[Poland dodges Euro and breaks free from IMF strong-arming, making it key impediment to the Empire's plans, not to Russia's. It seems that our would-be masters feel free to murder entire governments, if they are resistant.]
The central bank said it could instead provide the IMF with a loan to “help other countries overcome the effects of the global crisis.“
WARSAW, March 29, 2010 (AFP) – Poland’s economy is stable and no longer needs its 21.8-billion dollar (16.2-billion euro) credit line from the International Monetary Fund, the Polish central bank said on Monday.
“The situation with the Polish economy and the financial system is sufficiently good … that it is not necessary to ask the IMF for a further extension of the flexible credit line,” the bank said in a statement.
The central bank said it could instead provide the IMF with a loan to “help other countries overcome the effects of the global crisis.”
The finance ministry, however, insisted it still wanted to have a reserve at hand if the economy ran into fresh headwinds.
“We are expecting a good deal of shocks in the coming months … There is still a necessity to ensure that Poland has a supplementary reserve,” Deputy Finance Minister Dominik Radziwill said in a statement.
The credit line for Poland was approved in May 2009 and extended for six months in November 2009. It was intended to reassure investors and allow Poland to access credit easily if it needed it, which ultimately it did not.
The announcement came during a visit to Warsaw by the head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Poland was the only member of the 27-nation European Union to have experienced growth in 2009 and the IMF this month forecast that its economy will expand by 2.75 percent this year and by 3.25 percent in 2011.
Poland is a former communist-ruled country that joined the EU in 2004.
The IMF introduced the new system of flexible credit lines in 2009 as a safeguard against external shocks during the global economic crisis. Poland and Mexico both secured credit lines under this scheme whilst other countries needed loan arrangements.
["You will be on your own." Obama.]
President Obama told delegates from 47 nations at the Nuclear Security Summit on Tuesday that it would be a “catastrophe for the world” if al-Qaeda or another terrorist group got a nuclear device, because so many lives would be lost and it would be so hard to mitigate damage from the blast.
A 10-kiloton nuclear explosion would level buildings within half a mile of ground zero, generate 900-mph winds, bathe the landscape with radiation and produce a plume of fallout that would drift for hundreds of miles, the guide says. It was posted on the Internet and sent to local officials.
The document is designed to help local officials craft plans for responding to a nuclear blast. The prospect is anything but far-fetched, says Rick Nelson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Do I think in my lifetime I’ll see the detonation of a nuclear device? I do.”
One challenge he says, will be to persuade survivors to stay indoors, shielded from dangerous radiation until they’re given the all-clear or told to evacuate. “In all likelihood, families will be separated,” he says. “It’s going to be scary to sit tight, though it’s the right thing to do.”
The government’s planning scenarios envision a terrorist strike in an urban area with a 10-kiloton device, slightly smaller than the roughly 15-kiloton Hiroshima bomb. A 10-kiloton device packs the punch of 10,000 tons of TNT.
The chaos that would inevitably follow such a blast would make it difficult for the federal government to react quickly. “Emergency response is principally a local function,” the document says, though “federal assistance will be mobilized as rapidly as possible.”
The Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation was developed by a task force headed by the White House Homeland Security Council. It was circulated to state and local government officials and first responders in January 2009.
The report has never been formally released to the public, White House spokesman Nick Shapiro says.
It offers practical guidance to first responders and advice on radiation measurement and decontamination.
Disaster experts say local governments aren’t prepared for a nuclear attack. “There isn’t a single American city, in my estimation, that has sufficient plans for a nuclear terrorist event,” says Irwin Redlener of Columbia University‘s Mailman School of Public Health.
The message for families is simple, he says: Stay put. Wait for instructions. If you’ve been outside, dust off, change, shower. “What citizens need to know fits on a wallet-sized card,” Redlener says. “A limited amount of information would save tens of thousands of people.”
Posted on Tuesday, April 13 @ 13:42:37 CDT by david
SOURCE: INFORMAZIONESCORRETTA (BLOG)
On the Polish front, we point out this interesting speech not signed by the comments
Friday three of the dead had decided to devalue the zloty heavily to combat the crisis by focusing on exports. Poland, in fact, has become a strong exporter, gradually the countries that are around have adopted the euro.
Such a devaluation of course means a delay in the entrance into the euro (feared, input from Kaczynski but strongly backed by Tusk).
Right now they are emptying the archives of the Institute for National Memory (wanted by twins (Kaczynski, prime minister and president respectively, NDFC)), who had published important papers on the communist period and the mysterious transition occurred after 89.
President of the accident died.
died in the accident also an important member of the Anti-Corruption Commission, appointed by the twins.
Tusk’s government ministers had at least 5 episodes of heavy investigation for corruption.
Tusk’s party now has a majority.
Tusk had ordered several times to replace the current military leadership, chosen by the twins, with old military communists. The president has always blocked these appointments. The current general died in the accident.
Tusk now can do what he always wanted and could never achieve because of Kaczynski’s veto.
But if you say Tusk has something to do I laugh. Tusk is a puppet. Two days a week does not work because I play football with friends. More than once the parliament was closed because there were no bills to be discussed.
you know who has assumed the powers (large) of the president? Bronislaw Gomorowski . Never heard of, eh?
Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry changed his mind and confirms that Bakiyev was no longer in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has left the territory of Kyrgyzstan as a result of joint negotiations between the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President Barack Obama and President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev and Kyrgyz interim government, according to the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.
“As a result of joint efforts of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President Barack Obama and President of the Russian Federation, Dmitri Medvedev, as well as the active mediation of the OSCE Action, the UN and the EU reached an agreement with the Provisional Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the President Bakiev KS on him from leaving the country, “- said in a statement acting OSCE Chairman, the Secretary of State – Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kanat Saudabayev.
The report notes that at present Bakiyev has left the territory of Kyrgyzstan.
“This was an important step towards resolving the situation in the country and its return to the legal field, preventing civil war” – the document says.
“In the interest of the people of Kyrgyzstan, we call upon all political forces for the early achievement of stability, restoration of public order and the rule of law, to address the most pressing socio-economic problems – Saudabayev said in a statement.
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is ready to continue to provide necessary assistance to the early exit of the Kyrgyz Republic from a political crisis and further peaceful democratic development.
|Source - IA News-Kazakhstan
Permanent address article - http://www.centrasia.ru/newsA.php?st=1271342820
by F. William Engdahl*
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Obama Presidential agenda is how little anyone has questioned in the media or elsewhere why at all the United States Pentagon is committed to a military occupation ofAfghanistan. There are two basic reasons, neither one of which can be admitted openly to the public at large.
Behind all the deceptive official debate over how many troops are needed to “win” the war in Afghanistan, whether another 30,000 is sufficient, or whether at least 200,000 are needed, the real purpose of US military presence in that pivotal Central Asian country is obscured.
Even during the 2008 Presidential campaign candidate Obama argued that Afghanistan not Iraq was where the US must wage war. His reason? Because he claimed, that was where the Al Qaeda organization was holed up and that was the “real” threat to US national security. The reasons behind US involvement in Afghanistan is quite another one.
The US military is in Afghanistan for two reasons. First to restore and control the world’s largest supply of opium for the world heroin markets and to use the drugs as a geopolitical weapon against opponents, especially Russia. That control of the Afghan drug market is essential for the liquidity of the bankrupt and corrupt Wall Street financial mafia.
Geopolitics of Afghan Opium
According even to an official UN report, opium production inAfghanistan has risen dramatically since the downfall of theTaliban in 2001. UNODC data shows more opium poppy cultivation in each of the past four growing seasons (2004-2007), than in any one year during Taliban rule. More land is now used for opium in Afghanistan, than for coca cultivation in Latin America. In 2007, 93% of the opiates on the world market originated in Afghanistan. This is no accident.
It has been documented that Washington hand-picked the controversial Hamid Karzai, a Pashtun warlord from the Popalzai tribe, long in the CIA’s service, brought him back from exile in the USA, created a Hollywood mythology around his “courageous leadership of his people.” According to Afghan sources, Karzai is the Opium “Godfather” of Afghanistan today. There is apparently no accident that he was and is today still Washington’s preferred man in Kabul. Yet even with massive vote buying and fraud and intimidation, Karzai’s days could be ending as President.
The second reason the US military remains in Afghanistan long after the world has forgotten even who the mysterious Osama bin Laden and his alleged Al Qaeda terrorist organization is or even if they exist, is as a pretext to build a permanent US military strike force with a series of permanent US airbases across Afghanistan. The aim of those bases is not to eradicate any Al Qaeda cells that may have survived in the caves of Tora Bora, or to eradicate a mythical “Taliban” which at this point according to eyewitness reports is made up overwhelmingly of local ordinary Afghanis fighting to rid their land once more of occupier armies as they did in the 11980’s against theRussians.
The aim of the US bases in Afghanistan is to target and be able to strike at the two nations which today represent the only combined threat in the world today to an American global imperium, to America’s Full Spectrum Dominance as the Pentagon terms it.
The lost ‘Mandate of Heaven’
The problem for the US power elites around Wall Street and in Washington is the fact that they are now in the deepest financial crisis in their history. That crisis is clear to the entire world and the world is acting on a basis of self-survival. The US elites have lost what in Chinese imperial history is known as the Mandate of Heaven. That mandate is given a ruler or ruling elite provided they rule their people justly and fairly. When they rule tyrannically and as despots, oppressing and abusing their people, they lose that Mandate of Heaven.
If the powerful private wealthy elites that have controlled essential US financial and foreign policy for most of the past century or more ever had a “mandate of Heaven” they clearly have lost it. The domestic developments towards creation of an abusive police state with deprivation of Constitutional rights to its citizens, the arbitrary exercise of power by non elected officials such as Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and now Tim Geithner, stealing trillion dollar sums from taxpayers without their consent in order to bailout the bankrupt biggest Wall Street banks, banks deemed “Too Big To Fail,” this all demonstrates to the world they have lost the mandate
In this situation, the US power elites are increasingly desperate to maintain their control of a global parasitical empire, called deceptively by their media machine, “globalization.” To hold that dominance it is essential that they be able to break up any emerging cooperation in the economic, energy or military realm between the two major powers of Eurasia that conceivably could pose a challenge to future US sole Superpower control—China in combination with Russia.
Each Eurasian power brings to the table essential contributions. China has the world’s most robust economy, a huge young and dynamic workforce, an educated middle class.Russia, whose economy has not recovered from the destructive end of the Soviet era and of the primitive looting during the Yeltsin era, still holds essential assets for the combination. Russia’s nuclear strike force and its military pose the only threat in the world today to US military dominance, even if it is largely a residue of the Cold War. The Russianmilitary elites never gave up that potential.
As well Russia holds the world’s largest treasure of natural gas and vast reserves of oil urgently needed by China. The two powers are increasingly converging via a new organizationthey created in 2001 known as the Shanghai CooperationOrganization (SCO). That includes as well as China and Russia, the largest Central Asia states Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
The purpose of the alleged US war against both Taliban and Al Qaeda is in reality to place its military strike force directly in the middle of the geographical space of this emerging SCO in Central Asia. Iran is a diversion. The main goal or target isRussia and China.
Officially, of course, Washington claims it has built its military presence inside Afghanistan since 2002 in order to protect a “fragile” Afghan democracy. It’s a curious argument given the reality of US military presence there.
In December 2004, during a visit to Kabul, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld finalized plans to build nine new bases in Afghanistan in the provinces of Helmand, Herat, Nimrouz, Balkh, Khost and Paktia. The nine are in addition to the three major US military bases already installed in the wake of its occupation of Afghanistan in winter of 2001-2002, ostensibly to isolate and eliminate the terror threat of Osama bin Laden.
The Pentagon built its first three bases at Bagram Air Field north of Kabul, the US’ main military logistics center; Kandahar Air Field, in southern Afghanistan; and Shindand Air Field in the western province of Herat. Shindand, the largest US base inAfghanistan, was constructed a mere 100 kilometers from the border of Iran, and within striking distance of Russia as well asChina.
Afghanistan has historically been the heartland for the British-Russia Great Game, the struggle for control of Central Asia during the 19th and early 20th Centuries. British strategy then was to prevent Russia at all costs from controllingAfghanistan and thereby threatening Britain’s imperial crown jewel, India.
Afghanistan is similarly regarded by Pentagon planners as highly strategic. It is a platform from which US military power could directly threaten Russia and China, as well as Iran and other oil-rich Middle East lands. Little has changed geopolitically over more than a century of wars.
Afghanistan is in an extremely vital location, straddling South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Afghanistan also lies along a proposed oil pipeline route from the Caspian Sea oil fields to the Indian Ocean, where the US oil company, Unocal, along with Enron and Cheney’s Halliburton, had been in negotiations for exclusive pipeline rights to bring natural gas from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan and Pakistan to Enron’s huge natural gas power plant at Dabhol near Mumbai. Karzai, before becoming puppet US president, had been a Unocal lobbyist.
Al Qaeda doesn’t exist as a threat
The truth of all this deception around the real purpose inAfghanistan becomes clear on a closer look at the alleged “Al Qaeda” threat in Afghanistan. According to author Erik Margolis, prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks, US intelligence was giving aid and support both to the Taliban and to Al Qaeda. Margolis claims that “The CIA was planning to use Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda to stir up Muslim Uighurs against Chinese rule, and Taliban against Russia’s Central Asian allies.”  The US clearly found other means of stirring up Muslim Uighurs against Beijing last July via its support for the World Uighur Congress. But the Al Qaeda “threat” remains the lynchpin of Obama US justification for his Afghan war buildup.
Now, however, the National Security Adviser to President Obama, former Marine Gen. James Jones has made a statement, conveniently buried by the friendly US media, about the estimated size of the present Al Qaeda danger inAfghanistan. Jones told Congress, “The al-Qaeda presence is very diminished. The maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country, no bases, no ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies.”
That means that Al-Qaeda, for all practical purposes, does not exist in Afghanistan. Oops…
Even in neighboring Pakistan, the remnants of Al-Qaeda are scarcely to be found. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Hunted by US drones, beset by money problems and finding it tougher to lure young Arabs to the bleak mountains of Pakistan, al Qaeda is seeing its role shrink there and in Afghanistan, according to intelligence reports and Pakistan and U.S. officials. For Arab youths who are al Qaeda’s primary recruits, ‘it’s not romantic to be cold and hungry and hiding,’ said a senior U.S. official in South Asia.”
If we follow the statement to its logical consequence we must conclude then that the reason German soldiers are dying along with other NATO youth in the mountains of Afghanistan has nothing to do with “winning a war against terrorism.” Conveniently most media chooses to forget the fact that Al Qaeda to the extent it ever existed, was a creation in the 1980’s of the CIA, who recruited and trained radical muslims from across the Islamic world to wage war against Russiantroops in Afghanistan as part of a strategy developed by Reagan’s CIA head Bill Casey and others to create a “new Vietnam” for the Soviet Union which would lead to a humiliating defeat for the Red Army and the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union.
Now US NSC head Jones admits there is essentially no Al Qaeda anymore in Afghanistan. Perhaps it is time for a more honest debate from our political leaders about the true purpose of sending more young to die protecting the opium harvests of Afghanistan.
 Washington is Playing a Deeper Game with China, by F. William Engdahl, Voltaire Network; 13 July 2009.
The news out of Kyrgyzstan this week has been that a popular uprising has overthrown the government President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, five years after the so-called Tulip revolution that propelled him to power in this small mountainous country of around five million people.
At least 75 people have been killed and more than 1,400 injured during public protests in Kyrgyzstan. The opposition formed a provisional government and claimed it had the support of the country’s armed forces, border guards and police.
This may appear to be a comparatively minor event on the global stage, but in reality it is a significant development in geopolitics and a very risky tactical ploy by the Obama administration in Washington.
Today the BBC are reporting events in Kyrgyzstan and quotes ousted President Bakiyev saying that his life is in danger in the country and the opposition forces that have taken over the government want to kick out the US military base at Manas.
It is possible that some of the opposition forces that deposed Bakiyev who came to power in 2005 do indeed want to get rid of the US military presence in their country, but so did the now deposed Kyrgyz government until it was bribed to change its mind.
In February of 2009 the Kyrgyz government announced that it was evicting U.S. and NATO forces from its country, but relented in June when Washington offered it $60 million to reverse its decision.
As Rick Rozoff has pointed out in a recent Global Research article (April 8, 2010):-
The Pentagon secured the Manas Air Base (as of last year known as the Transit Center at Manas) in Kyrgyzstan shortly after its invasion of Afghanistan in October of 2001 and in the interim, according to a U.S. armed forces publication last June, “More than 170,000 coalition personnel passed through the base on their way in or out of Afghanistan, and Manas was the transit point for 5,000 tons of cargo, including spare parts and equipment, uniforms and various items to support personnel and mission needs.
Manas was one of the many entirely intentional results of the 11 September 2001 false flag attacks in the United States.
“Currently, around 1,000 U.S. troops, along with a few hundred from Spain and France, are assigned to the base.”
In time honoured tradition Washington has propped up a corrupt, brutal mafia type dynasty in Kyrgyzstan, just like they have in many other places all around the world and like in many of those places, when these gangster regimes become dispensable, the US has attempted to ensure that they are dispensed with in ways- not detrimental to America’s interests in the region.
At least 75 people have been killed and more than 1,400 injured during public protests in Kyrgyzstan.
The opposition has now formed a provisional government in the country.
The protests began in the northwestern Kyrgyz town of Talas on Tuesday and spread to other regions of the country, including the capital Bishkek, on Wednesday.
The US “Transit Center” at Manas is a major conduit for NATO operations in Afghanistan.
This is a very big deal indeed.
The White House’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, the ‘Angel of Death’ Richard Holbrooke paid his first visit in his current position to Kyrgyzstan - and the three other former Soviet Central Asian republics which border it, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – in February and said “35,000 US troops were transiting each month on their way in and out of Afghanistan.”
Holbrooke, Peace Corps representative and investment banker extraordinaire has been a NATO prime mover under Clinton in the former Yugoslavia, then later in Iraq and as US ambassador to the UN.
He has the blood of tens of thousands of innocent victims of US imperialism on his hands and is a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a leading ‘bankster’, a civilian war criminal (is a reasonable description of him I think) and of course he is an apologist for NATOs historic and ongoing crimes against humanity.
According to Mr Holbrooke’s own claims, it equates to 420,000 American troops annually passing through tiny Kyrgyzstan.
This is I think a sobering thought when we consider that Kyrgystan borders China and has a strategically crucial position in close proximity to Russia, the other Stans and also Iran.
It is interesting to consider the impact of this frenzied throughput of the NATO war machine on that small country and to try to imagine how a similar situation would play out, if it were to have an equivalent in the NATO sphere of influence.
What for example would US citizens feel about 35,000 Chinese or Russian troops every month passing with their hardwear through Mexico City or Havana on their way to occupy Bolivia one wonders?
This is how it would look if the jackboot were on the other foot so to speak, but it isn’t because there is only one neo-imperialist occupation force in the the world and that is the disreputable axis of military aggression and neo-colonialism that is NATO.
Given the abuse of power of the Bakiyev regime and militarisation of little Kyrgzygstan by America and its allies (Germany maintains a military base in neighbouring Uzbek city of Termez) the overthrow of the government is neither surprising nor necessarilly unwelcome.
The Kyrgyzs have been stitched up by NATO warlords with no benefit to anyone except the criminal cartel that has been propped up by Washington to run the place according to its will.
However the CIA giveth and the CIA taketh away.
The political actor that appears to have emerged from this uprising as the probable new head of state is former foreign minister and CIA asset Roza Otunbayeva.
According to an article in Der Spiegel (April 4, 2005) as early as February 2005,” Roza Otunbayeva – now the apparent head of the provisional government – “pledged allegiance to a small group of partners and sponsors of the Kyrgyz revolution, to ‘our American friends’ at Freedom House (who donated a printing press in Bishkek to the opposition). …
“Trying to help the democratic process, the Americans poured some $12 million into Kyrgyzstan in the form of scholarships and donations – and that was last year alone. Washington’s State Department even funded TV station equipment in the rebellious southern province town of Osh.”
Clearly the CIA are interfering in the internal affairs of Kyrgyzstan again just as they had done in 2005 when Washington orchestrated the Tulip Revolution in the country as one of the US backed ‘colour revolutions’ that took place across various territories of the former Soviet Union between 2000 and 2005.
With Roza Otunbayeva as chief spokesperson if not head of a new Kyrgyz “people’s government,” there is reason to believe that Washington will not be dissatisfied with the overthrow of her former “tulip” partner Bakiyev. She has already confirmed that the American base at Manas will not be closed.
The question for Washington now is can Otunbayeva really deliver as further unrest threatens to spread through other former Soviet states (Georgia in particular)?
There are a complexity of political interests currently at play in Kyrgyzstan that carry strategic implications that go far beyond the small central Asian republic.
The US/NATO military strategy of ‘full spectrum dominance’ and the aim to surround Russia and China by military bases is facing a major test here in Kyrgyzstan.
For more information on US foreign policy and its military doctrine please seehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full-spectrum_dominance
The direction of the Kyrgyz opposition with regard to the continued use of Manas by the American military is a decisive factor in the NATO occupation of Afghanistan.
The future power and influence of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) the intergovernmental mutual-security organisation which was founded in 2001 by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to resist aggressive NATO manoeuvring is also very much at stake in this geopolitically seismic region.
In the New Great Game that the business community and the political elite have pitched us all into as ever for their own acquisitive ends, the stakes have been raised in Eurasia.
This is what the US government and the politico-military game players in Brussels and across the NATO axis countries are up to on our taxes while our education, health and welfare services are staved of funding according to the IMF blueprint and its role in full spectrum dominance, the guiding principle of the White House and the Pentagon and precisely why the world is as fucked up as it is.
Russia has put its own air base in Kyrgyzstan on high alert, though comments from leading Russian government officials – Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in particular – indicate an acceptance of the uprising which is not entirely surprising I think.
Personally I will be supporting the political will of those in Kyrgyzstan who want to kick the Americans out of Manas, I feel much the same way about RAF Lakenheath here in England, and it could happen in Kyrgyzstan like it did when Uzbekistan ordered the USAF out in 2005.
All this could very easily affect U.S. and NATO plans for the largest military offensive of the Afghan war scheduled to begin in two months in Kandahar province.
This is the next phase in the US/NATO battle for Eurasia in the Pentagon megalomaniacal and deranged strategy to take over the entire world and own everything in it….. frankly I have to say I’m quite sick of it.
A cat can recognize a face faster and more efficiently than a supercomputer. That’s one reason a feline brain is the model for a biologically-inspired computer project involving the University of Michigan. (Credit: iStockphoto/Jonny Kristoffersson)
ScienceDaily (Apr. 15, 2010) — A cat can recognize a face faster and more efficiently than a supercomputer. That’s one reason a feline brain is the model for a biologically-inspired computer project involving the University of Michigan.
U-M computer engineer Wei Lu has taken a step toward developing this revolutionary type of machine that could be capable of learning and recognizing, as well as making more complex decisions and performing more tasks simultaneously than conventional computers can.Lu previously built a “memristor,” a device that replaces a traditional transistor and acts like a biological synapse, remembering past voltages it was subjected to. Now, he has demonstrated that this memristor can connect conventional circuits and support a process that is the basis for memory and learning in biological systems.
A paper on the research is published online in Nano Letters and is scheduled to appear in the forthcoming April edition of the journal.
“We are building a computer in the same way that nature builds a brain,” said Lu, an assistant professor in the U-M Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “The idea is to use a completely different paradigm compared to conventional computers. The cat brain sets a realistic goal because it is much simpler than a human brain but still extremely difficult to replicate in complexity and efficiency.”
Today’s most sophisticated supercomputer can accomplish certain tasks with the brain functionality of a cat, but it’s a massive machine with more than 140,000 central processing units and a dedicated power supply. And it still performs 83 times slower than a cat’s brain, Lu wrote in his paper.
In a mammal’s brain, neurons are connected to each other by synapses, which act as reconfigurable switches that can form pathways linking thousands of neurons. Most importantly, synapses remember these pathways based on the strength and timing of electrical signals generated by the neurons.
In a conventional computer, logic and memory functions are located at different parts of the circuit and each computing unit is only connected to a handful of neighbors in the circuit. As a result, conventional computers execute code in a linear fashion, line by line, Lu said. They are excellent at performing relatively simple tasks with limited variables.
But a brain can perform many operations simultaneously, or in parallel. That’s how we can recognize a face in an instant, but even a supercomputer would take much, much longer and consume much more energy in doing so.
So far, Lu has connected two electronic circuits with one memristor. He has demonstrated that this system is capable of a memory and learning process called “spike timing dependent plasticity.” This type of plasticity refers to the ability of connections between neurons to become stronger based on when they are stimulated in relation to each other. Spike timing dependent plasticity is thought to be the basis for memory and learning in mammalian brains.
“We show that we can use voltage timing to gradually increase or decrease the electrical conductance in this memristor-based system. In our brains, similar changes in synapse conductance essentially give rise to long term memory,” Lu said.
The next step is to build a larger system, Lu said. His goal is achieve the sophistication of a supercomputer in a machine the size of a two-liter beverage container. That could be several years away.
Lu said an electronic analog of a cat brain would be able to think intelligently at the cat level. For example, if the task were to find the shortest route from the front door to the sofa in a house full of furniture, and the computer knows only the shape of the sofa, a conventional machine could accomplish this. But if you moved the sofa, it wouldn’t realize the adjustment and find a new path. That’s what engineers hope the cat brain computer would be capable of. The project’s major funder, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, isn’t interested in sofas. But this illustrates the type of learning the machine is being designed for.
The research is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation. The work was performed in the U-M Lurie Nanofabrication Facility.
KOLKATA: Accusing the Centre of waging war against the “poorest people,” under the pretext of fighting Maoists in the mining belt, with the purpose of creating a “good investment climate,” author and social rights activist Arundhati Roy on Wednesday said creation of an atmosphere conductive to negotiations between the government and left-wing extremists was the only way out of the ongoing violence in the red corridor of India.
Addressing a press conference here, Ms. Roy said: “Let the State governments make public the terms of the hundreds of memorandums of understanding signed with corporate houses, rehabilitate the thousands of people displaced by the violence perpetrated by the security forces and the Salwa Judum [state-backed vigilantes in Chhattisgarh] and also restore a sense of confidence among the tribal population about their positive intentions. That is the only way out.”
Reacting angrily to questions why she did not condemn Maoists for the April 6 massacre of 76 CRPF jawans in Dantewada in Chhattisgarh, she said the “condemnation industry is a hollow and cynical industry where people do not care about the people killed.”
Claiming that most people were living under an “undeclared emergency,” Ms. Roy said: “I feel that every single death, whether that of a police or Maoist or an Adivasi, is a terrible tragedy. The system of violence imposed on us in the structural process is increasingly becoming a war between the rich and the poor. I condemn the system of militarisation of people that sets the poor against the poor.”
Though she admitted that several Maoist crimes could not be justified and deprivation did not validate violence, Ms. Roy said ‘violence of resistance’ could not be condemned when hundreds of Central forces cordon off tribal villages — killing and raping people with impunity.
Saying she did not have the skills for mediating between the Centre and the rebels, Ms. Roy added that her message to the Maoists was they should not dominate the cause of the tribal population for motives of their own in the future.
That 99.9 per cent of the Maoists were tribal people was “a coincidence of political aims,” she said.
The practice of both the tribal population and Maoist ideologues using each other had its roots in their loss of faith in institutional democracy.
Asked whether the blowing up of schools by the Maoists, on the pretext that the security forces could use them as camps, could be justified, Ms. Roy said: “Wherever there is a guerrilla warfare going on, schools are used as barracks. Those schools were not functioning anyway as teachers did not attend. The Maoists, however, welcome the teachers.”
The April revolution and the overthrow of the regime of Kurmanbek Bakiyev in Kyrgyzstan is the last nail in the coffin of the United States’ plans to use the Afghan Northern Alliance as the stepping stone to Central Asia’s energy-rich states of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, and, ultimately, to Azerbaijan on the other side of the Caspian.
The energy resources of Central Asia were to be the “Golden Fleece” of the Pentagon’s mission in Afghanistan, the secret economic justification for a trillion dollars’ worth of war in a far-off land. April 8, 2010, saw the completion of Russia’s “counter-plan” of reasserting its influence in Eurasia and Central Asia. Borrowing a page from the United States’ preventive-war strategy, Vladimir Putin expediently reclaimed Central Asia while the US was still bogged down in Afghanistan. All Putin had to do was fight one quick war in Georgia in August 2008. The rest fell in line without firing further shots.
The emergence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia under Russian influence has already thwarted Western plans for building energy pipelines through the Black Sea to world markets, bypassing Russia. The subsequent end of US-assisted regimes in Ukraine and now Kyrgyzstan firmly re-establishes Russian hegemony in Central Asia. Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan cannot afford to ignore the neighbour “God has given” them (to borrow a popular local phrase). The Pentagon’s brutalities in Afghanistan have led Central Asian states back into Russia’s fold for comfort. The people of the region feel threatened by the US.
What factors allowed Russia to reconsolidate its position in Central Asia in such a short time? The answer lies in the paradox of the Pentagon’s obsession with Pakistani nukes which kept the US preoccupied with a long-drawn covert operation to destabilise Pakistan through Afghanistan. For this, the US turned its absolute military victory in Afghanistan into a hazardous occupying mission under the misnomer of “reconstruction,” during which Afghans were killed pointlessly and driven into Pakistan.
The US, inherently a free-market construct, is ill suited for supervision of a country’s economic reconstruction under government control. It therefore ended up mismanaging Afghanistan to epic proportions. With the rise of the inevitable national resistance in Afghanistan, the US was able to coerce Pakistan into carrying out military action against its own population because it harboured Afghan insurgents.
The Pentagon dubbed the Afghan national resistance as “Taliban resurgence,” a strategy that allowed the Americans to bully Pakistan on the one hand and, on the other, to get a public-relations cover to their massacre of Afghans. Pentagon’s press office fed the illusion that it was the “Taliban” which the Nato forces were killing in Afghanistan, not Afghans who oppose foreign occupation and a puppet regime.
If one were to believe the Pentagon’s press releases since October 2001, an average of nearly thirty “Taliban” are killed every day. This means that nearly 100,000 “Taliban” have been killed in the nearly nine years since the September 11 attacks, in addition to the ones killed during the first month of Operation Enduring Freedom (A). The Pentagon, typically, never released the exact number of Taliban casualties. Given the nature of carpet bombing, experts put the figure at between 50,000 and 100,000.
The same “Taliban” are now resurgent? The Taliban must have had a gigantic army at their disposal during their reign in Kabul.
The entire idea behind partnering with the Northern Alliance was to empower a community within Afghanistan which would facilitate the United States’ access to the Central Asian states. Soon after the US victory in Afghanistan, age-old formulas of social engineering were deployed in a multifaceted approach to give northern Afghans with an identity distinct from, and hostile to, the Pakhtuns. Books and movies of average quality were elevated to glorious heights in the media. For instance, the much publicised movie, The Kite Runner, portrays Pakhtuns as ignorant, arrogant, immoral, and brutal, as against peace-loving non-Pakhtun Afghans.
The term “Taliban” has become the Pentagon’s blanket term for describing the Afghan resistance to the occupying forces and a corrupt government sponsored by them. Riding the anti-Taliban horse, the US has managed to infiltrate every strategic nook and corner of Pakistan.
The United States’ “Taliban” resurgence in Afghanistan may end up becoming an actual Taliban ascendance in Pakistan. By persisting in the falsehood that it is fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and not winning, the US is lionising the very image of a movement it destroyed in 2001. What is worse, it is doing so in a country with 170 million people, 60 per cent of which constitute under-privileged and under-educated youth. The US is fighting a nationwide uprising against foreign domination in Afghanistan. The reason it is not winning is that no one can ever win in such a situation.
Hence, while the US is busy being a python eating its own tail in South Asia, Russia has utilised the time to regain strategic control of Central Asia. The Central Asian population has turned anti-US after watching American atrocities in Afghanistan for almost nine years. It was precisely the nature of US involvement in Afghanistan that led Uzbekistan to close the American military base at Karshi Khanabad in 2005. Washington’s subsequent “Surge for Peace” in Afghanistan was perceived as being so dangerous that it led the people of Kyrgyzstan to call for the closure of the US military base at Manas, despite the escalation of the yearly rent from $17 million to $60 million. While the popular sentiment was against Manas, Bakiyev agreed in early March to establish yet another base in Batkene, which became the catalyst for his overthrow on April 8.
Whether or not the US airbase in Kyrgyzstan at Manas stays open is now Putin’s decision. Chances are it will be packed off. The base was an irritant not only for Russia but for China as well. Merely 200 miles from the border with China’s westernmost province of Xinjiang, the Manas base puts China’s main nuclear testing facility at Lop Nor within easy reach of US air strikes. Even if it is allowed to operate for a limited period during the Afghan offensive, Putin will extract a diplomatic payment on the Nato front.
The United States’ options are limited. If it covertly organises a pro-Bakiyev camp in south Kyrgyzstan, it runs the risk of Russia and China covertly paying it back in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In addition, Russia can exercise its energy leverage in Europe. The EU imports 50 per cent of the energy it uses, 45 per cent of which comes from Russia. An American decision to continue to push into Kyrgyzstan will thus be an isolated and bad one.
If Washington wants to have a foothold in Central Asia, it will have to re-conceptualise its entire Central Asia policy, with greater emphasis on a diplomatic approach that takes into account the people of the area, rather than a military one. The main purpose behind the strategy of propelling the Northern Alliance has been defeated by Putin. The fire-breathing dragon, temporarily indisposed, is back to guarding the “Golden Fleece” of Central Asia.
Reportedly, in Kyrzygstan, the CIA toppled President Akayev in 2005, and President Bakiyev in 2010.
In 2009 the Kyrgyz government of Kurmanbek Bakiyevannounced that it was evicting US forces.
It changed its mind when the USA offered it $60 million to reverse its decision. (AARAN AARDVARK’S GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS – A Blink in the Eye …)
But the CIA may have lost trust in Bakiyev.
It is possible that the CIA used people power to topple Bakiyev in April 2010, and put Roza Otunbayeva into power.
On 13 April 2010, Kyrgyzstan’s interim leader, Roza Otunbayeva, told The Associated Press that her government will extend the lease allowing the U.S. to use the Manas air base after the current one-year deal expires in July 2010. (US: troops flights through Kyrgyzstan )
“With Roza Otunbayeva … there is reason to believe thatWashington will not be dissatisfied with the overthrow of her former ‘tulip’ partner Bakiyev.” (At the Geopolitical Crossroads of China and Russia: Kyrgyzstan And The Battle For Central Asia – by Rick Rozoff )
According to Der Spiegel, after the 2005 change of government: Roza Otunbayeva “pledged allegiance to a small group of partners and sponsors of the Kyrgyz revolution, to ‘our American friends’ at Freedom House…”
Kyrgyzstan by globevisions
The trouble in Afghanistan and in Kyrgyzstan has a lot to do with heroin, oil and ‘military bases which can be used against Russia and China and Iran’.
In February 2010, Iran captured Abdolmalek Rigi, the leader of the Moslem ‘terrorist group’, Jundallah.
Rigi confessed that the USA promised him military aid and funding for a war against Iran.
Rigi said of the Americans: “They told me that in Kyrgyzstan they have a base called Manas near Bishkek, and that a high-ranking person was coming to meet me…” (RIGI SAYS USA OFFERED AID FOR ATTACKS ON IRAN.)
Perhaps the main reson for having a US base in Kyrgyzstan, is to control China and Russia. (The geopolitics behind the phoney US war in Afghanistan [Voltaire])
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sees Kyrgyzstan as part of Russia’s sphere of influence.
Medvedev says the turmoil in Kyrkyzstan could result in a civil war and produce a “second Afghanistan.” (Top U.S. envoy in Kyrgyzstan for talks after revolt)
Allegedly, certain Jewish folks in Kyrgyzstan have had a lot of influence.Recent comments in Kyrgyzstan: “The Jews are Kaput. … The Jews are already gone.”
“Dirty Jews … have no place in Kyrgyzstan.” (Kyrgyz protester: “The Jews are Kaput”)
According to Twelthbough:
MGN is a powerful Kyrgyzstan conglomerate.
MGN stands for Maksim, Gurevich, Nadel.
In other words, the Kyrgyzstan president’s son, Gurevich the Kyrgyz Jewish banker, and Nadel the Russian Jewish oligarch.
Italian media reported on March 9 that a judge in Rome had issued an arrest warrant for Gurevich, who is accused of embezzling some $2.7 billion from divisions of Telecom Italia and the Fastweb telecom company between 2003 and 2006.
There are allegations including laundering money through fictitious companies set up in the UK, Switzerland, Panama and Luxembourg. (Excellent article at Russian Mafia.)
One of the people named in the warrant is Gennaro Mokbel.
Allegedly Mokbel used his contacts in the Calabrian mafia to elect his friend to the senate.
Mokbel has alleged relations to right-wing extremists including terrorists.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), founded in2001 by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, is the Russian-Chinese equivalent of NATO.
Reportedly, in 2005, the USA helped topple Kyrgyzstan’s president Akayev.
Akayev was replaced by Kurmanbek Bakiyev who was then ‘toppled’ in April 2010.
John Laughland, in the Guardian April 1, 2005, wrote about US-backed coups in the former USSR and the mythology of people power.
Former President Askar Akayev of Kyrgyzstan has attacked:
1. The “prevailing influence” of the US in the “anti-constitutional coup” which overthrew him.
2. Those who are stirring up trouble in the drug-riddenFerghana Valley.
3. The criminal “third force”, linked to the drug mafia, which is struggling to gain power.
The term ‘third force’ was used to describe covert operatives shoring up apartheid in South Africa. It may also remind people of US-backed coups in Central America and former soviet republics.
Michael Kozak, former US ambassador to Belarus, boasted that he was doing in Belarus exactly what he had been doing in Nicaragua: “supporting democracy”.
In Kyrgyzstan, US ambassador Stephen Young, denied government claims that the US had interfered in Kyrgyzstan’s internal affairs.
Kyrgyzstan is the largest recipient of US aid in central Asia and it is filled with “American-sponsored NGOs”.
In previous years it invited in the US military.
Freedom House, chaired by former CIA director James Woolsey, was a major sponsor of the orange revolution in Ukraine.
Freedom House set up a printing press in Kyrgyzstan in November 2003, which prints 60 opposition journals. The US also supports opposition radio and TV.
In Kyrgyzstan a key element in regime change was played by members of the Kyrgyz security services, ‘whose loyalty is easily bought’.
The US has strategic interests in Kyrgyzstan.
Freedom House is reportedly friendly with the Islamist fundamentalist movement Hizb ut-Tahrir.
This worries the Chinese who have Muslim unrest in their western provinces.
Akayev was seen as being a friend of the US. But he was toppled when ‘things went wrong’.
(Reuters) – Bodyguards of Kyrgyzstan’s embattled president fired shots into the air to help Kurmanbek Bakiyev escape a crowd of 1,000 opponents that disrupted his rally in the country’s south on Thursday.
A Reuters photographer and cameraman at the scene both saw some of about 20 bodyguards fire bursts from Kalashnikov rifles while others ushered Bakiyev into a waiting jeep. His motorcade then sped away from Osh, Kyrgyzstan’s second city.
The gunfire, in two bursts minutes apart, started when opponents of Bakiyev moved toward his meeting from a separate rally in support of the interim government, a Reuters reporter at the scene said. There was no immediate sign of casualties.
“The local authorities carried out provocative acts,” Bakiyev aide Ravshan Dzhamgyrchiyev told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location. He said Bakiyev was unharmed and had already left the Osh region.
“When we began our rally, groups of their bandits started throwing stones and there was a big threat to the life of the person under guard,” he said.
Bakiyev has been trying to muster support in his southern stronghold since fleeing an April 7 uprising in the capital, Bishkek, during which his troops fired repeatedly into crowds of protesters calling for his resignation.
The interim government, which took power a week ago, has warned it will send special forces to arrest Bakiyev and put him on trial for at least 84 deaths in the uprising, but has yet to try to detain him.
“He is driving back toward Jalalabad. He is not injured,” Bolot Sherniyazov, the interior minister in the interim government, told Reuters by telephone.
“The crowd in Osh prevented him from speaking. They shouted: ‘Down with Bakiyev!’ They did not try to attack him. His bodyguards opened fire into the air,” Sherniyazov said.
Osh, scene of Thursday’s rallies, is in the Ferghana Valley, where there were violent ethnic clashes in the last days of the Soviet Union and where ethnic and tribal tensions persist.
The standoff between Bakiyev and the interim government is laced from both sides with rhetoric about the threat of further bloodshed in the impoverished Central Asian nation of 5.3 million.
Bakiyev spoke briefly outside a theater in the city before his guards shot into the air.
“I have come to Osh to tell you the truth about the tragic events in Bishkek last week,” he said, standing underneath a banner reading: ‘The opposition grabbed power. The opposition seized power with blood’.
The interior ministry of the new government has said it was considering sending troops to southern Kyrgyzstan, but that it would not allow a civil war.
The chief of staff to interim government leader Roza Otunbayeva said the interim leadership had repeatedly called on Bakiyev to show restraint.
“Enough blood has been spilled already,” said Edil Baisalov. “This is exactly what Bakiyev wants: either to die like a martyr or to continue using provocative acts.
Unrest in Kyrgyzstan, which has disrupted flights from a U.S. air base that supports the war in Afghanistan, has brought to light major global power rivalries in the Central Asian state, where Bakiyev’s five-year rule ended abruptly a week ago.
The United States has sent Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake to Bishkek. Blake, the highest ranking U.S. official to visit since the uprising, said on Wednesday that Washington was “prepared to help” the interim government.
Russia has also pledged $50 million in aid and loans to the provisional government of Kyrgyzstan, led by Moscow-educated and fluent English speaker Otunbayeva.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who on April 8 became the first world leader to recognize the authority of the interim government, spoke to Bakiyev by telephone late on Wednesday at the initiative of the Kyrgyz president, the Russian government said in a statement.
Putin also met the deputy leader of the interim Kyrgyz government, Almazbek Atambayev, who was in Moscow for talks.
(Additional reporting by Maria Golovnina in Bishkek and Conor Sweeney in Moscow, writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Robin Paxton, editing by Philippa Fletcher)