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Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Philippines: The Collapse of Peace in Mindanao

25 Oct 2008

Jakarta/Brussels, 23 October 2008: A new Supreme Court ruling has ended hope of a peaceful resolution in the near future to the decades-old conflict between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippines government.

The Philippines: The Collapse of Peace in Mindanao,* the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, says the immediate task now is to prevent escalation of fighting and discourage the government and local officials from arming civilians. Interested governments and donors should press both sides to keep existing ceasefire mechanisms in place, while quietly urging a return to talks.

"Peace talks have broken down before but never in this way, with government institutions and the political elite fundamentally rejecting the achievements of the negotiators. It will be much harder this time, even if talks resume, to simply pick up from where they left off", says Sidney Jones, Crisis Group Senior Adviser.

The court ruling on 14 October, preceded by an injunction on 4 August, effectively killed an extraordinary Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain that was the culmination of eleven years' negotiation. It acknowledged the Muslims of Mindanao, the Bangsamoro, as a First Nation and gave wide powers to the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) that was to be set up as their homeland. The agreement was negotiated with little public consultation, and when the extent of the BJE's proposed territory was revealed – even though affected communities were to be offered a chance to opt in or out in a plebiscite – local officials demanded the signing be stopped.

A few MILF "renegade" commanders then launched attacks on civilians and the military responded with "punitive actions" against them. Renewed fighting has claimed some 100 civilian lives and displaced some 390,000 but remains largely restricted to areas where these commanders operate. Several factors are militating against a return of the two sides to all-out war, but the Supreme Court ruling and the sense that the strategy of talking peace has failed could lead other commanders to join the "renegades".

"Both sides need to learn lessons from this debacle", says John Virgoe, Crisis Group's South East Asia Project Director. "The government needs to be more engaged with its own negotiating team, head off potential spoilers through consultation or cooptation, and be prepared to deliver what it promises. The MILF needs to show more backbone in dealing with errant commanders".


Contacts: Andrew Stroehlein (Brussels) +32 (0) 2 541 1635
Kimberly Abbott (Washington) +1 202 785 1601

To contact Crisis Group media please click here
*Read the full Crisis Group report on our website: http://www.crisisgroup.org


The International Crisis Group (Crisis Group) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation covering some 60 crisis-affected countries and territories across four continents, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.


In retro - The Moro Case.

The Moro came to the limelight again after their autonomy arrangements gave way when the Malaysian Army running out of patience, ceased to persistently act as an intermediary in the Moro-Philippines reconciliation talks and initiatives.

The MOROS struggle for independence.

Author: Courtesy Amir Butler – first published 11.11.02,
rewritten by ISCOFIS 5.10.08
Reuters reported on Nov. 11, 2002 that the United States has committed 300 troops to the Philippines early next year, to assist Filipino forces in “anti-terrorism training”.

This follows a 1,000 troop commitment earlier this year, to assist Filipino forces in hunting the Abu Sayyaf gang in the jungles of Basilan and Sulu. Whilst originally a breakaway from Moros (Muslims of Southern Philippines) independence movement, the 800 strong Abu Sayyaf has devolved into a gang of bandits whose primary objective seems to be lining their pockets with the proceeds of kidnapping tourist and missionaries. They are hardly international terrorist.

Yet, like India with its maneuverings against Kashmiri militants or Russia with its war against Chechen separatists, the Philippines President knew which button to press to get US sympathy. She terms her opponents “terrorist”, and linked them to Ben Laden. This was based only on a 1995 meeting with Ben Laden’s brother-in-law, Muhammad Jamal Khalifah and some contacts with Ramzi Yusuf, the 1993 world trade center bomber.

So, once again, the West entered into a conflict in a region whose complexities most of the ‘world” know little about. As this article is rewritten the Philippine forces is tightening their grip in that region with more military operations.

Let it be known that the struggle of the Moro people for freedom and self determination is one of the longest in the world, if not the longest struggles in the history of mankind. Their struggle began with the “discovery” of the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, who claim the Island for Spain. The Moros rejected his claim and Lapu-Lapu , a Moro Muslim leader, subsequently killed him. From that day on, the Moros were in a fight for their independence and freedom.

The Spanish differentiated the two natives of the archipelago into pagan Malays (Indios) and Muslims Malays (named Moros after the Spanish Moors). Their policy was simply to convert the Indios to Christianity and kill the Moros. The Military resistance against the Spanish lasted over 350 years, until the Spanish were defeated by the Americans in the 1898 Spanish-American war. Despite the fact that the Spanish had never colonized the Morolands, Spain included Mindanao in the treaty of Paris, which transferred sovereignty to the United States.

The US then attempted to subdue and disarm the Moros. Such was the resistance, that the US Army ordered the upgrade of the standard issue Colt .38 – caliber pistol the more powerful Colt .45 – caliber in order to stop the knife wielding Moros. Their frenetic and oft suicidal style of fighting gave the world the expression “running amok”. The colonial administration then began passing laws that would quell Moro aspirations of independence by migrating large numbers of Christian Indios to the region.

In 1903, all Moro land holdings were declared null and void and made open to land grabbing. In 1913, Law was passed allowing Christians to own up to 16 hectares, whereas a Muslim could only own 8. In 1919, Christian land entitlement was generously extended to 24 hectares.

When independence from the US was imminent, the Moro leadership pled not to be included in the new “Independent Philippines”. Yet, on July 4, 1946, when independence was proclaimed, the Morolands were incorporated against their wishes, as they had been with the handover from Spain to the US.

The pattern of migrating Christians to Moro lands continued. In 1950’s, Northern peasants formed the New People’s Army and staged a Maoist rebellion. In order to defuse the situation, the Philippine government, under the auspices of the Economic Development Corp (EDCOR) began migrating these peasants to the Moro South and giving them seized parcels of Moro land.

In 1968, anger at Manila reached a new level, when the US-backed Ferdinand Marcos executed nearly 70 Muslims commando recruits to keep secret an aborted plan to invade Sabah, in Malaysia Borneo. When Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972, the Moros went to war after a quarter of a century of relative dormancy. Shortly afterwards, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) was formed, which called for an independent Moro state - Bangsamoro. They fought the US-armed and backed Manila regime for more than thirty-years now, leaving at least 100,000 Moros dead and 250,000 driven from their homes. In 1996, the MINF signed a peace with the Philippines government.

In a war that has been criticized for its double standards, this latest US and Philippines regime military adventures will do little to change perceptions.

America is helping to fight the 800 strong Abu Sayyaf, whilst overlooking the New People’s Army, (NPA) who represent a force of 12,000 fighters. They have been staging a communist insurgency in the North for more than 30 years and have killed over 40,000 people so far, including an American Hiker and his German companion.

The problems in the Morolands have little to do with international terrorism but have everything to do with centuries old repression of a people desire for freedom. The solution to the Moro problem is the same as the solution to the East Timor problem. So is the solution to the problem of Malay-Muslims in Southern Thailand, Muslim majority Kashmir, Muslim majority Chechen and Muslim majority Afghanistan or even Somalia and Iraq for that matter. There must be a referendum under UN supervision similar to the one conducted in the former Portuguese colony.

More so for the Moros, after struggling continuously more than 450 years for freedom and independence, the Moros do not need “operation enduring freedom”, they just need freedom.


Justify Full

Placing perception on the right track.

July 21,2008

When we talk about DSAI, the question - did he really do it? Often comes out. c. Anwar need not fear, says Syed Hamid
c. Fumbles by the men in blue

d. Foreign DNA experts likely
d. How, yet again, they are trying to fabricate evidence against Anwar
d. Burden of proof lies on prosecution: Bar council

Key Sources : Green - Blog RPK Malaysia-today Red - MSM, Star


Press TV, a media success story

IRIB Vice-President, Mohammad Sarafraz
The following is an interview with Vice-president of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) in World Service Mohammad Sarafraz on the occasion of the Press TV's first anniversary.

Q. When was the need for setting up a TV channel like Press TV first felt?

A. The idea of setting up an Iran-based English-language news channel had been circulating for years. However, when the US took up a military presence in the Middle East the need for such a channel was felt even more. Therefore, necessary preparations were made and Press TV was launched this time last year.

Press TV was born out of the need for an outlet that could reflect our true outlook toward regional issues when covering news, political developments and expert opinions on events that take place in neighboring countries like Afghanistan and Iraq as well as those matters related to Middle Eastern states like Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria, countries where Iran has an active role.

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 16:42:49 By Gisoo Misha Ahmadi, Press TV, Tehran MJ/HGH

Malaysian Elite Cops arrested Anwar ahead of agreed time limit

Anwar Ibrahim
Anwar was due to report to police today, but police went to find him first
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who has agreed to turn up at 2pm today to give his statement to the police, faces possible arrest if he fails to keep his word again (Star Malaysia).

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been arrested outside his home, his lawyer has said. (BBC London)

Mr Anwar was stopped by several police officers outside his home and taken to police headquarters.

His lawyer said no reason was given for the arrest, which came shortly before Mr Anwar was due to give a statement to police over sodomy allegations.

The former deputy prime minister denies the allegations, which he says are aimed at ending his political comeback. . . more

ISLAMICA MAGAZINE : OPEN LETTER CONCERNING DATUK SERI DR. ANWAR IBRAHIM


Al-Salaamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,


We, the undersigned, believe the honorable brother Datuk Seri Dr. Anwar Ibrahim to be of the highest ethical and moral integrity, a devout Muslim and a devoted father and husband. He is universally recognized as an advocate for justice and fairness, and he has a long history of promoting Islam and championing Islamic ethical and charitable causes.

We are deeply concerned about the physical safety and freedom of our respected brother Datuk Seri Dr. Anwar Ibrahim. . . . read all


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Birth Pangs Over, Lebanon Has a New Government

Finally, the birth pang are over.
Lebanon has a new government.

Souhail Bouji, the Secretary General of the Lebanese Cabinet, announced the birth of the new government following a meeting with President Michel Suleiman and Speaker Nabih Berri at the Presidential Palace in Baabda.

The first decree said that President Suleiman accepted the resignation of Saniora’s former government, while the second decree said that the President announces Saniora as head of the new government.

Saniora spoke to reporters after the announcement and said that his new government has two basic missions: “to restore confidence in the Lebanese political system and constitutional institutions…and make sure that the Lebanese leaders would take the interests of the Lebanese into consideration regardless of their differences. The second mission is hold legislative elections and work on keeping the government at the same distance from all parties.”


Saniora added that the “Lebanese want a government that would lead them to the future, an we will put everything behind us to form a unified team. We will work on easing the burdens off the shoulders of the people and consolidate stability on the security and social levels.”

The lineup was named in a decree signed by President Suleiman and Saniora:

1 - Fouad Saniora: Prime Minister
2 - Issam Abu Jamra: Vice PM
3 - Elias Murr: Defense
4 - Ziad Baroud: Interior and Municipalities
5 - Jibran Bassil: Telecommunications
6 - Mohammad Shatah: Finance
7 - Mohammad Safadi: Economics
8 - Mohammad Fneish: Labor
9 - Fawzi Saloukh: Foreign
10 - Bahiyah Hariri: Education
11 - Talal Areslan: Youth and Sports
12 - Elie Marouni: Tourism
13 - Ghazi Zaiter: Industry
14 - Ghazi Aridi: Public Works
15 - Alain Taborian: Energy
16 - Tareq Mitri: Information
17 - Tamam Salam: Culture
18 - Antoine Karam: Environment
19 - Ibrahim Najjar: Justice
20 – Elias Skaff: Agriculture
21 – Mohammad Jawad Khalifeh: Health
22 – Mario Aoun: Social Affairs
23 – Ali Kanso: State Minister
24 – Reimond Aoudi: Displaced
25 – Wael Abu Faour: State Minister
26 – Nassib Lahoud: State Minister
27 – Yusuf Takla: State Minister
28 – Jean Ogassapian: State Minister
29 – Khaled Kabbani: State Minister
30 – Ibrahim Shamseddine: State Minister for Administrative Development

President Suleiman had given the loyalty and opposition blocs until Friday afternoon to form the government. “If Prime Minister Designate Fouad Saniora did not visit the Presidential Palace before 15:00 local time with a cabinet line-up ready to be announced, then things will turn different,” the Al-Akhbar daily said.

On the 28th May 2008, President Suleiman named Saniora to form the new cabinet, after political feuding parties signed an agreement in Qatar, known as the Doha Accord. The process of forming the government had passed through difficult stages and both loyalty and opposition blocs have blamed each other for obstructing the formation of the new national unity government.

MP Saad Hariri, head of the Future Movement, said that he asked Saniora “to accept the nomination of Ali Qanso” in the line-up. According to Assafir, the most recent delay in announcing the government was due to another attempt by Saniora and his ruling bloc to pressure the opposition into replacing the former head of the Syrian Social National Party (SSNP) Ali Qanso with another Shiite from the same party.

“I found that Lebanon was in front of two options: either to head to the unknown or to form the government to overcome this phase and return to normal life,” Saniora said after the announcement of the government.

The opposition, however, stuck to the nomination of Qanso and warned that vetoing any minister will lead to counter-vetoes the first of which is the Lebanese Forces candidate to take the Justice portfolio. "Whoever squanders justice and the justice ministry should accept the whole Syrian Social National Party (SSNP) in the cabinet, not just Ali Qanso," Berri said.

The Speaker accused the “March 14 bloc” of "squandering justice and the justice ministry." In an interview with the Kuwaiti daily al-Qabas, Berri did not elaborate on the charge that was apparently in reference to a decision by the majority to nominate Ibrahim Najjar from Samir Geagea's Lebanese Forces to the justice portfolio in the forthcoming cabinet.

He also warned that failing to form a government would lead "things back to the street, one way or the other.”

US Senate approves Pro-Iran-war General, as head of US Central Command.

July 11,2008

Ehud Barak said Israel is the

strongest country in the region


As Israel's defence minister has warned of his country's readiness to act against Iran if it feels threatened. US Senate approves a Pro-Iran-war General, as head of US Central Command.

Israel has responded to the missile tests by putting on display one of its aircraft that it says can spy on Iran.

The state-run Israel Aerospace Industries says it has equipped its Eitam aeroplane, unveiled a year ago, with sophisticated intelligence-gathering systems.

Quoted by Israeli news website Ynet, Mr Barak said: "We must work towards an accord - but if not, then we must strike our enemy when it is required."


US troops faces Flying IEDs in Iraq.

July 11,2008

U.S. military officials call the devices Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions, or IRAMs. They are propane tanks packed with hundreds of pounds of explosives and powered by 107mm rockets. They are often fired by remote control from the backs of trucks, sometimes in close succession. Rocket-propelled bombs have killed at least 21 people, including at least three U.S. soldiers, this year.



The use of the rocket-propelled bombs reflects militiamen's ability to use commonly available materials and relatively low-tech weaponry to circumvent security measures that have cost the U.S. military billions of dollars. To combat roadside bombs, known as improvised explosive devices or IEDs, U.S. and Iraqi troops have set up scores of checkpoints throughout the capital, increased patrols and purchased hundreds of armored vehicles that can resist such attacks.

A June report on the Web site Long War Journal called the explosives-filled propane tanks "flying IEDs." . . more


Lebanon moving forward

July 5, 2008

1. 'Prisoner swap huge failure for Israel'

Anticipation of the swap deal between Hezbollah and Israel to materialize goes parallel with the prospect of a new cabinet to be formed soon, amid general optimism over the distribution of portfolios.

According to Hariri's Mustakbal daily, Suleiman was counting on the positive atmosphere that emerged following Sayyed Nasrallah's press conference in which he extended a hand to the pro-government camp. Al Mustaqbal quoted Hariri as telling visitors that he "cannot reject any initiative launched by President Suleiman."

2. Lebanon 'set to announce cabinet'

Those measures were reversed and after talks led by Qatar, the two sides agreed to form a unity government, within which Hezbollah would have a blocking minority.

It would have two Hezbollah ministers, in addition to nine ministers from the group's Shia Muslim, Druze and Christian allies, sources told Reuters.

The 11 cabinet seats would be enough, under Lebanon's complex system, to block decisions in the 30-member cabinet.

The ruling coalition would have 16 ministers in the cabinet, while the remaining three would be picked by the the president.

The new unity government would be formed before Suleiman travels to France on July 12.
President Michel Suleiman might skip the Mediterranean Summit in France on July 13, in case a new government was not formed.


Warlords Next Door?


June 17, 2008


Dispatches reveals how key politicians at the heart of the vicious fighting in Somalia - described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis - enjoy incredibly close links to Britain. They have British or EU passports, their families live here and they commute between Somalia and homes in English cities. British taxpayers are financing them in the name of democracy - yet in Somalia they are linked to allegations of mass murder, torture, extortion and corruption. Channel 4 Video Documentary






Somali insurgents attack government base.


July 10, 2008

80% of ammunition on sale is from Ethiopian and Somali troops

Somalia's transitional government and its Ethiopian military allies have faced an Islamist-led insurgency since December 2006, when Ethiopian troops routed an Islamist regime that had ruled the capital of Mogadishu and much of the south for six months. In recent months, Islamist fighters have carried out a series of attacks on over a dozen towns, briefly capturing them, freeing prisoners and seizing weapons before withdrawing. . . . more

Lebanon moving forward

July 5, 2008

1. 'Prisoner swap huge failure for Israel' Anticipation of the swap deal between Hezbollah and Israel to materialize goes parallel with the prospect of a new cabinet to be formed soon, amid general optimism over the distribution of portfolios. According to Hariri's Mustakbal daily, Suleiman was counting on the positive atmosphere that emerged following Sayyed Nasrallah's press conference in which he extended a hand to the pro-government camp. Al Mustaqbal quoted Hariri as telling visitors that he "cannot reject any initiative launched by President Suleiman."

2. Lebanon 'set to announce cabinet'

Those measures were reversed and after talks led by Qatar, the two sides agreed to form a unity government, within which Hezbollah would have a blocking minority.

It would have two Hezbollah ministers, in addition to nine ministers from the group's Shia Muslim, Druze and Christian allies, sources told Reuters.

The 11 cabinet seats would be enough, under Lebanon's complex system, to block decisions in the 30-member cabinet.

The ruling coalition would have 16 ministers in the cabinet, while the remaining three would be picked by the the president.

The new unity government would be formed before Suleiman travels to France on July 12. President Michel Suleiman might skip the Mediterranean Summit in France on July 13, in case a new government was not formed.


The Malaysian (people) representing Anwar - The trial of democracy

July 1, 2008

We began building a solid foundation for the democracy we want for our young on March 8th. That was a journey we embarked upon for ourselves, our nation, our future.

It was not about Anwar Ibrahim.

That does not mean that we do not support the cause of justice. He is entitled to the full protection of the law. He is entitled to a fair and comprehensive investigation, if one is required at all. He is entitled to a fair prosecution and, above all, he is entitled to a fair trial, if there is one.

In all of all that and more, he deserves our full support. But, fearing the worst, are we going to stop what we started if Anwar Ibrahim is taken down?

If Anwar, Round 2 has been brought on for political purpose, then let us show those who are pulling the strings, that race politics do not matter to us anymore.

Let them hear us, loud and clear: We are Malaysians, and only justice matters. . . . more


-

Mass rally for peace in Mindanao

Written by Kazi Mahmood

Saturday, 28 June 2008

COTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro people (muslims) once again come together to press one call – respect Bangsamoro people’s right to self-determination towards just and lasting peace in Mindanao, in a one-day Mindanao-wide mass rally spearheaded by Mindanao Alliance for Peace (MAP) here today. It rallied no less than 300,000 people accross Mindanao in a show of force and unity. . . . more


Reliable Foreign News Agency - Malaysia's Anwar seeks sanctuary

Mon, 30 Jun 2008 01:28:29

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is facing sodomy charges, has sought refuge at the Turkish embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

Anwar said threats had been made against his life, as a result he has taken refuge at the Turkish embassy in Kuala Lumpur on the invitation of the ambassador, AFP reported Sunday. . . more

Kenyataan Anwar dari kedutaan Turki . . . more

The US is a Republic No more!

Sat, 28 Jun 2008 17:42:15

An interview with Gore Vidal by Afshin Rattansi, Press TV, Tehran

Press TV: We hear that Michael Mukasey is going to become the latest of the President's Attorney-Generals to be subpoenaed, this time over his conversations with Bush and Cheney - does this show that Congress is serious about calling the executive to account?

Gore Vidal: No, Congress has never been more cowardly, nor more corrupt. All Bush has do is to make sure certain amounts of money go in the direction of certain important congressmen and that's end of any serious investigation. After all, one of the bravest members of Congress is Denis Kucinich who brought the article of impeachment in to the well of the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives must then try the president, and then after that it goes to the Senate for judgment. However, none of these things will happen because there's nobody there except for Mr. Kucinich who has the courage to take on a sitting president who is kind of a Mafioso.

Press TV: How can it just be one person among so many hundreds of Congressmen who wants the impeachment of George W. Bush in these circumstances?

Gore Vidal: Well it's because we no longer have a country. We don't have a republic any more. During the last 7 or 8 years of the Bush regime, they've got rid of the Bill of Rights, they've got rid of habeas corpus. They have got rid of one of the nicest gifts that England ever left us when they went away and we ceased to be colonies - the Magna Carta - from the 12th century. All of our law and due process of law is based on that. And the Bush people got rid of it. The president and little Mr. Gonzales who for a few minutes was his Attorney General. They managed to get rid of all of the constitutional links that made us literally a republic.

Press TV: You have often written about the US's superpower status in terms of the history of previous superpowers. Do you think we're witnessing the end of US power as some suggest. Will the White House be seen like Persepolis?

Gore Vidal: Well it won't make such good ruins, no. It'll be more like the tomb of Cyrus nearby. They managed to destroy the United States - why? Because they're oil and gas people and they're essentially criminals. I repeat that this is a criminal group that's seized control of the country through what looked like an ordinary election. But there's some very nice films and documentaries about what happened in the year 2000 when Albert Gore won the election for president and they saw to it that he couldn't serve. They got the Supreme Court - which is the Holy of Holies ordinarily in our system - to investigate and then accuse the thieves of being absolutely correct and the winners - Mr. Gore and the Democrats - of being the cheaters. It's the first law of Machiavelli, whatever your opponent's faults are, you pick his virtues and you deny he has them. That's what they did when Senator Kerry ran a few years ago for president. He's a famous hero from the Vietnam War. They said he was a coward and not a hero. That's how it's done. When you have a bunch of liars in charge of your government you can't expect to get much history out of that. But later on we'll dig and dig… and we will dig up Persepolis.

Press TV: Senator Obama talks about change but of course he has courting Wall Street as well as the Israeli lobby - do you see any prospect of change with him as president?

Gore Vidal: Not really. I don't doubt his good faith, just as I do not doubt the bad faith of Cheney and Bush. They are such dreadful people that we've never had in government before. They would never have risen unless they were buying elections as they did in Florida in 2000, as they did in the State of Ohio in 2004. These are two open thefts of the Presidency. When I discovered that this did not interest the New York Times or the Washington Post or any of the press of the country I realized our day was done. We are no longer a country we are a framework for crooks to go in and steal money. Knowing that they'll never be caught and they'll be admired for it. Americans always take everybody on his own evaluation. You say I'm a state and they say "oh, yeah yeah yeah, he's a state, isn't that great." And you accuse the other people of your crimes before you commit them. It's an old trick which was known to Machiavelli who wrote about it in his handbook, the Prince.

Press TV: Finally that issue which is exercising so many minds in the Middle East and beyond. You, yourself have written about so many Imperial wars of the United States. Do you think Bush and Cheney would risk another war in what Mohammad ElBaradei of the IAEA calls a fireball?

Gore Vidal: They are longing to but they have spent all of the money. They have got it in their own private companies like the Vice-President and a company called Halliburton which is stealing more money and should be on trial sooner or later before Congress. But perhaps not, who knows? But it's well known in Washington, these people are leaking away the money of the country. Well there's no more money. They are longing for a war with Iran. Iran is no more a harm to us than was Iraq or Afghanistan. They invented an enemy, they tell lies, lies, lies.
The New York Times goes along with their lies, lies, lies. And they don't stop. When the public that's lied to 30 times a day it's apt to believe the lies, is not it?

Gore Vidal is a renowned American writer and erstwhile political candidate.

SG/DA

ANOTHER COINCIDENCE - Will it get any prettier?

Ahad, 29 Jun 2008

The RPK's , (a reputed and respected blogger) Statutory Declaration was cited by the Malaysian regime's top guns as a conspiracy with PRK (Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim's party) against the regime, to hit at the second man. Today, the people are asking - the regime had finally stamp their foot down? The regime in Malaysia now appears susceptible to a possible defeat by PRK after a bitter internal bickering after their recent poor showing at the polls. Futhermore Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim is accepted and supported by the Islamic based opposition political party Pan Malaysian Islamic Party PMIP (PAS) if he is to be made the Prime Minister of Malaysia -

Malaysia's Anwar faces , sex claim, (malay report)

• Kategori keADILanonline: Berita Utama, Nasional
— PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE —

June 29, 2008, SHAH ALAM, MALAYSIA

The police report lodged against me earlier today is a complete fabrication. I believe we are witnessing a repeat of the methods used against me in 1998 when false allegations were made under duress. This is clearly a desperate attempt by the Barisan Nasional regime to arrest the movement of the Malaysian people towards freedom, democracy and justice.

The report has been organized by interested parties to attack me in retaliation for evidence I have recently obtained implicating IGP Musa Hassan and the AG Gani Patail in misconduct including fabrication of evidence in the cases launched against me in 1998-1999. This vile attack will not prevent me from releasing this dossier to the public.

I urge the Malaysian people to stand against the repressive forces that will be unleashed by the government in the coming days and weeks. We expect the media, the judiciary and the police force to all come under the direct and unchecked control of the executive.

My fellow Malaysians - we took a bold step forward on March 8th towards a new dawn for freedom and justice for all of our citizens. This people’s movement for change must go on with all of our strength and conviction.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

watch / tonton Video

baca versi melayu

Remembering the stature and contribution of Imam Khomeini

Friday, June 27 2008

This month, millions of Muslims all over the world will mark the nineteenth anniversary of the death of Imam Khomeini on June 4, 1989. The Imam was undoubtedly the most important figure in recent Muslim history, the man whose thought and leadership effectively gave birth to what we now know as the global Islamic movement. As Vali-i Faqih and Rahbar of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the first Islamic state of the contemporary era (albeit, inevitably, a prototypical and experimental Islamic state), he was the nearest thing the Ummah has had to a khalifah of Allah’s Messenger (saw) since long before the end of the Uthmaniyyah Khilafah. Indeed, Dr Kalim Siddiqui, in his landmark paper Processes of Error, Deviation, Correction and Convergence in Muslim Political Thought (1996), pointed out how closely linked the Imam’s political theory is to that of the traditional Islamic understanding of the khilafah.

Uniquely among recent Muslim political leaders, Imam Khomeini rose to leadership by the consensus of his fellow Muslims, who recognised in him exceptional qualities of taqwa and spirituality. But he always spoke for Islam and the Ummah as a whole rather than for any partial understanding of Islam. This was why millions of Muslims, Shi‘as and Sunnis alike, accepted him as their leader, and aspired to follow the Revolutionary path which liberated Iran. Ordinary Muslims all over the world instinctively recognised him as a leader from the deepest traditions of Islam as soon as they saw him, whether live, on television or even in a newspaper. For ordinary Muslims, he came to embody a quality of humility and a pureness of iman that transcended every fault line in the Ummah, be it racial, national, linguistic, cultural or sectarian.

It is this spirit that the Islamic movement today is often said to have lost. Inevitably, Muslims look for it in the Islamic state that the Imam created. All too often, they do not find it. Iran, people say, has failed to export the Revolution, is diluting the spirit of the Revolution, has joined the western-dominated international order instead of fighting it, or has become a nationalist, Shi‘a state instead of an Islamic one. This is harsh; the expectations that Muslims had for an Islamic state which was bound to be embryonic and experimental, as well as being subjected to the most venomous hatred and enmity of the west, were not reasonable. Not all officials of the state can be expected to share the qualities of the Imam himself. Having said that, in terms of nationalism and sectarianism in particular, too many followers of the Imam, in Iran and outside it, have failed to maintain even minimum standards. However, as long as the understanding and vision of the leadership remains sound and unwavering, Iran will remain the leading edge of the Islamic movement, thanks to the momentum generated by the Imam's unique leadership, and maintained against all odds by his successor, Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Khamenei.

But the failure of the Islamic movement outside Iran has arguably been much greater. Where the Imam transcended all divisions of the Ummah, too many activists outside Iran have fallen into every one they could find. Where Islamic Iran has sometimes been guilty of failing to take a broad enough view of the movement, Muslims elsewhere have often been guilty of demanding too much and failing to understand the constraints under which the Islamic state operates, and its own needs and imperatives. Too many are guilty of demanding and expecting from the Islamic state, instead of assisting and helping it when Islamic Iran needed it most.

Almost three decades after the Islamic Revolution, there are many people in the Islamic movement who cannot remember the world without Islamic Iran, or without Imam Khomeini. With each generation, perceptions change. Islamic Iran is no longer a marvel to be wondered at, but an established feature of the geo-political landscape. And, for some - even within the movement - Imam Khomeini is no longer quite the presence he once was. But the movement today exists and works in a world shaped by his achievement. The challenge we face demands that we all work in the spirit of brotherhood and unity that he showed in his every action.

Imam Khomeini took a global view, focusing on issues common to all the Ummah, even though he came from, and worked largely within, a particular part of it. This ethos, that the things we share as Muslims, the things that make us Muslim, transcend the differences among us (and Islam and Muslims were never a homogeneous faith or community) is one Islamic activists must embrace if we are to move forward on the path that Imam Khomeini, may Allah be pleased with him, has shown us.

courtesy muslimedia

Brazen imperialism in the Middle East

Sat, 14 Jun 2008

The following is Press TV's exclusive full-length interview with American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author and MIT professor Avram Noam Chomsky:

Press TV: How do you characterize this so-called security treaty between Washington and Baghdad?

Chomsky: The security arrangement was in fact declared last November. There was a declaration from the White House, presumably a Bush-Maliki declaration, but had nothing to do with the Congress or Parliament or any other official institution. It called for an indefinite long-term US military presence in Iraq and that could include the huge air bases that are now being built around Iraq. The US is building what's called an embassy but it's unlike any embassy in the world. Its essentially a city inside a city. These are all declared intentions to retain a permanent dominant presence in Iraq.

The declaration also, a little to my surprise, had a rather brazen statement about exploiting the resources of Iraq. It said that the economy of Iraq, which means its oil resources, must be open to foreign investment, privileging American investors. That's pretty brazen. Now that's brazen imperialism saying we invaded you so that we can control your country; and so that our corporations can have privileged access to your resources.

It was not at all clear that any Iraqi was ever going to accept this and in the steps that had followed as there was an attempt to sort of formulate it, more precisely, there have been predictably increasing objections.

Different formulations and so on but without going through the details leading to prime minister al-Maliki's recent comment that you quoted.

Press TV: Do you think Nouri al-Maliki will eventually succumb? I mean previous occupants of that position, well, they have come and gone. Haven't they?

Chomsky: I mean look the country is under military occupation. It is not a free country, so there is a limit on how much any individual can do when your country is under military occupation.

The Wall Street Journal, which is not exactly a radical newspaper, states that the Maliki government survives only on the basis of US arms. That's an exaggeration but not an inconceivable perception, so he might not survive if he doesn't accept it.

Press TV: Professor Chomsky, of course, one country that is being blamed by Washington is Iran and what's on a lot of minds in the Middle East is this drumbeat of war as it were. Do you think the United States wants military action and will there be military action against Iran? And how do you characterize the IAEA's nuclear negotiation process?

Chomsky: It is interesting, the way everything is blamed on Iran. And that's a rather striking reflection of how deep-seated the imperial mentality is in the West, so for example when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is asked by the press: is there a solution to the problem in Iraq, and she says yes a simple solution - foreign forces should be withdrawn and foreign arms should be withdrawn, referring of course to Iran -, people don't laugh and collapse in ridicule. I mean, of course, there are foreign forces and foreign arms in Iraq, but not Iranian. They are American, but those are not considered foreign forces. In the Western conception, US and, indeed, much of the West, if our forces are anywhere, they are indigenous. They are not foreign because fundamentally there is a tacit assumption that we own the world, so our forces are not foreign - they are indigenous.

We talk about Iranian interference: it's like talking about Allied interference in Nazi occupied Vichy France; it doesn't make any sense, but the mentality accepts it.

Now as far as the IAEA is concerned, the United States handed over to the international agency a collection of documents recently and the agency says they have not received adequate explanation about them from Iran. OK that's where things now stand.

I have my own opinion about what ought to be done and, in fact, it happens to be the same as the opinion of the overwhelming majority of Americans and also the overwhelming majority of Iranians, according to the polls in the two countries, namely that the right solution to this problem is to declare a nuclear weapons free zone in the entire region which would include Iran, Israel and American forces deployed there and so on. About three quarter of Americans are in favor of that, and I think that's the right idea!

Press TV: Professor Chomsky, that's obviously not going to happen...

Chomsky: Who says? It won't happen on the assumption that the United States is a completely undemocratic country in which public opinion can't influence policy. I don't think that's a necessary assumption.

Press TV: We're hearing things from Israel. There were remarks about some 'Iran Command' being set up. Of course, we had Seymour Hersh in the United States saying that there was going to be an attack on Iran, obviously...

Chomsky: So will it happen you mean. Nobody knows whether it will happen. I mean it's conceivable. I mean the whole world is aghast at the possibility. One leading British military historian, Corelli Barnett, said it'll mean world war III. It will have very serious consequences, undoubtedly, not to speak of what would happen to Iran, but it's conceivable that they would be willing to take a kind of a wild gamble and just see what happens.

Remember that everything the Bush administration has done, almost without exception, has turned into a catastrophe for the interest that they represent. And it's possible that they might decide to go out in some blaze of glory just to see what happens. Hit the system with a sledgehammer and see what happens. I frankly doubt it. I think that as far as anyone can tell, the US military is opposed and US intelligence seems to be opposed and surely the world is opposed. On whether they will accept those pressures or not, you can't really tell. People like Dick Cheney are unpredictable.

Press TV: Professor Chomsky, if people in your own country are opposed to the Iraq war, Afghanistan seems to be a sort of good war. There was recently a donors' conference in Paris. How do you see the situation in Afghanistan moving on with more money from multinational companies, more so-called donors and yet the security situation seems to be deteriorating.

Chomsky: Well this is a long topic, and I think we ought to talk about it another time, but, very briefly, what matters in this case is the opinion of Afghans. And though we don't have very good evidence about that, we have some. So, for example, this is a recent study, a very interesting study, a Canadian study of Taliban fighters... You know, it seems what they want is to get foreign forces out of the country in which case they can accommodate to the rest.

The general opinion in Afghanistan seems to be somewhat similar. They want accommodation with the Taliban not war and the majority think it's possible. If foreign involvement was reconstruction, that would be accepted undoubtedly, and it should be in my opinion not aid but reparations.

Russia, the United States, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have torn this country to shreds and they owe reparations for what happened, and then maybe the people can accommodate among themselves. That's what diplomacy ought to be pushing for.

Courtesy Press tv RZS/AA/HGH

Iran War Resolution May Be Passed Next Week

25 June 2008

Introduced less than a month ago, Resolution 362, also known as the Iran War Resolution, could be passed by the House as early as next week.
“Imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran” can be read to mean that the president should initiate a naval blockade of Iran. A unilateral naval blockade without UN sanction is an act of war. . . more
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