ESA, European Space Agency (Paolo Twiting from Space)

Subdivision Tips, South Australia (C: +61431138537), https://www.facebook.com/RealEstateSA5000/

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Netanyahu tried to kill K. Mishal in 1977!



Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal gives a speech during the funeral procession for Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Damascus January 31, 2010. The Hamas commander killed in Dubai was targeted by Israel for his role in smuggling "special weapons" to the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Islamist group said on Sunday. Israel's government declined official comment on the January 20 death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, which Hamas on Friday announced as an assassination. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST OBITUARY) RELIGION)

Netanyahu tried to kill Khalid Mishal in 1977!
The assassination of Hamas operative Mohammed Abdul Rauf Al-Madbouh in Dubai on January 20, 2010 adds to the long list of high profile assassinations by Israeli MOSSAD and Syeret Maktal (Death Squad) usually carried out with the cooperation and assistance of the local police, MI-6 or CIA agents. These are:

1. Egyptian Nuclear Scientist Sameer Najeeb, Deteroit, 1967
2. Wael Zuaiter, Rome, PLO representative, Oct. 1972
3. Kamal Adwan, Khlil Al-Wazeer, Al-Najjar, (PLO leaders) Beirut, April 1973
4.Dr Basil Al-Kubaisi, an Iraqi mathematician, PFLP representative in Paris, 1973
5. Dr Yahia Al-Mashad, Egyptian Nuclear Scientist, Paris June 13, 1980
6. Dr Saeed Badr, Rocket Engineer, Alexandria, Egypt, June 1988
7. Khaleel Al-Wazir and family, (PLO Leader) Tunis, 1988
8. Dr Gerlad Bull, Canadian citizen, Trajectory Expert, Belgium, 1990
9. Fathi Al-Shikaki, (Islamic Jihad) in Malta, October 1995.
10.Yahyya Ayash, (the Engineer) West Bank, January 1996
11.Khalid Mishaal, Hamas operative, failed attempt, in Amman Jordan, Sept. 1997
12.Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, Hamas Spirtual Leader, Gaza March 2004
13.Dr Abdul Aziz Al-Rantissi, Hamas Leader, Gaza, April, 2004
14.Imad Mughniya, Hezbullah Operative, Damascus, 2008
15. Abdul Rauf Al-Madbouh in Dubai on January 20, 2010
Like CIA and SIS, Israeli MOSSAD, reports directly to the Prime Minister office. It seems that Netanyahu is starting 2010 with the same assassination spree of the past under himself, Ariel Sharon, Menachem Begin and Itzhaq Shamir.
Adnan Darwash, Iraq Occupation Times

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Despite scandals and lack of security Al-Maliki refuses to resign!

One must be amazed of what Teflon material this American client is made off. Before becoming US-installed, ‘democratically-elected’, Iraqi Prime minister residing in US-established Green Zone, Nouri Al-Maliki had a small shop in Damascus selling prayers beads. With such a Background no-wonder there is nothing working in US-occupied Iraq. The Americans are happy with Al-Maliki because he implements their designs and keeps quiet about their violations and atrocities. At this very moment, people are afraid to venture outside their homes in at least 10 cities; since the number of attacks has increased by 36% during the last 12 months. After the fiasco of buying useless weapons and helicopters from Poland, the scandal of the useless British-made explosive devices which the government acquired for over $85 million must have caused scores of car bombs to slip through. Any self-respecting government would have resigned and ordered an investigation; but not the Shameless traitor Al-Maliki. It is a feature of all those who betray their countries.


After three large explosives that shocked Baghdad on 25.01.10, near four hotels, the streets were blocked and many shops were closed by over-zealous Iraqi security officers. What pissed me off most seeing some Iraqi officers continue to point a hand held device ADE 651 at our car, the device which is made by British ASTC despite being declared as ineffective while ASTC director, Jim McCormick, has been arrested for fraud. To add insult to injury the Iraqi interior minister unashamedly comes out in support of the ADE 651device which he claimed to have discovered thousands of car bombs and weapons. One doesn’t have to go far to smell the corruption stench since the minister has bought $86 million worth of these worthless detectors at $40000 a piece; naturally with a handsome cut. I call on the British government to investigate how much commission ASTC has paid to corrupt Iraqis of the client regime in US-occupied Iraq.


Don't forget that Ariel Sharon, late Ezra Weizman, Ehud Olmert and Bibi Netanyahu were investigated for corruption. Aside from Olmert who was forced to leave office, the rest of the above went to become Israeli leaders.

At this very moment of 26.01.10 there are homes in Baghdad crowded with young men who want a chance to carry out suicide attacks. Some volunteers have to wait months befor getting an opportunity. Those who came from abroad may give up and go back home in frustration. In otherwords, The suicide attack line is very long and the field is very crowded. It is a serious problem created by the barbaric and trigger-happy American cowboys. Unfortunately the suicide attacks will continue until the hated US occupation is dimantled and its vestiges, client regime, agents and signed agreements are annulled.
----

'I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered....' , Thomas Jefferson

The Jewish financial mafia has done what Jefferson has predicted, IOT.
**********************************************************************************************
'If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.' Mark Twain
The Jews control the US media and feed theZombies Kosher scheisse (IOT).

Florida Madoff: Rothstein fleeced Americans!


Nothing is unusual for the Jewish financial mafias to fleece American citizens out of $billions. This time, Jewish Scott Rothstein was caught red-handed running a Ponzi scheme in Florida similar to that of the infamous Jewish Bernard Madoff. Hundreds of Americans have lost millions of their savings and pensions. One wonders how many Jewish Madoff(s) are still there? Definitely the American Zombies deserve to be punished for allowing Jews to control their financial institutions, the media and politics. Mr Rothstein, like Madoff before him, had contributed to the Republican party coffers in support of John McCain ticket and the election of the governor.
Adnan Darwash, Iraq Occupation Times

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Toyota halts US sales of Camry, 7 other models

By YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer Yuri Kageyama, Ap Business Writer – 5 mins ago

TOKYO – Toyota's decision to suspend U.S. sales on an unprecedented scale to fix faulty gas pedals is a blow to the automaker's reputation for quality and endangers its fledgling earnings recovery.

It is also a symbol of the dramatic failings of the aggressive growth strategy Toyota Motor Corp. pursued under former President Katsuaki Watanabe, a cost-cutting expert, who led the Japanese automaker to the No. 1 spot in global vehicle sales, dethroning General Motors Co. in 2008, analysts say.

The sales suspension to fix gas pedals that could stick and cause acceleration without warning was announced in the U.S. late Tuesday and affects eight models including the Camry — America's top-selling car — and Corolla, another popular model.

Toyota is also halting production at six North American car-assembly plants, beginning the week of Feb. 1, and gave no date on when production could restart. Last week, Toyota recalled the same eight models, involving 2.3 million vehicles.

The automaker's shares fell 4.3 percent in Tokyo trade.

A Toyota official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the sales suspension could hinder the company's ability to meet its forecast for 6 percent growth in global vehicle sales this year.

Although Toyota's Japan plants are not affected, the problem could spread to Europe, where a similar accelerator part is being used, and could affect millions more vehicles.

The problem part comes from one U.S. supplier and does not affect models that use parts from different suppliers, said another Toyota official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Analysts said the production stoppage signaled a more serious crisis for Toyota than recalls, which are fairly routine for automakers.

"It's an abnormal situation, and there is no way to compare it with anything else," said Yasuaki Iwamoto, auto analyst with Okasan Securities Co. in Tokyo.

He said the problem should serve as a wake-up call for Toyota to be more careful with maintaining quality. There is no quick fix to a tarnished brand image, Iwamoto said.

Despite the recent recalls, Toyota has still done well on quality surveys, and leads the world in hybrids, which show off top-grade green technology.

But the latest U.S. problems mirror the spate of quality problems that plagued Toyota several years ago in Japan, its home market.

In 2006, Watanabe acknowledged lapses in quality control in Japan. One sparked a criminal investigation by the Japanese government into accidents suspected of being linked to vehicle problems. No one was charged.

At that time, Watanabe appeared at a news conference in Tokyo, bowing deeply to express remorse to consumers and dealers. Later, he acknowledged overzealous growth was behind the quality problems.

"Under Watanabe's growth strategy, it was difficult to maintain a balance between speed and quality," Iwamoto said. "The problems came about because of the strains that came from his expansion efforts."

Watanabe, who took office in 2005, was replaced last year by Akio Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota's founder. Toyoda, seen as a charismatic figure that can bring together not only employee ranks in Japan but suppliers and dealers, has repeatedly said his company is in a crisis that could peril its survival.

He has also avoided the past fanfare involved in announcing sales targets.

Toyota quietly gave global sales targets Tuesday that showed it was optimistic about getting on track to recovery since the financial crisis in late 2008 sent demand crashing, especially in the key North American market.

Toyota said it expected to sell 2.19 million vehicles in North America in 2010, up 11 percent from 2009. Globally, Toyota said it was planning sales of 8.27 million vehicles this year, up 6 percent from 2009.

But those numbers could change with the latest developments. Also at risk are Toyota's earnings.

Last year, Toyota reduced its loss forecast for the fiscal year through March 2010 to 200 billion yen ($2.2 billion) from its initial projection for a 450 billion yen ($5 billion) loss, citing a gradual recovery in global demand.

Toyota announces earnings Feb. 4.

Mamoru Katou, analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research, said he could not calculate the exact damage to Toyota's results because the duration of the sales suspension was still undecided. But he said it was certain to be significant, especially if the suspension continues for a month or two.

He said Toyota was likely reorganizing production plans, such as switching suppliers, and shipping in parts from Japan. "The problem is extremely serious," said Katou. "The models are precisely those Toyota had been preparing to sell in big numbers."

The Japanese automaker said the U.S. sales suspension includes the following models: the 2009-2010 RAV4, the 2009-2010 Corolla, the 2007-2010 Camry, the 2009-2010 Matrix, the 2005-2010 Avalon, the 2010 Highlander, the 2007-2010 Tundra and the 2008-2010 Sequoia.

Toyota sold more than 34,000 Camrys in December, making the midsize sedan America's best-selling car. It commands 3.4 percent of the U.S. market and sales rose 38 percent from a year earlier. Sales of the Corolla and Matrix, a small sedan and a hatchback, totaled 34,220 last month, with 3.3 percent of the market and sales up nearly 55 percent from December of 2008.

The auto company said the sales suspension wouldn't affect Lexus or Scion vehicles. Toyota said the Prius, Tacoma, Sienna, Venza, Solara, Yaris, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser and select Camry models, including all Camry hybrids, would remain for sale.

The announcement follows a larger U.S. recall months earlier of 4.2 million vehicles because of problems with gas pedals becoming trapped under floor mats, causing sudden acceleration. That problem was the cause of several crashes, including some fatalities.


===================
4 Nov, 2010, 02.26PM IST,AGENCIES
Toyota to recall 136,000 cars over steering fault


TOKYO: Toyota on Thursday announced a recall of almost 136,000 compact cars in Japan and Europe to fix a steering problem.

The world's largest automaker, which was battered by a global safety crisis earlier this year, said it will recall 65,000 compact iQ and Passo cars in Japan and about 70,800 in Europe, all of them built between 2008 and 2010.

The recall was made after it was found that power steering sensors could malfunction when driving over bumps, making steering more heavy, a spokesman said, adding there had been no reports of accidents related to the issue.

The company said it would replace the necessary software on all cars.

Multiple recalls by Toyota this month have come after a series of mass recalls of around 10 million vehicles worldwide announced in late 2009 and early 2010 undermined the company's once stellar reputation.

The crisis snowballed, prompting US congressional investigations as Toyota was hit with a record 16.4 million dollar fine to settle claims it had hidden accelerator pedal defects blamed for dozens of deaths.

Last month Toyota announced a global safety recall of about 1.5 million vehicles to fix a brake fluid leak that it warned can gradually diminish braking performance.

Toyota in October said it had completed more than five million repairs on US vehicles affected by the series of recalls.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Car bombs rock Baghdad hotels, 41+21 dead

25 Jan 2010 15:05:39 GMT
Source: Reuters
* Series of blasts target well-known hotels

* Coordinated attacks end 1-1/2 lull in Baghdad

* One hotel popular with western journalists

(Updates death toll, adds background)

By Haider Kadhim

BAGHDAD, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Three large car bombs rocked well-known Baghdad hotels on Monday, killing at least 36 people and ending a 1-1/2-month lull in coordinated assaults on the Iraqi capital as the country heads into a March election.

Police said at least 71 people were wounded in the separate suicide car bombings, which went off within minutes of one another. Some of the casualties were police. Health Ministry data showed a lower figure for the death toll.

The first blast occurred near an entrance of the Ishtar Sheraton hotel, a Baghdad landmark on the eastern side of the Tigris River. The shock wave blew open doors, shattered windows and sent thick dust swirling into the Reuters offices nearby.

A giant mushroom cloud of debris rose from the blast site as ambulances and fire trucks rushed to the scene. Helicopters buzzed overhead and soldiers blocked off entry.

Towering concrete blastwalls protecting the hotel along the Abu Nawas riverside boulevard fell like dominoes. The blast took place across from a park frequented by families and picnickers.

The building has not been a regular hotel for years and largely houses company offices and some media organisations, but some adventurous international tour groups began using it last year.

Zina Tareq, an Iraqi journalist who was in her office at the time of the blast, said she dived under a desk with the five-year-old daughter of a colleague.

"We heard a deafening sound. The ceiling collapsed on us and the windows shattered," she said. Another colleague was wounded by broken glass.

Police said another blast went off just outside the al-Hamra hotel, which has been a hub for many Western journalists since the 2003 U.S. invasion. One Western reporter said the hotel had sustained heavy damage. The Washington Post said three of its Iraqi employees were wounded.

Houses collapsed near the Hamra, and civil defence officials searched for survivors. The blast at the Hamra, like that at the Sheraton, ripped a giant crater in the pavement.

A final bomb appeared to have blown up near the Babylon hotel, which is used by Iraqi travellers and sometimes for government meetings.

The area around the hotel has been hit several times in the past year by mortar or rocket fire aimed at the U.S. embassy, located across the river in the heavily guarded Green Zone.

Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qassim al-Moussawi put the death toll at seven killed with 51 wounded, citing Health Ministry data. Death tolls from major attacks have become a political football in the run-up to the March 7 vote.

The last major attack on Baghdad occurred on Dec. 8 when a series of car bombs killed more than 100 people. On Oct. 25 and Aug. 19, a total of around 250 people were killed in suicide assaults on government buildings.

The March ballot is a critical moment for the country as it emerges from the sectarian slaughter unleashed by the 2003 invasion and begins to sign multibillion-deals with global oil firms that could set the stage for future prosperity. (Additional reporting by Aseel Kami and Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Michael Christie; Editing by Missy Ryan and Charles Dick)


----

Car bomb hits Baghdad police crime lab, 21 killed



By ADAM SCHRECK, Associated Press Writer Adam Schreck, Associated Press Writer – 2 hrs 31 mins ago

BAGHDAD – A suicide car bomber struck a police crime lab in central Baghdad Tuesday, killing at least 21 people and injuring dozens a day after suicide attacks hit several hotels favored by Western journalists, officials said.

The timing of the blast, a day after Iraq hanged Saddam Hussein's cousin and stalwart "Chemical Ali," prompted speculation that the latest attacks were retaliation by Sunni insurgents.

But the top American commander in Iraq, Gen. Raymond Odierno, said he saw "absolutely no connection" between the bombings Monday that killed at least 41 people and the execution. The U.S. military did not have any immediate comment on Tuesday's bombing.

"We didn't turn Chemical Ali over until yesterday afternoon. ... There was no way anybody could have known about that," Odierno said Tuesday during a question-and-answer session with reporters in his office at Camp Victory, the sprawling U.S. military headquarters on the outskirts of Baghdad.

This week's bombings highlight a pattern of increasingly large and well-planned attacks on high-profile targets in the capital. They began with coordinated suicide attacks in August against the Foreign and Finance ministries that killed nearly 100 people.

Since then, Baghdad has been hit repeatedly with major attacks every few months targeting government offices. On Monday, the targets shifted to hotels frequented by Western journalists and security contractors. Nearly 450 people have been killed in Baghdad since the August strike.

Each wave of attacks has dealt another blow to the Iraqi government before March 7 parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is struggling to answer for security lapses.

The execution of Ali Hassan al-Majid was likely to raise pre-election tensions between the Shiite-led government and minority Sunnis, who are already angered by a candidate blacklist they claim is being used as a political tool to undercut rivals. More than 500 names have been placed on the list for suspected links to Saddam's Sunni-dominated regime.

While there has been no formal claim of responsibility for the attacks at the hotels and against the Ministry of Interior offices, Odierno said it appeared to be the work of al-Qaida. Multiple bombings are a hallmark of the terror network.

Family members arrived in Baghdad to collect al-Majid's body for burial in the family hometown Tikrit later Tuesday, a day after he was hanged for atrocities such as the mass killing of Kurds in a poison gas attack in 1988 and other crimes against humanity.

Local authorities demanded a quick and simple burial without chanting or firing shots in the air as is common in Iraqi funerals, said an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media. The time of the burial was not made public.

In the Kurdish town of Halabja in northern Iraq, the scene of the 1988 poison gas attack that killed 5,000 people and cemented Chemical Ali's infamy, more than 400 Kurdish government officials and families who lost loved ones in the gassing defied the January chill to gather in a cemetery and at a monument to the victims.

"I am wondering which of my family's graves I would visit first to tell them about the death of Chemical Ali so they can sleep in peace," said Parvin Kamal Jalal, a 53-year-old woman who said she lost her parents and 12 other family members in the attack.


Rescue crews were combing through the rubble, looking for casualties of Tuesday's bombing. Officials say the majority of those killed were likely police officers who worked in the forensic investigation office at Tahariyat Square in the central neighborhood of Karradah. At least 82 people were reported injured.

Police and hospital officials said the bomber tried to drive a pickup truck through a checkpoint and blast walls protecting the forensic evidence office.

Among those confirmed killed were 12 police officers and some civilians visiting the office. Officials said more than half the wounded were police.

Rescue teams in blue jumpsuits combed through the debris of the partially damaged three-story building shortly after the blast as a crane removed some of the 10-foot, 7-ton concert blast walls toppled by the explosion.

The office targeted in the attack mainly dealt with data collected during criminal investigations, including fingerprints and other pieces of evidence. It is next to the Interior Ministry's major crimes office, which deals with terrorism cases.

Government offices have been frequent targets of major attacks in the capital since blasts struck the foreign and finance ministries in August, raising questions about the ability of Iraqi security forces to keep the country safe. While the criminal evidence offices have not been targeted by a major suicide bombing before, attackers have struck nearby.

The attack destroyed rooms on the ground floor of the building and damaged parts of the second floor. The office is surrounded by low-rise buildings with shops, takeaway restaurants and offices that were also damaged.

The toll from Monday's attacks continued to rise, with 41 people confirmed killed and up to 106 reported injured, police and health officials said Tuesday. All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release details.

The bombings targeted the Sheraton Ishtar Hotel, Babylon Hotel and Hamra Hotel.

___

Associated Press Writers Hamid Ahmed, Chelsea J. Carter and Sinan Salaheddin contributed to this report.

Afghan watchdog slams top job for ex-militia chief

25 Jan 2010 13:08:24 GMT
Source: Reuters
(For more on Afghanistan, click on [ID:nAFPAK])

By Sayed Salahuddin

KABUL, Jan 25 (Reuters) - An Afghan rights watchdog slammed President Hamid Karzai on Monday for giving a top military job to General Abdul Rashid Dostum, a former militia chief who has been accused of human rights abuses.

Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) said Dostum's reappointment as chief of staff to the commander-in-chief, Karzai, was a blow to justice and efforts to start peace talks with the Taliban.

Palace officials confirmed the recent reappointment, which a security source said gives Dostum a largely ceremonial role in charge of the armed forces behind Karzai.

"It is a step ahead in Karzai's old policy of legitimising prominent warlords and maintaining a state of criminal impunity for them,"
Ajmal Samadi director of ARM, a non-governmental group funded by domestic rights campaigners, said in a statement. "Afghanistan cannot achieve viable peace, stability and prosperity under a government with no commitment to justice."

Dostum had previously held the same position until 2008. That year he was put under house arrest by the government following clashes with a rival, and then left for Turkey in an apparent self-imposed exile.

He returned to Afghanistan days before the presidential election last year, urging his supporters to back Karzai.

Diplomats said the two men had struck an eleventh-hour deal, with Karzai pledging government positions to Dostum's allies in return for his support. Dostum denied any deal.

In January, a member of Dostum's Jumbesh-i-Milli party said they had collected 700,000 votes for Karzai's presidential bid and had been promised several cabinet posts in return.

Both the United States and United Nations expressed concern over Dostum's return. The United States and other countries have accused Dostum of human rights abuses and a U.S. official said in August he may be responsible for "massive war crimes".

Dostum is a leader of Afghanistan's ethnic Uzbek community. He is a former Communist general who led militias through decades of civil war, before joining a loose, U.S.-backed alliance that ousted the Taliban from power in late 2001.

Some 2,000 Taliban fighters who surrendered to Dostum suffocated to death in cargo containers in which they were being held in what became known as the Dasht-i-Laili massacre.

Another 300 Taliban prisoners held by Dostum and U.S. forces in a 19th century prison fortress died during a rebellion. U.S. President Barack Obama instructed his national security team in July to investigate the alleged mass killing of war prisoners.

Dostum has denied accusations of human rights abuses, including responsibility for Taliban deaths in Dasht-i-Laili. (Editing by Jonathon Burch and Bill Tarrant) (For more Reuters coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan, see: http://www.reuters.com/news/globalcoverage/afghanistanpakistan) (sayed.salahuddin@thomsonreuters.com; Kabul newsroom: +93 799 335 285))

If you have a query or comment about this story, send an e-mail to news.feedback.asia@thomsonreuters.com)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ethiopian airliner crashes after takeoff from Beirut

25 Jan 2010 03:53:39 GMT
Source: Reuters
* Flight took off in stormy weather in Lebanon

* Boeing 737 was heading for Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa

* Eight-two passengers and eight crew on board (Updates number of people on board, adds quote, weather)

By Nadim Ladki

BEIRUT, Jan 25 (Reuters) - An Ethiopian Airlines [ETHA.UL] plane with 90 people on board crashed into the Mediterranean sea shortly after taking off from Beirut international airport in the early hours of Monday, airport sources said. The Boeing 737-800 disappeared off the radar some five minutes after taking off, shortly after its scheduled departure time of 2:10 a.m. (0010 GMT), during a thunderstorm and heavy rain, the sources said. It was heading for Addis Ababa.

Eight-two passengers and eight crew were aboard, according to the plane's manifest, the sources said.

About 50 passengers were Lebanese nationals, three with dual nationalities: British, Canadian and Russian. Most of the others were Ethiopians. Hundreds of Ethiopians work as domestic helpers in Lebanon.

According to one source, residents on the coast saw a "ball of fire" crashing off Na'ameh village, a few kilometres (miles) south of the Lebanese capital.

Senior Lebanese officials and some family members of Lebanese passengers headed to Rafik Hariri International Airport after news of the crash. The plane had flown in from Addis Ababa earlier in the night, the sources said.

State-owned Ethiopian Airlines, which could not immediately be reached for comment, has positioned itself as a major player in international air traffic in Africa and has recently expanded its Asian network. [nLDE60D11E]

Last Friday it announced an order for 10 of Boeing's Next-Generation 737-800s for a total price of $767 million. [nN22228349]

(Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Sex and War


Irony: Only prostitutes cover their faces in Baghdad!
In the holy Qouraan, a woman can wear a modest Hijab revealing her face and hands. That exactly what I am exposing right now wearing western men clothes. Covering the face was acquired from the Otthomans when the Sultans and important people kept veiled Harems. The Niqab which requires covering the face is not Islamic, albeit it is used by many Muslim women. In Iraq my mother uses a Hijab. As a matter of fact a woman that covers her face in Baghdad is considered a prostitute.

Fallacy: USA doesn't free people!
Author: Adnan
Date: 26-01-10 18:45

The Americans have slept with too many suspicious bed fellows. They have supported the Shah of Iran, Marcus of the Philippines, Ernesto Pinochet of Chile, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Mullah Omar of Afghanistan, Bin Laden Mujahideen, Israeli Nazi Generals, South Africa apartheid regime, the Nicaraguan Contras, Noriega of Panama, Cuban Batista, Mubarak of Egypt, The Saudi Kings, Pigs of the Arab Gulf and carried out assassinations in at least 35 countries. The Americans have also exterminated the natives (Red Indians) and enslaved the blacks (African Americans) and killed three million Vietnamese. A country with such a horrendous records can't possibly liberate people. Why don't they liberate the Palestinians from the criminal Israeli occupation? I seriously believe that educated people of the world should stop hoping that America may one day do sometheing good for humanity. I have long since given up on the barabaric American state of trigger-happy cowboys.

Adnan Darwash, Iraq Occupation Times


Calling human trafficking one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time, Canadian journalist and social activist Victor Malarek addressed the Jewish community at a Montreal synagogue last Thursday.

Promoting a book he has written on the subject, Malarek said destitute Third World and Eastern European females as young as 12 are tricked into leaving their homelands with promises of wealth and prosperity in the West, as well as Israel. Instead, they are sold into the sex trade by organized crime, gangs, pimps and brothel owners.

"Newspaper ads from modelling and employment agencies promise exciting jobs, but the women are duped," Malarek told the Jewish Tribune. "They must submit, or they are raped, beaten and tortured. There are between 5,000 and 10,000 trafficked women in Israel and more than 280 brothels in Tel Aviv alone. It is a human rights issue the Jewish community knows about. They have a voice and they must use it."

The United Nations has cited human trafficking as an international crime generating more than US $12 billion worldwide. More than 800,000 people are trafficked annually, forced into prostitution and threatened with death should they attempt to escape the clutches of their captors. Canada is both a means of access to the United States, as well as a final destination for approximately 2,000 women each year.

http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=10128


16 Sep 2009 21:10:00 GMT
Written by: Andrew Stroehlein


Biology is not destiny. But it sure explains a whole lot of human activity, as Malcolm Potts and Thomas Hayden describe in their book, Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World (Benbella Books, 2008), which I strongly feel is a must read for anyone dealing with conflict prevention and resolution today.

Chimpanzees, our closest cousins, share more than 98 per cent of our DNA, and many of our social, and antisocial, behaviours. Most disturbingly, we are perhaps the only two species that deliberately torture and kill their own kind. The evolutionary success of genes that enhance team aggression by small groups of males on others, both male and female, have bequeathed both species' descendants a dark side.

Male team aggression, aided by reinforcing the cohesion of an in-group and dehumanising the out-group, is as essential for warfare and terrorism today as it was for raids on neighbouring troops by our ancient ancestors. Chimpanzee males move around their territory in groups of four or five, foraging and patrolling the boundaries of that territory. If they run into a similarly sized group from a neighbouring territory, both sides will make a lot of noise and bluster, but it rarely leads to a real fight.

If, however, the party finds a smaller group or a lone individual from the next-door troop, they sometimes attack with shocking cruelty, with, for example, some males holding their victim down while others rip flesh off the hapless animal, stomp on it, bite fingers off or tear testicles off. Sometimes such a raid has a clear biological logic to it: the males may haul off young females from their neighbours, a behaviour which is obviously going to be passed on to the next generation rather immediately. Other times, there is no straightforward reason for a particular event.

However, behaviour that is evolutionarily successful need not demonstrate its gene-passing benefit on every occasion. It is enough for such male team aggression to bring evolutionary rewards only sometimes, and as long as it isn't detrimental to the likelihood of an individual passing on its genes it can be a successful trait. A tendency to initiate violence when there are even numbers in a fight might not be a trait you get a chance to pass on, but a behaviour of attacking when the odds are in you favour clearly is.

What's this got to do with us humans? Well, apart from the ganging up on individuals that will be familiar to anyone who was ever picked on in the school yard, there is a lot here to explain our propensity for conflict more generally. It's not that modern human conflicts are about stealing the females of a neighbouring troop, of course, but the tendency toward certain unconscious behaviours we share with chimps are still with us, coded in our DNA, and that affects our actions in some predictable ways.

Look at how fighting forces have been arranged over the course of recorded history: from raiding parties to massive armies, the core military unit has not been a group of hundreds or thousands but a tight band of four or five men -- a "fireteam" in current lingo, the unit that the modern infantry is based on. This small, core group engaging in destructive team aggression is repeatedly successful in war because it is reinforced by a variety of different behaviours, including the camaraderie that naturally (key word there) develops between men in such conditions. Whether an infantryman in a first world army, a street gang member in a blood feud, or a terrorist about to use a passenger plane as a mass murder weapon, the size of the basic attack unit is more or less the same, and there's a reason for that.

The authors go on to develop other aspects of evolutionary psychology and apply them to modern warfare, taking the reader through the World Wars, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Iraq, Lebanon, modern terrorism and much else besides. For example, our innate desire for revenge in certain situations and our tendency to distort the scale of threats under particular conditions can cause extreme, disproportionate and even self-damaging responses to attacks of far smaller size -- clear in the US reaction to 9/11. Our vulnerability to in-group/out-group mentality is also vital to warfare: dehumanising the enemy is as common to war as blood.

Again, the idea is not that modern soldiers or modern political leaders are after plunder and booty like barbarian raiders or chimpanzees -- though surely some consciously are in some current conflicts -- but that the underlying nature of human warfare is driven by factors of evolutionary psychology that are irrevocably part of us all.

Of course, no biological explanation excuses evil acts. But it is essential to conflict prevention and resolution to understand how these natures are in every human being: "It is tempting, but misleading, to try to make the rest of the world 'normal' by demonising Hitler. An evolutionary approach to understanding evil is at the same time both more humbling and more challenging. Hitler was a sociopath, but the Holocaust had millions of active participants and passive observers."

The authors continue a bit later: "...human beings are condemned to live in two ethical and behavioural worlds at once -- the morality of empathy for and reciprocity with ingroups, and the cold-hearted team aggression aimed at outgroups."

Of course, the cruel logic of team aggression applies almost exclusively to young men. And that's where the issues of population size and structure come in. Rapid population growth means a youthful demographic curve, and a larger proportion of young men means a greater natural propensity toward a violent and unstable society. Look around the world at states that manage to get their population growth under control, and you almost invariably find more peaceful and secure countries than those that don't.

Though stressing the genetic factors beyond our control, the authors are not deterministic or depressingly fatalistic about our future as a species. They are completely clear that, in an ever more vulnerably interconnected world with weapons of mass destruction, our "Stone Age" behaviours and potential for extreme violence have become hugely maladaptive. But we can manage to avoid disasters if we approach issues of conflict bearing our evolutionary psychology firmly in mind. Civilisation can, and quite often does, trump biology.

One hopeful tool is simply diplomacy, which has no parallel among chimpanzees. Working to keep arms out of the hands of potential enemies is also an obvious and frequently achievable goal. Reducing the level of conflict -- if not actually eliminating it as we have nearly done with slavery, another long-lived behaviour backed up by a number of our genetic predispositions -- will require some additional steps.

A key method for conflict reduction is empowering women. For one, women are generally less predisposed to violence, meaning that their social, economic and political equality should on average lead to less violent societies. The second point on empowering women is much more specific: provide easy access to birth control and reproductive health. When women can control the number of children they have, they invariably choose to do so, which constricts the demographic pyramid away from a bottom bulge of angry young men and towards a more stable and less violent society.

Another important idea is to keep expanding the concept of our in-group to include all of humanity. Aid and development workers like Potts have been doing this for years, but it goes beyond individuals, of course. The whole concept of universal human rights expands the in-group to everyone, for example. True, it too often remains just a concept, and enemies are all too easily dehumanised into an out-group with ease. But there are other evolved primate characteristics, such as a sense of fairness and a capacity for empathy, that mean we are not facing our darker natures completely unarmed genetically.

Despite its 400 pages and its extensive references to source material ranging from history to philosophy to psychology to genetics, Sex and War is only the start of a more complete view of human conflict, its prevention and its resolution. The field has strong promise: "The standard social science model looks for the causes of war; the evolutionary model seeks ways to make peace break out, while always expecting the worst."

I'm sure that part of the reason I find it so compelling is that, personally, it helps me tie together my biology degree, which had a focus on evolutionary theory, with my degree in politics/social science and my years of covering violent conflict around the world as a journalist and NGO-type. I suppose this book makes many points other people will want to argue with, but at its core, it holds up an uncomfortable mirror to our species that we would be ill-advised to put down.

======
Note: This review is a much expanded version of a piece I wrote for the European Voice last week. The original short article is
here
.

Iraq official warned against anti-bomb device buy




24 Jan 2010 18:27:45 GMT
Source: Reuters
* First investigation was two years ago

* New investigation due to report in two days

By Suadad al-Salhy

BAGHDAD, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Iraq's interior ministry was told two years ago not to buy an explosives detector that Britain says does not work, and the purchase of the sensors was tainted by suspected fraud, a senior official said on Sunday.

Aqeel al-Turaihi, the inspector general of Iraq's Interior Ministry, said he investigated the explosives sensors sold by British firm ATSC two years ago and found them "inoperative" and costly. He recommended that Iraq should not buy the devices.

"There was corruption associated with this contract and we referred to this and submitted our report to the Minister of the Interior," Turaihi told Reuters. He did not elaborate on the corruption allegations.

"We said that the company which you made a contract with is not well-regarded internationally in the field of explosives detectors, and the price is very high and not commensurate with the abilities of this device," Turaihi added.

It was not clear why more was not done after the inspector general's report to prevent more purchases of the device or to take them out of circulation.

Some Iraqi officials have defended the device sold by ATSC, and Turaihi said his initial investigation found it could detect some bombs.

But Britain's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said on Friday it would ban exports to Iraq and Afghanistan of the ADE651 sensor. British police have also arrested the owner of the company that markets the gadget on suspicion of fraud, British officials said.

Turaihi said Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki set up a special high-ranking committee following his initial unfavourable report on the sensors two years ago.

That committee also recommended that the device should not be purchased by Iraqi authorities but was not asked to rule on whether the gadgets ought to be taken off the streets. Maliki set up another committee to investigate following critical newspaper stories late last year, he said.

"The committee will deliver its recommendations in two days," Turaihi said.

Suspected al Qaeda insurgents have conducted three major assaults on the Iraqi capital since August in which at least 300 people died. The attackers managed to get cars, trucks and buses laden with explosives through the multiple checkpoints that choke Baghdad's main arteries.

Iraqi lawmakers have demanded that security forces stop using the detectors and that the government try to get its money back. Iraq has reportedly spent tens of millions of dollars on the devices.

Some Iraqi officials have defended them, saying they do work and have detected many bombs and munitions stockpiles.

The British Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said tests had found the sensors did not qualify as bomb detection technology.

The handheld gadgets have an antenna that is supposed to swivel when they detect traces of chemicals. The BBC said it had given one of the devices to a laboratory and found it contained the same components as anti-theft tags used in stores. (Writing by Michael Christie; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)

IRAQ: Sectarian tension ahead of polls threatens "humanitarian crisis" - analysts

24 Jan 2010 11:18:05 GMT
Source: IRIN
Reuters and AlertNet are not responsible for the content of this article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are the author's alone.
BAGHDAD, 24 January 2010 (IRIN) - A government move to exclude a number of prominent Sunni candidates from national parliamentary elections on 7 March could re-ignite sectarian violence and create a new humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country, according to some analysts.

"Iraq is on the verge of another humanitarian crisis if the current political situation continues to worsen between the political parties or between Sunnis and Shia over participation in the coming elections," Mohammed Abdul-Aziz Jassim, a political sciences lecturer at the University of Anbar, told IRIN.


"Almost all Iraq's humanitarian challenges since 2003 [when the US-led invasion began], such as displacement, poor public services and social problems, are the result of the political and sectarian strife that led to a deteriorated security situation," he said.

In mid-January, a committee tasked by the government to prohibit former members of Saddam Hussein's disbanded Baath Party from government jobs decided to exclude 511 Sunni and Shia candidates from the polls.

Although the majority of those on the list are reportedly Shia, they do not have the political clout or tribal standing that the barred Sunnis have, analysts say.

Sunnis are particularly angered that prominent Sunni lawmaker Salih Al-Mutlak is among those excluded. Al-Mutlak's involvement in the political process was instrumental in turning the tide against the insurgency, say analysts.

Jassim warned that banning candidates "will widen this [sectarian] divide as each party will rely on violence to control as much as it can on the ground if it is excluded from the elections".

Maan Khudhir Ali, a Baghdad-based analyst and researcher on social affairs at the University of al-Mustansiriyah, said the exclusion would "weaken the next government" as it would devote much of its time to appeasing aggrieved parties.

"If the exclusion goes as scheduled before the elections the next government's priority will be how to find ways to satisfy the angry political parties and not how to find the best ways to offer services and help displaced families return to their homes," Ali said.


Humanitarian challenges

Since 2003, Iraq has faced a number of humanitarian challenges, key of which has been the millions of people forced to flee their homes, whether within the country as internally displaced persons (IDPs) or abroad as refugees to neighbouring countries such as Syria and Jordan.

The vast majority of displacement occurred after the 2006 bombings of a Shia shrine by Sunni militants, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The country has been ravaged by bouts of sectarian violence ever since, which has had a debilitating impact on the country's infrastructure and efforts to rebuild it; the provision of basic services and access to them; and the state-run food distribution food system, which has deteriorated because of insecurity, poor management and corruption.

As violence began to ebb in early 2008, many IDPs and refugees returned to their areas of origin. According to UNHCR, some 300,000 IDPS and 80,000 refugees returned in 2008 and 2009.

International aid agencies and local and foreign NGOs also began resuming work in Iraq after insecurity had forced them to suspend their operations.

"We have been building on this little security development Iraq has witnessed over the past short period of time, which in turn has a positive effect in the humanitarian field," a representative of a foreign NGO who recently resumed work in five provinces said on condition of anonymity.

"Any deterioration in the political arena could pose a major blow to these developments and bring a setback to our efforts in helping needy people," the aid worker said.

sm/at/ed

© IRIN. All rights reserved. More humanitarian news and analysis: http://www.IRINnews.org

ANALYSTS' VIEW-"Back to basics": Bin Laden hits US-Israel tie




24 Jan 2010 14:43:37 GMT
Source: Reuters
Jan 24 (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for the Dec. 25 failed bombing of a U.S.-bound plane in an audio tape Al Jazeera television said on Sunday was of the Al Qaeda leader. [ID:nLDE60N090]

Bin Laden said the attempted attack was a continuation of al Qaeda's policy since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, explaining that
"If it was possible to carry our messages to you by words we wouldn't have carried them to you by planes."


Here are some analysts' views on the statement.

ABDELBARI ATWAN, AL QAEDA EXPERT, EDITOR AL-QUDS-AL-ARABI NEWSPAPER

(Atwan met bin Laden in November 1996)

It is bin Laden's voice and style. The poetry, the references he makes are identifiably his.

The Obama-Osama reference means he is putting himself on an equal footing with Obama. It is an extremely confident move and he is doing it because he knows that Obama's popularity in the Arab world is starting to slip.

The timing is very significant, coinciding with the faltering Arab-Israeli peace process and mounting frustration on the Arab street at what is going on in Gaza.

OMAR ASHOUR, EXPERT ON ISLAMIST GROUPS, EXETER UNIVERSITY

This is saying 'al Qaeda central is still operational, we're still controlling our franchises'. Bin Laden has only rarely directly claimed the actions of other offshoots like those in Iraq and or the Maghreb.

The emphasis on Gaza is a rallying cry he has used before. It points at the accumulated injustices of the Palestinians there as a result of Israeli action and America's support for Israel. There's no mention of Egypt's plan to build an underground wall -- a major theme of debate in the Middle East at the moment -- as criticising Egypt could alienate potential al Qaeda supporters in Egypt. While many Egyptians may have no great love for the government, they rate al Qaeda far lower.

Framed in this way, Gaza is a less divisive issue than Afghanistan or Pakistan, which are conflicts that are more problematic because they contain Muslim versus Muslim elements.

NOMAN BENOTMAN, LIBYAN ANALYST, FORMER BIN LADEN ASSOCIATE

It's a very smart 'back to basics' message, reminding his audience it is all about Israel and America. His main audience is the Arab world, where al Qaeda has lost substantial moral support.

The reference to Sept. 11 gives al Qaeda's actions a continuity and a definable shape. There may be a feeling that the group's motives have become obscured or 'lost in translation' over time and this is an attempt at repeating and emphasising them in simple terms.

There is also again the suggestion that 'we are forced to take these violent actions' which may attract some in the intended Arab audience.

HENRY WILKINSON, SECURITY ANALYST, JANUSIAN CONSULTANTS

Assuming this is indeed him, then most importantly it shows bin Laden was alive at the time of the Dec. 25 attack.

Secondly it shows how close al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is to al Qaeda's core cadre in Pakistan. Al Qaeda's senior leadership has not habitually take credit for the specific actions of other branches.

The rhetoric is very typical al Qaeda and the intended audience is the Islamic word and particularly the Arab street. The notion that bin Laden's messages are aimed principally at the West is questionable. I think most are aimed at his main constituency.

The line where he says "If it was possible to carry our messages to you by words we wouldn't have carried them to you by planes" is standard fare. The idea that 'you have left us no choice and you will only understand violence' is typical of terrorist groups.

LONDON-BASED SAUDI ANALYST MAI YAMANI

The Palestinian cause is the beating heart of the Middle East. If the previous Bush administration had focused on trying to solve the Arab-Israeli dispute then there would be no excuse for bin Laden, and this justification behind all this sort of propaganda would have tended to disintegrate. (Reporting by William Maclean)

SCENARIOS-What Afghan, Yemen meetings may achieve

24 Jan 2010 12:19:51 GMT
Source: Reuters
YEMEN

SECURITY

The meeting is due to discuss how to counter radicalisation and coordinate aid to the Arab world's poorest country.

In addition to al Qaeda attacks, Yemen also faces a Shi'ite revolt in the north and separatist sentiment in the south.

Little is likely to be achieved without the tacit approval of neighbour and oil power Saudi Arabia, whose aid to Yemen may be larger than all other countries' contributions combined.

Analyst Ginny Hill at Britain's Chatham House think tank notes that despite the kingdom's importance, Yemenis remain sensitive about Saudi Arabia's involvement in their affairs.

The meeting will seek to improve international support for Yemen's efforts to tackle these security problems and also advance political, economic and social reforms.

The Obama administration is considering proposals to sharply expand Pentagon powers to assist forces in Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere battling al Qaeda and its affiliates, defence and congressional officials say.

AID AND REFORM

The meeting is not intended as a pledging conference, and diplomats say the West wants to hold the Yemeni government accountable on economic reforms to ensure aid money is properly spent in a country where corruption is rampant.

Yemen has struggled to gain donors' trust. A donors' meeting in London in 2006 pledged about $5 billion but only a "very small percentage" has been disbursed, in part because of concerns about how the money would be spent, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told parliament this month.

Donors may hesitate to push hard for change in a country where internal security remains paramount. Chatham House's Hill cites pessimists as saying President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in power since 1990, might tolerate cosmetic measures but would not sanction reforms that would dismantle elite patronage networks.

Ivan Lewis, a British Foreign Office minister, said Yemen and Afghanistan faced different challenges. Yemen's government was very fragile but it was at least still functioning, he said, drawing an unfavourable implicit comparison with Afghanistan.

Yemen's allies had to act early to help it face economic and social challenges. That would lead to greater stability and minimise the threat to the international community, he said.

(Reporting by Peter Graff in Kabul, Myra Macdonald, Adrian Croft and Matt Falloon in London and Sue Pleming and Adam Entous in Washington) (Editing by Noah Barkin)

The Americans want their Ba’athist allies back!

To the surprise of those who are unfamiliar with Iraqi politics, the Baathists entered Baghdad on an American train two times in the past. The first was to kill the communists in Iraq in 1963 and the second in 1968. To return the favour of Uncle Sam, Saddam accepted to launch the American war on the Islamic republic of Iran in 1980 in order to free the hostages in the US embassy in Tehran and to protect US allies in the Gulf. But Saddam’s biggest mistake was his missile attack on Israel. Jewish-controlled US foreign policy doesn’t tolerate any threat to the rogue Jewish state. In this regard, Saddam refusal to accept Israeli atrocities received wide support inside Iraq, since the hatred for Israel is deeply rooted. The Iraqi Baath party, or one of its factions, has been negotiating with the Americans in Jordan and in Turkey as they want to return to power at any cost. The Americans took advantage of their desperate position and want to hit two birds with one stone. The first is to break the pro-Iranian Kurdish-Shiite monopoly of power in Iraq. But the second and most important is to have the Baathists accept to recognise Israel. The visit of John Biden to Iraq ton 23.01.10, under the cover of reconciliation, exposes the US plans to find anti-Iranian Arab allies. There are two things the Americans must know about Iraq. First Iraqis will never recognise Israel as long as it remained as a rogue state carrying out Nazi-style atrocities. Second,and aside from USraeli agents, the Iraqis consider Iranians as their friends and allies.

It was King Abdullah II who told the Americans that the invasion of Iraq would open up a pandora box of problems in the Middle Esat. That is at the time when he allows the American special-forces to use his forward military bases to launch cross border attacks inside Iraq. I am glad that the American have done what they did and got bankrupt in the process. It also proved the ability of armed people to undermine the military might of the most advanced army on earth. The Iraqis have perfected the use of IED, car bombs, mortars and suicide attacks to harras the American forces. If disarmed Iraq can inflict so much damage can any one imagine what armed Iran can do?

Many war criminals were prosecuted years after they have committed their crimes. Bush-Blair-Aznar-Barroso conspired to destroy Iraq and to kill its people. The Israelis have been committing Nazi-style crimes with impunity. The impatient Al-Qaeda people take the laws in their own hands as there is no-justice. Civilised people must use civlised means to get justice, even if takes years to bring the perpetrators to court.
The Americans don't anyone to expose their collaboration with Saddam regime in gassing Halbaja and the Iranians. As a matter of fact the Americans didn't object or imposed sanctions on Saddam at the time because he was their best friend carrying out a war on the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is known that Mr Donald Rumsfeld had visited Saddm twice while working as one of the directors of Searle Chemical Corporation that supplied precursors of Chemical weapons. The number of 100000 is exaggerated as Halbja is too small to support more that 20000 people. Another issue that requires attention is that the Kurds collaborated with the Iranians to occupy Halbaja at the time when Saddam was waging a war against Iran. Hassan Al-Majeed or Chemical Ali, deserves harsh punishment but also the Americans, the British, the Dutch and the Germans who helped Saddam in manufacturing chemical weapons.
The cruel and mean Saddam committed his worst crimes while a friend of America. That is why he was hanged for irrelevant crime in order to bury with him all the secret dealings with Reagan and Thatcher.
Assassination drones are counterproductive!
It is true that unmanned drones can effectively destroy a trget but can't stop Al-Qaeda or Taleban. Following the assassination of Beitullah Mahsud, the violence increased by many folds. The Pakistani Taleban leadership is not as careful as its counterpart in Afghansitan as it continues to give interviews and expose itself to ISI agents who pass information to CIA. For example, no-one has seen a recent photo of Mullah Omar. Similarly, the wherebout of Bin Laden remains a mystery. It will not be too long before the Islamic resistance finds ways to neutralise the drones.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Obama: "I'll never stop fighting for you"

22 Jan 2010 18:48:18 GMT
Source: Reuters
* Defends focus on healthcare

* Ratchets up populist rhetoric

* Possible preview of State of the Union

By Alister Bull

ELYRIA, Ohio, Jan 22 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, ending a tough week, told Americans on Friday he would keep fighting to create jobs and reform healthcare.

In a speech in Ohio, Obama gave a likely preview of some populist themes of his first State of the Union address next Wednesday.

"I'll never stop fighting for you," he told an audience in this former industrial stronghold bordering Lake Erie.

Obama was thrown on the defensive this week when the election of a Republican senator from Massachusetts ended the Democrats 60-vote supermajority in the Senate and enabled Republicans to block healthcare legislation.

The loss will make it harder for Obama to advance his ambitious domestic agenda.

Obama, who has been criticized for focusing so much attention on healthcare while Americans are suffering 10 percent unemployment, defended his approach and vowed to keep trying on healthcare.

"I know folks in Washington are in a little bit of a frenzy this week, trying to figure out what the election in Massachusetts the other day means for health insurance reform," he said.

"I am not going to walk away just because it's hard. We're going to keep on working to get this done with Democrats, Republicans - anyone who is willing to step up."

Obama's visit to Ohio showcased an effort to promote jobs while helping him move past a significant political setback that has overshadowed the entire week.

"I'll take my lumps, too. I'll never stop fighting to bring jobs back to Elyria. I'll never stop fighting for an economy where hard work is rewarded, where responsibility is honored, where accountability is upheld, where we're creating the jobs of tomorrow," he said.

Obama, who has acknowledged he could have done a better job of communicating on the economy, has resorted to more populist rhetoric since the loss. He took on big banks on Thursday with plans to curb their excessive risk-taking, and switched on Friday to the national anxiety over unemployment.

Locals were eager to hear what he could do for them and for a state where unemployment, at 10.6 percent, is a touch above the national average.

FUTURE CLOUDY

"We don't know what our future is here and it is scary," said Andy Young, editor of Elyria's local newspaper, The Chronicle-Telegram. "We want a sense that he has an idea how to help with the transition from a manufacturing based economy to the future," he said.

It was the second stop on Obama's so-called White House to Main Street tour, announced in December. One aim is to help the president demonstrate that he understands how important it is to fix.

The United States suffered the worst recession in 70 years after its housing market collapsed.

Elyria has steadily shed manufacturing jobs since the 1980s, as local factories lost out to cheaper labor markets overseas. The White House has said the town has received $6.6 million under Obama's emergency spending bill.

Obama wants to encourage new clean energy industries and has channeled billions of dollars their way from a $787 billion stimulus package he signed in February 2009.

The House of Representatives has already approved $155 billion more for a jobs package and the Senate is expected to take up its version of a jobs bill in coming weeks.

Top priorities include extending unemployment insurance and aid to state and local governments, as well and improving the flow of credit to small businesses to encourage them to expand and hire more workers.

(Editing by Alan Elsner)

Strong Afghan Taliban might talk - Pakistani analyst

Alliance of the Zombie with the traitors!
General McKrystal forces are receiving severe blows from the Taleban in Afghanistan. The US Zombies believe that with tanks and helicopters they will win the war in Afghanistan. But as Dr Al-Zawahiri stated the higher the number of US and NATO troops the more are the body bags. The Pakistani and Afghani Military Generals are no more than paid traitors who side with the evil crusaders in order to kill their own people and to destroy their respective countries. Like the US, every past empire used traitors who received just punishment following liberation. You know what punishment they get when people identify them. Benazir Bhuto accepted to collaborate with the Americans and got punished.


The American Zombies are blind folded by the Jewish lobby. The Jews have been caught red-handed spying on America and continue to fleece Americans out of their investment. Despite these, the Americans accepted to march on Baghdad to Israeli drums and had to pay dearly for it. Now the Jewish lobby wants the Americans to march on Tehran. But disarmed Iraq isn't the mighty Iran. That is why Ahmedinejad knows that the Israelis and their American mentors won't dare to attack Iran. Iran is currently having the upper hand in Iraq, the Gulf region, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon and lately in Yemen. Any attack on Iran will help to change the Middle East map favouring Arabs and Muslims.

I would love to see the Jews build high walls around their 1948 borders, the year they were recognised, and die eating each other. Jews need non-Jews in order to fleece. You seem to forget that the French stayed 130 years (1830-1960) in Algiers. No-one believed that the four million French settlers supported by 300000 soldiers and foreign legionaires will leave Algiers. But they did. Some how I believe that the Jews will end up very bad in Israel and everywhere else.

The pro-Western Saad Al-Hariri is not serious about Lebanon safety and security. Why asking former MOSSAD agents and sympathisers like Sarkozy and Kuchner for help against Israel? Hariri must insist on arming his people and supporing Hezbullah. After Gaza and South Lebanon, no-one believes that the Israelis are ready for another encounter with the armed Arab people. It is esay for the Israelis to defeat regular Arab armies as they are formed to operate as police forces defending the Arab autocrats and not as national armies to defending the country. In 1967, King Hussein, Hafez Al-Assad and Nasser had disarmed their people. Now the people got arms and see how the Iraqis resistance humiliates the most advanced armed forces in the world and how the Israelis,suuported by the US and UK, left Lebanon dragging behind the remains of their bloody aggression in 2006.

It seems that Obama can’t possibly win. He is currently between Netanyahu hard plate and Osama bin Laden hammer. Despite being the president of a superpower, in reality Obama is shackled by the Jews and had to accept Israeli designs. Which means: financing and arming Israel while it carries our Nazi-style atrocities, violate UN resolutions and stockpiles Nuclear Weapons. Capitalising on this, Al-Qaeda presents itself as a defender of Arab and Muslim rights and its leader, Sheikh Osama Bin Laden, threatens America as he did today 24.01.10 with further attacks, if it continues its current policies of supporting Israeli crimes. For Obama it is a catch 22 situation; as he can’t possibly antagonize the Jewish lobby and can’t be seen as listening to or appeasing Osama. One thing for sure is that Osma is alive and well, receives the support of Arabs and Muslims and America and its allies are in for further disasters.

Adnan Darwash, Iraq Occupation Times


------

22 Jan 2010 16:23:14 GMT
Source: Reuters
By Robert Birsel

ISLAMABAD, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The Taliban have spread across Afghanistan and are inflicting sharply higher casualties but they might be persuaded to negotiate, with Pakistani help, as they reach the height of their power, a Pakistani analyst has said.

The United States is sending an extra 30,000 soldiers to Afghanistan nine years after driving the Taliban from power but U.S. commanders realise they "cannot shoot their way to victory", analyst Ahmed Rashid said in paper.

"Despite their successes, the Taliban are probably now near the height of their power," Rashid, a prominent expert on Afghanistan, said in the paper published in the latest issue of the New York Review of Books.

While a country-wide movement, the Taliban do not control population centres, nor will they, given the strength of U.S.-led NATO forces, he said.

At the same time, there was no populist insurrection against NATO forces and the majority of Afghans did not want the return of the Taliban despite anger with the U.S.-backed government of President Hamid Karzai, he said.

"Thus, the next few months could offer a critical opportunity to persuade the Taliban that this is the best time to negotiate a settlement, because they are at their strongest," Rashid said.

The Taliban, led by the reclusive Mullah Mohammad Omar, have shown the first hint of flexibility, Rashid said, beginning with a statement in November.

"The Taliban leader ... pledged that a future Taliban regime would bring peace and noninterference from outside forces, and would pose no threat to neighbouring countries -- implying that al Qaeda would not be returning," he said.

The new tone could be traced to secret talks in early 2009, sponsored by Saudi Arabia at Karzai's request, he said. The talks brought no breakthrough, but led to visits to Saudi Arabia by important Taliban leaders.

U.S. British, and Saudi officials who were indirectly in contact with the Taliban there encouraged them to renounce al Qaeda and lay out negotiating demands.

"The Taliban said that distancing themselves from al Qaeda would require the other side to meet a principal demand of their own: that all foreign forces must announce a timetable to leave."

U.S. President Barack Obama said in December he planned to start bringing soldiers home in 18 months.

"GO FOR THE KILL"

Pakistan's main Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, which nurtured the Taliban through the 1990s, had been left out of the talks at the request of both the Taliban and the Afghan government, neither of whom trusted it, Rashid said.

"That now may be about to change," Rashid said. "The key to more formal negotiations with Taliban leaders lies with Pakistan and the ISI."

Pakistan is fearful of India's influence in Afghanistan and of U.S. forces withdrawing and leaving the country in chaos, while it is also friendless in Afghanistan apart from the Taliban, even though they are wary of the ISI.

Pakistan realised the West would never tolerate it backing a Taliban takeover of Kabul, as happened in 1996, Rashid said.

"In a major policy shift, senior Pakistani military and intelligence officials say they have offered to help broker talks between Taliban leaders, the Americans and Karzai."

The ISI has power and influence over the Taliban as the Taliban resupply their fighters from Pakistan, seek medical treatment there and based most leaders' families there.

Crucial to reconciliation with the Taliban would be the agreement of Afghanistan's non-Pashtun ethnic groups, who make up just over half the population. Talks also needed a strategy to build political institutions and provide aid, he said.

"Unless such publicly announced policies are carried out, the Taliban may well conclude that it is better and safer to sit out the next 18 months, wait for the Americans to start leaving, and then, when they judge Afghanistan to be vulnerable, go for the kill in Kabul."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Iraq list of excluded candidates has more Shi'ites

20 Jan 2010 17:30:19 GMT
Source: Reuters
By Suadad al-Salhy

BAGHDAD, Jan 20 (Reuters) - More Shi'ite candidates than Sunnis have been barred from Iraq's election because of links to Saddam Hussein's Baath party, politicians said on Wednesday, potentially defusing a row that threatened to reopen sectarian wounds.

A decision by a panel to ban 511 candidates under a law outlawing the Baath party outraged many Sunnis, who dominated Iraq for more than two decades under Saddam, and raised fears the legitimacy of the March 7 election could be undermined.

The parliamentary election is a test of Iraq's growing stability as violence starts to fade and U.S. troops prepare to end combat operations in August and withdraw by end-2011. Sunni resentment could potentially fuel a lingering insurgency.

But two-thirds of the list handed to electoral authorities by the Justice and Accountability Commission was composed of Shi'ites, according to a copy received by Reuters. The list appeared weighted more against secular alliances than Sunnis.

"This is just a general massacre of democracy," said Hashim al-Habubi, a member of Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani's Iraq Unity coalition, which includes prominent Sunni tribal leaders.

"The lists are indiscriminate, not sectarian or secular or Islamist. It's just a message for the Baathists that this is not the time to return. Tensions eased after everyone saw these lists."

The Baath party is illegal under Iraq's constitution. The panel that drew up the lists of banned candidates replaced a "de-Baathification" committee set up by U.S. administrators to purge Saddam loyalists after the 2003 invasion.

But two of the panel's most prominent members are also candidates in the election for the Iraqi National Alliance, a coalition dominated by the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (ISCI), an openly religious Shi'ite party formed in Iran.

That gave rise to suspicions it was being used by factions in Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government to marginalise Sunnis ahead of the vote.

Others believe it deliberately targeted secular rivals who had been expected to perform well against the overtly Islamist parties that have dominated Iraq since the invasion.

"They used this as part of their electoral campaign. This is not a wise decision," said Maison al-Damiloji, a secular lawmaker from the Iraqiya alliance of former prime minister Iyad Allawi, a secular Shi'ite.

The list included 30 or so candidates from Maliki's State of Law coalition and around 20 from ISCI's Iraqi National Alliance.

The secular coalitions fared worse. Allawi's Iraqi Unity had 72 candidates on the list while Bolani's coalition had 67 of its candidates excluded.

Banned candidates can appeal to a special seven-judge panel. (Editing by Michael Christie; Editing by Jon Hemming)

Jewish Nazis support right wing racists!




During WWII Jews embraced liberal causes and joined communist parties while the right wing extremists supported Nazi and Fascist organisations. But after the collapse of Nazi Germany and the start of the cold war, new alliances had to be created.

For example, the former Gestapos (German State Secret Police) were recruited by the CIA to undermine the Soviet Union. The Jews aligned themselves with the Americans, went to spy on the communists (their former allies) and to carry out suspicious operations. The Americans used the Israelis to trade secretly with South African apartheid regime and to smuggle arms to Terra Blanche racist organisation. The Israelis also armed and trained CIA death squads in Latin America and the Lebanese Christian fascist Phalange. The Israelis have also established strong working relations with right wing politicians in Britain, France and Germany. The Jewish practice of shark loaning is being extended to politics where what counts are the profits and nothing else.

At this moment most European politicians are under severe pressure from the financial clout of the American Jewish lobby to serve the interests of Israel and to undermine its enemies. The current campaign against Iran Nuclear Enrichment Plan must exclude any mention of Israel massive nuclear arsenal. To add insult to injury, Germany is supplying 'state of the art submarines' to Israel to be armed with nuclear war heads, almost free of charge. Such Israeli-right wing flirt has already triggered a reaction from Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon who are talking of forming a new alliance. The Jews have driven America to bankruptcy and are working hard to bankrupt Europe in oder to serve the interest of the rogue Zionist state; which is in breach of 39 UN Security Council Resolutions.

You can go ahead and disregrd anyone who cross the t´s and dot the I´s. No-one expects anything good that come from a country ruled by a Jewish military mafia that carries out Nazi-style atrocities.

The Israelis are known for trading in the organs of their Palestinian victims. It is not surprising if their so-called humanitarian mission in Haiti gets engaged in smuggling organs to be sold by Jewish Rabis in New York.

Adnan Darwash, Iraq Occupation Times

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Religious clashes kill 200 in Nigerian city


Smoke rises from the buildings of the Julius Berger construction company as a fire burns after fuel spillage in the company compound, in Nigeria's capital Abuja January 15, 2010. No injuries were reported in the fire, local media reported. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde (NIGERIA - Tags: BUSINESS CONSTRUCTION DISASTER)


People gather during a protest rally against Nigeria's President Umaru Yar'Adua's long absence without handing over power, in front of the parliament house in the capital Abuja January 12, 2010. Yar'Adua made his first public comment on Tuesday since being hospitalised more than seven weeks ago in Saudi Arabia for a heart condition, saying he was recovering and hoped to return home soon. Doubts over Yar'Adua's health and the fact he kept full powers despite his silence had brought growing unease in the country of 140 million, slowed official business and put at risk a truce in the oil-producing Niger Delta. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde (NIGERIA CIVIL UNREST POLITICS)



20 Jan 2010 13:19:19 GMT
Source: Reuters
* Uneasy calm restored in central city of Jos

* Soldiers, police enforce 24-hour curfew

* Reports of gangs dressed in fake security uniforms

(Releads, updates police, mosque figures, governor spokesman)

By Kingsley Igwe and Shuaibu Mohammed

JOS, Nigeria, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Clashes between Muslim and Christian gangs subsided on Wednesday in the Nigerian city of Jos and nearby communities, where rights activists said the death toll has topped 200.

Hundreds of soldiers and police were stationed throughout Plateau state's capital city in central Nigeria to enforce a 24-hour curfew, which has left many streets deserted and businesses closed.

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said 151 bodies had been taken to the city's mosque for burial since the violence started on Sunday, while the number of Christian dead was put at 65.

"The fighting has stopped in Jos, but we can hear gunshots in other communities in the outskirts of the city. We are expecting more corpses to be brought in from surrounding communities later today," said Muhammad Tanko Shittu, a senior mosque official organising mass burials, who estimated the death toll among Muslims at 177.

The official police figures were significantly lower with 35 people dead, 40 injured and 168 arrested since Sunday.

Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, in his first use of executive power, ordered troops to Jos on Tuesday to restore calm and prevent a repetition of clashes in November 2008, when hundreds of residents were killed in the country's worst sectarian fighting in years.

It was not clear whether President Umaru Yar'Adua, who has been in hospital in Saudi Arabia for nearly two months, had been briefed on the situation.

"More troops have come in and the situation is now under control. But there are still many hoodlums dressed in fake police and military outfits causing havoc," said Gregory Yenlong, spokesman for the Plateau state government.

This week's violence erupted after an argument between Muslim and Christian neighbours over the rebuilding of homes destroyed in the 2008 clashes.

The fighting is unlikely to have a big impact on sub-Saharan Africa's second biggest economy. Its oil industry is in the south and its banking sector mainly in the commercial capital Lagos.

BURNT BODIES

A Reuters correspondent saw three burnt bodies lying on the streets in Jos and several buildings, churches and cars destroyed by fire.

Armoured vehicles and soldiers patrolled the city, while residents ventured outside with their arms held up to signal they were unarmed.

The break in violence allowed mosque officials to retrieve dead bodies in the outskirts of the city, with 22 found in one nearby community, Shittu said.

The city's main hospital, Jos University Teaching Hospital, was forced to turn away some patients late Tuesday because doctors were too overwhelmed. "Ninety percent of the casualties were from gunshot injuries with a few from knives and bows and arrows," said Dr. Dabit Joseph, who works at Jos University Teaching Hospital.

The Red Cross has 40 staff workers and several volunteers at seven centres in Jos to help thousands of displaced residents, an agency spokesman said.

Nigeria has roughly equal numbers of Christians and Muslims, although traditional animist beliefs underpin many people's faiths.

More than 200 ethnic groups generally live peacefully side-by-side in the West African country, although 1 million people were killed in a civil war between 1967 and 1970 and there have been outbreaks of religious unrest since then.

Jos has been the centre of several major religious clashes in Africa's most populous nation.

The November 2008 clashes killed around 700 people, according to U.S.-based Human Rights Watch, while more than 1,000 Jos residents died in similar fighting in September 2001. (Writing by Randy Fabi; editing by Philippa Fletcher) (For more Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: http://af.reuters.com/ ) (For more africa stories, please click on [ID:nLDE60I2AM]) (For Interactive factbox on Nigeria please click on http://uk.reuters.com//news/factbox?fj=20090902150153.js&fn=Poverty%20and%20anger%20in%20Nigeria)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Iran says may hit Western warships if attacked





19 Jan 2010 11:20:49 GMT
Source: Reuters
(Adds quotes, background)

TEHRAN, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Iran's defence minister warned on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic could strike back at Western warships in the Gulf if it were attacked over its nuclear programme, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Ahmad Vahidi said there were now more than 90 war vessels in the Gulf -- a waterway crucial for global oil supplies -- and that they had created a "military environment" there.

They included submarines, aircraft carriers and destroyers, he said during a conference in Tehran on the Gulf.

"What is the reason underlying the deployment of this many warships and what aim are they pursuing ... are they arrayed against Iran?" Fars quoted Vahidi as saying.

"The Westerners know well that the existence of these warships in the Persian Gulf serve as the best operational targets for Iran if they should want to undertake any military action against Iran," he said.

Iran has often warned it would retaliate for any attack on its nuclear facilities, which the West suspects form part of a drive to develop bombs. Tehran denies the charge.

Neither Israel nor the United States have ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the long running row over Iran's disputed nuclear ambitions.

"The Americans have made conflicting comments (on the possibility of an attack on Iran)," the official IRNA news agency quoted Vahidi as saying.

Last month, Vahidi said Iran would strike back at Israeli weapons manufacturing sites and nuclear installations if the Jewish state attacked the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities.

Israel is believed to be the only nuclear-armed Middle East state. Iran has often said it has missiles able to reach the Jewish state.

Iran, the world's fifth largest oil exporter, says its nuclear work is aimed at generating electricity, not making bombs, but its failure to convince world powers about the peaceful nature of its work has led to U.N. and U.S. sanctions. (Reporting by Hossein Jaseb; writing by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Dominic Evans))

Monday, January 18, 2010

Thirty Americans injured in Haiti-CNN

18 Jan 2010 16:39:49 GMT
Source: Reuters
WASHINGTON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Thirty Amricans were injured in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, six days after a major earthquake devastated the impoverished city, CNN reported on Monday.

It gave no further details.

(Reporting by Sandra Maler, Editing by Chris Wilson)

Oh my God, again it's a suicide (bomber)






"Oh my God, again it's a suicide (bomber)," said Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, adviser to the Afghan president on home security and the man in charge of devising a plan to reintegrate the Taliban.

Staff in the compound were locked down as the attacks unfolded, prevented from leaving the building and moved away from windows. Streets nearby were blocked by security forces as helicopters clattered overhead and the sound of wailing ambulance sirens could be heard rushing to the scene.

However, he stressed the young men with explosives strapped inside their jackets who caused mayhem in Kabul on Monday were not on the list for reintegration.

"These are the ones who have to be brought to justice," he said. "The long-term impact of these programs is to prevent these kinds of incidents from happening."

"This is a tough life. It is a pity we have been like this for the past 30 years. Something has to be changed. Every day people are sacrificed without knowing for what," he said.

Minutes later, his chief of staff interrupted the interview. "Maybe it is time to go downstairs," he said, leading the official and the interviewer into a safe room in the basement.

KABUL: Afghan officials say at least 10 people including four suicide bombers have been killed in fighting that broke out when Taliban militants launched attacks on government targets in Kabul.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told foreign news agency that 20 armed militants, including some with suicide vests, had entered Kabul to target the presidential palace and other government buildings in central Kabul. Explosions and the rattle of heavy machine-gun fire rattled the city for hours Monday.

The Defense Ministry says the situation has been brought largely under control by mid afternoon, although sporadic clashes continue to be reported.

At least two shopping centres are on fire, amid reports that militants have blown themselves up. The television reported that Kabul's only five-star hotel is also on fire.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saudi billionaire eyes new links with News Corp.

By TAREK EL-TABLAWY, AP Business Writer Tarek El-tablawy, Ap Business Writer – Sun Jan 17, 8:15 am ET

CAIRO – The Saudi billionaire whose investment firm is one of the biggest stakeholders in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. said he is looking to expand his alliances with the media giant, in the latest indication that his appetite for growth remains robust even as his company retrenches.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of the Saudi king and who was listed last year by Forbes as the world's 22nd richest person, met with News Corp.'s chief executive Rupert Murdoch on Jan. 14 in a meeting that "touched upon future potential alliances with News Corp.," according to a statement released by his Kingdom Holding Co. late Saturday.

Media reports have indicated that News Corp, parent to Fox News and Dow Jones & Co., among others, may be thinking of buying a stake in Alwaleed's Rotana Media Group, which includes a number of satellite channels that air in the Middle East.

Neither company has commented publicly on the possible deal, but the talks offer an indication yet that such an agreement may yet be in the offing.

Kingdom Holding's statement said Alwaleed is already the second largest stakeholder in News Corp., with 5.7 percent of the shares of the media company. The stake is held through Kingdom Holding, in which Alwaleed holds a 95 percent stake.

The investment company has a diverse portfolio, ranging from hotels to shares in Apple, eBay and Citigroup.

Alwaleed, and the investment firm, were hit hard by the global meltdown.

He has since focused on shoring up borrowing power, in part through a recent decision to transfer 180 million of his shares in Citigroup to Kingdom Holding. In a statement last week, he described the move — valued at about $600 million — as key to facilitating future borrowing and growth.

The Saudi royal also met last week with Citigroup's chief executive Vikram Pandit, according to a statement by Kingdom Holding e-mailed Sunday.

Alwaleed told Pandit that the "honeymoon is now over," a clear indication that one of the banking giant's largest investors wants solid results this year, according to a transcript of an interview that aired Thursday on Fox Business News.

"I told him that clearly the market gave you two years leeway, but I think now it's time to deliver," Alwaleed said. "And 2010 is really for him is year to make it or break it, and he has to deliver. "

Alwaleed raised his stake in Citigroup to 5 percent in late 2008 from less than 4 percent in a move that came as the company was facing a possible collapse. Kingdom Holding says Alwaleed is the single largest shareholder in Citigroup.

Citigroup has repaid the money it borrowed from the U.S. government during the financial crisis, but still faces a new fee to be levied on banks by the Obama administration to recoup $120 billion in taxpayer money used to support faltering companies.

Alwaleed said he was opposed to the move, arguing that "I believe taxing the banks right now is not the right time at all."

"It's like you have a patient just coming out of ICU, intensive care unit, and all of sudden bang him with another tax. I think it's too much, it's too early for that if it's going to have that happen," he said, according to the transcript.

The $120 billion recovery goal is the most that administration officials expect to lose from the government's $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program that bailed out banks, automakers and other financial firms.

Alwaleed's Rotana already has an alliance with News Corp.

In 2008, the two companies teamed up to bring Fox Movies to the Arab world and then last year, Rotana and Fox International Channels signed a multi-year output deal with The Walt Disney Co. to provide a range of programing to viewers in the Middle East, according to the statement by Kingdom Holding.

Alwaleed has also been meeting with officials in Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich emirate that recently bailed out Dubai, its glitzy neighbor awash in debt.

A statement by Kingdom Holding said the Saudi royal met with senior officials in Abu Dhabi, which holds the presidency of the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven semiautonomous city-states.

Abu Dhabi's largest sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, alleges "fraudulent misrepresentations" by Citigroup over the fund's $7.5 billion investment in the banking giant. ADIA has said it is seeking compensation or an exit from the deal.