The Rise of the Russian Empire: Russo-Armenian Relations

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Postby Armenian on Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:01 am

Armanen wrote:I agree, but certain Russian groups financed by the enemies of Armenia, are targeting Armenians with the goal of driving a wedge between the friendship of the 2 peoples.

I agree, but that has no bearing on the geopolitical aspects of Russo-Armenian relations. I also don't want to get into discussing Russian "skinheads" for they represent the Russian Federation as much as the KKK represents the United States of America. Nonetheless, it is obvious that certain street elements in Russia are being used towards sinister purposes by special interest groups and the government. And since there are large numbers of Turkic peoples and Jews living within the Russian Federation there will always be a danger towards Armenians. But we Armenians have to work with what we have. Armenians in Russia need to be more proactive in fostering better relations with Russians. Community groups need to work on it, Republic of Armenia officials need to work on it, our national Church needs to work on it.

We have had a natural alliance with Russia for severals centuries, our relations with them actually go back a thousand years. We have also had political problems with them as well. In the big "geopolitical" picture, however, Armenians and Russians need each other. Unfortunately, we need them more than they need us and therein lies the danger for us. But the relationship between the two nations seems to be heading towards a very good direction. I don't foresee any obstacles that could get in the way of our alliance with the Russian Federation.

However, it's also in the Russian psyche to be very chauvinistic, so lets not fill their egos too much.

Generally speaking it is in all peoples psyche to be chauvinistic, its a human trait. Aren't many Armenians chauvinistic in their own special way? Don't the English, French and the Spaniards boast about their colonies? Aren't Germans still stuck up? And how do you think the term the "ugly American" came about in Europe? If Russians are more high nosed than the average westerner it's because for the past several centuries they have been a major military power/economic power/political power/cultural power - and they continue to be one today. And this has nothing to do with filling their egos, we are just discussing regional politics.
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Postby Armenian on Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:22 am

Just a further point about the aggressive street elements in Russia. Although some groups, for obvious reasons, are targeting Armenians in Russia, generally speaking Russian Armenians enjoy very good relations with their Russian counterparts and they are quite well represented within the higher echelons of Russian society.

Nevertheless, it is obvious that these street elements are being manipulated by state officials when it suites their political intentions. For example, when delegates from the EU organized a "Gay Pride" parade in Moscow the authorities there gave the street groups a freehand to do as they pleased. As a result, not only did they not allow the parade to happen they also assaulted the delegates who were partaking, one of whom was a British human rights advocate, the other a famous British singer. And a German and an Italian European Parliament members were also assaulted in the scuffle.

There have also been some other high profile attacks carried out by street gangs which have clearly had political underlinings. And just recently there was an assault by "skinheads" upon environmentalists in Siberia where one protester got killed. It is quite obvious that street elements in Russia are being directly and indirectly used for political purposes.

Here are some pictures from the now famous Gay Pride parade:

The unknown assailant about to punch Peter Tatchell in Moscow during Gay Pride

British musician Richard Fairbrass, who supported gay activists in Moscow, was beaten by members of ultra-nationalist groups opposed to the gay parade.

A member of the European Parliament Volker Beck, left, at a demonstration of gay parade activists in Moscow.




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Postby Armenian on Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:34 am

NASA drops $19m on Russian toilets for American asstronauts


So apparently NASA has agreed to purchase toilet technology from the Russian company RSC Energia for the tidy sum of $19 million, to be delivered to the ISS in 2008 in preparation for a crew upsizing from three to six members. The previous system required that urine tanks be transfered to cargo ships and burned up in the Earth's atmosphere, but the new toilets operate like a waste treatment center on Earth, collecting and reconstituting urine as drinking water -- an unpleasant concept for a number of our readers, but a welcome relief for thirsty astronauts. The toilets are similar to normal models, though they employ leg restraints and thigh bars to hold the "user" in place, and high-powered fans to suck, um... waste into the commode. The system will be installed on the American side of the station, while the Russian-side will remain as is, resulting in extremely long lines to use the "good" bathroom.


In related news:

Russia Touts Space


Russia's space agency chief said Wednesday the U.S. is running half of the world's satellite fleet, but highlighted Russia's role in managing the international orbital station and building new pads for launch vehicles. "Out of about 950 spacecraft, the U.S. owns over 450," Anatoly Perminov, head of the Russian Space Agency, said in an online briefing. He highlighted the growth of third-party space launches from Russian sites and the expansion of the global launch network for Russian space rockets as Moscow's most recent successes.

"[Russia] accounts for about 40 percent of annual space launch activity. Of 94 new satellites orbited across the globe this year, 16 were Russian," he said. "Russia also plays a key role at the International Space Station, providing [long-term] crews and cargo," Perminov said. He also vowed Russia would launch a Soyuz vehicle from the new pad at the Kourou space center in French Guiana in less than two years. "We will have facilities delivered to French Guiana as early as this fall, and the first Soyuz-ST launch is planned for spring 2009," he said. On Tuesday, a Russian Cosmos 3M carrier rocket launched from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia has put a German SAR-Lupe satellite into orbit, a spokesman for the Space Forces said.

"The satellite was put into orbit at 00.06 a.m. Moscow time," Alexey Zolotukhin said. It is the second time Russia has launched a German military spacecraft from the Plesetsk space center. Russia's Space Forces successfully conducted the first SAR-Lupe launch in December last year. In 2003, Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport and German COSMOS International Satellitenstart Gmbh (a subsidiary of OHB Systems AG) signed a contract to launch five SAR-Lupe satellites until 2009. The German satellite system is designed to provide high-resolution radar images to NATO military commanders in Europe. It offers a spatial resolution of less than 1 meter, and allows imaging at night and through clouds. The Cosmos-3M is a liquid-fueled two-stage rocket, first launched in 1967, with over 410 successful launches to date. The booster has been designed to lift a payload of up to 1500 kg.

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Postby Armenian on Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:38 am

Russia stakes claim to oil-rich North Pole

"If upheld, Russia could have access to oil and gas deposits potentially worth more than £1 trillion"


A Russian MP will symbolically claim the Arctic and its vast energy resources on behalf of the Kremlin next month by planting a flag on the sea bed directly under the North Pole. Artur Chilingarov (Armenian?) is leading an expedition from the northern city of Murmansk and, within a fortnight, he plans to complete the world's deepest submarine dive by descending 4,300 metres in order to plant the Russian flag under the Pole. The gesture comes amid an outpouring of nationalist fervour after Russian scientists claimed in May that they had evidence to back up a long-held claim to nearly one million miles of the Arctic. If upheld, Russia could have access to oil and gas deposits potentially worth more than £1 trillion. Russia's claim is based on an argument that the underwater Lomonosov ridge links the Arctic sea bed to Siberia.

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Postby Armenian on Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:11 am

Russia to Increase Military Might and Spy Efforts


President Vladimir V. Putin said Wednesday that he intended to strengthen Russia’s military capacity and to step up spying abroad in response to plans by the United States to build missile defense sites and deploy troops in Central Europe. “The situation in the world and internal political interests require the Foreign Intelligence Service to permanently increase its capabilities, primarily in the field of information and analytical support for the country’s leadership,” Mr. Putin said at a meeting with senior military and security officers in remarks that were posted on the Kremlin’s Web site. The Foreign Intelligence Service is a successor agency to the K.G.B.

Mr. Putin did not identify what nations would be the targets of the expanded effort, but officials in the United States and Britain said recently that Russia had intensified its spying in those countries. Russia’s relations with the United States and other Western nations have grown increasingly acrimonious amid Western concerns that Russia is edging away from democracy and Kremlin suspicions about the West’s intentions. Mr. Putin said that American plans to base sites for a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic posed a security challenge for Russia. The United States says the facilities are necessary to protect the United States and Europe from missiles that could be launched by Iran or other states.

Mr. Putin has proposed that the United States use a Soviet-built radar base in Azerbaijan for missile defense. American officials have said that the site in Azerbaijan was less useful because it is too close to Iran to intercept missiles fired from there. On Wednesday, Mr. Putin said the United States was stonewalling. “Alternative ways of protection from hypothetical missile threats which we proposed have been left unanswered,” he said. “All-round strengthening of our military forces is one of our indisputable priorities,” Mr. Putin said, promising to continue equipping the military with new weapons. Mr. Putin also criticized the United States and other NATO members for failing to ratify an amended version of the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe treaty, which limits the deployment of tanks, aircraft and other heavy nonnuclear weapons around the Continent.

Earlier this month, Mr. Putin suspended Russia’s participation in the treaty and threatened to withdraw from it completely if NATO nations did not ratify its amended version, which was signed in 1999, to reflect changes since the Soviet collapse. NATO members have refused to do that until Russia withdraws its troops from the former Soviet republics of Moldova and Georgia. Mr. Putin said that the old version of the treaty counted arsenals of former Soviet satellites and republics that are now NATO members as part of the Soviet bloc. In particular, it counted weapons in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as part of what was the Soviet Baltic Military District.

Source: ... ussia.html

In related news:

Spaniards Unmasked Russia’s Spy

Spain’s secret services have detained a double agent that was passing information to Russia, El Pais reported with reference to Alberto Saiz, chief of national intelligence in Spain. Certain Roberto Florez Garcia was arrested in Tenerife late Monday. For sizeable remuneration, Garcia had been in contact with Russia’s intelligence from December 2001 to February 2004, when employed in the Center of National Intelligence of Spain. Garcia is suspected of passing the data on internal structure of national intelligence, on activities of counter-intelligence services and of betraying dozens of agents. Though the double agent was of no threat to national security, Saiz said, the case is unique in history of the country’s intelligence. The Tenerife Court has Garcia’s case now.

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Postby Armanen on Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:44 pm

Armenian wrote:
Armanen wrote:I agree, but certain Russian groups financed by the enemies of Armenia, are targeting Armenians with the goal of driving a wedge between the friendship of the 2 peoples.

I agree, but that has no bearing on the geopolitical aspects of Russo-Armenian relations. I also don't want to get into discussing Russian "skinheads" for they represent the Russian Federation as much as the KKK represents the United States of America. Nonetheless, it is obvious that certain street elements in Russia are being used towards sinister purposes by special interest groups and the government. And since there are large numbers of Turkic peoples and Jews living within the Russian Federation there will always be a danger towards Armenians. But we Armenians have to work with what we have. Armenians in Russia need to be more proactive in fostering better relations with Russians. Community groups need to work on it, Republic of Armenia officials need to work on it, our national Church needs to work on it.

We have had a natural alliance with Russia for severals centuries, our relations with them actually go back a thousand years. We have also had political problems with them as well. In the big "geopolitical" picture, however, Armenians and Russians need each other. Unfortunately, we need them more than they need us and therein lies the danger for us. But the relationship between the two nations seems to be heading towards a very good direction. I don't foresee any obstacles that could get in the way of our alliance with the Russian Federation.

However, it's also in the Russian psyche to be very chauvinistic, so lets not fill their egos too much.

Generally speaking it is in all peoples psyche to be chauvinistic, its a human trait. Aren't many Armenians chauvinistic in their own special way? Don't the English, French and the Spaniards boast about their colonies? Aren't Germans still stuck up? And how do you think the term the "ugly American" came about in Europe? If Russians are more high nosed than the average westerner it's because for the past several centuries they have been a major military power/economic power/political power/cultural power - and they continue to be one today. And this has nothing to do with filling their egos, we are just discussing regional politics.

If Armenians start to dislike Russians, it does have a bearing on Armenian-Russian relations. In the past 12 months I have heard more anti-Russian comments coming from Armenians than in the past few years combined, not to say that I've heard it a lot, but the difference is noticable. I understand who and what is behind this, but the Kremlin hasn't done enough, and neither has official Yerevan, as you said more needs to be done, and soon. I have family that lives in Moscow, and I've been there myself, so I know what it's like and how Armenians are treated there generally, but I also know that some Armenian families have left Russia for Armenia or the west, because of the recent attacks.

There is a difference between chauvinism and patriotism/nationalism, which is what Armenians are. I agree, americans share many qualities with the Russians, they both think very highly of themselves and their country, often it goes beyond patriotism to blind support of everything Russian or american.

Armenia as if today, does need Russia more than the other way around, but with each passing year the situation has become more balanced and very well could end up with Russia needing Armenia more, as georgia and azerbaijan have already begun their distancing from Moscow.

In the end we are Armenians, we should all do what is good for Armenia, not Russia or any other country. Remember that.
It's a custom of the human condition for the masses to remain ignorant. It's what they do. In fact, that IS how "the peace" is kept. Whatever democracy we have here is a spectator's sport.
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Postby Armanen on Fri Jul 27, 2007 1:12 am

Russia's opposition

Putin versus nobody serious

Jul 26th 2007 | MOSCOW

Russia’s opposition is feeble, floundering and fading

AT A recent gathering of Other Russia, a loose coalition of liberals, nationalists and communists who oppose President Vladimir Putin, a pro-Kremlin youth group lit candles and played a funeral march. The stunt cut close to the bone.

Russia’s opposition may not yet be dead, but it is in a deep coma. The Kremlin has hollowed out politics by rigging rules on parties and elections. It has made it hard for the opposition to put its case on television and sent truncheon-wielding police to dispel protesters. But infighting, lack of ideas and above all low public support have done as much to hurt the opposition. Just four months before a parliamentary election and eight months before the presidential poll, it is divided, demoralised and lacks a single candidate. Mr Putin’s approval rating, meanwhile, stands at a majestic, if propaganda-fuelled, 85%.

Some of Other Russia’s important figures, including Mikhail Kasyanov, an ex-prime minister, and Vladimir Ryzhkov, an independent member of parliament, have left after a split with Garry Kasparov, a former world chess champion turned activist, largely because of clashing ambitions and trivial rows over procedure. Mr Kasparov and Mr Kasyanov, who says he wants to be president, argued for seven hours just over how to nominate candidates for parliament and the presidency. Their bickering has let down those who have risked attending Other Russia protests. “The bear has not yet been killed, but they’re already trying to divide its skin,” says Eduard Limonov, leader of the banned National Bolshevik Party.

The two older liberal parties, Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces (SPS), have hardly fared better. For years they have failed to combine, though both seek votes from the same sort of people; neither passed the 5% threshold for representation at the last parliamentary election, four years ago. That threshold has now been raised to 7%; the latest polls suggest that neither has a chance of getting over it. “I’m not scared of the Kremlin, but when you can’t agree among your own people, it’s time to leave politics,” says Irina Khakamada, who was a candidate for the presidency in 2004.

But the truth is that both SPS and Yabloko anyway tend to stay within bounds set by the Kremlin. SPS was founded and is funded by Anatoly Chubais, who runs Russia’s state-backed electricity monopoly. He gets on well with Mr Putin and relies on his support for electricity reform. SPS is not planning to put up its own challenger for the presidency (which the Kremlin’s candidate will almost certainly win). It is even nervous about putting some of its more outspoken activists on its list for the parliamentary elections.

The problem, however, runs deeper. As Boris Nemtsov, one of the SPS’s more plausible leaders, says: “There is no real demand for a liberal opposition in Russian society.” Many Russians still associate liberals such as Messrs Nemtsov and Chubais with impoverishment, chaos and loss of national pride in the 1990s. As members of Boris Yeltsin’s government, they talked of macroeconomic stability and fiscal discipline but never presented policies that resonated among ordinary Russians. Some of their oft-maligned reforms have come to fruition, ironically, under Mr Putin: helped by high oil prices, the economy is growing around 7% a year, the government budget is in surplus, inflation has been tamed and debt paid off.

Few Russians care enough about freedom of speech or human rights to risk their improving lifestyle. “The Kremlin has done a deal with the Russian people,” says Mr Kasyanov. ‘“Citizens! Enjoy life, travel abroad, buy cars, but don’t get involved in politics. If your patriotic feelings start to stir, we’ll satisfy them.’”

Indeed, whereas the appetite for liberal ideas is weak, nationalism remains strong. The Kremlin has set up parties of every hue to split and steal the opposition vote, while squashing any party it cannot control—and the nationalist simulacrums have fared worryingly well. If anyone breaks through the Kremlin’s stranglehold, it is unlikely to be the liberals.
It's a custom of the human condition for the masses to remain ignorant. It's what they do. In fact, that IS how "the peace" is kept. Whatever democracy we have here is a spectator's sport.
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Postby Armanen on Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:17 am


Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Moscow
25 Jul 07

Text of report (lead story) by Yuriy Simonyan: "Iran Is Going to

Tehran Reaches Agreement With Yerevan on Cooperation in Oil Processing
Industry" by Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta on 25 July

Iran and Armenia will jointly develop their oil processing
industries. An agreement to this effect was reached the other day at
an intergovernmental commission's session in Yerevan.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki stated that the parties
had reached agreement on laying a 200-kilometre oil pipeline from
Tabriz to the Armenian city of Meghri in which an oil refinery will
be built. The estimated total cost of the project is $1-2 billion
depending on the refinery's capacity. An Armenian-Iranian commission
and Gazprom, which substantially influences the Armenian energy sector,
will present a technical-economic feasibility study by the end of
September. A different question arises: Why did Iran decide to build
the refinery abroad despite the fact that Iranian refineries do not
meet the domestic demand and the authorities have made the decision
to ration gasoline as a result of which car owners can obtain 100
litres of fuel per month from now on.

The explanation provided by Tehran is refined Oriental way: It is
more secure to live beside a wealthy neighbour. Armenia is, indeed,
poor in this respect: It has to import all oil products. Therefore,
it is only logical that Armenian economists Artur Tamazyan and Eduard
Agadzhanov highly assess the project and opine that its implementation
will substantially change conditions for local consumers of oil
products, which will have a favourable effect on the domestic market
as a whole. "The idea of building a refinery has been hanging around
for a long time. There are indications that it will be implemented
now. There is only one downside at this point - the environmental
damage which accompanies the operation of any refinery. Having said
that, we do not know any details so far and therefore, it is impossible
to guess what advantages the refinery will bring and what negative
consequences it may entail," Tamazyan told Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

Overall, the refinery project looks exotic, because refineries are
usually built near an oil field, a seaport for further transportation
of refined products, and so on. Armenia does not have any of these if
it comes to construction, which gives rise to new questions the answers
to which will obviously be known only when the project is ready.

If the refinery has the capacity of several hundred thousand tonnes
of oil products it will be of local importance, for this is the amount
Armenia consumes domestically. In this case striving for peace through
altruism, which Tehran has articulated, will prove to be real, just
as the opinion that Iran is going to become an extremely influential
player in the South Caucasus by means of engaging its neighbours in
attractive economic projects.

At the same time, people in the expert community say that the
refinery can have the design capacity of 3 million tonnes of oil
products per year. If this is really so and if, along with building
the Tabriz-Meghri pipeline, the parties may build a reverse pipeline
to deliver gasoline back to Iran, we will be able to say that Tehran,
in preparation for US aggression: a) is trying to partially secure its
oil processing industry, although this will depend on the specific
Iranian-Armenian agreement the details of which are yet unknown; b)
is trying to provide itself with a certain amount of oil products
in the event of war, naturally, provided that the Iranian-Armenian
pipeline itself will be spared during a hypothetical strike, which
is rather unlikely; c) is placing a proportion of its state capital
abroad (in addition to the construction of the pipeline the commission
in Yerevan discussed a broad range of economic issues including the
introduction of free trade procedures, the development of transit,
and intensification of banking activities). The latter issue is of
particular importance taking into account the Armenian leadership's
ambitions to become a regional leader in this field. Therefore,
the oil project itself can also be regarded as, say, a confidential
guarantee of financial ties.

"Apparently, there are political reasons for the project. In the event
of war the construction of the refinery in Armenia looks logical,"
Agadzhanov told Nezavisimaya Gazeta. The Armenian Ministry of Energy
declined to answer Nezavisimaya Gazeta's questions on this topic,
citing the minister's busy schedule: "Only the minister can answer
these kinds of questions."

Recent criticism of the intensification of Armenian-Iranian
cooperation in the energy sector voiced by US Charge d'Affaires in
Armenia Anthony Godfrey add weight to the political theory of the
refinery construction. However, Washington is not the only player
unhappy with the project. For instance, the Azerbaijani newspaper
Ekho published a threat by Sirus Azad, one of the leaders of the
National Liberation Movement of South Azerbaijan, which belongs to
Iran, to destroy the Tabriz-Meghri pipeline, for it would "render
great support for the economic development of Armenia which occupies
Azerbaijani lands." "Until now the Iranian authorities strictly
controlled the domestic situation. Strategic pipelines in the whole
world are monitored particularly closely and this pipeline will not
be an exception when or if it is built," Stepan Grigoryan, head of the
Yerevan-based Regional Cooperation Centre, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

The date for the construction will probably become known during
the course of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad's visit to
Yerevan. As was stated in press releases published by the two states'
foreign ministries, a broad package of economic documents will be
signed. Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki did not specify
the date for Ahmadinezhad's visit which is expected to take place
"by the end of the year." Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisyan
and parliament speaker Tigran Torosyan will also pay visits to Tehran
this year.
It's a custom of the human condition for the masses to remain ignorant. It's what they do. In fact, that IS how "the peace" is kept. Whatever democracy we have here is a spectator's sport.
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Postby Armenian on Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:13 am

We are seeing a fast rise in arms proliferation across the world. Current volatile hot spots are: Japan vs China, North Korea vs South Korea, India vs Pakistan, Iran vs Israel, Iran vs Saudi Arabia, Syria vs Israel, Iraq vs Turkey, Russian Federation vs the West, Azerbaijan vs Armenia, Serbia vs Albania, Georgia vs Abkhazia, Colombia vs Venezuela. The aforementioned are all arming up for the impending world war. And here are some of the latest news in this new global arms race.


Reports: Iran to buy jets from Russia


Israel is looking into reports that Russia plans to sell 250 advanced long-range Sukhoi-30 fighter jets to Iran in an unprecedented billion-dollar deal. According to reports, in addition to the fighter jets, Teheran also plans to purchase a number of aerial fuel tankers that are compatible with the Sukhoi and capable of extending its range by thousands of kilometers. Defense officials said the Sukhoi sale would grant Iran long-range offensive capabilities.

Government officials voiced concern over the reports. They said Russia could be trying to compete with the United States, which announced over the weekend a billion-dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. Despite Israeli and US opposition, Russia recently supplied Iran with advanced antiaircraft systems used to protect Teheran's nuclear installations. At the time, Moscow said it reserved the right to sell Iran weapons, such as the antiaircraft system, that were of a defensive nature.

The Sukhoi-30 is a two-seat multi-role fighter jet and bomber capable of operating at significant distances from home base and in poor weather conditions. The aircraft enjoys a wide range of combat capabilities and is used for air patrol, air defense, ground attacks, enemy air defense suppression and air-to-air combat. After years of negotiations, the Indian Air Force in 1996 purchased 40 Sukhoi-30s and in 2000 acquired the license from the company to manufacture an additional 140 aircraft.


In related news:

US plans Saudi arms deal: official

A senior US defence official says the United States is readying a major arms package for Saudi Arabia with an eye to countering a changing threat from Iran. A senior US defence official says the United States is readying a major arms package for Saudi Arabia with an eye to countering a changing threat from Iran. The official says Defence Secretary Robert Gates is expected to discuss the US recommendations with the Saudis next week in a visit to the kingdom with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"We've been working very hard on the Saudi arms package, which we believe is critical to the overarching architecture that we believe we are going to need ... to deal with the changing strategic threat from Iran and other forces," the official said. The official, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, says discussions with Congress on the arms package have just begun and that no announcements were expected during Mr Gates' visit to Saudi Arabia.

"What there may be is discussion about what the administration is willing to go forwards with (and) ... what we would recommend to the Hill and others," she said, referring to Congress on Capitol Hill. The Pentagon provided no details on the arms package, which will reportedly total $US20 billion over the next decade. But administration officials speaking on condition of anonymity say it will include selling Saudi Arabia advanced weapons known as Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs).

JDAM is a low-cost guidance kit converting existing unguided free-fall bombs into accurately guided "smart" weapons. Munition equipped with such kits can attack simultaneously multiple targets in a coordinated strike by single or multiple aircraft. Defence experts say JDAM weapons were extensively used by the United States in recent conflicts in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. The package also will include new weapons for the United Arab Emirates, another US ally in the Persian Gulf, and both military and economic support to Egypt, the officials said.

Meanwhile, the Boston Globe reported in March that it is believed to include air and missile defence systems, advanced early warning radar aircraft, and light coastal combat ships. The New York Times reported in April that the package had been delayed because of Israeli concerns over the sale to Saudi Arabia of certain precision guided munitions. Mr Gates and Dr Rice are expected to emphasize US commitment to the region's security at a time when there is fierce debate at home of whether to withdraw US forces from Iraq. Congress has the power to block such sales, but the White House is hoping to avoid a major fight on the issue.


Israel hails US military aid rise

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has confirmed that the United States is planning a significant increase in military and defence aid to Israel. The package would reportedly amount to more than $30bn (£14.8bn) over the next 10 years. Mr Olmert described it as an important element for the security of Israel. Washington is reportedly preparing a package of major arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states because of concerns over Iran's nuclear programme. US defence aid to Israel currently stands at $2.4bn a year - the new package would amount to a 25% increase. Mr Olmert said the aid had been agreed at a meeting with US President George W Bush in Washington last month.


Pakistan tests nuclear-capable cruise missile

The Pakistani military says the country has successfully test fired its nuclear-capable radar-dodging cruise missile. A military statement says the indigenously developed Babur (Hatf-VII) missile has a range of 700 kilometres and "near stealth" properties. The missile was last tested in March and first fired in 2005, since then its range has been increased from 500 kilometres.

"The missile test is part of a continuous process of validating the design parameters set for this weapon system," the statement said. It said President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz congratulated the scientists and engineers "on this very important success."

"The Babur, which has near stealth capabilities, is a low flying, terrain hugging missile with high manoeuvrability, pinpoint accuracy and radar avoidance features," the statement said. "The test will consolidate Pakistan's strategic capability and strengthen national security."

Pakistan and India have routinely conducted missile tests since the nuclear-armed south Asian rivals carried out tit-for-tat nuclear detonations in May 1998. However, in 2004 they launched a slow-moving peace process aimed at ending six decades of hostility and resolving their dispute over the Himalayan territory of Kashmir, the cause of two of their three wars. In February, Pakistan signed a historic deal with India to cut the risk of atomic weapons accidents.


Bomb by Bomb, Japan Sheds Military Restraints

To take part in its annual exercises with the United States Air Force here last month, Japan practiced dropping 500-pound live bombs on Farallon de Medinilla, a tiny island in the western Pacific’s turquoise waters more than 150 miles north of here. The pilots described dropping a live bomb for the first time — shouting “shack!” to signal a direct hit — and seeing the fireball from aloft. “The level of tension was just different,” said Capt. Tetsuya Nagata, 35, stepping down from his xxxxpit onto the sunbaked tarmac.

The exercise would have been unremarkable for almost any other military, but it was highly significant for Japan, a country still restrained by a Constitution that renounces war and allows forces only for its defense. Dropping live bombs on land had long been considered too offensive, so much so that Japan does not have a single live-bombing range. Flying directly from Japan and practicing live-bombing runs on distant foreign soil would have been regarded as unacceptably provocative because the implicit message was clear: these fighter jets could perhaps fly to North Korea and take out some targets before returning home safely.

But from here in Micronesia to Iraq, Japan’s military has been rapidly crossing out items from its list of can’t-dos. The incremental changes, especially since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, amount to the most significant transformation in Japan’s military since World War II, one that has brought it ever closer operationally to America’s military while rattling nerves throughout northeast Asia. In a little over half a decade, Japan’s military has carried out changes considered unthinkable a few years back. In the Indian Ocean, Japanese destroyers and refueling ships are helping American and other militaries fight in Afghanistan. In Iraq, Japanese planes are transporting cargo and American troops to Baghdad from Kuwait.

Japan is acquiring weapons that blur the lines between defensive and offensive. For the Guam bombing run, Japan deployed its newest fighter jets, the F-2’s, the first developed jointly by Japan and the United States, on their maiden trip here. Unlike its older jets, the F-2’s were able to fly the 1,700 miles from northern Japan to Guam without refueling — a “straight shot,” as the Japanese said with unconcealed pride. Japan recently indicated strongly its desire to buy the F-22 Raptor, a stealth fighter known mainly for its offensive abilities such as penetrating contested airspace and destroying enemy targets, whose export is prohibited by United States law.

At home, the Defense Agency, whose profile had been intentionally kept low, became a full ministry this year. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used the parliamentary majority he inherited from his wildly popular predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi, to ram through a law that could lead to a revision of the pacifist Constitution. Japan’s 241,000-member military, though smaller than those of its neighbors, is considered Asia’s most sophisticated. Though flat, its $40 billion military budget has ranked among the world’s top five in recent years. Japan has also tapped nonmilitary budgets to launch spy satellites and strengthen its coast guard recently.

Japanese politicians like Mr. Abe have justified the military’s transformation by seizing on the threat from North Korea; the rise of China, whose annual military budget has been growing by double digits; and the Sept. 11 attacks — even fanning those threats, critics say. At the same time, Mr. Abe has tried to rehabilitate the reputation of Japan’s imperial forces by whitewashing their crimes, including wartime sexual slavery. Japanese critics say the changes under way — whose details the government has tried to hide from public view, especially the missions in Iraq — have already violated the Constitution and other defense restrictions.

“The reality has already moved ahead, so they will now talk about the need to catch up and revise the Constitution,” said Yukio Hatoyama, the secretary general of the main opposition Democratic Party. Richard J. Samuels, a Japan expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that revisionist politicians like Mr. Abe and Mr. Koizumi, once on the fringes of Japan’s political world, succeeded in grabbing the mainstream in a time of uncertainty. They shared the view “that the statute of limitations on Japan’s misbehavior during the Pacific War had expired” and that Japan, like any normal country, should have a military.

Their predecessors feared getting entangled in an American-led war. But the new leaders feared that Japan would be abandoned by the United States unless it contributed to its wars, said Mr. Samuels, whose book on Japan’s changing military, “Securing Japan,” will be published in August. “So what do you do?” he said. “You step up. And that is consistent with what they’ve long wanted to do anyway. So there was a convergence of preferences.” Today, Japan is America’s biggest partner in developing and financing a missile defense shield in Asia. Some Japanese ground and air force commands are also moving inside American bases in Japan so that the two forces will become, in military jargon, “interoperable.”

“I think the Japan-U.S. security relationship should be as unified as possible, and our different roles need to be made clear,” said Shigeru Ishiba, a defense chief under Mr. Koizumi and now a leader in a Liberal Democratic Party committee looking at loosening defense restrictions. In Iraq, in accordance with a special law to aid in reconstruction, a symbolic ground force was first deployed to a relatively peaceful, noncombat area in southern Iraq to engage in relief activities. After the troops left last year, though, three Japanese planes began regularly transporting American troops and cargo from Kuwait to Baghdad.

The Japanese authorities refuse to say whether the planes have transported weapons besides those carried by soldiers. Concerned about public opposition, defense officers have spied on antiwar activists and journalists perceived as critical, the Defense Ministry acknowledged after incriminating documents were recently obtained by the Communist Party in Japan. Mr. Hatoyama of the Democratic Party said that transporting armed American troops contravened Japan’s pacifist Constitution.

“Instead of engaging in humanitarian assistance, they are basically assisting American troops,” he said. “American troops and the Air Self-Defense Forces are working as one, just as they are training as one in Guam.” In Parliament, Mr. Abe denied that the activities violated the Constitution, saying Japanese troops were restricted to noncombat zones and did not operate under a joint command with any other force. Here in Guam, American and Japanese pilots simulated intercepts and air-to-air combat for two weeks. In the final days, each side took turns pummeling the tiny island with bombs.


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Postby Armenian on Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:29 am

Solzhenitsyn Accuses West of Trying to Sideline Russia


Nobel laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn has accused the West of trying to ignore and sideline Russia. The 88-year old author, who documented the murderous Soviet prison camp system based on his own seven-year experience as a prisoner of the gulag, said the Western criticism of Russia was often unfair, according to an interview with Der Spiegel magazine republished Tuesday in the Russian daily Izvestia.

"Of course, Russia is not a democratic country yet. It is only starting to build democracy and it's all too easy to take it to task with a long list of omissions, violations and mistakes," Solzhenitsyn was quoted as saying. "But did not Russia clearly and unambiguously offer its helping hand to the West after Sept. 11? Only a psychological inadequacy, or a disastrous shortsightedness can explain the West's irrational refusal of this hand." President Vladimir Putin welcomed the U.S. deployment to the formerly Soviet Central Asia for operations in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 2001 terror attacks an unprecedented gesture that helped boost relations but Washington.

But ties worsened again quickly amid differences over the war in Iraq, Washington's concerns about the Kremlin's backtracking on democracy and the Russia's opposition to U.S. missile defense plans in eastern Europe. Solzhenitsyn has appeared infrequently in public in recent years, looks frail and is believed to be ailing. In rare print or broadcast interviews, he has lamented the state of Russian politics and the government, but also has praised Putin despite the president's KGB background. Last month, Putin honored Solzhenitsyn with a State Prize for "humanitarian activity."

Solzhenitsyn scathingly criticized Putin's predecessors, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Russia's first President Boris Yeltsin for conducting ill-planned reforms and kowtowing to the West.


An interesting interview by the great writer:

Interview With Alexander Solzhenitsyn

SPIEGEL: There are four tables in this space alone. In your new book "My American Years," which will be published in Germany this fall, you recollect that you used to write even while walking in the forest.

Solzhenitsyn: When I was in the gulag I would sometimes even write on stone walls. I used to write on scraps of paper, then I memorized the contents and destroyed the scraps.

SPIEGEL: And your strength did not leave you even in moments of enormous desperation?

Solzhenitsyn: Yes. I would often think: Whatever the outcome is going to be, let it be. And then things would turn out all right. It looks like some good came out of it.

SPIEGEL: I am not sure you were of the same opinion when in February 1945 the military secret service arrested Captain Solzhenitsyn in Eastern Prussia. Because, in his letters from the front, Solzhenitsyn was unflattering about Josef Stalin, and the sentence for that was eight years in the prison camps.

Solzhenitsyn: It was south of Wormditt. We had just broken out of a German encirclement and were marching to Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) when I was arrested. I was always optimistic. And I held to and was guided by my views.

SPIEGEL: What views?

Solzhenitsyn: Of course, my views developed in the course of time. But I have always believed in what I did and never acted against my conscience.

SPIEGEL: Thirteen years ago when you returned from exile, you were disappointed to see the new Russia. You turned down a prize proposed by Gorbachev, and you also refused to accept an award Yeltsin wanted to give you. Yet now you have accepted the State Prize which was awarded to you by Putin, the former head of the FSB intelligence agency, whose predecessor the KGB persecuted and denounced you so cruelly. How does this all fit together?

Solzhenitsyn: The prize in 1990 was proposed not by Gorbachev, but by the Council of Ministers of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, then a part of the USSR. The prize was to be for "The Gulag Archipelago." I declined the proposal, since I could not accept an award for a book written in the blood of millions.

In 1998, it was the county's low point, with people in misery; this was the year when I published the book "Russia in Collapse." Yeltsin decreed I be honored the highest state order. I replied that I was unable to receive an award from a government that had led Russia into such dire straits.

The current State Prize is awarded not by the president personally, but by a community of top experts. The Council on Science that nominated me for the award and the Council on Culture that supported the idea include some of the most highly respected people of the country, all of them authorities in their respective disciplines. The president, as head of state, awards the laureates on the national holiday. In accepting the award I expressed the hope that the bitter Russian experience, which I have been studying and describing all my life, will be for us a lesson that keeps us from new disastrous breakdowns.

Vladimir Putin -- yes, he was an officer of the intelligence services, but he was not a KGB investigator, nor was he the head of a camp in the gulag. As for service in foreign intelligence, that is not a negative in any country -- sometimes it even draws praise. George Bush Sr. was not much criticized for being the ex-head of the CIA, for example.

SPIEGEL: All your life you have called on the authorities to repent for the millions of victims of the gulag and communist terror. Was this call really heard?

Solzhenitsyn: I have grown used to the fact that, throughout the world, public repentance is the most unacceptable option for the modern politician.

SPIEGEL: The current Russian president says the collapse of the Soviet Union was the largest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. He says it is high time to stop this masochistic brooding over the past, especially since there are attempts "from outside," as he puts it, to provoke an unjustified remorse among Russians. Does this not just help those who want people to forget everything that took place during the county's Soviet past?

Solzhenitsyn: Well, there is growing concern all over the world as to how the United States will handle its new role as the world's only superpower, which it became as a result of geopolitical changes. As for "brooding over the past," alas, that conflation of "Soviet" and "Russian," against which I spoke so often in the 1970s, has not passed away either in the West, or in the ex-socialist countries, or in the former Soviet republics. The elder political generation in communist countries was not ready for repentance, while the new generation is only too happy to voice grievances and level accusations, with present-day Moscow a convenient target. They behave as if they heroically liberated themselves and lead a new life now, while Moscow has remained communist. Nevertheless, I dare hope that this unhealthy phase will soon be over, that all the peoples who have lived through communism will understand that communism is to blame for the bitter pages of their history.

SPIEGEL: Including the Russians.

Solzhenitsyn: If we could all take a sober look at our history, then we would no longer see this nostalgic attitude to the Soviet past that predominates now among the less affected part of our society. Nor would the Eastern European countries and former USSR republics feel the need to see in historical Russia the source of their misfortunes. One should not ascribe the evil deeds of individual leaders or political regimes to an innate fault of the Russian people and their country. One should not attribute this to the "sick psychology" of the Russians, as is often done in the West. All these regimes in Russia could only survive by imposing a bloody terror. We should clearly understand that only the voluntary and conscientious acceptance by a people of its guilt can ensure the healing of a nation. Unremitting reproaches from outside, on the other hand, are counterproductive.

SPIEGEL: To accept one's guilt presupposes that one has enough information about one's own past. However, historians are complaining that Moscow's archives are not as accessible now as they were in the 1990's.

Solzhenitsyn: It's a complicated issue. There is no doubt, however, that a revolution in archives took place in Russia over the last 20 years. Thousands of files have been opened; the researchers now have access to hundreds and thousands of previously classified documents. Hundreds of monographs that make these documents public have already been published or are in preparation. Alongside the declassified documents of the 1990's, there were many others published which never went through the declassification process. Dmitri Volkogonov, the military historian, and Alexander Yakovlev, the ex-member of the Politburo -- these people had enough influence and authority to get access to any files, and society is grateful to them for their valuable publications.

As for the last few years, no one has been able to bypass the declassification procedure. Unfortunately, this procedure takes longer than one would like. Nevertheless the files of the country's most important archives, the National Archives of the Russian Federation (GARF), are as accessible now as in the 1990's. The FSB sent 100,000 criminal- investigation materials to GARF in the late 1990s. These documents remain available for both citizens and researchers. In 2004-2005 GARF published the seven-volume "History of Stalin's Gulag." I cooperated with this publication and I can assure you that these volumes are as comprehensive and reliable as they can be. Researchers all over the world rely on this edition.

SPIEGEL: About 90 years ago, Russia was shaken first by the February Revolution and then by the October Revolution. These events run like a leitmotif through your works. A few months ago in a long article you reiterated your thesis once again: Communism was not the result of the previous Russian political regime; the Bolshevik Revolution was made possible only by Kerensky's poor governance in 1917. If one follows this line of thinking, then Lenin was only an accidental person, who was only able to come to Russia and seize power here with German support. Have we understood you correctly?

Solzhenitsyn: No, you have not. Only an extraordinary person can turn opportunity into reality. Lenin and Trotsky were exceptionally nimble and vigorous politicians who managed in a short period of time to use the weakness of Kerensky's government. But allow me to correct you: the "October Revolution" is a myth generated by the winners, the Bolsheviks, and swallowed whole by progressive circles in the West. On Oct. 25, 1917, a violent 24-hour coup d'etat took place in Petrograd. It was brilliantly and thoroughly planned by Leon Trotsky -- Lenin was still in hiding then to avoid being brought to justice for treason. What we call "the Russian Revolution of 1917" was actually the February Revolution.

The reasons driving this revolution do indeed have their source in Russia's pre-revolutionary condition, and I have never stated otherwise. The February Revolution had deep roots -- I have shown that in "The Red Wheel." First among these was the long-term mutual distrust between those in power and the educated society, a bitter distrust that rendered impossible any compromise, any constructive solutions for the state. And the greatest responsibility, then, of course falls on the authorities: Who if not the captain is to blame for a shipwreck? So you may indeed say that the February Revolution in its causes was "the results of the previous Russian political regime."

But this does not mean that Lenin was "an accidental person" by any means; or that the financial participation of Emperor Wilhelm was inconsequential. There was nothing natural for Russia in the October Revolution. Rather, the revolution broke Russia's back. The Red Terror unleashed by its leaders, their willingness to drown Russia in blood, is the first and foremost proof of it.

SPIEGEL: Your recent two-volume work "200 Years Together" was an attempt to overcome a taboo against discussing the common history of Russians and xxxs. These two volumes have provoked mainly perplexity in the West. You say the xxxs are the leading force of global capital and they are among the foremost destroyers of the bourgeoisie. Are we to conclude from your rich array of sources that the xxxs carry more responsibility than others for the failed Soviet experiment?

Solzhenitsyn: I avoid exactly that which your question implies: I do not call for any sort of scorekeeping or comparisons between the moral responsibility of one people or another; moreover, I completely exclude the notion of responsibility of one nation towards another. All I am calling for is self-reflection.

You can get the answer to your question from the book itself: "Every people must answer morally for all of its past -- including that past which is shameful. Answer by what means? By attempting to comprehend: How could such a thing have been allowed? Where in all this is our error? And could it happen again? It is in that spirit, specifically, that it would behoove the xxxish people to answer, both for the revolutionary cutthroats and the ranks willing to serve them. Not to answer before other peoples, but to oneself, to one's consciousness, and before God. Just as we Russians must answer -- for the pogroms, for those merciless arsonist peasants, for those crazed revolutionary soldiers, for those savage sailors."

SPIEGEL: In our opinion, out of all your works, "The Gulag Archipelago" provoked the greatest public resonance. In this book you showed the misanthropic nature of the Soviet dictatorship. Looking back today, can you say to what extent it has contributed to the defeat of communism in the world?

Solzhenitsyn: You should not address this question to me -- an author cannot give such evaluations.


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Postby Armenian on Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:31 am

Gorbachev says British leadership panders to the United States


Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev accused the United Kingdom's government of creating problems for itself by trying to please only the United States at the expense of other partners. Discussing the ongoing row between the U.K. and Russia over Moscow's refusal to extradite a murder suspect, Gorbachev said the British leadership "is trying to be a good partner only for the United States, and often ends up in situations for which it later finds it difficult to justify itself to its people."

"Russia sees this, and cannot encourage such an approach, but is ready to constructively resolve current problems," he told journalists in Moscow. Gorbachev, 76, called for dialogue between Russian and British politicians to overcome the dispute.

"Our politicians should not be drawn into sharp statements, they need to bear in mind that Russia and Britain are linked by important ties - suffice to say that half a million Russians live in and around London alone," he said. Earlier in the month Russian prosecutors formally refused to extradite Kremlin bodyguard-turned-businessman Andrei Lugovoi, accused by the U.K. of fatally poisoning former security officer Alexander Litvinenko last year.

Last week, Britain expelled four Russian diplomats and slapped visa restrictions on officials in protest against the extradition refusal. Russia's Constitution forbids the extradition of Russian nationals. Moscow responded in kind, expelling British diplomats and announcing similar visa restrictions. The countries also suspended antiterrorism cooperation. The former leader, who remains popular in the West for his role in the collapse of communism and who heads the Gorbachev Foundation socio-political think tank, said: "What's done is done; it's necessary to stop, and return to dialogue."


In related news:

Gorbachev defends Putin's methods

Last Soviet leader says Russia's president, authoritarian at times, is trying to save the country for a democratic future.

Former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, whose reforms played a major role in freeing the Soviet Union from totalitarianism, defended authoritarian moves by Russian President Vladimir V. Putin as necessary "to prevent the disintegration of the country." Putin has chosen "to use certain methods … that were even authoritarian to some extent," the Nobel Peace Prize laureate said in a recent interview. "But even though he used those methods sometimes, he continued to have the same goals — the goals of moving toward democracy, toward market economics."

Gorbachev attributed tensions between Washington and Moscow to the "victory complex" of some U.S. leaders, and said the two governments should tone down harsh rhetoric and work together to solve global problems. Asked what advice he would have for Putin and President Bush, Gorbachev replied: "First of all, to preserve the climate of trust that emerged during the years of perestroika, when we were able to work together with the United States to discuss the issues and ultimately to end the Cold War. I believe that this trust is now in jeopardy."

Perestroika, as Gorbachev's reform policies of the late 1980s are known, played a major role in the collapse of the Soviet Union and laid the groundwork for U.S.-Russian friendship in the 1990s. But in the last few years, tensions have grown again. Besides the perceived rollback of democracy in Russia, U.S. dissatisfaction has been fueled by Moscow's alleged use of oil and gas export contracts to make political demands on its neighbors, differences over how to deal with Iran's nuclear program, a dispute over the future of Kosovo and other issues.

Russians have been angered by U.S. plans to install an antimissile system in Eastern Europe. Washington says it is needed to defend Europe and North America, citing the possibility of missile attacks by Iran. Moscow has expressed fear that the move would be a step toward a global missile-defense system aimed at devaluing Russia's and China's nuclear deterrents, and that the system could be modified for offensive missiles that would be close to Russia's border. Tensions have been further stoked by the radiation poisoning in London last year of Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent turned fierce Kremlin critic. In a written statement prepared shortly before his death, Litvinenko accused Putin of ordering his killing, a charge the Kremlin has dismissed as "nonsense."

The widespread perception in the United States is that the deterioration of U.S.-Russian ties has been caused by the Kremlin's actions. But Gorbachev said much of the blame should go to a "victory complex," which he described as a view expressed by some top U.S. officials that pressure exerted by former President Reagan brought about defeat of the Soviet Union in the Cold War. He included Vice President xxxx Cheney among this group. "I believe that this victory complex is very dangerous," Gorbachev said. "The United States has really not achieved anything alone. I believe that only when the United States worked with others was it able to achieve anything. Where they acted alone, the result was a real mess."

Gorbachev said he was encouraged, however, by the atmosphere of this month's informal Bush-Putin summit in Kennebunkport, Maine. "The more difficult the situation is, the more dialogue there should be, so I am pleased that it seems to be beginning to change," he said. "It seems now that perhaps with the moderating help of President Bush the father, the senior President Bush, something is beginning to happen and something useful is resulting." Gorbachev expressed hope that the recent summit would lead to a compromise on the antimissile system, ease Russia's concerns and bring international cooperation on such matters.

Another problem aggravating U.S.-Russian relations, Gorbachev said, is that Western journalists, analysts and politicians often fail to acknowledge the depth of Russia's problems in the 1990s, under then-President Boris N. Yeltsin, and the practical justifications for some of the non-democratic methods used by Putin to reestablish the authority of the Russian state after he became president on the last day of 1999. In the late 1990s, "the country was really in dire straits," Gorbachev said. "People were living in poverty and there was chaos in the country…. So in this situation Putin was faced with the question of what kind of methods to use in order to prevent the disintegration of the country."

Gorbachev did not spell out what sort of authoritarian steps he believed Putin had taken. But Putin has been criticized by democracy advocates for establishing state control over all nationwide television networks, ending the direct election of governors and establishing a pliable parliament with election rules that make it difficult for opposition forces to win seats. Although Gorbachev typically defends Putin in public comments, at the same time he is the key political backer and an important financial supporter of the country's most fiercely independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, which frequently carries reporting and commentary sharply critical of Putin. Copies of the newspaper are prominently displayed in the lobby of the Gorbachev Foundation, which studies social, economic and political issues.

Gorbachev portrays his backing of Novaya Gazeta as support for democracy, not an anti-Kremlin line. At the same time, his support for Putin is not so one-dimensional as seen in much pro-Kremlin media. His argument is that what Putin is doing, with all its flaws, should be seen in its historical context. "I believe that reemphasizing the role of the state, consolidating the state, which is what Putin did, is justified," Gorbachev said. "When the country was really lying on its back, when the country was in really bad shape, during the Yeltsin years, when half the population of the country, and even more, were living in poverty, the West was applauding Yeltsin," he added.

With living conditions dramatically improved today, he continued, "I don't know why the [foreign] media is so negative about Russia. Are you, the reporters, talking to only one group of people whose thoughts all go in the same direction? Well, I would suggest that you talk to a larger group of people, to all kinds of people." Polls show that Putin's popularity rating is consistently more than 70%. "I support Putin, and I do that deliberately and thoughtfully, because even though of course many mistakes were made, still Putin … is transforming Russian politics in a way that will benefit the majority of the people and ensure stability in the country," Gorbachev said.

"Certainly, he has not been 100% successful. Certainly, there is still a lot of corruption and stealing in the country. But, I mean, what do you want? Do you want Putin to be swept away?" Gorbachev said he believed Putin would keep his pledge to step down next year at the end of his second term, as required by the constitution, and that this will be an important contribution to the development of Russian democracy. He endorsed, however, the widely accepted idea that Putin will carve out an influential post-presidential role that would help ensure the stability of the country's current policies.

"Of course, there is absolutely no need to repeat the mistakes that were made by Putin, by the government, by others," he said. But "the positive decisions far outweigh whatever mistakes were made."


Gorbachev blasts American ‘imperialism‘

Former President Mikhail Gorbachev said Friday that the fall of the Soviet Union, which he helped bring about, ushered in an era of U.S. imperialism responsible for many of the world‘s gravest problems. He has since became a supporter of President Vladimir Putin‘s assertive foreign policy and resistance to American power — calling occasional news conferences to praise Putin‘s policies — but his criticism of the United States on Friday was especially harsh. Instead of ushering in a new era of cooperation with the West, the USSR‘s collapse put the United States into an aggressive, empire-building mood, the former leader said. Ultimately, he said, that has led the U.S. to commit a string of "major strategic mistakes."

"Unilateral actions and wars followed," he added, saying that Washington "ignored the Security Council, international law and the will of their own people." Russia has fallen out with Washington on a host of other issues, pushing relations to a frosty state that some commentators have likened to the Cold War. Gorbachev, who won the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending the Cold War, echoed Putin‘s frequent endorsement of a so-called "multipolar world," without the perceived dominance of the United States.

Gorbachev also claimed that Putin‘s recent decision to suspend Russia‘s participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty was aimed at "encouraging" a dialogue on the amended version of the document which Russia has ratified but the United States and other NATO members have not. And with parliamentary and presidential elections approaching, Gorbachev bemoaned the absence of a major liberal party in Russian politics, which is dominated by the pro-Kremlin United Russia. He dismissed Russia‘s main opposition group, Other Russia, as only "about making a bit of noise," and riding on the star power of its leader, former chess champion Garry Kasparov.

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Postby Armenian on Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:32 am

Russia: one of the world's richest countries?


The United States, Japan, China, Germany...Russia? Strange as it may seem, the world's largest country might soon also be one of its five biggest economies. On Tuesday, Russia's Economic Development and Trade Ministry submitted a remarkable document to the government - a plan for Russian social and economic development until the year 2020. With ambitious targets, it attracted the attention of experts even before its official publication.

According to the forecast, if the country shifts its economic orientation from raw materials to innovation, its gross domestic product will grow by an average of 6.7% a year, putting the Russian economy into the world's top five. At that rate, the country's economy will grow two-and-a-half times by 2020, giving it an annual per capita GDP of $30,000 - no less than Western Europe and North America. Some experts smirk at the forecast for its starry-eyed idealism-but Russia's present-day and recent economic growth rates back it up. GDP has been adding almost 7% annually for the last eight years, exceeding the most optimistic projections of government experts and other analysts. The Economic Development and Trade Ministry has forecast a 6.5% growth rate for this year. It will certainly be greater than that-the Kremlin and the Cabinet expect 7-8%.

Russia's industrial development is on a par with the Asian Tigers'. Manufacturing and engineering picked up just as mining slowed down. The Federal State Statistics Service, or Rosstat, reported a 7.7% increase in industrial output in the first half of the year. The rate for manufacturing and engineering was 12.2%. The figures for June were even more impressive: 10.9% and 15.6%, respectively. So a majority of economists are not skeptical about the country's development strategy. According to experts at the Institute of National Economic Forecasting, affiliated with the Russian Academy of Sciences, pessimistic forecasts are based on an inertial model of development, which is outdated now that 15 years of reforms has given Russia a full-fledged market economy. Now, the targets will be hit. "It's hard to give advice to the government in the current situation. They're saying all the right things. They must act accordingly. That's what matters most," says Viktor Ivanter, the Institute's director.

Academic economists are even more optimistic in their forecasts. They expect GDP growth to stay within a range of 7.9-8.3% in 2007-30. They see only one drawback in the development strategy: it does not specify the factors that will bring about this huge economic growth. The Economic Development and Trade Ministry thinks they are finding fault. The strategy presents only its general opinion of Russia's economic future and the government's social targets, which are to raise living standards and reduce poverty. The ministry will be ready by December with a more detailed forecast for the country's development until 2020. The comprehensive study will specify all indices, with a thorough analysis of every economic sector, and distribute responsibilities among ministries and other central-government agencies.

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Postby Armenian on Mon Jul 30, 2007 3:21 pm

10 Reasons Why Russia Can’t Trust Uncle Sam


The West says that it is perplexed by Russia's "aggressive" behavior of late, and suggests that Moscow is desirous to regain its past superpower status, and even a little empire. But if cashing in on oil is imperialism, how do we explain the following U.S. moves:

10. Scrapping the Anti-Ballis­tic Missile Treaty - In Decem­ber 2001, three months after 9/11, U.S. President George W. Bush told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the U.S. was pulling out of the 1972 ABM Treaty, a Cold War-era document that specifically forbade the development and deployment of anti-missile defense systems. The treaty ensured that signatory nations adhere to the mutually assured destruction (MAD) concept - if you destroy us we will destroy you formula. Yes, it was certainly MAD, but it kept the peace for 30 years. Former Defense Secre­tary Donald Rumsfeld attempted to reassure Moscow that the decision was nothing personal. "It [the treaty] failed to recognize that the Soviet Union is gone and that Russia is, of course, not our enemy." Putin called the move "a mistake."

9. "Mission Accomplished" - On March 20, 2003, the United States - without a mandate from the United Nations, and against the heated objections of France, Germany and Russia - invaded Iraq on the pretext that the secular Baathist state of Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was a proud sponsor of terrorism. Both accusations were proven wrong. Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the BBC in an interview that the attack was a violation of international law. "From our point of view and the UN Charter point of view, it [the war] was illegal."

8. Pentagon Spending Spree - The United States, which just put the finishing touches on a $583 billion dollar shopping trip for 2008, accounts for about half of global expenditures (or the next 14 nations). However, as Robert Higgs of the Inde­pendent Institute argues, "the trillion-dollar defense budget is already here." Higgs calculated that U.S. military-related spending in 2006 was actually $934.9 billion if we figure in Home­land Security ($69.1bln), the Dept. of Energy, which oversees nuclear weapons ($16.6 bln) and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs ($69.8 bln), as well as other juicy pork chops. In May, the Democrat-controlled House and Senate approved almost $95 billion for the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through September (Go Dems!). Meanwhile, "aggressive" Russia, with a 48 percent increase in military spending since 1996, still spends ‘just' $85 billion annually on military expenditures.

7. NATO XXL - As Dan Simpson, a retired U.S. diplomat argued in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "The United States and other NATO members have taken some actions along the way to lull the Russians into acquiescence as NATO expanded to include the former Warsaw Pact na­tions... The argument was that these countries wanted to join NATO and that their membership posed no threat to Russia. That line prevailed as NATO membership grew to include also Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, former republics of the Soviet Union. Now the Russians see the same argument being advanced for Georgia and Ukraine. That's getting close to home."

6. New Military Bloopers - As the Pakistani government of Gen. Pervez Musharraf struggles to contain the fallout of an 8-day battle against militants at the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque), a U.S. official turned up the heat by telling CNN that if the U.S. "had actionable targets, anywhere in the world," including Pakistan, then "we would pursue those targets." Meanwhile, talk about a possible attack on Iran, a nation that ranked on America's axis of evil hit parade, continues.

5. Think-Tank Saber Rattling - Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press write an article in the prestigious U.S. journal Foreign Affairs entitled "Nuclear Primacy" (March/April 2006), which argues, in a nutshell, that "It will probably soon be possible for the United States to destroy the long-range nuclear arsenals of Russia or China with a first strike." Is this the sort of article that America should be supporting if it wants Russia to believe that elements of the proposed U.S. missile defense system in Poland and... oops! Don't want to spoil the plot! Anyways, Moscow ‘responds' with very accurate penmanship one year later as it test-fires its new RS-24 ballistic missile that it said could "overcome any potential missile defense systems developed by foreign countries."

4. Cheney Comfort - One month after the above love letter hit newsstands, Vice President Dick Cheney, during a trip to Vilnius, Lithuania, assuaged Moscow's fears by reiterating, once again: "Russia has nothing to fear and everything to gain" by ‘democratic activity' on her borders.

3. Gates' Gated Community - In early 2007, Pentagon chief Robert Gates urged viligance when he warned, "We don't know what's going to develop in places like Russia and China, in North Korea, in Iran and elsewhere." Was this a simple case of mistaken identity by a former White House Russian analyst? Whatever the case, it certainly helped to provoke Putin's heated Munich speech in February, where he admonished the world's "one master, one sovereign."

2. EU Culpability - As the War on Terror continues, Europe is losing its Snow White innocence. As the German magazine Der Spiegel reported, "On July 19, 2002, a Gulfstream business jet took off from Frankfurt am Main bound for Amman, Jordan. The flight received an AFTM exempt [pilot code for ‘extreme situation'], although it carried neither patients nor politicians. Instead, the jet was carrying a CIA team that took a Mauri­tanian terrorism suspect... to Guan­tanamo." Der Spiegel reported that this "camouflaging of an illegal kidnapping as a rescue flight" was not an isolated event: There were 390 such takeoffs and landings in Germany between 2002 and 2006. And considering Eastern European hotels, it's just too scary to consider those secret terrorist prisons that allegedly exist in Poland and Romania.

1. Don't Worry, These anti-Missile Missiles won't Hurt You, Really - Washington is now incredulous, shocked, mortified that Moscow has the nerve to suggest that there could be less than good intentions involved in the construction of an anti-missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, even though there are no bad-guy technologies on the horizon that such a system could intercept. Go figure!

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Postby Armenian on Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:20 am

The following essay about the geopolitical analysis written by Brzezinski reveals what Russia faces today and why Moscow has been reacting the way is has been for the past several years. Note: the following work by Brzezinski, an ardent anti-Russian policy maker, was written during the late 90s a time when Russia was being scavenged from the inside out and there was no sign of a nationalistic surge within the Russian Federation. Since Russia's reemergence upon the geopolitical stage coupled with Washington getting bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as American political setbacks at home and abroad, as well as its tens of trillions dollars of deficit, the pursuit of the grandiose global agendas of the US State Department have been thrown off quite a bit.

I keep brining up Brzezinski's book the THE GRAND CHESSBOARD American Primacy And It's Geostrategic Imperatives because it is the clearest and most comprehensive work in print detailing Washington's foreign policy formulations written by an insider.


A War in the Planning for Four Years

Zbigniew Brzezinski and the CFR Put War Plans in a 1997 Book -- It is "A Blueprint for World Dictatorship," Says a Former German Defense and NATO Official Who Warned of Global Domination in 1984, in an Exclusive Interview With FTW. "THE GRAND CHESSBOARD -- American Primacy And It's Geostrategic Imperatives," Zbigniew Brzezinski, Basic Books, 1997.

These are the very first words in the book, "Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some five hundred years ago, Eurasia has been the center of world power." -- p. xiii. Eurasia is all of the territory east of Germany and Poland, stretching all the way through Russia and China to the Pacific Ocean. It includes the Middle East and most of the Indian subcontinent. The key to controlling Eurasia, says Brzezinski, is controlling the Central Asian Republics. And the key to controlling the Central Asian republics is Uzbekistan. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Uzbekistan was forcefully mentioned by President George W. Bush in his address to a joint session of Congress just days after the attacks of September 11 as the very first place that the U.S. military would be deployed.

As FTW has documented in previous stories, major deployments of U.S. and British forces had taken place before the attacks. And the U.S. Army and the CIA had been active in Uzbekistan for several years. There is now evidence that what the world is witnessing is a cold and calculated war plan -- at least four years in the making -- and that, from reading Brzezinski's own words about Pearl Harbor, the World Trade Center attacks were just the trigger needed to set the final conquest in motion.

FTW, November 7, 2001, 1200 PST -- There's a quote often attributed to Allen Dulles after it was noted that the final 1964 report of the Warren Commission on the assassination of JFK contained dramatic inconsistencies. Those inconsistencies, in effect, disproved the Commission's own final conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone on November 22, 1963. Dulles, a career spy, Wall Street lawyer, the CIA director whom JFK had fired after the 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco -- and the Warren Commission member who took charge of the investigation and final report -- is reported to have said, "The American people don't read."

Some Americans do read. So do Europeans and Asians and Africans and Latin Americans. World events since the attacks of September 11, 2001 have not only been predicted, but also planned, orchestrated and -- as their architects would like to believe -- controlled. The current Central Asian war is not a response to terrorism, nor is it a reaction to Islamic fundamentalism. It is in fact, in the words of one of the most powerful men on the planet, the beginning of a final conflict before total world domination by the United States leads to the dissolution of all national governments. This, says Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member and former Carter National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, will lead to nation states being incorporated into a new world order, controlled solely by economic interests as dictated by banks, corporations and ruling elites concerned with the maintenance (by manipulation and war) of their power. As a means of intimidation for the unenlightened reader who happens upon this frightening plan -- the plan of the CFR -- Brzezinski offers the alternative of a world in chaos unless the U.S. controls the planet by whatever means are necessary and likely to succeed.

This position is corroborated by Dr. Johannes B. Koeppl, Ph.D. a former German defense ministry official and advisor to former NATO Secretary General Manfred Werner. On November 6, he told FTW, "The interests behind the Bush Administration, such as the CFR, The Trilateral Commission ( founded by Brzezinski for David Rockefeller -- and the Bliderberger Group, have prepared for and are now moving to implement open world dictatorship within the next five years. They are not fighting against terrorists. They are fighting against citizens."

Brzezinski's own words -- laid against the current official line that the United States is waging a war to end terrorism -- are self-incriminating. In an ongoing series of articles, FTW has consistently established that the U.S. government had foreknowledge of the World Trade Center attacks and chose not to stop them because it needed to secure public approval for a war that is now in progress. It is a war, as described by Vice President xxxx Cheney, "that may not end in our lifetimes." What that means is that it will not end until all armed groups, anywhere in the world, which possess the political, economic or military ability to resist the imposition of this dictatorship, have been destroyed.

These are the "terrorists" the U.S. now fights in Afghanistan and plans to soon fight all over the globe. Before exposing Brzezinski (and those he represents) with his own words, or hearing more from Dr. Koeppl, it is worthwhile to take a look at Brzezinski's background. According to his resume Brzezinski, holding a 1953 Ph.D. from Harvard, lists the following achievements:

Counselor, Center for Strategic and International Studies Professor of American Foreign Policy, Johns Hopkins University National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter (1977-81), Trustee and founder of the Trilateral Commission, International advisor of several major US/Global corporations, Associate of Henry Kissinger Under Ronald Reagan, member of NSC-Defense Department Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy Under Ronald Reagan, member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Past member, Board of Directors, The Council on Foreign Relations 1988, Co-chairman of the Bush National Security Advisory Task Force. Brzezinski is also a past attendee and presenter at several conferences of the Bliderberger group -- a non-partisan affiliation of the wealthiest and most powerful families and corporations on the planet.

The Grand Chessboard

Brzezinski sets the tone for his strategy by describing Russia and China as the two most important countries -- almost but not quite superpowers - whose interests that might threaten the U.S. in Central Asia. Of the two, Brzezinski considers Russia to be the more serious threat. Both nations border Central Asia. In a lesser context he describes the Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Iran and Kazakhstan as essential "lesser" nations that must be managed by the U.S. as buffers or counterweights to Russian and Chinese moves to control the oil, gas and minerals of the Central Asian Republics (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan).

He also notes, quite clearly (p. 53) that any nation that might become predominant in Central Asia would directly threaten the current U.S. control of oil resources in the Persian Gulf. In reading the book it becomes clear why the U.S. had a direct motive for the looting of some $300 billion in Russian assets during the 1990s, destabilizing Russia's currency (1998) and ensuring that a weakened Russia would have to look westward to Europe for economic and political survival, rather than southward to Central Asia. A dependent Russia would lack the military, economic and political clout to exert influence in the region and this weakening of Russia would explain why Russian President Vladimir Putin has been such a willing ally of U.S. efforts to date. (See FTW Vol. IV, No. 1 -- March 31, 2001)

An examination of selected quotes from "The Grand Chessboard," in the context of current events reveals the darker agenda behind military operations that were planned long before September 11th, 2001.

"The last decade of the twentieth century has witnessed a tectonic shift in world affairs. For the first time ever, a non-Eurasian power has emerged not only as a key arbiter of Eurasian power relations but also as the world's paramount power. The defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union was the final step in the rapid ascendance of a Western Hemisphere power, the United States, as the sole and, indeed, the first truly global power) (p. xiii)

"But in the meantime, it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book. (p. xiv)

"The attitude of the American public toward the external projection of American power has been much more ambivalent. The public supported America's engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (pp 24-5)

"For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia) Now a non-Eurasian power is preeminent in Eurasia -- and America's global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained. (p.30)

"America's withdrawal from the world or because of the sudden emergence of a successful rival -- would produce massive international instability. It would prompt global anarchy." (p. 30)

"In that context, how America `manages' Eurasia is critical. Eurasia is the globe's largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa's subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world's central continent. About 75 per cent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world's GNP and about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources." (p.31)

"Two basic steps are thus required: first, to identify the geostrategically dynamic Eurasian states that have the power to cause a potentially important shift in the international distribution of power and to decipher the central external goals of their respective political elites and the likely consequences of their seeking to attain them; second, to formulate specific U.S. policies to offset, co-opt, and/or control the above." (p. 40)

"To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together." (p.40)

"Henceforth, the United States may have to determine how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia, thereby threatening America's status as a global power." (p.55)

"Uzbekistan -- with its much more ethnically homogeneous population of approximately 25 million and its leaders emphasizing the country's historic glories -- has become increasingly assertive in affirming the region's new postcolonial status." (p.95)

"Thus, even the ethnically vulnerable Kazakhstan joined the other Central Asian states in abandoning the Cyrillic alphabet and replacing it with Latin script as adapted earlier by Turkey. In effect, by the mid-1990s a bloc, quietly led by Ukraine and comprising Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and sometimes also Kazakhstan, Georgia and Moldova, had informally emerged to obstruct Russian efforts to use the CIS as the tool for political integration." (p.114)

"Hence, support for the new post-Soviet states -- for geopolitical pluralism in the space of the former Soviet empire -- has to be an integral part of a policy designed to induce Russia to exercise unambiguously its European option. Among these states. Three are geopolitically especially important: Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine." (p. 121) "Uzbekistan, nationally the most vital and the most populous of the central Asian states, represents the major obstacle to any renewed Russian control over the region. Its independence is critical to the survival of the other Central Asian states, and it is the least vulnerable to Russian pressures." (p. 121)

Referring to an area he calls the "Eurasian Balkans" and a 1997 map in which he has circled the exact location of the current conflict ( describing it as the central region of pending conflict for world dominance - Brzezinski writes: "Moreover, they [the Central Asian Republics] are of importance from the standpoint of security and historical ambitions to at least three of their most immediate and more powerful neighbors, namely Russia, Turkey and Iran, with China also signaling an increasing political interest in the region. But the Eurasian Balkans are infinitely more important as a potential economic prize: an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil reserves is located in the region, in addition to important minerals, including gold." (p.124) [Emphasis added]

The world's energy consumption is bound to vastly increase over the next two or three decades. Estimates by the U.S. Department of energy anticipate that world demand will rise by more than 50 percent between 1993 and 2015, with the most significant increase in consumption occurring in the Far East. The momentum of Asia's economic development is already generating massive pressures for the exploration and exploitation of new sources of energy and the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea." (p.125)

"Kazakhstan is the shield and Uzbekistan is the soul for the region's diverse national awakenings." (p.130)

"Uzbekistan is, in fact, the prime candidate for regional leadership in Central Asia." (p.130) "Once pipelines to the area have been developed, Turkmenistan's truly vast natural gas reserves augur a prosperous future for the country's people. (p.132)

"In fact, an Islamic revival -- already abetted from the outside not only by Iran but also by Saudi Arabia -- is likely to become the mobilizing impulse for the increasingly pervasive new nationalisms, determined to oppose any reintegration under Russian -- and hence infidel -- control." (p. 133).

"For Pakistan, the primary interest is to gain Geostrategic depth through political influence in Afghanistan -- and to deny to Iran the exercise of such influence in Afghanistan and Tajikistan -- and to benefit eventually from any pipeline construction linking Central Asia with the Arabian Sea." (p.139)

"Moreover, sensible Russian leaders realize that the demographic explosion underway in the new states means that their failure to sustain economic growth will eventually create an explosive situation along Russia's entire southern frontier." (p.141) [This would explain why Putin would welcome U.S. military presence to stabilize the region.]

"Turkmenistan has been actively exploring the construction of a new pipeline through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea" (p.145)

"It follows that America's primary interest is to help ensure that no single power comes to control this geopolitical space and that the global community has unhindered financial and economic access to it." (p148)

"China's growing economic presence in the region and its political stake in the area's independence are also congruent with America's interests." (p.149)

"America is now the only global superpower, and Eurasia is the globe's central arena. Hence, what happens to the distribution of power on the Eurasian continent will be of decisive importance to America's global primacy and to America's historical legacy." (p.194)

"the Eurasian Balkans -- threatens to become a cauldron of ethnic conflict and great-power rivalry." (p.195)

"Without sustained and directed American involvement, before long the forces of global disorder could come to dominate the world scene. And the possibility of such a fragmentation is inherent in the geopolitical tensions not only of today's Eurasia but of the world more generally." (p.194)

"With warning signs on the horizon across Europe and Asia, any successful American policy must focus on Eurasia as a whole and be guided by a Geostrategic design." (p.197)

"That puts a premium on maneuver and manipulation in order to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America's primacy)" (p. 198)

"The most immediate 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." (p. 198)

"In the long run, global politics are bound to become increasingly uncongenial to the concentration of hegemonic power in the hands of a single state. Hence, America is not only the first, as well as the only, truly global superpower, but it is also likely to be the very last." (p.209)

"Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat." (p. 211) [Emphasis added]

The Horror -- And Comments From Someone Who Worked With Brzezinski

Brzezinski's book is sublimely arrogant. While singing the praises of the IMF and the World Bank, which have economically terrorized nations on every continent, and while totally ignoring the worldwide terrorist actions of the U.S. government that have led to genocide; cluster bombings of civilian populations from Kosovo, to Laos, to Iraq, to Afghanistan; the development and battlefield use of both biological and chemical agents such as Sarin gas; and the financial rape of entire cultures it would leave the reader believing that such actions are for the good of mankind.

While seconded from the German defense ministry to NATO in the late 1970s, Dr. Johannes Koeppl -- mentioned at the top of this article -- traveled to Washington on more than one occasion. He also met with Brzezinski in the White House on more than one occasion. His other Washington contacts included Steve Larabee from the CFR, John J. McCloy, former CIA Director, economist Milton Friedman, and officials from Carter's Office of Management and Budget. He is the first person I have ever interviewed who has made a direct presentation at a Bliderberger conference and he has also made numerous presentations to sub-groups of the Trilateral Commission. That was before he spoke out against them.

His fall from grace was rapid after he realized that Brzezinski was part of a group intending to impose a world dictatorship. "In 1983/4 I warned of a take-over of world governments being orchestrated by these people. There was an obvious plan to subvert true democracies and selected leaders were not being chosen based upon character but upon their loyalty to an economic system run by the elites and dedicated to preserving their power.

"All we have now are pseudo-democracies."

Koeppl recalls meeting U.S. Congressman Larry McDonald in Nuremburg in the early 80s. McDonald, who was then contemplating a run for the Presidency, was a severe critic of these elites. He was killed in the Russian shootdown of Korean Air flight 007 in 1985. Koeppl believes that it might have been an assassination. Over the years many writers have made these allegations about 007 and the fact that someone with Koeppl's credentials believes that an entire plane full of passengers would be destroyed to eliminate one man offers a chilling opinion of the value placed on human life by the powers that be.

In 1983, Koeppl warned, through Op-Ed pieces published in Newsweek and elsewhere, that Brzezinski and the CFR were part of an effort to impose a global dictatorship. His fall from grace was swift. "It was a criminal society that I was dealing with. It was not possible to publish anymore in the so-called respected publications. My 30 year career in politics ended.

"The people of the western world have been trained to be good consumers; to focus on money, sports cars, beauty, consumer goods. They have not been trained to look for character in people. Therefore what we need is education for politicians, a form of training that instills in them a higher sense of ethics than service to money. There is no training now for world leaders. This is a shame because of the responsibility that leaders hold to benefit all mankind rather than to blindly pursue destructive paths.

"We also need education for citizens to be more efficient in their democracies, in addition to education for politicians that will create a new network of elites based upon character and social intelligence."

Koeppl, who wrote his 1989 doctoral thesis on NATO management, also authored a 1989 book -- largely ignored because of its controversial revelations -- entitled "The Most Important Secrets in the World." He maintains a German language web site at and he can be reached by email at As to the present conflict Koeppl expressed the gravest concerns, "This is more than a war against terrorism. This is a war against the citizens of all countries. The current elites are creating so much fear that people don't know how to respond. But they must remember. This is a move to implement a world dictatorship within the next five years. There may not be another chance."

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Postby Armenian on Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:23 am

China plans US$1.1bil Russia oil pipeline


China, the world's biggest energy consumer after the United States, will spend eight billion yuan (US$1.1bil) to construct a section of a crude oil pipeline to transport the fuel from neighbouring Russia. The Chinese section of the pipeline would be 965km long and construction would start this year and finish in 2010, China Planned Projects Web site, an affiliate of the National Development and Reform Commission, said on its website.

China is bolstering ties with Russia to secure energy supplies for an economy that expanded 11.9% in the second quarter, the fastest pace in 12 years. Russia plans to transport 15 million tonnes of crude a year to China through the pipeline in its initial phase. China National Petroleum Corp, the country's biggest oil company, signed an agreement with OAO Transneft to build a spur off Russia's trans-Pacific pipeline to pump oil to China, the China News Agency reported.

The Chinese company would invest in the construction of the branch pipeline, Andrei Dementiev, deputy head of Russia's Ministry of Energy & Industry. The volume of oil transported through the pipeline would double in the second stage of the project, Russia's Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said. Work on the spur to China would start within 208 days after China transferred its first payment toward construction costs, the Russian Interfax news agency reported. – Bloomberg

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