Pakistani attacks on NATO tankers deepen US crisis in Af-Pak war

Barry Grey

More than two dozen trucks and oil tankers carrying supplies for the US military offensive against Kandahar in Afghanistan were destroyed in two separate attacks Friday in southern Pakistan. The attacks compounded the crisis for the US and NATO occupation forces arising from the Pakistani government's closure the previous day of a key border crossing.

It is estimated that 80 percent of supplies to US, NATO and allied occupation forces in Afghanistan, including 50 percent of fuel, passes through Pakistan.

The Khyber Pass route that connects Peshawar in northwest Pakistan and Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan was closed to NATO supply convoys in response to two US air attacks on Pakistani military posts Thursday that killed three Pakistan Frontier Corps troops and wounded three others. Washington is continuing to justify these attacks, carried out by helicopter gunships inside Pakistan in flagrant violation of Pakistani territorial sovereignty, as “self-defense”.

These attacks followed US helicopter strikes on the Pakistan side of the border the previous weekend that killed an estimated 55 Pakistanis. Last month the US sharply increased its use of CIA drones to fire missiles on alleged Taliban and Al Qaeda targets in Pakistan’s tribal regions, launching 20 or more such attacks in September.

Failed Washington-Sponsored Ecuadorean Coup Attempt

Stephen Lendman

Sept. 30: A police officer demonstrates next to a bonfire during a protest of
police officers and soldiers against a new law that cuts their benefits at a
police base in Quito, Ecuador. (AP)

Post-9/11, Washington sponsored four coup d'états. Two succeeded - mostly recently in Honduras in 2009 against Manuel Zelaya, and in Haiti in 2004 deposing Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Two others failed - in Venezuela in 2002 against Hugo Chavez, and on September 30 in Ecuador against Rafael Correa - so far. Two by Bush, two by Obama with plenty of time for more mischief before November 2012.

From his record so far, expect it. He continues imperial Iraq and Afghanistan wars and occupations. In addition, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, Lebanon, North Korea, and other countries are targeted, besides deploying CIA and Special Forces armies into at least 75 countries worldwide for targeted assassinations, drone attacks, and other disruptive missions.

More than ever under Bush and Obama, America rampages globally, Ecuador's Raphael Correa lucky to survive a plot to oust (or perhaps kill) him. September world headlines explained, including by New York Times writer Simon Romero headlining, "Standoff in Ecuador Ends With Leader's Rescue," saying:

"Ecuadorean soldiers stormed a police hospital Thursday night in Quito where President Rafael Correa was held by rebellious elements of the police forces, and rescued him amid an exchange of gunfire...."

AlJazeera explained more in an article headlined, "Ecuador declares state of emergency," saying:

Coup plotters shut down airports, blocked highways, burned tires, and "rough(ed) up the president." They also took over an airbase, parliament, and Quito streets, the pretext being a law restructuring their benefits, despite Correa doubling police wages.

In fact, Washington's fingerprints are on another attempt against a Latin leader, some (not all) of whose policies fall short of neoliberal extremism.

Construction fever

Khalid Amayreh

Israeli triumphalism at the ending of a temporary ban on settlement construction contrasts with the muted, and confused, Palestinian and Arab response, writes Khalid Amayreh from the occupied territories.

With the Arab world and Palestinian Authority seemingly caught in a spiral of weakness and vacillation, and the Obama administration unwilling or unable to pressure Israel, the Israeli government has allowed anti-peace Jewish settlers to embark on all-out drive to build as many settler units as possible.

The audacious move came hours after a 10-month moratorium on settlement expansion expired Sunday night, 26 September.

Gleeful celebrations continued for hours as settler leaders and government officials delivered speeches with bulldozers, concrete mixers and other construction equipment in the background. During the celebrations, thousands of balloons were released into the air, signifying the number of units settlers intend to build.

With nearly all restrictions on settlement expansion now removed, the settlers, with the explicit backing of the government, are vowing to "compensate" for the 10-month hiatus by intensifying settlement construction to an unprecedented degree.

Settler leaders say they intended to build "tens of thousands of units" in addition to opening new roads and other forms of infrastructure which will require the seizure of large swathes of Palestinian land.

Wake Up, America!

Philip Giraldi

Let us suppose for a moment that an individual enjoying the full confidence and trust of the United States government was given access to the most secret information possessed by the US military, to include how it would react to an attack by an aggressor armed with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Let us further suppose that that individual violated his trust in the most egregious and vile fashion, offering to sell the information to anyone, but eventually settling on a nation ostensibly friendly to the US but not in any way a formal ally. The individual then proceeded to deliver defense secrets literally by the carload, not only information that might plausibly have been construed as relevant to the buyer’s own security, but also strategic defense information that could conceivably have led to the deaths of millions of American citizens. That information was then bartered and re-sold to an enemy who was in a position to use it to devastate the United States, together with sources and methods information on intelligence operations that in short order led to the deaths of many American citizens and also foreigners who had been cooperating with the United States.

Let us further suppose that the individual who stole the secrets was eventually caught because the sheer volume of what he was stealing was detected in spite of the indolence and incompetence of his superiors and he was convicted and imprisoned for life. In the damage assessment made after the arrest, it was determined that the espionage had been the most devastating ever experienced by the United States of America, both in volume and in the sensitivity of the information that had been betrayed.

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