The United States has stopped training Afghan forces due to rising incidents of the so-called insider attacks in Afghanistan.
The Washington Post reports that the commander of the US Special Forces has suspended training for all new Afghan recruits until Afghan soldiers are re-investigated for their possible ties to Taliban militants.
The US daily says the re-vetting process will affect more than 27,000 Afghan troops.
“We have a very good vetting process,” the paper quotes an unnamed senior special operations official as saying.
“What we learned is that you just can’t take it for granted. We probably should have had a mechanism to follow up with recruits from the beginning.”
Recently, the insider attacks by Afghan soldiers on US-led foreign troops in Afghanistan have increased.
Afghan forces have killed at least 45 foreign forces, mostly US soldiers, in such attacks so far in 2012.
On August 29, an Afghan soldier opened fire on a group of Australian troops in the southern district of Tarin Kowt, killing three of them.
Earlier in August, six US soldiers were killed in a series of such attacks in a single day.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has expressed deep concern about the rise in the insider attacks.
Thousands of Jordanians have taken to the streets across the country in protest against a hike in fuel prices for the second time in three months.
Chanting anti-government slogans, the protesters from the capital, Amman, to the southern city of Maan rallied late Saturday, demanding the immediate resignation of the country’s Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh.
“The royal palace is standing between the people and their rights,” the protesters chanted.
The Jordanian government said the fuel price rise was necessary, arguing that the costly fuel subsidies have caused a rampant budget deficit.
Jordanians, however, blame the royal palace and corruption as the real reasons behind Jordan’s economic crisis.
The Saturday evening demonstrations, organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, were the largest to hit the country in months.
Jordanians have been holding street protests since January 2011, calling for political reforms, transfer of royal power to the people and an end to corruption.
Since the demonstrations began, the Jordanian King has sacked two prime ministers to appease the protesters.
The king has also amended some articles of the 60-year-old constitution, ostensibly granting the parliament a more assertive role in the decision-making process.
- Jordanian Websites Go Dark in Protest of Proposed Legislation to Censor Internet (techpresident.com)
- Jordan hikes gasoline prices for second time this year (worldbulletin.net)
- Jordanians detained after tomato attack on PM motorcade (dailystar.com.lb)
- Jordanians Protest Internet Censorship Law With SOPA-Style Blackout (eff.org)
Seated alongside Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the day that Iran took over presidency of the NAM of 120 nations, the presence of Ban could be seen as a blow to the diplomatic machinations of the United States and its Western allies, including Israel.
But, rather than making a forthright statement of support for Iran, the veteran South Korean diplomat showed his true colours as a servile puppet of American imperialism.
In the weeks leading up to the 16th summit of the NAM, Washington had been calling on the UN top official to decline attending the conference in Tehran. When Ban announced last week that he was going ahead, the US government was evidently peeved, calling his decision “a bit strange”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was predictably more strident, denouncing Ban’s visit to Iran as “a big mistake”. In typical vulgar and provocative language, Netanyahu subsequently attacked the NAM summit as “a stain on humanity”.
What the United States and its Western allies feared most from the NAM summit was a global display of goodwill and solidarity towards Iran. For more than three decades now, Washington has invested huge political capital in a global campaign of vilification against Iran, denouncing the Islamic Republic as a “rogue state”, a sponsor of “international terrorism” and, over the last 10 years, as “a threat to world peace” from alleged nuclear weapons development.
The Western powers of the US, Britain and France in particular continually arrogate the mantle of “international community” to browbeat Iran, claiming that the nation is in “breach of its obligations”.
In attempting to portray Iran as a “pariah state” these powers, along with Israel, have partly succeeded in turning reality on its head and to assume the outrageous right to threaten Iran with pre-emptive military strikes and enforce crippling economic sanctions.
However, the attendance of some 120 nations in Tehran this week – two-thirds of the UN General Assembly – is a clear statement by the international community that resoundingly rejects this Western campaign of vilification.
Clearly, the majority of the world’s people do not see Iran as a rogue state or a threat to world peace. Indeed, the endorsement of Iran’s presidency of the NAM for the next three years is vindication of the country’s right to develop on its own terms, including the pursuit of peaceful nuclear technology.
In one fell swoop, the NAM summit liquidated Washington’s political capital for denigrating and isolating Iran as worthless. Seated at the top of the summit’s gathering in Tehran, the mere presence of the UN General Secretary to witness the appointment of Iran as the new leader of the Non-Aligned Movement was partially a symbolic vote of confidence.
But then, in his speech on this historic day, Ban engaged in a disgraceful diplomatic offensive. He pointedly denounced those who “deny the [Nazi] holocaust” and who call for the Zionist state’s destruction. Ban championed “Israel’s right to exist” without a word of condemnation of Israel’s decades-long crimes against humanity on the Palestinian people and its violation of countless UN resolutions. In that way, the UN chief was peddling the spurious Western propaganda that seeks to besmirch Iran’s principled opposition to the Zionist state’s record of criminality.
Ban went on to cast bankrupt Western aspersions on Iran’s nuclear rights. He said that Iran needed to use its presidency of the NAM to demonstrate peaceful intent, allay fears that it was developing nuclear weapons and to engage positively with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Western-dominated P5+1 group – the group that has used every step in bad faith to hobble and hamper a negotiated agreement with Iran.
The question is: what planet has Ban Ki-Moon been living on? The fact is that Iran has done everything to comply with the IAEA and its obligations to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran has consistently demonstrated its peaceful nuclear ambitions and its responsibility to the NPT – unlike the Western powers and their illegal nuclear-powered Zionist rogue state. Just this week, Iran even invited the member states of the NAM to visit its nuclear facility at Natanz – an unprecedented show of openness.
For Ban to reiterate such unfounded, scurrilous suspicions against Iran on the day that it assumes the presidency of the NAM is a reflection more of his abject servility to Western powers – and it underscores the urgent need for a total structural reformation of the UN to make it more democratically accountable.
What was even more telling was what Ban omitted to say in his speech at the NAM summit. Unlike his pointed jibes at Iran, he only used the vaguest language to condemn the violence raging in Syria whenever the evidence is glaring that the US, Britain, France and their Turkish, Israeli and Persian Gulf Arab allies are now openly flouting international law by fueling a covert war of aggression in that country.
Just this week, a US Congressional report revealed that the United States is responsible for nearly 80 per cent of all global arms sales in 2011 – some $66 billion worth – a figure that has tripled on previous years. Half of this trade in weapons and death has been plied by the US to the Persian Gulf monarchies who are in turn laundering the arms to Syria. No words of condemnation from Ban on that.
Nor did the UN chief speak out to condemn the illegal economic sanctions that Washington and its coterie of imperialist allies have slapped on Iran – sanctions that are, in effect, an act of war and are viciously imposing hardship on Iranian civilians, including thousands of infirm people in need of vital medicines.
Nor did Ban condemn the Western powers’ covert war of sabotage and assassination of Iranian scientists, some of whose bereaved families were attending the NAM summit as he spoke.
In a further reprehensible omission, the UN General Secretary lauded the Arab Spring pro-democracy movements. He mentioned several countries by name, but significantly did not include Bahrain even though the people of that country are being butchered and incarcerated daily since their uprising in February 2011. The Western powers and their corporate media do not mention the depredations of their despotic ally in Bahrain against women and children. And neither does Ban Ki-Moon.
No, he would rather engage in pejorative, baseless innuendos against Iran, while disgracefully covering up Western crimes of aggression in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran and the ongoing slaughter of innocents with US drones in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
NAM stands for solidarity against imperial aggression. In his address to the NAM, Ban Ki-Moon was acting like an ambassadorial puppet for his Western masters. Maybe in reforming the UN, the Non-Aligned Movement should from now on seek to ensure that any future head of the United Nations be truly representative of the concerns and anguish of the world’s majority, and not a diplomatic salesman for imperialist powers.
Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism.
- NAM Agrees on 688 Articles of Draft Statement: Sanctions, Palestine on Top (alethonews.wordpress.com)
JERUSALEM – Israeli settlers, accompanied by police guards, moved into a section of a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem on Sunday, locals said.
Israeli authorities had informed the Hamdullah family they would have to evacuate part of their home in the Silwan neighborhood of Ras al-Amud after a court ruling said it belonged to settlers, local group the Wadi al-Hilweh information center said.
The family says they have been living on the premises since 1952 after purchasing the land from the al-Ghoul family.
Israeli daily Haaretz said that settler patron Irwin Moskowitz bought the land in 1990 from Orthodox Jewish groups, who claimed they had bought the land before 1948.
In 2005 a Jerusalem court ruled that the family must evacuate all buildings constructed after 1989.
Moskowitz wants to expand Maaleh Hazeitim, the largest settlement in East Jerusalem, on the land.
The Hamdullah home lies in a critical neighborhood near the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the site of a number of settlements and controversial Israeli archeological digs, which residents fear are intended to cement Israeli control over the area.
Israel annexed East Jerusalem — regarded as the capital of a future Palestinian state — after a 1967 war, a move never recognized by the international community.
- Army To Demolish Homes In Silwan (imemc.org)
- Settlers Hurl Stones At Palestinian Homes In Jerusalem (imemc.org)
- Army Invades Al-Aqsa Mosque, Attack Worshipers, kidnaps two (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
On October 11, a Franco-German TV channel, ARTE, broadcast an Anti Syrian documentary called “Syria, in the hell of repression (Killing license in Syria)”. People from France and Germany were able to watch it, as well as millions around the globe through satellite and / or VOD.
This TV channel is very well-known but has, most of the time, limited market shares. Indeed, this channel is highly believed to be a ” cultural channel”, hence, in regular people’s minds, it is only “intellectually accessible” to very smart people. This image provides the channel a very high credibility – although it is another propaganda and deception tool…
The regular woman/man, will not watch it often because she/he thinks they are not able to understand all its programs (mainly about art, politics and history). Though, sometimes, just like on October 11, the channel broadcasts programs that seem to be within everybody’s intellectual reach. Very populist and arrogant attitude.
You might be wondering how they get the masses to watch it when they have a special propaganda message to impress upon people. The way they do it is the following: They advertise about this type of programs just like other “dumbing down” channels do, by showing appealing extracts (violence, choking revelations, etc.). They also make sure newspapers talk about it, insisting on the accuracy of the information provided by this channel.
They never proceed this way when the topic is about e.g. France’s role in slavery, France’s colonization of Africa, France brutal and inhuman war on Algeria… (Those programs are not broadcast often; a few times a year, likely just to make people believe in the neutrality of the channel). It broadcasts almost weekly programs about the SHOA though.
WHO IS BEHIND THE ARTE CHANNEL
The chairman of the surveillance committee of this channel is no one else than the infamous Hasbara agent Bernard Henri Levy (twitter account @BernardHL). The same person who was on the forefront of the French invasion in Libya. A man who has very close business relations with Mahmoud Jibril of the illegitimate Libyan TNC. Some even call him the Ghost Minister of Foreign Affairs in France. The same man who said about the IDF (Israel Defense Force): “I have never seen such a democratic Army, which asks itself so many moral questions“…
Also, on the above mentioned documentary webpage, we learn that Sofia Amara, the lady who actually films and comments on the documentary, spent her entire time filming and interviewing various “coordination committees of the revolution”.
A question immediately comes to my mind: How can a documentary be considered as fair and objective, when the documentary maker recognizes having spent her whole time with only ONE side of the conflict? A bit too one-sided to be intellectually honest …
The channel, of course, couldn’t miss this opportunity to spread more lies about Israel’s eternal enemies: Hezbollah and Iran. Indeed, on this same presentation page, the last paragraph read: “These images and testimonies show for the first time the direct implication of the Hezbollah and the Iranian guardians of the revolution in the massacres.” The images they show are the same ones that have been exposed as blatant lies a hundred times on the Internet, when they show Lebanese men talking amongst themselves saying that this was filmed in Syria when it was actually filmed in Lebanon a few years ago (2005 – 2006), when Hariri’s Mostaqbal militias and Lebanese forces were attacking Syrians in Lebanon to avenge Rafic Hariri’s death. In this video they say “This is the Syrian guy” which actually means they were in Lebanon fighting against Syrians. Because in Syria, everyone is Syrian…
Who are ARTE and Bernard Henri Levy trying to fool? Who could possibly believe that this documentary exposes the REAL situation? This documentary, as most of what is being said about Syria by the Mainstream Media, is false and only serves Israel’s and the USA’s interests in the region.
German Muslims have been infuriated over Berlin’s recent propaganda campaign which depicts Islamic tendencies among the youth as insinuation of their involvement in ‘terrorist activities.’
In reaction to a controversial anti-Muslim poster published by the German Interior Ministry, four Muslim groups strongly criticized the move, saying it was “collective incrimination” of four million Muslims in Germany.
The prominent Muslim groups — the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, the Federation of Islamic Culture Centers and the Islamic Association of Bosnians in Germany – have also terminated their security partnership with the government, based on which the mosques assisted the government to detect terrorist suspects.
The poster portrays photos of the youth of generic Muslim descent with the headline “Missing,” and calls on the German families to contact a government counseling service if they discern any surreptitious action by their sons.
“This is our son. We miss him, because he isn’t the same any more. We are scared we’ll completely lose him to the religious fanatics and terrorist groups,” the poster reads.
Berlin is scheduled to distribute the poster in shopping malls and on the streets from September.
… “In my opinion, this is a humiliation for the Muslims who live in Berlin and Germany,” Bekir Yilmaz, president of a Turkish community organization in Berlin, told Deutche Welle “It’s the assumption that all Muslims could be radicalized.”
“What’s dangerous about the poster campaign is that the people pictured could be a work colleagues, a friend from the sports club, or a neighbor,” echoed Birol Kocaman, editor of the online magazine MiGAZIN. “They could be anyone who looks like a Muslim. They are all made subject to a general suspicion that they could be dangerous.”
In response, MiGAZIN published an altered version of the poster, featuring the man behind the campaign.
“This is our Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich. We don’t miss him, because we don’t recognize him anymore. He is withdrawing more and more, becoming more radical every day. We are afraid he will disappear altogether – into the hands of right-wing fanatics and terrorist groups,” reads the new poster.
Both Yilmaz and Kocaman say such campaigns not only create prejudice against Muslims, but put pressure on Islamic immigrants to prove their “loyalty.” …