May 02, 2009

Africa’s growing strategic Relevance


Africa’s Growing Strategic Relevance

72F848B3-BA4E-8B6C-B77F-D18D4BE2119A

Author(s): Jennifer Giroux Editor(s): Daniel Möckli

Publisher(s): Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich, Switzerland Date of publication: Jul 2008 Volume number: 3 Issue number: 38 Format: PDF Pages: 3 Publishers URL: www.ssn.ethz.ch/forschung/css_analysen/ Series: CSS Analyses in Security Policy


Description: This paper argues that after decades of marginalization, Africa has now gained in strategic relevance. The author argues that the abundance of natural resources, the proliferation of Muslim extremist groups and increasing South-North migration have prompted external powers to re-engage in Africa. The paper views warnings of an upcoming Sino-American geopolitical confrontation in Africa as premature. Both the external powers and the African countries have a role to play in making sure that the growing inflows of aid and investment become a force for economic growth and political stability in Africa.General note: © 2008 Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich
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Can There Be A Terrorist-Caused Chernobyl?

By B. Raman

Most of the writings and debates on possible weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threats arising from Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other jihadi organisations have been focussing on the possible danger as a result of the terrorists getting hold of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. The Pakistanis themselves have been dismissing talk of such a danger as unwarranted and asserting that the physical security of their nuclear arsenal is so tight that no terrorist can get hold of it. The Americans too---at least outwardly---give the impression of being satisfied with the physical security measures taken by Pakistan.

2. The writings and debates are too narrowly focussed on the physical security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and on the danger of Al Qaeda benefiting from the expertise of sympathetic Pakistani nuclear scientists----serving and retired. While this aspect should be of equal concern to the US and India, there are other aspects, which should be of greater concern to India and other regional countries such as Iran, Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics (CARs) than to the US and the rest of the Western world.

3. The danger of the terrorists getting hold of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal will arise only if the terrorists capture power in Pakistan after defeating the Army. Despite the recent deterioration in the situation in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) as a result of

the increase in the activities of the Pakistani Taliban, the danger of their defeating the Army and capturing power seems low at present. The Taliban has a capability for making the entire Pashtun tribal belt in the North-West Frontier Province and in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) ungovernable and totally under its Wahabi influence and political writ. An embryonic Islamic Caliphate in the Pashtun belt on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border is a worrisome possibility. It also has the capability for organizing spectacular acts of suicide and non-suicide terrorism in the non-Pashtun areas of Pakistan, including in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore, as it has already demonstrated on many occasions.

4. But it does not have the capability to defeat the Pakistan Army in the non-Pashtun areas and capture power in Islamabad. The Pakistan Army is not like the Afghan Army, which on its own cannot resist the Taliban Army. The Afghan Army of the 1990s, consisting largely of the Mujahideen trained to figth against the Soviet troops in the 1980s, could not resist the capture of Kabul by the Taliban in September, 1996. The post-9/11 Afghan National Army (ANA) would not be able to resist on its own a Taliban advance into Kabul should the NATO forces be withdrawn from Afghanistan.

5. The Pakistan Army is different. It is strong, well-trained, well-equipped and well-motivated. It might have closed its eyes to the depredations of the Taliban in the Pashtun belt as it had done in the past to the depredations of various tribal extremist groups in the

areas adjoining the Afghan border so long as they did not threaten the unity and territorial integrity of Pakistan and were prepared to assist the Army against India, when necessary as in 1947-48 and 1965.

Ever since Pakistan became independent in 1947, no Government in Pakistan has had effective political and military control over the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Successive Pakistani Governments chose to avoid a confrontation with the tribal extremists in the FATA.

6. If the Pakistan Army today does not show the same concern as the rest of the world over the Taliban running amok in the FATA and in the Malakand Division of the NWFP, it should not be a matter for surprise. If, from time to time, it makes a pretense of acting against the Taliban it is more out of concern over the alarming reactions in the West than due to fears over any danger of their overrunning Pakistan.

7. If the Pakistani Taliban tries to overrun the rest of Pakistan and to capture power in Islamabad as its Afghan counterpart did in Kabul in 1996 and is trying to do so again now, the Pakistan Army will ruthlessly crush it. In view of this I would rate as low at present the danger of the Taliban, with or without the help of Al Qaeda, capturing power in Islamabad and taking control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

8. I would divide Pakistan's nuclear capability into three groups and grade the likely threats to them from the Taliban and other jihadi groups as follows:
(a) The Nuclear arsenal consisting of its stockpile of nuclear weapons: Their physical security is very tight with American inputs into strengthening it and with US monitoring of the state of physical security. Threat low unless and until the Taliban captures power in Islamabad.

(b) Sensitive nuclear establishments such as the Kahuta uranium enrichment plant and the Khusab plutonium facility. Their physical security is equally tight, but there are no American inputs and monitoring. Threat low to medium.

(c) Other nuclear establishments such as the Chashma nuclear power station constructed with Chinese assistance and the one at Karachi and the various sites in the NWFP and Balochistan where nuclear waste is stored: Their physical security has not received much attention either from the Pakistanis themselves or from the Americans.

Moreover, since the Chinese are associated with some of them, they would not like the US to have any role in their physical security. Threat medium to high.

9. The greatest danger in my view is the Taliban and other jihadi groups attacking one of these less guarded facilities falling in the third group. They have the capability to target them in order to create panic in the Pakistani population and demonstrate their prowess in the non-Pashtun areas of Pakistan.
10. India and other regional countries should have strong reasons to be worried over this possibility because the environmental and health hazards arising from a terrorist attack on these facilities would affect not only Pakistan, but also its neighbours. A terrorist-causedChernobyl is a danger of greater possibility than the terrorists capturing the nuclear arsenal.

11. It is in India's interest to nudge the US into taking more interest in the physical security of these establishments in order to prevent such an event. The present counter-terrorism co-operation between India and the US is more tactical than strategic in the form of exchange of intelligence regarding plans for a terrorist strike and extension of mutual legal assistance in the investigation of terrorist attacks as in the case of the Mumbai terrorist attack of November 26, 2008. The only strategic co-operation is in respect of cyber and maritime security. To one's knowledge, there is very little interaction of a substantial nature relating to WMD security as a result of developments in Pakistan.

12. The Barack Obama Administration and whatever Government comes to power in New Delhi after the present elections should realise that the security and welfare of their people are closely tied to developments in Pakistan. There is a need for more intense and sustained interactions on this subject between the political leaderships and the professional experts of the two countries than has been the case at present. Among the various steps that could be considered are the setting-up of a hotline between the political establishments and the intelligence chiefs of the two countries and a joint monitoring group to monitor closely the developments in Pakistan.

13. At present, India's focus has been on making the US co-operate against the activities of the anti-India terrorist groups and their infrastructure in Pakistani territory. This should continue, but this should not be the only subject of co-operation between the two countries. It is necessary to expand it to cover likely threats to Pakistan's nuclear establishments. We should not allow the development of such wider interactions to be inhibited by complexes arising from past unpleasant experiences with the US.

(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)

May 01, 2009

Pakistan In Sharia Quagmaire

http://www.asiantribune.com/?q=node/17207

Sat, 2009-05-02 00:21
By Sarla Handoo - Syndicate Features

TREATMENT OF MINORITIES IN PAKISTAN










Al Jazeera's Matt McClure met some Hindus who have crossed the border from Pakistan into India


Fighting in Pakistan has forced thousands to flee their homes. Some of them are members of the country's minority Hindu and Sikh communities, who say they are increasingly becoming targets of religious persecution.

.




Within a day of the National Assembly of Pakistan passing the Nizami- Adl regulation and the president Asif Ali Zardari giving his assent to it, the worst fears have begun coming true. The Tehriki Nifazi- Shariati- Mohammadi has come out with a surprising definition of Nizami- Adl saying that the law will protect militants who are charged with killings and persecution of innocent people of not only swat but the entire Malakand Agency. That is because the Chief of the outfit Maulana Sufi Mohammad says that "past things will be left behind and we will go for a new life in peace."

The outfit has also made it clear that the law will not cover Mullah Fazalullah and his followers and as such the new Sharia courts can not hear complaints against mullah Fazulullah by the residents of Swat.

That being the case, one need not be surprised by the report that the Taliban has forcibly occupied 10 Sikh houses in Orakzai Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). They took their leader Sardar Kalyan Singh as hostage and demanded a ransom of Rs. 50 million as Jazia, the religious tax. Since the poor families could not pay the levy, they were forced to leave their homes for other areas. Media reports say there are only 15 Sikh houses in the area and that five households had left earlier for fear of their lives at the hands of Taliban.

The Sharia law provides for cutting off the hands of a thief and stoning and lashing people for different crimes. The area is now out of bounds for the modern civil law. What we will be seeing now is the repeat of the recent case in Afghanistan where a young boy and a girl were made to face bullets publicly. They loved each other and wanted to marry but their parents were against it.

The US has come out with a strong reaction to the move by Pakistani President to approve the law. It both said that the law goes against both Human Rights as well as Democracy. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the US is deeply concerned about the development. President Asif Ali Zardari is putting up a brave face in trying to make the world believe that he is not capitulating before the militants. But that is something no one, including the people of Pakistan, are going to believe. That Zardari tried to absolve himself of the responsibility by letting the Parliament pass the bill before he signed it is a ruse the people can clearly see through.

Even between the hard-line cleric Sufi Mohammad and the Taliban, there are contradiction. While Sufi Mohammad is clear that the Taliban have to lay down arms after the deal is implemented, the spokesman of Taliban Muslim Khan has said that lying down of arms by the Taliban is not part of the agreement reached between the NWFP government and the Taliban which was brokered by Mullah Sufi Mohammad. How is this contradiction going to be reconciled in the future is still an open question.

One of the ominous facts is that the Taliban of Pakistan, who largely constitute the Pakhtuns, are already in touch with militants in Punjab, the largest province of Pakistan which is home to half of the country’s population. In fact, there are reports that the attack on Marriot Hotel in Islamabad and the recent ones on the Sri Lankan cricket team and the Police Academy near Lahore were carried out jointly by the two militant outfits.

Taliban is now working for strengthening its position in Punjab and extending its tenterhooks to other areas of Pakistan. It has already announced that it is working for extending the Sharia law to entire Pakistan. It has adopted a well calculated strategy to destabilize Pakistan by taking the Punjab route. It seems to have realized hat for destabilizing Pakistan it is important to destabilize Punjab first.

The political leadership does not seem to realize the gravity of the situation. That is why President Zardari has buckled under pressure from the Taliban as well as a section of political parties, including the Awami National Party, which threatened to withdraw support to the PPP government in Islamabad.

It is in this backdrop that the US has warned Pakistan to beware of entering into peace deals with the Taliban and allow the Sharia law to be enforced in the name of Islam and thereby deprive the people of Pakistan of their basic human rights. And some behind the scenes arm-twisting from Washington, has forced President Zardari and Army Chief Gen Kayani to put their act together and checkmate the onward march of Taliban from Swat belt.

The US Administration is committing a mistake in trying to distinguish between the good Taliban and the bad Taliban. The fact is that there are no good Taliban at all and engaging what is perceived to be good Taliban will only worsen the situation. A leading American expert on South Asia Ashley Tellis argues that any effort at reconciliation with the Taliban will "undermine the credibility of American power and the success of the Afghan Mission." He describes it as the "worst possible approach" to deal with the problem.

Undoubtedly, application of Sharia law in Malakand area has been a decision inimical to the interests of Pakistan itself and of course, the rest of the world. It will prompt the US to intensify its drone attacks on the tribal areas, ignoring Islamabad’s protests.

The clouds on the Pakistani horizon are thus getting darker.

- Asian Tribune -



A Taliban outrage
“Jaziya” on Sikhs is unacceptable

The razing of the 11 houses of minority Sikhs in troubled Aurakzai tribal region of Pakistan after they failed to pay “jaziya” (tax levied on non-Muslims) has revived memories of similar unequal treatment that the Hindus and Sikhs had faced in Aurangzeb’s times. The outrage is all the more condemnable now, considering that it is happening in modern times. It is a shame for the Asif Ali Zardari government which signed the February agreement with the Taliban and allowed imposition of Shariah law on Swat’s 1.2 million inhabitants and an object lesson for US President Barack Obama who used this agreement as a model in his stated quest for “moderate Taliban”.

Imposing a tax on the basis of religion militates against all tenets of civility, but what Taliban had enforced was outright blackmail. Sikhs were told to pay Rs 5 crore as tax and when they could not, they were targeted unsparingly. What better can be expected from the marauding killers who think that educating girls is a sin and all non-Muslims are kafirs! This is a strange interpretation of Shariah law indeed.

Pakistan being a theocratic state may not find such treatment as unacceptable, but civilised world must raise its voice against the outrage. Minorities have been systematically targeted in Pakistan all these years but this is the limit. If Taliban are allowed to get away with it, they may come up with even more draconian fatwas in future. International community must intervene effectively to curb this discrimination. India has a special responsibility. Taliban attacks have forced more than 50 Sikh and Hindu families to vacate their homes and take shelter in gurdwaras at Nankana Sahib and Peshawar. Many others have had to bid adieu to their homeland forever and have decided to settle in Amritsar. Those who swear by human rights must raise their voice unitedly against such inhuman acts

Raise voice against terror state, Baloch leader's call




by Ahmar Mustikhan | May 1, 2009

A key leader of the international Baluch movement and founder of Baloch Society of North America has called upon all peace-loving forces to join a historic rally to raise their voice against Pakistan army and I.S.I.'s machinations not only against the people of Baluchistan but entire humanity.

Wahid Baloch, founder of BSO-NA -- one of the the first organizations that gave voice to the Baluch secular movement in North America -- and confidante of self-exiled De Jure Ruler of Baluchistan, Suleman Daud Ahmedzai, urged Baluch, Sindhi, Pashtun and Seraikis in the U.S. to assemble before the White House on May 6 to protest President Asif Ali Zardari's meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on May 6th, 2009

"In fact anyone who believes Pakistan army is a threat to humanity must attend the rally," he said.

He said thet the rally in front of White House is being organized to register protest against the ongoing killings and disappearances in Balochistan and to ask President Obama and his administration to declare Pakistan as a terrorist state and to stop all military and financial aid to Pakistan and its Jihadi terrorist army that is running a campaign of terror in Balochistan.

"We ask all the peace and freedom loving people to come show their support," Wahid Baloch said.

For nearly four years now, Wahid Baloch has exposed Pakistan army atrocities against the Baloch and other oppressed nationalities and communities, including Hindus and Christians, in Pakistan through his website www.bso-na.org.

"Pakistan government has sponsored state terrorism in Balochistan," he said. "At the same time what is most intriguing is that Pakistan government and its military’s have shown an inability to contain the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Pakistan's dreaded Inter Services Intelligence," he said.

Baloch said he believes the rise in Islamic militancy and extremism within civil society of Pakistan is because of state support.

He said the spread of Talibanization coupled with the ongoing and incessant genocide of the Baluch nation and the oppression against the Sindhi nation must be put on the international agenda.

Baloch said Pakistan's nuclear weapons were a cause of concern for entire humanity and the world must act before it was too late.

Wahid Baloch called upon peace-loving Americans also to show support and assemble at the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC on May 6 at 8.00 a.m. sharp.

In his activism work, Baloch met key U.S. legislators to apprise them about the Pakistani state atrocities against Baluchistan.

Recently, he raised the Baluch issue at the United Nations Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva.

An outspoken critic of the family monopoly of politics in Baluchistan, Wahid Baloch firmly believes in freedom of expression and decries leg-pulling in Baluch politics.

http://my.nowpublic.com/world/raise-voice-against-terror-state-baloch-leaders-call

Tanzania: Beyond Sectarian Interests

Haroub Othman
30 April 2009



opinion

No-one knows whether the 1964 union between Zanzibar and Tanganyika was dictated by cold war considerations first, with pan-African ideals of unity playing second fiddle to ideology and personal survival, writes Haroub Othman. But what is clear, Othman argues, is that despite Tanzania's controversial history, the union brought peace and stability to the region, in contrast with the secessionism and violence seen elsewhere. While corrective measures - supported by the people - are required to ensure that it is fit for purpose, the union is a better option than breaking into a federal structure with Kenya and Uganda, says Othman.

Since the 1920s the countries of East Africa, namely Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda and Zanzibar, had developed common services and joint institutions. Matters such as posts and telecommunications, harbours, railways and currency were run jointly. There was also a body to coordinate the development of Kiswahili. This, no doubt, was easy in view of the fact that all the four countries were neighbours and under one colonial power. The white settlers in Kenya had at one time pressed the British government for a federation of the East African countries on the lines of that of Central Africa. But people in Tanganyika and Uganda feared that if that was to happen it would throw their countries into the hands of white supremacists in Kenya, in the same way that the peoples of Central Africa found themselves under the white supremacists of Southern Rhodesia at the time of the Central African Federation. And so this idea was opposed at the time.

But as the countries were approaching independence and because of the close cooperation among the nationalist organisations, the idea of federation re-emerged. Nyerere, in a statement made in Addis Ababa when Tanganyika's independence was imminent, said that he was prepared to delay his country's independence if the four countries of East Africa could come to independence at the same time and form a federation. But with independence each country retreated into its own national shell, and what was agreed was the formation of the East African Common Services Organisation that later in December 1967 was transformed into the East African Community.

When, therefore on 26 April, 1964, the People's Republic of Zanzibar and the Republic of Tanganyika announced that they had merged to form a union, the international community felt that Zanzibar and Tanganyika had succeeded where the four East African countries together had failed. But was it the ideals of Pan-Africanism that brought Zanzibar and Tanganyika together? Was the union the result of an African initiative or was it propelled by cold war rivalry? The circumstances in which the union was formed raised a lot of questions, many of which are still unanswered, and some have been at the centre of continuing debates and controversies in Tanzania in the last twenty years. Were the fears of ZNP (Zanzibar Nationalist Party) that Zanzibar would be 'taken over' by Tanganyika had been proven true? In later years, the union was to haunt the Zanzibar politicians for a long time, with each of them playing the 'union card' either for legitimacy on the mainland or for support at home.

Nyerere stated that he casually proposed the idea of the union to Karume when the latter visited him to discuss the fate of John Okello. According to Nyerere, Karume immediately agreed to the idea and suggested that Nyerere should be the president of such a union. In a New Year message to the nation on 2 January 1965, Nyerere implied that even if the ASP (Afro-Shirazi Party) had come into power through constitutional means and not as a result of a revolution, the union would still have taken place. But Amrit Wilson's research has revealed that there was a very strong Western pressure, especially from the United States, for the Zanzibar revolution to be contained because it was felt that it held the threat of the spread of communism in the East African region. The Untied States, Britain and the then West Germany, which Tanganyika was heavily dependent on at the time, viewed the revolutionary government in Zanzibar as either a surrogate of the communist powers or dancing to their tune. The international press had already started to characterise Zanzibar as the 'Cuba of Africa', though to be fair to Duggan, he had referred to Zanzibar as 'Tanganyika's Cuba' far back in July 1963 when he had interviewed Nyerere in Washington during the latter's state visit to the US.

In a cable message to US embassies in Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and Kampala, the US Secretary of State Dean Rusk instructed his diplomats to urge Nyerere, Kenyatta and Obote to explain to Karume the dangers involved in his dependence on Babu and:

'The danger Babu represents... to the security of Zanzibar and East Africa generally... they should recognise here that the big problem is that Karume himself has great confidence in and dependence on Babu... also that Nyerere has said that Karume needs Babu who, despite his background, can and must be worked with. Kenyatta and Joseph Murumbi on the other hand appear to regard Babu as undesirable and the chief threat to Karume. Would it be useful to raise with Nyerere, despite his previous objection, the idea of a Zanzibar-Tanganyika Federation as a possible way of strengthening Karume and reducing Babu's influence? Such action at this time may also help Nyerere's own position.'

In an interview with Amrit Wilson in 1986, Frank Carlucci, the US consul in Zanzibar at the time of the union who was later thrown out of Zanzibar because of CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) activities (and who later rose to become the director of CIA and US secretary of state for defence), confessed that there was United States' pressure on Nyerere.

Susan Crouch in her book Western Responses to Tanzanian Socialism 1967-1983 reveals that:

'To this end the American Central Intelligence Agency was active in trying to create the conditions for union, fanning antagonisms among Zanzibar's revolutionary leaders, and creating a fear of Zanzibar as a communist threat among East African leaders.'

Was the union then, as is indicated in US state department papers, dictated by cold war considerations first and the questions of pan-African ideals of unity were secondary to ideological factors and questions of personal survival?

It has also been suggested that Karume wanted a union with Tanganyika as a means of warding off his marxist and left wing colleagues. What seems to be the case is that after the electoral defeat of July 1963, Karume's leadership within the ASP parliamentary group was shaky. There was a schism in it, with Karume being challenged by Othman Shariff, and some of the party's MPs calling for a government of national unity that would bring together in government all the political parties in parliament. After the revolution, Umma Party radical elements in the government (Babu, Khamis Abdalla Ameir, Ali Sultan Issa, Ali Mahfoudh, Salim Rashid, Badawi Qullatein, etc) were forging links with the ASP leftists (Abdallah Kassim Hanga. Abdulazizi Ali Twala, Hassan Nassor Moyo, etc.), and this might have scared Karume and other moderate elements within the regime. At the same time, the radical way in which the revolution was surging ahead might have alarmed the regime in Dar es Salaam. It should not be forgotten that within days of the revolution in Zanzibar, an army mutiny took place in Tanganyika (later repeated in Kenya and Uganda); and even though we know now that there was no link between the revolution and those mutinies, it was difficult to see it that way at the time.

As a result of the army mutiny in Dar es Salaam, Tabora and Nachingwea, there was virtually no government in Tanganyika for three days, anarchy prevailed, and Nyerere was forced to request British military intervention to bring the country back to normalcy.

The West, particularly the Untied States, perceived developments in Zanzibar in the context of East-West rivalry, and given the leftist credentials of the Umma Party and some of the ASP leaders that were prominent in the revolutionary council, it was assumed that a Cuba-type situation was evolving. The best way of averting it, short of direct military intervention a la Playa Giron (though this was thought of and preparations made), was to try an 'African initiative'. And it worked.

QUESTIONS OF LEGITIMACY

Many questions continued to be raised regarding the legal basis of the union: Whether the two presidents on their own had the powers to sign such a union agreement; why the Zanzibar's attorney-general, as the principal legal advisor to the government, was not consulted; why there was no referendum; and whether in joining such a union, Zanzibar was not in fact 'swallowed' and 'annexed' by Tanganyika.

Discussions on the union were conducted very secretively. From the archival materials and the statements of those who were in the 'corridors of power' at the time, it would appear that not many people in the Tanganyika government or the Zanzibar Revolutionary Council knew what was happening. Apart from Nyerere and Karume, the only other people who might have been privy to those discussions were Rashidi Kawawa, Oscar Kambona, Job Lusinde, Abdallah Kassim Hanga, Abdul-Aziz Ali Twala and Salim Rashidi.

When these discussions were at an advanced stage, Nyerere is said to have called in his attorney-general at the time, British expert Roland Brown, and asked him to draft a union agreement without anybody knowing. In the case of Zanzibar, the attorney-general, Wolf Dourado, is said to have been sent on a one-week 'leave' and instead a Ugandan lawyer, Dan Nabudere (according to his own account which was corroborated by Babu), was brought in to advise Karume on the draft submitted by Tanganyika. Both Brown and Nabudere were present in the Karume-Nyerere discussions. One can speculate that one reason why Dourado was not involved was because he was 'inherited' from the previous ZNP/ZPPP (Zanzibar Nationalist Party-Zanzibar and Pemba People's Party) regime and the revolutionary government was hesitant to involve him in such a sensitive matter.

Under both the 1962 Republic of Tanganyika constitution and the Zanzibar presidential decree No.5 quoted above, the two presidents had the powers to enter into international agreements on behalf of their governments. What is also important is that the union agreement was ratified by both the Tanganyika parliament and the Zanzibar Revolutionary Council. Contrary to what some writers have said, the Nyalali Commission was satisfied that the Revolutionary Council met to ratify the Articles of Union. Both Abdulrahman Babu and Khamis Abdallah Ameir, the two former Umma party leaders who were in the Revolutionary Council at the time, have confirmed that the matter was discussed in the council, and while there were reservations on the part of some members, these were 'quashed' by Abdallah Kassim Hanga who made an emotional intervention to support the union.

Once the Articles of Union had been ratified by the two legislative bodies in Tanganyika and Zanzibar, there was no further requirement in law to make them enforceable. The question of referendum would not have arisen because under the Commonwealth legal tradition, in which the two countries were brought up, the notion of a referendum was unknown. The referendum was introduced as a legal requirement under British law in the 1970s during the heated debate in the United Kingdom on the question of its entry into the European Economic Community. To have also expected the Zanzibar revolutionary government to call a referendum on the union, four months after it came into power through unconstitutional means, was like expecting the French revolutionaries of 1789 to have invited King Louis XVI for dinner after they had overthrown him. Should ASP have conducted a referendum to ask Zanzibaris whether or not to stage a revolution? In law, therefore, the Union Agreement, as both Prof Issa Shivji and Dr Kabudi have pointed out, is valid.

ARTICLES OF UNION: 1 + 1 = 3

The Union Agreement, signed by Karume and Nyerere in Zanzibar on 22 April 1964, is known as the Articles of Union. When this agreement was announced the following day, many people inside the two countries, and outside too, were taken by surprise. The strong feeling was that the West had won in their intention to containing the Zanzibar revolution; in fact there were military preparations by both Britain and the United States in case there was a violent reaction in Zanzibar against the union.

What the Tanganyika leadership wanted at the time was to play down the whole event. In a cable message of 23 April 1964 to the US secretary of state, the US ambassador in Dar es Salaam, William Leonhart, informed:

'Mbwambo, chief protocol, has just telephoned a personal request... that, to the maximum extent, any US public statements on Tangovernment -Zanzibar union be avoided. Situation over the next few days in Zanzibar could be very critical and both the Soviet and Chinese reaction is undetermined.'

In an address later to the National Assembly requesting the ratification of the Articles of Union, Nyerere insisted that the move was inspired by the ideals for an African unity. 'Unity in our continent does not have to come via Moscow or Washington', he insisted.

The Articles of Union have been given different interpretations and characterised as federal, quasi-federal, an interim arrangement towards one government, etc. Some have seen the union as similar to the relationship between the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

Those who were close to the scene at the time also differ as to what type of relationship it is. The US ambassador in Dar es Salaam, in a cable message to his government on 22 April 1964, the day the Articles of Union were signed by Karume and Nyerere, stated:

'Like the relationship between Northern Ireland and Britain, the union of Zanzibar and Tanganyika gave the island limited regional administrative autonomy... but ensured overall power... was held by the centre at Dar es Salaam'. But Frank Calucci, reporting from Zanzibar the next day, said that Karume was 'still under the impression that he is agreeing to a federation of two autonomous states, not a centralised union envisaged under the present articles'. Attwood, the U.S. Ambassador in Kenya at the time, says he was informed by Dustan Omari, Nyerere's permanent secretary then, 'that the major power would rest in the centre... but that Zanzibar would retain its own internal governmental affairs'.

While I have difficulty in accepting some of the assertions of some of the writers on the character of the union for reasons that I will advance later, I would only want to agree with the notion that the Articles of Union are the Grundnorm, the fundamental law of the United Republic, on which the Constitutions of Tanzania and Zanzibar, and other laws, have to be based and from which they derive their legitimacy. Like any supreme law in any other legal system, no other law or constitutional act can be in conflict with it.

Articles of Union provide for matters that would be under the union arrangement. From the original 11 items in 1964, the list has now expanded to 23. Some people question the validity of such an expansion, though one must admit that there was nothing that was added into the list unconstitutionally. The Articles of Union also provide for the existence of two governments: One for the whole United Republic for all union matters and for non-union matters in Tanganyika, which, under the 1977 Union Constitution is referred to as Tanzania mainland, and one for Zanzibar in all matters that are non-Union. According to Nyerere, Karume wanted a total union, but he (Nyerere) cautioned against it, saying that such a move might be construed by Zanzibaris and others as meaning that Zanzibar had been swallowed up, annexed, incorporated into or taken over by Tanganyika. He insisted that Zanzibar's identity must be maintained.

There is no way one can construe the 'Article of Union' as a basis for a federal set-up. Nor can they be seen as an interim arrangement towards a one government. They intended to create a single state with two authorities, but with one of those authorities having a limited geographical jurisdiction. The intention was to retain the identity of the smaller unit. By this event, Tanganyika has not been lost; in fact it has been enlarged. Even if it is accepted that the union was a Western conspiracy against the Zanzibar revolution, the effect of the intention was to deny Zanzibar the capacity to be an international actor, not to interfere with what was happening inside the country. To be able to change the internal course of events would have entailed changing the regime. What might have confounded some of the law experts looking at the relationship between Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania was the fact that no such example existed in the Anglo-Saxon legal system. The closest they could think of then was that of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

CONSOLIDATING THE UNION: POPULAR APPROVAL

At the time of the Union Zanzibar and Tanganyika were ruled by different political parties, ASP and TANU respectively. The Articles of Union did not require the formation of a single political party for the whole United Republic. Thus in the period 1964-1977 each party operated within its own geographical area, though at the approach of every general election, the two parties held a joint congress where they nominated a join presidential candidate for the elections. Only in 1977, after a national survey of members of both parties, did the two parties merge to form the Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) with authority over the whole country. But why did Zanzibaris agree to such a merger? Nyerere had always expressed surprise when recalling the radiant faces he saw and the jovial mood of the Zanzibaris the day CCM was proclaimed at the Amaan stadium in Zanzibar. The fact is that Zanzibaris were celebrating not only the birth of CCM but also the demise of ASP. By that time the general feeling in the islands was that the ASP had outlived its usefulness. The revolution which it had championed had stooped so low as to devour its own sons: Most of the leaders were busy amassing wealth; prison and death were the only options open to political dissent; and political thuggery was a virtue.

One matter that was added in 1984 to the list of union items was that of national security. This happened at the time when Ali Hassan Mwinyi was president and Seif Shariff Hamad the chief minister of Zanzibar in 1984-85, commonly known as the Third Phase government. Not having much confidence in the security personnel they inherited, who might have had personal allegiance to Jumbe and Seif Bakari, the new administration sought the extension of the National Security Act of the mainland to Zanzibar. In that case it was possible to transfer the security personnel in Zanzibar to the mainland and vice versa.

So from the above one can see the following: First, Zanzibaris wanted a merger of the parties, and for the united party to have authority all over the country, in the hope that it would rescue them from a regime that was no longer able to inspire confidence and instil enthusiasm; and second, a 'consolidation' of the union in this regard was necessary for one faction of the leadership to ward off any possible challenge by the other.

The long-term effect of the parties' merger was to have matters that were entirely within Zanzibar's jurisdiction, and that were not union matters, decided by a pan-territorial political party where Zanzibari representation was not decisive. This became clear in 1984 when Aboud Jumbe was forced to resign as Zanzibar president: It was the party's NEC which appointed Ali Hassan Mwinyi as an interim president and later nominated him for election as the president of Zanzibar. Since NEC's Zanzibari membership is no more than a third of the total, this means therefore that a Zanzibar president could be chosen by a forum, which is predominantly non-Zanzibari. And this was further evidenced with the nomination by CCM's NEC of the present president of Zanzibar.

A number of other measures were taken to consolidate the union, particularly in the constitutional realm. A permanent constitution was put in place in 1977 instead of an interim one that had been in existence since 1964.

ZANZIBAR'S IDENTITY IN THE UNION

In the Articles of Union, Zanzibar is allowed to retain its autonomy and pursue its own policies in all matters other than those stipulated as Union matters. In this case, the power to decide is left to the Zanzibar organs such as the house of representatives, the revolutionary council and the president of Zanzibar and chairman of the revolutionary council. The union constitution stipulates that constitutional amendments require the approval of two-thirds of Zanzibaris sitting in the union parliament and the same proportion of mainlanders.

In order to avoid a clash in the legislative functions of the two sides of the union, it has been provided that if the house of representatives enacts any law which should be under the jurisdiction of the union parliament that law will be null and void, and also if the union parliament enacts a law on any matter under the jurisdiction of the house of representatives that law will be null and void.

The constitution also provides for effective Zanzibari representation in the union parliament. It also guarantees a separate judiciary system for Zanzibar which has jurisdiction over Zanzibar alone. Even though the court of appeal of the United Republic is a union organ, it has no power to decide on a case involving a dispute between the union government and the Zanzibar revolutionary government.

However one might view the circumstances that made Zanzibar merge with Tanganyika in 1964, the fact of the matter is that Zanzibar was not annexed or forcefully incorporated. It agreed on the union out of its own free will and as a result of decisions made by its own organs. The argument that within the union Tanganyika has lost its identity has no basis. If anything it has enlarged its territory. It is Zanzibar's autonomy and identity that must be maintained lest, as Nyerere himself has pointed out several times, an impression is created that the larger and more populous Tanganyika has swallowed Zanzibar. Such a situation is not new even in the most centralised states. In China, despite the fact that the country has a centralised authority and no federal traces of any kind, yet because of certain historical, political or cultural reasons, certain areas are conferred autonomy, and are constitutionally given the status of autonomous regions. As will be pointed out later there are entities in present-day Europe that enjoy full autonomy within one state. To entertain the thought that the Articles of Union are a temporary arrangement, and that ultimately the intention should be to create one government is to manifest 'big brother chauvinism'

DEBATES ON THE UNION: A POLLUTED ATMOSPHERE

In 1983/84 and 1990/92 extensive political and constitutional debates took place in the country that deeply probed the question of the union. The debates of 1983/84 resulted in major amendments to the 1977 union constitution and the formulation of a new Zanzibar constitution in 1984. But they also resulted in the forced resignation of Aboud Jumbe from all his state and party positions, the sacking of a Zanzibar chief minister and the serious warning given by the ruling party to a number of prominent Zanzibar figures. The debates of the 1990/92 period resulted in the Nyalali Commission making major recommendations on the structure of the Union. In between the two periods also another Zanzibar chief minister was sacked, and several leading Zanzibar politicians were dismissed form the ruling party.

As stated above, the question of Zanzibar being 'sold' to the mainland was an issue in pre-revolutionary Zanzibar. And if one remembers that the political parties were almost evenly divided, then one can assume that almost half of the Zanzibar population was already biased against the mainland even before the union. The post-revolution politics in the islands did not help matters much. Karume went into a union to save himself from his marxist and left-wing colleagues; and since Jumbe was not considered to be the 'heir apparent' before Karume's assassination in 1972, he was not thought of as the natural successor when he took over. It has been speculated that the revolutionary council had Colonel Seif Bakari in mind, but Nyerere advised that since Karume was killed by an army officer, Seif Bakari taking over might be construed as a military coup. Jumbe, feeling that he had not much support within the revolutionary council, depended very much on Nyerere's and mainland's support. It is no wonder then that it was during his presidency that much of the consolidation of the union took place, with the most items added to the union list. It is significant too that the merger of the parties took place then. But this dependency on the mainland was costing him much popular support at home. Either as a way of outflanking his opponents or because of genuine problems he found in the union (after all he was for a long time a minister for union affairs before he became president of Zanzibar), he first raised the question of restructuring the union in a speech seven years before the 1983/84 debates.

Other politicians in Zanzibar too have used the mainland as a trump card either to crush their opponents or to climb the political ladder. Seif Shariff Hamad, Khatib Hassan, Shaaban Mloo and others accused Jumbe in 1984 of planning to break up the union, and thus forced Jumbe to resign from his political posts then. They in turn faced the same accusation from their opponents in 1988 and were dismissed from the party.

The issues that were raised in both the 1983/84 and 1990/92 debates centred on the following:

1. Whether the Articles of Union of 1964 provided for a federation, that is three governments (one of Tanganyika, the other of Zanzibar, and a third a federal one) or only two governments as presently existing;

2. As the union government is also the government for the mainland in non-union matters, does this not give the impression that mainland is the union?

3. Does Zanzibar get a fair share in the distribution of benefits coming form the union?

4. Is Zanzibar well represented in the diplomatic service?

5. Does it get a fair share of foreign aid coming to Tanzania?

6. Since the people of Zanzibar were not consulted at the time of the formation of the union, should there not be a referendum now to ascertain whether the people wanted the union or not?

Most of these questions, as can be seen, were coming from Zanzibar, and what surprised many people at the time of the 1983/84 debate, was that they were being aired in the state-owned-and-controlled official mass media.

No such strong feelings were voiced on the mainland during the debates. Many people who made submissions to the Nyalali Commission said hardly anything about the system of governments that the union should have. It was only after the opening up of the political system and the establishment of more political parties that one began hearing very strong views coming form the mainland on the question of the Union; some of those going even further than anybody in Zanzibar had ever contemplated.

THE NYALALI COMMISSION: AGREED TO DISAGREE

One of the major recommendations of the Nyalali Commission was for the replacement of the present union set-up with a federal one. This was one of the areas that bought about a very heated debate within the commission and which necessitated members of the commission having to vote. Later those who were opposed to the federal idea had to append their own dissenting opinion to the main report to explain their position. But the division in the commission on this issue almost came to a mainland/Zanzibar division.

Of the 11 members from Zanzibar, seven wanted the present union set-up, with some major changes, to remain; three wanted a federal and one was undecided. Of the same number from the Mainland, nine wanted a federal set-up and two wanted the present arrangement to continue. What is important is that both sides agreed that there were problems within the union. Even though at the time the complaints form the mainland were not so loud compared to Zanzibar, it would have been wise if those complaints were addressed and resolved. The majority of members of the commission felt that in a federal set-up, both Tanganyika and Zanzibar would retain their identity, federal areas would be clearly defined and the responsibilities of each would be understood, and the federal entity would be distinct from the national ones.

Those holding the minority opinion, on the other hand, were of the view that there was nothing in the Articles of Union to suggest that their framers had a federal set-up in mind; that a federation would be a step backward and might be a prelude to the dissolution of the union; that corrective measures could be taken, if there is political will, which would define union matters, list union institutions and apportion the responsibility of each side on those matters. Examples were provided from the two Scandinavian countries of Denmark and Finland where entities (Faroe Islands, Aaland Islands and Greenland) have full autonomy in a number of areas that they exercise within a non-federal state. The dissenting opinion in the Nyalali Report pointed out:

'Greenland and Faroe Islands, both of which are part of Denmark, have full autonomy in many matters. For example, a parliament that is not subject to interference form the central government of Denmark, and all political and economic matters agreed upon and even in international relations. The islands of Faroe have their own flag hoisted in all government buildings and on ships registered in Faroe islands. Also Faroe Islands authority issues passports;

Denmark had agreed to join the European Economic Community. So did Greenland. But later, Greenland withdrew from the Community. Therefore, all EEC agreements and conditionality accepted in Denmark did not apply in Greenland. Similarly, the Islands of Faroe are not a member of the EU.

In regard to Finland, the islands of Aaland have their own parliament and government. The islands of Aaland also have their own 'identity' for persons born in the islands and who have not lived abroad consecutively for five years or more. The islands have their own flag, issue their own stamps and its citizens are not subject to military service. The islands of Aaland are a demilitarised zone. The Central Bank of Finland must consult the government of Aaland before it takes measures that might harm the economy of Aaland. This, despite the fact that they share a common currency;

The islands of Aaland, as is the case for Greenland and Faroe, are, on their own right, represented in the Nordic Council that consists of Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland.'

WHITHER THE UNION?

As pointed out above, there have been historical links between Zanzibar and Tanganyika long before the coming of the colonialists in East Africa; and colonialism did not in fact stop such interactions from continuing. During the struggle for national independence, the two main political parties in the two countries cooperated - though there is nothing to suggest that the two parties were thinking of merging into a union of this kind after they came into power. What they had in mind was to form a federation with Kenya and Uganda. Until the elections of July 1963, ASP still thought that it would win power through the electoral process; and it would appear that their main supporters, TANU (Tanganyika African National Union), thought likewise.

Now the union is a fact. Despite a lot of problems, it has brought stability and peace in the region. It is difficult to speculate what would have happened to the Zanzibar revolution without the union: Whether Zanzibar would have advanced faster or whether a counter-revolutionary force would have taken over and embellished a dictatorship worse than anything the islands have actually experienced especially during the first phase government. What is clear though is that the union has brought the two peoples much closer together.

I do not believe that the unity of the two peoples can be strengthened by restructuring the present set-up into a federation. I see movement from the present set-up to a federation as a step towards the dismemberment of the union; and I do not think that that is to the short or long term benefit of the people of Tanzania. The present problems can be resolved if there is a strong political will on the part of our political class and if the people are told the truth about those problems.

Only when corrective measures are taken, would it be possible to sustain and strengthen the union. Otherwise if the difficulties inherent in the Articles of Union and the problems arising from implementation are only emphasised and not resolved, the tendency would be towards the withering away of the union.

In this era of multi-parties and openness, it is even more important that matters are discussed and solutions founded on popular will. Of all the political parties that have been established since the abolition of the one-party system, only one, the Democratic Party led by Reverend Mtikila, has come out strongly against the union and called for its dissolution. Others are prevaricating between 'referendum', 'federation' and modifications within the present set-up. The CCM and its governments which seemed earlier on to strongly accept the dissenting opinion in the Nyalali Report, now seems to be torn apart, with a strong group calling for a federal set-up.

The national language, the ethics of equality and human dignity, and the Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar are what overcame the ethnic hatred, religious bigotry, regional parochialism and national differences and forged national cohesion and unity. It is these that have made Tanzania an example in a continent beset with secessionism, ethnic violence and religious pogroms. One hopes that there is capacity, honesty and patriotism within Tanzania that will look beyond the sectarian interests. The alternative is too horrendous to contemplate.

*A full version of this paper was published in 1993 by the Danish Centre for Development Research. It also appeared in the book Zanzibar and the Union Question, edited by Prof Chris Peter and Professor Haroub Othman

and published by the Zanzibar Legal Services Centre.

* Haroub Othman is a professor in development studies at the

University of Dar es Salaam.

* Please send comments to editor@pambazuka.org or comment online at http://www.pambazuka.org/.

April 29, 2009

Battle Lines Drawn In Central Asian Water Dispute

http://www.rferl.org/content/Battle_Lines_Being_Drawn_In_Central_Asian_Water_Dispute/1611679.html

April 19, 2009
By Bruce Pannier
Do countries have the right to use water flowing through their territory as they wish? Or do they have an obligation to consider the needs of neighbors living further downstream?

That's been a constant dilemma for the Central Asian states since they became independent after the Soviet break-up.

Much of Central Asia's water flows from the mountains of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, leaving downstream countries Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan dependent and worried about the effects of planned hydropower plants upstream.
"There are lots of discussions about water and energy going on among the Central Asian states. It seems that this process is fueled by some interested powers, who follow their own aims," Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon said in his annual speech to the nation on April 15, referring to Uzbekistan.

"They say that implementation of water-energy projects in Tajikistan will harm neighboring countries. In this regard I want to underscore once more that such points of view are absolutely baseless."

Uzbekistan has been waging a campaign against the construction of large hydropower stations in Kyrgyzstan (Kambar-Ata) and Tajikistan (Roghun), Soviet-era projects that were left incomplete when the USSR dissolved.

Tashkent fears that those two countries' use of water from Central Asia's two great rivers -- the Syr Darya and Amu Darya -- to generate power will diminish the amount reaching Uzbekistan, whose 28 million inhabitants to make up Central Asia's largest population.

"We think that all decisions on using a watercourse of trans-border rivers, including on building hydro-technical facilities, should not, under any circumstances, damage the environment and infringe the interests of people who live in the contiguous countries," the Uzbek state-run newspaper "Narodnoye slovo" quoted Boriy Alikhonov, acting head of the State Committee for Environmental Protection, as saying in December.

Downstream Alliance

Other officials say the people of Uzbekistan are suffering because Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are depleting the water supply with their hydroelectric projects.

"In our republic, for those living by the Aral Sea [decreasing amounts of water in the river] has had very negative consequences that have affected the lives and health of millions of people," says Akbarkhon Magdiev, press secretary of the Liberal Democratic Party -- the largest faction in the Uzbek parliament.

"Their lives and health are endangered due to this trans-border problem, especially in Karakalpakstan, Khworezm, Navoi, and Bukhara. Every moment they are experiencing health problems because of this trans-border river problem."


A hydroelectric power station in the Kyrgyz mountainsTo address the issue, Uzbekistan has enlisted the help of its downstream neighbors.

In an rare example of regional diplomacy, Uzbek President Islam Karimov contacted his counterparts in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, convincing them of the threat from the Kyrgyz and Tajik hydropower projects.

Uzbekistan's Foreign Ministry released a statement on April 14 describing the Kambar-Ata and Roghun projects as reflecting "the best Soviet traditions of uncontrolled violence against nature." The Uzbek Foreign Ministry said: "Any decision that does not take into account the interests of neighbors will further aggravate the situation with water supply" and "may adversely affect the living conditions of tens of millions of people in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan."

The Uzbek Foreign Ministry statement stressed that "third countries' interference in Central Asia's water and energy problems is inadmissible," but then added there was a "need to carry out an international examination of all hydro-energy projects on trans-border rivers without fail, under UN aegis."

Analysts say the water issue has also become a top priority for Turkmenistan's president.

"The problem of water has become a serious issue for the [Turkmen] government. The president now has to consider this problem on the same level as other strategic state tasks," says Alexander Narodetsky, a Britain-based specialist on Turkmenistan, adding that water issues have become "a regular topic" in talks between Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov and his counterparts in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

"The people of Turkmenistan well understand why their president is talking about this. Since ancient times it has been considered wise and necessary to try not to lose one single drop of moisture [in Turkmenistan]," Narodetsky adds.

Sovereign Rights

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan say their neighbors' worries are unfounded.

Speaking to reporters in Bishkek on April 15, Bazarbai Mambetov, an expert on energy and water issues and a former deputy Kyrgyz prime minister, denied that his country is reducing the amount of water flowing downstream.

"Inasmuch as the water resources originate on the territory of Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyzstan can also declare its sovereign rights on water resources," Mambetov said. "[But] I want to say to our Uzbek brothers, and to Kazakhstan, which has also made policy statements about this issue recently, that never in the last 30 years, never, have we reduced the amount of water flowing from the [tributary of the Syr Darya, the Naryn] river."

Tajik President Rahmon said his country would never leave neighboring countries without water. But he added that Tajik authorities "cannot be inattentive to our people who continue to suffer and face difficulties related to the shortage of electricity in winter for more than 15 years."

Likewise, Deputy Tajik Foreign Minister Abdullo Yuldoshev has said that "water should serve as a blessing to all the people of the states of Central Asia," but added that Tajikistan "will fight for our national interests, which in no way hurt of limit the interests of our neighbors whose territories are located further downstream on the Amu Darya."

Energy Issues

Cash-strapped Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan cannot afford to pay the prices their neighbors -- all of which possess large reserves of oil or natural gas (or both) -- seek for energy supplies, so winter power rationing has become a way of life in the two countries.

Hydropower is their only hope of becoming energy independent. Both countries also argue they bear the full financial brunt of maintaining the reservoirs that control the flow of water and help prevent flooding in downstream countries.

Within last two years, Uzbekistan increased its gas price to Kyrgyzstan five times. How should Kyrgyzstan react to this? This is the geopolitics in Central Asia.Kyrgyzstan's Mambetov saya his country has the right to sell water considering the energy export policies of one neighbor. "Uzbekistan is selling its gas to Kyrgyzstan for $240 per 1,000 cubic meters, but at the same time, Uzbeks are selling it to Kazakhstan for only $84," he says.

"Within last two years, Uzbekistan increased its gas price to Kyrgyzstan five times. How should Kyrgyzstan react to this? This is the geopolitics in Central Asia."

Previous attempts to provide Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan with energy supplies as compensation for their maintenance of reservoirs quickly fell apart. Last year, Kyrgyzstan proposed treating water as a commodity and selling it, but that drew a strongly negative response from Uzbekistan. Tashkent maintains the position that water belongs to all and cannot be sold or traded.

Delegates at a conference on "European Union-Central Asian: Building an Energy Security Relationship" in Prague on April 16 discussed the issue and said they were anxious to help promote regional stability in Central Asia and offer solutions to problems such as the water issue.

The delegates advocated the construction of mini-hydropower plants, which would be more environmentally friendly. Tajik President Rahmon in his speech announced plans for 50 new mini-plants.

Juerg Staudenmann, a policy adviser for water governance at the UNDP regional center in Bratislava, says the organization is also trying to help the Central Asian states resolve their water problem amicably.

"We are very much involved in issues regarding water governance in Central Asia," Staudenmann says. "We are right now, for example, starting a new program together with the European Commission on integrated water resource management.... We are working in all the five countries of Central Asia through our country offices on all kinds of different aspects of water and energy issues."

The big showdown between Central Asia's upstream and downstream countries appears to be set for April 28, when an international conference on saving the Aral Sea is to be held in Almaty.

The two great rivers of Central Asia once fed the Aral Sea but now water from the Amu Darya barely reaches the desiccating sea and the Syr Darya now dies out in the steppe of Kazakhstan far from the Aral. But the Central Asian oil and gas barons may find it difficult to force Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to shelve their hydropower plans since Russia and Iran are the main investors in Kyrgyz and Tajik projects.

RFE/RL Kazakh Service director Edige Magauin, Kyrgyz Service director Tynchtykbek Tchoroev, Bubukan Dosalieva of the Kyrgyz Service, Iskander Aliev and Tohir Safarov of the Tajik Service, Turkmen Service director Oguljamal Yazliyeva, and Shukrat Babajanov of the Uzbek Service contributed to this report



Central Asian Leaders Fail To Overcome Differences At Water Summit

Kazakh children play on an abandoned ship in the dry bed of the Aral Sea.
April 28, 2009
By Antoine Blua
A rare Central Asia summit of the five founding members of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea revealed some common ground on that issue -- but nevertheless ended in bitter disagreement.

Meeting in the southeastern Kazakh city of Almaty for a one-day summit, the presidents of all five Central Asian states failed to overcome differences over water use.

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev exposed the real bone of contention among the states during his address -- energy shortages, the construction of new hydropower stations, and concerns by downstream states as to how their water supplies will be affected.

"The strategic issue that requires resolution is the coordination of our timetables of water release for irrigation and energy needs and compensatory fuel supplies [to Kyrgyzstan], and this is what should be the subject of international cooperation among parties interested in using water-saving technologies," Bakiev said.

The comments by Bakiev, whose "upstream" country is looking at hydropower as an answer to its energy needs, triggered an angry reaction from a "downstream" counterpart, Uzbek President Islam Karimov.

"It was agreed that the only issue to be discussed at the current summit and the expanded summit would be the activities of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea and its main tasks in the future," Karimov said.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, representing another country keen on taking advantage of its ample water resources to produce electricity, also refused to introduce the water issue into the talks and was apparently angered by other leaders' assertions that water-supplying countries were responsible for water shortages.

"I thought we agreed not to discuss hydroenergy issues," Rahmon said. "I proposed it and you and the other colleagues agreed. And now there's a whole discussion being started. I also have something to say about it."

Upstream vs. Downstream

The summit's host, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, later produced a statement focusing only on the decline of the Aral Sea. The document was signed by all five Central Asian leaders, including Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov of Turkmenistan.


Kyrgyzstan's Bakiev defended his country's hydropower plans.Noticeably absent from the summit was uninvited Russia, which in recent months has called on countries in the region to take the concerns of others into consideration when thinking about future hydropower projects.

The call was seen by Tajikistan as a sign that Moscow was siding with Uzbekistan in the most serious source of dispute -- and instability -- among upstream and downstream countries in Central Asia.

Rivers that originate from mountainous Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan irrigate lands in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan before flowing into the Aral Sea.

Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, which suffer most during cold winters and have little hydrocarbon resources, have long been pursuing the construction of hydropower projects.

"At a time when natural energy resources are scarce, in order to ensure a stable supply of energy resources to our population, especially in the cold winter period, our country now has to place a special emphasis on the development of the hydroelectric industry," Kyrgyz leader Bakiev said.

The region's most populous country, Uzbekistan, fiercely opposes such projects, saying the construction of the hydropower stations would reduce the flow of water on its territory.

Saving The Aral

On a positive note, Nazarbaev announced that that Kazakhstan was not going to wind up the planned Aral Sea-saving efforts, despite the global economic crisis.

The Aral, located between Kazakhstan to the north and Uzbekistan to the south, was once the world's fourth-largest inland body of water.

But the sea has dramatically shrunk in recent decades due in large measure to the diversion of its feeder rivers for irrigation, causing ecological and social disasters.

Its water levels have fallen to the point that the sea split into two separate bodies of water -- the Northern and the Southern Aral Seas.

As part of the first phase of the project to replenish the northern part, a 13-kilometer dike was opened in 2005. As a result, the Northern Aral Sea's surface area is now more than 40 percent larger than it was at its lowest point.

Nazarbaev said the second stage, involving constructing another dike to raise the water levels, would start in the near future.

Optimists say that within a few years the sea could again be lapping at the shores of the former port of Aral, which now stands 35 kilometers from the shore, bringing environmental recovery and new economic opportunities.

But regional cooperation and water management in all five Central Asian states remains of vital importance to the regeneration project.

RFE/RL's Kazakh Service contributed to this report

Pakistan’s ‘TRICK O’ TREAT'

By Bhaskar Roy

The powers that be in Pakistan continue to play a dangerous Halloween pantomime, pushing half the country into self doubt. Who is to blame for the rising threat of the Taliban push forward – the US drone attacks with collateral damage, or the ineptitude of the government and its security forces to effectively counter the militants.

With the Halloween masks on, it is difficult to see the real faces and read the minds of Pakistan’s power holders. But one thing appears certain – Islamabad’s old objective of acquiring strategic depth in Afghanistan, and fomenting terrorism in Kashmir which has now extended to the rest of India, remains unaltered. For this, they need the Taliban, both the Afghan and Pakistan’s indigenous variety are indispensable. Under these conditions the price that has to be paid, is accepting the Al Qaeda, which in turn has succeeded in converting the ISI-controlled terrorist tanzims like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) into Islam’s fighters against the infidel west.

The US White House and State Department may do well to critically examine how Maulana Fazlullah’s Taliban fighters agreed so readily to withdraw from Buner in the face of heightened American concerns. The veiled but no-nonsense warning with an underlying threat of possible action hurried the Pakistani army to move towards Buner and deploy the Pakistani Rangers in advanced positions to defend Islamabad. It just proved that the Pakistani armed forces are more than capable of taking on the Taliban fighters, in more normal terrain at least. It is also difficult to accept views of various military and strategic experts in the subcontinent that the Pakistani army does not have any experience in counter-insurgency operations and is not trained in guerrilla warfare. For years they have fought along with Mullah Omar’s Taliban in the rough and hilly terrains of Afghanistan. They have also trained Taliban fighters and Kashmir insurgents or jehadis. The Pakistani Rangers involved in the Kargil attack were not operating exactly on the plains. And most likely, they will drive the Taliban out of the Swat valley if there is sufficient American and NATO pressure. The reason that the Taliban in Swat has decided again to retaliate exposes another known fact – the ISI army strategy to keep the Taliban going.

It is also to be noted that the Pakistani leaders were rather unfazed when Fazlullah’s fighters reached Buner, just 100 kilometers from Islamabad. There is no doubt whatsoever that the Pakistani authorities are playing games and teasing the Americans to get the maximum advantage all round. The Americans, in turn, appear to be jumping through the circus hoops of the Pakistani army and the ISI. The Pakistani political leaders are basically acting as messengers to the world.

Pakistan appears to have won round one with the USA, with the USA’s Afghanistan-Pakistan policy apparently losing direction again. Having warned Pakistan that the terrorists were the greater threat to the country and not traditional enemy India, US Central Commander Gen. David Petraeus argued with a congressional committee on April 25 that Special Representative Richard Holbrooke’s Pakistan and Afghanistan initiative should be expanded to include India. Trying to make his argument more plausible, Petraeus also included Central Asia and “other neighbours there”, but forgot to mention China and Iran which have common borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Washington had clarified from the very beginning that Holbroke’s responsibility did not include India, and his visit to New Delhi during his first visit to the region in this position was to brief Indian officials on his visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistan argued for inclusion of India in the US initiative, on the grounds that it required credible assurance that Indian troops along the border would not intrude into Pakistan territory if Islamabad redeployed part of its troops from the Indian border to fight Islamic militants in the North-West.

In fact, Pakistan was black-mailing the US by saying it will not tackle terrorists who were a threat to them unless Washington intervened in the Kashmir issue and forced India to reduce troops in Kashmir and along the international border (IB).

The change in the mindset of the Kashmiri people and their co-operation with the Indian security forces in opposing infiltration of Pakistani trained militants into Kashmir has recently been a major set back for Pakistan’s terrorist operations in Kashmir and other parts of India. This has forced the ISI to infiltrate their terrorist agents through Nepal and Bangladesh, the routes which are becoming difficult to use of late. Had this not been the case they would not have used the more hazardous sea route for the Mumbai attack last year.

US President Barrack Obama has declared that aid will not be a free meal to Pakistan, and Islamabad will have to show results against terrorism on the ground. The Berman bill in the Congress on $1.5 billion per year for five-years-aid to Pakistan for development and counter-terrorism work has also been tied with many strings. The “Fiends of Pakistan” Club in their Tokyo meeting, appropriating $5 billion assistance for Pakistan also expressed reservations. How for will the strings work? They have not in the past.

The Americans have made it clear, with proof given to the Pakistani government and the army at the highest levels that elements in the ISI are co-operating with the Taliban in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. The core of the ISI has worked so long with the Taliban and the Al Qaeda that their ideological beliefs have become identical. As Pakistani expert Ahmed Rashid has written in his book “Descent into Chaos”, the Taliban initially were not Wahabi obscurantists. Their main aim was to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan. But Osama bin Laden and his senior Al Qaeda converted them into greater international jehadists with Wahabi religious ideology. Many former ISI operatives and Taliban/Al Qaeda acolytes are working with them, and are very important information conduits from the ISI and the army to the Taliban.

Pakistan’s army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani is well aware of the goings on between the ISI operatives and the Taliban. He has hardly made any secret of his need for the Taliban in their Afghanistan pursuit, and he has indicated the same to some of his American interlocutors. In his book “The Inheritance”, journalist David E. Sanger has detailed some of these facts, with little or no protest from Gen. Kayani.

A highly perceptive and suave man, Gen. Kayani would be acutely aware that the USA and some of Pakistan’s neighbours can hardly offer to let his country down. They have their individual interests, and interests against each other over Pakistan. The USA and China are dancing around each other over Pakistan. A core issue in this case is Central Asia, its oil and gas resources and, of course, its strategic position. For China, relationship with Pakistan, which is often described as an “ideal” example of bilateral relations, has always been a strategic instrument against India. And for the USA, despite the new strategic partnership with India, Pakistan’s views about India still remain an important determining factor.

President Obama’s policy consideration for forming a contact group on Afghanistan, which would naturally include Pakistan-Afghanistan issues, are fraught with difficulties. One glaring negative aspect of this policy is to try and exclude Russia from the contact group.

The proposed contact group is deeply mired in conflicting interests and distrusts. China has been agitated of late over Uighur separatist militants being trained in Pakistan’s northern area, by the Taliban. Beijing has evidence that LET and the ISI have also been involved in training Uighurs in the past, or, at least, giving them safe passage. But the Chinese would like to deal with the issue bilaterally with Pakistan as they have been doing for almost two decades. China holds the possibility that the Taliban may return to rule Afghanistan with Pakistan’s assistance, and is unlikely to co-operate openly against the Taliban.

Iran has its Shia interests in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It may co-operate with Washington against the Taliban, but other issues, including the nuclear issue, has to be sorted out with the USA. Washington may have to lift various sanctions in place against Iran to make a real beginning.

Saudi Arabia, a very important friend of Pakistan, has its own ideas, much of which is based on the spread of Wahabi-Islam. It was one of the three countries to have recognized the Taliban government in Afghanistan, the other two being Pakistan and UAE. Hence, Saudi Arabia is in conflict with the West, Iran and even China. Uighur separatists have been financially supported by Saudi NGOs, and China knows about the details.

Therefore, highly conflicting interests are centered in Pakistan. But no body is listening to Pakistan’s civil society and the media, who are holding up a dangerous scenario for the country, if the government’s policies do not change.

Gen. David Petraeus has raised a policy issue which is going to be very difficult for any Indian government to accept. Primarily, it will negatively impact the developments in Kashmir achieved so far. It takes ten terrorists to cow down ten thousand innocent civilians. Gen. Petraeus’s proposal has all the ingredients to create another explosive situation in the region. If he is looking for an exit strategy for US forces in Afghanistan, this is not it. The Atlantic is no longer such a strong fire wall against psychologically conditioned terrorists. They will be overjoyed to discover any American weakness and chase it through, across oceans.

(The author is an eminent analyst . He can be reached at grouchohart@yahoo.com)

Will Israeli Spy Revelations Halt Netanyahu's War Drive?

This article appears in the May 1, 2009 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

by Jeffrey Steinberg


April 25—Recent revelations about Israeli efforts to fix a Federal indictment of two top officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), through payoffs to members of Congress, have sparked a renewed focus on Israel's continuing political dirty tricks and espionage operations inside the United States. Given that the new scandal directly intersects the inner circle of advisors to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the question on the minds of many astute observers in Washington and other world capitals is: Will these new scandals short-circuit Netanyahu's threats to start a new strategic conflict in the Middle East, through an Israeli military strike against Iran, even as the Obama Administration prepares for direct diplomacy with Tehran?

On April 19, Congressional Quarterly's Jeff Stein revealed that, in late 2005, the National Security Agency intercepted a conversation between an unnamed Israeli operative and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), then the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. According to the transcript of that conversation, the Israeli agent, who was under investigation by the FBI, and was the target of a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court-authorized wiretap, offered to help secure Harman the chairmanship of the committee, following an anticipated Democratic victory in the 2006 midterm elections, in return for her intervention to get charges against two accused AIPAC spies, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, reduced.

The Israeli "operative," whom senior U.S. intelligence sources say was an American citizen, or a dual Israeli-American citizen, promised to funnel campaign cash from media billionaire Haim Saban, the sugar-daddy to the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy, headed by dual citizen Martin Indyk. Among the promised recipients of the 2006 campaign cash: Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who became Speaker of the House, following the 2006 Democratic midterm sweep.

According to Stein's account, Harman volunteered that, while her relations with Pelosi, then House Minority Leader, were poor, she could intervene with the Bush Administration, because the White House was anxious to secure her support, for damage-control of a New York Times exposé of the government's use of illegal warrantless wiretaps against American citizens. The White House and Justice Department knew, at the time of the NSA intercept, that the Times exposé was about to be published, and that if Harman would side with the Bush White House, the impact of the revelation of illegal spying on American citizens on U.S. soil would be greatly reduced.

Indeed, the Times story, by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, did appear on Dec. 16, 2005, and Harman did come out defending the White House, for "doing what had to be done" to protect the United States against the threat of another 9/11-type terrorist attack.

And, indeed, the Democratic Party did sweep the 2006 midterm elections and take control over both the House and the Senate. But early revelations about Harman's efforts on behalf of Israel—minus the specifics of the intercepted conversation with the Israeli operative—had already surfaced in 2006, and she was passed over for the coveted House intelligence chairmanship. Speaker Pelosi has recently acknowledged that she knew about the NSA intercept at the time she rejected Harman as committee chair.

'Effects-Based' Madness
In return for Harman's help, Bush's Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, quashed the FBI investigation into the California Congresswoman, in late 2005. The NSA wiretap transcript sat in the dead file—until this month. So, why the renewed attention now?

At least part of the answer can be found in the growing rift between Washington and Tel Aviv, over a wide range of vital policy issues, from Palestinian statehood to Iran. Prime Minister "Bibi" Netanyahu has threatened—early and often—that he is prepared to order Israeli military strikes against Iran's purported nuclear weapons program, unless the United States falls in line with Israel, and promises to do the job instead.

According to Ken Katzman, a senior researcher at the Congressional Research Service, speaking at a recent Capitol Hill forum of the Middle East Policy Council (MEPC), the Obama Administration, through Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Michael Mullen, Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and "many other" channels, has made it clear to Israel that the U.S. will not tolerate any Israeli strikes against Iran. But the unanswered question is whether the Obama Administration is prepared to put military muscle behind the warnings. Would U.S. Naval forces in the Persian Gulf, or American forces in Iraq, intercept and shoot down incoming Israeli fighter jets or missiles, aimed at targets in Iran?

It is widely believed, among a majority of serious military analysts, that Israel does not possess the capacity—except through the use of a nuclear first strike—to seriously damage Iran's dispersed nuclear research program. However, in a June 2008 report by Patrick Clawson and Michael Eisenstadt, "The Last Resort: Consequences of Preventive Military Action Against Iran," the AIPAC- and Likud-linked think-tank, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), argued that any Israeli strike against Iran, whether successful in disrupting the Iranian nuclear program or not, would be a "game-changer," forcing an existential decision upon the governments in Washington, in Europe, and in the Arab Middle East: whether to side with "moderate" Israel or "extremist" Iran. Some circles in Israel, perhaps in the inner circles around Netanyanu, may believe that Israel would come out on top—and that is where the danger of an Israeli preventive strike is greatest, regardless of the fact that it could be the Sarajevo of World War III.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Bush-Cheney partner in the Iraq War fiasco, and the current chief "peace negotiator" for the Quartet, delivered a speech in Chicago this week, in which he identified Iran as the existential threat to the Middle East—in effect, casting his vote with Netanyahu in favor of military action against Iran, if diplomacy fails, or if Iran, in Israel's skewed judgment, gets too close to possessing a bomb.

Indeed, whereas most American military strategists had fully repudiated the discredited doctrine of "effects-based operations," under which military actions are aimed at "behavior modification" of the enemy, rather than concrete war-winning and peace-winning objectives, Israel has embraced precisely this strategy. In both the July 2006 Lebanon War, and the December 2008 Gaza invasion, Israeli officials spun embarrassing defeat into proclaimed "victory," on the basis of the insane "effects-based" dogma.

The present Netanyahu government is pushing the envelope, playing what Dr. Trita Parsi, speaking at the same MEPC forum with Katzman, described, in the case of Iran's regime, as a doctrine of "simulated irrationality." But when does "simulation" go live? Where does Israel go over the edge and actually launch an "effects-based" attack on Iran, plunging the region, and, potentially the world, into a new bloody conflagration?

Bibi's Boys
Senior U.S. intelligence sources have told EIR that the leak of the NSA intercept of the Jane Harman conversation with the targeted Israeli operative comes in the context of the pending trial of the two "former" AIPAC employees, Rosen and Weissman, who are accused of passing classified documents to Israeli Embassy officials, from confessed Israeli spy and former Air Force reservist and Pentagon Iran analyst Larry Franklin. According to one of these sources, the leak of the NSA transcript, which was accurately reported by Stein in Congressional Quarterly, came from within the Justice Department.

While there are complicating aspects of the Rosen-Weissman case, beginning with the fact that the Bush Justice Department failed to indict AIPAC, as an organization, on the same espionage charges, there is no question that Israel was engaged—again—in espionage, seeking access to U.S. defense secrets, and that the role and identities of the Israeli spy-handlers are known and proven.

On May 26, 2005, Larry Franklin was indicted on charges of passing classified material to Israel. In a superceding indictment, filed on Aug. 4, 2005, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman were also charged. While not naming names, the indictment identified at least three Israelis who were co-conspirators with the AIPAC duo and Franklin, in obtaining classified material from the Pentagon, on the Bush Administration's internal deliberations on how to deal with presumed threats from Iran.

And here is where the U.S.-Israel rift comes directly into play.

The three Israelis targeted in the Franklin/AIPAC probe were: Uzi Arad, Naor Gilon, and Eran Lerman. All three are intimately tied to Netanyahu; two of the three now hold top national security and foreign policy posts in the Netanyahu government.

Arad is the chief national security advisor to the prime minister, and Gilon is the chief of staff to Foreign Minister Lieberman.

The third implicated Israeli, Eran Lerman, is the director of the American Jewish Committee's Israel/Middle East Office in Jerusalem. He took that post in 2001, prior to his being implicated in the Franklin-Rosen-Weissman spy operation, and immediately following his retirement as a colonel in the Israeli Defense Forces' Directorate of Military Intelligence Research and Production Division. Lerman, a London School of Economics graduate, is frequently published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a Likud think-tank headed by Dr. Dore Gold, Netanyahu's former ambassador to the United Nations.

Between 2002 and 2005, Naor Gilon was the political counsellor at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, and he was the immediate contact point with Franklin, Rosen, and Weissman. At the time of his direct involvement in the espionage case, Gilon's embassy boss was Ambassador Danny Ayalon, who is now deputy foreign minister, and a member of Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu Party. Gilon, according to the indictments, had at least 15 meetings with Franklin between 2003 and 2004. He first met Franklin in 1997, when Franklin was posted, briefly, at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, as an Air Force Reserve officer. Franklin was sent home, after he repeatedly violated embassy rules by holding unauthorized and unreported meetings with Israeli government officials.

When Netanyahu was prime minister in 1996, then-Foreign Minister Lieberman, still with Likud, was his chief of staff. According to well-informed Israeli sources, Lieberman's departure from Likud to form Yisrael Beitenu, was done with the connivance of Netanyahu, who was having difficulties handling the Russian emigré and "mafiya" apparatus, which forms the base of Lieberman's new party. Lieberman, a one-time bouncer at a Moldovan bar, is the poster-boy for that Russian emigré apparatus.

Contrary to media accounts, the far more significant player in the Franklin spy affair was Uzi Arad, now Bibi's top national security aide. Arad, a career Mossad officer, "retired" from government service in 1999. The following year, he founded the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya, and established their annual global security conference, modeled on the Davos Economic Forum and the Wehrkunde security conferences in Munich.

Franklin attended at least one of the Herzliya conferences hosted by Arad, in 2003. On Feb. 13, 2004, Gilon called Franklin at the Pentagon, and asked him to meet with Arad. The following week, the two met at the Pentagon cafeteria.

When the FBI interrogated Arad about his ties to Franklin, he claimed that they were merely sharing "academic papers." However, up until April 2009, Arad was barred from entering the United States; that decision was reversed only to allow him to visit Washington as Prime Minister Netanyahu's national security representative.

In fact, the still-ongoing U.S. probe into Israeli espionage in the United States is, in part, focused on the question of whether there is a "parallel Mossad," made up of "ex" Israeli spooks, now in think-tanks and other private sector institutions, conducting key espionage programs at arm's length from the official intelligence services. Few senior Israeli officials are willing to run the risk of another "Pollard Affair," in which an official Israeli intelligence agency, the scientific espionage unit, Lekem, was caught running American Naval Intelligence analyst Jonathan Jay Pollard. That Lekem operation was headed by former top Mossad official Rafi Eytan. Both Arad and Lerman were protégés of "Dirty Rafi," and they certainly know the price that Israel has paid—to this day—for their Pollard escapade.

When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Israel recently, and met with Netanyahu, the prime minister delivered an unambiguous and undiplomatic message, by having Uzi Arad participate in the meeting. When Clinton suggested that a smaller meeting were appropriate, and that each side should send one person out of the room, offering the prime minister the opportunity to correct the obvious faux pas, Netanyahu obliged—by dismissing Minister Dan Meridor. Arad stayed in the room, and Clinton remained tight-lipped throughout.

Europe's Potential Role in The Reconstruction of Africa

Source: Executive Intelligence Review

by Portia Tarumbwa-Strid

Portia Tarumbwa-Strid, who is originally from Zimbabwe, is a leader of the LaRouche Youth Movement in Germany. She gave this speech to a conference of the Civil Rights Solidarity Movement (BüSo), the German "LaRouche" party, in Berlin on March 20, 2009. The conference was titled "The Reconstruction of the World Economy After the Crash of the System." Her speech has been translated from German. See PDF version of this presentation here.

I would like to begin with this statement: If Europe had heeded the voice of the developing nations, at the summit of the Non-Aligned Nations at Colombo [Sri Lanka] in 1976, which very clearly demanded the policy of Lyndon LaRouche and Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the world would not have landed in this crisis, which, as everyone admits, has struck with breathtaking speed.

Why do I say this? It was, at that time, a moral failure by Europe. Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche came back from that conference and informed the media and the political institutions about the Resolution of the Non-Aligned nations; she was told that they had no interest in this whatsoever. I maintain that this attitude is the origin of today's crisis.

Here, the majority of the world's population—85 nations—spoke in favor of a new financial system, and a debt moratorium for developing nations. That is, the fictitious debts which the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank had forced upon the developing nations—as is still true today—needed to be cancelled, to clear the way for North-South technology transfers, as providing the indispensable basis for the reconstruction of the so-called Third World.

There have been frightful consequences because of the fact that, instead of endorsing this policy, the West decided to reject the industrialization of the developing nations. In purely demographic terms, Africa is dying. The cynical reigning policy is exactly that described by Aldous Huxley in his book Brave New World, and supported by the British Empire. The people of Africa are suffering disease and death from epidemics which were last seen in Europe in the Middle Ages, as the result of underdevelopment.

For example, of the 922 million people who live in Africa, 20% are undernourished, most of them children under the age of 15. For a child, malnutrition or simply a lack of food, means the body does not grow properly, and the child cannot fulfill his intellectual potential, because hunger over long periods prevents one from concentrating, or even leads to lasting mental impairment. Twenty percent of the population of Africa is affected by iodine deficiency, which causes goiter and is life-threatening. Since the onset of globalization, Africa south of the Sahara is the only part of the world where malnutrition has increased in the last 20 years. Fifteen thousand children starve to death every day in Africa!

Therefore, for European civilization, whether or not we permit such genocide, is a question of the moral fitness to survive. There is no reason to allow Africa to continue in this way any longer. We have all the necessary technologies to transform Africa into the breadbasket of the world.

This means that for you and me, if we truly want to get out of this crisis, we can no longer tolerate the customary excuses, "Oh, what can we really change anyway?" and "The bigshots are just going to do what they want to do, anyway."

All one needs to cure this pessimism, is a strong dose of what Friedrich Schiller calls Empfindungsvermögen [sensitive faculties]. As he writes in the Tenth Letter of the Aesthetical Education of Man, "Whoever does not venture into reality will never discover truth."

Therefore, I would like to bring up a few examples at this point, to point the way to what can be done immediately, if both Europe and Africa determine to overcome this crisis.

LaRouche's Physical Economy vs. the British Empire
Most people, whether they be economics students or the average consumer, think of economics as a question of sums of money, of income streams, and household finances. Knowingly or unknowingly, everything is reduced to the calculations of a milkmaid, whose creed is: "One can spend only what he takes in." Nothing else exists. So profit is falsely defined as purely monetary growth, expressed as the difference between what is bought cheaply and sold dearly.

One could say that this idea of profit maximization, which lies at the basis of so-called "market philosophy," is exactly that which is breaking apart, as a failed system. LaRouche calls it the British Empire, because the entire modern ideology of the era of globalization follows either in the footsteps of Thomas Malthus (the father of the "green" movement) or of Adam Smith (the father of neoliberalism), both paid apologists of the British East India Company. It is no wonder that the World Wildlife Fund and most of the tax havens of the hedge funds are in the hands of the British monarchy!

The axiom of this British thinking was, that the world population must be reduced, so that the world's raw materials can be snatched up and world domination secured. Henry Kissinger's infamous memorandum, NSSM 200, expressed this explicitly: If an industrialized Africa is permitted to exploit its own raw materials, this would not leave enough reserves of raw materials for the Anglo-Americans; therefore, the population of Africa must be reduced, and food must be employed as a weapon toward this end.

In opposition to this, LaRouche's theses are based on physical economy. Looking back through history, at man's development from a simple hunting-gathering society to a modern, industrial society, it was not only the quantities of food which increased to feed an growing population, but it was the transformation of the way and manner that food and raw materials were acquired and used. Moreover, the development of basic infrastructure is the expression of the level of technology in a society up to that point. That means that money does not rule the world, but the mastery of principles of nature by the human intellect does!

Basically, the formula is very simple. When the production costs of goods and raw materials rise in relation to the entire labor power of society, that is clearly bad. When the costs to society of acquiring raw materials or food becomes too high, this pulls down the potential population density. One can see, therefore, that when societies have collapsed historically, it was always because technological progress had failed to adequately maintain a higher population density. Hopefully, in the future, we will find the technology-averse relics of the green movement, such as photovoltaic cells and windmills, in museums, because if we continue with the swindle of supposedly free energy sources, the population will be drastically reduced. It seems therefore that the green movement is in reality a brown [Nazi] movement.

Concrete Projects
Let's take a very concrete look at the projects which we are putting forward for the development of Africa.

As everyone knows, the Sun shines in the most lovely way on Africa, and we should without a doubt take advantage of the terrific climate to achieve a higher crop yield per year. This can only be done with water-control projects such as canals and dams, as we have long advocated.

This must be done for the North of the continent as well as for the South. Water from the Congo River in the North can be managed so as to replenish the dwindling aquifers in the Chad Basin. With retooling, within three months, the automobile industry could supply all the dams, locks, and suitable machines needed. It really wouldn't be that hard.

The same goes for a railroad network. In order to transport four harvests per year to their destinations, the existing rail network—which originated in the colonial system of building rail only from mine to port—must be massively expanded. I think that the Transrapid maglev, rather than conventional trains, should be selected for this purpose. As it is, there exists no railroad spanning Africa, and if one wants to build an African transcontinental railroad, since this would constitute an investment for the next 50-100 years, it would be cheaper to purchase a magnetically levitated system, because that is an orientation toward the future.

In short, instead of remaining imprisoned in the British monetarist profit-motive mentality, one must think like a Lyndon LaRouche or a Franklin Roosevelt, and plan for the long term. Because, ironically, true profit only comes if one invests in human creativity and transplants new ideas into the economy.

In order for this to come true, we need a lot of electrical power. Optimally, we will be able to have 3 kWh per day per person, so as to provide every person three meals a day, clean running water, a good education, and a rational medical-care system.

To provide for one person with water (taking into account all requirements), you need between 3,000 and 5,000 liters per day. Africa does not now have this quantity, but it could be furnished through the desalination of sea water through reverse osmosis. To produce water in the quantities needed, solar panels or windmills would be unsuitable.

Fourth-generation nuclear power plants, that is high-temperature reactors (pebble bed reactors), such as South Africa has already built in cooperation with the Chinese, are the only rational solution for African nations, because these do not present troublesome problems of atomic waste or nuclear meltdown.

The irony is that this technology, with which the developing nations can finally develop themselves, was developed in Germany by Prof. Rudolf Schulten, but is taboo here in Germany!

Stop the Current Tragedy
If we take stock, again, of the actual situation in 2009, and examine more closely why we have gotten into a crisis, we see that there is an unbelievable coverup of the situation Africa faces in the financial crisis. "Experts" claim that "Africa is for the most part not integrated into the financial markets and therefore tends to be less of a concern."

I believe, however, that the food crisis of the last year proves these experts wrong. Unrest in more that 40 nations worldwide has unmasked the evil role of biofuels, and the "green" value-shift is exposed as the enemy of humanity. Speculation on food commodities, through so-called "food futures," has made what mankind absolutely depends upon to sustain life, namely food, into the prize in a game of chance!

The truth is, the worldwide collapse of demand for raw materials is causing production cutbacks, or the complete closure of raw materials production facilities over broad areas of Africa. In Congo alone, 61 mining firms have cut their workforces, creating an additional 200,000 unemployed in that industry. After the prices of copper, diamonds, and uranium crashed, a presentation was made to the houses of Parliament in Namibia by the President, Hifikepunye Pohamba. He declared an emergency because of the flooding of the Zambesi River in northern Namibia, because the entire crop was obliterated. Flooding occurs there every year, but this time over 400,000 people were affected, and the main reason is a shortage of infrastructure. There is a dam project which could solve this problem in Namibia, and which has been known about for a long time, but it has never been implemented.

The plan that the LaRouche movement worked out in the late 1970s for the development of African infrastructure, involved a project to channel water toward the south, through dry Botswana, to the Limpopo River. I think that definitely, Germany must begin this project, to reverse the breakdown of its machine-tool sector.

In Sudan, the attempt to arrest the sitting President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, by an illegal court, the International Criminal Court, threatens to plunge the whole country further into chaos, just as the government was about to complete a peace settlement. Every African knows that this court is carrying out a neo-colonialist policy, because it brings charges only against Africans, and is funded by private non-governmental organizations, such as those of George Soros and his former business partner, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown (responsible for Africa and Asia in the British Foreign Office).

The African Union, the Arab League, and the Non-Aligned Movement want to cancel this arrest warrant, because they know it poses a threat to the sovereignty of their nations. The message it sends to them is: "If a head of state in the Third World chooses to no longer participate in the system of globalization, we are going to thrown him overboard."

This becomes even clearer, when you know that soon, under President al-Bashir, the largest building project in Africa in decades [the Merowe Dam] will be completed, and that he gave a contract to the Chinese which did not please the European Union, and particularly did not please the British.

In Zimbabwe, there is a similar principle of retribution: Sabotage by international financial institutions has pushed the economy of this small, landlocked African nation into an unbelievable inflation, and forced the population to its knees. More that 4,000 have died there in an outbreak of cholera due to a breakdown of infrastructure.

And exactly what is happening in Zimbabwe—hyperinflation—will be caused worldwide by the new agreement that came out of the G-20 summit in London on IMF special drawing rights.

The cholera epidemic, which spread rapidly as a direct result of the economic collapse, is the forewarning of what LaRouche means by "New Dark Age." I have personally experienced this in Zimbabwe, and declare here, that this is simply unacceptable!

Africa and Europe and the entire world simply have too much potential, and are too beautiful, to yield to the despair of a failed elite, to whom it is of no concern whatever, whether Europe and Africa survive.

The Africans would be happy if the Germans, and the Europeans generally, would stop being enraged over what the Chinese are doing in Africa, and instead do what the Chinese are doing. The Chinese come and say, "We want raw materials. But therefore, we shall build infrastructure for you." One should be clear on this point: The Africans are not stupid. They know that the Chinese are doing more for human rights, by helping to eliminate hunger, need, and misery, instead of coming in with a catalog of various instructions, enumerating them as preconditions for giving aid. The Chinese call what they do, not "development aid," but "business"!

And as the entire world economic system is now collapsing, together with the auto industry and entire areas of the real economy, the unique solutions for retooling the auto industry would be to help with the reconstruction of Africa.

This orientation has nothing to do with altruism, for pure altruism does not really exist. It actually has to do with what gave Europe its longest period of peace in history—the principle of the Peace of Westphalia, with the creed of always looking after the interests of the other. This is exactly the opposite of what Adam Smith preached: that egoistic man grasps for everything, and that if everybody does this at all times, the market will reign with an Invisible Hand! We see today where that has taken us; in opposition to it stands the idea that every nation thinks of the advantage of the other, and by doing so, can fulfill its own potential.

You really have to ask yourself, what were the Europeans thinking in 1976 when Helga Zepp-LaRouche's proposals were not adopted? Perhaps Europe was afraid that others would rise too high? Perhaps they simply did not notice, that without the other, you cannot survive yourself. But today, it is the question of one's own survival as a sovereign nation! The industrialized nations must help the African nations build roads, ports, and railroads, for this is the way that they themselves can make their way out of the crisis.

I am firmly convinced, that we can only succeed together. Europe must learn anew the lesson from the recent school shootings in Winnenden, Germany, and say, "Our youth need a future!" Instead of mind-destroying education with pure rote-learning, the Classical curriculum of Humboldt and Schiller must be revived, with which children, who have more passion for ballgames, could again acquire a passion for intellectual development, and thus become the engineers, doctors, and teachers who will carry through the technology transfer for the reconstruction of Africa. If we write off Africa, we are also writing off Europe!