Thursday, April 29, 2010

[wvns] Mohamed Atta's father says he's still alive

Mohamed Atta's father says he's still alive, blames Mossad for 9/11


This material is from 2001-2; but should be reviewed in the light of the identity theft in the Dubai assassination.
(1) Mohamed Atta's father says he's still alive, blames Mossad for 9/11
(2) Mohammed Atta's father: "My son called me the day after the attacks on September 12"
(3) Father says son rang him 24 and 48 hours after 9/11; accuses Mossad
(4) Atta & 2 other jihackers reported their passports stolen in late 1999
(5) Mohammad Atta's girlfriend interviewed (video)
(6) Atta's girlfriend: he loved pork chops, was already a licensed pilot, could speak Hebrew, had been in "some kind of militia"
(7) Hijackers' last letter, found in baggage, shows ignorance of Islam - Robert Fisk


(1) Mohamed Atta's father says he's still alive, blames Mossad for 9/11

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Atta


Mohamed Atta ...Family reaction Atta's father, Mohamed el-Amir Awad el-Sayed Atta, a retired lawyer in Egypt rejected allegations his son was involved in the September 11 attacks and instead accuses Mossad of having a hand in framing his son.[28] Atta Sr. rejected media reports his son was drinking wildly, and instead described his son as a quiet boy uninvolved in politics, shy and devoted to studying architecture.[89] The elder Mr. Atta also claims to have spoken with Mohamed by phone two days after the air crashes of the September 11th. He held interviews with the German news magazine Bild am Sonntag in late 2002 claiming his son is alive, and in hiding. Critics [which critics?] have suggested Mr. Atta fabricated his claims of speaking with his son after September 11, 2001 and saying his son is alive, in denial of his son's role in the 9/11 attacks.[90][Reference does not support statement] [edit]Notes28.^ a b Lappin, Elena (2002-08-29). "Portrait: Atta in Hamburg" . Prospect. Retrieved 2008-09-16.90.^ Connolly, Kate (2002-09-02). "Father insists alleged leader of attack on WTC is still alive" . The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-09-16. ... This page was last modified on 26 March 2010 at 17:16. (2) Mohammed Atta's father: "My son called me the day after the attacks on September 12" Father insists alleged leader is still alive Kate Connolly in Berlin The Guardian, Monday 2 September 2002 01.28 BST http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/sep/02/september11.usa

The father of Mohammed Atta, the alleged ringleader of the September 11 attacks, said in an interview published yesterday that his son was still alive. "He is hiding in a secret place so as not to be murdered by the US secret services," Mohammed el-Amir Atta, 66, told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag. He also vehemently denied that his son - believed to have flown the first plane into the World Trade Centre - had taken part in the atrocities, blaming them instead on "American Christians". The interview painted a picture of a tortured man who has not come to terms with his 33-year-old son's death or with the huge crime laid at his door. He said he feared the US would try to poison him. Speaking from his Cairo home, Mr Atta described hearing about the attacks after returning from a holiday on the Red Sea on the evening of September 12. "My daughter called and said she was going to drop in. She stood at the door and said 'turn on the TV'," he said. Amid images of the jets crashing into the Twin Towers, he saw his son's passport photograph. "As I saw the picture of my son," he said, "I knew that he hadn't done it. My son called me the day after the attacks on September 12 at around midday. We spoke for two minutes about this and that. "He didn't tell me where he was calling from. At that time neither of us knew anything about the attacks." Mr Atta said he did not condone the attacks, but could understand the hijackers' motivation. "Every day our Palestinian brothers are being murdered, their houses destroyed. If their relatives were to fly a plane into the Empire State Building I couldn't hold it against them," he added. Mr Atta called his son a "gentle and tender boy", who enjoyed reading history and geography books and was nicknamed "Bolbol", or nightingale, by his parents. (3) Father says son rang him 24 and 48 hours after 9/11; accuses Mossad Atta in Hamburg ELENA LAPPIN Prospect Magazine 20th September 2002 — Issue 78 http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2002/09/attainhamburg/

He is a man with a grudge. In interviews with foreign journalists - to whom he serves alcohol-free beer - he rants about America, without answering or listening to questions. He accuses the Mossad of being responsible for 11th September, and of framing his son, from whom he claims to have received a phone call, "checking in," 24 and 48 hours after the attacks. == Father's interview with Cairo Times: "Mossad and Israel are who benefits" http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/atta.html

Muhammad Atta Sr is in the center of the media storm
Ashraf Khalil
www.cairotimes.com
Volume 5, Issue 2927
SEPTEMBER - 3 OCTOBER 2001


The journalistic frenzy touched off by the 11 September attacks on America has produced no more maudlin a figure than Muhammad Al Amir Atta. The semi-retired lawyer, whose son Muhammad Atta is accused by US authorities of piloting the first hijacked plane into the World Trade Center, has spent the past 10 days in the center of a media maelstrom. A seemingly endless stream of foreign journalists, some of whom flew in just for the interview, have beat a path to Atta's home just off of Pyramids Road.

What they have found, for the most part, is an angry, grieving man who defends his son as a gentle soul and speaks of a set-up by the Israel intelligence services to turn global public opinion against the Muslim world. "Mossad and Israel are who benefits the most from this.... They want to try to hang this on the Arab world," Atta told the Cairo Times in a 19 September interview. "When America learns that Mossad did it, they won't be able to say anything." Interviews with the elder Atta have been chaotic affairs-spiced with red-faced rants against American foreign policy and the conspiracy of which he says his son is an innocent victim. ... A 24 September press conference, organized by the local Foreign Press Association, was equally raucous-with so many media representatives crowding into a Shepherd Hotel ballroom that one cameraman pronounced the affair "a moulid for journalists." The younger Atta, who graduated from Cairo University with a degree in architecture, hasn't lived in Egypt since 1993. He spent most of the past decade studying urban planning in Hamburg, Germany, where colleagues described him as decent, quietly religious and soft-spoken to the point of shyness. The father said his son was raised to be solidly apolitical and to focus on "work, home and family." He also said Muhammad had expressed his distaste for Bin Laden after the mid-90s bombing of the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan. "That was the only political opinion he ever expressed to me in his life." The elder Atta said he had last seen his son about 18 months ago in Egypt. He had never been to visit him in Germany, and knew little of his life there. He also claimed that his son had called him two days after the attack, and described it as "a normal conversation." But he snarled when asked to give further details. Asked what country Muhammad had called from, he said, "The name of the country isn't written on the phone." Asked where Muhammad was now, he said, "Ask Mossad." ... Atta maintained that the evidence against the accused hijackers including an Arabic flight manual in a car in the Logan airport parking lot and his son's United Arab Emirates passport, had been faked and planted in order to create a rush to judgement against the Muslim world. "They found a flight manual in the car," he said. "Is he going to be studying on the way?"

===

(4) Atta & 2 other jihackers reported their passports stolen in late 1999
http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/atta_9-11.html


Mohamed Atta: Terrorist, Patsy, or Scapegoat? [Atta and Alomari] spent their last night pursuing ordinary activities: making ATM withdrawals, eating pizza, and shopping at a convenience store. [9/11 Commission Report] "Most college kids order pizza all the time," Ponemon said. "But most people pay cash for pizza. These guys paid with a credit card. That was an odd thing." [SignOnSanDiego] The above were not the actions of a terrorist ringleader determined to achieve a goal which was years in the planning, they were the actions of someone determined to leave a trail of evidence. ... (Mohamed) Atta and (Abdulaziz) Alomari boarded a 6:00 a.m. flight from Portland to Boston's Logan International Airport. [SFGate] A Mitsubishi sedan [Atta] rented was found at Boston's Logan Airport. Arabic language materials were found in the car. [CNN] How did Atta leave a rental car at Logan Airport in Boston when he supposedly flew there from Portland, Maine? The official story: [Atta] rented a car at Logan Airport Alamo and drove to Maine [on September 10]. Then flew down from Portland, Maine, early Tuesday before connecting on Flight 11. [Boston.com] Why would Atta leave a rental car containing incriminating evidence at Logan Airport, rent another car in Boston to drive to Maine, then fly back to Boston again? Even the 9/11 Commission couldn't explain this conundrum... Atta picked up Omari at another hotel [on September 10], and the two drove to Portland, Maine, for reasons that remain unknown. [9/11 Commission Report] ...and they didn't look for answers. The Bukharis provide a key to the enigma: [Adnan and Ameer Bukhari's] names had been tied to a car found at an airport in Portland, Maine. [CNN] The two rented a car, a silver-blue Nissan Altima, from an Alamo car rental at Boston's Logan Airport and drove to an airport in Portland, Maine, where they got on US Airways Flight 5930 at 6 a.m. Tuesday headed back to Boston, the sources said. Before CNN learned the identities of the two brothers, Portland Police Chief Mike Chitwood said, "I can tell you those two individuals did get on a plane and fly to Boston early yesterday morning ... I can tell you that they are the focus of a federal investigation." [People's Daily 9/13/2001] [Adnan Bukhari's] name reportedly appears on the American Airlines Flight Eleven manifest. [First Coast News] A trail of evidence led investigators into Tuesday's terrorist attacks from one abandoned rental car in Portland, Maine, to two houses in Vero Beach, Florida. One of the Vero Beach houses had been rented by two brothers from Saudi Arabia. Inside it were two pilot's certificates in the names of Adnan Bukhari and his brother, Ameer Abbas Bukhari. [BBC News] Early accounts stated it was Adnan and Ameer Bukhari who rented the car from Logan Airport Alamo and abandoned it at Portland, not Mohamed Atta. The Bukharis "did get on a plane and fly to Boston", Adnan Bukhari's name reportedly appeared on Flight 11's manifest, and a trail of evidence led investigators to Adnan Bukhari's house. Within hours of the attacks it was nearly "case closed" that the Bukharis were hijackers of Flight 11, but a couple of simple facts proved their innocence - Ameer Bukhari died in a plane crash in 2000 and Adnan Bukhari is alive. 9/13/2001 CNN retraction concerning the Bukharis - 1MB asf video download How did so much evidence initially point to the Bukharis, and how did Adnan Bukhari's name reportedly appear on Flight 11's manifest? The words "fabricated evidence" spring to mind. The Bukharis innocence caused a major rethink of Flight 11's hijackers, and this rethink resulted in the implausible scenario of Atta abandoning two rental cars in two airports. [Mohamed Atta] spoke excellent German - good enough to correct other students' texts - as well as fluent English and Arabic. [FT.com] Atta and two other suspected hijackers reported their passports stolen in late 1999. [BBC News] [Rudi Dekkers, owner of Huffman Aviation] knew that Atta had lived in Hamburg, Germany and one day [in 2000] spoke to him in German as a way of friendly communication. Atta was stunned and quickly walked away. [house.gov] An imposter could pretend to be Atta, but he couldn't pretend to speak German. [Atta senior] had no knowledge his son had ever been in the United States. More absurd to him was the idea that his son had enrolled in a Florida flight school. "Did he ever learn to fly? Never. He never even had a kite." Added Atta senior: "My daughter, who is a doctor, used to get him medicine before every journey, to make combat the cramps and the vomiting he feels every time he gets on the plane." [MSNBC] On the first day of the 9/11 Commission hearings, commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste opened his remarks with sharp criticism of the current White House and the delays in processing the commissioners' security clearances. Ben-Veniste, who first came to prominence as a Watergate special prosecutor from 1973 to 1975, was counsel for the Democratic minority on the Senate Whitewater committee. Today he is a major attorney with a top firm in D.C. Al Qaeda's lead 9/11 hijacker, Mohamed Atta, was allegedly partying with CIA-connected pilots while he got his flight training in fall/winter 2000 at Huffman Aviation in Venice, Fla., where two of the other 9/11 hijacker pilots trained. Atta wasn't acting much like a holy martyr: He wore jeans and sneakers, played video games, bought himself a red Pontiac and was said to be a hedonist. The Press posed the question to Ben-Veniste: If Atta belonged to the fundamentalist Muslim group, why was he snorting cocaine and frequenting strip bars? "You know," said Ben-Veniste, as he smiled a little. "That's a heck of a question." [9/11 CitizenWatch] Below is supposedly the will of a hedonist who snorted cocaine and frequented strip bars: Mohamed Atta's will: Page 1 - Page 2 Atta's original will was written in Arabic and has not been released by the FBI. This is an English version translated by the FBI and first reported in Der Spiegel. Records from ... [Huffman Aviation] were deemed sensitive enough to have merited being escorted back to Washington by Florida Governor Jeb Bush aboard a C-130 cargo plane, which left Sarasota less than 24 hours after the September 11 attack. [Scoop] How did Jeb Bush know where to lookhours after the attacks? Mohamed Atta: terrorist, patsy, or scapegoat? Update: Pentagon officials said Thursday they have found three more people who recall an intelligence chart that identified Sept. 11 mastermind Mohamed Atta as a terrorist one year before the attacks on New York and Washington. But they have been unable to find the chart or other evidence that it existed. [Yahoo News 9/2/2005] A Pentagon employee was ordered to destroy documents that identified Mohamed Atta as a terrorist two years before the 2001 attacks, a congressman said Thursday. The employee is prepared to testify next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was expected to identify the person who ordered him to destroy the large volume of documents, said Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa. Weldon declined to identify the employee, citing confidentiality matters. Weldon described the documents as "2.5 terabytes" as much as one-fourth of all the printed materials in the Library of Congress, he added. [ABC News 9/15/2005]

Translation: Atta was a protected asset, not a terrorist.

See also: Mohamed Atta loved pork chops, and 49 other things you may not know

<http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x1433886>

What Muslim Would Write: 'The Time of Fun and Waste is Gone'?<http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0929-07.htm>

At Least 7 of the 9/11 Hijackers are Still Alive

==

(5) Mohammad Atta's girlfriend interviewed (video) http://vodpod.com/watch/2909718-madcowprod-com-presents-interview-with-attas-girlfriend

(6) Atta's girlfriend: he loved pork chops, was already a licensed pilot, could speak Hebrew, had been in "some kind of militia"

Mohamed Atta loved pork chops, and 49 other things you may not know

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x1433886 about the 9/11 Florida connection.

I just finished Daniel Hopsicker's Welcome to Terrorland. He exposes the cover story of the Florida flight schools, and the ongoing cover-up. The whole thing stinks of Iran/Contra and CIA drugs. It's the same, bloody game. Though his style can be annoyingly breezy, I highly recommend the book. There's original research you won't find anywhere else but here and on his website: http://www.madcowprod.com /. Here are some archived threads that touch on similar material: "Jeb Bush seized flight school records at 2 AM on September 12"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... "Heroin, Al Qaeda and the Florida Flight School"

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... And FYI, here are some notes I kept while reading the book:

1. In Venice Florida, Mohamed Atta lived for two months with an American stripper/lingerie model named Amanda Keller.
2. Atta loved to party. He was out with Keller nearly every night they were together. He was a heavy drinker, snorted coke, was a stylish dresser and wore expensive jewelry.
3. According to Keller, Atta loved pork chops.
4. Keller dumped him after he embarrassed her at a night club by dancing, poorly, atop a speaker ("doing that old 'Roxbury head bob' thing, you know"?)
5. Atta revenged himself later on Keller by returning to the apartment they'd shared and killing her cat and kittens, disemboweling and dismembering them in her apartment for her to find. 6. In Miami, Atta consorted with women known to be linked to the Mafia.
7. Atta's email list included names of people who worked for defense contractors. One, for instance, worked for Canadian firm Virtual Prototypes, which helped develop the avionics for F-15, F-22 and B-2. 8. Atta was enrolled as a student at the International Officer's School of Maxwell Airforce Base, and witnesses recall him having been introduced around at an officers' club party.
9. Atta was fluent in at least Arabic, English, German, French and Hebrew.
10. One day when Atta was rummaging through his flight bag, Keller got a look inside. Her words: "The thing the FBI was most interested in was his pilot bag. They asked about it a lot. He kept it locked, and they wanted to know whether I had ever seen anything in it. I told them yes. One day he opened it briefly, and there were a lot of papers in it, and there was a blue log book in a different language. Mohamed was fluent in almost any language you can think of. He had a kind of Daytimer in there, too. And a folder with all these different ID's in it. And that's when I saw one – because it fell out – a little blue and white thing the size of a driver's license. It had his picture on it, and it looked like a mug shot, or a prison shot. And it didn't look like him, and I asked him, 'Who is this?' "And he said, 'that's me.' He told me it had been taken back when he was in some kind of militia-type deal, like a military-type deal, he said. He compared it to our military only they teach you different tactics. He didn't elaborate. "He didn't say where it was from, either. But the writing looked like a cross between Hebrew and Arabic, those frilly little lines. He told me he spoke Hebrew. I said bullshit. So he started speaking it, and I guess he did. "He told me that he went to different countries and studied. He had pilot's license from several different countries. But all the pictures looked different. All the names were different. He had a license to fly from just about every country he had been to. He went to pilot's school in all these countries."

11. Atta, Keller, a stripper named Linda and two Germans, Peter and Johan, partied for three days in Key West. Atta paid for everything. Rented three rooms, one just for the men's luggage, which Keller says contained drugs. The men had a business meeting the women were not permitted to attend. Met with people, Keller says, who flew in just to meet Atta. Somber and quiet after meeting. (Key West Airport a known drug transit point. The Sheriff used to be under orders to keep the dope sniffing dogs off airplanes, and at one time even sent patrol cars to escort the drugs to Miami.)

12. Atta was already a licensed pilot when he arrived in the US. Licenses from many different countries. He had the privileges of an instructor while he was at Huffman Aviation, and may have helped pilot South American drug runs.

13. The FBI timeline says Atta left Venice Florida in December 2000 after completing his flight training. But he didn't. Dozens of locals say different – his landlord, neighbours, cab drivers, restaurant employees and his girlfriend, for a few instances – and have been told not to talk about it by federal authorities. The FBI publicly sought information regarding Atta's time in various US locations, but not Venice Florida, where he spent most of his time in the US. Why the intentional misdirection? What are they trying to keep hidden?

14. Under pressure from the FBI, and despite numerous witnesses who had known them together, Keller publicly retracted her story of having lived with Atta, saying he'd been another hijacker named Mohammed, no last name, who seems to have only existed to get Atta out of this story that didn't fit the official version.

15. Six nights before the attack, at a bar called Shuckums in Ft Lauderdale, Atta and two companions got drunk. The FBI showed up at the bar just 12 hours after the attack with pictures of two of them, one Atta, saying only "they were on the plane and passed away." Manager Tony Amos and bartender Patricia Idrissi identified both. Manager Amos said they'd gotten "wasted," Atta drank Stoli vodka for three straight hours. Atta blasphemed: "F*ck God!" he's said to have cursed.

16. The witnesses then retracted the story of Atta being drunk. They now said he'd only drank cranberry juice the entire evening. Both Amos and Idrissi have gone, no one knows where, but the current bartender says she believes their leaving was somehow 9/11 related.

17. Fourteen of the 9/11 hijackers made Florida their base of operation, and clustered around two flight schools. What is it about Florida, and these flight schools, that drew them?

18. Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi paid $28,000 each to Rudi Dekkers' Huffman Aviation for flight instruction that, the chief instructor of a neighbouring school said, was available at dozens of other nearby locations for a fraction of the price. Why did they pay an inflated price to Dekkers?

19. Dekkers' and his financier, Wally Hilliard, purchased the flight school just months before Atta and the other hijackers began arriving. Before their purchase, the flight school catered to largely American students. After, student body became 80% foreign, mostly Middle Eastern. Yeslam bin Laden, Osama's brother, sent students there for his business.

20. Atta also "trained" for a time at Arne Kruithof's Florida Flight Training Center, a block away from Huffman Aviation. Amanda Keller says it is where he would go to replenish his cocaine stash.

21. Though Dutchmen Dekkers and Kruithof claimed they had not known each other before each coincidently purchased flight training schools in Venice shortly before terrorists began arriving for training, witnesses claim the two had known each other well for years before.

22. Wally Hilliard is a supposedly-retired, born again insurance executive from the Midwest (motto for his insurance company had been "Hate Sin, Fight Communism, Back the Pack!"), who upon arriving in Florida entered into aviation businesses with an assortment of criminal and covert intelligence elements.

23. Dekkers and Hilliard had not been in the flight school business before they made the purchase. They paid an inflated price for the school, and did no due diligence before the purchase. They lost millions, but this was apparently not a problem. Charlie Voss, former employee of Dekkers and an Iran/Contra pilot who'd also flown "Northern Alliance guys" in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and who had given Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi a place to stay for a few weeks when they first arrived in Venice Florida: "Rudi's greedy, and when you're greedy you can be used for something.... When something doesn't make obvious business sense, sometimes it's because things are being done for another reason that doesn't have a lot to do with dollars and cents. His business did not add up."

24. Dekkers went from broke to flush very quickly, without having business success with the flight school. One observer said "He didn't even have the money to buy gas for an airplane… and yet a year later he shows up and plops a million seven, a million eight or two million dollars on the table as if it were paper money."

25. The deputy in charge of Venice Fl airport security: "Wally and Rudi never talk inside a building, they go out to an airplane and talk inside the plane."

26. Dekkers' claimed he had very little interaction with Atta, and that he never saw him again after December 2000. But numerous witnesses in Venice claim Dekkers and Atta were close, and were seen at a restaurant together just two weeks before the attack.

27. Hilliard denied knowing Atta. Keller recalled, on a visit to the airport, having Hilliard ask her, "What's a nice girl like you doing with a guy like Mohamed?"

28. Before the attack, Dekkers was having trouble paying rent on flight school. It was so bad, it was a story in the Venice paper when he paid rent. One month before attack, he stopped having trouble. Since attack, every aviation concern at Venice airport has been late at least once with their monthly rent, except for Dekkers'.

29. Both the DEA and US Customs had been interested in Dekkers as far back as 1993. He was suspected of smuggling drugs and computer chips.

30. Less than three weeks after Atta and Marwan Al-Shehi began flying lessons at Huffman Aviation, a Lear jet owned by its financier, Wally Hilliard, carrying 43 pounds of heroin was seized by the DEA. Authorities called it the biggest seizure of heroin ever in central Florida.

31. The passengers, Venezuelan nationals, were arrested, but the pilot wasn't charged, said a DEA spokesman, "because of lack of evidence." ...

38. A former Huffman executive, speaking about the hijackers: "Early on I gleaned that these guys had government protection. They were let into this country for a specific purpose. It was a business deal."

39. The FBI visited the home of this executive just four hours after the attacks. The purpose has been not to investigate, but to intimidate him into silence. The man says his phones were bugged, and thinks pilots were "double agents." He quit the flight school fearing for his life, and claims he knows too much about Wally Hillier, saying he "has a family to think about." ...

===

(6) Hijackers' last letter, found in baggage, shows ignorance of Islam - Robert Fisk

What Muslim Would Write: 'The Time of Fun and Waste is Gone'?
by Robert Fisk
Published on September 29, 2001 in the Independent/UK http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0929-07.htm


Fearful, chilling, grotesque– but also very, very odd. If the handwritten, five-page document which the FBI says it found in the baggage of Mohamed Atta, the suicide bomber from Egypt, is genuine, then the men who murdered more than 7,000 innocent people believed in a very exclusive version of Islam – or were surprisingly unfamiliar with their religion. "The time of Fun and waste is gone," Atta, or one of his associates, is reported to have written in the note. "Be optimistic ... Check all your items – your bag, your clothes, your knives, your will, your IDs, your passport ... In the morning, try to pray the morning prayer with an open heart." Part theological, part mission statement, the document – extracts from which were published in The Washington Post yesterday – raises more questions than it answers. Under the heading of "Last Night" – presumably the night of 10 September – the writer tells his fellow hijackers to "remind yourself that in this night you will face many challenges. But you have to face them and understand it 100 per cent ... Obey God, his messenger, and don't fight among yourself [sic] where [sic] you become weak ... Everybody hates death, fears death ..." The document begins with the words: "In the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate ... In the name of God, of myself, and of my family." The problem is that no Muslim – however ill-taught – would include his family in such a prayer. Indeed, he would mention the Prophet Mohamed immediately after he mentioned God in the first line. Lebanese and Palestinian suicide bombers have never been known to refer to "the time of fun and waste" – because a true Muslim would not have "wasted" his time and would regard pleasure as a reward of the after-life. And what Muslim would urge his fellow believers to recite the morning prayer – and then go on to quote from it? A devout Muslim would not need to be reminded of his duty to say the first of the five prayers of the day – and would certainly not need to be reminded of the text. It is as if a Christian, urging his followers to recite the Lord's Prayer, felt it necessary to read the whole prayer in case they didn't remember it. ...

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[wvns] War Between India and China?

Geo-Strategic Chessboard: War Between India and China?
By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7453


Since 1947, India has not fully pledged itself to any camp or global pole during the Cold War and as a result was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement (N.A.M.). Since the post-Cold War era that position has eroded. New Delhi has been gradually moving away from its traditional position, relationships, and policies in the international arena for over a decade.

India has been vied for as an ally in the "Great Game" that is underway, once again. This round of the "Great Game" is, however, being played under a far broader spectrum than the one played between Britain and Czarist Russia. In question is the Indian power relationship with two geo-political entities: the first is the "Periphery" and the second is "Eurasia."

The Periphery and Eurasia: Vying for India on a Geo-Strategic Chessboard

Physical geography alone does not form or carve or determine geographic entities. The activity of people also is of critical importance to this process. Geographic units, from blocs and countries to regions, must be understood as a product of people interacting in socio-economic and political terms. The geographic entities that are subject herein are social constructions. In this conceptual context, Eurasia itself can be defined as a geo-political player and entity.

In a physical sense, Eurasia as a geographic landmass and spatial entity is neutral, just as are other geographic regions or units, and carries no meaning or value(s). Eurasia in socio-political terms as an active player, however, is altogether different. Herein, it is this active and politically organized Eurasia that is a product of the anti-hegemonic cooperation of Russia, China, and Iran against the status quo global order of the Periphery that is the Eurasia being addressed.

The Periphery is a collective term for those nations who are either geographically located on the margins of the Eurasian landmass or altogether geographically outside of the Eurasian landmass. This grouping or categorization of geo-political players when described are namely the U.S., the E.U., and Japan. In almost organic terms these players at the broader level strive to penetrate and consume Eurasia. This objective is so because of the socio-economic organization and political mechanisms (all of which serve elitist interests) of the Periphery. Aside from the U.S., the E.U., and Japan, the Periphery includes Australia, Canada, South Korea, Singapore, and Israel.

It is in this tugging match that India is centred. It is also in this geo-strategic bout that India has adopted a pragmatic policy of open opportunism. Yet, New Delhi has also been steadily moving towards a stance favouring the Periphery against Eurasia.

India's historically warm relationship with Iran has been tainted because of negotiations with the U.S. and E.U. and New Delhi's relationship with China appears cordial on the surface, but it is fragile and double-edged. Although Russia and India maintain cooperation in regards to the purchase of Russian military hardware by India, this relationship too is in question regardless of continued Russian weapons supplies.

State policy, in turn influenced or controlled by local elites, is also pivotal to the formation of the larger geographic entities being addressed. The ruling circles and elites of India are pragmatic opportunists and their is no question in this. This characteristic, however, is a trademark of almost all elitist circles and is not unique to Indian elites alone. The position of the Indian elites, however, is noteworthy because they can flex their muscles and they can play both sides.

New Delhi Caught between Alliances?

As stated, New Delhi has been walking a pragmatic path between the emerging Eurasian pole and between the more established Peripheral pole. The Eurasian pole was originally formed out of a reluctant necessity for survival against the thrust of the Periphery by Moscow. As the Russian-initiated Eurasian-based alliance gains global momentum it is also working to cultivate an end to Eurasian rivalries.

Since 2003, the lines of cooperation with the U.S., Britain, Germany, and France have been shifting and continuously restudied by Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, and their other allies, such as Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Tajikistan. The U.S., Britain, Germany, France and their shared proxies, NATO and the European Union, have been trying to obstruct the solidification of a united Eurasian entity. This is where India is key.

A factor that has obstructed Eurasian cooperation, with the inclusion of India, is the mutual suspicions of the Eurasians and, in general terms, their underlying resource rivalries. Due to these factors, the Eurasians appeared to be working together and alternatively to be keeping the lines of cooperation open with both the Periphery. A case in standing of this schizophrenic policy is what was once called the "Paris-Berlin-Moscow Axis" that clasped Russia on one side and France and Germany on the other. This Paris-Berlin-Moscow Axis flexed its muscles in international relations and at the U.N. during the Anglo-American march to war against Iraq in 2003.

India and the Encirclement of China

New Delhi is not a constituent of the Periphery. Nor does India fully trust the nations of the Periphery. India does,, however, appear to favour the Periphery. This can be attributed to the demographic nature of global resource competitions and long-standing Sino-Indian cleavages and tensions. The tensions and cleavages between China and India have also been capitalized on by the Periphery just as the Sino-Soviet split was by Henry Kissinger during the Cold War to keep China and the Soviet Union divided.

Due to tensions with China, the Indian ruling establishment still holds onto a vision about a showdown with the Chinese. Both states are demographic dinosaurs and are competing between themselves and with the status quo Peripheral powers for resources. Despite the fact that it is the nations of the Periphery that are disproportionately exploiting a far larger share of global resources, in the eyes of many in New Delhi the perception is that it is far easier to reduce the effect of global resource competitions by working to eliminate China rather than competing with the Periphery. It is these two reasons that are the basis for the formation of Indian animosity to Beijing.

An encircling military ring that involves India has been created around China. New Delhi has been involved in the framework of military cooperation with the Periphery aimed at China. Under this framework, India has joined Japan, the U.S., and Australia in forming a de facto "Quadrilateral Coalition" to neutralize China through the establishment of a ring of containment that could see a naval blockade form in the event of a war around the borders of China. [1]

In a war between China and an outside power, cutting off Chinese energy supplies would be central to defeating Beijing. Without any fuel the military hardware of the People's Liberation Army would be rendered useless. It is from this standpoint that India is building its naval strength and cooperating militarily in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific with the Periphery. It is also with Chinese energy supplies, Indian naval expansion, and the encirclement of China in mind that the Indian military has prepared to introduce, by 2014, what it calls "Indigenous Aircraft Carriers" (IACs), each with two takeoff runways and one landing strip for up to 30 military aircraft. [2]

China, as well as Iran, also has a direct border with NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan, which can be used as a military hub against the more vulnerable western flank of China. In this regard, the massive American-led NATO military build-up in Afghanistan is monitored with the utmost suspicion by Beijing and Tehran. In many senses, the Periphery is moving or pushing inwards towards the heart of Eurasia. The encirclement of China also parallels the rings of military alliances and bases created around Russia and around Iran. China also faces the threat of a missile shield project in East Asia just as the European core of Russia faces one in Eastern Europe and Iran faces one via such countries as the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Israel, and Turkey in the Middle East.

Playing all sides to get New Delhi its Place in the Sun?

The 2006 meetings between George W. Bush Jr. and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, including the Indo-U.S. nuclear cooperation agreement, are examples of the "divide and conquer" game the White House and its allies are playing. India is not passive in this game and is an active player too. The trilateral summits held between Russia, China, and India represent the opposite push to bring India fully into the Eurasian coalition of Moscow and Beijing. The U.S. has also been trying to obstruct the creation of a trans-Asian energy grid in Asia or a trans-Eurasian energy grid that would involve both sections of Europe and Asia within a single framework. One of these projects is the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and another is the building of pipelines from the former Soviet Union to China.

Moreover, India has nurtured military ties with Russia, China, and Iran on one hand and the U.S., NATO, Australia, Israel, and Japan on the other hand. This is evident from the joint naval exercises held in April, 2007 between India and China off Qingdao and the joint Indian, U.S., and Japanese trilateral military exercise in the Pacific Ocean. [3] Yet, India has not been neutral. India has also upgraded its missile arsenal so that it can target deeper into Chinese territory.

All in all, New Delhi has tilted in favour of the Periphery. At first glance, this is reflected by the fact that India is the only Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) observer member that has not applied for full membership within the Eurasian bloc and through New Delhi's growing ties with NATO. India's course also became clearer after an important trilateral conference between Russia, China, and India in 2007 that saw India diplomatically refuse Chinese and Russian demands to rebut America and reject full cooperation. In this regard, Indian officials have said that they do not want to compromise their strategic flexibility. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India has also degenerated the situation further and expanded the rift between India on one side and Russia, Iran, and China on the other.

An Expanded Missile Arsenal for India

New Delhi has also been working to upgrade its military capabilities to match those of the U.S., Russia, and China. The process involves the possession of inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), and ballistic missile defence (BMD) capabilities. The Times of India reported on May 13, 2008 that Indian military scientists predicted that India would posses all three capabilities by 2010 or 2011:

By 2010-2011, India hopes to gatecrash into a very exclusive club of countries, which have both ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) and SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles) as well as BMD (ballistic missile defence) capabilities.

Only the US and Russia strictly qualify for this club as of now, if all the three capabilities — ICBM, SLBM and BMD — are taken together, with countries like China not too far behind.

Top defence scientists, on the sidelines of the annual DRDO awards on Monday, told TOI [Times of India] they were quite confident India would have ICBMs and SLBMs, even though their strike ranges would be much lesser than American, Russian or Chinese missiles, as also a functional BMD system soon after the turn of this decade. [4]

The nature of such a military build-up must be questioned. Who is it aimed at and what are its primary objectives? Are these capabilities meant to act as a deterrence or are they part of something more? These are important questions.

The United States Directly Threatens China

The answer to the Indian military build-up is embodied in two parts. One element to this answer is the military dogma of the U.S. towards China. The U.S. attitude is clarified in a May 2008 interview given to the Voice of America by Admiral Timothy J. Keating after a new Chinese submarine base was discovered, which was called a threat to U.S. interests in Asia. Admiral Keating is the American flag officer commanding U.S. forces in East Asia and the Pacific under United States Pacific Command (USPACOM), one of the highest military posts in the U.S. military.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on May 12, 2008:

China's new underground nuclear submarine base close to vital sea lanes in Southeast Asia has raised US concerns, with experts calling for a shoring up of alliances in the region to check Beijing's growing military clout.

The base's existence on the southern tip of Hainan Island was confirmed for the first time by high resolution satellite images, according to Jane's Intelligence Review, a respected defence periodical, this month.

It could hold up to 20 submarines, including a new type of nuclear ballistic missile submarine, and future Chinese aircraft carrier battle groups, posing a challenge to longstanding US military dominance in Asia.

China should not pursue such "high-end military options," warned Admiral Timothy Keating, the top commander of US forces in Asia, in an interview with the Voice of America last week.

He underlined America's "firm intention" not to abandon its dominating military role in the Pacific and told Beijing it would face "sure defeat" if it took on the United States militarily.

(...)

He said Washington should "tighten" its alliances in Asia to check China's growing military might and develop "interoperability" capabilities among allies such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Singapore, as well as Indonesia and Malaysia.

James Lyons, an ex-commander of the US Pacific Fleet, said the United States needed to reestablish high-level military ties with the Philippines as part of efforts to enhance US deterrence in the wake of China's naval expansion.

He said "operational tactics" used against the former Soviet Union during the Cold War should be applied against China.

He suggested US leasing a squadron of F-16 fighter jets and navy vessels to the Philippines, where Washington once had naval and air bases, as part of the deterrence strategy.

"We don't need a permanent base but we need access," Lyons said, suggesting also that Japan play a more "meaningful" role in protecting critical sea lanes in the region.

"Again the Soviets, we raised that deterrence equation and we won the war without firing a shot basically ... there is no cheap way out and we have to improve our posture in the Western Pacific along with our allies," he said.

Richard Fisher, an expert of China military affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, a US think tank, expected US confrontation with China as Beijing modernized its nuclear ballistic missile submarines, referred to in military jargon as SSBNs. [5]

What James Lyon suggests as an ex-military officier about the U.S. using Japan as a counter-balance against China is clearly being applied with other nations in Asia. In addition, without India using Japan or a whole coalition of other Asian states carries far less weight against China, especially one supported by Russia. India is clearly key in the U.S. geo-strategy for dealing with China and in general for Eurasia.

The Hindustani Wild Card: India as a Eurasian Wedge against China?

To obstruct the unification of Russia, Iran, and China the Bush Jr. Administration in 2004 intensified the venture of using India as a Eurasian wedge or counter-weight to China. The U.S. aim is to eventually undermine the coalition between Russia, China, and Iran by using India or alternatively to use India as a spearhead against the Chinese. This latter tactic would be similar to the strategy used by the U.S. government in relation to Iraq and Iran, which resulted in the Iraq-Iran War in 1980.

In this Iraq-Iran War model both Baghdad and Tehran were seen as enemies by U.S. strategists and the aim was to get both Middle Eastern republics to neutralize one another. Henry Kissinger summed this U.S. policy by saying the point was for both the Iraqi and Iranian sides to destroy one another. The same scenario could happen and be applied to India and China. The realization of this confrontational project has already been announced by the Indian military. What has long been thought has become public and that is that the Indian military has been preparing for war against Beijing. This is the second element to the question about the Indian military build-up.

The Hindustan Times reported on March 26, 2009:

The Indian military fears a [sic.] `Chinese aggression' in less than a decade. A secret exercise, called `Divine Matrix', by the army's military operations directorate has visualised a war scenario with the nuclear-armed neighbour before 2017.

"A misadventure by China is very much within the realm of possibility with Beijing trying to position itself as the only power in the region. There will be no nuclear warfare but a short, swift war that could have menacing consequences for India," said an army officer, who was part of the three-day war games that ended on Wednesday.

In the military's assessment, based on a six-month study of various scenarios before the war games, China would rely on information warfare (IW) to bring India down on its knees before launching an offensive.

The war games saw generals raising concerns about the IW battalions of the People's Liberation Army carrying out hacker attacks for military espionage, intelligence collection, paralysing communication systems, compromising airport security, inflicting damage on the banking system and disabling power grids. "We need to spend more on developing information warfare capability," he said.

The war games dispelled the notion that China would take at least one season (one year) for a substantial military build-up across India's northeastern frontiers. "The Tibetan infrastructure has been improved considerably. The PLA can now launch an assault very quickly, without any warning, the officer said.

The military believes that China would have swamped Tibet with sweeping demographic changes in the medium term. For the purposes of Divine Matrix, China would call Dalai Lama for rapprochement and neutralise him. The top brass also brainstormed over India's options in case Pakistan joined the war to [sic.; too]. Another apprehension was that Myanmar and Bangladesh would align with China in the future geostrategic environment. [6]

Although the materialization of a war against China is not a guaranteed event, war preparations are being made against the Chinese. The disturbances within the borders of China in Xinjiang and Tibet and in Myanmar (Burma), which is important to Chinese energy security, that are so widely advertised in the name of democracy and self-determination in the U.S. and E.U. are part of an effort to destabilize and weaken China. It is also in this context that India is involved with operations, such as supporting the Tibetan government-in-exile of the Dahali Lama, that have been destabilizing China.

The Australian military has also announced it is expanding its military in preparation for a forecast major war in the Asia-Pacific region. [7] Japan has also been expanding its military, while Tokyo has been preparing itself to join a NATO-like sister-alliance in the Asia-Pacific that would include Australia, the U.S., and South Korea and be directed against China, Russia, and North Korea. [8] Myanmar and Laos can be targeted too by this military build-up and NATO-like alliance, as can the other Southeast Asian states of Indo-China, specifically Vietnam and Cambodia, if they change their policies.

The Strategic Ties of New Delhi and Tel Aviv: Indo-Israeli Military and Space Cooperation

On January 21, 2008 a new chapter in Indo-Israeli strategic cooperation was unveiled; India launched a Israeli spy satellite, known as TecSAR (TechSAR) or Polaris, into space via an Indian space rocket at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Padesh. [9] The Israeli satellite was bragged to be mainly aimed against Iran by Israeli sources. [10] Israel's spy satellite launched by India has greatly enhances Israel's intelligence-gathering capabilities against Iran, Syria, and Lebanon.

The satellite launch by New Delhi has revealed that the Indian government has little reservations in assisting in any Israeli or Anglo-American military ventures in the Middle East against Iran and its allies. Tehran immediately voiced its strong and official disapproval to India for aiding Israeli military objectives against Iran's national security. The Israeli satellite launch was delayed several times. The Jerusalem Post and one of its noted reporters, Yaakov Katz, published an article that claimed that the delayed space launch of the Israeli satellite was a result of strong Iranian pressure on the Indian government. [11]

Politicians in India opposed to Indo-Israeli military and space cooperation denounced the Indian government's attempts to present the launch as merely "business as usual" by hiding the military implications and objectives behind an act with underlying hostile intentions against Iran. The Indian government officially argued to the Indian people that the satellite launch was just a commercial transaction between Tel Aviv and New Delhi, but the military implications of the deal reveal that India is no longer neutral in regards to Tehran. The fact that the Israeli spy satellite has been described by Tel Aviv as a means to confront Tehran and Damascus (officially described as "enemy states") is an omission in itself that New Delhi is knowingly an accomplice to hostile acts against Iran and Syria.

The satellite launch was shrouded in complete secrecy by the Indian government. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) which had always announced all its space launches as a symbol of national pride kept silent for the Israeli satellite launch. Large numbers of different Indian groups and people across India condemned the secrecy behind the mission and cited it as a sign of guilty by the Indian government. People's Democracy, the official mouth piece of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CP-M), complained that the citizens of India had to learn about the details of the launch from Israeli news sources. [12]

The Israeli spy satellite was built by Israel Aerospace Industries, which has major business interests in regards to India. On February 18, 2008 Israel Aerospace Industries, and the Tata Group signed a corporate agreement with Israel Aerospace to cooperate and jointly develop military hardware and products through a memorandum of understanding. [13] Like a tell-tale sign this agreement was announced less than a month after the launch of the Israeli spy satellite built by Israel Aerospace Industries. The Tata Group and its companies also have corporate agreements with Boeing, Sikorsky Aircraft, and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), which are all competing against Russian arms manufacturers.

Indian cooperation with Israel extends all the way into the realm of nuclear politics and policy. On September 17, 2008 at the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna a vote was almost unanimously cast for a IAEA resolution urging all Middle Eastern states to abandon making nuclear bombs. In a case of irony, the only state that voted against the IAEA resolution was Israel, which accuses Iran and Syria of pursuing nuclear weapons. Tel Aviv voted against the IAEA resolution, while Tehran and Damascus voted for it and the U.S., Canada, Georgia, and India all in support of Israel abstained.

New Delhi Deepens ties with the U.S., NATO, and Israel

In military terms, there is a real strategic "American-Indian-Israeli Axis." New Delhi's strategic ties with the U.S., NATO, and Israel have been deepening. The strategic axis formed by the U.S., India, and Israel has also been denounced by various political parties and figures across the political landscape of India.

Firstly, the geo-strategic rationale for an alliance between the U.S. and India is the encirclement or containment of the People's Republic of China. The other rationale or intentions of such cooperation are the neutralization of Russia as a player in Central Asia and the securing of energy resources for both the U.S. and India. In this project, the U.S. sees India as a natural counter-weight to China. The U.S. also has used India in its objective of trying to isolate Iran.

In regards to Tel Aviv, Israel sees India as part of a broader periphery. This broader or so-called "new periphery" was imagined and utilized as a basis of geo-strategy by Tel Aviv after 1979 when the "old periphery" that included Iran, which was one of Israel's closest allies, buckled and collapsed with the 1979 Iranian Revolution. [14] In this context, Israel's "new periphery" has been conceptualized against both the Arab World and Iran (or compounded as the Arabo-Iranian World). This is why the Israeli relationships with India, Georgia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Turkey are important, and in some cases full fledged alliances. [15]

Likewise NATO and India also have shared interests in Afghanistan and Central Asia, which India sees as part of its own periphery or "near abroad." These shared interests and the mutual animosity to Chinese energy interests in Central Asia has brought India and NATO, led by the U.S., into the same camp. NATO also sees India as a military partner in its strategy to become a global military alliance. In addition, dealing with Pakistan is also another shared commonality between NATO and India.

The Project for "Greater South Asia" and Indian Ambitions in its "Near Abroad"

As Hindu means everything beyond the Indus and Hindustan the "land beyond the Indus" in ancient Iranian, the word "Industan" can be used to talk about the land and basin around the Indus River. Hereon, this term will be used to refer to the geographic area adjacent the Indus to India's western flank. [16] This area includes Pakistan and can be extended to include Afghanistan and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. Although Industan may not be exactly an accurate definition for the area beyond Pakistan, Industan still fits well, especially in light of Indian geo-political thinking. That is why the term will be used.

Industan, is part of India's "near abroad" or periphery, and in a sense even a part of an expanded periphery that emerged with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It is with this in mind that India established its first military base, at Ayni, on foreign soil in Tajikistan. [17] The converging interests of the U.S. and India are clear in the U.S. State Department's re-definition of Central Asia as a part of "Greater South Asia." Greater South Asia is the conceptualization of Central Asia as a region within South Asia, which is synonymous with the Indian sub-continent. The concept of Greater South Asia is part of the project to bring the former Soviet republics of Central Asia into the orbits of the U.S. through cooperation with India, as a regional gendarme.

Turning to Pakistan, India has a shared interests with the U.S. and NATO in the subjection of Pakistan. Pakistan would cease to be a client state of the U.S. or a manageable state, because of a likely revolution that would occur in the scenario of a broader war in the Middle East against Iran or a far larger Eurasian war involving China and Russia. Nuclear weapons in the hands of such a revolutionary government in Islamabad would be a threat to Indian national security, NATO operations in Afghanistan, and Israel. It is in the shared interests of the U.S., NATO, Israel, and India to neutralize such a strategic and tactical threat from emerging in Pakistan. This is why NATO has underpinned the objective of balkanizing Pakistan and why the U.S. has talked about taking over Pakistani nuclear facilities via the U.S. military. The subjection of Pakistan is also territorially and militarily to the advantage of New Delhi, because it would eliminate a rival and allow India to gain territory that in the view of many Indians was lost with the partition of India in 1947.

The Naval build-up in the Indian Ocean and the Geo-Politics of the Sri Lankan Civil War

To the southern borders of Eurasia is the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean is the scene of major international rivalries and competition(s). Sri Lanka is also a front in these rivalries. It is in this context that India is part of a major naval build-up running from the coastline of East Africa and the Arabian Sea to the waves of Oceania. Aside from the fleets of the U.S. and its NATO allies that have large presences in the Indian Ocean, the naval fleets of Iran, India, China, Japan, and Australia are also all being expanded in league with this trend of militarization. Also, India and China are working to release large nuclear submarine fleets into the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The naval encirclement of Eurasia and the naval expansion of China are also reasons why U.S. Navy ships have been repeatedly caught violating Chinese waters and illegally surveying Chinese territory. [18]

The water around the Arabian Peninsula all the way around from the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, and the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea (Arabian Gulf) carries large fleets of ships either belonging to the U.S., NATO, or their allies. At any point the U.S. and its allies can stop international shipping in these waters. The problem of piracy in these waters is very closely linked to their militarization and is a justification for militarization. This is one of the reasons that the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Horn of Africa, where Somalia is located, have seen the deployment of the naval forces of Russia, China, and Iran as a strategically symmetric move. [19]

It should be noted that relations between Sri Lanka and India started to unravel in 2009. The Sri Lankan government has accused the Indian government of supporting the Tamil Tigers drive to create a Tamil state by dividing Sri Lanka. Much of this has to do with the geo-strategic struggle between the Periphery and Eurasia in the Indian Ocean.

In this regard, India is not only working against Chinese interests in the Indian Ocean, but it is also actively cooperating with the U.S. and its allies. In the scenario of a conflict between Eurasia and the Periphery or between China and India the maritime route that passes by Sri Lanka would be vital to the Chinese military and Chinese energy security. For this reason Sri Lanka has joined the SCO as a "dialogue partner" under the protective umbrella of Russia, China, and their allies. Not only has Sri Lanka joined the SCO, but it also hosts a Chinese port in a pivotal point in the Indian Ocean and near the borders of India that has put Colombo at odds with New Delhi.


Arms Manufacturer and Nuclear Rivalry in India

Since the end of the Cold War there has been a drive to push out Russian arms manufacturers out of the Indian market by Anglo-American, Franco-German, and Israeli military contractors. France and Israel have also been traditionally the second and third largest weapon sources for India after Russia. Russian manufacturers have been competing fiercely against military manufactures based in France, Germany, Israel, Britain, and the U.S. to remain as New Delhi's top arms suppliers.

In addition, the elites in New Delhi have been putting their weight behind Russia's rivals in India. India has become one of the most significant markets for Israeli military hardware and has replaced the void left to Israeli weapons exporters by the loss of the South African arms market that was caused by the collapse of Apartheid in 1993. Additionally, Israel has moved on to replace France as the second largest provider of military hardware to India. [20] This is while France in 2006 and 2008 has made headway in nuclear cooperation agreements with India, following the 2005 Indo-U.S. nuclear deal. [21]

India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA): "Superalignment" or "Counter-Alignment?"

In addition, the U.S. is trying to use the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum, a loose trilateral alliance of go-between states, against China, Venezuela (and its Latin American bloc that can be called the Bolivarian Bloc), Russia, and Iran. In reality and simplistic terms the IBSA powers are rising, second tier global players. They originally appeared to be engaging in a policy of "superalignment," the cultivation of strategic relations with all major powers and blocs, as opposed to "counter-alignment." A global web of alliances, counter-alliances, cross-cutting, and intersecting alliances are beginning to come into view, just like the environment in Europe and the Middle East on the eve of the First World War.

Despite the fact that Italy was a member of the Triple Alliance, along with Germany and the Austro-Hungarians, it decided to side with the Triple Entente after secret negotiations and promises that were never honoured by Britain and France. There are circles in Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran that believe that India could act treacherously just as Italy did by not honouring its obligations to its allies, Vienna and Berlin. These suspicions also see this as a possibility even if India entered the SCO as a full member and joined the Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition in Eurasia.

In the frankest words, India, Brazil, and the Republic of South Africa are benefiting from the compounded friction between the U.S., France, Britain, Germany, China, Iran, Venezuela, and Russia. To clarify, the reason that this friction is best described as compounded is because the Anglo-American alliance and the Franco-German entente work as two separate sub-units and sometimes align with the interests of opposing powers. This is also true about cooperation between Iran, Venezuela, Russia, and China. In Eurasia, Russia and Iran sometimes work as a pair, while Russia and China or China and Iran do so at other times. This trend in regards to the Eurasians, however, is changing as the cohesion between Russia, China, and Iran increases.

This behaviour is observable in the positions of both India and Brazil on Kosovar Independence. Both the foreign ministers of India and Brazil, Celso Amorim and Pranab Mukherjee, made a joint statement in Brasilia about the declaration of independence by Kosovo by announcing that India and Brazil were studying its legal ramifications under a wait-and-see policy of the "evolving situation" as Pranab Mukherjee called it. [22]

The Case of Elitism: Where the Indian Elites Stand

On April 2, 2009 the Group of Twenty (G-20) met in London in regards to the global economy and declared that New Delhi would have a bigger role in the global economy. The question about "India's place in the sun" that is often mentioned in international studies about its emerging status as a global power is not really about India as a nation-state or even the interests of its general population, but is really a question about the position of its ruling and economic classes or its elites (a small minority that make decisions on behalf of the majority) and their place within the global power structure and the international elitist compact that is forming through neo-liberal globalization.

Part and parcel of this enterprise is what appears to be India's demands for a greater role, or share, for its elites in the global economy through some form or another of expanded interlocking directorships. Interlocking directorships is a term used to describe when the members of the board of directors or managing body of one corporation also serve as members of the board of directors or managing body of other corporations. This is very frequent amongst elitist circles and a way for them to maintain a monopoly on their power. It is these interlocking directorships that are uniting global elites and the impetus for global amalgamation.

India has always had indigenous elites, who in numerous cases worked hand in glove with the British during the period of the British Raj. Starting from the colonial period, borrowing from a term used by the Canadian political economist Wallace Clement, most the Indian indigenous elites became "comprador elites." Comprador elites are any elite groups that represent or manage the interests of "parasite elites" or foreign elites, which in the case of the British Raj would have been the British elites. A modern example of a comprador elite would be the Indian chief executive officers (CEOs) of Indian subsidiaries of foreign-controlled corporations, such as PepsiCo India and Monsanto India.

Moving on, the British could not rule most of India without these elites and therefore cooperated with them. London made sure that the Indian elites would be fully integrated into the British Empire by involving them in the administration of India, sending them to British schools, and making them Anglophiles or lovers of all things British. Britain would also grant the Indian elites their own economic fiefdoms in return for their cooperation. The relationship was very much symbiotic and in reality the Indian elites were the biggest supporters of the British Empire and opposed Indian independence. It is only when the Indian elites were offended by London, because of the denial of their requests to have a status within the British Empire like the Dominions, such as Canada and Australia, that the Indian Independence Movement gained momentum.

With Indian independence many of the comprador elites became indigenous elites, in the sense that they were serving their own interests and no longer serving British interests in India. Yet, some comprador elites remained who served British economic interests. For a period of time after Indian independence there were tensions between the Indian indigenous elites and both the comprador elites and their parasite elite backers in London as the indigenous elites moved into the former niches of the British. This does not mean that there were not those within the indigenous elites that made agreements or compromises with the British for the post-independence period.

As time passed and the Cold War supposedly ended, the Soviet Union fell apart, neighbouring China accepted capitalism, and a push for unipolarity accelerated, the different types of elites in India started cooperating even more. More specifically, the indigenous elites of India and foreign elites in the U.S. and E.U. started collaborating, with the comprador elites helping interlock the indigenous and foreign sides even more. The state of elitist modus vivandi, living together in uneasy post-independence armistice, was gradually evolving into broader cooperation. For example, in the financial sector the comprador elites, indigenous elites, and parasite elites have worked together to erode state control of the banking system that has resulted in the mushrooming and growth of private and foreign banks in India starting in the 1990s.

Enter Dr. Manmohan Singh: The Economic Origins for New Delhi's Strategic Shift?

The Indian shift away from non-alignment and its strategic partnerships is deeply connected to the unseen regime change in New Delhi that was initiated with the restructuring of Indian economic policy. 1991 was a year of change for India. It was also the year that President George Bush Sr. declared that the "New World Order" was beginning to emerge and also the same year as the Gulf War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

A common denominator between 1991 and India in the late-2000s is Dr. Manmohan Singh, the current head of the Indian government. Dr. Singh received his doctorate (PhD.) as an economist from Oxford University and also attended Cambridge University. He is a former ranking officer of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in India. His positions included Deputy for India on the IMF Committee of Twenty on International Monetary Reform (1972-1974), IMF Associate (1976-1980, 1982-1985), Alternative Governor for India on the IMF Board of Governors (1982-1985), and Governor for India on the Board of Governors of the IMF (1991-1995). Several of these positions coincided with appointments within the government and national cabinet of India. This also includes the position of Dr. Singh as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (1982-1985).

Dr. Singh was one of the faces behind the restructuring of the Indian economy in 1991, in league with the IMF. He was appointed as the Indian Finance Minister in 1991 by Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, a man accused with corruption, during a financial crisis that was brought about by IMF policies. India was nearly bankrupted during this period of reforms and state assets surrendered to domestic and foreign private investors. The economic policies of establishing a truly self-sufficiently Indian economy were abandoned and privatization became wide spread. Economic liberalization pushed aside the long-term goals of eliminating poverty in India and providing high standards of living. The Indian agricultural sector was also infected by foreign multi-national corporations through the so-called "Green Revolution."

Before being appointed to the post of Indian Finance Minister, Dr. Singh was decisive in creating the financial crisis in India through coordination with the IMF. The policies of Dr. Singh by design also left India without enough reserves to meet its financial commitments. India was also deprived of the means to improve its economy by IMF policies The origins of these policies became obvious when Indian civil servants started complaining of sloppy, American-style, and non-British spelling, writing, and grammar in Indian government finance documents and papers. As a result Indian national assets and wealth were siphoned off and foreign control, including that of the Bank of England, of Indian finances began. 1996 spelled the death of the Rao Administration in India because of the backlash of economic liberalization and the unpopularity of the government.

With the economic shifts of 1991 began the road down the path to political shift. On May 22, 2004 the IMF's man in New Delhi, Dr. Singh, returned to office to became the Prime Minister of India. This time political reforms including turning India's back on the Non-Alignment Movement (N.A.M.), Iran at the IAEA, and Russia's aim to realize the Primakov Doctrine were on the table.

India and the Manufactured "Clash of Civilizations" in Eurasia

In many Indian circles the colonial bonds with London are still strong and there are views that New Delhi, or at least the Indian elites, are natural members of the Anglo-American establishment. There is also a taint of racial theory attached to these views with links to the caste system and the Indian elite's Aryan self-concepts. Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" notion and Mackinder's geo-strategic population model are factors behind these views too. Resource competition, demographics, and economic competition are seen as fuel that will inevitably draw India and China into a clash for supremacy in Asia.

Is it primarily because of geography, amongst other factors, that Indian Civilization (labeled as Hindu Civilization in regards to Huntington's model) is said to have a conflicting relationship or affiliation with Chinese Civilization (labeled as Sinic Civilization by Huntington's model) and Islamic Civilization? This theory is short-sighted; if true where are the centuries of fighting between Chinese and Indian civilization? For the most part both lived in peace. The same applied to Islamic Civilization.


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A clash is not the natural ends of interaction between different civilizations or societies. Interaction is always based initially on trade and it is the form of economic trade and the aims of either party that can result in a clash. Foreign powers that utilize a "Clash of Civilizations" scheme do so because of the economy of control. A mere reading of Anglo-American strategic doctrine and observations of Anglo-American practices brings this to light.

A historical look will prove the "Clash of Civilizations" as a theory to be wrong and actually illustrates that Indian Civilization really overlaps with both Islamic Civilization and Chinese Civilization. Moreover, it is wrong to categorize the conflict between Pakistan and India as a conflict between all Muslims and the nation-state of India or even any of the internal fighting amongst Muslims and non-Muslims in India. Vedicists (one of the proper names for Hindus) and Muslims, as well as several other religions lived together in relative peace until the the start of British involvement in India. [23] The animosity between Pakistan and India is a synthetic construct where local elites and foreign powers worked together, not only to divide territory, but to control local groups that have lived together for hundreds of years by alienating them from one another.

Why a "Clash of Civilizations" in Eurasia?

By extension of the utilization of the "Clash of Civilizations" notion, which predates Samuel P. Huntington, India and Vedicism are depicted as enemies by the Pakistani elites as a means of domestic distraction and to direct internal tensions about social inequality and injustice towards an outside source. The outside enemy, the "other," has always been used domestically to distract subject populations by local leaders. In the case of the Indian sub-continent certain native circles have jointly invested in continuing the British policy of localized conflict as a means of monopoly.

In an over simplistic understanding, even if one were to use Huntingon's model to explain who benefits from civilizational conflict because of global civilizational rivalry, it would have to be the civilization with the most relationships due to the fact that it has the most rivals to put down. In relation to trade a civilization with the most relationships would also be in a position to initiate the most clashes because it can afford to burn some of its bridges (or cut ties) and is in a position to initiate clashes between other civilizations.

Under a system of cooperation and fair-trade conflict of a grand scale would not happen, but under a competitive international system pushing for monopoly this is a direction being taken by the status quo. This is where critics of global capitalism lament about the unnatural nature of capitalism. This system, however, is not a system of capitalism. It is fitting to apply a new term at this point: ubercapitalism. Ubercapitalism is a system where the framework of regulation, taxation, and law are controlled and directed by elites for their own benefits. In Marxist-Leninist terms the state is an agent of elite interests. Even the capitalist concept of laissez-fair commerce is violated and disregarded because the state and the business environment are controlled by these elites.

If there was fair-trade between these so-called civilizational entities there would be no need for clashes, but this by itself does not mean that there would altogether be no conflict. Ideology, faith, and hubris are also factors, but in most cases ideology and faith have been manipulated or constructed to support the economic structure and to justify conflict and hierarchy. A lack of fair-trade or control over finite resources necessitates manufactured conflict; this is the only way the players controlling wealth can retain their positions.

Despite the talk about a "Clash of Civilizations" the most natural path of social evolution is one of relative peace and cooperation. The conceptualization of Latin America, India, Israel, the so-called West, China, the Muslim countries, the Orthodox Christian countries, and the Buddhist nations as different or distinct civilizations is also a fallacy in itself and very abstract. Distinctions do exist, but they are far less than the similarities and not enough to support Huntington's civilizational model.

New Delhi's Trajectory: A Reversion to the British Raj?

Is India reverting to the status quo of the British Raj? India has moved beyond a policy of superalignment. India's elites believe that to achieve their place in the sun they must buy into the socio-economic and political agenda of the so-called, "Core countries" — the global financial power holders of the Periphery. India's commitment to the Non-Alignment Movement (N.A.M.) is also dead all but in name. The foreign policy course that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had charted for India has been abandoned.

Internally, for the last two decades India has been colonizing itself. Communities and ethnic groups have been played agains one another. These are both cases where local and foreign elites are working hand-in-hand. The ruling elites, with the aid of the Indian government, are appropriating all forms of resourses, rights, and property from countless people to fuel the so-called economic liberalization process with no regard for their fellow citizens. Water and national assets are being privatized and virtual slave labour is, once again, being institutionalized — everything that Mahatma Gandhi and his follower worked hard to eliminate. The free trade deals being struck by the U.S. and E.U. with India are a part of this process and have been integrating India into the global economic order.

Hand-in-hand with India being part of a global economic order goes the domination of Eurasia. India is on a serious path of militarization that will lead New Delhi towards conflict with China. In such a war both Asian giants would be losers and the U.S. and its allies the real winners.

Due to their flexibility the Indian elite may still change course, but there is a clear motion to exploit and mobilize India in Eurasia against its neighbours and the major powers of Eurasia. This is the true meaning, intent, nature, and agenda behind the so-called "Clash of Civilizations" in Eurasia. The threat of a nuclear war between China and India is real in the words of the Indian military, but what is important to realize is that such a confrontation is part of a much larger series of wars or a wider struggle between the powers of Eurasia and the nations of the Periphery, led by the United States.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Reseach Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) specializing in geopolitics and strategic issues.

NOTES


[1] Indrani Bagchi, India-Japan strategic talks begin, The Times of India, March 23, 2007.

[2] India to lay keel of new aircraft carrier on Saturday, Russian News and Information Agency (RIA Novosti), February 26, 2009.

[3] Pallavi Aiyar, India to conduct naval exercises with China, The Hindu, April 12, 2007.

[4] Rajat Pandit, Going ballistic: India looks to joing elite missile club, The Times of India, May 13, 2008.

[5] China's new naval base triggers US concerns, Agence France-Presse (AFP), May 12, 2008.

[6] Rahul Singh, Indian Army fears China attack by 2017, The Hindustan Times, March 26, 2008.

[7] Commonwealth of Australia, Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030, 2009.

[8] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Military Alliance: Encircling Russia and China, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), May 10, 2007.

[9] India launches Israeli satellite in boost to space business, Agence France-Presse, January 20, 2008.

[10] Yossi Melman, Satellite launch bolsters ability to spy on Tehran, Haaretz, January 21, 2008.

[11] Yaakov Katz, Iran delayed satellite launch, The Jerusalem Post, January 22, 2008.

[12] Israeli Satellite Launch: Harmful Course, People's Democracy, vol. 32, no. 6, February 10, 2008.

[13] Sandeep Dikshit, Tata-Israel Aerospace Industries ink memorandum of understanding, The Hindu, February 18, 2008.

[14] Johan Nylander, Israel drops Indian venture under `US pressure,' Agence France-Presse (AFP), July 6, 2009.

[15] Aaron S. Klieman, Israel and the World After 40 Years (Washington:Pergamon-Brassey's International Defense Publishers, 1990), p.92, pp.168–9, p.236.

[16] Infra. n.23.

[17] Sudha Ramachandran, India makes a soft landing in Tajikistan, Asia Times, March 3, 2007.

[18] Jane Macartney, China accuses US naval ship of illegal surveying, The Times (U.K.), March 10, 2009; Chris Buckley, China says U.S. naval ship broke the law, Reuters, March 10, 2009.

[19] Atul Aneja, Iran, China will begin counter-piracy patrols, The Hindu, December 22, 2008; Russia, China conduct anti-piracy exercises in the Gulf of Aden, Russian News and Information Agency (RIA Novosti), September 18, 2009.

[20] Klieman, Israel and thr World, Op. cit.

[21] Amelia Gentleman, France and India agree on atom deal, The New York Times, February 20, 2006; India-France nuclear accord provides opening for Areva, The New York Times, September 30, 2008.

[22] Kosovo legal issues being studied: Brazil, India, Agence France-Presse (AFP), February 19, 2008; World split on Kosovo issue, Agence France-Presse (AFP), February 19, 2008.

[23] Sanatana Dharma or Vedic Dharma (Vedicism) is the proper name for Hinduism. The terms Hindu and Hinduism are misnomers, just as Mohammedan and Mohammedanism are misnomers for Muslims and Islam. The term Hindu is originally a geographic definition used by the ancient Iranians to label all the peoples living in the lands of the Indus Valley or east of the Indus River regardless of religious affinity or faith. The term Hindu was later adopted by the Arabs who conquered Sassanid Iran and then expanded towards the the Indian sub-continent. As the Altaic peoples, such as Mongolian and Turkic-speaking tribes, migrated westward in Eurasia they also adopted the term through interaction with both the Iranians and the Arabs. At this time in history and up to the rule of the Mugal Dynasty in India the term Hindu started gaining popular and recurrent usage, but was still used as an ethnographic term and not a religious identification label. The Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, and Vidicists of India were all called Hindus. It was during the colonial era that the British, who ruled India, coined the English-language term/word Hinduism and assigned the already existing and ancient Iranian term/word Hindu in 1830 to describe and designate the faiths and peoples of India belonging to Vedicism. Hindus are in reality all the people of India. The term Hindi, also used to label Indians and one of the main Indic languages, comes from Hindustani which also reflects the geographic nature and origins of the term Hindu; Hindustan means land of India and Hindustani people of India.

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[wvns] America’s Phoney War in Afghanistan

America's Phoney War in Afghanistan
William Engdahl – Global Research
www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15761


One of the most remarkable aspects of the Obama Presidential agenda is how little anyone has questioned in the media or elsewhere why at all the United States Pentagon is committed to a military occupation of Afghanistan. There are two basic reasons, neither one of which can be admitted openly to the public at large.

Behind all the deceptive official debate over how many troops are needed to "win" the war in Afghanistan, whether another 30,000 is sufficient, or whether at least 200000 are needed, the real purpose of US military presence in that pivotal Central Asian country is obscured.

Even during the 2008 Presidential campaign candidate Obama argued that Afghanistan not Iraq was where the US must wage war. His reason? Because he claimed, that was where the Al Qaeda organization was holed up and that was the "real" threat to US national security. The reasons behind US involvement in Afghanistan is quite another one.

The US military is in Afghanistan for two reasons. First to restore and control the world's largest supply of opium for the world heroin markets and to use the drugs as a geopolitical weapon against opponents, especially Russia. That control of the Afghan drug market is essential for the liquidity of the bankrupt and corrupt Wall Street financial mafia.


Geopolitics of Afghan Opium

According even to an official UN report, opium production in Afghanistan has risen dramatically since the downfall of the Taliban in 2001. UNODC data shows more opium poppy cultivation in each of the past four growing seasons (2004-2007), than in any one year during Taliban rule. More land is now used for opium in Afghanistan, than for coca cultivation in Latin America. In 2007, 93% of the opiates on the world market originated in Afghanistan. This is no accident.

It has been documented that Washington hand-picked the controversial Hamid Karzai, a Pashtun warlord from the Popalzai tribe, long in the CIA's service, brought him back from exile in the USA, created a Hollywood mythology around his "courageous leadership of his people." According to Afghan sources, Karzai is the Opium "Godfather" of Afghanistan today. There is apparently no accident that he was and is today still Washington's preferred man in Kabul. Yet even with massive vote buying and fraud and intimidation, Karzai's days could be ending as President.

The second reason the US military remains in Afghanistan long after the world has forgotten even who the mysterious Osama bin Laden and his alleged Al Qaeda terrorist organization is or even if they exist, is as a pretext to build a permanent US military strike force with a series of permanent US airbases across Afghanistan. The aim of those bases is not to eradicate any Al Qaeda cells that may have survived in the caves of Tora Bora, or to eradicate a mythical "Taliban" which at this point according to eyewitness reports is made up overwhelmingly of local ordinary Afghanis fighting to rid their land once more of occupier armies as they did in the 1980's against the Russians.

The aim of the US bases in Afghanistan is to target and be able to strike at the two nations which today represent the only combined threat in the world today to an American global imperium, to America's Full Spectrum Dominance as the Pentagon terms it.


The lost `Mandate of Heaven'

The problem for the US power elites around Wall Street and in Washington is the fact that they are now in the deepest financial crisis in their history. That crisis is clear to the entire world and the world is acting on a basis of self-survival. The US elites have lost what in Chinese imperial history is known as the Mandate of Heaven. That mandate is given a ruler or ruling elite provided they rule their people justly and fairly. When they rule tyrannically and as despots, oppressing and abusing their people, they lose that Mandate of Heaven.

If the powerful private wealthy elites that have controlled essential US financial and foreign policy for most of the past century or more ever had a "mandate of Heaven" they clearly have lost it. The domestic developments towards creation of an abusive police state with deprivation of Constitutional rights to its citizens, the arbitrary exercise of power by non elected officials such as Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and now Tim Geithner, stealing trillion dollar sums from taxpayers without their consent in order to bailout the bankrupt biggest Wall Street banks, banks deemed "Too Big To Fail," this all demonstrates to the world they have lost the mandate.

In this situation, the US power elites are increasingly desperate to maintain their control of a global parasitical empire, called deceptively by their media machine, "globalization." To hold that dominance it is essential that they be able to break up any emerging cooperation in the economic, energy or military realm between the two major powers of Eurasia that conceivably could pose a challenge to future US sole Superpower control—China in combination with Russia.

Each Eurasian power brings to the table essential contributions. China has the world's most robust economy, a huge young and dynamic workforce, an educated middle class. Russia, whose economy has not recovered from the destructive end pf the Soviet era and of the primitive looting during the Yeltsin era, still holds essential assets for the combination. Russia's nuclear strike force and its military pose the only threat in the world today to US military dominance, even if it is largely a residue of the Cold War. The Russian military elites never gave up that potential.

As well Russia holds the world's largest treasure of natural gas and vast reserves of oil urgently needed by China. The two powers are increasingly converging via a new organization they created in 2001 known as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). That includes as well as China and Russia, the largest Central Asia states Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

The purpose of the alleged US war against both Taliban and Al Qaeda is in reality to place its military strike force directly in the middle of the geographical space of this emerging SCO in Central Asia. Iran is a diversion. The main goal or target is Russia and China.

Officially, of course, Washington claims it has built its military presence inside Afghanistan since 2002 in order to protect a "fragile" Afghan democracy. It's a curious argument given the reality of US military presence there.

In December 2004, during a visit to Kabul, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld finalized plans to build nine new bases in Afghanistan in the provinces of Helmand, Herat, Nimrouz, Balkh, Khost and Paktia. The nine are in addition to the three major US military bases already installed in the wake of its occupation of Afghanistan in winter of 2001-2002, ostensibly to isolate and eliminate the terror threat of Osama bin Laden.

The Pentagon built its first three bases at Bagram Air Field north of Kabul, the US' main military logistics center; Kandahar Air Field, in southern Afghanistan; and Shindand Air Field in the western province of Herat. Shindand, the largest US base in Afghanistan, was constructed a mere 100 kilometers from the border of Iran, and within striking distance of Russia as well as China.

Afghanistan has historically been the heartland for the British-Russia Great Game, the struggle for control of Central Asia during the 19th and early 20th Centuries. British strategy then was to prevent Russia at all costs from controlling Afghanistan and thereby threatening Britain's imperial crown jewel, India.

Afghanistan is similarly regarded by Pentagon planners as highly strategic. It is a platform from which US military power could directly threaten Russia and China, as well as Iran and other oil-rich Middle East lands. Little has changed geopolitically over more than a century of wars.

Afghanistan is in an extremely vital location, straddling South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Afghanistan also lies along a proposed oil pipeline route from the Caspian Sea oil fields to the Indian Ocean, where the US oil company, Unocal, along with Enron and Cheney's Halliburton, had been in negotiations for exclusive pipeline rights to bring natural gas from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan and Pakistan to Enron's huge natural gas power plant at Dabhol near Mumbai. Karzai, before becoming puppet US president, had been a Unocal lobbyist.


Al Qaeda doesn't exist as a threat

The truth of all this deception around the real purpose in Afghanistan becomes clear on a closer look at the alleged "Al Qaeda" threat in Afghanistan. According to author Erik Margolis, prior to the September 11,2001 attacks, US intelligence was giving aid and support both to the Taliban and to Al Qaeda. Margolis claims that "The CIA was planning to use Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda to stir up Muslim Uighurs against Chinese rule, and Taliban against Russia's Central Asian allies."

The US clearly found other means of stirring up Muslim Uighurs against Beijing last July via its support for the World Uighur Congress. But the Al Qaeda "threat" remains the lynchpin of Obama US justification for his Afghan war buildup.

Now, however, the National Security Adviser to President Obama, former Marine Gen. James Jones has made a statement, conveniently buried by the friendly US media, about the estimated size of the present Al Qaeda danger in Afghanistan. Jones told Congress, "The al-Qaeda presence is very diminished. The maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country, no bases, no ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies."

That means that Al-Qaeda, for all practical purposes, does not exist in Afghanistan. Oops…

Even in neighboring Pakistan, the remnants of Al-Qaeda are scarcely to be found. The Wall Street Journal reports, "Hunted by US drones, beset by money problems and finding it tougher to lure young Arabs to the bleak mountains of Pakistan, al Qaeda is seeing its role shrink there and in Afghanistan, according to intelligence reports and Pakistan and U.S. officials. For Arab youths who are al Qaeda's primary recruits, `it's not romantic to be cold and hungry and hiding,' said a senior U.S. official in South Asia."

If we follow the statement to its logical consequence we must conclude then that the reason German soldiers are dying along with other NATO youth in the mountains of Afghanistan has nothing to do with "winning a war against terrorism." Conveniently most media chooses to forget the fact that Al Qaeda to the extent it ever existed, was a creation in the 1980's of the CIA, who recruited and trained radical muslims from across the Islamic world to wage war against Russian troops in Afghanistan as part of a strategy developed by Reagan's CIA head Bill Casey and others to create a "new Vietnam" for the Soviet Union which would lead to a humiliating defeat for the Red Army and the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union.

Now US NSC head Jones admits there is essentially no Al Qaeda anymore in Afghanistan. Perhaps it is time for a more honest debate from our political leaders about the true purpose of sending more young to die protecting the opium harvests of Afghanistan.


F. William Engdahl is author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order. He may be reached via his website at www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net
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