Monthly Archives: January 2006

>Putin in Shades

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>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Putin boasts about Russia’s missile technology

>In a recent news conference, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin warned the USA, in effect, “Russia’s ready to rumble.” Be assured that Russia’s new missiles are not intended to eradicate cave-dwelling terrorists on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. No, those missiles are intended to eradicate White House-dwelling “terrorists” who are “responsible” for supporting Chechen separatists, using nongovernmental organizations to advance the “colored” revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, and using NGOs to implement regime changes in Belarus. These have been the bold statements of representatives of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Soviet security apparatus’ nom de jour.

The FSB’s personnel, tactics, and objectives are perfectly harmonious with those of the pre-1992 KGB. Such is the conclusion of Owen Matthews and Anna Nemtsova, whose expose of the FSB is published in the February 6, 2006 issue of Newsweek: “A Chill in the Moscow Air: Taking a cue from their boss, the Russian secret service is acting more and more like the old KGB.”

Observe that in this news conference Comrade Czar Putin coyly refuses to connect Russia’s latest missile technology to the USA’s National Missile Defense program which at this time, in any case, is not capable of repelling a full-scale missile attack from Russia.

Putin boasts of the guided tour of Russia’s space control center given to French President Jacques Chirac. Notwithstanding his recent threat to use France’s nuclear weapons against rogue states, Chirac is nothing more than Putin’s poodle. (See previous blog about Russia’s new space base in French Guiana.)

Putin also shows his contempt for the independence-minded Georgians, who accused the FSB of sabotaging gas pipelines for the sake of advancing Kremlin energy imperialism.

The Palestinian Authority’s new Hamas government gets Putin’s green light. “Post-communist” Russia’s support for Palestinian terrorists is perfectly consistent with the Soviet Union’s pro-Palestinian policy.

In truth, the most effective ballistic missile defense is a preemptive strike against enemy assets, but that will never happen because, contrary to the Left’s characterization of the Bush Administration as a warmongering oil-hungry elite, the White House does not yet have the resolve to confront the Kremlin deceivers, nor the ability to protect civilians from a Soviet missile attack.

Anyone still think the Cold War is over?

Putin Touts Russia’s Missile Capabilities
January 31, 2006
By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press Writer
MOSCOW

President Vladimir Putin boasted Tuesday that Russia has missiles capable of penetrating any missile defense system, Russian news reports said.

“Russia … has tested missile systems that no one in the world has,” the ITAR-Tass, Interfax and RIA Novosti news agencies quoted him as saying at a news conference. “These missile systems don’t represent a response to a missile defense system, but they are immune to that. They are hypersonic and capable of changing their flight path.”

Putin said the new missiles were capable of carrying nuclear warheads. He wouldn’t say whether the Russian military already had commissioned any such missiles.

He said he had shown the working principles of the missile systems to French President Jacques Chirac during a visit to a Russian military facility.

“He knows what I’m talking about,” news agencies quoted Putin as telling reporters after state-run news channels had cut their live broadcast of the news conference.

In April 2004, Chirac became the first Western leader to visit Russia’s top-secret Titov space control center, which is also involved in launches of its intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Putin said that the new missiles were capable of changing both the altitude and the direction of their flight, making it impossible for an enemy to intercept them.

“A missile defense system is designed to counter missiles moving along a ballistic trajectory,” Putin was quoted as saying.

Putin and other Russian officials have boasted of the new missiles in similar comments in recent years, but they haven’t identified them or given any further details other than about their ability to change their flight path on approach to a target.

Most analysts viewed the earlier announcements about “hypersonic” missile systems as Moscow’s response to U.S. missile defense plans.

Military analysts have said that the military had experimented with a maneuvering warhead during a missile launch several years ago, but voiced doubt about Russia’s ability to deploy such weapons anytime soon.
Analysts said the new warheads, designed to zigzag on their approach to targets, could be fitted to new land-based Topol-M missiles and the prospective Bulava missiles, now under development.

On other topics at the news conference, Putin:

_ Urged the militant Palestinian group Hamas to engage in peaceful dialogue, and said Russia’s position on the Middle East differed from that of the United States and Europe.

Hamas should “refrain from extremist declarations, acknowledge Israel’s right to exist and put its contacts with the international community in order,” Putin said. He said “Russia has never declared Hamas a terrorist organization, but it doesn’t mean we support and accept everything Hamas has done and all the statements it has made.”

_ Lashed out at the government of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili for its criticism of Moscow over last week’s gas pipeline explosion, which resulted in a weeklong cutoff of Russian gas from the Caucasus Mountains nation.

While repair teams were working to fix the pipeline in freezing temperatures, “we only saw them spitting at us,” Putin said. “Georgian citizens must know that such a policy toward Russia won’t help to improve conditions of ordinary people.”

_ Praised his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, for taking Russia on the democratic path amid the turmoil that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“During the time when Yeltsin led Russia, Russian citizens got the most important thing: freedom,” Putin said during a wide-ranging annual news conference. “This is a great historic accomplishment of Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin.”

Many Russians hold Yeltsin, who turns 75 on Wednesday, responsible for the post-Soviet economic meltdown that led to a dramatic plunge in living standards. Putin owes his rise to power to Yeltsin, who picked him as his prime minister and then named him acting president.

Link: Breitbart

>USA File: Defense Department holds second nuke terrorism drill at Fort Monroe; simulates 10-megaton blast in Charleston, South Carolina

>The nuclear terrorism drill described below begins today, January 31, and continues to February 2. Anyone who supports the security of North America from such attacks should have no objections to such drills.

It is to be expected, however, that leftists and faux rightists will view such drills as “dry runs” by the Western capitalist elite to conduct their own nuclear terrorism on American soil. Rather than accept some restrictions on their civil liberties to protect the continent from foreign terrorism, the overheated imaginations of conspiracymongers will boil over with ominous warnings about an impending “fascist” police state in the USA.

For that reason, the “New World Order conspiracy” running dogs also identify the 911 attacks as an “inside job,” perpetrated by the White House. A myriad of Internet sites that tout themselves as “patriotic” will promote such treasonous rubbish that readily assists the hostile foreign states profiled in this blog. One of the worst, but slickest, offenders is Prison Planet, which predictably imparted an NWO spin to the current Joint Task Force-Civil Support exercise: “Another nuke exercise — your next 9/11?”

In doing so, Prison Planet and related sites are merely lifting an anti-American page from the delusional European Left, which gave birth to “911: The Big Lie?”, and the rantings of KGB politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who made the same assertions after September 11, 2001, related in “Russian Politician: Terror Attacks In New York And Washington Plotted In The USA.” Both articles cited previously were published by Pravda. Western leftists and faux rightists should be immensely pleased that that mouthpiece of Leninist disinformation holds the same opinion of the USA.

I would like to think that the Bush Administration has seen through the Kremlin’s bluff and recognizes the seriousness of the perestroika deception, but I don’t want to be too hopeful. The White House has issued a number of warnings about Al Qaeda’s plans for nuclear terrorism. This response is better than nothing. Will citizens of the shopping mall regime take heed, though, and initiate their own private preparations for such a disaster?

Another nuke exercise in Charleston
Defense Dept. to hold second anti-terror drill
Monday, January 23, 2006

The Defense Department has scheduled a second major, three-day exercise to combat nuclear terrorism in the Charleston, S.C., area, according to Inside Defense.

The goal is not prevention, but coping with the catastrophic results of a terrorist nuclear attack on a major U.S. port city.

The three-day drill by the military’s Joint Task Force-Civil Support, headquartered at Ft. Monroe, Va., involves managing the effects of a 10-megaton nuclear blast.

A similar exercise was held last summer. Like that one, the Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 drill is centered around a hypothetical blast that affects nearly half a million people across a 900-square mile section of South Carolina. The scenario assumes 10,000 fatalities and more than 30,000 injuries.

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency and senior Coast Guard brass will be on hand.

Though the target of the attack is Charleston, no part of the exercise will actually take place there. Maj. Gen. Bruce Davis, the task force’s commander, will oversee the exercise from Fort Monroe.

Last summer, the similar exercise, “Sudden Respond ’05,” was led by Virginia’s Fort Monroe-based Joint Task Force-Civil Support. It, too, was designed to simulate a nuclear terrorist attack that the highest U.S. officials, including President Bush, have said is the No. 1 threat facing the nation.

Organizers say the nuclear drills should not frighten civilians but instead encourage them to learn how to protect themselves if such an attack – which some officials have referred to as inevitable – should occur.

The drill, reports Inside Defense, is strikingly similar to a scenario detailed by Graham Allison, former Pentagon assistant secretary for plans and policy and current Harvard professor, in his book, “Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe.”

A month after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Allison wrote, the Central Intelligence Agency presented Bush with a report that al-Qaida had smuggled a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb into New York City. The president, according to the book, dispatched Nuclear Emergency Support Teams of scientists and engineers to New York to search for the weapon, which was never found.

Allison described the devastation that a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb would visit on Manhattan, were it detonated in the middle of historic Times Square: some 1 million people would die almost immediately.

“The resulting fireball and blast wave would destroy instantaneously the theater district, the New York Times building, Grand Central Terminal, and every other structure within a third of a mile to the point of detonation,” he wrote. “The ensuring firestorm would engulf Rockefeller Center, Carnegie Hall, the Empire State Building, and Madison Square Garden, leaving a landscape resembling the World Trade Center site.

From the United Nations headquarters on the East River and the Lincoln Tunnel under the Hudson River, to the Metropolitan Museum in the eighties and the Flatiron Building in the twenties, structures would remind one of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Office Building following the Oklahoma City Bombing.”

As WND has reported, for more than 10 years, Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida has planned to use nuclear weapons in a terrorist attack on the U.S. The plan is dubbed “American Hiroshima.” In fact, as first reported in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, captured al-Qaida operatives and documents suggest the weapons have already been smuggled into the country.

Link: WorldNetDaily

>Grey Terror File: Al Qaeda No. 2, Al-Zawahiri, condemns Bush in second video referencing January 2006 air strike

>FSB asset still alive and kicking. Where’s Al Qaeda’s next target in the Continental USA? State of the Union address, Washington, DC, January 31? Super Bowl, Detroit, February 5?

“But your leaders, who are keen to accumulate wealth,” admonishes the good Egyptian doctor, “insist on throwing you in battles and killing your souls in Iraq and Afghanistan and – God willing – on your own land.” Note boldface words. Intriguing comment from an Islamic terrorist, but not surprising from one who has also been radicalized by Marxism.

Indeed, much of the benighted West seems to have missed the obvious symbolism of the 911 skyjackers divebombing the World Trade Center. If the members of Atta’s boxcutter-wielding gang were merely Islamists, then why not divebomb the Crusaders’ religious landmarks in Manhattan, such as a cathedral or a synagogue? Nay, the WTC was the preeminent landmark of international capitalism in the USA. Hence, the Bolshevik rationale for toppling the Twin Towers. September 11 was an appropriate date: Cheka founder Felix Dzerzhinsky was born on that day in 1877.

Al-Zawahiri’s last comment, also below, appears to be a sentiment that Cindy Sheehan, the subject of the previous blog, has taken to heart.

Zawahiri says he escaped US raid
30 January 2006 6:50 PM GMT

Aljazeera has aired a new video in which al-Qaida’s deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri calls George Bush a butcher and threatens a new attack in the US.

Monday’s video was his first appearance since a US air strike that targeted him on 13 January in Pakistan.

Al-Zawahiri said he had survived the raid which he said killed “innocents”.

The air strike hit a building in the eastern Pakistan village of Damadola, reportedly killing four al-Qaida leaders. Thirteen villagers were also killed in the strike, angering many Pakistanis.

The video appeared to be recorded this month, as it mentioned a call for a truce issued by Bin Laden in an audio tape Aljazeera said was recorded in January.

“US airplanes … launched a raid on a village in near Peshawar after Eid al-Adha in which 18 Muslim men, women and children were killed in what they call the war against terror,” al-Zawahiri said.

“They said this was intended to kill myself and four brothers but now the whole world has discovered their lies …”.

Egyptian-born Al-Zawahri and Saudi-born Bin Laden are believed to be hiding in a mountainous area on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Pakistani intelligence sources said four top al-Qaida fighters were believed to have been killed in the 13 January raid which US officials say was aimed at the al-Qaida number two.

White robes

Al-Zawahiri, shown wearing white robes and a white turban, said the US had ignored an offer from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden for a truce.

“Butcher of Washington, you are not only defeated and a liar, but also a failure. You are a curse on your own nation,” he said, referring to Bush. “Bush, do you know where I am? I am among the Muslim masses,” he said.

“My second message is to the American people, who are drowning in illusions. I tell you that Bush and his gang are shedding your blood and wasting your money in frustrated adventures,” he said, speaking in a forceful and angry voice. Al-Zawahiri added: “The lion of Islam, Shaikh Osama bin Laden, may God protect him, offered you a decent exit from your dilemma. But your leaders, who are keen to accumulate wealth, insist on throwing you in battles and killing your souls in Iraq and Afghanistan and – God willing – on your own land.” The video came in the wake of a 19 January audiotape by bin Laden in which he warned that al-Qaida is preparing attacks in the US but he offered a truce “with fair conditions” to build Iraq and Afghanistan.

The tape was the first message from Bin Laden in over a year.

Al-Zawahiri continued: “The American planes raided in compliance with Musharraf the traitor and his security apparatus, the slave of the Crusaders and the Jews.”

Extent of savagery

“In seeking to kill my humble self and four of my brothers, the whole world has discovered the extent of America’s lies and failures and the extent of its savagery in fighting Islam and Muslims,” al-Zawahiri said. Aljazeera said it was airing excerpts of the video, and it showed two short parts. It was not immediately know how long the entire tape was.

The al-Qaida number two vented fury at Bush and the US leadership, saying: “Your leaders responded to the initiative of sheik Osama, may God protect him, by saying they don’t negotiate with terrorists and that they are winning the war on terror. I tell them: You liars, greedy war mongers, who is pulling out from Iraq and Afghanistan? Us or you? Whose soldiers are committing suicide because of despair? Us or you?”

“You, American mother, if the Pentagon calls to tell you that your son is coming home in a coffin, then remember George Bush. And you, British wife, if the Defence Department calls you to say that your husband is returning crippled and burnt, remember Tony Blair.”

Link: Aljazeera.Net

>Useful Idiots Bin: Cindy Sheehan at the Sixth World Social Forum in Caracas

>The Useful Idiots Bin is a new news category at Once Upon A Time in the West. “Useful idiot” is a term attributed, rightly or wrongly, to Vladimir Lenin and used to describe non-communists who unwittingly or wittingly advance the red agenda. This is often done when non-communists promote world peace, on communist terms. While the origin of the term cannot be nailed down to Vlad, “useful idiot” is a useful term.

Comrade Hugo Chavez, the dictator of Venezuela, recently transformed the anti-war activist Cindy “Peace Mom” Sheehan into one of Lenin’s useful idiots by referring to her as “Ms. Hope” in a January 29 televised address at the Sixth World Social Forum. Chavez referred to Bush as “Mr. Danger.” The WSF, hosted this year in Caracas, is the communist “answer” to the World Economic Forum.

Cindy’s rant at Caracas included the following pleasant sentiments: “George Bush is illegitimate and should be evicted. Let’s not talk about impeachment, he was never elected. After he is impeached he should be tried for war crimes. Prefering to use the word “Matriot,” rather than “Patriot,” Cindy declared: “We need a matriarchal society that is more nurturing and fostering of life.” Sure, Cindy, but we’ve been living in a matriarchal society since at least the 1970s. Look at the human wreckage and bloodshed that washes from clinic shore to clinic shore . . .

Link: IndyBay.org

Updated January 31, 2006.

Apparently reinvigorated by her junket to the new Latin American Red mecca, Caracas, and Comrade Chavez’s commendation, Cindy protested at the US Capitol Building before President George Bush arrived to deliver his State of the Union Address. The “Peace Mom” was arrested and removed from the premises. Thanks Hugo.

Link: Breitbart

>Latin America File: USSR2 builds space base in French Guiana; Soyuz to launch first Brazilian astronaut

>Checkmate. Cuban Missile Crisis Redux. The Soyuz launch site (picture of model at left) at the Guiana Space Center, originally built by the French Space Agency, is to be completed in 2008, according to the RussianSpaceWeb.com article below. However, according to the first Moscow News article, also below, “commercial” space launches will begin in 2006.

Very clever. Should US warheads reduce the space center at Plesetsk to radioactive dust, the Soviets will have a potential strategic military asset on French territory in the Western Hemisphere.

Meanwhile, the communist government of Brazil must be swelling with red pride as one of its countrymen will be propelled into space in March 2006.

Guiana Space Center

Laws of orbital mechanics push rocket designers to seek prospective launch sites as close to the Equator as possible. The space vehicle launched due East anywhere on the Equator can use Earth rotation to its full advantage, maximizing the payload and minimizing the cost. Such unique requirement made a jungle-covered South American coast of French Guiana an ideal choice for future European space hub.

An exotic ocean-side coastline, near a sleepy town of Kourou, located just five degrees north of the Equator, would provide a starting point for a safe flight corridor over the Atlantic Ocean and give the rocket extra 460 meters per second in velocity from the natural Earth rotation. Ironically, before the coming of the spaceport, the area was mostly known in France for a notorious penal colony located on the nearby Devil’s Island.

The decision to build the launch site in Kourou was made by France in 1964 and the initial construction at a cost of 25 million Francs was completed in 1968. Kourou provided France with the alternative to the Hammaguir rocket test base in Algeria, evacuated by June 30, 1967, in the aftermath of the Algerian war for independence.

Location

The original rocket launching facilities in French Guiana were built by French Space Agency, CNES, along a stretch of coastal land some 60 kilometers wide from the town of Kourou to the town of Sinnamari. Without climate controlled facilities, launch campaigns could be conducted only during a five-month-long dry season, while frequent floods threatened launch pads, located just five meters above the sea level.

The main launch corridor to reach near-Equatorial orbit stretched some 4,000 kilometers in Eastern direction. It was also possible to reach highly inclined polar orbit, along a corridor heading 3,000 kilometers in northern direction toward the Islands of Bermuda. Total azimuth of possible launches from Kourou reached 120 degrees.

The original flight control network included ground stations on the Montagne de Peres islands off the coast of French Guiana, as well as in Cayenne, some 60 kilometers southeast from Kourou and in Fortaleze, Brazil. Two main stations on the islands were equipped with 12-meter parabolic antennas, others with smaller antennas.

Rocket stages can be transported to the site by sea (booster stages) and by air (upper stages and payloads).

Launch history

First sounding rocket launches commenced in April 1968, followed by the Diamant launch vehicle in 1970. On March 10, 1970, the Diamant-B rocket successfully delivered the DIAL satellite into orbit, the first spacecraft launched from Kourou. Until May 21, 1973, total five Diamant-B rockets were launched from Kourou, three of them successfully. It was followed by the Diamant BP4 rocket.

From 1976, the European Space Agency, ESA, partially funded the construction and the maintenance of the site. Around the time, the annual budget of the spaceport reached around 300 million Francs, one third of which was funded by France and the rest by the European Space Agency.

The very first attempt to launch the Europa-2 rocket from Kourou in November 1971 ended in failure, after which the program was shot down. The ELA-1 launch complex was later refurbished for the Ariane program, which was officially under development from July 1973.

The first Ariane-1 rocket was launched from French Guiana on Dec. 24, 1979, eventually making Kourou the capital of the world’s commercial space activities. The Ariane-2 and -3 rockets were introduced in 1984 and a long-lasting Ariane-4 version completed its maiden flight on June 15, 1988. It remained in operation until the middle of the first decade of the 21st century.

At the beginning of the 1990s, the spaceport in Kourou occupied 850 square kilometers of land and directly employed 1,100 members of the personnel. The town and surrounding area was also booming, attracting a considerable influx of immigrants. The spaceport even became a destination for the Concorde supersonic passenger jet, which carried government officials, engineers and journalists attending major launches.

Soyuz in Kourou

Early on, the French government made an official decision to make the site available to any country willing to deploy its space launcher systems there. At the time, few could predict that Russian rockets would become first “foreign guests” in Kourou.

After several years of consideration, Europe committed to fund the construction of a launch pad for the Soyuz-2 family of rockets in Kourou. On November 7, 2003, Russian and French governments formally agreed to bring Soyuz to Kourou.

With the signing of a formal agreement between Arianespace and Russian Space Agency on April 11, 2005, the countdown for the construction of the launch pad officially started on April 26, 2005. According to the contract, the Moscow-based KBOM design bureau had to be ready for the “all out” tests of the launch pad with the Soyuz-2 (Soyuz-ST) rocket within 35 months from the beginning of the construction. The tests were expected to last for two months, culminating with the actual launch of the first mission sometime in 2008, or 37 months after the beginning of the construction. The excavation for the pad was expected to start at the end of the monsoon season of 2005. As many as 50 Soyuz launches were expected from Kourou over a 15-year period.

Technical description

The launch complex for the Soyuz rockets in Kourou featured considerable differences from its original launch pads in Baikonur and Plesetsk. Since the potential commercial payloads only allowed vertical integration with the rocket, the launch complex designers have decided to install payload module onto the rocket after it is rolled out and erected into vertical position on the launch pad. To provide a climate controlled environment for the integration of the payload with the launch vehicle, a movable service tower was introduced. The design of the tower would enable its further extension in the future, including accommodations for the crew access into the manned spacecraft.

In designing the complex, the developers also left the option for future addition of the liquid hydrogen fuel storage, which would enable launches of the rockets powered by cryogenic engines.

The upgrade for the manned missions would be also possible, however it would require taking the launch pad out of service for a certain period of time.

Soyuz-ST payload capabilities from Kourou:
Geo-transfer orbit, GTO: up to 2,720 kilograms
Geostationary orbit, GSO: up to 1,360 kilograms
Sun-synchronous orbit, SSO: up to 4,350 kilograms

Link: RussianSpaceWeb.com

Russia Launches New Generation Space Rocket
Created: 09.11.2004 11:12 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 11:12 MSK
MosNews

Russia launched a new generation booster rocket Monday after two postponements, paving the way for new space programs and even commercial space launches.

The Soyuz-2 rocket blasted off from the Plesetsk launch pad in northern Russia carrying a mock-up of an unspecified “space apparatus,” the Interfax news agency reported.

Originally scheduled for Oct. 29, the launch was put off twice in order to correct software flaws and perform tests.

The booster is a modernized, high-powered version of the Soyuz rocket, equipped with an updated digital control system, and requiring fewer people to oversee its launch, Interfax reports.

In addition to using the Soyuz-2 for its own manned and unmanned space program, Russia plans to use the booster for commercial space launches from the Kourou launch pad in French Guiana, starting in 2006, under a deal reached with the European Space Agency.

Link: Moscow News

Russian Experts Pleased With Brazilian Progress Ahead of First Space Flight
Created: 30.01.2006 11:34 MSK (GMT +3)
MosNews

Russian experts have largely praised the progress of Brazil’s space program after checking preparations for the maiden voyage of the South American country’s first astronaut.

“Our task was to inspect the equipment and make sure it is safe to use on board the International Space Station (ISS),” Sergei Rybkin, a department head at the Russian Space Agency was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

During the visit to Brazil, a team of experts from the Russian agency and the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, Russia’s leading space-industry company, were satisfied with the testing facilities, though it proposed several design changes in the equipment that would be used for work in space.

“We made several technical suggestions, and the Brazilians have to follow them accordingly,” Rybkin said. “These are small design changes related to automatic shutdown procedures, the absence of sharp edges on the body of various devices and the need to maintain external temperatures on the surface of the equipment at +40 Celsius (about 104 Fahrenheit) or below.”

The second round of equipment testing will be conducted at the National Space Research Institute in Brazil in mid-February and after that the equipment will be delivered to Moscow for final approval.

The Russian and Brazilian presidents signed a contract in October 2005 to send Brazil’s first astronaut to the ISS on board a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in March 2006.

During the $20-million mission, Lt. Col. Marcus Pontes, who passed through NASA training in 2000, will conduct nine scientific experiments in the sphere of nano- and bio-technology and plant behavior in micro-gravitational conditions.

According to experts, Pontes, who will travel to the ISS on March 30 to spend 10 days on board the station, will have enough time to practice using the equipment during the final stages of his preparation for the space mission in Moscow.

Link: Moscow News

>Final Phase Backgrounder: CPRF leader Zyuganov’s curious insight into Putin’s succession formula

>Updated: January 30, 2006.

Why should Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, past leader of the Union of Communist Parties-Communist Party of the Soviet Union (UCP-CPSU), and prime mover in the reorganized CPSU care how Vladimir Putin selects a successor? What special insight does this key player in the Soviet strategic deception have into the inner workings of the Kremlin and the Putin Administration?

The answer, of course, has just been stated and can also be derived from KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn’s invaluable revelation of Moscow’s long-range plan, now in its 45th year. “The problem of succession in the leadership of the Soviet Union and other communist countries,” Golitsyn explains, “is of great importance, since on it depends the solution of many other practical problems” (New Lies for Old, 196). In the next passage, Golitsyn, applying his remarkable analytical methodology, predicts the rise of KGB director Yuri Andropov’s “liberal” protege, Mikhail Gorbachev: “Brezhnev’s successor may well appear to be a kind of Soviet Dubcek. The succession will be important only in a presentational sense. The reality of collective leadership and the leaders’ common commitment to the long-range policy will continue unaffected” (338).

The smooth transfer of power between Leonid Brezhnev and Andropov, Golitsyn contends furthermore, demonstrates that the “succession problem” at the top of the Soviet hierarchy is resolved:

The expeditiousness of the appointment of Andropov as Brezhnev’s successor confirmed one of the main theses of this book; namely, that the succession problem in the Soviet leadership has been resolved. The practical consideration of the long-term strategies has become the major stabilizing factor in this solution. The promotion of the former KGB chief, who was responsible for the preparation of the false liberalization strategy in the USSR, indicates that this factor was decisive in his selection and further points to the imminent advent of such “liberalization” in the near future.

The rise of Andropov fits into a familiar pattern whereby the former security chief becomes the party leader in order to secure the important shift in the realization of the strategy (347-348).

Golitsyn’s observation also applies to the smooth transfer of power between Andropov and Gorbachev, which occurred shortly after the KGB defector’s first book was published in 1984.

Likewise, a third smooth transfer of power occurred in 1990 when Boris Yeltsin assumed the presidency of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, which morphed as if by the magician’s sleight of hand, into the Russian Federation two years later. In 1990 Yeltsin also dramatically and publicly resigned from the CPSU, which means only that, according to the Golitsynian thesis, something “presentational” was transpiring in the Soviet Union for the sake of Western consumers. In truth, the collective leadership was functioning perfectly.

Gangster capitalism and oligarchical capitalism devoured Russia throughout the 1990s. Capitalism was futher tarnished in the eyes of Soviet citizens. The stage is set for USSR2: The Sequel.

Fast forward to the eve of the new century. Apartments are bombed in Russian cities. Moscow blames Chechen terrorists. No credible suspects are ever produced. The “ex”-communist Yeltsin appoints former FSB director Putin to steer the Soviet state on December 31, 1999.

Well, at least Putin’s no longer a Communist, right? The pro-Putin party in the Duma is United Russia. Surely Comrade Czar Putin’s off the hook? The president of United Russia, however, is Colonel-General Sergei Kuzhugetovich Shoigu, who was a faceless functionary in the Abakan branch of the old CPSU and then the Komsomol. In other words, the leader of Putin’s cheering squad is another one of these “ex”-communists who dominate Russian “politics.”

Putin’s lateral shift from the FSB to the prime ministership and then the presidency of the Russian Federation, of course, parallels Andropov’s translation from the KGB to the presidency of the Soviet Union. Indeed, Putin is known as “Little Andropov,” a nickname he earned in part by restoring Andropov’s memorial plaque to the KGB director’s residence in Kutuzovsky Prospekt.

Putin: The career KGB spy who replied to Larry King’s query “What happened to the Kursk?” with the glib one-liner: “It sank.”

Putin: The spy who never came in from the cold and who is busy chasing British agents in 2006 and making light of it in the media.

Andropov redux. Voila! Golitsyn vindicated.

Yes, Gennady, I expect everything’s under control. The collective leadership is working well with input, no doubt, from roving international statesman Mike (“I’ll Always Be a Communist”) Gorbachev. So, who’s next? You? Oleg? We’re waiting with bated breath.

Russian president prepares successor – Communist leader
14/11/2005

MOSCOW, November 14 (RIA Novosti) – The current government reshuffle is the “first step toward testing the formula of succession and a successor” to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the leader of the Communist party (KPRF) said Monday.

“This is a new testing stage,” Gennady Zyuganov said. “The successor has to be tested out in an executive position.”

According to Zyuganov, “the new [succession] formula will be developed in the next 3-4 months.”

“The new appointments prove that a decision has been made to strengthen the government with people who are close to the president by spirit and character, with those who worked with him in tandem recently,” the KPRF leader said. “But only in several months will we be able to make more serious conclusions.”

Zyuganov’s comments came in response to Putin’s series of new high-profile government appointments earlier Monday. Dmitry Medvedev moved from the Kremlin administration to become first deputy prime minister, and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov was appointed deputy prime minister while retaining his current post.

Link: RIA Novosti

>Asia File: Russian military aircraft violates Japanese airspace

>Russia and Japan are still technically at war. No peace treaty was signed following the Second World War and the Russian-occupied Kuril Islands are still hotly disputed between the two countries. Japan is one of the few allies that the West has in East Asia. The Russian aircraft that violated Japanese airspace was the Antonov 72, pictured above. While airspace violations are probably a common and accidental occurence worldwide, a violation committed by a Russian aircraft anywhere should be treated with suspicion. Since the Putin Coup of 1999, Russian bombers have resumed probing runs of North American airspace.

Russia says border control plane intruded into Japanese airspace
TOKYO, Jan. 26, 2006

KYODO

Russia told Japan on Thursday an airplane that violated Japanese airspace off Hokkaido Wednesday night belonged to the Sakhalin border security force, the Japanese Defense Agency’s Vice Minister Takemasa Moriya said. The Sakhalin border control authority told the Japanese Consulate General in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on Thursday that the plane was an Antonov-72, Moriya said.

Link: Kyodo

New Japanese BMD Radar Tracks Mysterious Test of Russian Missile
Created: 17.11.2005 11:07 MSK (GMT +3),
Updated: 14:48 MSK, 9 hours 17 minutes ago
MosNews

A new Japanese ballistic missile defense radar successfully tracked a Russian strategic missile test this weekend, UPI quoted local officials as saying. Russia did not announce any missile launches, however.

A prototype FPS-XX radar, designed and built by the Japanese Defense Agency’s Technical Research & Development Institute, monitored the test firing of a ballistic missile launched from a Russian nuclear-powered submarine in the Sea of Okhotsk 1,000 miles to the northeast. The radar then tracked the missile’s flight for thousands of miles across northern Russia to the Barents Sea in the Arctic Ocean, the Defense Agency said.

However, Russia’s last missile launch from the Okhotsk area was on Sept. 30. The RSM-50 missile was launched from the St. George the Victorious submari and hit a target on the island of Kanin in the White Sea. No other launches have been announced, although the information is not secret.

Japan says that radars — able, according to a report, to track secret missile operations — will be deployed at four sites across the country after 2008. Together with the X-band radar — the U.S. forces’ mobile early warning radar system — and other equipment, the FPS-XX radar system is a major part of Japan’s rapidly expanding defense system.

Russia and Japan have not yet signed a peace treaty ending hostilities from World War II.

Link: Moscow News

Russia, Japan Should Set Aside Dispute Over Islands — Koizumi
Created: 17.11.2005 15:24 MSK (GMT +3),
Updated: 15:24 MSK, 8 hours 43 minutes ago
MosNews

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi urged Russia Thursday to set aside the discussion of a long-running territorial dispute between the two countries for the time being.

“We should think twice whether it is worth focusing on this issue at present,” Koizumi told a news conference in Tokyo.

“The sides will hardly reach an agreement on this complex issue, which has existed for 60 years,” he was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Nov. 20-22 visit to Tokyo.

He said that the territorial dispute, which involves four islands off Russia’s far-eastern coast, was a complex problem and both sides had different approaches toward its resolution.

“It will take time and further discussions [to resolve it],” the Japanese leader said. On Nov. 13, Koizumi told Russian television that both countries could develop relations despite the territorial disagreement.

Relations between the two countries have been strained in recent years due to the dispute over the Kuril Islands. Japan claims sovereignty over four islands that became part of the Soviet Union after World War II. The issue remains unresolved and has prevented the signing of a peace treaty to end the state of war between the two countries formally.

Link: Moscow News

>Middle East File: Iraqi air force general: Saddam transferred WMDs to Syria

>The International Left is permanently deaf and blind on this crucial issue. But that’s OK. It serves the plans of Russia, Iran, Syria, and the Palestinian Authority well. I recall very distinctly Ariel Sharon’s December 2002 comments in which he contended that the Iraqis had transferred their WMDs to Syria. No one appeared to be listening and even the Bush Administration continues to huff and puff over the validity of such reports. I don’t know why. They could have used such testimony to generate a lot more support for the liberation of Iraq.

See previous blogs on this subject, as well as Saddam’s terrorist training camps.

Iraq’s WMD Secreted in Syria, Sada Says
BY IRA STOLL – Staff Reporter of the Sun
January 26, 2006

The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein’s air force says Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.

The Iraqi general, Georges Sada, makes the charges in a new book, “Saddam’s Secrets,” released this week.

He detailed the transfers in an interview yesterday with The New York Sun.

“There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands,” Mr. Sada said.

“I am confident they were taken over.”

Mr. Sada’s comments come just more than a month after Israel’s top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moshe Yaalon, told the Sun that Saddam “transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria.”

Democrats have made the absence of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq a theme in their criticism of the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in 2003. And President Bush himself has conceded much of the point; in a televised prime-time address to Americans last month, he said, “It is true that many nations believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. But much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong.”

Said Mr. Bush, “We did not find those weapons.”

The discovery of the weapons in Syria could alter the American political debate on the Iraq war. And even the accusations that they are there could step up international pressure on the government in Damascus. That government, led by Bashar Assad, is already facing a U.N. investigation over its alleged role in the assassination of a former prime minister of Lebanon. The Bush administration has criticized Syria for its support of terrorism and its failure to cooperate with the U.N. investigation.

The State Department recently granted visas for self-proclaimed opponents of Mr. Assad to attend a “Syrian National Council” meeting in Washington scheduled for this weekend, even though the attendees include communists, Baathists, and members of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group to the exclusion of other, more mainstream groups.

Mr. Sada, 65, told the Sun that the pilots of the two airliners that transported the weapons of mass destruction to Syria from Iraq approached him in the middle of 2004, after Saddam was captured by American troops.

“I know them very well. They are very good friends of mine. We trust each other. We are friends as pilots,” Mr. Sada said of the two pilots. He declined to disclose their names, saying they are concerned for their safety. But he said they are now employed by other airlines outside Iraq.

The pilots told Mr. Sada that two Iraqi Airways Boeings were converted to cargo planes by removing the seats, Mr. Sada said. Then Special Republican Guard brigades loaded materials onto the planes, he said, including “yellow barrels with skull and crossbones on each barrel.” The pilots said there was also a ground convoy of trucks.

The flights – 56 in total, Mr. Sada said – attracted little notice because they were thought to be civilian flights providing relief from Iraq to Syria, which had suffered a flood after a dam collapse in June of 2002.”

Saddam realized, this time, the Americans are coming,” Mr. Sada said. “They handed over the weapons of mass destruction to the Syrians.”

Mr. Sada said that the Iraqi official responsible for transferring the weapons was a cousin of Saddam Hussein named Ali Hussein al-Majid, known as “Chemical Ali.” The Syrian official responsible for receiving them was a cousin of Bashar Assad who is known variously as General Abu Ali, Abu Himma, or Zulhimawe.

Short of discovering the weapons in Syria, those seeking to validate Mr. Sada’s claim independently will face difficulty. His book contains a foreword by a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, David Eberly, who was a prisoner of war in Iraq during the first Gulf War and who vouches for Mr. Sada, who once held him captive, as “an honest and honorable man.”

In his visit to the Sun yesterday, Mr. Sada was accompanied by Terry Law, the president of a Tulsa, Oklahoma based Christian humanitarian organization called World Compassion. Mr. Law said he has known Mr. Sada since 2002, lived in his house in Iraq and had Mr. Sada as a guest in his home in America. “Do I believe this man? Yes,” Mr. Law said. “It’s been solid down the line and everything checked out.”

Said Mr. Law, “This is not a publicity hound. This is a man who wants peace putting his family on the line.”

Mr. Sada acknowledged that the disclosures about transfers of weapons of mass destruction are “a very delicate issue.”

He said he was afraid for his family. “I am sure the terrorists will not like it. The Saddamists will not like it,” he said.

He thanked the American troops. “They liberated the country and the nation. It is a liberation force. They did a great job,” he said. “We have been freed.”He said he had not shared his story until now with any American officials. “I kept everything secret in my heart,” he said. But he is scheduled to meet next week in Washington with Senators Sessions and Inhofe, Republicans of, respectively, Alabama and Oklahoma. Both are members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The book also says that on the eve of the first Gulf War, Saddam was planning to use his air force to launch a chemical weapons attack on Israel.

When, during an interview with the Sun in April 2004, Vice President Cheney was asked whether he thought that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction had been moved to Syria, Mr. Cheney replied only that he had seen such reports.

An article in the Fall 2005 Middle East Quarterly reports that in an appearance on Israel’s Channel 2 on December 23, 2002, Israel’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon, stated, “Chemical and biological weapons which Saddam is endeavoring to conceal have been moved from Iraq to Syria.” The allegation was denied by the Syrian government at the time as “completely untrue,” and it attracted scant American press attention, coming as it did on the eve of the Christmas holiday.

The Syrian ruling party and Saddam Hussein had in common the ideology of Baathism, a mixture of Nazism and Marxism.Syria is one of only eight countries that has not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, a treaty that obligates nations not to stockpile or use chemical weapons.

Syria’s chemical warfare program, apart from any weapons that may have been received from Iraq, has long been the source of concern to America, Israel, and Lebanon. In March 2004, the director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, saying, “Damascus has an active CW development and testing program that relies on foreign suppliers for key controlled chemicals suitable for producing CW.”

The CIA’s Iraq Survey Group acknowledged in its September 30, 2004, “Comprehensive Report,” “we cannot express a firm view on the possibility that WMD elements were relocated out of Iraq prior to the war. Reports of such actions exist, but we have not yet been able to investigate this possibility thoroughly.”

Mr. Sada is an unusual figure for an Iraqi general as he is a Christian and was not a member of the Baath Party. He now directs the Iraq operations of the Christian humanitarian organization, World Compassion.

Link: New York Sun

>USSR2 File: Council of Europe condemns communist regimes; leaders of reorganized CPSU protest

>This resolution will no doubt disappoint, but not deter, the reorganized CPSU, under the leadership of Oleg Shenin and Gennady Zyuganov. Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s comments, related below, can be ignored since his “Liberal Democratic Party” is a KGB-concocted false opposition party and he is little more than a pseudo-fascist stalking horse for the Communists.

The existence of the reorganized CPSU, or continuing CPSU, depending on how you study the party’s post-1991 history, is little known in the West. However, its existence can be substantiated from the websites of Western communists, as well as the official CPSU party website, which should be proof enough!

Former Soviet Union Among Communist Regimes Condemned by PACE
Created: 26.01.2006 16:17 MSK (GMT +3),
Updated: 16:17 MSK, 6 hours 45 minutes ago
MosNews

The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) has passed a resolution condemning all totalitarian communist regimes, including the government of the former USSR, Interfax reported.

The document censors violations such as executions, deaths in concentration camps, torture, slave labor, and starvation committed by communist regimes in the Soviet Union, Cuba, China, North Korea.

“Whereas another totalitarian regime of the 20th century, namely Nazism, has been investigated, internationally condemned and the perpetrators have been brought to trial, similar crimes committed in the name of communism have neither been investigated nor received any international condemnation,” wrote Swedish representative Goran Lindblad in a report issued in mid-December by the Parliament’s Political Affairs Committee that served as a catalyst for Wednesday’s debate.

According to the Epoch Times, the Assembly called on all communist or post-communist parties among Council of Europe member states “to reassess the history of communism and their own past …and condemn them without any ambiguity” if they have not done so previously.

“Totalitarian communist regimes are still active in some countries of the world and crimes continue to be committed,” the resolution said. “The Assembly strongly condemns all those violations of human rights.”

The head of the Russian delegation, MP Konstantin Kosachev said he was against the resolution, as it, in his view, puts Communist governments on the same level with Nazi Germany. He also said Goran Lindblad could not answer the question as to whether all the communist regimes were totalitarian.

But Russian Ultra-Nationalist MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky, with his usual enthusiasm, supported the PACE resolution and even demanded Russian communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, who held protest marches in Strasbourg during PACE meeting, to go on trial in the Hague for his political views.

Link: Moscow News

>Middle East File: Moscow-backed terrorist org Hamas to form Palestinian Authority government

>The terrorist-sponsoring regime of the USSR2 must be thrilled. What a wonderful opportunity to expand Leninist terror throughout Israel and the Middle East. Check out second article.

Hamas election win redraws Mideast political map
26 Jan 2006 16:39:16 GMT

GAZA, Jan 26 (Reuters) – The Islamic militant group Hamas swept to victory over the long-dominant Fatah party on Thursday in Palestinian parliamentary polls, a political earthquake that could bury any hope for reviving peace talks with Israel soon.

The shock outcome, acknowledged by Fatah ahead of official results, does not automatically unseat President Mahmoud Abbas, a moderate elected last year after Yasser Arafat’s death. But he has said he might resign if unable to pursue a peace policy.

U.S. President George W. Bush appealed to Abbas to stay in office, but took aim at Hamas, vowing Washington would not deal with an armed Palestinian group advocating Israel’s destruction.

“Today we woke up and the sky was a different colour. We have entered a new era,” Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said after Hamas announced it had won more than 70 seats in the 132-member parliament in Wednesday’s election.

Amid heightened tensions, Fatah supporters clashed with triumphant Hamas activists who briefly hoisted a green Hamas flag at the entrance to the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah.

Official results were due around 7 p.m. (1700 GMT).

With peace negotiations stalled since 2000 and Israel and Hamas bitter enemies, Israeli interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert could opt for more unilateral moves, following last year’s Gaza pullout, to shape borders on land Palestinians want for a state.

Olmert, who took over from Ariel Sharon after the 77-year-old leader’s Jan. 4 stroke, suggested as much in a speech this week in which he repeated peace talks could not resume unless the Palestinian Authority disarmed militants.

In its first official comment on the poll result, Israel urged the European Union to take a firm stance against the establishment of a Palestinian “terrorist government”.

“After the takeover by Hamas of the Palestinian Authority, it is incumbent on the European Union to speak out clearly and unequivocally that there will be no European understanding of a process that would mean the establishment of a terrorist government,” Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said.

Leaders of the EU, the biggest donor to the aid-dependent Palestinian Authority, said earlier Hamas must renounce violence and recognise Israel or risk international isolation.

SIGNAL OF DISCONTENT

In Washington, Bush said Hamas’s victory was a sign Palestinians were unhappy with the status quo and showed democracy at work, which was positive for the Middle East.

But he made clear he was sticking to Washington’s view of Hamas as a terrorist group. It has carried out nearly 60 suicide bombings in Israel since a Palestinian uprising began in 2000.

“I don’t see how you can be a partner in peace if you advocate the destruction of a country as part of your platform,” Bush told a White House news conference. “You can’t be a partner in peace if … your party has got an armed wing.”

The United States is the main sponsor of a long-stalled “road map” peace plan that charts mutual steps towards the creation of a Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel.

Commentators in the Arab world predicted pragmatism would eventually prevail, with Hamas softening a position that now calls for the Jewish state’s destruction and Israel forging contacts with a new Palestinian powerhouse on its doorstep.

Hamas has largely respected a truce for nearly a year.

Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie of Fatah and his cabinet quit in the face of the Hamas victory. In the streets of Gaza, Hamas activists embraced, fired guns in the air and handed out sweets.

Under Palestinian law, the biggest party in the 132-member parliament can veto the president’s choice of a prime minister, effectively enabling Hamas to shape the next cabinet.

A senior Fatah official said it appeared Hamas was propelled to victory by public frustration over the mainstream faction’s failure to achieve Palestinian statehood and anger over years of corruption in its institutions and in the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas’s politburo chief Khaled Meshaal telephoned Abbas to affirm “a commitment to partnership with all the Palestinian forces, including the brothers in the Fatah movement”.

But Jibril Rajoub, a senior Fatah official, rejected any coalition with Hamas, a group that Abbas had said he hoped to bring into the political mainstream and persuade to disarm.

Shooting briefly erupted during the melee outside parliament in Ramallah. Four Fatah supporters were injured by stones and broken glass before Palestinian security forces intervened.

In the wider Middle East, the Hamas victory was seen as strengthening the hand of those who favour democracy even at the risk of removing authoritarian Arab governments which themselves face Islamist opposition movements sympathetic to Hamas.

Despite weeks of armed chaos, voting in the first parliamentary election since 1996 was orderly, with about 900 foreign observers led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter looking on. Turnout was 78 percent of the 1.3 million voters.

(Additional reporting by Wafa Amr and Mohammed Assadi in Ramallah, Allyn Fisher-Ilan, Jeffrey Heller and Matt Spetalnick in Jerusalem, Saul Hudson in Washington, Mark Trevelyan in Davos and Jonathan Wright in Cairo)

Link: Reuters

20.10.2005
Russia as a Bridgehead of HAMAS
AIA Staff

On October 18 the Kremlin’s press service published a message from President Vladimir Putin to Israeli and Palestinian colleagues. In both documents he expresses the need for them to accept the aspirations of Russia for active participation in the further settlement of the Middle-Eastern conflict. Putin reminds them of his April initiative to convene a conference in Moscow devoted to this problem.

In a conversation with the AIA Israeli section expert, a high-ranking representative of the Israeli Staff on The Struggle Against Terrorism (LUTAR) accused the Kremlin of a policy of double standards. As he said, on the one hand Putin calls for settlement of the conflict and emphasizes “inadmissibility of terrorist actions ” in his message to the President of Israel, but on the other hand Russia permits members and activists of radical Middle-Eastern organizations, such as Hezbollah, HAMAS, the Palestinian groups of “Islamic Jihad” to continue operating freely inits territory. LUTAR’s expert noted that these organizations conduct struggle not only against Israel, but also against the official Palestinian leadership to which Moscow traditionally renders public support.

As solid proof of his words, AIA’s informer tells about the October report of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S.) which functions out of the Heritage Center Of Israeli Secret Services (MALAM). This report is devoted to the Internet infrastructure of HAMAS. The report proves that most of the major websites of this organization function via Russian Internet servers, and use Russian Internet companies. Moreover, MALAM discovered that a representative of HAMAS supervising the Internet issue operates out of Russia…

Link: Axis Information and Analysis

>Protest Warrior Sign

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>Lenin

>

>The Perestroika Deception

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>No Che

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>USSR2 File: Union of Russia and Belarus moving forward to restored Soviet Union

>UPDATED: January 27, 2006.

The Union of Russia and Belarus, tentatively established in 1996, is but one component in a resuscitated USSR or, as we call it here, USSR2. As with the dismantling of the old Soviet Union in 1991, the Communists have delegated the task of building USSR2 to the FSB, which is the nom de jour of the Soviet security apparatus. Since the Russian President Vladimir Putin is not openly allied with the Communists, he can openly complete this project without generating too much suspicion in the West. Putin has revealed his sympathies for the appalling Soviet experiment in many ways, but his April 2005 comments are insightful:

“First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century. As for the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory. The epidemic of collapse has spilled over to Russia itself.”

Had the West shown any concern over Comrade Czar Putin’s lament, there should have been a surge in sales of do-it-yourself bunker kits. Alas not.

Notwithstanding the Communists’ precautions, the fact that Comrade Czar Putin, whose slide into authoritarianism is now acknowledged by some Western leaders, would ally himself with the unreformed Communist dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, who is officially persona non grata in the European Union (Mike Gorbachev’s “New European Soviet”), should raise a few eyebrows among even the most benighted denizens of the shopping mall regime. But it probably will not . . .

The resurrection of the Soviet Union is the stated goal of the reorganized Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), which rose from the dead, with little notice in the West, at a congress of the Union of Communist Parties-Communist Party of the Soviet Union (UCP-CPSU) in 2004. The website of the reorganized CPSU can be found here. (Yes, everyone has a website these days and, no, it’s not a bad dream.) Dr. Evil, to the left, is none other than Oleg Shenin, who has held executive positions in the UCP-CPSU and is now chairman of the reorganized CPSU. Gennadi Zyuganov, leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the largest communist party in “post-communist” Russia, has also held executive positions in the UCP-CPSU.

The UCP-CPSU was founded in 1993 as an umbrella organization to coordinate the political activities of the separate communist parties that emerged from the old CPSU in 1991. During that period, several communist factions claimed the name “CPSU,” but the new CPSU spawned in 2004 by Shenin and Zyuganov looks like the real deal.

The existence of the new CPSU is most intriguing since the Soviet Union was supposedly dismantled on Christmas Day, 1991. Are Russian Communists engaged in wishful thinking or has the Soviet Union continued to exist in some phantom-like way for the last 15 years, lurking behind the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Union of Russia and Belarus? Were the essential building blocks for a revived Soviet Union left in place while the democratic countries rejoiced, just as they had in 1943, when the Comintern dismantled itself? Inquiring minds want to know.

The same observation can be made with respect to the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, the website of which can be visited here. Czechoslovakia allegedly split into two sovereign components, the Czech and Slovak Republics on January 1, 1993. Are Czech and Slovak Communists also engaged in wishful thinking or has old Czechoslovakia continued to exist in some phantom-like way for the last 13 years?

Will the answer be too painful for Westerners to confront? I fear so.

A little historical review always sheds light on current events. Hence, it is worth noting that at the CPSU’s 28th Party Congress, in 1990, General Secretary Mike (“I’ll Always Be a Communist”) Gorbachev ordered his comrades to dissolve the CPSU into “new” parties, communist and “non-communist,” in order to advance Moscow’s long-range deception strategy against the West. It worked . . . and here we are in 2006.

The smug Eurocrats and Natocrats remain convinced that they have trumped the Evil Empire and expanded their organizations up to the borders of the Russian Federation. Nay, that is not the case. Rather, the USSR2 has infiltrated the EU and NATO with her Eastern European Trojan Horse satellite countries.

Thus, demilitarized and demoralized, with the last MX missile scrapped and little civil defense, unless you live in Switzerland, a few North Americans hope against hope that the Bush Administration’s National Missile Defense will protect the continent from the odd North Korean nuke.

Meanwhile, will the next joint Sino-Russian military exercise, scheduled for 2006, morph into a real assault on the West? Is it too late? Well, you can always pray . . .

But you say, “That’s not fair.”

Ha ha. Got CD?

President Putin Says Russia and Belarus Need More Integration
Created: 24.01.2006 20:42 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 20:42 MSK, 3 hours 7 minutes ago
MosNews

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia and Belarus needed further integration.

“Citizens of our countries are waiting for consistent progress in Russian-Belarusian integration and practical solutions, consolidating its foundation and improving living standards in both countries,” Putin was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying at a session of the Supreme Council of the Russia-Belarus Union. “We should carry out serious and diligent work to justify their expectations.”

His Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko said: “This is a special year for Russian-Belarusian integration,” adding that ten years ago the two countries had made the right decision in forming the union.

He also said equal rights of Russians and Belarusians were a focus of the Supreme Council’s work.

Some agreements are ready to be signed, including: “agreements on social guarantees, freedom of movement, choice of residence and medical services,” Putin said.

Russian-Belarusian foreign political cooperation and a unified external border are among other priorities of the two countries, the Russian president said. “The existing programs in this sphere have proved their effectiveness.”

Putin said the two countries would also sign a document on the Union’s property “establishing a precise order of using and managing the joint property of our nations,” and would approve the Union’s budget.

“Its adoption will help to launch a range of the Union’s programs for cooperation,” Putin said.

Vladimir Putin is holding talks with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in St. Petersburg will be followed by a session of the Supreme State Council of the Russia-Belarus Union State.

The idea of the state initially emerged in 1997 to foster political and economic integration, in particular by standardizing taxes and tariffs, but has largely remained on paper. Belarus was to adopt the Russian ruble as a single currency for the state in 2005, but the move has been postponed.

Link: Moscow News

Russia, Belarus Approve Joint 2006 Budget
Created: 20.01.2006 17:33 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 17:33 MSK
MosNews

The parliamentary assembly of the Union of Russia and Belarus have approved the budget of the Union State for 2006.

The assembly finished its session on Friday. The budget was set at 3.1 billion Russian rubles, ITAR-TASS news agency reported. Russia will deposit 1.76 billion rubles, Belarus 948 million rubles. The rest will come through Belarus’ debt redemption for the budgets of 2000-2003.

82 percent of the budget is allocated for 40 joint programs and projects. The two states have established a reserve fund of 3 million rubles that will be used if the union state’s Cabinet deems it is necessary.

Link: Moscow News

>Putin Soviet Pic

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>Communism with Canadian Characteristics: Conservative Party to form minority government

>As predicted, Canada’s new prime minister: Stephen Harper’s “Da Man.”

The outgoing PM, Paul Martin, is not only a millionaire shipping magnate, as the article below notes, but has close and unsavory ties with the Communist regime in Beijing. Martin, Jean Chretien, and their Liberal cohorts turned a blind eye to the RCMP’s Sidewinder Report in 1997, which exposed the gigantic Chinese espionage ring in Canada, which remains fully functional to this day.

In the meanwhile, Canada remains a deeply divided society: regionally, culturally, and clearly politically: Conservatives: 124 seats; Liberals: 103 seats; Bloc Quebecois: 51 seats; New Democrats (Socialist International): 29 seats; Independent: 1 seat. I cannot foresee the new Conservative minority government working with any of the opposition parties, but anything’s possible these days. Another election will probably be called within the next two years, unless some event can galvanize a majority of Canadians into a common cause. The only thing that comes to mind is a major terrorist attack on Canadian soil or the next world war, which is THE major topic under consideration in this blog.

Conservatives return to power
Norma Greenaway
CanWest News Service
Monday, January 23, 2006

UNDATED – Stephen Harper’s Conservatives appeared headed on Monday towards winning a minority government, ending 12-years of Liberal rule and possibly delivering the death knell to Paul Martin’s leadership.

The two-year-old Conservatives chalked up impressive gains in popular vote and seats across the country, scoring its first breakthrough in Quebec where Tory Lawrence Cannon was elected in the Pontiac riding.

“We’re feeling pretty positive,” declared re-elected Tory MP Peter MacKay, the party’s deputy leader. “This is a party that is obviously on the move. We have more seats now than we have (had) in the past 12 years.”

As the polls closed on the West Coast, CTV and the Global Network declared a Tory minority.

The Conservatives were leading or elected in 105 seats, compared with 89 for the Liberals, and 23 for the NDP, 49 for the BQ, one Green and one independent.

Early results showed the Tories getting good news in Atlantic Canada, picking off a seat in Newfoundland and Labrador, and also New Brunswick, where Andy Savoy, the popular chairman of the Liberal caucus lost his seat.

In Newfoundland, the Tories captured the Avalon seat held by the ailing John Efford, the Liberal cabinet minister who opted not to run this time. Still, the Liberals managed to hang on to four of the province’s seven seats. They also kept all four seats in Prince Edward Island.

The NDP hung on to their three seats in the region – two in Nova Scotia, including the Halifax seat held by Alexa McDonough, and one in New Brunswick.

On the cabinet front, the Liberals re-elected New Brunswicker Andy Scott, minister of Indian and Northern Affairs; and Nova Scotian Scott Brison, a Tory turncoat who became minister of public works.

Former Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney said Harper has earned the victory by uniting the right.

“It reminds me of how difficult it is as a Conservative leader to bring this party to victory in a country like Canada. And so it’s a tremendous tribute to Stephen Harper for what he was able to do in bringing about tonight’s victory… Some of the decisions he made some time ago – first of all to reach out with Peter MacKay and unify the party, then to move the party to the centre, then to devise a campaign strategy, finally to execute it flawlessly – these are marks of leadership. Stephen Harper demonstrated that leadership, I thought, to a great degree.”

Harper, a Toronto-born economist and former Reform MP who has pulled the Conservative party towards the political middle, promised to clean up government and to end the “culture of entitlement” that he says has marked successive Liberal governments.

Weighed down by the sponsorship scandal, Martin warned Canadian “values” would be at risk if Harper, who the Liberals portrayed as an ally and carbon-copy of the right-wing conservative ideologues in the U.S., got a chance to govern the country. The Liberal leader said a Tory government would hurt parents seeking quality child care and kill a $5-billion deal to combat aboriginal poverty.

NDP Leader Jack Layton, aiming to win the balance of power in the next Parliament, was bent from the outset of the election campaign on preventing his party’s supporters from stampeding to the Liberals, as they did in the last election, to thwart a Conservative victory.

Polls leading up to vote suggested no party stood to get the 155 seats needed to score a majority in the House of Commons, and that another minority government was the most likely scenario.

Martin, a millionaire shipping magnate turned politician, and Harper are fighting for their political lives. A defeat for either one could spell the end of their leadership of their respective parties.

The battle for votes was a long, and oft-bitter exercise, with the 67-year-old Martin insisting to the end his ruling Grits were poised for a “remarkable comeback.” Martin pleaded with “progressive” voters to rally around the Liberal banner to block the Conservatives.

Harper’s aggressive policy-a-day campaign drew to a cautious close. The Alberta transplant, sniffing newfound acceptance in Ontario and Quebec, spent the bulk of the last week stumping for votes in ridings the party hoped to steal from the Liberals in Ontario and the Bloc Quebecois and the Liberals in Quebec. Though he steered clear of declaring premature victory, Harper, 46, sounded more and more like a prime-minister-in-waiting than the front-runner.

He has promised to pursue five main priorities, starting with a federal accountability act aimed at curbing the influence of big money and lobbyists in Ottawa, and widespread tax relief for families and business. He also vowed to provide direct annual payments of $1,200 to parents for each child under the age of six; to crack down on crime; and to provide guaranteed wait times to allow patients to travel to other jurisdictions, including the United States, to get medical treatment.

The vote ended a gruelling eight-week campaign loaded with promises, polls and punditry. Along the way, there were memorable photo opportunities, not always good, such as the wheel falling off Martin’s wagon in Regina, and missteps, such as internal party confusion over Harper’s early promise to create an independent federal prosecutor.

The viewing public was also subjected to biting and negative ads from all the major parties.

To no one’s surprise, Ontario and British Columbia were major battlegrounds as the three major parties battled for supremacy in key ridings. The newly flush Green party was a factor in only a handful of B.C. ridings, threatening to pull critical votes away from Liberal and NDP candidates.

To almost everyone’s surprise, however, the Conservatives rose to become a potential force in Quebec. Anger over the sponsorship scandal in ‘la belle province’ proved to be the gift that kept on giving – not only to the Bloc Quebecois – but also the Tories, the only place confirmed federalist voters had to plant their vote if they could not bring themselves to vote Liberal.

The improved Conservative fortunes forced Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe to shift gears late in the campaign to target Harper as an Albertan whose interests are at odds with Quebecers approach to the environment, child care and other programs.

From the outset, the Conservative strategy was clear.

Use the opening weeks of the campaign to insulate Harper from accusations the Conservatives harboured a “hidden agenda” by rolling out a steady stream of policy announcements on everything from same-sex marriage to the eye-catching promise to cut the GST from seven per cent to five per cent in the first mandate of a Tory government.

The Boxing Day murder of a Toronto teenager, gunned down while she was shopping on Yonge Street, played into Harper’s tough law-and-order platform.

The Liberals, operating on the assumption few voters would tune in over the Christmas holiday season, waited until the New Year to kick into serious campaign mode. By then, Martin was hobbled by revelations the RCMP was conducting a “criminal investigation” into whether there was a leak of Finance Minister Ralph Goodale’s decision not to change the tax treatment of income trusts.

In the final weeks, Martin’s policy platform took a backseat to his campaign to paint Harper as a dangerous leader who would threaten a woman’s right to choose, plunge the federal treasury back into deficit, and turn his back on Liberal commitments to build a national child care program and comply with the Kyoto climate change accord.

Layton’s final tactic involved pleading with Canadians to “lend” the NDP their vote, just this once, to prevent what he called that “smoking hulk” of a Liberal Party from hanging on to power.

Ottawa Citizen/ with files from Glenn Johnson (CanWest News Service)

Link: Canada.com

>Red Terror File: Blowing up Georgia, the FSB’s energy imperialism, and the communist dialectic

>Georgia on my mind. No, not that Georgia. The other Georgia. Russia, Venezuela, and Nigeria are also on my mind. Big oil producers. Unfriendly, anti-Western governments. Marxist insurgents. Pipeline attacks. Mysterious rash of oil refinery explosions in the USA throughout 2003 and 2004 . . . black gold blackmail. Is Georgia on General Patrushev’s mind too? Patrushev (left) assumed Comrade Czar Putin’s role as FSB director.

The pipeline sabotage in the first report below occurred on January 22, 2006 in North Ossetia, scene of the September 2004 Beslan school massacre. According to ex-FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko and Chechen separatists, this tragedy was a Kremlin provocation. Other unusual circumstances surrounding the school massacre, such as the stashing of weapons in the school during summer renovations and the detaining and drugging of independent journalists traveling to Beslan to cover the event, heavily imply official complicity.

The FSB is also active in South Ossetia, where Georgian officials predicted covert operations only a few days ago, as the second article, published on January 18, 2006, notes.

Russia Accused of Sabotaging Georgia
Civil Georgia / 2006-01-22 17:37:12

Tbilisi has blamed Moscow for masterminding “series of sabotage acts” against Georgia after high-voltage power line and two vital gas pipelines exploded in Russia’s North Caucasus early on January 22. President Saakashvili said that Georgia is now experiencing the worst sabotage carried out by the Russian Federation and described the latter as “an unprincipled blackmailer.”

Two blasts with 20-minute of interval hit main and reserve gas pipelines in Russia’s North Ossetia cutting off gas supply to Georgia and Armenia. In the Russia’s Republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessia, between the villages of Karachaevsk and Uchketin high-voltage power line delivering electricity from Russia into Georgia was also blown up.

The Russian General Prosecutor’s Office has initiated criminal case for “deliberate damage of property” over expositions of gas pipelines. Russian officials said explosives equivalent to 700-800 grams of TNT went off. Reportedly it will take at four days to restore main gas pipeline.

Consumers rushed to the gas stations in Tbilisi and spent hours in queues to fill gas stockpile immediately after the officials announced that gas supply was expected to stop by the evening on Sunday.

President Saakashvili made a televised addressed by the noon and called on the Russia to “immediately restore gas supply.”

He said that explosion of two gas pipelines was a “heavy sabotage” against Georgia “carried out by the Russian Federation.”

He said that Russian officials’ response and explanations to the current situation are “absolutely unsatisfactory and contradictory.”

Saakashvili said that Georgia has always been a victim of Russia’s pressure. “We have to deal with an unprincipled blackmailer, I can not call it [Russia] otherwise,” Saakashvili said.

“Threats like these were heard from the Russian politicians: you will be left without heat, without electricity… And this happened when there is the coldest winter in Georgia,” Saakashvili added.

He said that against the background of persisting blackmail Russia has demanded from Georgia to sell its trunk gas pipeline. “We are ready to consider any kind of commercial proposal, but we will not do anything in case of blackmail,” Saakashvili said. “Those in the Kremlin should understand that they will fail to achieve something with blackmail,” he added.

Saakashvili also said that he has ordered to halt courses in the schools and high education centers before restoration of gas supply.

Shortly after the President’s televised addressed, Georgian Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili convened a news conference and blamed Russia for masterminding sabotage against Georgia.

“It is a fact that this is one of the unique cases when one country carries out sabotage against anther with such a covert way. You know that last year was marked with several terrorist acts in Georgia but all of them have been investigated and it seems that [certain forces] can not dare any more to mastermind terrorist acts on the Georgian territory,” Merabishvili said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Valery Chechelashvili said at a news conference that Georgian diplomatic missions have been instructed to inform leadership of respective countries about the developments.

He also said that Georgia expects that Azerbaijan will start gas supply to Georgia based on bilateral agreement between Tbilisi and Baku.

But he also warned that gas pipeline from Azerbaijan might not operate with full capacity, because of its “technical conditions.”

“This pipe has not been in operation for a long time already and some technical flaw might occur. So it is very difficult to say what amount and when exactly gas will be supplied, although we are receiving hopeful information in this regard,” Chechelashvili added.

Officials also say that it will take at least two days to fill this pipeline with Azeri gas.

The Russian energy giant Gazprom’s representative to Georgia Davit Morchiladze said at a news conference on January 22 that Gazprom is ready to provide Georgia with gas via Azerbaijan. He said that Gazprom will increase gas supply to Azerbaijan so that the latter could provide gas to Georgia.

Morchiladze said that Georgia was receiving about 7 million cubic meters of gas per day. In case of gas delivery via Azerbaijan, Gazprom will be able to provide Georgia with 4-5 million cubic meters of gas per day.

Link: Civil Georgia

Georgian Minister fears the Russian FSB’s activity in South Ossetia
18.01.2006 09:14 (GMT)

Georgian parliamentary leaders say they are sticking to their demand of the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from South Ossetia next month if evidence shows they have failed to improve their performance. Immediately when the spring parliamentary session opens on February 7, the legislative body will hold hearings on the performance of the Russian troops. Key testimony will come from Minister of Defense Irakli Okruashvili – who had already said he is against the peacekeeping force – and Minister of Foreign Affairs Gela Bezhuashvili. On October 11, 2005, Parliament adopted a decree that if the verdict from the hearings is negative, starting February, 15 Georgian will demand the withdrawal of the Russian peacekeeping forces from the South Ossetian Conflict zone, Messenger.ge reported. State Minister for Conflict Resolution Goga Khaindrava, who has expressed caution over such a strong resolution, on Monday called for a portion of the hearing to be closed so he can present documents concerning the possible dangers resulting from the enforcement of the resolution. “The Russian FSB reigns in the Tskhinvali region and allegedly, we should be ready for very serious excesses and provocations,” he warned, adding “First of all the people who like making loud public statements should take this fact into account.”

Link: Axis Information and Analysis

Russia has no intention of letting Georgia or any other former Soviet republic slip from its orbit. This certainly also applies to Ukraine, which experienced the Kremlin’s energy imperialism on New Year’s Day, when state-owned Gazprom shut the taps on pipelines heading into Ukraine and Western Europe. Alexander Medvedev, the director of Gazprom, is an old buddy of Comrade Czar Putin. No doubt, the chain of Kremlin energy imperialism finds its nexus there. Medvedev has been a close associate of Putin since working with the current Russian president in the office of Anatoly Sobchak, the mayor of St. Petersburg, in the early 1990s. He was later promoted to deputy head of the Putin Cabinet administration, then deputy to Kremlin chief of staff Alexander Voloshin. Medvedev took over Voloshin’s role in 2003. He is currently a Management Committee Member at Gazprom and Gazexport’s Director General.

By the way, in a 1994 Associated Press report Sobchak contended that the KGB created “new” Russia’s political parties. (See this site’s very first blog.) Sobchak died in 2000, apparently by natural causes, but you can never be too sure in “post-communist” Russia.

In truth, a combination of sinister forces is prompting the drying up and redirecting of oil supplies worldwide. In Venezuela, Chavez’s communist regime has seized all private oil fields and in Nigeria insurgents are blowing up pipelines and forcing those evil capitalists like Shell to evacuate oil rig employees. Nigerian insurgents like the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force are motivated by Marxism. The Niger Delta Manifesto, published in 2003, clearly testifies to the communist dialectic of advance and retreat, peace and war, in which history inexorably tends, in the communist’s delusional imagination, toward that Shangri-la known as the workers’ paradise. Note the reference to Saint “Comrade” Mandela. Note also the praise heaped on China, which still marches to the dialectical two step. Gorby’s alleged treachery, described below, is merely an internal squabble among Marxists and it may be that this manifesto drafter was purposely kept out of the loop.

Africa’s freedom from colonial and racist rule was part of this universal harvest of socialism. The African chapter of the global drama came to a kind of end in 1994 when Comrade Nelson Mandela became the first elected president of post-apartheid South Africa. Nigeria’s flag independence in 1960 was a dividend of this socialist renaissance. The course of change as Vladimir Lenin of the Soviet Union warned many years ago, moves in leaps and zigzags. Reverses have been recorded; the former Soviet Union has fallen to the treachery of Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika. All of the Eastern European nations in the socialist orbit have succumbed to dollar pressures and “fleecing” enterprise. Tanzania, Ghana, Guinea Conakry and Guinea-Bissau have also fallen into the snares of Structural Adjustment Poison (SAP). For the Nigerian Left, it has been no longer at ease as the invitation to this conference acutely recalls. Yet China which hosts one-fifth of the world’s population marches on with a dialectical compass. In the last ten years of post-Soviet Union tragedy, China’s economy has been the fastest growing in the world. And we the Nigerian survivors of the turbulent zigzag are gathered here to celebrate and rev our imagination to go forward and multiply in compliance with the summons of the Manifesto.

See the Niger Delta Manifesto here.

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>Communism with Canadian Characteristics: Communism in Canada to receive mild slap on wrist on January 23

>Since the West’s military strength and “former” communists occupy much of our time here at Once Upon a Time in the West, I might point out two things regarding Monday’s election in my homeland of Canada:

1) Unlike all other party leaders in Canada, Stephen Harper (left), leader of the Conservatives, actually cares about the security of Canada and is not averse to the ballistic missile defense of North America, and

2) Gilles Duceppe, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois, is another one of these “former” communists. I kid you not. Of course, Gilles describes it as “youthful folly.” Was Gorby’s prosecution of the war in Afghanistan “youth folly”? I guess so.

Of course, to one extent or another, all of the major political parties in Canada are a shade of red, even the Conservatives, an amalgamation of the right-populist Canadian Alliance, based in Western Canada, and the old Progressive Conservative Party. Note the word “progressive,” which is standard Marxist jargon.

Opponents of social conservativism, such as our beloved soon-to-be-consigned-to-the-dustbin-of-history prime minister, as the article notes below, are spitting nails right now in Canada. “God forbid that any social conservatives should sit in the Canadian Parliament,” they pontificate. “We like our sin. Leave us alone, you nasty ol’ Bible thumpers. Why don’t you move to the USA?” OK. Happily.

In truth, the culture wars that have wracked Western Civilization over the last 40 years are not unrelated to the Soviet strategic deception. Hence, the subtitle of our blog.

I advance voted, so I’m just kicking back here to watch the Conservatives form the next government, minority or otherwise. It ain’t perfect, but it’s the best we’re gonna get for now.

Harper predicts victory
Don Martin, Allan Woods and Norma Greenaway
CanWest News Service
Saturday, January 21, 2006

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — The eight-week campaign to select Canada’s next federal government entered its frenetic final weekend with one pollster saying Conservative Leader Stephen Harper is certain to win at least a minority Monday, while Prime Minister Paul Martin’s Liberals pulled out all the stops in a cross-country bid to hold on to power.

“I think my efforts are paying off and that we actually are going to be able not just to elect a government, but to elect a government that looks a lot more like the country than the Liberal party could possibly elect right now,” Harper said in an interview with CanWest News Service.

A new poll by Ipsos Reid for CanWest News Service and Global National suggests Canadians will elect a strong minority Conservative government Monday with a solid NDP check on its power. The survey also says the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois under Gilles Duceppe are in a tight battle for official Opposition status.

Darrell Bricker, president of the polling firm, says the survey’s bottom line is Harper will be the next prime minister.

“Harper is going to win on Monday night, there is no question about that,” Bricker said in an interview.

The poll suggests the Tories enjoyed the support of 38 per cent of respondents, up one point from the previous week. By contrast, the Liberals were down three points to 26 per cent.

The NDP climbed one point to 19 per cent and the Green party was unchanged at five per cent.Barring a weekend surge, the Conservatives are unlikely to score the 155 seats they need for a majority in the 308-seat House of Commons.

“They are pretty well at the top of their cycle,” Bricker said.

Based on its findings, Ipsos Reid projects the Conservatives could win 143 to 147 seats.

The Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois could take 59 to 63 seats each, and the NDP 39 to 43 seats, more than double their number in the 2004 election.

In an interview aboard his campaign bus in southern Ontario, Harper vowed to deal with regional alienation, giving the West a place of power in his administration.

“The West just wants a bigger part in running the country and a more important place in the country, to know that it’s not just an appendage of the country,” Harper said Friday. “My mandate will be judged by dealing with western alienation. I could never fail on it. If I can’t do it, who’s going to do it?”

Harper told CanWest if the tide turns abruptly and the Conservatives lose the election on the last weekend to Liberal fearmongering, the loss would divide the country, deep freeze relations with the United States and leave Parliament adrift without an agenda.

“The Liberals are trying to win this election by running in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. It means that if they pull it off, you’re going to end up with a badly fractured country. That sends a message to a lot of Canadians that the federal government is corrupt and can’t be fixed. That’s a pretty serious consequence, but I don’t think we’re going to be there.”

Speaking to voters in southern Ontario, Harper also sought to distance himself from Liberal attacks that he would move Canada sharply to the right wing of the political spectrum.

“Mr. Martin is talking now … about highly divisive issues because he has laid out no positive vision for this country,” Harper said.

“I don’t think it’s what people want to hear … and I also think people know he’s doing this because he can’t get past the scandal and the corruption that keep happening, and keep happening right in the middle of the campaign itself.”

Martin’s campaign continued Friday to portray Harper as a political bogeyman, accusing him of keeping outspoken candidates out of the spotlight in order to muzzle them.

“With each day that passes, it’s getting harder and harder for Stephen Harper to keep his socially conservative, far-right candidates out of the public eye,” he said in St. John’s, N.L. “They’re still there. They’re just in hiding.”

Martin identified several of the candidates by name, including Harold Albrecht, Cheryl Gallant, Rob Merrifield, David Sweet and Rob Anders.

“I don’t know where they are,” said Martin.

“Maybe they’re all in some kind of a safe house, minding their time, watching Jeopardy.”Martin said he is not engaging in personal attacks or negative politics, insisting he has is shining a spotlight on the actual words of Harper and his candidates.”I would take great exception that I’m playing fast and loose. It’s never been my politics.”

Martin continued to hammer away at his main rival.

“The bottom line is this: That any Parliament with Stephen Harper as prime minister is a Parliament that will put a woman’s right to choose in jeopardy. And we need to hear Mr. Harper’s position, his whole position. It is not complex.”

“And so to Stephen Harper, I issue a simple challenge: ‘Tell us what you really think. Yes or no. Do you support a woman’s right to choose or not? Will you protect a woman’s right to choose?'”

Conservative candidate Rona Ambrose said Martin is doing a great disservice to women when he tries to scare them on issues like abortion.

“The position is that we support a woman’s right to choose,” she said, repeating positions outlined by Harper.

“Mr. Harper has been very clear about this both to our caucus members before we left Parliament and we have a very clear position on this. This is not going to be an issue raised in Parliament. A Conservative government, if elected, will not introduce legislation on this issue.

“In Vancouver, NDP Leader Jack Layton unleashed the most fiery speech of his campaign, calling on voters to abandon what he predicted will be the “smoking hulk” of a defeated Liberal party.”

Mr. Martin is trying to perpetrate one more Liberal fraud in this election, hoping you’ll reward him one more time with your vote,” Layton said. “He says you have to hold your nose and vote Liberal. Again he’s saying this. Well Paul, it’s not working this time.”

Jack Layton found himself in a position similar to the late stages of the last election — trying to ensure that his supporters actually cast their votes for NDP candidates, instead of strategically voting to lift up the Liberals or hold back the Conservatives.

Layton verged on mocking the prime minister’s troubled campaign, saying he was busy fighting the Tories while Martin “puddle jumps from Liberal riding to Liberal riding, trying to save the furniture.”

Duceppe warned Quebec voters against giving Harper a blank cheque with a mandate Monday.

He also said the federal government should not fund any challenge by anglophone groups of Quebec government laws or policies but should maintain funding for francophones in other provinces who want to contest actions of other provinces. Duceppe has called on Harper not to provide funding for anglo Quebec activists or anyone who wants to challenge Bill 101.

“Bilingualism could be great progress in the rest of Canada. This is not the case in Quebec,” he said.

The poll of 2,000 people, conducted between Tuesday and Thursday, the last one CanWest will publish before voters go to the polls Monday, is considered accurate within 2.2 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

With files from Mark Kennedy, James Gordon (Ottawa Citizen) and Elizabeth Thompson (Montreal Gazette)

Link: Canada.com

>Middle East File: Iranian opposition: Regime planning nuke test before March 20, 2006

> If true, the USA and Israel might speed up their plans to smack Iran. Be assured, however, that Iran, a client state of Russia, will do little or nothing without assurances of the Kremlin’s protection.

The Islamic regime is perhaps sensing its impending demise and pulling its foreign reserves out of European banks in this January 20, 2006 report. The Swiss bank UBS AG has also terminated business with Axis of Evil twins Iran and Syria, in this January 22 report.

1/19/2006 7:59:00 PM -0500
Tehran plans nuclear weapon test by March

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (UPI) — Tehran is planning a nuclear weapons test before the Iranian New Year on March 20, 2006 says a group opposed to the regime in Tehran.

The Foundation for Democracy citing sources in the U.S and Iran offered no further information.

The FDI quotes sources in Iran that the high command of the Revolutionary Guards Air Force have issued new orders to Shahab-3 missile units, ordering them to move mobile missile launchers every 24 hours in view of a potential pre-emptive strike by the U.S. or Israel. The order was issued Tuesday, Jan. 16.

The group says the launchers move only at night, and have been instructed to change their positions “in a radius of 30 to 35 kilometers.” Prior to the new orders the Shahab-3 units changed position on a weekly basis. Advance Shahab-3 units have been positioned in Kermanshah and Hamadan province, within striking distance of Israel. Reserve mobile launchers have been moved to Esfahan and Fars province.

Link: UPI

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>Latin America File: Sandinistas poised for a comeback in Nicaragua’s 2006 presidential election

>Too bad Ronny’s not around anymore. Looks like GW may be crossing swords with not only Chavez but a revitalized Ortega.

Ortega, Again
by Otto J. Reich

Twenty years ago this summer, Washington’s hottest debate centered on the Contras’ war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua—and how to keep the nations of Central America from falling into the hands of Marxist terrorists or right-wing death squads. It was the equivalent of today’s Iraq debate. The eventual victory of freedom in Nicaragua came at a cost of tens of thousands of lives—and it is now in jeopardy.
The hard Left in Latin America has learned its lessons: It is no longer trying to gain power by force, because it fears (with just cause) the unmatched power of the United States and the willingness of recent Republican presidents to use it in the defense of freedom; it is therefore resorting to political warfare to regain power, and one of its battlefields is again Nicaragua.

In many ways the fight 20 years ago was simpler. On one side, the Sandinistas—armed, organized, trained, and supported by the USSR, Cuba, and an assortment of international terrorist groups—were determined to impose a Communist dictatorship. On the other side, the armed Contras and the unarmed Nicaraguan resistance—supported by the U.S.—were trying to prevent Nicaragua from falling into the totalitarian abyss. Today’s battle is more complicated: Two bad actors of the 1980s, Daniel Ortega and Arnoldo Alemán, are trying to wrest power from the duly elected president, Enrique Bolaños. Alemán and Bolaños were anti-Sandinistas, but that is where the similarity ends. After a successful run as mayor of Managua, the then-popular Alemán became president in the mid-1990s and proceeded to treat the country as his personal fief and bank, as the Somoza family had done before him—stealing food from the mouths of a population that years of war and Sandinista misrule had turned into the poorest in the region.

Suddenly Alemán resembled more the kleptomaniac, autocratic Ortega than the democrat he had claimed to be. Since his election, Alemán had stolen so much money that he needed protection. Who better to provide it than Ortega, who controlled the Sandinista congressmen and most of the judicial branch? One might well ask how a despicable party boss like Ortega can control a nation’s judiciary. The answer lies in the agreement signed late on the night the Sandinistas—unexpectedly—lost the 1990 election. Ortega’s first reaction to his defeat was to refuse to accept the verdict of the people and to threaten to remain in power by force. But the presence of many international observers prevented such an obvious self-coup. So, to relinquish the presidency, Ortega demanded a disproportionate number of congressional seats and retention of the judges the Sandinistas had installed during their eleven years of rule. The vast majority of the judges now answered to Ortega.

Like Alemán, Ortega also needed protection: He had been accused of massive human-rights violations during his ten years as leader, for which the Sandinista-controlled Assembly amnestied him. Later, his stepdaughter publicly and convincingly accused him of sexually abusing her over many years. Ortega now needed the support of the person whose party had gained control of a majority in the Assembly to avoid the legal complications of the abuse charges: the corrupt Arnoldo Alemán. In 2000, Alemán and Ortega decided to enter into a Pact.

In essence, the Pact was an attempt to put the entire government under the control of those two party strongmen, while at the same time leaving in place the façade of independent democratic institutions. In January 2002, President Bolaños took office and soon launched an internationally recognized anti-corruption campaign. Against great odds, and in spite of the fact that Ortega and Alemán controlled the National Assembly and the Supreme Court, Alemán was convicted on corruption charges.

The Ortega-Alemán alliance has been striking back at President Bolaños with a vengeance. First, Ortega used his control of the judges to release Alemán from prison, and to allow him to serve his corruption sentence under house arrest at Alemán’s own luxury ranch. Then, in October 2004, the two Pact leaders attempted a legislative coup d’état. They tried to bring trumped-up charges of election-finance violations against Bolaños, in order to remove him from office. An immediate outcry from much of the international community and Nicaraguan civil society cut this attempt short. Finally, in November 2004, Ortega and Alemán decided that if they could not seize control of the executive branch of government they would simply strip it of its power.

The National Assembly began to pass a series of laws and constitutional “reforms” designed to transfer a great deal of power to the National Assembly: The effect would be to create a “mega-legislature” more powerful than any legislative body in the Western Hemisphere, and to leave the executive branch virtually powerless.

In a normal democracy, Bolaños could have turned to the Supreme Court for protection against a naked power grab by the legislative branch. But the Nicaraguan Supreme Court is one of the most discredited institutions in the country: Because of the Pact, its members have been personally selected by Ortega or Alemán, and they respond to orders from their party bosses. La Prensa, Nicaragua’s largest most respected newspaper, had this to say on June 6 about the Supreme Court: “The worst part of this fight between the Executive and the Legislature is that the Judiciary cannot resolve it, because it is not independent, rather it obeys one of the parties of the conflict and therefore it lacks the authority and credibility to judge and resolve such a case.” To understand the character of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court, it helps to know that it may be the only supreme court in the world on which three sitting justices have had their U.S. visas revoked because of corruption.

Under these circumstances, President Bolaños was left with few options if he wished to defend the bedrock democratic principle of separation and independence of powers. He appealed to the Organization of American States, which in 2001 had adopted the Inter-American Democratic Charter, committing all member nations to be “representative democracies.” Article 3 of the charter requires that OAS member states have “separation of powers and independence of the branches of government.” Bolaños also brought suit against the National Assembly in the Central American Court of Justice (CCJ). The regional court ruled early in 2005 that the attempted constitutional reforms violated the OAS Inter-American Democratic Charter, two Central American treaties, and Nicaragua’s own constitution. The National Assembly responded by ordering up an instant ruling from the ever-compliant Nicaraguan Supreme Court claiming the CCJ did not have jurisdiction, despite the fact that Nicaragua is a signatory of the treaty. On April 1, the presidents of all the Central American nations jointly issued a statement supporting President Bolaños.

The new secretary-general of the OAS, former Chilean foreign minister José Miguel Insulza, is trying to find a peaceful solution to the crisis—which is now nearing a boiling point. There are currently two competing sources of authority in the country: President Bolaños, backed by the Central American Court of Justice, much of Nicaraguan civil society, and the international community; and the Ortega/Alemán-controlled National Assembly, backed by the rubber-stamp Supreme Court, the National Prosecutor’s Office, and National Comptroller’s Council, all headed by appointees of the Pact.

No one can predict how this crisis will end; violence is possible. The police and the army are currently taking their orders from Bolaños, but the Pact is pressing to convince the police that they must obey orders from the courts. If the Pact convinces the police to switch sides, Ortega and Alemán can complete their planned takeover of the executive power. There is little doubt that the Sandinista party, with its history of orchestrating violent street demonstrations for political effect, could try to make Nicaragua ungovernable and attempt to remove Bolaños from office. The Pact would be in virtual control of all branches of government, and the way opened for the manipulation of a fraudulent Ortega “election” to the presidency in 2006.

Nicaragua is a test case for the OAS’s new Inter-American Democratic Charter. Two of democracy’s cleverest enemies in Central America—Ortega and Alemán—have refined a technique of hollowing out democratic institutions from the inside in order to illegitimately rule a country from their position as political party bosses. We may soon get an indication of whether the OAS has been able to keep pace with the times, and has evolved techniques and methods of its own to confront successfully these new types of challenges to democracy in the hemisphere. Friends of freedom and democracy should be paying close attention, and supporting Nicaragua’s elected leader, Enrique Bolaños. The neighborhood’s enemies of freedom are also watching, and probably doing more than that.

—National Review, July 18, 2005, p. 26f

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>Latin America File: Chinese special forces train Venezuelans, provide security detail for Chavez

>The government of the People’s Republic of China has moved aggressively into the Western Hemisphere with extensive espionage and state-sponsored organized crime rings, commercial port facilities, and indirect control of the Panama Canal. Taking into account the numerous Cuban advisors in Red Venezuela, here we see the Asian and Latin American components of the Communist Bloc in action, tightening like a noose around North America.

China Trains Venezuelan Commandos
January 20, 2006:


Three years ago, the United States withdrew U.S. Army Special Forces instructors, who had been training Venezuelan special operations soldiers. Venezuela has resumed that training, using several hundred instructors from the Chinese special forces (Quantou Budui). The Chinese have been in Venezuela for about six months, and are training Venezuelan troops in recon techniques, and counter-terrorism tactics. The Chinese speak good Spanish, and are apparently enjoying their assignment. Over a hundred other Chinese troops are also providing personal security for Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. China has also sent some intelligence specialists, who are helping Venezuela to upgrade their military intelligence capabilities. The Chinese are apparently very interested in finding out about the training techniques used by the American Special Forces instructors, and the Venezuelans are telling all they know.

Link: Strategy Page

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>USSR2 File: Foreign news agencies in CIS prevented from broadcasting in recent weeks

> If these issues are not corrected in the very near future, one must conclude that Putin’s neo-Soviet FSB state is reducing the avenues by which Russians and other citizens of the CIS can obtain factual information and Western perspectives.

Tajikistan Suspends BBC Radio Broadcasts
Created: 19.01.2006 16:11 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 16:11 MSK
MosNews

Tajikistan has suspended the BBC’s local FM radio service. The country passed a law requiring foreign media outlets with FM services to register with the Justice Ministry.

The new law gives 20 days as of January for a radio station to re-register. The BBC said it was impossible to gather all the necessary documents before that “unrealistic” deadline. It might take about six months, the broadcasting corporation said.

However, the station will continue to broadcast on short and medium wave.

Britain’s envoy to Tajikistan, Graeme Loten, quoted by Reuters, called the situation “extraordinary” and said in a statement the embassy had spoken to the Tajik Foreign Ministry to express its concern. “I can only assume that the suspension of BBC programmes has come about because of a misunderstanding,” he said. “But if that is the case then really the best way forward would be for the government of Tajikistan to allow the BBC programmes back on air.”

Tajik officials insisted there was nothing sinister about the move, which affected broadcasts in the capital Dushanbe and the northern city of Khojand. “This is simply a procedural question,” Igor Sattarov, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, told reporters. “We’re working with the Justice Ministry and the BBC to resolve this.”

Tajikistan faced international criticism for tightening the screws ahead of presidential polls later this year in which the current leader Imomali Rakhmonov will seek re-election for another seven-year term. Rakhmonov has run the state since 1992.

Link: Moscow News

Broadcasters off the air in Russia
December 23, 2005

INTERNATIONAL broadcasters BBC and Germany’s Deutsche Welle have been knocked off the air in Moscow.

Konstantin Eggert, Moscow bureau editor for the BBC’s Russian service, said the company which broadcasts the corporation’s programs had lost its licence, causing it to lose its medium wave transmission in the Russian capital.

“We officially have a right to broadcast. We were not the ones who lost the right to broadcast, it was the service provider,” he said.

Grigory Kliger, head of the Oktod operating company, told Moscow’s Ekho Moskvy radio the licence for the frequency had run out and the documents needed to renew it had not been ready in time.

Russian news agencies reported the service provider, which broadcasts the British Broadcasting Corporation’s news in Russian along with English-language programming, did not have a licence from the federal agency that regulates programming.

A spokesman for the agency, Rosokhrankultura, told Interfax news agency the BBC made its broadcasts without a broadcasting licence.

“The BBC only had a technical licence from the Communications Ministry, but it did not have a licence from (our agency),” the spokesman said.

But other officials said the problem arose from a mix-up rather than from any desire to halt the broadcasts.
The BBC is well-known and prestigious in Russia and its service was popular in Soviet times for Russians keen to find a Western source of news.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Welle (DW) said today it had stopped medium-wave transmissions in Russia because Moscow had taken away its radio frequencies.

Russian officials told DW there were frequency and licensing problems, the broadcaster said. DW has been negotiating with Russian authorities for months for a new licence.

“I’m very concerned and hope the interruption in transmissions will not last for more than a few days,” said Miodrag Soric, editor in chief of DW Radio.

The DW bureau in Moscow confirmed the broadcasts could no longer be heard in the city on the medium-wave band. DW had been broadcasting in German and Russian alternately.

In Berlin, the German Foreign Office said it was in intensive talks with the Russian authorities and sought “a solution so that Deutsche Welle can go back on air as soon as possible”.

Wolfgang Boernsen, a Christian Democratic party spokesman on media issues, demanded that former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder phone Russian President Vladimir Putin and seek a restoration of the transmission rights

Link: The Australian

>Grey Terror File: Bin Laden breaks one-year silence with new tape; second tape features Zawahiri

>Osama bin Laden’s lieutenant, Egyptian Ayman Al-Zawahiri, according to the testimonies of ex-FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko and others, is an agent of the Russian Federal Security Service. Al-Zawahiri trained at an FSB camp in Dagestan for six months, sometime between 1996 and 1998, depending on which authorities are consulted.

ANOTHER al Qaeda Audiotape – Latest from Ayman al Zawahiri

20 January 2006: An audiotape posted on an Islamic website is purportedly that of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second-in-command of al Qaeda’s terror network. Al Zawahiri was the reported target of a U.S. air strike in Pakistan last week.

The 18-minute tape was posted with text that stated that it is “a new speech by Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, may God protect him”.

The message was delivered in the style of classical Arabic poetry, and al Zawahiri praises “the martyrs of the Crusader campaign against Afghanistan.” This audio message was posted a day after Al-Jazeera television broadcast an audiotape by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, warning of pending attacks in the “heartland” of the United States.

“Same intonation, same praises and proses, but different audio segments,” stated one analyst.

21 January 2006: UPDATED: In a seemingly ever-evolving news story, intelligence analysts now confirm that the 18-minute recording posted on an Internet web site is indeed that of terrorist leader Ayman al Zawahiri. In this audio message, he praises those who were killed in the US air strike in the Damadola village in Pakistan, where US forces reportedly targeted a house they believed al-Zawahiri was in. Previous reports by analysts of the audio message strongly suggested that the message was NOT new, but a new release of a 2001 audio message by al Zawahiri mourning members of al Qaeda who were killed in Afghanistn during 2001.

Link: Northeast Intelligence Network

Bin Laden Threat Points to Imminent Attack, Analyst Says
By Sherrie Gossett, Staff Writer
CNSNews.com
January 20, 2006

(CNSNews.com) – An audio statement by Osama bin Laden broadcast on al-Jazeera television Thursday appears to be related to recent threats made by an al Qaeda front in Europe and points to an imminent attack, according to a Washington-based analyst.

Christopher L. Brown of the Hudson Institute earlier this month analyzed the Jan. 6 videotaped message of Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s chief deputy. The tape, Brown said, and other al Qaeda communications indicated a high probability that al Qaeda would launch a major terrorist attack in the next 30 days and that the United States was the likeliest target.

Cybercast News Service reported on Brown’s analysis in an exclusive report published on Jan. 11. Brown, a researcher with a Washington think tank, has briefed members of Congress and senior administration officials on key threats. He has also prepared testimony and briefing materials for officials at the Department of Defense, State Department, CIA, National Security Council and White House.

“The new operation of al Qaeda has not happened, not because we could not penetrate the security measures,” bin Laden said during the broadcast. “It is being prepared, and you’ll see it in your homeland very soon.

“The al Qaeda leader also offered a truce to the American people, referring to polls that indicate the majority of U.S. citizens favor troop withdrawal from Iraq.

“We are a nation that Allah banned from lying and stabbing others in the back,” said bin Laden. “Hence, both parties of the truce will enjoy stability and security to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan, which were destroyed by war.”

Brown told Cybercast News Service that approximately “six to eight weeks ago,” the Abu-Hafs al-Masri Brigades — an al Qaeda front headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — posted threats on the Internet promising attacks soon in the “land of the Romans,” adding that bin Laden would make an appearance “around the Christmas holidays.”

Intelligence officials are now saying they believe the bin Laden audiotape was made in December. “That makes sense to me,” Brown said. “The Jan. 6 [Zawahiri] video was likely also made in middle to early December.

“The Brigades is one of the primary front names for al Qaeda operations in Europe and North America.

Earlier this month Brown as well as Dan Darling of the Manhattan Institute for Policing Terrorism, told Cybercast News Service that the “land of the Romans” could be a symbolic reference to the United States as the great imperial power of the age.

He added that it could also be a reference to the “Romanesque” architecture in Washington, D.C.

Bin Laden uses the term “Romans” as a synonym for Crusaders and America. In an audiotape broadcast on Al-Jazeera on Jan. 4, 2004 bin Laden called for jihad to “repulse the raid of the Romans, which started in Iraq; no one knows where it will end.”

Italy — an obvious possibility for the “land of the Romans” — has received numerous threats from the Brigades over the last six months.

In early January, three Algerians from the Salafist Group for Call and Combat — or GSPC — were arrested in southern Italy. Officials said they were suspected of being linked to a planned series of strikes against both Italy and the United States. The alleged U.S. attacks were designed to outdo the Sept. 11, 2001, strikes and targeted ships, stadiums and railway stations.

Still, al Qaeda is known to use misdirection when announcing its targets.

The Brigades’ Internet posting, under the name of al Qaeda’s reputed military commander Saif al-Adel, said the attacks would involve unidentified poisonous substances and surface-to-air missiles procured from Chechnya.

The message was posted the same month French terrorism investigators reported that an interrogation of al Qaeda suspect Abu Atiya revealed the group had allegedly procured advanced Russian-made man-portable missile systems and ricin, botulin and other toxins from Chechnya.

These weapons have not been found but were allegedly smuggled into Europe.

The missile system reference was specifically to the sophisticated SA-18 missile, which has greater altitude and range than its predecessors and includes better protection against electro-optical jammers found on military aircraft. Brown acknowledged the possibility that the weapons were smuggled into the U.S.

The alleged author of the Brigades posting, Saif al-Adel, is al Qaeda’s top military commander. “He’s the head of al Qaeda’s military committee within the Shura Council,” said Brown, “a position analogous to the Secretary of Defense within the U.S. government, which means al-Adel answers directly to Bin Laden and Zawahiri.”

In addition, al-Adel is the direct superior to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the reputed head of the Abu-Hafs al-Masri Brigades and leader of al Qaeda’s operations in Iraq.”

As large-scale operations in either of these regions requires the direct approval of bin Laden or Zawahiri, the command path for such an order would most likely be from them to al-Adel, then to Zarqawi, and finally to assets in the area meant for attack,” said Brown.

“Hence, the importance of this specific threat, given that it references both al-Adel and the Abu-Hafs Al-Masri Brigades,” he added.

As previously reported by Cybercast News Service, Brown believes a timing pattern inherent in the Ayman al-Zawahiri videos and Abu-Hafs al-Masri brigade statements “green-lighting” attacks indicate a “99 percent” chance al Qaeda will launch a major terrorist attack soon outside the major theaters of Iraq and Afghanistan.

A Cybercast News Service report on Sept. 8, 2005, detailed Brown’s warning regarding an impending October attack. The article was followed by the Bali bombings on Oct. 1, 2005. Brown also previously predicted within a 30-day time frame, the July 2005 bombings and their location in London.

Bin Laden’s audiotape represents the first time since December of 2004 that bin Laden has issued an audio statement. The al Qaeda leader has previously promised he would not appear again on video until after the next attack on America, suggesting to some that his infrequent appearances are planned to maximize dramatic impact. His silence or other factors led several pundits to speculate that the al Qaeda leader was dead.

Link: Cybercast News Service

At Once Upon a Time in the West we strongly adhere to the position that some of these shadowy Al Qaeda affiliates are little more than fronts for Russian military intelligence (GRU) and the Federal Security Service (FSB). Our position applies especially to the case of Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, which, in letters to the London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi, claimed responsibility for the following terrorist actions:

1) the electrical blackout of August 14, 2003 in the northeastern United States and central Canada;
2) the attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad on August 19, 2003;
3) the bombing of two synagogues in Turkey on November 15, 2003, and the British consulate and HSBC bank in Istanbul on November 20;
4) a hotel bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2003;
5) the March 11, 2004 Madrid attacks; and
6) a letter published on July 2, 2004, endorsing the three-month Al Qaeda ultimatum issued against Europe on April 14, 2004

Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades also claimed responsibility for the terrorist bombings in London in July 2005. However, in the blog, “Red Terror File: FSB behind July 2005 London bombings; planned attacks in France year before” we noted Litvinenko’s observation that the London bombings were orchestrated by the FSB, the former head of which was in Scotland that day, rubbing elbows with fellow G-8 leaders.

Our position also applies to the Islambouli Brigades, a murky group that claimed responsibility for the attacks that downed two Russian airliners on August 24, 2004 and the August 31 suicide bombing outside a Moscow subway station that killed nine people. This group denies responsibility for the Beslan school massacre, which occurred within days of the other two incidents. (Shamil Basayev, a probable agent of Russian military intelligence, assumed responsibility for the atrocity in North Ossetia.) Terrorism experts believe that the group is named after Khaled Islambouli, the leader of another terrorist group that assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981. The Islambouli Brigades also claim responsibility for the assassination attempt on Pakistani Prime Minister-designate Shawkat Aziz on July 31, 2004, but Pakistani authorities have not confirmed this claim.

This understanding of Islamo-Marxist terrorism harmonizes well with GRU defector Viktor Suvorov’s description of pre-war Grey Terror, in which the Soviet civilian/military security apparatus employs real and imaginary terrorist groups to destabilize the West prior to Missile Day. Suvorov explains:

All these operations — because of course none of these events is an accident — and others like them are known officially in the GRU as the ‘preparatory period’, and unofficially as the ‘overture’. The overture is a series of large and small operations the purpose of which is, before actual military operations begin, to weaken the enemy’s morale, create an atmosphere of general suspicion, fear and uncertainty, and divert the attention of the enemy’s armies and police forces to a huge number of different targets, each of which may be the object of the next attack.

The overture is carried by agents of the secret services of the Soviet satellite countries and by mercenaries recruited by intermediaries. The principal method employed at this stage is ‘grey terror’, that is, a kind of terror which is not conducted in the name of the Soviet Union. The Soviet secret services do not at this stage leave their visiting cards, or leave other people’s cards. The terror is carried out in the name of already existing extremist groups not connected in any way with the Soviet Union, or in the name of fictitious organisations.

The GRU reckons that in this period its operations should be regarded as natural disasters, actions by forces beyond human control, mistakes committed by people, or as terrorist acts by organisations not connected with the Soviet Union.

Link: Spetsnaz: The Story Behind the Soviet SAS

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