Monday, July 30, 2007

"Why Are We So Scared Of Offending Muslims ?" asks Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens has written an article on Slate Magazine asking the question I have been asking for so long: "Why are people of all other religions so scared of offending Muslims, while Muslims don't seem to care at all about what we think about their religious extremism and antics like rioting worldwide about some silly cartoon, or imposing a reign of terror on respected authors like Salman Rushdie, etc. etc. etc.?

Right after two tall US buildings were destroyed by Radical Islamists, Americans have started waking up to the threat of Islamic extremism. Indians, on the other hand, seem oblivious to this grave threat, in spite a thousand years of Radical Islamic oppression (rape, torture, genocide, forced conversions, zizya religious tax, to name a few), a Partition that killed millions of Hindus and took away 25% of our Motherland, and repeated horrifying acts of Radical Islamic terrorism in Kashmir, Delhi, Ayodhya, Bombay, and so many other parts of India that maim and kill thousands of innocent Indian Hindus every year.

Will Indians finally wake up after seeing how the Americans are reacting to Islamic terrorism to protect themselves and the future of their children? Or will we keep sleeping and condemn our future generations to live in the middle ages like the ex-Buddhists of Afghanistan and ex-Hindus of Pakistan and Bangladesh?

Christopher Hitchens writes on Slate:

God-Fearing People
Why are we so scared of offending Muslims?
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, July 30, 2007, at 12:33 PM ET

During the greater part of last week, Slate's sister site On Faith (it is jointly produced by Newsweek and, both owned by the Washington Post Co., which also owns Slate) gave itself over to a discussion about the religion of Islam. As usual in such cases, the search for "moderate" versions of this faith was under way before the true argument had even begun. If I were a Muslim myself, I think that this search would be the most "offensive" part of the business. Why must I prove that my deepest belief is compatible with moderation?

Unless I am wrong, a sincere Muslim need only affirm that there is one god, and only one, and that the Prophet Mohammed was his messenger, bringing thereby the final words of God to humanity. Certain practices are supposed to follow this affirmation, including a commitment to pray five times a day, a promise to pay a visit to Mecca if such a trip should be possible, fasting during Ramadan, and a pious vow to give alms to the needy. The existence of djinns, or devils, is hard to disavow because it was affirmed by the prophet. An obligation of jihad is sometimes mentioned, and some quite intelligent people argue about whether "holy war" is meant to mean a personal struggle or a political one. No real Islamic authority exists to decide this question, and those for whom the personal is highly political have recently become rather notorious.

Thus, Islamic belief, however simply or modestly it may be stated, is an extreme position to begin with. No human being can possibly claim to know that there is a God at all, or that there are, or were, any other gods to be repudiated. And when these ontological claims have collided, as they must, with their logical limits, it is even further beyond the cognitive capacity of any person to claim without embarrassment that the lord of creation spoke his ultimate words to an unlettered merchant in seventh-century Arabia. Those who utter such fantastic braggings, however many times a day they do so, can by definition have no idea what they are talking about. (I hasten to add that those who boast of knowing about Moses parting the Red Sea, or about a virgin with a huge tummy, are in exactly the same position.) Finally, it turns out to be impossible to determine whether jihad means more alms-giving or yet more zealous massacre of, say, Shiite Muslims.

Why, then, should we be commanded to "respect" those who insist that they alone know something that is both unknowable and unfalsifiable? Something, furthermore, that can turn in an instant into a license for murder and rape? As one who has occasionally challenged Islamic propaganda in public and been told that I have thereby "insulted 1.5 billion Muslims," I can say what I suspect—which is that there is an unmistakable note of menace behind that claim. No, I do not think for a moment that Mohammed took a "night journey" to Jerusalem on a winged horse. And I do not care if 10 billion people intone the contrary. Nor should I have to. But the plain fact is that the believable threat of violence undergirds the Muslim demand for "respect."

Before me is a recent report that a student at Pace University in New York City has been arrested for a hate crime in consequence of an alleged dumping of the Quran. Nothing repels me more than the burning or desecration of books, and if, for example, this was a volume from a public or university library, I would hope that its mistreatment would constitute a misdemeanor at the very least. But if I choose to spit on a copy of the writings of Ayn Rand or Karl Marx or James Joyce, that is entirely my business. When I check into a hotel room and send my free and unsolicited copy of the Gideon Bible or the Book of Mormon spinning out of the window, I infringe no law, except perhaps the one concerning litter. Why do we not make this distinction in the case of the Quran? We do so simply out of fear, and because the fanatical believers in that particular holy book have proved time and again that they mean business when it comes to intimidation. Surely that should be to their discredit rather than their credit. Should not the "moderate" imams of On Faith have been asked in direct terms whether they are, or are not, negotiating with a gun on the table?

The Pace University incident becomes even more ludicrous and sinister when it is recalled that Islamists are the current leaders in the global book-burning competition. After the rumor of a Quran down the toilet in Guantanamo was irresponsibly spread, a mob in Afghanistan burned down an ancient library that (as President Hamid Karzai pointed out dryly) contained several ancient copies of the same book. Not content with igniting copies of The Satanic Verses, Islamist lynch parties demanded the burning of its author as well. Many distinguished authors, Muslim and non-Muslim, are dead or in hiding because of the words they have put on pages concerning the unbelievable claims of Islam. And it is to appease such a spirit of persecution and intolerance that a student in New York City has been arrested for an expression, however vulgar, of an opinion.

This has to stop, and it has to stop right now. There can be no concession to sharia in the United States. When will we see someone detained, or even cautioned, for advocating the burning of books in the name of God? If the police are honestly interested in this sort of "hate crime," I can help them identify those who spent much of last year uttering physical threats against the republication in this country of some Danish cartoons. In default of impartial prosecution, we have to insist that Muslims take their chance of being upset, just as we who do not subscribe to their arrogant certainties are revolted every day by the hideous behavior of the parties of God.

It is often said that resistance to jihadism only increases the recruitment to it. For all I know, this commonplace observation could be true. But, if so, it must cut both ways. How about reminding the Islamists that, by their mad policy in Kashmir and elsewhere, they have made deadly enemies of a billion Indian Hindus? Is there no danger that the massacre of Iraqi and Lebanese Christians, or the threatened murder of all Jews, will cause an equal and opposite response? Most important of all, what will be said and done by those of us who take no side in filthy religious wars? The enemies of intolerance cannot be tolerant, or neutral, without inviting their own suicide. And the advocates and apologists of bigotry and censorship and suicide-assassination cannot be permitted to take shelter any longer under the umbrella of a pluralism that they openly seek to destroy.


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Monday, July 23, 2007

China under Mao: the Unvarnished Truth, and Lessons for India

India is one of the few places remaining on this planet where there still exists large numbers of morons who believe in Communism, in spite of all the evidence to its unsuitability from the horrific experiences of the unfortunate people of the former Soviet Union, China, etc.

Today in India, between the three major Revolutionary Communist (Naxalite) parties of India: the People's War Group, the Maoist Communist Centre, and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), a full one quarter of India's districts are threatened by violent Communist extremism. This is a real danger.

At the same time, we have the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and the Communist Party of India, which are both extremely sympathetic to the viewpoints of the Naxalites, and in their respective manifestos still espouse the goal of organizing a Communist Revolution in India, steadily increasing their electoral influence over more and more parts of India. Today the CPI and CPI(M) claim to not believe in violent means to achieve their ends, but their eventual goals (Communist Revolution and establishment of a Communist State in India) remain the same as that of the Naxalites.

The People of India should also not forget that when China attacked India in 1962, the Naxalites, as well as the CPI and CPI(M), welcomed the Chinese Army ("People's Liberation Army") into India, and raised slogans like "Chairman Mao is our Chairman".

At this time, it is enlightening to read about what happened to the Communist Revolution that happened in neighbouring China. Here is an interesting article that exposes the brutal facts of China's brainless and ruthless leader Mao Zedong's Communist Revolution that killed uncountable millions of innocent non-violent Chinese Buddhists.

The Death Camp of Communist China

By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Posted on 7/23/2007
[Subscribe or Tell Others]

A hysteria of sorts has been generated by reports that some of China's products lack quality control. Some cat food has been tainted. A few cell phone batteries have blown up. Cough syrup contained stuff that makes you sick. And so on. In response, the Chinese government actually executed its regulatory head of food and product safety, Zheng Xiaoyu.

How very strange this last point is! In the West, we long ago gave up the idea that these people are actually supposed to carry out their jobs and should be personally responsible for their failure to do so.

What is most striking about these criticisms is how historically insular they appear in light of the modern history of China. This is a subject that is deeply painful, horrifying in its detail, highly instructive in helping us understand politics — and also puts into perspective these reports of recent troubles in China. It's a scandal, in fact, that few Westerners are even aware, or, if they are aware, they are not conscious, of the bloody reality that prevailed in China between the years 1949 and 1976, the years of communist rule by Mao Zedong.

How many died as a result of persecutions and the policies of Mao? Perhaps you care to guess? Many people over the years have attempted to guess. But they have always underestimated. As more data rolled in during the 1980s and 1990s, and specialists have devoted themselves to investigations and estimates, the figures have become ever more reliable. And yet they remain imprecise. What kind of error term are we talking about? It could be as low as 40 million. It could be as high as 100 million or more. In the Great Leap Forward from 1959 to 1961 alone, figures range between 20 million to 75 million. In the period before, 20 million. In the period after, tens of millions more.

As scholars in the area of mass death point out, most of us can't imagine 100 dead or 1000. Above that, we are just talking about statistics: they have no conceptual meaning for us, and it becomes a numbers game that distracts us from the horror itself. And there is only so much ghastly information that our brains can absorb, only so much blood we can imagine. And yet there is more to why China's communist experiment remains a hidden fact: it makes a decisive case against government power, one even more compelling than the cases of Russia or Germany in the 20th century.

The horror was foreshadowed in a bloody civil war following the Second World War. After some nine million people died, the communists emerged victorious in 1949, with Mao as the ruler. The land of Lao-Tzu (rhyme, rhythm, peace), Taoism (compassion, moderation, humility), and Confucianism (piety, social harmony, individual development) was seized by the strangest import to China ever: Marxism from Germany via Russia. It was an ideology that denied all logic, experience, economic law, property rights, and limits on the power of the state on grounds that these notions were merely bourgeois prejudices, and what we needed to transformed society was a cadre with all power to transform all things.

It's bizarre to think about it, really: posters of Marx and Lenin in China, of all places, and rule by an ideology of robbery, dictatorship, and death that did not come to an end until 1976. So spectacular has the transformation been in the last 25 years that one would hardly know that any of this ever happened, except that the Communist Party is still running the place while having tossed out the communist part.

The experiment began in the most bloody way possible following the second world war, when all Western eyes were focused on matters at home and, to the extent there was any foreign focus, it was on Russia. The "good guys" had won the war in China, or so we were led to believe in times when communism was the fashion.

The communization of China took place in the usual three stages: purge, plan, and scapegoat. First there was the purge to bring about communism. There were guerillas to kill and land to nationalize. The churches had to be destroyed. The counterrevolutionaries had to be put down. The violence began in the country and spread later to the cities. All peasants were first divided into four classes that were considered politically acceptable: poor, semi poor, average, and rich. Everyone else was considered a landowner and targeted for elimination. If no landowners could be found, the "rich" were often included in this group. The demonized class was ferreted out in a country-wide series of "bitterness meetings" in which people turned in their neighbors for owning property and being politically disloyal. Those who were so deemed were immediately executed along with those who sympathized with them.

The rule was that there had to be at least one person killed per village. The numbers killed is estimated to be between one and five million. In addition, another four to six million landowners were slaughtered for the crime of being capital owners. If anyone was suspected of hiding wealth, he or she was tortured with hot irons to confess. The families of the killed were then tortured and the graves of their ancestors looted and pillaged. What happened to the land? It was divided into tiny plots and distributed among the remaining peasants.

"There is only so much ghastly information that our brains can absorb, only so much blood we can imagine."

Then the campaign moved to the cities. The political motivations here were at the forefront, but there were also behavioral controls. Anyone who was suspected of involvement in prostitution, gambling, tax evasion, lying, fraud, opium dealing, or telling state secrets was executed as a "bandit." Official estimates put the number of dead at two million with another two million going to prison to die. Resident committees of political loyalists watched every move. A nighttime visit to another person was immediately reported and the parties involved jailed or killed. The cells in the prisons themselves grew ever smaller, with one person living in a space of about 14 inches. Some prisoners were worked death, and anyone involved in a revolt was herded with collaborators and they were all burned.

There was industry in the cities, but those who owned and managed them were subjected to ever tighter restrictions: forced transparency, constant scrutiny, crippling taxes, and pressure to offer up their businesses for collectivization. There were many suicides among the small- and medium-sized business owners who saw the writing on the wall. Joining the party provided only temporary respite, since 1955 began the campaign against hidden counterrevolutionaries in the party itself. A principle here was that one in ten party members was a secret traitor.

As the rivers of blood rose ever higher, Mao brought about the Hundred Flowers Campaign in two months of 1957, the legacy of which is the phrase we often hear: "Let a hundred flowers bloom." People were encouraged to speak freely and give their point of view, an opportunity that was very tempting for intellectuals. The liberalization was short lived. In fact, it was a trick. All those who spoke out against what was happening to China were rounded up and imprisoned, perhaps between 400,000 and 700,000 people, including 10 percent of the well-educated classes. Others were branded as right wingers and subjected to interrogation, reeducation, kicked out of their homes, and shunned.

But this was nothing compared with phase two, which was one of history's great central planning catastrophes. Following collectivization of land, Mao decided to go further to dictate to the peasants what they would grow, how they would grow it, and where they would ship it, or whether they would grow anything at all as versus plunge into industry. This would become the Great Leap Forward that would generate history's most deadly famine. Peasants were grouped into groups of thousands and forced to share all things. All groups were to be economically self-sufficient. Production goals were raised ever higher.

People were moved by the hundreds of thousands from where production was high to where it was low, as a means of boosting production. They were moved too from agriculture to industry. There was a massive campaign to collect tools and transform them into industrial skill. As a means of showing hope for the future, collectives were encouraged to have huge banquets and eat everything, especially meat. This was a way of showing one's belief that the next year's harvest would be even more bountiful.

Mao had this idea that he knew how to grow grain. He proclaimed that "seeds are happiest when growing together" and so seeds were sown at five to ten times their usual density. Plants died, the soil dried out, and the salt rose to the surface. To keep birds from eating grain, sparrows were wiped out, which vastly increased the number of parasites. Erosion and flooding became endemic. Tea plantations were turned to rice fields, on grounds that tea was decadent and capitalistic. Hydraulic equipment built to service the new collective farms didn't work and lacked any replacement parts. This led Mao to put new emphasis on industry, which was forced to appear in the same areas as agriculture, leading to ever more chaos. Workers were drafted from one sector to another, and mandatory cuts in some sectors was balanced by mandatory high quotas in another.

In 1957, the disaster was everywhere. Workers were growing too weak even to harvest their meager crops, so they died watching the rice rot. Industry churned and churned but produced nothing of any use. The government responded by telling people that fat and proteins were unnecessary. But the famine couldn't be denied. The black-market price of rice rose 20 to 30 times. Because trade had been forbidden between collectives (self-sufficiency, you know), millions were left to starve. By 1960, the death rate soared from 15 percent to 68 percent, and the birth rate plummeted. Anyone caught hoarding grain was shot. Peasants found with the smallest amount were imprisoned. Fires were banned. Funerals were prohibited as wasteful.

Villagers who tried to flee the countryside to the city were shot at the gates. Deaths from hunger reached 50 percent in some villages. Survivors boiled grass and bark to make soup and wandered the roads looking for food. Sometimes they banded together and raided houses looking for ground maize. Women were unable to conceive because of malnutrition. People in work camps were used for food experiments that led to sickness and death.

"Because trade had been forbidden between collectives (self-sufficiency, you know), millions were left to starve."

How bad did it get? 1968 an 18-year-old member of the Red Guard, Wei Jingsheng, took refuge with a family in a village of Anhui, and here he lived to write about what he saw:

"We walked along beside the village… Before my eyes, among the weeds, rose up one of the scenes I had been told about, one of the banquets at which the families had swapped children in order to eat them. I could see the worried faces of the families as they chewed the flesh of other people's children. The children who were chasing butterflies in a nearby field seemed to be the reincarnation of the children devoured by their parents. I felt sorry for the children but not as sorry as I felt for their parents. What had made them swallow that human flesh, amidst the tears and grief of others — flesh that they would never have imagined tasting, even in their worst nightmares?"

The author of this passage was jailed as a traitor but his status protected him from death and he was finally released in 1997.

How many people died in the famine of 1959–61? The low range is 20 million. The high range is 43 million. Finally in 1961, the government gave in and permitted food imports, but it was too little and too late. Some peasants were again allowed to grow crops on their own land. A few private workshops were opened. Some markets were permitted. Finally, the famine began to abate and production grew.

But then the third phase came: scapegoating. What had caused the calamity? The official reason was anything but communism, anything but Mao. And so the politically motivated roundup began again, and here we get the very heart of the Culture Revolution. Thousands of camps and detention centers were opened. People sent there died there. In prison, the slightest excuse was used to dispense with people — all to the good, since the prisoners were a drain on the system, so far as those in charge were concerned. The largest penal system ever built was organized in a military fashion, with some camps holding as many as 50,000 people.

There was some sense in which everyone was in prison. Arrests were sweeping and indiscriminate. Everyone had to carry around a copy of Mao's Little Red Book. To question the reason for arrest was itself evidence of disloyalty, since the state was infallible. Once arrested, the safest path was instant and frequent confession. Guards were forbidden from using overt violence, so interrogations would go on for hundreds of hours, and often the prisoner would die during this process. Those named in the confession were then hunted down and rounded up. Once you got through this process, you were sent to a labor camp, where you were graded according to how many hours you could work with little food. You were fed no meat nor given any sugar or oil. Labor prisoners were further controlled by the rationing of the little food they had.

The final phase of this incredible litany of criminality lasted from 1966 to 1976, during which the number killed fell dramatically to "only" one to three million. The government, now tired and in the first stages of demoralization, began to lose control, first within the labor camps and then in the countryside. And it was this weakening that led to the final, and in some ways the most vicious, of the communist periods in China's history.

The first stages of rebellion occurred in the only way permissible: people began to criticize the government for being too soft and too uncommitted to the communist goal. Ironically, this began to appear precisely as moderation became more overt in Russia. Neo-revolutionaries in the Red Guard began to criticize the Chinese communists as "Khrushchev-like reformers." As one writer put it, the guard "rose up against its own government in order to defend it."

During this period, the personality cult of Mao reached it height, with the Little Red Book achieving a mythic status. The Red Guards roamed the country in an attempt to purge the Four Old-Fashioned Things: ideas, culture, customs, and habits. The remaining temples were barricaded. Traditional opera was banned, with all costumes and sets in the Beijing Opera burned. Monks were expelled. The calendar was changed. All Christianity was banned. There were to be no pets such as cats and birds. Humiliation was the order of the day.

Mises Tee: $11
Do not give in to evil!

Thus was the Red Terror: in the capital city, there were 1,700 deaths and 84,000 people were run out. In other cities such as Shanghai, the figures were worse. A massive party purge began, with hundreds of thousands arrested and many murdered. Artists, writers, teachers, scientists, technicians: all were targets. Pogroms were visited on community after community, with Mao approving at every step as a means of eliminating every possible political rival. But underneath, the government was splintering and cracking, even as it became ever more brutal and totalitarian in its outlook.

Finally in 1976, Mao died. Without a few months, his closest advisers were all imprisoned. And the reform began slowly at first and then at breakneck speed. Civil liberties were restored (comparatively) and the rehabilitations began. Torturers were prosecuted. Economic controls were gradually relaxed. The economy, by virtue of human and private economic initiative, was transformed.

Having read the above, you are now in a tiny elite of people who know anything about the greatest death camp in the history of the world that China became between 1949 and 1976, an experiment in total control unlike anything else in history. Many more people today know more about China's exploding cell-phone batteries than they do about the hundred million dead and the untold amount of suffering that occurred under communism.

When you hear about shoddy products coming from China or wheat poorly processed, imagine millions in famine, with parents swapping children to eat in order to stay alive. And what do China's critics today recommend? More control by the government. Don't tell me that we've learned anything from history. We don't even know enough about history to learn from it.

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. is president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, editor of, and author of Speaking of Liberty. See his archive. Send him mail. Comment on the blog.

Note on sources, all of which you should buy and read in detail: "China: A Long March into Night," by Jean-Louis Margolin in The Black Book of Communism, by Stéphane Courtois et al. (Harvard, 1999), pp. 463–546; Death by Government, by R.J. Rummel (Transaction, 1996); Hungry Ghosts: Mao's Secret Famine, by Jaspar Becker (Owl Books, 1998); and Mao: The Unknown Story, by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday (2006).


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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Hindu woman being tortured in Malaysian Government and Courts to force her to convert to Islam

A Malaysian Hindu woman is being forcibly fed beef and physically and mentally tortured by the Government and Courts of Malaysia. They are trying to force her to convert to Islam.

This kind of forced conversion of minority Hindus has been going on all over Pakistan and Bangladesh for the last one thousand years. This was how Hindus were reduced from 18% in 1947 to a negligible 0.1% of Pakistan's population in the 60 years since then.

The same kind of Islamic oppression of minority Hindus goes on in all other Muslim-majority countries like Malaysia and Indonesia as well.

Indian Hindus are secular and broad-minded, so they have elected anti-Hindu Christian fundamentalists like Sonia Gandhi to rule over them. So the Government of India -- the only Hindu-majority country on this planet with the power to prevent these crimes against Hindus worldwide -- does nothing to protect Hindus from being wiped out (Nepal is too small and too weak to protect Hindus worldwide).

Will we the people of India watch silently? Or will we do something to protect this innocent helpless Hindu woman all alone by herself in friendless Malaysia?

You can make a difference to her life. Spread the word about her plight among everyone you know. Force the Government of India to intervene on her behalf to protect her human rights. The Government of anti-Hindu Christian fundamentalist Sonia Gandhi will do nothing to help her unless we the common people of Hindu-majority India force her Congress party to act.

The choice is yours. Either like a human would. Or ignore her plight and let her suffer just because she is a Hindu.

If she had been a Christian being tortured to convert her to Islam, Christian-majority countries like UK and USA would protect her aggressively.

If she had been a Muslim being tortured by Christians, Muslim countries would protect her.

If she had been a Jew Israel would come to her defence.

But she is a Hindu. No Government of any country cares about protecting Hindus.

Will you help make a difference to her life?

BBC reports:
Malaysia 'convert' claims cruelty
By Jonathan Kent
BBC News, Kuala Lumpur

Revathi Massosai
Revathi Massosai alleges harsh treatment in detention
A Malaysian woman held for months in an Islamic rehabilitation centre says she was subjected to mental torture for insisting her religion is Hinduism.

Revathi Massosai, the name by which she wants to be known, says she was forced to eat beef despite being a Hindu.

Miss Massosai was seized by the Islamic authorities in January when she went to court to ask that she be registered as a Hindu rather than a Muslim.

The case is one of a number that have raised religious tensions in Malaysia.

Miss Massosai was born to Muslim converts and given a Muslim name, but she was raised as a Hindu by her grandmother and has always practised that faith.

However, under Malaysia's Islamic law, having Muslim parents makes one a Muslim and, as such, one is not allowed to change one's faith or marry a non-Muslim.

But Miss Massosai married a Hindu man in 2004 and the couple have a young daughter.


When in January she asked a court to officially designate her a Hindu she was detained and taken to an Islamic rehabilitation centre.

Muslims take part in Friday prayer at the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur
Only the Islamic courts can allow a Muslim legally to change faith

Her detention was twice extended to six months, during which time she says religious officials tried to make her pray as a Muslim and wear a headscarf.

However, the claim that will particularly shock Hindus is that the camp authorities tried to force her to eat beef.

A lawyer representing the Malacca state Islamic department responsible for Miss Revathi's arrest, rejected her allegations and said officials believe that she can still be persuaded to embrace Islam.

She is adamant that she will remain a Hindu. In the meantime, Miss Revathi and her daughter have been placed in the custody of her Muslim parents.

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Morons halted US Army's plan to raid Pakistan and capture Al Qaeda leaders in 2005

The US Army contains some smart people, but the US Government continues to make stupid decisions. Like going into Iraq and creating a massive mess, when it should have gone into Pakistan -- the headquarters of global Radical Islamic terrorism -- in the first place.

It seems that in spite of the Iraq mess the US Army made elaborate plans to go to Pakistan again in 2005, but the US Government shot down those plans again. In spite of the fact that bin Laden remains safe and sound as a guest of the Paki Government, and plans new attacks worldwide every day. If this reluctance to hit Pakistan continues, Osama bin Laden may never be caught.

The New York Times reports:

U.S. Aborted Raid on Qaeda Chiefs in Pakistan in ’05

Published: July 8, 2007

WASHINGTON, July 7 — A secret military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan, according to intelligence and military officials.

The target was a meeting of Qaeda leaders that intelligence officials thought included Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy and the man believed to run the terrorist group’s operations.

But the mission was called off after Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, rejected an 11th-hour appeal by Porter J. Goss, then the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, officials said. Members of a Navy Seals unit in parachute gear had already boarded C-130 cargo planes in Afghanistan when the mission was canceled, said a former senior intelligence official involved in the planning.

Mr. Rumsfeld decided that the operation, which had ballooned from a small number of military personnel and C.I.A. operatives to several hundred, was cumbersome and put too many American lives at risk, the current and former officials said. He was also concerned that it could cause a rift with Pakistan, an often reluctant ally that has barred the American military from operating in its tribal areas, the officials said.

The decision to halt the planned “snatch and grab” operation frustrated some top intelligence officials and members of the military’s secret Special Operations units, who say the United States missed a significant opportunity to try to capture senior members of Al Qaeda.

Their frustration has only grown over the past two years, they said, as Al Qaeda has improved its abilities to plan global attacks and build new training compounds in Pakistan’s tribal areas, which have become virtual havens for the terrorist network.

In recent months, the White House has become increasingly irritated with Pakistan’s president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, for his inaction on the growing threat of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

About a dozen current and former military and intelligence officials were interviewed for this article, all of whom requested anonymity because the planned 2005 mission remained classified.

Spokesmen for the Pentagon, the C.I.A. and the White House declined to comment. It is unclear whether President Bush was informed about the planned operation.

The officials acknowledge that they are not certain that Mr. Zawahri attended the 2005 meeting in North Waziristan, a mountainous province just miles from the Afghan border. But they said that the United States had communications intercepts that tipped them off to the meeting, and that intelligence officials had unusually high confidence that Mr. Zawahri was there.

Months later, in early May 2005, the C.I.A. launched a missile from a remotely piloted Predator drone, killing Haitham al-Yemeni, a senior Qaeda figure whom the C.I.A. had tracked since the meeting.

It has long been known that C.I.A. operatives conduct counterterrorism missions in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Details of the aborted 2005 operation provide a glimpse into the Bush administration’s internal negotiations over whether to take unilateral military action in Pakistan, where General Musharraf’s fragile government is under pressure from dissidents who object to any cooperation with the United States.

Pentagon officials familiar with covert operations said that planners had to consider the political and human risks of undertaking a military campaign in a sovereign country, even in an area like Pakistan’s tribal lands, where the government has only tenuous control. Even with its shortcomings, Pakistan has been a vital American ally since the Sept. 11 attacks, and the militaries of the two countries have close ties.

The Pentagon officials said tension was inherent in any decision to approve such a mission: a smaller military footprint allows a better chance of a mission going undetected, but it also exposes the units to greater risk of being killed or captured.

Officials said one reason Mr. Rumsfeld called off the 2005 operation was that the number of troops involved in the mission had grown to several hundred, including Army Rangers, members of the Navy Seals and C.I.A. operatives, and he determined that the United States could no longer carry out the mission without General Musharraf’s permission. It is unlikely that the Pakistani president would have approved an operation of that size, officials said.

Some outside experts said American counterterrorism operations had been hamstrung because of concerns about General Musharraf’s shaky government.

“The reluctance to take risk or jeopardize our political relationship with Musharraf may well account for the fact that five and half years after 9/11 we are still trying to run bin Laden and Zawahri to ground,” said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University.

Those political considerations have created resentment among some members of the military’s Special Operations forces.

“The Special Operations guys are tearing their hair out at the highest levels,” said a former Bush administration official with close ties to those troops. While they have not received good intelligence on the whereabouts of top Qaeda members recently, he said, they say they believe they have sometimes had useful information on lower-level figures.

“There is a degree of frustration that is off the charts, because they are looking at targets on a daily basis and can’t move against them,” he said.

In early 2005, after learning about the Qaeda meeting, the military developed a plan for a small Navy Seals unit to parachute into Pakistan to carry out a quick operation, former officials said.

But as the operation moved up the military chain of command, officials said, various planners bulked up the force’s size to provide security for the Special Operations forces.

“The whole thing turned into the invasion of Pakistan,” said the former senior intelligence official involved in the planning. Still, he said he thought the mission was worth the risk. “We were frustrated because we wanted to take a shot,” he said.

Several former officials interviewed said the operation was not the only occasion since the Sept. 11 attacks that plans were developed to use a large American military force in Pakistan. It is unclear whether any of those missions have been executed.

Some of the military and intelligence officials familiar with the 2005 events say it showed a rift between operators in the field and a military bureaucracy that has still not effectively adapted to hunt for global terrorists, moving too cautiously to use Special Operations troops against terrorist targets.

That criticism has echoes of the risk aversion that the officials said pervaded efforts against Al Qaeda during the Clinton administration, when missions to use American troops to capture or kill Mr. bin Laden in Afghanistan were never executed because they were considered too perilous, risked killing civilians or were based on inadequate intelligence. Rather than sending in ground troops, the Clinton White House instead chose to fire cruise missiles in what became failed attempts to kill Mr. bin Laden and his deputies — a tactic Mr. Bush criticized shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Since then, the C.I.A. has launched missiles from Predator aircraft in the tribal areas several times, with varying degrees of success. Intelligence officials say they believe that in January 2006, an airstrike narrowly missed killing Mr. Zawahri, who hours earlier had attended a dinner in Damadola, a Pakistani village.

General Musharraf cast his lot with the Bush administration in the hunt for Al Qaeda after the 2001 attacks, and he has periodically ordered Pakistan’s military to conduct counterterrorism missions in the tribal areas, provoking fierce resistance there. But in recent months he has pulled back, prompting Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to issue stern warnings in private that he risked losing American aid if he did not step up efforts against Al Qaeda, senior administration officials have said.

Officials said that mid-2005 was a period when they were gathering good intelligence about Al Qaeda’s leaders in Pakistan’s tribal areas. By the next year, however, the White House had become frustrated by the lack of progress in the hunt for Mr. bin Laden and Mr. Zawahri.

In early 2006, President Bush ordered a “surge” of dozens of C.I.A. agents to Pakistan, hoping that an influx of intelligence operatives would lead to better information, officials said. But that has brought the United States no closer to locating Al Qaeda’s top two leaders. The latest message from them came this week, in a new tape in which Mr. Zawahri urged Iraqis and Muslims around the world to show more support for Islamist insurgents in Iraq.

In his recently published memoir, George J. Tenet, the former C.I.A. director, said the intelligence about Mr. bin Laden’s whereabouts during the Clinton years was similarly sparse. The information was usually only at the “50-60% confidence level,” he wrote, not sufficient to justify American military action.

“As much as we all wanted Bin Ladin dead, the use of force by a superpower requires information, discipline, and time,” Mr. Tenet wrote. “We rarely had the information in sufficient quantities or the time to evaluate and act on it.”

... Read more !

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Pakistani nuke dealer A. Q. "Xerox" Khan a free man

A. Q. Khan, known as "Xerox Khan" in Pakistan for having photo-copied nuclear secrets from the West to make Pakistan's "Islamic Bomb", was exposed a few years ago as the leader of a international gang that sold dangerous nuclear technology to rogue nations like North Korea, Iran, and Libya, and to international terrorist groups like Al Qaeda. Indian intelligence agencies had reported this gang's activities for several years since the early 1990's, while the Pakistan-loving West had turned a blind eye. The smuggling of missiles and nuclear centrifuges between North Korea and Iran with Puke-i-stan acting as middleman, was mostly done on land through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (which linked Iran through Pakistan to China, which provided access to North Korea) in order to avoid getting caught by US warships on international waters. The involvement of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir in this smuggling ring was how Indian intelligence agencies came to know about this nefarious gang: from Pakistani terrorists caught by Indian Army in Kashmir. [Puke-i-stan = land of puke (vomit)]

The Pakistan-loving gullible morons in the US Government finally had to acknowledge this gang's activities after the pressure on them to recognize Puke-is-stan for what it is -- nerve-centre of international Islamic terrorism -- got too great after 9/11.

However, instead of interrogating A. Q. Khan to find other members of this Radical Islamic nuclear-smuggling terrorist gang, the gullible Puke-loving Americans let Puke-i-stan keep A. Q. Khan "in custody". Now, it is revealed that A. Q. Khan lives in five-star comfort and luxury in Pakistan, and is for all practical purposes a free man. He is being richly rewarded by Pakistan for endangering the future of Humanity by selling weapons of mass destruction for cash.

New York Times reports:

July 2, 2007, 10:58 am
Pakistan Loosens Reins on A.Q. Khan

By Mike Nizza

A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani scientist who ran an arms bazaar that spread nuclear technology to Libya, Iran and North Korea, is starting to feel freedom again after three and a half years of what amounted to house arrest. The Associated Press quoted two unnamed Pakistani officials on the details:

‘’He is virtually a free citizen,'’ said one of the officials, who is attached to the nuclear program.

However, the second official said Khan was only allowed to meet associates and relatives on a list approved by authorities, who would continue to provide him with a security detail that will restrict his movements.

The news emerged two days after a Pakistani newspaper reported that one of Dr. Khan’s lawyers “appealed to the nation to come on the streets and voice protest against the detention of Dr A.Q. Khan just like it has shown solidarity with the chief justice.” That chief justice says he was driven from office by the country’s president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, on trumped-up corruption charges, and is waging an intense challenge to Gen. Musharraf’s leadership.

Many Pakistanis revere Dr. Khan as a national hero for creating the country’s nuclear weapons, and have long viewed his detention at home, after a presidential pardon, as punishment enough. (Another recent home detention case in Los Angeles was, by contrast, not seen as “punishment enough”, to say the least.)

‘’Who has not proliferated?'’ said Tasnim Aslam of Pakistan’s foreign ministry. ‘’What about all those U.S. scientists who proliferated? Where do you think the Manhattan Project comes from?'’

Another sign of the Pakistani desire to put this whole saga behind them were the articles in local newspapers last week highlighting a State Department spokesman’s boilerplate statement that A.Q. Khan’s nuclear network was closed for good.

Congressman Gary Ackerman, a Democrat from the New York City borough of Queens whose district is home to many Asian immigrants, emphatically disagreed during a subcommittee hearing he led, entitled “A.Q. Khan’s Nuclear Wal-Mart: Out of Business or Under New Management?”

“The Administration can believe whatever convenient fiction it likes,” he said in opening remarks. But “the Khan network is more likely to be open under new management rather than truly out of business.”

The hedging is due to the small amount of information that is actually known about Dr. Khan’s network. Pakistan has refused to allow American officials to interview him, and has released few details otherwise.

Apparently, the A.P. is still on the list, though. A reporter’s call to Dr. Khan’s home in a wealthy part of Islamabad may be “his first public comment in about three years,” the wire service said. Unfortunately, he would only break the sort of news that comes from Aunt Millie, not international nuclear villains.

‘’I am feeling much better, though I can’t say I am 100 percent fit,'’ he said.

The Bush administration has not yet formally responded to the easing of restrictions on Dr. Khan. It will be interesting to see how the administration balances the stability of a crucial ally, Gen. Musharraf, with the desire to see someone who has provided crucial help to the nuclear ambitions of at least two members of the president’s “axis of evil” held to greater account.

... Read more !

Monday, July 02, 2007

Praful Bidwai asks poor Indians to practise "austerity" and remain poor to reduce global warming caused by the rich West

Praful Bidwai has written a long article in The Hindustan Times, full of long words but no substance. He is accusing Indian middle class of being wasteful and extravagant for having bought a few washing machines, cars, and air-conditioners, and is exhorting them to show "austerity".

His entire article contains not one single suggestion about how Indians can reduce global warming without going back to the low-tech village lifestyle that allowed Muslim and Christian invaders to conquer and (mis-)rule over us for a thousand years.

Global warming is a problem caused by rich people in the US, Europe, and oil-rich countries of the Middle-East. Indians on average use 20 TIMES LESS energy than that used by the average American, European, or oil sheik. Asking Indians to stop engaging in important economic activities like buying cars, AC's, mobile phones and washing machines (which in turn will stop the economic growth happening in India) is hypocritical of the highest order.

One wonders if Praful Bidwai is being paid by the same anti-outsourcing anti-India anti-competitive low-skill-but-high-pay unionized morons that form the base of the Socialist Parties of Western Europe and the Democratic Party of America; they want to keep India backward by asking us to stop our economic activities with excuses like global warming that they themselves are responsible for, while these American and Western European unionized Leftist morons continue to drive their two-or-more SUV's and minivans per family and go on expensive road-trips every weekend burning millions of tons of gasoline/petrol/diesel every day on their union-negotiated-high-salaries while oil prices keep climbing, and poor Indians struggling every day to feed their starving children and keep them warm in cold winter nights are accused of causing global warming.

Praful Bidwai should be investigated by India's police and intelligence agencies. If he indeed is being paid by anti-India interests to write this kind of crap he should be tried for treason for conspiring to sabotage India's economic development.

Hindustan Times reports:

No room for hot air
Praful Bidwai
July 02, 2007
First Published: 00:19 IST(2/7/2007)
Last Updated: 00:22 IST(2/7/2007)

Tony Blair will be remembered by his critics and supporters for one thing: bringing China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa into a dialogue on climate change with the G-8 industrialised states. But as on Africa, Blair’s exertions on climate change have produced no tangible results. The summit after the G-8 meet, along with these Outreach Five (O-5) states, has failed to generate an agreement on combating the greatest menace to civilisation as we know it: global warming. This was as true of Heiligendamm this month as of Gleneagles in 2005.

Neither these 13 of the world’s 25 biggest economies, nor any other forum, have responded adequately to the unprecedented public concern about climate change. A survey covering 14 countries finds that 86 per cent of people feel “anxious” about climate change, and want governments to fight it proactively. A majority says it’s the world’s greatest challenge. Four-fifths say it should become easier to buy renewable electricity; nine-tenths want at least a fourth of all electricity generated from renewable sources.

There is a stark contrast between the gravity of this concern, and the promise made at Heiligendamm to negotiate a multilateral pact on global warming, beyond the Kyoto Protocol's expiry (2012). The G-8 lamely pledged to give “serious consideration” to halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (over 1990 levels). What the world needs is 80 per cent emissions reduction and a shift to a new energy paradigm — through legally binding targets.

The industrialised nations of the Global North have all along failed to agree even to cap their emissions although that would cost less than what they spend, for instance, on toys or cosmetics. Fifteen years after the Rio conference, they are back to square one. Meanwhile, the South’s bigger economies are imitating their consumption patterns. Alarmingly, China has already overtaken the US as the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, years ahead of earlier forecasts.

India’s position on climate change is illogical, untenable and in need of reform.It’s plain that alternative leadership on climate change won’t come from countries like China, India or Brazil. They doggedly refuse even to discuss capping their emissions, leave alone cut them. India’s position on this is especially deplorable. It says “growth … prospects in the developing world” must in no circumstances be “constrained”; higher GDP growth “is the best way for developing countries to address … the issue of … protecting the climate.”

India emphasises on the “principle of common but differentiated responsibility”. This is shorthand for asking that the North pay the bulk of the costs for reversing climate change. India also demands concessions like patent-free “clean energy” technology transfer and financial assistance.

True, the primary responsibility for reversing climate change is the North’s, because it is historically responsible for causing it. The average Indian and Chinese contribute respectively one-twentieth and one-sixth as much to global warming as the average American.

However, it’s also imperative that rapidly growing Southern countries, including India, undertake obligations to cut their ballooning emissions. India’s overall emissions are growing almost four times faster than the global average. They are expected to rise two-and-a-half times by 2030. Vehicular emissions are projected to rise about six-fold.

Even if the North reduces its emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, developing countries, including India, will still need to cut theirs by about 60 per cent. This must immediately translate into quantified stage-by-stage emission cuts. Instead, all we have is the parrot-like emphasis that India won’t be a “significant” greenhouse emitter “in the foreseeable future”.

This flies in the face of facts: India is already the world’s fifth largest emitter, and will soon overtake No. 3 and 4, Japan and Russia. Surely, the responsibility for reversing climate change — a global, universal good, if there was one — cannot be confined to the top four emitters, or, for that matter, 20. The South cannot evade the secondary onus, or postpone its obligations indefinitely.

It’s pernicious to cite per capita emissions as the sole ethical criterion for defining global responsibility. Per capita numbers mean little in India's highly unequal, stratified society, with some of the world's highest rich-poor inequalities. Nor do they take into account India's low per capita access to “natural sinks”, like oceans and forests.

It is not India’s poor, the bulk of whom survive at subsistence level, whose emissions are rising. It is the 80 to 100-million-strong rich and middle-classes, who are on a consumption binge — as if there were no tomorrow. Their insatiable appetite is driving an unprecedented boom in automobiles, air-conditioners, washing machines, microwave ovens and plasma TV.

It is unethical and cynical for the government to obliterate this crucial distinction and hide behind the poor. It should admit that there is not one India, but two, as regards climate change: the 700 million who lack access to modern cooking fuels and tap water; and the elite with its wasteful luxury consumption. The world too should treat India as a dual entity.

Three other points are pertinent. First, India admits there is a universal obligation to mitigate climate change. A universal objective is worth pursuing; it is intrinsically a global good. No conditions should be attached to it — e.g. extraneous benefits such as free technology, or a Marshall Plan-II, which subsidises the South.

Second, there is a strong case for freeing all technology of patents. But that is a generic argument against allowing monopolies in the name of supporting “innovation”: in fact, over 95 per cent of patents are never worked; they are used to claim denial and exclusion, which leads to misanthropy, as in the case of HIV-AIDS drugs. The argument cannot be used selectively for emission-reducing technologies alone.

Third, India cannot convincingly claim it is on a low-emission path by citing CNG buses, the Metro Rail, reductions in energy use per unit of output in certain industries, and by arguing that its environmental and energy efficiency programmes have produced handsome results.

No study has demonstrated that the Metro contributes to emission reductions, especially compared to public buses, or that its efficiency overcomes its adverse environmental, energy and economic impact, including concentration of high-rise districts. For every unit addition to such expensive “public” transport modes, there is a several-fold increase in privatised transport: India’s car production has doubled in six years.

Most countries have seen a decline in energy consumption per unit output. India’s performance isn’t impressive. India’s emissions per absolute dollar of GDP are four times higher than America’s. India’s highly carbon-inefficient economy ranks 85th among 141 countries. India is more carbon inefficient than Bangladesh, Brazil or Indonesia; or even Northern countries like Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and Sweden.

India’s environmental record is embarrassing: the extensive deforestation, relentless pollution of rivers, runaway growth of hazardous industries, construction of big dams (which cause a fourth of our emissions), and promotion of technologies like nuclear power, which produce long-lived wastes. India is indisputably on an ecologically unsound growth path.

On any criterion of environmental equity, India must stop whining about pressure to cap its emissions, and move towards real cuts. That is the best way of laying claim to global moral and ecological leadership-and the ideal means of recovering, and making an example out of, our rapidly eroding tradition of austerity.

... Read more !

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Kashmir's "Rage Boy"

This guy symbolizes all that is wrong with Radical Islam. With his Taliban-style beard he looks like a goat, but do not be fooled. This is no ordinary goat, this guy represents a very dangerous ideology that can wipe out Humanity as we know it and take the world back to the times of the medieval uncivilized Middle East.

Radical Islamic zealots like him have committed innumerable genocides wiping out Hindus and Buddhists from all over Central Asia, Pakistan, Afghanistan over the last 1000 years, and Bangladesh most recently. The only reason we can laugh at stupid Radical Islamic idiots like him now is that people like him are a minority in Hindu-majority civilized India, and only for that reason, we are safe, as yet.

If you were looking at this stupid angry goat in Afghanistan or Pakistan like Daniel Pearl did while the goat cut his head off in the name of Allah, you would not be laughing. Remember that. And support and help fight the 1000-year-old war for survival of Humanity against these Radical Islamist goat-faced Taliban terrorists.

Times of India reports:

Kashmir's 'Rage Boy' invites humour, mirth
1 Jul, 2007 l 0150 hrs ISTlChidanand Rajghatta/TIMES NEWS NETWORK

WASHINGTON: He's the angry, irate, face of Islamic fury; the poster child of Muslim protests. They are calling him the 'Rage Boy'. A Kashmiri protester who turns up at almost every major demonstration to express Islamist anger about real and perceived slights and has become photographers' favourite, is now a blog darling.

No one knows his name, but bloggers have unearthed several news agency pictures of the same Srinagar-based man ranting in demonstrations against Danish cartoons, the Pope's swipe against Islam, terrorism in J&K, Israeli atrocities and sundry other issues.

In each case, wire photographers take a close up of this bearded young man, eyes ablaze and fist gesticulating in a slogan shouting frenzy. His picture has turned up so frequently that "Spotting the Islamic Rage Boy" has become a blogging pastime.

"Guess what? Islamic Rage Boy has been sighted again on Friday, June 22, the worldwide day of rage," Snapped Shot, a blog dedicated to photojournalism, chortled last week. The blog directed readers to a familiar picture of the man it called a "professional protester, jihadi-style" agitating in a Srinagar protest against knighthood for Salman Rushdie.

The mans face has become so familiar that he's even engendered merchandise, with the firm Cafi Press issuing T-shirts and sweatshirts imprinted with his furious visage. The slogan on one T-shirt reads: "Someone I love blew up a bunch of Infidels and all I received was this wretched, blood-soaked T-Shirt".

Rage Boy posters, mouse-pads, magnets, and tile coasters are also available. A Rage Boy clock has the following inscription: "Question: What time is it, Rage Boy? Answer: Time to Die, Infidel."

"Rage Boy" has now become such a cult figure that he's even attracted the attention of Christopher Hitchens, the iconoclastic British columnist, notorious for skewering Mother Teresa among others.

In a 'Slate' magazine article, Hitchens refers to "scenes from the strenuous life of a professional Muslim protester in Srinagar" and says over the last few years, "There have been innumerable opportunities for him to demonstrate his piety and his pissed-offness."

"And the cameras have been there for him every time. Is it a fatwah? Is it a copy of the Quran allegedly down the gurgler at Guantanamo? Is it some cartoon in Denmark? Time for Rage Boy to step in and for his visage to impress the rest of the world with the depth and strength of Islamist emotion," writes Hitchens.

Hitchens is critical of the media for exaggerating what are essentially small protests, saying all the photographers have to do is to take a few steps back to see how small the demonstrations are instead of magnified close-ups of the Rage Boy. Some bloggers have suggested the photographers have just gotten lazy and they have a deal going with the "Rage Boy" to provide them with angry close-ups.

... Read more !

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