Spanish Pundit (II)

junio 24, 2008

Aviso

Como veis llevo varios días sin bloguear. La verdad es que me está sentando muy bien y no quiero volver por el momento a escribir nada. No sólo es que no tenga tiempo (que también). Es que la realidad es peor de lo que siquiera yo podía imaginar hace tan sólo dos años. Abu Qutada, el mismo embajador de Al-Qaeda en Europa y firme partidario de Bin Laden clérigo que han soltado en Inglaterra, bajo la condición de que no se vea con Bin Laden, ya está haciendo declaraciones pacíficas del tipo de “Aterrorizar a los infieles” y animando a los jóvenes a cometer más atentados suicidas, mientras algunos bloggers se preguntan para qué quieren tanta medida anti-libertad del ciudadano medio si luego estos elementos quedan libres, lo que ya me pregunté yo el otro día. Mientras, la ofensiva contra la libertad de expresión continúa:

Francamente, el blog me lleva mucho tiempo libre al que no estoy dispuesta a renunciar por más tiempo. Seguiré mandando cuando pueda algún que otro enlace al grupo de Google Por la defensa de la libertad de expresión, pero mi tiempo en la blogosfera creo que ha terminado por el momento, al menos de forma regular.

Creo que otros muchos lo harán mejor que yo lo he podido hacer (cualquiera puede traducir un documento) y que nadie es imprescindible en la blogosfera. Así que escribo este post sobre todo para dar las gracias a todos los que me habéis seguido el tiempo que he blogueado, a los que habéis comentado, a los que me habéis puesto alguna vez un enlace y a los que habéis considerado que merecía obtener alguna vez algún premio.

Seguiré también viendo el mail de vez en cuando, aunque no con la frecuencia con la que lo hacía hasta ahora. Así que si no os contesto no es que no quiera, es simplemente que no me ha dado tiempo a mirarlo.

Abrazos.

**********

Hello, my international readers. There is time for everything in life and the time for me of quitting off blogging (at least for a long time) has come. The situation is worsening day by day and I don’t think that blogging is going to make us arrive to any solution at all. I am wasting a lot of free time in this and I don’t see results at all. Yes, the blogosphere is much bigger than three years ago, but the measures against it are not benefiting it at least not in the long run. I really believe we are not reaching but the already converted to the idea of the existence of all these perils and that’s why we are not reaching any results.

But even if we could reach them, the campaign would be sooooo hard against us that the people would never consider those dangers. We will see how all of this evolves but I am not the least optimistic about it.

It’s possible that I will write something for international blogs when I think it’s important enough to do so. But it would never be a regular blogging scheme as I was doing here, it would only be when I consider the news are sooo important I have to blog about them.

So I’m writing this post to thank the readers, the commenters, the linkers and the people who had given me any awards they have deemed I merited during this time. You have given me what it was necessary to blog all this time.

I will continue reading the mail, but not in a regular basis as I was doing now. So just don’t imagine I don’t want to answer you, it’s just I have had time enough to read it!!! 😉

See you!!

Aviso

Como veis llevo varios días sin bloguear. La verdad es que me está sentando muy bien y no quiero volver por el momento a escribir nada. No sólo es que no tenga tiempo (que también). Es que la realidad es peor de lo que siquiera yo podía imaginar hace tan sólo dos años. Abu Qutada, el mismo embajador de Al-Qaeda en Europa y firme partidario de Bin Laden clérigo que han soltado en Inglaterra, bajo la condición de que no se vea con Bin Laden, ya está haciendo declaraciones pacíficas del tipo de “Aterrorizar a los infieles” y animando a los jóvenes a cometer más atentados suicidas, mientras algunos bloggers se preguntan para qué quieren tanta medida anti-libertad del ciudadano medio si luego estos elementos quedan libres, lo que ya me pregunté yo el otro día. Mientras, la ofensiva contra la libertad de expresión continúa:

Francamente, el blog me lleva mucho tiempo libre al que no estoy dispuesta a renunciar por más tiempo. Seguiré mandando cuando pueda algún que otro enlace al grupo de Google Por la defensa de la libertad de expresión, pero mi tiempo en la blogosfera creo que ha terminado por el momento, al menos de forma regular.

Creo que otros muchos lo harán mejor que yo lo he podido hacer (cualquiera puede traducir un documento) y que nadie es imprescindible en la blogosfera. Así que escribo este post sobre todo para dar las gracias a todos los que me habéis seguido el tiempo que he blogueado, a los que habéis comentado, a los que me habéis puesto alguna vez un enlace y a los que habéis considerado que merecía obtener alguna vez algún premio.

Seguiré también viendo el mail de vez en cuando, aunque no con la frecuencia con la que lo hacía hasta ahora. Así que si no os contesto no es que no quiera, es simplemente que no me ha dado tiempo a mirarlo.

Abrazos.

**********

Hello, my international readers. There is time for everything in life and the time for me of quitting off blogging (at least for a long time) has come. The situation is worsening day by day and I don’t think that blogging is going to make us arrive to any solution at all. I am wasting a lot of free time in this and I don’t see results at all. Yes, the blogosphere is much bigger than three years ago, but the measures against it are not benefiting it at least not in the long run. I really believe we are not reaching but the already converted to the idea of the existence of all these perils and that’s why we are not reaching any results.

But even if we could reach them, the campaign would be sooooo hard against us that the people would never consider those dangers. We will see how all of this evolves but I am not the least optimistic about it.

It’s possible that I will write something for international blogs when I think it’s important enough to do it. But it would never be a regular blogging scheme as I was doing here, it would only be when I consider the news are sooo important I have to blog about them.

So I’m writing this post to thank the readers, the commenters, the linkers and the people who had given me any awards they have deemed I merited. You have given me what I was necessary to blog all this time.

I will continue reading the mail, but not in a regular basis as I was doing it now. So just don’t imagine I don’t want to answer you, it’s just I have had time enough to read it!!!

See you!!

junio 18, 2008

More antiterrorist idiocy from UK

Osama bin Laden’s ‘right-hand man’ Abu Qatada wins bail fight – Times Online h/t Kris.
An extremist Muslim cleric regarded as Osama bin Laden’s “spiritual ambassador in Europe” must be released on bail, a judge ruled yesterday.

Abu Qatada, 48, who won his legal fight against deportation to Jordan last month, will be freed from prison under strict bail conditions, amounting to 22-hour house arrest, despite being deemed a threat to national security.

The cleric applied to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) for bail on the ground that it was inhumane to detain him indefinitely if there was no prospect of his being deported.

The order by Mr Justice Mitting to release him is the latest in a series of judicial decisions that undermine the Government’s stance on terrorism. In the past year, the courts have in effect rewritten sections of terrorism legislation and ruled that financial sanctions on terrorist suspects were absurd and unlawful.

So, errr, the same Government who wants to stablish a regulation to record all critizens’ e-mails and phone calls of all the people inside the UK, just in case they are needed in a counter-terrorist investigation. That same Government who has lost data and more data from those citizens. That same Government who has lost documents considered as Top Secret, first ones about Irak war and the fight against Al-Qaeda and then about how the terrorists get financed. That same Government who has filled London with security cameras to spy on their citizens, placing them even on dustbins and who has defended all that because “we can’t fight with 19th century means, 21st century challenges”… That same Government who has insisted a law must be passed to retain people for 42 days, at the most, without charging them in counter-terrorism processes….

That same Government has released one of the most dangerous terrorists in UK, Abu Qutada, considered the Bin-Laden’s Ambassador in Europe, on condition that: “he is banned from meeting with Osama Bin Laden in London”.

Just not giving my opinion. I am so angry… And no, this is not because someone is “imbecile” or that other is not “responsible enough”.

But don’t worry: in Spain, the Central Intelligence Agency (the Spanish one, not US) has being spying on a Constitutional Tribunal Judge, García-Calvo (against whom even a hookup was made) and who died some weeks ago just before having to take part in several very important decisions (homosexual marriage, Catalonian Statute), with presumably he would have voted against the Government’s position. And also we have the pedophile

*********
Han dejado en libertad a Abu Qutada, uno de los peores terroristas que ha conocido Europa, el “Embajador de Al-Qaeda”. Los responsables de este nuevo desaguisado en materia contra-terrorista han sido los de una comisión del Gobierno británico para las “Apelaciones en Inmigración”, que le ha puesto como condición (pásmense todos ante la dureza de la condición):

que no puede reunirse con Bin Laden en Londres.

Ahora comparadlo con lo que he escrito justo en el anterior post. A mí desde luego risa, no me da.

Claro que aquí tenemos al CNI espiando a García-Calvo (con montaje incluido).

No puedo con estas cosas…

More antiterrorist idiocy from UK

Osama bin Laden’s ‘right-hand man’ Abu Qatada wins bail fight – Times Online h/t Kris.

An extremist Muslim cleric regarded as Osama bin Laden’s “spiritual ambassador in Europe” must be released on bail, a judge ruled yesterday.

Abu Qatada, 48, who won his legal fight against deportation to Jordan last month, will be freed from prison under strict bail conditions, amounting to 22-hour house arrest, despite being deemed a threat to national security.

The cleric applied to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) for bail on the ground that it was inhumane to detain him indefinitely if there was no prospect of his being deported.

The order by Mr Justice Mitting to release him is the latest in a series of judicial decisions that undermine the Government’s stance on terrorism. In the past year, the courts have in effect rewritten sections of terrorism legislation and ruled that financial sanctions on terrorist suspects were absurd and unlawful.

So, errr, the same Government who wants to stablish a regulation to record all critizens’ e-mails and phone calls of all the people inside the UK, just in case they are needed in a counter-terrorist investigation. That same Government who has lost data and more data from those citizens. That same Government who has lost documents considered as Top Secret, first ones about Irak war and the fight against Al-Qaeda and then about how the terrorists get financed. That same Government who has filled London with security cameras to spy on their citizens, placing them even on dustbins and who has defended all that because “we can’t fight with 19th century means, 21st century challenges”… That same Government who has insisted a law must be passed to retain people for 42 days, at the most, without charging them in counter-terrorism processes….

That same Government has released one of the most dangerous terrorists in UK, Abu Qutada, considered the Bin-Laden’s Ambassador in Europe, on condition that: “he is banned from meeting with Osama Bin Laden in London”.

Just not giving my opinion. I am so angry… And no, this is not because someone is “imbecile” or that other is not “responsible enough”.

But don’t worry: in Spain, the Central Intelligence Agency (the Spanish one, not US) has being spying on a Constitutional Tribunal Judge, García-Calvo (against whom even a hookup was made) and who died some weeks ago just before having to take part in several very important decisions (homosexual marriage, Catalonian Statute), with presumably he would have voted against the Government’s position. And also we have the pedophile

*********
Han dejado en libertad a Abu Qutada, uno de los peores terroristas que ha conocido Europa, el “Embajador de Al-Qaeda”. Los responsables de este nuevo desaguisado en materia contra-terrorista han sido los de una comisión del Gobierno para las “Apelaciones en Inmigración”, que le ha puesto como condición (pásmense todos ante la dureza de la condición):

que no puede reunirse con Bin Laden en Londres.

Ahora comparadlo con lo que he escrito justo en el anterior post. A mí desde luego risa, no me da.

Claro que aquí tenemos al CNI espiando a García-Calvo (con montaje incluido).

No puedo con estas cosas…

Las "excusas" para limitar la libertad de expresión

(I will try later to translate this post for international readers, perhaps in one of the English blogs I am writing to. I will insert the link afterwars. Thanks.)
Como ya escribí hace unos días, el Partido laborista británico se prepara para establecer una regulación mediante la que se quiere grabar todos los correos electrónicos y llamadas telefónicas de todos los que estén en el Reino Unido por si acaso son necesarias en una investigación contraterrorista. Es decir, la presunción de inocencia no existe: todos los ciudadanos son potenciales terroristas, dando igual su pasado, su profesión, sus vínculos (o su carencia de ellos) con grupos extremistas, violentos, fundamentalistas, terroristas, etc.

La cobardía a la hora de hacer un diagnóstico realista de la situación, en la que un altísimo porcentaje de atentados terroristas son cometidos por musulmanes extremistas (con pocas excepciones, como ETA o los Tigres Tamiles, que no pertenecen a ese entorno) hace que, en lugar de perseguir el extremismo fundamentalista allí donde se encuentra, se criminalice a toda la sociedad.

La última noticia al respecto viene de Suecia (h/t María, gracias al grupo de Google). Exactamente igual que en el caso de Reino Unido, se pone como excusa el terrorismo para imponer una vigilancia generalizada sobre todos los bloggers. Oscar Swartz :: Texplorer: Mayday Mayday! Internet Wall of China – around Sweden!

This may be one of the last messages to be sent from Sweden before the Parliament forces all the big Internet and Telecom providers to send a copy of all their traffic to a state run surveillance central. Without any rational reason for it. Vague arguments about terrorism. Sweden is not faced by such threats and to abolish freedom of communications is not a solution to political problems in other countries.

Swedes will never be able to communicate again without a copy being sent to the state of all the traffic that passes our borders. That is a large part of what we do. Our whole lives are lived on the net today. So the state will have a direct line into our lives.

The Swedish Journalist’s Federation has now called every journalist in the country who can make it to personally turn up at the parliament to beg the MOPs to vote NO! This is an unprecedented manifestation in Sweden.

The law was a sure thing to pass until only a week ago. Bloggers and activists have worked for months against it but mainstream media has not seen the significance of the law until the last week. We, the netizens, have now managed to whip up a firestorm and the law will probably be turned down with a very slim margin althouh 85-90 % of the people are against having their communication copied to the state and are against the law.

Atención a lo que dice porque es para considerarlo: van a copiar TODAS las comunicaciones entre las personas por mail y van a mandar la copia a una central. De nuevo se pone al terrorismo como excusa. De momento hasta que convenzan a la sociedad de lo magnífico que es que les espíen por intenet, lo han parado.

Mientras la Unión Europea, quiere también imponer su propio registro “voluntario” de bloggers para “protegerlos”. O sea, o dices hasta el color y talla de tu ropa interior o cualquier funcionario puede meterte un puro por haber posteado una foto o un vídeo en el que salga una personalidad pública. Porque si posteas eso, además debes pagar una tasa. De modo que si el funcionario en concreto recibe una orden de que a fulanito hay que molestarle un poquito, a ese lo fríen. Sólo hay que ver lo que ha ocurrido con Jiménez Losantos y Rubianes. Decir que “el alcalde de Madrid no quería investigar el 11-M porque le favorecía personalmente” es una injuria que tu mueres y a pagar (aunque menos de lo que pidió la Fiscalía). Decir “Me cago en la puta España de mierda. Espero que a todos los españoles les exploten los cojones”, es un fino, educado y sano ejercicio de la libertad de expresión. Con los bloggers pasaría lo mismo. Una imparcialidad y un mismo rasero para todos que me entra la risa sólo de pensarlo.

Sin embargo, la Unión Europea no usa el terrorismo sino la protección del blogger. Es decir, te controlo por tu bien, porque eres menor realmente no vaya a ser que digas algo que no nos guste. Por ejemplo, postees una foto de un político cayéndosele los mocos en un acto oficial. Cuidado que eso es burlarse de alguien

De modo que las “excusas” son dos:
a) la información que dan los bloggers es falsa: esto me hace gracia. Si un periódico, Tv o radio se equivoca en una cuestión, pide perdón (en caso de que lo pida porque le han pillado…) y no ocurre nada más. Si UN blogger da UNA noticia falsa, uyyy, hay un peligro muy grave de que TODOS los bloggers digan alguna que otra cosa que sea falsa… Lo divertido es que si algo tienen los blogs es la agilidad: cualquiera puede comentar, cualquiera puede contradecir y cualquiera puede escribir su propio blog poniendo a caer de un burro a otro. Lo divertido es que esto no se dice.
b) “el estatus quo de los bloggers no está claro y si alguien se siente injustamente insultado, no puede contestarlo”:
-primero, que yo me siento insultada por el 99% de los políticos continuamente y no hay forma de hacerles llegar el poco respeto que les tengo. Así que, ¿por qué a un ciudadano normal sí hay que decirle “me siento injustamente retratado por usted en sus ratos libres”?
-Segundo, el político (o el periodista) puede mantener un blog e insultar (o describir exactamente) a aquellos que le critican.
-Tercero, el status quo de un blogger es el mismo que el de un comentarista de la actualidad en el salón de su casa. ¿También van a regular cómo comentamos en la sobremesa las noticias? Ahh, no, espera, que puede ser que nos lea alguien más que nuestros amigos próximos y familiares. Qué peligro más grande, oye. Para los que están insistentemente tratando de imponer estas leyes, sí, es un peligro muy grande: negocios multimillonarios de comunicación (sólo hay que ver la Fox ahora que como ve que Obama puede ganar, está asediando a los bloggers… de derechas), lobbyies poderosos, políticos a la búsqueda de un puesto de por vida en política o fuera de ella… a ninguno les interesa la blogosfera como espacio libre. Porque incluso aunque sólo se enlacen noticias, el hecho es que sólo se enlazan aquellas que interesan al blogger. Y por esa forma de enlazar y por el comentario más o menos breve, se ve cómo piensan y su forma particular de ver la realidad, que puede ser muy molesta. Tan molesta que cada vez hay más bloggers encarcelados por ejercer su derecho a la libertad de expresión. Algunos durante años (China) y otros durante horas:

Estos casos no sólo se dan en estos países ya que en la lista también se incluye como detenidos al canadiense Charles Leblanc, arrestado durante cuatro horas por fotografiar una protesta para su blog o a Christophe Grebert, un ciudadano francés que fue detenido por criticar la gestión del gobierno local en su bitácora. El juez, sin embargo, desestimó el caso.

Las penas van desde unas horas (Leblanc) hasta los 8 años impuestos a cuatro bloggers en China por promover y hacer cobertura de una manifestación.

En China, además un blogger fue asesinado por la policía a porrazos por filmar una protesta.

Como ya escribí hace unos días, en Yemen han detenido y condenado a seis años de trabajos forzados a un periodista, Al-Khaiwaini. Su caso ha sido conocido fuera de Yemen, gracias a Jane Novak, que blogeua en Armies of Liberation y que por supuesto, ha sido baneado en Yemen. En principio, Yemen es un sitio lejano, que no tendría que preocuparnos. Pero lo curioso es que la acusación contra él ha sido la misma que la que digo más arriba: es un terrorista. ¿Por qué? En Yemen existe una guerra entre el ejército regular (suní) y la guerrilla terrorista del Norte (chií), que ha ganado varias veces al ejército, lo que ha sido ocultado por el gobierno. Al-Khaiwaini, que ya ha estado en prisión con anterioridad, ha sido acusado de terrorismo por “bajar la moral de las tropas”, al contar la verdad sobre los enfrentamientos entre el ejército y la guerrilla. Mientras uno de los terroristas que atentó contra el USS Cole matando a varios soldados americanos ha sido puesto en libertad.

Si hay algo que me divierte de todo esto (realmente no, no lo hace lo más mínimo…) es ver que el Reino Unido pierde datos y más datos de ciudadanos. Pierde papeles calificados de Top Secret que dejan olvidados funcionarios en asientos de trenes de cercanías, sobre la guerra de Irak y cómo combatir a Al-Qaeda (¿estaban allí para cambiarlos por algo y los cogió la persona equivocada? ¿funcionarios corruptos?). Y aún más documentos, esta vez sobre cómo se financian los terroristas. Llenen Londres de cámaras de seguridad para espiar cada movimiento de los ciudadanos, situándolas incluso en los cubos de basuras… Y hayan ampliado hasta 42 días el tiempo en que cualquiera puede ser detenido sin cargos en procesos contra el terrorismo, provocando la dimisión de un conservador, Davis, al que han intentado acusar hasta de homófobo (tiene que ser de lo peorcito para oponerse a algo así) y provocando hasta el desmayo de sus compañeros conservadores, porque ha acusado a todos de incumplir los más sagrados principios de Inglaterra. El partido laborista dice que ello es necesario para poder buscar más pruebas con que acusar a los detenidos. Lo que estaría bien si no las perdieran, si usaran las que ya tienen y si efectivamente no dijeran a determinados líderes musulmanes “puedes decir que matar infieles está bien, mientras que no haya atentados en suelo inglés”. Hasta que llegan y mueren 52 personas y los asesinos eran fervientes oyentes del Capitán Garfio – Ojo Tuerto, al que el mismísimo MI5 le había dado ese recado.

A lo mejor soy una exagerada. A lo mejor veo gigantes donde sólo hay molinos. A lo mejor estoy empezando a estar mal de la cabeza. Pero las consecuencias que todo esto puede traer para la sociedad en general son preocupantes. Es cierto que el terrorismo es una amenaza pero esto es aún peor porque el terrorismo conseguiría mucho: doblegar la libertad como tal dentro de Occidente. Destruir la independencia de los bloggers es como quemar la Biblioteca de Alejandría: cuántas ideas, soluciones o buena voluntad quedaría destruídas sólo por el MIEDO de algunos a perder sus chiringuitos. Y destruirla por estas razones no puede más que llamarse de una forma: matar moscas a cañonazos.

Las “excusas” para limitar la libertad de expresión

Como ya escribí hace unos días, el Partido laborista británico se prepara para establecer una regulación mediante la que se quiere grabar todos los correos electrónicos y llamadas telefónicas de todos los que estén en el Reino Unido por si acaso son necesarias en una investigación contraterrorista. Es decir, la presunción de inocencia no existe: todos los ciudadanos son potenciales terroristas, dando igual su pasado, su profesión, sus vínculos (o su carencia de ellos) con grupos extremistas, violentos, fundamentalistas, terroristas, etc.

La cobardía a la hora de hacer un diagnóstico realista de la situación, en la que un altísimo porcentaje de atentados terroristas son cometidos por musulmanes extremistas (con pocas excepciones, como ETA o los Tigres Tamiles, que no pertenecen a ese entorno) hace que, en lugar de perseguir el extremismo fundamentalista allí donde se encuentra, se criminalice a toda la sociedad.

La última noticia al respecto viene de Suecia (h/t María, gracias al grupo de Google). Exactamente igual que en el caso de Reino Unido, se pone como excusa el terrorismo para imponer una vigilancia generalizada sobre todos los bloggers. Oscar Swartz :: Texplorer: Mayday Mayday! Internet Wall of China – around Sweden!

This may be one of the last messages to be sent from Sweden before the Parliament forces all the big Internet and Telecom providers to send a copy of all their traffic to a state run surveillance central. Without any rational reason for it. Vague arguments about terrorism. Sweden is not faced by such threats and to abolish freedom of communications is not a solution to political problems in other countries.

Swedes will never be able to communicate again without a copy being sent to the state of all the traffic that passes our borders. That is a large part of what we do. Our whole lives are lived on the net today. So the state will have a direct line into our lives.

The Swedish Journalist’s Federation has now called every journalist in the country who can make it to personally turn up at the parliament to beg the MOPs to vote NO! This is an unprecedented manifestation in Sweden.

The law was a sure thing to pass until only a week ago. Bloggers and activists have worked for months against it but mainstream media has not seen the significance of the law until the last week. We, the netizens, have now managed to whip up a firestorm and the law will probably be turned down with a very slim margin althouh 85-90 % of the people are against having their communication copied to the state and are against the law.

Atención a lo que dice porque es para considerarlo: van a copiar TODAS las comunicaciones entre las personas por mail y van a mandar la copia a una central. De nuevo se pone al terrorismo como excusa. De momento hasta que convenzan a la sociedad de lo magnífico que es que les espíen por intenet, lo han parado.

Mientras la Unión Europea, quiere también imponer su propio registro “voluntario” de bloggers para “protegerlos”. O sea, o dices hasta el color y talla de tu ropa interior o cualquier funcionario puede meterte un puro por haber posteado una foto o un vídeo en el que salga una personalidad pública. Porque si posteas eso, además debes pagar una tasa. De modo que si el funcionario en concreto recibe una orden de que a fulanito hay que molestarle un poquito, a ese lo fríen. Sólo hay que ver lo que ha ocurrido con Jiménez Losantos y Rubianes. Decir que “el alcalde de Madrid no quería investigar el 11-M porque le favorecía personalmente” es una injuria que tu mueres y a pagar (aunque menos de lo que pidió la Fiscalía). Decir “Me cago en la puta España de mierda. Espero que a todos los españoles les exploten los cojones”, es un fino, educado y sano ejercicio de la libertad de expresión. Con los bloggers pasaría lo mismo. Una imparcialidad y un mismo rasero para todos que me entra la risa sólo de pensarlo.

Sin embargo, la Unión Europea no usa el terrorismo sino la protección del blogger. Es decir, te controlo por tu bien, porque eres menor realmente no vaya a ser que digas algo que no nos guste. Por ejemplo, postees una foto de un político cayéndosele los mocos en un acto oficial. Cuidado que eso es burlarse de alguien…

De modo que las “excusas” son dos:
a) la información que dan los bloggers es falsa: esto me hace gracia. Si un periódico, Tv o radio se equivoca en una cuestión, pide perdón (en caso de que lo pida porque le han pillado…) y no ocurre nada más. Si UN blogger da UNA noticia falsa, uyyy, hay un peligro muy grave de que TODOS los bloggers digan alguna que otra cosa que sea falsa… Lo divertido es que si algo tienen los blogs es la agilidad: cualquiera puede comentar, cualquiera puede contradecir y cualquiera puede escribir su propio blog poniendo a caer de un burro a otro. Lo divertido es que esto no se dice.
b) “el estatus quo de los bloggers no está claro y si alguien se siente injustamente insultado, no puede contestarlo”:
-primero, que yo me siento insultada por el 99% de los políticos continuamente y no hay forma de hacerles llegar el poco respeto que les tengo. Así que, ¿por qué a un ciudadano normal sí hay que decirle “me siento injustamente retratado por usted en sus ratos libres”?
-Segundo, el político (o el periodista) puede mantener un blog e insultar (o describir exactamente) a aquellos que le critican.
-Tercero, el status quo de un blogger es el mismo que el de un comentarista de la actualidad en el salón de su casa. ¿También van a regular cómo comentamos en la sobremesa las noticias? Ahh, no, espera, que puede ser que nos lea alguien más que nuestros amigos próximos y familiares. Qué peligro más grande, oye. Para los que están insistentemente tratando de imponer estas leyes, sí, es un peligro muy grande: negocios multimillonarios de comunicación (sólo hay que ver la Fox ahora que como ve que Obama puede ganar, está asediando a los bloggers… de derechas), lobbyies poderosos, políticos a la búsqueda de un puesto de por vida en política o fuera de ella… a ninguno les interesa la blogosfera como espacio libre. Porque incluso aunque sólo se enlacen noticias, el hecho es que sólo se enlazan aquellas que interesan al blogger. Y por esa forma de enlazar y por el comentario más o menos breve, se ve cómo piensan y su forma particular de ver la realidad, que puede ser muy molesta. Tan molesta que cada vez hay más bloggers encarcelados por ejercer su derecho a la libertad de expresión. Algunos durante años (China) y otros durante horas:

Estos casos no sólo se dan en estos países ya que en la lista también se incluye como detenidos al canadiense Charles Leblanc, arrestado durante cuatro horas por fotografiar una protesta para su blog o a Christophe Grebert, un ciudadano francés que fue detenido por criticar la gestión del gobierno local en su bitácora. El juez, sin embargo, desestimó el caso.

Las penas van desde unas horas (Leblanc) hasta los 8 años impuestos a cuatro bloggers en China por promover y hacer cobertura de una manifestación.

En China, además un blogger fue asesinado por la policía a porrazos por filmar una protesta.

Como ya escribí hace unos días, en Yemen han detenido y condenado a seis años de trabajos forzados a un periodista, Al-Khaiwaini. Su caso ha sido conocido fuera de Yemen, gracias a Jane Novak, que blogeua en Armies of Liberation y que por supuesto, ha sido baneado en Yemen. En principio, Yemen es un sitio lejano, que no tendría que preocuparnos. Pero lo curioso es que la acusación contra él ha sido la misma que la que digo más arriba: es un terrorista. ¿Por qué? En Yemen existe una guerra entre el ejército regular (suní) y la guerrilla terrorista del Norte (chií), que ha ganado varias veces al ejército, lo que ha sido ocultado por el gobierno. Al-Khaiwaini, que ya ha estado en prisión con anterioridad, ha sido acusado de terrorismo por “bajar la moral de las tropas”, al contar la verdad sobre los enfrentamientos entre el ejército y la guerrilla. Mientras uno de los terroristas que atentó contra el USS Cole matando a varios soldados americanos ha sido puesto en libertad.

Si hay algo que me divierte de todo esto (realmente no, no lo hace lo más mínimo…) es ver que el Reino Unido pierde datos y más datos de ciudadanos. Pierde papeles calificados de Top Secret que dejan olvidados funcionarios en asientos de trenes de cercanías, sobre la guerra de Irak y cómo combatir a Al-Qaeda (¿estaban allí para cambiarlos por algo y los cogió la persona equivocada? ¿funcionarios corruptos?). Y aún más documentos, esta vez sobre cómo se financian los terroristas. Llenen Londres de cámaras de seguridad para espiar cada movimiento de los ciudadanos, situándolas incluso en los cubos de basuras… Y hayan ampliado hasta 42 días el tiempo en que cualquiera puede ser detenido sin cargos en procesos contra el terrorismo, provocando la dimisión de un conservador, Davis, al que han intentado acusar hasta de homófobo (tiene que ser de lo peorcito para oponerse a algo así) y provocando hasta el desmayo de sus compañeros conservadores, porque ha acusado a todos de incumplir los más sagrados principios de Inglaterra. El partido laborista dice que ello es necesario para poder buscar más pruebas con que acusar a los detenidos. Lo que estaría bien si no las perdieran, si usaran las que ya tienen y si efectivamente no dijeran a determinados líderes musulmanes “puedes decir que matar infieles está bien, mientras que no haya atentados en suelo inglés”. Hasta que llegan y mueren 52 personas y los asesinos eran fervientes oyentes del Capitán GarfioOjo Tuerto, al que el mismísimo MI5 le había dado ese recado.

A lo mejor soy una exagerada. A lo mejor veo gigantes donde sólo hay molinos. A lo mejor estoy empezando a estar mal de la cabeza. Pero las consecuencias que todo esto puede traer para la sociedad en general son preocupantes. Es cierto que el terrorismo es una amenaza pero esto es aún peor porque el terrorismo conseguiría mucho: doblegar la libertad como tal dentro de Occidente. Destruir la independencia de los bloggers es como quemar la Biblioteca de Alejandría: cuántas ideas, soluciones o buena voluntad quedaría destruídas sólo por el MIEDO de algunos a perder sus chiringuitos. Y destruirla por estas razones no puede más que llamarse de una forma: matar moscas a cañonazos.

junio 17, 2008

Why I was not the least optimistic about Irish rejection of Lisbon Treaty?

Because the minute they know they have rejected it, that same minute they are considering when a second vote could be made:

BBC NEWS | Europe | EU vows to pursue Lisbon treaty

Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin has said it is “far too early” to seek a solution to the Irish rejection of a European Union reform treaty.

Speaking in Luxembourg, Mr Martin told reporters: “The people’s decision has to be respected and we have to chart a way through… It is far too early for proffering any solutions or proposals.

“There are no quick fix solutions.”

But it is now up to the Irish Taoiseach – or Prime Minister – Brian Cowen to find a way forward with the other EU leaders at their Brussels summit, says the BBC’s European affairs correspondent Oana Lungescu.

Leaders want to know what went wrong, what changes could be made to accommodate the disparate concerns of Irish voters and how soon a second vote may be possible, if at all, she says.

The most likely scenario, our correspondent suggests, is a declaration assuring the Irish that the treaty will not affect their policies on abortion, taxation and neutrality.

But one minister told the BBC that there may not be any concrete proposals until the next EU summit in October, by which time it would be clear how many other countries have ratified the treaty and on what basis Ireland could vote again, adds our correspondent.

As EU Referendum writes, “the game is far from over”:

Of particular interest is a move by the Tories in the Lords to put up a motion calling for the suspension of the ratification process – the main story in the paper – and one which has already attracted the opposition of the government. Thus does Riddell think that the ratification Bill will still get its third reading tomorrow but, he ventures, “the margin could be narrow”.

(…) The reaction of most EU governments to the decision of Irish voters to reject the Lisbon treaty has, says the paper, been extraordinary. There has been contempt – suggestions that the Irish people are fearful, uncomprehending and irrational; there has been denial.

Wolfgang Schäuble, the wonderful stage German is also cited. It is he that we featured on Sunday – abstracted from Deutsche Well – declaring that “a few million Irish cannot decide on behalf of 495 million Europeans”. At last, the paper has caught up, now railing against the “combination of arrogance and unreality” of European leaders who are busy briefing that nothing has changed and that the treaty sails on.”

(…) The theme that Ireland is somehow going to be cast into outer darkness, with the rest of the member states setting up a “two tier” Europe has somehow caught the imagination, and it is one that The Daily Telegraph also pursues – as do many of the other media outlets.

Ambrose Evans-Pritichard savages this idea on his clog, referring to the “bullying treatment of Ireland”, declaring attempts at exclusion as “not legal”. Any attempt to proceed without Irish compliance, he writes, is a Putsch.

FT:

“People are only now beginning to think about what the consequences are,” said Brigid Laffan, politics professor at University College Dublin. “There is a real danger we will now be grouped with the eurosceptic group of member states.”

Ireland has now rejected an EU treaty twice in seven years – the first time in 2001 with the Nice treaty, which paved the way for European Union expansion.

“There is definitely some regret creeping in now and some annoyance that the government didn’t explain it properly,” said a property developer. “It’s fine to say it was good for Ireland, but ministers totally misunderstood the level of detail that people wanted.

(…) Prof Laffan said the first consequence would be that Ireland found its diplomatic hand in Brussels much reduced, in areas such as the upcoming review of the Common Agricultural Policy.

Well, saying “No”, stating where the limits are, is not easy and, what is more, the people to what those statements are directed, normally “don’t understand” or just plainly “don’t want to understand”. It’s much more easy not to consider the errors the treaty has, not understanding the real reasons for the rejection and consider only “how marvellous the treaty is”. The Treaty is not a marvellous one: it continues to stablish a very undemocratic structure, is not clear enough about what EU aims and principles are, is soooo complicated and soooo long citizens are not going to read it (so they are not going to know what its implications are for them) and, above all, it does not have common sense on it, by stating what are the frontiers and the limits European Union has. Result? There are even EU FMs who do not know where the limits are clearly. Something which should have been done from the first time, using the principles to select how wide and how many countries it should comprehend.

It’s curious nonetheless, that they reject the Treaty because of the possible imposition of a common taxation. We can’t forget that the first and more important role of a Parliament is the stablishment of a common taxation system for all citizens, whatever their particular circumstances are, as the principle of equality requires. If all Europeans want to be equal, that is the first step towards it: a common tax law or at least, a common regulation of taxes, leaving each of the European states the possibility of raising or lowering the tax between some margins.

There are two problems though:

a) I don’t think they actually want to state a common taxation system (something which could simplify enormously the tax declarations alongside the EU), they just want to make more obscure regulations, just as as the Treaty is. For what I know, that is. As a Law is more clearly written, its principles and effects are directly seen. If you put up a very complicated system with huge regulations, it’s really difficult for anyone to consider all the effects of a law. In Spain this is even worse, as we have the central Tax Law system and then 17 others, each for each Autonomous Community.

b) We are in a climate of economic recession. Normally those periods are difficult to introduce great changes upon a Law system, much more into a Tax Law system, as the effects are going to be directly felt by the citizens.

I believe Ireland is going to pay for this: Britain has defended Irish position against France and Germany who wanted to leave Ireland out of EU decision-making. Just wait and see.

For a neat summary of what has happened, I’m copying this paragraph from Eursoc’s post on the subject:

First off comes the cry that 3 million registered voters in Ireland shouldn’t be able to derail a treaty designed to bring the blessings of an integrated Europe to 490 million, a theme supported by the BBC but neatly snipped by Guido, who demonstrates that as the other 26 nations are ratifying by parliamentary vote, it’s more like around 9,000 MPs deciding on the future of Europe for 490 million.

Oh, and read Guido’s report of Irish anti-EU politician Declan speech in Westminster. What an ironic man this Guido. 😆

****
No soy muy optimista acerca de la Unión Europea y de lo que va a suponer para su desarrollo a partir de ahora el rechazo al Tratado de Lisboa por parte de Irlanda. Tanto Alemania como Francia la quieren dejar aislada o, al menos, han amenazado con ello. Al parecer, Irlanda sólo va a conseguir en el mejor escenario, que se le excluya de determinados capítulos como la imposición o el aborto.
El Tratado de Lisboa no es bueno: tiene una redacción farragosa, sin principios claros. Su longitud y la poca claridad hacen que los ciudadanos ni se planteen leerlo y por tanto, la publicidad de la Ley no sirve a su propósito.
Pero no creo que la más fundada causa para rechazarlo sea que imponga un sistema impositivo conjunto. De hecho, esto sería lo deseable: que dejando un margen a los Estados se estableciera un sistema común por el Parlamento Europeo. Sin embargo, veo dos problemas: el primero, la propia forma de legislar en la Unión Europea, en la que el papel del Parlamento es anecdótico, consultivo o bien necesita la aprobación del Consejo o de la Comisión. El segundo es la propia inercia reguladora de la Unión Europea: no creo que la legislación que aprobara fuera clara, si no todo lo contrario.
El clima de recesión generalizado tampoco creo que ayude mucho a un cambio tan importante del sistema impositivo (en este caso del Impuesto de Sociedades).
Así que la razón, como en prácticamente todo lo demás, no es que se rechaza a LA Unión Europea, si no a ESTA Unión Europea. Y es eso a lo que la mayoría de los políticos no prestan atención: por de pronto lo que quieren es simplemente que se repita de nuevo el referéndum.

Como el resto de los países no lo van a someter a referéndum, la situación puede describirse mejor como que “9000 parlamentarios van a decidir la suerte de 490 millones de personas”. Milagros de la democracia representativa… 😦

Veremos qué ocurre.

Why I was not the least optimistic about Irish rejection of Lisbon Treaty?

Filed under: Europa,Europe,Irlanda/Ireland,UE — Nora @ 6:49 pm

Because the minute they know they have rejected it, that same minute they are considering when a second vote could be made:

BBC NEWS | Europe | EU vows to pursue Lisbon treaty

Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin has said it is “far too early” to seek a solution to the Irish rejection of a European Union reform treaty.

Speaking in Luxembourg, Mr Martin told reporters: “The people’s decision has to be respected and we have to chart a way through… It is far too early for proffering any solutions or proposals.

“There are no quick fix solutions.”

But it is now up to the Irish Taoiseach – or Prime Minister – Brian Cowen to find a way forward with the other EU leaders at their Brussels summit, says the BBC’s European affairs correspondent Oana Lungescu.

Leaders want to know what went wrong, what changes could be made to accommodate the disparate concerns of Irish voters and how soon a second vote may be possible, if at all, she says.

The most likely scenario, our correspondent suggests, is a declaration assuring the Irish that the treaty will not affect their policies on abortion, taxation and neutrality.

But one minister told the BBC that there may not be any concrete proposals until the next EU summit in October, by which time it would be clear how many other countries have ratified the treaty and on what basis Ireland could vote again, adds our correspondent.

As EU Referendum writes, “the game is far from over”:

Of particular interest is a move by the Tories in the Lords to put up a motion calling for the suspension of the ratification process – the main story in the paper – and one which has already attracted the opposition of the government. Thus does Riddell think that the ratification Bill will still get its third reading tomorrow but, he ventures, “the margin could be narrow”.

(…) The reaction of most EU governments to the decision of Irish voters to reject the Lisbon treaty has, says the paper, been extraordinary. There has been contempt – suggestions that the Irish people are fearful, uncomprehending and irrational; there has been denial.

Wolfgang Schäuble, the wonderful stage German is also cited. It is he that we featured on Sunday – abstracted from Deutsche Well – declaring that “a few million Irish cannot decide on behalf of 495 million Europeans”. At last, the paper has caught up, now railing against the “combination of arrogance and unreality” of European leaders who are busy briefing that nothing has changed and that the treaty sails on.”

(…) The theme that Ireland is somehow going to be cast into outer darkness, with the rest of the member states setting up a “two tier” Europe has somehow caught the imagination, and it is one that The Daily Telegraph also pursues – as do many of the other media outlets.

Ambrose Evans-Pritichard savages this idea on his clog, referring to the “bullying treatment of Ireland”, declaring attempts at exclusion as “not legal”. Any attempt to proceed without Irish compliance, he writes, is a Putsch.

FT:

“People are only now beginning to think about what the consequences are,” said Brigid Laffan, politics professor at University College Dublin. “There is a real danger we will now be grouped with the eurosceptic group of member states.”

Ireland has now rejected an EU treaty twice in seven years – the first time in 2001 with the Nice treaty, which paved the way for European Union expansion.

“There is definitely some regret creeping in now and some annoyance that the government didn’t explain it properly,” said a property developer. “It’s fine to say it was good for Ireland, but ministers totally misunderstood the level of detail that people wanted.

(…) Prof Laffan said the first consequence would be that Ireland found its diplomatic hand in Brussels much reduced, in areas such as the upcoming review of the Common Agricultural Policy.

Well, saying “No”, stating where the limits are, is not easy and, what is more, the people to what those statements are directed, normally “don’t understand” or just plainly “don’t want to understand”. It’s much more easy not to consider the errors the treaty has, not understanding the real reasons for the rejection and consider only “how marvellous the treaty is”. The Treaty is not a marvellous one: it continues to stablish a very undemocratic structure, is not clear enough about what EU aims and principles are, is soooo complicated and soooo long citizens are not going to read it (so they are not going to know what its implications are for them) and, above all, it does not have common sense on it, by stating what are the frontiers and the limits European Union has. Result? There are even EU FMs who do not know where the limits are clearly. Something which should have been done from the first time, using the principles to select how wide and how many countries it should comprehend.

It’s curious nonetheless, that they reject the Treaty because of the possible imposition of a common taxation. We can’t forget that the first and more important role of a Parliament is the stablishment of a common taxation system for all citizens, whatever their particular circumstances are, as the principle of equality requires. If all Europeans want to be equal, that is the first step towards it: a common tax law or at least, a common regulation of taxes, leaving each of the European states the possibility of raising or lowering the tax between some margins.

There are two problems though:

a) I don’t think they actually want to state a common taxation system (something which could simplify enormously the tax declarations alongside the EU), they just want to make more obscure regulations, just as as the Treaty is. For what I know, that is. As a Law is more clearly written, its principles and effects are directly seen. If you put up a very complicated system with huge regulations, it’s really difficult for anyone to consider all the effects of a law. In Spain this is even worse, as we have the central Tax Law system and then 17 others, each for each Autonomous Community.

b) We are in a climate of economic recession. Normally those periods are difficult to introduce great changes upon a Law system, much more into a Tax Law system, as the effects are going to be directly felt by the citizens.

I believe Ireland is going to pay for this: Britain has defended Irish position against France and Germany who wanted to leave Ireland out of EU decision-making. Just wait and see.

For a neat summary of what has happened, I’m copying this paragraph from Eursoc’s post on the subject:

First off comes the cry that 3 million registered voters in Ireland shouldn’t be able to derail a treaty designed to bring the blessings of an integrated Europe to 490 million, a theme supported by the BBC but neatly snipped by Guido, who demonstrates that as the other 26 nations are ratifying by parliamentary vote, it’s more like around 9,000 MPs deciding on the future of Europe for 490 million.

Oh, and read Guido’s report of Irish anti-EU politician Declan speech in Westminster. What an ironic man this Guido. 😆

****

No soy muy optimista acerca de la Unión Europea y de lo que va a suponer para su desarrollo a partir de ahora el rechazo al Tratado de Lisboa por parte de Irlanda. Tanto Alemania como Francia la quieren dejar aislada o, al menos, han amenazado con ello. Al parecer, Irlanda sólo va a conseguir en el mejor escenario, que se le excluya de determinados capítulos como la imposición o el aborto.

El Tratado de Lisboa no es bueno: tiene una redacción farragosa, sin principios claros. Su longitud y la poca claridad hacen que los ciudadanos ni se planteen leerlo y por tanto, la publicidad de la Ley no sirve a su propósito.

Pero no creo que la más fundada causa para rechazarlo sea que imponga un sistema impositivo conjunto. De hecho, esto sería lo deseable: que dejando un margen a los Estados se estableciera un sistema común por el Parlamento Europeo. Sin embargo, veo dos problemas: el primero, la propia forma de legislar en la Unión Europea, en la que el papel del Parlamento es anecdótico, consultivo o bien necesita la aprobación del Consejo o de la Comisión. El segundo es la propia inercia reguladora de la Unión Europea: no creo que la legislación que aprobara fuera clara, si no todo lo contrario.

El clima de recesión generalizado tampoco creo que ayude mucho a un cambio tan importante del sistema impositivo (en este caso del Impuesto de Sociedades).

Así que la razón, como en prácticamente todo lo demás, no es que se rechaza a LA Unión Europea, si no a ESTA Unión Europea. Y es eso a lo que la mayoría de los políticos no prestan atención: por de pronto lo que quieren es simplemente que se repita de nuevo el referéndum.

Como el resto de los países no lo van a someter a referéndum, la situación puede describirse mejor como que “9000 parlamentarios van a decidir la suerte de 490 millones de personas”. Milagros de la democracia representativa… 😦

Veremos qué ocurre.

junio 16, 2008

Hundreds of Taliban escape in attack on Kandahar prison: a background of the story

(post sólo en inglés: es muy largo y no me da tiempo a traducirlo. Quien no entienda inglés, puede traducirlo usando Altavista Babelfish).

Jihad Watch: Hundreds of Taliban escape in attack on Kandahar prison

Canadian soldiers joined other ISAF and Afghan national security forces in a sweeping door-to-door hunt for hundreds of escaped prisoners after the Taliban staged a daring mass breakout at Kandahar City’s Sarpoza Prison late Friday.

A suicide bomber drove up to the prison’s main entrance and detonated his vehicle at about 9:30 p.m. local time. After the massive explosion, which was heard across the city and destroyed the gate and a police checkpoint, reports say up to 30 motorcycles raced forward, carrying armed men firing rocket-propelled grenades, machine-guns and AK-47s. During the ensuing 20-minute battle in the city’s west side, hundreds of prisoners were able to flee. It was still unclear how many escaped from the prison, which houses almost 1,200 inmates, including about 400 Taliban.

A Taliban spokesman said the group is claiming responsibility. […]

One official told Reuters between 750 and 800 prisoners had managed to escape, adding some prisoners were killed in a gun battle between police and Taliban fighters inside the jail.

“I think scores of others are caught up inside,” he said, adding he suspected the gate was blown up by a suicide bomber driving a truck. Several Taliban fighters entered the prison and started freeing the inmates, he said.

I have been trying to link a magnificent post by Bill Roggio in his blog The Long War Journal about the so-called Pakistan taliban and why it’s impossible to see what is happening in Afganistan without considering the influence of Pakistan IN the Afghan situation. Even Afghan Taliban are nothing more than a copy of Pakistani Taliban, who were their ideological inspiration: Pakistan releases Taliban leader, signs peace deal with outlawed Taliban group – The Long War Journal:

Within weeks after the new central and provincial governments signaled it would revive negotiations with the Taliban in the Northwest Frontier Province and the lawless tribal areas, Pakistan has freed a senior Taliban leader jailed since 2002. After signing a six-point agreement with the Tehrik Nifaz-e-Shariah Mohammadi, the government released Sufi Mohammed, the leader of the radical Taliban group.

Sufi Mohammed is one of the most dangerous Taliban leaders in the Northwest Frontier Province. As the ideological leader of the outlawed Tehrik Nifaz-e-Shariah Mohammadi (the TNSM, or the Movement for the Implementation of Mohammad’s Sharia Law), he has close links with the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban as well as senior al Qaeda leaders.

The TNSM is known as the “Pakistani Taliban” and is the group behind the ideological inspiration for the Afghan Taliban. The TNSM sent over 10,000 fighters into Afghanistan to fight US forces during the opening stages of Operation Enduring Freedom in late 2001 and 2002. Sufi was jailed by the Pakistani government after the TNSM was banned.

After Sufi’s arrest, Faqir Mohammed assumed control of the TNSM in Sufi’s absence, and the Bajaur tribal agency became al Qaeda’s command and control hub for operations in northeastern Afghanistan. Faqir rolled the TNSM under the banner of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, which is led by South Waziristan Taliban command Baitullah Mehsud. Faqir is second in commander of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

They reached an agreement to “achieve” peace, or, at least, that’s what it looked like:

The Taliban have called for the release of Sufi along with Maulana Abdul Aziz, the radical leader of the Red Mosque, and “five Afghan Taliban and the three men arrested on charges of allegedly plotting Benazir Bhutto’s assassination — Aitzaz Shah, Hussnain and Rafaqat,” the Daily Times reported. The Taliban are demanding their release in exchange for Tariq Azizuddin, Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan.

And now, what is happening now? A new clash in the Pakistani-Afghan border was with the Taliban (June 12th). This clash was reported to have been caused by US, with an aerial strike which could have killed several Pakistani soldiers. But it appears the story is a little bit different as can be seen in this video filmed by an aerial drone:

The US military has released footage from a unmanned aerial vehicle detailing the controversial June 10 battle against Taliban forces right on the Afghan-Pakistani border. The US military maintains it fired at Taliban forces, while the Pakistani government continues to maintain US airstrikes targeted an outpost manned by the Frontier Corps and killed Pakistani paramilitary troops.

The US military said the clash began in Kunar province, less than 200 yards from the Pakistani border near the Garparai checkpoint. The fighting, which lasted for three hours, moved across the border as US warplanes pursued the Taliban as they retreated into Pakistan’s Mohmand tribal agency.

The video details a squad of Taliban fighters occupying a fighting position on a ridgeline right across the border from Pakistan’s Mohmand tribal agency. Coalition forces, likely a Special Forces team operating to interdict Taliban fighters crossing the border, were on a “reconnaissance mission” on the border when they took fire from the Taliban position.

(…) This year, the government signed peace deals in Swat, Bajaur, Malakand, and Mohmand. Negotiations are under way in Kohat and Mardan. The Taliban are not required to halt cross-border attacks, and Taliban leaders have stated they would continue to conduct strikes in Afghanistan. Also, in the case of the North Waziristan agreement, al Qaeda fighters are allowed to remain in the region “as long as they pledge to remain peaceful.”

The loyalty of the Pakistani security forces has also come into question. A recent study by the RAND Corporation said Pakistan security forces, particularly the paramilitary Frontier Corps, and its intelligence services are aiding the Taliban in conducting attacks inside Afghanistan.

The problem here is that the “Pakistani Frontier Corps” does not really defend the Frontier as there have been countless Taliban incursions into Aghan territory from Pakistan without the Pakistani soldiers doing really anything to prevent it:

While the governments involved sort out who fired at whom, it’s worth noting that U.S. troops fighting along the border have long contended that the Frontier Corps – an almost exclusively Pashtun tribal militia overseen by Islamabad – has been viewed as often aiding or abetting Islamic insurgents. Pakistan defends the force by saying they have suffered hundreds of casualties fighting extremists.

One U.S. veteran involved in the border fight recently told me about an ambush in which a Special Forces operator was killed. U.S. troops following a blood trail leading to a wounded attacker found he was a Frontier Guard officer carrying a map that identified multiple U.S. “hide sites” used to maintain covert surveillance of cross-border incursions.

When I visited Camp Tillman near Lwara, Afghanistan three years ago for the New York Daily News, U.S. commanders complained bitterly about a number of incidents in which Frontier Corps troops looked the other way when Al Qaeda-led insurgents ambushed U.S. troops and never warned their American counterparts of interlopers they could plainly see from their rocky outposts.

Last April, a Washington Post reporter visited the same area and was told by one soldier: “The Frontier Corps might as well be Taliban …. They are active facilitators of infiltration.”

We have also to consider the importance of the drug-trafficking in the area (specially heroin). Latest there has been several reports in which Pakistani Intelligence Services’s representatives said they were interested in funding Kahsmir jihadists (Kashmir is the frontier province which is disputed between India and Pakistan). last Jihadist ambush in the zone has caused the death to five Indian soldiers.

As Thanos linked, Afghan President Karzai has menaced with sending troops to the frontier to penetrate Pakistan and capture Taliban “fighters”, including Mullah Omar, who has been based in Pakistan since fleeing from Afghanistan in 2001. The problem with this statement is that Karzai has come to terms with Talibans in the past (or at least has tried to), and that Pakistan has nukes, a powerful point to any country before considering any attack. Baitullah Mehsud, one of the main Taliban leaders has already called to use them is case of “attack of Pakistani ennemies”.

But there is more:

An international smuggling ring that sold bomb-related parts to Libya, Iran and North Korea also managed to acquire blueprints for an advanced nuclear weapon, according to a draft report by a former top U.N. arms inspector that suggests the plans could have been shared secretly with any number of countries or rogue groups.

The drawings, discovered in 2006 on computers owned by Swiss businessmen, included essential details for building a compact nuclear device that could be fitted on a type of ballistic missile used by Iran and more than a dozen developing countries, the report states.

(…) The A.Q. Khan smuggling ring was previously known to have provided Libya with design information for a nuclear bomb. But the blueprints found in 2006 are far more troubling, Albright said in his report. While Libya was given plans for an older and relatively unsophisticated weapon that was bulky and difficult to deliver, the newly discovered blueprints offered instructions for building a compact device, the report said. The lethality of such a bomb would be little enhanced, but its smaller size might allow for delivery by ballistic missile.

(…) “These would have been ideal for two of Khan’s other major customers, Iran and North Korea,” wrote Albright, now president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security. “They both faced struggles in building a nuclear warhead small enough to fit atop their ballistic missiles, and these designs were for a warhead that would fit.”

(…) The Pakistani government did not rebut the findings in the report but said it had cooperated extensively with U.N. investigators.

Hmm, what about selling them to Al-Qaeda? Or the Taliban? Or Hizbullah, using Iran as an intermediary?

In the meantime, Pakistan has already protested to Afghan envoy. Pakistani Foreign Minister Mehmood Qureshi has made it absolutely clear that “his country would defend its territorial sovereignty“.

Meanwhile, former Pakistani PM, Sharif (now the leader of the smallest of the political parties in the governing coalition), is asking Musharraf to resign and to be held accountable for passed deeds. In a demonstration he asked for Musharraf to be hanged.

Hundreds of Taliban escape in attack on Kandahar prison: a background of the story

(post sólo en inglés: es muy largo y no me da tiempo a traducirlo. Quien no entienda inglés, puede traducirlo usando Altavista Babelfish).

Jihad Watch: Hundreds of Taliban escape in attack on Kandahar prison

Canadian soldiers joined other ISAF and Afghan national security forces in a sweeping door-to-door hunt for hundreds of escaped prisoners after the Taliban staged a daring mass breakout at Kandahar City’s Sarpoza Prison late Friday.

A suicide bomber drove up to the prison’s main entrance and detonated his vehicle at about 9:30 p.m. local time. After the massive explosion, which was heard across the city and destroyed the gate and a police checkpoint, reports say up to 30 motorcycles raced forward, carrying armed men firing rocket-propelled grenades, machine-guns and AK-47s. During the ensuing 20-minute battle in the city’s west side, hundreds of prisoners were able to flee. It was still unclear how many escaped from the prison, which houses almost 1,200 inmates, including about 400 Taliban.

A Taliban spokesman said the group is claiming responsibility. […]

One official told Reuters between 750 and 800 prisoners had managed to escape, adding some prisoners were killed in a gun battle between police and Taliban fighters inside the jail.

“I think scores of others are caught up inside,” he said, adding he suspected the gate was blown up by a suicide bomber driving a truck. Several Taliban fighters entered the prison and started freeing the inmates, he said.

I have been trying to link a magnificent post by Bill Roggio in his blog The Long War Journal about the so-called Pakistan taliban and why it’s impossible to see what is happening in Afganistan without considering the influence of Pakistan IN the Afghan situation. Even Afghan Taliban are nothing more than a copy of Pakistani Taliban, who were their ideological inspiration: Pakistan releases Taliban leader, signs peace deal with outlawed Taliban group – The Long War Journal:

Within weeks after the new central and provincial governments signaled it would revive negotiations with the Taliban in the Northwest Frontier Province and the lawless tribal areas, Pakistan has freed a senior Taliban leader jailed since 2002. After signing a six-point agreement with the Tehrik Nifaz-e-Shariah Mohammadi, the government released Sufi Mohammed, the leader of the radical Taliban group.

Sufi Mohammed is one of the most dangerous Taliban leaders in the Northwest Frontier Province. As the ideological leader of the outlawed Tehrik Nifaz-e-Shariah Mohammadi (the TNSM, or the Movement for the Implementation of Mohammad’s Sharia Law), he has close links with the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban as well as senior al Qaeda leaders.

The TNSM is known as the “Pakistani Taliban” and is the group behind the ideological inspiration for the Afghan Taliban. The TNSM sent over 10,000 fighters into Afghanistan to fight US forces during the opening stages of Operation Enduring Freedom in late 2001 and 2002. Sufi was jailed by the Pakistani government after the TNSM was banned.

After Sufi’s arrest, Faqir Mohammed assumed control of the TNSM in Sufi’s absence, and the Bajaur tribal agency became al Qaeda’s command and control hub for operations in northeastern Afghanistan. Faqir rolled the TNSM under the banner of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, which is led by South Waziristan Taliban command Baitullah Mehsud. Faqir is second in commander of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

They reached an agreement to “achieve” peace, or, at least, that’s what it looked like:

The Taliban have called for the release of Sufi along with Maulana Abdul Aziz, the radical leader of the Red Mosque, and “five Afghan Taliban and the three men arrested on charges of allegedly plotting Benazir Bhutto’s assassination — Aitzaz Shah, Hussnain and Rafaqat,” the Daily Times reported. The Taliban are demanding their release in exchange for Tariq Azizuddin, Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan.

And now, what is happening now? A new clash in the Pakistani-Afghan border was with the Taliban (June 12th). This clash was reported to have been caused by US, with an aerial strike which could have killed several Pakistani soldiers. But it appears the story is a little bit different as can be seen in this video filmed by an aerial drone:

The US military has released footage from a unmanned aerial vehicle detailing the controversial June 10 battle against Taliban forces right on the Afghan-Pakistani border. The US military maintains it fired at Taliban forces, while the Pakistani government continues to maintain US airstrikes targeted an outpost manned by the Frontier Corps and killed Pakistani paramilitary troops.

The US military said the clash began in Kunar province, less than 200 yards from the Pakistani border near the Garparai checkpoint. The fighting, which lasted for three hours, moved across the border as US warplanes pursued the Taliban as they retreated into Pakistan’s Mohmand tribal agency.

The video details a squad of Taliban fighters occupying a fighting position on a ridgeline right across the border from Pakistan’s Mohmand tribal agency. Coalition forces, likely a Special Forces team operating to interdict Taliban fighters crossing the border, were on a “reconnaissance mission” on the border when they took fire from the Taliban position.

(…) This year, the government signed peace deals in Swat, Bajaur, Malakand, and Mohmand. Negotiations are under way in Kohat and Mardan. The Taliban are not required to halt cross-border attacks, and Taliban leaders have stated they would continue to conduct strikes in Afghanistan. Also, in the case of the North Waziristan agreement, al Qaeda fighters are allowed to remain in the region “as long as they pledge to remain peaceful.”

The loyalty of the Pakistani security forces has also come into question. A recent study by the RAND Corporation said Pakistan security forces, particularly the paramilitary Frontier Corps, and its intelligence services are aiding the Taliban in conducting attacks inside Afghanistan.

The problem here is that the “Pakistani Frontier Corps” does not really defend the Frontier as there have been countless Taliban incursions into Aghan territory from Pakistan without the Pakistani soldiers doing really anything to prevent it:

While the governments involved sort out who fired at whom, it’s worth noting that U.S. troops fighting along the border have long contended that the Frontier Corps – an almost exclusively Pashtun tribal militia overseen by Islamabad – has been viewed as often aiding or abetting Islamic insurgents. Pakistan defends the force by saying they have suffered hundreds of casualties fighting extremists.

One U.S. veteran involved in the border fight recently told me about an ambush in which a Special Forces operator was killed. U.S. troops following a blood trail leading to a wounded attacker found he was a Frontier Guard officer carrying a map that identified multiple U.S. “hide sites” used to maintain covert surveillance of cross-border incursions.

When I visited Camp Tillman near Lwara, Afghanistan three years ago for the New York Daily News, U.S. commanders complained bitterly about a number of incidents in which Frontier Corps troops looked the other way when Al Qaeda-led insurgents ambushed U.S. troops and never warned their American counterparts of interlopers they could plainly see from their rocky outposts.

Last April, a Washington Post reporter visited the same area and was told by one soldier: “The Frontier Corps might as well be Taliban …. They are active facilitators of infiltration.”

We have also to consider the importance of the drug-trafficking in the area (specially heroin). Latest there has been several reports in which Pakistani Intelligence Services’s representatives said they were interested in funding Kahsmir jihadists (Kashmir is the frontier province which is disputed between India and Pakistan). last Jihadist ambush in the zone has killed five Indian soldiers.

As Thanos linked, Afghan President Karzai has menaced with sending troops to the frontier to penetrate Pakistan and capture Taliban “fighters”, including Mullah Omar, who has been based in Pakistan since fleeing from Afghanistan in 2001. The problem with this statement is that Karzai has come to terms with Talibans in the past (or at least has tried to), and that Pakistan has nukes, a powerful point to any country before considering any attack. Baitullah Mehsud, one of the main Taliban leaders has already called to use them is case of “attack of Pakistani ennemies”.

But there is more:

An international smuggling ring that sold bomb-related parts to Libya, Iran and North Korea also managed to acquire blueprints for an advanced nuclear weapon, according to a draft report by a former top U.N. arms inspector that suggests the plans could have been shared secretly with any number of countries or rogue groups.

The drawings, discovered in 2006 on computers owned by Swiss businessmen, included essential details for building a compact nuclear device that could be fitted on a type of ballistic missile used by Iran and more than a dozen developing countries, the report states.

(…) The A.Q. Khan smuggling ring was previously known to have provided Libya with design information for a nuclear bomb. But the blueprints found in 2006 are far more troubling, Albright said in his report. While Libya was given plans for an older and relatively unsophisticated weapon that was bulky and difficult to deliver, the newly discovered blueprints offered instructions for building a compact device, the report said. The lethality of such a bomb would be little enhanced, but its smaller size might allow for delivery by ballistic missile.

(…) “These would have been ideal for two of Khan’s other major customers, Iran and North Korea,” wrote Albright, now president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security. “They both faced struggles in building a nuclear warhead small enough to fit atop their ballistic missiles, and these designs were for a warhead that would fit.”

(…) The Pakistani government did not rebut the findings in the report but said it had cooperated extensively with U.N. investigators.

Hmm, what about selling them to Al-Qaeda? Or the Taliban? Or Kashmir Talibans? Or Hizbullah, using Iran as an intermediary?

In the meantime, Pakistan has already protested to Afghan envoy. Pakistani Foreign Minister Mehmood Qureshi has made it absolutely clear that “his country would defend its territorial sovereignty“.

To complicate even more the situation, former Pakistani PM, Sharif (now the leader of the smallest party in the governing coalition), is asking Musharraf to resign and to be held accountable for passed deeds. In a demonstration he asked for Musharraf to be hanged.

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