Turkish Court Confirms the Use of Mind Control Techniques On Non-Com. Officers

Forensic report confirms use of hypnosis on soldiers during interrogation

Retired  Lt. Col. Gürol Doğan
Retired Lt. Col. Gürol Doğan

A recently issued forensic report has confirmed that three NCOs were interrogated while under the influence of drugs and hypnosis last year after being detained on suspicion of leaking classified information.

The report was announced yesterday by the Kayseri 2nd Criminal Court hearing the trial into the interrogation of the noncommissioned officers by retired Lt. Col. Gürol Doğan in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri. Contrary to Doğan’s statements — he had denied using hypnosis during interrogations in previous hearings — a report prepared by the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK) read out at yesterday’s hearing said the NCOs had most probably been exposed to hypnosis.

Noncommissioned officers Ali Balta, Orhan Güleç and İsmail Dağ were detained in early March of last year upon the orders of Kayseri Garrison Commander Maj. Gen. Rıdvan Ulugüler and were interrogated by Lt. Col. Doğan for 10 days following their detention. The detentions became public when the soldiers’ families, after failing to receive any word from the military, turned to the Kayseri Court of First Instance to find out where the soldiers were located.

The court contacted the Kayseri Military Prosecutor’s Office, and Military Prosecutor Col. Zeki Üçok announced that the soldiers had been detained for allegedly leaking highly confidential documents. Two of the soldiers, released some time after their arrest, filed a lawsuit against Doğan on the grounds that they were subjected to torture and that their interrogator, Doğan, had drugged them and used hypnosis and psychological pressure to extract statements from them.

The Kayseri 2nd Criminal Court in January ruled to arrest Doğan. Doğan, who previously testified to prosecutors as part of an investigation into the incident conducted by the Kayseri Public Prosecutor’s Office, said Üçok wanted him to extract statements from the three soldiers using hypnosis.

Meanwhile the Kayseri 2nd Criminal Court yesterday announced that presiding judge Kemal Alver had withdrawn from the case after his request was approved by a panel of judges. Alver reportedly withdrew because of Doğan’s insults against him in previous hearings. Doğan’s lawyers also withdrew from the case in protest of their client’s assault on the individual rights of the presiding judge. A new lawyer for Doğan was appointed by the Kayseri Bar Association.

12 June 2010, Saturday
MUSA ÖZYÜREK KAYSER

Flotilla victims ‘shot’ from Israeli chopper, Turkish report shows

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Family members mourn the death of Cevdet Kılıçlar, a journalist who was killed during the Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara. DHA photo
Family members mourn the death of Cevdet Kılıçlar, a journalist who was killed during the Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara. DHA photo

Several of the victims of the Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla were shot in the head from above, presumably from a helicopter, according to the forensics report released Monday by a human rights group.

Some of the bodies were found to have wounds consistent with a bullet entering through the head from a high angle, the report said, adding that automatic or semi-automatic weapons were likely used to kill the nine people who died onboard the Mavi Marmara.

Since all the corpses had been washed before being examined by authorities, no gunpowder traces were found on the bodies, making it impossible to reach a definite conclusion about the range from which they were shot. High amounts of ethanol and methanol were detected on the corpses, however, due to what was thought to be an attempt to keep them from smelling. The wet and dirty clothes the victims were wearing made it difficult to determine whether they had been clothed in these garments at the time of their death.

Eight Turks and one U.S. citizen of Turkish descent were killed May 31 aboard the Mavi Marmara, which was part of a flotilla of ships attempting to bring humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip despite Israel’s blockade of the area. The report released by the Istanbul-based Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed People, or Mazlum-Der, described the deaths of some of the victims.

Furkan Doğan, 19, was shot from close range by five bullets, while Fahri Yıldız died as a result of internal bleeding. Cengiz Akyüz was shot in the forehead and died as a result of a skull fracture. One bullet entered Çetin Topçuoğlu’s skull and exited from the back of his neck, while another bullet that hit him in the right shoulder destroyed his lungs.

According to the report released by Mazlum-Der, Israeli soldiers opened a file and took DNA samples from the nine bodies.

The Mavi Marmara set out from the Turkish Mediterranean city of Antalya on May 28 as part of a flotilla of ships carrying more than 500 people from different countries. Israeli soldiers raided the ship when it was 65 kilometers off the Gaza coast, causing the nine deaths and striking a serious blow to Turkish-Israeli relations.

House Dems, Citing Corruption, Block Reconstruction Funds For Afghanistan

The House Democrat who oversees funding for Afghanistan’s redevelopment and reconstruction said on Monday that she is stripping money from her foreign aid bill in reaction to pervasive corruption. Dave Obey, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, supports the move made by subcommittee chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), according to an Obey spokesman.

Lowey cited pervasive corruption in Afghanistan as the cause for her decision to pull the funding from the appropriations bill working its way through her State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee.

“I do not intend to appropriate one more dime for assistance to Afghanistan until I have confidence that U.S. taxpayer money is not being abused to line the pockets of corrupt Afghan government officials, drug lords and terrorists,” said Lowey.

A Lowey spokesman said the restrictions would not apply to direct humanitarian assistance for projects such as refugee camps, but would limit funds for USAID and the State Department, which funnel money to reconstruction efforts — money that is often siphoned many times over.

The request that Lowey is rejecting amounts to $3.9 billion for the 2011 fiscal year.

On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she recently traveled to Afghanistan and found the corruption staggering. “I was just there for Mother’s Day, in Afghanistan, that weekend, and traveled into the country even more remotely than Kandahar,” Pelosi said in an interview in her office. “And the corruption issue, it’s problematic. And you know what? A lot of it is our money.”

“This is about systemic, huge money,” she said.

The chairman of the Senate subcommittee who oversees the same funding stream in the upper chamber is war opponent Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), who was chairing Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearing and couldn’t be reached.

Pelosi said that she wasn’t sure if there are enough votes in the House to approve funding for the war operations, either.

“I don’t know how many votes there are in the caucus, even condition-based, for the war, hands down. I just don’t. We’ll see what the shape of it is the day of the vote,” she said, but added that she believes President Obama’s surge should be given time to work until the planned drawdown in 2011. “The thing is, is this president has to give his plan a chance until next year, when we have to withdraw them,” she said.

A Lowey spokesman said that the chairwoman’s move was a response to a Wall Street Journalreport about $3 billion in cash being openly flown out of Kabul International Airport over the past three years and a Washington Post item about top aides to President Hamid Karzai repeatedly derailing corruption probes.

“The alleged shipment of billions in donor funds out of Afghanistan and allegations of Afghan government insiders impeding corruption investigations are outrageous,” said Lowey. “Furthermore, the government of Afghanistan must demonstrate that corruption is being aggressively investigated and prosecuted.”

UPDATE: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) took to the House floor Monday to make the case that the corruption is endemic to the occupation and that the only way to limit it is to leave Afghanistan.

An Imitation Empire

An Imitation Empire

By Yulia Latynina

At the height of the slaughter in Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan, Federal Drug Control Service chief Viktor Ivanov’s only comment was that a Russian military base may be established in the city to add to the one already in Kant, just outside Bishkek. Ivanov’s suggestion underscores what journalist Alexander Golts calls Russia’s “imitation empire.”

The Kyrgyz are slaughtering Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan. If Russia is an empire — with the white man’s burden and all that jazz — it must send troops. If it is not an empire, then the poor Kyrgyz and Uzbeks can sort out their own problems.

To make matters worse, Osh is a hotbed of fundamentalism. Many of the radical Islamic fundamentalists who Uzbek President Islam Karimov kicked out of Uzbekistan now live in Osh. This is why Uzbekistan is in no hurry to get involved and even remains reluctant to accept refugees, fearing that the fundamentalists will sneak in along with the refugees.

What could Ivanov’s military base possibly accomplish in Osh? Help traffic heroin? Rent military armored personnel carriers to violent gangs to help them carry out pogroms?

When Askar Akayev was deposed as Kyrgyz president in 2005, Kurmanbek Bakiyev ran to Moscow. The Kremlin bet on Bakiyev since he was the weaker figure in Kyrgyz politics at the time. They could have instead supported Bakiyev’s stronger contender, Felix Kulov, but the Kremlin got scared and chose the weaker guy. What Russia and Kyrgyzstan got in the end was a drug dealer and a con artist.

The problem is that Kyrgyzstan is only the tip of the iceberg. Ever since the Russians abandoned Kyrgyzstan, all of Central Asia is deteriorating into something akin to what equatorial Africa turned into after the British left.

Kyrgyzstan is the first to go down the drain because it was created as a phantom state by Stalin. It was a land of valleys and mountains and was divided into clans and families along geographical barriers. The Ferghana Valley in the south — the best piece of real estate in the country — was divided between Uzbeks, Tajiks and the Kyrgyz in a way that made the current conflict inevitable.

Kyrgyzstan is already a failed state, but other Central Asian nations are catching up. There is Turkmenistan, which was home to Saparmurat Niyazov — or Turkmenbashi (“the leader of all Turkmen”) — the first post-Soviet president who built himself a gold statue that used to revolve 360 degrees every 24 hours so that it always faced the sun.

It seems that Niyazov’s personal physician, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, and the country’s chief of security conspired to unseat Turkmenbashi, but Niyazov conveniently died. The physician proceeded to become the new leader and sent the chief of security to prison.

In addition, there is Uzbekistan, a mix of stiff Communist has-beens and holdovers from Central Asian feudalism. The Turkmen scenario can easily be repeated in Uzbekistan — and Uzbekistan is soaked in Islamic fundamentalism like a rag in gasoline.

If Uzbekistan does flare up, we will see real chaos in the region. Fundamentalism will spread like wildfire along Central Asia’s underbelly. Once this happens, what will Russia do? Of course, it could tell everyone about how badly the Americans screwed up in Iraq. But before Russia does this, perhaps it should remember how far Iraq is located from the United States and how close Central Asia is to Russia.

Yulia Latynina hosts a political talk show on Ekho Moskvy radio.

Elusive Search for Kyrgyz Unrest Culprits

Little doubt that violence was orchestrated, but identity of masterminds still unclear.

By Ainagul Abdrakhmanova, Isomiddin Ahmedjanov – Central Asia

RCA Issue 620,

29 Jun 10

It is now commonly accepted that the recent ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan was orchestrated by forces seeking to ignite tensions between the Kyrgyz and Uzbek communities. What remains unclear is who those forces were, and why they planned and organised the worst killings Kyrgyzstan has seen in two decades.

Possible culprits as paymasters and participants include local gangsters, Kyrgyz or Uzbek nationalists, Islamic militants, mercenaries, and diehard supporters of Kurmanbek Bakiev, ousted from presidential office in April.

In a sensational announcement on June 24, Kyrgyzstan’s State Service for National Security, GSNB, said it had intelligence that a combination of these groups was involved. Bakiev family members had engaged guerrillas from the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, IMU, to create trouble, and ethnic Uzbek community leaders in southern Kyrgyzstan also played a part, the security agency said.

But while anecdotal accounts have been produced to support the various versions of events, each raises as many questions as it answers, and there is little hard evidence behind all the allegations.

As armed men roamed the streets of Osh and Jalalabad for several days following June 11, there were widespread killings and an estimated 400,000 fled, the majority of them ethnic Uzbeks. The Kyrgyz health ministry says around 290 people were killed.

Many eyewitnesses, victims and experts are certain there is a lot more to the violence than a spontaneous explosion of ethnic rivalries that had been simmering under the surface.

“Everything that has happened in the south was political provocation,” said political analyst Marat Kazakpaev. “Of course there’s no denying there were some tensions between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz, but not to the degree where they’d starting killing one another.” (Our story Addressing Roots of Conflict in Kyrgyzstan explores the underlying problems that created mistrust between the two communities.)

As Tashpulat, a local Uzbek man put it, “You need a lot of money and influence to get Kyrgyz and Uzbek in Osh to start killing each other.”

FOOTSOLDIERS SEEMED ORGANISED

Witnesses say those visible on the streets – armed men on foot, in vehicles, and manning impromptu checkpoints – showed a degree of organisation that indicated they were not an uncontrolled mob. The men were commonly said to be from outside town, though this description varied between rural Kyrgyz and foreign nationals.

One Osh resident, who refused to give his name, said he saw carloads of masked men driving through the area where he lives and calling for Kyrgyz to be killed. Similar vehicles came through later, and this time their occupants were calling for attacks on Uzbeks. “I am sure this was deliberate provocation,” he concluded.

IWPR editor Inga Sikorskaya was in Osh during the worst of the violence, and saw many signs of careful planning and organisation. Armed men on the street received deliveries of food, while those in vehicles were heading off to specific areas to take part in what looked like a coordinated schedule of attacks.

“This was organised very carefully. Pre-arranged local incidents took place in one district, then another,” she said in an eyewitness account.

Describing the men involved, she said. “They couldn’t have been ordinary people who had only just taken up arms. They fired like professionals. It looked like these guys knew exactly what they were doing, and that someone was directing them. Many were constantly on their mobile phones, then getting into their cars and going off.”

Another disconcerting factor was that everyone Sikorskaya spoke to in preceding days was already aware there was going to be serious trouble in the city.

“Everyone knew about it, everyone was expecting it, but it seems no one tried to stop it,” she said.

Sharobiddin, a businessman in Osh, agreed that the violence looked staged.

“As a former soldier, I know that major operations require a lot of planning time,” he said. “Someone had been planning these murders and riots for a long time.”

Kubatbek Baibolov, appointed security commander for Jalalabad region, told IWPR that at least 30 individuals suspected of inciting the violence had been arrested.

“There were mercenaries, and there were paid local provocateurs who were paid on both the Kyrgyz and the Uzbek sides,” he said.

The United Nations’ human rights body was swift to issue a statement saying the unrest looked planned and coordinated.

“We have strong indications that this event was not a spontaneous inter-ethnic clash, that it was to some degree orchestrated, targeted and well planned,” said Rupert Colville spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on June 15, “The incident began with five simultaneous attacks in Osh involving men wearing balaclavas and carrying guns. It looked like they were seeking to provoke a reaction. For example, one of these attacks was on a gym which was known to be the haunt of a criminal gang… targeting that gym was likely to provoke a reaction.”

FROM KYRGYZ POLITICIANS TO UZBEK ISLAMISTS

If the footsoldiers were organised, the big question is who directed them.

One widely-held theory blames associates of ex-president Bakiev for stirring up the unrest. Since coming to power in April, Kyrgyzstan’s interim leadership has faced a series of security challenges, and in each case has detected the hand of Bakiev’s group.

There some logic to such allegations – the sudden removal from power of the ruling elite, as local as well as national level, undoubtedly created a lot of resentment, as the loss of political power would cut off access to economic resources as well. The ousted leadership would thus have many reasons to try to make a comeback by undermining the country’s new leaders.

However, the Kyrgyz security service has gone much further than that, alleging that members of the Bakiev family hired Islamic militants abroad to stir up violence in southern Kyrgyzstan.

In the June 24 statement , GSNB chief Keneshbek Dushebaev said the former president’s son Maxim Bakiev met IMU representatives in Dubai in April. Two Bakiev family members then concluded a final deal at a gathering in May of the IMU, their Taleban allies, and remnants of the guerrillas that fought in Tajikistan’s 1992-97 civil war. The Bakiev family agreed to pay the IMU 30 million US dollars to act as mercenaries, he said.

The IMU emerged from Islamists active in the Uzbek city of Namangan in the early Nineties; they shifted to Tajikistan and later Afghanistan and mounted raids into Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in 1999 and 2000.

Dushebaev’s statement then said 15 trained insurgents were dispatched to southern Kyrgyzstan in May, but these were not from the IMU but a distinct splinter group, the Islamic Jihad Union. It is not clear whether this is what the alleged 30 million dollar payment was for.

Analysts in Kyrgyzstan point out that the statement begs a number of questions.

Small groups of armed Islamic radicals have been a recurring problem in Central Asia in recent years, and the IMU was at one point capable of concerted attacks in the region. But since the group’s stated agenda is to do away with all secular governments, it is not clear why it would back one elite group against another. Nor, for that matter, is it clear why the Bakievs would invite in a force whose ultimate aim is to eliminate elite establishment figures like them.

Finally, despite the resurgence of Islamic sentiment in southern Kyrgyzstan, IWPR has not come across any evidence of an overtly religious motive to the clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan – for example, men employing the dress and rhetoric of Islamic militants. The IMU itself, while mainly Uzbek in origin, does not express hostility to other Muslim ethnic groups.

Such discrepancies lead experts like Kadyr Malikov, head of the Religion, Law and Politics Centre in Bishkek, to question the new official version of events.

“I do not think the IMU took part in the disturbances in the south,” he said. “As an expert in this area, I can state with 100 per cent certainty that this goes against the IMU’s ideology. It would be unacceptable for the IMU to incite conflict between two Muslim nations.”

Orozbek Moldaliev, director of the Sedep think tank in Bishkek, said the security agency had produced no actual evidence to back its claims.

“The IMU does not seek to incite ethnic conflicts; its ideal is the creation of an Islamic state,” he said. “If the IMU had organised these disturbances, there would have been slogans referring to the Caliphate, and it would have tried to seize power at least in the south.”

The Kyrgyz security service also accused some local leaders of the Uzbek community of collaborating with both Bakiev supporters and the IMU.

Noting that they had previously campaigned for greater political rights and higher status for the Uzbek language, the agency said that “to further their political demands, they teamed up with terrorists and pro-Bakiev forces”.

Once again, in the absence of evidence, this does not seem to make much sense. Uzbeks make up a sizeable proportion of the population of southern Kyrgyzstan and hold considerable economic power, but felt particularly shut out from political representation under Bakiev. This led community leaders to hail the interim government that replaced him, and this in turn appears to have sparked attempts by Bakiev associates to vilify them and turn local Kyrgyz opinion against them. (See Spectre of Ethnic Violence in Kyrgyzstan for a description of ethnic clashes in May where the Uzbeks’ pro-government stance is discussed.)

Finally, if the prime movers of the violence are supposed to have been Uzbeks from the IMU and local elites, why was the Uzbek community of southern Kyrgyzstan so undeniably the losing side in terms of homes burnt and people displaced?

At the same time, Malikov and Moldaliev both conceded that if mercenaries were used, they could have been members of the IMU or some other group, now operating as independent hired guns.

Leonid Bondarets, a security expert in Bishkek, agreed with Malikov that there were a host of forces with a potential interest in creating instability – organised crime groups, including those from the lucrative heroin trafficking trade, and politicians of various stripes.

Baibolov, the security chief in Jalalabad, said Bakiev associates were among the likely culprits, but were by no means the only political forces that might be out for trouble. There were also disaffected groups within the interim government, and political factions belonging to neither side looking to make inroads amid the chaos.

Akmal, an Uzbek businessman from Osh, said he was now convinced that the chaos was caused “not by nationalists, not even by pro-Bakiev forces, but a range of gangster groups”.

He based his view on the rise in kidnappings. One of his friends paid 500 dollars to secure the release of a female relative, while one of Akmal’s own relatives was still missing, as the kidnappers had not been in contact even though the ransom had been gathered.

He himself suffered assault and the theft of his phone from one of a series of groups of angry young Kyrgyz he encountered as he made his way through Osh. They seemed to be organised, each with an unmarked vehicle, and waiting to prey on passers-by. While he was being attacked, he said, a nearby policeman hailed a passing taxi and fled.

Ainagul Abdrakhmanova and Isomidin Ahmedjanov are IWPR-trained journalists in Kyrgyzstan.

This article was produced jointly under two IWPR projects: Building Central Asian Human Rights Protection & Education Through the Media, funded by the European Commission; and the Human Rights Reporting, Confidence Building and Conflict Information Programme, funded by the Foreign Ministry of Norway.

The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of IWPR and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of either the European Union or the Foreign Ministry of Norway.

The Psychological Value of Gun Ownership

The Psychological Value of Gun Ownership


By Dr. Keith Ablow

Monday’s Supreme Court decision on guns allows citizens to challenge city and state regulations that curtail their Second Amendment right to bear arms. This is an important ruling because it shores up the Constitution at a time when the Obama administration is testing it in more than one way. But it is also important psychologically for millions of Americans.

The right to bear arms is a critical component of feeling competent and autonomous as individuals, rather than relying on the goodwill of a super-powerful, unassailable government. A disarmed population is, by definition, a population that has completely ceded the power to defend its homes against local, state or federal authorities. This implies a level of trust much more consistent with that which children have for parents than that which thinking adults have for the institutions they have created to perform vital functions like defending the nation, keeping the peace, maintaining schools and providing clean water.

A disarmed population is allowed the toxic luxury of feeling as though our way of life and our safety from oppression comes without the tremendous responsibilities and moral complexities of wielding force. The same people who passively pay taxes that put tanks on the streets and fighter jets in the skies over our enemies’ nations can cringe at the idea of owning guns themselves — projecting their survival instincts onto an all-powerful father figure (the state).

History is replete with examples of cultures in which taking guns away from law-abiding citizens foreshadowed catastrophic abuses of the power thereby invested in government. One need look no further than Nazi Germany.

While gun control advocates point to the toll of accidental deaths and murders involving firearms, I believe such tragedies highlight the need for citizens to take more personal responsibility for the handguns they own, not any justification for them to be infantilized by banning them from owning handguns at all.

It may well be that putting more guns in the hands of American men and women and training them to safely store those guns would actually be one immediate way to immunize the population from feeling like passive participants in history and in safeguarding what we value about our way of life. Every gun privately and legally owned in America is a tiny impediment to the citizenry assuming a docile, nearly delusional perspective that the world will always be predictable, that one’s home and loved ones will always be safe and that government will always tend toward light and never toward darkness.

Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatry correspondent for Fox News Channel and a New York Times bestselling author. His book, “Living the Truth: Transform Your Life Through the Power of Insight and Honesty” has launched a new self-help movement includingwww.livingthetruth.com. Dr. Ablow can be reached at info@keithablow.com.

It’s difficult to trust Pakistan for terrorism control

It’s difficult to trust Pakistan for terrorism control

by Tanveer Jafri

Though Pakistan’s links with terrorism have been disclosed many times, still such facts and information keep coming which strengthen this truth. Recently an American report claimed that the ISI has secret links with the Taliban. This report has come when the USA is providing both money and arms to Pakistan to counter and defeat the Taliban. Now in this context we can remember those charges of India in which it says that Pakistan uses the military and monetary support received from the US against India.

Though this sensational report has been rejected by Pakistan but the makers of the report have again asserted that they have not one but many proofs. Now it is to be seen what claims Pakistan presents to prove its innocence. Now let’s look at another aspect of the terrorism-Pakistan relations which doesn’t require any report and which can’t be called a part of ‘conspiracy’ against Pakistan. Recently, the government of Punjab province of Pakistan presented its budget in which 0.82 million rupees have been declared for the banned organisation Jamaat-Ud-Daawah. Let me mention once again what this Jamaat-Ud-Daawah exactly is. Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the main conspirator of the Mumbai attacks of 26/11, is an international terrorist who is freely moving and publicly abusing America and India in Pakistan. The same Hafiz Saeed earlier established the terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba. When it became excessively notorious, then Saeed put up the label of social organisation on it and in this way in 2001, he became head of the newly self created organisation Jamaat-Ud-Daawah. Meanwhile, LeT was banned under international pressure.

The lone caught terrorist of 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Ajmal Kasab himself admitted in the special court in Mumbai that the 26/11 attack was conspired in Pakistan in which 20 people including Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-Ur-Rahman Lakhvi were involved. Indian court also in its verdict has mentioned the name of Hafiz Saeed as a conspirator of Mumbai attacks. A Red Corner notice was also issued against Saeed by the Interpol in August 2009 in relation to 26/11 attacks. Consequently he was house-arrested in December 2008. But on June 2, 2009 the Lahore High Court let freed Hafiz Saeed by saying that there is no proof of his and Lakhvi’s involvement in 26/11.

Many more things are noticeable regarding Hafiz Saeed. His image of ‘cleric’ has made him popular among the illiterate masses of Punjab province. This also restricts Pak government to act against him. Secondly, Hafiz Saeed has the ‘umbrella’ protection of hundreds of trained militants. Therefore it is not easy to arrest him as a terrorist. Moreover, Pakistan has been using Saeed to achieve its ends in Kashmir. Now in these circumstances, if Pakistan wants to arrest him or take strict action against him, then Hafiz Saeed can disclose many such truths which can create problems for the Pak government, Pak Army and the ISI. It’s obvious that Pakistan would not allow this to happen.

By above situation, it should be clear that why money is being alotted to Jamaat-Ud-Daawah from the Punjab government budget. Its supporters anyway say that the UN or the US has no right to ban any organisation active in Pakistan. According to them banning of any organisation in Pakistan requires a specific notification by the Pakistan government whereas no such notification has been issued by the government vis-a-vis Jamaat-Ud-Daawah. Therefore Jamaat-Ud-Daawah cannot be called as a banned organisation. It is clear by this defensive claim by Pak officials that neither it is concerned by the confession of Kasab, nor by the verdict of the Indian court, nor by any kind of pressure from India, USA and the UN. There is no need to worry for them because a sea of well wishers of Hafiz Saeed is there in Pakistan government, Army and ISI. Rather current circumstances are telling that the Pak government, Army and ISI themselves are concerned as to how to protect Jamaat-Ud-Daawah so that in future it can help them in their anti-India operations in Kashmir.

It seems so contradictory while the Pak government and Lahore High Court don’t treat Saeed as an accused for 26/11 whereas Indian court considers him as a culprit and the Indian government has also given enough proofs of his involvement to the Pak government. Notwithstanding all this Hafiz Saeed is publicly saying in Pakistani cities that one 26/11 is not sufficient for India. On what basis he is openly threatening India? Recently, Jamaat-Ud-Daawah organised an anti-Israel protest on main roads of Pakistan. In this, the extremist leaders of Daawah were seen crushing the flags of India, USA and Israel. Hafiz Saeed also participated in this rally. Pak government didn’t take any action against this. Anti-India rhetoric and firebrand speeches are common in Pakistan nowadays. As things stand, it is difficult to expect something substantial by our peace talks and attempts to normalise relations.

As far as the control of terrorism by Pakistan through American support is concerned, the American report and the provision of money for Jamaat-Ud-Daawah in the budget of Punjab have proved that Pakistan and terrorism are synonymous to each other. Since this terrorism was born, nurtured and protected in Pakistan, it becomes the duty of Pakistan to act against it either under frustration of killing of innocent people by these terrorists or under pressure from the US or as a consequence of its insult in the world. But the intentions of the Pak government and ground situation in Pakistan are repeatedly indicating that we cannot expect much from Pakistan as far as catching hold of terrorism is concerned.

Obama and Abdullah Discuss the Fate of the Empire

[…moving forward in a swift and bold way.”

The new way is not to force any issue, but to create a hidden mechanism which moves the issue forward to resolution.  Obama’s way focuses on solving everything in secrecy, in one-on-one meetings with national leaders, persuading them in secret to do the things that create forward momentum.  By enlisting the Saudi King to help the US prop-up the shaky global “recovery,” Obama makes the Saudis part of a mechanism which arbitrarily intervenes to prevent global economic collapse, but moves things in America’s direction.

This is the key to the new path to the New World Order–not forcefully solving global issues, but quietly creating solutions of global impact which stabilize the situation in a manner favorable to the New Order.]

Saudi King in U.S. Assures Obama of Commitment to 2-State Mideast Solution

Readers Number : 35

30/06/2010 U.S. President Barack Obama and Saudi King Abdullah met Tuesday at the White House to discuss the Middle East peace process.

Obama stressed on the importance of securing a Palestinian homeland alongside a strong Israeli state. “They expressed their hope that proximity talks between Israelis and Palestinians will lead to the resumption of direct talks with the aim of two states living side-by-side in peace and security,” the White House said in a statement.

The US president said, “As representatives of two G-20 countries, we also continued the conversation that took place this weekend about how the Saudi – how the Saudi government and the United States government can work with our other partners around the world to keep the economic recovery going and to help bring about the strong economic growth that’s necessary to put people back to work.”

“The President and King Abdullah also discussed the importance of resuming the Israeli-Syrian and the Israeli-Lebanese tracks in order to achieve a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. The President welcomed the King’s continued leadership in support of the Arab Peace Initiative.”

Obama said their meeting ranged over a number of strategic issues, including Iran’s nuclear program, Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as “the importance of moving forward in a swift and bold way in securing a Palestinian homeland that can live side by side with a secure and prosperous Israeli state.”

King Abdullah only spoke briefly after their meeting, thanking Obama for his hospitality and praising the friendship between their two countries. “I would like to say to the friendly American people that the American people are friends of Saudi Arabia and its people, and they are friends of the Arab and Muslim people, and they are also friends of humanity,” he said.

Analysts say the Saudis want Obama to take a stronger stance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over stalled peace talks with the Palestinians and on freezing settlements. Netanyahu meets Obama on July 6.

The leaders also discussed building a Saudi army that would be capable of facing the Iranian threat. The possible purchase of 72 F-16 jets by the Saudi was also discussed.

Israeli Spy Network In Control Of Lebanese Telecoms

Alfa Spy Makes Headlines: Telecoms under Israeli Control?!

Readers Number : 627

29/06/2010 For the second consecutive day, the discovery of the dangerous ‘Alfa spy’ made the headlines in Lebanon…

Everyone in Lebanon believes the catch is hefty. They even believe is the very most precious treasure in terms of services and data the detainee has been providing Israel for more than 14 years.

Investigations with the spy are ongoing after confessions made by him showed the seriousness of the work he did for the Israelis over the past 14 years in his capacity as both an Alfa employee and communications ministry staffer.

According to Lebanese daily As-Safir, the Telecoms spy confessed that he had planted software and chips made available to him by Israel across Alfa’s broadcasting stations, making the possibility of manipulating the data in any contact lines much easier for Israeli communications experts.

Meanwhile, President Michel Sleiman lauded the Lebanese army for arresting an employee with a mobile network operator accused of spying for Israel. Sleiman said in a statement that the seizure of Alfa’s Charbel Qazzi was part of a series of arrests that the army made in uncovering cells spying for Israel’s Mossad.

For his part, Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji hailed the achievements made by the military’s intelligence bureau that led to the arrest of the Alfa spy. He called for military vigilance “to prevent enemy penetration of Lebanese civilians, thus, threatening national security.”

Yet, the most remarkable comment was made by the head of the Democratic Gathering MP Walid Jumblatt who joined Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in calling for hanging Israeli spies in Lebanon.

“Spy networks are planted everywhere. Security in Lebanon is exposed and fear mounts of new assassinations that could lead the country to a disaster,” Jumblatt told Lebanese daily As-Safir on Tuesday. “These networks necessitate that we be on full-scale alert at all levels,” he stressed. “It is time to strike with an iron fist all the way to the execution of spies,” he warned.

FADLALLAH WARNS: ISRAEL CONTROLS TELECOMS SECTOR!
The head of the Information and Telecoms parliamentary committee MP Hasan Fadlallah, meanwhile, warned that Israel took control over Lebanon’s telecommunications sector after the Alfa employee was arrested on suspicion of spying for the Israeli Mossad.

In a press conference he held at the Parliament, Fadlallah said that the Israeli enemy has managed to seize technical control of the telecommunications network and to harm national security thanks to information provided by the collaborator over past years.

“This is an Israeli collaborator who has been active since 1996 and who for 14 years has been giving the enemy vital information on Lebanese communications and security,” Fadlallah said.

Fadlallah, who’s also a member of the Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc, said the suspect helped provide Israeli intelligence with unrestrained access to all phone calls on the Alfa network. He urged the government to take “immediate action to assess the damage and take necessary action” to ensure the security of Lebanon’s telecommunications sector against any further Israeli interference.

Anatomy of the American/Israeli/Iranian/Turkish Psyop–(They Are All In It Together, Folks)

[The key to the globalist plot to enslave mankind is deception, deception of such a nature as to convince targeted populations into submission to the greater plan.  In order to create the global empire, an enemy (or at least a fall guy) is needed to create a unified target for resistance.  The entire world, including Russia and China, see, to be aligned against Iran.  This propaganda blitz unites the populations of the world around whatever anti-Iranian schemes that the “world community” (the American-pacified or partner nations) comes up with.

For Iran (although it seems unfair to Iranian observers), playing the role of the “enemy” of the world is a great gamble, which will either pay enormous rewards for the collaborators,  or force an unpayable penalty upon the Iranian people.  It is impossible, at this point in the psycho-drama, to know the real intended outcome, but we can read the events to understand the implications of their chronological order.  First Erdogan gets his marching orders from Obama, then Ahmadinejad makes his move, followed by what appears to be Turkish mediation between the two “enemies.”

Judge for yourselves.]

Jun 27, 2010 ErdoğanObama hold ‘candid’ discussions at critical summit

Jun 28, 2010 Ahmadinejad: No talks until August

June 30, 2010

Turkey Asks Iran to Return to Negotiating Table

BY MARC CHAMPION

ISTANBUL—Turkey on Tuesday called for Iran to negotiate with world powers as soon as possible over a nuclear-fuel swap deal, a show of frustration from one of Tehran’s few allies during recent international sparring over how to address Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The demand, which came a day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said there would be no talks until late August, showed Ankara’s first signs of irritation with Iran since Turkey voted earlier this month against imposing fresh sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear-fuel program.

Ankara had argued that the sanctions proposed by the United Nations Security Council would scupper …

Guess who wants to kill the Internet?

Guess who wants to kill the Internet?

Maidhc Ó Cathail (Issues)

29 June 2010It would be hard to think of anyone who has done more to undermine American freedoms than Joseph Lieberman.

Since 9/11, the Independent senator from Connecticut has introduced a raft of legislation in the name of the “global war on terror” which has steadily eroded constitutional rights. If the United States looks increasingly like a police state, Senator Lieberman has to take much of the credit for it.

On October 11, 2001, exactly one month after 9/11, Lieberman introduced S. 1534, a bill to establish a Department of Homeland Security. Since then, he has been the main mover behind such draconian legislation as the Protect America Act of 2007, the Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010, and the proposed Terrorist Expatriation Act, which would revoke the citizenship of Americans suspected of terrorism. And now the senator from Connecticut wants to kill the Internet.

According to the bill he recently proposed in the Senate, the entire global Internet is to be claimed as a “national asset” of the United States. If Congress passes the bill, the US President would be given the power to “kill” the Internet in the event of a “national cyber-emergency.” Supporters of the legislation say this is necessary to prevent a “cyber 9/11” – yet another myth from the fearmongers who brought us tales of “Iraqi WMD” and “Iranian nukes.”

Lieberman’s concerns about the Internet are not new. The United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which Lieberman chairs, released a report in 2008 titled “Violent Islamist Extremism, The Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat.” The report claimed that groups like Al Qaeda use the Internet to indoctrinate and recruit members, and to communicate with each other.

Immediately after the report was published, Lieberman asked Google, the parent company of You Tube, to “immediately remove content produced by Islamist terrorist organisations.” That might sound like a reasonable request. However, as far as Lieberman is concerned, Hamas, Hezbollah and even the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are terrorist organisations.

It’s hardly surprising that Lieberman’s views on what constitute terrorism parallel those of Tel Aviv. As Mark Vogel, chairman of the largest pro-Israel Political Action Committee (PAC) in the United States, once said: “Joe Lieberman, without exception, no conditions … is the No. 1 pro-Israel advocate and leader in Congress. There is nobody who does more on behalf of Israel than Joe Lieberman.”

Lieberman has been well rewarded for his patriotism – to another country. In the past six years, he has been the Senate’s top recipient of political contributions from pro-Israel PACs with a staggering $1,226,956.

But what is it that bothers Lieberman so much about the Internet? Could it be that it allows ordinary Americans access to facts, which reveal exactly what kind of “friend” Israel has been to its overgenerous benefactor? Facts, which they have been denied by the pro-Israel mainstream media.

How much faith would American voters have in the likes of Lieberman, who claims that the Jewish state is their greatest ally, if they knew that Israeli agents planted firebombs in American installations in Egypt in 1954 in an attempt to undermine relations between Nasser and the United States; that Israel murdered 34 American servicemen in a deliberate attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967; that Israeli espionage, most notably Jonathan Pollard’s spying, has done tremendous damage to American interests; that five Mossad agents were filming and celebrating as the Twin Towers collapsed on September 11, 2001; that Tel Aviv and its accomplices in Washington were the source of the false pre-war intelligence on Iraq; and about countless other examples of treachery?

In his latest attempt to censor the Internet, does Lieberman really want to protect the American people from imaginary cyber-terrorists? Or is he just trying to protect his treasonous cronies from the American people?

Maidhc Ó Cathail is a widely published writer based in Japan

Report: Failing U.S.-Pakistan relations hamper Afghan war

Report: Failing U.S.-Pakistan relations hamper Afghan war

By Ashish Kumar Sen

2:19 p.m., Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mugshot**FILE** A Pakistani police officer guards a U.N. car destroyed in June 2009 by suicide bomber at the Peshawar Pearl Continental Hotel. An increase in terrorist attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan triggered a spike in the number of civilians killed or wounded in 2009, pushing South Asia past the Middle East as the top terror region in the world, according to new figures compiled by a U.S. intelligence agency. (Associated Press)

A deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan could precipitate a loss in the war in Afghanistan, according to a new think tank report.

"If the U.S. and Pakistan cannot work together, then the war in Afghanistan may well be lost inside Pakistan," warns the Atlantic Council report "Pakistan in the Danger Zone: A Tenuous U.S.-Pakistan Relationship."

The report’s author, Shuja Nawaz, director of the council’s South Asia center, said that unless some "game-changing steps" are taken by both sides, the U.S.-Pakistan relationship may head into "another serious downturn, marked by continuing mistrust and a disconnect between the public posturing and private dialogues."

Mr. Nawaz said the U.S. must provide Pakistan the tools it needs to fight the war against militancy: "more helicopters, more protection for its forces; better police and Frontier Corps training, and greater interaction with middle and lower ranking officers."

"The flow of military hardware has been spotty at best and certainly not in the volume that would meet or exceed Pakistani expectations," he added.

The report notes that while the Pakistani military has had some success in uprooting home-grown terrorists, the civilian government appears to have neither the will nor the ability to muster support for longer-term reform or sustainable policies.

Mr. Nawaz chided the Pakistani government for not prosecuting the fight against the Taliban on a war footing. Instead, he said, the government was treating the war as a "part-time activity or a purely military venture outsourced to its army."

President Obama has described Pakistan as the epicenter of the U.S.’ struggle against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

According to recent polls, a growing number of Pakistanis see the U.S. as the biggest threat to their country.

A recent Pew study found U.S. favorability among Pakistanis at 17 percent. Eight percent of the respondents had a favorable impression of Mr. Obama. President George W. Bush scored 7 percent in a similar poll in 2008.

Russian spies: US case could derail Medvedev, boost Putin

Russian spies: US case could derail Medvedev, boost Putin

Russian spies case is believed in Moscow to be a plot by US hawks to undermine the US-Russia relationship. It could also hurt Medvedev’s chances of beating Putin, an ex-KGB agent, in 2012 elections.

 

Russian spies case: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meeting at the Gorki residence outside Moscow, Monday. In Moscow, Russians believe the Russia spy case was a plot by US hawks to undermine the US-Russia relationship.

Vladimir Rodionov/Presidential Press Service/RIA-Novosti/AP

 

By Fred Weir, Correspondent / June 29, 2010

Moscow

The Russian spy case, in which 10 alleged Russian spies were arrested just days after President Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev held one of the friendliest US-Russia meetings ever, looks like a carefully timed plot by disgruntled American hawks to reverse the warming relations.

At least, that is the nearly unanimous reaction to the scandal from Russian officials, security analysts, and political journalists.

"This scandal has been invented out of thin air," says Pavel Salin, an analyst with the Center for Political Trends, an independent Moscow think tank. "It’s part of a backlash by US hawks to the improving relations between our countries. There are players on both sides who are still operating with a cold war mentality, and this is their way of working."

Many also believe that the scandal will badly hurt Mr. Medvedev ahead of 2012 presidential elections, in which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a former KGB foreign intelligence officer whom some still see as the real leader of Russia, may sideline Medvedev with his considerable clout.

"It really looked like Medvedev was gaining points, starting to close the gap between him and Putin in terms of who is most capable," says Alexander Konovalov, president of the independent Institute for Strategic Assessments in Moscow.

But now Medvedev looks like he fell into an American trap, by making concessions on Russia’s Iran policy and other issues amid the warm glow of Obama’s hospitality, then getting hit with these spy allegations just as he was leaving, Mr. Konovalov says.

"This scandal shows Medvedev as not so tough, not so experienced as the former intelligence officer Putin," in the eyes of people who really matter in Moscow, meaning the military and security establishment. "So, objectively, this can only play directly into Putin’s hands," he adds.

‘Very special timing’

All appear to agree that the timing of the arrest announcement – the day after Medvedev wound up a successful four-day trip to the US and Canada – must have been orchestrated for political effect.

The SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, rebuffed all requests for comment Tuesday. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, currently visiting Israel, said only that "[The Americans] haven’t explained what they mean" by the spying allegations. "I hope they will do so. The only thing I can say is that it was some sort of very special timing," he added.

Most Russian analysts say that the charges are part of a domestic plot against Obama – though some admit their perceptions of the US dynamic is based on how dirty politics would be played in Russia.

Spy scandals are often publicized in Russia during times of international tension, including the thrilling 2006 capture in Moscow of undercover British agents using electronic devices hidden in rocks when Russia-Britain relations were at low ebb. Another involved the expulsion of two Canadian NATO diplomats under espionage rules a year ago, apparently to punish NATO for holding war games with neighboring Georgia.

"Obama has lost face" by having a nest of Russian spies revealed just days after hosting Medvedev, including a tête-a-tête at Obama’s favorite hamburger joint, says Alexei Mukhin, director of the independent Center for Political Information in Moscow. "American hard-liners want to spoil the reset in relations between Russia and the US, and this one incident has done much to destroy the momentum."

Details sound ‘more like fiction than fact’

Many Russians with knowledge of Soviet-era intelligence operations say they simply don’t believe today’s SVR is capable of masterminding the kind of long-term operation that’s being described in the media, involving deep-penetration agents who’ve taken on American identities and burrowed into local communities, institutions, and political circles.

"I smell a rat in this story," says Sergei Strokan, a foreign affairs columnist with the liberal Moscow daily Kommersant. "There are a lot of awkward details that sound more like fiction than fact. It’s just not convincing at all."

Some experts suggest the FBI may have arrested Russians who moved to the US over the past two decades for private reasons, and then offered their services to the SVR.

"There are lots of Russians who moved abroad on the principle that ‘my motherland is where things are good for me.’ But then they find they have to make a living, and they get up to all sorts of things," says Mr. Strokan. "It’s probably something like that, and not a big, organized Russian spying operation. What we’re seeing here is the famous American scandal industry at work; it all comes from the US domestic agenda."

But Konovalov says he doesn’t think the FBI would accuse people without any solid evidence. "But you never know," he adds. "There is no doubt that the professionalism of intelligence agencies on both sides has diminished a lot over the past decade or so."

Russia media downplay the scandal

Most Russian analysts say the spy scandal will have little public resonance in Russia, where the state-guided media is already representing it as a minor footnote to Medvedev’s highly successful North America trip.

"I’ve seen an awful lot of spy scandals come and go," says Konovalov. "They can slow things down for a bit, but they seldom derail a relationship."

But it will undoubtedly have an impact in the Kremlin infighting over who will be the establishment candidate for president in elections that are less than two years away.

Kashmir security forces fire on protesters, kill 3

Kashmir security forces fire on protesters, kill 3

Thousands protesting India’s rule over the divided province are fired upon by authorities. It’s the latest incident in a fresh round of demonstrations in the last three weeks that has left 11 dead.

By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from New Delhi —

Three teenagers were killed Tuesday in India-controlled Kashmir after security forces fired on thousands of protesters calling for independence, police said. The shootings were part of a pattern of violence over the last three weeks that has left 11 people dead and dozens injured.
Divided Kashmir, the subject of two wars between India and Pakistan since their bloody division in 1947, has long been the subject of anti-India protests.
Fresh street protests have hit the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir since June 11, when a 17-year-old student died after being hit by a teargas shell fired by police during a pro-independence demonstration in Srinagar.

That was compounded by a police investigation early this month, which concluded that Indian soldiers had killed three civilians in May and that soldiers had staged the firefight in order to claim the civilians were militants and justify the killings. After the findings were released, the army suspended two officers.
That wasn’t enough to mollify angry Kashmir residents, who have long bridled under the checkpoints, curfews and restrictions imposed by half a million Indian security personnel in their mountainous region.
As passions flared in recent weeks, protesters have attacked troops with rocks and sticks, yelling "Blood for Blood!" and "Freedom for Kashmir!" even as security forces answered with teargas, batons and live ammunition.
Civic groups said the core problem is a lack of trust between residents and security forces going back decades that can turn even a small incident into a spiral of violence.
"Recently, India has started to talk about how normalcy had returned to Kashmir, that there were more tourists, fewer attacks and fewer bomb blasts," said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia representative with Human Rights Watch.
"There are a huge number of angry Kashmiris," she added. "Let the situation also improve for them, with fewer uniforms, fewer boots on the ground. The state isn’t willing to do that."
Security officials counter that they can’t reduce their presence until the situation calms down and incursions from Pakistan end.
On Monday, a gun battle near the India-Pakistan frontier erupted when suspected militants crossed into Indian territory in the Nowgam sector, said army spokesman Col. Vineet Sood, resulting in the death of five suspected insurgents and three Indian soldiers.
The three deaths Tuesday took place in the town of Anantnag, 35 miles south of Srinagar, Kashmir’s main city, police said. The conflict was apparently sparked by a crowd that assembled at the Mattan bus stand in the morning to protest the earlier killing of five young men in the town of Sopore and the Baramulla district, allegedly at the hands of the Central Government Police Force.
Police and paramilitary forces then reportedly asked them to disperse, which they refused to do, at which point the security forces fired teargas, protesters threw rocks and the situation deteriorated.
Also on Tuesday, mobile phone service was suspended in north Kashmir, while text-messaging services were blocked throughout the Kashmir valley, reportedly to stop more residents from massing. This follows threats by opposition politicians and protest groups to mount a general strike and organize an extended march this weekend.
Many parts of the valley remain under tight restrictions. In Sopore, the town worst hit by violent protests, a curfew has been in place since Friday, while restrictions in Srinigar and Baramulla prohibit more than four people from assembling.
Decades of rebellion in Indian-controlled Kashmir, a majority Muslim region, have resulted in an estimated 47,000 deaths.
mark.magnier@latimes.com

RBS tells clients to prepare for ‘monster’ money-printing by the Federal Reserve

RBS tells clients to prepare for ‘monster’ money-printing by the Federal Reserve

As recovery starts to stall in the US and Europe with echoes of mid-1931, bond experts are once again dusting off a speech by Ben Bernanke given eight years ago as a freshman governor at the Federal Reserve.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor


Entitled “Deflation: Making Sure It Doesn’t Happen Here“, it is a warfare manual for defeating economic slumps by use of extreme monetary stimulus once interest rates have dropped to zero, and implicitly once governments have spent themselves to near bankruptcy.

The speech is best known for its irreverent one-liner: “The US government has a technology, called a printing press, that allows it to produce as many US dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

Bernanke began putting the script into action after the credit system seized up in 2008, purchasing $1.75 trillion of Treasuries, mortgage securities, and agency bonds to shore up the US credit system. He stopped far short of the $5 trillion balance sheet quietly pencilled in by the Fed Board as the upper limit for quantitative easing (QE).

Investors basking in Wall Street’s V-shaped rally had assumed that this bizarre episode was over. So did the Fed, which has been shutting liquidity spigots one by one. But the latest batch of data is disturbing.

The ECRI leading indicator produced by the Economic Cycle Research Institute plummeted yet again last week to -6.9, pointing to contraction in the US by the end of the year. It is dropping faster that at any time in the post-War era.

The latest data from the CPB Netherlands Bureau shows that world trade slid 1.7pc in May, with the biggest fall in Asia. The Baltic Dry Index measuring freight rates on bulk goods has dropped 40pc in a month. This is a volatile index that can be distorted by the supply of new ships, but those who watch it as an early warning signal for China and commodities are nervous.

Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS, is advising clients to read the Bernanke text very closely because the Fed is soon going to have to the pull the lever on “monster” quantitative easing (QE)”.

“We cannot stress enough how strongly we believe that a cliff-edge may be around the corner, for the global banking system (particularly in Europe) and for the global economy. Think the unthinkable,” he said in a note to investors.

Roberts said the Fed will shift tack, resorting to the 1940s strategy of capping bond yields around 2pc by force majeure said this is the option “which I personally prefer”.

A recent paper by the San Francisco Fed argues that interest rates should now be minus 5pc under the bank’s “rule of thumb” measure of capacity use and unemployment. The rate is currently minus 2pc when QE is factored in. You could conclude, very crudely, that the Fed must therefore buy another $2 trillion of bonds, and even more if Europe’s EMU debacle goes from bad to worse. I suspect that this hints at the Bernanke view, but it is anathema to hardliners at the Kansas, Richmond, Philadephia, and Dallas Feds.

Societe Generale’s uber-bear Albert Edwards said the Fed and other central banks will be forced to print more money whatever they now say, given the “stinking fiscal mess” across the developed world. “The response to the coming deflationary maelstrom will be additional money printing that will make the recent QE seem insignificant,” he said.

Despite the apparent rift with Europe, the US is arguably tightening fiscal policy just as hard. Congress has cut off benefits for those unemployed beyond six months, leaving 1.3m without support. California has to slash $19bn in spending this year, as much as Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Hungary, and Romania combined. The states together must cut $112bn to comply with state laws.

The Congressional Budget Office said federal stimulus from the Obama package peaked in the first quarter. The effect will turn sharply negative by next year as tax rises automatically kick in, a net swing of 4pc of GDP. This is happening as the US housing market tips into a double-dip. New homes sales crashed 33pc to a record low of 300,000 in May after subsidies expired.

It is sobering that zero rates, QE a l’outrance, and an $800bn fiscal blitz should should have delivered so little. Just as it is sobering that Club Med bond purchases by the European Central Bank and the creation of the EU’s €750bn rescue “shield” have failed to stabilize Europe’s debt markets. Greek default contracts reached an all-time high of 1,125 on Friday even though the €110bn EU-IMF rescue is up and running. Are investors questioning EU solvency itself, or making a judgment on German willingness to back pledges with real money?

Clearly we are nearing the end of the “Phoney War”, that phase of the global crisis when it seemed as if governments could conjure away the Great Debt. The trauma has merely been displaced from banks, auto makers, and homeowners onto the taxpayer, lifting public debt in the OECD bloc from 70pc of GDP to 100pc by next year. As the Bank for International Settlements warns, sovereign debt crises are nearing “boiling point” in half the world economy.

Fiscal largesse had its place last year. It arrested the downward spiral at a crucial moment, but that moment has passed. There is a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. The Krugman doctrine of perma-deficits is ruinous – and has in fact ruined Japan. The only plausible escape route for the West is a decade of fiscal austerity offset by helicopter drops of printed money, for as long as it takes.

Some say that the Fed’s QE policies have failed. I profoundly disagree. The US property market – and therefore the banks – would have imploded if the Fed had not pulled down mortgage rates so aggressively, but you can never prove a counter-factual.

The case for fresh QE is not to inflate away the debt or default on Chinese creditors by stealth devaluation. It is to prevent deflation.

Bernanke warned in that speech eight years ago that “sustained deflation can be highly destructive to a modern economy” because it leads to slow death from a rising real burden of debt.

At the time, the broad money supply war growing at 6pc and the Dallas Fed’s `trimmed mean’ index of core inflation was 2.2pc.

We are much nearer the tipping today. The M3 money supply has contracted by 5.5pc over the last year, and the pace is accelerating: the ‘trimmed mean’ index is now 0.6pc on a six-month basis, the lowest ever. America is one twist shy of a debt-deflation trap.

There is no doubt that the Fed has the tools to stop this. “Sufficient injections of money will ultimately always reverse a deflation,” said Bernanke. The question is whether he can muster support for such action in the face of massive popular disgust, a Republican Fronde in Congress, and resistance from the liquidationsists at the Kansas, Philadelphia, and Richmond Feds. If he cannot, we are in grave trouble.

Obama warns Azerbaijan against using force

Obama warns Azerbaijan against using force

U.S. President Barack Obama promised in a letter released on Monday to tackle “serious issues” in straining relations with Azerbaijan.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates handed Obama’s letter to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev during a visit meant to ease tensions with the oil-rich Caspian Sea country, Reuters reports.

A U.S.-backed push for a historic rapprochement between Armenia and Turkey has damaged ties between Washington and Azerbaijan, which worries its interests will be damaged by the reconciliation efforts.

Baku in April accused the United States of siding with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh and threatened to “reconsider” its relationship with Washington.

“I am aware of the fact that there are serious issues in our relationship, but I am confident that we can address them,” Obama wrote in the letter delivered on Sunday by Gates.

Obama praised Azerbaijan’s commitment to efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, mediated by the United States, Russia and France, and warned against using force. “I believe that a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is essential for the long-term stability of the South Caucasus region, and support for this outcome will remain a priority for the United States.”

! Reproduction on full or in part is prohibited without reference to Public Radio of Armenia

Atmosphere in the region unfavorable for Clinton’s visit

Richard Giragosian: Atmosphere in the region unfavorable for Clinton’s visit

Lena Badeyan
“Radiolur”

The atmosphere in the region is not favorable for US State Secretary Hillary Clinton’s visit, Director of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies Richard Giragosian told reporters today. The reason of this unfavorable atmosphere is Azerbaijan’s policy, which resulted in the adoption of the Obama-Medvedev-Sarkozy statement.

According to Richard Giragosian, the statement was an attempt by the international community to bring Azerbaijan back to negotiations.

Richard Giragosyan thinks the OSCE Minsk Group will not succeed unless Karabakh becomes a negotiating party.

Referring to Azerbaijani provocation of June 18 in the line of contact, the expert said such incidents could become more frequent during the summer, though, he said he didn’t think Azerbaijan could officially declare war to Armenia. At the same time Richard Giragosyan stressed that an unexpected, sudden war might be possible and Armenia should be ready for any developments.

“Armenia is getting ready for the 21st century war, while Azerbaijan is preparing for the wars of the past, the wars typical to Napoleon era,” he added.

Armenia should show Azerbaijan that any attack will first of all cause damages to itself.

! Reproduction on full or in part is prohibited without reference to Public Radio of Armenia

Terms of Engagement–Secretary Clinton’s Visit to Azerbaijan

Terms of Engagement: Secretary Clinton’s Visit to Azerbaijan

PDF Print E-mail
By Elmar Chakhtakhtinski

The news about the upcoming visit by Secretary Clinton to Azerbaijan, following the Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ trip to Baku on June 15, have already been interpreted as a change in Obama administration’s attitude towards that country’s authoritarian regime. If Azerbaijan was a democracy or at least the government there took some visible steps in that direction, a re-engagement with this strategically important nation could be a move in the right direction. But under the present conditions such visit might have undesirable consequences for the future of democracy in Azerbaijan and for the US interests in the region.

When President Obama named Azerbaijan along with Zimbabwe among the world’s worst violators of press freedom last April, the US-Azerbaijani relations seemed to plunge into a downward spiral. The United States has not had an ambassador in Azerbaijan since July 2009. The Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev was also conspicuously absent from the list of world leaders invited to Obama’s high-profile nuclear summit in DC this April, although the presidents of Armenia and Georgia, both of Azerbaijan’s neighbors in South Caucasus, attended the event.

Apart from diplomatic troubles, in March this year the Washington Post published a report about the corruption within the Azerbaijani leadership, including a reference to a $45 million luxury mansion in Dubai apparently belonging to the President Aliyev’s 11-years old son. It was followed by an Azeri opposition leader’s article in the same newspaper.

These developments led to speculations in Baku about the Aliyev regime’s falling out of favor with Washington. They also fuelled the hopes of Azerbaijani opposition that under President Obama the US might show a more principled stance in support of democracy than the previous US administration.

In its turn, the government in Baku accused Washington in supporting Armenia in its conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno Karabakh, cancelled the scheduled joint military exercises with the US, and directed the state-controlled media to ratchet up anti-American rhetoric to unprecedented levels. The Azerbaijani officials issued statements about further “adequate retaliation”, including threats to evict Western oil companies and pull out of the Nabucco project, deemed important as an alternative to Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas.

Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov also hinted on ending Baku’s cooperation with the coalition efforts in Afghanistan, for which Azerbaijan presents a vital transit route. During his speech at Columbia University in New York in November 2009, he even went as far as predicting the failure of the US troop surge, thus stepping right into the heat of America’s internal policy debate on Afghan policy.

Meanwhile, the regime in Baku gradually accelerated its attacks on the opposition and independent media.

Under such circumstances, the expected visit by a US Secretary of State can easily be perceived by the officials in Azerbaijan as a sign of the United States finally succumbing to their pressure and agreeing to turn a blind eye to the continuing suppression of dissent in Azerbaijan. Still, some added ingredients may help to make the best out of Secretary Clinton’s planned trip and maintain a degree of consistency in the US foreign policy towards that country.

For starters, she can meet with the leaders of major opposition parties and the representatives of remaining free press and truly independent NGOs, in addition to government officials. This would serve as an indication that America’s intentions are not limited to the temporal benefits from befriending the ruling regime, but rather include a long-term alliance with the Azerbaijani people and support in their aspirations to join the community of free nations.

Mrs. Clinton can recall the two pro-democracy bloggers, Adnan Hajizada and Emin Milli, imprisoned under bogus “hooliganism” charges, whose case has drawn numerous official protests from the US and European governments. She might also draw attention to the fate of journalist Eynulla Fatullayev, whom the Azerbaijani authorities are keeping behind bars in a blatant violation of a verdict by the European Court of Human Rights, which is mandatory for Azerbaijan as a member of Council of Europe.

Ideally, the US would insist on the release of these dissidents before Secretary Clinton departs for Baku. As a minimum, these issues should be raised openly and publicly before the Azerbaijani leadership during the trip.

Short of a strong emphasis on human rights and democracy, Secretary Clinton’s visit will only embolden the authorities in Azerbaijan to adopt even more brutal tactics against the opponents of the regime.

The inconsistency of a sudden “warm-up” in Washington’s approach towards the Azerbaijani dictatorship might also signal a weakness of US positions in the greater area around that country, which includes Russia, Iran and Afghanistan. Coming in the midst of the Iranian nuclear dilemma, this apparent pullback from the proclaimed support for democracy in Azerbaijan would not only damage the US reputation in the region, but also reinforce the already entrenched belief in America’s susceptibility to energy and security blackmail.

About the author: Elmar Chakhtakhtinski is the chairman of Azerbaijani-Americans for Democracy (AZAD), a US organization that advocates support for democracy in Azerbaijan and other countries.

Building a “Strategic Road” To Batken–First Action By New Govt.

[One of the government’s first actions was to begin construction of this strategic road to Batken.  If this is because of the proposed American Special Forces training center then it will confirm the new govt. intention to appease the US.   SEE: US Assists Kyrgyzstan in Constructing Anti-Terrorist Center in Batken]

In Kyrgyzstan begins construction of a strategically important route linking the Batken region of Osh

Mamadzhan Berdishev:

29/06 13:42, Bishkek – IA “24.kg”, Tolgonai OSMONGAZIEVA

“In Kyrgyzstan, begins construction of a strategically important route Batken – Pulgon”, – said IA “24.kgspokesman for Acting Governor of Batken region of the CD Mamadzhan Berdishev.

According to him, in order to get in the Osh region, residents of Batken have to go through the enclave Soh, which creates a lot of inconvenience.

“The road is designed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which provided for its implementation was $ 35 million in grants. Tender shall act Chinese construction company. She currently conducts engineering and topographic surveys, building a base and deliver the necessary equipment, – says Mamadzhan Berdishev. – From September 1, will begin construction of a road stretching about 60 kilometers. It will take 2 years. But this will create additional jobs for local residents. ”

Peace On the Eve of the War–Azerbaijan To Be Starting Point

Peace on the eve of the war. Azerbaijan has turned into the main “site jumping” to the U.S. and Israel in the preparation of an attack on Iran

P. Ivanchenko:

World on the eve of war

Azerbaijan has turned into the main “site jumping” to the U.S. and Israel in the preparation of an attack on Iran

Preparation of U.S. and Israeli aggression against Iran is in the final stage. According to Western media, Tehran declared martial law on its north-western borders. Personnel and equipment of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in large numbers being transferred to the area of the Azerbaijani border and the Caspian Sea.

This is understandable – at the airfields in Azerbaijan in full readiness for a strike on Iran’s facilities are concentrated shock of Israel and the U.S..

According to some reports, over the past few days Israel has successfully transferred the large number of bombers to bases in Azerbaijan, via Georgia. The Americans used the same way.

Commander of the IRGC, General Mehdi Moeini said: “The mobilization is associated with the presence of American and Israeli forces on the western border. In addition, according to Moin, some Western countries are trying to ignite ethnic conflict in the Iranian province of West Azerbaijan, and destabilize the region.

Indeed, Western and Israeli intelligence have long been heated separatist and nationalist sentiment in the province, creating terrorist groups and anti-government underground from the chauvinist-minded ethnic Azeris. Therefore, it is possible that foreign intelligence services are preparing a rebellion, which will be used as another excuse to attack Iran (under the pretext of protecting national minorities).

Recall that the Iranian (Iranian terminology – West) Azerbaijan, where relocating the guards, bordered by Turkey, Iraq and Armenia. Media reported that a long convoy of tanks, artillery, air defense and infantry stretches along the main highway in the direction of Azerbaijan and further to the north to the Caspian Sea.

Meanwhile, June 18-22, the US-Israeli-German squadron, which arrived in the Persian Gulf from the Mediterranean Sea, continues to air and sea maneuvers. Are processed attacks on Iranian targets, intercepting missiles fired by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah on American and Israeli targets in the Middle East. In the squadron, headed by the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman “in addition to the Israeli ship is German frigate Hessen-F221. The exercises in the Mediterranean Sea took place from June 6 to June 10, from the aircraft carrier were carried out day and night flights of strike aircraft that bombed targets on the range and Nabatiyeh in southern Israel.American planes took off from bases in Germany and Romania, refueled at Air Force bases and Israel in cooperation with the Israeli air strikes on the remote worked out goals for the Red and Mediterranean Seas. The pilots also trained to conduct air combat.

In addition, in early August this year, Washington intends to focus on the coast of Iran and within the operational range of him, at least 4 or 5 aircraft carriers. A June 22 closest adviser of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that taken during the last meeting of the UN Security Council sanctions against Iran “not adequate” threat and can not stop Iran’s nuclear program. “Pre-emptive military strike is obviously necessary,” – he said.

Analysts say that a particular intensity of military preparations purchased shortly after the resolution, the Group of Eight. Leaders of eight major industrialized countries (group G8) have condemned North Korea for sinking a South Korean ship, and demanded that the Iranian human rights. This was discussed in the final communique of the group after the summit in Canada Toronto.

This “coincidence” suggests that the G8 decision gave carte blanche to potential aggressors. In this regard, particularly interesting role of Russian representatives in the formation of the communique. According to Japanese participants, the only country that resisted tightening of the official statements of the group, was Russia. But, as reported by AP, a representative of the Russian delegation, on condition of anonymity said that Russia did not consider the commission’s decision as final G8 and considers that the additional allegations against North Korea will only lead to negative consequences. From this it follows that the objection Russia caused only “Korean” part of the communiqué, and on “the Iranian issue” reigned consent.

Meanwhile, anti-war stance of Russia in this case has long been a serious obstacle to the aggressive US-Israeli plans. Recently, however, Russia views the “Iranian problem” began to change rapidly, and the G8 meeting to come to full agreement with the West, thereby eliminating the last obstacle on the path to war. Obviously, this evolution had its own reasons – typically, some underhand agreement. In any case, it has already been named in the media reincarnated Covenant “Molotov – Ribbentrop. However, this comparison is hardly correct. Although, if only because the same pact, no doubt, the public interest of the USSR. If only because that pushed for a time, our encounter with Nazi Germany. You can not say about the current situation.

After the aggression the U.S. and Israel against Iran will not bring our country is nothing but new troubles. If the attack is successful, then under the control of the U.S. and Iran will deposit energy, which seriously complicate the situation of our country on the international oil market. In addition to this we get another “black hole” of terror and instability in dangerous proximity to our borders. There is one more important detail – an attack on Iran will put in an extremely unfavorable situation of Armenia – the last Russian ally in the Caucasus. In this regard, it should be noted one more “coincidence” intensify anti-Iranian actions and aggravation on the Karabakh front – no doubt sanctioned by the American-Israeli leaders.

Clearly, a new war in Karabakh, which is whatever the outcome will lead to total exclusion of Russia from the South Caucasus region, could become a logical continuation of the anti-Iran policy of the USA and at the same time – a preparatory stage for large-scale armed conflict in the Middle East. And finally, the sooner our “strategic partners” to the right with the “Iranian problem”, the faster will take on the “final decision of the Russian question.”

What was our guide for the review of position on Iran? Some analysts believe that this series of personal guarantees to support the conduct of a domestic policy. But be that as it may, it must be remembered that all the recent years Americans have consistently “throw” of their partners, and their promises turn into broken pottery, as chervontsi Basavryuk a famous story by Gogol.

If we compare the current situation with the period before World War II, then Russia, following the logic of its foreign policy aspirations and decisions, rather like France during the “Munich Agreement”.

Peter Ivanchenko
28/06/2010

Source – Segodnya.Ru

Georgia bemoans a dangerous embargo

[The Saakashvili government is in great danger of an American-sponsored overthrow, partly to gain Putin’s trust.  This silent embargo of military equipment to Georgia, coupled with the recent flurry of visits to the US Congress made by Georgian opposition party leaders, is sure sign that the US equation for power-sharing within Georgia is changing.  SEE: Georgian Democrats leader to discuss security issues in United States ; Georgian opposition fanned “Irangeyt”]

Georgia bemoans a dangerous embargo

Georgia claims it is being prevented from buying the equipment it needs to defend itself. Reuben F Johnson reports from the recent Eurosatory exhibition
By Reuben F Johnson

Georgian emotions were running high at the Eurosatory defence exhibition in Paris in mid-June as officials expressed their frustration at being unable to purchase defence equipment.

At the same event representatives of US and Israeli companies stated that sales of defence equipment to Georgia remain obstructed by both US government policy and pressure from the Russian government.

The barriers to these sales originate from the brief war between Georgian and Russian armed forces in August 2008 and the subsequent settlement negotiated by the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy. The ceasefire agreement resulted in a sizeable number of Russian troops remaining in the separatist provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

During a visit to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi prior to Eurosatory Jane’s was briefed by representatives of the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs’ (MIA’s) intelligence directorate, Ministry of Defence and Foreign Intelligence Service (FIS) on the precarious situation facing the country.

Georgia’s concerns focus on the composition of the Russian units in the two provinces, which it claims are capable of far more than just protecting the borders of the separatist enclaves.

“These Russian formations include several hundred [Uralvagonzavod] T-90S main battle tanks, which you only need if you are preparing for an invasion. This is not just a strictly defensive posture,” said an MIA officer who gave a tour of the line of control where Georgian troops face off against Russian forces within 100 m of their position.

“Also, a significant portion of these Russian troops are not regular army but armed formations of the Federal Security Service [the FSB: the current-day equivalent of the former Soviet KGB],” he continued.

Georgia’s hardware requirements are focused around three main types of systems, according to Deputy Defence Minister Nodar Kharshiladze. “[Firstly] we need some over-the-horizon radars that can give us advance warning of any Russian movement across the border because we would have very little early warning given the distance between South Ossetia and [the Georgian city of] Gori,” he told Jane’s.

“Secondly, since Georgia would be fighting a defensive war to buy time for a ceasefire to be negotiated again, our ground units need the best possible man-portable anti-tank weapons in order to delay the advance of any Russian armoured offensive. Thirdly we need more current-day tactical radios in case of any breakdown in the land-line communications network.”

The latter issue may represent the most significant threat to Georgian security. The country’s main rail line runs from Poti, on the east coast, to Gori, just south of South Ossetia, and on further west to Tbilisi. “If a Russian offensive were to break out of South Ossetia and push through to Gori,” explained a defence contractor based in Tbilisi and working with the Georgian military, “they could not only cut the country in half and shut down all heavy rail transport but they would also cut the main fibre- optic line that runs parallel to the rail network and disable all communications. This makes the ability of the Georgians to have a back-up radio network that is not dependent upon a fibre-optic network all the more crucial.”

However, none of these systems have been made available for the Georgians to purchase, according to US and NATO personnel based in Tbilisi. This was confirmed by US and Israeli company representatives at Eurosatory.
A Georgian national at the defence exhibition who works for a major US provider of communications equipment told Jane’s : “I have worked with this company for years and I know all of their products, all of the technology.

And yet, when we opened a new European office, I was not even permitted to attend its opening or see what was inside – all because of the current US administration’s policy against allowing any further sales to my country.

“No one can understand what the US government’s goal is in blocking these sales. Radios and radars are not offensive weapons,” said the Tbilisi-based defence contractor, whose company is involved in training the Georgian military to NATO standards. “The Georgians also lost some of their air-defence radars during the conflict with Russia and now they cannot replace them – nor can they replenish any of the SAMs [surface-to-air missiles] that they fired at Russian air forces.”

Other Georgian officials expressed their frustration with the situation by pointing out that “the US even prohibits the sale to us of blank ammunition to be used for training. Obviously pushing the ‘reset’ button with Russia is more important than our military.”

The reservations of Israeli defence companies about trade with Georgia derive not from fear of an unofficial blockade by Washington but from Tel Aviv’s concerns about its relations with Russia. “Russia is not an unimportant nation for us in a number of respects,” said one Israeli industry representative at Eurosatory.

Both Israeli and Georgian defence analysts claim that an ‘under the table’ veto exists that Moscow can exercise on any arms sales to Georgia and that, in the words of a Georgian analyst, “this is not the first case of this sort as Russia constantly exerts pressure on the countries that sell weapons to the states whose relations with Moscow are not good. Russia has also succeeded in thwarting [any] negotiations with Bulgaria and other former countries of the Warsaw Pact”.

In the meantime, according to Georgia’s FIS chief, Gela Bezhuashvili: “Eighty per cent of our activity outside Georgia is consumed with dealing with the Russian threat to our country.” Counter-intelligence officials with the MIA also revealed that “at least two persons of some level of importance in the [Georgian] government are arrested here every month because they have been ‘bought’ by the Russians to work against their own country”.

Reuben F Johnson is a JDW Correspondent, based in Paris
© IHS Global Limited

Kyrgyzstan’s referendum discomforts Kremlin

MOSCOW – Agence France-Presse
A Kyrgyz soldier guards the entrance of a polling station outside Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on Sunday. AP photo
A Kyrgyz soldier guards the entrance of a polling station outside Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on Sunday. AP photo

Kyrgyzstan’s vote to create the first parliamentary republic in Central Asia has discomforted Moscow, which shows little interest in Western-style democracy at home or in its ex-satellites.

As Kyrgyzstan on Sunday voted in favor of a new constitution, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed bewilderment at how a country wracked by bloodletting and instability would transform itself into a democracy.

“I have a hard time imagining that a parliamentary republic could work in Kyrgyzstan,” he told reporters at the G20 summit.

“Will this not turn into a succession of endless problems, reshuffles in parliament, the rise to power of these or those political forces, an uncontrolled transfer of authority from one hand to another, and, finally, will this not facilitate the arrival to power of the forces with extremist views?”

His remarks stood in stark contrast to the robust backing Kyrgyzstan’s interim government received from Russia immediately after a popular uprising toppled president Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April.

The Kremlin was the first foreign state to reach out to the ex-Soviet nation, promising humanitarian aid at a time when the West was just scrambling to formulate a coherent response.

But after this month’s bloody inter-ethnic clashes, Moscow — mindful of its disastrous venture into Afghanistan in Soviet times and the five-day war with Georgia in 2008 — acted with the utmost caution and refused to send troops to Kyrgyzstan.

Medvedev’s skepticism infuriated the new leadership in Kyrgyzstan.

“Probably they are misinformed, blindly believe special service agents, which have long been lackeys for the local oligarchs,” said Omurbek Tekebayev, who plans to run for the parliament speaker’s position.

Ex-Soviet Central Asia has little history of democratic traditions and Kyrgyzstan has long been seen an island of democracy in a region known for its strongmen leaders.

In Kazakhstan, President Nursultan Nazarbayev is accused by critics of seeking to be head of state for life.

In Tajikistan, critics regularly accuse its leader Emomali Rakhmon of silencing the opposition. In Uzbekistan, President Islam Karimov has exercised uncontested rule since 1989.

Analysts said that as long as Bishkek acts as a stable and predictable partner, the Kremlin does not care how the country is run.

“Everyone soberly realizes that a Kyrgyz parliamentary republic is a very risky and ephemeral thing,” said Andrei Grozin, a Central Asian analyst with the Moscow-based Institute of CIS Countries.

“Kyrgyzstan’s neighbors as well as China, Russia and the United States are afraid that the parliamentary republic will completely finish off the Kyrgyz state.”

Alexei Malashenko, an analyst with the Carnegie Moscow Center, said that Medvedev was right in the sense that Kyrgyzstan might be too politically immature to introduce a parliamentary republic, but it did not have a choice.

“Authoritarian regimes did not prove their value, a presidential republic in Kyrgyzstan does not work,” he said. “What alternative is there – a dictatorship?”

Following the chaos of the recent weeks, some may want just that.

Miroslav Niyazov, a retired general popular with many ordinary Kyrgyz, said the battered country was in dire need of a “national leader,” perhaps unwittingly borrowing from the Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s vocabulary.

Speaking in an interview with Russia’s Nezavisimaya Gazeta, he said that whoever wins a majority of the parliamentary elections due in September should be given a free hand.

“Let him build a vertical of power and bring about order in the country within the next six months,” he said.

Pakistan seeks to exploit US command vacuum

Pakistan seeks to exploit US command vacuum

* Ahmed Rashid says Islamabad is making efforts to influence impending US policy review on Afghanistan to put itself in the driving seat

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is looking to exploit a shake-up in the US command in Afghanistan to bolster its allies within the Taliban and increase its influence over a future Kabul government, analysts say.

The strategy, however, relies on bringing the brutal and independent-minded Haqqani network to heel, something many believe is impossible.

The incoming US commander, General David Petraeus, “does not have a good relationship” with Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, said Ahmed Rashid, a political analyst, journalist and expert on the Taliban.

“The army does not trust him and they don’t like him,” Rashid said. “This hiatus is going to be used by both the Afghan government and the Pakistani government to see if they can get something going,” he added.

In essence, Pakistan is hoping the American command vacuum proves a window of opportunity for Islamabad to deal more directly with Kabul in forcing an accommodation with its militant allies, such as the Haqqani network.

This is currently opposed by the United States, but it would grant Pakistan a large measure of influence in Afghanistan.

After McChrystal’s replacement, Pakistan is hoping to establish a “reality on the ground” before Petraeus fully takes over, said Rashid.

“I think there will be a review of US policy very quickly as soon as Petraeus arrives and I think these efforts are being made to try and influence that review and put Pakistan in the driving seat,” he said.

And the Haqqani network and the Taliban is one of the main levers for Pakistan to exert influence.

“Pakistan is not just prepared but very eager to play a role in bringing peace in Afghanistan,” said Rahimullah Yousafzai, an expert on Taliban militancy.

Run by Jalaluddin Haqqani, an elderly veteran resistance leader against Soviet troops in the 1980s, the Haqqani network operates near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan.

Leadership of the group has largely passed from the ailing Haqqani to his son, Sirajuddin, seen by US officials as more radical than his father. Yousafzai and Rashid both think it would be very difficult to convince the Haqqanis to lay down their arms.

“He (Sirajuddin) is very committed to international jihad. Part of his network includes al Qaeda, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, other central Asian groups, Chechen groups. He’s been very protective of all these groups and they form his strength right now,” Rashid said.

“Secondly, they have never, never issued any kind of statement even remotely discussing the issue of reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan,” he said.

This weekend, a private TV channel Al Jazeera reported that Sirajuddin recently met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Gen Kayani and the head of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Ahmad Pasha to discuss a peace deal.

But official sources in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as Taliban spokespeople speaking for Haqqani, strenuously denied any such meeting.

“The Haqqani group isn’t a separate entity,” said Yousafzai. “Jalaluddin is a member of the supreme Taliban shura. I think it’s impossible that Jalaluddin Haqqani or his son will strike a separate deal with Kabul,” he said.

The US doubts that any deal can be made until the Haqqanis and other Taliban militants feel they are on the defensive in Afghanistan.

A senior intelligence official in Islamabad said that while Pakistan would like a “friendly” Afghanistan — which many analysts believe a Taliban-dominated government might provide — Pakistan would settle for peace. “We can deal with a hostile Afghanistan as long as it is peaceful,” he said.d.

Rashid scoffed at the idea of Pakistan wanting only a peaceful Afghanistan as “propaganda”.

“Our interest is not just having a peaceful Afghanistan. It’s more than that, certainly. Otherwise we wouldn’t be trying so hard,” he added. reuters

The coming conflagration

The coming conflagration

By Kamran Shafi
US Army Gen. David Petraeus, then the top commander in Iraq, center, walks with Iraqi Police Brig. Gen. Mohammed, far left, Iraqi Army Gen. Farhan, second left, a translator, third left, mayor Najim Abdullah Ahmed, second from right, and Maj. Mark Read, right, at a market in Muqdadiyah, Iraq. Petraeus faces daunting challenges when he assumes command in Afghanistan following what by all accounts will be quick approval by the Senate. – AP Photo
But first to Gen Stanley McChrystal who was always quite a favourite with me if only because he understood that if innocent lives were lost in the struggle against terrorism some form of apology, if not outright recompense, were immediately in order.

So, there he was, this rough and ready general, standing on the doorstep of those who had been affected, saying sorry. He was there too, his lean and businesslike look for all to see, leading his men from the front.

But, to say what he said must have taken some brass, some idiocy! “Biden who?” about the vice president; likening Holbrooke to a wounded animal and the president’s national security advisor Gen James Jones to a joker or some such; and describing certain events in barrack language which does not bear repeating in this family newspaper.

As someone has already said, McChrystal’s shooting off at the mouth could be a direct result of his being exposed rather a lot to Pakistani generals who say what they want when they want with complete and utter abandon. And, as we say in the vernacular ‘take their eyes out’ (aankhein nikaltay hain) at any ‘bloody civilian’ who dares question their pronouncements.

We must note here and now the shameful way in which, barring DawnNews, not one TV channel spoke about the message that President Obama’s firm and correct handling of McChrystal’s shooting off at the mouth should have immediately sent to the Pakistani civilian leadership and to Pakistani army generals: that this was the only correct and appropriate way of dealing with insubordination. Instead, all we saw were a few senior pundits tiptoeing around the issue as if they were ballerinas dancing on broken glass.

What makes this so much more important is the fact that the completely unmilitary and ill-disciplined way in which our prima donna brass hats, a most appropriate term used by President Truman for Gen Douglas MacArthur when MacArthur attempted to become emperor of all he surveyed and was sacked for his pains, behaved at the time of the announcement of the Kerry-Lugar Bill far surpassed anything McChrystal said or did.

In the KLB case, GHQ actually issued a press statement ‘furiously’ condemning an aid package agreed between the elected government of Pakistan and the US government! Which condemnation, let me repeat, did not prevent the ‘furious’ generals asking for US aid when, exactly nine days later, Gen Petraeus called on Gen Kayani. Just where the ‘fury’ vanished inside of nine days only our brass hats can tell us. If you ask me, a head or two should have rolled then and there, and the devil take the hindmost.

But back to the conflagration that threatens this country because of the mad march of the triumphalists: our prima donna brass hats who have convinced themselves that the Americans are impendingly leaving Afghanistan and it is once again Pakistan’s backyard to do with as it pleases. While the sheer foolishness of the premise that Afghanistan is putty to be moulded any which way the Pakistani security establishment wants to mold it astonishes one, what leaves one speechless is that nobody among the movers and shakers of our foreign policy seems to read anything anymore: or, in the immortal words of core FO (Foreign Office) professional after core FO professional, are ‘unaware’.

How is it, pray, that even the pointsman in this whole exercise of controlling Afghanistan, the dreaded Mother of All Agencies in whose fear tread all Pakistanis, does not know that the British prime minister David Cameron announced five days ago that he would like to see British troops home from Afghanistan by 2015. Hello! Is anyone listening? 2015 is four years after the 2011 pullback date given by President Obama may I remind you gentlemen.

This is not all. Gen Petraeus, in testimony before Congress — when will the day dawn when we see our Rommels and Guderians answer to our parliament? — two weeks ago said words to the effect that one had to be careful about deadlines and cut-off dates re: Afghanistan. Indeed Adm Mullen just said that America was not about to leave that country in a roiling mess: on the Tajik-Pakhtun divide: “It has the potential to tear this country apart. That is not what we are going to permit.” Is all of this not enough to convince our brass hats that (God be praised) the field is not theirs, yet?

Have they not seen the most recent reaction of the other ethnic nationalities of Afghanistan to the flurry of activity between the beleaguered President Karzai and his newfound friends in the Pakistani establishment? According to the NY Times: “Karzai has begun the ethnic war,” says Mohammad Mohaqeq, a Hazara leader and a former ally of Karzai’s, “the future is very dark.” Is it at all possible to think, even for a moment, that if Afghanistan is plunged into darkness that the sun will shine in Pakistan?

A reader has said that I get delirious when I point out the pitfalls of Pakistan boxing above its weight so to say, just as we are attempting to do in Afghanistan today. But, sir, have we not seen the fallout of our last betrothal with the Taliban? Have we not seen the kind of government they foisted on the poor Afghans when women (even doctors, nurses, midwives) were not allowed to work and women who needed medical care were not allowed to go to male practitioners? Were the women then supposed to lie down and die? Have we not seen the growth of their cousins in Pakistan and the attempted takeover of the Pakistani state too? And the extent of their brutality wherever they held/hold sway? ‘Delirious’ indeed.

Let us never think that the rest of the world will let us do what we will in that poor and unfortunate country. Let us instead put our own house in order. Let us listen to the plaintive cries of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government which is already warning that the Taliban terrorists are making a comeback in many of the areas from where they were said to have been expelled. Let’s get real, gents, and save our own country from the conflagration that is at hand. Empire-building another time.

kshafi1@yahoo.co.uk

Iran Starts Building First Gas Pipeline to Europe, Commits $1.55 Billion

Iran Starts Building First Gas Pipeline to Europe, Commits $1.55 Billion

By Ladane Nasseri

Iran started to build a long-planned pipeline to export natural gas to Europe with an investment of at least 1.3 billion euros ($1.55 billion), state television reported today.

Iran plans to complete its section of the pipeline by 2013, the TV network said, without citing a source. The system will pass through Turkey and have a capacity of as much as 110 million cubic meters of gas a day, it said. The route of the pipeline is unclear.

An earlier, unrealized version of this project was to extend to Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany, according to details disclosed in September 2008. It was not immediately clear if the government intends the new project as an alternative to the planned Nabucco pipeline, a 7.9 billion- euro network for transporting gas from the Caspian Sea through Turkey to Europe. Iran already operates a pipeline to Turkey, its western neighbor.

Iran, home to the world’s second-largest gas reserves after Russia, has for years been under United Nations sanctions and U.S.-imposed restrictions on foreign investment. The sanctions aim to deter Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapons capability. These economic and financial constraints have made it difficult for Iran to fulfill its energy plans and have hampered foreign investment in the country.

Iran insists that its nuclear program is for civilian purposes.

The Iranian section of the pipeline to Europe will stretch from the South Pars gas field to the Bazargan border post with Turkey, for a distance of about 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles), state television said.

Of the 1.3 billion euros that Iran has allocated to its construction, about 825 million euros will come from the Oil Ministry and the rest from other sources, the Tehran-based Pool newspaper reported, without elaborating or disclosing the source of the information.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Tehran at lnasseri@bloomberg.net.

Iran Sanctions–The Reason why Russia supported Iran Sanctions

[As usual, NewsCentralAsia comes through again, filling in the background details needed to understand Moscow’s position in the Great Game.  If Iran cannot be hemmed-in, prevented from exporting gas to the neighborhood, then Putin’s dream of Russia becoming Eurasia’s primary source for energy will come to naught.]

Iran Sanctions: The Reason why Russia supported Iran Sanctions

nCa Report

Ashgabat, 29 June 2010 (nCa) — Gazprom, the largest natural gas company in the world and the mainstay of the Russian economy, is in deep crisis. By Gazprom’s own estimates, it will not be able to reach the pre-crisis level until 2013. It is a conditional assessment: To climb back to its former position, Gazprom needs to make sure that there is no alternate route for gas supplies to Europe.

This, in essence, is the reason why Russia supported the UN Security Council sanctions on Iran.

Shrinking Gazprom

In May 2008, Gazprom’s market capitalization exceeded US $ 350 billion. Its current market capitalization is US $ 140 billion, a dwarfish 40% of its former self. [1]

The oil sector of Russia is showing signs of coming out of the last year’s financial and economic crisis but the gas sector is still sluggish. By the end of 2009, the oil production and export of Russia increased marginally but the gas exports fell by 11% and Gazprom production decreased by 16% because of lack of gas demand. [2]

Although Gazprom claims to have practical plans to regain its former position by 2013, the abundant availability of cheaper shale gas in the US, the advancement in LNG liquefaction and transportation technologies and the prospects of accessibility of vast volumes of shale gas in Europe are all stacked against Gazprom ambitions.

The markets where Gazprom has near monopoly – the European markets – are not showing any signs of substantially increasing their imports from Russia.

On the other hand, the markets that are ready to consume more gas – China and Iran – are not connected with Russia by any pipeline system.

Even in the captive Russian market, Gazprom is being challenged by rising stars such as Rosneft and Novatek. Gazprom traditionally had 85% share of the domestic market but by the end of 2009 it had shrunk to 75%. [3]

Suicidal Gazprom

Faced with sharply declining export market, Gazprom did the thing only a Russian giant could do: It shot itself in the foot.

Gazprom stopped taking Turkmen gas in April 2009 without giving an adequate notice for shutting down of gas intake. As a result, the accumulated pressure in the pipeline system led to a string of accidents in Turkmenistan, causing severe damage to an expensive compressor station, a segment of the main trunk, and 20 gas wells.

This suicidal act of Gazprom prompted Turkmenistan to quickly build the second pipeline (Daulatabat-Khangiran) to Iran, increasing the export capacity to 25 bcm. Currently the combined export from both pipes (Korpeje-Kurtkui and Daulatabat-Khangiran) is around 9 bcm. It will reach 14 bcm in the coming winter, and to 20 bcm in foreseeable future.

At the time of the accident caused by Gazprom, Turkmenistan was already building a pipeline to China, which came into operation in December 2009. The present flow of gas from this pipe is 5 bcm. It will be raised to 13 bcm by the end of 2011 and then there would be sharp increase in the next two years.

The existing arrangements between Turkmenistan and China envisage eventual annual export of 40 bcm but the negotiations are underway to go even beyond that. The ultimate exports of Turkmen gas in the Chinese direction could be substantially more than 40 bcm. [4]

Increasing production

Gazprom plans to produce 519.3 bcm this year. The target for 2011 is 528.6 bcm, and for 2012 – 542.4 bcm. The idea is to reach the pre-crisis levels by 2013. [5]

However, Gazprom has lowered its gas export forecast for 2010 from 160.8 to 145 bcm, a decrease of nearly 10%. [6]

The exports this year would be just 4.35 bcm more than the 140.65 that Gazprom exported last year.

Decreasing prices

While there are efforts to increase production, there is nothing Gazprom can do to increase the export prices, or even hold them at the previous level.

The average forecast contract price has been lowered from US $ 326 to 308 per thousand cubic meters. [7]

Nord Stream and South Stream

Gazprom is relentlessly pushing for two hulks: Nord Stream and South Stream. Both of these projects are based on the assumption that Russia will always be able to remain the near-monopoly supplier of gas to Europe.

Gazprom expects that within the next decade the requirement of gas in Europe will increase by nearly 200 bcm or about 50%. [8]

The combined capacity of both strings of Nord Stream would be 55 bcm. [9]

The capacity of South Stream would be 63 bcm. [10]

Taken together, Nord Stream and South Stream will increase the gas export capacity of Russia in the European direction by 118 bcm.

In other words, Gazprom has the ambitions to meet about 60% of the additional demand of gas in Europe within the next ten years.

Encroachment in Ukraine

Gazprom chief Alexi Miller said during the annual meeting of the shareholders in Moscow on 27 June 2010 that a merger between Gazprom and Ukrainian utility Naftogaz is “historically predetermined.” He said that it would “increase efficiency for the Ukrainian gas industry and the industries that are large consumers of the gas.” Miller also said that “Naftogaz could gain access to gas fields holding as much as 35 trillion cubic feet of gas as an incentive for the merger.” [11]

With Yanukovich leading Ukraine and Boyko back to the oil and gas ministry of Ukraine, this could not be just empty talk.

Iran Pipe to Europe

While Russia is putting together an elaborate and meticulous plan to remain overseer of the gas market in Europe, Iran has started building its own pipeline in the European direction.

The Iranian pipeline will have capacity of 40 bcm, and expected cost is around US $ 1.5 billion. It is expected to be completed by 2013. It will start from South Pars field and terminate at Bazargon border point with Turkey, a distance of about 1850 km. The oil ministry of Iran will provide some 63% of funding for the project and the rest will come from other sources. [12]

Frightened Gazprom

Iran is already exporting some gas to Europe and that capacity would increase within the next three years. Moreover, Iran has two pipelines connecting to the gas network of Turkmenistan, and by default, Central Asia. This fact is especially significant if we consider that Iran produces enough gas to meet its domestic demands and any volumes it imports from Turkmenistan are exported to Turkey.

Because of flexible methods of negotiation, Iran can offer betters terms to European buyers of gas. In fact, the existing supply situation and the pipeline infrastructure are such that even today Iran can either supply or transit at least 15 bcm of gas to Europe.

The lucrative and politically pragmatic markets of central and Eastern Europe are in easy reach of Iran, and some buyers are already in talks with Iran.

If Iran starts exporting its own gas and transiting Central Asian gas to Europe, the entire gas reserve of Russia would be at risk of becoming ‘stranded gas.’

This possibility is not acceptable to Gazprom.

Gazprom’s fear of receding into irrelevance and Putin’s economic patriotism are the factors that compelled Russia to vote for the fresh sanctions against Iran.

References:

1. Gazprom in crisis: a chance for reform by Anders Åslund, European Energy Review, 26 April 2010 (http://www.europeanenergyreview.eu/index.php?id=740&id_referer=1898&id_artikel=1898)

2. Ibid

3. Ibid

4. Press briefing by the foreign office of Turkmenistan on 28 June 2010.

5. Dow Jones, 9 June 2010 (http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/energy/correctgazprom-plans-reach-pre-crisis-output-level/)

6. Xinhua, 23 June 2010 (http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90778/90858/90865/7036298.html)

7. Ibid

8. Gazprom website (http://www.gazprom.com/production/projects/pipelines/nord-stream/)

9. Ibid

10. Gazprom website (http://www.gazprom.com/production/projects/pipelines/south-stream/)

11. UPI, 28 June 2010 (http://www.upi.com/Science_News/Resource-Wars/2010/06/28/Naftogaz-Gazprom-link-destiny-Miller-says/UPI-47021277734221/)

12. Bloomberg, 7 June 2010 (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-07/iran-starts-building-first-gas-pipeline-to-europe-commits-1-55-billion.html)

Baloch leader meets Joe Biden, draw attention to Balochistan’s situation

Washington, June 29 (ANI): President of Baloch Society of North America (BSO-NA), Dr. Wahid Baloch met US Vice-President Joe Biden to draw his attention to the ongoing military operation and enforced involuntary disappearances in Pakistani and Iranian occupied Balochistan.
“Secular Baloch are being hanged everyday by Iranian Mullah and killed and kidnapped by Pakistani Jihadi Islamic terrorist army and it’s ISI and no one is doing anything about it,” he told the Vice President.

“We support NATO forces in Afghanistan against the Taliban and Al-Qaida terrorists. Why we are not being helped by the State Department,” he asked Biden.

” We are secular and natural ally of U.S in the war on terror and we share many American values. We ask Obama administration to not support Pakistan but extend a helping hand to the Baloch people who are suffering in the hands of these two Islamic terrorist States, Pakistan and Iran”, he told the Vice President.

According to a UN report, over 80,000 Balochs have been evicted from their homes due to Pakistani bombardment since 2005 and are living in extreme harsh conditions.

Dr. Wahid said that the United States Government and internationalcommunity must not close their eyes over these crimes against the secular Baloch people and should hold the Pakistan army, its ISI and the Iranian terrorist revolutionary Guards accountable for these crimes. (ANI)

Russia seeks US explanation over ‘spy’ arrests

Russia seeks US explanation over ‘spy’ arrests

Moscow expects Washington to provide an explanation over the arrests of an alleged Russian spy ring in the US, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says.

“They [the Americans] did not explain what the matter is about. I hope they will,” the Russian minister said.

Mr Lavrov’s comments come a day after 10 people were arrested in the US.

They are accused of conspiracy to act as unlawful agents of a foreign government, a crime which carries up to five years in prison.

They were allegedly part of an operation where agents posed as ordinary citizens, some living together as couples for years.

Nine of those arrested also face a charge of conspiracy to launder money, which carries a 20-year prison sentence.

An 11th suspect remains at large, according to the US justice department.

‘Contradictory’ information

Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Mr Lavrov said Moscow was awaiting an answer from Washington about the arrests.

So what were the alleged spies up to? The Department of Justice has made clear that none of the information at stake was classified. Most of what the alleged spies were after seems almost anodyne.

While the incident does not look good for the Russians, the initial US reaction has been sanguine.

Russian spy stories may be a throwback to the Cold War and sound alarming but they probably don’t surprise anyone in Washington, especially not in the government.

US officials who travel to Moscow routinely turn off their Blackberries and leave them on the plane to make sure data on their phones remains out of reach of any tech-savvy Russian intelligence agents.

“The moment when it was done has been chosen with a special finesse,” he said with apparent sarcasm, declining further comment.

A Russian foreign ministry spokesman said earlier that Moscow was “studying the information”.

“There are a lot of contradictions,” spokesman Igor Lyakin-Frolov told the AFP news agency.

Mr Lavrov’s comments suggest that he thinks it is an attempt by someone or some group within the US power structure to undermine newly warming relations between Moscow and Washington, the BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Moscow reports.

Our correspondent adds that one Russian academic speaking to the BBC said he believed the case would serve as a warning to US President Barack Obama not to trust Russia and not to get too close the Kremlin.

A senior government official told the BBC that it was unfortunate that such activity was taking place in the US, but that it should not affect the momentum established in the relationship with Russia.

Last week, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was in Washington having lunch with President Obama.

‘Deep cover’

Alleged intercepted messages in court documents suggest the 10 people arrested in the US were asked to find information on topics including nuclear weapons, US arms control positions, Iran, White House rumours, CIA leadership turnover, and political parties.

The US Department of Justice says that eight of the suspects allegedly carried out “long-term, ‘deep-cover’ assignments” on US soil, working in civilian jobs so as not to arouse suspicion.

They were allegedly trained by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) to infiltrate policy-making circles and collect information, according to papers filed in the US court for the southern district of New York.

They were told to befriend US officials and send information using various methods to Russian government handlers.

US officials say the spy ring was discovered in a “multi-year investigation” by FBI agents who posed as Russian handlers and gleaned information from two of the suspects.

‘Invisible ink’

Investigators say some of the agents had been using false identities since the early 1990s, using codes and engaging in advanced computer operations, including posting apparently innocent pictures on the internet which contained hidden text.

The FBI also reported observing older techniques, such as messages sent by invisible ink, money being buried next to a beer-bottle marker and “brush pasts” in parks, where agents swap identical bags as they pass each other.

“You were sent to USA for long-term service trip,” says one purported message to two of the suspects that was intercepted by US intelligence.

“Your education, bank accounts, car, house etc – all these serve one goal: fulfil your main mission, ie to search and develop ties in policymaking circles in US and send intels.”

Generally, spies were allegedly tasked with becoming “Americanised” to be able to do this, with some pursuing university degrees, holding jobs, and joining relevant professional associations, court documents said.

The group allegedly got close to a scientist involved in designing bunker-busting bombs and a top former intelligence official.

There is a mass of detail on how the alleged network operated, but rather less on what sort of information the agents actually dealt with, the BBC’s Paul Adams in Washington says.

Court appearances

Five of the suspects briefly appeared in a Manhattan federal court on Monday, where a judge ordered them to remain in prison until a preliminary hearing set for 27 July.

Map of USA

These included a couple known as “Richard Murphy” and “Cynthia Murphy”, who were arrested in Montclair, New Jersey; Vicky Pelaez and a man known as “Juan Lazaro,” who were arrested in Yonkers, New York state; and Anna Chapman, who was arrested in Manhattan, New York City.

Another three – Mikhail Semenko and a couple known as “Michael Zottoli” and “Patricia Mills” – appeared in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, after being arrested in Arlington, Virginia.

The final two people – a couple known as “Donald Howard Heathfield” and “Tracey Lee Ann Foley” – were arrested in Boston, Massachusetts, and appeared in a federal court in the city.

A suspect known as “Christopher R Metsos” remains at large.

All the suspects except Ms Chapman and Mr Semenko have also been charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Suspected Russian spies charged in US

[It is tempting to write all of this off as just another US/Russian psyop in support of the global pipeline drama, but I suspect that this may actually show the reality of US duplicity.  One day after putting on a show with multiple photo-ops dispensing the proper sound-bytes to the world audience, to highlight the new “reset” in relations, the FBI exposes a Russian spy operation that they have been watching for years?  This apparent sudden turnaround is a throwback to the Cold War era, where US and Soviet officials would shake hands one day, then level charges of spying and underhandedness the next day.  Such extreme diplomatic “flip-flops” were instruments for deceiving the American public about Russian intentions, more than they were actual slaps in the faces of Soviet leaders.

Either this latest spy incident is a prearranged drama, set-up by Obama and Medvedev for our amusement, or it is a Cold War type slap in the face by Obama and the Russo-phobes who are aligned with Brzezinski.  Coming on the heels of events in Eurasia which strengthen Russia’s position (apparently at America’s expense), and moves at the UN which appear to be a coming together of US and Russian diplomatic efforts, I am inclined to think that this backbiting exposure may be for real.

This could be Obama spitting in Putin’s eye and then running for cover under the umbrella of “reset” relations.  If it is for real, then we can expect some sort of swift Russian retaliation in kind.  Manas will probably survive the row, but life there may become much harder after this.  This hypocritical schizoid-like American behavior, of shaking hands with foreign leaders one day, then stabbing them in the back the next, is incomprehensible to a normal mind.  Why do American leaders repeatedly take actions which seem to undermine their own agendas?]

Suspected Russian spies charged in US

Vodpod videos no longer available.

US strategy expert Stephen Flanagan: ‘The suspects had been under surveillance by the FBI for some years’

Ten people have been arrested in the US and charged with spying for Russia.

They were allegedly part of an operation where agents posed as ordinary citizens, some living together as couples for years.

They are accused of conspiracy to act as unlawful agents of a foreign government, a crime which carries up to five years in prison.

A Russian foreign ministry spokesman said the information about the alleged spies was contradictory.

“We are studying the information. There are a lot of contradictions,” spokesman Igor Lyakin-Frolov told the AFP news agency, declining further comment.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov later said Moscow expected Washington to provide an explanation over the the spying row, Russia’s Interfax news agency reports.

Nine of the alleged spies also face a charge of conspiracy to launder money, which carries a 20-year prison sentence.

An 11th suspect remains at large, according to the US justice department.

Alleged intercepted messages in court documents suggest they were asked to find information on topics including nuclear weapons, US arms control positions, Iran, White House rumours, CIA leadership turnover, and political parties.

The US Department of Justice says eight of the suspects allegedly carried out “long-term, ‘deep-cover’ assignments” on US soil, working in civilian jobs so as not to arouse suspicion.

They were allegedly trained by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) to infiltrate policy-making circles and collect information, according to court papers filed in the US court for the southern district of New York.

They were told to befriend US officials and send information using various methods to Russian government handlers.

US officials said the spy-ring was discovered in a “multi-year investigation” by FBI agents who posed as Russian handlers and gleaned information from two of the suspects.

‘Invisible ink’

Investigators say some of the agents had been using false identities since the early 1990s, using codes and engaging in advanced computer operations, including posting apparently innocent pictures on the internet which contained hidden text.

Your education, bank accounts, car, house etc – all these serve one goal: fulfil your main mission, ie to search and develop ties in policymaking circles in US and send intels

District Court complaint

The FBI also reported observing older techniques, such as messages sent by invisible ink, money being buried next to a beer-bottle marker and “brush pasts” in parks, where agents swap identical bags as they pass each other.

“You were sent to USA for long-term service trip,” says one purported message to two of the suspects that was intercepted by US intelligence.

“Your education, bank accounts, car, house etc – all these serve one goal: fulfil your main mission, ie to search and develop ties in policymaking circles in US and send intels.”

Generally, spies were allegedly tasked with becoming “Americanised” to be able to do this, with some pursuing university degrees, holding jobs, and joining relevant professional associations, court documents said.

The group allegedly got close to a scientist involved in designing bunker-busting bombs and a top former intelligence official.

Court appearances

Five of the suspects briefly appeared in a Manhattan federal court on Monday, where a judge ordered them to remain in prison until a preliminary hearing set for 27 July.

Map of USA

These included a couple known as “Richard Murphy” and “Cynthia Murphy”, who were arrested in Montclair, New Jersey; Vicky Pelaez and a man known as “Juan Lazaro,” who were arrested in Yonkers, New York state; and Anna Chapman, who was arrested in Manhattan, New York City.

Another three – Mikhail Semenko and a couple known as “Michael Zottoli” and “Patricia Mills” – appeared in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, after being arrested in Arlington, Virginia.

The final two people – a couple known as “Donald Howard Heathfield” and “Tracey Lee Ann Foley” – were arrested in Boston, Massachusetts, and appeared in a federal court in the city.

A suspect known as “Christopher R Metsos” remains at large.

All the suspects except Ms Chapman and Mr Semenko have also been charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Relations between Washington and Moscow have warmed in recent months.

Last week, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was in Washington having lunch with President Barack Obama.

A senior government official told the BBC that it was unfortunate that such activity was taking place in the US, but that it should not affect the momentum established in the relationship with Russia.

‘Deep cover’

Kim Ghattas

Kim Ghattas,
BBC News, Washington

So what were the alleged spies up to? The Department of Justice has made clear that none of the information at stake was classified. Most of what the alleged spies were after seems almost anodyne.

While the incident does not look good for the Russians, the initial US reaction has been sanguine.

Russian spy stories may be a throwback to the Cold War and sound alarming but they probably don’t surprise anyone in Washington, especially not in the government.

US officials who travel to Moscow routinely turn off their BlackBerries and leave them on the plane to make sure data on their phones remains out of reach of any tech-savvy Russian intelligence agents.

Cold War meets ‘burger summit’

Which General Will Run In 2012?

McChrystal to retire from military: US Army

WASHINGTON: US General Stanley McChrystal plans to retire from the military after he was sacked last week as the commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, an army spokesman said Monday.

“He told the army today he’s going to retire,” Colonel Thomas Collins told AFP.

McChrystal was forced to step down after he and his aides showed disdain for administration civilian officials in a Rolling Stone magazine profile.

The four-star general told the office that manages general officers that he would retire but has not yet submitted formal paperwork and it remained unclear how much more time he had in uniform, Collins added.

Obama has nominated General David Petraeus, credited with salvaging the US war in Iraq, to replace McChrystal at the Kabul headquarters.

Lawmakers predicted Petraeus will be easily confirmed by the US Senate, with hearings on his nomination due to start on Tuesday. – AFP/fa

Stripped Dalit girl says caste-hatred behind attack

Mumbai Even with round-the-clock police security, the 22-year old Dalit girl has not stepped out of her house for more than a week after she was stripped and paraded semi-naked in the bylanes of Mira Dargah Street in Reay Road area, a hub of warehouses in South Mumbai.
“A mob of 23-30 women and a few men entered my house, beat me with bamboo sticks, kicked me, tore my gown, stripped me and dragged me to the street. I pleaded, but they hurled abuses at me,” Rajini Rajini Kamble (name changed) recalls.

The mob attack on June 17 was ostensibly to “teach a lesson to the family” after her brother Vijay Kamble was picked up allegedly for raping a minor in a nearby warehouse where he worked as a guard, but the girl says caste-based hatred for the family runs a long way back.

“The upper class women in the neighbourhood would always abuse us… They would not allow us to draw water from the community water pump. They waited for an opportunity to attack our family,” she says.

In 2008, the girl’s mother had written to the local police station about death threats her family had received. “Neighbours would force us to cough up money to use a public water pump. When I didn’t give in to the demand, they threatened us. The only person they feared was my son and now he is in jail,” says her mother.

On June 17, over 30 women and a few men assembled in the area on knowing she was alone at home, according to the girl who has registered a case with Sewree police station. “They stripped me and kept telling me my family is a disgrace to the area… A few men joined them. One recorded the drama on his cellphone,” she said. The drama went on for over 30 minutes before police reached the spot, she says.

“The mob had planned it well in advance. The incident occurred 10 days after her brother’s arrest on June 7. It’s a clear case of atrocity,” said ACP Dilip Waghmare, Wadala Division.

Waghmare said Rajini’s friend and next-door neighbour Sayeeda Qazi came to her assistance and wrapped a duppatta around her. “We have recorded statements of witnesses, especially Sayeeda’s,” says Waghmare.

Twelve people identified by the victim were arrested and sent to police custody till July 1. “We are still looking for a few more women who fled from the spot. Security would be provided to the family until things calm down,” says Waghmare.

All accused, including 10 women and two men are booked under several sections of the Indian Penal Code for unlawful assembly, rioting, outraging the modesty of a woman along with section 3 (1), 3(10) and 3 (11) of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

California’s Experiment Helps Disprove Central Tenet of Conservatism–Social Cuts No Answer

[Arnold Swarzenegger is slowly learning that economic “tough love” is no more an answer to economic calamity than it is a cure for “welfarism.”  The entire conservative philosophy is a bankrupt sham, playing on the lowest human emotions to carry-out the world’s greatest looting operation.  Envy and scape-goatism are the fuel of the neoconservative movement, deceiving the American middle class into believing that the weight of the “have-nots” is responsible for dragging the American economy down.  Schwarzenegger was carrying-out the ultimate fantasy of all conservatives by making massive cuts in social spending, only to learn in the end that this solved no problems, budgetary or otherwise, but it did impact severely the daily crisis of California’s disenfranchised citizens.  It compounded the grief and suffering uncertainty of the poorest of the poor, but California is still in deep trouble.

I know that the most hardcore conservatives have always understood this hard fact, that their great answer to everything would solve no problems, although it would hurt the poor.  I also know that punishing the poor for their economic status is the hidden goal of neoconservatism.  The idea is that the poor suffer because they are lazy.   The solution given was to punish the poor more severely, until they found jobs.  We see the results of decades of this kind of morally bankrupt thinking in the world all around us.  The obscene tax-cutting and privatization programs set in motion by Reagan have taken us to the brink of complete ruin.  The crisis of 46 state governors is but ripples on the pond.  Get ready for the tidal wave.]

States of Crisis for 46 Governments Facing Greek-Style Deficits

By Edward Robinson
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger, governor of California, speaks to the state assembly about his proposed budget in Sacramento, California. Photographer: Ken James/Bloomberg

Californians don’t see much evidence that the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression is coming to an end.

Unemployment was 12.4 percent in May, 2.7 percentage points higher than the national rate. Lawmakers gridlocked over how to close a $19 billion budget gap are weighing the termination of the main welfare program for 1.3 million poor families or borrowing more than $9 billion in the bond market. California, tied with Illinois for the lowest credit rating of any state, is diverting a rising portion of tax revenue to service debt, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its August issue.

Far from rebounding, the Golden State, with a $1.8 trillion economy that’s larger than Russia’s, is sinking deeper into its financial funk. And it’s not alone.

Even as the U.S. appears to be on the mend — gross domestic product has climbed three straight quarters — finances in Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and other states show few signs of improvement. Forty-six states face budget shortfalls that add up to $112 billion for the fiscal year ending next June, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington research institution. State spending is 12 percent of U.S. GDP.

“States are going to have to cut back spending and raise taxes the same way Greece and Spain are,” says Dean Baker, co- director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. “That runs counter to stimulating the economy and will put a big damper on the recovery in the latter half of this year.”

Stimulus Dries Up

State budget woes are a worsening drag on growth as the federal government tries to wean the economy from two years of extraordinary support. By Jan. 1, funds from the $787 billion federal stimulus bill will dry up. That money from Washington has helped cushion state budgets as tax revenue has plunged.

State leaders won’t be able to ride out this cycle the way they have in the past. The budget holes are too large. For the first time since 1962, sales and income tax revenue fell for five straight quarters, through December 2009, according to the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government at the State University of New York at Albany.

Lawmakers need to overhaul tax policy, underfunded public pensions and entitlement spending programs such as Medicaid if they want to establish long-term plans that will foster growth, says former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman.

If they fail to act, state fiscal positions will steadily erode and hurt the U.S. economy through 2060, according to a March 2010 report prepared for Congress by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

‘Major Surgery’

“States don’t have a choice anymore,” Whitman says. “These problems are going to require major surgery.”

Reform may get short shrift as Republicans and Democrats intensify their age-old fight over taxes and spending in this election year. On May 20, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a Democratic bill that would have raised income taxes for residents earning at least $1 million a year to help close an $11 billion deficit. Christie, a Republican, wants to cut spending for school districts and cap property tax increases.

“At some point, the people’s ability to pay runs out,” Christie said in a speech in New York on May 25.

The widening deficits have led to some unorthodox moves. In California, the state grabbed $1.7 billion in redevelopment money from local governments in May. Riverside County, a Los Angeles suburb where the housing bust has left unemployment at more than 15 percent, lost $28 million that had been set aside to build fire stations, senior centers and other public works.

Jobs or Education

The projects would have created 3,000 jobs, says Tom Freeman, spokesman for the county’s Economic Development Agency. The government needed the county cash for schools, saysAaron McLear, spokesman for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The episode demonstrates how the fiscal mess pits job creation against education in a zero-sum game, says Robert Hertzberg, the Democratic speaker of the State Assembly from 2000 to 2002. California is locked in a rigid system in which legislators need a two-thirds majority to raise taxes and yet must comply with voter-approved initiatives that mandate prison construction and other spending.

There’s little chance of any sweeping changes this year ahead of a gubernatorial race between Republican Meg Whitman, former chief executive officer of EBay Inc., and Attorney GeneralJerry Brown, a Democrat who was governor from 1975 to 1983.

‘So Dysfunctional’

The winner will have to muster the political courage to take on core constituencies, whether anti-tax conservatives who support Whitman or labor unions that back Brown, says Steve Westly, California’s Democratic treasurer from 2003 to 2007.

The risk is that California ends up like Greece, with no one trusting that it can get its financial house in order, says Westly, now a venture capitalist in Menlo Park. “It has to be a combination of cuts and revenue increases,” he says.

Still, California isn’t Greece. It’s home to Silicon Valley, Hollywood and a $27 billion agriculture industry. “It’s unbelievable,” says Bob Nichols, CEO of Windward Capital Management Co. in Los Angeles. “How do you screw up a place with the growth capability of California? It’s so dysfunctional.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Edward Robinson in San Francisco atedrobinson@bloomberg.net

Turkmenistan’s Energy Policies

Activism and Policy

Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

The world’s leading energy companies are camped out in Ashgabat waiting for the goverment to make good on its pledge to diversify its exports in a new «multi-vector policy» that will prevent dependency on any one route to market. While American petroleum companies and vehicle manufacturers lined up to see President Berdymukhamedov last week, it is not clear how much they will really accomplish in Ashgabat, which has steadfastly denied land drilling permits except to the Chinese National Petroleum Company and doled out off-shore permits only to the German gas company RWE, the Malaysian company Petronas, Dragon Oil, part-owned by the government of Dubai, and Wintershall of Germany. The last three together invested USD 2.2 billion in 2009.

By contrast, the total U.S. trade balance with Turkmenistan is only USD 213 million last year, and despite the eager presence of U.S. companies in Ashgabat, it is not clear what deals may emerge. The U.S. Investment Climate Statement of 2008, not updated since, yields a grim picture of prospects in Turkmenistan:

The government regularly proclaims its wish to attract foreign investment, but its state-control mechanisms and restrictive currency-exchange system have created a difficult foreign-investment climate. Historically, the most promising areas for investment are in the oil and gas, agricultural and construction sectors. Even in these areas, companies must conduct extensive due diligence. The lack of established rule of law, inconsistent regulatory practices, and unfamiliarity with international business norms are major disincentives to foreign investment.

Источник :: EurasiaNet

More Riots In Kashmir

Outcomes of conflict in India

Outcomes of conflict in India

India ‘s Muslim-majority state of Kashmir that Cammu-old, who protested against the government demonstrators in New Delhi when the police intervened, two people were killed in the incident. A police beat demonstrators in clashes also photographed frame by frame.

Police, held last Friday in Sopore town of action of the three people in the Indian paramilitary forces held demonstrations to protest the killing of at least 20 people were injured said.

In the last two weeks in Kashmir were killed by government forces reached the number 8.

To prevent the spread of protests, Kashmir’s hardline separatist leader, Sayyid Ali Shah Gilani was arrested and dozens separation process, the moderate leader’s house arrest be Mirveyz Omer Faruk said.

Separatists in Kashmir for more than ten organizations from India, independence, win or Pakistan to unite and fight against the government since 1989 to New Delhi.

Hindistan'da çatışma çıktı

Hindistan'da çatışma çıktı

Hindistan'da çatışma çıktı

Hindistan'da çatışma çıktı

Hindistan'da çatışma çıktı

War by other means, Part 4: The law of unintended consequences

War by other means, Part 4: The law of unintended consequences

The creation of tribal-based armed groups in Afghanistan’s most troubled regions can stir deep-seated rivalries.
Jean MacKenzie
By Jean MacKenzie – GlobalPost
Published: June 28, 2010 06:56 ET in Asia
Soldiers in Afghanistan
U.S. Army First Sergeant Todd Sullivan (R) with C Troop 1-71 CAV walks among Afghans during a patrol in the village of Gorgan in Dand district, south of Kandahar, June 20, 2010. (Denis Sinyakov/Reuters) Click to enlarge photo

KABUL, Afghanistan — When a 13-year-old boy asked for admittance to Abdullah’s wedding feast, the groom thought it only hospitable to let him in.

He did, however, think it strange for this young, uninvited guest to be swathed in a blanket-like shawl, or “patu,” given the sweltering summer heat.

Rather than extending felicitations, the young boy darted into the center of a courtyard where the male guests were eating dinner, according to eyewitnesses of the attack.

Seconds later, a massive explosion rocked the night. Dead bodies lay on the carpets spread under the pomegranate trees. Cries and moans could be heard from the injured. Blood soaked into the ground in this remote village in the Arghandab Valley in Kandahar Province.

At least 50 people died in the June 9 attack, according to official estimates; local residents say the total was over 80, with more than 90 injured, including the groom. The June 9 attack in Nagahan was, by any measure, one of the worst of Afghanistan’s brutal suicide attacks, and certainly among the cruelest.

It is a famous axiom of military strategy that “war is the continuation of politics by other means.” This GlobalPost special report reveals how economic aid  in Afghanistan has become “war by other means.” It reveals how the “civilian surge” is struggling to succeed and in some places actually creating instability and inadvertently benefiting the Taliban.
Part 1: Aid as a weapon Part 2: Arming the militias

Part 3: Guardians of Wardak

The groom, Abdullah, who like many Afghans goes only by his first name, and at least 12 of the men who were killed in the attack were members of a local tribal militia that sought to protect the village against the Taliban. The militia was also part of a little-known U.S. initiative known as the Local Defense Initiative (LDI) to arm local tribes in the fight against the Taliban in exchange for generous reconstruction projects.

Afghan leaders, U.S. military officials and tribal elders believe the boy was a suicide bomber sent to target the members of this U.S.-backed militia and the families who benefit from development projects attached to the militia’s service.

The attack seems to underscore what many aid and development experts believe is the peril of imposing military strategy into the realm of aid and development. The approach can often serve to create divisions and increase hostilities, these critics say, as it appears to have done in the horrific incident Nagahan.

The dramatic resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal as top commander of forces in Afghanistan last week occurred in the context of a deep division in the U.S. war effort between the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon over how best to straddle this line between the civilian side of aid and development and the military strategy of effective counterinsurgency. Those divisions between the civilian side and the military and the high stakes for Afghans and Americans and their allies alike in getting the balance right are perhaps one of the greatest challenges facing Gen. David Petraeus as he heads to Afghanistan to replace McChrystal at this pivotal moment in the war in Afghanistan.

Nagahan was the village chosen by U.S. Special Forces in 2009 for a pilot project of the “Local Defense Initiative,” known by its military acronym LDI. It is part of a focused counterinsurgency strategy in areas surrounding Kandahar province, the birthplace of the Taliban, aimed at winning hearts and minds. The Kandahar region is the center of the escalating war effort against the Taliban and a military offensive that is set to get underway in the coming weeks.

The notoriously secretive Special Operations Forces in charge of the program were reluctant to comment on the Nagahan incident, or, in general, on LDI. They were certainly not ready to link the wedding bombing to their initiative; instead, they sought to highlight the incident as a further justification for the program, which they now seem to be calling “village stability platforms” (VSP).

“There is no conclusive evidence to determine why the bomber decided to take so many innocent lives,” said an unidentified Special Forces spokesman, responding in writing through the press office of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

“However, the wedding bombing typifies why more and more Afghans are rejecting Taliban ideology; they appear tired of the senseless violence and ready to risk their lives to bring peace and stability to their villages. The concept of village stability platforms is gaining acceptance and momentum among Afghan citizens and we don’t think the wedding bombing will alter that course.”  (read HERE)

Karzai ‘holds talks’ with Haqqani

Karzai ‘holds talks’ with Haqqani

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr reports from Kabul on ‘face-to-face talks’ between Karzai and Sirajuddin Haqqani

Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, has met Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of a major anti-government faction, in face-to-face talks, Al Jazeera has learned.

Haqqani, whose network is believed to be based across the border, is reported to have been accompanied to the meeting earlier in the week by Pakistan’s army chief and the head of its intelligence services, according to Al Jazeera’s sources.

Karzai’s office, however, denied on Sunday that any such meeting took place.

Major-General Athar Abbas, the Pakistani army spokesman, also said he had “no knowledge of such a meeting taking place”.

The Haqqani network is described by the US as one of the three main anti-government armed groups operating in Afghanistan, alongside the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

It is thought to be responsible for the most sophisticated attacks in Kabul and across the country.

Increased speculation

Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from Kabul, said reports about Karzai’s meeting have fuelled increased speculation in the Afghan capital that Pakistan is trying to strike a deal in Afghanistan that would safeguard its interests here.

“With the US war effort floundering and plans by the White House to start withdrawing troops by July 2011, Karzai may be cosying up with Islamabad,” she said.

“It may be the reason behind the forced resignations of the Afghan interior minister and intelligence chief who are hard-core opponents of the Taliban.”

Our correspondent was referring to theresignations of Amrullah Saleh, the head of the Afghan intelligence, and Hanif Atmar, the interior minister, earlier this month.

“Any political agreement may temporarily find a solution – but giving Pakistan a say in Afghan politics could undermine stability in the long term, especially among Afghans hostile to their neighbour,” she said.

Afghan media have also reported that secret meetings are taking place and that Karzai is actively trying to hammer out a deal with groups opposed to his government.

Leon Panetta, the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, said there was “no evidence” that the Haqqani network leadership was willing to negotiate.

“We have seen no evidence that they are truly interested in reconciliation where they would surrender their arms, where they would denounce al-Qaeda, where they would really try to become part of that society,” Panetta said in an interview with ABC News.

“We have seen no evidence of that.”

Regional support

Hekmat Karzai, the director of the Kabul-based Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies and a cousin of the Afghan president, said such talks would be that of a pragmatic leader who understands the realities of Afghanistan and the region.

“The fact [is] that regional players support is needed, particularly Pakistan,” he said.

“[But] we aren’t clear what transpired so far, so we have to wait to see what comes out of it.”

Talat Masood, a defence analyst and former Pakistani army general, agrees that it is necessary to bring Pakistan and Haqqani into negotiations.

“It would greatly help and facilitate a peaceful exit of US and Nato forces if these warlords and Taliban are prepared to undertake negotiations and reach some sort of understanding of power-sharing,” he said.

Some analysts say Karzai has already begun taking steps towards that end.

“Without a doubt Amrullah Saleh was not happy with Pakistani politics, and Pakistan considered him an obstacle in the way of them gaining a foothold in Afghanistan,” Ahmed Saeedi, a political analyst in Kabul, told Al Jazeera.

“The Pakistanis have always said if you want peace you have to go through us.”

Turkish airspace closed to Israel, Erdoğan says

ANKARA — The Associated Press

Turkey has closed its airspace to Israeli military flights following a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship, the Turkish prime minister and officials said Monday.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters in Toronto that Turkey imposed the ban after the May 31 raid on a Turkish ship that was part of a six-vessel international aid flotilla, according to Anatolia news agency. The prime minister, who is in Canada to attend a summit of the Group of 20 major industrial and developing nations, did not elaborate.

On Sunday, Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper reported that Turkey had not allowed a plane carrying Israeli military officers, en route to a tour of memorial sites in Auschwitz, Poland, to fly over Turkish airspace.

The transport plane, with more than 100 commissioned and noncommissioned officers on board, was forced to make a detour, the paper said.

The Israeli military “refrained from responding officially to the event so not to exacerbate the rift in relations,” the newspaper added.

A Turkish government official said the ban was for Israeli military flights and that commercial flights were not affected. It was not a blanket ban and each flight request would be assessed case-by-case, the official added. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with government rules that bar officials from speaking to journalists without prior authorization.

The Israeli prime minister’s office had no comment on Erdogan’s statements.

Eight Turks and a Turkish-American were killed in the raid that drew Turkish outrage and widespread international condemnation.

The aid ships were sailing to Gaza to break an Israeli blockade on the besieged strip.

Israel insists troops involved in the deadly raid acted in self-defense after being attacked by some of the activists on board.

Turkey, which had a close alliance with Israel until the three-week Gaza war that ended in early 2009, withdrew its ambassador and canceled joint military drills in response to the raid. It has said it will not return its ambassador and will reduce military and trade ties unless Israel apologizes for the raid. It also wants Israel to return the seized aid ships, agree to an international investigation and offer compensation for the victims.

“Up to now, we have done whatever is necessary within the rules of law — whether national or international — and we will continue to do so,” Anatolia quoted Erdoğan as saying, adding that ties with Israel could return to normal if it meets Turkey’s demands.

“We are not interested in making a show. We don’t desire such a thing, and we have been very patient in the face of these developments,” he said, according to Anatolia.

Israel has objected to an international inquiry into the operation and has set up its own investigative commission that includes two foreign observers.

BP to Proceed With Costner Centrifuge Devices to Cleanup Gulf Oil Spill

Vodpod videos no longer available.

BP to Proceed With Costner Centrifuge Devices to Cleanup Gulf Oil Spill

New Orleans, LA

V16 Model V16 Centrifuge

British Petroleum signed a letter of intent with Ocean Therapy Solutions to deploy thirty-two centrifuge machines to assist in the cleanup of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. BP agreed to use the technology after testing machines during the past week.

In testimony yesterday before the House of Representatives’ Science and Technology committee, Ocean Therapy Solutions partner Kevin Costner told the panel about the challenges he faced bringing the technology into industrial use, including his own personal investment of over $20 million developing the technology. He urged committee members to legislate that oil rigs be required to have mitigation equipment onsite. ”We’ve legislated life preservers. We legislated fire extinguishers,” Costner said. ”We legislated lifeboats and first aid kits. It seems logical that as long as the oil industry profits from the sea, they have the legal obligation to protect it, except when they find themselves fighting for life and limb.”

Just one of the company’s V20 machines can clean up to 210,000 gallons of oily water per day. There are 3 V20 centrifuge machines currently operational in the Gulf. Ten more should become operational within weeks. ”Once production at our factory in Nevada ramps up in July, OTS will be able to produce 10 machines a month,” said Pat Smith, Chief Operating Officer for OTS. ”We are currently ramping up production of new machines with a goal toward deploying the machines along the entire coast,” he said.

”We have chosen teaming partners that are at ground zero and understand the challenges we face, including Edison Chouest Offshore, the largest offshore supply company in the Gulf of Mexico,” said John W. Houghtaling II, Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Therapy Solutions.

The centrifuge machines are sophisticated centrifuge devices that can handle a huge volume of water and separate oil at unprecedented rates. Costner has been funding a team of scientists for the last 15 years to develop a technology which could be used for massive oil spills.

The machines are taken out into the spill area via barges, where they can separate the oil and water. The machines come in different sizes, the largest of which, the V20, can clean water at a rate of 200 gallons per minute. Depending on the oil to water ratio, the machine has the ability to extract 2,000 barrels of oil a day from the Gulf. Once separation has occurred, the oil is stored in tanks. The water is then more than 99% clean of crude.

The events in Kyrgyzstan once again showed that the populations of small countries can be easily manipulated

The events in Kyrgyzstan once again showed that the populations of small countries can be easily manipulated

Yusupov

It’s time to draw conclusions

The events in Kyrgyzstan, once again showed that the populations of small countries can be easily manipulated.

Despite the fact that in the early 90’s survival school were almost all who served in the former Soviet Union – the Baltic countries, Caucasus and Transcaucasia, Central Asia, etc., the errors of past years failed to secure the people of Kyrgyzstan from their recurrence. People once again showed that under certain circumstances, they are like the unsociable. In an instant they are transformed into brutal murderers, looters and robbers. Not all, but many. More recently they have with their future victims lived in one country, one city, and maybe even on the same street. However, celebrating weddings, holidays, children were taken in the same kindergarten, school, worked in one organization. But enough to bring a little match, and seemingly minor domestic problems can thunder as a powerful explosion, destroying everything in its path.

I am not in any case not judge people and do not want to take any side of June events in Osh, and Jalal-Abad. I am only talking about a fait accompli – once again people someone egged. Once again the people were led to someone’s dirty game, and blood was shed. Despite the region or country of residence, good-neighborly, friendly, or even kinship.

… Until recently, the events in Tajikistan frighten their people almost all the leaders of our neighboring countries. Yes, we, too, was a war – a fratricidal and unfounded.We represented and still represent in movies exclusively in the form of the Afghan mujahideen, with beards, with machine guns – people without the present and future.We are somewhere get offended, but somewhere we can not convincingly answer the attacks and accusations … But after we had Andijan – 2005, and now Osh and Jalal-Abad. And no one dared to prevent them. According to statements of victims in the media no one until a certain time, not even trying.

Who is right or wrong – not in question. It is important to make the necessary conclusions from what has happened. Our region is transformed into a stable unstable.We can become a perpetual hot spot. Then why do we need countless alliances and membership, if they are not able to prevent the tragedy, allow Allied blockade and forced to suffer the people? Why are strategic partners, which in fact as in the song “and not a friend, not enemy, but …”?

It’s time to move to an open dialogue. Address directly: you or a friend or enemy. If a friend – help me, if Enemy – stand back, do not bother me. The other is not given.

06/25/2010

Nabi Yusupov, journalist

Source – the Asia-Plus

Military base wait time of peace. Russian training center in southern Kyrgyzstan will create not before 2011

Military base wait time of peace. Russian training center in southern Kyrgyzstan will create not before 2011

The military base will wait for peacetime
Russian training center in the south of Kyrgyzstan will create not before 2011

Russia temporarily freeze plans to build a military presence in Kyrgyzstan. How to find out “b”, following a decision not to send peacekeepers to the republic, Moscow does not intend to resume negotiations until the establishment of a military training center in the south, which has made arrangements with former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Back to the issue of Russia is going to not earlier than in Kyrgyzstan formed a new legitimate government – after the elections scheduled for the autumn. Meanwhile its military presence in the region will intensify the U.S. announced plans to invest $ 10 million in the construction of a military training center in Tajikistan.

The fact that Moscow decided to postpone the establishment of a second military base in Kyrgyzstan, “Kommersant said a Russian diplomatic source. “The package of documents on creation of the second military facility, a training center in southern Kyrgyzstan, was almost ready to spring, but then came the April revolution, – said the source of Kommersant .- In the present circumstances a decision that the return to this conversation is too early – in the light extremely tense situation in the south of the country our troops may be subjected to provocations. ”

According to the source “b”, the question of establishing a training center, Moscow is going to return “after substantial stabilization of the situation and the formation of new viable power.” Thus, negotiations may begin no earlier than late fall – parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan are scheduled for October 10. This information was confirmed by the source of “b” in the provisional government of the republic. “Before the fall elections do not happen to be,” – he said. “Shortly after the April Revolution RF President said that Russia will continue to have serious projects with the newly elected authorities,” – reminded Kommersant representative interim government Farid Niyazov.

Actively work towards a second military base in Kyrgyzstan (in addition to existing in Kant) Russia began last summer, after President Kurmanbek Bakiyev threw her a surprise. Gave a firm commitment to close the U.S. base at Bishkek Manas airport and bargain for a RF free grant of $ 150 million and $ 300 million soft loan, Bishkek agreed with the U.S. to maintain bases – it just renamed the center of transit.

After that, Bishkek blitsvizitom visited Deputy Prime Minister, Igor Sechin and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. According to Kommersant, it was during this trip was reached preliminary agreement on the establishment of a second Russian base in Kyrgyzstan. Documented, these intentions have been decorated in August during the informal summit of the CSTO in Cholpon-Ata on the shores of Issyk-Kul. Presidents Medvedev and Bakiyev agreed to a memorandum to establish bases in the form of the training center under the auspices of the collective rapid reaction forces of the CSTO. Base was placed in the south (Osh, Jalal-Abad, Batken or). It is in this area a few years ago, gunmen raided the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). In the final agreement, the parties plan to leave by October, but work has stalled because of objections by neighboring Uzbekistan, which reacted negatively to the idea of the Russian military in the Ferghana Valley.

The idea of a Russian military base in Osh resurfaced recently. June 21 unveiled this idea head of the Federal Service of Russia on drug control Viktor Ivanov: “My suggestion was – a military base of Russia in Kyrgyzstan. It will deploy more extensive work to curb the supply chain of drugs. Without our presence, we seriously ask the Kirghiz, so they decided to this task. ”

Drug argumentation database creation is not surprising: Russia has repeatedly stated that coming out of Central Asia, the threat of drugs is one of the major challenges of national security. This idea was the core of speech President Medvedev June 9 at the forum held in Moscow “The Afghan drug production – a challenge the international community” with the participation of representatives of the UN Collective Security Treaty Organization, NATO, the SCO. The Ferghana valley is also a key link in the northern supply route for Afghan heroin, passing through Central Asia. After Iran and Pakistan have increased penalties against drug traffickers, the supply from the northern route more than doubled.

New trump card in this argument can be recent ethnic clashes in Osh – Kyrgyz authorities have announced the involvement of drug lords in the organization of massacres. Their involvement in Kommersant said the country’s Security Council Secretary Alec Orozo. According to him, drug trafficking in the region has been launched with the participation of family members of ex-President Bakiyev, and the fall of 2009, under pressure from the head of state protection Janysh Bakiyev (brother of ex-president) was eliminated by drug control agency.

However, while Russia does not intend to use this argument for increasing its military presence in Kyrgyzstan. Source: “b” in the Foreign Ministry said that since the training center planned to create under the aegis CRRF, this will require improving the legal framework within the CSTO. A companion “b” in the government of Russia explains the reluctance to rush into a base for financial reasons: “The military is certainly not against open a base there, but now the budget deficit. But in the defense sector is much higher priority task – to take at least upgrade the Black Sea Fleet.” Another source of Kommersant speculated that in the future Russia may withdraw altogether from the idea of creating a second military facility in Kyrgyzstan in light of deepening reboot with the United States.

But Washington itself military positions in Central Asia continues to strengthen. So, on Friday the U.S. ambassador in Dushanbe, Ken Gross said that the Americans are investing $ 10 million in construction in Tajikistan, the National Training Centre of the armed forces – an agreement, Washington expects to sign by the end of autumn, and the center will appear in 2011. “We are aware of these plans, and the answer will be”, – commented news ranking source “b” in the Foreign Ministry. So the idea of opening a second base in Kyrgyzstan, Moscow seems to have all the same return.

Alexander Gabu; Kabai Karabekov, Bishkek

№ 113 / P (4413) on 06/28/2010

Source – Newspaper “Kommersant”

Regional Disarmament Conference in Ashgabat–Leading the World to Global Peace

Regional Disarmament Conference in Ashgabat: Leading the World to Global Peace

nCa Analysis

Ashgabat, 28 June 2010 (nCa) — Turkmenistan hosted 24 June a regional conference on disarmament. This was a promising start for a slow but sure process that could eventually build sufficient moral pressure for the world to follow suit.

The conference: The participants included the Central Asian and Caspian Basin countries – Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan – and several international and regional organizations such as the UN, OSCE, SCO, CIS and OIC.

The level of representation was high, indicating the interest of the countries and organization in the concept of regional disarmament.

The UN was the lead organization, represented by Sergio de Queiroz Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. The foreign minister of Kazakhstan was present in his dual capacity as Chairman in Office of OSCE and foreign minister of a regional country. Foreign ministers of Iran and Tajikistan were also present. Other high profile participants included the secretaries general of OSCE and CIS, an ambassador-level representative of OIC, a senior official from SCO and representatives from the Organization for Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

All the speakers expressed enthusiastic support for disarmament in the Central Asia and Caspian region.

Since the conference was held under the auspices of the United Nations, it was but natural that a key role for future efforts in this direction should devolve to the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia.

The concept: The proposal for the regional disarmament conference was first floated by President Berdymuhamedov in his speech at the 64th session of the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2009. He said during the speech, “We are convinced that the less weaponry there is in the world, the more stable its development will be, and the more trust and understanding there will be between countries and nations.”

The proposal was followed by concrete steps. A meeting of the representatives of the eight regional countries – Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – took place in Ashgabat on 2 December 2009. The meeting was actually a brainstorming session to identify the basic elements for building the disarmament mechanisms at the regional, and ultimately global, level.

The meeting came to agreement that three inter-related subjects should constitute the foundation on which to construct the dialogue for disarmament:

  1. Review and analysis of situation on disarmament issues in Central Asia and Caspian Region
  2. The assessment of international legal framework and the challenges of its further development
  3. The role of international organizations in addressing the issues related to disarmament

The second consultative meeting, again in Ashgabat, was held on 23 February 2010. The participating countries and organizations had the opportunity to exchange notes and fine-tune the agenda for the main conference that was held last week.

It is necessary to underline that Central Asia has impeccable credentials to lead the global pursuit for disarmament. It is already a nuclear-weapons free zone, the first and only such zone in the world.

The treaty creating the Central Asia zone free of nuclear weapons (CANWFZ) came into force on 21 March 2009. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are parties to the treaty.

Under the treaty and its additional protocol, the Central Asian countries have voluntarily agreed to refrain from development, manufacture, stockpiling, acquisition and possession of any nuclear explosive devices within the zone. They have also accepted enhanced IAEA safeguards.

The outcome of the conference: The simple fact that the disarmament conference took place at all makes it an unconditional success. It is no mean feat to bring so many countries and organizations with diverse inclinations to the negotiation table. This is attributable to the reputation of Turkmenistan as an honestly neutral country and a reliable mediator.

At the end of the conference, the unanimous support of all the participants for the conference objectives was confirmation of the fact that discernible headway had been made.

The conference participants agreed that the Ashgabat meeting had “created a solid platform for concrete actions and further exchange of views on issues of collective security and, thereby, promoted peace and stability in the region.”

The enthusiastic stance of Russia and Iran during the conference is indicative of the possibility that the process started during the conference could eventually evolve into a global dialogue for disarmament.

The message of the president of Turkmenistan to the participants of the conference said, in part, “Today our country doesn’t confine its activity to peacemaking initiatives at a national level. Abiding by the principles of friendliness and good neighbourliness, Turkmenistan stands for intensifying stable, coordinated, full-scale cooperation aimed at implementing consistently the disarmament strategy at the regional and global levels.”

This is the key concept – regions must first synchronize their positions and then go global in pursuit of peace, stability and progress.

What is required is persistence and patience. Turkmenistan has these qualities in abundance and it also has the support of the regional countries and international and regional bodies.

The process has started in the Ashgabat conference but it will need full and active support from all stakeholders at every step because, frankly speaking, it is an uphill task.

Turkmenistan, as the initiator of the idea, fully understands that it entails streamlining of the political will of so many countries and organizations, a formidable challenge by any measure.

However, what is at stake is much higher than the perceptions of some countries or organizations – the very existence of the mankind as a civilized resident of this planet.

While the Central Asia and Caspian region ponders disarmament, the rest of the world cannot afford to sit idle. This is the common responsibility of the global community.

Closely related to the issue of disarmament is the question as to what is the optimum level of self defence capability. This question is especially relevant when one considers that Central Asia and Caspian region is home to several present and potential conflict situations with no easy solutions in sight.

The idea of disarmament is also associated with conflict prevention because, at least in theory, the less capacity to wage war, the higher the desire to maintain peace.

A realistic approach to disarmament should be closely linked to prospects of external aggression. If one region voluntarily goes for disarmament and other regions don’t follow the suit, what would be the outcome? In case of external aggression, should the countries that have opted for disarmament, outsource their defence to countries that have refuse to voluntary disarmament?

Clearly, this is not a viable solution. Every country must be able to defend itself but this can only happen if every country has also reduced its capacity to launch aggression.

The question of disarmament is also associated with the question of reduction in production capacity. If a country reduces its stockpiles but retains or increases its capacity to produce arms and ammunition, what would be the net result of all this entire exercise?

There is another issue that needs to be addressed together with disarmament and that is the denial of availability of weapons to non state actors.

These are but some of the challenges facing the complicated but highly rewarding task of disarmament.

Turkmenistan is one of the few countries in the world that actually means what it says. This is in sharp contrast to some countries that pay lip service to disarmament but keep working diligently on expanding their defence alliances; they talk peace but scheme tirelessly to encircle certain countries that they perceive as threatening to their global agenda.

Nevertheless, in a world where no one holds the status of an unchallenged superpower anymore, disarmament is the only option.

US lauds strategic Kazakhstan’s controversial leader

Ukraine’s nuclear disarmament has not been fully appreciated by the world community

Islamabad is seeking a separate peace with the Taliban

Islamabad is seeking a separate peace with the Taliban

U.S. disturbed by the machinations of the Pakistani generals


Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Taliban / General Kajaani can become a mediator between Kabul and talibami.Foto Reuters

Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Taliban / General Kajaani can become a mediator between Kabul and talibami.Foto Reuters
General Kajaani can become a mediator between Kabul and the Taliban.
Photo Reuters

General McChrystal shift from the post of commander of NATO forces has caused confusion in Kabul. Using this, Pakistan urges Karzai to make peace with the Taliban.Pakistan hopes to strengthen influence in Afghanistan after the Americans leave.

After the U.S. president Barack Obama has dismissed the commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. military mission there, as noticed New York Times, temporarily transformed into a ship without a captain. ” To invigorate his team and Afghan allies, Washington has sent to Kabul, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen.

“Management was changed, but the strategy remains unchanged” – Admiral assured Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the U.S. Embassy staff and members of NATO in Kabul.

However, the dismissal McChrystal heightened unrest among Afghan officials and officers of the security forces. These people are not confident that the U.S. does not leave the country, leaving them alone with the Taliban.

Atmosphere of doubt and uncertainty about the U.S. plans were quick to take advantage of the Pakistani generals who seek a political settlement in Afghanistan that would allow Pakistan to increase their influence on the neighbor. The Pakistani army and its powerful intelligence service ISI persuade Karzai and his entourage to go to share power with the Taliban.

The Pakistani military says Afghan leaders that they can ensure the participation in the peaceful settlement of the militias, Sirajuddin Haqqani, obeying, one of the leaders of the Taliban. In that President Karzai personally assured by none other than the Chief of Staff of Pakistan Army General Ashfaq Parvez Kajaani and the intelligence service chief, General Ahmad Shuja Pasha.

According to Afghan officials, Pakistani generals promised to bring the peace talks and other wards of the Taliban factions.

Washington with a degree of nervousness is watching as the Kajaani and Pasha travel to Kabul to persuade members of the Afghan government that, because the U.S. can not win, you need to incorporate the authorities Haqqani network.

Secret diplomatic game is becoming more intense. Today in the capital of Afghanistan, the envoys again to fly the Pakistani armed forces.

One American officials admitted to reporters New York Times: Pakistanis pour the salt into the wounds Karzai, who harbored resentment against Washington for what he has accused Afghan President in rigging the elections.

The result of underhanded may be a separate peace between government supporters and the Karzai of Pakistan among the Taliban. In this case the U.S. may be switched off from the negotiating process. This means that the main task the Afghan campaign – to deprive al-Qaida refuge in South Asia – will not be solved. After Haqqani commanders closely linked with al-Qaida.

Why is it that Islamabad, which is officially a key U.S. ally in the war on terror, is playing a double game? Its main objective is that after the Americans leave Afghanistan fell under the protectorate of India, the main potential enemy of Pakistan.

The ISI has long protector units Haqqani, which are strongholds across southern Afghanistan. This is the main “asset” in Afghanistan, the Pakistani intelligence services, also known by the abbreviation ISI. Haqqani militants staged attacks against the Indian missions in Afghanistan. But their attacks, according to the new commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan General David Petraeus, was exposed and the U.S. Bagram base. This should serve as a signal to Washington that it is better not to persist and to accept the connection network rebels to negotiate a peace settlement.

Sczhizophrenic American Economic Policies–Pouring In the Cash-vs-Siphoning Money Out

[It will take an international office of economic planning to oversee the implementation of the G20 plan.   Nations with budget surpluses will be required to spend money like there is no tomorrow, while states saddled with huge deficits will have to pull back on the reins.  Will individual governments be trusted to take the proper action at the correct time?  Who will govern when each nation should hit the economic gas pedal and when they should brake?]

Summers: U.S. must balance stimulus, deficits

By Ben Rooney, staff reporterMay 24, 2010: 7:47 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The U.S. government must find a balance between supporting the economic recovery and reducing long-term budget deficits, White House economic advisor Lawrence Summers said Monday.

While the economy has resumed its growth and the possibility of a depression now seems remote, the government should continue its efforts to spur job growth and boost economic output, said Summers, who is director of the White House National Economic Council.

But the challenges posed by the nation’s growing budget deficit “cannot be ignored,” he added.

“The fiscal policy choices that the United States makes over the next several years will be as consequential as any we have made in a very long time,” Summers said in a speech at Johns Hopkins University.

Summers said it was “essential” for the government to run deficits over the last few years as the economy fell into one of the deepest recessions on record.

He said the government’s stimulus measures helped revive economic growth, though he acknowledged that many households are still struggling as unemployment hovers near 10%. As a result, he said it is crucial for the government to continue its efforts to support the economy in the near future.

“It would be an act of fiscal shortsightedness to break from the longstanding practice of extending these provisions at a moment when sustained economic recovery is so crucial to our medium-term fiscal prospects,” he said.

Still, the government must take steps to ensure that the nation’s budget deficit is sustainable over the long term, he added.

The U.S. budget deficit soared to $1.4 trillion last year and is expected to rise past $1.5 trillion this year, according to the Treasury Department.

Summers said much of that deficit will be reduced over the next five years as economic stimulus measures are phased out. He outlined a number of other steps to help bring down the deficit over time, including the Obama Administration’s recently enacted health care reform bill.

Obama’s Plan To Carve One-Quarter Trillion Dollars Per Year for Three Year

“The U.S. budget deficit soared to $1.4 trillion last year and is expected to rise past $1.5 trillion this year, according to the Treasury Department.”–CNN

[If Obama seriously tries to carve one-quarter of a trillion dollars a year from the federal deficit by 2013, then it will require deep cuts in social spending, unless this all turns-out to be more juggling of numbers.  By the time he is through, Americans will be in the streets by the thousands, making the events now unfolding in the streets of Greece and elsewhere seem like peace rallies by comparison.]

https://i2.wp.com/www.nypost.com/rw/nypost/2009/12/06/news/photos_galleries/g_greece/GREECE%20RIOTS%20ANNYVERSARY144046--500x380.jpg


President Obama urges G-20 nations to spend; they pledge to halve deficits

Obama says he’s serious about tackling deficits


The Motorcycle Assassins of Pakistan Strike Again and Again, With Impugnity

[The identity of these motorcycle machin-gunners is known far and wide in Pakistan, but the names of the sponsors are never expressed.  They are the killers of Baloch and Punjabi alike; they are the murderers of generals and political leaders–but they work for someone.  Be brave enough to name them, at least as suspects, when reporting on these professional hits.]

Two Settlers Shot Dead in Khuzdar, FC check points attacked in Mand, Mashky

on 2010/6/27 0:00:00 (20 reads)
ccupied Balochistan, KHUZDAR: Unknown armed persons on Saturday gunned down two persons at a garage, situated in Naal area of Khuzdar.

According to details unknown armed motorcyclists opened indiscriminate firing at a garage, killing two persons including an automobile engineer and his guest, and fled away from the crime scene. Police said that the deceased belonged to Punjab. Police while registering the case against unknown persons handed over the corpse to the heirs.

Meanwhile another settler namely Tanver Ahamad was fired upon in Quetta. According to dailytawar unknown armed motorcyclist open fire on Tanver Ahmad at Sheikh Omer road in Quetta, as a result of the firing he suffered serious bullet wounds. The attacker managed to flee from the scene after the attack.

Russia urges creation of new international monetary control system

Russia urges creation of new international monetary control system

Russia called on the participants at the G8 summit to consider the creation of a new international monetary control system, which could help prevent further crises, an aid to Russian President Dmitry Medvedevsaid, RIA Novosti reported.

Arkady Dvorkovich told journalists on Saturday that the introduction of additional reserve currencies would be the best measure that could assure global financial stability. Another possible step is increasing the role of Special Drawing Rights, a “quasi currency,” which the International Monetary Fund allocates to nations allowing them to increase their foreign exchange reserves without money being borrowed or lent.

Besides this, Dvorkovich said, nations should discuss their monetary policies with each other. Such consultations could “increase the stability of the international currency system” and become a “serious element” of a new financial control system, he said.

According to Dvorkovich, French president Nicolas Sarkozy said during the talks that countries should prevent attacks on national currencies, but made no concrete proposals.

The Russian president’s aid said the issue would be raised during the G20 summit in Toronto on Sunday.

Referendum is the first step away from disaster – Kyrgyzstan CEC member

Referendum is the first step away from disaster - Kyrgyzstan CEC member

Kyrgyzstan, Osh, June 27 /Trend, special correspondent S.Gafarova /

Referendum in Kyrgyzstan is the first step away from disaster, the member of the Central Electoral Committee of Kyrgyzstan,Nurlan Seitov said in interview to Trend.

“We can confidently assert that the decision of the Interim Government of Kyrgyzstan to hold a plebiscite at the appointed time at any cost was fullfilled”, Seitov said.

On Sunday Kyrgyzstan holds a referendum on a new constitution which transforms the country into a parliamentary republic and also endorses the current head of the Provisional Government Roza Otunbayeva as interim president for 1,5 years.

According to Seitov, protests in Kyrgyz society were high on the eve of the referendum.

“The experts and politicians warned of a possible escalation of the conflict and of certain forces preparing to spoil the referendum. Given the fragile security situation, many international organizations preferred not to send observers to a referendum in Kyrgyzstan. For example, the OSCE has withdrawn 300 of its observers. There are about 100 international observers in the country now. In Osh and Jalal-Abad their representation is scanty “, he said.

According to him, in advance of the referendum, local authorities have taken security measures.

“The protection of buildings, where electoral commissions are located has been reinforced. Voters are provided with transport. Decree of Interim Government allowed residents of Osh and Jalal-Abad who lost their documents during the pogroms to vote in order of voters’ list. The curfew which will last until August 10 – the beginning of the Muslim holiday Orozo – is lifted for the day of the referendum “, said Seitov.

Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at trend@trend.az

US Asst. Sec. State Gordon Warns Turkey Must Prove Its Committment (Submission)

WASHINGTON – Associated Press
Philip Gordon. AP photo

Philip Gordon. AP photo

The Obama administration’s top diplomat on European affairs warned Turkey that it needed to better demonstrate its commitment to partnership with the West.

“We think Turkey remains committed to NATO, Europe and the United States, but that needs to be demonstrated,” diplomat Philip Gordon, told the Associated Press in a Saturday interview. “There are people asking questions about it in a way that is new, and that in itself is a bad thing that makes it harder for the U.S. to support some of the things that Turkey would like to see us support.”

Gordon cited Turkey’s vote against a U.S.-backed U.N. Security Council resolution on new sanctions against Iran and noted Turkey’s reactions after Israel’s deadly assault on a Gaza-bound flotilla last month. The Security Council vote came shortly after Turkey and Brazil had brokered a nuclear fuel-swap deal with Iran as an effort to delay or avoid new sanctions.

Some U.S. lawmakers who have supported Turkey have lashed out and warned of consequences for Ankara since the Security Council vote and the flotilla raid that left eight Turks and one American citizen of Turkish descent dead. The lawmakers accused Turkey of supporting a flotilla that aimed to undermine Israel’s blockade of Gaza and of cozying up to Iran.

The raid has led to chilling of ties between Turkey and Israel, countries that have long maintained a strategic alliance in the Middle East.

Turkey’s ambassador: unfair

Turkey’s ambassador to the United States, Namık Tan, expressed surprise at Gordon’s comments. He said Turkey’s commitment to NATO remains strong and should not be questioned. “I think this is unfair,” he said.

Turkish officials have explained repeatedly to U.S. counterparts that voting against the proposed sanctions was the only credible decision after the Turkish-brokered deal with Iran. Turkey has opposed sanctions as ineffective and damaging to its interests with an important neighbor. It has said that it hopes to maintain channels with Tehran to continue looking for a solution to the standoff over Iran’s alleged nuclear arms ambitions.

“We couldn’t have voted otherwise,” Tan said. “We put our own credibility behind it.”

Gordon: Americans surprised

Gordon said Turkey’s explanations of the U.N. episode have not been widely understood in Washington. “There is a lot of questioning going on about Turkey’s orientation and its ongoing commitment to strategic partnership with the United States,” he said. “Turkey, as a NATO ally and a strong partner of the United States not only didn’t abstain but voted no, and I think that Americans haven’t understood why.”

Baloch National Party’s Political Suicide

Central President of the National Party (NP) Senator Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch has publically defended his party’s decision to welcome an internationally notorious drug baron in his party by saying that the inclusion or exclusion of individuals does not influence the party manifesto.

It was the first time when Dr. Malik came publically to clarify his party’s position on a matter –granting membership of National Party to a drug dealer wanted by the US government—which had stunned every Baloch. The supporters and the opponents of National Party had been taken aback how a party claiming to comprise of middle-class educated people accommodate a declared drug dealer in its ranks.

While Dr. Malik’s response given in a press conference in Quetta on Saturday does not fully answer the real question, the motives behind including a drug baron into a so-called nationalist party could be other than merely what the party chief had to say. The National Party seems to have accommodated the man with objectionable role in the party perhaps to gain enormous funding in the wake of changing political dynamics across the country where money has become an instrumental agent of pursuing politics. Secondly, our political culture has increasingly become violent and intolerant wherein the National Party has seemingly succumbed to the notion that its survival hugely depends on tying up with gangsters and drug dealers.

No matter what justifications National Party (NP) offers for its decision, the inclusion of a known drug dealer into a political party that champions the cause of Baloch rights is highly condemnable. Political parties are not above ethical codes and political doctrines. They are expected to uphold some primary moral, social and political codes before indulging into politics. The National Party has disappointed millions of Balochs by encouraging a man to become its member whose job is to sell drugs to Baloch children in order to to make more money.

Ideally, a political party has to stand first to fight drugs and prevent the youngsters from using them to create a healthy society.  But if the top leadership of a party decides to provide a platform to a drug dealer then it simply translates into official endorsement of this detestable business. Late Mir Ghose Baksh Bizenjo, on whose political ideology National Party was founded, would never approve of what his son, Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, and disciple Dr. Malik are doing under the pretext of ”politics of moderation” and “progressive thoughts”.

Mir Ghose Baksh Bizenjo would have surely wept like a child if he saw drug dealers, who provide poison to his Baloch grandchildren, standing under his umbrella.

If today Dr. Malik sees nothing wrong with including a drug baron into his party, tomorrow he will surely not find it morally and politically wrong to defend the business of the drug mafia in Mekran region. After all National Party has made up its mind to welcome money from the drug mafia as a source of financing to run its politics. As a next step, the National Party may also agree to provide ticket to contest election to the same drug dealer to provide him an official platform to transect black money.

National Party has irked a wide segment of Baloch society by committing such a huge political blunder. Worse still is the disgraceful and unconvincing defense the party chief is offering for his decision. He would have earned more respect if he worked equally hard on bringing educated Balochs, educationists, doctors and professionals into his party to play a significant role in educating the Baloch society. Drug dealers do not make nations; they ruin young generations.

Only the Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) has reacted openly against the NP decision and vowed to continue its battle against the drug mafia. The graph of BLF’s popularity rose significantly recently in Mekran region when it decided to dismantle the networks of the drug mafia. It is primarily the responsibility of the government and political parties to eliminate drugs from a society but nothing has been done in this regard from the concerned quarters yet. Therefore, many underground organizations have decided to undertake the crucial task which they have pursued impressively so far.

Interestingly, NP does not ever take seriously any criticism directed towards it. It keeps on insisting that it is vulnerable to “unjustified” criticism because it comprises of middle-class educated people. If there were Sardars and tribal chiefs in its ranks, it adds, no one would ever dare to raise fingers against it. This is an old-fashioned argument that does not apply on today’s changed ground realities. Everyone who uses the Baloch card has to be answerable to the nation for his/her actions. If the Baloch youth have not spared veteran leaders like Sardar Attaullah Mengal then Malik should not complain if he is asked for an explanation for providing a platform to drug smuggler.

National Party’s close contacts with the establishment always dominated the political discussions at Chaynki and Thagirdi hotels across Balochistan. With its fresh anti-Baloch maneuver, NP has committed political suicide and further distanced itself from the Baloch youths who beg not to be offered drugs.

Karachi Baloch on the Crossroads

Karachi Baloch on the Crossroads

Salal Balouch , Götebourg

Karachi Baloch on the Crossroads

Karachi, the city of lightness has once again was plunged into darkness where the owner’s of Karachi the Baloch nation face discrimination and subjugation by the Drug mafia and Land mafia organizations whom are working for secret services and who are involved in land grabbing and drug trafficking inside Karachi’s mostly Baloch dominated area of Lyari. Lyari once a peaceful place where the Baloch lived for ages and their daily earning was due to fishing and harboring in the sea of Keamari. But as Karachi once called Kulachi was changed and the economical growth was gaining grounds inside the market of Karachi, Karachi became the port city of Pakistan and thus Karachi was then known to be the City of Lights where once Baloch were the lights of this city.
Karachi Baloch on the Crossroads

Although many years have passed and the population of Karachi crossed to 30 million, the Baloch were left behind and so the town of Lyari was thrown in the depths of Drug dealers, gamblers & gangster which were destined with the people of Lyari. Lyari once peaceful has became a new battle ground where Baloch are standing on the crossroads, they are being target killed, and they are being subjugated by the Drug dealers & Land Grabbers whom are agents of Political parties.

Karachi most Baloch places or societies are very old and they were settled here when Pakistan was not even separated from British India, Lyari, Golimar, Baloch Colony, Kiamasiri are just mere examples of Baloch residing inside Karachi for centuries but as Karachi’s economically boosted, the rise in population was seen but the droll thing is this that most of the population came from the outside like Punjab, N.W.F.P and even from India where tens of thousands of people migrated in the time of Zia-ul-Haq who planned to break the popularity of PPPP by backing up the Muhajir Quami Movement (MQM) whom were given everything they asked, the Government tried to settle up these muhajirs in the muhajir camp area of Karachi. Karachi Baloch on the CrossroadsThese huge migrations of people from other places was done in the name of development and like this so called development scheme the local population of Karachi Baloch & Sindhi were left behind and we can see these kinds of drama going on inside the port city of Balochistan Gwadar, where Baloch are being fooled for the so called packages & provincial autonomy.

The same picture is in Gwadar where the new deep sea project is situated, after the completion and before the making of deep sea port many land mafia dealers tried to subdue the local Baloch to sell their land for they could take advantage of this time and can live a better life, The Gwadar people should see the Baloch of Karachi as an example and should stop this foolishness because they will be in bitter consequences once the outsiders reach the shores of Gwadar and take out the rest of the local Baloch population from the picture once and for all as they have done to the BalochKarachi Baloch on the Crossroads
population inside Karachi.
The new wave of terror and target killing inside Karachi is dangerous for all the Baloch nation and an example for the Baloch to be united or you will fall in the depths of depression and will lose your identity. The most tragic day of 7
th January 2010 brought darkness into the lives of Baloch residing in Hasan Lashkari village of Lyari town where MQM has got holdup because of its supporter residing in the place of Usmanabad which is opposite of Hasan Lashkari Village.

The Baloch people of lashkari village were targeted by MQM thugs when they were resting outside of their houses and came under heavy firing by the MQM Goons, the reason was the killing of a Goon of MQM by unknown assailants who threw away is body in the center of lashkari village and usmanabad and thus the MQM thugs took the revenge on innocent Baloch people of Lashkari village in which eights Baloch people lost their lives and one Baloch woman have also became the target.

The target killing of Baloch people in Hasan lashkari village was not the only tragedy occurred on 7th January 2010 but a Social activist Sangat Nadir Baloch was also systematically targeted by the Drug mafia dealers of Lyari in the town of Golimar where Baloch nation has been fighting the land grabbers of MQM on the case of Gutter Bagicha which has became a issue and through this case many Baloch were target killed by MQM in the disguise of Political Brawl, for instance Zahid Baloch the chairman of BNP(M) Karachi zone, Rahman Baloch the Chairman of Peace Committee, Sangat Nisar Baloch and now Sangat Nadir Baloch who was a close friend of Nisar Baloch, was against the Occupation of Gutter Bagicha & was also struggling to destroy the Drug Mafia which was making it roots in the Baloch society.
Nadir Baloch was the enemy of everyone who were trying to genocide Baloch nation including the people of Drug Mafia dealers in which many Baloch political personalities are involved, Sangat Nadir tried and struggled to stop the trafficking of drugs inside the Baloch society and warned the Drug dealers for consequences. Baloch truly condemn the Baloch Politician who are also responsible for the killing of Sangat Nadir Baloch and the Innocent Baloch people in Hasan Lashkari Village because in the Name of PPPP, the innocent Baloch people of Lashkari village were killed, Baloch denounce the PPPP which have make another committee for such target killings because Baloch nation knows that these committees are like monsoon weather which will never make any changes to the life of the people who have lost their loved ones. Nabeel Gabol the Minister of Port & Shipping and a member of PPPP despite big claims of making Lyari another “Paris” has done nothing about the situation occurred yesterday which gave Baloch nation more corpses to mourn upon.

Lyari honor was looted yesterday, the ministers and the big shots of Lyari like Nabeel Gabol were just spectators of the systematically target killing of Lyari Baloch population. The Baloch now have to help themselves like Sangat Nadir fought against the Drug system in Baloch society every Baloch should encourage this thought and should engage himself in the footstep of Nadir Baloch because the killers of Nadir Baloch are these Drug Dealers who are Baloch by name but are bought by federation for genocide Baloch nation.Karachi Baloch on the Crossroads

“A Tyrant dies his rule is over, but A Martyr dies his rule begins”

Gazprom Needs Turkmenistan’s Gas Once Again

[Since the “accidental” rupture and attendant massive explosion at Turkmenistan’s CAC-4 pipeline on April 9, 2009 (SEE: Turkmenistan Gas Pipeline Explosion – The Larger Context ), Turkmengaz has survived with only one customer, Australia, until the recent start-up of the Turkmenistan-China pipeline.  The cause of the explosion was the sudden reduction of flow in Gazprom lines coming from Turkmenistan, without first giving a reasonable warning interval upstream (less than 12 hours given).  Just like the recent reductions in Belarus transmission of Siberian gas over pricing issues (and the repeated shut-downs to Ukraine and Europe), the Turkmenistan explosion demonstrates the possible consequences of the ruthless policies Gazprom follows in settling contractual issues with its partners.

It is as if a group of terrorists (or the remnants of the former terrorist Soviet government) had seized control of the remnants of the old Soviet pipeline network and suddenly started  issuing ultimatums to its customers, followed by sharp disruptions of services with attendant severe consequences for customers or suppliers as a result.  It is as if we lived in a science fiction world, where corporations could freely wage war against the rebellious citizenry and society meekly accepts it as a legitimate police action.  Gazprom closes valves to break the collective will of its customers.  This is no way to run a global energy conglomerate.

In Turkmenistan, unlike the situation in Belarus, the results were explosive, nearly ruining the national economy of Turkmenistan for more than a year.  That year has given Gazprom breathing space, which has allowed it to weather the global economic downturn and keep its contracts with Europe.  Now that the pricing bubble has been popped and global conditions have stabilized, Putin and Medvedev must reacquire Turkmen gas, in order to fulfill the duties of the role they have taken upon themselves as the global energy giant.

The EU is in a Russian vise.  If it doesn’t make Nabucco and the other non-Russian pipeline projects come true rather quickly, then it will pay whatever Gazprom chooses to charge them for its gas, for as long as European industry and homes rely on natural gas.  Putin may be about to complete his “judo maneuver,” where the EU exchanges places with the former Soviet Union, if he is left holding all the cards, while the European Union disintegrates in a stunning reversal of the events of 1991.]

Gazprom hopes that the conditions of the contract for the purchase of Turkmen gas will be no renegotiation

Gazprom hopes that the conditions of contract for the purchase of Turkmen gas will be no renegotiation. This opinion was expressed today at a press conference the head of Russian gas giant , Alexei Miller. He recalled that the latest addition to the Russian-Turkmen-term (25 years) contract gas sales from 2003, were signed in December 2009 “These conditions are, and I think that will be performed with one and other. If this will continue, then these conditions will apply to the entire term of the contract “- stressed the head of Gazprom. According to Miller, the revision of the contract is unlikely.
It was reported earlier that in 2010 Gazprom plans to buy in Turkmenistan 10 billion cubic meters. m. of gas.

Recall that a supplement to Russian-Turkmen gas contract was signed in Ashgabat on 22 December 2009. These included the resumption of procurement and delivery of Turkmen gas from January 1, 2010, amounting to 30 billion cubic meters. meters of gas each year. At what price buys Turkmen gas at Gazprom is not reported, noting that the price formula “fully complies with the conditions of the European gas market”.

The document was signed in 8 months after the delivery of Turkmen gas to Russia ceased after the explosion April 9, 2009 at the Central Asia – Center-4. In June of that year, the Russian monopoly proposed Turkmenistan cut gas supplies or reduce its value. Gazprom explained the proposal that the basic consumer of Turkmen gas – Australia – reduced the volume of purchases. However, the parties for a long time could not come to an agreement. According to the contract in 2009. Gazprom was to buy from Turkmenistan 50 billion cubic meters. m. of gas, but the contract provided for the decline in purchases by 20 percent.

The Ballot for Kyrgyz Referendum–June 27, 2010

The ballot in the referendum on June 27th 20010 years. The question put to a vote, reads as follows:

“Take the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic” On Enactment of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic “, whose projects are proposed by the Provisional Government of the Kyrgyz Republic to a referendum (popular vote).” There are two options – “yes” or “No”.

Russia plans second military base in Kyrgyzstan

Russia plans second military base in Kyrgyzstan

Russia plans to build a second military base in Kyrgyzstan in a bold gambit likely to alarm Washington and other countries in the region.

Andrew Osborn in Moscow and Richard Orange in Almaty
Local resident herds his sheep in front of Manas Air Base

The United States already have a military installation at Manas International Airport, near Bishkek Photo: REUTERS

The Kremlin tried and failed to win approval for the base in the south of the country last year but saw its chances evaporate when the man it was close to making a deal with, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, was deposed in a coup earlier this year.

However, as the interim government that succeeded him struggles to maintain order after an outbreak of ethnic violence in the south of the country that left more than 200 people dead, the Kremlin has quietly revived the controversial plan.

The base, to be located in either Osh or Jalalabad, would extend Russia’s geopolitical influence deep into Central Asia and bolster its position with both China and the United States.

Coming less than a week after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he thought a US airbase in Kyrgyzstan that supplies fuel and troops for the war effort in Afghanistan should not become a permanent fixture, the move is likely to be seen as an aggressive counter thrust.

"This is all about restoring the influence that Russia lost when the Soviet Union collapsed," said one Russian analyst. Kyrgyzstan already has a Russian airbase and is the only country in the world to host both a Russian and an American base.

Russia appears to be growing weary of sharing Kyrgyzstan’s geopolitical and strategic space with the United States and analysts say it is keen to use the recent violence as a pretext to expand its own footprint in the region.

According to military sources quoted in authoritative Russian daily newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, President Medvedev has already ordered Anatoly Serdyukov, the Russian defence minister, to ensure that the new base, which it is estimated will cost Russia at least $250 million (£167 million) and house a minimum of one thousand troops, becomes a reality.

Analysts say the recent ethnic bloodletting has convinced Russian military intelligence that Russian influence is under threat from an unnamed "third force." It apparently fears that continuing instability could result in Kyrgyzstan splitting in two along north-south lines and that Russia would be the loser.

The Kremlin is hoping it can resurrect talks on the new base as early as next week once a referendum meant to lend legitimacy to the new interim government is out of the way.

Edil Baisilov, former chief of staff for the interim government and the current leader of the Aikol El Party, said that the Kyrgyz government would probably support the Russian plans. "Kyrgyzstan would welcome a large Russian presence, especially now, after the bloody conflict," he said.

Neighbouring Uzbekistan is likely to strongly oppose the move though. It said last year "there was no need" for such a base and fretted that it would stoke "all kinds of nationalistic confrontations." Though engaged in a noisy push to improve its relations with Moscow, Washington would also be uneasy. It spoke of building its own anti-terror centre in southern Kyrgyzstan to deal with growing Islamic radicalism in the region as recently as March.

G20 demo turns violent, police car burns

G20 demo turns violent, police car burns


Canadian riot police face protesters near the site of the G20 summit in Toronto

TORONTO: Clashes erupted on the fringes of a large protest march outside the G20 summit in Toronto on Sunday, as hardline protesters set fire to police cars and scuffled with riot officers.
While the bulk of the 10,000-strong rally marched peacefully, masked and black-clad anti-globalism protesters emerged from the crowd to attack police vehicles, an AFP reporter at the scene saw.
In addition to two patrol cars that were set ablaze, at least three more were damaged in downtown Toronto’s financial district, and the air was thick with the smell of vinegar-soaked rags used to ward off police tear gas.
Firefighters moved to douse the flames, but there was chaos nearby as businesses dropped their shutters and bystanders were caught up in the action.
Lara Garrido Herrero, 33, a weekend visitor to the city who was shopping in the downtown Eaton Center mall, told AFP by telephone: "Around 200 people are stuck in a lock-down in the shop and the staff are handing out water."
Toronto police used the microblogging site Twitter to deny a rumour that rioters had breached the security barrier erected around the conference centre where the leaders of the world’s richest countries were gathering.
"Dispelling more rumours: The fence has not been breached. False reports," the message read.
Canada spent more than a billion dollars to secure this week’s back-to-back G8 and G20 summits, hoping to avoid the serious street battles that have marred most recent gatherings of these global forums.
Thousands of police reinforcements backed by riot officers on horseback and spotter helicopters have been drafted into the city centre, much of which is sealed off behind a wall of steel barriers. – AFP/fa

For Tomorrow’s Kyrgyz Referendum, 186 International Observers

In Kyrgyzstan, a referendum accredited 186 international observers

25/06 at 16:49 Bishkek – IA “24.kg”, Daria PODILSKY

In Kyrgyzstan, the referendum accredited 186 international observers. This was stated at the meeting of the Central Commission for Elections and Referenda.

In addition, the CEC has accredited seven observers from five organizations: the Secretariat of the CIS mission, Consulate General of Russia in the city of Osh, the Independent Democratic Institute of USA, International Foundation for Election Systems and the International Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS.

Moreover, a statement of participation in monitoring the vote, recalled the representative of the Security and Cooperation in Europe. As explained in the staff of the Central Election Commission, the application was withdrawn due to her sudden departure from Kyrgyzstan.

URL: http://www.24.kg/konstitucija2010/77582-v-kyrgyzstane-na-referendum-akkreditovano-186.html

Is Petraeus McChrystal’s Replacement or Obama’s?

Is Petraeus McChrystal’s Replacement or Obama’s?

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Our petulant president’s ego can’t handle a general letting off steam. Neither can any of the spoiled children who comprise “our” government in DC, the capital of the “superpower.”

Generals have to fight wars that civilians start, either from the incompetence of their diplomacy or the arrogance of their hubris.  Generals have to get young troops killed because of the stupidity or ambition or corruption of civilian government officials.

All McChrystal did was to let off steam. A real president would have realized that and let it go.

Don’t get me wrong. McChrystal is a militarist, and I am pleased to see him gone.

However, McChrystal didn’t restart America’s aggression against Afghanistan. Obama  did.

People elected Obama, because they were tired of Bush’s wars based on lies. So Obama gave us a new war in Pakistan and reignited the Afghan war. No one knows what these wars are about or why the bankrupt US government is wasting vast sums of money, which it has to borrow from foreigners, in order to murder the citizenry in two countries that have never done anything to us.

Just as Bush/Cheney and their criminal neocon government deceived the world that Saddam Hussein had “weapons of mass destruction” that threatened white people everywhere, Obama has conflated the Taliban with al Qaeda. Obama has sold the tale to white countries that unless the US determines how Afghanistan is ruled and by whom, white people are in danger of being exterminated by al Qaeda Taliban terrorists.

The most telling aspect of the McChrystal-Obama contretemps is that it has caused no one in the US government, or media, to ask why the US is still killing women and children in Afghanistan after 9 years. The US government is prepared for everyone except itself to be tried at the War Crimes Tribunal.

Fred Branfman writing in AlterNet on June 22 reminds us that unnumbered Iraqis were killed, maimed, tortured and displaced by an American invasion based on lies told by the highest officials in the American government.  Yet, no one has been held accountable.

But Gen. McChrystal is held accountable for letting off steam.

Once the Roman senate, the legislative branch, collapsed, the caesars, the executive branch, became the captives of the military. Now with Gen. Petraeus once again moved to the fore as McChrystal’s replacement in Afghanistan, we have  Obama  elevating Petraeus to the Republican presidential nomination in the next election. Thus has Obama replaced himself with a man who will unify the military and executive branch.

Associated Press writers Jennifer Loven and Anne Gearan write (June 23) about the “admired and tightly disciplined Gen. David Petraeus,” the “architect of the Iraq war turnaround,” who is “once again to take hands-on leadership of a troubled war effort.”

Petraeus is an evolved form of general. He “won” in Iraq by paying protection money to the Sunnis who were effectively resisting the US occupation. Petraeus figured out that it was far cheaper and more efficient to put the Sunnis on the US military payroll and to pay them to stop fighting, which is how the war between the Sunnis and the Americans ended. To keep the Americans out of the ongoing large scale sectarian violence that continues to slaughter Iraqis, the US military was confined to remote bases.

If history is a guide, the Afghans will also accept Petraeus’ protection money, and Petraeus has just enough time to buy the Afghan war before the next presidential election.

The Afghans will, of course, take the money and wait us out, just as the Iraqis are doing.

All of this drama is playing out despite the continuing lack of any valid reason for the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. The Washington idiots, trying to dictate how Iraq and Afghanistan are governed, are destroying constitutional government in the United States. In our hubris to determine how Iraq and Afghanistan are ruled, we are losing our own government.

Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.  His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

Presidents of Russia, US, France and Canada Take First Baby Step Into New World Order

The presidents of Russia, the United States and France issued a joint statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

The presidents of Russia, the United States and France during G 8 summit inCanada issued a joint statement on theNagorno-Karabakh conflict, which called on the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijanto accelerate work on the Main principles of settlement of the conflict in order to begin drafting a Peace agreement, RIA Novosti reported.

“Currently, the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan should make one more step and finalize the Main principles in order to be able to begin peace agreement draft”, – said in the statement of Dmitry Medvedev, Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy, which they took as heads of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair states.

The three presidents instructed the ministers and the mediators to “continue actively promote Armenia and Azerbaijan, to overcome the existing differences in preparation for a joint meeting on the margins of the informal ministerial forum of OSCE in Almaty.”

The leaders of Russia, the USA and France reaffirmed their commitment to support the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia to finish reconcilement on the Main principles of the settlement.

The statement noted that the heads of states – co-chairs of the Minsk Group have been considered as an important step towards the recognition by both parties of the fact that the settlement must be based on several principles, among which, returning of the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, an interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh providing guarantees of security and self-government; corridor linking Armenia with Nagorno- Karabakh.

The final legal determination of future status of Nagorno Karabakh “by a legally binding will of its people, the right of all refugees and internal displaced persons to return to their former homes, international guarantees of security, including peacekeeping operations” is among these principles.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.

The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group – Russia, France, and the U.S. – are currently holding the peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council’s resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.

Tropical Storm Alex., 1:24 pm, eastern std. time

Tropical Storm Alex forms in Caribbean

MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Alex formed in the Western Caribbean Saturday, and forecasters said it was unclear if it would hit the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said early Saturday that the storm has maximum sustained winds of about 40 mph. Most storm prediction models show Alex traveling over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico over the weekend, but they no longer have it going across the oil spill once it reaches the Gulf, hurricane forecaster Jack Bevens said.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the coast of Belize and the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, which separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s too early to tell if the storm will hit the northeastern part of the Gulf, where the spill has spread over the past 10 weeks, Bevens said. While the current forecast track has the storm shifting away from the spill, Bevens noted that could change.

Somewhere between 69 million and 132 million gallons of crude have spewed into the water since the rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20, killing 11 workers.

The storm raises concerns over what might happen to efforts to contain the oil if BP is forced to abandon the area for a while. An armada of ships is working in the Gulf.

A cap has been placed over the blown-out undersea well and it is carrying some of the oil to a surface ship where it is being collected. Some of the oil is being brought to the surface and burned. Other ships are drilling two relief wells, projected to be done by August, and are the best hope to stop the leak.

Forecasters have said they can’t speculate about what rough weather would do to oil in the water.

The depression is on track to reach the peninsula by late Saturday. It is about 220 miles east of Belize City and about 250 miles east-southeast of Chetumal.

Meanwhile in the Pacific, two major hurricanes are swirling but don’t pose an immediate threat to land. Darby has weakened to a Category 2 storm, with maximum sustained winds near 110 mph.

The hurricane is about 300 miles southwest of Zihuatanejo, Mexico. It’s heading west-northwest near 6 mph.

Hurricane Celia has weakened to a Category 2 storm farther out in the Pacific. Celia’s maximum sustained winds have decreased to 100 mph. It is about 880 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. The hurricane center says Celia is approaching cooler waters and is expected to continue weakening.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Dangerous Defrosting

Dangerous Defrosting

Comment by Sergei Markedonov
Special to Russia Profile

Most Popular Stories

The Increase in Military Confrontation Between Armenia and Azerbaijan Means Political Dialogue Between the Two Is Becoming Hostage to the Will of Soldiers

As Kyrgyzstan plunges into chaos and the threat of a second Afghanistan in Central Asia looms large, the situation in the Greater Caucasus seems less pressing. The Russian attempt to “replace the regime” of Mikhail Saakashvili, expected by many in the West, has not taken place. Neither have the attempts from the West (the United States, NATO) and others to “nudge Georgia into a rematch,” which were expected in Moscow. Nonetheless, the recent events in Nagorno-Karabakh show that peace in the Caucasus is still “just a dream.”

In June there was a sharp increase in the number of infringements on the ceasefire regime at the points where Armenian and Azeri forces have contact (which both in Baku and in Yerevan is referred to as the “front line”). On the night of June 18 to 19, a group of Azeri saboteurs tried to assess the fighting ability of the Armenian divisions by penetrating the territory of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKP), and on the night of June 20 to 21, 200 instances of ceasefire infringements were recorded (ranging from small incidents to exchanges of fire).

On the one hand, it is difficult to be surprised at infringements of the ceasefire. Last year there were roughly 4,300 such infringements of varying degrees of gravity (ranging from single shots fired to full-on duels with artillery). In 2008 the number of infringements equated to 3,500 and in 2007 – 1,400. In 2006, in comparison with successive ones, things were really peaceful, with only 600 registered. On the other hand, in the context of the numerous changes in the Greater Caucasus and its neighboring regions, the incidents taking place today require the utmost attention.

This “hot spot” on the territory of the former Soviet Union stands out sharply from the others. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was the most intense of the armed conflicts in the post-Soviet Caucasus (which began in 1988 as an inter-republic conflict, becoming interstate in 1991 and continuing for another three years). It was in Karabakh that the highest number of deaths, refugees and temporarily displaced persons were recorded in comparison with Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transdnestr. In Karabakh there is no peace-keeping operation for separating the conflicting sides (everything is contained in the agreement on ceasefire, signed in May of 1994), and the sides themselves demarcate the “front line.” The single mediating force here is the Minsk Group, which has already become legendary for its ineffectiveness. The most effective peacekeeping achievement to date is the aforementioned May agreement of 1994.

The sides regularly test the limits of each other’s patience, and only the regional conventional arms race (not yet, thank God, a nuclear arms race) is a real stabilizing factor. Both sides fear a big war. It is not just a fear of loss of human life, but a fall in the image of the authorities, the legitimacy of which in many ways hinges on the Karabakh factor. Consequently, the strain on the situation can provoke much more serious results for the South Caucasus and the entire CIS.

However, June’s “military clamor” in the Karabakh is essentially just a continuation of the trend that began several years ago. It can be called the “unfreezing” of ethno-political conflict. This “unfreezing” resulted in the recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and also in a new status quo in the Greater Caucasus. August 2008 showed that reliance on the dynamics of Russia-Georgia relations does not suit Yerevan. It explains the current growth in interest in the normalization of Armenia-Turkey relations which hasn’t been observed since 1991 to 1993. Armenian-Turkish dialogue has become a serious factor influencing the regulation of the Karabakh process, though it is not only thanks to Turkish diplomacy. The effectiveness of the Azeri president should also be recognized (along with his diplomatic office) for having managed to not allow the Karabakh problem to completely “detach” itself from the process of Armenian-Turkish normalization.

In contrast with the conflicts in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transdnestr or in the Balkans, it would seem that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has become a point where the positions of Russia and the United States for all these years, starting with the agreement on an indefinite ceasefire, have not deviated too seriously. Both sides, (each in its own way) have been interested in maintaining the status quo and avoiding an “unfreezing” of the conflict. And today Moscow and Washington would not want to raise “the stakes in the game” with Karabakh. Moscow has plenty of problems in other places in the Greater Caucasus, and the United States has got bogged down in the resolution of the Middle East (from Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan to Turkey, and Palestine with Israel). However, both would like to improve relations with Turkey. For Moscow, this is an important economic and political-psychological subject. For Washington, the prospect of utterly losing Turkey as a strategic ally is fraught with many side effects.

But Ankara is extremely interested in maintaining its normalization with Armenia, which corresponds to its interests. Among these interests, the Azerbaijan factor is far from the last. So how can Turkey be made more insistent on dialogue with the United States and the Russian Federation? And how can partners interested in relations with Turkey be forced to be tractable in the dialogue with Ankara? This is easiest achieved by reminding people of one’s presence. Not only by using warlike rhetoric (which everyone is already well acquainted with and rather fed up with), but also with military demonstrations, which contravene the rules.

It is interesting to note that a spokesman for the Azeri Foreign Ministry, Elkhin Polukhov, commenting on the incident on the night of June 18 to 19, clearly stated that “Azerbaijan will never accept the fact of the occupation of its territories.” Consequently, in Baku’s tactics, the negotiations (the same ones which were going on in St. Petersburg with the participation of Dmitry Medvedev literally the day before the infringements to the ceasefire regime) will alternate between fierce warlike statements and now already warlike demonstrations of force.

Probably, these same demonstrations of force will not lead to a new war by themselves. But the more frequent use of this instrument makes politics a hostage not of the president’s will, but rather of the will of sergeants. Only in layout do military operations seem logical and thought through. In reality, on the “front line” too much is being decided by emotions and irrational actions. Relying exclusively on this means leaving too much to chance.

Sergei Markedonov is a visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on the Russia and Eurasia Program in Washington, DC.