Archive for July 2008
The International Herald Tribune today reports on a recent CIA mission to Pakistan to confront leaders of the ISI there about the ties ISI members retain to the Taliban and al Qaeda.
The CIA assessment specifically points to links between members of the spy service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, and the militant network led by Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani, which American officials believe maintains close ties to senior figures of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
The CIA has depended heavily on the ISI for information about militants in Pakistan, despite longstanding concerns about divided loyalties within the Pakistani spy service, which had close relations with the Taliban in Afghanistan before the Sept. 11 attacks.
This is not new, but is useful when juxtaposed with the conclusions of the new and very useful Rand Corporation report on how to end terrorism.
While the central argument of the study is to make police work and intelligence the backbone of the counterterrorism efforts, it also argues strongly for a greatly reduced U.S. military presence and overall reduced footprint abroad.
And in the meantime, Bush is praising “Pakistan as an ally on counterterrorism”. I’m not surprised that there are people who consider that Bush’s GWOT is off target. That same Rand Corporation report says:
The analysis focuses on a little-studied aspect of what one might call a terrorist group’s “life cycle.” Examining 648 historical cases of terrorist groups between 1968 and 2006 and their eventual ends, the report concludes that most groups end because they are either incorporated into the political process (43 percent) or are eliminated through police and intelligence services seizing or killing group leaders (40 percent).
“In most cases, military force is too blunt of an instrument and ineffective at ending terrorist groups,” says Jones, a well-known Rand expert on Afghanistan who is also an adjunct political science professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
For one thing, they point out, a major American military role sets the stage for a backlash. “The U.S. military can play a critical role in building indigenous capacity but should generally resist being drawn into combat operations in Muslim countries, where its presence is likely to increase terrorist recruitment,” Jones and Libicki wrote.
Interesting thing… But according to the ISI involvement with Taliban and Islamist terrorists (they have been used against India), who is really recruiting those terrorists? And if Pakistan is soooo good an ally, why CIA has pointed out those plots between members of ISI and Taliban terrorists? Wouldn’t that be a real violation of other people’s territory? What is more: the result of those “talks” between Pakistani Government and the Taliban are already on the table:
Pakistan’s talks with extremists have resulted in a 40 percent rise in rebel activity in Afghanistan, the NATO force said Wednesday, as authorities reported a British soldier had been killed.
Yes, Pakistan is a great ally.
(…) The Constitutional Tribunal must deliberate about the legitimacy of another party, the pro-Kurd DTP, which means that the Turkish political life is the hands of the Judicial power. The situation is similar to the one lived by Algeria when the Islamic Front was eliminated.
According to other analists the ban on both parties (the other is AKP, scroll down for updates) would take Turkey away from Europe.
Terrorism will be the legacy of the fight between Islamists and the far-right. It is not the first time that Erdogan has made a statement for the country’s unity. The “deep State”, linked to the military groups and the myth of Ataturk, has been decimated by the Islamic government. The greatest blow on secularism has been the arrest of the “Ergenekon”. Some days before the July 9th terrorist attacks, two ex-generals were arrested, accused of being leaders of a group labeled as terrorist and who inspired several political murders in last twenty years.
(…) But there is another link, geopolitical this time, of Erdogan’s strategy. On the one hand, he is the mediator between Israel and Syria. On the other hand, regarding energy, he has pointed to Turkey.
In Ceyhan, a Mediaterranean port which could be greater than Rotterdam, the Turkish government has made an economic revolution. Both pipelines from Baku and Tiblisi join there with the pipeline from Kirkuk, Iraqi city famous because of its richesses on oil. The third pipeline will be built by ENI, the Turkish Calik Group and Indian oil company.
In Ceyhan several facilities’ construction is planned for next years with a total value of 5 billion dollards: a refinery, Eolian towers and places of storage. Turkey wants to be the main energetic node for all Europe, but for that they are in agreements with Teheran, considered as a privilleged partner for the Kurdish revolt.
By the way, the AKP has escaped the constitutional ban but the Tribunal has imposed financial sanctions on it. So one of two things that was “taking Turkey away from Europe” is eliminated. A very interesting thing considered the energetical role Turkey is going to play for Europe.
The MSM have treated this in a different way but signs of relief are somewhat generalised:
- The Times: The AKP’s ruling is “a notable victory for a popular and capable government, an important judgment on the role of Islam in a modern, secular state and a triumph for Turkish democracy“. Yeah, what accuracy…
- Die Presse (Austria): It was a close decision, but also the right one. Following the ruling, Turkey’s ruling party the AKP is now free to continue its balancing act between Islam and Western reform. The judges have not blocked the loophole for the emergence of a modern Turkey. … It is to be hoped that in the future Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan … will desist from any attempt to strengthen religion. Yeah, of course, if his party wasn’t banned (and he himself was allowed to run for office when he had been banned because of his conviction on “religious hate” charges), he is going to stop his plans.
- Frankfurter Rundschau (Germany): Erdoğan never took seriously the fears of many Western-oriented Turks of a growing Islamicisation of the country, despite all his assertions that he wanted to be the ‘prime minister of all Turks’. He still does not know how to listen to his critics or include them in his plans. The Turkish prime minister should get back to reversing the considerable democratic deficit in his country instead of acting solely in the interests of devout Muslims. Religious freedoms and civil rights must be guaranteed for all Turks, including Christians and Kurds. Otherwise the country’s European prospects will come to nothing. Much more realistic as you see.
- La Reppublica (Italy): Despite the positive side of the judgement, “which dispels the climate of uncertainty, Erdoğan is clear that Turkey has lost precious time, above all concerning the attempt to enter the EU which it started in 2005.
- A plot against the Government and the process against the AKP continues.
- the procedure against the alleged pro-Kemalist coup proceeds in Turkey.
- the Islamist branch of the Ergenekon?
The places of religious worship are one of the main targets of terrorist attacks in Iraq. According to the Iraqi Human Rights’ Ministery, it has by now dramatic proportions.
From 2003 to 2007, 350 have been attacked: 313 mosques (of which, 219 shia and 94 sunni mosques) and 41 Christian hurches.
The official statistics also include the victims of different professions all linked to culture: between 2005 and 2007, 224 university teachers, 197 journalists, 95 lawyers and 27 judges have been murdered.
All the society is menaced, according to these official statistics, although the numbers differ of other studies.
It would have been truly good to know the proportion of people killed because of their religion…
Khamenei: “The Zionists would like Lebanon to be meat between their teeth, so they could do to it whatever they want, whenever they want.
“Today, the strong arm of the Lebanese resistance and the Lebanese Hizbullah has prevented this nightmare of the Zionists from coming true. This is why the American president says Hizbullah must be disarmed. Yes, of course this is what you want. Of course this is what the Zionists want. But this will not happen.
“The Lebanese people value Hizbullah and the resistance, because they know it is this strong arm that has prevented the Zionists from doing whatever they want, whenever they want, to Lebanon.”
Anyone still doubting of the Iranian support towards Hizbullah?
An umbrella organisation representing over 300 Hindu outfits in the UK on Sunday appealed to the government to probe into reports about British charities suspected of sending funds to terrorist groups in Pakistan that have been launching attacks against India.
The appeal by Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB) comes in the wake of serial bombings in Gujarat in which at least 45 people were killed.
The HFB requested Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to order a probe into reports of British charities sending funds to Pakistan-based terrorist groups.
Indian authorities have said the Indian Mujahideen, which claimed responsibility for the attacks, seems to be a front outfit for terrorist organisations operating out of Pakistan.
“India has been suffering from terror attacks by Islamic militants for many years. The Ahmedabad blasts that killed 45 people yesterday are not isolated. There have been several other blasts that have taken place recently in Jaipur, Bangalore and other places,” HFB secretary general Ramesh Kallidai said.
“But what is of great concern to British Indians is that there have been several reports of British charities sending money to Pakistan that are being diverted to terrorism against India.”
via Islamic terrorism.
Hamas (Harakat Al Muqawama Al Islamiyya or Islamic Resistance Movement) is listed by the US as a terrorist organization. Even though Hamas has been responsible for the deaths of Israeli civilians, it is not on Britain’s list of proscribed organizations.
The UK government officially boycotts Hamas, but its failure to officially list it as a terrorist organiziation allows many individuals, such as Azzam Tamimi and others connected with Islam Expo, to shill for the terror group.
Additionally, Britain allows the charity Interpal to operate legally and qualify for tax reductions. On August 22, 2003, the US government designated Interpal as a terrorist entity, stating that it gathered funds for the Hamas terror group. Not surprisingly Ibrahim Hewitt, who is chairman of Interpal, chaired a seminar at the 2008 Islam Expo.
Azzam Tamimi is so openly supportive of Hamas that the Malaysian news agency, Bernama, referred to him in July 2006 as a “Hamas special envoy”.
Azzam Tamimi is a Palestinian by birth, and on November 2, 2004 he appeared on a BBC show entitled Hardtalk. Here, in response to the comment “..continuing violence – that’s what Hamas and your friends in Hamas speaks for?” Tamimi said: “We don’t call it ‘violence’. We call it ‘legitimate struggle’; we call it ‘jihad’ …” Later in the interview, he was asked about Hamas’ suicide bombings in ISrael, and answered: “If I have the opportunity I would do it .. If I can go to Palestine and sacrifice myself I would do it. Why not?”
(…) This year’s Islam Expo was held in the large exhibition complex at Olympia in West London. Islam Expo 2008 aimed to: “Introduce the British public to Islam as a global culture and faith that spans continents, races and languages”, to “Shed light over the Islamic civilisationâ€™s great achievements in the various fields of knowledge; from science to technology and from art to literature,” to “Create stronger foundations for Muslims to understand their heritage and develop their identity as major pioneers of human civilisation,” “Combat the myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings of Islam,” “Encourage positive interaction between Muslims and the different races and cultures of British society. Working towards a more open, tolerant and pluralistic Britain,” and “Promote multi-culturalism as an enrichment of British identity.”
Several well-known speakers were invited. These included American lecturer John Esposito. Another guest, Robert Leiken, was in 2007 a co-author of an article entitled: “The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood.” Leiken bizarrely argued that Western governments should negotiate with the Muslim Brotherhood because it was not as violent as Al Qaeda.
As well as having Muslim and non-Muslim politicians attending the event, there were stalls representing foreign governments such as Sudan’s genocidal regime and also Iran.
Technorati Tags: Azzam+Tamami, Great+Britain, Hamas, Hindu+Forum+of+Britain, India, Indian+Mujahideen, Interpal, Iran, Islam+Expo+2008, Jihad, Jihadism, John+Exposito, Muslim+Brotherhood, Ramesh+Kallidal, Robert+Leiken, Sudan, terrorism, UK
“The burqa is a prison, a straitjacket,” state undersecretary for urban policies, Fadela Amara, born in France to Algerian parents who is also a practising Muslim herself, said. In an interview with daily Le Parisien, Amara, former chairwoman of the ‘Ni putes ni soumises’ (‘Neither Prostitutes Nor Subdued’) association said she approved of the recent decision of the judicial authorities in Paris which denied French nationality to a Moroccan woman because she was accustomed of wearing an all-covering burqa. To Amara, the ruling of the Council of State enables to “reaffirm the principle of equality between genders”. This decision “is a true trampoline for the emancipation and freedom of women” and it can “dissuade certain fanatics from imposing the burqa on their wives”, she added. Women that she calls “black crows”. The burqa and headscarf to her “are the same thing. It is only a matter of centimetres of fabric”. But both “are a sign of the oppression of women. We must fight this obscurantist practice which puts in danger the equality between men and women“. (ANSAmed).
via Creeping Sharia.
Pakistan brought the first “defamation of religions” resolution to the UN Human Rights Council in 1999 — before the attacks of 9/11 and a resulting “backlash” against Muslims. That first resolution was entitled “Defamation of Islam.” That title was later changed to include all religions, although the texts of all subsequent resolutions have continued to single out Islam. The resolutions have passed the UN Human Rights Council every year since the first was introduced. In 2005, the delegate from Yemen introduced a similar resolution to the UN General Assembly, and it passed, as it has every year since, with landslide votes. In March, the Islamic nations were successful in introducing a change to the mandate of the UN’s special rapporteur on freedom of expression — an official who travels the world investigating and reporting on censorship and violations of free speech — to now “report on instances where the abuse of the right of freedom of expression constitutes an act of racial or religious discrimination.” The issue is expected to be a focal point of the UN World Conference Against Racism next year in Geneva (a gathering Canada plans to boycott after the 2001 meeting in Durban devolved into acrimonious exchanges over Israel).
The trend has rights advocates worried for numerous reasons, beginning with the language used. If the notion of “defaming” a religion sounds a little unfamiliar, that’s because it is a major departure from the traditional understanding of what defamation means. Defamation laws traditionally protect individual people from being materially harmed by the dissemination of falsehoods. But “defamation of religions” is not about protecting individual believers from damage to their reputations caused by false statements — but rather about protecting a religion, or some interpretation of it, or the feelings of the followers. While a traditional defence in a defamation lawsuit is that the accused was merely telling the truth, religions by definition present competing claims on the truth, and one person’s religious truth is easily another’s apostasy. “Truth” is no defence in such cases. The subjective perception of insult is what matters, and what puts the whole approach on a collision course with the human rights regime — especially in countries with an official state religion.
Read it all, it’s very important.
h/t Think Progress Watch.