Author Topic: Drug Traffickers and Islamist Militants Are Everywhere, And  (Read 240 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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Drug Traffickers and Islamist Militants Are Everywhere, And
« on: November 05, 2005, 08:24:00 PM »
Paris seeks "hidden hands" in riots
By Tom HeneghanSat Nov 5,11:22 AM ET
With every night that France's rundown suburbs burn, officials grow increasingly convinced that drug traffickers and Islamist militants are using frustrated youths to challenge law and order here.

Many people who watch their cars, shops and schools go up in flames, however, are not buying it. They blame unemployment, racial prejudice and widespread youth boredom for the outbursts.

Finding "hidden hands" behind the unrest seems like trying to catch the rioters as they rampage through the night. Some may get caught, but far more slip away in the darkness.

"Everybody is fed up seeing our town and our district trampled over daily by these organized gangs," declared Gerard Gaudron, conservative mayor of the northeastern Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois after an hour-long march against violence.

If the police don't crack down on these "hooligans," the embattled Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has warned, "who would give the orders? The mafias and the fundamentalists."

Fouzi Guendouz doesn't agree. "I don't think that's the real reason. It was just an excuse for kids to trash things," said Guendouz, 20, a French-born business student of Algerian origin.

"The politicians blame it on Islamists because the French are afraid of this religion. They think Islam equals bin Laden."

"Whoever knows who's behind this should come here and say it openly," shouted a defiant man in a Muslim prayer cap. "The problem is there's nothing for youths to do here."

Ahmed Hamidi, a white-bearded Moroccan electrician long resident in France, had no patience with politicians in Paris, which lies hardly an hour away but seems like another planet.

"All the politicians care about are laws for homosexuals and all those immoral things," he fumed. "They are against headscarves, against beards and against the mosques.


Aulnay-sous-Bois was calm overnight, but there were still many charred cars and delivery vans along the way as the "march against violence" snaked in between the faded housing blocks.

Acrid smoke still rose from the smoldering ruins of a large carpet and floor covering depot set ablaze by arsonists two days ago. Deep in an isolated industrial zone, the depot was clearly the target of arsonists who went out of their way to hit it.

The growing frequency of attacks like this, in contrast to the car and trash hopper blazes set by marauding youths earlier in the unrest, prompted Paris prosecutor Yves Bot to join the officials blaming the rioting on organized gangs.

"This is done in a way that gives every appearance of being coordinated," he told Europe 1 radio. "For the moment, we see there is a movement against official institutions but it does not seem to be taking an ethnic or religious turn."

Another student in Aulnay-sous-Bois, Jeremie Garrigues, 19, doubted this was the case. "If those kids had been organized, they would have done much worse -- they would have used guns and bombs against town hall and the prefecture," he argued.

"Those are all politicians' theories," remarked an Algerian woman named Samia, whose main concern was how frightened her children were by the unrest. "We live here in reality."


It's only on the fringes of the march, out of earshot of the multi-cultural crowd of concerned residents, that anybody tries to reconcile the opposing explanations.

"I'm sure there are drug dealers and Islamic radicals at work," said a middle-aged woman who requested anonymity. "Drugs are everywhere. They've arrested Islamic radicals nearby here."

A social worker who also withheld his name said some rioters seemed linked to the drug trade because they "drive nice cars and use mobile telephones I couldn't afford to buy.

"When the government is determined to fight this underground economy, there's bound to be resistance," he said. "There is no headquarters organizing this, but they seem to be coordinating their activities among themselves by phone."

The charge that Islamist radicals were trying to exploit the unrest was a difficult one for local Muslims to handle, he said, because many were working to prevent unrest and admitting there were radicals in the crowds would discredit their community.

"They can't say that, so they don't say anything," he added.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Drug Traffickers and Islamist Militants Are Everywhere, And
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2005, 08:32:00 PM »
G, I know this ain't the right forum, but this all is just getting so interesting to me. I got knocked out by the first paragraph, I haven't even read the whole thing yet. Scapegoats and all that.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Drug Traffickers and Islamist Militants Are Everywhere, And
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2005, 10:42:00 PM »

Uzbeks banish BBC after massacre reports
By Monica Whitlock
BBC News, London

BBC accounts of an uprising in the Uzbek town of Andijan earlier this year - when government troops opened fire on protesters - have resulted in the closure of the BBC bureau in the capital, Tashkent.

There is a recording we made from Andijan so chilling that people cannot speak while it is playing.

It is an open line to the mobile phone of one of the demonstrators. You can hear a wall of automatic gunfire, like siege fire, and among it people muttering their last prayers: "Allah-u Akbar, Allah-u Akbar - God is great."
As the shooting grows louder and louder, the voices become thinner until, after more than an hour there is a click, and silence.

The man with the phone was killed.

This recording and many, many others from Andijan are the reason why we have been forced to leave Uzbekistan.

Andijan carnage

There were TV films in which ordinary men and women spoke out about their children being tortured in jail, strung upside down, frozen in iced water.

He was shot more than 20 times... we counted the holes

There was the weeping 15-year-old who told us how troops had ambushed him and his mother as they tried to run away from the shooting across the border into Kyrgyzstan.

There was the mother who risked her life to show us the clothes of her dead son, a young baker who had simply gone to watch the demonstration and never come home.

He was shot more than 20 times. We counted the holes.

There was the gravedigger who told us how he and all the gravediggers in Andijan had been forced to the hills outside the city to make nameless pits for the uncountable corpses wrapped in plastic and buried in secret.

Each one of these stories flew in the face of the government version: that what happened at Andijan was an attempted coup by Islamic terrorists.

Eviction notice

The government denounced the BBC and blocked it. But they could not stop it.

Someone, night after night, pushed printed pages from the BBC News website under peoples' doors in Andijan.

With a soft, warning knock they disappeared.

In Tashkent, people who never thought twice about politics sat huddled around radios in the evening, craning to hear every story on the BBC.

Word spread, from street to street. And anger grew. Anger, first about the killings, then anger about the scale of what many saw as a huge, official lie.

So I should not have been surprised when the foreign ministry summoned me and read out a prepared statement, accusing me of complicity with terrorists.

They made it clear that I had to leave, quickly.

A day later, I was gone and the unravelling of the bureau had begun.

So I should not have been surprised.

But I was.

Raw reporting

We had been in Uzbekistan for so long - the only international broadcaster to set up there in the early 1990s when the Soviet Union collapsed and Uzbekistan became a country.

In those days, we worked from a little house on Ulitsa Ivleva (Ivleva Street), famous among the tiny band of journalists and others who were drawn to Central Asia.

There were always guests, a lunch for anyone who dropped in, sometimes even people camping in the garden.

Communications were so poor that the whole office sometimes took it in turns for hours raising a dialling tone on the phone.

Long, hot nights were lost trying to send a fax, waiting anxiously for acknowledgement that it got through.

And all because in this fascinating, unknown land every story was fresh and new. No press releases, no press pack, just amazing, solitary journeys up mountains and through deserts to report real news.

Home sweet home

As time wore on, the office expanded.

We reported in Uzbek, in Russian, in Persian, Kazakh and Kyrgyz, as well as English.

We moved to a bigger place with phones that worked nearly all the time except, of course, when it snowed.

But our spirit remained.

Lunch stayed central to the workings of BBC Tashkent. Around our now huge kitchen table sat 10, 15 people or more, chatting in an assortment of languages.

Who were they all?

We were not always sure. Someone's cousin, someone's child, an Afghan poet, a musician who had been banned.

From time to time, one would leap up and chase out the swallows who tried, with success, to nest in the office year after year.

Visitors from the wider BBC were surprised by the Tashkent office.

They were not sure what to make of the place but they always succumbed to its grace and gentleness - our drivers who would bargain them down not up, the intense sunshine, the friendliness, the kindness.

Temporary measures

It is all over now.

Next spring the swallows will build their nests in peace.

Our staff have scattered all over the world.

Ordinary people who have been with the bureau from the first days have rolled up their lives into suitcases bulging with knives and forks, quilts and pans.

They are starting their lives all over again.

But reporting is not just about bureaux. It is about telling the stories that need to be told, whatever it takes to do that.

We will continue to report on Uzbekistan and - as soon as we can - we will be back in the country.

Governments, after all, do not last forever. Even those so frightened of the truth that they get rid of anyone who speaks it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Antigen

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Drug Traffickers and Islamist Militants Are Everywhere, And
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2005, 12:52:00 PM »
On 2005-11-05 17:32:00, Anonymous wrote:

"G, I know this ain't the right forum, but this all is just getting so interesting to me. I got knocked out by the first paragraph, I haven't even read the whole thing yet. Scapegoats and all that."

Oh, you're not wrong. And I don't think this is the wrong forum for it, either.

Right after the WTC attack, drug policy leaders and luminaries came to a near concensus that we should all bury the hatchet, put this family squabble on a back burner and come together as one nation, united against a common enemy. They actually believed that the drug warriors would--must--see things the same way. I mean, how could they not? After all, we were under attack by a determined foreign enemy. Who in their right minds would even consider continuing a long since failed war on our own people in the midst of this real war which had just come home to roost in such a stunning way?

Not to blow my own horn, but I did call that one. By the end of `01, I had found out that the Büsh admin really and truely was stacked w/ Program supporters (not to mention Str8 founders!) and their dogmatic brethren. It's that "right mind" qualifier that got me. They're not in their right minds. They're just as fucking crazy as they ever were; moreso now, in fact, in direct preportion to their increased power and funding.

By January, ONDCP launched one of the most expensive, blatantly deceptive ad campaigns trying to blame teenaged potheads for it. Here's a nice write up on that:

You're not wrong. Sure, there is such a thing as  violent, dangerous and deranged criminal entrepreneurs involved in the $400bn (last estimate, years ago already) trade in prohibited substances. But there are not 700k of them coming up each year. So why all the arrests? And there is such a thing as dangerously deranged religious fundamentalists. Jimmy Carter just wrote a book about them; Our Endangered Values : America's Moral Crisis. But they're not anything like a majority or mainstream among all Mulsim communities any more than they're the mainstream among American Christians.

Through all the discussion and all the developments and all I've learned about this industry and the people who drive it, I haven't changed my mind or shifted my focus on the issue at all. I gotten a better understanding, I think, about how and why these sadistic lunatics have come to power. But my primary reason for hosting these forums, nagging journalists and peppering believers and apostates alike w/ uncomfortable, rude and outrageous questions remains the same.

In the simplest of terms, the people who stole my family, my childhood, my town and my state have, indeed, hijacked our Federal government and military. I have a problem w/ that. They lie, cheat and steal routinely while deflecting and projecting all of their worst impulses, moral failings and crimes onto any handy scapegoat.

If there's a worse idea going than locking people up for drug use, it's probably locking them up in close proximity to some tyranical altruist who wants to 'help' them with a problem that probably doesn't exist
-- Ginger Warbis
having had about all the help I can stand!

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"Don\'t let the past remind us of what we are not now."
~ Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Sweet Judy Blue Eyes

Offline seamus

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Drug Traffickers and Islamist Militants Are Everywhere, And
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2005, 04:24:00 PM »
America needs scapegoats,since communism took a dive it moved on to cartels,alledged narco-terrorists,the "war"on drugs,(in my opinion,a cross between a war on poor people and a good ol' fashioned witch hunt)If for no other reason than to keep people all divided,and to keep them from figuring out that our government, at best shady.Yep keep pissing middle class jobs away to forign countries that don't even contribute to the federal tax base,just brilliant..
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
It\'d be sad if it wernt so funny,It\'d be funny if it wernt so sad

Offline Anonymous

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Drug Traffickers and Islamist Militants Are Everywhere, And
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2005, 08:35:00 PM »
GODDAMN SKIPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »