Sunday, August 31, 2008

31.08.2008, Deutsche Welle

Steinmeier Tells EU to Take "Level-Headed" Approach to Russia

Foreign ministers Lavrov and Steinmeier in front of microphones at a news conference in July

Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Europe must play a "strong and level-headed role" to settle the conflict in the Caucasus, according to a German newspaper published Sunday.

"We need a strong and levelheaded role for Europe, to ensure that there can be a return to reason and responsibility," the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported on Sunday, Aug. 31.

"Unfortunately, the situation has become bogged down in unilateral actions in the last few days."

Steinmeier added that he expects the European Union to give a clear response at its emergency summit on the conflict in Georgia on Monday.

"The dangerous spiral of violence must be stopped," he said.

Leaders of the 27-nation EU are to agree on a response to Russia's military surge into Georgia and decision to recognize the independence of two secessionist regions.

For her part, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel worked to convince Poland, one of the leaders of a group of countries calling for a strong European condemnation of Russia, to support a common European front in the Russian-Georgian conflict.

A bloc divided against itself

Five stars from part of the EU flag superimposed over a night shot of the KremlinBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Many hope the EU will speak with one voice when dealing with Moscow

The bloc has been divided over how to deal with Moscow since the Caucasus war flared up on Aug. 8. Former Soviet states and countries that fell under the USSR's direct influence have tended to favor a tougher stance than western European nations.

In a sign that the situation may have calmed, Moscow and Berlin agreed on Saturday to seek to calm tensions in Europe over the conflict in Georgia, the Russian foreign ministry said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier "agreed on the need to put an end to attempts to use the situation surrounding Georgia... to raise tensions in Europe by speculating on non-existent threats concerning other post-Soviet countries," it said.

The statement appeared to allude to French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner's earlier comments in which he said that Moscow could have designs on the Crimea, Ukraine and Moldova.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier rejected the comments in an interview with the German network ARD.

"We recognized the borders of modern-day Ukraine long ago," he said.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine have been strained over Kyiv's demands that Moscow prepare the withdrawal of Russia's Black Sea fleet from the Crimean port of Sevastopol, where the Russian fleet has been based for 200 years.

Classic UN Hypocrisy: "Did you find any WMDs in Iraq?"

Russia has slammed what it calls the UN Security Council's hypocritical stance on the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin has accused the world body of adopting a double standard approach in dealing with the issue.

He said members of the Council are ignorant about the essence of the Caucasus conflict, Russia Today repor More..ted on Friday.

The remarks were made after a Thursday's meeting of the Security Council during which the Western powers criticized Moscow's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Churkin, however, hit back by referring to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq.

"I would like to ask the distinguished representative of the United States about....Weapons of Mass Destruction. Have you found them in Iraq yet or are you still looking for them"? Churkin said.

Churkin, however, said the international community had failed to act in response to Georgia's invasion of South Ossetia earlier this month.

"The US and some European states promised (Georgian President) Mr Saakashvili NATO's protection and have started supplying him with new weapons. It obviously invites fresh provocations," the Russian envoy said.

He also said that Moscow had called for a ceasefire in the early hours of the conflict but no one had supported it.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Putin accuses US of staging Georgia/South Ossetia Conflict

All the evidence indicates that the murderous conflict in Georgia/South Ossetia was stage-managed by one of the White House neocon psychopaths, Randy Scheunemann.


And None Dare Call It Treason
by Patrick J. Buchanan, August 22, 2008

Who is Randy Scheunemann?

He is the principal foreign policy adviser to John McCain and potential successor to Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski as national security adviser to the president of the United States.

But Randy Scheunemann has another identity, another role.

He is a dual loyalist, a foreign agent whose assignment is to get America committed to spilling the blood of her sons for client regimes who have made this moral mercenary a rich man.

From January 2007 to March 2008, the McCain campaign paid Scheunemann $70,000 – pocket change compared to the $290,000 his Orion Strategies banked in those same 15 months from the Georgian regime of Mikheil Saakashvili.

What were Mikheil's marching orders to Tbilisi's man in Washington? Get Georgia a NATO war guarantee. Get America committed to fight Russia, if necessary, on behalf of Georgia.

Scheunemann came close to succeeding.

Had he done so, U.S. soldiers and Marines from Idaho and West Virginia would be killing Russians in the Caucasus, and dying to protect Scheunemann's client, who launched this idiotic war the night of Aug. 7. That people like Scheunemann hire themselves out to put American lives on the line for their clients is a classic corruption of American democracy.

U.S. backing for his campaign to retrieve his lost provinces is what Saakashvili paid Scheunemann to produce. But why should Americans fight Russians to force 70,000 South Ossetians back into the custody of a regime they detest? Why not let the South Ossetians decide their own future in free elections?

Not only is the folly of the Bush interventionist policy on display in the Caucasus, so, too, is its manifest incoherence.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says we have sought for 45 years to stay out of a shooting war with Russia and we are not going to get into one now. President Bush assured us there will be no U.S. military response to the Russian move into Georgia.

That is a recognition of, and a bowing to, reality – namely, that Russia's control of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and occupation of a strip of Georgia cannot be a casus belli for the United States. We may deplore it, but it cannot justify war with Russia.

If that be true, and it transparently is, what are McCain, Barack Obama, Bush, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel doing committing the United States and Germany to bringing Georgia into NATO? For that would commit us to war for a cause we have already conceded, by our paralysis, does not justify a war.

Not only did Scheunemann's two-man lobbying firm receive $730,000 since 2001 to get Georgia a NATO war guarantee, he was paid by Romania and Latvia to do the same. And he succeeded.

Latvia, a tiny Baltic republic annexed by Joseph Stalin in June 1940 during his pact with Adolf Hitler, was set free at the end of the Cold War. Yet hundreds of thousands of Russians had been moved into Latvia by Stalin, and as Riga served as a base of the Baltic Sea fleet, many Russian naval officers retired there.

The children and grandchildren of these Russians are Latvian citizens. They are a cause of constant tension with ethnic Letts and of strife with Moscow, which has assumed the role of protector of Russians left behind in the "near abroad" when the Soviet Union broke apart.

Thanks to the lobbying of Scheunemann and friends, Latvia has been brought into NATO and given a U.S. war guarantee. If Russia intervenes to halt some nasty ethnic violence in Riga, the United States is committed to come in and drive the Russians out.

This is the situation in which the interventionists have placed our country: committed to go to war for countries and causes that do not justify war, against a Russia that is re-emerging as a great power only to find NATO squatting on her doorstep.

Scheunemann's resume as a War Party apparatchik is lengthy. He signed the PNAC (Project for the New American Century) letter to President Clinton urging war on Iraq, four years before 9/11. He signed the PNAC ultimatum to Bush, nine days after 9/11, threatening him with political reprisal if he did not go to war against Iraq. He was executive director of the "Committee for the Liberation of Iraq," a propaganda front for Ahmad Chalabi and his pack of liars who deceived us into war.

Now Scheunemann is the neocon agent in place in McCain's camp.

The neocons got their war with Iraq. They are pushing for war on Iran. And they are now baiting the Russian Bear.

Is this what McCain has on offer? Endless war?

Why would McCain seek foreign policy counsel from the same discredited crowd that has all but destroyed the presidency of George Bush?

"Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence ... a free people ought to be constantly awake," Washington warned in his Farewell Address. Our Founding Father was warning against the Randy Scheunemanns among us, agents hired by foreign powers to deceive Americans into fighting their wars. And none dare call it treason.


England's surveillance state at work
from Classically Liberal

Dreary old England is suffering mightily under the weight of the authoritarian government of the Labour Party. Labour has been working assiduously to impose a total surveillance state trampling on traditional British freedoms. First, here is a video of the local police randomly stopping people and demanding to search them. As they make clear, if you do not “consent” to being searched you will be arrested. Of course, once they arrest you they can search you. In other words, in England, the police may search anyone they wish, anytime they wish without any probably cause.

One British “subject” has filmed this sort of police state mentality. It is hard to understand some aspects of the video as the sound is not totally up to par. Please note that these these officers are not only searching the man’s belongings but frisking him, going through his pockets, looking in his wallet, and flipping through the books he reads. Notice the lie they tell. They argue that they are looking for anything that can be used by terrorists. But they start going through his credit cards and looking through his wallet. And then, when they find nothing wrong, they send in his details to check up on the man.

Basically the cops end up arguing that anything a “terrorists” could use can be inspected by them at any time they wish. Of course the terrorists can use anything. Also watch as people walk by and look over at this poor man being searched. You know that many of them are wondering what this man did that was illegal to be apprehended by the police.

The last time I was in the UK I saw a thug harassing an older woman inside the local McDonalds. I complained to the staff who did nothing. I went outside and told the police. The thug walked out and I pointed him out. The police REFUSED to do anything saying they didn’t want to “embarrass” him in "front of his mates”. Apparently guilty people shouldn’t be embarrassed but innocent people deserve to be frisked, searched and checked out on some central data base. Zieg heil! The one thing I will say is that, as disgusting as this is, in the U.S. merely asking the police the questions this man asked would have gotten him beaten, perhaps tasered and possibly shot.

Meanwhile the Telegraph reports that the local councils are using the antiterrorism surveillance systems to spy on “couples’ sleeping arrangements.” Taxes are based, not only on the value of property, but also on the number of people living there. So councils “undertake ‘surveillance’ of cars registered to addresses ‘to substantiate the allegation of living together.’” Documents from one council show they are checking to see if couples are living “as husband and wife.”

In Thurrock single residents are required to sign a document giving blanket permission to local bureaucrats “to enter their home as part of an inspection” to determine if they really are single or in a couple. If they have a partner their tax rate increases by one-third. A spokesman for the Conservative Party said:

Day by day under Labour, the country is sleepwalking into a surveillance state, where spying on citizens has become the norm. Laws which were originally intended to tackle the most serious crimes and safeguard the public are now being deployed routinely and without hesitation.

Councils will naturally wish to ensure that council tax discounts and benefits are not wrongly claimed. But I am concerned that innocent citizens will be spied on through heavy-handed and disproportionate use by town hall snoopers. There are far less intrusive and more cost-effective ways of vetting council tax, such as through data matching, rather than paying town hall officials to camp out overnight outside people's homes.

The fact such snooping is already over-used by local authorities bodes ill for the planned powers for town halls to access communications data. There are insufficient checks and balances to prevent people's sex lives being habitually monitored by state bureaucrats, purely because they claim a council tax discount for living alone.
Bureaucrats with the Local Government Association have a unique stand on the matter. They say “Pretending to live alone to defraud the taxpayer is not a victimless crime.” This goes on the assumption that your wealth belongs to the government and they let you keep some of it. If you keep more of your own income then the government has to take more of other people’s income. So it is your fault that they are confiscating more wealth from other people. Thus keeping your own money is a crime against others.

Already it has been shown that government powers initially created to “stop terrorism” have been used by councils to arrest people whose dog took a shit in the wrong place or who dumped trash in the wrong location.

But one government official, with the title of Interception of Communications Commissioner, Paul Kennedy, complained that the local councils were not using their spying powers enough. He suggested that more councils spy on people to fight crimes “such as skipping work and filing fraudulent overtime claims.” The Telegraph reports: “Councils across the country were criticised last month as it emerged that they used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act up to 10,000 times a year to investigate such petty offences as dog fouling and under-age smoking.”

And while the Conservative Party is, this now, whining about the surveillance state, only days ago they were demanding that police powers be expanded to do more surveillance. Then another Tory spokesman said: “It is not right that we charge our police with combating crime and disorder and then tie their hands behind their backs.... the police should be given both the resources and the freedom to use those resources to do their job.” In that incident the Tories said that restraints to protect citizens from spying were “red tape” and promised to make it easier to spy, including putting in wire taps, without any court permission required.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The US and Russia: the limits of a superpower
Boris Kagarlitsky

Socialist Worker, 20 August 2008

The war between Russia and Georgia has shown the US that its power and influence in the region is limited, but it has also fed the Russian imperialist agenda in the Caucasus, writes Boris Kagarlitsky

Internationally the war is a big blow for the US, at least in Central Europe and the Caucasus. It has suddenly shown that the influence and control of the sole superpower is limited. There are situations when the superpower cannot protect its client states such as Georgia.

But this is a difficult situation for the left in Russia because there is no side to sympathise with. On the one hand, we – the majority of the left in Russia – totally oppose any attempts to present Mikheil Saakashvili’s Georgia as a victim. Not just because technically they were the first to start an invasion into South Ossetia, but also because of the nature of this regime, which is the closest ally of George Bush in the area.

In fact Georgia is becoming more important for US strategy than, for example, Turkey or Azerbaijan, which have started to demonstrate political independence in certain aspects of their decision making.

So the defeat of Georgian troops is, in a certain ironic sense, good news for Georgians because it could well provoke more resistance to the Saakashvili regime and make many Georgians rethink the relationship between their country and the US. I hope Georgian society will draw lessons from what has just happened.

But on the other hand, there is no way to present Russia as just some kind of “peacekeeping force” which has to “punish the aggressor”, as Russian officials pretend. First of all, there is no doubt that Russian leaders have their own imperialist agenda in the Caucasus.


We know that Russian troops moved into Georgia much deeper than was necessary from a military point of view. The Russian generals wished to provide a show of strength and to play up to jingoistic attitudes within Russian society.

Neither can we sympathise very much with the South Ossetian regime, which is also authoritarian and corrupt.

It is very closely involved with smuggling fake vodka into Russia. Hundreds of people die each year because they are poisoned by this fake vodka. So in that sense Russia has lost more people to South Ossetia through vodka than through actual fighting with Georgian troops!

So we see the war as an unjust war – an imperialist war – from every side. We can only sympathise with the civilian populations on both sides of the divide, in Georgia and in South Ossetia, which have been caught in the crossfire.

I think the consequences of the war will be more dramatic in Georgia than in Russia.

The Russian government has been strengthened by this conflict, domestically and internationally, while in Georgia the regime has been weakened.

However, I don’t think the impact of this war on Russian society will be very deep. Everyone understands that it was the kind of war that hardly could have been lost, given the balance of forces.

Also for cultural reasons, Russians tend to love Georgians. An older generation of Russians in particular love Georgian wine, they love Georgian cuisine, and cinema and so on. So the attempts to generate some sort of anti-Georgian racist or nationalist feeling in Russia have so far by and large failed.

There is one very strange positive side effect of this war, which will make a real impact upon the Russian economy and society, which is that it seems that Russian entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will be blocked.

I see this as very good news – it means there will be a lot of jobs saved in Russia and it will be good for the Russian working class.


The US administration has already raised doubts about Russian entry into the WTO. Both presidential contenders – Barack Obama and John McCain – spoke negatively about Russian WTO entry. It’s very clear that Georgia, which is in the WTO already, will not be an easy negotiator for Russia. Also Ukraine is now at odds with Russia and will try to block its entry.

We should not forget that this war happened in the context of a global economic crisis which is only just beginning.

Before the war there was a debate inside the left in Russia about whether the war was actually going to happen. I have to admit that I kept saying it was probably not going to happen, that both sides would be reasonable enough to stop at the very last moment. I proved to be wrong.

But my colleague Vasily Koltashov, who is the head of the economic research group at the Institute for Globalisation Studies, pointed out that every time you have a structural crisis within capitalism, the number of military conflicts increases. He proved to be right!

The conflict in the Caucasus is a sign of a crisis for the neoconservative strategy of imperial advance for the US.

The whole “war on terror” is a dead end and now this is becoming visible. Although the US can support some technical victories in Iraq they cannot find a strategy that will finish the war – there is no “plan B”.

They have so far succeeded in lowering the number of US casualties. But the question is whether you can get to a situation where you don’t have to have US troops fighting there.

So the success of the so called “surge” in terms of diminishing the number of casualties doesn’t answer the strategic question of what to do with Iraq.

And with the crisis of the Georgian war, with the inability of the US to protect its client state from an attack by another power, that creates a situation where a lot of other clients of the US will have second thoughts.

Boris Kagarlitsky is director of the Institute for Globalisation Studies in Moscow and a Fellow of the Transnational Institute.

Tony Benn joins peace activists to protest NATO expansion
Thursday, 28 August 2008
Stop the War Coalition

Tony Benn, Lindsey German and Chris Nineham were joined by Brian Eno, David Gentleman and kate Hudson as they handed in a letter of protest to Downing Street condemning the expansion of NATO which has led to the war in Georgia.

The letter, reprinted below, highlighted the double standards of a government which invades countries across the world then accuses others of doing the same.

When Stop the War Coalition marched against the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, we said that the world would become a more dangerous place as other countries sought to use war to achieve political ends. There is a direct causal relationship between the Iraq war and the Georgian War, not least Georgia's 2,000 troops who learned their trade in Iraq.

If NATO expansion is allowed to continue unhindered, this will be seen not as an isolated incident but the beginning of a new cold war.


Dear Prime Minister,

We write to express our deep concern at the policy of the British government toward the recent war in Georgia.

Government policy must recognise that the military action of the Georgian government against South Ossetia was the trigger for Russian military action.

In addition, the government should grasp that the encouragement given to Georgia by the US and Britain to become part of NATO was seen by Georgia as a direct encouragement in its conflict with Russia. NATO's eastward expansion to include most of the countries in Russia's former sphere of influence was bound to lead to just such a conflict.

We are also concerned that the government's slavish repetition of the statements being made by the US government, even down to the repetition of exact phrases, risks re-running the errors that the Blair government made during the Iraq war.

Those making government statements seem unaware that echoing George Bush's denunciation of Russia for having "invaded a sovereign neighbouring state" can only further diminish the standing of those making them when they are widely seen as responsible for two such invasions - those of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The government needs to break decisively with the US-led aggressive expansion of NATO around Russia's borders. The end of the Cold War should have been an opportunity to inaugurate a peaceful era in international relations. But the US determination to exercise global hegemony through a series of military adventures, the expansion of NATO, the adoption of first strike and pre-emptive strike policies and the spread of US bases through the former Soviet central Asian republics has all but destroyed this prospect.

It should be the policy of the British government to revive this vision of peace. The first step is to break with the war-drive of the US state.

Yours sincerely

Tony Benn
Brian Eno
David Gentleman
Andrew Murray (STWC)
Kate Hudson(CND)
Lindsey German (STWC)
Billy Hayes (CWU)

"Land of Milk and Honey"

Alex Jones on Russian TV: America has been hijacked

Excellent interview on Russian TV with Alex Jones as he declares the USA and UK have been hijacked by the Military-industrial complex

War Crime: Georgian tanks attacking Tskhinvali -- "Set the Houses on Fire"
from World Press Network

YouTube video shows Georgian tanks attacking Tskhinvali.

New footage of the first days of the Georgian attack on South Osettia has made its way onto the internet. The images on YouTube depict the early stages of the military aggression on the capital Tskhinval, which began three weeks ago.

A person is heard speaking Georgian and giving orders to the tanks.

He is saying: “Aim at the roofs and set the houses on fire. Use ammunition supplies sparingly. Choose your targets and take two to three shots.”

Thursday, August 28, 2008

SCO supports Russia’s role in South Ossetia
from Russia behind the Headlines

Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation have signed a declaration in support of Russia's peacekeeping mission in South Ossetia. The countries’ leaders are holding a summit in Tajikistan on regional security and economic issues.

The declaration is a direct response to President Dmitry Medvedev’s call to support Russia’s role in the Abkhazia and South Ossetia independence dispute. Speaking at the SCO summit in Dushanbe, Medvedev thanked the SCO members for their understanding and objective evaluation of Russia’s peacekeeping mission.

“Unfortunately, we have to state that attempts are being made to secure certain interests using force, not the principles of strict observance of international law and denial of confrontational bloc thinking,” said the President.

“A fine example of such irresponsible criminal actions is Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia. It is well-known who connived with the Georgian authorities and even incited them, pursuing their own profit. Such behavior is unacceptable and should be stopped. In such an extreme situation, we remained reserved and continued our responsible and predictable policy.

“We are confident that the position of SCO member states will produce an appropriate resonance through the international community, and I hope this will give a serious signal to those who are trying to justify the aggression that was committed,” Medvedev added in his address to SCO national leaders.

Current SCO membership is China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan

Invoking Goetterdaemmerung

My regular readers will notice that I am leaning heavily towards reporting current affairs from the Russian side just now, with even a widget that will connect you directly with Novosti's Russia Today. The reason is simple: in the West we are being made subject to an incessant barrage of lies, half-truths and disinformation and so it has become vitally important that we should hear the other side of a story which has been polarised by the taunting and aggressive, bizarro-world behaviour of a rogue US regime and its minions in Europe.

We have seen, yet again, how NATO is being used as the military-political cat's paw of the neocons who dominate the US two-party dictatorship as it does that in the UK; how, despite Europe's need to build detente and partnership with Russia, its politicians must sacrifice those interests in order to pay unquestioning tribute to an alien power which still insists on its claim to a hegemony, not just in Europe, but to a global, 'full spectrum dominance' which in reality it will never achieve.

We can see how the Anglo-American capitalist fraternities and clubs which were responsible for the fabrication of two world wars are still at it, once again stoking up the rhetoric of war, preparing us for the moment when western capital will go terminally belly-up and there will be nothing left but to pull down the entire sham edifice in a self-fulfilled, desperate, 'pre-emptive' Armageddon.

Socialists have always observed that, as long as capitalism exists on this Earth it will seek enemies where there are none and it will create the conditions for war as a mass blood-sacrifice in the interests and profit of the tiny, unelected minority who rule our world from dark shadows.

And it is precisely those fakes like the UK's acne-nosed boy foreign secretary, the Ashke-nazi Miliband, who pretends to talk peace when in fact he and his neocon masters are upping the ante of war by invoking the first step, "We don't want war ... but", the second being to blame the opponent and the third to demonize the enemy.

Hubris personified, Miliband

These are the three, elementary steps to war as outlined in the Elementary Principals of War Propaganda: (1) We don't want war, (2) It's obvious that in a society with pacifist values it is not popular to declare openly in favour of war, (3) Thus the opposing camp must be solely responsible for war. The last principle is obviously related to the first. If we don't want war it follows that we must blame the enemy for all the atrocities which follow in such a conflict.

Anyone who is half-aware of current events will note that Washington DC has ordered its quislings in Europe --the most loyal being Britain with its accursed 'special relationship'-- to ratchet up the vocabulary of war. And even the right-wing Daily Mail acknowledges it by noting in yesterday's commentary:

Can it really be possible that world peace is threatened once again by ancient rivalries in a small, faraway place of which - let's be frank - most of us had never heard until a few weeks ago? To listen to our posturing young Foreign Secretary (Miliband), cranking up the rhetoric on a trip to the Ukraine, anyone might think so.

and ending with,

For pity's sake, let's keep this crisis in perspective ... We have much to lose - and nothing to gain - by talking ourselves into another Cold War. Mr Miliband should devote all his energies to defusing the crisis - instead of inflaming it.

Precisely. For once, I can agree with the comfortably reactionary views of the Mail. We have everything to lose, including the human species. But you wouldn't think so to listen to the war-mongering chatter emanating from the conduits of most of the MSM including our most-cherished Aunty BBC who is kept alive, vampire-like, only through liberal transfusions of the public's life-blood in the form of a compulsory annual TV licence to be paid or else.

For how much longer are we to be subject to the steady beating of TV wardrums?

As someone has already said, it shows that thinking people are not taken in any more by the media blandwash of backing a shameful (and shameless) discredited government and its ludicrously risible 6th Form foreign secretary. (Little Milly Billy ain't a full shilling, guv, honest. Take them matches orf off him quick before he sets fire to hisself ...)

What puzzles me, quite honestly, is how long the news and editorial staff at the BBC can keep up this pretense? It must be wearing them down, having to spout this garbage day after day, knowing any credibility they once had as serious "journalists" has been flushed down the toilet. And they're intelligent, sensitive people (no irony here) ~~ so it must be taking its toll. Question is, when will one of them crack under the pressure? And say, bugger the kudos and the fat salary and the golden pension ~~ I want to look myself in the mirror once more and not cringe with shame and remorse.

Is there a brave man or woman who will regain their integrity and other peoples' respect?

As for ITV news staff, I'm afraid they sold their souls when they signed the contract. They are damned and beyond redemption, alas.


Damned and beyond redemption indeed. For if it ever comes to war it will be the editorial heads amongst others who conspire against our lives who shall be held as complicit in crimes against humanity. Their hands are already red with the blood of the genocide of eight million killed in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Are they now thirsty for an even greater orgy of death in which a collective Goetterdammerung is to be invoked?

Rory Winter, 28/08/08

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why I had to Recognise Georgia’s Breakaway Regions
By Dmitry Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation

27/08/08 "Financial Times" -- - On Tuesday Russia recognised the independence of the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It was not a step taken lightly, or without full consideration of the consequences. But all possible outcomes had to be weighed against a sober understanding of the situation - the histories of the Abkhaz and Ossetian peoples, their freely expressed desire for independence, the tragic events of the past weeks and international precedents for such a move.

Not all of the world’s nations have their own statehood. Many exist happily within boundaries shared with other nations. The Russian Federation is an example of largely harmonious coexistence by many dozens of nations and nationalities. But some nations find it impossible to live under the tutelage of another. Relations between nations living “under one roof” need to be handled with the utmost sensitivity.

After the collapse of communism, Russia reconciled itself to the “loss” of 14 former Soviet republics, which became states in their own right, even though some 25m Russians were left stranded in countries no longer their own. Some of those nations were unable to treat their own minorities with the respect they deserved. Georgia immediately stripped its “autonomous regions” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia of their autonomy.

Can you imagine what it was like for the Abkhaz people to have their university in Sukhumi closed down by the Tbilisi government on the grounds that they allegedly had no proper language or history or culture and so did not need a university? The newly independent Georgia inflicted a vicious war on its minority nations, displacing thousands of people and sowing seeds of discontent that could only grow. These were tinderboxes, right on Russia’s doorstep, which Russian peacekeepers strove to keep from igniting.

Independence Celebrations

But the west, ignoring the delicacy of the situation, unwittingly (or wittingly) fed the hopes of the South Ossetians and Abkhazians for freedom. They clasped to their bosom a Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, whose first move was to crush the autonomy of another region, Adjaria, and made no secret of his intention to squash the Ossetians and Abkhazians.

Meanwhile, ignoring Russia’s warnings, western countries rushed to recognise Kosovo’s illegal declaration of independence from Serbia

We argued consistently that it would be impossible, after that, to tell the Abkhazians and Ossetians (and dozens of other groups around the world) that what was good for the Kosovo Albanians was not good for them. In international relations, you cannot have one rule for some and another rule for others.

Seeing the warning signs, we persistently tried to persuade the Georgians to sign an agreement on the non-use of force with the Ossetians and Abkhazians. Mr Saakashvili refused. On the night of August 7-8 we found out why.

Only a madman could have taken such a gamble. Did he believe Russia would stand idly by as he launched an all-out assault on the sleeping city of Tskhinvali, murdering hundreds of peaceful civilians, most of them Russian citizens? Did he believe Russia would stand by as his “peacekeeping” troops fired on Russian comrades with whom they were supposed to be preventing trouble in South Ossetia?

Russia had no option but to crush the attack to save lives. This was not a war of our choice. We have no designs on Georgian territory. Our troops entered Georgia to destroy bases from which the attack was launched and then left. We restored the peace but could not calm the fears and aspirations of the South Ossetian and Abkhazian peoples - not when Mr Saakashvili continued (with the complicity and encouragement of the US and some other Nato members) to talk of rearming his forces and reclaiming “Georgian territory”. The presidents of the two republics appealed to Russia to recognise their independence.

A heavy decision weighed on my shoulders. Taking into account the freely expressed views of the Ossetian and Abkhazian peoples, and based on the principles of the United Nations charter and other documents of international law, I signed a decree on the Russian Federation’s recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. I sincerely hope that the Georgian people, to whom we feel historic friendship and sympathy, will one day have leaders they deserve, who care about their country and who develop mutually respectful relations with all the peoples in the Caucasus. Russia is ready to support the achievement of such a goal.


Medvedev exclusive: We’re not afraid of Cold War

With the Russian parliament backing the independence of the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, President Dmitry Medvedev gives his views on the issue in an exclusive interview with RT. (more)

‘Western lectures puzzle us’: Lavrov

Beijing has expressed concern over stability in the Caucasus region but has refrained from outright condemnation of Russia’s actions. The response from most countries in the West has been far more critical. Russia’s FM Sergey Lavrov reacted by blaming them for disregarding Russian casualties. (more)

Why America sings the Georgia blues

I had no intention or desire to write about Georgia's Olympic War for the second week in a row until I stumbled upon the YouTube video of Mikheil Saakashvili chatting on the telephone while munching nervously on his tie just before an interview with the BBC. Thank you, British Broadcasting Corporation, your blatantly biased reporting on the Georgia-Russia conflict for the past two weeks on the side of - guess who? - has just been totally exonerated. (more)

Russia ‘yes’ to more international observers in conflict zone

Russia will not object to more international observers being sent to guarantee peace and security in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made the comments at the summit of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation in the Tajik capital Dushanbe. (more)

Russian warship eases Abkhazian fears of NATO

On Wednesday, Abkhazia put on a welcome for a Russian warship arriving in its capital's port. The flagship cruiser ’Moskva’ dropped anchor in Sukhum, and joins two other Russian vessels in the town’s port. It’s hoped their arrival will ease locals fears about NATO’s increased presence nearby. (more)

Russia in full compliance with Georgia peace deal - Lavrov

DUSHANBE, August 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is adhering to the six points of the original version of a peace deal brokered by France during Russia's recent conflict with Georgia over breakaway South Ossetia, the foreign minister said on Wednesday. (more)

Russian analyst points to link between Georgian attack and Iran

MOSCOW, August 27 (RIA Novosti) - A senior Russian military analyst said on Wednesday that the U.S. and NATO by arming Tbilisi used the conflict in Georgia as a dress rehearsal for a future military operation in Iran. (more)

Nation speaking Peace unto Nation BBC-style

The BBC was at it as usual last night on Newsnight with that ghastly witch, Kirsty Wark, and the Russia-hating Mark Urban drawing parallels between the recent Russian intervention in the attack on Ossetia and "nineteenth century imperialism", using as visual aids old cartoons of slavering grizzly bears aimed at titillating the subliminal g-spot.

A couple of nights ago I watched Wark interviewing a US neocon and a Russian. It was obvious how she controlled the exchange so that the Russian was never allowed to develop his arguments --always cut off at the critical moment-- while the idiotic US neocon was given carte blanche by the ever-obliging Wark. She's obviously very good at this game.

Disgraceful is hardly the word. Where was George Galloway to rudely over-ride? Advice to Russians, Chinese and the BBC's ideological enemies: politeness doesn't pay. Be forthright, even rude and abrasive like they are.

It reminds me of an adage common in the old Soviet Union: "Whatever you hear or read believe the opposite and you'll be close to the truth!" Add the oh-so English subtleties of BBC disinformation and you have the totalitarian nature of Aunty smack up-to-date.

We understand that the BBC's motto, which is "Let Nation Speak Peace Unto Nation", received a direct hit by a Georgian Grad missile at the outset of hostilities. Ever since, the old Cold War propaganda 78 RPM shellac record it's been using has been stuck permanently in a xenophobic, anti-Russian groove.

Rory Winter, CHIMES OF FREEDOM, 27 August 2008

Police trap peaceful protesters in Denver
ANP: Calm political protest turns chaotic as Denver police use pepper spray and batons on trapped crowd

While the western MSM --vassals of Washington DC-- continue to pour out a barrage of lies and disinformation about dem bad Russkies --sometimes in the most appalling way as did BBC Newsnight yesterday using pictures of slavering Russian bears &c-- back in the REAL world this is the sort of violent repression of protest that goes on in 'the Land of the Free'.

If this had happened in Beijing a week ago you can be sure that it would have been plastered from wall-to-wall throughout the 'free West'.

It is honest news reportage of this kind, made under conditions of great personal risk to the reporters, that shows up western 'democracy' to be the true, totalitarian beast that it really is.

Corporate capitalism (fascism) has taken over the West and incidents like the conflict in Georgia --fabricated by the psychopaths in Washington DC and their puppets-- are preparing us for another global War.

Ossetians and Abkhazians rejoice over independence

Huge celebrations are continuing in Abkhazia and South Ossetia after the recognition of their independent status by Russia. The euphoria remains in spite of the prospect of a long struggle to be recognised as sovereign states by the international community. (more)

Russia recognises Abkhazian & South Ossetian independence

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed decrees, formally recognising the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He says the military conflict in South Ossetia has killed every hope for the peaceful co-existence of Ossetians, Abkhazians and Georgians within one country. (more)

Russia urges UN to back independence move

Russia has officially informed the UN Secretary General about the country's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia’s independence. The Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, has called on the Security Council to adopt a resolution, which would go along with the six point peace plan. (more)

West speaks out against breakaway republics' independence

A number of Western countries have voiced their opposition against Russia’s decision to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. (more)

South Ossetian president: we deserve our independence

The president of South Ossetia has hailed Russia’s decision to recognise its independence and says the territory deserves it. In an exclusive interview with RT, Eduard Kokoity described the day as an historic event and hopes the international community will follow Russia’s lead. (more)

World press split over Medvedev’s move

The events in the Caucasus have again fallen under the spotlight in the world’s media, with a mixture of reactions among journalists, although all agree the situation is complicated. (more)

We have evidence of genocide - Russian investigators

Russian investigators say they have found evidence of genocide by the Georgian military against South Ossetians. The Head of Russia's Investigative Committee, Aleksandr Bastrykin, said that witnesses reported that Georgian soldiers were throwing cluster bombs into shelters where civilians were hiding. (more)

Ordinary Americans pay Georgian price

In the midst of the U.S. presidential campaign, the fortunes of Georgia have become unexpectedly prominent. As candidates use the conflict to display their foreign policy credentials, voters may not realise that these appeals to be the next commander-in-chief come at a price. The U.S. is expected to foot the bill for the reconstruction of Georgia. (more)

Blitzed Ossetian city hosts classical concert

The principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, Valery Gergiev, has led a concert in Tskhinvali. The performance was staged next to the destroyed parliament building in the bombed-out capital of South Ossetia.

The concert featured selections from Tchaikovsky’s fifth and sixth symphonies as well as Shostakovich’s famous “invasion” theme from his sixth symphony.

Opening the concert, Gergiev said: “We want everyone in the world to know the truth about the terrible events in Tskhinvali. It was a huge act of aggression on the part of the Georgian army. This is not yet a known story in the world but I’m sure the truth will be coming through”.

He added: “If it hadn’t been for the Russian army there would have been even more casualties and victims. I am very grateful as an Ossetian to my great country Russia for this help. I hope we will see peace here for many decades to come”.

Watch the concert in full. Part 1 and Part 2.

from Russia Today

The Grand Chessboard 11 Years Later: Target Russia, Preparing for Global War

Listen to this & more at Taking Aim Audio Archives by clicking here

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Full Spectrum Dominance & the Grand Chessboard: the Geopolitics behind two World Wars Revived

"... the Eurasian Balkans are infinitely more important as a potential economic prize: an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil reserves is located in the region, in addition to important minerals, including gold."

"it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America."

"... that Russia was trying to destabilise Georgia to take control over the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, BTC"

"construction of a pipeline from Central Asia via Afghanistan to the south which will maximally expand world society's access to the Central Asian energy markets."

Zbiegniew Brzezinski

"Why did the Georgians choose to invade Georgia on Thursday night? Georgia's move was deliberate ... It is very difficult to imagine that the Georgians launched their attack against US wishes."

George Friedman,

"The issue is not just whether Czechs, Hungarians and Poles join NATO. The problem is more serious: the rejection of a strategy for a new, common European system agreed to by myself and all the Western leaders when we ended the Cold War."

"I feel betrayed by the West. The opportunity we seized on behalf of peace has been lost. The whole idea of a new world order has been completely abandoned."

Gorbachev quoted in Hang Separately by Leon V. Sigal, 2000

"By declaring the Caucasus, a region that is thousands of miles from the American continent, a sphere of its 'national interest,' the United States made a serious blunder."

Mikhail Gorbachev

"What is a unipolar world? It refers to one type of situation, one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making. It is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign. This is pernicious ... unacceptable ... impossible."

Vladimir Putin

George Friedman on the Importance of Geopolitics

After recent events in Georgia and the pathetic noises that ensued from our quisling government in its unquestioning, loyal support of the imperial designs of both Washington DC and its cat's-paw, NATO, I am re-publishing this article, originally from CHIMES OF FREEDOM of July 2007.

Mikhail Gorbachev's prescience of affairs and the dangers inherent in what passes off as 'British' foreign policy is to be noted.


The new Quisling
A Perennial Conflict of Interests

The miserable careerist and Atlanticist, Gordon Brown-nose-Bush, Prime Minister of the UK by the decree of erstwhile autocrat, the Bliar, visits his Führer in Washington and swears that "no quarter shall be given in the continuing battle against terror." Almost in the same breath he commits a pissed-off nation, Britain, to "even closer ties" with the new, totalitarian USA.

What is it about Brown-nose that nauseates me every time I see his picture or hear about his latest arse-licking of the madman in the White House?

Some of Brown-nose's close associates describes him as a Stalin, intolerant of anyone who crosses him. Now we can see how this Stalin works: not by prattling on in badly-formed sentences and non sequitur as did his predecessor but simply by quietly getting on with the job he sees to be done.

Despite his name, Brown-nose is essentially a grey, Ahrimanic bureaucrat with a grey, Ahrimanic vision of the future. His job is to finish off what the Bliar started in turning Britain into a full-blown police state while at the same time tying us even tighter in a strangle-hold, Anglo-Saxon death-pact with Amerikka.

Even the mild-mannered Mikhael Gorbachev has now been drawn to comment:

What Gorby leaves out is why this should be happening.

The financial ties between British and US capital remain as strong as they have ever been. Why else would a distant America have allowed itself, twice, to be drawn into world war in order to save the Brits' bacon? The second time around the conditions laid down by Washington were that the British Empire would be subsumed into a new, American Empire and that the British government would become America's mercenary abroad. From the time of the Korean War this has proved to be so.

And what we hear coming out of the mouths of quislings like the Bliar and Brown-nose are the words of mercenaries who are so committed to pan-Atlantic capitalism that they will gladly sacrifice their people in that interest as did their predecessors who sent out the proles into the trenches in two killing sprees.

For it is always Capital who wins in war.

In his book, Vodka Cola, Charles Levinson describes how the US corporation, General Motors, contributed simultaneously to the war efforts of both the Allies and the Third Reich: in Britain as Vauxhall Motors, a GM subsidiary, and in Germany as Opel, also a GM subsidiary. After the war, GM successfully sued the US Government for reparations against the damage bombers, also built by GM, had wreaked on the Opel factories in Germany!

That is just one example of the Catch-22 of Capital's rules of the game. Levinson's book goes on to describe how similar double-dealing went on between the USA and the USSR right through the Cold War. "We are above petty national squabbles," declares a grand master of Capital, quoted by Levinson.

Nothing has changed, only moved on apace. The New World Order is in the making and its servants, Bushtler and Gordon Brown-nose, are simply helping to put together its building blocks. In that process both the Soviet Union and China have no place. The NWO is to remain predominantly Anglo-Saxon with the Mexicans added as cheap labour through the North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA).

Brown-nose's job, no doubt, will be to steer Britain ever closer to NAFTA while at the same time trying to persuade the European Union free access to NAFTA into the European markets. To do so, he will rely on Merkel and Sarkozy who, though, will find themselves torn between the US and Russia, their more obvious trading partner. That is why the mild-mannered Gorbachev is quoted by Russia's news agencies over the recent cold-war initiatives taken by the Brown-nose regime on behalf of the USA:

This was only a mild ticking-off. If the cowardly minions led by Brown-nose choose to ignore it, things will get increasingly difficult for a Britain which is becoming heavily-dependent on Russia for energy supplies.

Gorbachev's observations underscore what lesser commentators, including myself, have been saying all along: British capital must choose between the traditional Anglo-Saxon Alliance with North America (and now NAFTA) or throw in its lot with the European Union and Russia. Clearly, it doesn't want to do that, hoping some kind of mutual pact can be obtained between NAFTA and Europe.

Brown-nose will use all his experience to try and bring this about. It's unlikely that he will succeed. Meantime, it will be the proles of that diabolic creation, the United Kingdom, who will continue to suffer as the mercenary UK's military spending will increase at the cost of its domestic needs.

Nothing's changed. After all, was there ever a time when the interests of the British people moved their politicians to serve on their behalf and not Capital's?

Rory Winter, CHIMES OF FREEDOM, July 2007