Sunday, March 05, 2006

Highlights 5th March 2006

Turkish movie on Iraq stirs controversy

Serdar Akar's Valley of the Wolves: Iraq, a highly controversial Turkish film, was released on Feb. 3. One month after its first screening, the movie has drawn hundreds of thousands of viewers, breaking box-office records in Turkey. But it has also become a target to harsh criticism, amid claims labeling it as anti-American and anti-Semitic. Starring American actors Billy Zane and Gary Busey, the film starts with a real incident which took place on July 4, 2003 in military headquarters northern Iraq. Eleven members of the Turkish special forces, the only ones present at the place, were evacuated from the headquarters at gun point by American soldiers, with hoods on their heads. This was considered as a national humiliation by Turkey, a longtime NATO ally of the US. In the film, the protagonist Polat Alemdar, a very well-trained Turkish intelligence agent, receives a letter from the first lieutenant of the eleven soldiers who committed suicide after the humiliating incident. Alemdar goes to Iraq to avenge the humiliation, but discovers the shocking reality of the violent military actions the US troops were conducting in the country....more in the Morocco Times

Considering bin Laden's Truce

First of all, it's incredibly shameful that it takes the fear of getting our white asses blown off to compel us to even consider the withholding of our contributions to the commission of mass atrocities. Nobody knows how many innocent people we've slaughtered in Afghanistan, but it's well into the thousands. In Iraq, it's likely gone past 200,000 by now. This is in addition to the unknown scores of thousands maimed and tortured, and the future generations still to be poisoned by our toxic weaponry and radiological munitions, and blown up by our unexploded bomb-lets. We ought, in other words, to consider not taking part in the commission of mass atrocities because, uh, you know, it's not very nice to take part in the commission of mass atrocities. That it'd also save us getting our asses blown off is, to be sure, a nice little bonus. (As is bin Laden's claim that the Muslim world will rebuild the war-torn countries on its own, without seeking reparations.)...more in Eat The State!

Bin Laden called himself a 'prophet', says millionaire

A Pakistani millionaire held at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay testified that he met Osama bin Laden twice, and that the al-Qaida leader called himself “a prophet.” The testimony of New York Institute of Technology graduate Saifullah Paracha, whose son has been convicted in New York of aiding terrorists, came as part of thousands of pages of transcripts released on Friday by the Pentagon due to a successful Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by The Associated Press. Paracha testified in English, opening his testimony with a joke about a doctor, an engineer and a politician. He said he owns seven businesses, including a news agency, a construction agency and a manufacturing company in Pakistan and travel agencies in New York, Chicago, Washington and San Francisco. In 1999, Paracha said, he met bin Laden in Afghanistan. The following year, he returned to Afghanistan to interview bin Laden for his news agency, Universal Broadcast Ltd. “He delivered (preached) the Koran, and said he was a prophet,” Paracha said. “He said very nice things, very impressive.”..more in Evening Echo

The China Threat

Does China need to be contained? Well, it shakes hands with any lunatic from Khartoum to Harare to Yangon in search of vital raw materials; unfettered, of course, by ethical limitations. In return, it builds military-related infrastructure in such states to perpetuate a symbion of tyranny. Beijing's rapid inroads into such nations augur enormous human rights implications for subjects of satellite states, and a security nightmare for people of neighboring nations. For oil, platinum, gold and manganese, it will sell arms and weapons of information control like the "Great Firewall" to keep such people subdued. It is true that China does not normally interfere in the internal affairs of other nations. It does something better. Satellites states are used to stir up trouble in a targeted, neighboring nation. If India calls for a return to democracy in Nepal, you have China right at Katmandu’s doorstep, fresh with discounted arms sales and military-related infrastructure development. And who is King Gyanendra up against? Maoist rebels, impoverished and hardened by the wanton misuse of power in their nation. Ideology can always be dumped for the wealth of ruling dictatorships anywhere. China is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and it can veto uranium supplies to any nation. Indirectly, satellites states can get their hands on them. Beijing had tacitly helped develop the North Korean and Pakistani nuclear and missile programs. The Iranian Shahab-3 is reportedly similar to the North Korean Nodong missile and Tehran's nuclear program got a massive boost from the A.Q. Khan network. All uranium trails lead to Beijing. And so do missile blueprints.....more in Counter Current

China, India and the land between

Consider, for instance, the diplomatic way in which India successfully inserted itself into the East Asian Community unveiled last year in Kuala Lumpur, which China had originally envisaged as its own exclusive preserve. China has been busy in recent years sewing up strategic partnerships with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members that include elements of security cooperation and agreements that ensure they do not take sides in any conflict with China. For its part India has started flexing its military muscle and offered to help patrol the Malacca Strait, ostensibly to ward of terrorist and pirate attacks. China in turn has rather neatly entered into the South Asian power equation. At last November's South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit, China enlisted help from Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan to force India to accept China as an observer and dialogue partner in the regional body....more in Asia Times Online


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