Obama Offered Deal to Russia in Secret Letter

[A simple exchange of letters and Iran’s throat is cut.  There will be no US missiles in Poland; there will be no Russian S300 missiles in Iran.  What there will be is Israeli/American missiles all over the sky and countryside of Iran, even some underground.  Just like in the con job that preceded the last Iraq slaughter, this clears the way for the “Iran War Resolution II” now pending in the House, which will produce the life-threatening blockade, that will cause the Revolutionary Guard to guard Iran.  Everything is going according to plan.]

Obama Offered Deal to Russia in Secret Letter


Published: March 2, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Obama sent a secret letter to Russia’s president last month suggesting that he would back off deploying a new missile defense system in Eastern Europe if Moscow would help stop Iran from developing long-range weapons, American officials said Monday.

The letter was hand-delivered to President Dmitri A. Medvedev, above, three weeks ago.

The letter to President Dmitri A. Medvedev was hand-delivered in Moscow by top administration officials three weeks ago. It said the United States would not need to proceed with the interceptor system, which has been vehemently opposed by Russia since it was proposed by the Bush administration, if Iran halted any efforts to build nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles.

The officials who described the contents of the message requested anonymity because it has not been made public. While they said it did not offer a direct quid pro quo, the letter was intended to give Moscow an incentive to join the United States in a common front against Iran. Russia’s military, diplomatic and commercial ties to Tehran give it some influence there, but it has often resisted Washington’s hard line against Iran.

“It’s almost saying to them, put up or shut up,” said a senior administration official. “It’s not that the Russians get to say, ‘We’ll try and therefore you have to suspend.’ It says the threat has to go away.”

On Tuesday, a press secretary for Dmitri A. Medvedev told the Interfax news agency that the letter did not contain any “specific proposals or mutually binding initiatives.”

Natalya Timakova said the letter was a reply to one sent by Mr. Medvedev shortly after Mr. Obama was elected.

“Medvedev appreciated the promptness of the reply and the positive spirit of the message,” Ms. Timakova said. “Obama’s letter contains various proposals and assessments of the current situation. But the message did not contain any specific proposals or mutually binding initiatives.”

She said Mr. Medvedev perceives the development of Russian-American relations as “exceptionally positive,” and hopes details can be fleshed out at a meeting on Friday in Geneva between Foreign Minister Sergei V. Lavrov and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Medvedev will meet for the first time on April 2 in London, officials said Monday.

Mr. Obama’s letter, sent in response to one he received from Mr. Medvedev shortly after Mr. Obama’s inauguration, is part of an effort to “press the reset button” on Russian-American relations, as Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. put it last month, officials in Washington said. Among other things, the letter discussed talks to extend a strategic arms treaty expiring this year and cooperation in opening supply routes to Afghanistan.

The plan to build a high-tech radar facility in the Czech Republic and deploy 10 interceptor missiles in Poland — a part of the world that Russia once considered its sphere of influence — was a top priority for President George W. Bush to deter Iran in case it developed a nuclear warhead to fit atop its long-range missiles. Mr. Bush never accepted a Moscow proposal to install part of the missile defense system on its territory and jointly operate it so it could not be used against Russia.

Now the Obama administration appears to be reconsidering that idea, although it is not clear if it would want to put part of the system on Russian soil where it could be flipped on or off by Russians. Mr. Obama has been lukewarm on missile defense, saying he supports it only if it can be proved technically effective and affordable.

Mr. Bush also emphasized the linkage between the Iranian threat and missile defense, but Mr. Obama’s overture reformulates it in a way intended to appeal to the Russians, who long ago soured on the Bush administration. Officials have been hinting at the possibility of an agreement in recent weeks, and Mr. Obama’s proposal was reported on Monday by a Moscow newspaper, Kommersant.

“If through strong diplomacy with Russia and our other partners we can reduce or eliminate that threat, it obviously shapes the way at which we look at missile defense,” Under Secretary of State William J. Burns said about the Iranian threat in an interview with the Russian news agency Interfax while in Moscow last month delivering Mr. Obama’s letter.

Attending a NATO meeting in Krakow, Poland, on Feb. 20, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said, “I told the Russians a year ago that if there were no Iranian missile program, there would be no need for the missile sites.” Mr. Obama’s inauguration, he added, offered the chance for a fresh start. “My hope is that now, with the new administration, the prospects for that kind of cooperation might have improved,” he said.

The idea has distressed Poland and the Czech Republic, where leaders invested political capital in signing missile defense cooperation treaties with the United States despite domestic opposition. If the United States were to slow or halt deployment of the systems, Warsaw and Prague might insist on other incentives.

For example, the deal with Poland included a side agreement that an American Patriot air defense battery would be moved from Germany to Poland, where it would be operated by a crew of about 100 American service members. The administration might have to proceed with that to reassure Warsaw.

Missile defense has flavored Mr. Obama’s relationship with Russia from the day after his election, when Mr. Medvedev threatened to point missiles at Europe if the system proceeded. Mr. Medvedev later backed off that threat and it seems that Moscow is taking seriously the idea floated in Mr. Obama’s letter. Kommersant, the Moscow newspaper, on Monday called it a “sensational proposal.”

Mr. Medvedev said Sunday that he believed the Obama administration would be open to cooperation on missile defense.

“We have already received such signals from our American colleagues,” he said in an interview posted on the Kremlin Web site. “I expect that these signals will turn into concrete proposals. I hope to discuss this issue of great importance for Europe during my first meeting with President Barack Obama.”

David E. Sanger and Thom Shanker contributed reporting from Washington, and Michael Schwirtz and Ellen Barry from Moscow.


Obama Channels Sun Tzu

[I normally don’t post articles from the pro-Israeli site Debkafile, but I am citing it now, just in case it might prove to be true and the quotation in red.  If the story is true, then it represents a return to the “New World Order” principle invoked by Bush Sr., after the first Gulf war—US and Russia acting in concert as the global policeman.  This is the behind-the-scenes arrangement that has existed for decades, the past disagreements, no matter how bloody they may have been, were merely the circus, being staged for the diversion of the people.]

US Moves Missile Shield From Europe To Israel, Azerbaijan

Source: DEBKAfile

Deputy US army chief, Gen. James Cartwright and defense secretary Robert Gates amplified President Barack Obama’s statement on the US missile shield in East Europe in Washington Thursday, Sept. 17, by announcing that a new and better anti-missile missile system would be deployed in Israel and the Caucasus.

DEBKAfile discloses exclusively that the system would be installed at a Russian military base in Azerbaijan. Referring to the Israeli component, he said: “It is already working perfectly.”

DEBKAfile’s military sources disclose he was referring to the advanced American FBX-T radar system deployed last year in Israel’s Negev base at Nevatim, which is capable of tracking a missile launched from the Persian Gulf, the Middle East and beyond. The system, product of Raytheon, is mobile and capable of detecting incoming bodies the size of a baseball from a distance of 4,700 km, determining its speed and angle of flight and transmitting the data to an interceptor at any point on earth.
DEBKAfile reported earlier Thursday:
The Obama administration’s decision to shelve the plan to install US missile interceptors and radar systems in Poland and the Czech Republic was released Thursday, Sept. 17. The shield was promoted by the Bush administration in the face of strong Russian opposition for the purpose of shielding Europe from long-range Iranian ballistic missile attack.
DEBKAfile reports that Barack Obama’s decision prompted Russian president Dmitry Medvedev’s surprise comment Monday, Sept. 14, that his government no longer rules out further sanctions against Iran – although the Kremlin has always denied its cooperation with the US on the Iranian nuclear issue was contingent on the removal of the US missile shield plan.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly in its coming issue (out Friday) will reveal how the shared US-Russian wish to avert an Israeli military strike against Iran produced Obama’s decision to ditch the missile shield in East Europe.
Our Washington sources report that the decision follows a 60-day assessment of the issue announced by Obama. “The US will base its decision on a determination that Iran’s long-range missile program has not progressed as rapidly as previously estimated, reducing the threat to the continental US and major European capitals,” said unnamed current and former US officials.
On Aug. 29, DEBKAfile reported exclusively from East European sources that Washington was considering the transfer of its missile plan from Poland and the Czech Republic possibly to Israel and Turkey.
This decision is an important foreign policy step for Obama; it is a prize for Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, who fought the US shield plan on Russia’s doorstep tooth and nail, and a major strategic reversal for Iran. Moscow’s cooperation removes a key obstacle on the road to harsh sanctions against Iran. Acting in concert with Moscow, Washington can dispense with Beijing’s endorsement.
Nonetheless, DEBKAfile’s Moscow sources stress, it is not entirely clear how far the Kremlin is willing to go in partnering the US drive against Iran. Russian leaders will take good care not to appear to the Muslim and Arab world as Iran’s enemy or a trading and diplomatic partner who reneges on its commitments.  http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=6271




While people are none the wiser………….

America and Israel plot to attack Iran with Russian backing. I will outline their plans in this post. It begins today with a “nefarious report” that is “unverified” supposedly given by some “mysterious un-named person” who supposedly “leaked” a “secret” section of a report on Iran’s nuclear capabilities from the IAEA and the Zionist media and American media are having a field day reporting this false information. So here are what the US and Israel’s objectives are and why this is taking place now: First this from the Jerusalem Post:

Experts at the IAEA are in agreement that Teheran has the ability to make a nuclear bomb and is on the way to developing a missile system able to carry an atomic warhead, according to a secret report seen by The Associated Press on Thursday.

It appears to be the so-called “secret annex” on Teheran’s nuclear program that Washington says is being withheld by the IAEA’s chief.

According to the document, the Islamic republic has “sufficient information” to build a bomb. Iran is likely to “overcome problems” on developing a delivery system, according to the report

However the IAEA is denying this, more on that in a minute. First I want to point out a little propaganda trick in today’s reports regarding the false leak and then move on to what is really taking place regarding an attack on Iran. Notice the reference to the IAEA’s Chief? As if he was the only committee member involved in creating the report. Here’s a clue, HINT it’s in his name “Dr. Mohamed Mostafa ElBaradei”

Whilst his name is not used in the Jpost article, it is used in hundreds of others that are directed to Western readers. The Jews already know Arabs have the audacity to participate in the UN equally. However, for the West, it’s a subliminal message which is: (Arab=Muslim=Can’t be trusted)And one more little factoid of interest. Dr. Mohamed Mostafa ElBaradei is the OUTGOING Chief of the IAEA, his successor is Yukiya Amano who is obviously NOT Arabic. You see it just does not strike the same sort of fear into the Zionists, Islamophobics and neo-cons when it’s a name like “Amano”

The next reason this propaganda is taking place right now should be obvious, but just in case, here it is from the Guardian today:

Attention will now focus on the United Nations in New York next week, where Obama takes the rare step of chairing a Security Council session in order to generate momentum towards nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and consensus over Iran

But, there is more to this still.Israel and the US are in the process of taking steps to justify some sort of siege or military action on Iran and they are using this “false report” from some “un-named” source as part of their basis. Here’s why:

The urgency of dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat was underscored today when a leaked report revealed that the UN inspection agency believes the Islamic republic has “sufficient information” to make a nuclear weapon and has “probably tested” a key component.

Note the careful wording of the Propaganda based on a false report anyone remember Iraq??? The false reports used to attack Iraq? Has Bush/Cheney left the Whitehouse? But the biggest hint that America and Israel are going after Iran comes from this section below, which I will explain after the series of excerpts:

A day after Barack Obama scrapped plans to deploy missile defence technology in Eastern Europe; the Associated Press said it had obtained material from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which suggests that it was more convinced Iran had been trying to make a bomb than its outgoing director, Mohamed ElBaradei, had admitted.

more on Obama’s fancy footwork:

His decision to change tack on missile defence has raised the prospect of improved co-operation with Russia in the Security Council. The Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, has praised Obama’s U-turn as “correct and bold”.(pay off!!!!)

“We should explore the potential for linking the US, Nato and Russia missile defence systems at an appropriate time … Both Nato and Russia have a wealth of experience in missile defence. We should now work to combine this experience to our mutual benefit.”

And another reason the IAEA findings on Iran must be discredited is this; if the report is not discredited, then only Israel has nukes in the Middle East. And why is that a problem? Because Obama “Claims” he wants to rid the region of all nukes in his fancy Campaign speeches, and now needs a reason to allow only Israel to keep them. Just look at this report:

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution urging all Middle East nations to foreswear atomic bombs in a symbolic vote showing increasing consensus for the measure.

Israel is one of only three countries worldwide along with India and Pakistan outside the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and is widely assumed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal,

The non-binding ballot at the annual International Atomic Energy Agency assembly was 100-1 with four abstentions

Can you guess how America voted? Given that Obama “Supposedly” wants all nations to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty?

Approving Thursday’s resolution were all industrialized states except the United States, Canada, Georgia, which abstained, as did India. Asian, Latin American, African, Arab and Islamic states voted YES.

And today this:

the IAEA General Conference approved a resolution urging Israel to sign up to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and to place its nuclear facilities under UN inspections.

For the first time in nearly two decades the issue of Israel’s nuclear weapons was put on the table despite Western governments’ efforts to thwart off a vote on the resolution, arguing it would be unhelpful to “single out Israel” after a resolution had passed the day before calling on all Middle Eastern countries to put a ban on nuclear weapons.

So, Arabs want to rid the world of ALL nukes, and Israel/America say “no” Remind me again who wants peace? So now Obama must find a way to sell this to the world and using a false “leak” from a “false non existing report” is the first step in the plan:Here is Israel, I mean America’s policy:

Israel argued that while a NWFZ is a commendable ideal, it is not feasible as long as some Arab neighbors continue not to recognize the Jewish state, with Islamist Iran openly calling for its elimination.

Arab diplomats point to an imbalance of power in the Middle East caused by unchecked Israeli power and say it breeds instability and spurs others to seek weapons of mass destruction.

Remind me again who wants peace? So what was Israel’s response to this vote?

Israel welcomed Arab states’ readiness this year to adjust language objectionable to it but said it voted no because the draft retained a clause calling “upon all states in the region to accede” to the NPT.

And there you have it, direct from the Zionist mouth. Israel does not want to, and will not sign up to, the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) So, without all this false propaganda coming out today about the IAEA and Iran, it would only be poor little Isarel isolated as the sole Nuclear Nation in the Middle East, this at a time when ALL other Middle Eastern countries want to see ALL Nukes removed from the region. Unless Iran can be manufactured into some massive threat, the world and the Middle East will demand Obama call on Israel to sign the treaty. And we all know he cannot stand up to Israel, after all, they run America. So Iran is the convenient excuse. Here is what the IAEA has to say about the “secret report” and the “un-named source” propaganda being spread as “fact” today:

The UN atomic watchdog said Thursday it has no concrete proof that there is or has been a nuclear weapons programme in Iran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency rejected a US media report which claimed its experts believed Tehran had the ability to make a nuclear bomb and was on the way to developing a missile system able to carry an atomic warhead.

“With respect to a recent media report, the IAEA reiterates that it has no concrete proof that there is or has been a nuclear weapon programme in Iran,” a statement said.

According to the (US and Isareli) media report, the proof was contained in a so-called “secret annex” to the IAEA’s latest report on Iran, but was deliberately being withheld by the agency’s director general Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei. (Ooooooooo, be afraid, be very afraid, it’s the man with the Arabic name……)

“At the board of governors meeting on September 9, Director General ElBaradei warned that continuing allegations that the IAEA was withholding information on Iran are politically motivated and totally baseless,” it said.

Yes, politically motivated, exactly! There’s more, here’s Israel’s pay off. Remember this being reported on the 12th of September, just five days ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a secret trip to Russia, a deputy prime minister confirmed on Saturday, but declined to give specific information on the mission.

“He was in Russia. It created some controversy about the way it was published in Israel,” Dan Meridor told Reuters while in Geneva for an international conference.
“The content was not discussed in public. Some things are better discussed (privately),” Meridor told Reuters.

So,if you have not figured all this out yet, here’s what is going on, using the false “leaked” so called “Secret Report” from the “secret Un-named source” coupled with the fact that the US and Israel have made a deal with Russia, hence the removal of the Missile Defence System from Europe as was stated above. Putin is a happy chappy and may have just sold Iran and the entire Middle East right down the crapper. And remember this? Good ole Netanyahu vanishes from Israel last week, the Israeli media begins to question is absence, after 2 days it is revealed in a leak that he “may” be in Russia, then next day it was confirmed.

Rest assured Netanyahu gave Putin something as well as Obama removing the Missile Defence System from Europe. So, with Russia out of the way, its clear sailing for an attack on Iran based on false information. Having said that, I certainly hope the America public and everyone else will remember where we have seen this before ? So, if you can’t see it by now you are blind. What is taking place now is taken DIRECTLY out of the Bush/Cheney game plan book, only this time A La Obama, exactly like what took place JUST before the attack on Iraq; see if this jogs your memory:

From CNN in 2003 “I cannot tell you everything that we know,” Powell said, with CIA Director George Tenet sitting behind him. “But what I can share with you, when combined with what all of us have learned over the years, is deeply troubling.”

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell presented as evidence against Iraq:

Drawings and diagrams said to illustrate Iraqi mobile biological labs (faked and lies)

Assertions that Iraqi nerve gas is unaccounted for (faked and lies)

Images said to support the assertion that Iraq continues to pursue nuclear weapons (BIG LIE JUST LIKE NOW WITH IRAN)

Assertions that Baghdad has had high-level, long-standing links to al Qaeda (There was NO Al Qaeda in Iraq when Saddam was in power, he kept them out and despised them, but now, thanks to America Al Qaeda IS in Iraq, way to go USA you really know how to screw up a country!)

ATTENTION AMERICA: Don’t be FOOLED again like you were with Iraq! Don’t go to war based on another FAKE non-existing document, Don’t make Iran into another Iraq never ending disaster, Don’t screw up the world for Israel, Take America back from Israeli control,


Right and Left: Enemies of Same Police State

Freedom Rider: In Praise of Tea Baggers

Submitted by Margaret Kimberley on Tue, 09/15/2009 – 18:24

liarby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The Right shows far more eagerness for a fight than the hapless Left, or what remains of it. Barack Obama “smacks down” progressives like gnats, yet they continue to behave as if their mission in life is to save his presidency. Now, purported progressives vow to defend White House “health reform” proposals that bear no resemblance whatever to reform. “Only the wrongheaded and racist are taking action at this critical time.”
Freedom Rider: In Praise of Tea Baggers
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Progressive critics don’t get the time of day from the man they continue to protect and support.”
Who took to the streets of Washington in the thousands, marching and demanding political change? Was it Progressives for Obama, or perhaps it was members of Moveon. The correct answer is neither of the above. Nowadaysthe only Americans who can be counted on to take to the streets or shout down presidents in righteous indignation are right-wingers. Progressives are smacked down time and again, but like hostages in Stockholm or kidnapped school girls, they believe that their survival depends on loving the abuser.
South Carolina Republican Congressman Joe Wilson was not well known until he shouted, “You lie!” at president Obama during his health care speech before a joint session of Congress. Democrats should be angry about this episode, but angry because none of them had the guts to call George W. Bush a liar on national television. Bush stole a presidential election, occupied Iraq under false pretenses and killed one million people, invaded Haiti and killed thousands, broke United States law to spy on American citizens, abandoned the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, and bankrupted the treasury without ever being called to account by his so-called opposition. Not only were Democrats too timid to call him a liar, but he achieved all of his dubious distinctions with their willing assistance.
The only Americans who can be counted on to take to the streets or shout down presidents in righteous indignation are right-wingers.”
Now Barack Obama has presented a health care “reform” proposal that is essentially the same as that produced by Republican Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts. The plan, which requires the purchase of health insurance, is nothing but a giveaway to the industry that has created so much suffering and made this country the laughing stock of every truly advanced nation on earth.
The Obama proposal does nothing to bring down the cost of prescription drugs. The Bush era regulations which prevent the government from negotiating the cost of prescription drugs are still in place. Democrats did not make even a token effort to repeal those rules and the now notorious “donut hole” strips seniors of what little money they have if they choose to remain alive and healthy.
While zombie-like right-wingers attended congressional town halls in droves, and agitated in favor of the status quo, progressives sat back and haughtily looked down on the yahoos. It didn’t occur to the besotted Obama lovers to question whether any of their idol’s proposals could in fact be called reform at all. Those who knew the score and demanded a robust public option were shut out by the White House and congressional negotiators. Members of Congress who did dare to speak up were threatened with retribution by presidential chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and his enforcers.
It didn’t occur to the besotted Obama lovers to question whether any of their idol’s proposals could in fact be called reform at all.”
Only the wrongheaded and racist are taking action at this critical time. Their animosity towards Obama is rooted in the shock and awe brought about by the very presence of a black president. It is also mixed with the anger brought about by the defeat of the Republican Party, accurately perceived as the champion of white America. Unable or unwilling to express the true source of their anger, the self-proclaimed “tea baggers” are left to call Obama a new Hitler, or a new Stalin, or a Kenyan smuggled into Hawaii as a newborn baby.
The bizarre behavior and inexplicable attachment of vulnerable people to interests who do them harm makes it easy to dismiss their actions. Yet they are now teaching the entire country a very valuable political lesson. In simple terms, it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.
Only the wrongheaded and racist are taking action at this critical time.”
The squeaky wheel gets press attention, creates confusion in the minds of otherwise discerning people, gives cover to waffling politicians, and in the case of an administration openly disdainful of popular action from the left, the wheel even gets grease from its sworn enemy. The administration will meet withanti-abortion activists in order to reassure them that abortion will not receive federal funding under any health insurance proposal. Progressive critics don’t get the time of day from the man they continue to protect and support. There is truly more value in opposing Obama than in supporting him.
It is unfortunate that no Democrats are willing to call Obama a liar. His assertion that a public option is not viable because it would mean “starting from scratch” is enough reason for Americans to rise up in anger. More than forty years ago Congress passed legislation establishing Medicare, which went into effect a mere six months later. Who are the true yokels, Wilson and company or Democrats who keep defending blatant lies?
So don’t sneer at the tea bagger, birther, deather, dead ender Republicans. They relentlessly make their demands known and in the end, they will get what they want.
Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.Com.

Black is Back! A Coalition to Fight the Powers that Be – Including Obama

Black is Back! A Coalition to Fight the Powers that Be – Including Obama

justice and peaceby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Black leadership is paralyzed, white “progressives” are still drunk on ObamaL’aid, and much of the purported anti-war movement fears to confront the nation’s First Black President. As historically the most reliably anti-war and pro-social justice ethnicity in the United States, African Americans have a special role to play in the late capitalist drama. “To free our people’s hopes and dreams from oblivion, we need a coalition dedicated to the proposition that Black is Back.”
Black is Back! A Coalition to Fight the Powers that Be – Including Obama
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The election of Obama as president has undermined our solidarity with the oppressed peoples of the world as well as our own efforts for liberation.”
If we are to head off political and existential disaster, it is critical that Black-led formations reassert themselves to reverse the paralysis that has engulfed the Black Liberation, anti-war and anti-corporate movements since the ascension of Barack Obama. The evidence has accumulated in fearsome abundance: rather than unleashing the pent-up energies and aspirations of those who suffer under the rule of profiteers and militarists – most especially, African Americans – Obama’s rise has led to wholesale surrender of Black and “progressive” leadership to the financial and war-making interests embraced by the First Black President.
“’Black is Back’ is a statement of the re-entry of African people into political life independent of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party,” reads the Call to build the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. At an organizing meeting in Washington, DC, more than a dozen “leading anti-imperialist African diaspora activists, artists, journalists and organizations” (including this writer) agreed that “the election of Obama as president has undermined our solidarity with the oppressed peoples of the world as well as our own efforts for liberation.”
African Americans have long struggled under the institutional weight of the Democratic Party, whose priorities have not coincided with our own for most of the last 40 years, if ever. Deployed as bloc voters once every two or four years and dismissed and disrespected every single day in between, African Americans have endured countless betrayals, all the while postponing and diluting our own demands in deference to a party that slides inexorably Rightward. To that historical burden of misplaced deference has been added the First Black President, whose very presence has succeeded in politically lobotomizing many of the most active elements of Black leadership. If we are to reverse the damage, we must act in the spirit of the slogan, Black is Back!
The First Black President’s very presence has succeeded in politically lobotomizing many of the most active elements of Black leadership.”
Obama preached peace, then enlarged U.S. wars. He championed the language of universal health care, while sabotaging its most fervent supporters. He moves his lips to criticize the bankers, then puts tens of trillions of the people’s dollars at their disposal. He orates on the pain of poverty, and in the next breath proclaims that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” He blames African underdevelopment on internal corruption while relentlessly militarizing the continent through the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). He panders to the most base white prejudices by calling Black men boys and singling out African Americans as models of bad morals and work habits.
Oprah was dead wrong: Obama is not The One. He is not even an ally; he is an obstacle that must be struggled against, a formidable bulwark of finance capital and imperial barbarism.
While Obama defends his wars and his bailouts, and African American leadership expends all its energies defending the president, the Black agenda is left with hardly any defenders at all. It is as if African American aspirations were sequestered in some dank basement corner of Obama’s White House, never to be seen or heard from again. To free our people’s hopes and dreams from oblivion, we need a coalition dedicated to the proposition that Black is Back.
Obama is an obstacle that must be struggled against.”
White “progressives” and anti-imperialists are also in need of a Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. Historically, African Americans have been the most reliably anti-war and pro-social justice ethnicity in the United States. Blacks have opposed U.S. military adventures abroad for as long as the major polling outfits have surveyed African American opinion. A February 2003 Zogby poll showed only 23 percent of Blacks favored George Bush’s planned attack on Iraq, versus 62 percent of whites. A solid majority of white men backed the invasion even if it would result in thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties. Only seven percent of African Americans supported war under such circumstances. African Americans have always been deeply suspicious of U.S. motives in the world, and are least likely to dehumanize the Other.
These sentiments are rooted in Black historical experience – and are now in profound conflict with the warlike policies of the First Black President. It is the job, first and foremost, of African American anti-imperialists to confront Obama’s militarism. This would nullify excuses from non-Black activists who claim that fear of alienating Blacks makes them reluctant to directly challenge Obama. When we Bring Back Black, we advance the struggle of all peoples.
In the absence of a militant Black critique and challenge to Obama, the Black conversation devolves into angry counterattacks against the likes of Glenn Beck, and little else.”
As racist whites transfer their hatred of African Americans to the person of Obama, far too many Blacks have forsaken their traditional causes – peace, economic justice and social equality – to circle the wagons around a politician that is fundamentally opposed to the historical Black agenda in all respects but one: upward mobility for Black politicians. In the absence of a militant Black critique and challenge to Obama, the Black conversation devolves into angry counterattacks against the likes of Glenn Beck, and little else. Meanwhile, the objective circumstances of our people deteriorate on an unprecedented scale as a direct result of White House policies and the policies of previous presidents that Obama has embraced. As the Call for a Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations puts it:
“While Obama has opposed the demand for reparations for African people in the U.S. for the history of slavery, exploitation and terror, he has handed over trillions of dollars of the taxpayer’s money to the banking elite. Meanwhile millions of African people have lost their homes after being targeted by these same bankers for subprime mortgages that result in the loss of billions of dollars of African community wealth in the form of mass home foreclosures.
“While more than a quarter million jobs are being lost in the U.S. monthly, African people face 15.9 percent official unemployment. African teenagers with 38.9 percent unemployment are jobless at four times the overall U.S. unemployment rate.
“In the U.S., where Barack Obama also told us that racial exploitation and oppression are no longer factors in life, the black-white health gap costs the lives of more than 83,000 African people each year. Additionally, African men in the U.S. are incarcerated at rates eight times higher than white men and one out of three African males in his 30s has a prison record. One out of eight African men in his 20s is now in prison or jail on any given day.”
These are facts that speak directly to the African American condition, and resonate among all conscious elements of our people. The rapidly worsening Black domestic situation, growing theaters of war and threats of “regime change” abroad, and a multiplicity of global crises demand “re-entry of African people into political life independent of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party,” as called for by the newly formed coalition. Black is Back!
The Black is Back Coalition (see list of participants, below) will soon announce the date of its inaugural rally in Washington, D.C. For information, contact:
Chioma Oruh 202.320.5542 asi.na.chair@gmail.com
Rosa Clemente 646.721.7441 knowthyself@mac.com
Jared Ball 202.997.0267 freemixradio@voxunion.com
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.
Coalition participants as of September 12:
Omali Yeshitela, African Peoples Socialist Party (APSP)
Dorothy Lewis, NCOBRA
Cynthia McKinney, Green Party
Ayesha Fleary, APSP
Chimurenga Waller, APSP
Stic Man, Dead Prez
M-1, Dead Prez
Ousainou Mbenga, APSP
Abdul Alim Musa, Masjid al-Islam
Ona Zena Yeshitela, APSP
Omawale Kefing, Burning Spear
Curtis Gatewood, NAACP
Raheal Rayza, University of Toronto
Norman Richmond, Toronto
Luwezi Kinshasa, APSP
Chakanda Gondwe, APSP
Pam Africa, Free Mumia Campaign
Brother Riley, Uhuru Radio
Rich Piedrahita, APSP
Jared Ball, VoxUnion Media
Chioma Oruh, SPSP
Sister Olevette
Rosa Clemente, Green Party

Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report.

The United States Policies in the Caucasus Could Lead To Further Russian Influence

The United States Policies in the Caucasus Could Lead To Further Russian Influence

Journal of Turkish Weekly (JTW)

written by
Stacy Maruskin

Russia has always been a powerhouse in the global community and the Caucasus. Throughout the centuries Russians have occupied vast lands, and today their influence can still be seen and felt in many countries. Despite the end of the Cold War, it has not translated into warm, friendly relations devoid of strain between Russia and the rest of the world. Russia still poses a threat to Western interests in the region and the Obama administration’s hesitancy to give actual and continual support for the pro-western countries of the Caucasus could be explained by the large, influential Armenian Diaspora of the United States. The Diaspora has influenced policies in the U.S. and if they continue to seep further into foreign policy making, it will not only be Armenia who relies on Russia for support, but Azerbaijan could fall victim as well.

Throughout the years following Armenian independence, Russia and Armenia have remained close consorts while Azerbaijan and Georgia have sought Turkish and American support as their key to the West. There is a cultural bridge which links Turkey to these countries. Turkey and Azerbaijan share a common language and religion while strong social links exist between Turkey and Georgia. For instance, millions of Georgians live in Turkey and Georgia has always seen Turkey as a friendly country that balances Russian antagonism. Armenia views Russia as its protector from over 100 million Turks that surround its borders: 72 million within Turkey, around eight million Azeri Turks in Azerbaijan and nearly 30 million Azeri Turks in Iran. While the other former Soviet Republics have tried to expand their foreign relations outside of Moscow, Armenians have headed in the opposite direction, increasing their diplomatic and economic ties with the country. Armenia’s lack of natural resources and relative poverty has led to further dependence on Russia, and much of the infrastructure within Armenia is owned by Russian companies.

The oil and gas rich region of the Southern Caucasus serve both Europe and the United States’ economic interests. Russia’s recent attachment to the region is due to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s desire to show that Russia is back as an international actor. Habibe Ozdal, a Russian and Black Seas researcher at the International Strategic Research Organization (USAK) based in Ankara, says, “After the dissolution of the USSR, the power of the Southern Caucasus belonged to the United States as well as Turkey, due to the latter’s brotherly image for the Turkic peoples; however, since 2000, Russia has strongly emphasized that the Caucasus region is its backyard and is pushing for a pro-Russian agenda.” Ozdal also reiterates sentiments that Russia now wants to strengthen its energy monopoly in the region; if it can assert its influence in the Caucasus and in Central Asia, international actors like the United States will become dependent upon Russia and risk falling victim to the activities of the Armenian Diaspora in the U.S. Recent policy implementations pushed by the Armenian Diaspora which are not favorable to Georgia or Azerbaijan will deteriorate closer relations between the U.S. and the Caucasus and damage any hopes for less energy dependency on Russia. If for this reason alone, the U.S. needs to work on turning its words into action for a strategic partnership in the Caucasus.

The Energy and Oil Pipelines

As energy economist John Foster writes in his article, Afghanistan and the New Great Game, “Pipelines are important today in the same way that railway building was important in the 19th century. They connect trading partners and influence the regional balance of power.”[i]

Aside from the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline which transfers gas from the Shah Deniz-I field to Turkey via Georgia and the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Crude Oil Pipeline which lies between Turkey and Azerbaijan; there is the Nabucco Project which aims to decrease Europe’s energy dependence on Russia.[ii]

Europe’s need for energy diversification has become apparent through pipeline projects like Nabucco. However, due to the recent conflict in Georgia, the European Union has expressed concerns over whether Georgia should play as large a role as it was initially given. The conflict between Russia and Georgia last summer has left a bitter aftertaste and with the signing of the Nabucco pipeline deal in July, some are wondering if Georgia can handle its role in the project. In the article, Tbilisi’s Energy Future Dims, Peter Doran writes that Georgia had previously enjoyed a privileged seat at the Nabucco table due to their status as a strategic non Russian energy transport link between the Caspian Sea and Europe. However, with the announcement of plans to produce 31 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from a new joint-venture in Iraqi Kurdistan, Georgia would be bypassed.[iii] Each of those pipelines have one thing in common: they have all ignored Armenia as a passageway which has not pleased the Armenian Diaspora in the States and has most likely led to the contradictory rhetoric of Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama. In his article, Doran touches on the inconsistency of their statements and points out that Georgia’s strategic importance to the EU and the United States as a transport corridor will only grow less critical with every cubic meter of Iraqi natural gas supplied to Europe. Although Armenia claims economically that it makes no sense for their country to be bypassed and they should be incorporated into the pipeline routes, the EU and the United States both seem to favor avoiding the all together troubled Caucasus region if possible.

The Armenian Diaspora and Caucasus Policies

Turkey was one of the first states to recognize Armenian independence in 1991; however, Turkey shortly closed its territorial borders with Armenia due to the latter’s occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh. The Nagorno-Karabakh region is 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory. In 1993, with the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 822, Nagorno-Karabakh was declared part of Azerbaijan, and the resolution insisted that Armenian forces withdraw from the region. A withdrawal has yet to occur and as a result, the Turkey-Armenia and Azerbaijan-Armenia land borders have remained closed. At present, Turkey is insisting that before the border can be re-opened, the conflict must be settled, and this pre-condition has upset the United States, who is currently sponsoring the normalization talks between Turkey and Armenia.

It is possible that the Armenian Diaspora has become more influential in politics than those living within the country itself, especially when it comes to domestic Armenian politics. Their influence also has a firm grip on U.S. policy making. Although the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has recently declared unconstitutional, a law which allowed descendents of Armenians killed during the 1915 incidents access to their ancestors’ bank accounts and insurance policies, it is still a prime example of their reach. The presiding Judge David Thompson said, “The conflict is clear on the face of the statute: by using the phrase, ‘Armenian Genocide,’ California has defied the President’s foreign policy preferences.”

Forty states have passed resolutions which recognize the incidents of 1915 as the Armenian ‘genocide.’ and the Diaspora has initiated a smear campaign against Turkey in the United States which, naturally, has not pleased Ankara.

These events are a testament to the Diaspora’s power and influence within the American political system and the effects it has on U.S. policies, both domestic and foreign. The Diaspora does not approve of Armenia being sidestepped in the pipeline issue, it does not want Turkey to carry out a successful plan to open up the borders through the use of preconditions and it wants the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to be resolved in Armenia’s favor. The Diaspora also does not wish to see Armenia surrounded by a Turkic bloc and it is aware of Azerbaijan’s vital importance to the West if it wishes to continue with energy, transportation and military projects within the country. All of this culminates in a further desire to steer favorable U.S. policies away from Azerbaijan and Georgia, something the U.S. cannot afford to continue doing.

Biden and Obama have each gone back and forth in their rhetoric which offers something between mediocre and strong support in terms of a strategic partnership with Azerbaijan and Georgia; it is no wonder they back peddle with such a large and wealthy Armenian voter constituency to remind them when they offer too much backing. However, if this strategic partnership does not come to fruition soon, Georgia might move on, especially since its defense has yet to be bolstered despite U.S. promises.

The Roles of Turkey and the United States in the Caucasus

The United States has pushed for Turkey to open its land borders and throw out the precondition that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict be resolved before restoring diplomatic relations with Armenia. They believe that friendlier relations with Turkey could encourage Armenia to back away from Russian support and join its neighbors in their Western ambitions. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to occur, and Dr. Sedat Laciner, director of USAK believes, “It is not possible for them to leave the Russian bloc due to bilateral agreements and the mass Russian ownership of infrastructure within the country. They will not turn away from Russia and now the United States could lose Azerbaijan and Georgia because of the Armenian Diaspora.”

The United States’ prodding for Turkey to remove preconditions or accelerate the opening of its Armenian border is a lost cause. The Karabakh problem might never be solved since the population is now 100% Armenian due to nearly one million Azeris being forced from their homes over the years. Recently, Representative Frank Pallone, the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, stated that, “I believe personally that the United States should recognize Nagorno-Karabakh. I certainly would be willing to do whatever I can to have that happen.” He also declared that the region had a right to be an independent nation and that, “…what you really need to do is to have the State Department change its position.” This is yet another example of the influence the Armenian Diaspora and lobby have in the United States.

Turkey has worked hard to build a foundation with Azerbaijan and Georgia so that they can look to Turkey for support rather than their former occupier, Russia. Turkey has tried to unite the three through economic and transportation projects and their ultimate aim has been to aid these two in their efforts for NATO accession. However, Azerbaijan and Georgia both know that Turkey cannot protect them in the wake of a Russian threat without subjecting itself to the turmoil of war, a risk it would not take. Therefore, by striking preemptively and accepting what they might believe is an inevitable future, a forced partnership with Russia if they are rejected by the West, they can reduce this threat by turning to the former before any looming threats become a reality. After last summer’s conflict between Russia, Georgia, and the separatist groups from South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Russia recognized those regions of Georgia as independent states and Georgia’s Parliament passed a resolution which declared both regions Russian-occupied territories. With Russia’s support, these territories are already under their influence.

The Obama administration should further nurture the desire of Azerbaijan and Georgia to be integrated with the West through their admittance into NATO and friendly relations with Turkey. They need to contribute to the strategic partnership with action and not only words. Since their independence, Azerbaijan and Georgia have expressed those wishes by pulling back on their ties with Moscow and strengthening their relations with Ankara. If ignored, Azerbaijan might feel it must go back into the arms of Russia for stability and security. The West has no interest in watching Russia expand its sphere of influence so why ignore the aspirations of these two countries. The Armenian Diaspora has overwhelming numbers in the United States and amazingly, there are more Armenians living abroad than in the country itself. Its influence in U.S. policy making has reached deeper and deeper into foreign relations in recent years and has the ability to strain U.S. relations with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. It has already pushed for the U.S. Congress to recognize the events of 1915 as genocide and it continues to influence foreign policy as can be seen with the case of Georgia and Azerbaijan. The lobby’s influence has also prevented the U.S. from giving credits to the proposed railway projects which would unite the Caucasus with Turkey. The U.S. should show further support for initiatives in the region, specifically those regarding the pipelines.

If the United States is not careful, Russia could expand its influence in the region, creating a pro-Russian bloc. If Russia wins the hearts of the Azeris and with Georgia’s breakaway territories already in Russia’s back pocket, a chain of countries would be formed linking Russia directly by border to its close friend, Iran. The recent sentiments announced by newly-elected NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen that Georgia (and Ukraine as well) was not ready to become a member and its accession was “hypothetical” at the moment, does not help the situation. Azerbaijan asserts that its policies are independent from the influence of the West and Russia; however, if Azerbaijan forms closer relations with Russia, this will not bode well for the United States and Europe in the long run. They have been looking for alternatives to Russian power and influence in energy and with burgeoning relations between Russia and its former satellites, Western influence in the Caucasus could be displaced. The Obama administration must turn rhetoric into action and strengthen the strategic alliance between itself and the Caucasus while offering support and aid before the U.S. distances itself from viable interests and let the Caucasus fall straight into the lap of Russia.

Stacy Maruskin (JTW)

[i] Foster, John. "Afghanistan and the New Great Game." Common Dreams. 13 Aug. 2009. Web.

[ii] Laciner, Sedat. "Turkey’s Pipeline Politics." USAK Gundem. 23 June 2009. Web.

[iii] Doran, Peter, and Christina Andronescu. "Tbilisi’s Energy Future Dims." The Center for European Policy Analysis. 3 Aug. 2009. Web.

Police recover unlicensed arms from security firm

Police recover unlicensed arms from security firm

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani police raided a local security firm contracted by the U.S. Embassy on Saturday, officials said, seizing dozens of allegedly unlicensed weapons at a time when American use of private contractors is under unusual scrutiny here.

Two employees of the Inter-Risk company were arrested, Islamabad police official Rana Akram told a news conference. Reporters were shown the disputed weapons, 61 assault rifles and nine pistols.

He said police were searching for the owner of the firm, which has been mentioned recently in local media reports that have been trying to establish the types of private security firms that American diplomats use in Pakistan.

In particular, Pakistani reporters, bloggers and others have suggested that the U.S. may be using the American firm formerly known as Blackwater, which was refused an operating license by Iraq’s government early this year amid continued outrage over a lethal 2007 firefight involving some of its employees in Baghdad.

The U.S. Embassy denies it uses Blackwater, now known as XeServices, in Pakistan, but the accusations have been part of a deepening sense of anti-Americanism in a country where that feeling is already pervasive.

Much of it hinges on U.S. plans to expand its embassy, adding hundreds more staff and more land in what it says is a move to allow it to disburse billions of dollars more in humanitarian aid to Pakistan.

Akram said police are investigating whether any other private security firms are using illegal weapons.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Rick Snelsire confirmed that the embassy signed a contract with Inter-Risk last year and that it took effect at the start of 2009. It is believed to be the first contract the local firm has signed with the U.S., said Snelsire, who did not have a figure for the contract’s worth.

“Our understanding is they obtained licenses with whatever they brought into the country to meet the contractual needs,” Snelsire said.

“We told the government that we had a contract with Inter-Risk, that Inter-Risk would be providing security at the embassy and our consulates.”