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Archive for December, 2011

The Life and Death of American Drones – Nick Turse

December 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Source:

It’s 10 pm. Do you know where your drone is?

Oh, the confusion of it all! The U.S. military now insists it was deeply befuddled when it claimed that a super-secret advanced RQ-170 Sentinel drone (aka “the beast of Kandahar”) which fell into Iranian hands on December 4th — evidently while surveying suspected nuclear sites — was lost patrolling the Afghan border. The military, said a spokesman, “did not have a good understanding of what was going on because it was a CIA mission.”

Whatever happened, that lost drone story hit the headlines in a way that allowed everyone their Warholian 15 minutes of fame. Dick Cheney went on the air to insist that President Obama should have sent Air Force planes into Iran to blow the grounded Sentinel to bits. (Who cares about sparking off hostilities or sending global oil prices skyrocketing?) President Obama formally asked for the plane’s return, but somehow didn’t have high hopes that the Iranians would comply. (Check out Gary Powers and the downing of his U-2 spy plane over Russia in 1960 for a precedent.) Defense Secretary Leon Panetta swore we would never stop our Afghan-based drone surveillance of Iran. Afghan President Hamid Karzai asked that his country be kept out of any “adversarial relations between Iran and the United States.” (Fat chance!) The Iranians, who displayed the plane, insisted proudly that they had hacked into it, “spoofed” its navigational controls, and brought it in for a relatively soft landing. And Kim Kardashian… oops, wrong story.

All in all, it was a little robotic circus. All three rings’ worth. Meanwhile, drones weren’t having such a good time of it elsewhere either, even if no one was paying much attention. The half-hidden drone story of the week wasn’t on the Iranian side of the Afghan border, but on the Pakistani side. There, in that country’s tribal borderlands, the CIA had for years been conducting an escalating drone air campaign, hundreds of strikes, often several a week, against suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban militants. In the wake of an “incident” in which U.S. air strikes killed 24 Pakistani troops at two border posts, however, the Pakistanis closed the border to U.S. supplies for the Afghan war (significantly increasing the cost of that conflict), kicked the U.S. out of Shamsi air base, the CIA’s main drone facility in the country, and threatened to shoot down any U.S. drones over its territory. In the process, they seem to have forced the Obama administration to shut down its covert drone air campaign. At this point, there have been no drone attacks for almost a month.

When he was still CIA Director, Leon Panetta termed the Agency’s drone campaign the “only game in town.” Now it’s “on hold.” (“There is concern that another hit [by the drones] will push US-Pakistan relations past the point of no return,” one official told The Long War Journal. “We don’t know how far we can push them [Pakistan], how much more they are willing to tolerate.”) After those hundreds of strikes and significant civilian casualties, which have helped turn the Pakistani public against the U.S. — according to a recent poll, a staggering 97% of Pakistanis oppose the attacks — it’s a stunning reversal, however temporary and little noted.

In other words, we’ve come a long way, baby, since the moment in 2001 when Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage reportedly stormed into the office of Pakistan’s intelligence director and told him to either ally with Washington in the fight against al-Qaeda or prepare to be bombed “back to the Stone Age.” As the U.S. leaves Iraq with its tail between its legs, the setback in Pakistan (as in Iran) should be considered a gauge of just how little Washington’s massive high-tech military edge, drones and otherwise, has been able to alter the shifting power equation on the planet.

In the latest piece in his new changing-face-of-empire series, TomDispatch Associate Editor Nick Turse explores why, despite its advocates’ claims, America’s newest wonder weapon will never prove a game changer. Tom

Categories: Politics Tags: ,

Interview – Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

December 22, 2011 Leave a comment
Categories: Money, Politics Tags: , , , , , ,

Zakah and the Forgotten Islamic Obligation Towards Prisoners – By Moazzam Begg

December 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Source: http://www.cageprisoners.com/our-work/opinion-editorial/item/75-zakah-and-the-forgotten-islamic-obligation-towards-prisoners

The history of Islam is replete with stories of men and women facing imprisonment and abuse at the hands of oppressors. The chapter of the Prophet Yusuf [as] vividly illustrates how dealing with unjust imprisonment is not only an inherent part of the heritage of monotheistic tradition but, both the Old Testament [Torah] and the Quran – hence, Judaism, Christianity and Islam – would be incomplete without it. It is also the story that resonates most with Muslims facing unjust imprisonment:

He [Yusuf] said: “O my Lord! Prison is dearer to me than that to which they invite me. Unless You turn away their plot from me, I will feel inclined towards them and be one of the ignorant.” So his Lord answered his invocation and turned away from him their plot. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. Then it occurred to them, after they had seen the proofs (of his innocence) to imprison him for a time. (11:32-4)
Read more…

“The PRIZE: Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power”

December 17, 2011 Leave a comment

[I apologize for the music in these videos. However, this is important information one must be aware of to understand the dynamics of power and wealth in our world today]

Adapted from Daniel Yergin’s book “The PRIZE: Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power”

The Prize: Part 1 of 8 "Our Plan"

Part 2: Empires of Oil

Part 3: Black Giant

Part 4: War and Oil

Part 5: Crude Diplomacy

Part 6: The Power to Have Producers

Part 7: The Tinderbox

Part 8: The New Order of Oil

Halaal Meat By Imran Ayub

December 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Halaal Meat
By Imran Ayub
Alhamdulilah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allaah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allaah from our souls’ evil and our wrong doings. He whom Allaah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no (true) God except Allaah – alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His ‘Abd (servant) and messenger
Case study of McDonalds in UK: Is it Halaal?
Question 1: What are the Islamic guidelines in terms of Slaughter?
Answer:
i. The Animal should be slaughtered Using a sharp object and in the name of Allaah
Narrated Rafi bin Khadij (May Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “If the killing tool causes blood to gush out and if Allah’s Name is mentioned, eat (of the slaughterer animal). But do not slaughter with a tooth or a nail. I am telling you why: A tooth is a bone, and the nail is the knife of Ethiopians.”[1]
Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “(Correct) slaughtering is applied to the throat and windpipe.”[2]
ii. The Food needs to be from a Muslim, Jew or Christian only.
Allaah, the Most High, says: “Made lawful to you this day are At­Tayyibât [all kinds of Halâl (lawful) foods, which Allâh has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, etc., milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits, etc.). The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals, etc.) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them.”[3] Read more…

Categories: Fiqh Tags: , , ,

Islamization of Education – Dr. Bilal Philips

December 11, 2011 Leave a comment

A very important lecture for all parents, teachers, professors, muslims and anybody concerned about the ummah:

http://blog.bilalphilips.com/islamization-of-education/

Dr. Bilal on his blog above: “I’m still trying to put together a “dream team” of committed educationalists to help me lay the foundation of Islamized curriculum for Muslim International Schools.
If there are any concerned teachers viewing my blog, please reach out and lets try to get the ball rolling.”

Lunar Eclipse Today – Don’t miss out the barakah of Eclipse Prayer

December 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Assalam Alikum.

Just wanted to remind my brothers and sisters today of an eclipse prayer that will take place toady. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/December_2011_lunar_eclipse

In India and Saudi, the ecliplse and eclipse prayer is expected after Maghrib.

Please see this excerpt from Islam Q&A:

There will be an eclipse of the moon and sun in the UK, Europe and most of the middle east and asia on 11 August 1999.
What dua should be read when this happens and if we look at it.
Please answer this as soon as possible as it is a rare occurance, and one that many people will find useful when looking at it.

Praise be to Allaah.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“It is He Who made the sun a shining thing and the moon as a light and measured out for it stages that you might know the number of years and the reckoning. Allaah did not create this but in truth. He explains the Ayaat in detail for people who have knowledge.” [Yoonus 10:5]
Read more…

Categories: Fiqh Tags: ,
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