Obama is Ready to Announce a Brutal War

By A Khokar • Jan 31st, 2009

 

Within days of taking power, the Obama administration has made clear that it will escalate the war to subjugate the Afghan people, intensify US military strikes on targets inside Pakistan and continue the occupation of Iraq indefinitely. What is being prepared is a brutal escalation of US military violence in Afghanistan and a widening of the conflagration in the region.

Obama left a two-hour meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday (January 28) pledging to ensure that the military received the “resources and the support” to wage the wars being conducted by the United States. He told journalists he would soon be announcing “some difficult decisions that we’re going to have to make surrounding Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The essence of those decisions was indicated on Tuesday in the testimony of Defense Secretary Robert Gates before the Senate and House armed services committees. Obama’s appointment of Gates marked the new president’s unambiguous repudiation of the campaign rhetoric that appealed to broad antiwar sentiment among the American people. Gates served the Bush administration in the same post for the past two years and directed the escalation of the Iraq war from early 2007 to early 2008.

Gates told the senators: “There is little doubt that our greatest military challenge right now is Afghanistan. As you know, the United States has focused more on Central Asia in recent months. President Obama has made it clear that the Afghanistan theatre should be our top overseas military priority.”

The war in Afghanistan, he added, would be “long and difficult.” The short-term time frame he placed on the conflict was “five years”—at least until 2014. He said an increase in US casualties was “likely” as operations are stepped-up against the anti-occupation insurgency being waged by loyalists of the former Taliban regime and other Afghan Islamist movements.

Gates stressed that as the new administration escalates military action in Central Asia, it has no intention of withdrawing from Iraq. Warning that resistance could erupt again against US forces in Iraq, he said “there may be hard days ahead for our troops.” Even if units designated as “combat” are pulled out roughly according to the 16-month schedule promised by Obama during the election, Gates emphasized that a sizeable force would remain and “we should still expect to be involved in Iraq on some level for many years to come.”

He told the Senate committee that Obama will send 30,000 additional American troops to Afghanistan as soon as possible. The first of the four combat brigades requested last year by General David McKiernan, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has already taken up positions in areas to the east of the Afghan capital, Kabul. The 3,500 troops, from the 10th Mountain Division, have begun operations in the provinces of Wardak and Logar.

Analysts are predicting that Obama will order the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade to deploy to Afghanistan by mid-spring. Another Marine brigade will follow by mid-summer. The final additional brigade will arrive before the end of the year.

The intensified fighting will not be confined to Afghanistan. Allegidelly, the predominantly ethnic Pashtun Afghan insurgents have safe havens and derive support among the Pashtun population of Pakistan’s Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA). As a result, the US and NATO forces have been unable to prevent the Afghan resistance from launching daily attacks across entire swathes of southern Afghanistan and replenishing both its ranks and weapons. Large-scale US military strikes on the FATA and even more deeply into Pakistan are considered as the logical outcome of Obama’s determination to place Afghanistan under US control.

It was “impossible,” Gates declared, “to disaggregate Afghanistan and Pakistan, given the porous border between them.” He left no doubt that the US military would continue to conduct air strikes inside Pakistan, regardless of the opposition of the Pakistani government and Pakistani people, on the pretext that the targets were linked to Al Qaeda.

The primary motive for the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan was not to fight terrorism, but to create a base for the assertion of US influence over the resource-rich former Soviet republics in Central Asia. During last year’s presidential election, Obama served as the mouthpiece for factions of the American establishment that had concluded the preoccupation with Iraq had resulted in Central Asia coming too much under the political and economic sway of Russia and China.

The re-emphasis on Afghanistan is intended to reverse this trend. Under the guise of securing supply routes for the increased US military force, intense diplomacy is taking place to establish access rights and military bases in Central Asian states such as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Currently, the bulk of US and NATO supplies to Afghanistan move through border passes in the FATA, where they are made to appear coming under increasing attack by insurgents. Following a NATO summit on Monday, the Russian government announced that it is prepared to allow its territory and air space to be used to transport US and NATO supplies into Afghanistan.

Gates’s testimony also indicated a shift in the relations between the US and the puppet government it has installed in Kabul under President Hamid Karzai. Along with fighting “terrorism,” the Bush administration justified the occupation of Afghanistan with constant references of same old rhetorics, to bringing “democracy,” “development” and “human rights” to the Afghan people.

Gates dismissed such claims on Obama’s behalf, telling senators: “If we set ourselves the objective of establishing some sort of a Central Asia Valhalla over there, we will lose… because nobody in the world has that much time, patience or money, to be honest….”

A brutal real politik will define the Obama administration’s policy in Afghanistan. Karzai’s government is frequently derided in US foreign policy circles for its endemic corruption and its lack of popular support among the Afghan people. A more important reason for flagging US enthusiasm for its puppet Karzai is the latter’s public criticisms of US air strikes that target and kill Afghan civilians. The Obama administration has every intention of escalating the bloodshed and will brook no interference from its client regime.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Obama may support a campaign to remove Karzai in the presidential election scheduled to be held in the country later this year. The alternative to attempts to create a strong central government is the Iraq “surge” model. The commander of US forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus—who now heads the US Central Command—authorized his officers in particular parts of Iraq to bribe insurgent leaders to change sides, in exchange for both money and a degree of local power.

In a similar fashion, sources close to the Obama administration told the Times that it “would work with provincial leaders as an alternative to the central government, and that it would leave economic development and nation-building to European allies, so that American forces could concentrate on the fight against insurgents.”

The result of this policy could be greater tensions between the US and the European powers. During his testimony, Gates demanded that NATO member-states “step up to the plate” and provide more forces and resources for the war in Afghanistan.

Even with 30,000 extra American troops, the occupation force will still be severely under-manned. In the midst of the ongoing occupation of Iraq and an economic meltdown, however, Gates told the Senate that he was “skeptical” the US military could contribute “additional American force levels beyond what General McKiernan has already asked for.”

Under Bush, NATO states, particularly Germany, France, Italy and Turkey, repeatedly rejected US requests that they dramatically increase their involvement in the Afghan conflict. They must now decide how to respond to the Obama White House.

A British Broadcasting Corporation correspondent commented on Tuesday: “If NATO allies falter now, the long-term implications in terms of separating the United States from Europe could be severe… The issue is emerging as a potential troubling one at the 60th anniversary summit [of NATO] to be held in early April.”

Millions of Americans were channeled into voting for Obama and the Democratic Party by the illusion that they would implement a decisive shift away from the militarism and neo-colonial interventions that marked the Bush years. Instead, they face an administration that is just as determined as Bush’s to use brute military force to secure the economic and strategic interests of American imperialism. Countless thousands of Afghan and Pakistani lives, and those of hundreds if not thousands more American troops, are to be sacrificed in the process.

This reality underscores not only the debased character of “democracy” in the United States, but the necessity for a break with the two parties of US imperialism and a fundamental political reorientation of the working class toward a socialist and internationalist program.

It may not take very long when people espacially in Pakistan, pinning high hopes on Obama and reciting his name ‘Obama-Obama’ with the every drop of their rosery bead will start doing—-Baan- Baan [1].

—————-
[1] A Cry in desperation and deep anguish… as known in Punjab

Links: http://www.pakspectator.com/obama-is-ready-to-announce-a-brutal-war/

Is US Envoy Richard Holbrooke; A Wrong Man for the Job?

 

 By A Khokar

 

After 9/11 attack on US soil, United states was of the opinion that  Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organization had used their status as guests of the Taliban government of Afghanistan to formulate and implement their terrorist attacks against the United States . US fight, in any case, could not be against the people of Afghanistan. To a certain extent, it wasn’t even against the Taliban, since it was al-Qaeda, not the Taliban that had attacked.  Some, including leaders of the Bush administration, were making the case that the Taliban be directly implicated in the attacks since it had provided al-Qaida with a safe haven and be respond possibly with the direct military intervention as a first priority.. History had shown that, since the time of Alexander the Great through the Soviet invasion and occupation, outside forces had fared poorly when they tried to impose their will on the diverse grouping of tribes and ethnic groups that made up Afghanistan.

 

To plan the events of 9/11 and to execute it; it had yet to be proved that the Taliban was a witting host, however it was believed that the United States would do well to use tribal concepts of honour to isolate and disenfranchise bin Laden and his Arab outsiders from their Taliban host. If the United States, working through the offices of the Pakistani intelligence services, could convince the Taliban that its hospitality had been abused by Al-Qaeda—in that the murder of innocents had been committed while under its protection—then Afghan tribal custom and honour and, even more important to the fundamentalist Taliban, Islamic law, dictated that the Taliban revoke the protections and privileges afforded Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda.

 

Taliban would impose justice itself, but rather could be convinced, through a combination of logic and economic incentive, to disperse Al-Qaida and turn Bin Laden and his senior leadership over to a third party, presumably an Islamic nation such as Pakistan or the United Arab Emirates. If a direct approach failed, then covert action, using proxy forces in Pakistan and Iran, would make contact with moderate elements of the Taliban, personified by its foreign minister, to remove the conservative Mullah Omar from power and achieve a more direct result against Bin Laden and his cohorts. A new, moderate Taliban leadership would be more than capable of assembling the religious clerics necessary to convene a sharia, or Islamic, court, which would find the actions of Al-Qaeda to be violations of Islamic law. Also, a loya jirga, or tribal gathering, would revoke the protected status of “guest” enjoyed by Bin Laden and his fellow terrorists. The least productive option America could pursue was that of direct military intervention, and it was anticipated that the veteran diplomat would concur with that point of view.

 

But Neocons administration came out with exact opposite decision.  They rejected out of hand any sort of diplomacy, arguing that there were only extremists within the ranks of the Taliban. There was, in his opinion, no such thing as a moderate Taliban, and as such the United States had no choice but to lump the Taliban and Al-Qaeda into a singular target set, and initiate direct military action designed to remove the Taliban from power and destroy Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. But to separate the Taliban from Afghan society was not easy, since the Taliban was a product of Afghan society, and that any military action against the Taliban would only strengthen the bonds between it and al-Qaeda, which was of course the last result the United States should be seeking. But the diplomat who was at forefront and who rejected all the argument of diplomacy as simplistic and unrealistic and opted for a military solution, and, of course, that was the result the Bush administration delivered. This diplomat’s name is Richard Holbrooke.

 

The new secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, has appointed Holbrooke as the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. With his extensive experience in peacemaking, including negotiating the Dayton Accords, which brought an end to the horrific fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina,  Holbrooke seems an ideal candidate for the complexities represented by the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, as well as by the related unrest in neighbouring Pakistan. The presence of NATO forces in Afghanistan also plays to Holbrooke’s perceived strengths, given the role played by NATO in bringing an end to the fighting in the former Yugoslavia. However, at a time when NATO itself questions the viability of the mission in Afghanistan, pushing for a solution emphasizing social and economic stability over military action, the selection of a hawk like Holbrooke is ill-advised. Not only has he demonstrated a lack of comprehension when it comes to the complex reality of Afghanistan (not to mention Pakistan), Holbrooke has a history of choosing the military solution over the finesse of diplomacy. The Dayton Accords, after all, were built on the back of a NATO military presence. This does not bode well for the Obama administration.

 

It is highly doubtful that Holbrooke will bring anything more to the table than cheerleading. President Obama’s stated intention to increase the size of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and to more forcefully assert U.S.-imposed “security” through continued military action in the Northwest Frontier of Pakistan is a dangerous scheme, one Holbrooke will enthusiastically support. Reinforcing failure is never a sound solution. Take it from the veteran British military officers who have served in Afghanistan and now advise that there is no military solution to the Afghan problem. Listening to advice like that would go a long way toward developing stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan and neutralizing Al-Qaeda’s ability to organize and operate in those nations. The British recognize that the Taliban is not the problem, but rather part of the solution to what ails Afghanistan .

 

There will be no peace without a negotiated settlement that includes the Taliban. To accomplish this, leadership is required which recognizes the Taliban as a force of moderation, and not extremism. Holbrooke does not have a record which indicates he would be willing to consider direct negotiations with the Taliban. He tends to seek military solutions to difficult ethnic-based problems, and he is likely to argue for the deployment of even more U.S. troops to that war-ravaged nation. That would be a historic mistake.

 

Instability within Afghanistan continues to bleed over into Pakistan. As the United States pushes for a more effective military solution, there will be even greater pressures placed on U.S. leadership to become directly involved in Pakistan. The recent events in Mumbai, where allegedly Pakistani-based terrorists killed scores of innocent civilians, only underscore the inherent instability of Pakistan, which is fighting its own internal struggle against the forces of Islamic fundamentalism. Increased American military operations against Taliban and al-Qaeda forces operating inside Pakistan will be a direct result of any increased U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. Such military operations will only increase the influence of Islamic fundamentalists inside Pakistan, while doing little to halt the efforts of the Taliban inside Afghanistan.

 

 

The cause-and-effect relationship between what the United States does inside Afghanistan and what occurs inside Pakistan cannot be ignored by American policymakers. As such, the goal of any U.S. special envoy to the region should be to stabilize the internal Afghan situation and de-emphasize cross-border military operations into Pakistan. Any effort which embraces the Taliban as part of a new Afghan reality would, by extension, eliminate the need to strike Taliban strongholds inside Pakistan. With the Taliban co-opted as a part of the central Afghan government, the forces of Al-Qaeda would lose their effectiveness, as any effort to continue to fight in Afghanistan would invariably pit them against their former allies. Reduction of hostilities in Afghanistan would create a similar reduction in hostilities in the Northwest Frontier of Pakistan. This in turn would result in a reduction of events which could be used by fundamentalists to justify radical behaviour. And a reduction in radical Islamic fundamentalism would in turn allow for a more stable, moderate Pakistani government operating in a manner not only conducive to peace in Afghanistan but also peace with India and the entire region.

 

To embrace such a policy, the United States needs to contract the services of a U.S. special envoy capable of visionary thinking, one who possesses the political courage to stand up to a president and a secretary of state and argue against bad policy. It is not believed that Holbrooke is such a man. As a result, It is feared that the Obama administration will find the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan continuing to deteriorate to the detriment of American national security, and will increasingly waste time and energy in a period of so many problems at home and abroad. Afghanistan does not need to be one of these problems, but the selection of Richard Holbrooke as U.S. special envoy bodes ill for the prospect of lasting peace and security in a volatile region.

 

Themes reference; Adab Arez .co.uk, Truthdig.com

The Hell is About to Break

 

By A Khokar  25 January 2009

 

The provocative drone attacks of U.S Special Forces in FATA area are —-on as ever. Most of the Pakistanis had a hope that probably with the incoming of new U.S. administration headed by President Barrack Hussein Obama; the overall situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan may take a different turn. But another drone missile attack on last Friday on Pakistani territory has totally dashed all such hopes of any change in U.S. policies on our western borders.

 

 The analysts say that biggest mistake Obama could make as president is to assume that American values or conduct are somehow superior to those of other countries, or that U.S. allies have greater rights than other countries. In other words, persisting in a foreign policy agenda that combines George W Bush like arrogance, ignorance and ordnance in a deadly combination would be his worst mistake.

 

In last one year alone, some two dozen drones’ attacks were carried out in FATA. This is a clear violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty. Hundreds of innocent men women and children are massacred by drone attacks and their houses and other properties destroyed. On every drone attack the present Pakistan government is always seen stun but prefers to remain mum on the incident. They usually resort to some verbal rhetoric of a condemnation statement which shamelessly gives an impression that it is being done with their nod or a wink. This playing down tactics has proved to be counter productive by any standards.

 

Surely the drone attacks on Pakistan may not stop till such time that Pakistan Armed Forces retaliate to bring the predators down every time that Pakistan’s air spaces are violated or the local FATA people may lay hand on some shoulder fired stinger type anti aircraft missiles to take care of these attacks or the drones launching facilities in Afghanistan are raided.

 

Presently drones attacks are being conducted on the pretext that some local affiliates are offering sanctuaries to the Al-Qaeda fugitives in FATA. In case, the FATA victims choose their action at their own and openly raise arms; surely they would be seen as the terrorists liable to receive more fierce beatings. Any such action amounts to declaring the entire FATA area a terrorist den, which is the prime aim of this whole U.S. exercise in order to develop their pretext further to move in to Pakistani territory being hostile and at war against the West..

 

It is the paradox that Pakistan finds itself in. It is lose-lose situ for Pakistan at both the end. But enough is enough and looks like that a hell is about to break in Pakistan on the western borders as well as in Islamabad.

 

 Habib jalib comes to mind:

 

Qatil kahaan badaltey hain Faqat Chehray badaltay hain

Ajab hey apna saffar keh Fasley bhi saath chaltey hain

 

I will try to translate to convey this message;

 

[My killers; they don’t change. Only their faces and flags are changed.

What a journey of mine? that my all the traversed spans and miles stones also travel with me]

 

‘By Way of Deception, Thou Shalt do War’

By A Khokar 

 

 Former Mossad intelligence officer Victor John Ostrovsky in his two extraordinary non-fiction books; ‘By Way of Deception’ and ‘The Other Side of Deception’; reveals and goes far deeper into the Mossad’s frightening and often ruthless covert activities. He describes, how Mossad through the use of deception, duped the Americans into bombing Libya. The operation which Mossad conducted against Libya was very similar to the one recently orchestrated in Mumbai

 

In February 1986, Israel sent a handful of Mossad agents in a miniature submarines to get to Libyan shores. On reaching near Tripoli, in the hours of darkness they off loaded into rubber dingy boats and came into Tripoli. On reaching city they rented an apartment and installed a “Trojan” transmitter, a six-foot-long communications device, in the top floor of a five-story apartment building to broadcast false signals. The device, only seven inches in diameter, was capable of receiving messages broadcast by Mossad’s LAP (psychological warfare / disinformation section) on one frequency and automatically relaying the broadcasts on the frequency usually used by the Libyan government services.

 

 

Broadcasting on the Trojan, the Mossad tried to make it appear that Libya was about to launch a massive terror attack on the western targets including the U.S. As the Mossad had hoped, the transmissions were deciphered by the Americans and construed as ample proof that the Libyans were active sponsors of terrorism. What’s more, the American CIA pointed out the reports that they received from the Mossad who confirmed it.

 

 

Only a couple of weeks after the ‘Trojan’ was installed, the La Belle Discothèque in West Berlin was bombed. This attack cost the lives of two American soldiers and a Turkish woman. The attack was not done by Libya but the Mossad led the U.S. to blame Libya for the bombing of the Berlin nightclub frequented by U.S. soldiers. Same tactics is seen implied here in recent Mumbai massacre Drama where all the high profile targets like Mumbai busy railway station and the famous spots like Taj Mahal Palace, Oberoi Hotel and Café Leopard frequented by US and other foreigners were duly engaged. Media was handed over a hostile lead to implicate Pakistan in it and with many more strings to keep on speculating?

 

In case of Libya; US President Ronald Reagan reacted promptly to the attack on the Berlin nightclub. On April 16, 1986 in an operation code name; ‘El Dorado Canyon’, he sent U.S. aircraft from a base in England and from two U.S. carriers in the Mediterranean which unleashed havoc by attacking and dropping tons of bombs on Qaddafi’s office and residence in the Bab al Azizia barracks and on various other military targets in and around two Libyan cities. Libyan air base got the maximum poundings. Qaddafi’s daughter was killed. A U.S. F-111, was shot down over Tripoli, killing the two American crew members.

 

 

There are Old Testament injunctions to the Hebrews which forms the bases and the pillars of Jewish mythology. The Commandments very explicitly ensues to annihilate every Gentile nation over which they gain power:

 

“And thou shalt consume all the peoples which the Lord thy God shall deliver unto thee; thine eye shall not pity them…thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth.” (Deuteronomy 7:16, 20:16)

 

 

Similarly bloodthirsty, explicit injunctions are repeated so often in the Jews’ holy books that we can only assume that they are meant to be taken seriously. The historical evidence suggests that in ancient times the Jews did indeed take their religion seriously: they were notorious everywhere and at all times as implacable haters of humanity who in turn were thoroughly despised by every other people among whom they lived.

 

 

One is astonished to note that how carefully media cultivates image of the Jews as a gentle, inoffensive victim of bigotry, always being persecuted but never persecuting others? Is that also deception? And even if it is, does it necessarily mean that beneath the Jew’s mask of benevolence and innocence hides the malevolent visage of a cunning predator? Perhaps for every bloodsucking Jewish swindler like Ivan Boesky or Michael Milken; there is a Jewish benefactor of mankind like polio vaccine developer Jonas Salk. And for every bloody-handed Jewish gangster like Ariel Sharon, Meyer Lansky, or Yitzhak Shamir there is a Jewish Nobel Peace Prize winner like Menachem Begin, Henry Kissinger–or the appropriately named Elie Wiesel. Or are we also being deceived when the Salks and the Kissingers are held up to us as reasons for not condemning all Jews for the transgressions of some?

 

 

 Where as the massacre of Mumbai and in recent carnage of Gaza; Israelis after isolating the Gaza strip, barricaded the Palestinian and slaughtered them in Gazan locked up cage. This may be the most despicable acts but Mumbai and the Gaza are the two, most cunning acts of Mossad Gambles to have recognised her invincibility in the region. After Gaza carnage this seems now established that Israel is the only power in the Middle East, whose ruthlessness goes unchecked. Rather she enjoys the support of all the big powers.

 

 

 

 In case of South East Asia the Mossad has tried to set her foot on Indian shores. Through deception Mossad wants India to attack Pakistan. In this war India is to serve as a proxy for Mossad, and Israel’s presence is marked with a granted place to a higher station by United States to look after U.S. interests in the extended region and thus Israel expand its portfolio.

 

 

 In the changing world; whether Bush departs or arrives— Mr. Barack H Obama; we may only find a new name on the label; wine in the bottle remains the same. American Imperialistic foreign policies are driven by its think tanks. With no change in those fields; the arrival of Obama apparently may not forge any change in practical terms in U.S. foreign policy. The show goes on.

 

Links: Pakspectators.com

Obama’s Inauguration Speech: A Call for Responsibility and Sacrifice at a Time of Gathering Storms

 

Obama’s Inauguration Speech: A Call for Responsibility and Sacrifice at a Time of Gathering Storms

 Following is the prepared text of President-elect Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address, as provided by the Presidential Inaugural Committee:

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sanh.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

I Have a Dream

 

Still Dreaming After All These Years

World is Expecting a Messiah in Shape of Obama.

By A Khokar 

 

As Inauguration Day approaches, the citizens of United States seems to be catching the edge of their collective seats waiting to see who the real Barack Obama is, and how he will step up to address the worst economic crisis since the Depression. Adding to his burden, Obama is following George W. Bush, who may go down as the most failed and destructive president in history.

 

As a result, in addition to the financial disaster, Obama inherits two wars and a huge array of counterproductive policies perpetuated by conservatives over the past eight years, many of which are making the resolution of the burning issues at home as well as abroad. Obama may very well be facing the most difficult challenges that any new president in history has ever faced upon taking office in United States. By any measure, he has an incredibly difficult task.

 

Obama moves into the White House as a brilliant, attractive and popular figure, with enormous good will across the globe. But he immediately steps into a maelstrom of crises that have no clear solution, nor an obvious blueprint.

 

As the economy spirals downward, more people have become jobless and many millions more Americans are losing their health care — more than 50 million now. Simultaneously, many states are on the verge of bankruptcy as services in every sector rapidly deteriorate, and businesses across the board suffer setbacks and make layoffs. And every day of decline has the effect of less tax revenue and resources for services and governing, adding to the vicious cycle.

 

What should, and what will, Obama do? And how could he screw it up, given the fact that pretty much everything is riding on him getting things right the first time in the early stages of his administration? As we all wait to see what happens, there is no question that Obama, at least in terms of getting elected, has been a brilliant politician.

 

 

The high jump bar is continuously been ratchet up by the out going Bush administration for Obama to scale them down. The entire America at home seems to be smouldering in fire and smoke of depression. Ironically it is  left for Obama to fight the fire. Even at abroad; the anarchist Israel has set Gaza on fire by invading Gaza and inflicting and escalating of carnage of defence less Palestinians lest Israel is put on some side tracks or her US proxy status is lowered. Very timely Mumbai Massacre drama is also orchestrated so that some how in the light of Change announced by Obama on war on Terror. The war on Terror is not played down in Afghanistan or Pakistan and interests of war hungry states as well as their running of war industries are not hampered.

 

His election to the White House as a young upstart, half-white, half African, one-term senator from Illinois is probably the single most impressive electoral accomplishment in the past 100 years. But the big question on the table is how Obama translates his prodigious skills as a communicator, and his powerful mandate, into a governing strategy that can tackle the mammoth pile of problems on his plate?  It is prayed that the hope of change that masses in United States and the other nations largely effected by the policies and the destruction and devastation brought and thrust upon this planet especially in Muslim world after the 9/11 by the Bush Administration; at least they will have a sigh of relief.  

 

 

Jump Start of U.S. Economy at home

We do not know what will work in terms of jump-starting the economy, but there is growing consensus that if there will be an error, it will be because an economic stimulus is too small and not too big. Screwing up the stimulus could be a combination of factors including: watering it down and making it too small because of Republican resistance, or larding it up with tax breaks that will not provide the necessary kick to the economy; not spending the money in the most efficient ways, the methods that will bring the most bang for the buck; focusing too much on building highways and perpetrating a culture that will undermine efforts to address climate change; and finally, and perhaps most importantly, to try to escape the perpetual quick-fix mentality that has dominated economic, social and corporate  policy for so long

 

Challenges abroad

Other than the challenges at home for Obama the most daunting Challenge is the repair of U.S. image abroad that Obama is finding it severely damaged and obliterated by Bush Administration for their wisdom less approaches. The burning issues on the canvas of foreign policies with regard to Muslims and the World Energy Resources are:

 

Whether or not escalate the War in Afghanistan & Continue the occupation in Iraq and to continue or not the Bush Administration’s warped biased View of How to Approach the Israel-Palestine Conflict

 

In view of the unbelievable economic challenges, U.S. can’t even afford to escalate war in Afghanistan, regardless of moral issues or questions of national interest. But if Afghan war visa vie cooling down stance of terrorism in Pakistan is taken up out rightly; it is asking for a big trouble. Robert Dreyfuss writes that surging troops into Afghanistan, as in Vietnam, “will only provide the Taliban with many more targets, sparking Pashtun nationalist resistance and inspiring more recruits for the insurgency. Tariq Ali says that pacifying the country would require at least 200,000 more troops, beyond the 62,000 U.S. and NATO forces there now, and that it would necessitate laying waste huge parts of Afghanistan. Many Afghan watchers consider the war unwinnable, and they point out that in the 1980s the Soviet Union, with far more troops, had engaged in a brutal nine-year counterinsurgency war — and lost.”

 

Dreyfuss quotes Chas Freeman, president of the Middle East Policy Council and a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia:

 

“We need to recall the reason we went to Afghanistan in the first place. … Our purpose was to deny the use of Afghan territory to terrorists with global reach. That was, and is, an attainable objective. It is a limited objective that can be achieved at reasonable cost. We must return to a ruthless focus on this objective. We cannot afford to pursue goals, however worthy, that it contradicts or undermines it. The reform of Afghan politics, society and mores must wait.”

It is observed that in order to sustain and justify the war in Afghanistan; a planned anarchy has since been induced in Pakistan. It has become now more evident after the Mumbai Massacre drama that joint US- India efforts are ratchet up to declaring Pakistan a terrorist state in order to justify the Afghan war on terror and the terror sanctuaries in Pakistan. The aim is to wilfully implicate Pakistan in Mumbai terror attack and scale down the potency of Pakistan being the sole Islamic power in the area. The possible UN sanctioned imposed may make this state economically a bankrupt and ultimately it be strip off its nuclear assets by force and thus leave it bare in the wake of turmoil, anarchy and mayhem to stagnate and ultimately disintegrate.

 

The other burning issue is to Continue or not the Bush Administration’s warped view of how to approach the Israel-Palestine Conflict, It would be a stretch to imagine President Obama radically altering U.S. policy toward Israel and the Occupied Territories. It’s unlikely that he will ever tout the Palestinians’ right to self-defence, call on Israel to recognize their statehood or mention their need for security, as politicians across the spectrum routinely do when discussing Israel.

 

But in the most powerful state in the world, a modest change of course can have a dramatic effect. For 30 years, before the Bush administration came to power, the United States was seen as being slanted toward the Israeli position on most issues, but not to a degree where it became impossible for it to play the role of a broker in the peace process. That changed when the Supreme Court elected Bush in 2000.

 

Having the United States be at least a minimally honest broker is vitally important for both sides of the conflict. It’s long been the case that public opinion among both Israelis and Palestinians has favoured some sort of deal embracing the concept of “land for peace.”

 

Tragically United States has put unrelenting pressure on the Palestinians to renounce their rejectionists, but next to none on the Israelis. What’s more, by insulating Israel from international condemnation, Washington has essentially given the Israeli majority no incentive whatsoever to rein in its violent fringe. This is a dilemma for endless conflict, and Obama would be unwise to continue it.

 

Conclusion

 

 Knowing the enormity of all such problems and the constraints at hand; it amounts to pinning too high hopes on one single person—Obama? Is this a reincarnation of a Messiah which is poised to reappear in United States in shape of Barrack Obama to deliver the messianic solutions for all the world problems?

 

Any how for sure there is a change ready to dawn on all the horizons. The masses have earnestly desired for a change to see a peaceful and better and a prosperous world. Hope fully the high hopes tied and pinned on one single man Obama are fulfilled and are not dashed. Hopefully the man is allowed to live to deliver a change. Regretfully; earlier on Marten Luther King who dreamt of a ‘change’ was not let to live to see his dreams come true.

——————————-

Love for all, hatred for None

 

Links: http://www.pakspectator.com/world-is-expecting-a-messiah-in-shape-of-obama/

             http://www.dailystar.com.lb/forums/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=13586

 

Noam Chomsky On Gaza

 

 

Noam Chomsky On Gaza – 13.01.2009 – MIT

Noam Chomsky addresses the crisis in Gaza followed by a
question-and-answer session with the audience.
This event was co-sponsored by the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.) Center for International Studies and its Program on Human Rights and Justice.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009, 4pm – 6pm

Part of the CIS Starr Forum
The CIS Starr Forum is a public event series sponsored by the Starr
Foundation of New York. Bringing to the MIT campus leading academics,
policymakers and journalists to discuss pressing issues in the world
of international relations and U.S. foreign policy. Many of the events
are webstreamed. Some of them can also be viewed at MIT World,
MIT’s on-demand video site. CIS Starr Forums are open to the general
public as well as to the MIT community.

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India war deployment details: Pakistan has no choice but to fight

War is inevitable in South Asia. Pakistan has no choice but to fight. Bharati (aka Indian) intransigence and insistence on war mongering will inevitably lead to war which surely will escalate to a nuclear exchange. Bharati insistence on punitive sanctions on Pakistan and a host of boycotts is not reverberating with Washington or London. While both capitals are empathetic to towards Delhi, both capitals are unwilling and unable to take action against Islamabad. Bharat’s military strategy banks on archaic and pre-1998 philosophy does not take into account the new realities in South Asia.

al-khalid_mbt_pakistan_news_01

Pakistan Army is equally strong in armor, capable of giving a fitting response to any Indian military adventure. Main Battle tanks Al-Khalid and Al-Zarrar are the backbone of Pakistan’s armor Corp’s. Both are Pakistan made. Pakistan’s tank armory comprises :five hundred Al-Khalid MBT’s; 320 Al-Zarrar type 85 II MBT’s, 500 Al-Zarrar MBT’s; 450 79II AP (Chinese type 81 upgrade, and 570 T-80 UD MBT of Ukranian make. In addition Pakistan has 880 Type 59, which were procured from China in 1970.This makes a total of three thousand six hundred and twenty tanks. All Pakistani MBT’s except T-59’s have 125 mm smooth barrel guns. Indian armor offensives in Kashmir, Punjab, and Sindh would be effectively challenged by Pakistani armor and mechanized formations, depending on PAF’s ability to keep the skies over the battle areas clear of Indian Air Force. Pakistan Observer. Air Marshal Ayaz A Khan (R)

Bharat has superiority in numbers in aircraft and men. However, there are huge issues with the aircraft. Bharat’s Flying Coffins make up the bulk of the air force and these are unreliable. In a pre-1998 conflict Bharat would utilize  planes to bomb targets. The IAF would then wait for the PAF and then engage it on Pakistani soil and in Bharati air. The would send waves of air craft to disable the PAF. The strategy would be to gain superiority in the air and then take out any army that is advancing towards Bharat to engage the advancing Bharati army.

Air power is likely to play a key, if not a decisive role in any future major or minor India-Pakistan armed conflict. jf-17-thunderThe aim of Indian pre-emptive strikes will be maximum destruction by surprise air attacks, combined with shock commando action. A possibe scenario is; intensive bombing of the target to be followed by attacks by armed helicopters and ground assault by heliborne Commandoes. An overview of Indian Air Force and Pakistan Air Force will help comprehension of IAF’s offensive capabilities, and defensive capabilities of Pakistan Air Force. Indian Air Force has 3000 aircraft including training, transport, helicopters and 800-1000 combat air craft, which operate from sixty air bases, including Farkhor airbase in Tajikistan.. Six hundred IAF’s strike and air defense fighters are expected to be operational. Pakistan Air Force has 630 aircraft, which include 530 combat aircraft, with 400 operational at any time. In 1996 India signed an agreement with Russia for the purchase of 90 Su 30 Mk-1 multi-role fighter-bombers. In 2004 a multi-billion licence was signed for building additional 140. 240 Su30-Mk-1’s were ordered, 120 are already in service. With a maximum speed of Mach 2.3 and range of 8000 Km with refueling and ability to carry tons of conventional munitions and nuclear weapons, it is a lethal and menacing weapon system for the strike and interception role. Other IAF’s advanced strike and combat aircraft are: 51 Mirage-2000 (of Kargil fame), 60 Mig-29’s (for air defense), 250 old Mig-21’s (110 have been refurbished with Israeli help), 47 Jaguars and 70 Mig-27’s for ground attack. 220 LCA Teja’s under manufacture at HAL Bangalore will start entering service in 2010… IAF’s fighter pilots are well trained and have out shone American pilots during joint exercises. Pakistan Observer. Air Marshal Ayaz A Khan (R)

This conventional wisdom has been made obsolete by three factor:

1) Pakistan has a very large of potent arsenal of short, medium, long range and cruise missiles.

2) Pakistan has more than 150,000 reserve soldiers that are trained to go deep into Bharati territory and cause mayhem and chaos in Bharat.

3) Pakistan has a very large inventory of Nuclear Bombs which will surprise many experts.

The Conventional wisdom dictates that Pakistan will respond with planes. This may not be what will actually happen. Pakistan may simply respond to Bharati attacks with missile attacks on Bharati bases of Udhampur (near Jammu)  Leh, Srinagar, Udhampur, Jammu, and Pathankot (total 96 aircraft). Oher targets for Pakistan Hataf 3 and Hataf 4 missiles are the Bharti bases in the Punjab at Amritsar, Adampur 17, Halvara, Chandigarh, Ambala, Bathinda, Sirsa and Suratgarh (Total 332 Aircraft).

http://tubestroker.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/pakarmy1.jpg?w=265&h=223Indian Army has eighteen Corps with 34 Divisions including four Rapid Action Divisions, which would spear head ground offensives. Pakistan Army has ten Corps and twenty five divisions. Indian Army has eighteen Infantry, ten Mountain, three Armored, and two Artillery Divisions. Besides it has five Infantry, one parachute, thirteen Air Defense, and four Engineering Brigades, designated as independent formations. In addition there are two Air Defense Groups, and fourteen Army Aviation Helicopter units. This is a sizeable force, capable of launching major offensives from several fronts. The decentralized command structure will be an advantage, as compared to Pakistan’s centralized Army command organization. Pakistan Army has an active force of 620,000 well trained personnel, with 528000 reservists, and 150000 para-military troops. Pakistan armed forces are seventh largest in the world. Pakistan Army’s doctrine of “Offensive Defense”, evolved by General Mirza Aslam Beg was put to test in 1989 in Exercise Zarb-e Momin. The doctrine is to launch a sizeable offensive into enemy territory, rather than wait for enemy strikes or attacks. In case of Indian land offensive Pakistan Army and Air Force will respond with land and air offensives to gain and hold enemy territory. Before embarking on further offensive, gains shall be consolidated. In 1990 the Central Corps of Reserves was created to fight in the desert sectors , where enemy land offensives are expected. These dual capable formations trained for offensive and holding actions are fully mechanized. Pakistan Observer. Air Marshal Ayaz A Khan (R)

The Shaheens may also land on Rajasthan and Maharshtra. where the Bharti Its fighting units are based at Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Agra, Jodhpur, Uttarlai, Jamnagar and Pune (total 263 aircraft). The Shaheen can also reach Bharat’s two Squadrons of Mirage 2000H at Gwalior which could be a threat to Pakistan (36 aircraft). Within minutes of the strikes against Pakistan 753 of Bhaarti combat aircraft, almost the entire IAF would be in jeopardy.

greyjf17tg8Pakistan Air Force has 200 rebuilt Mirage- 3’s ( for night air defense) and Mirage-5’s for the strike role. They can carry nuclear weapons. They have been upgraded with new weapon systems, radars, and avionics. Additionally the PAF has 42 F-16’s, 150 F-7’s including 55 latest F-7 PG’s. Manufacture of 150 JF 17 Thunder fighters (jointly designed) is underway at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra. The JF -17 Thunder is a 4th generation fly by wire multi-role fighter aircraft. Eight are already in PAF service. An order has been placed with China for the purchase of 36 JF-10, a Mach 2.3 -5th generation multi-role fighter, comparable in performance to the Su-30 Mk-1 with the Indian Air Force. PAF is on Red Alert, and is maintaining full vigil to intercept and destroy IAF intruders. During the recent air space violation, the IAF intruders were in the sights of PAF’s F-16’s, but were allowed to escape unscathed to avoid a major diplomatic crisis. PAF pilots and technicians are well trained, high professionals, who will be able to prove their mettle in the future battle with India. A comparison of Indian Navy and Pakistan Navy reveals that Pakistan Navy could inflict substantial damage to the Indian Navy. Indian Navy has 16 submarines; Pakistan Navy has ten, some are brand new. Indian Navy has 27 war ships, Pakistan Navy has ten. Indian Aircraft Carrier Veerat, will be a menace, and must be sunk by submarine or air attacks, if it attempts to block Pakistan’s sea lanes or ports. Air Marshal Ayaz A Khan (R). Pakistan Observer

Pakistan can also take out the Bharti tanks and infantry of the following Bharti corps:

  • XI Corps at Jullunder,
  • 7th Infantry Division (Ferozepur)
  • 9th Infantry Division (Chandimandir)
  • 15th Infantry Division (Amritsar)
  • 23rd Armoured Brigade
  • 55th Mechanised Brigade
  • two Strike Corps being two Corps and X Corps at Ambala and Bhatinda, respectively.
  • The 2 Corps has 1st Armoured Division, 14th RAPID Division, 22nd Infantry Division and 14th Independent Armoured Brigade while X Corps has the 18th and 24th RAPID Divisions, 16th Infantry Division and 6th Independent Armoured Brigade.

The Pakistani machine is built on missile defense..

Pakistan Army has ten Corps including the newly formed Strategic Corps. The Army has twenty six divisions (eight less than India). Two more divisions were raised as Corps reserves for V and XXXI Corps. Pakistan Army has two armored divisions, and ten independent armored brigades. Presently one hundred thousand troops are stationed on the Pak Afghan border to fight terror. Special Service Group-SSG comprises two airborne Brigades i.e. six battalions. Pakistan Army has 360 helicopters, over two thousand heavy guns, and 3000 APC’s. Its main anti-tank weapons are Tow, Tow Mk II, Bakter Shiken and FGM 148 ATGM. The Army Air Defence Command has S.A- 7 Grail, General Dynamics FIM-92 Stinger, GD FIM Red Eye, and ANZA Mk-I, Mk-II, Mk-III and HQ 2 B surface ti air missiles. Radar controlled Oerlikon is the standard Ack Ack weapon system. The ballistic missile inventory of the Army is substantial. It comprises Ghauri III and Shaheen III IRB’S; medium range Ghauri I and II and Shaheen II, and short range Hatf I- B, Abdali, Ghaznavi, Shaheen I and M -11 missiles. All the ballistic missiles can carry nuclear war heads. Nuclear and conventional weapon capable Babur Cruise missile is the new addition to Pakistan’s strategic weapon inventory. Number of ballistic missiles and war heads are almost the same as India has. So there is a parity in nuclear weapons, which is a deterrent. Pakistan Observer.Air Marshal Ayaz A Khan (R)

Pakistani missiles can also reach:

  • A new naval base that has been built between Mumbai and Cochin at Binaga Bay
  • An advance base at Dwarka.
  • and the Navy’s Missile Boat HQ is at Colaba.

Indian armor is of Russian origin. Out of 2295 Indian Army’s Main Battle tanks, 2235 are of Russian origin. The main battle tanks are; 310 T-90-S Bishsma’s (300 are on order), 1925 T-72M Ajeya’s.. The T-90 and the T-72 have 125 mm smooth barrel guns. T-72 though old is the backbone of Indian Armor Corp’s. 268 Ajeya’s have been upgraded with Israeli Elbit thermal imaging systems. 1000 T-72 MBT’s are awaiting up-gradation. There have been several instances of T-72’s gun barrel bursting. 124 Indian made Arjun (heavy 56 ton) MBT are on order. Sixty Arjun’s are in operational service. Arjun’s engine overheating problem has not been solved. Arjun has a 120 mm gun, but is unfit or desert operations. Pakistan Observer. Air Marshal Ayaz A Khan (R)

Bharati brinkmanship banks on the fact that Pakistan will not use Nuclear weapons and destroy 250 Bharati cities ending life for South Asia. This calculation may be misplaced. Pakistan under attack will use Nuclear weapons.

One must look at the India’s possible deployment vis-à-vis Pakistan, based mostly on the Indians’ Order of Battle (ORBAT) during the 2002 crisis. The Indian Army has five Commands. The Northern Command at Udhampur near Jammu looks after Kashmir, the Western Command, at Chandimandir, looks after Punjab and Rajasthan with the borderline at Bikaner, the Southern Command at Poona looks after Gujarat and Maharashtra, the Central Command at Lucknow has a Strike Corps, including the 31st Armoured Division meant for the western border and the Eastern Command at Calcutta looks after Counter-Insurgency in Assam and the NEFA border with China. The Pakistani Armed Forces essentially face India’s Northern, Western and Southern Commands. India has troops earmarked against Pakistan as Army Reserve in both the Central and Eastern Commands.

The Northern Command consists of three Corps: XV Corps at Srinagar comprising the 19th Infantry Division (at Baramula) and the 28th (Gurais). XIV Corps at Leh comprising 3rd Infantry Division (Leh) and 8th Mountain Division (Nimer). XVI Corps at Nagrota (Jammu) is a Corps plus with five Infantry Divisions, the 10th (Akhnur), the 25th (Rajauri), the 26th (Jammu), the 29th (Pathankot) and the 39th (Yol). It also has three Independent Armoured Brigades, the 2nd, the 3rd and the 16th. There is an Artillery Brigade with each Corps. The 39th Infantry Division and the three Armoured Brigades are engaged in Counter-Insurgency duties and form the Command Reserve. The other Divisions are all deployed at the Line of Control (LoC).

The Western Command consists of three Corps, XI Corps at Jullunder, deploying 7th Infantry Division (Ferozepur), 9th Infantry Division (Chandimandir) and 15th Infantry Division (Amritsar), 23rd Armoured Brigade and 55th Mechanised Brigade, the two Strike Corps being two Corps and X Corps at Ambala and Bhatinda, respectively. The 2 Corps has 1st Armoured Division, 14th RAPID Division, 22nd Infantry Division and 14th Independent Armoured Brigade while X Corps has the 18th and 24th RAPID Divisions, 16th Infantry Division and 6th Independent Armoured Brigade.

The Southern Command consists of the XII Corps (Jodhpur) with 11th and 12th Infantry Divisions deployed at Ahmedabad and Jodhpur and the XXI Strike Corps (Bhopal) with 33rd Armoured, 36th RAPID and 54th Infantry Division. There are three Direct Reporting Units, 30th Artillery Division, which usually moves to Western Command. The 50th Independent Parachute Brigade and 333rd Missile Groups (India’s nuclear artillery unit having Prithvi missiles) are meant to be deployed from the Southern Command Area to Punjab and Rajasthan. During the 2002 crisis some formations moved from the Eastern Command to areas facing Pakistan, 57 Mountain Division, 2nd Mountain Division and 27 Mountain Division.

The Indian Aerospace Forces (IAF) consists of five operational commands, Western Air Command (New Delhi) controlling air operations from Kashmir to North of Rajasthan, Southwestern Air Command located at Gandhinagar controlling air operations from Rajasthan to Maharashtra, Central Air Command at Allahabad, Eastern Air Command at Shillong and Southern Air Command at Trivandrum. Pakistan is primarily concerned with Western Air Command and Southwestern Command, with 8air deployments from the other Commands.

Western Air Command has an Air Operation Group at Udhampur (near Jammu) dedicated to occupied Jammu & Kashmir. Its fighting units are based at Leh, Srinagar, Udhampur, Jammu, and Pathankot (total 96 aircraft). In Punjab its bases are at Amritsar, Adampur 17, Halvara, Chandigarh, Ambala, Bathinda, Sirsa and Suratgarh (Total 332 Aircraft).
Southwestern Air Command was previously under operational control of Western Command, it now controls air operations in Rajasthan and Maharshtra. Its fighting units are based at Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Agra, Jodhpur, Uttarlai, Jamnagar and Pune (total 263 aircraft). To back these Central Air Command has two Squadrons of Mirage 2000H at Gwalior which can be switched to the other Commands facing Pakistan (36 aircraft). Total deployment against Pakistan in 2002 was in excess of 753 combat aircraft, almost the whole of the IAF.

India’s Navy has three Naval Commands. Western Naval Command at Mumbai provides naval defence of the Arabian Sea. A new naval base has come up between Mumbai and Cochin at Binaga Bay, with an advance base at Dwarka. The Navy’s Missile Boat HQ is at Colaba. Eastern Naval Command, is based at Vizagaptam with a submarine base, it provides naval defence of the Bay of Bengal. The Southern Naval Command at Kochi is mainly a training base. Both the Western and Eastern Naval Commands will be involved in operations against Pakistan. Their surface fleet consists of one aircraft-carrier, 7 guided-missile destroyers, 7 guided-missile frigates, 3 frigates, 4 corvettes, 10 large patrol craft, 5 fast patrol boats, 3 fast-attack missile boats and 18 minesweepers. They have 1 nuclear-powered submarine and 13 diesel-powered submarines in service (1 Foxtrot Class, 9 Sindhughosh Class and 3 Shashikumar Class). India’s Naval Air Arm with HQs at Goa consists of a squadron of Jaguars and Sea Harriers each, other than 6 Sea-Kings and 20 Cheetak helicopters. The Jaguar squadron (at Poona) is operated by the IAF.

The Indian Navy, which focuses on anti-ship capabilities with an emphasis on attack submarines, has the capacity to support a multi-service heliborne-cum-para-cum amphibious operation, provided it has adequate air cover. This amphibious capability is built around 304th Army Independent Brigade at Vizagapatam. Their Marine Commando Force (Marcos for short) is based at Mumbai, Cochin and Vizagapatam. The Indian Navy has a heavy lift capacity with 2 new 5,600-ton Magar Class Landing Vessels with 4 Landing Craft Vehicles and Personnel (LCVP). Four Polnochny-class vessels have helicopter platforms. They also have 7 locally built 500-ton Landing Craft Utility (LCU). They also have 11 Cosmos midget submarines of Italian origin that can ride the back of Foxtrot-class submarines.

The Indians can deploy four Strike Corps against Pakistan, one each against the Southern part of Azad Kashmir, Central Punjab, Southern Punjab and one against Sindh. They have the necessary balance to focus their attack in a combination of two or even three corps but time and space dictate they cannot move more than one strike corps on any axis and they have to cater for our counter-offensive. Since no ground offensive is possible in the desert without heavy air cover, their air deployment in 2002 suggested that the focus of their strike corps could well be in the south (Western and Southern Commands). One should expect a combined heliborne, para and/or amphibious operation. Both the Indian Strike Corps, 2 Corps from Western Command at Jaisalmer and 21 Corps at Barmer from Southern Command could be reinforced with additional Divisions from Eastern Command (moving through Jodhpur) and have integral Helicopter Attack Squadrons, Engineer, Artillery and Air Defence Brigades. The deployment of the Army’s Direct Reporting Unit, 30th Artillery Division will give the fulcrum of the lines of attack. Jodhpur in 2002 had a concentration of heavy lift MI-8/M-17 helicopters, supplemented by AN-32s at Agra, Gwalior and Chandigarh. Agra is the peace station for another Direct Reporting Unit, the 50th Independent Parachute Brigade.

With all 3 Armoured Divisions and all 4 RAPID Divisions and at least 2 out of 5 Independent Armoured Brigades concentrated in Rajasthan, the resource allocation makes their offensive targets obvious, along the Jaisalmer-Rahimyar Khan axis or along the Barmer-Mirpurkhas axis, most probably both. They could also possibly attempt helicopter troop transportation/amphibious LST and launch XXI Strike Corps for a link-up. They practiced this in 2002. The area between Badin and Sujawal east of the Indus thus becomes vulnerable. Given Pakistan’s counter-riposte potential this could end up being “a bridge too far.” The Indian Navy cannot blockade Karachi Port with the same impunity they did in 1971, our Exocet-armed Mirages and enhanced submarine fleet will keep them well off-shore, even outside our 200 miles territorial limit. Our Navy would love to get the Indian aircraft-carrier within combat aircraft range.

In 2002 Indians moved Directly Reporting Unit 333rd Missile Group consisting of 3 Prithvi Batteries with 4 launchers each to the border areas. Their two Strike Corps in the Rajasthan Desert (2 and XXI) provide a better target for a possible Pakistan tactical nuclear strike. If at anytime our conventional forces lose ground threatening our North-South communications, we will use the weapons at our disposal.

Pakistan has no desire for war but it may be forced on us. We will certainly have grievous casualties and horrific damage in a conventional war even without a nuclear exchange. Unfortunately, we have no option but to fight.
The writer is a defence and political analyst. Email: isehgal@pathfinder9.com. India’s possible war deployment, Thursday, January 15, 2009 Ikram Sehgal

A Fateh e Mubeen for Hamas in Gaza

 

By A Khokar  

 

Looking at the tepid global reaction to the massacre of the civilians in Gaza, one wonders whether the conscience of the international community is half asleep or is suffering from something called sympathy fatigue.  Hundreds of civilian casualties, incessantly escalating human misery, and with no end in the Israeli military action in sight, even God seems to have abandoned them.  At the same time, it should be said unequivocally that Hamas’ indiscriminate firing of missiles on Israeli cities is a repulsive act. Gaza has turned into hell.  That, alas, seems to be the fate of Muslims in many places. 

 

The U.S. turned Iraq into hell between 2005 and 2006; Pakistan is steadily edging toward becoming a hellish place in the post-9/11 era; and Afghanistan is heading in that direction.  In the Horn of Africa, a similar situation prevails.

 

In the post-9/11 era, the militarily powerful nations have taken it upon themselves to set the “rules of engagement” for wars or war-like violence in Muslim lands, while the extremists are letting loose violence and mayhem from their side.  Iraq had its killing fields between 2005 and 2007, and Afghanistan’s most “fertile” killing fields started in the late 1970s, when the Soviet Union invaded it with a view to incorporating it into the Soviet empire.  Those killing fields continue to multiply in the first decade of the 21st Century.  Lebanon’s killing fields come alive periodically, and—in view of its highly explosive internal dynamics—that country seems at the precipice of witnessing them on a regular basis.  Gaza’s killing fields are getting bloodier by the hour. 

 

The chief victims of this bloody phenomenon are the ordinary people, whose main aspirations are to have productive careers, raise families, and live happily.  But happiness is increasingly becoming a rare commodity.

 

Here is the essence of the problem in many Muslim countries:  The U.S. has decided to wage violence in the name of that awful phrase “global war on terrorism,” which is as meaningless as the “war on poverty.”  Terrorism, like poverty, has been around forever, and no use of military power alone will eradicate it from the face of the earth.  Awful concepts like “regime change,” “pre-emptive war,” and the “war of choice” were applied to Muslim countries.  George W. Bush’s warning, “either you are with us or with the terrorists,” was also largely aimed at Muslim countries. 

 

The United States encountered something called the “Iraqi quagmire,” and almost lost its war in that country until the Sunni Muslims came to its rescue.  The same group (Sons of Iraq) is still crucial for the durability of peace and continued success of America’s “surge” strategy.  A strategy, which was aimed at clearing the hostile territory, by holding it, stationing security forces, and by rebuilding civilian authority and economic development; but that is just one precondition; the other being a systematic inclusion of Sunni Muslims in the governance of Iraq.  Iraq remains a work in progress.  It is likely to return to its instability of 2005-2007, if the Sunnis do not become an important part of its ruling circles.

 

Israel has adopted the same approach—letting loose its military fury—in the name of establishing its “credible deterrence” among Arab nations, especially since it was humiliated by the Hezbollah in the “war” of July-August 2006.  Purely on a force-on-force basis, Israel did not lose that war.  Its mistake was that it established very precise goals of eradicating Hezbollah. To Israel’s bitter resentment, the Hezbollah not only survived, but became an inordinately popular organization in the Arab streets, as well as in Lebanon.

 

It has been a long-established fact that no outside power can institute its credibility inside a country through the use of military force or through occupation alone.  The U.S. has learned that bitter reality after remaining an occupying power in Iraq for the past eight years.  It is likely to face the same fate in Afghanistan.  Israel refuses to learn that lesson as it invades Gaza and remains an occupying power of Palestine.  The gloomiest fact of that occupation is that the mounting toll of Palestinians will create new generations of even more enduring—and even more radical-minded—resistance to Israel than Hezbollah and Hamas have thus far demonstrated.

 

Hamas but have to deny the victory in Gaza to Israel. If Hamas can make Israel suffer another humiliation by putting up a decisive fight in the pitch battle in the streets of Gaza and turn those into enemy grave yard like the one Hezbollah demonstrated in 2006; that is the victory; a Fateh e Mubeen that Hamas may be looking for.

 

Israel seemingly has learnt the Armour war fare lesson not to advance tanks into built up area with out infantry in support. They are carrying out enough of bombardment to soften up the targets before launching a ground attack. Hamas has to articulate and put up a superior tactic that how to isolate the tank from Infantry and make them vulnerable to avail a sure kill. The sure kill of a tank is at 50 meters range which is a tank’s dead blind zone where the dare devil juveniles with rocket launchers may engage the advancing tanks.

 

Hamas knows it well that their demonstration of superior tactics at this stage is vital. That is the only way open to give a victory to Palestinians. Victory of Palestinian in the street of Gaza will also mark the sure end of a haughty oppressor which is planted in the Middle East as an enabling agent by the west with the aim to serve as mother board and an epicentre of all the terrorism in the world.  

 

 

Links: http://www.pakspectator.com/a-fateh-e-mubeen-for-hamas-in-gaza/