South Africa “Joined at the Hip” to Cuba
If President Obama's handshake with Cuban dictator Raul Castro is news, Castro's featured presence at the Nelson Mandela memorial service and what the South African government said about him are equally newsworthy. South Africa was described as "joined at the hip" to Cuba and in its debt for "liberation."
Yet, this part of the memorial service has been carefully edited out of most of the "mainstream media" coverage of the event.
The service was organized and orchestrated by officers of the African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party of South Africa which operates as a front for the South African Communist Party. Baleka Mbete, ANC chairperson, introduced Raul Castro's speech by saying, "Comrades, we will now get an address from a tiny island-an island of people who liberated us, who fought for our liberation in Cuito Cuanavale-the people of Cuba."
Cuito Cuanavale refers to the foreign intervention of thousands of Cuban military troops on behalf of communist Angolan government forces in Africa under the guidance of Soviet military officers during 1987 and 1988. This was a critical time when communist forces backed by the Soviet Union, Cuba and China were determined to crush the non-communist pro-freedom movement UNITA (The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola).
As part of his effort to turn the tide against communism in Africa and elsewhere, the "Reagan Doctrine," President Ronald Reagan strongly supported UNITA and its leader, Jonas Savimbi.
In the end, the communists solidified control of Angola, assassinated Savimbi (shot 15 times, twice to the head and once to the throat), and then took over Namibia and South Africa as the white population-fearing extinction in the face of the onslaught-made deals with the communists.
Mandela, in commemorating the 20th anniversary of the battle in 2008, referred to it as "a turning point for the liberation of our continent and my people." This helps explain why the Cuban regime is held in such high regard by the South African government. The ANC and SWAPO (the South West Africa People's Organization) communists in Namibia greatly benefitted from the Cuban imperialistic intervention. Of course, Mandela's communist movement also enjoyed the support of Libya and the PLO.
After Raul Castro's speech, during which he highlighted Mandela's visit to Cuba to meet with and thank Fidel Castro, ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa said, "Thank you President Castro. We thank you for all the support and help that we continue to get from the people of Cuba during our years of struggle, and our countries continue to be joined at the hip in the areas of development..."
AIM noted in our column about current South African President Jacob Zuma that he traveled to Cuba in 2010 to receive the top Communist award from Raul Castro himself. Zuma also told a meeting of young communists in South Africa, "Work begins today in earnest to improve the quality of life of all our people and to build Cuban-style patriotism and internationalism within our ranks."
Of the 6 "foreign dignitaries" listed on the official Mandela memorial service program as giving a tribute to Mandela, five are known Marxists: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (a former terrorist herself); Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao; Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba; Cuba's Raul Castro; and of course President Obama. The other speaker was President Pranab Mukherjee of India, described as a "close friend" of Marxists in India who has "remained a friend" of the Communist Party of India during his political career and leadership in the United Progressive Alliance. Indeed, he has been labeled a "communist agent." The Indian delegation to the memorial service included Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
Earlier in the memorial service, Andrew Mlangeni, identified as a Mandela "family friend," spoke on Mandela's behalf. Now considered an "elder statesman" in the ANC, he had studied "military science" and "guerrilla theory" in China. The Stephen Ellis book, External Mission, confirms that Umkhonto we Sizwe, which became the military arm of the ANC, was launched by the South African Communist Party after negotiations with Chinese Communist mass murderer and dictator Mao Tse-tung. The cover of the book, which also reveals that the East German secret police trained the ANC's security personnel, shows a photograph of Mao Tse-tung meeting with SACP leader Yusuf Dadoo, a Muslim Indian South African communist.
Mandela ran Umkhonto we Sizwe, which carried out violence and terrorism, and he went to prison as a result. He was never a "political prisoner." He refused to renounce violence in order to be released early. He could have been hanged for his conviction for terrorism.
Although Mandela is being widely praised for his spirit of "forgiveness" and "reconciliation," the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), led by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, was never fully accepted as a legitimate partner and actor in South African politics by Mandela's ANC. The IFP advocated the abolition of apartheid, or racial segregation, but refused to engage in violence and terrorism against innocent people. It also had an anti-communist orientation.
"The armed struggle, and Inkatha's refusal to engage it, had driven a wedge between our organizations," Buthelezi says. "Propaganda against me and Inkatha was rife and there were many attempts on my life."
But the U.S. government under Obama is in complete support of the South African government and provides an estimated $500 million a year in foreign aid to the regime.
The United States ambassador to South Africa, former Democratic Party operative and radical organizer Patrick Gaspard, recently announced that American taxpayers would provide an additional $100,000 in U.S. government funding for the purpose of the "preservation of documents" relating to Mandela. The money was given to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, the official home of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. This is the same group offering a poster featuring a quotation of Mandela under an image of communist murderer and Castro henchman Che Guevara.
In supporting South Africa, the U.S. is supporting Cuba. Obama's handshake with Castro only confirms this fact.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Family Security Matters.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Times of India.
Bangladesh halts execution of Islamist leader convicted of war crimes
DHAKA, Bangladesh: A senior judge on the Bangladesh supreme court halted the scheduled execution of an opposition leader until at least Wednesday as his attorneys sought a new review of the case, a defence lawyer said.
The execution of Abdul Quader Mollah, convicted of war crimes, had been scheduled to take place at one minute past midnight on Tuesday. However, defence lawyers went to the home of judge Syed Mahmud Hossain and sought a postponement, said Sazzad Ali Chowdhury.
"We have got that order," Chowdhury said. "Now, the execution will remain halted until 10.30am on Wednesday," he said.
Chowdhury said the postponement meant they could now file a petition with the Supreme Court to review the verdict.
The execution would be the first in special trials begun by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010 of suspects accused of crimes during the nation's war of independence against Pakistan in 1971. The government says Pakistani soldiers, aided by local collaborators, killed 3 million people and raped 200,000 women during the nine-month war.
Inspector general of prisons Mainuddin Khandaker had said Mollah, of the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party, would be hanged shortly after midnight at Dhaka's Central Jail.
Deadly clashes have followed court verdicts against six other current and former officials of the Islamic party, an ally of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, and extra police were stationed in the capital to head off any violence. Paramilitary guards were on standby across the country as well.
Mollah's party and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party say the trials are politically motivated in an attempt to weaken the opposition. International human rights groups have raised questions about the impartiality of the tribunal. Authorities have denied the allegations.
On Monday, New York-based Human Rights Watch urged the government to halt Mollah's execution.
Mollah was found guilty by the special tribunal in February and sentenced to life in prison. The supreme court then changed the penalty to a death sentence in September, triggering deadly clashes and a nationwide general strike.
Junior law minister Quamrul islam said prison authorities read the death warrant to Mollah on Tuesday afternoon and asked him if he wished to seek presidential clemency but he did not seek that.
Little slow on the uptake, chaps?
The story comes from The Telegraph.
We must look after our allies east of Suez
It is now more than 40 years since Denis Healey, the Labour defence secretary at the time, ordered the withdrawal of British forces located east of the Suez Canal in a futile attempt to balance the government’s books.
If few could dispute the economic imperative that necessitated a dramatic reduction in Britain’s global presence, the decision came as a particularly cruel blow to the Gulf Arabs, most of whom cherished their long-standing ties with Britain which, in many cases, dated back to the early 19th century.
With London no longer able to protect them, the Americans quickly filled the void, and the arrival of the US 5th Fleet – which today has more warships than the entire Royal Navy – to take over the Bahrain naval base vacated by British forces in 1971 aptly symbolised our humiliating retreat from empire. Until recently, the Pax Americana has admirably served the Gulf region’s interests, whether protecting it from the threat posed by the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein or the more sinister designs of the ayatollahs menacing the Arab regimes from the opposite shores of the Gulf.
But, thanks to the Obama administration’s woeful disregard for the concerns of its erstwhile allies, the entire future of the Western alliance’s relationship with the Gulf region is now under threat.
Looking back, the rot set in nearly three years ago, when President Barack Obama unwisely backed the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, the ruler of Egypt, despite the fact that Mr Mubarak had been a staunch Western ally for more than three decades. If Mr Obama could blithely turn his back on a trusted ally such as the Egyptian president, then what guarantees did other pro-Western Arab regimes have that Washington would stand by them in their hour of need?
More recently, last month’s interim agreement between the US and Tehran in Geneva over Iran’s controversial nuclear programme has exacerbated tensions further. The result is that many leading Arab states, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are now seriously considering whether they should ditch their long-standing ties to Washington, and look elsewhere for more reliable allies, an opportunity Russia’s Vladimir Putin is only too eager to exploit.
This deepening sense of betrayal by the Obama administration was very much in evidence at last weekend’s annual Manama Dialogue regional conference in Bahrain, which is organised by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. Despite attempts by Chuck Hagel, the US defence secretary, and William Hague to reassure the Gulf states that the West still had their interests at heart, a succession of leading Arab politicians questioned whether they could any longer trust the Americans to support their cause.
This was particularly true of the Bahraini royal family, which, having provided the US Navy with a vital operating base for more than four decades, now finds itself under almost daily assault from Iranian-backed agitators who take their orders from the very same ayatollahs Washington is negotiating with on the nuclear issue.
As Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al-Khalifa, Bahrain’s foreign minister, explained to me: “You do not need to reassure us; you need to listen to us, because we know Iran well.”
Clearly, Bahrain would welcome any deal that prevents its intimidating neighbour from acquiring an atom bomb. But it has other concerns, too, such as ending Iran’s open support for the terrorist groups that are trying to destabilise the kingdom, as well as many other Arab states, including Saudi Arabia.
Indeed, the Saudis were even more forthright, with Nizar Madani, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, stating bluntly: “Gulf countries should no longer depend on others to ensure their safety.” There was little doubt who he meant by “others”.
The alarming breakdown in trust between Washington and Arab leaders has certainly not escaped Moscow’s attention, with Russia intensifying its efforts to move into countries that for decades have been stalwart American allies. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudis’ formidable intelligence chief, has recently made several visits to Moscow, and last week held talks with Mr Putin on resolving the Syrian crisis and the Iranian issue. Last month, meanwhile, Russia sent a high-level delegation to Cairo, where the recently installed military authorities are in no mood to take any more lectures from Mr Obama on how to run their country.
Russia still has much ground to make up if it is seriously to challenge decades of Western hegemony in the region, but the prospect of Mr Putin increasing his control over Europe’s primary source of energy supplies is not a thought that inspires confidence.
Mr Hague, for one, is certainly aware of the pitfalls of this dangerous tilt towards Russia, and spoke eloquently in Bahrain about his determination to deepen Britain’s ties with the Gulf on the basis of “mutual understanding”. Apart from the prospect of negotiating a £20 billion arms deal, plans to revive Britain’s military presence east of Suez, which are currently being given serious consideration by Downing Street, would be a welcome demonstration that Britain, at least, cherishes its historic ties to the Gulf.
Certainly, if the Obama administration is not up to the job of looking after its friends, then Britain should do the job for it.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Afghan police rescue woman from Taliban stoning
KUNDUZ: Police in a remote northern Afghan village rescued a woman from being stoned to death after she was condemned by the Taliban for allegedly cheating on her husband, officials said Tuesday.
Taliban militants, who often run informal justice systems in rural Afghanistan, handed down the death penalty on the woman after her husband accused her of having an affair.
“When police rescued her, she was locked in a room in a compound that was used as a Taliban base,” Sayed Sarwar Hussaini, police spokesman for Kunduz province, told AFP.
He said the rescue operation in the village, a militant stronghold, was launched after the woman's relatives told police the Taliban had sentenced her to death.
The husband, a supporter of the Islamic insurgent group, handed her over to the militants on Friday.
The incident happened in Dasht-i-Archi district of Kunduz, a province where the Taliban have had an active presence in recent years after they were ousted from power nationally in 2001.
“The Taliban were preparing to stone her when the police reached the compound. The Taliban ran away and the woman was rescued. She's now in police protective custody,” Hussaini said.
Enayatullah Khaleeq, a spokesman for the Kunduz provincial administration, confirmed the rescue and gave a similar account.
“Her husband was with the Taliban. He had divorced his wife and, perhaps to justify this, he accused her of cheating on him and wanted to get her killed by the Taliban. We are investigating this,” Khaleeq told AFP.
The Taliban, the biggest militant group behind a 12-year insurgency in Afghanistan, implemented a harsh version of Sharia law during their rule of Kabul between 1996 and 2001, stoning women to death and chopping off thieves’ hands.
In July last year a 21-year-old woman was stoned to death in a Taliban-controlled village just 60 kilometres (35 miles) north of Kabul, sparking international condemnation.
The story comes from The Long War Journal.
US drones kill 3 AQAP fighters in eastern Yemen
The US killed two al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operatives in a drone strike today in an eastern province in Yemen where the terror group has stepped up its activities.
The remotely piloted strike aircraft fired several missiles at a vehicle as it traveled in the Al Qutn area of Hadramout, Reuters reported. The identity of those killed was not disclosed; a Yemeni intelligence official told the news agency that the bodies were burned beyond recognition.
The target of today's strike was not disclosed. No senior AQAP commanders or operatives are reported to have been killed at this time. AQAP has not released a statement on the attack.
Today's strike is the first reported in Yemen since Nov. 19, when three AQAP fighters were killed in the Ghayl Bawazir area of Hadramout.
Hadramout is the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden's family, and the province has become an AQAP bastion over the past several years. In May, the Yemeni government claimed it foiled a plot by AQAP to establish an Islamic emirate in the Ghayl Bawazir area.
In 2012, the US stepped up drone strikes against AQAP in Hadramout. Prior to May 2012, there were zero US drone strikes in the province. From mid-May until the end of 2012, the US launched seven attacks in Hadramout. Seven of the 42 drone strikes in Yemen in 2012, or 17%, took place in the province. And so far this year, five of the 24 strikes in Yemen, or 21%, have occurred in Hadramout.
Background on US strikes in Yemen
Today's strike is the first in Yemen since AQAP penetrated security at Yemen's Ministry of Defense in Sana'a. The suicide assault resulted in the deaths of 52 people, including foreign doctors and nurses, and 11 AQAP fighters. AQAP claimed that the assault
targeted the US-run "operation rooms" for the drone program in Yemen.
The US has launched 24 drone strikes in Yemen so far this year. Despite an uptick of activity at the end of July and into the second week of August, the pace of the strikes has decreased since last year. In 2012, the US launched 42 drone strikes in Yemen against AQAP and its political front, Ansar al Sharia. The previous year, the US launched 10 drone and air strikes against the al Qaeda affiliate. The strikes are being reduced as the US government is facing increasing international criticism for conducting the attacks in both Yemen and Pakistan.
Between July 27 and Aug. 10, the US launched nine strikes in Yemen, but no drone strikes were reported for seven weeks prior to July 27. The spike in attacks from the end of July to mid-August was related to an al Qaeda plot that was uncovered by US officials. The plot's discovery led the US to close down more than 20 embassies and diplomatic facilities across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The plot involved AQAP emir Nasir al Wuhayshi, who now also serves as al Qaeda's general manager.
Although six senior AQAP operatives, including the group's deputy emir, Said al Shihri, were killed in strikes in Yemen in 2012, the group's top leadership cadre remains intact. In July, AQAP confirmed that al Shihri, a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, was killed; he is thought to have died or been seriously wounded in a strike in October 2012.
The US has targeted not only senior AQAP operatives who pose a direct threat to the US, but also low-level fighters and local commanders who are battling the Yemeni government. This trend was first identified by The Long War Journal in the spring of 2012 [see LWJ report, US drone strike kills 8 AQAP fighters, from May 10, 2012]. Obama administration officials have claimed, however, that the drones are targeting only those AQAP leaders and operatives who pose a direct threat to the US homeland, and not those fighting AQAP's local insurgency against the Yemeni government.