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AIPAC ORDERED BUSH TO ATTACK IRAN

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By Gordon Duff STAFF

In a unique interview with an official at the highest policy levels of the Pentagon, White House and, eventually, CIA, we are offered a unique “behind the curtains” look at areas of policy making during the period between 1999 and 2007. Extensive notes have been taken of meetings with President Bush and all his top policy advisors. This is only a teaser.

A highly placed source within the White House and CIA confirmed, in an interview, that the invasion of Iran was sheduled for 2006 but planned in 1999. We have heard some of this before but not with so many pieces and, I am told, more to

WHITE HOUSE INSIDERS PLAN WAR ON TERROR

come. In an interview with a Bush administration policy official:

Q. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your work at the White House? You have read my articles, what do you think of my take on things?

A. You are closer than anyone else in understanding how things worked, the only person willing to simply put it out there. You also come at things like the Pentagon people I have worked with, the ones who stood against Bush, Cheney and the AIPAC gang at the NSC (National Security Council.) I can also see that you don’t have background material that you need. Some of it you have wrong, particularly the motives for Iraq. It was always Iran, Iraq was simply a door.

“The Iraq invasion was a ‘done deal’ in 1999, but not as you thought to steal oil and bilk billions, that was all gravy. Iraq, the entire Bush presidency, had one purpose, to remove Iran from the picture.”

Q. You talk about journalists. What has your experience been?

A. I have good friends at the New York Times, Time Magazine, the Washington Post and others. They know all of this. They aren’t fooled. They could write anything but it would never hit print.

Q. Back to the 2000 election. The first impediment was, I am told, removing John McCain from the picture. Was this the case?

READ ABOUT SEX, LIES AND VIDEO TAPE, 9/11, IRAQ AND NEOCON AMERICA

A. “He was enemy # 1, stubborn, unpredictable and already tarnished by the Keating 5 scandal, with all his faults, he didn’t have the serous skeletons in his closet that would fit the bill. McCain couldn’t be blackmailed like Bush, thus McCain is a risk. Unless you can be controlled, blackmailed or bought or both, you will go nowhere in Washington.

McCain is a womanizer, the real thing. For a war hero, with McCain’s charm that’s nothing, he would never fall into the kind of trap Clinton did. Rove was assigned the job of getting rid of McCain. We all saw what was done in South Carolina. It was a masterful job.”

Q. When you talk about McCain not being vulnerable, he certainly was in South Carolina, a few rumors and smears and he was gone. You say Bush is more vulnerable?

A. “A window into a lot of this can be found in the Rosen-AIPAC lawsuit. Bush has serious issues, let’s just leave it at that.

As for Rosen, he just wasn’t an AIPAC lobbyist, he sat inside the National Security Council until 2005 as the Rand Corporation’s Director of Foreign Policy. When the press talks about an AIPAC employee and spying, he didn’t join AIPAC until later, after his arrest.

The FBI investigation and his indictement for spying covered a time when he was at the center of the Bush administration, a key policy formulator at the highest levels of government. Rosen, indicted in 2004 for spying for Israel, was responsible for formulating American policy in the Middle East and largely responsible for the fate of the Palestinian people, a bit of a conflict of interest for an Israeli lobbyist and accused spy.”

Q. Rosen has made some accusations, says AIPAC spies all the time and that they do nothing but watch pornography there. You worked with this guy, what do you know?

A. “Rosen has dirt on absolutely everyone. His divorce depositions are fascinating reading. They are sealed now but there are copies out there. I know that reporters at Time Magazine have them, others too. The FBI has tons, they were after Rosen for years. As for AIPAC, Rosen told me of their spy operations many times, but nobody needed telling, they were more than obvious to all of us.

Q. You talk about Rosen and his “black book,” that he has dirt on “everyone.” The news stories mentioned only porn. That doesn’t sound so
serious. Dirt, not just porn, what kind of dirt?

A. “Mostly sex stuff, gay bondage, clubs, expense money being spent on sex, liasons in public restrooms, that kind of thing. Many of the key people around the president are involved and there is FBI surveillance, massive amounts of it, photographs, videos, and one or more undercover informants recorded conversations with top National Security Council members. Spying, nuclear secrets passed to Israel, this was common place.

I witnessed, with two others, the top Bush counter-terrorism official, actally primary advisor to Bush on counter-terrorism, who had served Clinton and others, pass nuclear weapons plans to an Israeli agent, like it was nothing.”

Q. Did the FBI know about this?

A. “For years, FBI agents, I have a list of names, worked to stop this. Then I learned that the Department of Justice killed the prosecution, Rosen’s lasted into the Obama administration before it was dropped. Witnesses were threatened with prosecution and the guilty, the spies, were allowed to keep doing what they are doing. This is what Rosen knows and what he is talking about when he says AIPAC was involved in spying. It isn’t just that AIPAC is said to receive information it is that it came from top administration officials.”

Q. Let’s get back to the sex thing. How high up does it go?

A. “One famous joke around the NSC, there was a photo of someone kissing Laura Bush on the cheek and shaking hands with President Bush. The same person had, not that long before, using those same lips and hands in a men’s restroom.”

Q. What do you know about 9/11?

A. “9/11 was planned as early as 1999 or before, to be executed as soon as the Bush team was in place. One meeting in April 2001, a meeting outlining the invasion of Iraq, may have been the green light.’ Chalibi was in place early on, from day number one. I remember telling them he was a known crook, totally disreputable and that things in Iraq would fall apart immediately. Nobody in the National Security Council ever spoke about what they would do once Saddam was overthrown. Nobody really seemed to care.

Of course, none of those people have real experience with military issues or, in fact, much of anything else.”

Q. How was the Iran invasion supposed to work?

A. “This is where so many have it wrong. In fact, there was never serous discussion about terrorism or Al Qaeda or bin Laden. These things weren’t even a sideshow. The only talk about any of it was how it could be used to justify going into Iraq and then attacking Iran.

Q. The intel on Iraq, we all know it was wrong. When was that learned?

A. “The administration didn’t believe false intelligence, it created it, order it in place before the election to be ready for, well I guess, 9/11. Silencing Plame and Joe Wilson, those were the same people who planned the creation of the phony intelligence. There was never a discussion of a serious terrorist threat against the United States. These guys would have fallen off their chairs laughing themselves to death. It was all a joke to them, 9/11, the Iraq invasion, all of it.”

Q. Back to Iran, how was the invasion to start?

A. “Everything was going to happen in Bahrain. Plans were to attack Americans, blow up clubs, restaurants. There were plans to stage a “Tonkin Gulf’ type attack and blame it on Iranian torpedo boats. Guys in the military were aware of this and there was strong opposition. Marine Colonel Joe Molofsky was the real hero here. He did more to scramble administration plans than anyone else, Molofky and General Mattis. These were really straight shooters, how I learned to trust the Marine Corps.

The government there, their security services, I believe they were deeply involved. It would have been good to see something about this in Wikileaks.”

Q. You said that war had to start by 2006. Was there a timetable?

A. “Absolutely. General Petraeus was sent to Iraq to quiet things down, not to win a war or create a lasting peace, nothing like that. His job was to shut things down so an operation against Iran could be staged from Iraq.”

Q. But that never got off the ground…

A. “No kidding, and Bush was enranged. It was the only reason he was put in office in the first place, as long as Iran survived, he was a failure, no matter what happened to the US.”

Q. Didn’t they know that war with Iran would have driven oil to $300 a barrel and collapsed the American economy?

A. “There were never briefings on that like there were never briefings on stabilizing Iraq. Nobody cared, nobody noticed and it was never discussed. It was really all about Iran and orders came in and people did what they were told like good little soldiers.”

Q. Orders? From where?

A. “All of it, all foreign policy issues, were out of AIPAC, they ran everything in the Bush adminsitration. That was the whole point of it. We never were told why we had to destroy Iran only that it had to be done. Nobody ever asked why. Nobody ever believed Iran had a credible nuclear program and, eventually, we were all very certain they never would. There was never an issue about Iran being a threat or not. There was never an issue of motive of any kind. These were orders, plain and simple, the administration that will come into office in 2001 will be tasked with destroying Iran, tasked by AIPAC who will control all key position in the administration.”

Q. Was there talk about Lebanon and the threat of Hizbollah?

A. “There really weren’t talks at all, only planning on how to follow policy, never on what policy should be or what was right or wrong. There was never a discussion about the United States, what was good for America or bad for America. People were generally oblivious to there being an America.”

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It’s braver to quit Afghanistan now

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Peter Preston

If the date for withdrawal from Afghanistan is fixed at the end of 2014 then our soldiers may be dying for nothing.

Let’s do what any smart politician does, and reach for the latest polling results. About 92% of young Afghan men in Kandahar and Helmand provinces (via a sample of 1,000 interviewed by researchers from the International Council on Security and Development, with an extra 500 respondents from northern areas of the country) know nothing about 9/11. Mention the twin towers and all you get is blank looks. And 43% can’t find anything good to say about democracy, either.

Forty per cent think Nato forces are there “to destroy Islam” (or Afghanistan itself); 61% believe that Afghan national security forces won’t be able to cope without international support; 56% suspect that Afghan policemen are helping the Taliban, and 25% reckon they’ll join them in the end. The equivalent figures for national army soldiers are 39% helping the enemy and 30% switching sides when that’s possible.

Now, the news since the last bout of similar polling a few months ago isn’t all bleak. Rather greater numbers are backing Nato to win in the end. But that was before the great and good of the alliance met in Lisbon this weekend and decided, after a fashion, to designate 31 December 2014 as “the end” in question. It’s a firm “deadline”, according to David Cameron – or a “provisional” and “aspirational” one, according Nato’s secretary-general, who seems curiously concerned that “conditions have to be right” to let the boys come home.

Of course people talking to pollsters only express opinions rather than facts. Of course circumstances can change. Of course Mr Cameron and, indeed, Barack Obama – both of whom need Afghanistan’s long, bitter war over before they face their electorates again – may be right to set a timetable. But can we pause for a moment, draw a deep breath – and not laugh out loud.

Presumably the Taliban have been consulted, diaries in hand, and circled various windows of opportunity for surrender. Presumably Osama bin Laden has rubber-stamped the agreement. And perhaps Mullah Omar’s nod to join Hamid Karzai in coalition – with Omar as deputy prezza and a deal on tuition fees for ex-insurgent students – hasn’t received quite the publicity it merits.

But let’s not be too blinkered as we look at the panoply of Cameron/Clegg deadlines. Growth surging by New Year’s Day 2015? The Irish economy turning tiger again? Bin Laden up on trial in the Hague? Labour down to 15% in more conventional polls?

If you set the right schedule, excluding factors you can’t control, then naturally such achievements are “very doable” (as the head of Britain’s armed forces says of the PM’s pledges). Anything can be realistic (in the view of our most senior general in Afghanistan) if you leave realism out of the equation.

Politics always dictates its own version of realism, to be sure. Mr Obama needs withdrawal targets to keep General David Petraeus on some kind of leash. Mr Cameron, remembering how the top brass bullied Gordon Brown, probably wants to keep Sir David Richards busy doing the do-able. Getting out of Helmand and quitting Kabul equals votes at home. Democracy may not enthuse 43% of Afghans, but it rules the roost back in Whitehall and Washington.

Yet things don’t look like that in the killing fields. Out there, to the Taliban, Lisbon timetables have no meaning (except to nominate a time of opportunity). Out there, any notional dates on year planners may be dust and delusion one blast later. You can’t be categoric in conditions like these. And if you’re forced to be “firm”, then there’s really only one conclusion: that the men who die between now and 2015 may well die for nothing. That, if you want to get out, then do what is always do-able if you’re brave enough: just get out now.

Written by rohitkumarsviews

November 23, 2010 at 8:15 am

U.S Army Suicides Hit All-Time High

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By John M Grohol PsyD

For the month of June, the U.S. Department of Defense reported late last week that the number of soldiers who took their own lives – those who committed suicide – was an astonishing 32 individuals, 21 of whom were on active duty (but only one-third of those on active duty were serving in either Iraq or Afghanistan).


A soldier in combat fatigues sitting on the ground

This corresponds to the ongoing record-setting of the number of suicides in the past year – 245 who died in 2009 and the 145 who have committed suicide already in 2010. At the rate of suicides so far this year, 2010 will exceed 2009 in suicides.

Who does the Army blame for this rise in suicides? Why, the people who commit suicide, of course, and the very culture they work to instill from Day One in boot camp.

Tim Embree of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America testified Wednesday before the House Veterans Affairs Committee that many soldiers fear seeking help.

“The heavy stigma associated with mental health care stops many service members and veterans from seeking treatment,” he said. “More than half of soldiers and Marines in Iraq who tested positive for a psychological injury reported concerns that they will be seen as weak by their fellow service members.”

Okay, sure. But we’ve dealt with the stigma of mental health issues now for decades in the civilian sector. How about we take the best programs available and all the knowledge gained from combating stigma of depression and mental health issues in civilians, and apply that same knowledge and science to helping wounded soldiers?

Because, today, it just doesn’t seem like the Army “gets it.” They put soldiers in a group therapy setting on their way back home from combat, and expect soldiers to just open up about their feelings in front of other soldiers. This would be hard enough to do for a bunch of civilians – it’s ludicrous to expect this sort of intervention to work in the military.

Soldiers need privacy and one-on-one time to help them acknowledge and better understand their mental health issues. Yes, the long-term goal is you need to change the environment and reduce the stigma in each component of the armed services. But since that’s going to take years – if not decades – to achieve, we need to work on short-term solutions to helping soldiers right here, right now.

You don’t do that in a group therapy setting on their way home. And you don’t do it by blaming the soldiers themselves for not seeking out treatment because of the stigma. You do it by committing more resources to helping soldiers today (not 2 years from now), and tailoring treatment interventions – including how you first approach them about these issues – and programs to their specific needs.

Why not use the Internet for e-therapy? It’s private and most soldiers are already comfortable using the Internet for other things. It might just be a way to reach them easily and affordably today, anywhere they happen to be deployed.

Army Suicides Hit All-Time High

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By John M Grohol PsyD

For the month of June, the U.S. Department of Defense reported late last week that the number of soldiers who took their own lives – those who committed suicide – was an astonishing 32 individuals, 21 of whom were on active duty (but only one-third of those on active duty were serving in either Iraq or Afghanistan).


A soldier in combat fatigues sitting on the ground

This corresponds to the ongoing record-setting of the number of suicides in the past year – 245 who died in 2009 and the 145 who have committed suicide already in 2010. At the rate of suicides so far this year, 2010 will exceed 2009 in suicides.

Who does the Army blame for this rise in suicides? Why, the people who commit suicide, of course, and the very culture they work to instill from Day One in boot camp.

Tim Embree of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America testified Wednesday before the House Veterans Affairs Committee that many soldiers fear seeking help.

“The heavy stigma associated with mental health care stops many service members and veterans from seeking treatment,” he said. “More than half of soldiers and Marines in Iraq who tested positive for a psychological injury reported concerns that they will be seen as weak by their fellow service members.”

Okay, sure. But we’ve dealt with the stigma of mental health issues now for decades in the civilian sector. How about we take the best programs available and all the knowledge gained from combating stigma of depression and mental health issues in civilians, and apply that same knowledge and science to helping wounded soldiers?

Because, today, it just doesn’t seem like the Army “gets it.” They put soldiers in a group therapy setting on their way back home from combat, and expect soldiers to just open up about their feelings in front of other soldiers. This would be hard enough to do for a bunch of civilians – it’s ludicrous to expect this sort of intervention to work in the military.

Soldiers need privacy and one-on-one time to help them acknowledge and better understand their mental health issues. Yes, the long-term goal is you need to change the environment and reduce the stigma in each component of the armed services. But since that’s going to take years – if not decades – to achieve, we need to work on short-term solutions to helping soldiers right here, right now.

You don’t do that in a group therapy setting on their way home. And you don’t do it by blaming the soldiers themselves for not seeking out treatment because of the stigma. You do it by committing more resources to helping soldiers today (not 2 years from now), and tailoring treatment interventions – including how you first approach them about these issues – and programs to their specific needs.

Why not use the Internet for e-therapy? It’s private and most soldiers are already comfortable using the Internet for other things. It might just be a way to reach them easily and affordably today, anywhere they happen to be deployed.

Israeli Terrorism: Kill a Turk and Rest

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By Uri Avnery

ON THE high seas, outside territorial waters, the ship was stopped by the navy.

The commandos stormed it. Hundreds of people on the deck resisted, the soldiers used force. Some of the passengers were killed, scores injured. The ship was brought into harbor, the passengers were taken off by force.

The world saw them walking on the quay, men and women, young and old, all of them worn out, one after another, each being marched between two soldiers…

The ship was called “Exodus 1947”. It left France in the hope of breaking the British blockade, which was imposed to prevent ships loaded with Holocaust survivors from reaching the shores of Palestine. If it had been allowed to reach the country, the illegal immigrants would have come ashore and the British would have sent them to detention camps in Cyprus, as they had done before. Nobody would have taken any notice of the episode for more than two days.

But the person in charge was Ernest Bevin, a Labour Party leader, an arrogant, rude and power-loving British minister. He was not about to let a bunch of Jews dictate to him. He decided to teach them a lesson the entire world would witness. “This is a provocation!” he exclaimed, and of course he was right. The main aim was indeed to create a provocation, in order to draw the eyes of the world to the British blockade.

What followed is well known: the episode dragged on and on, one stupidity led to another, the whole world sympathized with the passengers. But the British did not give in and paid the price. A heavy price.

Many believe that the “Exodus” incident was the turning point in the struggle for the creation of the State of Israel. Britain collapsed under the weight of international condemnation and decided to give up its mandate over Palestine. There were, of course, many more weighty reasons for this decision, but the “Exodus” proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I AM not the only one who was reminded of this episode this week. Actually, it was almost impossible not to be reminded of it, especially for those of us who lived in Palestine at the time and witnessed it.

There are, of course, important differences. Then the passengers were Holocaust survivors, this time they were peace activists from all over the world. But then and now the world saw heavily armed soldiers brutally attack unarmed passengers, who resist with everything that comes to hand, sticks and bare hands. Then and now it happened on the high seas – 40 km from the shore then, 65 km now.

In retrospect, the British behavior throughout the affair seems incredibly stupid. But Bevin was no fool, and the British officers who commanded the action were not nincompoops. After all, they had just finished a World War on the winning side.

If they behaved with complete folly from beginning to end, it was the result of arrogance, insensitivity and boundless contempt for world public opinion.

Ehud Barak is the Israeli Bevin. He is not a fool, either, nor are our top brass. But they are responsible for a chain of acts of folly, the disastrous implications of which are hard to assess. Former minister and present commentator Yossi Sarid called the ministerial “committee of seven”, which decides on security matters, “seven idiots” – and I must protest. It is an insult to idiots.

THE PREPARATIONS for the flotilla went on for more than a year. Hundreds of e-mail messages went back and forth. I myself received many dozens. There was no secret. Everything was out in the open.

There was a lot of time for all our political and military institutions to prepare for the approach of the ships. The politician consulted. The soldiers trained. The diplomats reported. The intelligence people did their job.

Nothing helped. All the decisions were wrong from the first moment to this moment. And it’s not yet the end.

The idea of a flotilla as a means to break the blockade borders on genius. It placed the Israeli government on the horns of a dilemma – the choice between several alternatives, all of them bad.

Every general hopes to get his opponent into such a situation.

The alternatives were:

1. To let the flotilla reach Gaza without hindrance. The cabinet secretary supported this option. That would have led to the end of the blockade, because after this flotilla more and larger ones would have come.

2. To stop the ships in territorial waters, inspect their cargo and make sure they were not carrying weapons or “terrorists”, then let them continue on their way. That would have aroused some vague protests in the world but upheld the principle of a blockade.

3. To capture them on the high seas and bring them to Ashdod, risking a face-to-face battle with activists on board.

As our governments have always done, when faced with the choice between several bad alternatives, the Netanyahu government chose the worst.

Anyone who followed the preparations as reported in the media could have foreseen that they would lead to people being killed and injured. One does not storm a Turkish ship and expect cute little girls to present one with flowers. The Turks are not known as people who give in easily.

The orders given to the forces and made public included the three fateful words: “at any cost”. Every soldier knows what these three terrible words mean. Moreover, on the list of objectives, the consideration for the passengers appeared only in third place, after safeguarding the safety of the soldiers and fulfilling the task.

If Binyamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, the Chief of Staff and the commander of the navy did not understand that this would lead to killing and wounding people, then it must be concluded – even by those who were reluctant to consider this until now – that they are grossly incompetent. They must be told, in the immortal words of Oliver Cromwell to Parliament: “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

THIS EVENT points again to one of the most serious aspects of the situation: we live in a bubble, in a kind of mental ghetto, which cuts us off and prevents us from seeing another reality, the one perceived by the rest of the world. A psychiatrist might judge this to be the symptom of a severe mental problem.

The propaganda of the government and the army tells a simple story: our heroic soldiers, determined and sensitive, the elite of the elite, descended on the ship in order “to talk” and were attacked by a wild and violent crowd. Official spokesmen repeated again and again the word “lynching”.

On the first day, almost all the Israeli media accepted this. After all, it is clear that we, the Jews, are the victims. Always. That applies to Jewish soldiers, too. True, we storm a foreign ship at sea, but turn at once into victims who have no choice but to defend ourselves against violent and incited anti-Semites.

It is impossible not to be reminded of the classic Jewish joke about the Jewish mother in Russia taking leave of her son, who has been called up to serve the Czar in the war against Turkey. “Don’t overexert yourself'” she implores him, “Kill a Turk and rest. Kill another Turk and rest again…”

“But mother,” the son interrupts, “What if the Turk kills me?”

“You?” exclaims the mother, “But why? What have you done to him?”

To any normal person, this may sound crazy. Heavily armed soldiers of an elite commando unit board a ship on the high seas in the middle of the night, from the sea and from the air – and they are the victims?

But there is a grain of truth there: they are the victims of arrogant and incompetent commanders, irresponsible politicians and the media fed by them. And, actually, of the Israeli public, since most of the people voted for this government or for the opposition, which is no different.

The “Exodus” affair was repeated, but with a change of roles. Now we are the British.

Somewhere, a new Leon Uris is planning to write his next book, “Exodus 2010”. A new Otto Preminger is planning a film that will become a blockbuster. A new Paul Newman will star in it – after all, there is no shortage of talented Turkish actors.

MORE THAN 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson declared that every nation must act with a “decent respect to the opinions of mankind”. Israeli leaders have never accepted the wisdom of this maxim. They adhere to the dictum of David Ben-Gurion: “It is not important what the Gentiles say, it is important what the Jews do.” Perhaps he assumed that the Jews would not act foolishly.

Making enemies of the Turks is more than foolish. For decades, Turkey has been our closest ally in the region, much more close than is generally known. Turkey could play, in the future, an important role as a mediator between Israel and the Arab-Muslim world, between Israel and Syria, and, yes, even between Israel and Iran. Perhaps we have succeeded now in uniting the Turkish people against us – and some say that this is the only matter on which the Turks are now united.

This is Chapter 2 of “Cast Lead”. Then we aroused most countries in the world against us, shocked our few friends and gladdened our enemies. Now we have done it again, and perhaps with even greater success. World public opinion is turning against us.

This is a slow process. It resembles the accumulation of water behind a dam. The water rises slowly, quietly, and the change is hardly noticeable. But when it reaches a critical level, the dam bursts and the disaster is upon us. We are steadily approaching this point.

“Kill a Turk and rest,” the mother says in the joke. Our government does not even rest. It seems that they will not stop until they have made enemies of the last of our friends.

Taliban earn £1,600 bounty for each NATO soldier killed

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LAHORE: Taliban earn a bounty of up to Rs 200,000 (£1,660) for each NATO soldier they kill, insurgent commanders informed The Sunday Times on Sunday.
The paper said the money was said to come from protection rackets, taxes imposed on opium farmers, donors in the Gulf states who channel money through Dubai and from the senior Taliban leadership in Pakistan.

So far this year, 213 NATO soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, including 41 British troops, bringing the potential rewards for the Taliban to £350,000, The Sunday Times said.
The Taliban commanders told the paper that the bounty had more than doubled since the beginning of last year.
“The insurgents, who employ “hit and run” tactics against foot patrols and convoys, use paid informants, media reports and the local population to confirm the deaths of NATO soldiers,” the paper said. T
“We can’t lie to our commanders: they can check to see if there was a fight in that area. We get money if we capture equipment too. A gun can fetch $1,000 [£690],” a commander from Khost province who controls about 60 fighters told The Sunday Times.

20 militants, six soldiers killed in Khyber Agency

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Said Nazir Afridi

BARA: Twenty militants and six personnel of security forces were killed in a simultaneous suicide and armed attack on the Jhansi Camp of the Frontier Corps (FC) in Bara Tehsil, Khyber Agency, early Wednesday, official and local sources said.

At least, 20 FC men were injured in the two-hour-long clash. They were shifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Peshawar where condition of most of them was stated to be out of danger.

“We have taken nine bodies of the militants in our custody. The remaining bodies were taken away by the militants with them,” an officer of the FC told this scribe on condition of anonymity.

The sources said that hundreds of militants, armed with light and heavy weapons, besieged and attacked the Jhansi FC Camp located at a distance of two kilometers from the house of Mangal Bagh, the head of the non-Taliban militant group Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) in Speen Qabar village at 1 am.

Though security forces repulsed the attack, the sources said, a suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden pickup toward the main gate of the camp. The personnel deployed at the gate opened fire on the suicide bomber and as a result the vehicle exploded a few meters away from them. The explosion killed six security personnel and left dozens of others injured, official sources said.

The security personnel killed in the attack included five from the Mehsud Scouts of the FC and one from Pakistan Army. The slain soldiers were identified as Havaldar Noor Mast, Naik Farman, Naik Bashir Khan, Sepoy Ismail, Sepoy Humayun and Sepoy Fakhr-e-Alam.

Sources said the fight between the two sides lasted for two hours in which 20 militants were killed and another 29 were injured. The fleeing militants, the sources said, took away most of their slain and wounded colleagues with them.

The sources said the casualties would have been higher had the suicide bomber succeeded in driving the explosives-laden vehicle into the Jhansi Camp. The sources said a government boys’ primary school and the nearby houses were damaged due to the blast.

Following the attack, security forces carried out a search operation in Jhansi area and arrested three suspected militants and demolished the houses of three others. The sources said that security forces also raided a private hospital in Dogra area of Bara Tehsil but none of the injured militants was found there.

Official sources said militants belonging to Lashkar-i-Islam and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan jointly carried out the attack. Talking to reporters on phone from an unidentified location, spokesman for Lashkar-e-Islam Haji Zar Khan rejected the official claims about the militants’ casualties. He said that only one suicide bomber was killed and two militants were injured in the attack.

APP adds: Security forces repulsed the militants’ attack on FC Camp at Jhansi area here on Wednesday, killing 25 extremists in retaliation while five FC men embraced Shahadat and 15 were injured in the clash, FC sources said.

Written by rohitkumarsviews

April 1, 2010 at 8:07 am