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Monday, June 01, 2009

Index on War in Pakistan, May 2009

by Sarah Meyer
Index Research

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1. Preface: Themes in Three Wars
2. Gas in Pakistan
3. Strategic Imperatives
4. Demonising the Taliban
5. Nuclear Issues
6. The War
7. Drones
8. Pakistan's Supply Depots for Afghanistan
9. Blame and Counterblame
10. Backlash to War & Censorship
11. Refugees
12. Aid to Pakistan
13. References

1. Preface: Themes in Three Wars

The threads running through Bush/Obama's three wars have the same themes.

TERRORISTS (al Qaida / Taliban (etc.): "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." George W. Bush, address to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001.

Afghanistan : America went to war in Afghanistan, following 9/11, with the excuse to ‘get’ the (now dead?) Osama bin Laden.

Iraq. The Bush administration took the ‘opportunity’ to torture victims for an admission that Saddam Hussein was connected to Al Qaida.


" We have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan." Barack Obama. Obama has now taken on the Bush administration’s mantle, continuing the war in Pakistan. America’s 3rd war in Pakistan was not mentioned in Obama’s recent "two war" address to the National Archives; nor is the 3rd war mentioned by US spokespeople. As if this war doesn’t exist.

Iran : It would be worth exploring the funding/hiring source for Jundallah, recently accused of bombing a mosque in Iran and an attack [regime change?] on Iran’s president [see below].


Afghanistan : Bush said threats by Osama bin Laden to use weapons of mass destruction must be taken seriously.

Iraq : General Colin Powell , Address to the United Nations Security Council; “The” Dossier: Iraq close to building nuclear weapons (24.10.02. Guardian)

Iraq’s nuclear weapons did not exist.

Pakistan: Pakistan has 25-30 nuclear weapons . The US, to manufacture consent for its 3rd war, started agitating about Pakistan’s nuclear weapons on 14 May 2009, combining this threat with that of the Taliban.

? War 4 in Iran : Both Bush and Obama have been manufacturing consent for war on Iran, citing nuclear weapons.

OIL / GAS. In ALL these US wars, Bush-Obama have failed to mention the US agenda of “special interests”: OIL, GAS and pipelines.

Afghanistan : US planned war in Afghanistan long before September 11 (20.11.01. WSWS)

Iraq: Iraq Oil: The Vultures are Waiting (09.10.07, Index Research - updated)

Pakistan : (see section 2, below)

Iran : Iran's Oil reserves fourth largest in the world following the end of hostilities in 1989. (Global security)

DIVIDE AND RULE: ‘Balkanisation‘ has taken place in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Pakistan . Walls and barbed wire, reminiscent of Communist Russia, are now worldwide symbols of “democracy and freedom.” See Divide and Rule (Wikipedia) here .

FEAR MONGERING: The above factors lead the US government to psychological “Fear mongering” the public into accepting America’s policy directions. Fear mongering was a strategy at which ex-VP Cheney excelled. The Obama administration has continued fear mongering. "National Security" is usually invoked.

The above policies have resulted in:


Afghanistan : 2006: 2.1 million (UNHCR);
1.7 million
registered Afghans still remain in Pakistan March 2009,

Iraq : 2 Million Displaced Iraqis inside of Iraq ; 3 Million Iraqis forced to leave the country. (26.03.09. BRussels Tribunal, Let the Numbers Speak)

Pakistan : 3.4 million refugees (30.05.09. Dawn)


Afghanistan: Karzai has always been, and is still, complaining about Afghan civilians murdered by American airstrikes, including the most recent in Farah Province , where 140 were killed, including 93 children. No records have been kept of the total number of dead civilians.

Iraq : Over One Million Iraqi Deaths Caused by US Occupation

We don’t do body counts.” US General Tommy Franks .

Pakistan : Censorship. No count made.


US must do more to prevent war crimes: UN rapporteur (29.05.09. JURIST)

NO CLEAR EXIT STRATEGY: In Iraq there is a lack of a clear exit strategy. There are also no U.S. exit strategies for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

2. Gas in Pakistan

"No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic." A. J. P. Taylor.

Nothing of significance takes place in Eurasia without an energy angle
Pepe Escobar , 'Welcome to Pipelineistan'.

Bye Bye, Eurasian Pipelines?
12.05.09. Ariel Cohen, NY Times Op Ed. the United States and Europe should not lose sight of the strategic importance of Eurasian pipelines. At stake is access to an energy treasure-trove worth up to $4 trillion, and giant fields elsewhere are approaching exhaustion. And the pipelines are a critical source of revenue for the economic development of newly independent states in Central Asia and the Caucasus.


Pipeline opens new front in Afghan war
10.06.08. Shawn McCarthy, Globe and Mail. Afghanistan and three of its neighbouring countries have agreed to build a $7.6-billion (U.S.) pipeline that would deliver natural gas from Turkmenistan to energy-starved Pakistan and India – a project running right through the volatile Kandahar province. … In a report to be released Thursday, energy economist John Foster says the pipeline is part of a wider struggle by the United States to counter the influence of Russia and Iran over energy trade in the region.

The so-called Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline has strong support from Washington because the U.S. government is eager to block a competing pipeline that would bring gas to Pakistan and India from Iran. (see photo, below).

Turkmenistan Gas Pipeline Replacing Iran Pipeline
11.10.08. US kowioniran. TAPI will replace Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) proposed pipeline. India boycotted a critical meeting in Tehran earlier this month to sign the IPI agreement. India’s decision to choose TAPI over IPI will be a major defeat for the Iranians. (see IPI photo below)

Govt to reactivate TAPI gas pipeline project
14.05.09. daily The government has decided to reactivate the multi-billion-dollar Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, and is considering taking 25 percent of the total amount from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for this purpose. / According to a senior official of the Ministry of Petroleum, a tripartite agreement was signed by Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan in December 2002 for laying hundreds of kilometres of gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan.

Courting Hekmatyar
20.05.09. Gary Leupp, Counterpunch. … … / The point is, very powerful forces in the U.S. see the [TAPI] gas pipeline as the whole purpose for being in Afghanistan. They may not care who’s in charge of Afghanistan, what sort of law they implement or what costume they make women wear. If their goal can be met without an endless counter-insurgency war taking heavier tolls by the year, so much the better.


Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon, the Bush administration used its “for us or against us” doctrine ro force dictatorships in Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to surrender sovereignty and to permit construction of what the Pentagon hoped would become permanent U.S. military bases. … These were designed not only to keep the (repressive) peace within the region, but to augment the encirclement of both China and Iran.” The Bases of Empire, (Joseph Gerson (chapter 1, p. 62), edited by Catherine Lutz, Pluto Press, December 2008.

Balochistan APC
23.05.09. Dawn Editorial. Promises abound when it comes to addressing the problems faced by Balochistan. / … Balochistan is poor when it should be rich. It has a relatively small population and vast reserves of fossil fuels and precious metals such as gold and copper. The province has been exploited ruthlessly, if not pillaged, by the centre. It has been on the receiving end of brutal military crackdowns, torture and forced ‘disappearances.’

Balochistan is the ultimate prize
09.05.09. Pepe Escobar, Asia Times. Part 2 of Rebranding the Long War. It's a classic case of calm before the storm. The AfPak chapter of Obama's brand new OCO ("Overseas Contingency Operations"), formerly GWOT ("global war on terror") does not imply only a surge in the Pashtun Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). A surge in Balochistan as well may be virtually inevitable. / An immense desert comprising almost 48% of Pakistan's area, rich in uranium and copper, potentially very rich in oil. … / Washington's dream scenario is Gwadar as the new Dubai - while China would need Gwadar as a port and also as a base for pumping gas via a long pipeline to China. … / To top it all, there's the New Great Game in Eurasia fact that Pakistan is a key pivot to both NATO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), of which Pakistan is an observer. So whoever "wins" Balochistan incorporates Pakistan as a key transit corridor to either Iranian gas from the monster South Pars field or a great deal of the Caspian wealth of "gas republic" Turkmenistan. … /

And it's no secret to anyone in the region that since 9/11 the US virtually controls the Baloch air base [see photo above] in Dalbandin and Panjgur.

How crucial Balochistan is to Washington can be assessed by the study "Baloch Nationalism and the Politics of Energy Resources: the Changing Context of Separatism in Pakistan" by Robert Wirsing of the US Army think-tank Strategic Studies Institute. Predictably, it all revolves around Pipelineistan.

Balochistan and the centre
18.05.09. Dawn Editorial. The past week has seen at least four statements by senior politicians regarding the situation that has been festering in Balochistan for decades.

French tourist kidnapped in Pakistan
23.05.09. AP. A Pakistani police official told The Associated Press the French tourist was taken at gunpoint from a village in the southern Baluchistan province.


Iran, Pakistan explore ways to boost economic ties
14.05.09. Tehran Times. Pakistan views Iran’s energy as a source for its economic development. Currently the most important project for the extension of Iran-Pakistan economic ties is the completion of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, known as the IPI gas pipeline project.

conflicting conference stories

Pakistan's Zardari Cancels Trip To Iran
15.05.09. CBS. [ questionable reasons smelling of PR given]

Tehran, Islamabad to finalize Peace Pipeline deal next week
18.05.09. Tehran times. The Mehr News Agency quoted Hojjatollah Ghanimifard as saying that a Pakistani delegation headed by Pakistani Federal Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Asim Hussain is to arrive in Tehran on May 23 to finalize the Peace Pipeline deal based on the new price formula suggested by Iran and approved by Pakistan’s cabinet on April 10. / … The Iran–Pakistan–India gas pipeline, also known as the IPI pipeline or the Peace Pipeline, is a proposed 2,775-kilometer pipeline to deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and India. … The negotiations over the project were initiated in 1994 but there are still several obstacles to closing the three-way deal due to tension between India and Pakistan

Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan summit postponed
18.05.09. AFP. The summit, scheduled for Tuesday, was put off due to the busy programme of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi told reporters. He did not give any new date for the summit, but said it will be fixed after "co-ordination" with the offices of the two other presidents [ & the US govn ].

Iran summit with Zardari and Karzai on Sunday
22.05.09. Dawn. A delayed summit hosted by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts will now go ahead in Tehran on Sunday, diplomatic sources said. / … Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi said that the summit would be held in Tehran at ‘the beginning of the coming week,’ without specifying the day. Saturday is the beginning of the week in Iran.

Pak delegation leaves for Iran to discuss gas pipeline project
22.05.09. Daily Times, pk. The delegation consists of Sabri, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited Managing Director Rashid Lone, Inter-State Gas Company Managing Director Hassan Nawab and other senior officials of the ministry. / Sabri said the Petroleum Ministry had already gotten approval of the federal cabinet to negotiate with Iranian authorities the price of gas to be imported through the gas line.

Gas Supply Agreement

'Pak, Iran will sign gas supply agreement next month' (18.05.09.

Crucial talks in Tehran tomorrow; Pakistan, Iran may ink gas price deal
21.05.09. Shah Hasan, Pak Observer. “Both sides, according to the sources, are hopeful to seal the gas price deal this time as federal cabinet of Pakistan has already given the mandate to Mi istry of petroleum and Natural Resources to sign the much awaited deal even at 80 percent of the crude oil price as desired by the Iranian authorities,” a senior official at Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources told Pakistan Observer.

India’s IPI participation, in greater detail:

India’s IPI participation, in greater detail: Zardari to attend Iran-hosted summit
20.05.09. press The visit will take place on May 24, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told IRNA Tuesday. / He added that Zardari would also hold talks with senior Iranian officials on ways to improve relations and economic cooperation, border security and a gas pipeline agreement.

UPDATE 1-India can still join Iran-Pakistan gas deal – Iran (25.05.09, Reuters)

more on India (27.05.09):

While India maintains that only issues over the IPI pipeline project are pricing and its commercial viability, Pakistan accuses India of adopting delaying tactics in signing a gas sales purchase agreement involving Iran, Pakistan and India. Iran has also got tired of waiting for New Delhi to come to terms on the proposed IPI project and last year it warned that China was eager to step in on the deal in India's place.

Local oil cos caught in US-Iran tug-of-war
28.05.09. economic times.India times. Indian energy firms are finding themselves at the receiving end of the US government’s efforts to isolate Iran, with the US Senate
recently passing a Bill advocating action against firms that have commercial ties with Iran.

Pakistan, Iran finally sign gas pipeline accord
24.05.09. Dawn. After fourteen years of delayed negotiations over the Iran–Pakistan–India (IPI) gas pipeline project, Pakistan and Iran have finally signed the initial agreement in Tehran on Sunday. / … ‘The next phase was to sign the gas sales purchase agreement with Iran,’ member of the delegation told Dawn. / ‘Pakistan has already appointed a German designer is ‘ILF’ for the pipeline,’ petroleum ministry sources said, adding that the pipeline would enter Pakistan from its border near Gwader area to Nawabshah, which is the hub of gas pipelines in the country. / The IPI project was conceived in 1995 and after almost 13 years India finally decided to quit the project in 2008 despite a severe energy crises in that country. Pakistan is also facing severe criticism from the US over any kind of economic deal with Iran.

Trade and transit of goods get special attention : Pakistan, Iran sign ‘peace pipeline’ declaration
25.05.09. Daily Times, pk. Some 1,100 of the 2,100 kilometre pipeline would be laid in Iran’s territory and 1,000 kilometres in Pakistan. / Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit said Iran would supply 23 million cubic metre gas per day for 25 years under the agreement, adding the agreement could be extended for an additional five years.

Final deal on gas pipeline in three weeks: Iran (26.05.09. Dawn)

Pakistan, Iran sign gas pipeline deal
27.05.09. Syed Fazl-e-Haider, Asia Times. Officials from Pakistan on Sunday finally signed a gas pipeline accord with Iran, without India's participation, after 14 years of on-off negotiations over what was initially framed as the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project.

Pipelineistan goes Iran-Pak
29.05.09. Pepe Escobar, Asia Times. The earth has been shaking for a few days now all across Pipelineistan - with massive repercussions for all the big players in the New Great Game in Eurasia. United States President Barack Obama's AfPak strategists didn't even see it coming. / A silent, reptilian war had been going on for years between the US-favored Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline and its rival, the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline, also known as the "peace pipeline". This past weekend, a winner emerged. And it's none of the above: instead, it's the 2,100-kilometer, US$7.5 billion IP (the Iran-Pakistan pipeline), with no India attached.

Gazprom eyes role in Iran-Pakistan pipeline
27.05.09. AP. "We are ready to join the project as soon as we receive an offer," Russia's deputy energy minister Anatoly Yankovsky told the [Kommersant] daily.

Other projects in Pakistan

UAE companies eye projects in Pakistan
16.05.09. the he Abu Dhabi Group may invest up to US$600 million (Dh2.2 billion) in a power plant project in Pakistan and is considering further investments in the energy sector.

Anne Patterson: ‘ambassador to Pakistan’s economy’ (19.05.09. Daily Times. - ‘democracy’s' busy bee -)

ANALYSIS: The transit trade controversy
20.05.09. Ijaz Hussain, Daily times pk. The Memorandum of Understanding on transit trade that the Gilani government recently signed with the Afghan government in Washington is proving to be a hot potato. [discussion of controversy of MoU agreement]

International bids invited for Bhasha dam
22.05.09. Dawn. Talking to newsmen, Farhatulah Babar said the offer contained an incentive clause for early completion of the project. / Three Chinese companies had already expressed interest in the project. He said the feasibility study had been offered to Chinese companies.

Iran to provide Gwadar Port 100MW free of cost
22.05.09. Bakhtawar Mian, Dawn. Iran has allocated a separate budget for supplying 100 megawatt electricity free of cost to Gwadar Port in Pakistan in order to ease the growing power crisis there. / The Minister said that Pakistan and Iran shared a long history of friendly relations and underscored the need to enhance mutual cooperation in various sectors of economy. He said that Pakistan was working to develop new communication links with Iran in order to increase its share of trade with the latter. / He informed the Ambassador that a new road connection with Iran through Makran Coastal Highway will be opened soon which he hoped will go a long way in bringing the people of the two countries closer together.

China pipeline?

China and Pakistan are already working on a proposal for laying a trans-Himalayan pipeline to carry Middle Eastern crude oil to western China. Pakistan provides China the shortest possible route to import oil from the Gulf countries. Even so, passage over the Himalayas would be an expensive and challenging engineering feat, and once the oil reached China it would have to be shipped thousands of kilometers further east to coastal areas, where most energy demand is centered. / The pipeline, which would run from the southern Pakistan port of Gwadar and follow the Karakoram highway, would be partly financed by Beijing. The Chinese are also building a refinery at Gwadar. Imports using the pipeline would allow Beijing to reduce the portion of its oil shipped through the narrow and unsafe Strait of Malacca, which at present carries up to 80% of its oil imports. Islamabad also plans to extend a railway track to China to connect it to Gwadar.

History in Afghanistan

US planned war in Afghanistan long before September 11
20.11.01. Patrick Martin, WSWS. The major problem in exploiting the energy riches of Central Asia is how to get the oil and gas from the landlocked region to the world market. US officials have opposed using either the Russian pipeline system or the easiest available land route, across Iran to the Persian Gulf. Instead, over the past decade, US oil companies and government officials have explored a series of alternative pipeline routes—west through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to the Mediterranean; east through Kazakhstan and China to the Pacific; and, most relevant to the current crisis, south from Turkmenistan across western Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Indian Ocean. … / With the installation of George Bush in the White House, the focus of American policy in Afghanistan shifted from a limited incursion to kill or capture bin Laden to preparing a more robust military intervention directed at the Taliban regime as a whole.

Majors look into first Afghan oil, gas bidding round
17.05.09. alibaba. ….. / Last April Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India signed an agreement for a $7.6 billion pipeline to bring natural gas south from the Caspian to the Arabian Sea.

"Seven years ago, Iran co-operated with the US in its war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. That was before being labelled by the Bush administration as part of a so-called "axis of evil." Since then, the security situation in Afghanistan has only deteriorated. Washington has signaled it will have to engage Tehran to stabilise a country that some observers say has become a battleground for the US - Iran rivalry. From Kabul, Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports." VIDEO: Iran-US role in Afghanistan - 24 May 09

3. Strategic Imperatives

Obama does his Bush impression
08.05.09, Pepe Escobar, Asia Times, Part 1 of Rebranding the Long War. In Obama's own words, the "lasting commitment" is above all to "defeat al-Qaeda". [also about Obama’s opium war in Afghanistan]

In Pakistan, “The final song, of course, remains the same: the Pentagon running the show, very tight with the Pakistani army.” .. "We want to respect their sovereignty, but we also recognize that we have huge strategic interests, huge national security interests in making sure that Pakistan is stable and that you don't end up having a nuclear-armed militant state." … / Pakistani "sovereignty" is a joke; Pakistan is now openly being run from Washington. … In this complex neo-colonial scenario Pakistan's "Talibanization" - the current craze in Washington - looks and feels more like a diversionary scare tactic.

Thoughts On The War Between The USA And Pakistan
08.05.09. Winter Patriot, uruknet. Signs and omens, suddenly everywhere, tell us war between the USA and Pakistan is imminent... The signs are misleading. War between the US and Pakistan is not imminent. It's ongoing. So far the US has made more than 60 airstrikes against Pakistan using unmanned aircraft, and one commando raid using ground troops and attack helicopters. These attacks have killed more than 700 people, and even the most "optimistic" government reports count only 14 al Qaeda leaders among the dead...

Obama’s Middle East Imperialism
11.05.09. Shamus Cooke, uruknet. The velvet gloves are off and the reality of Obama’s Middle East plans are being revealed: a bare-fisted pummeling of Afghanistan and Pakistan — with Iraq’s fate yet to be determined. The media have been preparing this for months, with incessant talk about the alleged "troop drawdown" in Iraq, the "surge" in Afghanistan and the "immediate threat" that supposedly is represented by Pakistan. It’s now crystal clear that zero "change" will be forthcoming when it comes to U.S. foreign policy, minus a strategic shifting of troops. This fact was highlighted recently when Obama asked for an additional $83.4 billion in "emergency spending" to fight the Iraq/Afghan/Pakistan wars. It must be noted that so-called "emergency funds" were precisely the avenue Bush chose to fight his wars, enabling him to skirt the already-gigantic military budget...

The battle for the soul of Pakistan
12.05.09. Riz Khan, al jazeera. When Pakistan was founded in 1947, it was dubbed "the Islamic state experiment".

VIDEO: Obama's new 'AFPAK' mission

Using Al-Qaeda Myth From Bush to Obama: An Excuse for Permanent War
13.05.09. President Barack Obama said in several speeches that the US war in Afghanistan and Pakistan aims at defeating Al-Qaeda. / The same rhetoric was used by the Bush administration to justify the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq, its global war on Muslim activists dubbed "war on terror," and tightening its grip on power in the United States in favor of the beneficiaries of the military-industrial-Zionist complex.

"We Are Helping The Taliban"
13.05.09. Ron Paul. Video and Transcript. Very little has changed, except perhaps rhetoric, but what does that matter when the bombing missions are only getting deadlier? Rather than drawing down violent military interventions into the affairs of other countries, the new administration is escalating the foreign policy of the previous administration.

In Pakistan that entails the continuation and even escalation of military interventionism just across the border with Afghanistan. The targets are believed to be enclaves of Taliban militants, however, many innocent civilians have been caught in the deadly crossfire, severely damaging our image in the region. Many ordinary Afghanis and Pakistanis that never had cause to take up arms against us are being provided with motivation as family and friends are killed and maimed by our clumsy and indiscriminate bombs. Is it worth it for us to be involved in this way at such a high cost of blood, treasure and goodwill? Is there anything to be gained by this policy?

We are helping the Taliban and other enemies to actually gain numbers and strength, while driving them down from the mountains in the border regions deeper into Pakistan... / Both the House and Senate have newly introduced bills to triple foreign aid to Pakistan, from $500 million to $1.5 billion, with every indication that the leadership in Pakistan is taking advantage of the situation with the Taliban to milk more aid from the US taxpayer. We are broke. This is money we don’t have, and it is an insult to the American people to run up the national credit card for this type of military adventurism after many Americans thought they were voting for peace.

The bottom line is our involvement in Pakistan’s internal problems is not making us safer.

ANALYSIS - Pakistan's Swat offensive leaves India sceptical
17.05.09. Reuters. Pakistan's military offensive against the Taliban in the Swat valley has done nothing to allay Indian doubts about its willingness to crack down more widely on Islamist militants, analysts say. / That leaves both countries vulnerable to a flare-up of tensions still simmering after last November's attack on Mumbai which could torpedo the U.S. administration's plans for Afghanistan and Pakistan. / It also complicates U.S. efforts to coax Pakistan into moving troops from its eastern border with India to fight the Taliban on its western border with Afghanistan.

‘Manufacturing Consent’, Cheney style, for US Martial Law

Huge New York rehearsal for next terror strike (17.05.09. AFP)

Yet Another Bogus 'Terror' Plot
22.05.09. Robert Dreyfus, The Nation. By the now, it's maddeningly familiar. A scary terrorist plot is announced. Then it's revealed that the suspects are a hapless bunch of ne'er-do-wells or run-of-the-mill thugs without the slightest connection to any terrorists at all, never mind to Al Qaeda. Finally, the last piece of the puzzle: the entire plot is revealed to have been cooked up by a scummy government agent-provocateur.

Obama Can’t Turn the Page on Bush (17.05.09. Frank Rich, Op Ed NY Times)



Holbrooke Is the Right Man to Steer Pakistan and Afghanistan
17.05.09. NY Times. Al Qaeda and the Islamic terrorists are on the march in both countries. Afghanistan has a weak government rife with corruption; Pakistan has a military-intelligence apparatus more focused on India than the much more real threat of terrorism. It’s a country with millions of refugees, and it has nuclear weapons. / That’s just the sort of assignment Richard C. Holbrooke relishes.

Warmongers Have Been Setting the Tone for 10 Years now!
No 9/10 2009. Willy Wimmer, Current Concerns. The appointment of Richard Holbrooke as the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan by President Obama was a clear signal. After experiences with Mr Holbrooke prior to and during the war in Yugoslavia we are justified to say: Wherever Richard Holbrooke is to be found there is war. / [justifications] have one single objective, namely to occupy the public’s attention until the real target set by US American policy has been accomplished. … / .. With his coup à la Holbrooke President Obama has at least decided on the extension of the South Asian war area from Afghanistan to Pakistan.

Obama Sends Envoy to Pakistan Refugee Camps (31.05.09. NY Times)


Cheney's Chief Assassin Is Now Obama's Commander in Afghanistan
18.05.09. James Petras, Axis of Logic / alternet. The deteriorating position of the US is manifest in the tightening circle around all the roads leading in and out of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul as well as the expansion of Taliban control and influence throughout the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Obama’s inability to recruit new NATO reinforcements means that the White House’s only chance to advance its military driven empire is to escalate the number of US troops and to increase the kill ratio among any and all suspected civilians in territories controlled by the Afghan armed resistance. / The White House and the Pentagon claim that the appointment of McChrystal was due to the ‘complexities’ of the situation on the ground and the need for a ‘change in strategy’. ‘Complexity’ is a euphemism for the increased mass opposition to the US, complicating traditional carpet ‘bombing and military sweep’ operations. / Putting McChrystal in charge of the expanded Afghanistan-Pakistan military operations means putting a notorious practitioner of military terrorism – the torture and assassination of opponents to US policy – at the center of US foreign policy. Obama’s quantitative and qualitative expansion of the US war in South Asia means massive numbers of refugees fleeing the destruction of their farms, homes and villages; tens of thousands of civilian deaths, and eradication of entire communities. All of this will be committed by the Obama Administraton in the quest to ‘empty the lake (displace entire populations) to catch the fish (armed insurgents and activists)’. / Obama’s restoration of all of the most notorious Bush Era policies and the appointment of Bush’s most brutal commander is based on his total embrace of the ideology of military-driven empire building. Once one believes (as Obama does) that US power and expansion are based on military conquests and counter-insurgency, all other ideological, diplomatic, moral and economic considerations will be subordinated to militarism. Read more about “The Big Muddy” here .

Cloud of Unknowing: Ignorance and Arrogance in the Af-Pak 'Surge'
17.05.09. Chris Floyd, uruknet. ...This genuine nightmare scenario -- Pakistan's proxy-warring against the Pashtuns on behalf of America's energy-driven dominationist policies -- is growing apace. Pakistani military forces are preparing to follow the American leader in an upcoming attack on the largest town in the Swat Valley, ready to turn Mingora into another Fallujah ... But even in the midst of this burning lake of corpses, the murderous beserkers in the Beltway and the Pentagon have the gold-plated gall to criticize the Pakistanis for their "heavy-handedness" in an operation urged on them by -- the Americans! ...

Losing Pakistan
18.05.09. Sic Semper Tyrannis, uruknet. The tragedy now unfolding in Pakistan is occurring due the pursuit of shortsighted policies by the United States as well as the Pakistan government and military. The US has pressured Pakistan into engaging in brutal military operations in Bajaur and Swat, with no regard for how this would affect its own vital interests in the region. The Pakistani rulers (bedazzled by the glitter of all those promised billions) have meekly complied in waging war on parts of their own people, again with no thought to the likely outcome for them and their country. The main impact of this has been to the civilian population, some million and a half of whom have been displaced (with many killed and maimed, although no figures for these are yet available).

US wronged Pakistan for 30 years, admits Hillary
19.05.09. Anwar Iqbal. Dawn. Hillary Clinton said ‘it is fair to say that our policy towards Pakistan over the last 30 years has been incoherent. I don’t know any other word’.

Clinton Says US Losing Media War in Afghanistan, Pakistan
20.05.09. VOA. She told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Wednesday that militants broadcasting from radio equipment on the backs of pickup trucks are threatening and intimidating people. / Secretary Clinton says as a result, the Obama administration is revamping its communications strategy - looking at new ways to directly reach people in areas where militants are active - including on their cell phones. / Clinton says the U.S. must not lose the "information war" in the region, and much do a better job at communicating its values and ideals to Afghans and Pakistanis. / She is seeking $48.6 billion in State Department funding for 2010, a seven percent increase over 2009 funding levels.

Obama Steers Toward Endless War With Islam
20.05.09. Michael Scheuer, anti-war / ICH. In just over 100 days, President Obama is on the verge of ensuring that militant Islam's war on America will be waged for decades to come and its forces will never suffer manpower or money shortages. How did he accomplish so much in some little time? He simply behaved as all U.S. political leaders behave; that is, as an ignorant and arrogant interventionist.

‘Incoherent’ US policy
21.05.09. Dawn Editorial. Pakistan and the United States have ostensibly been allies since the early days of the Cold War. America has pumped billions into this country in the form of cash and weapons and we, in turn, have readily done its bidding, most notably during the fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan. / … Washington’s public criticism of Islamabad’s inaction in the fight against the Taliban did not go down well with Pakistan’s power brokers. Such censure, it was felt, would have been better voiced privately.

The Pressure of an Expanding War
21.05.09. Tom Engelhardt, Tom Dispatch. Going for Broke: Six Ways the Af-Pak War Is Expanding: 1. Expanding Troop Commitment: 2. Expanding CIA Drone War: 3. Expanding Air Force Drone War: 4. Expanding Political Interference: 5. Expanding War in Pakistan: 6. Expanding Civilian Death Toll and Blowback.

Slouching towards balkanization
21.05.09. Pepe Escobar, Asia times / uruknet. Happy Days are here again. It's as if the George W Bush years in Afghanistan had never left, with Washington still wallowing in an intelligence-free environment. A surge is coming to town - just like the one General David Petraeus engineered in Iraq. A Bush proconsul (Zalmay Khalilzad) wants to run the show - again. A hardliner (General Stanley McChrystal) is getting ready to terrorize any Pashtun in sight. A new mega-base is sprouting in the "desert of death" in the s! outhern Afghan province of Helmand. And as in Bush time, no one's talking pipeline, or the (invisible) greatest regional prize: Pakistani Balochistan. / In the long run, Obama's AfPak strategy may acquire its own relentless, volatile momentum of addicting the military in Islamabad to make war on their own people - be they Pashtuns or Balochis. So Washington may in fact be setting the slow but inexorable march towards the balkanization of Pakistan.

UN And US Death Statistics Expose Obama’s Fake War On Terror (22.05.09. Dr Gideon Polya, Countercurrents)


The CIA's History of Bamboozling The Congress
22.05.09. Melvin A. Goodman, public record. There is a long and substantiated record of CIA deceit and dissembling to the congressional intelligence committees. Here are some highlights of that record.

"We will maintain America's military dominance and keep you the finest fighting force the world has ever seen." B. Obama

Obama Promises Naval Grads: No Wars Without Goals
22.05.09. Jason Ditz, anti-war. Speaking to graduates at the US Naval Academy today, President Barack Obama promised that he would not send them into wars without some sort of reason. Even then, he promised to go in with “the strategy, the well-defined goals, the equipment and the support that you need to get the job done.”
Text: Obama’s Address at the Naval Academy (22.05.09. NY Times)
VIDEO: Obama’s speech at Annapolis
[what about an exit strategy? ]

Nato broadening its engagement with Pak
23.05.09. Anwar Iqbal, Dawn. Where I see [US-)Nato going is increasingly toward a broader and more in depth relationship with Pakistan, because of the common interests,’ [Adm. Mullen] told a Senate panel. / .. While Nato is not going to offer membership to Pakistan, diplomatic observers in Washington say that the alliance may offer greater training facilities to Islamabad and may also offer equipment to enhance its counter-insurgency capabilities.

Pakistan: A source of great U.S. frustration
23.05.09. Dan Rather, the spec. The closer one looks at the U.S. fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida, the more one appreciates the gap between intentions hatched in Washington and the realities on the ground. Now, as President Obama looks to refocus U.S. strategy, we're seeing once again how the same native forces that often frustrated the Bush administration's efforts can do the same for a new White House security team. / … Our force levels in Afghanistan are rising, but in Pakistan we must continue to rely primarily on the desultory efforts of the Pakistani military, supplemented by covert CIA and U.S. military efforts.

Pakistan on the Brink
23.05.09. Ahmed Rashid, Guardian Review / June NY Review Books. Pakistan is close to the brink, perhaps not to a meltdown of the government, but to a permanent state of anarchy, as the Islamist revolutionaries led by the Taliban and their many allies take more territory, and state power shrinks. There will be no mass revolutionary uprising like in Iran in 1979 or storming of the citadels of power as in Vietnam and Cambodia; rather we can expect a slow, insidious, long-burning fuse of fear, terror, and paralysis that the Taliban have lit and that the state is unable, and partly unwilling, to douse. Sections: The Current Crisis; Who are the Pakistani Taliban?; The Army and Politics. [Very good read]

Who is paying this person?

Former British Islamist faces death threats during lecture tour of Pakistan
24.05.09. Declan Walsh, Guardian. The last time Maajid Nawaz visited Pakistan, he was on a covert mission: to infiltrate the country's universities, persuade the educated elite to join his cause, and lay the foundation for a military coup that would create an Islamic caliphate. / Ten years later he is back on a different kind of mission. Last week about 100 students crowded into a lecture hall at Islamabad's largest university to hear Nawaz, now in a suit and working for a British government-funded organisation, issue a strident denunciation that Islam should be the basis for a country.

China now bigger threat than Pak: IAF chief
25.05.09. Hindustan Times. Taking China's dramatic military expansion seriously, the Indian Air Force chief has said China poses a more real and potent threat to India than Pakistan, which remains caught in a vortex of conflict and instability

Pakistan to wipe out militants, US senators assured
26.05.09. Dawn Report. The delegation comprised Patrick Leahy, Mark Warner and Sheldon Whitehouse. [photo]

US calls on China to help Pakistan fight militants
26.05.09. The proposal is part of a broad US push to enlist key allies of Pakistan in an effort to stabilise the country. The US is seeking to persuade Pakistan to step up its efforts against militants, while supporting the fragile civilian government and its tottering economy.

Iran-Pak-Afghan Alliance?
25.05.09. Khaleej Times/uruknet. As Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreed to develop trilateral cooperation on the issues of terrorism, drug trafficking and to boost trade, an important chapter in the history of the three regional states began. / The significance of the meeting draws from the recognition of forging regional alliances to resolve common security threats and socio-economic challenges. Besides, as expected, Ahmadeinjad voiced strong criticism on the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan, terming it as the major factor for destabilisation in the region. Despite the scathing attack on foreign intervention from the Iranian president, the US and NATO member states should welcome the formation of a regional bloc, constituting three important states that are directly involved in Afghanistan’s stability. / US President Barack Obama has been pushing for greater regional involvement to help stabilise Afghanistan, including that of Iran. It is learnt that the three leaders have also expressed willingness for other states to participate in future meetings. This would in all probability, be the US, some NATO states and possibly Russia, China and India. Afghanistan continues to hold a pivotal position in US foreign policy and its stabilisation is not only of paramount importance in its immediate vicinity, but also impacts other states in the region, including the Gulf States. {see story above, IPI gas agreement]

U.S.: "There's No Way I'm Going to Deploy to Afghanistan"
26.05.09. Dahr Jamail, IPS. "It’s a matter of what I’m willing to live with," Specialist Victor Agosto of the U.S. Army, who is refusing orders to deploy to Afghanistan, explained to IPS. "I’m not willing to participate in this occupation, knowing it is completely wrong." … / Agosto added, "The only way to make them responsive to the needs of the people is if soldiers won’t fight their wars, and if soldiers won’t fight their wars, the wars won’t happen. I hope I’m setting an example for other soldiers."

11 suicides at Campbell trigger stand-down
27.05.09. army times. Regular duties are suspended for three days at Fort Campbell, which leads the Army in suicides this year, so commanders can identify and help soldiers who are struggling with the stress of war and most at risk for killing themselves.


Pentagon: US Ready to Keep Troops in Iraq For Another 10 Years
26.05.09. Jason Ditz, anti-war. While US officials have continued to insist that the timetable for removing troops from Iraq remains in place, a growing trend of violence and a delay to Iraq’s national parliamentary elections has led to considerable speculation that the US won’t ultimately abide by the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) deadline to have troops out of the nation by the end of 2011. / That speculation seemed well-founded today, when Army Chief of Staff General George Casey said that the world “remains dangerous and unpredictable” and that his planning envisions leaving combat troops in Iraq for another decade “to fight extremism and terrorism.”

27.05.09. DAHR JAMAIL, Truthout. Sections on Transgress, Transform


The Bilderberg Plan for 2009: Remaking the Global Political Economy
26.05.09. Andrew G. Marshall, global research. After the meetings finished, Daniel Estulin reported that, “One of Bilderberg’s primary concerns according to Estulin is the danger that their zeal to reshape the world by engineering chaos in order to implement their long term agenda could cause the situation to spiral out of control and eventually lead to a scenario where Bilderberg and the global elite in general are overwhelmed by events and end up losing their control over the planet.”[3] Bilderberg’s Plan in Action?: Reorganizing the Federal Reserve’ ; The IMF as a Global Treasury . List of who was there – royalty, private and central bankers, some of Obama administration, “other notables.”; Appendix 1 & 2

West Plots To Supplant United Nations With Global NATO
27.05.09. Rick Rozoff, global research. Ten years ago it first became evident to the world that moves were afoot in major Western capitals to circumvent, subvert and ultimately supplant the United Nations, as the UN could not always be counted on to act in strict accordance with the dictates of the United States and its NATO allies.

Lest We Forget

It Began with a Lie – and the Lie Continues
No 9/10, 2009. Erica Vogeli, Current Concerns. 10 years after the war against Yugoslavia. … Even prior to 9/11, NATO and the West aligned themselves with the US war power, backing ever more exclusively on war propaganda and actual censorship.
The situation today is that the West confronts the rest of the world with the intolerable arrogance of warlords and colonial rulers and at the same time is deceiving their own people daily; with arrogance and a rhetoric of lies, which unfortunately culminates in the behavior of the new US-American President. / The larger rest of the world, however, is no longer ready to accept this behavior. Therefore, there is great danger that the West, striving to maintain its past supremacy in the world at any cost, is no longer willing to pursue an honest compromise. It strives for the “final victory”, and thus resorts to ever tougher means to exercise its power. So the worldwide conflicts continue to escalate and political solutions are becoming ever more difficult.


Meeting the Challenges in Pakistan
(27.05.09. Lawrence J. Korb, Brian Katulis, Colin Cookman, America Progress. Trip report and recommendations for U.S. policy. Pakistan faces internal instability and violence and is now a top national security concern.

Discussion of Report: Implementing Af-Pak Strategy Is the Hard Part
30.05.09. anti-war. With the strategic review for U.S. goals in Afghanistan and Pakistan now complete, the administration of President Barack Obama must shift to the more difficult task of choosing and – even more daunting – implementing policies that seek to quell the militant insurgencies in both countries, says a new report from a think-tank known to be close to the administration.

US State Dept lacks people who speak Taliban’s language (27.05.09. Daily Times, pk) so CIA Announces Push to Improve Agency's Language Proficiency (30.05.09. Washington Post)

Iraq redux? Obama seeks funds for Pakistan super-embassy
27.05.09. McClatchy. The U.S. is embarking on a $1 billion crash program to expand its diplomatic presence in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, another sign that the Obama administration is making a costly, long-term commitment to war-torn South Asia, U.S. officials said Wednesday. / The White House has asked Congress for — and seems likely to receive — $736 million to build a new U.S. embassy in Islamabad, along with permanent housing for U.S. government civilians and new office space in the Pakistani capital. / The scale of the projects rivals the giant U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which was completed last year after construction delays at a cost of $740 million.

Another Long War

The Disease of Permanent War
18.05.09. Chris Hedges, Truthdig. The embrace by any society of permanent war is a parasite that devours the heart and soul of a nation. … / Massive military spending in this country, climbing to nearly $1 trillion a year and consuming half of all discretionary spending, has a profound social cost. Bridges and levees collapse. Schools decay. Domestic manufacturing declines. Trillions in debts threaten the viability of the currency and the economy. The poor, the mentally ill, the sick and the unemployed are abandoned. Human suffering, including our own, is the price for victory.

Senate Dems On Pakistan: U.S. Here To Stay
27.05.09. Huff Post. Look for the United States to be sending resources not only to Afghanistan, but Pakistan and the rest of the region for the foreseeable future, a group of swing Democratic senators said toward the end of their fact-finding trip to the Middle East

US Army chief sees Iraq, Afghanistan occupations continuing for a decade
29.05.09. By Bill Van Auken, uruknet. The chief of staff of the US Army, Gen. George Casey, said this week that the American military is preparing to continue its interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan for at least another decade. In an invitation-only interview Tuesday with selected reporters and think tank representatives, Casey said that the protracted US occupation of the two countries was necessary in order to meet a "sustained US commitment to fighting extremism and terrorism in the Middle East," the Associated Press reported...

"Overseas Contingency Operation"

Behind the Headlines: The War Party Returns
01.06.09. Justin Raimondo, anti-war. … The Pentagon recently issued a diktat to its minions, notifying them that "this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT]. Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’”one has to note that the Bushian terminology at least had the virtue of honesty. This new crowd, which supposedly disdains all ideology and is devoted to a streamlined, hard-as-nails "pragmatism," is slipperier than a greased-up eel in a frying pan. "Overseas Contingency Operation" indeed! … / In taking a stab at it, however, one is forced to conclude that the term "Long War" is forbidden precisely on account of its accuracy. Whatever contingencies will bring America’s post-9/11 madness to an end lie in the far future. / … The fundamentals of U.S. foreign policy – a policy based on the grandiose delusion that the U.S. can and must retain hegemonic power in the world in order to ensure its own security – haven’t changed a single iota. /What has changed, however, is the willingness of the American people to put up with an "overseas contingency operation" without end.

Tales of U.S. Hegemony and Pakistani Government Betrayals
28.05.09. Talha Mujaddidi. Axis of Logic/uruknet. Exccellent in-depth study of problems with maps: Sections: Who Wants Peace: Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP); Zardari's damage to Pakistan; "Af-Pak" - U.S. Imperialist Policy for Afghanistan & Pakistan; Nuclear Weapons; The endgame for U.S in Afghanistan?; U.S plans for Pakistan and a puppet Pakistani government; Glossary.

DIVIDE AND RULE: WHO is bombing Iran?

Blast at mosque in Iran's Zahedan kills 30: report (28.05.09. Reuters)

Tensions rise in Iran as gunmen attack campaign office
29.05.09. LA Times. A day after a mosque is bombed in Zahedan, gunmen open fire at a campaign office in the city for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Officials blame Sunni militants, who they allege are guided by U.S.

Iran mosque blast bears 'US, Israel thumbprints'
29.05.09. A senior Iranian official says Israel and the US have had a hand in the mosque bombing that shook the southeastern city of Zahedan to its core.

Iran summons Pakistani ambassador over Zahedan mosque bombing
30.05.09. Xinhuanet. In the meeting with Muhammad Bux Abbasi, Iran "strongly voiced its protest at and deep concern about the illegal activities of the terrorist group along the joint borders of Iran and Pakistan," IRNA reported. / It referred to
Jundallah (God's Soldiers, an armed Sunni Iranian opposition group that is based in Pakistan and claims to be fighting for the rights of Sunni Muslims in Iran. / Jundullah has been identified as a terrorist organization by both Iran and Pakistan and many believe it is linked to the al-Qaida terrorist group. It also allegedly receives support from the U.S. government [* see References, below]. / In the past few years, Iran has often been hit by bombings and armed attacks in its southeastern provinces bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, which the authorities usually blamed on Jundullah.

Iran Hangs 3 Men Held in Bombing of Mosque
30.05.09. NY Times. A Sunni militant group called Jundullah, meaning God’s Brigade, took responsibility for the attack on its Web site and said it was a suicide bombing. / It also said in a statement on its Web site on Saturday that the three men who were executed had no involvement in the bombing. / Iran says the group is a terrorist organization linked to Al Qaeda and backed by the United States.


Jundullah faces US terrorist title
31.05.09. Daily Times, pk. The United States State Department is considering placing Jundullah on its terrorism list to send a conciliatory signal to Iran. / Jundullah has killed scores of Iranian soldiers and border guards since 2003. Most recently it has claimed responsibility for the Thursday suicide bombing in an Iranian mosque that killed 25 and wounded 125. [arguments discussed]

(US?) Regime Change

Gunmen attack Ahmadinejad campaign centre in Zahedan (29.05.09. Arab Times Online)

Belated US ‘condolences’ PR

US condemns bombing of Iranian mosque (29.05.09. AP)

Jundullah a threat to Pak-Iran ties, gas pipeline (01.06.09. the news, int.)


Petraeus paid secret visit to Islamabad
29.05.09. Dawn. US Central Command chief Gen David Petraeus paid a secret visit to Islamabad on Tuesday to allay Pakistan’s concerns that the military build-up in Afghanistan by the United States would add to its woes.

Petraeus Warns of Declining Public Support in Pakistan for US (30.05.09. Bloomberg)


America seeks to destroy Pakistan
29.05.09. Atif Salahuddin, Kashmir Watch / uruknet. .. America itself has failed to control Afghanistan; it badly needs the Pakistan army to conduct this operation to save it's failing occupation of Afghanistan. This operation is designed by the Zardari regime to punish the people of Swat for their support to the fighters who attack the American and NATO supply convoys heading for Afghanistan and for their Pakhtoon brethren across the border who are fighting the American led occupation. By displacing up to a staggering 2.4 million [now 3.4] people from the area, the Zardari regime, coupled with the terror of the American drone strikes in the area, has effectively cleansed the area of it's population and thereby sought to increase the security of the American and NATO supply lines. By creating an area free from it's population, the Zardari regime has also created a buffer zone along the Afghan border in order to stem Western losses inside Afghanistan. In the process Zardari has created the biggest humanitarian refugee crisis the world has seen since the Rwanda genocide in 1994 according to the United Nations. With no independent journalists allowed inside the theatre of operation, it is anyone's guess as to how many men, women and children have died, how many have been injured and how many have lost their homes and had their livelihoods destroyed in the process. ..

The Main Result of the "War on Terror": The Destabilization of Pakistan
29.05.09. Gary Leupp, Counterpunch / ICH. So far the principle result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan following the events of 9-11 has been the destabilization of Pakistan. The interests of U.S. imperialism in this case, in the form of regime change in Afghanistan, and the way it was done, have antagonized much of the Pakistani population.

Pull the other one?

US ‘very sensitive’ to Pakistan’s sovereignty, says Gates (31.05.09. The News, int. )

The Drug Trade

World Agenda: Tehran summit could be a turning point
27.05.09. Times Online. Though it attracted little attention, the meeting on Sunday between the leaders of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan could prove to be a turning point in international efforts to control drug smuggling, defeat the Taleban and stabilise one of the world’s most dangerous regions.

VIDEO: Seeds of Terror – 27 May 2009
Part 1; Part 2

World Agenda: Tehran summit could be a turning point
27.05.09. Times Online. Though it attracted little attention, the meeting on Sunday between the leaders of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan could prove to be a turning point in international efforts to control drug smuggling, defeat the Taleban and stabilise one of the world’s most dangerous regions.

Pakistan's critical test
01.06.09. Riz Khan, al jazeera. Pakistan has become synonymous with political upheaval, military coups and social unrest. VIDEO: Riz Khan - Pakistan's critical test - 01 June 09: Part 1; Part 2

Blowback from Pravda

USA's enforced democracy plan turns Middle East into one big gaping wound
26.05.09. George W. Bush unveiled his plan to spread democracy in the Middle East – from Pakistan to Morocco – in 2004. The United States decided to implement the plan despite the criticism from many other Western countries. The propaganda of democracy resulted in blood shed in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Bush did not achieve his goal; Barack Obama has not suggested anything new yet. If the US administration does not change its politics, both the Middle East and the United States will have to face a serious danger.

Russia creates its own version of NATO in Central Asia to be prepared for big war
29.05.09. Pravda. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) follows the instructions from President Dmitry Medvedev, who ordered to increase the military constituent and develop the coalition force development. A strong military group, which may appear in Central Asia in the nearest future, will make the CSTO become an analogue of NATO. The following post-Soviet countries are included in the treaty: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. / The Russian administration is now working on a much larger project, The Kommersant newspaper wrote. A large group of troops is to be deployed in Central Asia in addition to Russia-Belarus and Russia-Armenia groups, which already exist within the scope of the CSTO. A package of documents has been prepared and will be coordinated with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan soon. / “The work is being conducted in all directions. It will be a purely military structure that will be set up to maintain security in Central Asia in case of attack from the outside,” a source from Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

4. Demonising The Taliban

Pakistan conflict map
13.05.09. BBC. A map produced by the BBC suggests only 38% of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and surrounding areas is under full government control. … Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari rejected the findings, telling the BBC it was an "incorrect survey".

Mistrust of the West is stronger in Pakistan than fear of the Taleban
05.05.09. Times Online. The war that has resumed between the Pakistani Army and the Taleban. One of those violent periods is resuming now.

The myth of Talibanistan
01.05.09. Pepe Escobar, Asia Times. Apocalypse Now. Run for cover. The turbans are coming. / So if Islamabad is not burning tomorrow, why the hysteria? There are several reasons. To start with, what Washington - now under Obama's "Af-Pak" strategy - simply cannot stomach is real democracy and a true civilian government in Islamabad; these would be much more than a threat to "US interests" than the Taliban, whom the Bill Clinton administration was happily wining and dining in the late 1990s. … /

So the man of the hour - and the next few hours, days and months - is discreet General Ashfaq Kiani , Benazir's former army secretary. He is very cozy with US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen, and definitely not a Taliban-hugger. / ..

The myth of Talibanistan anyway is just a diversion, a cog in the slow-moving regional big wheel - which in itself is part of the new great game in Eurasia.

During a first stage - let's call it the branding of evil - Washington think-tanks and corporate media hammered non-stop on the "threat of al-Qaeda" to Pakistan and the US. FATA was branded as terrorist central - the most dangerous place in the world where "the terrorists" and an army of suicide bombers were trained and unleashed into Afghanistan to kill the "liberators" of US/NATO.

In the second stage, the new Obama administration accelerated the Predator "hell from above" drone war over Pashtun peasants. Now comes the stage where the soon over 100,000-strong US/NATO troops are depicted as the true liberators of the poor in Af-Pak (and not the "evil" Taliban) - an essential ploy in the new narrative to legitimize Obama's Af-Pak surge.

For all pieces to fall into place, a new uber-bogeyman is needed. And he is TTP leader Baitullah Mehsud, who, curiously, had never been hit by even a fake US drone until, in early March, he made official his allegiance to historic Taliban leader Mullah Omar, "The Shadow" himself, who is said to live undisturbed somewhere around Quetta, in Pakistani Balochistan.

Talking to the Taliban (10.05.09. Imran Khan, al jazeera)

PR c**p on behalf of US in order for Pakistan to get more US money?

Taliban wants 'new world order'
[NB: The ‘true’ Taliban have always maintained that they want occupying forces OUT of Af-Pak.]

The real vs fake Taliban
13.05.09. Nauman Qaiser, uruknet. This is where the whole problem lies; we haven't, as yet, been able to differentiate between what I call the "real" Taliban who solely focus on fighting the occupation forces in Afghanistan, and the "fake" Taliban, who are working on a hidden agenda of the United States and its ally, India, to disintegrate Pakistan. I call them fake, because it was during Musharraf's nine-year rule, whilst we considered ourselves an American ally, that the secret agencies of United States, India, Britain and Afghanistan established their hold throughout the length and breadth of Pakistan by setting up an extensive espionage network of their own, which recruited and subsequently released thousands of trained operatives garbed in the cloths of "Taliban" into the Pakistani territory....

America Creating 'Talibanization' in Pakistan, Say Arab Media
15.05.09. Jalal Ghazi, uruknet. The specter of a Taliban takeover of Pakistan has been haunting Western media. As the fighting between Pakistani forces and the Taliban intensifies, Arab media are pointing the finger at the United States. The Obama Administration does not understand Pashtun cultural traditions, say the media. It is using force first, just as the Bush administration had done. In fact, the air strikes killing many civilians are actually creating more "Talibanization," say Arab media. / … Arab media, however, regard the collapse of the Swat Valley peace agreement as a catastrophe. Many Arab televisions focused on the suffering of the hundreds of thousands who were forced to flee from the fighting areas to poorly prepared camps lacking food and water. Arab media do not condone the Taliban’s treatment of women, but they see what is happening in the Swat Valley as much bigger than women vs. Taliban.

In imperialist 'surge,' Washington pushes Pakistan into war
16.05.09. Mazda Majidi, uruknet. Contrary to the sensationalized stories in the U.S. business media, any breach of agreements was not an indication of their designs to take over all of Pakistan. The notion that the tribal leaders of Swat and South Waziristan, with no conventional military and only light weapons, were intent on occupying all of Pakistan and take over its nuclear arsenal is a fabrication. This fabrication serves the purpose whipping up a frenzy to convince U.S. public opinion of the need to expand its war in the region.

Taliban got free hand under ANP govt: Musharraf
17.05.09. Masood Haider, Dawn. Talking to some Pakistani reporters at a hotel here on Friday, Gen (retd) Musharraf rejected a suggestion that Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan had come to the fore during his watch.
Related: Musharraf terms as 'mistake' past deals with Taliban (16.05.09. deccan herald/anti-war)

Correcting the focus
18.05.09. Imtiaz Gul, Dawn. Almost a dozen countries, the US, Canada, Great Britain and Italy among them — have appointed special envoys to advise on how to steer Pakistan out of the woods. The overriding objective is to protect Pakistan against radical gangs including those inspired by Al Qaeda or Mulla Omar. They want Pakistan’s security establishment to review its threat perception, as enunciated by President Barack Obama. / … The dilemma that Pakistan’s security establishment currently confronts essentially revolves around the ‘perennial threat from the east.’ Its enemy number one remains India. / .. A string of statements by Obama and British premier Gordon Brown shows the two leaders look at the situation altogether differently; for them the Al Qaeda-inspired Talibanisation poses a mortal threat not only to Pakistan but also to the rest of world. What they overlook is that Indian superiority — whether in conventional armament or international stature as the largest emerging economy and the largest democracy — shapes the Pakistani establishment’s threat perception.

MacKay to discuss security concerns with Pakistan
18.05.09. CBC. Defence Minister Peter MacKay will travel to Pakistan on Monday to meet with officials over growing concerns about Taliban activity along the country's shared border with Afghanistan.

Pakistan seeks national support against Taliban (18.05.09. CNN)

War against Taliban
21.05.09. Tahir Wasti, Dawn. The battle against the Taliban and extremism will decide the fate of democracy and the future history of Pakistan. Although the Taliban are continuing with their bid to push back the army and create rifts among political parties, there are no signs of demoralisation in the army.

Fear Mongering

U.S. Afghan surge could push militants into Pakistan
21.05.09. Reuters. A U.S. military offensive in southern Afghanistan could push Taliban fighters into Pakistan, whose troops are already struggling to combat militants, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Thursday. / The comments by Admiral Mike Mullen raised the prospect that Pakistan, waging battles with militants [sic] who have forced about 2 million people from their homes, could face even greater turmoil in the months ahead. / The United States is pouring thousands of troops into Afghanistan this year to try to reverse gains by a resurgent [sic] Taliban, particularly in its southern heartland. / Mullen, the most senior U.S. military officer, said the United States had a clear national security interest in taking on the Taliban. / "They want Afghanistan back. We can't let them or their al Qaeda cohorts have it. We can't permit the return of the ... very same safe havens from which the attacks on 9/11 were planned and resourced," Mullen said. / "Yet we can't deny that our success in that regard may only push them deeper into Pakistan," he told the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee.

Gates: Timing Not Right for Taliban Reconciliation
22.05.09. Jason Ditz, anti-war. “I think the view of most of us is that until the momentum of the battle turns against the Taliban… that the likelihood of any kind of reconciliation on the part of the leadership of the Taliban is very small,” Secretary Gates said. [what Gates does not mention is fact that Taliban has refused to negotiate with occupying war mongers.]

Govt to hunt Taliban everywhere: Zardari (23.05.09. Daily Times, pk.

Next year crucial for war against Taliban: US
23.05.09. Anwar Iqbal, Dawn. In an off the record briefing, which does not allow journalists to identify the briefer, the official said the Obama administration would also continue its predecessor’s reliance on Predator drones and other unmanned vehicles for targeting militants hideouts in Pakistan and Afghanistan. [photo of Mullen]

Osama bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden: Dead Or Alive?
26.05.09. ICH. Tod Fletcher - Review of a new book by David Ray Griffin.
The Eight-Year-Long Psychological Operation. Griffin is a crucially important and timely examination of the whole range of evidence bearing on the question, is Osama bin Laden still alive? The importance of this question for the present comes from the fact that the United States under its new president is escalating its offensive in Afghanistan and expanding the war into Pakistan, and has claimed that the “hunt for bin Laden” is one of its principal motivations for doing so. Either explicitly or implicitly, the US government and major media outlets such as The New York Times and Washington Post continue to assert that bin Laden is alive, hiding in the tribal territories on the “AfPak” border, posing an undiminished threat to US security. / In his gripping new book, Griffin strikes at the root of this pretext for war by closely examining all the evidence that has come out since September 11, 2001, either indicating that bin Laden is still alive or that he is in fact dead. His conclusion is that bin Laden is certainly dead, and that in all likelihood he died in very late 2001. Griffin shows that many US experts in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency came to this very same conclusion long ago, but their views, which do not support the continuation of what President Obama, borrowing the term from Dick Cheney, calls “the long war,” have received very little media attention. Were they to do so, one of the main props for the war regime would be undermined./ … In Chapter 4, Griffin turns to the important question “Who Might Have Been Motivated To Fabricate Messages?” He shows that the US military in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 employed a psychological operations unit to produce bogus evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, as a pretext for the invasion. The psyops unit produced a “letter” from a Jordanian in Iraq, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, that was then “intercepted”, purportedly enroute to Al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan. The psyop was advanced after the invasion by the New York Times reporter Dexter Filkins, who wrote front-page stories presenting the “evidence” as genuine. …

Swat Taliban pay mercenaries to kill policemen (29.05.09. Daily Times, pk.)

USA shamefully betrays its only staunch ally in Middle East
30.05.09. Pravda. The escalation of combat action in the north-west of Pakistan, where governmental troops conduct a large-scale operation against Taliban guerrillas, has led to numerous terrorist acts committed across the nation. / … The United States never expected such a development of the situation in Pakistan at the time when US troops were invading Afghanistan, Pakistan’s neighboring state. Now US officials have to acknowledge that the counter-terrorist operation in Afghanistan has led to the domino principle.

It seems that the Pentagon officials do not know where the Taliban guerrillas are hiding. US troops kill many civilians for the sake of destroying only several al-Qaeda gunmen. Why is that? Is that because of poor intelligence, mistakes of the special services or is it because of the absolute disdain of everything for the sake of achieving military objectives?

From much sought after to ‘most wanted’
31.05.09. Dawn. Accompanied by dozens of well armed Taliban fighters, Muslim Khan, Sirajuddin, Mahmmod Khan and some others (who are said to be responsible for killings of hundreds of soldiers and civilians) were being hosted by the former commissioner of Malakand, Syed Mohammad Javed.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan …

Fighting Taliban _ if US patrols can find them (31.05.09. AP)

5. Nuclear Issues

"I want the world to stop being such a horrible place, Hiroko said."
Kamila Shamsie, Burnt Shadows (p. 292)

Hawks Divided: AfPak or Iran?
11.05.09. Jim Lobe and Daniel Luban, A potentially major clash appears to be developing between powerful factions inside and outside the U.S. government, pitting those who see the Afghanistan/Pakistan ("AfPak") theater as the greatest potential threat to U.S. national security against those { AIPACers] who believe that the danger posed by a nuclear Iran must be given priority.

List of countries with nuclear weapons

United States: 5,735/9,960
Russia: 5,830/16,000
UK: 200
France: 350
ISRAEL: 75-200
China: 130
India: 45
Pakistan: 30-52
North Korea: 1-10

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Pakistan

U.S. Has Plan to Secure Pakistan Nukes if Country Falls to Taliban (14.05.09. Fox News)

Pak increasing nuclear weapons: US
15.05.09. MM Online / ICH. The confirmation came during a Senate Armed Services committee hearing when Democrat senator Jim Webb, an expert on defence issues, raised fears that Pakistan is adding to the nuclear weapons it traditionally has pointed toward India, and questioned whether US aid could be funding it.

Pakistan Is Rapidly Adding Nuclear Arms, U.S. Says
17.05.09. Thom Shanker, David Sanger, NY Times. Members of Congress have been told in confidential briefings that Pakistan is rapidly adding to its nuclear arsenal even while racked by insurgency, raising questions on Capitol Hill about whether billions of dollars in proposed military aid might be diverted to Pakistan’s nuclear program. / Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed the assessment of the expanded arsenal in a one-word answer to a question on Thursday in the midst of lengthy Senate testimony. Sitting beside Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, he was asked whether he had seen evidence of an increase in the size of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. “Yes,” he said quickly, adding nothing

Pakistan denies it is expanding nuclear arsenal (18.05.09. Zarar Khan, AP)


just like war in Iraq, we now have satellite images of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons

Pakistan Expanding Dera Ghazi Khan Nuclear Site: Time for U.S. to Call for Limits

19.05.09. David Albright, Paul Brannan, and Robert Kelley, Institute for Science and International Security. … US officials have recently said that Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear weapons program in the world, at least in terms of installing additional capacity to produce nuclear materials for nuclear weapons. Commercial satellite imagery supports the conclusion that Pakistan, over the last several years, has concentrated on greatly expanding its nuclear weapons production complex.

Pakistan Expanding Plutonium Separation Facility Near Rawalpindi
19.05.09. David Albright and Paul Brannan, Institute for Science and International Security.

Update on the Khushab Plutonium Production Reactor Construction Projects in Pakistan
23.05.09. David Albright and Paul Brannan, Institute for Science and International Security.

Photos show Pakistan 'expanding nuclear sites'
20.05.09. AFP. Satellite photos released show Pakistan has expanded two sites crucial to its nuclear program as part of an effort to bolster the destructive power of its atomic arsenal, a US arms control institute said.

The World Doesn't Have a Pakistan Nukes Problem ... It Has a David Albright Problem
20.05.09. Peter Lee, Counterpunch / ICH. Washington, apparently believing that it doesn't have enough on its plate with al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistan Taliban, is suddenly awash with dramatic plans to add a self-created problem to the mix: a quixotic effort to wrest Pakistan's nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Army if the situation deteriorates. … / You know what it smells like to me? It smells like an effort by some to put a radical U.S. nuclear counterproliferation doctrine on the table now, so when it’s the end of the year and it’s time to deal with that other Muslim country with the destabilizing nuclear capability—you know, the one on the other side of Afghanistan, the one that the Israelis are so upset about—public opinion has been primed to accept the idea that some combination of air strikes, special ops, and insertion of U.S. forces is needed to save the world from an Islamic nuclear program that’s…outta control!

All options open on securing Pak nukes: Obama
18.05.09. the US President Barack Obama has voiced confidence in the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear assets. BUT [Rhetoric and Reality of Obama-speak] at the same time he made it clear that he could consider all options to secure the nuclear weapons, if the country got less stable.

US demands for the Pakistani government (2 of 7)
28.05.09. Talha Mujaddidi. Axis of Logic, Tales of U.S. Hegemony and Pakistani Government Betrayals" 1. Completely freeze Pakistan’s nuclear and missile program; 2. Handover the existing enriched uranium to U.S special task force so that it can be moved to a "safe location" outside Pakistan

Nuclear Aims By Pakistan, India Prompt U.S. Concern(28.05.09. Washington Post)

Pakistan enhances second strike N-capability: US report
30.05.09. Dawn. Pakistan has addressed issues of survivability in a possible nuclear conflict through second strike capability, says a US congressional report.

The Pakistan Quagmire
Moammar Gadhafi, Washington Times / ICH. The West, particularly America, and Israel never wished for Pakistan to possess a nuclear bomb. But on May 28, 1998, they woke up to the fact that Pakistan had become a nuclear state and blamed their intelligence services for failure to anticipate the nuclear tests. Countless books, articles and speeches called Pakistan's nuclear bomb the "Islamic bomb," as loaded a term as any, as many considered it a doomsday weapon directed against their interests. / American Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger frankly told then Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, "If you make the bomb, we'll make an example out of you."/ Mr. Bhutto, the founder of Pakistan's nuclear program, was, of course, hanged. Gen. Zia al-Haq, who Islamized Pakistan and consolidated its nuclear program, was murdered. More recently, Benazir Bhutto, Mr. Bhutto's daughter, was assassinated. Others still may face a similar fate. / The question, however, is: Why do neither the Americans nor the Israelis want Pakistan to possess the bomb? …

Manufacturing Consent for War on Iran

Aipac's hidden persuaders
15.05.09. R. Silverstein, Guardian. A case in point is Iran. That bogey-nation was everywhere at the Aipac conference. Every keynote speech – if they weren't directly written by that group's staff – seemed unmistakably scripted and "on message", dedicated to the existential threat that Iran poses not just to Israel, but the entire world. / … The Israelis are following the template of the Bush administration's run-up to the Iraq war. First, the US government advocated half-hearted efforts at diplomatic engagement. Then it ratcheted up pressure through sanctions and UN resolutions. That is where the Israeli campaign stands now. … / But any sensible person can guess that the final step will be war: "Israeli leaders have … hinted at pre-emptive military strikes if they decide that diplomacy has failed." / … I've become convinced, in doing the research and speaking to knowledgeable sources, that Israel is prepared at some date in the near future to attack Iran itself, even against the wishes of the US.
Arabs see Israel - not Iran - as nuclear threat (17.05.09) middle east online)

Clinton: Iran can't have nuclear arms capability
20.05.09. AP/anti-war. Sec'y of State Clinton: Iranian nuclear capability represents an 'extraordinary threat'

North Korea Nuclear Test

Tested Early by North Korea, Obama Has Few Options
25.05.09. NY Times. [SM: The best option is for the US to stop crying wolf about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons?]

South Korea and U.S. Raise Alert Level
27.05.09. NY Times. One day after North Korea warned of a possible attack against the South, the United States and South Korea ordered their forces here to their highest alert for three years, increasing surveillance flights and satellite reconnaissance to counter what officials termed a “grave threat.”

Casey: Army would have to ‘shift gears’ for N. Korea battle
30.05.09. stars and stripes/legitgov. Right now, the Army is focused on the counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan [Pakistan? ], but North Korea’s recent saber rattling has raised the prospect that the Army might be called upon to fight a conventional war.


US Nuclear Weapons Spending Topped $52 Billion Last Year
12.05.09. Mother Jones / ICH. According to a new report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, spending on US nuclear weapons infrastructure and related programs surpassed $52 billion in 2008.

Nuclear USA: September – November 2007 (06.01.08. Index Research)

Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities' (Lori Price, Legitgov)

It's called "National Security"

U.S. Releases Secret List of Nuclear Sites Accidentally
02.06.09. NY Times. The federal government mistakenly made public a 266-page report, its pages marked “highly confidential,” that gives detailed information about hundreds of the nation’s civilian nuclear sites and programs, including maps showing the precise locations of stockpiles of fuel for nuclear weapons. The publication of the document was revealed Monday in an online newsletter devoted to issues of federal secrecy. That set off a debate among nuclear experts about what dangers, if any, the disclosures posed. It also prompted a flurry of investigations in Washington into why the document had been made public

6. The War

'We are bombing a sovereign country. Where do we get the authority to do that? Did the Pakistani government give us written permission? Did the Congress give us written permission to expand the war and start bombing in Pakistan?' asked the US lawmaker. Anwar Iqbal & Ron Paul: US Bombing a Sovereign Country: US Lawmaker (with video: Ron Paul Questions Richard Holbrooke.)

U.S. drone kills 10 in Pakistan's tribal region (09.05.09. Xinhuanet)

At least 8 killed, 7 injured as US drone fired four missiles in South Waziristan (09.05.09. Nation)

Pakistan Newslinks 10-11 May, 2009 (InI, William Bowles)

Pakistan: 700 Militants Killed in Past Four Days: Thousands More to Die, According to Zardari
11.05.09. Jason Ditz, anti-war / uruknet. Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik today claimed that 700 militants have been killed in the past four days of military offensives in and around the Swat Valley. Yesterday the military said it had killed 200 in one 24 hour period. The tolls and the success being touted by the government in its attacks could not be independently confirmed because the military has barred journalists from the valley.

At least 8 killed in U.S. drone attack in Pakistan's tribal area (12.05.09. Xinhuanet)

Pakistan: 86 "militants" killed in Swat, Dir Lower
12.05.09. Pak Tribune. Security forces claimed to have killed 52 militants in restive Swat Valley during the last 24 hours, while 31 persons, including three civilians were killed in Lower Dir on Monday.

Pakistan 'captures Taliban hideout' (13.05.09. al jazeera)

VIDEO: Pakistan’s Army 13.05.09

Brown welcomes the butcher of Buner to Downing Street
13.05.09. hizb. Org / ICH. Commenting on Zardari's visit to Britain, Hizb ut Tahrir Britain's Media representative Taji Mustafa said "Once again we see the British government roll out the red carpet for another Muslim ruler who is engaged in the barbaric slaughter of his own people.

Civilians say they're casualties of Pakistan's fight against the Taliban
14.05.09. Saeed Shah, McClatchy / legitgov. The Pakistani army denies knowing that its war against Islamic militants has caused civilian casualties, but patients and family members at a local hospital told McClatchy Thursday that multiple relatives were killed when the military shelled or bombed their homes.

Pakistani Troops Kill 54 More Taliban Militants in Swat Valley
14.05.09. Bloomberg. Pakistani troops killed 54 Taliban militants in the last 24 hours in the country’s northwest region, taking the death toll to more than 800 since the operation began on April 26, a military spokesman said.
Bloomberg Update 2
President Asif Ali Zardari, pressed [bribed ] by the U.S., has deployed thousands of soldiers in the northwestern region after the Taliban took advantage of a February peace accord that introduced Islamic law in Swat and neighboring districts. The insurgents reneged on the peace agreement and advanced toward the capital. President Barack Obama, whose officials warned that the Pakistani government was appeasing the Taliban, said a $1.5 billion-a-year aid package is tied to tackling the extremists.

Pakistani army ordered to avoid civilian casualties
13.05.09. Reuters. "[Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani] has instructed the army to ensure minimum collateral damage, even at the expense of taking risks, by resorting to precision strikes," the army said in a statement.

Pakistan 'shells Taliban bases'
15.05.09. al jazeera. The army shelled suspected Taliban bases in the districts of Swat and Lower Dir on Thursday, marking the 18th successive day of attacks by the military in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP). / "Militant hideouts were targeted in Dir and Swat and many of their hideouts were destroyed in mountains," a security official told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity.

22 Taliban Militants Killed in Afghanistan (15.05.09. Fox News)

Pakistan missile hits Afghan mosque
15.05.09. al jazeera. "It seems to have been an attempt to target Camp Salerno , which is the third largest US base in Afghanistan," Zeina Khodr, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Afghanistan, said.

Deaths in US drone raid on Pakistan
16.05.09. al jazeera. The drone fired two missiles into the Khaisor area of North Waziristan's ethnic Pashtun tribal region on Saturday, hitting a house and a vehicle. / "We have reports that three people have been killed. We are making further checks," an intelligence official in the region told Reuters news agency. / The bombing is the third such raid this month, and comes days after eight people were killed in an attack by a US drone in neighbouring South Waziristan.See also:

US drone attack kills 29 in North Waziristan (16.05.09. Dawn)

Car bomb, military actions kill at least 80 in Pakistan (2nd Roundup) (16.05.09. M & C)

Survival without military & mullah
17.05.09. Kunwar Idris, Dawn. Prime Minister Gilani told parliament that the military campaign in Swat was launched not under US pressure but for ‘the survival of the country’. The Centcom adviser and the prime minister both were thus on the same grid regarding the threat to the existence of the country — only their perceptions of the outcome differed.

Pak Army does not require foreign training: General Kayani
17.05.09. Pakistan news. Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Ashfaq Kayani, has said that the Army has a full range of counter-insurgency training facilities,and added and that it does not require any foreign training to tackle militancy. / …
"The uncalled for aspersions of various quarters on our training methods or orientation are apparently due to lack of knowledge and understanding of our training system in vogue," [Kayani] said. / … the United States is reportedly sending special forces teams to Balochistan [see above] to accelerate training of the Pakistani military and enhance its counterinsurgency capabilities.

U.S. stirs a hornet's nest in Pakistan
17.05.09. Eric Margolis, Winnipeg sun. Pakistan finally bowed to Washington's angry demands last week by unleashing its military against rebellious Pashtun tribesmen of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) -- collectively mislabelled "Taliban" in the West. / The Obama administration had threatened to stop $2 billion US annual cash payments to bankrupt Pakistan's political and military leadership and block $6.5 billion future aid, unless Islamabad sent its soldiers into Pakistan's turbulent NWFP along the Afghan frontier. / The result was a bloodbath: Some 1,000 "terrorists" killed (read: mostly civilians) and 1.2 million people -- most of Swat's population -- made refugees.

Swat Operation-opening a window of experiments in Pakistan
17.05.09. Pak Times opinion. hence some who do not wish peace in the region and has the capacity to call shots, pushed those disillusioned to advance on Buner and Dir district portraying a fear that soon Islamabad will be under those thugs, and questions on security of Atomic weaponry. / … Army operation in any part of current Pakistan must be used as a last resort, due to variety of international vested interests in the region. It is open secret that no one can work at that length and breadth against Pakistan on its soil unless foreign money, weapons and money is involved. / … As long as US forces are working in Afghanistan it is unthinkable that peace may return in the region unless a solution is achieved.

Pakistan: Offensive kills 1,000+ alleged militants
17.05.09. AP. A Pakistani military offensive against Taliban fighters near the Afghan border has killed more than 1,000 suspected insurgents and "will continue till the last Taliban are flushed out," a top official said Sunday.

40 "militants" killed in US drone attacks
17.05.09. the Soon after the attack, other militants staying at the building arrived and started rescue work. "They were recovering bodies of the slain militants when the drone fired two more missiles, almost 12 minutes after the first attack. It was terrible as almost all the Taliban involved in rescue work were targeted," stated a local militant commander based in Mirali..

11 persons killed in two blasts in Peshawar
17.05.09. ICH. At least 11 people, including two women and two children, were killed and another 31 injured when a powerful car bomb ripped through a congested locality in Peshawar

Zardari Vows to Expand War Beyond Swat
17.05.09. Jason Ditz, anti-war. Hot on the heels of military reports that the offensive against the Swat Valley had killed over 1,000 “suspected insurgents,” President Asif Ali Zardari has ominously declared that “Swat is just the start.” Zardari is now soliciting international donors for billions of dollars to expand the war across the tribal areas, and seemingly across the entire 2,400 km border with Afghanistan.

Civilians fleeing Swat come under attack
19.05.09. The News Int. Several persons, including women and children, were killed and a number of others sustained injuries when families fleeing the military operation in Swat’s Matta town were shelled while crossing a mountainous path to reach Karo Darra in Dir Upper on Monday, eyewitnesses and official sources said. Eyewitnesses, who escaped the attack or were able to reach Wari town of Dir Upper in injured condition, said they were targeted by gunship helicopters. However, police officials said they might have been hit by a stray shell. Local people said they saw some 12 to 14 bodies on a mountain on the Swat side but could not go near to retrieve them or help the injured for fear of another aerial attack.

Pakistan 2009 growth will be slowest in decade (20.05.09. AFP)

Pakistan Calls on Islamic Scholars to Help Combat Extremism
20.05.09. Ed Johnson, Bloomberg. Pakistan’s government is trying to build support in the world’s second-most populous Muslim nation for its offensive against Taliban insurgents. / … The military campaign in Swat is being waged under pressure from the Obama administration, which says the extremists threaten the stability of the nuclear-armed nation and endanger U.S. security.

Military warns Swat residents against abetting terrorists (20.05.09. Iftikhar A. Khan, Dawn)

Pakistani troops seize Taliban stronghold, 80 rebels killed -Summary
20.05.09. Earth Times / ICH. Pakistani troops overran an important militant stronghold in north-western district of Buner, killing some 80 Taliban fighters, an army spokesman said Wednesday. "Security forces have cleared Sultan Was area last night after intense clashes," Major General Athar Abbas told the reporters in Islamabad.

Pakistan army struggles in Buner
20.05.09. BBC / ICH. The Pakistani government has not fully asserted control in the district of Buner, military officials have told a visiting team of BBC journalists. VIDEO.

Taliban Foiling Pakistani Army (23.05.09. Wash Post)

VIDEO: Nightmare of war grips Pakistan's children - 24 May 09

Pakistan army battles Taliban militants (24.05.09. ABC)

Pakistani army fights street by street to banish Taliban from Swat valley (24.05.09. Declan Walsh, Guardian)

Regaining control of Swat valley
24.05.09. Mike Hanna, al jazeera. This is more a fortress than a camp. It is a staggering complex of caves, tunnels and concealed gun emplacements – and commands a view of virtually the entire Swat valley. Some Flickr photos.

Pictures: Scenes from Swat (24.05.09. al jazeera)

18 killed in Orakzai shelling (25.05.09. Daily Times, pk)

Massive Police Desertions Reported in Swat Valley
25.05.09. Jason Ditz, anti-war. 75 Percent of Buner District Police Have Left.

Pakistan Taliban Says It Will Stop Fighting in Swat Valley
25.05.09. VOA. Taliban Spokesman Muslim Khan says militants will stop their resistance in Swat's main town of Mingora out of concern for the safety of civilians and their property.
& Pakistani Taliban to Swat civilians: Come back (26.05.09. AP)

Troops take over Maalam Jabba
26.05.09. Iftikhar A. Khan, Dawn. According to AFP, Military spokesman Maj-Gen Athar Abbas warned it could take up to 10 days to regain control of Mingora, as the punishing assault across three rugged northwest districts entered a fifth week.

Six troops, 29 Taliban killed in Pakistan's Swat Valley - Summary
26.05.09. Earthtimes / ICH. The Pakistan Army said it had killed 29 militants and lost six soldiers Tuesday in the north-western Swat Valley and its neighbouring districts as a rights group warned of a humanitarian catastrophe

US bomber violates Pakistani airspace
26.05.09. current affairs. A United States B-52 bomber aircraft on Tuesday violated Pakistan's airspace over North Waziristan Agency. The violation came early morning near the Pak-Afghan border in Mera Din areas of Goreek and Shawaal. The US bomber flew over the Pakistani territory for nearly an hour in brief intervals. Residents of the area expressed concern and anger over the airspace violation by the US aircraft.

Lahore bomb

Pictures Lahore bombing (Al jazeera)

Dozens feared dead in Lahore blast
27.05.09. al jazeera. At least 30 people are thought to have been killed in a blast outside a police station and a building housing the country's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.

VIDEO: Dozens dead after Lahore suicide attack - 27 May 09 (al jazeera)

Suicide car blast in Lahore kills 23
27.05.09. Muhammad Faisal Ali, Dawn. Among the dead were 16 policemen, an army officer and many civilians including a 12-year-old boy. Officials at the city morgue said two of the bodies were as yet identified. / More than 251 others were injured, rescue services were looking for survivors trapped in the rubble late into the night. It was feared that the death toll may also rise. / No less than 70 vehicles and motorcycles and dozens of adjacent and nearby buildings, mostly used for shops and offices, were damaged.

Pakistan diary: New battle lines?
27.05.09. Imran Khan, al jazeera. On the road to Lahore. There was always a fear that Pakistan's war with the Taliban would spill over into the major cities. / We have seen attacks in the last 10 days in Peshawar, but this attack in Lahore has all the hallmarks of something more organised and more deadly.

Deadly bombing in Pakistan may be payback for military offensive (27.05.09. McClatchy)

In Pakistan's terrorist attacks, who gets the blame?
27.05.09. CSM. Many Pakistanis have previously accused the government of provoking the Taliban. This time, residents directed their anger at both sides.

Taliban group claims Pakistan blast
28.05.09. al jazeera. A group claiming to have links with the Taliban in Pakistan has claimed responsibility for a bombing in Lahore that killed at least 30 people and wounded over 200 others

Landmines kill driver, schoolboy in Dera Bugti (27.05.09)

Security forces kill 15 in South Waziristan (28.05.09. Daily Times, pk)

7 more militants killed in NW Pakistan operation (28.05.09. Xinhuanet)

Maulana Fazlullah, PBS

Pakistan sends bounty hunters after militants
28.05.09. Pakistan has offered a bounty worth of PKR 5 million (USD 62,250) for the arrest of Swat valley militant leader Maulana Fazlullah.

Peshawar & Dera Ismail Khan

Four blasts kill at least 10, hurt over 80 in northwest
28.05.09. Dawn. Two bombs exploded in a market in the Frontier capital of Peshawar on Thursday, killing six people, and gunmen on rooftops ambushed police as they arrived at the scene, police said. / A short while later, a suicide bomber attacked a paramilitary checkpost in another part of the city, killing two soldiers and wounding three. / The attack was soon followed by a huge bomb blast and gunfire was heard on the streets of Dera Ismail Khan, police said. / Three were killed and seven injured after a bomb planted in the city’s town hall exploded, police told DawnNews.

Deadly blasts hit Pakistani cities
29.05.09. al jazeera. At least 13 people have been killed and more than 100 others injured in a series of blasts in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, and in another city in the same region. While the explosions in Peshawar are believed to have caused 10 of the deaths, the attack in Dera Ismail Khan, a city 300km south of Peshawar, accounted for the other three.

Pakistan diary: Night of terror
29.04.09. Imran Khan, al jazeera. After four separate attacks, all allegedly linked to the army's action in the Swat valley, one in particular stands out for me. The attack on Khissakhwani Bazaar.

Mingora, Swat

“Battling the Taliban: Where does it stop?” (Dawn)

VIDEO: Inside Pakistan's war zone - 28 May 09 (al jazeera)

Mingora likely to be secured in the next two days: ISPR
28.05.09. Dawn. Security forces claimed on Wednesday to have secured 70 per cent of Mingora town after fierce clashes which left 286 militants and seven soldiers dead. Eight soldiers and 25 militants were injured in the fighting.

Army takes ‘complete control’ over Mingora (30.05.09. Iftikhar A. Khan. Dawn)

Humanitarian situation grave in Mingora; residents flee
31.05.09. Hameedullah Khan, Dawn. The residents, who had remained confined to their houses without electricity and gas supplies for the last one month, streamed out of the area to reach camps set up for the internally displaced persons in Mardan and Swabi districts.

(see Refugees, below)

Zaybul - Daychopan district

'Taliban killed' in Afghan province
29.05.09. al jazeera. At least 35 Taliban fighters have been killed and another 13 wounded in fighting in the Afghan province of Zabul, the US military has said. Details of the clash in Zabul's Daychopan district could not be independently verified.

Taliban behead three ‘spies’ in Pacha Killay (31.05.09. The news, int.)


Soldier, two Taliban killed in Waziristan (31.05.09. The news, int)

Pakistan plan to attack Taliban haven promises wider war
31.05.09. Saeed Shah, McClatchy Newspapers. Waziristan, the remote area that's the epicenter of Taliban and al Qaida militants in Pakistan, is set to become the next war zone in the nation'fight against Islamic extremists, where clashes between insurgents and the army erupted over the weekend. / o far, there are just skirmishes in Waziristan but the key U.S. ally plans a full-scale military offensive there this summer, according to Pakistani and Western officials, a fight that is certain to be deadlier than the current operation in Swat valley and with profound international repercussions.

Pakistan diary: Hit-and-run tactics
31.05.09. Imran Khan, al jazeera. A Pakistani defence official has said Pakistan's battle will be over in two to three days. / … The assessment is seen as "optimistic". / The Taliban are still fighting back on the outskirts of Mingora. They are still in control, so local sources tell us, of key towns and villages surrounding Swat valley city.

7. Drones

U.S. military, Pakistan carrying out Predator drone missions together
12.05.09. LA Times. The U.S. military has begun flying armed Predator drones inside Pakistan and has given Pakistani officers significant control over targets, flight routes and decisions to launch attacks under a new joint operation, according to U.S. officials familiar with the program.

Drone attacks have drawn widespread protest in Pakistan
13.05.09. Dawn. Suspected Taliban stormed a depot in northwest Pakistan handling supplies for NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan on Wednesday and torched eight trucks, as the Pakistani army battled militants elsewhere in the region in an offensive that has sent hundreds of thousands fleeing. / ... NATO and U.S. commanders say their losses from the attacks have been minimal and pose no threat to their expanding military operation in Afghanistan. Still, they have begun seeking alternative routes through Central Asia.

US Military Starts ‘Limited’ Drone Partnership With Pakistan
13.05.09. Jazon Ditz, anti-war. According to officials, the military’s strikes will be coordinated under the direction of the Pakistani military, with Pakistani officers having “significant control” over the targets and the decision to launch attacks. The US will also provide surveillance information, with some limits. / President Asif Ali Zardari says his government is presently negotiating over the drones, and is demanding that the Pakistani government be given “ownership” over the drones.

Pentagon, Pakistan No Longer Cooperating in Drone War? (Updated)
14.05.09. Noah Shachtman, wired. Mullen testimony. (long list of drone-related articles at end of page)

Pakistan has no deal with US on drone use: FM (15.05.09. Dawn)

Mullen: drones future of military aviation (15.05.09.

The Drones Are Coming: New War On Civilians
15.05.09. Ramzy Baroud, Countercurrents. There are an estimated one million Pakistanis already on the run in the northern and eastern parts of the country. They are threatened by fighting, hunger and all sorts of predators, including US drones circling overhead

Pakistan’s policy on drones under fire in US Senate
15.05.09. Anwar Iqbal, Dawn. Pakistan’s policy towards drone strikes faced severe criticism in the US Senate where a senior lawmaker accused Islamabad of duality, claiming that while it quietly approved the attacks publicly it censured America for carrying them out.

Death From Above, Outrage Down Below
16.05.09. OpEd, NY Times. we feel that expanding or even just continuing the drone war is a mistake. In fact, it would be in our best interests, and those of the Pakistani people, to declare a moratorium on drone strikes into Pakistan./ … Press reports suggest that over the last three years drone strikes have killed about 14 terrorist leaders. But, according to Pakistani sources, they have also killed some 700 civilians. This is 50 civilians for every militant killed, a hit rate of 2 percent — hardly “precision.” … every one of these dead noncombatants represents an alienated family, a new desire for revenge, and more recruits for a militant movement that has grown exponentially even as drone strikes have increased. / … The persistence of these attacks on Pakistani territory offends people’s deepest sensibilities, alienates them from their government, and contributes to Pakistan’s instability.

Drone attacks to continue in Pakistan: CIA chief
19.05.09. Dawn. CIA director Leon Panetta defended the use of unmanned aircraft to target Al-Qaeda militants on Monday and said President Barack Obama’s policies had severely disrupted the network’s leadership. / In his first speech since taking over as head of the Central Intelligence Agency in February, Panetta told a luncheon in Los Angeles that counter-terrorism and defeating Al-Qaeda remained the agency’s top priority. / ‘Al-Qaeda remains the most serious security threat that we face ... to US interests and our allies overseas,’ Panetta told the gathering organized by the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles. / Pakistani officials say the drone strikes, which have killed more than 390 people in about 42 attacks since August 2008, violate its territorial sovereignty and deepen resentment in the nuclear-armed nation. / Meanwhile Panetta said US authorities remained alert to the possibility of Al-Qaeda fleeing Pakistan or Afghanistan for refuge elsewhere [next US war for oil in Africa? ], saying Somalia and Yemen were regarded as possible safe havens for the group . ‘Al-Qaeda {Taliban, "insurgents" are] known however for seeking shelter elsewhere,’ Panetta said.

I am against drone attacks, says PM Gilani
19.05.09. Pak Tribune / ICH. Terming drone attacks as a serious blow to Pakistan's sovergnity, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday made it clear that US must review its policy.

CIA's war in Pakistan
23.05.09. Daily Times, pk. Along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, the US has deployed some of the most sophisticated killing machines ever created. / Al Qaeda and the Taliban, which could not be eliminated by tanks, gunships and missiles, will they be stamped out by CIA-operated unmanned aircraft?

Concern mounts over US Predator covert killings
23.05.09. Times Online. David Kilcullen, who was the chief counter-terrorism adviser to Condoleezza Rice, the former Secretary of State, has said that the programme should be scrapped. "Since 2006 we've killed 14 senior al-Qaeda leaders using drone strikes; in the same time period we've killed 700 Pakistani civilians in the same area. The drone strikes are highly unpopular." he said.

Drone attacks undermining Swat operation: Gilani
24.05.09. the int news. Says Army operation well-planned; denies extension of operation to other parts. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said the US would have to review its policy of drone attacks, which were undermining the Pakistan government’s strategy and the military operation against the militants in Swat and Malakand. “Pakistan has conveyed its concerns to the US on drone attacks and the whole world also supports Pakistan’s viewpoint,” Gilani said while answering questions on all parties’ unanimous demand to halt the US drone attacks.

The Drone War
03.06.09. Peter Bergen, Katherine Tiedemann, New America Foundation / New Republic. The drone war against Al Qaeda's leaders--and, increasingly, their Pakistani-based Taliban allies--has been waged with little public discussion or congressional investigation of its legality or efficacy, even though the offensive is essentially a program of assassination that kills not only militant leaders, but also civilians in a country that is, at least nominally, a close ally of the United States. Nor has there been a substantive debate about whether the gains of winnowing the ranks of Al Qaeda's leadership outweigh the fact that the inevitable civilian casualties are a superb recruiting tool for the Pakistani Taliban. Indeed, the drone strikes have pushed militants deeper into Pakistan and given them an excuse to strike the heartland of the country, further destabilizing the already rickety government in Islamabad. All of which raises the question of whether the drone campaign, however useful in the short term, might fatally undermine U.S. efforts to stabilize the region and to win the long-term war against Al Qaeda and its allies. ...
*** Officially, the United States does not assassinate people. ...

"General Petraeus also offered drone intelligence gathering for the Swat operation. / The US has already launched dozens of drone strikes inside the Pakistani derrieres, killing more than 800 people over some past months." Petraeus Visit

Predator Drones Could Face Legal Challenges From Human Rights Advocates
29.05.09. Fox. Human rights activists are turning their attention to the drone program in part because they say there's no warning to innocent civilians who are in a targeted area.

Wash. Post repeats the PR

Al-Qaeda Seen as Shaken in Pakistan
01.06.09. K. de Young, Washington Post. Drone-launched U.S. missile attacks and Pakistan's ongoing military offensive in and around the Swat Valley have unsettled al-Qaeda and undermined its relative invulnerability in Pakistani mountain sanctuaries, U.S. military and intelligence officials say. … / Although al-Qaeda remains "a serious, potent threat," a U.S. counterterrorism official said, "they've suffered some serious losses and seem to be feeling a heightened sense of anxiety -- and that's not a bad thing at all."

8. Pakistan’s Supply Depots for Afghanistan

Trucks torched at NATO supply terminal in Pakistan
13.05.09. AP. Suspected Taliban stormed a depot in northwest Pakistan handling supplies for NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan on Wednesday and torched eight trucks, as the Pakistani army battled militants elsewhere in the region in an offensive that has sent hundreds of thousands fleeing. / Attacks on terminals and trucks rolling through the Khyber Pass toward Afghanistan have intensified since last year, adding to concern that more regions along the Afghan border are slipping from government control and into the hands of Taliban and al-Qaida.

Taliban warns Pakistani politicians
13.05.09. al jazeera. Speaking to Al Jazeera on Wednesday, Muslim Khan, a Pakistani Taliban spokesman, gave members of the national and regional assemblies a three-day deadline to denounce the military assault on Taliban fighters. / The warning came hours after suspected Taliban fighters attacked Nato supply trucks at a transport terminal near the northwestern city of Peshawar, destroying eight vehicles. … None of the containers holding Nato supplies and stored at the terminal were damaged, Ghafoor Khan Afridi, a police official, said. [see damaged vehicle photo above]

9. Blame and Counterblame

Pakistan war fuels international tensions
11.05.09. WSWS. Comments by China’s ambassador in Islamabad last Thursday highlight the reckless character of the Obama administration’s escalating intervention in Pakistan.

VIDEO: Zardari: Osama was an “Operator” for the United States

CIA and ISI together created Taliban: Zardari
11.05.09. Times of India. "I think it was part of your past and our past, and the ISI and CIA created them together," Zardari told the NBC news channel in an interview.
See also : "I think it was part of your past and our past, and the ISI and the CIA created them [the Taliban] together," Zardari told the NBC news channel in an interview on Monday. … / Zardari's remarks come after the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in a congressional hearing explained how the militancy in Pakistan was linked to the US-backed proxy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s. "Let's remember here ... the people we are fighting today we funded them twenty years ago ... and we did it because we were locked in a struggle with the Soviet Union," she said on April, 23.

predictable response

US rejects Pakistan refugee blame
13.05.09. al jazeera. "This is caused by the Taliban and al-Qaeda, let's be absolutely clear on that," Holbrooke told Al Jazeera on Tuesday, before blaming them for breaking a deal with the government.

Country should abandon war on terror: Imran Khan
11.05.09. The chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Imran Khan has said that the country should dissociate itself from the so-called war against terrorism.

Leading think tank asks US to stop drone attacks
12.05.09. Pak Tribune. A comprehensive report on the current conflict and future of Pakistan, released here on Monday by a known independent think tank [Institute for Social Policy and Understanding], strongly recommends that the drone attacks in Pakistan should be replaced with a humanitarian aid package for the internally displaced people of the Fata and the Swat region.

Wanted: a people’s leader
15.05.09. Dawn Editorial. It is shocking that the person at the helm who should be instilling courage in a despondent nation is not at the scene and is away on foreign jaunts.

10. Backlash to War

Young Pakistan Army Officers May Be Turning to Taliban, Insiders Say (11.05.09. CQ Politics)

Experts Warn of Backlash to Swat Valley Offensive (12.05.09. Jason Ditz, anti-war)

Pakistan diary: Peshawar protests
12.05.09. Imran Khan, al jazeera. Peshawar is a town with a past littered with the ghosts of war.

Taliban’s popularity rises after massacre of the Pashtuns
12.05.09. Crikey. As thousands of injured and starving Pashtuns fall in droves from the mountains of the Hindu Kush this week they bring stories with them of aerial bombing campaigns by the Pakistani Air Force akin to those witnessed against Afghan villages by the Soviets in the 1980s, a massacre of grand proportions to which the world seems oblivious. [see refugees, below]

Pakistan's religious minorities report violence
(13.05.09. AP)

Pakistan rally against Swat assault
al jazeera. Hundreds of supporters of Pakistan's opposition Jamaat-i-Islami party have demonstrated in what is believed to be the first major protest against the military's offensive against the Taliban in North West Frontier Province (NWFP). / Many of the protesters were carrying banners carrying slogans condemning the role of the United States in Pakistan. … "This is a great point of contention for many Pakistanis” …

Residents seethe as Pakistan army destroys homes
28.05.09. anti-war. Bombed out mosques, homes show Pakistan challenge to win hearts in Taliban war. / Beyond any doubt is their fury at authorities for wrecking their homes — just what the army does not want as it tries to win the support of the people for its month-old offensive against the Taliban in Pakistan's northwest frontier region near the border with Afghanistan. "The Taliban never hurt the poor people, but the government has destroyed everything,"

Pakistani militant groups uniting
29.05.09. Daily Times pk. “Ultimately we’re going to reach a tipping point where the Taliban will have opened so many fronts in Punjab that it will be almost impossible for the army to deploy against so many fronts which are so distant from each other geographically,” says Ahmed Rashid (website: here .

& Censorship (By Whom?)

CBS Pro-Drone Propaganda (12.05.09. FAIR)

‘Govt should ensure media’s access to Mingora’
13.05.09. daily times, pk. “There is a complete blackout of news from Swat, Buner and Dir where military operation against militants is in progress. There’s no source of dissemination of news. No one is aware of the actual situation in these districts,”

No access to the front
17.05.09. Gul Bukhari, Dawn. So what is one to believe, given that direct news reports and images from the independent media, which might enable the public to get a better sense of the ground reality, are completely missing?

Swat unrest prompts strike in Pakistan finance hub
25.05.09. AFP. Shops in Pakistan's volatile financial hub Karachi closed, witnesses said, after nationalists called a strike to protest the arrival of refugees from the conflict-hit northwest. / The Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) movement, which promotes the cause of natives of southern Sindh province, opposes the influx of ethnic Pashtuns fleeing a military offensive in three northwest districts.

11. Refugees in Pakistan

“These poppies of your yard
are scattered in my clouds.”
John Berger, Pages of the Wound

= = =


Swat residents flee as UN warns of humanitarian crisis
08.05.09. Guardian. UN officials repeated warnings that the flood of people was swelling into one of the world's largest humanitarian crises.

VIDEO: Pakistan Swat refugees seek help - 09 May 09

VIDEO: Desperate Pakistanis flee violence in Swat - 10 May 09

Eyewitness: Trapped in Mingora
12.05.09. BBC. Fighting in the Swat valley between the Pakistani army and Taleban militants has almost completely destroyed the communications network and links with the rest of the country.

Pakistan army: 1.3 million fled fighting
12.05.09. USA Today. The offensive has also unleashed a tide of refugees, whose plight could sap public support for the kind of sustained action against an increasingly interlinked array of Islamist extremists that the cash-strapped country's Western backers want to see.

Commando attack on Taliban stronghold leaves 800,000 homeless
12.05.09. Declan Walsh, Guardian. Pakistani commandos swooped into a Taliban mountain stronghold by helicopter today as the army pushed forward with an operation it said had killed over 750 militants [sic] and left at least 800,000 civilians homeless.

Survivors of the Swat massacre
13.05.09. Independent. They have walked for days, forsaking their homes to escape Pakistan's campaign against the Taliban [and US drones ]. And these refugees are the lucky ones.

Pakistan: ICRC enters Buner for first time since onset of hostilities
13.05.09. Relief Web. "We went into Buner as soon as we could," said Dr Bart Janssens, the ICRC's health coordinator in Pakistan, who led the operation. "You can see the scars of recent fighting. There is no more electricity or clean drinking water. Most shops are closed. Goods on the market are scarce. The streets feel empty. The district is rapidly being emptied of its inhabitants."

Survivors of the Swat massacre
13.05.09. Independent. They have walked for days, forsaking their homes to escape Pakistan's campaign against the Taliban. And these refugees are the lucky ones.

Pakistan will defeat Taliban, must win hearts – PM
14.05.09. Reuters. Pakistan will defeat the Taliban militarily but could lose the public relations war if it fails to help the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the fighting, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said on Thursday.

FACTBOX: Key quotes on threat posed by Pakistan turmoil (14.05.09. Reuters)

The Drones Are Coming: New War On Civilians
15.05.09. Ramzy Baroud, Countercurrents. There are an estimated one million Pakistanis already on the run in the northern and eastern parts of the country. They are threatened by fighting, hunger and all sorts of predators, including US drones circling overhead.

Pakistan reels under Swat offensive
15.05.09. Syed Saleem Shahzad, Asia Times. All of Pakistan's major political parties have given their support - along with the United States - to the [Swat] operation, but with no exit strategy in place, the unfolding humanitarian crisis looms as a bigger threat than the Taliban.

Health risks on the rise for Pakistan's displaced children
15.05.09. Save the Children / Relief web. "We are seeing cases of diarrheal disease, respiratory infections and other illnesses related to exposure and to very crowded living conditions," said Ned Olney, who heads Save the Children's humanitarian response efforts around the world. "In addition, our medical teams are reporting numerous fatigue and stress-related ailments, which is not surprising as families have walked 30–50 miles under great duress in search of safe haven."

VIDEO: Pakistan refugees facing 'humanitarian crisis' - 15 May 09

Pakistan diary: Storytellers Bazaar
15.05.09. Imran Khan, al jazeera. Whatever Pakistanis feel about the military operation, the humanitarian crisis has united them. / … At least 1.3 million people are on the move and more than 800,000 are registered with the UN alone as refugees. … / had a chance to reflect on the numbers while I was in the camp. Watching children roam freely, playing as they do, I found myself wondering how many of them would spend their formative years living in places like these. When so many people live together disease also becomes a problem. Cases of diarrhoea and skin problems have already been registered. I wonder how many of the children I saw will survive.

Who Rules America?
15.05.09. Paul Craig Roberts, countercurrents. Not a dime to prevent millions of Americans from losing their homes, but hundreds of billions of dollars to murder Muslim women and children and to create millions of refugees, many of whom will either sign up with insurgents or end up as the next wave of immigrants into America.

'Thousands flee' Taliban-held town
16.05.09. al jazeera. People rushed out of Mingora on Friday after the government relaxed its restrictions around the city and advised civilians to leave.

Yeh jo dehshatgardi hey
Iss key peechay wardi hey

(Behind all this terrorism is the military)

“War on Terror” Causes Mass Exodus in Swat (18.05.09. Farooq Sulehria, Dissident Voice)

Pakistan fighting displaces 1.45 million civilians: UN
18.05.09. Times of India / ICH. UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond says that is in addition to the more than 550,000 people who were displaced earlier by the military offensive in northwest Pakistan, meaning the total is now more than 2 million.

Two million flee Pakistan
19.05.09. The number of people forced to flee fighting in northwestern Pakistan since August 2008 has exceeded the two million mark, the UN refugee agency said on Monday.

Mirabadi Village
20.05.09. Imran Khan, al jazeera. The vast majority of Pakistan's refugees are living outside of the camps in private accommodation.

VIDEO: Pakistan’s displaced struggle to find shelter 20.05.09

No Food

Food finally begins to reach displaced people in conflict-hit Buner (20.05.09. ICRC/Relief Web)

Food shortage worsening in restive Malakand areas
21.05.09. daily times/pk. * Residents say no food items available in Malakand, prices have tripled for whatever is present; * Locals demand govt open routes to let food supplies through. [similar problems in Swat]

Mingora: Ghost town of Pakistan's Swat
28.05.09. S.H. Khan, AFP. "If anybody wants to see the day of judgment, he should go to Mingora," said Mohammad Daud, a shell-shocked refugee from Pakistan's fierce military onslaught in the capital of Swat valley. / "There is nothing left for people to survive," said Daud, a tailor who scraped by for 20 days on potatoes scavenged from his neighbour's house, as security forces fought Taliban fighters in the mountainous district.

* VIDEO: Pakistan troops battle for Swat - 23 May 09

Mental trauma of displaced Pakistani children
24.05.09. Nasir Jaffry, AFP / uruknet. Nabila Bibi sits in a tent in the blistering heat thinking about the dolls she left behind at home in the Pakistani mountains where the army and Taliban rebels are killing each other.

IDPs being barred from entering Punjab, Sindh: Muqam
25.05.09. Daily Times, pk. The people of Swat and Malakand are at war against the Taliban and rendering sacrifices for the country’s survival, but the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from these areas are being barred from entering Punjab and Sindh, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) provincial President Ameer Muqam said on Sunday. / “It’s not an issue of Swat and Malakand alone. It’s an issue of the entire country as the Taliban want to reach Islamabad,” Muqam told a press conference at his Peshawar residence.

Over 0.2 million Afghan refugees residing in Punjab
25.05.09. Daily Times, pk. Most refugees settled in the NWFP (1,878,170) followed by Balochistan (769,268), Punjab (207,768), Sindh (135,724), Islamabad (45,269) and then (13,079) in Azad Kashmir.

Heat in Pakistan

Pakistan diary: Beating the heat

25.05.09. Imran Khan, al jazeera. The heat is punishing. It must be 45 degrees Celsius with no wind. A haze seems to rise from every surface. / It's midday in the camp. Seemingly, there no escape from the brutal sun. / Children try and cool off by splashing water over each other, which would be a happy scene anywhere else in the world. / Except here.

VIDEO: Heat wave ordeal for Pakistan's displaced - 25 May 09

UN: Nearly 2.4 million displaced in Pakistan (26.05.09. press

6,000 pregnant women in camps (26.05.09. Daily Times, pk.)


photo: REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood

Pakistan: Trapped civilians face catastrophe:
26.05.09. The News International/uruknet. HRW Urges Islamabad to lift curfew; UNHCR says 126,000 displaced daily by conflict. Thousands of civilians trapped in the Malakand Division face "humanitarian catastrophe" unless help reaches them soon, a rights watchdog said on Tuesday. New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said people were living with scant food and water in the war zone where security forces were bombarding the militants in a push to extinguish their two-year insurgency. "People trapped in the Swat conflict zone face a humanitarian catastrophe unless the Pakistani military immediately lifts a curfew that has been in place continuously for the last week," said Brad Adams, the group’s Asia director. "The government cannot allow the local population to remain trapped without food, clean water and medicine as a tactic to defeat the Taliban," he said.He urged Islamabad to lift the curfew in the under-siege Swat Valley and nearby districts..

Pakistan: Lift Swat curfew for trapped civilians
26.05.09. Human Rights Watch / Relief web. The Pakistani authorities should immediately lift a 24-hour curfew in place since May 18 in the Swat valley and adjoining areas of the Malakand Division of Pakistan's Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA), Human Rights Watch said today. Severe shortages of food, water, and medicine are creating a major humanitarian crisis for the hundreds of thousands of civilians still trapped in the region where Pakistani armed forces are fighting Taliban insurgents.

Police on the run in Malakand region: Almost 75% desert force in Buner, 40% in Swat (26.05.09. Javed Aziz Khan, uruknet)

Refugees’ plight
28.05.09. Dawn Editorial. The tale of human misery unfolding in the Frontier has few parallels in Pakistan’s recent history. It is estimated by the United Nations that nearly 2.4 million people have been displaced from their homes this month alone. Some 126,000 refugees from Malakand, says the UNHCR, are streaming into relief camps or registration centres on a daily basis. / Yet there are an untold number of families who are still trapped in Swat, unable to flee the battle raging between security forces and the Taliban. / Curfew restrictions are a major hurdle

Threat of death haunts people marooned in Swat (News Feature)
26.05.09. M &ampC. many in Pakistan's war-torn Swat valley the choice is not between life and death, but between a death caused by bullets or bombs and a death by starvation or disease.

Troops take over Maalam Jabba (26.05.09. Dawn)

About 126,000 displaced daily by Pakistan conflict (26.05.09. Dawn)

Aid Agencies Fear Disease Outbreaks In Northwestern Pakistan (26.05.09. VOA)

Fleeing the Taliban, Millions of Pakistani Refugees in Limbo
27.05.09. Time Magazine. … As the Pakistani military moved in to push back against Taliban fighters edging closer to the capital, the family traveled in the opposite direction, across the mountains that form a backdrop to the camp in which they now live. They are among an estimated 2.4 million Pakistanis who have been displaced …

Pakistan Beneath the Surface: Photographs by Alixandra Fazzina for TIME

Pakistan: Lift Swat curfew for trapped civilians
26.05.09. Human Rights Watch / Relief web. The Pakistani authorities should immediately lift a 24-hour curfew in place since May 18 in the Swat valley and adjoining areas of the Malakand Division of Pakistan's Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA), Human Rights Watch said today. Severe shortages of food, water, and medicine are creating a major humanitarian crisis for the hundreds of thousands of civilians still trapped in the region where Pakistani armed forces are fighting Taliban insurgents.

100 Pakistanis stranded at Attari (27.05.09. Daily Times, pk)

VIDEO: ICRC Suspends Aid in Swat Valley (?) (Reuters, 27.05.09)

Pakistan: Civilian population affected by ongoing fighting in North-West Frontier Province
27.05.09. ICRC / relief web. Armed conflict in several areas of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) continues to affect the civilian population, in particular in the Swat, Buner and Lower Dir districts. The ICRC has been providing support for hospitals and helping displaced people to meet their most basic needs.

Millions Displaced As Pakistani Military Extends Its Offensive
28.05.09. James Cogan, WSWS. The Pakistani military is deepening its assault against Islamist militants in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) district of Swat Valley and beginning to extend its operations into other ethnic Pashtun-populated areas. The Obama administration insisted that the Pakistani government launch the offensive as part of US efforts to crush the anti-occupation insurgency over the border in Afghanistan.

Ethnic discrimination?
29.05.09. Babar Sattar*, the’pk/ Uruknet. A naked ugly form of ethnic prejudice is fettering the right of our wretched brothers and sisters displaced from Swat to move freely and settle anywhere across Pakistan. The invidious stance against the temporary settlement of IDPs in Sindh adopted by Sindh political parties (JSQM, and in a more equivocal yet equally unmistakable manner by the MQM) exposes the ethnic fault-lines dividing our national fabric and lack of generosity of spirit of various political actors. But m! ore importantly the ease with which fundamental rights of a vulnerable group of citizens can be transgressed in pursuit of selfish ethnic interests raises serious constitutional questions.

3.4 million
Number of displaced persons exceeds three million
30.05.09. Dawn. Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said at a press conference at the Officers’ Mess here on Friday that the number of IDPs now stood at 3.4 million — 2.8 million of them from Malakand division alone.

In Pakistan, an exodus that is beyond biblical
31.05.09. Andrew Buncombe, Independent. The language was already biblical; now the scale of what is happening matches it. The exodus of people forced from their homes in Pakistan's Swat Valley and elsewhere in the country's north-west may be as high as 2.4 million, aid officials say. Around the world, only a handful of war-spoiled countries – Sudan, Iraq, Colombia – have larger numbers of internal refugees.

Government vows to take ‘full care’ of displaced (30.05.09. Dawn)


Displaced residents return to destroyed Sultanwas village
29.05.09. Dawn. When Pakistan army drove the Taliban back from this small north-western village, it also destroyed much of everything else here. / F-16 fighter jets, military helicopters, tanks and artillery reduced houses, mosques and shops to rubble, strewn with children’s shoes, shattered TV sets and perfume bottles. / Commanders say the force was necessary …

12. Aid to Pakistan

United Nations humanitarian fund gives $8.3 million to bolster aid to internally displaced persons in Pakistan (12.05.09. relief web)

China offers $1 mln emergency aid to Pakistan (14.05.09. Xinhuanet)

Pakistan may seek additional $4.5 billion from IMF (16.05.09. Daily Times, pk)

Related: Pakistan to receive $2.3 billion by June: Tarin (-no date- pakwatan). The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and US would release $600 million, $800 million and $900 million respectively, whereas International Development Bank (IDB) will give $23 million. He said that Pakistan's delegation had convinced the IMF during the review of March quarter in Dubai for allowing an increase in fiscal deficit by next fiscal year.

Pakistan: France to give 12 mln euros for refugees (16.05.09. adnk)

Japan provides $20 mln assistance to Pakistan (18.05.09.

Pakistan Humanitarian Response Plan 2008-2009 - Revision
17.05.09. relief web. Revised expanded humanitarian response plan requires $544 mln to urgently assist conflict IDPs in north west.

Pakistan Humanitarian Response Plan 2008-2009 - Revision
17.05.09. relief web. Revised expanded humanitarian response plan requires $544 mln to urgently assist conflict IDPs in north west.

Pakistan Humanitarian Forum urges comprehensive and effective aid for "desperate" situation among the displaced, as UN and humanitarian community launches Flash Appeal
22.05.09. Oxfam. A consortium of 29 of the largest International NGOs in Pakistan is publicly appealing to the international community to immediately fund the United Nations Flash Appeal, for the nearly 2 million people displaced by conflict in northwest Pakistan. The Appeal will be formally launched on May 22.

UN Secy-Gen seeks urgent aid for refugees in northwest Pak (29.05.09. ptinews)

Russia promises $1M for Pakistan refugees (29.05.09. UPI)

U.N. offers tents, toilets to Pakistan refugee hosts (29.05.09. Reuters)

U.S. Aid

U.S. sends $5 million for Swat refugees (13.05.09. Washington Times)

Debate Intensifies on New US Strategy on Pakistan, Afghanistan
15.05.09. Ravi Khann, VOA. The lawmakers want more accountability and some are questioning whether providing more aid is the answer. Analysts at Washington's think tanks are also weighing in with opinions on the new strategy.


US bill links military aid to A Q Khan
17.05.09. Anwar Iqbal, Dawn. While all eyes are focused on the congressional approval of $1.9 billion of US economic assistance to Pakistan earlier this week, a bill pending before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs can all but stifle US military assistance to Pakistan. / The bill — H. R. 1463 – was introduced in the House of Representatives on March 12 and has now been referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs for further action. / If adopted, it will place Pakistan in a very uncomfortable position. To qualify for US military assistance, Pakistan will have to produce Dr. A.Q. Khan before American interrogators. Islamabad will also have to pledge to monitor all future activities of the nuclear scientist who is seen as a hero at home but as a villain in the West./ The purpose of the bill, as enunciated in the official text, is ‘to restrict US military assistance to the government of Pakistan.’

US House approves $ 2.3 billion for Pakistan (16.05.09. Pakistan times)

US prepares to ferry aid to Pakistan's northwest (18.05.09. AFP)

Pakistan aid crisis seen lasting all this year-US (20.05.09. Reuters)

US to keep an eye on aid utilization: Hillary
21.05.09. Anwar Iqbal, Dawn. Hillary Clinton agreed with a legislator’s proposal that conditions be attached to the assistance provided to Pakistan and Afghanistan so that the money was used only for the purpose named in the bill concerned.

US grapples with nuclear issue while finalizing aid bill
24.05.09. Anwar Iqbal, Dawn. The US Congress will not seek to roll back Pakistan’s nuclear programme when it meets next week to consider a bill to triple economic assistance to the country, but final legislation may include restrictions to prevent Islamabad from further expanding its arsenal.

US senators urge Obama to provide largescale aid to IDPs (24.05.09. AP-pk)

US sets up special counter-insurgency fund
27.05.09. Anwar Iqbal, Dawn. The PCCF was added to the war supplemental that the US House of Representatives passed on May 14 and the Senate approved on May 21. Congressman Howard Berman, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, added an additional $700 million for the PCCF in the House’s version of a Pakistan aid bill — which cleared the committee on May 20. / The Pentagon will carry out the programme with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, complementing existing and planned State Department efforts. The PCCF will allow the commander of the US Central Command to work directly with the Pakistani military to build its counter-insurgency capability. / ‘We are asking for this unique authority for the unique and urgent circumstances we face in Pakistan,’ US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates recently told a congressional panel while seeking approval for the programme. ‘It is a vital element of President Obama’s new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy.’ / But the fund has started a turf war between the Pentagon and the State Department. Recent reports in the US media suggest that members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the State Department’s legislative affairs insist that the fund ought to be placed under the auspices of the State Department. …

US Congress divided over plan for Pakistan
27.05.09. Daily Times, pk. * Undersecretary of defence for policy calls programme ‘absolutely critical to the success’ of US strategy in Pakistan; * Counterinsurgency experts say its hybrid style of warfare is ‘80 percent political and only 20 percent military’; * Congress members contend that fund ought to be placed under State Department

Hillary Clinton Wants Americans to Text Donations to Pakistani Refugees (27.05.09. CNS)
[before or after they have paid their taxes to support the US wars? ]

US pays $447 million to Pakistan
30.05.09. the news int/anti-war. The Obama administration has provided two installments totalling $447 million to Pakistan in shape of military reimbursement bill against the services rendered by the Pakistan Army to flush out the Taliban from its volatile tribal areas, it was learnt. [ what about aid for 3.4 million refugees? ]

A Better Bargain for Aid to Pakistan (30.05.09. Wash Post.)

13. References


The Bases of Empire, edited by Catherine Lutz, Pluto Press, December 2008

Kamila Shamsie
, Burnt Shadows, Picador, April 2009

The Jundullah

Seymour Hersh: US Training Jundullah and MEK for Bombing Preparation
08.07. 08. CASMII / Iran coverage. According to an interview with Seymour Hersh, the US is training terrorist groups to cause chaos inside Iran, provoking an aggressive reaction from the Iranians, which will serve as a pretext for military action from the US.

Index Research

Index Research: The Pentagon and Oil
(24.07.08), incorporating material from Sohbet Karbuz.


Strategic Imperatives: Reports & Documents ; General, Afghanistan, Pakistan, UK, US (January 2007)

Strategic Imperatives (Afghanistan, Pakistan, US, Media & Videos (March 2007)

Strategic Imperatives (Afghanistan, Pakistan, United States) (Index Afghanistan Autumn ’07)

Pakistan: Food; The ‘Tribal Belt’; New Government; and US; Nuclear; Enter China
(Index Afghanistan April ’08)

Index on Afghanistan and Pakistan - Murder & Security, Aug/Sept. ’08

Index on Afghanistan April 2009 (Oil and Gas - Pakistan/Iran /India & Iraq)

Bush's third war (27.09.08, A. Bacevich, article listed in Index Afghanistan Preface, Oct. ’08 Timeline)

Index Research on Pakistan, October 2008

Oil and Gas in Afghanistan and Pakistan (Index Afghanistan December ’08)


US/UK BASES IN IRAQ, Part II. The South : Falcon-Al-Sarq, Tallil, Shaibah (07.06.06. Index Research)

Iraq Oil: The Vultures are Waiting (03.09.07. Index Research)

Iraq: New U.S. Base – Wasit (11.09.07, Index Research)


Index on Afghanistan (31.08.06 - updated)

Index on Afghanistan: September 2006

Index on Afghanistan : October 2006

Index on Afghanistan : November 2006

Index on Afghanistan: January 2007

Index on Afghanistan: February 2007

Index on Afghanistan: March 2007 (Pakistan/Iran /India & Iraq)

Oil and Gas: The Great Game
(Index Afghanistan April ’08)

Index on Afghanistan May 2009 (Oil and Gas - Pakistan/Iran /India & Iraq)

Oil and Gas: The Great Game (Index on Afghanistan August 2007)

Oil and Gas; The Great Game (Index on Afghanistan Autumn ’07)

A Wider Perspective: Global Oil Struggle (Index Afghanistan Feb. ‘08)

Oil and Gas (Index Afghanistan April ’08)

oil and gas
(Index Afghanistan Aug/Sept ’08)

oil and gas (Index on Afghanistan October 2008)

Oil and Gas in Afghanistan and Pakistan (Index Afghanistan December ’08)


PNAC: Rebuilding America's Defenses - A Biopsy on Imperialism; Part II: "Special Interests" - The Persian Gulf (29.03.06. Index Research; maps / bases)

Index Research: The Pentagon and Oil (24.07.08. Includes research by Sohbet Karbuz)


Index on Afghanistan: April 2007: Murder in Nangarhar

Dead in Afghanistan: May 2007

Civilian Deaths and Counternarcotics to Top Agenda at Bush-Karzai Meeting (Schisms: Index on Afghanistan, August 2007)

Afghanistan: Cleared of Wrongdoing (29 Sept. 07)

Index on Afghanistan: Disaster, A Winter's Tale (1) February 2008

Murder in Azizabad (Index Afghanistan April ’08)

Killing Civilians (Index Afghanistan October ’08)

Killing of Afghan civilians covered-up by Australian military (19.05.09. James Cogan, uruknet)


Preface, Index on Afghanistan , April '08: 'The U.S. government repetitive phrases and words need examining. World governments and the international media have been infected by White House propaganda since 9/11':

* Harm national security
* Al Qaeda
* Criminal gangs
* Enemy / enemies / enemy combatant
* Evil
* Extremists
* Militants
* Outlaws
* Radical
* Rogue (states, elements, etc)
* (add Taliban)
* Terrorists

The Taliban (Index Afghanistan Dec. ’08)


Iraq: On the sidebar of Index on Afghanistan, there are articles about torture.

Afghanistan: In every Index on Afghanistan, there is a section on Rendition and Torture under the "Human Rights" section.


Sarah Meyer is a researcher living in the UK. She is a member of the BRussels Tribunal Advisory Committee. The BR. T. has published this research here .
I would like to give thanks for help to Winston Weeks, Musafir and L. Chadderdon.

The url to ‘Index on War in Pakistan, May 2009’ is:

The smaller url is:

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