Since the capture of Osama Bin Laden few hundred meters away from Pakistan Military Academy in what can only be described as a fortress, all kinds of questions have been raised about the ISI. The idea that the ISI was involved with OBL was the first to be carelessly thrown around. Then there were questions about ISI’s competence.
While giving closed-doors briefing to the House members, CIA director Leon Panetta told lawmakers “either they were involved or incompetent. Neither place is a good place to be.” Neither is necessarily true.
While its certainly embarrassing that OBL was found in Pakistan and that too so close to a sensitive military complex (the ISI feels the same way too) questioning the agency’s competence is still a stretch. The suggestion that ISI is incompetent or worse, complicit is completely ludicrous.
The compound where OBL was found was on the ISI’s radar and raided in 2003 (while still under construction) in search of Al-Qaeda operative Abu Faraj al-Libi, but nothing turned up then. Since then that compound fell off the radar and wasn’t on the CIA’s radar either till 2010.
Lets take a look back at how exactly was the most wanted man in the world found. Al-Qaeda member Abu Ahmad al-Kuwaiti was the man who led the US forces to OBL. However, Al-Kuwaiti proved to be a very difficult man to find. The name first appeared when Hassan Ghul, an Al-Qaeda operative, was arrested in Iraq by Kurdish Police. Ghul later became one of CIA’s ghost prisoners. He was not taken to Guantanamo Bay, but instead was allegedly interrogated by the CIA in a Pakistani Prison.
Another crucial lead in identifying Al-Kuwaiti came through the interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad aka KSM. Now it should be noted that KSM was captured by the ISI in Rawalpindi and handed over to the US.
KSM is as hard a man as they come. He was waterboarded nearly 200 times and that still didn’t break him. KSM routinely gave interrogators false information. When questioned, he admitted knowing a man who went by the name of Al-Kuwaiti but denied he had anything to do with Al-Qaeda.
Another high ranking Al-Qaeda official also totted a similar line. Abu Faraj al-Libi, caught by the ISI in 2005 is said to have replaced KSM as Al-Qaeda’s third in command. While being interrogated by the US, Al-Libi admitted that an Al-Qaeda courier informed him that he was to replace KSM but but denied knowing al-Kuwaiti so strenuously CIA figured he must be important.
The CIA learned more about Al-Kuwaiti through the ’20th Hijacker’, Muhammed Mani al-Qahtani. He told interrogators that he received computer training from Al-Kuwaiti to securely contact his handlers when he went to the US. He of course never made it to the US and was deported. He went to Afghanistan and remained in direct contact with OBL in Kandahar. He too was arrested by the ISI in 2001 and handed over to CIA within 12 days.
These are the four men, 3 of them high value Al-Qaeda operative caught by the ISI, which led to Osama Bin Laden. If it hadn’t been for work the ISI did, OBL would still be out there and the US should not forget that fact.
Or maybe ‘instances’ of awareness. The Sun is larger and is billions of years old. The mass (the electrons too) that makes up the sun has, you know, been twisting and turning inside of it. Arranging itself in all kinds of patterns. Maybe at one instant the arrangement of electrons, their flow, their energies and path was exactly the same as that of a person. At that instant the Sun would have thought its a rabbit or Osama bin laden or any other random self aware being.
Maybe even the sun is continuously self aware – has a personality and shit
Of course this is all speculation and the odds of it happening …. well I cant really say what those odds are. I thought I’d share that thought with you all – Any thoughts?
What does a first time parent know about raising a child. NOTHING – you learn as you go which obviously is not very efficient.
When our parents were growing up the house hold used to be much larger. Almost always more than one family was under a roof and even if that wasnt the case for our generation, our parents atleast had lived in households where the young were being taken care of together by the larger family unit.
I am talking about the simple things – how to keep a child from breaking stuff for instance or eat things he picks up from under the carpet?? Do you yell at the child – slap em a few times – try to talk them?? How do you handle children who still cant talk yet?? etc etc
When I was growing up, when my grandmother was still alive, that was a great help to my mother. My younger cousins growing up didnt have that and they are kinda brats if you know what I mean.
I cant say its the parents fault. They got no help – they have to figure it out as they go and thats not easy. Throughout the ages the parents and the grandparents raised the young. The work force now it would seem is cut in half.
Educated and financially well off parents, great people on every account
– but raising children just doesn’t come with a manual.
Too many women try to be the timid little creature men demand them to be – God forbid they ever realize that they have such a thing as libido that God gave them, they’ll magically become sluts!!
I’ll tell you a secret. The power of men – of this society that men control. You know why ‘getting rape’ is referred to so often as ‘izat lotana’ ( roughly translating as disgracing yourself )??
Its because men forbade woman from accepting libido – to the point that all sexual thoughts were considered immoral. But libido exists and you cant deny the sexual drive … so women instead fantasized about rape because then they would have lived up to the moral standards men demand of women.
That is why women are blamed when rape actually occurs. That is why women have been inferior in society for centuries. Men and women are not allowed to be equal – that control has been maintained through conditioning. So fucking brilliantly was this control established that one can hardly even tell what part of being a women is natural and what is the conditioning.
Because women continued to be the timid little creatures men demand them to be – they stayed inferior.
A common mis-conception I’d like to address.
Men arent naturally the bread winners. They are the bread owners. Lemme explain – in pre-historic societies, WOMEN gathered the bulk of the food. The most men did was fought with men of other communities – War!!
Agriculture came and then the women worked the field and the men owned the field ( and still fought men of other communities ).
Women were the actual bread winners for the most part of human history – the problem is that men had them subjected to their will. They appointed themselves leaders when there was no property and owners when that concept was introduced.
Men define what is acceptable and gullible women have for centuries upon centuries have gobbled up the crap we fed them to make sure they stayed subservient.
Come to think of it – if men were able to pull of that trick for so many centuries – maybe we are superior.
So anyway – men and women arent going to equal for quite some time to come.
Not untill the millenniums of conditioning can be undone.
Dr Aric Sigman says websites such as Facebook set out to enrich social lives, but end up keeping people apart.
Dr Sigman makes his warning in Biologist, the journal of the Institute of Biology.
A lack of “real” social networking, involving personal interaction, may have biological effects, he suggests.
He also says that evidence suggests that a lack of face-to-face networking could alter the way genes work, upset immune responses, hormone levels, the function of arteries, and influence mental performance.
This, he claims, could increase the risk of health problems as serious as cancer, strokes, heart disease, and dementia.
Dr Sigman maintains that social networking sites have played a significant role in making people become more isolated.
“Social networking is the internet’s biggest growth area, particular among young children,” he said.
“Social networking sites should allow us to embellish our social lives, but what we find is very different. The tail is wagging the dog. These are not tools that enhance, they are tools that displace.”
Dr Sigman says that there is research that suggests the number of hours people spend interacting face-to-face has fallen dramatically since 1987, as the use of electronic media has increased.
And he claims that interacting “in person” has an affect on the body that is not seen when e-mails are written.
“When we are ‘really’ with people different things happen,” he said.
“It’s probably an evolutionary mechanism that recognises the benefits of us being together geographically.
“Much of it isn’t understood, but there does seem to be a difference between ‘real presence’ and the virtual variety.”
Dr Sigman also argues using electronic media undermines people’s social skills and their ability to read body language.
“One of the most pronounced changes in the daily habits of British citizens is a reduction in the number of minutes per day that they interact with another human being,” he said.
“In less than two decades, the number of people saying there is no-one with whom they discuss important matters nearly tripled.”
Dr Sigman says he is “worried about where this is all leading”.
He added: “It’s not that I’m old fashioned in terms of new technology, but the purpose of any new technology should be to provide a tool that enhances our lives.”
Is it me or did the frequency of terrorist attacks on Pakistan decrease significantly following attacks on Mumbai??
Compared to lets say the mid of 2008 – compared to frequent attacks in Major cities of Pakistan. I’d say it is down. But thats conjecture. One could just go through newspapers since the Mumbai attacks and check the statistics for the time before to come to a definitive answer!!
Wikipedia lists terrorist attacks for each year & each month – It probably doesnt have a complete list but it works just fine to make an estimate. If there are terrorist attacks missing – there are probably about the same number of attacks missing from that list after Mumbai attacks as there are before them!! So what does this list say??
Since Mumbai attack 54 people have been killed in in 75 days.
On the other hand in 30 days prior to Mumbai attacks 57 people were killed.
Even adjusting for a margin of error thats pretty damning evidence. Frequency of terrorist attacks in Pakistan decreased by half after the Mumbai attacks.
“Economic development makes democracy possible” asserts the U.S. State Department’s Web site, subscribing to a highly influential argument: that poor countries must develop economically before they can democratize. But the historical data prove otherwise. Poor democracies have grown at least as fast as poor autocracies and have significantly outperformed the latter on most indicators of social well-being. They have also done much better at avoiding catastrophes. Dispelling the “development first, democracy later” argument is critical not only because it is wrong but also because it has led to atrocious policies-indeed, policies that have undermined international efforts to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the developing world.
Countries often remain poor precisely because they retain autocratic political structures believe that a development-first strategy perpetuates a deadly cycle of poverty, conflict, and oppression.
Development Indicators from 1960 to the present, reveal a simple truth: low-income democracies have, on average, grown just as rapidly as low-income autocracies over the past 40 years. Outside of eastern Asia (about which more will be said later), the median per capita growth rates of poor democracies have been 50 percent higher than those of autocracies.
Moreover, because 25 percent of the worst-performing authoritarian regimes, including Cuba, North Korea, and Somalia, have failed to document their performance, the growth shortfall for autocracies is even larger than the available data indicate.
People in low-income democracies live, on average, nine years longer than their counterparts in low-income autocracies, have a 40 percent greater chance of attending secondary school, and benefit from agricultural yields that are 25 percent higher. The latter figure is particularly relevant because some 70 percent of the people in poor countries live in the countryside. Higher levels of agricultural productivity mean more employment, capital, and food. Poor democracies also suffer 20 percent fewer infant deaths than poor autocracies. Development practitioners should pay particularly close attention to these figures because infant-mortality rates capture many features of social well-being, such as prenatal health care for women, nutrition, quality of drinking water, and girls’ education.
Since 1960, poor autocracies have experienced severe economic contractions (falls of 10 percent or more in annual GDP) twice as often as poor democracies. Seventy percent of autocracies have experienced at least one such episode since 1980, whereas only 5 of the 80 worst examples of economic contraction over the last 40 years have occurred in democracies. Consider Chile. Although often touted as a model of autocratic growth for its 13 years of economic expansion during Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year rule, Chile also suffered two acute economic crises during this time: a 12 percent decline in GDP per capita in the mid-1970s and a 17 percent contraction in the early 1980s. It took until the mid-1980s for Chile to sustain a per capita income level higher than that of 1973, the year Pinochet seized power.
Poor democracies have, on average, not run higher deficits over the past 30 years than poor autocracies. Similarly, both poor democracies and poor autocracies spend almost the same on education and health. Democracies have just used their resources more effectively. Not coincidentally, low-income democracies typically score between 15 to 25 percent stronger on indices of corruption and rule of law than do autocracies.
87 largest refugee crises over the past 20 years originated in autocracies, and 80 percent of all internally displaced persons in 2003 were living under authoritarian regimes, even though such systems represented only a third of all states.
Poor countries fall into conflict often-about one year in every five since 1980. But poor democratizers fight less frequently than do poor authoritarian nations. In sub-Saharan Africa, where most civil conflict has occurred recently, countries undergoing democratic reform have experienced armed conflict half as often as the norm in the region.
Poor democracies outperform authoritarian countries because their institutions enable power to be shared and because they encourage openness and adaptability.
Although exceptional cases exist, it is the preponderance of experience that should guide development policy. And the overall evidence is overwhelming: poor democracies have had a consistent development advantage over poor autocracies over the past 40 years.
All in all, then, democracies present an enormously powerful set of institutions that propel development. The more representative, transparent, and accountable those governmental processes, the more likely policies and practices will respond to the basic priorities of the general population.
Published in the dominant Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtu, the textbooks were developed in the early 1980s under an AID grant to the University of Nebraska-Omaha and its Center for Afghanistan Studies. The agency spent $51 million on the university’s education programs in Afghanistan from 1984 to 1994.
During that time of Soviet occupation, regional military leaders in Afghanistan helped the U.S. smuggle books into the country. They demanded that the primers contain anti-Soviet passages. Children were taught to count with illustrations showing tanks, missiles and land mines, agency officials said. They acknowledged that at the time it also suited U.S. interests to stoke hatred of foreign invaders.
“I think we were perfectly happy to see these books trashing the Soviet Union,” said Chris Brown, head of book revision for AID’s Central Asia Task Force.
AID dropped funding of Afghan programs in 1994. But the textbooks continued to circulate in various versions, even after the Taliban seized power in 1996.
Officials said private humanitarian groups paid for continued reprintings during the Taliban years. Today, the books remain widely available in schools and shops, to the chagrin of international aid workers.
“The pictures [in] the texts are horrendous to school students, but the texts are even much worse,” said Ahmad Fahim Hakim, an Afghan educator who is a program coordinator for Cooperation for Peace and Unity, a Pakistan-based nonprofit.
An aid worker in the region reviewed an unrevised 100-page book and counted 43 pages containing violent images or passages.
The military content was included to “stimulate resistance against invasion,” explained Yaquib Roshan of Nebraska’s Afghanistan center. “Even in January, the books were absolutely the same . . . pictures of bullets and Kalashnikovs and you name it.”
During the Taliban era, censors purged human images from the books. One page from the texts of that period shows a resistance fighter with a bandolier and a Kalashnikov slung from his shoulder. The soldier’s head is missing.
Above the soldier is a verse from the Koran. Below is a Pashtu tribute to the mujaheddin, who are described as obedient to Allah. Such men will sacrifice their wealth and life itself to impose Islamic law on the government, the text says.
Taliban – “Students”
I bet even the Taliban would be shocked if they knew whose “students” they really are and who taught them Jihad.
Well because it kills Muslims ….
A total of 2396 terrorist incidents occurred across the world during the said period, thereby killing a total of 4204 people and injuring 7614.
The country worst hit by terrorism, no surprise, is Iraq with 857 attack in 2007. The country ranked second worst hit was Afghanistan and third was Pakistan.
Figures compiled by the country’s elite intelligence agency show that Pakistan suffered 28 suicide attacks during the first eight months of 2008, killing over 471 people and wounding 713 others, including innocent civilians as well as the armed forces personnel.
On the other hand, the war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq, despite facing a higher digit of suicide bombings during the same period, underwent lesser number of human losses. Available figures show there were 42 incidents of suicide attacks in Iraq between January 1 and August 31, 2008, claiming 463 lives, besides wounding 527 others.
In contrast, 436 people were killed and 394 injured in 36 suicide attacks that took place in Afghanistan during the same period.
Thats only till August. In the days following the publication of the above article, Marriott was attacked. The figures on civilian toll of terrorism are incomplete & often contradictory. But what they are more than everything else, are horrifying.
The problem of Islamic Terrorism, plagues Muslims – Not the west. Its Muslims that are blown to bits. Muslim Families destroyed, body parts scattered.
This is the true face of Islamic Terrorism.
While as of yet I havent been able to find the transcript of Musharraf’s lecture in Michigan – I have read in many news sources that he said something to the effect that use of force is no solution to terrorism. His exact quote I still dont have and that is why I reserve my anger.
Till I can read what he said in its context. I dont want to get worked up over nothing.
While I dont have a transcript I do have quotes. He was quoted as equating terrorism to a tree. Saying that fighting terrorism is like plucking trees off a tree only to have them grow back. Thats something he has been doing since the war on terror was first waged.
Also in the US, the outgoing president has called the Iraq war a mistake. David Milliband went a little further and called the entire war on terror a mistake.
Better late than never?? Maybe so but why does my blood boil thinking of all the dead who ended up paying the price for these “mistakes”. Whats worst is that the world didnt learn a thing from these mistakes!!
The US went to war in Vietnam over a lie. You’d think after the cost of that war the US would be more weary of lies told by their government. Clearly not, the Iraq war was started on a lie.
The people of Pakistan didnt learn anything either. Wasnt it a dictator when we started meddling for the first time in Afghanistan & placed the seeds of extremism in theirs and our soil. We let another dictator lead us again into Afghanistan in a war that soon spilled over into our borders.
We didnt learn. Gallup confirms that we didnt. After the disaster that was the Musharraf era, trust within the Pakistani people has fallen for all institutions with the exception of religious institutions. If I had to guess, I’d guess the people dont mean the religious institutions that brainwash the youngsters of our nations to blow up the people of our nation indiscriminate of age or sex.
But then which other religious institutions?? Did we accidently take the trust in God and placed it with religious institutions?? Well that would be odd. Any organized religious institution I can think of has been a force for destruction, barring few exceptions.
Maybe we did learn. Maybe the decreased trust in every other social and political institution ( like democracy and even the Army ) has pushed us into giving the religious institutions a chance. Imagine Maulana Diesel becoming the president of Pakistan – but wait – we dont like democracy. Hmm – make that ‘Supreme Leader’ of Pakistan. That’ll be the day …
- ISI and How Osama Bin Laden was found (not caught)
- Self Awareness
- Parenting is not easy.
- Libido Exists
- Online networking ‘harms health’ – BBC
- Terrorism in PK – Post Mumbai
- Democratic Chicken and the Economic Egg
- Jihad – Brought to you by the University of Nebraska
- Do you know why they call it Islamic Terrorism??
- 10 Year Old “Divorced Woman”
- Why the Taliban Just wont Die