Monthly Archives: January 2008

>USA File: Congress reports: NorthCom, National Guard, Reserves ill prepared to deal with "catastrophic" CBN attack; Gen. Renuart downplays findings

>The US Congress’ independent Commission on the National Guard and Reserves has produced a 400-page report that warns: “The U.S. military isn’t ready for a catastrophic attack on the country, and National Guard forces don’t have the equipment or training they need for the job . . .” US Northern Command, the National Guard, and the Reserves were identified as lacking both the manpower and training to respond to such national emergencies. In a follow-up interview Commission Chairman and Major General (ret.) Arnold Punaro urged: “The Pentagon must move toward making the National Guard and Reserves an integral part of the U.S. military.” He insisted that Northern Command has “made little progress developing detailed response plans for attacks against the homeland.”

US military may not be ready for attack
By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer
Thu Jan 31, 11:25 AM ET

The U.S. military isn’t ready for a catastrophic attack on the country, and National Guard forces don’t have the equipment or training they need for the job, according to a report.

Even fewer Army National Guard units are combat-ready today than were nearly a year ago when the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves determined that 88 percent of the units were not prepared for the fight, the panel says in a new report released Thursday.

The independent commission is charged by Congress to recommend changes in law and policy concerning the Guard and Reserves.

The commission’s 400-page report concludes that the nation “does not have sufficient trained, ready forces available” to respond to a chemical, biological or nuclear weapons incident, “an appalling gap that places the nation and its citizens at greater risk.”

“Right now we don’t have the forces we need, we don’t have them trained, we don’t have the equipment,” commission Chairman Arnold Punaro said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Even though there is a lot going on in this area, we need to do a lot more. … There’s a lot of things in the pipeline, but in the world we live in — you’re either ready or you’re not.”

In response, Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, chief of U.S. Northern command, said the Pentagon is putting together a specialized military team that would be designed to respond to such catastrophic events.

“The capability for the Defense Department to respond to a chemical, biological event exists now,” Renuart told the AP. “It, today, is not as robust as we would like because of the demand on the forces that we’ve placed across the country. … I can do it today. It would be harder on the (military) services, but I could respond.”

Over the next year, Renuart said, specific active duty, Guard and Reserve units will be trained, equipped and assigned to a three-tiered response force totaling about 4,000 troops. There would be a few hundred first responders, who would be followed by a second wave of about 1,200 troops that would include medical and logistics forces.

The third wave, with the remainder of that initial 4,000 troops, would include aircraft units, engineers, and other support forces, depending on the type of incident.

Punaro, a retired Marine Corps major general, had sharp criticism for Northern Command, saying that commanders there have made little progress developing detailed response plans for attacks against the homeland.

“NorthCom has got to get religion in this area,” said Punaro. He said the military needs to avoid “pickup game” type responses, such as the much-criticized federal reaction to Hurricane Katrina, and put in place the kind of detailed plans that exist for virtually any international crisis.

He also underscored the commission’s main finding: the Pentagon must move toward making the National Guard and Reserves an integral part of the U.S. military.

The panel, in its No. 1 recommendation, said the Defense Department must use the nation’s citizen soldiers to create an operational force that would be fully trained, equipped and ready to defend the nation, respond to crises and supplement the active duty troops in combat.

Pointing to the continued strain on the military, as it fights wars on two fronts, the panel said the U.S. has “no reasonable alternative” other than to continue to rely heavily on the reserves to supplement the active duty forces both at home and abroad.

Using reserves as a permanent, ready force, the commission argued, is a much more cost effective way to supplement the military since they are about 70 percent cheaper than active duty troops.

Asked how much it would cost to implement the panel’s recommendations, Punaro said it will take billions to fully equip the Guard. The commission is going to ask the Congressional Budget Office to do a cost analysis, he said.

In perhaps its most controversial recommendation, the panel again said that the nation’s governors should be given the authority to direct active-duty troops responding to an emergency in their states. That recommendation, when it first surfaced last year, was rebuffed by the military and quickly rejected by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

“I believe we’re going to wear him down,” said Punaro.

Renuart, however, said he believes it is unlikely that Gates will reverse himself. Renuart said he’s talked to a number of state leaders on the matter, and most don’t want full command of active duty troops — to include their care, feeding, discipline and logistics demands. Instead, he said, governors want to know that in a crisis, their needs will be met.

Source: Yahoo.News.com

The Leninist leadership of neo-Soviet Russia probably knows these details already. On January 19 Chief of the Russian General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky threatened:

Russia has the right to use nuclear weapons on a preventative basis. We are not planning to attack anyone. But our partners should clearly understand… that the armed forces will be used if necessary to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation and its allies, including on a preventative basis, including with the use of nuclear weapons. Military force can and must be used to demonstrate the decisiveness of the top leadership of the country to defend its interests and as a last resort on a massive scale at a time when all other methods prove insufficient.

In November 2007 the Kremlin’s top general said: “Today, there is no need to be afraid of the Russian Armed Forces. However, I do not believe that the Russian military is obliged to defend the world from the evil Americans.” That’s right, Russia’s highest military commander believes that Americans are “evil.”

Meanwhile, General Renuart’s assessment of neo-Soviet Russia does not bode well for continental security. Last October CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr reported on the Kremlin’s resumption of long-range bomber flights: “NORAD Commander General Gene Renuart says the Russians aren’t a threat, but that doesn’t mean he’s not concerned.” Renuart informed Starr: “We can’t afford to have an unidentified aircraft replicate what we saw on 9/11. And so in the issue of long range aviation these aircraft [Russian bombers] launch and are flying out in regions that are not on a flight plan, they’re not following a traditional air traffic route.” In other words, the presence of Russian bombers on the periphery of North American airspace is just a technical detail related to the filing of flight plans and most certainly does not mean that Moscow is still controlled by communists seeking global domination. No way, nuh-uh.

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>Breaking News: Massive Internet failure hits Africa, Asia; multiple countries affected, Israel spared; Egypt: two Mediterranean cables damaged

>Current Incident Follows Publication of CIA Report Disclosing Cyberattack Against Power Grids in Multiple Regions Outside USA

– 2002 Ohio State University Simulation Proved Internet’s Vulnerability to Cyberterrorism

The simultaneous collapse of Internet service across north Africa and south Asia today, from Cairo to Colombo, might be accidental or a technical “glitch.” However, it also proves that the Moscow-Beijing Axis is possibly capable of disrupting the World Wide Web–through physical or electronic sabotage (viruses)–immediately prior to a preemptive strike against the West. In such a scenario an important source of real-time news would be eliminated, at least for civilians.

Pictured above: Dubai City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dubai was one of the countries affected by the Internet outage. Unaffected nations included Israel, which (wisely) uses a different Internet router, and Lebanon and Iraq. According to Egypt’s Ministry of Telecommunications Internet service to that country and the other affected countries is the result of damage to two underwater cables in the Mediterranean Sea that connect Egypt to Europe. Although the Egyptians promise that the disruption will be corrected within one week, Kuwait’s Ministry of Communications, as reported by CNN below, states that a two-week timeframe is more likely.

Internet failure hits two continents
From CNN’s Elham Nakhlawai and Mustafa Al Arab
January 31, 2008

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — Large swathes of Asia, the Middle East and north Africa had their high-technology services crippled Thursday following a widespread Internet failure which brought many businesses to a standstill and left others struggling to cope.

One major telecommunications provider blamed the outage, which started Wednesday, on a major undersea cable failure in the Mediterranean.

India’s Internet bandwidth has been sliced in half, The Associated Press reported, leaving its lucrative outsourcing industry trying to reroute traffic to satellites and other cables through Asia.

Reports say that Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain are also experiencing severe problems.

Nations that have been spared the chaos include Israel — whose traffic uses a different route — and Lebanon and Iraq. Many Middle East governments have backup satellite systems in case of cable failure.

There were contradictory reports on the real cause behind the disruption, but Du, a state-owned Dubai telecom provider, attributed it to an undersea cable cut between Alexandria, Egypt and Palermo, Italy.

An official at Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was believed that a boat’s anchor may have caused the problems, although this was unconfirmed, AP reported. He added that it might take up to a week to repair the fault.

Kuwait’s Ministry of Communications said the problem could take two weeks to solve, according to a statement carried by the state news agency, KUNA.

There were concerns in India that an Internet slowdown could affect trading patterns at the country’s two major exchanges, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in Delhi and the SENSEX exchange in Bombay.

Rajesh Chharia, president of India’s Internet Service Providers’ Association, explained that some firms were trying to reroute via Pacific cables and that companies serving the eastern US and the UK were worst affected, AP added.

Besides the Internet, the outage caused major disruption to television and phone services, creating chaos for the UAE’s public and private sectors.

The Du internal memo, obtained by CNN, called the situation in Dubai “critical” and stated that the cable’s operators did not know when services would be restored.

“This will have a major impact on our voice and Internet service for all the customers,” the memo stated. “The network operation team are working with our suppliers overseas to resolve this as soon as possible.”

The outage led to a rapid collapse of a wide range of public services in a country which proudly promotes itself as technological pioneer.

Sources from Emirates Airlines confirmed to CNN Arabic that the outage did not affect its flight schedules — a statement which assured hundreds of travelers worried after rumors about the possibility of rescheduled flights due to the faults.

However, Dnata, a government group in charge of providing air travel services in the Middle East and ground handling services at Dubai International Airport, acknowledged facing problems because of the outage, sources from its technical department confirmed to CNN Arabic.

The outage heavily crippled Dubai’s business section, which is heavily reliant on electronic means for billions of dollars’ worth of transactions daily.

Wadah Tahah, the business strategies and development manager for state-owned construction company EMAAR, told CNN Arabic that it was fortunate the outage started Wednesday, when there had been only moderate activity in the UAE markets. He said that softened the blow to business interests.

But Tahah warned that if the outage continued, “such a situation could create problems between brokers, companies, and investors due to loss of control.”

In 2002 researchers at Ohio State University carried out simulated terrorist attacks on key Internet hubs. Morton O’Kelly, OSU Professor of Geography, related the group’s conclusions: ” If you destroyed a major internet hub, you would also destroy all the links that are connected to it.”

In what could be a related story, two weeks ago US Central Intelligence Agency analyst Tom Donahue, without naming specific countries or giving dates, disclosed that anonymous hackers have disrupted the power grids in “multiple regions outside the United States”: “We have information, from multiple regions outside the United States, of cyber intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands. In at least one case, the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities. We do not know who executed these attacks or why, but all involved intrusions through the Internet.”

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Baluyevsky: Russia will take "retaliatory steps" against USA; Kaliningrad troops reconfigured; Caspian drill planned

>For well over a year, Chief of the Russian General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky (pictured here with Chinese counterpart during first Sino-Soviet war game Peace Mission 2005) has threatened to counter the USA’s proposed National Missile Defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic with military force, although the West has hardly batted an eyelash. At the same time Baluyevsky has deceptively promoted East-West convergence with the US military by signing a US-Soviet protocol on defense cooperation, building on previous joint superpower exercises such as Torgau and Pacific Eagle. On January 25 the Kremlin’s top general was interviewed by Red Star, the Russian Ministry of Defense newspaper, at which time he declared, per state-run Voice of Russia: “Russia will take retaliatory steps if the US deploys its missile shield in Europe. Russia is deeply concerned over NATO eastward expansion and the fact that other members of the alliance yet had not ratified a new version of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. Ccooperation with the CIS countries is one of the key tasks aimed at establishing a security zone around the Russian borders.”

In reponse to perceived NATO aggression, state-run Novosti today ramped up the anti-US propaganda under the title “Russian army prepares for nuclear onslaught” by editorializing: “If Baluyevsky’s words are heeded, Russia will have to equip all services of the Armed Forces with permanently combat-ready nuclear weapons. Nobody can guess who will use them first.” The article continues: “In other words, Russia will need a very broad range of non-strategic nuclear weapons. Such weapons are designed to destroy battlefield-targets, rather than entire cities, and could take the form of medium and shorter-range missiles launched from air, land or sea, as well as artillery ammunition and nuclear demolition charges.”

The Russian Ministry of Defense also warned today of a plan to “reconfigure its troops” in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, the most heavily militarized portion of Russian territory and home to the Baltic Fleet, in response to the proposed US missile shield.

Russia to rearrange troops due to U.S. missile shield
17:3730/ 01/ 2008

MOSCOW, January 30 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Defense Ministry plans to change the configuration of troops in Kaliningrad in response to U.S. missile shield plans in Central Europe, a high-ranking army official said on Wednesday.

“The General Staff and the main combat training department of the Russian Armed Forces are deciding how we will configure the troops,” said Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, who heads the Armed Forces combat training directorate.

The general did not indicate whether the troops in the Kaliningrad Region, Russia’s Baltic exclave which borders on Poland, will be substantially reinforced.

The United States is planning to deploy 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic to avert possible strikes from “rogue” states, such as Iran.

Russia has fervently opposed Washington’s plans, saying the European shield would destroy the strategic military balance and threaten Russia’s national interests.

Shamanov also said over 230 billion rubles ($9.4 billion) had been allocated for Armed Forces combat training in 2008.

Source: Novosti

Russia apparently deployed tactical missiles with nuclear warheads in Kaliningrad in 2001. Last July First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov warned that Russia could deploy cruise missiles in the exclave: “If our proposal is accepted, then the need will disappear for us to place … new weapons, including missiles, in the European part of the country, including Kaliningrad, to counter those threats that … will appear if the decision is taken to place the missile defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic.”

In a related story, Kremlin media are reporting that the second battery of the S-400 anti-missile defense system will be deployed near Moscow by year’s end. “We expect the second regiment of S-400 systems to be deployed in the Moscow region in the end of this year,” Special Forces Commander Col. Gen. Yuri Solovyov informed a press conference in Moscow, on Monday. The first S-400 regiment was deployed last summer.

Even as the Russian Navy and Air Force hold the final stage of their joint Atlantic maneuvers, to be completed on February 2, the Russian Air Force and Army have planned a second joint drill to be conducted in the Caspian Sea region in April; the first such drill was held in 2007.

Units of Russia’s Air Force and Ground Forces will conduct a joint exercise in the country’s Caspian region in April 2008, a senior military official said on Tuesday. “The exercise will focus on rehearsing command and control of an Air Force and Air Defense Forces combined-arms formation” in what the military terms the Central Asian strategic sector, said Lt. Gen. Valery Stytsenkov, head of the Air Force Combat Training Directorate. He said units will also practice interoperability and teamwork with aviation, missile defense, antiaircraft, and electronic warfare assets of the Air Force, the Air Defense Forces, and the Ground Forces.

The general said preparations were under way, exercise grounds were being tested and reconnoitered, and that relevant paperwork was being processed. He said the exercise will cover an extensive area, including the Kapustin Yar and Ashuluk training grounds, both in south Russia’s Astrakhan region near the Caspian Sea. Stytsenkov said the first such exercise was conducted in 2007 after a long hiatus. (RIA Novosti)

>Red World Country Profiles Index

>Africa, Part 1
Arab Republic of Egypt
Burkina Faso
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Gabonese Republic
Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Kingdom of Lesotho
Kingdom of Morocco
Kingdom of Swaziland
People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
Republic of Angola
Republic of Benin
Republic of Botswana
Republic of Burundi
Republic of Cameroon
Republic of Cape Verde
Republic of Chad
Republic of the Congo
Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
Republic of Djibouti
Republic of Equatorial Guinea
Republic of the Gambia
Republic of Ghana

Africa, Part 2
Republic of Guinea
Republic of Guinea-Bissau
Republic of Kenya
Republic of Liberia
Republic of Madagascar
Republic of Malawi
Republic of Mali
Republic of Mauritius
Republic of Mozambique
Republic of Namibia
Republic of Niger
Republic of Rwanda
Republic of Senegal
Republic of Seychelles
Republic of Sierra Leone
Republic of South Africa
Republic of Sudan
Republic of Uganda
Republic of Zambia
Republic of Zimbabwe
Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Somali Republic
State of Eritrea
Togolese Republic
Tunisian Republic
Union of the Comoros
United Republic of Tanzania

Asia, Part 1
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)
Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor)
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Federation of Malaysia
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Islamic Republic of Iran
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Japan
Kingdom of Bahrain
Kingdom of Bhutan
Kingdom of Cambodia
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Kingdom of Thailand
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Mongolia
Palestinian National Authority (West Bank and Gaza Strip)
People’s Republic of Bangladesh
People’s Republic of China (including Hong Kong and Macau)
Republic of China (Taiwan)

Asia, Part 2
Republic of Cyprus
Republic of India
Republic of Indonesia
Republic of Iraq
Republic of Korea (South Korea)
Republic of Lebanon
Republic of Maldives
Republic of the Philippines
Republic of Singapore
Republic of Turkey
Republic of Yemen
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
State of Brunei, Abode of Peace
State of Israel
State of Kuwait
State of Qatar
Sultanate of Oman
Syrian Arab Republic
Union of Myanmar (Burma)
United Arab Emirates

Western Europe, Part 1
Federal Republic of Germany
French Republic
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Hellenic Republic (Greece)
Italian Republic
Kingdom of Belgium
Kingdom of Denmark
Kingdom of the Netherlands (including Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles and Aruba)
Kingdom of Norway
Kingdom of Spain

Western Europe, Part 2
Kingdom of Sweden
Most Serene Republic of San Marino
Portuguese Republic
Principality of Andorra
Principality of Liechtenstein
Principality of Monaco
Republic of Austria
Republic of Finland
Republic of Iceland
Republic of Ireland
Republic of Malta
State of the Vatican City
Swiss Confederation
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Former Soviet Union
Kyrgyz Republic
Republic of Armenia
Republic of Azerbaijan
Republic of Belarus
Republic of Estonia
Republic of Georgia
Republic of Kazakhstan
Republic of Latvia
Republic of Lithuania
Republic of Moldova
Republic of Tajikistan
Republic of Turkmenistan
Republic of Uzbekistan
Russian Federation
Ukraine
Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (Transnistria, unrecognized secessionist region in Moldova)

Eastern Europe
Czech Republic
Republic of Hungary
Republic of Poland
Slovakia

Former Yugoslavia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Republic of Croatia
Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Montenegro
Republic of Serbia
Republic of Slovenia
Kosovo (partly recognized secessionist province in Serbia)

Balkans
Republic of Albania
Republic of Bulgaria
Romania

North America
Canada
United Mexican States
United States of America

Caribbean
Antigua and Barbuda
Barbados
Commonwealth of the Bahamas
Commonwealth of Dominica
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Dominican Republic
Federation of Saint Christopher (Saint Kitts) and Nevis
Grenada
Jamaica
Republic of Cuba
Republic of Haiti
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Central America
Belize
Republic of Costa Rica
Republic of El Salvador
Republic of Guatemala
Republic of Honduras
Republic of Nicaragua
Republic of Panama

South America
Argentine Republic
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Co-operative Republic of Guyana
Eastern Republic of Uruguay
Federative Republic of Brazil
Republic of Bolivia
Republic of Chile
Republic of Colombia
Republic of Ecuador
Republic of Paraguay
Republic of Peru
Republic of Suriname

Oceania
Commonwealth of Australia
Federated States of Micronesia
Independent State of Papua New Guinea
Independent State of Samoa
Kingdom of Tonga
New Zealand
Republic of Fiji
Republic of Kiribati
Republic of the Marshall Islands
Republic of Nauru
Republic of Palau
Republic of Vanuatu
Solomon Islands
Tuvalu

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Bombers join final stage of Russian Navy’s Atlantic drill; Russia arms genocidal Sudanese regime, sends peacekeepers

>The Russian Navy is wrapping up its two-month tour of duty in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea with a multi-branch exercise that will include Blackjack, Bear, and Backfire bombers. These aircraft “will practice reconnaissance, missile and bomb strikes on mock adversary naval force, and will fly simulated air combat and air patrolling missions.” The final stage of the tour of duty follows last’s week exercise in the Bay of Biscay, off the coast of NATO members France and Spain, in which two Blackjack bombers test-launched cruise missiles.

Russian Bear bombers join final drills in N. Atlantic
17:3329/ 01/ 2008

MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) – Six Tu-95MS Bear strategic bombers joined on Tuesday a Russian naval task force in the Atlantic to take part in the final stage of the current naval exercise, an Air Force spokesman said.

During the exercises, from January 28 to February 2, Russian pilots will practice reconnaissance, missile and bomb strikes on mock adversary naval force, and will fly simulated air combat and air patrolling missions.

“Six Tu-95MS, eight Tu-22M3 Backfire C strategic bombers and two A-50 Mainstay airborne early warning aircraft have flown today to join the final phase of the current naval exercises [in the Atlantic],” Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said.

A total of 40 aircraft, including Tu-160 Blackjacks, Il-78 Midas aerial tankers, MiG-31 Foxhound long-range interceptors and Su-27 Flanker frontline fighter aircraft will participate in the drills, he said.

The aircraft are expected to fly at least 40 training sorties during the exercise.

Drobyshevsky reiterated that all flights by Russian aircraft would be performed in strict compliance with international rules on the use of air space over neutral waters, without violating the borders of other states.

Russia’s naval task force, comprising the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, the Udaloy-Class destroyers Admiral Levchenko and Admiral Chabanenko, as well as auxiliary vessels, is currently on a two-month tour of duty in the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic.

The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva guided missile cruiser, joined up with Russian naval warships in the Mediterranean on January 18 to participate in the current maneuvers.

The current operation is the first large-scale Russian Navy exercise in the Atlantic in 15 years. All combat ships and aircraft involved carry full combat ammunition loads.

Commander of Russia’s Northern Fleet Vice-Admiral Nikolai Maksimov, who is heading the task force, earlier said that the current tour of duty in the Mediterranean, which started on December 5, was aimed at ensuring Russia’s naval presence “in key operational areas of the world’s oceans” and establishing conditions for secure Russian maritime navigation.

Source: Novosti

In the wake of the Kremlin’s determination to project its naval power overseas (pun intended), Russia’s envoy to the NATO-Russia Council, Dmitry Rogozin, a nationalist politician and former Komsomol member, is urging the Western Alliance to include naval forces in any new Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. Russia withdrew from the 1990 CFE treaty last year, citing “NATO expansionism” in Eastern Europe as a threat to its national security.

Business as Usual: Paris and Berlin Join the Moscow-Beijing Axis

While one might expect France to be disturbed by the presence of Russian military exercises adjacent to its coasts, the fact of the matter is Franco-Soviet economic and military relations are advancing nicely under the “leadership” of faux rightist French President and Putin lap dog Nicholas Sarkozy.

With respect to the field of economic cooperation, state-run Voice of Russia reports: “French auto giant Peugeot Citroen signed on Tuesday an agreement to build a car plant in central Russia’s Kaluga Region. Under the deal estimated at 300 million euros, the new plant will produce nearly 150,000 Peugeot 207 and Citroen C4 compact cars annually.”

Incidentally, the same source notes that “Germany’s Volkswagen has already built a factory of its own in the region,” demonstrating the extent to which the capitulationist regimes in Paris and Berlin are within the orbit of Moscow. In a related story, a representative of the neo-communist Left Party in Germany, Wolfgang Gerke, recently visited Moscow, where he swapped notes with Communist Party of the Russian Federation vice chairman Ivan Melnikov. Left Party chairman and alleged Stasi informant Lothar Bisky formerly belonged to the Socialist Unity Party, the ruling communist party of East Germany, where the Left draws most of its support. The Left holds 54 seats in the Bundestag.

With respect to the field of military cooperation, Voice of Russia reports about Russia’s new Mountain Brigades, consisting of 4,500 troops, training in France: “Officers of Russian mountain brigades will spend 2 weeks training in the French army center in the city of Barcelonnette. According to a spokesman with the Land Forces headquarters, the brigades were formed last year in the North Caucasus under the presidential decree. The total number of brigades amount to 4,500 people.” The Mountain Brigades will be deployed along Russia’s border with Georgia this year. The Kremlin withdrew the last of its troops this past November, ahead of schedule, leaving the Not-So-Former Soviet republic without a Russian garrison presence for the first time since the days of the old Soviet Union. In short, France is helping Russia to maintain a military presence near Georgia that could be used in the near future to re-occupy its former satellite.

In a show of solidarity a French frigate also joined the Russian Navy during its Bay of Biscay sortie.

Putin Modernizes the Russian Army Under the Slogan “Great Russia!”

Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin is implementing modernizing reforms in the Russian Army that will double the number of draftees in the autumn of 2008 to 250,000, but reduce the period of conscription to one year of service. According to General Colonel Vasily Smirnov, deputy chief of the Russian General Staff, the number of draft dodgers has declined during the last seven years. There were 44,000 draft dodgers in 1999, 18,000 in 2005, and 10,000 in 2007. Yesterday the Associated Press reported about the concurrent and not-so-coincidental revival of Rosto-Dosaaf. This “Soviet-era military support organization said Monday it wants to reclaim its past role training youths for Russia’s armed forces, which have been plagued by draft dodging, cadet abuse and low morale.” One task of the organization is to eliminate the deadly hazing of recruits in the Russian Army. Rosto-Dosaaf’s coordinator Colonel Vladimir Pakov declared: “Our primary task is to turn Russia into a great power it once was.” Just what we need.

Pictured above: New Russian military dress uniforms for army generals (foreground), air force generals (center) and navy admirals. On January 28 Putin inspected and expressed his satisfaction with the armed forces’ new image. However, it looks like someone neglected to remove the hammer and sickle from the background. Tsk, tsk. This is the new, “post”-communist Russia, after all.

Soviet military support group is revived
By MANSUR MIROVALEV, Associated Press Writer
Mon Jan 28, 4:00 PM ET

A Soviet-era military support organization said Monday it wants to reclaim its past role training youths for Russia’s armed forces, which have been plagued by draft dodging, cadet abuse and low morale.

Rosto-Dosaaf, which once sponsored training courses and sports competitions for tens of millions of Soviet youths, will once again offer training in Russian high schools, said the group’s head, Maj. Gen. Yuri Kamyshanov.

“Ask what you can do for your country — that is our new message to young Russians,” Kamyshanov told reporters Monday.

The organization, previously known just as Dosaaf — the Volunteer Society for Assistance to the Army, Aviation and Navy — dates back to the first years of Soviet Union, when it served as a tool for training army conscripts and promoting youth athletics.

It once had offices and training facilities at plants and factories throughout the Soviet Union — even its own fleet of aircraft.

Russian men between 18 and 27 are required to serve one year in the military, though many evade the draft through medical and educational exemptions, or through bribery.

Last year, more than 200 soldiers committed suicide in the army, according to the Defense Ministry. Human-rights activists say hazing within the ranks causes thousands of other non-combat deaths and injuries.

Rosto-Dosaaf also plans to campaign against military hazing. Kamyshanov said the group will launch an emergency hot line for hazing victims and implement other measures.

“Our army cannot be divided from society, and it’s the social problems we have to blame first,” said group coordinator Col. Vladimir Pakov. “Our primary task is to turn Russia into a great power it once was.”

Military officials had no comment on the group’s plans.

Kremlin critics said Rosto-Dosaaf’s initiative was more about money than about patriotism, the rights of conscripts or improved national defense.

“This is just an attempt to get a slice of government funds,” said Pavel Felgenhauer, a Moscow-based military analyst. “Rosto-Dosaaf did have an important function in Soviet times, but not anymore.”

Source: Yahoo.News.com

The Kremlin-run media also reports that the Russian Space Forces will terminate its rental agreement with “post”-communist Ukraine for two radar stations in Mukachevo and Sevastopol. However, the military will construct new radar stations in the Urals and Russia’s Far East. “In time we plan to give up all the radars that are located abroad,” Space Forces Colonel General Vladimir Popovkin disclosed. It would appear that the Russian military intends to make sure that its primary defensive assets are well protected on its own soil.

The Kremlin Stirs the Pot of Violence and Political Intrigue in Sudan

Pictured here: Mi-24 attack helicopter in service to the Sudanese military. Russia sold 12 such aircraft to Sudan in 2005.

Meanwhile, neo-Soviet Russia is rapidly spreading its baleful influence throughout northern Africa. Recent developments include the resumption of military links between Russia and its old client states Algeria and Libya, as well as Egypt. The dictator of Egypt Hosni Mubarak visited Moscow in 2006, reciprocating Putin’s trip to Cairo one year prior.

Lately, a total of 120 Russian peacekeepers under the auspices of the United Nations are being deployed in Sudan, where decades of intermittent civil war have devastated the country. This is the Russian Armed Forces’ fourth rotation (tour of duty) in Sudan since 2005.

Military transport plane Il-18 with Russian peacekeepers arrived in Sudan
29.01.2008, 16.17

MOSCOW, January 29 (Itar-Tass) – The military transport plane Il-18 with Russian peacekeepers on the board arrived in Sudan on Tuesday, the chief of Russian Air Force’s information department, Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky told.

Eighty Russian peacekeepers arrived at the Sudanese airfield Juba at 13:00 Moscow time to replace the military servicemen of the Russian air group who are staying in this country,” he said.

He said 40 more peacekeepers would come to Sudan from Tver on Wednesday, as well as technical cargoes for the Russian air group.

The Russian air group in Sudan has four Mi-8MTV helicopters re-equipped according to UN standards.

They are complete with navigation and rescue systems.

The air group has 120 flight and technical personnel.

Air Force senior officer Major-General Viktor Ivanov said the group of helicopter fliers who arrived in Sudan helicopters includes only first-call pilots who can fly day and night in simple and complex weather conditions.

“Our air group will fulfill tasks of transporting different humanitarian cargoes, evacuation of patients and wounded people. We do not fulfill combat tasks,” he said.

Ivanov said it was the fourth rotation of the Russian air group in Sudan. The Russian peacekeepers had taken before flying to Sudan a training course at the e Aviation Centre in Torzhok, Tver region.

The pilots made training flights at day and night time, and drilled the landing with the cut-off of one of engines.

Source: Itar-Tass

The old Soviet Union and “post”-communist Russia have supported both sides of the conflict, no doubt to advance the Kremlin’s strategic objectives in northern Africa. During the First Sudanese Civil War (1955-1972) the largely Christian and animistic southern Sudanese rebelled against the Islamic government based in Khartoum. Only two years before the end of the first civil war the various rebel factions were unified under the Southern Sudan Liberation Movement. The Addis Ababa Agreement secured ten years of peace. In 1983 the civil war erupted again following Gaafar Nimeiriy’s decision to nullify the agreement. Nimeiri is an adherent of pan-Arab socialism. His party, the Sudan Socialist Union, was later renamed as the Alliance of the Peoples’ Working Forces and merged with the presently ruling National Congress Party in 2005.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) spearheaded the second revolt against the central administration. The SPLA was initially a Marxist movement and received support from the Soviet Union and Ethiopia’s communist President Mengistu Haile Meriem. Later, the SPLA secured support from the West by using the Sudanese government’s religious propaganda to present the war as a campaign by Khartoum to coerce southern Sudanese into accepting Islam and the Arabic language. The war ended in 2005, but not before the central government used Russian-built combat helicopters and military cargo planes to bomb southern villages and rebel positions. In October 2007 the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which is the political wing of the SPLA, withdrew from the government in protest over the tardy implementation of the 2005 peace accord.

In 2002, Stratfor reported, “Russia inked a $200 million deal Jan. 15 to develop untapped oil fields in central Sudan. The agreement is part of an emerging relationship between the two countries that will increase Russia’s influence in the continent and strengthen Sudan’s domestic arms industry.” The same year the organ of the Communist Party of China reported that “the Sudanese government had decided to develop military-technical cooperation with Moscow, and his country would modernize its equipment and buy advanced armaments from Russia.” In 2004 the Globe and Mail reported that Russia was arming the Sudanese government against the Darfur rebels: “Russia, one of the countries blamed for watering down the wording of last month’s United Nations resolution on the conflict by insisting that the word ‘sanctions’ be removed, has been delivering MiG fighter planes to Sudan throughout the bloodshed in Darfur. The latest delivery of two jets came in late July, just days before the weakened UN resolution was passed by the Security Council, and amid concern that the planes could be used against civilians.”

Hence, while the Russians might profess to be helping Sudan with humanitarian relief, the Kremlin’s real interests extend to the country’s oil deposits and the revenue generated by peddling its arms to the vicious Islamic dictatorship of President Omar al-Bashir.

>Latin America File: Venezuela and Colombia near war; Chavez: Uribe must recognize rebels as legitimate; Uribe: Chavez wants Marxist regime in Bogota

>This is nearly reaching unmanageable levels. This contains the great danger that along such an extensive border [1,300 miles] any unintentional incident can generate a very complicated standoff.
— Former Colombian Defense Minister Rafael Pardo Rueda addresses Colombian-Venezuelan relations

In November 2007 we blogged that the red dictator of Venezuela Hugo Chavez was “freezing” diplomatic relations with Bogota after Colombian President Alvaro Uribe dumped him and Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba from negotiations that would have facilitated the release of hostages, including three Americans and a French-Colombian politician, held by the narco-terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). At the time Uribe cited Chavez’s failure to abide by the Colombian government’s protocol for negotiation as the basis of Bogota’s decision.

FARC, as we have documented, is openly supportive of the evolving socialist republic in neighboring Venezuela. The insurgents have promised to defend the Chavez regime from any potential US invasion, a frequent topic of denunciation by the paranoid Comrade Hugo. Pictured above: A picture is indeed worth a thousand words: Marxist birds of a feather Chavez (right) and senior FARC commander Ivan Marquez walk out of Miraflores Palace in Caracas, on November 8, 2007.

In response to Caracas’ closure of diplomatic channels between the two South American countries, Uribe declared that Chavez was “seeking a Marxist FARC government in Bogota and the spread of leftist regimes across Latin America.” The Colombian president is not only accurate in his analysis, but also brave. For that reason, Washington should continue to sponsor Plan Colombia, which is designed to extirpate FARC and its fellow leftist insurgents in the National Liberation Army (ELN).

Uribe: Chavez wants a Marxist FARC government in Colombia

Nov 25, 2007 BOGOTA (AFP) — Tensions between Colombia and Venezuela soared Sunday, with President Alvaro Uribe charging Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was seeking a Marxist FARC government in Bogota and the spread of leftist regimes across Latin America.

“Your words, your positions, suggest you are not interested in peace in Colombia, but rather in Colombia becoming the victim of a terrorist government of the FARC,” Uribe said after Chavez announced he was “freezing” relations with Bogota.

Chavez earlier said he was putting bilateral ties in a “freezer,” after Uribe dropped him and a dialogue facilitator, Colombian senator Piedad Cordoba, in negotiations toward the swap of leftist rebels for high-profile hostages guerrillas hold.

“We need a mediation with terrorists, and not people who try to lend legitimacy to terrorism,” Uribe said referring to Chavez.

Chavez had said in Venezuela: “I declare to the world that I am putting relations with Colombia in the freezer. I do not believe in anyone in the Colombian government,” Chavez said in a speech.

“They have spat brutally in our face when we worked heart and soul to try to get them on the road to peace,” Chavez added.

In Bogota, Cordoba said Sunday she was being investigated by her country’s Supreme Court for treason.

“They notified me yesterday; I am being investigated for treason and collusion,” Cordoba told Radio Caracol from Caracas. She did not say if the charges against her were related to her work as mediator or to unrelated allegations.

Uribe had approved Chavez and Cordoba for their negotiator roles in August 31, following a phone call from Chavez to Colombian Army General Mario Montoya inquiring about the hostages.

Cordoba came under considerable fire in government circles for meeting secretly with rebel commanders Ivan Marquez and Rodrigo Granda, whom the FARC selected to negotiate the swap of 45 abductees for about 500 jailed guerrillas.

Uribe on Wednesday withdrew backing for Chavez and Cordoba to mediate FARC’s offer to release 45 high-profile hostages — including three Americans and French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt — in exchange for the jailed rebels.

The conservative Colombian president said that he considered Chavez’s role over, because the Venezuelan leader had ignored his demand not to speak directly with Colombian generals about the hostages.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked Uribe to “maintain a dialogue” with Chavez over the possible swap, his office said Thursday.

Sarkozy has taken a personal interest in the fate of Betancourt, a Colombian former presidential candidate who has a French passport by virtue of a marriage to a Frenchman. She has been held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) since 2002.

The four-decades old FARC is Latin America’s largest and longest-fighting insurgency.

Source: AFP

Last week we blogged that Chavez is urging his Latin American allies to pull their reserves out of US banks to hasten the demise of world’s once most robust economy. Three weeks ago, during his state of the nation address in the National Assembly, which is dominated by pro-Chavez parties, the Venezuelan Tyrant-in-Training ratified the Marxist insurgency in neighboring Colombia by urging governments in the regions, including Colombia’s, to remove FARC and ELN from their lists of terrorist organizations and recognize them as bonafide political forces. On January 11 the Voice of America reported:

Chavez Seeks to Renew Peace Efforts in Colombia
By Brian Wagner Miami
11 January 2008

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he wants to resume peace efforts in Colombia following the release of two hostages held by leftist rebels. VOA’s Brian Wagner reports Mr. Chavez also called on Colombia to recognize the rebels as insurgents and not as a terrorist group.

One day after helping negotiate the release of former Colombian politicians Consuelo Gonzalez and Clara Rojas, the Venezuelan president said he is confident he can make further progress with leftist rebels.

Mr. Chavez said, with Colombia’s approval, he would renew talks with leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). They have been waging a communist insurgency for more than 40 years. He said negotiations with the leftist group is the only way to achieve peace in Colombia.

Mr. Chavez also called on governments in the region and around the world to remove the FARC and a smaller rebel group from lists of terrorist organizations.

He said the two groups are insurgent armies with political goals, which should be respected.

The United States government considers the FARC a terrorist group and provides millions of dollars in military and economic aid to Colombia’s government to counter the rebels.

In a statement, FARC leaders said the release of the two hostages showed their willingness to negotiate with Colombia’s government to free additional hostages, in exchange for the release of jailed rebels.

In August, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe asked Mr. Chavez to negotiate a deal with the rebels, but Mr. Uribe called off the Venezuelan leader’s involvement last month because he said Mr. Chavez had improper contact with the Colombian army chief.

In a nationwide address late Thursday, President Uribe thanked Mr. Chavez and other international partners for their role in the hostage release. But he said he remains committed to tough security policies credited with sharply reducing the rebel threat.

He said Colombia has not yet won the battle against terrorism, but it will.

Mr. Uribe also read out some of the names of more than 700 hostages still in rebel hands, including three American military contractors. Many are being held in exchange for ransom money used to finance rebel activities.

No doubt enraged by Uribe’s intransigence against Colombia’s communist rebels, Chavez this past weekend accused Washington of provoking war between Colombia and Venezuela by providing the Uribe government with military support to wipe out FARC, ELN, and the associated narcotics trade. In response the dictator called on paleo-communist Cuba, neo-communist Bolivia, and neo-Sandinista Nicaragua to form a military alliance with Venezuela to repel a potential US invasion of Latin America. “Interfering with Bolivia, Nicaragua or Cuba is also interfering with Venezuela,” Chavez warned. “This is about reestablishing the concept of unity.” He referred to Uribe as a “pawn of US imperialism.” “Bogota did not reply,” observes the Pravda article below, “but announced that would investigate reports about Venezuelan aid to Colombian guerrillas.”

“Chavez’s accusations against Colombia,” concludes the author, “represent a fresh escalation of the war of words that began Nov. 21 when Uribe withdrew his approval for the Venezuelan president’s efforts to mediate with Colombia’s leftist FARC guerrillas.” Chavez’s allegations also coincide with a series of Venezuelan military exercises scheduled to run until February 3. During “Operation Caribe 01” 3,000 troops will mobilize fighter planes, tanks, and helicopters.

Chavez proposes military alliance against U.S.
29.01.2008

Hernan Etchaleco

According to the Venezuelan leader Washington is trying to provoke a war in South America. Tension rises across the region.

After stating that the U.S. was trying to provoke a war between Venezuela and Colombia, President Hugo Chavez called on Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua to form a military alliance to guard against eventual attacks from Washington. The appeal comes as tensions between Caracas and Bogota spin out of control after Chavez’s allegation that Colombia and the United States are plotting a military “provocation” against him

Chavez said that U.S. military support for Colombia to help fight guerrillas and drug traffickers is a threat to Latin American unity, according to an e-mailed statement from the Information Ministry. “Interfering with Bolivia, Nicaragua or Cuba is also interfering with Venezuela,” Chavez said of his biggest Latin American allies yesterday during his weekly :Alo Presidente” television program. “This is about reestablishing the concept of unity.”

Chavez talked of “war” for the first time last week, after saying that Colombia’s president, Alvaro Uribe, “was a pawn of the US imperialism”. Bogota did not reply, but announced that would investigate reports about Venezuelan aid to Colombian guerrillas.

Chavez gave no details on his allegation, saying only that it was based on intelligence reports from his government and other nations he did not identify. The president, who has close relations with Cuba, also cited recent visits of three top U.S. officials to Colombia, among them Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the head of the Miami-based U.S. Southern Command, Adm. James Stavridis.

“This is nearly reaching unmanageable levels,” said former Colombian Defense Minister Rafael Pardo Rueda.

“This contains the great danger that along such an extensive border [1,300 miles] any unintentional incident can generate a very complicated standoff.” The former chief of staff of the Colombian armed forces, retired Gen. Harold Bedoya, went further: “Everything indicates that there will be aggression from Venezuela” and that “Cuba is surely involved.”

The president’s accusations coincide with the launch early this week of “Operation Caribe 01,” a series of Venezuelan military exercises scheduled to run until Feb. 3. Some 3,000 troops concluded the first phase of the exercise Friday, which included the mobilization of fighter planes, tanks and helicopters, according to the Bolivarian News Agency in Caracas.

Relations between both neighbour South American countries began to worsen one month ago, when Chavez unilaterally brokered an humanitarian deal to release hostages held by Colombian armed groups. Bogota badly collaborated in the operation carried on by Venezuelan forces in Colombian territory under the umbrella of the Red Cross.

Chavez’s accusations against Colombia represent a fresh escalation of the war of words that began Nov. 21 when Uribe withdrew his approval for the Venezuelan president’s efforts to mediate with Colombia’s leftist FARC guerrillas. On Nov. 25 the Venezuelan ambassador to Bogota was recalled for consultations and has not returned, but Uribe did not withdraw his own envoy.

If finally Venezuela declares war on Colombia (or the other way around), it will mean that South America will face its first international armed conflict since 1995 Condor war between Ecuador and Peru.

Source: Pravda

In a related story, Cuban state media outlet Prensa Latina reports that “Venezuelan authorities refuted US accusations of being the main route of drug traffic and announced strengthening of the struggle against illegal substances’ smuggling.” We have previously shown that neo-communist Venezuela, in collaboration with FARC, has become a critical transit point for the shipment of “red cocaine” into the USA. Yesterday Prensa Latina also reported that President Uribe has ordered the police and army to surround FARC camps with the apparent intention of facilitating humanitarian relief to hostages. Incidentally, Prensa Latina is little more than an organ of the Communist Party of Cuba, as evidenced by the picture at the preceding link in which US ally Uribe appears to be giving the stiff-armed “fascist” salute. Cuban-Venezuela relations, according to the organ of the Communist Party of Cuba, are the “driving force” behind Latin American integration, of which Fidel Castro’s “mini me” Chavez is the most outspoken proponent. Cuban Minister of Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation Martha Lomas visited Caracas on January 18, at which time 26 joint projects were established.

>EU File: Italian PM, alleged KGB asset Prodi resigns again, center-left-communist government’s future uncertain, election likely

>The status of Italy’s place in the Communist Bloc is uncertain this week, due to the chronic instability of that country’s party system. Italy’s center-left government, consisting of a coalition of parties that includes Catholics and communists, is facing yet another crisis. Italian Prime Minister, former European Commission President, and alleged KGB asset Romano Prodi has resigned, repeating last February’s political crisis. One year ago “ex”-communist Italian President Giorgio Napolitano urged Prodi to remain in office but to submit to a vote of confidence in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. Prodi won the confidence of both houses.

In early January 2008, however, Justice Minister and Popular-UDEUR leader Clemente Mastella resigned, leaving Prodi’s coalition government in a state of jeopardy. Popular-UDEUR is a small centrist party that provided Prodi with the votes he needed in the upper house. On January 23 Prodi won another confidence vote in the Chamber, but lost by a slim margin the vote in the Senate. President Napolitano will defer acceptance of Prodi’s resignation until he has consulted with all parties represented in the Italian Parliament.

Italy’s center left in tatters after Prodi quits
Sun Jan 27, 2008 6:19am EST
By Silvia Aloisi

ROME (Reuters) – Riven by deep policy divisions and personal rivalries, Italy’s centre left is in tatters after the collapse of Romano Prodi’s government and faces a likely drubbing if a snap election is called.

Prodi’s resignation after several allies voted against him in the Senate was not just a defeat for the 68-year-old premier, but for the whole of his “suicidal” centre-left coalition, as one commentator put it.

“The problem for the centre left is that it comes out of this test reduced to shreds. It does not exist anymore, and the score-settling has not even started yet,” wrote Massimo Franco in an editorial in Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Throughout Prodi’s 20 months in power, the nine-party, Catholics-to-communists coalition that allowed him to narrowly beat Silvio Berlusconi in the 2006 election offered a grim spectacle of infighting and mutual sabotage.

His so-called allies argued on just about everything, from foreign policy to gay rights, from economic reforms to abortion.

“They only kept going through vetoes, threats and blackmail, weakening the prime minister and forcing him to mediate rather than take the lead,” wrote left-leaning La Repubblica.

Even fear that a government collapse would help Berlusconi — who has a clear lead in opinion polls — return to power was not enough to stop the bickering and defections.

Tellingly, among the “allies” who voted with Berlusconi’s centre right against Prodi on Thursday were Catholic centrists, liberal democrats and a hard-line communist.

RIVALRY

But perhaps the worst sign for the centre left is that its flagship, the Democratic Party (PD) which merged the bloc’s two largest forces as Prodi pushed for greater unity, is also threatened by divisions three months after it was formed.

Ever since Walter Veltroni, the Rome mayor and Prodi’s heir to lead the centre left, took the helm of the PD last October, the rivalry between the two was laid bare.

Veltroni immediately started negotiations with Berlusconi on how to reform Italy’s messy electoral law, blamed for the chronic instability of governments. Although the talks failed, Veltroni’s stream of headline-grabbing statements often overshadowed and surprised Prodi.

While Prodi’s collapse was ostensibly triggered by the pullout of the small Catholic Udeur party from his coalition, many political analysts say Veltroni also played a part.

His pre-crisis announcement that the PD would run on its own at the next election irked coalition allies, particularly smaller parties who fear their weight will be greatly reduced in future governments if the voting rules are changed.

“Veltroni’s disastrous comments shattered the coalition and led to Prodi’s fall,” said communist senator Manuela Palermi.

“Now the damage has been done, and to rebuild the centre left will be an arduous task.”

Source: Reuters

“The problem for the centre left is that it comes out of this test reduced to shreds. It does not exist anymore, and the score-settling has not even started yet,” editorialized Massimo Franco in the Corriere della Sera newspaper, above. Don’t worry, the Italian Left will regroup and come back with a vengeance. Communists don’t take no for an answer. “Elections are likely as soon as Italy’s complicated electoral law is reformed,” reports The Telegraph. “It has had 60 governments in the 62 years since it became a republic.”

On October 14, 2007 Prodi oversaw the merger of two main Italian centre-left parties, the Democrats of the Left and Daisy, creating the new Italian Democratic Party. The Democrats of the Left developed from the Democratic Party of the Left, which in turn was a retooling of the Italian Communist Party into a democratic socialist party. Daisy (Democracy is Freedom) was formed by former leftist Christian Democrats, centrists from the Liberal and Republican Parties, and assorted Socialists and Greens.

In April 2006 murdered FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko disclosed to Member of the European Parliament Gerard Batten that Prodi was a KGB asset. In November of the same year Prodi announced that he would proceed with legal action against those individuals making the allegations, although the law suit has not been in the news for over a year now. Prodi has made several trips to Russia, both before and after his appointment to the position of prime minister. The last visit was in January 2007, when the alleged KGB asset conferred with the former head of the KGB at Putin’s residence in Sochi. In March 2007 Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Rome and Vatican City. State-run Voice of Russia reports: “Italy is one of Russia’s leading European partners.”

Indeed, the Soviet strategists will not be pleased if Rome does not remain a trusted ally in the Communist Bloc. This is one reason why the Kremlin pursues entangling business and political alliances with countries that cannot be easily terminated even when a less-than-compliant rightist government assumes power in the allied country. Perfect examples of such Kremlin-friendly partnerships are the South Stream natural gas pipeline project that unites Gazprom and Italy’s formerly state-run ENI and transits Russian allies Bulgaria and Serbia, and the US$283 million contract inked by Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi to supply 10 Superjet 100 aircraft to Italian carrier ItAli Airlines.

>Latin America File: Chavez urges regional allies to withdraw reserves from US banks, Ortega denounces "global capitalism"; Red Axis woos Honduras

>Communist Bloc bigshot Hugo Chavez is urging his allies in the Latin American Red Axis to withdraw their international reserves from US banks, warning of a “looming US economic crisis.” The crisis to which Comrade Hugo refers was manufactured in part in the West by suicidal neo-Keynesian economic policies and gold-less computer blip capitalism, and by Soviet subversion of the Western financial system via titantic quantities of drug money and Kremlin-sponsored corporate takeovers. By urging his comrades in the Western Hemisphere’s numerous leftist governments to withdraw their billions from US banks, of course, he is merely hastening the Communist Bloc’s “nuclear attack” on the US economy. Communist Bloc leaders Russia and China, with sidekicks Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran, have already taken steps to detach their commercial transactions from the US dollar.

This weekend the two-faced “ex”-communist dictator of Nicaragua Daniel Ortega joined Chavez in Caracas for the latest summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA). Cuba and Bolivia were also represented at the conference. President Ortega denounced “US-style capitalism,” and “the dictatorship of global capitalism.” He continued: “Venezuelan people is, more than ever, identified with this struggle we are fighting, because we are a single nation, the same people, a single motherland. Venezuelan people have been supportive with the Nicaraguan one in the tragic times like the earthquake, or when we had fight against Somoza’s dictatorship, and when we fought against the North American empire.” Only three days earlier, however, Comandante Ortega declared “Long live the US government!” as he opened a Washington-financed section of highway in Nicaragua.

Chavez Urges Withdrawals From U.S. Banks
Saturday January 26, 1:22 pm ET
By Ian James, Associated Press Writer

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez urged his Latin American allies on Saturday to begin withdrawing billions of dollars in international reserves from U.S. banks, warning of a looming U.S. economic crisis.

Chavez made the suggestion as he hosted a summit aimed at boosting Latin American integration and rolling back U.S. influence.

“We should start to bring our reserves here,” Chavez said. “Why does that money have to be in the north? … You can’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

Chavez noted that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Colombia in recent days, saying “that has to do with this summit.”

“The empire doesn’t accept alternatives,” Chavez told the gathering, attended by the presidents of Bolivia and Nicaragua and Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage.

Chavez warned that U.S. “imperialism is entering into a crisis that can affect all of us” and said Latin America “will save itself alone.”

To help pool resources within the region, Chavez and other leaders were setting up a new development bank at the summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Nations of Our America, or ALBA.

The left-leaning regional trade alliance first proposed by Chavez is intended to offer an alternative, socialist path to integration while snubbing U.S.-backed free-trade deals.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega joined Chavez in his criticism of U.S.-style capitalism, saying “the dictatorship of global capitalism … has lost control.” Three days earlier, Ortega had shouted “Long live the U.S. government” as he inaugurated an American-financed section of highway in his country.

On Saturday, Chavez welcomed the Caribbean island of Dominica into ALBA, joining Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba. Attending as observers were the prime ministers of Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, along with officials from Ecuador, Honduras, Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis.

The ALBA Bank is to be started with $1 billion to US$1.5 billion of capital, Venezuelan Finance Minister Rafael Isea said Friday, according to the state-run Bolivarian News Agency.

Source: Yahoo!Finance.com

Honduras’ ruling Liberal Party is only mildly leftist and not formally a part of Latin America’s Red Axis. Still, Caracas has been actively wooing Tegucigalpa into the fold of PetroCaribe. Last week, after attending the inauguration of Guatemala’s new leftist president Alvaro Colom, Chavez flew to Honduras where he met President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales (pictured above, left) to discuss the reduction of that country’s debt to Caracas and the supply of subsidized Venezuelan petroleum to Honduras. Upon the Venezuelan dictator’s arrival, Zelaya gushed: “President Hugo Chávez Fri’as, commander of the Bolivarian Revolution, I give you the warmest welcome to the land of (Francisco) Morazán, the (Simón) Bolivar of Central America.” Chavez also extended an invitation to Zelaya to visit the Bolivarian Republic. Although not a red, Zelaya, like Chavez, is an aspiring dictator. In May 2007, BBC News reported, the Honduran president “ordered all the country’s TV and radio stations to carry government propaganda for two hours a day,” presaging a return to the military regime of the early 1980s.

>USSR2 File: Deal facilitates Gazprom’s acquisition of Austria’s largest oil producing company; France, Switzerland seize Russian government assets

>Soviet Strategists Use Gazprom to Take Over the World

Only one day after Gazprom acquired a controlling stake in Serbia’s state-owned oil monopoly NIS–which entailed the Serbian president, prime minister, and the former’s probable successor making a pilgrimage to Moscow–Gazprom CEO Dmitry Medvedev will oversee Gazprom’s takeover of yet another major foreign enterprise, the Austrian Mineral Oil Authority (OMV), which operates the Central European Gas Hub (CEGH). “CEGH is expected to become the largest and most important gas trading platform in Continental Europe,” OMV affirmed at a joint press conference in Vienna. Austria is presently under the government of the Social Democratic Party (SPO) which, unlike many other social democratic parties, is strongly leftist in its orientation. Between 1945 and 1995 the SPO was known as the Socialist Party.

Gazprom, as we have blogged previously, has extensive partnerships, investments, and controlling interests on just about every continent. The independent St. Petersburg Times recently published a list of its takeovers and prospective projects in Eastern Europe and the Near East, such as Turkey.

Pictured above: Medvedev and his mentor President Vladimir Putin, the richest “ex”-communist in Europe.

Gazprom strikes deal on European gas hub in Austria
21:4125/ 01/ 2008

MOSCOW, January 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s state-run gas giant Gazprom and OMV, an Austrian oil and gas company, signed a cooperation agreement in Vienna to set up a gas trading platform and storage facility in Europe.

The agreement signed by Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Gazprom management committee, and Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, OMV’s CEO, will give Gazprom a 50% stake in one of the largest gas hubs in Europe – the Central European Gas Hub (CEGH) in Baumgarten, Austria.

“The agreement signed with OMV is a substantial contribution to securing natural gas supplies to Europe,” Medvedev said.

OMV Gas International deals with the group’s activities in the natural gas sector and is focused on marketing, trading and logistics. The CEGH in Baumgarten was established as a logistical and commercial trading platform by OMV and has a capacity of 1.3 billion cu meters per month.

The agreement is based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed in May, 2007 by Ruttenstorfer and Alexei Miller, Gazprom CEO, during a visit to Austria by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Source: Novosti

It is not clear whether “ex”-Komsomol Dmitry Medvedev, who is also the front-running candidate in Russia’s presidential election, is related to Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Gazprom management committee. Alexander, according to the official Gazprom biography, is 10 years older than Dmitry.

In 2006 Business Week noted that “Gazprom has provoked anxiety in the U.S. and Europe as it has become Russian President Vladimir V. Putin’s favorite weapon in a new kind of Cold War—one haunted not by the specter of nuclear annihilation but by fear of going without heat in the winter. Europe’s growing dependence on Gazprom has given the Kremlin more leverage over the Continent, from Finland to Germany to Italy.” Two years earlier the same news source observed: “But convenience is producing a mega-company that could end up crimping competition, rolling back market reforms, and damaging Russia’s investment climate.” Indeed, that’s probably what the Soviet strategists have in mind: use state capitalism to destroy free enterprise.

Meanwhile, Russia’s state enterprises have been implicated in yet another scandal stretching all the way back to the early 1990s and extending all the way to Switzerland and France. Yesterday the Swiss Supreme Court rejected an appeal by neo-Soviet Russia to overturn a decision that grants Swiss trading firm Noga a legal claim on the Russian Central Bank’s accounts at three Swiss banks, UBS, Credit Suisse, and BNP Paribas Suisse. “The Russian government must pay. They have kept us waiting for 14 years,” Noga owner Nessim Gaon stated to the Associated Press. Noga lawyer Antoine Korkmaz revealed on January 17 that a 5% stake held by the state-run Russian Development Bank in the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company was among the Russian assets recently frozen in France. State-run Novosti admits that “Certain assets of Russian organizations, including accounts held by Russia’s Central Bank and news agency RIA Novosti, were frozen in France earlier this month over Noga’s 49 million euro ($73 million) claim to secure the repayment of debts under barter oil deals struck with Russia’s government in the early 1990s.”

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russia begins final Atlantic maneuver; preemptive strike against West to be disguised in initial stage as exercise

>The white flag is waving vigorously over the French Ministry of Surrender these days, notwithstanding the presence of faux rightist Russophile President Nicholas Sarkozy in the Élysée Palace. During the next-to-final phase of the Russian Navy’s two-month stint in the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea the French Navy will contribute a token presence to the exercise in the form of one frigate. On January 14 Russian warships docked at the French port of Toulon in a “good will” gesture.

Earlier this week, in a development that troubled the hopelessly confused Western MSM, “The Russian warships, which have already conducted live fire practice, will also master interoperability with naval aviation and Tu-160 strategic bombers.” This presentation of neo-Soviet firepower occurred in the Bay of Biscay, off the coasts of NATO members France and Spain. Between January 28 and February 1 the final phase of the Russian Navy’s “muscle-flexing” display will occur. More than 4o aircraft, including Blackjack, Bear, and Backfire strategic bombers, will participate.

Over 40 Russian planes to take part in naval drills in Atlantic
15:5624/ 01/ 2008

MOSCOW, January 24 (RIA Novosti) – Over 40 aircraft of Russia’s Air Force will take part in the final stage of a naval exercise in the Atlantic later this month, an aide to the Air Force commander said on Thursday.

“The Air Force will play an active role in the final stage of the naval task force exercises. Over 40 planes will be employed from January 28 to February 1,” Alexander Drobyshevsky said.

He said Tu-160 Blackjacks, Tu-95MS Bears, Tu-22M3 Backfire C strategic bombers, A-50 Mainstay airborne early warning aircraft, Il-78 Midas aerial tankers, MiG-31 Foxhound long-range interceptors and Su-27 Flanker frontline fighter aircraft will participate in the drills.

“During the exercises, pilots will practice reconnaissance, missile and bomb strikes on the [theoretical] enemy’s naval task force, and will conduct air fights and air patrolling,” Drobyshevsky said.

Russia’s naval task force, comprising the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, the Udaloy-Class destroyers Admiral Levchenko and Admiral Chabanenko, as well as auxiliary vessels, is currently on a two-month tour of duty in the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic.

The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva guided missile cruiser, joined up with Russian naval warships in the Mediterranean on Friday to participate in the current maneuvers.

The Navy said that during live firing practices on Monday, the cruiser successfully hit all designated targets.

The current operation is the first large-scale Russian Navy exercise in the Atlantic in 15 years. All combat ships and aircraft involved carry full combat ammunition loads, the Navy said.

Commander of Russia’s Northern Fleet Vice-Admiral Nikolai Maksimov, who is heading the task force, earlier said that the current tour of duty to the Mediterranean, which started on December 5, was aimed at ensuring Russia’s naval presence “in key operational areas of the world’s oceans” and establishing conditions for secure Russian maritime navigation.

Source: Novosti

Naysayers and Western-based apologists for the neo-Soviet Union are addicted to the practice of downplaying the Russian threat and highlighting the “deplorable” state of the Russian Armed Forces. Such propaganda is based on old news. During the last eight years President Vladimir Putin has rapidly modernized Russia’s army, submarine fleet, air force, and strategic missile forces, and invested numerous resources into civil defense.

Taking into account the fact that the Russian Air Force is unable to wiggle a single rudder without being noticed by US spy satellites, astute Kremlinologists should consider the possibility that a Soviet preemptive strike against the West will in the initial stage take the form of a military exercise. On January 19 Chief of the Russian General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky alluded to the possibility that Russia’s “partners,” meaning NATO and the USA, might be the recipients of a “preventative” nuclear strike if Moscow believes that is national security is being compromised. In a recent Rand Corporation report on Communist China’s military buildup, the military manuals of the People’s Liberation Army were scrutinized, revealing Beijing’s intention to employ fake military exercises as a cover for real missile strikes against US bases in the Western Pacific region (meaning South Korea and Japan), in advance of an invasion of Taiwan. On January 22 the Air Force Times reported: “Another military volume suggests feigning a large-scale military training exercise to conceal the attack’s buildup.” Taking into account the fact, too, that China is locked into a strategic partnership with fellow communist superpower Russia, we don’t believe that it is unreasonable to conclude that one day one of the Kremlin’s frequent military maneuvers will morph into a real attack on NATO/NORAD assets. This appears to have been the scenario on September 11, 2001. Something to think about as you prep over the next few months.

>USSR2 File: Kremlin media: Zyuganov to drop out of presidential race, red leader denies rumor; Kasyanov disqualified, United Russia becomes new CPSU

>The field of candidates for Russia’s March presidential election might be narrowing, depending on where you acquire your news. Beginning yesterday the Kremlin-controlled media, particuarly Itar-Tass and Russia Today, broadcast reports that Communist Party of the Russian Federation/Soviet Union Chairman Gennady Zyuganov has decided to step out of the presidential race or, at least, is considering that option. “We are in the process of considering this possibility, but at the same time we do hope the authorities will display common sense,” Zyuganov allegedly informed Itar-Tass in an exclusive interview. “My attitude to all this is very serious. I do not like hullabaloos. Nobody is in the mood of conducting a normal dialogue, of meeting in a live broadcast. Everything is being turned into another row.”

Last week Zyuganov challenged United Russia’s candidate Dmitry Medvedev to a televised debate, a process that the “party of power” shunned during the December State Duma campaign. Zyuganov is currently in Beijing, playing the statesman against rival Medvedev, the “ex”-Komsomol chief of Gazprom who has no foreign policy experience, and rubbing elbows with the leadership of the ruling Communist Party of China. At the CPRF website, Zyuganov appears to categorically deny that he is withdrawing from the electoral race. If that is the case, then his comments transform the Itar-Tass “interview” into a disinformation campaign. The translation below is courtesy Babelfish with some refinements from your resident blogger. Responding from Beijing to the Kremlin media campaign against his candidacy, Chairman Zyuganov declares:

“We are very seriously involved in the elections, even though we do not want them to be converted into buffoonery, which will be tragic for the country. We do not want that psychosis for this country, which is now raised around the presidential candidates,” said G.A. Zyuganov by telephone to the press service of the Communsit Party of the Russian Federation. Zyuganov is presently in Beijing on a working trip.

“Now they [the crypto-communist Putinist regime] insist that the presidentical candidate for the Communist Party of the Russian Federation must immediately leave the presidential campaign, or consider himself obligated to take that step,” noted G. A. Zyuganov.

“The- purpose is obvious: to introduce confusion into our election campaign, which was strongly activated after the recent conference of the leaders of the regional party committees.

“We will increase our work and targetted fight. We will attentively study the situation. They are ready to take the most serious steps, including the current development, as well as their plans next month to present their candidate and Zhirinovsky as the only contenders. I consider this offensive for the country.

My presidential candidacy was advanced by the party cognress, supported by other parties, trade unions, youth, veterans, and other public organizations. We will assume collective decisions on any strategic question of the presidential campaign.

“More than a week ago I directed a letter to the RF presidential candidate Dmitry Medvedev with the proposal to conduct television debates on our pre-election programs,” explained G. A. Zyuganov. There has been no answer to this proposal, until now. In the Kremlin and the government no one wants to be occupied by normal dialogue, debates on television. Everything is converted into the nonsensical squabble and scandal. If you are committed to the law about the equality of opportunities on TV and civic community, then be so kind as to respect the law and society.

“For the present the people, the political parties and especially the opposition should train their thoughts on the discussion of policies. One should accumulate knobs and move aside (?). We must no leave everything to the arbitrariness of the present authority. This must not be!”

(Signed) Chairman, Central Committee, Communist Party of the Russian Federation

Former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov may also drop out of the race. Russia Today reports that “13 per cent of the signatures submitted by Kasyanov are invalid.” Nikolay Konkin, spokesentity for the Central Election Commission, states: “13.5 per cent of signatures submitted by candidate Kasyanov are not valid. That exceeds the 5 per cent limit. The total number of valid signatures is less than two million. So we have two reasons to deny Kasyanov registration.” The Kremlin broadcaster continues: “As an independent candidate, Kasyanov needed to gather two million signatures to be eligible to run for the post. Prosecutors have launched a fraud case against the former prime minister. They say more than 15,500 false signatures have been collected in central Russia and the Republic of Mary El in Russia’s Volga District.”

In view of his failure to properly file his registration papers in December, Oleg (“Man in the Shadows”) Shenin, August 1991 coup mastermind and head of the restored CPSU, will not be running for the presidency.

If Zyuganov does in fact withdraw from the campaign, then it will be the second time he has done this. The first occurred in 2004, affording fellow communist Putin a landslide victory. Whether open or closet communists occupy the Kremlin is merely a detail in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s long-range deception against the West and restructuring of the Russian political system into a mature communist society. In truth United Russia, which has endorsed Medvedev’s candidacy, is merely a branch of the restored/continuing CPSU. During the last election season in Russia, The Christian Science Monitor noted the transfer of personnel from the CPSU to United Russia, as well as the convergence of ideologies between the two organizations. In 2003 the CSM reported: “United Russia’s tactic is to seduce the communists’ traditional constituency by appearing more like the old Soviet Communist Party than the KPRF does. The pro-Kremlin party has stolen the Communists’ anti-big business slogans, its posters feature Soviet-era icons like dictator Joseph Stalin and cosmonaut Yury Gagarin, and its attack ads slam the KPRF for including rich businessmen among its candidates.” The next year, it observed:

But some experts warn that United Russia increasingly resembles the former CPSU which, at its peak, was a vast “state within a state” where all important decisions were made and then imposed by millions of loyal party members in every Soviet government office, legislature, workplace, school, and military unit.

A series of Kremlin-authored bills currently before the state Duma may accelerate United Russia’s transformation into a monolithic state party by making local governors appointed by the president rather than by popular vote, lifting a ban on senior civil servants joining any party, and electing the parliament on the basis of central party lists rather than local constituency races.

In 2004 United Russia signed a cooperation protocol with the ruling Communist Party of China which, if ER was truly a democratic party, is like the US Republican Party signing a cooperation protocol with the Communist Party of Cuba.

John Stormer, the author of the classic anti-communist treatise None Dare Call It Treason (1964, 1990), made the following prediction about the current Russian election season in an exclusive interview published last year at this blog:

I tend to doubt that communists will be able to openly have a major impact on the coming elections. It may be that real communists know that they make more progress through Putin’s United Russia Party. In spite of all he is doing, he is basically popular—the economic progress they are enjoying will keep the people in line—and he and his associates are making more progress than could ever be accomplished were an open, old-fashioned communist regime to take power.

Rumors with respect to Zyuganov’s possible abandonment of the campaign might be a Leninist tactic that corresponds with Russia’s obvious war footing–complete with well-publicized military exercises in and over international waters-and is designed to deceive the West into believing that open communism is a spent force in Russia. Assuming Zyuganov does fail to take the presidency, the open communists in Moscow can then reassert themselves–violently if necessary–at a time convenient and coinciding with the immediate demise of the Western Alliance.

In a related story, the executive committee of the Union of Communist Parties-CPSU, which gave birth to Shenin’s restored CPSU in 2004, will convene in Moscow on January 26 to discuss the coordination of political activities relative to the presidential elections and the next UCP-CPSU congress, later this year. The UCP-CPSU, which operates under the leadership of Zyuganov, unites 17 republican communist parties of the Not-So-Former Soviet Union.

>Blast from the Past File: Growing numbers of professionals oppose fluoridation of drinking water in what was once seen as a communist plot

>To Whom It May Concern: I, Oliver Kenneth Goff was a member of the Communist Party and the Young Communist League, from May 2, 1936 to October 9, 1939. During this period of time, I operated under the alias of John Keats and the number 18-B-2. My testimony before the Government is incorporated in Volume 9 of the Un-American Activities Report for the year 1939.

While a member of the Communist Party, I attended Communist underground training schools outside the City of New York: In the Bues Hall, and 113 East Wells Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The East Wells Street School operated under the name of the Eugene Debs School.

Here, under the tutoring of Eugene Dennis, M. Sparks, Morris Childs, Jack Kling and others, we were schooled in the art of revolutionaryoverthrow of the established Government.

We were trained on how to dismantle and assemble mimeograph machines, to use for propaganda purposes during the revolution; how to work on guide wires and fuel lines of airplanes so that they would either burst into flames or crash to the ground because of lack of control; how to work on ties and rails to wreck trains; and also the art of poisoning water supplies.

We discussed quite throughly the fluoridation of water supplies and how we were using it in Russia as a tranquilizer in the prison camps. The leaders of our school felt that if it could be induced into the American water supply, it would bring-about a spirit of lethargy in the nation; where it would keep the general public docile during a steady encroachment of Communism.

We also discussed the fact that keeping a store of deadly fluoride near the water reservoir would be advantageous during the time of the revolution, as it would give us opportunity to dump this poison into the water supply and either kill off the populace or threaten them with liquidation, so that they would surrender to obtain fresh water.

We discussed in these schools, the complete art of revolution:the seizure of the main utilities, such as light, power, gas, and water;but it was felt by the leadership, that if a program of fluoridating of the water could be carried out in the nation, it would go a long waytoward the advancement of the revolution.

The above statements are true.
/s/ Oliver Kenneth Goff
STATE OF COLORADO
COUNTY OF ARAPAHOE

OLIVER KENNETH GOFF, being first duly sworn upon his oath, deposesand says that he has the above and foregoing instrument and knows the contents thereof, and that the same are true of his own knowledge exceptas to those matters stated on the information and belief as to those he believes them to be true.

(SEAL) subscribed and sworn to before me this 22rd day of June A.D., 1957.

— Oliver Kenneth Goff, former member of Communist Party USA

In the 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove US General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden, above) declares: “Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face.” Intriguingly, in 1998 the Gore-Chernomyrdin Health Committee sponsored a tour of the USA by Russian professionals in a “collaborative project to eliminate iodine, fluorine, iron and selenium deficiencies in Russia.” The Russian visitors were primarily interested in learning more about the success of US programs in “water fluoridation, fluoridated dentifrices, topical fluorides, fluoride supplements, efficacy and regulatory requirements of these fluoride delivery systems, and associated health education and health promotion strategies.” The Gore-Chernomyrdin Health Committee, named after former US Vice President Al Gore and former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin (“ex”-CPSU), represents one of many facets of East-West convergence under the auspices of the wider Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission. If water fluoridation and other medical applications of fluoride are indeed a red-inspired scheme, then it may be that the Russian delegation was tasked with determining the extent to which fluoride poisoning has neutralized the US population’s will to resist communism.

Whether a communist plot to pacify the population in advance of a Soviet takeover or a plot by the American Aluminum Company to dump toxic fluoride waste into the water supply, among scientists and professionals the tide is definitely turning away from the fluoridation of drinking water. In the January 2008 edition of the prestigious Scientific American Dan Fagin writes:

Researchers are intensifying their scrutiny of fluoride, which is added to most public water systems in the U.S. Some recent studies suggest that overconsumption of fluoride can raise the risks of disorders affecting teeth, bones, the brain and the thyroid gland. A 2006 report by a committee of the National Research Council recommended that the federal government lower its current limit for fluoride in drinking water because of health risks to both children and adults.

Elsewhere he states:

Most fluoridated water contains much less fluoride than the EPA limit, but the situation is worrisome because there is so much uncertainty over how much additional fluoride we ingest from food, beverages and dental products. What is more, the NRC panel noted that fluoride may also trigger more serious health problems, including bone cancer and damage to the brain and thyroid gland. Although these effects are still unproved, the panel argued that they deserve further study.

The Fluoride Action Network has published a list of nearly 1,400 scientists and professionals who oppose the fluoridation of drinking water.

A history of the issue follows. The author, who views fluoride poisoning as a “capitalist plot,” relates: “The German chemists explained of their attempt to control the population in any given area through the mass medication of drinking water with sodium fluoride, a tactic used in German and Russian prisoner of war camps to make the prisoners ‘stupid and docile'” However, “Despite growing evidence that it is harmful to public health, US federal and state public health agencies and large dental and medical organizations such as the American Dental Association (ADA), continue to promote fluoride.” Sixty years after the Second World War does that phrase “stupid and docile” describe the shopping mall regime today? I think so.

The Fluoride Conspiracy

“Tell a lie loud enough and long enough and people will believe it.”
— Adolf Hitler

“Fluoridation is the greatest case of scientific fraud of this century.”
— Robert Carlton, Ph.D, former EPA scientist, 1992

The history of forcing fluoride on humans through the fluoridation of drinking water is wrought with lies, greed and deception. Governments that add fluoride to drinking water supplies insist that it is safe, beneficial and necessary, however, scientific evidence shows that fluoride is not safe to ingest and areas that fluoridate their drinking water supplies have higher rates of cavities, cancer, dental fluorosis, osteoporosis and other health problems. Because of the push from the aluminum industry, pharmaceutical companies and weapons manufacturers, fluoride continues to be added to water supplies all over North America and due to recent legal actions against water companies that fluoridate drinking water supplies, precedent has been set that will make it impossible for suits to be filed against water suppliers that fluoridate. There is a growing resistance against adding toxic fluoride to our water supplies, but unfortunately, because fluoride has become “the lifeblood of the modern industrial economy” (Bryson 2004), there is too much money at stake for those who endorse water fluoridation. The lies of the benefits of water fluoridation will continue to be fed to the public, not to encourage health benefits to a large number of people, but to profit the military-industrial complex.

The story begins in 1924, when Interessen Gemeinschaft Farben (I.G. Farben), a German chemical manufacturing company, began receiving loans from American bankers, gradually leading to the creation of the huge I.G. Farben cartel. In 1928 Henry Ford and American Standard Oil Company (The Rockefellers) merged their assets with I.G. Farben, and by the early thirties, there were more than a hundred American corporations which had subsidiaries and co-operative understandings in Germany. The I.G. Farben assets in America were controlled by a holding Company, American I.G. Farben, which listed on it’s board of directors: Edsel Ford, President of the Ford Motor Company, Chas. E. Mitchell, President of Rockerfeller’s National City Bank of New York, Walter Teagle, President of Standard Oil New York, Paul Warburg, Chairman of the federal reserve and brother of Max Warburg, financier of Germany’s War effort, Herman Metz, a director of the Bank of Manhattan, controlled by the Warburgs, and a number of other members, three of which were tried and convicted as German war criminals for their crimes against humanity. In 1939 under the Alted agreement, the American Aluminum Company (ALCOA), then the worlds largest producer of sodium fluoride, and the Dow Chemical Company transferred its technology to Germany. Colgate, Kellogg, Dupont and many other companies eventually signed cartel agreements with I.G. Farben, creating a powerful lobby group accurately dubbed “the fluoride mafia” (Stephen 1995).

At the end of World War II, the US government sent Charles Eliot Perkins, a research worker in chemistry, biochemistry, physiology and pathology, to take charge of the vast Farben chemical plants in Germany. The German chemists told Perkins of a scheme which they had devised during the war and had been adapted by the German General Staff. The German chemists explained of their attempt to control the population in any given area through the mass medication of drinking water with sodium fluoride, a tactic used in German and Russian prisoner of war camps to make the prisoners “stupid and docile” (Stephen 1995). Farben had developed plans during the war to fluoridate the occupied countries because it was found that fluoridation caused slight damage to a specific part of the brain, making it more difficult for the person affected to defend his freedom and causing the individual to become more docile towards authority. Fluoride remains one of the strongest anti-psychotic substances known, and is contained in twenty-five percent of the major tranquilizers. It may not seem surprising that Hitler’s regime practiced the concept of mind control through chemical means, but the American military continued Nazi research, exploring techniques to incapacitate an enemy or medicate an entire nation. As stated in the Rockerfeller Report, a Presidential briefing on CIA activities, “the drug program was part of a much larger CIA program to study possible means of controlling human behavior” (Stephen 1995).

The ‘dental caries prevention myth’ associated with fluoride, originated in the United States in 1939, when a scientist named Gerald J. Cox, employed by ALCOA, the largest producer of toxic fluoride waste and at the time being threatened by fluoride damage claims, fluoridated some lab rats, concluded that fluoride reduced cavities and claimed that it should be added to the nation’s water supplies. In 1947, Oscar R. Ewing, a long time ALCOA lawyer, was appointed head of the Federal Security Agency , a position that placed him in charge of the Public Health Service(PHS). Over the next three years, eighty-seven new American cities began fluoridating their water, including the control city in a water fluoridation study in Michigan, thus eliminating the most scientifically objective test of safety and benefit before it was ever completed.

American ‘education and research’ was funded by the Aluminum Manufacturing, Fertilizer and Weapons Industry looking for an outlet for the increasingly mounting fluoride industrial waste while attaining positive profit increase. The ‘discovery’ that fluoride benefited teeth, was paid for by industry that needed to be able to defend “lawsuits from workers and communities poisoned by industrial fluoride emissions” (Bryson 1995) and turn a liability into an asset. Fluoride, a waste constituent in the manufacturing processes of explosives, fertilizers and other ‘necessities’, was expensive to dispose of properly and until a ‘use’ was found for it in America’s water supplies, the substance was only considered a toxic, hazardous waste. Through sly public re-education, fluoride, once a waste product, became the active ingredient in fluorinated pesticides, fungicides, rodenticides, anesthetics, tranquilizers, fluorinated pharmaceuticals, and a number of industrial and domestic products, fluorinated dental gels, rinses and toothpastes. Fluoride is so much a part of a multibillion-dollar industrial and pharmaceutical income, that any withdrawal of support from pro-fluoridationists is financially impossible, legally unthinkable and potentially devastating for their career and reputation.

Funded by US industrialists, in an attempt to encourage public acceptance of fluoride, Edward Bernays, known also as the father of PR, or the original spin doctor, began a campaign of deception to persuade public opinion. Barnays explained “you can get practically any idea accepted if doctors are in favour. The public is willing to accept it because a doctor is an authority to most people, regardless of how much he knows or doesn’t know”(Bryson 2004). Doctors who endorsed fluoridation didn’t know that research discrediting fluoride’s safety was either suppressed or not conducted in the first place. Fluoride became equated with scientific progress and since it was introduced to the public as a health-enhancing substance, added to the environment for the children’s sake, those opposing fluoride were dismissed as cranks, quacks and lunatics. Fluoride became impervious to criticism because of a relentless PR offensive, but also because of it’s overall toxicity. Unlike chemicals that have a signature effect, fluoride, a systemic poison, produces a range of health problems, so it’s effects are more difficult to diagnose.

Recently declassified US Military documents such as Manhattan Project, shows how Fluoride is the key chemical in atomic bomb production and millions of tonnes of it were needed for the manufacture of bomb-grade uranium and plutonium. Fluoride poisoning, not radiation poisoning, emerged as the leading chemical health hazard for both workers and nearby communities. A-bomb scientists were ordered to provide evidence useful for defense in litigation, so they began secretly testing fluoride on unsuspecting hospital patients and indignant, mentally retarded children.. “The August 1948 Journal of the American Dental Association shows that evidence of adverse effects from fluoride was censored by the US Atomic Energy Commission for reasons of “national security” (Griffiths 1998). The only report released stated that fluoride was safe for humans in small doses.

During the Cold War, Dr. Harold C. Hodge, who had been the toxicologist for the US Army Manhattan Project, was the leading scientific promoter of water fluoridation. While Dr. Hodge was reassuring congress of the safety of water fluoridation, he was covertly conducting one of the nation’s first public water fluoridation experiments in Newburgh, New York, secretly studying biological samples from Newburgh citizens at his US laboratory at the University of Rochester. Since there are no legal constraints against the suppression of scientific data, the only published conclusion resulting from these experiments was that fluoride was safe in low doses, a profoundly helpful verdict for the US Military who feared lawsuits for fluoride injury from workers in nuclear power plants and munitions factories. Fluoride pollution was one of the biggest legal worries facing key US industrial sectors during the cold war.

A secret group of corporate attorneys, known as the Fluorine Lawyers Committee, whose members included US Steel, ALCOA, Kaiser Aluminum, and Reynolds Metals, commissioned research at the Kettering Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati to “provide ammunition” (Bryson 2004) for those corporations who were fighting a wave of citizen claims for fluoride injury. The Fluorine Lawyers Committee and their medical ambassadors were in personal and frequent contact with the senior officials of the federal National Institute for Dental Research, and have been implied in the ‘burying’ of the forty year old Kettering study, which showed that fluoride poisoned the lungs and lymph nodes in laboratory animals. Private interests, sought to destroy careers and censor information by ensuring that scientific studies raising doubts about the safety of fluoride never got funded, and if they did, never got published.

During the 1990’s, research conducted by Harvard toxicologist Phillis Mullenix showed that fluoride in water may lead to lower IQ’s, and produced symptoms in rats strongly resembling attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Just days before her research was accepted for publication, Mullenix was fired as the head of toxicology at the Forsyth Dental Center in Boston. Then her application for a grant to continue her fluoride and central nervous system research was turned down by the US National Institute of Health (NIH), when an NIH panel told her that “fluoride does not have central nervous system effects” (Griffiths 1998).

Despite growing evidence that it is harmful to public health, US federal and state public health agencies and large dental and medical organizations such as the American Dental Association (ADA), continue to promote fluoride. Water fluoridation continues, despite the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s own scientists, whose union, Chapter 280 of the National Treasury Employees Union, has taken a strong stand against it. Dr. William Hirzy, vice president of Chapter 280, stated that “fluoride (that is added to municipal water) is a hazardous waste product for which there is substantial evidence of adverse health effects and, contrary to public perception, virtually no evidence of significant benefits”( Mullenix 1998). Although fluoride is up to fifty times more toxic than sulfur dioxide, it is still not regulated as an air pollutant by the American Clean Air Act. Since thousands of tonnes of industrial fluoride waste is poured into drinking water supplies all over North America, supposedly to encourage gleaming smiles in our children, big industry in the US has the benefit of emitting as much fluoride waste into the environment as they like with absolutely no requirement to measure emissions and no way of being held accountable for poisoning people, animals and vegetation.

In August 2003, the EPA requested that the National Research Council, the research arm of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), re-evaluate water fluoride safety standards by reviewing recent scientific literature, because the last review in 1993 had major gaps in research. “Neither the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nor the National Institute for Dental Research (NIDR), nor the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has any proof on fluoride’s safety or effectiveness”(Sterling 1993). The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology has classified fluoride as an unapproved dental medicament due to it’s high toxicity and the US National Cancer Institute Toxicological Program has found fluoride to be an “equivocal carcinogen” (Maurer 1990).

Currently the US government is continuing to introduce further fluoridation schemes throughout the country, including the Water Act passed in November 2003, which has made it impossible for water companies to undergo civil or criminal hearings as a result of adding fluoride to public water supplies.

In a society where products containing asbestos, lead, beryllium and many other carcinogens have been recalled from the marketplace, it is surprising that fluoride is embraced so thoroughly and blindly. It seems absurd that we would consider paying the chemical industry to dispose of their toxic waste by adding it to our water supply. Hiding the hazards of fluoride pollution from the public is a capitalist-style con job of epic proportions that has occurred because a powerful lobby wishes to manipulate public opinion in order to protect it’s own financial interests. “Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country… our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of” (Bernays 1991).

Source: EkosTV

>USA/USSR2 Files: Stocks rally as neo-Keynesian Fed chair Bernanke "pumps" the system; Zyuganov: China’s market reforms template for revived USSR

>In September 2007 Dan Dorfman at The New York Sun, quoting Oppenheimer & Co.’s veteran chief investment strategist Michael Metz, predicted that the Dow Jones Industrial Average would slide at least 1,600 points over the next two months or more, to hover between 11,500 and 12,000. Today the DJIA checked in at 12,163.84 as US markets for the most part rose, European markets uniformaly sank, and Asian markets climbed across the board. Bloomberg reports:

U.S. stocks advanced, erasing a 326-point sell-off in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, on speculation that the Federal Reserve’s emergency interest rate cut may stem the decline in bank shares. Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp., the biggest U.S. banks, pushed financial shares to their best two-day rally since November. Centex Corp. and D.R. Horton Inc. led a gauge of homebuilders to its steepest rally in seven weeks. The Fed’s latest rate cut “is delivering free money to banks,” said Wayne Wilbanks, who manages about $1.2 billion at Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management in Norfolk, Virginia. “If you look at any of these financials, they are blown-out-of- the-water oversold.”

In an effort to preempt recession, the US Federal Reserve System, under the mismanagement of neo-Keynesian Chairman Ben Bernanke, pumped more money into the colossal failure that is debt-based fiat capitalism. Justin Fox, business and economics columnist for the Council on Foreign Relations’ organ Time, uncovers the sordid reality of “Helicopter Ben”: “These are all measures designed not to change people’s incentives or long-run behavior, but simply to shove more money into Americans’ pockets during an economic tough spot. It is, thus, an entirely Keynesian approach.”

Meanwhile, the Leninist masterminds in Moscow are sitting tight, smugly insisting yet again that Russia will ride out capitalism’s latest storm: “Russia’s finance minister [Alexei Kudrin] said on Wednesday that Russia was a safe haven for investors and the country’s economy remained stable amid slumping global stock markets.” Referring to the Kremlin’s Stabilization Fund, Kudrin presented Russia as the world’s last best hope for economic stability: “Russia will participate in the International Monetary Fund’s initiative to deal with the consequences of the current turmoil in the global financial markets. As a country with substantial reserves, Russia could help soothe the global crisis.” As early as February 2007 communist organ Pravda, citing former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, gloated over the looming recession in the USA:

Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned Monday that the American economy might slip into recession by year‘s end. “When you get this far away from a recession invariably forces build up for the next recession, and indeed we are beginning to see that sign,” Greenspan said via satellite link to a business conference in Hong Kong. “For example in the U.S., profit margins … have begun to stabilize, which is an early sign we are in the later stages of a cycle.” Greenspan said that while it would be “very precarious” to try to forecast that far into the future, he could not rule out the possibility of a recession late this year.

Communist Party of the Russian Federation leader Gennady Zyuganov’s trip this week to China proves that the Soviet strategists have in 17 years turned the ideological tables against laissez-faire capitalism. (Or so they think.) In Beijing he lauded the pseudo-capitalist reforms of the ruling Communist Party of China as a template for a rejuvenated Soviet Union. “Our Chinese friends made a big impression on our delegation,” said Zyuganov at the CPRF website, exposing the truth behind Beijing’s so-called transition to capitalism, a favorite theme among the West’s self-deluded, starry-eyed Nepmen (Bill Gates, et al.). “First of all,” Zyuganov continued, “these are major examples of social and economic development, building in the midst of storms and increasing the welfare of working people. The Communist party of China shows an example to Russia and to the West that it is possible [for communists] to successfully govern the country, advancing the boundaries of civilization. In this case, combining the principles of socialism, national traditions and advanced experience from the foreign countries.”

>EU/USSR2 Files: Serbian nationalist Nikolic wins presidential election’s first round, visits Moscow with incumbent Tadic, PM Kostunica

>Serb Radical Party leader Tomislav Nikolic (pictured here) won the first round of that country’s presidential election on January 20. Along with incumbent President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, nationalist Nikolic will travel to Moscow on January 25, ostensibly to oversee the ratification of Gazprom’s acquisition of a controlling interest in Serbia’s state oil monopoly NIS, but more than likely to assure Serbia’s masters in the Kremlin that outspoken Russophile Nikolic, if we wins the second round, will maintain a Kremlin-friendly “business as usual” policy in Belgrade. “The agreement on the visit of Nikolic was reached during a visit of a group of Russian legislators to Serbia last weekend,” reveals Russian politician Mikhail Yemelyanov, deputy to the State Duma deputy for Just Russia. Nikolic recently called for the establishment of Russian military bases in Serbia to impose an economic blockade around Kosovo and counter NATO’s support for the province’s unilateral declaration of independence, which is looming next month. The founder of the Serb Radical Party is “ex”-communist Vojislav Šešelj, who is currently on trial for war crimes at The Hague.

Both Serb presidential candidates will hold consultations in Moscow
23.01.2008, 12.13

MOSCOW, January 23 (Itar-Tass) – Serb presidential candidates Boris Tadic and Tomislav Nikolic will hold consultations in Moscow before the second round of the voting, which is scheduled for February 3.

Incumbent President Boris Tadic, who got 35.4 per cent of votes in the first round, is coming to Moscow on January 25 in connection with the signing of an intergovernmental agreement in the oil and gas sector.

Tomislav Nikolic, the leader of the Serb Radical Party, who got some 40 per cent of votes, will meet Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov on January 28.

“The agreement on the visit of Nikolic was reached during a visit of a group of Russian legislators to Serbia last weekend,” Mikhail Yemelyanov, deputy to the State Duma from the Just Russia Party, told Itar-Tass.

According to his information, the delegation, led by Yevgeny Fyodorov, head of the Duma committee for the economic policy, included representatives of all the Duma factions, as well as Yemelyanov himself.

The Serb government approved on Tuesday the project of the Russian government on the building of a trunk gas pipeline and on the completion of the building of the Banatski Dvor gas storage, as well as on the sale and modernisation of the state-owned Naftna Industrije Srbije (NIS) Company. Gazprom is going to invest in NIS a total of 900,000 euros.

Serb Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica will accompany President Boris Tadic in his trip to Moscow.

Source: Itar-Tass

Gazprom’s acquisitions in Eastern Europe, reports the independent St. Petersburg Times, are one means by which Moscow continues to exert “quiet” influence throughout its satellites like Bulgaria, the Baltics, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Serbia, as well as compliant allies like Greece and Turkey. Ankara, for example, receives three quarters of its natural gas from Moscow.

The Kosovo Crisis: A Communist-Scripted Drama Produced by Moscow, Belgrade, Pristina and Co.

Meanwhile, mysterious forces are intent on escalating the political tension in the Balkans. The furtive Albanian National Army is threatening to protect the “terroritorial integrity” of Kosovo should Serbia attempt to stop its breakaway province from seceding next month. According to Serbia’s independent B92 news agency: “The group claims to have a ‘plan of action prepared in the event of an escalation of tensions in Kosovo.’ ANA leaders claim this can happen ‘only in the event of a partition of Kosovo, with Serbs getting the northern part of the province, or if there is no proclamation of independence in the more imminent future.'” In 2003 United Nations Mission in Kosovo commander Michael Steiner branded the ANA as a terrorist organization, but the US State Department has declined to do so. In 2001 one report noted the connection between the ANA and the KLA:

The figures behind the ANA, which is thought to have members in Skopje as well as Tirana and in Kosovo, are thought to be former members of the Albanian nationalist movement which spawned the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The KLA is now theoretically disbanded, but its members have been blamed for inspiring the guerrilla rebellion in southern Serbia, which was snuffed out earlier this year, and the uprising in Macedonia.

With respect to the murky origin of the KLA one source asserts that “the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) is a prime example of “Marxist-Leninist nationalism,” and “far from being solely an American invention, came into being from the joint activities of several organisations, two of which were: the Kosovo Marxist-Leninist Organization, and the Communist-Marxist-Leninist Party of Albanians in Yugoslavia.” In 1999 Rosa Liebknecht wrote:

The Kosovo Liberation Army has grown rapidly, and attracted the support of many young emigres and refugees. Surprisingly little is known about the group, and how close it remains to its left-wing origins. According to Australian journalist Michael Karadjis, “Part of the Kosovo Liberation Army’s core derives from ‘Marxist-Leninist’ Kosovan resistance forces which fought Belgrade’s repressive rule in the 1980s, and had links with Albania’s Stalinist regime. In particular, it appears to have connections with the National Movement of Kosova, which was formed in 1982.” There are also connections to the Red Front which developed in the 1980s in Kosovo and among emigrants in Germany. Inspired by Enva Hoxha’s Albania, it called for an Albanian-speaking Kosovo Republic inside the Yugoslav federation.

In 1999 the US-based Workers’ World Party denied that the KLA is a Marxist organization altogether, insinuating instead that the insurgent army was a “puppet of imperialism”: “The KLA has nothing in common with Marxist-based liberation movements, which are known for their alliances based on political principles and their working-class orientation.”

The Kosovar government, like most throughout Eastern Europe, is controlled by “ex”-communists. The prime minister of Kosovo, for example, is Hashim Thaçi, who formerly belonged to the Marxist-Leninist People’s Movement of Kosovo which, Axis Information and Analysis contends, spawned the KLA. Meanwhile, the president of Kosovo is Fatmir Sejdiu, who belongs to the Democratic League of Kosovo, founded by “ex”-communist Ibrahim Rugova, the first president of Kosovo (1992-2006). In November 2006 the previous Kosovar premier Agim Ceku, an “ex”-KLA military commander, visited Moscow where he held talks with Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee.

In short, the current Kosovo crisis–in which Russia, the European Union, and the USA are facing off over Kosovar’s status and Serbia’s prospective orientation toward Russia or the West–is being manufactured and guided by the crypto-communist regimes in Moscow, Belgrade, and Pristina. Pictured above: Rugova and Thaci.

>Asia File: Nepalese Maoists run labor camps in spite of re-entry to government, Indian Maoists resort to cannibalism, Bhutanese Maoists blow up market

>The vicious, genocidal nature of Maoism, a branch of communism originated by Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, is evident in the people’s wars that Asian Maoists have prosecuted in India, Nepal and now lately in Bhutan. The bloody Shining Path guerrilla movement, which is still active in Peru, is also based on the “people’s war” tenets of Maoism.

Maoists running labour camps [ 2008-1-15 ]
From Bhadra Sharma

Salyan, Jan. 14: It has been more than 20 months since the CPN-Maoist joined the mainstream politics after signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with the seven-party government and has now joined the parliament and the government. Still, the CPN-Maoist is operating labour (concentration) camps in different parts of the country.

In one such camp at Sirpa of Sivarath VDC in Salyan in mid-west Nepal, Dila Rokka of Kapurkot, Salyan slugs her days out carrying stones and other construction materials for building the Maoists’ ‘model’ school. In the school, mainly children of the Maoist martyrs are given Janabadi (people centred) education. The school was established four years ago. The camp, too, was started at the same time.

Rokka, 18, was studying in Grade VI in Kalika Lower Secondary School at Kapurkot, when she was charged of murdering her cousin (her uncle’s daughter) and was sent to the labour camp. There she has to carry out all kinds of hard physical labour as ‘punishment’ meted out by the Maoists.

Pratibedan Baidhya, documentation officer of INSEC Mid-western Region, said Rokka has been detained at the labour camp since last year. Her dream of further study has all but shattered. “We raised serious concerns over her detention but the local Maoist leaders are totally indifferent. The local administration knows it all but has not taken any initiative to get her released,” Baidhya said.

“It is a gross violation of Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA). The CPA categorically states that the Maoists should release their prisoners within 15 days of signing it,” INSEC chairman Subodh Raj Pyakurel said.

Rokka is not the only person forced to toil at the Maoist run labour camps. According to INSEC, the Maoists are operating such camps in other parts of the country including Salyan, Rukum, Pyuthan and Jajarkot districts.

INSEC has revealed that 23 other persons have been detained in these camps on different charges – murder, theft and illicit sexual relation. They include Dipal Dhital, Megh Raj Thapa, Sovi Thapa, Hari Prasad Bhandari and Resham Pariyar in Salyan district. Similarly, 23 individuals have been detained in different camps in Rukum district.

A field report released by INSEC said the inmates were tortured and forced to work against their will. “Earlier those detained were shifted from place to place, but after the peace accord they are kept in one place,” the INSEC report said.Pyakurel said the government had closed its eyes and shut its ears about the social anomaly. He asked the Maoist leadership to release all those detained in the camps, saying it was a sheer violation of human rights.

Sometimes, those released from the labour camps face other troubles. Lukee Rana of Marma VDC Salyan was let go by the Maoists after seven years in the labour camp on charge of murder. As soon as he came out, the police arrested him and put him in jail on the same charge. “This is a dual punishment and it should come to an end,” said Pyakurel.

Source: The Rising Nepal

The diabolical character of Maoism is particularly evident in the following report about India’s Naxalite insurgents resorting to cannibalism to intimidate the hapless villagers they profess to be liberating from capitalist oppression. News Post India editorializes below: “A truly shocking incident taking place in the heart of India. Surprisingly not given due coverage by the left leaning mainstream media, hopefully the state administration and nation in whole will wake up to the evil that engulfs us as we start out this new year.” Indeed, don’t expect the Western MSM to pick up stories of such communist depravity.

Reports of Communist Maoists Turning to Cannibalism in Orissa, India
Saturday, 19th of January 2008

Maoists are turning cannibals. They eat human flesh to terrorize villagers. This was revealed by the residents of Bandiguda, 45 km from the district headquarters town of Malkangiri. The district police, under the leadership of daredevil SP Satish Kumar Gajbhiye, risked in organizing a community policing programme in a far-flung area, known as the Red Terror Zone of the district. On August 3, 2007, the people of Bandiguda saw Mukunda Madhi of their village being lifted by ‘Popular Dalam Commander’ Bhagat, as Mukunda was suspected by the Maoists as a police informer.

Next morning, Mukunda was brought back to the village, where he was killed in a most gruesome manner. And Bhagat even ate his flesh as the villagers looked on in horror. The reign of terror forced Mukunda’s family members to keep telling the police for several days that he was not at home as he had gone to a relatives house. ‘Commander’ Bhagat was acting under the orders of Ganapathy, general secretary of the CPI(Maoist), according to sources. The Maoists, who had suspected Mukunda as a police informer, were taking the revenge on him for the arrest of their dreaded colleague Sriramulu Srinivas.

However, January 12 was a totally different day for the village, which is located between Balimela and Bejingwada. Gajbhiye made all efforts to ensure safety for the horror-stricken tribal villagers. With successful confidence-building operations by the police, the tribals came forward to organise a community policing programme in the village. More than 1,500 men, women and children gathered to participate in sports events, a cultural extravaganza and a health camp.

It may be mentioned here that under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) such programmes are being organised in the Maoist-prone district. Earlier, the police endeared themselves to the common men at Salimi and Bonda ghats through such programmes. SDPO Sanjeev Arora also joined the programme at Bandiguda. The lunch was sumptuous and the villagers immensely enjoyed the feast. It was celebration time for the innocent tribals, who have been trying to fight terrorism. Giving out the hard realities about the Maoists, a senior villager said the extremists were initially good as they used to take up their causes and highlight their plights. But they now have turned as a gang of robbers and killers.

The programme was also attended by the family members of Mukunda. Initially, the villagers were reluctant to attend the event, despite wide publicity. However, the crowd grew gradually with all the villagers joining the programme. The eldest resident of the village was felicitated as Bhumiputra along with others, who have extended support for the anti-terrorism drive. The most important aspect of the programme was the daring attitude shown by the district police since the area is considered as a ‘den of Maoists’. Policemen and other officials do not even dare to go there in disguise.

Editorial Note

A truly shocking incident taking place in the heart of India. Surprisingly not given due coverage by the left leaning mainstream media, hopefully the state administration and nation in whole will wake up to the evil that engulfs us as we start out this new year.

(PNS 16th January 2008)

Source: News Post India

We recently blogged that Bhutanese Maoists, inspired by the success of their Nepalese comrades in entering that country’s interim government, have initiated their own revolution against the 400-year-old Bhutanese monarchy. To that end, the Bhutan Maoist Party and the Communist Party of Bhutan detonated a series of bombs across the small Himalayan kingdom two days ago. “The Bhutan Tiger Force, Bhutan Maoists Party, and Communist Party of Bhutan based in Nepal are suspected to be behind these explosions,” a Bhutanese police spokesman announced. On March 24 Bhutan will have its first-ever democratic election. Until April 2007 political parties were banned. It is to be expected that Bhutan’s communist guerrillas will attempt to subvert the elections in order to foment revolution.

Series of bomb blasts rock Bhutan
Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:54am GMT

GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) – Four bomb blasts rocked the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan on Sunday, including one in the capital Thimphu, and a woman was injured, a spokesman for the Royal Bhutan Police said.

The blasts came as the Buddhist nation prepared to shift to democracy after a century of absolute monarchy by holding its first ever general election on March 24.

The bombs — planted in a vegetable market, near a restaurant and close to a government guest house — failed to cause much damage to properties, except shattering a few window panes, police said. Nepal-based Maoists were suspected of involvement.

Many ethnic Nepalis in Bhutan were not given the right to vote. Tens of thousands fled Bhutan or were expelled in 1991 for protesting against discrimination and demanding democracy.

Some angry Nepalis, along with refugees, have formed armed groups and threatened to disrupt the vote next month.

“The Bhutan Tiger Force, Bhutan Maoists Party, and Communist Party of Bhutan based in Nepal are suspected to be behind these explosions,” the police spokesman said.

Apart from Thimphu, the blasts took place in the districts of Samste, Chukha and Dagana. Police later found another unexploded bomb during searches at Dagana district.

Source: Reuters

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: NATO fighter jets monitor Russian navy exercise, bomber flights, missile test-fires off French, Spanish coasts

>Per our previous post, the Russian Navy is holding an exercise in the Bay of Biscay, off the coast of NATO members France and Spain. “This is the biggest exercise of its kind in the area since Soviet times,” a Russian Navy source declared. One component of this maneuver will consist of supersonic Tu-160 Blackjack bombers test-firing tactical missiles. “From January 23,” the Russian Air Force announced, “the aviation component in the zone where the exercises are going on will be widened and the following planes will take part: Tu-160, Tu-95, Tu-22 M3, Il-78, A-50.” The Times, below, reports: “There was no immediate comment from Nato about the exercise.” Indeed, the Western Alliance is too deeply compromised by its outreach program to neo-Soviet Russia–comprised in part by the NATO-Russia Council and the latest protocol on US-Soviet defense cooperation–to take Moscow’s saber rattling seriously. According to Reuters, however, British and Norwegian fighter jets are shadowing Russia’s bombers. With that news in mind, I’m sure the faux rightist regime in Paris and the socialist regime in Madrid feel better now.

Russian bombers to test-fire missiles in Bay of Biscay
Tmes Online and agencies in Moscow
January 22, 2008

Russia has sent two long-range bombers to the Bay of Biscay, off the French and Spanish Atlantic coasts, to test-fire missiles in what Moscow billed as its biggest naval exercise in the area since the Soviet era.

Firing missiles off the coastline of two Nato members is the latest in a series of Kremlin moves flexing Moscow’s military muscle on the world stage.

Russian bombers joined aircraft carriers, battleships and submarine hunters from the Northern and Black Sea fleets for the Atlantic exercises, which come as the country enters an election campaign to choose a successor to President Putin.

“The air force is taking a very active part in the exercises of the navy’s strike force in the Atlantic,” the Russian air force said in a statement reported by Reuters. “Today, two strategic Tu-160 bombers departed for exercises in the Bay of Biscay, which … will carry out a number of missions and will conduct tactical missile launches.”

There was no immediate comment from Nato about the exercise.

Mr Putin has used military manoeuvres, including controversial North Sea overflights, to revive domestic and international respect for Russia’s armed forces which were shattered by the chaos of the 1990s.

He has also boosted military spending, renewed long-range bomber missions and approved a plan to upgrade Russia’s nuclear attack forces, which he said was needed after Nato built up its forces close to Russia’s borders.

But some analysts note that while the sabre-rattling is popular at home, Russian military spending in absolute terms is substantially lower than that of China, Britain or France and less than a tenth of that of the United States.

Discipline is also still a major problem for Russia’s armed forces, which rely heavily on conscripts and outdated equipment.

Russia last month said it would begin major navy sorties into the Mediterranean, with 11 ships backed up by 47 aircraft, that would then travel to the Atlantic for exercises.

The navy’s flagship aircraft carrier, the Soviet-made Admiral Kuznetsov, was leading the fleet in the Atlantic where Nato were trying to keep a close eye on Russian movements, Russian media reported.

“This is the biggest exercise of its kind in the area since Soviet times,” a spokesman for Russia’s navy said, adding that more details would be released later. There was no further information about where in the Bay of Biscay, which lies off the west coast of France and the northern coast of Spain, the missile tests were due to take place.

Russia’s air force said turbo-prop Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers, codenamed “Bear” by Nato would join the exercise on Wednesday. “From January 23, the aviation component in the zone where the exercises are going on will be widened and the following planes will take part: Tu-160, Tu-95, Tu-22 M3, Il-78, A-50,”, the air force said.

Source: Times Online

Per a previous post, the Russian Air Force will also accept delivery of 10 to 15 Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopters every year until 2015. Novosti reports: “On Tuesday, the first two mass-produced Mi-28N were transferred to the Russian Air Force by the manufacturer. They will be deployed at a training center in the Tver Region (Central Russia).”

The potemkin governments of the Not-So-Former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia are presently considering NATO membership. Russia’s neo-Soviet leadership takes a dim view of such deliberations. “Ukraine’s possible integration in NATO will seriously complicate the multifaceted Russian-Ukrainian relations. We will be forced to take adequate measures,” the Russian Foreign Ministry warned today. In Georgia, where “pro”-Western President Mikhail Saakashvili was re-elected earlier this month, the Central Election Commission has announced that 77% of Georgians have voted in favor of NATO membership in a referendum held concurrently with the presidential election.

Finally, in a related story regarding Russia’s stealthy re-absorption of “former” communist regimes, the government of Serbia has given the Kremlin-run state entity Gazprom the green light to purchase a controlling share in Belgrade’s oil monopoly NIS. Russia Today reports: “The Serbian government has approved an energy agreement with Gazprom on co-operation in the oil and gas sector. The deal includes the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline through the Balkans, creation of an underground storage facility, and Gazprom’s acquisition of a 51% stake in Serbian oil monopoly NIS.”

Retired NATO Commanders Indirectly Counter Russia’s Aggressive Posture with New Military Manifesto for Preemptive Strikes

Russia’s remilitarization is taking place in part in response to NATO/European Union expansion into “former” Soviet Bloc countries, a movement that the Soviet strategists have encouraged since the “demise” of communism in order to provide the Kremlin with a pretext for preemptive strikes against the West and to buy time to modernize its military for that very purpose. On January 19 Yuri Baluyevsky, Chief of the Russian General Staff, indicated that Russia would not hesitate to use “preventative” (meaning preemptive) nuclear strikes against its enemies to defend its national security.

Earlier this month, in what appears to be a rejoinder to the Putin regime’s saber rattling, the former armed forces chiefs of the USA, Britain, Germany, France, and the Netherlands called “for root-and-branch reform of Nato and a new pact drawing the US, Nato and the European Union together in a ‘grand strategy’ to tackle the challenges of an increasingly brutal world.” They insist that a “first strike nuclear option remains an ‘indispensable instrument’ since there is ‘simply no realistic prospect of a nuclear-free world.'” The retired commanders identify four key threats to international political stability: 1) “Political fanaticism [Putinism?] and religious fundamentalism. 2) The ‘dark side’ of globalisation, meaning international terrorism, organised crime and the spread of weapons of mass destruction. 3) Climate change and energy security, entailing a contest for resources and potential ‘environmental’ migration on a mass scale. 4) The weakening of the nation state as well as of organisations such as the UN, Nato and the EU.”

The manifesto for the proposed transformation of NATO’s post-Cold War military doctrine has been presented to the Pentagon and NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. These excellent proposals will be discussed at NATO’s April summit in Bucharest. However, will they sway the current leadership of the Western Alliance in time to counter neo-Soviet warmongering?

>Red World: Australia: Centrist PM Rudd’s Labor cabinet stacked with far left appointees; Moscow, Beijing maintain extensive spy rings "down under"

>G’day, mate! Australia is the final stop on our “Red World” series on communist influences worldwide. We began these profiles in early 2006.

Pictured here: Australian Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd–then official opposition leader but now prime minister–with Chinese Tyrant Hu Jintao at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Sydney, in September 2007.

Commonwealth of Australia
Type of state: Constitutional monarchy with pro-Beijing government
Independence: January 1, 1901 (from United Kingdom)
Prime Minister of Australia: Kevin Rudd (Australian Labor Party, anti-Thatcherite Third Way market/interventionist advocate, opposes same-sex “marriage”): December 3, 2007-present
Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II
Political composition of national legislature: In the last election for the lower house of the Australian Parliament, known as the House of Representatives, which occurred on November 24, 2007, the seats were distributed in the following manner: Australian Labor Party (center left) 83, Liberal Party of Australia (center right) 55, National Party of Australia 10 (center right), and independents 2. On the same day an election was held for the upper house, known as the Senate, with the following results: The Coalition (center right, consisting of Liberal Party of Australia, National Party of Australia, and Country Liberal Party) 39, Australian Labor Party 28, Australian Greens (social progressivism) 4, Australian Democrats (social liberalism) 4, and Family First Party (social conservatism) 1.
Next general elections: Australia’s next general elections will probably be held in 2010.
Socialist International presence: Australian Labor Party (ALP)
Communist government: none

Communist insurgency:

1) 1949 Australian Coal Strike: While Australia has never experienced an armed insurgency per se, communist influence in the labor unions during the 1940s was strong. Prior to the 1949 national coal strike, several other strikes set the stage for confrontation between labor and government. The 1946 Pilbara strike, for example was instigated by indigenous Australian pastoral workers in Western Australia’s Pilbara region for fair wages and working conditions. The strike was coordinated by Aboriginals Dooley Bin Bin and Clancy McKenna, as well as Don McLeod, a unionist and member of the Communist Party of Australia. The Pilbara strike was followed by the 1948 Queensland Railway strike. The 1949 Australian coal strike, however, was the first time that military force was used during peacetime to suppress a trade union strike. In June of that year 23,000 coal miners in New South Wales downed their tools for seven weeks until Labour Prime Minister Ben Chifley sent in troops to re-open the mines. The miner’s federation was “heavily influenced” at the time by the CPA and the strike is widely interpreted as the party’s attempt to execute Soviet policy in opposing Labor “reformism,” exacerbating class conflict, and promoting communist leadership at the expense of the Labor Party.

Pro-communist government:

1) Australian Labor Party governments: In the wake of the First World War and the Russian Revolution, support for socialism grew in Australia’s trade unions. At the 1921 All-Australian Trades Union Congress a resolution was passed demanding “the socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange.” Consequently the ALP’s Federal Conference in 1922 adopted a similarly worded “socialist objective,” which remained official policy for many years. The resolution was immediately qualified, however, by the “Blackburn amendment,” which insisted that “socialization” was desirable only when was necessary to “eliminate exploitation and other anti-social features.” In practice the socialist objective was a dead letter and the ALP adopted a social democratic, even centrist, course that it holds today.

The only attempt by a federal Labor government to nationalize any industry occurred in 1947 when Prime Minister Ben Chifley attempted to nationalize the banking system. Australia’s High Court ruled the policy to be unconstitutional. Other Labor prime ministers have embraced socialism, like Billy Hughes (1915-1923) and John Curtin (1941-1945), but were ineffective in implementing constitutional reforms. PM Bob Hawke (1983-1991), who was a Rhodes Scholar, typified Labor’s centrist stance. On the one hand, Hawke refused the label “socialist” but was elected to the presidency of the Australian Council of Trade Unions in 1969 with the support of leftists in the union movement, including some associated with the old Communist Party of Australia. On the other hand, he opposed the Vietnam War but supported the US-Australian alliance, advocated Third Way economic rationalism, deregulated the financial system, dismantled the tariff system, privatized state sector industries, terminated the subsidization of unprofitable industries, and sold off the state-owned Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

ALP successors like Paul Keating and Kevin Rudd hold to a similar Third Way position. This is understandable since PM Rudd represents the Labor Right faction of the ALP. However, the Communist Party USA correctly predicted that union activists and far leftists will comprise three quarters of the federal cabinet. Special Minister of State John Faulkner, for example, leads the Socialist Left, a far-left faction in the ALP. The Socialist Left is also represented in Rudd’s cabinet by Minister for Finance and Deregulation Lindsay Tanner; Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Anthony Albanese; Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Christopher Evans; Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin (a self-avowed Marxist in her youth); and Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Kim Carr (“Kim Il-Carr).

The Australian Fabian Society also extends its tentacles of influence into the ALP. ALP deputy leader and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard is a “proud Fabian socialist,” reports the New Zeal blog. In an August 31, 2007 address to the Fabian Society, posted at the ALP website, Gillard states: “No address to the Fabian Society would of course be complete without acknowledging the lifetime commitment to the Fabian cause of Race Matthews – someone who played such a big role in helping elect the Society’s National Patron, [former Prime Minister] Gough Whitlam.” She continues: “Today the Fabian Society boasts contributions from some of the Labor movement’s leading figures – people of the stature of John Faulkner – and we’re going to need it to be a forum for new ideas regardless of the outcome of this year’s election.” Gillard belongs to the Ferguson Left, a faction in the ALP known for its “soft left” policies and which is considered more moderate than the Socialist Left faction.

The Socialist Appeal operates as an internal Trotskyist tendency within the ALP and affiliates with the International Marxist Tendency. The ALP has at times been infiltrated by the pro-Chavez Trotskyist Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP). ALP member and rock singer Peter Garrett (Midnight Oil) holds a seat in the House. Garrett was appointed Minister for Environment, Heritage and Arts. In April 1985 Garrett and more than 30 other members resigned from the Nuclear Disarmament Party, claiming that the party had been taken over by the Socialist Workers’ Party, now known as the DSP.

Communist parties:

1) Committee for a Revolutionary Communist Party in Australia (CRCPA): This Maoist party associates with the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, which includes the Revolutionary Communist Party USA.

2) Communist League (CL): This Trotskyist organization split from the Socialist Workers’ Party in 1986.

3) Communist Left Discussion Circle (CLDC): This left communist group associates with the International Communist Current.

4) Communist Party Advocates: This group is radical left in orientation.

5) Communist Party of Australia (CPA): Founded as the Socialist Party of Australia (SPA) in 1971 when dissident members of the original CPA, which was then moving toward social democracy, were expelled for holding to the Marxist-Leninist line. The old CPA leadership opposed the Soviet Union decision in 1968 to lead the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. The old CPA was dissolved in 1991 but the SPA, believing itself to be the true successor to the first CPA formed in 1920, amended its name to Communist Party of Australia at its 8th National Congress in 1996. The party organ is The Guardian. Peter Symon is the party’s General Secretary, while Hannah Middleton is its National President is. The party’s youth branch, the Communist Youth of Australia, is active only in Sydney, the state capital of New South Wales. The new CPA remains a minor, unregistered party with a few hundred members. In the 1998 and 2001 House of Representative elections Michael Perth contested the seat of Port Adelaide, but attracted less than 1% of the vote in both cases. Despite the (fake) collapse of the Soviet Union, the CPA continues to defend the historical legacy of the Russian Revolution.

6) Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP): The DSP is a Marxist political group that operates as the largest component of Australia’s Socialist Alliance. The DSP is actually a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist organization that is not affiliated with the Socialist International. The DSP began its life as the Socialist Workers’ League (SWL), an orthodox Trotsksyist group founded in 1972 by members of the Socialist Youth Alliance, which developed from the radicalization of Australian students during the Vietnam War. The SWL affiliated with the reunified Fourth International and under the influence of that organization adopted the name Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP). In 1986 the SWP disaffiliated from the Fourth International and in the early 1990s rebranded itself as the Democratic Socialist Party. The DSP contested the 1998 federal election under the umbrella of the Democratic Socialist Electoral League. In 2001 the DSP joined several other socialist parties to form the Socialist Alliance. Two years later the DSP became the first and only affiliate of the Socialist Alliance to become an internal tendency within the Alliance. At that time, the DSP assumed its current name, the Democratic Socialist Perspective. The DSP has maintained a membership of no more than a few hundred members, but it is still one of the largest far-left groups in Australia. The SWP and the DSP frequently contested Australian federal elections, seldom obtaining more than a few votes. Occasionally the DSP and its predecessors practised entryism into the Australian Labor Party and the Nuclear Disarmament Party, but with little success. The DSP was part of the political and activist alliance that led to the formation of the Australian Greens. The DSP’s youth section is Resistance and its newspaper is called Green Left Weekly. The DSP is an observer at the reunified Fourth International’s international committee meetings, maintains links with the Cuban Communist Party and the neo-communist government of Venezulean dictator Hugo Chavez. The DSP sponsors the annual “Asia-Pacific International Solidarity Conference.”

7) Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) (CPA(ML)): This Maoist party split from the old Communist Party of Australia in 1964.

8) National Preparatory Committee of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Australia (NPC-MLCPA): This party is Maoist in orientation.

9) New Era Communist Party of Australia (NECPA): No information.

10) October Seventh Socialist Movement (O7SM): This Stalinist party split from the new Communist Party of Australia in 2003.

11) Progressive Labour Party (PLP): This minor political party was organized in 1996 by dissident former members of the Australian Labor Party, who allege that ALP has abandoned its traditional working-class supporters in favor of a rightward political shift. The Marxist Initiative operates as an internal tendency within the PLP, even though it was actually founded in 1992 by the Association for Communist Unity four years before the formation of the PLP.

12) Socialist Action Group (SAG): This Trotskyist party was formed in 2004 as a split from the Socialist Alliance.

13) Socialist Alliance: Organized in 2001, this coalition of Trotskyist parties is dominated by the Democratic Socialist Perspective and the International Socialist Organization. Other members include Freedom Socialist Party, Socialist Democracy, Workers’ League, Workers’ Power, and Workers’ Liberty.

14) Socialist Alternative: This Trotskyist party is a split from the International Socialist Organization.

15) Socialist Equality Party (SEP): The SEP espouses a broad left-wing position, but refuses to align itself with any other party, including the Socialist Alliance, which includes the Democratic Socialist Perspective.

16) Socialist Labor Party (SLP): Founded in 1972 this Trotskyist party associates with the International Committee of the Fourth International.

17) Socialist Party (SP): Founded in 1985 as an internal tendency within the Australian Labor Party, this small Trotskyist political party broke away from the ALP in the early 1990s. The SP is now affiliated with the Committee for a Workers’ International, and participates in anti-war and anti-globalization protests. The SP refused to join the Socialist Alliance in 2001. In 2004 Socialist candidate Stephen Jolly was elected to Yarra City Council, near Melbourne. The party operates branches in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, and Perth and attracts supporters in all other states. Its bi-monthly newspaper is The Socialist. The SP is not related to the Socialist Party of Australia, which existed from 1971 to 1996 and is currently known as the Communist Party of Australia.

18) Solidarity: Founded in 2003 as a split from the International Socialist Organization, Solidarity is led by Ian Rintoul.

19) Spartacist League of Australia (SLA): This party affiliates with the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist).

20) World Socialist Party of Australia (WSPA): Founded in 1996 this party associates with the World Socialist Movement.

Communist Bloc memberships: United Nations

Moscow-Beijing-Havana-Caracas Axis political/economic/military presence: In 1978 Canberra established the Australia-China Council “to promote mutual understanding and foster people-to-people relations between Australia and China.” In 2005 Australia and China commenced negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) following the publication of the joint FTA Feasibility Study. The study “concluded that there would be significant economic benefits for both Australia and China through the negotiation of an FTA.” Australia and New Zealand are also engaging in joint military exercises with China, the Kuwaiti media reported in September 2007, since Canberra and Auckland (mistakenly) regard China as a “friendly” country.

SYDNEY, Sept 28 (KUNA) — Australia will hold more joint military exercises with China following next week’s search and rescue exercises in the Tasman Sea, said Australian Defense Minister Brendan Nelson on Friday.

He expressed Australia’s desire to enhance defense exchanges and joint military exercises with China in the future.

Nelson made the remarks on the occasion of the arrival of the two Chinese warships Haibin and Hungzhu at Garden Island Naval Base in Sydney.

The two warships will take part in the joint Australia-China-New Zealand naval military exercises.

Beside the naval exercises, Australia and China mull the possibility of enhancing cooperation between their air and ground forces, the minister disclosed.

The minister said that despite the differences between the two countries, Australia embarked on these exercises with China because it considered it a friendly country.

He asserted the necessity of putting differences aside while working together to enhance regional security.

Notwithstanding diplomatic niceties, commercial friendships, and token combined military exercises, both China and Russia are actively engaged in espionage in Australia. In 2005 the Christian Science Monitor reported about two Chinese officials who sought asylum “down under.” One defector created an international “stir” when he claimed that Beijing was currently fielding 1,000 spies in Australia.

Claims by Chinese officials that Beijing runs an extensive spy ring in Australia have captured headlines worldwide and could prove to be a sticky issue at an important time for relations between the two countries.

Just days after diplomat Chen Yonglin announced he had applied for asylum in Australia, a second Chinese official Tuesday announced his bid for refuge and backed Mr. Chen’s claims that China has 1,000 spies operating in the country, reports the BBC.

The Age of Melbourne, Australia reports that Hao Fengjun “claimed he was the man in charge of collating and analyzing information gathered by Chinese spies in Australia.”

Voice of America reports that Mr. Hao claims his “primary responsibility was monitoring the activities of the Falun Gong meditation movement and [Hao] claims to have seen members of the group tortured.”

The Age also reports that he said he has direct evidence of China’s persecution of minority groups and gave it to Australia’s immigration department months ago. Hao says the top-secret documents detailing the activities of Chinese spies in Australia was ignored by the immigration department, reports The Australian.

Chen, who quit his work as first secretary at the Chinese consulate-general in Sydney on May 26, says he faces persecution if he goes back to China. He has said he quit because he could no longer support China’s crackdowns on dissidents. Chen reportedly has gone into hiding.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao denied Chen’s claims on Tuesday. “The rumours spread by [Chen] are total slander and hopefully you will not take it in easily,” he said. China insists he will be treated fairly if he returns to Beijing.

SNIP

Not to be outdone, Russia is maintaining a spy ring in Australia with numbers approaching “Cold War levels. In 2007 The Australian reported “that Russia and China pose the most serious espionage threat to Australia’s national interests since the days of the Cold War.” The new generation of Russian and Chinese spies in Australia, the same source states, “are focusing on military, scientific and industrial espionage.”

Russian spies in Australia at ‘near Cold War level’
By Cameron Stewart
July 23, 2007 12:00 am

RUSSIA has boosted the number of spies in Australia to near Cold War levels, forcing ASIO to respond by training a new generation of counter-espionage officers.

The growing Russian threat comes on top of an even larger rise in the number of Chinese agents operating in Australia in recent years, as a booming economy and record defence spending provide a wealth of new opportunities for traditional espionage.

Russia and China’s increased espionage activity has been made easier by the overwhelming focus of Western intelligence agencies, including ASIO, on al-Qa’ida and other Muslim extremist groups.

It comes at a time of growing tensions between the West and Russia over spies, with London and Moscow embroiled in a deepening diplomatic row over the fatal radioactive poisoning of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in Britain.

Sources have told The Australian that Russia and China pose the most serious espionage threat to Australia’s national interests since the days of the Cold War.

ASIO has responded to the challenge by urgently boosting the ranks of its counter-espionage team and allocating more money and resources for 2007-08 to its new Counter-Espionage and Interference Division.

The threat posed by foreign agents is such that ASIO chief Paul O’Sullivan plans to lift ASIO’s spending on traditional counter-espionage activities each year until 2011.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, yesterday confirmed that ASIO had recently boosted its resources dedicated to counter-espionage but declined to comment on the nature of the threat or identify specific countries.

“The establishment of a division dedicated to counter-espionage, foreign interference and foreign intelligence collection has permitted a closer and more intensive focus by senior managers on these particular functions,” the spokeswoman said. “The additional staffing will allow ASIO to broaden the scope and reach of its counter-espionage and foreign interference investigations, and to expand its outreach activity to government departments and agencies.”

However, ASIO – in a submission to the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security in February this year – said it needed to use experienced officers to provide “effective mentoring and training” to its younger officers learning the ancient spy craft of counter-espionage for the first time.

The new ranks of Russian and Chinese spies in Australia are focusing on military, scientific and industrial espionage at a time of prolific defence spending and the commodities boom.

The story above observes that “Russia and China’s increased espionage activity has been made easier by the overwhelming focus of Western intelligence agencies, including ASIO, on al-Qa’ida and other Muslim extremist groups.” Without question, distracting Western intelligence agencies with the hunt for (Soviet-backed) Islamic terrorist cells is one collateral benefit for Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

>Middle East File: US drawdown gives green light to Kremlin, 4th nuke fuel shipment arrives in Tehran; senior IAEA official spies for Russia

>With the publication of a US intelligence report last December that downplayed the Iranian threat, the globalist administration of US President George W. Bush has given its strategic partners in the Kremlin the green light to transform the Islamo-Nazi regime in Tehran into a nuclear power with the capacity to decimate Israel. The Jerusalem Post takes note of the convergence between US and Soviet foreign policy: “Russia’s decision to begin shipping nuclear fuel to Iran followed a US intelligence report released earlier this month that concluded Tehran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in late 2003 and had not resumed it since. Iran says it never had a weapons program.” Pictured above: Iran’s Bushehr n-plant.

4th Russian fuel shipment reaches Iran
Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST
Jan. 20, 2008

A fourth Russian shipment of nuclear fuel arrived in Iran on Sunday, destined for a power plant being constructed in the southern Iranian port of Bushehr, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

The report said 11 tons of fuel arrived at the Bushehr power plant, just two days after Iran received its third Russian shipment on Friday.

Russia has reportedly pledged to give Iran a total of 85 tons of fuel for the plant.

The remainder of the fuel, about 40 tons, was scheduled to arrive in four separate shipments in the coming months, the report said.

Iran received its first two shipments of nuclear fuel from Russia in December – after months of disputes between the two countries, allegedly over delayed construction payments for the reactor.

Iran has said Bushehr, the country’s first nuclear reactor, will begin operating in the summer of 2008, producing half of its 1,000 megawatt capacity of electricity.

Teheran heralded the first shipment as a victory, saying it proved its nuclear program was peaceful and not a cover for weapons development as the US has claimed.

The United States and Russia have said the supply of nuclear fuel meant Iran had no need to continue its uranium enrichment program – a process that can provide fuel for a reactor or fissile material for a bomb. Iran has agreed with Russia to return the spent fuel to ensure it doesn’t extract plutonium to build a bomb.

Iran insisted it would continue enriching uranium because it needed to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it was building in the southwestern town of Darkhovin.

Iranian officials have said they plan to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity through nuclear energy in the next two decades.

Russia’s decision to begin shipping nuclear fuel to Iran followed a US intelligence report released earlier this month that concluded Tehran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in late 2003 and had not resumed it since. Iran says it never had a weapons program.

Source: Jerusalem Post

Meanwhile, former Russian intelligence operative Sergei Tretyakov’s memoirs, produced in collaboration with former Washington Post reporter Pete Earley, allege that an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) senior official codenamed “Arthur” has been spying for Russia. Other sources accuse Tariq Rauf (pictured here), a 54-year-old Canadian of Pakistani descent who heads the IAEA’s section on verification and security policy coordination, of being that spy. Rauf holds a PhD in Russian and Soviet studies and is an expert on arms control and disarmament. “Tariq Rauf is a fine civil servant and we treat these allegations as baseless,” IAEA spokesentity Melissa Fleming responded. “The allegations,” EarthTimes.org reports, “may be an attempt to damage IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, who drew US ire by his opposition to US claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and his attempts to find a compromise solution in the Iran nuclear dispute, Congressional Quarterly admitted.” If these allegations are true, then no one should be surprised by the presence of Soviet agents in United Nations bodies like the IAEA.

>USA/USSR2 Files: Down, down, down: Markets sink worldwide in wake of potential US recession fears; Candidate Zyuganov makes pitstop in Beijing

>With the exception of the Singapore stock exchange, financial markets worldwide uniformly dropped today. Reuters journalist Blaise Robinson writes: “European stocks sank 2.2 percent in early trade on Monday, trading just off their lowest level since August 2006 as U.S. recession fears continued to spook investors and concerns over write-downs hit banking stocks.” In pseudo-capitalist Russia, state-run Novosti admitted: “The Russian Trading System (RTS) index plunged 7.38% from Friday’s close to below 2,000 on Monday afternoon amid a continued slump on the Russian equities market on negative data from world trading floors.” In the wake of such fears, oil and gold futures are also down somewhat. Britain’s conservative paper The Telegraph reports: “The FTSE 100 has had its steepest points fall on record after George W. Bush’s plan to stop the US economy falling into a recession failed to convince investors.” The unemployment lines are already forming in the USA. The Washington Post reveals:

An unusually large share of workers have been out a job for more than six months even as overall unemployment has remained low, a little-noted weakness in the labor market that analysts said threatens to intensify the impact of the unfolding economic downturn. In November, nearly 1.4 million people — almost one in five of those unemployed — had been jobless for at least 27 weeks, the juncture when unemployment insurance benefits end for most recipients. That is about twice the level of long-term unemployment before the 2001 recession.

Communist Economic Theory Applied: Robert Mugabe Can’t Buy a Hamburger in “Weimar” Harare

Meanwhile, the communist vultures continue to circle over the staggering body of computer blip capitalism. Today Gennady Zyuganov, head of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation/Soviet Union, took a break from his presidential campaign to make a pitstop in Beijing (pictured at top), where he swapped notes with a representative of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Chairman Zyuganov, who arrogates to himself the role of Russia’s state authorities, indicated that he looked forward to advancing the strategic partnership between Moscow and Beijing. An important element in that partnership, which is usually overlooked in the West, is the destruction of the USA. In a February 1993 memorandum to James Woolsey, then Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, former KGB Major Anatoliy Golitsyn warned: “Ignore Russian and Chinese strategic designs against the United States at your peril.” As a measure of Communist Bloc confidence in the US dollar, Syria intends to repay its Soviet-era debt to Russia in euros.

If you want to catch a good glimpse of communism in action and the future of America, then visit paleo-communist Zimbabwe, the grindingly poor former bread basket of Africa, where the genocidal regime of Robert Mugabe has imposed an annual inflation rate of 150,000 percent on the population. In Harare 15 million Zimbabwean dollars are needed to buy a hamburger–if you can find the ingredients. Pictured above: A worthless 10 million dollar note, issued by Ben Bernanke’s colleagues at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

>Gray Terror File: Brooklyn police find bomb factory, search for Russian Mafiya links at home of Columbia U. epidemiologist; Bulgarian roommate charged

>One has to assume Michael must have seen something at one point. It’s not a huge apartment.
— Alan Brasunas, neighbor

This troubling incident warrants a Gray Terror tag: Columbia University epidemiologist. Weapons cache: 9-mm. handgun, two ammunition magazines, a 12-gauge shotgun, silencers, a bulletproof vest, a crossbow, and bomb-making equipment. Body vest-wearing Bulgarian roommate charged with criminal possession of a weapon. Police hunting for possible Red Mafiya links.

Bomb-making factory found in Brooklyn apartment of Columbia professor
BY ALISON GENDAR, MICHAEL WHITE and TINA MOORE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Monday, January 21st 2008, 4:00 AM

Police stumbled upon a bomb-making factory Sunday in the home of a Columbia professor who specializes in the spread of infectious disease – and are investigating whether he and his roommate have terror ties.

Cops evacuated the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood around the Remsen St. home of Michael Clatts, a medical anthropologist, after finding seven pipe bombs fitted with fuses in his flat, police sources said.

The frightening cache was discovered almost by accident – Ivaylo Ivanov, the man living with Clatts, accidentally shot off the tip of his left index finger and sought police help in the street about 1:15 a.m.

When investigators went to the 37-year-old Ivanov’s apartment, they found the bombs, already capped on both ends and filled with powder. One of the pipe bombs was inserted into a Nerf football, cops said.

A 9-mm. handgun, two ammunition magazines, a 12-gauge shotgun, silencers, a bulletproof vest, a crossbow and bomb-making equipment, including a drill and threading machine that could be used to make pipe bombs, were also recovered, cops said.

Investigators with the NYPD-FBI were questioning Ivanov, a native of Bulgaria, to determine whether he had any terrorism or Russian Mafia connections, a source told the Daily News.

“Russian Mafia aren’t fazed by getting a fingertip shot off – and they certainly don’t go to the cops for help,” the source said.

Neither man so far has popped up on any foreign criminal watch list or is a known member of an organized crime ring, sources said.

Sunday night, police were seeking additional search warrants, possibly for computers, other electronic devices and papers and books.

Ivanov was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, unlawful wearing of a body vest and reporting a false incident, cops said. He was expected to be arraigned this morning.

Police were also looking to question Clatts, 50, the Columbia University instructor living with Ivanov, a source told The News.

Alan Brasunas, a co-op board member at the 58 Remsen St. brownstone, confirmed Clatts owned the apartment and lived there with Ivanov.

“One has to assume Michael must have seen something at one point,” Brasunas said. “It’s not a huge apartment.”

He said he interviewed Clatts before he was allowed to buy the fourth-floor unit.

“We obviously have concerns about both people,” said Brasunas, who called the professor a “quiet, reserved person.”

Clatts is a medical anthropologist with a specialty in epidemiology – the spread of disease among large populations.

He is an associate professor in Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and holds a Ph.D. from the Ivy League school.

The senior director of communication for the school, Randee Levine, said she cannot comment on a police investigation.

Clatts’ exact relationship with Ivanov is unknown. Building residents said Clatts once described himself and Ivanov as roommates, nothing more.

Cops became suspicious of Ivanov because he first claimed he had been shot by a stranger but then admitted shooting himself. Fearing another person had been injured at the address, police went to the apartment and opened the door to the bomb factory. They immediately sealed the apartment while they got a search warrant, cops said.

Cops called the bomb squad, which evacuated the building and three others nearby and removed the materials. Residents were not allowed back inside for nearly 12 hours.

Police said last night they were uncertain whether all of the bombs were operative.

Ivanov has prior arrests for possession of drug paraphernalia, including hypodermic needles, a police source said. A man with the same name was deported from the U.S. a couple of years ago for drug dealing, but cops are unsure whether this is the same person, a police source said.

“They came to our door at 3:30 in the morning and told us we have to get out of the building,” said Helen Silverstein, who lives in a building next-door. “The police were very good about it – they didn’t panic us, they helped us get our cats out.”

Residents familiar with Ivanov described him as tall, thin, unkempt and a loner. A police source said he had five arrests on charges of petty larceny.

Cops said other witnesses who had gone in and out of the apartment didn’t see the weapons.

Police were trying to determine where the materials came from, how Ivanov obtained them and what he intended to do with the suspected pipe bombs.

Brasunas said Ivanov did not appear to have a regular job and was seen around the building frequently talking about the weather or walking his dog.

“That’s what makes it that much more unnerving,” Brasunas said. “A neighbor you didn’t have any qualms about – and this situation happens. It’s something you don’t expect to happen here.”

Source: New York Daily News

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Atlantic naval exercises to include long-range flights, Putin visits Sofia, Kremlin to assassinate Moldovan president

>Beginning in December and extending until February the Russian Navy has and will be executing a number of exercises, under the lead of its flagship aircraft carrier Admiral Kuztensov, in the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. The current exercise in the Atlantic consists of the Northern and Black Sea Fleets and, according to state-run Itar-Tass, includes the participation of “long-range aviation,” possibly meaning strategic bombers, which since 2006 have once again been conducting regular overseas flights.

Strike group of Russian naval ships begins Atlantic exercises
21.01.2008, 13.21

MOSCOW, January 21 (Itar-Tass) — A strike group of ships of the Russian Navy has begun exercises in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday with the participation of long-range aviation.

During three-day exercises conducted by ships of the Russian Northern and Black Sea Fleets, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet – Moskva, will make missile launchings by means of its main strike complex Basalt and air defense complex S-300F equipped with “Fort” missiles that are capable to destroy high-speed ballistic targets at high altitudes, a source from the headquarters of the Russian Navy told Tass.

Carrier-based planes Su-33 and Su-25 will make flights from the aircraft carrier Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov.

The strike group of the Russian naval ships sailing under the colours of Northern Fleet Commander Nikolai Maximov set off on a long campaign in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea on December 5, 2007. The group includes the Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, two big anti- submarine ships Admiral Levchenko and Admiral Chabanenko, and supply ships Sergei Osipov and Nikolai Chiker.

Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said in a statement in connection with the exercises that Russia is resuming its presence in the World Ocean.

In a follow-up story state-run Novosti reports that “The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva guided-missile cruiser, has successfully hit designated targets as part of a Navy exercise in the northern Atlantic Monday.” How comforting.

Meanwhile, neo-Soviet Russia is making sure that its satellites in the Not-So-Former Communist Bloc are compliant to Moscow’s long-range strategy of global domination. On January 18 “ex”-communist President Vladimir Putin visited Sofia, where he conferred with “ex”-communist Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov. Putin’s host denied that there was any contradiction in Bulgaria holding dual status as “ally of Russia” and “European Union member.” “The dilemma–either the European Union or Russia–is a false one,” Parvanov declared to applause at the Palace of Culture. Although Moscow occasionally denounces the absorption of “former” Soviet Bloc states into the EU/NATO, in reality Mikhail Gorbachev’s “new European Soviet” is a decades-old Kremlin conquest-by-stealth project that will eventually include Russia itself. Bulgaria, along with Greece, is part of Gazprom’s South Stream natural gas pipeline project. The conservative party Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria opposed Putin’s visit, which is the Russian president’s second to Bulgaria as well as probably his last trip outside Russia in that capacity.

Stress Put on Friendship as Putin Visits Bulgaria
Friday, January 18, 2008. Issue 3823. Page 1.
By Anna Smolchenko Staff Writer

SOFIA, Bulgaria — Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov on Thursday night said there was no contradiction between Bulgaria’s European Union membership and friendship with Russia as he welcomed President Vladimir Putin to Sofia.

“The dilemma — either the European Union or Russia — is a false one,” Parvanov said at the Palace of Culture in the center of the Bulgarian capital as the audience burst into applause.

Both he and Putin arrived at the palace to kick off the “Year of Russia” in Bulgaria and spoke to the packed auditorium. In a passionate address, Parvanov praised Russia as a traditional friend and hailed the thousands of Russian soldiers that have helped liberate his country over the course of history.

In a clear reference to countries like Estonia, he cautioned against the revision of history, saying there were 400 monuments across Bulgaria that stood as symbols of brotherhood and that the country’s cities and towns bore the names of what he called Russian liberators.

In the late 19th century, Russia and its ally Serbia helped Bulgaria in its rebellion against Turkish rule.

Putin said the Year of Russia was designed to help young Bulgarians feel the kinship between the two nations that survives despite the changes brought by recent events, and said he looked to Sofia to help with the holding of a “Year of Bulgaria” in Russia as well. Events of this type, filled with a heavy program of cultural events, are symbolic gestures the Kremlin traditionally reserves for its friends and allies.

During a visit to the former Soviet satellite that is likely to be his last official trip abroad before leaving office, Putin said the friendship between Russia and Bulgaria had been “sealed by blood ties and comes from the heart.”

Lampposts along Vitosha Boulevard, a major thoroughfare in Sofia, were adorned with Russian and Bulgarian flags, and posters next to the Palace of Culture welcomed Putin to Bulgaria.

Amid calls from a conservative political party, the Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria, for a boycott of Putin’s visit, the city looked calm Thursday night.

This is Putin’s second trip to the country during his eight years in office, and highlights Bulgaria’s status as a rare Russian ally in Central and Eastern Europe.

Under Putin, relations with countries like Poland and Estonia, to name but two, have worsened dramatically, but the Kremlin maintains that it is Warsaw, Tallinn and the other capitals in question that bear responsibility for the strained ties.

While Bulgaria, which is a member of NATO as well as the EU, cannot be called pro-Russian, Parvanov might be the closest ally Putin has in the region.

“There’s a good attitude toward Russia. It’s traditional,” said Pavlin Varbanov, 25, a manager at a hotel where Russian journalists are staying for Putin’s visit.

“Nobody cares about the protests,” he said, referring to the argument by the Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria that the country is too dependent on Russia.

Putin and Parvanov have kept in regular contact over the years. The Bulgarian leader was among those who called Putin to express his condolences in the immediate aftermath of the Beslan school attack in 2004. In June, Putin “warmly” congratulated Parvanov on his 50th birthday during a telephone conversation about deepening energy cooperation, the Kremlin said.

Last year, the two countries, together with Greece, agreed to build a 285-kilometer pipeline from Burgas on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast to Alexandroupolis on the Greek Aegean. Bulgaria is also part of the planned South Stream gas pipeline to be completed by 2013.

Bulgaria may be much more comfortable cooperating on energy with Russia than Turkey due to its history, and Putin was scheduled to visit an exhibit on Friday celebrating the 130th anniversary of Bulgaria’s liberation from the Ottoman Empire.

He is also expected to visit the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and lay flowers at monuments to Russian Emperor Alexander II and the Unknown Soldier.

On Thursday, Kremlin spokespeople could not say what deals would be signed Friday, but talks have been expected to focus on hydrocarbons and a nuclear station that the Russians plan to build for Bulgaria. Parvanov said Thursday night that the talks would focus mainly on energy.

Source: The Moscow Times

Elsewhere on Russia’s southern flank the open communist President of Moldova Vladimir Voronin arrived in Moscow today on a two-day working visit, which includes a conference with Putin. The two red leaders are pictured here in a past meeting. State-run Voice of Russia reports:

President of Moldavia Vladimir Voronin is arriving in Moscow later today on a two-day working visit. He is due to meet Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. According to the Moldavian President’s press service, he will also hold talks with the co-chairman of the Moldavian-Russian intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation, Russia’s Minister of education and science Andrei Fursenko. Part of Vladimir Voronin’s visit programme is his meeting with the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexi the Second. At Moscow’s Christ the Saviour’s Cathedral the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church will award the Moldavian President a prize for prominent efforts to consolidate the unity of Orthodox peoples.

Voronin and Putin apparently last met in St. Petersburg in June 2007, during a summit of Commonwealth of Independent States. According to the December 28 edition of The Tiraspol Times, which is based in Moldova’s breakaway republic of Transnistria, the Kremlin is planning to assassinate Voronin, who is a Russian citizen and a former Soviet Interior Ministry Major General, if the Moldovan president fails to obey Putin’s orders. If this allegation is true, then it could explain why Voronin has been summoned to Moscow. The relationship between the Kremlin and Voronin also exposes the network of hidden communist forces that bind Moscow to its satellites in the “post”-Soviet space and which KGB Major Anatoliy Golitsyn predicted in his two books New Lies for Old (1984) and The Perestroika Deception (1995, 1998). Pictured below: General Voronin in 1990.

Putin to order hit on Moldova president, Chisinau press says
By Marius Oroveanu, 28/Dec/2007

Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to order the assassination of Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin if Voronin doesn’t follow Russia’s orders. That is the latest theory from a leading Moldovan newspaper. “Jurnal de Chisinau” also writes that if Voronin doesn’t get killed before his term expires, the Moldovan people will put him on trial for crimes committed while in office.

CHISINAU (Tiraspol Times) – The only way that Moldova’s President Vladimir Voronin can avoid a jail term for the crimes that he has committed is if he gets killed by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin first. That is the theory of Moldovan newspaper Jurnal de Chişinău, writing on the two main risks to the future of Moldova’s Communist strongman.

Authoritarian leader Vladimir Voronin has to follow orders from Russia or his life is at risk, the newspaper believes. The former Soviet-era General has Russian citizenship and if he doesn’t carry out Putin’s orders, Putin will have him “offed”, says a newly published theory.

In case Voronin refuses to carry out the orders from Moscow, Putin can order murder of his Moldovan counterpart, writes the newspaper in its latest edition. The Jurnal does not indicate what those orders are, but merely explains to its readers that Vladimir Voronin is guilty of numerous crimes within Moldova and that he is only saved by his tight control of the regime’s security forces.

As shown in this 1990 file photo, Vladimir Voronin held the rank of General in the Soviet Union. The Communist leader is now head of the failed state of Moldova, and local press says that he is guilty of numerous crimes due to the heavyhanded way that he rules Europe’s poorest country.

” – Since 2001 to this day, Voronin has broken human rights, and pursued and flung into prisons so many people that he would not avoid in any way a trial after the expiration of the mandate”, writes Jurnal de Chisinau.

The paper is convinced that “the communist leader will not find refuge in any lawful state but only in Russia. (..) He either sings under Moscow’s pipe, or falls under action of the recently adopted law, allowing Russian agents to punish enemies of the Kremlin abroad by “specific means and methods.”

The newspaper underlines that “murders, committed by the Russian secret services abroad have been showing that at present the Kremlin doesn’t have neither any legal restrictions, nor moral interdictions. Everybody might be threatened.”

Soviet general and Russian citizen

Vladimir Voronin was a Soviet general until 1991, when the Soviet Union disintegrated. His status was automatically transferred to that of a Russian general, a post which he held until 1992. After 1992, he then on a regular basis received a general’s pension from Moscow.

As several newspapers in Moldova have repeatedly pointed out recently, it would be impossible to receive such a pension without holding Russian citizenship. Former Moldovan presidential advisor Sergiu Mocanu has confirmed that Vladimir Voronin holds Russian citizenship, while Voronin himself has denied it and refused to show his Russian passport.

Unlike democratically elected Igor Smirnov, the president of Transdniestria, Vladimir Voronin was never directly elected by the voters to the top post in his country. Instead, he was merely appointed by to the presidency by the Moldovan parliament, in which his party – the Communist Party – holds a majority of the deciding votes.

With the discovery of Voronin’s Russian citizenship, he should now resign, Jurnal de Chisinau believes. The newspaper writes that holding Russian citizenship deprives Voronin of the legitimacy of his appointment to the post of the President of the Republic of Moldova.

Finally, we have been monitoring the diplomatic flap between Russia and the United Kingdom with respect to the Kremlin’s forced closure of the British Council’s offices in St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, as well as the Federal Security Service’s interrogation of the NGO’s Russian staff. In response, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband declared on January 17 that the FSB’s harassment of Russian citizens working for the British Council is “not worthy of a great country.” Miliband continued in his House of Commons speech:

The Russian security services summoned over 20 locally engaged members of [British Council] staff in St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, one by one, for interview. Ten members of staff were interviewed late at night, in their homes, after calls by the Russian tax police. Questioning ranged from the institutional status of the British Council to personal questions about the health and welfare of family pets.

The staff have been the subject of blatant intimidation from their own government…. Such actions are reprehensible, not worthy of a great country, and contrary to the letter and spirit of the legal framework under which the British Council operates.

Russia’s actions therefore raise serious questions about her observance of international law, as well as about the standards of behavior she is prepared to adopt towards her own citizens.

Unnamed British officials called the FSB’s intimidation of British Council staff “classic KGB-style tactics.” Honestly, what else would you expect from the renamed KGB? However, Novosti reports that the accommodationist government in London will take no retaliatory measures against Moscow.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Baluyevsky: "Preventative" nuke strikes our right, Mediterranean drills continue, Red Square military parade revived

>Moscow’s bellicose stance against the West continues with the Kremlin’s top general issuing yet another warning against NATO expansionism, even as Washington’s globalist elite treasonously promote military cooperation with neo-Soviet Russia. Today Chief of the Russian General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky, speaking in Moscow, asserted his country’s right to utilize preemptive nuclear strikes against its enemies, all the while falsely deyning that Moscow has any plans to attack anyone:

Russia has the right to use nuclear weapons on a preventative basis. We are not planning to attack anyone. But our partners should clearly understand… that the armed forces will be used if necessary to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation and its allies, including on a preventative basis, including with the use of nuclear weapons. Military force can and must be used to demonstrate the decisiveness of the top leadership of the country to defend its interests and as a last resort on a massive scale at a time when all other methods prove insufficient.

Pictured above: Neo-Soviet Tyrant Vladimir Putin and Baluyevsky.

Meanwhile, the Russian Navy, under the lead of its flagship aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, continues its maneuvers in the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. The comradely relationship between Putin and faux rightist French President Nicholas Sarkozy, who has already made his pilgrimage to the Third Rome (Moscow), is exemplified by the fact that the port of Toulon will receive a courtesy call from Russia’s naval vessels. State-run Novosti reports:

Russian Navy to conduct exercises in the Atlantic next week
16:2717/ 01/ 2008

TOULON, January 17 (RIA Novosti) – Russian warships from the Northern and the Black Sea fleets will conduct joint maneuvers next week in the Atlantic Ocean, the Northern Fleet commander said on Thursday.

A Naval Task Force, consisting of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, the Udaloy-Class destroyers Admiral Levchenko and Admiral Chabanenko, and auxiliary vessels, is currently on a two-month tour of duty in the Mediterranean Sea and North Atlantic.

Vice-Admiral Nikolai Maksimov, who leads the task force on the tour, said the Moskva guided missile cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet, which left Sevastopol on January 12, was to join the group in the next few days.

“We will meet in the Atlantic on January 20 and start a joint exercise,” Maksimov said. “The two fleets and strategic bombers will practice interoperability for several days.”

He said the current expedition to the Mediterranean, which started on December 5, is aimed at ensuring Russia’s naval presence “in the key operational areas of the world oceans” and establishing conditions for secure Russian maritime navigation.

“I think that after this visit to the Mediterranean and France, the first in 15 years, we will establish a permanent presence in the region,” the admiral said.

“We have discussed naval cooperation with our French colleagues and they confirmed their readiness to receive our combat ships at French ports in 2008, including at Toulon,” he added.

The Russian Army will also be flexing its muscles for the cameras in a May 9 parade in Red Square, the first to be held since the days of the old Soviet Union. State-run Interfax reports:

Modern arms to again be shown at May 9 parade on Red Square – ministry
Jan 15 2008 12:00PM

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax-AVN) – Modern examples of military equipment will again be demonstrated at a military parade of the Moscow garrison troops on Red Square on the Victory Day anniversary after many years hiatus, a source with the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“A meeting, which set the task of organizing and holding the military parade on May 9, 2008 on the Red Square in Moscow, took place on January 12 under the chairmanship of Moscow Military District Commander Gen. Vladimir Bakin. It was noted at the meeting that modern military equipment, including Topol-M modern mobile systems of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, will take part in it,” the source told Interfax-AVN on Tuesday.

Over 6,000 servicemen, “wearing a new type of uniform,” will take part in the parade, the source said. ar sm

>Red World: New Zealand: First developed country to enter FTA with China, arrested Maori separatist joined Communist Party; Moscow woos Wellington

>Since early 2006 we have visited every independent country in every region of the world, searching for communist influences. We have only one more stop in our “Red World” series after this post: Australia.

New Zealand (Maori: Aotearoa)
Realm of New Zealand: New Zealand, Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, and New Zealand’s Ross Dependency in Antarctica.
Type of state: Constitutional monarchy
Independence: September 26, 1907 (from United Kingdom)
Prime Minister of New Zealand: Helen Clark (New Zealand Labour Party, pro-Beijing): December 5, 1999-present
Prime Minister Designate of New Zealand: John Key (New Zealand National Party): party received majority in November 2008 election, beginning of term to be announced
Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II
Political composition of national legislature: The New Zealand Parliament is unicameral, consisting only of the House of Representatives. During the last election on November 8, 2008 the seats were distributed in the following manner: New Zealand National Party (liberal conservative) 59, New Zealand Labour Party (social democratic) 43, Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand 8, ACT New Zealand (classic liberal) 5, Maori Party (indigenous, leader ex-Labour Party) 5, Progressive Party (leftist), and United Future New Zealand(centrist) 1.
Next general elections: New Zealand’s next general elections will probably be held in 2011.
Socialist International presence: New Zealand Labour Party
Communist government: none

Communist insurgency:

1) “Urewera 17” Maori Separatists: On October 15, 2007 New Zealand police raided a number of sites across the country, including an alleged paramilitary training camp in the Urewera Mountains near the North Island town of Ruatoki. The group’s military tactics were allegedly inspired by the Irish Republican Army’s Green Book training manual. The Ruatoki community centre, moreover, was a known meeting place for environmentalists and fundraisers for foreign revolutionary movements, such as Mexico’s Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Seventeen people were arrested in the raids, including Maori activist Tame Iti (pictured above) and anarchist youth leader Omar Hamed. Within a month Iti, Hamed, and their co-conspirators were granted bail.

Iti became involved in the growing Maori nationalist movement in the 1970s, joining Nga Tamatoa, a major Māori protest group. He also joined the Communist Party of New Zealand and visited China in 1973 during the Cultural Revolution. Iti has taken part in land occupations and conducted a hikoi (protest) at the New Zealand Parliament.

Half-Palestinian Hamed founded the anti-capitalist Radical Youth (Aotearoa New Zealand), is a member of the Auckland Anarchist Collective, and published articles for the organ of the Workers’ Party of New Zealand (WPNZ).

Both Iti and Hamed faced firearms violations charges. The country’s Solicitor General declined to prosecute for charges under the Terrorism Suppression Act. The Maori Party, WPNZ, and Socialist Worker (Aotearoa) condemned the raids.

Communist parties:

1) Alliance Party of New Zealand (APNZ): Founded in 1991, this party is left socialist in orientation.

2) Communist League (CL): This Trotskyist party was founded in 1969 as the Socialist Action League.

3) Communist Party of Aotearoa (CPA): This Maoist party was founded in1993 as a split from the now defunct Communist Party of New Zealand.

4) Communist Workers’ Group (CWG): This party was founded in 1995 as a split from Workers’ Power. In the 2005 parliamentary election it supported the New Zealand Labour Party. The CWG associates with the Collective for an International Conference of Principled Trotskyism and the Liaison Committee of Militants for a Revolutionary Communist International.

5) Communist Party of New Zealand (CPNZ): Presently defunct, the CPNZ was founded in 1921 by former members of the New Zealand Marxian Association, established three years before, and the old Socialist Party. The founders of the CPNZ were staunch supporters of the Russian Revolution. In the 1920s the CPNZ gained supporters in the mining towns of the West Coast of the South Island. In line with the “united front” policy of the Communist International, the CPZN attempted to join the New Zealand Labour Party but this failed. As a result, the two parties became ardent competitors.

A communist attempt to seize control of the country’s primary leftist newspaper, the Maoriland Worker, also failed. During the 1920s New Zealand’s communists were frequently persecuted and arrested for sedition. In the later 1930s, the CPZN regained considerable influence through various front organizations and trade unions. Its articulate leader George Watson, however, was conscripted for military service and died in action during the Second World War.

In the immediate postwar era, the CPNZ exercised considerable influence in the Auckland Regional Trade Council and probably boasted over a thousand supporters nationwide. Throughout this period, the party remained resolutely Stalinist in its orientation and obeyed the political line adopted by Moscow. After the invasion of Hungary in 1956, most of the intellectuals in the CPNZ forsook the party. In the early 1960s the party was divided between supporters of the Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev and those who chose instead to follow China under Mao Zedong. The supporters of Khrushchev in the Aukland trade unions departed to form the Socialist Unity Party.

After the collapse of communism in Albania in 1991, the CPNZ renounced its support of Stalinism, Maoism, and Hoxhaism. Dissidents departed from the party, establishing the Communist Party of Aotearoa, which is Maoist in its orientation, and the Marxist-Leninst Collective, which is Hoxhaist in its orientation. The main body of the CPNZ merged with the International Socialist Organization in 1994, forming the small but highly active Socialist Worker (Aotearoa). The CPNZ never exerted mass influence or real political power, but it influenced several generations of radicals, including those involved in Halt All Racist Tours (HART) and the Progressive Youth Movement.

6) International Socialist Organization (ISO): Founded in 1997, the ISO is active in strike support and anti-war, environmental, and anti-racist campaigns. This Trotskyist organization advocates the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism by workers and its replacement by participatory democracy.

7) Organization for Marxist Unity (OMU): This party is Maoist in orientation.

8) Permanent Revolution Group (PRG): Founded as a split from the Spartacist League in the 1980s, this Trotskyist group associates with the International Bolshevik Tendency.

9) Socialist Alternative: This party is Trotskyist in orientation and associates with the Committee for a Workers’ International.

10) Socialist Party of Aotearoa (SPA): Founded in 1990 as a split from Socialist Unity Party, this communist party is led by Bill Andersen.

11) Socialist Worker (Aotearoa): Founded in 1995 by the International Socialist Organization and the now defunct Communist Party of New Zealand (CPNZ), this party is led by Grant Morgan and advocates revolution. It serves more or less as the heir of the CPNZ.

12) Workers’ Charter Movement (WCM): Founded in 2005, this party is radical left in orientation.

13) Workers’ Party of New Zealand (WPNZ): Formerly known as the Anti-Capitalist Alliance, this radical left party was founded in 2002 by members of the World Socialist Party of New Zealand and the Revolution Group. An internal tendency is the Revolutionary Workers’ League, which was organized in 2004 through the merger of Revolution and Workers’ Party. The WPNZ’s leader is Daphna Whitmore.

14) World Socialist Party of New Zealand (WSPNZ): Founded in 1931 as the Socialist Party of New Zealand, this party affiliates with the World Socialist Movement.

Moscow-Beijing-Havana-Caracas Axis political/economic/military presence: The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trades states: “New Zealand is the first developed country to negotiate a free trade agreement with China. Securing preferential access to China’s economy has the potential to deliver significant gains to our exporters. It is the fastest growing major economy, currently growing at 9.5 percent per annum. China is our fourth largest trading partner, taking over $1.6 billion of New Zealand’s merchandise exports and over $1 billion of services. China’s middle class is now estimated to be more than 100 million people and growing – which will fuel the demand for New Zealand’s agricultural products. There should also be gains to New Zealand’s manufacturers and services operators.” In 2005, the New Zealand Herald revealed, Chinese defector Hao Fengjun claimed to have spied on behalf of the Chinese National Security Bureau in both Australia and New Zealand. Steve Zhu, who represents the New Zealand branch of the organization Democratic China, defended Hao: “He has documents with him that have evidence of what he will say.”

Prime Minister Helen Clark, whose Labour Party was defeated in the November 2008 election, represented her party at the congresses of the Socialist International and Socialist International Women in 1976, 1978, 1983, and 1986, at the Asia-Pacific Socialist Organization Conference in Sydney in 1981, and at the Socialist International Party Leaders’ Meeting in Sydney in 1991.

Moscow is also wooing Wellington into its orbit. On January 22, 2008 state-run Itar-Tass reported that Kremlin lackey and Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov (pictured above) visited New Zealand: “Issues of economic and political cooperation were discussed on Tuesday at a meeting between New Zealand premier Helen Clark and speaker of the Russian Federation Council upper chamber Sergei Mironov, staying in this country on an official visit. ‘The potential of our cooperation is far from exhausted: the annual trade of 108 million US dollars is under our potentialities,’ Mironov said at the meeting.”

>USSR2 File: Russia’s trade unions line up behind Zyuganov’s presidential candidacy, Shenin’s youth leader attends CPRF session, Ford strike continues

> The Communist Party of the Russian Federation, which constitutes the Russian section of the restored Communist Party of the Soviet Union, has secured the support of Russia’s trade unions against the potemkin “bourgeois” regime of “ex”-CPSU President Vladimir Putin and his anointed successor, “ex”-Komsomol CEO of Gazprom Dmitry Medvedev. Russia’s open communists will therefore be able to bolster their anti-Kremlin propaganda with the contention that Putin is an enemy of the people and of workers. The CPRF website reports that the following unions, with their respective leaders, are supporting party chair Gennady Zyuganov’s presidential candidacy:

1) Aircraft Technician Services and Civil Aviation Workers’ Trade Union of Russia, E. Kurochkin
2) Trade Union of Russian Crews, V. V. Presnyakov
3) Federal Trade Union of Air Traffic Controllers of Russia, S. A. Kovalev
4) Aviation Radar and Radio Navigation Workers’ of Trade Union of Russia, Y. E. A. Ravikovich
5) All-Russia Social Movement “Education for All,” O. N. Smolin
6) Red Youth Vanguard, Sergei Udaltsov
7) Interregional Public Motion “Committee of the Protection of the Rights of Citizens,” S. V. Nikitin
8) Veterans of the State Security Organs, V. I. Spirin
9) Seamen’s Trade Union of Russia, I. N. Pavlov
10) Russian Dockers’ Trade Union, Y. E. G. Zavadovskaya
11) Association of Russian Crews, N. A. Parshkov
12) All-Russian Confederation of Labor, A. N. Shepel

The All-Russian Confederation of Labor was formed in 1996, boasts a membership of 1.27 million, and associates with the Moscow-based General Confederation of Trade Unions. The GCTU, in turn, is the descendant of the Soviet trade union and boasts a total membership of 50 million throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States. The GCTU website reveals: “It enjoys observer status with the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, and is actively involved in the work of the CIS Economic Council, a number of CIS industrial committees, and other statutory bodies of the Commonwealth.” In 1999 GCTU General Secretary Vladimir Scherbakov travelled to Beijing where he met Wei Jianxing, a member of the Communist Party of China Politburo. Scherbakov was deputy prime minister of the Soviet Union during that entity’s last days. In short, Russia’s trade union movement is still an organ of Soviet communism.

The Soviet strategists, as we have documented, are building a case on many fronts for the restoration of socialism in Russia and its satellites. In June 2007, for example, Mikhail Chesalin, chair of the local dockers’ union in Kaliningrad, was stabbed and beaten outside the union office. LabourStart reports: “Chesalin’s colleagues believe that the attack was orchestrated by Vladimir Kalinichenko, General Director of the Sea Commercial Port where the dockworkers’ union is currently running an organizing campaign.” While we believe that the working class forms the backbone of many nations, including the Not-So-Former Soviet Union, communism is not the answer to economic disparities.

Meanwhile, Ford Russia is denying that management tried to oust Alexei Etmanov, leader of the 1,500-member union at the company’s St. Petersburg plant. Russian auto workers, the independent St. Petersburg Times reported on January 18, 2008, are conducting an indefinite strike that began in November of last year and has slowed production to two shifts per day. “Dismissing a worker for just making uncomplimentary statements about his company’s product is not legally permissible under Russian law,” stated Yevgeny Reyzman, a labor lawyer who is not involved in the dispute. Etmanov’s union is demanding a 30% pay raise and has received the endorsement of Russia’s largest communist party. “The Communist party strongly supports the fair demands of Ford plant’s workers,” Zyuganov declared in November. “The economic situation of the company allows it to completely fulfil the workers’ demands. The cheepness of the cars produced at the plant is conditioned by underpaying the workers who make them. This is the result of extra exploitation.”

Pictured above: CPRF chair Zyuganov sits at head of table. Red Youth Vanguard (AKM) leader Udaltsov is located in foreground, at left. AKM is the official youth section of Oleg Shenin’s CPSU. AKM was previously associated with Garry Kasparov’s Other Russia coalition, which actively sought the involvement of the CPRF. Despite his persecuted status, Kasparov’s independence on the Russian political scene is suspect.

>Red World: Papua New Guinea: Bougainville militants conduct decade-long insurgency, Sandline scandal brings down Prime Minister Chan

>We have resumed our “Red World” series on communist influence in countries worldwide. Since early 2006 we have profiled every continent, with the exception of Oceania, consisting of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and those Pacific Island states that are fully independent. Pictured here: Bougainville Revolutionary Army leader Francis Ona with his troops.

Independent State of Papua New Guinea (PNG)
Type of state: Constitutional monarchy
Independence: December 1, 1973 (from United Kingdom)
Prime Minister of PNG: Sir Michael Thomas Somare (Pangu Party, National Alliance Party): September 16, 1975-March 11, 1980, August 2, 1982-November 21, 1985, August 5, 2002-present
Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II
Political composition of national legislature: PNG’s National Parliament is unicameral, consisting only of the House of Representatives. During the last election between June 30 and July 14, 2007 the seats were distributed in the following manner: National Alliance Party 30, Papua New Guinea Party 8, People’s Action Party (center right) 6, Pangu Party 5, People’s Democratic Movement 5, United Resources Party 5, People’s Progress Party 5, New Generation Party 4, People’s National Congress Party 5, People’s Party 3, Rural Development Party 4, Melanesian Liberal Party 2, People’s Labour Party 2, PNG Country Party 2, United Party 2, Melanesian Alliance Party 1, National Advance Party 1, Pipol First Party 1, PNG Labour Party 1, PNG National Party 1, and independents 16.
Next general elections: PNG’s next general elections will probably be held in 2010.
Socialist International presence: none
Communist government: none

Communist insurgency:

1) Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA): Under the direction of Francis Ona, a former miner in the employ of Bougainville Copper, a subsidiary of global mining giant Rio Tinto, and Sam Kauona, a former soldier in the PNG Defence Forces, the BRA was formed in 1988 by Bougainvilleans seeking independence from PNG. BRA leaders argued that Bougainville is ethnically part of the Solomon Islands and the island’s inhabitants have not profited from the extensive mining that has occurred on the island. There is no evidence that Ona and Kauona were influenced by Marxism as such. However, the thrust of the BRA’s ideology was that of indigenous anti-capitalism and might be considered broadly leftist in a revolutionary context.

In a 2000 interview Kauona (pictured here in PNGDF uniform) insisted that the BRA did not purchase weapons overseas, nor does it appear that the BRA had any links to the Moscow-Beijing Axis. “In the first stage of the fighting,” Kauona explains, “patrols from the PNG forces were ambushed and the Bougainvilleans captured weapons of a high standard – M16s, SLRs, M79 Grenade Launcher, and ammunition. This became the means of the BRA acquiring arms and re-supplying its men. The BRA never imported or bought any arms from abroad.” The Small Arms Survey­­ confirms this self-assessment: “Chinese small arms are far less common in the Pacific than in other regions, both in imports declared and in numbers discovered.” Major suppliers of weapons to Pacific Island states include the USA, France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

In 1989 the BRA leaders proclaimed Bougainville independent from PNG and established the Bougainville Interim Government (BIG). Consequently, armed actions between the BRA and the PNGDF escalated. In response, the Bougainville Resistance Force (BRF) was organized by island residents, allegedly with the support of the PNGDF, who opposed independence.

During Prime Minister Paias Wingti’s term, the PNG government renewed military efforts with troops capturing Arawa, the provincial capital in 1993 and recapturing the Panguna mine. Sir Julius Chan, Wingti’s successor, tried to broker a deal but neither Ona and the BRA would sign a deal. Frustrated, Chan ordered a full-scale invasion in 1996, but neither Australia nor New Zealand would support the operation. The following year Chan hired Sandline International mercenaries to neutralize the insurgency, but this decision prompted a military mutiny, cabinet desertions, bomb hoaxes, student protests, and civil unrest. In order to preempt a full-blown military coup, Chan resigned on March 26, regained the position in June, and then finally conceded defeat in the July 1997 election. Sandline was dissolved in 2004.

After 10 years of hostilities, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville was finally established in 2000 following a peace agreement between the PNG government and the BRA. In 2005 Ona died of malaria in his home village, after proclaiming himself “King of Bougainville.”

The BRA is no longer actively engaged in fighting but some ex-guerrillas have taken up arms under the banner of the Bougainville Freedom Fighters. In March 2006 former BRA commander Kauona and Bougainville Resistance Force secretary Laurie Patrick called upon the Autonomous Bougainville Government to establish checkpoints on the island and begin monitoring the activities of Noah Musingku. The self-proclaimed leader of Mekamui, a rebel government based on Bougainville and originally declared by Ona, Musingku organized the failed U-Vistract bank and has hired Fijian mercenaries to protect his interests.

In 2003 the PNG Post-Courier revealed that the BRA was shipping men and arms to the Guadalcanal Revolutionary Army—also known as the Guadalcanal Liberation Army/Front and more recently as the Isatabu Freedom Movement–in neighboring Solomon Islands. Personal connections are alleged to exist between the two organization’s leaders, Ona and Harold Keke, who was employed on Bougainville during the early 1990s.

Communist parties:

1) Melanesian Solidarity: Founded in 1985, this party is left socialist in orientation.

2) Melsol Worker: This Trotskyist party associates with International Socialists.

Moscow-Beijing-Havana-Caracas Axis political/economic/military presence: The role of Chinese businesses in PNG and the exploitation of the country’s natural resources were a “hot button” issue in the June-July 2007 parliamentary election. The largest Chinese project in PNG is state-run Metallurgical Group Corporation’s US$750 million Ramu nickel mine, near the northeastern coastal town of Madang. Construction began last year. Last year Fiji’s Island Business magazine related:

After receiving a rash of early complaints, PNG’s Labour Secretary Tibu flew to the construction site unannounced, to see for himself what was going on. His conclusion was that the PNG workers were being treated like slaves. They were paid just A$4 a day with overtime compensated by tins of fish rather than kina, with canteen arrangements “not fit for pigs,” and toilet facilities so inadequate and public that employees used nearby bushes instead, out of embarrassment. He warned that if there was not a rapid improvement, he would close the whole site down.

Tibu complained: “The Chinese developer does not seem to have any standards and I will not allow my countrymen and women to be used as slaves.” Island Business concludes that Communist China has assumed the role of “neocolonialist” from the Western powers: “President Hu Jintao, during the eight-nation tour of Africa recently, attracted incipient demonstrations branding China as ‘neocolonialist’ as its corporations assume from Western rivals the role of leading exploiters of mineral and oil wealth.”

In 2006 82 percent of PNG’s tropical timber was exported to the People’s Republic of China.

>Red World: Pacific Islands: Vanuatu briefly recognizes Taiwan in 2004 diplomatic flap, pro-Taipei prime minister ousted

>Among most Pacific Island countries, profiled below, Communist Chinese influence and the decision to recognize Taipei or Beijing are “hot button” issues. Pictured here: Vanuatu boy.

Republic of Vanuatu
Type of state: Parliamentary republic with pro-Beijing government
Independence: July 30, 1980 (from France and United Kingdom)
Prime Minister of Vanuatu: Ham Lini Vanuaroroa (Vanuatu National United Party): December 11, 2004-present
Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II
Political composition of national legislature: In the last election for the Parliament of Vanuatu, which occurred on July 6, 2004, the seats were distributed in the following manner: Coalition consisting of Party of Our Land and Vanuatu National United Party (social democratic) 18, Union of Moderate Parties 9, Vanuatu Republican Party 4, Green Confederation 3, People’s Progressive Party 3, Melanesian Progressive Party 2, National Community Association 2, People’s Action Party 1, Namangi Aute 1, and nonpartisans 9.
Next general elections: The next general election in Vanuatu is scheduled to be held in 2010. In 1996 the Vanuatu Mobile Force, which is the paramilitary wing of the Vanuatu Police Force, attempted a coup over a pay dispute.
Socialist International presence: none
Communist government: none
Communist insurgency: none
Communist parties: none

Moscow-Beijing Axis political/economic/military presence: Vanuatu briefly recognized Taiwan in 2004 when on November 3 Prime Minister Serge Vohor signed a communiqué in Taipei. The Republic of China had offered $30 million in aid, compared with the $10 million donated by the People’s Republic of China. Under the One China Policy, however, Vanuatu would be forced to sever relations with the PRC. Vohor, however, had apparently travelled to Taipei in secret and signed the communiqué without consulting his cabinet. In response, the Vanuatuan Council of Ministers announced on November 11 that the communiqué had been annulled, but a spokesman for the prime minister denied this the following day. For a period of several weeks, both the PRC and ROC maintained diplomatic missions in Vanuatu. Meanwhile, the Vanuatuan government was unable to decide which country to recognize. Finally, the impasse ended on December 11 when parliament passed a motion of no-confidence against Vohor and replaced him with Ham Lini, the current prime minister.

>Red World: Pacific Islands: Tuvalu recognizes Taipei, joins United Nations in 2000 over Red Chinese objections; country consists of 9 coral atolls

>Pictured here: Underwater Tuvalu. Tropical paradise, no commies. I’m there.

Tuvalu
Type of state: Constitutional monarchy with pro-Taipei government
Independence: October 1, 1978 (from United Kingdom)
Prime Minister of Tuvalu: Apisai Ielemia (nonpartisan): August 14, 2006-present
Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II
Political composition of national legislature: In the last election for the Tuvalu Parliament, which occurred on August 3, 2006, 15 nonpartisan deputies were elected. There are no political parties in Tuvalu, although they are not banned.
Next general elections: The next general election in Tuvalu is scheduled to be held in 2010.
Socialist International presence: none
Communist government: none
Communist insurgency: none
Communist parties: none

Moscow-Beijing Axis political/economic/military presence: Tuvalu joined the United Nations in 2000, against the objections of the People’s Republic of China, which condemns most countries that recognize Taiwan. Consisting of nine coral atolls, Tuvalu’s highest point is 15 feet above sea level. The island country’s population is approximately 12,000.

>Red World: Pacific Islands: Tonga’s 2006 riots leave 8 dead, king promises free election, princess has "extensive" business interests in Red China

>Kingdom of Tonga
Type of state: Absolute monarchy with pro-Beijing government
Independence: June 4, 1970 (as British Protectorate)
Monarch of Tonga: King George Tupou V: September 11, 2006-present
Prime Minister of Tonga: Feleti Sevele (nonpartisan): March 30, 2006-present
Political composition of national legislature: The Tonga Legislative Assembly consists of 30 members, including nine elected by universal suffrage and the others selected by the nobility and the monarch. The electoral system does not allow any party to achieve power and only one party exists in opposition. In the last election, which occurred on March 17, 2005, the seats were distributed in the following fashion: Human Rights and Democracy Movement 7, other deputies chosen by the commoners 2, members elected by and among the 33 hereditary nobles of Tonga 9, members of the Privy Council (appointed by the King) 10, and Governors (appointed by the King) 2.

The Human Rights and Democracy Movement and the People’s Democratic Party are the only registered parties in Tonga.

Tonga’s commoners expected democratic changes from the latest monarch, George Tupou V. On November 16, 2006 rioting broke out in the capital city Nuku’alofa when parliament adjourned for the year without having implemented constitutional reform. Government buildings, offices, and shops were looted and burned. Eight people died in the riots. A state of emergency was declared on November 17, with emergency laws giving security forces the right to stop and search people without a warrant.

Next general elections: Following the 2006 riots, the government of Tonga has promised that the next general election will be held in 2008, in which a majority of the parliament will be elected by popular vote.
Socialist International presence: none
Communist government: none
Communist insurgency: none
Communist parties: none

Moscow-Beijing Axis political/economic/military presence: In the wake of the 2006 riots, the Chinese state media reported: “Around 30 Chinese-owned stores in Nuku’alofa, Tonga capital, were trashed over the last some 20 hours, and the Chinese Embassy is trying to protect the Chinese living there. ‘More than 25 percent of Chinese stores were looted or burned yesterday, causing big losses to the owners,’ said Hu Yeshun, Chinese Ambassador to Tonga, who’s got no chance of sleep all night arranging protection and aid measures.” Between 3,000 to 4,000 Chinese live in Tonga. In 2001 more than 600 Chinese storekeepers and their families were given a year to leave the island country once their work permits expire. King Tupou V’s sister Princess Pilolevu Tuita, however, has extensive business interests in Communist China and supports Chinese immigration to stimulate the Tongan economy, a policy promoted by her father King Tāufa’āhau Tupou IV, who died in 2006. An influx of Chinese on work permits issued with the royal seal began in the mid-1990s. Many of these immigrants found jobs as construction laborers. Havea Tu’iha’angana, speaker of Tonga’s Legislative Assembly, visited China from November 17 to 25, 2007 at the invitation of Wu Bangguo, chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

>Red World: Pacific Islands: Solomon Islands wracked by nationalist uprising on Guadalcanal, rebel leader linked to Papua’s Bougainville insurgents

>Solomon Islands
Type of state: Constitutional monarchy with pro-Taipei government
Independence: July 7, 1978 (from United Kingdom)
Prime Minister of Solomon Islands: Derek Sikua (Solomon Islands Liberal Party, pictured here): December 20, 2007-present
Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II

Political composition of national legislature: The National Parliament of the Solomon Islands is unicameral and consists of 50 members elected every four years. The last election on April 5, 2006 produced the following seat distribution: National Party 4, Rural Advancement Party 4, People’s Alliance Party 3, Democratic Party 3, Solomon Islands Liberal Party 2, Solomon Islands Social Credit Party 2, and Lafari Party 2.

Next general elections: The next general election to be held in the Solomon Islands is scheduled to be held in 2010.
Socialist International presence: none
Communist government: none

Communist insurgency:

1) Solomon Islands Civil War or “The Tensions” (1998-2000, 2002-2003): Formerly known as the Guadalcanal Revolutionary Army (GRA), as well as the Guadalcanal Liberation Army/Front (GLA/GLF), the Isatabu Freedom Movement (IFM), as it is more recently known, is a nationalist insurgent group on the island of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. The GRA/GLA/IFM was largely responsible for instigating “The Tensions” in the late 1990s. The IFM was accused of a variety of crimes, including arson, kidnapping, assassination, and murder. The founder of the insurgency was Gualese warlord and self-anointed “prophet” Harold Keke. In late 1998, Guadalcanal militants under the urging of Keke instigated a campaign of intimidation and violence towards Malaitan settlers. The following year thousands of Malaitans fled back to Malaita and the national capital Honiara, which is situated on Guadalcanal but predominantly populated by Malaitans and other Solomon Islanders.

In 1999, the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF) was established in response, taking over the role of military police in Honiara. One MEF leader was the famous Jimmy Rasta. In June 2000 Prime Minister Bartholomew (Bart) Ulufa’alu, even though he was an ethnic Malaitan, was kidnapped by the MEF, which contended that he was not doing enough to protect Malaitan interests. Ulufa’alu resigned in exchange for his release.

Incidentally, Ulufa’alu founded the Solomon Islands General Workers’ Union in the 1970s and the Solomon Islands Liberal Party in 1988. The SIGWU, in turn, formed the Solomon Islands Council of Trade Unions (SICTU), which affiliates with the Prague-based, communist front World Federation of Trade Unions. In the 1980s SICTU organized the Solomon Islands Labour Party.

In October 2000 the GLA and the MEF disarmed after leaders signed the Townsville Peace Agreement, which somewhat pacified the situation in Honiara and the Solomon Islands in general. “Supreme Commander” Keke, however, refused to lay down his arms and withdrew with a loyalist faction to Guadalcanal’s Weather Coast. Civil unrest flared up again and led to an almost complete breakdown in normal government activity three years later.

An Australian-led intervention forced, summoned by the Solomon Islands government, apprehended Keke on August 13, 2003 (pictured above). The previous day armed men claiming to be supporters of Keke attacked the Bougainville office of Papua New Guinea’s leading newspaper after the PNG Post-Courier reported that Keke was obtaining men and guns from Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) leader Francis Ona, based in neighboring Papua New Guinea. PNG’s Minister for Bougainville, Sir Peter Barter, played down any links between Keke and Ona. The Age reported on August 12, 2003:

Chief correspondent Gorethy Kenneth was assaulted and had a knife placed to her throat. She was told to stop reporting on Mr Keke’s men being present in Buka or she would be killed. “They said they were Keke’s boys and asked where we got the stories,” she said. One of the men was a former Bougainville Revolutionary Army commander and another was known to be linked to the Solomons. Sir Peter he was “not convinced that this event had anything to do with Keke, or for that matter the Solomon Islands”. He said BRA leaders had assured him Mr Keke had not been to Bougainville recently, but expressed concern that such incidents could derail the Bougainville peace process – with weapons from the conflict not yet destroyed.

On August 7, however, Radio New Zealand International exposed the “strong” link between the BRA and the IFM:

A Papua New Guinea newspaper has reported that the Solomon Islands warlord, Harold Keke, is building up arms and recruiting neighbouring Bougainvilleans to resist the Australia-led intervention. The Post Courier reports that its Bougainvillean sources say Keke has been frequenting Bougainville and taking arms and men back to his Guadalcanal camp. The paper says that Keke has been to Bougainville three times in the last fortnight. Earlier this year Keke, whose grandmother is from PNG, wrote to Bougainville rebel leader Francis Ona to request manpower and assistance. The paper claims that Keke and Francis Ona have strong links as the Guadacanal Liberation Front supplied the Bougainville Revolutionary Army with weapons during the Bougainville crisis. Mr Keke is now reportedly receiving guns from the BRA and has been training men on an island on the border of Bougainville and the Solomons.

Keke was subsequently convicted on two murder charges, including the 2002 murder of cabinet minister and Catholic priest Father Augustine Geve, and sentenced to life in prison in 2005. In August 2007 Keke was acquitted of murder charges relating to the deaths of a group of 10 Kwaio men in 2002. Accompanying the Australian peacekeepers were troops from New Zealand, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. Together the international force was known as the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), which is still maintaining the peace in the island country.

Although not overtly Marxist in his beliefs, Keke certainly appears to have drawn inspiration from the BRA. In the early 1990s Keke was employed in the PNG as a police mechanic and posted with the police field force that was then supporting the Papua New Guinea Defense Force against the BRA. Bougainville militants argue that their island is ethnically part of the Solomon Islands, not the PNG. The International Left was generally sympathetic with the GRA/GLA/IFM. In 2000 Australia’s Democratic Socialist Perspective commiserated through its organ Green Left Weekly: “The seeds of the conflict between the Guadalcanal customary landowners and Malaitan settlers lie in the distorted capitalist development of the Solomons imposed first by British colonialism, and later by British, US and Australian imperialism.”

The IFM also drew inspiration for its struggle from the Moro Movement of Isatabu, which was active on the island in the 1950s.

Communist parties: none

Moscow-Beijing Axis political/economic/military presence: The Solomon Islands and the People’s Republic of China do not have diplomatic relations. In April 2006 riots in Honiara forced the evacuation of 310 overseas Chinese from the island country. The Chinese state media reports: “During the recent unrest in the Solomon Islands’ capital Honiara, dozens of residences and shops in the city’s Chinatown were looted and set on fire. Hundreds of local Chinese residents were forced to flee their homes.”

>Red World: Pacific Islands: Samoa maintains well-established links to Beijing, Chinese communist delegation visits Apia in 2007, opens sports complex

>Independent State of Samoa
Type of state: Parliamentary republic with pro-Beijing government
Independence: January 1, 1962 (from New Zealand)
Chieftain of the Government: Tufuga Efi (Samoan National Development Party, Christian Democratic Party): May 11, 2007-present
Prime Minister of Samoa: Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi (Human Rights Protection Party): November 23, 1998-present
Political composition of national legislature: The Fono, or Legislative Assembly of Samoa, is unicameral and consists of 49 members elected every five years. The last election on March 31, 2006 led to the following seat distribution: Human Rights Protection Party 35, Samoan Democratic United Party (formed by merger of Samoan National Development Party and Samoan United Independent Party) 10, and independents 4.
Next general elections: The next general election in Samoa is scheduled to be held in 2011.
Socialist International presence: none
Communist government: none
Communist insurgency: none
Communist parties: none

Moscow-Beijing Axis political/economic/military presence: Samoa established formal diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in 1975. Since then, the two countries have developed bilateral economic and trade relations, Exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture, education and health In 2000, Samoa and the PRC renewed their Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation, first implemented in 1976. In April 2007 Li Changchun, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), departed from Samoa for Beijing after wrapping up a three-day visit to the South Pacific island nation. Apia, the capital of Samoa, was the last stop of Li’s two-week trip to Latin America and the South Pacific. He also visited Mexico, Venezuela, Suriname, Ecuador, and Peru. During his visit to Samoa, Li met with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, agreeing to strengthen “mutually beneficial cooperation” in numerous fields and enhance the “political basis” of bilateral ties. Li and Tuilaepa also attended the completion ceremony of a sports complex, which the PRC helped build in Apia. Li is pictured above with Samoan Vice Prime Minister Misa Telefoni Retzlaff.

>Red World: Pacific Islands: Palau president stands firm for Taipei recognition; legislators visit Beijing, explore potential of Chinese market

>Pictured here: Ulimang Beach in Ngaraard, Palau. Tropical paradise, no commies. I’m there.

Republic of Palau
Type of state: Republic with pro-Taipei government, in free association with USA
Independence: October 1, 1994 (from United Nations Trust Territory)
President of Palau: Thomas Esang Remengesau, Jr.: January 1, 2001-present
Political composition of national legislature: The bicameral Palau National Congress’ last election occurred on November 2, 2004, leading to the selection of 16 nonpartisan members to the House of Delegates and nine to the Senate. Palau has no official political parties.
Next general elections: General elections in Palau are scheduled to be held every four years.
Socialist International presence: none
Communist government: none
Communist insurgency: none
Communist parties: none

Moscow-Beijing Axis political/economic/military presence: In November 2007 the Taipei Times reported: “A few Palau lawmakers visited China in June and expressed interest in the huge Chinese market, but soon after that, Palauan President Tommy Remengesau reaffirmed the country’s firm friendship with Taiwan . . .”

>Red World: Pacific Islands: Nauru switches allegiance to Beijing after 22-year diplomatic relationship with Taipei; world’s smallest island state

>Republic of Nauru
Type of state: Republic with pro-Beijing government
Independence: January 31, 1968 (from Australia, New Zealand, and United Kingdom-administered United Nations Trusteeship)
President of Nauru: Marcus Stephen: December 19, 2007-present
Political composition of national legislature: The unicameral Nauru Parliament’s last election occurred on August 25, 2007, leading to the selection of 15 nonpartisan members unofficially committed to the policies of former President Ludwig Scotty (2004-2007) and three other members. Nauru does not have a formal structure for political parties and, thus, candidates typically stand as independents. Three parties, however, are active, including two formal parties, the Democratic Party and Nauru First, and one informal party, the Centre Party. Nauru is the world’s smallest island state with only 8.1 square miles of territory and no official capital.
Next general elections: General elections in Nauru are scheduled to be held every three years.
Socialist International presence: none
Communist government: none
Communist insurgency: none
Communist parties: none

Moscow-Beijing Axis political/economic/military presence: In 2002, after 22 years of diplomatic relations, Taiwan severed ties with Nauru when the island state’s President Rene Harris adopted the One China Policy advocated by the People’s Republic of China. Nauru’s decision to recognize the PRC led to the signing of diplomatic papers and a joint communiqué, the termination of Taiwanese aid, and a US$150 million aid package from Beijing.

>Red World: Pacific Islands: Marshall Islands retains recognition of Taiwan, Communist Chinese influence "hot button" issue in island country

>Republic of the Marshall Islands
Type of state: Republic with pro-Taipei government
Independence: October 21, 1986 (from USA)
President of Marshall Islands: Litokwa Tomeing (United People’s Party, pictured here in former capacity as parliamentary speaker): January 7, 2008-present
Political composition of national legislature: The unicameral Marshall Islands Legislature’s last election occurred on November 19, 2007, leading to the selection of 33 officially independent candidates, most of whom hold membership in the Kabua Party or United Democratic Party. The Kabua Party is also known as the Our Islands coalition and includes the United People’s Party. Political parties in the Marshall Islands are informal groupings rather than formally structured parties with explicit platforms and fixed headquarters.
Next general elections: General elections in the Marshall Islands are scheduled to be held every four years.
Socialist International presence: none
Communist government: none
Communist insurgency: none
Communist parties: none

Moscow-Beijing Axis political/economic/military presence: Communist China’s political influence in the Marshall Islands is a “hot button” issue among citizens of that country. During the November 2007 parliamentary election one of the chief issues under debate was whether to switch recognition from the Republic of China to the People’s Republic of China. Although Legislature Speaker Litokwa Tomeing advocated a One China Policy during the campaign, he has apparently changed his tune and supports retaining diplomatic ties with Taiwan:

The new Marshall Islands government of Litokwa Tomeing has given its strongest indication yet of retaining diplomatic ties with Taiwan, saying Saturday it “cherishes” the relationship. [Marshall Islands] Foreign Minister Tony deBrum made the statement when greeting visiting Taiwan Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Elizabeth Chu. Before general elections last November, Tomeing said his western Pacific nation had wronged China by switching recognition to Taiwan in 1998 and should return its allegiance to Beijing. But he signaled a softening of his stance after the election when he named deBrum, who had crafted the move away from China, as Foreign Minister.

The Marshall Islands is one of only 24 countries that recognize Taipei, rather than Beijing.

>Red World: Pacific Islands: Kiribati’s president evicts Chinese from satellite tracking station, PRC bribes Kiribatian politicians in 2003 election

>Republic of Kiribati
Type of state: Republic with pro-Taipei government
Independence: July 12, 1979 (from United Kingdom)
President of Kiribati: Anote Tong (Pillars of Truth, half-Chinese, pictured here): July 10, 2003-present
Political composition of national legislature: The unicameral House of Assembly’s last election occurred between August 22 and 30, 2007, leading to the following seat distribution: Independent candidates 19, Pillars of Truth 18, Protect the Maneaba 7, representative of Banabans of Rabi Island 1, and ex officio member 1.
Next general elections: General elections in Kiribati are scheduled to be held every four years.
Socialist International presence: none
Communist government: none
Communist insurgency: none
Communist parties: none

Moscow-Beijing Axis political/economic/military presence: Communist China’s political influence in Kiribati is a “hot button” issue among citizens of that country. During the October 2007 presidential campaign Tong promised to review the lease of a spy and satellite tracking base utilized by the People’s Republic of China. On November 7 President Tong, who was re-elected by a large majority, established relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan, which prompted the PRC to terminate relations with Kiribati and vacate its satellite base in December. In 2003 The Guardian, quoted at length below, chronicled the history of relations between Kiribati and Communist China and the latter’s satellite tracking station in Tarawa, which was being employed to monitor the super-secret US military base at the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The Guardian also reveals that Beijing, by way of the Chinese Embassy in Kiribati, attempted to influence the election that year by bribing “key constituency MPs.”

The president of Kiribati, Anote Tong, must have known he was playing with fire in agreeing to recognise Taiwan on November 7 this year. When the neighbouring Marshall Islands made the same move in 1998 the Chinese packed up and left town within days, along with their investments and aid agreements.

Mr Tong’s trump card was a satellite tracking station in Tarawa, set up by the Chinese in 1997. As China’s only offshore satellite facility, the station has been acknowledged for its crucial role in Beijing’s space programme, which put its first man into space six weeks ago.

Less public has been its alleged use as a spy base. Tarawa just happens to be the nearest strip of foreign territory to the Kwajalein atoll in the Marshall Islands. Kwajalein’s 2,300sq km lagoon, the biggest in the world, is home to a $4bn (£2.3bn) US military base shrouded in such intense secrecy that visitors are not allowed off the airport tarmac.

More importantly, Kwajalein is the linchpin for testing America’s “son of star wars” national missile defence system. At a cost of $100m a test, ballistic missiles are fired in California and aimed at by missiles launched from Kwajalein.

Locals are adamant that the Chinese station has been watching the progress of the tests. “They’ve got 30 Chinese based there and every time a rocket goes into Kwajalein a lot of more come up,” says Brian Orme, who lives next door to the station. “The dishes point directly at it, or in the past few months it’s been at Guam, where there’s another US base.

“It’s a dangerous thing for Kiribati to have this here. When the US came past a couple of years back they sent three F16s, which came down and buzzed the place pretty heavily. I met the pilots and they said they were just letting people know that they knew what was going on. ‘If need be we’ll take it out,’ one of them said.”

Mr Orme acted as political adviser to Harry Tong, a brother of the current president who has run for office twice in the past year on a platform of closing down the base.

His campaign late last year gave the Chinese embassy enough of a scare to make several hefty donations to key constituency MPs, which Mr Tong claims were attempts to bribe the electorate. During the same campaign many in the country were brought to the edge of panic because of an article on a New Zealand-based satirical website claiming that the US was to declare war on Kiribati. The article was intended to satirise America’s warlike post-September 11 stance, but tensions over the Tarawa tracking station left many in Kiribati fearing war might really be on the cards.

Harry Tong was the frontrunner to win national elections in July this year, but his brother Anote eventually pipped him to the post on a marginally more conciliatory platform. At a Chinese embassy reception days after the election, Mr Tong reaffirmed his commitment to the One China policy, but stressed that Kiribati would be free to decide its own diplomatic relations. It was seen by most as a return to the status quo, but subsequent events have proved otherwise.

>Red World: Pacific Islands: Fiji under control of pro-Beijing military government, Fiji Labour Party closely allied with Communist Party of China

>Republic of the Fiji Islands
Type of state: Republic under pro-Beijing military government since 2006
Independence: October 10, 1970 (from United Kingdom)
President of Fiji: Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda (ethnic Fijian): July 13, 2000-December 5, 2006, January 4, 2007-present
Prime Minister of Fiji: Commodore Josaia Voreqe (“Frank”) Bainimarama (ethnic Fijian, Commander of Fijian Military Forces, pictured above)
Chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs: Ovini Bokini Ratu (ethnic Fijian)
Great Chief of Fiji: Queen Elizabeth II (honorary position)
Political composition of national legislature: Fiji’s bicameral parliament consists of the elected House of Representatives and the appointed Senate, of which the Great Council of Chiefs exercises influence over nominations. The House of Representatives’ last election between May 6 and 13, 2006 produced the following results: United Fiji Party (conservative, dominated by ethnic Fijians) 36, Fiji Labour Party (social democratic, pro-Beijing, officially multiracial, dominated by Indo-Fijians), United People’s Party (centrist, multiracial) 2, and independents 2.

Next general elections: General elections in Fiji are normally scheduled to be held every five years. However, coups have disrupted Fijian politics on four occasions over the last 20 years:

1) May 1987: Lieutenant Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka deposed Prime Minister Timoci Uluivuda Bavadra, an ethnic Fijian who founded the Fiji Labour Party
2) September 1987: Lieutenant Colonel Rabuka staged a second coup in which Queen Elizabeth II was deposed as Queen of Fiji and the island country was declared a republic
3) May 2000: Fijian nationalist George Speight deposed Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry, an Indo-Fijian who led the Fiji Labour Party and assumed the post of head of government in 1999; Commodore Frank Bainimarama organized a counter-coup and interim government
4) December 2006: Commodore Bainimarama deposed Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, an ethnic Fijian and member of the United Fiji Party, whom the military leader initially supported at the beginning of Qarase’s second term in 2001

Prime Minister/Commodore Bainimarama promised in October 2007 that an election will be held by March 2009 and its results respected by the military. The New Zealand Herald reported: “Sanctions against Fiji by Australia and New Zealand will begin to be lifted as plans for elections unfold.”

Socialist International presence: Fiji Labour Party (observer status)
Communist government: none
Communist insurgency: none
Communist parties: none

Moscow-Beijing Axis political/economic/military presence: Fijian Prime Minister/Commodore Frank Bainimarama is pro-Beijing, as The Age reveals in the following interview from December 30, 2006: “China will always be there to support Fiji. We have always had close ties with Beijing. I’ve already made an official visit there at the invitation of the People’s Liberation Army and we’ve had two senior officers at China’s defence college since 2000.” In May 2006 Bainimarama admitted that he was involved in a failed plot to re-install former Labour Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry, an Indo-Fijian committed to Marxism and aligned with Beijing. Australia’s radio program World Today reported;

ELEANOR HALL: Fiji’s Military Commander has given up his push to stop the newly-elected Government of Fiji led by Laisenia Qarase from taking power. Commodore Frank Bainimarama had been trying to convince two Independent MPs to join the Fiji Labour Party to instead put Mahendra Chaudhry back in as Fiji’s Prime Minister. But now he’s conceded that he’s failed. Sean Dorney’s report begins with the Commander speaking at a news conference he called in Suva this morning.

FRANK BAINIMARAMA: We think between the two parties we prefer a party that’s not SDL [United Fiji Party].

SEAN DORNEY: The SDL is the Indigenous Fijian Party led by Laisenia Qarase, who has been at odds with the Commander Frank Bainimarama for years, even though back in 2000, Commodore Bainimarama installed Mr Qarase as interim Prime Minister when the Fiji military put down the George Speight coup. In a blatant effort to influence the result of this election, Commodore Bainimarama admits that he spoke to two independent MPs to try to convince them to support Mahendra Chaudry’s Fiji Labour Party.

FRANK BAINIMARAMA: I have spoken to them, yes. I’ve asked them to have a look at the implications. As I’ve said in the past, we don’t have anything to fear from Labour. We just proved it in the last 24 hours that when the SDL politicians get elected into Parliament, the first thing they do is attack the military.

Chaudhry has on a number of occasions led delegations of the Fiji Labour Party to Beijing, including in August 2005 when the FLP signed a memorandum of understanding with the Communist Party of China to develop better relations between the two parties, and promote cooperation between Fiji and China in political, economic, and cultural fields, and advance peace and development in the Eastern Pacific. In October 2006 Gu Xiulian, vice chair of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China met another delegation from the Fiji Labour Party. Party leader Chaudhry again led the delegation. Gu stated that the CPC would like to “step up” cooperation with the FLP. Pictured above, second from right: Chaudhry with Chinese hosts in Beijing.

>Red World: Pacific Islands: China woos Micronesia, President Mori visits Beijing, signs bilateral agreement on economic and technological cooperation

>Federated States of Micronesia
Type of state: Federation of four island states with pro-Beijing government
Independence: November 3, 1986 (from US-administered UN Trusteeship)
President of Micronesia: Emanuel “Manny” Mori (nonpartisan, ethnic Japanese): May 11, 2007-present
Political composition of national legislature: In the last election for the Micronesian Congress, which occurred on March 6, 2007, 14 nonpartisan representatives were elected. Micronesia has no political parties, although they are not banned.
Next general elections: Micronesia’s general elections are scheduled to be held every two years and, thus, the next election will take place in 2009.
Socialist International presence: none
Communist government: none
Communist insurgency: none
Communist parties: none

Moscow-Beijing Axis political/economic/military presence: The current government of Micronesia, under President Manny Mori, has promoted bilateral relations with the People’s Republic of China. On December 16, 2007 President Mori (pictured above, left) accepted an invitation to visit Beijing, where he held talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jibao. Micronesia supports Beijing’s One China Policy and both countries seek to establish closer ties in the areas of transportation, energy, fisheries, tourism, and commerce. Mori and Hu also attended a signing ceremony of a bilateral agreement on economic and technological cooperation.

>Latin America File: Red Axis leaders attend Colom inauguration, Brazil’s president visits Havana, Sandinista leader lauds relations with Cuba

>The inauguration of crypto-communist Alvaro Colom to the presidency of Guatemala received the imprimatur of Latin America’s Red Axis, which dispatched its spokesentities to Guatemala City on January 14. In attendance, according to the mouthpiece of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, were the “ex”-communist President of Nicaragua Daniel Ortega (pictured here with Colom), the neo-communist dictator of Venezuela Hugo Chavez, the neo-communist dictator of Ecuador Rafael Correa, and the neo-communist President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and social democratic President of Panama Martin Torrijos, as well as “neo-liberal” national leaders like Mexican President Felipe Calderson, Salvadoran President Antonio Saca, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. After welcoming President Colom to the Western Hemisphere’s regional Communist Bloc, Lula flew to Cuba, where he conferred with Acting President Raul Castro, younger brother of the ailing Fidel. As Cuba’s Prensa Latina reports below this is Lula’s second visit to Cuba. The first took place in September 2003, pictured below.

Brazil President Lula in Cuba

Havana, Jan 15 (Prensa Latina) Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, president of Brazil, is fulfilling an intensive work agenda in Cuba Tuesday, including an official welcome ceremony and talks with First Vice President Raul Castro.


Lula da Silva arrived in this capital late Monday from Guatemala, where he attended the inauguration of that country’s new President Alvaro Colom.

The statesman came accompanied by an extensive delegation made up of several ministers and top officials, and was welcomed by Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, as well as other leaders from the island’s Government and Stat

[Brazil’s] Foreign Minister Celso Amorin, Development, Trade and Industry Minister Miguel Jorge, Education Minister Fernando Haddad, and Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao, as well as Petrobras oil company president Jose Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo accompany the statesman.

Lula’s agenda also includes laying a wreath at the monument to Cuban National Hero Jose Marti, touring the memorial that honors him at Havana’s Revolution Square, holding official talks with the island’s top authorities and inking important accords in areas of common interest.

This is the second official visit of Lula to Cuba as a president of his country. The first one took place in September 2003. He had previously traveled to the island several times as a Labor Party leader.

Brazil is Cuba’s second trade partner in the region and eighth in total exchange.

Cuba’s communist-controlled media trumpets that “Lula looks forward to visits to Guatemala and Cuba.” On the agenda at the Lula-Raul summit is Brazil’s interest in assisting Cuba in deep-water oil exploration, the construction of a lubricant factory in Cuba, and international medical exchanges. The Brazilian government also hopes to foster development projects in Central America. The Cuban News Agency reported yesterday:

Highlighting the importance of his trip to Guatemala, Lula said that Brazil hopes to contribute to fostering development in Central American countries and said he would meet with the Central American presidents attending the swearing-in ceremony of Guatemalan President-elect Alvaro Colom.

Likewise, Lula said that after leaving Guatemala, he will be heading to Cuba where he will sign a series of agreements as part of Brazil’s cooperation with Caribbean countries.

Brazil is interested in helping Cuba in deep water oil exploration. He also mentioned his intention to support the building of a lubricant factory in Cuba.

Lula said agreements with Cuba include the building of road infrastructure, and many others in the healthcare sector that go from recognizing the Brazilian doctors trained in Cuba to building labs in Brazil.

“I am very interested in making this trip, because I think Brazil can do a lot to help Central America and the Caribbean”, said Lula in his program “Cafe com o Presidente” (Breakfast with the President).

Together Lula and Fidel founded the narco-terrorist Sao Paulo Forum (FSP) in 1990, a fact that shatters the Brazilian president’s “moderate” image. Guatemala’s guerrilla army-turned-party National Revolutionary Unity (URNG) holds membership in the FSP. In 2002 the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), which is part of Lula’s coalition goverment, described the history of the URNG, with which Colom was openly allied in the 1999 election, in the following manner:

Thirty six years of civil war resulted in the death of 150 thousand people and 50 thousand disappeared. After a process of discussion, the government and the URNG signed a peace agreement in 1996, establishing the reincorporation of the guerillas to civil life and the concession of legal warranties to Indian populations. When the agreement became effective in 1997, the URNG was transformed into a political party. Self-defined as a “left-wing democratic, revolutionary and socialist political party that practices international solidarity”, the URNG takes part actively of the national political life.

The PCdoB then ties the mandate of the URNG with the legacy of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, the socialist President of Guatemala between 1951 and 1954, who was deposed by a military coup. The Brazilian communists openly admit that their Guatemalan comrades at that time supported Guzman against “US imperialism”:

In 1950, with the support of the communists, Jacobo Arbenz was elected President of the Republic, a progressist leader who promoted the agrarian reform, expropriated US companies and started a sovereign foreign policy free from the tutorship of the United States. Imperialism backed up a military coup that made the country sink in the whirlwind of repression, dictatorship and violation of human rights when, along with the police-like action of the armed forces under the monitoring of imperialism, the death squads of extremist right-wing groups were present.

Meanwhile, the political linkages between Communist Cuba and neo-Sandinista Nicaragua, under the guise of natural disaster relief, health initiatives, and literacy eradication, have been revitalized since Ortega’s inauguration in January 2007. Programs such as these afford Havana many opportunities to bolster its kindred regime in Managua via the presence of Cuban professionals who are more than certainly well-trained communist cadres.

Daniel Ortega Thanks Cuba for Health and Educational Cooperation

Havana, Jan 14 (acn) Nicaragua’s president Daniel Ortega met with Cuban Public Health minister Jose Ramon Balaguer in Guatemala City, where they are scheduled to attended the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Alvaro Colom in the central American nation.

The Nicaraguan leader thanked the Cuban government for the support given to his country, especially in the health and education sectors.

He mentioned the humanitarian collaboration of Cuban doctors in areas affected by hurricane Felix last September, reported Prensa Latina news agency.

Ortega highlighted the results of the Cuba-Venezuela led Miracle Operation which has allowed thousands of people to fully recover or improve their eyesight.

Regarding educational collaboration, The Nicaraguan President underscored the Literacy program named De Marti a Fidel (From Marti to Fidel), whose main objective is to wipe out illiteracy within the next four years.

>Latin America File: Guatemala’s new leftist president receives Cuban delegation, vows cooperation with Russia; Putin, Ortega congratulate Colom

>After two previous attempts to take the presidency, Alvaro Colom was sworn in today as Guatemala’s new leftist leader. In 1999 he ran on the New Nation Alliance (ANN) ticket, a coalition that was dominated by the National Revolutionary Unity, the political party that embraces Guatemala’s various insurgent communist armies. Chinese communist organ People’s Daily Online is more blunt: “In the 1999 elections, Colom obtained third place as the candidate for the Guatemalan Revolutionary Unity party (UNG).” Then in 2003 and 2007 Colom, although never a guerrilla himself, moderated his image by running for the National Unity of Hope.

President Colom, who represents Latin America’s pervasive Catholic Left, is pictured above with Metropolitan Archbishop Cardinal Rodolfo Quezada Toruño. The ANN logo is pictured below.

In warmly receiving a delegation from Cuba, led by José Ramón Balaguer, who sits on the Communist Party of Cuba’s Politburo, and vowing closer ties with neo-Soviet Russia, President Colom has signaled his intention to align his country with the Communist Bloc. After nearly four decades of armed struggle against the business class and military, the Guatemalan Left has triumphed at the ballot box. Political analyst Gustavo Porras observes of Colom and his Vice-President Rafael Espada: “They face a powerful business class as well as an archaic legal system that makes reforms virtually impossible without constitutional amendments. It is a straitjacket for any president. Any change will take years.” Whether Colom decides to derive inspiration from the heavy-handed socialist constitutional reforms that the neo-communist dictators of Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador are seeking to implement remains to be seen.

Cuban communist organ Granma, below, reported yesterday: “During an interview, Colom sent special greetings to President Fidel Castro and an solidarity embrace to First Vice President Raúl Castro. He expressed his gratitude for the cooperative support received from Cuba.”

Guatemalan president-elect receives Cuban delegation

GUATEMALA CITY, January 13.—Alvaro Colom, the Guatemalan president elect, yesterday received here the Cuban delegation invited to attend his inauguration ceremony headed by Health Minister Dr. José Ramón Balaguer, PL reports.

During an interview, Colom sent special greetings to President Fidel Castro and an solidarity embrace to First Vice President Raúl Castro. He expressed his gratitude for the cooperative support received from Cuba.

His administration, he said, is to work to reinforce the links between the two countries, particularly in the areas of public health and education. He described as highly valuable the work carried out by members of the Cuban Medical brigade in remote regions of Guatemala.

He recalled that during the emergency created by Tropical Storm Stan in October 2005, while visiting the areas most severely affected by the disaster, he found Cuban health professionals working to treat the injured.

José Ramón Balaguer transmitted to Alvaro Colom greetings and congratulations from the Cuban people on the occasion of his assuming the presidency of Guatemala.

The transmission of power ceremonies in the legislative and executive bodies take place today, January 14, with delegations invited from more than 70 countries.

Balaguer, also a member of the Political Bureau, met with Cuban internationalist health professionals who were awarded the Guatemalan National Human Rights Prize. “This distinction demonstrates that you have accomplished the mission assigned to you by President Fidel Castro,” he said during the closing session of the Cuban Medical Brigade’s sixth scientific event.

Following Colom’s election in November 2007 Nicaragua’s “ex”-communist President Daniel Ortega and Panama’s social democratic President Martín Torrijos sent their congratulations to Guatemala’s new president. Ortega and Torrijos are not the only left-wing national leaders to congratulate Colom. President Colom has also announced his intention to forge close relations between Guatemala and Russia. State-run Voice of Russia reports today: “In Guatemala the new president Alvaro Colom taking office today has told journalists that Guatemala will promote cooperation with Russia. He singled out as more important interaction in trade, the economy and culture. A group of experts is due to be set up in Guatemala shortly to draw up specific joint projects. President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Alvaro Colom on the election as Guatemala’s president.”

Colom is the nephew of Manuel Colom Argueta, the progressive mayor of Guatemala City who was also involved in the Revolutionary Movement 13th November, a Cuban-backed insurgency organized in 1960 by leftst army officers. Colom’s uncle was assassinated in 1979, allegedly a target of the military regime then in power.

>USA File: Gold through the roof against weak dollar; Kremlin’s gold, forex reserves at record high; Moscow, Beijing protect grain supplies

>Financial News Alert: Gold Futures Apparently Trading at Over US$1,000 in China

Bloomberg reports today: “Gold and platinum rose to records and silver extended its rally to the highest in 27 years as a declining dollar increased demand for precious metals as alternatives to stocks and bonds.” Gold topped US$915.90 at the New York Mercantile Exchange, while the euro traded as high as US$1.4915. In the People’s Republic of China gold futures were apparently trading at over US$1,000 on January 9, according to Bud Conrad at Casey Research: “This is just one more case of not trusting the paper money systems. A country can control its currency, its interest rate and its inflation, but not all at once. With the dollar crashing, the inflation in China is high. Chinese citizens are increasingly rich, and not stupid. Gold is an exit strategy from the renminbi’s dollar-linked inflation of 6.9%.” The renmimbi is the currency of the PRC, which is leading the Communist Bloc in trashing the US economy.

Meanwhile, as the story below relates, foreign buyers are hoarding US wheat as domestic stocks shrink to their lowest level in six decades. Financial Sense Online warns: “Export sales of U.S. wheat are ‘beginning to look like panic buying’ according to some commentators. Overseas buyers are purchasing grain, anticipating the U.S. will run out of wheat.” FSO also states: “The U.S. is the world’s largest exporter of wheat, and importing countries are bidding heavily for its crops as other exporters cut supplies. The USDA has cautioned in six months wheat exporters in the US have already sold more than 90 percent of what the agency expected to be exported for the entire year.”

In what appears to be a counter-move, Moscow announced plans last month to halt exports of grain once they reach 12.5 million tons, which will occur sometime this month. The USA is the world’s largest wheat exporter, while Russia is the fourth-largest. Beijing has also applied levies against its wheat exports. While the grain export policies of the Moscow-Beijing Axis might temporarily elevate wheat prices to the benefit of US farmers, in the long term a strain will be placed on domestic wheat stocks as Russia and China protect their own supplies.

State-run Interfax continues to publish Russia’s record hoarding of gold and foreign currency reserves: “Russia’s international reserves grew $7.8 billion to $474.0 billion in the week to December 28, the Central Bank said on Thursday. The reserves stood at $466.2 billion on December 21.” Food, gold, and forex hoarding should be perceived as a possible war preparation on the part of the Communist Bloc. Pictured above: Russian wheat farmer, 2007.

‘Panic Buying’ in the Grain Markets
Agriculture Sector Developments
by Joseph Dancy, LSGI Advisors, Inc. January 4, 2008

The agricultural sector was one of the areas we found most attractive in 2007. We expect that will remain the case. Long term global price and demand trends remain positive. Recent developments include:

High ocean freight rates have pushed the delivered price of wheat upward but it is not choking off export demand according to analysts. Export sales of U.S. wheat are ‘beginning to look like panic buying’ according to some commentators. Overseas buyers are purchasing grain, anticipating the U.S. will run out of wheat. Analysts claim this may happen in the market for hard red winter and white wheat. Wheat exports ‘simply can not be sustained at current levels’ according to agricultural experts. ‘Either price will have to increase more to ration the remaining supply or, as was rumored in grain markets this week, the U.S. government will step in’.

Officials last month forecast U.S. wheat stocks will shrink to their lowest level in 60 years. The U.S. is the world’s largest exporter of wheat, and importing countries are bidding heavily for its crops as other exporters cut supplies. The USDA has cautioned in six months wheat exporters in the US have already sold more than 90 percent of what the agency expected to be exported for the entire year.

Russia, the world’s fourth-biggest wheat exporter, announced plans last month to cap exports of the grain once exports reach 12.5 million tons. The threshold may be breached as early as January, according to Russia’s Grain Union, which comprises the nation’s biggest grain producers and traders. The Russian government also said it would raise its wheat export tariff sharply, to 40 percent from 10 percent, to keep grain at home. The move should restrict the world’s exportable supplies and could boost demand for U.S. wheat.

China announced late last month that the export of wheat, corn, rice, soybeans, and various processed grains will be subject to export levies in 2008. The export levies will range from 5% – 25%, covering 57 types of grain or grain products. In 2007 China offered tax rebates on grain exports, a 13% rebate on 84 categories of grain and grain products. Levies for wheat and wheat products will be 20% and 25% respectively, while the export levy for corn, rice, and soybean will be 5%. Export levies on processed corn, rice and soybean products rates were fixed at 10%.

The Canadian Wheat Board, one of the world’s largest sellers of wheat and barley, expects wheat prices to remain elevated well into next year because of low global stockpiles. “We see current strong prices being maintained” according to a spokesman.

Wheat rose above $10 a bushel in the futures market for the first time last month. Rice also jumped to a record, while soybeans reached the highest in 34 years. Corn was its costliest in nine months.

The U.S.D.A. issued a report last month forecasting soybean inventories will decline by 68 percent from year earlier levels. The agency also increased projected export volumes. An analyst noted the strong demand: “If we were not to plant anymore soybeans next year than we planted this year, and demand stayed the same, we would run out of soybeans in the U.S. on May 1 of 2009.”

Soybeans may lead gains among agricultural commodities next year because of crop shortages and rising demand for biofuels according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The New York-based bank raised its 12-month forecast for the crop last month by 61 percent to $14.50 a bushel from $9 a bushel. Wheat may trade at $7.50 a bushel in a year compared with a previous forecast of $6, Goldman said. The bank raised its estimate for corn by 20 percent to $5.30 a bushel from $4.40.

Price gains in the agricultural sector in 2007 far outpaced the S&P 500 index. Note specifically the gains in the price of eggs, wheat, soy, and barley in the chart at right (chart courtesy of Ned W. Schmidt, publisher of Agri-Food Value View).

The U.S.D.A. World Supply and Demand report issued last month lowered the estimated U.S. ending inventory levels for wheat, corn, and soybeans, mostly because of stronger than expected exports.

Food prices have increased substantially in the last year, but in real terms prices are still well below levels seen in the 1970’s. None-the-less, the upward trend in pricing is troubling to both economists and consumers. Chart at right courtesy of the Economist.

From 2002 to 2007 the number of acres planted in corn in the U.S. rose 24%, to 86.1 million. The energy bill signed last month by President Bush mandates that oil refiners eventually boost ethanol use as a gasoline additive to 36 billion gallons a year from the current seven billion gallons – which will further increase demand for corn.

While most of the U.S. corn crop – 43 percent – is fed to livestock to produce meat, dairy products and eggs, an increasing percentage is being used to produce ethanol. Twenty-four percent of this year’s corn crop will be turned into ethanol, up from just 14 percent two years ago.

With soaring grain prices the price of U.S. farmland has also increased substantially. Farmland prices skyrocketed 50% over the past three years, to an average of close to $2,200 an acre according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Unlike the grain prices, the upward trend in land prices extends back over the last decade. Charts courtesy of Barron’s.

Net U.S. farm income is expect to hit a record $87.5 billion in 2007, and will reach another record in 2008 as economic trends continue according to U.S.D.A. estimates.

Over 37% of the United States is in severe to extreme drought conditions. According to the Federal U.S. Drought Monitor, at least 57% of the West and 76% of the Southeast is suffering from moderate to exceptional drought. The drought, if it continues, will hinder agricultural production.

The world is eating more than it produces and food prices may climb for years because of expansion of farming for fuel and climate change, risking social unrest, experts at the International Food Policy Research Institute concluded in a new report issued last month.

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization last month warned that rising demand and falling supply represent an “unforeseen and unprecedented” shift in the global food system – raising political risks in some areas.

The global commodities boom has elevated rice — a staple food for half of the world — to its highest level in nearly 20 years according to an article last month in the Wall Street Journal. The ‘ubiquitous grain is suffering poor harvests and tight supplies in some of the biggest rice-exporting and rice-consuming nations, and is expected to contribute to a protracted bout of food-price inflation for the foreseeable future in the developing world.’ Chart courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.

In summary, we have record low grain inventories globally as we move into a new crop year. We have demand growing strongly. Which means that going forward even small crop failures are going to drive grain prices to record levels. As an investor, we continue to find these long term trends – and this niche – very attractive.

Source: Financial Sense Online

>EU/USSR2 Files: Moscow exerts control over Belgrade through Gazprom’s potential acquisition of state oil monopoly; Serbia: "We have no alternatives"

>Gazprom, the Kremlin’s greedy energy giant with Komsomol businessman Dmitry Medvedev at its helm, is extending its tentacles of influence throughout the world, including Europe, Central Asia, South America, and Africa. By also obtaining a controlling interest in Serbia’s state-run oil monopoly Naftna Industrija Srbije (NIS, Petroleum Industry of Serbia), Moscow can preempt the European Union’s stated intention of grabbing Serbia, even though the EU is a Kremlin-inspired project to begin with, as well as manipulate Belgrade’s reponse to Kosovar independence, which will probably be declared next month under the auspices of Kosovo’s “ex”-communist Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi. The Serbian government has warned Brussels that any attempt by the EU to deploy a new police and justice mission in Kosovo will derail all possibilities of the former Yugoslav republic joining the “new European Soviet” (at least for now).

The BBC News reports, below: “The sale of NIS has become caught up in Serbia’s progress towards joining the European Union, which could also move forward this month.” Gazprom has hitched its offer to take over NIS to an extension of its South Stream pipeline into Serbia. Belgrade spokesentity Dejan Stojadinovic declared: “We simply have no alternatives.” Indeed, that is precisely the corner into which Moscow has forced its ally. The Gazprom-NIS deal could be signed as early as January 28, according to one Serbian government source. Pictured above: EUSSR?

EU warns Serbs on Russia gas deal
Last Updated: Thursday, 10 January 2008, 16:43 GMT
By Paul Kirby EU reporter, BBC News

The European Commission has voiced concern about the controversial takeover of Serbia’s oil monopoly by the Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Russia’s state-run gas company has offered 400m euros (£300m) for a majority stake in NIS and Belgrade could agree to the deal this month.

But some estimates suggest NIS’s value is far higher and a number of European companies have expressed interest.

The commission says the sale of Gazprom should be open and transparent.

Spokeswoman Krisztina Nagy said: “The commission hopes that the sale of an important asset such as the Serbian oil company will be open and driven by objective, commercial and economic interests.”

EU membership bid

The sale of NIS has become caught up in Serbia’s progress towards joining the European Union, which could also move forward this month.

We simply have no alternatives – Gazprom’s proposal includes security of supply and this is very important to Serbia Dejan Stojadinovic Serbian energy ministry

The EU has told Belgrade that a pre-entry agreement, initialled in November 2007, could be signed if Serbia co-operates more fully with the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

But Serbian media reports suggest Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica will insist on the Gazprom deal going through as a condition for signing.

He has already warned the EU that Belgrade will halt membership talks if Brussels goes ahead with its plans for a civilian mission to Kosovo, whose leaders want independence from Serbia.

‘Political motives’

Some analysts have said the NIS sell-off to Moscow might be politically motivated.

In return for Serbia’s main oil company, they suggest that Russia would provide support on Kosovo and Belgrade would move away from the EU.

The commission will not speculate on the reason for the deal, although it is keen to stress that Belgrade should be prompted by “objective” interests.

The Serbian energy and mining ministry says the motivation is not political, but based purely on a need for a secure supply of gas.

A dispute between Gazprom and Ukraine in January 2006 led to an interruption in gas supplies to Western and Central Europe, including Serbia.

That crisis highlighted energy security as a pressing issue across Europe, and for Serbia in particular, because it relies on Russia for 91% of its gas.

The EU depends on Gazprom for a quarter of member states’ supplies.

Pipeline offer

For Belgrade, the most tempting aspect of the Gazprom offer is the prospect of a reliable source of gas.

Unlike its European competitors, Gazprom has linked its offer for NIS to an extension of its South Stream pipeline into Serbia.

A ministry spokesman, Dejan Stojadinovic, said Belgrade was acting out of necessity.

“We simply have no alternatives,” he said.

“Gazprom’s proposal includes security of supply and this is very important to Serbia. We have no possible supply from Algeria or Norway, which are supply points for the rest of Europe.”

Another Serbian official said the deal with Gazprom could be signed on 28 January, but the energy ministry insisted there was no deadline.

>USSR2 File: CPRF seizes Forbes article on Russia’s galloping inflation to promote Zyuganov as president; Kremlin’s price controls to end prior to vote

>Preceding the March 9 presidential election the Communist Party of the Russian Federation/Soviet Union is ramping up for a propaganda blitz against the Putinist regime, as represented by the “party of power,” crypto-Stalinist United Russia. Five candidates are registered, but only two appear to have a clear shot at the presidency: “Ex”-communist President Vladimir Putin’s nominee, Gazprom director, and Komsomol businessman Dmitry Medvedev versus open communist Gennady Zyuganov. The withdrawal of Union of Right Forces leader Boris Nemtsov, who was also a deputy prime minister under Boris Yeltsin, from the list of candidates has narrowed the playing field somewhat too. Communist organ Pravda, meanwhile, insists that “no presidential candidate can beat Putin’s protege” Medvedev. In any event, Russia’s citizen-slaves confront the choice between Communist Candidate A versus Communist Candidate B, much as US voters will confront the choice between Council on Foreign Relations Candidate A versus CFR Candidate B in November.

The CPRF has seized on an article by Forbes–which proves among other things that the Soviet strategists monitor the Western media–to expose Putin’s chink in the armor: Russia’s runaway inflation. Although the Kremlin imposed price controls on food in October, intriguingly these controls will expire on February 1, slightly more than one month before the presidential election. Unless the Kremlin continues the price controls beyond election day, one would almost suspect that Putin is affording co-conspirator Zyuganov a fair shake at the presidency. Forbes reports that “a raft of measures introduced during 2007, including a sharp increase in export duties for products such as wheat and barley, and an agreement with private retailers to freeze prices for staple goods until March, failed to have the impact the government had hoped for.”

Putin’s Price Problem
Vidya Ram, 01.09.08, 12:00 PM ET

LONDON – Inflation is proving to be the one chink in the armor of an otherwise invulnerable Russian economy.

Prices rose by 11.9% from 9.0% in 2007 according to official data from Russia’s Federal State Statistics Service on Wednesday. The rate, which was considerably higher than the 10.0% previously forecast by Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin was led by soaring food costs, which rose by 15.6%. The price of milk rose by 30.4%, while sunflower oil increased by 52.3%, and bread by 22.4%.

Inflation, which has been creeping up over the past year, driven by the inflow of dollars fom the country’s oil and gas exports, higher wages and social spending, is a problem that the Kremlin has long acknowledged, and promised to stamp out. But a raft of measures introduced during 2007, including a sharp increase in export duties for products such as wheat and barley, and an agreement with private retailers to freeze prices for staple goods until March, failed to have the impact the government had hoped for.

In October, in a rare display of vulnerability, Putin acknowledged that inflation was “out of control” and declared that it would be the government’s top priority going in to 2008, blaming the rise on increased prices for food imports from the European Union. Approximately 35.0% of the food in Russia is imported, despite the country’s large agricultural sector, which employs nearly 27.0% of the workforce (See: ” Inflation Rising“)

“The government has been doing a good job of persuading the public that it’s not their fault, and that they are aware of the problem,” said Natalia Leshchenko, an analyst at Global Insight in London.

The strength of the Russian economy, which grew by 8.0% last year, is one of the factors behind the continued popularity of Putin, whose approval ratings in polls continues to hover around 70.0%, ahead of the March 2 election to choose his successor. Putin is backing Dmitry Medvedev, his first deputy prime minister, and has offered to take the prime minister’s job himself if his protege is elected, maintaining his presence in the Kremlin.

Foreign companies, including Dell and Cisco, as well as energy heavy weights such as Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell and BP have piled into Russia to take advantage of the country’s vast energy reserves, and burgeoning economy. During 2007, foreign direct investment in Russian more than doubled, rising to a staggering $100 billion, despite ongoing political tensions with countries such as Britain. (See: ” Russia’s Booming Economy“)

Maintaining a stable economy will prove crucial to continuing to attract foreign investment, which has been crucial to the growth of the economy, particularly as investors look to emerging markets in Brazil, China and India, where political relationships have largely been more favorable. But 2008 could prove to be a challenging year for the government. The World Bank is predicting oil prices, which have been an important factor behind Russia’s growth, will fall to $84 during the year and to $78 in 2009. The government has also pledged to massively increase social spending, including on public-sector wages and pensions, and also to spend $1 billion on developing the country’s infrastructure.

In 2004 Paul Klebnikov, the editor of Forbes’ Russian edition, was murdered in Moscow, a crime, like many others in neo-Soviet Russia, that remains unsolved and unresolved. On December 17, 2007 the retrial of three suspects in the murder was reclassified as secret and halted a second time because of the disappearance of ethnic Chechen suspect Kazbek Dukuzov.

On December 28 the Other Russia coalition, which operates under the leadership of anti-Putin activist Garry Kasparov, also noted that consumer prices are set to “explode” just prior to the presidential election:

Inflation and consumer prices are set to jump in early 2008, according to both independent analysts and the Russian Finance Ministry. Interfax.ru predicted that many items will grow more than 10 percent before spring.

Prices were frozen by the government in mid-October, in an effort to delay the effects on ordinary citizens, and to ensure stability before December State Duma elections. Alexei Kudrin, Russia’s Finance Minister, noted that “Freezing prices was a voluntary act on the part of private enterprise in response to a request from the Russian government: both understood the importance of the pre-election time.” The price agreement expires on February 1st.

Inflation, which was previously forecast at around 8 percent for 2007, is now expected to reach 12 percent for the year. Speaking to RIA Novosti, Kudrin attributed the increase to high oil prices, rising worldwide food prices, and a large influx of capital into Russia. Some analysts added that the rising price of crude has led to a fuel shortage inside Russia, as oil producers rush to the export market.

While some analysts remain pessimistic about 2008, the Finance Ministry is hopeful about the future. “We have already counted these factors into next year’s prognosis, and we expect a reduction of inflation to 8.5 percent,” Kudrin said.

As we have documented before, Kasparov has not been averse to working with the CPRF in order to create an anti-Putin front. Will inflation be the Achilles heel that brings down Putin and ushers in an overtly communist regime in the Kremlin? Possibly. However, even if it doesn’t, the Soviet Union’s long-range plan will continue until such time as East-West convergence under the threat of nuclear blackmail is implemented.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Super-summit for CIS, CSTO, EurAsEC, SCO proposed; Fullback warplane in full production; gulags still operational

>Kremlinologists in the twenty-first century can analyze Russian geopolitical moves from one of two perspectives. On the one hand, they can view the Russian state as a creature motivated solely by profit and power–like most Western states–or, more prudently, they can accept the highly accurate warnings of KGB Major Anatoliy Golitsyn and other Soviet Bloc defectors and acknowledge that the “ex”-communist Russian elites are still informed by a Leninist–yes, that’s right, a Leninist– worldview.

According to the first, rather naive, worldview, Russia is probably unhappy about the results of the referendum attached to the Republic of Georgia’s recent presidential ballot. In that referendum, according to Georgia’s Central Elections Commission, nearly 70 percent of Georgians endorse their country’s accession to NATO, a position advocated by potemkin President Mikhail Saakashvili, who was re-elected this past Sunday. By contrast, according to the Golitsynian thesis, the patient Soviet strategists are secretly happy that Georgians have endorsed admission to NATO, since this provides yet another pretext for Russia to legitimately–in the eyes of the world–launch a preemptive military strike against the USA and its few remaining allies.

To that end, Nikolai Bordyuzha (pictured above), Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)–which embraces the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in a new “Warsaw Pact” arrangement–is proposing a super-summit of leaders from the CIS, the CSTO, the Eurasian Economic Community (which serves as a new “Comecon”), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (which personifies the Moscow-Beijing Axis predicted by Golitsyn in 1984), and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) (which is an ad hoc organization under the control of the United Nations and includes the USA, Canada, Western Europe and the “ex”-Soviet Bloc). State-run Interfax reports:

Bordyuzha proposes a meeting of CIS, CSTO, EurAsEC, OSCE, SCO heads
Jan 11 2008 11:50AM

MOSCOW. Jan 11 (Interfax-AVN) – CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha has proposed to hold a meeting of representatives of five regional organizations that are active on the post-Soviet territories.

“I proposed to hold a meeting of heads of five organizations active in the CIS territories. These are the [Commonwealth of Independent States] CIS, the [Collective Security Treaty Organization] CSTO, the [Eurasian Economic Community] EurAsEC, the [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] OSCE, and the [Shanghai Cooperation Organization] SCO,” Bordyuzha said.

The CIS executive secretary gave his consent to hold such a meeting, while OSCE and SCO secretaries general have yet to respond to such an invitation, he said.

Bordyuzha noted that the SCO secretary general could respond to the initiative at a meeting of SCO and CSTO leaders slated for February – March 2008. ar

Bordyuzha is a career Chekist. The leader of the CIS is Sergei Lebedev, another career Chekist and “ex”-Komsomol. The leader of the SCO is Bolat Nurgaliyev, a Soviet apparatchik from Kazakhstan. The current chair of the OSCE is Marat Tazhin, formerly Kazakhstan’s foreign minister and member of the Kazakh Security Council. Tazhin is a close advisor to Kazakhstan’s “ex”-communist and only “post”-Soviet President Nursultan Nazarbayev. In short, the Communist Bloc is alive and well and deceptively morphed at the close of 1991.

The Soviet strategists have successfully re-integrated their former satellites into various Moscow-dominated political-economic-military arrangements, while at the same time promoting convergence with the Western Alliance through the NATO-Russia Council and reliable emissaries like Dmitry Rogozin, the “ex”-Komsomol leader of the defunct Rodina party, which was rolled into Sergei Mironov’s potemkin Just Russia party. Rogozin is pictured here. State-run Russia Today reported yesterday:

President Putin has appointed nationalist politician and firebrand Dmitry Rogozin to represent Russia at NATO. Dmitry Rogozin is the former head of the Rodina, or Motherland party, for which he has served as a Duma Deputy.

The 43-year-old ex-Deputy will replace 57-year-old general Konstantin Totsky.

Experts say the move means that the Kremlin is seeking to observe Russian interests carefully in talks with NATO.

“[NATO] is something whose existence we have to accept. It’s an interesting story: we have a working relationship with all the individual countries. But when they get together it’s a problem for us,” Rogozin commented after his appointment.

Rogozin’s appointment has already been approved by NATO and the Russian Parliament.

Russia’s re-militarization under outgoing President Vladimir Putin, who might re-emerge on the political scene as prime minister in May, continues apace. In 2008 the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) plans to launch at least 15 satellites, including six military global navigation system satellites (GLONASS), and initiate construction of the Vostochny space center in Russia’s Far East.

Russia to launch at least 15 satellites in 2008 – Roscosmos
Jan 4 2008 1:06PM

MOSCOW. Jan 4 (Interfax-AVN) – Russia plans to launch 15 spacecraft in 2008, the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has reported.

Three communications and broadcast satellites, the Express-AM33, Express-AM44 and Express-MD, are to be launched this year, Roscosmos said on its website.

Also, two weather-monitoring satellites, the Electro-L and Meteor-M, are to be launched in 2008. Russia has no weather monitoring satellite thus far.

Research spacecraft, the Spektr-R and Koronas-Foton, will be put into orbit under a fundamental space research program.

Six satellites will be launched to enlarge the GLONASS global satellite navigation system and two Sterkh satellites will be put into orbit to replenish the Kospas-Sarsat international search and rescue system.

Roscosmos plans to launch two manned Soyuz-TMA spacecraft and five Progress-M supply ships to the International Space Station in 2008.

Preparations will be started this year for the construction of Vostochny space center in Russia’s Far East. sd

Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces plan to arm a silo-based missile regiment in the Saratov Region in southern Russia with two Topol-M ICBMs, bringing the total number of such missiles deployed throughout Russia to 50 by year’s end. Silo-based Topol-M missile installations, Novosti notes below, are “shielded against radiation, electromagnetic pulse, nuclear blasts at distances more than 500 meters (1,650 feet) away, and is designed to survive a hit from any form of laser technology.”

Russia to have 50 silo-based Topol-M ICBM systems by end of 2008
15:4310/ 01/ 2008

MOSCOW, January 10 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will fully equip a fifth strategic missile regiment with new silo-based intercontinental ballistic missiles in 2008, a spokesman for the Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) said on Thursday.

At present, Russia operates 48 Topol-M systems (NATO reporting name SS-27) and will deploy another two with a missile regiment in the Saratov Region in southern Russia this year, bringing the total number to 50.

“Rearmament of the Tatishchevo missile regiment with two silo-based Topol-M systems will be completed in 2008,” Colonel Alexander Vovk said, adding that each regiment has 10 missile complexes.

The missile, with a range of about 7,000 miles (11,000 kms), is said to be immune to any current and future U.S. ABM defense. It is capable of making evasive maneuvers to avoid a kill by the use of terminal phase interceptors, and carries targeting countermeasures and decoys.

It is also shielded against radiation, electromagnetic pulse, nuclear blasts at distances more than 500 meters (1,650 feet) away, and is designed to survive a hit from any form of laser technology.

Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov, SMF commander, earlier said that Topol-M systems would be equipped with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV) in the next two or three years.

Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi, moreover, intends to ramp up production of the Su-34 Fullback fighter bomber at its Siberian plant this year. With the formation in 2006 of the United Aircraft Building Corporation, the neo-Soviet aircraft industry is almost entirely under state control again.

Russia launches full-scale production of new-generation warplane
14:3809/ 01/ 2008

MOSCOW, January 9 (RIA Novosti) – Russia has started full-scale production of the Su-34 Fullback fighter bomber at a Siberian aircraft plant, plane maker Sukhoi said on Wednesday.

A company spokesman said up to 20 fighters could now be assembled simultaneously at the Novosibirsk Aviation Production Association (NAPO), but did not specify how many would be built each year.

The $36 million Su-34 fighter-bomber is a two-seat strike aircraft equipped with twin AL-31MF afterburning turbojet engines. It is designed to deliver high-precision strikes on heavily-defended targets under any weather conditions, day or night, and fields weaponry that includes a 30mm GSh-301 cannon, up to 12 Alamo or Archer AAMs, ASMs, and bombs.

Designed by Sukhoi, the Su-34s will replace the Su-24 Fencer frontline bombers. Experts said the new bomber has the potential to become the top plane in its class for years to come.

To date only a handful of pre-production models have been built. In mid-2004 Sukhoi announced that low-rate production was commencing and that initial aircraft would reach squadron service around 2008.

In March 2006, Russia’s then Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov announced that the government had purchased only two Su-34s for delivery in 2006, and planned to have a complete air regiment of 24 Su-34s operational by the end of 2010. A total of 58 aircraft will be purchased by 2015 to replace some of 300 Su-24s, which are undergoing modernization to prolong their service life.

Finally, in 2007 and again this year the Russian Army is being slowly upgraded with new tanks, armored troop carriers and other equipment, reported state-owned Kommersant Daily on January 4:

The Russian infantry will receive five armored troop carriers in 2008, chief commander of the infantry Igor Konashenkov announced. In addition, the Army will receive two T-90 tanks, infantry combat vehicles for one battalion, 4000 automobiles and 500 missile and artillery units.

In 2007, the Russian military received new equipment to outfit six battalions with one T-90 tank each and combat vehicles. Part of the new equipment will replace worn-out hardware. Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov noted earlier that about 4000 tanks and 1500 airplanes and units of ammunitions will be utilized this year.

Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, it should be noted, is the son-in-law of Russia’s “ex”-communist Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov. By carefully transforming the more overt aspects of Soviet communism, such as the Komsomol, which has been largely replaced by Nashi and United Russia’s Young Guard; ignoring other aspects such as the closed military-industrial cities and the gulags, many of which are still apparently operational; and inviting foolish Western Nepmen to partner with the Kremlin’s “post”-communist crypto-command economy, as epitomized by the Gazprom-dominated Sakhalin II natural gas and oil project, Moscow’s Leninist masterminds have provided a robust economic basis for neo-Soviet Russia’s re-militarization.

The Soviet Strategists Pounce on the USA’s Economic Demise

Last month Communist organ Pravda compared Russia’s state-dominated energy sector, which is fueling the Russian economy, such as it is, and the slow economic demise facing its enemy, the USA, thanks to the subprime mortgage collapse, enormous losses in the banking sector, a hollowed-out dollaar:

The economic situation in Russia looks positive against such a background. The overall economic growth in 2007 made up about 7.5-7.7 percent, which is quite acceptable for the country attempting to replace the oil and gas dependant economy with a new model.

The crisis caused with the collapse in the sub-prime sector of the mortgage market currently dominates over the U.S. economy putting an immense pressure on its further development. It is worthy of note that the reduction of prices on real estate in the USA was initiated in 2006. However, the trend developed into a crisis only in 2007.

The mortgage crisis in the USA made world’s largest banks suffer billion-dollar losses. The U.S. mortgage system is deeply integrated into the world financial market. The American economy found itself in a very difficult situation against the background of the mortgage crisis and other long-standing economic problems. The Federal Reserve System was forced to reduce the interest rate from 5.25 to 4.25 percent which did not bring any positive results. Moreover, the threat of inflation increased in the USA, which in its turn may develop into stagflation against the background of the ongoing economic setback.

The unprecedented reduction of the dollar rate is another significant economic event of the outgoing year. On the whole, the weakening dollar plays a positive role for the U.S. economy. It reduces the amount of its foreign debts and raises the competitive ability of U.S.-made products. However, the weak dollar unbalances the oil market and reduces the interest in U.S. assets.

We suspect that Pravda would also point to Bank of America’s US$4 billion “take-under” of troubled mortgage giant Countrywide (“Countryslide”) Financial as but one example of Russia’s superiority over the USA. The current financial turmoil in capitalist America gives one more reason for the Soviet strategists to gloat over their stated primary enemy.

Putin’s Flourishing Neo-Gulag System Little Known in the West

Incidentally, former FSB officer and colleague of the deceased Alexander Litvinenko Mikhail Trepashkin was convicted in 2003 of “divulging state secrets” in connection with the 1999 apartment bombings. Trepashkin was sentenced to a four-year prison term at IK 13, an “open prison colony” located near Nizhni Tagilin, in the Urals’ Sverdlovsk Region. IK 13 sounds suspiciously like a gulag, a Soviet institution that many Westerners naively assumed was shut down after the “collapse” of communism. He completed his sentence at IK 13 on November 30, 2007, just before the State Duma election.

Another “former” gulag appears to be operating today under the auspices of Russian logging company Tynda-Les, where 60 percent of its 3,000 workers are North Koreans. “There used to be a large prison here for North Korean workers,” reveals Tamara Filippova to the independent Vladivostok News. Filippova is the senior immigration inspector in Tynda, the town where Tynda-Les is based. “They stood bent over because the ceilings were so low. The North Korean worker camps had officers who hunted down escaped workers like hounds.”

>EU/USSR2 Files: USA’s NMD plans in disarray, Polish government, Czech public opinion oppose bases; Europe’s rightist leaders grovel before Putin

>Even as US President George W. Bush, presently visiting Israel and other countries in the Middle East, re-emphasizes Iran’s threat to political stability in the region, the “post”-communist regimes in Poland and the Czech Republic continue to reveal their pro-Moscow orientation. The ostensibly conservative Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk recently told the Polish edition of Newsweek that his country “definitely shouldn’t hurry on the missile defense issue. … Remember, the shield is supposed to defend America, not Poland.” The Associated Press story below notes: “The tough line suggests the Bush administration’s clout with allies is weakening.” The AP quotes Robin Shepherd, a talking head from Chatham House, the British counterpart of the pro-communist Council on Foreign Relations: “The new Polish administration believes there’s no point in pushing ahead with this now, there’s only things to lose.”

Indeed, it would appear that Russian, Polish, and Czech leaders are currently networking behind the scenes to stall National Missile Defense in Central Europe with the hope that the November presidential election in the USA might bring about new leadership in the White House next January, thereby sinking Washington’s plans, originally articulated in 2002. However, the patient Soviet strategists and their agents of influence in the Western media have succeeded in their plans to damage the USA’s reputation as the last guarantor of world peace in the “post”-Cold War era. Instead, America is an aggressor nation that is using NATO, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, a military base in Central Asia, and now NMD in Poland and the Czech Republic to encircle and destroy the Motherland (“Rodina”).

Poland Warms to Russian Missile Stance
By Ryan Lucas
The Associated Press

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s new prime minister broke from the staunchly pro-American stance of his predecessor, saying in comments published Monday he will not rush a decision on hosting a U.S. missile defense base.

The tough line suggests the Bush administration’s clout with allies is weakening.

With new leadership coming soon to Washington, Poland and the Czech Republic may be asking themselves if it is worth toeing President Bush’s line on missile defense when the next president may pull the plug on the program.

The two nations attracted the ire of Russia — an increasingly assertive and powerful neighbor — by supporting the bid to build the defense system on their soil. The calculation may be that the overriding diplomatic priority, for now, has become avoiding a further deterioration of relations with the Kremlin.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk told the Polish edition of Newsweek that Poland “definitely shouldn’t hurry on the missile defense issue. … Remember, the shield is supposed to defend America, not Poland.”

The Bush administration put a positive spin on Tusk’s comments.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters in Washington that negotiations would continue, aiming “to address all of the government of Poland’s concerns.”

“This is in both of our interests,” he said. “It’s in the interests of Poland. It’s in the interest of the United States. It’s in the interest of other European countries.”

Tusk’s geopolitical vision is also starkly different from that of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, whom he ousted as prime minister in October elections. Kaczynski, along with his twin brother, President Lech Kazcynski, base much of their political philosophy on suspicion of Moscow and a belief in Washington as the ultimate guarantor of security.

Bush’s lame duck status has made it easier for Tusk to strike a different diplomatic course.

“The new Polish administration believes there’s no point in pushing ahead with this now, there’s only things to lose,” said Robin Shepherd, a trans-Atlantic relations specialist at Britain’s Chatham House think tank. “Far better to wait and see what happens when there’s a new American president.”

Similar scenarios are playing out elsewhere in Europe.

European heavyweight France has recently dramatically improved the tenor of its trans-Atlantic relationship under new pro-American President Nicolas Sarkozy. But a look at the details of the diplomacy reveals a different picture.

A possible deal on France rejoining NATO’s military command and other crucial policy issues — including Middle East peace — are essentially on hold.

“People here in France are aware that making deals with Bush, well, it’s not the best time to do it,” said Marcin Zaborowski, a specialist in trans-Atlantic relations at the European Union Institute for Security Studies in Paris. “They will be more willing to compromise or make deals with those who will replace him.”

Some experts, however, say it’s still too early for European powers to take a passive approach to ties with America.

Simon Serfaty, a senior adviser for the Europe program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said certain issues are too pressing to put on hold, and that Germany, France and Britain have “determined they should not wait for the next administration.”

“They understand there is some urgency at this moment,” he said. “They cannot afford for 2008 to go by and start anew on issues with regard to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Israel-Palestinian conflict.”

The U.S. says the missile system, which would include 10 interceptors in northern Poland as well as a radar in the Czech Republic, would counter future threats from so-called rogue states such as Iran.

Russia, however, fiercely opposes such an installation so close to its territory, and has threatened to target the base in Poland with missiles.

Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zuzana Opletalova insisted Monday that Poland’s tougher line “does not affect” her country’s position and that Prague expects to wrap up negotiations with the U.S. by spring.

Source: The St. Petersburg Times

This week PM Tusk plans to visit Prague, where he will confer with his Czech counterpart Mirek Topolànek. On November 4 state-run Novosti also reported that the Polish and Czech heads of government will visit Washington later this month and in February, respectively, to discuss NMD with President Bush.

Polish, Czech PMs to discuss U.S. missile shield plans next week
17:48 04/ 01/ 2008

WARSAW, January 4 (RIA Novosti) – Poland’s prime minister, Donald Tusk, will visit the Czech Republic next week to discuss U.S. missile shield plans with his Czech counterpart Mirek Topolànek, the Polish government spokeswoman said Friday.

The U.S. plans to deploy a radar in the Czech Republic and 10 missile interceptors in Poland, purportedly to counter a missile threat from Iran and other “rogue” states. Russia has opposed the plans, saying the European shield would destroy the strategic balance of forces and threaten Russia’s national interests.

On February 27, the Czech premier is to meet with U.S. President George Bush in Washington and discuss the possible radar deployment. Topolanek told the Hospodarske noviny newspaper that the radar deployment would be central on the talks’ agenda. “We will coordinate further actions with Poland,” he said.

Topolanek said Tusk will pay a visit to the U.S. in January.

According to U.S. Opinion Research Corporation, 51% of Czechs speak against the American radar deployment plans. Czech parliamentary opposition demands a referendum on the issue, but the government opposes the demands.

In the beginning of February Tusk will also make a dutiful pilgrimage to the Third Rome, Moscow, where Comraze Czar Putin holds court. “The improvement of relations between Moscow and Warsaw is a priority goal of current Polish foreign policy,” Tusk declared recently. Novosti reports:

Polish PM confirms Feb. 8 visit to Moscow
16:4709/ 01/ 2008

WARSAW, January 9 (RIA Novosti) – Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Wednesday that he would make a visit to the Russian capital on February 8 to discuss the “improvement of relations between Moscow and Warsaw”. The victory of the center-right Tusk in the Polish parliamentary elections in October 2007 raised hopes that Warsaw would take a more accommodating stance on disputes with Russia, including the planned deployment of U.S. missile shield elements in Poland and a recent meat ban issue.

“The improvement of relations between Moscow and Warsaw is a priority goal of current Polish foreign policy,” the Polish prime minister told a news conference following a parliamentary session. Tusk had earlier said that his government had “no rigid doctrine regarding the deployment of a U.S. missile defense base in the country,” and that the issue was “open for all arguments for and against.”

Ostensibly guilty of anti-government agitation during the old communist regime in Poland, Tusk is chairman of Civic Platform, which traces its origin through the Liberal Democratic Congress to the communist front known as the Independent Self-governing Trade Union “Solidarity.” In his 1984 book New Lies for Old KGB Major Anatoliy Golitsyn revealed that Solidarity contained one million communist party members in the early 1980s and was under the covert control of Poland’s communist elite. The flourishing of “right-wing” parties in the old Soviet Bloc represents a key component in the Soviet strategists’ wildly successful attempt to produce a “mature” communist society containing “different” parties, all of which are operating under secret communist control. Tusk’s pro-Moscow orientation, therefore, is not surprising to those who accept the Golitsynian thesis of the so-called demise of Eastern European communism.

The Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, a graduate like Tusk of the communist front Solidarity, also articulates Warsaw’s new pro-Russian stance. Novosti reports that a Russian delegation, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak, will travel to Warsaw today to “discuss” the US missile shield plans. By “discuss” the neo-Soviet dictatorship probably means: “You will comply with the Kremlin line, or else!”

U.S. missile shield may not be built in Poland – Sikorski

18:11 05/ 01/ 2008 WARSAW, January 5 (RIA Novosti) – Poland’s foreign minister has said he can see no threat coming from Iran and does not rule out that a U.S. missile-defense base in his country may not be built after all.

In an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza, Radoslaw Sikorski said that the worst-case scenario for Warsaw would be if it agreed to the deployment of a U.S. base on its soil, paying a political price, but then a new administration would come to power in the United States, and the base would not be built.

A Russian delegation, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak, will visit Warsaw on January 10, 2008 to discuss the U.S. missile shield plans.

“Needless to say, we will listen carefully to [Russia’s] arguments. That is what diplomacy is all about,” he said, adding that the U.S. was also intensively discussing the missile defense system with Russia.

“The U.S. side has assured Warsaw that it will dispel Russia’s concerns. But that has yet to be done,” he said.

Washington wants to place a radar in the Czech Republic and 10 missile interceptors in Poland, purportedly to counter a missile threat from Iran and other “rogue” states. Moscow has responded angrily to the plans, saying the European shield would destroy the strategic balance of forces and threaten Russia’s national interests.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has slammed a warning from the Russian military chief of staff that a possible U.S. anti-missile launch from Poland could provoke a Russian counterattack.

Gen. Yury Baluyevsky has said that the launch of a missile from a U.S. anti-missile system in Poland could be misread by Moscow’s automated missile warning systems and could trigger a counterattack by Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Russia has offered the U.S. use of radar stations at Gabala in Azerbaijan, and Armavir in south Russia, as alternatives to missile shield deployment in Central Europe. Washington said, though, it could use these radars only as additional components of the European shield.

Meanwhile, the situation in the Czech Republic remains ambivalent. Prague professes to support the USA’s intention to build a radar installation there, but public opinion is decidedly against the government of PM Topolánek:

Further Czech-U.S. talks on radar base to be held
08:36, January 09, 2008

The next rounds of negotiations between the United States and the Czech Republic on the stationing of a U.S. radar base on Czech soil will be held in Prague in late January, according to information from the Czech news agency CTK on Tuesday.

The Czech Defense Ministry is to negotiate with U.S. representatives on January 28-30.

The Defense Ministry deals with the legal conditions of the U.S. troops’ stay, while the Foreign Ministry negotiates about the main treaty concerning the base.

The United States initiated the plan to deploy an anti-missile radar base in the Czech Republic and a missile interceptor base in Poland earlier last year. Negotiations between the Czech republic and the United States are underway.

SNIP

Source: People’s Daily Online

Russia’s state-run media, no doubt gleefully, is playing up Czech polls that apparently demonstrate that 70 per cent of the population opposes the deployment of a US radar installation on its soil. Russia Today reported yesterday: “In the Czech Republic, 70% of respondents in a recent poll said they were against US plans to deploy an anti-missile system in their country. In March last year Washington began talks with the government in Prague with the aim of deploying a radar station on Czech soil.”

Tusk’s cozy relationship with the KGB-communist dictator of Russia has been replicated by Europe’s other “rightist” leaders, including French President Nicholas Sarkozy, Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel (“ex”-communist youth organization in East Germany), and Czech PM Topolánek (“ex”-communist youth organization in Czechoslovakia), not to mention US President Bush. The tough-talking Sarkozy, who professes to advocate stronger trans-Atlantic ties between France and the USA, came out batting for Putin and the potemkin, crypto-Stalinist United Russia party in a recent address in Paris: “When it comes to helping France convince Iran to stop its brinkmanship, the Russian leader is good enough for the media. But when his party wins the election in a fully lawful and proper manner, they say the president of France cannot congratulate him on the occasion.” Europe’s pro-free market governments, it would seem, are more concerned about protecting business relations and energy transactions with neo-Soviet Russia than preparing to militarily repel the Bear when he lunges out of his cave in the near future. State-run Russia Today reports:

The EU-Russia energy partnership has become more of a power struggle over the past year. Although some major cross-border deals were signed in the electricity and gas sectors, politicians from both the EU and Russia were looking for compromises that neither side was prepared to make.

The European Union imports around a quarter of its gas needs from Russia, although it’s keen to start getting more from elsewhere.Russia needs the EU too, as most of its pipelines point West, not East. In addition, Europe is buying around two thirds of what Russia produces and needs to sell on. The relationship is inter-dependent, but it ‘s a delicate balance and over the last year it’s become even more fragile, with Russia criticising the European Commission for blocking Gazprom’s expansion in Europe.

>Africa File: Gazprom plans to invest billions of dollars in Nigerian gas sector; government peace initiative fails, MEND vows to cripple oil industry

>Gazprom’s entry into the Nigerian gas sector follows the application of the Kremlin’s “energy imperialism” beyond the borders of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the European Union. “The Russian government wants Gazprom to anchor the expanding relationship between Nigeria and the Russian Federation,” a Nigerian oil official reveals, below. The Financial Times observes that “Gazprom’s move comes at a time when North American and European governments are increasingly turning to gas imports to meet rising demand as domestic production falls.” Moscow has wisely concluded from its disputes with Ukraine, the European Union, and Western Nepman capitalists operating in Russia, that energy dependence is a useful way to extract concessions. Pictured above: Gazprom HQ, Moscow. Komsomol businessman Dmitry Medvedev, United Russia’s choice for national president, chairs Gazprom’s board of directors.

Russian move on Nigerian gas sector bodes ill for west
By Dino Mahtani in London and Matthew Green in Abuja
Published: January 7 2008 02:00

Russia’s moves to tap Nigeria’s huge energy reserves will send shivers through western governments already concerned about a shortage of global gas supplies.

Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned energy giant, has offered to invest billions of dollars in developing the gas sector in Nigeria, where western majors have traditionally put most of their efforts into extracting oil.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil exporter, is believed to have some of the largest untapped gas reserves in the world.

Gazprom’s move, revealed in Saturday’s FT, comes at a time when North American and European governments are increasingly turning to gas imports to meet rising demand as domestic production falls.

Western nations are also particularly keen on securing supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – gas cooled to a liquid so it can be transported by tankers around the globe – to reduce their dependence on vulnerable pipelines.

Demand for LNG is set to reach 16 per cent of global gas demand by 2015, but supply conditions are tightening.

Delays in implementing LNG plants in Egypt, Australia, Indonesia, Russia and Iran could give Nigeria, with its giant gas reserves and accessibility for US and European markets, even more strategic importance.

Gazprom has yet to submit detailed proposals to the Nigerian government for developing its gas industry, but the company says it is willing to help capture gas currently burned as waste during oil production in the Niger Delta.

Nigerian energy officials say Gazprom executives have tabled no specific proposals to build a new LNG plant in Nigeria, which currently has a single LNG export facility.

But Nigerian officials believe that ultimately the Russians will aim to export gas through their own LNG plant, or perhaps via Nigeria’s planned TransSahara pipeline.”

Gazprom is talking about co-operating across the whole spectrum of Nigeria’s gas industry,” said a senior Nigerian energy industry official. “But their ultimate aim is to export gas to the market in Europe and America, and that would presumably be through LNG.”

Analysts say Gazprom has also signed an accord to help develop an LNG plant in Nigeria’s neighbour, Equatorial Guinea, which might also provide a potential route for exporting Nigeria’s gas reserves to the west.

Concerns over cost, security, political risk and the environment as well as problems sourcing raw gas supply have hindered oil multi-nationals in meeting growing LNG demand.

“Because you have a multiplicity of factors it’s not that there is a silver bullet out there that could solve these problems,” said Frank Harris, an LNG expert at Wood Mackenzie, energy consultants.

Consuming countries had some cause to celebrate late last year, when a group of major companies including Chevron, Total, BP and Eni decided to build an LNG plant in Angola.

But out of 11 LNG projects thought by industry analysts to be ready for an investment decision last year, only two, in Angola and Australia, have come through. Together they should add 10m tonnes per year of production capacity – 80m less than if all 11 projects had been sanctioned.

Three projects in Nigeria are falling behind schedule because of security concerns. Gazprom’s offer to generate power in Nigeria from gas also raises questions about how much will be left for export.

“The Russian government wants Gazprom to anchor the expanding relationship between Nigeria and the Russian Federation,” a Nigerian oil official said.

“They now have to come down to the detail of what they want to do. We are waiting for them.”

Source: Financial Times

Gazprom’s entry into the Nigerian gas sector is no doubt in harmony, too, with the Marxist insurgency in the Niger Delta region, currently championed by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). If Russian interests are attacked there, then such incidents will be for Western media consumption only. Jonjon Oyeinfie, former leader of the Ijaw Youth Council and current spokesentity for the committee representing the Niger Delta militants, has warned in recent days of a “massive attack on an oil installation in Rivers state.” If Oyeinfie’s threat comes to pass, then the price of crude might shoot past US$100 per barrel, a prospect that is no doubt favorable to the Leninist masterminds directing the Kremlin’s state-run energy giants, like Gazprom and Lukoil.

Nigerian militants prepare big oil attack – sources
Tue 8 Jan 2008, 12:36 GMT
By Tom Ashby

LAGOS (Reuters) – Armed groups in Nigeria’s oil producing south are building up weapons and supplies for a major attack on an oil facility in the world’s eight largest exporter, militant and security sources said on Tuesday.

The planned rebel offensive against Africa’s largest oil industry comes after the collapse of a government peace initiative and in response to increased military raids on militant hideouts in the region.

“There could be a massive attack on an oil installation in Rivers state,” said Jonjon Oyeinfie, a former leader of ethnic rights group Ijaw Youth Council, in reference to Nigeria’s largest oil producing state.

Rivers state is home to the Nigeria’s largest oil and gas export complex on Bonny Island as well as hundreds of oilfields and pipelines.

Oyeinfie is a member of a committee representing militants which has held talks with the government on a negotiated settlement to the Niger Delta crisis, which has escalated dramatically over the past five years.

He blamed the military for stoking tensions in the creeks around Rivers state capital Port Harcourt, and said armed groups had lost faith in the government after repeated army raids.

Militant attacks and kidnappings over the past two years have closed a fifth of Nigeria’s oil capacity, driven away thousands of foreign workers, shut two oil refineries, crippled power supply and hit investment.

Security consultants working for oil multinationals said they had also picked up talk of an attack on the industry in Rivers state within days.

LAWLESS

Delta rebels say they are fighting for control of the region’s oil wealth, but their fight is intertwined with communal and ethnic rivalries in the delta, where kidnapping for ransom, extortion and oil theft are also big business.

They observed a ceasefire for four months after the inauguration of President Umaru Yar’Adua in May, who promised to address the root causes of the crisis.

But they pulled out in September when a factional militia leader was arrested in Angola on gun running charges, and relations have steadily worsened since then.

Last month troops in helicopter gunships bombed suspected hideouts of a prominent militant in Rivers state, Ateke Tom, provoking a bloody reprisal last week on police stations, a hotel and a night club in which 18 people were killed.

Suspicions have also been raised by a leaked confidential army report outlining a proposal for a massive increase in troop numbers and weapons to wipe out rebel camps across the region of mangrove-lined creeks and swamp almost the size of England.

Solomon Giwa-Amu, director of information at the Defence Ministry, said the military was merely trying to maintain law and order and was not targeting any particular group.

“The military carried out operations and found weapons. If Ateke Tom is resident in those areas, that is unfortunate, but you can’t talk peace and surround yourself with heavy weapons,” he told Reuters.

Oyeinfie said the raids on Tom’s hideout illustrated the government’s lack of sincerity because Tom had only recently signed up to the peace process.

Another militant source said Tom was now stockpiling large quantities of arms, food and water for another offensive.

The most powerful rebel force in the region, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, said last week it was supplying Tom with weapons including anti-aircraft missiles and had reunited rival factions after a split last year.

It reiterated its objective of completely halting Nigeria’s exports of two million barrels per day of crude oil.

Source: Reuters

The article above reports: “The planned rebel offensive against Africa’s largest oil industry comes after the collapse of a government peace initiative and in response to increased military raids on militant hideouts in the region.” On December 30 AllAfrica.com likewise reported that the Nigerian armed forces moved against the main camp of Niger Delta Vigilante Movement leader Ateke, an ally of MEND: “In what looked like a renewed offensive by the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in Rivers State against the camp of the leader of Niger Delta Vigilante Movement, Mr. Tom Ateke, the Task Force yesterday uncovered three camps where the arms and ammunitions of the group are dumped.”

An important component of the failed government peace initiative was the release on bail last June of self-avowed Islamo-Marxist and former rebel leader Mujahid Dokubo-Asari. Asari’s freedom was a key demand of the faceless MEND. However, Asari, who founded the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force in 2004, has since distanced himself from MEND, even though there appears to be an intermingling of personnel between the two insurgent armies. “There is no MEND, or militants,” Asari informed United Press International in a recent interview, published on January 4, 2008. “They are merely armed gangs bent on violence and thievery, nothing more.” For its part, MEND now accuses Asari of collaborating with the government: “MEND has long suspected the insincerity of the Nigerian government, the military, and oil majors along with their collaborators, notably the likes of traitors such as Asari Dokubo and General O. Azazi who have sold their birth rights for a bowl of porridge.” While such wrangling among terrorists could be a tactical deception, there is certainly no honor among communists.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russia projects naval presence in central Mediterranean, carrier-borne Su-33 Flanker warplanes train

>Russia’s remilitarization under President Vladimir Putin includes the projection of naval power in the Mediterranean and North Atlantic. Pictured here is the Sukhoi Su-33 “Flanker” multi-role fighter jet, which first flew in 1985 and was introduced into service in 1994. An air regiment consisting of 24 fighters is based on the Russian Navy’s only aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov. State-run Novosti, below, continues to justify Russia’s resumption of long-range strategic bomber patrols, after a 15-year hiatus, on the basis of “other nations” (meaning the USA) failing to discontinue their own military flights overseas which, in turn, “compromised Russian national security.”

Russian Su-33 warplanes exercise in Mediterranean
15:3808/ 01/ 2008

MOSCOW, January 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Navy carrier Su-33 aircraft and combat helicopters have launched a training exercise over the Mediterranean, an aide to the Russian Navy commander said on Tuesday.

Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said a Joint Naval Task Force, comprised of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, the Udaloy-Class Large Anti-submarine Ship Admiral Levchenko, the Sergei Osipov auxiliary vessel, and other vessels continued to perform a variety of missions in the central part of the Mediterranean Sea.

The Admiral Kuznetsov’s main fixed-wing aircraft is the multirole Su-33 (NATO reporting name ‘Flanker-D’), which can perform air superiority, fleet defense, and air support missions and can also be used for reconnaissance and the searching for naval mines.

The two-month expedition, which started on December 5, is aimed at ensuring a naval presence “in the operationally key areas of the world oceans” and establishing conditions for secure Russian maritime navigation.

Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said previously that a total of four warships and seven other vessels of Russia’s Northern, Black Sea and Baltic Fleets, as well as 47 airplanes and 10 helicopters, would take part in the 12,000-mile expedition.

In mid-August, Putin announced the resumption of strategic patrol flights, saying that although the country halted long-distance strategic flights to remote regions in 1992 with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the ensuing economic and political chaos, other nations had continued the practice, compromising Russian national security.

Source: Novosti

Meanwhile, Norway’s leftist government continues to downplay the spike last year in Russian military activity in the North Atlantic and Arctic regions. Chinese state media reports that in 2007 a total of 88 Russian aircraft were observed near Norwegian waters, against only 14 in 2006. By treaty Russia maintains a Cold War-era settlement in Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. This may be another reason why Norway’s defense minister looks the other way when Russian bombers probe Norwegian airspace.

DM: Norway monitors Russian activity in the north
2008-01-08 20:12:32

STOCKHOLM, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) — Norwegian defense minister said Monday evening that Norway is monitoring Russian activities in the north very closely, but does not consider Russia a threat to Norwegian security, according to reports reaching here from Oslo on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Oslo Military Society Monday evening, Defense Minister Anne-Grete Stroem Erichsent highlighted the increased activity by Russian military aircraft off the Norwegian coast.

Last year, a total of 88 Russian aircraft were observed outside Norwegian waters, against only 14 the year before, the Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported.

But the defense minister refused to characterize Russia as a threat to Norwegian security, but said it is important for Norway to show its own presence in the region, both through military training and exercises, and together with NATO allies

“Our common border and the many points of contact in the north would indicate that a strengthened international role for Russia would also be reflected in our local regions,” NRK quoted the minister as saying.

“We must in the years ahead be prepared to have to use considerable resources on looking after our own interests in the north.”

>Asia File: Beijing-backed Maoists re-enter Nepal’s interim government, monarchy to be abolished in April, King Gyanendra’s supporters protest

>Between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s the People’s Republic of China publicly distanced itself from the Maoist rebels seeking to overthrow the Nepalese monarchy. However, in 2006 when the insurgents were invited to enter a new government on the provision that they lay down their arms, Beijing suddenly dumped all pretense about supporting King Gyanendra and urged the Maosts to join the interim government, which was organized in January 2007. In September of last year the Maoists staged a protest and withdrew from the multi-party alliance, but re-entered in December, just in time to cast their vote and abolish the monarchy, one of their key objectives in preparation for communist revolution. Nepal will be proclaimed a republic in April 2008. Pictured above: Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, soon to be the last king of Nepal

Supporters of Nepal’s king protest moves to abolish the monarchy
The Associated Press
Monday, January 7, 2008

KATMANDU, Nepal: Hundreds of supporters of King Gyanendra waved flags and chanted slogans in Nepal’s capital Monday to protest plans to abolish the Himalayan nation’s centuries-old monarchy.

It was the first such public demonstration in support of the largely unpopular king since 2006 when he was forced to give up his authoritarian rule and restore democracy, and was stripped of his powers.

“Save the nation! We love our king!” chanted about 1,500 protesters who marched through central Katmandu, blocking traffic for hours. They gathered outside the prime minister’s office and waved the green, yellow and white flag of the monarchist National Democratic Party (Nepal), which organized the rally.

They were protesting the decision last month by Nepal’s seven main political parties — including communist former guerrillas — to turn the kingdom into a republic after elections expected no later than mid-April.

“We were quiet and patient for a long time, but we have been compelled to come out in the open to save our nation. How can these so-called main political parties decide for the entire nation to remove a 240-year-old monarchy from the country?” said Kamal Thapa of the National Democratic Party (Nepal).

Hundreds of riot police kept a close watch on the protesters but there was no violence.

Gyanendra, previously a constitutional monarch with mostly ceremonial powers, seized control of the country in February 2005, claiming the government had failed to quell a decade-long communist insurgency. The move was met by widespread protests against his authoritarian rule, and he was forced to step down and relinquish most of his powers in April 2006.

In December, the political parties agreed to make Nepal a republic as soon as a Constituent Assembly — charged with rewriting the constitution and shaping Nepal’s political future — was elected. Polls were to take place no later than Nepalese New Year in the second week of April.

Calls to the office of the king’s press secretary went unanswered Monday. The king’s press office has refused to comment to the media since April 2006.

Arjun Narsingh, a spokesman for Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s Nepali Congress party, said the protesters have the right to demonstrate, but that it would not change anything.

“In a democracy every individual or organization has the right to express their views in a peaceful matter. … But the decision we reached in removing the monarchy is what the people want. If they (the monarchists) don’t like it, they can challenge it by taking part in the election,” Narsingh said.

The National Democratic Party (Nepal) has yet to register for the upcoming poll.

The communist rebels gave up their armed revolt last year and joined a peace process, after more than 13,000 people died in the fighting.

They entered parliament in January 2007 and joined the government three months later, but withdrew in September demanding electoral reform and the immediate removal of the king. Since then Nepal has faced a deepening political crisis.

The Maoists rejoined the coalition government last week.

For centuries, Nepal’s monarchy held absolute sway over the country. Gyanendra’s ancestors have been traditionally considered reincarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu, to be venerated by their subjects.

However, that wasn’t the case for Gyanendra. His tumultuous reign began in 2001 after a palace massacre, in which the crown prince was accused of gunning down King Birendra and much of the royal family, before killing himself.

Source: International Herald Tribune

The evolution of Beijing’s policy toward the Nepalese insugency typifies Communist China’s attempt to cover its exportation of Maoist revolution abroad. “Despite its Maoist identification,” Green Left Weekly reported in 2004, “the CPN(M) [Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)] has not won Beijing’s blessing. By the time the CPN(M) was formed, Beijing had led China some way into a pro-capitalist transformation in which revolutionary solidarity has little relevance.” China’s strategic interest in Nepal is related to the kingdom’s location between the communist giant and India, a major target for red revolution and absorption into the Communist Bloc via the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the presence of 30,000 Tibetans exiles in the war-wracked country. The Green Left Weekly observes that “China’s military assistance to Nepal is rarely publicised.” Indeed, and not without reason.

NEPAL: Beijing pledges to help suppress Maoist rebels
Green Left Weekly issue #589, 14 July 2004
Eva Cheng

Following a mid-June visit to Beijing, Nepal’s chief of army staff General Pyar Jung Thapa revealed to state radio and television that China would step up “security cooperation” with Nepal. This will improve Katmandu’s ability to militarily counter the anti-monarchy insurgency that was started in 1996.

Leading that offensive is the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). The CPN(M) describes its armed struggle as a “people’s war” that has extended to most parts of Nepal.

While in Beijing for a week, Thapa held talks with top military officials such as China’s defence minister General Cao Gangchuan, and General Liang Guanglie, chief of staff of the People’s Liberation Army. Neither side has revealed the extent of China’s military assistance to Nepal.

However, on June 16, the official Xinhua News Agency reported: “[General] Liang spoke highly of the bilateral ties between China and Nepal and their armies… relations between the two armed forces also witnessed continuous development…”

Xinhua added: “The Nepalese people thanked China for its support in time of need and hoped to increase cooperation with China in the fight against terrorism and other fields.”

To decode, “the Nepalese people” here refers to Katmandu’s ruling regime, with its highly interventionist monarchy, and “terrorism” includes any activities that threaten or undermine this ruling oligarchy. Top of Katmandu’s list of threats in recent years is the rising military challenge of the Nepalese Maoists.

In a March 25 statement, the CPN(M) chairperson Prachanda explained the goals of his party’s struggle by stating, “The old state wants to confine the sovereign right of the people in the hands of the feudal king and emperors, just as in the medieval age, whereas our Party wants to establish the fundamental right of the people practically”.

Nepal’s ruling class came mainly from northern India, and brought with it a highly oppressive caste system. The bulk of the Nepali Maoists’ followers are from the lower castes.

The CPN(M)’s guerrilla offensive in mountainous Nepal shows every sign of enjoying mass support. Its successful weapons raids have shown access to superior intelligence about troops movements, and have put it in a strong position against the poorly equipped” royal army”.

In its March 25 statement, the CPN(M) reiterated its willingness to accept United Nation mediation to end the civil war, which has spread to at least 50 of Nepal’s 75 districts. A 2004 globalsecurity.org study reported that the Nepalese Maoists control seven such districts and have significant presence in 17 others.

In May 2002, Nepalese prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba launched a campaign to solicit military help overseas. Apart from India, a traditional source of assistance, Katmandu has also received some assistance from the US (US$20 million in the 2002 financial year plus “military training”), and Britain. Belgium has also been selling Nepal weaponry.

Beijing has been providing Nepal with economic aid since 1956, totalling US$1.5 billion as at July 2002. However, China’s military assistance to Nepal is rarely publicised. The last known major military transaction between the two countries took place in 1988, under which Nepal imported anti-aircraft guns and other weapons from China. India, which has a dominating 1950 “peace and friendship” treaty with Nepal and a 1962 border war with China, took offence at this. It punished its tiny land-locked neighbour in 1989 with a trade and transit blockade, lasting 15 months.

Beijing is acutely aware of Nepal’s strategic importance to its western frontier. The tiny Himalayan country of around 23 million people is sandwiched between Chinese Tibet and India. It is the main conduit through which hundreds of thousands of Tibetans fled to India and has become the home of an estimated 30,000 Tibetans in exile.

Nepal’s further evolution into a haven for Tibetans will greatly help the Nepalese struggle for independence. It will also weaken Nepal’s role as a buffer zone for China from India. Delhi’s increasing military co-operation with George Bush’s US regime after 9/11 has increased Beijing’s sense of vulnerability.

Despite its Maoist identification, the CPN(M) has not won Beijing’s blessing. By the time the CPN(M) was formed, Beijing had led China some way into a pro-capitalist transformation in which revolutionary solidarity has little relevance.

Even earlier, Beijing’s foreign policy had hardly been driven by solidarity. In the early 1970s, for example, the privileged bureaucracy that had already come to dominate government in Beijing put its desire to appease Washington ahead of the need to support progressive struggles.

After the Yahya Khan dictatorship’s early 1971 mass slaughter of the Bengalese in what was then east Pakistan, Chinese leader Zhou Enlai extended unreserved support to Khan. Zhou even called the struggle of the 75 million Bengalese, the quest of “a handful of individuals”.

In March 1971, the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party also launched a bloody repression of a fast developing mass youth organisation, the People’s Liberation Front (JVP), that was then mobilising young people against the bourgeois parties’ betrayals. Thousands of JVP supporters were killed. Zhou soon wrote to the SLFP, congratulating it for having brought under control “the chaotic situation created by a handful of persons who style themselves as ‘Guevarist’ and into whose ranks foreign spies have sneaked…”.

Beijing changed its tune, however, after the November 2006 peace conference between Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who represents the social democratic Nepali Congress, and CPN(M) leader Prachanda (pictured here). At this time the Maoists were invited to join the governing Seven Party Alliance, thereby forming the Eight Party Alliance, which includes a number of other communist formations. After formerly backing constitutional monarch-turned-despot King Gyanendra in 2005, the Butchers of Beijing rushed to openly offer their support to the Maoist rebels for the first time: “Now Beijing is showing how far that arm can stretch by wooing the Maoists, at least two of whom were earlier sentenced to death in Tibet on charges of smuggling arms and explosives. The new Beijing emissary, Wang Hongwei, a member of the Chinese intelligentsia, established contact with the rebels, assuring them of Beijing’s support.”

Red-faced China rushes to woo Nepal Maoists
By IANS

Kathmandu, July 16, 2006 (IANS) With Nepal inching towards a new, interim government where the Maoist rebels would be a key partner, a red-faced China is rushing to mend fences with the guerrillas it once branded as anti-government forces tarnishing the image of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

Beijing’s Nepal strategy started unravelling in April when King Gyanendra’s regime crumbled after 15 months in power. Earlier, China had supported the February 2005 coup through which the king seized power and ruled with the help of the army.

When the international community suspended assistance to the royal regime, and India, the US and Britain suspended military supplies, China stepped up the sale of arms and ammunition that were used by the royal government to launch attacks on the Maoist guerrillas as well as suppress the anti-king protests by opposition parties.

However, China realised it had backed the wrong horse when nationwide protests forced the king to step down three months ago and an alliance of seven major opposition parties came to power. Within days of the new government being formed, Beijing rushed a team here to extend the hand of friendship to it.

Now Beijing is showing how far that arm can stretch by wooing the Maoists, at least two of whom were earlier sentenced to death in Tibet on charges of smuggling arms and explosives.

The new Beijing emissary, Wang Hongwei, a member of the Chinese intelligentsia, established contact with the rebels, assuring them of Beijing’s support.

For the first time in the history of the decade-old insurgency in Nepal, a Chinese official has given an interview to Janadesh, the weekly mouthpiece of the Maoists that was banned during the king’s regime.

‘We believe the situation in Nepal would grow more stable after an interim government is formed with the Maoists,’ Wang told the weekly. ‘China hopes its relations with the new government would grow stronger.’

Distancing itself from King Gyanendra, who had called China Nepal’s ‘all-weather friend’ and branded the Maoists terrorists, Wang said: ‘Even though India and the US dubbed the Maoists terrorists, Chinese officials never called them that. It is wrong to brand the party terrorists. I feel Washington is trying to play the terrorist card to further its own vested interests in Nepal.’

The statement was in stark contrast to what Sun Heping, then Chinese ambassador to Nepal, had said in 2003. ‘They (the rebels) shouldn’t be called Maoists,’ he had said. ‘That tarnishes the image of Chairman Mao.’

But now glossing over that, Wang lauded the rebels, saying they could ‘represent the aspirations of the poor people of Nepal’.

While the Maoists seem ready to forget and forgive, Beijing’s about turn, however, is not without pitfalls.

Saying that Chinese academics and intellectuals can play a key role in Nepal’s democracy movement, Wang told the weekly the Chinese city of Shanghai had hosted a conference on Nepal issues some time back.

On June 24-25, the Academy for World Watch, a Shanghai-based research institute, invited a speaker from Nepal to deliver the keynote address on the impact of Maoist activities in Nepal as well as neighbouring countries.

The speaker invited by Beijing was Sharad Chandra Shah, a royal relative who was also King Gyanendra’s adviser. Currently, investigations are on into Shah’s role in the atrocities perpetrated on unarmed protesters in April, which resulted in the death of 21 people.

Source: Yahoo News India

Wang Hongwei, it should be noted, is not an official representative of the PRC, but belongs to the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies at Beijing’s Academy of Social Sciences. However, it is not likely that he would give an interview to Nepaelse communist organ Janadesh or refer to the CPN(M) as “Maoists,” instead of as in the recent past “anti-government guerrillas,” unless he were instructed to do so by the leadership of the ruling Communist Party of China. Beijing is pursuing a similar policy in India of publicly distancing itself from the Naxalite insurgency and parliamentary communists, whom she covertly supports, until such time as New Delhi has no option other than to fully submit to the dictates of the Moscow-Beijing Axis. That junction does not appear too far ahead, to wit the recent Sino-Indian war games.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Kazan Aviation Plant completes construction of Tu-160 supersonic bomber, first to roll off assembly line since 1994

>The Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces blog reports that the Kazan Aviation Plant in Tartarstan completed construction of a new Tu-160 “Blackjack” supersonic heavy bomber on December 28, the first such aircraft to roll off the assembly line since 1994: “The Kazan Aviation Plant had completed production of a new Tu-160 aircraft. The new bomber was reported to begin test flights on December 28, 2007. The report also quotes a representative of the Air Forces as saying that the long-term armament program includes plans for producing one new Tu-160 aircraft every 1-2 years in order to bring the total number of bombers of this class to 30 by 2025-2030.”

Thirty-five Tu-16os have been built since 1984, but only 14 are in service. The Kremlin intends to have 30 operational “White Swans” by 2012. The original Russian-language article can be read here. Russian authorities announced the resumption of Tu-160 production in October. That rumbling sound you hear in the background is not a sonic boom but, rather, an enormous collective yawn from the West, to be followed by a wheezing death rattle.

Meanwhile, Pravda reports that “Russia launched three navigation space satellites GLONASS-M into space on December 25.” The GLONASS orbital network will include 24 satellites by 2010 and serves as the Russian military’s space navigation system, just as the US Armed Forces utilize the Global Positioning System and the European Union the planned Galileo system.

>USSR2 File: Saakashvili leading in presidential polls, 1992 US government report acknowledges Soviet deception and fraudulent demise of communism

>Georgia’s potemkin President Mikhail Saakashvili is poised for re-election to that post, without a second round of ballots, as the Central Election Commission has disclosed that he is leading with over 51 percent of the vote. Komsomol businesman and Berezovsky bud Badri Patarkatsishvili, who was suspected by Georgian authorities of fomenting a coup against Saakashvili, is trailing in third place.

Saakashvili leads with over 51% of vote in Georgia election
11:2107/ 01/ 2008

TBILISI, January 7 (RIA Novosti) – Former Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili is leading at the country’s presidential elections with over 51% of the vote, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said Monday.

With results available on Georgia’s CEC web site from 2,375 polling stations out of 3,512, Saakashvili has received 51.03% of the vote, while his top rival, united opposition candidate Levan Gachechiladze is trailing far behind with 25.72%.

The two main candidates are followed by businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili with 6.65%, Labor Party leader Shalva Natelashvili with 6.52%, New Rightist leader David Gamkrelidze with 3.97%, and others gaining less than 1%.

The candidate who gains 50% plus one vote wins the election. If none of the candidates gains the necessary amount, the election commission will set the date for a runoff, to be held in two weeks.

In the second round, voters cast ballots for the two candidates who gained more than others in the first round. The candidate who wins not less than 20% of the total vote is considered elected.

Although the vote count is still continuing, experts believe that with Saakashvili’s current lead, the prospect of the second round becomes highly unlikely.

Source: Novosti

In an interesting but not surprising twist of events, the potemkin Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, which supports Russian President Vladimir Putin, is simultaneously congratulating Saakashvili for consolidating an “authoritarian regime” and condemning Georgian communists for failing to foster a “modern democracy” in that nation. The LDPR is a creature of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, whose association with the KGB’s plan of controlled democracy has been known in the West since the early 1990s if not before. (See below.)

Zhirinovsky congratulates Saakashvili
Jan 6 2008 8:11 PM

MOSCOW. Jan 6 (Interfax) – Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) said on Sunday that its leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, had sent Mikheil Saakashvili a telegram congratulating him on “a brilliant victory” in Georgia’s presidential election but that Saakashvili’s victory meant triumph for “an authoritarian regime.”

The LDPR’s parliamentary group said in a press release that it “expresses solidarity with Georgian democratic parties that have unfortunately lost the presidential election.”

“An authoritarian regime has become established in Georgia for many years to come. This is mainly the fault of the Georgian communists, who have been unable to raise a new generation of Georgians who would be able to appreciate modern democracy,” the group said.

The latest vote count update by Georgia’s Central Election Commission suggested that Saakashvili, who stood down as president in November to be able to run for re-election on January 5, had received 50.13% of votes and that his chief rival, Levan Gachechiladze, who represents an opposition coalition, had mustered 25.08%. The other five nominees had won between 7.36% and 0.16% of the vote, the update showed.

Source: Interfax

Meanwhile, Saakashvili’s former defense minister Irakly Okruashvili is cooling his heels in a German prison while he awaits an offer of asylum from the French government. German authorities, complying with a request from the government of Georgia through Interpol, arrested Okruashvili on November 28. Okruashvili, who was only 18 years old when the Soviet Union “collapsed” in 1991, is facing corruption charges in his homeland, an accusation that is frequently used by the neo-Soviet regimes to crush dissenters.

Georgian rebel minister waits for French asylum in German prison
January 6, 2008, 9:51

Georgia’s former Defence Minister and opponent of Mikhail Saakashvili, Irakly Okruashvili, will have to remain in detention in Germany for another two weeks. He was arrested at the request of Georgian authorities and was due to be released on Saturday. Okruashvili is now seeking political asylum in France.

The German courts will not make any decision on his extradition until he receives an answer from the French authorities.

Last September Okruashvili accused then President Mikhail Saakashvili of criminal activity, including plotting political killings. After being charged with corruption himself, a development which sparked mass protests in Georgia, Okruashvili retracted all allegations.

He was released on bail of $US 6 million and immediately left Georgia for Germany.

Source: Russia Today

Hillary: “Putin Has No Soul”; The Bush-Clinton Dynasty Is Not Ignorant of Moscow’s Strategic Deception

On January 7 Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton continued to obscure her impeccable leftist credentials by condemning Putin for his KGB pedigree and denouncing US President George W. Bush for snuggling up to the neo-Soviet dictator. At a campaign rally she stated: “This is the president that looked into the soul of Putin, I could have told him, he was a KGB agent, by definition he doesn’t have a soul, I mean this is a waste of time, right, this is nonsense.” Prospective “First Husband” Bill is himself a possible KGB asset and has known connections with a prominent Czech communist family.

In June 1992 a report titled Soviet Active Measures in the”Post-Cold War” Era 1988-1991, which was prepared at the request of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations by the United States Information Agency, reviewed Soviet “active measures” between 1988 and 1991 and concluded:

In the attempt to maintain CPSU control while still allowing the trappings of a democratic system, the CPSU used active measures techniques to form bogus parties that were themselves front groups for the CPSU. It then attempted to make a show of “sharing power” with these bogus parties, using them as its supposedly “democratic partners” in a ploy aimed at denying power to the authentically democratic parties that were genuinely popular with the Soviet electorate. The so-called Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) headed by Vladimir Zhirinovsky and the so-called “Centrist Bloc” of parties that united under its leadership were key elements in this ultimately unsuccessful strategy of deception and manipulation.

Elsewhere the report noted that “In October 1990, Zhirinovsky made the revealing statement that he considered the CPSU to be the Liberal Democratic Party’s best ally. Shortly after, some LDP members accused Zhirinovsky of being a KGB agent and tried to expel him from the party but failed.”

Thus, immediately after the self-destruction of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day 1991 the globalist administration of US President George H.W. Bush was well aware that the collapse of communism was (and is) a ruse. The report portrays the Soviet deception as “unsuccessful,” however, with the benefit of an additional 15 years of hindsight we know that the contrary is true. No doubt Bush Sr.’s son has been brought up to speed on the Soviet deception. However, don’t expect the treasonous Bush-Clinton cabal that has controlled the White House since at least 1989 to stand up for American sovereignty. The secretive Kissinger-Primakov Strategic Working Group on US-Russian bilateral relations and the little-publicized defense cooperation protocol between the two superpowers demonstrates that the hour is late with respect to East-West convergence and the sell out of the USA to Moscow’s Leninist masterminds. The Kissinger-Primakov clique plans to meet again this month.

>Breaking News: Iranian gunboats harass US Navy warships in Strait of Hormuz on January 6; Iranians: "You are going to blow up within minutes"

>Notwithstanding US intelligence’s drawdown with respect to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the latest incident related below suggests another Gulf of Tonkin. Of course, the Iranians are probably crazy enough to take on US military might. In early December the national intellience estimate revealed that “Tehran’s decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005. Our assessment that the program probably was halted primarily in response to international pressure suggests Iran may be more vulnerable to influence on the issue than we judged previously.”

In a similar incident last March, Iranian Revolutionary Guard captured 15 British sailors near Iran’s coast and held them for nearly two weeks.

U.S. says Iran gunboats harassed warships
Officials describe incident as a ‘significant provocative act’

By Jim Miklaszewski
Chief Pentagon correspondent
NBC News
updated 8:39 a.m. MT, Mon., Jan. 7, 2008

WASHINGTON – Iranian Revolutionary Guard gunboats harassed three U.S. Navy warships in the Strait of Hormuz Sunday, in what the U.S. military officials described as a “significant provocative act.”

Military officials told NBC News Monday that two U.S. Navy destroyers and one frigate were heading into the Persian Gulf through the international waters of the Strait of Hormuz when five armed “fast boats” of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard approached a high speed, darting in and out of the formation. At one point a radio message from one of the Iranian boats warned, “You are going to blow up within minutes.”

The Navy warships went into defensive mode, radioed the usual warnings to steer clear, and in the end no shots were fired. U.S. military warships believe the Revolutionary Guard boats were “testing our defenses,” the officials said.

The White House warned Tehran against taking such actions in the future. “We urge the Iranians to refrain from such provocative actions that could lead to a dangerous incident in the future,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.Iranian officials were not immediately available for comment Monday, and there was no news of the incident on Iranian state-run media.

Rising tension

The United States expressed concern when the Revolutionary Guard forces took over Iranian naval operations in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz from the regular navy more than five months ago.

However, Sunday’s incident was the first significant act of provocation since then.

Historical tensions between the two nations have increased in recent years over Washington’s charge that Tehran has been developing nuclear weapons and supplying and training Iraqi insurgents using roadside bombs — the No. 1 killer of U.S. troops in Iraq.

In another incident off its coast, Iranian Revolutionary Guard sailors last March captured 15 British sailors and held them for nearly two weeks.

The 15 sailors from HMS Cornwall, including one woman, were captured on March 23. Iran claims the crew, operating in a small patrol craft, had intruded into Iranian waters — a claim denied by Britain.

Source: MSNBC

>Russian Strategic Aviation Updates: Archives July 1999-December 2010

>
2010

Ten Japanese Fighter Jets Intercept Two Tu-95 Bombers as Russian Aircraft Complete Flight over Sea of Japan, Pacific Ocean (12-14-10)

Russian Anti-Sub Aircraft Disrupt US-Japanese Naval Drill, Exercise Halted as Fighter Jets Scrambled for Interception (12-8-10)

Norwegian, Japanese, South Korean Air Forces Intercept Russian Bombers in Separate Incidents over Arctic, Pacific Oceans, Sea of Japan (11-12-10)

Royal Air Force Scrambles Twice in One Week to Repel Russian Nuclear Bombers near UK Airspace (10-27-10)

Royal Netherlands Air Force Confronts Russian Strategic Bombers over North Sea (10-19-10)

Bear Bombers Complete 11-Hour Mission over Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan, Shadowed by Japanese, South Korean Interceptor Planes (10-5-10)

Russian Maritime Patrol Aircraft with Open Bomb Bay Doors Makes Two Passes over US Navy Frigate in Barents Sea, Russian Helicopter Circles USS Taylor (9-16-10)

Four Tu-95 Strategic Bombers Complete 14-Hour Mission over Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan (9-16-10)

Canadian Forces Pilots Scrambled from Alberta Air Base, Intercept Russian Bombers 55 KM from Arctic Coast (8-25-10)

US, Canadian and Russian Air Forces Hold First-Ever Joint Drill, Simulate Intercept of Hijacked Aircraft (8-6-10)

President Ortega Reactivates Soviet-Built Runway at Punta Huete as “Alternative” to Augusto Sandino Int’l Airport (8-6-10)

Canadian Fighter Jets Repel Russian Bombers near Labrador Coast; Ottawa’s DM: Moscow Gave No Advance Notice of Flight (7-30-10)

Bear Bombers Launch Cruise Missiles at Pemboi Testing Site, Return to Ukrainka Air Base in Far East Russia (7-17-10)

Two Tu-160 Bombers Complete Record 23-Hour Mission along Russian Borders, over Pacific, Arctic Oceans (6-9-10)

Russian Deputy FM Visits Managua, Offers to “Rehabilitate” Cold War-Era Strategic Bomber-Capable Air Base (6-1-10; Spanish)

President Ortega Allocates US$5 Million to Reopen Soviet-Built Air Base at Punta Huete, Reportedly to Handle 747s (5-26-10)

Nicaragua Modernizes Soviet-Built Runway at Punta Huete with Special Military Brigade to Man New Control Tower (5-21-10; Spanish)

FLASHBACK: Oliver North Testifies at Iran-Contra Hearings: White House Fears Soviets Intend to Use Nicaraguan Airfield (7-26-87)

NATO Fighter Jets Shadow Russian Tu-95 Bombers over Norwegian Sea (5-14-10)

Japanese, South Korean Jets Intercept Russian Bombers and Multirole Fighter Escort over Sea of Japan, Pacific Ocean (5-12-10)

Japanese Fighter Jets Shadow Russian Bombers over Sea of Japan, Pacific Ocean (4-15-10)

Canadian Fighter Jets Intercept Russian Bear Bombers near Aleutians (4-9-10)

Tu-160 Bombers Invade British Airspace, RAF Fighters Escort Blackjacks away from Outer Hebrides (3-25-10)

Tu-95 Bombers Complete 15-Hour Mission over Pacific Ocean, Near Aleutian Islands (3-24-10)

Bear Bombers, Aerial Tankers Complete Three-Day “Efficiency Drill” over Arctic Ocean (3-19-10)

Four NATO Jets Shadow Two Russian Blackjack Bombers over Arctic, Atlantic Oceans (3-12-10)

Kremlin-Run United Aircraft Corporation to Double Annual Output to 200 Planes by 2012 (3-2-10)

Emboldened by Successful Maiden Flight of Russia’s 5th-Gen Fighter, Putin Urges Rapid Development of Stealth Bomber (3-1-10)

Norway’s National Intelligence Service Predicts Russia to Curtail Strategic Bomber Flights in Wake of Recession-Driven Budget Cuts (2-3-10)

Tu-95 Strategic Bombers Carry out Mission near Aleutian Islands on Jan. 20 (1-21-10)

NATO Fighters Shadow Two Russian Bear Bombers over Arctic Ocean on Jan. 19 (1-20-10)

2009

Russian Stealth Bomber to Enter Service by 2025; Blackjacks, Bears, and Backfires to Be Upgraded in Meanwhile (12-22-09)

Russian Air Force Commander: Strategic Bomber Patrols May Double (12-22-09)

NATO Fighter Jets Shadow Bear Bombers over Arctic, Atlantic Oceans (12-17-09)

Tu-95 Bombers from Ukrainka Air Base Carry Out Routine Patrol over Arctic, Pacfic Oceans (12-10-09)

Norway Observes Surge in Russian Air Force Activity, 75 Intercepts in 2009 over 3 or 4 Per Year in Late 1990s (12-02-09)

Moscow Think Tank: Revived Strategic Aviation Patrols “Symbolic,” Obsolete Bombers Vulnerable to Anti-Aircraft Missiles (12-01-09)

Bear Bombers Take off from Engels Air Base, Complete 16-Hour Mission over North Pole (11-25-09)

F-22 Raptors from Alaska Air Base Intercept Russian Bombers near Aleutian Islands (11-20-09)

UK Defence Ministry Fears Collisions between Commercial Airliners and Monthly Russian Bomber Patrols (11-15-09)

Two Russian Bombers Carry Out 15-Hour Mission over Pacific, Intercepted by US Air Force (11-12-09)

US Air Force F-22 Raptors Shadow Bear Bombers over Pacific Ocean (09-30-09)

Tu-22M3, Su-24M Bombers Test High-Precision Weapon Systems during Zapad 2009 Drill (09-28-09)

Two Bear Bombers Complete Routine Arctic Mission, Shadowed by US F-15 Fighters (09-10-09)

Russian Bomber Patrols, Espionage Exceed Cold War Levels (09-08-09)

Tupolev to Design Russia’s New Strategic Bomber; Tu-180 Stealth Bomber Reported to Already Exist (08-20-09)

Two Bear Bombers Approach within 50 Nautical Miles of Iceland as Russian Subs Lurk off US East Coast (08-05-09)

Russian Bomber Flights Increasing Tensions between London and Moscow, British MPs Warn (07-10-09)

Russian Tactical Bomber Fleet Allowed to Fly Again as Upgrades Delivered (07-02-09)

Russian Air Force Grounds Entire Fleet of Nuclear-Capable, 70s-Era Su-24 Bombers after Two Crashes (06-22-09)

British, Norwegian Interceptor Jets Shadow Bear Bombers over the Arctic (06-17-09)

US, Canadian Fighter Jets Intercept Russian Bombers over Eastern Arctic Ocean (06-11-09)

Two Bear Bombers Complete 15-Hour Mission over North Atlantic, Arctic; Shadowed by NATO Fighter Jets (05-07-09)

Russia to Increase Warplane Deployment at Kyrgyzstan Base after US Departure (04-20-09)

Canadian Government Summons Russian Embassy Official to Explain Strategic Bomber Presence near Airspace, Possible Submarine Intrusion (03-23-09)

Two Russian Maritime Patrol Aircraft Fly Within 500 Feet of Aircraft Carrier USS Stennis in Sea of Japan (03-19-09)

Blackjack and Bear Bombers Launch Cruise Missiles, Drop Precision- Guided Bombs at Test Range in Arctic Russia (03-19-09)

Venezuela Reiterates Offer to Host Strategic Bombers, Moscow Waits for Havana’s Go-Ahead to Use Cuban Air Bases (03-14-09)

Canadian Fighter Jets Intercept Russian Bombers near Northwest Territories, One Day Before Obama’s Ottawa Visit (02-27-09)

Bear Bombers Approach Aleutian Islands Again, Intercepted by US Air Force (02-12-09)

Two Tu-95 Strategic Bombers Practice In-Flight Refueling over Norwegian Sea, Escorted by NATO Fighter Jets (02-04-09)

Two Bear Bombers Conduct 10-Hour Mission Over Arctic Ocean, Fly near Alaska Yesterday, Intercepted by Four US Air Force F-15s (01-28-09)

NATO, NORAD Fighter Jets Shadow Four Russian Bombers Today; Tu-160s and Tu-95s Carry Out Missions over Arctic Ocean, Norwegian Sea, Near Aleutian Islands (01-21-09)

Russian Hackers Penetrate British Defense Computers on January 6, Including Networks at RAF Bases Tasked with Countering Kremlin’s Strategic Bombers (01-18-09)

NATO Aircraft Intercepted, Identified 87 Russian Bombers near Norwegian Airspace in 2008, One Less than in 2007 (01-09-09)

2008

Russia to Modernize Tu-160, Tu-22M3, and Tu-95 Strategic Bombers Next Year, 60 Such Aircraft Flew Missions in 2008 (12-23-08)

Russian Relief Plane Arrives in Yemen’s Flood-Hit Hadramout Region (12-18-08)

British, Norweigan Fighter Jets Shadow Two Russian Bombers over North Sea, Tu-160 Crews Carry Out 13-Hour Mission (12-12-08)

An-124 Transport Airlifts Four Mil Mi-8MT Helicopters,
30 Military Personnel from Russia to Chad, Supports EUFOR Mission
(12-08-08)

Two Tu-95 Bombers Based at Ukrainka Fly Near Alaska, Intercepted by US Air Force (11-27-08)

Russia Confirms Border Guard Helicopter Violated Finnish Airspace in July, November 2008 (11-25-08)

Two Bear Bombers Based at Engels Conduct Routine Nine-Hour Patrol over Arctic Ocean (11-21-08)

Embroiled in Iceland’s Banking Collapse, UK Scraps Air Patrols Designed to Counter Russian Bomber Probes near NATO Ally (11-14-08)

Iceland Invites Russia to Use Old US Air Base at Keflavik, Russian Ambassador Feigns Disinterest (11-12-08)

Russia to Renovate Nicaragua’s Soviet-Built Punta Huete Air Base, Ortega to Visit Moscow on December 17 (11-10-08; Spanish-language link)

Russia, Venezuela to Hold Joint Air Force Exercise, Simulate Air Attack on Mock Enemy in 2009 (10-31-08)

Russia’s KH-55 ALCMs Three Times Faster than US Tomahawk, Give New Lease on Life to Venerable Tu-95 Strategic Bombers (10-30-08)

British, Norwegian Fighter Jets Intercept Eight Bear Bombers over Barents Sea on October 16 (10-18-08)

Blackjack, Bear Bombers Launch Cruise Missiles, Week-Long Drill Part of Stability-2008 War Game (10-14-08)

Tokyo Dispatches Six Fighter Jets to Intercept Two Russian Tu-22M Bombers over Sea of Japan (10-08-08)

Soviets Leverage Global Financial Crisis, Offer US$5.4 Billion Loan to Iceland in Return for 99-Year Lease of Keflavik Airport (10-07-08)

Russian Strategic Bombers to Drill with “Full Combat Payloads,” Largest Such Exercise since 1984 (10-02-08)

Tu-160 Bomber Flies within 20 Miles of Inland British City of Hull in Late 2007 Incident (09-30-08)

Visiting Venezuelan President Chavez Observes Centre-2008 Drill Near Orenburg, Russia’s Largest Land-Based Military Exercise in 20 Years (09-26-08)

Russian Bombers to Return to Venezuela for Joint Naval Exercise in November (09-23-08)

Bulk of Russia’s Strategic Bomber Fleet to Join Belarus’ Armed Forces in Autumn-2008 Exercise; Joint War Game Part of Kremlin’s Massive Four-Week Stability-2008 Drill (09-22-08)

Tu-160 Strategic Bombers Leave Caracas’ Maiquetia Airport for Russia; Top Venezuelan General, Russian Ambassador Send off Crews (09-18-08)

Russian Cargo Planes Use Iceland’s Keflavik Airport at Least 130 Times in 2008; Airport Director: Such Landings Increasing (09-16-08)

Russian Military Aircraft Circle Iceland on Six Occasions Since Beginning of 2008, Bombers Spotted Seven Times (09-15-08)

Blackjack Bombers Based in Venezuela Begin Second Patrol Today, Crews to Meet Host Chavez Tomorrow; Return to Russia Postponed until September 19 (09-15-08)

Blackjack Bombers Based in Venezuela to Carry Out Second Patrol over Brazilian Territorial Waters (09-14-08)

Russian Bomber Crews at Engels Airbase Defend Resumption of Long-Range Missions, Relive Days of Soviet Glory (09-14-08)

Tu-160 Supersonic Bombers Deployed to Venezuela Complete Six-Hour “Training Mission” over Caribbean Sea (09-13-08)

Commander of Russian Strategic Aviation Again Raises Subject of Deploying Bombers in Cuba, Idea First Floated in Kremlin Media in July (09-11-08)

Russian Air Force: Blackjack Bombers Visiting Venezuela to Patrol Pacific and Caribbean until September 15; No Nukes on Board (09-11-08)

Two Tu-160 Blackjack Bombers Arrive at Venezuela’s El Libertador Airbase for “Training Flights,” NATO Warplane Escort in Tow (09-10-08)

Norwegian Fighter Jets Intercept Two Bear Bombers, Additional Russian Aircraft Near that Country’s North Coast Today (09-10-08)

Kremlin Media: Chavez Approves Use of Venezuelan Military Airfields by Russian “Nuclear-Capable Strategic Bombers” (09-09-08)

Russia to “Temporarily” Base Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft in Venezuela by End of 2008 (09-08-08)

Two More Russian Transport Aircraft Arrive in Cuba with Humanitarian Aid (09-05-08)

Two Russian Aircraft Deliver Tents, Building Supplies, and Food to Hurricane-Ravaged Cuba (09-04-08)

Russian Navy’s Tu-142 Bear-F Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft Tests New EW Technology over Barents and Laptev Seas (09-04-08)

President Chavez: Russian Navy, Strategic Bombers Welcome to “Visit” Venezuela (09-01-08)

NATO: No Slowdown in Overseas Russian Bomber Missions During Caucasian War, Troop Presence in Georgia (09-01-08)

US Secretary of State Rice Accuses Moscow of Playing “Dangerous Game” with Bomber Flights near US Airspace (08-19-08)

Canada to Closely Monitor Russian Bomber Missions in Arctic, PM Harper Accuses Kremlin of “Soviet Mentality” Following Georgia Invasion (08-19-08)

Georgian Air Defenses Down Tu-22M Bomber on Reconnaissance as Russia Invades “Former” Soviet Republic (08-11-08)

Two Tu-160 Blackjack Bombers Carry Out 12-Hour Mission over Arctic, Atlantic Oceans (08-08-08)

Russia’s Strategic Bombers to Join Navy in Fall Indian Ocean Exercise (08-05-08)

Russian Air Force to Implement Unified Missile Defense System Throughout Commonwealth of Independent States (08-05-08)

Russian Generals Consider Deploying Bombers, Iskander-M Missiles to Belarus to Oppose US Anti-Missile System in Czech Republic (08-01-08)

Izvestia: Russian Bomber Crews “Recently” Inspected Potential Refueling Site in Cuba, Spying on USA; Venezuela, Algeria Also Under Consideration (07-24-08)

NATO Fighter Jets Shadow Russian Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft in Polar Region (07-24-08)

Russia Threatens to Deploy Strategic Bombers in Cuba to Counter US NMD Plans in Central Europe (07-21-08)

Bloomberg: Kremlin May Station Bombers in Cuba; Russian Military Transports Regularly Fly to Cuba (07-21-08)

Four Tu-95 Strategic Bombers, Two Aerial Tankers Conduct 14-Hour Atlantic, Arctic Mission (07-09-08)

French Defense Ministry: Russian Bear Bombers Came Within 220 KM of Iceland in June 9 Airspace Violation (07-01-08)

Retired US Air Force Commander Calls Current Russian Bomber Exercises “Sophisticated Attack Training Maneuvers” (06-26-08)

Two Bear and Two Backfire Bombers Based at Engels Carry Out Atlantic, Arctic Mission (06-20-08)

Four Tu-160 Bombers Complete 9-Hour Arctic Patrol, Return to Base in Central Volga Region (06-11-08)

French Fighter Jets Based in Iceland Escort Two Russian Bombers Out of Island’s Airspace (06-10-08)

Russian Bombers Based at Engels Carry Out Routine Patrol, Practice Mid-Air Refueling over Arctic Ocean (06-09-08)

Russian Fighter Jets Shadow Finnish Prime Minister’s Plane as Latter Crosses Northwestern Russia En Route from Helsinki to Seoul (06-07-08)

Two Bear Bombers Complete 18-Hour Patrol Over Arctic, Atlantic Oceans, Return to Engels Air Base (05-21-08)

Norwegian Fighter Jets Intercept Russian Bombers Twice on May 16, Once on May 20 (05-21-08)

Two Bear Bombers Complete 20-Hour Arctic Patrol, Perform Mid-Air Refueling, Return to Ukrainka Air Base (05-14-08)

Russian Air Force Commander Accuses NATO Jets of “Attacking” Bombers, Threatens “Counteractions” (05-10-08)

History and Current Operations of Tu-160 Blackjack Bomber; 40 Missions in First Three Months of 2008 (05-06-08)

NORAD: Russian Bombers Routinely Probe US, Canadian Airspace Since Summer 2007 (05-04-08)

Icelandic PM Haarde Visits London, Signs Defense Agreement with British PM Brown (04-25-08)

Iceland’s Leader Attends NATO’s Bucharest Summit, Complains About Russian Bomber Intrusions, Demands NATO Cover (04-25-08)

Russian Bombers Refuel in Flight Under Watchful Escort of NATO Fighter Jets (04-24-08)

Two Bear Bombers, Two Il-78 Aerial Tankers Fly Patrol Mission Over Atlantic Today (04-23-08)

Russian Air Force to Commission New Tu-160 Blackjack Bomber on April 29, Three or Four More Such Aircraft Expected by December 2008 (04-22-08)

French Deploy Fighter Jets to Iceland in NATO Plan to Intercept Revitalized Russian Bomber Missions (04-21-08)

NORAD Fighter Jets Escort Four Russian Bombers, Four Tankers in Another Intercept Near Alaska (04-09-08)

Royal Air Force Intercepts Russian Bombers Near British Airspace 28 Times Since September 2007 (04-07-08)

Russian Air Force to “Drastically” Increase Overseas Bomber Missions to 20 to 30 Times Per Month (04-04-08)

Russian Air Force Slated for March 31-April 4 Mission on Northern Testing Grounds (03-31-08)

US Air Force Gen. Chandler: Russian Bombers Probe Alaskan Airspace 16 Times Since July 2007; Moscow Sending Mixed Signals with Provocative Overflights and Joint Military Exercises (03-28-08)

NORAD Fighter Jets Shadow Russian Bombers, Tankers Near Alaska (03-26-08)

Russian Air Force to Hold Exercises in Far East, Pacific Ocean Between March 20 and 24 (03-19-08)

NATO Fighter Jets Scramble to Intercept Russian Bombers Near Norway (03-19-08)

Iceland Monitors Renewed Russian Bomber Activity, 12 Flights Near Island in Past 18 Months (03-17-08)

Four Russian Bombers Fly Patrol Mission over Atlantic Ocean, Black Sea (03-13-08)

NORAD Alarmed by Surge in Russian Bomber Missions; Soviet Officers to Join Colorado, Alaska Exercises (03-11-08)

Tu-142 Bear-F Naval Reconnaissance Aircraft Flies 2,000 Feet over USS Nimitz, Near South Korea (03-06-08)

Bear Bombers Complete 10-Hour Patrol Mission over North Atlantic (02-29-08)

Russian Air Force Completes Two-Day Mid-Air Refueling Exercise (02-20-08)

Russia Fits Second Aircraft Carrier for Navy Under Guise of Preparing Vessel for Strategic Partner India (02-19-08)

Two Russian Heavy Bomber Regiments Hold Arctic Maneuver, Pilots Practice Off-Base Landings (02-13-08)

Two Bear Bombers Buzz USS Nimitz in Western Pacific, Same Sortie Penetrates Japanese Airspace (02-11-08)

Bear Bomber Violates Japanese Airspace South of Tokyo, Last Incursion in January 2006 (02-09-08)

Twelve Russian Bombers Conduct Exercises Over Arctic, Atlantic (02-01-08)

Russian Pilots to Conduct Missile, Bomb Strikes on Mock Enemy Naval Force in Final Stage of Atlantic Exercise (01-29-08)

Blackjack Bombers Participating in Bay of Biscay Exercise Approach British Airspace, Escorted Away by RAF (01-23-08)

Blackjack Bombers Join Russian Navy Exercise off French, Spanish Coasts, Test-Fire Missiles (01-22-08)

Russian Navy’s Ongoing Atlantic Exercises to Include Long-Range Flights (01-21-08)

Russian Air Force Conducts Test Flights of New Tu-160 Blackjack Bomber, First Such Aircraft to Roll Off Assembly Line Since 1994 (01-06-08)

2007

Russian Defense Ministry Denies Finnish Airspace Violation (12-26-07)

Finland: Russian Tupolev Tu-154 Violated Airspace on December 26, First Such Reported Incident Since September (12-26-07)

Danish Air Force Intercepts Blackjack Bombers on Christmas Day, Closest Approach Ever to Denmark (12-26-07)

Russian Air Force Commander: Strategic Bomber Patrols to Continue (12-20-07)

Four Russian Bombers Cross Atlantic, Arctic Oceans, Practice Midair Refueling (12-06-07)

Russian Air Force Commander: Bombers Conducted 70 Long-Distance Patrols Since August (12-04-07)

US Air Force F-22 Raptors Conduct Their First-Ever Intercept of Bear Bombers on Thanksgiving Day (11-22-07)

Bear Bombers Test Cruise Missiles Over Southern Russia (10-26-07)

Norway’s Leftist Government: Increased Russian Military Activity Near Coast Not a Threat (10-26-07)

Bears, Blackjacks Fly Near Norway and Netherlands, Site of NATO Defense Ministers’ Conference (10-26-07)

Norwegian Military: Russian Bombers Hold “Unusual Practice Run,” Send Signal to Western Alliance (10-25-07)

Canadian Forces Monitor Moscow’s Bomber Drills, NORAD Denies Russian Aircraft Overflew Goose Bay, Labrador on Aug. 17 (10-24-07)

Blackjacks Appear off Norwegian Coast, Bomb Threat at Norway’s Northern Military Command (10-16-07)

Novosti: Russian Strategic Bombers to Hold Exercises October 16-30 (10-15-07)

Photo Shows “Dummy” Cruise Missile on Russian Bomber; 60 Sorties Near Norway in 2007 (10-11-07)

Canada’s Macleans Magazine: Don’t Laugh at the Bear: Russia Increases Pressure on West with Bomber Missions (10-08-07)

Russia Revives Tu-160 “Blackjack” Supersonic Bomber Production (10-04-07)

Moscow Steps Up Bomber Exercises near Alaska and Canada (10-02-07)

NORAD: Russian Air Force Should File Flight Plans for Bomber Exercises (10-02-07)

Kremlin Media Gloats: “Bears” Once Again on NATO Radar Screens (09-22-07)

Two Bear Bombers Fly Within 43 Nautical Miles of Iceland, Circle Island on September 20 (09-21-07)

Four Bear Bombers Fly Along Coasts of Alaska, Canada and Greenland (09-20-07)

Russian Transport Aircraft Intrudes into Finnish Airspace, Latest of Many Such Incidents (09-15-07)

NATO Fighter Jets Scare Away Two Russian Bombers, Blackjacks Skirt Scotland (09-14-07)

Canadian Fighter Jets Intercept Bear Bombers near Northwest Territories (09-08-07)

Eight Russian Military Jets Fly Near Iceland on September 6, Three Circle Island on August 17 (09-07-07)

Eight Bear Bombers Fly Along Coasts of Norway and Britain (09-07-07)

Russia Officially Begins Strategic Bomber Patrols September 6 Per Putin’s Announcement Month Before (09-05-07)

Russian Air Force: Bombers to Average Two Long-Range Flights Per Week (Russian; 09-05-07)

Moscow Holds Backfire Bomber Drills Over Southern Russia (08-24-07)

World Politics Review: Russian Bombers Rehearse Nuclear Attacks Against the United States (08-20-07)

Putin Orders Resumption of Permanent Strategic Bomber Patrols (08-17-07)

Russian Bombers Resume Cold War Sorties, Overfly Guam (08-09-07)

Russian Air Force Holds Arctic Exercise, Test Launches Cruise Missiles (08-08-07)

British, Norwegian Fighter Jets Scramble to Intercept Russian Bombers on July 18 and 20 (07-20-07)

Air Force Commander: Russian Bombers Could Suppress US Missile Shield (03-05-07)

Russian Air Force to Receive Two Strategic Bombers Every Three Years (01-18-07)

Air Force Commander: Russian Strategic Aviation Resumed Trans-Oceanic Flights in 2006, More Than 100 Sorties Flown (01-04-07)

2006

Two Russian Bombers Penetrate Icelandic Airspace Unnoticed on October 5, 2006 (10-06-06)

NORAD Fighter Jets Intercept Tu-95 Bombers Holding Exercise Near Alaska, Canada on September 28, 2006 (09-29-06)

Bombers Hold Simultaneous Exercises in Northern and Southern Russia, Launch Cruise Missiles (08-24-06)

Kremlin Media: Blackjack and Bear Bombers Flew Undetected Through US Zone of Arctic Ocean to Canada (04-22-06)

37th Air Army Holds Command-and-Staff Drill, Second Large-Scale Exercise in Russia’s Far East in Four Months (04-14-06)

Strategic Bombers Participate in Combined Force Tactical Exercise in Russia’s Far North, Launch Cruise Missiles (03-22-06)

Russian Military Plane Violates Japanese Airspace Near Hokkaido (01-26-06)

2005

Su-27 Fighter Jet Crashes in Lithuania, Russian General Ridicules NATO’s Slow Interception (09-26-05)

2004

Air Force Commander: Russian Pilots Ready to Attack Overseas Terrorist Bases (03-12-04)

2003

Pravda: Russia Simulates Attack Against USA, Disables Satellites (05-14-03)

2002

Two Bear Bombers Fly Within 37 Miles of Alaska, First Time Since 911 Russian Air Force “Makes Run” at US Air Defenses (04-26-02)

2001

Russian Air Force Simulates Penetration of NATO/NORAD Defenses Beginning September 10, Terminates Exercise Following News of 911 Attacks (09-11-01)

Five Days Before 911 Attacks MiG-31 Threatens to Shoot Down US Navy P-3 Over Pacific Ocean (09-11-01)

2000

Tu-95 Bombers Deployed in Eastern Siberia, Russian Aircraft Buzz USS Kitty Hawk in Sea of Japan Twice in Fall 2000 (12-01-00)

1999

Russian Strategic Aviation Chief Proposes Bomber Missions to Cuba and Vietnam, Havana “Surprised” by Kremlin Plans to Revitalize Overseas Flights (11-15-99)

Two Russian Bombers Fly Around Iceland, Within Striking Distance of USA (07-01-99)