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... coisas do Sherpas!!!...

... comentários sobre tudo, sobre nada... imagens diversas, o que aprecio, críticas e aplausos, entre outras coisas mais!!!...

... coisas do Sherpas!!!...

... comentários sobre tudo, sobre nada... imagens diversas, o que aprecio, críticas e aplausos, entre outras coisas mais!!!...


... estratega!!!...




… esgotado, tentando erguer o que se dilui,

aparência de grande porte,

estratega que não suporta, perda que não previu,

quando intui,

comparando lutas diversas,

outros tempos, duras refregas,

indo em frente, mantendo isolamento,

ampla fronte, farta guedelha esbranquiçada,

denodo indómito, bravata,

tudo quanto comporta,



leituras do fim do Mundo, referências pardas,

empedernidas, já mortas,

nos cantos das avenidas, centros de praças,

de ruas, insensíveis, tão escassas,

poiso de pombos, trapaças,

carrancas de férreo aspecto,

equestres, pedonais, bandeiras, espadas, jornais,

em riste,

sinalética com que insistem, sabor dos ventos, intemporais,

trastes q´ainda resistem,


ex-libris, comentação, delírio de visitante,

ponto de mira, folguedo de forasteiro,


recordação, quando associa,

temperança que retempera, passeio, tarde de Verão,

enxerga que não dá descanso,

não abriga, cria destino, incomensurável palavrão,


pensamento que s´alteia, barbas revoltas, grisalhas,

pronto pr´a muitas batalhas,

insano fazedor de CASOS, tropas perdidas, tresmalhos,

lança vozeirão intempestivo, salta muros, percorre atalhos,


busca saída, justificação, quão longínquo se faz ouvir na raiva,

no puro ralho,

quanta canseira, trabalho,

plano q´altera, modificação, na converseta que tem,

na escrita que bem compõe, numa fona, arlequins mandados,

quadraturas por tantos lados,


manjericos de rico cheiro, marionetas com muitas tretas,

empolamentos, fingimentos, agremiação que s´esfacela,

puxa, repuxa, quebra trela,

tiroteio sem devaneio, objectivo que s´escapula,


torcendo percurso, fazendo uso,

intentona disparatada, reconvertida, num instante,

atingindo mágico tão sábio, alquimia que não resulta,

quando vocifera, também culpa,

crucificado, escárnio, desaire que s´abateu,

morto vivo que… morreu!!!... Sherpas!!!...




... veterano americano... vida, depois da GUERRA!!!...



Greetings From the Sunshine State

By Michael Jernigan

Greetings from the Sunshine State.

My name is Michael L. Jernigan and I have been invited to come back and participate in the Home Fires blog again. A lot has happened since we last spoke in 2007. I will give you some background.

... in



Michael Jernigan’s Posts from 2007 »

I am a Marine who was blinded in Iraq by a roadside bomb back in the summer of 2004. I also suffered from a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress.

Here is description of my injury from my first post here in 2007, “What a Way to Come Home”:

I was not only blinded but had also suffered a traumatic brain injury. My entire forehead was crushed and removed. My right hand was completely reconstructed. I am still missing my second metacarpal phalangeal joint and half of my fifth metacarpal phalangeal joint. To this day I still have limited movement in my right hand. I have come to affectionately refer to it as my “Bob Dole” hand. I also received severe trauma and had major surgery on my left knee. I now rock some wicked cool scars that include a 14 inch-long one that runs from temple to temple across the top of my head.

When we last spoke I was on the long road to recovery. I was living in Alexandria, Va., and had a girlfriend named Leslie. I was attending Northern Virginia Community College and had hopes of attending Georgetown University. There is much to talk about in the coming weeks.

Courtesy of Michael Jernigan


I will start by telling you that Leslie and I are now married. We were wed in May of 2008 in a small ceremony by a justice of the peace. In May 2009 we had a much larger wedding in Kitty Hawk, N.C. There were just over 100 people there. We got married on the beach and then had the reception at the Kitty Hawk Pier. It was wonderful and no one could have asked for a better or more beautiful wedding and lifelong partner. The morning of the ceremony it had started to sprinkle rain. Just a couple hours before the show started the rain cleared and we were blessed with a large rainbow over the Atlantic Ocean.

After the wedding in 2008 we all moved to McLean, Va. When I say “all” I am referring to not only myself and Leslie but also her 13-year-old son, Caleb. We rented a nice townhouse in the Tyson’s Corner area. We could walk across the street to the Galleria. If you read my earlier posts, you might remember that Leslie and Caleb lived in Richmond, Va. There was an important reason that they moved up to northern Virginia with me and I did not move to Richmond.

Guess what, people — I was accepted to Georgetown University! Anyone who knows me will tell you that this is an amazing feat. I graduated high school in Florida with a 2.3 grade point average. I then attended St. Petersburg Junior College for 4 and half years, where I put up an astounding 1.16 G.P.A. I never even took the S.A.T.’s. That is one of the reasons I joined the Marine Corps in the first place.

When I decided to go back to school and moved to the Washington area I did not know if I could achieve such a lofty goal. I started at Northern Virginia Community College and did very well. I took seven classes and got six A’s and only one B. With the help of a few friends and acquaintances I was able to transfer to Georgetown as a sophomore.

I did well academically at Georgetown (a 3.32 G.P.A.) but was not happy there. The school is a very good one and I would not trade the experience for anything. But Georgetown’s campus is very old and not A.D.A. compliant. To top it off, the campus is integrated into the Georgetown neighborhood, adding to the confusion of getting to class. Leslie and I discussed everything at great length and found that both of us were unhappy in the Washington area. We had a house in my hometown of St. Petersburg that we were paying for and not living in. Why not move there and live a less stressful life? So we did.

Once the decision was made it seemed like everything fell into place. I was accepted to the University of South Florida (they have a campus in St. Petersburg) and I am finishing my studies there. We also learned that Leslie could use my education benefits and finish school for herself. It was starting to become a no-brainer. Finally, Caleb was accepted into an excellent school in St. Petersburg for 8th grade. This was important because Caleb is an extremely intelligent kid who needs academic challenge.

Let me update you on a few things we have been doing since we last talked. When I last signed off I was driving Ferraris and jumping out of airplanes. (This is no joke there are witnesses and video documentation.) I was busy going to school and enjoying everything that life had to offer. But it has gotten a little more serious as of late.

Marriage and acceptance to Georgetown University brought on some much welcomed new responsibilities. I actually had to get serious and start acting my age (I am 30). But I’ve still managed to have some fun. I was brought on as a board member of the Blinded American Veterans Foundation ( This is a grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving life for blinded veterans. I am very excited to be involved with this organization. One of the founders is a blinded veteran and friend named John, more commonly referred to as Sgt. Shaft. Shaft was blinded in June of 1967 while serving in Vietnam with the First Battalion, Fourth Marine Regiment. Coincidentally, my grandfather was the battalion commander for that same regiment in June 1967.

Shaft has become a good friend and mentor. He is one of the men that pushed me to go back to school and helped with my acceptance to Georgetown.

I am still active with Southeastern Guide Dogs in Palmetto, Fla( That is the school where I got my guide dog, Brittani. We have traveled the country attending different functions and enjoying many activities. Southeastern Guide Dogs started the Paws For Patriots program. This program offers priority placement for veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom who are in need of guide dogs. The program has made a huge impact on my life and the lives of not only my family but over 100 service members and their families across the nation. Brittani and I are spokesperson and spokesdog (if not done before, I officially ordain “spokesdog” a word) for the program. It allows us to take a very active role in fundraising for the school.

In the coming weeks I would like to discuss some other topics that I have had to deal with in the last two years, including some of my experiences dealing with post-traumatic stress. As I said above, life has become more serious. I have had to face many of my shortcomings. I was blind (no pun intended) to a lot of the forces guiding my hand. I have continued my counseling and have made some great strides toward becoming a better person. I look forward to sharing some of them with y’all.

Semper Fidelis,

Mike Jernigan

“The new improved version, outfitted for night operations!”

... palavras... para quê, TUDO dito/TUDO visto/TUDO escrito!!!... Sherpas!!!...



... centauro invertido!!!...



… centauro invertido, corpo bípede, vertical,

quase humano, não sendo equino, parecença inóspita,

reconvertida, estranho bicho, aspecto cavalar,

dorso com crina q´abunda, interioridade, para seu mal,

relinchante, no pensar,

cascos q´esgravatam solo arenoso,

raiva que bufa sopros profundos, olhares que chispam faúlhas de medo,

quebranto, enguiço que o enfurece,

pasmado, buscando sentido pr´a pensar que não aceita,

resfolega, incendeia,


Mefistófeles na terra d´inocentes,

meras gentes não dotadas, vagas, temerosas,


baixios de vida, vermes que s´arrastam perante iluminárias,

confabulações restritas,

mui íntimas,

trajectos tenebrosos, ambições que perseguem tenazmente,

âmago que sabe a fel, visceral azedume,

excelência no vácuo que se prosterna,

sem revolta, sem rugido, perante…



imagem lendária,

escrita como sacrário, clássico como lema,

elevados cumes tão cantados,

encómios que exaltam proezas,

maravilhas, alaúdes, trompetas,

conservadorismo como tema,

façanhas d´antão, vilanezas,


tabuleiro de xadrez, estratégia concertada,

muitas receitas,

poucas, nenhumas certezas,

nesga que solta emaranhado, falha q´arruina plano,



premeditação que se derruba,

hecatombe estrondosa,

insegura, não formosa,

fauce “horribilis” momentânea,

queda d´estrela que se não levanta,

instantânea!!!... Sherpas!!!...




... MUNDO... é de TODOS!!!...


UNITED NATIONS — The United States is ready to begin a new era of engagement with the world, President Obama said Wednesday in a sweeping address to the United Nations General Assembly in which he sought to clearly delineate differences between his administration and that of former President George W. Bush.


 ... in


America’s dealings with the world, much of his speech centered on old and intractable issues, including Iran’s nuclear ambitions and a Middle East peace process. And while his choice of words was different and more conciliatory, the backbone of American policy he expressed remained similar to the Bush administration’s in many areas.


Iran and North Korea for their pursuit of nuclear weapons. “In their actions to date, the governments of North Korea and Iran threaten to take us down this dangerous slope,” Mr. Obama said. “We respect their rights as members of the community of nations. I am committed to diplomacy that opens a path to greater prosperity and a more secure peace for both nations if they live up to their obligations.”


Iran maintains that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.


Israel and its Arab neighbors, and indicated again that he was impatient with the slow pace of work on interim measures like a settlement freeze and was now swinging for the harder, more entrenched final status issues that have bedeviled peace negotiators since 1979.


Jerusalem,” Mr. Obama said. “The goal is clear: two states living side by side in peace and security — a Jewish state of Israel, with true security for all Israelis; and a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people.


Israel and Lebanon, Israel and Syria, and a broader peace between Israel and its many neighbors. In pursuit of that goal, we will develop regional initiatives with multilateral participation, alongside bilateral negotiations.”


New York, and Brian Knowlton from Washington.


Mr. Obama left the hall shortly before Colonel Qaddafi began speaking.


Mr. Obama said he planned to work toward a comprehensive peace deal between




... tão (des)UNIDAS q´elas estão.... AINDA!!!... Sherpas!!!...




... País... q´ainda resiste!!!...


   … País que se contradiz,


   dos compadres  e dos padrinhos,


   do que se diz e não diz,


   dos afilhados e dos sobrinhos,


   reinado da “cunha” soberana,

   da amizade, do interesse,

   da inveja que se assanha,

   da dádiva, da benesse,

   das aldeias típicas, brejeiras,

   das vilas solarengas, mornas,

   dos montados de azinheiras,

   do sossego, das sornas,


   do Alentejo branco e caiado,

   das Beiras engranitadas,


   das cidades, por todo o lado,

   dos moinhos, das levadas,

   das barragens secas, ávidas

   da chuva, que pouco cai,

   das costas de areias pálidas

   onde, o interior, quase não vai,


   Portugal, país moderno,

   nuns pedaços de Lisboa,

   num Parque, o das Nações,

   que toda a gente entoa,


   com tantas considerações,

   nas pontes, extensas, largas,

   no Cristo que nos ampara,

   nos hotéis, de que te apartas,

   na construção que não pára,


   no pensamento das gentes,

   no sentir, no trajar,

   no orgulho que, sempre sentes,

   quando andas a viajar

   encontras compatriotas,

   bem na vida, bem janotas,


   naturais deste País,

   País que se contradiz,


   País dos pequeninos,

   dos míseros, dos bétinhos,

   dos compadres, dos padrinhos,

   dos afilhados, dos sobrinhos!!!... Sherpas!!!...




... noitada!!!...




… começa a noitada pantufas nos pés,

entoa a caixinha, concurso barulhento,

gargalhares a rodos, recompensa tão fraca,

disputa, na certa, com ganhos com perdas,

desfrute de todos,

espectáculo que somos,


imagens, documentos, cenários de luz,

perguntas que escapam, respostas ao invés,

contrários que apostam, acertam às vezes,

tempo que passa, escasso momento,

olhos bem postos, ouvidos alerta,

impávidos, serenos, porque nos contemos,

induzidos que somos, janela que desperta,

encaminha, consola, perverte, esmola,

diverte, converte, amorfos sem fezes,

esperança em alguém, não sendo ninguém,

tão presos, cá dentro, no gozo d´alguns,

vigília tão grande, vazia, sem copos,

com luz aparente, cinzenta na cor,

recolhidos nos lares,


são casos, são casas, sem escape, são esgares,


pouco antes, novidades q´espalham,

campanha animada, caminham, esgalhares,

atiram beijinhos, abraços que dão,

sorrisos brejeiros, palavras sem tino,

promessas aos molhos, são rosas, são ventos,

laranjas amargas, são raivas no auge,

vencida ilusão,

trabalhos, canseiras, mentiras, intentos,


pequenos que são,

cruzadas, momentos,

papéis, conversadas, imagens q´assustam,

canteiros floridos, arribas de medo,

jardim q´é feira, inocência persiste,

caixinha que mostra, que tenta, convence,

no riso, no choro, engodo q´existe,


folgança que descamba,

urgência, governança,


pedaço comédia, non sense, irreverente,

atrevimento d´instante, pecado d´alguém,

encolher d´ombros, caminhada,

idade avançada,

julgamento, precipício, jogada de mestre,

uns santos, merecimentos q´esquecem,

dinheiros avultados,

males reparados,

telhados de vidro quem os não tem,


são tontos, são fracos, são débeis imponentes,

sentados defronte, pantufas nos pés,

noitada perdida, saída tão presa,

duendes informes, são coisas, são gentes,

esquecendo presente, passado de viés,

futuro q´é sombra, nuvem carregada,

lá fora até uiva,

na fúria da chuva,

relâmpago, trovão,

conchego, razão,

são berros que dão,


notícias dos outros,

julgamento de todos,

caçada alargada, coelhos e tordos,

chumbada que passa, calibra, não mata,

carteira recheada, não custa, perdão,

no voto que busca,

certeza, ilusão!!!... Sherpas!!!...




... América racista... AINDA???...


WASHINGTON — President Obama has long suggested that he would like to move beyond race. The question now is whether the country will let him.



 ... in


He woke up on Wednesday to a rapidly intensifying debate about how his race factors into the broader discussion of civility in politics, a question prompted in part by former President Jimmy Carter’s assertion Tuesday that racism was behind a Republican lawmaker’s outburst against Mr. Obama last week as the president addressed a joint session of Congress.


America and invite reconciliation. And after he stumbled in July in accusing the police of “acting stupidly” by arresting the Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., he used the occasion for what he called a teachable moment.


Washington, there were Confederate flags, references on placards to sending Mr. Obama to Africa and pictures of him in whiteface, as the Joker in the last “Batman” movie. There are also, of course, the continuing questions from some on the right about his United States citizenship.



America to suggest that we can’t criticize a president without it being a racial act.”



Mr. Obama has many top aides who are white and have spent years dealing with race in the context of politics. He also has a close group of African-American advisers and friends for whom a racial conversation like the one bubbling up this week is not an abstract issue but a way of life. There have been occasional tensions between the two groups in the past, but on Wednesday, at least, there were no obvious signs of disagreement.


Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland and former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said: “It’s difficult, because people haven’t seen this before. They’ve never seen a black president wanting to talk to their children, a black man saying, ‘We can do better.’ ”


Mr. Belcher and other Obama allies said that some race-based discomfort was inevitable, especially among very conservative white voters who see Mr. Obama’s rise as reflecting a shift in the social order that comes at their expense.


“You cannot act like you don’t have several hundred years of racial context here, where a painted face has a racial context to it in this country,” said Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster who helped on Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign and has studied race extensively.


Other supporters of Mr. Obama, however, say they cannot help seeing overt racism in some of the conservative attacks.


“The issue there is not race, it’s civility,” Mr. Powell said. “This is not to say that we are suddenly racially pure, but constantly talking about it and reducing everything to black versus white is not helpful to the cause of restoring civility to our public dialogue.”


Mr. Powell said he believed that Mr. Obama might be facing even more apparent hostility but that the blame lay not necessarily in racial bias, but instead with the partisan culture of the Internet and cable news and the way they amplify the more extreme voices.


In an interview Wednesday shortly after meeting privately with Mr. Obama in the Oval Office, Colin L. Powell, secretary of state under Mr. Bush, said: “You can find pictures where Bush was called all kinds of names, with all sorts of banners being held up and burned in effigy. I’ve seen it in every presidency.”


Former officials who served under President George W. Bush have been quick to recall this week that protesters frequently compared him to Hitler and that the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, called him a “loser” and a “liar.”


It is difficult to gauge the extent to which the vitriol that has come Mr. Obama’s way is racially motivated and the extent to which it is simply akin to that directed at his white predecessors.


On his radio program this week, Rush Limbaugh said, “Today, it’s all based in racism — the criticism of Obama’s health care plan or whatever.” On Fox News, former Speaker Newt Gingrich added, “I think it’s very destructive for


But a number of prominent conservatives say critics have been smeared by many of the president’s supporters.


Even as several leading Congressional Democrats distanced themselves from Mr. Carter’s comments, some liberals pointed Wednesday to what they describe as an increasing number of racially tinged attacks. At last weekend’s conservative protest in


And his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, told reporters again and again at the daily White House briefing that Mr. Obama did not share Mr. Carter’s views on the motivations of Representative Joe Wilson, the South Carolina Republican who shouted “You lie!” during Mr. Obama’s address.


Signaling that he had no intention of lending his voice to Mr. Carter’s accusation, the president declined to answer a reporter’s question on the subject in the Oval Office on Wednesday.

But this time the White House has made clear that it does not want to engage on the topic, which beyond threatening to distract attention from the health care push could also put further strain on Mr. Obama’s broad but tenuous electoral coalition of liberals and moderates, Democrats and independents.


During the presidential campaign, when he disavowed the incendiary remarks of his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., he took the opportunity to explain his views on race in


“He could probably give a very powerful speech on race, just as he did in the course of the campaign,” said Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama. “But right now his top domestic priority is health care reform. It’s difficult, challenging and complicated. And if he leads by example, our country will be far better off.”

Mr. Obama’s response to all this, aides say, has been to tell his staff not to be distracted by the charges and to focus on health care and the rest of his policy agenda.


Even before that, several conservatives had accused their liberal counterparts of unfairly tainting them as racists for engaging in legitimate criticism of the White House.


His goal, Mr. Obama has told both camps, is to be seen as a president who happens to be black rather than the nation’s first black president.


... enfim... resquícios dum passado recente numa GRANDE NAÇÃO! Com o tempo passa... muita esperança no MUNDO!!!... Pode ser que... seja desta... Sherpas!!!...



... constatação!!!...



... não, não é tempo de vingança,

d´ajustar contas com quem não conseguiu,

quem teve pássaro na mão, se manteve,

não fugiu,

quem deu peito a adversidades, enfrentou todo,

qualquer desafio,

cometendo erros como líder, como governante,

humano assessorado, como tantos,

quando figura primeira, no topo,

não sendo, como dizem, arrogante,

remando contra, como s´impunha,

projecto ambicioso que não cumpriu,

interferências exteriores, qual ferrete,

fizeram recuar no que se propunha,

refrega colossal, campo de batalha tão adverso,

súmula de palavras, elogio, composição de mero verso,

contrários em desvario,

não necessária no que se corporiza,

face a panorama tão desastroso, economia que se desmorona,

finanças que s´equilibram, ventania intensa,


atacar pequenas fendas que vão surgindo,

paredão com tendência pr´a desequilibrio,

apesar de determinação, grande brio,


fazendo golpes ocasionais,

sendo moderado, com radicais,

num fito permanente, mais Nação, mais País,

contra forças que se vangloriam de desastre iminente,


junção que me causa espanto,

manutenção dum entretanto,

profunda raiva, desilusão,

sem vingança, ocasião não propícia,

sem razão,

escolha absurda,

tão confusa,

entre desperdício, desnorte profundo,

retrocedendo a incomensurável cavername imundo,

escolhos sombrios, amontoados d´ódios,


horrores q´ainda ferem olhos d´inocentes,

matanças por dinheiros desencaminhados,

longe, perto, arrecadados,

entre valias que temos,

quando confrontados,

ignorância na tibieza que s´acentua,

verdade imensa que se rejeita, não aceita,

irresponsabilidade que teima,


joguinho de classe q´usa o que não tem,

pouca coisa, quase nada, ninguém,

idosa com falhas insistentes,

mais indicada pr´a recato de lar adequado,

longe d´enfrentamentos,

sem consistência,

princípio duvidoso, ultrapassado,

curta visão dum Mundo que rola,


sociedade que não entende, obtusa na percepção,

irresponsabilidade de quem utiliza,

bastidores donde rufa,

bandeira q´hasteia, sem recusa,

teimosia de quem mantém ódio q´avulta,

raiva que sente,

perante tanto triste, vago, demente,

jogada de quem se julga,

descurando o que mais me preocupa,

trunfo q´arrisca, não cansa,

renova, infla, avança,

não, não é tempo de vingança,

antes, de profunda meditação,

continuidade dum sonho,

objectivo que nos faça distinguir,

sair d´atoleiro em que nos encontramos,

décadas perdidas, gastos, medos,

nos antros mais recônditos, segredos,

vontade de continuar parados num Oásis prometido,

monstro de todo o tamanho,

d´agora, d´ontem, d´antanho,

provocadores de tangas, de pântanos,

com tramóias, com enganos,

risos que são esgares,

convencimentos de quem trama,

perante ruinosos azares,

quem nos chama, quem clama,

avisa, determinado, ainda com chama,

não merece purgatório q´arrasta,

final infeliz de quem desgasta, insídia, mentira pertinaz,

não adianta, tanto faz,

não canto loas, disparates,

olhos abertos para o que não quero,


caminho tão diverso do que tentam,

resultados mais que concretizados,

por toda a parte, sem empenho, desfeia entorno,

cava fosso, provoca derrocada, instabiliza,

não normaliza,

por vingança comezinha, sem noção,

sem qualquer tipo de razão,

repetir prédica, procedimento,

não se adequa, não progride, recua,

congela, como toque de bruxaria,


pára, sem apelação, natural estretor de quem não quer,

difícil acabamento do que não presta,

ainda mexe, ainda resta,

paredão q´abre fresta,

hecatombe que se pronuncia,

quem já não tem mas... desesperadamente, QUER,

redobrar o que vai faltando, cumulos de posição, grande fatia!!!... Sherpas!!!...



... MATANÇAS!!!...



Eight years after the attack on New York, intelligence reports from captured western recruits suggest the terror network is weakening


The meeting was tense. The six recruits, from immigrant communities in France and Belgium, had decided to confront their al-Qaida handler. Before leaving their homes, they had watched al-Qaida videos on the internet and seen massed battalions of mujahideen training on assault courses, exciting ambushes and inspiring speeches by Osama bin Laden.


... in


Now they had spent months in Pakistan's rugged frontier zones and had done nothing more than basic small arms training, some physical exercise and religious instruction.

They had been deceived, they complained to the Syrian militant looking after them. The videos had lied.

Their handler was unapologetic. The flashy videos were a "trick" that served a dual purpose, he told them, "to intimidate enemies and to attract new recruits – propaganda."

The exchange, which took place a year ago, is revealed in interrogation documents obtained by the Guardian. The six would-be recruits are currently on trial in Europe after being arrested on their return home. But their experience is illuminating, amplifying suspicions about the current capability of the al-Qaida movement, and raising crucial questions: how strong is Bin Laden's terrorist group? What control and influence does it exert beyond its safe havens in south-west Asia? As British troops fight and die to secure Afghanistan to make Britain safer, where does the main threat come from? How close is the image of al-Qaida to the reality?

Eight years after the September 11 attacks in the US, it is clear that the threat to the UK remains. Britain is regularly cited as a target in militant propaganda and several dozen young British men, security sources say, travel every year to Pakistan to realise their ambitions of violent jihad.

This week's conviction of three Britons of Pakistani origin for the 2006 "Lucozade" plot against transatlantic flights was a sobering reminder. Others are recruited in Kashmir or the Punjab when they visit relatives. Suicide bombings in Afghanistan and Pakistan often involve al-Qaida. "AfPak and the al-Qaida core remain our focus and main concern," one Whitehall official told the Guardian.

But if the will to strike remains strong, the ability of al-Qaida's central leadership to commission or execute spectacular attacks looks weaker than sometimes thought, experts say.

The reality in the Pakistani tribal areas is certainly different from the popular image. The European volunteers told of crossed wires and confusion. Having been cheated by people smugglers on their journey via Turkey, no one was expecting them when they arrived in North Waziristan. Next, they were surprised to find they were expected to pay around $1,000 (£600) for their equipment, weapons and accommodation. The statements appear to confirm intelligence reports that al-Qaida is short of cash.


The disappointments continued. Bin Laden was impossible to see, they were told. Nor was there any real need for them as fighters in Afghanistan. Training involved little live firing; they underwent weeks of religious instruction from a junior cleric; an instructor made a bomb, but they had no opportunity to try themselves. They were often forbidden to venture outdoors.

One of the six did eventually participate in operations against US forces. But the others, some ill and all disillusioned, gave up and returned to Europe. They deny prosecution claims that they came back to bomb the Brussels metro or football stadiums.

Their account of life at the heart of what intelligence sources call "the grand central station" of international Islamic militancy is corroborated by Bryant Neal Vinas, a young American convert arrested in October 2008. He also described moving from house to house and attending makeshift training sessions. His account, given to the FBI by Belgian investigators, stresses the militants' bureaucratic mindset, and even describes filling in forms in triplicate before sitting exams to test his suitability for a suicide attack.

Vinas did finally participate in several raids on US army posts over the border in Afghanistan before being arrested by Pakistani agents. But though a motivated recruit, he describes the fragmented nature of al-Qaida's operations. He refers to the deaths of senior al-Qaida figures in strikes by unmanned Predator drones.

The European volunteers speak of the almost neurotic concern about invisible "chips" supposedly planted by spies to guide in missile attacks. Fear of interception meant no use of mobile phones, only radio and notes carried by hand — though one recruit was allowed to contact his girlfriend from an internet cafe in a nearby town.

Analysts agree with the picture of al-Qaida under pressure. Intelligence services stress the efficacy of drone attacks eliminating a layer of "middle managers" and the fatal vulnerability of electronic communications. Others point to the infrequency of statements from the leadership. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden's Egyptian deputy, speaks more often than the al-Qaida leader. Messages are "opportunistic and vicarious," claiming responsibility for events that are nothing to do with the group. "For aspirant followers and local groups it is very difficult to join up and get strategic planning or help, and that is a significant problem," said Richard Barrett, co-ordinator of the UN's al-Qaida and Taliban monitoring team. "The [leadership] are losing relevance. Even 9/11 is now history for many younger potential recruits. [Al-Qaida's] threats need to be credible. If not, they weaken quite quickly."

Nigel Inkster, of the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London, a former deputy director of MI6, said: "It's a lot harder for al-Qaida central to continue to orchestrate a coherent suite of operations against western targets."

Deadly attacks

Yet deadly operations do still take place – far away from Pakistan. In recent months there have been scores of attacks by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) against Algerian security forces, with around 30 dead. In May, a British hostage, Edwin Dyer, was killed by the group in Mali after the UK refused to free the imprisoned Abu Qatada, a Jordanian cleric described as "Bin Laden's ambassador in Europe". Mauritania is also a source of concern. Libya is said to play a key role in fighting the terrorists – one reason that a friendly relationship with Muammar Gaddafi is deemed so important.

Analysts divide al-Qaida into three elements: the hardcore leadership, "affiliate" or "franchised" groups like AQIM, and the ideology that motivates and attracts freelancers and individuals.

Although this month's bombings have shown that al-Qaida in Iraq is still active, the group is a shadow of its former self. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, once focused in Saudi Arabia, Bin Laden's homeland, has been forced into exile in neighbouring Yemen, where poverty and conflicts have led to an upsurge in activity that has included bomb attacks on the US embassy and foreign tourists.

"They have been unable to reorganise in Saudi Arabia, where they never had any real popular support," said Thomas Hegghammer, an expert at Harvard.

Saudi authorities, with US help, have run successful "deradicalisation" programmes. Last month they arrested 40 suspects, but one man posing as a repentant militant blew himself up – with explosives hidden in his rectum – in a failed attempt to kill Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the mastermind of the kingdom's counter-terrorist effort.

Elsewhere, al-Qaida-related groups in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Turkey remain weak in the face of popular hostility and effective and ruthless security services. Al-Qaida's opposition to Hamas and Hezbollah, seen as the vanguard of resistance to Israel, is a serious handicap.


The exception is AQIM, born of Algeria's bloody civil war, and rejuvenated by the war in Iraq and by its loudly trumpeted 2006 alliance with al-Qaida central. European intelligence agencies fear it may be able to reach across the Mediterranean through support among European Muslims of North African origin. "We know there are logistics networks. The question is if they will be activated," said one French intelligence source. "At the moment it is unclear if they can – or if they want to."

In Morocco, interviews with the families of detained militants showed that most were part of individual cells of young disenfranchised men who got the idea of blowing themselves up and who have never heard of AQIM. The kingdom has not seen a repeat of the violence of 2003, when bombs went off in Casablanca, or a second wave of attacks in 2007. As in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, senior clerics have spoken out to condemn terrorism as a distortion of sharia law.

In faraway Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, another key al-Qaida affiliate was Jema'a Islamiya (JI), implicated in the 2002 attack on a Bali nightclub that killed more than 200. With key personnel who had acted as links with the al-Qaida leadership in Pakistan now detained or dead, JI has undergone a series of evolutions to eventually reject violence in their homeland while justifying it in certain other "theatres of jihad".

As in Algeria, the unpopularity of mass casualty attacks among ordinary Indonesians was key to their strategic repositioning. According to Sidney Jones of the International Crisis Group, the July hotel bombings in Jakarta were the work of a breakaway JI faction led by veteran militant Nooruddin Top and locally recruited suicide attackers.

Top has been able to plug into networks linked to religious schools or teachers unhappy with the switch of strategy of mainstream JI to access recruits convinced that the "global jihad" is still relevant where they live.

Hegghammer says such affiliated groups around the world have become "hybrids" that combine the global ideology of al-Qaida with a local focus.

Security sources are now wary of using the al-Qaida label too loosely. Connections with the leadership are often tenuous.

In Egypt, Jordan, and this month Libya, militant thinkers, usually behind bars, have "revised" their views and repudiated former comrades who are still fighting a global jihad. "We tend to look for al-Qaida when there is in fact a local agenda," admitted one European intelligence officer.


Yet if the hardcore leadership is facing significant challenges and the affiliates are suffering, there are still concerns that al-Qaida's ideology, though rejected so categorically by populations across the Islamic world, still poses a significant threat.

"It only takes one or two," said Alain Bauer, a security adviser to the French president. The Belgian and French volunteers so disappointed by their experience in Waziristan were "self-radicalising". One joined after talking to members on a radical Islamist website, one of half a dozen sites that are becoming more sophisticated despite official attempts to disrupt them. In content their focus has shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan — a "sea change" says Norwegian expert Brynjar Lia.

The route trodden by Vinas shows the continuing pull of the "lifestyle choice" of jihad. Vinas, from a middle-class Catholic Californian family, travelled to south-west Asia, sought out a contact in Lahore and made determined efforts to find al-Qaida.

In the UK recent trials have shown that the "X-factor" added by the al-Qaida leadership may facilitate attacks but is far from a prerequisite of radical activity. The so-called doctors' plot in the UK in 2007 had no direct input from Bin Laden associates. Other incidents have often involved loners. British intelligence services are aware of Britons travelling to Somalia to fight alongside Islamic militias. Some are British-Pakistanis who travel to east Africa despite being unable to speak local languages.

"Things are not going well for al-Qaida," said Inkster. "But for every terrorist or insurgent movement, simply surviving represents a victory. Living to fight another day is something that these organisations all do. This is a generational phenomenon. There is a level of vulnerability in a young Islamic population that will keep expanding. The attraction of jihadism will remain."

Andrew Silke, of East London University, also believes that the underlying causes of radicalism are intact.

"Iraq and Afghanistan were big drivers of extremism in the UK," he said. "The fact that Iraq has now dropped off the radar is helpful and you would expect benefit from [Barack] Obama replacing Bush, so an improvement is logical. But one really bad attack will start stoking it up again


... cronologia aleatória... d´imagens que marcaram uma época, líderes LOUCOS, VÍTIMAS aos montes, atentados constantes à condição humana!!!... Alguns... sem julgamento por terríveis cometimentos, foram afastados, VIVEM bem e ainda TENTAM repetir GANÂNCIAS sobre cadáveres, corpos dilacerados/OUTROS resistem APESAR de... em lugarzinhos de TOPO!!!... Uma ESPERANÇA... que surgiu num País que se considerou diferente, quase IMPÉRIO, que inverte caminho, se penitencia por TANTA ATROCIDADE, ainda há POUCO!!!... Faz anos... parece que foi ONTEM!TRISTEZA!!!... SHERPAS!!!...


... Sherazade!!!...




… mal se precatava,

                           caminhada insensata, ignota paragem,

                           lufada de poeira misturada com vento, estrondeio repentino,

                          chusma d´alimárias espumando cansaço, cavaleiros afogueados,

                          barbas hirsutas, turbantes imponentes,

                          a fúria passava,

                          eram monstros, eram gentes,

                          lembrança, imagem fugaz, memória, destino,

                          rolando no chão, atirado por cascos,

                          areias, espaços,


                          paredão se lhe depara,

                          silêncio s´adona, barulho que pára,

                          por muito que tente, incrédulo se pergunta,

                          olhando para diante, buscando razão,

                          revira cabeça, total ocultação,

                          sozinho se senta, preocupado, pensa,

                          não vê, não sente qual a diferença,

                          rochedo tão grande,

                          por muito que busque, por muito que ande,


                         penhasco de medo, fragas enormes, interrupção,

                         acontecimento recente,


                         acordado, manhã que raiava, inóspita paisagem,

                         calor intenso, mente que lhe falha,

                         sentidos obliterados,



                         sons q´ainda zunem, retinem nos tímpanos,

                         posição que lhe foi imposta, arredado por cascos,


                        pó q´assenta, olhos que perscrutam,

                        tantos que foram, soberbos, velozes,

                        passando no tempo, penumbra dum sonho,

                        voragem q´anula, inocentes, algozes,

                        procuram, escondem, irrompem

                        e fogem,

                        magia permanente, feitiço que persiste,

                        palavra, segredo q´ainda existe,

                        lâmpada que permite,

                       Aladino das Arábias,

                       nos gestos, nas falas,

                       nos contos, nos roubos,

                       duendes que são monstros,


                       poderosos de sempre, grutas escabrosas,

                       projectos, sendas, cartões que permitem,

                       assombrações que revivem,

                       quarenta, na certa,

                     vulgares diligentes, pandilhas espantosas,

                     cérebros requintados, hipócritas do SÉSAMO,


                     num abre que fecha, recato, segredo

                     Ali, descobre riquezas sem fim,

                     Babá que, por acaso, caiu na poeira,

                     arredado por cascos, incrédulo até,

                     caminho sem escape, juntinho à fronteira,

                     alerta permanente, ouvido astuto,

                     Sherazade que conta, califa q´aguarda,

                     são muitas as noites, mais de mil, as estórias,

                     repetições q´assombram, reflugem, induzem,

                    cometimentos de medo, descobertas, viagens,

                  estranhas paragens, 


                    Simbad, riquezas, aventuras profícuas,

                    realidades, sonhos, cáfila de camelos,

                    quadrilhas com ninfas, encontros diáfanos,

                    mortes, suspeições, expresso do Oriente,

                    d´Agahta grande mistério,

                    redondeio por dinheiros, desfasamento, desiderato,

                    machucamento, assassinato, ... servidão HUMANA???...


                    babilónicos conhecimentos,

                    escritas abarcantes,

                    consumição ao longo de tantos séculos,

                    cinzas na destruição, desprezo na fruição

da Pérsia q´é Irão,




                    lendas, contos, aviltamentos no Ocidente,

                    tanto agora como dantes,

                    Servidão Humana na tramóia, no engano,

                    Somerset incrível, estudo, interioridade,

                    numa espécie de verdade,

    suspensos que estamos, brutos entretenimentos!!!... Sherpas!!!...


Mais sobre mim

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