‘Terror Threat’ a Big Political Win for Obama, Dems
Though the administration has declined to raise the terror alert level, the very public nature of the Yemen bomb plot is seen as giving President Obama and incumbent Congressional Democrats a much-needed political shot in the arm, conveniently enough just days before the midterm elections.
The plot gave an opportunity for President Obama to look “presidential,” experts say, as he gave a high profile speech vowing “any steps necessary” to see al-Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate destroyed.
The fact that by all accounts no explosives appear to have actually gotten to the United States also likely plays to the administration’s advantage, and indeed the advantage of all incumbents, who can claim that the “system worked” in this regard even as they promise major new foreign policy ventures in retaliation.
Though former Bush-era offical Gordon Johndroe insisted that these attacks can “cut either way” politically right before the election, the recent history in the US and abroad suggests that they have pretty much universally favored the incumbent, and while this particularly incident appears much larger, it does not appear to be any different in that regard.
Recent polls had showed Democrats taking big hits in the upcoming Midterm election, and President Obama’s campaigning doing very little to help. The consequences of a shift in the popular interest away from the economy and onto hawkish rhetoric about revenge attacks against al-Qaeda at the last minute could be significant, and might well mean that the massive losses the incumbents were facing will no longer apply.
On October 27th, 1947, when the Indian troops invaded and occupied a Sovereign State of Jammu and Kashmir by deception and fraud. New Delhi proclaimed that Indian forces would help restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir and allow the people to exercise the right of self-determination in accordance with their freely expressed will, unhindered by any threat of internal disorder or external aggression.
Deceitfully, India has done the exact opposite. It has tried to gradually strengthen its grip over an independent nation by means – fair and foul – unmindful of its constitutional commitment that the future of the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall be determined by the people of Kashmir in a UN sponsored plebiscite.
Since October 1989’s massive revolt against the Indian occupation, New Delhi has adopted a liquidation approach to silence each and every individual demanding implementation of the UN resolutions. It has resulted in crackdown, house-to-house search; rape; disappearance; arbitrary detention; custodial killing; extra-judicial execution; politically motivated carnage; looting and plunder, and extended curb on political activity. During the past 16 years, the 700,000 strong Indian forces have killed more than 93,000 Kashmiris; property worth hundreds of millions dollars has been destroyed and the suffering and devastation continues unabated.
The transition from “passive resistance,” which was a characteristic of the people of Kashmir, to “militancy” was germinated by India’s blatant refusal to implement the UN Security Council resolutions promising the people of Kashmir their right of self-determination.
No self-respecting people can be expected to remain unmoved while their families and friends are being killed, tortured and gang raped, their houses burnt down, their businesses destroyed and humiliation of the worst kind heaped upon them through the instrument of state terrorism.
For more than a year now, rhetoric of the peace process between New Delhi and Islamabad has been making headlines in the world press, however the tragic situation is that there has been no let-up in gross and systematic abuses of human rights against the civilians in Indian-administered Kashmir. Approximately, ten innocent civilians are killed everyday by the occupying Indian troops to tyrannize the people demanding freedom, justice and respect for human rights. Furthermore, to date there has been no indication of any serious discussion on the question of Kashmir, but repetition of old slogans and rigidity: “Kashmir is an integral part of India.”
Kashmir is not, never was, and never will be an “integral part” of India – until after the outcome of an impartial and UN sponsored plebiscite; it is time for New Delhi to stop the 58-year old deception.
Now is the time for action, as the people of Kashmir have gone through unprecedented suffering in quest of a plebiscite to decide the future of their disputed homeland. But the question remains will this friendly atmosphere between the two nuclear arch-rivals last long enough to resolve all the issues, more importantly, the Kashmir issue?
Kashmir is not a territorial or bilateral issue, it is about the future of 15 million people, and it does not constitute an un-demarcated frontier between India and Pakistan which could be marked through bilateral negotiations between New Delhi and Islamabad. Disputed Jammu and Kashmir is inhabited by a people with their own history of independence; their own language and culture; their own individuality. It is not real estate, which can be parceled out between the two rivals.
The Charter of the United Nations, signed sixty years ago, speaks of a wider freedom as the sustainable foundation for a more peaceful and prosperous world. The very Charter firmly acknowledges the right of self-determination as an inherent right; it cannot be extinguished until it is exercised. The people of Jammu and Kashmir will never compromise on that right of self-determination. Their struggle to achieve that right of self-determination will not be extinguished until India and Pakistan accept its exercise by the people of Jammu and Kashmir, through what the UN Security Council has called “a UN supervised plebiscite.” Therefore, India and Pakistan cannot separately or jointly decide to discard the UN resolutions on the future of Kashmir – it is the “collective will” of the Kashmiri people that has been empowered by the said resolutions to make that determination.
The very scale and substance of the Kashmiris’ ongoing struggle is by itself evidence (of the fact) that the question of self-determination of the Kashmiri people cannot be shelved either by shifting focus to bilateralism or the so-called global war on terrorism.
First, full cognizance of the existing realities will be needed to resolve the Kashmir issue. The most important thing to realize is that the current struggle is sustainable and irreversible, and has become a reminder of the unimplemented UN resolutions and of many broken promises. The people of Kashmir have now reasserted and re-established their primacy in the dispute. New Delhi’s attempts to impose political solutions under the umbrella of its constitution were repeatedly rejected by a vast majority of the people. Second, the current situation in Kashmir and its future direction will depend on how the nuclear-armed India and Pakistan decide to handle the delicate question of self-determination.
The conflict in Kashmir is a “political” and “human” tragedy, but the world community, including India and Pakistan, have overlooked this critically important human dimension of the issue. The Kashmiris’ demand is simple and in accordance with the international law: the implementation of the United Nations resolutions for a plebiscite to determine the future status of the disputed region in a peaceful and democratic way. Whatever the outcome, it will be impartial and binding for all three parties – India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir.
The people of Kashmir are yearning for peace. However, they do not want peace that does not guarantee total freedom from foreign occupation. A peaceful settlement based on justice and recognition of the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir can guarantee a lasting peace in South Asia and transform the Kashmir issue from being a bone of contention to a bridge of understanding between India and Pakistan.
The Kashmiri-Canadian Council believes that unless the issue is resolved to the satisfaction of the Kashmiri people, peace and stability in the region is a pipe-dream.
Informed and conscientious Canadians can play a vital role in the education process by interacting with parliamentarians and the media. In addition, concerned Canadians can write to the NGOs, and call or write to the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to voice their concern about New Delhi’s ongoing human rights abuses in Indian-administered Kashmir.
The cause for which the people of Kashmir are struggling is a just one, and deserves support from all those who cherish justice and peace.
JENIN — Former Palestinian minister, Wasfi Kabaha, said that the Israeli occupation has decided to banish him from his birthplace, Bartaa al-Sharqeyya, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
He explained that the Israeli occupation intelligence officer who accompanied the force that raided Kabaha’s home on Thursday morning told him that he was a persona non grata in West Bank villages that lie behind the apartheid wall.
Kabaha added, in a special statement to PIC, that the intelligence officer further informed him that beginning next month he will not be allowed to enter his village and if he fails to abide he would stand accountable.
The former minister said that he considered this decision as an internal deportation decision, especially that his elderly parents as well as his brothers and sisters live in the village and that owns a house at there.
He further said that he will resort to courts to get this decision against him annulled as such a decision which denies a person the right to enter his own village constitutes a serious precedent.
The commander of the IOF unit that raided Kabaha’s house discussed with him the latest political developments and his outlook for the future and sent warnings to Hamas saying that the IOF has a long arm and can deal hard blows to the movement.
Bartaa al-Sharqeyya (Eastern Bartaa) is the eastern half of a Palestinian village that was divided in 1948 between the West Bank and the 1948-occupied Palestinian territories. Now the whole village lied behind the annexation wall and is isolated from the rest of the Jenin district by an occupation military roadblock.
Kabaha, who was released from Israeli occupation jails only recently, spent nine years in total in Israeli occupation jails.
Israeli soldiers refused to allow children from the West Bank village of Umm al-Kheir entry into Israel while on their way to the Children’s Film Festival in Tel Aviv, after being invited to watch the premiere of a movie featuring them.
The children, first and second graders, were supposed to enter via the Meitar checkpoint to watch the screening of the film “Galacticus”, in which they appear, as part of the Children Make Movies project, run jointly by the Education Ministry, the Children’s Channel and the Lahav and Mifalot associations.
“Galacticus,” which was filmed last year, featured children from the Palestinian village and Israeli children from Kibbutz Harel.
The film describes events that take place when the children are about to meet for a soccer game that they will play in mixed groups. Yoav, the kibbutz team’s captain, does not want to play with the Umm al-Kheir children. While Nimmir, the captain of the rival team, is forbidden by his father from playing soccer because the practices interfere with his schoolwork.
During the shooting of the film, the Palestinian children had passed through the checkpoint several times and the process usually took only a few minutes.
However, yesterday they were detained at length because one of the group’s counsellors brought his six-month-old baby with him. The baby did not need an entry permit, but his presence meant that the number of permits did not correspond with the number of people. By the time they were allowed to pass, it was too late to go to Tel Aviv and make the screening on time, so they returned home.
After Thursday’s screening, many people who were involved in the project expressed their disappointment with the army’s behaviour. The director of the film, Sivan Stavi, said “It was supposed to be a moving moment for the children, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that was missed because of nonsense, this is a pity. The children are terribly sad and disappointed.”
Spokesman of Mifalot Association, Ran Aharan stated “We’re a social organization, not a political one. This is a beautiful project, an opportunity to work together.”
On the other hand, the Israel army commented that what had been released to the media was based on inaccuracies.
Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that the army stated that “the group’s passage was approved, except for a baby who was accompanied by a woman who did not have any papers proving any connection between the two, so the baby’s passage was forbidden. After a swift examination … the decision was revoked in about 10 minutes, but the group had already left the checkpoint in protest.”