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Obama's Hard Line Neo-Con Agenda


By Stephen Lendman - Posted on 03 October 2010

Obama's Hard Line Neo-Con Agenda - by Stephen Lendman

Straightaway, Obama's promised "change" and "yes we can" became hard line foreign and domestic extremism, betraying his loyal constituency and any hope for kinder, gentler policies. His populist hypocrisy now exposed, voters are losing faith, but most remain mindless about the harm he commits daily, much of it touching them directly.

Several recent articles explain, accessed through the following links:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/10/failed-washington-sponsored-ecuado...

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-internet-censorship-bill-intro...

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/09/one-of-historys-greatest-crimes_70...

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/09/americas-war-on-islam.html

Many others add exclamation points about a rogue administration rampaging at home and globally, most recently involved in a failed Ecuadorean coup, and for sending FBI goon squads against Chicago and Minneapolis anti-war/pro-Palestinian activists. No arrests were made, but their homes were ransacked, agents seizing computers, cell phones, books, photos, papers, correspondence, and other possessions. They were also ordered before grand juries from October 5 - 12, potentially facing serious criminal charges for providing material support to terrorism.

The Grand Jury System

The American Bar Association (ABA) explains that grand juries review evidence to determine "whether there is probable cause to return an indictment." Critics, however, say they're rubber stamps for aggressive prosecutors.

In the federal system, they have "extraordinary investigative powers," developed since the 1950s. "This wide, sweeping, almost unrestricted power is the cause of much of the criticism," because prosecutors exploit it advantageously, manipulating proceedings for the outcomes they want, leaving targets unfairly vulnerable to indictments. The Constitution's Fifth Amendment "requires a grand jury indictment for federal criminal charges."

Though nominally independent, they only hear cases prosecutors choose. They also select witnesses, grant discretionary immunity, and do nearly all the questioning. Grand jury members may ask their own after witness testimonies, but their job is to judge what prosecutors present, then decide if enough evidence warrants indictment.

Conducted in secret, no one may disclose what goes on unless ordered to do so judicially. Anyone may be subpoenaed, and must answer questions unless a specific privilege is claimed, such as lawyer/client or self-incrimination. In the federal system, lawyers can't represent their clients while testifying.

In addition, double jeopardy doesn't apply to grand juries, but without indictments, prosecutors need Criminal Division Attorney General permission to try again. Though seldom asked, in a climate of fear, targets remain vulnerable if prosecutors intend to get them, perhaps on new grounds.

The ABA asks, "What protection does a target have against witnesses lying to the grand jury (perhaps for leniency on existing or threatened charges), or against the use of unconstitutionally obtained evidence? None," except to challenge the evidence at trial.

Especially post-9/11, prosecutors want grant jury indictments, manipulate proceedings to get them, leaving targets vulnerable on their own. At fault is the system. It's rigged against them, so many are hung out to dry unfairly. That's what Chicago and Minneapolis anti-war/pro-Palestinian supporters now face, a tough road ahead if Justice Department officials are determined to convict.

Police State Thuggery

Post-9/11, an earlier article explained the path America chose, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2007/12/police-state-america-look-back-and...

Though well along earlier, the pace accelerated in the last decade. Obama has been as hard line as Bush, showing he's no different from America's worst ever leaders. He may, in fact, be the most dangerous, given the support he so far retains. None of it, of course, is deserved.

Bush made America a police state. Obama hardened it - among other ways through:

-- greater intrusive surveillance;

-- unjustifiable preventive detentions;

-- targeting American citizens for assassination, solely by presidential edict;

-- invoking the "state secrets" doctrine to block litigation against rendition, torture, and warrantless wiretapping;

-- opposing Net Neutrality;

-- threatening free expression and the right to dissent, including online;

-- prosecuting whistleblowers as well as journalists and others who protect their anonymity or publish their revelations; and

-- making anyone against US extremism vulnerable to lawless political persecutions, especially anti-war and Muslim American activists as well as lawyers who defend them too vigorously.

The USA Patriot Act eroded at least four Bill of Rights freedoms:

-- due process under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments;

-- First Amendment free expression; and

-- Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches, seizures, and as a consequence privacy.

Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called it "the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by a free people." Patriot Act legislation and today's sophisticated technology make unconstitutional intrusions easier than ever. Obama officials have taken full advantage, besides targeting other freedoms for destruction.

Chicago and Minneapolis State Terror

September 24 raids in both cities are the latest examples - police state terror against (supposedly) constitutionally protected speech, political activism, and right of free association. No matter, innocent people may be slapped with unsubstantiated charges, then criminally prosecuted for providing material support to terrorism.

According to an FBI spokesman, raids were aimed at people "providing, attempting and conspiring to provide material support" to terrorist organizations, meaning, among others, Colombia's FARC-EP, Lebanon's Hezbollah, and Palestine's Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) - no matter their legitimacy, and except for FARC, are part of their countries' governments.

Opposition to War and Occupation (OWO) is a Twin Cities-based education and solidarity group against America's imperial wars - abroad and at home by repressing activists who oppose them. On September 27, it issued the following statement:

OWO "wholeheartedly condemns the recent FBI house raids of social justice activists in Minneapolis and Chicago on Friday, September 24, 2010. These raids are part of the long history of coordinated government repression against those who fight against imperialism and exploitation and those working in solidarity with them."

Victims guilty only of supporting right over wrong are "systematically harassed, targeted, and even murdered in an attempt to undermine struggles for justice." As a result, front line activists must confront state terror "with steadfast resistance to war and occupation, and all forms of state violence," abroad and at home.

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression named October 4 as a national call-in day to Obama and Attorney General Holder, demanding an end to state repression. The Committee also called for solidarity actions outside FBI and federal buildings throughout America on October 5, the first grand jury date.

Supreme Court Endorses State Terrorism

More than ever now, US policy aims to crush dissent, destroy political opposition, and subvert democratic freedoms. On June 21, 2010, the Supreme Court's Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project ruling advanced that disquieting agenda. In a 6 - 3 decision, the Roberts court upheld the "material support" statute's constitutionality (18 USC, 2339B), making it a crime to support any State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), no matter how unwarranted.

At the time, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) argued that:

"the challenged provisions violate the First Amendment insofar as they criminalize the provision of forms of support such as the distribution of literature, engaging in political advocacy, participating in peace conferences, training in human rights advocacy, and donating cash and humanitarian assistance, even when such support is intended solely to promote the lawful and non-violent activities of a designated organization."

Holder's Justice Department disagreed, claiming the statute imposes guilt by association, harming innocent people for the illegal acts of groups they supported. Further, it doesn't require showing intent to support terrorism or other illegal activity.

CCR countered saying, "the statute was unconstitutionally vague, and that the Secretary of State's power to designate groups was too broad, giving the executive too much discretionary power to label groups 'terrorist' (with or without proof) and turn their supporters into outlaws."

With High Court approval, Holder, like his predecessors under Bush, has run rough shot over constitutionally protected freedoms, making anyone for right over wrong vulnerable to criminal prosecution and imprisonment. It's why now, more than ever, America is a police state, a disquieting judgment, putting even activist writers and media hosts at risk, as well as anyone against state extremism.

A Final Comment

After September 24, rallies and protests took place in dozens of US cities against the thuggish FBI raids. On September 27, hundreds mobilized outside its Chicago and Minneapolis offices. On September 28, the Chicago Sun Times headlined, "Protesters target FBI raids," saying:

"Hundreds of protesters gathered outside FBI offices in Chicago and Minneapolis on Monday, bearing signs and shouting chants condemning recent searches of homes and offices of anti-war activists in both cities."

The Minneapolis Star Tribune published a similar report, using an AP story, not its own, that quoted one of the targets, Minnesotan Mick Kelly, saying:

"We have provided no material support. I can't stress that long enough or loud enough, and honestly I don't believe that's why we're facing this scrutiny."

It's for the above-cited reasons - to crush opposition to state-sponsored roguishness abroad and at home, as well as discourage potential new resisters.

An earlier article quoted Merriam-Webster's police state definition, saying it's "characterized by repressive government control....(the) arbitrary exercise of power by police and especially secret police," and in America, the FBI, CIA, and other oppressive agencies, targeting innocent people instead of protecting them.

Post-9/11 especially, George Bush took that route. In less than two years, Obama outdid him, adopting the worst of his policies, establishing more of his own, and accelerating America faster on the road to despotism. Chicago and Minneapolis raids signal worse to come unless mass outrage erupts to stops them. Otherwise, midnight or pre-dawn raids will be the norm on whatever grounds authorities charge against which there's no defense, a possibility too nightmarish to allow.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Since anti-war and pro-justice activists are bound to learn of the still increasing or expanding U.S. and NATO war in Pakistan, now expanding to the south of the country, maybe activism in the U.S. will also increase and along with that, despotic Police State "leadership" in the U.S. will worsen.

"MISSION CREEP IN AFPAK"

by Eric S. Margolis, EricMargolis.com, Oct. 3rd, 2010

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m70395

The focus of the Afghan War is clearly shifting south into Pakistan, drawing that nation and the United States forces ever closer to a direct confrontation. (snip)

(snip)

Last week, Pakistan temporarily closed the main US/NATO supply route from Karachi to the Afghan border at Torkham after the killing of three Pakistani soldiers by US helicopter gunships. Two US/NATO fuel supply convoys were burned by anti-American militants.

(snip)

Two US-NATO fuel convoys, but how many delivery trucks in each convoy, or total, were torched? This would be interesting to know, but I'll post a link for an article by Barry Grey for WSWS that says 27 trucks were attacked during early morning on Friday.

US helicopter gunships have staged at least four attacks on Pakistan this past week alone, in addition to the mounting number of strikes by CIA drones .... US special forces and CIA-run Afghan mercenaries are also increasingly active along Pakistan’s northwest frontier.

(snip)

But Pakistan is on the edge of economic collapse after its devastating floods. Islamabad is now totally reliant on $2 billion annual US aid, plus tens of millions more "black" payments from CIA. (snip)

As Osama bin Laden just pointed out in a new audio tape, the Muslim nations have been derelict in coming to Pakistan’s aid. (snip)

Surely not the real OBL, who's been very most probably dead for several years, or more; maybe not even having lived past Dec. 2001. It's interesting that it's not a video-recording, for if it was, then it might permit to again see that it's either not OBL, or that it's an edited clip filmed prior to 9/11. Both tricks were used by the Bush Jr-Cheney administration and people who know all a person needs to know to be able to tell when videos have been retouched, say, determined that some pre-9/11 clips of OBL speaking were used after some editing. The video clips purportedly showing him, but clearly not him, could be seen by anyone who's seen good pictures of him that it wasn't him; yet the U.S. elites thought we'd all be ignorant and gullible enough to not notice.

One or two, maybe even three, people have well enough argued that he didn't live beyond Dec. 2001. Other respectable analysts gave different time estimates and the one giving the longest period of time said he was dead by 2005. Some Pakistani official, or officials, said he had to have surely died earlier. No analysts, other than for Washington-hired or -employed ones, have said that he would have lived beyond 2005, and if he had, then we would've likely heard from the real OBL since then, but we have [not].

Some multimedia or voice experts might be able to tell from this latest audio-recording of purportedly OBL isn't him, but this is the first time I've read or heard of this audio recording and I haven't searched for any analytical views about it, yet.

It's doubtfully him though. It's far more likely to be someone only using his name because of it being known around the world and it also being believed that he was the or a top leader for Islamic freedom and justice.

I'll continue with Eric Margolis's article, now.

An influential former Pakistani chief of staff, Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg, just demanded Pakistan’s air force shoot down US drones and helicopters violating his nation’s sovereignty. His sentiments are widely shared in Pakistan’s increasingly angry military.

Pakistan’s senior generals are being blasted as "American stooges" by some of the media and are losing respect among Pakistanis. A video this week of the execution of six civilians by army troops has further damaged the army’s good name.

I didn't know it had a "good name", but have read about some high-ranking Pakistani military officers who stated justified views opposed to the U.S. and NATO regarding some (more than one anyway) aspects of the war on Afghanistan and/or the AfPak war. I think it's been about both; instead of only the war on Afghanistan in Afghanistan.

However, Washington’s view is very different. Pakistan is increasingly branded insubordinate, ungrateful ..., and a potential enemy of US regional interests. Many Americans consider Pakistan more of a foe than ally. (snip)

Certainly not this American! This one sees that the enemy are the corruptors of Washington, and they're not foreigners. They are domestic; and those are the very worst kind of enemies the U.S. could have.

(snip)

Pakistan’s President, Asif Ali Zardari, is seen in Washington as hopeless and incompetent. Full US attention is now on Pakistan’s military, the de facto government, and its respected but embattled commander, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, whose tenure was just extended under US pressure. Kayani is still regarded as an "asset" by Washington. But like Zardari, he is caught between American demands and outraged Pakistanis – plus concerns about the threat from India and Delhi’s machinations in Afghanistan. The recent upsurge of violence in Indian-ruled Kashmir has intensified these dangerous tensions.

There've been very recent articles posted at Uruknet about the new violence from Indian forces in Kashmir, btw.

The neoconservative far right in Washington and its media allies again claim Pakistan is a grave threat to US interests and to Israel. Pakistan must be declawed and dismembered, insist the neocons. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is reportedly being targeted for seizure or elimination by US Special Forces.

Pakistan is no threat to Israel and someone should jail these psychopathic neocons.

There is also talk in Washington of dividing Afghanistan into Pashtun, Tajik and Uzbek mini-states, as the US has done in Iraq, and perhaps Pakistan, as well. Little states are easier to rule or intimidate than big ones. Many Pakistanis believe the United States is bent on dismembering their nation. Some polls show Pakistanis now regard the United States as a greater enemy than India.

Now that America is in full mid-term election frenzy, expect more calls for tougher US military action in "AfPak." (snip)

If polls are right and Republicans achieve a major win, it’s likely there will be more and deeper US air and land attacks into Pakistan. The Pentagon is convinced it can still defeat resistance by Taliban and its allies "if only we can go after their sanctuaries in Pakistan," as one general told me.

Where have we heard this before? Why in Cambodia and Laos, that’s where, during the Vietnam War. The frustrated US expanded the war into Cambodia and Laos to go after Communist base camps. The war spread; these two small nations were largely destroyed, but the war was ultimately lost.

Victory in war is achieved by concentration of forces, not spreading them ever thinner and wider.

Well, I'm certainly not rooting for "victory", for it definitely would not be that, if the U.S. and NATO "win" this AfPak war. If they "win", then the world [loses]. The war is not about stopping terrorism or punishing Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. It's about the "global dominance" plan of the top ruling elites of the U.S. and other NATO countries that are allied in this war.

If they achieve that end, then they will become more powerful and the world will definitely lose, very badly so.

Anyway, the AfPak war is expanding, so anti-war activists are now going to have more to protest against. And while I am not absolutely certain of this, I will guess that the despotic police state situation in the U.S. is likely to become increasingly worse; if anti-war activism increases, anyway.

The expansion of the AfPak war is getting still worse, but the overall warfare situation is also worse and broader. It's clear that the U.S. and NATO basically are preparing for more of their wars, always of aggression and imperialism, and that they continue to work on isolating Russia; while evidently also preparing for potential "conflict" with Russia. So I guess despotic police state actions in the U.S. can be expected to worsen, since activists will have more to protest against; or if not necessarily more to protest against in terms of the wars, since it can all be placed under the banner of being "anti-war", there'll perhaps still be more to motivate a strengthening of anti-war activism.

"Baltic States: Pentagon’s Training Grounds For Afghan and Future Wars"

by Rick Rozoff, Stop NATO, RickRozoff.wordpress.com, Oct. 1, 2010

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m70348

With the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into Eastern Europe from 1999-2009, the U.S.-led military alliance has grown by 75 percent, from 16 to 28 members.

By 2009 all former non-Soviet Warsaw Pact member states had been incorporated into NATO, the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) being absorbed with its merger into the Federal Republic in 1990. The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland joined NATO in 1999 and Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia in 2004. Albania, which suspended participation in the Warsaw Pact six years after its founding, in 1961, was brought into the Alliance last year.

The 2004 expansion included seven nations in all, the three mentioned above, the first former Yugoslav republic, Slovenia, and the first former Soviet republics: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Immediately upon their accession, the United States began to employ the new members’ territory for military bases, troop deployments, air patrols and the initial stages of a continent-wide anti-ballistic missile system beyond already existing NATO plans for the bloc’s Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence Programme.

The year after Romania was brought into NATO’s ranks, .... (snip)

At the time the Pentagon’s acquisition of the bases was characterized as part of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s "strategic shift intended to place US forces closer to potential areas of conflict in North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia." [1] (snip)

(snip)

But the first U.S. and NATO military presence in what had been Warsaw Pact member states occurred the year before the U.S.-Romanian Defense Cooperation Agreement and moreover was in former Soviet space. (snip)

(snip)

In what was described as "an unprecedented move for a leader of an opposition party," the twin brother of recently deceased President Lech Kaczynski demanded that "Washington and Brussels should…give greater assistance to countries that want to free themselves from the Russian sphere of influence." [14]

The ambassadors Kaczynski sent his letter to were those of the other 26 European Union member states, plus the U.S., Canada, Israel, Switzerland, Norway, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia.

The last six nations are targeted by the Eastern Partnership initiative of the EU, first promoted by Poland in 2008, which is designed to recruit the former Soviet republics away from the Commonwealth of Independent States and thus complete the isolation, the effective quarantine, of Russia in Europe. [15]

The U.S. and NATO are expanding the use of the Alliance’s Baltic Sea member states to train for wars outside the region and for moving American and NATO military forces into it.

(snip)

NATO’s new members on the Baltic Sea are delivering on the demands imposed upon them by accession to the Alliance.

They host NATO – particularly U.S. – troops, bases, warplanes, warships and missiles. They provide troops for wars far abroad. They supply training opportunities on the ground and in the air for the war in Afghanistan and for future conflicts with none of the restrictions that exist in North America and Western Europe. And they render those multiple services near Russia’s western border.

These attacks happened in the two southern provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan, and people can get specific information about both provinces, including maps showing where these provinces are geographically located, using Wikipedia and searching there for "Sindh", f.e.

I emphasize this, because these are [southern] provinces of Pakistan, not the northern part of the country, where the CIA drone attacks have been occurring.

"Pakistani attacks on NATO tankers deepen US crisis in Af-Pak war"

by Barry Grey, WSWS.org, Oct 2nd, 2010

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m70366

More than two dozen trucks and oil tankers carrying supplies for the US military offensive against Kandahar in Afghanistan were destroyed in two separate attacks Friday in southern Pakistan. The attacks compounded the crisis for the US and NATO occupation forces arising from the Pakistani government's closure the previous day of a key border crossing.

It is estimated that 80 percent of supplies to US, NATO and allied occupation forces in Afghanistan, including 50 percent of fuel, passes through Pakistan.

The Khyber Pass route that connects Peshawar in northwest Pakistan and Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan was closed to NATO supply convoys in response to two US air attacks on Pakistani military posts Thursday that killed three Pakistan Frontier Corps troops and wounded three others. Washington is continuing to justify these attacks, carried out by helicopter gunships inside Pakistan in flagrant violation of Pakistani territorial sovereignty, as "self-defense".

These attacks followed US helicopter strikes on the Pakistan side of the border the previous weekend that killed an estimated 55 Pakistanis. Last month the US sharply increased its use of CIA drones to fire missiles on alleged Taliban and Al Qaeda targets in Pakistan’s tribal regions, launching 20 or more such attacks in September.

(snip)

Early Friday morning, about a dozen masked gunmen attacked a convoy of oil tankers parked in the town of Shikarpur in southern Sind (sic) Province. The insurgents fired into the air to warn off the drivers and then torched the vehicles, destroying 27 in all. It was the first such ambush in this part of Sindh Province.

Later on Friday, armed militants set fire to two NATO vehicles in the southwestern city of Khuzdar in Baluchistan Province.

The trucks targeted in both attacks were following the route from the port city of Karachi to the border crossing at Chaman, which connects to the road to Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city and longtime Taliban stronghold. Last week the US launched its biggest military offensive since the 2001 invasion against Kandahar and its environs.

The Pakistani regime has not closed the Chaman border crossing to US and NATO convoys. At the northern crossing point in the town of Torkham, however, local officials said Friday that some 400 NATO trucks were lined up.

(snip)

In another sign of the expanding insurgency in Pakistan, police reported Thursday that 200 militants had seized a dozen policemen and were holding them hostage in what was described in the press as the "normally placid" Chitral district near the Afghan border.

(snip)

On Friday, the Pakistani ambassador to Belgium lodged an official protest with NATO headquarters in Brussels over the recent US-NATO incursions. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told the Pakistani parliament that the government would "consider other options if there is interference in the sovereignty of our country."

(snip)

There have been reports in the American press in recent days of mounting dissatisfaction within both the US government and the Pakistani military with the Zardari regime, and discussions of an intervention by Pakistan’s generals to purge the government and possibly remove Zardari himself.

The Washington Post Thursday quoted unnamed US officials openly discussing some form of military-backed coup. (snip)

(snip)

Here's an article with an opinion view on the present situation due to the attacks on Friday, et cetera.

"Pakistan: Politics of a Humiliated Nation"

by Fahad Ansari, CagePrisoners.com, Oct 2nd, 2010

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m70386

Has the Pakistani tiger grown some teeth? Has it remembered its proud history of sacrifice and bloodshed? Has it recalled that it was created with a vision of it becoming a haven for Muslims? Has it finally awoken from its slumber and discovered the meaning of the word 'sovereignty’?

So it would seem this week with across-the-board condemnations led by President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani against the increasing number of unmanned US drone attacks on Pakistani soil. For September saw the highest number of drone attacks in Pakistan in any single month, a total of 21, killing at least 90 people. (snip) However, this week, whatever shred of sovereignty Pakistan still enjoyed was completely obliterated when NATO and ISAF helicopters, emboldened by almost a decade of Pakistani silence and complicity, flew across the border with Afghanistan and carried out murderous strikes on Pakistani soil. The official government reaction to the strikes was predictable. Uproar. Outrage. Condemnation. (snip)

Within hours of these words being uttered by Panetta’s forked-tongue, NATO helicopters carried out another strike on Pakistani soil, this time executing three Pakistani paramilitary soldiers guarding a military checkpoint and wounding two others. A significant Mafioso-style strike to silence the government. (snip)

But are things now beginning to change? Following the killing of these soldiers, Pakistan blocked the main NATO supply route into Afghanistan, preventing dozens of NATO trucks from crossing the Torkham checkpost on the Khyber Pass. (snip)

Unfortunately, we have seen all this posturing before. In June 2008 US gunships attacked a Pakistani border post in Mohmand tribal agency, killing 11 soldiers. It caused an outcry in Pakistan, but the furore subsided and later that summer the drone campaign started in earnest. By next week, if not much earlier, the NATO supply routes will be open again, the drones will continue to murder and those calling for helicopters to be shot down will probably be detained.

Much has been reported this week about a forthcoming book, 'Obama’s Wars’ by veteran Washington Post correspondent Bob Woodward, in which the author reveals how the CIA maintains a 3000 strong Afghan paramilitary force that conducts cross-border operations into Pakistan. This is old news for those who have been following this ill-fated escapade. For three years ago, it emerged that as early as 2004, the US military had given elite units broad authority to pursue suspected terrorists into Pakistan, with no mention of telling the Pakistanis in advance. Indeed, striking within Pakistan was exactly what Obama promised he would do three years ago when he was running for office. (snip)

For all its passionate calls for its sovereignty to be respected, the fact of the matter is that sovereignty is a long-forgotten concept in Pakistan. (snip)

Pakistan has surrendered its sovereignty inch by inch, city by city, province by province. In reality, it has no say in what occurs on its territory. (snip)

That's evidently true. And it clearly means war on Pakistan and its population. It's not U.S. and NATO theatre warfare with military bombardments and/or major invasion with ground forces; but we know that there's some of that in the northern frontier region, and a lot of political war on really all of Pakistan and its population, which is really nothing new of the West or U.S.

That doesn't mean that many Pakistanis will take up arms against the U.S. and NATO forces criminally conducting attacks in Pakistan, but I wonder who committed the attacks on Friday; wondering if they were Taliban, Pashtun Taliban, Pakistani Taliban, or other fighters. Southern Pakistan, from the little I've read about it in relation to the Taliban, is not Taliban territory and the Baluchistan people are apparently much more fierce as fighters than the Taliban have ever been. So since Baluchis would apparently be in control in their region, as opposed to the Taliban anyway, I wonder if it was Taliban who committed the attacks in southern Pakistan on friday.

Maybe they could in Sindh Province, and maybe they'd be allowed to do so in Baluchistan; but I read one or two articles about the U.S. covertly having some sort of agreement in Baluchistan for U.S. military presence there around the time of the bombings in Mumbai, India, and Islamabad, Pakistan; two or three years ago (or whatever year those bombings occurred in). Otoh, maybe what I read about Baluchistan was that the political leadership there was "cooperating" with the U.S., while the population there had a different opinion about this. I'm not going to do a Web search to try to find the precise details of this, however.

It was at least nice of them to fire warning shots so that the drivers of the trucks that were attacked could escape before the trucks were torched or bombed (whatever the attacks consisted of). This could have been to strategically try to avoid more intense anger from western, imperialist elites, but it could have simply been because the leadership of the attackers understands that these convoy drivers are dumb and not responsible for the war.

Muslims do have a humanitarian history, including in war; a quality the West has rather always lacked.

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