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Friday, August 31, 2012

TALIBAN ATROCITIES IN AF PAK



Andre,

Do you know if General Allen has had these taliban arrested to stand trial for this horrific act?

It may not come up to the level of pissing on them, but it would be interesting to hear the Commander in Chief's and President Karzai's approach to this crime.

#SAVAGES

The city of San Francisco condemns calling any group savage. I say we buy the SFMTA a one-way ticket to Taliban country, eh? 
Horrific picture shows armed Taliban militants lording it over 12 decapitated heads of Pakistani 'soldiers'Daily Mail
Taliban

Muni_counter_adReally?

  • Pakistan Taliban claim they killed army fighters in clashes on Afghan border
  • Release video showing belongings of the dead men laid out near the heads, including Pakistani identity cards and camouflage helmets
  • Comes as Pakistan military officials reveal they are missing 15 troops

This sickening image shows armed Taliban militants standing over decapitated heads which they claim belong to soldiers they killed in clashes on the Pakistan border.

The Pakistani Taliban released a video showing what appeared to be the severed heads of a dozen soldiers today as security officials said 15 troops were missing following fighting with insurgents.

The clashes on Tuesday came as part of a Pakistan army operation to repel Taliban militants who had crossed over from Kunar province in Afghanistan last Friday and occupied the village of Batwar in the Bajaur tribal district.

Horrendous: Taliban militants stand over a dozen decapitated heads which they claim belong to soldiers they killed in clashes on the Pakistan border

'At least 15 of our soldiers are still missing,' a senior security official told AFP.

Another security official said 'more or less' that many soldiers were missing but declined to give the exact total.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Sirajud Din sent AFP a video showing a militant commander posing with 12 heads arranged on the ground which he claimed were from soldiers they had killed.

Read the rest.





"Buffer Zones," Special Forces: NATO Plans War Against Syria





 "Buffer Zones," Special Forces: NATO Plans War Against Syria


http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_08_31/UN-Security-Council-urges-humanitarian-support-for-Syria/

 Voice of Russia
 August 31, 2012

 UN Security Council urges humanitarian support for Syria
 Konstantin Garibov

 ====

 "This is an attempt to create safe havens for Syrian militants who will be under protection of NATO aircraft. Needless to say, such an approach to creating security zones is unacceptable, for this will become an attempt to oust Assad and extend most favored nation treatment to militants. Such a strategy is also unacceptable because it will weaken the legitimate Syrian government and consolidate the opposition."

 Meanwhile, more than 200 British special forces have been sent to Syria, according to the UK's The Daily Star...Experts recall that this month also saw the deployment of US and French special forces in Syria.

 ====

 The UN has requested 180 million dollars for humanitarian operations in Syria, with half of this sum already allocated. A statement to this effect was made by Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, during the UN Security Council emergency session on Syria on Friday. According to him, at least 2.5 million Syrians now badly need humanitarian support.

 The diplomat urged countries to pump more money into programs pertaining to Syria. He said that Syrians do not need arms, supplied by those who want to further destabilize this Middle Eastern country. He said that he deems it necessary to deploy more UN humanitarian bodies and non-governmental organizations in Syria. Their security should be ensured by both parties to the conflict, according to Eliasson.

 For his part, Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said that a spate of economic sanctions, slapped on Syria by a number of countries without being endorsed by the UN, makes the lives of ordinary Syrians more complicated. He added that the economic blockade makes it impossible for Syrians to meet their basic needs and duly use their basic human rights.

 The Friday session focused on the creation in Syria of "buffer zones" or "corridors". Earlier, the idea was floated by Turkey which stressed the necessity of protecting at least one million Syrians who have been displaced as a result of the war.

 For his part, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres referred to the international community's experience which he said showed that the idea failed to prove its feasibility, a statement that was echoed by Vitaly Churkin. Moscow-based political analyst Pavel Svyatenkov described a proposal on creating buffer zones as a new attempt to interfere in Syria's internal affairs.

 "This is an attempt to create safe havens for Syrian militants who will be under protection of NATO aircraft," Svyatenkov says, not ruling out these militants' possible attacks on the Syrian army in the future. "Needless to say, such an approach to creating security zones is unacceptable, for this will become an attempt to oust Assad and extend most favored nation treatment to militants. Such a strategy is also unacceptable because it will weaken the legitimate Syrian government and consolidate the opposition," Svyatenkov concludes.

 Meanwhile, more than 200 British special forces have been sent to Syria, according to the UK's The Daily Star. The troops are tasked with destroying possible arsenals of chemical and biological weapons there, the newspaper reported. Experts recall that this month also saw the deployment of US and French special forces in Syria.

 Analysts draw parallels between the latest developments in Syria and last year's events in Libya, where the West was involved in a military operation to topple Muammar Gaddafi. The deployment of foreign special forces to Syria came right after the withdrawal of a UN observer mission from the country, something that was initiated by the Unites States, France and Britain. Russia was up in arms against the pullout that Moscow warned might be fraught with an outside interference in Syria's domestic affairs. It seems, analysts say, that the forecast currently comes true.

 Friday sees the expiration of a mandate of UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan, whose successor Lakhdar Brahimi is yet to announce an exact plan of his trip to Syria, scheduled for later next month. Earlier this week, Brahimi held talks with representatives of those countries which are interested in the resolution of the Syrian crisis. During the talks, Brahimi specifically urged the diplomats to lend support to his mission.


Serbia won’t join NATO, defense minister says




Pentagon Intensifies Transformation Of Serbian Military

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2012&mm=08&dd=31&nav_id=82011

 Tanjug News Agency
 August 31, 2012

 Serbia won't join NATO, defense minister says

 BELGRADE: Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vučić met with Ohio National Guard Commander Major General Deborah Ashenhurst on Friday.

 He stressed that Serbia would not join NATO.

 The minister explained that Serbia would continue to develop good cooperation with everybody within the Partnership for Peace program.

 Vučić and Ashenhurst stressed the importance of cooperation in the State Partnership Program which is mutually important and useful in all segments of bilateral military cooperation, the Serbia's Defense Ministry stated in a release.

 The Serbian minister expressed hope that the Ohio National Guard would continue to support Serbia's reform of the defense system, especially in professionalization of armed forces, participation in joint training and drills, strengthening of regional cooperation and further education of Serbia's Defense Ministry and Serbian Army (VS) members.

 He thanked the U.S. for its help in modernization of systems and for the donation of 17 Hummer vehicles.

 Vučić also stressed the importance of the National Guard's expert help in further development of the VS Jug base and upcoming training of VS priests.

 Ashenhurst noted that the State Partnership Program was one of the best U.S. had and confirmed that her country would continue to support and help Serbia.

 She suggested that Vučić Ohio and learn more about capacity and abilities of the National Guard.

SOUTH AFRICAN MINING ISSUES




FYI - from ________ - seems like beneficiation (transformation) should be an important component of Africa's (not just South Africa's) mineral policy as a major source of employment. The degree of transformation and the economics of this - as noted must be studied.
 
It also makes sense that not just a few politically ANC-connected elite "Black Diamonds" should benefit - but that the benefits should accrue to the guys taking all the risks - the miners!!
 
Regards 

XYZ

Leon Mining MX Aug 30 2012 Marikana, Mangaung and SA's mining industry

Peter Leon | Thu, 30 Aug 2012 19:49

 

http://www.miningmx.com/opinion/columnists/Marikana-Mangaung-and-SA-mining-industry.htm

 

    http://www.miningmx.com/cm_pics/about_us/1559-0-0-0_1886692.jpgPeter Leon

 

[miningmx] -- MUCH has been written about the Marikana shootings, which played out in graphic detail in the electronic media, but surprisingly little commentary has been given about how any of this was possible in a constitutional democracy based on the rule of law 18 years after the end of apartheid.

 

Although the President has appointed a wide-ranging judicial commission of inquiry under the chairmanship of a well-respected former judge as well as an inter- ministerial task team to deal with its immediate aftermath, I think it is legitimate to pose a few fundamental questions.

 

-          Why were the Ministers of Labour and Mineral Resources absent from Marikana until the day after the shootings?

 

-          Why was the SAPS's tactical response team and not the public order policing unit deployed at Marikana?

 

-          How was it reasonable, justifiable and proportionate to shoot dead 34 mine workers?

 

-          How could the Minister of Mineral Resources claim two days after the incident that she "was not aware of where [the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Workers operates in the mining industry" after this union was at the forefront of Impala Platinum's six-week strike in February, which led to the death of three people and cost some R2.5bn?

 

-          How could the new national police commissioner, Riah Phiyega, four days after the shootings say to the police that "safety of the public is not negotiable. Don't be sorry about what happened"?

-          How could the former Cabinet spokesperson, Jimmy Manyi, refuse to discuss the incident with the media at the post-Cabinet media briefing on August 22 on the basis that the "government [was] in mourning"?

 

-          What circumstances led to the opening, late last week, by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate of 194 cases of assault and attempted murder against the police following the arrest and detention of some 260 mine workers?

 

The world is clearly watching and waiting to see how South Africa will handle arguably one of its most important tests since the transition to democracy in 1994.

 

CONFIDENCE

 

The unfolding of the events at Marikana has clearly affected international investor confidence in the South African mining industry. A week after the Marikana shootings, Fitch Ratings described the events as reflecting "broader structural problems that have long weighed on South Africa's credit rating", and cited rising costs, policy uncertainty and nationalisation rhetoric as reasons to regard South Africa as "a less favourable investment destination compared with its peers".

 

Although the incident at the Marikana mine was ostensibly driven by union rivalry and wage dissatisfaction, as much as the conduct of the police, the root causes seem to run much deeper, to the daily living and working conditions of mine workers and mine communities.

 

When one looks at how best to optimise South Africa's prodigious mineral wealth, an important focus must be on those most directly affected by mining - those South Africans whose physical and social space is affected by the arrival and departure of mining companies.

The issue goes much further than simply one of living conditions. It seeks wider recognition to the voice of the community concerned by fostering mutual understanding of expectations and defining mutual obligations.

 

Our current approach to mine communities is not delivering these benefits. It presupposes a one-size-fits-all model for such communities, despite their diverse needs and circumstances, and reserves no seat at the regulatory table for the affected mine communities.

 

Another integral component of this new social contract for mining must be real and meaningful transformation, which to my mind requires sober reflection on black economic empowerment. The promotion of BEE in the mining sector has, ironically, become a catalyst for the populist support for nationalisation.

 

This is because both the original and revised Mining Charter promote a form of "narrow" BEE, resulting in the enrichment of the well-connected few. While the revised Mining Charter requires BEE transactions to aim to achieve "meaningful economic participation", it also confusingly requires that these beneficiaries are vested with "effective ownership", including voting rights and management control. This seems to preclude broad-based share schemes with communities and workers as their beneficiaries.

 

 

REGULATORY CERTAINTY

 

It is alo by now well known that in resource-rich developing countries with ambitious transformation and development goals investors require regulatory certainty and administrative efficiency. This in turn requires laws and policies that are clear, definite and consistently applied. This is particularly true of the mining sector.

 

While the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) was intended to mark a formal shift away from subjective, broad discretions towards generally objective criteria combined with bound ministerial discretion, in reality it applies this principle inconsistently and employs its BEE and socio-economic objectives to retain a high level of administrative discretion.

 

This is particularly evident with regard to the granting of prospecting and mining rights, where ostensibly mandatory requirements contain much room for variance. The situation, however, is not irremediable, and it is hoped that these are among the issues that the DMR will consider in its proposed revision of the MPRDA, which according to the Minister of Mineral Resources is now imminent.

 

MANGAUNG

 

As the country turns its attention to the ANC's mid-December elective conference in Mangaung, in the hope that it may offer some predictable policy direction for the mining industry, it is helpful to remember the political peaks and troughs that have brought us to this point. State intervention in the mining sector has arguably been central to the country's economic transformation debate since December 2007, when the ANC elected its new leadership in Polokwane and resolved that the state should "intervene strategically" in the mining sector "to drive the growth, development and transformation of the structure of our economy".

 

Greater state intervention in the mining industry has thus been a reality for the last five years. The source of uncertainty has always been "how" and "how much".

 

This has been a topic of contention, not only between the industry and the ANC, but within the ANC itself. The debate intensified in 2009, when the ANC Youth League, led by its then President Julius Malema, called for the nationalisation of the South African mining industry without compensation. The ANC National Executive Committee responded in November 2010 by commissioning a research report into state intervention in the minerals sector (SIMS).

 

While the SIMS report rejects the wholesale nationalisation of mining companies as unaffordable and unconstitutional, it retains the option of nationalising specific companies, "particularly for strategic monopoly priced mineral feedstocks". It also recommends a formidable array of interventionist regulatory "reforms". Although the adoption of the strategic nationalisation policy has been publicly confirmed by several party officials, it is not clear which minerals might be deemed "strategic".

 

However, at the end of the NEC's bi-annual Lekgotla last month, ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe announced that a list of strategic minerals would be finalised by the next NEC meeting in September. According to Mr Mantashe, a starting point for this is the SIMS report, which identifies coal, iron ore and platinum group metals, among others, as strategic minerals. If the SIMS report is supported, these minerals could become subject to export tariffs, infrastructure tariffs and other measures to ensure their secure supply to state-owned entities, as well as cheaper supply to domestic industry.

 

The NEC has apparently also agreed that South Africa's mineral regulatory approval system should be simplified; that a portion of strategic minerals should be "set aside" for local beneficiation; and that mineral feedstock input costs should be reduced "with the state playing a critical role in this regard".

 

It is not clear from the report itself whether these imposts would have the desired effect of promoting local beneficiation, much less whether such increased beneficiation would be viable, given South Africa's energy constraints and the higher capital demands that this would impose on mining companies.

 

This speaks to a more fundamental flaw in the SIMS report - a lack of any comprehensive economic impact assessment, which, if conducted, would reveal that the approach adopted in the report is somewhat self-defeating. While the report proclaims its principal objective as being to "maximise the developmental impact" of South Africa's prodigious mineral endowment, it ignores the reality that our minerals cannot have any developmental impact at all if they are left in the ground, which will be the inevitable result if they cannot be productively and profitably extracted.

 

The mining industry remains the bedrock of our economy and its success is in the government's interest, as much as the broader public interest. If the government fails to address the problems affecting the platinum industry - and, indeed, if it decides to exacerbate them by adopting ill-considered regulatory interventions - we are likely to see more Marikana conflicts, not fewer.

 

Peter Leon is the Head of Africa Mining & Energy Projects at law firm Webber Wentzel. This is a shortened version of a speech he delivered at the South African Institute of International Affairs on August 30.

MORE FROM OUR COLUMNISTS

·  »Marikana, Mangaung and SA's mining industry

·  »SA's labour dispensation changed forever

·  »Tensions high as industry meets over Lonmin

·  »'Winner takes all' is tinder to Amcu, the NUM

·  »De Beers US strategy focuses on clients

·  »NUM no innocent victim in Lonmin violence

·  »CoAL slide underpins logic of Exxaro takeover

·  »SA platinum sweats amid cash-flow crunch

·  »Eskom, and its staff, deserve a break

·  »Coal debate must focus on commerce, not politics

·  »Heads may roll in platinum revamp

·  »Nationalisation is dead, until next time

·  »Fault line in carbon tax proposal emerging

·  »Plaudits and doubts for chrome exchange plan

·  »Quotas may be fatal misstep for SA coal

 


DoD: SEAL's bin Laden Book Discloses Secrets




31 August 2012
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THE UNIT WHICH SAVED KAMRA AIR BASE

THE UNIT WHICH SAVED KAMRA AIR BASE

AGHA H AMIN

FROM A DIRECT WITNESS 

POSTING THIS DOES NOT MEAN COMPLETE ENDORSEMENT BUT THE ACCOUNT IS HIGHLY CREDIBLE


The defence of Kamra was done by  an artillery unit  specially trained in A SPECIAL ANTI TERRORIST .

The CO was Lt Col Yasir. The unit had one casuality and that was caused by the individual falling out of the QRF vehicle snd suffering a head injury. Most of the terrorists were killed by being shot through the head the others blew up, this accounted for all hostile elements in the area (9 militants). 

All told, ammo expenditure was less than 1500 rds of G3, MG1A3 and SMG combined. The overall engagement lasted 35 mins but search and  cordon was for 8 hours. 


The base  commander was injured by a chance splinter in a shoulder flesh wound which is now being depicted as a bullet injury in the hope of making a hero out of him. 


The Air Force had and still has, no capacity. Since then we have deputed troops to Sarkaser, Sargodha and Mianwali because the PAF pisses in their pants everytime they get a threatening letter. In the mean the artillery unit who was the real band of heros was forgotten and ignored as others took all the credit. This is how it always has been in Pakistan.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

U.S. Playing With Balkans-Style Powder Keg In East Asia




U.S. Playing With Balkans-Style Powder Keg In East Asia


http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2012-08/30/content_15718613.htm

 China Daily
 August 30, 2012

 Tread with caution in the East
 By Yang Danzhi

 ====

 The US is likely to lose its credibility with its faithful ally Japan if it sides with China. But by siding with Japan, it may risk a China-US conflict. Once the situation gets out of control and leads to an armed conflict, will Washington honor the US-Japan security treaty and confront Beijing?

 Because of a decline in its hegemony in recent years, the US wants Japan to shoulder more regional responsibilities and play a more proactive role in East Asia, especially to counterbalance the rise of China.

 ====

 Amid the intensified diplomatic row over the Diaoyu Islands dispute, Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, Japan's senior vice-minister of foreign affairs, arrived in Beijing on Tuesday carrying a letter from Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to President Hu Jintao.

 Noda was reported to emphasize the importance of "maintaining the strategic and beneficial relationship" in the letter, which indicates Japan's efforts to play down the dispute.

 However, to properly handle the dispute, not only Japan and China should deal with each other with calm and reason, but also the US should no longer add fuel to the fire.

 For a long time, the United States has considered itself a provider of common security in East Asia and some East Asian countries have appreciated its role. People who advocate the "hegemonic stability theory" believe the US' presence in East Asia is a prerequisite for peace and security in the region after the end of the Cold War.

 The maritime disputes in East Asia, especially the escalation of the disputes over the Diaoyu Islands between China and Japan and the Dokdo Island (called Takeshima Island in Japan) between the Republic of Korea and Japan, are testing the US' capability of managing a complicated regional situation.

 Although the US has repeatedly emphasized the importance of developing and consolidating its ties with China, it recently reiterated that the Diaoyu Islands fall within the scope of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the US and Japan, sending a wrong signal to Japan.

 In fact, Noda's government had to act tough on China, because a weak stance could lead to a further decline in his domestic support rate to the delight of Japanese right-wingers, and the Japanese government assumed it could count on the strong support of the US. To some extent, the Diaoyu Islands dispute provides an opportunity for Washington to play its role as Tokyo's patron and mediator.

 Washington should know that it would create suspicion and discontent in one country if it takes the side of the other in the Sino-Japanese dispute. The US is likely to lose its credibility with its faithful ally Japan if it sides with China. But by siding with Japan, it may risk a China-US conflict. Once the situation gets out of control and leads to an armed conflict, will Washington honor the US-Japan security treaty and confront Beijing? No, it will not, even though it is more powerful than China. There are several reasons for that.

 Over the past 20 years, the US has been cementing its ties with Japan as the basic shaft of its East Asia strategy. Because of a decline in its hegemony in recent years, the US wants Japan to shoulder more regional responsibilities and play a more proactive role in East Asia, especially to counterbalance the rise of China.

 But the US has ignored a basic fact: Though Japan is used to allying with the stronger of two countries, it lacks systematic strategic thinking. Japan wants to become a political power, but it does not have the ability to cope with the complex regional situation independently and cannot even handle its relations with neighbors that have historical grievances. For one, it refuses to genuinely introspect on its atrocities that brought grave disaster on people in East and Southeast Asian countries in the past.

 In recent years, China's rise has added to Japan's strategic anxiety and has had an impact on Sino-Japanese relations. In this sense, the Diaoyu Islands dispute is a reflection of the structural contradictions between Japan and China.

 The possibility of the dispute spinning out of control can't be ruled out as the nationalist sentiment is still strong in both countries. To respond to the Japanese right-wingers' provocations and Japan's continuous plan to "nationalize" the Diaoyu Islands, there were protests against Japan across China and calls for the boycotting of Japanese goods. The Japanese flag was even pulled down from the car of the Japanese ambassador to China, making it even harder for both countries to resolve the dispute.

 Hence, it is high time the US stopped adding to the tension, for it doesn't serve its own interests. Though the US has declared that it will not support either party in the Diaoyu Islands dispute, developments are making it increasingly difficult to remain its neutrality and continue its strategic ambiguity. So structural contradictions between China and the US and between China and Japan could erupt simultaneously, which is the biggest risk to peace in East Asia.

 In the long term, the intensifying of the Diaoyu Islands dispute will narrow the room for maneuvering between China and the US, which does not conform to the interests of the two countries.

 For the US, the ROK-Japan island dispute is easier to control than the one over the Diaoyu Islands.

 First, despite having historical grievances against Japan, the ROK is not deeply worried about Japan's existing strategic policies. And Japan has no reason to be wary of the ROK's strategies. In fact, domestic political factors to a large extent determine the two countries' foreign policies.

 Recently, ROK President Lee Myung-bak and Noda saw their domestic support rate slip below 30 percent. But the two governments know that they can divert people's attention from immediate domestic issues, garner more public support and enhance the reputation of their leaders and parties by resorting to hard-line foreign policies in times of rising nationalist sentiments. Hence, the ROK-Japan island dispute is likely to cool down gradually.

 Second, the ROK and Japan are not only eager to guard against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, but also are reluctant to see a too powerful China even in the long run.

 Also, Japan and the ROK have common interests in the security field and their dispute has not damaged the original framework of security cooperation between them.

 Third, the ROK and Japan are part of the US-led security alliance. Since 2010, the US has been trying to build a trilateral - US-ROK-Japan - security cooperation mechanism in Northeast Asia, to which neither the ROK nor Japan has objected.

 Such a mechanism can help prevent the ROK-Japan bilateral dispute from escalating. So long as the US continues to pressure, as well as appease the ROK and Japan, they will get back onto the diplomatic track.

 Regional cooperation in East Asia has reached a critical stage, while frequent and escalating maritime disputes are impeding the process of regional integration. This may ease Washington's concerns over East Asian regionalism forming spontaneously.

 But an East Asia without cooperation but with a surfeit of disputes could become another Balkans, where nobody can predict accurately when the powder keg is going to explode. And the day it does, it will be disastrous for the countries in the region as well as the US.

 The author is a researcher at the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

U.S. Carrier Rotation In The Gulf: Preparations For War?



U.S. Carrier Rotation In The Gulf: Preparations For War?


http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_08_30/Shift-rotation-in-Gulf-preparations-for-war/

 Voice of Russia
 August 30, 2012

 Shift rotation in Gulf: preparations for war?
 Ilya Kramnik

 The US is sending its aircraft carrier John Stennis, accompanied by warships and a submarine, to the Persian Gulf, where it will replace the Enterprise aircraft carrier. The John Stennis will start its mission in the Gulf four months ahead of schedule, and its deployment will allow the US Central Command to keep two aircraft carriers in the region.

 A possibility of a new conflict in the Middle East remains high, with Washington seeking to continue to have a free hand, according to Moscow-based Middle East expert Yevgeny Satanovsky.

 "All signs point to the strong possibility of a war in the Gulf," Satanovsky says, praising an array of attempts to prevent this war. "Right now, efforts are being made to ease pressure on Iran, improve ties between Tehran and Arab countries and unblock the Iranian-Israeli conflict. I don't rule out that the US president will have to take a decision to meddle in a military conflict or launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran, something that stipulates the US president having a host of relevant instruments for the purpose."

 At present, the possibility of a conflict remains as high as at the beginning of this year, when many believed that war was inevitable. At the time, all those war-related speculations prompted the US to dispatch the Enterprise aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf even though the warship was to be mothballed in the spring of 2012, says Moscow-based defense expert Konstantin Bogdanov.

 "This is little more than a planned rotation," Bogdanov says. "The Enterprise's terms of service has repeatedly been prolonged, and it is only natural that it will be replaced with the John Stennis aircraft carrier. This is a sign that Americans are poised to keep its naval task force of two aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf region," he concludes.

 Meanwhile, experts say that the two carriers' arsenal will hardly be enough to launch a full-blown air campaign against Iran. In this vein, speaking of a possible war in the Gulf is now irrelevant, they say, adding, however, that the potential deployment of a third US aircraft carrier would add significantly to the possibility of a war.



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ISI: US Special Forces Back Terror Attack on Pakistan’s Kamra Base

WHILE POSTING THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT MEAN THAT I MAY AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH IT THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT BOTH ISI AND CIA ARE PLAYING GAMES WITH EACH OTHER.

AGHA H AMIN

ISI: US Special Forces Back Terror Attack on Pakistan's Kamra Base

Militants who attacked the Minhas Air Base in the aviation city of Kamra had highly-sophisticated equipment and possessed a very tactical standard of guerrilla warfare training which no ordinary Taliban brigade has.

by Zaki Khalid

As the sacred Islamic month of Ramadan was at its peak in Pakistan, the serene city of Kamra near Islamabad (known as the Aviation City for housing a number of aircraft production/maintenance factories) was attacked by a horde of terrorists in the dark hours of the night.

The final overview of the attack made it clear that it was, fortunately, a humiliating failure for the improvised militants whose core objective was to give a series of strategic blows to the Pakistani military, especially the airforce since two very important assets of the country were parked at that base: JF-17 Thunder jets which were jointly manufactured with China and the Saab AWACS tasked with gathering aerial intelligence for the country's defence establishment.

Had this terror operation proven successful, another major loss for the Pakistan Air Force would have taken place like the one before it when similarly-trained guerrillas managed to destroy Orion surveillance planes at the PNS Mehran base in the port city of Karachi.

However, thanks to the enhanced training for Pakistani Special Forces regiments such as the Special Services Group (SSG) Commandos and the exclusive Special Service Wing (SSW) Commandos of the airforce, a dreadful repeat was averted. Like the previous occurrence, the fingers were immediately raised towards India as the arch-rival.

But as my team presented in its report last year, this assertion is what was planned by the actual layout officials. The assortment of sophisticated hi-tech equipment, ammunition and training which the terrorists had was found to be too advanced for what the Indian intelligence RAW is capable of.

As always, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades were found along with suicide jackets. This time, there was a new addition: For the attack on PNS Mehran in Karachi, the militants then had static preset coordinates set for the operation and communicated just via satellite phones; but during the recent attack on Kamra, the terrorists besides these had real-time GPS enabled touchpads fixed on their bodies, two BlackBerry smartphones (exact quantity could not be confirmed from secondary source), infrared devices, daggers inside pockets and more items which were not disclosed by sources for various reasons.

As always, the planners always forget to leave their marks (mostly by accident), and this time the mark they left was that the GPS devices were of a make used only by US troops. They might not have had the intention to let the devices come in Pakistani hands since the recruits were strapped with suicide vests to blow themselves off after the stunt, but the vest-strapped attackers were all gunned down by sniper shots where only one blew himself up beforehand. This helped forensic experts from the ISI and MI gather evidence which remained intact. Using BlackBerry phones was a smart option because of its highly secure encrypted communication logs.

In an ominous backdrop, just a day before the attack, Leon Panetta held a press conference at the Pentagon in which he said:

"The great danger we've always feared is that if terrorism is not controlled in their country (Pakistan), then those nuclear weapons could fall into the wrong hands"

I am not saying that the attack was planned right after that overnight. Surely such pinpoint operations take months of regular practice before the recruits are sent on their mission by being told that they are 'doing a great service to Islam'.

The attacks are executed on symbolic occasions: that night was the most holiest night of Ramadan in the country and the Independence Day (August 14) had just passed. Pakistani security officials have maintained that almost all militants who come from Afghanistan are jointly trained by the Afghan NDS and Indian RAW or directly by the US, in this case the latter was found involved knee-deep.

"It is very easy to assess that the attackers were backed by a group more technologically advanced since the Afghan intelligence has considerably zero TECHINT capability and neither did our ground sources find any archived leads which showed that the Indian RAW had links to this particular misadventure," said an official on condition of anonymity. "Almost all the militants were traced to the Khost area of Afghanistan. Leads from that region suggest that majority of the attackers comprised of recruits from various Kandaks (battalions) of the Afghan National Army Commando Brigade working under the directorate of the US Special Operations forces had been trained for incursion into Pakistan. They were deployed to the mainland of the country for a grand operation and had local assistance by Pakistani militia also".

The Minhas Air Base has a false notion attributed to it. Miscreant journalists tasked with writing propaganda such as Declan Walsh of Guardian fame (now in the New York Times) wrote an article on the attack with the crispy headline 'Pakistani Air Force base with nuclear ties is attacked'.

Just where the heck did he come out with the supposed relation is beyond many; since my primary subject of discourse is intelligence affairs, I happen to be a regular reader of the DEBKAFile website which has close ties to the Israeli intelligence. The site had written a report titled 'Two Pakistani N-bombs available to Saudi Arabia'. An excerpt from the article reads:

'Saudi Arabia has jumped ahead of Iran by obtaining the use of two Pakistani nuclear bombs or guided missile warheads. debkafile's Gulf sources believe the weapons are ready for delivery upon royal summons in Pakistan's nuclear air base at Kamra in the northern district of Attock. Already delivered is a quantity of Pakistan's Ghauri-II missile with an extended range of 2,300 kilometers. They are tucked away in silos in the underground city of Al-Sulaiyil, south of the capital Riyadh'

Pakistan indeed has nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia but the details aforementioned are quite distorted and far from reality. This is a separate topic for discussion and might be highlighted later someday. What is to be noted above is that it is DEBKAFile which is the first known news source to allege Kamra as a nuclear base whereas it is not factually true.

The Minhas Air Base was never used for emergency nuclear assembly neither is Pakistan's National Command Authority so unprofessional that it will store disassembled warheads on a base which is in a region infested with growing threats from the CIA-sponsored Punjabi Taliban. For the part, this proves Mr. Walsh's research is either absolutely faulty or it was purposely added for nefarious reasons known better to himself.

It has long been an American strategy to push for an Indo-Pakistan war. Admiral Mullen was the first to push for one, and so was McRaven, who is now at SOCOM. His successor Lt Gen Joseph Votel is proving to be even more of an enthusiastic officer. What is clear though is that whichever special operations team was involved, SOCOM or JSOC, the quality of intelligence which the attackers had was courtesy of the notorious CIA.

To be honest, the US gains nothing by destroying the Saabs and JF-17s under Pakistan's possession. All this was meant, as I have been consistently saying, to provoke Pakistan into triggering a regional war. India could surely have garnered strategic leverage but it could not afford a misadventure into Pakistan of this magnitude. India's RAW in association with the CIA already has its hands full providing for the TTP militancy in northern and central Pakistan.

I personally think that the American Task Force 373 (TF373) could be behind this attack keeping in light its bloody past and bases in Khost and Kunar from where major terrorism comes into Pakistan. However, it might not be so since the TF373 act as more of standalone contractors rather than trainers and the level of training imparted to the terrorist Afghan Commandos was very high which can lead one to safely suggest that such specified exercise could only be the handiwork of the elite US Special Operations forces scattered across Afghanistan.

But then why did the TTP accept responsibility for the attack?

"Routine PR," says the official. "Tomorrow a false-flag happens in Europe or the US, they will be told to come out again and 'accept responsibility'. Its all about repeatedly stressing that Waziristan is the supposed epicentre of global terror.

The Kamra attack is a notable addition to this demand. They are challenging the Pakistan Army to come to North Waziristan and believe me, the military leadership including General Kayani do not want to go there".

"Has the military expressed its concerns with the government?" I asked.

"Yes it has. But to no avail", came the reply.

Conclusion

I would like to reiterate what I briefed in my interview to Press TV not long ago. It provides a comprehensive summary of why the US is constantly provoking Pakistan's military establishment and what adverse effects it could have for the entire world. Please spare out some minutes to listen to my statement:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS9--J174A4&feature=player_embedded

Zaki Khalid is the Director and Chief Editor of www.terminalx.org, Pakistan's most authoritative portal on Defence, Intelligence and Geopolitics.



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Why Afghans are killing NATO-Western Troops in Afghanistan

Why Afghans are killing NATO-Western Troops in Afghanistan

Agha H Amin


This is a planned affair.From what I have seen of Afghanistan in last 35 years plus is that nothing is at random.Mostly a deal is involved . Salaries of soldiers are low and jihad plus money combined is a material and immortal reward combined.NATO was sleeping for last 8 years and recruitment had no procedures. The insurgents took advantage of the sleeping NATO with counsel from their state actor backers , just like NATO backs Syrian insurgents , a plan was initiated.While nothing strategic will be achieved this move would increase war weariness and influence public opinion in the west.

Brother Morsi in Beijing and at NAM Summit in Tehran


FROM MY DEAR FRIEND AMBASSADOR GAJENDRA SINGH 


Shifting Sands in Greater Middle East-
Brother Morsi in Beijing and at NAM Summit in Tehran
Cairo Asserts its Independence & Sunni Arab Leadership
 
Indian media remains busy and mired in political black kettles calling pots black and making Indian Parliament dysfunctional .Its writers on foreign affairs keep parroting what their masters and handlers in Washington and Tel Aviv tell them; keep unbowed to USA Tehran down and promoting US interests against India's, led by ex Indian diplomats and frogs in the well former policemen (How during last visit Hillary missed one and event went to Kolkata but was unsuccessful).
 
Even if it is religious orientation , increased since the collapse of the Soviet Union and socialism ( Neoliberal capitalism is making rich richer in US and India too , with collapsing and declining economies ) the change in the Arab and Islamic world and definite entry of Chinese finance and industrial assistance is just beginning ,It suits China and Egypt , which can provide cheap labour and is so well located .The rise of Asia , China, Russia and unwilling India and later Japan must be welcomed .( An ex Indian diplomat , brainwashed in US asserted that US will remain at the major power for 40 years .That its GDP is less than its debt of $15 trillion and in less than 5 years under Obama its foreign debt has gone over 5 trillion , an increase of 72% .Why should Beijing keep its money in US securities ( 1.2 trillion) .Better invest in Egypt , Iran & elsewhere
 
 Two interesting articles on Egypt and on NAM and Iran .One Indian perspective . Judge for yourself.
 
But slowly India is asserting its independence of Washington consensus being sold in Media.
 
 
"Strongly pitching for coordinated global actions against international terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today asked the Non-Aligned Movement to take a lead in this and also take a stand based on "universally accepted principles" on Syria. 

Voicing India's opposition to "external intervention" in Syria, Singh, while addressing the leaders and other representatives from over 100 NAM members who are here for a two-day Summit, made a pointed reference to the situation in the West Asian region, particularly Syria, currently afflicted by a civil war between troops loyal to President Bashar Al- Assad and the rebels. 

"The West Asian and North African region is undergoing profound change. As the world's largest democracy, India supports popular aspirations for a democratic and pluralistic order. Nevertheless, such transformations cannot be prompted by external intervention, which exacerbate the suffering of ordinary citizens. 

"The deteriorating situation in Syria is a matter of particular concern. Our movement should take a stand on the issue in keeping with universally accepted principles," he said while urging all parties to recommit themselves to resolving the crisis peacefully through a Syrian-led inclusive political process that can meet the legitimate aspirations of all Syrian citizens .
 
It was sickening to listen to Indian TV channels debate with US and corporate Whores (Whore: (verb) To debase oneself by doing something for unworthy motives, typically to make money.  -The New Oxford American Dictionary- Hence Media and Corporate whores) frothing at the mouth that MMSingh's views might upset the Americans .What brainwashing and DNA mutation of Indians speaking for Washington's interests as if India is a US indentured slave for ever.
 
K. Gajendra Singh 30 August 2012. 
 
 
Egypt joins China club
By Brendan O'Reilly 
Atimes 31 8 12
http://atimes.com/atimes/China/NH31Ad01.html
 
President Mohammed Morsi's historic trip to Beijing signifies a new direction for Egyptian foreign policy. The Muslim Brotherhood leader has sent a clear message by selecting China for his first state visit outside the Middle East. By forging closer ties with China, Morsi is warning the US government not to take Egyptian acquiescence for granted. 

He has furthermore offered an important opportunity for China to expand its regional influence. It is essential at this juncture to forecast what China expects from the New Egypt in particular, and the greater Middle East in general. Regional and international powers should take note: China's influence and clout will increasingly become a decisive factor in all Middle Eastern struggles. 

China's growing engagement with the Middle East is structured around a consistent three-pronged focus: opportunity, stability, and sovereignty. China sees post-Mubarak Egypt as a potential partner for promoting these Chinese interests in the region. Beyond this essentially conservative strategy, China is quietly exploring contingency options in the event of open antagonism with the United States. 

The primary thrust of contemporary Chinese foreign policy - be it in Africa, Asia, South America or the Middle East - is economic opportunity. Beijing is well aware that the ever-growing importance of its economy makes China an indispensable trade partner and source of investment for nations throughout the world. 

This economic dynamic is the main focus of Morsi's trip to Beijing. Egypt's economy is hurting badly after the political upheavals that have rocked the country since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. China is viewed in Egypt as an indispensable source of emergency funding and investment. Egyptian presidential spokesman Yasser Ali explicitly stated that the main goal of Morsi's trip was to "attract Chinese investment in Egypt". [1] 

Minister of Investment Osama Saleh, along with delegation of 80 Egyptian businesspeople, has accompanied Morsi to Beijing. Saleh specifically called for more Chinese money to stimulate the Egyptian economy, saying: "China's current investment volume in Egypt is very small. It should be among the top three." [2] 

Currently, the dominant foreign investors in Egypt are Saudi Arabia and the United States. Beyond traditional investments, the latter currently bankrolls the Egyptian government to the tune of about US$2 billion a year - $1.4 billion of which goes to the military. This money comes with strings attached - especially regarding Egyptian policy toward Israel and the Palestinians. Chinese investments could counterbalance US influence and help Morsi steer an independent foreign policy more in line with the expectations of the Egyptian electorate. 

Furthermore, China sees the relationship with the new Egyptian government as essential to geopolitical stability - the second focus of Chinese policy in the Middle East and elsewhere. The Chinese government wants to avoid destabilizing conflict while consolidating political, economic and military power. China's economy can only consistently grow in a reasonably stable international environment. War is bad for business. This is especially true in the hydrocarbon-rich Middle East. 

China is extremely wary of the potential for open conflict between the US-backed de facto alliance among Israel, Turkey and the Arab Gulf states on one side and the "Axis of Resistance" consisting of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah on the other. China is particularly keen on preventing a US or Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear program, and the resulting hazards to Middle Eastern oil exports. Meanwhile, the sectarian undertones of the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon contain the destructive seeds of prolonged instability. A middle force is needed to contain the potential firestorm. 

By providing funds and political support to Cairo, China can help to promote a stability-focused, independent foreign policy for the Egyptian government. Indeed, President Morsi, before his trip to China, specifically promised a balanced foreign policy: "Egypt is now a civilian country ... with a democratic, constitutional and modern society. International relations between all countries are open and they must be based on the concept of balance. We are hostile to no one but we are to defend our interests." [3] 

This message is music to Chinese ears. It should be noted that China maintains close trade and political relations with regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia. China would like to see Egypt work the role as an honest broker in the region - maintaining good relations with the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel, while reaching out to Iran, Hezbollah and the Palestinians. It seems that China may have found in Morsi the perfect man for the job. His trip to Iran to attend the Non-Aligned Movement summit after visiting China is yet another symbolic gesture of Egyptian "balance" between the competing camps in the Middle East. 

With the final thrust of Chinese foreign policy - sovereignty - Beijing faces some important regional disagreements with Morsi. The Chinese government is ideologically and strategically opposed to US-led efforts at regime change. It views the Western policy of militarized "democracy promotion" as self-interested meddling in the internal affairs of other countries disguised as humanitarian intervention. These campaigns constitute an indirect threat to the Chinese government itself. Furthermore, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization military campaign in Libya cost China billions of dollars in contracts with Muammar Gaddafi's regime. 

China, along with Russia, has vetoed the possibility of United Nations Security Council-sanctioned military intervention in Syria's civil war. Morsi, on the other hand, has denounced the Syrian government in unambiguous language, saying, "The regime that kills its people must disappear from the scene." [4] He will lobby behind the scenes for a harder line against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during his trips to Beijing and Tehran. 

China's disagreement with Morsi over the Syrian situation could be a political opportunity for both parties. While the Chinese government will continue to be opposed to outside (especially Western) military intervention in the Syrian conflict, it will maintain close ties with the pro-intervention Gulf Cooperation Council. Meanwhile, Morsi's concrete steps to bring about a more balanced Egyptian foreign policy could help alleviate Iran's fears of losing its most important Arab ally. Both the Chinese government and Morsi himself are fairly well positioned to bring relevant regional parties together to try to find a political solution to the crisis while avoiding (or at any rate limiting) outside military intervention. 

Middle Kingdom eyes the Middle East
Beyond the important implications of Morsi's China trip for contemporary Chinese policy in the Middle East, there lies a long-term potential for Beijing to assume a much more assertive regional role. As the US continues to pressure China in East Asia, Chinese leaders are quietly and carefully considering global contingencies. The Middle East, with its vast energy resources, central geopolitical position, and strong anti-American sentiment, could be an ideal location for China to challenge America's pre-eminent global role. 

Indeed, Morsi's state visit to China must have been a calculated message to US leadership: if sufficiently pressured by the United States or enticed by China, Egypt could abandon Washington's camp. During the last Cold War, Egypt shifted from the Soviet to the US sphere when the political leaders perceived such a move as being in their self-interest. As an elected leader, President Morsi must be sensitive to the will of the Egyptian people, and the Egyptian people, for the most part, distrust and fear the US government. 

Beyond and above the contemporary Sunni/Shi'ite and Arab/Iranian political divides, there remains a strong anti-American sentiment throughout the greater Middle East. Indeed, while the rulers of Washington's Arab allies publicly bemoan Iranian influence and privately plot against Tehran, a majority of their subjects would welcome Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons. The 2010 Arab Public Opinion Poll found 57% of respondents to view Iran's achievement of nuclear weaponry as having a positive effect in the region, with only 21% viewing this potential development negatively. [5] 

The countries polled were US allies Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (as well as politically divided Lebanon). Washington suffers from a serious public relations problem when the citizens of US ally states wish for America's arch-regional rival to obtain nuclear weaponry. 

Herein lies an important geopolitical opportunity for China stemming from the Arab revolt. If and when Arab governments become more responsive to their people's wills, they will drift away from the US and search for other allies. There were two telling exceptions to this general trend - Libya and Syria, whose rulers were already politically opposed to US regional dominance, and thus found themselves on the wrong end of advanced Western weaponry (explicit in Libya and clandestine, so far, in Syria). 

Except for these two nations, one can reasonably expect every single Arab government to become less reflexively pro-American the more it democratizes. The Middle East has strong potential for Chinese power projection as long as issues that exacerbate anti-American sentiment - especially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - remain unresolved. Western media analysts who loudly predicted peril for China's rulers stemming from the example of the Arab revolt ignored two vital trends: the primarily economic nature of the original protests, and the essential peril for US regional dominance that Arab democracy entails. 

President Morsi's visit to China serves as a stunning example of drastic transformations in the international system, both in the Middle East and throughout the world. First, if most Arab states become more democratic, they will adopt a foreign policy that is independent of Washington's dictates. Second, China's enormous, no-strings-attached financial resources are increasingly indispensable for nations in economic turmoil. Finally, as the US economy continues to stagnate, traditional US allies will be compelled to look for alternatives sources economic and political support. 

For the time being, China can take advantage of these trends to promote a conservative foreign policy focused on economic opportunity, geopolitical stability, and protecting the sovereignty of "rogue states" targeted by Washington. However, as the US government strengthens its military position in Asia, China may adopt a more proactive role to counter US pressure. If Sino-American rivalry escalates into a new cold war, China may find the Middle East awash with oil, and allies. 

Notes: 
1. Chinese investment focus of Egypt president visit, Yahoo News Malaysia, Aug 27, 2012.
2. Minister to lure Chinese investors, China Daily, Aug 29, 2012.
3. Morsi calls to oust Assad, Al Bawaba News, Aug 28, 2012.
4. Ibid.
5.Arab majority backs nuclear Iran, The Washington Times, Aug 6, 2010.

Brendan P O'Reilly is a China-based writer and educator from Seattle. He is author of The Transcendent Harmony. 
 
ROVING EYE
Morsi delivers his calling card
By Pepe Escobar 31812 Asia Times
http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NH31Ak03.html

You'd better not mess with Muslim Brother Morsi. 

Straight out of "communist" China - where he secured a red carpet welcome from President Hu Jintao and vice-president Xi Jinping - the Egyptian president lands in "evil" Iran as a true Arab world leader. [1] 

Imagine conducting a poll in Tampa, Florida, among delegates at the Republican convention anointing the dodgy Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan duo as their presidential ticket. Chances are Morsi would be ranked worse than Hitler (oh no; that was Saddam. Or maybe Osama. Or maybe Ahmadinejad ... ) 

Tampa-Tehran. Talk about the ultimate snapshot of the current geopolitical divide. On one side, the 1% crowd yelling for blood - be it from Barack Obama or from assorted Muslims. On the other side, the bulk of the real "international community", practically the whole global South (including observers such as China, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico) refusing to bend over to imperial military/financial diktats. Reaffirming its impeccable journalistic credentials, US corporate media dismisses it all as just "a Third World jamboree". 

Anyway, the big news is that Egypt is back. In other news, the Washington-Tel Aviv axis is apoplectic. 

Morsi may be walking like the proverbial Egyptian in popular imagination; sideways. In fact he's advancing all the time. By now it's clear that Egypt's new foreign policy if focused on restoring Cairo, historically the intellectual hub of the Arab world, to its leadership position - usurped by the oil-rich barbarians from the House of Saud during those decades when Egypt was a mere lowly servant of Washington's geopolitical designs. 

Those were the (long gone) days - over three decades ago - when Tehran broke relations with Cairo over Egypt's signing of the Camp David accords. Morsi's attendance of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran may not yet signal the return of full diplomatic relations, as Morsi spokesman Yasser Ali has been spinning. But it's an earth-shattering diplomatic coup. 

Enter the new great game 
A quick recap is in order. Morsi's first crucial foreign trip was to Saudi Arabia, for the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting in Mecca. The House of Saud regards the Muslim Brotherhood with extreme suspicion, to say the least. Right after that Morsi got a personal visit from the Emir of Qatar, and a US$2 billion check with no strings attached; then he immediately sacked the old leadership of the Orwellian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). 

Meanwhile, Morsi had already launched Egypt's plan to solve the interminable Syrian tragedy; a contact group uniting Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. No Syrian solution will be achieved without these key foreign players - with Egypt being careful to position itself as the mediator between Iran and Turkey/Saudi interests (which amount to the same; in 2008 Turkey struck a strategic, political, economic and security accord with the GCC). 

With just one stroke, Morsi cut off the head of a fake snake being sold to Washington for years by the Jordanian King Playstation and the House of Saud; that of an "evil" Shi'ite crescent from Iran to Lebanon via Iraq and Syria undermining the "stability" of the Middle East. 

What Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and Jordan's younger Abdullah II in fact fear is the unrest and rage of their own populations, not to mention the mere idea of democracy; it's easy to blame rampant Shi'ism for everything because Washington is gullible - or expedient - enough to buy it. 

The "Shi'ite crescent" myth can be debunked in a number of ways. Here's just one - that I have witnessed in person, on the spot, for quite a while during the mid-2000s. Tehran knows that the majority of Iraq's powerful clergy are totally adverse to the Khomeinist concept of the Islamic Republic. No wonder Tehran is very much worried about the renaissance of Najaf in Iraq as the premier holy city in Shi'ite Islam, to the detriment of Qom in Iran. 

Washington buys this propaganda because it's right at the heart of the New Great Game. Whatever the administration in place, from Bush to Obama and beyond, a key Washington obsession is to neutralize what is seen as a Shi'ite axis from Lebanon, via Syria and Iraq, across Iran and all the way to Afghanistan. 

A mere look at the map tells us this axis is at center of the humongous US military deployment in Asia - facing China and Russia. Obviously the best intel in Beijing and Moscow has identified it for years. 

The Russians and the Chinese see how the Pentagon "manages" - indirectly - a great deal of the region's oil reserves, including the Shi'ite northeast of Saudi Arabia. And they see how Iran - as the gravity center of the whole region - cannot but be Washington's ultimate obsession. The nuclear row is just a pretext - the only one in the market, actually. Ultimately, it's not a matter of destroying Iran, but of subjugating it to the condition of a docile ally. 

Into this hardcore power play steps in Brother Morsi, reshuffling a deck of cards as lightning quick as a Sheldon Adelson-employed Macau croupier. What might have taken months and perhaps years - the sidelining of the old SCAF leadership, Qatar being privileged to the detriment of Saudi Arabia, a presidential visit to Tehran, Egypt stepping up as a leader of the Arab world - was accomplished in barely two months. 

Of course it will all depend on how the Egypt-Iran relationship develops, and whether Qatar - and even Iran - are able to help the Muslim Brotherhood to keep Egypt from not collapsing (there's no money for anything; a $36 billion annual deficit; nearly half the population is illiterate; and the country imports half of its food). 

Take me back to Camp David
The immediate problem with Egypt's contact group for Syria is that Turkey - in yet another stance of its spectacularly counter-productive foreign policy - decided to boycott NAM. Yet Egypt is undeterred, proposing to add Iraq and Algeria to the contact group. [2] 

And in steps Tehran with yet another diplomatic "sweeping" proposal, according to the Foreign Ministry; a NAM troika of Egypt, Iran and Venezuela, plus Syria's neighbors Iraq and Lebanon. So everybody wants to talk - apart, given the evidence, from Turkey. Tehran's proposal is fully supported by Russia. 

And just as US corporate media coverage was reveling in the hate speeches at the millionaires' convention in Tampa, "isolated" Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei meets with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Tehran and calls for a nuclear-free Middle East. [3] 

Not exactly the stance of a "new Hitler" who wants a nuclear bomb ... yesterday, as the warmongering Bibi-Barak duo in Israel ceaselessly spin. And certainly a very popular global South denunciation of Washington's cosmic hypocrisy of willfully ignoring Israel's nuclear arsenal while squeezing Iran for its nuclear program. 

Needless to say, none of this has been reported by US corporate media. 

Meanwhile, all global South eyes are on Morsi. They way things are moving, it's not far-fetched to imagine the Muslim Brotherhood playing the Camp David card sooner or later. In that case, expect Washington to go ballistic - and even time travel to 1970s Latin America, as in promoting (yet another) military coup. 

The bottom line is, if the Muslim Brotherhood really articulates an independent foreign policy over the next few months, with even a hint that Camp David should be renegotiated (over 90% of Egyptians would support it), the warmongering Bibi-Barak duo had better get real. 

Notes:
1. See here for China Daily report. 
2. See here
3. See here 

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: 
 
Message for PM: Avoid cosying up to Iran
B Raman.,Rediff August 28, 2012
 
Our strategic and national security interests should be the decisive factor in our policy-making towards Israel, the US and Iran, says B Raman.
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh [ Images ] has gone to Teheran to attend the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. His participation in the summit will provide him with an opportunity to meet leaders from important countries of the NAM and to have another round of bilateral talks with President Asif Ali Zardari [ Images ] of Pakistan.
Even if nothing substantive and substantial comes out of his meeting with Zardari, it will still be useful to keep the bilateral dialogue process going despite Pakistan's uncooperative attitude in dealing with terrorism and Psyjihad emanating from Pakistani territory.
India [ Images ] no longer plays the kind of leadership role in NAM as it used to in the past. We don't have to shed tears over it. While multilateral relationships are still important in economic matters, bilateral relations need to have greater priority in our national interest.
We have to carefully weigh the relative importance of our bilateral relations with Israel, the US and Iran before deciding whether any new policy initiatives are required in our relations with Iran. I do not think so.
We tend to be emotional in discussing our relations with Iran with deep nostalgic references to the civilisational links with Iran. Iranian leaders and analysts too talk of this civilisational relationship, but without any sign of nostalgia or emotion.
When Iran decided to start a covert war against Israel through acts of terrorism against Israeli nationals and interests in the territories of other countries having an Israeli presence, it chose India as one of its anti-Israeli covert warfare grounds. It tried to orchestrate the killing of an Israeli national working in the Israeli embassy in New Delhi [Images ] last February.
It did not allow any nostalgic or emotional attachment to its relations with India to come in the way of its sponsoring an act of terrorism against an Israeli national in our territory. It would not hesitate to sponsor another act of terrorism against Israel in our territory if a favourable opportunity presented itself without bothering about its impact on its bilateral ties with India.
Our strategic and national security interests should be the decisive factor in our policy-making towards Israel, the US and Iran. Yes, Iran has been an important factor in our energy security. But in other dimensions of national security, its role has been minimal and will continue to be so. It has no security-related modern technology. Its attitude on Pakistan-sponsored terrorism against India has been ambivalent. Its support for Indian interests in Afghanistan is uncertain. If it acquires a Shia A-bomb, we will be faced with Sunni as well as Shia bombs.
Our strategic and national security interests should dictate a careful nursing of our relations with Israel and the US, both of which have been more beneficial to us than Iran. Both have modern security-related technologies. Israel has never hesitated to share its technologies with India -- even sensitive ones. The US is not as willing as Israel, but its attitude should improve as our bilateral relations improve. We have common strong interests with Israel and the US in countering jihadi terrorism. The intelligence agencies of India, Israel and the US have had a long history of co-operation in the exchange of intelligence. India shares a common interest with Israel and the US in monitoring and countering malign nuclear developments in Pakistan and Iran.
We should maintain our present economic relations with Iran so long as international circumstances and Iran's willingness permit it. Where the importance of our economic relations with Iran come into conflict with the requirements of our national security, which demand continued close relations with Israel and the US, strategic and security considerations should prevail over economic.
If one day Iran stops its energy supplies to India, we can find alternate sources. But if we allow emotional considerations relating to Iran affect the strengthening of our strategic and national security related ties with Israel and the US, we cannot find equally beneficial and dependable alternate strategic partners.
B Raman