BFP Select Nightly News & Editorials

Pakistan Punished in Pipelinestan, Moving Toward Guerilla War in Afghanistan, Drone Strikes as Police Work!, Israel Withheld Evidence in Killing, The Assassination of Ahmed Wali Karzai & More!

I am going to start with a piece of news you all have already seen and read. I am listing this only because I will be posting a relevant commentary tomorrow, so here we go, starting with an article by Guardian:

Ahmed Wali Karzai's assassination leaves gaping hole in Afghan politics 

Amid the confusion of breaking news reports following Ahmed Wali Karzai's assassination, I mentioned the name of the alleged assassin, Sardar Mohammed, to someone close to the murdered man. The reaction was a gasp of disbelief.

Mohammed, who commanded a force of men who ran checkpoints close to Ahmed Wali's hometown of Karz, had worked for the Karzai family for years and was from the same Popolzai tribe and district. The fact that he was allowed to bring his weapon into Ahmed Wali's presence shows just how trusted he was. It seems likely that there was a personal motivation behind the attack, despite the Taliban claim of responsibility. Kandahar is a hotbed of long-running personal vendettas.

Isaf [the International Security Assistance Force) now has a chance to push for more inclusive politics in Kandahar, if it is sufficiently deft and willing to engage directly with those Ahmed Wali had marginalised. But his death leaves a massive hole in the fabric of Kandahari power politics, and shows the dangers inherent in a strategy that relies on individual powerbrokers.

Ahmed Wali was the linchpin of the south's pro-Karzai network, a pan-tribal alliance brought together by money and mutual security. There is now no clear successor to Ahmed Wali, and certainly no one who can combine his vast financial influence, iron-fisted methods and closeness to the president. …More 

The following article will give you a better idea on who Ahmed Wali Karzai really was:

Afghan CIA Drug Kingpin Shot Dead by Own Bodyguard

Ahmad Wali Karzai, the half brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, was assassinated by one of his own bodyguards Tuesday morning. Friend and trusted head of security Sardar Mohammed shot him in the head and chest. Mohammed was in turn shot and killed by fellow bodyguards. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assassination.

In 2009 it was reported that Karzai was a major player in the Afghan opium trade. According to reports, other members of the Karzai family are involved “head-to-heels” in the drug business.

Ahmad Wali Karzai also worked for the CIA.

“The CIA has been complicit in the global drug trade for years,” a former intelligence official told Newsmax in 2002. “The CIA did almost the identical thing during the Vietnam War, which had catastrophic consequences – the increase in the heroin trade in the USA beginning in the 1970s is directly attributable to the CIA.” … More

You’ll have my comments on this tomorrow. Until then, as far as Ahmed Wali Karzai goes.

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Another great article by Pepe Escobar on Pakistan:

Pakistan 'punished' in Pipelineistan

Before the end of 2011, Pakistan will start working on its stretch of the IP (Iran-Pakistan) gas pipeline - according to Asim Hussain, Pakistan's federal minister for petroleum and natural resources. The 1,092 kilometers of pipeline on the Iranian side are already in place.More

IP, also known as "the peace pipeline", was originally IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India). Although it badly needs gas for its economic expansion, faced with immense pressure by the George W Bush - and then Barack Obama - administrations, India still has not committed to the project, even after a nearly miraculous agreement for its construction was initialed in 2008. …

And this one from Afghanistan front:

US Moves Toward Afghan Guerilla War

The United States is beginning an interesting new dimension to the 10-year-old war in Afghanistan. Counter-insurgency efforts will be complemented by an expanded unconventional warfare campaign in many insurgent-controlled areas. This change in approach may have a considerable impact on the stalemate and hasten meaningful negotiations.More 

The US is training scores of Special Forces teams to infiltrate into and operate in areas that the Taliban and other insurgent forces have gained control of in the past few years. Such operations have been in effect for a few years now, but the program is enjoying greater support. Many recently retired special forces personnel …

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Drone strikes are police work, not an act of war?

Launching an air strike in another nation would normally be considered an act of aggression. But advocates of America’s rapidly expanding unmanned drone programme don’t see it that way.

They are arguing, as Tom Ricks writes on his blog The Best Defense over at Foreign Policy, that the campaign to kill militants with missile strikes from these unmanned aircraft, is more like police action in a tough neighbourhood than a military conflict.

These raids conducted by sinister-looking Predator or Reaper aircraft in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen – and since last month in Somalia - should not be seen as a challenge to states and their authority. Instead they are meant to supplement the power of governments that are either unable to or unwilling to fight the militants operating from their territories.

They are precise, limited, strikes aimed at taking down specific individuals, and in that sense are more like the police going after criminals, rather than a full-on military assault. Ricks writes: 

“Police work involves small arms used precisely. Drones aren’t pistols, but firing one Hellfire at a Land Rover is more like a police action than it is like a large-scale military offensive with artillery barrages, armored columns, and infantry assaults.” … More

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 American Jew refused entry to Israel on suspicion of converting to Islam

With regard to a young American Jew named Harald Fuller-Bennett, the Taglit-Birthright project to some extent achieved its goal. The project brings young Jews from around the world for a trip in Israel "in order to diminish the growing division between Israel and Jewish communities around the world; to strengthen the sense of solidarity among world Jewry; and to strengthen participants' personal Jewish identity and connection to the Jewish people," to quote its own words. And indeed, about two years after coming on a Taglit-Birthright tour, Fuller-Bennett intended to visit Israel again.

But this time, the people working to diminish the distance between him and Israel were two Tel Aviv lawyers, Omer Shatz and Iftach Cohen, and Jerusalem District Court Judge Yoram Noam. Together, they overturned a bizarre attempt by the Shin Bet security service to accuse him of having connections with terrorists and intending to convert to Islam - for which reasons it barred him from entering Israel for 10 years.

Fuller-Bennett is now 30 years old. On his Taglit-Birthright tour in January 2008, he said, "I gained a lot of sympathy for Israelis and for the multitude of challenges they face (and the many mistakes the government is currently making in facing them ). We had a number of engaging Israeli military members on our bus. I am still Facebook friends with some of them. My conversations with them taught me much about the complexity of modern Israel, and the difficulty of being born into a state with a siege mentality."

Fuller-Bennett joined a group within the Taglit program called "Peace, Pluralism and Social Justice." He is not certain that this subgroup of Taglit is still active, but the fact of its existence shows the organizers recognized that there are young Jews whose interest in Israel has not eliminated their capacity for criticism. "We had questions about Israel but wanted to see for ourselves," Fuller-Bennett said. … More

Israel withheld video evidence of Rachel Corrie’s killing, says her father Craig

The family of Rachel Corrie, the US activist killed in Gaza while protesting against house demolitions in 2003, on Monday claimed the Israeli military authorities withheld video evidence during the Corries' civil lawsuit and misled US officials on crucial details.

Craig Corrie, Rachel's father, told a press conference in Jerusalem that the footage from a surveillance camera near the scene of his daughter's death submitted to the court was "incomplete". Additional video material obtained by the family showed Rachel's body in a different spot to the place identified by some military commanders, he said. He also alleged that the Israeli military had misled US officials on the position of Rachel's body when she was killed. … More

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Here is an interesting commentary on media:

Empire and the Criminalization of the Media: The Fourth Estate is Bankrupt

From the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth imperialism was the dominant national ideology, transcending class and party divisions. Britain was saturated in the ethos and attitudes of empire. They infused plays and books and, later, films. They informed school textbooks. They inspired paintings, prints and engravings. They filled newspapers and magazines. They figured in advertisements and packaging. The impact was arguably greater than that of any previous dominant ideology because its pre-eminence coincided with the rise of the mass market and the mass media. -- 'Imperialism and juvenile literature' edited By Jeffrey Richards. Manchester University Press, 1989

So what's changed? Not much really. Today of course, the ideology of imperial expansion now masks itself as 'humanitarian intervention' or 'democracy-building'.

Our Victorian ancestors were less coy about colonizing, claiming to be on a 'civilizing mission'. But 'civilizing' the Libyans, the Iraqis or the Afghans would be a step too far in these allegedly politically correct times but it's the same thing by another name.

Yet the abyssmal failings of Western 'democracy' are all around us. We have governments that regardless that an 'opposition' exists are effectively one-party states and have been ever since the early years of the 20th century. …More

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And finally an excellent video report by our partner James Corbett for Global Research.ca on Drone Wars:

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Comments

  1. Bill Bergman says:

    A review of the Ahmad Wali Karzai story is pretty disquieting, even in the mainstream media. Looking forward to your perspective.

  2. @Bill: I just finished the first draft. I’ll have it up tomorrow by noon. It is going to pi.. off people in high places, especially those a few miled from where I live;-)

  3. don’t hold back Sibel.
    Its funny, but the real drones seem to be the ones sitting in front of the tv screens…..

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