Friday, December 24, 2010

Military Focus on Santa Claus

Today, CNN revealed that, both, U.S. and Canadian military are tracking Santa Claus on his way to America. Using satellite, GPS and jet fighters they are now ensuring Santa's safe arrival. Barbara Starr, CNN political correspondent reporting from Washington DC while NORAD is feeding in life pictures from Santa Claus.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

First Commercial Space Launch

Two hours ago, a new era in space travel began
when, for the first time, a commercial space
launch took place. The Falcon 9 carrier and the
attached Dragon capsule are intended to provide
the International Space Station ISS with all
goods needed and then return safely to earth.
On later flights, the Dragon capsule should
carry astronauts as well. One single mission
is expected to last about two days, two orbits
before landing included.
This comes at a time when the U.S. national
space shuttle program is expected to end.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Obama in Afghanistan

Yesterday, U.S. President Obama unexpectedly appeared in Afghanistan where he held an encouraging speech in front of U.S. troops. One year after his announcement of an increase in U.S. military presence, he said that Afghanistan had become more safe and that U.S. troops controlled more Afghan regions than before such that a handing-over of power to the Afghan security forces had already come in sight.

UPDATE from Dec. 6, 2010:

German Troops in Afghanistan as
Evaluated by the Afghan People

The following polls have been carried out in Afghanistan
and published by German National TV Channel 1 (ARD).
They are showing a significant drop of trust into German
military presence as seen by Afghan civilians:

"Your estimation of the German Federal Republic ?"
The 2007 poll showed an overwhelming positive
estimation of Germany of 75% that turned into a
mere 46% in the December 2010 poll.

"Do you consider any attack on foreign troops
to be justified ?"
While in January 2010 an overwhelming 87%
said "no" to this option with only 2% answering
"yes", the December 2010 poll showed only 57%
"no" votes in comparison with 39% "yes" votes.

Increasing mistrust into German
military presence in Afghanistan

Personal Remark by Ulysses:
As Obama stated in his speech at Bagram Airbase,
the alliance of nations cooperating with the U.S.
in Afghanistan (ISAF) has risen to 49 members (*).
Unfortunately, this fact doesn't necessarily imply
an improved military efficiency in the fight
against their common enemy, the Taliban and
Al-Qaeda. Indeed, we are now being confronted
with an increasing mistrust of the Afghan people
into all ISAF operations and even more into the
presence of any foreign troops in Afghanistan.

(*) = This passage at the beginning of Obama's
speech was not recorded because of technical
reasons (restriction to 15 min. of duration).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

EGYPT - Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt (الزاوية الإسلامية في المصر), representing the most powerful opposition group in Egypt's General Elections, is now launching their candidates. As the Brotherhood is officially forbidden and, therefore, excluded from the elections, their members are acting as "independent" candidates who, nevertheless, don't hide their real origin. An interesting feature by Al-Jazeera [Nov. 26, 2010].

Another video: Two days before the 2010 General Elections, a spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt describes the situation of Egypt's most powerful opposition group. Its all about how to resist the dictatorship of President Mubarak's National Democratic Party that is expected to sweep parliament with the help of ruling power and secret police, ignoring, both, the basic rules of democracy and the outcome of earlier lawsuits on election fraud [Nov. 26, 2010].

UPDATE after General Elections:
Outcome of the first round of elections in Egypt. "Independent" candidates related to the Muslim Brotherhood lost all their seats in parliament. As the Brotherhood is known to enjoy broad public support in Egypt, the elections should be considered as rigged. Al-Jazeera report from December 1, 2010.

WIKILEAKS ويكيليكس - Latest News

موقع ويكيــــليكس يعتزم نشر وثائـــــق جديدة
يقول إنها أكبر سبع مرات من الوثائق السابقة

الـسفـيـر الأمريكــي في بغداد يقول إن
نشر وثائق سرية جديدة أمرسيئ للغاية

Wikileaks announced its decision to publish a new
set of documents that should include seven times
more documents than those earlier published.

U.S. ambassador in Baghdad is considering the
latest Wikileaks publication as extremely serious.

Yesterday, November 26, and in its feature "Behind the News", the Arabic channel of Al-Jazeera broadcast a discussion including two correspondents from Washington and Beirut on the impact which latest publications by Wikileaks, expected to come this weekend, might have on diplomatic relations between the U.S. and their international partners like Russia and China.
Above all, regional relations have been discussed that are considered to be extremely difficult. As to the Iraqi subject, for instance, U.S. relations with Turkey and Iraqi Kurds might be affected. The same problem might arise for the negotiations between Israel and Palestine, now being pushed forward by the Obama administration at a very critical state.

The British daily "The Guardian" which is among the few papers of international repute that got an exclusive taste of Wikileaks' upcoming release, already wrote about an expected publication of secret cables from U.S. diplomats in their November 27 edition.

To get an idea of the range of subjects Wikileaks is dealing with, here a screenshot of Wikileaks' table of contents extracted from an earlier release, dating back to October 22, 2010. Click to the image and load the attached pdf file !

UPDATE from December 2, 2010:
Further news from the WikiLeaks release of U.S. diplomatic cables. This time it's about Russia. Different U.S. sources hold Russia as a Mafia state where organised criminals and parts of the government are working "hand in hand".

UPDATE from December 3, 2010:

ويكيليكس و المخطط الحرب ضد الايران من العربية السعودية

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Viktor Bout - Master of War

The famous Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout has been
surprisingly extradited from Thailand to the U.S.A. on
behalf of the Thai government.

After two years in a Bangkok prison, he is now facing
charges of supporting terrorism
by selling all kinds
of arms to Africa, Central Asia and Central America.
It is namely his arms delivery to the Latin American
rebels of FARC organization that makes him wanted by
U.S. authorities. He had been captured by Thai troops
under the guidance of U.S. specialists in March 2008.

Despite accusations against the Thai prime minister
made by Bout's wife Ala and angry comments from the
Russian government, Viktor Bout has already been flewn
out on a U.S. military plane and accompanied by several
U.S. agents. Nevertheless, it seems that some Thai laws
have been "bended" in this case.

By the way, it's the same Viktor Bout that served as a
model for the 2005 motion picture "Master of War"
or "El Señor de la Guerra"
, starring Nicholas Cage as
the main character.

[Source: RUSSIA TODAY TV, Spanish service]

UPDATE, November 18, 2010:
[Source: Al-Jazeera TV, English service]

Monday, November 15, 2010

AFGHANISTAN - Reduction of Foreign Troops Demanded

President Karzai recently urged the reduction of foreign troops in his country. As well, he demanded that foreign units should refrain from military activity at night.
Source: Al-Jazeera.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

PAKISTAN - Bombing Karachi into Ruins

Yesterday, a huge blast hit the center of Karachi, Pakistan's most important center of commerce and industry. An enormous crater has been formed by the detonation of a truck loaded with about 1.000 kilograms of explosives. This happened on a police compound housing a crime investigation unit of the Pakistani anti-terror squad. The building itself has been totally ruined and about one square kilometer of the town has been affected as well. Even in distant houses lots of windows have been knocked out by an enormous wave of pressure. The incident left at least 15 dead and 100 wounded, most of the victims being security personnel.

Friday, November 12, 2010

G 20 Summit 2010 - Saving Western Economy

U.S. President Obama's speech at the end of the actual G20 Summit in Seoul has two crucial points: How to restore U.S. trade balance and urging China to allow their currency being driven by the laws of the market.
In fact, there are dark clouds in the sky when it comes to the relation between western markets and eastern expansion.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

G.W.Bush on Terrorism - Torture OK !

In his 481-page memoirs "Points of Decision", former
U.S. president George Bush jun. now justifies the use
of a special torture called "waterboarding" when it
comes to harvest information from detained suspects
of terrorism.
Seen in the frame of widespread international mistrust
against the U.S. way of dealing with that matter and of
fruitless efforts by the Obama administration to imme-
diately close the detainee camp at Guantánamo, such
stances are not really helpful to restore U.S. credibility
in the world.
But what else did you expect from the Bush league ?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Islamic Terror - Bloody Harvest

Today, 70 persons died in two different bomb explosions in Peshawar province in north-western Pakistan while about 120 were injured. UN secretary general Ban Ki Mun expressed his concern about these attacks that had two mosques as their targets.
Similar attacks in the past have been related either to the Taliban or Al-Qaeda. As more and more "foreign mercenaries" are closing the ranks of the Taliban, it is difficult to decide from the outside which element of Islamic resistance is now dominating each operation of the Taliban forces.
Arabic source

Another Arabic source is analyzing the position and performance of Al-Qaeda in Pakistan in the frame of regional political relations and tensions in Central Asia:
طالبان و القاعدة في باكستان
شكلت طالبان باكستان ما يشبه درعا لكل من القاعدة وطالبان أفغانستان ووفرت لهما ملاذا آمنا رغم كل الضربات التي كالتها لها أميركا بنفسها أو من خلال الضغط على الجيش الباكستاني لتنفيذ عمليات عسكرية في منطقة وزيرستان والمناطق الحدودية. لكن ما لعب لمصلحة طالبان والقاعدة معا هو أن باكستان تدرك أنه ليس من مصلحتها القضاء على طالبان أفغانستان والقاعدة نهائيا، لكون ذلك يصب في نهاية المطاف لصالح الهند والأحزاب والأفغانية الموالية لها. كما أن إسلام آباد لا تثق بالنوايا الأميركية، خاصة وأنها سمحت سابقا للتحالف الشمالي الموالي لإيران والهند بالسيطرة على كابول وفرض رؤيته الخاصة، وقامت راهنا باستقبال رئيس الوزراء الهندي مانموهان سنغ في البيت الأبيض قبل إعلان الرئيس الأميركي باراك أوباما لإستراتيجيته الجديدة في أفغانستان

أوباما و سنغ

Obama backing permanent
membership of Pakistan's
arch-enemy India in UNO
Security Council (Nov.2010)

The same day, it was published by the Arabic service of Al-Jazeera that the crash of a UPS cargo plane in Dubai on September 3 has to be related to Al-Qaeda because Bin Laden's organization took over responsibility for bombing that plane in a video recently found on the internet. Now, the United Arab Emirates UAE will review the possibility that a bomb caused the UPS plane to crash in Dubai although no proof has emerged so far. Read more !

Earlier information on "UPS explosive parcels" is available on another blogspot of mine (=> look at further news of the day).

Latest news (November 9, 2010):
Now, the Jemenite government decided to hunt down Awalaki (picture
below) who is seen as one spiritual leader of Al-Qaeda terrorists in
Jemen, deemed to be responsible for building and mailing parcel bombs.

Arabic source

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

U.S.A. - Republicans Win The House

Just minutes ago, CNN prejected that U.S. Republicans are going to win over the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in the 2010 Midterm Elections. Such elections in the middle of a presidential term are putting about one third of the House's seats at stake. At the same time, there are new senators to be voted to the second chamber of Congress. In addition, some states are voting for new governors this night.

Bad luck for President Obama whose healthcare program and economy stimulus plan are being rejected by the Republicans and their pacemakers, the Tea Party Movement, their common neoliberal position being: "Too much involvement of state endangers freedom of individual enterprise."

Yet, distribution of seats in the Senate is still undecided at this time. Maybe, the majority in Senate held by Obama's Democratic Party will turn out to remain solid.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

U.S.A. - Where did all the jobs go ?

Globalization and U.S. Employment

It's time for the U.S. Midterm Elections, and President Obama
finds himself in an akward position. Even though he has reached
a compromise in his healthcare reform and brought initiatives on
their way to stop the financial crisis, he is steadily losing voters,
due to increasing unemployment that is above all hitting his Afro-
American supporters. Even the "American Dream" seems to be
damaged for those who are desperately looking for a job in one
of the most developed countries in the world.

But jobs did not simply vanish; instead, they have gone abroad to
all those people who are willing "to work more for less". That effect
of globalization could be predicted and handled if it had not been
accelerated by an unexpected global financial crisis and by national
development in China and India where an own infrastructure of
highly skilled workers and employees came into being.
It's a CNN feature that makes us understand what has happened in
the U.S. and what might influence European economy as well sooner
or later. Four CEOs, representing powerful U.S. companies like
Coca Cola, IBM, the world's greatest Aluminium smelter Alcoa and
Google, tell us what has happened in the frame of an unrestricted

Another feature, produced by AL-Jazeera, is dealing with Obama's
Federal Stimulus Act that was intended to boost small enterprises
in areas characterized by high unemployment. Here, it seems that
government stimulus helped in some cases while others are doomed
because the stimulus plan ended too early for them after the U.S.
Congress showed itself unwilling to extend that program.

Further News of the Day:

As both, the U.S.A. and the European Union, are on the alert
because of explosive parcels from Jemen reaching their countries
via UPS cargo planes, the Jemenite government now decided to
investigate that affair. On October 30, the Jemenite president
declared that the residence of one suspect has been besieged
by Jemenite security forces (picture 1 below). The UPS office
in Sanaa, capital of Jemen, has been closed (picture 2 below).
In the meantime, the German government decided to stop all
passenger and cargo flights from Jemen and ordered to search
every item that has already arrived.
Latest news from November 1st have it that a 22-year-old woman
and who had been arrested as a suspect the day before has been
released only some time later. Jemenite efforts are now concentrated
on hunting Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri (picture 3 below), regarded as
"Al-Qaeda's senior bombmaker" in Jemen while he is still at large
in an area of the country that is difficult to be controlled by regular
security forces.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

IRAQ - Murder and Torture

U.S. cover up Iraqi torture

Al-Jazeera gains access to nearly 400.000 Wikileaks' files
forming part of the biggest military leak in history. Those
files, covering the 2004-2009 war period in Iraq, reveal
1.300 recent cases of abuse and torture of Iraqi prisoners.
Obviously, U.S. military authorities of the Bush era ordered
troops not to intervene in cases of prisoner abuse by Iraqi
forces. The documents show that Iraqi forces sodomised and
electrocuted prisoners. According to Amnesty International,
no Iraqi personnel have been jailed for abusing prisoners.

U.S. units reporting probable detainee abuse by Iraqi police or army
(2006/2009) [Names of civilians and military units have been omitted]:

US shooting Iraqi civilists

Wikileaks now revealed the facts: Hundreds of unarmed civilians
have been shot at different checkpoints in Iraq. Al-Jazeera is
citing the up-to-now secret U.S. documents.

UPDATE, 25 Oct. 2010:
Wikileaks: Prime Minister Maliki abused power

Report on harassment of business owner
and family by local Iraqi authorities

Names of civilians and military units involved
in this case have been omitted by Wikileaks.

Barack Obama - Iraqi Memories

In January 2006, Barack Obama, then Senator of Illinois,
made a short visit to Baghdad. Here, an excerpt of what
Obama wrote about that trip in his book "The Audacity of
Hope". I think this might be an adequate add to the
Wikileak documents we are just facing:

"And now, three years later [after the toppling of Saddam
Hussein] - as the number of American deaths passed two
thousand and the number of wounded passed sixteen
thousand; after $250 billion in direct spending and
hundreds of billions more in future years to pay off
the resulting debt and care for disabled veterans;
after two Iraqi national elections, one Iraqi constitutional
referendum, and tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths; after
watching anti-American sentiment rise to record levels
around the world and Afghanistan begin to slip back into
chaos - I was flying into Baghdad as a member of the
Senate, partially responsible for trying to figure out just
what to do with this mess.

That night, our delegation accompanied Ambassador
Khalilzad for dinner at the home of Iraqi interim President
Jalal Talabani. ... where we were greeted by the president
and several members of the Iraqi interim government. They
were all heavyset men, most in their fifties or sixties, with
broad smiles but eyes that betrayed no emotion. I recognized
only one of the ministers - Mr. Ahmed Chalabi, the Western-
educated Shi'ite who, as a leader of the exile group the
Iraqi National Congress, had reportedly fed U.S. intelligence
agencies and Bush policy makers some of the prewar information
on which the decision to invade was made - information for
which Chalabi's group had received millions of dollars, and
that had turned out to be bogus. Since then Chalabi had fallen
out with his U.S. patrons; there were reports that he had
steered U.S. classified information to the Iranians, and that
Jordan still had a warrant out for his arrest after he'd been
convicted in absentia on thirty-one charges of embezzlement,
theft, misuse of depositor funds, and currency speculation.
But he appeared to have landed on his feet; immaculately
dressed, accompanied by his grown daughter, he was now
the interim government's acting oil minister.

I didn't speak much to Chalabi during dinner. Instead I
was seated next to the former interim finance minister.
He seemed impressive, speaking knowledgeably about Iraq's
economy, its need to improve transparency and strengthen
its legal framework to attract foreign investment. At the
end of the evening, I mentioned my favorable impression
to one of the embassy staff.
"He's smart, no doubt about it," the staffer said . "Of
course, he's also one of the leaders of the SCIRI Party.
They control the Ministry of the Interior, which controls
the police. And the police, well ... there have been problems
with militia infiltration. Accusations that they're grabbing
Sunni leaders, bodies found the next morning, that kind of
thing ..." The staffer's voice trailed off, and he shrugged.
"We work with what we have."

I had difficulty sleeping that night ...

The following morning, we took a Black Hawk to the Marine
base in Fallujah, out in the arid, western portion of Iraq
called Anbar Province. Some of the fiercest fighting against
the insurgency had taken place in Sunni-dominated Anbar, and
the atmosphere in the camp was considerably grimmer than in
the Green Zone; just the previous day, five Marines on patrol
had been killed by roadside bombs or small-arms fire. The
troops here looked rawer as well, most of them in their early
twenties, many still with pimples and the unformed bodies of
The general in charge of the camp had arranged a briefing,
and we listened as the camp's senior officers explained the
dilemma facing U.S. forces: With improved capabilities, they
were arresting more and more insurgent leaders each day,
but like street gangs back in Chikago, for every insurgent
they arrested, there seemed to be two ready to take his
place. Economics, and not just politics, seemed to be feeding
the insurgency - the central government had been neglecting
Anbar, and male unemployment hovered around 70 percent.
"For two or three dollars, you can pay some kid to plant
a bomb," one of the officers said. "That's a lot of money
out here." ..... "

For recent information on AFGHANISTAN, like BAGS OF MONEY
from IRAN and about KARZAI'S DEAL with TALIBAN members
and Afghan WARLORDS, please, refer to another blog of mine
Afghanistan and Iraq - The Beginning of the End
that contains further information adds about both countries.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

AFGHANISTAN - Gigantic Election Fraud

While 4 million Afghan citizens took part in the September 2010 general elections, 1,3 million votes have had to be cancelled because of election fraud in 2.500 of 17.000 polling stations. Fraud was accomplished by allegedly 10% of the 2.500 candidates who then bought lots and lots of fake identity cards, manufactured in Pakistani backyard workshops and distributed on the black market in Afghanistan weeks before the elections took place. Those fake cards, intended to push up the candidates' ballot, have been sorted out and further investigation has been started.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Afghanistan - President under Pressure

In the frame of a constant deterioration of security in Afghanistan, President Karzai finds himself under increased pressure.

On one hand, he is forced to hold direct talks with the Taliban without renouncing to the essential demands of the occupying powers. On the other hand, even his own son is considering to leave the country for a better life abroad.

Now, Karzai claims to have met with certain unnamed Taliban leaders and that informal talks have taken place. Earlier meetings of that kind have already taken place and have been approved by the U.S. as long as their basic demands, to be met with in advance of any further negotiations, are being transmitted to the Taliban:
"Give up fighting! Deliver your weapons! Renounce to Al-Qaeda and the insurgency! Abide by the laws!" (Original soundtrack U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.)

Naturally, those are demands the Taliban are unwilling to fulfill as their own adage can be put like this:
"Official talks with the Afghan government not before all foreign troops have left the country!"

The situation given like this, it may be asked with whom Karzai and his peace envoys are really holding talks. Sure, it cannot be the militant Taliban leaders engaged in their daily fighting with Afghan national and NATO troops and who are recently supposed to be rather on the winning side. Accordingly, such Taliban units and their leaders are now officially denying that any talks whatsoever have taken place with the Afghan government under the leadership of president Karzai.

Such, it seems that other "third parties" like some always hostile tribal leaders, "Afghan highwaymen" or independent drug merchants are willing to come to terms with their government when finding themselves "between the front lines" or at the margin of the Afghan society. Thus, earlier talks, secretly held in a luxurious Maldive Islands' resort, would have turned out adequate to give those guys a glance at Allah's Paradise, so brightly described in the Holy Koran, and make them reliable allies of Karzai's alliance for a splendid future of Afghanistan.

If this turned out to be true, it might only underline the tragic situation president Karzai finds himself in and would explain the desolate expression he recently carries on his face.

Karzai: Really touched father or just another talented actor on the stage ?

Friday, October 08, 2010

Pakistan - NATO supply lines endangered

Update October 9, 2010, for the above image !

While NATO supply lines from Pakistan to Afghanistan are breaking down because of local insurgents regularly torching truck convoys, one question becomes more and more important:
Who is really in control of the frontier region between both countries ? Now, the Arabic channel of Al-Jazeera dealt with that subject in one of their features "Behind the News" [Al-Jazeera, Arabic Channel, October 7, 2010].

It seems that a network of local Islamists can be seen behind all those operations endangering NATO supplies. They have named themselves the "Network for the Splendid Belief's Rescue".

The essential features of that organization are as follows:

- The network examines the leaders of the Mujahidin.

- It cares for their sons by "enlightening their belief" in their daily actions

- All of its operations are restricted to the North of Waziristan.

- The network is providing a striking force of 3.000 to 4.000 men.

- It is in control of the tribal areas.

- The network is connected with Al-Qaeda and Pakistan's national security service.

- It is responsible for most specific operations.

- The network's essential aim is to launch attacks at the U.S. in Waziristan.

In their feature, Al-Jazeera separately questioned Abdussalam Daif, the former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, and Marvin Weinbaum, a former U.S. diplomate in Afghanistan, both live from Kabul and Washington.

Further news of the day:

مقتل 15 شخصا بينهم حاكم ولاية قندوز في تفجير بولاية تاخار شمال أفغانستان

In Afghanistan, the governor of Kunduz province was killed together with 14 others in an attack launched by the Taliban. A sergeant of the German troup contingent equally lost his life.

We recently heard that U.S. General Petraeus had asked the German government to increase their troup contingent in Afghanistan. As the full number of 5.000 soldiers, agreed by German parliament (Bundestag) to support the North Atlantic Alliance in Afghanistan, has not been reached by now, the U.S. request will most probably be dealt with by German Defence Minister zu Guttenberg who could sent some additional troops without delay.

Update, October 9, 2010:
While I'm working on my newsblog, another 30 NATO fuel trucks bound for Afghanistan have been set on fire by the above mentioned Pakistani insurgents (first picture above and video below).

Additional information about insurgents torching Nato supply trucks is available on another blog of mine. !

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Osama Bin Laden - Latest News

Within the last few days, two audio messages from Bin Laden have been received. They are dealing with subjects like the climate catastrophe and missing help from the Arabic nations for Pakistani victims of the recent flood disaster. As to the second message, critisizing half-hearted aiding efforts in Pakistan, an Australian anti-terror specialist describes it as "hypocritical". International media therefore interpret both messages as a mere trial to attract a new brand of Al-Qaeda followers.

Those are the first messages from Bin Laden since March 2010 when death penalty was to be executed on Khalid Sheikh Muhammed, the man behind the attacks of September 11, 2001. It is estimated that both letters are inspired by Al-Qaeda's No.2, Ayman Zawahiri.

Further information is available from Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya

ابن لادن ينتقد جهود الإغاثة في باكستان عبر رسالة صوتية جديدة

Saturday, October 02, 2010

ECUADOR - President Saved from Coup d'État

Today, president Correa of Ecuador became the target of an attempted coup d'état carried out by several armed men. The shooting took place in front of a police hospital in the northern part of Quito. Correa was saved by special forces and the coup was put down leaving three persons dead.

A majority of Latin-American leaders condemned the coup directed against Ecuador's elected president Correa. Venezuela's foreign minister Maduro and Argentine's president Cristina Fernández were among the first voices to be heard. This is a very important incident as Ecuador makes part of a new Latin-American Alliance founded between nations that are ruled by socialist governments.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

NORTH KOREA - The New Leader ?

On September 29, foreign media reported that Kim Jong-Il, the leader of North Korea, had introduced his son Kim Jong-Un as his successor. The day before, the North Korean news agency had already mentioned Kim Jong-Un on their website as a vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission after a reorganization of that commission. International media reported that Kim Jong-Un had been declared a general of the North Korean armed forces.

Kim Jong-Il's son became known to insiders while he attended the International School of Berne, Switzerland, (ISB) during the 1990s (1993 or 1994). At that time, he called himself Chol Pak. Kim Jong-Un arrived together with Kwang Chung, another North Korean and probably his bodyguard at that time. [Source: Memories of a former classmate at ISB.]

The Black Comment
Sounds a bit like the James Bond film "Die Another Day" that dealt with a couple of terrorists, the corrupted son of a high-ranking North Korean general and his friend and bodyguard, both eager to change the world order. By the way, the Royal Charity World Premiere of "Die Another Day" was held on November 18, 2002, at London's Royal Albert Hall, in the presence of Bond's "employer" Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of England, if that was to imply any secret meaning ...

It cannot be excluded that son Kim Jong Un later became a demanding playboy while living in the West. At least, same thing was said about his father, Kim Jong Il, during the days of his youth [fake photo but credible fact !].

Referring to the presumptuous propaganda of North Korean TV, here is a fake report on the latest project of Dear Leader Kim Jong Il: Bringing the moon to North Korea.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fidel Castro on Nuclear War

Latest news from "el comandante" Fidel Castro: Castro delivers a speech on the disastrous global effects of a nuclear war. He directs himself at an assembly of Japanese peace activists among which a survivor of the Hiroshima bomb tells Castro about her own nuclear nightmare. The speech was broadcast by CUBAVISION TV on September 23, 2010. According to Cuba's national daily "Diario Granma" it had been recorded two days before, on Tuesday September 21, when Castro met with 600 members
of the Japanese "Peace Crusade" (Crucero por la Paz).

Mrs. Watanabe tells Castro how she and her family experienced the Hiroshima bomb. Staying in the rear part of their house at the time of the explosion she was able to survive. Her father, just back from his nightshift at Hiroshima, could even watch the plane that dropped the bomb. It circled over their heads.

In his speech, Fidel Castro is citing a Western scientist who predicted a global climate disaster even if only 100 of the existing 25.000 nuclear arms were going off. This could happen in the frame of a regional nuclear conflict, between, lets say, India and Pakistan. The bombings of one single hour might therefore result in some kind of "nuclear winter" characterized by very low temperatures and the total absence of sunlight. Thus, the nourishment for about one billion people could not be produced any longer. He asks himself how many people really knew about those consequences that were awaiting them after such regional conflict.

It should be remembered that Castro only recently reappeared on the political stage and in uniform on September 3 when he warned the international community about a nuclear war that might be triggered off as a consequence of the actual conflict between Iran and the West.

Obviously, Castro is having some difficulties while speaking. But it is not his brain that doesn't function normally as he speaks rather fluently and rarely looks at his notes. Disturbing pauses in his speech are only related to the time needed for translation. It even seems that Castro is getting more vigorous during his speech, increasing his speed until he "overtakes" his highly skilled translator. I remember having heard that Fidel Castro, in his best years, rarely spoke for less than three hours. This time it was only one single hour, still too long for a well-educated European politician, acquainted to restrict himself to one quarter of an hour whatever the subject might be. Let's say, one more time "el comandante Fidel" convinced us of being alive and unwilling to die.

The BBC video of September 3, when Castro unexpectedly appeared to hold a speech at the University of Havana, showed Cuban students who expressed much sympathy for their 84 years old leader despite all those problems that are actually haunting the people of Cuba. This was not a "last waving of the flag" as we know it from East Germany's organized youth being confronted with their stiffly acting leader Erich Honecker at the state's 40th anniversary in 1989 when Honecker was just 77 years old. This was quite different !

Saturday, September 18, 2010

AFGHANISTAN - Happy Elections

September 18:
On the first day of the general elections in Afghanistan, more than 200 acts of intimidation by the Taliban have been observed. Afghanistan's president Karzai is among the lucky voters who remain undisturbed by Taliban insurgents.

Detailed News:

- Detonation in a voting center of Jalalabad, the capital of Nanghrahar province in Eastern Afghanistan. Armed Taliban press citizens to refrain from voting.

- The Taliban launch some attacks in Kabul and provide obstacles in order to intimidate voters.

The Day Before

The following video was published one day before the general elections in Afghanistan. It includes the following features:
- Taliban approaching a public building in order to post up their proclamation opposing the elections.
- A traffic hold-up by the Taliban.
- President Karzai and a traffic hold-up by Afghan police in Kabul.

The Doomed Elections

Millions of fake identity cards, made in Pakistan, will probably influence the general election results in Afghanistan. One election nominee, representing Nanghrahar province that is bordering Pakistan, sees Pakistani Security behind that fraud. He, therefore, demands the national elections being postponed until this problem has been solved.

This might be one of the subjects Afghan president Karzai will put on the agenda during his visit to Islamabad which began shortly before the elections on September 15.

On September 15 and only some days ahead of the national elections in Afghanistan, an Al-Jazeera special "Behind the News" was dedicated to the following subject:
A continuously appearing phenomenon: The boycott of elections in
the Arabic World on behalf of the opposition parties which is called
a "command of retreat" by the governments involved.

A suicide bomber among the Taliban waiting for his order of engagement. According to his military commander, he should be activated during the general elections in Afghanistan that are planned to take place next week.
Source: Al-Jazeera, September 8, 2010.

Because of a general degradation of public security in Afghanistan and in the aftermath of an al-Qaeda attack on the Central Bank of Afghanistan on June 17, worried account holders in Kabul want their money back. Therefore, the National Bank has been temporarily closed. Furious clients are held back by security personnel.
Source: Al-Jazeera, September 8, 2010.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

September 11 - A Controversial Memorial

U.S.A. - 11 September 2010
A Controversial Memorial
Dividing Religious Groups

This very year, the end of the holy month of Ramadan falls on September 11 memorial day. That's why both Christian and Muslimic communities in the United States are under high tension. While discussions about the plannings of an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero in N.Y. are still inciting much controversy among U.S. citizens, the proclamation of a blockheaded clergyman to burn a Coran on September 11 is raising much fear among U.S. Muslims. Instead of making September 11 a day of reconciliation between Christians and Muslims, it should be made the annual "Burn a Coran Day" according to some intolerant white Americans.

For more information on this subject, try one of my other blogs including News from the Arabic World

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Suicide Bomber's Biography

السيرة المنتجر الإرهابي

A Suicide Bomber's Biography

In 2009, an Indonesian youngster blew himself up in a Jakarta hotel, killing himself and five others. Here's a background report that shows how a militant Islamist turned an innocent boy into a suicide bomber. The techniques of such procedure become clear when we learn about the dramatic situation that boy's family was in and about his isolation that drove him into the arms of criminal Islamists. Having made friends with a cleric who offered sympathy and guidance, he soon accepted him as a moral guide who was able to fully replace his parents. A constant brainwashing under close supervision separated this boy from any other person of common sense up to the very last second of his life.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Afghanistan - Dramatic Rise in Civilian Casualties

According to the UN, civilian casualties in Afghanistan increased during the last 12 months by 31%. This is mainly due to increased fighting between the Taliban and allied troops. Allied airstrikes are seen as an essential reason for civilian deaths. On the other hand, the Taliban are reported to cause five civilian casualties for every allied soldier they kill. At the same time, the death rate of allied soldiers peaked during the last 12 months. Just another sign that the war in Afghanistan is far from being won by the "Western Crusaders".

Part 2 of the video deals with an Afghan child-soldier who was arrested in 2002 at the age of 15. Omar Khadr is now expected to be put to trial at Guantanamo Camp for having killed one U.S. soldier with a grenade.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Afghanistan - Proof of Friendly Fire Killings

NEWS UPDATE on Taliban activity, August 7, 2010:
The attack on a medical team in Northern Afghanistan and that left 10 foreign specialists dead (one German citizen among them) was carried out by the Taliban because of alleged "evangelization efforts" of those foreigners. The Taliban's proclamation was reported by the Arabian service of Al-Jazeera while Western TV stations are still uncertain about the origin of the attack. Uncertainties are based upon the unclear situation of tribal influence and criminal activities of local gangs in that remote area. The medical aid organization concerned is known as a Christian organization but without any ambition of missionary activity.

Wikileaks recently published a document that is said to prove that four Canadian servicemen in Afghanistan died from "Friendly Fire" by U.S. troops rather than during their combat with the Taliban. The incident took place in September 2006. Official U.S. military sources still deny any mistake committed by their troops, saying that a jet fighter bomb was dropped near the Canadians only after their deaths and didn't even go off.

Yet, the "Friendly Fire Affair" is not the only subject revealed by Wikileaks. According to Al-Jazeera TV (English Channel) and Al-Manar (Hezbollah TV), about 90.000 classified military files on Afghanistan have been published by Wikileaks. This material includes detailed military expenditure lists for all kinds of weaponry and other military equipment.

In fact, the overall number of documents available should be even higher than the reported 90.000. About 15.000 documents have been held back because they contain the names of Wikileaks' informants.

After Wikileaks' publication, Pentagon officials find themselves in a difficult situation. U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates appealed to the media to refrain from publishing the contents of certain military files obtained from Wikileaks in order not to endanger the lives of Afghan informants mentioned. According to Al-Manar, Afghanistan's President Karzai already condemned the latest publication by Wikileaks as "irresponsible and shocking".

Even though Wikileaks didn't name their informants, suspicion has fallen on serviceman Bradley Manning who is now on his way from Kuwait to a military prison in Virginia, U.S.A., where he will be charged with delivering defence information to an unauthorized source.

One of 90.000 U.S. Mysteries

To illustrate what Wikileaks revealed, here is one U.S. report for all.
(3432.645N06918.735E). JAWEED WAS APPREHENDED AT 1000HRS
ON 12 JAN 04 AND TAKEN BEFORE THE 15TH KANDAK (i.e. battalion)

The Logic of War:
Private Lee's Letter to his Parents

The following underground video was originally published by the Islamic Army in Iraq, despite its name a rather nationalist organization operating in Baghdad and in the Al-Anbar region of Iraq. The video is primarily based on material found on the laptop of a U.S. soldier who died in the explosion of his armoured vehicle. Soldier Lee's letter to his parents is followed by a preset interview with another U.S. soldier named "John Smith" and who should be an anti-war activist in New York. Even though some kind of anti-U.S. propaganda, the video obviously reflects second thoughts, U.S. soldiers in Iraq are developing towards their mission in the Middle East. It should be noted that this video came into being in 2006 when the war in Iraq was still conducted by the late Bush administration and any repatriation of U.S. troops was far from being in sight. I found this video in the archives of Al-Arabiya TV and consider it worth being preserved as a historic document because it fits with the general opinion on U.S. war in Iraq as expressed by international media as well as a majority of citizens of all countries involved in that war.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

U.S. Financial Reform Bill

Obama Now Taking On Wallstreet

Today, U.S. President Obama has launched a bill that is intended to regulate the financial market in the aftermath of the financial crisis. His four point initiative will include the following features:

- Power to the government of breaking up companies

- Rules implemented to reduce risk-taking

- Powerful watchdog for the government to identify threats

- Consumer protection agency planned

A comment by James Henry, U.S. economist and author, is showing his evaluation of Obama's giant bill that comprises more than 2.000 pages.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Iran / U.S. - The Amiri Affair

Latest UPDATE further down !

Abduction or Defection ?

After Shahram Amiri, leading scientist of the Iranian nuclear programme, disappeared during his pilgrimage to Mecca in 2009, the Iranian government openly accused U.S. intelligence of having abducted one of their most prominent experts. In the time following, different videos appeared on the internet about the abduction which should have been carried out by U.S. and Saudi intelligence. Those videos are partly related to Shahram Amiri himself.
Now, Amiri obviously reappeared in the Embassy of Pakistan, right in the middle of Washington DC, where he was "dropped at the backdoor". According to a foreign ministry spokesman in Islamabad, Amiri is expected to travel back to his country as soon as Iranian officials have arranged his safe return. In one of his messages to the world he pretended to having fled from his U.S. guards and was now making his way through the federal state of Virginia.

Report from

Al-Jazeera made Amiri's reappearance a subject of the day. You can read the English language article and look at the news video of Al-Jazeera's Arabic channel that was registered in order to provide material for an overall analysis of the incident.

The video is showing Amiri at the time of an interview that has been preserved in the archives of Al-Jazeera. Furthermore, an Iranian writer and political analyst is giving his comment on the Amiri affair directly from Teheran. It should be noted that even a journalist like him, considered to be independent, uses the appropriate religious formula to introduce his comment "in the name of Allah", just like any official Iranian broadcasting service does.

قالت الإذاعة الإيرانية اليوم الثلاثاء إن العالم النووي الإيراني المفقود شهرام أميري لجأ إلى سفارة باكستان في واشنطن حيث مكتب شعبة المصالح الإيرانية في الولايات المتحدة، وأنه طلب العودة فورا إلى بلاده


Having learnt much about CIA proceedings during the past decades, I tend to believe the story as just another proof of professional incompetence. Nevertheless, it makes sense to argue that Amiri was nothing else but a defector who had reason enough to leave his country early before a long expected military showdown might turn his working place into a premium target for all kinds of U.S. missiles. Considering the typical biography of people who once studied abroad, almost free from political and religious constraint, it becomes understandable that such people rather tend to choose their own destinity than wait for it. The Iranian regime, on the other hand, leaves little hope for less pressure on its subjects and for a more reasonable foreign policy. So, lets better leave it like that, and lets U.S. intelligence take the blame for all of the story. They deserved it anyway ... !

UPDATE July 18, 2010

Shahram Amiri returned to Teheran and informed the press about what he calls "his abduction in the frame of U.S. pressure to make him confess being a member of the Iranian state security". If he had confessed, he would have been used in a "spy swap that should have freed three U.S. agents".

According to a press briefing held by U.S. State Department official Crowley, those three American citizens should be regarded as "nothing else but hikers who passed an unmarked border by chance". Their "safe return was therefore expected to be only a matter of time after Amiri's return of his own free will".

By the way, it should be remembered that U.S. authorities earlier offered a sum of five million dollars for essential information on the Iranian nuclear programme. On this subject there was no further information available in the frame of the Amiri case. Though, Iranian state security might ask some unpleasant questions sooner or later.

At the same time, an interesting voice made itself heard from Cuba where old Fidel Castro appeared on TV and spoke about "the danger of nuclear warfare coming in sight when Western pressure on Iran will be further increased". Maybe, there sounds "his old master's voice" from Moscow that is, even today, far from accepting increased U.S. influence in its Central Asian backyard. The proof: Russia still provides modern weaponry to Iran (even including cruise-missiles) and has offered to ship enriched uranium to his Iranian partner in order to soften the political tensions between Teheran and the Western world.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Iraq - Preparation for the Big Exit

As planned by the Obama administration, the pulling back of U.S. troops from Iraq should begin by the end of August. Yet, preparations for the big exit have already begun. In what is called the "world's hugest garage sell" the U.S. army is trying to get rid of material it cannot and will not take back. Iraqi citizens are now searching what we would call the waste of a retiring army in order to find something useable.
"Lucky" Ibrahim for instance was able to buy a former army latrine at low cost which he turned into a new home for himself and his family after a double loss of home in 2003 and 2004 during the fightings that took place in Falluja. Facing a political situation in Iraq that is still unstable, Ibrahim's personal fate still remains shaky and might serve as an example for the cynicism of war.

In the Heat of Civil War:
The casualties from a series of bomb attacks targeting Shiite pilgrims during the past 24 hours in Baghdad rose to 54 killed and some 359 others injured, an Interior Ministry spokesman told New China Agency on Thursday, July 8, 2010.
On July 9, the medium temperature for the Baghdad area was reported to be about 51°C (Al-Jazeera weather report).
Remember: The very day the U.S. finally left Vietnam and flew out their personnel in a hurry, American Forces Radio in Saigon constantly announced high temperatures while playing all sorts of Christmas songs ...

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Afghanistan - The War is Lost !

Afghanistan - The War is Lost !

Whoever would have imagined that U.S. forces might pay their enemies to refrain from attack ? Its not just like that but reality is very near to it. At least, it has become known that U.S. taxpayer's money is flowing into the pockets of certain Afghan landlords who, in exchange, ensure safe transportation through difficult regions. Now, there are many more who consider the war in Afghanistan as being lost. Here's just another analysis of the current situation provided by RT News, a TV station in Moscow that is controlled by U.S. citizens based in Russia:

Hot Greetings from the Taliban

The day of his arrival in Kabul, the Taliban offered a "very hot welcome" to General David Petraeus, the new military commander in Afghanistan after the dismission of General Stanley McChrystal by U.S. President Obama. In an unprecedented attack on an U.S. aid center in Kunduz, up to now a rather quiet area, the Taliban made it clear that they would never tolerate any U.S. presence in their country.

The Afghan "Volkssturm" Now Engaging

In the region of Kandahar a new militia has been founded that sees its task in the restoration of civil order among much military and political disorder. Members of that militia are Pashtun residents armed with AK-47 and RPG. Each of them is wearing a coloured ribbon to make him look different from a Taliban fighter. The leader of that group is cooperating with local Afghan police. In an interview with Al-Jazeera's Arabic channel, a speaker of Afghanistan's human rights organization praises that institution (July 2010).

And what about Al-Qaeda ?

Originally, the war in Afghanistan was intended to fight Bin Laden's organization Al-Qaeda, held responsible for the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York. Since then, Al-Qaeda has found its way into many Muslimic countries like Pakistan and Morocco where it enjoys much support among young people. As it cannot be compared with any other military, political or religious organization whatsoever because of its open structure that enables a high flexibility in action, U.S. warfare still fails to subdue that kind of enemy and often hits out at innocent civilians who then tend to become new supporters of a radical Islamic movement that is nourishing Al-Qaeda.

Most recent news (July 4, 2010):
After increased activities of Al-Qaeda's North-African branch in Algeria and Mali, the government of Mali now allowed Algerian troops to hunt down Al-Qaeda insurgents on its own territory. To get a picture of Al-Qaeda's new power, you ought to look at the attached video. It is about eleven Algerian soldiers who lost their lives in an ambush. Another four soldiers were wounded in the same incident.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Amnesty International Blame U.S. Attack on Civilians

Amnesty International publish pictures of civilian victims who died in a missile attack on an alleged Al-Qaeda camp in Yemen. Many women and children are among the 50 civilians who lost their lives in the attack and that had been carried out using Tomahawk cruise missiles, parts of which can still be identified as of U.S. origin. The incident caused debates within the Yemenite parliament and finally led to an official condemnation by Amnesty International.

Similar attacks have been frequently reported from the tribal region of Waziristan which is situated in Northern Pakistan. Those attacks usually result in high death tolls among the civilian population while their efficiency in the so-called fight against terrorism has rarely been confirmed.

Pictures of the Yemen attack are available on a video, taken from an Al-Jazeera special "Behind the News", published by the Arabic channel of Al-Jazeera.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

AFGHANISTAN - Kabul Talks with the Taliban

Important UPDATES further down !

Today, the Afghan "Peace Jirga", a meeting of 1500 tribal leaders, decided to endorse President Karzai's plan for direct talks with the Taliban. After a secret meeting between representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban and which took place in the Republic of the Maldives recently, there is now new hope for the Karzai administration to survive by inciting a kind of peace process, based on the idea of neutralizing moderate groups of the Taliban. Nevertheless, the conflict is far from reaching its end as militant groups of the Taliban are not willing to get into talks with Kabul before all foreign troops leave the country.

BACKGROUND - Secret meeting on the Maldives
This secret meeting had already been planned in London in the first half of February 2010, whereupon, according to People's Daily Online (PR China), the French Press Agency AFP published some basic information on February 17. The meeting between President Karzai's special envoyee and seven persons that are closely related to the Taliban was to be held in a luxury hotel on the Maldives without any representatives of the Maldivian government (or even without their knowledge).
Comment: An Invitation to Paradise
As it seems to be a Big Spender's invitation to paradise to smoothen rough things, you should always keep in mind: You might be able to prepare the stage, but you can't predict the outcome of the drama ! Ulysses

For additional information and a description of recent events, please, refer to my latest Afghanistan blog post. Further material has been presented in another blog post of mine dealing with the retreat of U.S. troops from a difficult region.

UPDATE June 5, 2010:

A poor statement on "Peace Jirga" results from the
U.S. DEPARTMENT of STATE, as represented by:

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary

Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
June 4 (local date!)

QUESTION: Do you have any comment about President Karzai’s loya jirga – peace jirga?

MR. CROWLEY: I think the Embassy put out a statement on that. I think we will continue to support the Afghan-led efforts on reconciliation and reintegration. We thought the peace jirga accomplished its objectives and has provided some – a national consensus to pursue a political strategy to reduce the danger posed by the insurgency. And we will be – continue to support Afghanistan as it goes forward.

UPDATE June 7, 2010:

U.S. forces announce that at least 10 servicemen were killed in one of Afghanistan's most bloodiest days up to now. [Al-Jazeera].
Two days later, a German source spoke of 12 servicemen killed and referred to the last incident of that kind in 2008. [W.W.]