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Archive for January 10th, 2008

Happy New Year 1429 H

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 10, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Assalamou alaikoum wa rahmatou Allahi wa barakatouh,

As per 10:00 pm Tuesday night there has been no moon sighting anywhere in the world. Therefore, tomorrow, Wednesday January 9th, 2008, is the 30th day of Zil-Hijja. The first of Muharram will be on Thursday January 10th.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, prosperous and spiritual new year and beyond, may Allah Taala protect, unite and guide our Umma as we start our new year remembering the sacrifices of the Prophet saaw, repenting to Allah and seeking His forgiveness.

Best wishes
Wa assalam alaikoum
Salam Elmenyawi

Please note that 9th & 10th of Muharram will be on January 18th & 19th.

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-muslim voice-
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BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 10, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy
08 January 2008
 

Islamophobia
 

In their new book, Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy, coauthors Peter Gottschalk and Gabriel Greenberg explore a largely unexamined phenomenon – the “deeply ingrained anxiety” some Westerners, and especially Americans, experience when considering Islam and Muslim cultures. Peter Gottschalk, professor of religion at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and the author of Beyond Hindu and Muslim, says that in times of crisis, such as the 1979 Iranian hostage situation or the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, the long-simmering resentments and suspicions “inherited along with a European Christian heritage, manifest themselves.” Professor Gottschalk and his former student Gabriel Greenberg explore those anxieties through the political cartoon, the print medium with the most immediate impact.

In prejudices such as racism, sexism, and more recently Islamophobia, Peter Gottschalk says there are historical conditions that enable certain groups to feel an antagonism toward another group that seem to “justify” that antagonism. Speaking with host Judith Latham of VOA News Now’s Press Conference USA, he explains that such attitudes form a “constantly reaffirming, re-substantiating perspective.” Gabriel Greenberg notes, for example, that from the time of the Crusades, Islam was experienced by surrounding cultures as a “competitor.” Some of the things many non-Muslim Americans today tend to associate with Islam are characteristics that are “negatively valued” Professor Gottschalk says, such as terrorism, the oppression of women, and associations with “Arabs” or the Middle East.

Protests against Danish cartoons
Muslims in several countries hold up banners, protesting against the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspape two years ago

In the case of the political cartoon, it simultaneously amuses one group with its stereotypical presentation and simultaneously offends another. For example, two years ago Danish cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammed appeared in several European newspapers and deeply upset Muslim readers, bringing about a very public outcry. Gabriel Greenberg says political cartoons seem to have greater emotional impact than do newspaper editorials. In the process of stereotyping, Peter Gottschalk says, the cartoon takes the “presumed qualities of a whole people and broadcasts them by use of a single image” – for example, the “violence of Muslim men.” An effective antidote to that kind of belief, the authors point out, is first-hand experience – going to school with, or working with, people of different ethnic or religious backgrounds.

Professor Gottschalk and Mr. Greenberg say it is also important for leaders to use “less general and more nuanced language.” Instead of talking about “the Muslim world,” which comprises more than a billion people spread across the globe, one could be more specific and talk about certain people in country X. By contrast, in the United States, which is a majority “Christian country,” there is whole spectrum of views about the intersection of “Christianity” with personal faith, social identity, or political positions on various public issues. Similarly, Professor Gottschalk explains, there are a variety of movements within Islam that may be “authoritarian, revival, or reform” in nature. And that, he says, is quite different from what some people call “Islamofacism,” which tends to lump together the Taliban, terrorism, and the politics of a democratic country such as Turkey, thereby creating a “monolithic enemy.” Gabriel Greenberg notes that the media have a responsibility to inform people and to create “mutual understanding” rather than to spread fear of the “other.” So what individuals and groups need to cultivate instead is a sense of a “common humanity” rather than a contest of “us against them.”

The full story in
http://www.voanews.com/english/NewsAnalysis/2008-01-08-voa43.cfm

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______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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Pakistan and the “Global War on Terrorism”

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 10, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Pakistan and the “Global War on Terrorism”

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, January 8, 2008

Part II of a Two Part Article

(Part I: The Destabilization of Pakistan)

“The new Pakistani general [Musharraf], he’s just been elected — not elected, this guy took over office. It appears this guy is going to bring stability to the country, and I think that’s good news for the subcontinent.” (George W. Bush, 1999)

“In Afghanistan, the freedom fighters are the key to peace. We support the Mujahadeen…” (President Ronald Reagan, Seventh State of the Union Address, January 1988).

The assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto must be understood in a historical context. Since the late 1970s, successive US administrations have contributed to repealing the Rule of Law, destroying Pakistani institutions of civilian and secular government and instating military rule.

During the Cold War and its aftermath, the repeal of democracy and the militarization of the Pakistani State have served US foreign policy objectives. Pakistan is a geopolitical hub from which US sponsored military and covert intelligence operations have been launched.

Pakistan is part of South Asia, at a strategic crossroads, bordering onto the Middle East, Central Asia and the former Soviet republics and within proximity of China’s Western frontier.

Benazir’s father, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, leader of the Pakistan’s People’s Party (PPP) was deposed in a military coup d’Etat on July 5, 1977, which spearheaded Pakistan into a process of virtually uninterrupted military rule. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was subsequently executed, in a judicial assassination, on the orders of the US sponsored military junta.

Under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a secular postcolonial government had developed. Economic nationalism was promoted. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government, which had the support of a large majority of the electorate, was committed to a broad program of economic, social an institutional reforms.

From his early days as foreign minister in the 1960s, Bhutto had called for an independent and non-aligned foreign policy, free of US encroachment as well as the closing down of US military bases. In the course of the 1970s, a nationalization program of key industries under the PPP government was carried out, which undermined the interests of multinational capital.

In the Aftermath of the 1977 Military Coup

Following the 1977 military coup, the structures of democratic government were dismantled. The Constitution was abolished and martial law was established under the rule of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq who became President in 1978.

The postcolonial political process had been reversed. At the outset of the Zia-ul-Haq regime, the populist PPP nationalization and agrarian reforms of the Bhutto era were reversed and undone.

In turn, the new military rulers sought, with Washington’s support, to undermine the secular structures of the Pakistani State.

Islamism became embedded in the functioning of the State under military rule. The tenets of “Islamic fundamentalism” sponsored by US intelligence were adopted by the military dictatorship of General Zia, with a view to undermining the structures of civilian government and the Rule of Law.

In 1980, the Parliament was replaced by a bogus consultative assembly, the Majlis-e-Shoora composed of scholars and professionals, all of whom were appointed by President Zia. A reign of terror marked by arbitrary arrests and imprisonment was installed in the name of Islam.

State violence under military rule supported the concurrent implementation of “free market” reforms under the helm of the IMF and the World Bank. IMF sponsored macro-economic reforms contributed to destroying the fabric of Pakistan’s economy. The external debt spiraled. Poverty became rampant. The commercial banking system was largely taken over by Western financial institutions.

Since 1977, a military dictatorship has largely prevailed. The short-lived democratically elected governments of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif did not, in a meaningful way, break the continuity of authoritarian military rule. Both Sharif and Bhutto served US interests and accepted the economic diktats of the IMF and the World Bank.

Pakistan’s Role in the Soviet-Afghan War

The Soviet-Afghan war was part of a CIA covert agenda initiated during the Carter administration, which consisted in actively supporting and financing the Islamic brigades, later known as Al Qaeda. The Pakistani military regime played from the outset in the late 1970s, a key role in US sponsored military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan. in the post-Cold war era, this central role of Pakistan in US intelligence operations was extended to the broader Central Asia- Middle East region.

The 1977 military coup in Pakistan, leading to the demise of the PPP government of Ali Bhutto, was a precondition for the launching of the CIA’s covert war in Afghanistan.

In April 1978, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), seized power in Afghanistan in a popular insurrection directed against the dictatorship of President Mohammed Daud Khan. The PDPA government instigated a land reform program, expanded education and health programs and actively supported women’s rights. Afghanistan’s relationship with the Soviet Union was also strengthened.

The CIA’s covert operation was intended to undermine and ultimately destroy the PDPA government, while also curtailing the influence of the Soviet Union in Central Asia. CIA covert support to the Islamic brigades was also instrumental in destroying the foundations of secular civilian government.

From the outset of the Soviet Afghan war in 1979, Pakistan under military rule actively supported the Islamic brigades. In close liaison with the CIA, Pakistan’s military intelligence, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), became a powerful organization, a parallel government, wielding tremendous power and influence.

America’s covert war in Afghanistan, using Pakistan as a launch pad, was initiated during the Carter administration prior to the Soviet “invasion”:

“According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.” (Former National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, Interview with Nouvel Observateur, 15-21 January 1998)

In the published memoirs of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who held the position of deputy CIA Director at the height of the Soviet Afghan war, US intelligence was directly involved from the outset, prior to the Soviet invasion, in channeling aid to the Islamic brigades.

Robert Gates

With CIA backing and the funneling of massive amounts of U.S. military aid, the Pakistani ISI had developed into a “parallel structure wielding enormous power over all aspects of government”. (Dipankar Banerjee, “Possible Connection of ISI With Drug Industry”, India Abroad, 2 December 1994). The ISI had a staff composed of military and intelligence officers, bureaucrats, undercover agents and informers, estimated at 150,000. (Ibid)

Meanwhile, CIA operations had also reinforced the Pakistani military regime led by General Zia Ul Haq:

Relations between the CIA and the ISI had grown increasingly warm following [General] Zia’s ouster of Bhutto and the advent of the military regime. … During most of the Afghan war, Pakistan was more aggressively anti-Soviet than even the United States. Soon after the Soviet military invaded Afghanistan in 1980, Zia [ul Haq] sent his ISI chief to destabilize the Soviet Central Asian states. The CIA only agreed to this plan in October 1984.(Ibid)

The ISI operating virtually as an affiliate of the CIA, played a central role in channeling support to Islamic paramilitary groups in Afghanistan and subsequently in the Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union.

Acting on behalf of the CIA, the ISI was also involved in the recruitment and training of the Mujahideen. In the ten year period from 1982 to 1992, some 35,000 Muslims from 43 Islamic countries were recruited to fight in the Afghan jihad. The madrassas in Pakistan, financed by Saudi charities, were also set up with US support with a view to “inculcating Islamic values”. “The camps became virtual universities for future Islamic radicalism,” (Ahmed Rashid, The Taliban). Guerilla training under CIA-ISI auspices included targeted assassinations and car bomb attacks.

Weapons’ shipments “were sent by the Pakistani army and the ISI to rebel camps in the North West Frontier Province near the Afghanistan border. The governor of the province is Lieutenant General Fazle Haq, who [according to Alfred McCoy] . allowed “hundreds of heroin refineries to set up in his province.” Beginning around 1982, Pakistani army trucks carrying CIA weapons from Karachi often pick up heroin in Haq’s province and return loaded with heroin. They are protected from police search by ISI papers. (1982-1989: US Turns Blind Eye to BCCI and Pakistani Government Involvement in Heroin Trade See also <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1556524838/centerforcoop-20&#8243; onmouseover=”return OL(‘Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade (New York: Lawrence Hill Books, 2003)., 477.’)” onmouseout=”return nd()” target=”_blank”>McCoy, 2003, p. 477) .

Osama Bin Laden

Osama bin Laden, America’s bogyman, was recruited by the CIA in 1979 at the very outset of the US sponsored jihad. He was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerilla training camp.

During the Reagan administration, Osama, who belonged to the wealthy Saudi Bin Laden family was put in charge of raising money for the Islamic brigades. Numerous charities and foundations were created. The operation was coordinated by Saudi intelligence, headed by Prince Turki al-Faisal, in close liaison with the CIA. The money derived from the various charities were used to finance the recruitment of Mujahieen volunteers. Al Qaeda, the base in Arabic was a data bank of volunteers who had enlisted to fight in the Afghan jihad. That data base was initially held by Osama bin Laden.

The Reagan Administration supports “Islamic Fundamentalism”

Pakistan’s ISI was used as a “go-between”. CIA covert support to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan operated indirectly through the Pakistani ISI, –i.e. the CIA did not channel its support directly to the Mujahideen. In other words, for these covert operations to be “successful”, Washington was careful not to reveal the ultimate objective of the “jihad”, which consisted in destroying the Soviet Union.

In December 1984, the Sharia Law (Islamic jurisprudence) was established in Pakistan following a rigged referendum launched by President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Barely a few months later, in March 1985, President Ronald Reagan issued National Security Decision Directive 166 (NSDD 166), which authorized “stepped-up covert military aid to the Mujahideen” as well a support to religious indoctrination.

The imposition of The Sharia in Pakistan and the promotion of “radical Islam” was a deliberate US policy serving American geopolitical interests in South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. Many present-day “Islamic fundamentalist organizations” in the Middle East and Central Asia, were directly or indirectly the product of US covert support and financing, often channeled through foundations from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. Missions from the Wahhabi secto of conservative Islam in Saudi Arabia were put in charge of running the CIA sponsored madrassas in Northern Pakistan. .

Under NSDD 166, a series of covert CIA-ISI operations was launched.

The US supplied weapons to the Islamic brigades through the ISI. CIA and ISI officials would meet at ISI headquarters in Rawalpindi to coordinate US support to the Mujahideen. Under NSDD 166, the procurement of US weapons to the Islamic insurgents increased from 10,000 tons of arms and ammunition in 1983 to 65,000 tons annually by 1987. “In addition to arms, training, extensive military equipment including military satellite maps and state-of-the-art communications equipment” (University Wire, 7 May 2002).

Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1983 (Reagan Archives)

With William Casey as director of the CIA, NSDD 166 was described as the largest covert operation in US history:

The U.S. supplied support package had three essential components-organization and logistics, military technology, and ideological support for sustaining and encouraging the Afghan resistance….

U.S. counterinsurgency experts worked closely with the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in organizing Mujahideen groups and in planning operations inside Afghanistan.

… But the most important contribution of the U.S. was to … bring in men and material from around the Arab world and beyond. The most hardened and ideologically dedicated men were sought on the logic that they would be the best fighters. Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the Jihad. (Pervez Hoodbhoy, Afghanistan and the Genesis of the Global Jihad, Peace Research, 1 May 2005)

Religious Indoctrination

Under NSDD 166, US assistance to the Islamic brigades channeled through Pakistan was not limited to bona fide military aid. Washington also supported and financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the process of religious indoctrination, largely to secure the demise of secular institutions:

… the United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to spur resistance to the Soviet occupation.

The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books,..

The White House defends the religious content, saying that Islamic principles permeate Afghan culture and that the books “are fully in compliance with U.S. law and policy.” Legal experts, however, question whether the books violate a constitutional ban on using tax dollars to promote religion.

… AID officials said in interviews that they left the Islamic materials intact because they feared Afghan educators would reject books lacking a strong dose of Muslim thought. The agency removed its logo and any mention of the U.S. government from the religious texts, AID spokeswoman Kathryn Stratos said.

“It’s not AID’s policy to support religious instruction,” Stratos said. “But we went ahead with this project because the primary purpose . . . is to educate children, which is predominantly a secular activity.”

… Published in the dominant Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtun, the textbooks were developed in the early 1980s under an AID grant to the University of Nebraska -Omaha and its Center for Afghanistan Studies. The agency spent $ 51 million on the university’s education programs in Afghanistan from 1984 to 1994.” (Washington Post, 23 March 2002)

The Role of the NeoCons

There is continuity. The architects of the covert operation in support of “Islamic fundamentalism” launched during the Reagan presidency played a key role in role in launching the “Global War on Terrorism” in the wake of 9/11.

Several of the NeoCons of the Bush Junior Administration were high ranking officials during the Reagan presidency.

Richard Armitage, was Deputy Secretary of State during George W. Bush’s first term (2001-2004). He played a central key role in post 9/11 negotiations with Pakistan leading up to the October 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. During the Reagan era, he held the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy. In this capacity, he played a key role in the implementation of NSDD 163 while also ensuring liaison with the Pakistani military and intelligence apparatus.

Richard L. Armitage
Richard Armitage

Meanwhile, Paul Wolfowitz was at the State Department in charge of a foreign policy team composed, among others, of Lewis Libby, Francis Fukuyama and Zalmay Khalilzad.

Wolfowitz’s group was also involved in laying the conceptual groundwork of US covert support to Islamic parties and organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Paul Wolfowitz

Paul Wolfowitz


Zalmay Khalilzad.

Bush’s Secretary of Defence Robert Gates also was also involved in setting the groundwork for CIA covert operations. He was appointed Deputy Director for Intelligence by Ronald Reagan in 1982, and Deputy Director of the CIA in 1986, a position which he held until 1989. Gates played a key role in the formulation of NSDD 163, which established a consistent framework for promoting Islamic fundamentalism and channeling covert support to the Islamic brigades. He was also involved in the Iran Contra scandal. .

The Iran Contra Operation

Richard Gates, Colin Powell and Richard Armitage, among others, were also involved in the Iran-Contra operation.

Armitage was in close liaison with Colonel Oliver North. His deputy and chief anti-terrorist official Noel Koch was part of the team set up by Oliver North.

Of significance, the Iran-Contra operation was also tied into the process of channeling covert support to the Islamic brigades in Afghanistan. The Iran Contra scheme served several related foreign policy:

1) procurement of weapons to Iran thereby feeding the Iraq-Iran war,

2) support to the Nicaraguan Contras,

3) support to the Islamic brigades in Afghanistan, channeled via Pakistan’s ISI.

Following the delivery of the TOW anti-tank missiles to Iran, the proceeds of these sales were deposited in numbered bank accounts and the money was used to finance the Nicaraguan Contras. and the Mujahideen:

“The Washington Post reported that profits from the Iran arms sales were deposited in one CIA-managed account into which the U.S. and Saudi Arabia had placed $250 million apiece. That money was disbursed not only to the contras in Central America but to the rebels fighting Soviet troops in Afghanistan.” (US News & World Report, 15 December 1986).

Although Lieutenant General Colin Powell, was not directly involved in the arms’ transfer negotiations, which had been entrusted to Oliver North, he was among “at least five men within the Pentagon who knew arms were being transferred to the CIA.” (The Record, 29 December 1986). In this regard, Powell was directly instrumental in giving the “green light” to lower-level officials in blatant violation of Congressional procedures. According to the New York Times, Colin Powell took the decision (at the level of military procurement), to allow the delivery of weapons to Iran:

Hurriedly, one of the men closest to Secretary of Defense Weinberger, Maj. Gen. Colin Powell, bypassed the written ”focal point system” procedures and ordered the Defense Logistics Agency [responsible for procurement] to turn over the first of 2,008 TOW missiles to the CIA., which acted as cutout for delivery to Iran” (New York Times, 16 February 1987)

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was also implicated in the Iran-Contra Affair.

The Golden Crescent Drug Trade

The history of the drug trade in Central Asia is intimately related to the CIA’s covert operations. Prior to the Soviet-Afghan war, opium production in Afghanistan and Pakistan was directed to small regional markets. There was no local production of heroin. (Alfred McCoy, Drug Fallout: the CIA’s Forty Year Complicity in the Narcotics Trade. The Progressive, 1 August 1997).

Alfred McCoy’s study confirms that within two years of the onslaught of the CIA operation in Afghanistan, “the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands became the world’s top heroin producer.” (Ibid) Various Islamic paramilitary groups and organizations were created. The proceeds of the Afghan drug trade, which was protected by the CIA, were used to finance the various insurgencies:

“Under CIA and Pakistani protection, Pakistan military and Afghan resistance opened heroin labs on the Afghan and Pakistani border. According to The Washington Post of May 1990, among the leading heroin manufacturers were Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghan leader who received about half of the covert arms that the U.S. shipped to Pakistan. Although there were complaints about Hekmatyar’s brutality and drug trafficking within the ranks of the Afghan resistance of the day, the CIA maintained an uncritical alliance and supported him without reservation or restraint.

Once the heroin left these labs in Pakistan’s northwest frontier, the Sicilian Mafia imported the drugs into the U.S., where they soon captured sixty percent of the U.S. heroin market. That is to say, sixty percent of the U.S. heroin supply came indirectly from a CIA operation. During the decade of this operation, the 1980s, the substantial DEA contingent in Islamabad made no arrests and participated in no seizures, allowing the syndicates a de facto free hand to export heroin. By contrast, a lone Norwegian detective, following a heroin deal from Oslo to Karachi, mounted an investigation that put a powerful Pakistani banker known as President Zia’s surrogate son behind bars. The DEA in Islamabad got nobody, did nothing, stayed away.

Former CIA operatives have admitted that this operation led to an expansion of the Pakistan-Afghanistan heroin trade. In 1995 the former CIA Director of this Afghan operation, Mr. Charles Cogan, admitted sacrificing the drug war to fight the Cold War. “Our main mission was to do as much damage to the Soviets. We didn’t really have the resources or the time to devote to an investigation of the drug trade,” he told Australian television. “I don’t think that we need to apologize for this. Every situation has its fallout. There was fallout in terms of drugs, yes, but the main objective was accomplished. The Soviets left Afghanistan.” (Alfred McCoy, Testimony before the Special Seminar focusing on allegations linking CIA secret operations and drug trafficking-convened February 13, 1997, by Rep. John Conyers, Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus)

Lucrative Narcotics Trade in the Post Cold War Era

The drug trade has continued unabated during the post Cold war years. Afghanistan became the major supplier of heroin to Western markets, in fact almost the sole supplier: more than 90 percent of the heroin sold Worldwide originates in Afghanistan. This lucrative contraband is tied into Pakistani politics and the militarization of the Pakistani State. It also has a direct bearing on the structure of the Pakistani economy and its banking and financial institutions, which from the outset of the Golden Crescent drug trade have been involved in extensive money laundering operations, which are protected by the Pakistani military and intelligence apparatus:

According to the US State Department International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (2006) (quoted in Daily Times, 2 March 2006),

“Pakistani criminal networks play a central role in the transshipment of narcotics and smuggled goods from Afghanistan to international markets. Pakistan is a major drug-transit country. The proceeds of narcotics trafficking and funding for terrorist activities are often laundered by means of the alternative system called hawala. … .

“Repeatedly, a network of private unregulated charities has also emerged as a significant source of illicit funds for international terrorist networks,” the report pointed out. … “

The hawala system and the charities are but the tip of the iceberg. According to the State Department report, “the State Bank of Pakistan has frozen more twenty years] a meager $10.5 million “belonging to 12 entities and individuals linked to Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda or the Taliban”. What the report fails to mention is that the bulk of the proceeds of the Afghan drug trade are laundered in bona fide Western banking institutions.

The Taliban Repress the Drug Trade

A major and unexpected turnaround in the CIA sponsored drug trade occurred in 2000.

The Taliban government which came to power in 1996 with Washington’s support, implemented in 2000-2001 a far-reaching opium eradication program with the support of the United Nations which served to undermine a multibillion dollar trade. (For further details see, Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism, Global Research, 2005).

In 2001 prior to the US-led invasion, opium production under the Taliban eradication program declined by more than 90 percent.

In the immediate wake of the US led invasion, the Bush administration ordered that the opium harvest not be destroyed on the fabricated pretext that this would undermine the military government of Pervez Musharraf.

“Several sources inside Capitol Hill noted that the CIA opposes the destruction of the Afghan opium supply because to do so might destabilize the Pakistani government of Gen. Pervez Musharraf. According to these sources, Pakistani intelligence had threatened to overthrow President Musharraf if the crops were destroyed. …

‘If they [the CIA] are in fact opposing the destruction of the Afghan opium trade, it’ll only serve to perpetuate the belief that the CIA is an agency devoid of morals; off on their own program rather than that of our constitutionally elected government’” .(NewsMax.com, 28 March 2002)

Since the US led invasion, opium production has increased 33 fold from 185 tons in 2001 under the Taliban to 6100 tons in 2006. Cultivated areas have increased 21 fold since the 2001 US-led invasion. (Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 6 January 2006)

In 2007, Afghanistan supplied approximately 93% of the global supply of heroin. The proceeds (in terms of retail value) of the Afghanistan drug trade are estimated (2006) to be in excess of 190 billion dollars a year, representing a significant fraction of the global trade in narcotics.(Ibid)

The proceeds of this lucrative multibillion dollar contraband are deposited in Western banks. Almost the totality of the revenues accrue to corporate interests and criminal syndicates outside Afghanistan.

The laundering of drug money constitutes a multibillion dollar activity, which continues to be protected by the CIA and the ISI. In the wake of the 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan.

In retrospect, one of the major objectives of the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan was to restore the drug trade.

The militarization of Pakistan serves powerful political, financial and criminal interests underlying the drug trade. US foreign policy tends to support these powerful interests. The CIA continues to protect the Golden Crescent narcotics trade. Despite his commitment to eradicating the drug trade, opium production under the regime of Afghan President Hamid Karzai has skyrocketed.

The Assassination of General Zia Ul-Haq

In August 1988, President Zia was killed in an air crash together with US Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Raphel and several of Pakistan’s top generals. The circumstances of the air crash remain shrouded in mystery.

Following Zia’s death, parliamentary elections were held and Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as Prime Minister in December 1988. She was subsequently removed from office by Zia’s successor, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan on the grounds of alleged corruption. In 1993, she was re-elected and was again removed from office in 1996 on the orders of President Farooq Leghari.

Continuity has been maintained throughout. Under the short-lived post-Zia elected governments of Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, the central role of the military-intelligence establishment and its links to Washington were never challenged.

Both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif served US foreign policy interests. While in power, both democratically elected leaders, nonetheless supported the continuity of military rule. As prime minister from 1993 to 1996, Benazir Bhutto “advocated a conciliatory policy toward Islamists, especially the Taliban in Afghanistan” which were being supported by Pakistan’s ISI (See F. William Engdahl, Global Research, January 2008)

Benazir Bhutto’s successor as Prime Minister, Mia Muhammad Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) was deposed in 1999 in a US supported coup d’Etat led by General Pervez Musharraf.

The 1999 coup was instigated by General Pervez Musharaf, with the support of the Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Mahmoud Ahmad, who was subsequently appointed to the key position of head of military intelligence (ISI).

From the outset of the Bush administration in 2001, General Ahmad developed close ties not only with his US counterpart CIA director George Tenet, but also with key members of the US government including Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, not to mention Porter Goss, who at the time was Chairman of the House Committee on Intelligence. Ironically, Mahmoud Ahmad is also known, according to a September 2001 FBI report, for his suspected role in supporting and financing the alleged 9/11 terrorists as well as his links to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. (See Michel Chossudovsky, America’s “war on Terrorism, Global Research, Montreal, 2005)

Concluding Remarks

These various “terrorist” organizations were created as a result of CIA support. They are not the product of religion. The project to establish “a pan-Islamic Caliphate” is part of a carefully devised intelligence operation.

CIA support to Al Qaeda was not in any way curtailed at the end of the Cold War. In fact quite the opposite. The earlier pattern of covert support not only extended, it took on a global thrust and became increasingly sophisticated.

The “Global War on Terrorism” is a complex and intricate intelligence construct. The covert support provided to “Islamic extremist groups” is part of an imperial agenda. It purports to weaken and eventually destroy secular and civilian governmental institutions, while also contributing to vilifying Islam. It is an instrument of colonization which seeks to undermine sovereign nation-states and transform countries into territories.

For the intelligence operation to be successful, however, the various Islamic organizations created and trained by the CIA must remain unaware of the role they are performing on geopolitical chessboard, on behalf of Washington.

Over the years, these organizations have indeed acquired a certain degree of autonomy and independence, in relation to their US-Pakistani sponsors. That appearance of “independence”, however, is crucial; it is an integral part of the covert intelligence operation. According to former CIA agent Milton Beardman the Mujahideen were invariably unaware of the role they were performing on behalf of Washington. In the words of bin Laden (quoted by Beardman): “neither I, nor my brothers saw evidence of American help”. (Weekend Sunday (NPR); Eric Weiner, Ted Clark; 16 August 1998).

“Motivated by nationalism and religious fervor, the Islamic warriors were unaware that they were fighting the Soviet Army on behalf of Uncle Sam. While there were contacts at the upper levels of the intelligence hierarchy, Islamic rebel leaders in theatre had no contacts with Washington or the CIA.” (Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism, Chapter 2).

The fabrication of “terrorism” –including covert support to terrorists– is required to provide legitimacy to the “war on terrorism”.

The various fundamentalist and paramilitary groups involved in US sponsored “terrorist” activities are “intelligence assets”. In the wake of 9/11, their designated function as “intelligence assets” is to perform their role as credible “enemies of America”.

Under the Bush administration, the CIA continues to support (via Pakistan’s ISI) several Pakistani based Islamic groups. The ISI is known to support Jamaat a-Islami, which is also present in South East Asia, Lashkar-e-Tayya­ba, Jehad a-Kashmiri, Hizbul-Mujahidin and Jaish-e-Mohammed.

The Islamic groups created by the CIA are also intended to rally public support in Muslim countries. The underlying objective is to create divisions within national societies throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, while also triggering sectarian strife within Islam, ultimately with a view to curbing the development of a broad based secular mass resistance, which would challenge US imperial ambitions.

This function of an outside enemy is also an essential part of war propaganda required to galvanize Western public opinion. Without an enemy, a war cannot be fought. US foreign policy needs to fabricate an enemy, to justify its various military interventions in the Middle East and Central Asia. An enemy is required to justify a military agenda, which consists in ” going after Al Qaeda”. The fabrication and vilification of the enemy are required to justify military action.

The existence of an outside enemy sustains the illusion that the “war on terrorism” is real. It justifies and presents military intervention as a humanitarian operation based on the right to self-defense. It upholds the illusion of a “conflict of civilizations”. The underlying purpose ultimately is to conceal the real economic and strategic objectives behind the broader Middle East Central Asian war.

Historically, Pakistan has played a central role in “war on terrorism”. Pakistan constitutes from Washington’s standpoint a geopolitical hub. It borders onto Afghanistan and Iran. It has played a crucial role in the conduct of US and allied military operations in Afghanistan as well as in the context of the Pentagon’s war plans in relation to Iran.

Pakistan remains a training ground for the US sponsored Islamic brigades in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, South and South East Asia

President Pervez Musharraf, is described by the Western media as “a U.S. ally in its battle against terrorism” Realities are turned upside down. The Pakistani military regime has consistently, since the late 1970s, abetted and financed “Islamic terrorist organizations” on Washington’s behalf.

The full story in
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CHO20080108&articleId=7746

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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US illegally detaine more Afghans than ever at Bagram military base

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 10, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

US illegally detaine more Afghans than ever at Bagram military base

By David Walsh

9 January 2008

The US government is continuing its global policy of illegal detention, abuse and torture of prisoners. This emerges from a New York Times article published January 7, which reports on conditions at the notorious Bagram military base in northern Afghanistan’s Parvan province.

The US detention center now houses some 630 prisoners, an increase from a total of little more than 100 in early 2004 and some 500 in early 2006, and more than twice the number currently held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The deteriorating military and security situation in Afghanistan is driving the process, notes the Times. All but 30 of the prisoners are Afghans, allegedly captured in raids or on the battlefield.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, in a confidential memo last summer, issued a “strong complaint” to the US Defense Department. The organization protested, writes the Times, that “dozens of prisoners had been held incommunicado for weeks or even months in a previously undisclosed warren of isolation cells at Bagram … The Red Cross said the prisoners were kept from its inspectors and sometimes subjected to cruel treatment in violation of the Geneva Conventions.”

While conditions at Guantánamo have received far more publicity, detainees who have experienced both describe “their treatment at Bagram as far worse than” at the Cuban camp, the Times noted in a May 2005 article describing the cruel deaths of two prisoners at the Afghan base.

Since the flow of prisoners to Guantánamo essentially stopped in September 2004, those deemed by the US to be more dangerous prisoners captured in Afghanistan have been sent to Bagram.

The Times’ most recent piece observes, “Despite some expansion and renovation, the detention center remains a crude place where most prisoners are fenced into large metal pens, military officers and former detainees have said.

“Military personnel who know both Bagram and Guantánamo describe the Afghan site, on an American-controlled military base 40 miles north of Kabul, as far more spartan. Bagram prisoners have fewer privileges, less ability to contest their detention and no access to lawyers. Some detainees have been held without charge for more than five years, officials said.” US officials claim they intend to hold hundreds of prisoners at Bagram “indefinitely.”

The Associated Press commented in October 2007 that the US was turning the base, “originally envisioned as a temporary home for invading U.S. forces,” into a permanent facility. An American officer told the AP, “This is going to become a long-term base for us, whether that means five years, 10 years, we don’t know.”

Red Cross officials apparently complained to American authorities in private that detainees in the camp’s isolation area were sometimes subjected to harsh interrogation and their presence was not reported to the organization, contrary to the Geneva Conventions, until they had been held incommunicado, in some cases, for months.

The prisoners at Bagram, also labeled “unlawful enemy combatants” by the Bush administration, have even fewer legal rights than those held in Guantánamo. As an article in the New Republic pointed out in May 2007, “Prisoners don’t even have the limited access to lawyers available to prisoners in Guantánamo. Nor do they have the right to Combatant Status Review Tribunals, which Guantánamo detainees won in the 2004 Supreme Court ruling in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld. Instead, if a combat commander chooses, he can convene an Enemy Combatant Review Board (ECRB), at which the detainee has no right to a personal advocate, no chance to speak in his own defense, and no opportunity to review the evidence against him. The detainee isn’t even allowed to attend. And, thanks to such limited access to justice, many former detainees say they have no idea why they were either detained or released.”

US officials claim they have been attempting to turn over the detainees to the Afghan government and house them in a new facility, but that the plan to build the new high-security prison outside Kabul has been beset by difficulties. One of the obstacles has been the reluctance of the Afghan puppet government to follow the Bush administration and adopt a detention system modeled on the “enemy combatant” framework. The Afghans have been urged to organize drumhead trials like those at Guantánamo, to this point without success.

Under US control, Bagram has a record of brutality. As noted above, in December 2002, US military personnel, in a particularly savage manner, murdered two Afghans, an alleged Taliban commander and an ordinary taxi driver, arrested entirely by mistake.

The New York Times obtained a copy of a nearly 2,000-page confidential military investigation into the deaths and reported the story in May 2005. The Times piece began: “Even as the young Afghan man was dying before them, his American jailers continued to torment him. The prisoner, a slight, 22-year-old taxi driver known only as Dilawar, was hauled from his cell at the detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan, at around 2 a.m. to answer questions about a rocket attack on an American base. When he arrived in the interrogation room, an interpreter who was present said, his legs were bouncing uncontrollably in the plastic chair and his hands were numb. He had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days.”

The other prisoner, known as Habibullah, was literally beaten to death at Bagram by US guards and interrogators. His autopsy “showed bruises or abrasions on his chest, arms and head. There were deep contusions on his calves, knees and thighs. His left calf was marked by what appeared to have been the sole of a boot. His death was attributed to a blood clot, probably caused by the severe injuries to his legs, which traveled to his heart and blocked the blood flow to his lungs.”

Many other Afghans have undergone violence in American custody at Bagram. “In sworn statements to Army investigators,” the Times reported, “soldiers describe one female interrogator with a taste for humiliation stepping on the neck of one prostrate detainee and kicking another in the genitals. They tell of a shackled prisoner being forced to roll back and forth on the floor of a cell, kissing the boots of his two interrogators as he went. Yet another prisoner is made to pick plastic bottle caps out of a drum mixed with excrement and water as part of a strategy to soften him up for questioning.”

Harsh treatment was routine. “Guards could strike shackled detainees with virtual impunity. Prisoners considered important or troublesome were also handcuffed and chained to the ceilings and doors of their cells, sometimes for long periods, an action Army prosecutors recently classified as criminal assault.”

Many of the Bagram interrogators, including Capt. Carolyn Wood, were transferred to Iraq in July 2003 and took charge of interrogation at Abu Ghraib. Wood applied techniques there that were “remarkably similar” to those that had been used at Bagram.

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), based on reports compiled by the Red Cross and US military investigators, found the following torture techniques had been used at Bagram: sleep deprivation for weeks; shackling detainees while standing; forced nudity; sexual taunting by women soldiers; forcing detainees to lie on frozen ground and beatings.

In October 2006 the CCR filed a habeas petition, challenging provisions of the Military Commissions Act, on behalf of 25 detainees held at Bagram who had been detained without charge or trial. The center noted: “Though some have been held for years, none of these men has ever received a hearing of any sort. Bagram has been the site of notorious examples of abuse—including abuses that led to the December 2002 deaths of two Afghan detainees.”

As the Red Cross report reveals, in a worsening situation for the occupying forces, the criminal and sadistic conduct persists.

The full story in
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/jan2008/afgh-j09.shtml

See Also:
The reality behind Britain’s claims of military success in Iraq and Afghanistan
[28 December 2007]
US prepares to increase occupation forces in Afghanistan
[27 December 2007]
Reports document deepening social catastrophe in Afghanistan
[19 December 2007]

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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Protest in Gaza against Bush visit

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 10, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Protest in Gaza against Bush visit

Aljazeera.net
pal-bush1_749834_1_34.jpg

January 8, 2008

Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have gathered to protest against the visit of the US president to the occupied West Bank in a bid to push forward talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

The protesters gathered in Gaza City on Tuesday, saying that George Bush is indifferent to their condition.

Bush will not visit the territory as part of his tour of the Middle East which starts on Wednesday.

The protest was also against the ongoing Israeli siege of Gaza. Protesters carried 62 coffins symbolising those who have died because they have been unable to leave the area for medical treatment.

Humanitarian crisis

Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna said: “If the US president’s motorcade ever travelled in Gaza City, he would see young school pupils and their parents and teachers demonstrating against the ongoing Israeli siege.

“He would see the medical supplies that have stopped coming in to Gaza, the shortage of fuel following the Israeli decision to reduce the amount of fuel piped across the border and the periodic shutting down of the power stations.

“If George W Bush ever came to Gaza, he would see the ordinary people who do not fire Qassam missiles over the border into Israel. He would experience the darkness of an existence that Gazans believe results from the collective punishment of a civilian population supposedly prohibited by international law.”

Negotiating sessions since the gathering in Annapolis, Maryland, in late November have been marred by Israeli construction plans in disputed territory and violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Olmert-Abbas talks

On Tuesday, Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, will discuss procedural matters, including which negotiators will be assigned to thrash out the various issues that divide the two sides.

Olmert is to host Abbas at his Jerusalem residence for their second meeting since they relaunched peace talks at a US conference in late

Israeli settlements and army operations against Palestinian fighters – key sources of discord – are due to feature prominently in Tuesday’s meeting and during the Bush visit.

So far in January, the death toll among Palestinians has risen to 19 while 25 have been injured. Israel recently completed a raid on Nablus in the West Bank during which it arrested several Palestinians.

Israeli forces moved into Gaza after a series of rocket attacks from the territory into southern Israel.

Palestinian charge

Mustafa al-Barghouti, the head of the political movement the Palestinian National Initiative, blamed Israel for the deadlock at a news conference on Tuesday.

“Israel’s impunity has increased after Annapolis, and we fear further Israeli military escalation after Bush’s visit,” al-Barghouti told a news conference.

“Nothing will change and the situation will not improve as long as Israel maintains its 562 checkpoints, continues the building of thousands of housing units in more than 800 settlements, and continues building the segregation wall and has not dismantled a single settlement.”

The Israeli view

Speaking to Al Jazeera on Monday, Mark Regev, spokesman for Olmert, defended the Israeli military operations.

He said: “We’ve got a situation where the Palestinian security services need to get their act together need to rebuilt, need to be retrained. They need to have their capabilities improved.

“That’s not just the Israeli position, that’s the position of the Arab world, the Europeans, of everyone who has following this process. And so I will say publically and clearly: when Palestinain security is ready to meet the challenges, then Israeli security will not have any need to act.

“If Israel, were to allow a security vaccum to develop in the West Bank … who would enter that security vaccum? Only the extremists.

“And not only would innocent people be killed, but you would see the peace process be killed.”

‘Report suppressed’

In another development, Haaretz, the Israeli daily, has reported that the government had refused to publish a report containing full details of settlement constructions, including outposts and neighbourhoods built across the Green Line.

In response to a high court petition on the matter, the defence ministry is arguing that publication would harm state security and Israel’s foreign relations.

Haaretz and Maariv also said that the Israeli housing ministry was pushing for the construction of more than 1,000 units on lands “held by absentee Palestinians” from the Bethlehem area to expand the settlement of Har Homa.

Har Homa is built on confiscated Palestinian land in Jabal Abu Ghnaim in occupied East Jerusalem.

The full story in
http://uruknet.info/?p=m39935&hd=&size=1&l=e

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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Sheikh Harith al-Dari says Sahwa Councils like al-Qaeda, warns of marginalizing Iraq

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 10, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Sheikh Harith al-Dari says Sahwa Councils like al-Qaeda, warns of marginalizing Iraq

Voices of Iraq

Riyadh, Jan 8, 2008 (VOI) – A Sunni cleric said there was a “similarity” between the actions of the al-Qaeda Organization in Iraq and those of the tribal Sahwa (Awakening) Councils, warning that the marginalization of Iraq would cause other countries to become marginalized.

“Many of those who have joined the Sahwa Councils have been members in al-Qaeda. They joined al-Qaeda in the first place for the sake of money, and when more money became available in a different direction, they rushed to it,” Sheikh Harith al-Dari, the head of the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), said in an interview with the al-Hayat International newspaper’s Saudi edition in Riyadh, published on Tuesday.

Dari, whose AMS represents a large sector of Arab Sunnis in Iraq and rejects the current political process in the country, said there were Sunni politicians, who are part of the political process, involved in these Sahwa Councils.

Iraq has witnessed in the year 2007 the emergence of armed organizations set up by tribes in most hotspots in the country with the aim of fighting al-Qaeda network operatives in those areas.

It all started in September 2006 with the formation of al-Anbar Awakening Council, which managed to flush al-Qaeda out of the predominantly Sunni province, once considered one of the tensest in Iraq.

Dari, during the interview published over two episodes, said it is true that al-Qaeda has been involved in unacceptable activities with the residents of the region where it existed, but the Sahwa Councils are doing just the same: blackmailing and intimidation.

“Iraq is a part of the Arab nation that came under a serious conspiracy that cut Iraq from its big nation,” Dari said, adding “the enemies of Iraq wanted to have a model to be cloned in other areas.”

He said there were parties that would benefit from the division of Iraq, a gouge of balance between Arabs and Iran on one hand and Arabs and Israel on the other.

Dari accused the former U.S. ambassador in Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad, of “enfeebling Iraq as he was in charge of the opposition file in coordination with Iran.”

“The chess pawns offered themselves to cooperate with the occupation forces using the sectarian quota card,” Dari said.

AE/SR

The full story in
http://uruknet.info/?p=m39938&hd=&size=1&l=e

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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Children As “Collateral Damage” Of The War In Iraq

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 10, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Children As “Collateral Damage” Of The War In Iraq

Dan Jakopovich
iraqi-children.jpgmid.jpg

January 8, 2008

Western journalist: What do you think of Western civilization?
Mahatma Gandhi: Yes, that would be a good idea.

Great is the hypocrisy of capitalist “civilization”. On the one hand, big business and its media boast of their “democracy” and “freedom,” while at the same time in today’s world they commit the greatest crimes. They spread rhetoric about human rights while stifling human dignity in a myriad of ways. Although several tens of billions of dollars would be enough to eliminate extreme hunger in the world, the USA annually spends approximately 600 billion dollars on its military budget, while approximately 15 million children are dying from starvation every year. It appears that it is still not in the interest of the system to eliminate poverty. War is profitable, and the profits coming from the war in Iraq are evidently more valuable than human lives. Naturally, we are all the same under the skin, and the suffering of men and women is not intrinsically less terrible than the suffering of children. Nonetheless, there is something particularly grotesque in the soulless manner in which the world powers behave towards the must vulnerable and least culpable generation. Perhaps it is precisely the hypocritical attitude towards them that best reflects the conscience of today’s world society.

The First Gulf War, equally absurd as other wars before and after it, started at the beginning of the final decade of the last century. Approximately 90,000 tons of bombs were dropped on Iraq and Kuwait. Nonetheless, Saddam was not deposed. As Sami Ramadani, an Iraqi dissident and professor at the London Metropolitan University, points out, the United States even helped Saddam quell a military rebellion against his authority.

CRIMINAL SANCTIONS
“We Think The Price Is Worth It”

The sanctions that were later imposed against defeated Iraq did not undermine the power of the autocrats but severely afflicted the lives of ordinary people. The sanctions were all-encompassing, perhaps the most restrictive and broadest in history – applying also to food, medicines and other humanitarian necessities. Even chlorine, needed for disinfecting water, was prohibited due to its alleged “dual function” in the potential manufacture of weapons. UNICEF (http://www.unicef.org/newsline/99pr29.htm) estimated the number of children under five years of age who died as a consequence of the sanctions at 500,000 (five hundred thousand). In 1996, that great liberal, the tastefully attired lady Madeleine Albright (secretary of state under Bill Clinton, whom the stupid, hypocritically moralistic public pilloried for oral sex with Monica Lewinsky and not for aggression waged against numerous countries), responded to a question asked on 60 Minutes as to whether the price of the lives of 500,000 children was worth it as follows: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.”

Denis Halliday, the former UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq (appointed in 1997 as an assistant to the secretary-general of the UN), estimated the total number of deaths due to sanctions at 1 million (an inconceivable number of human lives destroyed). In October 1998, after a 34-year career at the UN, he resigned in order to be able to criticize these cannibalistic sanctions freely and stated: “I don’t want to administer a program that satisfies the definition of genocide.” Halliday’s successor, Hans von Sponeck, also submitted his resignation after two years in protest (i.e. revulsion) as did Jutta Burghardt, head of the World Food Program for Iraq. The corporate mass media ignored these events as much as they could. The corrupt Oil for Food program has only somewhat alleviated the suffering of the population. In addition to sanctions, this exploitative program is one more stain on the history of modern UN.

THE CURRENT BESTIAL WAR

Although periodical limited bombardment of Iraqi targets continued throughout the 1990s (without any great interest from the corporate mass media), the US and its allies announced a new war on Iraq in 2003. The leading British medical journal, The Lancet, estimated through scientific methods in October 2006 that 655,000 (six hundred fifty-five thousand) people had perished in the war by July 2006, as also confirmed by the elite Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US.

Dan Toole, director of the Office of Emergency Operations of the United Nations Children’s Fund, recently stated: “Children today are much worse off than they were a year ago, and they certainly are worse off than they were three years ago.” He added that Iraqis no longer have safe access to the basic food basket established under Saddam’s regime in order to survive international sanctions. At UNICEF there are concerns regarding a potential cholera epidemic because two thirds of the Iraqis do not have access to clean water. The prominent sociologist and professor at the Sorbonne Jean Ziegler, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, stated in 2005 that the rate of malnutrition among Iraqi children had doubled since the beginning of the war in 2003. Nutritional and health indicators have significantly worsened since the beginning of the occupation. According to a study commissioned by the BBC, ABC News, the ARD of Germany and USA Today, 64% of interviewed Iraqis described their family situation as somewhat poor or very poor, which represents an increase in comparison to 30% in 2005. Access to electricity is described by 88% as somewhat poor or very poor, while 65% thought so in 2004. Although 48% described their access to clean water as poor or very poor in 2004, 69% feel this way now.

According to UNICEF, half of the 4 million Iraqis who have fled their homes since the beginning of the war were children. Tens of thousands of children have lost one or both parents. Deprived of many of their rights, frequently exposed to psychological, physical and sexual violence and potentially harmful forms of labor, the future of these children does not appear overly promising.

THE STRATEGY OF TENSION

Viewed politically, the American occupation of Iraq has generated what had been formerly largely nonexistent enmity and sectarian-based conflicts among the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. According to the tried and tested “divide and conquer’’ model, the US is actively promoting these divisions in the Iraqi society. The occupying army has divided the representative bodies, political parties and cities according to these lines. Furthermore, Amnesty International has expressed concern due to the shady trafficking of arms from Bosnia to Iraq, and it appears that the US has imported large shipments of weapons for arming the Sunni militias. Occupying troops have been implicated in cases of terrorist bombings of civilian territories and some of the members of the military forces have been arrested wearing improvised explosive devices that are used for terrorist purposes. For anyone even partly cognizant of the history of the American secret services, for example, this is not a great surprise. In any case, the continuation of foreign occupation has led to further escalation of the conflict, fundamentalism and a civil war that is already raging for its fifth year.

Despair and desire for vengeance have pushed many young people into fundamentalism, which under normal circumstances would be foreign to them. Monstrous violence and fear, isolation, roadblocks, electricity shortages, the destruction of communications links and the general struggle for sheer survival have seriously hindered any serious or realistic dialogue among Iraqis about their common future. The puppet Iraqi government under the control of the US has prohibited strikes, reintroduced the death penalty and imprisoned tens of thousands of people (many without trials). The secular democratic Iraq Freedom Congress has been repressed both by extreme Islamists and the US forces. Under such restrictive conditions, the struggle for the country’s democratization is exceptionally difficult. Meanwhile, the object of this necessary democratization – the Iraqi people – is being subjugated and politically, economically, culturally, physically and psychologically crippled.

WOUNDS BELOW THE SURFACE

Professor Kholoud Nasser Muhssin of the University of Baghdad points out that approximately 60–70% of all Iraqi children suffer from psychological problems. Many of them have also survived traumatic experiences. Psychological wounds are difficult to heal and post-traumatic stress disorder is very common. “New generations, especially this one, will be aggressive,” points out the Baghdad psychiatrist Bilal Youssif Hamid. Many children whom Hamid has tried to treat have witnessed or participated in murders and death. Although parents are frequently too afraid to take their children to a clinic for a medical check-up, much less to school, even the children who go to school have great learning difficulties, as well as anxiety, depression, aggressiveness, nightmares, bedwetting etc. War is always catastrophic for the human psyche.

How can new generations acquire an awareness of the preciousness of each individual when human life is so cheap, the dignity of all people so blatantly ignored and human potentials so suppressed? How can a country be democratized when the most basic rights, such as the right to strike, are prohibited, and the call for vengeance and voice of despair drown out more rational alternatives to imperialism? How to popularize the philosophy of nonviolence?

The full story in
http://www.uruknet.de/?p=m39931&hd=&size=1&l=e

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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9 US soldiers killed in Iraq in 2 days

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 10, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

9 US soldiers killed in Iraq in 2 days

Wed Jan 9, 3:35 PM ET
BAGHDAD – Nine American soldiers were killed in the first two days of a new American drive to kill al-Qaida in Iraq fighters holed up in districts north of the capital, the U.S. military said Wednesday.Six soldiers were killed and four were wounded Wednesday in a booby-trapped house in Diyala province, where joint U.S.-Iraqi forces were driving through a difficult web of lush palm and citrus groves, farmland and fertile river bottoms.The military also announced that three U.S. soldiers were killed and two were wounded Tuesday in an attack in Salahuddin province. The operation began Tuesday.

The full story in
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080109/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_soldiers_killed

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

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Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 10, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Translated and/or compiled by Muhammad Abu Nasr, member, editorial board, the Free Arab Voice.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008.

  • Resistance blasts US al-Habbaniyah base with Grad rockets at dawn Wednesday.
  • Collaborator “Awakening police” make two Iraqi women take off their headscarves at road block.
  • US admits: six American troops killed when booby-trapped house explodes in Diyala Province Wednesday.
  • Two bombs target US patrols in eastern Baghdad Wednesday.
  • Sectarian murder spree continues: three tortured bodies found dumped around Baghdad on Wednesday.
  • US admits three more American soldiers killed in Salah ad-Din Province on Tuesday.
  • Washington admits US soldier killed in Salman Bak on Monday.
  • Unmanned US spy plane reported shot down south of Balad midday Wednesday.
  • Resistance fighters assault puppet “Shock Troop” headquarters in Samarra’, Wednesday afternoon.
  • Bomb kills three “Awakening” collaborator police in al-Khalis midday Wednesday.
  • Mortar shells blast into puppet police station in al-Mawsil.
  • Bomb explodes by US column in al-Mawsil Wednesday morning.

Al-Anbar Province.
Al-Habbaniyah.

Resistance blasts US al-Habbaniyah base with Grad rockets at dawn Wednesday.

In a dispatch posted at 4pm Baghdad time Wednesday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that the Iraqi Resistance fired two Grad rockets into the al-Habbaniyah base, which is jointly occupied by US and puppet regime troops, at dawn on Wednesday.

Yaqen reported that the rockets damaged a military transport vehicle that was parked at the headquarters of the base, according to a source who declined to provide any further details.

Eyewitnesses told Yaqen that fighters in two trucks – one of them carrying a rocket launcher – fired two Grad rockets at the camp. One of the missiles struck a target inside the base, sending plumes of smoke rising into the sky from the base headquarters. US military aircraft flew into the area shortly after the attack to prowl the skies around the base.

Al-Fallujah.

Al-Fallujah blockaded so puppet officials can honor puppet police.

In a dispatch posted at 1:45pm Baghdad time Wednesday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that US and puppet regime troops sealed off the entrances and exits of the city of al-Fallujah, 60km west of Baghdad on Wednesday morning.

Yaqen reported Colonel Faysal az-Zawbi‘i, the puppet police director for al-Fallujah, as saying that people were being prevented from entering or leaving the city so as to facilitate the holding of a parade in al-Fallujah to mark Police Day.

Colonel az-Zawbi‘i said that puppet policemen would be marching in a parade from the western entrance of the city to the puppet police headquarters in the middle of town where officials including the governor, Sa‘d ‘Awwad, and the chairman of the local council Shaykh Hamid al-Hashim, would be presiding.

Families of puppet policemen and individual puppet policemen are to be given money and gifts on this occasion, Colonel az-Zawbi‘i added.

Baghdad.

US admits: six American troops killed when booby-trapped house explodes in Diyala Province Wednesday.

In a dispatch posted at 11:13pm Baghdad time Wednesday night, the Yaqen News Agency reported that the US military had announced that six American troops had been killed when a booby-trapped house blew up around them northeast of Baghdad, somewhere in Diyala Province on Wednesday.

Yaqen reported the US military as announcing that in the course of an operation in Diyala Province, US troops were raiding a house that, unknown to them, had been booby-trapped. After a group of American troops entered the building, it exploded, killing six US soldiers and wounding four more. In keeping with the US policy of concealing information on American losses, the specific location of the incident in the 17,685 square kilometers of Diyala Province was not revealed.

Collaborator “Awakening police” make two Iraqi women take off their headscarves at road block.

In a dispatch posted at 9:51pm Baghdad time Wednesday night, the Association of Muslim Scholars of Iraq (AMSI) reported that members of the “al-A‘zamiyah Awakening” collaborationist police attacked two women at a checkpoint that they were manning and forced them to remove their headscarves.

The AMSI reported eyewitnesses as saying that the incident took place in the as-Sayfiyah area of al-A‘zamiyah on Wednesday afternoon.

Two bombs target US patrols in eastern Baghdad Wednesday.

In a dispatch posted at 6:30pm Baghdad time Wednesday evening, the Yaqen News Agency reported that two bombs exploded by two US patrols in eastern Baghdad on Wednesday.

Yaqen reported a source in the puppet police as saying that one bomb went off by a US patrol on Palestine Street in eastern Baghdad. A second bomb exploded by another American patrol, that one in the al-Qanat area also in eastern Baghdad. No information on the nature or extent of US losses in either attack was available.

Sectarian murder spree continues: three tortured bodies found dumped around Baghdad on Wednesday.

In a dispatch posted at 5:40pm Baghdad time Wednesday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that the Iraqi puppet police recovered the bodies of three more victims of sectarian violence that had been dumped in various parts of Baghdad on Wednesday.

Yaqen reported a source in the puppet police as saying that the bodies showed signs of torture.

US admits three more American soldiers killed in Salah ad-Din Province on Tuesday.

In a dispatch posted at 3pm Baghdad time Wednesday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that the US military announced that three more of its troops had been killed in a military operation somewhere in Salah ad-Din province, north of Baghdad, on Tuesday.

Yaqen reported a US announcement as saying that the three American soldiers were killed by small arms fire in an Iraqi Resistance attack during operations in Salah ad-Din Province on Tuesday. The American statement said that two more US troops were wounded in the same engagement.

The US statement failed to provide any further details regarding the incident or where in the 24,751 square kilometers of Salah ad-Din Province it took place.

Salah ad-Din Province.
Balad.

Unmanned US spy plane reported shot down south of Balad midday Wednesday.

In a dispatch posted at 8:35pm Baghdad time Wednesday night, the Yaqen News Agency reported numerous eyewitnesses as saying that Iraqi Resistance fighters shot down an unmanned US spy plane to the south of Balad, about 80km north of Baghdad, on Wednesday.

Yaqen reported witnesses as saying that several Iraqi Resistance men opened fire with machine guns at an unmanned reconnaissance plane, believed to be American, and shot it down in the as-Sayyid Gharib area to the south of Balad at midday Wednesday.

One witness, a resident of as-Sayyid Gharib, said that the Resistance men then took part of the wreckage of the aircraft away aboard their car as they fired their guns into the air in celebration. They headed away towards the fields in the area.

As of the time of reporting, however, the US forces in Balad had issued no statement regarding any such attack and the personnel at the puppet Joint Coordination Center in the city declared they had no knowledge of any such incident.

Samarra’.

Resistance fighters assault puppet “Shock Troop” headquarters in Samarra’, Wednesday afternoon.

In a dispatch posted at 5:33pm Baghdad time Wednesday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that Iraqi Resistance fighters assaulted the Samarra’ Education Center, a building that US forces and puppet “Iraqi Interior Ministry Shock Troops (Maghawir)” have turned into their headquarters in the city, 120km north of Baghdad.

Yaqen reported eyewitnesses as saying that Resistance fighters blasted the building wth light and heavy gunfire on Wednesday afternoon. No information on the nature or extent of casualties among the “Shock Troops” was available, however.

Diyala Province.
Al-Khalis.

Bomb kills three “Awakening” collaborator police in al-Khalis midday Wednesday.

In a dispatch posted at 5pm Baghdad time Wednesday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that a bomb exploded by collaborator “Awakening” police in the city of al-Khalis, 57km north of Baghdad, at midday Wednesday.

Yaqen reported a source in the puppet police as saying that the bomb, which had been planted by the side of the main road in the Abu Tamar area of al-Khalis, was detonated by remote control when a car carrying “Awakening” policemen passed by. Three of the collaborators were killed and two more were wounded in the explosion.

Salman Bak.

US admits American soldier killed in Salman Bak on Monday.

In a dispatch posted at 10:04am Baghdad time Wednesday morning, the Yaqen News Agency reported that the US Defense Department admitted that another US soldier had been killed in Salman Bak, 35km southeast of Baghdad, on Monday, 7 January.

Yaqen reported the American statement as saying that the soldier died from light weapons fire but in keeping with the US policy of concealing facts about US losses in Iraq, no further information was available.

Babil Province.
Al-Hillah.

Grenade attack targets member of puppet “Civil Defense Directorate” in al-Hillah Wednesday morning.

In a dispatch posted at 10:55am Baghdad time Wednesday morning, the Yaqen News Agency reported that armed men threw a hand grenade at the home of a member of the puppet “Iraqi Interior Ministry Civil Defense Directorate” in al-Hillah, 100km south of Baghdad, on Wednesday morning.

Yaqen reported a source in the puppet security forces as saying that the incident in the ‘Affar aarea to the north of the city wounded one member of the family of the man in addition to damaging the home.

At-Ta’mim Province.
Kirkuk.

Two car bombs target Christian churches in Kirkuk Wednesday.

In a dispatch posted at 8pm Baghdad time Wednesday night, the Yaqen News Agency reported that two car bombs exploded by two Christian churches in Kirkuk, 250km north of Baghdad, on Wednesday.

Yaqen reported Major Kamal Wahib of the puppet regime’s Joint Coordination Center for at-Ta’mim Province as saying that neither blast caused any casualties, since no people were in the area at the time the bombs exploded.

An eyewitness who regularly attended the Kirkuk Catholic Church told Yaqen that the first car bomb exploded near the Virgin Mary Church and the second near the Chaldaean Church of the Mother of Grief in the center of Kirkuk. The witness said that neither explosion caused any casualties, but both did inflict damage on the churches.

On Sunday, 6 January, four people were injured when bombs damaged three churches in the city of al-Mawsil in northwestern Iraq.

Bomb wounds four puppet troops south of Kirkuk on Wednesday.

In a dispatch posted at 3:32pm Baghdad time Wednesday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that a bomb exploded by a puppet Iraqi army patrol in the ar-Riyad area to the south of Kirkuk on Wednesday morning.

Yaqen reported Major Kamal Wahib of the puppet regime’s Joint Coordination Center for at-Ta’mim Province as saying by telephone that the blast injured four puppet army troops, all of whom were taken to Kirkuk Teaching Hospital for treatment.

Ninwa Province.
Al-Mawsil.

“Awakening” collaborator police battle attackers in southern al-Mawsil Wednesday.

In a dispatch posted at 4:11pm Baghdad time Wednesday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that Shaykh Yunus al-Hamdani, a founder of the collaborationist “Ninwa Province Awakening” police announced that a large force of his collaborators had beaten back an attack on their headquarters believed carried out by members of al-Qa‘idah.

Yaqen reported Shaykh al-Hamdani as saying that the “Awakening” police, under Shaykh Fawwaz al-Jarba fought off the attackers in the area of the lake to the south of al-Mawsil.

Mortar shells blast into puppet police station in al-Mawsil.

In a dispatch posted at 12:50pm Baghdad time Wednesday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that eight mortar shells blasted into the puppet police station in the al-Faysaliyah and Sumar neighborhoods of northeastern al-Mawsil, 420km northwest of Baghdad, on Wednesday.

Yaqen reported a source in the puppet police as saying that four people, one of them a woman, were wounded in the attack.

In an unrelated incident, the source also said that the body of a puppet policewoman had been found in the al-Intisar neighborhood of northeastern al-Mawsil on Wednesday.

US, puppet troops battle armed attackers in al-Mawsil Wednesday.

In a dispatch posted at 12:35pm Baghdad time Wednesday afternoon, the Yaqen News Agency reported that fighting erupted between armed men and US troops accompanied by their Iraqi puppet army allies in the al-Yabisat section of southwestern al-Mawsil on Wednesday.

Yaqen reported a spokesman for the Iraqi puppet army as saying that a car belonging to the armed fighters burst into flames in the course of the battle. The spokesman provided no information on the number of fighters in that car nor on the nature or extent of any casualties among the Americans or their puppet army allies.

Bomb explodes by US column in al-Mawsil Wednesday morning.

In a dispatch posted at 10:20am Baghdad time Wednesday morning, the Yaqen News Agency reported that a bomb went off by a US military column in al-Mawsil on Wednesday morning.

Yaqen reported a source in the puppet police who asked not to be identified as saying that a large bomb blew up by a passing American column in the al-Bay‘ al-Mubashir area in the northeastern part of the city. Following the blast, the Americans encircled the area and prevented anyone from approaching the scene. As of the time of reporting, the Americans had made no announcement regarding the attack and no information regarding US casualties was available.

http://www.albasrah.net/pages/mod.php?mod=art&lapage=../en_articles_2008/0108/iraqiresistancereport_090108.htm

Sources:

http://www.iraq-amsi.org/news.php?action=view&id=21901&5f8c17d924d1796d59d666a4f5713c64
http://www.iraq-amsi.org/news.php?action=view&id=21894&b4d8bd2e369cd68d073714251014e291
http://www.iraq-amsi.org/news.php?action=view&id=21893&994511ed429b187b7a3207bc270aac5d
http://www.iraq-amsi.org/news.php?action=view&id=21892&feb319de515b87921ae57653d994bfab
http://www.iraq-amsi.org/news.php?action=view&id=21891&ea6e8ada641a33bab9ecccb65ff883b2
http://www.iraq-amsi.org/news.php?action=view&id=21890&32685ff003b78269fac67d6d44194303
http://www.iraq-amsi.org/news.php?action=view&id=21889&203bb0548ddccebd1e34788d3b7b8c35
http://www.iraq-amsi.org/news.php?action=view&id=21888&eb14a40a9b78b65657c9e4005d34af64
http://www.iraq-amsi.org/news.php?action=view&id=21887&c5ad268a021c93e497704f9b612dd49e
http://www.islammemo.cc/article1.aspx?id=57971
http://www.islammemo.cc/article1.aspx?id=57957
http://www.islammemo.cc/article1.aspx?id=57937
http://www.islammemo.cc/article1.aspx?id=57932
http://www.arabic.xinhuanet.com/arabic/2008-01/09/content_557014.htm
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4254
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4252
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4250
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4249
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4248
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4247
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4246
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4245
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4244
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4243
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4242
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4241
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4240
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4239
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4238
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4237
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4236
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4235
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4234
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4233
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4232
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4231
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4230
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4229
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4228
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4227
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4224
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4223
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4222
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4221
http://www.yaqen.net/?p=4220
http://www.freearabvoice.org
http://www.albasrah.net/pages/mod.php?header=res1&mod=gis&rep=rep

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

US Dictatorship : Thinking For Yourself Is Now A Crime

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 10, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

US Dictatorship : Thinking For Yourself Is Now A Crime

By Paul Craig Roberts
1-6-8

What was the greatest failure of 2007? President Bush’s “surge” in Iraq? The decline in the value of the US dollar? Subprime mortgages? No. The greatest failure of 2007 was the newly sworn in Democratic Congress.

The American people’s attempt in November 2006 to rein in a rogue government, which has committed the US to costly military adventures while running roughshod over the US Constitution, failed. Replacing Republicans with Democrats in the House and Senate has made no difference.

The assault on the US Constitution by the Democratic Party is as determined as the assault by the Republicans. On October 23, 2007, the House passed a bill sponsored by California Democratic congresswoman Jane Harman, chairwoman of a Homeland Security subcommittee, that overturns the constitutionally guaranteed rights to free expression, association, and assembly.

The bill passed the House on a vote of 404-6. In the Senate the bill is sponsored by Maine Republican Susan Collins and apparently faces no meaningful opposition.

Harman’s bill is called the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act.”When HR 1955 becomes law, it will create a commission tasked with identifying extremist people, groups, and ideas. The commission will hold hearings around the country, taking testimony and compiling a list of dangerous people and beliefs. The bill will, in short, create massive terrorism in the United States. But the perpetrators of terrorism will not be Muslim terrorists; they will be government agents and fellow citizens.

We are beginning to see who will be the inmates of the detention centers being built in the US by Halliburton under government contract.

Who will be on the “extremist beliefs” list? The answer is: civil libertarians, critics of Israel, 9/11 skeptics, critics of the administration’s wars and foreign policies, critics of the administration’s use of kidnapping, rendition, torture and violation of the Geneva Conventions, and critics of the administration’s spying on Americans. Anyone in the way of a powerful interest group–such as environmentalists opposing politically connected developers–is also a candidate for the list.

*Snip*

Link: http://www.rense.com/general79/think.htm

Now we STILL face S-1959! Obama sits on the panel! Call him! Tell him you will NOT vote for him if he allows it to pass!

S-1959 is far WORSE than HR / S-1955!

VIDEO LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eyd6X31pu4k

The full story in
http://www.surfingtheapocalypse.net/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?read=197342

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Bahaya Liberalisasi Islam

Posted by musliminsuffer on January 10, 2008

bismi-lLahi-rRahmani-rRahiem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Bahaya Liberalisasi Islam

Oleh
Rifqi Fauzi
Mahasiswa Jurusan Hadis, Universitas Al Azhar Kairo, Mesir

Kamis, 13 Desember 2007

Memperhatikan tema-tema yang disajikan pada perhelatan Annual Conference on Islamic Studies (ACIS) in Indonesia VII yang dilaksanakan di Pekanbaru pada 21-24 November lalu, seperti yang disebutkan Henri Sholahuddin di koran ini (01/12/2007), terlihat indikasi kuat gencarnya gerakan liberalisasi Islam. Kehadiran Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd dalam acara tersebut memperkuat Indikasi tersebut.

Kita telah ketahui bersama bahwa gerakan kritik teks suci, kritik syariah agama, dan gerakan liberalisasi lahir dari kebudayaan Barat. Gerakan ini bertujuan untuk menemukan kehidupan yang lebih maju dan lebih baik, karena mereka merasa bahwa dalam agama mereka banyak hal yang bertentangan dengan fitrah manusia dan ilmu pengetahuan.

Begitu pun teks suci, dalam pandangan mereka banyak yang bertentangan satu sama lain. Lalu apa yang menjadi alasan umat Islam ikut-ikutan mengritik teks suci Alquran, Al Hadis, mempertanyakan kembali konsep tafsir Alquran atau malah mendekontruksi ajaran-ajaran Islam yang telah mapan dan dipegang teguh oleh umat Islam selama berabad-abad? Mengapa kita tidak melihat apa dampak gerakan liberalisasi terhadap eberagamaan masyarakat Barat dan bagaimana bahaya yang ditimbulkan jika hal ini dilakukan dalam ajaran Islam?

Keberagamaan di Barat

Ketika pihak gereja memimpin Eropa selama berabad-abad, keadaan Eropa waktu itu mengalami keterpurukan yang lebih dikenal dengan dark age. Lalu sejak abad ke-15 banyak kritik terhadap kekangan gereja. Bangsa Eropa mulai sadar bahwa banyak kerancuan dalam ajaran gereja. Dari mulai konsep akidah, kitab suci, juga ajarannya, banyak yang bertentangan dengan ilmu pengetahuan alam.

Di antara yang berani menghadirkan kritik itu adalah pendeta Nicolaus Copernicus (1543 M) mencetuskan teori heliosentris. Teori tersebut menentang kebijakan gereja yang selama ini mempunyai paham filsafat Ptolemaeus yang mengatakan bahwa bumi sebagai pusat tata surya. Perjuangan Copernicus diikuti oleh Gardano Bruno (1594), fisikiawan Jerman Johannes Kapler (1571-1630), Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), dan pada Tahun 1642 bertepatan dengan meninggalnya Galileo lahirlah ilmuan baru Isaac Newton.

Dia adalah seorang penemu teori gravitasi bumi, sehingga dengan penemuanya dia berhasil mendobrak kerancuan berpikir gereja serta mengubah world view baru bagi Eropa dalam memahami agama. Newton bukan saja mengritik gereja dalam masalah sains akan tetapi dia juga mengkritik paham trinitas. Pada tahun 1670 M dia mengumumkan bahwa ajaran trinitas dibawa oleh Athanasius untuk mencari muka orang-orang pagan yang baru masuk agama Kristen sekaligus Athanius sendiri yang memberikan tambahan-tanbahan terhadap Injil (Karen amstrong:2004).

Kritik terhadap gereja diusung pula oleh John Lock (1704 M) dengan mencetuskan liberalisme dalam politik, di mana dia membentuk ideologi baru yang memberikan kebebasan masyarakat dari kekangan pemerintahan gereja pada masa itu. Adam Smith (1790 M) mengusung liberalisme dalam ekonomi, yang memberikan kebebasan kepada masyarakat untuk menjalankan perekonomiannya tanpa intervensi dari pemerintahan gereja.

Ketika otoritas Gereja runtuh, bangsa Eropa terbagi menjadi dua aliran dalam menyikapi Agama. Pertama, Aliran Deisme, di mana aliran ini masih mempercayai akan adanya Tuhan tapi tidak mempercayai akan ayat-ayat Tuhan. Tokoh-tokohnya antara lain, Rene Decrates (1596-1650 M), Martin Luther(1483-1556 M), Huldrych Zwingli (1483-1556 M), John Calvin (1509-1564 M), Isaac Newton (1642-1724 M), John Lock (1632-1704), Immanuel Khan (1724-1804 M), dan sebagainya.

Aliran kedua adalah ateisme atau materialisme. Tokoh yang pertama meluncurkan gagasan ini adalah George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831 M) dan muridnya Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872 M). Selanjutnya Karl Marx (1818-1883 M), menulis dalam buku Economic and Philosophical Manuscript, bahwa agama merupakan gejala masyarakat yang sakit. Agama adalah candu masyarakat yang bisa menerima sistem sosial yang rusak. Agama menghilangkan keinginan untuk menemukan obat dengan mengalihkan perhatian dari dunia ini kepada akhirat.

Ketidakpercayaan atas Tuhan diusung pula oleh Charles Darwin (1809-1882 M), dalam buku kontroversialnya The Origin of Species by Means Natural Selection (1859). Dengan teori evolusinya, Darwin mencoba memisahkan intervensi Tuhan dalam penciptaan alam dan kehidupan mahluk hidup di dunia ini. Ateisme berpuncak pada deklarasi kematian Tuhan pada tahun 1882 oleh Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900 M) melalui bukunya The Gay Science. Dengan jelas kita bisa lihat bahwa gerakan liberalisasi yang selama ini diusung oleh Barat adalah untuk keluar dari kekangan ajaran yang bermasalah, dan konsekuensi dari gerakan ini adalah mengantarkan bangsa Barat menjadi ateis atau sedikitnya mereka mempercayai Tuhan tapi tidak dengan ajaran-Nya (deisme).

Bahaya liberalisasi Islam

Agama Islam lahir ke dunia membawa konsep ajaran yang mapan dan sempurna. Konsep akidah, kitab suci dan syariahnya tidak ada yang bertentangan dengan fitrah manusia juga ilmu pengetahuan. Sehingga dengan kesempurnaannya itu Islam sejak lahir langsung bisa menjadi solusi bagi kebudayaan jahiliyah bangsa Arab.

Selanjutnya, dengan memegang teguh ajaran yang termaktub dalam Alquran dan Al Hadis, umat Islam bisa mencapai zaman kegemilangan selama berabad-abad dengan kemajuan ilmu pengetahuan dan teknologi tanpa harus meninggalkan esensi ajarannya. Agama Islam mempunyai pengalaman dan esensi ajaran yang berbeda dengan agama Barat. Adalah suatu yang tidak adil dan tidak masuk akal mensejajarkan Islam dengan pengalaman keberagamaan Barat, sehingga Islam harus menerima proyek liberalisasi seperti halnya yang terjadi di Barat. Perlu diingat bahwa gerakan liberalisasi Barat telah mengantarkan mereka menjadi seorang yang ateis atau deisme. Jadi tidak menutup kemungkinan jika dampak dari liberalisasi Islam pun mempunyai dampak yang sama seperti Barat.

Sumber:
http://republika.co.id/kolom_detail.asp?id=317041&kat_id=16

===

-muslim voice-
______________________________________
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

 
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