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USA And The Future Of The World
War on terror: UK seeks Indian Muslims' help
Mohammed Wajihuddin
[ 20 Sep, 2006 2336hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

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There are three Urdu dailies and as many Urdu channels in England, which cater to the vast South Asian immigrant population.

The Urdu media in England also reflects the feelings of Muslims in the subcontinent. The foreign office, to gauge the mood of Muslims and to prevent possible radicalisation of Muslim youths, regularly monitors Urdu media.

Similarly, its office in Delhi keeps an eye on contents of Urdu dailies in India. "Whenever we see fabricated news or slanderous comments about England in Urdu dailies here, we send rebuttals and try to clarify," said Asad Mirza, media advisor at the British foreign office in Delhi.

"We are not against healthy debate or even critique of our policies, but they should be substantiated with facts." Meanwhile, the British foreign office has also shown interest in tie-ups with Hyderabad-based Maulana Azad Urdu University.

During their visit to Hyderabad, British foreign officials promised that they would try to introduce the university's popular distance education programme in England.

UK reportedly reaches out to poor Muslims across the world through various NGOs and human rights' organisations, including Global Opportunity Funding (GOF).

"The GOF has spent more than five billion pounds in the Muslim world so far," said Qadri, who is originally from Nagpur and has lived in London for decades.
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<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The best Colorado example is Gov.-elect Bill Ritter, an antiabortion Catholic who spent three years as a missionary in Zambia.

Throughout the campaign, no one questioned Ritter�s faith. It allowed the Democrat to focus on education, the environment, the economy and other key issues. He won handily.

"The election became about other things," said Jim Wallis, a Christian political writer. "These Democrats may be socially conservative, but they are strongly populist on other issues -- caring for the poor and needy, caring for the environment and opposing the war in Iraq. That combination is a winning combination in America."

Some, including Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, say GOP officeholders chased conservative Christian voters away by failing to support their pet issues in Congress. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->While evangelicals remain overwhelmingly Republican, Wallis said, Christians as a whole may be the nation�s newest swing voters.

"God is not a Republican or a Democrat," he said. "You are not going to see the faith community in anybody�s pocket."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>*Voodoo practitioner tries to jinx Bush *</b>

BOGOR, Indonesia - A renowned black magic practitioner performed a voodoo ritual Thursday to jinx *President George W.
and his entourage while he was on a brief visit to Indonesia.

Ki Gendeng Pamungkas slit the throat of a goat, a small snake and stabbed a black crow in the chest, stirred their blood with spice and broccoli before drank the "potion" and smeared some on his face."I don't hate Americans, but I don't like Bush," said Pamungkas, who believed the ritual would succeed as, "the devil is with me today."

He said the jinx would *send spirits to possess Secret
Service<http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news/ p=Secret+Service>personnel
guarding Bush and put them in a trance, leading them into falsely  thinking the president was under attack, thus eventually causing chaos* in Bogor Presidential Palace, where the American leader was scheduled to meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday.

Indonesia the world's most populous Muslim country, however many still practicing animist rituals, including black magic, that predate Islam's arrival in the archipelago.

"I am doing voodoo, because other ritual would not work," Pamungkas told reporters after he conducted the gory ritual about 1 kilometers from the palace.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Kissinger's 1974 Plan for Food Control Genocide</b>
by Joseph Brewda
Dec. 8, 1995
On Dec. 10, 1974, the U.S. National Security Council under Henry Kissinger completed a classified 200-page study, "National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests." The study falsely claimed that population growth in the so-called Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs) was a grave threat to U.S. national security. Adopted as official policy in November 1975 by President Gerald Ford, NSSM 200 outlined a covert plan to reduce population growth in those countries through birth control, and also, implicitly, war and famine. Brent Scowcroft, who had by then replaced Kissinger as national security adviser (the same post Scowcroft was to hold in the Bush administration), was put in charge of implementing the plan. CIA Director George Bush was ordered to assist Scowcroft, as were the secretaries of state, treasury, defense, and agriculture.

The bogus arguments that Kissinger advanced were not original. One of his major sources was the Royal Commission on Population, which King George VI had created in 1944 "to consider what measures should be taken in the national interest to influence the future trend of population." The commission found that Britain was gravely threatened by population growth in its colonies, since "a populous country has decided advantages over a sparsely-populated one for industrial production." The combined effects of increasing population and industrialization in its colonies, it warned, "might be decisive in its effects on the prestige and influence of the West," especially effecting "military strength and security."

NSSM 200 similarly concluded that the United States was threatened by population growth in the former colonial sector. It paid special attention to 13 "key countries" in which the United States had a "special political and strategic interest": India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia. It claimed that population growth in those states was especially worrisome, since it would quickly increase their relative political, economic, and military strength.

For example, Nigeria: "Already the most populous country on the continent, with an estimated 55 million people in 1970, Nigeria's population by the end of this century is projected to number 135 million. This suggests a growing political and strategic role for Nigeria, at least in Africa." Or Brazil: "Brazil clearly dominated the continent demographically." The study warned of a "growing power status for Brazil in Latin America and on the world scene over the next 25 years."

<b>Food as a weapon</b>
There were several measures that Kissinger advocated to deal with this alleged threat, most prominently, birth control and related population-reduction programs. He also warned that "population growth rates are likely to increase appreciably before they begin to decline," even if such measures were adopted.

A second measure was curtailing food supplies to targetted states, in part to force compliance with birth control policies: "There is also some established precedent for taking account of family planning performance in appraisal of assistance requirements by AID [U.S. Agency for International Development] and consultative groups. Since population growth is a major determinant of increases in food demand, allocation of scarce PL 480 resources should take account of what steps a country is taking in population control as well as food production. In these sensitive relations, however, it is important in style as well as substance to avoid the appearance of coercion."

"Mandatory programs may be needed and we should be considering these possibilities now," the document continued, adding, "Would food be considered an instrument of national power? ... Is the U.S. prepared to accept food rationing to help people who can't/won't control their population growth?"

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Kissinger also predicted a return of famines that could make exclusive reliance on birth control programs unnecessary. "Rapid population growth and lagging food production in developing countries, together with the sharp deterioration in the global food situation in 1972 and 1973, have raised serious concerns about the ability of the world to feed itself adequately over the next quarter of century and beyond," </span>he reported.

The cause of that coming food deficit was not natural, however, but was a result of western financial policy: "Capital investments for irrigation and infrastucture and the organization requirements for continuous improvements in agricultural yields may be beyond the financial and administrative capacity of many LDCs. For some of the areas under heaviest population pressure, there is little or no prospect for foreign exchange earnings to cover constantly increasingly imports of food."

"It is questionable," Kissinger gloated, "whether aid donor countries will be prepared to provide the sort of massive food aid called for by the import projections on a long-term continuing basis." Consequently, "large-scale famine of a kind not experienced for several decades—a kind the world thought had been permanently banished," was foreseeable—famine, which has indeed come to pass.

Plaque in Gujarat in 90s
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Henry Kissinger's Hell </b>

.....there is little of the evil in U.S. foreign policy which cannot be traced back to the influence of Kissinger, as a leading representative of the Anglo-Dutch imperial outlook, on the American body-politic. In addition to his Middle East policy, which was dedicated to maintaining a permanent state of warfare between various groups in the region, Kissinger in 1974 put in place the infamous National Security Study Memorandum 200, which declared that it was in the U.S. "strategic interest" to contain the population growth of states which controlled raw materials to which the West wanted unrestricted access—a policy that has amounted to outright genocide against minerals-rich African nations, among others. This policy is still in effect today!

<b>Henry Kissinger's Hell</b>

Lyndon LaRouche summarized the immediate global strategic situation thus, in a memo issued Nov. 25:

"The best chance for extricating the U.S. military forces from an unimaginable debacle in Southwest Asia, is to scrap every shred of the relevant policies of the current Bush Administration so far, and bring together a concert of key governments of Southwest Asia for a coherent stabilization of the relations among and within the nations of that region. This must include opening immediate normal diplomatic relations with the group of keystone nations Iran , Syria , and Turkey , and, must include informing Israel 's current government that there must be an immediate end to Israel 's evasion of a constructive détente with the Palestinian people.

"It is the U.S. obligation, therefore, to acknowledge the prudence of saner voices among Israeli leaders, who do not propose to jump from the cliff into doom once again. The U.S. must immediately state and assist a U.S. lobby-proof, full commitment to a successful early conclusion of a Madrid II process. Otherwise, there is no safe route for extrication of U.S. forces from an increasingly desperate situation within Iraq itself.

"Otherwise, there is no hope of a foreseeable future for any part of that region of the world as a whole.

"At the moment, the greatest single threat to the U.S. military forces trapped in President Bush's wildly irrational evasion of elementary truths of the region, comes not so much from the addled head of the President himself, as from the same perennial menace to civilization, de facto British agent Sir Henry A. Kissinger, whose direction, assisted by the British intelligence service's (Arab Bureau's) Dr. Bernard Lewis, launched the beginning of the generalized warfare throughout the Southwest Asia region, with the launching of religious warfare within Lebanon, back in April 1975.

<b>"What Kissinger is doing, in concert with Sister Lynne Cheney's mad-dog husband, is to attempt to enflame a Sunni-versus- Shi'a conflict within the region, thus seeking to foment a more or less immediate locking of the U.S. forces deployed in the region into a situation as hopeless for them as for the people of the Southwest Asia region in general.</b>

"Although Kissinger was never exactly a 'Dorian Gray,' the evils of an ill-spent life in public service afford viewers today a clear view of the man's lack of humane character drooping from his dew-laps today. Perhaps Sister Lynne Cheney has an extra leash or two, for both Dick and Henry, next to the tethered dogs on the hillside of the Naval Observatory. Perhaps the fashion-conscious Secretary of State might bring out her famous high boots, and, grasping a blacksnake whip to match, march up to the Observatory to administer a relevant lesson in diplomacy to the snarling pair of Dirty Dick and rumpled Henry."

Indeed, there is little of the evil in U.S. foreign policy which cannot be traced back to the influence of Kissinger, as a leading representative of the Anglo-Dutch imperial outlook, on the American body-politic. In addition to his Middle East policy, which was dedicated to maintaining a permanent state of warfare between various groups in the region, Kissinger in 1974 put in place the infamous National Security Study Memorandum 200, which declared that it was in the U.S. "strategic interest" to contain the population growth of states which controlled raw materials to which the West wanted unrestricted access—a policy that has amounted to outright genocide against minerals-rich African nations, among others. This policy is still in effect today!

Perhaps most notable in summarizing the intent of Kissinger's policy was his May 10, 1982 speech at Chatham House, London, where he took direct aim at the American "idealism" of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and declared himself in favor of the Churchillian approach—that of a Hobbesian (each against all) imperial balance of power.

<b>Can anyone deny that American foreign policy under Kissinger's Hobbesian hand has been nothing short of disastrous? We now stand at the brink of irreversible disaster. Both Henry, and his cohort Cheney, have got to be removed from positions of influence—now</b>!<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>The New Middle East By Richard N. Haass</b>

From Foreign Affairs, November/December 2006

<i>Summary: The age of U.S. dominance in the Middle East has ended and a new era in the modern history of the region has begun. It will be shaped by new actors and new forces competing for influence, and to master it, Washington will have to rely more on diplomacy than on military might.</i>

Richard N. Haass is President of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Just over two centuries since Napoleon's arrival in Egypt heralded the advent of the modern Middle East -- some 80 years after the demise of the Ottoman Empire, 50 years after the end of colonialism, and less than 20 years after the end of the Cold War -- the American era in the Middle East, the fourth in the region's modern history, has ended. <b>Visions of a new, Europe-like region -- peaceful, prosperous, democratic -- will not be realized. Much more likely is the emergence of a new Middle East that will cause great harm to itself, the United States, and the world.</b>

All the eras have been defined by the interplay of contending forces, both internal and external to the region. What has varied is the balance between these influences. The Middle East's next era promises to be one in which outside actors have a relatively modest impact and local forces enjoy the upper hand -- and in which the local actors gaining power are radicals committed to changing the status quo. Shaping the new Middle East from the outside will be exceedingly difficult, but it -- along with managing a dynamic Asia -- will be the primary challenge of U.S. foreign policy for decades to come.

The modern Middle East was born in the late eighteenth century. For some historians, the signal event was the 1774 signing of the treaty that ended the war between the Ottoman Empire and Russia; a stronger case can be made for the importance of Napoleon's relatively easy entry into Egypt in 1798, which showed Europeans that the region was ripe for conquest and prompted Arab and Muslim intellectuals to ask -- as many continue to do today -- why their civilization had fallen so far behind that of Christian Europe. Ottoman decline combined with European penetration into the region gave rise to the "Eastern Question," regarding how to deal with the effects of the decline of the Ottoman Empire, which various parties have tried to answer to their own advantage ever since.

The first era ended with World War I, the demise of the Ottoman Empire, the rise of the Turkish republic, and the division of the spoils of war among the European victors. What ensued was an age of colonial rule, dominated by France and the United Kingdom. This second era ended some four decades later, after another world war had drained the Europeans of much of their strength, Arab nationalism had risen, and the two superpowers had begun to lock horns. "[He] who rules the Near East rules the world; and he who has interests in the world is bound to concern himself with the Near East," wrote the historian Albert Hourani, who correctly saw the 1956 Suez crisis as marking the end of the colonial era and the beginning of the Cold War era in the region.

During the Cold War, as had been the case previously, outside forces played a dominant role in the Middle East. But the very nature of U.S.-Soviet competition gave local states considerable room to maneuver. The high-water mark of the era was the October 1973 war, which the United States and the Soviet Union essentially stopped at a stalemate, paving the way for ambitious diplomacy, including the Egyptian-Israeli peace accord.

Yet it would be a mistake to see this third era simply as a time of well-managed great-power competition. The June 1967 war forever changed the balance of power in the Middle East. The use of oil as an economic and political weapon in 1973 highlighted U.S. and international vulnerability to supply shortages and price hikes. And the Cold War's balancing act created a context in which local forces in the Middle East had significant autonomy to pursue their own agendas. The 1979 revolution in Iran, which brought down one of the pillars of U.S. policy in the region, showed that outsiders could not control local events. Arab states resisted U.S. attempts to persuade them to join anti-Soviet projects. Israel's 1982 occupation of Lebanon spawned Hezbollah. And the Iran-Iraq War consumed those two countries for a decade.


The end of the Cold War and the demise of the Soviet Union brought about a fourth era in the region's history, during which the United States enjoyed unprecedented influence and freedom to act. Dominant features of this American era were the U.S.-led liberation of Kuwait, the long-term stationing of U.S. ground and air forces on the Arabian Peninsula, and an active diplomatic interest in trying to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all (which culminated in the Clinton administration's intense but ultimately unsuccessful effort at Camp David). More than any other, this period exemplified what is now thought of as the "old Middle East." The region was defined by an aggressive but frustrated Iraq, a radical but divided and relatively weak Iran, Israel as the region's most powerful state and sole nuclear power, fluctuating oil prices, top-heavy Arab regimes that repressed their peoples, uneasy coexistence between Israel and both the Palestinians and the Arabs, and, more generally, American primacy.

What has brought this era to an end after less than two decades is a number of factors, some structural, some self-created. The most significant has been the Bush administration's decision to attack Iraq in 2003 and its conduct of the operation and resulting occupation. One casualty of the war has been a Sunni-dominated Iraq, which was strong enough and motivated enough to balance Shiite Iran. Sunni-Shiite tensions, dormant for a while, have come to the surface in Iraq and throughout the region. Terrorists have gained a base in Iraq and developed there a new set of techniques to export. Throughout much of the region, democracy has become associated with the loss of public order and the end of Sunni primacy. Anti-American sentiment, already considerable, has been reinforced. And by tying down a huge portion of the U.S. military, the war has reduced U.S. leverage worldwide. It is one of history's ironies that the first war in Iraq, a war of necessity, marked the beginning of the American era in the Middle East and the second Iraq war, a war of choice, has precipitated its end.

Other factors have also been relevant. One is the demise of the Middle East peace process. The United States had traditionally enjoyed a unique capacity to work with both the Arabs and the Israelis. But the limits of that capacity were exposed at Camp David in 2000. Since then, the weakness of Yasir Arafat's successors, the rise of Hamas, and the Israeli embrace of unilateralism have all helped sideline the United States, a shift reinforced by the disinclination of the current Bush administration to undertake active diplomacy.

Another factor that has helped bring about the end of the American era has been the failure of traditional Arab regimes to counter the appeal of radical Islamism. Faced with a choice between what they perceived as distant and corrupt political leaders and vibrant religious ones, many in the region have opted for the latter. It took 9/11 for U.S. leaders to draw the connection between closed societies and the incubation of radicals. But their response -- often a hasty push for elections regardless of the local political context -- has provided terrorists and their supporters with more opportunities for advancement than they had before.

Finally, globalization has changed the region. It is now less difficult for radicals to acquire funding, arms, ideas, and recruits. The rise of new media, and above all of satellite television, has turned the Arab world into a "regional village" and politicized it. Much of the content shown -- scenes of violence and destruction in Iraq; images of mistreated Iraqi and Muslim prisoners; suffering in Gaza, the West Bank, and now Lebanon -- has further alienated many people in the Middle East from the United States. As a result, governments in the Middle East now have a more difficult time working openly with the United States, and U.S. influence in the region has waned.


The outlines of the Middle East's fifth era are still taking shape, but they follow naturally from the end of the American era. A dozen features will form the context for daily events.

First, the United States will continue to enjoy more influence in the region than any other outside power, but its influence will be reduced from what it once was. This reflects the growing impact of an array of internal and external forces, the inherent limits of U.S. power, and the results of U.S. policy choices.

Second, the United States will increasingly be challenged by the foreign policies of other outsiders. The European Union will offer little help in Iraq and is likely to push for a different approach to the Palestinian problem. China will resist pressuring Iran and will seek to guarantee the availability of energy supplies. Russia, too, will resist calls to sanction Iran and will look for opportunities to demonstrate its independence from the United States. Both China and Russia (as well as many European states) will distance themselves from U.S. efforts to promote political reform in nondemocratic states in the Middle East.

Third, Iran will be one of the two most powerful states in the region. Those who have seen Iran as being on the cusp of dramatic internal change have been wrong. Iran enjoys great wealth, is the most powerful external influence in Iraq, and holds considerable sway over both Hamas and Hezbollah. It is a classic imperial power, with ambitions to remake the region in its image and the potential to translate its objectives into reality.

Fourth, Israel will be the other powerful state in the region and the one country with a modern economy able to compete globally. The only state in the Middle East with a nuclear arsenal, it also possesses the region's most capable conventional military force. But it still has to bear the costs of its occupation of the West Bank and deal with a multifront, multidimensional security challenge. Strategically speaking, Israel is in a weaker position today than it was before this summer's crisis in Lebanon. And its situation will further deteriorate -- as will that of the United States -- if Iran develops nuclear weapons.

Fifth, anything resembling a viable peace process is unlikely for the foreseeable future. In the aftermath of Israel's controversial operation in Lebanon, the Kadima-led government will almost certainly be too weak to command domestic support for any policy perceived as risky or as rewarding aggression. Unilateral disengagement has been discredited now that attacks have followed Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon and Gaza. There is no obvious partner on the Palestinian side who is both able and willing to compromise, further hindering the chances of a negotiated approach. The United States has lost much of its standing as a credible and honest broker, at least for the time being. Meanwhile, Israel's settlement expansion and road building will continue apace, further complicating diplomacy.

Sixth, Iraq, traditionally a center of Arab power, will remain messy for years to come, with a weak central government, a divided society, and regular sectarian violence. At worst, it will become a failed state wracked by an all-out civil war that will draw in its neighbors.

Seventh, the price of oil will stay high, the result of strong demand from China and India, limited success at curbing consumption in the United States, and the continued possibility of supply shortages. The price of a barrel of oil is far more likely to exceed $100 than it is to fall below $40. Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other large producers will benefit disproportionately.

Eighth, "militiazation" will continue apace. Private armies in Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestinian areas are already growing more powerful. Militias, both a product and a cause of weak states, will emerge wherever there is a perceived or an actual deficit of state authority and capacity. The recent fighting in Lebanon will exacerbate this trend, since Hezbollah has gained by not suffering a total defeat, while Israel has lost by not realizing a total victory -- a result that will embolden Hezbollah and those who emulate it.

Ninth, terrorism, defined as the intentional use of force against civilians in the pursuit of political aims, will remain a feature of the region. It will occur in divided societies, such as Iraq, and in societies where radical groups seek to weaken and discredit the government, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Terrorism will grow in sophistication and remain a tool used against Israel and the presence of the United States and other nonindigenous powers.

Tenth, Islam will increasingly fill the political and intellectual vacuum in the Arab world and provide a foundation for the politics of a majority of the region's inhabitants. Arab nationalism and Arab socialism are things of the past, and democracy belongs in the distant future, at best. Arab unity is a slogan, not a reality. The influence of Iran and groups associated with it has been reinforced, and efforts to improve ties between Arab governments and Israel and the United States have been complicated. Meanwhile, tensions between Sunnis and Shiites will grow throughout the Middle East, causing problems in countries with divided societies, such as Bahrain, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia.

Eleventh, Arab regimes are likely to remain authoritarian and become more religiously intolerant and anti-American. Two bellwethers will be Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Egypt, which accounts for roughly one-third of the Arab world's population, has introduced some constructive economic reforms. But its politics have failed to keep up. On the contrary, the regime seems intent on repressing what few liberals the country has and presenting the Egyptian people with a choice between traditional authoritarians and the Muslim Brotherhood. The risk is that Egyptians will one day opt for the latter, less because they support it outright than because they have grown weary of the former. Alternatively, the regime might take on the colors of its Islamist opponents in an effort to co-opt their appeal, in the process distancing itself from the United States. In Saudi Arabia, the government and the royal elite rely on using large energy proceeds to placate domestic appeals for change. The problem is that most of the pressure they have responded to has come from the religious right rather than the liberal left, which has led them to embrace the agenda of religious authorities.

Finally, regional institutions will remain weak, lagging far behind those elsewhere. The Middle East's best-known organization, the Arab League, excludes the region's two most powerful states, Israel and Iran. The enduring Arab-Israeli rift will continue to preclude the participation of Israel in any sustained regional relationship. The tension between Iran and most Arab states will also frustrate the emergence of regionalism. Trade within the Middle East will remain modest because few countries offer goods and services that others want to buy on a large scale, and advanced manufactured goods will have to continue to come from elsewhere. Few of the advantages of global economic integration will come to this part of the world, despite the pressing need for them.


Although the basic features of this fifth era of the modern Middle East are largely unattractive, this should not be a cause for fatalism. Much is a matter of degree. There is a fundamental difference between a Middle East lacking formal peace agreements and one defined by terrorism, interstate conflict, and civil war; between one housing a powerful Iran and one dominated by Iran; or between one that has an uneasy relationship with the United States and one filled with hatred of the country. Time also makes a difference. Eras in the Middle East can last for as long as a century or as little as a decade and a half. It is clearly in the interest of the United States and Europe that the emerging era be as brief as possible -- and that it be followed by a more benign one.

To ensure this, U.S. policymakers need to avoid two mistakes, while seizing two opportunities. The first mistake would be an overreliance on military force. As the United States has learned to its great cost in Iraq -- and Israel has in Lebanon -- military force is no panacea. It is not terribly useful against loosely organized militias and terrorists who are well armed, accepted by the local population, and prepared to die for their cause. Nor would carrying out a preventive strike on Iranian nuclear installations accomplish much good. Not only might an attack fail to destroy all facilities, but it might also lead Tehran to reconstitute its program even more covertly, cause Iranians to rally around the regime, and persuade Iran to retaliate (most likely through proxies) against U.S. interests in Afghanistan and Iraq and maybe even directly against the United States. It would further radicalize the Arab and Muslim worlds and generate more terrorism and anti-American activity. Military action against Iran would also drive the price of oil to new heights, increasing the chances of an international economic crisis and a global recession. For all these reasons, military force should be considered only as a last resort.

The second mistake would be to count on the emergence of democracy to pacify the region. It is true that mature democracies tend not to wage war on one another. Unfortunately, creating mature democracies is no easy task, and even if the effort ultimately succeeds, it takes decades. In the interim, the U.S. government must continue to work with many nondemocratic governments. Democracy is not the answer to terrorism, either. It is plausible that young men and women coming of age would be less likely to become terrorists if they belonged to societies that offered them political and economic opportunities. But recent events suggest that even those who grow up in mature democracies, such as the United Kingdom, are not immune to the pull of radicalism. The fact that both Hamas and Hezbollah fared well in elections and then carried out violent attacks reinforces the point that democratic reform does not guarantee quiet. And democratization is of little use when dealing with radicals whose platforms have no hope of receiving majority support. More useful initiatives would be actions designed to reform educational systems, promote economic liberalization and open markets, encourage Arab and Muslim authorities to speak out in ways that delegitimize terrorism and shame its supporters, and address the grievances that motivate young men and women to take it up.

As for the opportunities to be seized, the first is to intervene more in the Middle East's affairs with nonmilitary tools. Regarding Iraq, in addition to any redeployment of U.S. troops and training of local military and police, the United States should establish a regional forum for Iraq's neighbors (Turkey and Saudi Arabia in particular) and other interested parties akin to that used to help manage events in Afghanistan following the intervention there in 2001. Doing so would necessarily require bringing in both Iran and Syria. Syria, which can affect the movement of fighters into Iraq and arms into Lebanon, should be persuaded to close its borders in exchange for economic benefits (from Arab governments, Europe, and the United States) and a commitment to restart talks on the status of the Golan Heights. In the new Middle East, there is a danger that Syria might be more interested in working with Tehran than with Washington. But it did join the U.S.-led coalition during the Persian Gulf War and attend the Madrid peace conference in 1991, two gestures that suggest it might be open to a deal with the United States in the future.

Iran is a more difficult case. But since regime change in Tehran is not a near-term prospect, military strikes against nuclear sites in Iran would be dangerous, and deterrence is uncertain, diplomacy is the best option available to Washington. The U.S. government should open, without preconditions, comprehensive talks that address Iran's nuclear program and its support of terrorism and foreign militias. Iran should be offered an array of economic, political, and security incentives. It could be allowed a highly limited uranium-enrichment pilot program so long as it accepted highly intrusive inspections. Such an offer would win broad international support, a prerequisite if the United States wants backing for imposing sanctions or escalating to other options should diplomacy fail. Making the terms of such an offer public would increase diplomacy's chances of success. The Iranian people should know the price they stand to pay for their government's radical foreign policy. With the government in Tehran concerned about an adverse public reaction, it would be more likely to accept the U.S. offer.

Diplomacy also needs to be revived in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is still the issue that most shapes (and radicalizes) public opinion in the region. The goal at this point would be not to bring the parties to Camp David or anywhere else but to begin to create the conditions under which diplomacy could usefully be restarted. The United States should articulate those principles it believes ought to constitute the elements of a final settlement, including the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines. (The lines would have to be adjusted to safeguard Israel's security and reflect demographic changes, and the Palestinians would have to be compensated for any losses resulting from the adjustments.) The more generous and detailed the plan, the harder it would be for Hamas to reject negotiation and favor confrontation. Consistent with this approach, U.S. officials ought to sit down with Hamas officials, much as they have with the leaders of Sinn Féin, some of whom also led the Irish Republican Army. Such exchanges should be viewed not as rewarding terrorist tactics but as instruments with the potential to bring behavior in line with U.S. policy.

The second opportunity involves the United States' insulating itself as much as possible from the region's instability. This would mean curbing U.S. oil consumption and U.S. dependence on the Middle East's energy resources, goals that could best be achieved by reducing demand (by, say, increasing taxes at the pump -- offset by tax reductions elsewhere -- and promoting policies that would accelerate the introduction of alternative sources of energy). Washington should also take additional steps to reduce its exposure to terrorism. Like vulnerability to disease, vulnerability to terrorism cannot be entirely eliminated. But more can and should be done to better protect the U.S. homeland and to better prepare for those inevitable occasions when terrorists will succeed.

Avoiding these mistakes and seizing these opportunities would help, but it is important to recognize that there are no quick or easy solutions to the problems the new era poses. The Middle East will remain a troubled and troubling part of the world for decades to come. It is all enough to make one nostalgic for the old Middle East.
<b>Former President Ford dies at 93 </b> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather has passed away at 93 years of age," Mrs. Ford said in a brief statement issued from her husband's office in Rancho Mirage. "His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country.".<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Al-Qaida suspects still alive in Somalia </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->MOGADISHU, Somalia - A top U.S. official in the region said Thursday that<b> none of the al-Qaida suspects believed to be hiding in Somalia died in a U.S. airstrike this week, but Somalis with close ties to the terrorist group were killed</b>.

A day earlier, a Somali official said a U.S. intelligence report had referred to the death of Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, one of the three senior al-Qaida members blamed for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

But the U.S. official in Kenya, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said that Ethiopian troops and U.S. special forces were still pursuing the three suspects in southern Somalia.

What was US objective?
My guess -
Only objective was to tell world we can still strike anywhere even Rep. are not in control or forces are over stressed.
Or it proves intelligence is still poor or they have another Pakistan Army type of setup.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->'We brown people are a threat'
January 11, 2007
There are areas in Chicago like Marquis Park, a black neighbourhood, which some people say are not safe to walk into even on a bright summer's day.

But Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, who has spent many days this past decade in several desperately poor and dangerous black neighbourhoods in Chicago, would not stay away even at night.

Over six years ago, Venkatesh who grew up in the affluent Orange County area in California, put together his understanding of an endangered community in a book, <b>American Project: The Rise and Fall of Modern Ghetto.</b>

The 40-year-old professor of sociology and African-American studies at Columbia University, New York, has now published another book, Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor.

In his first book, Venkatesh, who earned his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1997 and went on to do another degree at Harvard, revealed a long-drawn struggle in a Chicago ghetto to overcome crime, drug abuse, rape and adultery.

In the new book, he writes about the role of the underground economy in an American neighborhood. While he provides detailed stories about the dynamics of the alternative economy, he also ruminates about the long-term harm such an institution does to the community.

The author and sociologist spoke recently to Rediff India Abroad Managing Editor (Features) Arthur J Pais. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Carter Center advisers resign over book</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Former President Jimmy Carter's controversial book and subsequent remarks about the Israel-Palestinian conflict have prompted the resignations of 14 people from an advisory board of the Carter Center, the 25-year-old Atlanta-based humanitarian organization.

<b>The 14 explained their concerns, which reflect an uproar in the U.S. Jewish community over Carter's Mideast stance, in separate letters sent Thursday to fellow Board of Councilors members and Carter.

"We can no longer endorse your strident and uncompromising position," the letter to Carter said. "This is not the Carter Center or the Jimmy Carter we came to respect and support." </b>

The letter to the fellow Board of Councilors, with more than 200 members, was brief and less detailed but expressed concern about Carter's book "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid."

"We are deeply troubled by the president's comments and writings and are submitting the following letter of resignation to the Carter Center," the letter said.
This shows how important is Jewish community in US.
Conspiracy theories or baat main kuch dum hain ?

<b>Group says Al-Qaida No. 2 mocks Bush</b> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"I ask him, why send 20,000 (troops) only — why not send 50 or 100 thousand? Aren't you aware that the dogs of Iraq are pining for your troops' dead bodies?" said al-Zawahri in the footage released by SITE, an independent group that researches and analyzes terror-related intelligence.

"So send your entire army to be annihilated at the hands of the mujahideen (holy warriors) to free the world from your evil," he said, "because Iraq, land of the Caliphate and Jihad, is able to bury ten armies like yours, with Allah's help and power."

They are hiding in caves and holes with Allah's help, they are coward. <!--emo&<_<--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='dry.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>US Building Heat-Beaming Weapon</b>
(Image captionSmile Reuters correspondent Jim Wolf gets hit by an invisible wave during a public demonstration at Moody Air Force Base.

Jim WolfThe U.S. Defense Department unveiled what it called a revolutionary heat-beaming weapon that could be used to control mobs or repel foes in conflicts like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The so-called Active <b>Denial</b> System causes an intense burning sensation causing people to run for cover, but no lasting harm, officials said.

"This is a breakthrough technology that's going to give our forces a capability they don't now have," Theodore Barna, an assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for advanced systems and concepts, told Reuters. "We expect the services to add it to their tool kit. And that could happen as early as 2010."

The weapon, mounted on a Humvee, uses a large rectangular dish antenna to direct an invisible beam toward a target. It includes a high-voltage power unit and beam-generating equipment and is effective at more than 500 meters.

Existing counter-personnel systems designed not to kill -- including bean bag munitions and rubber bullets -- work at little more than "rock-throwing distances," said Marine Col. Kirk Hymes, director of the Pentagon's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate.

In increasingly complex military operations, the technology provided a much-needed alternative to just going from "shouting to shooting," said Hymes, who is responsible for the weapon's five-year, $60 million advanced development.

Variations of the system could help in peacetime and wartime missions, including crowd control and mob dispersal, checkpoint security and port protection, officials said. It could also help in conflicts like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Raytheon Co., which has worked to develop the technology, has built a prototype called Silent Guardian, that it hopes to sell in the United States and abroad in what could become a multibillion market.

The weapon was shown off publicly for the first time at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, where it has been undergoing operational tests by the 820th Security Forces Group, which protects Air Force assets.

The directorate invited reporters to be zapped as part of what its spokeswoman, Marine Maj. Sarah Fullwood, called an effort to "demystify" the technology at issue.

At a distance of several football fields, the sensation from the exposure was like a blast from a very hot oven, too painful to bear without scrambling for cover.

The burning sensation is achieved by high-power energy waves that heat the skin to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The pain ended as soon as the target jumped from the line of fire.

Documents given out during the demonstration said more than 10,000 people had been exposed to the weapon since testing began more than <b>12 years</b> ago. They said there had been <b>no injuries requiring medical attention during the five-year</b> advanced development program.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->But what if there are side-effects that one can only pick up 50 years from now (maybe it affects pregnant women)?
Different pieces of news related to US, Europe, Iran and world:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>US haggles with N.Korea over energy</b>
Feb 13, 2007

The United States and North Korea haggled on Tuesday over energy aid the North would receive in exchange for ending its nuclear arms ambitions as six-party talks looked likely to straggle into an extra day.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Rest of article at http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/425822/987701

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Bush urging no war plans for Iran</b>
Feb 13, 2007

President George W. Bush is trying to convince the world he has no intention of invading Iran, but is running into skeptics who see US charges that Iran is shipping bombs into Iraq as a step toward conflict.

Having ordered two aircraft carriers to the Gulf and accused Iranians of providing Iraqi militants bombs that have killed 170 Americans, Bush and his top aides are struggling to tamp down talk that a new war is brewing.

Bush himself prompted the talk in a January 10 speech outlining his reworked Iraq strategy, by saying "Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces."

A debate has since raged over whether he has an attack on Iran in mind. "Next Stop Iran?" asked The Economist magazine's cover this week over a picture of a US military aircraft in flight.

The White House sees tensions with Iran over its nuclear ambitions as a separate issue from Tehran's alleged bomb supplies in Iraq.

Bush wants the nuclear issue resolved diplomatically, but has authorised US forces to capture or kill Iranians involved in attacks on Americans or Iraqis inside Iraq.

"We're not getting ready for war on Iran, but what we are doing is we're protecting our own people. And we're going to do it. And we've made it clear that that is going to be a priority," White House spokesman Tony Snow said on Tuesday.

<b>Repeat of 2003? </b>
Democrats say they fear a repeat of 2002 and 2003, when Bush made a case for war against Iraq based on weapons of mass destruction that were never found.

"That's how we got into the mess in Iraq. That's why some of us supported those resolutions because of doctored information. So I'm very skeptical based on recent past history about this administration leading us in that direction," Connecticut Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd, a presidential hopeful, said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Tuesday.

When Bush hears arguments like that, he sees a political attack from Democrats who want their party to claim the White House in 2008.

"I guess my reaction to all the noise about 'he wants to go to war' -- first of all I don't understand the tactics. I guess I would say it's political," Bush told C-SPAN on Tuesday.

The White House says some of the war talk is being driven by a news media hungry for the next big story.

"I don't think there's a change of tone on our part. I think that there have been attempts, with all due respect, in the press, to try to whip this up -- 'Is the administration going after Iran?'" said Snow.

Anthony Cordesman, a Middle East expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said the Iran war debate appeared to be driven by Democrats looking for an issue and neoconservatives who would like to see regime change in Tehran.

"It's quite clear from the content that they are trying to stop the flow of money and arms (into Iraq), not trying to provide a war with Iran. If anything, the signals are more about deterrence than anything else," he said.

The Bush administration is trying to walk a fine line between threatening Iran over its alleged bomb supplies in Iraq, which Tehran denies, and underscoring its reliance on diplomacy over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

On the issue of Iranian bombs in Iraq, US officials are adamant that the evidence is true. "The Iranians are up to their eyeballs in this activity," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Related: http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/425824/986264
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>US claim evidence of Iran arms in Iraq</b>
Feb 12, 2007

US-led coalition forces in Iraq presented on Monday what officials said was "a growing body" of evidence of Iranian weapons being used to kill coalition soldiers.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>EU sees "new ambition" by Iran</b>
Feb 13, 2007

EU leaders have said Iran is showing "new ambition" to negotiate an end to a nuclear row with the West and the door is open for new talks, but they also agreed to implement UN sanctions to keep pressure on Tehran.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Major objections</b>

But while Iran might be amenable, diplomats said, the United States, Britain and France objected out of concern Tehran would gain nuclear skills merely by vacuum-testing centrifuges, which can yield fuel for power plants or bombs.
This may merely be the ever-returning prediction that Bush is going to attack/invade Iran. But the Press Trust of India has sent several major English-language papers the same news.
If true, it contradicts what Bush declared five days ago (see previous post, #98). Liar, liar Bush (and Democrats guessed right); or liar, liar journal New Statesman (source for PTI)?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Bush all set to attack Iran: report</b> 

PTI | London

The Bush administration's preparation to strike Iran is complete with the top commander of the US Central Command having received computerised plans for "Operation Iranian Freedom", a report has said.
"American military operations for a major conventional war with Iran extend far beyond targeting suspect WMD (weapons of mass destruction) facilities and will enable President George Bush to destroy Iran's military, political and economic infrastructure overnight using conventional weapons," the journal New Statesman has claimed.
In a story titled "Attack - Revealed: America's plans to invade Iran", the journal quoting British military sources, said "the US military switched its whole focus to Iran" as soon as Saddam Hussein was removed from power. The White House continued this strategy, even though it had American forces bogged down in Iraq.
The US Army, Navy, Air Force and marines have all prepared battle plans and spent four years building bases and training for "Operation Iranian Freedom". Admiral Fallon, the new head of US Central Command, has inherited computerized plans under the name TIRANT (Theatre Iran Near Term).
Even as the sending of a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf has been highlighted, the US Navy can put six carriers into battle at a month's notice.
The report said any US general planning to attack Iran could now assume that at least 10,000 targets could be hit in a single raid, with warplanes flying from the US or Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. 
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Above repeated in http://www.zeenews.com/znnew/articles.as...07&sid=WOR
And googling the title leads to expressindia and rediff having also been given the same bit to post
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Saturday February 24, 10:47 AM
<b>Cheney, Australia's Howard to discuss Iraq, Afghanistan</b>
Photo : AFP 
SYDNEY (AFP) - US Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday met Australian Prime Minister John Howard, one of Washington's staunchest allies, for talks likely to focus on troop deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The meeting took place in Sydney one day after <b>Cheney issued a stern rebuke to China over its rapid military build-up and also hinted that Washington may consider military action against Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions.</b>

On the last full day of Cheney's visit to Australia aimed at thanking Canberra for its support in Iraq, the two men smiled broadly and shook hands as Howard welcomed the vice president to his Sydney office.

"It's great to see you again," Howard said.

"It's great to come back," Cheney responded before the pair posed for photographers in front of a glass panel embossed with the Australian coat of arms and flanked by the flags of each nation.

Talks were expected to focus on the war in Iraq and the conflict in Afghanistan where Australia is considering deploying more troops to counter resurgent Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters.

As the Iraq campaign becomes increasingly unpopular in the United States and Australia amid spiralling violence, both Cheney and Howard have stressed that a hasty pullout would be a catastrophe that would hand victory to terrorists.

Howard said this week he would send more troops to Iraq just before Britain announced it would cut its troop numbers in the strife-torn country even though Washington is preparing for a massive injection of soldiers.

Cheney's visit comes as Howard is under growing political and public pressure for his steadfast support of the US-led war in Iraq, prompting claims by pundits that the timing of the trip is awkward for the prime minister.

Also likely to be on the agenda between the two men is the fate of David Hicks, an Australian arrested in Afghanistan more than five years ago who is currently being held without charges in the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay.

The key deal to freeze North Korea's nuclear programme may also be included in the talks between Cheney and Howard, whose country is one of a handful to maintain diplomatic ties with Pyongyang.

Just hours after Cheney said Friday he was wary of North Korea not keeping to its side of the bargain, UN atomic agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said the unpredictable Stalinist state had invited him for a visit to discuss implementing the landmark nuclear agreement.

<b>The hawkish Cheney caused a stir when, during the only speech of his Australian visit, he said China's flexing of military muscle and an anti-satellite weapons test were at odds with the goals of a peaceful power.</b>

<b>In an interview with the US ABC television network, he also did not rule out the possibility of military action against Iran to stop it becoming a nuclear power.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->(1) Cheney rebukes China for how it's expanding its military
(2) Cheney doesn't trust N-Korea's withdrawal from nuclear program
(3) Cheney on possibility of US war in Iran

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Saturday February 24, 02:17 AM
<b>Cheney warns on China, NKorea</b>
Photo : AFP 
SYDNEY (AFP) - <b>US Vice President Dick Cheney warned China Friday that its swift military build-up worried the world and said Washington was not blindly trusting North Korea to implement a landmark nuclear deal.</b>

On the first full day of an official visit, Cheney also used a speech to a group of prominent US and Australian citizens to assail unnamed critics who he said want the allies to "turn our backs" on places like Afghanistan or Iraq.

But his visit, aimed at thanking staunch US ally Australia for its support in Iraq, was marred by a second day of clashes between police and demonstrators protesting Cheney's trip outside the hotel where he was speaking.

<b>In some of his most extensive remarks on the North Korean pact, Cheney praised China's help but said its military build-up and anti-satellite weapons test clashed with its stated goal of being a peaceful power.

"The Chinese understand that a nuclear North Korea would be a threat to their own security," he told the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue, but "other actions by the Chinese government send a different message."

"Last month's anti-satellite test and China's continued fast-paced military build-up are less constructive and are not consistent with China's stated goal of a 'peaceful rise,'" Cheney said.

China shot down one of its own orbiting weather satellites in space with a ballistic missile, provoking an international outcry amid fears over satellite security.</b>

US-China military ties chilled in 2001 following a collision between a Chinese fighter jet and an American spy plane that killed the Chinese jet pilot. Beijing infuriated Washington by holding the spy crew for 11 days.
(America demands the right to spy without interference now?)

As for the nuclear deal, which requires North Korea to shut key facilities in exchange for energy aid, Cheney sought to allay concerns in Asia -- especially in Japan -- that the United States was going soft on Pyongyang.

"We go into this deal with our eyes open. In light of North Korea's missile tests last July, its nuclear test in October and its record of proliferation and human rights abuses, the regime in Pyongyang has much to prove," he said.

"Yet this agreement represents the first hopeful step towards a better future for the North Korean people," said Cheney, who was here after a visit to Tokyo aimed at soothing worries about the agreement.

Cheney also made a full-throated defence of the Iraq war and the new US plan to pacify Baghdad, which has drawn opposition in the United States even as key ally Britain announced a troop draw-down.

With US Democrats and a majority of the US public pushing to withdraw troops, Cheney warned that hastily quitting Iraq would unleash terrorists and sectarian violence on the Middle East and the world.

"The notion that free countries can turn our backs on what happens in places like Afghanistan, Iraq or any other possible safe haven for terrorists is an option we simply cannot indulge," said Cheney.

Washington and its allies are waging a battle for the survival of their civilisation, he said.

"We've never had a fight like this and it's not a fight we can win using the strategies from other wars," he said.

"The only option for our security and survival is to go on the offensive, face the threat directly, patiently and systematically till the enemy is destroyed."

<b>He also held out a hand to China, asking Beijing to "join us in our efforts to prevent the deployment and proliferation of deadly technologies, whether in Asia or in the Middle East" -- an apparent reference to Iran's nuclear program.</b>

Outside the venue around 100 protesters struggled with police, who arrested four people.

Cheney later met Australian Prime Minister John Howard's chief political rival, opposition leader Kevin Rudd, who has vowed to pull Australian troops from Iraq if elected later this year.

Cheney was to hold talks Saturday with Howard, who he described as an old friend and staunch US ally who shared Washington's values, before taking a tour of Sydney's scenic harbour, US officials said. He leaves Sunday.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Some more of the same:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Saturday February 24, 09:42 AM
<b>Howard, Cheney to discuss troop deployments</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->China is also likely to be on the agenda after Mr Cheney's strong rebuke yesterday that its fast-paced military build-up is not consistent with its stated goal of a peaceful rise.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->(1) Cheney rebukes China for how it's expanding its military
(2) Cheney doesn't trust N-Korea's withdrawal from nuclear program
(3) Cheney on possibility of US war in Iran<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

1) Democrats are controlling both houses, they believe in negotiation with North Korea as Madam Half bright did during Clinton days. End result, North Korea received goodies from US and other not so generous western nations, which not only speed up Nuke building process but now North Korea is just teasing US and laughing on fools who trusted them. So expect same thing again.

2) He is Right; I will never trust three nations - North Korea, Pakistan, and China.

3) They can drop some 500lbs or other goodies from air on some industrial complex or institutions or Colleges. If lucky, they may drop some on nuclear sites. I will not call war but some good time over Iran as they did on Iraq in early 90s.

4) We should watch Afghanistan, buildup is on. I hope this buildup will destroy some power of Taliban. Major problem, they still trust Pakistan and Mushy, who is very good in milking west and securing his position forever.
More on that, Mudy:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Saturday February 24, 01:31 PM
<b>US leaves options open on Iran strike</b>
The United States has left open the possibility of a military strike against Iran as Australia warns of the "nightmare scenario" of Iran becoming emboldened by any coalition defeat in Iraq.

"All options are still on the table," US vice president Dick Cheney told a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister John Howard in Sydney on Saturday.

Mr Cheney said Washington preferred to work with it allies to persuade Iran to give up its nuclear weapons.

"But I have made the point, and the president (George W Bush) has made the point, that all options are still on the table.

"The next step is now being debated."

Mr Cheney, winding up a three-day visit to Australia, said America was "deeply concerned" by Iran's activities.

"We see a nation that has been fairly aggressive in the Middle East, a sponsor of Hezbollah," he said.

"They have made some fairly inflammatory statements.

"They appear to be pursuing the development of nuclear weapons.

"It would be a serious mistake if a nation such as Iran became a nuclear power."

Mr Howard, under pressure from Labor Leader Kevin Rudd's resurgent opposition to pull out of Iraq, drew a direct link between the unpopular war and the emergence of Iran.

"I don't think there would be a country whose influence and potential clout would be more enhanced in that part of the world than Iran's would be if the coalition was defeated in Iraq," Mr Howard said.

"I don't think you can separate the two.

"Iran would be emboldened if the coalition was defeated in Iraq.

"And that would be seen to have occurred if there was a significant coalition withdrawal.

"Iran would benefit enormously from that.

"For many countries in the Middle East, not just Israel, that would be a nightmare scenario."

The statements by Mr Howard and Mr Cheney followed British Prime Minister Tony Blair's plans to start sending British troops home from Iraq.

They also came after Tehran ignored a UN deadline to stop nuclear work and a defiant Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran should stand up to the world and pursue its nuclear program.

"If we show weakness in front of the enemy the expectations will increase but if we stand against them, because of this resistance, they will retreat," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in northern Iran.

The UN Security Council had given Iran until February 21 to halt uranium enrichment, a process that can make fuel for power plants or material for warheads.

The UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Iran had not heeded the demand.

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany will meet in London next week to discuss possible further steps in addition to UN sanctions barring the transfer of nuclear technology and know-how that were imposed in December.

Ahmadinejad has said that when Iran has compromised over a nuclear program, which it insists has only peaceful aims, the West had simply increased its demands.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> http://au.news.yahoo.com//070223/19/12j02.html
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Saturday February 24, 07:17 PM
<b>US Democrats seek to gut Bush's Iraq war powers</b>
Photo : AFP 
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Democrats have vowed to handcuff President George W. Bush's power to wage war in Iraq, raising the stakes and risking a constitutional showdown in their battle to bring troops home.

Key senators are aiming to repeal the 2002 congressional authorization permitting Bush to go to war, as they challenge his last-ditch surge of 21,500 troops into Iraq, and aim to end US involvement in the unpopular war.

"We gave him the authority to take out weapons of mass destruction which never existed, take down Saddam who is dead, and force compliance to UN resolutions that are already enforced," Democratic Senator Joseph Biden said in a CNN interview Friday.

"This president's policy is driving us into a box canyon, we have got to redefine the mission," he said.

The move was still being finalized Friday and it was not clear if the measure would be officially introduced next week. Draft plans would seek to limit the US mission in Iraq to battling terrorists, guarding Iraq's borders and training Iraqi troops, a congressional source said.

The legislation will also call for a pullout of US combat troops from Iraq by March 2008 -- in line with the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group last year, political news website Politico.com reported.

The Senate move is the latest attempt by Democrats, who grabbed control of Congress last year, to curtail Bush's war powers, and end US involvement in a war in which 3,100 US troops have lost their lives.

But it already looked unlikely Friday that Democrats had the votes to pass a measure which could spark an unprecedented showdown between Congress and the president over lawmakers capacity to shape military and foreign policy.

They have already failed to pile up the necessary 60 votes in the 100-seat Senate to enforce debate on a non-binding resolution opposing Bush's surge plan announced last month.

And there was not firm agreement about how to proceed with the new plan.

Senator Jim Webb of Virginia told The New York Times that Democrats had agreed that Congress must reassert its authority, but they had not yet figured out precisely how to do it.

The White House said it would "of course" fight any move to curtail Bush's powers, and argued US forces were in Iraq at the invitation of the government in Baghdad and authorized by the United Nations.

"The authorization in the Security Council resolution is clear," White House deputy spokesman Tony Fratto said.

Republican Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell dared Democrats to take the politically dangerous step of withhold funding for the war, even when troops are in combat.

"You can't unring a bell," McConnell told reporters when asked about Democratic plans to adjust the authorization.

"At this point the only thing Congress can meaningfully do ... is decide whether or not to fund the operation," he said.

Bush's Republican backers argue that Bush should be given the chance to see whether his surge plan, sending extra troops into Baghdad and restive Al-Anbar province, works.

But Levin, previewing the Democratic effort last week on Fox television, said the authorization had been overtaken by events.

"It's wide open, telling the president he can go to Iraq and basically carry out any mission that he wants to," said Levin.

"One thought is that we should limit the mission to a support mission -- in other words, an antiterrorist mission to go after Al-Qaeda in Iraq, to support and train the Iraqi army, to protect our own diplomatic personnel and other personnel in Iraq."

The 2002 joint resolution of Congress authorizes Bush to use US troops as he determines necessary and appropriate to "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq."

It also says troops can be used to "enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."

"The second part of that section, on authorization, is still important and envisioned the changing nature there," Fratto argued.

Though Senate Democrats have struggled to rebuke Bush, their counterparts in the House of Representatives have been more successful: a non-binding resolution criticizing Bush's war plan passed last week by a 246-182 vote.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->The US government doesn't ever seem to know the right time to do the right thing. (1) T-ban should have been curtailed long ago. But no, they waited until T-ban and their ISI helpers started having bigger plans, including attacking the US. After that attack, they 'suddenly discovered' that T-ban was anti-human rights, anti-women and terrorist. (2) Iraq had nothing to do with the World Trade Center, but US invaded it anyway. And where are the WMD? (3) But what's done is done. However, now that they've created new wounds in Iraq, they actually ought to continue on there so as to set the country up to make it stable. But Democrats come into power and want to bring their troops home. Effectively leaving an open wound to fester.
Expect - what's that term again - that's right: <i>Blowback</i>.

Presidential candidate thinks now's a great time to play the (currently) wildly popular 'Let's quit Iraq' card:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Saturday February 24, 12:52 PM
<b>Obama ridicules Cheney over UK pullout</b>
US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama ridiculed Vice-President Dick Cheney for saying Britain's decision to pull troops from Iraq is a good sign that fits with the strategy for stabilising the country.

Obama, speaking at a massive outdoor rally in Austin, Texas, said British Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision this week to withdraw 1,600 troops is a recognition that Iraq's problems cannot be solved militarily.
(Iraq's problems - both the lingering and newer kinds - require a lot of effort to solve. Some of it requires military intervention, to stamp out terrorism, for instance. But most of all it requires people/countries who are truly interested in solving Iraq's problems. But the actual major obstacle is that no one is interested, no one cares about Iraq or Iraqis. Invasion complete, oil secured, everyone goes back to their first world country to forget about Iraq.)

"Now if Tony Blair can understand that, than why can't George Bush and Dick Cheney understand that?" Obama asked thousands of supporters who gathered in the rain to hear him.

"In fact, Dick Cheney said this is all part of the plan (and) it was a good thing that Tony Blair was withdrawing, even as the administration is preparing to put 20,000 more of our young men and women in.

"Now, keep in mind, this is the same guy that said we'd be greeted as liberators, the same guy that said that we're in the last throes. I'm sure he forecast sun today," Obama said to laughter from supporters holding campaign signs over the heads to keep dry. "When Dick Cheney says it's a good thing, you know that you've probably got some big problems."

A spokeswoman for Cheney, travelling with him in Australia, said they had no comment on Obama's remarks.

Cheney told ABC News earlier this week that Blair's announcement was good news, calling it an affirmation that parts of Iraq have been stabilised.

Obama's Austin appearance was part of a campaign swing across the US to raise money for his two-week old candidacy and build his reputation nationally.

While in Texas, Obama raised money in Houston Thursday night, where he said he would like to see an end to the "tit-for-tat" that dominates politics.

The Obama and Clinton campaigns fired off duelling press releases this week over a top Hollywood donor who was a supporter of Bill Clinton but is backing Obama in this race.

Obama told the Austin crowd that they should try to recruit their friends to support his campaign. "I want you to tell them, 'It's time for you to turn off the TV and stop playing GameBoy,"' Obama said. "We've got work to do."

Tickets to the rally were free, but Obama asked the attendees to give even $US5 ($A6.35) or $US10 ($A12.70)

"I don't want to have to raise money in Hollywood all the time," he said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Doing the right thing for Iraq seems to have become a political question in the US, just like climate change is. They're viewing it all wrong.

How to walk on both sides of the road at the same time (guess this is called diplomacy):
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Saturday February 24, 04:05 PM
<b>US and China can work together, (Australian) PM says</b>
Prime Minister John Howard has emphasised the growing ties between the United States and China after visiting US Vice-President Dick Cheney lashed out at Beijing over its military build-up.

Mr Cheney and Mr Howard discussed China, along with several other international political issues, during their one-hour official meeting in Sydney on Saturday.

Their talks came a day after Mr Cheney sparked controversy with his stern rebuke to China over its rapid military build-up.

When asked whether he agreed with Mr Cheney's comments, Mr Howard sought to emphasise the ability of the US and China to work together, especially on getting North Korea to suspend its nuclear program.

"We have no false illusions about the nature of China's society but we see positive signs in the way in which China and the United States have worked together, particularly in relation to North Korea," Mr Howard told reporters.

"Nothing is more important to the stability of our own region at the present time than resolving the North Korean nuclear situation and I think the way in which China and the United States have worked together on that is wholly positive and is, obviously, to the credit of both of those countries."

Mr Howard said Australia had striven in the past decade to build a close relationship with China while at the same time strengthening ties with the US.

But he said Australia had "no illusions that China remains an authoritarian country".

On Friday in his only public speech during his four-day visit to Sydney, Mr Cheney said Beijing was sending mixed messages, highlighted by its decision last month to deploy a satellite-killing missile and the rapid increase in the size of its military.

"(They) are not consistent with China's stated goal of a peaceful rise," Mr Cheney said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->China makes its intents quite clear, I thought. When it's ready, it <i>will</i> fight. Meanwhile, all other countries are giving China the time to get ready.
Wish China weren't communist. But that's one of those wishes, isn't it: wish christoislamism would cease to exist, wish China wasn't a power-hungry communist country but a Taoist-Buddhist-Confucian country again, wish communism would cease to exist, wish the US wasn't trying to destabilise/breakup other countries, wish psecularism would cease to exist, ...

Who's the scientist that said something like: 'Whatever weapons are used to fight in WWIII, one can be certain that thereafter (in WWIV?) humanity will be fighting with sticks and stones again.' So true.
Nice to know that the countries able and willing to initiate a world war are all of the trigger-happy or power-hungry kind. One can really rest easy knowing that the planet's future is secure in their hands.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->(2) Iraq had nothing to do with the World Trade Center, but US invaded it anyway. And where are the WMD? <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
There is couple of reason to hit Iraq-
1) He was the biggest hurdle in Middle East peace process. He was one of the biggest promoters of suicide attacker in Palestine against Israel. After Iraq war how many people from Palestine tried blow them.
Now, Syria and Iran promoter of Hezbollah are busy in Lebanon and Israel is comparatively peaceful after month long war with Hezbollah

2) Saddam believed in Arab unity and he was able to work with Syria and Lebanon.
Now, we don't see any Arab unity. Look at Jordan; they are just towing US policy.
Saudis are too lazy to get into these fight, they are enjoying life in resorts and Yachts.

3) Sooner or later Saddam would have started same strategy against US, as they were hiding Nidal (sp? Who hijacked US plane) in Iraq.

4) Control on second largest oil field. Even now US is controlling oil and controlling its price and paying for war from Iraq oil money.

5) China was trying to enter Middle East in big way, now they are traveling all the way to South America.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>UN To Find New Iran Resolution</b>
27/02/2007 10:27 AM
Reuters<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><b>Most interesting is the image</b>
<img src='http://xtramsn.co.nz/homepage2/imageLargeView/0,,6203677,00.jpeg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
Image shows what appears to be Iranians protesting with flags and boards. One says clearly in English: 'NO nuke to the mullah'
Another board in German starts with: 'Der iranische Widerstand' ... (The Iranian resistance) and mentions mullahs too.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->World powers agreed on Monday to work on a new UN Security Council resolution to put pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme but remained committed to seeking a negotiated solution, British officials said.

Iran dug in its heels over its programme as the world powers met in London to discuss tightening UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic, which the West fears is trying to build nuclear arms. Tehran says its programme is only for electricity. The five permanent veto-wielding United Nations Security Council members - the United States, France, Russia, China and Britain - plus Germany met against a background of rising international tensions over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The statement that the major powers were still committed to a negotiated solution followed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's comments earlier on Monday that he was worried by more frequent talk of possible US military strikes against Iran.

Britain, which hosted the world powers' meeting, said there would be further contacts between the six later this week.

"We had a productive first discussion of the next steps... We began work on a new Security Council Resolution," said John Sawers, political director of the British Foreign Office.

"We also considered how best to re-engage with Iran. We are all committed to seeking a negotiated solution," he said in a statement.

In Washington, White House spokesman Tony Snow said: "The United States continues to work with its allies on finding ways to make clear... (if Iran continues) along the path that could lead to nuclear weapons they're going to pay a cost, and that it's an unacceptable outcome for the international community."

But Snow said the United States saw the concerted diplomatic activity and pressure that brought North Korea back to the negotiating table over its nuclear programme as a possible template for dealing with Iran.

The tension over Iran's nuclear programme kept oil over US$61 a barrel on Monday, weighed on the dollar and drove safe-haven bonds and gold higher.

<b>Standoff </b>
The rhetoric was escalating on both sides in the standoff.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country had "no brake and no reverse gear" on its nuclear policies, prompting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to say Tehran needed a "stop button" for its programme.

US Vice President Dick Cheney has said all options were on the table after Iran's refusal to heed a UN deadline for halting uranium enrichment. An Iranian deputy foreign minister responded by saying Iran was prepared even for war. No other details were immediately available from the London meeting but the world powers had been thought likely to discuss imposing a travel ban on senior Iranian officials and restrictions on non-nuclear business.

Washington has sent a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf with supporting warships, seen as a warning to Iran, and an article in the New Yorker magazine said a Pentagon panel had been created to plan a bombing attack that could be enacted within 24 hours of President George W. Bush's command.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's spokesman dismissed the article, saying Blair had spoken for Washington too when he recently denied there were plans for military action.

British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said Iran was treading a "dangerous route" but the West wanted to negotiate.

"The steps that we have taken are reversible. There is nothing that we would like better than to be able to reverse them and no longer to have to continue with sanctions," she told a news conference in Islamabad.

In Tehran, the government said the West's demand Iran suspend uranium enrichment was "illegal and illogical".

"It is in contradiction with the Iranian nation's dignity," government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham told a news conference. "We are ready to preserve our legal rights through talks."

Iran says it is entitled to nuclear power to generate electricity and wants to negotiate with the Europeans and Washington without giving up its right to enrich uranium.

UN sanctions were first imposed on Iran in December, barring the transfer of technology and know-how to its nuclear and missile programmes. The resolution said further measures could follow if Iran refused to halt enrichment by February 21.

(Additional reporting by Tehran bureau, Odai Sirri in Doha, Katherine Baldwin).<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

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