The CIA’s Killing Spree in Lahore
© Mike Whitney
February 24, 2011
* The Case Against Raymond Davis
When CIA-agent Raymond Davis gunned down two Pakistani civilians in broad daylight on a crowded street in Lahore, he probably never imagined that the entire Washington establishment would spring to his defense. But that’s precisely what happened. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mike Mullen, John Kerry, Leon Panetta and a number of other U.S. bigwigs have all made appeals on Davis’s behalf. None of these stalwart defenders of “the rule of law” have shown a speck of interest in justice for the victims or of even allowing the investigation to go forward so they could know what really happened. Oh, no. What Clinton and the rest want, is to see their man Davis packed onto the next plane to Langley so he can play shoot-’em-up someplace else in the world.
Does Clinton know that after Davis shot his victims 5 times in the back, he calmly strode back to his car, grabbed his camera, and photographed the dead bodies? Does she know that the two so-called “diplomats” who came to his rescue in a Land Rover (which killed a passerby) have been secretly spirited out of the country so they won’t have to appear in court? Does she know that the families of the victims are now being threatened and attacked to keep them from testifying against Davis? Here’s a clip from Thursday’s edition of The Nation:
Three armed men forcibly gave poisonous pills to Muhammad Sarwar, the uncle of Shumaila Kanwal, the widow of Fahim shot dead by Raymond Davis, after barging into his house in Rasool Nagar, Chak Jhumra.
Sarwar was rushed to Allied Hospital in critical condition where doctors were trying to save his life till early Thursday morning. The brother of Muhammad Sarwar told The Nation that three armed men forced their entry into the house after breaking the windowpane of one of the rooms. When they broke the glass, Muhammad Sarwar came out. The outlaws started beating him up.
The other family members, including women and children, coming out for his rescue, were taken hostage and beaten up. The three outlaws then took everyone hostage at gunpoint and forced poisonous pills down Sarwar’s throat.” (“Shumaila’s uncle forced to take poisonous pills”, The Nation)
Good show, Hillary. We’re all about the rule of law in the good old USA.
But why all the intrigue and arm-twisting? Why has the State Department invoked the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to make its case that Davis is entitled to diplomatic immunity? If Davis is innocent, then he has nothing to worry about, right? Why not let the trial go forward and stop reinforcing the widely-held belief that Davis is a vital cog in the U.S.’s clandestine operations in Pakistan?
The truth is that Davis had been photographing sensitive installations and madrassas for some time, the kind of intelligence gathering that spies do when scouting-out prospective targets. Also, he’d been in close contact with members of terrorist organizations, which suggests a link between the CIA and terrorist incidents in Pakistan. Here’s an excerpt from Wednesday’s The Express Tribune:
His cell phone has revealed contacts with two ancillaries of al Qaeda in Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Taliban of Pakistan (TTP) and sectarian Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), which has led to the public conclusion that he was behind terrorism committed against Pakistan’s security personnel and its people… This will strike people as America in cahoots with the Taliban and al Qaeda against the state of Pakistan targeting, as one official opined, Pakistan’s nuclear installations.” (“Raymond Davis: The plot thickens”, The Express Tribune)
“Al Qaeda”? The CIA is working with “ancillaries of al Qaeda in Pakistan”? No wonder the U.S. media has been keeping a wrap on this story for so long.
Naturally, most Pakistanis now believe that the U.S. is colluding with terrorists to spread instability, weaken the state, and increase its power in the region. But isn’t that America’s M.O. everywhere?
Also, many people noticed that U.S. drone attacks suddenly stopped as soon as Davis was arrested. Was that a coincidence? Not likely. Davis was probably getting coordinates from his new buddies in the tribal hinterland and then passing them along to the Pentagon. The drone bombings are extremely unpopular in Pakistan. More then 1400 people have been killed since August 2008, and most of them have been civilians.
And, there’s more. This is from (Pakistan’s) The Nation:
A local lawyer has moved a petition in the court of Additional District and Sessions… contending that the accused (Davis)… was preparing a map of sensitive places in Pakistan through the GPS system installed in his car. He added that mobile phone sims, lethal weapons, and videos camera were recovered from the murder accused on January 27, 2011.” (“Davis mapped Pakistan targets court told”, The Nation)
So, Davis’s GPS chip was being used to identify targets for drone attacks in the tribal region. Most likely, he was being assisted on the other end by recruits or members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban.
A lot of extravagant claims have been made about what Davis was up to, much of which is probably just speculation. One report which appeared on ANI news service is particularly dire, but produces little evidence to support its claims. Here’s an excerpt:
Double murder-accused U.S. official Raymond Davis has been found in possession of top-secret CIA documents, which point to him or the feared American Task Force 373 (TF373) operating in the region, providing Al-Qaeda terrorists with “nuclear fissile material” and “biological agents,” according to a report.
Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) is warning that the situation on the sub-continent has turned “grave” as it appears that open warfare is about to break out between Pakistan and the United States, The European Union Times reports… The most ominous point in this SVR report is “Pakistan’s ISI stating that top-secret CIA documents found in Davis’s possession point to his, and/or TF373, providing to al Qaeda terrorists “nuclear fissile material” and “biological agents”, which they claim are to be used against the United States itself in order to ignite an all-out war in order to re-establish the West’s hegemony over a Global economy that is warned is just months away from collapse,” the paper added. (“CIA Spy Davis was giving nuclear bomb material to Al Qaeda, says report”, ANI)
Although there’s no way to prove that this is false, it seems like a bit of a stretch. But that doesn’t mean that what Davis was up to shouldn’t be taken seriously. Quite the contrary. If Davis was working with Tehreek-e-Taliban, (as alleged in many reports) then we can assume that the war on terror is basically a ruse to advance a broader imperial agenda. According to Sify News, the president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, believes this to be the case. Here’s an excerpt:
Zalmay Khalilzad, the former U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, once brushed off Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s claim, that the U.S. was “arranging” the (suicide) attacks by Pakistani Taliban inside his country, as ‘madness’, and was of the view that both Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who believed in this U.S. conspiracy theory, were “dysfunctional” leaders.
The account of Zardari’s claim about the U.S.’ hand in the attacks has been elaborately reproduced by U.S. journalist Bob Woodward, on Page 116 of his famous book ‘Obama’s Wars,’ The News reported.
Woodward’s account goes like this: “One evening during the trilateral summit (in Washington, between Obama, Karzai and Zardari) Zardari had dinner with Zalmay Khalilzad, the 58-year-old former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the U.N., during the Bush presidency.
“Zardari dropped his diplomatic guard. He suggested that one of the two countries was arranging the attacks by the Pakistani Taliban inside his country: India or the U.S. Zardari didn’t think India could be that clever, but the US could. Karzai had told him the U.S. was behind the attacks, confirming the claims made by the Pakistani ISI.”
“Mr President,” Khalilzad said, “what would we gain from doing this? You explain the logic to me.”
“This was a plot to destabilize Pakistan, Zardari hypothesized, so that the U.S. could invade and seize its nuclear weapons. He could not explain the rapid expansion in violence otherwise. And the CIA had not pursued the leaders of the Pakistani Taliban, a group known as Tehreek-e-Taliban or TTP that had attacked the government. TTP was also blamed for the assassination of Zardari’s wife, Benazir Bhutto.” (“Pakistan President says CIA Involved in Plot to Destabilize Country and Seize Nukes”, Sify News)
Zardari’s claim will sound familiar to those who followed events in Iraq. Many people are convinced that the only rational explanation for the wave of bombings directed at civilians, was that the violence was caused by those groups who stood to gain from a civil war.
And who might that be?
Despite the Obama administration’s efforts to derail the investigation, the case against Davis is going forward. Whether he is punished or not is irrelevant. This isn’t about Davis anyway. It’s a question of whether the U.S. is working hand-in-hand with the very organizations that it publicly condemns in order to advance its global agenda. If that’s the case, then the war on terror is a fraud.
Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Demonizing the demon in Egypt and elsewhere
© Eric Sommer
February 21, 2011
I was personally involved in the movement against the U.S. intervention and bombing of Yugoslavia in the late 1990’s under Clinton. At that time I coined the phrase ‘Demonizing the demons’. I did so because I noted that progressive and well-meaning people in North America were often befuddled and divided as to whether to support the demonizing of Melosovik by the U.S. government or not.
The real problem was not that Melosovik was, in fact, a demon whose government had engaged in serious human rights violations in Croatia but that he was a demon whose actions had been, in a way, supported or condoned by the U.S. state and media to some extent previously before they decided to demonize and attack him.
At that time, I pieced together the following formula used by the U.S. government and media ever since World War II as a lynchpin of U.S. foreign policy:
Step 1: Actively support, or even instigate, the installation of a demonic dictator or semi-dictator. Especially do so in any case where there is danger of a socialist or even truly independent national government coming to power in a country.
Step 2: Support the U.S.-supported demonic dictator by continually supplying massive amounts of military equipment or funds each for such equipment each year, to prevent any internal opposition from gaining the upper hand. Mubarak in Egypt, for example, received around 1 Billion dollars in military aid each year. Also, impose IMF or other measures designed to advantage international capital, allowing for the looting of the local resources and cheap labour at ridiculously low rates when possible, and conceal or downplay any and all resulting extreme human rights violations and impoverishment of the dictators people;
Step 3: When it is no longer expedient to support the demonic dictator – either because internal opposition has grown too strong, or for geo-strategic or other reasons – then proclaim that he is a ‘Demonic Dictator’, ignoring the reality that he was installed and maintained in power by yourself.
This scenario of ‘Demonizing the Demon’ is the formula pursued ever since World War II by the U.S. state throughout the world.
Suharto in Indonesia, Marcos the dictator of the Philippines, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Mubarak in Egypt, Pinochet in Chile, and many other ‘demons’ were installed with the support of the U.S. state and its CIA spy service and military aid; maintained in power by tremendous military and other non-socially-beneficial ‘aid’; and then ‘demonized’ and deposed with the help of the U.S. state when they were no longer needed.
The losers in all cases have been the ordinary people who suffered – first from the Demonic dictators, then from their removal, and then from their replacements (the new demons chosen for them by the U.S. state).
Sound exaggerated? Consider this:
The Egyptian Example
A few weeks ago the media reported on a possible successor to Mubarak in Egypt as follows: “Mohamed ElBaradei, the former United Nations nuclear chief who has become an opposition figurehead, said he would ‘serve if called on’. He earlier held his first negotiations with the American and British ambassadors, proposing potential scenarios for a transfer of power”.
Note that Mohamed ElBaradei held “negotiations” with “American and British ambassadors” for a ‘transfer of power’. Since when does a future ‘leader’ have to ‘negotiate’ with the representatives of the U.S. and British governments! Moreover, since when does a future leader need to “propose” to the representatives of two foreign powers the “scenarios for a transfer of power” in his own country!
It could not be any clearer that Mohamed ElBaradei – and the U.S. and British governments – do not really regard Egypt as a sovereign state; rather, they regard these two foreign powers as the real masters – or at least believe they should be the masters – of Egypt’s destiny.
In Egypt as elsewhere, the process of installing, propping up, and then deposing ‘demons’ is the game of U.S. foreign policy. It’s high time for the people of the world to put a stop to it.
Radical Separatism: Contours of the Conspiracy
© Nil Nikandrov
Source: Strategic Culture Foundation
February 20, 2011
Overthrowing the regimes in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela is on Washington’s list of strategic objectives. Separatist leanings spread and radical groups proliferate in the countries with a clear backing from the outside world. No means of undermining the regimes remain unused, separatism – a traditional and proven instrument from the U.S. intelligence community’s arsenal being one of them.
An International Confederation for Regional Freedom and Autonomy (CONFILAR) was created on September 16, 2006 in Guayaquil, Ecuador by the pro-autonomy groups from Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Peru. The blueprint for the conference which established the confederation is attributed to Alberto Mansueti, vice president of the Rumbo Propio (Our Own Destiny) group based in Maracaibo, the capital of Zulia state. Mansueti is known to have authored CONFILAR’s underlying philosophy, a brand of radical separatism disguised as the demand for civilized autonomy. The extent of autonomy as requested by Mansueti and his brethren is practically tantamount to the abolition of centralized control over the corresponding territories. The radical position largely stems from its proponents’ aversion to the socialist policies pursued by the populist leaders such as H. Chavez, R. Correa, and E. Morales. Mansueti’s version of the autonomy envisages complete absence of economic or political regulation to be exercised by the central authority. The promised benefits of the arrangement are considerably better life quality, exceptional education and health care standards, jobs, higher pensions, and hefty social aid packages for the poor including food stamps, free tuition and medical care, while corruption, for example, is supposed to evaporate. In the past, similar pledges were generously dispensed by Correa’s ferocious critic Jaime Nebot and other leaders from the affluent Manabi province sited on the Pacific shore, which for a decade hosted a U.S. military base. Created with the stated goal of fighting drug trafficking, the base actually gave the U.S. control over the region’s countries. Correa pledged not to renew the base lease as he ran for president – and immediately faced a separatist surge in response upon coming to office. The CIA instigated separatism in Manabi in the hope that reaching an agreement on the base with the separatists should not be a problem, but Washington’s plans for the province failed to materialize. President Correa’s views on the U.S. military presence in Ecuador remain unchanged. In September, 2008 some 70% of the country’s population expressed at a national referendum support for a new constitution upholding the principles of solidarity, justice, and wealth for all. Ecuador acts independently in international politic, opposes the U.S. imperialist aspirations, and backs Latin American integration. In Guayaquil, however, the referendum was won by a relatively narrow margin.
CIA-coordinated separatist movements also rose in Bolivia and Venezuela. A May, 2007 referendum in Bolivia’s Santa Cruz province was won by deep autonomy enthusiasts who promised the population a greater share of the oil and gas revenues. Similar referendums were held in the Beni and Pando provinces in June the same year. Morales did not recognize the outcome citing low turnouts and likely rigging, and his supporters described them as a liberals’ mutiny, an offensive against the country’s new constitution launched by the opponents of socialism, and a step towards the Balkanization of Latin America.
The second CONFILAR forum convened in Santa Cruz in September, 2007 to broadcast solidarity with the Bolivian pro-autonomy groups. Separatist tendencies dominated Bolivia’s political agenda in 2008 and the early 2009, but the elimination by the Bolivian special forces of a group of terrorists sent to the country by the CIA from Croatia, Hungary, Romania, and Ireland had a sobering effect on the populations of the defiant Santa Cruz, Tarija, Beni, and Pando provinces. It became widely known that the Santa Cruz leadership maintained close ties with the U.S. embassy and that weapons were secretly supplied to separatists from abroad. The computers seized by the Bolivian authorities contained files with a detailed plan of destabilization in Bolivia and the assassination of president Morales. A number of terrorists were arrested and others fled to the U.S.
In Bolivia, as in Ecuador, the constitution serves as the main barrier in the way of separatism. Bolivia’s constitution which entered into force in February, 2009 was the country’s first one to be propped up by a popular vote and to grant the native population a special status. The constitution handed to the state extensive powers in the sphere of economic regulation, and established the autonomy of provinces, municipalities, and Indian communities. It also shuts foreign military bases out of the country and bans the privatization of its energy resources. The opposition predictably reacted to the constitution with a grudge, and recurrences of confrontation with the rightists in Bolivia’s eastern part remain likely.
The CIA, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, and DEA managed to build a separatist stronghold in Venezuela’s Zulia state. For a long time, Zulia used to be run by Chavez’s staunch opponent Manuel Rosales who routinely discussed with U.S. ambassadors Brownfield and Shapiro bilateral deals between Zulia and the U.S., the theme to which Caracas explainably has a thin skin. Normally, the state is not entitled to independent foreign policies, though Brownfield admitted publicly that for him Zulia was “an independent republic” and openly urged the local elites to wrestle with Caracas over unrestricted autonomy.
Rosales’s Un Nuevo Tiempo party refrains from statements that might be regarded as downright calls for divorce with Venezuela, but its separatist agenda is not deeply hidden. As for Rosales, he used to combine separatism as a creed with corruption as a hobby, and eventually had to flee amidst the official probe into his machinations. He took shelter in Peru as a result, but the separatist forces in Zulia are still at work. Currently the Rumbo Propio, a party blessed by Rosales and maintaining divisions in several Venezuelan border states spearheads the activity. One of its leaders Nestor Suares calls the party’s supporters to push for Zulia’s full autonomy and to defy Chavez’s socialist legislation. Another Rumbo Propio key figure – former Venezuelan ambassador to the Dominican Republic Julio Portillo – declared severing all ties with “Chavez’s dictatorship” during the 2002 coup but his reckoning proved wrong as Chavez regained his presidency and Portillo had to turn to “regional patriotism” as a legitimizing concept. This must be the explanation behind his radical separatism and calls for an independence referendum in Zulia. Portillo was among the founders of the Zulia’s People for Constitution Democratic Front which sprang up when vacant lands south of the Maracaibo Lake were allocated to rural cooperatives. Money is poured into Zulia’s separatist groups both by the CIA and the local banks like Banco Occidental de Descuento.
The presence of a Columbian population numbering hundreds of thousands factors into the state’s turbulent situation. Many people sought refuge in Venezuela from Columbia’s internal conflict but are members of rightists paramilitary groups. They tend to be hostile to Chavez, meaning that the CIA and the separatists can count on them as a potential strike force which can help bring about Zulia’s sovereignty.
The Guayaquil – Santa Cruz – Zulia separatist axis will continue to be used to undermine the populist regimes and the regional integration initiatives in Lain America. Separatist groups will be given the key role if Washington opts for the Balkanization of Latin America, as the onset of chaos would make it easier to justify the U.S. intervention in the region. Any moment the U.S. Southern Command is ready to implement Plan Balboa which was put together five years ago.
The following article is reprinted with permission from Kavkaz Center (KC), Caucasus Emirate (mujahideen) news agency. Originally published under the title listed below, the title was later changed to “KGB active measures: Stratfor made a statement on Moscow airport bombing”.
Stratfor made a pretty ignorant statement on Moscow airport bombing
© Kavkaz Center
February 9, 2011
The U.S. analytic site STRATFOR published a strange and rather ignorant statement of its analyst Ben West, given as an opinion of editorial by using the word “we”, which Russian propaganda dubbed as “a statement of CIA veterans”.
The news agency RIA-Novosti, which since the Soviet Union was and is a structural division of the KGB/FSB, was the first reported about the “statement of CIA veterans”.
The KGB agents cited several passages from the statement. The full text of it is not present anywhere in Russian propaganda.
A statement on the website Stratfor says:
“At STRATFOR we’re pretty skeptical of this video. We’re not convinced that it necessarily proves that Dokku Umarov did order the Jan. 24 attack even though he claims it.
First of all, Dokku Umarov isn’t really known ([to whom is he not known?] – KC) to work with militants from Ingushetia, he himself has more frequently in the past worked with militants from Chechnya and Dagestan.
He doesn’t necessarily have as close of links to Ingushetia. So the fact the prime suspect in the Jan. 24 bombing is Ingushetian leads us to become skeptical of the connections between Dokku Umarov and the bomber.
Additionally Umarov has made false claims before. Back in 2009 he claimed responsibility for an explosion at a dam in Russia (Stratfor is quite a topic, if they are so “smart” that they did not know it was not about the dam, which no one blew up, but the HPP’s engine room, then after these words of “CIA veterans” on their “state of affairs” could not be read at all. In addition, Dokku Umarov had never done on any statement [about] this topic as Russian lying. There was a written statement by Martyr Brigades Riyad-us-Saliheen – KC).
However we later learned (from the Russian propaganda – KC) that the explosion was due to mechanical failure (what a folly: no explosives in the metal, – KC) and not a terrorist activity. So Umarov does have a reputation (in the disinformation department of KGB – KC) for making false claims so we have to be pretty skeptical of this claim.
STRATFOR’s current assessment of the militant threat for the Northern Caucasus and Russia is that they’ve (i.e., the Mujahideen – KC) split and that individually each district poses a threat, but without Dokku Umarov as its head they don’t have the ability to coordinate these resources and pose a significant threat to Moscow.
But the revelation of this latest video means that STRATFOR is going to have to take a closer look at Umarov and the role he plays in the militant structure in the Northern Caucasus”, concluded the Startfor analyst.
It is to be mentioned in this context that the propagandist agent of the FSB in Finland, Backman, has recently reported to co-worker media in Russia, and [they] printed it, that Dokku Umarov is living in the U.S., so the “Stratfor specialists” may look for him in their country and interview.
And here is how the Russian propaganda concealing his text from readers presents a statement by Ben West:
– CIA veterans doubt that the attack in Domodedovo organized by Dorku Umarov, Gazeta.Ru
– CIA veterans do not believe the statements of Dokku Umarov about the terrorist attack in Domodedovo, GZT.RU
– CIA veterans: Domodedovo was not blown up by Dokku Umarov, Russian News Service
– CIA experts doubt that the terrorist attack in Domodedovo was organized by Umarov, Firstnews
– CIA analysts do not believe that Umarov was involved in the terrorist attack in Domodedovo, TCH.ua
– CIA analysts: Dokku Umarov did not blow up Domodedovo, 178 soobsheniy
– Site STRATFOR, uniting CIA analysts veterans, expressed “dissenting opinion” about the statement of the leader …
– CIA analysts do not believe in Dokku Umarov’s involvement in the terrorist attack in Domodedovo, NEWSru Israel
– CIA doubts that Umarov was behind the Domodedovo attack, Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper
– Militants groups in the North Caucasus are fragmented and do not have a single center…, Echo of Moscow radio
Kavkaz Center has long noted the remarkable transformation of KGB propaganda and related structures in the West supporting the KGB.
A very interesting phenomenon goes. More recently, even a sound of a child’s firecracker was declared “terrorist attack of Chechen (Caucasus) militants”, and now even, if Dokku Umarov himself set fire to the wick of a bomb and recorded it on video, Russian and Western “analysts” unanimously will deny what they see with their own eyes.
By the way, on the eve the Russian Service of Radio Liberty doubted the fact of the very existence of the individual Dokku Umarov. According to one analyst at Radio Liberty, at the last video it is allegedly “not clear whether this is Dokku Umarov, or his double”. In general, Hollywood has a rest, when there are cell phones with cameras in the Caucasus Mountains.
Everything is topsy-turvy in the minds of the Russian political gang elite.
Even a few years ago, after every explosion a “Chechen trace” was immediately tapped in pipelined manner, which led directly to al-Qaeda, but now, after the declaration of a complete victory in Chechnya and the final rising of Russia from the knees, the “Chechen trace” has been put under a categorical ban.
Since Russia and Putin claim to win, “Chechen terrorists” should not exist in nature. And if they are still remaining, then only “in the holes from which they have to be scraped off”.
Naturally, by definition it is impossible to organize the bombing of the Nevsky Express train or subway station “Lubyanka” from the mountain holes under the nose of the FSB. Hence, there is a violent rejection of any hint that the “Chechen terrorists” are capable [of shedding] “Russian blood” in the heartland of “Mother Russia”.
A “Caucasian trace” is also highly undesirable, since it is not leading to al-Qaeda but to a clearer understanding of the fact that “the Chechen war” has long turned into the Caucasus jihad.
And a Jihad in the Caucasus for Russia and its backers in the West is very, very unpleasant thing.
Department of Monitoring
Los Zetas Holds U.S. Drug Business at Gunpoint
© Nil Nikandrov
Source: Strategic Culture Foundation
February 5, 2011
Los Zetas, a Mexican drug cartel run by former special forces officers, turned independent several years ago. The officers sent the Z letter as the codename during their army service, hence the name of the group. For a long time, Los Zetas members used to be hired as bodyguards and hitmen by the influential El Golfo cartel supplying cocaine and heroin from Colombia to the U.S. Eventually Los Zetas outgrew the role and started fighting for control over drug markets and supply routes, regarding El Golfo as the main rival. Fairly soon other Mexican drug cartels found themselves dragged into the strife.
Mexican president Felipe Calderon’s war on drugs contributed to the complexity of the situation. In a clear attempt to boost his popularity following a rather unconvincing victory in the presidential race, Calderon launched a campaign targeting drug cartels which so far met with virtually no resistance in Mexico. Facing an increasingly aggressive drug supply from Mexico which the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the FBI were unable to counter, Washington readily blessed Calderon’s aspirations. The global financial crisis forced many of the U.S. banks to welcome cocaine-related financial flows, thus helping breed drug groups which evaded the control exercised by DEA and other U.S. special services. Washington, in its turn, simply sought to regain control as the drug revenues slipped away.
Such were the settings in which the Zetas started building their own bases in the U.S., Central and South America, and the Caribbean in a hope to establish new routes of drug supply from Peru and Colombia to the U.S. via the Pacific and Atlantic “corridors”. The advent of a strong unfamiliar player to the drug market did not go unnoticed. The ferocity of Zetas seemed shocking even for the drug business: they serially killed witnesses, tortured and beheaded their victims to intimidate competitors and law-enforcement agents, and never hesitated to kill people in numbers.
It is an open secret that today’s world owes the spread of torture as an almost routine practice to the CIA, DEA, and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. The Zetas surely learned the craft at the time when their careers were interwoven with those of professionals from the above services. The Zetas record can be traced back to the 1970s-1990s, the epoch of counter-insurgency in Mexico and Central America. U.S. instructors trained a total of 15,000 Mexican special forces officers at Fort Bragg (North Carolina) and the School of the Americas (SOA) sited in the proximity of the Panama Canal, and later – when SOA closed – at Fort Benning (Georgia). Quite a few of the trainees acquired combat experience later during the offensives against the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in Chiapas in 1994-1995. Miserable pay and lack of social status lead thousands of Mexican soldiers and officers to flee from the army and some escapees were recruited by various criminal groups. Switching from army service to organized crime is a phenomenon occurring frequently not only in Mexico, but also in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Those who received counter-insurgency training under the U.S. oversight – for example, the Kaibiles, a Guatemalan analog of the Zetas – tend to be particularly ruthless.
U.S. agencies, aware of what Pentagon’s pets are like, seem alarmed by the increasingly tight alliance of Mexican and Guatemalan organized crime groups. At the moment Washington is trying to eradicate the monsters of its own upbringing, but the U.S. is clearly behind the curve as the carefully tuned and perfectly controllable U.S. domestic drug business is already exposed to the Zetas onslaught. The threat that the war over the drug market is going to spread from Mexico to the U.S. is growing day by day. As of today, the Zetas are fairly entrenched in the part of the U.S. bordering Mexico where the group is known to be buying administration officials, ethnic Latin Americans being the prime target group. Until recently a network of informants managed to help Zetas avoid serious defeats. The drug cartel is heavily armed with various types of weaponry from guns to grenade launchers which the group obtains from gun stores sited all along the 3,170 km U.S.-Mexican border. In some cases, Zetas resort to the assistance from their Mexican army contacts who have access to Pentagon’s arsenals and get the best of the U.S.-made supplies like latest versions of bullet-proof waists, advanced means of communication, helmets equipped with night-vision systems, etc.
Presidents of Central American Countries, Mexico, and Colombia will convene in Guatemala in June, 2011. The stated integration agenda will likely be overshadowed by urgent issues related to the fight against drug cartels. Guatemalan president Alvaro Colom warned that – unless drastic measures were taken to suppress drug trafficking – the death toll in 2011 would reach unprecedented proportions, and Salvador’s Mauricio Funes expressed concern that Zetas are making inroads into his country’s army and police top brass.
One might get an impression that the campaign against drug cartels is the Latin American leaders’ brainchild, but in fact the blueprint including the plan for coordination between the region’s armies, police, and intelligence agencies was fed to the local representatives during consultations at the respective U.S. embassies. Washington’s motivation behind the agenda is clear: it hopes to build a barrier against the drug threat before the narcotic flow spills across the U.S. border. Mexico as the country which lost over 30,000 lives in the drug war presents a stark example of human, socioeconomic, and political costs of a protracted drug-related conflict. Washington is not going to wage a serious war against the drug business within the U.S. as it would put in jeopardy the country’s financial system propped up by billions of dollars in “drug investments” from across the world. While large-scale offensives against drug groups are launched almost anywhere – in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, or Peru – nothing of the kind happens in the U.S., where the “home” drug mafia remains untouchable. Arrests on the lowest order may be carried out on a regular basis to showcase some activity, but the financial indicators of the U.S. drug mafia are never severely affected. Some 10 million Americans are cocaine addicts plus 30-40 million are occasional drug users, and the people’s comfort should not be infringed upon if it’s a market economy. The U.S. public discourse reflects the society’s progressing tolerance to drug use. The “weakness” explainable under the conditions of modern life’s permanent stress is portrayed with understanding in movies and books, and even politicians oftentimes admit lightheartedly to flirting with drugs back when they were college kids.
Latin American countries are confronted with a lot more stringent criteria, though. These liberal novelties are not meant for their populations and therefore hard times await drug cartels defying DEA control. El Golfo boss Antonio Ezequiel Cárdenas Guillén and a bunch of his bodyguards were shot dead in Matamoros (Tamaulipas) in November, 2010 during a raid launched by Mexican marines after the group was tracked down by DEA and CIA operatives. Frightening pictures of the dead drug lord and his guards – with broken sculls and amidst pools of blood – were posted in the Internet. The raid left a total of at least 50 dead. Of course, these were Mexican, not American dead – the U.S. is fighting on other countries’ territories and at the cost of other nations’ blood.
… Brownsville is a nice place on the Rio Grande, at the Mexican border. It is home to a university, several museums, and a host of golf fields. Tourists flock to Brownsville mainly to watch hordes of birds in their original environment. At nights Brownsville’s cozy restaurants are packed as visitors savor Margaritas and other staples of the Mexican cuisine. Brownsville is a nice place, and, importantly, a peaceful one, in contrast to the country just across the river.
By Steve in Wisconsin
February 1, 2011
The popular uprising currently underway in Egypt is grabbing the world’s attention, but it is also grabbing the attention of Muslims in other states.
Some media commentaries mention nearby regimes in Algeria, Jordan and Yemen, and speculate as to whether or not they will follow suit. However, analysts are largely overlooking Pakistan — a tinderbox and U.S. ally — whose people are also facing price increases in food and fuel, shortages of goods, utilities and services, plus growing unemployment. These are the same catalysts that launched rebellions in Tunisia and Egypt.
Public dissatisfaction with Pakistan’s pro-Western (seemingly spineless) President Zardari and his government’s inability to stem U.S. drone attacks inside Pakistan’s tribal areas, coupled with a growing interest in fundamentalist Islam have brought Pakistanis’ tolerance level of the status quo to just below simmering. Keep in mind, also, that if there were ever a country that could mobilize hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people at the drop of a hat, it’s Pakistan.
Pakistan is very technologically advanced: cellphones, high-speed internet, and a sizeable blogging network need only to be inspired to rapidly mobilize the masses. Additionally, ever since Pervez Musharraf’s departure it is my opinion that current Pakistani leadership cannot discount the threat of a military coup, or elements of the security services (police and military) joining a popular uprising — with their weapons. Even if the government shuts down internet and cellphone service, Pakistan’s high-density urban population will continue to communicate using simple methods of decades past: vehicle-mounted loudspeakers and bull horns.
Pakistan’s security forces are likely sufficient to contain even large-scale uprisings, but not without substantial civilian casualties and property loss. This is assuming, of course, that elements of these services refrain from joining the rebellion.
The United States (from a purely self-serving standpoint) is making a mistake in turning its back on long-standing regional allies as this sends a message to other rulers and their security services that the U.S. may stand aside and allow events to run their course. America should also reconsider encouraging opposition forces through the use of social networking sites. [See: Inteltrends’ Special Report: The role of social networking websites in global unrest, and, as a further example, Google Launches Service Letting Egyptians Tweet by Phone.
An editorial in today’s Daily Times (Lahore, Pakistan) takes note of the simmering situation there. It reads, in part:
One should in any case be cautious in dismissing the possibility of a movement of the people in Pakistan. However, there is another dimension to the situation here, which could be the cause of great concern. After four decades of nurturing of jihadis and extremists, any popular revolt will be at risk of being hijacked by extremist forces, who have recently rallied together on the issue of the blasphemy laws and are not in a mood to arrest the momentum of their campaign against the government. In these circumstances, the people of Pakistan have the sorry option between an inept and corrupt political leadership and the entire spectrum of right-wing forces from centre-right to extreme right. The decline of the liberal, democratic and progressive community is at the heart of this crisis. Unless these forces strengthen their cadre, induct fresh blood into their ranks and mount a challenge to the extremists, Pakistan has little hope of salvation.
Recent history has shown that countries which have overthrown unpopular dictators are not necessarily pro-Western once a new government replaces them. [See Stanislav Mishin’s analysis: How the Muslim Brotherhood Saved the U.S. Dollar.]
Steve in Wisconsin is a former deputy sheriff with travels in Africa, Asia and Central America. His primary blog is inteltrends.wordpress.com.
[Blogmaster note: I posted the news of Col. Imam’s death in my Newsmarks column — and sent it out via RSS almost as fast as it hit the Pakistan newswire. Not too many folks clicked on the link, which attests that Col. Imam was largely an unknown figure among my readers. Gordon Duff offers a fitting tribute.]
Mysterious Death Of American Ally, Reagan Friend, In Pakistan
© Gordon Duff
Source: Veterans Today
January 24, 2011
* “Colonel Imam” Kidnapped By Taliban Group Believed “Mossad” Backed
Colonel Imam (Photo: G. Duff) may have been the single driving force that pushed Russia out of Afghanistan. A modern day “Lawrence of Arabia,” Imam or Sultan Amir Tarar, a Pakistani Brigadier General, trained with American Rangers and Special Forces at Ft. Bragg, was as instrumental as Lech Walesa in bringing down the Soviet Union.
The group that kidnapped Imam 10 months ago along with Khalid Khawaja, who was murdered and a British journalist, has been misrepresented as former Pakistani intelligence who have joined a rebel Taliban faction from Punjab. This is disinformation. The group, the “Asian Tigers” is a terrorist group funded and organized by the substantial Israeli/Indian operational forces in Afghanistan, the Mossad/RAW. These groups organize terrorism inside Pakistan, working to destabilize that nation, support the heroin trade in Afghanistan and simulate “Al Qaeda” terrorists when needed.
They are an international terrorist organization, one proven to exist, one proven tied to Israel, one responsible for the killing of, not only Pakistani citizens by the hundred but American and NATO military and U.N. aid workers as well.
Without this organization, the “Asian Tigers” and similar groups, casualties in the Af/Pak theatre would diminish significantly.
However, no reports of this ever reach the western media, this information, intelligence contained in reports withheld by Wikileaks, censored, not only by Julian Assange and the New York Times but the CIA as well. These groups, though they attack Americans also, are protected just as the opium crops are, at the direction of the highest authorities in the American command.
It isn’t just Julian Assange and his New York Times partners that get their directions from Tel Aviv.
In briefings I received in Pakistan and Washington, estimates of these forces and their activities varied but one thing was for certain, they exist, they are a threat and they are being lied about. Whether India or Israel or both, Americans are dying at the hands of friends profiting from war, drugs and corruption in, not only American politics but the Pentagon establishment as well.
Colonel Imam, an American hero without equal, died at the hands of such an organization.
I met the Colonel at the home of General Mirsa Aslam Beg, former Chief of Staff of Pakistan’s Army. With me were, among others, author Jeff Gates and VT [Veterans Today] editor, Raja Mujtaba. The Colonel was attired in a white turban and military field jacket. The patches, U.S. Ranger and Special Forces. The surprising part, his accent. It was, not only American but clear “old South.” This was a Georgia boy!
Despite the accusations thrown at the Colonel and General Beg, accusations also thrown at VT editor Lt. General Hamid Gul and others, of working with terrorists or supplying the Taliban, there was always one thing in common, the quest for peace and stability in the region. Where others are called “war criminals” by those profiting from continual conflict, the attacks against Colonel Imam always fell on deaf ears.
Few non-Americans have ever had the respect and friendship he enjoyed, not only in Congress, but among the special operations community who knew him to be fearless and loyal. I saw that immediately.
Colonel Imam was a gentle and honorable person, decent and kind. He died in captivity, said from “cardiac” problems. He died at the hands of terrorists, real enemies of the United States, real enemies of the people of Pakistan, real enemies of the people of Afghanistan, real enemies of all humanity.
He will be missed.
Gordon Duff is a U.S. Marine Vietnam veteran and Senior Editor at Veterans Today. His career has included extensive experience in international banking along with such diverse areas as consulting on counter insurgency, defense technologies or acting as diplomatic officer of U.N. humanitarian groups. He is a widely published expert on military and defense issues.