January 15, 2005

Documents of Cease Fire Agreement between Government of Sudan and SPLM Army

Find below the full text of the Implementation Modalities and the Cease Fire Agreement signed between the Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and the government of Sudan on Friday 21st of December 2004.

Implementation Agreement Cover Sheet

Implementation Agreement

Cease Fire Agreement

Used Abbreviations

US Intelligence Report Sees Sharp Rise in Asian Influence

By Gary Thomas

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A new forecast compiled by U.S. intelligence experts foresees China and India spearheading an expansion of Asian political and economic influence throughout the world. It also sees many Arab countries at a crossroads as globalization spreads.

The report, labeled "Mapping the Global Future," lays out a world 15 years from now in which the United States remains the dominant power, but faces increased competition from growing economic power in Asia and challenges from political Islam.

The long-range forecast was issued by the National Intelligence Council, or N.I.C., a kind of research organization for the head of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Council regularly compiles reports reflecting the collective views of U.S. intelligence agencies. Officials say the views of more than one thousand political, economic, and social experts around the world were solicited for the new report.

In an interview, N.I.C. chief Robert Hutchings told VOA the United States world role will not be eroded. But, he says, China and India will become increasingly important players on the world stage. "I wouldn't put it in terms of the erosion of America's role, because we will still be the dominant power. It's really maybe a relative decline," he said. "But what we are really identifying is the likely, the almost certain rise of Asia, led by China and India, but including other countries as well, as a major factor in world affairs, a major new factor in world affairs."

The report says China and India will expand their economic clout and likens their heightened status to the ascension of a united Germany as a power in the 1800s and the later rise of U.S. global power.

Looking to global threats, the report says Iraq could well replace Afghanistan as a training ground for terrorists. Mr. Hutchings says it is by no means certain that terrorism will remain as great a threat 15 years from now. But, he adds, Islam will remain a political as well as religious force in the world. "We simply don't know if global terrorism will be as great a threat in the year 2020 as it is now. It will certainly be a factor in world affairs," he said. "One of the broad trends we do identify, though, is political Islam, and probably radical Islam, as a force that has staying power."

Mr. Hutchings says Arab societies are at a fork in the road. Some may take the democratic path, he says, but others that feel left out by the benefits of globalization may feel resentful.

"On the one hand, the opportunities to join a productive global order are greater and more vivid for Arab states who are able to adapt to it," he said. "On the other hand, those that are not may feel a sense of exclusion and marginalization and humiliation even more acutely as globalization -- and we're not talking about America here, just the forces of globalization broadly -- push up more and more against traditional societies. That's why so much is at stake in Iraq and the broader Middle East."

There is also a danger, the report notes, that relatively new democracies may backslide toward authoritarianism. "There is reason for concern in parts of the former Soviet Union, where democracy has yet to put down solid roots. There are worrying signs in parts of Southeast Asia. So I think one has to assume that at least some of those countries that joined the third wave of democratization may fall off and backslide into authoritarian rule," he said.

The good news, Mr. Hutchings says, is that the report says while the threat of war remains, the likelihood of world conflict has receded to its lowest level in one hundred years.

Bangalore Judge puts conditions on Benny Hinn performance

Bangalore Judge puts conditions on Benny Hinn performance

Judge Shri Belvadi Ramaswamy has laid following conditions for the Program:

a) Closed Circuit Cameras to be used for 21st January program.

The court is interested in taking note about the method adopted in healing patients, any provocative speech hurting the sentiments.

b) A selected 15 handicapped people would be sent for the program after they are medically termed as ill and a thorough medical check up has been ordered prior to the Program.

c) A team of 5 doctors will be deputed to examine the handicapped people and after 21st Program.

Court has fixed next date as 22nd January 2005 for hearing after all the required documents, medical reports and video filma are submitted to decide the next course of action.

US Report of the National Intelligence Council imagines the world in 2020

Morning Edition, January 14, 2005 · Every five years, top intelligence analysts weigh in on long-term global trends. The latest report from the National Intelligence Council imagines the world in 2020, envisioning a receding threat from al Qaeda and a world profoundly changed by the rise of India and China


COMPLETE REPORT http://www.cia.gov/nic/NIC_globaltrend2020.html

New Global Players

The likely emergence of China and India, as well as others, as new major global players—similar to the advent of a united Germany in the 19th century and a powerful United States in the early 20th century—will transform the geopolitical landscape, with impacts potentially as dramatic as those in the previous two centuries. In the same way that commentators refer to the 1900s as the “American Century,” the 21st century may be seen as the time when Asia, led by China and India, comes into its own. A combination of sustained high economic growth, expanding military capabilities, and large populations will be at the root of the expected rapid rise in economic and political power for both countries.
Most forecasts indicate that by 2020 China’s gross national product (GNP) will exceed that of individual Western economic powers except for the United States. India’s GNP will have overtaken or be on the threshold of overtaking European economies.

Because of the sheer size of China’s and India’s populations—projected by the US Census Bureau to be 1.4 billion and almost 1.3 billion respectively by 2020—their standard of living need not approach Western levels for these countries to become important economic powers.

Barring an abrupt reversal of the process of globalization or any major upheavals in these countries, the rise of these new powers is a virtual certainty. Yet how China and India exercise their growing power and whether they relate cooperatively or competitively to other powers in the international system are key uncertainties. The economies of other developing countries, such as Brazil, could surpass all but the largest European countries by 2020; Indonesia’s economy could also approach the economies of individual European countries by 2020.

By most measures—market size, single currency, highly skilled work force, stable democratic governments, and unified trade bloc—an enlarged Europe will be able to increase its weight on the international scene. Europe’s strength could be in providing a model of global and regional governance to the rising powers. But aging populations and shrinking work forces in most countries will have an important impact on the continent. Either European countries adapt their work forces, reform their social welfare, education, and tax systems, and accommodate growing immigrant populations (chiefly from Muslim countries), or they face a period of protracted economic stasis.

Japan faces a similar aging crisis that could crimp its longer run economic recovery, but it also will be challenged to evaluate its regional status and role. Tokyo may have to choose between “balancing” against or “bandwagoning” with China. Meanwhile, the crisis over North Korea is likely to come to a head sometime over the next 15 years. Asians’ lingering resentments and concerns over Korean unification and cross-Taiwan Strait tensions point to a complicated process for achieving regional equilibrium.

Russia has the potential to enhance its international role with others due to its position as a major oil and gas exporter. However, Russia faces a severe demographic crisis resulting from low birth rates, poor medical care, and a potentially explosive AIDS situation. To the south, it borders an unstable region in the Caucasus and Central Asia, the effects of which—Muslim extremism, terrorism, and endemic conflict—are likely to continue spilling over into Russia. While these social and political factors limit the extent to which Russia can be a major global player, Moscow is likely to be an important partner both for the established powers, the United States and Europe, and for the rising powers of China and India.

With these and other new global actors, how we mentally map the world in 2020 will change radically. The “arriviste” powers—China, India, and perhaps others such as Brazil and Indonesia—have the potential to render obsolete the old categories of East and West, North and South, aligned and nonaligned, developed and developing. Traditional geographic groupings will increasingly lose salience in international relations. A state-bound world and a world of mega-cities, linked by flows of telecommunications, trade and finance, will co-exist. Competition for allegiances will be more open, less fixed than in the past.

Impact of Globalization

We see globalization—growing interconnectedness reflected in the expanded flows of information, technology, capital, goods, services, and people throughout the world—as an overarching “mega-trend,” a force so ubiquitous that it will substantially shape all the other major trends in the world of 2020. But the future of globalization is not fixed; states and nonstate actors—including both private companies and NGOs—will struggle to shape its contours. Some aspects of globalization—such as the growing global interconnectedness stemming from the information technology (IT) revolution—almost certainly will be irreversible. Yet it is also possible, although unlikely, that the process of globalization could be slowed or even stopped, just as the era of globalization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was reversed by catastrophic war and global depression.

Barring such a turn of events, the world economy is likely to continue growing impressively: by 2020, it is projected to be about 80 percent larger than it was in 2000, and average per capita income will be roughly 50 percent higher. Of course, there will be cyclical ups and downs and periodic financial or other crises, but this basic growth trajectory has powerful momentum behind it. Most countries around the world, both developed and developing, will benefit from gains in the world economy. By having the fastest-growing consumer markets, more firms becoming world-class multinationals, and greater S&T stature, Asia looks set to displace Western countries as the focus for international economic dynamism—provided Asia’s rapid economic growth continues.

Yet the benefits of globalization won’t be global. Rising powers will see exploiting the opportunities afforded by the emerging global marketplace as the best way to assert their great power status on the world stage. In contrast, some now in the “First World” may see the closing gap with China, India, and others as evidence of a relative decline, even though the older powers are likely to remain global leaders out to 2020. The United States, too, will see its relative power position eroded, though it will remain in 2020 the most important single country across all the dimensions of power. Those left behind in the developing world may resent China and India’s rise, especially if they feel squeezed by their growing dominance in key sectors of the global marketplace. And large pockets of poverty will persist even in “winner” countries.

The greatest benefits of globalization will accrue to countries and groups that can access and adopt new technologies. Indeed, a nation’s level of technological achievement generally will be defined in terms of its investment in integrating and applying the new, globally available technologies—whether the technologies are acquired through a country’s own basic research or from technology leaders. The growing two-way flow of high-tech brain power between the developing world and the West, the increasing size of the information computer-literate work force in some developing countries, and efforts by global corporations to diversify their high-tech operations will foster the spread of new technologies. High-tech breakthroughs—such as in genetically modified organisms and increased food production—could provide a safety net eliminating the threat of starvation and ameliorating basic quality of life issues for poor countries. But the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” will widen unless the “have-not” countries pursue policies that support application of new technologies—such as good governance, universal education, and market reforms.

Those countries that pursue such policies could leapfrog stages of development, skipping over phases that other high-tech leaders such as the United States and Europe had to traverse in order to advance. China and India are well positioned to become technology leaders, and even the poorest countries will be able to leverage prolific, cheap technologies to fuel—although at a slower rate—their own development.
The expected next revolution in high technology involving the convergence of nano-, bio-, information and materials technology could further bolster China and India’s prospects. Both countries are investing in basic research in these fields and are well placed to be leaders in a number of key fields. Europe risks slipping behind Asia in some of these technologies. The United States is still in a position to retain its overall lead, although it must increasingly compete with Asia to retain its edge and may lose significant ground in some sectors.

More firms will become global, and those operating in the global arena will be more diverse, both in size and origin, more Asian and less Western in orientation. Such corporations, encompassing the current, large multinationals, will be increasingly outside the control of any one state and will be key agents of change in dispersing technology widely, further integrating the world economy, and promoting economic progress in the developing world. Their ranks will include a growing number based in such countries as China, India, or Brazil. While North America, Japan, and Europe might collectively continue to dominate international political and financial institutions, globalization will take on an increasingly non-Western character. By 2020, globalization could be equated in the popular mind with a rising Asia, replacing its current association with Americanization.

An expanding global economy will increase demand for many raw materials, such as oil. Total energy consumed probably will rise by about 50 percent in the next two decades compared to a 34 percent expansion from 1980-2000, with a greater share provided by petroleum. Most experts assess that with substantial investment in new capacity, overall energy supplies will be sufficient to meet global demands. But on the supply side, many of the areas—the Caspian Sea, Venezuela, and West Africa—that are being counted on to provide increased output involve substantial political or economic risk. Traditional suppliers in the Middle East are also increasingly unstable. Thus sharper demand-driven competition for resources, perhaps accompanied by a major disruption of oil supplies, is among the key uncertainties.
China, India, and other developing countries’ growing energy needs suggest a growing preoccupation with energy, shaping their foreign policies.

For Europe, an increasing preference for natural gas may reinforce regional relationships—such as with Russia or North Africa—given the interdependence of pipeline delivery.

New Challenges to Governance

The nation-state will continue to be the dominant unit of the global order, but economic globalization and the dispersion of technologies, especially information technologies, will place enormous new strains on governments. Growing connectivity will be accompanied by the proliferation of virtual communities of interest, complicating the ability of states to govern. The Internet in particular will spur the creation of even more global movements, which may emerge as a robust force in international affairs.

Part of the pressure on governance will come from new forms of identity politics centered on religious convictions. In a rapidly globalizing world experiencing population shifts, religious identities provide followers with a ready-made community that serves as a “social safety net” in times of need—particularly important to migrants. In particular, political Islam will have a significant global impact leading to 2020, rallying disparate ethnic and national groups and perhaps even creating an authority that transcends national boundaries. A combination of factors—youth bulges in many Arab states, poor economic prospects, the influence of religious education, and the Islamization of such institutions as trade unions, nongovernmental organizations, and political parties—will ensure that political Islam remains a major force.
Outside the Middle East, political Islam will continue to appeal to Muslim migrants who are attracted to the more prosperous West for employment opportunities but do not feel at home in what they perceive as an alien and hostile culture.

Regimes that were able to manage the challenges of the 1990s could be overwhelmed by those of 2020. Contradictory forces will be at work: authoritarian regimes will face new pressures to democratize, but fragile new democracies may lack the adaptive capacity to survive and develop.

The so-called “third wave” of democratization may be partially reversed by 2020—particularly among the states of the former Soviet Union and in Southeast Asia, some of which never really embraced democracy. Yet democratization and greater pluralism could gain ground in key Middle Eastern countries which thus far have been excluded from the process by repressive regimes.

With migration on the increase in several places around the world—from North Africa and the Middle East into Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean into the United States, and increasingly from Southeast Asia into the northern regions—more countries will be multi-ethnic and will face the challenge of integrating migrants into their societies while respecting their ethnic and religious identities.

Chinese leaders will face a dilemma over how much to accommodate pluralistic pressures to relax political controls or risk a popular backlash if they do not. Beijing may pursue an “Asian way of democracy,” which could involve elections at the local level and a consultative mechanism on the national level, perhaps with the Communist Party retaining control over the central government.

With the international system itself undergoing profound flux, some of the institutions that are charged with managing global problems may be overwhelmed by them. Regionally based institutions will be particularly challenged to meet the complex transnational threats posed by terrorism, organized crime, and WMD proliferation. Such post-World War II creations as the United Nations and the international financial institutions risk sliding into obsolescence unless they adjust to the profound changes taking place in the global system, including the rise of new powers.

Pervasive Insecurity

We foresee a more pervasive sense of insecurity—which may be as much based on psychological perceptions as physical threats—by 2020. Even as most of the world gets richer, globalization will profoundly shake up the status quo—generating enormous economic, cultural, and consequently political convulsions. With the gradual integration of China, India, and other emerging countries into the global economy, hundreds of millions of working-age adults will become available for employment in what is evolving into a more integrated world labor market.
This enormous work force—a growing portion of which will be well educated—will be an attractive, competitive source of low-cost labor at the same time that technological innovation is expanding the range of globally mobile occupations.

The transition will not be painless and will hit the middle classes of the developed world in particular, bringing more rapid job turnover and requiring professional retooling. Outsourcing on a large scale would strengthen the anti-globalization movement. Where these pressures lead will depend on how political leaders respond, how flexible labor markets become, and whether overall economic growth is sufficiently robust to absorb a growing number of displaced workers.

Weak governments, lagging economies, religious extremism, and youth bulges will align to create a perfect storm for internal conflict in certain regions. The number of internal conflicts is down significantly since the late 1980s and early 1990s when the breakup of the Soviet Union and Communist regimes in Central Europe allowed suppressed ethnic and nationalistic strife to flare. Although a leveling off point has been reached where we can expect fewer such conflicts than during the last decade, the continued prevalence of troubled and institutionally weak states means that such conflicts will continue to occur.

Some internal conflicts, particularly those that involve ethnic groups straddling national boundaries, risk escalating into regional conflicts. At their most extreme, internal conflicts can result in failing or failed states, with expanses of territory and populations devoid of effective governmental control. Such territories can become sanctuaries for transnational terrorists (such as al-Qa’ida in Afghanistan) or for criminals and drug cartels (such as in Colombia).

The likelihood of great power conflict escalating into total war in the next 15 years is lower than at any time in the past century, unlike during previous centuries when local conflicts sparked world wars. The rigidities of alliance systems before World War I and during the interwar period, as well as the two-bloc standoff during the Cold War, virtually assured that small conflicts would be quickly generalized. The growing dependence on global financial and trade networks will help deter interstate conflict but does not eliminate the possibility. Should conflict occur that involved one or more of the great powers, the consequences would be significant. The absence of effective conflict resolution mechanisms in some regions, the rise of nationalism in some states, and the raw emotions and tensions on both sides of some issues—for example, the Taiwan Strait or India/Pakistan issues—could lead to miscalculation. Moreover, advances in modern weaponry—longer ranges, precision delivery, and more destructive conventional munitions—create circumstances encouraging the preemptive use of military force.

Current nuclear weapons states will continue to improve the survivability of their deterrent forces and almost certainly will improve the reliability, accuracy, and lethality of their delivery systems as well as develop capabilities to penetrate missile defenses. The open demonstration of nuclear capabilities by any state would further discredit the current nonproliferation regime, cause a possible shift in the balance of power, and increase the risk of conflicts escalating into nuclear ones. Countries without nuclear weapons—especially in the Middle East and Northeast Asia—might decide to seek them as it becomes clear that their neighbors and regional rivals are doing so. Moreover, the assistance of proliferators will reduce the time required for additional countries to develop nuclear weapons.

Transmuting International Terrorism

The key factors that spawned international terrorism show no signs of abating over the next 15 years. Facilitated by global communications, the revival of Muslim identity will create a framework for the spread of radical Islamic ideology inside and outside the Middle East, including Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Western Europe, where religious identity has traditionally not been as strong. This revival has been accompanied by a deepening solidarity among Muslims caught up in national or regional separatist struggles, such as Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, Kashmir, Mindanao, and southern Thailand, and has emerged in response to government repression, corruption, and ineffectiveness. Informal networks of charitable foundations, madrassas, hawalas [1] , and other mechanisms will continue to proliferate and be exploited by radical elements; alienation among unemployed youths will swell the ranks of those vulnerable to terrorist recruitment.

We expect that by 2020 al-Qa’ida will be superceded by similarly inspired Islamic extremist groups, and there is a substantial risk that broad Islamic movements akin to al-Qa’ida will merge with local separatist movements. Information technology, allowing for instant connectivity, communication, and learning, will enable the terrorist threat to become increasingly decentralized, evolving into an eclectic array of groups, cells, and individuals that do not need a stationary headquarters to plan and carry out operations. Training materials, targeting guidance, weapons know-how, and fund-raising will become virtual (i.e., online).

Terrorist attacks will continue to primarily employ conventional weapons, incorporating new twists and constantly adapting to counterterrorist efforts. Terrorists probably will be most original not in the technologies or weapons they use but rather in their operational concepts—i.e., the scope, design, or support arrangements for attacks.

Strong terrorist interest in acquiring chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons increases the risk of a major terrorist attack involving WMD. Our greatest concern is that terrorists might acquire biological agents or, less likely, a nuclear device, either of which could cause mass casualties. Bioterrorism appears particularly suited to the smaller, better-informed groups. We also expect that terrorists will attempt cyber attacks to disrupt critical information networks and, even more likely, to cause physical damage to information systems.

Possible Futures

In this era of great flux, we see several ways in which major global changes could take shape in the next 15 years, from seriously challenging the nation-state system to establishing a more robust and inclusive globalization. In the body of this paper we develop these concepts in four fictional scenarios which were extrapolated from the key trends we discuss in this report. These scenarios are not meant as actual forecasts, but they describe possible worlds upon whose threshold we may be entering, depending on how trends interweave and play out:
Davos World provides an illustration of how robust economic growth, led by China and India, over the next 15 years could reshape the globalization process—giving it a more non-Western face and transforming the political playing field as well.

Pax Americana takes a look at how US predominance may survive the radical changes to the global political landscape and serve to fashion a new and inclusive global order.

A New Caliphate provides an example of how a global movement fueled by radical religious identity politics could constitute a challenge to Western norms and values as the foundation of the global system.

Cycle of Fear provides an example of how concerns about proliferation might increase to the point that large-scale intrusive security measures are taken to prevent outbreaks of deadly attacks, possibly introducing an Orwellian world.

Of course, these scenarios illustrate just a few of the possible futures that may develop over the next 15 years, but the wide range of possibilities we can imagine suggests that this period will be characterized by increased flux, particularly in contrast to the relative stasis of the Cold War era. The scenarios are not mutually exclusive: we may see two or three of these scenarios unfold in some combination or a wide range of other scenarios.

Policy Implications

The role of the United States will be an important shaper of the international order in 2020. Washington may be increasingly confronted with the challenge of managing—at an acceptable cost to itself—relations with Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and others absent a single overarching threat on which to build consensus. Although the challenges ahead will be daunting, the United States will retain enormous advantages, playing a pivotal role across the broad range of issues—economic, technological, political, and military—that no other state will match by 2020. Some trends we probably can bank on include dramatically altered alliances and relationships with Europe and Asia, both of which formed the bedrock of US power in the post-World War II period. The EU, rather than NATO, will increasingly become the primary institution for Europe, and the role which Europeans shape for themselves on the world stage is most likely to be projected through it. Dealing with the US-Asia relationship may arguably be more challenging for Washington because of the greater flux resulting from the rise of two world-class economic and political giants yet to be fully integrated into the international order. Where US-Asia relations lead will result as much or more from what the Asians work out among themselves as any action by Washington. One could envisage a range of possibilities from the US enhancing its role as balancer between contending forces to Washington being seen as increasingly irrelevant.

The US economy will become more vulnerable to fluctuations in the fortunes of others as global commercial networking deepens. US dependence on foreign oil supplies also makes it more vulnerable as the competition for secure access grows and the risks of supply side disruptions increase.

While no single country looks within striking distance of rivaling US military power by 2020, more countries will be in a position to make the United States pay a heavy price for any military action they oppose. The possession of chemical, biological, and/or nuclear weapons by Iran and North Korea and the possible acquisition of such weapons by others by 2020 also increase the potential cost of any military action by the US against them or their allies.

The success of the US-led counterterrorism campaign will hinge on the capabilities and resolve of individual countries to fight terrorism on their own soil. Counterterrorism efforts in the years ahead—against a more diverse set of terrorists who are connected more by ideology than by geography—will be a more elusive challenge than focusing on a centralized organization such as al-Qa’ida. A counterterrorism strategy that approaches the problem on multiple fronts offers the greatest chance of containing—and ultimately reducing—the terrorist threat. The development of more open political systems and representation, broader economic opportunities, and empowerment of Muslim reformers would be viewed positively by the broad Muslim communities who do not support the radical agenda of Islamic extremists.

Even if the numbers of extremists dwindle, however, the terrorist threat is likely to remain. The rapid dispersion of biological and other lethal forms of technology increases the potential for an individual not affiliated with any terrorist group to be able to wreak widespread loss of life. Despite likely high-tech breakthroughs that will make it easier to track and detect terrorists at work, the attacker will have an easier job than the defender because the defender must prepare against a large array of possibilities. The United States probably will continue to be called on to help manage such conflicts as Palestine, North Korea, Taiwan, and Kashmir to ensure they do not get out of hand if a peace settlement cannot be reached. However, the scenarios and trends we analyze in the paper suggest the possibility of harnessing the power of the new players in contributing to global security and relieving the US of some of the burden.

Over the next 15 years the increasing centrality of ethical issues, old and new, have the potential to divide worldwide publics and challenge US leadership. These issues include the environment and climate change, privacy, cloning and biotechnology, human rights, international law regulating conflict, and the role of multilateral institutions. The United States increasingly will have to battle world public opinion, which has dramatically shifted since the end of the Cold War. Some of the current anti-Americanism is likely to lessen as globalization takes on more of a non-Western face. At the same time, the younger generation of leaders—unlike during the post-World War II period—has no personal recollection of the United States as its “liberator” and is more likely to diverge with Washington’s thinking on a range of issues.

In helping to map out the global future, the United States will have many opportunities to extend its advantages, particularly in shaping a new international order that integrates disparate regions and reconciles divergent interests.

A letter about State tyranny on hindu institutions from Indians abroad to CJ, Supreme Court of Bharat

There was an occasion when a letter from an ex-Chief Justice of the
Court was taken as a petition and the SC commended the incorporation
of Fundamental Duties article in the Constitution, without asking for
formalities of affidavits and the lawyer paraphernalia. SC has a role
beyond listening to petitions and to intervene with sage counsel to
the President of India to stem this rot in the polity.

Tamil Nadu Government is cocking-a-snook at the Prime Minister by
lying about the disruptions to the Kanchi Peetham and he doesn't even
seem to notice it and is fooling the opposition that he is writing
tongue-in-cheek letters to the TN Govt. Everyone is trying to fool the

This is the moment of truth, mahaakaala. This is the time when two
eminent guardians of the Constitution, SC and President of India
should step in and dismantle the tyrannical state represented by Tamil
Nadu Government and an inept Central Government.

There is a report that the Viras'aiva matham in Kumbakonam has been
taken over by the TN Govt. This is not a defamation of a brahminical
institution, as M Karunanidhi seems to portray. This is a defamation
of a revered, hindu institution with the prabha of Adi S'ankara who is
a beacon of wisdom not only for Bharat but for the entire human
civilization and human thought. What is happening is the gross
exhibition of animal instincts using state power for personal
aggrandisement by some criminal usurpers of power. When criminals have
hijacked the state, who is to restore the state to the service of the
people? Is it the business of the state to run s'ankara peetham and
viras'aiva matham or udupi matham or udupi s'rikrishna temple? When
the protector has become predator, who will rein in the criminalised
polity and bring about some semblance of sanity in a republic which is
fast degenerating into a banana republic ?

The state of hindu samaj is so fragile, that hindu samaj is holding on
to straws in the wind.

Here is an impassioned letter about State tyranny on hindu
institutions from Indians abroad to CJ, Supreme Court of Bharat. I
hope this institution will receive the letter in the spirit of dharma
and take cognizance of the dharmic plea made therein for appropriate
remedial initiative.

Dhanyavaadah. Kalyanaraman

From: nnnn aaaa
To: Chief Justice Supreme Court of India
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2005 10:20:15 -0800 (PST)
Subject: An Appeal from Indians Abroad Re Kanchi Mutt
The Chief Justice, Supreme Court Of India

Dear Sir,

As persons of Indian origin residing over decades in USA, We now feel
ashamed of what is being done to a highly reputable ancient Hindu
Institution and its two
revered Abbots in the heartland of India. We, of course refer to
Kanchi Kamakotipeetam, and two Shankaracharyas.The treatments extended
to them by
successive legal and police actions culminating in the closure of the
holy Mutt by the Tamilnadu police recently remind us of the history
repeating the days
of Aurangzeb and Mahmud Ghaznavi. This atrocious behavior of
Tamilnadu Govt has not only wounded the sentiments of millions of
Hindus like us all over the
world, but our heads hang in shame when we see the barbaric autocracy
with which the Govt. of Tamilnadu is acting defying all norms of
decency, civility and
individual freedom that constitute the hallmarks of a democracy.
Furthermore, what adds salt to the injury is the numbness of all the
concerned power centers of
the nation.

In response to the judgment delivered by your lordship in the bail
petition of revered Shankaracharya, what Tamilnadu Govt has presented
in their appeal and
published in the media sound like a challenge and an attempt to
reverse the judicial verdict from the highest court of the nation. The
tone of the language
and the demands made in that appeal make mockery of the judiciary as
well as the democratic structure of India. We are not lawyers, but
from our years of
experience in the west we can say that the demands of the Tamilnadu
Govt in a similar situation in the civilized world are unthinkable and
deserve condemnation. Secondly, incarceration of the junior Acharya
only hours after the release order was issued for the senior Acharya
by the Supreme court does not appear to be an orderly conduct by the
Govt, it definitely smells like a ruthless vendetta by the Govt
against the Acharyas and the Mutt.And they proved our suspicion as
they revealed their crude uncivilized face by sealing the Mutt and
freezing all bank
accounts with a definite motive to disrupt and destroy the Mutt .We
believe,Tamilnadu Govt is backed by some conspiring circles, as such
is not conducting an impartial inquiry. They strongly appear to have
an ulterior evil motive.

Sir, you may kindly appreciate, this is a critical time in history. At
this critical juncture we appeal to your Lordship to save our Dharma
and the honor of the nation by ordering an independent investigation
and trial out of the purview of the Govt of Tamilnadu, and to ensure
that the Mutt functions are normalized.Those of us residing abroad
feel very small by the uncivilized arbitrary actions by a delinquent
state of Indian democracy and witnessed in silence by the center in
India, and we are ridiculed by the west for our lack of maturity and
sense of responsibility. Our earnest prayer to you is to restore an
element of decency and the dignity of the nation by restraining the
delinquent state of Tamilnadu by judicial orders as requested above
and as you may deem appropriate.

With profound regards,

Nripen Acharya, Arizona,USA

Baburam Gupta, Philadelphia, USA

Indian Secualar attack on Census facts

The Secular Bogie- 2005----You cannot even quote census 2001. New
type of censorship.The irony is that the Christian Union is
represented by a Christian called Rita Iyengar which is a Vaishanavite
caste name. It is told from rooftops that Christianity does not
believe in casteism--May be only on paper.
The newspaper headline is "RSS in row over Census banners" and not "
Secular protest against census facts". The secular press is at its
traditional game. --- RV

RSS in row over census banners

The Asianage (1/14/2005 11:26:30 PM)

Bhopal, Jan. 14: Secularists in Madhya Pradesh are up in arms over
hoardings put up by the local unit of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
at crucial city intersections cautioning Hindus on the "explosive
findings" of the 2001 Population Census.

Titled "Aapke naati-pote Hindu rahengen kya? — Janganana 2001 ka
vishphotak sanket (Will your grandchildren remain Hindus? Explosive
findings of the 2001 Census)", the billboards show RSS men in their
customary attire performing a parade. The hoardings have been put up
on the occasion of the "path-sanchalan (marchpast)" being organised by
the RSS on January 23. The secular lobby, comprising theatre stalwart
Habib Tanvir, state CPI(M) secretary Shailendra Kumar Shaily and
Madhya Pradesh Christian Union chief Rita Iyengar among others, have
strongly protested the textual content of the billboards "because they
leave no one in doubt of who is the butt of the RSS' attack".
In a signed statement, 17 leading secularists have appealed to the
state government that the "offensive" hoardings be immediately
removed. Held out was the threat of action under Section 153A of the
Indian Penal Code, which deals with "promoting enmity between
different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth,
residence, language etc". MPCC chief Subhas Yadav also felt the
hoardings could disturb communal peace and amity. Normally conducted
during Dusshera, this is for the first time the RSS has planned a
"path-sanchalan" around this time of the year.

Bhopal RSS chief Vilas Goley told this newspaper that the secularists
were welcome to their conclusions, but the hoardings were intended to
arouse the Hindu conscience. "We have a right to protect Hindu
national interests," he said.




15th January 2004

There was a total chaos in the press meet organised by the committe of
`Pray for India and Festival of Blessing' (Benny Hinn's Program) in
Bangalore Press Club Today at 12.00 noon.

The program organisers Gul Kriplani, Paul Thangaiah, former DGP Kolaso,
Ruban, Satyavrat and Samuel spoke about the objectives of Benny Hinn's
program to be organised in the city of 21st of this month. They briefed
the jam packed media with a boring speech for over 45 minutes. Media
reporters from various print and electronic Media were present.

After all this, question/answer session started:

First a Hindu Voice Representative questioned about the handbills which
has been distributed throughout Bangalore city in which it has targeted
Hindus as followers of idol worship, prostitution, black magic etc etc
and advised to accept Jesus as the only God.

Tamasha begins: Gul Kriplani (Chairman) evades the question by saying
that it is not their pamphlet and they have nothing to do with that. He
demanded a copy of the leaflet to be produced immediately by saying
that whosoever is responsible action will be taken against him.

Suddenly a media person appeared in the scene and presented it to him
and to all the media persons by saying "HERE IT IS".

Stunned Gul Kriplani said: "I have no idea about it, Mr. Colasa and
Paul Thangaiah will answer you."

Paul Thangaiah and Colaso said: "This pamphlet is not for public
distribution, but for Church circulation and should have been distributed
only to christians".

Hearing this nonsense, media men were on their feet and protested his
comments, saying: "You people have already circulated over 3,00,000
pamphlets in all the pockets of Bangalore and now you are saying it is only
for church circulation, who are you trying to fool? That means you are
preaching hate against the Hindu community in your churches", for which
both Paul Thangaiah and Colaso had become voiceless and were looking

Some media men questioned: "Who is Benny Hinn and how much you know
about him? Some Christian Orgs. and media have termed him as false healer
and is only for money. If he can heal people of their ailments, why
does he not heal Pope John Paul II who is suffering from Parkinson's
Disease since last 15 Years.

Gul Kriplani replied: "He is the son of god and few selfish minded
people have dragged him into controversies. Benny Hinn has forgiven all of
them". But Kriplani could not give a satisfying answer of curing Pope
John Paul of Parkinson's disease by saying: "He can cure not individuals
but a group of people at a time." Hearing this answer even a street
thug will laugh at him.

Later: ETV Kannada correspondent questioned: "On What grounds were you
able to get permission to conduct the program at Jakkur Ground, which
is an Airforce Land and with whose influence did you get that land and
did you pay any money?"

There was no answer for quite some time and the funny thing was
everyone expected the other to speak. Finally Kolaso said that the Government
of Karnataka has given it to them on rental basis, but refused to
disclose how much they had paid for 3 days program despite being repeatedly
asked by all the Media persons. He said his Audior will disclose in two
to three days.

The `Children of Jesus' could not even have a sigh of relief before
some real mind blowing questions were put to them by the Media about Benny
Hinn, Sonia, Pope, Bush etc etc.
They had become voiceless and very seriously looking for an
opportuntity to run away from there as nothing was going their way. Before they
could the Media men left the venue by shouting, "Cheats, false prophet"
and openly accusing them for organising the program to convert all
people to christanity.

This is first time we have seen such a bold reaction from the majority
of the media men.

These `Children of Jesus' like Gul Kriplani, Paul Thangaiah and Kolasa
whose faces had turned red made good their escape.

We hope this trend continues in future too.

January 14, 2005

Through Arms to Syria, Putin Challenges US Middle East Game Rules

DEBKAfile Exclusive Military Report

January 12, 2005, 7:52 PM (GMT+02:00)

Disturbing reports were coming out of the Russian capital Wednesday, January 12, about Russian president Vladimir Putin’s plan to accede to Syria’s request for advanced weaponry during president Bashar Assad’s visit to Moscow on January 24. DEBKAfile’s US and Israeli security sources quickly contradicted reports that 18 Iskander-M or SS-X-26 surface-to-surface missiles were on the table. The items for sale, they revealed, are advanced SA-10 air defense systems of the type that protects Moscow and shoulder-held SA-18 anti-air missiles, whose transfer to the Hizballah and/or Iraqi guerrillas would move at least two sets of goal posts in the Middle East balance of strength.

The SA-10 is an effective defense against Israeli warplanes and missiles, including cruise missiles. Its presence in Syria would therefore knock a serious hole in Israel’s deterrent ability against Assad and the Hizballah.

The Kremlin’s willingness to sell these items to Israel’s northern neighbor and backer of Iraqi insurgents is a rocket from the Putin to the White House in Washington, a declaration that he has had enough of sitting on the sidelines and watching US move the January 30 election pieces around the Iraq board and tilt the Palestinian ballot in favor of Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) as Yasser Arafat’s successor.

The Russian president’s exasperation boiled over when he saw Washington’s hand in the Ukraine presidential election stirring up the anti-Moscow Orange Revolution that brought opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko to office, and, again, in the sale of the Russian oil concern Yukos. The Russian leader felt he had been made the target of a well- orchestrated campaign for undermining him personally and politically.

Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon is also put on notice that Washington’s backing alone does not lend him the status of unilateral player for disengagement in the Palestinian arena.

The Russian leader has another large bone to pick with Sharon. He has complained often on the basis of intelligence received that Israel provides a backstairs rendezvous venue for Jewish Russian oligarchs conspiring against him, among them Berizovsky who lives in London, and Khodorovsky, founder of the oil giant YUKOS who sits in a Moscow jail.

Each of those moneyed plotters, he charges, maintains a representative in Israel to look after the transfer of his wealth to Israeli banks. More than once, the Russian president asked Sharon to put a stop to this activity. When the Israeli prime minister informed him that the Law of Return forbids prosecution or extradition unless laws are broken, Putin was disbelieving. He later sneered to his aides that he had not known that the Law of Return applied to members of the Russian Christian Orthodox Church, a veiled reference to the Russian oligarchs’ hired personnel who relocated with them to Israel.

The Kremlin’s decision to supply advanced SA-10 and SA-18 missiles to Syria constitutes a direct threat to Israel. But it is also a shot across Washington’s bows.

DEBKAfile’s Russian and Israeli military experts described the SA-10 (“Grumble”) as an advanced surface-to-air missiles system capable of seriously limiting Israel’s aerial activity over Syria and Lebanon. It can engage more than one target and counter low and high-flying aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. “Grumble” can outperform the US Patriot anti-missile missile system supplied to Israel and counter the aircraft and most of the missiles in the Israel Air Force’s arsenal, to the detriment of its deterrent capabilities

The SA-18 “Grouse” is a highly effective shoulder-held missile. If it reaches Iraqi guerrillas it will constitute a direct threat to US troops. In Hizballah hands, it would add to US troubles in Lebanon.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, Putin and his top strategists can sit back and see how Washington and Jerusalem react.

US and Iraq All Set for Strike against Syria

US and Iraq All Set for Strike against Syria. Israel Is Braced for Hizballah Second Front

DEBKAfile Special Military Report Updating DEBKA-Net-Weekly 188

Last Sunday, January 2, US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage performed his last major mission before stepping down in favor of Robert B. Zoellick, whom incoming secretary Condoleezza Rice has picked as her deputy. (Zoellick, currently trade representative in charge US world trade, served as deputy to secretary of state James Baker in the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations.

This mission took Armitage to Damascus with nine American demands.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s Washington sources published those demands for the first time in its last week’s issue:

To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click HERE .

1. Start repealing Syria’s 40-years old emergency laws.

2. Free all political prisoners from jail.

3. Abolish media censorship.

4. Initiate democratic reform.

5. Speed up economic development

6. Cut down relations with Iran.

7. Announce publicly that the disputed Shebaa Farms at the base of Mt. Hermon are former Syrian territory. This would cut the ground from under the Lebanese terrorist Hizballah’s claim that the land is Lebanese and must be “liberated” from Israeli “occupation.”

DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources report that the Iran-sponsored Hizballah’s attack on an Israeli convoy patrolling the disputed Shebaa Farms sector, killing an Israeli officer, on Palestinian election-day, Sunday, January 9, was addressed as much to President George W. Bush as to the new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as a foretaste of what it has in store.

8. Hand over to US or Iraqi authorities 55 top officials and military officers of the former Saddam regime, who are confirmed by intelligence to be established in Syria and running the guerrilla war in Iraq out of their homes and offices.

(An address, telephone number and cell phone number were listed beside each name).

But the punchline was in the last demand.

9. Syria had better make sure that none of the Kornet AT-14 anti-tank missiles which it recently purchased in large quantities from East Europe turn up in Iraq. US intelligence has recorded their serial numbers to identify their source. DEBKAfile’s military sources add: Because he cannot afford to buy advanced fighter planes and tanks, Assad purchased massive quantities of the “third generation” Kornet AT-14 anti-tank weapons.

Just in case any are found in Iraq, General Casey, commander of US forces in Iraq has already received orders from the commander-in-chief in the White House to pursue military action inside Syria according to his best military judgment.

Number 9 therefore incorporates a tangible threat. The American general has the authority to launch military action against Syria as he sees fit and without delay if Damascus continues to meddle in Iraq’s affairs.

DEBKAfile adds:

The Syrian ruler protested to Armitage that he is doing everything he can to hold back the flow of guerrilla fighters and weapons into Iraq. As proof, he ordered Syria’s chief of staff General Ali Habib to establish a forward command center on the Syrian-Iraq border to oversee efforts to control border traffic on the spot.

The fact is that General Habib is one of the few Syrian officers which the Americans have trusted. He commanded the Syrian units dispatched to Saudi Arabia in the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq and made friends with the US commanders and officials conducting the war, including vice president Dick Cheney and the then head of joint chiefs of staff, Colin Powell. However, even Habib’s old American buddies do not rule out the possibility that he was posted to the border not to restrain the traffic but to take command of Syrian units posted there and prepare them for the contingency of an American military offensive.

Assad and General Habib are both aware, according to our sources, of the near carte blanche handed down to General Casey to pursue military action against Syria as and when indicated by US military requirements in Iraq.

In this regard, DEBKAfile’s military sources note four important points:

1. It will not take place before President Bush is sworn in for his second term on January 20 or Iraq’s general election ten days later.

2. The Americans will not start out with a large-scale, orderly military offensive, but rather short in-and-out forays; small US and Iraqi special forces units will cross the border and raid bases housing Iraqi guerrillas or buses carrying them to the border. If these brief raids are ineffective, the Americans will upscale the action.

3. The Allawi government will formally request the United States to consign joint Iraqi-US forces for action against Syrian targets, so placing the US operation under the Baghdad government’s aegis. In other words, Iraq will be at war with Syria without issuing a formal declaration.

4. It is fully appreciated in Washington, Baghdad and Jerusalem that intense American military warfare against Syria could provoke a Hizballah backlash against Israel. Damascus may well activate the Lebanese Shiite group to open a second front on Israel’s northern border. The Syrian ruler is expected will tolerate a certain level of American low-intensity, low-profile action. But, because of his reluctance to strike back directly at American or Iraqi targets, he will field the Hizballah – and not just for cross-border attacks but to galvanize the terrorist cells it controls and funds in the West Bank and Gaza Strip into a stepped-up offensive against Israeli targets. These Palestinian cells have proliferated over the years, particularly in the Fatah and its branches, encouraged by Yasser Arafat’s cooperative pact with the Hizballah which remains in force after his death.

Therefore, the key Middle East happening in the coming weeks will be US military strikes against Syria. The election of Mahmoud Abbas as Palestinian Authority chairman, his invitation to the White House, the formation of the Sharon-Peres government coalition - albeit on very shaky legs, and the talk of imminent Israel-Palestinian peace negotiations, will prove to be no more than sideshows of the main event.

New German Law Could Allow Shooting Down of Hijacked Planes

New German Law Could Allow Shooting Down of Hijacked Planes


A group that lobbies on behalf of German Air Force fighter pilots is criticizing the signature of a new law that crystallizes how the government would react if terrorist-hijacked airliners threatened densely populated areas of Germany, officials say.

Federal State President Horst Köhler on Jan. 12 signed the document, which should go into effect in a few weeks if no challenges are filed with the Supreme Court.

However, Köhler said he was not yet satisfied that “lives should be sacrificed for saving others.”

His words set in motion a huge political debate over the new law, called Luftsicherheitsgesetz.

A senior German Ministry of Defense (MoD) official in Berlin said the law provides “clarity and transparency for such complicated issues,” but the president of Germany’s Fighter Aircrews Association, Wittmund, disagreed. Thomas Wassmann, also a retired Air Force major and former F-4 weapons systems officer, said Jan. 14 that his association is still striving for evidence that the plan conforms with German law.

“In our view, the plan in its current form is not sufficient,” Wassmann said. “What we want is the best possible legal situation for our aircrews if they would really be forced to shoot down an airliner.”

Previous debates within the political establishment have not clarified this issue, he said. “In parliament, there was no real debate about it, but only the government majority helped to bring this law-plan through,” said Wassmann. “Further, there was no agreement on the Luftsicherheitsgesetz in Germany’s Federal Council,” the intergovernmental body that debates changes to the country’s laws, he said.Parliament debated the plan last summer.

“In the event that our crews shoot down a plane, we need to know beforehand that everything is sealed so our crews are not suffering” for executing their orders, Wassman said. “Imagine what could happen to them if a court decides otherwise.”

He said his association was not trying to stop the new law, but wanted “absolute clarity.”

“If Germany’s Supreme Court decides the law is safe for us, then we will have no problem with it,” he said. But so far, there are no plans to have the law evaluated by the court.

So far, the German MoD has established a National Situation and Command Center to monitor the safety of the country’s airspace, Air Force officials have said previously. Based in Kalkar, Germany, the center collaborates with civil institutions and examines all issues concerning air defense, domestic security and safety of the German airspace.

Officials of the MoD, the Ministry of the Interior and the Transport Ministry are jointly operating and monitoring all civilian and military activities in the air.

If suspicious airplanes are witnessed, a command chain will alert military and political leaders within minutes. The German air chief, Lt. Gen. Klaus-Peter Stieglitz, then would order F-4 alert crews — based at Wittmund Air Base in the north and Neuburg Air Base in the south — to be scrambled.

The minister of defense would make the final decision to shoot down a hijacked airplane, an Air Force official at the service’s headquarters said Jan 14. Should the defense minister not be able to make the decision, the responsibility would fall to the minister of foreign affairs.

India, Russia Settle Frigate Delivery Dispute

India, Russia Settle Frigate Delivery Dispute

Source : Defense News

After months of wrangling, India turned back on its decision to slap financial penalties on Russia for the delay in delivering three Project 11356 frigates under a 1997 contract, the maker Baltiisky Zavod said.

“This decision was reached during negotiations between representatives of the Indian Defence Ministry and Rosoboronexport,” the company said Jan. 11 in an official statement.

The agreement was signed late last year. Media have reported that India was planning to claim $40 million in damages from Russia.

“During the negotiations with the Indian side, we have resolved all the financial disagreements,” Oleg Shulyakovsky, the company’s general director, was quoted in the statement as saying. “Under the signed bilateral agreement, the customer does not have any claims against Baltiisky Zavod.”

The Indian Navy has expressed readiness to negotiate the construction of three more such frigates, Shulyakovsky said.

According to the statement, India’s Defence Ministry experts concluded that malfunctions in the Shtil-1 medium-range air defense missile system were the sole reason for the delay. The problems surfaced during the test-firing on the first frigate in May 2002. Further improvements and additional tests on the missile system affected the original delivery schedule.

The first and second frigates, Talwar and Trishul, were delivered in June 2003, and the final frigate, Tabar, was transferred to India in April, nearly a year later than planned.

The contract was estimated at $1 billion and was a breakthrough deal for the Russian naval industry.

Configured specifically for the Indian Navy, the frigates incorporate the most advanced Russian technologies and includes Indian navigation and communication systems.

Besides Shtil-1, it is fitted with eight vertical-launch Club-N anti-ship and anti-submarine missiles, Kashtan air defense missile guns, the Puma anti-aircraft gun and 100mm automatic guns. It also will also be armed with the Brahmos cruise missile, jointly developed and built by Russia and India.

Invisible Soldiers Inc (ISI)'s hallucinations yielded terrorism

Kashmir: some home truths

Khalid Hasan: P r i v a t e v i e w

The Friday Times, Lahore, Jan. 7-13, 2005 http://thefridaytimes.com/

On one of his visits to Islamabad, Abdul Sattar, at the time Pakistan’s envoy to New Delhi, told me about a talk he had been asked to give at one of the establishments in Islamabad where the audience either had a more-than-even component of brass or was perhaps entirely brass. He had been asked to speak on India-Pakistan relations and a better man they could not have found to do so, since Sattar had spent more time on the South Asia desk and in New Delhi than any other officer of the foreign service.

At the time, the insurgency in the Indian part of Kashmir was still in its early stages and what was to become the Indian rallying cry of "terrorism from across the border" was years from being sounded. Sattar told his audience: "Gentlemen, before we initiate an action, we should be aware of its political implications, its fallout, its consequences. Not to do so would be unwise and we can be sure that in time such lack of forethought would place the country and the nation in very serious difficulties. No action is free of consequences and those who initiate a given action should be more than confident that the country would be able to bear its cost and deal with its consequences." These may not be the exact words Sattar used but I think my recollection of their content is accurate.

Sattar was essentially speaking of the decision taken not, I repeat, not, at the Foreign Office, but in the inner sanctums of the Invisible Soldiers Inc (ISI), to give the ongoing political movement in Kashmir a militant twist. The raw materials for doing so were by then available in abundance, the "jihad" against the Soviet Union having ended with the withdrawal – not the defeat as fanciful propaganda has it – of the Red Army from Afghanistan. What was to be done with these men, the great intellects in charge of decision-making at the Agency and its mother hen, had asked themselves? Instead of encouraging the CIA-designated "Mujahideen" to return, if not actually facilitating their repatriation to their home countries, they were kept back, and in time, launched. It was a reckless decision and not only Pakistan but perhaps the entire world lives with its consequences today.

A political movement is more potent and has a greater chance of success than one based on force. The movement for self-determination in Kashmir was and remains a genuine political movement. The principled support extended to it by successive Pakistani governments, but more than that, by the average Pakistani, is one of the commendable aspects of our history. The wide sympathy that the people of Kashmir and their struggle enjoyed around the world until the induction of militancy and violence was a tribute to their cause and to their tenacity. The gold of that struggle was frittered away because of short-sighted men and a short-sighted policy that was blind to history and unaware of the intrinsic strength that lay at the heart of the Kashmiri urge to be free.

Today, nearly fifteen years after that fateful decision, where do we stand and on what does Pakistan’s case on Kashmir rest, we should ask ourselves? The decision to militarise the movement was not taken either by the people of Pakistan or the people of Kashmir. It was taken behind closed doors by those deluded by a false sense of power, men who fancied themselves to be supreme strategists but were not. Some of them suffered from religious hallucinations and saw the upsurge in Kashmir that had begun with a massive protest march to the UN office in Srinagar, as some kind of a religious and revivalist crusade. The non-Kashmiri elements inducted into the insurrection were fugitives from their lands of birth and in revolt against their own governments and societies. Many of them had been deluded into believing at the time of the Afghan war that they were fighting the good fight for the glory of God and the defence of Islam. And now that the Great Infidel had fled the sacred Islamic land of Afghanistan in defeat and disarray, other manifestations of his Evil had to be confronted elsewhere. These foreigners had no understanding of either the Kashmir cause or its history or of the people on whose behalf they had picked up a gun. Therefore, they only bear secondary blame.

Look at the landscape today. The great Kashmiri movement for self-determination is now seen by the world as a terrorist phenomenon. Pakistan has had to eat humble pie and make a solemn promise not only to India but to the international community that there will no longer be any movement of fighters and equipment from Pakistan into Indian-held Kashmir. In other words, we have confessed to wrongdoing because we were given no other option. We abandoned the Taliban whom the same people who had created militancy in Kashmir had fathered when we sold them down the river when threatened by Bush’s "with us or against us" ultimatum. Should one not ask if all this was to end in such humiliation why were thousands in the first flower of their youth sacrificed? The only growth industry in the Kashmir Valley since 1989 has been graveyards. If you do not believe it, just walk around the city of Srinagar.

Gen. Musharraf’s "enlightened moderation" has to be translated into actions that speak louder than words which alone will impress no one. Unless certain radical adjustments are made at home, Pakistan will remain a lopsided society groping in the dark and stumbling every time it takes a step forward. The General is fond of saying that if you want the army to keep out of politics, you have to bring it in first. On the same logic, if he wants Pakistan to become stable, he has to restore to the ISI its original charter. It must be prevented by law from operating in the domestic political arena. It must also be prevented by law from taking decisions and initiating actions that lie in the area of foreign affairs and international relations. It must have nothing to do with Kashmir or Chechnya or Sinkiang or India. Let Pakistan’s foreign policy be run by the apparatus created for that express purpose: the ministry of foreign affairs under elected leaders.

To this day, the so-called Kashmir information and publicity establishments that The Boys operate inside and outside Pakistan in pursuit of wasteful and muddle-headed policies and projects must be dismantled. I do not wish to go into details but in Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s words: Jaan jaiain gay jaan-nay wale …

But let me close what has been a "heavy" piece with a true story that is extremely funny. Everyone knows that the AK government is overseen by the General residing in the salubrious heights of Murree. Some time ago, Muzaffarabad made an appointment that had not been cleared with the brass up above. A letter soon arrived demanding to know the whys and wherefores of the step taken. "The appointment," Muzaffarabad replied, "was made with the approval of Competent Authority (which is bureaucratese for the government itself)." The reply from Murree was short and prompt. It said, "Competent Authority is hereby instructed not to make such appointments in future."

January 13, 2005

Evangalist Benny Hinn in trouble in India , Court Issued arrest Warrant

The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Bangalore has passed an order in our favour.

Shri Srinivas, Chief Metropolitian Magistrate, Jayanagar
passed the order after going through all the documents furnished by the petitioners including handbills, posters and Video CD. The Magistrate said:

a) Benny Hinn Should be arrested the moment he arrives in Bangalore because for inciting communal disharmony among two communities.

b) A search warrant has been issued to Police Department to search the entire premises of the `Assembly for Peace and God' in Indira Nagar Bangalore before 17th January 2005.
Arrest warrant against Paul Thangaiah, Sekar Kalyanpur, Yeshwantkumar and Gul Kriplani will be decided only after a report is submitted by the Police Department to the Hon. Court on 17th.

c) The Magistrate has ordered removal of all the hoardings and posters before 16th of this month.

The Petition was filed by an independent body in Bangalore on 10th January 2005.

The Magistrate passed the order after going through the documents furnished by the petitioners including few handbills and Video CD.

Helios 2 Boosts French Satellite Intelligence

Helios 2 Boosts French Satellite Intelligence

January 13, 2005

When France launched the Helios 2A military observation satellite at the end of 2004, it multiplied its space-based intelligence capabilities. An Ariane 5 rocket was launched from the Guyana Space Centre Dec. 18 with a payload that included the first of two Helios 2 satellites. The satellite has been in polar synchronous orbit (hence the name Helios) since an hour after the launch.

The satellites will operate at an altitude of 700 kilometers. This is low enough for reconnaissance and high enough to avoid turbulence, according to Michel Sayegh, Helios program director in the Direction Générale pour l’Armement (DGA), the French procurement agency. Helios 2B is scheduled to be launched in 2008.

Built by the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co.’ s Astrium subsidiary, Helios 2 has two sensors: a medium-resolution instrument from Astrium like that of the SPOT 5 civilian earth-observation satellite with a wide field of view in the visible and low infrared spectrum and a very high-resolution instrument with an infrared channel from Alcatel Space.

Compared to the dozens of images a day that can be provided by Helios 1, which it is replacing, Helios 2 will deliver around 100, according to Inaky Garcia Brotons, Helios program officer in the French general staff. And these images will be of higher quality in terms of resolution, contrast and electronic noise, said Sayegh. French officials said Helios 2 will not only be able to photograph targets, but also identify activity such as whether a nuclear reactor or the engines of a tank column have been turned on through infrared imagery.

Garcia Brotons said Helios 2 would be used for surveillance of nuclear facilities, mission preparation and mapping. Rear Adm. Benoit Montanie of the French general staff said Helios could be used for bomb damage assessment, to prevent collateral damage and for mapping for cruise missiles.

Montanie described Helios 2 as “an excellent engine for European defense.” He said it would be used together with the SAR-Lupe system being developed by Germany. The SAR-Lupe program involves building five small satellites, the first of which will be launched this year. The entire constellation of five satellites operating in three different orbits, slated to cost 300 million euros ($400 million), will be operational in 2007.

The total cost of the Helios 2 program is two billion euros. Sayegh said the two satellites account for half this amount, design 20 percent, launch 15 percent, and the ground segment 10 percent.

The Helios 2 program is being conducted by the DGA on behalf of the French, Belgian and Spanish defense ministries. Belgium and Spain are participating in the program with a 2.5 percent cost share each. The two countries will program, receive and use Helios 2 images for their own requirements equivalent to their respective 2.5 percent shares in the program. Belgium will do so at a Helios center in Brussels and Spain at a center close to Madrid. France, Belgium and Spain also intend to share the Helios 2 system with the European Union and its member states. Helios 2 infrastructure in France, Belgium and Spain and compatible infrastructure in Italy will form the basis for an earth observation network that will include SAR-Lupe and the Italian Cosmo-SkyMed civil-military satellite observation system.

After Helios 2A entered orbit, French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie described the satellite as “a new example of the quality of European defense cooperation,” adding, “It is the success of cooperation between governments as well as between industries.” Alliot-Marie said she has already launched the work to prepare the space systems to replace Helios 2, which has a lifetime of five years. She invited other European countries to join the first studies next year “to build together the programs Europe needs.” Patrick Auroy, director of future force systems in the DGA, identified European satellite cooperation as one of the objectives of French space defense policy.

US General Jumper qualifies in F/A-22 Raptor Fighter Aircraft

General Jumper qualifies in F/A-22 Raptor

1/13/2005 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFPN) -- Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper ended two weeks of training here Jan. 12, flying his qualification flight in the F/A-22 Raptor, the Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft.

“I’ve been involved with the Raptor program for years, in one way or another,” General Jumper said. “Now, to be able to fly it and see all that it does firsthand is quite remarkable. The Raptor does everything we had hoped it would do, plus some.”

To qualify, the general completed more than 50 hours in aircraft systems and avionics academics, received stealth-tactics training emphasizing integrated avionics and super cruise technology, and completed five simulator sessions and three Raptor flights.

“There are no two-seat versions of this airplane, so the instructors couldn’t be kind to me because I’m the chief of staff,” he said. The general learned everything all F/A-22 pilots must learn, including how to deal with emergency situations.

General Jumper said it is necessary for him to be qualified to know firsthand what the aircraft can do and better understand how to use it. Air Force officials said they plan to use the jet as a multirole fighter aircraft to combat anything wherever airspace is contested.

“Every air force in the world is trying to figure out how to beat our Air Force,” General Jumper said. One of the ways to do that is through advanced surface-to-air missile systems.

The Russians have built next-generation surface-to-air missiles that many nations in the world are now adding to their inventory, General Jumper said.

“The Raptor has the ability to dominate that airspace. So, it is not too early to get the Raptor out there,” he said.

The Raptor will also ensure the safety of U.S. pilots against advanced adversary aircraft, General Jumper said.

“The Russians never got out of the fighter-building business. They are delivering aircraft to nations around the world that outperform anything else we have -- except the Raptor,” he said.

Beyond the battles in Iraq and Afghanistan, Air Force officials have to plan for what they might be up against 30 years from now, the general said. Some F-15 Eagles on the ramp today are 25-years-old or older and are becoming outdated.

The Raptor is an air-dominance airplane that has air-to-ground capability, can destroy surface-to-air missile systems that no other airplane can and is able to deal with emerging threats like cruise missiles, General Jumper said.

“We’re trying to replace more than 800 airplanes with the right number of Raptors, which we think is 381,” he said.

The Raptor can do the job not only of the F-15, but also the F-15E Strike Eagle and the F-117 Nighthawk, replacing virtually three types of airplanes with a fleet less than half its former size.

However, smaller numbers do not mean less dominance, he said. Raptor pilots will safely execute each mission behind the controls of the fastest jet in operation.

“Today I flew the Raptor at speeds exceeding (Mach 1.7) without afterburners,” General Jumper said. “To be able to go that fast without afterburners means that nobody can get you in their sights or get a lock-on. The aircraft’s impressive stealth capability, combined with its super cruise (capability), will give any adversary a very hard time.” (Courtesy of Air Education and Training Command News Service)

The Roots of Extremism in Bangladesh

By Wilson John

In many ways, Bangladesh seems an excellent place for al-Qaeda to find sanctuary in the decisive years ahead. It is an impoverished Islamic nation, politically weak and backward in its economic development. Its ports have been active hubs for transnational crime, including weapons running. [1] More significantly, it has a formidable presence of religious groups, some noticeably extreme, jostling in the political space often left vacant by frequent bouts of political instability and military intervention since the country's violent birth in December 1971.

Before the war of liberation, Bangladesh was East Pakistan, a compact patch of Gangetic delta sliced out of the Indian subcontinent during the Partition of 1947. Separated from the mainland by the mass of the Indian subcontinent, East Pakistan remained a distant outpost for Islamabad; a neglected, impoverished state, governed by local army commanders who used it as a staging ground for helping militant groups engaged in a prolonged conflict with India for the liberation of their respective States in the north-east.

The Pakistan Army first began training Naga rebels in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, a tradition that continued subsequently with Manipuri and Mizo insurgent groups. Although the 1971 war and the consequent birth of Bangladesh put an end to this joint venture between militant groups and Pakistan's intelligence agencies, this setback proved to be temporary. The assassination of Bangladesh's first Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and his family in 1975, and the subsequent political turmoil, helped these militant groups to reclaim their training camps, now run by Bangladeshi intelligence and security agencies. These agencies enjoyed support from various religious groups which had their origin in Pakistan. One such group was Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI). After emerging as a strong religious/political party, JeI became Bangladesh's third largest party in the October 2001 elections.

Religious parties like JeI owed much of their growth to the Islamization of the country's political institutions initiated by President Zia-ur Rehman in 1977. A little more than a decade later, President HM Ershad made Islam the state religion, further strengthening Islamic forces like the JeI. The growing clout of religious political parties was revealed with shocking clarity during a huge protest march of some 70,000 to 80,000 persons against the well-known Bangladeshi writer, Taslima Nasreen, in June 1994. Religious groups have also gained tremendously by the bitter feuding between the two main political parties, the Awami League led by former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by current Premier Begum Khaleda Zia. Both parties have been assiduously courting JeI throughout this political fight. The Awami League, for instance, sought support from the religious party to campaign against the BNP while the latter has co-opted JeI as a coalition partner.

The rise of radical political and religious parties like JeI promoted the growth of madrasas in the country, mostly funded by certain Middle Eastern countries. The prominent donors are the Saudi-based al-Haramain Foundation, UAE-based al-Fujayrah Welfare Association and the Dubai-based Dar ul-Ansar and Muslim Welfare Association. Although none of these organizations have any offices in the areas where terrorist groups are active, they operate through a network of preachers who not only distribute money but also motivate the youth to join jihad. [2]

Not surprisingly, Bangladesh has been host to various terrorist groups anxious to recruit and train young students coming out of these madrasas. One of the more prominent ones is Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI), widely regarded as al-Qaeda's operating arm in South Asia. HuJI has been consolidating its position in Bangladesh where it boasts a membership of more than 15,000 activists, of whom at least 2,000 are "hardcore". [3] Led by Shawkat Osman (alias Sheikh Farid) in Chittagong, the group has at least six training camps in Bangladesh. According to one report, about 3,500 Bangladeshis had gone to Pakistan and Afghanistan to take part in jihad. Barring 34 who died, a large number of them returned home; of these, about 500 form the backbone of HuJI.

While in Afghanistan, some HuJI members met Osama bin Laden at Khost on February 11, 1989, a few months before their leader Abdur Rehman Farooqui died while clearing mines near the city. More evidence of the group's alignment with the Taliban and al-Qaeda is revealed by a fatwa issued by the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh led by JeI chief Fazlur Rehman on February 23, 1998. The directive was signed by Osama bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, Rifa'i Ahmad Taha (alias Abu Yasir of Egyptian Islamic Group) and Sheikh Mir Hamzah (secretary of the Jamiat ul Ulema e-Pakistan). The most troubling aspect of the rise of HuJI revolves around these sorts of connections with religious groups. HuJI has camps in the inaccessible, hilly terrains of Cox Bazar and Banderban and along the No Man's Land adjacent to the Bangladesh-Burma border. Furthermore, the group enjoys support and patronage from about 30 madrasas in Chittagong. Credible reports indicate that the camps are used for recruitment and weapons training. [4]

Chittagong is one of the areas in Bangladesh which has become a base for the resurgence of the Islamic movement. In a series of investigative articles, Prathm Alo, a prominent Bangladeshi newspaper, disclosed the involvement of several madrasas in the border areas of Naikhangchhari and Ukhia in providing weapons training and motivating the youth to launch an Islamic revolution in the country.

But it is not HuJI alone which has gained immensely from the support of the local network of madrasas. More worrisome is the growth of a HuJI clone, Harkat ul-Jihad, a little known group which has vowed to create an Islamic state in Bangladesh and HuJI's youth organization, Jagrata Mulsim Janata Bangladesh. [5] In June 2004, Bangladeshi police raided the training camps of Harkat ul-Jihad in the Chittagong Hill Tracts where at least 50 students were being trained at any given point in time. Another formidable group is Rohingya Solidarity Organization, which based itself in the area in the early 1980s and linked up with other Islamic militant groups like Gulbuddin Hekmatyr's Hizb-e-Islami in Afghanistan, Hizb ul-Mujahideen in Jammu and Kashmir, and Angkatan Belia Islam Sa Malaysia (the Islamic Youth Organization of Malaysia). Significantly, on May 10, 2002, nine religious extremist groups, including HuJI, decided to form a Bangladeshi Islamic Manch (Platform) to coordinate their activities and develop a collective infrastructure.

Besides these groups, the Chittagong Hill also shelters other, less-known radical political and insurgent groups like the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (Chittagong Hill Tracts People United Front). This organization is comprised of former Shanti Bahini and United People's Democratic Front guerillas that are fighting both each other and the government in Dhaka for political power. Although these groups do not have a large public support base, there is evidence that they are heavily armed. Last year, the Bangladesh Rifles seized anti-tank and anti-personnel mines and rocket launchers from one of these groups during a raid. The number of high-profile bomb attacks was so high last year – attacks on the British High Commissioner on May 21, 2004 and Opposition leader Sheikh Hasina during a political rally on August 21, 2004 killed more than 20 persons alone – that the U.S. government sent a team of CIA and FBI officials to help the local security and intelligence agencies.

Another clear indication of the growth of extremist organizations is the emergence of the pan-Islamic party Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) in Bangladesh. Although HT claims to be strictly non-violent, intelligence agencies in several countries – from Central Asian republics to Pakistan – fear that the sophisticated infrastructure and organizational discipline of the party can be exploited by al-Qaeda. HT is fairly active in Bangladesh but deliberately keeps a low profile, optimistically anticipating the emergence of a political "third force" as a possible alternative to the dominance of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and the Awami League. [7]

What should be of immediate concern to regional nations and the West (in particular the U.S.) is, irrespective of the absence of sustained links between Islamic groups like HT, JeI and terrorist organizations, they essentially share the same ideology and anti-Western agenda. Moreover, lack of direct organizational links does not necessarily preclude the existence of "informal" links between members of the strictly political groups and underground Islamic terrorist organizations like HuJI. In Pakistan, al-Qaeda has been quite successful in co-opting various religious and sectarian groups to work for the larger "cause" of global terror. In Bangladesh such networking could be easier, making this small, impoverished country a potential sanctuary.

Wilson John is a Senior Fellow with Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, India.

1. Biological Weapons in The Arsenal Of Criminal Underworld, Dainik Janakantha (Bengali daily published from Dhaka), 21 July 2002. (accessed at http://www.nisat.org).
2. Ibid.
3. Prathm Alo (Bengali daily published from Dhaka), August 14, 2004.
4. Ibid.
5. Bangla Busts Den of Militants in Jungle, Associated Press, June 3, 2004.
6. Shanti Bahini was created during the 1971 war.
7. From a leaflet dated January 2004 available at www.khilafat.org.

Radical Islam in the Netherlands

By Edwin Bakker

Islamists have been known to be active in the Netherlands for at least the past decade. Their activities have been reported in various documents by the Dutch authorities [1], especially the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), whose first public statements date back to 1991. In its most recent reports, the AIVD warns against the growth of radical Islam in the Netherlands:

"Radical Islam encompasses a multitude of movements, organizations and groups. Although they have several ideas in common (particularly relating to religious standards and anti-western sentiments), they may also have very different opinions about the aims to be pursued and the means to be used. In addition to radical Islamic organizations and networks focusing on the jihad (in the sense of armed struggle) against mainly the West, other movements prefer to concentrate on ‘Dawa' (preaching radical Islamic ideology), while some groups and networks combine these two elements." [2]

Despite the generally non-violent aspects of Islamists in the Netherlands, the negative consequences are, nonetheless, becoming increasingly manifest. The two most worrisome developments are the growing social polarization of Islamic groups and the increasing preparedness to engage in a violent jihad.

The polarization is partly a result of radical Islam seeking to "re-Islamize" Muslim minorities in Western Europe. In addition, radical Islam preaches an extreme isolationism and often propagates intolerance towards others in western societies. Such groups include homosexuals, Jews, and those, both Muslims and non-Muslims, who in their eyes insult Islam. The latter group consists of politicians, opinion makers, academics and advocates of women's liberation among Muslims. The murdered movie maker Theo van Gogh was one of the most well known persons who publicly and consistently criticized Islam.

The numerical strength of Islamists was estimated by the Secret Service to be between one and two hundred activists. [3] According to the AIVD, this group included so-called veterans from Afghanistan and Chechnya who play an important role in the development of young Muslims into potential jihadis. According to a conservative estimate by the AIVD, several dozens of young Muslims are being prepared for jihad. [4] This jihad includes both conflict areas in the Muslim world and potential targets in Europe.

The role of the "veterans" is not the only decisive factor in the development of the new recruits. Indeed internal dynamics within groups of radical young Muslims play an important role. For instance, the developing patterns of strife in arenas of conflict like Chechnya, Afghanistan and Iraq are subjects of intensive discussions (on the internet) among groups of young Muslims. Some members of these "discussion groups" are very young (aged 16 and 17). Indeed a few of them took their first steps towards the realization of a jihad before the age of 18. Such was the case with several young persons of Moroccan decent arrested in 2004.

The radicalization within the Moroccan community, therefore, receives a lot of attention from the intelligence community. The focus is primarily on the radicalizing role of representatives of Salafism in the Netherlands. A number of Imams who call themselves Salafis are known for their anti-integration and radical attitudes. They focus their preaching mainly on young Muslims and create a climate of intolerance within which these young people may become susceptible to radicalization and recruitment. [5] The AIVD also monitors developments within the ultra-orthodox Jamaat Al-Tabligh Wal-Dawa (Society for Propagation & Preaching) movement. This movement is essentially a non-political movement which claims to limit its activities to observing the religious and spiritual strictures of Islam. However, the outcome of its activities is social isolation and radicalization of segments of the Moroccan community. Finally, the AIVD also focuses on the radicalization process that takes place outside mosques and other places of worship, such as private addresses and internet sites.

Growing radicalization

Before the terrorist attacks in Madrid in March 2004 and even until the murder of Van Gogh in November 2004, the radicalization of young Muslims within the Netherlands was not regarded as a particularly acute and imminent threat. Dutch authorities repeatedly emphasized that the vast majority of the Muslims residing in the Netherlands are averse to extremism and violence and that there was relatively little support for radical Islam. After the murder of Van Gogh by a "Dutch Moroccan" and the subsequent arrests of mainly Dutch Islamists, this overly optimistic assessment was abandoned. Towards the end of 2004, the authorities exhibited growing awareness of the fact that radical Islamic individuals and groups appear to be increasingly successful at targeting and recruiting erstwhile "moderate" Dutch Muslims. A recent report by the AIVD "Van Dawa tot Jihad" (From Dawa to Jihad) clearly warns about the rapid radicalization among young Muslims and indicates that the group of potential Jihadis is increasing. [6] Moreover, the report claims that even the more Dawa-oriented forms of radical Islam constitute a potential threat to the Dutch democratic system.

Since the murder of Van Gogh, there have been many media reports about contacts between Dutch Islamists and individuals in Spain, Switzerland and countries in the Middle East. More specifically, possible links with the Groupe Islamique Combattant Marocain has exercised the attention of the intelligence services. Clearly the Dutch authorities were aware that international Islamist terrorist networks extend into the Netherlands. For instance, it was known that these networks focused on recruiting Muslims for Jihad and on providing, amongst other things, false documents and accommodation. A popular book on radical Islam in the Netherlands even claimed that some groups finance jihad by trafficking drugs. [7] Nonetheless, it seems that the Dutch authorities were surprised by the extent of the networks and the close link with individuals connected to the Madrid bombings. At the same time, they were also taken aback by the primarily endogenous nature of Theo van Gogh's murder.

Countering radical Islam

Countering radical Islam and radicalization of young Muslims requires a wide range of measures and activities at the local, national and international level. Such measures have been proposed (and have been partly implemented) after 9/11 and the more recent Madrid bombings. However the most specific set of measures were presented as late as December 23 by the Interior Ministry and its AIVD in the aforementioned report "From Dawa to Jihad".

This report distinguishes different types of threats posed by radical Islam and lists a wide range of measures to counter them. At the social level, counter measures include cooperation with moderate forces within the Muslim communities and supporting and stimulating more moderate ideologies. It also proposes the development of positive role models, self-responsibility and self-criticism within these communities. The educational system is assumed to have an important role to play. First and foremost, schools can identify radicalization and inform the competent authorities. Secondly, the educational system is an important vehicle for the internalization of western democratic norms and values.

In the area of political and executive measures, the report proposes tougher immiggration policies and financial oversight of radical organizations. It also proposes direct communication with radical agents in order to impress upon them that their activities are unacceptable and non-complinace with the wishes of the authorities could lead to direct action by the law enforcement agencies. After stressing the imporantance of the freedom of the media, the report also indicates the need for more correct and objective reports on Islam. From a security perspective, the media can diminish mutual distrust and consequently undermine the radical recruiters. Finally, the report lists a number of measures related to arresting individuals (with the help of new anti-terrorism legislation), infiltration and disruption of potential terrorist operations, and cooperation between national and international governmental organizations.

Although these measures are welcome and may effectively counter radical Islam, one can not avoid feeling that many of these actions have come too late. Much of the damage has already been done. Even worse, much of the damage could have been prevented. Awareness of the existence of radical Islam in the Netherlands is not a post-9/11 or post-Madrid phenomenon. Neither was this awareness restricted to a select group of non-governmental experts. The AIVD itself has consistently reported on radical Islam for years. Whether it was wishful thinking or political correctness that dissuaded the Dutch authorities from acting more timely is anyone's guess.

Edwin Bakker is on the editorial board of Helsinki Monitor and Vrede & Veiligheid, and secretary general of the executive committee of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee.

1. The Dutch intelligence community includes the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), the Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) and the National Signals Intelligence investigation services.
2. General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), Annual Report 2003, www.aivd.nl.
3. AIVD, Backgrounds of jihad recruits in the Netherlands, March 2004.
4. AIVD, Recruitment for the jihad in the Netherlands, December 2002.
5. AIVD, Annual Report 2003.
6. AIVD, From Dawa to Jihad, December 2004.
7. Siem Eikelenboom, Jihad in de polder. De radicale islam in Nederland (Jihad in the polder: Radical Islam in the Netherlands),Veen Publishing, 2004.