Redrawing the map of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan: Independence for the Balochi people
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali: Ten days after he chaired a Congressional committee’s hearing on Balochistan, Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher Friday (2/17) introduced a concurrent resolution in the congress, calling for an independent state for the Balochi people living in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. The resolution said “the people of Balochistan that are “currently divided between Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan, have the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country and they should be afforded the opportunity to choose their own status among the community of nations, living in peace and harmony, without external coercion.” Read More
Security of Israel: How many lives, money and political sacrifices does
the United States have to make ?
By Syed R. Mahmood: The security of the United States and Israel depends on the friendly relationship with the 1.5 billion Muslims around the globe. Israelis cannot count on American unconditional support forever and the United States cannot fight for Israeli security. The United States needs to have an even-handed policy in the Middle East. Israel has to change its behavior. A stick, which does not bend, is going to break. Read More
US Congressional hearing on Balochistan/dismemberment of Pakistan
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali: The subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing on Wednesday (2/8/2012) to discuss the target killings and human rights situation in Balochistan and termed it a matter requiring urgent attention. Perhaps the most important testimony was of retired Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters, the creator of the 2006 New Middle East map that showed a truncated Pakistan. In his article accompanying the map – Blood Borders: How a better Middle East would look - published in the Armed Forces Journal in June 2006, he argued that Pakistan is an unnatural state and a natural Pakistan should lie entirely east of the Indus, except for a westward spur near Karachi. His Wednesday testimony was buildup on his New Middle East map with truncated Pakistan as he said “Pakistan’s borders make no sense and don’t work.” Read More
Syrian repression, the Chinese-Russian veto, and U.S. hypocrisy
By Stephen Zunes: As the Syrian regime continues to slaughter unarmed civilians, the major powers at the United Nations continue to put their narrow geopolitical agenda ahead of international humanitarian law. Just as France shields Morocco from accountability for its ongoing occupation and repression in Western Sahara and just as the United States shields Israel from having to live up to its obligations under international humanitarian law, Russia and China have used their permanent seats on the UN Security Council to protect the Syrian regime from accountability for its savage repression against its own citizens. Read More
Afghanistan: A hippie trail or a graveyard?
By Abdulateef Al-Mulhim: Now, the Americans want to leave Afghanistan after 10 years of continued war that crossed the border to Pakistan. Wars always get wider. We all remember Operation Menu in 1969. The US had to cross borders from Vietnam to Laos and Cambodia. And to this day nothing is accomplished except the division between the east and west. Read More
Why Israel fears a nuclear Iran?
By Dr. Robert Dickson Crane: The Israeli concern about Iran becoming a nuclear power is that a nuclear-armed Iran would eliminate the Israeli nuclear deterrent as its only security against conventional attack. As long as Israel can wipe out all the major cities in the Middle East, Israel is impregnable. If Iran can wipe out Israel, it would be foolhardy for Israel to wipe out anyone. Such a standoff would reduce the Middle East to a strong Israeli conventional force against the combined conventional forces of half a dozen Arab countries, plus Turkey and Iran, perhaps reinforced by both Russia and China. This would eliminate the Israeli option someday to drive all the Palestinians out of Palestine. Read More
The Syrian elites are united against a divided opposition
By Stephen Zunes: The Syrian pro-democracy struggle has been both an enormous tragedy and a powerful inspiration. Indeed, as someone who has studied mass nonviolent civil insurrections in dozens of countries in recent decades, I know of no people who have demonstrated such courage and tenacity in the face of such savage repression as have the people of Syria these past 10 months. The resulting decline in the legitimacy of Bashar al-Assad’s government gives hope that the opposition will eventually win. The question is how many more lives will be lost until then. Read More
Who are the Syrian Sunnas?
By Prof. Arthur Kane Scott: Today, the Free Syrian Army opposition forces are gathering position and strength in the suburbs of Damascus. The great fear however still remains that the collapse of Bashir’s regime will trigger sectarian violence of the same fury which engulfed Iraq in 2006. One can only hope that when Bashir does resign that the Sunna majority, especially the Islamic Brotherhood, will exercise the restraint essential to building a civil society in dialogue with other Syrian segments: Christians, Kurds, Alawites, Druzes, Shiia’s, so that chant within the Syrian street for “freedom” can be realized in the noblest tradition of Islam; namely, peace, surrender and unity. Read More
Anti-Muslim rhetoric by the Republican presidential hopefuls
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali: In the post-9/11 America, anti-Islam and anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate has become commonplace and increasingly acceptable in political and civic discourse. Anti-Islam and anti-Muslim rhetoric or Islamophobia is no longer questioned, even by our elected representatives. During 2011 there was phenomenal rise in anti-Islam and anti-Muslim rhetoric particularly by the Republican Party politicians. As the 2012 election nears, some Republican presidential hopefuls and congressional candidates have clearly opted to try to win votes by denigrating Islam and disparaging Muslims. Read More