Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Indian airforce's biggest enemy - IAF fighter pilots!!!! - a landmark achievement

The indian airforce is the biggest enemy of its own. It has set a record that no other airforce in the word can easily break. In the last 40 years it has crossed the landmark of crashing its 1000'th plane. It is some record!!!! One can blame the older planes and non-availability of spares for some of the crashes, but according to their own investigations nearly 40% of these crashes are due to pilot error and many cases are still under investigation. The list of crashes include 2 Sukhoi SU-30MK1 aircrafts and Mig-29s. I am wondering what the state of affairs be when indians will start getting more of these modern aircrafts..., when the cannot even fly the Mig-21s....

Indian efforts to produce its own aircraft has become a shame for their production facilities. It has been more than 3 decades and they are still struggling to induct their LCAs ... and now their new definition of 'indigenous' is 'anything that you can get hold of from any country wishing to export'. Now they are involving many foreign companies to help them fly it, that includes engines, and much the time it is ready to fly in the airforce it would be an obsolete frame, with costs higher than the F-16s.... They are also planning to buy the famous 126 planes and short-listed eurofighter and french rafael ...the irony is, it will drain india its $20-30 billion dollars, and they will get a plane of the 90s, with no  AESA radar, planes for which Pakistan is already fine tuning its JF-17s Block II and the J-10s....the most cost effective planes in the world equipped with AESA radars.....and our military and Chinese are to be saluted for these low-cost, high quality achievements...!!!!!!

Shahzad Afzal


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Top Headlines - Steve Jobs Hot in News

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Steve Jobs & The Sound of Silence -
Like many of my colleagues in Silicon Valley, I was having a fantastic day. It is crisp in the shade, warm in the sun. The skies are a magical blue with puffy clouds floating like dreams. And when all seemed to be going well,...
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Steve Jobs: The End Of An Era -
We all know the broad strokes: a boy is born to an graduate student and her Syrian boyfriend. She puts the boy up for adoption. He comes to live with Paul and Clara. Paul is a machinist who moved to San Francisco after WWII. He...
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Steve Jobs's Best Quotes -
Although Steve Jobs's tenure as Apple CEO will be remembered for ushering in fundamental changes in the way people interact with technology, he is also known for his salesmanship and his ability to turn a phrase.
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Steve Jobs's Best Quotes -
Although Steve Jobs's tenure as Apple CEO will be remembered for ushering in fundamental changes in the way people interact with technology, he is also known for his salesmanship and his ability to turn a phrase.
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Steve Jobs: The End Of An Era -
We all know the broad strokes: a boy is born to an graduate student and her Syrian boyfriend. She puts the boy up for adoption. He comes to live with Paul and Clara. Paul is a machinist who moved to San Francisco after WWII. He...
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RPM software company Eloqua files $100M IPO -
Revenue performance management (RPM) software company Eloqua Limited Wednesday filed an initial public offering estimated at $100 million. Eloqua's RPM software solution is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that provides...
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Shahzad Afzal


Monday, August 22, 2011

Drones Direct Hit Upon Rule of Law

By Rep. Dennis Kucinich 

August 18, 2011 "

 - -A recent report released by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that at least 2,292 people have been killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004. The Bureau estimates that of that number, over 350 are civilians. A July 2009 Brookings Institution report stated ten civilians die for every one suspected militant from U.S. drone strikes. Yet another study by the New American Foundation concluded that out of 114 drone attacks in Pakistan, at least 32% of those killed by the strikes were civilians.

President Obama has greatly expanded the use of drones over the past several years, authorizing more drone strikes during his first fifteen months in office than President Bush did during the entirety of his eight years in office. In addition to the use of drones in Pakistan, the Administration has authorized strikes in Yemen and Somalia. The increasing reliance on drones and the lack of recourse for the families of innocent civilians that are killed by such strikes demonstrate the impunity with which the U.S. uses this technology.

Challenging the legality of drone strikes in Pakistan and calling to light their indiscriminate nature is vital to prevent a dangerous precedent from being set that would allow international law and the laws of war to be stretched to justify strikes elsewhere. The legal justification for their use in Pakistan can and will be used to justify their use in other countries. Under this legal framework, the battlefield could be stretched to include anywhere in the world.

Drone attacks can only serve to undermine our moral standing in the world, and foment anger and resentment toward the United States. We have spent years in Afghanistan and Iraq under the guise of nurturing democracy and the rule of law while at the same time, our use of unmanned drones severely undermines the rule of law.

Shahzad Afzal


Letter to Editor - Karachi Under Army


August 20th, 2011


Karachiunder Army


A lot is being said and written for and against calling the army for restoring law and order in Karachi. I am for it.  To my mind de-weaponisation of Karachi is the only answer to stop this wanton killing.  No weapons no killing. There is such a huge number of weapons there that it will not be an easy task to get them all back. I would, therefore, suggest the following sequence of action for the army to collect the weapons:


  1. Impose curfew in the suspected/dangerous areas, completely sealing them off from the rest of the city by shooting at sight to restrict the movement and taking away/shifting of the weapons to other localities.  Strict vigilance be kept that no weapons are sneaked away to other localities during the 'relaxation' time of the curfew. 
  2. Allow three days for all to deposit the weapons in the nearest Police Station with proper record of the surrendered weapons maintained under the supervision of army officers. Police cannot be trusted with this responsibility for obvious reasons.  Extensive publicity by all media radio, TV, newspapers, posters and dropping of leaflets, loud speakers etc. be given that no harm will come to those who surrender the licensed or unlicensed  weapons but any one found with a weapon after three days will be killed with the same weapon.


Not all will deposit their weapons. I bet.


  1. After three days house to house search under strict curfew be carried out. There are bound to be a quite a few culprits hiding weapons. Take  three or four of them and shoot them with their own weapons within the seeing and hearing of others. Thereafter, publicise the shooting widely with all means of publicity. Human Rightists, please hold your horses.


  1. Give them another period of three 'grace' days to surrender their weapons once again, making it quite clear to them that this shall be the FINAL warning and ALL those failing to deposit the weapons hereafter SHALL meet the same fate. 


ALL weapons will be surrendered. Again I bet it


The entire Karachi will be clean of weapons in a matter of week or so. Now, great care must be taken that no new weapons find their way into Karachi again. There are only a few and known 'in roads' and 'passages' for the smuggling in of such weapons and the police and others know them. The respective Police in charge of the area must be MOST severely and mercilessly dealt with if any firing takes place in his area of responsibility.


Recall the army back to barracks IMMEDIATELY on completion of their task.


Give me the force and free hand, I volunteer to undertake this task.  And, if I fail, I should be guillotined in the city square.


Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
30 Westridge 1
Rawalpindi 46000
Tel: (051) 5158033

Shahzad Afzal


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pakistan TV Report Contradicts US Claim of Bin Laden’s Death

By Paul Craig Roberts

August 06, 2011 

-- In my recent article, "Creating Evidence Where There Is None," about the alleged killing of Osama bin Laden by a commando team of US Seals in Abbottabad, Pakistan, I provided a link to a Pakistani National TV interview with Muhammad Bashir, who lives next door to the alleged "compound" of Osama bin Laden. I described the story that Bashir gave of the "attack" and its enormous difference from the one told by the US government. In Bashair's account, every member of the landing party and anyone brought from the house died when the helicopter exploded on lift-off. I wrote that a qualified person could easily provide a translation of the interview, but that no American print or TV news organization had investigated Bashir's account.

An attorney with a British Master of Laws degree in international law and diplomacy, who was born in Pakistan, provided the translation below. He writes: "I have no problem with being identified as the translator, but would prefer to remain anonymous." 

The translator provides these definitions and clarifications:

"Gulley" is generally referred (in Urdu) to a sidewalk or pavement. Also for the space between two houses.

"kanal" is a traditional unit of land area, so that one kanal equals exactly 605 square yards or 1/8 Acre; this is equivalent to about 505.857 square meters.

Muhammad Bashir refers to himself as "We". This is common respectable language for the self; to use the plural term instead of singular. The English language equivalent would be the "Royal, We".

Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan.


I have tried my best to keep words in a chronological order, but in some cases this is not possible, as in translation words must be replaced in reverse order to make sense! However, I have had to put a few words in brackets to clarify meaning. If you want to ask about any section - please supply time stamp and I will supply a contextual text.

Video Transcript:

welcome back! - Muhammad Bashir, Abotabad Area, Bilal Town resident, Looks like an ordinary person, but he is no ordinary person! Muhammad Bashir, lives in  Abotabad's, Bilal Town Opposite Bin Laden's House.

Night of 2nd May Muhammad Bashir was on the roof of his house, whereupon, the entire OBL, American operation was seen with his own eyes. 

Last night, when our team was in Abotabad, Bilal Town, near OBL house, Muhammad Bashir approached me and said that:
"Sister, I want to tell you something that is a great burden on my heart and conscience" - Listen to what he said:

00:59 Muhammad Bashir: I.. today... would like to comment about todays Abotabad operation events, until now, what I am about to say, no person has said.

01:08: Reporter: But, Muhammad Bashir sahib appeared frightened. While speaking to me, Muhammad Bashir sahib phoned his 
relative; leader, M.E.A. of Jamaat-e-islami, Abotabad, Abdul Razaq Abaasi on the phone.

01:21: reporter: Tell me your name and where do you live?
Muhammad Bashir: - One minute, first I need to speak to him...I am going to give an interview, a complete interview. Shall I give a 
complete interview or half?
Reporter: Complete! - complete!
Muhammad Bashir: I first need to phone him, I need to speak to him
Reporter: I could of...

01:39: Reporter: Muhammad Bashir sahib, on that night's events of the American operation, that took place, he expressed such comments about circumstances that have never been expressed before, therefore, we checked his ID card, his place of residence and we can confirm that he definitely lives there and we also approached senior politicians and asked about him, after hearing his comments, we were amazed - now you watch what he said.

01:57: Muhammad Bashir: The events that happened are thus; we were awake, we were not asleep.
02:00: Muhammad Bashir: a Helicopter came, and circled and dropped some people there.
02:07: Muhammad Bashir: in that house... where they are saying; Osama lives here, on that house's roof, they dropped people, after that, the helicopter returned and went back.
02:16: Reporter: How many people were they?
02:18: Muhammad Bashir: They were ten, twelve people
02:20: Muhammad Bashir: After that it left and for approximately 20 minutes, there behind us, on those mountains, it kept going around, the top of the mountains.
02:27: After 20 minutes, it returned. When it returned, at that time there were TWO more helicopters arrived. One came 
from the West and one came from the North. When it approached for landing, after that...

At this point;Video cut and resumed:

02:41: Muhammad Bashir: that helicopter, there was an explosion within it and there was fire within it, immediately, we 
came out and arrived there. When we arrived, the helicopter was on fire, it was burning. After that, about twenty 
minutes later the Army arrived, the police arrived. They moved all of us back...
03:04: Muhammad Bashir: ...and all the people inside it, all of them...we think; if Osama was inside it, or inside this house - then who took him to the Americans?
03:16: Muhammad Bashir: Because America...the helicopters that America is saying; IT carried out the operation. If 
America did this operation and it's army came and it's helicopter came, then that helicopter that came from the 
American's, within that, all the people that came, those people with the explosion were finished, got destroyed!
03:35: Muhammad Bashir: Within it, there was fire, those people, all of them died!
03:39: and if Osama was there, they would have put him in the helicopter. Obviously, if the helicopter caught fire, 
Osama could have died there. If their own people were gone, (dead) so could have Osama. After that, the fallen helicopter was 
destroyed after this, how can Osama be, with them in America? this is a strange thing!

Video cut & resumes
03:59: Muhammad Bashir: They are saying we killed Osama here. After that, they picked him up and took him away.
04:04: Muhammad Bashir: PICKED HIM UP AND TOOK HIM AWAY - how did they do this? This, what we are thinking!
04:07: Muhammad Bashir: The Americans' helicopter that came, that fell here and got destroyed!
04:09: Reporter: There was only ONE helicopter?
04:11: Muhammad Bashir: ONE helicopter landed down here, the second helicopter came from above and went towards Mansera.
It did not land. No second helicopter landed!
04:20: Only ONE helicopter, that first dropped it's passengers, the SAME returned to pick the people and there was an 
explosion within it.
04:27: Reporter: People were inside it?
04:29: Muhammad Bashir: People were inside it!
04:30: Reporter: How do you know this?
04:32: Muhammad Bashir: These people, we seen them all
04:34: Reporter: In the helicopter... you saw dead people?
04:36: Muhammad Bashir: We saw dead people!
04:38: Reporter:How many people?
04:39: Muhammad Bashir: This, we could not count, within the compound there was fire.
04:43: Muhammad Bashir: and we... the gate was open, we entered the gate, at that time the Army had not arrived.
04:48: Muhammad Bashir: Police had not arrived. Some people from the agencies, were present, but they did not prevent 
anybody, they kept entering, every person was looking , now, nobody is saying, but everyone from the mohalla (neighbourhood) and all the people present from the mohalla arrived first. We saw the gate open, we entered inside, 
saw the burning helicopter, the people inside were dead. After that everything was lifted. Now, there is nothing there!
05:16: Reporter: How many dead bodies did you see?
05:18: Muhammad Bashir: Look, you cannot count, the dead bodies were in pieces everything else was broken pieces, some 
here, some there, some broken, some half, some like this.
05:27: Reporter: Tell me fully - what happened?
06:30: Reporter: Tell me the full events
05:31: Muhammad Bashir: I told you, this is...
05:32: Reporter: You did not...I cannot believe this, that's why.
05:36: Muhammad Bashir: Look, what I have said - that's it!

Video Cut!
05:39: Reporter: When you saw the American craft, (Helicopter) what did you think, why they came here?
05:42: Muhammad Bashir: We thought... this is it...why did they came? we thought why did they come? maybe..we... did not 
expect them to do anything, we thought maybe our Army is arriving at some centre and the army people were sleeping, 
there was no explosions or events taking place, nothing was happening, everybody was sleeping, for 20 minutes or so...
06:05: Reporter: The craft landed in front of your house, how did you feel about this?
06:08: Muhammad Bashir: I thought..just...understand...imagine..we thought we're dead!

Video cut:
06:13: Reporter: But, how did the Americans return?
06:16: Muhammad Bashir: This is what I am saying; their Craft came and the helicopter was destroyed, HOW, could they return?
06:22: Reporter: Tell me this; you say, that you saw the dead bodies yourself....
06:25: Muhammad Bashir: one more thing, Madam, may I tell you;The people who were dropped from the craft, That walkway ... that 
..where our gates are...they banged them hard...and shouted... don't come out...don't do this, don't do that, if you come 
out you will be shot..we will do this, we will do that, all the people who were dropped, all of them spoke Pashtu
(Afgahni Language) - Pakhtun!
06:49: Reporter: Who were these people?
06:49: Muhammad Bashir: This I do not know! Those who were dropped from the craft (helicopter), those people.
06:54: Reporter: This, somebody else told me - that they spoke Pashtu.
06:57: Muhammad Bashir: They WERE Pashtun! we do not know if they were working for the Americans, we do not know if they 
were working for Pakistan, we do not know if they were army people or civilian, what people, BUT they SPOKE PASHTU!
07:07: Reporter: You said you heard they were asking for Osama?
07:09: Muhammad Bashir: No, they didn't ask me about Osama, they just said, do not come out, if you come out from your 
house, we will shoot you!
07:16: Reporter: Were these Pakistani people?
Muhammad Bashir: who?
07:18: Reporter: The ones who were saying that if you come out, we will shoot you.
07:20: Muhammad Bashir: They said that in Pashtu!
07:22: Reporter: so did they..were you coming out...exactly where were you, where was you standing when this happened?
07:26: Muhammad Bashir: Inside the house, on top of the roof, I was not in the house, just on top of the (flat)roof
07:29: Reporter: from Above the roof these people in the helicopter...
07:30: Muhammad Bashir: I was on the roof, sitting, no, lying down, on the roof,lying and watching this and what was 
07:37: Reporter: Fear, was you not afraid? did you not think to phone someone?
07:40: Muhammad Bashir: From the house, They were calling me from downstairs, the children were calling me, come down, 
come down, and I told them stop making noise! go into your rooms, I am watching what is happening. Afterwards, I found 
out about this, that, Osama was killed here!
07:53: Reporter: How did you get inside? (the compound)
Muhammad Bashir: where?
Reporter: when there was fire.
Muhammad Bashir: the gate was open, when there was fire, the gate was open.
08:02: Reporter: The house gate was open?
08:03: Muhammad Bashir: The outer gate, the big gate, was open.
08:06: Reporter: You came from upstairs to downstairs?
08:08: Muhammad Bashir: I came down, from my own house into the gulley, I didn't go alone inside the other house, 200 other people went inside! Everybody saw it!
08:15: Reporter: All 200 saw the dead bodies?
08:17: Muhammad Bashir: Everybody saw this.Whoever went inside they saw everything!
08:20: Reporting:the events at that time that are in your mind, please express them.
08:28: Muhammad Bashir: I have told you this and this, in my mind, this is what I have seen, when we were there, when we 
entered the gate, When the helicopter exploded, it scattered everywhere, one piece fell over there, one fell here, one 
here, a lot of pieces fell in the gulley outside, they reached up to the gulley and our house and also some pieces managed to reach onto my roof. so, the area of the open space there (in front of the house) is about four Kanal in 
size. It is a very large compound. You cannot see all of it from one location. Four  Kanal is a big area, only in a small area you could possibly see everything. There I saw some people, in broken pieces, someone's leg, someone's arm, 
someone's torso, someone's head. Beside this, I did not see intensely, who are they, how are they, because I thought that one of our own craft had fallen and the people within it were our own people. Because they spoke Pashtu they could be pakistani.
09:35: Muhammad Bashir: but language does not necessarily mean.. by speaking it...the American language could be spoken, the agents can speak all sorts of languages. It could be that it is the American army and they could speak Pashtu and the people would think that it is our own people.
09:54: Reporter: Seeing the dead bodies - did you not feel fear?
09:57: Muhammad Bashir: But we were thinking about ourselves at the time, but seeing the dead bodies who felt frightened?
10:00: Reporter: When you went inside, what did you do after that, how did you come out?
10:02: Muhammad Bashir: we came out, our Army reached there, when the army arrived, they moved all the people back. Move 
aside, move aside! So we moved aside.Then they closed the area down.
10:13: Reporter: did Rais see this?
Muhammad Bashir: What?
Reporter: where was your cousin?
10:18: Muhammad Bashir: My cousin was at that time in the house.
10:20: Reporter: Did he go with you?
10:21: Muhammad Bashir: He was with me, but I did not notice when he was picked up.
10:28: Reporter: Has he returned yet?
10:29: Muhammad Bashir: Yes, he has returned. They picked him up and took him away.
10:32: Reporter: What is he saying?
10:34:Muhammad Bashir: I have not met him yet, he is at home they will not let him come out, we are not allowed to visit him, they will not let him come out.We have not met.
10:40: Reporter: You was not able find out, but since when have you been allowed out.
10:45: Muhammad Bashir: I did not go home, by going home...
Reporter:You have seen the fire you have seen the bodies how long did you stay there?
Muhammad Bashir: approximately, after five or six minutes, I left and came out..five, six minute..what happened .... the reason we left, was that after we entered, there was another small explosion, I do not know if the engine fail and 
there was another fire, it was a small explosion, after this explosion all the people ran out.
11:06: Muhammad Bashir: when we went out, nobody let us go back in again.
11:11: Reporter: Besides you, why is nobody else saying these things? why are you alone in this?
11:16: Muhammad Bashir: Look, what we have seen, that is what we are saying and we are speaking for this reason that, we are sad that such humble and nice people of our town, that has never seen such events, no fighting, no arguments, no animosity, No murders, such nice people of ours in this town and they have been branded as terrorists.
11:43: Reporter: Tell me; two helicopters came, lifted and took the rest of the people?
11:46:Muhammad Bashir: No - they did not take the rest of the people, because they did not even land, One came from the West and it left towards the North, the one that came from the North, left towards the South. They did not land!

12:00: Studio Reporter: these events that we showed you from Abotabad, there are many more things that we discovered about the compound where OBL was staying, there were vegetables planted there, what kind of vegetables, the person who grows the vegetables is the cousin of this person (Muhammad Bashir), whose interview we have shown. An extraordinary 
thing that he has said and he has sworn repeatedly on the veracity of his statement. this is from his own account and upon this account do view this. Yesterday we found out and it has been confirmed that there were two Ashfaq's who lived there (in the compound):Mr Arshad and Mr Tariq who went shopping locally and used to buy international brands, the items they found in the house, dry dates, dried meat and things like this, this person who you saw in the 
interview in his house there was food from OBL's house, he was given Kaabli Pillau (Rice) and such items were presented to him, There the view of local mosque people, what they think of OBL all these things we will present to 
you in an exclusive program an important newsbeat, todays time is finishing, do write to us at where you can get other information as well and you can join us at newsbeat with Fareeha Idrees thats my favourite bit, do 
write to us, the time is up now, By your permission to leave, take care of yourself, In Allah's care.

13:20: Reporter: I am now at standing in front of Abdullah Bin Zubair Mosque, this is the same mosque that is within walking distance from OBL's house. Are you saying that if people found out that OBL was living here, would they be happy?
1st man: Possibly, people could be happy.
2nd man: He wasn't living here, but he was a Muslim, he believed in Allah.

End of translation

Anyone fluent in Urdu who wishes to dispute the translation should do so.

I asked the translator if he might contact the Pakistani news organization and inquire if the reporters had further investigated Bashir's story. He replied that he could do so, but exactly 24 hours later "for some unknown reason" the news organization started to discredit Bashir by connecting "him to his cousin, who is accused of receiving foodstuffs from the household of OBL." 

Bashir's cousin is the person who, according to the reporter (see 12:00 time line) had a vegetable garden inside the wall of the alleged bin Laden compound. Is it likely that with a hunted and dangerous person hiding within, locals would be permitted to have vegetable gardens inside the compound? The cousin's vegetable garden obviously had to be redefined as "receiving foodstuffs from OBL."

The translator offers his view on the 13:20 timeline:

"The final seconds of the video clip contain random people to generate and show some kind of sympathy with OBL in the district.

"It would be very difficult to find people in Pakistan who sympathise with OBL or the Taliban. The only people who do sympathise are the poor illiterate people who do not know about the religion and can easily be convinced of a distorted version of Islam.
Therefore, the closing part of the video contains, out of context expressions:

"1st man: Possibly, people could be happy. (Meaning it is possible that SOME people could be happy.)
2nd man: He wasn't living here, but he was a Muslim, he believed in Allah. (Meaning; he claimed to be Muslim, so he must have believed in Allah.)

"Therefore, it seems that although initially, the TV station was overjoyed with this interview, they changed their tune, twenty four hours later. (for some unknown reason.)"

Readers can arrive at their own conclusions. It seems clear that under intense pressure and serious threats from the US government, the Pakistani government fell in line with the US government's claim that a commando raid had killed bin Laden and all had returned safely, and that the TV news organization also got the message to get in line.

It is likely that the many witnesses who observed the dead from the helicopter crash have been warned to keep quiet. However, a news organization, should one be so inclined, could certainly interview Bashir and the 200 others who saw the dead bodies. A good reporter, perhaps accompanied by trained psychologists, would be able to tell if people were lying out of fear and encourage some to speak anonymously. 

I am confident that no news organization believes that it could confront such an important US national myth in this way. The killing of bin Laden satisfies the emotional need for revenge and justice. In the least, a news organization that challenged the government's story would be cut off from all government sources and be denounced by politicians and a large percentage of the US population as an anti-American terrorist-serving organization.

OBL's death will remain one of those many "truths" that rest on nothing but the government's word.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was appointed by President Reagan Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and confirmed by the US Senate. He was Associate Editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, and he served on the personal staffs of Representative Jack Kemp and Senator Orrin Hatch. He was staff associate of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, staff associate of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, and Chief Economist, Republican Staff, House Budget Committee. He wrote the Kemp-Roth tax rate reduction bill, and was a leader in the supply-side revolution. He was professor of economics in six universities, and is the author of numerous books and scholarly contributions. He has testified before committees of Congress on 30 occasions.

Shahzad Afzal


Monday, August 8, 2011

Story of a Suitcase

Maria del Mar Arjona from Mexico was visiting her boyfriend in a jail. He was serving a 20-year sentence for a 2007 conviction for illegal weapons possession. The 19-year-old girl brought a large suitcase full of clothes for her boyfriend. When she was leaving the jail guards noticed that she was acting nervously as she dragged a black, wheeled suitcase to the exit. When they unpacked the suitcase, the found her boyfriend squashed inside.

Shahzad Afzal


The Secret War in 120 Countries

August 4, 2011

Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that seventy times and you're done… for the day. Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret force within the US military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world's countries. This new Pentagon power elite is waging a global war whose size and scope has never been revealed, until now.

After a US Navy SEAL put a bullet in Osama bin Laden's chest and another in his head, one of the most secretive black-ops units in the American military suddenly found its mission in the public spotlight. It was atypical. While it's well known that US Special Operations forces are deployed in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, and it's increasingly apparent that such units operate in murkier conflict zones like Yemen and Somalia, the full extent of their worldwide war has remained deeply in the shadows.

Last year, Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Postreported that US Special Operations forces were deployed in seventy-five countries, up from sixty at the end of the Bush presidency. By the end of this year, US Special Operations Command spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told me, that number will likely reach 120. "We do a lot of traveling—a lot more than Afghanistan or Iraq," he said recently. This global presence—in about 60 percent of the world's nations and far larger than previously acknowledged—provides striking new evidence of a rising clandestine Pentagon power elite waging a secret war in all corners of the world.

The Rise of the Military's Secret Military

Born of a failed 1980 raid to rescue American hostages in Iran, in which eight US service members died, US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) was established in 1987. Having spent the post-Vietnam years distrusted and starved for money by the regular military, special operations forces suddenly had a single home, a stable budget and a four-star commander as their advocate. Since then, SOCOM has grown into a combined force of startling proportions. Made up of units from all the service branches, including the Army's "Green Berets" and Rangers, Navy SEALs, Air Force Air Commandos and Marine Corps Special Operations teams, in addition to specialized helicopter crews, boat teams, civil affairs personnel, para-rescuemen and even battlefield air-traffic controllers and special operations weathermen, SOCOM carries out the United States' most specialized and secret missions. These include assassinations, counterterrorist raids, long-range reconnaissance, intelligence analysis, foreign troop training and weapons of mass destruction counter-proliferation operations.

One of its key components is the Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC, a clandestine sub-command whose primary mission is tracking and killing suspected terrorists. Reporting to the president and acting under his authority, JSOC maintains a global hit list that includes American citizens. It has been operating an extra-legal "kill/capture" campaign that John Nagl, a past counterinsurgency adviser to four-star general and soon-to-be CIA Director David Petraeus,calls "an almost industrial-scale counterterrorism killing machine."

This assassination program has been carried out by commando units like the Navy SEALs and the Army's Delta Force as well as via drone strikes as part of covert wars in which the CIA is also involved in countries like SomaliaPakistan and Yemen. In addition, the command operates a network of secret prisons, perhaps as many as twenty black sites in Afghanistan alone, used for interrogating high-value targets.

Growth Industry

From a force of about 37,000 in the early 1990s, Special Operations Command personnel have grown to almost 60,000, about a third of whom are career members of SOCOM; the rest have other military occupational specialties, but periodically cycle through the command. Growth has been exponential since September 11, 2001, as SOCOM's baseline budget almost tripled from $2.3 billion to $6.3 billion. If you add in funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has actually more than quadrupled to $9.8 billion in these years. Not surprisingly, the number of its personnel deployed abroad has also jumped four-fold. Further increases, and expanded operations, are on the horizon.

Lieutenant General Dennis Hejlik, the former head of the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command—the last of the service branches to be incorporated into SOCOM in 2006—indicated, for instance, that he foresees a doubling of his former unit of 2,600. "I see them as a force someday of about 5,000, like equivalent to the number of SEALs that we have on the battlefield. Between [5,000] and 6,000," he said at a June breakfast with defense reporters in Washington. Long-term plans already call for the force to increase by 1,000.

During his recent Senate confirmation hearings, Navy Vice Admiral William McRaven, the incoming SOCOM chief and outgoing head of JSOC (which he commanded during the bin Laden raid) endorsed a steady manpower growth rate of 3 percent to 5 percent a year, while also making a pitch for even more resources, including additional drones and the construction of new special operations facilities.

A former SEAL who still sometimes accompanies troops into the field, McRaven expressed a belief that, as conventional forces are drawn down in Afghanistan, special ops troops will take on an ever greater role. Iraq, he added, would benefit if elite US forces continued to conduct missions there past the December 2011 deadline for a total American troop withdrawal. He also assured the Senate Armed Services Committee that "as a former JSOC commander, I can tell you we were looking very hard at Yemen and at Somalia."

During a speech at the National Defense Industrial Association's annual Special Operations and Low-intensity Conflict Symposium earlier this year, Navy Admiral Eric Olson, the outgoing chief of Special Operations Command, pointed to a composite satellite image of the world at night. Before September 11, 2001, the lit portions of the planet—mostly the industrialized nations of the global north—were considered the key areas. "But the world changed over the last decade," he said. "Our strategic focus has shifted largely to the south…certainly within the special operations community, as we deal with the emerging threats from the places where the lights aren't."

To that end, Olson launched "Project Lawrence," an effort to increase cultural proficiencies—like advanced language training and better knowledge of local history and customs—for overseas operations. The program is, of course, named after the British officer, Thomas Edward Lawrence (better known as "Lawrence of Arabia"), who teamed up with Arab fighters to wage a guerrilla war in the Middle East during World War I. Mentioning Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mali and Indonesia, Olson added that SOCOM now needed "Lawrences of Wherever."

While Olson made reference to only fifty-one countries of top concern to SOCOM, Col. Nye told me that on any given day, Special Operations forces are deployed in approximately seventy nations around the world. All of them, he hastened to add, at the request of the host government. According to testimony by Olson before the House Armed Services Committee earlier this year, approximately 85 percent of special operations troops deployed overseas are in twenty countries in the CENTCOM area of operations in the Greater Middle East: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen. The others are scattered across the globe from South America to Southeast Asia, some in small numbers, others as larger contingents.

Special Operations Command won't disclose exactly which countries its forces operate in. "We're obviously going to have some places where it's not advantageous for us to list where we're at," says Nye. "Not all host nations want it known, for whatever reasons they have—it may be internal, it may be regional."

But it's no secret (or at least a poorly kept one) that so-called black special operations troops, like the SEALs and Delta Force, are conducting kill/capture missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen, while "white" forces like the Green Berets and Rangers are training indigenous partners as part of a worldwide secret war against Al Qaeda and other militant groups. In the Philippines, for instance, the United States spends $50 million a year on a 600-person contingent of Army Special Operations forces, Navy Seals, Air Force special operators and others that carries out counterterrorist operations with Filipino allies against insurgent groups like Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf.

Last year, as an analysis of SOCOM documents, open-source Pentagon information and a database of Special Operations missions compiled by investigative journalist Tara McKelvey (for  the Medill School of Journalism's National Security Journalism Initiative) reveals, America's most elite troops carried out joint-training exercises in Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Germany, Indonesia, Mali, Norway, Panama and Poland. So far in 2011, similar training missions have been conducted in the Dominican Republic, Jordan, Romania, Senegal, South Korea and Thailand, among other nations. In reality, Nye told me, training actually went on in almost every nation where Special Operations forces are deployed. "Of the 120 countries we visit by the end of the year, I would say the vast majority are training exercises in one fashion or another. They would be classified as training exercises."

The Pentagon's Power Elite

Once the neglected stepchildren of the military establishment, Special Operations forces have been growing exponentially not just in size and budget but also in power and influence. Since 2002, SOCOM has been authorized to create its own Joint Task Forces—like Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines—a prerogative normally limited to larger combatant commands like CENTCOM. This year, without much fanfare, SOCOM also established its own Joint Acquisition Task Force, a cadre of equipment designers and acquisition specialists.

With control over budgeting, training, and equipping its force, powers usually reserved for departments (like the Department of the Army or the Department of the Navy), dedicated dollars in every Defense Department budget and influential advocates in Congress, SOCOM is by now an exceptionally powerful player at the Pentagon. With real clout, it can win bureaucratic battles, purchase cutting-edge technology and pursue fringe research like electronically beaming messages into people's heads or developing stealth-likecloaking technologies for ground troops. Since 2001, SOCOM's prime contracts awarded to small businesses—those that generally produce specialty equipment and weapons—have jumped six-fold.

Headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, but operating out of theater commands spread out around the globe, including Hawaii, Germany and South Korea, and active in the majority of countries on the planet, Special Operations Command is now a force unto itself. As outgoing SOCOM chief Olson put it earlier this year, SOCOM "is a microcosm of the Department of Defense, with ground, air, and maritime components, a global presence, and authorities and responsibilities that mirror the Military Departments, Military Services, and Defense Agencies."

Tasked to coordinate all Pentagon planning against global terrorism networks and, as a result, closely connected to other government agencies, foreign militaries, and intelligence services, and armed with a vast inventory of stealthy helicopters, manned fixed-wing aircraft, heavily armed drones, high-tech guns-a-go-go speedboats, specialized Humvees and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, as well as other state-of-the-art gear (with more on the way), SOCOM represents something new in the military. Whereas the late scholar of militarism Chalmers Johnson used to refer to the CIA as "the president's private army," today JSOC performs that role, acting as the chief executive's private assassination squad, and its parent, SOCOM, functions as a new Pentagon power-elite, a secret military within the military possessing domestic power and global reach.

In 120 countries across the globe, troops from Special Operations Command carry out their secret war of high-profile assassinationslow-level targeted killingscapture/kidnap operations, kick-down-the-door night raidsjoint operations with foreign forces, and training missions with indigenous partners as part of a shadowy conflict unknown to most Americans. Once "special" for being small, lean, outsider outfits, today they are special for their power, access, influence, and aura.

That aura now benefits from a well-honed public relations campaign which helps them project a superhuman image at home and abroad, even while many of their actual activities remain in the ever-widening shadows. Typical of the vision they are pushing was this statement from Admiral Olson: "I am convinced that the forces…are the most culturally attuned partners, the most lethal hunter-killers, and most responsive, agile, innovative, and efficiently effective advisors, trainers, problem-solvers, and warriors that any nation has to offer."

Recently at the Aspen Institute's Security Forum, Olson offered up similarly gilded comments and some misleading information, too, claiming that US Special Operations forces were operating in just sixty-five countries and engaged in combat in only two of them. When asked about drone strikes in Pakistan, he reportedly replied, "Are you talking about unattributed explosions?"

What he did let slip, however, was telling. He noted, for instance, that black operations like the bin Laden mission, with commandos conducting heliborne night raids, were now exceptionally common. A dozen or so are conducted every night, he said. Perhaps most illuminating, however, was an offhand remark about the size of SOCOM. Right now, he emphasized, US Special Operations forces were approximately as large as Canada's entire active duty military. In fact, the force is larger than the active duty militaries of many of the nations where America's elite troops now operate each year, and it's only set to grow larger.

Americans have yet to grapple with what it means to have a "special" force this large, this active, and this secret—and they are unlikely to begin to do so until more information is available. It just won't be coming from Olson or his troops. "Our access [to foreign countries] depends on our ability to not talk about it," he said in response to questions about SOCOM's secrecy. When missions are subject to scrutiny like the bin Laden raid, he said, the elite troops object. The military's secret military, said Olson, wants "to get back into the shadows and do what they came in to do."

Shahzad Afzal


The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

By Paul Craig Roberts

August 03, 2011 
Information Clearing House-- - -The United States Government and its presstitute media have wasted time and energy creating hysteria over a non-existent "debt ceiling crisis."

After reading the "news" in the Ministry of Propaganda and witnessing the stupidity of the US government, the rest of the world is struck dumbfounded by the immaturity of the "world's only superpower." 

What kind of superpower is it, the world wonders, that is willing to go to the eleventh hour to convince the world, which holds its banking reserves in US Treasury debt, that the US government will default on the debt?

Every country in the world now worries about the judgment and sanity of the country with the largest nuclear arsenal in the world.

This is the achievement of the Republicans, who took an ordinary commonplace increase in the debt ceiling limit, an event that has occurred routinely many times over the course of my life, and turned it into a crisis threatening the world financial system.

To be clear, there was never any risk whatsoever of US default as President Obama has power established by President George W. Bush's Presidential Directive 51 to declare default a National Emergency and to set aside the debt ceiling limit and Congress' power of the purse, and to continue to issue the debt necessary to fund the US government and its wars. 

That the American press ever took this highly-hyped "crisis" seriously merely demonstrates their prostitute status.

The US public debt is rising too rapidly against US GDP, although it is still below the percentages during World War II. The problem that is ignored by the idiots in Washington and the presstitutes is that the debt is rising relative to the economy because the economy is not rising, but war expenditures are.

Why is the economy not rising?

It is not rising, because it has been offshored. What formerly was US GDP produced in Gary, Indiana, St. Louis, Detroit, Silicon Valley, and other US 
locations is now GDP for China, India, Indonesia and other countries where manufacturing labor and professional services can be hired below US rates.

What happens with offshoring? The answer is clear. US GDP, consumer income, career opportunities, and tax base leave the country. Corporate profits and bonuses rise due to the lower labor costs.

Who is this good for?

The answer is that it is only good for Wall Street, corporate shareholders, and corporate management. Their incomes go up, and the GDP goes down along with the employment opportunities of Americans and the tax base for government.

The other destroyer of American economic prospects was the deregulation of the financial sector. Economists theorized that markets were self-regulating and created the illusion that greed was never a problem. This was music and dollars to Wall Street's ears. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and the Wall Street-owned US Treasury jumped on board. Those, who like Brooksley Born, were empowered by US law to regulate derivatives, were driven out of office by the Federal Reserve Chairman, the US Treasury Secretary, and the Securities and Exchange Chairman. 

Financial institutions freed from Glass-Steagall, freed from capital requirements, and freed from oversight, immediately took debt leverage on highly unrealistic bets to amazing heights. When the schemes collapsed, the Federal Reserve lent US and foreign banks $16.1 trillion dollars, a sum larger than the US national debt and larger than the US GDP.

Where did the Federal Reserve get $16.1 trillion to lend? The Fed created it out of thin air with a stroke of a computer entry.

While the Federal Reserve created $16.1 trillion in new loans for private banks, the 
bailed out banks bulldoze the foreclosed homes of the evicted Americans.

So in America, the light unto the world, American citizens are thrown out of their homes in order that banks can bulldoze their homes. 

Only in America does this makes sense.

And it is not only Americans who are being made homeless by US policies. Afghans, Pakistanis, Iraqis, Yemenis, Somali, Libyans are also consigned to homelessness by American policy. Moreover, America's wars against these peoples together with the supporting military/security budget account for 75% of the US budget deficit. Indeed, the cost of these wars exceed the planned future budget savings from the debt limit deal. 

In other words, the cost of the wars that make millions of foreigners homeless use up revenues that the federal government could have used to keep Americans in their homes and teachers in the schools. As much as many Republicans profess to be concerned about the US public debt, Republicans were not sufficiently concerned to address their issue by cutting back the $1.2 trillion military-security budget or by raising the low tax rates on the mega-rich.

Look at these July 30 headlines, just two days prior to the default deadline, from the online group, Stop NATO:

US Military To Be Based In Australia To Confront China

Call To Expand American Counterinsurgency Operations In Philippines

US Could Upgrade Polish Warships For Baltic Sea

Bulgaria: Pentagon Continues Upgrading Military Bases

US Uses Romanian Air Base To Supply Afghan War

America's Africa Partnership Station In East Africa

Mongolia: US Leads NATO, Asian NATO Allies In Military Exercise

Libyan War: Over 17,000 NATO Air Missions, Nearly 6,500 Strike Sorti

The Big Picture: War on Libya is War on Africa

What in the world is a country facing bankruptcy and default doing conducting military exercises in Mongolia and Central Asia? What is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, designed to counter a Soviet thrust into Western Europe, doing in Mongolia?

Why are these military expenditures necessary, but not expenditures to keep America's homeless population from rising while homes are destroyed?

Why do not the Republicans listen when mega-billionaire Warren Buffet says that the tax rate on his massive income is lower than the tax rate on his secretary's income?

The answer is that the Republicans have an agenda: War. And Republicans want to fund this war, not by taxing high incomes but by cutting support programs for the down and out.

To cut to the chase: Even if all the cuts actually happen, the weakening economy will result in new deficit projections that will wipe out the expected savings from the debt limit agreement.

What then will the government do?

Until US policymakers comprehend that the economy has been moved offshore and take steps to bring it home, there will be no solution to America's debt problem or to its unemployment problem.

Shahzad Afzal


Horrors Of US-NATO Butchery Of Libya Revealed

Horrors Of US-NATO Butchery Of Libya Revealed
Note - The following email was received by a colleague of Susan Lindauer and we thank Susan for sending it immediately to us. This document is extremely important to read as it shows the hideous barbarity of the so-called 'civilized' Zionist-controlled United States and its City of London EU Western gangster allies. The bombing of the Libyan water project (the 'Great Manmade River'), the bombing of schools, hospitals and population centers, the blockading of the port at Tripoli to cut off all food and medical supplies, are all designed to starve and kill masses of humanity.
The people of Libya are incredibly intelligent and strong and are committed to withstanding this effort to steal their nation from them. We wish them all possible success. If Libya is allowed to be slaughtered and reduced to Third World rubble like the Zionist-owned United States did to the nations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Western world - and 'civilization' as we knew it - are essentially gone.  Remember Dresden... - ed
Susan: Also enclosed below is a press release on today's bombing by NATO
Finally back on the internet, not at our hotel, had to travel to get on. Thursday and Friday no gasoline thanks to the piracy of NATO.
What they gave me for Jeff Rense is a web link, they say it has photos and a video of what he needs. It is (Ed note - This page is now 404, apparently as a result the outrageous NATO bombing of the Libyan Broadcasting Authority and the murder of three journalist colleagues there.)
These people are now excited hiring some of the biggest lawyers in the world to file (lawsuits) against NATO. The war crimes here are unforgivable.
Last night, NATO bombed the Libyan Broadcasting company killing 3 civilians and injuring 15 others. They don't like any TV here except NATO propaganda. I am attaching 2 more leaflets, NATO dropped these last week. In what alternate Universe does NATO think these people will take any advice from them?
We were at a rally on Thursday where probably 400,000 to 500,000 people rallied behind their country and the Leader of their revolution.
These were some of the poorest people in Tripoli, yet they came with signs and their children dressed in green. They had written on their hands and bodies, we will give our soul for M. Ghadafi, we will all die before we let NATO and the great Colonial crusaders kill our beloved leader. NATO has stepped into a huge pile of shit and I hope that they end up with it all over their face. Ghadafi spoke at this rally over the phone, he said to NATO, "you must negotiate with the people of Libya" NOT ME, it is the people who decide their government and their leader.
I suppose you know about the infighting amongst the rebels? Now they have killed one of their big generals and this has instigated hate amongst them, this is due to the tribal loyalties. They have actually been fighting amongst each other for weeks, the kill each other periodically as they are all thugs.
In England, the British tried to give the Libyan embassy to the rebels! Like England says who owns the Libyan embassyand then the next day the rebels are killing each other. What a joke. The legitimate government of Libyan has now sealed that embassy. The UK can KISS any business here in Libya off ­ they are finished as are the FRENCH who periodically by orders of Sarkozy, shut the border between Tunisia and Libya to stop food and medicine and gasoline from coming in. NATO has blocked all the ships from coming into Tripoli so they want to starve these people out. Libya must pay big bribes to get the border open every time.
They are losing and they don't like it, they had better wake up, the US taxpayer will not fund this huge atrocity against humanity. The truth is coming out.
The Eighth Wonder Of The World
The Great Libyan Manmade River Project
The 'United States' can't even build high speed trains let alone anything close to the scale of the vision of Muammar Gaddafi. This astonishing engineering feat provides pristine water to 70% of the people of Libya is now being systematically destroyed by US-NATO Depleted Uranium bombs.
And the desert blooms....

Shahzad Afzal


Ten suspected thieves have been beaten to death by villagers

Ten suspected thieves beaten to death in India.

india map

Ten suspected thieves have been beaten to death by villagers in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, police said.

They said the killings took place in Chikaballapur, 55km (34 miles) from the state capital, Bangalore, late on Tuesday. One man was injured.
More than 70 people have been arrested in connection with the lynchings. 
Police say the villagers prevented them from intervening. Correspondents say the incident highlights the widespread problem of "mob justice" in India.
The victims - all young men thought to come from the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh - were pulled out of a van by more than 2,000 villagers and beaten to death with stones and wooden clubs, police said.
Preliminary investigations suggested that villagers suspected they belonged to a gang that sold fake jewellery, police said.
"I have never seen anything more brutal in my life. Huge stones were used to beat the victims," senior police official Malini Krishnamurthy told the BBC.

Shahzad Afzal