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Sunday, 6 September 2009

September 6: Pakistan's defence Day

Lahore : Jaswant Singh Book

Armed Forces Saluted By PM and President On Defence Day

Pakistan faces a security threat from the Taliban and all such designs against the country’s integrity will be foiled, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Saturday.

VAlian Armed Forces Saluted By PM and President On Defence Day

In his message to the nation on Defence Day, President Zardari said, “We will eliminate the Taliban and those who have challenged the foundations of the state. Let there be no doubt about it.”

He said the threats from the Taliban and extremists were a challenge for the country and its foundations.

Referring to September 6, he said the day would always be remembered as a memorable day, adding, “On this day, we salute the courage and heroism of our forces and pay homage to our martyrs.”

Zardari said the armed forces – backed by national consensus and the power of the people – had once again taken the Taliban head on.

President Zardari paid tribute to the brave people of Swat and Malakand who had endured hardships.

In his message on Defence Day, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the nation needed to exhibit the spirit of sacrifice of the 1965 war to confront terrorism.

“We will use all our capabilities to its optimum and overcome the challenges we face today,” the prime minister.

Gilani said Pakistan was facing with the threat of terrorism and the entire nation was supporting the armed forces, as they had in 1965.

“Pakistan demands the same spirit of sacrifice and valour which the entire nation and the valiant armed forces had shown during the ‘65 war,” he said.

“The way our gallant officers and men have fought against terrorists is unprecedented,” he added.

The prime minister said the country’s law enforcing agencies has wiped out the Taliban from Swat and Malakand, and also provided invaluable services for the rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons.

“The nation will always remember the sacrifices of the Pakistani armed forces,” he added.

He said Defence Day reminded Pakistanis of the resolve and enthusiasm displayed by the country’s armed forces along with the nation while defending the country during the 1965 war, and to pay tribute to the martyrs and warriors.

President Asif Ali Zardari has said that militants have been “almost cleared” from the northwest of the country and they were on the run, Geo news reported Saturday.

“Militants are on the run as Swat and Malakand have almost been cleared of them. This huge success in the battle for the integrity of Pakistan has been made possible by the sacrifices of our armed forces and the people,” Zardari said in his message to the country on the eve of Defence Day September 6.

“We will eliminate the militants and those who have challenged the foundations of the state. Let there be no doubt or mistake about it,” he added.

“We are confronted with the menace of terrorism. In the decisive war against terrorism, the entire nation is supporting our armed forces. Our law-enforcing agencies have wiped out the terrorists from Swat and Malakand region,” said Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in his separate message.

The Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy

The Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy announced in March promised increased resources and coordination in a war Obama described as shortchanged by the Bush administration. He authorized deployment of an additional 21,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan, a surge of hundreds of civilian officials and a significant boost in military and aid funding for both countries.Despite a troop increase, no progress has been reported on President Obama's goal of destroying al-Qaeda's sanctuary along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

The results so far have been uncertain. The Pakistani military has rousted the local Taliban from the Swat Valley area, and missiles launched from unmanned U.S. aircraft have killed a number of insurgent leaders in the Pakistan tribal areas along the Afghan border. But no progress has been reported on Obama's main goal of destroying al-Qaeda's sanctuary in the border area.

The stepped-up U.S. effort in Afghanistan has shown few results over a summer marked by an expanding Taliban presence and the highest U.S. casualty rate of the eight-year war. Obama appointed a new commander, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who has assessed the situation as "serious" and is expected to ask for more troops. As Congress has grown increasingly restive and opinion polls show falling public support, the administration has said real progress must be visible within 12 to 18 months.

Chinese concerns over the expansion of the US embassy in Islamabad

Watan ki Hifazat Pak Air Force

Jang Setember Roohani Imdad

Ae Nigare Watan tu Salamat Rahe

Pakistani runs for public office in NYC

New York City’s Muslim population is going to head to the polls in the hope of making history. Salim Ejaz, a Pakistani American, is standing elections for the position of Comptroller, which is the city government post that serves as fiscal watchdog. If Mr Ejaz wins, he’ll be the first Muslim – and certainly the first Pakistani – to hold such high office in the New York City government.

The NYC Comptroller oversees the city’s budget of US$ 60 billion and is responsible for pension funds worth US$ 120 billion. The post is a citywide position, just below that of mayor, serving all five boroughs, and therefore making it more significant than a congressional seat (New York City has five congressional seats). In light of his historic candidacy, Dawn.com caught up with Ejaz via telephone to learn more about his experience with the American political process.

Q. Are you proud to be the first Muslim to get so close to high office in the New York City government?

A. Just the fact that we are in this race is remarkable. But if we win, it’ll be huge. It’s a historic candidacy, as I’m the first Muslim to be running for the position of Comptroller. But I’m more proud because I’m the most qualified candidate for the job. I am a certified public accountant and so have the right qualification for the position, while the other candidates are career politicians, attorneys, or just BA graduates. Unlike my competitors, I have 40 years of financial expertise and worked 12 years in a senior management position in a billion-dollar government entity. In that position, I saved taxpayers several hundred million dollars, which, even by American standards, is a huge accomplishment.

Q. What motivated you to stand election for public office?

A. During the time I worked with the government, I recognised that elected officials can bring about huge benefits for their communities. If you’re not a part of the political process here, you lose out in a big way. I’m 66 years old now, and in the 30 plus years I’ve been here, I’ve become frustrated at the fact that us Muslims – particularly South Asians – aren’t getting our due share.

There are eight million people in New York, of which roughly 800,000 are Muslims. But we have no voice, no representation – our community gets no funding, no jobs. People laugh at our community and say that there are so many of you, but you don’t have the jazba to come forwards. So someone had to step up.

Q. Did President Barack Obama’s electoral victory influence your decision to run for public office?

A. Barack Hussein Obama and his victory are the most inspiring thing to happen. Everyone has taken heart from the fact that he could do it. Over here, attitudes towards Muslims have changed. Even within the Muslim community, if you go to the mosque, people feel truly energised. It’s one of the reasons we took on this challenge. While it is known that Obama got the vote of 90 per cent of all African-Americans, it is also true that he got more than 90 per cent of the vote from registered Muslim voters. It was a stunning turnout and a signal that our community is politically involved and willing to take out 15 minutes to go to the polls.

Q. Do you think you have a shot at winning?

A. We do have a realistic chance at winning. The September 15 election is a Democratic primary, so only registered Democrats can vote. Of the thousands registered, only a few hundred thousand will show up since it’s an off-season election, and that too being held on a working day. There are 800,000 Muslims in the city, if we can pull enough of them to vote, we have a chance. We’ve been doing extremely well up to now and our message is being passed on to all the Muslims and South Asians in the city.

Q. How are you getting the message out?

A. We have been targeting religious places, for example, mosques, where 150,000 to 200,000 people come regularly – and even more during Ramadan. We have also visited temples, both Sikh and Hindu. In fact, we’ve been received very enthusiastically at the temples. But our support is not just limited to South Asians: Turks, Arabs, they’re also interested because it’s a Muslim running. They’ve invited me to speak at their mosques and the Turks also covered our campaign in their biggest newspaper here.

Q. Do the national boundaries that matter to us here in Pakistan matter less within the diaspora?

A. I’ve been here for 30 plus years, and have yet to come across any animosity between Pakistanis, Indians and Bengalis. Luckily, there is that communal affinity between all South Asians. During my campaign, I’ve been more enthusiastically received by Indians and Bengalis than Pakistanis sometimes. For instance, I’ve been on more Sikh TV stations for hour-long programs than on Pakistani channels.

Q. You’re also reaching out to the African American community in New York…

A. We’ve been establishing links with West Africans and East Africans. They’ve been very supportive because they too need someone to champion their cause. Of course, it helps that our message is one that everyone wants to listen to: lower taxes, no cronyism, more transparency, better productivity, and lower- and middle-class housing support.

Q. Do you ever feel pigeonholed as a minority candidate?

A. Not really. Wherever we’ve gone, even in mixed gatherings, people have acknowledged that I’m the more qualified candidate. Our website is also for all New Yorkers – it’s not geared towards any ethnicity. On election day, we’ll be banking on our record, not our race or religion. People tend to cling to their own, but they do cross the lines if they feel other candidates have more to offer.

Q. What is the biggest challenge that your campaign has faced?

A. Unfortunately, while we have received an enthusiastic response, we have not been able to raise enough funds. We have tried to make it very easy for people to contribute though our website, but the funding level has been very poor.

Q. Why do you think there have been few donations to the campaign?

A. Three things happened. Firstly, Muslims have never had a political voice here and when I initially stepped forward, a lot of people didn’t think I’d make it. There was an overall reluctance.

Secondly, the South Asian community – the Pakistanis and Bengalis – has suffered a lot during the economic recession. I was recently in Brooklyn, in Coney Island, the hub of Pakistanis in New York, and they were saying that before the recession, Pakistanis would write cheques of US$ 1,000 for any worthy cause. But now, they’re shying away from giving US $ 50. People are still shell shocked. The frequency of unemployment is much higher within South Asians than in other groups.

And thirdly, every Muslim or Pakistani community we did go to for fund-raising said that they’d just given thousands of dollars for relief work in Swat. People wept just on looking at pictures from Swat and so they preferred to send their money back there, rather than give for the election. The humanitarian issue in Swat really dwarfed the candidacy. I think up to 90 per cent of the funding that would have been available to the campaign went to Swat.

Q. What happens if you win?

A. A win would be such a hugely uplifting thing for Muslims, particularly in New York City, but also around the USA. It’ll open doors and the younger generation will know that if an old man like me can do it, they can do it. Our victory would be the biggest ever for Muslims and would literally catapult Muslims to the forefront, whereas now they are sidelined and ignored. A win like this would get translated into everything else: job openings, more opportunities for young professionals, more funding for the community. Also, the mere fact of being represented at the top level means that our community’s interests will be well protected when new laws are drafted.

But if we lose now, we’ll lose the chance for another decade. That’s why I hope people come out to vote and volunteer to help the campaign on September 15.

Keeping history alive: Pakistan celebrates Defence Day

We seem to be somewhat negligent and careless when it comes to preservation of our heritage for posterity.

The few museums that we have can be counted on your fingertips but many of us do not even bother to visit them.

Had it not been surrounded by acres of immaculately-maintained lawns that pull hordes of city dwellers towards the soothing landscape; I confess that I would have remained oblivious of the PAF Museum located at the PAF Base Faisal in Karachi.

The lush green gardens are dotted with PAF exhibits (mostly planes), the museum built inside an actual hanger not just enriches you with national pride but also offers a fun area with rides and snacks.

Open seven-days-a-week, most people come here to squish the soft, thick grass under their feet while their children can play and roll around on the green.

My kids enjoyed their first close encounter with aeroplanes here and I have returned to the PAF Museum time and again as have scores of other people, many of them laden with picnic baskets.

After paying a small entry fee at the imposing gates, you are greeted by winding tracks beautifully bordered by bricked footpaths that give way to lawns which display various PAF planes, aviation equipment and ammunition well past their service days but so well-maintained that you feel they could fly off any time.

There are 32 aeroplanes in the museum, most of them displayed outside, with a few, like the Quaid-i-Azam’s Viking and the Indian Gnat captured in the 1965 war; displayed in the huge hanger converted into the museum building.

A bit of a longish walk will take you to this indoor museum unless you get side-tracked to the right where children’s swings and rides beckon the younger ones in your family. A detailed tour of the place is important, and anyone who hasn’t been to the museum/park should make the effort to spend enough time to explore, admire and study the exhibits.

The collection and display of Air Force items along with models of different aircrafts used internationally during the two World Wars is absolutely amazing.

Galleries line the sides of the hanger, while the centre houses aeroplanes. One of the galleries is devoted to aerial warfare, comprising both model planes and paintings of significant fighter planes from all over the world. There are galleries dedicated to heroes and martyrs of the 1965 and 1971 wars alongwith newspaper clippings and rare photographs that leave you awe-struck.

There are sections that display history and achievements of different squadrons, a gift shop and multimedia facility that gives all aspects of the PAF through a touch screen.

The museum would have housed much more if more serious thought was given to preserving our aviation heritage and not sending grounded and phased out aircrafts to breakers’ yards. The PAF museum was completed in August 14, 1997 to mark the country’s Golden Jubilee and is commendably a self-sustained project.

Taliban sets new media trends

The killing of Baitullah has made Taliban new chief Hakeemullah Mehsud celebrity of the local and international media. Hardly any Pakistani or Indian film star has achieved such fame and projection overnight as this young Mehsud has hit headlines during the last few weeks. Even he has left far behind his late mentor Baitullah in fame and is being glorified as a legendary guerrilla leader.

A German magazine has termed Hakeemullah 'charismatic, emotional and brutal.' Online edition of a British media organisation wrote about Hakeemullah’s spectacular 'driving skill, ability to handle AK-47 rifle, aggressiveness and cheeky smile.'

Another newspaper said that Hakeemullah was commanding 8,000 fighters operating in Kurram, Orakzai and Khyber tribal regions while his predecessor had some 30,000 armed supporters in South Waziristan. But it did not specify how and where this accurate data was obtained. An Indian writer has mentioned the same figures in his article published in Daily Mirror.

Controversy prevails in media about Hakeemullah’s name and age. He is carrying three different names in media: Zulfiqar, Jamshed and Hakeemullah. Which of these names is real, nobody knows.

Hakeemullah introduced himself to the media when a group of journalists from Peshawar and Islamabad was facilitated to visit his base in Orakzai tribal region in November last.

During interaction with the media he (Hakeemullah) demonstrated his firing and driving skills. His firing skill highly impressed media corps.

But, he has no experience of guerrilla warfare in Afghanistan, a tough battle ground for the ‘holy warriors’. He has been credited for making some 300 soldiers hostage in South Waziristan and disrupting supplies for Nato forces in Afghanistan.

History only will reveal the truth about the hostage taking or other spoils of Hakimullah. Like late Commanders Nek Mohammad and Baitullah, Hakimullah has also a passion for media. Nek and Baitullah had paid heavy prices for regular interactions with media by telephone.

Stories about Hakeemullah show the level of sensationalism in print and electronic media. War on terror has set new trends in media. Monetary benefits and sensationalism have become dominated factors in journalism during the last few years which have largely affected accuracy of news. Stories are created for monetary benefits.

For example, a freelance journalist was arrested making a fake documentary on Taliban for a foreign TV channel in Balochistan in 2004.

Attribution of quotes in stories related with war on terror to so-called unnamed intelligence and official sources is another phenomenon in media. Deepening nexus between militants and journalists has affected quality of reporting.

A journalist showing his close association with militants recently wrote that a militant spokesman regularly approached him when he needed contact numbers of other journalists or even some militant commanders.

Journalists don’t have obsession for reporting on social, economic, judicial or investigative stories.

For instance of total 250 members of the Peshawar Press Club hardly two or three journalists have know-how about commerce and economic reporting. Only five or six reporters know court reporting while few journalists may have understanding about parliamentary reporting. But every third journalist has full command and authority on terrorism and militancy. Situation at district and tribal agencies level is more alarming.

A senior journalist once said that Afghanistan was like the elungar of Ajmair Sharife for journalists. Coverage of Afghan war at that time did not require accuracy, verification or confirmation of events. Whatever journalists wanted to report, they did.

Most of the stories reported on Afghan issue and Al Qaeda were based on hearsay only because there was no telecommunication facilities at that time.

For example after 9/11 media had portrayed Tora Bora as huge caves complex comprising conference halls, networks of tunnels, power generation system, boarding facilities for Al Qaeda fighters and special accommodation for Osama bin Laden etc.

International and well reputed magazines published cover stories with diagrams about the so-called caves complex. Similarly a foreign newspaper had reported that Osama bin Laden had been provided shelter by a tribal chieftain in the Pakistani tribal area who had 600,000 fighters.

During a training workshop organised by a German organisation for journalists in Bali, Indonesia in 2006 (this correspondent also participated) an expert on terrorism based in Singapore said that Al Qaeda had arranged PhD classes in Tora Bora caves complex. He might have read story about caves complex.

But post 9/11 situation has shifted 'Ajmair Sharif’s lungar' from Afghanistan to the tribal area and Frontier province. Majority of the news stories regarding war on terror are based on single source.

For instance, two days ago on the first day of operation ‘Here I Come Again’ in Bara, Khyber tribal region media quoted the political agent concerned that 40 militants were killed in one day.

The newspapers and TV channels reported the same figures without confirmation from independent sources or local people.

Amazingly press clubs and journalist unions have also become oblivious to their responsibilities to prepare a code of conduct and ethics for working journalists to curb sensationalism in print and electronic media.

The dilemma is that media correspondents particularly from the districts and tribal agencies simultaneously contribute to more than one organisation.

Media outlets are racing after breaking news. Resultantly, the concept of confirmation and accuracy of news or an event from independent sources has almost vanished.

Pakistan's flag flutters in the background as air force cadets take part in Defence Day.

Pakistani exhibition visitors gather by a display aircraft at the Air Force's Defence Day celebrations in Lahore.

Members of Pakistan's air force take part in Defence Day, or Pakistan's Memorial Day, ceremonies.

Pakistani army officials arrive to pray at the grave of Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed on Defence Day in Lahore.

Pakistan celebrates Defence Day

Pakistan Air Force cadets march past the mausoleum of the country's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi on September 6, 2009 to mark the country’s Defence Day.

PAF's glorious moments on canvas.

Squadron Leader Adnan Siraj of Pakistan Air Force is a young officer driven by passion for aviation and love for painting. He has dedicated his life to preserving PAF's glorious moments on canvas.

Although making a career out of his artistic ability was never an ambition, fate had it in store. While growing up in the air force surroundings at Rawalpindi where he attended the PAF School, Chaklala, the young Siraj was bound to develop a fascination for aircraft and the PAF. It was in those formative years in the1980s when, as he fondly recalls, he found a motivation of another kind.

He began sketching and painting aircraft. Life took a turn when upon completing high-school he rushed for selection as a fighter pilot and was turned down down. Fortunately for the PAF, however, in this young man an undeterred spirit of patriotism had struck root. Even if not a pilot, he was a fighter indeed. And for the air force an ideal candidate for preservation of its glorious history and achievements.

While Siraj pursued higher studies and received a master's in English Literature from the Punjab University he continued to indulge in art and managed to further polish his skills. Although he never received any art education, his quality of work continued to improve as he kept pace with the swift worlds of art and aviation both. During this time he also met artists and painters, showing them his work. Their response was against his expectations. Some of them criticised the objective of his work and the lack of its social significance.

While he found the critique disenchanting, he never gave up. 'Aviation art is a very specialised genre, which can only be appreciated by those who have an interest in flying; it can also only be created by those who can visualise and understand the dynamics of flight,' he says.

Then gratifications followed. One of his paintings was selected for the Lockheed Martin Code One magazine's ‘Art of the F-16’ issue in 1995. From then on the obvious path to take was to pursue what he did best 'I felt that even if I was in a non-flying branch, I would have much better access to aircraft and would be considered an insider. This was way better than the odds I faced as a civilian!' he recalls.

He applied to the Education Branch of the PAF, and was selected. He was sent to the PAF Academy, Risalpur for training, after which he was duly commissioned into the PAF in July 1997. There began a journey of contentment. He was posted as an instructor to the PAF Academy where he taught air warriors for three years. Then he was finally posted closer to his element at the department of Flight Safety as illustrator and art editor of the department's journal. During his six years with Flight Safety he was in charge of planning and designing titles, layouts, and most importantly illustrations accompanying the narratives from pilots.

It was finally in 2006 that he was transferred to the Air Headquarters in recognition of his artistic ability to capture the intricate details involved in portraying aircraft. 'It is fortunate that I have found myself in this position after years of perseverance and I'm proud to serve the PAF through my art. I'm also proud to continue the rich legacy of the undoubted pioneer Group Captain Hussaini,' he says.

Siraj now has about forty paintings to his credit along with numerous sketches. His favourite and primary medium is oil on canvas, while he is equally at ease with watercolour, pencil sketches, acrylic as well as pen and ink on paper. Some of his masterpieces include tributes to squadrons through portrayal of their history of exemplary service by men and aircraft alike.

A most exciting aspect of his work remains the designs and colour schemes of the PAF aircrafts for ceremonial displays on national days. He has managed to gain recognition from some of the world's renowned aviation artists, including Bill Philips, Keith Ferris, R.G Smith and Ronald Wong, and holds the Fellowship of the American Society of Aviation Artists. He is also a member of the Guild of Aviation Artists, UK.

Defence Day Special :

U.S. unemployment rate jumps to 26-year high of 9.7%

The U.S. unemployment rate jumped to a 26-year high of 9.7% in August as nonfarm payrolls fell by 216,000, the 20th consecutive monthly decline, the Labor Department estimated Friday.

U.S. payrolls have dropped by 6.9 million to a total of 131.2 million since the recession began in December 2007, the government data showed. Unemployment has increased by 7.4 million during the recession to stand at 14.9 million.

"Joblessness continues to mount, which will only make it harder for households to repay debt and build savings, thereby impeding a consumer-led recovery," wrote Sal Guatieri, senior economist for BMO Capital Markets.

The 216,000 decline in payrolls was close to market expectations of a 233,000 drop, but the unemployment rate rose higher than the 9.5% level expected. The unemployment rate was 9.4% in July. See Economic Calendar.

It was the smallest decline in payrolls since August 2008.

Payrolls declined an upwardly revised 276,000 in July. In June and July, payroll losses were revised up by 49,000. Read the full government report.

Payroll losses have moderated in most industries in the past two months after severe declines earlier in the year. In the past three months, payroll losses have averaged 318,000 per month, compared with 491,000 in the previous three-month period.

Although payroll losses have moderated, the loss rate in the past three months is as bad as it was at the worst of the 1980 and 1982 recessions, said Charles Dumas, an economist for Lombard Street Research. "You have to have faith to think that job losses at the worst rate of 1980 and 1982 are consistent with level to growing GDP," Dumas said.

Economist Robert Brusca said the trend is favorable, adding that he couldn't understand the pessimism of so many observers. "I feel like a parent locked in a car with a little kid screaming " DADDY! ARE WE THERE YET?"

Many economists think the unemployment rate will top out near 10%, late this year or early next year. "What really matters is when payrolls and the jobless rate will turn, and we still believe that the timeframe on both is soon, probably sooner than most other forecasters expect," wrote Stephen Stanley, chief economist for RBS Securities.

Details of the August report were generally weak, however.

Payrolls fell in most sectors of the economy except for health care. Total hours worked in the economy dropped by 0.3%, long-term unemployment worsened, and the number of people working just part time who wanted full-time work reached 9.1 million, up 278,000.

The number of people who've been out of work longer than six months nudged up to 5 million, representing about one-third of the unemployed.

An alternative measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those forced to resort to part-time work rose to 16.8% from 16.3%, marking the highest on record dating back to 1995.

Average hourly earnings on the month rose 6 cents, or 0.3%, to $18.65 an hour. In the past year, average hourly earnings are up 2.6%.

Of the 271 industries as tracked by the Labor Department, 35% were adding workers in August, according to a survey of hundreds of thousands of business establishments.

Private-sector employment fell by 198,000 in August. Employment in the private-sector is now lower than it was 10 years ago.

Government employment fell by 18,000.

Goods-producing industries cut 136,000 jobs, including 65,000 in construction and 63,000 in manufacturing.

The manufacturing workweek for August was unchanged at 39.8 hours, while hours worked in manufacturing fell 0.5%. Of 83 manufacturing industries, 29.5% were adding jobs in August, the highest percentage since May 2008.

Employment in motor-vehicle manufacturing fell by 15,000. Employment in food, beverage and petroleum manufacturing rose slightly.

Service-producing industries reduced their rolls by 80,000 jobs in August, the fewest in a year. Retail cut 10,000 jobs, despite a gain of 5,000 at auto dealers. Financial services shed 28,000 and business services cut 22,000, including 6,500 temporary-help workers.

Health-care industries added 28,000 jobs.

According to a separate survey of households, employment fell by 392,000 and unemployment rose by 466,000 to 14.9 million.

The employment participation rate was steady at 65.2%. The employment-population ratio fell to 59.2%.

The unemployment rate for teenagers rose to a record 25.5%. The jobless rate for blacks rose to 15.1%, the highest since 1986. The jobless rate for men was 10.9%, close to the post-war record of 11.2%. The jobless rate for women was 8.2%.

Iran: U.S. forged documents about our nuclear program

Iran accused the U.S. on Friday of using forged documents and relying on subterfuge to make its case that Tehran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, according to a confidential letter obtained by The Associated Press.

The eight-page letter - written by Iran's chief envoy to the UN nuclear agency in Vienna - denounces Washington's allegations against the Islamic Republic as fabricated, baseless and false. The letter does not specify what documents Iran is alleging were forged.
It also lashes out at Britain and France for ill will and political motivation in their dealings on Iran.

Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh sent the letter to Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose 35-nation board will take a hard new look at Iran's nuclear program next week.
Iran insists its nuclear activities are peaceful and geared solely toward generating electricity. The U.S. and key allies contend the Islamic Republic is covertly trying to build an atomic bomb
Tehran has bristled at the agency's latest report, which accuses Iran of defiantly continuing to enrich uranium and refusing to clear up lingering questions about possible military dimensions to its nuclear program.
Iran flag
In the letter, Soltanieh insists that Iran has demonstrated the full commitment of my country to its obligations under an IAEA nuclear safeguards agreement.

But it takes sharp aim at Washington for giving the UN nuclear watchdog unspecified intelligence and other evidence allegedly recovered from a laptop computer that reportedly was smuggled out of Iran.

U.S. intelligence later assessed the information as indicating that Tehran had been working on details of nuclear weapons, including missile trajectories and ideal altitudes for exploding warheads.

The material on the laptop also included videos of what intelligence officials believe were secret nuclear laboratories in Iran.

"By interfering in the work of the IAEA and exerting various political pressures, the government of the United States attempted to spoil the cooperative spirit between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA," the letter reads.

"The government of the United States has not handed over original documents to the agency since it does not in fact have any authenticated document and all it has are forged documents," Soltanieh said.

"The agency didn't deliver any original documents to Iran and none of the documents and materials that were shown to Iran have authenticity and all proved to be fabricated, baseless allegations and false attributions to Iran," he added.

"Therefore, this subject must be closed," Soltanieh wrote.

U.S. officials were not immediately available for comment late Friday. Officials at the French Foreign Ministry would not immediately comment. Britain's Foreign Office did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The IAEA itself has pressed the U.S. and other governments to share more details on Iran-related intelligence. In its latest report on Iran, the UN agency noted that constraints placed by some member states on the availability of information to Iran are making it more difficult for the agency to conduct detailed discussions with Iran.

In a brief telephone interview Friday evening, Soltanieh told the AP he hoped the letter would pressure the U.S. to fully divulge the source of any intelligence implicating Iran.

"We are the victims of negligence, because people still don't know what this is all about," he said.

The nuclear agency's latest assessment did acknowledge that Iran has been producing nuclear fuel at a slower rate and has allowed UN inspectors broader access to its main nuclear complex in the southern city of Natanz and to a reactor in Arak.

But it cautions that there are a number of outstanding issues which give rise to concerns and which need to be clarified to exclude the existence of possible military dimensions.

The report, to be examined next week, has raised the specter of harsher international sanctions against Iran for not answering lingering questions about its nuclear activities.

Senior UN officials have said Iran has been feeding uranium ore into some of its 8,300 centrifuges at a reduced rate, suggesting that sanctions already in place may be hampering its program.

As of Aug. 12, only about 4,600 of those centrifuges were actively enriching uranium, compared with about 4,900 in June - the last time the nuclear agency issued a report on Iran's nuclear activities - officials said. Since then, they said, Iran has installed roughly 1,000 more centrifuges, but it appeared that many were idle.

Soltanieh's letter contends the overall assessment on Iran is positive. But he says concerns raised by the U.S. and others have totally overshadowed and undermined the steps that Iran has taken to comply with IAEA demands for transparency.

U.S. President Barack Obama has given Iran something of an ultimatum: Stop enriching uranium - which, if done at a high level, can produce fissile material for the core of a nuclear weapon - or face harsher penalties. In exchange for stopping, it could get trade benefits from six countries that have been engaging it in separate talks: the U.S., Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.

The UN Security Council has imposed sanctions on Iran three times since 2006 for its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment. The sanctions grew from fears that Iran is using the pretext of building a peaceful nuclear energy program to eventually make weapons-grade enriched uranium.

The country has also been placed on an international watch list to help limit the importation of nuclear materials, which could make it difficult to procure enough uranium oxide to feed its enrichment program.

The European Union on Friday issued a new demand for Iran to return to international negotiations over its nuclear program, warning that a confrontation and tougher sanctions could be ahead if the standoff continued.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who was chairing two-day talks among EU's foreign ministers, said the bloc was keen to restart such talks despite the political turmoil in Iran.

"We have a very generous offer on the table," Bildt said. "We want cooperation with Iran on quite a number of things, including the development of civilian nuclear technology."

Bildt, whose country holds the EU presidency, warned that Iran could not continue to ignore appeals over its nuclear enrichment program.

"If they are willing to engage with us, we are ready to cooperate with them. If they decide to go for confrontation, then confrontation will happen," Bildt said.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he has been trying to get in contact with Iranian counterparts over comments made by Iran's nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, that Iran would present new proposals.

Envoys from Germany, France, Britain, Russia, China and the U.S. met in Frankfurt on Wednesday and urged Iran to agree to new talks before the UN General Assembly meets later this month in New York. They plan to meet again in New York.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Friday the EU and others were very clear about commitments to sanctions and other actions if Iran does not cooperate fully with the UN's atomic energy agency.

He said the political instability caused by protests against the re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the wake of June's presidential vote was not an excuse to set aside the nuclear issue.

Miliband suggested Iran make its intentions known soon.

"We are coming into a season of international meetings ... we need a response from the Iranians," Miliband said.

EU officials acknowledged that the appointment of Ahmadinejad's new Cabinet was complicating efforts to get Iran back to negotiations. They spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Ahmadinejad received a broad mandate on Thursday by Iran's parliament backing his main Cabinet choices, including a suspected mastermind in the 1994 bombing of an Argentine Jewish center that killed 85 people.

Iran has defied three sets of UN Security Council sanctions aimed at pressuring it to mothball its uranium enrichment. It also is resisting an IAEA probe into reports it had drafted plans and conducted experiments for a nuclear weapons program.

Taliban's Tank-Killing Bombs Came from U.S., Not Iran

In support of the official U.S. assertion that Iran is arming its sworn enemy, the Taliban, the head of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Dennis Blair, has cited a statement by a Taliban commander last year attributing military success against NATO forces to Iranian military assistance.

But the Taliban commander's claim is contradicted by evidence from the U.S. Defence Department, Canadian forces in Afghanistan and the Taliban itself that the increased damage to NATO tanks by Taliban forces has come from anti-tank mines provided by the United States to the jihadi movement in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

taliban fighters

The Taliban claim was cited by ODNI in written responses to questions for the record from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence following testimony by Blair before the Committee Feb. 12, 2009. The responses were released to the Federation of American Scientists under the Freedom of Information Act Jul. 30.

ODNI wrote that Iran was "covertly supplying arms to Afghan insurgents while publicly posing as supportive of the Afghan government". As evidence of such covert Iranian arms supply, the ODNI said, "Taliban commanders have publicly credited Iranian support for their successful operations against Coalition forces".

That statement was taken almost word for word from the subtitle of an article in The Telegraph Sep. 14. "A Taliban commander has credited Iranian-supplied weapons with successful operations against coalition forces in Afghanistan," read the subtitle.

The single Taliban commander quoted became plural in the ODNI version.

Baitullah Mehsud

In the article, British journalist Kate Clark quoted an unnamed Taliban commander as saying, "There's a kind of landmine called a Dragon. Iran's sending it. It's directional and it causes heavy casualties."

The commander said the new mine would "destroy" large tanks "completely", whereas "ordinary" anti-tank mines had only caused "minor damage".

If true, the revelation that an improved Iranian anti-tank weapon had been killing U.S. and NATO troops in larger numbers would have been a major development in the war in Afghanistan. Roadside bomb attacks are acknowledged by U.S. and NATO officials to be the cause of most of the casualties and deaths of foreign troops in the country.

The rapid rise in casualties over the past two years is attributed in part to the increased lethality of the Taliban mines.

But according to the Pentagon agency responsible for combating roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, the increased Taliban threat to U.S. and NATO vehicles comes not from any new technology from Iran but from Italian-made mines left over from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's military assistance to the anti-Soviet jihadists in the 1980s.

In response to an inquiry from IPS, the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) said in an e-mail that Italian-manufactured TC-6 anti-tank mines are "very common" in the Taliban-dominated areas of the country and that they have been modified to increase their lethality in IED attacks.

The JIEDDO response said TC-6 mines are being "arrayed in two or three in tandem to ensure the charge is large enough to inflict damage against Coalition vehicles." The TC-6 mines "continue to pose a significant threat to Coalition Forces", JIEDDO said.

The combining of two or three anti-tank mines into a single, more destructive bomb would account for the increased lethality of the anti-tank mines being used by the Taliban.

The claim by the alleged Taliban commander of new, more effective weaponry supplied by Iran appears to have been deliberate misinformation for the Western press.

British writer Jason Elliot, who has traveled extensively in Afghanistan since 1979, reported in a 2001 book "Min(d)ing Afghanistan" that the Italian-made TC-6 was the most commonly used anti-tank mine used in Afghanistan. The 15-pound charge of TNT, wrote Elliot in the TC-6, he wrote, could "flip a tank the way a seagull flips a baby turtle."

Millions of mines remained buried in the ground from the Soviet occupation period, Elliot observed. However, only some 20,000 anti-tank mines have been destroyed since 1989, according to the United Nations.

Further evidence that the Taliban are relying heavily on the TC-6 to damage NATO tanks is a picture published by al-Jazeera on May 1, 2007 in a Taliban storeroom of explosives in Helmand province. The photograph, taken by a cameraman accompanying correspondent James Bays, showed two insurgent bomb-makers working on what was clearly identifiable as an Italian TC-6 anti-tank mine.

The insurgents told the photographer that the explosives in the room were in the process of being converted into "anti-tank bombs".

Canadian forces in Kandahar province have encountered some of the heaviest Taliban use of anti-tank mines in Afghanistan. According to casualty data on the website of the Canadian Forces, since the beginning of 2007, 57 of 81 deaths of Canadian troops in Afghanistan have come from roadside bombs and anti-tank mines.

Capt. Dean Menard, a spokesman for Canadian forces in Kandahar, told IPS in a telephone interview that some of the ordnance used by the Taliban against Canadian tanks "are definitely attributable to the Soviet occupation era" – a reference to mines supplied by the United States through Pakistan during the anti-Soviet war.

The insurgents have obtained anti-tank weapons from "legacy minefields" dating from the period of Soviet occupation, according to Menard. Canadian forces also have intelligence that the Taliban obtain such mines from a "vast black market", he said.

The Canadian spokesman confirmed that the Taliban are "making bigger mines" from the ordnance obtained from those sources.

In 2007 and 2008, Afghan military and police discovered two major caches of weapons in Herat province on the Iranian border that included anti-tank mines which some Afghan officials suggesting had originated in Iran.

But one picture of mines discovered in Herat, published by the Revolutionary Women's Association of Afghanistan, clearly shows nine Italian TC-6 mines and one which resembles the top from a U.S. M-19 landmine, which was among those found in Afghanistan over the past two decades.

One mine cannot be clearly identified from the picture, but it does not resemble any known Iranian mine.

A picture of the 2007 cache in Herat published by AFP shows more Italian C-6 mines, along with a number of what appear to be U.S. M-19 anti-tank mines. The picture shows an Afghan policeman pointing to a mark on one of the latter, suggesting that it is of Iranian origin.

A copy of the U.S. M-19 mine has been manufactured by Iran, according to Jane's Mines and Mine Clearance 2005-2006. However, long-buried Iranian-made M19s provided to the Jamiat-I Islami Mujahedin faction fighting more extremist Hezb-e Islami fighters in the 1992-96 period exploded accidentally in Kabul as recently as 2006.

Moreover, a 2009 study of arms deliveries to Afghanistan in the 1990s by the Moscow-based Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies shows that Iran's large-scale arms aid to the Northern Alliance forces in 1999 included anti-tank mines.

Baitullah MehsudThe prominence of the Italian-made mines among weapons found in Herat indicate that the anti-tank mines discovered in Herat in 2007 and 2008 were not assistance from Iran to the Taliban but weapons provided either to the Mujahedin during the Soviet occupation or to the Northern Alliance troops fighting the Taliban in the late 1990s.

Former CIA officer Phil Giraldi, who monitors U.S. intelligence analysis on Iran, told IPS he doubts the ODNI statement on Iranian policy in Afghanistan accurately reflects the analysis.

"If you were to read the original analytical report," said Giraldi, "you would probably find that it's caveated like mad."

"India's proof is not enough to carry the 26/11 probe: says Pakistan.

The Pakistan Government on Saturday claimed that the evidence provided by India regarding the 26/11 Mumbai attacks probe is insufficient and further movement will depend upon India's response.
India's proof is not enough to carry the 26/11 probe. India needs to take the next step to carry the probe further," Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said during a press conference.

26/11 Terrorist attack in Mumbai (image by Soumik Kar)

Qureshi further indicated that Pakistan was not getting proper support from India, and said: "It takes two to clap, if I meet my counterpart from India (Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna) in New York (during UN General Assembly meet), then all the issues including terrorism, Mumbai attacks and all outstanding issues can be discussed."

Meanwhile, Express news reported that the hearing against suspected militants accused of involvement in Mumbai attacks has been adjourned until September 19.

Pakistan to address Chinese concerns over US Marines

Pakistan Saturday said that it will address the Chinese concerns over the expansion of the US embassy in the heavily-guarded capital. Talking to reporters in eastern Multan city, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmoud Qureshi said that China is an old and trusted friend. "There is nothing to worry about and we will take steps to address concerns if any," he said while responding to a query about Chinese concerns.
The American embassy had invited Islamabad press and shared the whole plan with them, he said while rejecting that a large number of US Marines will be deployed in Pakistan.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Luo Zhaohui, on Friday expressed concern over the expansion of the US embassy in Islamabad. "China has concerns over the expansion of the US embassy in Islamabad and the United States should expand its embassy by materializing rules and regulations of Pakistan," he said.

Iran needs a defense system beyond nuclear umbrellas

As reported in The Tehran Times, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi recently said that “a defense umbrella is needed in the region to protect against the Zionist regime’s nuclear arsenals.” Israel has allegedly stockpiled over 200 nuclear warheads. Qashqavi asserts that elimination of Israeli nuclear weapons is the best guarantee for peace and security in the region.

The authors agree that elimination of nuclear weapons would be a good step. However, it is a step unlikely to be taken in the present hate-filled, high-tension political climate. Why? Israel fears its neighbors, so it has acquired nuclear weapons to serve as deterrence against attack. Ironically, this is the same reason why other countries like Iran might also want to obtain nuclear weapons.

The word “deterrence” comes from the Latin root meaning “fear.” In theory, war is deterred by instilling fear in potential enemies. To this end, Israel is said to have amassed tremendous destructive potential. While the alleged 200 nuclear warheads may incite fear in potential foes, the same fear encourages other countries to acquire a nuclear “umbrella” as well, further inflaming regional tensions and hatred. For this reason, no country committed to defense solely through destructive power is likely to generate a trust-based, fear-free and peaceful atmosphere.

Diplomacy and economic sanctions alone have not been sufficient to resolve the fear crisis – which is driven by human behavioral dynamics that cannot be controlled by such methods of persuasion alone.

War, whether hot or cold, is a human problem requiring human solutions. War often thrives in chaos. The underlying cause of conflict is accumulated social stress. Today the military of Iran has an opportunity to address this fundamental cause of war by deploying a new, scientifically verified technology of defense beyond nuclear weapons.

  • A new solution

A proven new technology of defense is now available – a technology of national security, fully capable of defending Iran from any destructive technology, including nuclear weapons. Militaries have already applied this technology in order to defuse and eliminate conflict. Extensive research has confirmed its effectiveness. This new technology is easily applied, highly cost-effective, and can prevent disruption and attack from within the country or outside the country.

This new technology of defense is based upon the latest discoveries in the fields of physics, neuroscience, and physiology. Ultimately, it is based on the discovery of the unified field of all the laws of nature – the most fundamental and powerful level of nature’s dynamics. Technologies based upon this unified field of natural law have such concentrated power that they can render obsolete and irrelevant every previous objective technology and destructive means of defense.

Modern science has probed deeper levels of nature’s functioning, from the macroscopic world of classical physics to the world of the atom, then to the underlying field of the atomic nucleus, and then to the subnuclear levels of nature’s functioning. This exploration has culminated in the discovery of the unified field, the unified source of the diversified laws of nature governing the universe. From its purely self-interacting dynamics, the unified field creates from within itself all the particles and forces that compose the universe, and all the diversified streams of natural law governing the nuclear, atomic, molecular, and macroscopic levels. Because this unified field is vastly more powerful than any other level of nature’s dynamics, a technology of defense based upon the unified field is of historic importance. It is already changing the whole science and technology of defense.

The discovery of the unified field is not a philosophical development. It is a scientific development of the foremost order – a rigorous mathematical development based upon the Lagrangian of the unified field, a highly compact mathematical formula that describes the self-interacting dynamics of unity at the basis of all the diverse laws of nature governing the universe. A technology based upon this complete, most comprehensive level of nature’s functioning is completely different from and vastly more powerful than all previous defensive technologies based upon diversified levels of natural law – nuclear technologies, chemical technologies, biological technologies, electronic technologies – because these all utilize specific laws of nature in isolation. The unique power of the unified field and of technologies of the unified field reveals that invincibility in nature is only available at this superunified scale.

Any defense strategist today understands that more fundamental, more powerful levels of nature’s functioning offer technologies that are increasingly powerful. For example, a country armed only with chemical weaponry, such as explosives, cannot protect itself against a nation equipped with nuclear weaponry.

But it is important to understand why nuclear weaponry is more powerful. In physics the quantum principle, or uncertainty principle, states that dynamism increases at more fundamental scales: more precisely, the energy associated with a physical process is inversely proportional to the distance scale or time scale associated with that process. That’s why nuclear power, associated with transitions at the nuclear scale, is a million times more powerful than chemical technologies based upon transformations at the molecular scale. The atomic nucleus is a million times smaller and hence a million times more powerful than the chemical or molecular level.

The principle here is that an invincible structure at one level of technology can be easily overwhelmed by a more fundamental level of technology. The ultimate application of this basic principle is that the unified field, at the superunified scale – the Planck scale of nature’s functioning, which is ten thousand times more fundamental and more powerful even than the grand unified forces – is completely invincible. Any previous level of technology, including all technologies of defense, is easily overwhelmed and rendered obsolete through a technology of the unified field. And it is just such a technology that Iran needs to deploy today.

  • A safe solution

At this point, an intelligent reader might ask, “Is such a technology of the unified field safe?” The development of nuclear power has threatened humankind with nuclear conflagration and has cast a shadow over the safety and security of the whole world. What potential dangers could accompany a technology of the unified field, which is a thousand million million times more powerful?

Fortunately, there is no danger to humankind from these technologies of the unified field. A technology of the unified field operates at the basis of the laws of nature governing the universe – a completely unified and holistic level of nature’s functioning. Because this level of natural law is holistic, it is naturally free of the negative, unanticipated side effects that accompany technologies based upon fragmented levels of natural law.

The unified field is the unified source of all the laws of nature governing the universe. It is a field of purely life-supporting, life-nourishing influence that gave rise to all life and all forms and phenomena in the universe. From that unified level, only life-supporting effects are possible – as confirmed now by over 600 scientific studies that have explored the effects of this technology of the unified field on individual life and on the life of society. These studies have found only life-nourishing, positive benefits, based upon the holistic nature of the unified field-based technology involved.

  • The transcendental meditation program: Accessing the unified field within

This capability of this unified field-based defense technology is the basis of the world’s traditions of meditation. Properly understood and property practiced, meditation throughout the ages has been a systematic technology to turn human awareness within to experience and explore finer levels of thought. And the experience of these deeper levels of human intelligence corresponds to the experience of deeper levels of intelligence in nature. This inward exploration of consciousness culminates in the direct experience of the deepest level of consciousness – this simplest, silent, settled state of human awareness, sometimes called the state of pure consciousness – in which the human mind identifies with the unified field. By turning the attention systematically within, human awareness experiences and explores deeper levels of nature’s functioning and directly experiences the unified field at the source of thought – the field of unity at the basis of mind and matter.

This approach of direct experience of the unified field is both ancient and modern. The Vedic tradition of knowledge, from ancient India, is the most complete and highly developed tradition of meditation in the world. And yet this ancient approach of gaining knowledge and experience of natural law, the unified field, has also become the focus of intense scientific research over the past 50 years. The late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has revived, from the ancient Vedic science of consciousness, systematic technologies for experiencing the unified field, including the Transcendental Meditation program and its advanced techniques. These meditation practices are known as Invincible Defense Technology (IDT) in military circles. They have been successfully used by members of many faiths to eliminate conflict in the recent past. If the military of Iran were to apply this human resource-based technology, which is non-lethal and non-destructive, it could reduce the collective societal stress that is fueling the rising tensions between Iran and Israel.

  • Transcendental Meditation is not a religion

People from all religious backgrounds practice the Transcendental Meditation program and appreciate how it has enhanced their faith. For instance, Nada Haider, a practicing Muslim living in Beruit, Lebanon, wrote: “I would say that the Transcendental Meditation technique is like cleaning the mirror and what you see afterwards has nothing to do with the actual process of cleaning. TM is not a religion and it does not in any way require individuals to change their personal beliefs or practices; yet, by promoting a clear mind and a clean, stress-free nervous system, it helps one to live the highest values of religious life.”

Miral Shaaban, a veiled Muslim who lives in Cairo, Egypt, wrote: “I cannot ever forget the first time I prayed after my first meditation. I learned the TM technique in December of 2006: I was speechless and cannot explain this state of complete serenity, contentment and gratitude for God. TM increased my level of acceptance and appreciation for my faith and strengthened my beliefs.” She also reported that “reading from the Qur’an is becoming more enjoyable and comforting at the same time, as now I can better link its teachings with everything around me: my level of comprehension of its meanings are increasing on a daily basis…The great value of TM is that it deepens and expands one’s level of consciousness, so that one can begin to more fully grasp and live the deeper meanings and values of one’s own religion. This truth reminds me of the teaching from the holy Qur’an that offers great knowledge in the form of a question: ‘Are those who know and those who know not on the same level?’ Obviously, the answer is no.”

Atmane Kouider, Ph.D., practicing Muslim and teacher of the TM program who lives in Algiers, Algeria, reported: “Among all the people to whom I taught the TM Technique, I have never heard of anyone who gave up his Islamic practice after learning TM; but, I have heard of many individuals, born Muslim, who adopted Islamic practice after learning the TM program. God states in His Holy Qur’an: ‘Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change that which is in their own self.’ Here, in TM, is a scientifically validated program for changing our inner condition to harmony and all good. Let us adopt it to improve that which is in our own self and deserve God’s Mercy and Grace for ourselves and every living being.”

  • The Prevention Wings

A Prevention Wing of the Military would be the ideal way to achieve this goal. Less than 1% of the military of Iran would be in this wing. The remaining personnel would carry out their normal military duties. The Prevention Wing of the Military would be trained in the primary components of IDT. They would practice these technologies in large groups, morning and evening.

These Vedic technologies of consciousness, as revived by Maharishi, have become the world’s most widely practiced, extensively researched, and broadly prescribed by doctors of any program of meditation in the world – indeed, of any program for the promotion of full human potential. These techniques systematically lead the attention within to experience the unified field – and this experience harnesses and mobilizes the unified field for practical application in the life of the individual and society.

The innate capability of the human brain to experience the unified field through these meditation programs has been validated in many ways. Millions of people practice Transcendental Meditation regularly twice a day and gain experiential confirmation through the direct experience of unity, of universal intelligence at the basis of mind and matter. Extensive scientific research confirms the completely holistic, life-supporting benefits of this experience of the unified field for all aspects of health, learning, brain development, and behavior. More than 600 published scientific studies, conducted by over 250 independent universities and research institutes in 35 countries, make this technology of consciousness the world’s most extensively proven technology for the full development of human potential. All these wide-ranging, purely positive benefits are a testimony to the unified, holistic nature of the unified field and its technologies.

  • The Maharishi Effect

According to extensive scientific research, the size of the group of IDT experts needed to reduce social stress in a given population must be at least the square root of one percent of the population. To calculate this number, multiply the population size by 0.01, and then take the square root of this number. For instance, Iran has a population of approximately 66 million, and 66,430,000 x 0.01 = 664,300. The square root of 664,300 is approximately 816. So a group of at least 816 IDT experts would be needed. However, an even larger group would be safer because engineers who build structures for maximum human safety regularly “over-engineer” their creations out of concern for unanticipated variables. The same rationale holds for engineering peace in a volatile region like the Middle East. (Click to access an online “Square Root of One Percent of the Population” calculator for other countries.)

Studies show that when the required threshold of IDT experts is crossed, crime goes down in the affected population, quality of life indices go up, and war and terrorism abate. Scientists have named this phenomenon the Maharishi Effect in honor of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who first predicted it.

Invincible Defense Technology experts in Washington, DC,

For instance, in 1993, a two-month Maharishi Effect intervention was implemented and studied in Washington, DC, the capital of the US. Predictions of specific drops in crime and other indices were lodged in advance with government leaders and newspapers. The research protocol was approved by an independent Project Review Board. The findings showed that crime fell 23 percent below the predicted level when the peace-creating group reached its maximum size. Temperature, weekend effects, or previous trends in the data failed to account for changes. This research was published in the peer-reviewed Social Indicators Research (1999, vol. 47, 153-201).

Over 50 studies have shown that IDT works to lower crime, aggression, war deaths, etc. and to improve the quality of life in society. The causal mechanism has been postulated to be a field effect of consciousness – a kind of spillover effect produced by enlivenment of the unified field by the peace-creating group spilling over into the larger population. Some support for this explanation comes from a study published in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality (2005, vol. 17, 285-338). Research on the neurotransmitter serotonin has shown it to be associated with a state of physical and mental well-being. Indications of low levels of serotonin activity correlate with violence, aggression, and negative mood states. The IDT study showed that an increase in the numbers of IDT experts practicing in groups correlated with an increase in serotonin among non-TM-practicing community members several miles away for the group. These results were statistically highly significant and supported a causality model. This finding may offer a plausible neurophysiologic mechanism to explain reduced hostility and aggression in society at large.

IDT Group Size vs. Quality of Life in Israel

Quality of life in Israel improved and intensity of the conflict in Lebanon decreased in direct proportion to the number of Invincible Defense Technology experts in the coherence-creating group (Journal of Conflict Resolution, 1988, vol. 32, #4, pp. 776-812). A short online video (5:38) featuring Dr. John Hagelin explains this finding.

The Maharishi Effect has also been documented on a global scale in a study published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation (2003, vol. 36, 283-302).When large assemblies of IDT experts exceeded the Maharishi Effect threshold for the world (about 7,000 at that time) during the years 1983–1985, terrorism globally decreased 72%, international conflict decreased 32%, and violence was reduced in other nations without intrusion by other governments. This study used data provided by the Rand Corporation

This approach utilizes large groups of peace-creating experts practicing ancient technologies of consciousness that harness the most powerful level of nature’s functioning—the unified field described by superstring theory. Research published in peer-reviewed journals indicates that such groups can effectively defuse and prevent social problems like crime, war and terrorism.

  • No enemies means no war

Today, the only way to assure national security and invincibility is to be a nation without enemies. Every military strategist will confirm that conventional means of defense can no longer protect a nation against modern destructive technologies: weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons, biological weapons, chemical weapons, long-range push-button electronic missile technologies, or terrorism. The only effective defense is to prevent the birth of an enemy. And this can now be easily achieved, in a scientific way, by targeting and neutralizing the enmity in a potential adversary so that no enemies arise.

On the left, an external magnetic field penetrates an ordinary conductor whose electrons behave in a chaotic or disorderly way. On the right, the external magnetic field is excluded from the interior of a super-conductor whose electrons function in a coherent collective manner—invincibility. The Maharishi Effect creates invincible “national armor” that cannot be penetrated by the collective negativity of other countries.

This is strategic defense. In the past, nations would align their soldiers on the country’s border in the hope of preventing attack. Today any nation can simply launch a bomb across the border—and there is no defense against such electronic weaponry. The whole principle of defense based on offense, which has never really worked, is completely obsolete today—and everyone knows this. There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support the premise that war creates peace.

In the United States, for example, the Bush administration began its war on terror years ago and attacked Afghanistan, and subsequently Iraq, in the hope of eliminating its enemies. But there is no evidence today that the number of terrorists has been reduced through this war on terror; if anything, the number of would-be terrorists has increased. And therefore, the United States, like every other nation, remains insecure. In fact, the entire world is in an extreme state of vulnerability to attack.

Finally, every military commander has always been profoundly distressed by the need to send the youth of the country—the pride of the nation—onto the battlefield and into war. If the youth of the country are asked to die for their country, then for whom, ultimately, does that country exist? For whom, when the youth are sacrificing their lives for the sake of the country, and when those who survive the battlefield are asked to claim the lives of others? This is a terrible historic situation, a “kill or be killed” technology of defense that has never worked.

So what Maharishi has brought to the world, through his revitalization of this technology of the unified field and through intense scientific scrutiny of its deep principles, is really a technology of invincibility at a time of enormous global vulnerability. Now it is possible, through this most advanced technology of defense—the Invincible Defense Technology—to prevent war on a scientific basis, and to safeguard the youth of the country who, if they simply utilize this technology, will never have to face the devastation of war. This technology can literally prevent the birth of an enemy, and can create a family of nations that is harmonious and peaceful, each nation invincibly strong within itself.

  • The opportunity for permanent peace in the Middle East

The military of Iran is charged with the constitutional responsibility to defend the country. It can now succeed in this mission simply by creating a Prevention Wing of the Military—a coherence-creating group of IDT experts equaling or exceeding the square root of 1% of the population of Iran. The rest of the military can continue to do exactly what they already do and can continue to receive exactly the same training that they conventionally receive. Only a Prevention Wing of the Military needs to be trained in these additional technologies for invincibility—the science and technology of consciousness, the technology of the unified field. That small group can prevent war on a scientific basis and produce such indomitable coherence and invincibility that none of the other soldiers will ever have to face the devastation of war. In addition, these technologies powerfully improve and benefit the lives of the soldiers themselves, developing their full brain potential, robust health, dynamism, imperviousness to the stress of the battlefield, and many other benefits, as scientific research has confirmed.

As part of its responsibility to protect the nation, Iran’s military is obligated to thoroughly examine realistic, scientifically proven methods for preventing war and terrorism. IDT is such a method. Moreover, since the military and military personnel are funded by the government, a Prevention Wing of the Military would not be subject to the fluctuations in size that often affect civilian IDT groups, where participation may be influenced by finances, job demands, graduations, and optional activities. Military members are paid to perform their duties and protect the nation. Ultimately, it is the military’s duty to build a Prevention Wing of the Military.

Application of this technology is extremely easy and costs virtually nothing, because no expensive equipment or machinery or weaponry is required. All that is needed is the human nervous system – an extraordinarily sophisticated and refined machinery – which can be trained and put immediately to this purpose of accessing and harnessing the almost limitless power of the unified field. The fact that such a small group of soldiers can achieve true national security and invincibility, whereas previously thousands of soldiers could not, testifies to the power of this technology of the unified field, which operates at a level of nature’s functioning millions of times more powerful even than the nuclear level.

We emphasize that just a small percent of the military is needed. There is no risk to the military – nothing to lose and everything to gain. And by “everything,” we mean not only national security and invincibility – which are, of course, the foremost goal – but as side benefits, economic growth, improvement of health throughout Iran, and improvement of educational standards in the country. When the national mood is bolstered and buoyed by growing positivity and coherence in collective consciousness, as generated by the IDT group, then the confidence of the nation’s citizens increases and the economy improves as a result.

All areas of society will be simultaneously enriched by this holistically life-supporting, life-benefiting technology. It is enormously effective and cost-effective, and the results are immediate. All that is necessary is to provide the proper training for a group of military personnel – or indeed, any large group within the country. Iran has the opportunity today through IDT to create true “umbrella” of national security and invincibility. But the time to act is now.