April 21, 2007

India-US nuclear agreement : What might happen?

http://www.indianexpress.com/ story/ 28603.html

After the recently concluded bilateral talks between the Indian and US government officials it was stated that the two sides hoped to conclude an US-India agreement for civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries — the so-called 123 agreement — by this year end. It is almost two years since the Indo-US agreement on nuclear commerce was announced on July 18, 2005. Given that the conclusion of the 123 agreement is a precondition for the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to take action on amending its own guidelines on nuclear transfer, and the India-IAEA agreement is yet to be worked out and that is a requirement before the 123 agreement can be passed by the US Congress, it is unlikely that the process of allowing civil nuclear commerce by the members of the NSG will be completed before the end of 2007. This, despite the fact that the two countries had held more than a dozen discussions in the past one year on nuclear understanding after the announcement of the separation plan outline in March 2006.

Indeed, some press reports even suggest that the India-US nuclear agreement may not be completed at any time in near future and may even lapse.

What might happen?
G. Balachandran explains

• What has delayed the completion of the 123 negotiations?

While a number of issues seem to have delayed the process of completing the 123 negotiation, the one issue that has most relevance for Indian national security is the one that relates to nuclear testing by India. However, it would be incorrect to suggest that the issue of testing is only in respect of the 123 agreement. Equally disturbing is the reference to testing by India in all the four alternatives before the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for possible amendment of Paragraph 4 of the NSG Guidelines on nuclear transfers including the one that was circulated by the US government last year.

• What is at the heart of the testing issue?

While India may not be a nuclear-weapon state under the NPT, it is a de facto nuclear weapon state. The primary rationale for the Indo-US nuclear agreement with obligations on both sides was to accommodate India in international civil nuclear commerce as a de facto nuclear weapon state.

There are currently five — China, France, Russia, UK and USA — NPT defined nuclear weapon states, three self declared nuclear weapon states — India, North Korea and Pakistan — on the basis of having conducted nuclear tests, one state — Israel — presumed to have nuclear weapons and any number of states capable/desirous of developing nuclear weapons.

The five NPT nuclear weapon states have declared a moratorium on nuclear testing and all are signatories to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) although only three of these five countries — France, Russia and United Kingdom — have ratified the treaty. India and Pakistan too have declared unilateral voluntary moratoriums although neither has signed the CTBT. Since the CTBT has not come into force, the NPT nuclear weapon states are not legally barred from conducting any nuclear tests. They do not face any difficulties if they resume testing any time — other than any criticism of such a test by others in the international community. In the normal course of circumstances, India and Pakistan too would not face any constraints on testing except, of course, some sanctions by US and others — as happened after the 1998 tests by these two countries.

However, under the terms of either the 123 agreement or any one of the current alternatives under consideration by the NSG members, the US or members of NSG respectively would cease to transfer any items or technology controlled by the NSG Trigger List, if India were to conduct another test. Such a broad condition on continuation of supplies would simply be unacceptable to India.

• Why is this condition unacceptable to India?

India unilaterally declared a moratorium on further testing in 1998 after its nuclear tests. There is no reason to believe that conditions since then have changed to warrant any testing by India now. None of the other nuclear weapon states existing at that time, that is 1998, have conducted any tests since then. The one nuclear test conducted since then by another country, North Korea, was not considered to be of such a national security threat to India that India felt it had to review its moratorium policy. However, a test by one or more of the other six recognised nuclear weapon states may pose a threat to India’s national security.
Under such a circumstance — a breach of announced moratorium on nuclear testing by one or more of these six nuclear weapon states — may require India also to reconsider its own moratorium on nuclear testing. India cannot, therefore, afford to give an unconditional “under no circumstances” moratorium on nuclear testing.
However, neither can India take refuge behind the façade of national security to keep its nuclear testing options open without any condition. It would have been advisable, if at the time of its announcement of its moratorium, India had set forth the terms under which it would continue with the moratorium. Regrettably, it did not do so then. This error was compounded when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too repeated the moratorium without any conditions. It is time India defined the contours of its moratorium policy more narrowly than it has done so far.
Therefore, if the intention of either the US or NSG members is to find a formula to tie down India to a regime of no testing irrespective of a changing international nuclear order, then it would be advisable for India to categorically state that it is indifferent to any changes in NSG guidelines or US laws since under these conditions India would not engage in nuclear transfers from any of these countries. It cannot afford to import nuclear technology and equipments from the US or any of the NSG countries if they hold the threat over its head of stopping transfers if India were to conduct a test under any circumstance.
On the other hand, the NSG members do have an interest in assuring themselves that transfers of nuclear technology, equipment or materials to India by its members do not assist India’s nuclear weapon programme. We shall discuss later how this can be managed.

• Does India need to address the issue of testing differently in the 123 agreement and the NSG Guidelines? Why?

First of all, the reference to testing is part of US laws. Sec. 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) 1954 lists nine mandatory requirements to be included in the 123 agreement. Sec. 104(a)(1) of The Henry Hyde United States-India Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of 2006 (HH Act) permits the president to exempt the 123 agreement with India from the requirement of only of these nine, namely Sec. 123 a(2) — which requires fullscope safeguards on all nuclear activities in a non-nuclear weapon state, which is what India is under the AEA. Further, the HH Act also states (Sec. 103 (b) (9)) that it is the policy of the United States to “Ensure that the text and implementation of any agreement for India arranged pursuant to Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 USC 2153) meet the requirements set forth in subsections a(1) and a(3) through a(9) of such section.” Sec. 123 (a)(4) of the AEA states that “except in the case of those agreements for cooperation... with nuclear-weapon states, a stipulation that the United States shall have the right to require the return of any nuclear materials and equipment transferred pursuant thereto and special nuclear material produced through the use therefore, if the cooperating country detonates a nuclear explosive device...” Since the HH Act exempts India only from Sec. 123 (a)(2), Sec. 123(a)(4) has to be part of the 123 agreement in one form or another. The NSG, on the other hand, has no reference to any testing by the recipient state, or sanctions as a result thereof, in any of its guidelines. A clause on cessation of nuclear transfers as a result of nuclear testing would be unique to the Indian case.

Secondly, not only does Sec. 123(a) of AEA require that the president be “provided an unclassified Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement which shall analyse the consistency of the text of the proposed agreement for cooperation with all the requirements of this Act, with specific attention to whether the proposed agreement is consistent with each of the criteria set forth in this subsection”, Sec. 123 (b) of AEA also requires that the president submit the “text of the proposed agreement for cooperation, together with the accompanying unclassified Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.” Therefore, even if the language used in the 123 agreement is in line with the Indian requirement that the 123 agreement make no reference to testing, still the 123 agreement will have to be shown to be consistent with, or at best not inconsistent with, the requirements of Sec. 123 (a)(4). Therefore, it will be very difficult for India to require that the 123 agreement allow explicitly for continuation of nuclear transfers even if India does conduct a test. The NSG has no requirement that its guidelines include any such conditions.

Thirdly, even if the 123 agreement has the offending clause on return of material and equipment or termination of supplies, India retains the option of not buying any material or equipment from the US and thereby avoiding all problems. However, if the NSG Guidelines contain the same offending clauses, India does not have any option, short of not buying any material or equipment from any of the NSG countries — in short foreclosing any nuclear transfers from any NSG member.

Therefore, the inclusion of a clause requiring termination of transfers in case of testing by India would be far more detrimental in the NSG guidelines than in the case of 123 agreement.

However, as mentioned earlier, the NSG does have an interest in assuring that none of the transfers made by NSG members assist India’s nuclear weapon programme. The NSG can, therefore, modify its guidelines to require that NSG members cease transfers of nuclear material and equipment if India conducts a test using equipment, materials supplied by any NSG member or special nuclear material produced from the use thereof of such material and equipment.
• So what are India’s options?
What is of immediate need is for all sides to shed their exaggerated evaluation of their indispensability. Dr Kakodkar, chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission stated in an agency interview that “if the 123 agreement does not go through, India has other options.” The only option is no Indian engagement in international civil nuclear commerce, unless Dr. Kakodkar believes that (a) NSG will modify its guidelines to suit India even in the absence of a 123 agreement or (b) one or more members of NDG will either defy NSG Guidelines or withdraw from the NSG. The chances of either of these options manifesting itself are very small, if at all.
On the other hand, neither the US nor the NSG should think that the relaxation of US laws or NSG Guidelines is a matter of life or death for India. India has been outside of the mainstream on international nuclear commerce for nearly two decades. It has a healthy indigenous nuclear industrial and research base and can sustain its nuclear programme without any external assistance albeit at a slower pace.
Further, it has accepted as a precondition a number of obligations — not imposed on NPT non-nuclear-weapons states — such as the requirement of an additional protocol, adherence to NSG and MTCR Guidelines, harmonisation of export control list.
The successful culmination of the Indo-US nuclear agreement will be a win-win situation for all concerned — India, the US and the NSG members — if they work cooperatively and not with hidden agendas such as debilitating India’s nuclear security or using external transfers to build its nuclear capabilities. None of the parties can hope to achieve 100 per cent of their requirements. They all have to settle for less than 100 per cent which is feasible.

IRAN : US Limitations and Necessity of Naval Power

The Limitations and Necessity of Naval Power
April 10, 2007 22 03 GMT

Source: STRATFOR
By George Friedman

It has now been four years since the fall of Baghdad concluded the U.S. invasion of Iraq. We have said much about the Iraq war, and for the moment there is little left to say. The question is whether the United States will withdraw forces from Iraq or whether it will be able to craft some sort of political resolution to the war, both within Iraq and in the region. Military victory, in the sense of the unfettered imposition of U.S. will in Iraq, does not appear to us a possibility. Therefore, over the next few months, against the background of the U.S. offensive in Baghdad, the political equation will play out. The action continues. The analysis must pause and await results.

During this pause, we have been thinking about some of the broader questions involved in Iraq -- and about the nature and limits of American military power in particular. We recently considered the purpose of U.S. wars since World War II in our discussion of U.S. warfare as strategic spoiling attack. Now we turn to another dimension of U.S. military power -- the U.S. Navy -- and consider what role, if any, it plays in national security at this point.

Recent events have directed our attention to the role and limits of naval power. During the detention of the 15 British sailors and marines, an idea floated by many people was that the United States should impose a blockade against Iran. The argument was driven partly by a lack of other options: Neither an invasion nor an extended air campaign seemed a viable alternative. Moreover, the United States' experience in erecting blockades is rich with decisive examples: the Cuban missile crisis, barring Germany's ability to trade during World War II or that of the American South during the Civil War. The one unquestionable military asset the United States has is its Navy, which can impose sea-lane control anywhere in the world. Finally, Iran -- which is rich in oil (all of which is exported by sea) but lacks sufficient refinery capacity of its own -- relies on imported gasoline. Therefore, the argument went, imposing a naval blockade would cripple Iran's economy and bring the leadership to the negotiating table.

Washington never seriously considered the option. This was partly because of diplomatic discussions that indicated that the British detainees would be released under any circumstances. And it was partly because of the difficulties involved in blockading Iran at this time:

1. Iran could mount strategic counters to a blockade, either by increasing anti-U.S. operations by its Shiite allies in Iraq or by inciting Shiite communities in the Arabian Peninsula to unrest. The United States didn't have appetite for the risk.

2. Blockades always involve the interdiction of vessels operated by third countries -- countries that might not appreciate being interdicted. The potential repercussions of interdicting merchant vessels belonging to powers that did not accept the blockade was a price the United States would not pay at this time.

A blockade was not selected because it was not needed, because Iran could retaliate in other ways and because a blockade might damage countries other than Iran that the United States didn't want to damage. It was, therefore, not in the cards. Not imposing a blockade made sense.

The Value of Naval Power

This raises a more fundamental question: What is the value of naval power in a world in which naval battles are not fought? To frame the question more clearly, let us begin by noting that the United States has maintained global maritime hegemony since the end of World War II. Except for the failed Soviet attempt to partially challenge the United States, the most important geopolitical fact since World War II was that the world's oceans were effectively under the control of the U.S. Navy. Prior to World War II, there were multiple contenders for maritime power, such as Britain, Japan and most major powers. No one power, not even Britain, had global maritime hegemony. The United States now does. The question is whether this hegemony has any real value at this time -- a question made relevant by the issue of whether to blockade Iran.

The United States controls the blue water. To be a little more precise, the U.S. Navy can assert direct and overwhelming control over any portion of the blue water it wishes, and it can do so in multiple places. It cannot directly control all of the oceans at the same time. However, the total available naval force that can be deployed by non-U.S. powers (friendly and other) is so limited that they lack the ability, even taken together, to assert control anywhere should the United States challenge their presence. This is an unprecedented situation historically.

The current situation is, of course, invaluable to the United States. It means that a seaborne invasion of the United States by any power is completely impractical. Given the geopolitical condition of the United States, the homeland is secure from conventional military attack but vulnerable to terrorist strikes and nuclear attacks. At the same time, the United States is in a position to project forces at will to any part of the globe. Such power projection might not be wise at times, but even failure does not lead to reciprocation. For instance, no matter how badly U.S. forces fare in Iraq, the Iraqis will not invade the United States if the Americans are defeated there.

This is not a trivial fact. Control of the seas means that military or political failure in Eurasia will not result in a direct conventional threat to the United States. Nor does such failure necessarily preclude future U.S. intervention in that region. It also means that no other state can choose to invade the United States. Control of the seas allows the United States to intervene where it wants, survive the consequences of failure and be immune to occupation itself. It was the most important geopolitical consequence of World War II, and one that still defines the world.

The issue for the United States is not whether it should abandon control of the seas -- that would be irrational in the extreme. Rather, the question is whether it has to exert itself at all in order to retain that control. Other powers either have abandoned attempts to challenge the United States, have fallen short of challenging the United States or have confined their efforts to building navies for extremely limited uses, or for uses aligned with the United States. No one has a shipbuilding program under way that could challenge the United States for several generations.

One argument, then, is that the United States should cut its naval forces radically -- since they have, in effect, done their job. Mothballing a good portion of the fleet would free up resources for other military requirements without threatening U.S. ability to control the sea-lanes. Should other powers attempt to build fleets to challenge the United States, the lead time involved in naval construction is such that the United States would have plenty of opportunities for re-commissioning ships or building new generations of vessels to thwart the potential challenge.

The counterargument normally given is that the U.S. Navy provides a critical service in what is called littoral warfare. In other words, while the Navy might not be needed immediately to control sea-lanes, it carries out critical functions in securing access to those lanes and projecting rapid power into countries where the United States might want to intervene. Thus, U.S. aircraft carriers can bring tactical airpower to bear relatively quickly in any intervention. Moreover, the Navy's amphibious capabilities -- particularly those of deploying and supplying the U.S. Marines -- make for a rapid deployment force that, when coupled with Naval airpower, can secure hostile areas of interest for the United States.

That argument is persuasive, but it poses this problem: The Navy provides a powerful option for war initiation by the United States, but it cannot by itself sustain the war. In any sustained conflict, the Army must be brought in to occupy territory -- or, as in Iraq, the Marines must be diverted from the amphibious specialty to serve essentially as Army units. Naval air by itself is a powerful opening move, but greater infusions of airpower are needed for a longer conflict. Naval transport might well be critically important in the opening stages, but commercial transport sustains the operation.

If one accepts this argument, the case for a Navy of the current size and shape is not proven. How many carrier battle groups are needed and, given the threat to the carriers, is an entire battle group needed to protect them?

If we consider the Iraq war in isolation, for example, it is apparent that the Navy served a function in the defeat of Iraq's conventional forces. It is not clear, however, that the Navy has served an important role in the attempt to occupy and pacify Iraq. And, as we have seen in the case of Iran, a blockade is such a complex politico-military matter that the option not to blockade tends to emerge as the obvious choice.

The Risk Not Taken

The argument for slashing the Navy can be tempting. But consider the counterargument. First, and most important, we must consider the crises the United States has not experienced. The presence of the U.S. Navy has shaped the ambitions of primary and secondary powers. The threshold for challenging the Navy has been so high that few have even initiated serious challenges. Those that might be trying to do so, like the Chinese, understand that it requires a substantial diversion of resources. Therefore, the mere existence of U.S. naval power has been effective in averting crises that likely would have occurred otherwise. Reducing the power of the U.S. Navy, or fine-tuning it, would not only open the door to challenges but also eliminate a useful, if not essential, element in U.S. strategy -- the ability to bring relatively rapid force to bear.

There are times when the Navy's use is tactical, and times when it is strategic. At this moment in U.S. history, the role of naval power is highly strategic. The domination of the world's oceans represents the foundation stone of U.S. grand strategy. It allows the United States to take risks while minimizing consequences. It facilitates risk-taking. Above all, it eliminates the threat of sustained conventional attack against the homeland. U.S. grand strategy has worked so well that this risk appears to be a phantom. The dispersal of U.S. forces around the world attests to what naval power can achieve. It is illusory to believe that this situation cannot be reversed, but it is ultimately a generational threat. Just as U.S. maritime hegemony is measured in generations, the threat to that hegemony will emerge over generations. The apparent lack of utility of naval forces in secondary campaigns, like Iraq, masks the fundamentally indispensable role the Navy plays in U.S. national security.

That does not mean that the Navy as currently structured is sacrosanct -- far from it. Peer powers will be able to challenge the U.S. fleet, but not by building their own fleets. Rather, the construction of effective anti-ship missile systems -- which can destroy merchant ships as well as overwhelm U.S. naval anti-missile systems -- represents a low-cost challenge to U.S. naval power. This is particularly true when these anti-ship missiles are tied to space-based, real-time reconnaissance systems. A major power such as China need not be able to mirror the U.S. Navy in order to challenge it.

Whatever happens in Iraq -- or Iran -- the centrality of naval power is unchanging. But the threat to naval power evolves. The fact that there is no threat to U.S. control of the sea-lanes at this moment does not mean one will not emerge. Whether with simple threats like mines or the most sophisticated anti-ship system, the ability to keep the U.S. Navy from an area or to close off strategic chokepoints for shipping remains the major threat to the United States -- which is, first and foremost, a maritime power.

One of the dangers of wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan is that they soak up resources and intellectual bandwidth. It is said that generals always fight the last war. Another way of stating that is to say they believe the war they are fighting now will go on forever in some form. That belief leads to neglect of capabilities that appear superfluous for the current conflict. That is the true hollowing-out that extended warfare creates. It is an intellectual hollowing-out.

Hindu Students Council Denounces Inaccurate, Misleading Propaganda By Anonymous Group

Hindu Students Council

Press Release – For Immediate Release

April 20, 2007

Contact: Rishi Bhutada at 832-797-5147 (vp-outreach@hscnet.org)

Nikunj Trivedi at 732-599-1561 (president@hscnet.org)

Hindu Students Council Denounces Inaccurate, Misleading Propaganda By Anonymous Group

New Jersey, USA, April 20, 2007 – The Hindu Students Council (HSC) denounces the recently released report by anonymous writers on the Internet under the name of the “Campaign to Stop Funding Hate”. The report, which has no claims of authorship or organizational sponsorship, makes the erroneous claim that HSC has been deceiving its members about its activities. The true deception is in the report itself, which attempts to present itself as a reputable source of information about HSC while actually being a mix of outdated information (some of which is 15 years old and presented as currently accurate) and inaccurate claims published by anonymous authors concealing their true motivations for initiating this misleading attack.

HSC has always been open about its activities. These activities are primarily at the chapter level on various college campuses. They include hosting speakers, performing community service, holding poojas, celebrating festivals, and participating in interfaith discussions. On the regional and national level, HSC aims to provide resources to chapters and create opportunities via camps, regional and national meetings, and retreats enabling members to learn more about their heritage, engage in personal and leadership development, and make lifelong friends. In pursuing HSC’s mission of learning about Hindu culture and heritage and developing awareness about issues affecting Hindus, HSC members are encouraged to reach out to a wide variety of organizations in the United States that share an interest in promoting a stronger, more educated Hindu community. Such organizations include the Art of Living, BAPS, Chinmaya Mission, Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, the Gayatri Parivar, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, International Society of Krishna Consciousness, the Vedanta Society, Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, and various Hindu temples and ashrams. The fact that HSC shares many values with all of these organizations and believes that Hindus must be unified and strong does not mean HSC is responsible for any of the actions of those groups or their affiliates. Neither does it indicate that HSC is being secretly (or not so secretly) run by any of those organizations.

HSC is outraged that when HSC has been occupied in trying to support its Virginia Tech members, these anonymous writers have decided to push this propaganda. This insensitivity and disregard for the Virginia Tech community only shows that the so-called “Campaign to Stop Funding Hate” is actually pushing hate with its anti-Hindu stance taking precedence over any reasonable person's concerns. In essence, the report appears to be yet another example of a trend of smear attacks on Hindu organizations by groups that wish to prevent the development of a Hindu community in the West. HSC and other organizations play an important role in inspiring young Hindus to help disadvantaged people in India and other parts of the world as well as serve their fellow Americans. These smear attacks show that the anonymous instigators behind this report do not hold the universal values of inclusion and tolerance, but instead peddle discrimination and defamation.

The report’s claim of a secret, deceptive side to HSC should be seen for the farce of true investigative reporting that it is. The Hindu Students Council is a tolerant, inclusive, and independent organization, open about its identity and activities. One can find out the true facts about HSC at our website (http://www.hscnet.org/fact.php). This report, on the other hand, is both deceptive and deceitful, using anonymous writing, murky organizational sponsorship, and inaccurate claims. Those who read the report need to be aware of its inaccuracies, blatant disregard for the truth, and the questionable motivation of its authors.

HSC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) youth organization with chapters at over 80 universities around the world. Established in 1990, HSC is an international forum providing opportunities on college campuses to learn about Hindu heritage and culture; foster awareness of issues affecting Hindus; and provide seva (service) to the community. HSC presents many opportunities for spiritual, professional, and personal development through campus study groups, seminars, lectures, workshops, conferences, and camps. For more information on HSC, write to hsc@hscnet.org or visit the HSC website at http://www.hscnet.org.

OpenOffice gets business intelligence boost

Colin Barker ZDNet UK

Published: 20 Apr 2007 16:44 BST


Business intelligence software from Pentaho is to be integrated into the next version of OpenOffice, the open-source application suite.

As from version 2.3, OpenOffice.org users will be able to create reports with content from the OpenOffice.org base database as well as a range of proprietary and open-source relational databases, OLAP and XML sources.

Sun, which founded OpenOffice.org in 2000, says it has been working with Pentaho to enhance the software suite and that it will be "working with the community to enable its integration".

Originally known as JFreeReport, Pentaho's reporting project was first released in May 2002, and acquired by Pentaho in December 2005. Since the acquisition, Pentaho has added a drag-and-drop report designer, MDX support, report scheduling, security and portal integration. Pentaho's recently announced standards-based metadata layer and Ajax-based ad hoc query tool also bolster Pentaho's reporting capabilities

Gold, Geopolitics and Cartel Interventions

Source: http://news.goldseek.com/

Observers of Gold in the past few weeks may have learned some valuable “Object Lessons.” These Object Lessons arise from simultaneously observing Gold, Geopolitics and Cartel Interventions.



First, the effects of major geopolitical events on the markets (and in light of Interventions) are difficult and at times impossible to predict. Recall that about a month ago, in mid-March, tensions arising from the Iran Dispute were gradually increasing. And then with the capture of the British military personnel, the tension spiked up.



And Gold? In a truly free market, Gold, as the quintessential Safe Haven would have spiked up too upon the taking of hostages. But in fact, the Gold price moved very little upon news of the hostage taking. What conclusion can be drawn from this other than that The Cartel was capping the price? [Long-time Deepcaster readers know that there is substantial evidence for the ongoing manipulation of Gold prices - - see www.gata.org for example, the website of The Gold AntiTrust Action Committee. Also see Deepcaster’s October, 2006 Letter regarding market intervention and data manipulation entitled “The Mega Manipulations - - Juiced Numbers IV: How the Government Gets the Statistics It Wants, Markets Get Manipulated, Citizens Get Deluded, and Worse” at www.deepcaster.com.]



And Gold shares reflected a similar fate. That is, in spite of the heightened tension created by Iran’s taking of hostages in the Gulf, the price of Newmont shares, for example, actually declined somewhat.



[Consider, indeed, just a few weeks ago we asked why Oppenheimer & Co. and J.P. Morgan Chase (a primary dealer for the Federal Reserve) entered into a Precious Metals shares lending agreement if it were not for the purpose of allowing control of and “Takedown Capacity” for the Precious Metals shares. No credible explanation for that “lending agreement” has been advanced other than that one.]



In sum, under normal market conditions and upon the taking of hostages, the Price of Gold, The Safe Haven Asset, would have increased dramatically as would the shares of Gold Producers like Newmont.



But we live in an Interventional Universe. Thus it is not surprising that the evidence indicates that The Cartel was involved not only with preventing the price of bullion from increasing during increased Middle East tensions but also with suppressing the price of Gold Producer shares.



Second, consider also that only about two weeks after the hostages were taken, they were suddenly released. Geopolitical Tensions diminished. Yet Gold spiked up several dollars. How does one explain this?



Of course, if fundamentals and technicals for Gold were the only consideration, Gold would be hundreds of dollars an ounce higher than it is today. But the fact that it is not hundreds of dollars higher indicates that its price movements over the past weeks were likely determined by Cartel Intervention.



So what message could The Cartel Interventionists be sending us via the aforementioned “managed” Gold price moves? It appears that The Desired (desired by The Cartel that is) Inferences from the aforementioned behavior of the Gold price are pretty clear. The Cartel apparently wants Investors to infer:


Gold is not a “safe haven” asset, to be turned to in times of heightened tension (because it did not rise when hostages were taken).
In times of diminished tension Gold cannot be relied on to diminish in price (because it is not a barometer of geopolitical tension).


And what conclusion could The Cartel desire us to draw from these inferences? That is, since Gold is not reliably either a safe haven or a barometer of tension, what is?



Well, The Cartel likely wants investors to believe that their Treasury Securities fill these functions.



We are encouraged, that is, to favor Treasury Paper over Gold.



Yet, given the supply/demand fundamentals for Gold such an ostensible market “preference” for paper over Gold can not be forcibly maintained indefinitely.



But for now, in our International Universe, it can be, and is.



So how do investors, speculators, and especially Tangible Assets Partisans cope with the seemingly Omnipresent Specter of Cartel Intervention?



Deepcaster’s April, 2007 Letter, “Golden Tactics for Profiting from Cartel Intervention” is designed to provide an antidote. It contains “Guidelines Designed for Protection and Profit” as well as the names of several precious metals companies it believes should be relatively resistant to Cartel Precious Metals Price Takedowns.



Best regards,



Deepcaster

April 12, 2007

Turkey and America: the Corridors of Intelligence and Geopolitics

by John Stanton

Global Research, April 5, 2007


“Turkey is not as politically stable or as secular domestically as they would have you believe”, said one long time observer of US-Turkish relations in Washington, DC. “The Turks do not have a large community across the United States like, say, the Armenians and the Greeks who have been here a long time. Because of this you see a very large Turkish presence inside Washington, DC”.

Lacking a legitimate national grassroots organization, Turkey has built a notable presence inside the corridors of power in Washington, DC by spreading cash around and buying direct access to key US decision makers in and out of the US government. It all seems legitimate enough: campaign donations/junkets for members & staff of the US Congress (FMOCs); consulting fees to former FMOCs, US military generals, US State Department employees; and promises of billions of dollars in contracts to US corporate representatives operating in Washington, DC. With so much money chasing politicians, consultants and contractors of all stripes, there's bound to be some corrupt and even criminal activity. No seasoned observer of politics anywhere is completely surprised at the occasional and well timed conviction of a white collar criminal.

But Sibel Edmonds' seems to have stumbled into the really big white collar crime ring that ties an old George Bush I family friend, Brent Scowcroft—and his American Turkish Council--in with former US Ambassador to Turkey Marc Grossman; members of the Turkish Caucus in the US Congress; Douglas Feith, (once had his security clearance revoked and was rumored to be watched by the FBI) who once greased arms sales to Turkey back in the 1990's, is a famed Zionist, formerly of the Pentagon and now at Georgetown University in Washington, DC; the Bob Livingston Group (Livingston a FMOC), who has gotten very wealthy via Turkish business; and Joe Ralston the former USAF general whose bank account has blossomed after joining Lockheed Martin and being put on the Turkish payroll as a counter-Kurdish insurgency expert. Finally, former Speaker of the US House Dennis Hastert seems a natural part of the ring whose claim to fame may become that he kept debate on the Armenian Genocide Resolution off the House floor during his tenure and was the subject of a Vanity Fair piece.

Many of us have written on Ms. Edmonds' case and after so many years find it infuriating that the FBI continues to shut her up behind a State Secret Privilege holding. Taking recent events at the Department of Justice as guides, it is probably safe to say that Ms Edmonds' is being silenced because of some sort of State Embarrassment Privilege. The Department of Justice, of which the FBI is a subsidiary, is seeing its credibility quotient crushed under the weight of Attorney General Albert Gonzales' arrogance and the adolescent antics of his staff. Meanwhile at the FBI, Director Mueller is under fire for the antics of his staff and its abuse of PATRIOT Act provisions to catch common criminals, not “terrorists.”

A few thoughts come to mind here. First, the FBI apparently was illegally monitoring subjects associated, somehow, with the Edmonds' matter and, perhaps, saving a savory scandal for the right time. J Edgar Hoover, former FBI Director, was skilled at that sort of subterfuge. If the illegal monitoring allegation is true, that's another damaging blow to the Justice Department and the US justice system.

Second, Ms Edmonds must have stumbled upon the payola racket that Turkey had been running and there were so many big US names involved in so many high places that to air that laundry would damage US credibility not so much abroad, as right here in the USA. Imagine one one news day FMOCs, active members of the US Congress, US military personnel, US State Department people, US Justice Department folks all get nailed for being in on the Turkish gig or at least knowing about it. And what could be worse than the FBI, DEA and CIA knowing about it? Foreign intelligence agencies, of course.

Third, if it is true that Turkey is not as secular or as politically stable as its proponents in Washington, DC and Ankara say, then the whole Turkey-as-US strategic partner and would-be European Union partner would be one of the better smoke and mirrors acts sold to the US public, and the world, in recent memory.

The reality is that Turkey remains a distant and unknown entity for most Americans, although if Ms. Edmonds were allowed to speak freely it may become a well known country. It's a product that is difficult to sell to citizens here in the USA as a strategic necessity, as a wonderful vacation land, or as a dynamic society full of business opportunity. The harsher side to the story is that Turkey has threatened to invade Northern Iraq/Kurdistan should it declare its independence, or if an upcoming referendum on oil-rich Kirkuk goes the Kurds way; the Turks brutally repress their Kurdish population; free speech and tolerance of government critiques are in short supply; and, in reality, the Turkish military holds the keys to power in Ankara.

Lastly, according to the observer of US-Turkish relations, “It seems to me that the government in Ankara, Turkey is always working on propaganda, on slogans. Trying too hard. If you visit Turkey you'll notice everywhere you go that there is a picture of Turkey's founder Attaturk. It reminds me sort of like Soviet times where you'd see a picture of Lenin everywhere. The Turks spend too much time worrying about petty resolutions like those recognizing the Armenian Genocide.”

John Stanton is a Virginia based writer specializing in political and national security matters. Reach him at cioran123@yahoo.com. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Pakistan : Petition filed in SC for reining in Intelligence agencies

Petition filed in SC for reining in Intelligence agencies
[2007-04-20 4:46:07 PM GMT]

ISLAMABAD: Appearing in the case of missing persons former Senator Farhatullah Babar on Friday urged the Supreme Court to ask the government to produce copy of the law under which the intelligence agencies operated so that the issue of disappeared could be examined in its correct perspective.


He deposed that it was necessary because the Parliament had already been denied even copy of the law let alone its right to make and improve upon the legislation governing the intelligence agencies.

He said that in October 2003 he formally asked a question in the Senate about the legislation that governed the functioning of the state’s premier intelligence agency the ISI. He then read out the letter of Senate secretariat of November 3, 2003, which rejected his plea on the ground that “the subject matter of this question is of secret and sensitive nature and it asks for information on a matter prejudicial to the integrity and security of the country”.

Senator Farhatullah Babar said that either the agencies were operating beyond the ambit of law or if there was any law it should have been produced before the Parliament and urged the Court to direct the government to produce the relevant law regulating the functioning of the agencies.

If secret and sensitive issues were involved these could be discussed in camera but it could not be said that the law itself was secret and could not be disclosed even to the Members of Parliament who as legislators are supposed to make laws, he averred.

He said that as member of Parliament he had also tried various parliamentary instruments to find out the legislative basis and discuss the conduct of intelligence agencies but was not allowed.

He deposed that the assertion that the agencies operated beyond the realm of law was also reinforced in July last year when the defence ministry took the position before the Sindh High Court that the intelligence agencies were under their administrative control but their operations were not under its control.

Farhatullah Babar had submitted his petition pleading to be a party to the case of missing persons on behalf of the Peoples Democracy Institute, an affiliate of the Shaheed Bhutto Foundation.

The grounds of petition said that even after the suo moto notice taken by the Honorable Supreme Court citizens continue to disappear mysteriously with no trace whatsoever. Some of the most recent kidnappings include one Mr. Afzal Dilbar a 17-year old matric student and President of the Baloch Students Organization in Pasni along with three friends named Gul Muhammad, Shabbir and Muhammad. Reportedly they were picked up by the SHO Trump Police Station on February 15, 2007 in Tehsil Tump, District Kech, Balochistan who then handed them over to the Frontier Constabulary. It has also been reported that the family members of disappeared victims approached the Tump police station but no FIR was registered.

Another case of mysteriously disappeared person after the SC took suo moto notice was that of Noor Jan from the same district. He too was picked up by members of law enforcing agencies in plain clothes from Ghulam Nabi Petrol Pump, Salala Bazaar Tehsil Turbat, District Kech in Balochistan on February 9, 2007. Since then Jan’s whereabouts remain unknown.

The petition said that there are reasonable suspicions that citizens and non-citizens may have actually been kidnapped by the security agencies ostensibly for fighting the war on terror but allegedly for collecting bounty.

The petition maintains that a case about ISI using public funds to engineer political landscape has been pending before the Supreme Court since 1997 and prayed that it be taken up.

The petition prays for directions for the setting up of “institutional framework for the control and guidance of intelligence agencies so as to stop them from setting their own agendas and themselves defining parameters of their activities and areas of operations”.

It further prayed for directions to make a law “to guide and control the working of the intelligence agencies and subject them to scrutiny by relevant Parliamentary committees”.

It also prays for the “setting up of a Commission comprising of members of Parliament, Judges and human rights activists to look into the issues of disappeared person, effect recovery of the missing, investigate whether some people had been kidnapped allegedly for bounty collection and to identify individuals involved in such disappearances”

The petitioner urged the apex court to bring to justice those involved in mysterious disappearances and torturing city.

Leading Retailer Selects March Networks Professional Retail Services to Optimize Business Intelligence

Leading Retailer Selects March Networks Professional Retail Services to Optimize Business Intelligence

OTTAWA, April 20 /CNW Telbec/ - March Networks(TM) (TSX:MN; AIM:MNW), a
leading provider of IP-based video surveillance solutions, announced today
that one of the largest retailers in the United States has selected March
Networks Professional Retail Services for approximately 1,200 of its stores.
The consulting and software maintenance services will enable the retailer
to extract maximum value from March Networks business intelligence software
already in use in the stores to reduce shrink, decrease in-store risk and
improve overall store performance.
The services include implementation management, shrink assessment, store
audits, and transaction profiling customization. They also include upgrading
the web-based data mining software to ensure that the retailer benefits from
the newest application features and capabilities.
Progressive retailers use March Networks advanced video management and
data analysis solutions to combat inventory shrinkage, which costs retailers
$37 billion annually in the U.S. alone. Video surveillance and Point-of-Sale
(POS) transaction data monitoring are the two most widely used shrink
management technologies, according to a 2006 security and loss prevention
study.

"Businesses today require comprehensive visual and business intelligence
solutions that go well beyond high performance technology," said Peter Strom,
President and CEO of March Networks. "This is further proof that our unique
ability to deliver a complete loss prevention solution through the combination
of innovative software and professional services continues to lead the
industry."

About March Networks

March Networks(TM) (TSX:MN; AIM:MNW) is a leading provider of innovative
video and data applications used for security surveillance, monitoring,
analysis and business optimization. The company's software and IP-based
hardware solutions allow businesses to increase operational efficiencies,
address risk, and manage assets with an integrated set of video-based
intelligence tools and business intelligence applications. The ISO 9001:2000
certified company serves the needs of leading financial institutions,
retailers, transportation authorities, commercial/industrial organizations and
government/homeland security agencies in approximately 50 countries throughout
the world. For more information, please visit www.marchnetworks.com.

India: The Islamization of the Northeast

Source: STRATFOR

April 20, 2007 21 08 GMT


Summary

India's insurgent-ridden northeastern region has long given foreign powers a gamut of exploitable secessionist movements to use to prevent India from emerging as a major global player. Though India has grown accustomed to the ongoing volatility in its northeastern corridor, growing Islamization in the region -- spurred by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency and instability in neighboring Bangladesh -- will give New Delhi a good reason to pay closer attention to its porous northeastern border.

Analysis

Northeastern India is a region wracked by secessionist violence, where wide networks of drug smuggling, extortion and arms trafficking run rampant. India has traditionally dealt with the myriad secessionist movements through force, fearing that any concessions made to one group would only exacerbate the others' secessionist tendencies and further undermine the country's territorial integrity.

The balkanization of the region and the constant drain on Indian resources required to deal with these rebel movements was all part of the United Kingdom's blueprint for the Indian subcontinent to prevent its former colony from developing a strong national identity and emerging as a major Asiatic power. Up until the partition in 1947, the British played a major role in encouraging tribal, ethnic, religious and linguistic identities, and in isolating various tribal groups from the mainland and the plains areas in Assam for the British East India Co. to secure its commercial enterprise.



Pakistan did not hesitate to jump in where the British left off in the post-partition period, and has since used its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency to fund, train and arm these rebel groups in order to keep India's hands tied. The largest and most powerful of the northeast secessionist movements is the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA). Once a student movement with populist aims to redistribute the state's oil wealth, ULFA has gradually changed into what appears to be a moneymaking machine with a strong willingness to do the ISI's bidding. ULFA runs an impressive extortion racket in the northeast, where Assam's tea plantation owners and corporate leaders are regularly targeted.

The group maintains that its armed campaign will not let up until the Indian government engages it in unconditional peace talks. Yet, when New Delhi makes such an offer, ULFA usually responds with a bombing, as was the case in the April 9 bomb attack near Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's motorcade in the Assamese capital of Guwahati. ULFA's leadership understands that New Delhi is not about to reward the armed movement with political concessions, and does not wish to disturb the financial networks it has running throughout the region. Moreover, to preserve their militant proxy, the group's handlers in both Pakistan's and Bangladesh's intelligence services have told ULFA not to hold peace talks with the Indian government.

Pakistan's ISI, in cooperation with Bangladesh's Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), appears to be investing a considerable amount of resources in solidifying India's militant corridor. There are growing indications that these two agencies are working clandestinely in Bangladesh to bring all the northeast-based insurgent outfits and jihadist elements under one umbrella. The ISI has facilitated cooperation between ULFA and other northeastern militant outfits with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, Islamist militant groups in Kashmir, Islamist groups in Bangladesh and a growing number of al Qaeda-linked jihadist groups operating in the region.

Religion, ethnicity and ideology lose relevance within this militant network, as each group has a common interest in furthering their militant and financial capabilities by working together. For example, Tigers cadres organize training camps in the northeast and use their maritime contacts to assist ULFA in transporting arms and narcotics up to Cambodia in ULFA-owned shrimp trawlers that operate out of Bangladesh's Chittagong port. The Tigers have also been known to train Maoist rebels in Nepal and India at camps in the jungles of India's eastern state of Bihar.

ULFA's growing links with Bangladeshi Islamists and jihadist elements in the area are increasingly coming to light. The April 9 attack timed with Singh's visit to Assam marked the group's first-ever suicide bombing, a tactic that was pioneered by the Tigers (a non-Islamist, majority Hindu group) and has been frequently employed by Islamist militants. Prior to the attack, ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa warned that New Delhi's offer for unconditional peace talks was not acceptable, and that that ULFA cadres "have reached such a stage they would strap bombs on their chest and attack." ULFA's adoption of suicide bombing looks to be the result of the group's increased Islamization caused by collusion with Islamist outfits in the region. The bomber in the April 9 suicide attack was Ainul Ali, a Muslim. Indian security sources revealed that ULFA did not have many Muslim cadres in its fold in the past, but the increasing flow of Bangladeshi refugees across the border has given the group more -- and more capable -- members willing to sacrifice their lives for the group's cause with nudging from the ISI.

Collaboration between ULFA and the Islamist militants will expand further, as political conditions in Bangladesh appear to be indirectly contributing to the empowerment of Islamists there. Using the Pakistani military regime as an example, Bangladeshi army chief Lt. Gen. Moeen U. Ahmed is reasserting the army's role in Bangladeshi politics -- which have long suffered from a bitter political feud between the family dynasties represented by the Awami League, led by Sheikh Hasina, and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by Begum Khaleda Zia. With both party leaders driven into exile, a political vacuum has started to take root in the country, and Bangladesh's Islamist parties are anxiously waiting to fill it.

India will be taking note of these political developments in Dhaka, though there is not much New Delhi can or wants to do to intervene. As a result, New Delhi is facing a bleak situation in which the ISI's maneuvers and Bangladesh's political troubles are sure to further constrain India's ability to dig itself out of the militant trap Pakistan has set

Christian Rightwing leader John Dayal launched Hindutva Watch


From: johndayal@... < johndayal@...>
Date: 16 Apr 2007 20:59:14 -0700
Subject: [indiathinkersnet] Launch of Hindutva Watch
To: indiathinkersnet@yahoogroups.com

Launch of `Hindutva Watch'

Dear Friends

I and like minded friends, among them senior academics who are experts in this subject, are launching this group to share information, authentc on-record data about the Hindutva parivar and its group organisations. This will be interest to writers, Journalists, Academics, Civil society and Freedom of Faith advocacy groups, Dalit activists and the Church at large .

If you are interest, kindly send en email at the followoing addresses

Thank you very much

John Dayal


Web address:
http://groups.google.com/group/hindutva-watch



John Dayal was exposed by Francois Gauter in this letter



Letter to Dr John Dayal

Member: National Integration Council

Government of India, in response to the letter he wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Dear John Dayal,

I am a westerner and a born Christian. I was mainly brought up in catholic schools, my uncle, Father Guy Gautier, a gem of a man, was the parish head of the beautiful Saint Jean de Montmartre church in Paris ; my father, Jacques Gautier, a famous artist in France, and a truly good person if there ever was one, was a fervent catholic all his life, went to church nearly every day and lived by his Christian values. There are certain concepts in Christianity I am proud of: charity for others, the equality of social systems in many western countries, Christ’s message of love and compassion…

Yet, when I read your letter to the Prime Minister, Shri Manmohan Singh, à propos the inaugural meeting of the National Integration Council, I was a little uneasy. First, you seem to assume that you are speaking for the entire Christian community in India. But I know many Christians in this country, and they never voice the grievances you so loudly proclaim. In fact, I have found that most Christians in India are not only happy to live in this country of traditional tolerance, but that they are also different from many Christians in the world : more multicultural and ecumenist in spirit, maybe.

Then, you speak of the marginalized Dalits. I agree that there are still unforgivable atrocities committed against Dalits, although very often they are done by backward castes themselves. I remember during the Tsunami in Pondichery, how the Vanniars, an OBC caste, stopped the Dalit from a coastal hamlet, to cross their part of the village to bury their dead, as the Dalits’ cremation ground had been submerged. At the same time, my 30 years in India have taught me that nowhere in the world has there been so much effort to rectify a wrong, from 1947 onwards. This resulted in a Dalit, K.R. Narayanan, who just died, born in a poor village of Kerala, to become President of India, one of the highest posts in this nation. Has a black man ever been President of the US ? Reservations for Dalits, have made it possible for them to access education and jobs, regardless of their merits – and this is a unique feature of India today.

You continue by saying that “The agenda draftsmen of papers for NIC seem to believe that forcible and fraudulent conversions (to Christianity) are the main cause of civil unrest in tribal and other rural areas”. And you retort that « this is a malicious myth propagated by obscurantist and fundamentalist - and often violent - political groups », meaning Hindu groups, of course.
I have to disagree with you on two points: One, I have seen with my own eyes how conversions in India are not only highly unethical, that is using unethical means of conversion, but also that they threaten a whole way of life, erasing centuries of tradition, customs, wisdom, teaching people to despise their own religion and look westwards to a culture which is alien to them, with disastrous results. Look what happened to countries like Hawaï, or to the extraordinary Aztec culture in South America, after Portuguese and Spanish missionaries took over ! Look how the biggest drug problems in India are found in the North East, or how Third World countries which have been totally Christianized, have lost all moorings and bearing and are drifting away without nationalism and self-pride.

Secondly, I think that people like you show very little gratefulness to that Hindu ethos, which has seeped into Indian Christian consciousness. It is because of that Hindu ethos, which accepts that God may manifest Himself at different times in different names, that Christians were welcomed in India in the first century – indeed the Syrian Christians of Kerala constituted the first Christian community in the world. It is because of this inbred tolerance in Hinduism that Christianity and many other persecuted minorities in the world, flourished and practiced their religion in peace in India throughout the centuries. But how do Christians thank the Hindus ? When the Jesuits arrived in India with Vasco de Gama, they committed terrible persecutions, particularly in Goa, crucifying Brahmins, marrying forcibly local girls to Portuguese soldiers, razing temples to build churches and splitting the Kerala Christian community in two. And today, people like you continue ranting against Hindus and promoting unethical conversions, using the massive power of the dollars donated by ignorant Westerners, who do not know that their money is used to lure innocent tribals and Dalits, who still possess that all encompassing acceptance of all Gods. towards another religion.

Furthermore, you use false statistics, saying for instance that nuns have been raped. You no doubt allude to the Jabhua rape case, when courts have shown that these nuns were not raped by Hindus, but by Christians tribals. I know, I went there and interviewed these innocent souls. And who has been hijacking the educational system in India ? Not the Hindus, as you accuse, but the Christians, who control much of the higher education in India and by subtle and not so subtle means, poison the minds of the students, teaching them to look down on their own culture and look up to whatever is western - even if it has already failed in the West. In how many schools and hospitals in India today, the Bible is read at the beginning of each day, each session ? Would you approve of the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible of 850 millions Hindus being read in Christian schools in the West to Christian students and nurses ?

Finally, when you say: “God bless you, you Government, and God bless India », which God are you talking about ? Is it Jesus Christ ? But the message of Christ was one of Love, of respecting other’s cultures and creed - not of utilizing devious and unethical means for converting people. It is false to say that Jesus is the only “true” God. As Hindus rightly believe, the Divine has manifested Himself throughout the ages under different names and identities, whether it is Christ, Buddha, Krishna or Mohamed. Let this be the motto of the National Integration Council of India.

FRANCOIS GAUTIER

Rahul Gandhi is Political Novice indeed



'No one should write off anyone in politics. My brother will prove him (Mulayam) wrong with time and days to come,' Priyanka Vadra said referring to a statement made by UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav that Rahul is a political novice.

Well winning and loosing is part and parcel of politics , however the issue here is Rahul's political novice indeed . Open records are proof of that , Rahul gandhi has no opinion on any of the burning issues , he hardly debated on any topic in the parliament. It is said that he spoke 2 times in 30 months in the parliament .


On Rahul's controversial statements, including the one on the division of Pakistan, Priyanka said, ''he knows history very well.''Again this is a clever tact of deviating public attention . Knowing History and public speaking are two different things , this "western educated" , "scion of Nehru dynasty" should learn how to speak in public . I guess his tutors need to pay special attention on his public speaking . Public never forget his other interviews where he bosted that he could have become Prime Minister at the age of 26.



The Art of Public Speaking


Stephen E. Lucas

ISBN: 007256296x
Copyright year: 2004


The Art of Public Speaking is the leading text for public speaking courses. Whether a novice or an experienced speaker, every student will learn how to be a better public speaker through Lucas' clear explanations and thorough coverage. The text's Annotated Instructor's Edition, Instructor's Manual, Test Bank, CDs, videos, and other supplements provide instructors the tools needed to create a dynamic classroom; this edition also boasts a new supplement that meets the needs of online classes.

April 20, 2007

Missing Baloch activists

LETTERS:

Post letters to Letters to the Editor, The Daily Times, 41-N, Industrial Area, Gulberg II, Lahore, Pakistan Phone: 92-42-5878614-19; Fax: 92-42-5878620 E-mail: letters@dailytimes.com.pk Letters may be edited for length and clarity

Missing Baloch activists

Sir: I recently learnt through an English daily that activists of the Baloch Students Organisation held a demonstration at the end of their three-day token hunger strike against the military operation, arrests of political workers and students and police raids on the houses of Baloch youth. They stated that international intervention would be required to curb the security forces’ tyranny against the Baloch people. They demanded the release of all political activists, including BNP-Mengal chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal and Chairman of the Baloch National Movement Ghulam Mohammad Baloch. They protested against the killing of hundreds of Baloch, women, men and children in the military operations in Dera Bugti, Kohlu, Kahan and other areas of the province. They also mentioned that thousands of youth had either gone missing or were arrested, during these operations.

The protesting Baloch youth vehemently expressed the fact that the current government is desperately failing to make sincere efforts in Balochistan. Under these circumstances, efforts for economic advancement through the Gwadar port city, hence the predicted advancement of Balochistan will only reach a few pockets.

Shouldn’t human life and dignity take precedence over material progress? Any effort towards the progress of Balochistan will not be successful without recovering the missing Baloch leaders, activists and youth.
MALIHA MALIK
Lahore

Virginia Tech Killer Was a Massacre-Videogame User

PRESS RELEASE
Virginia Tech Killer Was a Massacre-Videogame User; EIR Has Shown This in Past Multiple-Shooting Cases

April 18, 2007 (EIRNS)--The following was reported April 17, 2007 by Washington Post reporters Debbi Wilgoren, Sari Horwitz, and Robert E. Pierre, under the headline, "Centreville Student Was Va. Tech Shooter": "... Several Korean youths who knew Cho Seung Hui from his high school days said he was a fan of violent video games, particularly Counterstrike, a hugely popular online game, in which players join terrorism or counterterrorism groups and try to shoot each other...."

Just such a phenomenon has been reported by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, and by EIR, since 1999, in analyses and interviews with experts on mass shootings in recent years.

The above report was obtained by searching the washingtonpost.com website for the word "counterstrike." But this reportage was removed by the Post in the article as published — the article to which the reader is directed when clicking on the above search result. The final article is headlined, "Student Wrote About Death and Spoke in Whispers, But No One Imagined What Cho Seung Hui Would Do" with the byline,

"By Ian Shapira and Michael E. Ruane
"Washington Post Staff Writers
"Wednesday, April 18, 2007
"BLACKSBURG, Va., April 17 —"

Executive Intelligence Review has established an international reputation for expertise on the subject of the role of these violent video-games in producing cold killers.

In the case of the April 26, 2002 massacre at the Johann Gutenberg Gymnasium in Erfurt, Germany, 16 people were killed before the shooter, Robert Steinhäuser, committed suicide. EIR reported May 10, 2002, the shooter's "mind had been conditioned by his obsession with killer video/computer games, such as "Ninja," "Doom," and "Counterstrike" (produced by the notorious firm, Sierra Entertainment). When he carried out his massacre, he was dressed in black with a black mask, imitating the Ninja warriors found in such killer games. A police raid on Steinhäuser's room found many such killer video games."

Within moments of learning of the Virginia Tech shootings, Lyndon LaRouche posed a series of key questions about the incident, including the question of whether the shooter was addicted to violent video games. The LaRouche comments were posted on the LPAC website at 9:51 AM EDT on April 17.

April 17 (LPAC)--Commenting on the breakind news of the Virginia Tech shootings on April 16, Lyndon LaRouche stressed that the pattern and profile is important to unlock the event. Were the shootings random, or aimed at specific targets? How many shots were fired at each victim; e.g. reports that most victims died from one shot indicates a very high level of accuracy. Was there video or Internet shooting training involved? We have seen this kind of campus-based mass shootings before as in Columbine in 1999, or Paducah, Kentucky before that, where the video gaming played an important part. Was the level of apparent planning, and skill reflective of a military and/or law enforcement training?

What were the flaws in the security procedures? It has been reported that there were bomb threats on the campus in the past couple of weeks. Was there a breakdown of security procedures, on April 16, after the first early morning shooting — and why? At one point there was a "lockdown" of the campus, which was then lifted.

LaRouche said that this incident can be used by those who want to impose a dictatorship for those purposes in the context of a national and international security alert.

US Air Force official testifies on UAV executive agent issue

by Staff Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Audio Transcripts

4/20/2007 - WASHINGTON (AFNEWS) -- The deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance explained why Air Force leaders support the idea of creating an executive agency for unmanned aerial vehicles before the House Armed Services air and land forces subcommittee April 19 here.

Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula joined other Department of Defense representatives in providing testimony to the HASC.

Testimony of David A.Deptula

The plan, originally proposed by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley, calls for the Air Force to oversee the fielding, integration, and operation of medium- to high-altitude UAVs (those that operate above the coordinating altitude, notionally 3,500 feet). The executive agency plan would streamline acquisition, employment and overall mission effectiveness, General Deptula said.

For example, although the Air Force already had the MQ-1 Predator in active use, the Army performed its own research and development for the MQ-1C Warrior, a derivative of the Predator that's produced by the same contractor. The Navy and Marines are also looking for new systems, and so hopefully there is a lesson to be learned, General Deptula said.

"We want to work in a unified fashion when purchasing these systems," the general said. "Doing so would be more cost-effective, freeing up funds for other programs across all the services."

Without an executive agency, the services will likely continue their separate design and procurement efforts, and the DOD will have forfeited the considerable savings it could have realized. Additionally, DOD will have lost an opportunity to create and harness the interservice synergies that would result from building upon -- rather than duplicating -- each service's strengths, General Moseley said.

The subcommittee members were most interested in why the Air Force believes there should be an executive agency at all. The other service representatives gave their rationale as to why they oppose the idea.

While the controversial proposal has met with skepticism from the other branches of service, the commander of the Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems (JUAS) Center of Excellence (COE) said had "not put as much effort into defining 'executive agency' as they could have," nor did they seek much input from combatant commanders.

General Deptula stressed the agency would not solely be an Air Force operation, but would include other service participation and leverage the work of the JUAS COE and the Army's UAV COE. Executive agency efforts would include research, development, test and evaluation activities, procurement, logistics, and training to "achieve efficiencies and gain effectiveness.

"Each of the services has their expertise," General Deptula said. "It works best when a joint commander can reach out and utilize all of the options at hand."

Iran, US take their fight to Afghanistan

Iran, US take their fight to Afghanistan
By M K Bhadrakumar

Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, is not beyond making gaffes. When the clever editors of the Chicago Tribune recently prompted him to discuss his former commander-in-chief Bill Clinton's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy on homosexuality among US servicemen, Pace responded that homosexuality was as "immoral" as adultery.

Senator Hillary Clinton, among others, promptly objected. For a week, it seemed Pace elbowed out the killing fields of Iraq from the great American debate.

Therefore, it might seem at first glance Pace was making a ridiculous gaffe on Tuesday when he implied Iran could be arming the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan. Pace told reporters in Washington, "We know there are munitions that were made in Iran that are in Iraq and Afghanistan. Either the leadership in that country knows what their armed forces are doing, or that they don't know. And in either case, that's a problem." Pace added that Iranian-made mortars and C-4 explosives were intercepted in Kandahar.

But it is well known in the Afghan bazaar that the country is awash with Iranian weapons that were supplied to Northern Alliance groups during the anti-Taliban resistance in the late 1990s. The London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting has been monitoring erstwhile Northern Alliance groups based in the north of Afghanistan clandestinely selling their stockpiles of weapons to the Taliban. A north-south corridor of arms smuggling seems to be in place. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) contingents have independently confirmed such smuggling.

There was nothing new about weapons with Iranian markings being found in Kandahar. Was Pace making another gaffe? No, Pace cannot be unaware of the lay of the land in the Afghan war zone. He must be a good soldier to hold such high office. But, as Bertolt Brecht wrote in his famous play The Caucasian Chalk Circle, "A good soldier has his heart and soul in it. When he receives an order, he gets a hard-on, and when he drives his lance into the enemy's guts, he comes."

Pace was speaking on orders. No sooner had he spoken than three senior officials of the George W Bush administration took over - Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher and White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Perino essentially kept Bush out of the controversy, but what was interesting was that Gates and Boucher spoke while traveling abroad in regions relevant to Iran and the Afghan war. Gates was in Cairo, and Boucher spoke while on a visit to Brussels aimed at drumming up European support for the Afghan war.

Gates was categorical about Iranian government involvement. He then proceeded to discuss the Iranian government's Afghan policy. Gates said, "We don't know at what level this has been approved by the Iranian government or in the Iranian government. We don't know the magnitude of the assistance. It's obviously troubling and worrisome that the Iranians may be deciding to counter the efforts of some 42 nations in Afghanistan to establish a strong democratic state. So we'll watch it very closely."

Evidently, Gates went overboard by inviting the US's allies and friends to join in his condemnation of Tehran. Indeed, it strains credulity that the Iranian government has taken a virtual u-turn in its policy toward the Taliban. Iran is a big player in Afghanistan. It has thoughtfully exploited any new opportunities in the past five years to spread its influence and ideas within Afghanistan. Iran has pursued a nuanced strategy where various elements and policy instruments have been brought into almost optimal interplay - reconstruction, education, propaganda, good-neighborliness, trade, investment, economic interdependence and religion and ethnicity.

Conceivably, like any other outside power, Iran would keep up a certain tempo of intelligence activity inside Afghanistan in the nature of surveillance, information-gathering, and recruitment of agents.

Iran has made no bones that its Afghan policy is essentially three-pronged. First, Iran must hasten the vacation of the American military presence in Afghanistan. Second, everything possible should be done to ensure that the Taliban don't regain power in Kabul. Third, it is in Iran's historical, cultural and geopolitical interest to ensure that western Afghanistan remains in its sphere of influence.

But despite its self-image as an ascendant regional power, Iran has relied on soft power in advancing its policy objectives. In 2006, Iran issued close to half a million visas to Afghan nationals to visit Iran. Its contribution to Afghan reconstruction has been stunning - almost nearing US$1 billion.

Iran decided to live with President Hamid Karzai's enduring links with the security establishment in Washington. Iranian mediation was crucial in his induction into Kabul five years ago. Iran pretended it didn't notice that the US lowered the bar of democracy for getting Karzai elected as president. And, all the while, it kept counseling Shi'ite leaders to cooperate with Karzai.

Iranian propaganda doesn't berate Karzai's government for being ineffectual or corrupt, even though Tehran is uneasy about the aggravation of the Afghan situation. Unsurprisingly, Karzai visualizes Tehran as a balancing factor in Kabul's troubled equations with Islamabad. Out of all Afghanistan's neighbors, apart from New Delhi perhaps, it has been with Tehran that Karzai's government has kept up steady exchanges at the political level.

Kabul has time and again indicated that it has its perspectives on friendly relations with Iran, which are based on the imperatives of Afghanistan's national interests, no matter the tensions between Washington and Tehran. Similarly, Tehran appreciates that Karzai's government has its limitations in influencing US activities on Afghan soil directed against Iranian interests. Even with regard to the removal of Ismail Khan from the post of governor of Herat two years ago, Iran decided to take the US-engineered move in its stride.

Tehran has a fundamental problem with the Taliban's virulent anti-Shi'ite ideology - the main reason why Saudi Arabia and the US found the Taliban movement attractive in the mid-1990s. The Iranian leadership will not easily forget or forgive the Taliban for massacring (often burying alive) thousands of Shi'ites in the Hazarajat region and in northern Afghanistan during its years in power in Kabul. In Mazar-i-Sharif in 1997, when the Taliban executed eight Iranian diplomats, Tehran came close to war.

Without doubt, Iran was a principal backer of the Northern Alliance. Tehran not only rendered huge amounts of material and military assistance to the Northern Alliance groups, then-Iranian special envoy Alae'ddin Broujerdi (presently chairman of the Majlis' - Parliament's - foreign affairs and security commission) was a frequent visitor to the Amu Darya region and Panjshir Valley, cajoling and motivating the anti-Taliban resistance. Without Broujerdi's persuasive skill, Northern Alliance groups, ridden with petty jealousies and personality conflicts and turf problems, would have unraveled.

Thus, as the Guardian newspaper reported quoting Western officials in Kabul, what Gates said "is all a war of words. It has very little basis in reality." The remarks by Boucher corroborate the British daily's impression. "We have been seeing a series of indicators that Iran may be getting more involved in an unhealthy way in Afghanistan," Boucher said in carefully calibrated language.

He maintained, "I don't want to overstate it. We have seen these things that I've noted; the weapons that General Pace talked about show up in Afghanistan; seen reports of political involvement by Iran, and these are things that we are watching very carefully." But Boucher refrained from finger-pointing: "We don't know exactly who is doing this and why but we know that these are Iranian-origin weapons that have shown up in the hands of the Taliban."

By Iran's "political involvement", Boucher seemed to refer to the formation of the so-called National Front (NF) in Kabul a fortnight ago, which bears a striking resemblance to the defunct Northern Alliance but seeks reconciliation with the Taliban. Not only is the National Front headed by former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, but other Northern Alliance leaders have joined it as a collective leadership - Ahmad Zia Masoud, Mohammad Qasim Fahim, Yunus Qanooni, Karim Khalili, Rashid Dostum, Mohammed Mohaqiq, Ismail Khan, among others.

Tehran's role, if any, in the NF's formation; the timing of the NF's formation; the NF's demand for national reconciliation with the Taliban; its willingness to accommodate Gulbuddin Hekmatyar; its forays into Karzai's Pashtun base (the NF includes Mustafa Zahir, grandson of former king Zahir Shah) - all these are nagging questions. On top of all this, it must have exasperated Washington to no end that Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is preparing to make a visit to Kabul in the near future.

It shouldn't come as a surprise if Iran's Afghan policy is beginning to turn in a widening gyre even while on the well laid out five-year-old track. One thing is beyond doubt. Tehran must be regretting its role in establishing a post-Taliban regime in Kabul under American influence. Characteristic of the American philosophy of "winner-takes-it-all", once American control over the Kabul regime was legitimized internationally, Washington began seeking a rollback of Tehran's influence in Afghanistan, including in the western provinces.

Of late, details have begun to emerge that American intelligence has been training and equipping anti-Iranian terrorists belonging to the so-called Jundollah in camps inside Afghanistan. The Voice of America recently interviewed Jundollah leader Abdul Malek Rigi. He is a wanted by Tehran for several kidnappings and over 50 killings. In the latest incident, on March 25, Jundollah terrorists blocked the Zahedan-Zabol highway in Sistan-Balochistan province, killing 22 people, injuring six others and taking eight people as hostages. Later, four of these hostages were killed and the video footage of their killing was broadcast on a number of Arab television channels.

The leadership in Tehran has sized up the unprecedented nature of the US threat to the Islamic regime. Iranian rhetoric is beginning to resemble the stridency of the early years of the 1979 revolution when imam Ruhollah Khomeini fought off wave after wave of US assaults aimed at crippling the Islamic regime.

Once again, like during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, pro-Western Arab regimes are falling in line with the US diktat. Saudi Arabia's historic compromise in making the Arab League enter into talks with Israel virtually opens the way for Riyadh to have overt dealings with Tel Aviv in the near future on the pretext of discussing a settlement of the Palestinian problem. Washington is all but clinching a Saudi-Egyptian-Jordanian-Israeli arc of hostility toward Iran.

Meanwhile, the huge US military buildup in the Persian Gulf region continues. Gates just concluded a visit to Israel - the first such visit by a US defense secretary in the past eight years.

Tehran understands that despite the talk of a "diplomatic solution", Bush is ratcheting up tensions. Given the Democratic Party's close links with the Israeli lobby, it endorses Vice President Dick Cheney's line that "all options are on the table" when it comes to making Iran bend. In such a dangerous scenario, Tehran will not act impetuously. Persians do not behave like Texan cowboys - "my-enemy's-enemy-is-my-friend". It is illogical that Iran would open a new front in Afghanistan, either.

Besides, Iran estimates carefully that any link-up with the Taliban (and al-Qaeda), howsoever tactical, could have unforeseen long-term consequences. Also, Iranians have a fairly accurate assessment of the complexities of the US's dealings with the Taliban. Iranians have all long suspected that there is a convergence of interests between the US, Britain and Pakistan to keep the Afghan war going at a certain level of intensity as a justification for perpetuating the Western military presence in the region.

Without doubt, Tehran realizes that continued American occupation of Afghanistan is irreconcilable with its vital interests and core concerns. But, at the same time, Afghanistan's long-term stability is of utmost concern to Tehran. Thus, the Iranian reaction to the US support for terrorism will be measured and proportionate. The Iranians know that the Afghan war is largely a war dominated by spin.

We may expect that Iran will use all its influence in Afghanistan, which is quite considerable, to make Washington realize that its support of terrorism from Afghan soil comes at a heavy price. Pace unlikely thought through before he spoke on Iranian support of the Taliban. But, then, as Frederick the Great once said, if his soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks.

M K Bhadrakumar served as a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service for over 29 years, with postings including India's ambassador to Uzbekistan (1995-1998) and to Turkey (1998-2001).
Asia Times Online :: Middle East News - Iran, US take their fight to Afghanistan

Why the West pretends Pakistan is a democracy

By Isambard Wilkinson, from Islamabad.
The Telegraph, UK
March 21, 2007

America has set Pakistan's president, Gen Pervez Musharraf, a daunting
task: America's key ally in the war on terror must hold "free and fair"
elections.

But the general's electioneering has got off to a shaky start. His
attempt to dismiss the head of Pakistan's judiciary, Iftikhar Chaudhry,
10 days ago, has prompted the most damaging challenge to his authority
since he seized power in 1999.

Chaudhry, the Chief Justice, has refused to stand down, thousands of
black-suited lawyers and political activists have clashed with
cane-wielding policemen, and half a dozen judges have resigned.

Chaudhry irked the government on numerous occasions, but it was his
refusal to offer assurances of a compliant judiciary ahead of elections
that led to this attempted dismissal. His suspension has further eroded
Pakistan's institutions and mobilised civil society at a time when Gen
Musharraf is looking increasingly isolated.

Pakistan's volatility was underscored last September when a national
power cut led to rumours of a coup. "Is our country a banana republic?"
the Pakistani leader asked at the time. Now horse-trading and rigging
are already under way in preparation for the general elections early
next year; Gen Musharraf will stand unchallenged and be re-elected by
Pakistan's pro-government assemblies.

While the result is a foregone conclusion, "a curious fiction is kept up
among the foreign representatives" , as Graham Greene had it.

This fiction not only glosses over America's strategy of backing a
military ruler, but also obscures its contribution to Pakistan's
instability. The current crisis is another spark from the slow-motion
collision between the superpower and its vassal state, which was set off
when Gen Musharraf reluctantly agreed to turn his back on the Taliban
after America threatened to bomb Pakistan "back to the Stone Age".

The president placated America, which has bankrolled his government with
$10 billion over the past five years, by adhering to its demands to hunt
down Islamic militants and deal with powerful pro-jihad Islamic groups -
often with links to military intelligence services - who have tried
three times to kill him. But in recent months, American officials have
expressed increasing frustration with Pakistan's inability to crack down
on militants, as Islamic radicals further destabilise the country by
launching attacks against Pakistani officials and civilians.

Both American houses of Congress have passed legislation linking the
disbursement of aid to Pakistan with action against militants, but
President Bush's Administration, wary of undermining their man, has
assured Pakistanis that there would be no such restrictions. "We have a
fundamental interest in the success of Pakistan as a moderate, stable,
democratic Muslim nation," said Richard Boucher, an assistant secretary
of state, on a recent visit to Islamabad. "That's the direction that
Musharraf is leading the nation, and we are proud to work with him."

Gen Musharraf will present the planned elections as a battle between the
forces of moderation and obscurantist mullahs who, at their nadir after
the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, won only 11 per cent of the vote.

There is a core conundrum at play here: Pakistan wants to keep alive its
influence in Afghanistan - and thwart India's ambitions - by maintaining
its links with the Taliban; yet by playing on the very real spectre of
Islamic terrorism, Gen Musharraf has ensured a steady flow of American
dollars.

But rather than lead his country towards democracy, he has undermined
secular institutions in a country already threatened by Islamic
extremism. Pakistan's intelligence services, under pressure to serve
America's war on terror imperatives, are acting with impunity and Mr
Chaudhry angered the government by asking the whereabouts of 400
terrorist suspects alleged to be held by the intelligence agencies.

Pakistan is also in deep denial over the side effect of having helped
train tens of thousands of "freelance" jihadis, as Gen Musharraf refers
to them. What is being done to decommission the "strategic asset"?

Pakistan's dismal prospects are reflected in its leadership. The
judicial crisis has strengthened the hand of the country's opposition
leaders, in particular the exiled head of Pakistan's People's Party
(PPP), Benazir Bhutto, who has the popular support to transform angry
protests into a mass movement.

The PPP, which has the blessing of America, given its secular democratic
credentials, is believed to be involved in discreet negotiations with
Gen Musharraf over sharing power. Ms Bhutto and the head of the Muslim
League, Nawaz Sharif, were both discredited in corruption scandals.

Ayub Khan, another America-backed military ruler who imposed martial law
in 1958, told his fellow countrymen: "We must understand that democracy
cannot work in a hot climate. To have democracy we must have a cold
climate like Britain."

Gen Musharraf also understands his country's unsuitability for an exotic
import that he calls a "Western obsession".

America will not insist too much on battling against Pakistan's
prevailing meteorological conditions.

Human Trafficking Vs Human Smuggling

Recent case in arrest of Gujarat M.P. Katara is portrayed as Human Trafficking case by national Media where as it is an example of Human smuggling.
I am submitting a chart showing differences between the Human trafficking and smuggling.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND SMUGGLING

Mahesh Bhagwat IPS
Superintendent of Police
Women Protection Cell
CID, Hyderabad
Andhra Pradesh
India 500004
Contact (040) 23316754
http://www.aasara.blogspot.com

Jihadist Warfare in the Horn of Africa and Beyond

STRATFOR

April 20, 2007 02 00 GMT



A suicide bomber blew up a truck at an Ethiopian army base in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu on Thursday, an attack Somalian Deputy Defense Minister Salad Ali Jelle blamed on al Qaeda elements. The bombing was the third suicide attack in Somalia since June 2006, when hostilities began between the country's interim government and the Supreme Islamic Courts Council (SICC), the group that gained and ultimately lost control of much of the country.

While the first two attacks occurred in the Somalian city of Baidoa and targeted the government of Somalian President Abdullahi Yusuf, Thursday's attack was aimed at the Ethiopian forces that arrived in the country in December 2006 to reinforce the Somalian government's position. The blast, which likely was meant to further the Islamist goals of driving the Ethiopians from Somalia and collapsing Somalia's secular government, came only days after an al Qaeda node staged similar bombings in both Algeria and Morocco. It reveals that al Qaeda's reach has expanded from the Horn of Africa to include the northern part of the continent.

The most recent strike against Ethiopian troops in Mogadishu came a day after three senior Somalian opposition leaders -- former SICC political head Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, former parliamentary speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan and Somalian Deputy Prime Minister and Housing Minister Hussein Mohammed Farah Aided -- met in the Eritrean capital of Asmara to demand Ethiopia withdraw its troops from Somalia or face war. The leaders are notable for their ties to both the SICC and the Hawiye clan that supports the group.

The trio's threat will certainly provoke condemnation from Ethiopia. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's government is deeply hostile toward Eritrea, with whom it fought a 1998-2000 border war. In July, Ethiopia accused the Eritrean government of funneling arms to the SICC, a claim that was repeated April 9 by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer.

However, the threat and the suicide bombing are unlikely to dislodge the Ethiopians, despite that country's desire to reduce its deeply unpopular footprint in Somalia. Though Ugandan peacekeepers are stationed in Somalia, it is the Ethiopian government's willingness to use its own soldiers to fight in Mogadishu that is keeping Yusuf in power. If the Ethiopians were to withdraw, the holdout SICC fighters -- who melted into Mogadishu rather than face a battlefield defeat when Ethiopia invaded Dec. 25, 2006 -- and their warlord allies from the Hawiye clan would quickly overpower Yusuf's militia.

This potential outcome keeps Ethiopia's troops in place. A resurgent SICC victory, in partnership with the dominant Hawiye clan, could allow the group to regain control over its lost territory in southern and central Somalia -- and then some. Former SICC chief Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who survived the Ethiopian invasion along with his deputy, SICC military commander Adan Hashi Ayro, likely would surface from where he is believed to be hiding in Mogadishu to lead this resurgence. Aweys, who has made a career out of fighting Ethiopia, likely would take revenge on the departing Ethiopians by stirring up trouble in the enemy's Ogaden region. Fighting over the Ogaden -- which is comprised of ethnic Somalians -- is what originally sparked Ethiopia's intervention in Somalia.

While the recent suicide bombing in Mogadishu will not achieve its intended goal of driving Ethiopian troops from Somalia, the incident indicates jihadist warfare is now being waged on a broad scale in the Horn of Africa and beyond. Given the April 11 suicide attack in Algeria and the April 17 attack in Morocco, al Qaeda nodes clearly have penetrated a wide and diverse swath of African territory, from ungoverned spaces like Somalia to cosmopolitan capitals in the Maghreb.