7/5/8 Patriotic Hoax "Heroic Hostage Rescue" Fake "Terror" in North Africa : "News" Sources Insulting Apes

u.s./ Mc Cain try to distance from "Columbia's heroic rescue", Mc Cain may have been phony rescue bag-boy

Betancourt: In Benazir Bhutto u.s. agent tradition
... while she was still in the air, the Swiss radio station RSR broadcast a report questioning the official version of the operation to free Ms Betancourt and 14 other hostages – saying that money, not cunning, had clinched their freedom....RSR said that the 15 hostages “were in reality ransomed for a high price, and the whole operation afterwards was a set-up". Citing a source "close to the events, reliable and tested many times in recent years", it said that the United States – which had three citizens among those freed – was behind the deal and put the price at $20 million.... http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4270844.ece

Radio Suisse Romande

"I continue to aspire to serve Colombia as president."
According to RSR the United States "was behind" the ransom payment. Three American contractors were released with Betancourt and 11 Colombian soldiers and police officers, some of whom had been kidnapped more than 10 years ago.... The three American hostages, Keith Stansell, Thomas Howes and Marc Gonsalves, flew directly to a military base in San Antonio, Texas and have not yet spoken publicly. The US government acknowledges helping the Colombians with intelligence but it has not responded to the most recent news reports.
Betancourt was abducted in 2002 while she was campaigning for president and running against Uribe, the current Colombian president.

Was Betancourt’s freedom bought?
Around $20 million was paid to secure the release of Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages held by FARC rebels in Colombia, according to Swiss public radio, RSR.
French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt speaks during a news conference in Bogota July 3. The former presidential candidate was rescued by the Colombian military on Wednesday along with three Americans and 11 other hostages long held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). REUTERS/John Vizcaino
The station says the United States was behind the deal, because three FBI agents were among the hostages.


LINK: The Plan Colombia and Beyond Blog by the Centre for International Policy

About the Center for International Policy
The Center for International Policy -

Promoting a U.S. foreign policy based on international cooperation, demilitarization and respect for basic human rights
Plan Colombia and Beyond is produced by the Center for International Policy’s Latin America Demilitarization Project, which includes CIP’s Colombia Program and - together with the Latin America Working Group Education Fund and the Washington Office on Latin America - the “Just the Facts” regional military assistance-monitoring database.

What is interesting about these strategies is that, with the exception of increasing manpower and protective presence, they are relatively inexpensive. Compared to big-ticket items like fumigation and “Plan Patriota”-style military offensives, these efforts make up only a sliver of Colombia’s defense budget (and only a sliver of U.S. assistance). Planners of future aid packages to Colombia should take note. Intelligence work and encouragement of desertion, these relatively cheap but vastly improved capabilities, made yesterday’s bloodless rescue mission possible.

Colombia Releases Video of Jungle Rescue
...Seeking to respond to some assertions about the rescue mission that have sprung up internationally since the hostages were freed, Colombian military officials also offered more details on the operation. A report circulating on the Internet that apparently originated with a Swiss public radio report said Colombia paid $20 million in ransom before dressing up the operation as a ruse. Colombia maintains that government agents tricked guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, into giving up their hostages. At a news conference here with dozens of journalists, the government also defended the rescue as a Colombian effort after reports that American and Israeli advisers had taken part. “Not a single foreigner participated,” Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said. But he acknowledged that the American military had provided a surveillance plane to monitor the operation, as well as tracking technology placed on the helicopter used to spirit the hostages away that could emit distress signals. He also said Israel had helped Colombia reorganize its intelligence services in the past. While Colombia receives more than $600 million a year in security and antinarcotics aid from the United States, any perception of a more in-depth American role in the rescue would be likely to inflame emotions in neighboring countries like Venezuela... The rough video lacks audio in parts and seems to have been edited, though Colombian officials attributed a gap to the camera operator lunging at the two guerrillas aboard the helicopter as agents subdued them. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/05/world/americas/05colombia.html?th=&emc...

Ingrid Betancourt born in Colombia on 25 December 1961, grew up in Paris where her father Gabriel Betancourt Mejia was a diplomat.Her mother, Yolanda Pulecio, was a former Miss Colombia who later served in Colombia's Congress

Gabriel Betancourt Mejia
Doctor of Juridical Science and Economics, Universidad Javeriana; Master in Public Administration and Economics, University of Syracuse in Adminisración Bank, The First National City Bank, and specialization in Diplomacy and International Relations, John Hopkins University.

Honorary member of the Academy of Social Sciences, Chile; corresponding member of the National Academy of education, Buenos Aires; Director of National College Fund and the Association of Colombian Universities.

Economic Secretary of the Presidency, Colombia. Founder of the Colombian Institute of Credit education. President of the OAS Commission for the Development of Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Assistant Director of Unesco, Paris. Embassy of Colombia to Unesco. President of the International Committee University Pro Latin American Community of Nations. Minister of education, Colombia. Commercial Attaché of the Embassy of Colombia, Washington.

In Colombia promoted educational planning and the five-year education plan, the Administrative Department of the Presidency, the Senate, the Institutes of Culture, Science and Technology and the Promotion of Higher Education. In promoted the OAS Inter-American Council on Education, Science and Culture. In Unesco Experimental Literacy Program Planning and Research Standing educators. As ambassador to Unesco promoted the creation of the Center for the Book americas America.

Gold Medal at the OEI; honorary Doctor of the University of the Andes, Autonomous University of Mexico, and Equinoccial Technological University of Ecuador. Decorations of the governments of Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Spain, Fed. Dominican, Panama, Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia and the Netherlands.

Attendance at numerous conferences and congresses in Colombia and abroad. Author of publications and articles in magazines in his country and abroad.

He died on March 23, 200202.

is u.s. supported 'father of Venezuelan democracy' part of wannabe-Venezuelan president Ingrid Betancourt's lineage too?
Venezuela 1939-1961
Ashman,C. The CIA-Mafia Link. 1975 (129-30)
Bill,J. The Eagle and the Lion. 1988 (132)
Blum,W. The CIA: A Forgotten History. 1986 (196)
Colby,G. Dennett,C. Thy Will Be Done. 1995 (90-1, 217-9, 349)
Ehrenfeld,R. Narco-terrorism. 1990 (114)
Hunt,H. Give Us This Day. 1973 (54)
Yallop,D. Tracking the Jackal. 1993 (15-6, 18)
ALSO http://www.namebase.org/books83.html

related Venezuela info.
so much for the 'revolutionary socialist' masquerade...
10 June, 2008
Morning Star
VENEZUELAN President Hugo Chavez urged Colombian revolutionaries on Sunday to disarm, free dozens of hostages and end their decades-long armed struggle. Mr Chavez sent the message to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), saying that their 44-year armed struggle, in defence of workers and peasants rights, was no longer justified. “The guerilla war is history,” Mr Chavez said, during his weekly television and radio program Alo Presidente (Hello President).[...]

FARC: Ingrid Betancourt in good health
3/11/2005 - Le Soir
Bogota: Pascale Mariani and Roméo Langlois:

When contacted by email, Raul Reyes, member of the FARC general secretariat, responded to a Figaro newspaper questionnaire. This related, above all, to the elusive humanitarian exchange of hostages held by rebels and guerrillas imprisoned by the authorities. His responses, compiled from the "Colombian mountains", are dated 22 February. In the questionnaire the guerrilla leader specifies his demands and acknowledges the French government's commitment, in urging Bogota to make the exchange of prisoners at all costs. Paris has not denied having had direct contacts with the rebels, in order to obtain the release of Ingrid Betancourt, a former ecology candidate for the Bogota presidential election.

Raul Reyes lists the sixty or so political and military hostages of the rebels, held in the jungle, in some cases for over seven years:

"Ingrid (Betancourt), Clara Rojas (her campaign manager), three American CIA agents, MPs and parliamentarians, Alan Jara (a former governor), army and police commanders, the former minister Araujo, among others that can be exchanged, and says that they are in good health. But by the same token, writes the guerrilla leader, like the guerrillas, deprived of their freedom, they are awaiting their release with great impatience". The American citizens in question, employed by a Californian company, subcontracted by the Pentagon, fell into rebel hands when their spy plane crashed in 2003.

Reyes is adamant that Farc the Spanish acronym of the liberation army, will insist "even more on getting the humanitarian agreement signed" desired both by rebels and families of hostages alike. The spokesperson blames the total lack of political will of Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, a believer in all out war against the subversives. For more than two years now the parties, incapable of settling on a meeting place, have been accusing one another of toying with the nerves of the hostages' families.

To commence the arduous negotiations, Reyes is demanding "the total withdrawal of public forces" from the two municipalities of the Cali region (Southwest), "so that the Farc spokesperson can meet there in complete safety with the government representatives in order to reach an agreement". He is asking for the release of "all of the men and women guerrillas held by the government, including Simon Trinidad, Ricardo Gonzalez and Sonia". President Alvaro Uribe has already rejected both these points as "non negotiable". The strong man of the Andes country rejects the creation of a demilitarised enclave, and the release of guerrillas guilty of serious crimes such as murder and abduction.

The rebels want to trade their hostages' freedom against that of all their imprisoned combatants (more than five hundred of them), including the guerrilla leader, Simon Trinidad. At the end of December, Trinidad's extradition to the United States (accused by American courts of drug trafficking and terrorism) caused consternation to the families of the hostages. Juan Carlos Lecompte, Ingrid Betancourt's husband expressed with deep regret "Uribe has extradited the humanitarian agreement". But by specifying, for the first time, that they are also claiming Ricardo Gonzalez, alias "Rodrigo Granda", and the fierce woman commandant. Sonia, Farc are hardening their terms. No one doubts that the government, just as hostile to the humanitarian agreement as the powerful American ally, will not accept them. Moreover, a one way ticket to an American prison awaits Sonia. In record time, Alvaro Uribe has just authorised her extradition. Treasurer of the Southern branch: according to the authorities, she is accused of exporting cocaine to the United States.
As for Ricardo Gonzalez, taken in Caracas by Venezuelan police suborned by Bogota, then handed back to the Colombian authorities, his dossier is just as sensitive. He was reputedly involved in the abduction, of the daughter of a former president of Paraguay. A radical left wing group perpetrated this in Asuncion. She was recently found assassinated. Gonzalez was living in Venezuela. He has supposedly acted as intermediary between Paris and Farc to negotiate the release of Ingrid Betancourt and other hostages. According to the Bogota, daily El Tiempo, the French ambassador to Caracas, met him in person, in April.
Did the Colombian government authorise these contacts? "The Colombian authorities knew of everything that was undertaken by our country", the French Dept of Foreign Affairs has maintained. In his message to the French newspaper, Le Figaro, Raul Reyes does not expand on the status of his contacts with Paris. But he concedes that, undeniably, President Jacques Chirac, his government and his people are mobilised for the successful exchange of prisoners". A leader of Farc secret diplomacy, Reyes has stayed in contact with French diplomats since the failure of the peace process with the previous government (1998-2002). Alongside nine other "friendly countries" France is now supporting the negotiations.
Other foreign intermediaries have long been labouring to bring together guerrillas and government. Switzerland is one of the most active. According to Reyes, "the exchange will be possible in so far as friendly governments such as France, Switzerland, Spain and other countries in the region contribute decisively to its achievement".

"...Political Islam is not targeted by the United States -- what is targeted is resistance under any label. In South America and South East Asia the resistance takes a leftist form (FARC, the Filipino and Nepalese Communist parties), so the U.S. attacks them. In the Arab region, the resistance takes an Islamist form, so the U.S. attacks them... The common factor is resistance to Washington's hegemony and agenda for control, not Islam..."
As'ad al-Azzouni, Jordanian writer

did patriotic idiots not wonder why jam-packed 'independence celebrations', plus millions of individuals packing and detonating explosives, were not beseiged by 'homeland security', from relentless state fear-factory warnings and searches for "terrorists"?!

insulting apes...
"People go ape when they see it. It's a feeling. It's a feeling that takes over a whole stadium. If anyone in the stands opened their mouth and objected, there would be hell to pay." said Jim Alexander whose company, Superflag, creates field-size American flags for sporting events.... the military... often supplies the people to present the flags... signal the latest can’t-miss blend of sports and patriotism, a combination increasingly presenting itself through gigantic American flags, unfurled by dozens or hundreds of people in an attempt to elicit a sense of awe and nationalism in the surrounding crowd.

Israeli Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz recently asserted that an Israeli strike on Iran was unavoidable causing an $11 spike in oil prices. "'It's one word that did this,’ said Guy Gleichmann, president of United Strategic Investors Group…'rumors of war with Iran... Jerusalem Post 6/10/8

President Ahmadinejad does not shrink from these verbal battles anyway. And this is the mother of all supply fears, the mother of all supply threats. Not only the Iranian oil, but the Strait of Hormuz, where 25 percent of the world's oil flows, that's 100 percent Western-friendly, could easily be blocked by the Iranians. NewsHour, 10/26/07
( from Robert Drefuss/The Nation's vile "Next Time at the Pump Blame Bush, to exonerate u.s. imperialism and promote more of the same with dems)

Internet addressing agency loses its own addresses
ICANN said it happened when an Internet registration company it oversees got fooled into transferring the domain names to someone else. The domain names hijacked were ICANN.com and IANA.com -- for the ICANN subdivision known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.

ICANN Takes First Step to Becoming a Global Content Regulator
Jun 27, 2008

Background: ICANN / Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers...left the US government in effective control of the early Internet. Recognising that it could not be expected to run a worldwide network, the Department of Commerce set up ICANN...At the heart of ICANN's restructure is an effort to extend its authority over the Internet in all countries of the world.... TCP/IP is the system that the US government built the Internet from. The problem is that a large segment of the Internet community does not trust ICANN ... argue... that the US government exerts too much control over an international Internet and highlighted the subtle and not-so-subtle threats that ICANN has used to pressure countries to sign up to ICANN's authority ...To make matters worse, ICANN continually says that creating "global policy" is a vital element of its work. This policy element concerns itself mostly with the social, economic and cultural aspects of the Internet. As such, many would prefer the controlling, technical aspects of the Internet be given to a less political body and one that has experience in developing international agreement....

July 28.2006
The United States government does not want to retain “all [its] historic roles” in the technical oversight of the Internet domain name system (DNS), a senior Bush administration official said this week. But while it might let go of the coordination role for names such as those ending in .com and .net, it still has no plans to give up control over changes to the underlying structure of the Internet, he said....

Iraq says near agreement with US on military pact
...an initial framework arrangement is "almost finalised," Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told a press briefing. The security agreement aims to set down the ground rules for a continuing US troop presence in Iraq after the December expiry of the UN mandate governing the presence of foreign soldiers in the country. Iraqis fiercely oppose a large American troop presence, but at the same time want a guarantee that Washington will defend their soil from foreign invasion. "Our instructions from my government is to reach an acceptable agreement to preserve Iraqi sovereignty and the United States' position has been supportive," Zebari said. ... some Shiite leaders denouncing the proposed agreement as "eternal slavery."... In the event that the talks broke down or a pact was delayed, Zebari said Baghdad and Washington had two other options."In case the Iraq side rejects the security pact or if it is late for some reason, we have other choices... whether we go for a substitute bilateral agreement or we go to (UN) Security Council for a one-year extension" of the mandate.... http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5g1Ejjhe_F33_KZvIrVvZ4nXc7ktw

U.S. JUSTICE CRITERIA: "...capture the imagination of the American people, be sexy, or involve blood on the hands of the accused..."?
“The military judge has said that, at the very least, there are grave appearance problems with this system,” said Michael J. Berrigan, the deputy chief defense counsel for the Guantánamo cases. The judge, a Navy captain... accepted accusations by a former Guantánamo chief prosecutor, Col. Morris D. Davis, that a military official with broad powers over the tribunal system, Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann, had exerted improper influence over the prosecutors.“Telling the chief prosecutor (and other prosecutors),” the decision said, “that certain types of cases would be tried and that others would not be tried, because of political factors such as whether they would capture the imagination of the American people, be sexy, or involve blood on the hands of the accused, suggests that factors other than those pertaining to the merits of the case were at play.”... General Hartmann had denied that he had political motives in pressing for progress in what has been a problem-plagued war crimes system.

Israel Won’t Move Without U.S. Approval
Yossi Melman
The recent leaks to the U.S. news media (New York Times and ABC News) have created a wrong impression and sent a false message that an Israeli attack on Iran is imminent... Far from the truth. No decision to attack Iran has been made in Israel...such a decision will be taken only after serious consultation with the American administration. Coordinating its actions with America is the key factor in all Israeli crucial decisions. This has been the Israeli practice since 1967. Israel launched its combat campaigns since then only after realizing or understanding that the U.S. either sanctions the military operation or has no objection to it or turn a blind eye. These were the cases in June 1967, in June 1982 and in July 2006. In two other cases Israel didn't respond as it had wished, fearing that the U.S. would be against it. In October 1973, the Israeli cabinet, led by Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan, decided against a preemptory strike against Egypt and Syria. For the same reason, In January 1991 Israel didn't respond to the launching of 40 Iraqi Scud missiles against its urban centers. The George H. W. Bush administration said to Israel: don't do it. So Israel didn't do it. If the U.S. doesn't approve an Israeli military operation, Israel will not attack Iran. Full stop....True, the recent leaks may well serve Israeli interests to increase the pressure on the international community to act against Iran but above all they reflect confusion and power struggle within the U.S. administration in the twilight time of a weak administration. We are still far away - a matter of at least one year - before Israel will realize that it has no other option to attack Iran's nuclear sites. And even then it would be a cautious decision, taking into consideration all the ramifications on Israel, the region and the world. And, once again, only after consulting with the next administration.

u.s. is always at war with resisters except when it interferes with whipping up patriotic fever
Weeding out dissidents: fascist National Security Investigations
The Justice Department is considering [SIC] letting the FBI investigate Americans without any evidence of wrongdoing, relying instead on a terrorist profile that could single out Muslims, Arabs or other racial and ethnic groups.... echoes the FBI's COINTELPRO under Director J. Edgar Hoover in the 1950s and 1960s to monitor and disrupt groups with [suspected] communist and socialist ties.... Before it was shut down in 1971, the domestic spying operation -- formally known as Counterintelligence Programs -- had expanded to include civil rights groups, anti-war activists... "COINTELPRO for the 21st century," said Barry Steinhardt of the American Civil Liberties Union. "But this is much more insidious..."

fascist no-brainer...
Statue of Liberty Crown Reopening Is Studied

state needs thumb-fuckers
In the 1970s, police urged citizens to "drop a dime" in a pay phone to report crimes anonymously. Now, in an increasing number of cities, tipsters are being invited to use their thumbs -- to identify criminals using text messages.

In a Bright Side to the Slowdown, Shopping Bargains Abound

Fake Terror and Instability in North Africa
In Niger.. government press censorship has been routine. Journalists have endured prison sentences for simply interviewing rebel leaders. The newspaper publisher Mamane Obou, for example, was sentenced to 18 months in jail after publishing an article which alleged that the Nigerien president, Mamadou Tandja, had been seeking to improve relations with Iran. At the same time, 130 U.S. special forces were training Nigerien soldiers to take part in the “Niger Rapid Intervention Company” ostensibly to root out terrorists ... THE history behind the instability in Niger and it is a theme that stretches across the Sahel region of Africa. Since 2003, the Sahel nations – Niger, Mali, Chad, Mauritania and Algeria – have been absorbed into the global “war on terror” and have all come under the U.S. counter-terrorism military umbrella. Lurid accusations of these nations harboring “al-Qaeda in the Maghreb” or groups allied to Osama Bin Laden have justified the expansion of U.S. military assistance to often brutal regimes, such as that of Niger.... Disinformation peddled by the U.S. and Algerian governments has provided justification for the launching of a second front in the “war on terror” and has fed separatist sentiment from Mauritania to Chad. In its effort to secure a strategically important part of the world, and the oil and uranium resources that it holds, the Bush administration has laid it open to conflict and repression.... Right wing commentators began to make a cottage industry from discussing the rise of al-Qaeda in the Maghreb. At the same time, legions of military and intelligence personnel within the U.S. European Command (EUCOM), which has had responsibility for African affairs, have been looking for work. Major Gen. Charles Wald, for example, has been the foremost U.S. military voice in hyping the Sahel terrorist threat.

In 2004, for example, he told Congress that “The terrorist activity in this area is not going to go away…This could affect your kids and your grandchildren in a huge way. If we don’t do something about it, we are going to have a real problem on our hands…We have to . …have the ability to get our intelligence into that area and infiltrate there so we can get into their environment. And that is when we will stop it.” ... the Pentagon hierarchy also offered up what Keenan has called the “banana theory of terrorism” to justify opening a North African front. In this view, terrorists uprooted from comfortable hideouts in Afghanistan and Pakistan have spread out across the “failed” states of Africa in a banana shaped route.

But there has been no attack against terrorism, as there has been no terrorism to attack. There has however been a bungling attempt to arm local regimes against the “terrorist threat.” This has led to conditions of acute instability, as shown by the case of the Nigerien Tuareg, who may find their grievances against environmental depredation and political marginalization being overtaken again by military rebellion and government repression. As Keenan puts it in his article:

What we are now witnessing, is the transformation of much of the Sahel into a state of extreme political instability and insecurity and what some Tuareg leaders describe as “being close to an incipient state of near-permanent rebellion”. These same leaders believe that this is a state of affairs which the U.S. and Algeria, for their own respective imperialist and sub-imperialist designs, would like to maintain. It certainly provides a good underpinning for the U.S. militarizing the continent through the creation of a single, unified US African Command/AFRICOM[...]

Digest note: Above is another example in Africa, earlier today we sent info. exposing imperialist-zionist forces behind supposedly "pro-Palestinian' events and information. Previous digests have explored this issue in China/Tibet, Africa, and elsewhere, and will continue to shed light on the deadly role these 'progressive humanitarians' , backed and used by u.s.-israel, not only for psywar but to seduce genuinely good people into doing work that benefits the enemy, deepening u.s. political-economic domination, not the peoples and countries they allegedly serve. Below is more on the forces involved in this massive arm of u.s. imperialist global strategy.



Think tanks are public policy research, analysis and engagement institutions that generate
policy-oriented research, analysis and advice on domestic and international issues that
enables policymakers and the public to make informed decisions about public policy
issues. Think tanks may be affiliated or independent institutions and are structured as
permanent bodies, not ad hoc commissions. These institutions often act as a bridge
between the academic and policymaking communities, serving in the public interest as an
independent voice that translates applied and basic research into a language and form that
is understandable, reliable, and accessible for policymakers and the public. (Think Tanks
and Policy Advice in the US: Academics, Advisors and Advocates, Routledge 2007)

Crisis Group Named in Top Ten Global Think Tanks
Brussels, 9 January 2008: The International Crisis Group has been listed as one of the “Top 10 Think Tanks in the World” in a new survey, based on peer review, conducted over 18 months by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute/FPRI.

About FPRI
Founded in 1955, FPRI is devoted to bringing the insights of scholarship to bear on the development of policies that advance U.S. national interests. We add perspective to events by fitting them into the larger historical and cultural context of international politics.

Think Tank Directory record - fpri - 06/13/2007 - 15:56
Open Society Institute

Founded: 1993 Contact information Mailing address: 400 West 59th Street New York, NY 10019 URL: http://www.soros.org/ Telephone Country Code: 1 Telephone Number: 212-548-600 Fa ...

Think Tank Directory record - fpri - 06/13/2007

The International Crisis Group is now generally recognised as the world’s leading independent, non-partisan, source of analysis and advice to governments, and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and World Bank, on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict. Our work has been applauded by, among others, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (‘a global voice of conscience, and a genuine force for peace’); former U.S. President Bill Clinton (‘in the most troubled corners of the world, the eyes, the ears and the conscience of the global community’); successive U.S. Secretaries of State (Colin Powell: ‘an organization that matters’; Condoleezza Rice ‘a widely respected and influential organization’); the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso (‘a highly influential and inspiring voice in the field of conflict prevention’); former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer (‘the leading non-governmental organization in the field of analyzing conflict situations’); former U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke (on the design and content of our monthly CrisisWatch bulletin, ‘sheer genius by your team. Nothing I saw in government was as good as this.’); and The Economist (our reports are ‘invaluable’).

Crisis Group was founded in 1995 as an international non-governmental organisation on the initiative of a group of well known transatlantic figures who despaired at the international community’s failure to anticipate and respond effectively to the tragedies in the early 1990s of Somalia, Rwanda and Bosnia. They were led by Morton Abramowitz (former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and Thailand, then President of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace), Mark Malloch Brown (later head of the UNDP, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN and UK Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN), and its first Chairman, Senator George Mitchell. The idea was to create a new organisation – unlike any other – with a highly professional staff acting as the world’s eyes and ears for impending conflicts, and with a highly influential board that could mobilise effective action from the world’s policy-makers.

From small beginnings – a two-person office in London, and a tiny field staff in the Balkans and West Africa – Crisis Group has grown very rapidly in the last few years. It currently employs worldwide some 140 full-time staff, representing between them 48 nationalities and speaking 53 different languages, plus at any given time around 20 consultants and 35 interns. They are located on the ground in twelve regional offices and seventeen other locations covering between them over 60 countries or situations of actual or potential conflict; in four advocacy offices, in Brussels (the global headquarters), Washington, New York and London; and as liaison presences in Moscow and Beijing. Crisis Group publishes annually around 90 reports and briefing papers, as well as the CrisisWatch bulletin assessing every month the current state of play in some 70 countries or areas of actual or potential conflict. Publications are sent in print or email form to over 25,000 targeted recipients and over 100,000 website subscribers, and are available free of charge on our website, which has grown enormously in popularity in recent years, with over 2 million visitors in 2007.

What distinguishes Crisis Group from other organisations working on conflict analysis, prevention or resolution is a unique combination of field-based analysis, sharp-edged policy prescription, and high-level advocacy, with key roles being played – very unusually for an NGO – by a senior management team highly experienced in government and by a highly active Board of Trustees containing many senior statesmen and women used to making things happen. Crisis Group’s Board is co-chaired by Lord (Christopher) Patten, formerly EU Commissioner for External Relations, Governor of Hong Kong, and UK Cabinet Minister; and by Ambassador Thomas Pickering, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Russia, India, Israel, Jordan, El Salvador and Nigeria and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and former Senior Vice President for International Relations at Boeing. Crisis Group’s President and CEO has been, since January 2000, Gareth Evans, former Foreign Minister of Australia (1988-96) and a member of many international panels and commissions.

Crisis Group’s reports, and the advocacy associated with them, have had a very significant direct impact on conflict prevention and resolution in such areas as the Balkans and West, Central and Horn of Africa, and an ever-growing influence elsewhere, particularly in the Middle East and throughout Asia, as policymakers wrestle with how to handle Islamist terrorism, nuclear proliferation, local conflict and the multiple problems associated with failed, failing and fragile states worldwide. We are generally seen as playing a major role in six main ways: [...]

Who Funds Crisis Group

Maintaining a diverse funding base is critical to preserving Crisis Group's political independence and credibility. With this in mind the organisation is constantly seeking new donors willing to provide financial support. Crisis Group is indebted not only to the following donors who have made direct financial contributions, but also to the many others who give so much of their time, creativity and in-kind assistance. The following institutions, organisations and individuals have contributed to Crisis Group's activities in 2007. Details are available on our membership categories for individual and corporate donors, including the President's Council and the International Advisory Council. If you wish to make a donation to Crisis Group please click here.

Governments and Intergovernmental Institutions
(funding Crisis Group in 2007-08)

* Australian Agency for International Development
* Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
* Austrian Development Agency
* Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
* Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
* Canadian International Development Agency
* Canadian International Development Research Centre
* Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs
* Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
* Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
* Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
* French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
* German Foreign Office
* Irish Aid
* Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs
* New Zealand Agency for International Development
* Principality of Liechtenstein
* Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
* Qatar
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* Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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Executive Committee

Morton Abramowitz
Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and Ambassador to Turkey

Cheryl Carolus
Former South African High Commissioner to the UK and Secretary General of the ANC

Maria Livanos Cattaui*
Member of the Board of Directors, Petroplus Holding AG, Switzerland; former Secretary-General, International Chamber of Commerce

Yoichi Funabashi
Editor-in-Chief & Columnist, The Asahi Shimbun, Japan

Frank Giustra
Chairman, Endeavour Financial, Canada

Stephen Solarz
Former U.S. Congressman

George Soros
Chairman, Open Society Institute

Pär Stenbäck
Former Foreign Minister of Finland

Research centres and think tanks

* American Enterprise Institute
* Atlantic Community
* British American Security Information Council (BASIC)
* Bonn International Centre for Conversiom (BICC)
* Brookings Institution
* Canadian Institute for International Affairs
* Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
* Centre for Democratic Institutions (Australia)
* Centre on International Cooperation (New York University)
* Centre for International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland
* Centre for International Governance Innovation (Canada)
IGLOO (International Governance Leaders and Organizations Online)
* Centre of International Relations and International Cooperation (Barcelona)
* Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE) (Oxford University)
* Centre for Security Studies (CSS) (Zurich)
* Centre for Strategic and International Studies
* Council on Foreign Relations
* Crisis States Programme, DESTIN (LSE)
* Department of Peace Studies (University of Bradford)
* Escola de Cultura de Pau (School of Peace Culture)
* Government Resource Centre Exchange - Conflict theme
* Heritage Foundation
* Human Security Report Project (School For International Studies, SFU Vancouver)
* Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (New Dehli)
* Institute for Security Studies (South Africa)
* International Conflict Research (INCORE) (University of Ulster)
* International Institute for Strategic Studies (London)
IISS Armed Conflict Database (subscription)
* International Peace Academy
* International Peace Research Institute (PRIO) (Norway)
* Liu Institute for Global Affairs
* Réseau francophone de recherche sur les opérations de paix (in French only)
* Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
* Strategic Foresight Group
* United States Institute of Peace

Major NGOs and humanitarian organisations

* Action Against Hunger
* Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED)
* Amnesty International
* Caritas International
* Freedom House
* Genocide Watch
* Human Rights First
* Human Rights Watc
* International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
* International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
* International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES)
* International Rescue Committee
* Islamic Relief
* Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
* Mercy Corps
* Open Society Institute
* Oxfam

Partial List of Foundations

Carnegie Corporation of New York
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Ford Foundation
Hunt Alternatives Fund
Jewish World Watch
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Korea Foundation
Open Society Institute

Partial List of Companies

* APCO Worldwide
* Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
* Canaccord Adams Limited
* Chevron
* Credit Suisse
* Equinox Partners
* Frontier Strategy Group
* PricewaterhouseCoopers - Netherlands
* Shearman & Sterling LLP
* StatoilHydro ASA
* Tilleke & Gibbins International Ltd.
* Vale
* White & Case LLP
* Yapi Merkezi Construction and Industry Inc.

Feedback from some big Crisis Group fans http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=1205&l=1

About IRIN
humanitarian news and analysis
Radio service
Film and TV service
Evaluation reports, funding documents and surveys

IRIN's principal role is to provide news and analysis about sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia for the humanitarian community.
The networks target decision-makers in relief agencies, host and donor governments, human-rights organisations, humanitarian advocacy groups, academic institutions and the media. At the same time, IRIN strives to ensure that affected communities can also access reliable information, so they can take informed decisions about their future.

IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) is part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs...

The core news and analysis service is distributed free of charge to subscribers by e-mail, and via the website www.IRINnews.org. This is now complemented by a range of other multimedia services:
PlusNews, a specialist news and analysis service on HIV/AIDS.
IRIN Radio, which is helping to develop the programming of radio stations in Africa and Afghanistan.
IRIN Film & TV, which produces short documentary films on humanitarian issues and news footage for media.
IRIN Photo provides a public gallery of photographs relevant to humanitarian crises. Print-quality photos can be downloaded free of charge.
IRIN has a growing worldwide readership of millions through these services.

Most of IRIN's output is in English, with a limited French service. PlusNews produces material in English, French and Portuguese. IRIN radio produces programmes on over a dozen languages. Plans for humanitarian news and analysis output in Arabic are well-advanced.

Areas covered by IRIN include parts of Asia, the Middle East and all of sub-Saharan Africa.news & analysis... regional desks are staffed by experienced journalists, who travel frequently within the countries they cover to report directly from the humanitarian frontline. Their research and writing is supplemented by news reports and features from an extended network of staff in sub-offices and freelance correspondents in the field. They give IRIN a permanent presence on the ground in every hot spot, and enable the networks to continue reporting directly from areas deemed too insecure for the UN's international staff to visit.
Set up in 2003, the IRIN Analysis Unit examines key issues that often cut across national boundaries, by producing special in-depth reports and publications.