Ankara inks power pact with Tehran over US objections

ANKARA: Turkey on Tuesday signed an agreement with neighboring Iran for joint power-production projects despite US pressure against investment in the Islamic Republic.

Energy Minister Hilmi Guler played down US discontent with flourishing energy cooperation between its NATO ally Turkey and Iran, saying more agreements would be concluded in the coming days.

“The signing [of agreements] will continue. Our efforts are continuing,” Guler told a joint news conference with his Iranian counterpart Parviz Fattah after the two signed the power-production deal.

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War pimp alert: US knew Musharraf planned to institute emergency rule: report

Pakistan no longer has the protection of being a Commonwealth’s member.  Is this the prelude to an American military intervention in Pakistan?(Travellerev) 

The Bush Administration knew that Pakistani strongman Pervez Musharraf planned to institute emergency rule but did not act or speak out about the plan, according to officials with knowledge of the discussion who spoke anonymously in Friday’s Wall Street Journal.

“In the days before the Nov. 3 announcement, the general’s aides and advisers forewarned U.S. diplomats in a series of meetings in Islamabad, according to Pakistani and U.S. officials,” the paper said.

Because the US response was “muted,” Pakistan interpreted American silence as a green light to instituting martial law, quickly deposing an intransigent Supreme Court, which had ruled against the general in the past.

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War pimp allert: Israeli sky-hack switched off Syrian radars countrywide

Backdoors penetrated without violence

Published Thursday 22nd November 2007 13:57 GMT

More rumours are starting to leak out regarding the mysterious Israeli air raid against Syria in September. It is now suggested that “computer to computer” techniques and “air-to-ground network penetration” took place.

The latest revelations are made by well-connected Aviation Week journalists. Electronic-warfare correspondent David Fulghum says that US intelligence and military personnel “provided advice” to the Israelis regarding methods of breaking into the Syrian air-defence network.

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Aviation Week‘s sources apparently said that the first move in the raid was a combined bombing and electronic attack on a Syrian radar site near the Turkish border, which allowed Israeli warplanes to fly in undetected. It seems that there was also some use of old-school brute force jamming.

So far, so conventional. However, Fulghum’s unidentified Pentagon contacts also said that after the Israelis crossed into Syrian airspace, US sensors in the region noted that the whole Syrian radar system “went off the air” for some time while the main raid on the Dayr as-Zawr facility (believed to have been a nuclear plant of some kind) went ahead.

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French prosecutors throw out Rumsfeld torture case

Cheney calls Sarkozy, Sarkozy calls the prosecutor’s office, et voila, “customary” immunity. Ah, merde!!   

PARIS (Reuters) – The Paris prosecutors’ office has dismissed a suit against Donald Rumsfeld accusing the former U.S. defense secretary of torture, human rights groups who brought the case said on Friday.

The plaintiffs, who included the French-based International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH) and the U.S. Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), said Rumsfeld had authorized interrogation techniques that led to rights abuses.

The FIDH said it had received a letter from the prosecutors’ office ruling that Rumsfeld benefited from a “customary” immunity from prosecution granted to heads of state and government and foreign ministers, even after they left office.

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War pimp alert: US steps up plans for military intervention in Pakistan

In the midst of public statements of support for “democracy” in Pakistan and the recent visit to Islamabad by the American envoy John Negroponte, Washington is quietly preparing for a stepped-up military intervention in the crisis-ridden country.

According to the New York Times Monday, plans have been drawn up by the US military’s Special Operations Command for deploying Special Forces troops in Pakistan’s frontier regions for the purpose of training indigenous militias to combat forces aligned with the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Citing unnamed military officials, the newspaper reports that the proposal would “expand the presence of military trainers in Pakistan, directly finance a separate tribal paramilitary force that until now has proved largely ineffective and pay militias that agreed to fight Al Qaeda and foreign extremists.”

American military officials familiar with the proposal said that it was modeled on the initiative by American occupation forces in Iraq to arm and support Sunni militias in Anbar province in a campaign against the Al Qaeda in Iraq group there.

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More than half of Afghanistan ‘under Taliban’

By Kim Sengupta

Published: 22 November 2007

 

More than half of Afghanistan is back under Taliban control and the Nato force in the country needs to be doubled in size to cope with the resurgent group, a report by the Senlis Council think-tank says. A study by the group found that the Taliban, enriched by illicit profits from the country’s record poppy harvest, had formed de-facto governments in swathes of the southern Pashtun belt.

The Afghan government and its Nato allies strongly deny the Senlis version of what is taking place in the country and say the extent of alleged Taliban control – 54 per cent – is a major exaggeration. In particular, British troops in Helmand have, in recent months, recovered territory lost to the Islamist group.

But senior defence sources say that a lack of frontline combat forces has meant that areas clawed back from the Taliban often cannot be held and have to be retaken after costly and fierce fighting. There is also an acknowledgement that the dangers on the ground have meant that aid efforts are being stymied.

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All private security firms must close: Afghanistan

KABUL (AFP) – Authorities in Afghanistan want to close down all private security firms operating in the country, many of them illegally, President Hamid Karzai’s office said.

About nine unlicensed companies have already been shut down in a crackdown that has been under way in Kabul for weeks, according to city police.Under the constitution “only the Afghan government has the right of having and handling weapons, so private companies are against the constitution,” the president’s spokesman Siamak Hirawi told AFP late Wednesday.

A cabinet meeting Monday argued that the dozens of private security firms were illegal and a source of criminality.
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