Saturday, April 15, 2017

Hey BBC, Here are some Other Things to know About Kashmir

The BBC has a story about the death of a 12-year old in Srinagar that sums up the situation in the valley with the following "Five things to know about Kashmir."

  • India and Pakistan have disputed the territory for nearly 70 years - since independence from Britain
  • Both countries claim the whole territory but control only parts of it
  • Two out of three wars fought between India and Pakistan centred on Kashmir
  • Since 1989 there has been an armed revolt in the Muslim-majority region against rule by India
  • High unemployment and complaints of heavy-handed tactics by security forces battling street protesters and fighting insurgents have aggravated the problem.
That is not enough!

Anyone who wants to understand why Kashmir is the way it is, must also understand the following:

  • Britain deliberately created the dispute over Kashmir when they split India in 1947 to establish Pakistan; the aim was to prevent reconciliation.
  • The first war between India and Pakistan was in 1947, when the armies on both sides were still commanded by British officers. While it was going on a British officer established the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the spy agency that has effectively controlled Pakistan ever since.
  • Pakistani Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan who got rid of the British General commanding the country's Army in January 1950 and signed a peace pact with India, was assassinated in October the same year.
  • In 1988, President Zia al Haq of Pakistan and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India tried to make peace and were close to signing an agreement on Kashmir when the former was killed when his aircraft exploded in mid-air. Three years later, Rajiv Gandhi was also assassinated.
  • It is important for the British to keep the Kashmir situation boiling because it gives them the leverage over Pakistan necessary to maintain control of Afghanistan, source of 90 per cent of the world's illicit opium and heroin. Only about 2 per cent of the $60 billion annual revenue from that drug trade stays in the region; the rest is siphoned into British banks.
  •  Those banks control the global money laundering economy through a string of some 70 "tax havens," most of them in small former British colonies. That money laundering system supports every terrorist group in the world. The so-called "Islamic terrorists" who have spread out from South Asia and the Middle East to Africa protect the routes along which Britain ferries drugs to major markets. 
It is necessary to keep all that in mind in trying to understand the tragic unnecessary death of a 12-year old in Kashmir. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

UN's Guterres Avoids Truth About Terrorism

In a wide-ranging talk to the annual gathering of the world's top security officials at Munich, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres seemed to go out of his way to avoid telling the truth about global terrorism. 

He repeatedly referred to "fragile States," the multiplication of conflicts, their inter-relationship and "root causes" without once mentioning drug trafficking, money laundering and their role in shaping the disastrous terrorist conflicts ravaging the world. 

 There was no mention of the multi-trillion dollar illicit drain of funds from developing countries, a problem the African Group, and more recently the Group of 77 has specifically asked him to address. The only reference to illicit drain of resources was in answer to a question from the audience.

The inter-linkages he did mention were those between the "global mega-trends" of "climate change, population growth, urbanization, many times chaotic urbanization, food insecurity, water scarcity, massive movements of people." He pointed to "dramatic consequences, namely the competition for resources, increasing the probability of conflicts to take place and generating dramatic humanitarian situations."

The avoidance of the truth about the international situation was particularly vivid when he noted that the wealth of the eight richest men in the world equaled that of the poorest half of humanity. That comparison by the British charity OXFAM neatly directs attention away from those who run the global black market with its command center in London's financial district. The illicit flow of funds from developing countries is estimated at over $7 trillion in just the first decade of the 21st Century. Read More

Donors Not Giving to UN Haiti Cholera Fund

Donors have not been eager to fund the UN's belated effort to fight the cholera epidemic in Haiti brought to the island by a contingent of troops sent to help following the devastating earthquake of 2010. Only two percent of the needed $400 million has been raised, according to a letter UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has sent to all member States.

So far, Chile, France, India, Liechtenstein and South Korea have together contributed about $2 million to the UN fund, while Canada and Japan have donated $7 million bilaterally. Guterres asked member-states in the letter to notify the United Nations by March 6 if they intend to contribute to the fund. "Should resources not materialize, a multi-funded solution would have to be explored," the letter said. What exactly that means is not clear.