Saturday, May 21, 2005
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs who benefited from the witness of George Galloway MP have a record of all witnesses that day held as a PDF file on their site.
Curiously there is no record of what GG said, or sadly the startled look on Sen. Coleman’s, face or indeed the content of his, no doubt, bemerded trousers.
From witness to unperson – shows how unreliable a witness GG is.
Just for the record..
I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.
Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies."
Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq's wealth.
Have a look at the real Oil-for-Food scandal. Have a look at the 14 months you were in charge of Baghdad, the first 14 months when $8.8 billion of Iraq's wealth went missing on your watch. Have a look at Halliburton and other American corporations that stole not only Iraq's money, but the money of the American taxpayer.
Have a look at the oil that you didn't even meter, that you were shipping out of the country and selling, the proceeds of which went who knows where? Have a look at the $800 million you gave to American military commanders to hand out around the country without even counting it or weighing it.
Have a look at the real scandal breaking in the newspapers today, revealed in the earlier testimony in this committee. That the biggest sanctions busters were not me or Russian politicians or French politicians. The real sanctions busters were your own companies with the connivance of your own Government."
Curiously none of this appeared on national (ABC , NBC news , etc etc.,) and the rest of the free and fair press that the US public reach for everyday.
The real story on the sanctions can be found in a Harper’s article by Joy Gordon in 2002.(© Harper’s) …before Dubya and Bloody Blair organised their illegal invasion.
“If any international act in the last decade is sure to generate enduring bitterness toward the United States, it is the epidemic suffering needlessly visited on Iraqis via U.S. fiat inside the United Nations Security Council. Within that body, the United States has consistently thwarted Iraq from satisfying its most basic humanitarian needs, using sanctions as nothing less than a deadly weapon, and, despite recent reforms, continuing to do so. Invoking security concerns—including those not corroborated by U.N. weapons inspectors—U.S. policymakers have effectively turned a program of international governance into a legitimized act of mass slaughter.”
The New York Times breaks the story that the USAF seeks a Presidential directive for militarising space. Just as the final instalment of Star Wars hits the screens.
Air Force spokeswoman Maj. Karen Finn is quoted , "The focus of the process is not putting weapons in space . . . The focus is having free access in space......To defend the United States of America through the control and exploitation of space."
(Global Security) currently lists a total of 135 US military satellites deployed Russian 61 , China 10 .
The US is anxious for a lead in space wars but is currently fighting the good fight against a mixed crew of suicidal muslims, car bombers, IEDs , small arms, ricin laboratories, and guys walking around New York with nukular bombs in their briefcases - all directed apparently by a guy in a cave on kidney dialysis, with a mobile and laptop.
General James E. Cartwright, head Of U.S. Strategic Command, told Congress in March:
[Our] growing national dependence on space-based and space-enabled capabilities establishes a true imperative to protect our space assets and our ability to operate freely in, and from, space.
The importance of the space mission to our national security cannot be overstated. The US economy, our quality of life, and our nation's defense are all linked to our freedom of action in space.
Probably of greater interest to those warped people who seek a deeper purpose and meaning in all that US military spokespersons say, may like to check out Tony Blair's favourite bedtime reading;
PNAC's Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century (PDF):
"To ensure America's control of space in the near term, the minimum requirements are to develop a robust capability to transport systems to space, carry on operations once there, and service and recover space systems as needed. As outlined by Space Command, carrying out this program would include a mix of re- useable and expendable launch vehicles and vehicles that can operate within space, including "space tugs to deploy, reconstitute, replenish, refurbish, augment, and sustain" space systems. But, over the longer term, maintaining control of space will inevitably require the application of force both in space and from space, including but not limited to anti- missile defenses and defensive systems capable of protecting U.S. and allied satellites; space control cannot be sustained in any other fashion, with conventional land, sea, or airforce, or by electronic warfare. This eventuality is already recognized by official U.S. national space policy, which states that the "Department of Defense shall maintain a capability to execute the mission areas of space support, force enhancement, space control and force application."
Elsewhere in the real world...
This week The Ministry of Defence Police Agency (MDPA) sought an order (ASBO) banning Lindis Percy from an area around the American Menwith Hill base in North Yorkshire.
District Judge Roy Anderson ruled against ASBOs being used as "a club to beat down the expression of legitimate comment".
The powers were intended to tackle "oafish behaviour", he said, not Mrs Percy's non-aggressive protests.
She was, however, placed under an 8 week curfew and is thought to be the first peace protester to be electronically tagged - a sentence she intends to appeal. In 25 years campaigning at the site, Lindis a devout Quaker, grandmother and joint co-ordinator of the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases has been arrested more than 150 times and spent 161 hours in prison..
Evidently this is the way the authorities intend to use the new powers, against protesters rather than the so called "yob culture" of disaffected youth, they were designed for.
Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti (BBC reports) said the ASBO hearing as "nothing short of a scandal" …."It should provide a salutary lesson to a new parliament faced with a Queen's Speech stuffed with new coercive legislation," she said. "Over-broad powers taken in the name of crime and terrorism are ripe for this kind of abuse."
The MDPA said they would "always uphold the rights of people wishing to carry out lawful demonstrations but if anyone commits a criminal offence we will seek to take action,"
The Home Office refused to comment on individual cases but said ASBOs were a "valuable tool" to protect communities blighted by anti-social behaviour.
Whether this means they will increasingly be used against protesters in the future remains to be seen.
Friday, May 20, 2005
“…….that's very important for, I think, the people to understand where I'm coming from to know that this is a dangerous world. I wish it wasn't.
I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign-policy matters with war on my mind. “
Copyright© 2004, National Broadcasting Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
“MEET THE PRESS WITH TIM RUSSERT” INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH THE OVAL OFFICE, FEBRUARY 7, 2004
BROADCAST ON NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS” SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2004
Yushenko will be solving the oil crisis in Ukraine without help of USS. Today he meets with the heads of Russian oil companies. According to Kommersant, Vagit Alekperov, president of LUKOIL, Musa Bazhaev, president of “Alliance group” and Alexander Gorodetsky, president of TNK-BP Ukraine. TNK-BP will be represented by the company’s presidential envoy Robert Dudley and executive director German Khan.
LUKOIL have been “rationing” buyers to 10 litres of petrol at their retail outlets to protest against the Ukraine taxation of oil products.
Last Friday Muslims in Pakistan burnt US and Israeli flags (see pic) outraged by the Newsweek story of Quranic desecration.
This Friday several Shia mosques in Baghdad and Najaf have heeded the call yesterday of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to paint US and Israeli flags at the entrance to mosques for worshippers to walk on, in protest against the alleged desecration of the Quran at the US detention camp in Guantanamo Bay.
Another straw in the wind as the rebel cleric starts to fan the flames, aided by rising temperatures and non functioning air con due to extended electricity outages.
Aljazeera and other sources reported these fatalities Thursday 19th May
Fawwaz al-Jarba, elected to parliament a Shia-led alliance ticket only to leave the party a month ago, said seven people - including relatives and security guards - were killed in a firefight when armed men attacked his home in the northern city of Mosul.
The Pentagon said two Task Force Baghdad soldiers from enemy fire on Thursday evening
An earlier military statement said a US soldier was killed after his convoy struck a IED SE of Baghdad on Thursday morning dying on route to hospital.
A soldier assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), was killed 18 May during an indirect fire attack on Forward Operating Base Ramadi.
A bomber drove a car at an army checkpoint, killing an Iraqi soldier and wounding eight, an Interior Ministry official said.
An Iraqi soldier was killed and 3 wounded in a bomb explosion in the south of the capital, security officials said.
Oil Ministry employee Ali Hamid Alwan al-Dulaimy, 31, was leaving his house in Kazimiyah, northern Baghdad when three men firing pistols from a Kia minibus killed him, he was on his way to Baghdad University, where he was studying, his brother said.
In Baquba, north of Baghdad, two policemen were killed by a bomb.
A police officer Omar Majeed Shakir al-Dosh and his father were killed in a drive-by-shooting in Samarra, 125km north of Baghdad.
1 Iraqi commando killed and another wounded in clashes with fighters in eastern Samarra.
The body of a 40-year-old Iraqi contractor was found near Makhoul, 200km north of the capital.
A University of Baghdad faculty member was shot dead. Kassem Mohammed al-Azzaowi, a professor at Baghdad University's Nursing School, was killed by three armed gunmen.
Tikrit. The bodies of four Iraqis, executed by gunshot, were found south of the city.
Ali Hamid, an ex-Oil Ministry official was assassinated in Baghdad an ambush as he left his home.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Iraq's new wave of violence reflects the dramatic changes in Iraq's power elites. Shi'ites and Kurds are now dominant after the elections and the hitherto privileged minority Sunnis, privileged under Saddam Hussein, have been sidelined. The Badr and Sadr brigades are now stirring …
Police are finding dumped, corpses, of victims shot dead execution-style. At least 50 bodies have been found since Saturday. 13 were found in a garbage-strewn lot in Baghdad's Shiite-dominated Sadr City slum, 11 more in an abandoned chicken farm south of the capital which the Press love to call Iraq's Triangle of Death, and 10 identified as Iraqi soldiers in the battleground city of Ramadi.
Late Sunday, at least 8 men were found near a dam in another Shiite-dominated Baghdad neighborhood, their hands tied behind their backs and bullet wounds to their heads. 2 victims were still alive, but died soon afterward, police said.
Shiite cleric Qassim al-Gharawi died in a drive-by shooting in W Baghdad last week. Quraish Abdul Jabbar, a Sunni cleric, was reported shot dead and his corpse dumped behind a mosque in NE Baghdad on Monday.
The Sunni based Muslim Clerics Association, accused the Sh’ite led government of State Terrorism on Monday, a senior member of the group Hassan Nuaimi’s mutilated dead body was found in Baghdad the following day. He had been arrested and freed on Sunday by the Police say his family.
Hundreds of angry Sunnis attended Nuaimi's funeral on Wednesday and condemned the Iraqi government.
"The interior minister is the biggest terrorist," said a banner at the funeral, referring to the Shi'ite Interior Minister Bayan Jabr. (Named Bakr Solagh at birth, he took on the pseudonym to evade Saddam. He was a member of the Iran based Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) when in exile. He later headed SCIRI's office in Syria. After Saddam's fall, ( he didn’t return to Iraq until Sept 2003) he became Minister of housing and reconstruction in the first U.S.-picked provisional cabinet. He is a senior member in the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance.)
2 Shi'ite clerics were shot dead on Tuesday in Baghdad. SCIRI member Mani Hassan was gunned down in front of his house and Muwaffaq Mansour's car was ambushed.
Hundreds of angry Sunnis attended Nuaimi's funeral on Wednesday and condemned the Iraqi government.
The Sh’ite Badr Brigades (AKA Mahdi Army) spent many years in exile in Iran during Saddam's rule. Under the tutelage of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), SCIRI established a military wing in 1983, called the Badr Brigade. This force quickly grew into a full-fledged corps and joined regular IRGC forces on the front lines during the Iran-Iraq war. The Badr Brigade is believed to have between 10,000-15,000 fighters, although only around 3,000 are professionally trained
After their return when Saddam was removed they changed their name – officially "Badr Organization for Development and Reconstruction". Although they call themselves a political group many Iraqis believe they are still a militia…and many believe ( probably with very good reason) that they are behind many of the execution style killings, beheadings and mutilations.
Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr came out of hiding Monday for the first time since his fighters clashed with American forces in Najaf and Baghdad in August. Although lacking substantial religious credentials, he is the son of the late Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, an esteemed cleric killed by the Iraqi regime in 1999. He is said to take his spiritual direction from an ultra-conservative, Iran-based, Iraqi-exiled cleric, Ayatollah Kazim al-Haeri.
He held a press conference and demanded that U.S.-led forces leave Iraq and Saddam Hussein be punished. "I want the immediate withdrawal of the occupation forces," he said.
Sadr is rumored to be responsible for the April 10, 2003 assassination of Imam Abdul Majid al-Khoei who was hacked to death by a Shia mob near Sadr's offices. Having lived 12 years in exile in Britain and having met with Tony Blair and Bloody Jack Straw, Al-Khoei had been handpicked by the Americans and British to become a prominent leader in the Shi'a community in Iraq. Naomi Klein(!), writing in the Nation, has called al-Sadr and his supporters "the single greatest threat to U.S. military and economic control of Iraq."
Hold tight on to your seats ...it's going to be a bumpy ride.
There were remarkable scenes outside the Russian Embassy in Tashkent - and eslewhere in Tashkent - today that would gladden the heart of the democracy peddlers on Capitol Hill.. Freedom of speech and expression in action.
Gavkhar Aripova, leader of Uzbek human rights organization Ozod Ael [Free Women], led a demonstration this afternoon."We came to protest against the biased coverage of the tragic events in Andizhan by ORT and NTV channels of the Russian television,". "Mikhail Leontiev (presenter of Odnako a current affairs / news program) either does not know the first thing about the situation in Uzbekistan or shamelessly acts on political orders of unscrupulous government of Russia that backs Islam Karimov's regime” she said.
“It isn’t Islamists and terrorists who rise against the authorities of Uzbekistan. Ordinary people will no longer tolerate impoverishment, starvation, unemployment, crib deaths, and coercive sterilization of women in the Ferghana Valley with the help of which the regime is trying to solve economic and social problems. Not only in Andijan, but throughout the Fergana Valley and elsewhere, they are in poverty and they can wait no longer. This is the breaking point."
Uzbek women, old men, and children are in the streets nowadays because they are fed up with hopelessness while their men are already jailed or harassed. The Russians have always supported the Uzbek people.
Give Orders of Pinochet to Leontiev and those like him, even Pinochet never ordered his soldiers to fire at children like Karimov's soldiers did in Andizhan on May 13."
"Look at us! Are we Islamists?" Tatiana Dovlatova asked journalists. "We only want no more harassment of citizens of Uzbekistan, regardless of their ethnic origins, for the smallest disagreement with the authorities. We want our human rights. We urge Russian women - if their men, politicians and journalists, are impotent - to support us and organize protests in front of the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Moscow."
Repair works were said to be undertaken in front of the Russian Embassy. Organizers of the protest action say that dozens of women intended to participate but most of them were intercepted on the way by the police. 9 women were kept in a police van barely 100 meters from the Embassy.
Human rights activist Yelena Urlayeva was literally forced to stay at her home.
Human rights activist Yuri Konoplev made it to the Embassy. Men passing by helped the women to unfold placards "Mothers of Andizhan - We Are With You!" and "Remember, Russia: Uzbek Cotton is Saturated with Blood!"
“If people continue to be oppressed, they will rise,” said Anatoly Volkov, a rights activist. “We don’t want it to take 200 years to reach democracy, we need our basic rights now.”
Drivers in Nukusskaya Street began pulling over, passengers and drivers shouted, "Right! Let Russia discover the truth!" The police then asked the protesters to leave the roadway for the sidewalk. Dialogue with pedestrians continued there. The latter supported the protesters. Foreign camera crews were filming as were Uzbek secret services were filming the proceedings too, so many people immediately walked away.
Elswhere in Tashkent, Ozod Dehkonlar (Free Farmers) party held a Press conference and said that last Friday's violence in the eastern city of Andijan showed that "the present regime is not fighting against Islamic extremism but is simply clinging to power by way of government-sponsored terrorism against its citizens."
At a press conference in the capital Tashkent, the leader of the group said that the secular opposition party was demanding the resignation of Karimov and his cabinet followed by presidential elections within three months.
"It is not too late for the international community to provide help in a peaceful transfer of power," said Nigara (K)Hidoyatova. “The population is fed up with impoverishment. People in the square in Andizhan only wanted to be heard, they were asking for freedom and their right to work. The regime responded with bayonets and bullets.”
Events in Pakhtaabad, are still unclear and uncertain some reports claim 200 killed but a local journalist Andrei Babitsky who visited Pakhtaabad yesterday reports no tragic events in the city.
Meanwhile the Ambassadors went on a drive by diplomacy charabang trip in Abidjan accompanied by Uzbek Interior Minister Zakir Almatov(see AP pic left) , a likely successor to Karimov, if he decides to go and spend more time with his money elsewhere. After three hours in Andijan, the delegation was treated to a lavish lunch of the national lamb-rice dish, plov, and flown back to the capital, Tashkent. "I think we need to be realistic about how much can be achieved in a whistle-stop tour of ambassadors in a large delegation format over such a short period," said British Ambassador David Moran who was accompanied by the UK Military Attache.
plov = pilau
Ferghana.Ru news agency and e mails, blogs
China Daily , Scotsman. BBC
There will be a peaceful demonstration outside the
Uzbekistan Embassy in London
41, Holland Park, London W11 3RP.
Tel: 020 7229 7679 - Fax: 020 7229 7029
(Holland Park Tube or no 12 bus)
12.00 on Saturday 21 May.
*Support Uzbekistan's democratic opposition.
*Demand justice for the hundreds murdered by Karimov in Andizhan this week.
*Call for an end to Western support for this brutal regime.
This demonstration has been called by a group of UK-based Uzbek dissidents, and is supported by Craig Murray, Britain's former Ambassador to Uzbekistan.
Please disseminate this message as widely as possible
People might wear a black armband and carry a banner etc., of their own devising.
You may like to visit the Embassy website – this may prove of interest.
Islam Karimov is quoted ;
“Our country, our people, will go forward on the road of our cherished goal, stated at the beginning of independence - the building of a legal democratic state and civil society. Our main goal is democratization and renewal of society, reform and modernization. No one can turn us from our chosen path - the attainment of a high standard of living, meeting the demands of a modern, democratic civil society.”
If attending it would be helpful to contact Iain Orr biodiplomacy+at+yahoo.co.uk so that any changes to plan can be passed on.
Nur al-Cubicle (in my cubicle) is an A1 blog on the current crises in the Middle East and provides excellent English translations of news accounts unpublished by the US press. It provides a detailed daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome) and L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut). Highly recommended reading.
Today the lady offers a translation from Mehdi LEBOUACHERA (AFP) in L'Orient-Le Jour. Sandhurst used a model for new Iraqi army cadets.
I have added a few sour comments in brackets - and a pic or two :
Apparently the Iraqi military academy has re-introduced (after 30 years) Soviet style discipline) training of young officers based on instruction at the prestigious Sandhurst Military Academy (Which recently took in, the Nazi emblem wearing spawn of the British Monarchy, with a dodgy Art qualification and no ironing board and a history of “boisterous” behaviour in public)
The academy, located in Rustumia 10 km south of Baghdad will eventually house 900 cadets, it is reserved to young recruits in excellent physical condition and in possession of a university diploma. It is here where NATO will open its own military academy this autumn. (The project had been delayed due to lack of funds). (I am not aware that Prince Harry has a University Diploma – but he has a girlfriend if that helps and a history of jolly japes)
In the suffocating heat, 20 recruits, identified by the number on their uniforms, are running a dusty obstacle course and clearing beams and concrete walls. Even if discipline is not strict, recruits say they have come to serve their country and to measure up to the test. Lance Mohammed, 25, his face dripping with sweat, says he doesn't fear insurgent threats or attacks. This young man tried to enlist under Saddam Hussein but was rejected because his mother was Kurdish. But inshallah, the new Iraqi army there will be no difference between Arabs and Kurds. British Colonel Neil Hutton, in charge of the training program, says religious or ethnic criteria will not be used to determine eligibility. ( Colonel Hutton must regard such duties a relief from an army perhaps overburdened with soldiers and officers of every tint and shade of brown and black encompassing the Jew, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Muslim , Buddhist, Rastafarian and many other world faiths – although they do seem to be cutting back on the Scots – which is causing ethnicity problems somewhat, North of the Border - pic from TA for RMA Sandhurst recruiting literature where you might be forgiven for thinking that in the British Army coloured recruits are a regular feature - although President for Life Idi Amin (RIP did dwell there awhile)
Further away, on a huge blacktopped surface, you hear the shouts of 90 cadets in impeccable uniforms learning to march in cadence under the severe gaze of Her Majesty's instructor. The training we give here is the same as at Sandhurst, emphasized Capt. John Langton. We teach them the values of the British Army: courage, loyalty, discipline, respect for others,(notwithstanding a bit of larking about with the looters and a digital camera) personal commitment and integrity.(Don't worry officers get off and only the PBI get to spend their time in Colchester, droit du seigneur still the watchword ol' boy)
Iraqi and British military ties go way back. The academy, where fading photos of former cadets who achieved high rank still hang on the walls, was created by the British in 1924 when they administered a mandate over the country. ( When Wingco “Bomber” Harris learnt and perfected aerial bombing of civilians, delayed action fusing so fleeing householders returned to their homes to be blown up later, gas bombs, and how to remove roofs with blast bombs followed by incendiaries, used so effectively on German cities in WWII)
The instruction methods used at Sandhurst, where many an Arab leader has trained, were in use in Iraq until 1970 when the Ba'ath regime turned towards the Soviet Union for military assistance. Colonel Hutton says the return was inspired not only by the historical ties between the two countries but because the period of instruction is 12 months. Officers can be rapidly turned out to fight the insurgents. (Re-run WW1 anybody ?)
The goal of instruction is to develop their ability of command so that they will become professional soldiers and believers in democracy, as well as to break the tradition of launching military coups. (To be replaced by illegal and massive invasions using shock and awe tactics with unbelievable power against an unprotected citizenry, infrastructure, utilities and commercial structures – in the manner apparently of a cake walk)
The academy is willing to incorporate Saddam-era military men but on certain conditions. It depends on their role in the Ba'ath Party and their past, says Colonel Hutton. This reporter met an ex-officer of Saddam's military who decided to come back. After the fall of Saddam, I tried to work as a civilian but I had no luck. I like the tough life of the military. The 30-something officer was almost apologetic for having served in the ex-dictator's military: I was a soldier and I was not concerned with who was in power.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
18th May 2005. 10.08 The Foreign & Commonwealth Office have tonight announced that Mr Craig Murray is to head an International Enquiry into the bloody massacre and shooting in cold blood of innocent, unarmed men, women and children at various sites in Eastern Uzbekistan over last wekend.yet
The terms of the Enquiry are to be announced but will include examination of the role of the US and UK Governments in training the Uzbekistan Police and Secret Services and their encouraging the use of torture, rape, violent assault, including boiling to death of prisoners.
Mr Murray is an ex employee of the FCO and is therefore very familiar with the procedures / standards / processes of that office. He has also for a time been the UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, speaks the language and is fully fluent also in Russian.
Bloody Jack Straw said ..."Murray! ... he can go and boil his head... if he doesn't I know somone who will".
Mr Murray is advised to take great care in crossing the road, and not to go for long solitary walks in the Oxford countryside armed with a blunt knife.
Newsweek magazine has retracted its story claiming Guantanamo Bay interrogators flushed pages from the Quran down a toilet. – but Bantz Craddock commander SOUTHCOM wants to know if any previous allegations of desecration of the Quran merit investigation.
Lawrence DiRita, (pic) Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, told journalists at the Pentagon on May 17th, when asked why the original story caused such violent reactions in various countries, he said the United States and its coalition partners "face a very determined and wilful adversary who will use whatever means available, to influence public opinion, including deliberate mis-statements of facts or deliberately saying things that are known to be false”
Do folks really do that sort of thing ?
Gee, I can't wait for this War on Terror to be over so there will be no more terrorists.
"The Education system in Iraq, prior to 1991, was one of the best in the region, with over 100% Gross Enrolment Rate for primary schooling and high levels of literacy, both of men and women. The Higher Education, especially the scientific and technological institutions, were of an international standard, staffed by high quality personnel". (UNESCO Fact Sheet, 28 March 2003)
Iraq’s education system is a victim of Occupation-instigated violence. School dropouts are very high, particularly girls,as a result of violence and kidnappings. Schools in Iraqi cities and towns have been closed, preventing hundreds of children from receiving basic education. "Approximately 50 percent of children are not going to school because their parents are too scared to send them, having heard these stories about children being kidnapped and held for ransom", says Paul Hetherington,a spokesman for Save the Children UK,
Malnutrition amongst Iraqi children has doubled from 4 per cent in 2002 to 8 per cent since the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. The Occupation and associated violence is wreaking havoc on Iraqi children and Iraq's long-term future.
A new study by the UN University (UNU) International Leadership Institute in Jordan shows that: "'The devastation of the Iraqi system of higher education has been overlooked amid other cataclysmic war results but represents an important consequence of the conflicts, economic sanctions, and ongoing turmoil in Iraq" caused by U.S. militaristic policy.
Furthermore, "some 84 percent of Iraq's institutions of higher education have been burnt, looted, or destroyed. Some 2,000 laboratories need to be re-equipped and 30,000 computers need to be procured and installed nationwide, said Jairam Reddy, director of UNU.
The most urgent actions needed in Iraq today are the end of U.S. violence and the revitalisation of Iraq’s education and health systems. "Repairing Iraq's higher education system is in many ways a prerequisite to the long term repair of the country as a whole", said Jairam Reddy of UNU.
Rustam Inoyatov,(see pic) is the head honcho of the feared Uzbekistan National Security Service (NSS). Born 22 June 1944 - in Sherabad, Surhandarya province, he attended the Tashkent Faculty of Oriental Studies, learning Farsi and English and also worked as a labourer in Tashkent construction companies. From 1968 he was in the Army and served with the Uzbek KGB and then the KGB USSR , where he was attached to the Soviet Embassy 1976-1981.
Zakir Almatov, the Interior Minister since 1991 was born in Tashkent in 1949and worked in metal works before serving in the Soviet Army. From there in 1971 he worked in the Interior Ministry, working his way up, via a law degree from Tashkent State University. He became head of the Tashkent regional executive committee's interior affairs department, deputy chief of Tashkent oblast interior affairs department, chief of criminal investigations' department of Uzbek SSR and on 16th September 1991 was named as Interior Minister of Republic of Uzbekistan from where he now controls Uzbekistan’s large police force.
Embassy and expat gossip says both men are said to be anxious to succeed Ismail Karimov, or at least be a major player in replacing Karimov.
Inoyatov and Almatov each have, in effect, private armies, as both the NSS and Interior Ministry possess independent and heavily-armed military units, heavily trained by US staff and paid for my US aid. They both have their own investigation and surveillance departments, as well as rely on independent communication facilities, transportation and other infrastructure. The 2 rivals have considerable influence in Uzbekistan’s business sector. “Retired” officers are often placed in top positions at enterprises and banks controlled by the two agencies. This allows both Inoyatov and Almatov to operate their state agencies as personal fiefdoms.
Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyayev and Economy Minister Rustam Azimov, have political and clan clout but they do not have, independent military clout.
Recently Inoyatov and Almatov have strengthened their personal authority. Almatov, for example, has had a sweeping personnel change at the Interior Ministry, installing reliable allies in key positions (see previous post re new deputy) . Inoyatov is reportedly backed by a Tashkent-based political clan, while Almatov support stems from Samarkand clans.
Inoyatov, who has headed the NSS since 1995, has support from the Commonwealth of Independent States for preserving many of the vestiges of former Soviet KGB as he re designed the Uzbek service to combat domestic security threats, in particular Islamic radicalism and political dissent.
Almatov, built an iron fisted reputation in the early 1990s, achieving a dramatic reduction in crime in Uzbekistan’s major cities. In addition, Almatov acted as Karimov’s man in eliminating potential political rivals, either arresting opposition leaders or driving them into exile. He was a major players in the ongoing campaign to stifle freedom of religious expression. Almatov’s wants to succeed Karimov and the appointment of Inoyatov, and enhancement of the NSS’s powers in order to serve have been helped by Karimov to use him as a counterweight to Almatov’s increasing influence – for example by assuming responsibility for border guards and customs.
In all this, Karimov’s authoritarian system, is supported by the US, and to some extent other western nations in a subservient role to the pentagon who see their military base there crucial on the supply route to Afghanistan. However Kharzai is anxious to see US bases developed in Afghanistan and the need for the Uzbek base may decline – bit it will not disappear.
Late last year there have been signs that a normally pliant population is reaching a point where it is losing its fear of punishment and is starting to resist government repression. Beyond the Islamic radical-inspired violence that hit Uzbekistan in 2004, the country in recent months has experienced a series of protests staged by regular Uzbeks upset with declining living standards. In November 2004, 6,000 protesters took to the streets of Kokand in the Ferghana Valley, to condemn new government taxation and trade policies. This spread to other towns and cities - including in Ferghana City and Margilan, as well as in Karshi in southern Kashkadarya Province.
On December 3 in of Bakht in Syrdarya province, and on December 6 in Shakhrikhan in Andizhan Province anti-government demonstrations took place. In both cases, the protests involved decisions by local authorities to cut off utilities, natural gas, electricity, and water. In addition, a rally occurred December 10 near the Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent, the site of the March suicide bombing attacks against police officers. Local residents protested a government ruling to demolish their homes in order to build a road.
During the December protests, the authorities showed surprising restraint. Previously officials reacted quickly and forcefully, making mass arrests. In December, authorities merely cordoned off protest sites and made no effort to forcefully disperse demonstrators. In all cases, local political officials were dispatched to engage the protestors, and issue promises that their complaints would be addressed. In Bakht, protests ceased after authorities switched electricity back on.
Of course there are outside contenders like Abdurahim Pulat of the Birlik or “Unity “ party who is a computer scientist and was a Professor until 1991 in the Academy of Science of Uzbekistan. In 1992 he was badly beaten by an “anonymous” group of people and was hospitalized with broken skull and brain damage. The attack occurred in front of the the procurator's building, just after he had been interrogated. In 1993, speaking to the parliament, Karimov announced his readiness to break heads of a few hundreds of troublemakers. After this statement, mass harassment against opposition activists began. Hundreds were arrested; beatings, bombings and arson of houses occurred. Tens of activists of Birlik were jailed. In reply to the actions of the Uzbek government, the US authorities had postponed, and later cancelled a visit by President Karimov visit to Washington, DC that had been planned.
At the end of 1992, after a second assassination attempt, Abdurahim Polat emigrated to Turkey. He now is said to live in the USA.
A number of the chairmen of provincial organizations of Birlik, including Pulat Ohunov, was imprisoned for 4.5 years, but under the pressure from the international democratic community was released in 2.5 years. Later, he emigrated to Sweden. Nosir Zokir, the chairman of Namangan organization of Birlik, was sentenced to three years and freed after one year in prison.
In December 1992, Abdumannob Polat, chairman of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan and member of Birlik, was abducted from Bishtek, Kirgizstan by an Uzbek security detail. He was co-sponsor and director of the international conference on human rights in Central Asia, organized by Union of Councils, an American non-governmental organization. In Uzbekistan, Abdumannob Polat was sentenced to three years of imprisonment, but released because of strong international protests. He emigrated to the US.
In Sweden (Pulat Ohun), in Germany (Anvar Usman) and in Austria (Yodgor Obid), working with a number of independent democrats (Jahongir Muhammad, former member of Uzbek parliament in 1990-93) have organized the publication in Turkey and dissemination in Uzbekistan of opposition newspapers Mustaqil Haftalik (Independent Weekly), Birlik, and journal Harakat (Movement) in Uzbek language. A website www.birlik.net has also been set up but is run on a fairly ad hoc basis.
Clare Short told The Observer on October 19th 2003 that Craig Murray was "… an individual who was taking a stand on human rights issues in a country where there is terrible, terrible repression."
"If he has been smeared and belittled for standing up for fundamental human rights - this is not just a few honourable political dissidents but really horrible repression - that would be outrageous."
Short visited Uzbekistan in May, when she is reported to have told Murray that he would be safe only as long as she remained in post. A week later she resigned from the Cabinet over the war in Iraq.
Clare Short, the then Secretary of State for International Development, was in Tashkent to chair the annual meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
“Uzbekistan is distinguished by human rights abuses on an epic scale. And yet it looks as if the meeting will go ahead with no real strings attached. This makes no sense at all. It amounts to a reward for (very) bad behaviour.” Wrote Steve Crawshaw ,London director of Human Rights Watch in the New Statesman Feb 24th 2003.
“Clare Short “, Steve wrote..” and her colleagues could make it clear to Karimov that if he wants to avoid embarrassment all round and make the meeting a success, he should take a few easy steps to curb torture, release jailed human rights activists and allow human rights groups to register.
Hansard 13 Mar 2003 : Column 356W gives you her Clare Short's answers when asked about using the opportunity to express views on Human Rights at the EBRD summit ….inter alia” … We hope that the EBRD Annual Meeting will focus international attention on the region, and will provide a forum for a full and open discussion of the need for progress in achieving economic and political transition, tackling poverty, strengthening the investment climate, increasing regional co-operation and improving human rights….blah blah blah”
The ex - Secretary of State for International Development has (as far as a search of the press so far reveals) has remained silent on the recent events in Uzbekistan - but then so has evry other recently re-elected MP .
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Associated Press newswire reports ( 7.00pm Tuesday 17th May) 2 plants for the illegal laundering of dyed fuel have been uncovered in South Armagh (NI). They had a capacity of 3 Mn litres a year or a potential loss to the revenue of £1.5Mn. Dyed red diesel sells for 23p a litre while the clear white fuel costs about 87p per litre. (24th March 2005 another one was discovered in the same area with a 20,000 litres per week capacity = annual revenue loss =£0.7 Mn)
They were shut down in a joint operation by the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Revenue and Customs service.
3,250 litres of highly toxic acid waste was removed....the cleaning proces involves using large volumes of sulphuric acid.
Here is the kicker, the "...joint operation by the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Revenue and Customs service." was so effective that no arrests have been reported. (24th March 2005 another one was discovered in the same area with a 20,000 litres per week capacity = annual revenue loss =£0.7 Mn).... you got it, they didn't catch the perps then either...even the TV Bill would have had an "obbo".
On Wednesday 13th October 2004 a plant was dismantled in the Moneymore (!) area of Co Tyrone. The plant had the capacity to process approximately 30,000 litres of fuel per week = annual revenue loss of £0.9 Mn. Customs seized a tanker and in seperate premises another tanker plus 1500 litres of fuel, 210,120 cigs and 46.6 kgs of hand rolling tobacco. One person was arrested and questioned on the tobacco seizures then released.
“I am not now nor have I ever been an oil trader and neither has anyone on my behalf. I was an opponent of Saddam Hussein when British and American governments and businessmen were selling him guns and gas.”
“I gave my heart and soul to stop you from committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq,”….and I told the world that the case for war was a pack of lies.”
"Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong, and 100,000 people have paid with their lives -- 1,600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies," he said.
Pity George wasn't listening to George ... and 2 million of us in London in Feb 2003.
"I am not now, nor have I ever been..." George has a GSOH, I wonder if the Committe were too young to catch the reference...
Monday, May 16, 2005
"Anyone that thinks the Andizhan massacre may kick start the overthrow of the Karimov regime needs to be aware of several facts. Despite Karimov’s horrendous human rights record, he is one of America’s closest confidants. Bush gave Karimov the pleasure of his patronage in a White house meeting in March of 2002. Donald Rumsfeld has visited Karimov in Tashkent on two recent occasions, including February 2004 when he mentioned that US-Uzbek military relations are “growing stronger every month”, adding that “We have benefited greatly in our efforts in the global war on terror and in Afghanistan from the wonderful co-operation we’ve received from the government of Uzbekistan.” With a population of 26 million a central and strategic location including border with Afghanistan and an American military airbase in Karshi Khanabad (see pic above) , Uzbekistan will always be key to the plans of the Americans and they are not about to let the simple matter of human rights abuses and the indiscriminate massacre of defenceless men, women and children get in the way of their support for Karimov. The killer of Tashkent also enjoys the support of President Putin, who jumped to the aid of Karimov over the weekend by providing specialist tactical support.
The recent overthrow of regimes such as Askar Akayev in Kyrgystan are very different to the situation Muslims are facing in Uzbekistan. The Kyrgystan “popular revolution” was more akin to a manufactured transfer of power to a new government not dissimilar to the way the US changed power in Pakistan from Nawaz Sharif to Parvaiz Musharraf. Merely, more of the same. Rumsfeld recently met the interim leaders of Kyrgystan and was “assured” that the US military would continue to use Ganci airbase near Bishek, which is used in its Afghanistan operations."
From Kalifah.com today
Antonov AN 12 Freighter - which the USAF do NOT Fly at Karshi Khanabad in a curious livery - Jet Line (?) May 2. Airman directing is a transient alert Airman and KC-10 Extender crew chief with the 416th Air Expeditionary Group's transient alert flight. He is deployed from Travis Air Force Base, Calif?
In the 1980s the arriviste President Mugabe employed North Korean mercenaries to form his notorious Fifth Bridgade and his bodyguards. They came with $18m worth of military hardware, T-544 tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery and small arms.
No one knows if ...or when they left.
From the moment it was deployed in Matabeleland in 1983 under Mugabe's nephew, General Perence Shiri, the Fifth Brigade waged a campaign of mass murder, beatings and arson deliberately targeted at the civilian population.
They set up compulsory indoctrination centers for young people, teaching them blind loyalty to the ruling Party and its leader and hatred of political opponents, especially Whites and any other non-Black communities. They were also inducted into Korean martial arts and such assassination techniques as strangling with bootlaces.
Young female inductees were rumored to have been forced to provide sexual favors to instructors and officers.
A BBC Panorama program last year (Feb 2004) showed that these indoctrination camps still existed.
An ever-present scar on the Zimbabwean psyche, especially in Matabeleland, is the memory of the terrible massacre, pillage and rape - The Gukurahundi - unleashed during the North Korean era by the Fifth Brigade. No one knows the number of victims.
The Economist Intelligence Unit claims it was over 25,000.
“Villagers were forced to sing songs in the Shona language praising ZANU PF while dancing on the mass graves of their families and fellow villagers who had been killed and buried minutes earlier,” wrote Martin Meredith in “Robert Mugabe”, a biography of the Zimbabwean president. “The scale of violence was far worse than anything that had occurred during the Rhodesian war.”
General Shiri, who was known as “Black Jesus”, was promoted to head of the air force and remains one of Mugabe’s closest supporters. he was repsonsible for organising the mass removal of White farmers.
Although Zimbabwe appears on Condoleeza Rice's hit list of tyrranies, don't expect the Beltway gangstas to do anything soon.
Don't expect them to do anything in Uzbekistan either - and certainly don't expect Bloody Jack Straw and Bloody Blair to do anything.
The silence from Washington and Whitehall is deafening.
The man with blood on his hands
Many of the protesters in Andizhan were women and children. No one is clear about how many were shot in cold blood and died where they stood - there is no doubt they will finally be counted in hundreds.
No one knows how many Uzbek people have been wounded and injured - there is no doubt they will finally be counted in hundreds if not thousands.
What is certain is that the UK Government have ignored the warnings. Jack Straw was happy, if not overjoyed that HM Ambassador Craig Murray resigned - “who will rid me of this troublesome priest?”.
To secure a military base the US have poured millions in to to arm and support the Uzbek security forces.
The US have “rendered” people they wish to interrogated by Uzbek torturers – the CIA Lear Jet has been busy in this vile trade.
Meanwhile Jack Straw has been happy to sit on his hands and ignore the consequences of Karimov’s personal and brutal fiefdom. Rigged elections, rigged trials, jailed journalists, torture, rape …whilst his family and cronies have stolen the country's wealth.
Monday, 10 January 2005 Hansard Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
John Bercow (Buckingham, Con)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to President Karimov of Uzbekistan about (a) the extension of his term of office and (b) the prohibition of Erk, Birlik and the Free Farmers from contesting parliamentary elections this month.
Bill Rammell (Harlow, Lab)
We have not made any direct representations to President Karimov regarding an extension of his current term in office. His second official term in office is due to finish in 2007. Chapter 19, Article 90 of the constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan states that "One and the same person may not be the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan for more than two consecutive terms".
We were very disappointed to learn that no opposition political parties had achieved registration in Uzbekistan for the parliamentary elections this December. We have lobbied and will continue to lobby the Uzbek authorities on the registration of political parties in the run-up to the elections. This issue was raised most recently on 11 November by our Charges d'Affaires and other EU Heads of Mission with Foreign Minister Safayev.
Mr Rammell - who we have posted earlier was later refused entry to Uzbekistan, - and hung on grimly with 92 votes at Harlow and is now in charge of Higher Learning - presumably the fragrant Ms kelly looks after - Lower lernin' ?
Condoleeza Rice the "drive by diplomat", donned some cute body armour to visit Erbil and meet Barzani the US Kurdish point man.
"It's very hard what the Iraqis are being asked to do, which is cast off years and years of tyranny and dictatorship and come to political unity in what is a very complicated place"....like we are helping the Uzbekistanis to do ...?
Remember that curious trip with her "very good friend" Dubya to share Thanksgiving Turkey with the troops in 2003 ? When there were no photographs of her, no press reports of who she met, talked to ?
Sunday, May 15, 2005
English PEN Writers in Prison Committee concerned about arrest of journalist Sobirjan Yakubov in Uzbekistan
Sobirjan Yakubov, (see pic) a Hurryet journalist (see posting Monday April 25th) is prison. Muslim, journalist 22 said to have given Karimov signed copies of his books He wrote of the fate of the Ukrainian journalist Gongadze, believed to have been murdered by the Ukrainian authorities and regarded as a martyr to the ‘orange revolution’.
Probably tortured into a false confession and transferred to Tashkent Prison. Swift intervention from Writers and Human Rights Organisations in the West, especially from the US which has such influence in the area, are underway and every Fax, letter or ‘open statement’ to the President or authorities counts.
Please send appeals:
Expressing concern that Sobirjan Yakubov may have been arrested solely for expressing his views.
Seeking assurances that he is being treated humanely while in custody, and urging that Sobirjan Yakubov be granted full access to his family, as well as a proper legal counsel of his choice.
President Islam Abduganievch Karimov
Republic of Uzbekistan
Fax: 00 998 71 139 5625 (From UK)
You may also want to write (in suitable terms) to
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Rt Hon Jack Straw MP,
King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AH
and / or his 4 Ministers
- Douglas Alexander MP
- Ian Pearson MP
- Dr Kim Howells MP
- Lord Triesman
See also -
Website for -
“For Democratic Reforms and Protection of Minorities in Uzbekistan”
Viktor Bout was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (or maybe on January 13, 1967 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan ),he studied at the the Institute for Military Interpreters in Moscow where he became expert in English, French, and Portuguese, as well as his native Russian and Uzbek,
In 1993 he started a business as arms dealer / facilitator using ex Soviet planes , staff, pilots and weapons stocks.
He is said to have supplied weapons to Bin Laden in Afghanistan using an Ostend based Trans Nationa Aviation Company and to he US according to the Belgian secret services, from entrusting him with arms shipments to the Northern Alliance, then at war against the Taliban – it now appears that he also supplied the Taliban with $50Mn worth of arms. Germany's Der Spiegel reported in 2002 that Vadim Rabinovich, an Israeli of Ukrainian origin along with the former director of the Ukrainian secret service (chum of Kuchma) had sold a consignment of 150 to 200 T-55 and T-62 tanks to the Taliban – many of which ended up with gangster Dostum – now Minister of Defence in Kabul.
The tanks were believed to have been transported by one of Bout's air freight companies in a deal conducted through Pakistan's secret service. The arms he has sold or brokered has helped fuel conflicts and support U.N. sanctioned regimes not only in Afghanistan, but Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Sudan.
Last year his planes, flying under the name of an airline company, British Gulf International Airlines but confusingly registered in Kyrgistan, (which will disappear as fast as it was created) , are assuring "transport of materiel" for the American army in Iraq. But see pic taken at Sharjah March 15th 2005 of Antonov An. 12 BP Freighter in British Gulf colours cn 5353305, a fleet operate from Dubai and Sharjah.
British Gulf International Airlines, TC,SAIF Zone, A3-24,PO BOX 26078 Sharjah, UAE (Tel 06-5570316 ) has an agreement with the US Defence Energy Support Centre (who move fuel around for the US armed forces) dated 5th April 20th 2004.
His time of juggling favours has caught up with him. In April The U.S. Department of the Treasury today identified 30 companies and four individuals linked to Viktor Bout.Executive Order 13348, targets family members and associates of former Liberian President Charles Ghankay Taylor. Bout himself was designated under the same authority in July 2004 because of his association with Taylor.
"Our targeted sanctions are exposing and isolating the core elements of the Bout financial empire and illicit arms pipeline," Juan Zarate, the Treasury's Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes. "Our targeted sanctions are exposing and isolating the core elements of the Bout financial empire and illicit arms pipeline,"
Individuals named Bout's brother Sergei, managers -- Serguei Denissenko and Valeriy Naydo -- and Bout's U.S.-based chief financial officer, Syrian born accountant Richard Chichakli who was operating from the town of Richardson in East texas as Chichakli associates, DHH Enterprises Inc. and Daytona Pools Ltd..He was also a friend of the bin Laden family and ended up at one time (1993 to 1996 )as commercial manager of the free zone in Sharjah.
One of the companies so named in April was Trans Avia – curiously Andrew Gilligan in the Evening Standard On Line on Friday 13th May reported that,,, “between 6 and 9 March this year, according to official Civil Aviation Authority records, two Victor Bout charter flights took off from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. The cargo was armoured vehicles and a few British troops. The client was the Ministry of Defence.”
That is not all…”Another two flights were made in the same three days of March by an airline called Jet Line International, also from RAF Brize Norton. A further three flights were made at the same time from another base, RAF Lyneham. The destination was Kosovo. The client, once again, was the Ministry of Defence.”
Yes you guessed it, Jet Line is another Bout company, curiously based in Chisinau, Moldova where GUUAM were to meet and Uzbek president Karimov decided to take a rain check a coupl of weks ago (see recent post).
The then Foreign Office Minister” the man with the tan “,Peter Hain said of Bout when he was supplying Liberian rebels with weapons to shoot UK soldiers "The murder and mayhem of Unita in Angola, the RUF in Sierra Leone, and groups in Congo would not have been as terrible without Bout's operations." He was truly "a merchant of death".
This article which appeared on The Evening Standard On Line site has disappeared into the cyber-bin just like Duncan Cambell’s “ricin” story. The full article is available at the Yorkshire Ranter Blog
There is no truth that the weapons used to release prisoners from Andizhan jail were supplied courtesy of one of Mr Bout's air service companies is a total fabrication. No currency should suggest that the Ferghana Valley have seen any Antonov air freighters that may be connected in any way to Mr Bout - who is, anyway persona non grata with the folks in the White House.