Thursday, June 17, 2010

Where the Afghanistan's riches are hidden

The $1trillion jackpot: U.S. discovers vast natural deposits of gold, iron, copper and lithium in Afghanistan

American geologists have discovered a hidden treasure trove of minerals in Afghanistan that could transform the fortunes of the war-scarred country.

The untapped deposits - including huge veins of gold, iron, copper, cobalt and key industrial metals like lithium - have been valued at more than £820billion.

US experts believe the find could turn Afghanistan from a bedraggled nation torn apart by generations of conflict into one of the most important mining centres in the world.

Read more: HERE

CIA report: Israel will fall in 20 years

A study conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has cast doubt over Israel's survival beyond the next 20 years.

The CIA report predicts "an inexorable movement away from a two-state to a one-state solution, as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region."

The study, which has been made available only to a certain number of individuals, further forecasts the return of all Palestinian refugees to the occupied territories, and the exodus of two million Israelis — who would move to the US in the next 15 years.

"There is over 500,000 Israelis with American passports and more than 300,000 living in the area of just California," International lawyer Franklin Lamb said in an interview with Press TV recently, adding that those who do not have American or Western passport, have already applied for them.

"So I think the handwriting at least among the public in Israel is on the wall...[which] suggests history will reject the colonial enterprise sooner or later," Lamb stressed.

He said CIA, in its report, alludes to the unexpectedly quick fall of the apartheid government in South Africa and recalls the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, suggesting the end to the dream of an 'Israeli land' would happen 'way sooner' than later.

The study further predicts the return of over one and a half million Israelis to Russia and other parts of Europe, and denotes a decline in Israeli births whereas a rise in the Palestinian population.

Lamb said given the Israeli conduct toward the Palestinians and the Gaza Strip in particular, the American public — which has been voicing its protest against Tel Aviv's measures in the last 25 years — may 'not take it anymore'. Some members of the US Senate Intelligence Committee have been informed of the report.

The moments when the Israeli soldiers were beaten up on Mavi Marmara

The deadly raid on the Gaza aid flotilla triggered a propaganda war between Israel and pro-Palestinian activists. Surprisingly, it was Turkish newspaper Hürriyet that published the most spectacular photos.

On Friday, June 4, an agitated man with a bald head and full gray beard walked into the headquarters of the Muslim aid organization IHH in Istanbul. The 53-year-old man identified himself as Kevin Neish, a peace activist and amateur photographer from Victoria, Canada. Four days previously he had been on board the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, he said. He had taken photos that night when Israeli soldiers stormed the vessel. "Do you have a computer?" Neish asked breathlessly and handed a memory card containing digital photos to a surprised office worker.

The photos that appeared on a computer screen at IHH provide a fairly accurate portrayal of what happened on May 31 some 100 kilometers off the Israeli coast. They show two pro-Palestinian activists armed with iron bars standing in front of a door. One of the photos shows an Israeli soldier covered in blood and lying on the floor, the other shows a dead activist who appears to have been shot in the head. The photos show that a deadly scuffle took place on board -- one in which activists were killed by Israeli soldiers, but which was provoked by the Turkish and Arab passengers of the Mavi Marmara.

The IHH staff didn't like every photo they saw. Only Neish, who had managed to smuggle the memory card past the Israeli authorities and into Turkey, felt satisfied. "I hid the card everywhere while the soldiers were questioning us," he said. "I had it in my mouth, once in my shoes, and once in my underpants."

Three days later, on June 7, the photos were published in Turkish newspaper Hürriyet -- together with other photos taken by Turkish photographer Adem Özköse, who works for the Islamic publishing house Hayat Dergisi.

The fact that "the moments when the Israeli soldiers were beaten up," as Hürriyet put it, were published in a Turkish newspaper of all places is the climax of a bizarre war of interpretation that pro-Palestinian activists and the Israeli government have been waging against each other ever since the deadly raid.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan railed against Israel's "banditry and piracy." But Hürriyet belongs to the media group of entrepreneur Aydin Dogan which has been critical of the government in the past. Initially, Dogan's newspapers had criticized the Israeli raid just like Turkey's pro-government papers. But since then they have been warning against excessive Israel bashing and against the prime minister's increasingly authoritarian style of government.

Erdogan, King Faisal, and Mahathir

Tuesday 15 June 2010
By Dr. Hamad Al-Majid

Nasser…al-Khomeini…Saddam Hussein…Ahmadinejad. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has now found his name forcibly added to this list following his latest crisis with Israel due to the Arab and Islamic people's admiration of his humanitarian and honorable position against the Gaza blockade. In my opinion, this is an attempt to overlook, disregard, or play down the honorable stance taken by this courageous leader. In the Arab and Islamic world, excessive popular sentiment occasionally results in the public blindly and mistakenly supporting one leader or another. This was the case following Saddam Hussein's occupation of Kuwait and Ahmadinejad's inflammatory remarks towards Israel, with the public completely forgetting Saddam Hussein's autocratic and violent nature, and Ahmadinejad's silence and submissiveness towards the US's occupation of Iraq.

However if we dig a little deeper into this phenomenon of popular sentiment we would find that this centers upon the public's desire for anybody to confronts Israeli arrogance "by any means necessary" and so they do not look too closely at the leaders or flags of those who do so. This can be seen in the huge number of people who expressed their support for the Shiite Ayatollah al-Khomeini after he severed relations with Israel in favor of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in the early 1980s, and so the public sided with him in his war with bitter enemy Saddam Hussein.

However it was this same public who supported the Baathist Sunni Saddam Hussein in the 1990s. Both of the above positions which were adopted by the public at the time were wrong, however it would also be wrong and unfair to assassinate any strong public sentiment and continually proclaim this to be wrong and consider all those who hold and support this sentiment to be agitators or irrational without carefully examining this sentiment, in the same manner that some analysts have examined Erdogan's position.

There are heavyweight Arab and Islamic leaders who gained enormous support across the Islamic world but who cannot be included in the above list, such as renowned Islamic leader King Faisal Bin Abdulaziz – may God have mercy on him – who courageously brandished Saudi Arabia's oil wealth as a weapon against the blatant western bias towards Israel. Another example is the former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, the courageous Asian tiger who adopted brave and resolute positions against Israel and against the US policies in the region. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is certainly closer to the previous two honorable and respectable examples.

When we call for a strong stance against Israeli arrogance or the unjust US bias towards Israel, this does not mean provoking a crisis in international relations or harming one's interests, nor does it mean inciting public sentiment through Ahmadinejad's inflammatory provocations or Saddam's provocative statements. Rather what we are talking about is a strong Arab and Islamic stance which explicitly says "No" to Israel's policies, and America's unjust bias towards Tel Aviv.

This is because the Israeli injustice towards the Palestinians in general and the Gazans in particular, is something that can no longer be tolerated. We are talking about political positions whose consequences and aims have been carefully studied and analyzed in the same manner as Mahathir Mohamed carefully studied his political choices which achieved brilliant results, and as Erdogan is currently doing today against the unjust Israeli blockade of Gaza. By any standard, the cunning Erdogan has achieved political and media victories in support of the Palestinian Cause, and so the Gaza blockade is now top of the agenda for all those concerned with the Arab – Israeli conflict, after the Palestinian issue was close to being completely forgotten.

Erdogan also achieved victories for himself, his country, and his agenda, and backed Israel into a corner with his humanitarian flotilla, provoking international anger and indignation at Israel's behavior. Erdogan was not reckless when sending the humanitarian flotilla to break the Gaza blockade, and we did not hear any tense or inflammatory statements against Israel or the West. Rather all that Erdogan did was act on behalf of a billion Muslims and Arabs by saying "No" to the Gaza blockade, and this is a rejection that has echoed throughout the world.

If the Arab and Islamic world was full of strong, rational, and carefully considered positions against the Zionist arrogance, and if intelligent rejection in the "Erdogan/Mahathir Mohamed" manner against the biased US and western policies towards Israel is raised, then this is more than enough for us to make some gains for the Palestinian Cause.