Sunday, November 30, 2008
Marks On The Water
The Pak connection is almost confirmed. Is it another LeT-D Company cocktail?
Saikat Datta, Smruti Koppikar
As commandos of the Indian navy flushed the Taj Mahal hotel of terrorists, they came upon a bag containing ammunition, magazines, wallets with photo-IDs, fake credit cards and a huge stock of almonds. Twenty-four hours had passed and the terrorists were still active, so investigators were barely up to sifting through evidence. But pressed for an early assessment, they dismissed the e-mail sent by a certain ‘Deccan Mujahideen’ claiming responsibility as a red herring. The name doing the rounds is the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), purportedly working in close coordination with a section of the Mumbai underworld and rogue elements of Pakistan’s isi. But neither Maharashtra dgp A.N. Roy nor Mumbai police commissioner Hasan Gaffoor would confirm the involvement of this deadly troika.
In fact, early intelligence assessments suggest that some of the terrorists who came in were young British Muslims of Pakistani origin. Sources say they had been in training for well over a year but the final decision to carry out the assault was given at the annual conference of the LeT held in Muridke, PoK, last week. The Mumbai operation, apparently, was funded by Saudi Arabia-based Abdul Bari. He’s part of a larger international terror network and has financed strikes in India earlier too.
In a major breakthrough, investigators had traced the ship in which the terrorists made their way from Pakistan to the Mumbai coast by Thursday evening. The fishing vessel, Kuber, was found off the coast of Mumbai and some satellite phones recovered from it. The boat is owned by a Porbander-based businessman, Vinoo Masani, who has been detained for questioning. Kuber left Gujarat 14 days ago with six crew members who are believed to have been killed by the terrorists who hijacked the boat. Investigators are looking into how this will bring out the Pakistan connection.
If the Kuber was indeed hijacked, then the modus operandi becomes clear. Proceed to Indian waters in a Gujarat-registered vessel (Regn No. 2302) so as not to attract attention and then move into the mainland on dinghies.
Meanwhile, analysis of the accents of the two (purported) terrorists in conversations they had with a private TV channel suggested they are either expat Pakistanis or from Punjab there. The use of "muthbhed" (encounter) instead of the term "muqabla" is a dead giveaway, says analysts.
Like Pakistani Punjabis, they also signed off saying "Allah hafiz", instead of "khuda hafiz." Maj Gen R.K. Hooda, goc (Maharashtra and Goa area), says the intercepts during the operations revealed that they spoke to each other in Punjabi. Prior technical intercepts as well as other sources had suggested a major attack was to go down in Mumbai via the sea and that the Taj Mahal Hotel would be targeted. These inputs had been looked at but with few concrete leads, no preventive action was taken.
Intelligence sources told Outlook that Dawood’s men in Mumbai may have provided the logistics support. An official told us, "Dawood has this diesel smuggling network in Mumbai—diesel is downloaded from tankers in the high seas off the coast of Mumbai and then brought in using high-speed boats. Our inputs suggest that these guys provided safe passage to the terrorists. They provided the boats, the cars and reports on the patrolling schedules of the coastguard. The idea was to hit the international community as well as shake up the top businesses in the country."
Maharashtra CM Vilasrao Deshmukh said that 20-25 terrorists were involved in the attack this time but "it was too early to say anything concrete. We have leads, but we won’t talk until there is confirmation". Two of the terrorists, chased after they hijacked a police jeep, were gunned down near Chowpatty.
Reports say five others were gunned down inside the hotels. A lucky break for the cops was the arrest of Abu from Faridkot in Pakistan. He was held after the Skoda shootout incident where one terrorist was killed. Abu’s interrogation had not begun till late Thursday night. As we go to press, agencies reported that another three arrests were made at the Taj hotel. One of the arrested was Ajmal Amir Kamal, also from Faridkot.
Analysts who have gone through the ‘Deccan Mujahideen’ e-mail say many of the issues raised in it were copied from the last missive by the ‘Indian Mujahideen’ after the Gujarat blasts.
The latter had raised issues like Muslims being "targeted and harassed" in Mumbai and had warned that they would hurt the city and the state ats.
The scale of the operation itself points towards organised logistic help. "From the weapons, the fake visa credit cards, the amount of ammunition each terrorist was carrying, it is quite clear they have been trained and equipped by a foreign state. It’s also clear that the training came from naval experts, familiar with special operations," say sources.
Indian intelligence is closely examining the involvement of Tauqeer Subhan, an ex-simi member and suspected component of the Indian Mujahideen. He hails from Mumbai and would have been able to provide key details such as the presence of the Chabad Lubavitch, an ultra-orthodox Israeli Jewish organisation that provides support and services to Israelis visiting India.
Incidentally, Indian intelligence has reports that Subhan was in regular touch with the LeT and information gleaned from various interrogation reports of his colleagues suggest he had also helped route finance from the LeT to the Indian Mujahideen. The IB is also looking at the involvement of Riyaz Bhatkal, suspected to be a key force behind earlier bombing attacks carried out in various states this year.
The marine commandos, who were the first to be inducted into the counter-terror operations, had reported this to their superiors: the terrorists were professional, highly motivated and had come with enough ammunition, explosives and food to last several days. Said Vice-Admiral J.S. Bedi, flag officer commanding-in-chief of the Western Naval Command: "Our commandos recovered plastic explosives, several AK-56 magazines, hand grenades and dry fruits. My men also said the terrorists had done their homework well...knew exactly how to cause maximum damage."
By David Wood
November 30, 2008
It is a simple transfer of immense power.On Jan. 20, an unobtrusive military officer carrying a small leather-bound metal briefcase will follow President George W. Bush up to Capitol Hill.
After the inauguration ceremony, he will accompany President Barack Obama back to the White House.Inside the attaché, known as "the football," are the codes to identify and authenticate a presidential order that could launch nuclear weapons and ignite a global holocaust.
Routine to us, perhaps astonishing to much of the world, this peaceful passing of "the football" will propel Obama into a maelstrom. What awaits the new commander in chief is the weighty responsibility of defending the United States - and a nasty brew of nuclear weapons problems that range from the threat of terrorist attacks to potential new regional and superpower arms races. Iran and North Korea are rushing headlong toward building nuclear arsenals. And the main arms reduction treaty with Russia expires next year.
Those known challenges arise from an unruly world thrown into deeper turmoil by the global financial crisis, a world in which nuclear technology spreads like wildfire and almost 10,000 nuclear weapons could be on alert at any given time.
The risk of nuclear war will grow during the next 20 years, U.S. intelligence officers concluded last week. Surprise, in this realm, is almost a given.
"It is immensely sobering when you are actually confronted with all the responsibility related to nuclear weapons," said Matthew Bunn, a former White House nuclear weapons adviser now at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
That will become clear with Obama's first peek inside the ever-present briefcase. The secure phone nestled inside will connect him to the nuclear command centers at the Pentagon, Colorado Springs and "Site R," the bunkered emergency command center just over the Maryland border near Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. Through them, the president can reach the 1,300 U.S. strategic nuclear weapons always on alert.
Inside the case he will also find a notebook listing various attack options - from a single shot to all-out war - from which the president may choose and order.
Previous presidents have found all this hard to absorb. "The most sober and startling I ever heard," Ronald Reagan said after his first briefing on the nuclear options - so disturbing that it helped launch him on a quest to abolish nuclear weapons altogether.
Obama has outlined an ambitious plan of tackling many of these issues."Here's what I will say as president: America seeks a world in which there are no nuclear weapons," he said in an Oct. 2, 2007, speech in Chicago. While working toward that long-range goal, he said the United States "will not pursue unilateral disarmament. As long as nuclear weapons exist, we'll retain a strong nuclear deterrent."
But he vowed to reach an agreement with Russia "to take U.S. and Russian ballistic missiles off hair-trigger alert" and to negotiate significant reductions in U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons stockpiles.
He intends to pursue tough negotiations with Iran and North Korea to halt their nuclear weapons programs.
And he has promised to lock down all nuclear material around the world at vulnerable sites "within four years.
"Events may not wait.A new long-range forecast from America's top spy agencies said the possibility of a new nuclear arms race in the Middle East, ignited by Iran's race to build a nuclear weapons arsenal, promises new instabilities "potentially more dangerous than the Cold War" between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Weak Middle East regimes might be more tempted to actually use the weapons during a crisis in a region already prone to convulsive violence, said the report, Global Trends 2025, released by National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell.The six Persian Gulf states, within easy missile range of Iran, have said they are pursuing "peaceful" nuclear energy programs. They are among 50 nations interested in building new nuclear facilities.
According to a report last month by the International Atomic Energy Agency, 439 nuclear power reactors currently are operating in 30 countries, with 36 plants under construction.
The increased nuclear activity "naturally increases the risk that nuclear material could be diverted to make nuclear weapons," IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei told the United Nations.
This year alone, the IAEA has investigated 250 incidents involving the loss or theft of nuclear or radioactive material. Much of it is never recovered, he said.
Senior U.S. intelligence officers, asked to weigh the risks that will dominate the next 15 years, noted that the spread of nuclear material and weapons technology is accelerating. They said a number of weak regimes, like North Korea, might acquire and then lose control of nuclear weapons. They listed new ways that might tempt actual use of nuclear weapons, for example in low-yield blasts or high-altitude detonations to cripple enemy communications.
Given these trends, they said in the recent report, the risk of nuclear war in the near future, "although remaining low, is likely to be greater than it is today."
Despite the threat of new nuclear powers, Moscow might quickly become a key focus of the Obama administration.
Under Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, who has vowed to "significantly increase" Russia's aircraft, missile and submarine nuclear weapons launchers, Russia is building two new classes of intercontinental ballistic missiles and deploying a new class of ballistic missile submarines.
Senior Russian officials, including Putin, have threatened to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia's interests, and have aggressively deployed Russian bombers and warships for the first time in years.
Currently, the overall size of U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals is limited by the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. But the treaty expires in December 2009. With it will expire any of the extensive verification measures, including inspections at each other's missile plants, that have ensured confidence on both sides.
That deadline will create pressure on Obama to begin negotiations immediately, arms control experts said, even if the only agreement is to extend the current treaty for an additional year. An agreement on deeper reductions would take more time. A newer treaty signed in 2002, the Strategic Offense Reduction Treaty, calls for further cuts by 2012 but contains no verification measures.
On another front, Obama could help slow the spread of nuclear weapons by early on reiterating his intent to reduce global stockpiles, endorsing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and confirming his intention to seek an eventual abolition of nuclear weapons. Such moves have been urged by former Republican secretaries of state Henry A. Kissinger and George P. Shultz, among others.
"A strong statement in his inaugural address, for example, would send the right signal to the world and would create space for the United States and like-minded countries to pursue nonproliferation," said Deepti Choubey, an arms control specialist at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
But Obama should be wary of promising too much. "Our capacity to engage the rest of the world has taken a huge hit over the past eight years," she said."I would temper expectations. We shouldn't dig ourselves further into the hole.
"Even if all the U.S. nuclear initiatives work out as promised, Americans will remain vulnerable at home to a nuclear-related catastrophe, whether in the form of a "dirty bomb" that spreads radioactivity or a smuggled nuclear device.
"No matter what is done to prevent nuclear terrorism, it is essential that the United States get better prepared should such a catastrophe nevertheless occur," warns a new report by Harvard's Belfer Center.
In the "ghastly aftermath" of a nuclear detonation, the report said, the government needs - and does not currently have - an ability to rapidly assess people in greatest danger, to communicate with them to advise on what to do, and to care for the injured and homeless. And there must be a comprehensive plan, the report said, to keep the government and the economy running while authorities begin to sort out a response.
Sun Nov 30, 2008
By Rina Chandran
MUMBAI (Reuters) - The fallout from a three-day rampage that killed nearly 200 people in Mumbai threatened on Sunday to unravel India's improving ties with Pakistan and prompted the resignation of India's security minister.
New Delhi said it was raising security to a "war level" and had no doubt of a Pakistani link to the attacks, which unleashed anger at home over the intelligence failure and the delayed response to the violence that paralyzed India's financial capital.
Officials in Islamabad have warned any escalation would force it to divert troops to the Indian border and away from a U.S.-led anti-militant campaign on the Afghan frontier.
Newspaper commentaries blasted politicians for failing to prevent the attacks and for taking advantage of its fallout before voting in Delhi on Saturday and national polls due by May.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he would boost and overhaul the nation's counterterrorism capabilities, an announcement which came after Federal Home Minister Shivraj Patil resigned over the attacks.
"We share the hurt of the people and their sense of anger and outrage," Singh said. "Several measures are already in place ... But clearly much more needs to be done and we are determined to take all necessary measures to overhaul the system," he said.
Air and sea security would be increased, and India's main counter-terrorist National Security Guard would be increased in size and given more regional bases, he said in a statement.
Singh also named Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram -- much derided as finance minister but respected for his work overhauling India's security agencies as a junior minister in the 1990s -- to take over Patil's job.
Singh, an economist by training, will take over the finance portfolio for now, the government said.
Analysts said they expect India's financial markets to get a boost from the personnel changes.
"Markets will rejoice," Arum Kejriwal, a strategist at research firm Kris, said of Chidambaram and Patil. "People will accept that the government has removed two non-performers and this can positively influence the markets."
Indian stocks closed up marginally after markets opened on Friday, the first time since the attacks, while the rupee fell. But analysts said it had already been under pressure.
Indian officials have said most, if not all, of the 10 Islamist attackers who held Mumbai hostage came from Pakistan.
The tension between the nuclear rivals has raised the prospect of a breakdown of peace efforts going on since 2004. The two nations have fought three wars since 1947, when Muslim Pakistan was carved out of Hindu-majority India.
They went to the brink of a fourth conflict after a 2001 militant attack on the Indian parliament which New Delhi also blamed on Pakistan.
"We will increase security and strengthen it at a war level like we have never done it before," Sriprakash Jaiswal, India's minister of state for home affairs, told Reuters on Sunday.
"They can say what they want, but we have no doubt that the terrorists had come from Pakistan," Jaiswal said.
An official in Islamabad said the next one to two days would be crucial for relations. Pakistan has condemned the assaults and denied any involvement by state agencies.
MOPPING THE BLOOD
The three-day rampage and siege in Mumbai turned India's financial and entertainment hub into a televised war zone.
On Sunday, the smell of disinfectant was strong outside Cafe Leopold, and the sidewalk wet from mopping -- a different sight from Wednesday night, when blood-splattered shoes and napkins lay strewn among broken furniture and glass.
It opened briefly before police came and shut it down again, saying investigations needed to be completed first.
Elsewhere in the trendy Colaba district where the fighting took place, shops were open and traffic flowed despite police barricades and heavy clean-up work around the Taj Mahal hotel, a 105-year-old landmark and site of the longest siege.
Broken windows were boarded up and firemen used a crane to reach the sixth floor, gutted by a fire set by the militants as they fought dozens of commandos in the corridors.
Elite Black Cat commandos killed the last of the gunmen on Saturday after three days of room-to-room battling inside the Taj, one of several landmarks struck in coordinated attacks on Wednesday night.
Hundreds of people, many of them Westerners, were trapped or taken hostage as the gunmen hurled grenades and fired indiscriminately. At least 22 of those killed were foreigners, including businessmen and tourists.
Nine gunmen and 20 police and soldiers were also killed. A tenth militant was caught alive.
On Saturday, India's navy and coast guard boosted coastal patrols, after evidence mounted that the attackers had come by boat to Mumbai from Karachi, Pakistan's main port.
India's Home Ministry said the official toll in Mumbai was 183 killed. Earlier, Mumbai disaster authorities said at least 195 people had been killed and 295 wounded.
Not that their (Pakistan) efforts in Wazeristan have helped much, but yes, they would be forced to pull troops away, most certainly if they start using nuclear weapons (near impossible).
Nov 30 04:50 PM US/Eastern
Britain is considering joining the eurozone as a direct consequence of global financial turmoil, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Sunday.
"We are now closer than ever before. I'm not going to break the confidentiality of certain conversations, but some British politicians have already told me: 'If we had the euro, we would have been better off'," Barroso told a weekly French news programme, referring to the fall in the pound's value since markets and liquidity meltdown earlier this year.
"The British have an enormous quality, one of many, that is they are pragmatic," he said on the panel of a joint RTL-LCI radio and television broadcast. "This crisis has emphasised the importance of the euro, and also of Britain," he added.
"I don't mean this will happen tomorrow, I know that the majority (of British people) are still opposed, but there is a period of consideration underway and the people which matter in Britain are currently thinking about it," the former Portuguese prime minister said.
Barroso pointed to the case of Denmark, another EU state which has so far refused to accept the euro but is now planning another referendum on the single currency. The Danish voted against joining in 2000.
They couldn't have planned it any better. The European states were falling out of the Euro, and now ......
Mumbai attacks pose test for India
A top minister resigned Sunday as officials vowed to improve antiterror forces.
By Mark Sappenfield Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the December 1, 2008 edition
NEW DELHI - Sixty hours of mayhem sown reportedly by 10 highly trained terrorists in Mumbai (Bombay) has India asking uncomfortable questions not only of its rival, Pakistan, but also of itself.
Evidence suggests that the militants who swept through India's financial capital Wednesday, then fought off Indian commandos in two of Mumbai's poshest hotels until Saturday morning, received training from Lashkar-i-Tayyaba, an anti-India militant group in Pakistan.
If Indian-Pakistani tensions escalate, it could unravel improving ties between the nuclear-armed nations and imperil Pakistan's progress in fighting militants on its Afghan border – a US priority.
Yet the Mumbai attack has also focused Indians on the failures of its own government. It was the sixth major terrorist attack since May. For a nation eager to be seen as one of the world's next superpowers, it marks a test of leadership – at home and in the region.
With national elections coming next spring, Indian politicians must resist the temptation to politicize the issue, says Rohan Gunaratna, a terrorism analyst at the Institute for Defense and Strategic Studies in Singapore.
"India's leaders must understand that this is a national challenge and it must not be driven by electoral or political compulsions," he says.
India sits at a nexus of terrorist attacks – amid a ring of violent states and home to a Muslim minority that feels increasingly alienated from the country's economic ascent. Between 2004 and 2007, only Iraq saw more terrorism-related deaths than India, according to the US National Counterterrorism Center in Washington.
Indeed, the threats to India are so varied and mutating that it was not clear who was responsible for the attacks even two days after they began. The largest bombings of recent months have been carried out predominantly by Indian Muslims who called themselves the Indian Mujahideen.
But evidence has led Indian officials and terrorism analysts to point the finger for this attack – which killed at least 174 and wounded 239 – at Lashkar-i-Tayyaba.
The use of heavily armed fighters – as opposed to suicide bombers – is a hallmark of Lashkar-i-Tayyaba, which seeks to liberate the disputed state of Kashmir from India. The one surviving militant in Indian custody also said the attackers were trained in Lashkar-i-Tayyaba camps in Pakistan, according to reports.
This has rekindled an oft-repeated cycle of allegations and threats between India and Pakistan. In 2001, India's allegations that Lashkar-i-Tayyaba was behind an attack in the Indian Parliament brought the two nations to the brink of war. Already, Pakistan has said it is willing to send 100,000 troops to the Indian border if India takes an antagonistic line.
New 'maturity' in India-Pakistan ties
But the threat is not the best indication of current relations between the countries, which have thawed noticeably, says D. Suba Chandran of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi.
"There is now a level of maturity in the Indian and Pakistani governments to handle this," he says, suggesting that a repeat of the 2001 military buildup along the border is unlikely.
The United States, for one, is working to prevent it, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President-elect Barack Obama making phone calls to India to try to calm the situation.
"The American priority is that Pakistan keeps focused on the western border," says Hassan Askari Rizvi, an independent political analyst in Lahore. "But Pakistan has now made it clear that the eastern border will be its priority if India shows any signs of escalation."
But India and Pakistan have found greater common ground, particularly since Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari took office in September. In a recent teleconference with the Hindustan Times, an Indian newspaper, he went so far as to say he would not use Pakistan's nuclear arsenal to strike India first – breaking with years of Pakistani military doctrine.
This has given a ring of sincerity to Pakistan's claims that it was not involved in the attack, as well as its vows to investigate any evidence that the terrorists were trained in Pakistan.
Moreover, it is in India's interests to strengthen Mr. Zardari and his civilian government, says B. Raman, former counterterrorism head of India's premier military intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing. Undermining Zardari will only strengthen the Pakistani Army, which is generally much less sympathetic to India, given that the countries have fought three wars.
The Indian government "will not allow its anger [at Pakistan] to get beyond a certain point," Mr. Raman says.
Anger at Pakistan remains a potent force in India. On Saturday and Sunday, small crowds moved through the streets of Mumbai chanting anti-Pakistan slogans.
Yet the first action taken by the Indian government Monday was to look inward, not across its border. The embattled minister of home affairs, who is charged with domestic security, resigned from the cabinet Sunday. National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan submitted his resignation as well, according to local TV news.
The resignations come ahead of an all-party meeting set for Sunday evening, which is poised to discuss new antiterror measures in India – including new laws, and possibly a new agency.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Sunday he would boost the size and strength of the country's antiterror forces.
Warnings of attack
Before last week's attacks there had been several indicators that Mumbai was in terrorists' cross hairs. One Lashkar operative captured by Indian authorities in January admitted that he was scouting the Taj and Oberoi hotels, according to a report by the Times (of London).
The Indian Express reports that Indian intelligence had intercepted a message on Nov. 19 claiming Mumbai would soon be attacked by sea – which is how some of the militants arrived in the city.
Coming after the string of bombings by the domestic Indian Mujahideen, the failure to stop the Mumbai attacks suggests a fundamental problem, says Raman, the former counterterror official.
"When things go on happening one after the other, it shows that the intelligence agency isn't good enough."
But this presents India with an opportunity – both domestic and international – to take important steps toward fighting terrorism, Mr. Gunaratna continues. "The most important thing is that both nations [India and Pakistan] realize they are facing a common threat," he says.
• Shahan Mufti contributed from Islamabad, Pakistan.
We live on two different planets. We come from two different dimensions. They come from the planet of: talk. Talk to your enemy; discuss with your enemy; dialogue with your enemy; consider their feelings and needs. If they still kill you, it must be because you have not been listening and you must try harder. If they still kill you, it would be most wise to simply accept the loss, and listen to their needs and feelings. Attacks like Mumbai are not terrorism so much as they are a cry for attention, and we must, as civilized people, reach out and listen to their demands for equality. We must give them hugs and kisses, share the wealth, and help them realize their full potential. Nothing on the planet of 'talk' includes respect - it includes feelings and demands, emotions, and toleration.
The other planet is called: Respect. If they respect us, we will tolerate them. If they do not, we will give them the chance. We will expect all people to behave in a civilized manner, not attack civilians, not employ children in a cause of death, not seek out children and women to kill and terrorize, not select people based on ethnicity or race or nationality to kill. If they do, we will kill them, to save mankind. There is one law - the law of respect. Respect our laws and we will respect yours. Do not think of spreading your beliefs, do not think of killing or terrorizing - and we will tolerate what you have to offer. Do not subjugate or oppress and we will not remove you. Do not argue that all of this is in the eye of the beholder for I will mention Ghandi, who exists in Western Civilization, but could never exist under Saddam, Assad, Mubarek, bin Laden, the Sauds, or the Taliban. It says quite a bit - that one word - Ghandi.
It is not that the West is free of wrong-doing, but the West tries to correct itself. We have in place, mechanisms to correct our wrong-doings. We try to be better human beings. We wish for nothing more than opportunity and freedom for all mankind. Freedom not to pray to the same God, freedom not to dress the same - but freedom to ultimately choose our path - for better or worse. Freedom and liberty - unalienable rights, given by the one true God, to all mankind.
With that freedom comes responsibility and choice - choose the wrong path and there are consequences. Choose the right path ... and so who decides what the right path is? Well, freedom - freedom to be, freedom to choose, freedom to become, freedom to not become ... when those freedoms and more, are permitted - the right path has been chosen. When the freedom to not be, is not a death sentence - the right path has been chosen.
The writer of the article - Sappenfield, is from planet 'Talk'. His supposition is - all civilized and good states will talk. He presumes the right path is to talk regardless of the others and their actions. He attributes their actions to economics. Silly fool. Talk gets you lost in a myriad of possible causes, when the reality is - it is an attack on Democracy, not capitalism. It is an attack on America and Britain, and India - not on a rising economic power. It is an indirect attack on the US - not on Indian culture that has not helped raise the standard of living of a Muslim minority in India. Wisdom is not used on planet 'talk' - just talk and dialogue.
Talk gets people killed Sappenfield. Respect works better.
'I was told to kill to my last breath': Captured terrorist's account of Mumbai massacre reveals plan was to kill 5,000
By Ian Gallagher
Last updated at 5:08 PM on 30th November 2008
The only terrorist captured alive after the Mumbai massacre has given police the first full account of the extraordinary events that led to it – revealing he was ordered to ‘kill until the last breath’.
Azam Amir Kasab, 21, from Pakistan, said the attacks were meticulously planned six months ago and were intended to kill 5,000 people.
He revealed that the ten terrorists, who were highly trained in marine assault and crept into the city by boat, had planned to blow up the Taj Mahal Palace hotel after first executing British and American tourists and then taking hostages.
Mercifully, the group, armed with plastic explosives, underestimated the strength of the105-year-old building’s solid foundations.
As it is, their deadly attacks have left close to 200 confirmed dead, with the toll expected to rise to nearly 300 once the hotel has been fully searched by security forces.
Yesterday, Kasab chillingly went through details of Wednesday night’s killing spree across the city, which ended when he was cornered by police.
He pretended to be dead, which probably saved his life. It was only when he was being transferred to hospital by ambulance that his accompanying officer noticed he was still breathing.
Once inside Nair Hospital, Kasab, who suffered only minor injuries, told medical staff: ‘I do not want to die. Please put me on saline.’
And as Indian commandos ended the bloody 59-hour siege at the Taj yesterday by killing the last three Islamic gunmen, baby-faced Kasab was dispassionately detailing the background to the mayhem.
He described how its mastermind briefed the group to ‘target whites, preferably Americans and British’.
Some of the militants, including Kasab, posed as students during a visit to Mumbai a month ago, filming the ‘strike locations’ and familiarising themselves with the city’s roads.
And Kasab described how he and an accomplice sprayed machine-gun fire around a busy railway station, killing dozens of people, before intending to move to the exclusive district of Malabar Hill, where they planned to ‘take VIPs hostage’.
One police officer said: ‘That, thankfully, never happened because we managed to stop them.’ Police insist that Kasab confessed to being a member of the Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has denied involvement in the carnage, and claimed he and the others were trained in the Muslim country.
Intelligence analysts are keeping more of an open mind, however. And some political observers point out an unhelpful tendency by the Indian authorities continually to blame ‘Pakistan elements’ without solid evidence.
Some speculative reports emerging from New Delhi even suggested Pakistan’s intelligence services had a hand in training the terrorists.
Meanwhile, claims that up to seven of the terrorists could have been British men of Pakistani origin, who had connections to West Yorkshire, were being widely discounted.
A top Indian official, Maharashtra state chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, said there was ‘no authentic information’ to suggest that any British citizens were involved.
The UK Foreign Office also said there was ‘no evidence’ that any of the terrorists were British.
One report suggested that one of the terrorists had been working at the Taj hotel as a kitchen porter for up to eight months before the attacks and had produced a British passport during his job interview. But this was strongly denied by the hotel management.
Scotland Yard detectives arrived in Mumbai yesterday, but only to lend their assistance and expertise to the investigation.
According to the account of Kasab’s interrogation, given by police sources, the terrorists were trained over five months in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, then had a month off before the attacks. At some stage, they also received intensive instruction in ‘marine assault’ operations.
Initially unarmed, they left an isolated beach near Karachi in a small boat, before being picked up the following day by a larger vessel.
At this point they were each given eight hand grenades, an AK-47 rifle, an automatic pistol and ammunition. And in anticipation of a lengthy siege, they also carried dried fruit.
Kasab told police that the group then hijacked a fishing trawler bearing the name Kuber near the maritime boundary between Pakistan and India.
Four of its crew are missing while the fifth has been found dead, apparently beheaded. Its owner and his brother are being questioned by police.
On November 23, after reaching Porbandar in the Indian state of Gujarat, 310 nautical miles from Mumbai, the insurgents were intercepted by two coastguard officers. The group hoisted a white flag and allowed the two men to board their boat.
According to Kasab, one of the militants then attacked one of the officers, slitting his throat and throwing him overboard. The other man was forced to help the group reach their destination before being executed as the vessel drew near to Mumbai.
For most of the journey, Kasab’s friend, 25-year-old Abu Ismail, a trained sailor, steered the vessel using GPS equipment. Three speedboats met the Kuber a mile and a half from the Mumbai seafront on Wednesday. After waiting for the light to fade, they moved off, later transferring to two inflatable dinghies to go ashore.
The two groups then split up. Four men went to to the Taj hotel, two to the Jewish centre of Nariman House, Kasab and another man set off by taxi towards the railway station, and two headed for the Leopold restaurant.
While his colleagues were executing hostages at the Taj, Kasab and Ismail first opened fire with their assault rifles at around 10.20pm, killing dozens of people standing at Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station.
Then they hijacked a police 4x4, killing the two officers inside. Kasab told investigators they continued their killing spree by attacking a petrol station and blowing up a taxi before being stopped.
‘I have done right,’ he told investigators. ‘I have no regrets.’
One police source said: ‘He [Kasab] was telling our people this in a most dispassionate way and responded to the horror their faces betrayed by shrugging his shoulders, as if it was all of no real consequence.’
Sources said tests on Kamal’s blood and urine showed he was under the influence of drugs to help keep him alert during the long battles with Indian security forces.
Guests who had been holed up during the three-day siege at the Taj hotel told of their ordeal yesterday.
Briton Richard Farah, who was trapped in his room before being rescued by commandos, hid his passport in his false leg after terrorists were reported to be seeking British and American passport holders.
‘I saw all the blood and broken glass and shrapnel. Tons of blood and shoes, people’s shoes, women’s shoes, men’s shoes,’ he said.
‘In the last few hours there were so many explosions and the floors shook.
I said, 'I’m a goner,' because it was right below me.
Eventually, we got to the lobby. I’d hidden my passport in my leg. If they had come to get me they wouldn’t have found it.’
Evidence was emerging last night that the the gunmen killed their victims early in the siege and fooled Indian security forces into thinking that they were holding hostages.
At the Sir J.J. Hospital morgue, an official said that of the 87 bodies he had examined, all but a handful had been killed during Wednesday night.
We know who they were. We know where they came from. We know most of their places of origin. We know that tolerance and dialogue have only fostered the hate. We know that India has experienced a mild form of attack, with perhaps a grander attack yet to follow. We know that Islamo-fascism is behind this attack, and we know they want us all dead.
The response is not to sit and be non-violent. Ghandi would have been killed long ago. Therein is the issue - ONLY in Western society can a Ghandi exist. Islam does not provide for the space in which a Ghandi can operate successfully. Toleration is a Western concept - toleration of values, beliefs, ideals we may not appreciate, and even, which may undermine our cultural values.
It is a war, and they have declared war not only against the US and Britain, but against India and every Democracy. They will not be content until we have all converted, or are dead.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
BY JOE GOULD, CLARE TRAPASSO and RICH SCHAPIRO DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Updated Friday, November 28th 2008, 10:46 PM
A Wal-Mart worker died early Friday after an "out-of-control" mob of frenzied shoppers smashed through the Long Island store's front doors and trampled him, police said.
The Black Friday stampede plunged the Valley Stream outlet into chaos, knocking several employees to the ground and sending others scurrying atop vending machines to avoid the horde.
When the madness ended, 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour was dead and four shoppers, including a woman eight months pregnant, were injured.
"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Wal-Mart worker Jimmy Overby, 43.
"They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me.
"They took me down, too ... I didn't know if I was going to live through it. I literally had to fight people off my back," Overby said.
Damour, a temporary maintenance worker from Jamaica, Queens, was gasping for air as shoppers continued to surge into the store after its 5 a.m. opening, witnesses said.
Even officers who arrived to perform CPR on the trampled worker were stepped on by wild-eyed shoppers streaming inside, a cop at the scene said.
"They pushed him down and walked all over him," Damour's sobbing sister, Danielle, 41, said. "How could these people do that?
"He was such a young man with a good heart, full of life. He didn't deserve that."
Damour's sister said doctors told the family he died of a heart attack.
His cousin, Ernst Damour, called the circumstances "completely unacceptable."
"His body was a stepping bag with so much disregard for human life," Ernst Damour, 37, said. "There has to be some accountability."
Roughly 2,000 people gathered outside the Wal-Mart's doors in the predawn darkness.
Chanting "push the doors in," the crowd pressed against the glass as the clock ticked down to the 5 a.m. opening.
Sensing catastrophe, nervous employees formed a human chain inside the entrance to slow down the mass of shoppers.
It didn't work.
The mob barreled in and overwhelmed workers.
"They were jumping over the barricades and breaking down the door," said Pat Alexander, 53, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. "Everyone was screaming. You just had to keep walking on your toes to keep from falling over."
After the throng toppled Damour, his fellow employees had to fight through the crowd to help him, police said.
Witness Kimberly Cribbs said shoppers acted like "savages."
"When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling, 'I've been on line since Friday morning!'" Cribbs said. "They kept shopping."
When paramedics arrived, Damour's condition was grave.
"They were pumping his chest, trying to bring him back, and there was nothing," said Dennis Smokes, 36, a Wal-Mart worker.
Damour was taken to Franklin Hospital and pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m.
Hank Mullany, president of Wal-Mart's northeast division, said the company took extraordinary safety precautions.
"We expected a large crowd this morning and added additional internal security, additional third-party security, additional store associates and we worked closely with the Nassau County police," he said in a statement.
"We also erected barricades. Despite all of our precautions, this unfortunate event occurred."
The 28-year-old pregnant woman and three other shoppers were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, police said.
In a news conference after the incident, Nassau County police spokesman Lt. Michael Fleming described the crowd as "out of control" and the scene as "utter chaos." He said Wal-Mart did not have enough security onhand.
Fleming said criminal charges were possible but that it would be difficult to identify individual shoppers in surveillance videos.
Items on sale at the Wal-Mart store included a $798 Samsung 50-inch Plasma HDTV, a Bissel Compact Upright Vacuum for $28 and Men's Wrangler Tough Jeans for $8.
The Long Island store reopened at 1 p.m. and was packed within minutes.
"I look at these people's faces and I keep thinking one of them could have stepped on him," said one employee. "How could you take a man's life to save $20 on a TV?"
Here is one answer - close the store, and close Wal-Mart within 20 miles of the place, for that matter - close Target as well. To save some money, acting like barbarians and animals is ok. I would play that video everywhere - on screens across the city, at schools, everywhere - that these animals would kill someone to save some money. We have enemies who wake up and go to bed dreaming of killing Americans, and these pathetic animals do it for them - to save money. Disgusting. I hope their conscience works, and everyone responsible lives a very long, long life.
DEBKAfile Special Report
November 29, 2008, 12:05 PM (GMT+02:00)
Hamas took responsibility for the Palestinian mortar barrage directed Friday night, Nov. 28, at the IDF base near Nahal Oz opposite the Gaza Strip. Six men and women soldiers remain in hospital. Staff at Beersheba's Sorocca hospital stabilized two seriously injured soldiers overnight, but had to amputate the leg of one of them.
The Palestinian fire, timed for the Sabbath Eve meal at the IDF base, hit the quarters of the officers and women soldiers. Mortar fire was also aimed at Shear Hanegev and Netiv Ha'asara but caused no harm.
DEBKAfile's military sources report that by claiming the attack the Hamas terrorist group makes nonsense of defense minister Ehud Barak's policy of "preserving the ceasefire."
In the last two weeks, Barak plunged into intense diplomacy through American, Egyptian and Jordanian channels for Hamas' acceptance of an unwritten extension of the Gaza truce which expires next month. Jordanian emissaries went to Damascus to talk with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal; prime minister Ehud Olmert and Barak travelled to Amman for an update on their mission from King Abdullah; and a defense ministry official, Amos Gilead, was dispatched to Cairo.
Barak then decided that his initiative had worked: Hamas was ready to accept a ceasefire in Gaza – until the rude awakening Friday morning: An IDF patrol sighted a terrorist band in Gaza on its way to lay explosive devices on the border fence which demarcates the land of Kibbutz Nirim. Israeli soldiers entered Gaza Strip to head them off. Three terrorists were killed in the ensuing shoot-out.
Hamas demonstrated by its reprisal that it does not feel bound by any truce deals with Israel and is free to start shooting whenever it likes.
Edward Bellamy wrote a book, first published in 1888, and more times thereafter than I am able to count, that had a character named Julian West, who for reasons I cannot recall, went to sleep in 1887 and woke up September 10, 2000. 113 years changed Boston - from a capitalistic enterprise to one that provided what we would call utopian idealism - socialism. Everyone was cared for and ... but that is not the point. The point is - assume you were Julian West and you went to sleep in May 1887 and woke up in September 2000. What might you think - of lights, phones, computers, PDAs, cell phones, of skype and cameras on the internet? Might you be blown away - so confused and utterly bewildered that you are more like a two year old than an adult?
That is how I feel every time I read or hear of the claims made by Palestinians. I have entered Alice's world and have run into the rabbit and the Mad Hatter swept in smoothly with Julian West and 113 years.
In 2005, Israel left Gaza. For all intents and purposes, Israel left Gaza.
Everything Gaza needs - water, electricity, food - comes from Israel, or through Israel. gaza is unsustainable. If it was sustainable, it would be working. The money has been provided. Any doubt of this - simply check the bank account at the time of Arafat's death. Nearly $1 billion dollars. If this is not enough, check the EU donations to the Palestinians, check the UN donations to the Palestinians, check the US donations to the Palestinians. Add up all that money and you are well able to rebuild an area the size of Gaza from dust, and do it in one year. You have the workers - everyone is unemployed. You have the money - it is sent every year.
Alas, this is not the case. Rather than building the infrastructure, Hamas prefers to buy weapons.
So Israel pulls out of Gaza. Rather than celebrate and begin a process of introspection - review the books, check the accounts, begin negotiations with groups who can go in and help build (UN/Russia/US/UK/FR) - Hamas begins attacks on Israel with mortars. An average of 10 a day. Israel's response - usually at night, Israeli soldiers would secret themselves into Gaza, remove the individuals who had the mortars, and then secret themselves back out of Gaza.
When the attacks increased - Israel cut the amount of electricty or water or supplies going in to Gaza. Most notably after they checked trucks carrying 'emergency supplies' and found weapons. Even then, even then they did not cut ALL electricty or supplies, they simply hindered the movement. The response - Hamas called Israel names. Hamas said Israel was starving children and depriving women of medications and doctors of necessary supplies, depriving women and children of electricty, and all people of water. And the mortar attacks continued.
It got so bad, Hamas ordered several thousand Palestinians to storm the Egyptian gates. The Egyptian border guards shot at the Palestinians cutting through the gates, but as the gates fell and thousands poured accross, the guards fled. The Palestinians fled into near by villages, and Hamas began collecting weapons. It was at this time that a truce went into effect with Israel. The mortar attacks went from 10 a day to 1 a day. The Palestinians who had fled across the border into Egypt were slowly collected by Egyptians troops who were called in to secure the border. In the process, hundreds of weapons caches were found in the desert.
Israeli soldiers captured/ found / stopped more weapons from crossing into Israel thorugh Egypt immediately after the Hamas led invasion of Egypt, than at any time prior. Hamas was planning something and wanted as many weapons inside Israel as possible.
Just Married and Determined to Die - The woman, just married, has been training to die - to kill Israelis and die. Why is she training, even though a cease fire exists? Because it will end and when it does, she will go out and blow herself up.
Why is she so sure it will end / fail?
Maybe because Hamas is sending 10 mortars a day again, digging tunnels into Israel, secreting weapons into Gaza, attacking guards, and killing Israelis.
Maybe because Hamas is trying to get Israel to break the ceasefire. Trying really hard.
More information has trickled out, and everything leads away from Hindu extremists toward al qaida.
The number of murdered hostages in one of worst, most deliberate terrorist attacks ever on an Israeli-Jewish community outside Israel rose to nine Saturday, Nov. 29, after the Indian government wrested control of its financial center from Islamist terrorists. The name of Ms Yocheved Harpaz, 59, mother of four from Givitayim joined the four victims from Chabad Center so far identified: Rabbi Gavriel, 29, and Rivka, 28, Holzman, taken hostage in the Chabad Center during their assault on Mumbai Wednesday, Nov. 26. Their 2-year old son, Moshe, was brought to safety by his Indian nanny.
Two more victims identified were Betzion Chroman, 28, father of three, who held dual US-Israeli citizenship, and Leibisch Teitelbaum, an American from Brooklyn. Pathologists from Israel will help identify the others.
Chabad Center was seized together with two big hotels and attacks on other high-profile targets across the city.
The Indian government estimates that some 610 hostages were rescued at the ravaged Oberoi and Taj Mahal Palace hotels and nearly 200 were killed by the terrorists, a figure which is expected to rise to 350 as bodies are collected from hotel rooms. It is not clear if the rescued hostages include local hotel staff.
Indian fingers are pointing at Pakistan as investigators begin probing for the hand behind the uniquely pre-planned, orderly, commando-style assault by an estimated 30 terrorists. The singling out of foreign sites and US, British and Jewish victims is seen by many experts as a hallmark of an al Qaeda-led operation possibly in association with other groups.
Indian TV claims the gunmen traveled to Mumbai by sea from Karachi. A recurring name is that of Maulana Abdul Bari, an Indian based in Saudi Arabia who is the suspected bankroller of the assault. The Foreign Office in London denies the "British connection" highlighted by UK media, some of which say seven of the terrorists were Pakistan British citizens.
All counter-terror agencies stress the importance of long and exhaustive reconnaissance by the attackers. Some suggest "advance control rooms" may have been set up at the Taj Mahal and Oberoi hotels for prior reconnaissance and even to cache arms and ammunition.
Israel's defense minister Ehud Barak also estimated the assault was carried out by 30 gunmen working in groups of seven who were in touch with additional elements in the city and linked to a command base, possibly of al Qaeda, in neighboring countries. The FBI has sent a team to join the Indian probe. The US and Israeli governments stress the need for more global cooperation and intelligence-sharing to help predict where the Islamist terrorists will strike next.
Atrocities from the 60-hour ordeal began coming to light Friday night, when Israeli defense minister said in a Channel 1 TV interview that some of the bodies bore signs that they had been bound hand and foot and two Israeli women had been killed hours before the men. The dramatic Indian helicopter-borne commando raid of Chabad Center, which caters to Israeli and Jewish visitors to the city, failed to save anyone in the building.
The outrage may not be over. Mumbai, India's financial capital, was shut down Saturday - schools, shops, traffic - against a second wave of terror as police armed with machine guns patrolled the streets. Friday, Islamist gunmen returned to their first target, the city's main rail station for a second attack. DEBKAfile reported earlier that some of the terrorists had remained on the loose away their first targets to continue their "mission."
Indian investigators are examining a satellite phone and GPS map recovered from a trawler, the Kubar, floating in the Arabian Sea. The crew was missing from the vessel except for its master whose body was found beheaded with bound limbs.
Nov 28, 2008
02:39 PM US/Eastern
The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader, on Friday said sex spelt fleeting satisfaction and trouble later, while chastity offered a better life and "more freedom."
"Sexual pressure, sexual desire, actually I think is short period satisfaction and often, that leads to more complication," the Dalai Lama told reporters in a Lagos hotel, speaking in English without a translator.
He said conjugal life caused "too much ups and downs.
"Naturally as a human being ... some kind of desire for sex comes, but then you use human intelligence to make comprehension that those couples always full of trouble. And in some cases there is suicide, murder cases," the Dalai Lama said.
He said the "consolation" in celibacy is that although "we miss something, but at the same time, compare whole life, it's better, more independence, more freedom."
Considered a Buddhist Master exempt from the religion's wheel of death and reincarnation, the Dalai Lama waxed eloquent on the Buddhist credo of non-attachment.
"Too much attachment towards your children, towards your partner," was "one of the obstacle or hindrance of peace of mind," he said.
Revered by his followers as a god-king, the Dalai Lama arrived in Lagos on Friday on a three-day visit following an invitation from a foundation to attend a conference. He has made no political speeches in the west African country.
He leaves Friday night for the Czech Republic and then on to Brussels to address the European Parliament before heading to Poland, where he is due to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The 73-year-old Nobel Peace laureate has been a mainstay on the diplomatic stage ever since he fled his native land for neighbouring India in 1959.
Still based in northern India, the Dalai Lama has increasingly been in the spotlight since protests in Tibet turned violent in March this year, just months before the Chinese capital Beijing hosted the Summer Olympic Games.
Regarded by his many supporters outside China as a visionary in the vein of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his accent on non-violence to achieve change.
However, he is reviled by the Chinese government, which has branded him a "monster" and accused him of trying to split the nation.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Nov 28, 2008
6:44 AM (ET)
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader appeared in a new video posted Friday calling on Americans to embrace Islam to overcome the financial meltdown, which he said was a consequence of the Sept. 11 attacks and militant strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ayman al-Zawahri, whose 80-minute recording touched on a number of subjects, also lashed out at Afghanistan's government and said any U.S. gains in Iraq will be temporary.
Zawahri's new recording came in the form of a question-and-answer session with an off-camera interviewer.
Appearing in a white turban and robe, Zawahri discussed the roots of the U.S. economic crisis. He said it was a repercussion of the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States, and that the crisis would continue "as long as the foolish American policy of wading in Muslim blood continues."
"The American economy was afflicted by a downturn and loss of investor confidence in the market following the events of Sept. 11," he said.
"The modern economy has been destroyed by the strikes of the mujahedeen (in Iraq and Afghanistan) and usury," he said, using the Arabic term for holy warriors.
Under Islamic Sharia law, usury, like drinking alcohol, is among the grand sins.
Zawahri then called on the American people to "embrace Islam to live a life free of greed, exploitation and forbidden wealth."
idiots on parade
Beware the church of climate alarm
November 27, 2008
As the Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, an economist, anti-totalitarian and climate change sceptic, prepares to take up the rotating presidency of the European Union next year, climate alarmists are doing their best to traduce him.
The New York Times opened a profile of Klaus, 67, this week with a quote from a 1980s communist secret agent's report, claiming he behaves like a "rejected genius", and asserts there is "palpable fear" he will "embarrass" the EU.
But the real fear driving climate alarmists wild is that a more rational approach to the fundamentalist religion of global warming may be in the ascendancy - whether in the parliamentary offices of the world's largest trading bloc or in the living rooms of Blacktown.
As the global financial crisis takes hold, perhaps people are starting to wonder whether the so-called precautionary principle, which would have us accept enormous new taxes in the guise of an emissions trading scheme and curtail economic growth, is justified, based on what we actually know about climate.
[To read the rest of the article, click on the title link]
Nov 28, 2008
5:07 PM US/Eastern AFP
Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani said on Friday that 80 dollars a barrel is a "reasonable" price for oil and that his country would support any OPEC decision to cut output.
"A reasonable price for oil is 80 dollars a barrel," said Shahristani on arrival in Cairo to attend a consultative meeting by the OPEC cartel to study slumping crude prices.
"We have to make sure that produced oil is used for consumption and not for storing.
"Iraq would support a decision by OPEC to cut output either here or in Algeria," the Iraqi minister added.
Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries ministers are to meet in Cairo on Saturday amid pressure for production cuts to stem heavy oil price losses, which continued to mount on Friday.
Most cartel members appeared to rule out an immediate reduction, preferring instead to wait until the next scheduled meeting in Oran, Algeria on December 17.
Iraq is excluded from the OPEC quota production system. OPEC's official output, excluding Baghdad, stands at 27.3 million barrels per day.
World oil prices closed mixed on Friday amid signs the OPEC producers' group would wait until next month before announcing any decision to cut output.
Light sweet crude for delivery in January fell one cent to 54.43 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) as trading resumed after markets were shut Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday break.
On London's InterContinental Exchange (ICE), Brent North Sea crude for January rose 36 cents in late trading to end 53.49 dollars a barrel.
Is it possible to do something for someone that is good, even if, the someone you do something for is as useful as a dull headache? Yes. What the US did, for Iraq, and the world, is something that in time, when the passions among the looney left fade with their deaths in the decades to come, will fade, and it will be seen for what it was - a good thing.
However, that does not mean that Iraq is our friend or even friendly.
$80 a barrel is about $30 more than it should be.
We should sell to Iraq our services and charge them for that help. 5,000 lives X 3,600 each. The number of helicopters and tanks blown up, the number of weapons used, the number of tanks destroyed, the number of humvees. A nice round figure of say $7 trillion dollars.
Ah, but they didn't ask for it.
Ok - so we shall request from Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan, and every other country that received any money from us that they open their books - that we be shown exactly how they spend the money. That if they do not use the money for infrastructure needs only, we will cut the aid and stop sending more. That if Pakistan does not use its funding to specifically deal with terrorism and fighting terrorists within its government, we will cut our aid.
Seems fair. It is our money.
"We have to make sure that produced oil is used for consumption and not for storing."
Hmm. Like we squirrel it away like nuts.
It seems freeing a people did not make them any brighter.
I was sitting at Costco, filling my gas tank up - $1.84 a gallon. As I do, when I am sitting at Costco - I turn the radio on.
I heard the radio personality make a few comments about Mumbai and the killers having originated from Mumbai/India. I think we have sorted out the fact - they were not, if any, from India. Britain and Pakistan surely played a role in providing killers for the attack on Mumbai (formerly and currently known as Bombay to people with old maps). Although given some of the details that have emerged, it is possible these were Hindu killers, terrorists without a conscience, desiring death, more than life. This is still very much in flux - as to who exactly they were.
It is very upsetting for some people to hear about these events. They do not like the generalizations that are made, nor do they like having their religion 'attacked'. The problem is - it is their religion that feeds the murderous rage of the killers. If they were not Muslim, the issue remains the same - terrorists / killers, the most barbaric of which need to be stopped any way possible.
The likelihood that a group of Christians wake up one morning and decide, in the name of Jesus or God, to set out to kill and slaughter innocents of the Buddhist or Jewish faith - you are more likely to be hit by a meteor moments after you win the global powerball, and received notice that you were unanimously elected Secretary General of the UN. The likelihood that a group of Christians wake up in the morning and decide, in the name of God or Jesus, to slaughter Muslims - you are more likely to be hit by frozen space junk, moments before a UFO lands and Keanu Reeves steps out carrying Megan Fox, who jumps from his arms and runs to you, wrapping a medallion around your neck signifying that you are King of all the Earth.
Is it possible that people who are, or claim to be Christian, wake up one morning and kill Jews or Muslims? Yes.
Is there a difference? Yes, and it is a significant difference.
The killers in Mumbai woke up three days ago and decided, in the name of Allah, to slaughter innocents. They sought out Americans and British citizens, they held Jews hostage and killed a several. If not in the name of Allah, there are plenty of cases where killers did wake up and blow up trains in India, in the name of Allah. If these terrorists killed for their Hindu extremism, they need to be erased from human memory as quickly as possible.
There is a difference.
Those who adhere to that philosophy are not criminals, for it permeates Islam. Either the toleration of, or the support and appreciation of those who slaughter innocents is widespread. It is not just a few criminals, as is the case in Sudan with the Lords Army. The person who heads the Lords Army is a killer and a criminal. He is also one man and is not supported by any Christian church. He is vile and loathsome. He is a pariah, and as a Christian we can say with certainty - he will go to hell for his actions.
I do not care why he does what he does. I do not care what his motivations or intentions are - he kills innocents and that will secure him a place in hell.
NOW - when Muslims can say the same thing about Islamic killers - then we are on the road to recovery. Hindu's tend to be very passive. There is an element in India that are not passive, BUT selecting British and American citizens and Jews, is very odd.
This is not an attack on over 1 billion Muslims, who do not seek to spread the blood of innocents on the conscience of man. It is a very narrowly defined group, but one that numbers hundreds of thousands and even a few million.
They cannot be negotiated with, they have no desire to negotiate - they only desire to help you die. They are a plague upon mankind.
[Some discussion in India as to whether these murderers were Hindu extremists - where they began their killing spree is near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Train, named after a Hiundu ruler who fiercely opposed Muslims. Except - they picked on Americans (typically Christian; on British citizens, also typicaly Christian; and on Jews - all of whom do not get along well with Muslims). You do not pick a site where the ruler opposed Muslims and instead you kill Jews and Americans. Also some mention of one of the killers having a red band around their wrist - some connection to Hinduism. If however, they are/were Hindu, they would not be entering India from the sea - they would have driven or walked to the spot where they murdered. The authorities know the ship they debarked from - and it was not a Hindu ship. In previous attacks/killings by the Hindu terrorists, they selected government functionaries and Indians - NOT American, British, and Jews. The Hindu extremist killers have also claimed responsibility in the past - this time, they didn't - instead, an Islamic group claimed responsibility. When the indian government began capturing the killers, they revealed some of their nationalities and origins - and Pakistan kept coming up. Hindu extrremists who hate Muslims would not be living in Pakistan. For the above reasons, it would seem less likely that it is Hindu, and if anything, was an attempt to cover up until the very end, who these murderers were.]
Two British-born Pakistanis were among eight gunmen seized by Indian commandos who stormed buildings to free hostages, Vilasrao Deshmukh, the chief minister of Mumbai, reportedly said.
The Foreign Office earlier said it was investigating reports on NDTV, a local television news channel, that the terrorists - who swarmed luxury hotels and other tourist sites in the city - included "British citizens of Pakistani origin".
The development came as Gordon Brown called for international co-ordination to combat terrorism in the wake of the attacks. He said: "We have got to look at how international action against terrorism can be improved."
On the claim that Britons could have been among the perpetrators, he said: "I would not want to be drawn into early conclusions about this.
"Obviously when you have terrorists operating in one country, they may be getting support from another country or coming from another country, and it is very important that we strengthen the co-operation between India and Britain in dealing with these instances of terrorist attacks."
As soon as this bit of information became known, and I mean 'as soon as' it became known, the details traveled to Brown - wherever he was and whatever he was doing. Having been informed, he called MI5 chief and the head of the Met - and demanded to know what they knew about the individuals named. Those files may well be shredded by this time.
It would not look very good having a file and surveillance on someone, and those individuals went and killed 120+ people.
This is not a matter of innocent until proven guilty - these are not simple bank robbers or thugs - they are on a messianic course with an intent and desire that cannot be assuaged by law and order, fear of prison or punishment. THEY WANT TO DIE.
The answer is very clear, the issue is clear, the problem is screaming out each day - justice. No one wants people incarcerated in Guantanamo, so they say 'release them' and how do you do that - just release them into the general population in prison or free them completely?
If you free them, they will get on planes and kill thousands of people - Americans included.
Who then is responsible?
In this war on Islamo-fascism, you are not dealing with some stupid fool who robbed a bank and deserves a sentence and then freedom when he is finished serving his sentence. You are not dealing with someone who wants to be part of any society, he is not interested in becoming or being a useful member of society. You are dealing with people who wish to destroy the very fabric that holds society together. Individuals who engage in, or are caught assisting, or engaging in acts of terrorism, or support for terrorism, or aiding and sheltering terrorists, are not entitled to the protections that a bank robber may enjoy. When we realize this, we can protect ourselves. Until then, these people will wander freely in London, watched by the Met, but not stopped when they head to Pakistan where they will take part in a murderous rampage of terror and death.
Moral responsibility falls on the British, for at least two of these murderers.
How much responsibility falls upon the public who are quick to condemn places like Guantanamo, who demand these 'people' be released - as if these people were simply strolling along eating croissants when they were picked up by American soldiers who were not interested in truth, facts, or reality. All or nearly all of those picked up committed an act that got them collected. That act was not spitting on the sidewalk, nor was it simply shouting praises to Allah for the deaths of Americans - it included, in most cases, active participation in activities designed to harm innocent people.
When you wake up and realize that they must be held to a standard much higher than the standard for a foolish loser who robs a bank, we can begin to win this war against Ismao-fascism. Until then, we will continue losing and thousands of innocent mothers, fathers, children - will be murdered in the streets.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
The Times of India says: It's War
and this ...
This Is War
Mr LK Advani has offered to the PM his party's full cooperation against terrorism. That is not enough. The PM should respond by inviting all the major national and regional parties to join a national government. And to declare a National Emergency
By: Rajinder Puri
November 27, 2008
The full details of the Mumbai bomb blasts are yet to come. But sufficient is known to suggest broad conclusions. The attacks were conceived and carried out with meticulous commando efficiency. Considerable homework must have gone into the planning for attack against five-star hotels, the best time for attack to target elite foreigners, and the best approaches to the hotels. The attackers came by sea at the foot of the Taj Hotel. At the moment of writing Intelligence agencies reportedly have claimed the arrest of one Pakistani attacker belonging to the Lashkar-eTaiba. The agency has also reportedly claimed that the attackers came by the sea route from Karachi to Mumbai. Several eyewitnesses saw the boats on which the terrorists landed. Therefore the terrorists certainly came on ships or trawlers from wherever, armed with grenades and weapons.
The attack, its scale and nature, are a turning point in terrorist attacks against this country. It comes in the wake of serial blasts across metropolitan cities of India that have steadily escalated. The government’s failure to stem terrorism has emboldened the terrorists to attack brazenly. It is most likely that such attacks will proliferate, become deadlier, and come in quick succession. Terrorism has declared full fledged war against India. This war may not directed by any government. Recall the Marriot Hotel bombing in Islamabad. Are these Mumbai blasts a follow-up? They seem to be directed by Al Qaeda, possibly aided by its proxies within and outside governments. Some governments may have substantial penetration by terrorists, others may have miniscule penetration. But terrorist infiltration recognizes no boundaries and spares no nation, including India.
Before formulating strategy to win this war there is need for an appropriate instrument to fight the war. To achieve that, two steps are needed. Mr LK Advani has offered to the PM his party’s full cooperation against terrorism. That is not enough. The PM should respond by inviting all the major national and regional parties to join a national government.
The second required step is that a state of National Emergency should be declared. This would in no way replicate the Emergency days of 1975 when the media was muzzled to prevent criticism of Indira Gandhi. That fraudulent Emergency was justified by a public speech attributed to Jaya Prakash Narain which was distorted beyond recognition by official agencies. Now India faces a genuine Emergency situation.
Article 352 (1) of the Constitution states: "If the President is satisfied that a grave emergency exists whereby the security of India or any part of the territory thereof is threatened, whether by war or external aggression or by armed rebellion, he may by Proclamation, make a declaration to that effect in respect of the whole of India or of such part of the territory thereof as may be specified in the Proclamation." Should not the Cabinet advise the President to issue the Proclamation?