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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coming Nuclear Flashpoint

By Michael Scheuer

India’s role in Afghanistan is hailed as a triumph of soft power. In fact, it has just made conflict with Pakistan more likely.

If the West has had any success in Afghanistan, it has been in encouraging India to make a massive investment there of economic aid, infrastructure projects and national prestige. New Delhi is the largest regional investor in the country, and ranks second among all donors. With the West’s looming defeat in Afghanistan, however, India’s success will prove Pyrrhic, and may well set the stage for another, perhaps nuclear, confrontation between Pakistan and India.

In their usual ahistorical manner, Washington and its NATO allies believed their 2001 occupation of the major Afghan cities signified not only the complete defeat of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, but also an erasure of two millennia of Afghan history and religion that afforded an opportunity to start the country anew. In this context, they looked for other countries to share the enormous cost of nation-building, and India stepped up to the task without having to be asked twice.

And what has India been up to? Mostly infrastructure projects, such as a 250-kilometre highway from Zaranj near the Iran-Afghanistan border to the town of Delaram on the road that connects Kabul, Kandahar and Herat. Indian firms and Indian-government funding are also rebuilding the Salma Dam power project in Herat Province; building the new Afghan parliament house in Kabul; and constructing a power line that will use 600 transmission towers to bring electricity from Uzbekistan, over the Hindu Kush, to Pol-i-Khumri, and thence to Kabul. These and other projects now employ up to 4000 Indian nationals in Afghanistan. In addition, Indian firms are investing in Afghan agriculture and mining, and New Delhi is providing student scholarships, medical aid programs and training for Afghan police and civil servants.

Clearly, Afghanistan’s battered infrastructure needs this help and much more. Like all foreign aid, however, India’s aid has come with accompaniments the Hamid Karzai regime fully accepts, but which tend to drive Pakistan’s government—and especially its general officers—to distraction and deep strategic worry. New Delhi, for example, has built one of its biggest embassies in the world in Kabul, and with it has built four consulates—some media reports say as many as seven—two of which, in Jalalabad and Kandahar, face Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan. In addition, New Delhi has deployed nearly 500 men from the Indian Army’s Border Roads Organization to assist in highway construction, and as many or more paramilitary soldiers from its Indo-Tibetan Police force to guard Indian diplomatic facilities and construction projects.

Why should the Pakistanis be worried? Well, you must first accept that you’ve not experienced severe and durable paranoia until you’ve experienced that of Pakistani officials and generals toward India, and vice versa. Indeed, in the midst of a nearly decade-long war in Afghanistan and a 5-year-old civil war in the country’s tribal agencies, Pew Research reported in July 2010 that its polling found 53 percent of Pakistanis view India as their number one enemy, with 27 percent naming the Taliban and 3 percent al-Qaeda. With this mindset, then, the Pakistani government and military believe that India’s expensive, extensive and growing Afghan presence is a direct and even existential strategic threat to their country.

In their one-sided confrontation with India‘s overwhelming military power, Pakistan’s political leaders and generals have long prized Afghan territory as an area where Pakistani forces can retreat and regroup if India invades from the east. This idea has long been ridiculed by Western strategists, but it’s a central tenet of Pakistan’s strategic doctrine. And now, in less than a decade, this area of limitless strategic depth has been transformed into a second military frontier with India, one that puts Pakistan in a strategic vice with Indian forces on each side.

The seriousness with which Islamabad views this issue is seen in the fact that, per the media, up to 30 percent of Pakistan’s ground forces are now stationed on the country’s western border. This redeployment degrades the country’s strength on its border with India and has been made to fight what Islamabad believes are rebellious, India-supported militants in its tribal agencies and Balochistan Province.

Pakistan’s military considers India’s embassy and consulates as intelligence centres that are running covert operations into Pakistan’s Pashtun agencies and—with the help of Indian army engineers and border police—are training, arming, funding and picking targets for Balochistan’s tribal insurgents in their low-level war against Islamabad. (NB: It’s likely that Islamabad is even now responding to its perception of India’s intervention by stepping up the tempo of the Kashmir insurgency.)

Pakistani generals also worry that India’s growing and deliberately flamboyant military ties with Israel—that the Pakistani media call the ‘Indo-Israeli nexus’—means the two countries are working together to neutralize Pakistan’s nuclear capability, and will use Afghanistan as a base from which to do so. ‘We have strong evidence,’ a Pakistani foreign ministry official said in March, 2010, ‘[that India] is using Afghanistan against Pakistan’s interests and do destabilize Pakistan.’ Now none of this need be true, of course. But it clearly is how the Pakistanis perceive the intent of India’s presence in Afghanistan. And perception is always reality.

Pakistan’s perception has been encouraged—perhaps unwisely—by Indian officials and pundits. Granting that there’s Good Samaritan-ism in India’s activities in Afghanistan, New Delhi is far from blind to the strategic advantages accruing from its Afghan involvement. Indeed, the advantages are continuously outlined in the Indian media. The Zaranj-Delaram road mentioned above, for example, has been identified as a means to hurt Pakistan’s economy by giving Afghan exports access to the sea through Iran without transiting Pakistani territory and ports.

Indian officials also have talked of their intention to use Afghanistan as a springboard for exploiting economic opportunities and accessing energy resources in Central Asia. Military-oriented Indian publications like the Indian Defense Review, moreover, haven’t been shy about crowing over how the growing Indian presence in Afghanistan is making the Pakistan Army more ‘worried with each passing day [that] its so-called strategic depth is becoming shallower by the minute.’

All this sets the stage for tragedy, even though Western and Indian commentators are trumpeting India’s performance in Afghanistan as the triumph of ‘soft power’ over military operations. This is nonsense. The success of India’s soft power has depended utterly on the presence of 100,000-plus US-NATO bayonets, and even those haven’t been enough to stop lethal attacks on Indian military personnel, construction crews and New Delhi’s embassy in Kabul.

A good deal of the Indian media portrays India’s activities in Afghanistan as successfully winning Afghan hearts and minds and building a long-term welcome for India. This is unlikely. If the Afghans have little materially, they do possess a prodigious historical memory and recall that India fully backed the murderous Soviet occupation (1979-1989) and then the Afghan communist regime until it fell in April 1992. This knowledge will be especially fresh among all mujahedin who fought the Soviets—and believed Indian pilots flew combat missions against them—but most intense among the Taliban-led Afghan Pashtuns whose war against Ahmed Shah Masood and his Northern Alliance was prolonged and made more costly by generous Indian aid to Masood. The idea that India’s money-backed soft power is enough to negate such recollections and the vengefulness they fuel could only be believed by those trained at Harvard.

The real rub, of course, will come when NATO withdraws in defeat and leaves India high and dry in a country that dislikes foreigners, and especially non-Muslim polytheists like the Indians.

When NATO goes, India’s personnel and interests will face attack by Afghan mujahedin, Pakistan-backed Islamist militants and probably Pakistani Special Forces. To repeat, Pakistan can’t strategically tolerate a growing and solidifying Indian presence in Afghanistan and will risk war to end it. New Delhi will then face the excruciating decision all nations rightfully dread—‘How best to save face?’ Will New Delhi decide to deploy large numbers of troops to protect its nationals and investments by defeating the fresh-from-victory Taliban and its allies, among whom will be Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the other Gulf states? Or will it decide not to throw good money and lives after bad and draw down its presence to a Kabul embassy, if the Taliban will permit one?

At that point, cool heads in New Delhi probably will see that India’s rapid move into Afghanistan was based on the wrong but understandable conclusion that Washington meant to defeat its 9/11 attackers. Undone by US-NATO fecklessness, they will also see that what once was a glittering economic and diplomatic opportunity has been transformed into a potentially war-causing question of national honor, willpower and prestige.

If India leaves Afghanistan, there’s no way to avoid having the Taliban, Pakistan and all the Muslim world perceive the common-sense Indian departure as anything but a victory for Islam over Allah’s polytheist enemies. Unavoidably, India’s Afghan withdrawal will be seen as a triumph for Pakistan that restores its strategic depth; as an act that puts a huge dent in New Delhi’s oft-stated ambition to be a regional superpower; as a signal to India’s growing Islamist militant movement and its foreign backers that Hindu power is not invincible; and, by Beijing, as a sign of India’s lack of resolve at a time of rising Indo-Chinese tensions.

It’s nice to think that when this no-win situation becomes clear, New Delhi and its generals will have the thick-skin and toughness to decide the Afghan game is not worth the candle. (And that their counterparts in Islamabad are adult enough to forego public gloating.) For New Delhi, realism dictates that a major military effort in Afghanistan is not sustainable, and that it isn’t worth introducing the massive Indian force needed to try to protect India’s Afghan investment only to fail and perhaps set in motion events that could potentially lead to a nuclear confrontation with Pakistan.

Sadly, few governments in history have ever had the courage to get out of quagmires while the going was good. The US surged in Iraq and Afghanistan and still lost both wars, for example, and Russia is now losing its second war in the North Caucasus. At day’s end, the need of both New Delhi and Islamabad to save face and protect their strategic interests may well lead to the brink of a nuclear disaster over Afghanistan, which, to paraphrase Bismarck, probably isn’t worth the bones of one Indian grenadier.

Michael Scheuer is the author of ‘Imperial Hubris’ and former chief of the CIA’s Bin Laden Issue Station. He writes regularly for

NOTE:This is a cross post from THE DIPLOMAT.

China and India: A war of giants

By : Eric Margolis

The highly respected British magazine The Economist featured a front-page article in their 21 August issue about the

possibility of a major war

between China and India. I've been thinking about this scenario for over a decade, and authored a book, War at the Top of the World, that warned of the dangers of a future Sino-Indian conflict.

Just thinking about this topic staggers the imagination. China and India account for 2.3 billion people, a third of the world's total population. My book was directly inspired by meeting the Dalai Lama in the mid-1990's. I heard him give a long, very interesting speech on the Indian-Chinese border conflict, which I had studied in depth as a result of my deep interest in the Himalayan region.

The audience that came to hear His Holiness expected to hear a warm, fuzzy talk about the meaning of life. Instead, they were totally bemused by the Dalai Lama's discussion of South Asian grand strategy and the Tibetan-Indian border that had been drawn by Imperial Britain with no regard to China. People often forget the Dalai Lama is the temporal leader of Tibet as well as its spiritual guide.

I was the only person in the audience who understood the subject or who asked questions about the talk. After, His Holiness took me aside and we conversed at length about the contested border, from Ladakh and Kashmir in the West to India's Assam and Northeast Frontier Agency (today Arunachal Pradesh), and Tibet's future. We also talked for a long time about cats, but that's another story that will be in my next book.

So from my encounter with the Dalai Lama came my first book, War at the Top of the World (now in its fourth, revised edition), which also covered then little-known Afghanistan and the endless conflict over Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

In War, I predicted that the first major crisis of the 21st Century would occur in Afghanistan.

9/11 happened soon after War came out. I was swamped by calls from the media to talk about Afghanistan and a certain Osama bin Laden.

"How did you know?" everyone asked me in amazement.

"Because I was watching that part of the world when few others were doing so," came my reply.

In 1962, India moved troops into remote valleys high on the eastern Himalayas claimed by China. Beijing proclaimed it would "teach India a lesson."

It certainly did. Marching over the high mountains, Chinese troops quickly outflanked static Indian forces -- as they did with American troops in Korea in 1950. The Indians were routed. The People's Liberation Army took much of Arunachal Pradesh, and stood before tea-producing Assam, only a relatively short distance to Calcutta.

Satisfied by his "lesson," Chairman Mao ordered his troops to withdraw.

Proud India was humiliated and deeply shocked. Since then, India has built up its forces in the region to over three army corps of 100,000 mountain troops, backed by high-altitude air bases and a network of new roads and supply depots.

The long, poorly demarcated border has been tense ever since. India claims two large chunks of territory in the west held by China: Aksai Chin and a slice of Kashmir given by Pakistan to China to allow a military road connecting Tibet with Chinese Xinjiang. I have explored both frozen wastelands, both over 15,000 vertiginous feet.

China claims most of Indian-held Arunachal Pradesh on the eastern end of the Himalayan border, known as the McMahon line. India has only grudgingly accepted China's 1950 takeover of Tibet and has harbored anti- Chinese groups dedicated to liberating the mountain kingdom. At the same time, India quietly asserted control of two other Himalayan mountain kingdoms, Bhutan and Sikkim. India sees the growing array of Chinese bases in Tibet as an extreme danger. China's air, missile and intelligence bases in Tibet look down on the vast plains of India.

India's leader, Jawaharlal Nehru, once complained of this danger to China's Premier Chou Enlai. Chou laughed and retorted, "If I wanted to destroy India, I would march 100 million Chinese to the edge of the Tibetan plateau and order them to piss downhill. We would wash you into the Indian Ocean."

Tibet controls most of the headwaters of India's great rivers. Delhi has long feared that China may one day dam and divert their waters to China's dry western provinces.

Other serious potential flashpoints exist. India's old foe, Pakistan, with whom it has fought four wars, is China's closet ally. Beijing arms Pakistan and has built up its nuclear arms program. An Indian-Pakistan war over divided Kashmir, or an Indian intervention in a fragmenting Pakistan or Afghanistan, could draw China into the fray. A new port in western Pakistan at Gwadar will give China port rights on the Arabian Sea.

Burma (today Myanmar), on India's troubled eastern flank, which is rent by tribal uprisings, deeply worries Delhi. Strategic Burma is rapidly becoming an important forward Chinese base. A new road links China with Burma, and provides China's navy a badly needed port on the Andaman Sea, and thus access to the Indian Ocean. India believes China is trying to strategically encircle it. To the west, Pakistan; to the north, Tibet; to the east, Burma. To the south, China is busy cultivating Sri Lanka.

In spite of million man armed forces and nuclear weapons, India feels increasingly threatened by China's rise. The Indians know full well that China expects obedience from its neighbors. Even a small border clash between these two assertive giants could light the fuse of a broad and very frightening conflict. The scramble for oil and gas offers ample causes of yet more conflict in Central Asia and even the Gulf, where today America's rules supreme.

(Veteran journalist, Eric S. Margolis and author of War at the Top of the World –- The Struggle for Afghanistan and Asia is a syndicated columnist and broadcaster whose articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TheInternational Herald Tribune, Mainichi Shimbun and US Naval Institute Proceedings).
NOTE:This is a cross post from Huffington Post.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Media Didn’t Buy Petraeus Command’s Story of Low Taliban Morale

By Gareth Porter     

In an effort to introduce a story of "progress" into media coverage, Gen. David Petraeus’s command claimed last week that the Taliban is suffering from reduced morale in Marjah and elsewhere, despite evidence that the population of Marjah still believes the Taliban controls that district.

But the news media ignored the command’s handout on the story, which did not quote Petraeus.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Aug. 25 news release quoted German Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, the ISAF spokesman, as citing intelligence reports of "low insurgent morale, which is affecting their capability across the country."

The release claimed that the Taliban commander in Marjah district, Mullah Niamat, "openly acknowledged to his fellow insurgents that the Taliban is losing Marjah and their chances of winning are poor."

The release cited "intelligence reports" as saying the Taliban leader’s assessment was "based on battle losses" and "increased resentment of the insurgent methods by average Afghans".

In response to a request from IPS for details that would substantiate the claim, however, ISAF was unwilling to do so.

The allegation about Marjah is contradicted by a report of a survey conducted by the London-based International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) showing that the population of Marjah still regarded the Taliban as being in control of the district five months after U.S. troops began occupying it.

The ICOS report, is based on 522 interviews with men in Helmand and Kandahar provinces in July - 97 of which were in Marjah district. It shows that 88 of the 97 interviewed in Marjah believe the Taliban controlled the district, whereas only 9 perceive the government as being in control

If the population of Marjah is "resentful" of Taliban tactics, moreover, they are evidently far more resentful of U.S. tactics in the district. Asked whether the military operation by U.S.-NATO forces in their area was "good or bad for the Afghan people," only 1 of the 97 people said it was good; the other 96 said it was bad.

ICOS is an international policy think tank focused on issues security, development, counter-narcotics and health.

In response to an IPS query about exactly what Mullah Niamat is alleged to have said, Lt. Col. John Dorrian, an ISAF public affairs officer, declined to provide any further information about just what Niamat had actually said. He cited the need to protect "our counterintelligence tactics and techniques."

Dorrian claimed there was other evidence, obtained from discussions with detainees, among other means, to support the claim of reduced Taliban morale. He declined, however, to provide any further details.

Even though the news media have thus far refrained from challenging any of Petraeus’s claims of progress, not a single news outlet thus far has picked up the ISAF press release’s claim of lower insurgent morale.

The alleged admission of incipient defeat by Mullah Niamat and the refusal to provide any direct quotes or other specifics recall another alleged statement by an adversary used by Petraeus’s staff in Iraq to make a key political point.

On Jul. 2, 2007, Petraeus’s spokesman in Iraq, Gen. Kevin Bergner, told reporters that a Hezbollah detainee, Ali Musa Daqduq, had revealed to interrogators that he been tasked with organizing "special groups" in Iraq for Iran.

The story of Daqduq’s alleged admission was part of a larger charge by the U.S. command in Iraq that Iran had organized and was arming and training Shi’a militia groups that had allegedly broken away from Moqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

But Bergner provided no direct quotes from Daqduq to reporters. And in May 2008, another public affairs officer, Col. Donald Bacon, told Associated Press in an e-mail that the Hezbollah operative had actually told interrogators that his role in Iraq was to "assess the quality of training and make recommendations on how the training could be improved."

In fact, as military and intelligence officials privately admitted to pro-war blogger Bill Roggio, the term "special groups" was not an Iranian designation at all; it was created by the U.S. command and applied to any Mahdi Army military commanders and troops who refused to cooperate with the U.S. military.

Both episodes illustrate efforts by the military command to shape the media narrative surrounding the war, as advocated by Petraeus in his 2006 army manual on counterinsurgency.

Noting that the media "directly influence the attitude of key audiences toward counterinsurgents", Petraeus referred to "a war of perceptions between insurgents and counterinsurgents conducted continuously using the news media."

Petraeus urged counterinsurgency war "leaders" to carry out "information operations" to "obtain local, regional and international support for COIN operations".

The decision to promote a story that was likely to encounter scepticism in the press corps in Afghanistan appears to be a response by Petraeus to a looming crisis over his ability to convince the Barack Obama administration that progress is being achieved in the war.

The claim came two days after Petraeus asserted in a BBC interview that the U.S.–NATO war had "already reversed the momentum which the Taliban had built up in the last few years in Helmand and Kandahar provinces and around Kabul."

In fact, however, U.S. operations in Marjah had failed to expel the Taliban fighters or to reduce their political influence in the district. Nor has Petraeus claimed that Kandahar will be secured by the end of this year as previously vowed by McChrystal – or even by the mid-2011.

To make matters worse for Petraeus, over the past six months, the Taliban have continued to establish a politically dominant presence in more areas of northern Afghanistan which had previously been judged relatively secure.

The Washington Post’s Joshua Partlow reported Aug. 15 - the same day Petraeus was making his claim of progress - that Taliban fighters were "spreading like a brush fire into remote and defenceless villages across northern Afghanistan".

Two weeks earlier, Alissa J. Rubin of the New York Times had quoted the chairman of the provincial council in Baghlan province as saying the situation there was "very serious and day by day it is getting worse and worse."

The bad news about Taliban gains in control of territory in the northern provinces is likely to be reflected in the next Pentagon assessment of the war due to be published in late November – just before Petraeus’s pivotal December review of progress in the war.

(Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam", was published in 2006). 

NOTE:This is a cross post.

Sunday, August 29, 2010



Pakistan (Veterans Today exclusive)  Informed sources in the Government of Pakistan have told Veterans Today that they are developing “hard evidence” indicating  the Jet Blue Airbus 320 that crashed July 28th outside Islamabad was a terrorist hijacking  tied to rogue American security forces operating inside that country. 
Sources indicate that the plane crash was an unsuccessful hijacking attempt  intended to crash into the nuclear  weapons facility at Kahuta, outside Islamabad.  Such an attack may have been blamed on India and would likely have led to retaliation which could easily have escalated to a nuclear exchange between these two nations that have spent decades at each other’s throats.
Suspicions were raised inside Pakistan’s military and intelligence organizations when American military contractors employed by Blackwater/Xe showed up on the scene immediately after the crash, seizing the black box and “other materials.”  There is no confirmation that parachutes or electronic equipment had been removed when Blackwater/Xe security relinquished control of the crash scene to Pakistani investigators.   
Royal Television in Islamabad, owned by the brother of the head of Pakistan’s powerful JI (Jamate Islami), the Islamic political party, has reported that investigations are underway tying American based contractors to the planning of the attack.
Pakistan’s ISRP (Inter-Services Public Relations) has failed to confirm this but private sources indicate that an active investigation of these allegations is, not only underway but has established ties between an American group and the hijackers. 
Military and intelligence officials inside Pakistan, in concert with the American embassy, are withholding all official details of the investigation and are likely to continue doing so.
This same facility had been the subject of an armed penetration by American contractors, believed to be employed by the State Department, in 2009.  Four Blackwater employees, armed and possessing explosives were arrested outside the Kahuta nuclear facility in 2009.  The four, driving a Jeep 4×4 and possessing advanced surveillance and jamming equipment of Israeli manufacture, were intercepted 1.5 miles from the Kahuta nuclear facility. 
The four spoke fluent Pushtu and were dressed in a manner as to resemble Taliban fighters.  The order for their release, given by Minister of the Interior Rehman Malik, is an issue of considerable controversy between the civilian government in Pakistan and the powerful military.
The passenger jet with 152 on board slammed into a hillside in what was believed to be Pakistan’s most serious air crash.  At least 2 Americans were believed to be on board but, a month later, the US Embassy in Islamabad has left this unconfirmed.  Reports received today, however, confirm that at least 5 Americans, military contractors said to be employed by Xe, may also have been on the craft but could not be identified as they had been traveling in local garb and had boarded with false identification. 
Xe is an American based military and intelligence contracting firm formerly known as Blackwater and has been the subject of considerable controversy for activities inside Sources indicate that the attackers stormed the cockpit in a hijacking attempt.  The pilot is said to have jammed the flight controls, careening the Airbus 320 and all aboard into a hillside rather than allowing the plane to be used in a “9/11″ type attack inside Pakistan or flown into Indian air space for a repeat of the 2008 Mumbai attack.
Pakistan has, at times in error, referred to American contractors employed by the Departments of Defense, State or the Central Intelligence Agency as Blackwater.  However, it is believed the majority of such employees are, in fact, members of that organization or is derivitive, Xe. 
The same group, often criticized for irregularities in Iraq, has been contracted by the  Central Intelligence Agency to operate Predator drones inside Pakistan, operations that have resulted in a significant number of civilian deaths and said by political leaders of several factions to do little but recruit terrorists.Pakistan.
(The Writer is Senior Editor of VETERANS TODAY).
NOTE:This is a cross post.     

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Secularism: Another face of Masonic Lodges? PART FIVE

By Naveed Tajammal                          

The young Turks, or the triumvirate composed of Enver  Pasha, Talat Pasha,& Jamal Pasha, who took over after the revolution, were all three dedicated to the glory of the Turkish Empire ,as an entity ,the new lot wanted administrative and legal reforms, but on the behalf of the Turkification of the society ,instead of the Ottoman name and control.
The young Turks were driven by a Pan-Turanian dream, Enver Pasha particularly coveted the emergence of a state that would embrace all the TURKS of the Central Asia, including those in Russia and China, from Manchuria to Eastern Europe.All united in a single entity ,even ZIA GOKALP, the intellectual who had foolishly erred in signing the Constitution of 1924,converting Turkey into a secular state, was in 1911,propagandizing ‘PAN-TURANIANISM’.
This aspect was sending shudders in Europe as a re-unification of this massive fighting force could un balance the world once again, to the advantage of the Turk, a situation like 1683 could again arise, when the Turk was about to make Germany its north western province, all measures were now adopted to defuse the situation.A new face was picked and launched by the powers, and an Empire was cut to pieces, another major reason was the discovery of OIL, geological surveys of North Africa ,Arabia and Iraq and gulf lands disclosed all held the new black gold.Had it remained in the hands of the Turk, even then today the OPEC would have been of the Turk, and Turkey as a state a power, would have been to be reckoned with. The new face lacked the vision, it was more interested in power being thrust on it, courtesy the western powers, gradually all men who could be a risk in due course of time were removed, as history shows it as a well orchestrated play. The warriors who could have created an issue for the new face, were sent off to fight for the greater glory of an pan-Turanian state. Enver Pasha and his lot, eventually died fighting for it. In the vacuum emerged, the so-called secular state of Turkey, or the Yenni-Turkyie, the flower of the old army was extinguished on the Trans-Caucasian mountains, without any logistics and supplies, and later in time it was here that the name of Musa Kazim Karabekhir Pasha emerges ,the later credit awarded to Mustapha Kamal, for defeating the Russians and the Armenians is wrongly attributed.
History is always re-written, when those in power and the supporting school of thought gradually phase out, then and only then the truth re-surfaces.
Musa Kazim Karabekhir  Pasha ,had been commissioned in 1906,and had seen active service on all Turkish fronts, and was a true soldier. He fought the Greeks, and the Bulgars ,he was at ‘Gallipoli ‘in 1915, in 1916 he was in Iraq, in 1917 he was fighting the Russian and Armenians forces bitterly for 10 months, and was promoted a one horse tail Pasha ,as per the treaty of Sevres ‘which ended the world war .The Ottoman Sultan ordered Kara Bekhir Pasha to surrender as per the entente powers resolution, The Pasha refused to surrender .It was much later that Mustapha Kamal arrived at Erz-e-rum, it was Kara Bekhir Pasha who had the only fighting force, and he joined him, It was Kara Bekhir Pasha who had fought later the Russians and the Armenians, and reclaimed his countries lost lands, and decisively defeated the Armenians, by re-taking ‘KARS’ and ‘SARI KAMISH’ and he also captured Alexanderopol. Thus, for not surrendering to his enemy he regained the lost prestige of his country and defeated them too .and now it was Karabekhir, who made the Armenians sign a peace treaty in their own country, ‘on his terms’, and also with the Soviets(Treaty of Kars 13 Oct 1921).
In 1921,Karabekhir Pasha was forcefully retired by Mustapha Kamal’s party on the grounds that Karabekhir Pasha, was insisting that as the British forces stood at the border of south eastern Turkey claiming “KIRKUK”(now, in Iraq),Karabekhir insisted on not abolishing the Caliphate, till the matter of the territories of the Empire had not been resolved with .Which could only happen if the entity of the Empire remained . As the matter of new Turkey and its borders had already been discussed with the new face (Mustapha Kamal), and his group of nihilists poor Karabekhir got the axe.
As Karabekhir, had predicted, the Kurds  revolted, and Ataturk, Mustapha Kamal ,surrendered Kirkuk, to the British in Iraq .On which the final confrontation between Mustapha and the Pasha took place ,and as Mustapha held the cards the Pasha was asked to resign .In 1924 Karabekhir formed his party .This was the first opposition party in Turkey, but soon his party was quashed with as he and others were charged with an assassination attempt on Mustapha .Subsequently, in Izmir, the party offices were closed ,and his colleagues imprisoned and under the threat of hanging all were asked to resign from politics. Later, Karabekhir was put under house arrest for the next 15 years. When reports reached Mustapha that he was writing accounts of events as they had happened, his house was raided on the orders of Mustapha and in front of the house his works WERE burnt ,and his books destroyed.
The most unfortunate aspect was that it had been Karabekhir who had given military support to Mustapha when he had been dismissed by the Caliph, when his own staff officers were not willing to obey him .But Karabekhir was a nationalist,the other was an adventurer.
In 2005,a grateful Turkish nation converted his house in a national museum, his later literary works survive but in Turkish a legacy for the future TURKS;
A mention of Ali Adnan Ertkin Menderes ,Fatin Rushtu Zorlu, and Hassan Polatkan, is also a must here, all three were hung, one as the Prime Minister and other two as his colleagues ,they had been the opposition of Ismet  Pasha, the man who had stepped in the shoes of Mustapha Kamal. It was the effort of these three and others that free elections were held in Turkey in 1950.As earlier the vote was cast in public in open in front of State Officials,BUT, counted behind the CLOSED doors also, a system evolved by Ismet Inonu. After a military coup led by General Gursul, on the directions of Ismet Pash ,Menders, Zorlu and Polatkan, were tried at Yassidia Island and hung on 16 Sept 1961.
However, on 17 Sept 1990, the remains of the three were re-buried by a State Funeral in Istanbul ,later as per the wishes of TURGUT OZAL, The Prime Minister of Turkey ,he too was buried next to Adnan Menderes.
The remains of Enver Pasha, who had died fighting the Russians at Abe-e-Darraya (Dushanbe) on 04 august 1922, Too were brought back and he too was buried with full honours, in Istanbul in 1996.
So we see that good nations never forget men who sincerely work for them, they never die others do.    (to be continued)
(The writer has over 26 years of experience in Investigative Historical Research)

Is Israel a Strategic Asset or a Liability for the US?

Strong words from Chas. Freeman, delivered at the Nixon Center in DC. Chas was US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and was in line to be named to Beijing, but blocked by unknown opponents. Nominated by President Obama to be chairman of the National Intelligence Council, he withdrew after being vilified by the all-powerful lobby favoring Israeli interests in DC, led by AIPAC.   Chas has since become increasingly outspoken in expressing his concerns about what he considers to be the one-sided nature of the US-Israel relationship. These comments in a recent debate at the Nixon Center are the most trenchant I have seen.

Without further ado, here then is Chas. Freeman -

"Is Israel a strategic asset or liability for the United States? Interesting question. We must thank the Nixon Center for asking it. In my view, there are many reasons for Americans to wish the Jewish state well. Under current circumstances, strategic advantage for the United States is not one of them.

 If we were to reverse the question, however, and to ask whether the United States is a strategic asset or liability for Israel, there would be no doubt about the answer.

American taxpayers fund between 20 and 25 percent of Israel's defense budget (depending on how you calculate this). Twenty-six percent of the $3 billion in military aid we grant to the Jewish state each year is spent in Israel on Israeli defense products. Uniquely, Israeli companies are treated like American companies for purposes of U.S. defense procurement.

Thanks to congressional earmarks, we also often pay half the costs of special Israeli research and development projects, even when - as in the case of defense against very short-range unguided missiles -- the technology being developed is essentially irrelevant to our own military requirements. In short, in many ways, American taxpayers fund jobs in Israel's military industries that could have gone to our own workers and companies.

Meanwhile, Israel gets pretty much whatever it wants in terms of our top-of-the-line weapons systems, and we pick up the tab.

Identifiable U.S. government subsidies to Israel total over $140 billion since 1949. This makes Israel by far the largest recipient of American giveaways since World War II. The total would be much higher if aid to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and support for Palestinians in refugee camps and the occupied territories were included. These programs have complex purposes but are justified in large measure in terms of their contribution to the security of the Jewish state.

Per capita income in Israel is now about $37,000 -- on a par with the UK. Israel is nonetheless the largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance, accounting for well over a fifth of it. Annual U.S. government transfers run at well over $500 per Israeli, not counting the costs of tax breaks for private donations and loans that aren't available to any other foreign country.

These military and economic benefits are not the end of the story. The American government also works hard to shield Israel from the international political and legal consequences of its policies and actions in the occupied territories, against its neighbors, or - most recently - on the high seas. The nearly 40 vetoes the United States has cast to protect Israel in the UN Security Council are the tip of iceberg. We have blocked a vastly larger number of potentially damaging reactions to Israeli behavior by the international community. The political costs to the United States internationally of having to spend our political capital in this way are huge.

Where Israel has no diplomatic relations, U.S. diplomats routinely make its case for it. As I know from personal experience (having been thanked by the then Government of Israel for my successful efforts on Israel's behalf in Africa), the U.S. government has been a consistent promoter and often the funder of various forms of Israeli programs of cooperation with other countries. It matters also that America - along with a very few other countries - has remained morally committed to the Jewish experiment with a state in the Middle East. Many more Jews live in America than in Israel.

Resolute American support should be an important offset to the disquiet about current trends that has led over 20 percent of Israelis to emigrate, many of them to the United States, where Jews enjoy unprecedented security and prosperity.

Clearly, Israel gets a great deal from us. Yet it's pretty much taboo in the United States to ask what's in it for Americans. I can't imagine why. Still, the question I've been asked to address today is just that: what's in it -- and not in it -- for us to do all these things for Israel.

We need to begin by recognizing that our relationship with Israel has never been driven by strategic reasoning. It began with President Truman overruling his strategic and military advisers in deference to personal sentiment and political expediency. We had an arms embargo on Israel until Lyndon Johnson dropped it in 1964 in explicit return for Jewish financial support for his campaign against Barry Goldwater.

In 1973, for reasons peculiar to the Cold War, we had to come to the rescue of Israel as it battled Egypt. The resulting Arab oil embargo cost us dearly. And then there's all the time we've put into the perpetually ineffectual and now long defunct "peace process."

Still the US-Israel relationship has had strategic consequences. There is no reason to doubt the consistent testimony of the architects of major acts of anti-American terrorism about what motivates them to attack us.

 In the words of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is credited with masterminding the 9/11 attacks, their purpose was to focus "the American people ... on the atrocities that America is committing by supporting Israel against the Palestinian people ...." As Osama Bin Laden, purporting to speak for the world's Muslims, has said again and again: "we have . . . stated many times, for more than two-and-a-half-decades, that the cause of our disagreement with you is your support to your Israeli allies who occupy our land of Palestine ...."

Some substantial portion of the many lives and the trillions of dollars we have so far expended in our escalating conflict with the Islamic world must be apportioned to the costs of our relationship with Israel.

It's useful to recall what we generally expect allies and strategic partners to do for us. In Europe, Asia, and elsewhere in the Middle East, they provide bases and support the projection of American power beyond their borders. They join us on the battlefield in places like Kuwait and Afghanistan or underwrite the costs of our military operations. They help recruit others to our coalitions. They coordinate their foreign aid with ours. Many defray the costs of our use of their facilities with "host nation support" that reduces the costs of our military operations from and through their territory.

 They store weapons for our troops', rather than their own troops' use. They pay cash for the weapons we transfer to them.

Israel does none of these things and shows no interest in doing them. Perhaps it can't. It is so estranged from everyone else in the Middle East that no neighboring country will accept flight plans that originate in or transit it. Israel is therefore useless in terms of support for American power projection. It has no allies other than us. It has developed no friends. Israeli participation in our military operations would preclude the cooperation of many others. Meanwhile, Israel has become accustomed to living on the American military dole.

The notion that Israeli taxpayers might help defray the expense of U.S. military or foreign assistance operations, even those undertaken at Israel's behest, would be greeted with astonishment in Israel and incredulity on Capitol Hill.

Military aid to Israel is sometimes justified by the notion of Israel as a test bed for new weapons systems and operational concepts. But no one can identify a program of military R & D in Israel that was initially proposed by our men and women in uniform. All originated with Israel or members of Congress acting on its behalf. Moreover, what Israel makes it sells not just to the United States but to China, India, and other major arms markets. It feels no obligation to take U.S. interests into account when it transfers weapons and technology to third countries and does so only under duress.

Meanwhile, it's been decades since Israel's air force faced another in the air. It has come to specialize in bombing civilian infrastructure and militias with no air defenses.

There is not much for the U.S. Air Force to learn from that. Similarly, the Israeli navy confronts no real naval threat. Its experience in interdicting infiltrators, fishermen, and humanitarian aid flotillas is not a model for the U.S. Navy to study. Israel's army, however, has had lessons to impart. Now in its fifth decade of occupation duty, it has developed techniques of pacification, interrogation, assassination, and drone attack that inspired U.S. operations in Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, Somalia, Yemen, and Waziristan. Recently, Israel has begun to deploy various forms of remote-controlled robotic guns. These enable operatives at far-away video screens summarily to execute anyone they view as suspicious. Such risk-free means of culling hostile populations could conceivably come in handy in some future American military operation, but I hope not. I have a lot of trouble squaring the philosophy they embody with the values Americans traditionally aspired to exemplify.

It is sometimes said that, to its credit, Israel does not ask the United States to fight its battles for it; it just wants the money and weapons to fight them on its own. Leave aside the question of whether Israel's battles are or should also be America's. It is no longer true that Israel does not ask us to fight for it.

 The fact that prominent American apologists for Israel were the most energetic promoters of the U.S. invasion of Iraq does not, of course, prove that Israel was the instigator of that grievous misadventure. But the very same people are now urging an American military assault on Iran explicitly to protect Israel and to preserve its nuclear monopoly in the Middle East.

 Their advocacy is fully coordinated with the Government of Israel. No one in the region wants a nuclear-armed Iran, but Israel is the only country pressing Americans to go to war over this.

Finally, the need to protect Israel from mounting international indignation about its behavior continues to do grave damage to our global and regional standing.

It has severely impaired our ties with the world's 1.6 billion Muslims. These costs to our international influence, credibility, and leadership are, I think, far more serious than the economic and other burdens of the relationship.

Against this background, it's remarkable that something as fatuous as the notion of Israel as a strategic asset could have become the unchallengeable conventional wisdom in the United States. Perhaps it's just that as someone once said: "people ... will more easily fall victim to a big lie than a small one." Be that as it may, the United States and Israel have a lot invested in our relationship. Basing our cooperation on a thesis and narratives that will not withstand scrutiny is dangerous. It is especially risky in the context of current fiscal pressures in the United States.

These seem certain soon to force major revisions of both current levels of American defense spending and global strategy, in the Middle East as well as elsewhere. They also place federally-funded programs in Israel in direct competition with similar programs here at home.

To flourish over the long term, Israel's relations with the United States need to be grounded in reality, not myth, and in peace, not war."