Monday, April 17, 2006

Rewards anew...

Showing the money... new rewards

Money talks - or leads to talk - to get those who are being hunted by the law in the fight versus terror in SE Asia. These photo's part of a series by the US embassy show the way - showing the money has- led to several hundred arrests of extremists in the S. Philippines.

This isn't the first time cash has been handed over.

A little over a year and half ago one of the biggest rewards took place on Basilan Island.
There three individuals each walked away with equal shares of over 1 million US dollars in
Philippine pesos some say the cash is working to put a stop to the numerous bands of
bandits and terror groups working in the south who for the most part started off like outlaw pirate bands they often took part in operations of the Abu Sayyaf - engaging in terror on the side but living off of the proceeds of smuggling, drug sales, and, kidnapping.

The policy of handing out the cash in public has restored faith of some in the areas - but has also led to some bounty hunters to try and cash in on the higher ups in the group. Rules of the program however prevent professional bounty hunters from taking part in the cash rewards program - and - most advise not attempting to make a living off of hunting those who would not hesitate to use violence to keep themselves and their fight alive.

Death Penalty - commuted enmasse

"I wish to announce that we are changing our policy on those who have been imposed the death penalty. We are reducing their penalty to life imprisonment,"

An Easter move to end the death penalty that many in Europe have applauded and elsewhere,

However victims families have been expressing dismay - also among those reaction are communities in places where heinous bombings and kidnappings and attacks have taken place at the hands of outlaw bands.

I must say - it is move many are surprised at. The death penalty has always been seen a deterrent to rape, drugs, massive graft and corruption.

It is a shift back to the Christian-Social democrat route many have seen in the Arroyo Government of late. It is path few leaders chose - but after all a leader must lead.

If it is any consultation to those victims - life behind bars in a Philippine Prison - to many inmates I've interviewed over the years is often called a fate worse than death.

Analysis: Iran in Iraq

Monday April 17th - adendum-
I got a few comments in emails from people asking me if there was any
documented proof...

If Iran was "ever" engaged in any actions versus the current govenrment in Baghdad and the insurgency. In some emails they pointed out to meeting between coalition partners and Iran as well as support given during the War with Iraq as proof Iran is actually in some form supporting the US and UK efforts in Iraq.

That may have been true during the time of saddens rule- there is much documented evidence that Iran provided a lot of information through other Arab states about the actions of Saddam. No other country except Kuwait in the region suffered under the Baathist regime in Iraq than did Tehran.

Of late- there has been much focus on Iran's actions might be if indeed there was any attempt to engage in a "force solution" to the Nuclear issue.

"... The Iranian polity [towards the Iraqi insurgency] - is fractured, with various power bases supporting their own interests. This was clearly apparent in the aftermath of the capture by Iran in June 2004 of a British patrol boat. After a number of contradictory statements, likely reflecting disagreement between Iranian elements, the crew were released. At the same time, sources within the hard-line Iranian revolutionary made plain that restraint in Iraq was contingent on international treatment of Iran." - Global

But even without any action it is clear that there is "Iranian involvement" in Iraq. If not in the insurgency - in political life and religious affairs. "the Iranian presence in Iraq is difficult to gauge, although it certainly exists. ... Several Shi'ite political parties (including SCIRI and al-Da'wa, both members of the United Iraqi Alliance, the country's dominant political coalition), have ties to Iran." Global

Earlier in the ongoing conflict inside Iraq come clear indications - aside from the Political and religious there is some form of "backing" for groups destabilize Iraq. For some it is also seen as payback - for the seven year war between the two countries and a attempt by some in Iran to not see a strong potential rival along its border.

The Interim Iraqi Government repeatedly expressed concern over Iraqi influence, Defence Minister Hazem Sha'alan claiming in mid-2004 that there was "clear interference in Iraqi issues by Iran" and that the latter supported terrorism in Iraq. " OSD report

Blair says enough... Will not back Military action vs. Iran

Monday April 17th, 2006
He backed military action all over the world by two American Presidents. But Tony Blair has been seen of late as not being willing to stand toe-toe with president GW Bush on Iran.
The EU seems to prefer diplomatic efforts - so for that mater does the white house - and most of the world. Iran's leadership knows this - and is enjoying pushing the envelope with inflammatory rhetoric; But reports like this send a mixed message to those seeking a common front on dealing with Tehran.

" TONY Blair has told George Bush that Britain cannot offer military support to any strike on Iran, regardless of whether the move wins the backing of the international community, government sources claimed yesterday. " BRIAN BRADY WESTMINSTER EDITOR for the Scottsman reports.

But the lack of support for any Military action does not mean the UK is backing away from other forms of pressure.
" Blair is expected to support the call for a "Chapter 7" resolution, which could effectively isolate Iran from the international community." Brady writes on.

Sanctions could work two ways - Iran is awash with Oil cash with the Iraqi oil fields out of reach and most Oil prices in the world rising with each new car sold in china! This winter analysts predict the prices of oil will rise further.

Its not the fault of China that capitalism has brought prosperity - a reduction in the number of un-fuel friendly SUV's by even twenty per cent in the USA could bring down the level of Oil prices faster than new oil fields, so , superego's downsizing needs to be the first order of business to keep fuel prices down.

Imagine the impact of a major airstrips or tension in Iran reaching a boiling point - Oil is currently hovering around $30 a barrel- try - to imagine Oil per barrel at $55 a barrel or higher if a major conflict were to engulf the gulf anew.

Perhaps knowing this - leaders in Iran are rattling the sabers a bit- to get a higher price for their primary export. Meanwhile Russia and more importantly China are expected to not offer cooperation if Iran is targeted more closely.

Iran is not Iraq - that is clear- Tony Blairs "I'm putting my foot down-" could also be for both domestic consumption and for Iran's viewpoint - playing a good cop-bad cop to mullahs and Ayatolla's.

In the meantime elements in Iran- with or without Government backing -are still engaged in supporting the attacking factions in Iraq, reports on CNN, BBC, Fox News, and even Al Jeezera clearly show some form of support from factions in Iran for some groups in Iraq.
It is expected also that some more support will flow eastward to Afghanistan from elements in Iran who fear stable Democratic secular neighbors allies of the country they see as allies of thier greatest threat - the USA.

So if Irans hardliners could hope for anything is the US go it alone - and or with Israeli backing to hit targets no one knows for sure and with the Iraq intel ficasco freash in peoples minds - no one is sure really exists around the world - then the hardliners could rally and create a situation that would make 9-11, Madrid, and London actions of al qeada seems like childsplay.

For now cooler heads remain in control. But- if it is a situation worth monitoring....

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?