Meet the Taliban leader Obama wants to release from Guantanamo

As Michael notes, the Obama administration wants to open peace talks with the Taliban and reward them before they even come to the table by releasing senior Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo Bay. Fox News reports that a senior U.S. official has confirmed that “Mullah Mohammed Fazl is among the prisoners being considered for release.”


I remember watching older college friends mastering the Pinochle deck, and then later becoming pretty good myself.

Four-handed Pinochle, pitting opposing pairs of players against each other, was the most popular version, but I soon learned the far more personal three-handed variety as well. The latter involved each player working just for himself; inevitably, this led to two teaming up against the player in the lead…for the time being at least. I recall my late father, of blessed memory, getting upset with me and my younger brother over this. We tried to explain that it was nothing personal…but to no avail.

Keep this in mind as we proceed.

As promised, President Obama has pulled all American troops out of Iraq before the end of the year…for good or for bad. Washington’s war in Mesopotamia is now officially over.

I’ve written lots about this subject over the decades, and my work has been showcased in scores of analyses in print and web publications all over the world. Some examples include the heavily Nobel Laureate-sponsored, Fall 1981 academic journal, Middle East Review ; inclusion on the recommended reference list of Paris’s acclaimed Institut d’Etudes Politique (Sciences-Po); my interview in The Kurdistan Tribune; analyses in the Kurdistan Regional Government’s own publication; dozens of op-eds in web publications such as, the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria, and others as well; major print newspaper articles; etc. and so forth.

Before continuing, for the reader new to Iraqi politics, a review of the following sample articles should prove to be useful. I’ll start out with the latest, before this current analysis, and then provide several earlier op-eds from different sources as well…

Iraq: What Not To Do …

State Department Math …

Why The Double Standards? …

Who Won’t Be Making Jokes About WMD …

What’s Your Plan B ? …

Okay, enough of the background stuff…let’s move on.

The power-sharing plan in Iraq’s post-Saddam, American-backed federal games gave representatives from each of the three major religious and ethnic blocks key positions in government—Shi’a Arabs, Sunni Arabs, and Kurds.

To no one with functioning neurons’ surprise, no sooner did America exit the scene, there was a return to an upsurge in sectarian violence. Scores of Shi’a were recently blown apart by Sunni suicide bombers.

At the same time that the above was happening, the Sunni Vice President, Tariq al-Hashemi, had taken refuge in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in the north—a guest of Iraq’s President, and one of the two main Kurdish leaders, Jalal Talabani. The Shi’a Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, accused him of orchestrating hit squads against Sunni enemies.

As I’ve written often before, if ever there was a counterpart to the now extinct non-nation nation of Yugoslavia, Iraq is it.

Millions of diverse peoples who hated each other were brought together after the break-up of empires in the wake of World War I. And just as the glue which held together the former was manifested in a powerful, feared dictator (Marshal Tito), the same held true for decades in Saddam’s Iraq. When Tito passed on from Earth, Yugoslavia’s days as a unified state were numbered. Likewise, I wouldn’t place bets on the long-term unity of Iraq with Saddam now gone either…short of massive outside intervention, once again, to further others’ interests.


The evil of small minds has triumphed over all that is good intellectually and morally at Harvard.

Professor Diana L. Eck is a supporter of smooth-talking radical Islamist Tariq Ramadan, whom she describes [1] as “one of Europe’s deepest and most articulate Muslim thinkers… one of the most powerful exponents of a reformist, self-critical, spiritual and dialogical Islam.” She is also a defender of Boston’s notorious Roxbury Mosque [2] (whose former and current trustees, mullahs, and congregants have known ties to terrorism and to preaching violence). Now she has successfully led the pack against Professor Subramanian Swamy. Last year, in December, he was dismissed [3] after twenty years at the summer school on the basis of an op-ed piece [4] he wrote in an Indian newspaper about the obvious and growing danger of Islamic terrorism in India, including the 2008 and 2011 jihadic massacres in Mumbai.


With Russia’s announcement that it will build a new 100 ton intercontinental ballistic missile – apparently pursuing its own nuclear modernization program — the Cold War, it seems, has returned. Russia is building a system with the ability to quickly add hundreds of new warheads to its inventory. And it is conveniently placing the blame on Washington for a continued nuclear “arms race.” This accusation helps both the Kremlin and the American critics of US military modernization by adding yet more leverage against any US efforts at nuclear modernization.

The whole idea of “arms control” has been to reduce warheads to make the early use of nuclear weapons in a crisis unlikely. During the height of the Cold War, however, the former Soviet Union would repeatedly justify its nuclear missile modernization programs as a response to American missile programs, and echoing the American critics of our own nuclear deterrent program who portray the United States as the serial aggressor and Moscow as the aggrieved party.

Out of that concern was born what was then called the “nuclear freeze.” If the United States stops its nuclear weapons programs, it was argued, the Soviets will follow suit. But, as one skeptic, former US Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, wryly noted, “We build, they build. We stop, they build.”


Yes – and I’m sure they’re going to promise to be good little boys and not kill Americans ever again.

The Guardian:

The US has agreed in principle to release high-ranking Taliban officials from Guantánamo Bay in return for the Afghan insurgents’ agreement to open a political office for peace negotiations in Qatar, the Guardian has learned.

According to sources familiar with the talks in the US and in Afghanistan, the handful of Taliban figures will include Mullah Khair Khowa, a former interior minister, and Noorullah Noori, a former governor in northern Afghanistan.

More controversially, the Taliban are demanding the release of the former army commander Mullah Fazl Akhund. Washington is reported to be considering formally handing him over to the custody of another country, possibly Qatar.

The releases would be to reciprocate for Tuesday’s announcement from the Taliban that they are prepared to open a political office in Qatar to conduct peace negotiations “with the international community” – the most significant political breakthrough in ten years of the Afghan conflict.

The Taliban are holding just one American soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, a 25-year-old sergeant captured in June 2009, but it is not clear whether he would be freed as part of the deal.

“To take this step, the [Obama] administration have to have sufficient confidence that the Taliban are going to reciprocate,” said Vali Nasr, who was an Obama administration adviser on the Afghan peace process until last year. “It is going to be really risky. Guantánamo is a very sensitive issue politically.”


Political theories and Jewish realities

What would have been the reaction of the British left if Adolf Hitler had been victorious in 1940 and successfully conquered the United Kingdom?

Clement Attlee and the Labour Party leadership would have undoubtedly fought on the beaches and the landing grounds. Its members would have joined the resistance or fled to Canada to establish a government-in-exile. They would never have surrendered. But what would have been the approach of the Communist Party of Great Britain?

How would British communists have coped with the albatross of the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact between the Nazis and the Soviets around their necks? Would they have adopted the French model when the Nazis marched into Paris – and merely distributed leaflets? Was armed resistance forbidden in 1940?

Would British communists – as did their Czech counterparts – have regarded the German invasion forces as simply fellow-workers in uniform, with whom their British counterparts should fraternise?

Stalinists, Trotskyists, colonial nationalists, revolutionary Marxists; the fate of the Jews was not at the top of the agenda

One common rationale for the Nazi-Soviet pact was that Stalin was buying time to build up his forces in the event of an inevitable German invasion. Others have suggested that Stalin was waiting for the antagonists to exhaust themselves so that the Red Army could march into Western Europe – and “liberate” the working masses.

What would have happened if the Nazis had eventually come for the Jews in Britain in 1940? Was their fate ultimately inconsequential in the greater scheme of things? Was their sacrifice in the short term a sad necessity so that the Soviet Union might live? Would British communists have remained inactive out of a rigid loyalty to the USSR and therefore supported Stalin’s pact with Hitler? On the other hand, would the anti-fascist inclinations of both Stalinists and Trotskyists have propelled them to do something to save Jews?


RECALLING PROJECT DANIEL THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR THREAT TO ISRAEL LEGAL REMEDIES AND REMAINING OPTIONS    On January 16, 2003, the private  Project Daniel Group  first advised then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons. Our detailed final report,[1] which contained  substantial legal as well as strategic recommendations, urged the Prime […]

PROF. LOUIS RENE BERES ON OSLO IN 1993 Israel and the Vulture  A vulture was hacking at my feet. It had already torn my boots and stockings to shreds, now it was hacking at the feet themselves. Again and again it struck at them, then circled several times restlessly round me, then returned to continue its work. A gentleman passed by, looked […]


Court orders Google and Facebook to remove all anti Islamic content

Social websites including Google and Facebook have been ordered by an
Indian court to remove all ‘anti-religious’ and ‘anti-social’ content
within six weeks.

On Saturday a Delhi Court ordered 22 social networking sites,
including Yahoo and Microsoft, to wipe the objectionable and
defamatory contents and file compliance reports by February 6, 2012.

Additional Civil Judge Mukesh Kumar passed the order on a suit filed
by Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi seeking to restrain the websites from
circulating objectionable and defamatory contents.

Qasmi had objected to a number of images on the websites which he
complained would cause ‘irreparable loss and injury to the people who
are offended by them’.

Historically, before the Arabs fabricated the Palestinian people as an exclusively Arab phenomenon, no such group existed.
Countless official British Mandate-vintage documents speak of ‘the Jews’ and ‘the Arabs’ of Palestine – not ‘Jews and Palestinians.’ Ironically, before local Jews began calling themselves Israelis in 1948 (the name ‘Israel’ was chosen for the newly-established Jewish state), the term ‘Palestine’ applied almost exclusively to Jews and the institutions founded by new Jewish immigrants in the first half of the 20th century, before Israel’s independence.
Some examples include:
� The Jerusalem Post, founded in 1932, was called the Palestine Post until 1948.
� Bank Leumi L’Israel was called the “Anglo-Palestine Bank, a Jewish Company.”
� The Jewish Agency – an arm of the Zionist movement engaged in Jewish settlement since 1929 – was called the Jewish Agency for Palestine.
� Today’s Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1936 by German Jewish refugees who fled Nazi Germany, was called the “Palestine Symphony Orchestra,” composed of some 70 Palestinian Jews.
� The United Jewish Appeal (UJA) was established in 1939 as a merger of the United Palestine Appeal and the fundraising arm of the Joint Distribution Committee.
Encouraged by their success at historical revisionism and brainwashing the world with the ‘Big Lie’ of a Palestinian people, Palestinian Arabs have more recently begun to claim that they are the descendants of the Philistines, and even the Stone Age Canaanites. Archeologists explain that the Philistines were a Mediterranean people who settled along the coast of Canaan in 1100 BCE. They have no connection to the Arab nation, a desert people who emerged from the Arabian Peninsula.
As if that myth were not enough, Arafat claimed that “Palestinian Arabs are descendants of the Jebusites” displaced when King David conquered Jerusalem. He also argued that “Abraham was an Iraqi.” One Christmas Eve, Arafat declared that “Jesus was a Palestinian.” Here, he was correct, but left out a very important part – Jesus was a Palestinian Jew!
Contradictions abound, Palestinian leaders claim to be descended from the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Jebusites and the first Christians. They also co-opt Jesus and ignore his Jewishness, at the same time claiming the Jews never were a people and never built the Holy Temples in Jerusalem.
The problem is that a stateless Palestinian people is a fabrication. The word Palestine is not even Arabic.