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Posts tagged with: USA

Strategic Motivations for the Mumbai Attack

STRATFOR: Strategic Forecasting Inc. In its weekly series of articles has discussed the motivations behind the attacks in Mumbai, I think its definitely worth reading to better understand the issue with a more neutral perspective without getting embroiled in a heated Indo-Pakistan debate

Last Wednesday evening, a group of Islamist operatives carried out a complex terror operation in the Indian city of Mumbai. The attack was not complex because of the weapons used or its size, but in the apparent training, multiple methods of approaching the city and excellent operational security and discipline in the final phases of the operation, when the last remaining attackers held out in the Taj Mahal hotel for several days. The operational goal of the attack clearly was to cause as many casualties as possible, particularly among Jews and well-to-do guests of five-star hotels. But attacks on various other targets, from railroad stations to hospitals, indicate that the more general purpose was to spread terror in a major Indian city.

While it is not clear precisely who carried out the Mumbai attack, two separate units apparently were involved. One group, possibly consisting of Indian Muslims, was established in Mumbai ahead of the attacks. The second group appears to have just arrived. It traveled via ship from Karachi, Pakistan, later hijacked a small Indian vessel to get past Indian coastal patrols, and ultimately landed near Mumbai.
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The reaction of Obama’s Victory in Pakistan

Guest blog by Muhammad Saad

Barack Obama’s recent election as the next US president has been met with widespread acclaim all over the world. However, in Pakistan, which has been a frontline state in the ‘War on Terror’ since September 11, 2001, Obama’s victory has met with either cautiously optimistic or sceptic reactions. His recent statements about Pakistan have been hardly encouraging for the Pakistani people.

Despite facing considerable opposition at home, Pervez Musharraf’s government allowed the US armed forces to use Pakistan as a base for staging attacks against the Al-Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan. But since the past one year, the War on Terror’s scope has expanded to the tribal areas of Pakistan. Many Taliban and Al-Qaeda leaders are believed to be taking refuge over there, forcing the Pakistani military to take action against these forces. The new democratic government has also resolved to root out the Taliban from these areas. However, the recent American and NATO air strikes in the tribal regions, which have killed many innocent people along with some Taliban forces, have caused massive outrage in the country and soured relations between the two erstwhile allies.

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Operation LionHeart

I received this text message from a friend who fortunately is one of those who has not only read history but also never forget it.

“Richard the Lionheart fought the crusades against Muslims who were valiantly defended by Salahuddin Ayubi. In operation LionHeart, who is lion heart in present context? Can somebody ask Gen Ather Abbas?”

Since, I was running fever and hadn’t watched TV or read newspaper for a couple of days; I ask him that what operation Lionheart is? He informed me that joint operation of Pakistani and ISAF forces in FATA is named operation Lionheart. I then forwarded that text message to my favorite hosts and was lucky to get reply from two of them. In their reply they told me that they would ask the question as the next day they were meeting Gen Abbas in Seminar in the Capital. To my knowledge, till these lines are typed, no has asked this questions on-air, may be due to the censor policies of their channels.
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Hillary Clinton eyeing US Secretary of State job

It seems Hillary Clinton is set to accept the job of US Secretary of State offered by Barack Obama, who apparently is reaching out to former rivals to build a broad coalition administration. It might be a good move as it would really bring in the best of what the Democratic party had to offer in these elections. I had believed that had if Hilarry Clinton been in the running for the elections this November she would have easily out gunned McCain. What one still has to figure out is her position on the deteriorating situation in Pakistan.


Great American Presidents born from Bad Times

Great presidents born from bad times – Rick Barton shares his thoughts on the newly elected President. If greatness is bestowed upon the American presidents by the seriousness of the problems they face, then the coming months are likely to produce Mount Rushmore-like moments for Barack Obama.

Not since 1932, when Franklin D. Roosevelt prepared to take office amid the depths of the Great Depression, or perhaps since 1860, when little-known prairie lawyer Abraham Lincoln watched powerlessly as a swath of Southern states seceded from the Union, has an incoming president faced such a daunting set of challenges. Is Barack Obama as the new president of the United States of America ready to rise up to the challenges that lay ahead and thence forth be recognized as one of the greatest President of our time?


Open letter to Obama & McCain by Amina Masood Janjua

The News, Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dear Barak Obama and John McCain,

Whichever one of you wins this election, I wish you success and I hope from the depths of my heart that you will transform the image of America into what it should be. I pray that you are able to show the true face of America to the rest of the world — a face which reflects the values of your ordinary citizens, many of whom I met in a recent trip abroad and which was an eye-opener for me.

I was invited by Amnesty International to visit member states of the EU, the UK and the US on a speaking tour in August/September 2008, to meet politicians, parliamentarians and ordinary citizens, and to convey to them the agony and torment that hundreds of other family members, including myself, of ‘enforced disappeared persons’ are going through. I was amazed that many of the people I met had no idea about this burning issue; of the illegal abductions, the detention of these persons in so-called ‘safe houses’, the torture they are subjected to and the fact that they are denied the right to a fair trial. I was touched by the sympathy and promises of moral and any other support that they could offer in order to relieve us of this ongoing pain.
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Don’t Blame the Victim – Detailed analysis of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s case

I share with you a detailed report published on the People’s Resistance mailing list analyzing the abduction of Dr. Aafia Siddqui and her ongoing trial in the US Courts. Please take time to read the report and if you agree with the contents then it would be a great help if you can join in the effort to spread the word far and wide to get more support for her.

Download the PDF Version
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Case study

On March 30, 2003, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui disappeared from Karachi along with her three minor children. Media reported that she had been taken by the US authorities with compliance of Pakistani authorities since the FBI had wanted to seek some information from her. In the face of general outcry, the US and Pakistani authorities quickly backtracked but then a year later Pakistani Foreign Office admitted publicly that Aafia had been handed over to the US.1

She became a concern for human rights organizations including Amnesty International who kept the case alive for five years. On July 6, 2008, political party Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf presented a British journalist in Islamabad who said there was reason to believe that Aafia was the “Prisoner 650” at Bagram (Afghanistan) and had undergone brutal rape and torture for five years. Outcry reaches a high water mark and urgent appeals were sent by Asian Human Rights Commission on July 22, to President George Bush and other persons of authority.

On August 4, the US authorities officially admitted of having Aafia in their custody but the US Department of Justice brought forth a charge sheet against her, claiming that she was arrested on July 17 (and not before) while loitering around near the residence of Ghazni’s Governor. They alleged that papers found in her handbag included instructions on making bombs and notes about installations in US.

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Pakistan is there to live

Guest Blog by Amjad Malik

As long as India keeps dreaming the disintegration of Pakistan, it will survive as a viable state as the very negativity serves the purpose of knitting this crowd of 170 million people into a nation, whenever it is confronted by its arch rival. Editor of Indian Defence Review, Mr. Bharat Verma writes that ‘new Delhi is its own enemy, when it permitted the creation of a pure Islamic state on its borders,” I for one disagree as this state emerged as a result of a successful struggle for independence by millions of Muslims of India who felt that two nation theory is the only viable option to preserve and protect each other’s identity and core values. Indian Hindus too got liberated after remaining under Moghuls for over 6 centuries and then British Raj through the same process due to Gandhi’s vision. Independence was neither granted through diplomacy, nor as a charity. It was snatched on the basis of fundamentals of the modern day democracy, one man one vote’ principle and majority of muslim populated areas vowed to join the newly established idea of ‘Pakistan’ where they saw security, identity and a peaceful enjoyment of civil and political rights, and a freedom of religion, culture and values.
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[MiniLinks] Mad Dog Palin : Rolling Stone Magazine

Rolling Stone magazine does a very interesting editorial. which boasts a very worrisome cartoon depicting McCain and Palin to say “The scariest thing about John McCain’s running mate isn’t how unqualified she is – it’s what her candidacy says about America” – the dirtiest jab was when they said “Not only is Sarah Palin a fraud, she’s the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV” Ouch!


Zardari issued a ‘Fatwa’ for shaking hands with Palin – Maulvi denies it

A few days ago an Indian publication carried a report claiming that the Lal Masjod cleric Maulana Abdul Ghafar, who is a close relative of Maujlana Abdul Rashid Ghazi, who was killed by security forces during Operation Silence in July 2007, said that President Zardari’s indecent gestures, filthy remarks and repeated praise of a non-Muslim lady wearing a short skirt is not only un-Islamic but also unbecoming of a head of state of a Muslim country.

DNA India: President Zardari’s indecent gestures, filthy remarks and repeated praise of a non-Muslim lady wearing a short skirt is not only un-Islamic but also unbecoming of a head of state of a Muslim country. He said that the manner in which Zardari shook hands with Sarah Palin and expressed his deep desire to hug her is intolerable and shameful. “We are fighting the American war in our country and thousands of our people have been killed just to please Uncle Sam. Therefore, we demand that the military operation in the Pak-Afghan tribal areas be immediately stopped as it is creating hatred amongst the general public against the Pakistan army”, he added.

But a day later a strong rebuttal was issued and published by Khaleej Times
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The News reports on PR Seminar with Hamid Mir

Most militants fighting to avenge military actions’
Published in The News: Monday, September 29, 2008

When Corps Commander Ali Jan Orakzai had deployed troops for the first time in Mohmand Agency in 2003, he gave an impression that the military intended to build schools, hospitals and roads there but he rather launched an operation against the militants that ultimately created further problems for civilians, as a result separatist tendency increased there. And this was the beginning of the conflict there.

Senior journalist Hamid Mir said this while speaking at a seminar “Military action in Fata, reality, myths and implications”, held at Justice Cornelius Library of the newly built National Law University, Clifton, on Sunday.

“The concept of Pakistan has almost ended there as the insurgency is taking shape of separatism,” he added.

According to him, there exist around 10-15 militant groups, which are not Taliban and they are not well organized. “They lack command structure and sometimes they also fight with each other. They are insurgents and separatists,” he claimed.
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SNL interviews Sarah Palin: Pakistani guys hugged ‘Literally’

America continues to rip on Asif Ali Zardari’s fling with Sarah Palin a few days back. The famous show Saturday Night Live does a mock of Sarah Palin’s recent interview with CBS News’ Katie Couric. Katie Couric is played by Amy Poehler, while the amazing Tina Fey spins a look-alike of Sarah Palin.


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Interview with ABC Darwin on Islamabad Bombing

Early Sunday morning hours after the Islamabad bombing I was interviewed by an ABC radio station in Darwin, Australia more specifically by Michelle Crowther who does a Sunday morning show called Hair of the Blog, giving them feedback our perspectives on the tragic events in Islamabad. Being Australian show they were also very much concerned in discussing the Australian teams refusal to play in the Pakistan during the Champions Trophy.

My 10 minute section roughly starts around the 40th min mark.

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Presidential speech, is he stalling everything or truly bringing reconciliation the soil, a critical analysis

Guest Blog by Amjad Malik

20th September 2008, ‘Land mark’ presidential speech to the joint session of the Parliament was overshadowed by a quick reminder of the menace of terrorism in the form of an explosive terrorist attack at Marriott Hotel, Islamabad which took over fifty three lives and scores were injured. This condemnable attack not only highlighted the kind of danger Pakistan is facing, the war of top security agencies in the region and on its soil, and the loss of many lives & families which are unaccounted during this on going struggle in order to find viable answers how to secure sustainable peace and calm to the region and in return to the world in general. So far no one has found the right key to success in this ongoing onslaught. Pakistan is caught between rock and hard place, on one side US anger over poor performance and asking them to do more, and if they do, the sheer resentment over foreign policy is visible by outlawed networks and Jihadists and expressed by the sophisticatedly hit targets which are normally pro West outlets. In Pakistan these suicidal attacks have crossed a century in number in only last 1 ½ years though this individual Non NATO ally is at the brink of facing the wrath in the form of unitarily inside strikes by the super power for their lack of will and action despite losing over 1000 soldiers at the rear border at Durand line. High value target though is missed by inches each time, but this faulty intelligence is causing an increase the collateral damage day by day, and that is the sad other side of the multi colour story full of blood.
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Being fooled at will!

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. A must watch video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xhy6BR8Hb38

The important thing in dealing with the Pakistani leadership (military or civil) is not to believe everything we hear. The only certain thing, the one thing we can depend on, is that every leader who poses as the man or woman who will lead us to a better life is practicing the ancient art of fooling the public. There is nothing new, it all started when the first tribal con-man learned that if he stood up and pounded his chest like a strong gorilla the people around the campfire would allow him to be their chief and give him all the food and women he wanted.

Over the past sixty years we have witnessed these con-men in uniforms, in religious turbans, in Mao caps and some even ‘directly landed’ in to office of ‘Caretaker Prime Minister’ ,from United States. The fact that we have been conned in past does not qualify us to be treated as fools, as most of the times we were subjected to conning on gun point or in more decent words through martial laws’. For too long we have allowed our leadership to be elected as we possessed little or no choice and these ‘rulers’ have rode roughshod over us. But an average Pakistani has no illusions about the probity of their leaders or institutions.
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