Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Draws Heat from Congress for Attempts to Demilitarize Jammu and Kashmir

Tension between Omar, Congress over Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)

Nazir Masoodi

Srinagar:  Omar Abdullah’s move to withdraw the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from some areas of Jammu and Kashmir has in the past few days led to a confrontation with the Army. Today, Mr Abdullah’s ally, the Congress, also questioned his announcement.

Mr Abdullah is chairman of the unified command of various security agencies in his home state.

“He (Omar Abdullah) must understand, he is not the only important actor. I wish he had consulted around, then he would be on a stronger footing. Today he is not on a strong footing because he has not done the consultation exercise fully,” said Saifuddin Soz, the head of the Congress in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Soz also said that the Chief Minister seems to have deliberately left the Congress out of the loop. “Look, he is the chairman of the unified command, he didn’t discuss it there. He has a cabinet, he didn’t discuss it there… he makes statements on his own, he thinks that he is the Chief Minister, he can do anything. These laws are very important, it needs very calm reflection in a congenial atmosphere.”

“I have no grouse at not being consulted by the Chief Minister. He could have even sought my opinion over phone… However, the main players like Union Home Ministry, Defence Ministry, Congress party and Army should be taken on board on the issue. It does not seem to be the case at the moment,” Mr Soz said. “There is no game in the world where you can score a goal all by yourself… you have to have a team,” he added.

Mr Abdullah’s response was terse. “As Chief Minister, I am well aware of my responsibilities of consultation and carrying my alliance partners with me,” he said. “At every step of the way, I have kept the Home Minister of India briefed…not only about discussions here but also about future intentions,” he added. Mr Abdullah suggested that Mr Soz could have brought up any differences of opinion over AFSPA at the coordination committee that is meant to handle relations between the National Conference and the Congress. The committee is chaired by Mr Soz and includes four other representatives of both parties, including Tara Chand, the state’s Deputy Chief Minister who is from the Congress.

Even as his ally questioned his style and decision, the Chief Minister tried to stress that his initiative to revoke AFSPA in some areas like Srinagar and Jammu is not an attempt to undermine the Army, or to demonize it. “The Army has played a crucial role in controlling militancy in the state and the removal of AFSPA from certain areas is being done in consultation with the Army,” he said.

Today, Army Chief General V K Singh said the matter is now being reviewed by the Home Ministry.

The Act, its critics believe, gives the Army sweeping powers – like the right to arrest someone without a warrant. The Army says working without the Act makes it vulnerable. Sources say intelligence inputs and intercepts report that currently, around 2,500 militants are present in 42 training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Of these, 800 are poised to cross over to India. Around 30-odd militants have been killed along the Line of Control (LoC) in the last two months while attempting to cross over. Sources further say that intercepts indicate that infiltration attempts are likely to continue even during the winter months – usually, the weather ensures against this.

For NDTV

US sows discord in South Asia

[Once again Mr. Bhadrakumar doesn't disappoint us with the power of his analysis of the situation on the sub-continent and throughout the Central Asian theater of psywar.  The time is rapidly approaching when the fluid Afghanistan situation will reach a "moment of decision," when American control over events will be decide for us by the participants themselves.  Like the recent surprise revelation that Iraq will refuse to meet American demands to keep a smaller military force in country, Afghans themselves may deny us the authority to peacefully keep American bases and Special Forces kill teams in Afghanistan past the alleged "withdrawal date."  If the upcoming Loya Jirga fails to endorse semi-permanent US super-bases, then Obama will receive a second embarrassing rebuke to his attempts to seduce or buy his way with the Afghan govt.  If the Afghan govt. refuses to go along with our demands, then how can the US Congress continue to authorize funds to train and equip them?  Either Obama will soon get everything that he wanted or he will be cut-off from the preferred path of "Mr. Nice Guy," leaving him with only one option to get his way--Ultimate force.  He cannot blow his carefully crafted cover to the world and reveal the Establishment hit man that lies just beneath the surface. 

Other writers are catching-on quickly, as well, that the game is about over, or else it has just begun.  Pay attention from here on out to M K Bhadrakumar from here on out; he knows what is really going down.  The bluffing is about over and we will have to show our hand.  God help us all, when the river of bullshit stops flowing and nothing is left but the brutal truth about American aggression.  Odds are, at that time, exposing the Beast will only increase the violence.] 

US sows discord in South Asia 


By M K Bhadrakumar

Two templates in regional politics are seriously debilitating the United States’s campaign to bring Pakistan down on its knees in the Afghan endgame. One is that Delhi has distanced itself from the US campaign and pursues an independent policy toward Islamabad.

The second factor frustrating US policies to isolate Pakistan is the South Asian nation’s bonhomie with Iran. Pakistan would have been pretty much isolated had there been an acute rivalry with Iran over the Afghan endgame. The current level of cordiality in the relationship enables Islamabad to focus on the rift with the US and even draw encouragement from Tehran.

It’s baloney 
A recent statement by the Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on the US-Pakistan rift underscored that India doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the US approach. (See US puts the squeeze on Pakistan, Asia Times, October 22). It was carefully timed to signal to Washington (and Islamabad) that Delhi strongly disfavored any form of US military action against Pakistan.

There is a string of evidence to suggest that the Pakistani leadership appreciates the Indian stance. The general headquarters in Rawalpindi acted swiftly on Sunday to return to India within hours a helicopter with three senior military officers on board which strayed into Pakistani territory in bad weather in the highly sensitive Siachen sector. The official spokesman in Delhi went on record to convey India’s appreciation of the Pakistani gesture. Such conciliatory gestures are rare (for both sides) in the chronicle of Pakistan-India relationship.

Again, last week, India voted for Pakistan’s candidacy for the Asia-Pacific slot among the non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council and the Pakistani ambassador promptly responded that he would work with his Indian counterpart in New York. Ironically, the UN has been a theater for India and Pakistan’s frequent clashes over the Kashmir problem.

Looking ahead, the prime ministers of India and Pakistan are likely to meet on the sidelines of the South Asian Association For Regional Cooperation summit in Male on November 10-11. Washington would have been quick to insist that it acted as “facilitator” in fostering the improving climate in India-Pakistan relations. But the US is instead watching with a degree of discomfort that its complicated South Asian symphony is throwing up jarring notes. Calibrating India-Pakistan tensions traditionally constituted a key element of the US’s regional diplomacy.

Washington has “retaliated” to Krishna’s statement by issuing a travel advisory cautioning American nationals from visiting India because of heightened terrorist threats. Delhi, in turn, ticked off Washington saying it considered the US move “disproportionate” – a cute way of saying that the advisory is a load of baloney.

Jundallah in retreat 
What is happening in Pakistan-Iran relations is even more galling for the US. There has been a spate of high-level visits between Islamabad and Tehran and the two capitals have reached mutual understandings on a range of security interests. Last week, Tehran acknowledged that there had not been a single attack by the terrorist group Jundallah from the Pakistani side of the border in the Balochistan region during the past 10 months.

Tehran has accused the US of masterminding the Jundallah terrorists to stage covert operations to destabilize Iran. However, since the detention of Central Intelligence Agency operative Raymond Davis in Lahore in January, Islamabad has clamped down on hundreds of US intelligence operatives functioning on Pakistani soil, seriously cramping the US’s capacity to dispatch Jundallah terrorists into Iran.

Tehran is satisfied that the Pakistani security establishment is finally acting purposively to smash the US-backed Jundallah network. It reciprocates Pakistan’s goodwill by trying to harmonize its Afghan policy and scrupulously avoided pointing fingers at Pakistan for the assassination of Afghan Peace Council head Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was closely allied with Tehran.

Essentially, Iran appreciates that Pakistan’s “strategic defiance” of the US will be in the interest of regional stability, the bottom line being that Tehran is keen to force the American troops to leave the region.

Tehran succeeded in the pursuit of a similar objective in Iraq by prevailing on Shi’ite political elites in Baghdad not to accede to the desperate pleas by the US to allow US troops to continue even after the stipulated deadline of withdrawal in December 2011 under the Status of Forces agreement. But Afghanistan is a different kettle of fish and a common strategy with Pakistan will help.

Pakistan keeps an ambivalent stance on the issue of a long-term US military presence in Afghanistan, but it can count on the Taliban to robustly oppose the US plans apropos military bases. Unsurprisingly, Tehran purses a multi-pronged approach toward the Taliban.

Concerted effort 
In sum, the overall regional scenario is becoming rather unfavorable to the US. The easing of tensions in Pakistan’s relations with India and Iran undermine US strategy to get embedded in the region.

The US’s travel advisory was intended to raise hackles in India about the imminent possibility of Pakistan-supported terrorist activities. Again, US-sponsored disinformation is reappearing with claims that China and Pakistan are conspiring against India by setting Chinese military bases in the northern areas of Pakistan, which form part of Kashmir.

This is coinciding with a distinct improvement in the security situation in the Kashmir Valley, to the point that chief minister Omar Abdullah openly advocated last week in Srinagar that decades-old emergency regulations should be progressively withdrawn and that Delhi should initiate a serious engagement of Pakistan to settle the Kashmir problem.

United States-backed propaganda about the prospect of Chinese military bases in the Pakistani part of Kashmir is intended to serve a dual purpose: namely, creating discord between Pakistan and India and in Sino-Indian relations, too.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a significant statement last week that he was “convinced” that the Chinese leadership wanted a peaceful resolution of all problems between India and China, including the long-running border dispute. Significantly, he expressed his “sincere hope [that] it is possible for us to find ways and means by which the two neighbors can live in peace and amity despite the persistence of the border problem”.

Manmohan’s remarks assumed significance since the two countries are to shortly hold the 15th round of talks on the border issue in New Delhi. In a meaningful move, the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to Manmohan’s political overture. Beijing said China was “ready to work with India to enhance the China-India strategic partnership”. The statement said:

As important neighbors to each other, China and India have maintained sound momentum in the bilateral relationship. As for the border issue left over from history, the two sides have been seeking a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution through friendly consultations. Pending a final solution, the two sides are committed to maintaining peace and tranquility in border areas.

A season for propaganda 
The speculative, unattributed – and unverifiable – reports regarding Chinese intentions to establish military bases in the upper reaches of the Kashmir region under Pakistani control are surging again at a formative point in regional security. Their labored thesis is that Delhi should be extremely wary about the “devious” intentions of China and Pakistan and should go slow on the normalization of relations with these “treacherous” neighbors.

Curiously, Delhi is also being bombarded at the same time with US propaganda that Washington is striking a “grand bargain” with Pakistan over the Afghan problem whereby there will be a mutual accommodation of each other’s concerns, which may include US intervention to mediate the Kashmir problem and US pressure on Delhi to roll back its presence in Afghanistan.

In a motivated commentary in Foreign Policy magazine last week on the eve of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Islamabad, two prominent US think-tankers wired to the Washington establishment actually tried to alternatively bait Islamabad and frighten Delhi by putting on the table the ingredients of the “grand bargain”. Truly, this is all turning out to be a season for propaganda.

The heart of the matter is that the US is desperate to clinch a strategic agreement with the government of President Hamid Karzai in Kabul that would allow the establishment of a long-term American military presence in Afghanistan.

On Monday, hundreds of Afghans demonstrated in Kabul against US bases. The same day, the lower house of the Afghan parliament rejected terms guiding the operations of the Afghan government’s existing agreement with the International Security Assistance Force as violating the country’s sovereignty. The mood in the Afghan parliament seems hostile.

Karzai is convening a loya jirga (grand council) to seek endorsement for the US-Afghan pact. Matters will come to a head when it meets on November 16. Karzai promises that the US-Afghan pact will be sent to parliament for approval after being discussed in the jirga. Washington insists that the jirga approves the draft pact before the Bonn II conference convenes in December. Karzai’s political future depends on whether he can deliver on the pact.

All sitting parliamentarians, some former members, one-third of the provincial council members, representatives of civil society and distinguished people, religious scholars and influential tribal leaders have been invited to the jirga. Two hundred and thirty representatives of Afghan refugee communities in Pakistan, Iran and Western countries will also be in attendance in the 2,030-strong jirga.

On September 13, Afghan National Security Advisor Dadfar Spanta told Afghan parliamentarians that the US might set up military bases in Afghanistan after the signing of the pact, but that the pact wouldn’t be inked unless approved by parliament. Spanta added, “Concerns of our neighbors [over the US-Afghan pact] are genuine, but we will not allow our soil to be used against them.”

The Afghan parliament fears, however, that Karzai might choose to bypass it after extracting endorsement from a pliant jirga and interpreting that as the collective opinion of the Afghan nation. Parliament directed the speaker on Monday to address an official communication to Karzai highlighting its constitutional prerogative to approve foreign policy issues.

The Afghan endgame is moving into a crucial phase; much will depend on regional politics. The worst-case scenario for the US is that subsuming the contradictions in the intra-regional relationships between and among Pakistan, Iran, India and China, these countries might have a convergent opinion on the issue of American military bases.

An accentuation of these contradictions, therefore, would serve the US’s geopolitical interests at the present juncture, hence the US’s “divide-and-rule” strategy.

Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar was a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. His assignments included the Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey.

Uzbekistan Will Withdraw From CSTO When US Troops Deploy There

[Tajik expert predicts a lot of major changes in CIS countries, worst of all is deployment of US/NATO troops to Uzbekistan.  Not only is it predicted that Uzbeks will leave CSTO, but that a deal has been made to scuttle Tajikistan's controversial Rogun Dam project, centerpiece of Uzbek/Tajik tensions.  At that time, Tajikistan will regret inviting US "border guard experts" into their midst, instead of allowing Russian forces to resume control of the border.  Tensions will very likely boil over between the two Central Asian antagonists at that time, since the Rogun project has been raising a hefty sum of cash for the government.  Obama must love to play with fire.]

Uzbekistan will initiate its withdrawal from CSTO itself

Nargis Hamroboyeva

DUSHANBE, October 27, 2011, Asia-Plus  — “A statement by Belarusian president about the necessity of withdrawing Uzbekistan from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) means nothing and it is not connected with his visit to Tajikistan,” Tajik political scientist Rustam Haidarov told an Asia-Plus in an interview Thursday afternoon.

“Most likely, this statement is connected with the upcoming deployment of the U.S. troops in Uzbekistan,” said Haidarov.  “Nothing will change in relations between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan if the latter quits the CSTO.  All unsolved problems will remain unsolved.”

According to him, official Tashkent will initiate Uzbekistan’s withdrawal from the Organization itself as soon as the United States deploys its troops in Uzbekistan.

“Uzbekistan is the only country in the region, upon which the United States may relay in terms of deployment of its troops.  I am sure that the issue of deployment of the U.S. troops in Uzbekistan has already been solved by political leaders of the neighboring country positively,” said Haidarov.  “This means that expert resolution by the World Bank, which is controlled by the United States, will block the completion of construction of the Roghun hydroelectric power plant (HPP) in Tajikistan.”

We will recall that during a meeting with parliament speakers from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member nations in Minsk ahead of his visit to Tajikistan, President Lukashenko offered to review the issue of further participation of Uzbekistan in the Organization.

Some media outlets quoted Lukashenko as saying that Uzbekistan is playing a triple game that does not allow it to be in the CSTO.  “I have sent my observations to the President of Russia.  We must make a decision on Uzbekistan,” Belarusian leader was cited as saying.

The regional security organization was initially formed in 1992 for a five-year period by the members of the CIS Collective Security Treaty (CST) — Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, which were joined by Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Belarus the following year.  A 1994 treaty “reaffirmed the desire of all participating states to abstain from the use or threat of force,” and prevented signatories from joining any “other military alliances or other groups of states” directed against members states.  The CST was then extended for another five-year term in April 1999, and was signed by the presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.  In October 2002, the group was renamed as the CSTO.  Uzbekistan became a full participant in the CSTO on June 23, 2006; and its membership was formally ratified by the Uzbek parliament on 28 March 2008.  The CSTO is currently an observer organization at the United Nations General Assembly.

Facebook Subversion Seminars Come To Armenia

[SEE:  Lukashenko Has A Plan–Belarus Keeps Social Networks, Prosecutes Those Who Promote Sedition  ;  A Glimpse Inside of Hillary’s Subversive “Intern Factory”]

Yerevan to host Facebook Workshop video seminar for media

Yerevan to host Facebook Workshop video seminar for media

October 27, 2011 – 12:09 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – On October 31, Yerevan will hostFacebook Workshop free video seminar on integration of mass media in social networks as well as Facebook-provided media possibilities.

The rapporteurs, Facebook Russia growth manager Yekaterina Skorobogatova and Facebook Russia and Eastern Europe development manager Angela Tse will brief the audience on transformed means of communication, modern use of media content as well as a number of alterations at Facebook platform and the way media partners may benefit from it.

The seminar will be held in Russian and English languages (simultaneous translation provided).

Video seminars with Yerevan, Moscow, St. Petersburg, (Russia) Kiev (Ukraine), Astana (Kazakhstan), Tbilisi (Georgia), Chisinau (Moldova) and Tomsk (Russia) have been scheduled.

The event is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of RIA Novosti news agency.

Russia, Namibia condemn ‘cold-blooded execution’ of Qaddafi

Obama said that Qaddafi had an opportunity during the Arab Spring to finally let loose of his grip on power and to peacefully transition into democracy. “We gave him ample opportunity, and he wouldn’t do it,” Obama said.

[The President of the United States, on national network TV, as much as admitted that he had violated the American laws against political assassination, by giving Qaddafi an ultimatum--Surrender to our demands or die, along with your entire family.  The Black American Godfather of crime made Qaddafi an "offer he couldn't refuse," but Muammar refused it somehow, thereby justifying the hits on Qaddafi and his family, at least in the sick demented mind of Obama.  Obama's logic is similar to that of previous tyrants--Murder of all those who oppose your dictates is justifiable.  What does it matter if tens, or hundreds of thousands of innocents die in the airborne terrorist attacks that he orders to kill the Qaddafis of this world?  We have long lost our reasons for waging this criminal war of aggression which we still mislabel the "global war on terrorism," even though we have proven ourselves to be the greatest terrorists, by far.  We continue to honor our military and its "exploits," which are all glossed-over overt acts of aggression, as defined globally.  There is no honor in sending Special Forces troops into people's homes, to kill the sons and often the fathers in their beds, neither do we escape our guilt for hiring others to do the killing in the field for us.  We are a sick, demented lot, but we pride ourselves on our blind "patriotism."  Real Patriots would never stand still in the face of the great national crimes being committed on a daily basis, all under the communal lie of "they started this war."  God knows that the single act of mass-murder which got this bloody ball rolling was not just an act of a bunch of nutcases we like to call "al-Qaeda."  Those guys had a lot of professional help, help that is only available within our own government and Establishment.  We are in this war without end, because that is just exactly where the corporate government wanted us to be--In a position globally to seize control over all those juicy resources.  The American military stands astride this world like an enormous octopus, ready to feed the tentacles of pipeline networks, many of them yet to be built.  The pipelines, just like the war, has been on the American corporate drawing board for far longer than we have been waging the war itself.

Obama likes to describe the impending takeover by "Islamists" in the Arab spring countries as a "transition into democracy."  That is such an utter lie!  Rule by a violent "Islamic" minority is NOT democracy.  For those who are jumping to defend Obama, that the Islamic Brotherhood types who are taking control are not "violent," you know that the first act of all of them will be to enforce their personal sick brand of "Shariah Law" over the mostly secular populations.  Judging by other countries' previous experiences with these pseudo-Islamists who enforce Wahhabi/Deobandi Shariah, this can only be done through violence.  Look at Wana, S. Waziristan, there, inter-tribal warfare erupted as soon as the IMU terrorists and Taliban were driven out of Afghanistan.  Islamic Movement of Uzbekistani (IMU) terrorists launched waves of Shariah-enforcing attacks upon the locals.  The tribal warfare which erupted to expel them has not ended yet.  It has spread throughout the entire tribal region, powered by the same IMU thugs and their TTP counterparts, like good Muslim Hakeemullah Mehsud, or the misunderstood "miscreants" of Lashkar e-Jhangvi, who slaughter Shiites all over. 

Qaddafi was right to fight against this impending Western blackmail with every means at his disposal.  The people of Libya will rue the day that they ever gave an inch to the "al-Qaeda" terrorists and their "Islamist" political base.  If rule by extremist fundamentalist freaks is "democracy," then it is something which every thinking person must fight against.]

Russia, Namibia condemn ‘cold-blooded execution’ of Qaddafi

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he was disgusted by the images of Muammar Qaddafi’s corpse. (Reuters)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he was disgusted by the images of Muammar Qaddafi’s corpse. (Reuters)

By AL ARABIYA WITH AGENCES
MOSCOW/ WINDHOEK

Amid rising international condemnation of the way former Libyan lead Muammar Qaddafi was killed, the Namibian government and the Russian Prime Minister have spoken out on Wednesday about his gruesome killing.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he was disgusted by television images of Muammar Qaddafi’s last minutes and his corpse after death.

“Almost all of Qaddafi’s family has been killed, his corpse was shown on all global television channels, it was impossible to watch without disgust,” Putin said. “The man was all covered in blood, still alive and he was being finished off.”

Putin however stopped short of making any political statements on the issue.

Meanwhile, Namibia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Peya Mushelenga told parliament that he condemned what he called the “cold-blooded extra-judicial execution” of Qaddafi.

“Namibia condemns this mindless and uncalled-for extra-judicial killing of Colonel Qaddafi,” Deputy Foreign Minister Peya Mushelenga told parliament.

“Last Thursday the world witnessed with horror the brutal and cold-blooded execution of Colonel Qaddafi at the hands of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC), supported by NATO. This assassination is contrary to all relevant international humanitarian laws governing war prisoners.”

Despite African Union recognition of the NTC since September 20, Namibia does not recognize the council as Libya’s legitimate government.

It also supports the U.N. Human Rights Council’s call for an international commission of inquiry into Qaddafi’s death.

“The capture of Colonel Qaddafi presented a good opportunity for the allegations leveled against him to have been brought before a court of law,” Mushelenga said.

He also called for the formation of an “inclusive Libyan government” representing all sides of the conflict.

Qaddafi was buried in a secret desert location early Tuesday, five days after he was captured, killed and put on grisly public display. The former leader was seen on video being mocked, beaten and abused before he died.

“That’s not something that I think we should relish,” United States President Barack Obama told Jay Leno on NBC’s “Tonight Show,” when asked his feelings about the footage being televised. “I think that there’s a certain decorum with which you treat the dead even if it’s somebody who has done terrible things.”

He also said that Qaddafi had an opportunity during the Arab Spring to finally let loose of his grip on power and to peacefully transition into democracy. “We gave him ample opportunity, and he wouldn’t do it,” Obama said.

Lukashenko Has A Plan–Belarus Keeps Social Networks, Prosecutes Those Who Promote Sedition

Lukashenko: Belarus now capable of countering destabilization attempts on Internet

Lukashenko: Belarus now capable of countering destabilization attempts on InternetBelarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has urged partners in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to take into account the problems related to attempts to destabilize a civil society via the Internet.

Interfax-Ukraine

Minsk – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has urged partners in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to take into account the problems related to attempts to destabilize a civil society via the Internet.

During the recent informal CSTO summit in Astana, “very serious attention was paid to what is going on in the media space, which today is being used in several directions as an attempt to destabilize the situation in any particular country,” Lukashenko said at a meeting with attendees of a session of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly Council. “Look what is happening in the Arab world,” Lukashenko said.

“Unfortunately, the situation has not changed there,” he said. “The results of the Tunisian elections have been announced. Look who won there. The Islamists, the most radical part of them. And what will happen in Egypt, and what will happen in Libya?” Lukashenko asked.

“One should not think that all this is far from us and has nothing to do with us,” he said. “But nor should one think that we are trembling before these networks [social networking websites],” the president said.

“There have been attempts throughout this year to destabilize the social situation in our country through the social network,” he said. “We have learnt to fight against this evil. And there is no fear here, no bans, we are not shutting down the Internet or social networks. You are welcome to speak and discuss. But if these actions are unlawful, we will take necessary measures,” the Belarusian president said.

‘NATO destabilizing situation on Kosovo border’

‘NATO destabilizing situation on Kosovo border’

‘NATO destabilizing situation on Kosovo border’…, posted with vodpod

With NATO and KFOR troops bulldozing a barricade built by ethnic Serbs in Kosovo on the border with Serbia, says political analyst Aleksandar Pavic, the military alliance has gone from a peacekeeping force to a party to the conflict.“NATO is now definitely acting as an occupying force,” argued the Belgrade-based political analyst. “They are not a peace factor at all, they are a total factor of war and destabilization.”NATO is inciting the government in Pristina to more violence, claimed Pavic. Meanwhile, the alliance, which deployed itself in between Serbia and Kosovo to separate the two conflicting parties, has stepped beyond its mandate granted by the United Nations Charter and Resolution 1244.“Everything was reasonably peaceful until [NATO] gave the green light for Albanian special police forces to forcedly take the administrative border back in July,” Pavic told RT. “Ever since then, they have been giving them full support.” Whatever discussion was brought up in the UN regarding the whole land dispute, the Western powers blocked any practical decision or action from being taken, added the analyst.“We don’t really have a mediator here anymore and that’s even more dangerous,” he concluded.

 

Spineless Pakistani Leaders Bend-Over Backwards To Facilitate American/Indian Domination

[America's tyrants have absolutely NO RIGHT to demand that Pakistan continue to suffer energy deprivations, especially when the gas has already been piped up to Pakistan's backdoor.  If Pakistanis don't react to this in an "Arab spring" fashion, then they are doomed as a Nation.  Accepting Indian power as a substitute, or the TAP pipeline, which will never be built, means accepting eventual forced reunification with the Hindu state.  You people have no idea of the depth of depravity of "Mr. 10%" and friends, if you take this lying down.  Haven't you suffered enough, providing the obscene "profits" (plunder) that these crooks have reaped so far?

May as well get used to the idea of becoming India's bitch, since you seem so comfortable in the role.]  

Disquieting news


If there is any truth in a news agency report that Pakistan has decided to back out of the Iranian gas pipeline deal and, instead, import 500MW of electricity from India, it is clear that our rulers, much to the nation’s dismay, have no shame. It comes as a rude shock to know that the government has the gall to defy both the Parliament’s and the all parties’ conference declarations, which clearly enjoin upon it to chalk out a course of action that rejects the concerns of foreign influences interfering in the pursuit of Pakistan’s national interests.
The Iranian pipeline is ideal to help overcome the agonising shortfall of power in the country, in the shortest possible period of time. It holds crucial significance in the future progress and prosperity of Pakistan since it will enable us to resuscitate our moribund industry and take advantage of our trade deals with China, Turkey and iran. Jettisoning the project is literally suicidal and getting power from India amounts to pawning our future to an inveterate enemy, which can switch off supply when it most needed by us. The precendent is already set, with India raising dams and diverting water allocated to us under the Indus Waters Treaty. In times of floods and heavy rains, when we are finding it difficult to manage the swelling water, releasing more water to worsen our plight. The history of our relations goes against the logic of having such a deal with New Delhi, or granting it Most Favoured Nation status. Unless the Kashmir dispute is resolved with India, in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council, all other ventures cannot be entered into in a positive spirit. Any attempt at normalising relations with it, without a change in the very real contentions between our two countries would be counterproductive to moving forward.
The alternative to the Iranian gas – the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) gas pipeline project – being favoured by the Americans has to traverse a difficult terrain of 1,700km, mostly through war-torn, Taliban controlled Afghanistan which puts the project’s practicality in serious doubt. It would also be self-defeating to believe that the departure of foreign troops by 2014 would immediately bring peace and harmony to the country. Besides, TAP gas, because of the extra infrastructure it requires, would be far more expensive than the IP’s and less economically viable. The government has valid arguments to refuse US pressure in discontinuing the Iran gas pipeline project, it must make them heard.

Gaddafi family to file NATO war crimes complaint

Gaddafi family to file NATO war crimes complaint

* Libya’s interim ruler urges NATO to stay till year end

PARIS: Muammar Gaddafi’s family plans to file a war crimes complaint against NATO with the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the alliance’s alleged role in his death, the family’s lawyer said Wednesday.

The 69-year-old ex-strongman was captured and killed Thursday near the city of Sirte in circumstances that are still unclear, but it has been confirmed NATO aircraft fired on pro-Gaddafi vehicles driving in a convoy from the city.

Marcel Ceccaldi, a French lawyer who previously worked for Gaddafi’s regime and now represents his family, told AFP that a complaint would be filed with the Hague-based ICC because NATO’s attack on the convoy led directly to his death.

“The wilful killing (of someone protected by the Geneva Convention) is defined as a war crime by Article 8 of the ICC’s Rome Statute,” he said. He said he could not yet say when the complaint would be filed, but said it would target both NATO executive bodies and the leaders of alliance member states. “Gaddafi’s homicide shows that the goal of (NATO) member states was not to protect civilians but to overthrow the regime,” Ceccaldi said.

“Either the ICC intervenes as an independent and impartial jurisdiction or it doesn’t, in which case force will overrule the law,” he said. Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council has announced an investigation into Gaddafi’s death.

International disquiet has grown over how Gaddafi met his end after NTC fighters hauled him out of a culvert where he was hiding following NATO air strikes on the convoy in which he had been trying to flee his falling hometown.

Libya’s interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil on Wednesday urged NATO to continue its Libya campaign until year’s end, saying loyalists of slain despot Muammar Gaddafi still pose a threat to the country.

Abdel Jalil’s comments, made at a Doha conference of military allies of his National Transitional Council (NTC), came a day after Gaddafi’s body was buried in secret under cover of darkness after being displayed in public for four days.

“We hope (NATO) will continue its campaign until at least the end of this year to serve us and neighbouring countries,” Abdel Jalil, NTC chairman, told the Conference of Friends Committee. This request is aimed at “ensuring that no arms are infiltrated into those countries and to ensure the security of Libyans from some remnants of Gaddafi’s forces who have fled to nearby countries,” he added.

The NTC is also seeking help from NATO in “developing Libya’s defence and security systems,” Abdel Jalil told the conference.

In Brussels, diplomats said NATO had decided to delay a formal decision to end Libyan air operations until Friday after the NTC’s request for an extension and a Russian demand for UN consultations. agencies

Another Drone Murder of Nazir Forces, But Still, Nazir Not Seen

[More Nazir commanders are killed, but Nazir himself has not been seen since commando assault in August, 2009, after Baitullah's elimination (SEE:  Did US Special Forces Kill Mullah Nazir?).]

Drone strike “kills five Taliban commanders” in South Waziristan

According to initial details, five missiles were fired on a vehicle carrying several passengers.– File Photo

PESHAWAR: A US drone strike on a vehicle on Thursday killed five commanders of one of Pakistan’s most influential Taliban leaders, Maulvi Nazir, one of the faction’s senior commanders told Reuters.

He identified four of the commanders as Hazrat Omar, Nazir’s younger brother, Khan Mohammad, Miraj Wazir and Ashfaq Wazir.

According to initial details, five missiles were fired on a vehicle carrying several passengers.

The vehicle was traveling from Tora Gola village to the nearby area of Azam Warsak when it was hit.

“Nazir’s younger brother Omar Wazir has been killed, it has been confirmed,” a Pakistani security official told AFP.

Another Pakistani intelligence official also confirmed his death.

Residents and security officials in the region described the 27-year-old as the operational head for the Nazir group, and a close aide of his brother.

He adopted a low profile, going to Afghanistan, assigning duties to the fighters and supervising logistic arrangements for their missions, they said.

“They are a very important group because while they are based in Pakistan they are very active in Afghanistan,” said Mansur Khan Mehsud of the Fata Research Centre think tank.

“If you look at drone strikes, they are one of the most heavily targeted groups.”

China (and India) Reaping the Loot from Our Decimation of Afghanistan, Just Like Iraq

India, China in line for Afghan mine, oil contracts

Afghan men work in a brick factory on the outskirts of Kabul, October 25, 2011. — Photo by AP

LA HULPE, Belgium: Indian and Chinese bidders are front-runners for deals to mine Afghanistan’s vast iron ore and oil deposits, the country’s mining minister said on Wednesday, worrying Western firms who have hesitated to invest in the war-torn region.

Afghanistan is estimated to harbour up to three trillion dollars in mineral wealth from gold, copper, iron ore and precious stones to oil, gas and rare earth minerals.

Such riches have attracted risk-friendly investors despite security concerns as Western governments prepare military pull-outs, in particular from India and China where demand for energy and industrial inputs is booming.

Two Indian bidders have emerged as “the most potential companies” among a short list of six to win a contract for the vast Hajigak iron ore project in early November, Afghan Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani told Reuters on the sidelines of a mining conference in Belgium.

One of the bidders is an independent company and one a consortium that includes India’s powerful Mittal family, he said.

An oil and gas contract in northern Afghanistan’s Amu Darya field will most likely go to a Chinese bidder in early December, Shahrani said.

“Those companies that get into Afghanistan early will have good opportunities,” the minister added.

EU firms cannot compete

Asian investors are threatening to dash long-term hopes of Western firms holding out for greater safety and business transparency before putting funds into a country with vast raw materials reserves. The investments are also provoking criticism that India and Chinese governments give guarantees to their private firms, unfairly aiding their bids.

“At the front these bids are private but behind them is government funding,” Ramon Mushrief, Interim President at the newly opened European Union Chamber of Commerce in Afghanistan, told Reuters.

“These companies can afford to take risks that European companies cannot. And there is nothing we can do,” he added.

No Indian or Chinese investors were present at the conference to comment.

Transparency

Afghanistan has promised legal and fiscal reforms to attract foreign investment that will help develop industry and eventually wean the country off foreign development aid.

The World Bank, investment funds and European and US executives on Wednesday called on Kabul to implement governance and fiscal reforms. They warned that lax laws could foster corruption and stop the benefits of mineral wealth reaching a population in need of steady jobs and income.

International resource activist group Global Witness reserved particular criticism for Afghanistan’s practice of publishing details of mining contracts only once they have been finalised.

“The extractive sector requires the early and full assessment of its impact…contracts made public before they are signed,” said Global Witness Director Patrick Alley.

Afghanistan will publish in mid-2012 details of a copper mining contract that has gone to a Chinese consortium — but only once subsidiary agreements have been completed, Shahrani said.

EU-Afghanistan agreement in sight

In the absence of immediate large investments, the EU wants to sign a treaty with Afghanistan to formalise diplomatic, human rights, trade and investment relations and lower the risk of a security vacuum as international troops withdraw from the country.

EU Special Representative for Afghanistan Vygaudas Usackas, also attending the conference, told Reuters the EU will start talks for such a treaty before an international conference on Afghanistan’s future taking place in Bonn, Germany, on December 5.

Facts About the 1933 Famine-Genocide in Soviet Occupied Ukraine

Facts About the 1933 Famine-Genocide in Soviet Occupied Ukraine


1. Censuses

In late 1932 – precisely when the genocidal famine struck – the Central Statistical Bureau in Moscow ceased to publish demographic data. 

The 1937 census was given top priority. The census director I. Kravel was awarded the Order of Lenin for his meticulous work. After the results of the 1937 census were submitted to the Government, the census was declared “subversive”, its materials destroyed and the top census officials were shot for not finding enough people. 

2. Harvest and Climatic Conditions

The “natural disaster” excuse to cover up the 1933 Famine-Genocide does not hold water. It was not caused by some natural calamity or crop failure: 

  1. The 1931 harvest was 18.3 million tons of grain.
  2. The 1932 harvest was 14.6 million tons of grain.
  3. The 1933 harvest was 22.3 million tons of grain.
  4. The 1934 harvest was 12.3 million tons of grain.

In 1934 during the poorest harvest – a mere 12.3 – there was no massive famine because Stalin reduced the grain requisition quotas and even released grain from existing “state stockpiles” to feed the population. 

The highest death rates were in the grain growing provinces of Poltava, Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad and Odessa: usually 20-25%, although higher in many villages. 

3. Laws and Decrees

  • The 7 August 1932 law drafted by Joseph Stalin on the protection of the socialist property stipulated the death penalty for “theft of socialist property”. Ukrainian villagers were executed by firing squads for theft of a sack of wheat and in some cases even for two sheaves of corn or a husk of grain.
  • The 6 December 1932 decree stipulated a complete blockade of villages for allegedly sabotaging the grain procurement campaign – de facto sentencing their Ukrainian inhabitants to execution by starvation.
  • An unpublished decree signed by Molotov encouraged Russian peasants to settle into the empty or half-empty villages of “the free lands of Ukraine” [and North Caucasus also inhabited by Ukrainians and likewise devastated by the famine].

4. Means of Implementing Forced Collectivization and Draconian Grain Requisition Quotas

  • The All-Union Peoples Commissariat of Agriculture in Moscow initially mobilized some of its most reliable ‘25-thousanders’ -Party members, majority of them Russians – and sent them to Ukraine to organize collective farms.
  • Further ‘thousanders,’ the army, the secret police [GPU], the militia and armed brigades were sent into Ukrainian villages to force the farmers into collective farms and to supervise the Draconian grain expropriation and eventually the entire output of butter, corn, sugar beet, etc.
  • Local granaries in Ukraine held large stockpiles of ‘state reserves’ for emergencies, such as war, but the raging famine did not qualify as an emergency.

5. Geography of the Famine

  • The 1933 Famine-Genocide was geographically focused for political ends. It stopped precisely at the Ukrainian-Russian ethnographic border.
  • The borders of Ukraine were strictly patrolled by the military to prevent starving Ukrainians from crossing into Russia in search of bread.
  • For example: The Kharkiv Province on the Ukrainian side was devastated while the contiguous Belgorod Province on the Russian side with similar climatic conditions and demographic profiles showed no evidence of starvation or any unusual mortality.
  • Armed GPU officers were also stationed to prevent starving Ukrainians from entering the zone near the Polish and Romanian borders. Those who tried to cross the Dnister River into Romania were shot.

6. Exports

The Soviet regime dumped 1.7 million tons of grain on the Western markets at the height of the Famine. It exported nearly a quarter of a ton of grain for every Ukrainian who starved to death. 

7. Victims and Losses

  • At the height of the Famine Ukrainian villagers were dying at the rate of 25,000 per day or 1,000 per hour or 17 per minute.
  • By comparison the Allied soldiers died at the rate of 6,000 per day during the Battle of Verdun.
  • Among the children one in three perished as a consequence of collectivization and the famine.
  • According to dissident Soviet demographer M. Maksudov “no fewer than three million children born between 1932-1933 died of hunger.”
  • 80% of Ukrainian intellectuals were liquidated because they refused to collaborate in the extermination of their countrymen.
  • Out of about 240 Ukrainian authors 200 were liquidated or disappeared. Out of about 84 linguists 62 perished.
  • The Ukrainian population may have been reduced by as much as 25%. 

8. Western Press Coverage

  • Foreign correspondents were “advised” by the press department of the Soviet Commissariat for Foreign Affairs to remain in Moscow and were de facto barred from visiting Ukraine.
  • Not a single Western newspaper or press agency protested publicly against the unprecedented confining of its correspondents in Moscow or bothered to investigate the reason for this extraordinary measure.
  • The majority of reporters feared losing their journalistic privileges and toed the line.
  • The only correspondents permitted into Ukraine were the likes of Walter Duranty of the New York Times who reported that there was no famine except for some “partial crop failures.”
  • Star reporter Walter Duranty of the New York Times set the tone for most of the Western press coverage with authoritative denials of starvation and referred to the Famine as the “alleged ‘man-made’ famine of 1933.”
  • However, according to British Diplomatic Reports, Duranty off the record, conceded that “as many as 10 million” may have perished.
  • For his reporting Walter Duranty received the Pulitzer Prize for journalism. To this date the New York Times refuses to revoke the prize and still lists Duranty among its Pulitzer winners.

A number of intrepid reporters, such as William Henry Chamberlin, Harry Lang, Malcolm Muggeridge and Thomas Walker ignored the ban and reported on the Famine, substantiating their reports with photographs.

9. Collusion by Western Governments

Available archival evidence (such as reports sent in diplomatic pouches as well as coverage on the press by a few honest and courageous reporters who managed to penetrate into starving Ukraine) indicates that several Western governments (especially Great Britain, Canada and the United States) were well informed about the Famine-Genocide in Ukraine but chose to adopt a policy on non-interference in the internal affairs of a foreign sovereign state. Ironically, the United States recognized the Soviet Union in November, 1933. 

Offers to aid the starving by numerous charitable organizations such as the International Red Cross, Save the Children Fund, the Vienna-based Interconfessional Relief Council and Ukrainian organizations in the West and Western Ukraine (occupied by Poland) were discouraged or blocked by their Governments. 

10. Findings and Conclusions

The U.S. Congress 1988 Commission on the Ukraine famine in its “Investigation of the Ukraine Famine of 1932-1933″ concluded that: JOSEPH STALIN AND THOSE AROUND HIM COMMITTED GENOCIDE AGAINST UKRAINIANS IN 1932-1933. 

Sources consulted:

Conquest Robert The Harvest of Sorrow. Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1986. 
Dolot, Miron Execution by Hunger: The Hidden Holocaust. New York: W. W. Norton, 1985. 
Famine in Ukraine 1932-1933 Edited by Roman Serbyn and Bohdan Kravchenko. Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1986.

 

FACTS…………………………………………
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Definitions:
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OFFICIAL RECOGNITION………………….

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MEMOIRS…………………………………….

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a I Affirm Mykola Meleshko
The Secrets of the Famine Vasyl Zaiika
The Scar Ihor Vytvyts’kyi
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TESTIMONIES……………………………….

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EDUCATION………………………………….

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Holodomor Lessons and Lesson Plans – V. Kuryliw 

ARTICLES…………………………………….

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a Chicago-American:  Part One
b Chicago-American:  Part Two
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The Ukrainian Holodomor – Was it a Genocide? 
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A New View of a Famine That Killed Millions 

BIBLIOGRAPHY……………………………..

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c Annotated Bibliography (Shevchenko Scientific Society, Inc.)
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LINKS

Whitewashing Stalin’s Genocidal Crimes

[As hard as it may seem for some unread folks to believe, but there are many bloody examples where Stalin almost made Hitler look like a "Boy Scout" (SEE:  Facts About the 1933 Famine-Genocide in Soviet Occupied Ukraine).  The hard truth may be that Hitler learned a few brutal lessons from Stalin's murderous exploits in Eastern Europe and in Russia itself, just as he copied America's genocidal policies which were shaped to wipe-out our own native tribal population.  The hardest truth that we all must one day learn is that no society or civilization advances materially, except on the back others.  Someone must die or do without, in order for others to live like kings.   There are no natural surpluses in nature.  For a society to "profit," someone (the underclasses) will have to pay, or do without.  To create profit is to create an unnatural surplus over "here," by diverting goods which were originally going over "there."  The Third Reich advanced on the backs of its minorities and underclass, just like Stalin's Soviet Union.  Russians and other former Soviets might find themselves looking back on the Soviet Union with rose-colored glasses in today's tough economic times, but it was only twenty years ago that all of them were breathing deep sighs of relief after unloading the weight of the Soviet Union off their backs.  Putin was dead wrong about the demise of the Soviet Union being a tragedy--It was a great blessing to all mankind, but our leaders turned it into a nightmare, treating it as an opportunity to punish the survivors.

Fuck Stalin... I hope that he is rotting in hell.]

Russian activists decry failure to denounce Stalin

FILE -- In this Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010 file photo, Russian Communists hold a portrait of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, as they queue to lay flowers at the grave of Stalin to mark the 131th anniversary of his birth, in Red Square in Moscow. Human rights activists and historians are criticizing Russia's state-controlled media, accusing it of whitewashing Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's image. Boris Yeltsin Center Director Alexander Drozdov said Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011, state-run television stations have turned Stalin's name into a brand.
FILE — In this Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010 file photo, Russian Communists hold a portrait of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, as they queue to lay flowers at the grave of Stalin to mark the 131th anniversary of his birth, in Red Square in Moscow. Human rights activists and historians are criticizing Russia’s state-controlled media, accusing it of whitewashing Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s image. Boris Yeltsin Center Director Alexander Drozdov said Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011, state-run television stations have turned Stalin’s name into a brand. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze, file)
By Nataliya VasilyevaAssociated Press / October 26, 2011

MOSCOW—Russian state-controlled media must stop whitewashing Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s image, and the government should take a stand on his crimes, human rights activists and historians said Wednesday.

Nearly 60 years after his death, Stalin remains a divisive figure in Russian society, with some crediting him with leading the nation to victory in World War II and turning it into a superpower, and others condemning him for purges that killed millions of people.

Russia’s state-run TV stations have recently turned Stalin’s name into a favorable brand, thanks to “very talentedly executed propaganda,” Alexander Drozdov, director of the Boris Yeltsin Center, said at a news conference.

Nationwide, television stations have aired many movies and programs casting Stalin in a positive light.

He was voted as Russia’s third-greatest historical figure in a prime-time show in 2008, garnering more than 519,000 votes. Recent polls have shown that from one-third to one-half of Russians have a decidedly or at least a mildly positive view of Stalin.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who served as president in 2000-2008 and is all but certain to reclaim the top job in March’s election, has avoided open public praise or criticism of Stalin. But his opponents have accused the government of burnishing Stalin’s image as part of its efforts to justify its own retreat from democracy.

Stalin critics have been outraged by a high school textbook that describes the dictator as “an efficient manager” and by a restored Moscow subway station that includes old Soviet national anthem lyrics praising the dictator in its interior decoration.

Stalin led the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953. During that time, millions of people died in political purges and in prison camps. Countless others were deported or exiled to remote areas.

Vladimir Lukin, Russia’s human rights ombudsman, decried any attempt to give Stalin credit for the economic growth of the 1930s.

“Thanks to heroic efforts and a total disregard for humanity, our country managed to evolve from a backward agrarian country into a backward industrial one during the Stalin era,” Lukin said.

Arseny Roginsky, head of the Memorial rights group, said the least the Russian government can do now is “give a legal appraisal to the crimes of the Soviet regime.” Roginsky’s group has offered a comprehensive package to help raise public awareness of Stalin’s crimes, including suggestions for school curriculums.

Andrei Sorokin, director of the Russian State Archives of Social and Political History, warned that Russia will have no future if it fails to assess its difficult past.

“Russian society has been living in a crisis of public consciousness for the past 25 years,” he said.

“Any forward movement or attempts to modernize Russia will fail if we don’t work out a consensus on our attitudes toward the Soviet past.”