi petro-dollars. Its leader, Khaled Meshaal, not without a moments hesitation, confirmed he would remain in exile in Damascus vowing his support for President Al-Assad. With the latters help, he preempted imperialist and Zionist plans by negotiating an agreement with Fatahs Mahmoud Abbas.
Since March, Al-Jazeera, BBC Arabic, and Arabic France24 have turned into massive propaganda organs. By multiplying false testimonies and and manipulated images, they spin events to make the Syrian Republic look like the Tunisian regime of Ben Ali.
They have attempted to portray the Syrian army as a force of repression similar to the Tunisian police, one which does not hesitate to fire on peaceful citizens fighting for their freedom. These networks have even announced the death of a young soldier who refused to fire on his fellow citizens and was allegedly tortured to death by his superiors. In fact, the Syrian army is a conscript army, and the young soldier whose vital statistics had been published was actually on leave. In an interview with Syrian television, he affirmed his willingness to defend his country against foreign mercenaries.
Furthermore, these satellite channels have tried to portray several Syrian personalities as profiteers, just like Ben-Alis in-laws. They have focused their criticism on Rami Makhlouf, the richest man in the country, who is a cousin of President Al-Assad. They claimed that like the Tunisian model he demanded shares in all foreign companies wishing to do business in the country. This is absolutely unfounded and unimaginable in the Syrian context. In reality, Rami Makhlouf has enjoyed the confidence of President Al-Assad due to his role in establishing a cell phone network. Like anyone who has obtained such concessions in the world, he became a billionaire. The real question is whether or not they used their positions to enrich themselves at the expense of consumers. The answer is no: Syriatel offers the cheapest cellular phone rates in the world!
At any rate, the prize for lying goes to Al Jazeera. The network went so far as to present images of a demonstration of 40,000 people in Moscow calling for the end of Russias support for Syria. It was actually footage shot during the annual May 1 celebrations, in which the network had planted actors to make fake statements.
The Reorganization of Prince Bandars networks and the Obama Administration
The counter-revolution device used by the Sudairi is up against one difficulty. Until now Prince Bandars mercenaries had fought under the banner of Osama bin Laden, whether in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya or elsewhere. Initially considered an anti-communist, Bin Laden had gradually become anti-Western. His shift was influenced by the ideology of the Clash of Civilizations that was expounded by Bernard Lewis and popularized by his student Samuel Huntington. It experienced its era of glory with the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the War on Terrorism: Bandars men fomented disorder wherever the United States wanted to intervene.
In the current period, the image of the jihadists needs to be changed. They are now expected to fight alongside NATO, as they once fought alongside the CIA in Afghanistan against the Red Army. It is therefore advisable to revert to the pro-Western discourse of the past and to find a substitute for anti-communism. This will be the ideological task of Sheikh Youssef al-Qardawi.
To facilitate this makeover, Washington has announced the official death of Osama bin Laden. With their father figure gone, the mercenaries of Prince Bandar can be mobilized under a new banner.
This redistribution of roles is accompanied by a game of musical chairs in Washington.
General David Petraeus, who as commander of CENTCOM was to deal with the men of Bandar in the Middle East, became the director of the CIA. We must therefore expect an accelerated withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan and greater involvement of Bandars people in the secret operations of the CIA.
Leon Panetta, the outgoing director of the CIA, became the secretary of defence. According to the internal agreement of the U.S. ruling class, this post should be reserved for a member of the Baker-Hamilton Commission. Panetta, like Gates, was a member. In the case of new wars, he would limit ground deployment, except for Special Forces.
In Riyadh and Washington they have already drafted the death certificate of the Arab Spring. The Sudairi can say about the Middle East what Il Gattopardo (the Leopard) used to say about Italy: everything must change so that everything can stay the same and we can remain masters.Tide Turning Against Arab Freedom
—In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
-Benjamin Netanyahu to a group of Pro-Palestinian demonstrators interrupting his speech to the U.S. Congress
From the Islamic Human Rights Commission
12 May 2011
On 3rd May, 2011, the Egyptian authorities have made an official request to the US administration for them to return Sheikh Abdulrahman to his native Egypt. Sheikh Omar Abdulrahman has been imprisoned in solitary confinement in the US prisons for 18 years. He has repeatedly requested to be returned to Egypt so that he can spend the rest of his life there.
IHRC requests that its campaigners send letters to the UN High Commissioner, the UN Special Rapporteur on Heath, and the Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention.
Sheikh Omar Abdulrahman, a 73 year old religious scholar from the prestigious al-Azhar institute in Egypt, was convicted in 1995 for the 1993 New York World Trade Centre bombing and other New York attack plans. He was tried under Sedition Laws, last used during the American Civil War, two centuries ago. There is a high chance that he may die soon, and his family have requested for him to be able to spend his last moments with them in Egypt.
The Egyptian authorities have made an official request to the US administration for them to return Sheikh Abdulrahman to his native Egypt.
The Grand Imam of al-Azhar institute Dr Ahmed al-Tayeb has written a statement to the US Ambassador in Cairo, Margaret Scobey, in which he called for the return of the Sheikh.
The family of Sheikh Omar Abdulrahman has last week submitted a request to the US Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. His case has prompted demonstrations in Egypt, UK, Denmark and other countries around the world.
The US Administration has not responded to the request of the family or to the official request of the Egyptian government. We therefore urge you to write to the UN to take action for the release of Sheikh Omar Abdulrahman and impose pressure on the US to provide him compensation for the long years he spent in solitary confinement.
IHRC urges all of its campaigners to help ensure that Sheikh Abdulrahman is returned safely to Egypt. Write to the UN High Commissioner, UN Special Rapporteur on Heath and Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention; urging them to investigate his case and call upon the US to return him to Egypt.
A sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.
Ms. Navanethem Pillay is UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, an email can be
sent to: InfoDesk [at] ohchr [dot] org
Ms. Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR),
52 rue des Pâquis,
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland.
Telephone: +41 22 917 9220
Dear Ms. Pillay
Re: Call for the safe return of Sheikh Omar Abdulrahman to Egypt
I am deeply concerned about the health and detention of Sheikh Omar Abdulrhman, a blind 73 year-old religious scholar that has been imprisoned under solitary confinement for 18 years, and denied his visitation rights.
The Egyptian Authorities have recently addressed the US Administration, calling for his immediate return to his native Egypt, where he would serve the rest of his sentence. His family have also submitted requests to the US Ambassador to Egypt, which urges the US administration to fulfil this request.
Sheikh Omar Abdulrhman was arrested in 1995 for the 1993 New York World Trade Centre bombing and other New York attack plans. He was tried under Sedition Laws, last used during the Civil War, two centuries ago.
The status of his health has deteriorated considerably over the years, and the Sheikh now requires extensive special care. There is a significant chance that he may die soon, and his family have requested for him to be able to spend his last moments with them in Egypt.
Sheikh Abdulrahman has protested about the conditions he has been forced to endure during his time at the Butner Federal Correctional Institution, North Carolina. His family have spoken out against the way in which he has been denied the basic rights that other prisoners enjoy, such as visitation, correspondence and even being able to communicate with other prisoners.
I urge you to investigate the case of Sheikh Abdulrahman, and call for his transferral to Egypt. His treatment at the Butner Federal Correctional Institution, North Carolina, should also be further investigated and he should be compensated for the long years he spent in solitary confinement.
I look forward to your reply regarding this urgent matter.
Additional sample letters to other U.N. officials, as well as the complete report on Egypt’s request can be seen here:
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
The IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social
Council of the United Nations.
May 24, 2011
Rae Abileah a CODEPINK activist who disrupted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in the United States Congress this morning was physically attacked, hospitalized and then arrested from hospital according to reports.
According to CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin:
Rae Abileah is in the hospital, after having been assaulted and tackled to the ground by members of the audience in the House Gallery during Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. Abileah, who is with the group CODEPINK: Women for Peace, interrupted Netanyahu with a banner that said “Occupying Land Is Indefensible” and shouting, “No more occupation, stop Israel war crimes, equal rights for Palestinians, occupation is indefensible.”
She rose up to speak out just after the Prime Minister talked about the youth around the world rising up for more democracy. As this 28-year-old Jewish American woman spoke out for the human rights of Palestinians, other members of the audience—wearing badges from the conference of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee—brutally attacked her. The police then dragged her out of the Gallery and took her to the George Washington University Hospital, where she is being treating for neck and shoulder injuries.
“I am in great pain, but this is nothing compared to the pain and suffering that Palestinians go through on a regular basis,” said Abileah from her hospital bed. “I have been to Gaza and the West Bank, I have seen Palestinians homes bombed and bulldozed, I have talked to mothers whose children have been killed during the invasion of Gaza, I have seen the Jewish-only roads leading to ever-expanding settlements in the West Bank. This kind of colonial occupation cannot continue. As a Jew and a U.S. citizen, I feel obligated to rise up and speak out against stop these crimes being committed in my name and with my tax dollars.”
Abileah stands in solidarity with the Palestinian and Israeli activists who are routinely jailed and beaten for speaking out for democracy.
These actions were part of a week of protests called Move Over AIPAC.
In a subsequent update on the Move Over AIPAC website, it was reported that Abileah was arrested from George Washington University hospital.
By Nadrat Siddique
The weekend of May 20 – 22 saw the annual conference of the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) at the Washington, DC, Convention Center. It was a grand affair to which the 535 members of the U.S. Congress are “invited.” But such an invitation is seen by some as a pressure tactic. Conference attendees are recognized by a “Roll Call,” a lengthy public reading of their names. The implication is that no-shows will be noted for their absence in the next election. (According to Jewish Week, May 24, 2011, AIPAC was successful at drawing 10,000 delegates and “honored guests,” including 70 U.S. Senators and 270 members of the House to the conference.)
The goals of the conference, listed on the AIPAC website, included inculcating understanding among delegates of “how America and Israel are stronger together when they participate in joint military exercises and exchange intelligence” and “safer together when they share homeland security and counterterrorism techniques.”
“AIPAC has succeeded in creating an army of Israel supporters who are mobilised and constantly lobby elected senators,” wrote one AIPAC conference participant (Jewish Chronicle, May 26, 2011). Such militaristic lexicon, as well as AIPAC’s treatment of dissenters, has raised eyebrows, with some opponents of the lobby going so far as to say the AIPAC conference is a venue for exchanged allegiances among gangsters in Armani suits, the dissemination of Zionist propaganda, and the discussion of coercive and retributive measures to be used against those not willing to take a pro-Israel stance.
Special Session for Christian Zionists
The conference included a special luncheon for Black Zionists (and pro-Zionists), as well as a session for Christians, called “Understanding Christian Support for the Jewish State” geared at examining “the roots of Christian Zionism.” The latter targeted the sixty-six pastors in attendance.
Zionist Student Leaders in Attendance
The conference included a special session recognizing student Zionist leaders. One thousand five hundred students, most of them white, attended the conference. These included 215 elected student government presidents (numbers from AIPAC’s website). The student government presidents came from campuses including the University of Chicago, UC Berkeley, Columbia, and Vanderbilt. Interestingly, Brigham Young University, a Mormon institution, and Morehouse College, a historically black college, also had Zionist student body presidents in attendance at AIPAC’s conference.
Zionist students from the U. of Florida were awarded for “developing new models of pro-Israel leadership on and beyond their campus,” and for soliciting letters of support for Israel from campus leaders, as well as for lobbying local Congress members on “issues of concern to the pro-Israel community.” Additional student leaders at UCLA, Indiana University, the University of Oklahoma, and Liberty University received “Activist of the Year” awards in recognition of their pro-Israel political activity. The question of why they, as American students should expend such energies building support for a foreign power, seemed absent from the dialogue. One group of student Zionist leaders working on blackballing Iran to Congress was given an award. Another group of student Zionists were recognized for their efforts at countering the characterization of Israel as an apartheid state. Both the College Democrats of America and the College Republican National Committee received awards from AIPAC.
Gustafo Tactics Against a Sitting American President?
On May 19, just a few days before the AIPAC conference, President Obama mentioned 1967 borders as a starting point for co-existing Israeli and Palestinian states—a very weak position, and unacceptable to most Muslims who believe in self-determination. But apparently, even the slightest sign of “weakness” was not to be tolerated by the Zionists. On May 20, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Obama for over two hours, and it is speculated, conducted the mafia-style arm twisting necessary to get his whipping boy back in order.
Obama at AIPAC
Then on May 22, Obama reported to the AIPAC conference, meekly telling the Zionist audience, “Israelis and Palestinians will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967.” Clarifying his position further, he said, “The bonds between the United States and Israel are unbreakable, and the commitment of the United States to the security of Israel is iron clad.” None in the wildly applauding audience asked the question of why any policy matter in a changing world should be characterized as immutable, nor why the security of a foreign power should be of such paramount importance to the U.S.
Obama further “affirmed U.S. opposition to a Palestinian plan to seek a vote in the U.N. General Assembly on Palestinian statehood in September. He vowed to help Israel defend itself, promising U.S. military assistance on missile defense and pledging to block Iranian nuclear aspirations. And he assailed a recent Palestinian unity agreement that elevated the stature of the Hamas movement, which the United States and Israel regard as a terrorist group.” (The Washington Post, May 22)
Netanyahu’s pressuring of Obama (if indeed that is what occurred—some would argue that Obama is already so pro-Israel that he needed no pressuring) is similar to AIPAC’s pressure on members of the U.S. Congress. As Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Congresswoman from Georgia, recently disclosed, every candidate for U.S. Congress must sign a pledge to support Israel, a tactic which changed shape slightly after it was made public. According to McKinney, “They were given a pledge to sign…that had Jerusalem as the capital city. You make a commitment that you would vote to support the military superiority of Israel, and the economic assistance that Israel wants, that you would vote to provide that.” (Press TV, May 22).
Obama delivered his address to AIPAC, then retreated to Europe with his tail between his legs. In the meantime, Netanyahu addressed the U.S. Congress on May 24. He delivered a resounding “No!” to all of the (very compromising) positions put out by “moderate” Palestinians. The speech was characterized by opponents as containing more lies per second than perhaps any other speech in recent memory. In the course of the 50 minute speech, Netanyahu received 26 standing ovations. Opponents protesting the speech were dealt with very brutally (see report from Ali Abunimah).
Following the AIPAC conference and Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, thousands of AIPAC lobbyists descended upon Capitol Hill to further the Zionist agenda. According to the AIPAC website, “At the top of the lobbying agenda is U.S. security assistance to Israel—the most tangible expression of American support for the Jewish state. The AIPAC citizen-lobbyists will urge their House and Senate members to support $3.075 billion in aid to Israel for fiscal year 2012 as well as ask for support for the overall foreign aid budget.” [Note the double speak in “Jewish state” and “AIPAC citizen-lobbyists” –editor]
“Move Over AIPAC”: A Challenge to AIPAC
This year, as the AIPAC conference went forth, things were a little bit different. An entire weekend of activities, including a major conference, called “Move Over AIPAC” was held in Washington, DC, by CODE PINK: Women for Peace. It was endorsed by over 100 peace and justice organizations, including the International Solidarity Movement, Fellowship of the Reconciliation, the Rachel Corrie Foundation, United for Peace and Justice, the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, Adalah-NY, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
On May 20, as Netanyahu met Obama, “Move Over AIPAC” conference participants and others protested outside the White House. The following day, May 21, the “Move Over AIPAC” summit was held. The keynote address was delivered by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, authors of the ground-breaking book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. This was followed by a “writers’ salon,” featuring Laila El-Haddad and other Palestinian and pro-Palestinian authors. A panel entitled, “Time for a New Foreign Policy” (Phyllis Bennis, Noura Erekat, and others) ensued. Workshops on topics like “Combatting Misused Charges of Anti-Semitism” (Rabbi Lynn Gottleib); “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: Campaigns that Work!”; Exposing AIPAC: Delving into the Nitty-Gritty of How the Israel Lobby Works”; “Israel, the bomb, and a Mid-east NWFZ (Nuclear Weapons Free Zone); and “Student Divestment Campaigns and the Role of AIPAC on Campus” completed the afternoon.
On May 22, while Obama addressed AIPAC and throughout the day, “Move over AIPAC” participants, and other friends and supporters of Palestinians protested outside the Convention Center. The protestors, including many Jews, lined up outside the DC Convention center, chanting “Free Free Palestine.” A die-in—where activists lay down in the streets, their bodies covered in fake blood to protest Israeli brutality—was held. Activists from the U.S. Boat to Gaza manned a float in the form of a ship, singing pro-Palestinian songs.
Change Comes But not Without Sacrifice and Struggle
As a result of the immense sacrifices of the Palestinian people, followed up by creative and heroic actions by a huge range of human rights and solidarity organizations throughout the world—of which “Move Over AIPAC” is an example—support for Israel is being reconsidered in the U.S., one of the last bastions of Zionist support.
As Jody McIntyre, describing the AIPAC conference, wrote in the Independent on May 24, 2011, “So yesterday, another conference commenced; a celebration of continued US support for Israel. The fact that is being ignored is that, as a wave of uprisings across northern Africa and western Asia are proving, US dominance and influence in the region is on the decline. Just like hundreds of millions of dollars in aid were not enough to keep Mubarak in power in Egypt, all the billions of dollars in aid will not be enough to prop up Israel forever….As Olof Palme, the Prime Minister of Sweden until his assassination in 1986, once said, ‘Apartheid cannot be reformed, it must be abolished.’”
As the purported assassination of Osama bin Laden has placed the focus on Pakistan, it is vital to assess the changing role of Pakistan in broad geostrategic terms, and in particular, of the changing American strategy toward Pakistan. The recently reported assassination was a propaganda ploy aimed at targeting Pakistan. To understand this, it is necessary to examine how America has, in recent years, altered its strategy in Pakistan in the direction of destabilization. In short, Pakistan is an American target. The reason: Pakistan’s growing military and strategic ties to China, America’s primary global strategic rival. In the ‘Great Game’ for global hegemony, any country that impedes America’s world primacy – even one as historically significant to America as Pakistan – may be sacrificed upon the altar of war.
Part 1 of ‘Pakistan in Pieces’ examines the changing views of the American strategic community – particularly the military and intelligence circles – towards Pakistan. In particular, there is a general acknowledgement that Pakistan will very likely continue to be destabilized and ultimately collapse. What is not mentioned in these assessments, however, is the role of the military and intelligence communities in making this a reality; a veritable self-fulfilling prophecy. This part also examines the active on the ground changes in American strategy in Pakistan, with increasing military incursions into the country.
Imperial Eye on Pakistan
In December of 2000, the CIA released a report of global trends to the year 2015, which stated that by 2015, “Pakistan will be more fractious, isolated, and dependent on international financial assistance.” Further, it was predicted, Pakistan:
Will not recover easily from decades of political and economic mismanagement, divisive politics, lawlessness, corruption and ethnic friction. Nascent democratic reforms will produce little change in the face of opposition from an entrenched political elite and radical Islamic parties. Further domestic decline would benefit Islamic political activists, who may significantly increase their role in national politics and alter the makeup and cohesion of the military – once Pakistan’s most capable institution. In a climate of continuing domestic turmoil, the central government’s control probably will be reduced to the Punjabi heartland and the economic hub of Karachi.
The report further analyzed the trends developing in relation to the Pakistan-India standoff in the region:
The threat of major conflict between India and Pakistan will overshadow all other regional issues during the next 15 years. Continued turmoil in Afghanistan and Pakistan will spill over into Kashmir and other areas of the subcontinent, prompting Indian leaders to take more aggressive preemptive and retaliatory actions. India’s conventional military advantage over Pakistan will widen as a result of New Delhi’s superior economic position.
In 2005, the Times of India reported on a US National Intelligence Council report, written in conjunction with the CIA, which predicted a “Yugoslavia-like fate” for Pakistan, saying that, “by year 2015 Pakistan would be a failed state, ripe with civil war, bloodshed, inter-provincial rivalries and a struggle for control of its nuclear weapons and complete Talibanisation.”
In November of 2008, the US National Intelligence Council released a report, “Global Trends 2025,” in which they outlined major trends in the world by the year 2025. When it came to Pakistan, the report stated that, “Ongoing low-intensity clashes between India and Pakistan continue to raise the specter that such events could escalate to a broader conflict between those nuclear powers.” It stated that Pakistan “will be at risk of state failure.” In examining potential failed states, the report stated that:
[Y]outh bulges, deeply rooted conflicts, and limited economic prospects are likely to keep Palestine, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and others in the high-risk category. Spillover from turmoil in these states and potentially others increases the chance that moves elsewhere in the region toward greater prosperity and political stability will be rocky.
The report referred to Pakistan as a “wildcard” and stated that if it is “unable to hold together until 2025, a broader coalescence of Pashtun tribes is likely to emerge and act together to erase the Durand Line [separating Pakistan from Afghanistan], maximizing Pashtun space at the expense of Punjabis in Pakistan and Tajiks and others in Afghanistan.”
In January of 2009, a Pentagon report analyzing geopolitical trends of significance to the US military over the next 25 years, reported that Pakistan could face a “rapid and sudden” collapse. It stated that, “Some forms of collapse in Pakistan would carry with it the likelihood of a sustained violent and bloody civil and sectarian war, an even bigger haven for violent extremists, and the question of what would happen to its nuclear weapons,” and as such, “that ‘perfect storm’ of uncertainty alone might require the engagement of U.S. and coalition forces into a situation of immense complexity and danger.”
A top adviser to former President George Bush and current President Obama warned in April of 2009, that Pakistan could collapse within months, and that, “We have to face the fact that if Pakistan collapses it will dwarf anything we have seen so far in whatever we’re calling the war on terror now.” The adviser and consultant, David Kilcullen, explained that this would be unlike the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, which each had a population of over 30 million, whereas “Pakistan has  million people and 100 nuclear weapons, an army which is bigger than the American army, and the headquarters of al-Qaeda sitting in two-thirds of the country which the Government does not control.”
Going back to the later years of the Bush administration, it is apparent that the US strategy in Pakistan was already changing in seeing it increasingly as a target for military operations as opposed to simply a conduit. In August of 2007, newly uncovered documents revealed that the US military “gave elite units broad authority” in 2004, “to pursue suspected terrorists into Pakistan, with no mention of telling the Pakistanis in advance.”
In November of 2007, an op-ed in the New York Times stated categorically that, “the United States simply could not stand by as a nuclear-armed Pakistan descended into the abyss,” and that, “we need to think — now — about our feasible military options in Pakistan, should it really come to that.” The authors, Frederick Kagan and Michael O’Hanlon are both well-known strategists and scholars at the American Enterprise Institute and Brookings Institution, two of the most prominent and influential think tanks in the United States. While stating that Pakistan’s leaders are still primarily moderate and friendly to the US, “Americans felt similarly about the shah’s regime in Iran until it was too late,” referring to the outbreak of the Iranian Revolution in 1979. They warn:
The most likely possible dangers are these: a complete collapse of Pakistani government rule that allows an extreme Islamist movement to fill the vacuum; a total loss of federal control over outlying provinces, which splinter along ethnic and tribal lines; or a struggle within the Pakistani military in which the minority sympathetic to the Taliban and Al Qaeda try to establish Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism.
They state that the military solutions are “daunting” as Pakistan is a nation of 187 million people, roughly five times the size of Iraq. They wrote that, “estimates suggest that a force of more than a million troops would be required for a country of this size,” which led them to conclude, “Thus, if we have any hope of success, we would have to act before a complete government collapse, and we would need the cooperation of moderate Pakistani forces.” They suggested one plan would be to deploy Special Forces “with the limited goal of preventing Pakistan’s nuclear materials and warheads from getting into the wrong hand.” However, they admit that, “even pro-American Pakistanis would be unlikely to cooperate.” Another option, they contend:
would involve supporting the core of the Pakistani armed forces as they sought to hold the country together in the face of an ineffective government, seceding border regions and Al Qaeda and Taliban assassination attempts against the leadership. This would require a sizable combat force — not only from the United States, but ideally also other Western powers and moderate Muslim nations.
The authors concluded, saying that any state decline in Pakistan would likely be gradual, therefore allowing the US to have time to respond, and placed an emphasis on securing Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and combating militants. They finished the article with the warning: “Pakistan may be the next big test.”
In December of 2007, the Asia Times Online ran a story about the US plan to rid Pakistan of President Musharraf, and that the US and the West, more broadly, had begun a strategy aimed at toppling Pakistan’s military. As part of this, the US launched a media campaign aimed at demonizing Pakistan’s military establishment. At this time, Benazir Bhutto was criticizing the ISI, suggesting they needed a dramatic restructuring, and at the same time, reports were appearing in the US media blaming the ISI for funding and providing assistance to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. While much of this is documented, the fact that it suddenly emerged as talking points with several western officials and in the media does suggest a turn-around against a long-time ally.
Both Democratic and Republican politicians were making statements that Pakistan represented a greater threat than Iran, and then-Senator (now Vice President) Joseph Biden suggested that the United States needed to put soldiers on the ground in Pakistan in cooperation with the “international community.” Biden said that, “We should be in there,” and “we should be supplying tens of millions of dollars to build new schools to compete with the madrassas. We should be in there building democratic institutions. We should be in there, and get the rest of the world in there, giving some structure to the emergence of, hopefully, the reemergence of a democratic process.”
In American policy-strategy circles, officials openly began discussing the possibility of Pakistan breaking up into smaller states, and increasing discussion that Musharraf was going to be “removed,” which obviously happened. As the Asia Times stated:
Another worrying thing is how US officials are publicly signaling to the Pakistanis that Bhutto has their backing as the next leader of the country. Such signals from Washington are not only a kiss of death for any public leader in Pakistan, but the Americans also know that their actions are inviting potential assassins to target Bhutto.
If she is killed in this way, there won’t be enough time to find the real culprit, but what’s certain is that unprecedented international pressure will be placed on Islamabad while everyone will use their local assets to create maximum internal chaos in the country.
Of course, this subsequently happened in Pakistan. As the author of the article pointed out with startlingly accurate foresight, “Getting Bhutto killed can generate the kind of pressure that could result in permanently putting the Pakistani military on a back foot, giving Washington enough room to push for installing a new pliant leadership in Islamabad.” He observed that, “the US is very serious this time. They cannot let Pakistan get out of their hands.”
Thus, it would appear that the new US strategic aim in Pakistan was focused on removing the Pakistani military from power, implying the need to replace Musharraf, and replace him with a new, compliant civilian leadership. This would have the effect of fracturing the Pakistani elite, threatening the Army’s influence within Pakistani politics, and undertaking more direct control of Pakistan’s government.
As if on cue, in late December it was reported that, “US special forces snatch squads are on standby to seize or disable Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal in the event of a collapse of government authority or the outbreak of civil war following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.”
The New York Times ran an article in early January 2008, which reported that, “President Bush’s senior national security advisers are debating whether to expand the authority of the Central Intelligence Agency and the military to conduct far more aggressive covert operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan.” The article stated that the new strategy was purportedly in response to increased reports of Al-Qaeda and Taliban activity within Pakistan, which “are intensifying efforts there to destabilize the Pakistani government.” Bush’s National Security team supposedly organized this effort in response to Bhutto’s assassination 10 days previously.
Officials involved in the strategy discussions said that some “options would probably involve the C.I.A. working with the military’s Special Operations forces,” and one official said, “After years of focusing on Afghanistan, we think the extremists now see a chance for the big prize — creating chaos in Pakistan itself.” Of pivotal importance to the strategy, as the Times reported: “Critics said more direct American military action would be ineffective, anger the Pakistani Army and increase support for the militants.” Perhaps this is not simply a “side-effect” of the proposed strategy, but in fact, part of the strategy.
As one prominent Pakistani political and military analyst pointed out, raids into Pakistan would expand anger and “prompt a powerful popular backlash” against the Pakistani government, losing popular support. However, as I previously stated, this might be the intention, as this would ultimately make the government more dependent upon the United States, and thus, more subservient.
On September 3, 2008, it was reported that a commando raid by US Special Forces was launched in Pakistan, which killed between 15 and 20 people, including women and children. The Special Forces were accompanied by five U.S. helicopters for the duration of the operation.
In February of 2009, it was reported that, “More than 70 United States military advisers and technical specialists are secretly working in Pakistan to help its armed forces battle Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the country’s lawless tribal areas.” So not only are U.S. Special Forces invading Pakistani territory; but now US military advisers are secretly advising the Pakistani Army on its own operations, and the advisers are themselves primary made up of Special Forces soldiers. They provide the Pakistani Army “with intelligence and advising on combat tactics,” and make up a secret command run by US Central Command and Special Operations Command (presumably JSOC – Joint Special Operations Command).
In May of 2009, it was reported that, “the U.S. is sending Special Forces teams into one of Pakistan’s most violent regions as part of a push to accelerate the training of the Pakistani military and make it a more effective ally in the fight against insurgents there.” The Special Forces were deploying to two training camps in the province of Baluchistan, and “will focus on training Pakistan’s Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force responsible for battling the Taliban and al Qaeda fighters.” Further, the project “is a joint effort with the U.K.,” which helps “fund the training, although it is unclear if British military personnel would take part in the initiative. British officials have been pushing for such an effort for several years.”
In December of 2009 it was revealed that, “American special forces have conducted multiple clandestine raids into Pakistan’s tribal areas as part of a secret war in the border region where Washington is pressing to expand its drone assassination programme,” which was revealed by a former NATO officer. He said these incursions had occurred between 2003 and 2008, indicating they go even further back than US military documents stipulate. The source further revealed that, “the Pakistanis were kept entirely in the dark about it. It was one of those things we wouldn’t confirm officially with them.” Further, as the source noted, British “SAS soldiers have been active in the province” of Bolochistan in 2002 and 2003 and “possibly beyond.”
The “Balkanization” of Pakistan: Blaming the Pakistanis
Selig S. Harrison is a director of the Asia Program at the Center for International Policy, senior scholar of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, former senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and former journalist and correspondent. “His reputation for giving ‘early warning’ of foreign policy crises was well established during his career as a foreign correspondent. In his study of foreign reporting, Between Two Worlds, John Hohenberg, former secretary of the Pulitzer Prize Board, cited Harrison’s prediction of the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war eighteen months before it happened.” Further, “More than a year before the Russians invaded Afghanistan, Harrison warned of this possibility in one of his frequent contributions to the influential journal Foreign Policy.”
On February 1, 2008, Selig Harrison threw his renowned “predictive” abilities on Pakistan in an op-ed for the New York Times in the run-up to the Pakistani elections. He started by stating that, “Whatever the outcome of the Pakistani elections, now scheduled for Feb. 18, the existing multiethnic Pakistani state is not likely to survive for long unless it is radically restructured.” Harrison then went on to explain that Pakistan would likely break up along ethnic lines; with the Pashtuns, concentrated in the northwestern tribal areas, the Sindhis in the southeast uniting with the Baluch tribesmen in the southwest, with the Punjab “rump state” of Pakistan.
The Pashtuns in the north, “would join with their ethnic brethren across the Afghan border (some 40 million of them combined) to form an independent ‘Pashtunistan’,” and the Sindhis “numbering 23 million, would unite with the six million Baluch tribesmen in the southwest to establish a federation along the Arabian Sea from India to Iran,” presumably named Baluchistan; while the rump state of Pakistan would remain Punjabi dominated and in control of the nuclear weapons. Selig Harrison explained that prior to partition from India, which led to the creation of the Pakistani state in 1947, Pashtun, Sindhi and Baluch ethnicities had “resist[ed] Punjabi domination for centuries,” and suddenly:
they found themselves subjected to Punjabi-dominated military regimes that have appropriated many of the natural resources in the minority provinces — particularly the natural gas deposits in the Baluch areas — and siphoned off much of the Indus River’s waters as they flow through the Punjab.
The resulting Punjabi-Pashtun animosity helps explain why the United States is failing to get effective Pakistani cooperation in fighting terrorists. The Pashtuns living along the Afghan border are happy to give sanctuary from Punjabi forces to the Taliban, which is composed primarily of fellow Pashtuns, and to its Qaeda friends.
Pashtun civilian casualties resulting from Pakistani and American air strikes on both sides of the border are breeding a potent underground Pashtun nationalist movement. Its initial objective is to unite all Pashtuns in Pakistan, now divided among political jurisdictions, into a unified province. In time, however, its leaders envisage full nationhood.
… The Baluch people, for their part, have been waging intermittent insurgencies since their forced incorporation into Pakistan in 1947. In the current warfare Pakistani forces are widely reported to be deploying American-supplied aircraft and intelligence equipment that was intended for use in Afghan border areas. Their victims are forging military links with Sindhi nationalist groups that have been galvanized into action by the death of Benazir Bhutto, a Sindhi hero as was her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
This passage is very revealing of the processes and perceptions surrounding “Balkanization” and “destabilization.” What I mean by this, is that historically and presently, imperial powers would often use ethnic groups against each other in a strategy of divide and conquer, in order “to keep the barbarians from coming together” and dominate the region.
Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in his 1997 book, “The Grand Chessboard,” that, “Geopolitics has moved from the regional to the global dimension, with preponderance over the entire Eurasian continent serving as the central basis for global primacy.” Brzezinski then gave a masterful explanation of the American global strategy, which placed it into a firm imperialistic context:
To put it in a terminology that hearkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.
While imperial powers manipulate, and historically, even create the ethnic groups within regions and nations, the West portrays conflict in such regions as being the product of these “ethnic” or “tribal” rivalries. This perception of the East (Asia and the Middle East) as well as Africa is referred to as Orientalism or Eurocentrism: meaning it generally portrays the East (and/or Africa) as “the Other”: inherently different and often barbaric. This prejudiced perspective is prevalent in Western academic, media, and policy circles. This perspective serves a major purpose: dehumanizing a people in a region that an imperial power seeks to dominate, which allows the hegemon to manipulate the people and divide them against each other, while framing them as “backwards” and “barbaric,” which in turn, justifies the Western imperial power exerting hegemony and control over the region; to “protect” the people from themselves.
Historically and presently, Western empires have divided people against each other, blamed the resulting conflict on the people themselves, and thus justified their control over both the people, and the region they occupy. This was the strategy employed in major recent geopolitical conflicts such as the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Rwandan genocide. In both cases, Western imperial ambitions were met through exacerbating ethnic rivalries, providing financial, technical, and military aid and training to various factions; thus, spreading violent conflict, war, and genocide. In both cases, Western, and primarily American strategic interests were met through an increased presence militarily, pushing out other major imperial and powerful rivals, as well as increasing Western access to key economics resources.
This is the lens through which we must view the unfolding situation in Pakistan. However, the situation in Pakistan presents a far greater potential for conflict and devastation than either Yugoslavia or Rwanda. In short, the potential strategy of “Balkanization” and destabilization of Pakistan could dwarf any major global conflict in the past few decades. It’s sheer population of 187 million people, proximity to two major regional wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, its strategic location as neighbor to India, China, and Iran with access to the Indian Ocean, and its nuclear arsenal, combine to make Pakistan the potential trigger for a much wider regional and possibly global war. The destabilization of Pakistan has the potential to be the greatest geopolitical catastrophe since World War II.
Thus, Selig Harrison’s op-ed in the New York Times in which he describes the “likely” breakup of Pakistan along ethnic lines as a result of “ethnic differences” must be viewed in the wider context of geopolitical ambitions. His article lays the foundation both for the explanation of a potential breakup, and thus the “justification” for Western intervention in the conflict. His “predictive” capacities as a seasoned journalist can be alternatively viewed as pre-emptive imperial propaganda.
The war in Afghanistan is inherently related to the situation in Pakistan. From the days of the Afghan-Soviet war in the 1980s, arms and money were flowing through Pakistan to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. During the civil war that followed, Pakistan armed and financed the Taliban, which eventually took power. When the U.S. and NATO initially attacked Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, this was primarily achieved through cooperation with Pakistan. When the war theatre was re-named “AfPak,” the role of Pakistan, however, was formally altered. While the previous few years had seen the implementation of a strategy of destabilizing Pakistan, once the “AfPak” war theatre was established, Pakistan ceased to be as much of a conduit or proxy state and became a target.
In September of 2008, the editor of Indian Defence Review wrote an article explaining that a stable Pakistan is not in India’s interests: “With Pakistan on the brink of collapse due to massive internal as well as international contradictions, it is matter of time before it ceases to exist.” He explained that Pakistan’s collapse would bring “multiple benefits” to India, including preventing China from gaining a major port in the Indian Ocean, which is in the mutual interest of the United States. The author explained that this would be a “severe jolt” to China’s expansionist aims, and further, “India’s access to Central Asian energy routes will open up.”
In August of 2009, Foreign Policy Journal published a report of an exclusive interview they held with former Pakistani ISI chief Lieutenant General Hamid Gul, who was Director General of the powerful intelligence services (ISI) between 1987 and 1989, at a time in which it was working closely with the CIA to fund and arm the Mujahideen. Once a close ally of the US, he is now considered extremely controversial and the US even recommended the UN to put him on the international terrorist list. Gul explained that he felt that the American people have not been told the truth about 9/11, and that the 9/11 Commission was a “cover up,” pointing out that, “They [the American government] haven’t even proved the case that 9/11 was done by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.” He said that the real reasons for the war on Afghanistan were that:
the U.S. wanted to “reach out to the Central Asian oilfields” and “open the door there”, which “was a requirement of corporate America, because the Taliban had not complied with their desire to allow an oil and gas pipeline to pass through Afghanistan. UNOCAL is a case in point. They wanted to keep the Chinese out. They wanted to give a wider security shield to the state of Israel, and they wanted to include this region into that shield. And that’s why they were talking at that time very hotly about ‘greater Middle East’. They were redrawing the map.”
He also stated that part of the reason for going into Afghanistan was “to go for Pakistan’s nuclear capability,” as the U.S. “signed this strategic deal with India, and this was brokered by Israel. So there is a nexus now between Washington, Tel Aviv, and New Delhi.” When he was asked about the Pakistani Taliban, which the Pakistani government was being pressured to fight, and where the financing for that group came from; Gul stated:
Yeah, of course they are getting it from across the Durand line, from Afghanistan. And the Mossad is sitting there, RAW is sitting there — the Indian intelligence agency — they have the umbrella of the U.S. And now they have created another organization which is called RAMA. It may be news to you that very soon this intelligence agency — of course, they have decided to keep it covert — but it is Research and Analysis Milli Afghanistan. That’s the name. The Indians have helped create this organization, and its job is mainly to destabilize Pakistan.
He explained that the Chief of Staff of the Afghan Army had told him that he had gone to India to offer the Indians five bases in Afghanistan, three of which are along the Pakistani border. Gul was asked a question as to why, if the West was supporting the TTP (Pakistani Taliban), would a CIA drone have killed the leader of the TTP. Gul explained that while Pakistan was fighting directly against the TTP leader, Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani government would provide the Americans where Mehsud was, “three times the Pakistan intelligence tipped off America, but they did not attack him.” So why all of a sudden did they attack?
Because there were some secret talks going on between Baitullah Mehsud and the Pakistani military establishment. They wanted to reach a peace agreement, and if you recall there is a long history of our tribal areas, whenever a tribal militant has reached a peace agreement with the government of Pakistan, Americans have without any hesitation struck that target.
… there was some kind of a deal which was about to be arrived at — they may have already cut a deal. I don’t know. I don’t have enough information on that. But this is my hunch, that Baitullah was killed because now he was trying to reach an agreement with the Pakistan army. And that’s why there were no suicide attacks inside Pakistan for the past six or seven months.
An article in one of Canada’s national magazines, Macleans, reported on an interview with a Pakistani ISI spy, who claimed that India’s intelligence services, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), have “tens of thousands of RAW agents in Pakistan.” Many officials inside Pakistan were convinced that, “India’s endgame is nothing less than the breakup of Pakistan. And the RAW is no novice in that area. In the 1960s, it was actively involved in supporting separatists in Bangladesh, at the time East Pakistan. The eventual victory of Bangladeshi nationalism in 1971 was in large part credited to the support the RAW gave the secessionists.”
Further, there were Indian consulates set up in Kandahar, the area of Afghanistan where Canadian troops are located, and which is strategically located next to the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, which is home to a virulent separatist movement, of which Pakistan claims is being supported by India. Macleans reported on the conclusions by Michel Chossudovsky, economics professor at University of Ottawa, that, “the region’s massive gas and oil reserves are of strategic interest to the U.S. and India. A gas pipeline slated to be built from Iran to India, two countries that already enjoy close ties, would run through Baluchistan. The Baluch separatist movement, which is also active in Iran, offers an ideal proxy for both the U.S. and India to ensure their interests are met.”
Even an Afghan government adviser told the media that India was using Afghan territory to destabilize Pakistan. In September of 2009, the Pakistan Daily reported that captured members and leaders of the Pakistani Taliban have admitted to being trained and armed by India through RAW or RAMA in Afghanistan in order to fight the Pakistani Army.
Foreign Policy magazine in February of 2009 quoted a former intelligence official as saying, “The Indians are up to their necks in supporting the Taliban against the Pakistani government in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” and that, “the same anti-Pakistani forces in Afghanistan also shooting at American soldiers are getting support from India. India should close its diplomatic establishments in Afghanistan and get the Christ out of there.”
The Council on Foreign Relations published a backgrounder report on RAW, India’s intelligence agency, founded in 1968 “primarily to counter China’s influence, [however] over time it has shifted its focus to India’s other traditional rival, Pakistan.” For over three decades both Indian and Pakistani intelligence agencies have been involved in covert operations against one another. One of RAW’s main successes was its covert operations in East Pakistan, now known as Bangladesh, which “aimed at fomenting independence sentiment” and ultimately led to the separation of Bangladesh by directly funding, arming and training the Pakistani separatists. Further, as the Council on Foreign Relations noted, “From the early days, RAW had a secret liaison relationship with the Mossad, Israel’s external intelligence agency.”
Since RAW was founded in 1968, it had developed close ties with the Afghan intelligence agency, KHAD, primarily to do with intelligence sharing on Pakistan. In the 1980s, while Pakistan was funding, arming and training the Afghan Mujahideen with the support of Saudi Arabia and the CIA, India was funding two covert groups which orchestrated terrorist attacks inside Pakistan, which included a “low-grade but steady campaign of bombings in major Pakistani cities, notably Karachi and Lahore.” RAW has also had a close relationship with the CIA, as even six years before RAW was created, in 1962, the CIA created a covert organization made up of Tibetan refugees, which aimed to “execute deep-penetration terror operations in China.” The CIA subsequently played a part in the creation of RAW. In the 1980s, while the CIA was working closely with the ISI in Pakistan, RAW, while wary of their relationship, continued to get counterterrorism training from the CIA.
In October of 2009, the New York Times reported that the US strategy “to vastly expand its aid to Pakistan, as well as the footprint of its embassy and private security contractors here, are aggravating an already volatile anti-American mood as Washington pushes for greater action by the government against the Taliban.” The U.S. gave Pakistan an aid deal of $1.5 billion per year for the next five years, under the stipulation of “Pakistan to cease supporting terrorist groups on its soil and to ensure that the military does not interfere with civilian politics.” President Zaradari accepted the proposal, making him even more unpopular in Pakistan, and further angering Pakistan’s powerful military, which sees the deal as interfering in the internal affairs of the country.
America is thus expanding its embassy and security presence within the country, as the Embassy “has publicized plans for a vast new building in Islamabad for about 1,000 people, with security for some diplomats provided through a Washington-based private contracting company, DynCorp.” The NYT article referred to how relations were becoming increasingly strained between Pakistan and the US, and tensions were growing within the country exponentially, as “the American presence was fueling a sense of occupation among Pakistani politicians and security officials,” and several Pakistani officials stated that, “the United States was now seen as behaving in Pakistan much as it did in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Futher:
In particular, the Pakistani military and the intelligence agencies are concerned that DynCorp is being used by Washington to develop a parallel network of security and intelligence personnel within Pakistan, officials and politicians close to the army said.
The concerns are serious enough that last month a local company hired by DynCorp to provide Pakistani men to be trained as security guards for American diplomats was raided by the Islamabad police. The owner of the company, the Inter-Risk Security Company, Capt. Syed Ali Ja Zaidi, was later arrested.
The action against Inter-Risk, apparently intended to cripple the DynCorp program, was taken on orders from the senior levels of the Pakistani government, said an official familiar with the raid, who was not authorized to speak on the record.
The entire workings of DynCorp within Pakistan are now under review by the Pakistani government.
As revealed in the Wikileaks diplomatic cables, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson wrote in September of 2009 that the U.S. strategy of unilateral strikes inside Pakistan “risk destabilizing the Pakistani state, alienating both the civilian government and military leadership, and provoking a broader governance crisis in Pakistan without finally achieving the goal.”
In an interview with Press TV, Hamid Gul, former Inter-Services Intelligence chief revealed more of what he sees as the US strategy in Pakistan. He explained that with the massive expansion of the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan, and alongside that, the increased security staff, the Chinese are becoming increasingly concerned with the sovereignty and security of Pakistan. He claimed that the money that the US government offered (with heavy conditions) to Pakistan, $1.5 billion every year for five years, will be spent under the direction of the Americans, and that “they are going to set up a large intelligence network inside Pakistan,” and ultimately “they really want to go for Pakistan’s nuclear assets.” He further claimed that the Indians are trying to destabilize Pakistan; however, he explained, this does not necessarily mean disintegrate, but rather:
they are trying to destabilize Pakistan at the moment so that it feels weak and economically has to go begging on its knees to Americans and ask for succor and help. And in that process they will want to expect certain concessions with regards to nuclear power and also with regards to setting up their facilities here in Pakistan.
When he was asked what America’s long-term goal was in regards to Pakistan, Gul responded that the goal:
for America is that they want to keep Pakistan destabilized; perhaps create a way for Baluchistan as a separate state and then create problems for Iran so that this new state will talk about greater Baluchistan… So it appears that the long-term objectives are really to fragment all these countries to an extent that they can establish a strip that would be pro-America, pro-India, pro-Israel. So this seems to be their long-term objective apart from denuclearizing Pakistan and blocking Iran’s progress in the nuclear field.
In Part 2 of ‘Pakistan in Pieces’, I will examine the specific ways in which the American strategy of destabilization is being undertaken in Pakistan, including the waging of a secret war and the expansion of the Afghan war into Pakistani territory. In short, the military and intelligence projections for Pakistan over the next several years (discussed in the beginning of Part 1 above) are a self-fulfilling prophecy, as those very same military and intelligence agencies that predict a destabilized Pakistan and potential collapse are now undertaking strategies aimed at achieving those outcomes.
 NIC, Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future With Nongovernment Experts. The Central Intelligence Agency: December 2000: page 64
 Ibid, page 66.
 PTI, Pak will be failed state by 2015: CIA. The Times of India: February 13, 2005: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Pak-will-be-failed-state-by-2015-CIA/articleshow/1019516.cms
 NIC, Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World. The National Intelligence Council: November 2008: page x
 Ibid, page 45.
 Ibid, page 65.
 Ibid, page 72.
 Peter Goodspeed, Mexico, Pakistan face ‘rapid and sudden’ collapse: Pentagon. The National Post: January 15, 2009:http://www.nationalpost.com/news/world/story.html?id=1181621
 PAUL MCGEOUGH, Warning that Pakistan is in danger of collapse within months. The Sydney Morning Herald: April 13, 2009: http://www.smh.com.au/world/warning-that-pakistan-is-in-danger-of-collapse-within-months-20090412-a40u.html
 Scott Lindlaw, AP: U.S. gave troops OK to enter Pakistan. USA Today: August 23, 2007: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-08-23-pakistan-engagement_N.htm
 Frederick Kagan and Michael O’Hanlon, Pakistan’s Collapse, Our Problem. November 18, 2007: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/opinion/18kagan.html
 Ahmed Quraishi, The plan to topple Pakistan’s military. Asia Times Online: December 6, 2007: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/IL06Df03.html
 Ian Bruce, Special forces on standby over nuclear threat. The Sunday Herald: December 31, 2007: http://www.heraldscotland.com/special-forces-on-standby-over-nuclear-threat-1.871766
 Steven Lee Myers, David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt, U.S. Considers New Covert Push Within Pakistan. The New York Times: January 6, 2008:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/washington/06terror.html
 Farhan Bokhari, Sami Yousafzai, and Tucker Reals, U.S. Special Forces Strike In Pakistan. CBS News: September 3, 2008:http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/09/03/terror/main4409288.shtml
 Eric Schmitt and Jane Perlez, U.S. Unit Secretly in Pakistan Lends Ally Support. The New York Times: February 22, 2009:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/23/world/asia/23terror.html
 YOCHI J. DREAZEN and SIOBHAN GORMAN, U.S. Special Forces Sent to Train Pakistanis. The Wall Street Journal: May 16, 2009:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124241541672724767.html
 Declan Walsh, US forces mounted secret Pakistan raids in hunt for al-Qaida. The Guardian: December 21, 2009: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/21/us-forces-secret-pakistan-raids
 CIP, SELIG S. HARRISON. Center for International Policy: http://www.ciponline.org/asia/Seligbio.html
 Selig S. Harriosn, Drawn and Quartered. The New York Times: February 1, 2008: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/01/opinion/01harrison.html
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives. (New York: Perseus, 1997), page 39
 Ibid, page 40.
 Bharat Verma, Stable Pakistan not in India’s interest. Indian Defence Review: September 11, 2008: http://www.indiandefencereview.com/2008/09/stable-pakistan-not-in-indias-interest.html
 Jeremy R. Hammond, Ex-ISI Chief Says Purpose of New Afghan Intelligence Agency RAMA Is ‘to destabilize Pakistan’. Foreign Policy Journal: August 12, 2009:http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2009/08/12/ex-isi-chief-says-purpose-of-new-afghan-intelligence-agency-rama-is-%E2%80%98to-destabilize-pakistan%E2%80%99/
 Adnan R. Khan, New Delhi’s endgame? Macleans: August 23, 2009: http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/04/23/new-delhi%E2%80%99s-endgame/
 Ibid. See also Michel Chossudovsky, The Destabilization of Pakistan, Global Research, December 30, 2007
 Imtiaz Indher, Afgan MPs call for early withdrawal of foreign troop. Associated Press of Pakistan: April 1, 2009: http://www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=72423&Itemid=2
 Moin Ansari, Proof: Captured TTP terrorists admit to being Indian RAW agents. Pakistan Daily: September 20, 2009: http://www.daily.pk/proof-captured-ttp-terrorists-admit-to-being-indian-raw-agents-11015/
 Laura Rozen, Can the intel community defuse India-Pakistan tensions? Foreign Policy: February 16, 2009:
 Jayshree Bajoria, RAW: India’s External Intelligence Agency. The Council on Foreign Relations: November 7, 2008: http://www.cfr.org/publication/17707/
 Jane Perlez, U.S. Push to Expand in Pakistan Meets Resistance. The New York Times: October 5, 2009:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/world/asia/06islamabad.html
 US embassy cables, Reviewing our Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy, The Guardian, 30 November 2010: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/226531
 US military bases ‘will destabilize Pakistan’. Press TV: September 13, 2009: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=106106§ionid=3510302
|Andrew Gavin Marshall is a frequent contributor to Global Research. NOTE:THIS IS A CROSS POST FROM GLOBAL RESEARCH|
Peeps, please note. This article was written in 2009! This is not a new story. Even back then there were questions about where the heck was OBL. Never mind the fake attack that killed his shadow! This was a fake from the beginning and for some reason the stupid people got FOXED up into believe he just got killed a few weeks ago!
By Sue Reid
Last updated at 10:59 PM on 11th September 2009
The last time we heard a squeak from him was on June 3 this year.
The world’s most notorious terrorist outsmarted America by releasing a menacing message as Air Force One touched down on Saudi Arabian soil at the start of Barack Obama’s first and much vaunted Middle East tour.
Even before the new President alighted at Riyadh airport to shake hands with Prince Abdullah, Bin Laden’s words were being aired on TV, radio and the internet across every continent.
It was yet another propaganda coup for the 52-year-old Al Qaeda leader. In the audiotape delivered to the Arab news network Al Jazeera, Bin Laden said that America and her Western allies were sowing seeds of hatred in the Muslim world and deserved dire consequences.
It was the kind of rant we have heard from him before, and the response from British and U.S. intelligence services was equally predictable.
They insisted that the details on the tape, of the President’s visit and other contemporary events, proved that the mastermind of 9/11, America’s worst ever terrorist atrocity, was still alive – and that the hunt for him must go on.
Bin Laden has always been blamed for orchestrating the horrific attack – in which nearly 3,000 people perished – eight years ago this week. President George W. Bush made his capture a national priority, infamously promising with a Wild West flourish to take him ‘dead or alive’.
The U.S. State Department offered a reward of $50million for his whereabouts. The FBI named him one of their ten ‘most wanted’ fugitives, telling the public to watch out for a left-handed, grey-bearded gentleman who walks with a stick.
Yet this master terrorist remains elusive. He has escaped the most extensive and expensive man-hunt in history, stretching across Waziristan, the 1,500 miles of mountainous badlands on the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Undeterred, Barack Obama has launched a fresh operation to find him. Working with the Pakistani Army, elite squads of U.S. and British special forces were sent into Waziristan this summer to ‘hunt and kill’ the shadowy figure intelligence officers still call ‘the principal target’ of the war on terror.
This new offensive is, of course, based on the premise that the 9/11 terrorist is alive. After all, there are the plethora of ‘Bin Laden tapes’ to prove it.
Yet what if he isn’t? What if he has been dead for years, and the British and U.S. intelligence services are actually playing a game of double bluff?
What if everything we have seen or heard of him on video and audio tapes since the early days after 9/11 is a fake – and that he is being kept ‘alive’ by the Western allies to stir up support for the war on terror?
Incredibly, this is the breathtaking theory that is gaining credence among political commentators, respected academics and even terror experts.
Of course, there have been any number of conspiracy theories concerning 9/11, and it could be this is just another one.
But the weight of opinion now swinging behind the possibility that Bin Laden is dead – and the accumulating evidence that supports it – makes the notion, at the very least, worthy of examination.
The theory first received an airing in the American Spectator magazine earlier this year when former U.S. foreign intelligence officer and senior editor Angelo M. Codevilla, a professor of international relations at Boston University, stated bluntly: ‘All the evidence suggests Elvis Presley is more alive today than Osama Bin Laden.’
Prof Codevilla pointed to inconsistencies in the videos and claimed there have been no reputable sightings of Bin Laden for years (for instance, all interceptions by the West of communications made by the Al Qaeda leader suddenly ceased in late 2001).
Prof Codevilla asserted: ‘The video and audio tapes alleged to be Osama’s never convince the impartial observer,’ he asserted. ‘The guy just does not look like Osama. Some videos show him with a Semitic, aquiline nose, while others show him with a shorter, broader one. Next to that, differences between the colours and styles of his beard are small stuff.’
There are other doubters, too. Professor Bruce Lawrence, head of Duke University’s religious studies’ department and the foremost Bin Laden expert, argues that the increasingly secular language in the video and audio tapes of Osama (his earliest ones are littered with references to God and the Prophet Mohammed) are inconsistent with his strict Islamic religion, Wahhabism.
He notes that, on one video, Bin Laden wears golden rings on his fingers, an adornment banned among Wahhabi followers.
This week, still more questions have been raised with the publication in America and Britain of a book called Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive?
Written by political analyst and philosopher Professor David Ray Griffin, former emeritus professor at California’s Claremont School of Theology, it is provoking shock waves – for it goes into far more detail about his supposed death and suggests there has been a cover-up by the West.
The book claims that Bin Laden died of kidney failure, or a linked complaint, on December 13, 2001, while living in Afghanistan’s Tora Bora mountains close to the border with Waziristan.
His burial took place within 24 hours, in line with Muslim religious rules, and in an unmarked grave, which is a Wahhabi custom.
The author insists that the many Bin Laden tapes made since that date have been concocted by the West to make the world believe Bin Laden is alive. The purpose? To stoke up waning support for the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.
To understand Griffin’s thesis, we must remember the West’s reaction to 9/11, that fateful sunny September day in 2001. Within a month, on Sunday, October 7, the U.S. and Britain launched massive retaliatory air strikes in the Tora Bora region where they said ‘prime suspect’ Bin Laden was living ‘as a guest of Afghanistan’.
This military offensive ignored the fact that Bin Laden had already insisted four times in official Al Qaeda statements made to the Arab press that he played no role in 9/11.
Indeed, on the fourth occasion, on September 28 and a fortnight after the atrocity, he declared emphatically: ‘I have already said I am not involved. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge… nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act.’
Within hours of the October 7 strikes by the U.S. on Tora Bora, Bin Laden made his first ever appearance on video tape. Dressed in Army fatigues, and with an Islamic head-dress, he had an assault rifle propped behind him in a broadly lit mountain hideout. Significantly, he looked pale and gaunt.
Although he called President George W. Bush ‘head of the infidels’ and poured scorn on the U.S., he once again rejected responsibility for 9/11.
‘America was hit by God in one of its softest spots. America is full of fear, from its north to its south, from its west to its east. Thank God for that.’
Then came a second videotape on November 3, 2001. Once again, an ailing Bin Laden lashed out at the United States. He urged true Muslims to celebrate the attacks – but did not at any time acknowledge he had been involved in the atrocity.
And then there was silence until December 13, 2001 – the date Griffin claims Bin Laden died. That very day, the U.S. Government released a new video of the terror chief. In this tape, Bin Laden contradicted all his previous denials, and suddenly admitted to his involvement in the atrocity of 9/11.
The tape had reportedly been found by U.S. troops in a private home in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, after anti-Taliban forces took over the city. A label attached to it claimed that it had been made on November 9, 2001.
The tape shows Bin Laden talking with a visiting sheik. In it, he clearly states that he not only knew about the 9/11 atrocities in advance, but had planned every detail personally.
What manna for the Western authorities! This put the terrorist back in the frame over 9/11. The Washington Post quoted U.S. officials saying that the video ‘offers the most convincing evidence of a connection between Bin Laden and the September 11 attacks’.
A euphoric President Bush added: ‘For those who see this tape, they realise that not only is he guilty of incredible murder, but he has no conscience and no soul.’
In London, Downing Street said that the video was ‘conclusive proof of his involvement’. The then Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, added: ‘There is no doubt it is the real thing. People can see Bin Laden there, making those utterly chilling words of admission about his guilt for organising the atrocities of September 11.’
Yet Professor Griffin claims this ‘confessional’ video provokes more questions than answers. For a start, the Bin Laden in this vital film testimony looks different.
He is a weighty man with a black beard, not a grey one. His pale skin had suddenly become darker, and he had a different shaped nose. His artistic hands with slender fingers had transformed into those of a pugilist. He looked in exceedingly good health.
Furthermore, Bin Laden can be seen writing a note with his right hand, although he is left-handed. Bizarrely, too, he makes statements about 9/11 which Griffin claims would never have come from the mouth of the real Bin Laden – a man with a civil engineering degree who had made his fortune (before moving into terrorism) from building construction in the Middle East.
For example, the Al Qaeda leader trumpets that far more people died in 9/11 than he had expected. He goes on: ‘Due to my experience in this field, I was thinking that the explosion from the gas in the plane would melt the iron structure of the building and collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it only. That is all we had hoped for.’ (In reality the Twin Towers’ completely fell down).
The words of the true Bin Laden? No, says Griffin, because of the obvious mistakes. ‘Given his experience as a contractor, he would have known the Twin Towers were framed with steel, not iron,’ he says.
‘He would also known that steel and iron do not begin to melt until they reach 2,800 deg F. Yet a building fire fed by jet fuel is a hydrocarbon fire, and could not have reached above 1,800 deg F.’
Griffin, in his explosive book, says this tape is fake, and he goes further.
‘A reason to suspect that all of the post-2001 Bin Laden tapes are fabrications is that they often appeared at times that boosted the Bush presidency or supported a claim by its chief ‘war on terror’ ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
‘The confession tape came exactly when Bush and Blair had failed to prove Bin Laden’s responsibility for 9/11 and both men were trying to win international public support, particularly in the Islamic world, for the anti-terrorist campaign.’
Griffin suggests that Western governments used highly sophisticated, special effects film technology to morph together images and vocal recordings of Bin Laden.
So if they are fakes, why has Al Qaeda kept quiet about it? And what exactly happened to the real Bin Laden?
The answer to the first question may be that the amorphous terrorist organisation is happy to wage its own propaganda battle in the face of waning support – and goes along with the myth that its charismatic figurehead is still alive to encourage recruitment to its cause.
As for the matter of what happened to him, hints of Bin Laden’s kidney failure, or that he might be dead, first appeared on January 19, 2002, four months after 9/11.
This was when Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf told America’s news show CNN: ‘I think now, frankly, he is dead for the reason he is a kidney patient. The images of him show he is extremely weak.’
In his book, Professor Griffin also endorses this theory. He says Bin Laden was treated for a urinary infection, often linked to kidney disease, at the American Hospital in Dubai in July 2001, two months before 9/11. At the same time, he ordered a mobile dialysis machine to be delivered to Afghanistan.
How could Bin Laden, on the run in snowy mountain caves, have used the machine that many believe was essential to keep him alive? Doctors whom Griffin cites on the subject think it would have been impossible.
He would have needed to stay in one spot with a team of medics, hygienic conditions, and a regular maintenance programme for the dialysis unit itself.
And what of the telling, small news item that broke on December 26, 2001 in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Wafd? It said a prominent official of the Afghan Taliban had announced that Osama Bin Laden had been buried on or about December 13.
‘He suffered serious complications and died a natural, quiet death. He was buried in Tora Bora, a funeral attended by 30 Al Qaeda fighters, close members of his family and friends from the Taliban. By the Wahhabi tradition, no mark was left on the grave,’ said the report.
The Taliban official, who was not named, said triumphantly that he had seen Bin Laden’s face in his shroud. ‘He looked pale, but calm, relaxed and confident.’
It was Christmas in Washington DC and London and the report hardly got a mention. Since then, the Bin Laden tapes have emerged with clockwork regularity as billions have been spent and much blood spilt on the hunt for him.
Bin Laden has been the central plank of the West’s ‘war on terror’. Could it be that, for years, he’s just been smoke and mirrors?
In the mainstream media, on the Internet and many other places, lies are continually being told about the religion of Islam. The natural question that comes to mind is why. Why are fabrications continually being propagated about the religion of Islam? Why can’t the people responsible for the fabrications just simply tell the truth?
It is also interesting to note that most of the falsehood spread about Islam originates from Jewish sources. From the media, to the Internet, to books, magazines, newspapers, movies and other sources, the primary people involved with demonizing Islam and spreading falsehoods about the religion are Zionist Jews. Why? Why is it that Jews are so involved with demonizing and fabricating lies about Muslims and Islam?
The answer may be shocking to some and already known by others. It is because TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE JEWISH TALMUD INSULTS, DEMONIZES AND MAKE ANIMALS OF ALL HUMANITY EXCEPT JEWS!!! So to even the playing field Zionists especially have to lie about Islam and other religions to make it seem like other religions are also on a low level like Talmudic Judaism.
They will readily admit that the Talmud has backwards, barbaric teachings. That is not in question by the Zionists and their dupes. But then they will add “so does Islam…” Then to prove their point they would lie, mis-quote, take things out of context and present half truths about Islam and other religions.
They depend on your ignorance. They depend on your not doing research to find the truth. They depend on even if you do research you won’t go to the authentic sources about the religion, but to the Zionist sources and mis-translations that they created so that you can be misguided. To further keep you away from knowing the truth, Zionists have produced false translations of the Qur’an, fake Islamic websites and set up toll free numbers to answer questions about Islam pretending to be Muslims. They have even created fake Muslim Imams and spokesmen to further keep you away from the truth of Islam. Muslims feel these fabrications are compliments to the religion. If the only thing Zionists can find to justify their lies about Islam are their own creations, that says a lot about the religion.
The Christian Bible teaches, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you!”
The Qur’an teaches, “Any who believe in God and work righteous deeds shall get their reward from God…”
The Constitution of the United States says, “All men are created equal with inalienable rights to pursue life, liberty and happiness….”
Budhism teaches, “The fifth part is RIGHT LIVING. To abstain from all evil ways of living; to abstain from all evil methods of livelihood.”
Confucious said, “Do unto others as you would be done by!”
What is my point? Why am I bringing up these teachings both from secular and religious sources? It is because it is universal that the actions of the majority of people in the world towards others are motivated by good. Either from religion or from secular motivations, most world teachings exhort doing good to others. But imagine if you had these words to motivate your actions:
Yebamoth 98a. All gentile children are animals.
Sanhedrin 57a . When a Jew murders a gentile (“Cuthean”), there will be no death penalty. What a Jew steals from a gentile he may keep.
Minor Tractates. Soferim 15, Rule 10. This is the saying of Rabbi Simon ben Yohai: Tob shebe goyyim harog (“Even the best of the gentiles should all be killed”).
The Hatanya-the fundamental book of the Habbad movement, which is one of the most important branches of Hasidism-declares that all non-Jews are totally Satanic creatures “in whom there is nothing absolutely good.” Even a non-Jewish embryo is said to be qualitatively different from a Jewish one.
Rabbi Yaacov Perrin said, “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.” (NY Daily News, Feb. 28, 1994, p.6).Sanhedrin 58b. If a heathen (gentile) hits a Jew, the gentile must be killed.
Choschen Ham (156,5 Hagah): “The Jew is allowed to go to the Akum (Gentile), lead him on, do business with him, to deceive him and take his money. For the wealth of the Akum is to be regarded as common property and belongs to the first who can get it.”
I can go on and on but the picture is quite clear. Without interpretation, misrepresentation and lies, the Talmud clearly insults, dehumanizes and belittles ALL who are not Jews. This according to the great Jewish Rabbi Israel Shahak and others, is the basis for the Israelis brutal mistreatment of the Palestinians. I would go even further to say that it is not just the Palestinians, but the evil teachings of the Talmud is the basis for the mistreatment of all humanity by Jews. Even for the way they exploit the wealth of America and use the Americans. After all their Talmud says of the gentiles:
“Keep on, see how God is with us and does not forsake His people in exile. We do not work, we enjoy good, lazy days; the cursed Goyim must work for us, we get their money; thereby we are their masters, they, however, our servants…”
Now put yourself in the shoes of the Zionists. Suppose through the Internet and other avenues, people were becoming more familiar with the teachings of the Talmud. Suppose there was no way you could hide or deny the truth about what it contains. If you were an honest lover of truth and righteousness, you would abandon the evil teachings in the Talmud, as so many courageous Jews have done. But if you were corrupt and wanting to feel superior to the rest of humanity and hold on to power, you would malign, mis-represent and falsify Islam and other religions to bring them down to the level of the Talmud. When this is accomplished the Talmud won’t stick out like a sore thumb anymore.
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. The Zionists cannot control it. Through the teachings of the Qur’an and the life of Prophet Muhammad, the average sincere Muslim is educated to be lovers of truth and justice and to fight against evil. Muslims who seriously study their Qur’an are well equipped to fight against the wiles and evils of the Jews. As such, the Muslims must be destroyed and their religion discredited. Their countries must be kept in constant turmoil and disarray. Islam must be made to be seen as a threat to the world. The true Islamic meanings and teachings must never be disclosed. We, the Zionists will define what Jihad, taqiyyah and all Islamic terms mean. To hell with actually depicting and representing what G’d revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, and what Islam actually teaches. We will re-interpret the Islamic message and present it to the world as we see fit. We will place our “sources” in the right places to lie in wait for anyone who would dare investigate our claims. This is the plan of the Zionists. This is what they they have been doing with their evil lies and demonizing propaganda about the religion of Islam. They also have plenty of help from the Christian Zionists in this endeavour.
Nevertheless Islam continues to be the fastest growing religion in the world. The Zionists will never stop it nor will they succeed in stopping any righteous movements whether they be Christian, Budhist, Hindu and other religious or non-religious movements.
As the Qur’an says,
They plot and plan, and G’d too plans; but the best of planners is G’d. [8:30]
Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, “We are Christians”: because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant. [5:82]