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Thursday, April 17, 2008

LA Times: US funding PJAK, PKK

Thu, 17 Apr 2008 03:04:33

The US funds and supports several terrorist groups, including PJAK to carry out sabotage acts inside Iran, The Los Angeles Times says.

"Analysts say the anti-Iranian groups are tempting assets for the US," wrote the newspaper on Tuesday. "They say it would be a surprise if the groups were not receiving US funding, but that the strategy would probably not work."

The paper cited Mamand Rozhe, a former PKK commander that "the PKK wanted to have a relationship with America, so it formed and used PJAK."

According to Osman Ocalan, a brother of the PKK's imprisoned leader and a founder of PJAK, US military officials visited the group's camps in northern Iraq just after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

"Since the beginning, we thought we would get the American help," said Ocalan, who left the group two years ago. "And it's a good relationship now. . . . They are in talks with each other, and there is some military assistance. "

Ocalan and others say every two or three months, US military vehicles can be seen entering PKK and PJAK strongholds.

"There's no systematic relationship, no number to call," added Ocalan, however the daily mentioned a PJAK leader, Abdul Rahman Haji-Ahmadi's visit to Washington last summer.

"Americans do not intend to have an official relationship. Whenever there's any kind of question by the Turks, they can say we don't have a relationship," noted Ocalan.

According to The Los Angeles Times US officials declined to comment on claims that PJAK or other groups receive money from the US.

However, many in Washington have advocated such aid: "it would be a scandal if the US was not funding these groups," said John Pike, director of, a website about intelligence and military issues.

"The support would be covert and might be done in ways," added Pike.

The paper also named MKO, Jundollah and Komala Party as the groups which are possibly funded by the US, adding that no group officially acknowledges receiving US aid.

MHE/RE source presstv

Pakatan Rakyat reaffirms its solidarity for Malaysians

The Leaders of Pakatan Rakyat hereby reaffirms its commitment to implement the broad agenda to develop the nation and its desire to create a prosperous society irrespective of ethnicity, religion and culture and uphold human rights.

The policies of Pakatan Rakyat are centered on objectives that have been agreed upon and accepted by the leaders of the three parties that are KeADILan, DAP and PAS. Among these are to develop this country on the basis of justice, create opportunities for all citizens to enjoy national prosperity and to accord priority to those who are poor and marginalized.

Pakatan Rakyat is not the forum nor is it the place for any group or individual to champion personal ideologies or that of its component parties. Although there have been individuals who express personal views that are differ from the agreed agenda of Pakatan Rakyat, those views are clearly personal.

They do not represent that of any of the Parties in Pakatan Rakyat. As such, all leaders and members of Pakatan Rakyat have been directed to desist from expressing views that contradict those that have been mutually agreed upon by Pakatan Rakyat.

There is no one party that is the backbone of Pakatan Rakyat. In fact, the strength of Pakatan Rakyat is based on principles of equality and spirit of co-operation among leaders of Pakatan Rakyat in keeping with the mandate that has been given to us by the people during the 12th General Elections.

Pakatan Rakyat is determined to implement and bring changes in accordance with the principles of democracy, socio-economic justice, equal economic opportunities and religious freedom. This great responsibility will be borne together in keeping with our pledges made during the 12th General Elections.

Pakatan Rakyat has moved forward by arranging and strengthening policies to be implemented by all the State Governments under Pakatan Rakyat. These will also be adopted by all Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament when Parliament is in session. We will announce a general declaration of principles at some later date.

DS Dr. Wan Azizah Ismail
DS Anwar Ibrahim
YB Lim Kit Siang
YB DS Haji Hadi Awang
11th April 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Anwar - Time For Change

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Analysis: What to do about credit and food

Page last updated at 09:13 GMT, Sunday, 13 April 2008 10:13 UK

By Andrew Walker
Business reporter, BBC News, Washington

Food and finance. Those have been the two big themes over the last week at the IMF and the World Bank.

(L-R) Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and John Lipsky
Many powerful people have been meeting in Washington this week

The international financial crisis has cast a deep shadow over the proceedings, but there is no sense of panic.

The IMF’s view is that the wider economic effects of the crisis will mean a mild recession in the US and rather slower growth in the rest of the world.

But nobody is assuming that things will turn out even that well – though some including the United States Treasury think the IMF is unnecessarily pessimistic.

A succession of observers have said the financial crisis is the worst since the great depression of the 1930s, and policy makers gathered in Washington are taking the comparison seriously.

Note that it is the financial crisis that is being compared with the 1930s.

Nobody here is suggesting that the wider economic consequences will be anything like that bad.

Indeed, the recessions in the mid-1970s and early 1980s were worse than most people expect to experience now, even if things deteriorate further.

Pressure on banks

So it is a case of all hands to the financial pumps - the pressure on the banks and others has been turned up.

G7 and IMF meetings have called on them to come clean quickly and fully on the extent of the losses they have made or could make on financial assets that are backed by dubious loans.

The banks are also being pressed to raise extra capital to plug any holes in their finances that those losses might open up.

Why press them? Because shareholders tend not to like it – they either have to come up with extra cash or find their existing stakes diluted.

And there is also a call for more effective financial supervision, in line with the recommendations of an international task force that reported to the G7.

It is technical stuff, but it does at least attempt to address many of the problems that have been exposed by the last nine months of turbulence.

Dodgy assets

There is also a debate about more unusual ideas. Perhaps governments or central banks should go into the financial markets and buy some of these dodgy assets.

It is not being ruled out, although they do not seem ready for it yet - if it comes to that it will stick in the throats of many people.

Some already feel that way about the extra loans given by central banks to the commercial and investment banks.

It is an understandable reaction - they fouled up and are being rescued.

Activists outside the IMF Spring Meeting
Some people oppose the use of IMF loans

But one big lesson of the great depression in the United States was the importance of avoiding widespread banking collapses.

It is not just another business. Bank failures helped turn a recession into something much worse.

Food prices

And from the world of high finance to the bread and butter issue of, well, bread and butter, or at least the price of it.

Developing countries have not been hit hard by the financial crisis, although it could get worse.

Food prices are another matter. Some countries have had riots. All have to worry about the effects on people with low incomes. They spend a larger share of their income on food, so the effects are acute.

The World Bank estimates that the doubling of wheat prices in the last year could erase the gains in reducing poverty that Yemen made between 1998 and 2005.

So the developing countries represented at these meetings are raising their concerns forcefully . They clearly had a sympathetic hearing from the IMF’s chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

He said that if food prices go on rising, hundreds of thousands of people will be starving and children will suffer from malnutrition.

It could lead to conflict, and undermine the legitimacy of governments.

It is strong language and the IMF might be able to provide some practical help too.

It has a lending facility that could probably be used to help countries adapt to higher food prices.

But it cannot fix the underlying fact that food is expensive. . . . .read

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Good old Bob determined to stay?


In the Harare township of warrent Park, for the first time that anyone can remember, political graffiti has begun to appear on clapperboard walls and the backs of tin sheds. Alongside election posters for Robert Mugabe, unseen hands scrawl messages to the President. "Chinja Maitiro" reads one: "Change Your Way." Another declares: "Zuakwana," meaning "Enough."

Opposition want to take matter to court - Zimbabweans have no faith in
Mugabe's government is widely accused in the West of stealing previous presidential and parliamentary elections, and his removal is seen by Washington and London as necessary to rebuilding Zimbabwe's shattered economy.

"We want an urgent release of the results, within four hours of the court order," he said. "We're fighting the anxiety, disappointment, speculation and rumors as a result of this delay."

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe's opposition party asked the United Nations Saturday to intervene in the country's presidential runoff campaign over fears that longtime ruler Robert Mugabe may stage a violent crackdown to stay in power.

Not much have been highlighted about Zimbabwe thus far

What happened on my Birthday!

1 Malaysian opposition - putting their act together

Quote :
April 1st, 2008 - Limkitsiang

Leaders of DAP, PKR and PAS met in Petaling Jaya today and took the logical next step of the March 8 political tsunami – proposing the establishment of a new front of the three political parties to be tentatively known as PAKATAN RAKYAT. Unquote.

To remind you of the gist Declaration Rakyat organised Barisan Rakyat, click to see the video.

2 Is Robert Mugabe leaving? - Peace and prosperity coming to Zimbabwe

The man who rule Zimbabwe for One and a half term longer ( in Malaysian context ) than the former Malaysian Prime Minister, may take an exit due to a disastrous election performance. His is the well known freedom fighter, Robert Mugabe , and was popular too, not just in Zimbabwe but the whole African continent. Zimbabweans went to the polls with Mugabe already 28 years in power, at 84 seeking another term, on last 29th March 2008. If this were to happen in Malaysia, there may be some senior ministers who would, believe it or not, will asked Mugabe to stay on, for quiting now will bring instability to the country and discourages foreign investors from investing in the country.

looked at the political situation in Zimbabwe,

Looking at the issues, it's like the worse case scenario for Malaysia. The mode of campaigning is the same and the opposition main concerned is for a free and fair election. We Malaysians are counting on the politicians to clean our electoral roll and appoint a good, reliable and neutral Election Commission before the next election. Non involvement of security forces and other state apparatus in the process. What is worrying, both locally and internationally, is the delay in the announcements in the Senate and Assembly results. Why the result for the Presidency is still pending.

A boosts for Zimbabwe opposition support - 31 Mar 08

With Mugabe's party losing the Parliament to MDC Morgan Tsvangirai, many viewed that something is cooking and Mugabe may leave his country and a talk was brokered by the South African President, Thabo Mbeki. One of the conditions is immunity from persecution for Mugabe. The Presidential poll results have yet to be announced. However situations takes a new twist when there was an announcement that Robert Mugabe is set to for a second round of voting and beginning to unleashed his vile methods once again. We earnestly hope the Zimbabweans will not be intimidated and just put Robert Mugade out of the system, put him in your history books, vote for the MDC Candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai. ZANU-FP had decided to support Mugabe for the second round election, their war veteran who fought against white rule had began marching into the cities probably as a show of force to create intimidation and awe. As history tells us, Mugabe "green boys" will be included and heavily coupled with all other dirty tricks in order to secure a win.

3 Al Sadr and his Jaish al-Mahdi did it again! They WON!!

Mehdi Army members escort
shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr
during his visit to the holy city
of Najaf, Iraq, Feb. 27, 2006.

Ali Abu Shish / Reuters

In 2004, Sadr and his Jaish al-Mahdi fought the
US invaders and managed by the grace and the will of Allah, to stand firm on their ground driving the US forces out of their territory.

On 25 March the Nouri al-Maliki's forces sent his strong force into Basra to take on Sadr and Jaish al-Mahdi (Mahdi's army) and two other smaller militias. This happened after Dick Cheney's visit to Iraq. The assault was supported by the US ground forces, British artillery, US and British air Support. Despite the overwhelming odds, Al-Sadr, to the surprised of the US, stood firm on his turf while his al-Mahdi army militia took on the invaders. Within the next two days Nouri's soldiers were handing over their weapons and surrendering to the al-Mahdi's Forces. To salt to the wound, Mahdi's Army succeeded in kidnapping Nouri's government spokesmen for security, Tahsin alShekhli after overcoming and killing Tahsin's bodyguards.

The Americans top brass including The Republican President Candidate (McCain) disowned the operation as whole, it was Nouri al-Maliki's own misadventure's. By the first of April the Al- Mahdi's Army were off the streets in Basra and Bagdad without any displayed of arms under the instructions of Al-Sadr. The ceased fire agreement was in favour of Al-Sadr Mahdi Army, the terms were no further harassment of his supporters, to release Sadr supporters under detention and to allow al-Mahdi Army to keep their arms, for their arms are arms of resistance against forces of occupation.

Probably under the instigation of the Americans, for the embarrassment they had to shoulder The American made Nouri al-Maliki had to refuse to sign the peace deal and does not rule out any further military actions Sadr, meanwhile, called for a massive nationwide protest on April 9, the day of the fifth anniversary of the fall of Saddam's regime. Since then Sadr and his followers have been demanding an end to what they call a tyrant occupation by US-led forces in Iraq.

The Riz Khan Show asks if Iraq is on the verge of a new civil war. Someone should also asked whether this is another Mr Bush test before he takes on Iran.

4 Two battle at one go for Hezbollah

If electing a President of Lebanon is still as illusive as how a candidate Suleiman, the present army chief put it, "This leaves us with a mountain of contradictory conditions that must be met if a new president is to be elected. If one side nominates me the other side protests. If one country supports my candidacy another opposes it," What is obvious is the involvement of foreign hands including Israel via America. If Lebanon cannot just ignore everybody or at least being Arabs take only opinion of the Arabs. While this impasse is on it seems that the arms are coming into Lebanon to various parties, including their Premier Sinora, it is anybody's guess that someone likes another civil war to break out in Lebanon.

On the other hand there are signs of a comprehensive war preparations an the likeliness of an other Israeli attack on Lebanon. Hezbollah preparation, Hezbollah now has to take caution and prepare for a war on two fronts simultaneously.

5 Will America attack Iran this April or anytime in near future before Bush and Cheney leave Their offices?

On many occasions words are spun on the internet that America is planning for a war with Iran, doing it for Israel's security and existence. The latest spun is that it is going to be in this month or a very near future , at the tail end of the Bush-Cheney administration.

The reasons for this believe is the recent Bush and Cheney visit to the Middle East and have their allies ready with necessary maneuvering , practices and precautions. There were also troops movements towards the Iranian border, a nuclear submarine crossing the Suez Canal to the Persian Gulf to join other war ships already there and the resignation of Admiral William Fallon. Iran's Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said,"If the world needs an anti-missile shield, it must be used to counter missiles and the nuclear menace coming from the U.S. and Israel, which directly or indirectly threaten different countries with aggression and war."

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fighting an imposed war on two fronts

Hizbullah prepares for war on two fronts when Israel next invades Lebanon

By Nasr Salem

There is open talk of impending war in Lebanon these days. Lebanese of many factions are speculating about potential scenarios for another war being waged on Hizbullah by Israel. These discussions concentrate on the question of when, rather than whether, such a war will erupt. However, despite the diversity of visions, they all agree about a large-scale war that will be more intense and destructive than the 34-day war against Hizbullah in summer 2006 that followed Hizbullah's operation on July 12, 2006, in which two Israeli soldiers were captured and three killed. Whenever it comes, this large-scale conflict will probably dwarf the previous war; it could well inflame the entire Middle East.

From Israel's standpoint, the rationale for such a war derives from the ignominious setbacks its army suffered during its confrontation with Hizbullah in southern Lebanon in 2006. Hizbullah shattered Israel's military thinking, which was based on employing a combination of state-of-the-art air-power, hi-technology weapons-systems and lightning attacks to overrun enemy posts or occupy vast swathes of enemy territory (or both). Hizbullah's tactical preparedness enabled it to use guided anti-tank missiles to destroy advancing Israeli tanks and to rain short- and intermediate-range missiles on Israeli targets throughout the war, despite the Israeli air force's apparently absolute dominance of the skies. Israel's much-vaunted Arrow missile program proved useless against these incoming low-flying missiles. Hizbullah fired a total of approximately 4,000 rockets at Israel during the 34-day war. It also destroyed at least one Israeli naval vessel, the INS Hanit, using an Iranian-made C-802 Noor guided missile. Another war, therefore, will seek not only to redeem the image and restore the diminished prestige of Israel's army, but also to eliminate the threat posed by Hizbullah, which not only managed to survive repeated Israeli aggression but has also managed since then to replenish its stores of arms and munitions.

The main lesson Israel derived from that war is that heavy dependence on air power and artillery bombardment cannot root out Hizbullah. Only a major conventional ground offensive might eliminate Hizbullah. So the war Israel is preparing to launch is likely to involve columns of tanks advancing northwards through the Beqa'a plateau along the Syrian border in eastern Lebanon. This will enable the invading troops to avoid having to make their way through the areas patrolled by the Lebanese army and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) south of the Litani River in accordance with Security Council resolution 1701, which was the diplomatic means of ending the war of July-August 2006. Such a ground offensive, in which two or three reinforced armoured infantry divisions – between 30,000 and 45,000 troops – would take part, will certainly be accompanied by an intense campaign of airstrikes targeting Hizbullah positions and civilian areas where the party maintains wide popular support, such as the southern suburbs of Beirut, aiming to cause massive economic and human dislocations. Israeli planners could choose targets to suit various options ranging from limited air-strikes to a more comprehensive set of strikes against a wide array of targets. Supporting squads of special forces belonging to Israel's Sayaret or special ops, amphibious contingents, and specialised engineering units would try to infiltrate Hizbullah areas to destroy underground systems of tunnels and bunkers, missile and artillery positions, weapons-depots and vital installations.

With diplomatic support from the US, Britain and France, the UN Security Council would pass a resolution to expand UNIFIL's mandate to deploy forces along the Syrian-Lebanese border. The ultimate objective would be to cut off the lifeline supplying arms and ammunition to Hizbullah through Syria. UNIFIL, which is made up largely of troops belonging to NATO countries, is likely to be responsive to the interests of the US and its strategic Middle East ally, Israel, and will by no means be neutral with respect to Syria and Hizbullah.

The fighting will certainly be fierce. Unlike the regular Arab armies the Israeli army is used to routing in the battlefield, Hizbullah is a formidable adversary with an impressive record of military achievements. Over the past quarter of a century, Israel's experience of engaging Hizbullah fighters has been chastening and humbling, to say the least. Since the guns fell silent in August 2006, Hizbullah has been busy rehabilitating its armed wing and preparing for the next war. It has reportedly managed to replenish its stores with stockpiles of advanced Russian-made anti-tank missiles and short-, intermediate- and long-range surface-to-surface missiles that are able to deliver larger payloads to targets deep inside Israel's borders. Thousands of fighters and new recruits have undergone intensive training as well.

Hizbullah's preparations are for a two-war scenario, in which it will find itself fighting, at the same time, both Israeli forces and Lebanese militias belonging to political factions affiliated with the pro-western government of Lebanese prime minister Fouad al-Siniora. The scenario posits that the Israeli assault will be coordinated with Lebanese pro-government militias that will move to control certain areas in Mount Liban and northern Lebanon, thus denying Hizbullah freedom of movement throughout the country and providing safe corridors and bridgeheads for invading Israeli troops. Over the past year, there has been a heated drive by both loyalist and opposition factions to arm themselves and train fighters in preparation for an impending internal war. Should such a scenario materialise, Hizbullah will concentrate on fighting the invading Israeli troops, whereas its allies in the Lebanese opposition will engage and attempt to crush the threat posed by pro-government militias.

An Israeli push into the Beqa'a valley will almost certainly provoke Syria to respond, thus igniting a major regional war. The Syrians have long been aware of the limitations of their army, with its ageing Soviet-era tankforce and old MIG and Sukhoi fighter jets, as well as of Israel's vulnerability to surface-to-surface missiles. That has led them since the 1990s to incorporate a North Korean element into their military thinking. This element is based on the utility of missile stockpiles as both a deterrent and an essential component of defence strategy. Syria has also learnt the lessons of the Hizbullah-led resistance in Lebanon and the Iraqi insurgency. Special units have been trained in the tactics of guerrilla warfare. These units can be mobilised if necessary to engage Israeli military formations with frontal hit-and-run attacks, to disrupt their supply lines and to harass their forces' positions behind the frontline and the theatre of operations.

Further complicating this scenario are indications that Israel is preparing for simultaneous wars against Syria and Iran. Israel might use Syria's entry into the war as a pretext to launch air-strikes against Iran's military, nuclear and other strategic installations, thus setting off retaliatory ballistic missile strikes against Israel and US military installations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf region. Without such Israeli bombardment against the Islamic Republic, Iranian troops might still be sent to fight alongside Syrian troops. Syria and Iran have signed a mutual defence agreement which commits the Islamic Republic to come to Syria's aid if it is subjected to military aggression.

This conflagration might eventually develop into a confrontation involving US troops. It is difficult to imagine an attack against Iran that does not have a direct effect on the anti-US resistance in Iraq. Iran could use its ties to some groups inside Iraq to initiate attacks directed against US troops stationed in the country. There is also the possibility that Iranian troops might cross the Iraq-Iran border and engage US troops inside Iraq. Were this to happen, the entire Middle East could be transformed into one enormous war zone.

None of all these preparations and planning means that such a broad Middle East war is inevitable. The war scenario, especially in its extreme version, might not come to pass. But in the light of the escalating tensions engulfing the region, it is certainly conceivable that US and Israeli military plans for all-out war on Hizbullah, Iran and Syria have reached an advanced stage of readiness. However, several factors work against the likelihood of direct US involvement in such a war. For one thing, the US is not in a position to fight another major war. US forces and military capabilities are already overstretched in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another war in the Middle East would drive up the already high price of crude oil and the soaring American deficits (the costs of Washington's misadventures in both Iraq and Afghanistan are estimated to have reached a staggering $3,000 billion so far), with highly damaging consequences for the US economy. As for Israel, it is unlikely to win quickly, if at all, in another war against Hizbullah, whether it involved Syria and Iran or not, even if it marshals all the ground, sea and air components of its military juggernaut. A long-drawn-out war would limit Israel's ability to avoid casualties on a scale that would sap domestic support for the war. It is true that such limitations and uncertainties render any new Israeli military misadventure a highly perilous exercise for Israeli leaders and their blind supporters in the US government. But with such a crazed, arrogant, warmongering clique of decision-makers in Washington and Tel Aviv, who refuse to learn from history or their own experiences, it is always prudent to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

To err on the side of caution is the best form of far-sighted wisdom.

coutesy : muslimedia London / Toronto

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