October 22, 2011

Recognizing Somaliland

by Dr. Adityanjee

http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=11553

India made history when she liberated and recognized the Republic of Bangladesh despite fierce international opposition from some of the cold-war superpowers. India took that strategic step because that was the right thing to do and suited India’s long-term geopolitical interests as well as international humanitarian concerns. Though the doctrine of international intervention for safeguarding the responsibility to protect had not been codified by the UNGA or the UNSC at that time; India did act according to the spirit of the responsibility to protect (R2P).

Time has come for India to assert herself yet again and recognize diplomatically the break-away Republic of Somaliland on the horn of Africa. It suits India’s geopolitical interests as well as the international humanitarian concerns. Lack of a functioning central government in Somalia since the ouster of the Muhammed Siad Barre’ government on January 26 1991 has led to anarchy, clan/tribal warfare and war-lordism. There was an international intervention by George HW Bush in 1992 but the Americans over-extended themselves, got a humiliating defeat and left in hurry. Since then various regional powers have intervened for upholding their narrow interests. Ethiopian invasion in 2006, backed by the US created Al Shabab (literal meaning “the youth”). Somali civil war has killed approximately half a million people.
Somalia has become a fertile ground for recruitment by Al Qaeda and it local proxy Al Shabab. There is no peace in Somalia. There is no functioning government in the central and southern Somalia. Somali pirates have created an havoc in the Indian ocean and normal commerce has been affected owing to ongoing hijacking of merchant ships and their predominantly Asian and Indian crews. Ransom has been paid numerous times on behalf of shipping companies, national governments and NGO to free up the kidnapped crew members of merchant ships. Al Shabab and Al Qaeda have noted with vengeance the Indian vigilance and naval patrolling in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden and have vowed to target Indian interests.

The Somali pirates are now routinely making forays into Indian territorial waters and Indian Exclusive Economic sea zone. Some of these pirates have euphemistically called themselves as the self-styled “Volunteer Coast Guards of Somalia”. They have brought misery to numerous middle class Indian families who have become victims of their extreme ruthlessness and greed for money (running into millions of dollars). Somali pirates have openly targeted India and refused to release any Indian sailors till their fellow Somali pirates under Indian custody are released. Make no mistakes, these pirates are the naval wing of the nascent Islamic Emirate of Somalia under the tutelage of Al Qaeda and shepherded by Al Shabab. Beheading adversaries, chopping off hands, stoning women and girls to death, banning music, and implementing a strict Wahabi Islamic law is the ultimate aim of Al Shabab. UN sponsored “state building” and “peace keeping” have failed in Somalia which is now a lawless, failed nation with ongoing genocide.

In 2001 the wise and brave Somali-landers held a constitutional referendum and broke away from the failed state of Somalia. Republic of Somaliland is poor but an oasis of peace in the horn of Africa. The newly emerged nation has few natural resources and its limited exports primarily include fish and livestock. They have adopted all the democratic ways and have held multiple elections at local, parliamentary and presidential elections since then. Last presidential elections were held in June 2010 leading to peaceful and orderly transfer of power when the incumbent president was rejected by the electorate.
Somalia as a unified nation did not exist before 1947. Somaliland was a British protectorate and a paper colony and the rest of Somalia an Italian colony. India must not shed her tears for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the failed state of Somalia which was essentially the creation of the imperialists. Time has come for India to not only diplomatically recognize the democratically elected government of the break-away Republic of Somaliland but also enter into a formal strategic partnership agreement with that country analogous to the same with Afghanistan. A bilateral friendship treaty between the two nations for a minimum duration of ninety nine years needs to be signed.

India needs to obtain a naval base in the Gulf of Aden in one of the sea ports of the Republic of Somaliland to provide naval surveillance to our merchant ships as well as Indian nationals working as crew members in international marine merchant ships. India needs to assert her leadership in the region and not wait for international community to act. India must lead the international community in birth of this new nation and prevent the lawlessness and havoc created by the pirates of Somalia. India must learn from her mistakes of missed geopolitical opportunities and inaction in the past. It is better to act now instead of letting the situation drift and allow hostile Asian nations upstage India yet again. India must take a pro-active approach strategically vis-à-vis diplomatic recognition of the Democratic Republic of Somaliland and defeat the hostile intentions of Al Qaeda and Al Shabab. India will safeguard her maritime security and long-term strategic interests in the Indian Ocean region by offering diplomatic recognition to the new nation of the Republic of Somaliland.

20-Oct-2011

Don't trust Musharraf

Mr. Bruce Riedel, ex-CIA, has almost redeemed himself in my eyes as an American partiot. Perhaps, the sheer enormity of the guilt in which we have funded the terrorist army of Pakistan which then turned around and killed Americans, Mr. Riedel has, over the past few weeks, written scathing articles on Pakistan. Welcome home Mr. Riedel! In this article, Mr. Riedel squarely is asking for Musharraf to "be held accountable." Two years ago, Musharraf was in town hosted/feted by a local Pak-Am physician, our Senators couldn't get inside those doors fast enough even though for the past ten years I have tried to lay bare Musharraf's treachery to my legislators/news media. If General Musharraf was waterboarded in 2004-2005, Osama and the "war on terror" would have ended years ago. Instead we went after inconsequential foot-soldiers!

In the first sentence I used the word almost because Mr. Riedel has yet to cross a key milestone. In another article he used the word "contain" in reference to Pakistan. The day he uses "defeat," in reference to Pakistan, that would be the day of his redemption. Likewise for all American legislators/GOTUS who are currently embedded with Pakistan and are enablers of terrorist attacks on Americans. Recall how Powell until last December (2010) was making a case for more, more, more, more military hardware for the Pakistan military while PakMil was directing more, more, more attacks on Americans. BTW, why is Powell not advocating "past is past" policy to his successor Hillary Clinton/CIA/GOUTS when she is reading the riot act to Kiyani.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/10/22/pervez-musharraf-should-be-held-accountable-argues-bruce-riedel.html

Don’t Trust Musharraf

Oct 22, 2011 12:00 AM EDT
With Pakistan in the news following Hillary Clinton’s visit, Bruce Riedel argues that we can’t forget to hold Musharraf accountable for bin Laden.
Former Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf should be held accountable for his role in the search for Osama bin Laden who for some three years was hiding within earshot of the country's premier military academy while Musharraf led the country and its army. Whether clueless (his answer) or complicit about bin Laden's hideout, Musharraf failed to bring justice to the world's most-wanted man for years. We should press him for answers about his ineptitude, not look to him for answers about his country's future.
Musharraf is regularly hosted by American think tanks and the media and asked his views on his country's future. This is normal in America. He can't go home of course because of numerous pending court cases involving his presidency, which ended in disgrace in 2008 after the murder of his rival Benazir Bhutto.
In 2001, Musharraf promised President George Bush Pakistan's help in bringing bin Laden and the rest of al Qaeda to justice. Some al Qaeda operatives like Khalid Sheik Mohammed were caught, but the big fish, bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Taliban leader Mullah Omar, were able to hide out in Pakistan throughout Musharraf's era. Zawahiri and Omar are still hiding out in Pakistan.
Sometime in 2005 or 2006 bin Laden moved into a house in Abbottabad. An al Qaeda operative, a Pakistani who had grown up in Kuwait, served as his messenger to the outside world from this hideout. Named for a 19th-century British army officer, Abbottabad is an army town. Three regiments are based there, Pakistan's first military dictator Ayub Khan was born there and it is home to the Kakul military academy, Pakistan's West Point.

The commandant at Kakul when bin Laden settled into his lair was one of Musharraf's closest aides, General Nadeem Taj. Taj had accompanied Musharraf on an official visit to Sri Lanka in 1999. On the flight home Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif fired Musharraf as army commander. Taj helped orchestrate the coup that ousted Sharif and put Musharraf in power. Taj, as commandant in Kakul, should have been well informed on all security issues in Abbottabad and keeping his boss in the loop. We should also bear in mind Musharraf's past when he pontificates for think tanks. In his chatty memoirs published in 2006, Musharraf says the army was looking for al Qaeda leaders in Abbottabad, so it was on their screen. He has also said he used to jog past the house bin Laden was hiding in. In 2007 Musharraf gave up his uniform after the Pakistani people demanded a return to democracy. General Kayani took his place as army chief. Taj became director general of the Inter Services Intelligence directorate (ISI), replacing Kayani and thus had the top intelligence command for the hunt for bin Laden. Within a year, the Bush administration demanded Taj be removed because the ISI was warning al Qaeda terrorists in advance about drone strikes, and had helped the Taliban blow up India's embassy in Kabul. He was promoted to be a corps commander, one of the dozen or so top generals who run the country. A few weeks later, 10 Pakistani terrorists attacked the city of Mumbai, killing dozens including six Americans. We now know the ISI had helped train them and pick their targets. President Obama wisely decided we could not tell Kayani that we had tracked bin Laden to Abbottabad. He could not be trusted. Nor can we trust Musharraf. Americans and Pakistanis have every reason to ask Musharraf and his fellow generals hard questions about what they knew and when they knew it. We should also bear in mind Musharraf's past when he pontificates for think tanks. Maybe his advice is a bit tarnished.
Like The Daily Beast on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates all day long.

Bruce Riedel, a former longtime CIA officer, is a senior fellow in the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. At President Obama’s request, he chaired the strategic review of policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2009. He is author of the book Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America and the Future of the Global Jihad and The Search for Al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology and Future.

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at editorial@thedailybeast.com.


Reggie Sinha

US: TIME FOR A NEW STRATEGY ON PAKISTAN

B.RAMAN

The indicators from reliable sources in Pakistan are that the just-concluded visit( October 21,2011) of Mrs.Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, to Pakistan at the head of a high-power delegation including the new incumbents to the important posts of Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),David Petraeus, failed to have the necessary impact on the military as well as civilian leadership.

2. What she was expecting was a clear commitment from the Pakistani leadership with a time-bound plan of operation to neutralise the sanctuaries of Al Qaeda and the Haqqani network, an arm of the Afghan Taliban, in the Pashtun belt in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)---particularly in North Waziristan.

3. The Pakistani civilian and military leaders were as evasive as ever and the Army headed by Gen.Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), avoided making any commitment on this issue despite cautions emanating from identified and unidentified sources in Washington regarding the likely punitive consequences of continued Pakistani inaction against the terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistani territory from which, according to the US, attacks are launched against NATO and Afghan targets in Afghan territory.

4. As the US moves towards the Presidential elections next year, the counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations of the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan have been stalling on the ground. Spectacular decapitation strikes against high-value targets through pilotless Drone aircraft and commando actions such as the one that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2 last have not produced any major qualitative change in the ground situation.

5. Successful decapitation strikes need time to produce results on the ground situation. The Obama Administration wants quick results that would enable it to start thinning out the US troop presence in Afghanistan well before next-year’s elections when Mr.Obama will be seeking re-election.

6. Such quick results in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations come only from successful strikes against terrorist sanctuaries and other infrastructure on the ground through a mix of air and ground actions. Such a mix facilitated the elimination of OBL in Abbottabad, but it is difficult to repeat it against widely-scattered terrorist infrastructure.

7. The US faces a dilemma because it does not have the stomach for sustained ground operations by its forces in Pakistani territory. Any ground operation by the US forces that is confined to North Waziristan alone would not produce enduring results because the entire Pakistan---its tribal belt as well as the non-tribal hinterland--- provides a strategic depth to the Afghan Taliban, including its Haqqani network.

8. The cruel reality is that without the co-operation of the Pakistan Army, the US is not in a position to mount a successful counter-sanctuary operation in Pakistani territory. The Pakistan Army has a clear understanding of the limitations to the ground action capabilities of the US in Pakistani territory. Such limitations do not arise from Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal as it is generally presumed. They arise from the nature of the tribal belt and the vast non-tribal hinterland.

9. There are no quick answers to the operational dilemma faced by the US in Pakistan. The US has to realise that Pakistan as constituted presently will continue to keep coming in the way of the over-all strategic objectives of the US in the Af-Pak region. Unless the Pakistani capabilities are weakened, there is going to be no enduring solution to the US dilemma in Pakistan. Economic and military sanctions alone will not weaken Pakistan’s capabilities in view of the assistance that would be forthcoming to Pakistan from China and Saudi Arabia.

10. The only enduring way of weakening the capability of Pakistan is to work strategically for changing the very nature of Pakistan as it is constituted presently by identifying friendly elements in Pakistan such as the Balochs, the Mohajirs and the Shias and helping them in achieving their objective of freeing themselves from the control of the Pakistani Army.

11. These three elements have been struggling on their own, but they have not made much headway due to lack of external support and absence of strategic unity amongst them. If they can be persuaded to come together in a Southern Alliance and struggle jointly and if their political objectives are supported by the outside world---the US particularly—one may see the beginning of the process of weakening the capability of the Pakistani Army to stand in the way of peace and stability in the region.

12. The time has come for a clear realisation that Pakistan as constituted presently is the problem in the region and that unless the non-radical sections of the Pakistani society are helped to assert themselves, no enduring solution would be possible. ( 23-10-11)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com. Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )

LIBYA: AN OLD EVIL IS DEAD, A NEW EVIL IS BORN

B.RAMAN

No right-thinking person would shed tears over the death of Gaddafi, the Libyan dictator, but any well-informed analyst with his feet firmly on the ground would be nervous over the likely sequel to his elimination.

2.Gaddafi suppressed his people. He used brutal force against them. He funded, trained and armed many of the West Asian terrorist organisations, that claimed to be fighting for the Palestinian cause against Israel and the West. He funded and armed the Irish Republican Army to make the British bleed. Under him, the Libyan intelligence became a brutal sponsor of terrorism against the West ---particularly after the alleged death of his daughter in a US air strike in 1986 when Ronald Reagan was the US President.

3. His intelligence blew up a French civilian plane in Africa and a Pan-Am Aircraft of the US near Lockerbie in Scotland in December 1988. He partly funded Pakistan’s Islamic bomb along with Saudi Arabia and Iran. He was a menace who deserved to be eliminated.

4. Post-9/11, he gave signs of a new friendly Gaddafi on the horizon. He handed over his intelligence officers to the West for trial. He paid huge compensations to the relatives of those who died in the two explosions aboard a French and US aircraft. He kept away from Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda.After the US found out about his nuclear acquisitions with the help of Pakistan’s A.Q.Khan, he made a clean breast of his nuclear acquisitions and destroyed them to the satisfaction of the West.This merited a “Thank you” visit to Libya by the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

5. Gaddafi fondly hoped that these mitigating actions by him would spare him a brutal fate. They didn’t. The ideal thing would have been for the West to ensure that like Iraq’s Saddam Hussain, Gadaffi too died in the gallows after a due process of law. Instead, it let him be killed in an uncivilised manner by his enraged captors, who will be the new rulers of Libya.

6. One might blame his captors for their uncivilised behaviour, but many in the Islamic world would convince themselves that this uncivilised behaviour could have been prevented if the West had wanted to. The West wanted his death to be a grim warning to others of Gaddafi’s ilk who stood in the way of Western interests.He died in a horrible manner, but his death could haunt the West for some years to come.

7. Other nuclear aspirants like the rulers of Iran and North Korea would conclude, rightly or wrongly, that it was unwise on the part of Gaddafi to have voluntarily given by his nuclear card. The West would find Iran and North Korea even more recalcitrant on the nuclear issue.

8. There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq before the US intervention in2003. AQ, Iraq, was born as a result of the US intervention. Its founding father Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed some years ago, but there are other trained cadres who have been keeping Iraq bleeding.

9. Gaddafi kept AQ many fathoms away from Libya,but he could not prevent angry individual Libyans from gravitating to the Af-Pak region to join AQ. Abu Faraj al-Libi, now in Guantanamao Bay, is one such example. There are other Libyan recruits in the AQ.A new AQ, Libya, to avenge the US-sponsored or at least blessed intervention in Libya will be on the cards.

10. There is an ominous aspect about Libya which was not there in Iraq. In return for the Libyan funding of Pakistan’s Islamic bomb, A.Q.Khan had trained many Libyan nuclear scientists in Pakistan’s nuclear establishments to run Libya’s nuclear infrastructure. To please the US and the UK, Gaddafi dismantled his nuclear infrastructure to their satisfaction, but the Pakistan-trained nuclear scientists are still around.AQ will look for them. ( 22-10-11)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.comTwitter : @SORBONNE75 )

October 21, 2011

Prepare for the worst

Pakistan is on its way to becoming a runaway nuclear rogue state, says N.V.Subramanian.

http://www.newsinsight.net/archivedebates/nat2.asp?recno=2209

19 October 2011: Pakistan's army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has told his country's national assembly that the US has to think "ten times" before attacking the Haqqani network in North Waziristan. Members of the national assembly who heard Kayani say the army chief also warned that Pakistan was not Iraq or Afghanistan to be walked over by the United States.
Earlier in the week, Pakistan's defence minister, Ahmad Mukhtar, held out a different kind of threat to the United States. Protesting the increased drone attacks in North Waziristan, he said Pakistan's patience was running out. He added significantly that Pakistan was a responsible nuclear power and could not accept the killing of its people in such attacks.

What do these two statements of Ahmed Mukhtar and General Kayani taken together signify?
Obviously, in the hierarchy of the power structure in Pakistan, Kayani stands way above Ahmed Mukhtar. Mukhtar is not from the military, being a technocrat and a businessman. His background would make him pro-West and he was in the running for the prime-ministership which finally went to Yousaf Raza Gilani.

It might be suggested that Mukhtar overreached himself in speaking about Pakistan's deterrent in relation to the drone attacks in North Waziristan. The obvious construction on what he said would be that Pakistan would nuke the drone power, namely the United States. Since that cannot happen in mainland United States, its forces in Afghanistan would be vulnerable to Pakistani nukes. That would be literally what the defence minister meant.

This is crazy talk. Nobody speaks of nuking so casually although Pakistan has a history of nuclear sabre-rattling (in the late nineties) with India. Nobody dare utter such sentiments anyway in relation to the United States, certainly not anybody from the Pakistan establishment. The Al-Qaeda might do it. But the fact remains that the Pakistan defence minister, an experienced government hand, said as much.

And it becomes more significant after Kayani's tough talk in Pakistan's national assembly. The defence minister may still be a marginal player, although he isn't. But Kayani is Pakistan, so to speak. The real power-centre in Pakistan is the army, and Kayani heads it. He has lost his sheen after a US raid killed Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad. But he is still powerful. Wounded but powerful.

His statement that the US would have to think ten times before launching a military strike in North Waziristan is a direct challenge to America. Never before have Pakistani differences with the US been framed in such bellicose terms. True, the US has come close to calling Pakistan a terror state. But for Pakistan to throw a return challenge is surprising.

How could Pakistan retaliate against the United States?
The first option is blocking supplies to the US troops in Afghanistan.
Retired Pakistani military officers are stoking public opinion in the North West against these supplies to US troops. Supplies have been blocked in the past. But it does not represent such a powerful lever as to stop US military moves in North Waziristan.
The second option is to commission attacks against principal US targets like its embassy in Kabul.
This was done last month by the Haqqani network in close collaboration with the ISI. Indeed, the motive of the attack becomes clear now. If the US attacks in North Waziristan, its key military and diplomatic assets in Afghanistan will come under fire.

You could argue that this has been Pakistan army/ ISI/ Haqqani network policy for years now. But it has received a boost in view of the imminent US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Kayani's national assembly statement may constitute a faster radicalization of Pakistani options against the US in Afghanistan.

At its worst, it may mean that all bets are off if the US attacks North Waziristan. It may be war. And if you insert the threat of the Pakistan defence minister, it could even mean employment of the nuclear option. Before it is dismissed as poppycock, Kayani and Ahmad Mukhtar should be asked to explain their respective articulations. And if they are serious, the world must prepare for the worst.
And this is that Pakistan is a short way from becoming a runaway rogue nuclear terror state.

N.V.Subramanian is Editor, www.NewsInsight.net, and writes internationally on strategic affairs.

Aparna Pande - India-Afghanistan - Pakistan: Not a Zero Sum Game

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aparna-pande/india-afghanistan-pakistan_b_1005091.html

India-Afghanistan-Pakistan: Not a Zero Sum Game
By Aparna Pande
October 21, 2011
Huffington Post

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's recent trip to India portends a new development. During the visit, the two countries signed a 'strategic partnership' pact which entailed agreements on counter-terrorism cooperation, training of Afghan security forces and increased trade.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement portrayed India 's vision of ties with Afghanistan with the emphasis on both the old historical ties as well as the newer strategic ones. "Our cooperation with Afghanistan is an open book. We have civilizational links, and we are both here to stay. India will stand by the people of Afghanistan as they prepare to assume the responsibility for their governance and security after the withdrawal of international forces in 2014."

The recent pact is supposed to create "an institutional framework" for using existing ties to build for the future. Currently India is one of the largest donors to Afghanistan , providing around $2 billion in aid which has mainly been focused on economic and development-related issues.

For the last decade, mainly in order to assuage Pakistan, U.S. requested that India limit its Afghan aid and assistance to areas like infrastructure (building highways, roads and government buildings) health (health clinics and doctors) and education (scholarships for Afghan students to study in India) -- an area not new in India-Afghan ties. For decades Afghans have studied in India , including President Hamid Karzai and former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.

India has also trained some Afghan military officers previously at its defense colleges. Trade is a key part of India-Afghan ties, though Pakistan is not keen on allowing transit trade, forcing India and Afghanistan to trade through Iran or Central Asian countries. Indian companies are, however, interested in investing in Afghanistan and a consortium of Indian steel companies led by Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) is in a race with their Chinese counterparts for the Hagijak iron ore mines deal.

While President Karzai's trip to India has been many months in the making, its timing is critical as it comes in the backdrop of tense ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan, frictions in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and the recent assassination of former Afghan President and head of the Afghan Peace Council, Burhanuddin Rabbani. Mr Rabbani recently visited India in mid-July along with a 15-member delegation and held talks with top Indian officials. During the 1990s, India supported the Northern Alliance parties in Afghanistan and developed close ties not only to Mr Rabbani but to other Afghan leaders.

Both India and Afghanistan are concerned about a significant withdrawal of American and NATO forces from Afghanistan by 2014 and both fear the return of the Taliban. Kabul 's pursuit of a strategic partnership with New Delhi , the first with any country, needs to be seen in this context. In this backdrop, Mr Karzai's second trip to India in 2011 shows the desire for Afghanistan 's policymakers to build close ties with regional allies in order to prepare for the future. As Mr Karzai stated, " Afghanistan recognizes the danger this region is facing through terrorism and the radicalism that is being used as an instrument of policy against civilians and innocent citizens of our country."

At the same time, both Kabul and New Delhi realize that ties with Rawalpindi-Islamabad are critical for peace in Afghanistan . This was reflected in President Karzai's recent statement that instead of speaking with the Taliban, Afghanistan should speak with Pakistan . And in his statement in New Delhi that " Pakistan is our twin brother, India is a great friend. The agreement we signed with our friend will not affect our brother." This is not the first time President Karzai has made these remarks referring to Pakistan as a twin and India as a friend.

Whether these remarks will reassure Pakistan 's policy makers is a different matter. As veteran Pakistani analyst, Hasan Askari Rizvi remarked "there is so much Indian obsession in Pakistan that with every minor Indian move, there is panic." Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani's statement on the India-Afghan pact was that "Both are sovereign countries, they have the right to do whatever they want to." This reminded one of former Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's remarks in 2009 when he said that Pakistan was "not concerned" by close India-U.S. ties as U.S. and Pakistan had been allies for 60 years. Behind these statements, the reality is that of Pakistani concerns about close ties between U.S. and Pakistan 's neighbors -- India and Afghanistan -- which are perceived in Islamabad-Rawalpindi as being at Pakistan 's expense.

Pakistan has always feared strategic encirclement -- the oft-quoted 'pincer movement' -- if India and Afghanistan develop close ties. In response, Pakistan 's strategists have desired a pro-Pakistan (and anti-India) Afghan government which has led them down the path of seeking proxies, whether mujahideen, Afghan Taliban or the Haqqani network.

Pakistan has no reason to fear close ties between India and Afghanistan , as both countries benefit from and seek a stable, democratic and prosperous Pakistan . However, in trying to prevent India and Afghanistan from building close ties -- especially in the economic arena -- Pakistan may end up being left behind, instead of being encircled.

Similarly, while U.S. policymakers should be attuned to Pakistan 's concerns, they should not make this a zero sum game where any close strategic ties between India and Afghanistan are not supported simply because of Pakistan . U.S. benefits from close ties between India and Afghanistan and so would Pakistan , if only it took off its blinkered India-centric glasses.





---
Aparna Pande , PhD.
Research Fellow
Hudson Institute
1015 15th St NW , Rm 615
Washington DC 20005
Tel: 202-974-2400
Direct: 202- 292-5962
Fax: 202-974-2410
Email: apande@hudson.org

Obama to honour Indian American activist Vijaya Emani

October 14, 2011 11:12 IST


Vijaya Emani, who worked among domestic abuse victims, will receive the nation's second highest civilian honor posthumously by President Barack Obama [ Images ] on October 20 at a White House ceremony. Aziz Haniffa reports.

http://www.rediff.com/news/report/obama-to-honour-indian-american-activist-vijaya-emani/20111014.htm

Vijaya Emani, a community activist and single mother of two from Strongsville, Ohio, who counseled and worked among domestic abuse victims in the Indian American community was honored posthumously by President Barack Obama with the 2011 Presidential citizens medalthe nation's second highest civilian honor.
She also established the India [ Images ] cultural garden in Rockefeller Park and a statue of Mohandas Gandhi in the Cleveland cultural garden.

Emani died tragically on January 15, 2009, at the age 51, when she was hit by a truck on the Ohio Turnpike. She was among 13 recipients from across the country and the only Indian American to receive this Presidential award for exemplary service to their fellow citizens.

"This year's recipients of the citizens medal come from different backgrounds, but they share a commitment to a cause greater than themselves. They exemplify the best of what it means to be an American, and I am honored to be able to offer them a small token of our appreciation," said Obama.

The awards will be presented on October 20 at a White House ceremony, and Emani's daughters Sujata, 29, and Nirmala Emani, 24, will receive the award on behalf of their late mother.

The White House said, "Vijaya Emani became a role model for victims of domestic abuse because of her strength and determination in overcoming domestic abuse in her own life, and by speaking out about the issue publicly, she broke a long held taboo in the Indian American community.

"Emani lived and breathed many causes including projects to aid the homeless and promoting diversity. Although she was killed in a tragic vehicle accident, her example and message live on," it said, and noted that "Emani posthumously receives the citizens medal for her courage in overcoming and speaking out against abuse."
In interviews with India Abroad, Emani's daughters, Sujata and Nirmala said they were so proud of the high honor the President was bestowing on their mother and vowed to continue the work she was doing.

"I am very proud of all of my mom's accomplishments. She's had a huge impact on my personal philosophy on service and community that shaped who I am," Sujata said.
"I hope that I continue to honor her by dedicating myself to developing my community. Although my sister and I feel overwhelmingly honored to be able to receive this award at the White House from President Obama in my mom's stead, we feel that we have always been extremely blessed to be her daughters and to have learned our life lessons from her," added Sujata.

Sujata who recently completed her doctorate in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego and now is the research director at a local startup in Cleveland, Ohio, said she had spent the last few years at UCSD advocating for women in science and under-represented groups in higher education as well as working with the greater graduate community.

"Here in Cleveland, I'm just getting started involving myself in the young entrepreneur community and am working to develop a non-profit foundation to continue the work that my mom started to empower women," she said.

Nirmala, echoing similar sentiments said, "My family and I are extremely proud of her. We always knew how amazing she was but it's an incredible honor to have her recognised nationally for all the work she had done."

"She was a mother unlike any other and I wish that she could be here to accept this prestigious award in person," she added. Nirmala, the younger of the two, currently lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida [ Images ], working for Bank of America, and an alumni from Purdue University's Krannert School of Management (Class of 2009)
"I have developed a true passion to help others and would like to follow in my mother's footsteps," she said.

Former Cleveland Law Director and erstwhile Acting Mayor, Subodh Chandra, who, sources said was among those who nominated Emani and played an instrumental role behind the scenes in pushing the White House to recognise Emani, told India Abroad, "Vijaya was like a humble angel walking on earth. Her smile was contagious. No matter what adversity she faced, she overcame it, and she did not permit others to drown in their sorrows."

Harsha Desai, a domestic abuse survivor, told India Abroad, "I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award than Vijaya. She had helped many women who were either battered immigrants or going through domestic violence. She was very easy to talk with and some one I could immediately relate to."

"Anytime she talked to me she only reflected courage, enthusiasm and encouragement. It was through her, I could meet many other people who later on became instrumental in walking me through a tough time. I could successfully overcome a situation in which any average Indian women would have gone back to her country," she said.
Another close friend and associate with whom Emani worked with, Kenneth J Kovach, executive director of the Cleveland International community council, told India Abroad, "I was so thrilled when I got the news that the citizens medal of honor had been awarded posthumously by President Obama to our beloved Vijaya."
Kovach said, "If she's listening in heaven, I say, congratulations Vijaya! We miss you so very much! We will always remember and love you!"

Friends at the time of her death said, Emani, a computer engineer, was on the Ohio Turnpike on her way to work at Kent State University about 8:30 am, when according to the State highway patrol, Emani stopped at a crash scene on an icy stretch of the turnpike in Streetsboro, got out of her car and was hit by a tractor-trailer. Her lifeless body was found on the right side of the highway.
Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC

Viking Burial Ship Excavated in Scotland

http://www.norwaypost.no/news/viking-burial-ship-excavated-in-scotland-25867.html

A Viking chieftain’s grave, with his burial ship, has been found in Scotland on the remote Ardnamurchan peninsula, containing several possessions, including a Norwegian whetstone.

"We had spotted this low mound the previous year, but said firmly that it was probably just a pile of field clearance rocks from comparatively recent farming," Hannah Cobb, archeologist and co-director of the excavation, told the Guardian. "The second night they said: ’It really does look like a boat.’ The third night they said: ’We think we really do have a boat.’ It was so exciting, we could hardly believe it," Cobb said.

The remains of the ship showed that it had rotted into the soil centuries ago, along with the viking who was buried there. The vessel was only five meters long and 1,5 meters wide, which makes it a rather small ship for crossing the seas between Scandinavia, Scotland and Ireland.

However, the many possessions found on the boat show that the viking must have enjoyed traveling. In addition to the Norwegian whetstone, findings include a bronze ringpin from Ireland, his sword, an axe, a knife and another bronze object that could be part of a drinking horn. Several other objects are still being identified.

Ship burials like this one were very common in the Viking Age, but reserved for high-status individuals. "He may have been a chieftain, a famous navigator, or renowned for his wisdom, but this man was clearly special to his people," said Cobb.

The world’s most well-preserved viking burial ship is the famous "Oseberg Ship," excavated at Oseberg in Norway in the early 20th century, and now preserved at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo.

(Guardian)

Written by Julie Ryland

Why Syria is Not Libya?

http://www.idsa.in/idsacomments/WhySyriaisNotLibya_smishra_211011

Saurabh Mishra

October 21, 2011

After the death of Gaddafi one may wonder why Syria has had a safe escape from any action by the UN Security Council as a result of a rare double veto by Russia and China. The events of protests had more or less the same character in both the countries to begin with—mass protests against the government and the demand from the leader to abdicate. The leaders of both Libya and Syria responded in similar ways with crackdown over civilians and violence against the crowd. But, later, the protests in both the countries adopted different trajectories. Consequently, Col. Gaddafi has fallen and the Transitional National Council stands recognized in Libya by the United Nations while Bashar al-Assad still prevails. Definitely, the dynamics of the Syrian domestic politics and the region are peculiar and different from Libya and its surroundings.

There were disagreements over the nature of resolutions against Libya but Russia and China did not block the UN mandated NATO action by merely abstaining like India, South Africa and Brazil. Though the West, especially the US, has questioned the legitimacy of Assad’s regime, it is not adamant on a regime change while Libya was pushed apparently for the same. Russia and China have vetoed the draft resolution on Syria distributed by Britain, France, Germany and Portugal condemning deadly crackdown on opposition protests and contemplating “measures” under article 41 of the UN Charter. Brazil, India and South Africa think that NATO has gone past the Security Council resolutions while carrying out the strikes against Gaddafi.

Libya was referred to the International Criminal Court but there is hesitation to do the same with Syria. The Arab League had called on the world community to establish a ‘no fly zone’ over Libya while it is averse to any use of force against Syria. The League is increasing pressure on Damascus but it has not been suspended unlike Libya. Though it has criticised the violence in Syria, it has also proposed a “three-year timetable” for reforms to recognise the legitimate social and political aspirations of the people as a solution to the crisis. There are several reasons why the response to Syria has been different from the Libyan case.

First and most importantly, though Syria is a concern for Israel and the US, there are good reasons for them to prefer Assad to continue. The Assad family has established itself as moderate and cosmopolitan in its religious preferences while the forces in opposition to Assad definitely have their strong religious and hardline affinities. The more fundamentalist the ruling class in Syria is, the more uncomfortable it would be for Israel. Israel’s border with Syria has been relatively peaceful during the Assads’ rule. Hence, the US and the Western countries are reluctant to remove Bashar al-Assad.

Second, the ruling Alawis of Syria are Shiites and ‘the Assad family in Damascus has been Iran’s only regional ally since the 1979 revolution, and if it were to fall it would be a tremendous blow to the Iranian regime.’1 Both Iran and Syria have relations with Hamas and cultivated the Hezbollah in Lebanon, acquiring leverage in the regional politics. Israel has deeply strained relationships with these countries on the issue of Palestine and has fought against Lebanon and Syria in the past. The Hezbollah continues to engage in regular skirmishes, firings and shelling aiming to destroy Israel. Iran perceives herself as the leader of the Shiite community in the region and aspires to assume a predominant role. ‘The divide between Muslim and non-Muslim regimes is seen by most of the population of the Middle East as more significant than the division between radical and conservative.’2 Therefore, any intervention by external powers will have the potential to destabilize the region seriously, and may engulf the neighbouring countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bahrain, Iraq etc.

Third, the opposition in Libya was quick to organise and put up a proper armed resistance assisted by NATO airstrikes and military advice while the protesting sections in Syria are divided over the mode of resistance. Libyan rebels are composed of both young and old men—doctors, teachers, defected members of security forces, ministry and the bureaucracy. On the other hand, though the Syrian Diaspora has formed a National Transitional Council with Ghalioun as its leader, there are differences with internal dissidents over the leadership and the mode of struggle. Assad has been remarkably successful in keeping a hold over the armed forces acting against the protesters swiftly.

Fourth, Gaddafi had lost most of his support and was left with some tribal support in the falling Sirte and the surroundings with which he had maintained longtime relations. On the other hand, Assad’s support base, though in the process of rethinking their support to him, remains intact with him. Despite international criticism Assad has considerable support among the businessmen and Christians in Damascus. No major armed forces defection has been reported. The Syrian armed forces are predominantly Alawite and would detest a Sunni Government after Assad.

Fifth, Libya ranks much higher (17th) in oil production while Syria ranks 31st. More than 60% of the export earnings of Syria come from oil which is falling due to technological limitations and depleting resources. Comparatively, Syria has a less important economic future than Libya. The reasons for Western interest in Syria are largely political than economic while Libya has much to offer in the oil sector.

Sixth, the difference in the temperament of the leadership in Libya and Syria is visible. Assad seems to be a calculative politician while Gaddafi turned out to be merely rhetorical. He called the protesters cockroaches (a fascist metaphor) and threatened house to house killing of the rebels’ supporters while Assad has been tactful in handling the international pressure. He has very calculatedly downgraded the action against protestors at the moment when the probable deserters like the oil companies and the Sunni traders started rethinking their support to him. He had pulled out from contesting the elections for the Human Rights Council and opened negotiations with the international community after a heavy crackdown on protestors. Assad has deliberately toned down at the ‘right moment’.

The gravity of humanitarian crisis due to the crackdown by Assad’s forces and the so called Sabihas had compelled the Security Council, the Arab League, the GCC, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others to condemn his actions. But, both Iran and Turkey have been friendly to Syria for long and have condemned its actions only reluctantly. Turkey now, claims a changed heart, possibly under NATO obligations, but it is suspected of handing over the defected senior army officer back to Syria. Iran is also doing its best to keep Assad in power. Given the criticism against Hezbollah within Syria for its support to the Assad regime and the supporters rethinking their positions, any escalation further or reverting back to heavy crackdowns and death of people may turn the equations against Assad. But, the western tone-down on military action suggests that they may let Assad stay despite all pressures till they get an option. After the veto in Security Council, the international community is left with the option of waiting till the opposition arrives at a consensus on a stable leadership and devices a strategy for further action.

1. ‘Assad Regime in Syria Crucial to Iran’ at http://carnegieendowment.org/2011/08/30/assad-regime-in-syria-crucial-to-iran/4y36.
2. ‘America Needs to Pick Its Fights Carefully’ at http://www.rand.org/commentary/2006/08/13/IHT.html.

Next-generation "spintronic" computers

NIST measures key property of potential 'spintronic' material





IMAGE: Manganite oxide lattices (purple) doped with lanthanum (magenta) and strontium (green) have potential for use in spintronic memory devices, but their usual disorderly arrangement (left) makes it difficult to explore...
Click here for more information.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-10/nios-nmk101911.php


An advanced material that could help bring about next-generation "spintronic" computers has revealed one of its fundamental secrets to a team of scientists from Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The material, constructed of two different compounds, might one day allow computers to use the magnetic spin of electrons, in addition to their charge, for computation. A host of innovations could result, including fast memory devices that use considerably less power than conventional systems and still retain data when the power is off. The team's effort not only demonstrates that the custom-made material's properties can be engineered precisely, but in creating a virtually perfect sample of the material, the team also has revealed a fundamental characteristic of devices that can be made from it.

Team members from ANL began by doing something that had never been done before-engineering a highly ordered version of a magnetic oxide compound that naturally has two randomly distributed elements: lanthanum and strontium. Stronger magnetic properties are found in those places in the lattice where extra lanthanum atoms are added. Precise placement of the strontium and lanthanum within the lattice can enable understanding of what is needed to harness the interaction of the magnetic forces among the layers for memory storage applications, but such control has been elusive up to this point.

"These oxides are physically messy to work with, and until very recently, it was not possible to control the local atomic structure so precisely," says Brian Kirby, a physicist at the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR). "Doing so gives us access to important fundamental properties, which are critical to understand if you really want to make optimal use of a material."

The team members from ANL have mastered a technique for laying down the oxides one atomic layer at a time, allowing them to construct an exceptionally organized lattice in which each layer contains only strontium or lanthanum, so that the interface between the two components could be studied. The NIST team members then used the NCNR's polarized neutron reflectometer to analyze how the magnetic properties within this oxide lattice changed as a consequence of the near-perfect placement of atoms.

They found that the influence of electrons near the additional lanthanum layers was spread out across three magnetic layers in either direction, but fell off sharply further away than that. Tiffany Santos, lead scientist on the study from ANL, says that the measurement will be important for the emerging field of oxide spintronics, as it reveals a fundamental size unit for electronic and magnetic effects in memory devices made from the material.

"For electrons to share spin information-something required in a memory system-they will need to be physically close enough to influence each other," Kirby says. "By ordering this material in such a precise way, we were able to see just how big that range of influence is."

###
* T. S. Santos, B. J. Kirby, S. Kumar, S. J. May, J. A. Borchers, B. B. Maranville, J. Zarestky, S. G. E. te Velthuis, J. van den Brink and A. Bhattacharya. Delta doping of ferromagnetism in antiferromagnetic manganite superlattices. Physical Review Letters, Week ending Oct. 14, 2011, 107, 167202 (2011), DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.167202.

Each US family’s share of the national debt is $170,000.


America’s drowning in so much debt that we’ve crossed the point of no return. It might be too late to “save” America. But that could actually be a good thing for you and your family.

Press play in the video presentation below to find out why.


With hard times like these come hard decisions. Some of those decisions, however, could prove very beneficial to your retirement, and America’s future.

European banking - Crisis or Catastrophe?

STRATFOR



Whichever actions Germany takes, three things are all but inevitable: an Italian bailout, a European banking crisis, and a Greek default. Any one outcome will likely trigger the other two.

This may look like a "damned if I do, damned if I don't" type of situation, but how Berlin handles the crisis could be the difference between a weakened euro and nonexistent euro.

IHS Inc: Holding pattern




(1) TBG is indirectly wholly-owned by the Trust through a Bermuda corporation.

(2) Urvanos Investments Limited is indirectly wholly owned by TBG through a Netherlands corporation.

(3) As of September 30, 2006, Urvanos Investments Limited owned 958,859 shares of our Class A common stock and 13,750,000 shares of our Class B common stock, representing in the aggregate approximately 76% of the voting power of the then outstanding common stock (compared to 25% of the overall economic interest).

4) As of September 30, 2006, General Atlantic owned 4,687,500 shares of our Class A common stock representing approximately 2.6% of the voting power of the then outstanding common stock (compared to 8% of the overall economic interest).

(5) As of September 30, 2006, following the distribution of all our shares held by Urpasis Investments Limited to TBG, TBG owned 18,911,391 shares of our Class A common stock representing approximately 10.4% of the voting power of the then outstanding common stock (compared to 32% of the overall economic interest).

"Jerre L. Stead, our Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of our board of directors, is also a member of the board of directors of TBG. Michael v. Staudt, a member of our board of directors, is also an executive vice president of TBG. In addition, C. Michael Armstrong, Roger Holtback and Michael Klein, all members of our board of directors, were members of the board of directors and an advisory committee of TBG prior to our initial public offering. See "Risk Factors—Risks Related to the Offering—We are controlled by an entity whose interests may differ from your interests; the chairman of our board serves on the board of that entity and one of our directors is one of its executive officers" and "Certain Relationships and Related Transactions—Relationship with the Selling Stockholder."
"

Another chapter of Washington’s subversion against Cuba

By: Ana Teresa Badia
http://victoriacubafund.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/another-chapter-of-washington%E2%80%99s-subversion-against-cuba/

Havana, Cuba, Oct. 10 (Radio Rebelde) – Washington Software Inc., a Maryland-based company, won the bid for a US government contract to develop a software capable of sending 24 000 text messages every week to Cuban cell phone users.

According to Canadian journalist Jean Guy-Allard, that firm will have one month to design “a system of text messages” intended to neutralize alleged “Cuban government’s attempts to jam politically sensitive messages”, reported the website Cuba Money Project, of journalist Tracey Eaton.

That new cybernetic operation would incredibly threaten the normal SMS service provided to Cuban cell phone users. The entire operation has the consent of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a federal body in charge of supervising the quality of communications.

The own BBG published last August 17 the bid for the project, which was commissioned last September 21 to Washington Software, Inc. The contract is worth $ 84.000 dollars in the first year and its value could rise to almost half a million dollars.

The BBG will draft the dirty propaganda messages, which the “contractor” is bound to disseminate with no right to rectify any.

The first year of operation of this US government-funded “spam” service spans from September 15 2011 to September 14 2012.

The subversive BBG

The governmental BBG finances and designs air signals like “The Voice of America” and “Free Europe Radio”, agents of world subversion. The United States started the “Cold War” with them.

That warmongering past has never come to an end and BBG recently founded “Al-Hurrah”, a TV channel in Arabic language. It is meant to improve US image in the Middle East and compete with “Al-Yazira” TV channel. To that end, it uses the same old propagandistic resources of the Cold War.

At the same time, during George W. Bush’s administration, the BBG launched Radio Sawa and Radio Fard stations, which at the moment continue broadcasting Western and Eastern news and music.

According to Washington, the goal of Al-Hurrah and the two radio stations is “to promote democracy.” It is intended to conquer an audience of 310 million Arabs. Its creation is part of a more comprehensive campaign “to cleanse US image” in the Arab world. It includes radio announcements, press publicity in the countries of that region, a website (opendialogue.org) and $ 25 million in scholarships for those who wish to study in the USA.

These experiences are doubtlessly very similar to the illegal Radio and TV Marti, which broadcast in 65 languages for 100 million people.

The new strategy against Cuba

US Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor, among others, are some of the clients of Washington Software Inc. Transnationals of telecommunications, as IBM and Lockheed Martin, are also regular customers. The latter, by the way, is also involved in arms manufacture.

The contract reportedly provides for the use of techniques capable of adding unique changes “to avoid detection of the messages sent in large quantities to many subscribers.”

The contractor should likewise allow the penetration of SMS messages in Spanish and English languages through the web interface, as well as message distribution through cellular networks.

The most amazing and unlawful fact is that BBG itself will supply the phone numbers. Therefore, it is worth asking: Will the relentless violation of Cuban and international laws by United States ever have limits or end?.

Another chapter of Washington’s subversion against Cuba

By: Ana Teresa Badia
http://victoriacubafund.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/another-chapter-of-washington%E2%80%99s-subversion-against-cuba/

Havana, Cuba, Oct. 10 (Radio Rebelde) – Washington Software Inc., a Maryland-based company, won the bid for a US government contract to develop a software capable of sending 24 000 text messages every week to Cuban cell phone users.

According to Canadian journalist Jean Guy-Allard, that firm will have one month to design “a system of text messages” intended to neutralize alleged “Cuban government’s attempts to jam politically sensitive messages”, reported the website Cuba Money Project, of journalist Tracey Eaton.

That new cybernetic operation would incredibly threaten the normal SMS service provided to Cuban cell phone users. The entire operation has the consent of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a federal body in charge of supervising the quality of communications.

The own BBG published last August 17 the bid for the project, which was commissioned last September 21 to Washington Software, Inc. The contract is worth $ 84.000 dollars in the first year and its value could rise to almost half a million dollars.

The BBG will draft the dirty propaganda messages, which the “contractor” is bound to disseminate with no right to rectify any.

The first year of operation of this US government-funded “spam” service spans from September 15 2011 to September 14 2012.

The subversive BBG

The governmental BBG finances and designs air signals like “The Voice of America” and “Free Europe Radio”, agents of world subversion. The United States started the “Cold War” with them.

That warmongering past has never come to an end and BBG recently founded “Al-Hurrah”, a TV channel in Arabic language. It is meant to improve US image in the Middle East and compete with “Al-Yazira” TV channel. To that end, it uses the same old propagandistic resources of the Cold War.

At the same time, during George W. Bush’s administration, the BBG launched Radio Sawa and Radio Fard stations, which at the moment continue broadcasting Western and Eastern news and music.

According to Washington, the goal of Al-Hurrah and the two radio stations is “to promote democracy.” It is intended to conquer an audience of 310 million Arabs. Its creation is part of a more comprehensive campaign “to cleanse US image” in the Arab world. It includes radio announcements, press publicity in the countries of that region, a website (opendialogue.org) and $ 25 million in scholarships for those who wish to study in the USA.

These experiences are doubtlessly very similar to the illegal Radio and TV Marti, which broadcast in 65 languages for 100 million people.

The new strategy against Cuba

US Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor, among others, are some of the clients of Washington Software Inc. Transnationals of telecommunications, as IBM and Lockheed Martin, are also regular customers. The latter, by the way, is also involved in arms manufacture.

The contract reportedly provides for the use of techniques capable of adding unique changes “to avoid detection of the messages sent in large quantities to many subscribers.”

The contractor should likewise allow the penetration of SMS messages in Spanish and English languages through the web interface, as well as message distribution through cellular networks.

The most amazing and unlawful fact is that BBG itself will supply the phone numbers. Therefore, it is worth asking: Will the relentless violation of Cuban and international laws by United States ever have limits or end?.

Texting as Propaganda tool

U.S. government promotes software project to attack Cuban cell phones
Written by RHC

http://www.cubasi.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=568:us-government-promotes-software-project-to-attack-cuban-cell-phones


The United States government granted a Maryland company a contract to set up a system capable of sending up to 24,000 text messages every month to Cuban cell phone users, in a frank violation of international legislation.

According to the terms of the contract, Washington Software, Inc., will design a text messaging system aimed at countering Cuban government’s blocking of messages that attempt against the country’s safety, reported the journalist Tracy Eaton in the Cuban Money Project blog.

The software must include the ability to add unique changes to each message instance sent to each individual subscriber to avoid detection of messages being sent in bulk to many subscribers, the contract reads.

Additionally, it may include keyword substitutions, where potentially provocative keywords which are likely to be censored are replaced with other words or characters which leave the meaning intact but foil automated keyword detection.

This cyber-war operation is sponsored by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an entity responsible for all non-military, international broadcastings sponsored by Washington, including the radio and TV aggressions against Cuba.

On August 17, the BBG requested bids for the text-messaging service. The base contract is worth $84,000 during the first year. Four additional one-year options would boost the total value of the contract to $464,160.

Cuba Money Project reported that before the contract was granted, a prospective contractor wondered if the text-messaging campaign was legal, and the BBG´s answer was that there was not need to worry about that “detail”.

“The Agency assumes responsibility for the content of the messages.

The Contractor assumes all responsibility under this requirement and should consider all aspects of this requirement before submitting an offer". Was the precondition set by BBG.

The operation will run from September 12, 2011, through September 14, 2012, to be extended.

According to the BBG’s website their goal is to subvert order, following the criteria of “promoting freedom and democracy and improve understanding through the syndication of precise news, objectives and balanced, through information and broadcasting about the United States and the world, targeting foreign audiences”

From bus conductor to Sanskrit scholar

Mathoor Krishnamurti: From bus conductor to Sanskrit scholar

TNN | Oct 7, 2011, 05.36AM IST
Mathoor Krishnamurti saw life at various levels and surprised everyone with his multi-faceted talents.

BANGALORE: From bus conductor to hotel worker, to a clerk in a mill, then to become a Vedic and Sanskrit scholar, Mathoor Krishnamurti saw life at various levels and surprised everyone with his multi-faceted talents. 

Krishnamurti once said whatever he achieved was perhaps the outcome of his poverty. "He was by no means a rich man. He did odd jobs and worked in positions people would not imagine. And one day, he became a great Vedic scholar," says H N Suresh of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. 

Mathoor Krishnamurti, a renowned Sanskrit scholar and director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, died in a private hospital on Thursday morning. He was synonymous with Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's cultural and spiritual activities. He was not only instrumental in setting up its London branch but also steered the institute for over two decades. 

Born in Mathoor village of Shimoga district on August 8, 1928, Krishnamurti did his elementary schooling there. He had to support his family and went to Shimoga seeking a job. He is believed to have eaten in a different house every week (' vaaranna' , as the practice is called) and looking for a job desperately. After passing SSLC examination in 1947, he was unable to pursue college studies. An influential person recommended Krishnamurti to a city bus conductor's job with a monthly salary of about Rs 200 in Bangalore. He worked on the Basavanagudi-Shivajinagar route in the city. Within three months, Krishnamurti was promoted as a traffic inspector . However, under family pressure to give up the job, Krishnamurti worked at Raja Mills as a clerk. 

Krishnamurti also opened Malleswaram Tutorials to ensure kids don't fail after SSLC. After working for two years, it was shut as it could not be sustained financially. 

After a brief stint with a Kannada daily newspaper and All India Radio, Bangalore, he took over as registrar of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Bangalore in 1969. He moved to London in 1972 and tirelessly to promote Indian culture and spiritual values. By the time Mathoor left London in 1995, the centre had acquired a spacious building and was acknowledged as having done marvellous work. 

Sudha Murty, chairperson, Infosys Foundation, wept inconsolably on Thursday. "It's a big loss for me. He was an elderly friend. I was associated with him for over 18 years. I worked with him on a project to introduce the 'Gamakas' (epic Kannada poetry sung in unique Carnatic ragas and then explained ) to villagers across Karnataka ," she told TOI. 

As Mallepuram G Venkatesh, vicechancellor , Karnataka Sanskrit University, recalls: "He was known for his simplicity. Through his deeprooted knowledge about Indian culture and ethos and through the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, he globalised the Upanishads and Indian culture by synthesising the popular and the classical. He was in favour of continuing with traditions which were still relevant while leaving those that were outdated." 

On his return, Mathoor continued to be involved with cultural activites of the Bangalore centre. He was also part of a state endeavour to popularise the works of Mahatma Gandhi. 

The cremation will take place on Friday at Mathoor village. 

THE DAY BEFORE HIS DEATH 

Krishnamurti was engaged in long conversation with his friend H N Suresh the day before his death. Suresh recalls: "He was readying for a programme and asked me whether invitations had been posted to the governor's office. We had said everything was OK and programme was on. We chatted for a long time and he was perfectly all right. 

"Some time around 2.30am on Thursday morning, he seems to have had some breathing problems. He was so alert he called the hospital and informed his relative and friend and took the ambulance to the hospital all by himself. Doctors tried to revive him for three hours but could not. It appears his respiratory system gave way. Three days ago, he was taking some antibiotics, but the breating problem turned serious only this morning."

October 20, 2011

Pakistani, Saudi forces participate in joint anti-terrorism drill

By Yasir Rehman in Islamabad

For Al-Shorfa.com
2011-10-14


  • Print This Page
  • Email This Page
     Pakistan and Saudi soldiers participate in an anti-terrorism exercise October 6 near Jhelum. Two platoons of Pakistani and Saudi troops took part. [Yasir Rehman]

Pakistan and Saudi soldiers participate in an anti-terrorism exercise October 6 near Jhelum. Two platoons of Pakistani and Saudi troops took part. [Yasir Rehman]

A long convoy of military vehicles was passing through a mountainous area noted for militant activity. As it reached "Shah Dheri" October 6th, "militants" hiding in a three-storey compound attacked, turning the area into hotbed of cross-fire and bomb blasts.

Several hundred feet above the "battle," the military leaders of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia observed AL-SAMSAAM-IV-2011, a joint anti-terror exercise.

Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and Lt. Gen. Khalid bin Bandar, chief of the Saudi land forces, brought together their combat troops to improve the anti-militancy skills of both countries in rugged mountainous terrain.

The exercise was primarily for ground troops, but included air support with two F-7 fighters, Cobra and MI-17 helicopters.

The wide-ranging, three-week exercise began September 26th near the eastern town of Jhelum.

The countries have conducted the exercises biennially since 2004 and they take turns hosting them.

"The exercise basically aims to improve co-ordination between the two militaries with a view to future anti-terrorism tasks," Pakistani Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Khalid Nawaz told centralasiaonline.com.

It includes operations in urban areas against hypothetical terrorists.

"This exercise is a departure from previous conventional exercises and is now focused on sub-conventional low-intensity conflict, which reflects the challenges being faced by armies across the globe," he said.

     Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani (left) and Lt. Gen. Khalid bin Bandar, chief of Saudi land forces, discuss tactics as they observe a joint anti-terrorism drill October 6 near Jhelum. [Yasir Rehman]

Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani (left) and Lt. Gen. Khalid bin Bandar, chief of Saudi land forces, discuss tactics as they observe a joint anti-terrorism drill October 6 near Jhelum. [Yasir Rehman]

The operation aims to share knowledge through a comprehensive training programme in real time, Lt. Col. Farooq Ahmed, Pakistani army spokesman, said.

"This will also include combined training at unit and brigade level to practice drills and procedures in low-intensity conflict operations," he said. "The exercise will enhance the combat efficiency of participating troops in counter-terrorism operations."

The drills give participants a chance to benefit from each other's experience, Bandar said.

The exercises are meant to help the armies of two countries improve their relations, Kayani said, adding Saudi Arabia has played an important role in maintaining peace in the region, especially in Afghanistan.

"There are not too many countries that have successfully dismantled and muzzled terrorism as Saudi Arabia has done," Abdul Rehman Al-Sharif, an Arab journalist working for Saudi public TV, said.

"The Saudi government dedicated a great deal of money to the issue and employed both hard-security methods and softer tactics," he said. "This included arrests, better intelligence, amnesties, and counter-radicalisation programmes, as well as efforts by the governing and religious establishments to mobilise the population against terrorist activities."

In February 2009, Saudi Arabia released the names of its 85 most wanted terror suspects, shortly after al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) emerged from a union of the Saudi and Yemeni al-Qaeda affiliates. The list includes 83 Saudi nationals and two Yemenis, 66 of whom are at large today. It includes suspects outside Saudi Arabia whom Riyadh most wants to bring back for prosecution. This January, Saudi authorities named 47 additional suspects to its new most-wanted list.

Riyadh considers terrorists in Yemen a major threat. In August 2009, AQAP, based in Yemen, tried to assassinate Saudi Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the head of Saudi Arabia's anti-terrorism efforts. Prince Nayef has survived four assassination attempts linked to Yemeni-based militants.