Saturday, December 7, 2019

The B-52's - Love Shack

Nancy Ajram - W Maak ( The Making Of)

#BillyJoel #WeDidn #Avengers Billy Joel - We Didn't Start the Fire


Saudi gunman reportedly called US a ‘nation of evil,’ decried support of Israel

Officials said to name attacker who killed 3 as Mohammed al-Shamrani, a Saudi Air Force officer training at Florida airbase who quoted bin Laden in a tweet prior to Friday shooting
A Saudi military student reportedly condemned the US as a “nation of evil” in an online manifesto prior to opening fire Friday at a US naval base, killing three people before being shot dead by police.
The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist media, identified him as Mohammed al-Shamrani, saying he had posted a short manifesto on Twitter that read: “I’m against evil, and America as a whole has turned into a nation of evil.”
“I’m not against you for just being American, I don’t hate you because your freedoms, I hate you because every day you supporting, funding and committing crimes not only against Muslims but also humanity,” he wrote.
ABC News reported that investigators were working to determine if it was in fact written by the shooter.

The Twitter account that posted the manifesto — which also condemned US support for Israel and included a quote from Al-Qaeda’s deceased leader, the Saudi Osama bin Laden — has been suspended.
According to Rita Katz, the director of SITE, Jerusalem appeared to be a “critical point” for the attacker and one of his most recent tweets shared the text of US President Donald Trump’s December 2017 speech recognizing the city as Israel’s capital.

BREAKING: Tweet by attacker Alshamrani suggests terrorist motive. Does not claim allegiance to any group, but echos Bin Laden: "The security is a shared destiny...You will not be safe until we live it as reality in [Palestine], and American troops get out of our land."

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
2) The issue of seems to have been a critical point of Shamrani's anger. His second-most recent of his tweets (just before his will) was an RT of Trump’s December 2017 Jerusalem speech, made sometime in the last 48 hours.

View image on Twitter

Six Saudis were detained following the shooting, including three who were seen filming the entire attack, The New York Times reported, citing a person briefed on the initial investigation.
The gunman was armed with a Glock 9mm handgun that had been purchased locally, the Times reported. It had an extended magazine and the shooter had four to six other magazines in his possession.

US law enforcement officials were digging into the background of the suspected Florida naval station shooter Friday to determine the Saudi Air Force officer’s motive and whether it was connected to terrorism.
As questions swirled about the shooting, officials said al-Shamrani was an aviation officer in the Saudi Air Force. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
He was attending the aviation school at Naval Air Station Pensacola, one of hundreds of international military members who are receiving training there. The shooter opened fire in a classroom building on Friday morning.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a statement that the Pentagon was continuing to monitor the Pensacola incident and was gathering additional facts on the shooting earlier this week at Pearl Harbor, when a young Navy sailor gunned down two people and then shot himself.
Esper said he is “considering several steps to ensure the security of our military installations and the safety of our service members and their families.” He provided no details.
In a separate statement, Admiral Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations, said it has been a “devastating week” for the Navy. The US has long had a robust training program for Saudis, providing assistance in the US and in the kingdom. As of this week, there are more than 850 Saudis in the United States for various training activities. They are among more than 5,000 foreign students from 153 countries in the US going through military training. The Pentagon said Friday that al-Shamrani was in the US as part of an Air Force military sales training course, and his participation was funded by Saudi Arabia. His training began in August 2017 and was scheduled to conclude next August, and it included initial pilot training, basic aviation and English-language instruction. Foreign nationals participating in US training go through a vetting process. The Pentagon said it includes screening for any illicit drug activities, support for terrorist organizations, corruption and criminal conduct. Those who fail to pass the approval process are not issued international travel orders. The Trump administration has been aggressively helping Saudi Arabia this year, sending Patriot missile batteries and hundreds of troops there in the wake of attacks on the kingdom that officials blame on Iran.
On Friday, Trump said he got a call from Saudi King Salman, who expressed “his sincere condolences” and sent sympathies to the families of those involved. “The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people,” said Trump in a tweet. The shooting, however, shined a spotlight on what has been a sometimes rocky relationship with the kingdom. The US earlier this year agreed to send three Patriot missile batteries, dozens of fighter jets and other aircraft to Saudi Arabia. And in October, Esper visited Prince Sultan Air Base to see one of the batteries and talk about efforts to get other allies to contribute to the defense of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region to counter threats from Iran. But the kingdom’s reputation is still damaged after the killing last year of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Saudi intelligence officials and a forensic doctor killed and dismembered Khashoggi on October 2, 2018, as his fiancée waited outside the diplomatic mission.
Khashoggi, long a royal court insider, had been in self-imposed exile in the US while writing critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, son of the oil-rich nation’s King Salman.

#Saudi Terrorism - For Trump, Instinct After Florida Killings Is Simple: Protect Saudis

By David E. Sanger
Before issuing his own condolences, the president channeled the Saudi king’s and avoided any discussion of the hard questions about why the U.S. is training Saudi officers.
When a Saudi Air Force officer opened fire on his classmates at a naval base in Pensacola, Fla., on Friday, he killed three, wounded eight and exposed anew the strange dynamic between President Trump and the Saudi leadership: The president’s first instinct was to tamp down any suggestion that the Saudi government needed to be held to account. Hours later, Mr. Trump announced on Twitter that he had received a condolence call from King Salman of Saudi Arabia, who clearly sought to ensure that the episode did not further fracture their relationship. On Saturday, leaving the White House for a trip here for a Republican fund-raiser and a speech on Israeli-American relations, Mr. Trump told reporters that “they are devastated in Saudi Arabia,” noting that “the king will be involved in taking care of families and loved ones.” He never used the word “terrorism.” What was missing was any assurance that the Saudis would aid in the investigation, help identify the suspect’s motives, or answer the many questions about the vetting process for a coveted slot at one of the country’s premier schools for training allied officers. Or, more broadly, why the United States continues to train members of the Saudi military even as that same military faces credible accusations of repeated human rights abuses in Yemen, including the dropping of munitions that maximize civilian casualties. “The attack is a disaster for an already deeply strained relationship,” Bruce Riedel, a scholar at the Brookings Institution and a former C.I.A. officer who has dealt with generations of Saudi leaders, said on Saturday. It “focuses attention on Americans training Saudi Air Force officers who are engaged in numerous bombings of innocents in Yemen, which is the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world,” he said, noting that the Trump administration had long been fighting Congress as it seeks to end American support for that war. A spotlight on the people reshaping our politics. A conversation with voters across the country. And a guiding hand through the endless news cycle, telling you what you really need to know. But even stranger, said Mr. Riedel, was “the president’s parroting of the Saudi line” before learning the results of an investigation into whether the gunman acted alone, or had allegiances to Al Qaeda or terrorist groups.
For the White House, the calculus is simple: Saudi Arabia is not only critical to world oil supplies — though no longer critical to the United States’ — it is the only regional power able to counter Iran. The result, former members of the Trump administration say, has been a dismissal of any critiques that could weaken that bond.
Mr. Trump was so quick and so eager to assure the Saudis that the relationship would continue before anyone knew how to categorize the shooting that it raised questions about how the administration would have responded if the suspect had been an Iranian, or an immigrant from Mexico. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Mr. Trump often cited the killing of a young woman in California by an undocumented immigrant as a reason to crack down on immigration and build a wall along the southern border. “Had an attack been carried out by any country on his Muslim ban, his reaction would have been very different,” said Aaron David Miller, a longtime Middle East negotiator and now a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
“But when it comes to Saudi, the default position is to defend,” he said, “Driven by oil, money, weapons sales, a good deal of Saudi feting and flattery, Trump has created a virtually impenetrable zone of immunity for Saudi Arabia.”
It was hardly the first time Mr. Trump had shown such tendencies. After the brutal killing in Istanbul of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi dissident and a legal American resident, Mr. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo played down American intelligence findings that closely tied Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to the matter. The findings suggested he had connections to the members of the hit team sent to Turkey — and almost certainly played a role in ordering them to bring Mr. Khashoggi back to the country by force. Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Pompeo’s initial promises to follow the evidence wherever it led dissipated. Over the past year, Mr. Pompeo has expressed deep annoyance whenever the topic is raised. The United States was awaiting the results of a Saudi investigation, he often said, as if he expected that to offer a full accounting. And he told members of Congress that no matter the truth of what unfolded, the relationship between the kingdom and Washington was too important to be held hostage to one vicious, ill-thought-out act. No American assessment of what the Saudi leadership knew has ever been made public. Before the shooting on Friday, the White House was already fighting efforts in Congress to cut military aid to the Saudis, a reflection of anger over the Khashoggi murder and the continuing war in Yemen. But the Pensacola attack underlined the continuing instinct to protect the relationship.
“If Trump wants to convey condolences from Saudi King Salman, fine,” Mr. Miller wrote on Twitter after the shooting. “But you don’t do it on day — Americans are killed — untethered from a message of ironclad assurances from King to provide” whatever cooperation is necessary to understand the gunman and his motives. “Otherwise Trump sounds like what he has become — a Saudi apologist.’’
After Mr. Pompeo announced that he had spoken with the Saudi foreign minister, Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud, about the shooting, Martin Indyk, a former American ambassador to Israel and longtime Middle East negotiator, tweeted: “Isn’t it interesting how quick Trump and Pompeo are to broadcast Saudi government condolences for the murder of three Americans and how slow they were to criticize the Saudi government’s murder” of Mr. Khashoggi. Still, the bond between the countries is weakening, as the erosion of support in Congress shows. A negotiation over providing nuclear technology to the Saudis, a huge push early in the administration, has stalled. The chances that the military support will remain at current levels appear slim.
“The U.S.-Saudi relationship is on life support,” Mr. Riedel said, noting that it would be in jeopardy if a Democrat were to win the 2020 election. “Even Joe Biden is calling the Kingdom a ‘pariah’ that needs to be punished,” he said, referring to the former vice president, who had for decades supported a strong relationship with the Saudis.

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#Pakistan - Siege of a newspaper office

The value of a newspaper’s edition is viewed differently by every reader. People have the right to criticise or praise papers for underplaying an ‘important issue’ or overplaying a ‘petty incident’ or over the choice of words used in news stories. Their feedback helps editors improve the standard of journalism. Over the years, however, the Pakistani media is being conveyed feedback from powerful quarters in the form of disruption in circulation and broadcasting and financial strangulation. Occasionally, media houses have been vandalised and shut down and journalists beaten and arrested for ‘adverse’ reporting. Taking the hostility to a new height, a group of ‘unknown persons’ besieged a newspaper’s office in Islamabad and later demonstrated in Karachi, demanding its closure over a news story it carried about the London Bridge attack. The mob was enraged over the newspaper’s headline, “London attacker of Pakistani descent is terror convict: officials.”
There can a semantic debate on the word ‘descent’ but the news story was factually correct. When such an issue arises, the best way is to talk to the editor. The protesters could have written to the editor that the attacker, Usman Khan, was born and raised in the UK to immigrants from Pakistan and that he had nothing to do with the country. The newspaper’s reply would have settled the issue but the group chose to demonstrate outside its office in Islamabad and Karachi Press Club, brazenly chanting slogans about its ‘pro-India’ agenda. This is not the first time the said newspaper has been under fire for its factual reporting. Likewise, several TV channels have been pressured to fire their talk show hosts for generating ‘wrong’ content.
Several journalist bodies have condemned the harassment of the media. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had the guts to call the siege an attempt to pressure the media. He noted that media houses were being threatened.
Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists have also condemned the “aggression and hooliganism” against the media. The CPNE head also noted that statements by ministers on the news story were a source of concern for the journalist community. Protesters and government quarters must realise that a free press leads to an open society and good governance. Attempts to intimidate or silence media will hurt the whole society. It is also the duty of media houses to open more communication channels with the public and incorporate their feedback in their content.

Don’t get fooled by Bajwa drama. Pakistan Army still the only one with a nation to itself


Now that the dust has settled in Pakistan, and Gen Bajwa’s tenure extended for six months, a closer look reveals where the deception lies.

All nations have an army, but the Pakistan Army has a nation to itself.
So, the recent turn of events in Pakistan, where the three-year extension in tenure granted to the powerful Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa was suspended by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, came as a total surprise.
It was initially said that a sense of uncertainty had gripped Pakistan. Was the Pakistani judiciary standing up against the chief of the force that controls everything in that country? It also led to fears of a possible coup in Pakistan, which is known for being run by dictators or someone like current Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is known more as a ‘selected PM’ rather than an ‘elected PM’.
Such was the enormity of the move that Pakistan’s Law Minister Farogh Naseem resigned from his position to become the lawyer for the government in support of Gen Bajwa.
The Pakistani cabinet had to meet hours after the initial verdict and there was a flurry of activities.
All these developments came to be seen as an indication that the powerful Pakistan Army was being challenged and its chief being cornered.
This also led to many, including in India’s defense and security establishment and this author, to believe that disgruntled senior officers upset with Gen Bajwa’s extension were behind the turn of events.
This was because as many as 17 three-star generals, who could have had a chance to become the chief otherwise, would end up retiring before Gen Bajwa hung his boots.
However, as they say, when it comes to dealing with a smart enemy that thrives on deniability and lies, never be taken in by what you see.

The before-after picture

Before we go further, let us pause and consider how Pakistan was seen before the drama unfolded.
Pakistan was largely seen as a terror-sponsor not doing enough to tackle the global menace of terrorism. It was seen as a failed state ruled by the ‘deep state’, a failed democracy with a controlled judiciary and a failing economy – and amid all this, there was the Imran Khan government that had no credibility.
But what is the picture that emerged after the episode involving the judiciary and the army?
Both have come out looking good. While the Pakistani judiciary is seen as independent and gutsy, the Pakistan Army, which has been criticised for being the real power, appears to be an institution that is not in control of everything in Pakistan.
The event came across as if the Army Headquarters or deep state is not the ‘real’ government and does not control the Imran Khan government.
The bigger and the more important outcome was that Pakistan was being seen as a democratic state.
Pakistan has managed to churn out a completely new image of itself, which is at odds with what it held just before the so-called clash between the judiciary, Prime Minister Imran Khan and the army chief.

An orchestrated deception

Now that the dust has settled, a closer look reveals where the deception lies.
The fact is that there is no rift in the Pakistan Army and there cannot be any rift within the force.
There has never been an occasion when a serving army chief has had to face a coup by his juniors. Of course, there is the example of former President Gen Zial-ul-Haq. But then, a number of factors were in play and his death continues to be a mystery.
As for Gen Parvez Musharraf, he found himself cornered by the deep state but he had passed on the baton of the army chief to the cunning Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the former ISI boss and the real mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
Officers monitoring Pakistan closely say that anyone who disagreed with Gen Bajwa has already lost out on promotions, retired or relegated to inconsequential posts.
They believe that the entire turn of events was orchestrated by the deep state to change the image of the Pakistan Army and the Imran Khan government in the eyes of the world, while also ensuring that any legal issue regarding Gen Bajwa’s extension is settled once and for all without resorting to any sort of strong-arm tactics. It was a timely image makeover that Pakistan badly needed.
It is unimaginable that a random petitioner, advocate Riaz Hanif Rahi, would challenge the army chief and a three-member bench will take up the matter forcefully without any guaranteed protection to their future, especially their life in a country where people critical of the deep state suddenly vanish or are killed.
So, while one might continue to think that the khaki uniform in Pakistan has lost some of its sheen, remember that Gen Bajwa’s army continues to be the only army in the world with a nation to itself.

Music - Bhutto Benazir

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#Pakistan #PPP - Selected govt cannot alleviate economic, governance crises: Bilawal Bhutto

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto said that infrastructure has to be focused on to fight the economic and governance crises, and only public government can solve it.
Addressing at the ceremony of seven mega-projects, Bilawal Bhutto expressed that 10 million jobs have to be provided across the country to combat the economic crisis. “Provision of jobs is a tradition of PPP, and people will get jobs with the seven mega projects,” he said, adding that the incumbent government is encouraging only unemployment.
The scion of Bhutto dynasty asserted that the federal government facilitated billionaires with tax amnesty scheme whereas PPP launched a revolutionary Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) for the public.
He went on to say that the ‘selected’ and incompetent government cannot alleviate the problems of people. “The country has plunged into the tsunami of inflation, while small businessmen are stuck into the storm of taxes”, he added.
PPP chairman said that the bureaucracy is suffering at the hands of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the country. He maintained that Prime Minister Imran Khan has worsened the economy of Pakistan.
On the other hand, Bilawal Bhutto expressed that Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi road, Shaheed-e-Millat road and Sunset Boulevard flyover was completed in just five months. “Seven mega projects have been completed today which is vital for Karachi”, he added.
PPP chairman said that completion of all the projects is a proof of all the hard work done by provincial chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and his team. “PPP is doing developmental work in this environment,” he added. 

سلیکٹڈ وزیراعظم نے معیشت کو تباہ کردیا، بلاول بھٹو

پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کہا ہے کہ نالائق نا اہل سلیکٹڈ وزیراعظم نے ہماری معیشت کو تباہ کردیا ہے، معیشت کی تباہ حال صورتحال میں ہم میگا پراجیکٹس کا افتتاح کررہے ہیں۔
کراچی میں شہید ملت روڈ پر انڈر انڈر پاس کی افتتاحی تقریب سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے  بلاول بھٹو نے کہا کہ عوام کو امید تھی کہ انہیں ایک کروڑ نوکریاں ملیں گی، لیکن آج وہ ناامید ہوچکے ہیں۔
بلاول بھٹو نے کہا کہ پیپلز پارٹی سمجھتی ہے اگر ہمیں معاشی بحران کا مقابلہ کرنا ہے تو سخت محنت کرنا ہوگی، اگر بے روزگاری کا مقابلہ کرنا ہے تو مزدورں کو نوکریوں سے نکالنے کے بجائے تنخواہیں دینا ہوں گی، پیپلزپارٹی  ہر دور میں مزدور طبقے کی تنخواہوں میں اضافہ کیا۔انہوں نے کہا کہ پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی نے ہمیشہ عوام کو ریلیف دیا، جو ظلم نوجوانوں، کسانوں کے ساتھ ہورہا ہے، پیپلز پارٹی اور اس کا کارکن برداشت نہیں کرتا، پاکستان میں طاقت کا سرچشمہ عوام ہے اور ہم عوامی حکومت بنا کر رہیں گے۔
پی پی چیئرمین نے کہا کہ انڈر پاس کی تعمیر کا کام ریکارڈ مدت میں مکمل ہوا، یہ وزیر اعلیٰ سندھ کی گڈگورننس کا ثبوت ہے ، پنجاب میں شیر شاہ سوری سے پوچھیں کہ ایک سال میں کتنے منصوبوں کا افتتاح کیا ہے۔
انہوں نے کہا کہ انڈرپاس کی تعمیر سے کراچی کے عوام کو ریلیف ملے گا، ٹریفک کے مسائل کم ہوں گے، تباہ حال معاشی صورتحال کے باوجود ایک سال میں یہ منصوبہ مکمل کیا گیا، لاہور میں کتنے انڈرپاسز اور فلائی اوورز کا افتتاح کیا گیا ہے؟
بلاول بھٹو نے صحت کی صورتحال پر بات کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ ہم نے سندھ کے  چھوٹے شہروں میں اسپتال بنائے، انہوں نے وزیراعظم سے پوچھا کہ خان صاحب آپ نے کے پی میں کتنے اسپتال بنائے؟، ہم نے بے نظیر انکم سپورٹ پروگرام شروع کیا، خان صاحب آپ اس میں کٹوتی کررہے ہیں۔
بلاول نے دو ٹوک الفاظ میں کہا کہ سندھ کا معاشی قتل کیا جارہا ہے یہ برداشت نہیں کریں گے، اگر سندھ کو فنڈ ملتے تو زیادہ ترقیاتی کام ہوتے، سندھ کے ساتھ سوتیلوں جیسا سلوک کیا جارہا ہے۔
انہوں نے کہا کہ معاشی بحران کے مقابلے کے لیے نوجوانوں کو ایک کروڑ نوکریاں دینا پڑیں گی۔
بلاول بھٹو کا مزید کہنا تھا کہ بزنس کمیونٹی نیب گردی کی وجہ سے پریشان ہے، عوام مہنگائی کے سونامی میں ڈوب رہے ہیں۔