Apple introduces iPhone and Apple TV

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Apple introduces iPhone and Apple TV

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Apple Inc. today has introduced the much-anticipated iPhone at the Macworld Conference in San Francisco.

The iPhone is claimed to be “a revolutionary mobile phone” as stated on the Apple website. The device appears to be running a mobile version of the Apple operating system Mac OSX. It is approximately the same size as a 5th generation iPod, it has a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen display that is used to access all features of the phone including number dial, as well as making phone calls. The iPhone plays music, movies, displays pictures and is able to connect to a wireless network.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the device by walking onto the stage and taking the iPhone out of his jeans pocket. During his 2 hour speech he stated that “Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone, We are going to make history today”.

Today Apple also released their Media Center device – Apple TV. It will directly compete with Microsoft’s Media Center operating system. Apple has taken a different approach to the media center market; rather than storing content (such as movies, music and photos) on the device, Apple TV connects to a computer (Mac and Windows) over a wirless network connection and plays all content stored on that computer. This makes it substantially easier for users to organize their media content.

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  • Australians may choose to change head of state beyond Queen Elizabeth II: Howard

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    Australians may choose to change head of state beyond Queen Elizabeth II: Howard

    Thursday, March 16, 2006

    Australian Prime Minister John Howard has given his strongest indication yet that Australians may choose to change their head of state beyond Queen Elizabeth II‘s reign. The comments are the first from Mr Howard, a proud monarchist, casting doubt over the future of the monarchy in Australia.

    In an interview with the BBC, Mr Howard said that he did not believe Australia would become a republic while Queen Elizabeth II is on the throne, but he conceded that he did not know what would happen after Elizabeth II’s reign ends.

    “I do not believe this country would become a republic while the Queen is on the throne; beyond that I don’t know,” Mr Howard told the BBC.

    In a separate interview with British broadcaster ITV, Mr Howard refused to predict whether he thought Prince Charles would become King of Australia and indicated that it would be for the Australian people to decide.

    “Well, that is a matter for the Australian people, and I believe in democracy,” he said.

    “If the Australian people want to change the system, they will. But if they don’t, they won’t. The only prediction that I make is that I do not believe that this country will become a republic while the Queen is on the throne.”

    Republicans have seen significance in Mr Howard’s comments. Ted O’Brien, Chair of the Australian Republican Movement said Mr Howard has provided some recognition for a possible Australian head of state.

    “Mr Howard’s recognition that it is very unlikely that the country will become a republic while the present Queen is on the throne indicates quite clearly that this may not be the case when Prince Charles takes over,” he said.

    “Mr Howard is an astute reader of the mood of the Australian people, and this change in language, if not in sentiment, is clearly some recognition of the likelihood of a future Australian head of state,” added Allison Henry, ARM national director.

    Monarchists are urging people not to make too much from Mr Howard’s comments. Professor David Flint from Australians for Constitutional Monarchy said that to think Australia will become a republic based on Mr Howard’s comments would be grasping at straws.

    “He’s just saying that he doesn’t know the future, he can’t tell the future, none of us can,” he said.

    “It would be grasping at straws for the republicans to say that this means Australia will become a republic or that the Prime Minister says that.”

    Tony Abbott, Australia’s health minister and staunch monarchist said he did not believe Australia would become a republic after Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Mr Abbott told ABC that he believes the person on the throne is irrelevant: it is the institution that Australians admire.

    “It’s the institution, not the individual which really counts,” he said.

    “I am quite confident that were the Queen to pass on and her successor to occupy the throne that there would be the same magic and same personal affection between even Australians and our monarch.”

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    Suspected serial killer appears in British court

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    Suspected serial killer appears in British court
    Posted in Uncategorized | February 13th, 2019

    Friday, May 28, 2010

    A man accused of being a serial killer has appeared in Bradford magistrates court in West Yorkshire today charged with three counts of murder. 40-year-old Stephen Griffiths is accused of killing Suzanne Blamires, 36, Susan Rushworth, 43, and Shelley Armitage, 31, all prostitutes.

    Griffiths, a former van driver with a degree in psychology and studying for a PhD in criminology, gave his name as “Crossbow Cannibal” when asked. He has been in police custody since Monday when police were alerted to a CCTV recording that appeared to show a murder.

    A caretaker had been reviewing footage from the flats where Griffiths lives when he saw footage of a woman and a man enter a flat early on Saturday morning. Two minutes later, she ran out and was followed by the man, who beat her to the ground and shot her in the head with a crossbow. Over the course of the weekend, the man was seen several times with bin bags and a rucksack.

    On Tuesday, the day after the arrest of Griffiths, Blamires’ remains were found in the River Aire in nearby Shipley. She had been cut into several pieces and her head was located in a rucksack. Police continue to search for the other two alleged victims; Rushworth has been missing since June last year and Armitage vanished in April.

    Police have searched much of Bradford’s red-light district, where Griffiths’ third-floor flat is located. Forensic investigations at the flat are expected to last around three weeks. There are plans to search landfill sites for bodies, and police may yet expand the inquiry to cover three more cold cases, although at present they have not been linked to the current inquiry.

    Sniffer dogs have been used throughout the city, and police have been taking away plastic evidence bags. Some alleyways remain closed off. Police charged their suspect yesterday.

    Griffiths was known as “the lizard man” in his block of flats owing to his habit of walking his two pet monitor lizards in the area. One neighbour is reported to have quoted him as saying he was studying for “a PhD in murder and Jack the Ripper,” and he has spent time in a high-security psychiatric hospital. During his five-minute court appearance he did not enter a plea, kept his head bowed and fidgeted with his cuffed hands. He said “Here, I guess,” when asked for his address.

    As he stood in the glass-fronted dock, guarded by three security officers, he was watched by the families of Rushworth and Armitage, who were accompanied by police family liaison officers. Blamires’ family chose not to be present, but the victim’s mother Nicky Blamires, 54, has told the press that Suzanne was a “much-loved” family member even though she “went down the wrong path and did not have the life she was meant to have.” “Nobody deserves this,” she said. “All these girls were human beings and people’s daughters.”

    Griffiths’ morning court appearance was followed by a second one this afternoon, at Bradford Crown Court. This time, he confirmed his name without incident. He was remanded into custody until next month, when he will appear in court again.

    British media has been quick to compare the case to Peter Sutcliffe, dubbed the “Yorkshire Ripper”. Sutcliffe was a Bradford killer responsible for thirteen murders and seven attempted murders, including several prostitutes. Since his 1981 conviction he has spent most of the last three decades in Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital near London.

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    Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

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    Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant
    Posted in Uncategorized | February 12th, 2019

    Thursday, December 18, 2008

    A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

    The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

    The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

    Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

    Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

    Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

    The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

    In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

    Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

    Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

    According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

    Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

    In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

    In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

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    Iron Front Porch Stair Railings Are Another Material To Consider

    Posted in Home Improvement | February 12th, 2019

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    By Mr.Andrew Caxton

    If you have stairs on the front of your home, then you know the importance of a sturdy and aesthetically pleasing front porch stair railing. There are so many different styles and designs of front porch stair railings, which allow the homeowner to find the railings that fit the style of their home. You will find that the materials in front porch stair railings vary greatly as well. Learning more about the materials available in front porch stair railings will enable you to find the material that will work best for your needs and your home.

    Two materials which work great for front porch stair railings are vinyl and PVC. These materials are wonderful because they do not splinter, they are smooth to the touch, and they are slip-resistance for maximum safety. These materials are also extremely durable, hold up well to weather exposure, and they will not burn your hands during the summer because they do not hold heat like some materials. PVC is resistant to UV light, which will help prevent fading or other color changes due to sun exposure. Both vinyl and PVC come in many different colors and vinyl even comes in wood grain design if you want the look of wood, but the durability and ease of use of vinyl.

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    Wood front porch stair railings are another option that you may want to consider. Wood is a traditional material for homes that give character like nothing else. There are so many different varieties and species of wood that you can use to make your front porch stair railings. Cedar wood is a wonderful choice, because it offers you decay resistance, as well as being insect resistant. Cedar will also handle moisture much better than other wood species. You will find that there are other wood options that you may want to consider as well, including composite woods. Composite wood front porch stair railings will be durable, water resistant, and will need little maintenance. They are also decay, insect, and UV light resistance, which will help them to stay beautiful for many years. Composite wood does not splinter, either.

    Iron front porch stair railings are another material to consider. Iron is widely used as a railing material due to its durability and strength. Iron offers you a beautiful way to help enhance your home. Iron is a wonderful material because it can be made in almost any design that you can think of-from animals to shapes to even letters. It is very durable and will probably outlast your home. You will love the classic look that iron can add to your front porch.

    By choosing the right materials for you and your home, you will find that your front porch stair railings can be functional and enhance your home.

    About the Author: Andrew Caxton is a freelance writer for http://www.deck-porch-railings.com . You can find more information and resources on

    vinyl railings

    at his website.

    Source:

    isnare.com

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    isnare.com/?aid=141967&ca=Home+Management

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    Calls made for prosecution in light of Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 report

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    Calls made for prosecution in light of Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 report
    Posted in Uncategorized | February 12th, 2019

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    Australia is calling for criminal charges to be made in light of the final report into the Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 disaster, which was published yesterday. Five Australians were among the 21 killed when the Boeing 737 jetliner overshot the runway at Adisucipto International Airport, near Yogyakarta, Indonesia on March 7 this year.

    Australian Minister for Foreign affairs, Alexander Downer, said that the “very credible report” made it clear the two-man cockpit crew were responsible for the accident. The report found that alarms sounded no less than 15 times to warn the pilot in command that he was flying at an excessive speed for proper operation of the flaps, and that the co-pilot had also been ignored when he asked for a go-around to be made. The co-pilot was criticised for not taking control of the aircraft. The pilot was found to have ignored 15 emergency activations of the Ground Proximity Warning System telling him to slow down. Other criticisms were leveled at the inadequate training provided by the airline, the inadequate inspections by authorities, the lack of a mandatory runoff area at the runway and improper fire suppressants and slow response from the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting facilities at the airport.

    “I’ve asked our ambassador today to make it absolutely clear to the Indonesians that we want people prosecuted for this accident,” said Downer. “I want to see people who have negligently allowed Australians … to be killed, I want to see those people brought to justice,” he added. He has also expressed a pledge to discuss plans for a class action suit with survivors and relatives of victims, but he commented that “you’re dealing with the Indonesian system here, it’s a different system from our own, so it’s not necessarily going to be very easy.” Bill Madden from the law firm Slater and Gordon, who have a speciality in class actions, disagreed: “It would seem as though the families and people injured would have a fairly strong case,” he said. “You’d be holding an airline responsible for the negligence of a pilot and that’s a fairly standard approach that the law can follow.”

    Meanwhile, the Sydney Morning Herarld spoke with Ari Sapari, head of operations at Garuda Indonesia. He told reporters that the pilots, who remain grounded after the crash, may be sacked next week, when any disciplinary action is expected to be announced. However, if they are charged over the crash, he has promised the airline will assist in their defence, saying “They are still our employees, up to now. They have the right to be assisted.” Police say they are examining closely the possibility of charging both with manslaughter, which could see them sent to prison for up to five years if convicted. When queried about the fact that the report found the crew had not received adequate simulator training from the airline, he defended the company, saying “Nobody is perfect in this entire world.” Since the suspension of the pilots, all other Garuda pilots have undergone the appropriate training missed out by Garuda.

    Australian Prime Minister John Howard said in a statement made after the report came out “I am quite astonished. I can understand how people who are still grieving, both in Indonesia and Australia, might feel.”

    The Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd, has said he has telephoned secretary-general of Indonesia’s foreign affairs department and former ambassador to Australia Imron Cotan, telling him that he wanted those responsible “prosecuted to the absolute full”. “This is a serious matter, many Australians visit Indonesia, Garuda is an often used airline and there is a basic national interest at stake here as well,” he said.

    It is, however, stipulated in the Convention on International Civil Aviation that accident reports and related material, specifically transcripts of interviews, communications with crew and cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder (collectively known as black boxes) readouts, must not be used for any purpose other than determining the cause of an accident or incident. The only possible exception to this is where potential benefit would outweigh the “adverse domestic and international impact” on the investigation in question or any other either in progress or in the future. This legislation is in place to provide protection to witnesses on the basis that without it they may be less likely to cooperate with investigational procedures.

    Downer’s response to this law was to comment that “I think our first priority is to make sure those who are responsible – who survived the accident – are brought to justice.” Aridono Sukman, the police member in charge of the criminal investigation, has said that the contents of the black box are vital evidence. Officials have commented that some relatives have expressed their frustration over the legal challenges involved in the prosecution effort.

    Tatang Kurniadi, chairman of the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee, has already confirmed that investigators cannot speak to the police, with the only permitted testimony under the legislation being to testify at a court hearing. He also pointed out that the document does not actually appoint any blame. “The investigation determined the flight crews’ compliance with procedures was not at the level to ensure the safe operation of the aircraft. That’s enough,” he said. However, Sisno Adiwinoto, a police spokesperson, told reporters the police would attempt to summon the investigators to court as expert witnesses on aviation, rather than as the actual investigators involved with the disaster.

    Another fact that has become apparent is that the runway at Adisucipto International will not be lengthened to meet international standards despite assurances that work would begin shortly. The airport claims it cannot build the mandatory 90-metre runway end safety area because, says a small-print comment by the state-owned airport operator, the airport does not have the land.” It has, however, promised to bring other airports under its jurisdiction up to standard, with work initialising next year. The company has also stated that a study of engineering methods providing alternative solutions could be completed by June.

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    Genetic link to migraines discovered by researchers

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    Genetic link to migraines discovered by researchers
    Posted in Uncategorized | February 12th, 2019

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    New research published in the journal Nature Medicine has shown a link between a faulty gene and migraines. Scientists hope that this discovery will lead to improved pain management treatments for sufferers, with possible benefits for pain treatment generally.

    The breakthrough involves a gene known as TRESK, thought to control the brain’s reaction to pain: if it is defective, then many normal activities and actions will be painful. Migraine sufferers (thought in the United Kingdom to number about eight per cent of men and eighteen per cent of women) often complain that light, noise and touch cause pain. TRESK can potentially be affected by drugs that would change the point at which it reports pain, which would alleviate the suffering of those with migraines. Now researchers will need to find such a drug.

    The study involved scientists from the Medical Research Council Functional Genomics Unit at the University of Oxford and from Canada. They looked at the DNA of 110 people with migraine and members of their family, and found that TRESK was a major component in migraines. One of the Oxford researchers, consultant neurologist Zameel Cader, described it as a “once in a generation find” and said that it could “potentially lead to a treatment for pain in general.” Before this study, no genes had been directly linked to migraines, although parts of the DNA that raised the general risk had been found.

    Migraines are described by the World Health Organisation as a major worldwide cause of disability. In Britain, it is estimated that migraines affect 20 per cent of the population, with about 190,000 migraines occurring daily and over 25 million lost days from work every year. Lee Tomkin, director of a sufferers’ charity, Migraine Action, described the news as “fantastic” and “genuinely a really great step forward.” Professor Peter Goadsby from the Migraine Trust termed it “a novel direction to consider new therapies in this very disabling condition.”

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    Sedation Dentistry And How It Is Used

    Posted in Dental Services | February 12th, 2019

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    byAlma Abell

    There are many people who are frightened of dentists and dental procedures. For those patients who really are traumatized, sedation dentistry in the Orange Park area is the solution. Sedation dentistry eliminates a great deal of the anxiety that the patient feels and can be used for all procedures, regardless of whether they are simple or complex.

    Sedation dentistry induces relaxation during procedures; it’s often referred to as “sleep dentistry” although that really is not accurate. Unless the procedure calls for a general anesthesia, the patient is awake. The levels of medicinal sedation are:

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    Minimal: Awake but relaxed Moderate: Speech slurring and memory loss will occur Deep: You are left on the very edge of consciousness but still awake. General anesthesia: Completely unconscious

    Different chemicals are used to sedate the patient to a level of consciousness that is good for both the patient and the dentist. Minimal sedation will use nitrous oxide, more often than not referred to as “laughing gas”. The nitrous oxide is combined with oxygen and introduced to the patient through a mask placed over the nose. During the procedure the dentist monitors and controls the flow of gas as it tends to wear off quickly. Nitrous oxide allows the patient to recover quickly, capable of driving home without assistance.

    For moderate levels of sedation, the dentist will give an oral sedation; the drug is from the same family as Valium. The drug will usually be introduced about an hour before the procedure is scheduled. This form of sedation is the most common moderate method; the individual will gradually become groggy and often will fall asleep during the procedure. The patient can be easily woken with little more than a gentle prod. It is not recommended that the person drive home but should be accompanied. Moderate sedation can also be introduced through an IV directly into a vein; this will allow the dentist to continually monitor the state of the patient which cannot be done when oral drugs are administered.

    Deep sedation and general anesthesia will either get you to the edge of consciousness or completely into a deep sleep, totally unconscious. While under the effects of general anesthesia you cannot easily be woken, the effects of the anesthetic must either wear off or be chemically reversed.Even when sedation dentistry in Orange Park is employed, the patient usually requires a topical local antiseptic so that pain sensations are eliminated.

    Sedation dentistry is really something that is used with people who have a genuine fear of dentistry, to the point where they avoid dentists altogether, often leading to dire consequences. People with a low pain threshold, are fidgety or have a gag reflex are also candidates for sedation dentistry.

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    Taliban resurgent in Pakistan on enforcement of Sharia law/Interview archive

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    Taliban resurgent in Pakistan on enforcement of Sharia law/Interview archive
    Posted in Uncategorized | February 11th, 2019

    What is the current situation in the NWFP?

    The Pashtun people are or were renowned for their hospitality. Many westerners commented on it. Some with suspicion NOT willing to believe some people so poor could be so generous. It was almost a character flaw. One could travel with out fear of personal danger as long as you followed local protocols. (I would urge you to read Kiplings “East is East & West is West.” one more time, know this time that it is written about the Pashtun people.)

    That was the sort of mind set among the people. An ageless paradigm of self satisfaction: This is enshrined in the code of the Pashtuns way of life (see James Spain “The Way of the Pathans”) – called Pashtunwali- in Pashto hospitality is referred to as “maelmastiya”.

    The Islamic radicalism is in reality nothing but the Taliban movement. As I said earlier not all Pashtuns are Taliban (obviously) but most Taliban are Pashtun. Of these most belong to the FATA. Of these, most were affected by their cousins from Afghanistan coming over. Mingled with them were Arab-Afghans. Uzbeks and some Tajiks and even Chechens. Some of these married within the tribes and formed a bond with the locals. Marriage bonds go back in history. Again remember the mindset of the people here. Always keep that in mind. To them the scripture in the written word of God, and that includes the Old Testament (called Torat (Torah) and (Injeel = Bible less St. Pauls contributions).

    This Talibanization shows itself in the content of the Friday sermons at the mosque. Now it shows in the popularity of growing beards, especially since the MMA – the coalition of religious political party’s – won power. More recently in their showdown with the Pakistan army in N and S Waziristan – where according to my sources, people prefer going to the Taliban for justice rather than the older system of Maliks and Political Agents. The latter are known as corrupt. In Pakistan in general people are sick of the amount of corruption.

    And now in Bannu, from where hails the Chief Minister of the NWFP, Mr Durrani, is in Taliban control in the sense that there is a parallel government that they have established and which is functioning quite well and is popular among the people.

    Justice in tribal areas of Pakistan has been handled by elders, following a mixture of tribal tradition and Islamic law. Would you say that Taliban influence has caused a stricter intrepretation of Islamic law in the NWFP?

    Yes. The Maliks, or tribal elders who consider themselves quite conservatively religious, even so had a laid back attitude towards enforcement of religious doctrine. That is where the difference comes. My opinion is that this is the reason that the Maliks supported the government of Pakistan in South Waziristan, which has recently been in the news having kicked out the militant Uzbek who came as guests in the post-soviet era and started mischief of their own but am not sure what their agenda was to begin with, and I myself have questions about their presence as to why they were not reported earlier, since reporting the presence of any foreigner(s) in the FATA is job one of the Pakistani Political Agents (PA). Why is the presence of the Uzbeks and the Chechen in the area just coming to light? Remember there are seven of these PA’s – one for each FATA. The Taliban emulated the Saudi system of having a department concerned with citizens’ morals, even the name is the same, the department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, and this department has – as in Saudi Arabia, an enforcement police, called mutawwa’in, a morals law-enforcement agency.

    Has there been a shift from tribal elders to clerics, as the main interpreters of law?

    Yes there has been a movement in that direction but it has started a power struggle between the clerics who traditionally have been at the lowest strata of the social structure, to now when they have seen a bigger role for themselves first from the Taliban in Afghanistan – but also the government of the MMA in the NWFP who are nothing more than glorified clerics themselves, only a little smarter in exploiting religion politically, and the MMA is largely non-Pashtun which is a source of discontent in that they stand in the way of Pashtun nationalism, such as it is, because it only rears its head when non-Pashtuns start to usurp power over what the Pashtun consider their turf.

    The deal made between Pakistani central government and the North and South Waziristan provinces, where tribal leadership was given the pivotal role in dealing with militants and the Taliban, has been criticized as a failure. What caused an initiative by tribal authority to fail?

    First off, I don’t agree with the premise of the question, that the “deal” is a “failure” – for the following reasons:

    1. In the first place the Pakistan army (govt – same difference) did not have many options. This was the least worst option they had.
    2. And most importantly, I have said this before, this area is literally in a time warp – which means they proceed at (what seems to us in the west) a glacial pace. I will give an example from the folklore:

      The story goes that a Pashtun had to repay (badal) an enemy for a crime against his family and he waited patiently for 20 years (some say 50 years), after this time, he exacted his revenge – but soon after was depressed because he wondered “Did I act too hastily?”

      So one part of Pashtunwali is to “pay back” – (Badal: literally to exchange) which most people translate as revenge. Yes that is the form that is most visible, but badal is also played out in the exchange of gifts at wedding and other celebrations, and in the exchange of favors like in politics. The rules can be arcane, unwritten and hard to follow — who did what to whom, when, and so on, and what is the proper recompense — this same give and take would occur in a peace process pursued by the Tribal Maliks, who rule by consensus (see Olaf Caroe) and there is no actual leader in the western sense, because all the Maliks, in fact all the others are de facto, so many co-equals (The Way of the Pathans/ People of the Khyber – James Spain pp 129 on.) – it is a mind set, a paradigm foreign to the uninitiated, as is the concept of consensual gay sex to the Wazir in Waziristan.

    3. I wish someone would read the history of this area, it would help in dealing with our expectations and possibly much more. For instance there are two major tribe in N and S Waziristan, the Wazir, and the Mahsud – in the news you hear about the sub tribes; The most famour character of North Waziristan, the equivalent of a Jesse James, was leader called the “Faqir of Ippi” – he died in 1960, the Pakistan govt never was able to capture him, even though he set up a govt of Independent Pashtunistan in cahoots with Kabul. The great uprising of India of 1897 had its roots in Waziristan, as did the Treaty of Razmak. Of all the Pashtun, the Wazir are the most independent minded and the least to be cowed by military action.
    4. So what options did Pakistan have, more military action? It had already lost hundred of their “privates” in action. Allow the US forces to come in, as a matter of fact the ISAF do cross into the Pakistani territory, we just don’t know how deep they go — the rules of engagement, as I understand them are, that if they (the US Army of Marines) are in “hot pursuit” then they cross into Pakistan. In reality they do it more often then that, just that there is no proof of it, who will report it, the Wazir? Or the Pakistan army?
    5. The last part of your question, there are many assumptions, all wrong. The initiative was not from the tribals. There is no single authority amongst the tribal, they would convene a Jirga and decide on a course of action, such as this, to my knowledge no such jirga was called. To save face the Pakistan government might claim it was a tribal initiative, but it seems highly unlikely. The Pak troop’s casualties were so high, and there was talk of hostages being held as well — I tend to believe, that the Governor of the NWFP initiated the talks and the agreement, because he sure as hell is taking all the heat for its “failure”.
    6. That brings me to the last issue, the agreement has not failed, because it has not been given enough time, in Wazir time reference, not American time presidential election cycle controlled. I do not have a crystal ball, but if I did, I would see NATO troops in Afghanistan long after Iraq is over. Afghanistan can be a success ONLY if we accept one thing, the time warp these people live in — by my reckoning its still 1700 CE over there.

    If the Talibanization of Pakistan is partly due to a perception of corruption among the older system of Maliks and Political Agents, and Musharraf has critics lining up, who can the U.S. turn to in dispensing with $10 billion in aid monies?

    Talibanization has nothing to do with your premise there. Zilch. Nada. The corruption is in the ISI, the Pak army and the Pak system of Political Agents (PA) assigned to these tribal zones (FATA & PATA). These PA have budgets that are much like the CIA in that they are a single line item in the national budget, there is no accountability of where or how the PA spends the money. If one followed the IRS rules and looked at the lifestyles of the PA and compared them with their income, you would soon understand what was going on. Musharraf critics are a larger issue. For eons, Republicans have coddled Pakistan with the belief that “as long as they are pro America” – democracy in Pakistan will come in due course. Democrats have, I think, insisted Democracy first, and then we can discuss the other issues later. For example, pre 9/11, compare how Carter’s administration treated Gen Zia and how Reagan’s administration treated him.

    The Talibanization of Pakistan has more to do with graduates of “Raiwind” a place near Lahore where the “Tablighi Jamaat” conducts brainwashing camps. It was graduates of this place, in my opinion, that are responsible for Britain’s 7/7 attacks as an example. For the Talibanization of the FATA, see Ahmed Rashid’s classic study on the subject wrt to Afghanistan but applicable to Pashtuns in the NWFP equally, in a sense.

    Corruption amongst the Maliks is self limiting because of the egalitarian society they live & because of Pashtunwali (see Charles Lindholm, Oxford press).

    Who can the US turn to? This is a tough one. The Pakistani national psyche has not progressed the way the Indians have. There are still very much remnants of the Raj visible and present and invisible but Pakistani behavior gives it away – in the way they treat household help, in the way company bosses treat their employees, in the way the government officers often act above the law. For example the NWFP is supposed to be dry – yet the governemt employees consume copious amounts of liquor. There are some that even moonshine at home. (I have pictures I could share taken at “dance” party, more like a stag party.)

    I think this last question is best answered in who has been reliable in the past, and assume the past to be an indicator of future behavior.

    We know the Pak army will siphon large amounts towards its Nuclear program and the upkeep of its generals.

    We know that Nawaz Sharif left the national treasury almost bankrupt when Musharraf took over.

    We know that Benazir husband took 10% of all government deals. I believe he has an Interpol warrant for his arrest, although I can’t vouch for it, it does come out in the news, even though it’s puzzling why Interpol has trouble executing the warrant. Now I hear they are withdrawn.

    So who does that leave?

    The next generation of Politicians who are not beholden to anyone.

    In my opinion, the US should insist on the scheduled elections but accede to some genuine Pakistani concerns:

    Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto ought to be ineligible to run, BUT other members of the respective party PML (N) and PPP (B) can do so.

    Prohibit allocation of emblems to the religious party which they can & have misused.

    For example in the last election they asked for and got the symbol of a book, they then went on to advertise the symbol represented the Qur’an and a vote for the book was a vote for the Qur’an – not the candidate but the Qur’an. Well the ploy worked only too well. Imagine a similar vote here where a vote is asked for as a vote for the Bible! You can imagine the results.

    What is your take on the Musharraf suspending the judge Iftikhar Chaudhry?

    My take:

    I believe, and this is widely held belief, that Musharraf has no constituency of his own for his power base. He wanted legitimization from the Supreme Court, and from Mr Choudhry as Chief Justice (their system is not like ours) would not give it.

    So Musharraf has had to hang on to his Army Chief of Staff position to get his power from the Army. If some one else were Chief of Staff, that person could refuse to support Musharraf.

    The Justice favorable to the general is Justice Iqbal, who was not the next in line for Chief Justice. The next in line is a Hindu. That presented problems of its own for Musharraf. So when the Hindu judge went for a trip to India, Iqbal became the “available” senior most Supreme Court judge, and hence the haste and lack of decorum with which Justice Chaudhry was removed.

    Now we have to wait for the other shoe to fall — will Iqbal issue a Judicial ruling which would make it easy for Musharraf to stay on as Chief of Staff – in the meantime, the US has asked him to relinquish this army position.

    Needless to say, it was very badly handled, high handed, and the TV was present — the country saw what was being done to the highest member of the court of law, and in their mind, as in mine, the law in Pakistan was being manhandled, handcuffed and sent off packing to jail, so to speak. Something we long suspected, but was confirmed on TV and in the Newspapers. Overseas organizations taking up Chaudhry’s cause, might lead one to belive that Musharraf’s days are numbered, and they would be wrong, because America needs Musharraf – for the time being, anyway – because Iraq has scared America, just as in the post Vietnam era, there is now a fear regarding Muslim countries – the fear of the alternative, will democracy in Muslim country give us more of Ahmedinejad or Al-Maliki, or can we find some Hamid Karzais’? We just don’t know.

    Can you tell us what the prevailing sentiment in the region regarding the Pakistani government effort in the provinces and the international effort in Afghanistan to combat Taliban and affiliated militants?

    In my dealings and inquires, one thing stood out like a sore thumb – the conspiracy theories vis-à-vis anything having to do with America. I mentioned to one of my close friends that events that were previously ascribed as acts of God were now considered acts of the CIA. Some even believed that the Earthquake in the northern areas was because of some sort of underground secret “bomb” used by the CIA. Lack of evidence is further proof that the CIA did it. I was flabbergasted, and started to give this kind of thinking as an example in speaking to “educated” Pakistani’s – and among these, those that did agree that the earthquake was NOT the work of the CIA, they would start giving other examples, notably the Blow up of the plane carrying Zia ul Haq an ex President of Pakistan, in which the US Ambassador also perished. When I would point this out, the response would be that that is the sort of thing they do to take away suspicion from themselves.

    In a nutshell, the impression I came away with is, there is NO war of civilizations going on, what is going on is a war between literacy and illiteracy. I use the latter term in the widest connotation.

    Pakistan government efforts: While on the one hand people would decry that the government is not doing enough, in the same breath they would state the government is a puppet of the US and only does what the US tells it to do. In this sense there is very little awareness among the people about what the Pakistani army is doing in the FATA or for that matter in Balochistan. The local newspapers are censored, and if not censored they do not allocate much space to the topics. “Dawn,” which is the highest circulation English language paper, carries more stories about the US than about the local stories, that might appear say in “Newsweek.”

    The international effort in Afghanistan is not considered international at all, only American. You could speak till you are blue in the face, and you would not change anyone’s mind. In my case they would simply turn quiet, not wishing to offend a “guest” (see Pashtunwali).

    It is commonly agreed that some thing has to be done to curb the religious extremism that has taken root here, while historically these people (Pashtun) are a moderate people (see Olaf Caroe “The Pathans”). In fact some of the reasons the extremism has crept in is that many of the cultural practices were not in accordance with Saudi based “Salafiism” more popularly known as Wahabism. But Mr Wahab dates to the period of Lawrence of Arabia – Salafism dates further back, and is one of the six or seven schools of “Fiqh” or jurisprudence, but the latter fiqh has morphed into a cult like sect.

    Taliban are not visible in the areas I visited, but the militants handiwork clearly is – as elsewhere, the common criminals are taking advantage of this situation, and crime is up significantly. One new crime is Cell phone “snatching” – it’s easy and nobody wants to pursue it. If some one is using a Razr phone, he can expect to be hit soon, if he uses it in public. So people have two cell phone (Called mobiles here) one fancy to show off, one for use in public places.

    In so far as “foreign” militants are captured and identified, that is to say non-Pashtun (including non Afghan Pashtun or Pak Pashtun) – then the people are obviously in agreement with the government that these people don’t belong here and need to go.

    The problem is this:

    The foreigners are usually in the FATA and have been there since the Soviet war times. Many of them have taken local wives and now have a family. The local have accepted them into their family. Now for the Pak govt to ask them to kick them out, the locals are thinking what am I doing to my grandchildren’s father, etc. Again the edicts of Pashtunwali also play a role.

    What kind of support is there in the area for the positions advocated by the Taliban on matters such as Sharia law, women’s education, role in public affairs, its proscriptions on entertainment such as movies, music ..etc?

    In the areas that I visited and the people that I spoke to, which by definition is a very non-random sample, the people are TOTALLY opposed to the Taliban. I do have one nephew who seems to have come under the influence of the Salafi’s but that is a different story. I can address that separately and you can decide if it belongs with this story – not my nephew’s story but the way the Salafi’s have woven themselves into this area — which is historically a “Hanafi” fiqh area, which is much more moderate. Like I said this may be tangential to the main story.

    In general, people will say Yes we are Muslim and we are for the Sharia, but in general most people do not know what that entails.

    In their mind it entails a more just system, a less corrupt government.

    But if you ask them if they want a system like the Taliban the answer is an unequivocal NO.

    Women’s education is quite the norm in the non FATA parts of the NWFP. When I visited the earthquake area which is also mostly in the NWFP, (I have photo’s and video) the girl schools were some of the first to spring up. I remember being pleasantly surprised by this at the time.

    As far as a role in Public, it gets complicated. Women are in general expected to be docile and compliant, and the same expectation foloows through into Public affairs. But this point of view is not limited to the NWFP – it is the same all over Pakistan, excluding the large cities of Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad etc. yet still applicable to Peshawar.

    In Peshawar you do get to see more girls getting jobs as tellers in a bank and some other non traditional jobs, whereas previously the only jobs were either teachers to young kids, teachers to older girls, nurses and doctors – for the most part.

    Movies in the NWFP in the Theaters are for the lower socio economic men only. The reason is other than Talibanization. The easy availability of pirated, good quality DVD’s of Indian and Hollywood movies (From China thru the land route over the Karakorum Highway) – it cost Rs120 ($2/-) for the whole family to watch a movie in the comfort of their home. Travelling to a theater might cost that much in gas. The inconvience. The crowds. The men gawking at the women and last but definitely not least, some bombs exploding in the theater some years back, put a comllete stop to the middle class from going out to see movies.

    Paashtuns love music. So even though I hear that some bus drivers have been fined for playing their cassettes, I doubt this is going to stop them from playing their music. Some thing far worse has to happen – I think the drivers may start carrying guns and having it out with who ever is tring to stop them from their favorite music.

    What is not being reported and what the Taliban could do effectively is to cut up cable tv cables. Most cable companies string their cable ABOVE ground to save cost and take it along the electric poles, below the electricity wires. Since these are exposed there have been many (several) instances of the cables being cut up. Luckiliy there is no market for coaxial cable, or more cable would be lost to druggies doing the cutting. The latter is a serious problem that you don’t hear about. One person that I knew told me that he was building his house and had poured conrete and reinforcements for the pillars. The next day he found the reinforcement bars to have been cut up flush with the ground slab leaving him to figure out how to do the rebar of the rest of the pillar.

    To what degree does this support stem from fear and intimidation?

    The Taliban are Pashtun, and the populace is Pashtun. The Pashtun do not scare easy. They are not intimidated easily. They might comply for the moment and then come back with a vengeance, so to speak. The women folk are more susceptible to intimidation, as was evidenced by the closure of the schools, because the mothers decided that they were not going to take a chance that their kids might get injured.

    How about the “political positions” of the insurgent movement – resistance to foreign troops, and the Karzai government? Is there a separatist or nationalist component to the movement?

    Karzai is not popular among the Pashtun’s who are loyal to Pakistan in the NWFP, those are the one I met mostly. They think that Karzai is opportunistic in that he is fleecing the government of the US whereas he himself is little more than the mayor of Kabul. They point to his American bodyguards as proof that he is disliked by his own people, that the moment the American leave Karzai is a dead man.

    I can not speak to the separatist movement. I have seen no evidence of it. There is widespread resentment that the Federal government refuses to give a name to the province, a name of the people’s liking – there have been recently articles in Dawn about this, I will try and find them for you.

    Nationalism is alive and well on the other hand, all over Pakistan – in all its four provinces. Everybody hates the Punjabi’s – almost to the man.

    It is my opinion that were it not for US aid, Pakistan will go the route of Yugoslavia. With lots of bloodshed.

    Resistance to foreign troops is like the national pastime among the Pashtun. Even today they collect in the evenings and will tell tales, vastly glorified of the way their grandfather fought against the British.

    In other parts of the NWFP, like Charsadda and Mardan where Abdul Ghaffar Khan (the frontier Gandhi) was popular you have old “khudai khidmatgars” telling their stories of how they kicked out the British.

    The only thing that Unites the Pashtun, are foreign troops on their soil. Other than that “Pashtun Unity” is almost an oxymoron.

    What do you think the U.S., the international community and Pakistan should do to ease the problems in the region?

    In my opinion, based on my conversations with individuals in positions to know these things, plus a little bit of plain common sense, plus knowing the history of the people and of the area: The ONE thing that will NOT work is direct military action. We know this from history. We know that the Pashtuns love to fight. We know that the Talibanization has brought the Jihadi’s into the picture, who like nothing better than to be martyred. So we need to keep this in mind, of what NOT to do. Having said that, what I am going to say next may appear like a paradox.

    Because the Pashtun do not like to deal with what they believe are wus or weak people, we do need to have a strong PRESENCE there, and a strong “show of force” – invite a “Jirga” to like a demonstration of what the US air force is capable of doing – just to show them, – the reason is that their paradigm is the 14th century, if you simply told them that we can do this to you, they will simply think you are lying, because that is what they do, they lie to show off.

    But if you drop a daisy cutter and tell them before hand what it is capable of, or a stealth bomber, these technologies are outsides their mind-set; we have to get them to believe that we have these capabilities, like the Drone. Or spy satellites.

    From this position of strength, and always reminding them that we are raring to use our forces in that like them we also love to shoot our guns at every opportunity, but then not actually do it ( in this sense we had achieved all out objectives with Saddam prior to invading Iraq IMHO invading Iraq was redundant) – so the next step would be:

    1. Education
    2. Development meaning providing a means of livelihood so they do not have to become military mercenaries to make a living.
    3. Gradually replacing their madrassas with our own madrassas, except in the latter, the Mullah is an educated individual who knows comparative religion, and they teach other subjects including Biology, anthropology, measuring the age of the earth by carbon dating etc. and astronomy to learn the age of the Universe, black holes, quasars Relativity concepts, quantum mechanic concepts (not the mathematics, the simple concepts behind them, and how these ideas are behind some of today’s everyday electronic devices)
    4. Leisure activity, starting with traditional leisure activity, i.e. not TV and cable and Internet, but ultimately making these available
    5. Introduce these “NEW” technologies through a religious mode. Transmit a Qur’anic recital competition to begin with, as an example instead of beginning with MTV.
    6. Making water available. Drinking water is an everyday necessity, for cooking etc, and not available in most of the FATA.
    7. Food grain. Wheat flour etc, keep the prices the same as in Peshawar – these people are not traders, they are easily exploited, and like porn they couldn’t tell you what exploitation is, but they can tell you when they see it.

    What makes the North-West Frontier Province competent to administer any monies?

    This is the central question. Much like California has taken a separate initiative on stem cell research – as an analogy – the NWFP is central to the war on terror, not Pakistan.

    The NWFP was central to the fight and aid to the Afghans during the Soviet occupation, not Pakistan.

    This small distinction is lost on Washington, and it is the main reason, in my opinion, why so much of the Aid was “lost in transit was because the Punjabi army officers could not bring themselves to dispense such large sums to an ethnic group which it considers anti-Pakistani (You would have to read the history of the Indian partition, in particular that the NWFP was a “Indian Congress Party” controlled province where as the “Muslim League” of Jinnah was trying to show the Brits that all the area was FOR the creation of Pakistan).

    All the FATA is contiguous to the NWFP. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda are holed up somewhere either in the FATA, or across the Durand Line in Afghanistan, the Durand Line has never been recognized by the locals as an international boundary. Even today, the Pashtun travel from Peshawar to Kabul by road with out a passport or visa, and it has been like that for eons.

    (Especially for the nomadic Pashtun tribe of Ghilzai’s who travel by caravan and conduct trade.)

    The present governor of the NWFP belongs to the Orakzai tribe (he spells his name Aorakzai) and it is my opinion that that he was picked partly because he belongs to one of the FATA as well as he is a retired General of the Pak Army.

    The Frontier Constabulary (FC) is a force which primarily recruits from the FATA. All or most of its forces are from the various tribes. In the eyes of the tribes this is a bona fide force and service with the FC is considered an honorable thing. The US has already allocated some funds for increasing recruitment, but far less than what it would take to counter the Taliban and far less than what the economic need is. [The US] spends a thousand times more on a battalions sent to monitor activity over there. Plus why endanger the lives of our troops and spread our forces thin when a more effective job can be done by the FC. The FC has over history shown that they will attack and use force against the tribes that create trouble. There have been no instances of insubordination or mutiny.

    Even the US Embassy is protected by a contingent of the FC! That goes to show their trustworthiness & discipline.

    My second proposal is that there is a common phenomenon for Pashtun men to go to the Gulf States for jobs.

    The “tribal” Pashtuns ( All Pashtuns are tribal, in that Pashtun form the largest tribal society in the world in terms of numbers) wrt the FATA are not educated or trained and hence not employable right now. I propose that we fund directly the Director of Emigrants (Mr Azhar Arbab) in Islamabad to set up training facilities in Concrete laying, iron work, pipe work, welding etc, which would then qualify these tribesmen to obtain jobs in the Gulf. As such we would remove them from the scene altogether. They would not be available in the labor pool to the Taliban or anyone else. I might add here, that a number of these individuals have very high innate intelligence, which is one reason they make formidable foes.

    Now the central reason why the NWFP ought to do this is because they are themselves most affected by the scourge of Talibanization. They are highly motivated in carrying out these policies because it is to their own benefit.

    One has to be convinced on this last point, and for that I urge you research the sentiments amongst the people of the province, such as I am willing to provide, and which you can corroborate from other sources as well.

    For instance, after Malik Saad was murdered, there were people, whom I heard myself, that expressed the feeling (admittedly stunned with grief) “If this is Islam then fuck such Islam” (I paraphrase, obviously, the Pashto is not directly translatable) – moreover, Mr Saad’s posters are competing with Osama’s in the Bazaar’s as a spontaneous gesture from the public. We can’t afford to let this good-will to be lost.

    An Associated Press report on MSNBC dated March 15, 2007 and headlined “Arrest of al-Qaida’s ‘best’ reflects changing role” stated, “A senior Western diplomat in Islamabad, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the Taliban resurgence had not necessarily led to the re-emergence of al-Qaida training camps in Pakistan – a key U.S. ally in the war on terror – but had “created the environment for whatever is left of al-Qaida to feel more comfortable.” What does that mean?

    A senior western diplomat usually means a Political Officer in the US Embassy, which most people know is a CIA agent, OR it could be some other Embassy official –

    First there is a big difference between Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

    Al Qaeda is mostly composed of Arabs, they do not trust any one else. While they might use others as couriers or in lowly position as servants, for second rate Al Qaeda officials, the Top guys ONLY deal with Arabs and are served by Arabs.

    The Taliban are mostly Pashtun tribesmen. Mostly they are graduates of madrassa’s.

    Mostly illiterate by any world standards. The better educated among them will know how to speak a few words of English, such as their Information minister. There might be one or two notable exception of which I am not aware, I had heard Yale had admitted a Taliban, but never followed up on the story.

    However while Al Qaeda does not trust the Taliban, the Taliban look up to Al Qaeda top leadership. We saw this situation in Iraq where initially Al Zarqawi had no direct link with Qaeda but was keen to form one. It would be conjecture on my part to state that in the end he did indeed succeed in forming that connection. In the press at least that impression was prevalent.

    So the lines of interest proceed ONE way, like one way traffic. Extremist want to be affiliated with Qaeda, IMHO, while the latter does not, again, in my opinion want to – so as to maintain its hideout.

    Now we come to the statement below:

    The Taliban resurgence is not connected directly to the Qaeda.


    (al in Arabic = the; Qaeda means the base, or the foundation e.g. in kg school here you are asked “did you learn your “abc’s” – in the Muslim world one is asked in an equivalent kg “did you learn your qaeda”?)


    The Qaeda supply lines are hampered, new recruits would have to be Arabs, and they would have to travel a long way through tight Pakistani security to reach here, or suffer hardship over a long and arduous land route through Balochistan and the Tribal area’s – NOT all of which are accommodating.

    So as is becoming clear, Qaeda is having trouble replacing people they loose meaning those that were captured or died. They only trust Arabs, and that also a certain type of Arabs, (not all Arabs are the same, not all Arabic is the same – for example they would never trust a Syrian, in fact Qaeda folks consider Syrian brand of Islam an apostasy – but that is another story).

    Okay so now we can understand the statement, that whatever remains of the Qaeda, are not in a position to set up training camps, since they are in a survival mode. The Taliban resurgence helps them get a little warm and fuzzy in this survival mode, since they feel a little bit more secure with their partners-in-arms doing some evil stuff, blowing up people and causing mayhem.

    How many men does the FC field currently?

    The FC currently has about 23000 men in total.

    How much do they get paid?

    They are paid the equivalent of $60 per month per person -Pak Rupees 3665, where Rs61= $1. They do have some fringe benefits but life is very spartan for these soldiers.

    What the US could get in return is a huge bang for a buck, no pun intended.

    I think we ought to double the number of these soldiers with one proviso that the FC maintains its high standards of recruits.

    Compare this with our costs in the War against Terror; just Halliburton’s bills will have you reeling. I think that it would be foolish, NOT to do this.

    Again to reinforce the reasons:

    The Frontier Constabulary is an Institution with a long and glorious history within the Frontier Province.

    The recruits come strictly from the tribes of the various FATA and so they are very familiar with the people, the bad guys the terrain etc.

    They speak the Pashto dialect of the locals. The Pashto language has many dialects, and you can tell where someone is from based on which dialect he speaks. So if you do not speak the correct dialect, you are immediately identified as an outsider. This is one reason why these tribes are impossible to penetrate, there are other reasons as well, that are beyond the scope of the current discussion.

    How can the FC help prevent attacks like the suicide bombing attempt on Sherpao in Charsadda last weekend?

    In essence your question is how can anyone prevent a suicide attack? And frankly if I knew the answer to that I think the US military – and several other groups – would be knocking on my door. I think the Israeli Army has had the most experience with this sort of thing. The suicide bombing as a tactical weapon was invented by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, and even today in terms of statistics they use it in far greater numbers.

    So to summarize neither the FC nor anyone else can prevent a suicide bombing. We could attempt to improve our intelligence to find out about an imminent attack, but so far these have not been very successful in Pakistan. In the Lal Masjid Case the government avoided a suicide killing by negotiating with those two Mullah brothers – but I don’t know if that counts. But it does make for an interesting story. Both Washington, DC and Islamabad now have Madams threatening to publish the list of their clients unless they are given protection. Who would have thunk?Going back to your question:In my opinion what ought to be done is to make a Policy change, and address the issues that are producing these suicide bombers, that is the only way to stop this phenomenon.In this part of the world this is relatively new because prior to 9/11, suicide bombing was unheard of. Moreover it is not the FC’s job to provide security to the Minister of the Interior, that is the job of the Police force, because this Ministry is equivalent to the Department of Homeland Security.You don’t expect Border patrol to provide body guard duty to the Secretary of the department of Homeland Security. I am making these analogies so the American readers would relate to what is happening, and understand the difference in nomenclature.–RHakeem 20:13, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

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    FDA approves therapeutic use of insulin inhalant

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    FDA approves therapeutic use of insulin inhalant
    Posted in Uncategorized | February 11th, 2019

    Saturday, January 28, 2006

    The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of an inhalable form of insulin for treating both forms of diabetes in adults. The product, manufactured by Pfizer Inc. is called Exubera and is a inhaled powder form of recombinant short-acting human insulin (rDNA).

    Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that, when released into the blood, controls the upper limits of glucose presence in the bloodstream. Diabetics cannot produce (enough) insulin on their own, and have to control their blood sugars by appropriate diet, exercise and medication. Untreated Diabetes can have a serious adverse effect on health, it can lead to higher risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, retinal damage and diabetic shock, which can be fatal. Insulin has been used for the treatment of diabetes for many years now, but some patients find it difficult (and costly) to use as it has to be injected into the body, usually several times a day. Currently, about five million Americans take insulin injections. Also, the use of any form of insulin can cause blood sugar to drop below safe levels, a condition called hypoglycemia. As a result, the use of insulin must be accompanied by a careful and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.

    The FDA has issued guidelines that the inhalable form should not be used by smokers, patients with asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema as tests have shown that its use can reduce the breathing capacity of the lungs. Other side effects associated with Exubera therapy seen in clinical trials included cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and dry mouth. The FDA has given its approval on the basis of safety studies of short-term use and studies of its effects over long-term use are underway.

    Pfizer has said the product wouldn’t be widely available until June or July and that exact prices haven’t been set. A Pfizer spokesperson has said that the price will be “competitive” to injected insulin.

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