|Asia News Digest
Taliban Won't Negotiate Unless Foreign Troops Leave Afghanistan
March 31 (EIRNS)Both U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, speaking at the conference on Afghanistan at The Hague today, pointed out that they will seek to open a channel with non-violent, non-al-Qaeda Taliban factions, in order to bring about a reconciliation within Afghanistan. Clinton said, "We must ... support efforts by the government of Afghanistan to separate the extremists of al-Qaeda and the Taliban from those who have joined their ranks not out of conviction, but out of desperation.... They should be offered an honorable form of reconciliation and reintegration into a peaceful society, if they are willing to abandon violence, break with al-Qaeda, and support the constitution."
Karzai endorsed her view, and said: "We will spare no effort to bring back to Afghanistan and to normal life all those from the ranks of the Taliban, all those who have no association with al-Qaeda and are willing to embrace peace and the constitution of the country. The policy of reconciliation, however, can succeed only if carried out under the aegis of the national institutions of Afghanistan."
The reality on the ground was exposed by a former Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan, Rustam Shah Mohmand, who made clear that he does not believe the Taliban can be persuaded to engage in talks as long as 70,000 U.S. and NATO soldiers are stationed in Afghanistan. Earlier, the top Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, mentioned the departure of all foreign troops as a precondition for talks.
Iran: More U.S. Troops in Afghanistan 'Encourages Radicalism'
March 31 (EIRNS)Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mehdi Akhundzadeh, speaking at the March 31 U.S.-initiated international conference on Afghanistan in The Hague, said: "Iran has always believed that Afghanistan's foundations need to be based on localization of the affairs of the country.... The presence of foreign forces has not improved things in the country, and it seems that an increase in the number of foreign forces will prove ineffective, too." He had earlier pointed out that the presence of foreign troops cannot bring peace and stability for Afghanistan. "It encourages radicalism.... This policy [that the Western countries] decide for the Afghan nation and for the Afghan officials, does not work out any more."
Akhundzadeh's statement is in tune with Gen. Barry McCaffrey's (ret.) and Lyndon LaRouche's evaluation. On March 26, appearing on the NBC Nightly News, McCaffrey said that introduction of more troops means "we're going for the long term ... we're not coming out." LaRouche agreed, saying any other interpretation of troop increases in Afghanistan is incompetent.
Akhundzadeh, however, welcomed the proposals for cooperation offered by the countries contributing to Afghanistan. He said, "Iran is fully prepared to participate in the projects aimed at combatting drug trafficking and the plans in line with developing and reconstructing Afghanistan." (See InDepth.)
Thailand's Thaksin Fights Back at Crimes of Monarchists
March 29 (EIRNS)Thailand's deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his supporters are fighting back against the series of coups carried out against them over the past three years, by the military and the monarchy.
The current government was placed in office through a parliamentary maneuver run by the military/monarchical coup-makers, serving not only the Thai monarchy but also that of the British Empire. The Prime Minister, Abhisit Vellajiva, was born and raised in London, holds degrees from Eton and Oxfordand policies that match.
Thaksin's supporters are known as the red shirts (they wear red to distinguish themselves from the royal yellow-clad fascist mob, the People's Alliance for Democracy, or PAD, which was used to cover for the coups against Thaksin and against two succeeding governments that backed him, all elected by wide majorities.) The red shirts are holding a permanent demonstration outside Government House, where Thaksin has phoned in an hour-long briefing to the tens of thousands gathered there each of the last two nights.
For the first time, Thaksin named the two primary leaders of the King's Privy Council, Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda (ret.) and Gen. Surayud Chulanont, as those responsible for the coups, saying, as EIR has documented, that they ran both the PAD mobs and the military, which took over when Thaksin was deposed, and used a police-state "constitution" imposed by the military to throw out the next two elected governments of Thaksin supporters.
Thaksin called on Prem to stop meddling in politics, and for a new election, as well as a new constitution. To counter the charge of lèse majesté (insult to the sovereign), which is being used by the current government to arrest any truth-tellers about the crisis in Thailand, Thaksin said: "It is highly improper for a privy councillor to get involved in politics. It misleads people into thinking the King is involved politically." While cleverly stated, it is well known that the King and Queen are deeply influenced by European royalty and provide cover for Prem and his minions.
Thaksin's modernization and industrialization policies, as well as his general welfare policies for the poor, had posed a fundamental challenge to the monarchy's "self-sufficiency" program, which aims to keep the country in a state of relative backwardness.
The Nation, the Dow Jones voice for the Empire in Thailand, is frightened that Thaksin and his supporters are prepared to take on the actual controllers of the fascist mobs which The Nation promoted as "democrats"namely, the monarchy and the companies that financed the mob (many owned by the King, the richest monarch in the world).
Korea's Lee Rejects SDR Ploy
April 1 (EIRNS)South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak rejected the British scam for creating an international currency out of the International Monetary Fund's special drawing rights (SDRs) as a replacement for the dollar. In an interview with the Financial Times leading into the G20 meeting in London, the City of London mouthpiece posed the question as if it were a Chinese idea, or a proposal which suddenly popped up from nowhere: "You are one of the biggest holders of dollar reserves.... There was a proposal that the world should move towards a global unit of the reserve currency other than the dollar. Do you support the proposal, or are you still comfortable with the dollar?"
Lee responded, "I don't think there is any other currency that can replace the U.S. dollar as the base currency," but added, "the future status of the U.S. dollar is going to very much depend on how the U.S. administration is going to fare, in terms of overcoming this economic crisis."
Dalai Lama at Root of China 'Cyber-Spy' Case
March 30 (EIRNS)"Researchers hired by the Dalai Lama" are at the base of claims "that China runs a cyber-spy network," according to the government's China Daily. An article in The Snooping Dragon: Social Malware Surveillance of the Tibetan Movement reported that "a 10-month cyber-espionage investigation has found that 1,295 computers in 103 countries and belonging to international institutions have been spied on, with some circumstantial evidence suggesting China may be to blame."
The claims were made in a report released by the Information Warfare Monitor, which is made up of researchers from an Ottawa-based think-tank and the University of Toronto, reported the New York Times.
The China Daily indicated that "the researchers ... were commissioned by the Dalai Lama to examine its computers for signs of bugging." That it is the Dalai Lama and his associates who are behind this case, is confirmed by the business publication Computerworld, which notes that "the analysts' research started after they were granted access to computers belonging to Tibet's government in exile, Tibetan nongovernmental organizations and the private office of the Dalai Lama, which was concerned about the leak of confidential information, according to the report."