Five Kurdish Children Killed In Grenade Attack In Turkey

ISTANBUL – Daily News with Wires

One child died and five others were injured Tuesday in the eastern province of Van after ammunition they reportedly found near a military barracks exploded.

News agencies reported that the children were playing with ammunition they found outside the fence of the shooting range of the Mustafa Muğlalı Barracks when the explosion occurred.

However, Murat Durmaz, the mayor of Özalp district in which the explosion occurred, said Wednesday there was a witness who saw a soldier throw a bomb at the children and run.

Olcay Akyürek, 13, was rushed to the hospital with a helicopter because of serious injuries, but could not be saved.

Nurullah Erçiçek, 9, Orhan Erçiçek, 11, Yunus Yaman, 13, Doğukan Meşe 12, and Fidan Coşar, 9, were transported to Özalp State Hospital by ambulance, where they were reported to be in fair condition.

The incident created tension in the district, with shop owners refusing to open their stores Wednesday in protest.

A group of approximately 500 people gathered in front of the District Governor’s Office, chanting slogans as they walked towards the Özalp office of the Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, to wait for the arrival of the funeral cortege from Van.

The protestors chanted slogans in Turkish and Kurdish while passing the Musatafa Muğlalı Barracks, including “Muğlalı Barracks shall leave Özalp,” “Muğlalı Barracks, the home of killers,” and “Martyrs do not die.”

After the funeral, Cüneyt Caniş, the BDP’s provincial head, asked people to open their stores and not to fall for provocations.

Later, a group that wanted to march toward the barracks was calmed down by Durmaz.

Soldiers from the barracks have caused tension in the past. On July 30, 1943, 33 locals from Özalp, which is close to Iran, were detained for smuggling and taken into military custody on the orders of Gen. Mustafa Muğlalı before being allegedly shot dead.

In 1949, the Democrat Party, or DP, opposition submitted an application for an inquiry into the matter. Muğlalı pled guilty and a military court sentenced him death, which was later commuted to 20 years in prison due to his age.

The top military appeals court overturned the sentence but he died in prison in 1951 at age 71 while the appeal process was underway.

In 2004, the General Staff named the Gendarmerie Border Command in Özalp after the general, a move that angered many locals.

Manas Airbase, the geopolitical game in Central Asia and the merchant Kurmanbek Bakiyev

As Bakiev traded Manas »(III)

Bishkek, Zpress.kg

Alexander Cooley: Manas Airbase, the geopolitical game in Central Asia and the merchant Kurmanbek Bakiyev (III)
(Concluded). Lack of such thinking was twofold: firstly, the political system of Uzbekistan and its development after independence differs from that in Kyrgyzstan. Authoritative-generic way of Uzbekistan remained tight since the beginning of 1990. Political power is concentrated in the hands of the president and the reformers were extremely slight attraction or space. President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov with its powerful internal security haunted by all forms of political opposition to his regime earning a reputation as one of the most repressive in the world.
On the other hand, the political culture in the Kyrgyz Republic has remained much more open, despite her bouts of incapacity, to the extent of how this small country in Central Asia, preserved the civil society, some independent media and political space for struggle at the national level for power competing elites and regional factions. Moreover, the “tulip revolution” in 2005, during which President Askar Akayev was overthrown after popular protests, is the latest evidence of the vulnerability of the ruling regimes in Kyrgyzstan. Unlike the situation in Uzbekistan, the Kyrgyz security services at the time of the confrontation between Protestants and waves of street demonstrations did not intervene to support any regime Akayev, Bakiyev’s regime and no. Thus, there never was a single standard “Central Asian” political culture, which would be applicable to all countries in the region.
Secondly, the case of Kyrgyzstan also shows that the desire to reach a compromise between the often cited support for “political stability” in the authoritarian governments and the promotion of good governance and democracy, is often the wrong choice. U.S. officials mistakenly came to the decision to accept authoritarianism Bakiyev as evidence of political stability in Kyrgyzstan, while the cumulative effect of its repression and corruption in itself has brought the country to poverty as well as to destabilize it. What is characteristic, namely, public discontent with high levels of corruption and mismanagement, particularly in the energy sector, led anti-government protests in the northern cities of Naryn, and Talas, and their overthrow of the regime with such suddenness. It is obvious that excessive corruption of power and mismanagement have contributed to his downfall fleeting.
Recommendations and comparative lessons
U.S. officials, in case they want to guarantee the future of “Manas”, must take seriously the growth of anti-American sentiment in Kyrgyzstan. Decision interim government will automatically extend the lease for another year is progress, which should be welcomed. It provides those who make policy decisions in the U.S. several months of review and implementation of new policy priorities, which in the case of a thorough mining can provide the “Manas” a more solid legal and political framework. But it is vital that U.S. officials do not fall into the trap of thinking that access to the “Manas” can be guaranteed only a simple redirection of the same questionable payments for the base to the new interim government or its successor. If the new treaty will not be quickly concluded with the provisional government headed by Rosa Otunbayeva, the status of the base will become a major problem in the next presidential campaign in Kyrgyzstan through the six-month period. A number of these candidates as head of the Communist Party and the new speaker of parliament Iskhak Masaliyev, will base a campaign on a platform against the base, introducing himself as “pro-Moscow” candidates, “antibakievskih” Democrats or new trustees posed a threat to the sovereignty of Kyrgyzstan.
First, the United States needs to take bold and decisive action to restore its shaky public perception in Kyrgyzstan. With only 80 million dollars, which are reported to remain in the state budget of Kyrgyzstan, a good first step would be to provide humanitarian assistance and the positive response to the request of the Kyrgyz support of priority issues, including the funding of forthcoming elections. Russia has already promised to provide $ 50 million in emergency assistance, and the United States is doing the right thing, if you select the same amount or exceed it. Continued instability and the fall of the interim government would not be in the interest of neither the Kyrgyz people, nor the United States.
Second, U.S. officials must publicly declare their readiness to cooperate with any investigation of the Kyrgyz-related business practices on the basis of the reign of Bakiyev and provide data on these cash transactions to the public. Such an investigation will undoubtedly embarrass the officials of the base, but it is very important to base and the embassy publicly perceived as ready to cooperate in this politically sensitive time. U.S. officials should also explore ways in which they can draw associated with the “Manas” payments and maintenance contracts for the benefit of society in Kyrgyzstan as a whole, rather than a private source of income for those with communication on individuals. One option might be to guarantee that revenue from maintenance contracts will fall directly into the Kyrgyz national budget, rather than individuals with offshore registrations.
Third, U.S. officials should use the situation in Kyrgyzstan to build a more constructive relationship with their Russian counterparts. If we put an end to the competitive dynamics of the “Great Game” by the “Manas”, and ideas from both sides that Russia and the U.S. got involved in a zero-sum struggle for influence in Central Asia, it will be crucial for the stability of any future government of Kyrgyzstan . Of course, in the Russian military community, there are factions who will never accept the legitimacy of the U.S. military presence in post-Soviet space, regardless of the purposes of such presence. But it is also clear that if a consultation, the Kremlin can be persuaded to play a constructive role. In this context, recent discussions with the Obama presidency, Medvedev and Nazarbayev have contributed to migrate Bakiev of Kyrgyzstan, are an example of how important it is for Washington to maintain open lines of communication and, where possible, coordinate their policies with other important regional players.
Fourth, as Obama himself, and the U.S. Congress must as soon as possible to improve relations with the public in Kyrgyzstan, expressing commitment to resuming full economic, political and social cooperation with the U.S. this impoverished Central Asian state. Assistant Secretary Blake has already promised to double aid to civil society and democracy in Kyrgyzstan, which is a welcome step that should be supported by Congress.
Finally, it is important that we understand that what happened in Kyrgyzstan, is one example of a recurring historical picture of the political perception of U.S. bases overseas. Again and again we see how the new government in moving towards democratization of the state in which there are U.S. bases, can quickly cool down to the U.S. military presence, linking it with support from the United States the previous authoritarian regime. The events in Kyrgyzstan repeat similar political developments in the Philippines, Thailand, Greece, Spain, Turkey and Korea, where the new government as part of anti-US related to democratization, the backlash challenged the validity of any U.S. presence, or in fact expelled from the United States of important objects.
These lessons are especially important now, when those responsible for planning, the Ministry of Defense continues to expand the global network of bases in the new regions, including Central Asia and Africa, in which the U.S. has traditionally had no ground military presence. The case of Kyrgyzstan is not unique. A couple of years ago the United States failed to achieve new contract to deploy the base in Manta, Ecuador, due to unforeseen domestic civil society campaign and its allies in the Parliament of Ecuador, which questioned the legal status and political legitimacy on the base. If the U.S. wants to maintain an extensive global network of military facilities, it is imperative that the Defense Ministry planners were thinking more in the strategic plan on how the presence of base interacts with local political conditions and be ready, and not to oppose the democratic political change in the host countries.
Literature
1. Alexander Cooley. «Base Politics: Democratic Change and the US Military Overseas». Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008.
(I spent on-site interviews on the “Manas” during separate research trips to Kyrgyzstan in 2005, 2008 and 2009. I used to live in Kyrgyzstan in 1998, when conducted field research for my dissertation on the impact of international assistance to the Kyrgyz interior political structures and taught at the American University in Kyrgyzstan (currently it is the American University in Central Asia).
2. Estimates of net economic impact received from the articles Roger McDermott. «Reflections on Manas». «Eurasia Daily Monitor», June 30, 2008, and Alexander Cooley. «Depoliticizing Manas: The Domestic Consequences of the US. Military Presence in Kyrgyzstan ». PONARS Policy Memo 362, February 2005.
3. David Cloud. «Pentagon’s Fuel Deal is Lesson in Risks of Graft-Prone Regions». «New York Times». Nov. 15, 2005.
4. Andrew E. Kramer. «Fuel Sales to US at Issue in Kyrgyzstan». «New York Times», April 11, 2010.
5. Jim Nichol. «Kyrgyzstan and the Status of the US Manas Airbase: Context and Implications». Congressional Research Service Report, July 1, 2009, p. 4.
6. Deirdre Tynan. «US Intends to Construct Military Training Center in Batken». «Eurasianet», March 4, 2010.
7. Deirdre Tynan. «Kyrgyz Contracts to Face Scrutiny». «Eurasianet», April 8, 2010.http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav040810c.shtml
8.Alexander Cooley. «Base Politics». «Foreign Affairs», Vol. 84, No. 6, November / December 2005.
Translation – “Zpress.kg-UVU”

Pentagon’s covert operations gaining momentum

Pentagon’s covert operations gaining momentum

Iran, Syria, Yemen and Somalia have become targets of secret shares

26.05.2010 Nicholas Surkov

сша, пентагон / Силы специальных операций нужны в Йемене и Сомали. Фото Reuters

сша, пентагон / Силы специальных операций нужны в Йемене и Сомали. Фото Reuters
Force special operations needs in Yemen and Somalia .
Photo Reuters

The head of Central Command Gen. David Petraeus gave a secret order to broaden the range of covert operations in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. According to the American media, Force Special Operations (OSS) required to conduct reconnaissance and engage in contacts with local forces in countries such as Yemen, Somalia and Syria . This order also directs begin gathering information to prepare a strike against Iran.

Newspaper New York Times, whose reporters on the eve able to see the seven-page document, wrote that while the Pentagon conduct covert operations have been authorized by the Administration of George W. Bush, Petraeus’ command displays this activity to a new level, giving it a more systematic and long-term. The newspaper reminds that the Head of Central Command is one of the proponents of the view that in order to more effectively combat international terrorism U.S. troops should not be limited to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The main goals of this clandestine activity – the destruction of cells of al-Qaida and other extremist groups, as well as “preparing the conditions for future operations, U.S. or local military. In accordance with an order unit MTR also used to gather information about terrorist organizations and other threats in the Middle East and beyond.

The document authorizes covert operations in Iran. It is assumed that their objective is to collect data on Iranian nuclear facilities and links to anti-government groups. Pentagon must have an elaborated plan in case the president Barack Obama decides to carry out military operations against Tehran.

Against this backdrop, observers note that recent American military demonstrated the desire to reduce its dependence on the CIA and other intelligence agencies to become more self-reliant in the issue of intelligence collection.

It is noteworthy that some results of the implementation of this directive can be found even now, because Petraeus has signed an order on September 30 last year. Since the MTR unit were sent to several countries for surveillance, including collecting information on airports and bridges. In addition, they were used for “offensive operations” in Syria, Pakistan and Somalia.

For example, in the framework of this strategy the fighters MTR liquidated in September last year, one of the most wanted leaders of al Qaeda in East Africa, Kenyan Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan.

In addition, the Central Command had brought in the Horn of Africa drones Reaper, used to destroy the Taliban in Pakistan. These UAVs will use against the militants in Yemen and Somalia, and even against pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

MTR active in Yemen, where they, together with local military personnel are fighting with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which claimed responsibility for an attempt in December 2009 attempted bombing of the American passenger aircraft in the skies over the Atlantic.

However, even in the Pentagon, not all unequivocally welcomed the decision Petraeus on building a secret intelligence and counter-terrorist activity and the expansion of its geography.

Some officials have expressed concern that it could negatively affect relations with friendly countries on whose territory the operations are done (Saudi Arabia and Yemen), and increase hostility from such countries as Iran and Syria. In addition, skeptics point out that if U.S. troops get into film, performing secret missions outside the “official” combat zones, then they would be treated as spies, and not as ordinary prisoners of war whose rights are protected by the Geneva Convention.

In a conversation with “NY” GRU colonel, retired Vitaly Shlykov skeptical about the possibility of such a serious leakage of information, but it noted that he would not have been surprised by the appearance of such an order, which wrote New York Times. “International terrorism – it is not public education. Therefore, the U.S. decided to fight with him, regardless of frontiers. Then the Americans took a very tough position. Therefore, if the governments of countries where terrorists operate, can not alone cope with this problem, the normal commander employs its own resources “, – explained the expert. He added that the Russian leadership has also repeatedly promised to get the terrorists have taken refuge in other countries. Commenting on the relationship between the Pentagon and the CIA, Shlykov said that it is impossible to talk about the dependence of U.S. military authorities on data from Langley, because of the military intelligence budget and the possibility of much more.

Georgian opposition fanned “Irangate”–(Goog.Trans.)

Georgian opposition fanned “Irangeyt”

In Kiev, trying to guess who profits regular weapons scandal

оружие, украина, грузия / Такие комплексы «Бук-М1» Украина поставляла Грузии.  Фото Виктора Литовкина


Such complexes Buk-M1 “Ukraine supplied Georgia.
Photo by Victor Litovkin

Kiev for several days has remained silent on the statement of the Georgian opposition for re-sale of Ukrainian weapons to Iran. This topic has not heard any official level or in the media. The authorities pretend not to notice the loud political accusations. However, some officials have expressed concern that this is not about self-playing Georgian opposition, and the new U.S. campaign – like almost forgotten “Irakgeytu”, covering the Ukraine in 2002.

Recall, last Friday the agency sent a statement of the candidate for mayor of Tbilisi, Zviad Dzidziguri, who said that the Georgian leadership previously resold to Iran missiles imported from Ukraine. He noted that no supporting documents, but he knows that the U.S. is now checking the secret arms deals. As it known, ex-Prime Minister of Georgia, and now opposition leader Zurab Nogaideli also said the involvement of the country’s leadership to illegal arms deals.

In this context, the Georgian opposition and the media consider a recent visit to Georgia, FBI Director Robert Mueller. Military expert George Melitauri believes that the reason for the visit could become a weapon of the transaction. He told journalists that he has neither a confirmation nor denial of the opposition of words: “As the supply of arms to Iran of reliable official information does not exist. But I want to recall that two years ago in Georgia was conducted covert special operations, in which the citizen was detained in Iran. He was accused of illegal arms trade. Then it can be explained logically. ” Just at that moment Ukraine supplied Georgia artillery systems, tanks, armored vehicles, aircraft and approximately 500 missiles and launchers.

Later, the Ukrainian opposition released a series of statements implicating Viktor Yushchenko to participate in the alleged illegal and clandestine arms shipments to Georgia.

Associates of the former president confirmed the trade in arms, but stressed that all the transactions were legitimate and transparent. Head Ukrspetsexport Sergei Bondarchuk in the past year confirmed the newspaper “Today”: “From Georgia we have a long-standing, strong ties. Our two countries signed a treaty of friendship, documents on military-technical cooperation, ie the whole legal framework for the market supply of weapons available. In 2007, for example, supplying a system of radar, precision weapons, various types of firearms, as well as air defense system … These systems – of course, the defensive … ”

Yesterday, representatives of the environment, as Saakashvili and Yushchenko noted that the Labor Party leader Shalva Natelashvili, contributed actively to inflate another arms scandal as head of the Conservative Party Zviad Dzidziguri, repeatedly made allegations that were subsequently no basis in fact.

As you know, Natelashvili recently told reporters that Saakashvili invited the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Georgia – in retaliation Barack Obama, who in April failed to take the Georgian president. “First, Saakashvili was preparing to Georgia as a base against Iran, implored Americans to strike at Iran from Georgia” – said in an interview Natelashvili “Alia”. When this plan failed, the Georgian leader to use the other scenario, defiantly privechaya Iranian counterpart at a time when the UN Security Council began consideration of a new resolution on sanctions against Iran.

Supporters of Yushchenko and Saakashvili believes that the mainstreaming of the scandalous topic of illegal arms deals are not connected with the nuances of geopolitics. In their view, the reason lies in the “black PR”, which is traditionally very popular during the election campaign in Georgia, as in Ukraine. Therefore, declined to comment, all ministries and agencies responsible for arms trade. Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia Temur Yakobashvili told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that “the current statement of opposition, like many others – from the sphere of fiction. To treat such allegations seriously can not. So I do not comment on them. ”

Ukrainian political analyst Konstantin Bondarenko, too, believes that the scandal is useful primarily Georgian opposition. However, he recalled the events of 2002, when injected from the press statements and unsubstantiated speculation flared up large-scale international scandal involving allegations of President Leonid Kuchma of involvement in the machinations of the Supply install “Mail” to Iraq. “The facts have not been confirmed, the scandal was hushed up, but who heard about it after vociferous accusations?” – Reminded Bondarenko.

Employee Research Center Army, Conversion and Disarmament Sergei ZHURETS also remembered in the first place “Irakgeyt”: “They found those Kolchuga or not, but soon after the scandal, the U.S. attacked Iraq.” This military experts doubt that Iran might be interested in buying Ukrainian missiles: “They have their own weapons of high class. If you talk of interest in the external supply, then Iran is important to complete the deal with Russia to supply S-300. They can dramatically change the balance of power in the region, and Ukrainian rocket – no. ” In addition, ZHURETS doubts that Tehran would need to get involved in the illegal supply chain, because he can buy samples of interest directly, openly: still restrictions on such transactions was not.

Some officials and experts in Kiev suggest that the situation may be related just with the Russian anti-aircraft missile systems S-300 in the supply of which to Iran is not interested in the U.S.. Perhaps under the guise of a new scandal, some forces are trying to disrupt the Iranian-Russian deal, noted experts. For now the situation is frozen in uncertainty. As the agency, the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Federation Council Mikhail Margelov has recently said that the draft new UN resolution will not affect contracts already signed between Russia and Iran. At the same time Chairman of the Committee on Defense and Security Viktor Ozerov said: “Of course, if the international situation and the maintenance of peace will be established that we will have to give up something for the sake of higher interests, we will do it.”

It is noteworthy that the arms scandal broke out against the background of the total absence of relations with the Russian authorities the Georgian authorities and the extensive contacts with the leaders of Russia Georgian opposition. Almost all spring main Georgian opposition figures, most recently representing the Georgian authorities – the former speaker Nino Burjanadze and former prime minister Zurab Nogaideli – flew to Moscow last visit in May, they met with Vladimir Putin. He explained to the public, why did he meet with him. According to the Russian prime minister, his meeting today with representatives of the Georgian opposition leaders, including Speaker Nino Burjanadze and Zurab Nogaideli not say that Moscow wants to “interfere in the internal affairs of Georgia and that Georgia’s public understands what you need to build at least normal relations between states. He noted that now the Russian leadership “develops a dialogue with the people with whom recently had been quite difficult to talk. “We believe that the Georgian people friendly people in relation to Russia and Russian people. What has happened in recent years – the result, to put it mildly, misguided, if not criminal policy of the current Georgian leadership “, – said Putin. Experts in Kiev and Moscow believed that the armory history that has received publicity from the filing of the Georgian opposition, as well as possible, it demonstrates.

Kiev

Shia community starts Long March towards Quetta on 4th July

Shia community starts Long March towards Quetta on 4th July

The leaders of Pakistani Shia Community on Sunday warned that they would start a Long-March towards Quetta from across the country and besiege the Governor and Chief Minister house on July 4th, if their demands would not fulfill.
Shia community starts Long March towards Quetta on 4th JulyAhlul Bayt News Agency (ABNA.ir),
Shia community starts Long March towards Quetta on 4th July
The leaders of Pakistani Shia Community on Sunday warned that they would start a Long-March towards Quetta from across the country and besiege the Governor and Chief Minister house on July 4th, if their demands would not fulfill.

Addressing the meeting and protest rally organized by Shohda-e-Balochistan Organizing Committee to condemn the genocide of Shia Muslims in Balochistan, Tehreek-e-Jaffaria Chief Allama Syed Sajid Ali Naqvi, Majlis-e-Wahdat Muslimeen Secretary General Maulana Raja Nasir Abbas, Allama Ameen Shaheedi, PML-Q leader Marvi Memoon, Maulana Afzal Haideri, Shia Conference Balochistan leader Ashraf Zaidi and others have condemned the genocide of Shia Muslims in Balochistan.

The leaders pointed out that law and order situation in Balochistan was out of control from the provincial government and demanded of the federal government to immediately sack the Balochistan Government over their failure to control the genocide of Shia Muslims in Balochistan Province.

Shia leaders demanded of the government to take stern action against perpetrators involved in the incidents of target killings of Shia Muslims in Balochistan especially in Quetta and Mastung.

They warned that Shia community would march towards Quetta and besiege the Governor and Chief minister house on 4th July, If the government will not taken the action against the terrorists and not fulfill the demands of Shia community till June 20th.

Allama syed Sajid Ali naqvi said that conspiracies had been hatched from the very beginning against the Shia community, while act of barbarism against shia community in Quetta and Mastung were highly condemnable.

He said that Shia c ommunity was played a significant role in development of Pakistan and had never become a part of any conspiracy hatched against the country.

He said that they had raised voice against the incidents of target killing on every platform but the incidents of target killing were still on the rise and government was silent over  the genocide of Shia Muslims in Pakistan.

He warned that we could stop the other way of protest, if the target killings of Shia people would not stopped.

Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen Leader Allama Raja Nasir Abbas said that those who violated the constitution of the country should be brought to justice and added that the rulers had badly failed to ensure the safety and security of the people.

“Agent s of Israel, India and Uniuted States were started the conspiracies to harm Pakistan, but we will foil their evil designs against the country,he added.

Criticising the Balochistan Government, Raja Nasir Abbas said that Balochstian Government was miserably failed to provide security to the people particularly Shia community and added that if action was not taken against the terrorists  and their patrons involved in the target killings of Shia community till June 20, then the people belonging to Shia community from across the country would initiate  long march towards Quetta and besiege the Governor and chief Minister house on 4th July.

The participants of the both meetings also adopt many resolutions seeking termination of Balochistan Government forthwith and immediate arrest of perpetrators and action against banned outfits.

Oily Obama

Oily Obama


Americans’ disgust with their government will only worsen as President Obama is increasingly seen as ineffective in mounting federal resources to address the BP oil spill. This could kill a second term for him.


by Joel S. Hirschhorn
(libertarian)
Monday, May 24, 2010

Over thirty days into the BP oil spill one mile down into the Gulf of Mexico it should be clear to every objective person that President Obama has failed miserably. This oil spill is more than a disaster or crisis; it is a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. This environmental catastrophe will quickly morph into a national economic catastrophe as economic doomsday facing the fishing and tourism industries generate countless negative economic ripples throughout the US economy. Unemployment and economic growth will suffer.

President Obama has shown no effective leadership or any proportional response to this multi-catastrophe. All those who rightfully criticized President George W. Bush for his mishandling of the Katrina nightmare should wake up and see that Obama is failing to use every ounce of federal resources to compensate for the total failure of BP to stop the oil hemorrhaging from the floor of the Gulf. The BP failure to stop the gushing oil spill is sadly consistent with its failure to prevent the firestorm on the oil rig to begin with.

And now we learn that the Interior Department – Obama’s agency – has recently granted new permits and environmental waivers for a number of deep sea oil drilling projects.  Some are even deeper than the current failed BP project.  How could a rational government do this even as the BP oil spill remains active, uncontrolled and rapidly advancing on more and more coastal and marine resources.

Where is the national outrage? Even from Democrats. Where are the loud calls from everyone and the media demanding a stronger a federal response? Where is Obama’s clear anger and appropriate firing of many federal officials, starting with the Interior Secretary? Where is the Justice Department doing its job of quickly starting criminal prosecutions of BP and its two major contractors?

All Americans, regardless of their partisan positions, should be hollering incessantly for Obama to wake up and take this catastrophe a lot more seriously.

We should be sending a clear message that this BP oil spill catastrophe will justify preventing Obama from getting a second term. Maybe that would work to get this smarmy politician to do what is right and necessary for millions of Americans that will suffer a long time because of this corporate failure.

Obama should have seen this BP oil spill as an environmental invasion just as serious as a traditional invasion by an armed force or some awful terrorist attack. He should have mobilized the enormous federal resources in countless areas to not only deal with the oil invasion and contamination of countless natural resources but, even more critically, to stop the damn gushing of oil at the sea bottom.

It is only a matter of time until the horrendous quantities of oil wrap around Florida and then up the East coast. Maybe then more Americans will get as excited and alarmed as those poor people along the Gulf directly in the path of the oil invasion.

Maybe then President Obama will finally and belatedly show some presidential leadership. Maybe not.

India, Iran discuss building underwater gas pipeline

India, Iran discuss building underwater gas pipeline

 India, Iran discuss building underwater gas pipeline

© RIA Novosti. Mihail Fomitchev

India and Iran are discussing building a gas pipeline between the two countries along the bed of the Arabian Sea to bypass Pakistan, a board director of the company developing the project said on Tuesday.

"The carrying capacity of the gas pipeline’s first leg will total 31 billion cu m annually, with the cost of construction estimated at $4 billion," T.H.P. Pao, a member of the board of directors and head of the supervisory board of South Asia Gas Enterprise Private Ltd. (SAGE), said.

The statement came ahead of a visit by Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov to India.

Pao said India and Iran were discussing the delivery of natural gas produced in Turkmenistan with Indian assistance to north Iran while the Islamic Republic will send natural gas from its southern deposits to Indian consumers.

A diplomatic source confirmed to RIA Novosti that Delhi had discussed the project with Teheran and Ashgabat and received their backing.

Under the project being worked on by SAGE, the gas pipeline will be 1,100 km (684 miles) long. The submersible part of the pipeline will start from the Iranian port city of Chabahar and will deliver gas to consumers in the Indian state of Gujarat.

According to SAGE, international investors will also finance the expensive gas pipeline project. In particular, Italian companies have expressed their readiness to join the project.

India, Iran and Pakistan have been discussing the project of building a gas pipeline between the three countries for the past three years. However, the negotiations have dragged on due to the worsening of relations between India and Pakistan.

NEW DELHI, May 25 (RIA Novosti)