Now that the US has made up its mind to attack Syria, either with or without the coat-tail hanger UK, don’t worry it will come around not that ii matters much-it is PRO job for the US, have a look at the Capabilities ans The potential targets in Syria and how the US is placed.
Al Jazeera has published an interactive info-graphics.
The US has had a cyber bead drawn on Syria for well over a year now, plenty long enough to infiltrate and compromise key Syrian military systems, several experts say. But to what degree the US will use that capability is far from clear, especially since it might not be needed to accomplish its key goals.
Still, many experts say it is quite likely cyberweapons will be launched. Some even suggest using them would be a good idea, adding the US should tell the world what is happening so it can be shown that such weapons can be used responsibly without killing people.
US officials have outlined a series of options that are being considered for a direct assault by American and allied military forces against Syria, using Wednesday’s alleged chemical weapons attack as the pretext. The stepped-up military preparations make clear that the events on Wednesday are part of a provocation to justify yet another neo-colonial war in the Middle East.
The growing threat of direct US intervention in the war for regime-change against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was also underscored Friday by President Obama, who used an interview on CNN to indicate he was seeking to marshal international support and some form of legal cover for a US-led attack.
The New York Timesreported in a front-page article Friday that senior officials from the Pentagon, the State Department and the intelligence agencies met with White House officials for three-and-a-half hours Thursday to outline possible military measures. The article cited unnamed officials, who said no decision was reached amid internal differences over whether to launch direct US military action in the coming days.
According to the Times, the military options discussed ranged from cruise missile strikes launched from US ships currently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea to a full-scale air war targeting civilian as well as military sites. The newspaper wrote: “The targets could include missile or artillery batteries that launch chemical munitions or nerve gas, as well as communications and support facilities. Symbols of the Assad government’s power—headquarters and government offices—also could be among the proposed targets, officials said.”
This, in a house located near the Army Barracks/Training School!
There is failure on the part of the Intelligence Agencies and ‘a total collapse of the Government’ in the words of the Commission of Enquiry appointed by Pakistan to look into this fiasco.
The commission has submitted a 365 page report.
This report also explains how the US kept the Pakistani Government in the dark.
Despite the remark by the Commission’s remark ‘that the report may be buried’
It was and never made Public.
Al Jazeera obtained the Report and has published it.
“It is official or unofficial defence policy not to attempt to defend the country if threatened, or even attacked by a military superpower like the US?” the Commission asks of several top military officers.
“From a Pakistani strategic doctrine point of view,” the report notes, while issuing findings on how the military had wholly focused its “peacetime deployment” of defence capabilities on the border with India, “the world stood still for almost a decade.”
Finally, through testimony from Bin Laden’s family and intelligence officials, it provides a fascinating, and richly detailed, account of Bin Laden’s time in Pakistan: his movements, his habits and his pattern of life.
In concluding its report, the Commission finds that the country’s “political, military intelligence and bureaucratic leadership cannot be absolved of their responsibility for the state of governance, policy planning and policy implementation that eventually rendered this national failure almost inevitable”, and calls on the country’s leadership to formally apologise to the people of Pakistan for “their dereliction of duty”.
Perhaps aware of the implications of its findings, the Commission notes that it had “apprehensions that the Commission’s report would be ignored, or even suppressed”, and urged the government to release it to the public.
It did not do so. The report was buried by the government and never made public.
Al Jazeera has obtained a copy of the Commission’s report, and presents it here, in full, along with accompanying coverage to help unpick the details, and implications of its findings.
Page 197 of the report, which contains part of the testimony of Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, then director of the ISI, was missing from all copies of the report that Al Jazeera obtained from multiple sources. It is unclear what was contained on that page, but the contextual implication is that, among other things, it contains a list of seven demands made by the United States of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
Do we want to add small retailers to this list by inviting Wal-Mart and others though by FDI in India?
Story from Al Jazeera.
Writing in 2009, physicist and author Vandana ShivaoutlinedMonsanto’s contributions to a “suicide economy” in India, such as an increase in the price per kilogram of cotton seeds from 7 to 17,000 rupees. Shiva lists additional complications:
“Indigenous cotton varieties can be intercropped with food crops. Bt-cotton can only be grown as a monoculture. Indigenous cotton is rain fed. Bt-cotton needs irrigation. Indigenous varieties are pest resistant. Bt-cotton, even though promoted as resistant to the bollworm, has created new pests, and to control these new pests, farmers are using 13 times more pesticides then they were using prior to introduction of Bt-cotton. And finally, Monsanto sells its GMO seeds on fraudulent claims of yields of 1500/kg/year when farmers harvest 300-400 kg/year on an average.”
There are a couple of reasons why mass farmer suicides have not generated the international attention that should ostensibly accompany such a phenomenon. For one thing, the image of desperate peasants killing themselves by the hundreds of thousands does not mesh particularly well with the portrait of India fabricated by free market pundits, who hallucinate rampant upward economic mobility among the country’s citizens thanks to globalisation.
According to filmmaker Leah Borromeo, director of the forthcoming Dirty White Gold about cotton and fashion, the dearth of international concern over the issue is also a result of the fact that “people haven’t made the connection between our consumer habits and the lives and deaths of farmers”.
The objective of the film, which shines a light on the entire cotton supply chain, is to help force legislation that will “make ethics and sustainability the norm in the fashion industry”. As Borromeo wrote in a recent articlefor the New Statesman:
“I’m exploring science and the idea of open-sourcing technology to take power away from corporations and anyone who makes a killing out of suicides.”
Borromeo’s definition of ethics and sustainability – which includes providing living wages to farmers and factory workers and preventing the destruction of ecosystems – is far more persuasive than Monsanto’s definition of sustainable agriculture…..
Throughout History, the real sons of the soil,The Aborigines of the World(the word was coined to indicate
‘ A member of the indigenous or earliest known population of a region; a native’.) were the victims of the Colonial powers right from the Spanish.
In their quest for resources and markets for their Produce, these powers.Great Briratin,Spain,France, went about in a systematic way to root out the Natives of the Land.
This,they ensured by luring the Natives by Money,Wiping out their language,making them feel that their Culture is inferior.
Even to-day India fells it.
The British were the past masters of this art.
They divided the country ,especially India, by destroying the Cultural Institutions,attempted to kill the local languages with the introduction of English as the official Language,under the guise of introducing the World to the Natives.
This was complemented by the Proselytising Missionaries, who promised wealth and Salvation, denigrating Native Religions.
In fact this activity still goes on unchecked.
Al-Jazeera has scheduled a Programme to cover this aspect with reference to day’s Aborigines.
Let us know what we were and where have we have come from.
Living the Language can be seen on Al Jazeera English each week at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 2230; Wednesday: 0930; Thursday: 0330;Friday: 1630; Saturday: 2230; Sunday: 0930; Monday: 0330
Australia: The Aboriginal People – from April 17
Guatemala: The Maya – from April 24
Canada: The Ktunaxa – from May 01
Bolivia: The Aymara – from May 08
New Zealand: The Maori – from May 15
Over the Airwaves – from May 22″
Now the few remaining indigenous languages are in danger of dying out in the coming years. The struggle to preserve them often rests with a few dedicated individuals striving to not only re-learn the language of their ancestors, but to also teach it to others.Michael Jarrett, who teaches the Gumbaynggirr language spoken on the coast of New South Wales, says: “When I was growing up, the Aboriginal people were forbidden to speak their language. So I didn’t get to hear fluent speakers talking together. But the land is starting to hear the native tongue again. The Gumbaynggirr language belongs in Gumbaynggirr territory. It hasn’t heard the language for many, many years.
The government of Australia has a very poor record when it comes to treatment of its Aboriginal citizens. Indigenous Australians were dispossessed of their land, despised for their culture, and marginalized, abused, and murdered. Perhaps most notorious of all the Australian policies were those that led to what has become known as the Stolen Generations. Under several federal and state programs that continued into the 1970s, the government forcibly removed Aboriginal children from their families and sent them to white families and church-run institutions for cultural reprogramming. A recent national report on the policies found that there was not a single Indigenous family that did not have at least one child taken away. Despite the deliberate genocidal nature of these programs, the government for many years refused to apologize for them. That same hostile attitude toward Aboriginal peoples was reflected in the Australian government’s long and vigorous opposition to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Fortunately, there have been improvements in the past couple of years. A change in administration led to a national apology from the government for the Stolen Generations, and the country as a whole celebrates Sorry Day. The new administration also reversed the country’s opposition to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. But there is still along way to go. Indigenous peoples on average live 17 years less than non-Indigenous people, and every measure of social and physical welfare, from infant mortality to nutrition to health, housing, education, and employment, is significantly lower for Aboriginal Australians than for non-Indigenous Australians. And all of the negative markers for disenfranchised populations—imprisonment, domestic violence, alcoholism—are much higher for Aboriginal peoples. An Aboriginal man is 13 times as likely to be in jail as a non-Indigenous Australian, and an Indigenous teenager is 28 times more likely to be in jail.
The government is making efforts to address some of these imbalances, but their handling of child abuse in Indigenous communities demonstrates how far they have to go. They enacted a set of programs that essentially let the government take control of Indigenous communities and undermined their land rights. That situation reflects a larger problem: even where there are government programs aimed at addressing the injustices and issues facing Indigenous people, there is far too little involvement of Aboriginal Australians in setting up or implementing policies.
Indigenous groups in Australia are increasingly well organized and successful. They have in recent years made some impressive gains in land claims, but the process of claiming land rights and the legal framework in which it operates still strongly favors the state and creates unnecessary hurdles for Indigenous Peoples. Most original Indigenous land has not been restored yet.
The problems facing Indigenous Australians are similar to those of Indigenous Peoples around the world, and Cultural Survival was founded 40 years ago to address those problems. To see a list of Cultural Survival archival articles about Aboriginal Australia, click here. To learn more about Indigenous issues around the world and what you can do to help, go to our home page here.
As the National People’s Congress holds its annual session, Al Jazeera’s Melissa Chan went to the offices of lawyer Pu Zhiqiang to interview him about proposed changes to the Criminal Procedure Law. At the office, she encountered officers from the “guo bao” or State Security Police, who prevented her from proceeding with the interview. She writes:
What happened next was not surprising, but on this day, felt particularly ironic: plainclothes police officers prevented us from interviewing Pu on camera, even as we explained to them that this new legislation would curtail their state security powers.
The language used by the officers, who refused to identify themselves, might also be interesting to those unfamiliar with this kind of state apparatus: Orwellian, wrapped in code, and offering our crew “recommendations” that if disobeyed, could have meant some physical confrontation from the two men in sunglasses who were called up for reinforcement during the following exchange.
She then recounts the exchange between herself, the officers [PO] and Pu Zhiqiang:
AJE: This is a law about security, terrorism, and the handling of general criminal suspects. This law can be quite an improvement on things –
PO: Yes! Indeed, it is a huge reform. It’s a big improvement.
AJE: So … are you speaking in the capacity of a police officer?
PO: No, I’m … speaking in the capacity … as Mr. Pu’s … friend!
Pu Zhiqiang: You are not my friend. I adamantly, adamantly dispute that.
Pu Zhiqiang has defended many high-profile activists and dissidents, including artist Ai Weiwei. He is now providing counsel for Zhang Mingyu, a Chongqing businessman who was detained in Beijing after writing on his blog that he has inside information about the current political intrigue involving Bo Xilai, Wang Lijun, and the Chongqing mafia. For more on Zhang Mingyu, see a post from the Committee to Protect Journalists. For more on recent harassment of foreign journalists, see reports from Tibetan areas of Sichuan and from the scene of protests in Panhe, Guangdong.
The Anonymous hacking group claims to have defaced almost 500 websites in China.
Targets hit in the mass defacement included government sites, its official agencies, trade groups and many others. A message put on the hacked sites said the attack was carried out to protest against the Chinese government’s strict control of its citizens. It urged Chinese people to join Anonymous and stage their own protests against the regime.
[…]There has been no official confirmation of the defacements. News wires reported that government officials had denied any had taken place. However, many of the sites listed are now offline and a few others displayed a hacked page for a long time rather than their own homepage.
On March 31, after many of the defaced sites had been taken offline, @AnonymousChina warned that their crusade would continue:
“This is just (Anonymous’) second attack (on Chinese websites),” Chan said. “The first one a few months ago had been a corporate attack against a Chinese company and it had exposed corporate fraud. This time, of course, the message was more general about online censorship in China.”
Chan also pointed out the attacks did not target national websites, but smaller sites for government bureaus and minor cities.
“The other interesting thing is that the messages they left were left in English, so then that begs the question of whether they wanted to try to reach out to the Chinese public or not,” Chan said.
The original message contained only one line in Chinese: 患难见真情 [a friend in need is a friend indeed].
F-Secure researcher Sean Sullivan said Anonymous China could “start a turf war.”
“We know from our monitoring of targeted exploit attacks, many of which are aimed at human rights NGOs, that there are numerous pro-China hackers active on the Internet,” he said. “I would expect this action to generate efforts by Chinese hackers to dox Anons.” Doxing involves exposing the identities of people who wish to remain anonymous.
Anonymous “bit off more than it could chew” when it retreated from threats to unmask members of the Mexican drug cartel Zetas last fall, he added. ”Perhaps they’ve done so again.”
He posted documents ranging from purported U.S. military transport information to internal reports about business matters on several file-sharing sites, but the authenticity of the documents could not be independently confirmed.
The Beijing company, better known by the acronym, CEIEC, did not respond to a request for comment. U.S. intelligence and Department of Defense officials had no immediate comment.
[…]Hardcore Charlie described himself as a 40-year-old Hispanic man in a country close to the United States. He said he did not have strong political leanings, but was concerned the Chinese company had access to material about the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan, as some of the documents suggest.
He said he planned to “explore” the computer networks of other Chinese companies.
The Pemra issued a restraining order in a statement released by the government’s Press Information Department on Saturday evening, accusing nine channels, the BBC and CNN included, of violating section 30 of the Pemra Act.
The move, which is likely to come under criticism on grounds of curbing press freedom, comes amid continuing interest at home and abroad in the May 2 operation by US navy commandos that killed the world’s most wanted man in Abbottabad.
The statement added that Pemra had stopped “foreign satellite TV channels from illegal uplinking of signals and live covering (of) news from Abbottabad”. The agency named the channels as Fox News, NBC News, CNN, CNS, IBN, BBC, Al-Jazeera, Voice of America (VOA) and Sky News.
“All foreign channels have been issued notices to show cause (about their alleged illegalities) and stop illegal activity immediately,” the statement said.
It said: “Pemra issues temporary uplinking for covering any event live from Pakistan for a specific event and time” and added: “Pemra being a regulator is steadfast in discharging its regulatory responsibility and ensuring level playing field for all stakeholders.”
However, representatives of several foreign electronic media organisations told Dawn their crew were still in Abbottabad and some said their channels, like BBC, Al Jazeera, VOA and NBC, were not airing their news live from the spot.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority has barred all major foreign television channels from making live broadcasts from Abbottabad five days after US commandos killed Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden there, reflecting the government’s unease over the coverage of perceived failures of its agencies.
ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha has embarked on a foreign trip to an undisclosed location against the backdrop of reports that he may step down over the debacle of the Pakistani military’s failure to detect Osama bin Laden’s presence in the country.
Pasha set off for an undisclosed location yesterday and it is believed that his visit is linked to the fallout of Monday’s US raid that resulted in the killing of bin Laden in a compound located a short distance from the Pakistan Military Academy in the garrison city of Abbottabad, sources told PTI.
The influential Dawn newspaper had reported that Pasha had gone to Washington on a “critical mission for putting an end to misgivings about Pakistan in the US” but the sources said the ISI chief had not gone to the US.
Some reports said Pasha may have travelled to a friendly country like China or Saudi Arabia but this could not immediately be confirmed.
Amid mounting international and domestic pressure on the government over the May 2 US special forces’ “get Osama bin Laden” operation, the country’s top civilian and military leadership got their heads together on Saturday in an effort to come up with a collective response.
President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani met for the second time at the Presidency since the Abbottabad operation.
According to an official statement, they ‘comprehensively reviewed’ the situation in the “perspective of Pakistan’s national security and foreign policy”.