US and Russia to Have Matching Bases in Conflict Zone

USA To Deploy Army Bases in Georgia To Rearm Nation’s Army

Pravda.Ru

The situation in the Caucuses is again the center of the world media attention. According to the Resonance, a Georgian newspaper, American military bases may appear in Georgia in 2015. The information allegedly came from an undisclosed high-ranking well-informed Georgian source.

The newspaper believes that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili could have received this promise at the meeting with US State Secretary Hilary Clinton on September 21. The Pentagon is reportedly working on the project plans.

The issue of locating military bases in Georgia is supervised by several Republican congressmen. In Pentagon the issue is lobbied by the ex-vice president Dick Cheney. The document may be brought to the Congress for consideration.

If US congressmen approve the plan and Georgian officials support it, by 2015 there will be 25,000 American military officers in Georgia. As for the military bases, the US will build two land bases and one navy base on the territory of Georgia. The same number of bases Russia is building in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

There were no official comments either from Washington or from Tbilisi. Analysts believe that the issue with American bases in Georgia is connected with harsh comments from US State Secretary Hilary Clinton

On September 21 (after the meeting with Mikhail Saakashvili) she said that the United States was not going to recognize independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Washington will do everything to prevent the world from recognizing these republics.

“She mentioned that we believe that the best way to achieve our common (with Georgia – ed.) goal is not to have Abkhazia and South Ossetia recognized by other countries, but recognize that they belong to Georgia,” said Philip Gordon, the US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs.

“Despite Russian pressure, 99 percent of the international community did not recognize their independence. And we are working together with our Georgian friends to prevent it,” he added.

It is not ruled out that “work with friends” implies a war component.

“The USA has been helping Georgia in military respect for the past four years. It involved not only regular supply of military equipment and preparing staff for the Georgian Army,” said Anatoly Tsyganok, an expert with the Institute for Political and Military Analysis.

“For example, during the 2008 campaign the Russian military captured an American control station. Even now at least 200 American soldiers are located in Georgia.

“I do not think that Washington will majorly expand its military aid to Tbilisi. And it will not locate American military bases there. The most it can do is to use Georgian Air Force to supply its Afghan group.

Trial of "Gnjilane Group" begins in Belgrade

Trial of "Gnjilane Group" begins in Belgrade

24. September 2009. | 14:56

Source: EMportal

The trial of members of the so-called Gnjilane Group of the Kosovo Liberation Army, charged with the torture and brutal murder of Kosovo civilians in 1999, started on Sept. 23 with the recording of the defendants’ personal information and determining who will represent them in the case, which took several hours.

The trial of members of the so-called Gnjilane Group of the Kosovo Liberation Army, charged with the torture and brutal murder of Kosovo civilians in 1999, started on Sept. 23 with the recording of the defendants’ personal information and determining who will represent them in the case, which took several hours.
The trial of the nine defendants, which will be held at the Special Court, did not formally begin on Sept. 23, as the indictment was not read, and the process of recording personal information and selecting defense attorneys took hours due to translation problems.
According to the indictment, between June and late December 1999 members of the Gnjilane Group brutally murdered at least 80 civilians and physically abused at least 153, 34 of whom are still listed as missing.
Seventeen members of the former KLA are standing trial for illegal imprisonment, robbery, torture, abuse, rape, and brutally murder of Serb civilians, non-Albanians and some Albanians. Eight defendants from the group will be tried in absentia, as they are still at large. Nine members of the group were arrested in Presevo on Dec. 26, 2008 and have been in custody in Belgrade since.
Bruno Vekaric, spokesman for the Office of the Special Prosecutor for War Crimes, said on Sept. 23 that the trial of the Gnjilane Group for war crimes against civilians is "a high risk trial."
"A heinous crime was committed, for which 17 individuals have been indicted, and police are searching for the remaining eight. Witnesses from Kosovo received threats during the investigation," Vekaric told reporters outside the Special Court in Belgrade.
He also said the prosecution expects to cooperate with EULEX in the arrest of the main perpetrators, who are still on the run.
"We will aim to convince the trial chamber that we are right about the arguments from the indictment," Vekaric said, stressing that the trial will be adhere to all world standards.

Merkel, Sarkozy agree to push bonus regulations at G-20

FireShot Pro capture #009 - 'Home I Deutsche Welle' - www_dw-world_de_dw_0,,266,00_html

Merkel, Sarkozy agree to push bonus regulations at G-20

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Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Sarkozy and Merkel are on the same page on bonus limits

Angela Merkel has come on board with Nikolas Sarkozy’s plans for tougher rules when it comes to bank bonuses. They plan to try to get the rest of the EU on board before September’s G-20 meeting.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy agreed to take a common approach regarding bankers’ bonus payments, following a meeting in Berlin on Monday.

Unbridled risk-taking by some bankers has often been cited as one of the main factors that led to the global financial crisis, and the incentive of lucrative bonus payments has often been blamed for stoking bankers’ willingness to take chances.

“The international community needs to understand that the excesses of speculation and financial (institutions) which led to the crisis cannot resume as though nothing had happened,” Sarkozy said in Berlin.

Merkel reiterated demands for international regulations that would keep the size of global banks in check.

“No bank can be allowed to become so big that it is in a position to blackmail governments,” she said.

Merkel and Sarkozy have also called on the European Union to adopt a common stance before the two-day G-20 meeting, which is to be held in the US city of Pittsburgh beginning on September 24.

Global regulations a tough sell

Despite Berlin and Paris both coming out in clear support of international bank regulations as a way of preventing any future global financial crisis from happening, getting the rest of the G-20 nations to accept these terms is another story.

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Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift:  Finance expert Wolfgang Gerke says it is critical for banking regulations to be applied worldwide

“You need the acceptance of all of the G-20 countries, especially the United States and Great Britain,” Wolfgang Gerke, president of the Bavarian Center of Finance, told Deutsche Welle. “They feel that their financial centers would suffer if there is too much regulation. And therefore they are for continuing the system they had for many years.”

He noted that in the absence of international standards countries that do have tough bonus regulations would be at a disadvantage compared to countries with looser regulations.

“[German investment bankers] would tell the government: if they are too strict, they will quit the country and go to other places, like London,” Gerke said.

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Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift:  The G20 Summit is scheduled for September 24-25 in Pittsburgh.Political tool for Merkel

The G-20 meeting comes less than a month before a general election in Germany and it could provide a large platform for Merkel to gain the sympathies of voters.

“The German public will be quite in favour of more regulation of the bonus system,” Gerke said.

mz/dpa/afp

Editor: Chuck Penfold

Merkel to G20: regulation before rebalancing

Photo

Merkel to G20: regulation before rebalancing

By Madeline Chambers and Emily Kaiser

BERLIN/PITTSBURGH (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Thursday a U.S. drive to rebalance the global economy risked distracting the Group of 20 from a more urgent need for market regulation at their Pittsburgh summit.

Merkel’s remarks in Berlin suggested tensions between the world’s third largest economy and its largest as she and U.S. President Barack Obama and other G20 leaders headed for talks on Thursday and Friday.

The United States wants G20 countries to commit to reducing the world’s reliance on U.S. consumers by boosting consumption in exporting countries, such as China, while encouraging debt-laden nations such as the United States to save more.

But there was no plan on how that would be achieved as G20 sherpas worked to complete the drafting of a summit communique.

“I have made clear we should not look for other topics and forget about financial market regulation,” Merkel said. “Imbalances are an issue. We must have imbalances and all the possible causes on the agenda. Exchange rates belong to that.”

Merkel, on track to win a second term in an election on Sunday, said the world’s leading countries were making progress on financial reform but warned the momentum could fade.

She stressed that the G20 — which groups big Western economies with emerging powers such as China and Brazil — should not shy away from measures

that might prove unpopular with the banking industry, where the economic crisis began.

“We have to make sure we learn the lessons of the crisis and make sure it is not repeated. Pittsburgh will be decisive in determining whether the subject of financial market regulation continues to be a central issue. For us, it is the most important subject at the meeting,” Merkel told reporters.

“Politicians must have the courage to do things which are not immediately applauded by banks worldwide.”

NEW G20 ROLE

Leaders of the world’s biggest economies meet in Pittsburgh later in the day to discuss ways of nurturing the fragile recovery from the worst global recession since the 1930s and how to help ward off future crises.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said global leaders would institutionalize the G20 as the world’s main economic governing council.

In New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly, Brown said G20 leaders would meet regularly, with South Korea taking over the presidency next year.

Downtown Pittsburgh was under a security lockdown for the summit as leaders began streaming into the scenic city at the confluence of three rivers in western Pennsylvania.

The sheer volume of problems the two-day summit is set to address — from the lopsided global growth model to climate change, tougher financial regulation and caps on bankers’ pay — prompted low expectations for any near-term action.

Europe is seeking to curb the excessive risk-taking that provoked turmoil on financial markets and shoved the world economy into recession. Several European leaders are also pushing for crackdowns on bankers’ lavish pay packages.

Now that the recession in many countries appears to be ending, the challenge is to sustain the sense of urgency felt in April when the G20 agreed to work together to rescue the world economy and pledged hundreds of billions of dollars to finance crisis-fighting by the International Monetary Fund.

U.S. GROWTH RETURNS

In the latest sign of incipient recovery, the U.S. Federal Reserve said on Wednesday growth has returned to the world’s biggest economy.

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly fell by 21,000 last week, government data showed on Thursday.

The euro zone also appears poised to emerge from recession, although most economists expect only a gradual recovery. A key indicator of German business confidence fell short of expectations on Thursday.

The summit’s final statement will say short-term and long-term risks persist and will emphasize that more action is still needed to stabilize the economy, Japan’s Kyodo News reported on Thursday, citing officials.

IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn struck a similar note, saying G20 leaders should keep economic stimulus plans in place as long as millions of people who lost their jobs during the crisis remain out of work.

“Once the fire is out, there’s water everywhere. It has to be mopped up,” he told Europe 1 radio. “In Pittsburgh, we have to say, there are still fires to be put out. We’ll see later how to do the mopping up.”

China gave qualified support on Wednesday for the idea of improving global imbalances — a daunting task.

China’s private consumption accounts for little more than a third of its economy, while it exceeds 70 percent in the United States and Britain. By contrast, Chinese households saved about 40 percent of their disposable incomes last year, while the U.S. savings rate was just over 3 percent.

Several nations including China, and Germany, the world’s top exporter last year, have distanced themselves from the U.S. suggestion to make the IMF responsible for regular monitoring and policy recommendations to G20 members.

The summit starts with various bilateral talks on Thursday, with Obama hosting a reception and working dinner in the evening.

(Reporting by Reuters G20 team; Writing by Steve Holland, Tomasz Janowski and David Stamp; Editing by Howard Goller and John O’Callaghan)

Kayani Could Not Believe What He Is Saying

[Maybe that explains the permanent grin?]

Army close to winning anti-terror war: COAS

The army will guarantee national security without letting anyone cast an evil eye on Pakistan: General Kayani.—Photo by AP

WANA/TANK: The army is close to winning the war against terrorism and it will guarantee national security without letting anyone cast an evil eye on Pakistan, says Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

The terror of a just peace

The terror of a just peace

By Jawed Naqvi

Nothing could unnerve the Netanyahus, the Chidambarams and the assorted AfPak ideologues more than the terror of a just peace. —AP/File Photo

Nothing could unnerve the Netanyahus, the Chidambarams and the assorted AfPak ideologues more than the terror of a just peace. —AP/File Photo

PROF Marc Gopin and Rajmohan Gandhi among other contemporary pacifists belong to the tradition of Martin Luther King, Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu et al. Gopin is an American rabbi and a university teacher.

In his extensive work on the Middle East conundrum, he has argued that Yasser Arafat would have been a successful leader had he not put emphasis on the pistol in his holster. In other words, a Gandhian resistance to Israeli racism or colonial-imperialist machinations would have got him greater Jewish and American support, which would really count for a lot for the Palestinian cause, than the bloodshed that has been produced.

It is, of course, debatable as to how much really the pacifists of yore managed to succeed in implementing their agenda of a peaceful transition from an unequal society, fraught with racism and colonial habits, to an approximate world of their dream.

From South Africa to the United States to India, their liberating contribution to society has spawned scrutiny and research. Unremitting racism in the US, persistent social inequality in South Africa and the brutalised state that India is hurtling towards have all put a big question mark on the durability of the pacifist experiment.

However, the alternate armed route to resistance has invited even more bloodcurdling repression both by imperialism and its comprador allies who rule the tributary states. Pacifism has another image handicap to overcome to appeal to victims of state violence. Increasingly unleashed on the exploited citizens in India is the nation state’s mindless quest for lucre often on suicidal terms. Comprador states are not averse to advocating cola factories for people parched with drought and water scarcity.

Gandhian pacifism is seen as a status quo worldview in this regard. In its zeal to bring rapprochement it is often said to underplay, if not entirely ignore, the reasons for the origins of a specific strife. These may include economic deprivation of large swathes of people and the forcible violation of their dignified plea to be spared economic development so often a euphemism to uproot lives and the homes of the already dispossessed.

It may not be a coincidence that a satellite view of South Asia would show up the neo-con models of ‘development’ sharply and unambiguously. From Balochistan in the west to Nagaland in the east, it is the tribespeople – the native inhabitants of the regions who had largely remained unaffected by any discourse of nationhood, its success and failures – that are being hunted. The response too is a violent one.

What if we take out violence from the equation and see if a peaceful petition can deliver the message of their protest to their tormentors?

Take India. Among the most brutal campaigns taking shape in South Asia is the one about to be unleashed on the so-called Maoists in Chhattisgarh, a predominantly tribal region, which is rich in untapped mineral resources. Its people are struggling to stall mineral-hungry multinational companies from uprooting their lives. Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram represents lobbies that have a huge stake in tapping the region’s resources.

The Maoists live in a time warp. Their brutal and excessively violent methods of resistance have isolated them from mainstream democratic politics. Suppose we take away their guns. Let us defuse their claymore landmines and woo them with the promise of a fair transparent democratic dialogue between the state and India’s impoverished people.

In other words, let us bring in the Rajmohan Gandhis and Marc Gopins to pre-empt a massacre that could otherwise make the anti-Taliban campaign look like a picnic.

What are the Maoists saying they should not be saying? The Indian Express recently carried excerpts from their pamphlet, which quoted the prime minister and the home minister as declaring them as the biggest threat to India’s security.

Said the pamphlet: ‘This is a very important point to note since the stress is on police action and military solution. The so-called development is to be done only after establishing [the] peace of the graveyard. Chidambaram also said some of the paramilitary forces from Kashmir would be withdrawn and redeployed in our areas.

‘We have to understand that our revolutionary war is a cruel class war. The reactionary forces can go to any extent, committing mass murders, tortures, arrests, abductions, illegal detention, mass rape of women, use of private armed militias and vigilante squads, rendering lakhs homeless and carrying out a psychological war.’

Let us assume for a moment that the Maoists have been disarmed. Would that change the nature of the problem they rather accurately describe?

The Maoist pamphlet lauded ‘militant uprisings’ in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. ‘The reactionaries led by [the] US have unleashed [a] brutal fascist offensive in the economic, political, social and cultural spheres using brute force. West Asia resembles a burning volcano with Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine engulfed in [the] flames of national liberation. The fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan are inflicting heavy losses on imperialists.’

Surely the unexpected solidarity with fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan ‘inflicting a heavy loss on imperialists’ cannot but be a reference to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Their affinity with reactionary religious zealots makes for strange bedfellows and it does not bode well for the region. On the other hand, their Marxian view could be looking at the AfPak strife through a more rational prism.

One of the Maoist critiques is well grounded in history and logic. After all before the advent of foreign intervention in Afghanistan, for centuries its Muslim rulers and Muslim citizens had preserved the Bamiyan statues, even flaunted them to visitors. At some point dynamiting the Buddhist statues became a symbolic retribution for the foreign inroads into an otherwise placid, traditional, slowly waking-up conservative society.

After all, the regressive features of the neo-fanatics, be they of the Al Qaeda or the Taliban, were originally enshrined in the state of Saudi Arabia. Who can deny that women were and to an extent still are treated as second-class citizens there? The idea of secular education is far-fetched, as it would seem to be in Swat. Beheading, blinding, maiming, torturing of convicts, traits common to Al Qaeda and Taliban, were carried out routinely in the state of Saudi Arabia. Yet, it was embraced by the world as a moderate Muslim state.

This duplicity legitimately instills the familiar doubt that there is perhaps something other than their fanaticism that makes the Taliban–Al Qaeda duo the target of the world’s most powerful military machine.

Suppose some day, by a miracle, the pacifists of the world succeed in disarming the residual militants in Palestine, the Taliban surrender their arms, Al Qaeda is disbanded and the Maoists in India adopt Gandhian methods. My hunch is that nothing could unnerve the Netanyahus, the Chidambarams and the assorted AfPak ideologues more than the terror of a just peace.

The writer is Dawn’s correspondent in Delhi.

jawednaqvi@gmail.com