8/21 Obama'sTeam Demolishes Delusions Warship "Aid": Crisis Heats Up Hegemonic "Security" Diminishes US Controls Pak. Nukes

Aug. 21, 1959 President Eisenhower advances U.S. white supremacist manifest destiny with executive order transforming the brutal occupation and annexation of Hawaii into U.S. 'statehood'

U.S. Mercenary Chickens Will Come Home to Roost
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
"The specter of mercenary occupation of American cities is no longer farfetched - it has already happened."
The wholesale privatization of U.S. war-making capabilities continues apace, despite the expected indictment of six Blackwater mercenaries involved in last year's massacre of Iraqi civilians at a Baghdad traffic jam. Domestically, for-profit prisons are popping up like Wal-Mart superstores, while Katrina brought soldiers of fortune to the streets of a major American city. "As the current corrupt order decays, the rulers find that due process and other niceties of law - including armies operating under codes of military justice and civil service police forces - restrict their freedo
Mercenaries are now an entrenched, institutional factor in U.S. global and domestic "security" strategies....

On the home front, Katrina - that harbinger of what a future urban America in crisis will look like - saw hundreds of thugs from Blackwater and other mercenary outfits patrolling the streets of New Orleans - as if they were the legitimate authorities. The day may not be far off when the New Orleans nightmare becomes a national reality. The specter of mercenary occupation of American cities is no longer farfetched - it has already happened. The logic of permanent domestic mercenary deployment is rooted in the historical fact that the rich created the modern state to protect their wealth, and to harness the nation as a whole to produce more wealth for their benefit. Mercenary armies and police forces put the lie to the pretense that the state serves to protect the general population. As the current corrupt order decays, the rulers find that due process and other niceties of law - including armies operating under codes of military justice and civil service police forces - restrict their freedom of movement. The process of dispensing with the traditional coercive organs of the state in favor of private mercenaries is well advanced in the United States, where the privatization of prisons of all kinds is in full swing. ...

No 'security', no peace' anywhere for imperialist world destroyers
waiting for U.S./Israel military 'humanitarian aid'?
Peru's army on standby as jungle unrest grow
Peru is considering sending in the army to break up protests by Amazonian Indians who claim the government is preparing a massive land grab in the country's remote jungles.Indigenous groups have blockaded roads and a river and set up pickets at energy installations to protest changes in the law which would make it easier for commercial interests to buy up collectively owned tribal lands in the northern regions of Peru. The government responded to an appeal for talks by declaring a state of emergency in three states and threatening protesters with military action.
'Indigenous people are defending themselves against government aggression,' said an Amazon Indian rights campaigner, Alberto Pizango. 'This is not an ordinary or everyday demonstration. The Indians have told us they are not afraid. If the government declares a state of emergency they prefer to die there and show that this government violates human rights.'

Liberating Iraqi 'national sovereignty'
collaborator al-Sadr 'burnishes his anti-imperialist credentials'
...Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr called upon Iraqis to sign a personal pledge against the foreign military occupation of Iraq...though he urges them to oppose it "militarily and culturally," he currently has a ceasefire with the US, and this pledge campaign does not appear to threaten it...seems to that the pledges are a way for Muqtada to continue to burnish his anti-imperialist credentials though he has actually made a deal with Washington... www.juancole.com/2008/08/al-sadr-calls-for-blood-pledge-of-holy.html http://www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=46513&s2=19

The Secret Deal For Iraq's Oil
By Jason Leopold
Previously undisclosed Halliburton documents obtained by The Public Record confirm that controlling the world's second largest oil res erves was a top priority for the Bush administration. Additionally, the deal between the Department of Defense and Halliburton unit Kellogg, Brown & Root to operate Iraq's oil industry...

DoD Mission for Repair and Continuity of Operations of the Iraqi Oil Infrastructure
The fact that the Department was planning for the possibility that it would need to repair and provide for continuity of operations of the Iraqi oil infrastructure was classified until March 2003.
Prior to the commencement of hostilities in March 2003, the Department of Defense (DoD) had planned for the repair and continuity of operations of the Iraqi oil infrastructure...
The planning effort was done by Brown & Root Services (BRS)* under a task order issued under the Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) contract. The Commander, CENTCOM, identified a requirement for contingency planning for repairing and providing for continuity of operations of the Iraqi oil infrastructure.
The Secretary of Defense designated the Army as Executive Agent for this mission, and the Secretary of the Army assigned it to the Corps of Engineers. Its job is to do what is necessary to provide for repair and continuity of operations of the Iraqi oil infrastructure.... To carry out this mission, the Corps of Engineers will rely in large part on contractors with the needed expertise and specialized resources. In this initial phase, the prime contractor involved, Brown & Root Services, of Houston, TX, (a division of Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR)) is the contractor that developed the contingency plans for the government. Only the contractor that developed these complex plans could commence implementing them on extremely short notice. ...

- The following information is provided for those interested in potential procurements related to the repair and continuity of operations of the Iraqi oil infrastructure:
Any future synopses and solicitations will be posted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Southwestern Division (SWD), at the Federal Business Opportunities website: http://www.fedbizopps.gov
The Point of Contact (POC) in SWD is the Director of Contracting at 214-767-2476.
Information about this mission is available at the Corps of Engineers website: http://www.usace.army.mil
Information about subcontracting opportunities with the current prime contractor (BRS) can be obtained by contacting the contractor's point of contact at this e-mail address: dwayne.bourque@halliburton.com

For information about Iraq reconstruction efforts other than the DoD mission to repair and provide for continuity of operations of the oil infrastructure, the following sources are available:
http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/about_reconstruction.html has information regarding the activities managed by the U.S. Agency for International Development. These include contracts awarded or pending for a variety of requirements including capital construction, airport administration, theater logistical support, etc. The USAID mission encompasses a broad range of reconstruction efforts involving the country's power grid, ports, roads, bridges, schools, and health care facilities, etc.
The Department of Commerce's Iraq and Afghanistan Reconstruction Task Force may be able to provide guidance on business opportunities. Information may be obtained at www.commerce.gov or www.export.gov or by calling 202-482-3011.

Fortune Magazine Report April 2003
Halliburton employees were working out of a hotel room in Kuwait City as far back as November 2002 assessing Iraq's oil infrastructure and mapping out plans for operating Iraq's oil industry.
From behind the obsidian mirrors of his wraparound sunglasses, Ray Rodon surveys the vast desert landscape of southern Iraq's Rumailah oilfield. A project manager with Halliburton's engineering and construction division, Kellogg Brown & Root, Rodon has spent months preparing for the daunting task of repairing Iraq's oil industry. Working first at headquarters in Houston and then out of a hotel room in Kuwait City, he has studied the intricacies of the Iraqi national oil company, even reviewing the firm's organizational charts so that Halliburton and the Army can ascertain which Iraqis are reliable technocrats and which are Saddam loyalists... Rodon represents the vanguard of what is expected to be a growing army of Halliburton employees in Iraq, where the U.S. is preparing to embark on the grandest exercise in nation building since its occupation of Japan after World War II. At the center of that undertaking will be U.S. companies, with Halliburton probably chief among them,...Texans wearing KBR baseball caps are arriving by the planeload at Kuwait's airport. Some will support the military directly--KBR employees already handle the meal service, laundry, and garbage pickup for several military camps in Kuwait and will do the same as U.S. units establish bases in Iraq. But after the war most hope to be involved in the multibillion-dollar task of rebuilding Iraq: its roads, electrical grid, water supply, ports, airports, and, most important, oil facilities....
Virtually all of Halliburton's $11 billion in government work in Iraq has been performed under two contracts. It is the smaller of the two, the $2.5 billion Restore Iraqi Oil (RIO) agreement, that has generated the most suspicion about Cheney's hidden hand, because it was awarded secretly, on a no-bid basis, in March 2003, on the eve of war. Under this cost-plus contract, Halliburton was hired to put out oilfield fires and rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure. It is under this contract that KBR charged infamously high prices to ship gasoline into Iraq. The premise for the no-bid award was that Halliburton was already briefed on classified military plans for the war and would be best able to move equipment and staff into the country quickly...

Foreign investors pour billions in Kurdish Iraq
Foreign investors have pledged projects worth more than $16 billion dollars to be implemented in the autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq, according to a Kurdish official. Kameran al-Mufti, head of the region’s project evaluation and license department, said more than $6 billion of the pledged investments has already turned into "real’ projects. The department was established in 2006 in accordance with a new law the region’s government had issued to lure foreign investors. The law gives investors several privileges among them a 10-year net of tax period and removal of tariffs on exports and imports related to the project. Foreigners even have the possibility of owning property including the land on which they set up their projects. Investors including Iraqi nationals, have the right to transfer their profits to bank accounts abroad. Even workers in these projects have the right to transfer their wages in hard cash abroad. Mufti said these privileges and the region’s relative security have been "very tempting" for foreigners. Since the promulgation of the law foreign capital has increased more than three folds – to more than 50 percent of foreign investments from 15 percent.... www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2008-08-15\kurd.htm

Israeli Companies in Iraq
New TV reported on israeli companies working out of iraq... Maariv, an israeli newspaper, listed the number of israeli companies in iraq between 70 to 100. Uruknet did a google online translation into english of the names of some of these israeli production and export companies:
"Rbinteix" protective coats of lead, "Crunit Hosem" solid doors, "Eits Carmiel" doors and other products,"Tamboor" aints, "Precious"-exporting beer and other beverages, "Tammy - 4" water purification devices, "Trledor" wire fence, "enlighten gas" kitchens, "very Kum" mobile phones, "La Scala" electronic products, "Suffers - Dan" irrigation equipment, "Sonol" fuel, "Delta" textiles. http://www.uruknet.de/?p=46394

11/20/07WASHINGTON: Pakistan's nuclear weapons are already under American control In a stunning disclosure...the journal Stratfor reported that the "United States delivered a very clear ultimatum to Musharraf in the wake of 9/11: Unless Pakistan allowed US forces to take control of Pakistani nuclear facilities, the United States would be left with no choice but to destroy those facilities, possibly with India's help." ...

Pakistan: FBI rules the roost
By Syed Saleem Shahzad
September 11, 2001... saw Pakistan throw in its lot with the US. This entailed ...opening its air bases to the US military for operations in Afghanistan...It also allowed US intelligence to establish a finger-hold in the country, which the FBI has now turned into a vice-like grip through an ever-expanding network that has infiltrated, to various degrees, Pakistan's armed forces, the police and intelligence agencies... The FBI initially kept a low profile, working mostly at the direction of the all-powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's premier intelligence outfit and effectively the architect and orchestrator of Pakistan's strategic policies.Now, however, the FBI works autonomously, with its own separate organizational setup... "After September 11, 2001, we were given instructions to work along with FBI operators. Initially they were given a room in the ISI's operations office. They used to give commands to us, and we had to obey them. For instance, once they asked us to send a packet somewhere. We packed it and informed them that the parcel was ready. They unpacked the parcel and asked an ISI employee to repack it in front of them. This is the way the FBI operators showed their domination over the ISI staff. At first they asked us to coordinate in operations. Later on they were given a separate place of work, then they cultivated local police officers, and several times they did not bother to inform the ISI about their operations."... Some military experts take a dim view of this. One told Asia Times Online that having army units trained by a foreign intelligence apparatus was like handing over the keys of the country to another nation ...

It’s Women and Children Now
by Marryam Haleem / August 18th, 2008
The case against Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani MIT graduate and detainee of the US held for over five years under mysterious circumstances, is finally being made public — and looks to fulfill more in a pattern of dubious evidence and maltreatment in the name of the War on Terror....Recently, two ghost detainees, who disappeared in Pakistan in March 2003, conveniently reappeared last month in Afghanistan where they were promptly arrested by American officials.
The first detainee, Aafia Siddiqui, is a 36-year-old Pakistani national and MIT PhD graduate, now being held in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York. The second is her 12-year-old American son — her eldest child — still being held in Afghanistan. Her two younger children (also American citizens) also disappeared with her in 2003, but their whereabouts are still unknown. The youngest was only 6-months at the time....

Today, Aafia sports a broken nose, improperly reset. Her teeth have been pulled out. One of her kidneys has been removed, leaving a gashing scar down her abdomen. It is reported that she has been repeatedly raped. She is dehydrated and weak, unable even to walk. Psychologically, Aafia is confused and possibly suffers from brain damage.
But the physical and psychological nightmare hasn’t ended for her. Before and after every legal visit or trip to the court, Aafia is stripped naked and has to endure a cavity search. She has informed her legal team that she will not accept visits anymore due to the degradation and humiliation of the procedure.
Aafia is due to face trial this September. Ahmad, her eldest child, is still detained in Afghanistan. The other two, certainly the youngest American prisoners of war ever, are still unaccounted for. America’s disappeared in the War on Terror have been given scant attention. With women and children now victims, will the silence be broken?
* This article first appeared at altmuslim.

Pervez Musharraf to 'seek refuge' in London
The United States, a close ally in the war against terrorism, and Pakistan's army have demanded that the government allow Mr Musharraf "an honourable exit" that includes indemnity from prosecution. A senior Western diplomat in the capital Islamabad said that Mr Musharraf could first head for Saudi Arabia on a Muslim pilgrimage, but that London could be his ultimate destination.

Sharif Threatens to Pull Out of Pakistani Coalition
A day after their unified effort ousted President Pervez Musharraf, the two major parties in the governing coalition fell into disarray on Tuesday when they failed to agree on the restoration of the chief justice of the Supreme Court. The instant deterioration in relations became evident when Nawaz Sharif, the leader of one of the parties, the Pakistan Muslim League-N, walked out of a meeting here and headed back to his home in Lahore, a four-hour drive away. Party members said Mr. Sharif had delivered an ultimatum to the senior coalition party, the Pakistan Peoples Party, led by Asif Ali Zardari, to consent to the return of the chief justice, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, within 72 hours, or the Mr. Sharif’s party would leave the government. Mr. Chaudhry was among some 60 judges suspended by Mr. Musharraf last year. ... The basis of Mr. Zardari’s opposition to Mr. Chaudhry rests with a fear that he might undo an amnesty agreement that absolved Mr. Zardari of corruption charges, lawyers said. The amnesty, which applies to bureaucrats and politicians who faced corruption charges, was part of a package arranged by Mr. Musharraf when Mr. Zardari returned to Pakistan after his wife, the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated late last year.

... after Mr. Musharraf’s resignation, the chief of staff of the Pakistani Army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani ...attended a meeting of the tripartite commission, a body composed of the military leaders of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States coalition and NATO forces in Afghanistan... Last month, American officials confronted General Kayani with evidence they said showed that Pakistan’s premier spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, had planned the suicide bomb attack against the Indian Embassy in Kabul in early July. General Kayani is the former head of the agency....http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/20/world/asia/20pstan.html?8au&emc=au

Bush had announced this before U.S. told its 'close friend' Turkey
US: Turkey OKs Transit Of US Warships Carrying Aid To Georgia
WASHINGTON (AFP)--Turkey has approved transit of two U.S. navy ships into the Black Sea to transport humanitarian relief supplies to conflict-torn Georgia, the State Department said Wednesday.
Dow Jones Newswire http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx?cpath=20080820%5CACQDJO...

Condoleezza Rice today warned Russia not to try to redraw the map of Europe in the wake of its invasion of Georgia.
After a Nato foreign ministers' meeting, the US Secretary of State said that the alliance "intends to support the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Georgia."

US left isolated over Nato plans to maintain relations with Russia
19 Aug 2008
The United States has been left diplomatically isolated after European members of NATO moved to reject an American proposal to scale back ties with Moscow following Russia's invasion of Georgia. US diplomats attending an emergency NATO summit in Brussels had called on the alliance to suspend ministerial meetings with Russia, held twice a year, as a way of demonstrating the West's disapproval of the war. But other members of the alliance, including Britain, rejected the plan, saying that it would be foolish to isolate Russia. Instead diplomats released their strongly-worded statement, stopping short of concrete action, at least for now. David Miliband, the foreign secretary, implicitly criticized Washington's proposal to suspend the Nato-Russia council, established six-years ago to improve dialogue between Moscow and the West, as short-sighted. http://tinyurl.com/68pnvp

Russia calls off meeting with NATO
August 19, 2008, 9:53
Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, has called off a meeting of the Russia-NATO council due to follow today’s Brussels meeting of the foreign ministers of the 26 members of the alliance to discuss the situation in Georgia. Rogozin also warned of Russia possibly reconsidering its relations with NATO if its members take a biased stand on the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict.
He specifically emphasised that if NATO chooses to take such a position, Russia will not be able to maintain the high level and quality of Russia-NATO relations, and the blame for the collapse of the current global security system would fall on Washington and its allies.
This follows the news that for the first time during the whole period of Russia-NATO co-operation the alliance has refused to provide a conference hall so that the Russian envoy can hold a news conference. NATO claims all the halls are currently occupied with the alliance’s activities. The U.S. has been blocking a meeting of the Russia-NATO council on the conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia throughout the past week

Russia Shrugs Off NATO Threats As "Empty Words" - Report
Dow Jones Newswires
MOSCOW (AFP)--Russia's envoy to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Tuesday dismissed the alliance's response to the conflict in Georgia, saying it showed threats made against Russia were only "empty words," Interfax news agency reported...."On the whole, all of these threats that have been raining down on Russia turned out to be empty words," he said. He used an idiomatic expression to compare the NATO meeting Tuesday to a "mountain that gave birth to a mouse."
Rogozin spoke after NATO foreign ministers agreed that the bloc "cannot continue business as usual" with Russia, calling for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia. "The Alliance is considering seriously the implications of Russia's actions for the NATO-Russia relationship," the 26 NATO foreign ministers said in a joint statement following crisis talks in Brussels
http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx cpath=20080819\ACQDJON200808191111DOWJONESDJONLINE000311.htm&selected=9999&selecteddisplaysymbol=9999&StoryTargetFrame=_top&mkt=WORLD&chk=unchecked&lang=&link=&headlinereturnpage=http://www.international.na http://tinyurl.com/66f8h2

schizo propaganda contradicts itself again...
Georgia tried to retake its separatist province of South Ossetia on Aug. 7, launching a heavy artillery barrage. Russian forces immediately came to the aid of their separatist allies, drove Georgian forces out of South Ossetia, and continued their military advance until they had a military stranglehold on their tiny neighbor....
US diplomats denied Russian claims that Washington wants to break up the NATO-Russian Council which was set up in 2002 to improve relations between the former Cold War foes.But in a reflection of American anger over the Russian invasion of its small, pro-Western neighbor, a senior US official said Monday the alliance would have to rethink a range of planned activities _ from a meeting with Russia’s defense minister foreseen in October, to regular military consultations in areas like counterterrorism, managing air space or rescue at sea.

The New Cold War Turns Hot
How Washington’s encirclement of Russia threatens us all
By Antony Black
... Saakashvili, who was brought to power in early 2004 following the US financed ‘Rose Revolution’, is an American protege who barely blinks without Washington’s prior approval. The assault of Georgia upon South Ossetia should, in this sense, been seen as a US proxy assault on Russia itself. This brings into consideration the broader strategic aims of both Washington and Moscow with respect to the Eurasian political chessboard.
Following the demise of the Soviet Union and dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991, rather than seek to disband NATO, Washington elected, instead, to engage in an aggressive geopolitical and military expansionism that directly targeted the security of Russia. Not only did NATO then absorb virtually all of the former Warsaw Pact members into its own alliance (Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic in 1999; Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuanian, Estonia, Slovakia and Romania in 2004; Georgia and Ukraine are awaiting acceptance in December of 2008), it also began a decade-long destabilization campaign against Yugoslavia (which resisted absorption) and that ended in an unprovoked 78 day air assault on Serbia in 1999.
In every case the US followed up these new alliances with hundreds of weapons and interoperability agreements, and by the installation of new military bases directly abutting Russian territory.

The projection of American imperial power did not, of course, await the bloated expansion of NATO. Released from its own containment by the fall of the Soviets, the US immediately embarked on a series of unprovoked invasions / attacks that included Panama in 1989, Iraq in 1990-91, Somalia in 1992, Yugoslavia in 1999 and, finally, in the new millennium, Afghanistan and Iraq.

One need only look at a world map to see how these new allies and invaded countries – and their associated US military bases and facilities – encircle the western and southern borders of Russia. Additional bases in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines in conjunction with a brand-new nuclear and military alliance with India, nicely round out the circumscription of all of Asia.

The United States has also instigated a new global arms race by developing small, tactical nuclear weapons for employment in otherwise ‘conventional’ warfare situations (this in violation of its commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty). It has, in addition, continued its development of its so-called missile defense system; a system that is, in fact, designed to defend itself against a residual nuclear attack following a nuclear first-strike against either Russia or China. The latter potential follows from the Pentagon’s long articulated policy (from Bush Sr. through Clinton to Bush Jr.) of ‘nuclear primacy’, which is to say, unilateral global nuclear hegemony.

Moscow, of course, is only too well aware of these machinations and has repeatedly denounced Washington for choosing to establish its missile ‘defense’ system in countries abutting or close to Russia’s borders (giving it virtually no time to respond to either a real or a perceived attack, and, thus, making the danger of an accidental global nuclear holocaust greater than it’s ever been). In particular, both Poland and the Czech Republic have just recently signed on to harbouring these vehicles of global mass destruction.

Meanwhile, the Western press, in a grotesque display of fanciful storytelling has chosen to invert this transparent political reality and paint the Great Russian Bear as the global aggressor. Orwell would have been impressed.

But how does Georgia fit into this geostrategic picture?
The answer is that the Caucasus has long been of strategic interest to the West ever since Great Britain and Russia fought their ‘Great Game’ for it in the 19th century. Today, Georgia is a critical conduit joining the Caspian energy reserves with the Mediterranean. It is already host to the one million barrel / day Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, and is set to host a number of proposed oil and gas pipelines all of which seek, crucially, to bypass Russian territory. The latter point is of profound strategic significance for Europe as it seeks to lessen its already heavy dependence on Russian gas supplies.

Now despite Washington’s support of Georgia, its moral case for negating South Ossetia’s claim to independence is singularly threadbare given that the US unilaterally recognized, in February, Kosovo’s independence from Serbia (against both Serbian and Russian objections). Indeed, Moscow warned Washington at the time that supporting Kosovo’s independence set a dangerous global precedent. As the French say, ‘touche’.

Finally, Russia’s reaction to Georgia’s assault on South Ossetia is, by any moral and strategic accounting, entirely justified...Georgia has a long history of violence towards both South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and both of these regions have not only been independent of Georgia for over 15 years, but have overwhelmingly sought affiliation with Russia. In strategic terms, Russia had little choice but to respond especially in light of the extensive context of US imperial expansionism and more recent missile ‘defense’ brinkmanship. If it had not responded, Russia might just as well have folded shop and begun the long retreat from Moscow.

For the United States the loss of an undivided Georgia is, of course, a major strategic setback, for not only is the BTC pipeline now threatened, but Europe will almost certainly no longer be so eager to support Washington’s dangerous provocation of, and encroachment upon, Russia.

For the rest of us, the flare-up of hostilities in the Caucasus should bring to mind a similar case of the ‘guns of August’ almost a century ago. Then, a similar flashpoint (in Serbia) signalled the start of WW1. Fortunately, the nightmare conflagration of a WW3 has (hopefully) yet to be similarly ignited - though, truth to tell, it is not for the want of fuel heaped on the geo-political pyre by the global mafia don and its uncritical, cheerleading mass media. Antony Black tal1@cogeco.

Ukraine PM accused of ‘betrayal’
KIEV, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko’s office on Monday accused Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, his “Orange Revolution” [ed. note: U.S.-Soros sponsored] ally, of betraying national interests by not backing Georgia in its conflict with Russia. Yushchenko, who has strongly supported Georgia, was swept into power in 2004 then embarked on a pro-western agenda, seeking membership of Nato and the European Union.

India, Russia boost bilateral military ties, sign protocol on military technical cooperation
NEW DELHI, Aug 19 (KUNA) -- India and Russia Tuesday signed a protocol on military technical cooperation, as part of efforts to boost bilateral military ties.
"The 8th meeting of the Indo-Russian Working Group on shipbuilding, aviation and land systems was held here on August 18-19 within the framework of the Indo-Russian inter-governmental commission on military technical cooperation. A protocol was signed by both sides at the end of the working group meeting," according to an Indian Defence Ministry statement issued after the meeting. "The talks were held in highly professional manner in an atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding," the Ministry said. The two countries exchanged views on implementation of current projects like T-90 Tanks, Missile systems, various shipbuilding activities and aviation sector projects like the fifth generation fighter aircraft and multi-role transport aircraft. They also agreed to take steps for ensuring their successful implementation. "The working group noted the progress that have been achieved in the development of military and technical co-operation and agreed to take measures to further develop cooperation between the two countries," the Ministry stated.

rabid, desperate, imperialist triumphalist threat...
Putin Makes His Move
Accident of geography puts Georgia in Russia's way
19/08/08 Washington Post
Historians will come to view Aug. 8, 2008, as a turning point no less significant than Nov. 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell. Russia's attack on sovereign Georgian territory marked the official return of history, indeed to an almost 19th-century style of great-power competition, complete with virulent nationalisms, battles for resources, struggles over spheres of influence and territory, and use of military power to obtain geopolitical objectives. ... The next president had better be ready.
Robert Kagan is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His most recent book is "The Return of History and the End of Dreams." He served in the State Department in the Reagan administration. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20553.htm

U.S. to Build Missiles On Polish Soil [115 miles from Russia]
19 Aug 2008 The U.S. and Polish governments have decided to fast-track a missile defense program. The tensions between Georgia and Russia sped the talks that brought about the move. Alex Chadwick talks to Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radek Sikorski about the plans.

Israel, U.S. reportedly close missile defense deal
19 Aug 2008 Israel and the United States reportedly have closed a deal to incorporate Israel into the U.S. missile defense system. The deal, reported this week in Defense News and Ha'aretz, for the first time would station U.S. military personnel permanently in Israel manning X-Band radars.

a hushed-up precipitating event in U.S. war move....
July 21, 2008 Russia And China Settle Longstanding Territorial Dispute
China and Russia at last reached agreement on where the entire length of their common border lies. On July 21st the two countries signed an accord on the last small stretch that had yet to be formally settled ... with their “strategic partnership”, a shared resentment of Western dominance and friendly military ties, China and Russia have long put behind them the acrimony ...

major Russia-China deal, major blow to U.S. so not fit for much print
Russia and China signed a landmark deal on July 21, officially ending all outstanding territorial disputes between the two countries. Under the agreement, Russia will hand over Yinlong Island (known as Tarabarov in Russia) and half of the Heixiazi Island (Bolshoi Ussuriysky) at the confluence the of Amur and Ussuri rivers, clearing the way for closer strategic and economic relations with China. The deal flowed from an initial agreement signed in 2004 by former Russian President Vladimir Putin that proposed a 50-50 division of the disputed islands. While Russia returns Yinlong and half of Heixiazi, totalling 174 square kilometres, China has given up its claim to the other half of Heixiazi... the final step in resolving the longstanding issues involving the 4,300-kilometre border between the two countries. The other disputes, mainly concerning China’s western border, were settled in the 1990s.
The political calculation behind the territorial settlement is clearly to strengthen the developing Russo-Chinese strategic partnership to counter the growing pressure from the US and its NATO allies on both countries on a number of fronts. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi described the agreement as a mutually beneficial “win-win”. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared: “President [Dmitry] Medvedev asked me to tell you that the development and strengthening of the strategic partnership and cooperation with China is our foreign policy priority. The new edition of the Russian foreign policy concept, which was recently approved by President Medvedev, made a point of it.” The new Russian doctrine, released earlier in July, declared a “negative stance” toward the eastward expansion of NATO, especially proposals to include the Ukraine and Georgia in the bloc as well as the US plans to deploy its anti-ballistic missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic. At the same time, the document declared that “Russia will expand the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership in all areas, based on shared basic fundamental approaches to key issues of world politics.” It also called for a “Russia-India-China triangular format”, obviously aimed at countering Washington’s efforts to establish a strategic alliance with New Delhi.....

Ukraine offers [SIC] satellite defence co-operation with Europe and US
Ukraine inflamed mounting East-West tensions yesterday by offering up a Soviet-built satellite facility as part of the European missile defence system. "The fact that Ukraine is no longer a party to the 1992 agreement allows it to launch active cooperation with European countries to integrate its information," a statement from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said. It follows a declaration earlier this week from Ukraine's pro-Western president, Viktor Yushchenko, that the Russian naval lease of the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sebastopol would be scrapped if any vessels joined the conflict in Georgia. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/2570285/Ukraine...

International reaction to the Feb. 17, 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence
A number of states expressed concern over the unilateral character of Kosovo's declaration, or announced explicitly that they will not recognise an independent Kosovo. The UN Security Council remains divided on this issue: of its five members with veto power, three (the United States, United Kingdom, France) have recognised the declaration of independence, while the People's Republic of China has expressed concern, urging the continuation of previous negotiation framework. Russia has rejected the declaration and considers it illegal.[3] On 15 May 2008, Russia, China, and India released a joint statement where they called for new negotiations between the authorities of Belgrade and Pristina.[4]
Of Kosovo's neighbour states other than Serbia, Albania has recognised its declaration of independence, while Montenegro is still uncommitted, despite several hints of recognition. The Republic of Macedonia has broached the outstanding issue of border demarcation between it and Kosovo, now raised with the new Pristina government and previously negotiated with the government in Belgrade. The Joint Macedonian-Kosovar Commission on Border Demarcation began operating on 25 March 2008 in Skopje.[5] The actual demarcation process formally started on 30 June 2008.[6]
Due to the ongoing dispute in the UN Security Council, the planned reconfiguration of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and partial handover to the EULEX mission met with difficulties. In spite of Russian and Serbian protest, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon proceeded with the reconfiguration plan. On 15 July 2008, he wrote in his quarterly report on the evolving situation in Kosovo: "In the light of the fact that the Security Council is unable to provide guidance, I have instructed my Special Representative to move forward with the reconfiguration of UNMIK ... in order to adapt UNMIK to a changed reality and address current and emerging operational requirements in Kosovo." ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_reaction_to_the_2008_Kosovo_d...

Don't Forget Yugoslavia
John Pilger
The former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia in The Hague, Carla Del Ponte, this year published her memoir, The Hunt: Me and War Criminals. Largely ignored in Britain, the book reveals unpalatable truths about the West's intervention in Kosovo, which has echoes in the Caucasus.
....the justification for the NATO bombing was that the Serbs were committing "genocide" in the secessionist province of Kosovo against ethnic Albanians. David Scheffer, U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes, announced that as many as "225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59" may have been murdered. Tony Blair invoked the Holocaust and "the spirit of the Second World War." The West's heroic allies were the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), whose murderous record was set aside. The British foreign secretary, Robin Cook, told them to call him anytime on his mobile phone. With the NATO bombing over, international teams descended upon Kosovo to exhume the "holocaust." The FBI failed to find a single mass grave and went home. The Spanish forensic team did the same, its leader angrily denouncing "a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines." A year later, Del Ponte's tribunal announced the final count of the dead in Kosovo: 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the KLA. There was no genocide in Kosovo. The "holocaust" was a lie. The NATO attack had been fraudulent.
That was not all, says Del Ponte in her book: the KLA kidnapped hundreds of Serbs and transported them to Albania, where their kidneys and other body parts were removed; these were then sold for transplant in other countries. She also says there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the Kosovar Albanians for war crimes, but the investigation "was nipped in the bud" so that the tribunal's focus would be on "crimes committed by Serbia." She says the Hague judges were terrified of the Kosovar Albanians – the very people in whose name NATO had attacked Serbia.
Indeed, even as Blair the war leader was on a triumphant tour of "liberated" Kosovo, the KLA was ethnically cleansing more than 200,000 Serbs and Roma from the province. Last February the "international community," led by the U.S., recognized Kosovo, which has no formal economy and is run, in effect, by criminal gangs that traffic in drugs, contraband, and women. But it has one valuable asset: the U.S. military base Camp Bondsteel, described by the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner as "a smaller version of Guantanamo." Del Ponte, a Swiss diplomat, has been told by her own government to stop promoting her book.
Yugoslavia was a uniquely independent and multi-ethnic, if imperfect, federation that stood as a political and economic bridge in the Cold War. This was not acceptable to the expanding European Community, especially newly united Germany, which had begun a drive east to dominate its "natural market" in the Yugoslav provinces of Croatia and Slovenia. By the time the Europeans met at Maastricht in 1991, a secret deal had been struck; Germany recognized Croatia, and Yugoslavia was doomed. In Washington, the U.S. ensured that the struggling Yugoslav economy was denied World Bank loans and the defunct NATO was reinvented as an enforcer. At a 1999 Kosovo "peace" conference in France, the Serbs were told to accept occupation by NATO forces and a market economy, or be bombed into submission. It was the perfect precursor to the bloodbaths in Afghanistan and Iraq. .... http://www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=46471&s2=18

Missile defense: Washington and Poland just moved the world closer to war
F. William Engdahl
Aug 18, 2008
The signing on August 14 of an agreement between the governments of the United States and Poland to deploy on Polish soil US 'interceptor missiles’ is the most dangerous move towards nuclear war the world has seen since the 1962 Cuba Missile crisis.

Far from a defensive move to protect European NATO states from a Russian nuclear attack, as military strategists have pointed out, the US missiles in Poland pose a total existential threat to the future existence of the Russian nation. The Russian government has repeatedly warned of this since US plans were first unveiled in early 2007. Now, despite repeated diplomatic attempts by Russia to come to an agreement with Washington, the Bush administration, in the wake of a humiliating US defeat in Georgia, has pressured the government of Poland to finally sign the pact. The consequences could be unthinkable for Europe and the planet.

The signing now insures an escalation of tensions between Russia and NATO and a new Cold War arms race in full force. It is important for readers to understand, as I detail in my book, to be released this autumn, Full Spectrum Dominance: The National Security State and the Spread of Democracy, the ability of one of two opposing sides to put anti-missile missiles to within 90 miles of the territory of the other in even a primitive first-generation anti-missile missile array gives that side virtual victory in a nuclear balance of power and forces the other to consider unconditional surrender or to preemptively react by launching its nuclear strike before 2012. Senior Russian lawmakers said on Friday the agreement would damage security in Europe, and reiterated that Russia would now have to take steps to ensure its security. Andrei Klimov, deputy head of the Russian State Duma’s international affairs committee, said the deal was designed to demonstrate Warsaw’s "loyalty to the US and receive material benefits. For the Americans, it is an opportunity to expand its military presence across the world, including closer to Russia. For NATO, this is an additional risk . . . many NATO countries are unhappy with this, including the Germans and the French."

Russian response
The US plans to deploy a radar facility in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missiles in northern Poland as part of a US-controlled missile shield for Europe and North America, have been officially sold under the ludicrous argument that it is against possible attacks from "rogue states," including Iran. Last Spring, then Russian President Vladimir Putin exposed the shallowness of the US propaganda line by offering a startled President Bush the use of Russian leased radar facilities in Azerbaijan on the Iran border to far better monitor Iran missile launches. The Bush administration simply ignored the offer, exposing that their real target is Russia not "rogue states like Iran." Russia rightly views deployment of the US missile shield as a threat to its national security.

The latest Polish agreement advances a Russian response.
Russian officials earlier said Moscow could deploy its Iskander tactical missiles and strategic bombers in Belarus and Russia’s westernmost exclave of Kaliningrad if Washington succeeded in its missile shield plans in Europe. Moscow also warned it could target its missiles on Poland.
Russia is also discussing putting in place an orbital ballistic missile system in response to US missile defense plans for Central Europe, according to a senior Russian military expert....

Obama backs missile defense
The deal would further divide European countries into what Barack Obama’s foreign policy adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski openly calls, US "vassals" and those pursuing more independent policies. Any illusions that a Democratic Obama Presidency would mean a rollback of such provocative NATO and US military moves of recent years should be dismissed as dangerous wishful thinking. Obama’s foreign policy team in addition to father Zbigniew Brzezinski, includes Brzezinski’s son, Ian Brzezinski, current US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Affairs. Ian Brzezinski is a devout backer of US missile defense policy, as well as Kosovo independence and NATO expansion into Ukraine and Georgia.

F. William Engdahl is author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, and Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation (www.globalresearch.ca). This essay is adapted from his forthcoming book Full Spectrum Dominance: The Geopolitical Agenda Behind Washington’s Global Military Buildup (release date estimated Autumn 2008). He may be contacted through his website, www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net . onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_3630.shtml


Following on Engdahl speaking of Brzezinski / Obama...
Biden Calls For $1 Billion In Emergency Aid To Georgia and Issues Warning to Russia
Fresh off a trip to the Republic of Georgia, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden will ask for $1 billion in emergency aid for the war torn country. Biden, rumored to be very high on Sen. Barack Obama’s list of running mates, met with Georgia's president and prime minister on the trip, further burnishing his foreign policy credentials ahead of Obama’s decision. “I left the country convinced that Russia's invasion of Georgia may be the one of the most significant event to occur in Europe since the end of communism,” said Biden.
“When Congress reconvenes, I intend to work with the administration to seek Congressional approval for $1 billion in emergency assistance for Georgia, with a substantial down payment on that aid to be included in the Congress' next supplemental spending bill.”...Biden said the $1 billion would "help the people of Georgia to rebuild their country and preserve its democratic institutions."
The senator also issued a terse warning to the former Soviet Union, saying that “Russia’s actions in Georgia will have consequences.”

Biden's filth as well as Obama's obscene uncle tom 'understanding' forgiveness demonstrate and affirm racist national oppression as a basic amerikan patriot value and essential qualifier for capitalist leaders
"I mean, you've got the first sort of mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a story-book, man"
Jan. 31, 2007 Sen. Biden launching his bid for the White House on the issue of Iraq

"You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. It's a point. I'm not joking!"
2006 Biden on Indian Americans

Digest: If his entire groveling campaign, then his obscene performance to conciliate and win over christian fascists, didn't demolish illusions of choice and willful suspension of disbelief, this speech makes clear he is seducing people with chump change to endorse the same imperialist agenda. Electoral politics / elections position the best figurehead for the interests of finance capital, political agents best able to win support for and execute --preferably peacefully but by any means necessary -- the bipartisan u.s. national security strategy. His advisers and speechwriter get down to brass tacks:
Obama's Speech at the Annual Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. National Convention, Obama advances global imperialist military agenda

Potential Obama VP
Wikipedia: “On October 2, 2002, Senator Bayh joined President George W. Bush and Congressional leaders in a Rose Garden ceremony announcing their agreement on the joint resolution authorizing the Iraq War, and was thanked by Bush and Senator John McCain for co-sponsoring the resolution.”
Bayh served as an honorary co-chair of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq along with John McCain...Talking Points Memo notes, “The Committee is a neo-con group formed to propagandize the country into war. It boasted such members as Bill Kristol, former CIA director James Woolsey, and McCain senior foreign policy adviser and Chalabi-bamboozler Randy Scheunemann.” ... Bayh voted for the re-authorization of the USA Patriot Act in 2006.... described his “lifelong affection for the state of Israel” at an AIPAC luncheon... warned that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon, despite the National Intelligence Estimate having refuted this claim, and the Senator has also introduced sanctions against Iran, repeatedly denouncing the country with heated rhetoric on national television. http://current.com/items/89220541_potential_obama_vp_is_pro_war_neoconse...

gangster godfather: "Realist" imperialism's means to the end of amerikan supremacy
Finding Common Ground With Russia
By Henry A. Kissinger
July 8, 2008
President Bush's meeting with Dmitry Medvedev in Hokkaido yesterday provides an opportunity to review American relations with the new Russian leadership. Conventional wisdom treated Medvedev's inauguration as president of the Russian Federation as a continuation of President Vladimir Putin's two terms of Kremlin dominance and assertive foreign policy. But after recently visiting Moscow, where I met with leading political personalities as well as those in business and intellectual circles, I am convinced that this judgment is premature...
My impression is that a new phase of Russian politics is underway.... What are the implications for American foreign policy? During the next several months, Russia will be working out the practical means of the distinction between design and implementation of national security policy. The Bush administration and the presidential candidates would be wise to give Moscow space to do so and restrain public comment.

Ever since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, a succession of U.S. administrations has acted as if the creation of Russian democracy were a principal American task. Speeches denouncing Russian shortcomings and gestures drawn from the Cold War have occurred frequently. Proponents of such policies assert that the transformation of Russian society is the precondition of a more harmonious international order. They argue that if pressure is maintained on the current Russia, it, too, will eventually implode. Yet assertive intrusion into what Russians consider their own sense of self runs the risk of thwarting both geopolitical and moral goals.

Some groups and individuals in Russia undoubtedly look to America to accelerate a democratic evolution. But almost all observers agree that the majority of Russians perceive America as presumptuous and determined to stunt Russia's recovery. Such an environment is more likely to generate a nationalist and confrontational response than a democratic evolution...

In fact, geopolitical realities provide an unusual opportunity for strategic cooperation. The United States and Russia control 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons. Russia contains the largest land mass of any country. Progress toward stability, with respect to nuclear weapons, in the Middle East and in Iran depends on Russian-American cooperation....

Confrontational rhetoric and bullying style notwithstanding, Russia's leaders are conscious of their strategic limitations. Indeed, I consider Russian policy under Putin as driven by a quest for a reliable strategic partner, with America being the preferred choice. Turbulent rhetoric in recent years reflects, in part, frustration by our seeming imperviousness to that quest. Presidents Bush and Putin have formed a constructive relationship but have not been able to overcome habits that their countries formed during the Cold War. On the Russian side, two elections for the Duma and the presidency have given leaders incentive to appeal to nationalist feelings rampant after a decade of perceived humiliation.

These detours do not affect the underlying reality. Three issues dominate the political agenda: security; Iran; and the relation of Russia to its former dependents, especially Ukraine....
The issue of Ukraine goes to the heart of both sides' perceptions of the nature of international affairs. America sees the situation in terms of overcoming a potential military threat. For Russia, the question of relations with Ukraine is, above all, about coming to terms with a painful, historic upheaval. Genuine independence for Ukraine is essential for a peaceful international system and must be unambiguously supported by the United States. Creating close political ties between the European Union and Ukraine, including E.U. membership, is important. But the movement of the Western security system to the approaches to Moscow brings home Russia's decline in a way that is bound to generate emotions that will inhibit the solving of all other issues. With NATO accepting the principle of Ukrainian membership, there is no urgency to accelerate the implementation.
The two presidents' Sochi declaration outlined a road map for an emerging strategic dialogue between the two sides. The new administrations in Russia and America should give it operational context.

The Russo-Iranian Axis
August 19, 2008
Russia's rape of Georgia requires more than just a rethinking of how the West can protect other former Soviet states from a resurgent Kremlin. Every international crisis with a Russian component now takes on a new dimension. In the case of Iran's nuclear program, this means the European Union's insistence on U.N.-approved sanctions against Tehran may no longer be just naive but willfully negligent. Unless Europe wants an even deadlier nuclear power at its southern flank, it will have to stop hiding behind Moscow's veto and tighten the screws on Iran.

Europe's dilemma: How does it balance its ties to Russia with concerns over the country's new aggressiveness
...As the United States looks for more than symbolic gestures on how to support Georgia and another former Soviet republic, Ukraine, there is a split between “old and new Europe” — roughly Western and Eastern Europe, Mr. Kupchan said. New Europe, backed by Britain and Scandinavia, is taking a harder line toward Russia, while old Europe “will only be reinforced in its view that Georgia and Ukraine are not ready for NATO.”... The Americans are looking for concrete gestures to punish and warn Russia — perhaps suspending or even canceling the NATO-Russian Council, or as Ronald D. Asmus, director of the Brussels Transatlantic Center of the German Marshall Fund, suggests, “fast-tracking NATO membership for Ukraine.” NATO could also begin formal defense planning, including putting in military infrastructure, to defend new NATO members like the Baltics and Poland against even a hypothetical war with Russia. “NATO never developed military plans to defend central and eastern Europeans, because we said, ‘Russia’s not an enemy and not a threat,’ and we never backed up the new members with exercises and infrastructure,” said Mr. Asmus, who was a senior State Department official in the Clinton administration.
The Germans opposed such moves at the time; Gerhard Schröder, the former German chancellor, and Jacques Chirac, the former French president, were considered a kind of pro-Russian axis in NATO. Both are gone, replaced by more pro-American and more viscerally anti-Communist leaders in Ms. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy. But France, Germany and Italy remain deeply dependent on Russian energy. Mr. Sarkozy is eager to mediate between Washington and Moscow, and Ms. Merkel is in a grand coalition with the left. Her foreign minister, the Social Democrat Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a close Schröder aide, is considered very friendly toward Moscow. In an interview published Sunday, he urged the West against a “knee-jerk reaction” like suspending talks between the European Union and Russia on strategic cooperation or banning Russia from the World Trade Organization.
The Russians say they are pulling out of Georgia — but it will be their own definition of Georgia, which does not, apparently, include South Ossetia and Abkhazia, where they have distributed Russian passports. Few believe they will leave those ethnic enclaves, even if they redefine their own occupation troops as “peacekeepers,” let alone allow the regions to be controlled by the Georgian government. Even if the formal borders of Georgia remain unchanged for now, in the long run Russia will have been seen to expand. “Russia has never been a nation state, but always an empire, with Muskovy gradually expanding its borders since the 15th century,” Mr. Rupnik said. “Russia built a state as it built its empire; the two were inseparable.” The Russian Federation was never a state in its current borders, and more than 25 million Russians live outside it, mostly in the former Soviet Union. “These new borders are new and somewhat artificial,” Mr. Rupnik said. “And we in the West never fully measured the effect of this loss of empire on the Russians, or how integral Ukraine is to the Russian sense of self.”
The Orange Revolution in Ukraine, which Russia failed to stop, “was the real wake-up call for Putin,” Mr. Rupnik said. “The Russian conclusion then, and it’s widely shared there, is that the limit has been reached — no more concessions, a push for rollback, and definitely no Georgia and no Ukraine in NATO.”... Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, there have been numerous border changes in Europe — mostly recently in Kosovo, the example Mr. Putin uses to defend Russia’s move in Georgia. “We are still in the process of building and making states,” Mr. Rupnik said. “The map is not finished.” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/18/world/europe/18europe.html?th&emc=th

revealing the national bourgeoisie's reactionary political position: dependent pawns and agents of capital...
Gulf states are in a dilemma
Abdullah Al Shayji, Special to Gulf News
The six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states seem to be in a quandary. They are caught between their strategic alliance with the US and the ambitious Iranian design to intimidate, co-opt and dominate the most volatile and coveted region in the world. Iran emerged as the beneficiary of the strategic vacuum by default, after the US toppled its arch nemesis Saddam Hussain in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The whole region is oscillating between the threat of an imminent war due to Iran's rejection of the international community's demand to suspend its uranium enrichment programme, and the possibility of a grand bargain to avert it through a consensus among traditional long term rivals - the US and Iran, and Syria and Israel. Such a possibility could change the dynamics of the whole turbulent region, with concomitant repercussions that could change the region's dynamics drastically....

What gives credence to the idea of accommodation is the moderate stance of the Bush administration vis-a-vis Iran. In my column, titled "Is there a shift in US policy?" (July 21), I argued: "It seems that the US administration is warming up to a dialogue and reconciliation with Iran. There are indications that the US is moving in this direction. It has asked the Under Secretary for Planning Bill Burns to participate, along with the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, in talks with Iran to persuade it to suspend its uranium enrichment programme in exchange for economic and political incentives. It was presented to Tehran last month by the 5+1 group. In addition, the US is touting the idea of opening an American interest section in Tehran with Iranian approval. But the big question remains, is this move by the US a lasting shift in its strategy, or an aberration of a fleeting tinkering which will be short lived?"

Given the dynamics of the developments, it seems the latter is the order of the day. Apparently, the reprieve was short lived. The region is back to the escalation mode with tensions, bellicose statements and sabre rattling from the two sides. Iran seems to be dragging its feet and delaying its response to the 5+1 package of incentives. The 5+1 group comprises the five permanent members of the UN plus Germany. Iran is faced with a formidable tough stance taken by the US and its European allies to slam Tehran with tougher sanctions. The major powers have agreed to consider a fourth UN resolution to toughen the sanctions regime against a belligerent Iran. Tehran in retaliation has threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz. Moreover, Iran even went as far as threatening the GCC states.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mohammadi, in a most provocative speech doubted the legitimacy of the regimes of the Gulf Cooperation Council States, and even went as far as predicting their demise. He stated, "the Middle East will continue to be unstable as long the... regimes in the Gulf exist. Disputes won't be solved unless these regimes cease to exist". Mohammadi's remarks were not only provocative, but insulting and displayed Iran's position on the status of the GCC states....
The onus is on the Iranians to prove by words and deeds that they have no ill-feelings towards its neighbours. Tehran continues to provoke us and force us to hedge our bets, as we follow anxiously the ongoing saga between the Iranians and the Americans, in the twilight period of the Bush Administration.
Our plight is clear. It is a Catch 22 for us. We are in a no win situation. It will be a major devastating blow for us if push comes to shove and war breaks out. On the other hand, it is a losing affair for us, if there were a deal and the US and Iran reach a grand bargain which could undermine our interests. This is the fate of the vulnerable and the weak in the high game of politics.
Dr Abdullah Al Shayji is Professor of International Relations and the Head of the American Studies Unit- Kuwait University. www.gulfnews.com/opinion/columns/region/10237965.html

Interview: 'humanitarian activist ' billionaire Soros' partner Rogers predicts bigger financial shocks --- and opportunities for investors
The U.S. financial crisis has cut so deep – and the government has taken on so much debt in misguided attempts to bail out such companies as Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) – that even larger financial shocks are still to come, global investing guru Jim Rogers said in an exclusive interview with Money Morning. .... The end of this crisis “is a long way away,” Rogers said. “In fact, it may not be in our lifetimes.”... “The next shock is going to be bigger and bigger, still,” Rogers said....Rogers first made a name for himself with The Quantum Fund, a hedge fund that’s often described as the first real global investment fund, which he and partner George Soros founded in 1970. Over the next decade, Quantum gained 4,200%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed about 50%. ...
Q. conceivably, history would show that the highest returns go to those who invest when there’s blood in the streets, even if it’s their own.
Rogers: Right.

Who uses Stratfor for Intelligence & Information aka 'news'?
The New York Times
John Mauldin
Rush Limbaugh
The Daily Kos
Russia Today TV
Bill O'Reilly

Noteworthy new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that have not been made readily available to the public include the following.
"Russia-Georgia Conflict in South Ossetia: Context and Implications for U.S. Interests," August 13, 2008:

"Stability in Russia's Chechnya and Other Regions of the Nort Caucasus: Recent Developments," August 12, 2008:

"Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests," updated July 28, 2008:

In Areas Under Russian Control, Limits for Western Media
The Russians say the limitations are to keep foreign reporters safe.... Russia claimed that Georgia committed genocide in Tskhinvali. The Georgians, for their part, have accused the Russians and Ossetians of a calculated campaign of cleansing. None of those claims can be independently checked, because the Russian government is not allowing foreign journalists into the areas..

Journalist says U.S. target was Al-Jazeera
After more than six years as a prisoner of the United States, former TV cameraman Sami al-Hajj is back at work with Al-Jazeera, the largest broadcaster in the Arab world... and, by most indications, a target of deep hostility also hit twice by U.S. artillery fire. One shelling destroyed its Kabul bureau in November 2001. The second struck a Baghdad office in April 2003, killing correspondent Tareq Ayoub. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/16/MNPH123FD3.D...

speaking of u.s. freedoms...U.S. information war 'soft power surge' goes to college
Heading back to college this fall? Rupert Murdoch will be waiting.In May, his Fox News subsidiary bought a minority stake in a Web video-based college news network featuring student reporters called Palestra.net. This fall, he'll be ramping up the partnership. It's the latest--and boldest--move by a major media company to capitalize on America's some 6.1 million undergrads. While outlets such as Viacom's MTVU network and privately owned Zilo Networks have gone after university students for years, Palestra's at the front of a new wave led by news outlets desperate to connect with young viewers. In May, Disney's ABC News said it would open digital bureaus at some top journalism schools. And General Electric-owned NBC News recently announced it would be working with the New York Film Academy to train students in digital journalism. Palestra.net goes further. Focusing on news, sports, business and entertainment features, it pays student reporters $240 to $300 to produce three news packages a week for the Web site--and Fox's cable networks....
There's another likely reason for News Corp.'s interest in Palestra: Facebook. The news network gives Murdoch a direct path to his MySpace rival. With student reporters using their own Facebook pages--and a Palestra.net company page--to post links and information about their online and offline news reports, News Corp. gains a pathway to Facebook...

This time, wage slaves can't revolt
The Fed is banking on a weak labor market to keep employees from demanding wage hikes...

no charges against kosher corporate criminals
U.S. town turned into open-air prison
The town of Postville, Iowa, population 2,000, has been turned into an open-air prison. Jerry Johnson, who works at nearby Luther College, called it something out of a bad science-fiction movie or the kind of thing a 1930s totalitarian regime might have cooked up. "This was not only a grievous injustice but a shame on the state of Iowa and the federal government," said Mr. Johnson. "These were good, decent people who were also the most defenseless."
On May 12, immigration officials swooped in to arrest 400 undocumented workers from Mexico and Guatemala at the local meat-packing plant, a raid described as the biggest such action at a single site in U.S. history. The raid left 43 women, wives of the men who were taken away, and their 150 children without status or a means of support. The women cannot leave the town, and to make sure they do not they have been outfitted with leg monitoring bracelets. "The women are effectively prisoners," said Father Paul Ouderkirk at St. Bridget's Roman Catholic Church. "The difference between them and anybody who is in jail is that in jail the government pays for them..."What kind of a government makes prisoners of 43 mothers who all have children and then says, ‘You can't work, you can't leave and can't stay?' That boggles the imagination."... He said the women and children were so terrified that they refused to go back to their apartments. They lived at the church during the first week after the raid...
Meanwhile, the men were taken to the National Cattle Congress building in Waterloo, Iowa, where immigration judges were on hand. They were charged and then sent to nine different prisons around the state. Fr. Ouderkirk said some of the men were deported and others are serving five-month prison terms for violating immigration laws - but he said no one ever explained why some were held and others sent home.
The men were all working at Agriprocessors, believed to be the largest kosher meat-packing plant in the world. Fr. Ouderkirk and others have said the plant was a disgrace that abused workers who had little understanding of their rights. He said conditions were dangerous, accidents were common and that workers were often forced to work extremely long hours. As well, he and others said the plant knew full well that many of their workers were undocumented. The Iowa Labor Department's documents show there have been a number of safety and health issues. And last week, Iowa officials said they uncovered dozens of child-labour violations. No charges have been laid and the company called the allegations untrue....

preemptive fascist justice
U.S. Proposes Easing Police Spy Rules
The Justice Department has proposed a new domestic spying measure that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years. The proposed changes would revise the federal government's rules for police intelligence-gathering for the first time since 1993 and would apply to any of the nation's 18,000 state and local police agencies... law enforcement agencies would be allowed to target groups as well as individuals, and to launch a criminal intelligence investigation based on the suspicion that a target is engaged in terrorism or providing material support to terrorists. They also could share results with a constellation of federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and others in many cases. Criminal intelligence data starts with sources as basic as public records and the Internet, but also includes law enforcement databases, confidential and undercover sources, and active surveillance. Quietly unveiled late last month, the proposal is part of a flurry of domestic intelligence changes by the Bush administration in its waning months. They include a recent executive order that guides the reorganization of federal spy agencies and a pending Justice Department overhaul of FBI procedures for gathering intelligence and investigating terrorism cases within U.S. borders. Taken together, critics... say the moves are to lock in policies for Bush's successor to enshrine controversial post-Sept. 11 approaches... On the day the police proposal was put forward, the White House announced it had updated Reagan-era operating guidelines for the U.S. intelligence community. The revised Executive Order 12333 established guidelines for overseas spying and called for better sharing of information with local law enforcement. It directed the CIA and other spy agencies to "provide specialized equipment, technical knowledge or assistance of expert personnel" to support state and local authorities.
And last week, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said that the Justice Department will release new guidelines within weeks to streamline and unify FBI investigations of criminal law enforcement matters and national security threats. The changes will clarify what tools agents can employ and whose approval they must obtain.The recent moves continue a steady expansion of the intelligence role of U.S. law enforcement..."It turns police officers into spies on behalf of the federal government." ...

IMF chief economist 2001-04 predicts: " the worst is to come"
By Jan Dahinten
19/08/08 "Reuters" -- - SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The worst of the global financial crisis is yet to come and a large U.S. bank will fail in the next few months as the world's biggest economy hits further troubles, former IMF chief economist Kenneth Rogoff said on Tuesday. "The U.S. is not out of the woods. I think the financial crisis is at the halfway point, perhaps. I would even go further to say 'the worst is to come'," he told a financial conference. "We're not just going to see mid-sized banks go under in the next few months, we're going to see a whopper, we're going to see a big one, one of the big investment banks or big banks," said Rogoff, who is an economics professor at Harvard University and was the International Monetary Fund's chief economist from 2001 to 2004... "We have to see more consolidation in the financial sector before this is over," he said, when asked for early signs of an end to the crisis.

History Lesson: 2004 DNC protests
18 Aug 2008
Two parties, Republican and Democrats, one ruling class