Senate report on CIA torture; US opened gates of hell on Iraq and its Gulag Abu Ghraib
Somebody from CIA had the temerity to try to defend illegal, inhuman, barbarian treatment of prisoners and ordinary people in Iraq and elsewhere, based on their whims, fancies and suspicions. But really WE and poodle UK leadership have been on a criminal voyage around the world. From 2003 it was Iraq's misfortune ie to have oil and use it for its own people.
I visited Iraq twice in 1977 .Alas that was perhaps the golden period for its people .Everything was available and Saddam Hussain govt was taking all steps to promote growth and well being of the people .Soon after US savagery, even those Iraqis who had suffered under Saddam Hussain said that they were much better off under him.
Two days ago I had circulated two older articles written at that time about rendition of suspects by US government and its agencies outside USA to avoid blame.
Under the leadership of the so-called Noble peace prize laureate, Barack Obama the policies of his predecessors George Bush and others have been followed all around the world. The American people are helpless like the masses of Nazi Germany, but their leaders were tried and convicted. Independent judicial tribunals have tried both Bush and Blair and on the basis of evidence given by victims of torture condemned and convicted them. If they have escaped punishment, it is because of the protection provided by the state.
It was a clear case of vulgarity the way United States treated the elected president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. When he was caught, the US viceroy in Baghdad declared "We got him" as if he was a hunted animal. It shows the totally uncivilized and barbaric character of US rulers and its abhorrent racism. Even the Pope was constrained to show his displeasure. But who cares, because the Americans think they will always be winner. Let us see for how long!
I am now reproducing below two articles which describe if it is possible to describe barbarism of United States carried on the hapless Iraqi citizens and others.
K Gajendra Singh, 13 December, 2040, Mayur Vihar, daily Delhi
US Gen Taguba Unveils Abu Ghraib, US Gulag - http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m34046&hd=&size=1&l=e 27 June, 2007
IRAQ'S DOOMED 'SURGE' ONLY WIDENS GATES OF HELL http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m34176&hd=&size=1&l=e 3 July, 2007
(Television images showed a man running down a smoke-filled street in Baghdad holding a lifeless baby above his head. Smoke was rising off the baby).
Gen Taguba Unveils Abu Ghraib, US Gulag - "The abused are only Iraqis!", said a US General
http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m34046&hd=&size=1&l=e 27 June, 2007
K Gajendra Singh
Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world : Preamble, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
"From the moment a soldier enlists, we inculcate loyalty, duty, honor, integrity, and selfless service. And yet when we get to the senior-officer level we forget those values."
US Gen Antonio Taguba.
A senior US General in Iraq to Gen Taguba --" the abused detainees were 'only Iraqis.'"
"US Soldier Sodomised Female Iraqi Detainee". Former British Ambassador Craig Murray's blog headline.
"--we violated the laws of land warfare in Abu Ghraib. We violated the tenets of the Geneva Convention. We violated our own principles and we violated the core of our military values. I believe, even today, that those civilian and military leaders responsible should be held accountable." Gen Taguba
"It must always be remembered that whatever is happening in Iraq is the responsibility of US which led the illegal invasion of Iraq and continues forced occupation against the will of its people, acquiesced in by an impotent and dying United Nations under Sec Gen –What is his name !"-Author
June 27, 2007
Seymour Hersh , the well known US investigative journalist has done it again –methodically chipping away at United State administration's blatant lies and spins to further unveil the torture and abuse of Iraqis at US created 'Gulag' at Abu Ghraib and US Administrations effort to muzzle an honest US voice .
In an interview with Hersh in New Yorker , Major General Antonio Taguba who led the first military investigation in 2004 into human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq has bluntly questioned the integrity of former US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, suggesting he misled the US Congress by downplaying his own prior knowledge of what had happened. Gen Taguba also claimed in the interview that President George Bush also "had to be aware" of the atrocities despite saying at the time of the scandal that he had been out of the loop until he saw images in the US media.
As usual the White House denied it and –"the President said over three years ago that he first saw the pictures of the abuse on the television," added Scott Stanzel, a spokesman.
There has been little reaction in US main line media ie corporate controlled ' be the first ' purveyors of spins and lies. Or among honourable members of the US Congress who had sanctioned the illegal invasion of Iraq opening up the gates of hell on hapless Iraqis. As if the well documented US ugliness belongs to some one else . Even the US electorate's demand last November to bring back US troops home from Iraq has been totally ignored. Some government of the people this!
Such things were to be expected after an invasion launched to grab Iraqi oil . The men should be impeached and tried for misleading the world and the American people .The naked ugly truth is being slowly but relentlessly being exposed .Libby's conviction , illegal doings of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. and a Vice President who even claims immunity from the law of the land . Verily USA has created a lawless jungle abroad and at home too.
The New Yorker interview has only amplified what was partially known .Gen Taguba, who investigated Abu Ghraib, confirms details of the abuse not previously known thus publicly giving them official authority . It also confirms that the torture was sanctioned from the top.
Not part of the interview , but General Janis Karpinski has testified that she saw a memorandum on "Interrogation techniques" pinned to the wall by military intelligence at Abu Ghraib, signed by Defence Secretary Rumsfeld himself. Karpinski was at the top of the line of command of the guards - the military police - but not the interrogators. Doubtless more of the details of the war crimes at Abu Ghraib, and of extraordinary rendition and Guantanamo, will continue to emerge in the next few months as the war party in Washington becomes totally discredited.
Sexual aggression is not really about sex or gender, but about power: the powerful humiliating the powerless .
The General's 53-page report, first written in February 2004 , had found Iraqi detainees in a cellblock of the notorious Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad subjected to "sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses" at the hands of their U.S. jailers. The abuses included sodomizing of prisoners, pouring cold water and chemicals on naked bodies, threatening detainees with rape and dog attacks, hitting them with chairs and broomsticks and locking them in isolation without food, water or a toilet for three days. The report also found a virtual collapse of the command structure in Abu Ghraib with Army reservists being urged by military intelligence and CIA employees to "set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses."
Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff Gen Richard Myers had then denied the contents to the media but gave conflicting answers . And when pressed, he acknowledged that he had not even read the report.
Gen Taguba noted that Rumsfeld not only denied advance knowledge, but even denied afterwards having seen Taguba's report or knowing what had happened. Rumsfeld testified before Congress that he had no idea of the extent of the abuse.
"He's trying to acquit himself and a lot of people who are lying to protect themselves," the magazine quoted Taguba as saying, referring to Rumsfeld's May 7, 2004 testimony in the Congress.
Taguba affirmed , "There was no doubt in my mind that this stuff"—the explicit images—"was gravitating upward. It was standard operating procedure to assume that this had to go higher. The President had to be aware of this." He said that Rumsfeld, his senior aides, and the high-ranking generals and admirals who stood with him as he misrepresented in the Congress what he( Rumsfeld) knew about Abu Ghraib had failed the nation.
The photographs that became public at the time of enquiry and created worldwide reprehension, revulsion and condemnation - showed US jailers humiliating inmates who were naked, hooded, on leashes or piled into a human pyramid.
Gen Taguba said that other material not yet public or mentioned in trials included a video showing "a male American soldier in uniform sodomising a female detainee". The first wave of images also included images of sexual humiliation between a father and his son.
Gen Taguba also added he was ordered to limit his inquiry into the conduct of military police at the jail even as he became convinced they had a green light from higher up. "Somebody was giving them guidance but I was legally prevented from further investigation into higher authority. I was limited to a box." He declares ,"Even today ... those civilian and military leaders responsible should be held accountable."
Gen Taguba was victimized for doing his duty as he was subsequently forced to retire early. His conclusion was that he was being punished for honest investigation. "They always shoot the messenger," Gen Taguba told Seymour Hersh. "To be accused of being overzealous and disloyal - that cuts deep into me. I was being ostracised for doing what I was asked to do." And he did that as an honest and upright officer and as a decent human being .
The politicians in the Congress could not care less. A Quinnipiac University poll this month found Congress with an approval rating of just 23 percent. "People voted for change. But they don't think they got it," said Peter Brown, an assistant director of the poll. A Gallup poll last month had put Congress's approval rating at 29 percent. The number had fallen to 21 percent last December, just when Republicans were sent packing by the electorate.
Some extracts from the New Yorker interview ;
"Here . . . comes . . . that famous General Taguba—of the Taguba report!" Rumsfeld declared, in a mocking voice. The meeting was attended by Paul Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld's deputy; Stephen Cambone, the Under-Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ( J.C.S.); and General Peter Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, along with Craddock and other officials. Taguba, describing the moment nearly three years later, said, sadly, "I thought they wanted to know. I assumed they wanted to know. I was ignorant of the setting."
In the meeting, the officials professed ignorance about Abu Ghraib. "Could you tell us what happened?" Wolfowitz asked. Someone else asked, "Is it abuse or torture?" At that point, Taguba recalled, "I described a naked detainee lying on the wet floor, handcuffed, with an interrogator shoving things up his rectum, and said, 'That's not abuse. That's torture.' There was quiet." Rumsfeld was particularly concerned about how the classified report had become public. "General," he asked, "who do you think leaked the report?" Taguba responded that perhaps a senior military leader who knew about the investigation had done so. "It was just my speculation," he recalled. "Rumsfeld didn't say anything."
Rumsfeld also complained about not being given the information he needed. "Here I am," Taguba recalled Rumsfeld saying, "just a Secretary of Defense, and we have not seen a copy of your report. I have not seen the photographs, and I have to testify to Congress tomorrow and talk about this." As Rumsfeld spoke, Taguba said, "He's looking at me. It was a statement."
At best, Taguba said, "Rumsfeld was in denial." Taguba had submitted more than a dozen copies of his report through several channels at the Pentagon and to the Central Command headquarters, in Tampa, Florida, which ran the war in Iraq. By the time he walked into Rumsfeld's conference room, he had spent weeks briefing senior military leaders on the report, but he received no indication that any of them, with the exception of General Schoomaker, had actually read it. (Schoomaker later sent Taguba a note praising his honesty and leadership.) When Taguba urged one lieutenant general to look at the photographs, he rebuffed him, saying, "I don't want to get involved by looking, because what do you do with that information, once you know what they show?"--
On January 20th, the chief of staff at Central Command sent another e-mail to Admiral Keating, copied to General Craddock and Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the Army commander in Iraq. The chief of staff wrote, "Sir: update on alleged detainee abuse per our discussion. DID IT REALLY HAPPEN? Yes, currently have 4 confessions implicating perhaps 10 soldiers. DO PHOTOS EXIST? Yes. A CD with approx 100 photos and a video—CID has these in their possession."
In subsequent testimony, General Myers, the J.C.S. chairman, acknowledged, without mentioning the e-mails, that in January information about the photographs had been given "to me and the Secretary up through the chain of command. . . . And the general nature of the photos, about nudity, some mock sexual acts and other abuse, was described."
Nevertheless, Rumsfeld, in his appearances before the Senate and the House Armed Services Committees on May 7th, claimed to have had no idea of the extensive abuse. "It breaks our hearts that in fact someone didn't say, 'Wait, look, this is terrible. We need to do something,' " Rumsfeld told the congressmen. "I wish we had known more, sooner, and been able to tell you more sooner, but we didn't."
Rumsfeld told the legislators that, when stories about the Taguba report appeared, "it was not yet in the Pentagon, to my knowledge." As for the photographs, Rumsfeld told the senators, "I say no one in the Pentagon had seen them"; at the House hearing, he said, "I didn't see them until last night at 7:30,"wen asked specifically when he had been made aware of the photographs.
US Army – A veritable Mafia
Taguba got a different message, however, from other officers, among them General John Abizaid, then the head of Central Command. A few weeks after his report became public, Taguba, who was still in Kuwait, was in the back seat of a Mercedes sedan with Abizaid. Abizaid's driver and his interpreter, who also served as a bodyguard, were in front. Abizaid turned to Taguba and issued a quiet warning: "You and your report will be investigated."
"I wasn't angry about what he said but disappointed that he would say that to me," Taguba said. "I'd been in the Army thirty-two years by then, and it was the first time that I thought I was in the Mafia."
A former high-level Defense Department official said that, when the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, Senator John Warner, then the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, was warned "to back off" on the investigation, because "it would spill over to more important things." A spokesman for Warner acknowledged that there had been pressure on the Senator, but said that Warner had stood up to it—insisting on putting Rumsfeld under oath for his May 7th testimony, for example, to the Secretary's great displeasure.---
In January of 2006, Taguba received a telephone call from General Richard Cody, the Army's Vice-Chief of Staff. "This is your Vice," he told Taguba. "I need you to retire by January of 2007." No pleasantries were exchanged, although the two generals had known each other for years, and, Taguba said, "He offered no reason." (A spokesperson for Cody said, "Conversations regarding general officer management are considered private personnel discussions. General Cody has great respect for Major General Taguba as an officer, leader, and American patriot.")
Richard Armitage, a former Navy counter-insurgency officer who served as Deputy Secretary of State in the first Bush term, recalled meeting Taguba, then a lieutenant colonel, in South Korea in the early nineteen-nineties. "I was told to keep an eye on this young guy—'He's going to be a general,' " Armitage said. "Taguba was discreet and low key—not a sprinter but a marathoner."
General Taguba is a slight man with a friendly demeanor and an unfailingly polite correctness. "I came from a poor family and had to work hard," he said. "It was always shine the shoes on Saturday morning for church, and wash the car on Saturday for church. And Saturday also for mowing the lawn and doing yard jobs for church."
The Perfidious Brits are equally guilty in Iraq ;
The Brits too are very much in the business of torture ..The reserve stiff upper lip keeps the ugliness under covers but too much has happened and the world has seen enough .
Robert Fisk of 'The Independent who "had seen British military brutality in Northern Ireland had hopes that things might have improved but the heart wrenching case of Baha Mousa , who died of abuse and torture , proved that the dark, sinister ways employed by the British in the Irish conflict have continued . He concluded that something had gone terribly wrong in the British Army in southern Iraq.
British Playing football with human beings
Fisk went to see Kifah Taha, who was beaten so badly by British troops in the presence of Baha Mousa with terrible wounds in the groin. Baha Mousa, son of a policeman Daoud Mousa in Basra , British area of occupation died from the brutal injuries he received in British custody, was a young, decent man who worked as a receptionist in a Basra hotel. Daoud Mousa and others will carry the grief of their son's killings or rapes of their daughters with them for ever.
Fisk was told how "the soldiers would call their Iraqi prisoners by the names of football stars - Beckham was one name they used - before kicking them around the detention headquarters in Basra. There were stories of Iraqi prisoners being forced to kneel on sharp stones, of being kicked and punched in the groin, the kidneys, the back, shoulders, forced to sit with their heads down lavatory holes."
There's an old rule of thumb applied to armies in the field said Fisk. "If you find out about one abuse, you can bet there were a hundred others that will never be revealed. New stories of "forced disappearances", hostage-taking and torture in British custody are emerging from Basra. US troops are still being questioned about unlawful killings and torture in Iraq. If one girl is raped and murdered and her family slaughtered by a US unit south of Baghdad - all of which is true - how many others have died in circumstances we shall never discover?", added Fisk.
But there would be blow back too. Accounts would be settled.
American detainees in Iran
For Americans, it would be a surprise to see the word "detainee" suddenly appear in a different country, in a different context , this time to a group of Americans. After all, "detainee" is the word the Bush administration coined to deal with suspected terrorist captives who, they argued, should be subjected to extra-legal treatment as part of the Global War on Terrorism. As feared the terminology is, being turned against American citizens under detention in Iran now.
The Iranian government currently holds in custody Haleh Esfandiari, Kian Tajbakhsh, Parnaz Azima, and Ali Shakeri, Iranian-American scholars and activists accused of being spies and/or employees of the U.S. government intent on fomenting dissent and disruption within Iran. (A fifth American, Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent engaged in business of an unknown nature in Iran, disappeared on March 8th.) The four are reportedly behind bars at Tehran's notorious Evin prison, meant for political prisoners including human rights activists. The Americans had abducted 6 Iranian diplomats in Kurdistan from the Irbil Consulate arousing much anger and dismay in the Kurdish regional government.
Any way who carries out US overt and covert policies of regime change inside Iran , for which the Congress regularly apportions many tens of millions of US dollars .
Sexual sadism of Western culture –In peace and war
At the time of hearings in May 2004 ,Katharine Viner wrote in 'The Guardian' about 'The sexual sadism of our culture, in peace and in war" She had received some horrific photographs from Iraq, depicting " the sexual abuse of women by US servicemen. On some, chadors were hitched up over the women's heads. On others, the women were naked while they were raped by groups of men. ----- They make you sick to your stomach. And they look strangely familiar - like the XXX films in hotel rooms, like those "live rape!" emails sent to internet users, like porn.
"--We know that such images exist, because a US government report confirmed it. And we know that Iraqi women are being raped throughout the country, because both Amal Kadham Swadi, the Iraqi lawyer, and the US's own internal inquiry say that abuse is systemic and widespread. We also know this because all wars feature the abuse of women as a byproduct, or as a weapon. The ancient Greeks considered rape socially acceptable; the Crusaders raped their way to Constantinople; the English invaders raped Scottish women on Culloden Moor. The first world war, the second world war, Bosnia, Bangladesh, Vietnam - where the gang rape and murder of a peasant woman by US soldiers was photographed in stages by one if its participants.
"The poses, the large numbers of men to one woman, the violence - they have all the hallmarks of contemporary porn. Indeed, there is suspicion that the photos are part of a gruesome new trend There's a difference, of course, between the making of pornography for money and the photographing of pornographic poses as war trophies: the consent of the woman involved? But to the consumer of these images, there's no way of knowing if there's been consent or not. They look the same."
In February,2004 US soldiers were accused of raping more than 112 colleagues in Iraq and Afghanistan --- seem to have to prove that they are one of the guys by sexually humiliating the only people less important than they are: Iraqi prisoners, of whatever sex. It's a chilling lesson, that women can be sexual sadists just as well as men. Just give them the right conditions - and someone weaker to kick. It's proof that sexual aggression is not really about sex or gender, but about power: the powerful humiliating the powerless.?
==appear on pornographic websites. They will be used for sexual gratification.-- Of course we are horrified by these images. But we should be horrified too by their familiarity, and how much they tell us about our own societies."
Pornography is worth tens of billions dollars business in USA .Is this the civilization the rest of the world in envious of as US leaders constantly proclaim ie superiority of their civilization .
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche , 19th cent German philosopher , inspired by Plato's Utopia aka Republic , in turn inspired the evil genius and 20 th Cent political philosopher Leo Strauss , at whose feet sat the still influential Neo-Cons and Zeo-cons , stated that Christian love and piety was an outcome of fear. The fear of the strongly built neighbour or the fear of a criminal from a policeman .
Nietzsche believed that it was not possible that a man could genuinely feel universal love, perhaps because of his self-created halo of a 'noble' man . That was perhaps meant for two combatants or knights matching their valour on level ground, not like F-16 bombers against kids armed with slingshots or rudimentary guns .
Many in the West are not even ashamed describing the US "victory" over Iraq in 2003 an example of military valour when US defence expenditure was S$ 450 billion vs Iraq's 2.5 billion after US-UK implemented sanctions had decayed Iraqi defences .The sanctions also killed half a million children of malnutrition according to UN reports. .
Kemal Ataturk , the great strategician ,would have laughed his head off at this spurious claim. Even Montgomery who believed that 4 to one superiority was enough when attacking .Only ignoble deeds by ignoble men shine in the US led West .The so called western 'noble' is now likely to be a poor American from rural areas, a high tech brute ensconced in his armour afraid to come out of his humvee against motivated bombers with just their body to sacrifice against all odds . Would Nietzsche have called the bombers 'noble'!
The noble martial combat was over after the second siege of Vienna in late 16th century , when high tech killing started taking over from Janissaries valour. The final result now is the complete take over of the US by consumerist Military Industry complex , which gobbles up as much in 'defence ' expenditure as the rest of the world put together ,of which the generals and soldiers are consumers paid for by the people of America and now of the world with an iniquitous economic order where in US just prints greenbacks . US power has morphed into world financed-techno-barbarian brute.
In his book on what Bertrand Russell calls history of Western Philosophy ( West has generally produced linear thought , its real philosophers are ridiculed ) he quotes from Shakespeare's King Lear , on the verge of madness
"I will do such things –
What they are yet I know not – but they shall be
The terror of the earth.
( Exactly what the top US leadership has achieved in Iraq and threatens doing more of the same. )
This is Nietzsche's philosophy in nutshell. Donald Rumsfeld's unknown unknowns or Bush's all options including tactical weapons when there is no danger of an Iranian nuke in near future .No wonder a worried and wizened El bardai in Vienna called for a control on 'crazies 'in USA.
Russell says there are two sorts of saints, saints by nature and saints by fear. The first have spontaneous love of mankind. Because to do so gives him happiness and the second , a frightened man afraid of fear. ( Western leaders like Henry Kissinger , Dick Cheney ,Tony Blair would fit the bill )
It is existential fear of Jesus Christ's saying turned devilshly on its head .Do not do unto others what you would not like done unto you . The fear what Iran would do after 5 years or ten years .What Iraqis would do . Would Assassins emerge from the Middle East and Asia or Muslim citizens in Europe and Black Muslims in USA . What north Korea with nukes and missiles threatened to do to stop a menacing US. Humans and the world has now been reduced by USA to lawless jungle.
Leo Strauss was an admirer of the British Empire and Winston Churchill as an example of the will-driven statesman. Recent Churchill admirers are ; the extinguished poodle Tony Blair and lame duck George Bush . After being part of killing of over 666,000 Iraqis Blair said history will judge him. He has been judged and the Brits would pay the price .If the Brits could not remove Blair early enough ,then why blame poor Iraqis for not removing late President Saddam Hussein of Iraq , and why .Whom , now faced with acute security deficit and instability Iraqis miss , even Shias. And perhaps in their hearts the Americans too. Certainly before March 2003 USA was a hyper power , a phrase rarely used now for a degenerated ogre .
The use of deception and manipulation in current US policies flow directly from the doctrines of the Leo Strauss (1899-1973). His disciples including Paul Wolfowitz and other Neo-conservatives who have driven much of the political agenda of the Bush administration. Wolfowitz, acknowledged that the evidence used to justify the war was "murky" and added that weapons of mass destruction weren't the crucial issue anyway. Grabbing Iraqi oil for nothing was !He had told US Congress that Iraq's development would be financed by Iraq oil revenues ( which US is trying to gift to US multinationals ). Paul also tried to finance his love nest from the World Bank funds and refused to resign when caught with his hand in the till or where ever it should not have been.
Another Neo-Con Douglas Feith recently told one Wolf Blitzer ( the kind of kid glove questions he poses , he could do with some media tutorials ) on CNN , that US was justified in attacking Iraq over WMDs etc even if the US allegations proved to be untrue .Now listen , Feith added that last year if he had no car accident did not mean that he should not take out car insurance this year .So "operation Iraqi freedom" was an insurance policy ! Some Straussian reasoning . On mere suspicions one could attack another country .Suppose some one is reading a book on fundamentals of nuclear Physics. Attack his country according to Straussian or Feith logic . Even Taimur lung , in those lawless days ,attacked only if sure of a threat building up, not on suspicions alone .Wolf the Blitzer was so easily convinced . These are West's top journalists!
In Plato's Republic the citizens are divided into three classes, the common people, the soldiers and guardians. Only the last have political power and naturally are smaller in number ( Three percent of US population) . For the first time the guardians can be elected by the legislators or voters , then it becomes hereditary ( In India it is now well established – once elected then family dynasties are established .Indians also want dynastic succession for jobs ) In USA the corporate masters , ideologues and hangers on are the guardians. Without a draft now , cannon fodder or soldiers are mostly composed of young men from poor and rural communities , almost without even protective gear as some had complained to Rumsfeld in Iraq . The common people are the rest of US population, Hispanics , the Blacks and other poor folks who continue to live in Katrina ravaged areas. And the rest of the world
Curiously it was the Ottoman devshirme ( slave household ) system which approximated to the Plato's Utopia .The Sultans recruited non Muslim and hence Christian youths from the empire and beyond extending up to the gates of Vienna ,aged between 12 to 18 years , circumcised them and brought them up as strict Muslims and gave them the best of the education. The most meritorious ,( Indian Foreign and Civil Services in old days ), worked in the Sultan's Topkapi Palace and were later appointed to the highest posts eg grand viziers ( 70% were slaves ), military commanders and governors etc .The rest formed the shock elite corps of Janissaries -terror of Christian Europe .The system started collapsing once the merit system began leaking and Janissaries even maintained contacts with their families and their children started getting into devshirme system ( Dynasty in jobs ).The Janissaries soon became the terror of the Sultans and deposed and even killed some of them . The Ottoman empire which had lasted for six hundred years declined and fell.
Did the US system reach its zenith of power and now lie exposed an abyss of cheating, chicanery , corruption ,hypocrisy and total lawlessness .
The current direction of US led Western civilization , if you can call it so, is hurtling along retrograde evolution of human animal ; away from the divine and spiritual moorings and identity as all religions discovered intuitively over millennia to a world of heedless and headless consumerism like an unerring laser to wards self destruction, Nuclear bombs and cold nights or climate catastrophes and apocalypse.
K Gajendra Singh, served as Indian ambassador to Turkey , Azerbaijan, Jordan, Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies. Copy right with the author.
:: Article nr. 34046 sent on 27-jun-2007 23:30 ECT
IRAQ'S DOOMED 'SURGE' ONLY WIDENS GATES OF HELL
K Gajendra Singh
July 2, 2007
"Be nice to America, otherwise we will bring you democracy." A bumper sticker in New York
The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience. Albert Camus
Television images showed a man running down a smoke-filled street in Baghdad holding a lifeless baby above his head. Smoke was rising off the baby.
Agencies report bloody violence day after day in Ira ; GIs ,guerrillas, militias , freedom fighters , kill nearly 50/100/200/300 Iraqis
"Then the terrorists (forces against US led occupation) opened the gates of hell, --The blast incinerated or tore apart some 140 persons and injured 150 more, - Reuters
"And so, to the end of history, murder shall breed murder, always in the name of right and honor and peace:" George Bernard Shaw
"Four years ago, the United States, Great Britain and Spain, the axis of liars, had proclaimed from every grandstand that with Iraq bursting at the seams with weapons of mass destruction, as well as being a haven of peace for al-Qaeda members, it was necessary at all costs to assault Baghdad. In so doing, they hoped to put an end to the actions of the terrorist network. The result ?
Iraq is prey to a high-intensity civil war; the Taliban and their accomplices have reduced Hamid Karzai's function to that of mayor of Kabul and Osama bin Laden is still at large. The axis of liars doubles as a "conspiracy of imbeciles." The Fiasco by Serge Truffaut in Le Devoir in April 2007
In war, there are no unwounded soldiers: Jose Narosky
If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks: Frederick The Great
"Petraeus is brilliant. But he is the captain of a sinking ship," said a former senior administration official who questioned whether Iraq's divided political leadership could prevent a descent into chaos. "Iraq's government is a mobile phone number that doesn't answer. Iraq probably can't be fixed."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid-D , who accused the eased out Chief of Joint staff Gen. Peter Pace of failing to provide Congress a candid assessment on the Iraq war , added that Gen. David Petraeus might be guilty of the same.
Reid was concerned about Petraeus, who told USA Today that there are "astonishing signs of normalcy" throughout the majority of Baghdad. "I'm talking about professional soccer leagues with real grass field stadiums, several amusement parks, big ones, markets that are very vibrant." Reid said the remark "gives you a feeling that he's not in touch with what is really going on in Iraq or just trying to make the president feel good."
In mid June, Reid bluntly told Bush in a letter also signed by House speaker Nancy Pelosi that his troop "surge" strategy in Iraq was failure, a day after vowing to launch a new bid to change US war policy.
"This is a skilled and determined enemy. He's ruthless. He's got a thirst for blood like I've never seen anywhere in my life," Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr., who heads U.S. forces in Baghdad told reporters on 30 June at the end of the heaviest killing of US 329 GI in the last quarter. "And he's determined to do whatever he can," added Gen Fil Jr.
These are real life Iraqi freedom fighters and not Hollywood Rambos, from the disbanded defence and security forces of Iraq, , trained to kill, many having fought Iranian wavelike attacks in 1980s and now joined by new younger patriots.-The Author
" You ,--- expletives. How dare you hijack an Air India plane when the country has done so much for you. You belong to the most well-off state Punjab in India and you still complain.-- Some more expletives " bawled into the microphone an Indian envoy posted at the Ministry in New Delhi.
" I am only here because I wanted to spend some time in Delhi , " said a swaggering Indian police intelligence general and added , " I have written books on counter terrorism and handled terrorists and other miscreants ."
These were two of the participants in a training module on 'Political Violence" ie how to handle crisis situations arising out of abduction of personnel , hijacking of the aircrafts or siege of embassies by terrorists .
While establishing the Diplomatic Academy for the Indian Foreign Ministry in 1987-1989 ,after reading up on the history of political violence and after discussions with the departments of civil aviation, external and internal intelligence , Interior and Defence ministries , National Security Guard , university professors , psychologists and others ,I had designed a week long program to sensitize Indian diplomats and other civil servants, security and defence officials on a matter of serious concern than engaging India , following ' Operation Blue Star '.
The upsurge in violence in Indian Punjab was openly and covertly abetted by Pakistan and winked at by its allies , the western countries . Western media would parrot" India said this and Pakistan denies that" .Period. BBC had even broadcast some Sikh hoodlums celebrating in London assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh body guards.
But Western leaders and media who accused Ben Laden in 2001 for 911 have not charged him legally .Why?
There is a litany of complaints against hypocritical and duplicitous behaviour of Western leaders and its faithful media of having ignored terrorism against India and Indians which had emanated from nurseries nurtured , financed and raised by US led West and its many Muslim allies in the Gulf and elsewhere , even Communist China , against the Soviet Union. The foundations were laid in 1979 by current peacenik Jimmy Carter as admitted by his National Security adviser Z. Brzezinski
That was before London 7/7 , many Anglo-Saxon false alerts and of course that 911 event , which shook USA but which many all over the world including in USA believe was an inside job, to mount a illegal invasion of Iraq to capture its energy resources and for a long term presence in the region .Now South Korea is the model, earlier models were Germany and Japan after WWII .But it is turning out bloody like the French occupation of Algeria after WWII and like UK led Allied occupation of Turkey after WW1. Turkish leader Kemal Ataturk had defeated and decimated the Greek forces near Ankara and then expelled others.
I had written an article "Occupation case studies: Algeria and Turkey in January ,2004 ," to inform the invaders and occupiers of the likely quagmire .
Let us revert to the Training module on;
The envoy mentioned above was participating in a simulated exercise as a negotiator ( against a Sikh militant ) for the release of hostages cooped inside an Air India plane hijacked between Frankfurt and London. And at the other end of the line was an expert masquerading as a 'terrorist' who had carried out 'real life' negotiations with real hijackers and with Maoist - Marxists who regularly attack and take hostage government officials and others in the heart of India.
Of course this was the final stage of the crisis management when the negotiator is playing for time with the hijackers ,sometimes acceding to their simpler demands and sometimes not. The idea basically is to tire them out and to make them think rationally and may be even surrender . This is the first stage in the preparation for a final assault to release the hostages . The hijackers and terrorists are not in a normal state of mind soon after take over. What the envoy said could have jeopardised the very life of the hostages. It has to be a very well thought out and calibrated exercise.
Earlier the module had covered , the history of political violence ; why human beings resort to violence, which progresses from individual violence to group violence and then morphs into insurgency, open rebellion and if it not countered in a holistic matter ,then finally into a war of liberation and finally independence. As happened in Turkey and Algeria and it will happen in Iraq, independence from US led occupation and its allies.
In one such program there were a couple of police generals who claimed to be experts on terrorists and crisis management and had even written books. However by the end of the training program, when they learnt about various other facets and ramifications ie the underlying causes of political violence , international law and its ramifications , use of media by terrorists as oxygen to promote their cause ,they admitted that the module was a different ballgame altogether than just going in and taking care ( killing ) of terrorist groups or Marxists or doing follow-up police inquiries.
David Petraeus , brilliant he may be , is like the intelligence general above , sent in to tackle the freedom fighters , who are determined to die for their independence , break shackles of slavery ,resist illegal invasion and the occupation , that shall not stand.
Incidentally it is much more difficult to enter India's police academies than US military academies.
The neo-cons and the US administration which babbles that Iraqis do not deserve freedom and democracy are hundred time guiltier than the Indian envoy in not understanding the causes of rebellion and fight for freedom .
PROGRAMME AND DAILY SCHEDULE
0930 Inauguration by Hon'ble Minister of State
10151115 Political Violence and Terrorism;a historical overview
1115-1130 Tea break
1130-1300 Foreign Policy and Legal Aspects of Terrorism
1 300-1400 Working Lunch
1400-1 530 Psychodynamics of terrorism
1530-1600 Tea break
1600-1730 Theories and practices in Crisis Management
1000 1300 Dealing with crisis situations- negotiating skills and techniques
1300-1400 Working Lunch
1400-1600 Dealing with terrorists— a simulation exercise
1600-1630 Tea break
1 630-1730 Organisation of terrorist and
militant groups in India
0930-1100 Media and Crisis Management
1100-1130 Tea break
11301300 International Terrorist
1300-1400 Working Lunch
1400- 1530 •• International Terrorist
1530-1600 Tea break
1 600 1 730 Smuggling and Narco-terrorism
1000 1300 Case study of terrorist incident : analysis and conclusion
1 300 1400 Working Lunch
140O-1730 Case studies in terrorism
1) Mhatre murder case (Birmingham)
2) Hijacking of Indian Airlines plane in Dubai
3) Attempted hijacking of PAN AM Aircraft at Karachi (Sept 1986)
4) Dec 1988 PANAM Aircrash
1000-1300 Simulation exercise: Indian Ambassador held hostage
1300-1400 Working Lunch
1400-1 530 Institutional Arrangements for
1530-1545 Tea break
1545-1630 Video films —'Of Crisis negotiations'
Distribution of Certificates
Speaker's details will be given at Commencement of daily Schedule
The last major hijacking of an Indian civilian aircraft was flight IC-814 from Kathmandu on 24 December ,1999 by five Pakistani nationals .One passenger was stabbed to death .In Afghanistan the other hostages were released after three Pakistani hard core terrorists were freed .In the absence of full international support it was a disgraceful surrender .But there are instances when local governments in India are ready to make concessions when local Marxists abducted a few government officials.
But that was before September 9 , 2001. The West had as usual indifferent attitude. The reaction and coverage by the Indian media was childish. With the mushrooming of TV channels and newspapers , youngsters hardly out of teens become anchors and newsreaders. There were asking a procession of equally ignorant and ill informed politicians and so called instant experts to meet hijackers demands, immediately , which was unfortunately done thus ignoring the sacrifices made by those who had apprehended the terrorists and future dangers . It'll be interesting to see how West will react now to a similar hijacking of an Indian plane, God forbid.
When I checked up at that time I found that the Diplomatic Academy was no longer organising the crisis management training model I had designed .
The insurgency in Punjab was the outcome of a litany of mistakes by the politicians across the political spectrum. In order to get votes they exponded extremist policies ,mixing it with religion ,inciting extremist elements among Sikh youths. Ordinary crimes were attributed to terrorism .A few policemen and criminals joined hands to settle scores and extort money. Some police men took law into their hands and carried out acts violating human rights. It was fully exploited from across the border by Pakistani intelligence ISI and the government , with UK and West quoting freedom of expression and self determination and all that load of rubbish one hears so little now a days in London and Washington, except in the case Chechnya .
It took some time and various corrective measures , short term and long term. Then a courageous Sikh police General KPS Gill was able to subdue the militants and Sikh youths and help bring peace to the state and the country. The West used to gleefully highlight human rights violations , but which is now so coy about US gulags in Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and hidden ones in friendly puppet countries .
The example of the training module is only to underline the causes of political violence and how it can not be overcome by force. In Iraq it is a question of naked illegal aggression followed by brutal occupation against the will of the people. The overall cause for eternal disaffection in the Middle East remains exploitation of Arab oil and its wealth by US led West in collaboration with local puppets regimes since colonial days , establishment of the state of Israel, for the crimes of Europe and others in the West, in the heart of the middle East , to act as the west's brutal and lawless bully.
These are the existential reasons for anger, angst, insurgency , rebellion and for a fight against occupation and another war for independence in Iraq ( after the first against Britain in the last century ), to obtain freedom from foreign troops and their collaborators, who now mostly remain confined to the Green Zone fortress in Baghdad and are looting Iraqi wealth . And what a collection ; time servers ,foreign intelligence assets like Ahmed Chalabi ( also a convicted criminal in Jordan), Iyad Allawi , many foreign passport holders and mostly non-residents .
Tom Engelhardt on the Surge ;
In his recent piece "Surging past the gates of hell" Tom Engelhardt wrote " Now, Americans are theoretically waiting for the commander of US forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, to "report" to Congress in September on the "progress" of Bush's surge strategy. But there really is no reason to wait for September. An interim report - "Iraq by the Numbers" - can be prepared now (as it could have been prepared last month, or last year). The trajectory of horror in Iraq has long been clear; the fact that the US military is a motor driving the Iraqi cataclysm has been no less clear for years now. So here is my own early version of the "September Report".
Engelhardt gives facts and figures about the Surge and its consequences. He says ," A caveat about numbers: in the bloody chaos that is Iraq, as tens of thousands die or are wounded, as millions uproot themselves or are uprooted, and as the influence of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's national government remains largely confined to the 10-square-kilometer fortified Green Zone in the Iraqi capital, numbers, even as they pour out of that hemorrhaging land, are eternally up for grabs. There is no way most of them can be accurate. They are, at best, a set of approximate notations in a nightmare that is beyond measurement. "
Iraq has become the world's second-most-unstable country, ahead of Somalia, Zimbabwe, and North Korea, Afghanistan is ranked eighth. From fourth last year , next year it could surge to No 1.
Number of US troops in Iraq, June 2007: approximately 156,000. Number of US troops in Iraq, May 1, 2003, the day President Bush declared "major combat operations" in that country "ended": approximately 130,000. Number of Sunni freedom fighters in Iraq, May 2007: at least 100,000, according to my fearless friend Pepe Escobar who went around the red zone ie occupied Iraq
.American military dead in the surge months, February 1-June 26, 2007: 481. American military dead, February-June 2006: 292. Number of contractors or illegal combatants dead during 3 months of 2007: at least 146, a significant surge over previous years. Number of armed "private contractors" now in Iraq: at least 20,000-30,000, according to the Washington Post. (Jeremy Scahill, author of the best-seller Blackwater, puts the figure for all private contractors in Iraq at 126,000.)
Number of attacks on US troops and allied Iraqi forces, April 2007: 4,900. Surge in percentage of US deaths from roadside bombs (IEDs, for improvised explosive devices) : 70.9% in May 2007; 35% in February 2007 when the "surge" was beginning. Percentage increase of registered US supply convoys (guarded by private contractors) attacked: 14.7% in 2007 (through May 10); 9.1% in 2006; 5.4% in 2005.
Percentage of Baghdad not controlled by US (and Iraqi) security forces more than four months into the "surge": 60%, according to the US military. Number of attacks on the Green Zone where the Iraqi government hides ; more than 80 between March and the beginning of June 2007, according to a United Nations report. (These attacks, by mortar or rocket, from "pacified" Red Zone Baghdad, are on the rise and now occur nearly daily.)
Air strikes in Iraq during the "surge" months: US Air Force (USAF) planes are dropping bombs at more than twice the rate of a year ago, according to the Associated Press. "Close support missions" are up 30-40%. And this surge of air power seems, from recent news reports, will be on the rise.
"Victory is the only meaningful exit strategy." Henry Kissinger to George Bush and Dick Cheney. Iraq Is the Ultimate Aphrodisiac . Who described power the ultimate aphrodisiac and remains addicted.
On CNN's late Morning edition, in place of Wolf the Blitzer appeared, Geoffrey Toobin , somewhat better . Then there were two usual suspects Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger. The latter has been accused of criminal action all around the world .And for signing the peace treaty with Vietnam after destroying that hapless country ,as the Secretary of State, he was perversely awarded the now tarnished Nobel Peace Prize. Some logic this. On CNN , Kissinger trotted out the same policy of more of the same ,now adding, going back for a bipartisan approach which was shunned a few months ago and the policy of 'Surge' adopted. CNN perhaps flaunts him on as a mark of victory, but he remains an omen of evil.
Brzezinski , who boasted initiating the subversive action inside Afghanistan in 1979 which led to the Soviet Union intrusion and later its defeat had gloated that it "only stirred some Muslims' so what , But after 'the stirred Muslims ' carried out 911 ,he has become wiser .He had not favoured the mad cap invasion of Iraq .He suggested in the CNN program that US declare it will not build permanent bases or try for a long-term stay .US must involve all neighbouring countries, who want a united Iraq in their own interest .But how ?
With an impotent United Nations , unrepresentative of 2007 international strategic .democratic, cultural ,legal and regional balance , and its updating is being stalled and resisted by USA. Mercifully the Congress opposition made John Bolton to bolt away from the august body before damaging it further . It is almost ineffectual , a dead body now, like NPT.
Do you remember what happened to Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi people after his illegal invasion of Kuwait in 1990, although he was encouraged in this by the US ambassador April Galspie on the eve of the invasion. Attempts for withdrawal of Iraqi troops and peace by Kings Hussein of Jordan and Hassan of Morocco and others were thwarted by the likes of Margaret Thatcher and other war mongers in the West. We know what price the people of Iraqi paid in 1990s and are still paying.
The people of UK have started paying the price with increased 'conspiracies' by UK's Muslims 'stirred' by events in Palestine, Afghanistan and now in Iraq . Violence two years ago had cost London a loss of one Billion .It will be a long haul , the British people will have to get used to violence or threats of violence like Indians in 1980s and sometimes even now .The Iraqis are of course in a living hell , with over 2 million having migrated to Syria and Jordan ( USA has accepted very few immigrants ) and another two million becoming internal refugees.
Washington is still having trouble confronting the big picture of the Bush White House. Its dense web of deceit is the deliberate product of its amoral culture, not a haphazard potpourri of individual blunders." Frank Rich in New York Times
Compare the moral and strategic positions of Russian leader Vladimir Putin to George Bush with the first Putin visit to USA in 2001 , when Bush patronizingly looked into his guest's eyes but then did everything to undermine Russian interests around the world including in near abroad . But with US mired in Iraq, US influence has been rolled back in central Asia , stiff alliances opposed to US hegemony have emerged in US's back yard , Latin America . Putin has tied most European countries in its gas pipelines spider's network .He has the gas , stupid , the other major supplier can be Iran. Russia is back in the Middle east with a bang .Better placed than the cold war era with improved relations even with Saudi Arabia .
A bunch of US lawmakers had the temerity to write to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that New Delhi should not buy gas from Tehran. Then from where else for India's booming economy .Condi Rice even had the audacity to suggest that India should renounce its policy of non-alignment ( and become a poodle like Tony Blair ?) and become an ally like Pakistan! To be threatened to be bombed to stone age some time later to fit in with US interests .Washington wants to use the Indo US nuclear agreement to cap India's capability to update its deterrent . Who will protect India's over billion citizens from nuclear blackmail .USA is following a surrealist policy . Fortunately the new Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherji and Foreign Secretary Shankar Menon are seasoned diplomats.
The opening of the family retreat built by the President's grandfather and with father George Bush Snr playing host is a rare gesture to Russian President Vladimir Putin .It is an indicator of the weak US position morally and strategically under the Bush administrations .Grandfather Bush who built the retreat had very close relations with Nazi Germany and made huge profits out of business with them. But America is going down the drain and slipping into something from which it would be very difficult to salvage much .
Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day": Theodore Roosevelt, April 19, 1906 [There appears none or likely to be soon -Author ]
K Gajendra Singh, served as Indian ambassador to Turkey , Azerbaijan, Jordan, Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies. Copy right with the author. E-mail:Gajendrak@hotmail.com
:: Article nr. 34176 sent on 03-jul-2007 03:16 ECT
:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.
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