8/17/08 News Not Fit for Prime Time; To Divide Russia & China; Behind Iran- U.S. Relations; 911& Elections; A Correction

Ordinary people in the United States have been manipulated into imagining they are a people under siege whose sole refuge and protector is their government. If it isn't the Communists, it's Al Qaeda. If it isn't Cuba, it's Nicaragua. As a result, this, the most powerful nation in the world - with its unmatchable arsenal of weapons, its history of having waged and sponsored endless wars, and the only nation in history to have actually used nuclear bombs - is peopled by a terrified citizenry, jumping at shadows. A people bonded to the state not by social services, public health care, or employment guarantees, but by fear. This synthetically manufactured fear is used to gain public sanction for further acts of aggression.
Arundhati Roy

news not fit for primetime...
Nepal Elects Maoist to Be Prime Minister
August 16, 2008
Maoist leader’s victory opens the way to the establishment of a democratic government in Nepal. The Maoist leader, Pushpa Kamal Dahal — who goes by the nom de guerre Prachanda, “the fierce one” in Nepali — won more than two-thirds of 577 votes cast in the Constituent Assembly on Friday evening. The Maoists remain on the United States’ list of banned terrorist organizations, although American officials have established contact with their political leaders, including Prachanda. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/16/world/asia/16nepal.html?_r=1&em&oref=l...

"Hawaiian activists have long used the site for protests against the U.S. occupation of the islands."
Hawaiian palace occupied anew; about 20 arrested
HONOLULU ...Native Hawaiians claiming to be the state's legitimate rulers occupied the grounds of a historic palace for two hours before being arrested by state officers in the second recent takeover of its kind...Gov. Lingle promised an investigation and said the people who invaded the palace "have to be shown it's not going to be acceptable."...Laura H. Theilen, director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, which oversees the palace, condemned the takeover. "We intend to charge them to the fullest extent of the law," Thielen said....
"Hawaiian activists have long used the site for protests against the U.S. occupation of the islands."

A tale of US expansion not Russian aggression
Seumas Milne, The Guardian,
The outcome of six grim days of bloodshed in the Caucasus has triggered an outpouring of the most nauseating hypocrisy from western politicians and their captive media. As talking heads thundered against Russian imperialism and brutal disproportionality, US vice-president Dick Cheney, faithfully echoed by Gordon Brown and David Miliband, declared that "Russian aggression must not go unanswered". George Bush denounced Russia for having "invad ed a sovereign neighbouring state" and threatening "a democratic government". Such an action, he insisted, "is unacceptable in the 21st century". Could these by any chance be the leaders of the same governments that in 2003 invaded and occupied - along with Georgia, as luck would have it - the sovereign state of Iraq on a false pretext at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives?...
You'd be hard put to recall after all the fury over Russian aggression that it was actually Georgia that began the war last Thursday with an all-out attack on South Ossetia to "restore constitutional order" - in other words, rule over an area it has never controlled since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Nor, amid the outrage at Russian bombardments, have there been much more than the briefest references to the atrocities committed by Georgian forces against citizens it claims as its own in South Ossetia's capital Tskhinvali. ... Mikheil Saakashvili, and his predecessor came to power in western-backed coups, the most recent prettified as a "Rose revolution". Saakashvili was then initially rubber-stamped into office with 96% of the vote before establishing what the International Crisis Group recently described as an "increasingly authoritarian" government, violently cracking down on opposition dissent and independent media last November. "Democratic" simply seems to mean "pro-western" ... add in the tireless US promotion of Georgia as a pro-western, anti-Russian forward base in the region, its efforts to bring Georgia into Nato, the routing of a key Caspian oil pipeline through its territory aimed at weakening Russia's control of energy supplies, and the US-sponsored recognition of the independence of Kosovo - whose status Russia had explicitly linked to that of South Ossetia and Abkhazia - and conflict was only a matter of time.
The CIA has in fact been closely involved in Georgia since the Soviet collapse...under the Bush administration, Georgia has become a fully fledged US satellite.... underlying the conflict of the past week has also been the ...determination to enforce US global hegemony and prevent any regional challenge, particularly from a resurgent Russia. That aim was first spelled out when Cheney was defence secretary under Bush's father, but its full impact has only been felt as Russia has begun to recover from the disintegration of the 1990s. Over the past decade, Nato's relentless eastward expansion has brought the western military alliance hard up against Russia's borders and deep into former Soviet territory. American military bases have spread across eastern Europe and central Asia, as the US has helped install one anti-Russian client government after another through a series of colour-coded revolutions. Now the Bush administration is preparing to site a missile defence system in eastern Europe transparently targeted at Russia.

By any sensible reckoning, this is not a story of Russian aggression, but of US imperial expansion and ever tighter encirclement of Russia by a potentially hostile power. That a stronger Russia has now used the South Ossetian imbroglio to put a check on that expansion should hardly come as a surprise. What is harder to work out is why Saakashvili launched last week's attack and whether he was given any encouragement by his friends in Washington. If so, it has spectacularly backfired, at savage human cost. And despite Bush's attempts to talk tough, the war has also exposed the limits of US power in the region. As long as Georgia proper's independence is respected - best protected by opting for neutrality - that should be no bad thing. Unipolar domination of the world has squeezed the space for genuine self-determination and the return of some counterweight has to be welcome. But the process of adjustment also brings huge dangers. If Georgia had been a member of Nato, this week's conflict would have risked a far sharper escalation. That would be even more obvious in the case of Ukraine - which yesterday gave a warning of the potential for future confrontation when its pro-western president threatened to restrict the movement of Russian ships in and out of their Crimean base in Sevastopol. As great power conflict returns, South Ossetia is likely to be only a taste of things to come. s.milne@guardian.co.uk www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/aug/14/russia.georgia http://www.uruknet.de/?p=46441

Strategic alliances to counter US domination
(WSWS) -- The current conflict between Georgia and Russia provides a stark expression of the enormous tensions between the major powers. Behind the eruption of fighting over the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia lies growing economic and strategic rivalry between the United States and Russia, in particular for control of the vast oil and gas resources and energy pipelines of Central Asia.
Since the liquidation of the Soviet Union in 1991, the US has persistently worked to exert its influence across the region once dominated by Moscow. Russia has reacted by seeking to establish its own alliances, particularly with China, to strengthen its position in Central Asia. Russia and China through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) formed in 2001, have formed close ties with the Central Asia republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, in part, to counter US moves in the region.
Russia is also taking steps to boost the country’s military capabilities. While military spending in Russia is still a tiny fraction of the gargantuan US defence budget, Moscow has made efforts in recent years to arrest the decline of its armed forces, including replacing much of its Soviet-era military equipment....

Russia and China
The Kremlin’s concern over encirclement by American military bases and pro-US allies is shared by the Chinese elite. Russia and China have also voiced hostility to Japanese involvement in the US missile shield programme. Since the mid-1990s, Moscow and Beijing put aside many of their previous disputes in an effort to develop mechanisms to defend and advance their shared interests vis-à-vis the US. The two governments finalised a protocol on July 21 that formally demarcates their 4,300km international border—a major step to settle the longstanding tensions between the powers. The former USSR and China were involved in a series of military clashes in 1969 over a border dispute along the Amur River between the Russian Far East and northeastern China.

Russia has also recently strengthened its role as a supplier to China’s rapidly expanding nuclear power industry, with the two countries signing a $1.5 billion deal to build a fuel enrichment facility and supply uranium. This includes the construction of two Vodo-Vodyanoi Energetichesky reactors and a gas centrifuge plant in China and the provision of uranium-enrichment services.
Dmitry Medvedev’s first foreign trip after taking over as Russia’s president on May 7, was to Kazakhstan and then China. The new Russian president met his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao in Beijing. (In 2003, the Chinese president’s first foreign visit took him to Moscow.)

In the official joint statement, the two leaders made a thinly veiled condemnation of Washington’s planned missile shield. “Both sides believe that creating a global missile defence system, including deploying such systems in certain regions of the world, or plans for such co-operation, do not help support strategic balance and stability, and harm international efforts to control arms and the non-proliferation process,” it read.
“Some don’t like such strategic cooperation between our countries, but we understand that this cooperation serves the interests of our people, and we will strengthen it, regardless of whether others like it or not,” Medvedev said. “Russian-Chinese relations are one of the most important factors of maintaining stability in modern conditions.”...

As well as discussing strategic defence plans, the trip was aimed at promoting the already booming levels of trade between Russia and China. Officials and businessmen from the two countries signed a package of agreements ranging from energy and aerospace to tourism and forestry. Bilateral trade volumes have surged from $10.7 billion in 2000 to $48.2 billion last year.
Following his attendance at the opening of the Olympic Games, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with President Hu Jintao on August 9 to discuss proposals for further bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Hu said China and Russia would enhance their strategic cooperation to promote “global multi-polarization”, boost political cooperation and seek mutual benefits in economic development. Putin reaffirmed Russia’s policy of growing cooperation with China.

Despite closer relations, tensions remain. China is concerned about the rising price of Russian oil and gas exports, with disputes over costs stalling the construction of pipelines from Siberia to China. A multi-billion dollar contract signed in 2006 for Russian energy supplies has unravelled, with Russia’s state-owned oil company, Rosneft, threatening to end the deal unless China agrees on a price increase. In a move that has angered Beijing, Moscow has announced alternative plans for a pipeline to Russia’s Pacific coast that will force China to compete with Japan and South Korea for Siberian energy. Currently, the Chinese plan to import 50 billion tons of Russian oil and gas between 2010 and 2015.
There is also mounting unease in Moscow over China’s growing influence in Central Asia. Medvedev’s visit to Kazakhstan in May was widely viewed as a message to both Beijing and Washington that Moscow sees the region, and its energy resources and pipelines, as firmly within its sphere of influence.
At this stage, however, any rivalry between Russia and China is being set to one side as both countries view the US push into Central Asia as a far greater threat to their economic and strategic interests. Russia will undoubtedly use the next heads of state meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on August 28 as a platform to marshal support from other member states to support its actions in South Ossetia and Abkhazia against Georgian forces.[...] http://www.inteldaily.com/print.php?a=7936

Using Georgia to Target Russia
Stephen Lendman
...The New Great Game
What's at stake is what former National Security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski described in his 1997 book "The Grand Chessboard." He called Eurasia the "center of world power extending from Germany and Poland in the East through Russia and China to the Pacific and including the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent." He continued: "The most immediate (US) task is to make certain that no state or combination of states gains the capacity to expel the United States from Eurasia or even to diminish significantly its decisive arbitration role." Dominating that part of the world and its vast energy and other resources is Washington's goal with NATO and Israel its principal tools to do it:
-- in the Middle East with its two-thirds of the world's proved oil reserves (about 675 billion barrels); and
-- the Caspian basin with an estimated 270 billion barrels of oil plus one-eighth of the world's natural gas reserves.

"New World Order" strategy aims to secure them. Russia, China, and Iran have other plans. India allies with both sides. Former Warsaw Pact and Soviet republics split this way:
-- NATO members include the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania;
-- Georgia and Ukraine seek membership; while
-- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazahkstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgystan ally with Russia.

Georgia now occupies center stage, so first some background about a nation Michel Chossudovsky calls "an outpost of US and NATO forces" located strategically on Russia's border "within proximity of the Middle East Central Asian war theater." Breakaway S. Ossetia and Abkhazia, though small in size, are very much players in what's unfolding with potential to have it develop into something much bigger than a short-lived regional conflict. In 2003 with considerable CIA help, Georgia's President Saskashvili came to power in the so-called bloodless "Rose Revolution."
After the outbreak of the current crisis, Russia's NATO envoy, Dmitry Rogozin, accused the Alliance of "encourag(ing) Georgia to attack S. Ossetia and called it "an undisguised aggression accompanied by a mass propaganda war."....

Now after days of fighting, headlines cite 2000 or more deaths (largely civilians), huge amounts of destruction, Tskhinvali in ruins, and many thousands of refugees seeking safe havens. Accounts of Georgian atrocities have also surfaced, and according to Chossudovsky they're part of a planned "humanitarian disaster (against civilian targets) rather than (an impossible to achieve) military victory" against a nation as powerful as Russia. Had Georgia sought control, a far different operation would have unfolded "with Special Forces occupying key public buildings, communications networks and provincial institutions.... "The war on Southern Ossetia," according to Chossudovsky, "was not meant to be won, leading to the restoration of Georgian sovereignty over (the province). It was intended to destabilize the region while triggering a US-NATO confrontation with Russia."

Georgia is its proxy. Its attack on S. Ossetia is a made-in-Washington operation. But not according to George Bush (on August 10) who "strongly condemned (Russia's) disproportionate response," and Dick Cheney (on the same day) saying its military "aggression must not go unanswered, and that its continuation would have serious consequences for its relations with the United States, as well as the broader international community."... http://www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=46396&s2=13

...“in the 21st century nations don’t invade other nations"...
"The Turks haven't been helpful," said a State Department official. "They are being sluggish and unresponsive."
Bush Wednesday promised that U.S. naval forces would deliver humanitarian aid to war-torn Georgia before his administration had received approval from Turkey, which controls naval access to the Black Sea, or the Pentagon had planned a seaborne operation, U.S. officials said Thursday.... As of late Thursday, Ankara, a NATO ally, hadn't cleared any U.S. naval vessels to steam to Georgia through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, the narrow straits that connect the Mediterranean and the Black Seas, the officials said. Under the 1936 Montreaux Convention, countries must notify Turkey before sending warships through the straits.
Bush's pledge to send aid-carrying naval ships prompted Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to proclaim that U.S. warships would break what he claimed — inaccurately — was a Russian naval blockade of Georgia's Black Sea coast, and that U.S. forces would take control of his country's ports....
The Russian invasion of Georgia has almost certainly unnerved Turkey because it has huge energy and trade interests in adjacent Central Asia. Turkey also may be reluctant to jeopardize the $24 billion in annual trade it does with Russia, which provides around 70 percent of its natural gas supplies. The Turkish Navy also shares the Black Sea with Russia's powerful Black Sea Fleet, which in part has prompted Ankara in recent years to restrict U.S. and NATO naval operations and exercises there.
The current situation echoes the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, when the Bush administration tried to send thousands of U.S. troops into northern Iraq through Turkey — a Muslim nation where most people opposed the war — without first obtaining Ankara's permission. The Turkish parliament refused to allow the United States to use its territory.

Bush condemns Russian “bullying and intimidation.” Calls for Russia to Leave Georgia... Russia now to “put itself back on the path of responsible nations,” Mr. Bush said.

US military's 'humanitarian aid' ?
"In Senaki, we seized a large arsenal of US made weapons including 664 M-16 rifles" and a number of M-40 sniper rifles, Russian military spokesman General Anatoly Nogovitsyn told a news conference in Moscow. "There were 1,728 weapons total," he added. Earlier Wednesday, US President George W. Bush sent a C-17 airlifter to deliver 'humanitarian supplies' to Georgia.

U.S. troops still in Georgia
In addition to the trainers, 1,000 soldiers from the Vicenza, Italy-based Southern European Task Force (Airborne) and the Kaiserslautern-based 21st Theater Sustainment Command, along with Marine reservists with the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines out of Ohio, and the state of Georgia’s Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry recently participated in "Immediate Response 2008." http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=63921&archive=tru...

18 Jan 2004 US military will stay in Georgia
The American military has been training and equipping the Georgian army since the spring of 2002. In 2002 the Bush administration set up an 18-month, $65m programme aimed at training and equipping Georgia's army.... part of America's war on terror. US officials said that their military presence in Georgia will now become permanent.

big 'duh'
The U.S. deal to put a missile defense base on Polish territory "cannot go unpunished," said a senior Russia defense official.

unfamiliar with u.s. sponsored democracy rampages in Palestine or anywhere in the world...
War in the Caucasus: destruction in Tskhinvali
'I've never heard anything so monstrous as people shelling a hospital'
Saurmag Bazzate, an Ossetian prior, arrived in Tskhinvali on Monday. "I came to be with my people," he said. "Those who perpetrated this horror are criminals who must be punished by God. This war is a result of Georgian fascism, which has flourished with the support of the West."
Russian officials in the city say their main aim is now to contain a humanitarian disaster by repairing water supplies insuring that bread factories are working and re-establishing an electricity supply. Close to the centre of the city Russian officers led the group to the city's main hospital which was hit by small arms fire and shells during the first days of fighting. Doctors at the hospital said they had been forced to carry out operations in corridors and the basement of the building without electricity, water or light. Tina Zakharova, one of the doctors, pointed out chunks of shrapnel which had hit the building. "This is the humanitarian aid that Georgia sent us," she said, "and that," she said, pointing at a field hospital nearby, "is the help we received from Russia. Which do you think we should chose?" She added: "I've never heard anything so monstrous as people shelling a hospital."

Master Plan or Screw Up?
Georgia and U.S. Strategy
Mike Whitney
The American-armed and trained Georgian army swarmed into South Ossetia last Thursday, killing an estimated 2,000 civilians, sending 40,000 South Ossetians fleeing over the Russian border, and destroying much of the capital, Tskhinvali. The attack was unprovoked and took place a full 24 hours before even ONE Russian soldier set foot in South Ossetia. Nevertheless, the vast majority of Americans still believe that the Russian army invaded Georgian t erritory first. The BBC, AP, NPR, the New York Times and the rest of the establishment media have consistently and deliberately misled their readers into believing that the violence in South Ossetia was initiated by the Kremlin. Let's be clear, it wasn't. In truth, there is NO dispute about the facts except among the people who rely the western press for their information. Despite its steady loss of credibility, the corporate media continues to operate as the propaganda-arm of the Pentagon...

translation: u.s. 'allies' not cooperating
US, allies contemplating action against Russia
17 Aug 2008
The White House is struggling to figure out how to penalize Russia. It doesn't want to deeply damage existing cooperation on many fronts or discourage Moscow from further integrating itself into global economic and political institutions. At the same time, U.S. officials say Russia can't be allowed to get away with invading its neighbor.

Response to 9/11 offers key to electoral charade & U.S. agenda
Then and now, electoral bottom-line is which imperialist electoral rep. will put a better face, in the name of god & country on the execution of the bipartisan ruling class global supremacy agenda

Cold Friends, Wrapped in Mink and Medals
Writing in The Financial Times last week, Chrystia Freeland recalled Francis Fukuyama’s 1989 essay “The End of History?,” which trumpeted the definitive triumph of liberal democracy. The great nightmare tyrannies of last century — the Evil Empire, Red China — had been left behind by those inseparable twins, freedom and prosperity. Civilization had chosen, and it chose us.
So much for that thesis. Surveying the Russian military rout of neighboring Georgia and the spectacle of China’s Olympics, Ms. Freeland, editor of The Financial Times’s American edition and a journalist who started her career covering Russia and Ukraine, proclaimed that a new Age of Authoritarianism was upon us.
If it is not yet an age, it is at least a season: Springtime for autocrats, and not just the minor-league monsters of Zimbabwe and the like, but the giant regimes that seemed so surely bound for the ash heap in 1989.... This time it is not — or not yet — the threat of nuclear apocalypse that limits the West’s options toward our emboldened Eastern rivals. The Chinese, in fact, are acting as if they have gotten past the saber-rattling stage of emerging-power status; they lavish diplomacy on Taiwan and Japan, and deploy the might of capital instead. The Russians may be in a more adolescent, table-pounding stage of development, but Mr. Putin, too, prefers to work the economic levers, bullying with petroleum.
The United States, meanwhile, is mired in Iraq and Afghanistan, estranged from much of the world, and bled by serial economic crises. History, it seems, is back, and not so obviously on our side.

911: “A better world is already emerging from the rubble.”....
[McCain] began to suggest that he saw a new “opportunity” to deter other potential foes by punishing not only Al Qaeda but also Iraq. “Just as Sept. 11 revolutionized our resolve to defeat our enemies, so has it brought into focus the opportunities we now have to secure and expand our freedom,” Mr. McCain told a NATO conference in Munich in early 2002, urging the Europeans to join what he portrayed as an all but certain assault on Saddam Hussein. “A better world is already emerging from the rubble.”...
In an early outline of what would become his initial response to the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. McCain argued that “swift and sure” retribution against any one of the rogue states was an essential deterrent to any of the others. But Mr. McCain’s advisers and aides say his “rogue state” speeches stopped short of the most sweeping international agenda put forth by Mr. Kristol, Mr. Kagan and their allies. Mr. McCain explicitly disavowed direct military action merely to advance American values, foreswearing any “global crusade” of interventions in favor of relying on covert and financial support for internal opposition groups... he could point to his 1998 sponsorship of the Iraqi Liberation Act, which sought to direct nearly $100 million to Iraqis who hoped to overthrow Saddam Hussein...signed by President Bill Clinton, endorsed the ouster of Mr. Hussein.

"if you aren't with us you're with the terrorists" orientation deliberately ups the ante
News Analysis
No Cold War, but Big Chill Over Georgia
... Russia’s military offensive into Georgia has shattered, perhaps irrevocably, the strategy of three successive presidential administrations to coax Russia into alliance with the West and integration into its institutions. From Russia’s point of view, those efforts were never truly sincere or respectful of its own legitimate political and security interests. Those interests, it is now clear, are at odds with those of Europe and the United States.As much as Mr. Bush has argued that the old characterizations of the cold war are no longer germane, he drew a new line at the White House on Friday morning between countries free and not free, and bluntly put Russia on the other side of it....
The Russian offensive — the first outside its territory since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 — has crystallized a realignment already taking place in Central and Eastern Europe, where the new members of NATO and the European Union have warned of the threat posed by a resurgent Russia. And it is already forcing a reassessment of American strategy toward Russia, as Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates said on Thursday.
The United States and Poland, which spent months negotiating the basing of American antimissile interceptors on its territory, quickly completed the deal in the wake of Russia’s offensive. The administration dropped its opposition to sending Patriot missiles, which would defend the Polish site in case of any attack — presumably from Russia. A senior Russian general promptly gave credence to Poland’s worst fears by saying Friday that the country had just made itself a target of Russia’s nuclear arsenal....

“What worries me about this episode is the United States jeopardizing Russian cooperation on a number of issues over a dispute that at most involves limited American interests,” said Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy at the Cato Institute in Washington. It may seem outdated to speak of blocs in Europe, but they are emerging just as clearly, if less ideologically, as those that existed on either side of the Iron Curtain...

In fact, the alienation between the United States and Russia has rarely, if ever, been deeper.

The war in Iraq troubled the Russians as an example of unchecked American unilateralism. But the Bush administration’s relentless pursuit of missile defenses in Europe, the expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders and the support of Kosovo’s independence from Serbia have simply infuriated them. Russia has used its oil and natural gas to fill its coffers and rebuild its military after the disarray of the 1990’s.
While the United States and Russia are not likely to return to hair-trigger military confrontation, Russia has resumed flexing its military might with long-range bomber and surveillance flights testing American and NATO airspace.
The question of NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine — which the alliance in April pledged would one day happen, while declining to start the process — appears to have hardened Mr. Putin’s resolve over Georgia’s separatist regions. No matter how much the Americans argue that NATO is now focused on other threats, for Russia, it remains an enemy force. And no matter how often the Americans say missile defense is aimed at Iran and other so-called rogue nations, it remains an existential threat to Russia’s aging and shrinking nuclear capacity. Both are part of what Russia views as remnants of American cold war policy. The same is true of Kosovo’s independence from Serbia, a close Russian ally. Russian officials now cite Kosovo as precedent for the independence or annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “It’s clear the policies we have pursued regarding missile defense and installations in Europe, regarding further expansion of NATO have created difficulties with Russia,” said James F. Collins, the last American ambassador to the Soviet Union and now a director at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “It takes two to tango.”
On the matter of Georgia, though, Mr. Bush has put an end to the dance. He made it clear that his push for democracy trumps his relationship with Mr. Putin and Russia as a whole, describing the matter as a stark choice of a new era. “Only Russia can decide whether it will now put itself back on the path of responsible nations,” he said, “or continue to purse a policy that promises only confrontation and isolation.” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/16/washington/16assess.html?th&emc=t

[Polish Prime Minister] Donald Tusk argued he could not agree to the shield unless the US agreed to boost Warsaw's air defenses and enhance mutual military cooperation....Russia's military action against Georgia strengthened the argument, Tusk said....Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cancelled a planned trip to Warsaw in September, Polish diplomats said... the deal included a US declaration to aid Poland militarily in case of a threat from a third country and would establish a permanent US base on Polish soil http://tinyurl.com/5wl66g http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,...

'Timing of missile deal betrays US intent':
Russia's NATO envoy told Reuters the US has showed Russia is true target of its planned missile defense shield by signing deal with Poland during an international crisis over Georgia...

U.S., Poland Agreement on Missile Defense
14 Aug 2008 The U.S. and Poland signed a preliminary accord today that will allow for 10 U.S. interceptor missiles to be based in the eastern European country, completing a 'defense' system that Russia opposes.

how u.s. BIG LIES work....
In Ukraine, Fear of Being a Resurgent Russia's Next Target
The countries along the border with the former Soviet Union are rethinking the idea that the days of Russian dominance are over.

USDA website 'help wanted' notice: US to fund Georgia scientists to research, clone deadly viruses for 'outbreak response'
--Posed 01 Jun 2008, updated 15 Aug 2008 African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) has been identified by USDA and DHS as an emerging agricultural pathogen due to the 2007, outbreaks in Eurasia and is now a high priority for biological countermeasure research. Objectives: Identify and recruit a qualified scientist from the Republic of Georgia to come to ARS , PIADC

"Prevent the Reemergence of a New Rival"
NYT March 8, 1992
Regional Defense Strategy, 1991-1992

The New York Times, Again, Tells It Like It Ain’t
By Sean M. Madden
As part of an all-out Western media campaign to bury the simple fact that Georgia invaded South Ossetia -- an act of aggression which led, subsequently, to Russia’s response -- Thursday’s NYT’s top headline helps to further instill the lie, at home and abroad, that Bush and the U.S government are truly concerned about the welfare of Georgians and human beings generally.

“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”
Joseph Goebbels

"The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media."
former CIA Director William Colby, 1977 Oct. Rolling Stone interview with Carl Bernstein

Op-Ed Contributor
When the War Ends, Start to Worry

EVEN as Russia and Georgia continue their on-again, off-again struggle over South Ossetia and Abkhazia, a frenzied tea-leaf reading about the war’s global political ramifications has broken out across airwaves and think-tank forums. But as the situation on the ground recedes inevitably to some new form of the pernicious “frozen conflict” that has plagued the region since Georgia’s civil wars of the early 1990s, few are paying attention to a less portentous but equally critical international threat: an increase in the longstanding, rampant criminality in the conflict zones that is likely to further destabilize the entire Caucasus region and at worst provide terrorist groups with the nuclear material they have long craved.... Huge international efforts sponsored by the United States State, Energy and Defense Departments have sought to counter such nuclear smuggling (since 1994, the Energy Department has spent upwards of $420 million installing nuclear detection equipment at international border crossings, most of that effort concentrated on Russia’s frontiers), but conflict zones like South Ossetia have been an Achilles’ heel. In this case, we got lucky. A haphazard sting operation run by Georgian paramilitaries and Interior Ministry agents recovered the 100 grams of highly enriched uranium and captured Oleg Khinsagov, the Russian smuggler, and three Georgian associates. Testing of the material proved it to be nearly 90 percent pure — bomb-grade uranium indeed — sending secure telephone lines ringing from Washington to Langley, Va....

The New Chill
Russia’s brazen invasion of Georgia has raised a host of chilling questions that Americans and many others around the world had hoped were long settled. Is Russia a threat — to its neighbors, to Europe, to the United States? What are the United States and its NATO allies prepared to do if Russia blackmails or attacks another sovereign democratic nation that is not a member of the alliance? Should the West continue to engage Russia or focus more on containing its ambitions? President Bush has begun a crisis-induced reassessment of America’s ties with Russia that his successor will have to revise and implement.
Mr. Bush’s father deftly managed the Soviet Union’s dissolution. President Bill Clinton did a poorer job managing Russia’s post-cold-war decline and Mr. Bush has done even worse managing its resurgence. After criticizing Mr. Clinton for placing too much faith in Boris Yeltsin, Mr. Bush has placed far too much faith in Vladimir Putin. Mr. Bush and the Europeans have willfully looked the other way as Mr. Putin, the president-turned-prime minister, throttled a free press, jailed political rivals and used Russia’s oil and gas riches to blackmail neighbors.
At the same time, Mr. Bush has turned a deaf ear to Russia’s growing list of grievances — many of them illegitimate, but not all. We opposed NATO expansion when Mr. Clinton first championed the idea. Once it began, we agreed that Moscow could not have veto power over which of Russia’s democratic neighbors could apply and join. President Bush further fueled Russian nationalism and made Mr. Putin’s job easier, when he insisted on building an unproven missile defense system in this country — and then insisted on building another one in Central Europe. (After temporizing for months, Poland embraced the idea this week.) Mr. Bush also jettisoned a key area for cooperation when he dismissed the need for further nuclear arms control agreements. That decision looks especially frightening today. Mr. Bush ignored the brewing crisis in Georgia for months. He has now spoken out forcefully against Russia’s aggression. His decision to send military planes with humanitarian supplies to Georgia was unexpectedly deft — forcing Russia to reassess its offensive without stoking a wider war. We hope it works. He must also tell Georgia’s president that he cannot keep baiting Moscow.
Where should Mr. Bush go from here? We believe it would be folly to try to isolate Russia. It is a major economic power with a veto in the United Nations Security Council and has thousands of nuclear weapons. Isolation is far more likely to spawn more resentment and radicalism. Russia must understand that there will be no business as usual so long as it continues to occupy Georgia and threaten its neighbors. Russia is eager to join the World Trade Organization and sign a trade and security deal with Europe. Both must be put on hold. If Mr. Putin persists, the Group of 8 industrialized nations may have to limit Moscow’s involvement, but we are not ready to embrace Senator John McCain’s call to oust Russia. Mr. Bush is bequeathing his successor a world of troubles in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan. The next president will also have to deal with a resurgent and increasingly hostile Russia. We believe that skeptical engagement is the best course.

Tel Aviv to Tbilisi: Israel's role in the Russia-Georgia war
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada
"Israel recognizes the territorial integrity of Georgia and calls for a peaceful solution."
Tbilisi's top diplomat in Tel Aviv... called for Israeli "diplomatic pressure on Moscow." Just like Israel, the diplomat said, Georgia is fighting a war on "terrorism." Israeli officials politely told the Georgians that "the address for that type of pressure was Washington" (Herb Keinon, "Tbilisi wants Israel to pressure Russia," The Jerusalem Post, 11 August 2008)...
By helping Georgia, Israel may have been doing its part to duplicate its own experience in assisting the eastward expansion of the "Euro-Atlantic" empire. While supporting Georgia was certainly risky for Israel, given the possible Russian reaction, it has a compelling reason to intervene in a region that is heavily contested by global powers. Israel must constantly reinvent itself as an "asset" to American power if it is to maintain the US support that ensures its survival as a settler-colonial enclave in the Middle East. It is a familiar role; in the 1970s and 1980s, at the behest of Washington, Israel helped South Africa's apartheid regime fight Soviet-supported insurgencies in South African-occupied Namibia and Angola, and it trained right-wing US-allied death squads fighting left-wing governments and movements in Central America. After 2001, Israel marketed itself as an expert on combating "Islamic terrorism."...
Georgia's government, to the detriment of its people, may have tried to play the role of the "Israel of the Caucasus" -- a loyal servant of US ambitions in that region -- and lost the gamble. Playing with empires is dangerous for a small country.... with the Bush Doctrine having failed to give birth to the "new Middle East" that the US needs to maintain its power in the region against growing resistance, an ever more desperate and rogue Israel must look for opportunities to prove its worth.... electronicintifada.net/v2/article9756.shtml

The CBS broadcast the Sixty Minutes segment "The Israeli Air Force" presented by correspondent Bob Simon, first aired on April 27 and rebroadcast on August 10. 

disinfo discreetly exposed ... to a few
Russia Might Not Have Attacked Georgian Websites, Researchers Say
Following last week's bombings, the Georgian Foreign Ministry issued a report accusing the Russian government of waging a "cyber warfare campaign and redirected viewers to a new domain....Yet despite what Georgian officials proclaim as an outright information war on its cyber infrastructure, other security researchers contend that there so far is not enough solid evidence to confirm where the attacks were sourced and by whom..."Many outlets are claiming that the Russian government is behind the attacks, but no one seems to have any proof," said Mike Johnson, blogger for cyber watchdog group ShadowServer Foundation, in a blog post. "Unfortunately, we have no proof either..." Additionally, Johnson suggests that the site that the attackers targeted, which included adult video and prostitution Websites, would generally not be viewed as sites that the Russian government would go after.
Likewise, security researcher Gadi Evron maintains in blog post on the CircleID Website that...the Georgian Internet infrastructure was not directly attacked, making it less likely the attack a coordinated effort of the Russian government.... "Could this somehow be indirect Russian action? Yes, but considering Russia is past playing nice and uses real bombs, they could have attacked more strategic targets or eliminated the infrastructure kinetically." http://www.crn.com/security/210003769

Information Warfare Monitor conclude: Active route hijacking by Russian hackers, redirecting traffic to Russian telecom operators. If confirmed it would suggest that Russia ISPs are capable of enforcing an information blockage against a "cyber-locked" Georgia. This now appears implausible. (And I can't believe I missed the Wired Danger Room pointer to this diagram, which lays out Georgia's Internet connections in detail.)... http://machinist.salon.com/blog/2008/08/14/cyberwar_georgia_update/index...

Nasrallah: Israel planning to kill Hezbollah leaders:
"We know you are planning to assassinate leaders of the resistance... but you do not frighten us," he said in the broadcast on the group's Al-Manar television station.

to produce this segment, CBS, by its own admission, accepted the "rigorous censorship" requirements of the Israeli Air Force (IAF).

China exports goods and services amounting to some $3.5 billion to Israel, whereas it imports only about $1 billion-worth from Israel. "China's presence in Israel as an infrastructure builder is new," says Samuels. "In the past, China used to export mainly cheap labor to Israel. But in recent years Chinese companies have been realizing huge projects, including power stations, airports and railroads. A Chinese company built the subway in Tehran in the past decade. The CCECC is now building a 1,300-kilometer railroad along the entire length of Nigeria. Previously it won an $8-billion infrastructure tender in Algeria." ... "I keep hearing compliments about the ancient culture of the Jewish people and the old tradition," says Nadai, who took up his post in China about a year ago, "and about the ability to build a modern country out of them in a span of 60 years. These comparisons make the Chinese feel close to us: They, too, have a glorious tradition and they, too, are trying to develop a modern country quickly. They feel that they have something to learn from us. "Only recently a large team of Chinese state television employees visited Israel for a period of three weeks, to research the 'Israeli miracle.' Now they are visiting several places in the world that used to have large Jewish communities, in order to examine the Jewish community's influence on its surroundings. Their idea is to try to decipher the secret of the Jews' success. Nadai says that, "as a diplomat who has served in other countries in the past, I can say that there are no parallels today to such an attitude toward Israel and the Jews."

u.s. plays dirty losing game....
The Olympics are bringing fresh attention and money to China at a time when some investors might prefer to forget about it.

Russia's big stock index slip-slides on political risk
"Russia will be a pariah. It is a pariah. It's difficult to do anything other than reduce your exposure," Ian Hague founding partner of Firebird Management said after returning from Tbilisi, the Georgian capital.
8/17/2008 | seattletimes.com

Conflict is unlikely to deter Russia investors
LONDON -- Russian stock markets rose Monday...Russia's RTS stock index down 6.5 percent...percent following Russian President Dmitry...negligible effect on the Russian economy," he said...bypass one of the biggest and most potentially... Today's Russia is in a position to dictate its own terms. Flush with wealth from exporting oil and gas, Russia is a net investor into the rest of the world, the economy is growing faster than 8 percent a year, and it boasts foreign-exchange reserves of $600 billion.....
8/11/2008 | seattlepi.com

Iran-American Relations
By Reza Fiyouzat
The American rulers know, or at least calculate, that any other political formation in Iran will definitely be socially to the left of the current set up. The Mullahs also know that the Americans know this. So, both are clear on this. [...] In terms of a sufficiently thorough dictatorial set up, then, beneficial to anybody wishing to do business (wink) with Iran, Western imperialists cannot have it any better than the regime that exists there now; they don't want this regime to disappear. So, if and when talking regime change, they mean merely a change of behavior. The major differences between the American and the Iranian regimes revolve around the terms and conditions under which the Islamic Republic will continue to rule. [...]

Mixed in with the nuclear-related accusations, when attacking Iran diplomatic-verbally, has been the issue of Iranian military involvement in Iraq. Starting at least since 2004, we have heard accusations of 'Iranian meddling' by U.S. military and political leaders. The factual truth, however, is different. The Americans knew from the very start of the invasion's planning stages that the Iranians would be there; in fact, during the aerial bombardments and the initial land invasion of Iraq in 2003, American military was coordinating with the Iranian-based Badr brigades, which meant coordinating with the Iranian military. So far as Iranian 'meddling' goes, then, the Americans were relying on it to achieve their own politico-military objectives in Iraq. [...]

Most recently, Brzezinski has reiterated that the Iranian regime must be engaged with diplomatically by the U.S. and not belligerently, while talking like a bully. This stance is consistent with his pronouncement back in late 1970s that Ayatollah Khomeini was a man the U.S. could consider a strategic ally. Remember his 'Green Belt' strategy? Well, the late Ayatollah fit right in the buckle of the belt. [...]

Iran may talk big about anti-imperialism, but has cooperated with the U.S. at strategic junctures. The Ayatollahs helped the Afghan mujaheddin from their early days (cooperating with the U.S.); they helped Reagan administration get money for the Contra army to harass and terrorize a truly revolutionary government in Nicaragua; later still, they facilitated the U.S. invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Iranian government, like most other states, knows that there are limits to the U.S. power, and that the U.S. rulers need cooperative regional client states. And the American policy makers know well the price for a successful-looking reorganization of Iraq: with the helpful hand of the Iranians, they can make a show case of the 'success' of U.S.'s power projections, military and otherwise, oh so beneficial for the 'stability' of the region and for its future prospects for economic development; all of it privatized, securitized and stashed away in fat western banks.

There is a very strong 'realist' faction (sure, we have them too) within the regime that has wanted for a long time to ditch all pretence of anti-American posturing, and get on with the business of doing business. This faction includes big establishment figureheads such as Hashemi Rafsenjani and Khatami, and has a strong social appeal among swaths of the middle classes and professionals ideologically aligned with the regime, among the ideologically neutral, and the support runs even as deep as mid-ranking Revolutionary Guards officers. The Americans know this, as do the Europeans. If this were not the case, there would not be any backdoor negotiations (always the prelude to overt ones), nor would there be any overtures such as sending undersecretary William Burns to the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the European powers underway in Geneva, on July 19.

All of this leads one to conclude that if a military attack takes place, it is because the U.S. administration (of Bush or McCain or Obama) has reached the conclusion that the only way to force the 'behavior change' is by splitting the Iranian regime through a military shock, thus nudging the pro-American faction to take more decisive actions in the fog of the chaos. Any military attack by the U.S. would be done in the spirit of splitting the Iranian regime and forcing a regime self-adjustment or fine-tuning. [...]

When discussing 'normalization' of relations, what are we really talking about? We are talking about allowing a certain market to be penetrated by certain western economic interests. The economic interests should be self-evident, and the recent announcements by Iranian government regarding new laws allowing unlimited foreign ownership rights in Iranian firms and resources is a clear enough indication that the current regime is willing and able to accommodate all western needs. Last month, Iran's deputy minister of commerce, Gazanfari, declared to a South Korean delegation that, "The volume of foreign investment in Iran is not subject to any limitation," (see: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=45836).
The second plank of the 'normalization', in the particular case of the U.S., is the restoration of full diplomatic relations, with embassies and the works. This means the return of American spies to Iran, [democrat strategist Brzezinski and Biden unofficial lobbyists for a theocratic dictatorship...and their NGO brothers and sisters,leading with Obama] under full ...the entire ‘realist’ wing of the American imperialism

Iranians, free from imperialist interference, will change their regime...Iranians are not deeply religious (in the strict, establishmentarian sense of the term), though the current regime does have a sizeable, and clearly well organized (since they have the state), minority of religious supporters. But this support, according to regime’s own men (e.g., Hashemi Rafsanjani), adds up to at most 15% of the population. The 85% of the population not actively with the regime is the unknown, and therefore the variable, factor. Iranians have in fact a deep-rooted tradition of skepticism toward religious thought...Our history and our egalitarian natural inclinations are known to both the Iranian regime as well as to westerners, and they know that any opening of the gates will unleash a situation, the outcome of which can be a big loss to big business and a huge setback to imperialists’ strategic designs for our country. So they will try their best to keep the gates closed by keeping the current regime in power, with certain adjustments, which will be extracted one way or another.

Socialists worldwide, and particularly in the middle east and Iran, must persist on a line of thinking and action that demands the independence of all the countries in the region, including Iran, from western imperialism in all its forms; we must consistently demand freedom from threats of military attacks and freedom from a 'normalization' that enslaves the people of Iran, or any other country to western economic interests. [...] full article at http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2008/08/iran-us-relations-what-does-normal...

'diplomatic' threats and bribes pay-off
US eyes diplomatic solution to Iran nuclear programme: US envoy
The United States will seek a diplomatic solution with Iran over its controversial nuclear plan, a top US envoy said Friday, as he urged Tehran to play "a responsible role" among Muslim nations. "The United States is committed to securing a diplomatic resolution with Iran on the nuclear issue," Sada Cumber, US special envoy to the 57-member Organisation of The Islamic Conference (OIC) told reporters. "Once that is resolved, there will be enough opportunit ies with Iran, through the OIC and others, to work on other areas," he added. Cumber described Iran as an important country in the Middle East with considerable influence among Muslims... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=46468

Ahmadinejad describes Iraq, Iran as natural allies
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran and Iraq are natural allies and that they both benefit from their deep-rooted relations, according to Iran’s Fars news agency. Ahmadinejad made the remarks Monday in a meeting with the visiting Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Negervan Barazani. "The Iranian president emphasized the importance of the two states' mutual efforts to serve the interests of their nations and called on all I raqi groups to spare no efforts in thwarting the activities of armed groups inside Iraq," it added...http://www.uruknet.de/?p=46392

Sanctions hurting Iran economic activity, says IMF:
Stepped-up international pressure and sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program are hurting its economy, making trade financing and payments difficult and discouraging foreign investment, according to an IMF report

thanks to URUKNET for sending this correction to widespread disinfo. also posted in the 8/13/8 http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/110 that URUKNET had published
Update on the rumored US armada sailing to Iran
Fabius Maximus
August 13, 2008
Summary: The rumors about a US armada sailing to the Gulf continue to rattle around the Internet, despite having almost no supporting evidence. Now Stratfor and Debkafile provide hard information on these rumors. Specific but contradictory information. For now I will stay with my original view: these rumors are a tower of guesses built on a slight foundation. Although they may prove to be true, so far they demonstrate only how little fact is required to kindle a firestorm on the Internet, a testimony to the gullibility of even well-educated and informed people (i.e., those who circulate these stories as facts, not speculation).

This is a follow-up to my August 9 post "More rumors of war: our naval armada has sailed to Iran!".
"U.S. Naval Update Map", Stratfor, 12 August 2008 — Excerpt:
As the Aug. 6 Update showed, the U.S. carrier fleet was in one of its most relaxed postures, with a single carrier - the Lincoln - in 5th Fleet, and a single carrier - the Reagan - in 7th Fleet near Japan. The rest of the "armada" was operating fairly close to the U.S. East or West Coast.
According to the U.S. Navy, on Aug. 12 the only carriers currently under way are the Lincoln and the Reagan.
The Lincoln began its current deployment on March 13, and the Reagan may replace it in the 5th Fleet (the Reagan began its deployment on May 19). It is not uncommon for these carriers to train together during a handover, but Washington has not chosen to maintain two carriers in the region since 2007.
… In sum, a surge of three carriers to the 5th Fleet would indeed be a noteworthy event, but there is not yet credible reason for concern based on the information available about the disposition of the U.S. Fleet. However, should we see the Reagan transit the Strait of Malacca and another carrier transit the Strait of Gibraltar, we will certainly have more to say at that point.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt {is} currently in its home port of Norfolk.
While the Kuwaiti daily did not name the ships it believes are heading for the Middle East, in "Two U.S. Aircraft Carriers Head for Gulf Region", the Media Line’s defense analyst said "they could be the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the USS Ronald Reagan." This was reiterated even more strongly (but citing no evidence other than his "sources") by Timothy Alexander in "Massive US Naval Armada Heads For Iran". {Note: after a brief search, I cannot find the Navy’s denial that Stratfor mentions, nor stories confirming that the Roosevelt is in Norfolk.}

Now Debkafile: Three major US naval strike forces due this week in Persian Gulf", 12 August 2008 — Excerpt:
DEBKAfile’s military sources note that the arrival of the three new American flotillas will raise to five the number of US strike forces in Middle East waters - an unprecedented build-up since the crisis erupted over Iran’s nuclear program.
This vast naval and air strength consists of more than 40 carriers, warships and submarines, some of the last nuclear-armed, opposite the Islamic Republic, a concentration last seen just before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
… DEBKAfile’s military sources name the three US strike forces en route to the Gulf as the USS Theodore Roosevelt , the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Iwo Jima . Already in place are the USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea opposite Iranian shores and the USS Peleliu which is cruising in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
www.uruknet.info?p=4639 Link: fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/iran-5/

8/16/8 update
Globalresearch deleted "Lord Stirling"'s article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9799
thetruthseeker apologized to its readers for posting a hoax; http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=9162
the other webistes couldn't care less that the armada's stroy is false. Lord Stirling's article was reposted by 137,000 websites


Church of the Ascending Obama
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Obamamania has much in common with religion, which requires no proof to defend its tenets or claims, only faith. "The Obamites rely on faith alone to predict that their spiritual leader will usher in a glorious era of ‘change'... even though their Holy Man is hopelessly surrounded by and beholden to international finance capital and their global protectors, the U.S. military-industrial complex." Obama incessantly preaches change, but the money-changers that paid for his church "stand to lose the most from fundamental change, real reform." But Obama blesses them all, including those who pray for "more money for weapons, more troops, more tools of global domination. "The likes of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley early on paid for Obamite Church property, pulpit and pews." ...Obama makes regular pilgrimages to shrines of imperial hegemony like the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. There, in the bosom of the permanent corporate rulers of the United States, Obama has repeatedly pledged to increase the already obscene U.S. military budget.... The only change desired by the rulers of the United States, is a change of face, a new-and-improved packaging of the same old corporate domination and imperial lawlessness. And if not Obama, they will be happy with John McCain. The only thing the average Church of the Ascending Obama parishioner can expect on that Great Gettin' Up Inauguration Morning...is a cheap prayer cloth.
For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&...

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.
Sinclair Lewis

fascist soft power... if you aren't christian-zionist you aren't real amerikan...borderline "terrorist"
the 'new' amerikan brand imperialism: 'humanitarian' faith-based fundamentalism with a 'friendly' face
Goal: “to restore the church’s primacy in society and... to be a part of the world and all the issues.”
McCain and Obama Address Faith Forum
Tonight’s encounter, at the Saddleback Valley Community Church, an evangelical Christian mega-church here in Orange County, marks the unofficial opening of the general election and serve as a prequel to the fall debates... Bob Barr, who is running for president as a libertarian, has protested his exclusion from the event. A federal district court has ruled that the church did not have to let him participate....The event reflects the importance of religion in American life and, increasingly, in politics. It also marks the coming of age of a broader brand of evangelicalism that is more socially minded and more diverse than the orthodox religious movement of the Christian right... At center stage the Rev. Rick Warren, a Southern Baptist pastor and author of “The Purpose-Driven Life,” embodies the changing of the guard from traditionalist figures like the Rev. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. ...
Reflecting the broad nature of his church’s mission, Mr. Warren raised questions about poverty, HIV/AIDS, climate change and human rights. For them, abortion remains a crucial question...
Mark Affleck, executive director of Saddleback’s Peace Plan, a program to help position the Christian church as a leader in relief and developmental work around the world... said that Saddleback’s goal in staging this event is “to restore the church’s primacy in society and not be off on the sidelines, to be a part of the world and all the issues.”

Obama-cans Unite
Led by a former Bush fund-raiser and a former G.O.P. U.S. Senator a group of current and former Republicans are banding together to start a "Republicans for Obama" effort.

Preemptive state terror attacks increase against feared resurgence of Black revolutionary upsurge under guise of "anti-gang war"
Civil libertarians angered by Hartford curfew
Entire demographic 'under house arrest for the inappropriate actions of a few' 14 Aug 2008 Hartford's latest measure aimed at stemming 'gang violence' is being criticized by civil libertarians. The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut was mulling whether to file a legal challenge against the city's monthlong 9 p.m. juvenile curfew scheduled to begin Thursday. ACLU staff attorney David McGuire said juvenile curfews violate the fundamental rights of innocent people.

City defends 'secret jail' built for DNC
16 Aug 2008 Activist groups say the converted warehouse poses a threat to civil liberties. Denver maintains the facility is needed in case of mass arrests during the Democratic National Convention. The makeshift holding center, dubbed "Gitmo on the Platte" by activists, is located on city-owned property near Steele Street and 38th Avenue. Newly-installed security cameras guard the exterior, chain-link fences and barbed wire form cells inside.

Wars 'to be fought with mind drugs' could see opponents attacking each other's minds, according to a report for the US military.
It is thought that some US soldiers are already taking drugs prescribed for narcolepsy in an attempt to combat fatigue
Landmines releasing brain-altering chemicals, scanners reading soldiers' minds and devices boosting eyesight and hearing could all one figure in arsenals, suggests the study.
Sophisticated drugs, designed for dementia patients but also allowing troops to stay awake and alert for several days are expected to be developed, according to the report. It is thought that some US soldiers are already taking drugs prescribed for narcolepsy in an attempt to combat fatigue.
As well as those physically and mentally boosting one's own troops, substances could also be developed to deplete an opponents' forces..."How can we disrupt the enemy's motivation to fight?" It asks. "Is there a way to make the enemy obey our commands?" Research shows that "drugs can be utilized to achieve abnormal, diseased, or disordered psychology" among one's enemy, it concludes.
Research is particularly encouraging in the area of functional neuroimaging, or understanding the relationships between brain activity and actions, the report says, raising hopes that scanners able to read the intentions or memories of soldiers could soon be developed.
Some military chiefs and law enforcement officials hope that a new generation of polygraphs, or lie detectors, which spot lie-telling by observing changes in brain activity, can be built. "Pharmacological landmines," which release drugs to incapacitate soldiers upon their contact with them, could also be developed, according to the report's authors.
The report was commissioned by the Defense Intelligence Agency... finds that "great progress has been made" in neuroscience over the last decade, and that continuing advances offered the prospect of a dramatic impact on military equipment and the way in which wars are fought.It also explains that the concept of torture could be transformed in the future. "It is possible that some day there could be a technique developed to extract information from a prisoner that does not have any lasting side effects," it states. One technique being developed involves the delivery of electrical pulses into a suspect's brain and delay their ability to lie by interfering with its neurons.
Research into "distributed human-machine systems", including robots and military hardware controlled by an operator's mind, is another particular area for optimism among researchers, according to the report. It says significant progress has already been made and that prospects for use of the field are "limited only by the creative imagination."
Jonathan Moreno, a bioethicist and the author of 'Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense', said "It's too early to know which, if any, of these technologies is going to be practical. But it's important for us to get ahead of the curve. Soldiers are always on the cutting edge of new technologies."

U.S. banking giant switches billions in debt to Britain to avoid paying corporation tax for 60 years:
Merrill Lynch might not pay any corporation tax for the next 60 years, it emerged today.