Friday, December 26, 2008

Pakistan moves troops toward Indian border

Indian activist shouts anti-Pakistan slogans during recent protest (AFP).

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Neighbor against neigbor: Pakistan began moving thousands of troops to the Indian border Friday, intelligence officials said, sharply raising tensions triggered by the Mumbai terror attacks.
Pakistani protesters burn an Indian flag during a rally in Karachi, Pakistan on 12/26/08. Pakistan began moving thousands of troops away from the Afghan border toward India on Friday amid tensions following the Mumbai attacks, intelligence officials said (AP/Fareed Khan).

India has blamed Pakistani-based militants for last month's siege on its financial capital, which killed 164 people and has provoked an increasingly bitter war of words between nuclear-armed neighbors that have fought three wars in 60 years.

The troops headed to the Indian border were being diverted away from tribal areas near Afghanistan, officials said, and the move was expected to frustrate the United States... More>>

Pro-India protester waves Indian flag in front of Taj Mahal hotel 12/26/08 (AFP).

Meanwhile at home, terror is also used as pretext for increasing powers of a police state. Although "anyone who would trade freedom for safety deserves neither," that has not stopped the new ministry [1984-speak] of Homeland Security from intimating how it plans to justify its existence and make itself a permanent (and welcome) fixture in the American psyche over the next few years.

US Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff delivers a lecture entitled "Managing Risk: A Global Imperative" to an audience of students at the London School of Economics (LSE) in London, 12/12/08 (AP/Matt Dunham).

WASHINGTON – The terrorism threat to the United States over the next five years will be driven by instability in the Middle East and Africa, persistent challenges to border security, and increasing Internet savvy, says a new intelligence assessment obtained by the AP.
Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks are...the most unlikely because it is so difficult for al-Qaida and similar groups to acquire the materials needed to carry out such plots, according to the internal Homeland Security Threat Assessment for the years 2008-2013.

[Rather, ] the al-Qaida terrorist network continues to focus on U.S. attack targets vulnerable to massive economic losses, casualties and political "turmoil," the assessment said. More>>
President-elect Barack Obama leaves a news conference with Secretary of State-designate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., in Chicago, 12/01/08., with other cabinet designees (AP/Charles Dharapak).

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