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Torture, Cover-up and the American Civil Liberties Union – A Desi Connection

Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh may not mean anything to most readers. Jameel Jaffer is a London, Ont. born litigator for the American Civil Liberties Union and Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project. Amrit Singh is Manmohan Singh’s daughter and is a Staff Attorney at the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.


credit Ruby Washingon, NYT and wikipedia

Jameel Jaffer, was “instrumental in filing and fighting an unlikely Freedom of Information Act request that eventually unearthed thousands of pages of secret documents which illustrated damning evidence of U.S. government complicity in violations of international humanitarian law.” link. and link
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Jaswant, Jinnah Jam

On Aug 14, commenting on Nehru, Patel 'conceded' Pakistan to Jinnah: Jaswant Singh I quoted from the article:

Mohammed Ali Jinnah did not win Pakistan as Congress leaders Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel "conceded" Pakistan to the Quaid-e-Azam with the British acting as an ever helpful midwife, says senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh. According to Singh both Jinnah and Nehru wanted special status for Muslims. "It is ironical that among the great constitutionalists of those times, Jinnah and Nehru became the principal promoters of 'special status for Muslims'; Jinnah directly and Nehru indirectly. "…The irony of it is galling when sadly, we observe that both of them, these two great5 Indians of their times were either actually or in effect competing to become the 'spokesman of Muslims' in India."

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US-Pakistan-Afghanistan Summit: To Disrupt, Dismantle, and Defeat Al-Qaeda

They met, they talked, they dispersed. The three were Presidents Obama, Karzai and Zardari.

Mr. Obama said simply that “we meet today as three sovereign nations joined by a common goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda and its extremist allies in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their ability to operate in either country in the future.” Link

The common goal outlined by Obama is not commonly shared by the three leaders and their constituents.

First: Al Qaeda is not an entity, a wholesome, unitary organisation, based on Pennsylvania Avenue or the Avenue of Americas that can be obliterated.

It is an idea without headquarters.

Ideas cannot be fought with guns, bombs and drones. Doing so will only force the Goliaths to select their weapons to find David. They can and should be fought with better ideas.
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The Taliban’s Atomic Threat: John Bolton’s Fear Mongering

John Bolton, the former interim US Representative at the UN is now at the American Enterprise Institute. He was “interim” because he was not confirmed by the Senate despite Bush Administration’s advocacy. Among other things he faced allegations of mistreating women employees working under him. Seeing the writing on the wall he resigned in 2006. He was also associated with the Project for the New American Century. Scroll down from here to Associations with Bush administration to get an idea of the people involved.

Bush Sr. kept them at bay but the Junior did not have the spine and succumbed to the AEI lobbying. The results of that meddling are before us – Iraq, Afghanistan and the Economy.

In a recent piece John Bolton wrote for the WSJ he espoused his fringe neoconzix views.

Quoting from Obama’s press conference, he wrote:

At his press conference Wednesday evening, President Barack Obama endorsed Pakistan’s official position that it has secure control over its nuclear-weapons arsenal. Mr. Obama said he was “gravely concerned” about the situation there, but “confident that the nuclear arsenal will remain out of militant hands.”

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Two Washingtonians On Pakistan

Pakistan. ‘s neo-conzix point man Husain Haqqani in Washington wrote in WSJ:

Now that the Taliban have been driven out of Buner, and Pakistani forces have militarily engaged them just outside their Swat Valley stronghold, it should be clear to all that Pakistan can and will defeat the Taliban.

Leap of logic by a person who could be the best Foggy Bottom Ambassador to Islamabad. Is this the same Army that is so fond of surrendering to the rifle armed Taliban militia by the hundreds? Is this the same Army that dithers and avoids fighting the insurgents? Is this the same Army that is trained and equipped to fight conventional wars?

Under the Musharraf dictatorship, Pakistan probably was not as quick as it needed to be to comprehend the enormity of the Taliban threat. And after last year. ‘s election of democratic leaders, our new government had an array of domestic issues to address. Mobilizing all elements of national power, particularly public opinion, against the Taliban threat took time because many Pakistanis thought the Taliban were amenable to negotiations and would keep their word.
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The Genius Figures it Out: It is Da Bomb

Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former Saudi intelligence chief “As long as the armed forces are intact, the state is not going to be at risk,” he told The Washington Times.

da_muslim_bomb

The Saudi Prince genius has figured it all out – by himself! So now that it is out, no harm in sharing the insight with the unwashed millions.

It is not Islam, nationalism, pride, identity, brotherhood and other fringe intangibles that keeps this half of Pakistan intact. It is Da Bomb!

The successors to the Raj, and her satellite cohorts would like to get their hands on the Da Bomb. You must be familiar with the arguments floated: we need to keep it from falling in the hands of the big beards. This killer machine, dubbed the Muslim Bomb would wreak havoc as indiscriminately as the Christian, Communist, Jewish or Hindu bombs. Bu that is a digression.

The Army that has a country – yeah a stale joke – but valid to make the point – knows an insurance policy when it sees it.

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Stop Twittering – Fight or Succumb

Guest blog by temporal who blogs at Baithak Blog

Earlier I had posted Who killed the Baloch leaders? by Qurat ul ain Siddiqui. More on this saga here.

This should raise alarms. Will it? This is extra-judicial killings – by state organs. The last time it happened under Benazir and Sharif Governments, the agencies got emboldened and thousands of Baluchis and Muhajirs died.

Earlier in the 70s, the same agencies were involved in what was then East Pakistan.

A fool learns from his mistakes. An idiot does not.

We seem to be bent upon endlessly repeating mistakes. Either that, or the agencies are a power unto themselves and are a state within state and cannot be controlled.

The key question to ask is – ‘who exercises control over these agencies and how effective is their control?’

The concern of our MaiBaap is not displaced. They urge effective control over this behemoth (the Agencies) as much for their benefit as for ours.
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Whose God is Great? Another Carnage in Lahore

Guest Blog by temporal from Baithak Blog

Finally, at about 4 p.m., police and army commandos stormed the compound. Soon after that, a group of surviving attackers surrendered on the rooftop of the main building. Dozens of police celebrated their triumph by firing into the air and shouting, "God is great." [link]

The ides of March have been unsettling for Lahorites in Pakistan.

For the second time in March, gunmen attacked in broad daylight and by last count between 30 (UPI) and 50 (Al Jazeera) people were dead. The first time their target was the visiting Sri Lankan Cricket team. That attack raised security concerns and may have contributed to the IPL venue shift to South Africa.

This time the heavily armed gunmen attacked a Police Training school. There is no building safe in Pakistan anymore.

In the aftermath of Red Mosque (Lal Musjid) fiasco, the gunmen had attacked a commando training centre.

These terrorists are well trained, financed and organised and they pick their targets carefully. Some months back they killed a retired SAS general who headed action against them in FATA and Swat.
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The Lament of the Blind and the Deaf

Guest post by Temporal from Baithak Blog

The usually well informed and articulate Anjum Niaz in this column is way off base

The one cardinal mistake she, and most of us make, is putting all our eggs in one basket. The controversial Chaudhry Iftikhar is not a panacea for all that ails us

Pakistan does not have the luxury of time

While we listen to the muezzin’s call from the minaret the world has left us way behind

We delude ourselves. We kill ourselves in the name of the same Allah we bow down to. There is no national institution that is not hollow and crumbling. And sadly that includes the bomb-hugging Army. Edhi is NOT an national institution, but a collective sigh

Bereft of faith and self confidence, we tire not of screaming at perceived attacks at our state, nation, religion, sovereignty, integrity, ideology

We love to point fingers at others when we should look in the mirror

That is our dilemma. I hope that it is not our undoing


Rafia Zakaria: Swat, Somalia and Sharia

Guest post by temporal from Baithak Blog

Speaking of the former rickshaw and truck driver’s reincarnation as PakTaliban Rafia Zakaria writes in today’s News:

The hijacking and effective recasting of sharia as a populist tool meant to convert the poor into accepting violence and barbarity as emblematic of Islamic justice is a tragedy. Viewing it as such also reveals how populations who have been plagued by sense of inferiority owing to their illiteracy and poverty present fertile grounds for exploitation by groups such as Al Shabab and the Taliban. Reducing justice to a crude pantomime devoid of equity and education to an expression of un-Islamic elitism, these groups rely on the most decrepit aspects of human nature to assure their own ascendancy.

I have no love for these illiterate rascals passing off as Maulvis/Maulanas..they are an insult to real aalims.
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Rudderless Invasions: Wasted Lives and Opportunities

Guest Post by Temporal who blogs at Baithak

A Palestinian woman with severe facial injuries from a Dime bombIsrael has agreed to another unilateral ceasefire – like Sharon did in Lebanon – to be broken at will some time in the future.

The costs are well known:

  • Over 1200 dead Palestinians a majority of them civilians.
  • Billions of dollars worth of infrastructure destroyed
  • US arms used
  • Banned substances used
  • It failed in its state objective to crush Hamas

Israel was facing demands for war crimes investigations as it declared a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza last night after a 22-day assault in which more than 1,200 Palestinians, a third of them children, were killed and 13 Israelis died. Erik Fosse, a Norwegian doctor who worked in Gaza’s hospitals during the conflict, said that Israel was using so-called Dime (dense inert metal explosive) bombs designed to produce an intense explosion in a small space. The bombs are packed with tungsten powder, which has the effect of shrapnel but often dissolves in human tissue, making it difficult to discover the cause of injuries. Raymond Whitaker

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Poem For Barack, Michelle, Sasha, and Melia Obama

barak and michelle
m and i share your concern
for the privacy
and well being
of sasha and melia
may your children
get good education
and medical care
and grow up
balanced individuals
ready to take their place
in the affairs of our world
unlike the children in gaza

let me add briefly
am disappointed
at your silence
you did speak out
as president elect
on other issues
is apartheid,
ghettoisation
ethnic cleansing
and loss of civilian lives
not important for you?


Israel & Palestine: Force Is Never the Solution

Guest Blog by temporal from Baithak Blog

Taking advantage of the lame duck Presidency of Bush, the deliberate distancing of President Elect there-is-only-one-president Obama, the holidays in the West and the attending low emphasis of politicians, Israeli Air Force launched a devastating attack on Gaza.

Israel is the non NPT signatory Occupier in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Golan and East Jerusalem, aided (up to 5 billion a year) and abetted by the West.

President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmood Abbas is perceived as an Palestinian Uncle Tom and he was soundly beaten in the elections by Hamas.
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A Blessing in Disguise

Guest Post by Temporal from Baithak Blog

The UN Security Council Committee condemning LeT and its parent JD should be a blessing in disguise for the political leadership of Pakistan.

They could use this powerful international nudge to clamp down on the ISI and the terrorist breeding factories masquerading as madaris and religious charitable organizations.

This is the time to kill two birds with one resolve backed by firm action. The beards and ISI (backed by support from a segment of the occupying army) would thwart and resist every inch of the way.

They should, they could and they won’t.

Why?

Because there is a qehhat ul rejaal in the political leadership. There are no statesmen, no giants, no leaders either in the centre or in the provinces.

Self serving pygmies react – they do not act.


Come Tuesday a Victory of Hope Over Rovesque Fear

Will the US be ever the same again?

Since life is all about flux, we continuously change, therefore any questions of change can be rhetorical in nature.

Yes, caution is advised and one must never underestimate the shenanigans of the neconzix, but the looming victory of Barack Hussein Obama (according to these pundits and this study of polls by Nat Silver) to come November 4, 2009 will be a global watershed event.

The last time the US was this polarized was in 1960 over Kennedy’s Catholicism. And the next time would perhaps be over a woman or a Jew candidate.

The Bush Presidency has managed to drag the US popularity downward throughout the world. He lied and misled the US – a Mass Deception over WMD and led an offensive against Saddam Hussain’s Iraq without a credible exit strategy.
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