46 US Warships In Costa Rican Waters

Legislators Appeal To Constitutional Court To Stop U.S Warships From Entering Costa Rican Waters

The decision authorizing the patrol of Costa Rican waters by U.S. warships is being contested by a group of legislators, headed by Gloria Bejarano, who filed an action of unconstitutionality with the Sala Constitucional (Costa Rica’s constitutional court).

The legislators believe the authorization that was voted on and granted last week for the entry of 46 naval warships, 200 helicopters, war planes and 7.000 Marines as confirmed by the president of the LegislativeAssembly, Gerardo Villanueva, violates Costa Rica’s Political Constitution.

Villanueva confirmed that there are errors in the authorization, explaining that the co-operation agreement between the United States and Costa Rica signed 11 years ago was never published in La Gaceta.

The legislators argue in their filing that since the decree was never published it is null and void and in addition was for a 10 year period and would have expired in 2009.

Villanueva, however, argues that the agreement does not have an expiry date and the publication of the decree can be made any time.

The agreement signed in 2009 establishes a joint patrol of Costa Rican waters by the United States and Costa Rican Coast Guards.

Last week the United States, as is customary and required under the agreement, filed for authorization of the U.S. warships and personnel, that would be under the control of the Costa Rican Coast Guard, to enter Costa Rican waters to combat drug trafficking in the country and the region.

US Now Conducting Simultaneous International War Games In Atlantic and Pacific

[The US Navy is running simultaneous interdiction and interoperability drills in both oceans, involving 17 different nations.

The Pacific drills are to establish “freedom of navigation as a basis for global peace and prosperity”…. maritime interdiction and vessel boardings.”

The Atlantic drills, involving the US, France, Russia and Britain, to “practice interoperability for future joint operations under a UN mandate.”

Now is the time for the international order to take control over all maritime traffic as the means for establishing the global dictatorship]

Russia sends warship to international naval drills in N.Atlantic

On the board of Severomorsk guided-missile destroyer

On the board of Severomorsk guided-missile destroyer

© RIA Novosti. Alexandra Kamenskaya

The Severomorsk guided-missile destroyer from Russia’s Northern Fleet set sail Friday for British shores to team up with NATO warships in an international naval exercise in the North Atlantic, a fleet spokesman said.

The Russian Navy earlier said the Frukus 2010 exercise will be held on July 22-25.

The annual exercises, which traditionally involve France, Russia, Britain and the United States, practice interoperability for future joint operations under a UN mandate.

Previously called RUKUS, the exercises were launched in 1988 to promote dialogue between the Soviet Union, Britain, and the United States. The name was changed to FRUKUS in 2003, when France formally joined the group.

Severomorsk is an Udaloy-class guided-missile destroyer armed with anti-ship missiles, 30-mm and 100-mm guns, and two Ka-27 Helix helicopters.

The Frukus 2009 drills saw the Severomorsk join forces with the French Tourville frigate, the guided-missile frigate USS Klakring and the destroyer HMS York.

MURMANSK, July 9 (RIA Novosti)



Afghanistan’s ‘de facto’ partition best available option for ‘failing’ US: Ex-diplomat

Afghanistan’s ‘de facto’ partition best available option for ‘failing’ US: Ex-diplomat

2010-07-09 15:00:00
Former US Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill has warned that President Obama’s Afghan strategy is heading towards a ‘failure’, adding that the best option available with the White House was to divide the war torn country.

Blackwill, who had also served as deputy national security adviser for strategic planning and presidential envoy to Iraq during President George Bush’ regime, said that Washington must admit the truth that the Taliban would continue to control its historic stronghold in Afghanistan.

“The US polity should stop talking about timelines and exit strategies and accept that the Taliban will inevitably control most of its historic stronghold in the Pashtun south,” Blackwill wrote in his opinion piece published in Politico.

“But Washington could ensure that north and west Afghanistan do not succumb to jihadi extremism, using US air power and special forces along with the Afghan army and like-minded nations,” he added.

In his article, the former US diplomat pointed out that “after years of ‘faulty’ US policy towards Afghanistan, there are no quick, easy and cost-free ways to escape the current deadly quagmire. But, with all its problems, de facto partition offers the best available US alternative to strategic defeat”.

“It is now the best outcome that Washington can achieve consistent with vital national interests and US domestic politics,” Blackwill added.

Blackwill also warned that Pakistan would never back the idea of Afghanistan’s de facto partition, and managing its reaction would be a difficult task for the Obama administration.

“Not least because the Pakistan military expects a strategic gain once the US military withdraws from Afghanistan,” he said.

Blackwill also noted that “fearing a return of Pakistan dominance in Afghanistan, India would likely encourage Washington to continue ground combat in south Afghanistan for many years to come”.

He said that the Obama administration must work to assuage assuage India’s fears, and also assure it that the US would not permit the Taliban to re-emerge as a political or military force in the region.

“We would then make it clear that we would rely heavily on US air power and special forces to target any Al Qaeda base in Afghanistan, as well as Afghan Taliban leaders who aided them,” he wrote. (ANI)

Ignorance As A Weapon

Ignorance As A Weapon

July 9, 2010: While university educated terrorists get a lot of media attention, most ideologically motivated terrorists are poorly educated (many are illiterate). Poverty and illiteracy is a great motivator to do something desperate, in the off chance it might improve your lot. Thus most of the violence in the world occurs in countries with low literacy rates. While the planetary literacy rate is 87 percent, it’s only 29 percent in Afghanistan. It’s even worse in the Pushtun tribal territories (about 15 percent on the Afghan side, 23 percent on the Pakistan side). The Taliban are a Pushtun movement, and the Islamic radicals are determined to keep literacy low. They also believe in prohibitions on women working outside the home, and the use of entertainment technology (music and videos, in particular, and don’t even try to dance). Modern weapons and vehicles are another matter, as long as women are not operating these devices.

This illiteracy is a key factor in keeping radical Islam going in places like Afghanistan and Somalia (24 percent literacy rate). Islamic radicals believe in education, but a special kind of education, which is taught in a madrassa (Islamic school), and stresses memorizing scripture and learning how to hate non-Moslems more effectively.

The majority of the Islamic terrorists (gunmen, suicide bombers, helpers of all sorts) come from madrassas. Such schools are found all over the Islamic world, but the ones that produce the most terrorists are those that teach a conservative form of Islam, usually one that justifies militant Islam, hatred of non-Moslems and a favorable attitude towards Islamic radicalism. There are probably fewer than five million kids attending these conservative madrassas. But these schools turn out thousands of potential terrorists each year.

An extensive study of the madrassas in Pakistan found that only about ten percent all schoolchildren were attending the religious schools, and less than twenty percent of these schools taught militancy and hatred against non-Moslems. Most of these Islamic schools were concentrated in the Pushtun (tribal) areas. The most dangerous madrasses teach a conservative version of Islam and stress the need to fight infidels (non-Moslems), but they also teach basic literacy and some math. Since most Islamic states have terrible educations systems, parents see madrassas as a viable option.

Even with the 20,000 or so madrassas in a place like Pakistan, you still have over a third of the children not in school. The national literacy rate is 56 percent in Pakistan. The Gulf States only got high literacy rates in the last few generations, courtesy of all that oil money. Saudi Arabia and Iraq have achieved literacy rates close to 80 percent. But Pakistan and Afghanistan haven’t got that wealth. Then again, neither does China, which has a literacy rate of 90 percent (as do most of the East Asian nations). It’s a culture thing, which is not politically correct to even mention.

Even children going to state schools in Islamic nations, will get a lot of religious instruction. Parents who can afford it, send their kids to “Western” schools that teach subjects that will help the children get ahead in life. For Moslem nations, students are encouraged to study religion, even in college. While many Moslem kids realize that studying technical subjects will do them more good, at least economically, the Islamic nations turn out fewer technically trained graduates, per capita, than in the West.

This attitude towards secular education has left most Islamic nations illiterate, poor and incubators of terrorism. Trying to change that, brings out the wrath of the Islamic clergy, who insist that the best education is a religious one, and no education at all is best for girls.

A lot of Western economic aid to places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, is for education. Most parents favor this. It’s no secret that better educated kids grow up to be wealthier adults. And with an education, you can make it big in the West. But these “Western schools” are anathema to Islamic militants, and in some parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan, attending such schools, or teaching in them, can get you killed or maimed.

Putin unveils new drive to end Caucasus extremism

Putin unveils new drive to end Caucasus extremism

By Anna Smolchenko (AFP) – 2 days ago

KISLOVODSK, Russia — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Tuesday time was running out for extremists in the Caucasus, as he announced an ambitious drive to bring prosperity to the violence-torn region.

Putin told top government officials to come up with plans to turn the former war zone of Chechnya and neighbouring Dagestan and Ingushetia into an investor haven as he vowed to quash any attempts to break up Russia.

“Yes, extremists are still carrying out acts of terror today but more and more they are degenerating into common criminal groups,” Putin said in the speech in the spa town of Kislovodsk in the Caucasus foothills.

“But their time is running out. We will with all our force protect the life, rights and security of our citizens,” he said, pledging that the government would turn the impoverished region into a land of world-class skiing resorts and top tourist attractions.

At the meeting considering the strategy for the region through 2020, he called for the creation of 400,000 extra jobs within the next 10 years, saying its economy should in the next few years post a growth rate of 10 percent.

“We understand that it’s a very difficult task but it needs to be done,” Putin told the gathering of his ruling United Russia party and top local officials, including Chechnya’s strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov and Ingushetia’s Yunus-Bek Yevkurov who was nearly killed in an attack last year.

“We all need a peaceful, prosperous Caucasus.”

Russia is battling a violent Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus, and deadly attacks in the republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan are a near-daily occurrence.

Militants from the Caucasus were also blamed for the bombings on the Moscow metro on March 29 carried out by two female suicide bombers that killed 40 people in a pair of coordinated attacks.

At the meeting Putin said widespread unemployment was the region’s most acute problem and helped militants recruit new fighters.

One out of five people has a hard time finding a job in the region, with unemployment standing at over 50 percent in Ingushetia and 30 percent in Chechnya, Putin said.

The Kremlin attempted to strengthen its hold on the region in January, when it appointed a new envoy responsible for the North Caucasus, businessman Alexander Khloponin.

Khloponin has been tasked with coming up with a blueprint to end violence in the region and excerpts published in Russia’s Newsweek showed he pins his hopes mainly on economic development, including the creation of new jobs and the setting up of development banks.

Putin said a branch of Russia’s state-owned Vnesheconombank would be set up in the Caucasus to help with investment projects, while the finance ministry would provide loan guarantees for business projects undertaken there.

Foreign and Russian entrepreneurs prefer now to do business elsewhere but regional officials should do their best to bring investors in the region, Putin said, adding that regional leaders should treat any investor as “a family member.”

Critics charge that a major weakness of the Caucasus strategy is that no one clearly knows how much money is required for the plan for the region, where corruption and nepotism are a way of life.

The Stavropol region, which includes Kislovodsk, lies on the northern edge of the Caucasus and has until now rarely seen the bloody attacks that characterise the simmering guerrilla war between Russian forces and separatist rebels.

But in a sign that the region still presents a major security risk, the government first said that Putin would fly to the nearby city of Pyatigorsk, notifying reporters at the last minute his visit would be to Kislovodsk.

Putin, who once famously said that Islamist militants should be “wiped out in the outhouse,” also told the party meeting “I sometimes feel sorry” for the militants because of the lack of opportunities available to them.

Democracy? it’s not real.

Democracy? it’s not real.

Putin adds his own perspective on the current state of American democracy

by Cameron Ainsworth-Vincze on Thursday, July 8, 2010 9:40am – 3 Comments
Getty Images

Never one to shy away from speaking his mind, though frequently raising a few eyebrows when he does, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told a scrum of French reporters recently that the Western model of democracy simply doesn’t exist.

“Can you tell me what it is—the Western model of democracy? France has one model of democracy, the U.S.A. has another one,” Putin said, then added his own perspective on the current state of American democracy. “A French politician told me once, ‘One cannot do anything at the elections in the U.S.A. without money—whether they are elections to the Senate or Congress, not to mention the presidential elections. There is nothing to do there without a sack of money.’ ”

Putin also took this opportunity to defend Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008. “People died as a result of the criminal action launched by President [Mikheil] Saakashvili two years ago. Russia was forced to defend the lives of its peacemakers and the citizens of South Ossetia,” the prime minister declared. “We stopped 15 to 20 km from Tbilisi. We stopped there not because we could not enter Tbilisi—we stopped because we didn’t want to do it. We didn’t want any military action at all.”

Georgia Approves Sale of Pipeline Delivering Russian Gas To Armenia

Georgia Approves Sale of Pipeline Delivering Russian Gas To Armenia

TBILISI (Oil & Gas Eurasia)–The Georgian parliament has approved the sale of a trunk gas pipeline which pumps Russian gas across Georgia to Armenia. eighty-eight members of parliament favored the law, while five voted against the measure.

Despite the law being passed by parliament, the Georgian opposition does not share the majority’s enthusiasm for the sale which they say will be “an energy and economic threat to Georgia”, RBK reports.

Parliament members of the opposition suggest that instead Georgia should retain a 51 per cent stake in the pipeline and remain the pipeline operator. The majority however, deemed the “Russian threat” exaggerated and passed the law. Another argument used in favor of the sale was the fact Tbilisi believes “private companies are more effective in managing such sites than the government”.

The trunk pipeline was built in the 1970s. it has not been upgraded since 1980.