Monthly Archives: September 2008

>End Times File: Sarkozy: New global financial system needed; three US banks to control 1/3 of deposits following bailout bill failure

>In assessing the damage that the global financial crisis has inflicted upon the economies of the G8, French/European President Nicolas (“Prince of Darkness”) Sarkozy has announced that Paris will host a meeting of European officials to prepare a summit in the coming weeks that will establish a new international financial system. Will that new system consist of a mark on the forehead or right hand? Coming soon to a scanner near you.

US banks are not the only ones facing crises of existence. On Monday, AFP reports below, the Franco-Belgian bank Dexia convened an emergency board meeting after Dexia’s shares closed down 30 percent on the Paris exchange. Belgium’s federal government also disclosed yesterday that it had tentatively agreed to prop up Dexia, less than 24 hours after rescuing Belgian-Netherlands banking and insurance giant Fortis.

France’s Sarkozy battles fallout from financial crisis
by Carole Landry
Mon Sep 29, 5:55 PM ET

President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday battled to contain fallout from the global financial crisis, moving ahead with plans for a world summit and calling a meeting of French banking and insurance chiefs.

France will host a meeting of European officials to prepare a summit “in the coming weeks to establish the basis of a new international financial system,” said Sarkozy, whose country holds the presidency of the European Union.

Officials from Britain, France, Germany and Italy — the EU members of the G8 — will meet in Paris in the coming days to lay the groundwork, he said on the sidelines of an EU-India summit in the southern city of Marseille.

On Tuesday, the president is to meet at the Elysee presidential palace with banking and insurance company chiefs to take a close look at the health of French banks and review the credit level of French households and businesses.

The announcements came as the Franco-Belgian bank Dexia announced an emergency board meeting after liquidity concerns sent its shares into freefall.

Dexia’s shares closed Monday down 30 percent on the Paris exchange, at seven euros worth less than a third of their value this time last year.

Belgium’s federal government announced late Monday that it had tentatively agreed, along with its three main regions and shareholders, to help prop up the embattled bank — less than 24 hours after stepping in to rescue Belgian-Netherlands banking and insurance giant Fortis.

“During consultations between the federal government and the three regional governments (Wallonia, Flanders and Brussels) this afternoon, they confirmed their in-principle agreement to take part in a joint effort to boost Dexia group’s funds,” a statement said.

The statement, distributed by the office of Prime Minister Yves Leterme, made no mention of financial details but Belgian media said the support could amount to seven billion euros (10 billion dollars).

On Sunday, the Benelux countries stepped in to partially nationalise Fortis, increasing fears the crisis that has wiped out several US and British banks was spreading across Europe.

Sarkozy warned in a major address last week that France would not be spared from the turmoil unleashed by the US banking crisis.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index plunged 5.04 percent to 3,953.48 points Monday in line with other European stock markets.

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Meanwhile, in Washington DC the arm twisting has begun as President George W. Bush expresses his displeasure over Congress’ rejection of the bailout bill, an instrument that would have thrown US$700 billion of taxpayers money at failed, privately owned financial institutions:

The consequences will grow worse each day if we do not act. Our economy is depending on decisive action from the government. I’m confident that we’ll deliver. As much as we might wish the situation were different, our country is not facing a choice between government action and the smooth functioning of the free market. We’re facing a choice between action and the real prospect of economic hardship for millions of Americans.

Notwithstanding the deadlock between the White House and Capitol Hill, three corporations are leveraging the crisis in strategic buyouts to secure one third of all deposits in the country: 1) Citigroup Inc., after its takeover of Wachovia Corp., 2) Bank of America Corp., after its takeover of Countrywide Financial Corp. and pending acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., and 3) JPMorgan Chase & Co., after its takeover of Washington Mutual Inc. “Given the crisis mentality in Washington and New York, little attention is being paid to what is an unprecedented level of consolidation,” the Philadelphia Inquirer quotes Matthew Lee, executive director of Inner City Press/Fair Finance Watch, as saying.

>EU File: Tu-160 bomber flies within 20 miles of inland British city of Hull, 2007 incident worst post-Cold War breach of security

>According to the British media the Russian supersonic bomber mentioned below flew within 20 miles of the city Hull last year. Kingston upon Hull, a city of 257,000, is located 25 miles inland from the North Sea. A similar incident occurred in Canada in August 2007 when a Russian military aircraft materialized over Goose Bay, Labrador before Canadian fighter jets arrived for an intercept. Goose Bay is located more than 200 kilometers inland from the North Atlantic Ocean. The same month the Kremlin formally announced that it was resuming long-range bomber patrols.

Pictured above: A Blackjack bomber lands at Engels Air Base near Saratov, about 700 kilometers southeast of Moscow, on August 7, 2008.

Russian nuclear bomber flies undetected to within 20 miles of Hull
By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 11:40 AM on 30th September 2008

A Russian nuclear stealth bomber was able to fly within 90 seconds of the British coast without being picked up by radar, it was revealed today.

The supersonic ‘Blackjack’ jet flew completely undetected to within just 20 miles from Hull in one of the worst breaches of British security since the end of the Cold War.

RAF radar eventually picked up the plane, but the only two pairs of fighter jets used for air alerts were on other duties.

A Tupoloev ‘Blackjack’ bomber similar to the jet that flew within 20 miles of the British coast completely undetected

The embarrassing breach late last year has called into question Britain’s defence capabilities after four jet squadrons were cut from the RAF’s budget four years ago.

One senior RAF pilot told The Sun: ‘The Russians made us look helpless. It was a disaster – it basically gave the Russians the green light to fly wherever they want.’

The supersonic jet had taken off from Engel’s Air Base near Saratov on Russia’s Volga delta.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed the incursion took place but said it had a ‘multi-layered’ approach to deterring enemy aircraft.

A spokesman said in a statement: ‘We are satisfied we have the flexibility to launch as many aircraft as the situation requires.’

>USA File: DJIA takes record 777-point hit as Congress rejects financial bailout bill, 3rd Infantry Division’s Brigade Combat Team to patrol cities

>The White House’s US$700 billion socialist bailout plan for America’s privately owned financial institutions was (rightly) rejected by Congress today, prompting stock markets to react violently. The following news blurb comes from CNN:

The fate of the government’s $700 billion financial bailout plan – a far-reaching attempt to stem a growing economic crisis – was thrown into doubt Monday as the House rejected the controversial measure.

The next steps were unclear. The abrupt defeat left the Bush administration and congressional leaders scrambling to figure out whether to renegotiate the bill and introduce it again as soon as Thursday or to try other options.

And stock markets reacted violently. Investors who had been counting on the rescue plan’s passage sent the Dow Jones industrial average down as much as 700 points while watching the measure come up short. The stock gauge closed 777 points lower – nearly 7%.

The measure, which is designed to get battered U.S. credit markets working normally again, needed 218 votes for passage. But it came up 13 votes short of that target, as the final vote was 228 to 205 against. Two thirds of Democrats and one third of Republicans voted for the measure.

President Bush, who earlier in the day said he was confident the bill would pass, is “very disappointed” by the House vote. He said the administration would continue to attack the nation’s economic problems “head on.”

The ripples of financial crisis are spreading throughout the world. On September 26, in a scenario reminiscent of the 1929 stock market crash, New Zealand-born, London-based banker Kirk Stephenson threw himself in front of the oncoming Plymouth-to-Paddington train. According to The Canberra Times, he was “haunted by the pressures of dealing with the credit crunch.”

Just in time for (planned?) economic collapse and martial law, the Pentagon will deploy the US Army’s Third Infantry Division’s First Brigade Combat Team where needed to deal with civil unrest and crowd control, widespread poisoning, and chaos resulting from a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE attack. “Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months,” reported the Army Times on September 8, “the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.” Northern Command is based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, but the soldiers with 1st BCT, who have 15 months of battlefield experience in Iraq, will reside at their home post in Fort Stewart, Georgia.

First BCT commander Colonel Roger Cloutier explains that US soldiers have been trained in the use of crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons to “subdue unruly or dangerous” individuals. “It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it,” Colonel Cloutier relates. The BCT crowd-suppression package includes spike strips for disabling vehicles, shields and batons, and beanbag bullets.

That’s nice. Say good bye to posse comitatus. The precedent for domestic military intervention, limited by law after the US Civil War, was set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when US soldiers were deployed to suppress crime in post-flood New Orleans and Mexican soldiers were invited to deliver aid to San Antonio, Texas.

Meanwhile, the Communist Bloc and Moscow-Beijing Axis are insulating themselves from the implosion of the US economy. Specifically, reports state-run Novosti, the Kremlin is using its massive forex reserves, the third largest in the world after China and Japan’s, to prop up Russia’s banking system: “The Russian Central Bank will grant state-controlled Vnesheconombank $50 billion from the country’s international reserves to support the financial system, a deputy economic development minister said Monday. [Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin said Russian companies had encountered problems in getting loan extensions or obtaining new loans as global financial woes caused by the U.S. mortgage crisis and banking defaults persisted.”

The ruling Communist Party of China has already ordered the country’s banks to halt all transactions with their US counterparts to prevent possible losses. Earlier this month the People’s Daily gloated: “The eruption of the U.S. sub-prime crisis has exposed massive loopholes in the United States’ financial oversight and supervision. The world urgently needs to create a diversified currency and financial system and fair and just financial order that is not dependent on the United States.” Read Red World Order.

For its part, Al Qaeda, a terrorist proxy operated on behalf of the Kremlin by Ayman al-Zawahiri, is promising to disrupt the US presidential election campaigns–thereby giving both the US economy and political system a little nudge into the dustbin of history–via a suspected plot called the “October surprise.” In a related story, 19 people died in the Al Qaeda-sponsored attack on the US embassy in Yemen on September 17. Heavily armed militants wearing police uniforms detonated a car bomb and opened fire at the compound’s perimeter security with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons. There were no casualties among US diplomatic staff. Osama bin Laden’s ancestral home is Yemen.

>Middle East File: Bombing kills five in soldier-filled bus in Tripoli, Lebanon, two days after Damascus bombing kills senior Syrian intel figure

>- Is Syria Preparing to Re-Invade Lebanon? Damascus’ Troops Encircle, Infiltrate Neighbor as Bombings Create Case for Plausible Deniability

- Today’s Tripoli Bus Bombing Follows Similar Incident Last Month in which Nine Lebanese Soldiers Were Killed by Briefcase Bomb

The fascist-communist state of Syria has encircled and infiltrated the failed state of Lebanon with its troops and covert operatives. Indeed, Lebanon has been under the control of Hezbollah and its allies in the presidential palace and military command since at least the May 2008 uprising/coup d’etat.

On Saturday a car bomb, detonated near the offices of the Mukhabarat and a Shiite Muslim shrine, killed 17 in Damascus. The Israeli media reports that “London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper says senior military officer is among 17 fatalities of car bomb which rocked Syrian capital. Attack believed to be meant for city’s intelligence services building.” Not surprisingly, the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem quickly blamed Israel as the country that stands the most to benefit from such an assassination.

In light of these events, today’s bombing in Tripoli, the largest city in northern Lebanon, near which Syrian commandos have reportedly taken up positions, is particuarly troubling. As the story below relates, the Assad regime is using its war against Lebanese-based, Saudi-backed Sunni Muslim terrorists as a cover to carry out its own nefarious plans for Syrian expansionism and irredentism.

However, if in reality this incident is the work of President Bashar al-Assad’s Palestinian allies in the Fatah al-Islam movement, which has previously targetted Lebanese military personnel, then Saturday’s Damascus bombing would represent a case of “plausible deniability” to camouflage the softening up of Lebanese defenses prior to a full-blown military re-invasion from Syria. Even BBC News admits this angle: “In Lebanon analysts are linking a bombing in the north of the country to a recent one in Syria, BBC Beirut correspondent Natalia Antelava reports.”

After a 29-year occupation, Syria withdrew its army from Lebanon in 2005. Damascus is one of Moscow’s most reliable Arab allies and categorized as a state sponsor of terrorism by the US State Department. Ten Russian warships are currently stationed at the Syrian port of Tartus, according to some reports.

4 Soldiers Killed in Lebanon Bombing
September 30, 2008
By ROBERT F. WORTH and GRAHAM BOWLEY

TRIPOLI, Lebanon — A car bomb exploded near a bus carrying Lebanese Army soldiers here on Monday, killing five and wounding 17, security officials said. Four of the dead were soldiers in the bus targeted in the attack, the second on the Lebanese military in a little over a month.

It came two days after a horrific car bombing in neighboring Syria, which the government in Damascus on Monday said was caused by a car that had crossed over the border from a nearby Arab state, although it did not name Lebanon.

Syria has recently warned that hard-line Sunni Islamists are operating just across the border in northern Lebanon, and tensions between Lebanon and Syria have risen as a result.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing Monday in Tripoli. The bomb, in a stationary car, was detonated as the bus was passing near the port area of this northern Lebanese city, the security officials said.

At the site of the explosion, the car was a blackened and shriveled wreck, and investigators were working over the bus, which was badly damaged but not destroyed. The bus had been carrying civilians as well as soldiers.

A witness, Abdel Qadir Shehadeh, 11, who was helping his father on a nearby car lot at the time of the attack, said he ran immediately to the scene. “I saw dead people and blood on the ground,” he said. “The car was burning. I heard people screaming.”

He said glass was broken at a gas station and other buildings nearby.

Former Prime Minister Najib Mikati, a Tripoli politician, was quoted by Reuters as telling Voice of Lebanon radio station, “This is a direct targeting of the military institution.”

The bombing bore close similarities to the attack in Lebanon last month, also in Tripoli, and also on a bus packed with Lebanese Army soldiers on their way to work.

In that attack, a bomb hidden in a briefcase tore through the bus, killing 15 people, including nine soldiers, and wounding more than 40 people.

It was the deadliest attack in Lebanon in more than three years, and occurred after a period of relative political calm here, after a new power-sharing deal among Lebanon’s divided factions in May.

Despite that deal, tensions have lingered in Tripoli, where the Lebanese Army killed many Islamist militants during a battle that raged for months last year in a Palestinian refugee camp.

Some Lebanese political figures said the bombing might have been revenge for the army’s role in Nahr al Bared, the refugee camp. Fatah al Islam, the Islamist group that fought the army there last year, has claimed responsibility for several small attacks on soldiers since then, including one that killed a soldier near Tripoli on May 31. The group’s leader, Shaker al-Absi, was never caught.

The Tripoli bombing on Monday coincided with an unusually detailed announcement from Syria about the Damascus attack on Saturday, including the license plate of the car. The authorities said the car had driven into Syria on Sept. 26 from a neighboring Arab state, the SANA news agency was quoted by Reuters as reporting.

The authorities did not identify the country. But earlier this month, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria issued a warning about the presence of hard-line Sunni Islamists just across the border in northern Lebanon, hinting that they were receiving support from Saudi Arabia.

Subsequently, thousands of Syrian troops were deployed near the border with northern Lebanon, in an intimidating move that was understood as a related gesture, though Syrian officials said it was to control smuggling.

Syria has often been accused of playing a role in the string of political bombings in Lebanon that began with the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005. But there were few if any such accusations after the attack in August.

Syria and its Lebanese allies — led by Hezbollah — have strengthened their position here in recent months, and few seemed to think Syria would have any reason to strike at the Lebanese Army.

In the meantime, the rising strength of Hezbollah and its show of force in Beirut in May have infuriated Sunni Muslims in Lebanon and across the Arab world. Some extremists are said to be filtering into northern Lebanon to fight back.

The bombing in Syria on Saturday followed two unusual political assassinations this year in Syria, a police state that generally maintains a tight grip on security, and it contributed to a growing sense of alarm about the possibility of internal subversion or foreign interference.

In the 1980s, the Syrian state, which is secular, battled hard-line Sunni Islamist rebels for years in a struggle that left tens of thousands dead.

The blast on Saturday morning took place near an intersection on the highway leading south to the airport, not far from the Sayyida Zainab shrine. The shrine draws Shiite pilgrims from across the region, including large numbers of Iranians.

About half a million Iraqi refugees also live in the densely populated area; most of them fled Iraq after war erupted there in 2003.

The bomb detonated close to an office of one of Syria’s highly secretive security services, according to a number of shopkeepers and residents in the area. It destroyed or damaged dozens of cars along the highway, and shrapnel scarred building facades and shattered glass through an entire city block.

The interior minister, Gen. Basam Abd al-Majid, told Syrian state television that the people behind the attack were “terrorists” and that investigators were tracking them down, but that “we can’t point the finger at any side.”

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>Middle East File: Car bomb kills at least 17 in Damascus as Syrian troops amass on Lebanese border; terrorism expert: Mukhabarat probably responsible

>- Syrian Troops Infiltrate Lebanon’s Eastern Border, Dig Network of Trenches 500 Meters inside Neighbor’s Territory

This past week 10,000 Syrian troops mobilized near Lebanon’s northern frontier. Earlier this month Syrian commandos reportedly infiltrated the border and took up positions in seven Alawite villages near Tripoli. W. Thomas Smith Jr., who writes for International Analyst Network, interviewed Dr. Walid Phares in the wake of today’s bombing in Damascus, which killed at least 17 people near an office of Syria’s intelligence service, the Mukhabarat, and a Shiite shrine. Phares directs the Future of Terrorism Project for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Since Syria, like ally Russia, is a police state, there is every good reason to believe that this event is a government-sponsored provocation, orchestrated by the Mukhabarat itself, that will be blamed either on Israel, Lebanese Sunni Muslims, or pro-Western forces in Lebanon. Phares comments: “I do not expect a direct Syrian intervention across the border into Lebanon; not immediately. The classical Syrian modus operandi is to see the situation deteriorating fully before they offer so-called ‘help.’” Phares contends that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is merely biding his time until it becomes evident who will win the next US presidential election. John McCain will presumably take a harder approach against America’s enemies, like Syria, than Barack Obama.

Pictured above: A Syrian man holds an injured boy at a hospital in Damascus on September 27, 2008, after the boy was caught in the deadly bomb blast in the capital.

PHARES: Syrian Mukhabarat Perhaps Responsible for Today’s Car-Bomb Attack 27 Sep 2008
By W. Thomas Smith Jr.

A powerful car-bomb detonated this morning in the Syrian capital, killing at least 17 and wounding scores. Why, who, or what terrorist entity is responsible has since been the subject of much speculation. But Middle East terrorism expert Professor Walid Phares says one “very possible scenario is that the attack was executed by the Syrian Mukhabarat (intelligence service) or one of these agencies as a prelude to attack Sunni strongholds inside Lebanon.”

Speaking by phone from Paris – where he is currently briefing counterterrorism experts, Defense officials, and others at the French Military Academy – Phares says: “When you connect the dots between Syrian President [Bashar] Assad, who calls on Lebanon’s president to send troops to the heavily Sunni-populated areas of north Lebanon, to the massing of Syrian troops along the northern borders, and then to the statements made by Syrian officials on Arab TV – including this morning on al Jazeera – that factions within Lebanon could be behind the explosion, you cannot but see the big picture: The strategic target of the Syrian regime is to control the Sunni areas in northern Lebanon who are fiercely opposing the pro-Assad Alawite militias in Tripoli and the advance of Hezbollah’s special units across the northern Bekaa towards Akkar in northern Lebanon.”

So the question is, would Syrian Intelligence forces actually detonate an explosive device on Syrian soil as a means of enflaming a situation, framing Lebanon, and creating an excuse to launch attacks across Lebanon’s borders?

Experts know there is no question but that they would. And as Phares explains: “The Syrian regime is desperately attempting to establish a perception of itself within the international community that Syria is engaged in combating Al Qaeda and its ilk inside Lebanon. It is within this perception that Syria hopes to gain some legitimacy from the West in order that Damascus may extend its reach and influence back inside its neighbor. The best way for Syria to accomplish this is to project an image of its being a victim to ‘Sunni radical terror.’ If one or more explosions inside Syrian territory will do it, that shouldn’t be a problem for a regime which is trying to save its skin in an ongoing international investigation and indictment in the Rafik Hariri assassination case.”

However, Phares says he does not expect “a direct Syrian intervention across the border into Lebanon; not immediately. The classical Syrian modus operandi is to see the situation deteriorating fully before they offer so-called ‘help.’”

He adds, “Fact is, the Assad regime is waiting to see who will enter the White House before moving to the next step toward Lebanon. For now the Syrian Mukhabarat is scoring point-by-point trying to regain the status of the regime internationally. That is very important for them.”

We asked Phares for his opinion regarding recent analysis proffered by everyone from Western media to consulting groups and think tanks, many of which contend the incident may well-be the result of increasing tension between Hezbollah and Syria.

“Just the opposite,” he says. “Everything is coordinated between Tehran and Damascus. If it were otherwise, we would have witnessed different types of actions between the two camps and additional statements. Iran and Syria are solidly moving forward to score points against the U.S., Europe, Arab moderates and the UN. Those analysts who propose otherwise are being influenced by the sharp and well-funded Syro-Iranian propaganda and the power of the petrodollar.”

Senior Hezbollah military commander, Imad Mughniyeh, was assassinated in Damascus in February. The Lebanese political party/terrorist group accused Israel of carrying out the killing, but Lebanon’s Minister of Communications Marwan Hamade had a different spin: “Why doesn’t Syria avenge the assassination of Hizbullah’s Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in Damascus not in Lebanon. His assassination was a major insult to Syria’s national security, unless Syria was involved in liquidating him.” Indeed.

As noted above in passing, in recent weeks Syrian troops have mobilized north of Lebanon, reportedly infiltrated Lebanese territory near Tripoli, and along with their Iranian counterparts occupy the strategically situated Mount Sannine, near Beirut. On September 28 the Lebanese media reported that Syrian troops have also infiltrated Lebanon’s eastern border, digging a network of trenches and establishing positions 500 meters inside their neighbor’s territory:

Syrian troops are nibbling Lebanese territories along the eastern borders by digging a network of trenches and setting up positions in a region that abuts Israel. The daily al-Mustaqbal said Sunday that the latest in such alleged activities by the Syrian army was reported in the vicinity of the remote northern hamlet of Kfarqouq in the Hasbaya region. Syrian troops, according to the report, are dug in about 500 meters deep in Lebanese territory. It quoted political sources as saying Syria is trying to nibble Lebanese territories in the eastern mountainous range in advance of demarcating the joint borders in line with U.N. Security Council resolutions.

In the summer of 2007 it was also reported that the Syrian army had bolstered its forces adjacent to the Golan Heights, occupied and annexed by Israel and thus a source of friction between the two countries.

In the light of these developments, Smith poses the question: “Would Syrian Intelligence forces actually detonate an explosive device on Syrian soil as a means of enflaming a situation, framing Lebanon, and creating an excuse to launch attacks across Lebanon’s borders? Experts know there is no question but that they would.” In view of the Ba’athist regime’s close military alliance with Moscow, Tehran, and Hezbollah it is to be suspected that Assad is preparing for war against Israel and Lebanon even as Damascus holds out the olive branch. Lebanon’s anti-Israel President Michael Suleiman, as we posted at the first link above, will be only too happy to faciliate Syrian expansionism and irredentism throughout the region, including his own country.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Stability-2008/Autumn-2008 war games underway in Russia, Belarus; 40,000 troops deployed for Centre-2008 Ural drill

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- Multi-Front Stability-2008/Autumn-2008 War Games Designed to Test Russia’s Nuclear Triad and Counter Potential Threats near Country’s Borders (read NATO)

- Russian President Medvedev Attends Test-Launch of Tactical Missile as Centre-2008 Maneuver Mobilizes 40,000 Troops near Industrial City of Orenburg

- Medvedev Addresses Military Commanders, Pledges Missile Defense Shield for Russia (to Supplement System Currently Protecting Moscow)

- Communist Bloc Military Coordination Exposed: Visiting Venezuelan President Chavez Rubs Elbows with Medvedev, Putin, and Sechin at Orenburg, Observes Russia’s Largest Land-Based War Game in 20 Years (above)

Pictured above: Russian tanks fire during a military exercise near the Siberian city of Kemerovo on September 26, 2008.

Under the title “The world should unite against the USA,” Soviet communist organ Pravda editorialized on September 21: “The anti-Russian rhetoric rolling off the tongues of the senior members of the Bush regime, and the continued anti-Russian hysteria coming out of the McCain-Palin camp, points towards the existence of a demon waiting to lunge behind the eyes of a country which appears to relish conflict and highlights the existence of a power-hungry clique which perpetuates itself through the manipulation of fear.”

Uniting against the USA may be the very reason behind the Union State of Russia and Belarus’ massive, four-week war game Stability-2008/Autumn-2008, underway since September 22. State-run Voice of Russia reports: “Russian Air Defence Special Forces have joined the Belarussian troops in the “Stability-2008” strategic exercises. The campaign began on September 22 and will be held in different regions of Russia and Belarus till October, 21st. The units will practice strategic deployment and interoperability of various units in missions in territorial waters, exclusive economic zones and specific regions of the world’s oceans. The cruisers of the Russian North Fleet are also taking part in the exercises.”

The most capable component of the Russian Navy, boasts state-run Novosti, the Murmansk-based Northern Fleet will contribute “various warships, nuclear-powered and diesel submarines, naval aviation and coastal troops” to Stability-2008. Belarus, unlike Russia, is land-locked and possesses no navy. “The Stability-2008 drills,” explains Novosti, “will last until October 21 in various regions of Russia and Belarus with the goal of practicing strategic deployment of the Armed Forces, including the nuclear triad, to counter potential threats near the Russian border.” Stability-2008/Autumn-2008 is nothing other than a dress rehearsal for Moscow’s stated intention to “neutralize” planned US NMD installations in Central Europe, including interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar base in the Czech Republic.

Pictured here: Russian helicopter gunships fire anti-missile flares during a military exercise near Kemerovo on September 26.

On Russia’s Pacific coast, units of the Far East Military District involved in Stability-2008 will deploy throughout Sakhalin and Kuril Islands in tactical “anti-terrorist” operations, a familar rubric employed by the Kremlin to disguise its war preparations against the Western Alliance. Russia has controlled the southern four Kuril islands since the end of the Second World War, when the Soviets invaded and occupied them. Since Moscow and Japan never signed a peace treaty, the two states are still technically at war. State-run Interfax reports:

A tactical exercise, Bereg (Coast), will be held in Russia’s Far East from September 29 to October 25 as part of the Stability 2008 strategic command-post drill.

The exercise will involve the headquarters, formations and units of all-arms forces of the Far East Military District, based in Primorye, as well as the Far East air and air defense forces and the Pacific Fleet, the Far East Military District reported on Thursday.

The maneuvers will be supervised by Col. Gen. Vladimir Bulgakov, the troops commander of the Far East Military District.

“The drill aims to practice the formation and deployment of the combined force in a simulated operation to defend the infrastructure of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands from possible terror attacks, and to guarantee safe navigation,” the Far East Military District said.

Also, the troops will practice operations to localize and put down armed conflicts and terror operations, and to deal with natural and man- made disasters.

Meanwhile, troops of the Volga-Urals Military District are wrapping up the Centre-2008 motorized infantry war games with the third and final stage, according to Itar-Tass, taking place 45 miles from the industrial city of Orenburg. According to Russian Army Colonel Igor Konashenkov 9,000 officers and soldiers, 1,000 tanks, armored personnel vehicles, and artillery systems, 40 interceptor aircraft and helicopters, and ground-to-air missile regiments. Centre-2008 began on September 1 and passed through three stages executed under the command of General Vladimir Boldyrev, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army. The first stage included a joint Russian-Kazakh tactical exercise, including live firing practice. The second stage included command-and-staff exercises and tactical operations of the division, brigade, and regiment scale in the Urals region. Novosti, also citing General Boldyrev, states that a total of 40,000 servicemen ae presently taking part in Centre-2008′s last stage and that, moreover, this is “the largest exercise of its kind in 20 years.”

Earlier today Russian President Dmitry Medvedev attended the test launch of a Tochka-U tactical missile at the Orenburg war game. The Tochka-U, or SS-21 Scarab according to the NATO designation, has a range of 120 kilometers. After viewing the Centre-2008 maneuvers, reports The Times, Soviet Komsomol graduate Medvedev assured military commanders:

We will build new space and missile defence shields and put our armed forces on permanent combat alert. All combat formations must be upgraded to the permanent readiness category by 2020. Russia will begin mass production of warships, primarily nuclear cruisers carrying cruise missiles and multi-purpose submarines. A guaranteed nuclear deterrent system for various military and political circumstances must be provided by 2020.

In this quote Medvedev proposes a Russian missile defense shield, although a network of 68 short-range interceptor missile sites currently protects the city of Moscow itself. To some extent, too, Russia possesses a nuclear deterrent in the form of an aging “nuclear triad” of silo-based and road-mobile ICBMs, submarines, and bombers. The USA boasts the same aging nuclear triad, minus the road-mobile launch platforms. Lastly, Medvedev refers to the placing of the Russian armed forces on “permanent combat alert.”

Putin publicly issued similiar instructions to his strategic bomber crews in August 2007 when he, also observing a war game (on that occasion with Chinese participation), declared: “I made a decision to restore flights of Russian strategic bombers on a permanent basis, and at 00:00 today, August 17, 14 strategic bombers, support aircraft and aerial tankers were deployed. Combat duty has begun, involving 20 aircraft.” Thus, we learn that last year the Russian military was placed on combat duty, while now the Kremlin’s forces are to be placed on “permanent combat alert.” War, anyone?

Intriguingly, Venezuela’s communist dicator Hugo Chavez, presently rubbing elbows with the neo-Soviet leadership on the second day of his eighth trip to Russia, was also present in Orenburg to observe the Centre-2008 maneuvers. Journalist Steve Gutterman writes: “Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was expected to watch a major Russian military exercise Friday, a display of muscle and a signal of tightening cooperation between two countries seeking to decrease U.S. global clout.”

Pictured above: President Chavez with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin (background, left). In this photograph Chavez is holding a model of the Tu-160 supersonic strategic bomber. Two real Blackjacks were based in Venezuela earlier this month for a week of drills over the Caribbean Sea, an unprecedented development since the end of the Cold War. The presence of two Russian bomber crews in the South American country coincided with the Venezuelan armed forces’ repulsion of a mock US invasion, the latest of several such exercises over the few years. For his part, Sechin has made two trips to Havana since July and one each to Caracas and Managua earlier this month.

Since Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua are under communist domination and closely situated to the southern flank of the USA, cultivating alliances with their governments is no doubt strategically important from the Kremlin’s point of view.

Moscow Deploys Missile Frigate to Patrol Pirate-Plagued Somali Coast

In response to an act of high seas piracy near Somalia, reports Novosti below, the Russian Navy is dispatching the Neustrashimy “semi-stealth” missile frigate from the Black Sea Fleet to the Indian Ocean. The ship’s armament includes SS-N-25 Switchblade anti-ship missiles, SA-N-9 Gauntlet surface-to-air missiles, a 100-mm gun, torpedoes, and depth charges. Last night armed men in three cutters sped toward the Ukrainian freighter Faina as it neared the Kenyan port of Mombasa, forcibly boarded the vessel, and kidnapped its crew. Among the crew–which is now held hostage near a tiny village in Puntland, a semi-autonomous region of Somalia–were three Russian, one Latvian, and 17 Ukrainian citizens.

Russia sends warship to fight piracy near Somalia
17:10 26/ 09/ 2008

MOSCOW, September 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Navy has sent a missile frigate to waters off the Somali coast to fight piracy in the region, a Navy spokesman said on Friday.

“The Neustrashimy (Fearless) frigate from the Baltic Fleet left the main naval base in Russia’s Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad on Wednesday to ensure security in several regions of the world oceans,” Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said.

He added that Russia had decided to periodically send its warships to regions plagued by sea piracy to protect its citizens and commercial vessels.

Pirates are increasingly active in the waters off Somalia, which has no effective government and no navy to police its coastline. The International Maritime Bureau said more than 30 incidents of piracy were registered in the region in 2007. According to UN data, 26 attacks have been committed so far this year off the coast of the East African nation.

Russian nationals are frequently among the crews of civilian ships hijacked by pirates off the Somalia coast. In the most recent case pirates off the coast of Somalia seized a Ukrainian ship en route to Kenya with three Russian, 17 Ukrainian and one Latvian national on board.

“We are planning to participate in international efforts to fight piracy off the Somalia coast, but the Russian warships will conduct operations on their own,” Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky earlier said.

At the beginning of June, the UN Security Council passed a resolution permitting countries to enter Somalia’s territorial waters to combat “acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea.”

The Neustrashimy is the only Project 1154 Yastreb class missile frigate in active service with the Russian Navy to have been built before the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is designed as a general purpose ASW ship to follow on from the Krivak class frigates and incorporates some ‘stealth’ technology.

The ship’s armament includes SS-N-25 Switchblade anti-ship missiles, SA-N-9 Gauntlet SAM, a 100-mm gun, torpedoes and depth charges.

The frigate also carries a Ka-27 ASW helicopter.

According to the The Times, the Faina was loaded down with rocket-propelled grenades, anti-aircraft guns and 30 Russian T-72 tanks (pictured here), all of which were bound for South Sudan’s regional government. “They really hit the jackpot this time,” commented a regional arms expert. “There is not much they can do with the tanks, but the RPGs and the Zu-23 anti-aircraft guns will soon find their way into Somalia’s arms markets. These are the sort of weapons that fighters in Somalia really like.” The unexpected presence of 30 Russian tanks in hold of the Faina, destined for South Sudan, proves that the Kremlin, which also supports the genocidal central government in Khartoum, is playing all sides in that country’s endless series of conflicts.

As an endnote, 60 Russian bomb disposal experts are moving about the territory of ally Serbia, disarming explosives dropped by NATO warplanes in 1999. Voice of Russia reports that the Russian sappers, who arrived in July, have removed more than 40 explosives near the Nis airport and will return next year to defuse unexplosed ordnance in other Serbian regions. Under any and all pretenses expect the Kremlin to insert its agents, advisers, and assets abroad.

>Breaking News: US Central Command: American, Pakistani ground troops exchanged fire in Thursday’s helicopter incident on Afghanistan border

>In connection with yesterday’s post about the two US military helicopters, deployed under NATO command, that came under fire from a Pakistani outpost on the border with Afghanistan, Reuters reports: “U.S. and Pakistani ground forces exchanged fire across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border on Thursday, the latest in a string of incidents that has ratcheted up diplomatic tension between the two allies.” A larger excerpt from the same story follows:

But in Washington, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman insisted the helicopters had not entered Pakistan. He described the incident as “troubling” and called on Islamabad for an explanation.

“The flight path of the helicopters at no point took them over Pakistan,” he said. “The Pakistanis have to provide us with a better understanding of why this took place.”

According to Pakistan’s military, its soldiers fired warning shots at two U.S. helicopters after they intruded into Pakistani airspace. The U.S. military said the helicopters were protecting a patrol about one mile (1.6 km) inside Afghanistan when Pakistani forces opened fire.

“The (helicopters) did not return fire but the [US/NATO] ground forces fired suppressive fire at that [Pakistani] outpost. The Pakistani forces then returned that fire. The whole exchange lasted about five minutes,” said an official with U.S. Central Command, which oversees American military operations in Afghanistan.

The U.S. forces were operating under NATO command.

>Latin America File: Soviets move ahead with 2007 pledge to modernize cash-strapped Nicaragua’s military, roads, bridges, pursue joint oil exploration

>- Russian “Experts” to Visit Nicaragua in October, Identify Sites for Potential Joint Projects

- Chavez Signs Raft of Agreements with Beijing, Purchases Military Training Planes, Proposes Ties between China and Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas

- Venzuelan Dictator Arrives in Moscow, Accepts US$1 Billion Credit for Kremlin Arms Purchase, Talks Nuclear Energy Cooperation with Putin

- Venezuela to Host Russian Space Tracking Stations; Nearby French Guiana Already Home to 250 Russian Technicians Building Rocket Base

In the wake of the Western Alliance’s failure to forcibly resist Russia’s re-invasion and partial occpuation of Georgia, the Moscow Leninists are rapidly moving ahead with their designs to revitalize relations with the communist regimes in Havana, Caracas, and Managua. In January 2007, when “ex”-Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega was re-inaugurated as president of Nicaragua, then President Vladimir Putin’s personal envoy Sergei Stepashin pledged to update the Central American’s Soviet-vintage military.

Pictured above: Communist Bloc leaders Hu Jintao and Hugo Chavez review an honour guard on the occasion of the Venezuelan president’s arrival at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday.

Yesterday Russia’s ambassador to Nicaragua Igor S. Kondrashev announced that the Kremlin will replace the Nicaraguan army’s aging weaponry but, he hastened to add, there were no plans to expand the Sandinista-controlled military’s arsenal. Kondrashev did not indicate if Russia would demand financial compensation or replace the equipment as a gift to cash-strapped Nicaragua. Since Managua is one of the few capitals in the world to recognize the de facto independence of the separatist regimes in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, it would seem that Russia is returning the favor to compliant commie stooge Ortega. Kondrashev, below, explained that a group of Russian “experts” will visit Nicaragua in October “to identify other potential joint projects, including petroleum exploration in the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean and the construction of roads and bridges.”

Russia to modernize Nicaraguan military’s arsenal
By FILADELFO ALEMAN – September 24, 2008

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Russia’s ambassador to Managua said Wednesday that his country will replace the Nicaraguan army’s aging weaponry.

Ambassador Igor S. Kondrashev said there are no plans, however, to expand the Central American country’s military arsenal.

Nicaragua acquired most of its arms and military equipment from the former Soviet Union in the 1980s, when the leftist Sandinista government was fighting U.S.-backed rebels. The army has insisted it needs new helicopters and Navy ships to patrol Caribbean waters, where there is a boundary dispute with Colombia.

Kondrashev made the comments in an interview with Canal 8 TV station, but he did not say if Russia would ask for financial compensation or would simply replace the equipment as a gift to Nicaragua — which was one of the first nations to support Russia in its war against Georgia.

Kondrashev applauded President Daniel Ortega’s government for formally recognizing the independence of the Russian-backed breakaway Georgian republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on Sept. 5.

Kondrashev also did not say the plans included replacement of Nicaragua’s shoulder-fired SAM-7 missiles. The United States has been trying to negotiate destruction of those weapons to keep them from landing in terrorists’ hands.

Last year, Ortega promised to destroy more than 650 of Nicaragua’s remaining 1,051 Soviet-made missiles in exchange for hospital equipment and medicine from the United States.

Russia also has been building military ties with Ortega’s ally, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Kondrashev said a group of Russian experts would visit Nicaragua next month to identify other potential joint projects, including petroleum exploration in the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean and the construction of roads and bridges.

We await news of Russia’s interest in deploying its strategic bombers in neo-Sandinista Nicaragua, but we will content ourselves in the meanwhile with monitoring reports of ongoing preparations for Comandante Ortega’s first post-Cold War pilgrimage to Moscow.

In a related story, Venezuela’s red dictator Hugo Chavez, who is Ortega’s bosom comrade in Latin America’s Red Axis, is apparently prepared to host Russian space tracking stations on Venezuelan soil. State-run Interfax reports:

Russia would like to have “some civilian tracking stations [in Venezuela] to monitor our civilian space launch vehicles,” but the matter was not raised during a recent visit to the Latin American country by Russian space industry officials, head of the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) Anatoly Perminov said on Tuesday. “So far we only discussed legal relations and began to prepare a treaty on the use of space for civilian purposes,” Perminov told reporters. Venezuela has not applied to Roscosmos to send a Venezuelan into space, Perminov said, in answering a question from Interfax-AVN.

French Guiana, which is separated from Venzuela by Guyana and Suriname, is already hosting 250 Russian technicians who are busy constructing a rocket base, otensibly to launch satellites from a favorable latitude into geosynchronous orbit. In all such cases listed above international civilian projects in which the Soviets are involved can readily offer cover for the Kremlin’s revitalized attempt to quietly encircle the USA with its military assets.

The most important centers for communist revolution in the Western Hemisphere are Havana and Caracas. Chavez, however, is without question Latin America’s biggest consumer of Russian and Chinese arms. As such, he recently completed yet another shopping trip to Moscow and Beijing. In Russia–which he has now visited eight times since 1999 and twice this year–Chavez gladly accepted a US$1 billion credit to buy more anti-aircraft systems, armoured personnel carriers, and combat aircraft from the Kremlin. Chavez and Prime Minister Putin also discussed the possibility of launching a cooperative nuclear energy program, a move that will no doubt further chill frosty relations between Washington in the one camp and Moscow and Caracas in the other.

In Red China he inked a raft of agreements to purchase Chinese military training planes and joint ventures that will produce a new refinery and tanker fleet, as well as expand by US$6 billion an existing joint investment fund. The Cuban state media also reports that the Chavezista regime is keen on tightening the relationship between the People’s Republic of China and the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, which consists of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Dominica. Comrade Hugo articulated this proposal to host Hu Jintao during a Beijing press conference. This nexus between the PRC and ALBA could present complications for Ortega since Managua, seeking financial benefits from Taipei, publicly supports Taiwan’s bid to participate in the United Nations. Communists are notorious opportunists. The neo-Sandinista regime is no exception.

>End Times File: Bush, Sarkozy promote socialism to resolve global financial crisis; French president urges EU-Russia "common economic space"

>I am sounding like Bush, more or less. What a novelty! The president of the United States has finally recognised there is a crisis…that they are the ones who are responsible for the collapse that is happening in the world at the moment, the financial tsunami. Socialism is the only route to the salvation of the world.
– Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, statement made in Beijing, September 25, 2008

While the capitalist economies of the world–which are really socialist rather than capitalist because they operate on the basis of debt, fiat currency and government-sponsored bailouts and nationalizations–tremble on the brink of extinction, the Communist Bloc is sharpening its knives for the coup de grâce against capitalism altogether. In his Address to the Nation yesterday US President George W. Bush offered the American public yet another elite-recommended, social democratic recipe to restore investor, consumer, and elector confidence in the electronic blips that constitute the US economy.

“We’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis,” Bush admits at the White House website, “and the federal government is responding with decisive action.” “I’m a strong believer in free enterprise,” he continues, but then paints a bleak picture of the US economy that would fill the cadres of the Communist Party USA with glee:

The government’s top economic experts warn that without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic, and a distressing scenario would unfold:

More banks could fail, including some in your community. The stock market would drop even more, which would reduce the value of your retirement account. The value of your home could plummet. Foreclosures would rise dramatically. And if you own a business or a farm, you would find it harder and more expensive to get credit. More businesses would close their doors, and millions of Americans could lose their jobs. Even if you have good credit history, it would be more difficult for you to get the loans you need to buy a car or send your children to college. And ultimately, our country could experience a long and painful recession.

Bush, seeking to head off full-blown communist revolution but also distancing himself from his backers in Corporate America, applies an anesthetic to the mortally wounded economy:

So I’ve proposed that the federal government reduce the risk posed by these troubled assets, and supply urgently-needed money so banks and other financial institutions can avoid collapse and resume lending.

This rescue effort is not aimed at preserving any individual company or industry — it is aimed at preserving America’s overall economy. It will help American consumers and businesses get credit to meet their daily needs and create jobs. And it will help send a signal to markets around the world that America’s financial system is back on track.

Bush is more or less repeating the mantra initiated by US Federal Reserve Chairman (“Helicopter”) Ben Bernanke before a congressional Joint Economic Committee hearing on September 16: “The US is facing grave threats’ to financial stability. The credit crisis has started to damage household and business spending.” Today, Fox News reported that a bipartisan agreement in principle for a US$700 billion bailout of America’s ailing banks, insurance, and mortgage companies–courtesy of the American taxpayer–had been reached. On Thursday evening, however, a late-breaking story revealed: “The fate of the Bush administration’s $700 billon bailout package was thrown into doubt Thursday evening, after congressional leaders left a landmark White House summit on the economy hurling accusations at each other and declaring there was no deal.”

In similar fashion, Bush’s faux rightist colleague Nicolas Sarkozy, president of both France and the European Union, responded to the global financial, market, and credit crises by urging “wholesale reforms” in the world’s capitalist economies and the creation of a “common economic space” uniting the EU and Russia. “Let us rebuild capitalism in which credit agencies are controlled and punished when necessary, where transparency … replaces opaqueness,” Sarkozy blathered to the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. “We can do this on one condition, that we all work together in our globalized world.” “We want to be Russia’s partner,” he declared, painting Moscow into the picture: “Why not build a continentwide common economic space which would unite Russia and Europe?”

The Soviet strategists that Sarkozy has embraced have in fact been waiting many decades to not only reform (meaning sink) but completely socialize the bourgeois countries of the world by promoting the devaluation of the US dollar and exacerbating America’s hydrocarbon dependence. They are in fact moving quickly to establish “joint projects and technology exchanges” with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in general, and a “consortium” with OPEC member Venezuela specifically. American motorists are already feeling the pinch. After Hurricanes Gustav and Ike shut down Gulf Coast oil refineries, Reuters reported yesterday, US gasoline inventories have dwindled to the lowest level since 1967, prompting shortages and long lines at service stations in Southern US cities such as Atlanta and Memphis, as well as Ohio.

It looks like Sarko, who has Biblically significant designs on Israel, is a co-laborer in the Soviets’ drive toward a global government. Enter the Mark of the Beast, mentioned by the apostle John in Revelation 13, apart from which no man can buy or sell . . .

>Asia File: Pakistani troops fire on US helicopters in second incident today; PM, president narrowly escape death in Islamabad Marriott blast

>US-Pakistani relations, a keystone in the War on Terror, continued to degenerate today as Pakistani troops, per an earlier warning from that country’s top general, again fired on US helicopters patrolling the Afghan-Pakistan border. The news agencies, citing NATO, report:

Pakistani troops fired at American reconnaissance helicopters patrolling the Afghan-Pakistan border Thursday, heightening tensions as U.S. steps up cross-border operations in a region known as a haven for Taliban and al-Qaida militants. Two American OH-58 reconnaissance helicopters, known as Kiowas, were on a routine afternoon patrol in the eastern province of Khost when they received small arms fire from a Pakistani border post, said Tech Sgt. Kevin Wallace, a U.S. military spokesman. There was no damage to aircraft or crew, officials said. “They did not cross the border and they did not fire back,” Wallace said.

A similar incident, reports BBC News, occured around midnight on September 21-22: “Pakistani troops have fired warning shots at two US helicopters forcing them back into Afghanistan, local Pakistani intelligence officials say. The helicopters flew into the tribal North Waziristan region from Afghanistan’s Khost province at around midnight, the reports say.” Pictured above: Pakistani soldier.

In a related story, this past Tuesday an unmanned US spy plane crashed in the South Waziristan tribal zone, a haven for Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants on Islamabad’s side of the Afghan-Pakistan border. The Pakistani army denies shooting the drone but, rather, tribesmen are suspected for downing the aircraft. The Pentagon reports no crash and the Central Intelligence Agency refuses to comment.

Pictured here: Islam: The religion of pieces. The Marriott blast created a crater 50 feet wide and 20 feet deep.

The previous day a massive truck bomb blew up the Marriott hotel in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, killing at least 53 and wounding 266. Pakistan’s interior minister has suggested that Al Qaeda affiliate Tehrik e-Taleban e-Pakistan may be responsible for the atrocity. On September 22 The Times reported:

Rehman Malik, an Interior Ministry official, said that the attacker intended to drive into the lobby of the hotel and had apparently tried to convince the guards to lower the second barrier. When they would not, he blew himself up in the lorry’s cabin. The guards then tried to put out the fire in the lorry, and it was several minutes before the second, enormous blast devastated the Marriott.

Pakistan’s political leadership narrowly escaped death in this terrorist attack since President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, and army commander Ashfaq Kayani were scheduled to dine at the hotel on September 21. At the last minute, the site of the dinner was shifted to the prime minister’s heavily guarded residence. “The purpose was to destabilise democracy,” PM Gilani insisted, identifying Chechen, Uzbek, or Arab militants operating from the border areas as the perpetrators. The explosion took place only two hours after President Zardari made his first address to Parliament, calling for domestic terrorists to be extirpated.

>Red Terror File: Ex-rebel Chechen commander turned politician Yamadeyev, Russian general gunned down; brother Sulim joined August Georgia invasion

>Ever since the so-called collapse of Soviet communism and the First Chechen War, the murky underworld of Caucasian politics has been populated by Kremlin-backed politicians who move freely between rebel groups and the Soviet/Russian armed forces/military intelligence, and Kremlin-backed agents provocateur such as Al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri. This underworld is also punctuated by Kremlin-orchestrated assassinations of expendable political assets, and haunted by accusations of Kremlin-sponsored transfers of suitcase nukes to Al Qaeda in the interest of plausible deniability. Former Chechen rebel commander-turned-United Russia politician Ruslan Yamadayev, who was gunned down today, is probably another figure in the Kremlin body count and represents domestic “fallout” from August’s Caucasian War.

According to Reuters, below, Ruslan was shot by an unknown assailant with a pistol while Yamadayev’s Mercedes was idling at a Moscow traffic light. However, according to state-run Interfax, citing Russian law enforcement: “Unknown people [plural] opened fire from assault rifles at Ruslan Yamadayev’s car at 6:30 p.m. outside N10 in Smolenskaya Naberezhnaya.” Choose your own version of events. Either way, the “FSB trace” is more than just a trace here. According to state-run Novosti, moreover, Yamadayev was riding in the car with Russian Lieutenant General Sergei Kizyun, former military administration commander in Chechnya, who was seriously wounded in the attack and hospitalized.

During the First Chechen War Ruslan fought against Moscow before he was persuaded to play the turncoat in 1999. In 2004 he ran for the Chechen presidency against Kremlin favorite Akhmad Kadyrov, who governed the internal Russian republic between 2003 and 2004 when he, too, was assassinated. Akhmad’s son Ramzan has ruled Chechnya on Moscow’s behalf since last year.

It is worthy of note that Ruslan’s younger brother Sulim is commander of the Russian Army’s Vostok Battalion. In May of this year Sulim was dismissed as battalion commander following the issuance of an arrest warrant for alleged involvement in kidnappings and murders. It appears that he was later reinstated as Vostok Battalion chief because Sulim and his unit joined the Russian military in its August invasion of Georgia. For services rendered, the warrant for his arrest was recalled in late August, after the invasion. The story below notes that Sulim has emerged as a “strong rival” to Ramzan Kadyrov. Initial media reports actually stated that Sulim, not Ruslan, was the victim of the killing.

Pictured above: The Kremlin’s freshest cadaver; below: Russian LE at the scene of the crime.

Prominent Chechen gunned down in Moscow
Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:26pm EDT

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A gunman shot dead a former rebel Chechen commander in central Moscow Wednesday whose brother has emerged as a rival to the pro-Moscow leader of the troubled southern Russian region, police said.

An Interior ministry spokesman said that according to preliminary information, an unidentified gunman shot dead Ruslan Yamadayev from a pistol when his car stopped at a traffic light.

Yamadayev, who had survived several previous assassination attempts, died on the spot. Another man who was sitting in the car was badly injured.

Ruslan Yamadayev and his younger brother Sulim were high-ranking rebel commanders during the first Chechen war of 1995-96 after which the separatist region won effective, if short-lived, independence from Moscow.

But in 1999, both switched sides and joined the Russian forces sent to restore Moscow’s control over the province.

Since then, Ruslan Yamadayev, born in 1961, occupied several major positions including that of military commandant of Chechnya and was a parliamentary deputy for the pro-Kremlin United Russia party in 2003-07.

He was overshadowed by his brother Sulim, born in 1973, who until May commanded the Vostok (East) battalion — a force composed of former rebels integrated into Russian forces deployed in Chechnya.

Sulim, who commanded a loyal military force, has emerged as a strong rival to Ramzan Kadyrov, another former rebel who has imposed Moscow’s rule in Chechnya with an iron fist.

In May, Sulim was sacked as Vostok commander and prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for him over alleged involvement in kidnappings and murders.

However, according to some media reports Sulim Yamadayev and his Vostok battalion took part in the Russian military invasion in Georgia in early August. Officials would not confirm this but the warrant for his arrest was recalled in late August.

We can only speculate why “pay back” day arrived today for Ruslan, but it could be that his younger brother was the real target. In either case, Ruslan probably knew or Sulim probably knows too much about something that the Kremlin or its puppet regime in Grozny would prefer to bury well out of sight.

>Middle East File: Syria deploys 10,000 troops near northern Lebanon; commandos infiltrate border, take up positions in 7 villages near Tripoli

>Updated September 24, 2008

- Commanding Heights: Hezbollah Assumes Control of Four Mountains in Northern, Central Lebanon; Iranian and Syrian Radar and Anti-Air Weapons Officers Based on Mount Sannine

- Lebanese Army Denies Reports of Syrian Military Presence on Its Territory

- Lebanese President Suleiman to UN General Assembly: Israel Must Vacate Arab Lands, Consent to Establishment of Palestinian State with Jerusalem as Capital

- Syrian State Media Expresses Doubts Regarding Israeli Acting Prime Minister Livni’s Commitment to Peace

Pictured above: Syrian troops amass on the northern side of the Lebanese border on September 22, 2008. Damascus insists that the mobilization is linked to a crackdown against smugglers.

Following Hezbollah’s uprising earlier this year and the Doha agreement that facilitated that terrorist organization’s acquisition of veto power over the Lebanese cabinet, Israel’s national security faces yet another challenge. Surrounded on all sides by open enemies–Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestinian Authority, Hezbollah, and Hamas–and closet enemies–Egypt and Jordan–Israel needs courageous leadership.

Israelis are presently faced with the choice of finding that leadership in the ruling Kadima Party’s new leader, former Mossad agent and acting prime minister, Tzipi Livni, or in Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who leads in the public opinion polls and enjoys the friendship of European Union President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is also Jewish. Today, reports Bloomberg, “Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the opposition Likud Party, called for early elections, rejecting Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s offer to join a unity cabinet as she seeks to cobble together a governing coalition.”

Scandal-plagued prime minister Ehud Olmert, who was lately involved in secret negotiations to return East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights to Israel’s enemies, finally made good on his pledge to resign and departed that office two days ago. When questioned, Livni, who was Olmert’s foreign affairs minister and chief Israeli negotiator in talks with the Palestinians, is cagey with respect to the subject of maintaining Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem. On September 11 The Jerusalem Post said of Livni: “She refused to answer when asked whether she thought Israel should control the Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem.”

Meanwhile, multiple reports are confirming that Syria’s Moscow-backed fascist-communist regime has deployed 10,000 troops to its northern border with Lebanon and that, furthermore, Syrian special forces have already stolen into northern Lebanon to occupy seven Alawite villages near the city of Tripoli. W. Thomas Smith Jr. at International Analyst Network summarizes the situation on the ground. Smith writes: “According to Naharnet, Gen. Michel Aoun — leader of the Free Patriotic Movement (a Christian bloc oddly allied to Shiia Hezbollah) – stated today ‘deployment of Syrian troops in Syria is none of our business.’ Understand: what Aoun is saying is that the recent deployment by Syria of its combat troops on the Syrian side of the Lebanese-Syrian border is none of Lebanon’s business.” Shocked by Aoun’s nonchalant response, Smith asks: “AND THIS MAN IS A GENERAL?”

Ominously, Smith warns that Damascus may have been emboldened by Russia’s invasion of Georgia, which generated no military response from Europe or the USA, to mobilize its forces against Lebanon, thereby re-securing a position immediately to the north of Israel and providing protection for its terrorist proxy in the southern part of Lebanon, Hezbollah. “Syria and Russia have been cozying up together recently,” Smith explains, “Russia is sharing intelligence with Syria (which is in turn sharing that intelligence with Hezbollah and its allies). Additionally, Syria may be taking strategic-military cues from Russia, which recently invaded the former Soviet state of Georgia with virtual impunity.” On September 24, 2008 the Syrian state media expressed the mind of the Ba’athist regime in Damascus with respect to the inevitability of war between itself and Israel. Haaretz reports today: “Earlier Wednesday, Syria’s state-run daily Tishreen reported that Syrian officials believe that the newly elected Kadima Party leader Tzipi Livni, who will be attempting over the next six weeks to put together a new government which she will lead, will stall the ongoing talks between Israel and Syria.”

Finally, Smith reveals: “Syrian Pres. Bashar Assad is doing everything in his power to ensure the results of the spring 2009 parliamentary elections in Lebanon favor the pro-Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah axis (the March 8 terrorist crowd) as opposed to the pro-democracy majority (the March 14 movement).” The latest Syrian-sponsored coup in Beirut appears to be a done deal. Assad can certainly count on Lebanon’s pro-Hezbollah, anti-Israel President Michael Suleiman, formerly commander of the Lebanese Army, for support. The Iranian state media quotes Suleiman, who addressed the United Nations General Assembly earlier today, as saying: “We must stress the need for Israel to withdraw from all Arab territories that are still under occupation [meaning Golan Heights, West Bank, and Gaza Strip], and to recognize the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state on their national territory with Jerusalem [al-Quds] as its capital. The international community must assume its full responsibilities towards the Palestinian people.”

Pictured below: President Assad visits Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi, on August 21, 2008.

UPDATE: Syrian Army Reportedly Massing on Syrian-Lebanese Border
W. Thomas Smith Jr.
21 Sep 2008

Sources tonight are reporting that “Lebanese officials” monitoring the Lebanese-Syrian border (in the Akar region above Tripoli) today witnessed what was determined to be a “heavy” brigade-sized force being positioned on the Syrian side of the border.

Also tonight, Naharnet is reporting: “Future Television said Syria was reinforcing its troops along its side of Lebanon’s northern borders.”

These reports follow several of our own reports – based on open sources and independent human intelligence sources – since September 7 that Syrian forces (including tanks, helicopters, and artillery pieces) have been observed massing on the northern border, and that Syrian special operations forces have crossed into Lebanon.

The Lebanese Army leadership has officially denied the reports of troops crossing into Lebanon, but sources are telling us the Army’s denials are a deliberate attempt to quash information.

UPDATE (Sept. 22, 8:30 am Eastern): The Lebanese Army has now confirmed that Syria has in fact “boosted troop numbers along the border,” and that “nearly 10,000 Syrian special forces have been deployed in the Abbudiya region along the border between Lebanon and Syria.”

Lebanese Army officials also report that the Army has asked Damacus why the massive uptick in military activities on the border, and the Syrians responded — and I paraphrase — to crackdown on smuggling and other criminal activity.

What? In other words Syria is saying (and the Lebanese Army is confirming) that tanks, artillery, helicopters, and 10,000 commandos (combined with recent reports and intelligence indicating some of those special operations forces had actually crossed into Lebanon) are simply measures taken to crackdown on crime?

UPDATE (Sept. 22, 9:30 am Eastern): Let’s add three other variables into the mix:

First, what better time for Syria to flex its military muscle than the period in which the U.S. and Europe are preoccupied with both the American presidential campaigns and last-and-this week’s upheaval in the U.S. and world financial markets.

Second, Syria and Russia have been cozying up together recently. Russia is sharing intelligence with Syria (which is in turn sharing that intelligence with Hezbollah and its allies). Additionally, Syria may be taking strategic-military cues from Russia, which recently invaded the former Soviet state of Georgia with virtual impunity.

Third, Syrian Pres. Bashar Assad is doing everything in his power to ensure the results of the spring 2009 parliamentary elections in Lebanon favor the pro-Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah axis (the March 8 terrorist crowd) as opposed to the pro-democracy majority (the March 14 movement).

Speaking to a delegation from the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (some of Hezbollah’s buddies who also were running around shooting civilians and burning buildings during Hezbollah’s attacks in May), Assad predicted the axis would emerge victorious in 2009, and that their victory “would change the existing state of political affairs.”

Assad added, “The forces that have defeated Israel would defeat their foes in Lebanon.”

Our sources are telling us that Assad would have no qualms about invading north Lebanon — if he could get away with it — to ensure Syria’s political-hand achieves political dominance in Beirut. And he would do so under the pretext of controlling the Salafists (whom Assad has ironically been feeding for some time).

Confusing to say the least. But it is a dangerous series of dynamics that have been coming to pass — and we’ve been warning about for months — which the West must understand if we are to have any chance of regaining our rapidly eroding political leverage (and supporting our pro-democracy allies) in Lebanon.

As I’ve said many times, Lebanon is one of our most critical fronts in the war on terror. Yet our unwillingness to confront the terrorists and their state-sponsors operating in sovereign Lebanon is irreparably eroding that front.

UPDATE (Sept. 22, 12:20 pm Eastern): This would be laughable if it weren’t so serious:

According to Naharnet, Gen. Michel Aoun — leader of the Free Patriotic Movement (a Christian bloc oddly allied to Shiia Hezbollah) – stated today “deployment of Syrian troops in Syria is none of our business.”

Understand: what Aoun is saying is that the recent deployment by Syria of its combat troops on the Syrian side of the Lebanese-Syrian border is none of Lebanon’s business.

AND THIS MAN IS A GENERAL?

Actually, Aoun’s comments have less to do with his military competency, and more to do with his strategic-political allegiances.

UPDATE (Sept. 22, 3:00 pm Eastern): As we’ve reported, it seems highly unlikely that Syria would deploy combat forces — to include tanks, artillery, helicopters, and 10,000 special operations soldiers (commandos) — as a means of taking a bite out of crime.

And according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur, “Military experts who requested anonymity doubted a country would deploy 8,000 or 10,000 troops just to stop smuggling on its borders.”

In the summer of 2007 the MSM acknowledged that Syria beefed up its military presence in the Golan Heights, at which time there was speculation that the Ba’athist regime would launch an attack against Israel. “If Israel doesn’t vacate the strategic Golan Heights before September, Syrian guerillas will immediately launch ‘resistance operations’ against the Golan’s Jewish communities,” a top Syrian Ba’athist informed the New York Sun in an interview at the time. Obviously, Syria’s terrorist leaders decided to bide their time for a more propitious window to punish the “Zionist foe.” With Israel’s political leadership in transition, that time may have arrived.

Smith also addresses reports, below, that beginning on September 3 and 4 Syrian commandos established positions in north Lebanon near Tripoli: “What it does mean – and as I have reported since September of 2007 – is there are huge, in-your-face stories of great strategic significance taking place in Lebanon involving Iranian, Syrian, and Hezbollah military/intelligence exercises and operations that are NOT being reported.” The Lebanese Army denies reports of a Syrian military presence on its territory. Clearly, Syria’s fifth column in Lebanon extends to the highest levels of power in Beirut, including the presidential palace, the military’s general staff, and the communist-infiltrated March 8 Coalition members.

Pictured below: Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and President Suleiman at the presidential palace in Baabda on September 16, 2008.

UPDATED: Syrian Commandos in Lebanon?
W. Thomas Smith Jr.
14 Sep 2008

Lebanese and Israeli media are reporting at least two Syrian commando (special operations) battalions have crossed the Syrian-Lebanese border into north Lebanon and taken up positions in seven Alawite-controlled villages.

According to Naharnet and DEBKAfile, “the battalions were accompanied by reconnaissance and engineering units.”

EXACTLY ONE WEEK AGO, WE REPORTED: “‘Hundreds’ of Syrian commandos, preceded by ‘dozens’ of Syrian intelligence operatives, have crossed into northern Lebanon [according to Kuwait's Alseyassah newspaper] near the Lebanese village of Hekr el Dahr a few kilometers from the Mediterranean coast.”

We also reported that the incursions reportedly had been taking place since Wednesday-Thursday (Sept. 3-4) of the previous week, and that Syrian helicopters had been observed operating on the Syrian side of the border, and tanks and artillery pieces have been spotted and reported.

If true, the new information reaffirms what we already knew: that the Iranian-Syrian-Hezbollah axis is manipulating Western media in Lebanon for their own ends. This does not mean to say that all media in Lebanon is corrupt. (There are fine journalists in Lebanon doing tremendous work.) What it does mean – and as I have reported since September of 2007 – is there are huge, in-your-face stories of great strategic significance taking place in Lebanon involving Iranian, Syrian, and Hezbollah military/intelligence exercises and operations that are NOT being reported.

This has been proven time-and-again since a handful of Western media (primarily bloggers) said this was not the case months ago. The revelation of Hezbollah’s telecommunications system in May of 2008 (which we first reported in 2007), confirmation by counterterrorism experts of previously UNREPORTED Hezbollah military exercises, exact and accurate predictions of when and how Hezbollah would launch its attacks in May, and the overall strength and activities of Hezbollah nationwide all confirm this.

UPDATE (Sept. 14, 5:30 pm Eastern): LBC News in Lebanon reported the DEBKAfile story just after 8:00 pm (Beirut time). But the Lebanese Army quickly issued a statement denying the reports. Keep in mind, the Army general staff and Army intelligence are both closely connected to Syria, as is the former Army commander-in-chief (now president) Michel Sleiman.

UPDATE (Sept. 15, 9:00 am Eastern): Naharnet also is reporting that both Lebanese Army and national police forces are denying that two Syrian commando battalions have crossed into north Lebanon.

As we know, the problem of disinformation in Lebanon is legion (and for reasons which I’ve previously mentioned). Also keep in mind that Lebanese security forces — which proclaimed all was under control (when it was not) during the first few hours of the Hezbollah offensive in May, which has failed to confront Hezbollah, which has failed to arrest Quds fighters and Syrian intelligence operatives in Lebanon, which has failed to determine who precisely is assassinating Lebanese leaders — is losing credibility among the civil society in that country. The Army has issued a statement of denial in this instance regarding Syrian special forces, but, according to sources, has held no press conference permitting questions in the matter.

Independent sources are telling us there is much more to this than has officially been made public.

In secret coordination with the Syrians, Hezbollah militiamen have quietly assumed positions at the top of Mount Kobayat and Mount Founaydek in northern Lebanon. According to a September 6 post at the website of the US-based, pro-Israel Reform Party of Syria, Hezbollah has done this “in anticipation of an internal Lebanese war Assad of Syria has been preparing for using his own homegrown terrorists.” Two additional mountains, Mount Sannine, the highest point in Lebanon, and Mount Barukh, which overlooks the Beirut-Damascus highway, are under control of Hezbollah, Debkafile reported in August. Iranian and Syrian radar and anti-air weapons officers have purportedly ensconced themselves on Mount Sannine (pictured above, as seen from Beirut). “Perched atop Lebanon’s two tallest mountain peaks,” warns the Israeli news source, “Hizballah, Syria and Iran are able to control most of Israel’s air space to the south and the heartlands of Lebanon’s Christian centers, as well as Mediterranean coastal waters.”

To the north of Lebanon itself, on Syria’s Mediterranean coast, lurk 10 Russian warships, representing neo-Soviet Russia’s attempt to project its political-military power into the oil-rich Middle East. The early-tribulation scenario described in Bible prophecy, in which Damascus is annihilated and Russia leads a military coalition into Israel, which along with the USA armed and trained the Georgian army, is unfolding. “We told the Israelis that this was a very unwise move and that Russians were being killed because of Georgia’s policy,” a Russian source was quoted as saying last month. “They didn’t take us seriously, probably because they were encouraged by the United States.” For its part, Washington accused Moscow of seeking to oust Georgian President Mikhail Saaskashvili through its August 8 military invasion.

Gazprom-dependent Europe’s response to Russia’s aggression in the Caucasus region was predictably meek, reports The Guardian: “President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has agreed with the Kremlin on the dispatch of at least 200 EU monitors, who will be operational by the end of the month, to Georgia. However, the Europeans have accepted Russian terms that they will be concentrated in the Russia-proclaimed ‘buffer zone’ outside the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and will not be allowed into the two regions the Russians are garrisoning with almost 8,000 troops.” Seizing upon Europe’s capitulationism and the USA’s policy of tough talk without action, the neo-Soviet leadership promptly decided to project its influence into America’s backyard, the Caribbean Sea, with provocative naval and strategic aviation maneuvers with Red Venezuela.

>Pro-Israel Link

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>Latin American File: Sandinistas re-consolidate dictatorship: Party thugs attack Ortega opponents, dissidents in Leon, police stand idle, five injured

>In the run up to November’s municipal elections, the political situation in Nicaragua continues to degenerate as the ruling, pro-Moscow Sandinista National Liberation Front re-consolidates its hold on the country’s civil society. President Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo are using the Citizens’ Power Councils, which are organized much like Cuba’s Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, to marginalize other parties and promote socialism. The Costa Rican media reports that on Saturday opponents of Ortega and leftist dissidents from the FSLN in the northern city of Leon were attacked by CPC cadres, who were armed with machetes and mortars and egged on by the city’s Sandinista mayoral candidate. When anti-riot police eventually showed up, the “Orteguistas” attacked the police line with sticks and rocks, forcing the police to respond with tear gas to disperse the rioters.

Sandinista persecution of civil society turns violent in Nicaragua
By Tim Rogers, Nica Times Staff,
Mario López EFE

GRANADA, Nicaragua – Nicaragua’s civil unrest took another dangerous turn over the weekend when hundreds of masked supporters of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), armed with machetes, sticks and mortars, closed off all entrances to the northern city of León to prevent an announced march against the government of President Daniel Ortega.

While police stood watching, the masked “Orteguistas” – pro-Ortega – squads stopped traffic to search vehicles for anti-government protesters, who were prevented from entering the city. The Orteguistas, most wearing FSLN hats and T-shirts and chanting revolutionary slogans, threw metal jacks under the tires of stopped vehicles suspected of carrying anti-government protestors. The jacks were meant to puncture the suspected protestors’ tires if they didn’t turn back toward Managua.

The tense situation grew inevitably violent when several left-wing political leaders from the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) – a group of Sandinista dissidents whom Ortega has labeled “traitors” and “sellouts” – approached the entrance to the city. Several of the MRS leaders had requested police protection in anticipation of violence.

Yet even the police presence wasn’t enough to stop the Orteguistas from burning the vehicle of MRS president Enrique Sáenz, the previous candidate for mayor of Managua until the Sandinista-controlled Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) withdrew the MRS’ legal status in July.

When anti-riot police were eventually called in, the Orteguistas – allegedly members of the controversial Councils of Citizen Power (CPCs), led by the Sandinistas’ mayoral candidate for León – attacked the police line with sticks and rocks, requiring the police to respond with tear gas to disperse the rioters.

In all, five people were injured but no one was killed.

Left-wing opposition leaders such as historic guerrilla icon Doria María Téllez said the violence was another example of the fear the “dictatorial” Ortega government has of the opposition, and one that sets a “very dangerous” precedent.

“This was pure fascism because Ortega used everything he had,” Téllez told The Nica Times yesterday. “This is his strategy to crush the opposition, civil society and the other political parties and to instill fear in the people – all so he can stay in power.”

The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) strongly denounced the violence as a violation of Nicaraguans’ rights to protest publicly. The rights group rested full blame on the FSLN and the CPCs, which were created and controlled by Ortega and First Lady Rosario Murillo.

The pro-government TV media outlet Multinoticias hailed Saturday’s violence as a victory for León for defending their city against the “right-wing oligarchs” who were trying to “provoke” and “confuse” the people of León.

Human rights leaders say Saturday’s violence sets a dangerous new precedent that extenuates the government’s “exclusionary and authoritarian character.”

“Not only has the government closed electoral spaces, but also the constitutional right to protest” and free expression, CENIDH said in a statement.

The rights organization also called on the National Police to respect public security. The police – who have come under increased criticism in recent weeks – have promised a full investigation, although so far no one has been arrested.

The opposition, meanwhile, is scheduled to hold a press conference today to announce its next move.

In light of this event and his own campaign against foreign non-governmental organizations, Ortega, not surprisingly, has expressed solidarity with Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez’s expulsion of Human Rights Watch Americas director José Miguel Vivanco from Caracas on Friday. Chavez was motivated by an HRW report that criticized his regime’s human rights record. Apparently Hugo can dish it out, but he can’t take it.

>MISSILE DAY ALERT: Bulk of Russia’s strategic bomber fleet of 200 aircraft to spearhead massive Stability-2008/Autumn-2008 war game with Belarus

>- Does Kremlin’s Four-Week, Multi-Branch, Multi-Theater War Game Portend a Soviet Ground Invasion into Poland and Czech Republic?

- Russia’s NATO Envoy Dmitry Rogozin Mocks Western Alliance’s Plan to Organize Rapid Response Force; Correctly Assesses Europe’s Strategic Blindness: “No major European country feels threatened by Russia”

- Flagship of Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet, Nuclear-Powered Missile Cruiser Peter the Great, Sets Sail with Support Vessels from Murmansk En Route to Caribbean Sea

- Northern Fleet Task Force May Stop at Syrian Bases Before Beginning Joint Maneuvers with Venezuela in November; 10 Russian Warships Already Deployed to Tartus

Pictured above: Sukhoi Su-25 “Frogfoot” close support aircraft participate in the Union State of Russia and Belarus’ last combined military exercise, Union Shield-2006, two years ago.

With the massive, multi-branch, multi-theater war game known as Stability-2008/Autumn-2008, beginning today and concluding four weeks from now, Russia and Belarus continue to openly prepare for the next stage in the hot war against NATO. The two countries are politically united in the Union State under its chief minister Vladimir Putin, who is also the Russian prime minister. The Belarusian Ministry of Defense explains, below, the purpose of the war games: “The Russian strategic command staff exercises Stability-2008 and the Belarussian complex operative exercises Autumn-2008 are held to examine the combat capability of the power-wielding structures of the countries in order to ensure security of the Union State.” Kremlin spokesentity Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky listed the organizations that will participate under the command of Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov:

The Stability-2008 strategic command staff exercises involve military command bodies, troops and military commissariats from the Moscow and Far East military districts, the Baltic, Northern and Pacific Fleets, the 11th Air Force/Air Defense Army, the 16th and 37th Air Force Armies, the 32nd Air Defense Corps, the Strategic Missile Troops and the Space Troops, units and organisations of the Russian logistic forces from the Russian Defense Ministry, operative groups from the federal executive authorities, as well as military command bodies and units from the Belarussian Armed Forces.

In May Serdyukov reviewed 8,000 goose-stepping soldiers in Russia’s first Red Square military parade replete with tanks, missiles, and bombers since 1990. Russia’s defense minister is the son in law of “ex”-CPSU cadre, former prime minister, and current Gazprom chairman Viktor Zubkov. The entire story from state-run Itar-Tass follows:

Stability-2008 military exercises begin in Russia
22.09.2008, 07.02

MOSCOW, September 22 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian Armed Forces began the Stability-2008 strategic command staff exercises on Monday.

These war games will be held “in compliance with the combat readiness plan of the Russian Armed Forces from September 22 to October 21 under the command of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov,” the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry told Itar-Tass.

“Many federal bodies of the executive authorities, including the Interior Ministry, the Emergencies Ministry, the Justice Ministry, the Federal Penitentiary Service, the Federal Security Service and Transport Ministry have developed a scenario of the exercises in cooperation with the Belarussian Defense Ministry,” Serdyukov told reporters earlier.

He noted that the scenario of the strategic command staff exercises envisages “to train the deployment of the Russian Armed Forces, combat missions of troops to localize and fight armed conflicts, terrorist activity, natural disasters and man-made catastrophes in order to provide strategic deterrence and security of the Russia-Belarus Union State.”

“The Russian strategic command staff exercises Stability-2008 and the Belarussian complex operative exercises Autumn-2008 are held to examine the combat capability of the power-wielding structures” of the countries in order to ensure security of the Union State, the press service of the Belarussian Defense Ministry said.

“The Stability-2008 exercises are a core of an operative and combat training” of the armed forces in Russia and Belarus, acting spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said. He emphasized that “the Stability-2008 war games include a range of operative, special and command staff exercises and training sessions at various scales that have the coordinated targets, missions and time limits.” The Stability-2008 exercises, “which are being held in various regions of Russia and Belarus, have the common scenario.”

“The Stability-2008 exercises will have two stages. The scenario of the drill envisages a gradually deteriorating situation when crisis situations are growing into armed conflicts,” Drobyshevsky said.

“The Stability-2008 strategic command staff exercises involve military command bodies, troops and military commissariats from the Moscow and Far East military districts, the Baltic, Northern and Pacific Fleets, the 11th Air Force/Air Defense Army, the 16th and 37th Air Force Armies, the 32nd Air Defense Corps, the Strategic Missile Troops and the Space Troops, units and organisations of the Russian logistic forces from the Russian Defense Ministry, operative groups from the federal executive authorities, as well as military command bodies and units from the Belarussian Armed Forces,” Drobyshevsky said.

The Stability-2008 exercises will last until October 21.

The Stability-2008 exercises, as noted above, include the joint maneuvers known as Autumn-2008 that Russia and Belarus will hold between October 6 and 12. Russia’s strategic bomber crews will join the Belarusian component of Stability-2008. The Kremlin media, below, reports that the majority of Russia’s approximately 200 strategic bombers, including 141 Tu-22M3 Backfire-C, 40 Tu-95 Bear-H, and 16 Tu-160 Blackjack aircraft, will be deployed “with the goal of practicing strategic deployment of the Armed Forces, including the nuclear triad, to counter potential threats near the Russian border.” Furthermore, Russian Air Force commander Colonel General Alexander Zelin explained that “The exercise will involve the majority of personnel and strategic aircraft in service with strategic aviation. The crews will deploy the entire range of on-board weaponry.”

Pictured below: Tu-160 Blackjack bomber during Union Shield-2006 war game. Two of these supersonic ALCM platforms carried out a week of patrols in the Caribbean Sea earlier this month, a development unprecedented since the Cold War.

Russian strategic bombers to join military drills with Belarus
16:25 22/09/2008

MOSCOW, September 22 (RIA Novosti) – Russian strategic bombers will conduct practice launches of various types of missiles on October 6-12 during large-scale Russia-Belarus military exercises which started Monday, the Air Force commander said.

The Stability-2008 exercises will last until October 21 in various regions of Russia and Belarus with the goal of practicing strategic deployment of the Armed Forces, including the nuclear triad, to counter potential threats near the Russian border. “The exercise will involve the majority of personnel and strategic aircraft in service with strategic aviation,” Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said. “The crews will deploy the entire range of on-board weaponry.”

According to various sources, the Russian Air Force currently has in service at least 141 Tu-22M3 Backfire-C, 40 Tu-95 Bear-H and 16 modernized Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers. The bombers carry long-range cruise missiles and short-range nuclear missiles as primary weaponry.

Moscow has repeatedly stressed the need to continue the development of Russia’s Strategic Nuclear Forces, including its airborne component, and said they should be able to respond promptly and effectively to any aggression.

The Russian Air Force combat training program has scheduled more than 200 exercises with 350 live firing drills for the second half of 2008.

The “post”-communist regimes in Warsaw and Prague have provocatively pledged to host elements of Washington’s National Missile Defense system, which has angered the Kremlin. In our opinion, Stability-2008/Autumn-2008 represent the neo-Soviet leadership’s preparation for a ground invasion into Poland and the Czech Republic via Belarus and the Russian exclave Kaliningrad, with potential air support from the Russian-controlled Tiraspol military airport in Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria. “Russian airplanes land regularly on Tiraspol military airport,” reported a Moldovan news source in 2005, “The air defense systems of the National Army have been inefficient until recently and were not ensuring the security of Moldova’s air space.”

This scenario is entirely feasible since Moscow suspended its compliance with the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty last year, while the governments in the “former” Soviet Bloc are almost entirely controlled by “ex”-communists or faux rightists who began their political careers in communist front groups. The 20,000-tank Russian Army is modernizing its force through the procurement of French-built infrared TV camera units for 25 of its T-90 tanks. The French technology permits accurate firing at night or in foggy conditions. Vladimir Popovkin, new procurement director of the Russian Defense Ministry, announced that by 2016 Russia will have a “new, model, one-million-strong military.” According to our analysis, however, the Fourth World War is already under way.

In a related story, Belarus will hold (another fraudulent) parliamentary election on September 28, even as the country joins Russia in preparing to attack NATO. The country’s communist dictator Alexander Lukashenko has assured the world that “stability” will be maintained during the poll. In other words, opposition forces, which have in any case boycotted the election, will be rigorously suppressed. The Communist Party of Belarus, which is closely aligned with the (secretly ruling) Communist Party of the Russian Federation, openly supports President Lukashenko. Pictured above: Belarusian police clash with 40 protesters during an unsanctioned opposition rally in Minsk, on September 16. The activists were marking the ninth anniversary of the disappearance of Belarusian politician Viktor Gonchar and businessman Anatoly Krasovsky.

Meanwhile, the Sitzkrieg stage of the Fourth World War, which began with Russia’s August 8 re-invasion of Georgia, festers as Soviet troops refuse to pull back completely from the “former” Soviet republic, establishing military bases in the de facto independent states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “What’s happening inside Abkhazia and South Ossetia has nothing to do with the peacekeeping operations any longer,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov informed journalists in Moscow on September 18. “[Russian] military bases will be established there and a Russian Federation military contingent will be based there in response to a direct request by the legally elected authorities of these two sovereign states.”

No doubt emboldened by the Western Alliance’s reluctance to promptly mobilize its militaries against the Soviet re-occupation of Georgia, Russia’s outspoken NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin took a stab at NATO’s new plan to organize a rapid response force. Novosti quotes Rogozin as saying: “The plan is a noisemaker. It is nothing but part of the arsenal of weapons used in the current U.S. presidential campaign. I am very skeptical about this idea. The idea is a distraction from the real work of the rapid response forces. It is destined to fail as there is no major European country that feels threatened by Russia.”

Tragically–with the possible exception of the United Kingdom, which has experienced a “mini-Cold War” with Moscow since the assassination of FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko–Comrade Rogozin is correct: “No major European country feels threatened by Russia.” The fact that Italy’s faux rightist prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is a close buddy of KGB-communist dictator Putin, has proposed, according to state-run Voice of Russia, that the USA “sit down” with the European Union and Russia to formulate “a common strategy for the civilized world” proves our point. Since when was neo-Soviet Russia part of the “civilized world”?

The Kremlin media and Western MSM, below, report that the flagship of the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet, the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great, accompanied by the antisubmarine warship Admiral Chabanenko and an undisclosed number of other warships, left the Arctic port of Murmansk today, heading for the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. There the Russian Navy will join its Venezuelan counterpart in joint maneuvers that will include missile and artillery fire under the guise of “search and rescue” and “anti-terrorism” operations. We have previously blogged how the neo-Soviet leadership, with typical communist hypocrisy, views the USA as the world’s “arch-terrorist” regime. Pictured below: The Peter the Great in 2004.

The Fleet Has Sailed
September 22, 2008

Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky, main commander of the Russian naval fleet, visited the main base of the Northern Fleet at Severomorsk on Sunday to hear a report on the preparation of a squadron of ships that will sail to ports in Venezuela for joint exercises with the naval forces of that country. Among the ships that are participating in the exercises with the Venezuelans are the heavy atomic missile cruiser and squadron leader Peter the Great and the antisubmarine warship Admiral Chabanenko.

The squadron left the port of Murmansk at 10:00 a.m. today. Deputy commander of the Northern Fleet Vice Adm. Vladimir Korolev is heading the squadron, which will travel more than 15,000 nautical miles to the site of the exercises. In the course of the exercises, the ships will engage in both missile and artillery fire as they carry out rescue operations and operations to fight terrorism on the sea. The squadron will be out of port for two months. The Peter the Great carries about 500 anti-ship and antiaircraft missiles, machineguns, torpedoes, depth charges, Ka-27 helicopters and Su-33 airplanes. It has a crew of 655.

Two Russian Tu-160 bomber planes recently returned from Venezuela. The planes set a flight record for their type and refueled in the air for the first time, taking on 25 tons of fuel while flying near Great Britain.

Venezuela’s strutting communist dictator Hugo Chavez will no doubt gloat over the arrival of the Russian flotilla on his shores, just as he did with last week’s presence of Russian bombers. Yesterday Chavez was quoted by Russia’s Vesti 24 TV as saying: “Not only Venezuela, but Latin America as a whole, needs friends like Russia now as we are shedding this [US] domination. We need Russia for economic and social development, for all-around support, for the life of the peoples of our continent, for peace.”

The AFP news agency, moreover, suggests that the flotilla may weigh anchor at Russia’s naval bases in Syria en route to South America: “The pro-Kremlin daily Izvestia speculated the ships could stop in Syria as part of a broader show of force in the Mediterranean, quoting a navy source who said Russian engineers were expanding the Syrian ports of Tartus and Latakia. ‘The possibility of basing aircraft carriers and missile cruisers there is foreseen,’ the source told Izvestia, referring to the ports in Syria, a Moscow ally during the Cold War that hosted a Soviet naval supply base.”

The Israeli news source Debkafile reports that 10 Russian warships are already anchored at the port of Tartus per a September 12 agreement reached in Moscow by Russian Navy commander, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky and Syrian Navy commander General Taleb al-Barri to provide the Russian fleet with a long-term base at Syrian ports. “What most worries Israeli military leaders,” the same source explains, “is an earlier announcement by Adm. Wysotsky that Russia’s Mediterranean assets would be subject to its Black Sea fleet command, thereby placing Russia’s warships near Israel’s shores at the service of Moscow’s contest against the US and NATO in the Caucasian region. It is feared that Israel will be dragged into another cold war.”

We have previously considered the implications of Russia’s revived military presence in Syria in the light of Bible prophecy, especially Ezekiel’s Magog-Persian (Russian-Iranian) invasion of Israel and the destruction of Damascus, both of which will probaby take place at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week or, in the words of Jesus Christ, the Great Tribulation. “The Russians,” Debkafile concludes, “are making no secret of their intention of using their naval presence in Syrian ports as a deterrent to a possible Israeli air strike against Syria.” The Kremlin has never had any warmth for the Jewish state, which earned the wrath of the Moscow Leninists for the military weapons and advisers supplied to Georgia prior to Russia’s August invasion.

>Blogger’s Note: Final Phase message spreading: Your resident blogger interviewed third time on subject of Soviet, Latin American communism

>The Final Phase message about the fake collapse of Soviet communism and the current threat presented by the Moscow-Beijing Axis and the “Red Spread” in Latin America is gaining a wider audience. This past week we were interviewed for the third time in as many years by an American pastor who hosts an online radio show that addresses many timely issues. We would like to post links to these interviews from our site. However, in all three cases we were interviewed under our real name. Since we prefer to maintain our anonymity here, perhaps one day, when the time is right, we will post those links. Your resident blogger, Perilous Times.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Borei class sub successfully launches new-generation Bulava missile; Rogozin: USA to attack Iran from Georgia bases

>Two days ago at a Brussels news conference Russia’s outspoken NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin stated that the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) had uncovered plans by the Pentagon to rebuild Georgia’s military infrastructure, disabled by the Russians during their August invasion, for the purpose of staging an attack against Iran’s nuclear program. In a previous post we considered a similar scenario in which Israel also intends to use the “former” Soviet republic as a base to forward deploy their fighter-bombers to strike Iran with US-made “smart bombs,” among other weapons. “This is another reason why Washington values Saakashvili’s regime so highly,” Rogozin insinuated, adding: “The United States had already started active military preparations on Georgia’s territory for an invasion of Iran. Georgia’s president is ready to make his nation a virtual hostage of a risky military gamble.”

As if to underscore the Kremlin’s warning to the USA to “back off” from its ally Iran, the next day the nuclear-powered Borei class submarine Dmitry Donskoi successfully test-fired a new-generation strategic missile from the White Sea, which extends inland from Russia’s northwest coast, hitting a target on the Kamchatka Peninsula. The Bulava missile has a range of 5,000 miles and was first tested successfully in December 2005. This test followed by three weeks the test-launch of an intercontinental Topol RS-12M missile, which is also designed to avoid detection by missile defence systems. President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and assorted Russian generals have promised a “military response” to a US-Polish agreement inked last month that will permit Washington to install interceptor missiles in the “ex”-communist state.

>Africa File: Nigeria’s Marxist insurgent groups, ex-convict leader Asari, unite, prosecute week-long offensive against Shell facilities, army

>Nigeria’s two largest Marxist insurgent groups, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF), have unified their military operations to sabotage and close down Royal Dutch Shell’s petroleum facilities in Nigeria. Earlier this week MEND destroyed Shell’s Orubiri pumping station and the oil pipeline at Rumuekpe, both in Rivers state. The latest orgy of guerrilla attacks began on September 13 when Nigerian soldiers and militants clashed in the Elem-Tombia district, south of Port Harcourt, the heart of Nigeria’s oil industry. Pictured above: This photograph of a heavily armed MEND guerrilla at a Niger Delta camp was taken two days ago.

On September 16 the guerrillas arrived at the Orubiri pumping station in eight speed boats and targeted a naval vessel with 10 people on board. “Militants detonated dynamite, bombs and lobbed some pieces of hand grenades on the facility,” related Lieutenant-Colonel Sagir Musa, a spokesman for the region’s joint military task force. “It is feared that the facility might have caught fire due to intense sporadic gunshots and massive dynamite and bomb explosions.” The next day MEND threatened to expand the range of attacks beyond Rivers to other states and deep offshore oilfields, such as Shell’s Bonga and Chevron Corp.’s Agbami facilities. In an important development, MEND admitted that its forces teamed up for the Orubiri raid with the NDPVF. The latter first took up arms in 2004 before suspending military operations following a peace deal with the federal government a year later.

The leader of the NDPVF is self-avowed Islamo-Marxist Mujahid Dokubu Asari (pictured below last year), whom we have profiled before. After serving a two-year jail term on treason charges Asari was released in June 2007 under the watchcare of Nigeria’s new president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, whom we have demonstrated is an under-the-radar communist. The president’s stated reason for freeing Asari was to promote reconciliation between the federal government and the Niger Delta insurgents. “The move is seen as part of the new government’s pledge to bring peace to the troubled Niger Delta region,” BBC News reported at the time. In July of this year reports surfaced that Nigeria’s state oil company bribed MEND with US$12 million to halt attacks, but the insurgents denied the allegations.

However, it appears that, not surprisingly, Asari has slipped back into his old terrorist habits. “It should be a major worry to oil companies and the government that MEND formed an alliance with another militant group to attack and destroy the Orubiri flow station,” Thomas Pearmain, a London-based energy analyst at Global Insight, commented below, adding: “MEND has previously tended to work on its own.” MEND launched a new attack today, targetting yet another Shell pipeline in Rivers state.

Nigerian Militants Step Up “Oil War” With Niger Delta Attacks
By Karl Maier and Dulue Mbachu


Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) — Nigeria’s main militant group in the Niger River delta intensified its “oil war” for a fifth day, claiming to have destroyed an oil-pumping station and a pipeline operated by a unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, in an e-mailed statement today, said it attacked the Orubiri pumping station in Rivers state at 10 p.m. yesterday. A Nigerian military spokesman confirmed the raid. MEND later said it destroyed an oil pipeline at Rumuekpe, also in Rivers state.

“The political mood in the capital Abuja is shifting away from negotiation and dialogue towards a tough military response,” Antony Goldman, an independent analyst specializing in Nigeria, said by phone from London. “If militants can take the violence beyond Rivers, it will represent a setback for what appears to be the military’s new strategy.”

Attacks by armed groups in the Niger delta region have cut more than 20 percent of Nigeria’s crude exports since 2006. Nigeria was Africa’s top oil producer last month.

“MEND seem the most organized they have been for almost two years, yet the Federal Government is lacking leadership on this crucial issue in how to find a resolution in the Delta,” Thomas Pearmain, a London-based energy analyst at Global Insight, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Shell is aware of reports of sabotage at Rumuekpe and is investigating, company spokesman Precious Okolobo said in a telephone interview today.

Shell, the biggest international operator in Nigeria’s oil industry, has borne the brunt of the attacks. The company runs 6,000 kilometers (3,720 miles) of pipelines, 87 oil pumping stations, 10 gas plants and two main oil export terminals, according to its Web site.

“Oil War”

The latest spate of attacks began on Sept. 13 when Nigerian soldiers and militants clashed in the Elem-Tombia district, south of Port Harcourt, the hub of Nigeria’s oil industry. MEND said troops had launched an air and marine offensive against its positions and declared an “oil war” targeting installations in the region, which produces almost all of Nigeria’s crude.

MEND today threatened to broaden its range of attacks beyond Rivers to other states and deep offshore oilfields such as Shell’s Bonga and Chevron Corp.’s Agbami facilities.

“The whole Delta region appears to be under attack as MEND has promised to move across the delta after completing their attacks in Rivers State,” Pearmain of Global Insight said.

MEND says it’s fighting on behalf of the inhabitants of the Niger Delta who have yet to share in the oil wealth of the 70,000-square kilometer region.

Stolen Crude

The government and independent analysts say many of the armed groups in the Niger delta are involved in selling stolen crude and kidnapping.

“Armed groups are well resourced and have a lucrative illicit trade to protect,” Goldman said.

The attackers of the Orubiri pumping station arrived in eight speed boats and targeted a naval vessel with 10 people on board, said Lieutenant-Colonel Sagir Musa, a spokesman for the region’s joint military task force. No naval personnel were killed in the attack, he said.

“Militants detonated dynamite, bombs and lobbed some pieces of hand grenades on the facility,” Musa said in a mobile-phone text message. “It is feared that the facility might have caught fire due to intense sporadic gunshots and massive dynamite and bomb explosions.”

MEND said it had teamed up for the Orubiri raid with the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, which first took up arms in 2004 before reaching a peace deal with the government a year later.

Volunteer Force

The volunteer force’s leader, Mujahid Dokubu Asari, issued a statement with other delta militant leaders yesterday condemning the government’s military actions in the oil region.

“It should be a major worry to oil companies and the government that MEND formed an alliance with another militant group to attack and destroy the Orubiri flow station,” Pearmain said. “MEND has previously tended to work on its own.”

On Sept. 15, MEND attacked a Shell-run pipeline at Bakana in Rivers state and the company’s Alakiri flow station the night before. Militants also clashed with soldiers near a Chevron oil field yesterday.

Chevron spokesman Scott Walker said yesterday that the incident near the Idama oil field had no impact on production, which was already shut-in for pipeline repairs.

Nigeria pumped 1.9 million barrels of oil a day last month, according to Bloomberg estimates, which is 263,000 barrels a day less than its quota from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The net economic result of the insurgents’ assault against Nigeria’s petroleum infrastructure has been to once again drive up the price of crude and endanger the long-term health of the fossil fuel-dependent world economy. In recent weeks high-profile bank, mortgage, and insurance company failures have been accompanied by panic selling in financial markets, history-making bankruptcies (Lehman Brothers), forced buyouts (Merrill Lynch), and socialism-inspired government takeovers and bailouts (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and American International Group).

Into the mess which is Africa steps the Kremlin with the intent of restoring military linkages with Soviet-era client states on the “Red Continent,” like Algeria and Libya, and establishing new joint energy enterprises with countries like Nigeria. “We have recently revived our contacts with all African countries that used to be traditional buyers of Soviet weaponry,” Rosoboronexport General Director Anatoly Isaykin informed a news conference at the Africa Aerospace & Defence-2008 exhibition near Cape Town. State-run Novosti reports that “Russian-made helicopters have traditionally met with high demand in Africa. According to various sources, Russia has supplied over 700 helicopters, including Mi-24/35 Hind attack helicopters, to African countries.” Isaykin is a former KGB special forces operative. Last year Russian arms exports amounted to US$7 billion, making the Kremlin the world’s second-largest exporter of conventional weapons after the USA.

Russia rebuilds Soviet-era military-technical ties with Africa
21:5217/ 09/ 2008

CAPE TOWN, September 17 (RIA Novosti) – Russia has successfully reestablished military-technical cooperation with African countries, which saw a decline after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the head of Russia’s state arms exporter said on Wednesday.

“We have recently revived our contacts with all African countries that used to be traditional buyers of Soviet weaponry,” Rosoboronexport General Director Anatoly Isaykin told a news conference at the Africa Aerospace & Defence-2008 (AAD-2008) exhibition near Cape Town.

Russia’s arms trade customers in Africa include Algeria, Libya, Angola, Ethiopia, Uganda, Morocco, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique and Burkina Faso. African countries are attracted to the reliability and competitive prices of Russian arms.

Russian-made helicopters have traditionally met with high demand in Africa. According to various sources, Russia has supplied over 700 helicopters, including Mi-24/35 Hind attack helicopters, to African countries.

At present Rosoboronexport, while expecting new sales contracts, plans to prioritize the establishment of helicopter maintenance centers to provide repair services for helicopters that had been previously sold to African customers.

“We are offering a variety of post-sale services to our traditional customers, prioritizing maintenance of helicopters as well as MiG-23, MiG-27, MiG-29 and Su-24 combat aircraft, and also pilot training,” the Russian official said.

He also said Russia is ready to offer potential customers in Africa “alternative and flexible” forms of payment for purchased military equipment, including the creation of joint ventures, exclusive rights for exploration of natural resources in African countries, and deliveries of traditional goods such as diamonds, cotton and coffee.

“These offers give our African customers additional opportunities to acquire Russian-made military equipment,” Isaykin said.

Russia has been striving in recent years to regain its competitive edge in the global arms trade.

The country has doubled annual arms exports since 2000 to $7 billion last year, becoming the world’s second-largest exporter of conventional weapons after the United States.

Russia exports arms to about 80 countries. Among the largest buyers are China, India, Algeria, Venezuela, Iran, Malaysia, and Serbia.

>Latin American File: Vice Premier Sechin visits Nicaragua, thanks Ortega for support over Georgia invasion, pledges to revitalize Cold War-era links

>Today the two Tu-160 strategic bombers that Russia dispatched to Venezuela on September 10 finally began their flight home from Caracas’ Maiquetía International Airport. With some fanfare the air crews were sent off with gifts and praise by Jesus Gonzales Gonzales, Chief of the Venezuelan Armed Forces General Staff, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, and the Russian ambassador to Venezuela. Earlier this year General Gonzales complained about the decrepit state of the US-built F-16 fighter jets purchased in 1983 and still in service with the Venezuelan air force. This fact has provided the Chavezista regime with an excuse to not only obtain new warplanes from Russia but also snuggle up to the Kremlin in a tight strategic partnership, formally organized in early 2001, based on anti-USA animosity.

The presence of two Russian bombers in Red Venezuela, the first such sortie since the Cold War, coincided with a visit from Vice Premier Igor Sechin, the Soviets’ current pointman for rebuilding traditional political-military-economic linkages with Latin American leftist proxies. Prior to arriving in Caracas, Sechin visited Cuba, where he promised more Russian humanitarian aid for the hurricane-wracked island, the communist dictatorship of which has refused similar assistance from the USA.

His mission accomplished in Cuba and Venezuela, Sechin arrived in Managua yesterday where he held face-to-face consultations with compliant Moscow lackey President Daniel Ortega. Both men, with Daniel’s wife Rosario in background, are pictured above. Russia’s deputy prime minister also travelled to Havana on official business in July in the midst of Kremlin media reports that Russia intended to redeploy its nuclear-capable bombers to Cuba.

Today state-run Itar-Tass published a particularly thorough story on the direct consultations between Sechin and Ortega, whish is reproduced below. Ortega, referring to the Soviet-backed guerrilla warfare that wracked Central America in the 1980s, is quoted as saying: “I see no reasons for which Russia could not restore cooperation with Latin America, in particular, with Nicaragua up to the volumes that has existed in the Soviet period – the more so that peace has now come to the Central American region.” He emphasized the Nicaraguan government’s interest in consolidating bilateral relations with Russia “in every domain, including economy and commerce, culture, sport, science, technology, and military-technical cooperation.” Ortega, whose government is the only one in the world after Russia itself to recognize Abkhazian and South Ossetian independence, ranted: “The actions of the United States in the Caucasus were based on the false presumption that Russia is feeble. It tried to launch an aggression against South Ossetia and Abkhazia, believing that Moscow was not strong enough to retaliate and would sit on its hands, watching the occurring events.”

Russia delegation holds intergovt consultations in Nicaragua
18.09.2008, 09.56

MANAGUA, September 18 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s delegation with Vice Prime Minister Igor Sechin in the head on Wednesday held intergovernmental consultations in Nicaragua. First a one-on-one meeting was held between Sechin and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. After that they took part in enlarged-format talks.

During the talks the sides, among other things, highlighted the issue of the development of hydrothermal power generation. The Nicaraguan side drew special attention of the Russians to the potential of cooperation in the search for oil on ocean shelves of the Central American country, pointing to several fields the licenses for the development of which have not been given to anyone yet.

At the intergovernmental consultations the parties raised the question about the number of budget places for Nicaraguans in Russian higher educational establishments. Ten students from Nicaragua are studying there at present. In the view of Sechin, this number can be increased.” The Nicaraguans thanked the Russian side for such an attitude.

Touching upon the bilateral relations prospects Ortega stated that he sees “no reasons for which Russia could not restore cooperation with Latin America, in particular, with Nicaragua up to the volumes that has existed in the Soviet period – the more so that peace has now come to the Central American region.”

Ortega expressed confidence to journalists that following Nicaragua’s suit “South Ossetia and Abkhazia will also be recognised by other Latin American countries in the spirit of international law.” The Nicaraguan president believes that first of all such recognition may come from the left-oriented governments of the region, participants in the so-called Bolivarian alternative for the Americas (Bolivia, Venezuela, Honduras, Dominica, Cuba and Nicaragua).

In the words of Ortega, he has “already talks on this issue with some of his colleagues in the region.” At the same time the Nicaraguan president declines to specify the names referring to the existing diplomatic practice.

Nicaragua was the last leg of the busy visit of the Russian delegation to Latin America during which they also visited Cuba and Venezuela.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement earlier that Moscow welcomes Nicaragua’s decision to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Moscow is deeply satisfied with the decision taken in Nicaragua to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazian. It is not only an indication of the well-considered and deep approach of the Latin American country’s leaders to present international realities, but it is also a serious contribution to the formation of the international system based on strict observance of the international law principles, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

President Dmitry Medvedev sent then a telegram to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, in which he expressed satisfaction with his decision to recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia. “I was pleased to learn of the bold and responsible move of the brotherly Republic of Nicaragua that has made a historic decision to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” Medvedev said.

“We take your decision as an act aimed at ensuring the supremacy of the fundamental principles of international law and further creation of a fair system of multipolar world,” the telegram said.

“For Russia, the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia was necessitated in equal measure by legal and moral considerations, primarily the need for long-term effective security of their peoples. Our country could not wait for the barbaric Georgian aggression against South Ossetia or Abkhazia, accompanied by genocide against the local population, to lead to its physical extermination,” Medvedev noted.

Daniel Ortega stressed earlier Nicaragua’s interest and readiness to “strengthen the bilateral relations with Russia in every domain, including economy and commerce, culture, sport, science, technology, and military-technical cooperation”. “Russia is reviving and growing ever stronger, is restoring its inimitable originality, which the Russians always prided and which helped them safeguard global equilibrium,” Ortega noted. He stressed that Moscow was “advocating multipolarity in the international relations” and “is favours dialogue and peaceful decisions.”

In the meantime, the United States and the other Western nations “are endeavouring to picture Russia’s policy in a distorted light, are conducing the escalation tensions,” the Nicaragua president noted. In his opinion, perfectly obvious today “is the West’s urge for hegemony and for a unipolar world,” which “endangers the possibility of building up a fair global order.”

“Instead of holding our a hand to Moscow and jointly seeking ways to relax tensions, to achieve peace and creating a multipolar global system, the West has chosen an aggressive and provocative policy of encircling Russia, including militarily,” Ortega stated.

To achieve the goals of its anti-Russian policy, the West is endeavouring to draw into it both the post-Soviet space and the former socialist countries, Ortega noted. In his opinion, the actions of the United States in the Caucasus were “based on the false presumption that Russia is feeble.”

“It tried to launch an aggression against South Ossetia and Abkhazia, believing that Moscow was not strong enough to retaliate and would sit on its hands, watching the occurring events,” the Nicaragua president said. Such an approach, he stressed, “is utterly erroneous and fraught with growing international tension, runs counter to the interests of peace and security.

We have chronicled Russia’s interest in specifically revitalizing links with neo-Sandinista Nicaragua since Ortega’s inauguration in January 2007, when former Russian prime minister Sergei Stepashin, acting as then President Vladimir Putin’s personal envoy, pledged to modernize the Sandinista-controlled Nicaraguan military. At the time Stepashin outlined the future of Soviet-Nicaraguan relations in the twenty-first century: “The whole Nicaraguan Army and other power agencies use arms and vehicles mostly of the Soviet and Russian production. We do not return to a bare field in Nicaragua, but resume our relations on a very serious basis, both technological and human.”

In May 2007 Russia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Kislyak met with Ortega in Managua, releasing a joint notice to the effect that both countries were committed to extending cooperation in hydoelectric energy facilities, tourism, modernization of transport infrastructure, exports of machinery, equipment and Russian technology. Kislyak also consulted with Foreign Minister Samuel Santos Lopez. Last November a high-level diplomatic-military delegation led by Foreign Minister Santos and General Ramon Calderón Vindell flew to Moscow for consultations with the neo-Soviet leadership. The Pentagon, reported political commentator Robert Novak in 2005, regards Nicaragua’s top general Omar Halleslevens as a “hard-line Sandinista.”

Kislyak was appointed Russia’s ambassador to the USA this past summer. Kislyak is Moscow’s tough-talking pointman on US National Missile Defense plans in Central Europe. On July 14 he was quoted as saying: “If we see the development of systems that could reduce our deterrent potential, our military will have to take steps to neutralize the threat. This will be decided by military specialists. We would prefer not to have to do this.” Keep in mind, therefore, that these are the henchentities that are carrying out the bidding of the Soviet strategists in America’s backyard, Latin America.

An agreement was negotiated as long ago as 2001, before the Sandinistas openly reassumed power in Managua, to upgrade the Nicaraguan army with Russian weaponry. Unlike oil-rich Venezuela, Nicaragua is cash-strapped and it would appear that the Soviets and their Sandinista proxies will have to negotiate a special arrangement by which the Nicaraguans can take delivery of arms, vehicles, aircraft to re-equip and upgrade their armed forces. In the spring of the same year Managua announced that Comandanate Ortega would visit Moscow, but this trip was apparently scrubbed. Today state-run Novosti reports that Sechin’s current visit to Managua is part of the preparations for Ortega’s impending visit to Russia, the first since the Cold War, proving that these plans were not completely abandoned last year. Clearly, the Moscow Leninists want to speak directly to their primary puppet in Central America.

Global Banking System Failure and Market Crash to Precipitate 21st-Century “Red Dawn” Scenario?

All of the networking between Russian and Nicaraguan officialdom demonstrates the strategic importance that Nicaragua, not to mention Cuba and Venezuela, still holds for the Soviets as a base for subversive and military operations immediately south of the Continental USA. In view of the temporary deployment of two Russian bombers in Venezuela; a joint Soviet-Venezuelan naval drill slated for November; Cuba’s “Strategic Military Maneuver” that was scheduled for the same month but postponed due to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike; and the embryonic South American Defense Council designed to resist US influence in the region and championed by Venezuela and Brazil, the rough outline of a twenty-first century Red Dawn scenario is looming into view.

The 1984 film Red Dawn depicts a fictional invasion of the USA by Soviet, Cuban, and Central American armies, and the resulting guerrilla actions of a group of high school students in Colorado. Likewise, Soviet military doctrine, according to Jeffrey Nyquist in Origins of the Fourth World War, requires a ground invasion of CONUS following nuclear decapitation strikes against the US political-military leadership. In the film plot the Soviets launch their invasion after the Communist Bloc suffers severe famine and food riots and a civil war tears Mexico.

Fast forward to September 2008:

The Kremlin’s stock market benchmark, following Western financial trends, plunged 25% over the past three days as foreign investors, frightened by Russia’s August invasion of Georgia, pull more than US$35 billion off the Russian Trading System. Meanwhile, President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, no doubt casting glances at Russia’s massive forex reserves, insist that the Russian “economy” is resilient. “We cannot change the situation on the U.S. market. Let the Americans sort out their mortgage system themselves,” Medvedev grumbled, adding: “But of course … they have pretty much set everyone up for this.” Indeed, the US banking and credit system is on the verge of self-implosion and, ironically, subsequent nationalization (communization).

At the same time powerful, FSB/KGB-sponsored narco-terrorist groupings vie with the Mexican government to control the country.

The Soviet strategic deception revealed by KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn and other Soviet Bloc defectors and confirmed by the last 17 years of Kremlin machinations is a flexible thing and could culminate suddenly in the context of a global crisis. The Soviet strategists must have realized that Russia’s “capitalist” economy would take a hit in the wake of the Georgian intervention, validating communism.

Reminiscing about “Red Dawn,” is reality catching up with fiction?

>WW4 File: Russian bombers in Venezuela to fly home today, Chavez slated for 8th trip to Moscow; pro-Russian 5th columnists oust Yushchenko government

>FOURTH WORLD WAR HIGHLIGHTS

LATIN AMERICAN THEATER

- KGB-Communist Dictator Putin Mocks Washington’s Concerns over Russian Military Presence in Venezuela, Casts Contempt on North American Security

- Revitalized Interest in Latin America Top Priority for Soviet Strategists: Russian Bombers to Begin Return Flight from Venezuela to Engels Airbase in Saratov Region Today

- Russian Vice-Premier Sechin Visits Hurricane-Ravaged Cuba for Second Time in as Many Months, Advances Bilateral Military Cooperation under Guise of Building Space Base for Cubans

- Sechin Travels to Caracas after Havana Pitstop; Venezuelan President Chavez to Reciprocate with Moscow Pilgrimage Later This Month, Eighth Time Since 1999 Inauguration, Last Trip to Russia Occurred in July

- Sandinistas Install Anti-American Former Foreign Minister/Liberationist Catholic Priest/Lenin Peace Prize Recipient as President of United Nations General Assembly

Seven days after they arrived in Venezuela, reports state-run Novosti, two Russian strategic bombers, armed with “dummy” missiles, have completed their second mission, a six-hour flight along the northern coast of South America toward Brazil, with the intent of simulating combat in a tropical climate. The Tu-160 Blackjacks flew from El Libertador airbase, where they were briefly based, to the capital of Venezuela, where they are being prepared for their 15-hour return flight to Russia, to begin later today. Since August 2007, when then President Vladimir Putin announced the resumption of overseas bomber patrols after a 15-year hiatus, the Russian Air Force has carried out more than 90 strategic patrol flights.

In mid-August US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice admitted that the White House was annoyed with flights by Russian strategic bombers near US airspace: “We’ve had Russian Bear flights along the Norwegian coast…even along the borders with the United States which…is a very dangerous game, and perhaps one the Russians want to reconsider. Nobody needs Russian strategic aviation along America’s coasts. Last week, during a meeting with Western academics in Sochi, Putin, now prime minister, insisted that the West was overreacting to Russia’s reassertiveness, especially its military presence in South America, and cast contempt on Washington’s concern for the security of North America. “God forbid,” he mocked, “there should be any sort of conflict over the [North] American continent, which is none other than the ‘holiest of the holies.’ Yet, they [NATO] send armed ships to sit just 10 kilometres from where we are here, the Black Sea, to deliver aid to Georgia? Is that normal? Is it proportional?”

The presence of Standing NATO Maritime Group One in the Black Sea and its involvement in shipping humanitarian aid to Georgia, which Russia invaded on August 8, provoked belligerent rumblings from the Kremlin. Although NATO’s Black Sea fleet reportedly departed from the region on September 10, the Kremlin has announced that its warships will patrol the coast of Abkhazia, one of Georgia’s secessionist republics, until all US naval vessels leave the Black Sea. “Russian intelligence,” Novosti propagandizes, “believes that U.S. ships are spying on the Russian Black Sea fleet and that along with humanitarian aid delivered military equipment to Georgia, including new air defense systems.”

While Venezuela’s armed forces, under the watchful presence of the visiting Tu-160 bombers, repelled yet another mock invasion by US forces this past Saturday, Russian Vice Premier Igor Sechin (pictured above) arrived in Caracas yesterday to firm up bilateral relations between the two Communist Bloc states. The Venezuelan military, which has been purged of officers opposed to the Chavezista regime, staged at least one previous mock US invasion in 2006. The Kremlin media reports, below, on Sechin’s latest Latin American foray: “The delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin includes representatives from large Russian companies and economic-related ministries.”

Pictured below: The flagship of the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet, the nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser Peter the Great. This vessel and others will arrive off the coast of Venezuela on or before scheduled exercises with Chavez’s navy between November 10 and 14.

Russian delegation visits Venezuela for partnership talks
11:28 16/ 09/ 2008

CARACAS, September 16 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian governmental delegation has arrived in Venezuela to hold talks on bilateral cooperation.

The delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin includes representatives from large Russian companies and economic-related ministries.

On the sideline of the visit a number of working groups from the energy, financial, industry, transport, science, education and agriculture sectors will meet for talks.

Venezuela is the second country after Cuba that the Russian delegation has visited on its Latin American tour. Sechin said an agreement had been reached with Cuba to boost partnership in most economic sectors, including energy, pharmaceutics, agriculture and transport.

The Russian delegation also assessed the damage to Cuba following two recent hurricanes, Gustav and Ike. Russia was the first to send aid to Cuba after Gustav hit the communist island last month. The Russian delegation promised more aid, including food as well as equipment for the country’s damaged electricity grid.

If there’s any doubt in your mind as to the neo-Soviet leadership’s commitment to communism, then it is worth mentioning that Sechin presented Chavez with a new Russian biography of retired Cuban president and red revolutionary Fidel Castro.

“The two countries,” reports Flight International, “are preparing a big arms deal that would involve the sale of about 70 Russian aircraft, including Sukhoi Su-35 multirole fighters, Omsk-built An-74 STOL airlifters, Mi-17MTV-5 and Mi-28N hellicopters.” We have already chronicled Venezuela’s previous purchases of Russian weapons and military hardware. President Hugo Chavez, who is chummy with both Putin and communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov, is scheduled to visit Beijing, Moscow, and Lisbon later this month. This will be Chavez’s eighth trip to Moscow since assuming the Venezuelan presidency in 1999. Comrade Hugo’s last pilgrimage to the Russian capital occurred on July 21, only weeks before Soviet troops re-invaded Georgia.

Before touching down in Caracas, Vice Premier Sechin made a pitstop in hurricane-ravaged Communist Cuba–less than two months after his last trip to Havana with ex-FSB/KGB chief Nikolai Patrushev, who is also secretary of the Russian Security Council. At the time the neo-Soviet leadership promised to revitalize Russia’s “traditional relationship” with Cuba, including military cooperation. Then President Putin visited Cuba in 2000. “Russia,” reports Novosti, below, “was the first to send aid to Cuba after Gustav hit the communist island last month. The Russian delegation promised more aid, including food as well as equipment for the country’s damaged electricity grid.”

Russia, which is currently constructed a rocket base in French Guiana, has offered to assist Cuba in building its own space center, which could very easily serve as a cover for the Soviets to insert their own military assets onto the island in a replay of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Moscow supposedly withdrew its missiles from Cuba in 1962 and decades later closed down its electronic eavesdropping center in Lourdes after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Alexander Nemets contends that the Communist Bloc used this facility to guide the 911 skyjackers to their targets, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, on that fateful day.

Finally, Latin America’s Red Axis has secured a coup d’etat of sorts by installing former Nicaraguan foreign minister, Sandinista mouthpiece, and liberationist Catholic priest Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, whom the Vatican has only suspended rather than dismissed, as president of the United Nations General Assembly. Father d’Escoto was ordained into the Maryknoll congregation, which is known for its leftist political activism, was employed by the World Council of Churches, and is a recipient of the Soviet Union’s Lenin Peace Prize.

First item on the agenda for Father d’Escoto is to transfer the powers exercised by the Security Council, dominated by five permanent members including the USA, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the UN bureaucracy to the broad membership of the General Assembly. While the Moscow-Beijing Axis enjoys a privileged position on the UN Security Counci. Father D’Escoto’s scheme would enable the Communist Bloc to effectively eliminate most or all influence exercised by Washington in the UN venue. Father d’Escoto’s commitment to liberation theology is similar to that of Paraguay’s new President Fernando Lugo, the “Red Bishop” whom the Vatican suspended just prior to his inauguration on August 15.

In a related story that demonstrates the temperature drop between the USA and Nicaragua ever since President Daniel Ortega recognized Georgia’s breakaway regions’ independence and later expressed solidarity with embattled Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales, Commandante Ortega has refused to attend a summit of Central American leaders in Washington DC, to be held later this month.

EUROPEAN, CAUCASIAN, AND PACIFIC THEATERS

- Russian Navy Commences Concurrent Drills in Baltic Sea and Sea of Japan

- Legislative Coup in Kiev Ousts “Pro”-NATO/Georgia President Yushchenko’s Government, Brings Pro-Russian Fifth Columnists to Power Again

- Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev Scurries to Moscow to Pledge Loyalty to Soviet Strategists

Ahead of a joint Caribbean naval exercise with Chavez’s navy in November, Russia’s Kaliningrad-based Baltic Sea Fleet is preparing for open hostilities with NATO, while its Vladivostok-based Pacific Fleet is preparing for open hostilities with the US, Japanese, and South Korean navies. On September 15 the Chinese state media quoted Captain Yuri Kuroedov, Assistant Commander of the Baltic Fleet, as saying: “Landing operations of marines and paratroopers on a rough coast will also be performed.”

Russia’s Baltic Fleet on Monday started a large-scale war game in the Baltic Sea, Itar-Tass news agency reported. More than 20 warships and over 10 auxiliary vessels, 15 planes and helicopters will participate in the week-long drill, said Assistant Commander of the Baltic Fleet Captain Yuri Kuroedov. “The exercises aim to examine the combat readiness of the Baltic Fleet’s forces, which are deployed in the Kaliningrad region, for the last summer period,” he said. Those vessels and the coastal troops will hold missile and artillery fire exercises on coastal and air targets. There will be also bombing and other combat exercises. Landing operations of marines and paratroopers on a rough coast will also be performed, he said.

The Soviets have threatened to deploy “high-precision weapons,” meaning tactical missiles, in their Kaliningrad exclave with the express intent of knocking out proposed US anti-missile interceptors in Poland to the south. The Voice of America quotes General Viktor Zavarzin, chair of the State Duma Defense Committee, as saying that “there are proposals to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in the Kaliningrad region bordering Poland, but that for now there is no need for such a move.” US warplanes, moreover, are scheduled to patrol the airspace over former Soviet republics-turned-NATO member states Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania next month. US fighter jets first patrolled Baltic airspace for a three-month stint in 2005, the year after the three countries joined NATO. Thus, it can be seen that the Baltic Theater will play an important role in the Fourth World War, which began on August 8 with the Russian re-invasion of Georgia and which is presently meandering through its deceptive “Sitzkrieg” phase.

Two days ago the Kremlin media covered the concurrent live firing drills by the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet, which are being held in conjunction with the test-firing of SLBMs by Russian submarines in the Okhotsk and Bering Seas, previously reported here. “The current drills are the third in a series of combat training exercises conducted by the Pacific Fleet in the past month,” the story below relates, adding: “Two previous exercises off Russia’s Far East coast involved over 50 warships and submarines, along with naval aircraft and naval infantry.” The Japanese government recently published a white paper expressing its fears about Russia’s renewed military drills in and over the Sea of Japan.

Pictured below: A Russian marine stands in front of the Soviet Navy flag during celebrations marking the 225th anniversary of the Black Sea Fleet in the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol, on May 11, 2008. You wouldn’t think that the Soviet Union disappeared into the dustbin of history with all of the hammer and sickle flags still kicking around.

Russia’s Pacific Fleet holds live firing drills in Far East
10:0915/ 09/ 2008

VLADIVOSTOK, September 15 (RIA Novosti) – A naval task force from Russia’s Pacific Fleet has started scheduled exercises involving live firing in the Sea of Japan, a fleet spokesman said on Monday.

“For the next few days the warships will conduct a series of training exercises, which mainly involve live firing at simulated targets,” the source said.

He said the Admiral Vinogradov and Marshal Shaposhnikov large ASW ships will practice on Monday AA artillery and SAM firing at a target drone.

“During the next stage of the exercise, the ships will fire anti-ship missiles at a surface target,” the source said.

The current drills are the third in a series of combat training exercises conducted by the Pacific Fleet in the past month. Two previous exercises off Russia’s Far East coast involved over 50 warships and submarines, along with naval aircraft and naval infantry.

Russia also announced last week that strategic submarines from the Russian Pacific Fleet would conduct test launches of ballistic missiles at the Kura test site in Kamchatka on September 15-20.

Although primarily a land power, Russia jealously guards her outlets to the world ocean, including St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Murmansk, Sevastopol, and Vladivostok. In particular, the port of Sevastopol in Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula has been home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet for 225 years and, under terms negotiated with Kiev, will remain so until 2017. The Crimea, which was ceded to Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1954, is heavily populated by ethnic Russians. “Pro”-Western Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, however, has suggested that the Russian Navy’s lease may not be renewed, providing the Moscow Leninists with a convenient pretext to refurbish their Soviet-era naval base in Tartus, Syria.

Rear-Admiral Andrei Baranov, deputy chief of the Black Sea Fleet, is adamant that the Russian Navy should be under no obligation, legal or otherwise, to relinquish its base in Sevastopol: “I personally am not going to go away, and nor will our ships. It’s all up to our supreme commander to decide. We are not planning to go anyway. There are no options. You don’t have a better base for a fleet in the entire Black Sea … The geography of the harbour, you wouldn’t find anything like this in the whole of Russia.” Russia’s Black Sea Fleet consists of 50 warships and smaller vessels, 80 planes and helicopters, and employs 13,000 servicemen. Although less geographically advantageous, Baranov revealed that the Kremlin is considering the construction of a new naval base on the Black Sea, albeit located on undisputed Russian territory, in Novorossiisk.

In light of the collapse of Ukraine’s “NATO-friendly” government today, announced by the country’s parliamentary speaker, Rear-Admiral Baranov’s concerns appear to be unfounded. Ukrainian Prime Minister and Soviet Komsomol graduate Yulia Tymoshenko has parted company with President Yushchenko to form a new pro-Moscow government with “ex”-CPSU cadres Viktor Yanukovich and Piotr Simonenko. Yanukovich heads up the crypto-communist Party of Regions and was previously prime minister, while Simonenko heads up the Communist Party of Ukraine and paid a friendly visit to Communist Cuba in March.

Pictured above: Following an address to the Ukrainian parliament on September 16, Yanukovich walks past what appears to be deputies of the CPU, with whom he is in alliance.

Ever since the potemkin Orange Revolution in 2004, Kiev’s governing pro-American coalitions have been crippled by infighting, much to the delight, no doubt, of the Soviet strategists. Yushchenko condemned the Russian invasion of Georgia and Moscow’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, whereas Tymoshenko refused to support him because she intends to secure Russian support in Ukraine’s next presidential election, scheduled for 2010. “The collapse of the coalition will probably delay Ukraine’s bid to join NATO and the EU,” Oleksandr Lytvynenko, a political analyst at the Kiev-based Razumkov Center, is quoted by Bloomberg as saying. This, of course, is Moscow’s goal but not before war has been fomented between Russia and the Western Alliance. We have already documented the covert line of control between Moscow and Tymoshenko.

Ukraine’s Ruling Coalition Collapses, Elections Loom
By Daryna Krasnolutska and Halia Pavliva

Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) — Ukraine’s governing coalition collapsed as the parties of President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko failed to resolve their differences, pushing the country toward early elections.

Yushchenko’s party, which wants to forge closer ties with the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, quit the coalition on Sept. 3, after Timoshenko’s bloc teamed up with the pro-Russian opposition to strip the president of some powers. The parties had 10 days to re-unite.

“A pro-Kremlin parliamentary majority has been de facto formed by Timoshenko’s alliance and the Party of Regions” led by former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, said Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, a member of Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party. “Our Ukraine has no other choice but to officially announce it is now in opposition.”

Yushchenko and Timoshenko teamed up four years ago to win the 2004 election in the bloodless Orange Revolution on promises to steer the country toward the EU and NATO. After a split in 2005, the two parties reformed an alliance before last year’s elections. This time they clashed over policies such as ways of damping Europe’s fastest inflation and the sale of state assets.

“Storm in a Teacup”

The collapse of the coalition will probably delay Ukraine’s bid to join NATO and the EU, Oleksandr Lytvynenko, a political analyst at the Kiev-based Razumkov Center, said by phone today.

“The government will keep working, no matter what,” Timoshenko said. “These events in the parliament that happened today aren’t very pleasant, but, after all, it’s a storm in a teacup, no more than that.”

Yushchenko condemned Russian rolling over Georgia’s army and recognition of the two Georgian breakaway regions. His officials said Timoshenko did not back him because she is seeking Russian support in Ukraine’s presidential election, scheduled for 2010. Timoshenko rejected the accusation, saying she is for “Georgian territorial integrity.”

Ukraine’s aspiration to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the EU has pit it against Russia since the Orange Revolution. Russia, which does not want its influence in the region to be eroded, threatened in February to aim missiles at Ukraine, a main conduit for Russian natural gas and crude oil exports to Europe, if it joins the military alliance.

U.S. Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has said she favors NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, even though that might commit the U.S. to a war with Russia.

One Month

Timoshenko now has one month to form a new coalition, most likely with Yanukovych. The Communist Party and an anti-NATO group may also be included in the government. Yushchenko has twice threatened to dissolve parliament should the premier fail to win enough support.

“We will probably have early elections, I do not see any possibility for a new coalition,” said Lytvynenko. “There will not be a major winner from the elections, but Yanukovych and Timoshenko will probably have more benefits from them, while Yushchenko and his party will probably lose.”

The earliest possible date for an election would be December.

“Moscow will welcome political changes in Ukraine that weaken the pro-NATO and pro-Georgian Yushchenko,” Tanya Costello, the London-based director for Eurasia Group, said in an e-mailed note. “The perceived involvement of either Washington or Moscow in supporting one party over another would accentuate existing tensions over NATO enlargement into the former Soviet space.”

SNIP

In addition to maintaining a line of control to “post”-communist Ukraine, the neo-Soviet leadership has secured the loyalty of Azerbaijan’s crypto-communist leadership. Feigning pro-American sympathies as recently as US Vice President Dick Cheney’s September 3 visit to Baku, President Ilham Aliyev is in fact the son of Azerbaijan’s long-time KGB-communist dictator Heydar Aliyev, who died in 2003. In the early 1990s Heydar inked a deal with Lebanese-American oil magnate Roger Tamraz to build the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which Russian warplanes attempted to bomb during the August 2008 Caucasian War.

Following his meeting with Cheney, Ilham immediately related by telephone the details of the US vice-president’s conversation to Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev. Nearly two weeks later President Aliyev scurried to Moscow to meet Medvedev (pictured above) and PM Putin in person. “Azerbaijan has been a Western ally so far in the Caspian Basin energy game. The Kremlin is trying hard to woo Baku away from the West,” reports Baku-based EurasiaNet journalist Shahin Abbasov, below. According to Elshad Nasirov, vice president of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR), Gazprom is pressing SOCAR to acquiesce to a “large-scale” purchase of Azerbaijani natural gas. The chairman of Gazprom is “ex”-CPSU cadre and former prime minister Viktor Zubkov, who is also father in law of Russia’s Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. See previous paragraph and connect the dots vis-a-vis the Kremlin’s energy imperialism.

AZERBAIJAN: ALIYEV KEEPS BAKU’S OPTIONS OPEN DURING MEETING WITH MEDVEDEV
Shahin Abbasov 9/16/08

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Moscow on September 16 was notable mostly for what he did not say. Russia has pressed Azerbaijan to sell a large volume of natural gas to the Kremlin-controlled conglomerate Gazprom. But Aliyev and his Russian hosts did not announce a gas purchase deal following their talks.

Aliyev met with President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during his daylong stay in Moscow. Medvedev indicated that the discussions were merely informational. Azerbaijan has been a Western ally so far in the Caspian Basin energy game.

The Kremlin is trying hard to woo Baku away from the West. “We had to check positions taking into account problems which appeared in the Caucasus after Georgian aggression. I informed the Azerbaijani president about steps that Russia undertook to provide security in South Caucasus,” Medvedev said.

Aliyev, like other regional leaders, is trying to avoid being backed into a situation where he would have to declare his preference for one side or the other. In Moscow, he was careful not to say anything that might offend Moscow. “There is necessity to consolidate efforts in order to provide peace and predictability,” he said. “We need to diminish tension. All problems have to be solved peacefully.”

Aliyev avoided commenting generally on Georgian-Russian tension, and specifically refrained from any comments concerning Russia’s decision to recognize the separatist territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Baku’s sensitivities are heightened by concern over its own separatist enclave, Nagorno-Karabakh. Some Azerbaijani officials are evidently concerned that if Baku expressed support for Georgia, then Azerbaijan’s own efforts to regain control of Karabakh would suffer.

During the Moscow visit, Russian officials reassured Aliyev that he need not be concerned about Karabakh – yet. Medvedev stressed that the Kremlin did not see a connection between Karabakh and Georgia’s separatist entities. “Russia’s position has not changed,” Medvedev said, referring to the Karabakh peace process. “We also support continuation of direct talks between Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents.”

Neither Aliyev nor Medvedev touched on the possible Russian large-scale purchase of Azerbaijani gas. Experts in Baku believe that Aliyev’s administration has yet to reach a decision on the matter, and is playing for time.

On September 12, Elshad Nasirov, the vice president of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR), said that “Azerbaijan tries to fully depoliticize the issue of export destinations for “large gas” which is expected after 2013.” According to Nasirov, Azerbaijan’s choice will mostly depend on commercial factors. “All destinations [of gas export] are equally possible and we will mostly consider the net-profit for SOCAR and its partners,” he said. Gazprom’s is reportedly willing to pay Baku $300 per 1.000 cubic meters. Nasirov added that Western Europe, Russia and Iran all remain possible export destinations. He added that exports to Asia via Turkmenistan could become a fourth option.

Aliyev and Medvedev also had no comment on a Turkish initiative to establish a “Caucasus platform for security and cooperation.” That concept was raised by Turkish President Abdullah Gul during his recent visits to Yerevan and Baku.

Reflecting on the visit, some Baku experts said they did not expect Baku to make up its mind on the gas-purchase question until after presidential elections in the fall. “Aliyev is hardly ready to answer these questions,” said Rauf Mirgadirov, a political columnist for the Zerkalo newspaper, referring to the issues of gas purchases and Azerbaijan’s security cooperation with the West.

Indeed, to try to maintain room for maneuver, Baku continues to explore ties with NATO. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov went to Brussels on September 16 to take part in discussions over NATO representatives. After that, he was scheduled to travel to London to meet with the British Foreign Minister David Miliband.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Venezuelan army repels mock US invasion under watchful presence of Russian bombers, Tu-160s to use Brazilian airspace

>FOURTH WORLD WAR HIGHLIGHTS

LATIN AMERICAN THEATER

- Two Russian Bombers Based in Venezuela Extend Visit by One Week, Possibly Fly Joint Mission with Chavez’s Air Force

- Tu-160 Strategic Bombers Complete One Mission over Caribbean Sea, Second Mission over Brazilian Territorial Waters to Simulate Combat in Tropical Climate

- Democratic US Senator Dianne Feinstein “Not Concerned” about Russian Bombers in Venezuela; Tu-160s Could Reach Florida in One Hour

- Venezuelan Armed Forces Use Russian-Made Sukhoi Fighter Jets, Patrol Boats, and Helicopters to Simulate Mock US Invasion in Bolivar State

- Communist Bloc Military Coordination Exposed: Battered by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, Cuba Postpones “Strategic Military Maneuvers” Originally Scheduled to Coincide with November’s Russian-Venezuelan Joint Naval Drill

Pictured above, below: Venezuelan President, former paratrooper, and bombastic commie thug Hugo Chavez attends military exercises at El Guri, Bolivar state, on September 13, 2008. During the drill fighter jets dropped bombs and commandoes resisted a mock invasion. In the background are vehicles covered with signs that read in Spanish “Socialism or Death.”

Here at Once Upon a Time in the West we dig beneath the headlines to expose important geopolitical “event convergences,” such as political and military coordination among the states of the Communist Bloc. We have already noted that neo-Soviet Russia and Red China are busily supplying their communist client states in Latin America, such as Cuba and Venezuela, with military hardware and expertise, or have made promises to do so, as in the case of Nicaragua. We have detailed the rise of the new Union of South American Nations and the proposed South American Defense Council, both of which are dominated by leftist governments that are united in their intention of eliminating US influence in the region.

In recent weeks we have documented the first steps by the Soviets, who openly admit that the Cold War has been revived after 17 deceptive years of so-called “peace,” to build an active military coalition with Latin Amercia’s red regimes. These first steps include the incremental deployment of Russian military assets in Central and South America, the construction of a Russian rocket base in French Guiana, and joint military exercises among Latin America’s Red Axis states, and between Russia and individual Red Axis states. Accusing Washington of “nuclear blackmail” by way of National Missile Defense installations in Central Europe and NATO expansionism in “former” Soviet states like Georgia and Ukraine, the Moscow Leninists will use this multi-state military coaltion for one purpose: to attack, cripple, and subjugate the USA into the Red World Order.

The two Tu-160 bombers that Russia dispatched as a friendly gesture to Venezuela on September 10 completed one six-hour mission over the Caribbean Sea on Saturday and are slated to take off for another regional tour today. Tomorrow the two Russian bomber crews will meet their host, Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez, and pilot their aircraft home to Russia on September 19, four days later that first announced. The Kremlin insists that the Blackjack bombers are carrying “dummy missiles without warheads,” while the crews will acquire experience practicing patrol sorties in a tropical climate. State-run Novosti reports today:

According to the spokesman, the bombers are carrying dummy missiles without warheads and will practice patrol sorties in a tropical climate. Following the training mission, the Tu-160 crews will meet with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday. “The meeting will take place on September 16 at the invitation of the Venezuelan president,” Drik said. The spokesman added that the bombers will return to their home base in southern Russia on September 19. “The aircraft will take off from an airfield near Caracas on September 18 and conduct a 15-hour return flight to Russia. Their landing at a base in Engels [Saratov Region] is scheduled for September 19,” Drik said. Earlier reports indicated that the bombers had been scheduled to return home on September 15.

In a little-noticed story, it seems that the neo-communist regime of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, reported state-run Voice of Russia yesterday, is allowing the Kremlin to execute its “bomber diplomacy” in Brazilian airspace. According to the piece below, the Tu-160 bombers will not be returning home to Engels Airbase until at least September 22, a full week after initially announced.

A Russian Defense Ministry high-ranking official said Sunday that a pair of the Venezuela-based TU-160 strategic bombers of Russia would have to make another training flight over Brazil’s neutral waters before they got the green light for returning home. Major-General Anatoly Zhiharyiov added that the bombers were scheduled to return to their permanent airbase in the Russian city of Engels at the beginning of next week. Earlier, the pair made a 6-hour patrol over neutral waters in the Caribbean.

Finally, last Thursday state-run Interfax mentioned that the Russian bombers will hold a joint exercise with the Venezuelan air force, which may be one reason why the departure of the Tu-160 crews has been delayed: “Two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bombers that arrived in Venezuela on Wednesday for the declared purpose of exercise flights over neutral waters may hold joint exercises with Venezuelan military aircraft, the commander of Russia’s Long-Range Air Force, Maj. Gen. Pavel Androsov, told a news conference on Thursday.” According to one source, as many as 19 Blackjacks are currently in service with the Russian Air Force. The Kazan Aviation and Production Association, now under the management of the Kremlin’s United Aircraft Corporation, completed production of a new Tu-160 in December of last year, the first such aircraft to roll off the assembly line since 1994, and immediately began a regimen of test flights. The Kremlin, according to Kommersant Daily, intends to have a total of 30 Tu-160s operational by 2025.

While Russia’s bomber crews hang out in Venezuela’s northern Aragua state, where the El Libertador airbase is situated, the Venezuelan army is repulsing yet another mock invading force in the southern Bolivar state. The invading army, of course, is the “Evil Empire,” meaning the good ol’ USA. Just in time for the September 13 war game near El Guri the Chavezista regime whipped up more anti-American sentiment among Venezuelans by charging five retired and active military officers in an alleged plot to bump off the clownish commie thug this past week. The MSM reports:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has observed military exercises with planes dropping bombs and commandos resisting a mock invasion. Saturday’s maneuvers in southern Bolivar state featured Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets, ground troops, patrol boats and helicopters that fired rockets at targets. Chavez often warns the U.S. could attack Venezuela and says his military must be prepared.

Astute geopolitical analysts and students of Soviet military doctrine should consider the possibility that in this scenario the Venezuelans and their Russian sponsors might be actually launching a ground assault on the Continental USA ala Red Dawn or repulsing a US counter-invasion after a Russian preemptive strike against the USA. Something to think about, anyway. The Russians and Venezuelans have already announced an unprecedented joint naval drill in the Caribbean Sea to transpire between November 10 and 14. But “no worries,” chimes Democratic US Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is also a senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: “I don’t think Russia would launch attacks on the United States.” Okay, Comrade Dianne, whatever you say.

Intriguingly, it appears that Communist Cuba intended to hold military exercises about the same period but, battered by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, Havana has postponed the “Bastion 2008 Strategic Military Maneuvers” until an undisclosed date in 2009. Cuba’s state-run Prensa Latina let the cat out of the bag two days ago:

Cuban President Raul Castro postponed until 2009 the Bastion 2008 Strategic Military Maneuvers, planned to take place in November, Granma daily reports Saturday. This postponement will strengthen the exercise with valuable experiences from rigorous and profound analyses regarding the natural disasters that seriously affected the island, he expressed. According to the MINFAR (Armed Revolutionary Forces Ministry) report, the decision is related to affectations from recent hurricanes on economic, productive and service activities, as well as national infrastructure in general. The Granma report says this situation demands an intense, effective and prolonged process of recovery.

Perhaps Russia’s air force and navy will rematerialize in the region at that time to join the Cuban military in preparing for the Communist Bloc’s assault on the USA. In July Russian Vice Premier Igor Sechin and ex-FSB/KGB chief and current Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev descended on Havana to revitalize Russia and Cuba’s “traditional relationship,” including military cooperation. Since then the Kremlin media has abounded with trial balloons related to the stationing of Russian bombers in Cuba, although “formal” confirmation from the Russian Defense or Foreign Ministry has not been forthcoming.

Pictured here: President Chavez visits Santiago, where he meets Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet, who is also president pro tempore of the new Union of South American Nations. UNASUR leaders convened today to resolve the Bolivian crisis, in which Bolivian President Evo Morales has accused rightist state governors of attempting to overthrow his socialist government. Fellow socialist Bachelet is a devotee of deceased Soviet/Cuban-backed Marxist President Salvador Allende who committed suicide during a 1973 military coup.

EURASIAN THEATER

- Russian Army Holds Second Stage of “Centre-2008″ War Game in Volga-Urals Military District, 7,000 Troops Mobilize 2,000 Pieces of Armaments, Including 600 Tanks and Tactical Missile Launchers

- Iranian Air Force and Missile Defense Drills Coincide with Russian “Centre-2008″ Maneuver, Tehran Seeks Full Membership in Shanghai Cooperation Organization

- Russia’s Defense Budget to Hit All-Time Record of 1.2 Trillion Rubles (US$46.8 Billion) in 2009; By Comparison Pentagon Granted US$515.4 Billion Budget for Same Year

Meanwhile, since KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin’s announcement in August 2007 that Russian strategic aviation once again on “combat duty” after a 15-year hiatus, the Kremlin’s bombers have made repeated runs toward North America via Iceland. The Iceland Review reports today: “Russian bombers have flown 18 times through Icelandic airspace since the US military left its post in Iceland two years ago. Before that, Russian military airplanes had not been spotted around Iceland for years.”

Russian Bombers Often Spotted in Icelandic Airspace
15/09/2008 12:02

Russian bombers have flown 18 times through Icelandic airspace since the US military left its post in Iceland two years ago. Before that, Russian military airplanes had not been spotted around Iceland for years.

“Even though this is certainly a new position I don’t think, the way things are now, that there is reason to believe that we are being threatened by the Russians in any way,” Foreign Minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir told Morgunbladid.

There is nothing that prohibits the Russian military from flying through Icelandic airspace but Icelandic authorities have requested that they are notified of such flights beforehand.

Last year Russian military jets entered Iceland’s airspace on ten occasions and so far this year, Russian bombers have been spotted seven times. On six occasions Russian military aircrafts have circled Iceland.

This year cargo airplanes that are registered or manufactured in Russia have landed at Keflavík International Airport 130 times.

Airport director Stefán Thordersen said such landings are increasing as these aircraft are often carrying aid to an increasing number of conflicts.

As we reported some weeks ago, the Russian Army is presently holding a tactical exercise called Centre-2008 in the Volga-Ural Military District, including 7,000 troops and 2,000 pieces of armaments, including 600 tanks and tactical missile launchers. This maneuver is somewhat removed geographically from the Caucasus region, where three weeks of war games by the Russian armed forces immediately preceded the invasion of Georgia on August 8. Hence, Centre-2008 is probably oriented toward preparing Russian troops for either defending the country’s heartland or pushing into Central Europe in an offensive that appears to be in development.

Russian tactical missile hits target in exercise – military
12:47 GMT, Sep 13, 2008

MOSCOW. Sept 13 (Interfax-AVN) – A Tochka-U tactical missile hit a simulated enemy command post in a Russian exercise on Saturday, Russia’s Land Forces said.

The missile took one and a half minutes to cover a distance of more than 30 kilometers before hitting the target, Col. Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Land Forces commander-in-chief, told Interfax-AVN.

The site of what is a tactical exercise is the Volga-Ural Military District. The exercise is bringing together about 7,000 troops and about 2,000 pieces of armaments, including 600 tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers and artillery systems, as well as fighter, ground attack and army aircraft.

The exercise is part of the Center 2008 strategic exercise coordinated by Land Forces Commander-in-Chief Gen. of the Army Vladimir Boldyrev.

The Tochka-U (NATO reporting name: Scarab B) was developed in the former Soviet Union and introduced in 1989.

On September 5 about 2,000 Russian and 700 Kazakh troops completed a previous stage of Centre-2008 in the Chelyabinsk region known as “South Aggression.” In this scenario Soviet forces repelled a mock invasion against the Collective Security Treaty Organization through the alliance’s southern periphery. In view of the presence of US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no question that the USA is the perceived aggressor in the Centre-2008 war games. Russian soldiers who fought against Georgian forces in August, Voice of Russia notes, were scheduled to join the Centre-2008 maneuvers. Last year the Chelyabinsk region was the site of a previous military exercise by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), including China, called Peace Mission 2007.

The multiple exercises of Russia’s Centre-2008 war game coincide with Iran’s latest round of air force and missile defense drills. “Iran recently took delivery of 29 Russian-made Tor-M1 air defense missile systems under a $700-million contract signed in late 2005,” reports Novosti, adding: “Russia has also trained Iranian Tor-M1 specialists, including radar operators and crew commanders.” Iran has applied for full membership in the Moscow/Beijing-led SCO in order to protect its nuclear weapons program from a US/Israeli air strike.

Humilitated by its technological backwardness during the five-day Caucasian War with Georgia, which was armed by the USA and Israel, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is pumping an additional 67 billion rubles into Moscow’s GLONASS global navigation system. State-owned Kommersant Daily admits: “The lack of a navigational system for Russian forces in the recent conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia may be spurred this unexpected generosity.” Six more GLONASS satellites will be launched this year, bringing the total to 22. The Kremlin will activate the system by the New Year, which suggests a timeframe for further campaigns in the Fourth World War, presently meandering through its “Sitzkrieg” stage.

GLONASS Gets a Shot of Military Funding
Sep. 15, 2008

The Russian government has allocated an additional 67 billion rubles to the GLONASS global navigation system program. Experts say the number of satellites in the system will be doubled in the next three years and the system will turn into a competitor to the U.S. GPS system. The lack of a navigational system for Russian forces in the recent conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia may be spurred this unexpected generosity. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed the resolution on additional funding on Friday.

Six more satellites for the system are to be launched this year, bringing the total to 22. About 10 billion rubles of the new funds will go to the federal cartographic agency to create electronic digital maps of cities and roads, said Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov. Another portion of the funds will go to the Ministry of Industry and Trade to create the land apparatus for the system. The GLONASS system was launched in 1993.

Under the initial plan for it, the system was to work on the territory of Russia using 18 satellites by the end of 2007 and to operate throughout the world with 24 satellites by 2010. The system was not launched on schedule, however. There are 16 GLONASS satellites in orbit today. The new start date for the system is December 31, 2008. The program was allotted 4.73 billion rubles in 2006, 9.88 billion rubles in 2007 and 10.28 billion rubles this year.

The Kremlin’s endeavor to fasttrack GLONASS is part of a wider project to modernize the Soviet Armed Forces into lean, mean, twenty-first century fighting machine. Russia’s defense budget for 2009 has been bumped up to a record 1.2 trillion rubles, or US$46.8 billion. Russia, after the USA, Novosti reports, is the second-largest arms exporter in the world and boasts clients in many regions across the globe.

Russia to boost state weapon orders in 2009 to $47 billion
21:59 12/ 09/ 2008

MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s budget spending on state defense orders will amount to 1.2 trillion rubles ($46.8 billion) in 2009, a first deputy prime minister said on Friday.

The spending figure is outlined in the Russian budget for 2009-2011 which is due to be considered by Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, on September 19.

“The state defense order overall for next year is planned to hit a record sum of 1.2 trillion rubles,” Sergei Ivanov said.

The three-year budget envisaged additional spending of 170 billion rubles ($6.63 billion) in comparison to previous annual programs. Ivanov said the increase was caused by “the need to implement decrees made by the president and prime minister, and obviously inflation.”

He said earlier that the Russian budget allocation for 2007 stood at 700 billion rubles ($30 billion) for state defense orders, with the figure expected to total 1 trillion rubles ($43 billion) in 2008.

Military analysts said Russia, which sold $7 billion worth of arms last year making it the second-largest exporter of conventional weapons after the United States, had decided to increase military spending following the five-day conflict with Georgia last month.

In July, a month before Georgia attacked the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, which Moscow recognized as a sovereign state on August 26, Georgia increased its annual military budget by an additional $210 million, taking total spending for 2008 to $997 million.

According to the press reports, the U.S., which has strongly condemned Russia for its military operation in Georgia, has a defense budget of $696 billion for this year.

By contrast, the US defense budget for 2009 is 10 times larger than the Kremlin’s. The Soviets have patiently implemented a multi-generational strategy of conquest by deception, but the fact remains that the American capitalist “enemy,” even in the face of global economic disruptions, can still outspend, outdesign, and outproduce the Bolsheviks and their descendants.

>WW4 File: Kremlin media: Tu-160 bombers in Venezuela "latest step in new Cold War"; Russian subs in Okhotsk, Bering seas to test-fire SLBMs

>The Kremlin media has finally conceded that the Cold War “is on” again, not that the ideological conflict between the Free World and the Communist Bloc ever subsided, as Andrei Lugovoi, “former” FSB agent and accused killer of Alexander Litvinenko, admitted to the Los Angeles Times earlier this year. With respect to Russia’s strategic bomber provocation in Venezuela, state-run Novosti editorialized on September 12:

The landing of Tu-160 heavy bombers at the Libertador airfield in Venezuela is the latest step in the new Cold War. This is a clear show of force. The United States, which is deploying its own security system in Eastern Europe, should think about the risk posed by its potential enemy’s combat aircraft appearing in its own backyard. Moreover, Russian warships will soon be plying Venezuelan waters. The two countries are planning to hold joint naval military exercises.
However, this is no revelation since the neo-Soviet propaganda machine is simply regurgitating “President” Dmitry Medvedev’s August 27 comment: “We are not afraid of anything, including the prospect of a new Cold War.”

State-run Voice of Russia reports that the two Tu-160 strategic bombers visiting Venezuela have completed their training mission over the Caribbean Sea and will supposedly return to their homeland on Monday, unless host Hugo Chavez conveniently extends their invitation:

Russian strategic bombers Tupolev-160 have effectively flown their training mission over the Caribbean and returned to their air base in Venezuela. This is the first of the training flights to be made from the Libertador air field. The Deputy Commander of Russia’s Air Force Long-Range Aviation Major-General Alexander Afinogenov said in an interview with Russian television that no incidents had been registered during the 6-hour flight. Other countries’ fighter planes abstained from flying near the Russian bombers.

The Fourth World War, in our estimation, began on August 8 of this year when Russia re-invaded and partially occupied Georgia, from which the last Russian troops withdrew from their Soviet-era bases as recently as November 2007. The war between Russia and NATO, which has taken Georgia under its wings, has now entered the deceptive “Sitzkrieg” stage where both sides are assessing the other’s resolve and capability to prosecute the war.

In yet another communist-scripted farce, Russian troops are once again “withdrawing” from Georgia, in particular the port of Poti, under the stipulations of a second European Union-brokered “peace deal.” The Reuters news agency reports today: “Russian troops withdrew from the region around Georgia’s Black Sea port of Poti on Saturday, within a September 15 deadline set for the first phase of a pullback brokered by France. Georgia welcomed the move, and said it hoped Russian forces would keep to an October 10 deadline to withdraw completely from Georgian territory outside the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.”

Make no mistake about it, the Moscow Leninists will either find or create another pretext to attack and crush the tiny neighbor that they have already dismembered. A September 14 roadside bombing in Abkhazia that damaged a Russian peacekeepers’ truck but injured no one was attributed by the separatist regime in Sukhumi to Georgian special forces. This incident probably falls into the category of “Kremlin provocation.”

Voice of Russia also reports that the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) plans to form a “powerful military grouping” in Central Asia that will embrace military units from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. According to the CSTO Secretary-General and career Chekist Nikolai Bordyuzha, the military group will respond to the threats and challenges posed by the situation in Afghanistan and Georgia. “President” Medvedev, who is a frontman for KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin, has threatened to re-re-invade Georgia if necessary to protect the security of Russian citizens in de facto independent states Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “What if Georgia had a Nato membership action plan?” The Russian head of state was quoted as saying yesterday: “I would not wait for a second in making the decision I made at that point.”

In terms of technology the Russian Armed Forces are no match for their US counterparts in the realm of conventional warfare, but US troops are stretched thin across the globe in various conflicts and geopolitical hotspots. “Struggling to find enough troops for the battles at hand, can the United States muster the men and women needed to also fight Cold War II?” asks Scott Canon, writing for McClatchy Newspapers, adding: “It looks increasingly daunting.” Thus, the Kremlin will resort to the nuclear “mace,” below, to clobber its perceived enemy.

Russian submarines to test-fire missiles in Pacific
From correspondents in Moscow
September 13, 2008 06:59am
Article from: Agence France-Presse

RUSSIAN submarines armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles will test-fire their rockets in the Pacific Ocean between September 15 and 20, a military official was quoted as saying today.

“Some missile launches will be carried out in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea” and will hit targets on the Kamchatka peninsula in eastern Russia, said the unidentified official, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

A press officer for the governor of Kamchatka, a mountainous region often used for missile tests, told RIA Novosti that local authorities had been forewarned and would inform the local population in due course.

Russia’s Pacific Fleet, which will carry out the tests, has Delfin nuclear submarines equipped with RSM-54 intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach targets as far as 8300 km away.

Source: News.com.au

>Asia File: Pakistan’s new socialist president backs army’s resolve to repel US incursions originating from Afghanistan, authorized by Bush in July

>- Pakistan’s Top General: Washington and Islamabad Close to Direct Military Confrontation over Cross-Border Raids Authorized by President Bush in July

- Pakistani-Russian Relations Advance through Forum of Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Pictured above: Today Pakistani Islamists in Peshawar protest the US military’s cross-border attack in which a Predator aerial drone fired two missiles, killing 12 people in Tolkhel, a village in North Waziristan, near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.

The Pakistan Army’s determination to respond to air- and ground-based US military strikes originating from neighboring Afghanistan and directed toward Taliban and Al Qaeda militants in Pakistan’s tribal area Waziristan enjoys the “full backing” of the country’s new president Asif Ali Zardari. “All elements of the National Power under the new democratic leadership will safeguard the territorial integrity of Pakistan with full support and backing of the people of Pakistan,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani declared, below. In light of these sentiments, US President George W. Bush’s carefully crafted coalition of nations in the War on Terror may very well be unravelling as a result of Bush’s July 2008 directive authorizing the cross-border incursions into Washington’s putative ally Pakistan, which is a nuclear power.

The story reveals below that Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, whose compound in North Waziristan was hit by a US missile last week, is reported to possess links to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence military spy agency.

Pakistan army pledges to ‘protect territorial integrity’ from U.S. incursions

By SAEED SHAH
McClatchy Newspapers

Pakistan’s army chief, responding to a series of U.S. military strikes into Pakistan’s tribal areas, pledged Friday to safeguard the country’s territorial integrity and claimed the full backing of Pakistan’s elected civilian government.

Gen. Ashfaq Kayani issued the statement after U.S. forces Friday apparently launched yet another missile attack against a house in Pakistan’s tribal area, killing at least 12 people.

Kayani spoke at the end of a two-day meeting of top commanders to consider how to respond to the U.S. incursions when the latest attack occurred. Before the meeting began, Kayani described a U.S. ground assault into Pakistani territory as “reckless.” His statement at the end of the meeting appeared to warn of a possible direct confrontation with U.S. forces if the incursions continue.

“All elements of the National Power under the new democratic leadership will safeguard the territorial integrity of Pakistan with full support and backing of the people of Pakistan,” the army chief of staff said. He said there was a “complete unanimity of views” between the elected government and the Pakistan army.

In Washington, Defense Secretary Robert Gates indicated there would be no change in U.S. operations, but he didn’t confirm the incursions into Pakistan. “Our commanders have the authorities they need to protect our troops in Afghanistan,” he told reporters. Other U.S. officials discounted Kayani’s statement as aimed at Pakistan’s domestic audience.

The Pakistani rhetoric, suggesting a possible rupture between the two countries, comes as U.S.-led NATO forces are losing ground in Afghanistan and insurgent forces there are making use of their sanctuaries in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military leadership disclosed this week that the United States has yet to develop a strategy that will focus on Pakistan as well as Afghanistan.

Pakistani public opinion was already incensed by the U.S. airstrikes into its territory, which have intensified over the past few weeks and have killed civilians as well as militants. That turned to uproar after the first ground assault by U.S. commandos onto its soil earlier this month, in South Waziristan, another part of the tribal territory that runs along the Afghan border. The country was stunned over a New York Times report this week President Bush had secretly authorized the new policy of incursions into Pakistan in July.

Asif Ali Zardari, head of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party who last week became the first democratically elected president of Pakistan in nine years, has tried to challenge public opinion by declaring the U.S.-led fight against terror as “Pakistan’s own war.”

But his aides privately admitted that the task of selling the alliance with Washington had become much harder as a result of the American incursion. The biggest opposition group, Nawaz Sharif’s party, demanded Friday that Zardari call a special session of parliament as “the nation is under threat of war” from the United States.

“The democratic government is caught between a proverbial rock and a hard place,” said Tariq Fatemi, a former Pakistani ambassador to Washington. “Mr. Zardari and the People’s Party wants to be tough with the militants but they do not have support in the country, where there is growing anti-American sentiment largely fueled by the indiscriminate missile attacks and cross-border incursions.”

But Washington may have been equally disturbed by evidence this week of the links between notorious Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani and al-Qaida. When a U.S. missile, fired from an unmanned aircraft, hit Haqqani’s compound in North Waziristan, four al-Qaida operatives were reported to be among the dead. Haqqani is also close to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence military spy agency, putting the country’s security establishment in an indirect relationship with the terror group.

Pakistani President Zardari is the widower of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in her homeland last December, shortly after her return from exile. Zardari became president three days ago. His well-known predecessor pro-US military strongman Pervez Musharraf voluntarily stepped down from that office in August. The premiership and presidency of the country are now both held by the Socialist International-affiliated Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). The PPP boasts a hard-core Marxist rank and file membership, although the leadership has frequently compromised its socialist program in order to forge coalitions with other parties.

Although nominally part of Washington’s War on Terror coalition, relations between Pakistan and Russia are advancing through the forum of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, of which Islamabad is an official observer. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin, state-run Voice of Russia reports, describes bilateral relations between the two countries in the following glowing terms:

Mr. Borodavkin noted that Moscow and Islamabad succeeded in developing bilateral cooperation as well as cooperating on the international scene. “We are both experienced enough in the war on terror so I think our cooperation in the sphere will become even more effective”, the diplomat said.

Russia and Pakistan have much in common in terms of history, culture and economy. The two nations have warm attitude towards each other, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told on May, 1, when Moscow and Islamabad marked the 60th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic ties. Mr. Gilani sees the current Russian-Pakistani relations as the most successful and fruitful, based on mutual interest and pragmatism. Moscow shares the view and also expects only good from the cooperation with Islamabad.

Pakistan belongs to the communist-controlled Non-Aligned Movement.

>WW4 File: Cold War in South America: Caracas, La Paz expel US envoys, Ortega lauds move, USA responds in kind; Bolivia rocked by secessionist protests

>FOURTH WORLD WAR HIGHLIGHTS: LATIN AMERICAN THEATER

- US Fourth Fleet Endangers Venezuelan National Security, Says Major-General Jesus Gregorio Gonzalez, Chief of Bolivarian National Armed Forces’ Operational Strategic Command (source)

- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega Commends Decisions by Venezuela and Bolivia to Expel US Ambassadors
(source)

- Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa to Urge Chilean Counterpart Michelle Bachelet to Summon Emergency Meeting of New Union of South American Nations to Address Bolivian Crisis (source)

- US Treasury: Senior Venezuelan Intelligence Figures Arming and Funding Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia

Emboldened by the friendly presence of two Russian strategic bombers on Venezuelan soil and identical actions by his fellow communist Evo Morales, communist dictator Hugo Chavez (pictured here in trademark red shirt) has expelled Washington’s ambassador to Caracas, Patrick Duddy. Referring to the arrival on September 10 of the Tu-160 Blackjack bombers, Chavez rumbled: “It’s a warning. Russia is with us. We are strategic allies. It is a message to the [US] empire. Venezuela is no longer poor and alone.”

Yesterday Morales expelled Philip S. Goldberg, Duddy’s colleague in La Paz, after the Bolivian president accused the US envoy of associating with the governors of two secessionist states aligned against Bolivia’s socialist central government. Chavez and Morales are important figures in Latin America’s Red Axis, the Sao Paulo Forum, which unites the region’s governing and non-governing leftist and communist parties and narco-terrorist organizations, like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

“We are recalling our ambassador in Washington, Bernardo Alvarez,” Chavez ranted yesterday, “until there’s a new government in the United States.” By this comment, Chavez could be referring to an electoral victory for presidential aspirant Barack Hussein Obama of the communist-infiltrated Democratic Party. Since July, though, the Venezuelan president has turned against Obama, who apparently identifies Chavez as an enemy of the USA. Notwithstanding Comrade Hugo’s diatribes, Obama fundraiser and Code Pink for Peace activist Jodie Evans, along with Cindy “Peace Mom” Sheehan, rubbed elbows with Chavez in South America’s Red Mecca, Caracas, in January 2006.

Venezuela expels U.S. ambassador
By Patrick J. McDonnell and Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

September 12, 2008

BUENOS AIRES — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday that he was expelling the U.S. ambassador in the latest escalation of tensions between Washington and Latin American leftists.

The move came a day after Bolivian President Evo Morales, a close Chavez ally, accused the U.S. envoy in his country of fostering divisions and ordered him to leave.

On Thursday, chaos worsened in Bolivia as clashes between government sympathizers and opponents in a remote province left at least eight dead and dozens injured. And Washington retaliated for the expulsion of Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg by telling Bolivia’s ambassador, Gustavo Guzman, to leave.

In a speech laced with obscenities directed at the United States, Chavez told a cheering crowd that he acted in solidarity with Morales. Earlier, he said his country would come to Morales’ aid if “Yankee stooges” tried to oust him.Chavez and the Bush administration have been bitter rivals for years. Although this latest step signals a further deterioration, it is not clear how the expulsions will affect the region’s political and economic stability.

Washington will continue to have diplomatic relations with Venezuela and Bolivia, at least for now. And Venezuela remains a major source of oil for the U.S.On Thursday, Chavez renewed threats to cut off supplies should Washington launch “some aggression” against Venezuela, but stopped well short of stopping sales.

Still, expulsions of U.S. ambassadors are relatively rare and the moves shocked the region.

“This is a highly symbolic gesture,” said Eduardo Gamarra, a professor at Florida International University in Miami. “And they’re doing it at a time when no one in Washington is paying much attention to Latin America.”

For years, the administration has sought to play down suggestions that an anti-U.S. leftist bloc was forming in Latin America while the White House was preoccupied in the Middle East.

U.S. officials have contended that Washington would be making a mistake to overreact to Chavez.

But Morales and Chavez have been eager to prove that they pose a serious regional challenge.

This week, the Venezuelans moved a step further by allowing Russian long-range bombers to visit a base, suggesting that greater military contacts might be ahead.

Venezuela and Bolivia have also reached out to Iran, angering Washington.

Chavez has found allies in Morales and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa. But most governments in the region, including left-leaning administrations in Brazil and Argentina, have tried to maintain cordial relations with both Venezuela and the U.S.

The expulsion of Patrick Duddy after a year in Venezuela appeared to have little to do with his public actions. The ambassador has kept a low profile compared with his predecessor, William Brownfield, who sometimes responded to Chavez’s anti-U.S. invective.

Chavez threatened to eject the ambassador a week ago in response to criticism from White House drug czar John P. Walters that his country wasn’t doing enough to stop the flow of illegal drugs. Earlier, Chavez denounced a plot against him that he said was abetted by the United States, an allegation Washington denies.

Chavez said he also was recalling Caracas’ ambassador in Washington, Bernardo Alvarez, until “there’s a new government in the United States.”

Throughout Latin America, Chavez has positioned himself as the prime opponent to “Yankee imperialism,” a phrase he often invokes.

“If we have to create one Vietnam, two Vietnams, three Vietnams, here we are ready,” Chavez said Thursday, echoing a phrase of Che Guevara, the late revolutionary leader.

“Because we are not going to take hope away from our people.”

In Bolivia, threats against gas pipelines have forced officials to restrict exports to giant neighbors Brazil and Argentina in the last two days. The government has shipped additional soldiers to energy fields to protect the pipelines.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in Washington that Bolivia’s decision to expel Goldberg “will prejudice the interests of both countries, undermine the ongoing fight against drug trafficking and will have serious regional implications.”

Bolivia is the world’s third-largest producer of coca leaf, the raw material in cocaine, and a major recipient of U.S. anti-drug aid. But Morales rose to national prominence as president of a coca growers federation, a post he still holds, and has often been at odds with U.S.-backed anti-drug efforts.

The president frequently accused the ambassador of undermining his government. Morales was apparently incensed when Goldberg met recently with the governors of two provinces who oppose him.

Various South American nations, including Brazil, pledged support for Morales’ government and offered help if needed to mediate the crisis.

Morales took office in 2006 amid hopes for national reconciliation in a country long riven by political, ethnic and regional differences. He was the first Indian president in a nation where much of the population is of indigenous ancestry.

But his socialist policies and rhetorical flourishes soon caused discontent in the eastern lowlands, home to much of the nation’s agricultural and energy wealth. He accused “oligarchs” of seeking to break away from Bolivia.

Four lowland states voted this year for autonomy in a referendum Morales called treasonous and illegal. A fifth state, Chuquisaca, in the central highlands, has joined the four lowland provinces in opposition to Morales, whose base of support is in the western altiplano.

In response, the USA has deported the envoys to Washington of both Bolivia and Venezuela, as well as freezing the assets of two senior Venezuelan officials and a third Venezuelan citizen accused of arming and funding Colombia’s Marxist rebels. The last individuals include 1) Carvajal Barrios, a Venezuelan military intelligence director who, according to the US Treasury, has protected FARC drug shipments from seizure, 2) Rangel Silva, another intelligence chief who advocated greater cooperation between the Chavezista regime and FARC, and 3) Rodriguez Chacin, President Chavez’s main weapons contact for the FARC. The narco-subversion of the West by Communist Bloc regimes and agents, working in tandem with the international criminal underworld, was adopted by Moscow and its proxies in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Cuba, and Colombia in the 1960s, as we have documented elsewhere.

>Breaking News: ABC News’ Charlie Gibson interviews Republican VP nominee Palin: War with Russia necessary to protect NATO allies, "small democracies"

>Timely comments on neo-Soviet Russian aggression from the Republican Party’s vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, current governor of Alaska.

We cannot repeat the Cold War. We are thankful that, under Reagan, we won the Cold War, without a shot fired, also. We’ve learned lessons from that in our relationship with Russia, previously the Soviet Union.

We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.

GIBSON: Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?

PALIN: Ukraine, definitely, yes. Yes, and Georgia.

GIBSON: Because Putin has said he would not tolerate NATO incursion into the Caucasus.

PALIN: Well, you know, the Rose Revolution, the Orange Revolution, those actions have showed us that those democratic nations, I believe, deserve to be in NATO.

Putin thinks otherwise. Obviously, he thinks otherwise, but…

GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn’t we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?

PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you’re going to be expected to be called upon and help.

But NATO, I think, should include Ukraine, definitely, at this point and I think that we need to — especially with new leadership coming in on January 20, being sworn on, on either ticket, we have got to make sure that we strengthen our allies, our ties with each one of those NATO members.

We have got to make sure that that is the group that can be counted upon to defend one another in a very dangerous world today.

GIBSON: And you think it would be worth it to the United States, Georgia is worth it to the United States to go to war if Russia were to invade.

PALIN: What I think is that smaller democratic countries that are invaded by a larger power is something for us to be vigilant against. We have got to be cognizant of what the consequences are if a larger power is able to take over smaller democratic countries.

And we have got to be vigilant. We have got to show the support, in this case, for Georgia. The support that we can show is economic sanctions perhaps against Russia, if this is what it leads to.

It doesn’t have to lead to war and it doesn’t have to lead, as I said, to a Cold War, but economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, again, counting on our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia and Putin and some of his desire to control and to control much more than smaller democratic countries.

His mission, if it is to control energy supplies, also, coming from and through Russia, that’s a dangerous position for our world to be in, if we were to allow that to happen.

Over to outraged officials at the Russian Foreign Ministry . . .

>WW4 File: Russian Air Force: Tu-160 bombers on Venezuela mission slated to return home Sept. 15, but could extend visit if Chavez approves

>FOURTH WORLD WAR HIGHLIGHTS: LATIN AMERICAN THEATER

- Visiting Russian Bombers to Patrol Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea Until September 15; Kremlin: No Nukes on Board

- “Red” Carpet Treatment: Various News Agencies: Chavez to Enjoy “Spin” on Russian Bomber or Escort on Flight over Caribbean

- Novosti Video Link for Arrival of Tu-160 Bombers in Venezuela

- Russian “President” Medvedev Directly Links Situation in Georgia to Tu-160 Deployment in Venezuela

- Commander of US Fourth Fleet Rear Admiral Kernan Denies Russian Bombers in South America Pose Threat to USA (source)

- Commander of Russia’s Strategic Aviation Major General Androsov in Interview Today: Cuba Has “Sufficient Infrastructure” to Accommodate Kremlin’s Nuclear Bombers

- Netherlands Nervous about Russian-Venezuelan Naval Exercise Slated for First Half of November near Dutch Islands of Aruba and Curaçao (source)

- ALERT: Caracas Orders Reduction in Commercial Flights from USA Effective September 28; Department of Homeland Security Denied Permission to Verify Security Conditions at Venezuelan Airports (source)

- Latin American Red Axis Nations Venezuela and Brazil Expand Military Cooperation through “Venbras” Anti-Drug Operations

On the seventh anniversary of the 911 terrorist attacks, the crafty Soviets are incrementally introducing their military assets into the Western Hemisphere on the invitation of their communist allies in the region. (Not so coincidentally, the founder of the Cheka, Felix Dzerzhinsky, was born on September 11, 1877.) Venezuela’s El Libertador airbase (pictured above) received two Tu-160 Blackjack bombers yesterday, the first time Russia’s strategic bombers have landed in the Americas since the First Cold War (1945-1991). The aircraft arrived in the South American country to hold “training flights” in the region ahead of the joint naval exercise that Caracas and Moscow will conduct in the Caribbean Sea between November 10 and 14.

“Their return has been scheduled for September 15,” Russian Air Force spokesentity Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir Drik explained. However, Major-General Pavel Androsov, commander of Russia’s strategic aviation, admitted that “The planes’ return could take place later than September 15. It all depends on Venezuela’s hospitality.” Androsov revealed that the Tu-160s could also be used to escort Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez on international trips: “We are not a commercial organization, but if they [the Venezuelans] ask us and we receive proper permission, then we will give him [Chavez] a safe flight over the Caribbean.”

With respect to the Blackjacks’ flight plans, Drik disclosed: “During their stay in Venezuela the bombers will conduct a number of patrol flights over neutral waters in the Pacific and the Caribbean.” He was quick to add that “The planes are not armed with any weapons.” The Russian Foreign Ministry denies that through this mission the Kremlin is establishing a military base in Venezuela or seeking to counter US influence in Georgia. However, “President” Dmitry Medvedev in a speech today directly linked the alleged military threat posed by tiny Georgia against gigantic Russia to the Kremlin’s current program of remilitarization and a “new wave” of Russian military exercises, including specifically the Tu-160 deployment in Venezuela.

Russian bombers set to leave Venezuela in mid-Sept. -2
21:0811/ 09/ 2008

MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti) – Two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers that landed in Venezuela on Wednesday are scheduled to return home on September 15 but will stay on if Venezuela gives its approval, Russia’s Air Force said on Thursday.

The bombers landed at Venezuela’s Libertador airfield late last night and during the 13-hour flight from their home base in central Russia were accompanied by NATO fighters.

“Their return has been scheduled for September 15,” Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said.

However, Maj.-Gen. Pavel Androsov, commander of the Air Force’s strategic aviation, said the planes’ return “could take place later than September 15. It all depends on Venezuela’s hospitality.”

During their stay in Venezuela, the bombers will conduct a number of patrol flights over neutral waters in the Pacific and the Caribbean. According to the Drik, the planes are not armed with any weapons.

The Tu-160 Blackjack is a supersonic, variable-geometry heavy bomber, designed to strike strategic targets with nuclear and conventional weapons deep in continental theatres of operation.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that the landing of strategic bombers in Venezuela did not mean that Russia had established a military base in the South American country.

“Russia does not have military bases in Latin America,” Andrei Nesterenko, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said. “The landing at the Venezuelan airbase was carried out in line with prior agreements between Russia and Venezuela.”

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on September 1 that “if Russian long-range bombers should need to land in Venezuela we would not object to that.”

Androsov also said the Russian planes could used to escort the Venezuelan leader.

“We are not a commercial organization, but if they ask us and we receive proper permission, then we will give him a safe flight over the Caribbean,” he said.

Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans last August, following an order signed by then-President Vladimir Putin. Russian bombers have since carried out more than 90 strategic patrol flights and have often been escorted by NATO planes.

The Air Force spokesman reiterated on Thursday that all Russian strategic patrols were performed in strict accordance with international rules on the use of airspace over neutral waters, without violating the borders of other states.

Source: Novosti

We will not be surprised, however, if in the near future Communist Cuba and neo-Sandinista Nicaragua, contrary to earlier denials, offer their airfields for use by Russian military aircraft. Indeed, the Russian brass is once again raising the subject of deploying their strategic bombers in Cuba, an idea first floated through the Kremlin media in July, several weeks before Russia invaded Georgia. In an interview held today, Major-General Androsov conceded: “Cuba has sufficient infrastructure to accommodate strategic bombers, but the Russian air force is not yet planning to land on Cuba, although we have studied its capacity.” When asked whether Russian strategic aviation were going to fly to countries other than Venezuela, Androsov retorted: “I can see no reason why they should not. The US Air Force has already visited a lot of countries. We are not looking for enemies, rather, we are looking for friends, and friendship should be active. Russia is looking for long-term partnerships.”

In recent months the Moscow-Havana Axis has rematerialized for the world to see. For example, following Hurricane Gustav, which ravaged Cuba on August 30, Russia dispatched two planeloads of humanitarian aid to the island gulag state. The Kremlin was no doubt poking a finger in America’s eye in view of the relief flights that the USA directed to war-wracked Georgia earlier that month.

Along with maturing operational military relations between Caracas and Moscow, Venezuela is also expanding military relations with fellow Latin American Red Axis member Brazil under the auspices of the Venbras “anti-drug” operations. “In addition, Chávez highlighted the start of Venbras operation,” reports the Venezuelan state media, “which is an air exercise in joint with Brazil. ‘We are getting ready for a bigger exercise with Brazil from November 2-14.’” The Soviet-Venezuelan and Venezuelan-Brazilian war games will run concurrently, as noted above. Last month, using Chinese-built radar systems more than 400 troops from the two South American nations mobilized for the first stage of Venbras 2008 at the Santa Elena de Uairen air base in the Venezuela’s Bolivar state. The previous joint Venezuelan-Brazilian naval war game Venbras 2007 took place one year ago. “The maneuvers,” Prensa Latina reported at the time, “will comprise training to respond to crisis situations and application of guidelines to update operational doctrines in the multilateral use of joint forces.”

>Breaking News: Soviets test Washington’s resolve as two Tu-160 Blackjack bombers arrive at Venezuela’s El Libertador airbase for "training flights"

>Following the August 8 Soviet re-invasion and partial occupation of the Republic of Georgia, Moscow continues to test Washington’s resolve to uphold the venerable, nineteenth-century Monroe Doctrine, in which the USA traditionally opposed European intervention in the Western Hemisphere. In the 1980s the Reagan Doctrine expanded the Monroe Doctrine by specifically opposing Soviet and communist influence in the Americas. The neo-Soviet leadership, utilizing NATO “expansionism” in Central Europe, Ukraine, and Georgia as a pretext, is with this latest development, below, clearly testing America’s response to the presence of Russian military assets on the other side of the Caribbean Sea, America’s backyard.

Last week Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez publicized his invitation for Russia’s air force and navy to utilize Venezuelan territory for the Kremlin’s war preparations. Reuters, citing Russia’s Interfax news agency, reports today that the Blackjacks enjoyed a NATO jet fighter escort across the Atlantic Ocean. El Libertador airbase, where the Tu-160s will be briefly based, is located in the northern town of Palo Negro, in Aragua state.

Pictured above: Russian officer stands in front of a Blackjack bomber at the Engels Airbase on August 7, 2008, one day before Russia’s invasion of Georgia.

Two Russian bombers land in Venezuela-agencies
09.10.08, 3:16 PM ET

MOSCOW, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Two Russian Tu-160 long-range strategic bombers have landed in Venezuela, news agencies said on Wednesday, quoting a source in the Russian Defence Ministry.

Interfax news agency quoted Russian Air Force acting spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky as saying ‘while in flight, the Tu-160s were escorted by NATO fighter jets’ before landing at Venezuela’s Libertadores military air field.

RIA news agency said the two bombers would remain in Venezuela for several days for training flights over neutral waters before they return to their base in Russia.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez visited Moscow in July and said Russia’s armed forces would be welcomed in his country.

‘If some day a Russian fleet arrived in the Caribbean, we will raise flags, we would beat drums and play the national anthem of Venezuela and the national anthem of Russia, because it would be the arrival of a friend,’ Chavez said in July.

On Monday Russia said it would send a nuclear-powered battleship to the Caribbean for a joint naval exercise later this year.

Venezuelan officials later said that four Russian warships would visit the Caribbean in November.

Russia has criticised the United States for sending a sophisticated command ship and two other naval vessels to Georgia, on its southern border, to deliver aid and show support for President Mikheil Saakashvili after Moscow sent troops into Georgia.

The U.S. military said on Monday its naval relief operations to Georgia’s port of Poti had ended, and all ships had left.

Bombs Away! Hugo to Pilot Russian Strategic Bomber

Commenting on the arrival of the Blackjacks, President Chavez chided: “I hope that stings, pitiyanquis.” “Pitiyanquis” is a derogatory term that Comrade Hugo applies to his pro-US domestic opponents. “What’s more,” the former paratrooper boasted, “I’m going to take the controls of one of these monsters. It’s been a while since these planes have been around these parts, and Russia decided a couple of years ago to revive its strategic aviation program.”

>Latin America File: New Cold War in Central America: US Commerce Secretary scrubs Nicaragua trip after Ortega recognizes Georgia’s separatist regions

>A new Cold War realignment is taking place in Central America. The chilly relations between Washington and Latin America’s Red Axis are spreading from Havana and Caracas to Managua in the wake of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s recognition of the de facto “independence” of Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Comandante Ortega has clearly decided to shun US humanitarian aid in favor of groveling before his masters in Moscow, who have orchestrated the dismemberment of Georgia. In response, US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez (pictured above) has scrubbed his visit to Nicaragua because, in diplomatese, “circumstances have changed.” Nicaragua is a member of both the Washington-led Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement and the Havana/Caracas-led Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, to which Honduras recently added its signature. Earlier this week Gutierrez urged American business leaders to assist in the reconstruction of Georgia’s economy, which was shattered by last month’s Russian invasion.

US Secretary of Commerce cancels Nicaragua visit
September 10, 2008

MANAGUA (AFP) — The US Secretary of Commerce cancelled a visit to Nicaragua because “circumstances have changed,” Washington’s envoy here said Tuesday, days after the Central American country recognized two rebel Georgian provinces.

Carlos Gutierrez was due to visit Nicaragua at the end of September and also meet with President Daniel Ortega, who last week followed Russia’s lead and recognized the Georgian separatist provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

“The secretary’s office said that now is not an appropriate moment for the visit because circumstances have changed,” said US ambassador Robert Callahan.

In response to journalists’ questions on whether the cancellation was linked to Nicaragua’s stance on Georgia, Callahan underlined the US position on the conflict, without mentioning Nicaragua.

“We have have publicly said regarding … the Russian occupation of these two entities and the Russian recognition, that this is a violation of some of the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council,” Callahan said.

He also underlined that his government was interested in “maintaining close and cordial relations” with Nicaragua.

Ortega, a former Marxist guerilla who had close ties to the ex-Soviet Union, went further than other leftist Latin American governments in his defiance of Washington by recognizing the two breakaway provinces after an armed conflict between Moscow and Tbilisi over South Ossetia last month.

>WW4 File: NATO fighter jets intercept 2 Bear bombers near Norway today; Barents Observer contradicts Sept. 1 AFP story: Incident 1st such since Aug. 7

>FOURTH WORLD WAR HIGHLIGHTS

EUROPEAN THEATER

- US Air Force Slated to Patrol Airspace over “Ex”-Soviet Baltic Republics Beginning in October

- Commander of Russian Strategic Missile Forces Again Threatens to Destroy US NMD Installations Planned for Central Europe

- Wall Street Journal Outlines Potential Scenario for Russia to Reassert Control over Ukraine and Especially the Crimean Peninsula

CAUCASUS THEATER

- Georgian Officials Accuse Russia of Breaking Truce by Killing Georgian Police Officer Near Russia’s Karaleti Checkpoint between Gori and South Ossetia (source)

- Russian Troops at Karaleti Checkpoint Prevent United Nations Aid Convoy from Reaching Georgian Villages near South Ossetia (source)

- NATO Experts Arrive in Georgia to Assess Damage to Country’s Military Infrastructure and Provide Basis for Future Aid Packages (source)

Today Norwegian fighter jets intercepted two Tu-95 Bear bombers and two additional Russian aircraft near the northern coast of that country. Contrary to a September 1 report from the AFP news agency, which asserted that there was no “slowdown” in Russian strategic aviation flights during the brief Caucasian War, the Barents Observer, also citing Norwegian military officials, states that “the Russian aircraft have not been observed in the area since before the crisis in South Ossetia,” specifically August 7. Oslo may have been referring to the incident linked here.

No Russian bombers in Arctic during Georgia crisis
2008-09-10

Norwegian fighter jets today intercepted two Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers outside the northern Norwegian coast. The Russian aircrafts had not been observed in the area since before the crisis in South Ossetia, Norwegian military officials confirm.

According to a press spokesman for the Norwegian Air Force, two Norwegian F16 fighter jets were sent to mark territory against four approaching Russian aircraft, among them two Tu.-95 strategic bombers, newspaper Avisa Nordland reports.

The air force spokesman also confirms that no Russian bombers had been observed in the area since 7 August.

The more than one-month break in strategic flights in the High North could be assessed as a deliberate Russian policy not to stir tensions in the region. Thus, before the war in Georgia, Russian aircrafts were seen patrolling the area almost every week.

Despite the ongoing hassle between Russia and NATO, political relations between Norway and Russia remain warm and positive. Both countries have on numerous occasions expressed determination to continue to develop cross-border cooperation both on land and at sea. The recent meeting between the two countries’ coast guards in northern Norway is just one example of the cooperation.

We can only guess which report is accurate, but we suspect that the first line issued by the Norwegian military nearly 10 days ago is the correct one. The government in Oslo is center-left in orientation and persists in viewing Moscow’s remilitarization as a benign phenomenon. “While Norway plays down the notion that the Russian flights are a muscle-flexing demonstration,” AFP states, “other countries have had a hard time seeing purely coincidence when Russian bombers last year for instance stroked the outer limits of Dutch airspace when the Netherlands was hosting an important NATO meeting.” Indeed.

Journalist Pavel Felgenhauer, who writes for the Eurasian Daily Monitor, insists that Russia’s strategic bombers do carry nuclear weapons, despite protests to the contrary from Russian authorities. “First Putin,” Felgenhauer explains, “said that battle preparedness includes the carrying of nuclear weapons. Then, later, they started saying that the aircraft do not carry any such weapons. So, you see, it is not easy to say why they are actually flying.” In other words, the Kremlin, which knows that US spy satellites can monitor Russian military movements, refuses to plainly admit to their “partners,” meaning the Americans: “We are actually in a state of war with each other.”

A flashpoint for direct superpower confrontation is emerging over the skies of the Baltic states, reports the Kremlin media, as US warplanes are slated to patrol the airspace over the former Soviet republics, now EU/NATO member states, beginning next month.

The U.S. Air Force will patrol the airspace over the Baltic states from October, the Latvian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday. A group of U.S. F-16 fighter jets will replace the current German planes on a rotation basis. Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia reached an agreement with NATO on the lease of fighters to patrol their airspace in 2004. Patrols have since been conducted by Belgian, Spanish, Norwegian, German and Danish aircraft. The patrols cost the Latvian taxpayers $4 million a year. The Baltic States have virtually no fighter planes. They said earlier that they would be unable to acquire their own fighter planes before 2018. The Baltic skies are presently secured by the so-called NATO air police, which in addition to fighter planes also provide air defense systems and manpower.

This development will provide the Soviet strategists with yet another pretext to launch prememptive military strikes against the West, a threat plainly and clearly reiterated again today by Colonel General Nikolai Solovtsov, commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces. “Therefore, we have to take appropriate action,” Solovtsov rumbled, adding: “I cannot rule out that should the country’s military-political leadership make such a decision, some of our ICBMs could be targeted at missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, and subsequently at other such facilities.”

Another flashpoint, already considered at this blog, is Ukraine’s proposed accession to NATO, a prospect that has raised the ire of the Kremlin leadership and which in reality represents many years of patient Soviet strategizing to foment war between Russia and the Western Alliance. Wall Street Journal writer Leon Aron describes a potential scenario that would enable Russia and Russia’s fifth column in Ukraine to reassert control via a putsch over the “former” Soviet republic and, in particular, the Russian-dominated city of Sevastopol, where Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is moored:

With almost three-quarters of Sevastopol’s 340,000 residents ethnically Russian, and 14,000 Russian Navy personnel already “on the inside” (they’ve been known to don civilian clothes and participate in demonstrations by Russian Crimean irredentists), an early morning operation in which the Ukrainian mayor and officials are deposed and arrested and the Russian flag hoisted over the city should not be especially hard to accomplish. Once established, Russian sovereignty over Sevastopol would be impossible to reverse without a large-scale war, which Ukraine will be most reluctant to initiate and its Western supporters would strongly discourage.

A potentially bolder (and likely bloodier) scenario might involve a provocation by the Moscow-funded, and perhaps armed, Russian nationalists (or the Russian special forces, spetznaz, posing as irredentists). They could declare Russian sovereignty over a smaller city (Alushta, Evpatoria, Anapa) or a stretch of inland territory. In response, Ukrainian armed forces based in the Crimea outside Sevastopol would likely counterattack. The ensuing bloodshed would provide Moscow with the interventionist excuse of protecting its compatriots — this time, unlike in South Ossetia, ethnic Russians.

As can be seen the existence of Russian fifth columnists in all of the “former” Soviet republics, such as the Party of Regions and the Communist Party of Ukraine in Kiev, not only provides a line of control between Moscow and its satellites, but can also facilitate the reestablishment of a new Soviet Union.

>WW4 File: Soviets flout 2nd EU-brokered peace deal, fortify regular troops in Abkhazia, S. Ossetia, Georgia proper; CSTO, SCO hold war game in Belarus

>FOURTH WORLD WAR HIGHLIGHTS: CAUCASIAN THEATER

- Kremlin Media: 3,800 Regular Troops to Be Permanently Deployed in Each Separatist Republic of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

- Russian Regular Troops Fortify Positions in Bomb-Damaged Port of Poti, Located in Georgia Proper

- President Lukashenko: Belarus to Follow Russia, Hamas, Nicaragua in Recognizing Abkhazian and South Ossetian “Independence”

- Security Agencies of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and Shanghai Cooperation Organzation Hold “Anti-terrorist Drill” in Belarus; Russian-Belarusian War Game to Follow this Fall

Pictured above: Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and “President” Dmitry Medvedev.

According to the Kremlin media, Russia, applying a loophole in the second European Union-brokered “peace deal,” will permanently deploy 3,800 regular troops in each of Georgia’s breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia, now recognized as independent states by Moscow. “Upon the request of the two republics Russian armed forces will be present on their territory to provide security,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov intoned, below, adding: “These are not peacekeepers, but a military contingent, the number of which has been set by the Ministry of Defence during the consultations with its partners in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. They will be present there as the troops of a foreign country, providing security on behalf of the corresponding.” In other words, notwithstanding any pie-crust promises on paper, Russian troops are not vacating Georgian territory but serve as a permanent finger in the eye of NATO, which supported Kosovo’s secession from Russian ally Serbia earlier this year.

New countries gain Russian troop pledge
September 9, 2008, 19:26

Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia and Abkhazia will be replaced by regular army troops, according to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The announcement came after Russia established formal diplomatic relations with the newly independent countries. Meanwhile, Russian checkpoints in Georgia are being closed down.

The news was announced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a joint media conference with his counterparts from the new states.

“First of all, we have exchanged notes and have agreed to establish diplomatic relations between Russia and Abkhazia and Russia and South Ossetia,” Lavrov said.

“We are setting up ties at the ambassadorial level. Secondly, we have discussed the drafts of agreements between Russia and South Ossetia and Russia and Abkhazia on friendship, co-operation and mutual assistance”. The documents mentioned by the Russian foreign minister will coordinate all kinds of cooperation including military.

The move follows Moscow’s decision to recognise the republics’ independence after Georgia attempted to gain control of South Ossetia last month by force.

It has also been revealed that Russian checkpoints in Georgia are being closed down. This has been confirmed by the Georgian Interior Ministry, according to AFP.

Russian military presence in the republics

In response to the request by Abkhazian and South Ossetian leaders, Russia will provide security in the republics, said Lavrov. According to the foreign minister, this has already been announced and the documents have been signed. “Upon the request of the two republics Russian armed forces will be present on their territory to provide security,” Lavrov said.

When the agreement, drawn up on Tuesday by all sides, is signed and ratified the troops will be present on the territories of Abkazia and South Ossetia on an international legal basis, as has been stressed the Russian foreign minister.

“These are not peacekeepers, but a military contingent, the number of which has been set by the Ministry of Defence during the consultations with its partners in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. They will be present there as the troops of a foreign country, providing security on behalf of the corresponding,” said Lavrov.

Newborn states hope for international recognitionLeaders of the two newly recognised republics say they already have candidates for the posts of ambassadors. They are also thankful for the recognition of their independence, saying that Russia’s position was a key step in their future.

“Initially we were just surviving, constantly under threat – but now we are facing the task of development, the instrument for which are being prepared now,” Abkhazia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Shamba noted.

He also expressed hope that other countries, including European states, will in time re-think their position, and in his opinion everything will depend on what kind of example the newly recognised republics will demonstrate to the rest of the world.

Shamba’s South Ossetian counterpart Murat Dzhioev echoed him saying the republic will work with other countries individually and with international organisations as part of the process in seeking other countries’ recognition of South Ossetia. In his opinion many countries will follow Russia’s suit.

Nicaragua recently became the second country to recognise their independence.

Meanwhile, the Belarusian president Aleksandr Lukashenko has also spoken about acknowledging South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states. He said a decision on the issue would follow a parliamentary election at the end of this month. Belarus has a history of good relations with Abkhazia, and Lukashenko said he was keen to express his full support for Russia’s position.

Furthermore, in Georgia proper Russian troops continue to dig in around the strategically important port of Poti, located on the Black Sea, a site of tension between Russian and NATO naval vessels since last month’s Russian invasion of Georgia. The Georgian media reported yesterday that “Russian troops, instead of showing signs of withdrawal, had reinforced their outposts outside the port town of Poti over the weekend.” Tbilisi also confirmed that two Russian aircraft entered Georgian airspace on September 7, flying for about 45 minutes over Tskhinvali, the capital of breakaway South Ossetia, and Shatili, a region in northern Georgia, adjacent to the Russian border.

Russia Reinforces Outposts in Poti
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 8 Sep.’08 / 16:12

Georgia said that Russian troops, instead of showing signs of withdrawal, had reinforced their outposts outside the port town of Poti over the weekend.

“The Russian occupation force is reinforcing – rather than vacating – its checkpoints near the strategic commercial port of Poti,” the Georgian government said in a statement released on September 7.

It said that one checkpoint was reinforced with five armored personnel carriers (APC) and about 50 troops, while another was reinforced with one APC and about 10 troops.

A Poti-based journalist working for the RFE/RL Georgian Service also reported that the checkpoints had been reinforced. She wrote on her blog that the outposts had been reinforced by six armored vehicles.

The Georgian government also said that two Russian aircraft entered Georgian airspace on September 7, flying for about 45 minutes over Tskhinvali, the capital of breakaway South Ossetia, and Shatili, a region in northern Georgia close to the Russian border. The Georgian government said the Russian aircraft were “presumably on a reconnaissance mission.”

Meanwhile, the security agencies of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are holding a joint military exercise Bastion-Antiterror-2008 in Belarus between September 9 and 12. State-run Voice of Russia reports today on this latest preparation for war against the Western Alliance under the guise of “anti-terrorist drills”:

CIS countries are due to hold a joint military exercise Bastion-Antiterror-2008 in Minsk from the 9th to the 12th of this month. Taking part in the manoeuvres will be the security services of the Commonwealth, the officials of the CSTO, SCO, as well as military attachés and foreign monitors. The first stage of the exercise was held in August seeking to neutralize mock terrorists in Russia, Moldavia, Ukraine and Belarus. The scenario of this stage of the exercise provides for wiping out groups of extremists when these try to illegally cross the Belarusian border.

The story above reports: “The scenario of this stage of the exercise provides for wiping out groups of extremists when these try to illegally cross the Belarusian border.” Thinking strategically, war gaming of this type would also permit the Communist Bloc to repel an attack, or counter-attack, by NATO across the Belarusian-Polish border. The same source covers this Communist Bloc war game in another article:

Security agencies of the countries — members of the CIS, CSTO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are holding a joint drill in Belarus slated to run until the 12th of this month. The opening phase of the large-scale exercise which is attended by military attaches and observers from around the world will practice measures to forecast and prevent terrorist attacks. Wrapping up the four-day drill will be a joint operation to cut off and destroy a group of terrorists and release hostages on board commercial places and at airports.

The CIS consists of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Last month Georgia notified the CIS leadership that it will withdraw from the intergovernmental organization effective August 2009. The CSTO consists of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The SCO consists of full members China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and observers India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan. Together the CIS/CSTO/SCO represent the new Eurasian Communist Bloc since nearly every country listed here is governed by open or “ex”-communists. The Bastion-Antiterror-2008 drill, moreover, represents the expanding cooperation between the three overlapping blocs, initiated last year with a memorandum of understanding between the CSTO and SCO and furthered in July of this year in response to US National Missile Defense plans in Central Europe and perceived NATO expansionism in Ukraine and Georgia.

Additional war games are scheduled to take place in Belarus this fall, with Russia and the hosting state providing the bulk of the men and arms. Two year ago, reports the Jamestown Foundation, “Belarus and Russia carried out the largest-ever joint military exercises, ‘Union Shield 2006,’ which anticipated the response to an unspecified external military threat.” These two countries are politically and economically united under the Union State of Russia and Belarus, a building block of the soon-to-be-restored Soviet Union. In addition to holding the post of Russian premier, KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin is also prime minister of the Union State.

>Latin America File: Ortega advances neo-Sandinista dictatorship by shutting down NGOs; Rosario lifts Hillary line on "vast right-wing conspiracy"

>The communist regime in Nicaragua, which was established in 1979 but strategically withdrew from the political limelight between 1990 and 2006, continues to crack down on political opponents, identified by President Daniel Ortega’s self-described “revolutionary government” as US-backed non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Pictured here, from left to right: Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, Ortega, and First Lady/ex-Guerrilla Girl Rosario Murillo give the clenched-fist communist salute in Quito, on July 14, 2008.

The enemy, according to First Lady Murillo, taking a page from US counterpart Hillary Clinton’s script, is a “vast right-wing conspiracy” in which NGOs serve as “Trojan horses” in the Nicaraguan political system. The neo-Sandinista dictatorship, following in the footsteps of the crypto-communist Putinist regime that lately persecuted the British Council, is intimidating NGOs in Nicaragua by launching official investigations against the Autonomous Women’s Movement, the Center of Investigations for Communication, OXFAM, and a network of other Nicaraguan human rights and democracy groups. Journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro and feminist leader Sofia Montenegro, in particular, are in the Ortegas’ cross-hairs. The Costa Rican media reports today:

Gov’t targets NGOs in Nicaragua,civil leaders denounce persecution
By Tim Rogers
Nica Times Staff
trogers@ticotimes.net

GRANADA, Nicaragua – Leaders of nongovernmental organizations and human rights groups are uniting their voices of protest against an aggressive new campaign by the President Daniel Ortega administration to “persecute” civil society groups that have dared to criticize the government or the direction of the country.

First Lady Rosario Murillo last week launched a brazenly aggressive government campaign called “Operation No More Lies,” aimed at discrediting civil society by calling non-government organizations (NGOs) “modern day Trojan Horses” that mask “an international campaign against the revolutionary government” of Ortega.

The campaign, launched under the guise of investigative journalism in the administration’s new weekly bulletin “El 19,” accuses the Autonomous Women’s Movement (MAM), the Center of Investigations for Communication (CINCO), international group OXFAM and a network of other Nicaraguan human-rights and democracy groups of being part of an international conspiracy against the government.

According to the administration, “right-wing international groups,” such as OXFAM, are supporting a “triangulation of slander” by sending money to women’s groups via CINCO, a non-governmental group headed by journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro. The women’s groups, according to the administration, then use the veil of “feminism” to attack and slander the government.

Sandinista media outlets, infamous for playing judge and jury, jumped on the story and accused Chamorro and feminist leader Sofia Montenegro of “money laundering.”

The Government Ministry (MINGOB) apparently interpreted the Sept. 2 report in “El 19” as an official presidential order and quickly announced it was opening an investigation of MAM, CINCO and OXFAM, among other groups that have criticized the government. Gustavo Sireas, head of MINGOB’s registry of nongovernmental organizations accredited in Nicaragua, said the government’s efforts were to make sure that the registry is “in order” and denied it was part of a government crackdown on political enemies.

But for those in the government’s crosshairs, that explanation is unconvincing.

“This is an attempt to intimidate not only us but all other non-governmental organizations,” Ana Quirós, a leader of the Autonomous Women’s Movement, told The Nica Times yesterday.

For Quirós, the government campaign is part of a political revenge against the feminist movement for supporting Murillo’s daughter, Zoilamérica Narváez, in her 1998 sexual abuse case against Ortega.

“This definitely has to do with the Zoilamérica case, which has become internationally relevant again,” Quirós said, referring to recent protests by feminist leaders in other countries who have called Ortega a “rapist.”

Quirós added that MAM – a social movement, not a registered NGO – is studying the possibility of taking the case before the International Commission against Torture, on the argument that the government’s campaign is one of psychological torture and terrorism. She said that if anything happens to Montenegro or any other of the leaders of the women’s movement, “it will be the exclusive responsibility of this government.”

“We can’t forget what happened to Carlos Guadamuz, who was assassinated on the street,” Quirós said of the anti-Ortega journalist who was gunned down in broad daylight by a Sandinista assassin in 2004.

Chamorro, speaking on his weekly television news show, Esta Semana, called the government campaign a “dangerous escalation of persecution” of civil society groups and a violation of citizens’ rights to organize and participation in society.

Chamorro said his organization has always followed the law, and mocked the so-called “investigative journalism” by the government newspaper, saying all the information they reported was taken from the organization’s Web page and other sources in the public domain.

The same Sandinista media outlets in 2006 accused Chamorro – without any basis or formal charges – of drug trafficking after he ran an investigative report linking Sandinista officials to a land extortion case in Tola.

Chamorro has called the newest set of government slander campaign “cowardly,” and is calling on others to stand up to the Ortega administration’s fear tactics.

In 2004 Ortega was accused of masterminding the murder of anti-Sandinista journalist Carlos Guadamuz, but former Sandinista Interior Minister Tomas Borge, presently Nicaragua’s ambassador to Peru, denied the accusation:

Guadamuz, a leading journalist, was head of public radio La Voz de Nicaragua at the time of the Sandinista revolution (1979-1990) then of Radio Ya, the radio of the Sandanista National Liberation Front (FSLN), until 2000 when he was expelled after deciding to stand for a seat on Managua’s municipal council.

He then became closer to the right-wing Constitutional Liberal Party (PLC) and got a job working for the public Canal 6 until it closed in 2002. For the past several months he rented a slot on CDNN for his daily broadcast, which was known to be very hard-hitting and fiercely critical of the FSLN.

The victim’s oldest son accused the party’s leader Daniel Ortega, of being the “chief suspect” in the death of his father. “He is my father’s biggest enemy,” he told the local press.

In a statement the FSLN condemned the murder which it also described as a set up. “This murder was carried out to make it look like the FSLN was behind it. There is no doubt about that,” said Tomás Borge, deputy general secretary of the party.

Meanwhile, Ortega, whose government is the second in the world after Russia itself to recognize Abkhazian and South Ossetian independence, continues to shill for his masters in Moscow, as state-run Voice of Russia reports today:

The Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega says that the USA and other Western countries have chosen an aggressive and provocative policy toward Russia’s neighbours and militarily as well. Talking with newsmen in Managua he stressed that for this purpose the West is seeking to involve both the post –Soviet space and the former socialist countries. Ortega is of the opinion that there’s direct evidence today that the West is determined to gain hegemony and to establish a mono-polar world, while Russia defends multi-polarity in international affairs and is seeking dialogue and peaceful solutions, the Nicaraguan President underlined.

Neo-Soviet Russia has accepted Hugo Chavez’s offer to utilize Venezuelan military airfields for its strategic bombers and anti-submarine warfare reconnaissance aircraft. Will fellow communist Ortega support the Soviet strategists’ plan to encircle America with their military assets by making Nicaragua’s airports available to the Russian Air Force and Navy? If so, then the Moscow-Managua Axis will have evolved and deepened beyond even its Cold War relationship. A high-level Nicaraguan diplomatic-military delegation visited Russia last November, reciprocating former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin’s attendance at Ortega’s January 2007 re-inauguration.

>WW4 File: Russian FM: Navy to "temporarily" base ASW aircraft in Venezuela; communist allies to hold joint naval drill in Caribbean November 10-14

>FOURTH WORLD WAR HIGHLIGHTS

CAUCASIAN THEATER

- European/French President Sarkozy Brokers Second Peace Deal with Kremlin: Russia to Withdraw “All” Troops from Georgia Proper by October 8

- Strategy Page: Georgian Radars Linked to NATO Air Defense System, NATO Sending Portable Anti-Aircraft Missiles to Tbilisi; Russian Occupation Troops Still Raiding Georgian Military Bases (source)

- Flashback: Russian Naval Intelligence Ship Spotted 18 Miles East of Okinawa on Day of Russian Invasion of Georgia; Japanese Island Home to More than 20,000 US Troops (source)

- Baku Subservient to Moscow: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev Phones Russian Counterpart Dmitry Medvedev to Relate Substance of US Vice President Dick Cheney’s Comments During September 3 Visit (source)

- Ex-GRU Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov Spills the Beans on Kremlin’s Intent behind Georgia Invasion: Russia Terminated Military Operation Too Soon, Should Have Deposed President Saakashvili, Installed Igor Giorgadze, Son of Current Chief of United Communist Party of Georgia (source)

- Alexander Dugin, Kremlin Stooge and Eurasianist Co-Founder of Communist Party of the Russian Federation: “Serious, Profound, Irreversible Confrontation with the United States” Coming Soon

- Faux Rightist Czech President Vaclav Klaus Denounces Georgian “Aggression,” Praises Russia as Peacemaker in South Ossetian Conflict

Today European/French President Nicolas Sarkozy conferred yet again in Moscow with his Russian countpart Dmitry Medvedev. There the Russian “president” agreed to withdraw all of his troops from Georgia proper within the next four weeks. Not surprisingly, the Soviet strategists inserted a loophole into the latest European Union-brokered peace agreement: There is no stipulation that Russia withdraw to pre-conflict positions, a demand required by the West, thus allowing the Kremlin room to leave troops and weapons inside “independent” South Ossetia and Abkhazia. In a related story, Voice of Russia reports, faux rightist Czech President Vaclav Klaus revealed his subservience to Moscow by denouncing Georgia as the aggressor in the South Ossetian conflict, portraying Russia as the peacemaker, and sympathizing with Abkhazian and South Ossetian secessionists.

Moscow has been attempting to remove the US-backed regime of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and re-install an open communist regime for several years now. Last month, two days after Russian tanks had entered Georgia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rumbled: “Saakashvili must go.” Prior to that, in November 2006 we reported on a failed communist coup that occured in the “ex”-Soviet republic in September of that year. The mastermind was Igor Giorgadze, former chief of Georgia’s National Security Service and son of General Panteleimon Giorgadze, chairman of the United Communist Party of Georgia, which belongs to Oleg Shenin’s restored Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Presently living “in exile” in Moscow, Giorgadze is wanted by Interpol for organizing the August 29, 1995 attempt on the life of “ex”-CPSU Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze. In May 2006 journalist Vladimir Socor explained the convoluted politics of the Caucasus:

Undoubtedly, the asylum decision on Giorgadze was a political decision by the Kremlin, not a technical one by law-enforcement agencies. It seems intended to energize the motley collection of Georgian fringe groups that Moscow seeks to marshal into a local fifth column, and of which Giorgadze seems to be a designated centerpiece. Staking on marginal groups and discredited figures is a sign of Moscow’s utter lack of credible political allies within Georgia.

In August 2007 we posted on the trial and conviction of the communists behind that failed coup. Intriguingly, this week the Russian media reported that former GRU Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov, acquitted earlier this year for the attempted assassination of politician/businessman Anatoly Chubais, has spilled the beans on the Kremlin’s intent behind Georgia invasion. According to Kvachkov, Russia terminated the military operation too soon and should have deposed President Saakashvili and installed the son of Georgia’s communist party boss.

LATIN AMERICAN THEATER

- Russian Foreign Ministry: Navy to “Temporarily” Base Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft in Venezuela; Announcement Follows by Less Than One Week Hugo Chavez’s Offer to Host Russian Military

- US State Department Scoffs at Russian Navy’s Capabilities Following Announcement of Joint Naval Maneuver with Venezuela; Drill to Begin Six Days after US Presidential Election

Taking affront to the NATO fleet in the Black Sea and its support for the reconstruction of Georgia, the Soviets have decided to thumb their nose at the USA by scheduling joint naval drills in the Caribbean Sea, America’s “backyard,” with Red Venezuela between November 10 and 14. The Russian naval task force, state-run Novosti reports below, will be dispatched from the Northern Fleet and consist of the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy and support ships. Moscow and Caracas formed a strategic partnership against the USA in May 2001 and thus the announced war game between the two Communist Bloc states is a natural progression in their plan to dethrone US influence in Latin America. The South American country has already purchased Russian fighter jets, military helicopters, diesel-powered submarines, AK-47 assault rifles, and a contract to build more such rifles.

This past summer Kremlin-run Gazprom and Venezuelan state oil and gas company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. inked an agreement on joint exploration of the Ayacucho 3 block in the Orinoco oil belt. Under the terms of this protocol Gazprom Latin America B.V. and PdVSA will complete the geological modeling, evaluation, and calculation of reserves in the block. The new chairman of Gazprom is “ex”-CPSU cadre and former prime minister Viktor Zubkov, who is also father in law of Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez has visited Moscow seven times since assuming the presidency of that country in 1999. The most recent pilgrimage was completed in July of this year. Pictured above: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Chavez meet at former’s Novo Ogaryovo residence near Moscow, on July 22, 2008.

Russia confirms sending warships to the Atlantic, Caribbean
16:3008/ 09/ 2008

MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian naval task force from the Northern Fleet will go on a tour of duty in the Atlantic Ocean and participate in joint naval drills with the Venezuelan navy in November, a Navy spokesman said on Monday.

“In line with the 2008 training program and in order to expand military cooperation with foreign navies Russia will send in November a naval task force from the Northern Fleet, comprising nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy and support ships, to the Atlantic Ocean,” Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said.

During the tour of duty, the Russian warships will participate in joint naval exercises with the Venezuelan navy.

“The decision to conduct Russian-Venezuelan naval exercises was adopted at the meeting between presidents in July this year,” Dygalo said.

“During the exercise, ships and naval aircraft will practice coordinated maneuvering, search-and-rescue, and communications,” he said.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez earlier said Venezuela would hold joint naval exercises with Russian warships in the Caribbean in late November-early December.

Russia announced last year that Russia’s Navy had resumed, and would build up its continual presence in different regions of the world’s oceans.

A naval task force from Russia’s Northern Fleet, consisting of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, the Udaloy-Class destroyers Admiral Levchenko and Admiral Chabanenko, as well as auxiliary vessels, conducted from December 2007 to February 2008 a two-month tour of duty in the Mediterranean Sea and North Atlantic.

In response to the official announcement of the joint Russian-Venezuelan naval maneuvers, US State Department pokesman Sean McCormack scoffed: “If Russia really intends to send ships to the Caribbean, then they found a few ships that can make it that far.” The drill will commence six days after the US presidential election, which is probably not coincidental.

The consolidation of the Soviet-Venezuelan strategic partnership by way of a Caribbean naval exercise is troubling, although the Russian Navy is by itself no match for its US counterpart. More disturbing, however, is the Kremlin media’s failure to mention that Venezuela will be “temporarily” hosting Russian anti-submarine warfare aircraft on its soil by year’s end. The Iranian state media, citing the AFP news agency, reports today: “Moscow says it plans to temporarily deploy anti-sub aircraft in Venezuela, amid a growing danger of a NATO-Russia conflict in the Black Sea. ‘Before the end of the year, as part of a long-distance expedition, we plan a visit to Venezuela by a Russian navy flotilla… and the temporary basing of anti-submarine aircraft of the Russian Navy at an airport in Venezuela,’ spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said on Monday, AFP reported.” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesentity Nesterenko insisted that Russia’s “South American naval visit ‘is not in any way connected to the current situation in the Caucasus,’ and that ‘it is not aimed at any third country.’” The Russian Navy has in recent weeks tested new EW equipment in its Tu-142 Bear-F, the maritime reconnaissance version of the Tu-95 Bear bomber, over the Arctic Ocean.

Plans for the incremental deployment of Russian military assets in the Western Hemisphere have obviously been afoot for some time, well before Russia’s August 8 invasion of Georgia. For example, on July 22 Chavez visited Moscow, dragging yet another lengthy shopping list of Russian-build armament. Novosti, above quotes Russian Navy spokesentity Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo as admitting: “The decision to conduct Russian-Venezuelan naval exercises was adopted at the meeting between presidents in July this year.” A week later, on July 30 and 31 Russian Vice Premier Igor Sechin and ex-FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev visited Havana where military cooperation between Moscow and Havana was discussed. The US determination to rebuild Georgia’s post-invasion economy provides Russia with a pretext to expand its military operations worldwide. Only weeks before the Georgia invasion, Kremlin-run Izvestia leaked a story, denied by the Russian Defense Ministry, to the affect that the Russian military was considering deploying its strategic bombers to Cuba, Venezuela, and Algeria. Finally, less than one week ago Comrade Hugo cheerfully offered to host Russia’s long-range aircraft on Venezuelan soil. It appears that the neo-Soviet leadership liked Hugo’s offer.

PACIFIC THEATER

- Japanese Defense Ministry Releases White Paper after Russia’s Georgia Invasion: Tokyo Worried about Russian War Games near Japan; Chinese, North Korean Militarism; Southern Kuril Islands Occupied by Soviets Since 1945

Meanwhile, last week the Japanese Defense Ministry released its annual white paper, approved by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda’s cabinet, in which the Japanse government expressed its concern over the presence of Russian military drills in and over the Sea of Japan, including nuclear-powered submarines and strategic bombers. “It has been observed that the Russian military is becoming active in areas close to Japan, including drills and training aimed at improving its proficiency,” the white paper stated, adding: “Airplane drills and flights near Japan are becoming more frequent. A Russian military jet intruded into Japanese airspace in February [2008].” Japan and Russia are still in a state of war following the Second World War and the Soviet invasion and occupation of the four southern most Kuril Islands, which Tokyo also claims. In April of this year PM Fukuda visited Moscow (pictured above) where he met then President Vladimir Putin and then President-Elect Dmitry Medvedev. The neo-Soviet leadership offered to return two of the disputed islands to Japan, but Fukuda insisted upon the restoration of Japanese sovereignty over all four islands. The friction between Tokyo and Moscow over the Kurils did not prevent Japan’s Toshiba and Russia’s Atomenergoprom from forming an alliance in nuclear power operations, including power plant construction and fuel production.

Western Analysts See the Light: USA and Russia Never Closer to “Direct Confrontation” than Since Cold War

In the aftermath of the Caucasian War, many Kremlinologists who do not necessarily subscribe to the Golitsynian thesis, namely, that the collapse of Soviet communism in 1991 was a strategic deception and that the communist drive for global domination is right on track, are admitting that the USA and Russia have never been closer to a “direct confrontation” since the end of the Cold War. Even the most ideologically challenged geopolitical analyst should not be able to avoid this conclusion. Pavel Felgenhauer, a Moscow-based military analyst who works with the Jamestown Foundation, made the following astute observation regarding Russia’s August 8 invasion of Georgia: “Russia is probing the West, as it often did during the Cold War, [to see] how far is the West willing to go: What will happen if Russia continues to push? There is a party of war within the ruling party. . . . It seems that for now the hard-liners are winning.”

One of those Russian hardliners is Alexander Dugin (pictured here at pro-Serbia rally in Moscow, on April 27), a political theorist/mystic and ex-KGB archivist who crafted the constitution of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. Dugin exposes the Kremlin’s intentions in the Caucasus region in the following quote: “Russia’s move into Georgia was an irreversible decision that will mean in the future a serious, profound, irreversible confrontation with the United States. . . . The stakes are so high that Moscow has placed all its [chips] on the table. I think the strategy was a good one.” Kremlin-run Russia Profile admits that “The Eurasia Party, later Eurasia Movement, founded by Dugin in 2002, is said by some observers to enjoy financial and organizational support from Vladimir Putin’s presidential office.”

Dugin’s anti-Americanism is evident in his theoretical ramblings. “In principle,” he is quoted as saying by Russia Profile, “Eurasia and our space, the heartland Russia, remain the staging area of a new anti-bourgeois, anti-American revolution.” In his 1997 book, The Basics of Geopolitics, he states “The new Eurasian empire will be constructed on the fundamental principle of the common enemy: the rejection of Atlanticism, strategic control of the USA, and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us. This common civilisational impulse will be the basis of a political and strategic union.”

Journalist Tom Lasseter writes for the McClatchy article above: “Russian analysts say there are three possible flash points, all centered on or around the Black Sea, once almost lakefront property for the Soviet empire. The sea borders three NATO members — Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania — and two applicants, Georgia and Ukraine. If the two applicants join the alliance, Russia’s Black Sea coastline would be surrounded by NATO.” He then quotes Nikolai Petrov, a Moscow scholar in residence with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who contends: “Now it looks like there is a certain red line that exists in the heads of Russian leadership and they are willing to do anything to stop it from being crossed. And this red line is Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO.”

During his acceptance speech last week at the Republican National Convention, presidential nominee and Council on Foreign Relations cadre John McCain sent mixed messages to Moscow: “Russia’s leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power. As president, I will work to establish good relations with Russia so we need not fear a return of the Cold War. But we can’t turn a blind eye to aggression and international lawlessness that threatens the peace and stability of the world and the security of the American people.” Democratic rival and Moscow’s favored pick for the White House Barack Hussein Obama (unbelievably) promised to “renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can curb Russian aggression.”

>WW4 File: USS Mount Whitney with humanitarian aid docks in Russian-occupied Georgian port of Poti; Kremlin: No response planned (yet)

>Poking the Soviet Bear in His Den: The USA Rebuilds the War-Torn Republic of Georgia

The USS Mount Whitney, which docked in the Russian-occupied Georgian port of Poti today, serves as the flagship of the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet, as well as the command and control ship for NATO’s Commander Joint Command Lisbon and the Commander Striking Force NATO. Some naval analysts consider the Mount Whitney to be the most advanced C4I platform afloat today. Despite previous violent rhetoric against NATO’s Black Sea fleet, which is involved in delivering humanitarian aid to war-ravaged Georgia, the Kremlin promised no response to the Mount Whitney’s arrival (at least not yet).

The Times reports, below: “A previous trip by American warships was cancelled at the last minute a week ago amid fears that an armed stand off could erupt in the Black Sea port of Poti.” Moscow has accused NATO member states of transporting weapons to rebuild the shattered Georgian army. “Russia’s leadership has already questioned whether previous US warships that docked at the port of Batumi, to the south,” the same source explains, “were delivering weapons to rearm the smashed Georgian military, something Washington has denied.” Following the invasion, US-Russian relations, like UK-Russian relations after the murder of FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, have become palpably frosty, a fact highlighted by President George W. Bush’s determination to terminate a planned civilian nuclear cooperation deal with Moscow.

The Mount Whitney is pictured above steaming past Istanbul, Turkey.

US navy ship steams into port where Russian troops stationed
September 5, 2008

A US navy flagship has steamed into a Georgian port where Russian troops are still stationed, stoking tensions once again in the tinderbox Caucasus region.

A previous trip by American warships was cancelled at the last minute a week ago amid fears that an armed stand off could erupt in the Black Sea port of Poti.

The arrival of the USS Mount Whitney came as Moscow accused Dick Cheney, the hawkish US vice-president, of stoking tensions during a visit to Tbilisi yesterday, in which he vowed to bring Georgia into the Nato alliance. Russia sees any such move as a blatant Western encroachment on its traditional sphere of influence.

Russia’s leadership has already questioned whether previous US warships that docked at the port of Batumi, to the south, were delivering weapons to rearm the smashed Georgian military, something Washington has denied.

While Russia again questioned the deployment of what it described as “the number one ship of its type in the US navy” on the Black Sea, it said it planned no military action in response. The Russian Army has kept a small number of soldiers in Poti, where local Georgian officials accuse them of looting port authority buildings.

“Naval ships of that class can hardly deliver a large amount of aid,” said Andrei Nesterenko, a Russian foreign ministry spokesman. “Such ships of course have a hold for keeping provisions for the crew and items needed for sailing. How many dozens of tonnes of aid can a ship of that type deliver?”

He said the presence of US warships could contravene international conventions governing shipping on the Black Sea, and – in particular – restricting the entry of naval ships from countries that do not share a Black Sea coastline.

Militarily, the small Russian garrison in Poti would pose almost no threat to a vessel like the Mount Whitney, but the proximity of two hostile forces in such a fraught setting set the political temperature rising again in the Caucasus, a month after Russia’s five day war with Georgia.

The American warship is too large to actually enter the port, where Russia sunk several Georgian navy vessels in its offensive last month. Instead, it is expected anchor offshore and unload its cargo of blankets, hygiene kits, baby food and infant care supplies on to smaller boats.

“I can confirm it has arrived in Poti. Anchoring procedures are still ongoing but it has arrived,” said a US naval official.

Moscow, which followed up its crushing military defeat of Georgia by unilaterally recognising the independence of two of its breakaway regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, was fuming that Mr Cheney still insisted on Georgia’s entrance into the Atlantic alliance – something several key NATO members are wary of.

“The new promises to Tbilisi relating to the speedy membership of NATO simply strengthen the Saakashvili regime’s dangerous feeling of impunity and encourages its dangerous ambitions,” said Mr Nesterenko.

Washington has also pledged one billion dollars in aid to help Georgia rebuild after Russia pounded many of its military bases to dust and targeted important infrastructure.

The brief conflict has left thousands of Georgians homeless, including many driven from South Ossetia and the surrounding Russian buffer zone inside Georgia itself.

Georgian officials have accused the Russian-backed Ossetian militias of “ethnically cleansing” remote villages, while Moscow has charged Tbilisi with “genocide” for its heavy handed attack on the breakaway region last month.

Source: Times Online

Meanwhile, communist superpowers Russia and China have resumed talks related to Beijing’s US$1.5 billion acquisition of 34 Ilyushin Il-76 Candid medium-range military transport aircraft and four Ilyushin Il-78 Midas aerial refueling tankers. The planes will be assembled at a plant in Ulyanovsk, in central Russia, operated by the Kremlin’s new United Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation. The People’s Liberation Army could conceivably utilize the Candid military transports, each of which can hold 190 troops, to execute the initial stages of an invasion of Taiwan. The PLA Air Force acquired 14 IL-76MDs in the early 1990s. After China takes delivery of the additional 34 military transports, the PLAAF will be able to insert more than 9,000 troops into the battlefield in a single operation. Together Russia and China constitute the “one clenched fist” of international communism described by former KGB Major Anatoliy Golitsyn in his predictive 1984 work New Lies for Old.

Russia, China resume talks on military transport planes
16:0305/ 09/ 2008

GELENDZHIK (South Russia), September 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will continue negotiations on a contract to deliver 34 transport planes and four aerial tankers to China earlier frozen due to a disagreement over prices, Russia’s state-run arms exporter said on Friday.

“We are returning to the contract and renegotiating the price of these planes,” Mikhail Zavaliy, a Rosoboronexport official told reporters at an air show in the Krasnodar Region.

According to the 2005 contract between Rosoboronexport and China’s Defense Ministry, worth $1.5 billion, Russia was supposed to deliver 34 Il-76 Candid medium-range military transport aircraft and four Il-78 Midas aerial refueling tankers.

The first deliveries under the contract were due to begin in 2007, but in 2006, Uzbekistan’s Tashkent Chkalov Aircraft Association, the manufacturer of the aircraft, refused to sign a production contract with Rosoboronexport at the contract price.

As a result, the agreement was delayed, and Beijing suspended negotiations on this and several other military contracts with Russia.

Since then, the Tashkent-based company has become part of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation, and the planes will now be assembled at an aircraft manufacturing plant in Ulyanovsk in central Russia, the official said.

Source: Novosti

>Blast from the Past File: St. Petersburg communists report: Two Estonian farms form "Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic," seek recognition from Moscow

>Either nostalgic for the good ol’ days of Soviet communism or hoping to jump on the bandwagon of micro-secessionism afflicting the periphery of the “post”-Soviet space, two farms in northeast Estonia have organized themselves into the self-proclaimed “Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic” and are seeking recognition from the Kremlin. An original report appears at the Russian-language Communists of St. Petersburg website, while state-run Novosti features an English-language report, below.

Northeast Estonia is home to many ethnic Russians, while one quarter of the country’s total population is Russian. The prime minister of Estonia, Andrus Ansip, is an “ex”-CPSU cadre. While many cyberpundits regard the move as a stunt, someone higher up in the neo-Soviet leadership might be trying to set a precedent for the future reorgnization of the Soviet Union. If more farms or communities join ESSR Version 2.0, then it will be a development worth tracking.

The “president” of the revived ESSR, Andreas Tamm, is pictured above (left). “We no longer want to live in bourgeois Estonia, where nobody cares about the common people…with raging unemployment and corruption, and where everything depends on NATO and the Americans,” Tamm is quoted as saying by the St. Petersburg communist group. Note the firearms, including rifle-wielding woman and Tamm, sporting pistol in belt. These are not armchair communists but serious revolutionaries. The first link above shows several photos of armed and angry reds.

Two Estonian farms establish ‘Soviet republic,’ seek recognition
16:2603/ 09/ 2008

ST. PETERSBURG, September 3 (RIA Novosti) – Two farms in north-east Estonia have joined forces to declare an independent “Soviet republic” and intend to seek Russia’s recognition, a Russian communist organization said on Wednesday.

“We no longer want to live in bourgeois Estonia, where nobody cares about the common people…with raging unemployment and corruption, and where everything depends on NATO and the Americans,” Russian communists from St Petersburg, who are assisting the ‘republic,’ quoted its founder, Andres Tamm, as saying.

Residents and founders of the ‘Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic’ have already formed a national ‘Soviet government,’ a police force, and have begun demarcating the state’s borders.

Meanwhile, residents of the republic claim that the “bourgeois” Estonian government has sent a “squad of relatives of Estonian Nazi SS veterans” to regain control over the breakaway territory.

The republic is currently drafting a treaty of friendship with Russia to be submitted to the Russian president in the next few days.

Estonia is a former Soviet republic and a current member of both NATO and the EU.

>Gray Terror File: Anarchist group "RNC Welcoming Cmte" planned disruptions, kidnappings at Republicans’ Saint Paul convention; 5 ringleaders arrested

>The US revolutionary left, MSM reports reveal, was determined to act as proxies for the Moscow Leninists by disrupting the Republican National Convention, wrapping up today in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The self-described anarchist grouping “RNC Welcoming Committee” intended to apply “direct action techniques,” such as kidnapping delegates and sabotaging the hosting venue, the Xcel Energy Center, by blocking the perimeter air vent. The Star-Tribune.com reports, too, that “A 23-year-old Michigan man allegedly plotted to set off a homemade bomb in the tunnels near the Xcel Energy Center, hoping it would cause a power outage and lead officials to call off the Republican National Convention, according to charges filed in federal court in Minneapolis.” Four other RNC-WC ringleaders have been arrested by police. Pictured above: The Republican Party’s presidential nominee US Senator John McCain stands with colleagues Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham on Day 4 of the RNC.

Search warrant filing details anarchists’ RNC disruption plans
By Associated Press

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

MINNEAPOLIS – Sabotaging the Xcel Energy Center or the Downtown St. Paul Airport. Leaving stalled vehicles and stretching metal chains across freeways. Even kidnapping delegates. All were tactics discussed by anarchists as ways to disrupt the Republican National Convention, according to police documents.

Groups planning to disrupt this week’s convention also held an “action camp” in Minnesota this summer to teach “direct action techniques” using mock Molotov cocktails and a simulated RNC delegate vehicle that was targeted for rocks and tire-slashing, the documents say, citing information gathered by undercover investigators.

The information is contained in a search warrant application and supporting affidavit obtained by news organizations.

The documents show that for just over a year, the Ramsey County sheriff’s office and other law enforcement agencies had been investigating the RNC Welcoming Committee, a self-described anarchist group. The group had been planning convention disruptions for months.

Investigators identified six leaders of the Welcoming Committee, all Minneapolis residents, who they alleged were particularly active in organizing efforts and in stockpiling materials. Five were arrested last weekend when authorities executed the search warrant.

After nearly 300 people were arrested Monday during violent clashes with police that erupted after a peaceful protest in St. Paul, the RNC Welcoming Committee claimed in an e-mail that “the idea of business as usual during the RNC has been shattered.”

In an apparent reference to the search warrant, the group said in an e-mail late Tuesday night to members: “You may have seen reports in the corporate media about the informants inside the RNC-WC by now. Remember that our movement is strong, and getting stronger.”

According to the documents, police found that membership in the RNC Welcoming Committee fluctuated between 30 and 35 people who attended more than 100 meetings over the past year.

An undercover investigator and two confidential informants posed as members of the RNC Welcoming Committee. Investigators also viewed the group’s Web site — http://www.nornc.org — and videos posted on YouTube.

The documents say the RNC Welcoming Committee advocated a “three-tier” strategy for shutting down the Republican convention that consisted of blockading the downtown Xcel Energy Center, site of the convention; immobilizing delegates’ transportation; and blocking connecting bridges.

The RNC Welcoming Committee organized two major gatherings of anarchists and anti-authoritarians in the past year, the documents say — a meeting from Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2007, that drew 150 to 200 people and a meeting on May 3, 2008, attended by more than 100 people representing about 40 organizing bodies from across the U.S.

During the 2007 meeting, one of the informants reported, a workshop was held at which ideas were discussed for shutting down the Republican convention, including kidnapping delegates and sabotaging the Xcel Center by blockading the perimeter air vent.

According to the documents, the RNC Welcoming Committee and Unconventional Action Midwest hosted an “action camp” from July 31-Aug. 3, 2008, at Lake Geneva in Minnesota, attended by about 50 people from across the U.S. An informant said a raised platform stage labeled “Xcel Center” was the target of most of the training.

At the camp, someone discussed using large street puppets to conceal and transport Molotov cocktails, bricks and shields, and using the puppets’ large bamboo poles as spears to drive back police.

Source: BostonHerald.com

The RNC-WC website reveals that various anarchist cells, chapters of the revitalized Students for a Democratic Society, the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement, Industrial Workers of the World, militant sodomites and environmentalists, and assorted ideological counterparts endorsed the failed assault on the RNC:

ACTIVATE (Grand Rapids, MI Students for a Democratic Society – SDS)
Anarchist Black Cross Para-Legal Services
Animas SDS (Colorado)
Anti-Authoritarians Anonymous (Milwaukee)
Asheville Rising Tide
Athens, OH SDS
Attentat Collective
Bash Back!
Brainerd Anarchists
Campus Anti-war Network
Chicago Anarchist Black Cross
CrimethInc. Far East
Delaware SDS
End to Apathy
Frederick Progressive Action Coalition
HammerHard MediaWorks
Industrial Workers of the World – NYC GMB Branch
International Solidarity Movement – Chicago Chapter
Iowa Organizing Against the RNC
MKE to RNC
Milwaukee Anarchist Black Cross
Milwaukee Anti-Racist Action
NC State SDS
Northeast Anarchist Network
Northwest Indiana Anarchist Black Cross
People’s Networking Convention Organizing Committee
Potomac Earth First!
Queer Action Network
Rising Tide North America
RNC Welcoming Committee
Rolling Thunder magazine
Sabot Infosquat
Shepherdstown Progressive Action Committee
Tacoma SDS – UPS Chapter
Talking Tree Infoshop
Tuscarora High SDS
UA Central NC
UA in the Bay
UCLA SDS
Unconventional Denver

Amusingly (or not so), the RNC-WC offered childcare for its wannabe terrorists and party crashers.

>WW4 File: Fourth World War enters "Sitzkrieg" phase as Soviets, NATO assess other’s resolve; putative rivals Russia, Ukraine hold concurrent wargames

>FOURTH WORLD WAR HIGHLIGHTS: CAUCASUS THEATER

- August 26: Russian Communist Leader Zyuganov Calls for Annihilation of Saakashvili Regime

- August 30: Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: More than 900 Russian Soldiers Manning 23 Illegal Checkpoints “Deep” in Country

- September 2: Putin Declares: “There are no Russian troops on Georgian soil – there are only peacekeeping forces”


- September 2: Putin Promises “Measured Response” to NATO’s Naval Presence in Black Sea, West’s Humanitarian Aid to Georgia


- September 3: US Vice President Dick Cheney Visits Baku, Tbilisi, Condemns Russian Invasion of Georgia; Strongly Backs Georgia’s NATO Bid: “Georgia will be in our alliance”

- September 3: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Announces $1 Billion Aid Package for Georgia, Sans Military Assistance

- September 4: Ruling Orange Coalition in Kiev Disintegrates as Prime Minister Tymoshenko Bids Farewell to “Pro”-Georgian President Yushchenko, Sidles Up to Ukraine’s Pro-Russian Fifth Column

Pictured above: US Vice President Dick Cheney and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili speak to US Air Force personnell as they inspect humanitarian aid at an airport in Tbilisi earlier today.

On August 8, 2008 the Fourth World War began with the Soviet re-invasion and partial occupation of Georgia. Once again, like the deceptive “Phoney War” or “Sitzkrieg” between Germany’s invasion of Poland in September 1939 and France in May 1940, the brief hot war in the Caucasus has subsided. Make no mistake about it, neo-Soviet Russia and NATO are effectively in a state of war over this issue, although the conflict has yet to be characterized as such in the MSM or by most Western analysts.

Like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, notwithstanding some reports to the contrary, the Collective Security Treaty Organization has obediently closed ranks around Russia’s invasion of Georgia, reports state-run Voice of Russia:

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states have supported Russia’s active role in promoting peace and cooperation in the Caucasus and called for maintaining lasting security in South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the international law basis. A statement to this effect was made during a meeting of the Council of the CSTO member states Foreign Ministers in Moscow on Thursday. The CSTO includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Commenting on the ministerial meeting later in the day, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, was quite upbeat about its results.

To date Russia has yet to withdraw all of its troops from Georgia proper or Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Instead, the Kremlin insists that Tbilisi sign a non-aggression pact with Moscow, in addition to accepting the deployment of international peace monitors, a process that has already begun. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe disclosed today that its officers were for the first time patrolling a buffer zone between Russian and Georgian troops, 2.5 miles from the bombed-out South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali.

The White House is talking tough with respect to Russia’s military campaign against the “former” Soviet republic. Today US Vice President Dick Cheney visited Tbilisi, conveying in person to President Mikhail Saakashvili, Washington’s promise of a US$1 billion aid package to rebuild the Georgian economy, a package that does not apparently include military assistance, contrary to Kremlin hysteria. “Russia’s actions have cast grave doubt on Russia’s intentions and on its reliability as an international partner, not just in Georgia but across this region and indeed across the international system,” Cheney stated, adding: “After your nation won its freedom in the Rose Revolution, America came to the aid of this courageous young democracy. We are doing so again as you work to overcome an invasion of your sovereign territory and an illegitimate, unilateral attempt to change your country’s borders by force that has been universally condemned by the free world.” VP Cheney also strongly backed Georgia’s NATO bid: “As the current members of NATO declared at a summit in Bucharest, Georgia will be in our alliance.”

According to Pavel Felgenhauer, writing for the Eurasian Daily Monitor on August 25, a “party of war” in the Kremlin is seeking to pressure “President” Dmitry Medvedev into unleashing the Russian armed forces to affect the total subjugation of Georgia and Ukraine:

[P]residential adviser Gleb Pavlovsky has said in a radio interview that there is a “party of war” inside the Kremlin – a group of high officials that are pressing for a direct attack on Tbilisi to overthrow the Georgian government. Pavlovsky states the alleged “party of war” wants to use the conflict with Georgia to undermine President Dmitry Medvedev’s plans of modernize Russia, that “they say we must go further than Tbilisi,” apparently indicating possible plans of further military action to subdue other pro-Western Russian neighboring nations like Ukraine. Pavlovsky stated that by signing a ceasefire agreement brokered by Sarkozy, Medvedev has defeated the “party of war.”

Contrary to Felgenhauer’s assessment, the Kremlin’s “party of war” has not been outmaneuvered but, rather, represents the controlling force in neo-Soviet politics. Soviet Komsomol graduate Medvedev is a puppet for Russia’s KGB-communist dictator, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who, in turn, is a frontman for the continuing Communist Party of the Russian Federation/Soviet Union. CPRF Chairman Gennady Zyuganov and August 1991 coup ringleader Oleg Shenin, we believe, are the powers behind the throne in Moscow. On August 26, following pleas for recognition from visiting Abkhazian “President” Sergei Bagapsh and South Ossetian “President” Eduard Kokoity, Zyuganov addressed the Russian State Duma with the following tirade against Georgia and the “Saakashvilists”:

This is test of our resolve, Comrades! Today, the will of all of Russia is needed, of all the parties, to understand, perceive the substance of the processes occurring and to act as a united team. Recognition alone is not enough. We have to conclude the appropriate treaties immediately that will guarantee the security of those republics. It is regrettable that Russian forces did not bring the affair to a close. We should have bombed the entire military infrastructure of the Saakashvilists so that it could not be restored. The Russian president should call an urgent closed meeting of the [Russian] Security Council and discuss everything connected with national security.

The Soviet communists want war with Komsomol “drop out” Mikhail Saakashvili because they want war with the West, notwithstanding all of their cunning attempts to simultaneously pursue peaceful East-West convergence. Putin has already declared that Russia will offer a “measured response” to NATO’s naval fleet in the Black Sea, which is escorting humanitarian aid to Georgia but which the Moscow Leninists insist is really a cover for weapons shipments, as well as demanding an arms embargo against Georgia. “Our response will be calm, not hysterical, but there will definitely be a response,” Putin warned, hiding his hatred for the Western Alliance behind diplomatic language. With typical communist doublespeak, Russia’s prime minister insisted two days ago that “There are no Russian troops on Georgian soil [including Poti] – there are only peacekeeping forces.” According to the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs blog, however, as of August 30 more than 900 Russian troops are maintaining 23 illegal checkpoints “deep within sovereign Georgian territory”:

The Russian Army has illegally established 23 checkpoints deep within sovereign Georgian territory, contravening the six-point ceasefire agreement brokered by France. Twelve of the checkpoints are located in central Georgia and eleven in western Georgia. There are an estimated 970 Russian soldiers and 73 heavily armored vehicles stationed at these checkpoints. Armored patrols are dispatched regularly from the checkpoints into surrounding towns and villages. Additionally there are an estimated 10 000 Russian soldiers in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region.

Pictured above: Russian peacekeepers man an illegal checkpoint near the western Georgian village of Khobi earlier today.

Meanwhile, the neo-Soviet leadership, having discovered the Western Alliance’s lack of resolve to stand up to the Kremlin’s aggression, are preparing for the next stage of the Fourth World War in full view of the West, but no one in the Pentagon or NATO command in Brussels has the strategic foresight to see that Georgia is not the prize. Global communist domination is the goal. State-run Novosti reports: “Russia is currently holding large-scale Ground Forces’ exercises, dubbed Center-2008, involving 12,000 troops, over 1,000 armored vehicles, large numbers of other military vehicles and units of the 5th Air and Air Defense Army on the territory of the Volga-Urals military district. The exercises started on September 1 and will run through September 27.” According to the same source, the war game’s “main purpose is to practice the interoperability of the Air Force and the Ground Forces in local conflicts and anti-terrorism operations.”

Air Force to participate in large-scale exercises in central Russia
16:56 03/ 09/ 2008

MOSCOW, September 3 (RIA Novosti) – Over 60 combat aircraft will participate on September 8-13 in exercises that are part of theater-level military maneuvers in central Russia, an Air Force spokesman said on Wednesday.

Russia is currently holding large-scale Ground Forces’ exercises, dubbed Center-2008, involving 12,000 troops, over 1,000 armored vehicles, large numbers of other military vehicles and units of the 5th Air and Air Defense Army on the territory of the Volga-Urals military district. The exercises started on September 1 and will run through September 27.

“The air component of the exercise will involve over 60 aircraft, including Il-76MD Candid-B transport planes, Su-24 Fencer attack aircraft, Su-27 Flanker fighters, MiG-31 Foxhound interceptors, Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters, Mi-8 Hip multi-role helicopters and special-purpose aircraft,” Lt. Col. Vladimir Brik said.

Various air defense and electronic warfare units will also take part in the exercise, whose main purpose is to practice the interoperability of the Air Force and the Ground Forces in local conflicts and anti-terrorism operations.

The Russian Navy is also again testing new electronic warfare gear aboard its Tu-142 Bear-F maritime reconnaissance aircraft over the Barents and Laptev Seas. The Tu-142 is the surveillance version of the ALCM-capable Tu-95 Bear bomber. Novosti is candid about the purpose of these tests: “Russia has recently stepped up regular patrols over the Arctic and said it may soon shift the focus of its military strategy toward the northern latitudes in order to protect its national interests in the Arctic, especially on its continental shelf, which may contain large deposits of oil and natural gas.”

Russian Navy aircraft test new equipment over the Arctic
12:59 04/ 09/ 2008

MURMANSK, September 4 (RIA Novosti) – Tu-142MK aircraft from Russia’s Northern Fleet conducted on September 2-3 reconnaissance flights over the Barents and Laptev seas and successfully tested new electronic on-board equipment, the fleet’s press service said Thursday.

Tu-142 Bear-F is the maritime reconnaissance/strike version of the Tu-95 Bear strategic bomber, designed mainly for anti-submarine warfare.

“The tests of new on-board electronic equipment and weapons-control systems showed their high effectiveness,” the press service said in a statement.

The flights have been conducted strictly in accordance with international agreements and the norms of international law, the statement said.

Russia has recently stepped up regular patrols over the Arctic and said it may soon shift the focus of its military strategy toward the northern latitudes in order to protect its national interests in the Arctic, especially on its continental shelf, which may contain large deposits of oil and natural gas.

Following Russia’s threats and propaganda against the potemkin, “pro”-Western regime in Kiev, which last month responded to Georgia’s plight by requiring Russian warships to notify Ukrainian authorities of their arrivals and departures at Sevastopol, the Ukrainian military is also conducting “large-scale” air defense exercises. Novosti reports that “the drills will involve about 350 air defense systems, including S-300, Buk-M1, Osa and Tunguska, and up to 30 combat aircraft.” A source in the Ukrainian Navy explained that troops will practice both an amphibious assault landing and air assault operation, as well as live firing drills, involving naval and ground support aircraft, at the Opuk training range in the Crimea.

Ukraine to hold air defense drills with live firing in September
16:38 04/ 09/ 2008

SEVASTOPOL, September 4 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine is planning to conduct large-scale air defense exercises with live firing on the Crimean peninsula at the end of September, a Ukrainian navy source said on Thursday.
The exercises are part of a practical stage of the Sea Knot-2008 command-and-staff maneuvers that began in spring and involve units from all branches of the Ukrainian armed forces.

The drills will involve about 350 air defense systems, including S-300, Buk-M1, Osa and Tunguska, and up to 30 combat aircraft.

“In addition, the troops will practice an amphibious assault landing, an air assault operation and live firing drills involving naval and ground support aircraft at the Opuk training range in the Crimea,” the source said.

The Crimea, which has a predominantly Russian-speaking population, has been the focus of frequent disputes between the Russian and Ukrainian leaders, over the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s lease of the Soviet-era Sevastopol naval base.

During the recent conflict between Russia and Georgia that followed Tbilisi’s August 8 offensive in breakaway South Ossetia, Ukraine threatened to bar entry to vessels from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet that had been deployed near Georgia’s coast.

Kiev’s feuding political players Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and President Viktor Yushchenko, both of whom are connected to the old Soviet regime, are no doubt privy to and cooperating with Moscow’s long-range deception strategy. Therefore, while Sea Knot-2008 appears to be an attempt by Ukraine to prepare for its own potential Russian invasion, Ukraine’s war games could just as easily represent a separate but concurrent action by the neo-Soviet leadership to prepare for war against the West.

The instability of Ukraine’s post-Kuchma governments was once again demonstrated today when the Tymoshenko Bloc bolted from the ruling coalition, represented by Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine Bloc, and (at least openly) joined the camp of former prime minister Viktor Yanukovich, an “ex”-CPSU cadre who backs Russia’s recognition of Abkhazian and South Ossetian “independence.” Novosti explains that “Relations between President Viktor Yushchenko and Tymoshenko have become strained recently after the prime minister failed to condemn Russia’s actions in the conflict in South Ossetia, and back the president in his support for Georgia. Tymoshenko’s “new-found” relationship with Yanukovich (both pictured above in December 2007) comes as no surprise to those Kremlinologists who subscribe to the Golitsynian thesis: Ukraine’s current PM is a Soviet Komsomol graduate, like Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev and Saakashvili himself.

>Latin America File: Neo-Sandinista Nicaragua becomes first foreign state to join Russia, Hamas in recognizing Abkhazian, South Ossetian "independence"

>The neo-Soviet leadership’s top toady in Central America, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, has joined Russia and Hamas– the terrorist group that illegally controls the Gaza Strip and has threatened to take over the West Bank–in recognizing Abkhazian and South Ossetian independence. “Political hegemonies are trying to surround Russia and investing millions of dollars through NATO to build a military fence against Russia,” Comrade Dan ranted.

Although Nicaragua is a member of the US-led Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement, the neo-Sandinista regime’s recognition of the de facto independence of Georgia’s separatist regions is a slap in the face to the White House, which openly and generously supports the regime of President Mikhail Saakashvili. In short, the Bush Admin has not only aggravated the Soviet Bear in its own “backyard,” the Caucasus, but it has also dropped the ball in the USA’s backyard, Latin America.

Pictured above: A supporter of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya displays a banner with mugshots of Cuba’s retired communist dictator Fidel Castro, Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez, Ortega, and Bolivia’s communist wanna-be dictator Evo Morales. Honduras officially joined the Havana-Caracas-led Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) at a ceremony in Tegucigalpa, on August 25. The banner reads in Spanish: “We stand firm with ALBA.” Latin America’s Red Axis also stands firm with the Moscow Leninists.

Nicaragua recognizes Georgian regions after Russia
September 4, 2008

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega was the first foreign leader to recognize the independence of rebel Georgian regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia after Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev, local media reported Wednesday.

The president of the Central American country, himself a former rebel, also lent his support to Russia, which recognized the regions independence on August 26.

Nicaragua “recognizes the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia” decreed by their respective parliaments in August, Ortega said Tuesday evening during ceremonies for the 29th anniversary of the army, newspaper reports said.

Nicaragua also completely supports “the Russian government’s position, which seeks a dialogue with European countries to end this conflict,” he added.

On Monday, European leaders decided to suspend talks with Moscow on a new EU-Russia partnership pact until Russian troops pull back to the positions they held before the outbreak of fighting in Georgia.

Russia sent tanks and troops into Georgia on August 8, a day after Tbilisi launched an offensive to regain control of breakaway South Ossetia.

Moscow halted its offensive after five days but refused to withdraw all its troops, saying they are on a peacekeeping mission. Georgia has labeled them an occupation force.

Ortega also slammed “political hegemonies” that he said were “trying to surround Russia” and investing millions of dollars through NATO to “build a military fence against Russia.”

Source: Hurriyet.com

We are still waiting for Comandante Ortega to make his first post-Cold War era pilgrimage to Moscow. A trip was announced in April 2007 but was apparently scuttled. We are also waiting for the first shipment of “post”-Soviet Russian military hardware to arrive in Nicaragua, a package that was promised by Vladimir Putin’s personal envoy to Managua, Sergei Stepashin, on the very day of Ortega’s re-inauguration in January 2007. Managua is strapped for cash so Moscow will no doubt facilitate some other transaction that will justify the re-outfitting of the Sandinista-controlled Nicaraguan armed forces.

>Event Convergence Alert: Russia suspends natural gas deliveries to Europe, Egypt to Israel

>September 1: Gazprom suspends natural gas deliveries to Europe due to “repairs”

Excerpt: “A spokeswoman for the Polish Economy Ministry, Agnieszka Gapys, confirmed that the repairs were scheduled to go ahead and had nothing to do with the current tensions between Moscow and many European Union countries over Russia’s conflict with Georgia.”

September 3: Egypt halts gas supply to Israel on August 29, flow yet to resume

Excerpt: “Sources in Israel’s energy market say that Egypt simply doesn’t have the production capacity to supply its own consumption of gas and its contractual obligations to clients.”

>Latin America File: Honduras formally joins Havana-Caracas Axis, embraces Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas; snubs DR-CAFTA, US troop presence

>After many months of patiently wooing President Manuel Zelaya with petrodollars, Venzuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez and Nicaragua’s neo-Sandinista strongman Daniel Ortega have formally welcomed Honduras into the Havana-Caracas Axis, otherwise known as the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas. “Our decades-long relationship of dominance by the United States has not benefited all Hondurans,” Zelaya lamented, adding: “The war between [Latin America's] communists and right-wingers is over, and if what we have now is not giving results, we have to turn to alternatives like ALBA.” Ortega, Chavez, and Zelaya are pictured above in Tegucigalpa on August 25.

Honduras’ membership in the US-led Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement, and the presence of US troops in his country apparently did not dissuade Zelaya from linking up with the region’s most troublesome Marxist regimes. “Honduran businessmen are against Zelaya’s move,” Reuters reports below, “afraid it will hurt relations with the United States, the country’s principal trading partner.” The political-economic-social pact known as ALBA also includes Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Dominica.

Left behind by the U.S., Honduras turns to Chavez
Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:12pm EDT
By Gustavo Palencia and Anahi Rama

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – Honduras, a longtime ally of the United States in Central America, says a lack of international support to tackle chronic poverty has forced it to seek aid from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

On Monday, Honduras joined the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, or ALBA, an alliance of leftist leaders in Latin America headed by Chavez, a staunch U.S. foe.

President Manuel Zelaya, a logging magnate seen as a moderate liberal, told Reuters that oil-rich Venezuela’s offer to double international aid to the country, one of the poorest in Latin America, is unrivaled.

“I have been looking for projects from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, Europe and I have received very moderate offers … that forces us to find other forms of financing like ALBA,” Zelaya said in an interview at his presidential palace.

Chavez, a self-styled socialist who wants to build up opposition to U.S. influence in Latin America by offering oil and cash to poor countries, pledged $400 million a year in aid to tiny Honduras.

In a suit and cowboy boots, Zelaya spoke just hours after Chavez, flanked by other Latin American leftist leaders, told a cheering crowd of thousands on Monday that Honduras would have energy security “for the next 100 years.”

Honduras was a Cold War ally of the United States and allowed U.S.-backed “Contra” rebels from Nicaragua to operate from its soil in the 1980s. Honduras still hosts U.S. troops at one of its military bases.

“Our decades-long relationship of dominance by the United States has not benefited all Hondurans,” Zelaya said.

“The war between communists and right-wingers is over, and if what we have now is not giving results, we have to turn to alternatives like ALBA,” which also includes Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Dominica, he said.

Honduran businessmen are against Zelaya’s move, afraid it will hurt relations with the United States, the country’s principal trading partner.

Honduras is a member of a free trade pact between Central America and the United States, and sends the bulk of its coffee, bananas and manufactured goods exports to the U.S. market.

Thus, while US policymakers are distracted by the Russian invasion of Georgia and the US electorate is mesmerized by daily doses of Obama worship served up by the MSM, Latin America’s Red Axis continues to consolidate its power throughout the Western Hemisphere and isolate Washington from its few allies like Mexico and Colombia.

>End Times File: Rapture of the church, Daniel’s 70th week, Ezekiel’s Magog invasion of Israel approaching as Russia builds case to attack Jewish state

>And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
Ezekiel 38:1-6

The end of the present age is rapidly approaching. Tragically, hundreds of millions of people are not spiritually prepared for the cataclysmic events that will unfold during the Great Tribulation prophesied by Jesus Christ, His apostles, and the Hebrew prophets. The truthfulness of Holy Scripture is more evident than ever in light of Russia’s invasion of Georgia. During the Cold War the Kremlin supported Israel’s enemies, but now Russia, along with its Middle Eastern allies like Syria and Iran, is building a case to directly attack Israel, which has armed the “former” Soviet republic of Georgia.

Pictured above: Soviet Tyrant Joseph Stalin and his disciple, Russia’s present KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin. Is Putin Gog, the leader of the land of Magog, predicted by the prophet Ezekiel to lead a massive military coalition against Israel in the last days? The military coalition, according to Ezekiel, will be led by Magog (Russia) in alliance with Turkey (Togarmah), Persia (Iran), Libya, Ethiopia, and other Middle Eastern states. The previous link considers several interpretations of Gog and Magog’s identity with various modern nations. Intriguingly, as we have posted before, Caucasus means “Gog’s Fortress,” while Magog was a grandson of Noah. All of these countries, it should be observed, are in the early twenty-first century closely allied with Moscow, while Turkey, which is technically a member of NATO, has cozied up to Russia since the Georgian invasion.

The attack, explains Ezekiel, will take place during a period of false peace after the Jews are restored to their land, which occurred in 1948. Prophetically, the only time (apart from the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ) when the Jews are living peacefully in their land is during the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week (D70W), postponed since the crucifixion of Jesus.

It is not with any glee that we relate the horrific times ahead for Israel and the world. However, according to Bible prophecy the following sequence of events are very possibly only weeks or months away and will startle the world when they transpire:

  1. the “signless” rapture (catching away) of the church, or the physical and instant translation of all born-again, Bible believers to heaven (1 Thessalonians 4); this event will not be so “secret” as some detractors have suggested, in view of the millions of Christians (including your resident blogger) that will suddenly disappear one day;
  2. the seven-year covenant that the leader of the revived Roman Empire, otherwise known as the Antichrist (probably the President of the European Union-Mediterranean Union), will broker, ratify, or confirm, between Israel and her Islamic enemies in order to establish a brief but false peace;
  3. the annihilation of Damascus, the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world, most likely by an Israeli nuclear weapon (Isaiah 17); this event will shatter the false peace established by the Antichrist; and
  4. the Gog-Magog invasion of Israel and the supernatural destruction of the invading armies from Russia and the Muslim states, which events will probably occur after Israel nukes Damascus since the Jews will require seven years to dispose of their enemies’ weapons, a task that cannot obviously continue into Christ’s thousand-year reign of peace.

Some Christians and skeptics might question such an interpretation of Bible prophecy and ask why Russia would directly attack Israel. In reality Israeli and Jewish involvement in “post”-Soviet Georgia is a significant, although under-reported facet of the current Caucasian War and the West’s staredown with Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program. Consider the following facts, which constitute the “hook in the jaws” that God will use to “pull” Magog to its destruction on the mountains of Israel. In analyzing current events in the light of Bible prophecy, allow God to increase your respect for His written word:

  1. On August 10 Israeli journalist Arie Egozi wrote: “For past seven years, Israeli companies have been helping Gerogian army to preparer for war against Russia through arms deals, training of infantry units and security advice.” The military equipment that Israel has sold to Georgia includes unmanned aerial vehicles, of which Russia shot down one over Abkhazia in April and South Ossetian separatists another on August 28. The Kremlin has objected strenuously to Georgia’s acquisition of Israeli reconnaissance drones.
  2. Jews hold important posts in the Georgian government, a fact that provided Israeli arms manufacturers a conduit to supply the Georgian military. Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili, for example, is a former Israeli citizen who facilitated Georgia’s acquisition of Israeli arms and aerial drones with US approval. “His door was always open to the Israelis who came and offered his country arms systems made in Israel,” a source revealed to YnetNews.com, above, and continued: “Compared to countries in Eastern Europe, the deals in this country were conducted fast, mainly due to the defense minister’s personal involvement,” another source related to the Israeli media outlet.” Another source in the Georgian Defense Ministry stated: “It was clear that too many unmistakable Israeli systems in the possesion of the Georgian army would be like a red cloth in the face of a raging bull as far as Russia is concerned.”
  3. Minister of Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili is also Jewish. This ministerial portfolio is tasked with reintegrating Abkhazia and South Ossetia into the Georgian political system. One day after the Russian invasion Yakobashvili was quoted as saying: “Israel should be proud of its military which trained Georgian soldiers. We are now in a fight against the great Russia and our hope is to receive assistance from the White House because Georgia cannot survive on its own.”
  4. Two days after the Russian invasion, Arutz Sheva revealed that: “Russia bombed a Georgian military plant in which Israeli experts are upgrading jet fighters for the Georgian military. According to NFC, the bombing was a ‘sharp message’ to Israel. A Russian fighter jet bombed runways inside the plant, which is located near Tbilisi. Israeli security firm Elbit is in charge of upgrading Georgian SU-25 jets at the plant. Israel announced its intent to cease its military aid for Georgia Sunday, after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov threatened to ‘punish’ those who train and arm Georgian forces.”
  5. Yesterday UPI Editor at Large Arnaud de Borchgrave disclosed that a a secret agreement between Israel and Georgia permitted Israeli fighter-bombers to utilize two air force bases in southern Georgia in the event that Tel Aviv decided to launch attacks against Iranian nuclear installations. This arrangement would eliminate the IAF’s need to traverse Syrian, Jordanian, or Iraqi airspace to reach its targets. Instead, Israeli warplanes based in “pro”-NATO Georgia need only traverse the airspace of Turkey, a NATO member, to hit targets in Iran. “The Tel Aviv-Tbilisi military axis,” de Borchgrave explains, “was agreed at the highest levels with the approval of the Bush administration.” He contends, furthermore, that “The attack ordered by Saakashvili against South Ossetia the night of Aug. 7 provided the Russians the pretext for Moscow to order Special Forces to raid these Israeli facilities where some Israeli drones were reported captured.”
  6. The same day Haaretz revealed that Israel has substantial financial investements in the Georgian economy: “The Israeli-Georgia connection is estimated to be worth $1 billion, according to a former Georgian ambassador to Israel. The Jewish state and private investors have provided military assistance and advisors to Georgia, where pipelines pump oil destined for Israel. A new pipeline is being built to bypass Russian territory.”
  7. On August 13 Haaretz reported that in the week following the Russian invasion El Al flew 200 Israelis out of Tbilisi, bound for Ben Gurion Airport. Among the passengers were 30 new immigrants, making aliyah from Georgia’s 12,000-member Jewish community. The Israeli media quoted Israeli Army Radio as saying “that over the past few days, approximately 60 Jewish families in Georgia have approached Jewish Agency representatives, who are traveling between the cities under bombardment, and asked for help in moving to Israel.”

Russia’s determination to punish Israel for supporting Georgia has been vocalized at the highest levels of the neo-Soviet leadership. On August 24, Debkafile reported, the Russian General Staff openly accused Israel of supplying weapons to the regime of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili who, from the perspective of those who take a dubious view of the “collapse” of Soviet communism in 1991, boasts troubling links to the old Soviet regime. “Moscow’s planned retaliation for America’s missile interceptors in Poland and US-Israeli military aid to Georgia,” the Israeli intelligence source contends, “may come in the form of Iskandar surface missiles installed in Syria and its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad.”

Moscow accuses Israel of arming Georgia – day before Assad arrives for big arms purchases
DEBKAfile Special Report
August 24, 2008, 9:48 AM (GMT+02:00)

The timing was precise. Tuesday, Aug. 19, the Russian Deputy Chief of General Staff Col.-Gen. Anatoly Nagovitsyn accused Israel at a Moscow news conference of arming and training the Georgian military.

Wednesday, Syrian president Bashar Assad arrives in the Russian capital for a two-day visit during which the Kremlin fully expects him to exploit the storm clouds blowing in from Georgia over Russian relations with the West to press for sophisticated weapons systems not so far released by Moscow.

On Aug. 17, DEBKAfile military sources reported Moscow’s planned retaliation for America’s missile interceptors in Poland and US-Israeli military aid to Georgia may come in the form of Iskandar surface missiles installed in Syria and its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad.

Russian Baltic and Middle East warships, submarines and long-range bombers may be armed with nuclear warheads.

One plan on the table in Moscow to punish Israel, DEBKAfile’s sources report, is the establishment of big Russian military, naval and air bases in Syria and the release of advanced weapons systems withheld until now from Iran (the S-300 air-missile defense system) and Syria (the nuclear-capable 200 km-range Iskandar surface missile).

To prepare the ground, Gen. Nagovitsyn charged Israel with arming the Georgian military with mines, explosive charges, special explosives for clearing minefields and “eight kinds of unmanned aerial vehicles.”

He added: “In 2007, Israeli experts trained Georgian commandos in Georgia and planned to supply Tbilisi heavy weaponry, electronic weapons, tanks and other arms at a later date, but the deal didn’t work out,” he said without explaining why.

Nagovitsyn also said that Russian soldiers had detained 20 mercenaries near the Georgian city of Poti, including three Arabs, all wearing Georgian army uniforms.

To provide teeth to its charges against US and Israeli “meddling” in Russia’s backyard, the Caucasus Mountains region, on August 18 the Russian Navy dispatched the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, the missile cruiser Moskva, and at least four nuclear missile submarines to the Syrian port of Tartus. Moscow and Damascus have maintained a “tight” relationship since the Cold War. “Before the Russian flotilla departed Murmansk,” Debkafile asserts, “[Syrian President Bashar] Assad is reported by our sources as having given the nod for Tartus port’s conversion into a permanent Middle East base for Russia’s nuclear-armed warships.” Russian Navy chief Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky announced on August 24 that his warships in the Mediterranean Sea “have been placed under the command of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.” The same source notes that “Assad’s arrival [in Sochi on August 21] coincided with a visit by a large Syrian military delegation Thursday at the Russian weapons manufacturing giant, the Kalinin Machines Plant . . .”

Big Russian flotilla led by Admiral Kuznetsov carrier heads for Syrian port
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
August 26, 2008, 9:21 AM (GMT+02:00)

As the West awaits Moscow’s threatened reprisal for the treaty installing American missile interceptors at Redzikowo, on Poland’s Baltic coast – signed in Warsaw Wednesday – the Kremlin is striking back in the Middle East – hence Russian president Dimitry Medvedev’s honeyed words of reassurance to Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert in a call he made to Jerusalem Wednesday, Aug. 20.

DEBKAfile’s military sources disclose that a powerful Russian naval contingent, led by the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, left Murmansk on the Barents Sea Aug. 18 to dock at the Syrian Mediterranean port of Tartus Saturday, Aug. 23. It includes the Russian Navy’s biggest missile cruiser Moskva and at least four nuclear missile submarines.

At the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Syrian president Bashar Assad told reporters Thursday, Aug. 21, that he is considering a Russian request to deploy missiles in his country in view of Russian-Western tensions over the Georgian conflict, which he said had polarized East and West anew.

Assad signaled he would also be representing Tehran’s interests in his talks with Russian leaders. Jordan’s King Abdullah is on his way to join them later in the day.

Before the Russian flotilla departed Murmansk, Assad is reported by our sources as having given the nod for Tartus port’s conversion into a permanent Middle East base for Russia’s nuclear-armed warships.

Assad’s arrival coincided with a visit by a large Syrian military delegation Thursday at the Russian weapons manufacturing giant, the Kalinin Machines Plant, east of Moscow. DEBKAfile’s military sources report that this plant makes sophisticated anti-air missile systems, including the S-300 and the BUK M, for which Damascus is bidding.

The Syrian ruler has said he is seeking closer military cooperation with Russia. The deal emerging from his visit is expected to cover the Russian Navy’s use of Tartus in return for a mutual defense accord providing Syria with a Russian nuclear umbrella and generous terms for his arms purchases.

Aug. 17, DEBKAfile first revealed Russia’s planned nuclear military deployments in the Middle East and Baltic to punish America for its missile deal with Poland and Georgia’s attack in South Ossetia. They would included the installation of Iskandar surface missiles in Syria and Kaliningrad.

As Ezekiel predicted 2,500 years ago Magog is now poised to attack Israel from the north, an event that should prompt all Bible doubters to seriously consider the claims of Jesus Christ on their lives.

>WW4 File: Soviets gloat over Georgia occupation as EU, USA fail to counter Moscow’s aggression; Chavez invites Russian strategic bombers to Venezuela

>

The fact is that US citizens were indeed in the area in conflict during the hostilities. It should be admitted that they would do so only following direct orders from their leaders. If my guess is right, then it raises the suspicion that someone in the US specially created this conflict to worsen the situation and create an advantage in the competitive struggle for one of the candidates for the post of president of the United States.
– Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, CNN interview, August 28, 2008

We are not afraid of anything, including the prospect of a new Cold War.
– Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev, statement made on August 27, 2008

If NATO suddenly takes military actions against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, acting solely in support of Tbilisi, this will mean a declaration of war on Russia.
– Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s NATO envoy, August 27, 2008

Pictured above: Russian troops patrol the streets of Tskhinvali, the capital of Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia, earlier today.

CAUCASIAN WAR HIGHLIGHTS

- Kremlin Preparing Pretext for Total Occupation of Georgia:

1. Deputy Chief of Russian General Staff: Tbilisi Mobilizing Commando Units to Reassert Control over South Ossetia (source)

2. Medvedev: Saakashvili No Longer Legitimate President of Georgia (source)

3. Soviets Persist in Dragging Feet on Troop Withdrawal from Georgia Proper Nearly One Month After Invasion and Occupation

4. Unconfirmed August 26 Statement from Georgian President Saakashvili: Russian Artillery Has Advanced to Akhalgori Heights 10 Miles from Tbilisi (source)

5. Georgia Formally Severs Diplomatic Ties with Russia after Kremlin Recognizes Independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (source); Prime Minister Gurgenidze Signs Decree Ending Russian Peacekeeping Operation, Declaring Troops Occupiers (source)

6. Abkhazian “President” Sergei Bagapsh, South Ossetian “President” Eduard Kokoity: Breakaway Regions to Enter Military Cooperation Agreements with Russia (source, source)

- Kremlin’s Wrist Slapped: Gazprom-Dependent European Union Denounces Russia’s Partial Occupation of Georgia but Fails to Impose Threatened Sanctions

- Moscow’s NATO Envoy Dmitry Rogozin Warns that Russia Will Interpret Western Military Aid to Georgia as “Declaration of War”

- Russian General Valery Yevnevich Quoted on September 1: Russia Will Crush Any Enemy Supported by the USA or Europe

- Novosti Interviews Former Russian Naval Commander on August 29: Russia Could Destroy NATO’s 10-Ship Black Sea Fleet in “20 Minutes” (source)

- US Navy Destoyer McFaul Arrived at Port of Batumi with Humanitarian Aid for Georgians on August 24 (source); US Coast Guard Cutter Dallas Encounters anti-NATO Protests in Sevastopol, Ukraine on September 1 after Batumi Run (source)

- Russian Strategic Rocket Forces Fire RS-12M Topol ICBM from Plesetsk on August 28; Moscow’s Counter-Warning to Washington Follows August 13 Minuteman 3 Test-Launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base (source)

GEOPOLITICAL ALIGNMENT UPDATES

- Is Turkey Defecting from NATO? Prime Minister Taijip Erdogan Visits Moscow, Proposes Regional Security Pact to Include Turkey, Russia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan

- Shanghai Cooperation Organization Closes Ranks around Soviet Aggression in Georgia; China, Central Asian Republics Voice Support for Russian “Peacekeeping” Actions in Caucasus (source)

- Venezuela’s Communist Dictator Backs Soviet Occupation of Georgia, Moscow’s Recognition of Abkhazian and South Ossetian Independence, Praises Putin (source)

- Communist Bloc Outflanks NATO: Hugo Chavez Invites Russian Strategic Bombers and Navy to Use Venezuela as Base of Operations; Caracas to Buy Fighter Jets and Training Aircraft from Red China Following Russian Purchases

According to the MSM Russia began to withdraw its troops from Georgia proper on or around August 21, in compliance with a peace plan brokered by European Union President Nicolas Sarkozy five days after the Soviet invasion began on August 8. On that date Deutsche Welle reported: “Combat elements of Russia’s 58th Army were evacuating the vicinity of the north Georgian town Gori and would return to Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia over the next two days, a Russian army spokesman told the Interfax news agency on Thursday, Aug. 21.” However, elsewhere in Georgia proper, “Russian troops were digging in on the main road approach to the port of Poti, Georgia’s Rustaveli-2 television channel reported. Russian tanks and infantry were reportedly still holding the inland towns of Zugdidi and Senaki.” Furthermore, “Deputy Chief of the Russian military’s General Staff, Anatoly Nogovitsyn, said Thursday that Russia’s military had no plans to leave South Ossetia or the buffer zone around it.”

According to Russia’s EU envoy, below, Moscow will soon withdraw “hundreds” of troops from Georgia proper but provided no date for withdrawal, insisting that the redeployment depended on the EU’s timetable with respect to inserting into Georgia its promised team of international monitors on the ground. Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov, the same source notes, “was cautious about whether a planned EU monitoring mission of up to 200 observers for Georgia would be welcomed by Russia.” Somehow it is hard to visualize 200 EU peace monitors acting as an effective deterrent to Russia’s militaristic ambitions in the Caucasus Mountains region. As of September 2 at least 500 Russian troops are located in and around the Georgian port city of Poti.

Russian troops withdrawal from Georgia likely soon: envoy
September 2, 2008

BRUSSELS (AFP) — Russia’s EU envoy affirmed Tuesday that Moscow would soon withdraw hundreds of troops from Georgia, a day after the European Union froze partnership talks until the forces pulled out.

“Of course, they are not there forever. Their stay will be quite limited in time,” Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov said, in reference to some 500 Russia soldiers in Georgia, notably near the vital Black Sea port of Poti.

He could provide no date for the withdrawal nor say how long it might take, but that it would be determined by the time needed to set up an international mechanism to monitor the ceasefire and security developments on the ground.

Russia sent tanks and troops into Georgia on August 8, a day after Georgia launched an offensive to regain control of breakaway South Ossetia.

Russia halted its offensive after five days but refused to withdraw all its troops, saying they are on a peacekeeping mission. Georgia has labeled them an occupation force.

On Monday, EU leaders decided to freeze talks on a new partnership agreement with Russia until Moscow withdrew the troops from Georgia to positions they held prior to August 7.

Chizhov was cautious about whether a planned EU monitoring mission of up to 200 observers for Georgia would be welcomed by Russia.

“It would not only be up to Russia but also to the authorities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. So far they said they would accept only Russian peacekeepers,” he said.

The EU leaders on Monday gave the greenlight to the mission, likely to be deployed by next month but not to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, whose independence from Georgia Moscow recognised last week.

The willingness of NATO to counter neo-Soviet aggression is further brought into question by NATO member state Turkey’s cozy relationship with Russia. Today Turkish Prime Minister Taijip Erdogan met with Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow. During the meeting Erdogan proposed the establishment of an international organization for security in the Caucasus region, to be called the Stability and Cooperation Platform in the Caucasus and that would be modeled on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Meanwhile, in an escalation of violent rhetoric from the Kremlin, a Russian general has vowed to crush all of his country’s enemies, including and especially those supported by the USA or the EU. General Valery Yevnevich issued this statement after the opening of joint military exercises between Russia, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan in the Ural region of Chelyabinsk.

Russian general promises to ‘destroy’ any enemy: report
by Staff WritersMoscow (AFP) Sept 1, 2008

The Russian army is capable of destroying any enemy, even one supported by the United States or Europe, a Russian general was quoted by ITAR-TASS as saying on Monday.

“The operation aimed at enforcing peace in Georgia showed to the world that regardless of the aggressor and whether he receives support from Europe or from beyond the Atlantic, we have everything needed to destroy him and he will be destroyed,” General Valery Yevnevich said.

He spoke after the opening of joint military exercises between Russia, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan in the Ural region of Chelyabinsk.

Russian troops overwhelmed Georgia’s small, US-trained army after launching an incursion August 8 to crush an attempt by Tbilisi to restore control over South Ossetia, a Moscow-backed separatist province.

Russia has not withdrawn all its troops from Georgian territory in line with a French-brokered ceacefire deal.

State-run Voice of Russia provides more details on “Centre-2008,” the Russian-Kazakh-Tajik war game mentioned above:

The Centre-2008 operational-tactical military exercise is due in Russia’s Volga and Urals federal districts from the 1st to the 27th of this month. Some 12,000 servicemen will take part in the manoeuvres, including the combat units that have recently effectively fought in the Caucasus to enforce Georgia to accept the peace. The current exercise aims to drill joint action to localize armed conflicts, wipe out illegal armed units and terrorist groups ad do away with the aftermath of natural and man-induced disasters. A joint exercise of Russian and Kazakh armed forces has also been scheduled.

Pictured here: Armenia’s “ex”-communist President Serzh Sargsyan, second from left.

On August 15 we expressed concern that the Soviets, operating behind the facade of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), might use the third and fourth stages of the Rubezh-2008 military exercise, slated to take place in Armenia between August 18 and 22, as a ruse to launch an attack against Georgia from the other “former” Soviet republic. Fortunately, this scenario has not materialized, but we did prove that the Kremlin disguised its preparations for invading Georgia via the Moscow-backed separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia under the guise of the Caucasus Frontier-2008 war games and Tu-22M bomber drills during the three weeks leading up to the August 8 assault.

On August 22 the Armenian Ministry of Defense website reported that the last stage of Rubezh-2008 was completed by 2,500 Russian and Armenia troops at a military school under the watchful eye of CSTO General Secretary and career Chekist Nikolai Bordyuzha. Today Sargsyan met Medvedev in Sochi to discuss bilateral relations and Armenia’s support role in Russia’s “peacekeeping” mission in Georgia. The rotating presidency of the CSTO will be assumed by Armenia in several days. In view of the “tight” links between Moscow and Yerevan, Western analysts should closely watch Soviet troop movements southeast of Georgia.

In a related story, Russia and its sidekick Belarus have announced joint military exercises for this fall, a seemingly routine drill that could provide cover for a push against Poland, which has agreed to host US interceptor missiles.

Pictured here: “President” Medvedev, a graduate of the Soviet Komsomol and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s obedient lapdog, was interviewed by Euronews TV channel earlier today, in Sochi, which is just north of Abkhazia, Georgia. Medvedev claimed victory after EU leaders condemned Russia’s partial occupation of Georgia but failed to impose economic and political sanctions against Moscow, proving that the Gazprom-dependent EU superstate has truly become Mikhail Gorbachev’s “new European Soviet” and that free trade trumps countering the neo-Soviet threat. “We unambiguously condemn Russia’s disproportionate reaction, and we are conscious of our responsibility to maintain dialogue with our Russian neighbors,” European/French President Sarkozy blathered.

In yet another move that demonstrates the extent to which the Soviets have subverted, penetrated, and manipulated the Western economies, Russia recently became the eighth largest holder of US public debt, while the Kremlin also admitted that it raked in US$1 billion in profit on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds over last six months in spite of the mortgage lenders’ ailing status. In numerous posts we have presented evidence for the Communist Bloc’s plan to “nuke” the US economy by inflating oil prices and dumping US dollars and US Treasury bonds in advance of or concurrently with an open military confrontation with the West.

On August 27 Reuters reported: “With Russian tanks and troops still occupying parts of Georgia, U.S. officials have said openly that Washington will consider new military assistance for the former Soviet state turned Western ally that has staunchly supported the U.S. war on terrorism and aspires to NATO membership.” On the same day, reports This Is London, Russia’ NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin issued some of the Caucasian War’s most bellicose rhetoric yet: “If NATO suddenly takes military actions against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, acting solely in support of Tbilisi, this will mean a declaration of war on Russia.” (Link to source does not work so google under article title “Military help for Georgia is a ‘declaration of war’, says Moscow in extraordinary warning to the West.”) In light of such statements it is difficult to not conclude that Russia and NATO are currently in a state of hot war over the Georgia crisis.

Barely weeks after the Kremlin media leaked news of Russia’s alleged interest in stationing its strategic bombers in Cuba, Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez has lauded the Soviet occupation of Georgia and openly offered to make his country available as a base of operations for Russian strategic bombers and navy. The Moscow Leninists and their cronies in Latin America have outflanked NATO, but how many Western analysts have noticed?

>EU File: NATO: No slowdown in overseas Russian bomber missions during Caucasian War; Oslo still nonchalant about resurgent Soviet Bear

>We’re back from a much-needed summer vacation and a self-imposed 17-day news vacuum, the world hasn’t blown up yet, and the contrived Russia-Georgia crisis continues to advance the strategic interests of the Moscow Leninists with respect to confusing Western analysts and ensnaring the Western Alliance into a confrontation with neo-Soviet Russia. Meanwhile, the Russian Air Force’s overseas bomber missions continue unabated. The article below reports that “Despite Russian troops being tied up in the Georgian conflict, the Norwegian air force says there has been no slowdown in the number of Russian bombers spotted.” We will post a separate entry on current developments in the Caucasian War later. Pictured above: Norwegian F-16 fighter jet takes off at the Bodoe air base, above the Arctic Circle.

Russian bombers fly in Europe’s far north
September 1, 2008

BODOE AIRBASE, Norway (AFP) — In scenes reminiscent of the Cold War, Russian bombers have returned to the skies in Europe’s far north after years of absence, putting NATO’s jet fighters on alert once again.

At the Bodoe airbase, above the Arctic circle, two F-16s are always on call, ready to take off in less than 15 minutes for stand-offs with surprise visitors from Norway’s eastern neighbour.

“We have noticed a clear rise in Russian aerial activity over the past year,” said base air commander general Per Egil Rygg.

“This has given us a lot more to do,” he added.

In 2006, Norwegian F-16s carried out 13 emergency take-offs to “identify”, as the military jargon goes, 14 Russian planes.

A year later, the number of emergency take-offs leapt to 47, with a whopping 88 Russian planes “identified”.

The increase appears to be largely due to a decision by then-president Vladimir Putin to relaunch strategic bomber flights “on a permanent basis”.

Despite Russian troops being tied up in the Georgian conflict, the Norwegian air force says there has been no slowdown in the number of Russian bombers spotted.

To keep up with the Russian planes, two fighter pilots and four mechanics remain on high alert at the Bodoe base 24 hours a day.

Stationed in a small building near two shelters each housing an F16, one pilot slumbers fully-dressed while the other stands guard, waiting for a bright-red telephone to ring.

As soon as NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre in Denmark gives the order, the pilot on guard sounds the alarm and the six men make a dash for the two jets on call, which make it into the air just minutes later.

Only after they are airborne do the pilots receive their mission orders.

While such manoeuvres and the frequent drone of the Russian bombers may provoke Cold War flashbacks in Bodoe, most airmen here say they are not too concerned.

“They (the Russian planes) remain in international air space at all times without violating Norway’s sovereignty. They have every right to do this,” Rygg pointed out.

“We make sure to mark our territory, but this doesn’t really worry us,” he added.

The government in Oslo is also rather laid-back. The reappearance of the Tu-95 “Bear” and Tu-160 “Blackjack” bombers, it says, is primarily a sign that Moscow has gained more budgetary wiggle-room, enabling it to carry out more training missions.

While Norway plays down the notion that the Russian flights are a muscle-flexing demonstration, other countries have had a hard time seeing purely coincidence when Russian bombers last year for instance stroked the outer limits of Dutch airspace when the Netherlands was hosting an important NATO meeting.

Or when they, also in 2007, hovered near British airspace at the height of the tensions between London and Moscow.

Located just some 600 kilometres (373 miles) from the Russian border, Bodoe has always been a strategic geopolitical location for the United States and its allies, something the town’s aviation museum is quick to point out.

The museum, located just a stone’s throw from the airbase, is home to a rare specimen of the same American U2 spy plane as the one shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960 during a secret mission that had been scheduled to end in the small Norwegian town.

The Cold War tensions of that era today appear to have dissipated at the airbase, where smiling guards laxly inspect visitors before letting them out to the concrete shelters camouflaged by thick grass that house close to 40 F-16s.

A good-natured 31-year-old captain, who asks to remain anonymous, explains that he is one of the fighter pilots who is regularly sent up to face-off with the Russians.

“We avoid any kind of provocation,” he insists.

“We come from the back and we keep our distance all the time, no less than 500 feet (152 metres) from them. They proceed with their mission normally. They don’t do anything special just because we’re there,” he adds.

Unlike in one of his favorite films, “Top Gun”, which he has seen at least 50 times, there are no insulting gestures or provocative moves during the high-altitude encounters, the captain said.

“They take pictures and we take pictures. Sometimes we even wave at each other,” he said.