Monthly Archives: July 2010

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Canadian fighter jets repel Russian bombers near Labrador coast, Ottawa’s DM: Moscow gave no advance notice

>This past Wednesday Canadian fighter jets repelled two Russian strategic bombers near the coast of Labrador. “The response as always was a rapid, effective deterrent,” explained Canada’s Defence Minister Peter MacKay, adding: “They were in the buffer zone. They did not give us any advance notice. We certainly weren’t aware of what if any weapons were on board.” One senior Canadian official described the attempted Russian incursion as “not the usual s–t.” Pictured above: Canadian Forces Air Command CF-18.

Canada’s Conservative government plans to purchase 65 F-35 stealth fighter jets for C$9 billion. The Russian Air Force’s revitalized long-range patrols have provided a pretext for Ottawa’s acquisition. Canada is a partner in the Joint Strike Fighter Program, which produced the F-35 in collaboration with the USA and United Kingdom.

BTW, we begin our summer vacation today. No further posts likely until August 16.

>USA File: FBI, LAPD: Mexican cartels set up operations in CA, TX; Los Zetas trains LA gangs in Mexico for hit jobs; AZ sheriff: Cartels control Hwy. 8

>- California Voters to Potentially Legalize Recreational Use of Marijuana in November, Mexican Cartels Already Control State’s Black Market Grow Ops

- Mexican Army Officer: Lebanon’s Hezbollah Terrorists May Be Training “Narcistas” How to Assemble Car Bombs

Pictured above: The brazenly Satanic cult of Holy Death, embraced by many Mexicans involved in the drug trade.

Long feared, Mexico’s narco-insurgency has finally spilled over into USA, at least according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Los Angeles Police Department. Seven drug cartels have set up distribution and recruitment operations in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California, as well as Texas. Moreover, according to local sheriffs in Arizona, the Mexican drug cartels control the highway between Phoenix and the international border. However, the Obama Admin, which earlier this year refused to extend more military assistance to the Mexican government, is saying nothing and doing less.

In an interview with La Opinion journalist Jorge Morales Almada, Lieutenant Alvin Jackson, chief of the LAPD’s Narcotics Division, admitted:

Here in the city, the Sinaloa, Gulf and Los Zetas cartels are operating. They are operating at the middle level and at the street level. The [anti-drug] agencies working in Los Angeles are combating seven major cartels from Mexico. We’ve detected two of them, Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, working in distribution for the area covering San Fernando Valley, Westside, Central and South Central [LA].

The other cartels operating in LA are the Arellano Felix, Beltran Leyva, Sinaloa, Juarez, and La Familia. Since 2006, the Sinaloa cartel, whose main drug lords in Mexico are Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, has taken over the California territory, displacing Felix’s Tijuana cartel. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have identified one of the top henchmen working for “El Mayo” and “El Chapo” as Victor Emilio Cazares Salazar.

Morales secured some of his information concerning cartel operations in the USA from an informant who sympathizes with La Familia. The journalist met his source, a former Mexican soldier from the state of Michoacan, at a bench on the corner of 83rd Street and Vermont Avenue in South Central LA. Casting nervous glances over his shoulder, the ponytail-sporting fiftysomething whistleblower elaborated:

The truth is that La Familia does more for the people than the f—— government. They do care about the people, so the people protect them, and they’ll never be able to destroy them. Los Zetas have been recruiting people after they get out of Los Angeles jails, gang members who are unemployed and would be more than happy to fire an AK-47. They’re bringing them to Mexico where they’ll train them. That is their army.

Morales sought confirmation of his informant’s statements from the FBI’s LA director, Steven Martinez. “That is something we can’t say,” Martinez said stiffly, but conceded that the Mexican drug cartels control California’s not-so-underground marijuana industry: “There are people here who are connected with these major groups, for distribution networks, but the cartels are in Mexico, the drug lords are there. There are operations for growing marijuana, but it’s a production sponsored by cartels in Mexico, Central and South America, something that our intelligence is very interested in and we are working to fight these activities.”

Some US leftists are wistfully hoping that passage of Proposition 19 this November by California voters will legalize the recreational use of marijuana, thereby pushing down the price of this narcotic and forcing the cartels to find new sources of income. Not likely. The bulk of the traffic passing through the hands of the narcistas is cocaine. If Californians decide to legalize pot and Sacramento imposes a tax on the same, then Mexico’s billionaire drug lords will just buy out the legitimate companies that market the weed.

In a related story, a local affiliate of ABC reported in June that Mexico’s drug lords now control parts of Arizona: “Pinal County investigators say an area known as the smuggling corridor now stretches from Mexico’s border to metro Phoenix. The area, once an area for family hiking and off road vehicles has government signs warning residents of the drug and human smugglers. Night vision cameras have photographed military armed cartel members delivering drugs to vehicles along Highway 8.” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu was quoted as saying: “We are three counties deep. How is it that you see pictures like these, not American with semi and fully automatic rifles. How is that okay? We are outgunned, we are out manned and we don’t have the resources here locally to fight this.”

In another related story, on July 16 La Linea, the armed wing of the Juarez cartel, detonated a car bomb in Ciudad Juarez, escalating the narco-insurgency to the most violent level yet since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon declared war against the country’s drug cartels. In this particular attack, narcistas lured a police officer, medical doctor and rescue worker to their demise by shooting another police man as bait. When the other emergency personnel arrived, the guerrillas used a cell phone to blow up 22 pounds of C4 plastic explosive. In the explosion two federal police vehicles were destroyed along with the car bomb itself.

An anonymous US law enforcement source was quoted by Reuters as saying: “What you are seeing now is a whole new level of violence. It’s a vehicle-born improvised explosive device. This has raised the bar to a level of violence that Mexico has not seen yet. It is reminiscent of Colombia . . . What we are seeing now is what the military is running into in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Other terrorism experts noted that the car bomb’s sophistication was similar to Hezbollah’s “professional” terrorism.

The Juarez and Sinaloa cartels are fighting each other for control of Ciudad Juarez, a major drug transshipment hub across the border from El Paso, Texas, as well as against the Mexican government. This formerly prosperous city has been the scene of 6,000 drug murders in the past 42 months. On the same day 12 people, including two civilians died in shootouts between the army and drug gangs in Nuevo Laredo, the main haunt of Los Zetas, a technologically sophisticated group of mercenaries consisting of ex-special forces from the Mexican and Guatemalan armies.

In a small victory against the narcistas, Mexico’s federal police announced on July 26 that Carlos Vazquez Barragan, one of several suspected leaders of La Linea, had been arrested. Barragan, also known as “El 20,” ran La Linea’s financial operations, paid the smugglers who handled the Juarez cartel’s shipments, and laundered money from US drug sales. Barragan’s boss was Juarez cartel chief, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, a.k.a. “El Viceroy.”

Some analysts who are following the course of the Mexican drug war are in fact concerned that Hezbollah, the Lebanese political party/terrorist army, is training the cartels in the fine art of assembling car bombs. US Congresswoman Sue Myrick has requested that the Department of Homeland Security investigate the possibility of Hezbollah’s continued presence in Mexico after one of its agents, Jameel Nasr, was arrested in Tijuana in early July 2010. It is conceivable that the Lebanese terrorists have already offered their services to Mexico’s drug lords. Myrick has written: “A high-ranking Mexican Army officer, who asked not be named for security reasons, states they believe Hezbollah may be training the Mexican drug cartels’ enforcers in the art of bomb making. This might lead to Israel-like car bombings of Mexican/USA border personnel or National Guard units in the border regions.”

The cocaine trade, which constitutes the bulk of the cartel’s illicit profit, is truly a product of Communist Bloc subversion. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s alliance with the Mexican drug lords is well documented. We have also blogged about the involvement of figures from the Cuban security and military apparatus in the Mexican nacro-insurgency. Last year, for example, an “ex”-soldier of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba in the employ of the former mayor of Cancun was convicted of assassinating the counter-narcotics czar assigned to the resort city by the federal government.

In 2007 Larry Martines, director of the Nevada Department of Homeland Security, offered this prediction to FrontPage magazine: “If the USA does not increase assistance via military resources, funding, advisors, plus most importantly, expanded intelligence gathering technology, we might very well end up with a Narco-Republic on our southern border. . . . We do not have much time left.” Two years later Joint Forces Command published a similar recipe for disaster, warning that Mexico and Pakistan were two countries most at risk of becoming “failed states.” The Moscow Leninists, as we have repeatedly insisted, have every reason, in harmony with communism’s long-range plan for the destruction of the USA, to push Mexico into the abyss.

>USSR2 File: Putin rides with Russian bikers; KGB-communist dictator sang “patriotic Soviet songs” with repatriated spies, fingers "traitor" Tretyakov

>Russia’s KGB-communist dictator, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, may not be “Born to Be Wild” but, with a hat tip to blues rocker George Thorogood, he’s definitely “Born to Be Vlad” or “Vlad to the Bone.” This past week, Putin donned black and mounted a Harley-Davidson motortrike and rode off into the steppes with a Russian biker gang called the “Night Wolves.”

Since emerging onto the stage of Russian politics in late 1999, judo master Putin has been careful to cultivate the stereotypical Russian “tough guy” image. On one occasion, he waded bare-chested into a Siberian river to catch fish, causing tongues to wag across the Internet, and on another occasion saving a TV crew by shooting a Siberian tiger with a tranquilizer gun. Whenever terrorism strikes the Russian heartland, Putin lashes out at the villains, threatening to decimate them. Whenever there’s an opportunity to fly a nuclear bomber or test a new fighter jet, Putin shows up at the air base for a photo op. In a superpower showdown with Barack Hussein (“Born to Be Mild”) Obama, I rather suspect Putin would have the US president’s head for lunch. To quote my father in law, who is an ethnic Russian, the height-challenged Putin is a “mean bugger.” No debate there.

During a visit to Ukraine, Putin admitted that after their repatriation to Russia several weeks ago he met the 10 Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) agents who were exposed by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, arrested, and deported in a spy swap that took place in Vienna. With surprising candor, the Russian PM acknowledged that he sung “patriotic Soviet songs” with the failed spies. “We sang ‘From Where the Motherland Begins,’” he stated, referring to the 1968 cult film about a Soviet spy in Nazi Germany. “I’m not joking. I’m serious. And other songs with a similar content,” he added. Although the Western media has pilloried the SVR spy ring as incompetent, Putin glorified the secret agents’ service to the Kremlin:

Just imagine. You need to master a language like your mother tongue. You need to think in it, speak in it. You need to fulfill the task set in the interests of your motherland for many, many years, not counting on diplomatic cover, expose yourself and your loved ones to danger. They will be found worthy jobs in Russia and will lead interesting lives.

With these comments Putin has pretty much confessed that these Russian nationals were bona fide espionage agents.

Putin insisted that the SVR operation in the USA was betrayed and hinted that he knew the identity of the Russian defector who betrayed them. He rumbled ominously: “This was the result of treason and traitors always end badly. They finish up as drunks and addicts on the street.” Or, we might add, in the case of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko, just plain dead. “Secret services live by their own laws,” Putin warned, “and these laws are very well known to anyone who works for a secret service.”

Russia’s KGB-communist dictator may have been referring to Sergei Tretyakov, a top Russian spy working at the United Nations, who defected to the West in 2000 and died of a heart attack in June. Some espionage watchers suspect that Tretyakov may have tipped off the FBI to the presence of the SVR ring in the USA. His death around the same time as the exposure of the Russian spies is certainly intriguing.

Putin, who is not constitutionally barred from running for a third, non-consecutive presidential term, is widely expected to announce his candidacy before 2012. Although his public approval rating is the lowest since he became PM in May 2008, the figure still hovers in the high 40s. While attending a motorbike convention in Sevastopol, Putin enthused: “Motorbikes are the ultimate symbol of freedom.” Perhaps Putin hopes to ride his “hog” across North America after a few surgical nuke strikes wipe out the US political-military hierarchy.

>Latin America File: Cuba, Abkhazia, S. Ossetia leaders attend Sandinista bash; Borge fawns over Havana pointman Valdez; ALBA sets up perm. commission

>- Former Honduran President, Chavez Pawn Zelaya Fingers US Southern Command for Plotting His Ouster in 2009

In Nicaragua this week the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) is celebrating the 31st anniversary of its Soviet/Cuban-backed revolution, which toppled the US-backed dictatorship of the Somoza dynasty. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega seized the occasion to denounce the possibility of a US-Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear energy program. Latin America’s Red Axis leaders are stridently anti-USA and anti-Israel.

Present at the festivities in Managua were the de facto presidents of Georgia’s two breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Abkhazian “President” Sergei Bagapsh is an “ex”-cadre of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, while South Ossetian “President” Eduard Kokoity is a graduate of the Soviet Komsomol, or Communist Youth League. Along with Russia, Venezuela, and the diminutive South Pacific state of Nauru, Ortega is the only head of state in the world to recognize Georgia’s secessionist regimes. Abkhazia and South Ossetia are occupied by Russian troops, contrary to a cease-fire agreement brokered by the European Union after the Russian invasion of Georgia in August 2008.

Incidentally, Nauru is the recipient of a US$9 million loan from Moscow to upgrade its port facilities by the end of 2010. Nauru’s parliament, like Nicaragua’s National Assembly, has been deadlocked for months in a dispute between the country’s president and opposition leaders. It may be for this reason that a delegation from Russia, which was expected in Nauru back in March, failed to materialize.

In addition to Comrades Bagapsh and Kokoity, Ramiro Valdez Menendez, Cuba’s Vice President of the Council of State and Minister of Information Technology and Communication, along with a retinue of civil servants from Cuba’s foreign ministry, touched down in Managua. There they rubbed elbows with Ortega, his foreign minister Samuel Santos Lopez, Tomas Borge, the only living co-founder of the FSLN, and the president of the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications. Ortega and Valdez are pictured above.

During the first Sandinista regime in the 1980s, Borge, then Ortega’s interior minister, hosted numerous representatives of Soviet Bloc militaries and secret police. Borge also provided the Medellin Cartel with a safe route through which to smuggle cocaine to the USA. This die-hard Maoist has reprised his political role in the second Sandinista regime as ambassador to Peru, from whence his wife hails.

Upon his arrival in Managua, Valdez expressed his solidarity with the Sandinistas and noted that 20 years had passed since he last visited the Central American country. Borge was evidently thrilled by the presence of his Cuban mentors. He gushed:

I want to indicate to Ramiro our love for him and the people of Cuba, our unconditional solidarity with the people of Cuba and toward their glorious revolution. The Nicaraguan people will be able to count on the solidarity, friendship, and brotherhood of the people of Cuba, and their revolution. From before and after the triumph of the Sandinista Revolution, Cuba always supported Nicaragua’s liberating fight.

Earlier this year, in February, Comandante Valdez’s name was newsworthy since this hero from the Cuban Revolution was appointed by President Hugo Chavez to head a technical commission tasked with fixing the electrical blackouts afflicting Venezuela. More than three years ago, Valdez defended Internet censorship on the communist island, insisting that such restrictions on the Cuban populace were necessary to resist “US imperialism.” The Venezuelan Engineers’ Association was appalled by the appointment of a figure from the Politburo of the Communist Party of Cuba to advise the Chavezista regime, claiming that there are “enough skilled professionals” to resolve the issue.

Critics of Chavez’s Cubanization of the South American country responded with concern. “President Chavez has never concealed his deep sympathy with the Cuban model,” explains Demitrio Boersner, a former Venezuelan ambassador who now teaches at the Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas. Boersner elaborates:

The arrival of thousands of Cuban medics and teachers in Venezuela is part of a wider effort by Mr. Chavez to move our nation towards Castro-style communism. Chavez has referred frequently to Cuba as an ‘ocean of happiness’ for the common people and that something very similar will be established in Venezuela gradually. Fidel Castro has become a father figure for him: Fidel the father, Hugo the son.

Following Valdez’s appointment, the former civil defense chief of Venezuela, General Antonio Rivero, resigned and went public with accusations that Cuban “advisors” hold important posts in the country’s military and intelligence bureaucracies. Rivero contends:

There are various areas in which Cuban advisors are concentrated, particularly military engineering, which includes the areas of military fortifications. That’s where the state’s main security equipment, resources, maps and plans are stored. That another country helps plan, carry out and, indeed correct work at such a sensitive level to national security—is not something which other countries would allow.

Rivero also alleges that Cuban military officers are training Venezuelan troops in combat techniques. Chavez flippantly dismisses charges of Cubanizing Venezuela by saying: “Yes, there is military cooperation which perhaps worries the bourgeoisie. Well, the bourgeoisie can rest easy! Everything Cuba does for us is to strengthen the fatherland!” According to Venezuela’s communist dictator, relations between Caracas and Havana are proceeding naturally within the context of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), to which both countries belong.

The communization of Latin America—nearly 20 years after the red disease supposedly died in Eastern Europe and the Not-So-Former Soviet Union—continues apace with the formation of a permanent commission to guide ALBA. On June 24 representatives of the eight communist and center-left governments comprising ALBA converged in Otavalo, Ecuador to discuss issues of mutual concern, including economic, social, and political rights of citizens in member countries. ALBA includes Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela. An observer from Guatemala’s center-left government was present during the 10th summit in Ecuador.

In 2008 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, then conferring with strategic partner Chavez in Caracas, voiced the Kremlin’s interest in obtaining observer status in ALBA. Similarly, during President Bashar al-Assad’s tour of Latin America several weeks ago, Chavez invited Syria to join ALBA as an observer.

Honduras was briefly affiliated with ALBA in 2008 and 2009, when President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a military-backed constitutional coup. Wealthy rancher-turned socialist Zelaya now lives in exile in the Dominican Republic. Like Cuban official Valdez, he also moonlights as a Chavez appointee, in this case as head of the Political Council of Petrocaribe, a state-run organization that ships subsidized PDVSA oil to regimes that sympathize with Chavez’s “Bolivarian Revolution.” This includes Guatemala’s president, Alvaro Colom.

Zelaya is still perturbed that the leadership of then ruling Honduran Liberal Party, the Honduran Congress, the Honduran Supreme Court, and the Honduran military brass ganged up against him more than one year ago. Like all good Latin American leftists, however, he blames Washington for his ill fortune:

Everything indicates that the coup was planned at the Palmerola military base by the US Southern Command and clumsily executed by incompetent Hondurans. The United States was behind the coup d’etat. The intellectual authors of this crime were an illicit association of old Washington hawks and Honduran capitalists with their partners, American affiliates and financial agencies.

One year after the blow against democracy it has all been confirmed that the exiles are victims of this interference and that the Lobo government has surrendered to American interests.

In an email dispatched from the Dominican Republic on the first anniversary of his downfall, June 28, Zelaya reveals that the National Popular Resistance Front is the main vehicle by which he hopes to affect his return to Honduras and implement a constitutional convention. Anger over Zelaya’s intention to force through constitutional reforms that could have removed a ban against presidential term limits provoked the Supreme Court to nullify a planned referendum, the ballots for which were printed in Venezuela. The front is backed by Honduran labor union leaders and other assorted leftists, as well as sympathizers in the European Left, such as the Tricontinental Centre, which is headed by Belgian Jesuit priest, liberationist, and World Social Forum agitator Francois Houtart.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Kremlin to build 5,000 new bomb shelters by 2012, Tu-95s test-fire cruise missiles, Duma awards FSB with KGB powers

>The Kremlin-run media reports that Moscow regional authorities have given the green light to architects to design and build 5,000 bomb shelters for the express purpose of protecting Muscovites from strategic nuclear attack. Moscow’s outdated shelters were built during the Soviet era and can house no more than one half of the city’s current population. The Russian capital is the seventh largest urban center in the world.

Pictured above: The new and improved KGB: A Russian Federal Security Service officer.

More emergency shelters are needed in Moscow’s suburbs, reports Russia Today. According to the requirements of civil defence authorities, the new shelters must be easy to build and will be situated 10 to 15 meters under apartment blocks, shopping centers, sport complexes, and parks. Beginning in the 1930s, Soviet authorities built 7,000 bomb shelters throughout Moscow. Some subway stations were purposely built deep under the city to double as air raid shelters. In the early 1990s many shelters were privatized by entrepreneurs who transformed them into warehouses, parking lots, and restaurants.

The modernization of Moscow’s air raid shelter network is to be completed by 2012, which suggests that Missile Day will probably not take place before that date. The US government has implemented no comparable program since the supposed end of the Cold War in 1991.

Question for dot.gov: If the Cold War is over, then why are Russian authorities building new bomb shelters? Fact: There are only two countries that are capable of lobbing nuclear warhead-tipped ballistic missiles at Russia. One is Red China, with which Russia buried the hatchet in an open alliance formed in 2001. The other, of course, is the USA. So, ahem, got CD?

Incidentally, Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s civil defence czar, is an “ex”-CPSU cadre and related by marriage to Oleg Shenin, mastermind of the phoney anti-Gorbachevist coup of August 1991. Shenin died in 2009. Last year, Shoigu visited Serbia, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to help the red regimes there to set up “emergency situations” centers. The “ex”-communist Socialist Party of Serbia holds several important government portfolios in Belgrade, including the interior ministry.

Another newsworthy development shows that Russia continues to prepare for war against its old adversary, the USA. Last Friday, two Tu-95 strategic bombers test-fired cruise missiles at targets in the Pemboi testing site during a 12-hour flight. Pemboi is located in the internal republic of Komi. The Bear bombers returned to the Ukrainka air base in Far East Russia. A MiG-31 interceptor jet and a Beriev A-50 Shmel airborne early warning aircraft also participated in the exercise.

Communist Bloc Power Plays in Eurasia and Latin America

Several weeks ago, the Russian Far East was the location of a multi-branch military exercise called Vostok 2010, personally observed by President Dmitry Medvedev aboard the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great. In attendance were military delegations from Ukraine, which since February has boasted a pro-Moscow government, and the People’s Republic of China.

General Nikolai Makarov, chief of the Russian General Staff, dispelled any notion that Vostok 2010 was intended to be an unfriendly signal toward Red China. “The exercises took place on a vast territory near China, our ally,” he explained, adding: “So, it was quite logical to invite their representatives and thus avoid possible questions who the exercises were targeted against, and why. I think we scattered any possible doubts.”

With respect to the Ukrainian presence at Vostok 2010, Makarov commented: “This was a considerable improvement of bilateral relations and the Ukrainian desire to develop the[ir] armed forces proceeding from our experience. They wanted to see the effect of the [Russian] armed forces’ reform on the operation of servicemen. We met their desire, and the defence minister [Anatoly Serdyukov] invited a Ukrainian delegation to the exercises.” The Russian and Ukrainian air forces are slated to hold a joint exercise this fall.

The Moscow-Beijing Axis, which was predicted by KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn in his 1984 book New Lies for Old, will hold another multilateral military drill in Kazakhstan later this year. “Peace Mission 2010” will take place under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and represents the fifth significant Sino-Russian war game since 2005. According to Golitsyn, the Soviet and Chinese communists intend to form “one clenched fist” to smash the “bourgeois” nations.

The Soviet strategists are also moving cautiously back into Latin America. In February we reported that Russia intends to carry out for the first time ever a combined exercise with Nicaragua. However, no date for this event was offered by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was then visiting Managua. This would not be the first time Russia has held combined exercises with a Latin American country. In September 2008 the Russian Air Force deployed two Tu-160 strategic bombers to Venezuela for a week-long exercise over the southern Caribbean Sea. Two months later the Russian Navy arrived in South America to hold a joint drill with its Venezuelan counterpart. At the time further Russian-Venezuelan naval and air force exercises were promised, but have yet to materialize.

For their part, the communist regimes in Caracas and Managua were slated to hold a joint exercise in Central America in May and June of this year, but this also has yet to occur. According to articles published in the Latin American media in September and December 2009, a small contingent of Venezuelan troops was to oversee the deployment of combat aircraft and warships in Nicaragua. Since Hugo Chavez has over the last 10 years accumulated considerable firepower from Russia, including fighter jets, tactical missiles, and tanks, we have considered the possibility that the Soviet strategists may position their military assets in Nicaragua under the guise of Nicaraguan-Venezuelan exercises.

In a not unrelated development, the Nicaraguan military has modernized and reactivated the air base at Punta Huete, built with Soviet help in the 1980s but never utilized. The Panchito Aerodrome, which caused some consternation for the Reagan Administration, can accommodate Russia’s Tu-160 and Tu-95 nuclear bombers.

In Russia’s “Backyard”: FM Lavrov Attends International Conference in Kabul, Pledges Arms and Training for Afghan Military and Police

Latin America is sometimes referred to as the USA’s “backyard.” If Russia has a backyard, then Afghanistan certainly falls within this domain. In another story that exposes Moscow’s continued meddling in Afghanistan and, thus, the deceptive nature of the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, state-run Novosti reports that Russia will arm the Afghan military and police forces, as well as train Afghan police in Russia. At an international conference on restoring peace to Afghanistan, held in Kabul, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared:

We are working with our partners on additional measures for supplying the Afghan army and police and expanding cooperation in training personnel for the Afghan armed forces. We will henceforth assist in forming the Afghan armed forces, including by increasing the number of Afghan police officers, trained in Russia, who contribute to the restoration of the country’s economy.

Lavrov joined other conference participants in discussing the timeframe for troop withdrawal by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. Earlier this year Moscow cancelled a US$891 million debt owed to Russia by the US-backed Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai. As a sidenote, the Left.ru website alleges that Russian military intelligence (GRU) is arming the Taliban via Russian and Chechen criminal syndicates that operate across the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border.

Back in the USSR: FSB Receives KGB-Style Powers to Crush Anti-Kremlin Dissent

Even though the Communist Party of the Soviet Union abandoned its public monopoly of power in 1991, the Soviet strategists continue to rely on a passive population that obediently votes for potemkin parties like United Russia. Last Friday, the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, approved a bill that will permit the Federal Security Service (FSB), which was hived off from the Soviet Committee for State Security (KGB), to warn (intimidate) people who have broken no laws but are regarded as potential “criminals, terrorists, and radicals.”

President Dmitry Medvedev, who like his Soviet-era predecessor Yuri Andropov, was initially portrayed as a “pro-Western liberal reformer,” was quick to justify his support for the new law. “I would like to turn your attention to the fact that it is our domestic legislation, and not an international act,” Medvedev huffed, adding: “Each country has the right to perfect its own legislation, including that which affects special services. And we will do this.” The legislation was advanced immediately after two female suicide bombers, allegedly from Chechnya, attacked the Moscow subway in March, while its stated objective is to thwart the growth of ideological “radicalism” among young Russians.

“It’s a plain attempt on the part of the FSB to return to the old KGB methods . . . when a person committed no crime but still became an object of KGB attention,” protested Nikita Petrov, a historian who works for the Memorial human rights organization. Another anti-Kremlin activist, Lev Ponomarev of the group For Human Rights, observed: “Liberals in Russia saw the bill as a litmus test for Medvedev and were surprised to hear him take credit for it. This is a pretty important moment.”

No on who recognizes the dialectical nature of the fall of Soviet communism, however, should be surprised by Medvedev’s support for the re-KGB-ization of the Russian secret police. The Russian president is a Soviet Komsomol graduate and a compliant tool in the hands of Russia’s KGB-communist dictator, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

In his 2002 book Blowing up Russia, FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko traces the origin of the 1999 apartment bombings in Moscow, Volgodonsk, and Buynaksk to the FSB. Four years later, Litvinenko was poisoned with polonium-210, allegedly administered by an active agent of his former employers in the Lubyanka. In a statement dictated from his death bed, he accused Putin by name as his murderer. Along the same theme of an “FSB trace” behind Russia’s domestic terrorism, geopolitical analyst Jeff Nyquist unearths a sinister strategic purpose behind suspect dramas like the Nord-Ost theater and Beslan school hostage crises. This strategic purpose includes greater centralization of power in the Kremlin and the depiction of Islam as a common enemy of both Russia and the USA.

>USA/USSR2 Files: Kremlin tacitly admits guilt in spy pleas as Washington, Moscow swap spooks in Vienna, communist agents promised new lives in Russia

>Russian Communist Party Boss “Condemns” Putinist Regime for “Bowing to West” over Spy Scandal, Zyuganov Beats Drum over US Patriot Deployment in Poland

Last Friday the US and Russian governments swapped spies, hurriedly sweeping under the carpet a two-week saga of international intrigue with Cold War overtones. A Vision Airlines jet chartered by the US government landed at the airport in Vienna, Austria, and disgorged the 10 men and women who last Thursday admitted in court they were secret agents of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). The US jet parked next to a Russian government plane, which carried four people who had been convicted of spying for the US Central Intelligence Agency. The Russian and Western spies transferred from one plane to the other.

US Attorney Preet Bharara informed reporters that the Kremlin’s deep cover agents had been requested to tell their employers in SVR headquarters: “If you come to America to spy on Americans, you will be caught and exposed.” US officials explained that the grade school daughters of the New Jersey couple that went by the name of Richard and Cynthia Murphy were also on the spy swap plane. The teenage sons of the spy couple Andrei Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova, who went by the pseudonyms Donald Heathfield and Tracey Lee Ann Foley, were reported to have left for Moscow last Wednesday. Their real names were disclosed in court the following day.

Before they entered their guilty pleas, the 10 spies met with Russian diplomats to discuss the details of their new lives in the homeland of the Bolshevik Revolution. In the case of ardent Castroist Vicky Pelaez–who is believed to have been born in Peru, rather than Russia, unlike her comrades–her lawyer explained to the court that the Russian government promised to give her free housing, a monthly stipend of US$2,000 for life, and visas and an all-expense paid trip for her children to travel to Russia.

Juan Lazaro, Pelaez’s husband and a former Baruch College professor who is reputed to have handled money for Peru’s Shining Path guerrillas, admitted that his wife travelled to Red Venezuela to pick up money from the SVR. Lazaro’s true identity is unknown but, like Pelaez, this outspoken leftist may find the Order of Lenin waiting for him in the Not-So-Former Soviet Union.

Mystery man “Christopher Metsos,” the Russian citizen who hid behind a Canadian identity as he couriered funds to this decade-old spy ring, is still on the lam, having first fled the USA and then skipping bail in communist-ruled Cyprus.

Jeffrey Burds, professor of Russian and Soviet history at Northeastern University, remarked that the quick spy exchange proves that Washington and Moscow are eager to “reset” bilateral relations:

It was in everyone’s best interest to put this scandal behind them as quickly as possible. I think that both the Russian foreign diplomats as well as the United States State Department have made it very clear that they did not want this scandal to derail US-Russian relations, which have been quite good in the recent months. The Russian Government will be inclined to celebrate their service, award them with medals and then they’ll quietly go back into their lives. They [the SVR] will use this, in other words, as a sort of a recruitment poster rather than a reason for embarrassment.

Of the four Russian citizens accused of spying for the CIA and who will find new homes in the West, nuclear weapons scientist Igor Sutyagin continues to maintain his innocence, but was compelled by the Kremlin to acknowledge his “guilt” in writing as part of the spy swap deal.

Gennady Zyuganov, chairman of the (secretly ruling) Communist Party of the Russian Federation, portrayed the FBI’s exposure of the SVR spy ring as an attempt by the USA to give Russia a “black eye” and denounced the “ex”-communists who staff the Russian government, like Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, as “weak-kneed” in the face of the US government’s nefarious plans. On the party website Chairman Zyuganov mocked: “The Russian leadership strives to strengthen cooperation with the US and strongly believes in its friendly intensions. However, the behavior of our new ‘comrades’ – well illustrated by the recent ‘spy scandal’ – hardly resembles a friendly one.”

Zyuganov then noted that the “alleged” presence of a Russian spy ring in the USA was announced shortly after President Dmitry Medvedev’s official visit to Washington, insinuating that this “stone to be thrown at Russia’s window had been prepared in advance.” “Trying to please the US, the Russian leadership keeps making new concessions and pushes away those very few allies that we have left. In return, Moscow gets gifts like the spy scandal,” Zyuganov growled.

The Communist Party chief then condemned the USA for deploying Patriot anti-missile batteries in Poland: “Moscow, in return, announced it was abandoning all counter measures it was planning. But today the US is deploying Patriot missile systems… and are planning to deploy the most up-to-date SM3 missile interceptors.”

Meanwhile, FBI counterintelligence has exposed yet another suspected Russian agent, 23-year-old Alexei Karetnikov, who is presently undergoing deportation proceedings. The Federal Bureau of Investigation began monitoring this 12th “spy” shortly after he entered the USA in October 2009. Karetnikov lived in Seattle and worked for Microsoft. However, investigators were unable to collect enough evidence to charge him with espionage and believe his case is different from that of the 10 spies shipped back to Russia.

The last publicized spy swap between the USA and Russia took place on February 11, 1986 at Glienicke Bridge in Berlin, when the city was still divided between the Free West and the Communist East. In this superpower exchange, the human rights campaigner and political prisoner Anatoly Sharansky and three Western agents were exchanged for Karl Koecher and four other Soviet Bloc agents.

“Many of these [swaps] have been done in secret, but this one has created a lot of publicity and everyone just wants this to go away now,” commented former CIA Russia analyst Mark Stout. So, this ex-spook hopes Putin’s spies will go away. Wishful thinking. The Soviet plan for world conquest continues apace under the guise of sham political pluralism and state-guided “capitalism” in the Motherland, and under the skilful manipulation of “ex”-CPSU cadres and “ex”-KGB types.

>Red Dawn Alert: Bay of Pigs vet: Cuban DI, Venezuelan SEBIN helped Russia run spy ring in USA, Cyprus’ red pres.: SVR paymaster’s flight not our fault

>- Peruvian-American Journalist Pelaez Visited Havana, Photographed in Company of Cuban Intelligence, Received Payments at SVR Drops in Venezuela

- Pelaez’s Husband US-Based Money Handler for Shining Path Guerrillas, Former Baruch College Prof Arrested with Wife

- Cue Twilight Zone Theme Song: SVR Paymaster Materializes in Cyprus, Skips Bail, Allegedly Escapes aboard Infamous Freighter MV Arctic Sea

Communism’s dead, we’ve been told a gazillion times by the MSM, academic, and dot.gov. However, this ruse has served as an effective cover for communist agents to ply their trade in the USA, well into the 21st century.

The plot has thickened behind the 10 accused Russian spies busted by the FBI in late June, as well as their paymaster, “Christopher Metsos,” who was detained by Cypriot authorities then released on bail, only to escape altogether. The Canada Free Press has picked up some eye-popping quotes from Cuban-American writer Arthuro Cobo that exposes a dark nexus between Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), heir to the Soviet KGB; Cuba’s Intelligence Directorate (DI), formerly known as the General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI); and Venezuela’s Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), known as the National Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services (DISIP) until 2009.

In 1980 Bay of Pigs invasion veteran Cobo alerted US authorities to the presence of Castroist spies among the Mariel Boatlift refugees. Cobo is quoted as saying regarding the current Kremlin spy flap in the USA:

The 11 arrests so far are the tip of the iceberg. Many more to follow, many in South Florida.

The South American country where Vicky Pelaez [one of the accused] picked up her payments from Russia’s SVR was Venezuela.

Russia’s SVR, Castro’s DGI (Directorio General de Inteligencia) and Chavez’s SEBIN (Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia) are all linked. They all share agents and information. Castro-Cubans run Chavez’s intelligence agency practically lock, stock and barrel.

Vicky Pelaez was a frequent traveler to Cuba where she met with Castro’s DGI. Pictures exist of those meetings.

Prominent figures in South Florida are under investigation and the net is closing on them. One suspect was very close to a US presidential candidate [Barrack Hussein Obama?] during the 2008 campaign.

Peruvian-American journalist Pelaez (pictured above in undated photo), who was formerly employed by New York’s El Diario/La Prensa, has also written for Cuba’s state-run media. In 2006 she prostrated herself before Cuba’s retired communist dictator:

Fidel Castro is already immortal! He is a man who inspired and demonstrated the fertile path of truth for other leaders! We had the moments of Christ, Mohammed, Confucius, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Newton, Pascal, Bolivar, Marti, Che Guevara, etc.

Fidel Castro Ruz belongs to that glorious group of rebels! With his towering intelligence, discipline, drive, and persistence he launched his heroic struggle and gained his people’s support to fight for a new and sovereign Cuba! But his fight is not over!

For his part, Castro quoted Pelaez extensively and approvingly in his May 8, 2010 column “Reflections,” which appears in the Communist Party of Cuba organ Granma.

Significantly, Pelaez’s husband Juan Lazaro, according to Miguel Angel Sanchez, one of Vicky’s former colleagues at El Diario/La Prensa, once served as the US-based treasurer of Shining Path, Peru’s bloodthirsty Maoist rebels. At one time Lazaro taught at Baruch College-The City University of New York. Lazaro has admitted to US authorities that his wife made several trips to South America to receive money at SVR drops, but his own identity is unknown. “Lazaro” is an alias. It is no exaggeration to refer to Pelaez and Lazaro as “communist agents.”

Meanwhile, Metsos, the Russian national who channelled funds to the SVR spy ring by way of covert money drops, skipped the USA and fled to Cyprus, where he was arrested, only to be released on bail on June 30. He paid for his own bail from a bank account in Larnaca, Cyprus. The mysterious “Metsos” promptly disappeared, but Cypriot President Dmitris Christofias defended the actions of his underlings, charging the US Justice Department with negligence in forwarding pertinent documents to Nicosia. “Only now are they providing them, only now are they preparing them,” protested Christofias, the European Union’s only communist leader and a slavish ally of Russian Communist Party boss Gennady Zyuganov. He added: “I don’t think it is appropriate to apportion blame to the Cyprus Republic.”

Cypriot authorities seized Metsos’ laptop computer, which is also sought by US counterparts. Incidentally, “Metsos” is a false identity stolen from a Canadian citizen.

During the Cold War Cyprus was a haunt for spies from both the Free World and the Soviet Bloc and an important SIGINT post for the US and British militaries. Today, the island is divided between the internationally recognized, Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus, which is a haven for the Russian Mafia, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is occupied by Turkish troops. Cypriot authorities suspect that Metsos might have snuck into northern Cyprus, which has no extradition treaties with other countries.

In a bizarre twist to the SVR-DI-SEBIN nexus in America, the Information Dissemination website, citing sources in “maritime circles,” asserts that Metsos left Cyprus by rendezvousing with a certain freighter that was passing the island. It is known that on July 1 the infamous MV Arctic Sea just “happened” to be steaming past Cyprus. On July 24, 2009 eight to 10 English-speaking men, travelling in an inflatable boat, approached the Canadian-owned Arctic Sea off the coast of Sweden as it began its voyage from Jakobstad, Finland to Bejaia, Algeria, supposedly transporting 6,700 cubic meters of lumber. Fifteen Russian nationals manned the ship. The Arctic Sea crew claimed that the intruders, who professed to be Swedish policemen, searched the ship and left, leaving some crew injured.

A hijack alert was belatedly issued by Interpol on August 3 and the Russian Navy dispatched its Baltic Sea Fleet to search for the Arctic Sea. The vessel failed to reach its destination on the scheduled date of August 5 and was never seen passing through the Strait of Gibraltar. On August 14 the Arctic Sea was at last sighted off the Cape Verde Islands and three days later Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov announced that the Russian Navy had seized the ship. No suspicious cargo was discovered. Intriguingly, Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s ambassador to NATO, admitted that Moscow had deliberately supplied false information to the media in order keep Russian plans secret.

On August 18 Serdyukov confirmed that eight hijackers had been arrested, and two days later the Estonian Security Police listed one of these men as Estonian, two as Latvians, and two as Russians. Some of them had prior criminal records.

At this time Finnish police acknowledged that the hijackers had demanded a ransom but, strangely, the Arctic Sea’s owners denied receiving any such communication. On August 18 the security chief of a Russian insurance agency, Renaissance Insurance Group, told newspapers that two weeks prior someone claiming to represent the Arctic Sea hijackers telephoned his office, demanding 1.5 million pounds or else the ship would be sunk and crew killed.

On October 29, more than two months after its seizure, the Russian Navy finally delivered the Arctic Sea to Malta, where it was inspected by Maltese police, and on November 11 the ship, repaired and re-certified, finally delivered its cargo of lumber to Algeria.

On June 11, 2010 the Russian Prosecution Service sentenced Latvian citizen Dmitry Savins to seven years imprisonment for leading the would-be hijackers. In his testimony Savins identified Eerik-Niiles Kross, head of the Security Coordination Office in the Estonian State Chancellery in the late 1990s, as the operation’s mastermind. Eerik-Niiles is the son of Jaan Kross, one of Estonia’s most famous writers. He denies Savins’ charges.

Since the summer of 2009 conspiracy theories have abounded concerning the Russian government’s account of the Arctic Sea saga. One theory posits that Russia, instead of taking the easy route over the Caspian Sea, was shipping S-300 air defense units to Iran, while a second theory holds that Moscow as possibly transporting MiG-31 fighter jets to Syria. Tarmo Kouts, former commander of the Estonian Defense Forces, offers yet another theory: “Only the presence of cruise missiles on board the ship can explain Russia’s strange behavior in the whole story.” Indeed, in addition to the Russian Navy deploying its Baltic Fleet to chase the Arctic Sea, the Russian Air Force dispatched two Ilyushin Il-76 transport planes to Sal International Airport in the Cape Verde Islands. Both during and after the Cold War, the communist regime in Cape Verde has permitted Soviet and Russian aircraft to utilize Sal as a refuelling base en route to Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Big oceans, small world,” concludes Information Dissemination blogger “Galrahn” as he ponders Metsos’ alleged rendezvous with the Arctic Sea. If true, we can only say: No kidding.

Since the FBI believes that some elements of the SVR spy ring have been operating in the USA for as long as 20 years, that is, since before the collapse of the Soviet Union, we should consider the possibility that this subversive entity, which apparently has links to Communist Cuba and Red Venezuela, may have ties to the Cuban Five, which were convicted in 2001 of spying for the Castroist regime. Russian politicians have on several occasions called for the release of the Cuban Five. As quoted above, Bay of Pigs vet Cobo alludes to future arrests of foreign agents in South Florida. “At one point in 1978,” writes the Miami Herald, “Castro boasted to a visitor that he had 300 agents in South Florida alone.” KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky, who resides in the United Kingdom, contends that the Russian Federation presently operates 400 SVR agents in the USA.

To this real-life Tom Clancy-esque drama, we should add the following data. Russia’s primary allies in the Caribbean Basin are Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. In November 2008 David Smith, senior fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, observed: “In the medium term, beware of a potential Cuba-Nicaragua-Venezuela military triangle astride the approaches to Florida, the Mississippi, Houston and the Panama Canal, within [Russian] bomber range of America’s eastern seaboard. This would replicate the Soviet Cuba-Nicaragua-Grenada triangle smashed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1983.”

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Medvedev observes Vostok 2010 drills from missile cruiser, Makarov denies specific country, bloc of nations targeted

>- Russian Air Force Test-Lands Ka-27 and Ka-52 Combat Choppers on French Navy’s Amphibious Assault Ship during Port of Call at St. Petersburg

- Leaders of Eurasian Economic Community Converge in Astana to Enforce Implementation of New Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus

The Kazakh opposition claims that Russia is using the Customs Union to restore the Soviet empire.
– Alexei Vlasov, Director, Center for the Study of Political Processes in the CIS, Moscow State University; Novosti, July 2, 2010

On Sunday President Dmitry Medvedev boarded the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great to observe the naval phase of the biannual Vostok (East) military drill in the Sea of Okhotsk. Former Gazprom chairman Medvedev began his political career in the Soviet Komsomol and is widely perceived as a pliable pawn in the hands of Russia’s KGB-communist dictator, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Vostok 2010 began on June 29 at various military training sites in Russia’s Far East and involved some 10,000 troops and 1,000 items of military hardware. The first, land-based phase of the drills ended on Saturday, while the second phase will continue until July 8. In addition to Peter the Great, which is commissioned with the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet, based out of Murmansk, the Black Sea Fleet’s missile cruiser Moskva will also participate. The Pacific Fleet’s missile cruiser Varyag lately weighed anchor in San Francisco in a friendly, once-in-a-century port of call. The Black Sea Fleet’s home port is Sevastopol in the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, while the Pacific Fleet is based out of Vladivostok.

Prior to the maneuvers, General Nikolai Makarov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, explained that Vostok 2010 would include live-fire drills and simulated airborne assaults and amphibious landings. The Russian Ground Forces will also practice the deployment of additional troops in Siberia and the Far East to reinforce the existing military contingents in the region.

Makarov emphasized that the Vostok 2010 drills were not aimed against any country. “This exercise…is not directed against any specific country or military-political bloc. It has a purely defensive nature in ensuring the security and national interests of the [Russian] state in the Far East,” he explained. During the 1980s Makarov was a battalion commander in the Soviet Group of Forces in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany).

Realistically speaking, though, the only state that is in a position to challenge the Kremlin’s hegemony over the sparsely settled Russian Far East is the People’s Republic of China, the world’s most populous country. Since the world congress of communists that took place in Moscow in 1960, the Russian and Chinese Communists are still committed to advancing global proletarian revolution, by deception, pseudo-capitalism, or conquest as necessary. Until 2001, when Moscow and Beijing signed the ground-breaking Treaty of Cooperation and Good Neighborliness, the Soviets and Red Chinese feigned disunity and even hostility in the so-called “Sino-Soviet split.” Still, cultural differences and residual nationalist sentiment no doubt stain the ideological purity of Russian and Chinese communism to this day. We strongly suspect that there is a lingering distrust between the RF and PRC, in spite of their common devotion to the same ideology.

Alternately, it is possible that the Russian Armed Forces’ Vostok drills represent a preparation for war on the Korean Peninsula, especially a confrontation with the USA, which has 27,000 soldiers stationed in the Republic of Korea. Soviet troops occupied the northern part of Korea at the end of the Second World War, helping the Korean Workers’ Party to set up the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Five years later, the North Korean army invaded and attacked the South, with a little help from hundreds of thousands of People’s Liberation Army troops and Soviet pilots flying DPRK fighter jets.

During Vostok 2010 the Russian military once again, as it did in last September’s Zapad (West) 2009 drill, tested its new command structure, which was altered from the Soviet era’s four-level system (military district, army, division, regiment) to a three-level system (strategic command, tactical command, brigade). Since the Kremlin intends to transform Russia’s military from a conscripted army into a somewhat smaller, professional force, unit mobility and combat readiness are imperative.

“The Vostok-2010 war games,” state-run Novosti elaborates, “included flights of frontline [tactical] bombers with midair refueling. Many motorized and air defense units also covered long distances by rail and in self-propelled mode.” Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov acknowledged that “The goal of the exercise is to see how the new structure works, to check whether our decisions were correct, and if necessary, change them.” Incidentally, Serdyukov is son in law to current Gazprom chairman and former prime minister Viktor Zubkov.

Graduating a whole new cadre of military officers, skilled in waging 21st-century warfare, is another imperative for Russia’s military reforms. Novosti editorializes:

A new army needs new officers. The methods of warfare have changed so much in the past [two] decades that officers now need to have broader military knowledge to be able to command and coordinate inter-service groups, and also better civilian skills allowing them to act as managers, diplomats, financiers and lawyers. Taken together, these skills will allow modern officers to be more flexible in a situation that implies a broad use of non-military methods of conflict settlement and to be highly selective as regards military instruments.

In fact, the industrialized Western countries put these requirements to their officers, in particular high-ranking ones. In Western armies, officers hold a variety of related posts during their carrier, which makes them versatile professionals. Russia has only entered this path.

Clearly, the Soviet strategists, observing the Russian army’s failures in the 2008 Georgia campaign, not to mention the failed test-launches of the new Bulava SLBM, are anxious to create a fighting force that can challenge NATO. For this reason, as we have blogged before, the Kremlin is swallowing its pride in order to fast-track military modernization by simply buying equipment, armaments, and vessels from the very countries it intends to attack one day. In April, Mikhail Dmitriev, chief of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, confirmed that Moscow will close the much-discussed Mistral deal with Paris by the end of 2010.

To equip these four amphibious assault ships, one to be purchased and three to be built under license, the Russian Air Force will procure at least 100 combat helicopters from the Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise.

“During a visit by Mistral to St. Petersburg [in November 2009], we tested the landing of our Ka-27 Helix and Ka-52 Alligator helicopters on the vessel. Currently, the state armament program stipulates the purchase of several dozens helicopters for this deal,” admitted Vyacheslav Kovalyov, first deputy director of Kumertau. He added: “The Russian Air Force plans to buy the Ka-52 Alligator, Ka-226 Hoodlum helicopters and a new modification of the Ka-27 helix helicopter, the Ka-27M, the development of which is now in its final stage.”

A “high-ranking source” in the Kremlin’s United Industrial Corporation (OPK) confirmed that the air force will buy up to 100 Ka-class helicopters, including some 70 Ka-27M choppers, to equip Mistral ships.

“Many Russian military and industry experts have questioned the financial and military sense of the purchase,” concedes Novosti, “and some believe that Russia simply wants to gain access to advanced naval technology that could be used in the future in potential conflicts with NATO and its allies.” Indeed.

Meanwhile, the Soviet strategists continue to patiently assemble the building blocks for the restored, revitalized Soviet Union. Three of these building blocks are the Commonwealth of Independent States, which immediately replaced the USSR in November 1991; the Union State of Russia and Belarus, formed in 1997; and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which partly replaces the Warsaw Pact, dismantled in 1991. Two others are the Eurasian Economic Community (Eurasec) and the brand-new Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus.

The Interstate Council of Eurasec, which doubles as the supreme body of the Customs Union, will hold meetings in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on July 5. The heads of these “former” Soviet republics plan to sign a joint statement on the enforcement of the Customs Code Treaty, which came into effect on July 1, within the framework of Eurasec. In addition to Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan, Eurasec encompasses strife-torn Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

During the Third Astana Economic Forum on July 1 and 2, Kazakhstan’s long-ruling “ex”-communist president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, complained “that the potential of Europe-Asia interaction has so far not been used in full, but there is hope that the enforcement of a common document on the fundamental norms of Eurasian integration will help consolidate rival projects in the region, giving them a common ideology and development goals.”

We rather suspect that the “common ideology and development goals” of the Eurasec leaders are a “friendly” form of communism. By contrast, reports Novosti, “the Kazakh opposition claims that Russia is using the Customs Union to restore the Soviet empire.” The Kazakh opposition is correct, but its candor will lead to its demise.

>Middle East/Latin America Files: Assad visits Venezuela, Cuba, joins Chavez in condemning “Yankee imperialism," "genocidal" Israel as "common enemy"

>While Americans remain fixated on the massive, ever-expanding environmental disaster which is British Petroleum’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and focus on trivialities such as Larry King’s departure from CNN, Communist Bloc allies in the Middle East and Latin America are closing ranks around the USA.

Last Saturday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad kicked off his four-nation Latin American tour by arriving in Caracas, where he met Venezuelan counterpart and fellow arch-terrorist, Hugo Chavez. There Comrades Assad and Chavez inked cooperation agreements on technology, agriculture, trade, and a new bi-national bank with an initial capitalization of US$100 million. They also agreed to build a $4.7 billion oil refinery in Syria, with Venezuela picking up one third of the tab. Assad is the first Syrian president to ever visit Venezuela.

During his tete-a-tete with Assad, Chavez invited Syria to join the Havana/Caracas-led Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) as an observer. Both presidents are reliable ideological allies of the Soviet strategists and loyal customers of Rosoboronexport, the Kremlin’s arms exporter. Incidentally, while visiting Caracas in 2008 Russian Federation President Dmitry Medvedev also expressed an interest in obtaining observer status for Russia in ALBA.

The socialist leaders of Venezuela and Syria, along with their chum Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president, follow proudly in the footsteps of the Soviet and Nazi dictatorships. Caracas’ independent El Universal reports that Chavez and Assad resolved to resist “Yankee imperialism” and the “genocidal state of Israel,” calling the Jewish state the “common enemy” of both countries. Unlike Egypt and Jordan, Syria did not sign a peace treaty with Israel after the last Arab-Israeli war in 1973, hence the war drums that Damascus continues to beat nearly 40 years later.

“Chavez is an Arab leader, who is in the heart of the Arab world,” gushed Assad, amid applause from hundreds of members of Venezuela’s estimated 700,000-strong Syrian community. He continued: “This is no flattering; it is the truth. We have his stance about Gaza, we have seen Venezuela’s historical position. President Chavez has overcome the pressure of world powers.” For his part, Chavez declared: “Latin American people need a greater presence of Arab governments; we need to become united, and Bashar has decided to take the lead in this rapprochement effort.”

If you have spent any time at this blog then you will realize that hatred of Jewry and Israel is not the sole province of neo-Nazis and “Christian Identity” types, but also communists, who consider Zionism, like any other form of nationalism, to be an obstacle to the ultimate triumph of world revolution. Indeed, in the Soviet Bloc after Joseph Stalin’s death official anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism were useful forms of propaganda to crush dissent domestically, attack US interests in Europe and elsewhere, and promote the cause of Arab “national liberation.”

Together, Bashar and, prior to 2000, his dad Hafez have ruled Syria for almost as long as the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party has controlled this Middle Eastern state that. With a little help from the Syrian Communist Party, the neo-fascist Syrian Social Nationalist Party–which is also active in Lebanon–and other pan-Arab leftist groupings, the Ba’athists exercise their ruthless reign of terror in collaboration with the National Progressive Front. The Syrian Ba’athists are closely allied with the (secretly ruling) Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF). In May 2008 CPRF Chairman Gennady Zyuganov travelled to Damascus where he swapped notes with the Ba’athist leadership.

Assad openly flaunts his new mutual defense pact with Ahmadinejad, regularly manipulates the Lebanese government through sympathetic politicians like President Michel Suleiman, and barely hides its support for Hezbollah, which not only possesses Russian-built missiles obtained via the Syrian army, but also operates bases on Syrian territory. While Assad stands accused of coddling Hezbollah, Chavez has resisted charges of providing havens for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and Spain’s Euzkadi Ta Askatasuna.

After rubbing elbows with Chavez, Assad flew to Havana last Sunday, the second pitstop on his excellent Latin American adventure. During a three-day snuggle-fest with President Raul Castro the Syrian dictator and his host agreed to promote bilateral economic and political ties that began in 1965. According to Granma, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of Cuba, the two countries maintain “excellent” relations in trade and educational and cultural exchanges.

Finally, Assad backtracked somewhat by flying to Brazil and then Argentina, where Presidents Luiz Lula da Silva and Cristina Kirchner are warmly disposed toward the red regimes in Cuba and Venezuela. While visiting Brasilia, Assad commended Lula’s communist-backed government for its participation with Turkey in negotiating international acceptance of Iran’s “civilian” nuclear power program. Lula visited Syria in 2003. While visiting Buenos Aires, Assad and Kirchner promised to support the other’s country in international forums, specifically Syria’s claim on the Golan Heights and Argentina’s claim on the Falkland Islands.