Skip to comments.World Terrorism: News, History and Research Of A Changing World #10 Security Watch
Posted on 08/25/2007 2:26:58 PM PDT by DAVEY CROCKETT
Lowry: The CIA's record leading up to Sept. 11 was one of failure By Rich Lowry Article Last Updated: 08/25/2007 09:07:06 AM MDT
The new report from the CIA's inspector general about the spy agency's pre-9/11 failings could be titled, ''What We Did During Our Holiday From History.'' The stretch between the end of the Cold War and the Sept. 11 attacks was supposed to be a shiny new era of globalized peace and prosperity, to which an intelligence service was considered quaintly irrelevant.
The CIA conformed to the zeitgeist by remaining quaintly irrelevant. George Tenet presided over the agency, failing his way to the second-longest tenure of any director of central intelligence, a Presidential Medal of Freedom and a $4 million book advance. He made the Peter Principle work for him not just by advancing to his level of incompetence, but by benefiting from it handsomely.
Congressional Democrats pushed for the release of the scathing IG report, completed back in June 2005, to embarrass the Bush administration. But most of the failures identified in the report took place during the Clinton administration, which set the CIA's skewed priorities and selected Tenet in the first place. President Bush should be embarrassed only because he didn't fire Tenet upon taking office or after 9/11, while Bush also has failed to undertake a serious retooling of the sclerotic bureaucracy that is the CIA.
Tenet took terrorism seriously, ''sounding the alarm about the threat to many different audiences,'' in the words of the report. Maybe he should have gone on a lecture tour. Where Tenet fell down was in managing his agency. The thought may be father to the deed, but without the actual deed, the thought is only political cover in after-the-fact memoirs.
Tenet insists that he had a ''robust plan'' against al-Qaida. In reality, he only thought he had. He directed that such a plan be formulated, but according to the IG report, it never happened. Worse, Tenet did not ''work with the National Security Council to elevate the relative standing of counterterrorism in the formal ranking of intelligence priorities.''
In Tenet's defense, he operated within the context of a Clinton administration that basically was uninterested in intelligence. Tenet notes that the intelligence community lost 25 percent of its personnel in the 1990s and ''tens of billions of dollars in investment compared with the 1990 baseline.'' He implored the administration for funding increases in 1998 and 1999, but had to go ''outside established channels to work with then-Speaker Gingrich to obtain a $1.2 billion budgetary supplemental.''
Even with more resources, his managers repeatedly moved funds from counterterrorism programs to other needs, without ever raiding other programs to fund counterterrorism, according to the IG report. What could be more important than counterterrorism? Analytic resources were poured into addressing more pressing matters like the Balkans and the environment.
After 9/11, Clinton officials and Tenet argued whether the CIA had been granted the authority to kill Osama bin Laden, with the Clintonites, in a bout of retrospective bloodlust, insisting that it had. The IG report finds that restrictions on the CIA killing bin Laden had been ''arguably, although ambiguously, relaxed'' for a brief period in late 1998 and early 1999 (how Clintonian). But CIA managers refused ''to take advantage of the ambiguities,'' and even if they had, the agency didn't have the covert-action capability to kill bin Laden. Such was life during history's holiday.
What's more scandalous is how the CIA has escaped serious reform even today. Two CIA directors in a row have resisted the IG report's recommendation for an accountability board to evaluate the pre-9/11 performance of CIA officials. That word - not ''board,'' but ''accountability'' - raises hackles at Langley, where everyone is above-average at fighting al-Qaida. Even though as many as 60 CIA employees knew that two of the hijackers were in the U.S. before 9/11 and no one managed to get the word to the FBI, CIA Director Michael Hayden thinks holding anyone accountable for that or other failures would be ''distracting.'' And so the band plays on.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Excerpts: Troubles of the Arab World. Growing Egyptian authoritarianism. Arab (non-Persian] Iranians.Syrian Saudi anger.
Excerpts: Troubles of the Arab World. Growing Egyptian authoritarianism.Arab
(non-Persian] Iranians.Syrian Saudi anger.
+++THE DAILY STAR (Lebanon 25 Aug.’07:”Time to put away the conspiracy
and assume responsibility”
By The Daily Star
QUOTE:the vast majority of our
problems are the consequence of our own ineptitude and mediocrities”
+++THE DAILY STAR (Lebanon) 25 Aug.’07:”Why does Egypt choose to stoop so
low?”By Rami G. Khouri
QUOTE:”Why do they choose to stoop low...?”
Scores of Muslim Brotherhood members are now on trial again in military
court, peaceful student demonstrations are broken up, and activists ...are
arrested, threatened and harassed. An active press campaign is under way
against...Egyptian democracy activists. NDP members have filed legal
requests to close the Ibn Khaldoun center and try its director and staff on
the usual array of quite ridiculous charges, such as treason, harming the
national interest, tarnishing the country’s image abroad, and showing
contempt for religion.
. . .The government has also revived a tactic that was last used in 2001,
which is to try civilians in military tribunals, including 40 Muslim
Brotherhood members whose case by the government was initially rejected by
civilian courts. Earlier this year the Mubarak government pushed through 34
amendments to the Constitution, which ... aim to “further solidify the legal
underpinnings of authoritarianism in Egypt.”
Some of the amendments ban political activity based on religion, make it
almost impossible for an independent candidate to run for president,
eliminate the impressive system of judicial supervision of elections that
had been established in 2000, and provide constitutional anchorage for
wide-ranging anti-terrorism measures, such as using military and exceptional
courts, and allowing the police to search homes and conduct electronic
surveillance without warrants.
It is very sad to watch this spectacle, and harder yet for Egyptians
themselves to endure its consequences.... .
+++ARAB NEWS (Saudi) 25 Aug.’07:”The Revolt of Arab-Iranians” by Amir
The outside world should pay
attention to what is happening in Khuzestan if only because it produces
almost 70 percent of the oil that Iran exports each day.
+++AL-AHRAM WEEKLY 23-29 Aug.’07:”Fraternal altercations”
HEADING:”Recent name-calling between Syria and Saudi Arabia is rubbing salt
in worsening wounds, writes Sherine Bahaa”
QUOTE:”Damascus rarely criticises Arab
states.This is no longer the case”
“Virtually paralysed,” was how Syrian Vice-President Farouk Al-Sharaa
described the regional role of Saudi Arabia. . .. “The government of the
kingdom of Saudi Arabia has followed with great surprise the distasteful
statements recently made by(Syrian V.P.] Al-Sharaa, which included numerous
lies and fallacies aimed at harming us,” said the statement carried by the
official Saudi press agency.
“Talk about the paralysis of the kingdom’s Arab and Islamic role does not
come from a rational and prudent person, as this role is well known to
everyone. Perhaps Al-Sharaa made a slip of the tongue and meant by paralysis
the policy he speaks for,” said the statement.
. . ..
Arabs still remember Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s famous speech after
the victory of the Iranian-backed Hizbullah in last summer’s war with
Israel, in which he blamed Arab leaders for their impotence calling them
“half men” for their failure to act to stop the violence. Syria is known for
its strong anti-Western and anti-Israeli rhetoric, but, Damascus rarely
criticises Arab states.This is no longer the case..
“Although we had our differences, he [the late Hafez Al-Assad] always
maintained good relations with the kingdom,” said one Saudi official,
speaking on condition of anonymity because of the subject’s sensitivity.
Things have changed since then. Today Syria is out of Lebanon, and is blamed
for its former prime minister, Rafiq Hariri’s assassination in 2005. It has
been given the cold shoulder by its Arab neighbours, being criticised for
falling under the spell of its Shia ally Iran.
In all these developments, the Syrians seem to see the hidden hand of Saudi
Arabia. . . .According to a Syria analyst, Damascus knows it is now
“virtually impossible” to mend fences with Riyadh without outside mediation.
But now, there are concerns the Syrian- Saudi spat could have negative
repercussions for countries where each has a major stake, such as Iraq and
Lebanon.. . .
Saturday, August 25, 2007
PCHR Calls for an Immediate Investigation into the Attacks on Journalists and Demonstrators in Gaza
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Date: 25 August 2007
PCHR Calls for an Immediate Investigation into the Attacks on Journalists
and Demonstrators in Gaza
PCHR strongly condemns the attacks perpetrated by the Executive Force
yesterday against journalists covering a peaceful demonstration organized by
Fatah supporters in Gaza City. The Executive Force dispersed the
demonstration by force. The Centre reiterates its call to the dismissed
government in Gaza and to the Executive Force to respect human rights,
especially the rights of freedom of expression, freedom of journalism, and
right to peaceful assembly, which are protected by the Palestinian Basic Law
and International Human Rights Law.
The Center’s preliminary investigation indicates that thousands of Fatah
supporters held Friday Prayers on 24 August 2007 in the “Unknown Soldier”
Park in Gaza City to protest what they described as the “incitement and
politicization of Friday Sermons in Mosques.” After the end of prayers at
about 13:30, a demonstration consisting of thousands of Fatah supporters
headed towards Palestine Square. When the demonstration reached Gaza Central
Prison, some youth threw rocks at Executive Force members deployed in the
area. Some of the demonstrators tried to prevent the youth from throwing
rocks; and the demonstration headed away from the prison towards Jala
Street. However, the Executive Force fired heavily in the air, and dispersed
the demonstration by force, attacking some demonstrators in the process. In
addition, members of the Force attacked journalists covering the prayer and
demonstration, and tried to prevent them from doing their work by
confiscating their cameras. Four journalists were detained by the Executive
Force and taken to Gaza Central Prison:
- Khaled Bolbol from Palestine TV.
- Mustafa El-Bayed from Russian TV.
- Mohammad El-Baba from AFP.
- Ibrahim Dahman from French TV.
The journalists were held for one hour before their release.
Khaled Bolbol informed PCHR’s fieldworker that Hamas supporters near Abu
Khadra Mosque, close to Gaza Central Prison, beat and cursed him after
learning that he worked for Palestine TV. He said that 4 members of the
Executive Force traveling in a jeep detained him and took him to Gaza
Central Prison. He stated that they beat him all over his body on the way to
Mustafa El-Bayed stated that he was near Gaza Central Prison with Mohammad
El-Baba and Ibrahim Dahman, and were covering the attacks by the Executive
Force on the demonstrators and journalists after stones were thrown at them.
He said that the Force members chased them. The 3 journalists tried to flee;
but a car intercepted them; and 4 civilian-clothed persons detained them and
took them to Gaza Central Prison. El-Bayed’s camera was damaged on the way
to the prison.
Abed Rabbo Shana’a, a photographer from Reuters, gave the following
testimony to PCHR, “I was doing my job and covering the events near Gaza
Central Prison and the attacks by the Executive Force on journalists. I
tried to leave the place quietly. However, four members of the Force saw me.
They ordered me to stop at gunpoint. One of them put his palm to the camera
lens; and the others tried to confiscate the camera and tape. I asked them
to sort this out in our office, but to no avail. I argued with them; and the
correspondent of Al-Jazeera, Wa’el El-Dahdouh, tried to intervene. They
started firing in the air to force me to surrender the camera. I managed to
Wa’el El-Dahdouh, Al-Jazeera Correspondent, gave the following statement to
PCHR, “I saw members of the Executive Force chasing the photographer Abed
Rabbo Shana’a. The caught him. I got out of the car from which I was
covering the events. I tried to intervene and told the Force members that
Shan’a was a journalist; and that the issue can be resolved in the office.
However they refused. I told them to call the Executive Force press office;
but they did not respond. They were determined to confiscate Shana’a’s
camera. The raised their guns and fired in the air, causing Shana’a to flee
without the Force confiscating the camera.”
As soon as news of the journalists’ detention was broadcast on Palestine TV,
some of the detained journalists stated that the Executive Force Commander
in Gaza Central Prison offered to have Al-Aqsa TV, which is pro-Hamas, to
broadcast a denial of their detention. However the journalists refused.
PCHR is concerned over the recurrence of attacks on freedom of expression,
freedom of journalism, and the right to peaceful assembly, and:
- Affirms that the right to peaceful assembly, including
demonstrations, is protected by the Palestinian Basic Law and the Law of
General Assemblies No. 12 for the Year 1998, conditional that these
assemblies are peaceful.
- Calls for investigating the attacks on journalists and detaining
4 of them and preventing them from doing their work; and calls for taking
legal action against the perpetrators.
- Affirms the need to provide protection to journalists and media
outlets, and to take the necessary steps to ensure their freedom in
conducting their work.
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8
2824776 - 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip.
E-mail: email@example.com, Webpage http://www.pchrgaza.org
Russia will destroy only its own chemical weapons - general
24/08/2007 16:05 MOSCOW, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not accept proposals to destroy chemical weapons decommissioned by other countries on its territory, a senior military official said Friday.
“The Russian Federation will destroy only chemical weapons from the former arsenals of the Russian Army, said Lieutenant General Valery Kapashin, chief of the Federal Department for the Safe Storage and Liquidation of Chemical Weapons.
Russia signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) January 13, 1993, and ratified it November 5, 1997. The country declared an arsenal of 40,000 metric tons of chemical weapons in 1997, and has so far destroyed 8,000 tons.
The CWC convention stipulates four phases of weapons and materials destruction in Russia. One percent of the weapons were destroyed in the first phase and 20% in the second phase. Forty-five percent will be scrapped in the third phase, and the remaining 34% in the fourth.
“Every country must destroy its chemical weapons on its own territory,” the general said.
Russia has allocated $7.18 billion from the federal budget for the implementation of the program and built at least three chemical weapons destruction plants - at Gorny, in the central Saratov Region, at Kambarka, in the Republic of Udmurtia, and at the Maradykovsky complex in the Kirov Region.
Four facilities are still under construction at various locations throughout the country.
Kapashin reaffirmed that Russia would fulfill its obligations under the CWC to destroy all of its chemical weapon stockpiles by 2012.
19:36 09/08/2007 Russia confirms pledge to destroy all chemical weapons by 2012 -1
21:22 10/05/2007 U.S. Congress overturns Pentagon’s foot-drag on Russian chemical weapons
19:12 03/05/2007 Russian deputy PM cold on troop deal, warm on chemical weapons
11:08 26/03/2007 Russia destroys chemical weapons on schedule
Former CIA officer says U.S ready to strike Iran within 6 months
22/08/2007 10:03 WASHINGTON, August 22 (RIA Novosti) - The United States could deliver a military strike against Iran within the next six months, a former CIA officer told Fox News.
In an interview Tuesday the U.S. TV channel asked Robert Baer, a former CIA field officer assigned to the Middle East, whether the U.S. was preparing for military action against Iran, citing Baer’s column for Time Magazine on August 18, where he suggested that Washington officials expect an attack within the next six months.
“I’ve taken an informal poll inside the government,” Baer told Fox. “The feeling is we will hit the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC].”
He said the George W. Bush administration is convinced “that the Iranians are interfering in Iraq and the rest of the Gulf,” but what his sources anticipate is “not exactly a war.”
“We won’t see American troops cross the border,” said Baer. “If this is going to happen, it is going to happen very quickly and it is going to surprise a lot of people.”
There were recent reports that Washington would put Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard - the largest branch of Iran’s military, separate from the rest of the army - on the terrorism list.
Baer said the U.S. military suspects that the Revolutionary Guard is the main supplier of sophisticated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to insurgents killing coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He also said there is a belief among neo-conservative elements in the Bush administration that the Revolutionary Guard is an obstacle to democratic and a friendly Iran.
“IRGC IED’s are a casus belli for this administration. There will be an attack on Iran,” Baer quoted an anonymous White House source as saying.
However, the U.S. government has consistently denied rumors of preparations for military action against Iran.
Whitehouse Spokeswoman Dana Perino said on August 15: “All of our efforts are focused on the diplomatic actions that we are working through, in terms of the United Nations Security Council.”
“Military action is not being contemplated,” she told a news conference at Crawford Middle School, Texas.
The results of a recent poll among 108 prominent U.S. political and military experts conducted by the Center for American Progress, a U.S. policy research think tank, also differ from the forecast provided by Baer’s sources.
According to the survey, 89% of U.S. experts said there would be no preemptive military strike on Iran and its nuclear facilities, and 65% said they were certain that George W. Bush would authorize an attack on Tehran during his remaining time in the office.
Robert Baer is an intelligence columnist for Time Magazine and the author of See No Evil, an account of CIA anti-terrorism field work, and more recently a political thriller, Blow the House Down.
21:15 23/08/2007 Authors of anti-Iran resolutions will only harm themselves - FM
12:43 23/08/2007 USA: Ex-CIA chief criticised over 9-11. Video
20:21 16/08/2007 Russia says Iran poses no threat
12:53 16/08/2007 Iran’s leader says U.S. missile shield threatens Eurasian security
Russian government takes over gold mining sector
21/08/2007 18:59 MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti economic commentator Oleg Mityayev) - The Russian government is preparing to take control of gold mining, another “strategic sector” of the national economy where profits are expected to soar.
As a first move towards that goal, billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov will sell his 22% stake in Polyus Gold, the country’s largest gold producer, to diamond monopoly Alrosa.
According to sources involved in the deal, Alrosa has offered Prokhorov much more for his stake than did his former partner, Vladimir Potanin, the co-owner of Interros, the managing company for Norilsk Nickel.
The two former partners, who own $15 billion each and share 4th and 5th places in the Forbes’ ranking of the 100 richest Russians, decided to part ways in early 2007. Prokhorov was to sell Potanin his shares in Polyus Gold and Norilsk Nickel in what was dubbed a “civilized divorce.”
But they failed to agree on a price, and since their decision to part prices of nickel and gold have risen substantially, leaving Potanin unable to pay Prokhorov market price for his stakes.
In early August the state-owned corporation Alrosa, which mines 97% of Russian diamonds and is second only to De Beers in diamond production, offered Prokhorov $2.2-$2.5 billion for his stake in Polyus, 20%-30% above its market value.
There was some speculation as to whether Alrosa could actually afford it, but on August 14 VTB President Andrei Kostin said that his state-controlled bank would issue Alrosa a loan for the acquisition.
At first glance, this looks like a mutually beneficial transaction. Prokhorov will sell his stake in Polyus at a profit, while Arosa will soon repay the loan thanks to a growing demand for gold. But a closer look shows that this is just the first move in a government campaign to strengthen its control over the highly profitable gold mining sector.
Russia is currently the sixth largest gold producer in the world, yet holds the world’s second largest gold reserves (after South Africa), and production costs in Russia are substantially lower. It is therefore safe to assume that Russia’s “golden age” is only just beginning.
It makes sense that the Russian government has begun its offensive with the largest player on the national gold market, Polyus Gold. After Prokhorov sells his stake to Alrosa, the government may offer a similar deal to Potanin, a law-abiding (or at least Kremlin-obliging) oligarch who has never yet rejected a government offer. As a result, the government will hold a 44% stake in the gold mining company.
If it then purchased the 7% stake held jointly by Prokhorov and Potanin together, the government could increase its share in the company to a 51% controlling stake. According to another version of events, Potanin has already agreed to sell his stake in Polyus to the state, and the three parties to the deal are deciding when to make their decision public.
Norilsk Nickel, the world’s second largest nickel producer, could follow in the footsteps of Polyus Gold. Prokhorov initially planned to sell his stake in the metals giant to Potanin, but then decided to resume control of the company and insisted that an extraordinary meeting of its shareholders be held in October.
Could this be a disgruntled ex-spouse reneging on the terms of the “civilized divorce”, or just a smokescreen ahead of the transfer of control of Norilsk Nickel to the state?
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
Nearly 30 priests killed in Russia in last 15 years - Orthodox Church
24/08/2007 16:39 MOSCOW, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - A total of 28 Orthodox priests have been murdered in Russia in last 15 years, the Moscow patriarchate’s official Web site said Friday, following the murder of a local priest Wednesday.
“Since 1990, according to the Moscow patriarchate, several dozen Orthodox priests have been killed,” the site said.
Avenir Smolin, 29, a priest in the Ivanovo Region, in central Russia, was murdered Wednesday, presumably in the course of a robbery. His body was discovered at his home with numerous stab wounds. The priest’s belongings and a small sum of money had been stolen.
Being a priest has become more dangerous than being a journalist in Russia, Father Vladimir Vigilyansky said earlier.
He cited documents that said priests are being murdered more often than members of any other civilian profession, including journalists.
“And there are far fewer priests than journalists,” he added.
The body of Father Oleg Stupichkin was found in the Sts. Peter and Paul Church in the Alapayevsk district after a fire in January 2007. Twenty-two icons, including some painted in the 18th century, were stolen from the church.
Father Andrei Nikolayev died together with his three young children in a Central Russian village in early December of last year when unidentified attackers doused his house with gasoline and set fire to it.
The CIS and Baltic press on Russia
Analysts have lashed out at Russia for discrediting Estonia in a large-scale propaganda campaign. Policymakers are urging the formation of a government-run propaganda agency for stronger resistance to Moscow’s ideological offensive.
“Why tolerate this all-round foolish criticism of Estonia? Several months ago we believed that there was no point in objecting to the Russian stupidities and that our diplomats would paint the true picture about Estonia and its people behind the scenes of world politics. But now we can now longer hope it will work. Our leaders should deal with this.... The Russians are humiliating us and lying in cold blood, and we have to counter their propaganda.” (SL Ohtuleht, August 16).
The press describes the Russian media coverage of a two-day fishing trip by Vladimir Putin and Prince Albert II of Monaco as the “best PR action of all times.” During fishing in the Yenisei River, photographers took pictures of Putin stripped to the waist.
“During his last year in office, Putin has been surrounded by the halo of God Almighty.... Prince Albert of Monaco did not catch much, while Putin again pulled out a few salmon. Jubilant, he decided to please the photographers by taking off his shirt. Compared to the frequently drunk and ailing Boris Yeltsin, Putin looked excellent. The president is in good shape and looks as a man with a grip of steel, who can fight against everything, including Western influence.” (Postimees, August 18).
The press believes that the Sino-attended war games on Russian territory confirm Western fears about Moscow’s intentions to transform the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) from an economic alliance into a military-political bloc.
“The SCO-West geopolitical confrontation is a fact. It has not yet acquired military-political dimensions; but if America tries to boost by force its influence in the SCO geopolitical space, the alliance is bound to turn into a military-political bloc. The military exercises launched near Chelyabinsk in parallel with the summit are a clear signal to the West.” (Biznes & Baltiya, August 21).
Commentators are particularly concerned over the Kremlin’s plans to use the SCO potential for reinforcing Russia’s positions on the energy market. “The SCO aims at creating an Asian OPEC.... The West is worried about many aspects of its activities, but mostly about its bid to control energy resources. Effective military maneuvers are simply sidetracking the public’s attention from more important issues.” (Chas, August 20).
The press is surprised at Putin’s calm reaction to the explosion, which derailed the Nevsky Express train (Moscow-St. Petersburg).
“For some reason, Russian President Vladimir Putin was not disturbed by this act of terror. Usually Putin is posing as a tough fighter against terrorism, but this time he seemed to be deliberately frivolous. Not only he did not stop his fun trip with Prince Albert II of Monaco in Siberia, he was also posing half-naked to the photographers and TV cameramen as a man on vacation.” (Lietuvos rytas, August 16).
The press is criticizing Gazprom and its mediators for exerting growing influence on decision-making by the Lithuanian authorities. Journalists are linking the vague prospects of the Ignalina nuclear power plant with Gazprom’s pressure on the republic’s government.
“The Russian Gazprom is the least of all interested in a new nuclear power plant because once the old bloc [of the nuclear power plant] is closed, Lithuania will have to buy more gas from it, and in this way the gas monopoly will double its sales.... Isn’t this foreign economic organization exerting influence on the Lithuanian government?” (Respublika, August 17).
Political scientists are accusing the Russian and Belarusian authorities of fanning-up anti-American attitudes in their countries.
“In Russia, dislike of America is the most popular subject. Many Russian political parties have adopted anti-Americanism as a certain [ideological] problem.... In this respect, official Belarus is not lagging behind Russia one bit - it is ready to go with anyone and anywhere on the anti-American road.... In recent times, both Russia and Belarus have been hugely irritated by the U.S. support for some pro-Western Ukrainian and Georgian forces. Both Moscow and Minsk see this as a direct threat to their regimes, because such support may be extended to adjacent territories. As a result, anti-Americanism has become all but official state ideology in our countries.” (Telegraf, August 17).
Some publications are linking the detonation on the Moscow-St. Petersburg railroad with the preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. They say that the militants have become more active because of the U.S. negative approach to holding the Olympic Games in China and Russia.
“We suppose the Americans and their allies will not boycott the Olympics.... But this is a clear signal to Beijing and to the even less friendly Moscow. They are being offered to be good guys in the pre-Olympic years - no international ventures, bloody special operations and crude onslaught against dissidents. The militants from the North Caucasus, these irreconcilable foes of the Putin regime, have taken nice of Washington’s mood.... However, one gets the impression that the militants are deliberately missing the targets and, luckily, the human losses from their acts are relatively small.” (Glavred, August 16).
Opposition parties are emphatically negative about the Russian-media quoted statement by political scientist Sergei Karaganov to the effect that the Russian military bases will remain in Transdnestr under the Moscow-Chisinau agreement.
“Karaganov is a mouthpiece for the Putin-led Kremlin administration. Karaganov has made public what Moscow and Chisinau were trying to conceal, notably that the so-called Transdnestr agreement provides for state federalization, preservation of the military arsenal and Russian occupational troops, and Moldova’s return to the Russian orbit.” (Flux, August 15).
Journalists are convinced that it is not possible to establish partnership with Russia. Moscow will continue doing all it can to keep the republic isolated.
“Armenia’s growing dependence on Moscow will increasingly weaken the Western attempts to neutralize Russian influence, not to mention stage a ‘color revolution.’ Russia stands to gain very much from Armenia’s isolation and unilateral dependence on Moscow.... The Russian Federation does not have long-term integration programs for Armenia. The Kremlin is satisfied with the status-quo. If its ally tries to follow a different road, Moscow may create a conflict situation. In Armenia’s case, this is obviously the outstanding issue of Nagorny Karabakh.” (Iravunq, August 15).
The media are emotionally reacting to the news that the Russian president awarded 12 citizens of South Ossetia with orders and medals for “contribution to the cultural and educational exchanges between nations.” They are describing this move as yet another provocation against Georgia.
“Isn’t Putin trying to achieve the recognition of the ‘republic of South Ossetia’ by a round-about way?” (Sakartvelos respublica, August 17).
“Putin himself is now orchestrating the escalation of tensions - before Russian generals or medium-rank politicians were doing the instigator job. Now that the whole world is watching Georgian-Russian confrontation, such actions are rather indicative and demand special attention. It appears that the situation has become so tense, that the Kremlin does not stop at anything.” (Kviris Palitra, August 20).
The opposition press is openly blaming the Kremlin for support for nationalist groups.
“Fighting terrorists in the Caucasus, the Russian government fails to see them in the country’s capital. According to this year’s official statistics, 40 migrants have been killed in Russia by nationalist groups. The real figure is many times higher. But for some reason, the Russian national socialist party, which has become the Russian al-Qaeda, is not qualified as a terrorist group and its members are not arrested. To the contrary, the nationalists are enjoying the Russian government’s patronage. There are grounds to consider the movement against illegal immigration a Kremlin-backed legal terrorist group.” (Yeni Musavat, August 17).
Analysts believe that the Afghan situation opens the SCO doors to Turkmenistan, which is an essential link in the Afghan security belt. At the same time, experts do not support the admission of other states into the SCO.
“The current SCO members do not want new problems in their space. Take for instance the potential membership of Pakistan and India. They have complicated relations, and the entry of one will automatically lead to the admission of the other in order to avoid regional imbalance. As a result, the SCO will receive the Kashmir problems and the South Asian knot. The same is true of Iran. Today, the SCO cannot afford to have its platform eroded, and for this reason it can accept Pakistan, Iran and India as observers in mid-term perspective.” (Liter.kz, August 17).
Commentators are writing about the dominance of Russian investors at the Turkmen energy market and the weak American positions in the region.
“Moscow does not have the habit of mixing its proposals on energy cooperation to Ashgabat with complaints about the status of democracy and human rights in Turkmenistan.... Moscow is always willing to show due respect for Ashgabat. This helps it to be the first in reaching energy agreements with the Turkmen leadership.” (Dogry Yol, August 17).
Journalists think that Uzbekistan’s decision to rejoin the Collective Security Treaty Organization could dramatically change the geopolitical situation not only in Central Asia, but also in the whole post-Soviet space.
“The majority of experts and analysts hold this opinion. Tashkent is expected to take its place in the most powerful political and military organization in the CIS. With this move, Moscow will not only gain a new economic partner. Russia is also interested in Tashkent from a military and strategic point of view. Thus, Uzbekistan’s presence in the organization guarantees that Russia will regain its military and political influence in Central Asia: four of five states in the region will be in the organization’s sphere of influence. This will help Russia to play a more significant role in Central Asia than it has in recent years.” (Millat, August 16).
RIA Novosti is not responsible for the content of outside sources.
Georgian police looking for downed plane in Kodori
25/08/2007 18:42 TBILISI, August 25 (RIA Novosti) - A special group of Georgia’s Interior Ministry left for the Kodori Gorge Saturday to look for a plane allegedly downed in the area after Georgian airspace violation August 21.
The Rustavi-2 TV company reported Friday citing eyewitnesses that an aircraft could have fallen near the Lata village, but locals said they were unable to approach the site due to complicated weather conditions.
A Georgian Interior Ministry representative said Georgia fired on a plane that allegedly violated the country’s airspace August 21, but an aide to the Russian Air Force commander called Tbilisi’s statements a provocation, denying any flights by Russian planes at that time.
Georgia’s Foreign Ministry delivered a note of protest to the Russian Foreign Ministry Wednesday claiming Georgian airspace had been violated from Russia the day before. Russia has denied the claim.
Georgia has also accused the Russian Air Force of violating its airspace and dropping a missile on a village August 6, a claim Russia has also denied.
19:37 22/08/2007 Russia denies violating Georgian airspace August 21 - 1
21:04 21/08/2007 Foreign experts back Georgia’s claim in missile spat with Russia
15:09 17/08/2007 Russian experts say evidence in Georgia incident fabricated
10:43 17/08/2007 Russia blocks UN statement on missile incident with Georgia
Is Castro dead (again)? Fausta Wertz, PJMs resident Caribbean expert, has been monitoring Cuban radio and writes: This week has been abuzz with rumors regarding Fidel Castro. Over the past eight days dozens of people have told me that the announcement of Castros death is imminent. Even the headline at Drudge Report today had Castro Rumors Fill Miami, with a link to NBC6, South Floridas NBC affiliate, quoting the Cuban foreign minister, who insists that rumors about Fidel Castros deteriorating health are untrue. (art by Cox & Forkum)
The reality of the situation is its unreality.
Is Castro dead? Until the Cuban government makes an official announcement, there is no way of knowing for sure.
The Cuban government, however, has very little to gain and a lot to lose if and when they make an official announcement.
Fidel Castro has cultivated a cult of personality that spans two centuries and five decades. At the present time there is no one Cuban political figure that would be able to hold the country together. Even today the Cuban foreign minister asserted that 81-year-old Castro was still in charge and was being informed and consulted constantly, because Castro is the end-all of all power.
Throughout the past year the world has been treated to a series of videos and photos showing the ailing Castro wearing a jogging suit while entertaining visiting dignitaries, most prominently his disciple Hugo Chavez. Chavez, who is providing Cuba 80,000 barrels of oil daily, always returns from these trips exulting about how well Fidel is recovering.
After each of these, the Cuban governments newspaper, Granma, repeats the same carefully crafted message the Cuban people have been hearing for nearly fifty years: to continue the struggle, to strive for the impossible. The US is a decaying empire that threatens us all. It also reminds Cubans that they too, should endure their sorrows sorrows inflicted by Castros own dictatorship without complaint. The bottom line of the message is, Nothing is ever going to change.
But the reality is that things will change, and will change rapidly immediately following the news of the death. Everything, from large-scale civil upheaval from a people long-oppressed by a cruel government, to a large number of exiled Cubans seeking to reunite with their relatives by bringing them to the USA, to a total collapse of Cuban society, can not be dismissed as a possibility.
The existing Cuban power structure will collapse.
When Castro dies, will the Cuban government release the information at the time of the death? That is very unlikely. Even with all the behind-the-scenes preparations that may or may not have taken place over the past twelve months, there will be a delay because those in power will try to hold on to power for as long as they possibly can.
So the question is, for how long will the news of Castros death be delayed?
Man arrested after firing rifle at vehicles
Posted on Sat, Aug. 25, 2007
Digg del.icio.us AIM print email
The Associated Press
HAINES CITY, Fla. —
A man was arrested early Saturday after shooting at three vehicles and injuring two people, police said.
Officers responded to the shooting and found the man standing on the side of the road holding a MAK-90 automatic rifle, according to a Haines City Police report. The man gave officers three different names, so the officers listed him as a John Doe, according to the report.
Witnesses told the officers that the man shot at three different vehicles, hitting each of them several times.
Adeline Paradiso was seriously injured from a gunshot wound to the leg, according to the report. She was taken to the Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center and was expected to recover. Another victim received minor injuries from shattered glass.
The man was transported to the Polk County Jail. He was charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder, three counts of resisting arrest without violence and one count of aggravated assault.
A telephone message left with the jail’s public information officer was not immediately returned.
Affidavit: Tampa man threatened to shoot Bush
Posted on Sat, Aug. 25, 2007
Digg del.icio.us AIM reprint print email
TAMPA, Fla. —
(AP) — A mentally ill homeless man has been charged with threatening to shoot President Bush.
Secret Service agents were called to the psychiatric unit of St. Joseph’s Hospital, where Timothy Wade Pinkston, 47, had been taken on an involuntary commitment order.
Pinkston told hospital staff that he planned to go to Washington and shoot the president. When Secret Service agents arrived to interview him, he repeated the threat, saying he doesn’t like the president’s foreign policy or his handling of the war in Iraq, according to an affidavit filed by the Secret Service in U.S. District Court.
Pinkston was charged Friday with threatening the president, a federal crime.
According to the affidavit, he was previously charged with threatening the president in 1991, and also sent threatening letters to the governor of Georgia.
Information from: The Tampa Tribune, http://www.tampatrib.com
CK: Meeting on Anna Politkovskaya’s birthday sanctioned in Moscow
Meeting on Anna Politkovskaya’s birthday sanctioned in Moscow
The Moscow’s Mayoralty has sanctioned a meeting on August 30 in
Russian capital dedicated to the 49th birthday of Anna Politkovskaya,
which falls on this day. The “Caucasian Knot” correspondent has learnt
about it from Andrei Nalyotov, an activist of the Committee of Antiwar
Actions and member of the Movement “For Human Rights,” who is
responsible for the action.
The meeting will take place on August 30, 2007, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
in the Novopushkinskiy Mini-Park.
The organizers of the action are inviting organizations and
individuals willing to take part in preparation of the meeting to join
the organizing committee for cooperation and to broadly disseminate
the information about the time and place of the action in memory of
The nearest session of the organizing committee is planned for Monday,
August 27. To contact the committee, one should call the Movement “For
Human Rights” by telephones 202-22-24 and 291-62-33, or by E-mail to
the Antiwar Club: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Vyacheslav Feraposhkin, CK correspondent
worldnetdaily ^ | September 2, 2003 | Dennis Prager
Posted on 08/25/2007 8:55:21 AM PDT by Exton1
By Dennis Prager - September 2, 2003 -© 2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
Europe has given the world Marxism, communism, fascism, Nazism, racism and socialism, all rotten ideas that have caused immeasurable human suffering. But for Europeans and their ideological twins on the American left and at universities, ideas are not judged by their ability to ameliorate human suffering or reduce evil, but by their complexity and apparent profundity. An idea is not good because it produces good that’s unromantic American pragmatism it is good because it sounds good.
First, the socialist mind loathes work.
Second, socialism values equality more than liberty.
Third, socialism teaches you to avoid taking care of other people.
Fourth, as a result of this socialist mindset, people in socialist countries give little charity
Fifth, the larger the state, the more callous it becomes.
(Excerpt) Read more at worldnetdaily.com ...
Hitler was a socialist
johnjayray.tripod.com ^ | John J. Ray
Posted on 08/25/2007 9:37:52 AM PDT by Renfield
There is surely no doubt that the man Feser describes sounds very much like a mainstream Leftist by current standards. But who is the man concerned? It is a historically accurate description of Adolf Hitler. Hitler was not only a socialist in his own day but he would even be a mainstream socialist in MOST ways today. Feser does not mention Hitler’s antisemitism above, of course, but that too seems once again to have become mainstream among the Western-world Left in the early years of the 21st century. See here for more on that.
One way in which Hitler was unlike modern American Leftist political leaders, however, is that he was to a considerable extent a genuine man of culture. The photo below shows him in white tie and tails attending the Wagner opera festival at Bayreuth in 1939. There is no doubt of his real devotion to opera — and indeed to classical music generally. Any claim that a devotion to high culture is especially virtuous does therefore tend to be undermined by Hitler’s example — if that is not too ad hominem.
(Excerpt) Read more at jonjayray.tripod.com ...
[Very interesting comments]
SABOTAGE: Rowan Scarborough Talks About his New CIA Book
Human Events ^ | 07/16/2007 | Jeff Babbin
Posted on 08/25/2007 9:59:33 AM PDT by ChessExpert
RS: Well, about three years ago John McCain became probably the first politician who declared the CIA a ‘rogue agency.’ And it is because inside the CIA, the bureaucracy at Langley had a priority of leaking and stopping Bush administration programs, rather than following the policy directives of the White House. And weve seen that in countless leaks about terrorist surveillance programs, the prisons where they were trying to interrogate top-ranking al Qaeda prisoners, in station reports from Baghdad. When Porter Goss took over the CIA in 2004, really trying to reform it, what happened? He died by a million leaks. It was a cut every day, until Porter Goss by 2006 actually was forced out.
JB: The picture you paint of the CIA is that its pretty much like a liberal college campus. Is that an apt analogy?
RS: Thats how people in the White House look at CIA headquarters in Langley.
(Excerpt) Read more at humanevents.com ...
Yes, OSS Was Riddled With Communists
Human Events Online ^ | 07/23/2007 | Mark LaRochelle
Posted on 08/25/2007 10:33:36 AM PDT by ChessExpert
... Lt. Col. Duncan Chaplin Lee was confidential assistant to Gen. Donovan from 1942-46. ... The sad truth, however, is that Lee was just one of many identified Soviet agents in the OSS. Others, as we now know from numerous impeccable sources, included Maurice Halperin, Carl Marzani, Franz Neumann, Helen Tenney, Julius and Bella Joseph and Lees Oxford classmate, Donald Niven Wheeler.
(Excerpt) Read more at humanevents.com ...
Secrets behind state institutions (Eugenics)
AuburnPub ^ | 8/14/07 | Amanda Derby
Posted on 08/25/2007 11:18:39 AM PDT by wagglebee
Execution, body dumping site found south of Baghdad (Red Crescent building involved in terror)
cnn ^ | 8/24/2007 | cnn
Posted on 08/25/2007 11:25:14 AM PDT by tobyhill
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — The U.S. military on Saturday said coalition forces south of Baghdad found a site where people were executed and bodies dumped.
At least 34 people killed in blasts in Hyderabad [TERRORISM IN INDIA]
Reuters ^ | 08/25/07 | Reuters staff
Posted on 08/25/2007 11:05:21 AM PDT by Enchante
HYDERABAD, India (Reuters) - Three explosions within minutes, one at a street-side food stall and two in an amusement park, killed at least 34 people in Hyderabad on Saturday, police and officials said.
More than 50 people were wounded in the blasts in a city with a history of communal violence, and where nearly a dozen people were killed when a mosque was bombed in May.
Officials said at least one of Saturday evening’s blasts was likely to have been a bomb.
Chicken Hawks for Casey. NAMBLA backing?
Vanity | Ditto
Posted on 10/23/2006 8:04:22 PM PDT by Ditto
For those who do not know the “older definition” of the term ‘Chicken Hawk,’ it was at one time the term for homosexuals who had a penchant for young, (underage) boys.
Live By Macaca, Die By NAMBLA
The Ward View (and others) ^ | Saturday, August 24, 2007 | Old Dominion Blog Alliance
Posted on 08/25/2007 12:49:04 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands
RELEASED TO THE MEDIA, SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 2007
Live By Macaca, Die By NAMBLA
Top Virginia Democratic Strategist Linked To Pedophile Web Site
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.