October 27, 2007

FIAT EMPIRE - Why the Federal Reserve Violates the U.S. Constitution

This Telly Award-winning documentary, which features presidential candidate RON PAUL, was inspired by the book, "The Creature From Jekyll Island" by author and FREEDOM FORCE founder, G. EDWARD GRIFFIN.

To order a high-quality "Director's Cut" DVD or VHS tape (with up to 160-minutes of unedited ADDITIONAL interviews) go to www.FiatEmpire.com/screener. To instantly download a DVD-quality version of FIAT EMPIRE, go to www.mecfilms.com/mid/orders/fiat4.​htm or www.PAY-PER-VIEW.com.




Find out why some feel the Federal Reserve's practices are a violation of the U.S. Constitution and others feel it's simply "a bunch of organized crooks." Discover why experts agree the Fed is a banking cartel that benefits mainly bankers and their corporate clients as well as a Congress that would rather increase the National Debt to $9 trillion than raise taxes. Find out how the corporate media facilitates the partnership between the Fed and Congress and why it fails to disclose what's going on. Lastly, find out how the Federal Reserve member banks are owned and controlled by an elite group of insiders.

Produced by attorney William L. Van Alen, Jr., this 1-hour documentary is a co-production between Matrixx Productions and Cornerstone Entertainment. In addition to interviews by G. Edward Griffin and Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas), FIAT EMPIRE features interviews with media expert/MOVIEGUIDE founder, DR. TED BAEHR, as well as constitutional attorney, EDWIN VIEIRA, Ph.D., (with four degrees from Harvard). FIAT EMPIRE was written and directed by Hollywood filmmaker, James Jaeger, and narrated by Kris Chandler with music by Jack Rooney. Associate producers are Ted Pollard (author and former Commissioner of Radnor Township); James E. Ewart (well-known author of MONEY) and Kenneth Gullekson (formerly with DISNEY).

For more information on FIAT EMPIRE visit www.FiatEmpire.com or the mirror site at www.mecfilms.com/fiat.



For updates on Matrixx Production's new documentary, ORIGINAL INTENT, and the release of the RON PAUL Volunteer Edition of FIAT EMPIRE, stay tuned to www.mecfilms.com/update.htm

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To make a difference, join FREEDOM FORCE at

India's nuclear co-operation agreement :On the blink



A manifestly obvious headache

Oct 25th 2007 | DELHI
From The Economist

Eyeball to eyeball with the Communists


SINCE he got the job in 2004, Manmohan Singh has never been a strong prime minister of India. He was put in place at the behest of Sonia Gandhi, leader of the Congress party and the coalition it leads, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). Mrs Gandhi is broadly in charge, but the UPA depends on Communist-led leftist parties for a parliamentary majority. This gives the Communists a pivotal role. Though there is nothing undemocratic about this, it has upset the UPA's economic policies and now threatens a cherished deal on civilian nuclear co-operation with America.
AP



As Mr Singh told an audience of visitors from McKinsey, a management consultancy, on October 23rd, competitive politics and fractured mandates have made it “difficult sometimes for us to do what is manifestly obvious”. That statement had particular resonance in a week when it became clear that the nuclear deal, which Mr Singh would argue is a “manifestly obvious” thing to do, has little chance of coming into force.

America is furious. For more than two years George Bush has personally pushed the agreement. Improving relations with India has been one of his chief foreign-policy goals, and the controversial nuclear deal has been his main instrument. This week his administration said it would still like to get the agreement to Congress this year. There is next to no hope of that.

The deal would end a 30-year-old international ban on India's access to peaceful nuclear and other sensitive technologies, including urgently needed uranium for existing nuclear power stations. It would transform America-India relations—and open the door to American companies for lucrative defence, nuclear and other contracts. India's Communists do not like this. They do not want India close to America in political, economic or business terms, and also suspect that a future American government would undermine the deal.



In August the left's opposition, simmering for two years, boiled over. It became a confrontation threatening the government's survival. Mr Singh and Mrs Gandhi have blinked first. On October 12th, without forewarning America, they indicated that they would rather shelve the deal than risk a general election.

With hindsight, they may regret not having called the Communists' bluff in August and sought an immediate general election. Congress would have benefited in the polls from the rudderless confusion of the main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). If returned to power, it could then have revived the nuclear deal before the American presidential election in November next year. America might well have been accommodating. But neither Mrs Gandhi nor Mr Singh had the nerve to take such a gamble against the wishes of their coalition partners. Most of these want to cling to their power and perks until nearer May 2009, the latest an election can be held. And indeed the Communists also want to avoid an early election because they might fare badly.

So there is deadlock. The deal cannot move ahead because of the Communists' opposition, and the government is not falling because no one is yet triggering a general election. The Communists and the UPA will resume formal talks on November 16th. A spring election is being widely forecast, though that would be too late to revive the deal before the American elections. So the agreement Mr Singh negotiated with America seems likely to be sacrificed by a government mainly interested in staying in power. Mr Singh recently seemed poised to resign. But he now seems to shrink from this “manifestly obvious” response to his predicament.

Irregular warfare : After smart weapons, smart soldiers

Oct 25th 2007
From The Economist
Irregular warfare may keep Western armies busy for decades. They will have to adapt if they are to overcome the odds that history suggests they are up against




REBELLION is as old as authority itself, and so therefore is the business of putting it down. Nearly 2,000 years ago Jewish militants—known as Zealots, hence the English word—took up arms against the world's greatest power and terrorised those deemed collaborators. The Romans dealt with the revolt in Palestine in familiar fashion, laying waste any town that resisted, prompting many to commit suicide rather than suffer capture and, in 70AD, destroying the great Temple in Jerusalem and taking its treasures. “While the holy house was on fire,” records Josephus, “everything was plundered that came to hand, and ten thousand of those that were caught were slain...children and old men, and profane persons and priests, were all slain in the same manner.”

Modern Western armies cannot, as the Romans did, make a wasteland and call it peace. Modern wars are complex affairs conducted “among the people” and, as Sir Richard Dannatt, head of the British army, put it recently, “in the spotlight of the media and the shadow of international lawyers”. In Iraq in the 1920s, Britain's air force pioneered the use of “air policing” to put down rebellious tribesmen on the cheap; today the use of air power often carries big political costs. The greater the accuracy of modern weapons, the louder the outcry when they nonetheless kill or wound civilians. And the wider the reach of the internet, the bigger the impact of propaganda videos showing insurgent attacks against Western forces, regardless of civilian casualties. The British who fought the Mahdist religious rebels in Sudan in the 19th century had no need to worry about provoking attacks in London; today such a campaign would be seen as another front in the jihad against the West.

Such bewildering conflict is regarded by some military thinkers as the “fourth generation” of warfare, distinct from those of previous eras: the first generation, of line and column, which culminated with the Napoleonic wars; the second, of machinegun and artillery, which brought about the slaughter of the first world war; and the third, of manoeuvre with tanks and aircraft, which stretched from the second world war to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Fourth-generation warfare, according to Thomas Hammes, a retired colonel in the American marines, involves loose networks, made more powerful and resilient by information technology. It does not seek to defeat the enemy's forces, but instead “directly attacks the minds of the enemy decision-makers to destroy the enemy's political will”.

Many others, though, regard today's conflicts as variations on age-old irregular warfare, not least Mao Zedong's “protracted war” in China, the Spanish guerrilla attacks against Napoleon's forces in Spain, or even America's war of independence from Britain. Whatever the definition, “small wars” can have big effects. In the past six decades the British have been driven out of Palestine, the French from Algeria, the Americans (and French) from Vietnam, the Russians from Afghanistan and the Israelis from Lebanon.

Can America and its Western allies avoid similar humiliation in Iraq and Afghanistan? Martin van Creveld, an Israeli military historian, argues that insurgencies have been almost impossible to defeat ever since Nazi Germany failed to suppress Josip Broz Tito's partisans in Yugoslavia. Winning such wars requires one of two tactics: extreme restraint and patience, as shown by the British over nearly 38 years in Northern Ireland; or extreme brutality, as shown by Syria in 1982 when the army destroyed much of Hama, a stronghold of Islamist rebels, killing at least 10,000 people. Any other method, says Mr van Creveld, risks being too harsh to win the support of the population but not harsh enough to cow it into submission.

This rule is too stark. Experts point to successes such as the end of the insurgency in El Salvador, the collapse of the Shining Path rebels in Peru, the end of the civil wars in Mozambique and Angola, the demise of the Red Brigades in Italy and of the Red Army Faction in Germany. Much of this debate revolves around the meaning of victory and defeat, as well as the definition of counter-insurgency, civil war, counter-terrorism and so on. One school of thought holds that America's forces had largely defeated the Vietcong in Vietnam when its politicians lost the will to stop North Vietnam's conventional army from overrunning the south. That is to miss the point: in counter-insurgency one side can win every battle, yet lose the war.
Lessons unlearnt

Such arguments are a hot topic at Western military colleges, especially in America. More has been written on counter-insurgency in the past four years than in the previous four decades. The study of small wars was largely abandoned by the United States army in the 1970s as commanders promised “no more Vietnams” and concentrated instead on how to defeat the massed Soviet armies. America's humiliating retreats from Lebanon in 1983 and Somalia in 1994 convinced many Americans that, as Colin Powell, a former general (and later secretary of state), once put it, America should not get involved in “half-hearted warfare for half-baked reasons”. The swift ejection of Iraq's forces from Kuwait in 1991 reinforced such beliefs. Counter-insurgency became a secondary task undertaken mainly by American special forces, which sometimes offered training to friendly governments.


Given the difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan, American officers are relearning the history of their own interventions in Latin America and, more important, the lessons of British imperial policing. Why, American experts asked, did Britain succeed against communist revolutionaries in Malaya in the 1950s, whereas America failed to defeat the communists in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s?

In his 2002 book “Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife” (a title drawn from T.E. Lawrence's “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”, describing the messiness of waging “war upon rebellion”), John Nagl, an American lieutenant-colonel, concluded that British soldiers were better than the Americans at learning from their mistakes. General Sir Gerald Templer, the British high commissioner in Malaya, argued that “the shooting side of the business” was only a minor part of the campaign. Coining a phrase, he suggested that the solution “lies not in pouring more troops into the jungle, but in the hearts and minds of the people”. In contrast, says Colonel Nagl, the Americans in Vietnam remained wedded to “unrestrained and uncontrolled firepower”, despite some work with small units that were deployed in border villages and civil-military reconstruction projects.

British officers are less impressed, saying their predecessors often repeated their errors. During the troubles in Northern Ireland, the arrival of British troops in 1969 was at first welcomed by Roman Catholics. But the army's heavy-handed methods, such as large cordon-and-search operations and the shooting of 13 civilians on Bloody Sunday in 1972, pushed many Catholics into the arms of the Provisional Irish Republican Army.

In any event, the American army and marines have produced a new counter-insurgency manual. One of its authors, General David Petraeus, is now in charge of the “surge” in Iraq. It may be too late to turn Iraq round, and Afghanistan could slide into greater violence. But the manual offers some comfort: it says counter-insurgency operations “usually begin poorly”, and the way to success is for an army to become a good “learning organisation”.

According to Mao's well-worn dictum, guerrillas must be like fish swimming in the “water” of the general population. T.E. Lawrence, helping to stir up the Arab revolt against Turkish rule during the first world war, described regular armies as plants, “immobile, firm-rooted, nourished through long stems to the head”. Guerrillas, on the other hand, were like “a vapour”. A soldier, he said, was “helpless without a target, owning only what he sat on, and subjugating only what, by order, he could poke his rifle at”.

Western armies have unsurpassed firepower, mobility and surveillance technology. Guerrillas' main weapons are agility, surprise, the support of at least some sections of the population and, above all, time. The warren of Iraqi streets and the fortified compounds of Afghanistan compensate for the insurgents' technological shortcomings. The manual, however, attempts to change the army mindset: in fighting an enemy “among the people”, it says, the central objective is not to destroy the enemy but to secure the allegiance of the citizenry. All strands of a campaign—military, economic and political—have to be strongly entwined.

Much of this thinking is drawn from the British experience in Malaya, but conditions today are vastly different. In Templer's day, securing “hearts and minds” did not mean just acting with kindness to win the people over; it also included coercion. Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Chinese, among whom the insurgents mainly operated, were uprooted and moved into guarded camps known as “new villages”, where they were offered land. If the British could not find the fish, they resorted to removing the water.

They also sought to starve insurgents by restricting supplies of food to the population. In some areas rations of rice were handed out in cooked form so they would spoil before they could reach fighters in the jungle. Such measures are unthinkable today. Even the building of separation walls to reduce sectarian killings in Baghdad arouses Iraqi opposition. Checkpoints and curfews now have limited impact.

Templer was both the civil and the military boss. He emphasised policing rather than military operations, and the use of indigenous forces. The majority Malay population largely supported the British. In a peninsula, the borders were relatively well controlled and the rebels had few external sources of support. Above all, the British had full sovereignty over Malaya. They could undercut the insurgents' claim to be fighting colonialism by guaranteeing equal rights, and by promising—and eventually granting—independence.

By contrast, the borders of Iraq and Afghanistan are permeable. Some neighbours are either hostile to the West (Iran) or unable to remove insurgent havens (Pakistan). The powers of America's Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq lasted a year, long enough for America to make egregious errors, such as disbanding the Iraqi army and removing former Baathists, but not long enough to correct them.
Discontinuity of command


In Iraq the American effort is split between the military operations overseen by the generals and the civil and political work conducted by the embassy. In Afghanistan leadership is even more divided. There are two separate Western military commands—the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, which provides the bulk of the troops, and the American-led Operation Enduring Freedom, which concentrates on hunting “high-value targets”. Alongside these are a myriad of poorly co-ordinated reconstruction agencies.

Coalitions add further complications. Britain, America's only ally of any military significance in Iraq, is slowly leaving. And in Afghanistan, where boots on the ground are in short supply, NATO is wobbly. Many allies refuse to join a fight that has been waged mainly by American, British and Canadian forces, and several are under domestic pressure to bring their troops home. Overt colonialism has died, and with it have gone the large colonial armies. Counter-insurgency requires large numbers of security forces. But the West's all-volunteer forces have progressively cut expensive manpower in favour of technology. They have become infinitely better at finding and destroying things; but the best source of intelligence on the ground is often the soldier on the street with his “Eyeball mark-1”.

Nationalist and pan-Islamic sentiments are much stronger than in the past. Information technology has helped jihadists spread the “single narrative” that Muslims everywhere are under attack, a contention reinforced by America's rhetoric about the “global war on terror”. The internet provides a new and unassailable sanctuary from which to propagandise, organise and share tactics.

Still, the generals plead for more time. They point to Iraq's Anbar province, where Sunni tribes are turning against al-Qaeda. In Afghanistan, says Britain's General Dannatt, “strategic patience” is essential. American officers quote internal studies showing that it takes nine years on average (and often much longer) to defeat insurgencies. Yet perseverance is no guarantee of victory; many campaigns have taken as long, if not longer, to lose.

A growing body of opinion, both in the Pentagon and outside, has concluded that insurrections are best fought indirectly, through local allies. “It is extremely difficult for Western powers to defeat insurgencies in foreign countries in modern times,” says Max Boot, author of “War Made New” (2006). “At the same time, there are very few instances of insurgencies overthrowing a local government. The problem is that Western armies lose the will to maintain imperial domination.” Western forces always have the option of going home; for local governments, though, fighting insurgents is a matter of survival.

A better model than Malaya, argues Mr Boot, is the end of the Marxist insurrection in El Salvador in 1992. American forces did not lead the fighting. Instead, a small contingent of under 100 advisers from America's special forces helped the democratising government reorganise its army and avoid the fate of nearby Nicaragua, which fell to the Sandinistas in 1979. This approach has its own difficulties: America's reputation was tarnished by right-wing Salvadorean death-squads. In the end it was external political factors—the demise of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, partly caused by an American-backed insurgency, and the collapse of the Soviet Union—that helped bring about a settlement and the incorporation of the guerrillas into a new-found democracy.

David Kilcullen, an Australian colonel and General Petraeus's main adviser on counter-insurgency, says fighting insurgencies in other people's countries is hard. “Running Baghdad is not like trying to police New York City; it's like the Iraqi police trying to run New York City.” Tellingly, he says, Indonesian forces successfully put down an insurrection by the Islamist Darul Islam movement in the 1950s and early 1960s, but could not quell the resistance to their annexation of East Timor.

The dilemma for Western forces in Iraq and Afghanistan is that, though they may lack the wherewithal to win, the national governments they seek to help are unable to stand up on their own. At best, Western armies can create the political space to build viable governments. But this has proved difficult enough even where the fighting has stopped and the main political forces have been co-operative (or at least acquiescent)—as in Bosnia and East Timor. It may be impossible under sustained fire.

More brain, less brawn

Although most armies have now relearnt the limits of force and the importance of the “comprehensive approach”, commanders complain that other branches of government have not. In a recent article, General Peter Chiarelli, an adviser to Robert Gates, America's secretary of defence, says more money has to be spent not on the Pentagon but on the “non-kinetic aspects of our national power”. He recommends building up the “minuscule” State Department and USAID development agency (so small it is “little more than a contracting agency”), and reviving the United States Information Agency.

As the American army expands, some thinkers, such as Colonel Nagl, say it needs not just more soldiers—nor even linguists, civil-affairs officers and engineers—but a fully fledged 20,000-strong corps of advisers that will train and “embed” themselves with allied forces around the world. The idea makes army commanders blanch, but they do not question the underlying assumption. Insurgencies may be the face of war for the West in the years ahead. Even if America cannot imagine fighting another Iraq or Afghanistan, extremists round the world have seen mighty America's vulnerability to the rocket-propelled grenade, the AK-47 and the suicide-bomber.


Armies of the future
Brains, not bullets

Oct 25th 2007
From The Economist print edition
Western armies are good at destroying things. Can they be made better at building them?

Eyevine


ANOTHER debate to do with Iraq and Afghanistan is building in America, one that could have important consequences for the West. This debate is being conducted in the Pentagon—and it has to do with the future shape of America's armed forces. With its far-flung alliances and commitments, the superpower rightly wants a “full spectrum” of military capabilities to deal with everything from an all-out war to a small policing action. But precisely what the mix should be is increasingly contentious—and could prove expensive.

If the biggest threat comes from rising powers, such as a belligerent Russia or a pushy China, America and its allies will need to invest in aircraft, ships and advanced weapons to cope. If the greatest challenge is the fight against militants and insurgents around the world—seen by some as a new and different “fourth generation” of warfare (see article)—then they will need more boots on the ground and, crucially, different sorts of soldiers wearing them. Sadly for taxpayers everywhere, the emerging answer from America is that a modern power needs to prepare for both challenges. But there has been a clear swing towards manpower from technology.
The troops, they are a changin'

The change has been striking. The “transformation” advocated by Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush's first defence secretary, envisaged that the armed forces would be slimmed down and money invested in “smart” weapons, reconnaissance systems and data links. Speed, stealth, accuracy and networks would substitute for massed forces. The army's idea of its “future warrior” was a kind of cyborg, helmet stuffed with electronic wizardry and a computer display on his visor, all wirelessly linked to sensors, weapons and comrades. New clothing would have in-built heating and cooling. Information on the soldier's physical condition would be beamed to medics, and an artificial “exoskeleton” (a sort of personal brace) would strengthen his limbs.



The initial success in toppling first the Taliban in Afghanistan and then Saddam Hussein in Iraq seemed to vindicate such concepts. But the murderous chaos in Iraq, and the growing violence in southern Afghanistan, have shown that America is good at destroying targets, and bad at rebuilding states. Firepower is of little use, and often counter-productive, when the enemy deliberately mingles among civilians.

Robert Gates, Mr Rumsfeld's successor, is thus presiding over something of a counter-revolution. Technological tricks are not being abandoned. But the army is to get a bigger share of the defence budget and has been told to recruit more soldiers with it. Precisely because America is so powerful against conventional armies, Mr Gates expects its enemies to rely on asymmetric warfare. In other words, America must expect to fight protracted, enervating counter-insurgency wars that offer no clear-cut victories and risk the prospect of humiliation.

A new manual on counter-insurgency co-authored by the man now in charge of the war in Iraq, General David Petraeus, overturns the notion that America doesn't “do nation-building”. Counter-insurgency, it says, is “armed social work”. It requires more brain than brawn, more patience than aggression. The model soldier should be less science-fiction Terminator and more intellectual for “the graduate level of war”, preferably a linguist, with a sense of history and anthropology.
The indirect approach

In general, the shift from technology to manpower is welcome. Some sceptics will argue that America's first future priority should be to avoid smallish wars of choice altogether. Even if that were sensible, history suggests it is unlikely to happen: American troops have kept on getting involved in foreign conflicts. The military planners' job is to cope with the likely, not to restrict democratically elected politicians' options.

From that perspective, two doubts come to the fore. The first is whether the Pentagon is right to focus so heavily on creating more combat brigades. With American units serving 15 months in the field and a year at home at best, the army understandably wants more front-line soldiers to ease the strain. But large armies have often found it extremely hard to fight guerrillas in far-away places—ask the French in Algeria, the Russians in Afghanistan and, not least, the Americans themselves in Vietnam. With the possible exception of the British in Malaya, it is hard to think of many insurgencies in modern times that have been crushed by a Western occupying power.

Post-colonial politics, stronger concerns for human rights, the rapid dispersal of news: all these (good) things make today's conflicts even harder to win for occupiers. So it may well be better to step back and work through local allies. Few insurgencies have unseated existing governments. In the “war on terror” most of the important al-Qaeda suspects have been rounded up for America by local allies. Strengthening local forces is the best way of salvaging Iraq and Afghanistan, and may help avoid the need for future interventions.

To be fair, the Pentagon talks about building “partner capacity”, but it may need more radical steps—in particular creating new specialist units to train allies, embed Western soldiers in local forces to improve their performance and be able to call in airstrikes, and help organise civil reconstruction. Generals complain about splitting the army, but they already oversee a myriad of specialist units. It is at least worth trying.

The other lingering concern with the shift in focus from destruction to construction has to do with skimping on conventional weaponry. At the margin, it is certainly worth putting more money into manpower at the expense of some futuristic projects. The prospect of an all-out war with Russia or China is distant for now; the risk of losing in Iraq and Afghanistan is acute. But raiding other defence programmes can only go so far. At 4% of GDP, America's defence spending is low by historical standards: it was 9% during the Vietnam war and 14% during the Korean war. The problem is worse in Europe: many of America's allies spend less than the 2% minimum target set by NATO. If the West wants to build a smarter army of the future, it will have to pay for it.

War inevitable --- PAKISTANI PERSPECTIVE

War inevitable

http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/oct-2007/27/columns5.php

PROF M. MUZAFFAR MIRZA
This is the statement of Professor Balraj Madhok as issued by National Forum in the national interest and this was asked to send e-mail or send by other means to as many as possible. The statement is “unless effective steps are taken to check this, it may go out of hand, war with Pakistan is inevitable, any kind of softness towards Islamists and Jehadis would be disastrous.” These are war-mongering perceptions for the dismantling of Pakistan.

This is not the only deep-rooted ugly desire or future scheduled strategy on the part of Professor Balraj Madhok. Since the creation of Pakistan, we know numerous various dangerous attempts, horrible prejudicial designs and deep-down obnoxious plans to undo Pakistan, in particular, and for Islamists and Jehadis by Indian schemers of foreign policies in general, who are the followers of Chankian politics and the exponents of Gandhian ‘humanism and humanistic’ values and ‘brahmacharia’ philosophy of life. I am at a loss to understand that Pakistan faced three wars with India after the establishment of Pakistan. But the Indian hegemonic designs could not do any loss to Pakistan. The separation of ex-East Pakistan is a different sadful story and it essentially requires much discussion which shall be taken up within the shortest possible time. By the grace of Almighty Allah, India shall not dare to attack in future. Indians are well aware of the war of September 1965, how the Pakistani armed forces and the whole nation dealt with. The whole world is witness about the sacrificing bravery and undaunted-victorious determination of the Pakistani nation and three armed forces at that time. “War with Pakistan is inevitable’ as desired by Mr Balraj Madhok, he is perhaps living in the world of fantasies. Pakistan is a country with a population of 18 crore Muslims, and history stands witness that the Muslims can face any eventuality and know how to expand as expressed by the Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Allama Iqbal said very rightly,
“We the Muslims of Pakistan, earnestly desire to have a final round of war with India, otherwise India shall always keep us in a crucial state of uncertainty.”
History of the subcontinent stands testimony that the Muslim rulers in India treated the population in a fair, free, cosmopolitan and idealistic manner. No any other example is available in the history of the world. The Muslim rulers, cared much for the welfare, peace and prosperity of the people under their suzerainty. In spite of the fact, the Hindu majority in the subcontinent never showed an iota of confidence and never supported them, but they always indulged themselves in nefarious activities to weaken the Muslim rulers and to crush the Muslim minority in the subcontinent.

Al-Beruni a great philosopher, geographer, astronomer, historian and a great mathematician wrote a book on the subcontinent with reference to Hindu psyche, named ‘Malil-Hind’, or ‘Kitabul-Hind,’ Al-Beruni explains the mentality of Hindus of the Subcontinent.

Briefly, he is of the view that Hindus are always niggardly self-conceited, highly bigoted and prejudiced. Hindus considered the Muslims as an out-cast, Malecchas, Rakshas and Shudras. They never intermingled with the Muslims and they never opened their hearts for the Muslims. The Muslims of Pakistan are followers of Islam and are considered as the soldiers of Islam. Their history is replete with sacrifices. They are followers of Khalid bin Waleed, Tariq Bin Zayad, Qutaiba bin Muslim, Mahmood Ghaznavi and Mohammad Bin Qasim and Sultan Tipu. They understand and are well aware of the psychology of the Hindus, whether he is Professor Balraj Mathok, Advani, Vajpyaee or their bigwigs leaders like Mr Gandhi, Nehru and Patel. All of them had not recognised Pakistan as an independent or sovereign Muslim state. They always remained busy in their iniquitous and nefarious activities against the Muslims and Pakistan.

The anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan Hindu and Jewish lobbies have already started diplomatic, strategic and civilisational war, which obviously is a crusade against Islam and particularly their camp followers are after the Atomic Pakistan to exterminate it. The Islamic World should be aware of it and should design their policies according to the dreadful changing international strategic scenario. The Muslim countries of the OIC should throw off the yoke of imperialistic slavery of America and the West, otherwise the Muslim countries shall be annihilated one by one. This is hard fact that time and tide never wait for any body.

Tug Of War Over Wiretapping

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/26/politics/main3416098.shtml

Classified Documents And Threatened Filibuster In Fight Over Immunity For Telecoms

(CBS/AP) With legislation that would legalize President Bush's eavesdropping program entangled in a battle over the side issue of corporate immunity, the White House sought to move the process forward by acceding to requests from the Senate Judiciary Committee to view classified documents its members have long demanded.

However, the White House continued to draw a line between Senators and House members.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., had demanded that other members of the panel have the same access to the same documents before he considers giving immunity to telecommunications companies that may have tapped Americans' telephones and computers without court approval. The measure is an amendment in the Senate's version of the bill rewriting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (or FISA).

White House Counsel Fred Fielding had offered to let Chairman Patrick Leahy and ranking Republican Arlen Specter see documents that might persuade them to include liability protection for telephone companies, but initially only to them.

Later Thursday, the White House agreed to expand the documents' distribution.

"Fred Fielding's offer to Sens. Leahy and Specter extends to the other senators and staff they designate," said White House spokesman Tony Fratto, adding that any such lawmakers and staff would have to be given a classified briefing first.

"The chairman and the ranking member can work this out," Fratto added.

Leahy told reporters he expected to see the documents as early as Monday.

The committee's endorsement of the immunity plan is needed for the broader legislation to move forward. Some senators refuse to consider the matter without seeing the classified documents.

"Immunity suggests that there's been a violation of the law and they want to be absolved from any liability," Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told reporters. "I would like to know what happened before I absolve anyone from liability."

The documents have so far not been made available to congressional counterparts on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees.

The Senate bill would direct courts to dismiss lawsuits against telecommunications companies if the attorney general certified that a company gave assistance between Sept. 11, 2001, and Jan. 17, 2007, in response to a written request authorized by the president, in trying to detect or prevent an attack on the United States.

Suits also would be dismissed if the attorney general certified that a company named in a case provided no assistance to the government. The public record would not reflect which certification was given to the court.


Immunity suggests that there's been a violation of the law and they want to be absolved from any liability. I would like to know what happened before I absolve anyone from liability.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
The House version of the FISA bill does not include immunity from lawsuits for the telecoms, after vociferous opposition from privacy and consumer advocates.

"Let the courts decide whether these companies, or some of them, were acting patriotically, with nobility and legally, or whether they were breaking the law." Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said.

In noting the difference between the two bills, Fratto told The New York Times that the White House would continue to withhold those documents from House Committees unless the provision is added.

“If the committees say they have no interest in legislating on the issue of liability protection, we have no reason to accommodate them,” he was quoted.

A Hold On Immunity

But it may not even make it into the Senate version. After the immunity clause survived the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., announced that he would place a hold on the bill, effectively keeping it from coming to the floor.

"For six years this President has used scare tactics to prevent the Congress from reining in his abuse of authority," said Dodd today, denouncing the measure.

When Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested he might push the bill to a vote anyway, several other Democrats (including Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Russ Feingold) announced that they would back a filibuster to keep the provision out.

Telecoms like AT&T are facing lawsuits claiming that they willingly participated in eavesdropping of U.S. citizen's communications, including phone calls, e-mails and Internet traffic, at the request of the government, without the government providing warrants, as required.

In one lawsuit, filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, AT&T is accused of allowing the National Security Agency to monitor its customers' private communications through special equipment installed in AT&T offices across the country.

This summer, National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell said that if the lawsuits were successful, "it would bankrupt these companies."

In a curious twist in the insider trading trial of Former Qwest Chief Executive Joe Nacchio, his defense introduced papers suggesting that Qwest's refusal to participate in the secret spying program cost the company government contracts.

After the program of warrantless wiretaps was revealed by The New York Times in December 2005, the White House promised to incorporate judicial oversight to its surveillance program (as had existed before September 11, 2001), while maintaining that the president's inherent authority allowed him to authorize warrantless eavesdropping. The push-pull over this authority led to the temporary Protect America Act, and the permanent version now being debated.

The current FISA program is set to expire in February. Under these rules, the government can monitor Americans' phone and computer lines outside the country if the attorney general certifies that the American is believed to be an agent of a foreign power. The new bill would require the government to get a court order to eavesdrop on Americans wherever they are in the world.

Mr. Bush emphasized that passage of a new FISA bill authorizing his eavesdropping program was vital to "staying a step ahead of the terrorists who want to attack us."

However, at the same time he suggested that passing a simple reauthorization the Protect America Act was not enough, by saying he would veto any bill which did not include immunity for the telecoms.

The government has refused to acknowledge what assistance the telecoms provided, and has invoked the "state secrets" privilege to prevent AT&T, Verizon and Qwest from either confirming or denying their participation in the program when requested by Congress.

Civil liberties advocates have strongly opposed the amnesty effort.

"Why is the president of the United States trying to get the telecommunications companies off the hook for their illegal activity?" said Caroline Frederickson, director of the Washington legislative office of the American Civil Liberties Union. "He is supposed to be upholding laws, not encouraging companies to break them."


© MMVII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mugabe launches Robert Mugabe intelligence academy

Fri 26 Oct 2007, 7:22 GMT
[-] Text [+]

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has launched an intelligence academy named after him, saying it would produce officers able to counter growing threats from Western powers, state media reported on Friday.

Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, is fighting isolation from the West, which accuses him of human rights abuses and rigging elections and economic mismanagement.

The combative 83-year-old veteran leader says he is being punished for seizing white-owned farms for landless blacks to redress colonial imbalances, a programme critics say has plunged the economy into crisis.


"With the current unjustified demonisation of Zimbabwe by Western powers, the role of intelligence in shaping foreign, security and economic policies become even more critical," the Herald newspaper quoted the president as saying at the launch of the Robert Mugabe National School of Intelligence near Harare.

Critics say Mugabe has increasingly relied on security forces to keep opponents in check in the face of growing anger over the unravelling economy, but he denies the charge.

The intelligence academy is also expected to train members of the army, police and operatives from other southern African countries.

Mugabe said Britain and the United States continued to try to destabilise Zimbabwe by working with "non-state actors" aimed at unseating his government.

"The important role of defending our country cannot be left to mediocre officers incapable of comprehending and analytically evaluating the operational environment to ensure that the sovereignty of our state is not only preserved, but enhanced," Mugabe said.



President Hails Role of Intelligence


The Herald (Harare)

NEWS
26 October 2007
Posted to the web 26 October 2007
Harare

The role of intelligence has become even more important in shaping foreign, security and economic policies in the wake of the demonisation Zimbabwe is facing from Western powers, President Mugabe said yesterday.

Laying the foundation stone at the historic multi-billion-dollar National School of Intelligence at Chitamba Farm in Mazowe Valley, Cde Mugabe said the college should produce graduates who must play a key role in preserving Zimbabwe's sovereignty.


The school, to be named after President Mugabe, will offer degrees and diplomas in security and intelligence studies after successfully entering into a twinning agreement with the Bindura University of Science Education. Speaking at the ceremony, Cde Mugabe said the construction of the institution was part of the confidence-building process for consumers of the intelligence products.

"With the current unjustified demonisation of Zimbabwe by Western powers, the role of intelligence in shaping foreign, security and economic policies has become even more critical. "We should view the economic world differently, seeing the economy as immersed in politics and economic security as being indistinguishable from national security," he said. Intelligence, Cde Mugabe said, was asymmetrical as the defender and Zimbabwe must cover all points of attack because attackers identify a single weak point.

The complex nature of international interdependence called for a national intelligence organisation with capabilities essential for effective Government and decision-making processes.

"It is my conviction that intelligence, properly collected, analysed and distributed, can play a vital role in meeting threats, identifying potential threats as well as opportunities to further the country's democratic dispensation," the President said. Cde Mugabe said Zimbabwe was at war with forces of imperialism, personified by Britain and America, who preach the ideology of hate and murder.

"They have unleashed a multiplicity of players, including non-state actors, to destabilise our nation. "The phenomenon of the use of non-state actors has increased the vulnerability of small states to the dictates of big powers which can use non-governmental organisa-

tions, which are now big players internationally, to threaten the sovereignty of small states," he said. Cde Mugabe said such organisations continued to haunt the nation's progress but Zimbabweans would soldier on to the enemy's dismay. Courage and perseverance, he said, had a talismanic effect which made difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. "Our country is poised on the brink of tremendous opportunity, in which the human potential of our people can be harnessed to make Zimbabwe a beacon of hope and success.

"The important role of defending our country cannot be left to mediocre officers incapable of comprehending and analytically evaluating the operational environment to ensure that the sovereignty of our State is not only preserved, but enhanced," he said.

Cde Mugabe said the construction of the intelligence school becomes a cornerstone for the building of a solid foundation of a state capable of standing on its own among the best not only in Africa, but the world over. He said the Central Intelligence Organisation's efforts were commendable and were in keeping with international best practice. "For instance, Japan and Switzerland have industrial espionage schools to train businessmen in the art of economic intelligence gathering. The Soviet Union, for example, through both the KGB and the Soviet Military Intelligence (GRU), tended to concentrate on gathering political and military intelligence.

"In contrast, Japan has tended to target secrets of science and technology. "Foreign multinational corporations have also conducted acts of industrial espionage in many countries - often aided by intelligence assets larger and more sophisticated than those of developing countries."

The art of intelligence, therefore, gave a nation a competitive advantage not only in intelligence analysis, but also in the art of espionage, which has become a source of industrial development. The new professionalism, Cde Mugabe said, must embrace the new priorities and changes in the scope and methodology of intelligence. "In this regard, the intelligence community should interface with other institutions of society engaged in strategic research in order to promote integrated analysis, supportive of policies.

"It (the National School of Intelligence) is expected to extend training to other security departments, such as the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and, indeed, the CIO's regional and international counterparts," he said. He emphasised the role of education in modern society, which he described ascritical. "The role of education in general is critical especially in developing countries because all developmental programmes and projects depend on the learned abilities of skilled workers to manage capital administration and technology.

"While the role of other educational disciplines is important, intelligence, as a special subject of growing national, regional and international importance, is critical in that it aims at creating an environment which is conducive to the application of the nation's resources towards sustainable development in a peaceful environment," said the President.

The construction of the intelligence institution, Cde Mugabe said, was a perfect response to the sustainability challenge Zimbabweans face as a nation, a region or race of humanity.

"This occasion becomes specifically special in that it marks the laying of a foundation stone not just for an ordinary institution, but one dealing with teaching and researching on the phenomenon of intelligence," he said. Cde Mugabe said the institution underscores the nation's fundamental impulse for self-preservation because intelligence was essentially a conservative enterprise with a nation mobilising assets to build a competitive advantage over other nations, both friends and foes.

He noted with pride that since independence, Zimbabwe had made its own significant contributions in the fields of science, mathematics, arts, architecture and music, among others. Cde Mugabe narrated the brief history of the evolution of national security, saying security had evolved, taking shape from the existentialist dilemmas facing mankind.

"National security is one of those contested concepts in national and international relations. "It has been viewed from different perspectives. The idealists looked at the national security concept from the perspectives of peace and power while the realists associated it more with power," he said.

After giving various definitions of security, Cde Mugabe said it becomes pertinent to note that security was a relational concept linking it to power and the nature of power. "Power exists in a relationship between two or more subjects and the political sphere plays a decisive part in regulating interdependencies between societies and the broader international systems," he said.

Cde Mugabe said the end of the cold war facilitated movement from a pre-eminently militaristic conceptualisation of security.

"Equally, this historical discontinuity unfolded within the context and content of sustainable development becoming the pre-eminent developmental paradigm," he said. He said security analysts began laying accent on issues of human security, social security, or the capacity of society to prudently use available resources to meet today's needs. "In the Zimbabwean context, questions about what constitutes national interests are determined in terms of political policy preferences.

"The policy preferences that are taken in pursuance of national interests are then determined with regard to the consequences that will accompany or will likely accompany particular policy options or decisions," he said. Cde Mugabe said the colonial government introduced by the British in 1890 and the resultant political and economic relations laid seeds of instability in a future Zimbabwe.

"This denial of political independence and dispossession of the means of production of the majority would lead to a protracted armed struggle culminating in independence in 1980. "It should be clear that the issue of economic inequality, especially with regard to land ownership, laid the basis of some of the problems presently impacting on our national security," he noted.

National interests throughout such historical evolution, Cde Mugabe said, placed the British and other geo-political and strategic interests and values as a people. This, President Mugabe, said was the genesis of the threat to the country's national security. "It is the expected purpose of this institution to vigorously interrogate all issues pertaining to our insecurity and evolve methods for our preservation," he said.

Cde Mugabe said the CIO was charged with superintending over the nation's security requirements. Unlike other Government departments, Cde Mugabe said intelligence organisations operated on a need-to-know basis. "The intelligence we gather is the vital information on any planned action against the State before such action is carried out.

"Thus it is sensible that such information reaches those with the need to know so that appropriate counter measures can be taken as soon as possible without being intercepted or without spreading information to the public lest there is unnecessary panic, alarm and despondency," he said. He said there was no mystery in the "need-to-know" principle as it was the interest of the State and Government to treat the information with the secrecy it legally and rightfully deserves.

The school will become the first of its kind in the region.
Copyright © 2007 The Herald. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com)

The tehelka that was not …..

With footage laced with scenes from Parzania where the distinction between fact and reality blurs this sting is more potent than an Al-Qaeda training video or a Bin Laden message.

It was irresponsible and its likely impact on radicalisation of the disenchanted mind unfathomable.

If this was about justice, Mr. Tejpal’s outfit would have done the responsible thing of presenting all the corroborating evidence to the Nanavati Commission first. By not doing so Mr. Tejpal’s motives remain highly suspect.

READ MORE

TRIBAL ANGER MOUNTS AGAINST MUSHARRAF& BENAZIR

Source: SAAG
By B.Raman

1. The tribal anger against President General Pervez Musharraf, which was already running high after the Pakistan Army's commando raid into the Lal Masjid in Islamabad from July 10 to 13,2007, has further escalated in the wake of the air strikes carried out by the Pakistan Air Force on suspected terrorists in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan before the celebration of the Id festivities. The Pakistan Army claimed to have killed about 200 militants in the attacks carried out by helicopter gunships and military aircraft. It claimed that while 150 of them were the local militants who had formed a local version of the Taliban, 25 were Uzbeks and the remaining 25 were Afghan Pashtuns, Tajiks and Arabs.

2.Local tribal leaders have strongly refuted these claims and asserted that all those killed were innocent civilians, including many women and children. The Army operations, which followed the kidnapping of over 300 Army and para-military personnel by the militants, led to large-scale displacement of internal refugees from North Waziristan to the adjoining areas of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). Every year, just before Id tribals from the FATA working or studying in other parts of Pakistan go on leave to their towns and villages for a family reunion at the time of the Id festivities. This year, there were no family reunions and those living in the Mir Ali and Miranshah areas of North Waziristan refrained from celebrating Id in protest against the Army action and the air strikes,which led to large exodus of people and the cancellation of the traditional family reunions.

3, The prayer meetings in the mosques of North and South Waziristan saw strong statements not only against Gen.Musharraf, but also against Mrs.Benazir Bhutto for supporting the General and the US. She was denounced as apostate because of her alleged collusion with them.

4. In the meanwhile, taking advantage of the resignation of the coalition Government of the Islamic fundamentalist parties in the NWFP, which has led to the formation of a caretaker Government headed by an ex-bureaucrat, the Pakistan Army has launched a special operation in the Swat area, which was virutally under the control of the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM), which is headed by Mullah Fazlullah, popularly known as Maulana FM Radio. He makes broadcasts from an FM radio station installed in his mosque at Imam Dheri, a village in the Swat district. He is the son-in-law of Mulla Sufi Mohammad, the previois head of the TNSM, who is in the custody of the Pakistani authorities since 2002, when the TNSM was banned for supporting Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

5. Taking advantage of the preoccupation of the Army in South and North Waziristan and with the complicity of the previous Government of the fundamentalist coalition in Peshawar, Fazlullah raised his own force and assumed control of the Swat valley and started imposing Islamic laws and punishments on the local people.

6. Disregarding threats of retaliation by him, the Musharraf Government has sent an estimated 2,500 para-military troops into the area to arrest him, neutralise his force and re-establish the writ of the State. A vehicle carrying para-military personnel into the area for laying a siege on the hide-out of Fazlullah at Imam Dheri was blown up on October 25,2007, at a place called Mingora, about 15 kms from Imam Dheri, killing 20 members of the Frontier Constabulary and some civilians. Fazlullah, who has denied any responsibility for the explosion, has reportedly fled from the area. There have been clashes between his followers and the para-military forces, which are still continuing.

The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

October 26, 2007

The International Court of Justice: The Road Ahead

Oct 3rd, 2007

The American Society of International Law - Washington, D.C.
The International Court of Justice: The Road Ahead

This program will highlight upcoming cases at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and how developments at the ICJ will affect both international law and the Court itself. The Court is now being used by an entirely new universe of countries and is now addressing a wider range of disputes than ever before. Moderated by Judge Stephen Schwebel, speakers include Ruth Wedgwood, David A. Colson, and John R. Crook.- The American Society of International Law



Ruth Wedgwood holds the Edward B. Burling Chair in International Law; serves as a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; chairmand of Research and Studies for the American Society of International Law; a member of the policy advisory group of the United Nations Association; an adviser to the Department of Defense on the issue of military tribunals in response to the September 11 crisis; a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on International Law and the National Security Study Group of the Hart-Rudman Commission on National Security in the 21st Century; on the board of editors for the American Journal of Internation Law and the editorial advisory board of the World Policy Journal of the New School University; and she is a board member of the Lawyers Alliance for World Security. Wedgwood also institutions at Johns Hopkins University's Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.


Stephen M. Schwebel is an American jurist and expert on international law. He is best known for delivering dissenting opinions in the case of Nicaragua v. United States and in the pair of Libya v. United Kingdom and Libya v. United States Lockerbie (Preliminary Objections) cases, which were discontinued in 2003.

John Crook currently serves as the Comissioner, Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, where he is a party appointed arbitrator on five-member claims commission established by Eritrea and Ethiopia in The Hague. He also serves as a party appointed arbitrator in the Grand River Enterprises vs. USA. Prior to this Mr. Crook served as the General Counsel, Multinational Force and Observers, Rome Italy, the Assistant Legal Advisor for UN Affairs with the U.S. Department of State, Counselor for Legal Affairs, U.S. Mission in Geneva. He also supervised negotiation and conclusion of U.S. treaties and agreements and directed Presidential treaty events at U.S.-Soviet Summits in Washington, DC and Moscow.

Venezuela Warns U.S. that "Cuba is Not Alone"

October 25th 2007, by Chris Carlson – Venezuelanalysis.com

US President George W. Bush speaks about Cuba at the US State Department on Wednesday (AFP) Mérida, October 25, 2007 (venezuelanalysis.com)- Responding to US President George W. Bush's threats towards Cuba on Wednesday, Venezuelan authorities warned yesterday that "Cuba is not alone." The US president called on the international community to prepare for a "transition" in Cuba and vowed to maintain the embargo of the island. Both Venezuelan and Cuban authorities rejected the statements, labeling them "imperialist aggression."

"He spoke like an imperialist and a colonialist," said Venezuelan parliamentarian Saul Ortega about Bush's statements. Ortega assured that the reaction to these threats will be increased unity among the people of Latin America. "In response we have to close ranks in defense of the principles of sovereignty and self-determination," he said.

Vice-foreign minister Rodolfo Sanz assured that the United States was making a mistake with their statements towards Cuba and maintained that the "times have changed."

"We aren't going to sit here with our arms crossed before some diabolic adventure," he said. Sanz assured that the Cuban people can count on support from nations like Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, among others, stating that "Cuba is not alone."

President Bush made the comments in a speech on Wednesday at the US State Department in Washington. In the presence of Cuban dissidents and their families, the president vowed to continue the 45-year economic embargo against the country and asked the "international community" to support a "democratic movement" in the country.

"Now is the time for the world to put aside its differences and prepare for Cuba's transition to a future of freedom and progress and promise," he said.

In addition, he proposed the establishment of a "Freedom Fund" to help facilitate change on the island, and said his administration would be asking other countries to contribute. He also called on other countries to support Cuban dissidents inside the country and made a clear effort to rally anti-Castro sentiment.

"To ordinary Cubans who are listening: You have the power to shape your destiny," he said. "You can bring about a future where your leaders answer to you."

To the Cuban military Bush said, "Will you defend a disgraced and dying order by using force against your own people?"

Cuban Foreign Minister Perez Roque condemned the statement, calling it "an invocation to violence to bring down the Cuban revolution," and demanded that Washington stop intervening in the internal affairs of the country.

"The United States must stop obnoxiously interfering in the internal affairs of Cuba, they must stop building an opposition against Cuba, and they must stop financing mercenaries," said the Cuban minister in a live broadcast on Wednesday.

After Bush's speech on Wednesday, Caleb McCarry, the Bush Administration's 'Cuba Transition Coordinator,' accused Venezuela of supporting the communist system in Cuba, and asked all countries on the continent to unite in support of a "transition" in Cuba.

"The support of the Venezuelan government for the Cuban government has the purpose of continuing the communist system in Cuba," he said. "It is important that all the countries on the continent support the Cubans in their own process of transition to democracy."

But Venezuelan government officials rejected the declarations from Washington, and showed their solidarity with the Cuban Revolution. Governor of the state of Anzoategui Tarek William Saab considered the statements a declaration of war.

"As revolutionaries, brothers, and friends of the Cuban Revolution, we reject these statements from a decadent president who will go out the back door of history against a dignified country like the Republic of Cuba," he said.

Venezuelan Parliamentarian Saul Ortega assured that Latin America would continue to resist US "imperialism."

"It is against this that the popular struggles of Latin America and the Caribbean are fighting, to break away from being the backyard of the empire's big multinationals," he said.

Pakistani Attitudes toward Terrorism and the West: Recent Public Opinion Surveys




The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) & Terror Free Tomorrow
cordially invite you to

Pakistani Attitudes toward Terrorism and the West:
Recent Public Opinion Surveys

Panel includes:

Ken Ballen
President, Terror Free Tomorrow

Anthony H. Cordesman
Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy, CSIS

Ambassador Teresita C. Schaffer
Director, South Asia Program, CSIS

Since September 11th, the U.S. has relied heavily on its partnership with Pakistan in the fight against global terrorism. Yet, according to a recent survey conducted by Terror Free Tomorrow, popular sentiment in Pakistan is turning markedly against the United States and its policies. Our distinguished panel will weigh in on these and other issues, including the political and security situation inside Pakistan and the regional effects of the war in Afghanistan Wednesday, October 17, 2007

LISTEN TO AUDIO

2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
4the Floor Conference Room
Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1800 K Street, Washington, DC 20006


D3 Pakistani Attitudinal Research Released

CNN International and the Associated Press have released results from a national poll of Pakistan conducted by D3 Systems for Terror Free Tomorrow. The n=1044 nationally representative survey (+/- 3% margin of error) conducted between August 18-29 reflects low, similar levels of support for Musharraf (38%) and bin Laden (46%), and higher favor for Imran Khan (58%), Sharif (57%) and Bhutto (63%) among the population of Pakistan. Less than half the population favors a Bhutto-Musharraf power sharing agreement. More than half favor the Pakistani military pursuing Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters inside Pakistan.

Read the full poll findings and a methodology statement.

Executive Summary:

Nearly three quarters of Pakistanis oppose unilateral American military action to pursue Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters based inside Pakistan. Moreover, a third or more of Pakistanis have a favorable view of Al Qaeda, the Taliban and bin Laden. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is also the least popular political leader in Pakistan today (38% favorable)—falling considerably behind bin Laden (46% favorable). These are among the many significant findings of a new nationwide public opinion survey in August covering both rural and urban as well as all four regions of Pakistan. Only 13% of Pakistanis support unilateral American military action pursuing Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters inside Pakistan. Among all Pakistanis nationwide, a majority support the Pakistani military by itself—without the United States military—pursing Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters inside Pakistan. However, only 20% of those in the Northwest Frontier Province, where these groups are primarily located, support such action—with 67% opposed to the Pakistani military pursuing Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters.
Overwhelming opposition to American military action against Al Qaeda and the Taliban inside Pakistan is accompanied by universal disdain for the U.S. led war on terror.

When Pakistanis were asked, unprompted, what they think is the real purpose of the U.S.-led war on terror, a mere 4% volunteered any kind of positive motivation. Remaining responses were all decidedly negative, with “breaking Muslim countries, killing Muslims, ending Islam, etc” among the most common, volunteered responses. At the same time, radical groups such as Al Qaeda have considerable popular support inside Pakistan. While a third of Pakistanis nationwide express a favorable opinion of Al Qaeda itself, 38% favor the Taliban, rising to 49% favoring local Pakistani Jihadi groups.

As significantly, only 43% have an unfavorable opinion of Al Qaeda, dropping to 38% with the Taliban to just 24% with local Pakistani Jihadi allies of Al Qaeda—groups which the United States have designated as terrorist.Similarly, when asked to choose the most important long-term goals for the government
of Pakistan, the least important priority for Pakistanis was defeating Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other Jihadi groups.

While a majority or close to a majority picked ensuring an independent judiciary, free press and free elections, improving the Pakistani economy, resolving the issue of Kashmir and implementing strict Sharia law throughout Pakistan as very important long-term goals for the government of Pakistan, only 18% chose defeating Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other Jihadi groups.

President Musharraf, who has publicly cooperated with the United States in pursuing Al Qaeda inside Pakistan, has the lowest favorability and highest unfavorable rating of any political figure in Pakistan today. 38% of Pakistanis have a favorable opinion of
President Musharraf, while his principal rivals Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, both former Prime Ministers, enjoy favorable opinions of 63% and 57%, respectively.

Musharraf also falls behind Osama bin Laden, who has 46% of Pakistanis rating him as favorable, along with other radical Pakistani Islamist leaders who have similar ratings. In fact, bin Laden has a 70% favorable rating inside the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan itself, where the consensus of American intelligence believes he is now located in hiding.

More significantly for President Musharraf, Pakistanis who hold an unfavorable opinion of him is nearly twice that of other mainstream figures such as Bhutto—as well as Bin Laden and other radical leaders. For example, 53% have an unfavorable opinion of Musharraf vs. only 26% for bin Laden. The sole political figure who garners a higher unfavorable opinion than Musharraf in Pakistan is President George Bush.

Support for Al Qaeda, the Taliban, bin Laden and other radical groups does not mean, however, that equal percentages of Pakistanis support suicide bombings. In fact, 18% of Pakistanis think such attacks are often or sometimes justified, while three-quarters believe that they are never or rarely justified. While support for the US military action and the US war on terror is quite low, overall favorable and unfavorable opinions of the United States itself have remained relatively
steady. 19% of Pakistanis now have a favorable opinion of the U.S. and 72% are
unfavorable. The numbers from our last poll of Pakistan in May 2006 were 26%
favorable and 64% unfavorable. The United States, however, had the lowest favorable rating of any country asked.

Moreover, there has been a dramatic change of opinion since the first nationwide
survey of Pakistan following American relief to the Pakistani earthquake victims in November 2005, which was also conducted by Terror Free Tomorrow. At that time, we found that 46% of Pakistanis were favorable to the United States, and 45% were unfavorable.

Yet, despite pervasive negative feelings toward the United States, a majority of
Pakistanis said their opinion of the US would improve if American educational, medical, disaster, business investment, and the number of visas for Pakistanis to work in the US increased.

Furture of US-CHINA relations : Myths and Realities --William Overholt



William Overholt, RAND Corporation
Release Date: 03/27/2007


William H. Overholt holds the Asia Policy Research Chair at RAND's Center for Asia Pacific Policy and is Director of the Center. He has long been an important analyst of Asia. Dr. Overholt is the author of the forthcoming America and Asia: The Coming Transformation of Asian Geopolitics (RAND, 2007), as well as The Rise of China (W.W. Norton, 1993), which won the Mainichi News/Asian Affairs Research Center Special Book Prize. He has also written or co-written, Political Risk (Euromoney, 1982), Strategic Planning and Forecasting, with William Ascher (John Wiley, 1983), and Asia's Nuclear Future (Westview Press, 1976). In 1976 he founded the semi-annual Global Assessment, with Zbigniew Brzezinski, and edited it until 1988.

The Military Strategy of Global Jihad

http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?pubID=809

Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Sarah E. Zabel.


America entered the Global War on Terrorism with little understanding of the enemy it faced. Al-Qaeda is a splinter faction of militant Islamism intent on establishing its vision of strict Islamic rule in the Muslim world through armed action. Global jihadis have spent more than 40 years refining their philosophy, gaining experience, building their organization, and developing plans to reestablish what they see as the only true Islamic state on earth. In the years leading up to and following the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks, global jihadis have written copiously on their military strategy for creating an Islamic state. This paper draws on those writings to examine and explain the mechanisms by which they plan to neutralize the superpower guardian of world order, claim land and peoples for Islamic emirates out of the resulting chaos, and bring these emirates together to become a true Islamic state. Their writings also expose weaknesses in their strategy, and this paper explores some of those potential vulnerabilities as well.

READ /DOWNLOAD

Global jihadis’ strategic writings show how they have translated their philosophies
and experiences into plans for action;
plans they continue to prosecute to this day. To understand and counter their strategy, the United States must take advantage of the insights their writings provide into their ideology, their formative experiences, and their goals.

Senior Cleric Rules out Alleged Shift in Iran's N. Policy

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Tehran's provisional Friday Prayers leader Ali Jannati dismissed as biased certain analyses presented about the resignation of Iran's former nuclear negotiator, stressing that Ali Larijani's replacement with Saeed Jalili would not be followed by a shift in Tehran's nuclear policy.

"Certain media have, unfortunately, promulgated lies and magnified the issue," Ayatollah Jannati said while addressing worshippers on Tehran University Campus here on Friday.

He blasted media analyses which interpreted Larijani's replacement with Jalili as departure from Iran's declared nuclear principles, and said the resignation resulted from the difference in the tastes of officials, reminding that difference of tastes is something natural.

Jannati pointed out that the existence of difference in the tastes of officials is nothing extraordinary and should not have been magnified to such a large extent.

"It is of course very natural for those who work with one another to have different tastes and to propose different strategies, while the ultimate goal is the same," he said.

The cleric further termed Larijani "a successful man in all posts and positions", and praised his excellent record as secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC).

Meantime, he described the country's new negotiator and SNSC Secretary, Saeed Jalili, as "a faithful, pious, competent, wise and smart war veteran."
Jannati reiterated that Jalili would continue the same policies pursued by Larijani, and said that even during the recent talks in Rome, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana has also pointed out that the change would not place a hurdle in the way of negotiations with Iran.

PAKISTAN : Russian Analysis, The Terrorist Act in Karachi



Strategic Culture Foundation
online magazine

25.10.2007
Vyacheslav BELOKRENITSKY
The Terrorist Act in Karachi


The terrorist act which took place in Karachi on October 18, 2007, – the worst one in the history of Pakistan – was equally predictable and unexpected. Obviously, millions of supporters of the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto were not the only people who waited for her return from the 8-years-long self-imposed exile. Her enemies from the cohorts of Muslim extremists were also ready for it.

Shortly before Bhutto's scheduled and announced arrival from Dubai to Karachi, Haji Umar, a leader of a Muslim extremist group in the Pashtun tribal region, told in a telephone interview from an unknown location that the Talibs would wage war on her because of her support for the US plans to fight the Taliban, similar to their war against Gen Musharraf, who had been the target of several assassination attempts. It should be noted that several times Gen Musharraf asked Bhutto to postpone her return, explaining the request by the political instability in the country and the terrorist peril.

Despite the warnings, the terrorist act, particularly one of such proportions, was stunning. According to the available preliminary information, there were two blasts near the bus converted into a mobile platform. It which carried Bhutto and her closest associates from the Pakistan Peoples Party, including Mahdum Amin Fahim, a recent presidential contender and the party's number two figure, Bhutto's college friends, journalists, and biographers. Victoria Schonfield, a US journalist writing about Pakistan, said the first blast was of a relatively low power, but targeted directly the bus. Bhutto survived because several minutes prior to the blast she went down from the platform to take a break after six hours of standing and talking to the crowd, and also to prepare for her talk at the meeting at the Quaid-i-Azam Mausoleum, a monument to Pakistan's founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The second blast was much more powerful. The bomb was exploded by a suicide bomber in a dense crowd. The death toll is estimated at 140, plus over 500 people were injured.

The proportions of the horrible terrorist act are striking even for Pakistan and Karachi, whose history is far from peaceful. Karachi, the country's major seaport with the population of 12-15 million, is a kind of Pakistani Babylon. Most of its population are descendants of the Muhajir, who moved to Pakistan from India, «the country of the infidel», in 1947 and later on, the northerners – former residents of the Punjab and Pashtun provinces, and, of source, the Sindhis, in whose homeland the port city is located.

Over the past decades, Karachi has been torn apart by hostilities a number of times. Troops and paramilitary formations had to be deployed in the city in 1992 and 1995 to establish at least some kind of order. The 1995 riots were particularly severe – for a whole year, some of Karachi's districts remained sealed-off. The death toll of that street war neared 1,000. Major outbreaks of violence also took place in 1998, and several terrorist acts were carried out later. In 2002, the enemies of Gen Musharraf planned to kill him – also in Karachi - but the plot was foiled.

The failure to prevent the terrorist act of October 18 leaves a lot of questions. On the one hand, it is never easy to neutralize suicide bombers, and it is quite likely that the security forces did try hard but simply failed to do so. On the other hand, it is well-known that quite a few terrorist acts were successfully prevented in Pakistan as well as in other countries (Great Britain, Israel).

The reasons behind the failure of the security forces quickly turned into nearly the most debated political issue. Bhutto has already demanded the resignation of Brig. Gen. Ejaz Shah, head of the Intelligence Bureau. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, who – quite reasonably – stayed in Dubai, charged that the terrorist act had been organized and carried out by the security forces. The security chiefs brush off the allegations of being involved in what has happened and say that it is too early to be sure that the blasts were the workings of suicide bombers.

One gets an impression that, given the tense atmosphere in Pakistan over the past several months, nobody can wait any longer. A gas station was blown up in Karachi by the mob protesting against the authorities, which failed to prevent the deaths of people. Other acts of violence and vandalism are also reported. It is possible that riots in the city will continue and will spread over other regions of Pakistan.

The terrorist act was immediately condemned by the Pakistani politicians as well as by official representatives of a number of countries including the US and Great Britain. Gen Musharraf and the Pakistani PM Shaukat Aziz were the first to issue statements. The former telephoned Bhutto personally to offer condolence and to suggest joining efforts in opposing terrorism. So far, it remains unclear whether the efforts can offset the reputation damage suffered by the authorities as a result of the blasts in Karachi.

Importantly, Nawaz Sharif, Bhuto's former opponent who also plans to return to Pakistan after many years in exile, condemned not only those who organized the terrorist act but also those who allowed it to take place. It appears that various politicians are trying to unite to further weaken the Pakistani regime.

The situation in the country has become extremely complicated, and the current political conflicts are extremely severe. At the same time, there is a possibility that the terrorist act in Karachi will for a certain time cement the society and the political elite.

It seems that there is a division in the pro-presidential camp between those who can accept Bhutto and share the authority with her in the case of her electoral success, and those who are determined to prevent it (by the way, Bhutto's electoral success became much more likely after the terrorist act - most of the victims were her supporters). Bhutto says that personally Gen Musharraf has no problem with her return to the country and to its political life. She believes that her implacable opponents are some of the leaders of the currently ruling Pakistan Muslim League and certain officials from the country's central and, especially, provincial governments.

The division among the leadership can have a profound effect on the situation in Pakistan. The irreconcilable will have to seek new ways of «getting rid» of Bhutto, and the moderate part of the establishment has to find a way to «eliminate» the resistance from the irreconcilable. The infighting in the Pakistani elite usually intensifies in crisis situations in the forms of both regional and interpersonal rivalries.

Most of the supporters of Bhutto and her Pakistan Peoples Party are Sindhis, the predominant population of the Sindh province located on the plane around the Indus River. The Party's success in the coming elections is largely dependent on the level of support it will gain in Punjab, Pakistan's central and most populous province.

The relations between the Sindh and the Punjab groups in the Pakistani elite have been frictious over the entire history of the country. It is widely believed that this factor was responsible for what had happened to Benazir Bhutto's father, a popular national leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Not surprisingly, Bhutto already said that the associates of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the former military dictator from Punjab who toppled and executed her father, were among those who wanted her dead, physically or politically.

Probably, the struggle over Punjab will be crucial not only for the future of the current Pakistani elites and key politicians, but for that of the whole country which is facing a historical challenge of great importance. The popularity of the current regime, which could feel secure just recently, dropped to an unprecedentedly low level. The prestige of the army, which used to be the nation's cementing force, is declining. Obvious and unpublicized conflicts in the elite have weakened Gen Musharraf's personal positions, forcing the army’s top echelon to make serious concessions to its opponents. Finding himself cornered, Gen Musharraf will probably continue pursuing his program, which encompasses a formation of a provisional government in November and elections to be held in January, 2008. He can be expected to resign as the Chief of Army Staff in case the Supreme Court rules that his election as President is legitimate. If, contrary to expectations, the Supreme Court rues otherwise, Gen Musharraf will retain his army post, and then the progress towards the parliamentary system will stall. This is the first junction Pakistan must deal with in the nearest future.

The second one is related to the outcome of the elections, which is currently hard to predict. The elections are likely to make the situation more complicated and to make another series of urgent measures imminent rather than to make things simpler. In other words, the army and the security forces will probably reemerge on the political scene.

In the future, the only plausible option would be to «freeze» Pakistan, which means ensuring order some, more or less at the expense of the civilian liberties. Those are hard to guarantee fully due to the divergent tendencies in various parts of the country. There are more conflicts within the dominant political groups in Pakistan's provinces than just the standoff between Sindh and Punjab. By the way, the differences between the two are not of an ideological character – generally both groups share the same view on countering radical Islam and cooperating with the US in this area.

The situation is different in the provinces located north-west and west of Pakistan's main agrarian zone comprising Sindh and Punjab provinces. The first of them - the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) is mostly populated by the Pashtuns who still feel being close to the Pashtuns of Afghanistan. The area of the totally Pashtun region is about 500,000 square kilometers. This region includes the southern, south-eastern, and eastern parts of Afghanistan, the mountainous zone between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Pakistan's NWFP, and the northern part of Balochistan. Historically, most of the Pashtuns lived in Afghanistan, where they became the main and state-forming nation. Recently the balance between the Afghan and the Pakistani Pashtuns shifted towards the latter. There is a rise of the Pashtun nationalism interwoven with the mostly Pashtun Islamist nationalism in Pakistan. The combination of the two makes the settlement in Afghanistan an extremely complicated problem and largely explains the resurgence of the Taliban, whose main base lies in the hard-to-access tribal region formally governed by Pakistan. This region has a status described as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas comprising 7 agencies. The North and South Waziristan are renown as the most pro-Taliban of them.

The situation in Balochistan, which is predominantly populated by independent Baloch tribes, has been extremely tense since 2003. Essentially, the developments in this region can be described as an insurgency against the central authority in the form of regular terrorist acts and sabotage (shellings, gas pipeline sabotage, etc).

It must be emphasized that most of the Pashtun and Baloch elites are incorporated into the Pakistani one and oppose autonomies and separatism. However, the programs of the Pashtun and Baloch nationalists have a chance to find mass support in case Pakistan gets seriously destabilized.

The ruling circles in Pakistan always – and at times, successfully – tried to benefit from the country's geopolitically important location. Being a link between three regions – the South, West, and Central Asia - Pakistan used to be important to the US in the Cold War era, especially during the Afghan war. Later, when China and India emerged as new powerful players whose relations are generally those of partnership, Pakistan started to lose its significance – now Beijing is less interested in it. At the same time, the US is increasingly angered over what Washington considers the inability of Pakistan' leadership to create conditions for a decisive rout of Al Qaeda. The US believes Al Qaeda leaders to be hiding in the territory of Pakistan.

Compared to other countries with vested interests in the region, Russia has relatively little to lose from the weakening or a hypothetic disintegration of Pakistan. India, the country one might think to be extremely interested in such an outcome, may in fact be facing the greatest risks as it will inevitably have to deal with a whole array of hard-to-address problems. No doubt, the US would be the country for which it would be difficult to avoid geopolitical losses. China can lose in the strategic sense as well.

Anyhow, the realization of the above hypothetical scenario may only be a matter of a distant future. Charting Pakistan’s way out of the political quagmire and making it a country of greater vitality are the issues currently on the agenda. The tendencies destructive for Pakistan can prevail only if the corresponding solutions are not found. Should this happen, what we will see might be a clash of strategies based on chaos control.

Black Sea countries boost ties with EU

Friday, October 26, 2007


ANKARA - Turkish Daily News


The “Ankara Declaration,” an essential document for the implementation of energy, trade, transport and environmental projects with the European Union was adopted by the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) at the 17th BSEC foreign ministers meeting in Ankara yesterday. The projects were placed on the agenda by the BSCE during the15th presidential summit in Istanbul last July.

In his opening speech President Abdullah Gül promised to fully support strengthening the BSEC and maintained that the organization's responsibilities extended to security areas as well. “The BSEC has a great responsibility in keeping peace and stability in the region,” Gül said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan presided the ministerial gathering and urged BSEC member states to cooperate with utmost determination in the fight against terrorism and organized crime, which together constitute the biggest threat to international and regional security. “Turkey endeavors to turn the BSEC into a project-generating organization. Turkey spearheaded a multitude of projects in telecommunication, health and education,” said Babacan and added that a BSEC trade center will be set up in Bursa.

Turkey's chairmanship a big success

Ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, secretary general of the BSEC, praised the Istanbul Summit for taking concrete steps toward the realization of two memoranda of understanding regarding the Black Sea ring highway and the motorways of the sea.

BSEC is set to proceed with the implementation of the projects without any delay. “These projects will constitute regional contributions to the extension of trans-European networks and the development of Eurasian transport links,” Chrysanthopoulos said. The organization encourages the development of stronger maritime transport links between the Black Sea ports to contribute to the prosperity of the wider Black Sea region.

The summit declaration reflected the new period of enhanced relations between the BSEC and the EU said Chrysanthopoulos. “The declaration underlined the importance of establishing a strategic relationship between the two and that the BSEC stands ready to define, with the help of the EU, the guidelines and areas of such a relationship.” He added that at the ministerial meeting that preceded the summit in June 2007, the European Commission was granted observer status toward the BSEC.

The Ankara meeting of BSEC foreign ministers ended with the transfer of chairmanship from Turkey to Ukraine. BSEC countries recorded a growth rate of 6.2 percent in five years to reach a $3.4 trillion, or 7.6 percent of world economy.

Survey reveals middle-class Turks support secularism

Middle class, centrist views
Friday, October 26, 2007




A recent survey reveals middle-class Turks support secularism, consider themselves devout yet modern, and support Turkey’s European Union accession process

ISTANBUL – Turkish Daily News

The Turkish middle-class is secular, against a military coup, supports Turkey's accession to the European Union and is devout but with a contemporary twist, a recent survey has revealed.
The survey, released yesterday, was conducted by Scientific Research Projects for Open Society Institute and the Bosporus University.

The survey was conducted from Sept. 7 to Oct. 1, 2007 in 18 city centers and adjacent districts that best represent Turkey's urban population. The 1,809 subjects interviewed, reflect the urban population in the 18-and-over age range. Most of the subjects that participated in the survey were elementary to high schools graduates. Only 41 percent held regular jobs.



Money issues

About 58.3 percent of the subjects interviewed saw themselves as middle-class, with 41.6 percent saying the money they earn can hardly help them make ends meet while 30.7 percent said a little money is left after meeting their basic needs. Most of the interviewees said middle-class people could be distinguished by the amount of money they earned and from the neighborhoods they lived in.

Approximately 39.2 percent of the people that participated in the survey said they earned YTL 750 and below, while 38.8 percent said they needed YTL 2,400 or more to be able to make ends meet. The only source of income for 78.9 percent of the subjects was the salary they received from their jobs, while 7.8 percent earned their money through commercial or industrial activities and 2.9 percent through jobs that did not require higher education, such as plumbing, painting and driving.

More than half the subjects would like to acquire real estate if they would receive YTL 100,000. 51.5 percent said they would invest in real estate, while 14.4 percent would found a new business. Yet only 28.9 percent would buy a home if they receive YTL 25,000, while the same amount would instigate 20.8 percent to buy a car. Approximately 14.1 percent would use that amount to meet the needs of their children while 12.8 percent would use it to erase debts.



How to become rich

Most middle-class representatives believed the road to riches passed through hard work. Roughly 47.2 percent believed the rich have become rich because they have worked a lot, 22.5 percent said the reason was because the rich came from good families, another 22.5 said it was because they were well educated, with 21 percent saying it was because they were lucky. Yet 20.4 percent believe the rich have attained their status through stealing and corruption.

The interviewees believed that even though hard work is not the only way to become rich, not working enough is the reason for being poor. A total of 55.3 percent believed people stayed poor because they did not work or strive hard enough. And 34.3 percent responded it was because the poor had not received well enough of an education, with 20.9 believing it was because the state did not help them enough.

Around 46 percent of the subjects were elementary school graduates, with 42.5 percent having graduated from middle or high school, and 11.4 percent were university graduates. Yet 46.8 percent of those surveyed said they would like to receive either a master's degree or a Phd degree if given the opportunity. Education has countless benefits, yet the most popular ones among the surveyed subjects were that it provided wider vision, higher income levels and life standards, and the means to a better job. Non-material benefits, such as becoming a person that is respected by others and to be able to establish an independent life from one's parents, scored lower than material benefits.



Let's talk politics

Most considered themselves rightists. 34.9 percent believed, in general, that they were closer to the rightists in the left-right grouping in Turkey. Less than half, 14.9 percent considered themselves closer to the leftists. Yet 24.1 percent said they were closer to the center that reconciles the left and the right. Approximately 10.1 percent replied they did not believe such polarization existed, while 16.1 percent were undecided.

Yet, the way the subjects specified themselves in terms of their political views differed from where they saw themselves in the polarization. 43.9 percent saw themselves as neo-rightist (supporting democracy and the West) while 23.2 percent specified themselves as traditional rightists (doubting democracy and the West), 23.4 percent as traditional leftists (supporting democracy and doubting the West), and 9.5 percent as having a parochial/ethnic view.

An overwhelming majority of the Turkish middle-class is against a military coup. A total of 81.9 percent of those polled said they would not support a military coup or an oppressive regime, no matter what the reason. 12.3 percent said this statement would not be valid for them, while 5.8 percent were undecided.

Lately, Turkey has been witnessing a polarization between secular and anti-secular groups. The middle-class is on the side of secularism based on the survey results. About 44.9 percent said they would like for secularism to be applied in society without any changes. Just 12.3 percent believed secularism needed to be reinterpreted. And 8.5 percent believed the two could meet on common ground, while 9.5 percent believed there is no such polarization and 24.8 percent were undecided.

Of those polled 62.7 percent defined themselves as devout with a contemporary twist, while 37.3 percent said they were traditionally devout.

In a country as ethnically diverse as Turkey, most of the middle-class believed the Turkish identity needed to be adopted by all. 42 percent said each ethnic group needed to accept the Turkish identity in full, while 13.8 percent said the languages and cultures of ethnic groups have to be recognized and 16.3 percent said they were supporters of reconciling both the Turkish identity and the identity of the ethnic groups.



The EU issue

Approximately 57.4 percent of the people that participated in the survey said they supported Turkey's accession to the EU. Yet 32.4 percent were against it, with only 1 percent undecided on the subject. The number of the undecided was higher when it came to the benefits of Turkey's EU accession process. 58.9 percent believed Turks benefited from the process, while 30.5 believed the opposite was true, and 10.6 percent were undecided.