Tomi Ungerer was a commercial artist with leftist intent who prospered in the 60's and produced many of the iconic anti-war poster images.
He created a created a campaign for the New York Lottery ..."Expect the Unexpected" which they never used but was tweaked to promote the Village Voice.
It may well be, post 9/11 and the War of Terror a suitable brand tag for the unexplained and inexplicable things that happen violently in the world.
President Asif Zardari of Pakistan was in New York the weekend of September 26th / 27th September. To pass the longeurs of the weekend he called in on CIA Director Michael Hayden who was passing through New York. Nobody but them knows what they discussed but maybe they chatted about the ideas Hayden put forward to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for “Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) reform” in July.
Maybe they talked about the unexpectedly warm fall weather , prospects for quail.
One result appears to have been that on 29th September , Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha replaced Lt. Gen. Nadeem Taj as director general of (ISI).
Taj, a Musharraf relative and appointee, got an Irishman's rise and is now heading Gujranwala’s XXX Corps.
Lt. General Pasha, remarkably, just promoted from major general, had been director general of military operations (DGMO). As such , he headed the Pakistan Army’s operations in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and so his appointment would not indicate any change in the military establishment’s war on terror policy.
Pasha has also represented Pakistan at the tripartate commission meetings and served as UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s adviser on peacekeeping operations.
The Pakistan Army simultaneously announced some other senior personnel changes. Perhaps the most significant is the appointment of Lt. Gen. Tahir Mehmood as corps commander in Rawalpindi — the second most critical position, behind chief of army staff, for any coup.
The new corps commanders for Bahawalpur and Karachi are, respectively, Lt. Gen. Muhammad Yousaf and Lt. Gen. Shahid Iqbal. Lieutenant General Mohsin Kamal, formerly Rawalpindi corps commander, has been appointed military secretary at GHQ.
As Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani (who became head of the army last November when President Pervez Musharraf stepped down from his military role)met with Prime Minister Gilani on the Monday an announcement was made that some senior officers were scheduled for retirement that weekend.
As head of ISI, General Pasha will be dealing directly with the Central Intelligence Agency and will have to handle Washington’s concerns over Taliban and Al Qaeda forces staging attacks against American troops in Afghanistan.
The appointment of General Pasha came two months after the new civilian government tried but failed to wrest control of the spy agency from the army, which has always run it.
The well informed English language newspaper Dawn said that Kayani , “has put in place a new team to implement his vision for reviving the prestige of the armed forces and for enhancing the security of the state.”
It was no surprise therefore when in early November General Pasha, visited Washington for talks with America's top military and spy chiefs, and everyone seemed to come away smiling.
Probably celebrations were hedl to mark the decease of Khalid Habib, who was said (by the CIA at least) to be al Quaeda's deputy chief of operations. On October 16th he was reported killed. The CIA had been gunning for Habib for several years, including a January 2006 Predator attack that produced false reports that he had been killed.
This is seen by some observers as evidence since General Pasha' s promotion of growing and clandestine cooperation between the United States and Pakistan on the Pakistan / Afghanistan border which U.S. intelligence officials now regard as the crucial front in the war on terrorism.
It is also said to be concrete evidence that Sirdari's chance encouter with Michael Hayden resulted in a secret agreement for coordination of both intelligence and further Predator attacks and a jointly approved list of high-value targets ( Gulbuddin Hekmatyr, the Haqqani family and clan, Mohammad Omar and Baitullah Mehsud) . This is said to signify a recognition by Zardari government, and Gen. Kiyani, that the imminent threat to Pakistan's security comes from Islamic terrorists rather than from arch-rival India.
Fast forward Mumbai
We may never fully grasp who were the planners / funders / traners / facilitators of the audacious and highly successful terror attacks in Mumbai. A great deal of misinformation has been spread bith by invention, uninformed officials, and my malicious intent to obfuscate.
There has however been a leitmotif to sell the attack to the US public as yet another front in the War of Terror. Joe Biden in his acceptance speech on August 27th , as Barack Obama's running mate said (text npr) ;
"As we gather here tonight, our country is less secure and more isolated than at any time in recent history.... the resurgence of fundamentalism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the real central front against terrorism."He went on to be more specific ...
"The fact is, al-Qaida and the Taliban — the people who actually attacked us on 9/11 — have regrouped in those mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan and are plotting new attacks."On Thursday, October 6, 2005 Mayor Bloomberg at a press conference said a "credible threat" has been made against the subway system of New York City. NYPD and National Guard presence, as well as the terror alert level, was been increased.
During a press conference, Mayor Bloomberg stated that an unidentified news outlet knew about the threat as many as two days in advance, but did not release the story to the public for security reasons, and that the threat seems to have originated from abroad.
While New York was on high-alert The Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Russ Knocke down-played the risk, "the intelligence community has concluded this information to be of doubtful credibility. We shared this information early on with state and local authorities in New York"
CNN ran a story the same day that stated "According to law enforcement sources, the information garnered from the individual in Iraq claimed that a group of 15 to 20 people were in the United States to carry out the attacks in the New York metropolitan area."
They also reported that this announcement of a possible attack on New York's subway system had prompted San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit to raise its alert, from orange to "enhanced orange,"on the Friday. ( as they helpfully pointed out the 7th 3 months to the day after the Lonon 7/7 attacks)(?)
The Hindustan Times on November 28th , reported that again Mayor Bloomberg had put the city's underground metro system on high alert following the horrific terror attack in Mumbai.
The decision to put the underground metro system on high alert was taken after New York received reports of potential terrorism threat.
"Just today, we dealt with an unsubstantiated report of potential terrorism here in New York. This report led the New York Police Department to take precautionary steps to protect our transit system, and we will always do whatever is necessary to keep our city safe"
President George W. Bush issued a statement on Friday 28th November , saying the wounded were in his thoughts and prayers.
"My Administration has been working with the Indian government and the international community as Indian authorities work to ensure the safety of those still under threat. We will continue to cooperate against these extremists who offer nothing but violence and hopelessness."White House Spokeswoman Dana Perino said senior administration officials met Friday afternoon and focused on ensuring everything possible is being done to help American citizens affected by the attacks.(Fox)
On introducing Hilary Clinton as his choice for Secretary of State President elect Barack Obama carried on the the theme...
And as we learned so painfully on 9/11, terror cannot be contained by borders, nor safety provided by oceans alone.
Last week, we were reminded of this threat once again when terrorists took the lives of six American among nearly 200 victims in Mumbai. In the world we seek, there is no place for those who kill innocent civilians to advance hateful extremism.
We'd all better get ready to expect more of the unexpected....