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Showing posts from April 30, 2006

The burial of Pak nuclear scandal

Asian Age, May 6, 2006 Stagecraft & Statecraft BRAHMA CHELLANEY With global attention focused on the US-led face-off with Tehran over the nuclear issue, Pakistan has ingeniously seized the opportunity to give a quiet burial to the worst proliferation scandal in world history that involved the Pakistani transfer of nuclear know-how and equipment to three states — Iran, Libya and North Korea. Pakistan this week announced closure of the scandal-related case, as it freed from jail the last of the 11 nuclear scientists imprisoned more than two years ago for suspected role in the covert transfers. A 12th figure, Abdul Qadeer Khan, the ring’s alleged mastermind, was granted immunity from prosecution and has been made to stay at home under tight security since his February 2004 televised confession on illicit nuclear dealings. Contrast the international crisis that is being contrived over Iran with the lack of any response to Pakistan’s defiant statement that, “As far we are

Encounters with reality

V R Raghavan Posted online: Friday, April 28, 2006 at 0000 hrs V R Raghavan: The news carried in this paper yesterday, about four army officers to be held accountable for deliberate killings in J&K, is a stunning revelation. It is a matter of pride that the Indian media has led the movement to investigate and expose wrongdoing by the government machinery in different walks of life. The military cannot be exempt from public scrutiny into its flawed working. Given the political and security environment, the military and the paramilitary forces will continue to operate in what are termed Low Intensity Conflicts. There will be more and even worse cases of excessive and indiscriminate use of the power to kill vested in the military. It is time to introspect on the deeper set of factors that have led to such instances. Military excesses and indiscriminate use of force is not new in the history of warfare. It was to put an end to such exce

Advice to Baloch freedom fighters

Human Rights violation of Israel and Mailing Address of GOVERNMENT OF BALOCHISTAN IN EXILE : Gul Agha explains On 5/3/06, Khalid Ahmed wrote: While in complete agreement with the Baloch cause it is shocking to see the mailing address of this Govt in exile. They choose Israel of all countries, one of the biggest human rights violators in the past and unforseeable future that I am sure gives loads of credibility to the Baloch cause. -- Regards. Khalid Ahmed Saaiin Khalid, I understand where you are coming from. I don't know if the address is real but it has created some controversy on the Baloch email discussion groups. You can follow the discussion there. I haven't paid too much attention to the discussion and don't have much of an opinion. I agree that it is clear Israel has engaged in HR violations -- although nothing of the scale of Pakistan in the past or now or

Petro rubles help boost Russian defense budget

RUSSIAN ENERGY PROFITS AID RUSSIAN MILITARY, BUT NOT MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL SECTOR Although energy and foreign policy issues have dominated reporting from Russia in 2006, there have also been interesting developments in the defense sector. The Putin regime has launched a comprehensive effort to modernize the Russian military, including its defense-industrial sector. Moreover, this effort has included substantial increases in defense spending, which has tripled since 2000. Although inflation has reduced this growth in real terms, the rise in spending is quite substantial and reflects both the economic revival of Russia since 1999 -- largely due to energy profits -- and the realization that no reform of the armed forces was possible without increased defense spending. Yet despite the increases in defense spending, official figures indicate that annual spending remains at 2.7% of GNP. This is considerably less than the 3.5% ceiling stated in Russian laws. In other words, while raising spen

Emerging Terrorist Trends in Spain's Moroccan Communities

By Kathryn Haahr Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, also known as Abu Musab al-Suri, traveled through Andalucia. Recent counter-terrorism operations in Spain have spotlighted an increasing presence of Salafi-Islamists and al-Qaeda "loyalists" in Andalucia and, more alarmingly, in the Spanish autonomous communities of Ceuta and Melilla (located on the northern coast of Morocco). Since the 2004 terrorist attacks in Madrid, Spanish security services have arrested dozens of GSPC-/GICM-affiliated members and al-Qaeda sympathizers in Ceuta, Melilla and Andalucia. There are no proven links between Islamist activities in the enclaves to the known al-Qaeda associated terrorists and Salafi-Islamists in Andalucia and the enclaves. The proximity of Ceuta and Melilla to Andalucia, however, coupled with the "Maghreb-Andalucia" clandestine immigration pipeline, increases the risk of terrorist infiltration. Cultural and Historic Setting Historically, Ceuta and Melilla are multicultural

Prosecuting Terrorism: Yemen's War on Islamist Militancy

By Andrew McGregor Any observer of Yemen's political scene cannot help but notice that Yemen appears to be awash with al-Qaeda suspects. Mass trials follow mass arrests as hundreds of suspects flow through Yemen's legal system. Some are selected for execution and others for lengthy prison sentences, but many avail themselves of early release or periodic amnesties. The system seems designed to weed out those who present a direct threat to Yemen or its regime, while relieving U.S. pressure in the war on terrorism by offering a constant demonstration of activity. In the wings of this performance is the constant threat of an insurgency led by Yemen's powerful Islamist movement. The Legal Frontline A continuing irritant in Yemen-U.S. relations is the status of Sheikh Abd al-Majid al-Zindani, the country's most prominent Islamist and leader of the Iman University in Sanaa. In February 2004, the U.S. Treasury Department identified al-Zindani as a "specially designated g

Radical Networks in Middle East Prisons

By Chris Zambelis Prisons have traditionally been breeding grounds for some of the world's most violent street gangs and organized criminal organizations. The hostile and dangerous environment of prison life inspired the creation of a diverse array of well-organized gangs and networks that thrived behind prison walls in everything from extortion, drug and weapons trafficking, smuggling, gambling and other illicit activities. In a testament to their organizational capacity and reach, many gangs spread to prisons outside of their place of origin and continue to flourish among seasoned members released into the general public. Originally, U.S. prison gangs such as the Mexican Mafia (MM), also known as La Eme, the Aryan Brotherhood, and its prison offshoot the Nazi Low Riders, and the Black Guerilla Family (BGF), to name a few, were formed in an effort to bolster ethnic and racial solidarity among jailed Hispanic, White, and African-American inmates who competed for power and influenc

Sitaram Yechurys attempt to divide the nation further

K.G.Acharya 21/33 Sagar Aptt. Link Rd., Lokhandwala Cx. Andheri – Mumbai 400 102 Tel.:25119890 - Cell No.9820954450 Sir, Sitaram Yechury’s article in his column “ Returning to Gujarat 2002” ( May 4, 2006) is an attempt to divide the nation further on religious ground. Otherwise there is no reason, why he should recall the past unhappy history of communal riots in the state. By referring only to the burning of a Muslim in Vadodara, where Hindus were also stabbed to death he is trying to show his lip sympathy to Muslims and develop a vote bank of Muslims. I advise Yechury to read the news of killing of Subedar Ramchandra Meena and Biren Shah as reported in the patriotic newspaper Indian Express of May 4, 2006. A partisan attitude in riots is like adding fuel to the fire of communal frenzy. It can help neither Muslims nor Hindus, but weakens the nation in many ways. Sitaram must note that communalists, whether journalists or politicians cannot cheat the people all the times, but w

Marad massacre & conpiracy of silence The judicial commission set up to probe the Marad massacre (May 2003), has revealed what was till now only an apprehensive whisper. The politicians in Kerala, both the Congress and Communists have for long now been cultivating terrorist organisations, often funded from abroad for the Muslim vote-bank. The report of the commission headed by District Judge, Thomas P Joseph was submitted to the government two months back and the United Democratic Front government in Kerala has been sitting tight on it. The commission’s findings were reported by The Indian Express (April 26, 2006). Marad, the tiny sleepy village along the Arabian Sea in Kerala was not merely yet another communal flare-up points in India. When eight Hindu fishermen (reportedly attending a Shakha) were hacked to death, on May 2, 2003, the massacre blew the cover on the surreptitious communal fever spreading in the state, with covert and overt support by the Muslim League, Congress and Communists and funde

US-funded NGOs spreading disaffection

US-funded NGOs spreading disaffection By Sandhya Jain The American Academy for Religion (AAR) has sought data on the number of major Hindu temples in India that are patronized by caste Hindus and have ex-untouchable priests. This is doubly mischievous because if AAR means OBCs when it talks of ‘caste Hindus’ as opposed to upper caste Hindus. Under the guise of human rights and freedom of religion, America has for some time been promoting certain activists from weaker sections, who regularly report to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, about India’s internal affairs. Now, American academics are synergizing their work with the political concerns of their government, seeking to aggravate and exploit differences in Hindu society. The American Academy for Religion (AAR) has sought data of a number of major Hindu temples in India that are patronized by caste Hindus and have ex-untouchab

What have we learnt from mindless Taliban killings?

Title: What have we learnt from mindless Taliban killings? Author: K. Parthasarathi Publication: Free Press Journal Date: May 4, 2006 features/040506-features.html What have we learnt from the mindless Taliban killings? By K. Parthasarathi One more young man following that of Maniappan Kutty has been put to mindless death by the Taliban outfit for no fault of theirs. The circumstances and locale of their tragic ends have not varied. Unarmed and unguarded they fell victims in the hands of the thugs for doing nothing more than what was expected of them in their call of duty. They were the hapless targets for Taliban to vent its anger at the Indian government. India in its strategic wisdom had agreed to put in its men and money in what is considered a noble task of developing a war ravaged Afghanistan. It did not anticipate fully the extent of animosity that Taliban nurses against India. The Taliban does not want India to be involved i

The conspiracy of selective silence

The conspiracy of selective silence Op-Ed The Pioneer Wednesday, May 3, 2006 When a mosque was demolished in India there was an international outcry, but nothing when a temple was destroyed in Malaysia, says Seema Sarin A century-old Hindu temple was demolished in Malaysia despite devotees pleading with the authorities to stop the operations. Though the Malaysian Hindus were understandably upset, the Hindus in India did not react, which is fine. The Government of India did not react, which might have been right, had it not officially objected to the Danish Government about the publication of the Prophet's cartoons in a Danish newspaper. The UPA Government had even suggested the Danish Prime Minister to postpone his visit to India. The International Herald Tribune published a cartoon depicting US President George Bush as Lord Shiva. Though an organisation, Indiacause, did find the cartoon offensive, most Hindus did not react to it. When Mohammed's offensive cartoons were

Wall Street Journal debunks Amartya Sen la/?id=110008272 Identity and Violence Why we can't get along. BY TUNKU VARADARAJAN Friday, April 21, 2006 12:01 a.m. One might have been tempted--had one been consulted--to suggest a renaming of this latest book by Amartya Sen. "Identity and Violence" is much too lurid. "Sen and Sensibility," by contrast, would have been a perfect title, reflecting better the author's exquisite concern for everyone's personal feelings and his desire to make large-hearted accommodation for every political and social bent--except, notably, the religious and nationalist kind. Mr. Sen, now a professor at Harvard, was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in economics for his contributions to the field of welfare economics. He has a CV so seriously good that everyone, surely, knows of his being (in his previous post) the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, the apex of the British academic pyramid. Everyone, that is, except a British im

B-52s in Afghanistan , coalition forces welcome

5/3/2006 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Thirty thousand feet above Afghan terrain, the presence of B-52 Stratofortresses is felt. Their presence is welcomed by U.S. and coalition forces fighting in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, but unwelcome by the terrorists who operate from there. Maintaining the fleet of B-52s here is no easy task. Over the past eight months B-52 pilots have flown more than 450 combat sorties, equaling more than 7,500 hours, and have released more than 150 weapons on the enemy. That adds up to a lot of wear and tear on the airframe, and this is where the maintainers come in. “The B-52 maintainer’s mission is clear and simple: provide safe, reliable, combat-ready B-52s to the aircrews ready to perform their assigned missions,” said Master Sgt. Carl Paskey, 40th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron lead production superintendent. “The part that’s not so clear and simple is what it takes to perform such a mission. We have Airmen in 17 (Air Force Specialty Codes

US Space Trackers watch for dangerous 'space junk'

5/2/2006 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Roughly 15,000 miles above the Earth’s surface a communications satellite provides vital information to all branches of the U.S. military. It joins more than 9,000 other items in space that are tracked by the Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System, known as GEODSS. There are three operational GEODSS sites that report to the 21st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. They are Detachment 1 in Socorro, N.M.; Detachment 2 in Southwest Asia; and Detachment 3 in Maui, Hawaii. Each site is responsible for tracking thousands of known man-made deep-space objects in orbit around the Earth at an altitude of 10,000 to 45,000 kilometers. These objects range from active payloads such as satellites to “space junk” such as debris from launch vehicles and satellite breakups. “As various on-orbit satellites perform their military, civilian or scientific functions, we monitor the relative presence of every man-made deep-space object

Researchers focused on satellite energy storage

by Michael P. Kleiman Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate Public Affairs 5/1/2006 - KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFPN) -- An eight-person team at the Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate here believes their experiment will demonstrate the innovative technology of combined attitude control and energy storage on a satellite by the summer of 2007. The experiment consists of three flywheels spinning between 16,000 and 40,000 revolutions per minute. For decades, flywheels, or rotational disks, have been used as spacecraft positioning devices, but have not been extensively considered for power purposes. The success of the Flywheel Attitude Control, Energy Transmission and Storage, or FACETS, system's trial could change that perspective. "I'm definitely looking forward to demonstrating the combined energy storage and attitude control capability of FACETS and showing the feasibility of something that has never been done before,