Monthly Archives: March 2008

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: N. Korean fighter jets probe DMZ 10 times since South’s hardline president Lee inaugurated Feb. 25

>Inter-Korean relations are at an all-time low since South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak was inaugurated on February 25. Last week North Korea expelled 11 South Korean officials from the Kaesong Industrial Region. The story below observes: “Analysts believe the North is intent partly on swaying the outcome of South Korea’s April 9 general election in which Lee’s conservative party is seeking a parliamentary majority.” Lee rejects the accommodationist “Sunshine Policy” of the previous South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun. Pictured above: Where is North Korea in this nighttime satellite picture of East Asia? Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea, is very evident as the large bright spot on the Korean Peninsula. The North’s capital Pyongyang is barely visible.

N Korean jets flew near South 10 times: report
Mon Mar 31, 1:53 PM ET

North Korean jet fighters have tested South Korean defences by flying near the border repeatedly in the past month, prompting Seoul to scramble aircraft in response, news reports said Monday.

Seoul military authorities refused comment on the reports, which come amid a flare-up in tensions.

On Sunday the communist state’s official media claimed that Seoul was planning a preemptive military strike and threatened to turn South Korea into “ashes” if it went ahead.

In the past five days the North has expelled South Korean officials from a joint industrial complex, test-fired missiles, accused Seoul of breaching a disputed sea border and threatened to suspend all dialogue.

Chosun Ilbo newspaper quoted military sources as saying the North’s jets, including MiG-21s, had flown near the heavily fortified border 10 times since conservative President Lee Myung-Bak was inaugurated in Seoul on February 25.

Jets scrambled each time to intercept the North’s aircraft according to their operational rules, said Chosun, the largest-circulation newspaper.

“It is very unusual for North Korean jet fighters to fly southward so intensively in such a short period of time as one month,” the paper said.

Chosun also said a North Korean mechanised army unit was recently spotted moving south after a regular exercise in what it called an unprecedented military move.

Yonhap news agency said the North’s winter land, sea and air military exercises have increased more than 50 percent this year over previous years.

The North is angry at Lee’s tougher stance on cross-border relations, especially his decision to link long-term economic aid to progress in nuclear disarmament and to raise the North’s human rights record.

It blames the United States for delays in carrying out a six-nation nuclear pact and said last Friday it may slow down work to disable its atomic plants.

With US negotiator Christopher Hill due in Seoul on Tuesday to discuss ways to restart the stalled negotiations, Washington decried the inter-Korean row.

“Is it directly related to the six-party talks, to the six-party process? No. But is it helpful? I certainly don’t think so,” State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said.

South Korea’s military and the defence ministry refused comment on the Chosun report. There was also no official response to Sunday’s “ashes” remarks by Pyongyang.

“It truly is unfortunate for North Korea to make such threats but the government sees no need to be alarmed and make an immediate response,” a defence ministry official told Yonhap on condition of anonymity.

Analysts believe the North is intent partly on swaying the outcome of South Korea’s April 9 general election in which Lee’s conservative party is seeking a parliamentary majority.

Late Saturday the North’s chief delegate to high-level military talks said all dialogue with South Korea may be suspended and called for an apology over reported remarks by the South’s new military chief.

Last week General Kim Tae-Young told parliament the South would strike the North’s nuclear sites should the North attack it with nuclear weapons.

The North claims the remarks amount to plans for a preemptive strike, something the South strongly denies.

“Our revolutionary army will counter any slightest move of the South’s ‘preemptive attack’ on our nuclear bases with a more rapid and more powerful preemptive attack,” the official Korean Central News Agency said Sunday.

“It should be kept in mind that once our preemptive attack is launched, everything will turn into ashes, not just a sea of flames.”

North Korea vowed to turn the South into a “sea of fire” during a previous nuclear crisis in 1993-94.

Choson Sinbo, a pro-North Korea paper published in Japan, said tensions were the worst since the 2006 nuclear test. “The North is firmly responding to the South’s provocations,” it said.

Source: YahooNews.com

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>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian bomber mission scheduled for March 31-April 4; Ukrainian communists protest NATO during Bush visit to Kiev

>Russia’s back-to-back war preparations continue with another heavy bomber exercise slated to begin to today and span the next four days, per a report from state-run Voice of Russia: “Russia’s strategic aviation begins its spring exercises. During the maneuvers the crews of the heavy bombers regiment will do exercises to improve their flight technique, including fuelling in the air, and will fire missiles on targets on the northern testing grounds. The exercises will take place in the period from March 31st to April 4th.” Pictured above: Tu-160 Blackjack supersonic bomber. At least 35 have been built since 1984, but only 16 are in operation as of this year, with an additional 14 to be assembled by 2025.

Following a request from the Serbian government, no doubt contrived with Moscow’s prodding, Russia is beginning its airlift of “humanitarian aid” to Kosovar Serbs. State-run Itar-fax reports: “The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry will dispatch the first planeload of humanitarian aid for Kosovo on Wednesday, April 2, the ministry’s press service told Interfax. ‘Several IL-76 cargo planes will be dispatched. The first one is due to take off on April 2. It will carry 40 tons of food, including baby food, to Belgrade,’ the press service said.” The Kremlin media continues to hypocritically portray Washington as an accomplice to terrorism by highlighting its sale of arms for the Islamo-Marxist-nacro-terrorist regime in Pristina and its promotion of a Kosovo Army.

Incidentally, Russia’s long-serving Minister of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense, as we have noted on many occasions before, is Sergei Shoigu, who is related by marriage to Oleg Shenin, hard-core Stalinist, August 1991 coup ringleader, and chairman of the restored Communist Party of the Soviet Union. We hold to the position that Shenin and Gennady Zyuganov, chairman of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, are the “powers behind the throne” in Russia and therefore instrumental in guiding the Soviet Union’s multi-generational deception strategy against the West.

Meanwhile, US President George W. Bush is visiting Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, Romania, where he will be attending a summit of NATO leaders, and Russia, where he will hold his final presidential meeting with KGB dictator Vladimir Putin. Thousands of Ukrainians have assembled in Kiev’s main square today to protest against Bush’s visit and the Ukrainian government push for NATO membership. State-run Itar-Tass reports that the Communist Party of Ukraine and the communist Progressive Socialist Party are the principal organizers behind today’s anti-NATO protests in Kiev. Last week Ukrainian red leader Piotr Simenenko visited Cuba where he networked with officials of the island’s communist dictatorship. Deutsche Welle exposes the Ukrainian communists’ role in thwarting Yushchenko’s stated support for NATO membership: “The pro-Russian Party of Regions together with the communists stalled parliamentary business for more than a month by insisting that any NATO membership be agreed to by a national referendum.”

Pictured below: Ukrainian protesters burn effigy of Bush today.

Thousands of Ukrainians rally against Bush visit, NATO bid
16:2731/ 03/ 2008

KIEV, March 31 (RIA Novosti) – Thousands of people gathered on Kiev’s main square on Monday to protest against the U.S. president’s visit, and the Ukrainian leadership’s drive for NATO membership.

George W. Bush will arrive in the city on Monday evening for talks with President Viktor Yushchenko expected to focus on Ukraine’s plans to join the Western military alliance, before leaving for Bucharest on Tuesday afternoon for a NATO summit.

“We are now on our way to the United States Embassy with a resolution and message for the American people, asking them to pacify their hawks – Bush and [State Secretary] Condoleezza Rice,” a protest organizer who asked to remain anonymous told RIA Novosti.

Activists on Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) are displaying banners with the slogans “NATO is worse than the Gestapo” and “Put Bush’s bloody dictatorship under an international tribunal.”

The organizer said between eight and nine thousand people are expected to take part in today’s protest, which will run until April 4, the final day of the NATO summit.

During the April 2-4 meeting, NATO members will consider whether to let Croatia, Albania and Macedonia into the alliance. Bush has made clear his support for Ukraine’s membership plans, and is likely to raise the issue at the summit, which will be his last as U.S. leader.

However, European NATO members, in particular France and Germany, have voiced doubts over allowing Kiev into the alliance, saying it would create dangerous tensions with Ukraine’s neighbor Russia. Moscow has warned it could target missiles at Ukraine if the country joins NATO.

Protesters in Kiev have set up about a dozen tents on Independence Square, which was the focus of “orange revolution” protests that helped pro-Western Yushchenko into power in 2004.

Ukraine’s drive toward NATO membership has triggered domestic parliamentary opposition protests amid widespread antipathy toward the alliance. A survey published earlier this month said only 11% of Ukrainians supported the idea of NATO membership, while almost 36% were strongly opposed.

The ex-Soviet republic requested to join the Membership Action Plan, a precursor to full membership in the Western military alliance, in January.

The protest organizer said: “If Ukraine is not accepted into the Membership Action Plan, we will remove the tents. But if Ukraine joins the plan, we will toughen the measures.”

The protesters will gather on Tuesday morning in front of the presidential administration, where Bush will be meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart for closed-door talks.

Source: Novosti

President Bush supports Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership, but the governments of France and Germany do not since both countries do not wish to antagonize neo-Soviet Russia, with which they have strategic partnerships. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s advocacy of placing the Not-So-Former Soviet republic under the NATO umbrella is, in our assessment, disengenuous since both politicians are ultimately subservient to the Leninist masterminds in Moscow.

Anti-NATO/USA/Bush protests also took place yesterday in Slupsk, Poland, where the Pentagon intends to install a battery of anti-missile missiles. Polish leftists were joined by their comrades from the Czech Republic, where the potemkin “non”-communist government has offered to host a US radar installation. Miroslav Ransdorf, Member of European Parliament representing the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, the largest descendent of the old Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, attended the Polish protest. (Voice of Russia erroneously refers to Ransdorf as “Polish” in the previous link.)

On March 29 NATO released a statement that urged the Russian Federation to end last year’s unilateral moratorium on complying with the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. For their part, the Soviet strategists have inadvertantly revealed the true purpose for withdrawing their troops from Eastern Europe in the 1990s and permitting some of the so-called post-communist states to join NATO. Voice of Russia quotes Russian analyst Konstantin Syvkov as saying: “The more countries join the alliance, the less effective it will become. This endless expansion, if continued, will split NATO causing it to fall into interest groups. Following a split over the war in Iraq, NATO is no longer seen as a strongly centralized monolith structure as it used to be in the days of the Cold War.” In other words, the Soviet strategy of weakening the “silly Atlantic solidarity,” to quote Putin, has been wildly successful and hence the resumption last year of Russia’s long-range bomber flights and its Red Square military parades, to re-commence on May 9.

The inclusion of portions of the old Soviet Bloc into the NATO/European Union sphere serves two strategic objectives for the Kremlin: 1) infiltrate and compromise the Western Alliance with communist operatives, and 2) generate the conditions for portraying the West as aggressor and thereby a pretext for legitimately attacking and humbling the non-communist members of NATO. In order to project its deception worldwide, the Kremlin not only commands all of the resources of its network of embassies, military intelligence, and the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), which was hived off the old KGB, but also the International Council of Russian Compatriots. This Kremlin-sponsored initiative unites Russian civilians living abroad, including in the USA. Voice of Russia reports:

The Coordination Council of a world conference of Russians making their home abroad is due to meet in Moscow later today to take up the preparation of the conference. Due to attend are Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, officials of the bodies of government and public organizations. The Coordination Council is also due to discuss progress in the efforts to consolidate the Russian communities abroad, and also a draft new programme of interaction with compatriots who make their home abroad. The world conference of Russian compatriots abroad has been scheduled for early November this year.

>USA File: Advancing American communism by emergency: Fed eyes Nordic economic crisis of 1991-93, proposes "temporary" nationalization of US banks

>What we are witnessing is an incremental, partial nationalization of the U.S. banking system. Northern Rock in the UK is peanuts compared to what the New York Fed is up to.

— Steven Randy Waldman, PhD candidate in finance, University of Kentucky; quoted in New York Sun, March 12, 2008

The establishment of a government- or government/private-run central bank with a monopoly over money supply is a key plank in the venerable Communist Manifesto. Such banks exists in most of the world’s wealthier countries. The nationalization of private banks on a wholesale basis, however, indicates a move toward full-blown, unabashed communism.

The current convulsions in the global economy, as during the Great Depression of the 1930s, are prompting governments, communist and otherwise, to turn to the nationalization formula to rescue society. In February, for example, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour government introduced legislation to nationalize mortgage giant Northern Rock after the Treasury rejected a private rescue for the only British bank to suffer a run on deposits in a century. In Venezuela red dictator Hugo Chavez, heedless of the woes endangering the “durability” of his counterpart in Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, is threatening to nationalize both farms and banks to tackle domestic food shortages and a credit crunch that is allegedly hurting farmers in that country.

The Fed apparently likes the solution adopted by Britain’s Labour government and Venezuela’s revolutionary dictatorship. On March 14 fearless British journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, who blew the lid off the Clinton Administration’s nefarious activities in the 1990s, reported: “The US Federal Reserve has taken the boldest action since the 1930s, accepting $200bn of housing debt as collateral to prevent an implosion of the mortgage finance industry and head off a full-blown economic crisis.” Today Evans-Pritchard reports that the Fed is ruminating over a “temporary” nationalization of US banks, a direction that even overtly socialist president Franklin Delano Roosevelt was wary of following. Instead, FDR declared a “bank holiday” and created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933.

Fed eyes Nordic-style nationalisation of US banks

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor
Last Updated: 2:58pm BST 31/03/2008

The US Federal Reserve is examining the Nordic bank nationalisations of the 1990s as a possible interim solution to the US financial crisis.

The Fed has been criticised for its rescue of Bear Stearns, which critics say has degenerated into a taxpayer gift to rich bankers.

A senior official at one of the Scandinavian central banks told The Daily Telegraph that Fed strategists had stepped up contacts to learn how Norway, Sweden and Finland managed their traumatic crisis from 1991 to 1993, which brought the region’s economy to its knees.

It is understood that Fed vice-chairman Don Kohn remains very concerned by the depth of the US crisis and is eyeing the Nordic approach for contingency options.

Scandinavia’s bank rescue proved successful and is now a model for central bankers, unlike Japan’s drawn-out response, where ailing banks were propped up in a half-public limbo for years.

While the responses varied in each Nordic country, there a was major effort to avoid the sort of “moral hazard” that has bedevilled efforts by the Fed and the Bank of England in trying to stabilise their banking systems.

Norway ensured that shareholders of insolvent lenders received nothing and the senior management was entirely purged. Two of the country’s top four banks – Christiania Bank and Fokus – were seized by force majeure.

“We were determined not to get caught in the game we’ve seen with Bear Stearns where shareholders make money out of the rescue,” said one Norwegian adviser.

“The law was amended so that we could take 100pc control of any bank where its equity had fallen below zero. Shareholders were left with nothing. It was very controversial,” he said.

Stefan Ingves, governor of Sweden’s Riksbank, said his country passed an act so it could seize banks where the capital adequacy ratio had fallen below 2pc. Efforts were also made to protect against “blackmail” by shareholders.

Mr Ingves said there were parallels with the US crisis, citing the use of off-balance sheet vehicles to speculate on property. All the Nordic banks were nursed back to health and refloated or merged.

The tough policies contrast with the Fed’s bail-out of Bear Stearns, where shareholders forced JP Morgan to increase its Fed-led rescue offer from $2 to $10 a share. Christopher Wood, chief strategist at brokers CLSA, says the Fed’s piecemeal approach has led to “appalling moral hazard”.

“Shareholders have been able to lobby for a higher share price only because the Fed took over the credit risk on $30bn of the investment bank’s dubious paper. The whole affair also amounts to a colossal subsidy for JP Morgan,” he said.

Source: The Telegraph

In confirmation of the Fed’s reported intention to control all banks in the USA the Times Online reports that US Secretary Treasurer Henry Paulson’s current proposals for financial reform will merge the Securities and Exchange Commission with the the Commodity Futures Trading Commission but, by his own admission, do nothing to prevent a repeat of the current credit contraction in the US banking and loan system. In short, Paulson is engineering a power grab by America’s political elite which, despite the lip service paid to patriotism and free enterprise, is infatuated with socialism and world government.

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to overhaul bank controls
March 31, 2008
Suzy Jagger in New York

Henry Paulson, the US Treasury Secretary, has said that sweeping reforms that he will propose today for the regulation of America’s financial system will not prevent a repeat of the present credit crisis that has overwhelmed Wall Street.

Mr Paulson is scheduled to speak in Washington to unveil a range of proposals that would involve the biggest overhaul of the supervision of America’s banks and insurers since the Great Depression.

The former Goldman Sachs chairman and chief executive will recommend that a number of regulatory agencies be scrapped altogether and that the policing of financial institutions be streamlined from Washington. Under his plans, the US Federal Reserve Bank and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will become much more powerful and state regulators effectively will be sidelined.

At present America’s financial system is overseen by several agencies that have emerged piecemeal over the past 150 years. The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) monitors savings banks, while the Comptroller of Currency, which was set up in 1863, regulates national banks and the US operations of foreign banks.

Commercial banks are regulated by the Federal Reserve, but investment banks also answer to the US Treasury, the SEC, the US Accounting Board and to various state regulators.

Last week, the Federal Reserve allowed investment banks to borrow money cheaply at its lending window, alongside its member commercial banks. Such a move – made to ensure that all banks had access to credit – was unprecedented.

It is understood that Mr Paulson will propose scrapping the OTS, merging the SEC with the commodities regulator – the Commodity Futures Trading Commission – and making the Fed responsible for all banks. He is also understood to be planning two new agencies, one to scrutinise the way in which mortgage lenders sell home loans and the other to regulate insurers.

>Africa File: Early results from Zimbabwe elections show genocidal communist dictator Mugabe losing grip on country; ZANU-PF warns of military coup

>Although no official results have been released and in the face of widespread government intimidation and fraud, the Western MSM is reporting that communist dictator Robert Mugabe has lost the March 29 presidential election, while his party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), is trailing in the concurrent parliamentary poll. Former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who presently represents Zimbabwe’s main opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is claiming victory in the presidential poll. In so doing Tsvangirai is defying government warnings that early claims of victory would be tantamount to a coup attempt. Mugabe was fighting for a sixth consecutive term in office. The 24 billion pound loan that Zimbabwe’s Maoist leader begged from the People’s Republic of China last month apparently did not arrive in time to prop up his pathetic regime, which over 28 years transformed Rhodesia from the breadbasket of Africa into Africa’s chief basket case.

It remains to be seen whether ZANU-PF will put up a final struggle, with moral backing from the Marxist despots of sub-Saharan Africa such as South African President Thabo Mbeki, before its complete and much-deserved extinction. “The wave of change was too strong,” remarked one shocked official of the ruling ZANU-PF, below, admitting that “The military might step in to back Mugabe and block the opposition from taking power.” Zimbabwe’s communist regime prevented international observers from the USA, the European Union, and various news media agencies from entering the country to monitor the elections.

Sadly, independent Rhodesia’s first and only Prime Minister Ian Smith died in November of last year and will therefore not be able to witness what appears to be the demise of his genocidal successor. Since 2000, when the ZANU-PF tyranny implemented its land reform program, Mugabe’s thugs killed or evicted nearly 3,700 white farmers from their property in a vicious ethnic cleansing project that has received little coverge in the West. Some of the survivors resettled in Nigeria, where they are anxiously watching the post-election drama in Zimbabwe with the hope of returning to their homeland.

Pictured above: Fellow despots Mugabe and Iranian President Mahmoud (“Iwannajihad”) Ahmadinejad; below: Zimbabwean refugees Hunter Coetzee (left) and Piet du Toit inspect the first planting of the Kwara Agricultural project in Shonga, Nigeria, in 2005.

Zimbabwe opposition claims lead
Official results not yet released amid speculation over vote rigging
By Robyn Dixon
March 31, 2008

HARARE, Zimbabwe – The main opposition party and independent observers said yesterday that President Robert G. Mugabe was suffering a resounding defeat as election results were tallied, but no official returns were released and the capital was rife with speculation that they were being rigged.

Tension was high in Harare, with police deployed on most corners as the delay in announcing results from Saturday’s balloting wore on. Usually, the first official results are released within hours of the polls closing.

There were unconfirmed reports that key ministers and Mugabe loyalists lost their seats in parliament.

In a briefing to diplomats, independent election observers said that with 66 percent of the vote counted, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, had 55 percent of the vote.

Mugabe, 84, had 36 percent, and ruling-party defector Simba Makoni had 9 percent, it said.

Tsvangirai’s party said that with 12 percent of the polling stations reporting, he was winning 67 percent.

The estimate was based on figures posted at individual polling stations after election officials had signed off on them, the first time such counts have been posted under recent reforms to election law.

“The wave of change was too strong,” said one shocked official of the ruling ZANU-PF, who lost his seat. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

He said conditions were extremely tense, with speculation rife in the ruling party that the military might step in to back Mugabe and block the opposition from taking power.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in the Middle East for peace talks, branded Zimbabwe’s president a “disgrace” to his people and to Africa yesterday, and expressed concerns about verifying whether the country held free and fair elections.

“We’ve made very clear our concerns about how this election might be conducted, given the very bad record of Mugabe concerning his people, the opposition and the region,” Rice told reporters after meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

In Zimbabwe, the Movement for Democratic Change defied government warnings that any early claim of victory would be considered an attempted coup.

“We’ve won this election,” said an exhausted Tendai Biti, MDC secretary-general, who had been up all night as MDC representatives sent in their results.

“In Mugabe’s traditional strongholds, they are doing very badly. There is no way Mugabe can claim victory unless it is through fraud. He has lost this election,” Biti said.

Last night, a chirpy state television bulletin announced that Zimbabwe Election Commission officials were “verifying” results before broadcasting interviews on how smooth and peaceful the elections had been.

It was equally quiet at the ZEC “command center,” where results are normally posted. One independent observer who visited the center said there were just a few people sitting around reading the paper.

Noel Kututwa, chairman of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, an independent monitoring group, said the delay in results created tension and speculation, and he called on the ZEC to release the results.

“The issue of the delay of the announcement of the results raises tension, which is why we are saying the ZEC should release these results as quickly as possible,” he said. “Clearly the delay is fueling speculation that something might be going on.”

Zimbabwe had barred observers traveling from the United States and the European Union and several international news media organizations. The State Department said Friday that the United States would field almost a dozen poll watchers for the elections and would report afterward on the electoral process and the results.

Source: Baltimore Sun

If a transfer of power does take place between ZANU-PF and MDC, then students of international communism should consider, in the light of the potemkin “non”-communist regimes in Eastern Europe, the possibility that the current strife in Zimbabwe is a case of “communist renewal” in which non-communist Tsvangirai, who was previously allied with Mugabe, becomes the country’s figurehead president while Zimbabwe remains a de facto Marxist regime under the covert control of Mugabe’s henchmen.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Invasion USA: Abramovich to finance Siberian-Alaskan tunnel; Putin, Bush allegedly discuss route under Bering Strait

>According to both the Kremlin media and Western MSM, US President George W. Bush will pay a final visit to outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin at his Black Sea residence in Sochi on April 6, two days after the NATO summit terminates in Romania. Putin may be the outgoing president, but he is not leaving Russian politics altogether. On May 7 Dmitry “Comrade Puppet” Medvedev will assume Putin’s current role, while Putin himself bumps fellow communist Viktor Zubkov to assume the post of prime minister, a position that Putin briefly held between 1999 and 2000. Eight years ago the leadership of the continuing Communist Party of the Soviet Union apparently decided that the KGB officer would serve as Russia’s figurehead leader.

Bush and Putin are currently coordinating US-Russian bilateral relations through the secretive Kissinger-Primakov Strategic Working Group. President-Elect Medvedev has already articulated his willingness to collaborate with the new US administration that will enter the White House next January. He may very well do so through this group.

For the present, in an alleged effort to allay Soviet concerns, Bush will journey to Sochi to broach the subjects of US National Missile Defense plans in Central Europe and the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty from which Russia withdrew last year, citing “NATO expansionism” in Eastern Europe. Perhaps globalist Bush will also raise the issue of the Russian Army’s invasion route into North America: the four-lane tunnel under the Bering Strait that Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has allegedly offered to finance.

According to Bloomberg.com, in April 2007 the Russian Government unveiled plans to build a cross-strait tunnel “as part of a $65 billion project to supply the USA with oil, natural gas, and electricity from Siberia. The project, which Russia is coordinating with the USA and Canada, would take 10 to 15 years to complete.” So says Viktor Razbegin, deputy head of industrial research at the Russian Economy Ministry. Enter Abramovich, who is, by Putin’s appointment, also governor of Siberia’s Chukotka Autonomous Area, adjacent to Alaska. In Moscow yesterday, The Telegraph reports, Abramovich’s firm Infrastruktura announced the purchase of a 19-meter diameter drill that will supposedly bore a tunnel between the countries. State-run Russia Today adds below “that Putin has already had secret talks about the project with Washington.” The Telegraph, however, reports that Abramovich is denying these reports that have been circulating in both the British and Russian media. That’s nice. I feel better now.

Billionaire will dig tunnel linking Russia & US
March 28, 2008, 18:01

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has fuelled talk of a massive tunnel between Europe and America by forking out $160 MLN on the world’s largest drill. The 19-metre giant will be the first drill capable of boring a four-lane tunnel.

The project would link Russia’s far eastern Chutoka region, which Abramovich governs, with America’s Alaska.The tunnel was first mooted by the Tsars and then in the 1990s, but both times it was dumped because of high costs.

President Vladimir Putin is said to back the latest idea, as it would open up lucrative freight routes from Europe and allow Russian gas to be easily exported.

Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper reports that Putin has already had secret talks about the project with Washington.

The drill, which will take German firm Herrenknecht AG two years to build, will have to bore through the 55-mile wide Bering Strait.The giant drill will dwarf the current record-holder – a 15 metre Chinese drill being used for a Yangtze tunnel.

SNIP

In any case, if the cross-strait tunnel is ever completed, then its proposed US terminus near the hamlet of Wales, Alaska (see picture above) features no land connection to the state’s biggest city Anchorage and the more populated southeastern part of the state. A new highway extending from the Nome region to the Alaska Highway would be required for the Russian Army to readily access the Continental USA via Canada’s Yukon Territory and its Pacific province British Columbia. Well before then, however, the Russian armed forces will have at their disposal a fully operational orbiting GLONASS satellite navigation system to coordinate military operations.

Incidentally, this is not the first time that light-hating communists have tried to burrow underground in order to invade the Free World. The Korean Peninsula has witnessed at least four attempts to punch tunnels under the Demilitarized Zone in order to create routes that would theoretically facilitate the passage of 2,000 North Korean troops per hour in a surprise attack against the South.

Soviet and Latin American Communists Network While McCain Adopts Hardline Stance Against Moscow

Meanwhile, Cuban Vice President Esteban Lazo welcomed Ukrainian communist leader Piotr Simonenko to Havana yesterday. Simonenko is allied with Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovich in opposing the pro-Western agenda of Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and President Viktor Yushchenko. “We hope to see a continuation of the historic friendship and collaboration between the peoples and communist parties of Cuba and Ukraine,” Lazo enthused in the presence of his Eastern European guest. The Communist Party of Ukraine is allied with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation through the Union of Communist Parties-CPSU.

We expect Simonenko functions as an errand-boy for his masters in Moscow. Russian communist leader Gennady Zyuganov swung through Latin America in April 2007, during which time he visited the communist leaderships in Mexico, Cuba, and Venezuela, and then received Hugo Chavez in a private Moscow meeting in July of the same year. Although Soviet and Latin American communists continue to power network and plot the demise of the USA and capitalism in broad daylight, their intended victim is not concerned.

Notwithstanding his membership in the pro-world government/pro-communist Council on Foreign Relations, Republican nominee for the US presidency John McCain is again articulating a hard line against neo-Soviet Russia, advocating its expulsion from the Group of Eight nations and strengthening of NATO. Addressing the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles yesterday, McCain insisted: “We should start by ensuring that the G-8, the group of eight highly industrialized states, becomes again a club of leading market democracies: It should include Brazil and India but exclude Russia. Rather than tolerate Russia’s nuclear blackmail or cyber attacks, Western nations should make clear that the solidarity of NATO, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, is indivisible and that the organization’s doors remain open to all democracies committed to the defense of freedom.” Alexander Lukashevich, senior political counselor at the Russian Federation Embassy in Washington, reportedly scoffed at McCain’s characterization of Russia. I’ll bet.

>Asia File: Pyongyang expels South Korean officials from Kaesong, Seoul’s top general threatens strike against Stalinist regime’s nuke installations

>Formed in 2002, the Kaesong Industrial Region is a special administrative region of North Korea. The Kaesong Industrial Park is being developed in the region as a collaborative economic development between North and South Korea. The industrial park is located ten kilometers north of the Demilitarized Zone and has direct road and rail access to South Korea. The industrial park is administered by a committee of South Koreans that has a 50-year lease that commenced in 2004. The Stalinist regime in Pyongyang has hired Hyundai Asan, a division of South Korean conglomerate Hyundai, to develop the region. Thus far, 67 South Korean companies employ 6,000 Korean Workers’ Party cadres in the industrial park.

However, yesterday the North Korean leadership decided to expel 11 South Korean officials from the Kaesong Industrial Region, although the South Korean plants continue to operate. Previously, according to the source below, General Kim Tae-young, the new commander of the South Korean armed forces, has threatened a preemptive strike against the North’s nuclear installations. Pyongyang tested a nuclear bomb in 2006 but does not appear to have the capacity to deliver it as a missile-borne warhead to external targets.

This news is getting little coverage in North America.

Pyongyang expels South Koreans, Seoul threatens attack
03/27/2008 13:46

The regime of Kim Jong-il is driving out the “South Korean foreigners” from the inter-Korean economic complex in Kaesong, in response to Seoul’s criticisms of the North’s nuclear programme. The new commander of the South Korean army warns of a pre-emptive attack against nuclear installations in the North.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – North Korea has ordered the evacuation of all the “South Korean foreigners” from the industrial complex of Kaesong, known as the “inter-Korean economic zone”, which stands on territory administered by Pyongyang. At the same time, for the first time since the end of the civil war, the head of the South Korean armed forces has spoken of the option of a preventive attack against nuclear installations in the North, “in case of an atomic threat”.

Both are signs of the high diplomatic tension seen between the two countries since the election of South Korea’s new president, the conservative Lee Myung-bak, which took place at the end of December. South Korea has asked its citizens present in North Korean territory to leave the country, but has asked the regime headed by Kim Jong-il to “normalise its policy concerning the common economic zone”.

The spokesman of the unification ministry of Seoul, Kim Ho-nyeon, charges: “All responsibilities caused by the North’s unilateral demand for the withdrawal lie on the North’s authorities. The evacuation is a response to the comment of our government, which, in recent days, has described as useless any expansion of Kaesong under the continued nuclear threat that the Stalinist regime shows no sign of wanting to eliminate”.

Precisely for this reason, General Kim Tae-young (the new commander of the South Korean armed forces) has stated: “The South Korean military is prepared to launch a pre-emptive attack on North Korea’s nuclear installations if they become a military threat. Our goal is to prevent North Korea’s nuclear weapons from exploding in our territory”. This is the first mention of an attack by one of the Koreas against the other since the end of the civil war in 1953.

Source: AsiaNews

>USSR2 File: Soviet deception in the Caucasus: "Ex"-CPSU Putin, Sarkisian vow Russian-Armenian strategic cooperation, surround "pro"-NATO Georgia

>The Soviet strategists are using ethnic strife and nationalism in the Caucasian republics for several reasons, among them: 1) to portray to the West a false image of weakness and disunity among the Not-So-Former Soviet republics, 2) to consolidate the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s hold on these countries by broadening communism’s political base through a variety of potemkin parties, and 3) to forge a bridge between the Muslim states of the “Former” Soviet Union and the Islamic world. Former KGB Major Anatoliy Golitsyn articulates this viewpoint in several memoranda issued to the US Central Intelligence Agency in the late 1980s and early 1990s and published in The Perestroika Deception (1995, 1998).

In a March 1989 memorandum Golitsyn offers a possible hidden motive behind the strife between the “ex”-Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia:

The new method [of analyzing Soviet politics], however, sees Shevardnadze’s appointment [as Soviet Foreign Minister] as a key to understanding the strategy behind the current nationalist unrest in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and the Baltic Republics. The problems of the national Republics, particuarly in the Transcaucasian region where Shevardnadze was running internal affairs for more than a decade, are precisely the field wherein lies his expertise.

This made him the candidate best qualified to exploit factors like alleged nationalist unrest in the interests of the strategy of “perestroika” to influence and provoke genuine nationalism outside the borders of the Soviet Union. The fact that Shevardnadze’s appointment was made before the nationalist outbursts in the Soviet national republics supports the view that these outbursts were planned and controlled by the Party apparatus and the KGB for strategic purposes [page 21].

A March 1990 memorandum observed: “Ethnic and nationalist tensions in Azerbaijan, Armenia or the Baltic Republics are often covered from Moscow, Leningrad or even London. Such coverage, when the media are ignorant of the strategic and political intentions of the Communist strategists, can be inaccurate, misleading and damaging to Western interests” [page 111]. Lastly, a March 1992 memorandum explained:

A second upgraded strategy involves the use of the new ‘independent’ Muslim states in the CIS to establish and develop economic and political cooperation with the fundamentalists in Iran and elsewhere in the Muslim world.

According to this assessment the much-advertised feud between the Armenians and the Azerbaijanis of Turkish descent in Nagorno-Karabakh may be a tactical ploy to involve Turkey, Iran and other Muslim countries in support of eventual alliance with Azerbaijan and other Central Asian Muslim states in the CIS. This strategy takes into account the growing power of the fundamentalists and the possibility of their gaining control over substantial oil reserves [pages 149-150].

Following his February election to the presidency of Armenia, Serge Sarkisian, who formerly held the post of prime minister, visited Moscow to assure his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that Armenia will remain a compliant fiefdom of the neo-Soviet Union (pictured above). “We know Dmitry Medvedev as your like-minded person,” Sarkisian gushed to Putin. Since both Putin and Sarkisian are “ex”-cadres of the CPSU the strategic partnership between “post”-communist Russian and Armenia is simply a cunning modification of the previous political linkage under the old Soviet Union. In his March 1990 memo, Golitsyn confirms: “The reforming regimes [of the outlying Soviet republics] remain loyal to the USSR, support Gorbachev and maintain their allegiances and international commitments” [page 96]. According to state-run Voice of Russia, during the meeting Putin “hailed” the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Putin hopes to develop relations with Armenia
24.03.2008, 18.29

MOSCOW, March 24 (Itar-Tass) – Russian outgoing President Vladimir Putin said he hopes to develop relations with Armenia despite the difficult political situation in the republic.

In his meeting with Armenian president-elect Serzh Sarkisyan on Monday, President Putin said, “Despite the difficult political situation in Armenia, I hope that relations will develop dynamically.”

“We hope that whatever the internal political situation develops in Armenia what we did in the previous years we’ll continue to develop in the future,” the Russian outgoing president said.

Putin congratulated Sarkisyan on the convincing victory in the presidential elections. The Armenian president-elect said his country “needs further development of relations with Russia”.

“We’ve always praised your assistance in the pre-election campaign,” Putin told Sarkisyan.

“Both the president (Robert Kocharyan) and our ambassador (to Russia) gave me your message. I can say we’d never felt such approach,” Sarkisyan said.

He also expressed hope for further development of cooperation with Russia.

“We know Dmitry Medvedev as your like-minded person. Armenia hopes that his taking office will facilitate the development of relations between the two countries. We need further strengthening of cooperation,” Sarkisyan said.

Source: Itar-Tass

The “difficult political situation” in Armenia to which Putin referred in the meeting includes the obviously potemkin protests orchestrated by KGB asset and former president of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrossian who lost the election to Sarkisian. We previously reported that prior to the election Ter-Petrossian travelled to Moscow where he conferred with Russian President-Elect Medvedev, with whom President Sarkisian, above, wishes to have good relations. In summary, everyone’s on the Red Team in the Not-So-Former Soviet Union.

Armenian opposition rally against ‘election fraud’
February 20, 2008, 23:10

In Armenia the protest rally against the results of the presidential election promises to enter a second day. Thousands have been out on the streets of the capital, Yerevan, protesting against what they claim is fraud.

Supporters of the defeated candidate, the former president Levon Ter-Petrosayn say the election was rigged in favour of the Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisyan. The Central Election Committee declared Sarkisyan the winner with more than half of the vote, which is more than twice that of his nearest rival, Ter-Petrosyan. International observers say the poll was fair and “mostly in line” with democratic election standards.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Sarkisyan on his victory.

Source: Russia Today

Pictured here: Armenian troops in the Azeri enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, on March 4, 2008.

For the same objectives stated at the top of this post, earlier this month the crypto-communist regimes in Yerevan and Baku again exchanged fire over the ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan and thereby preyed on worldwide fears of secessionism and separatism, already exacerbated by Kosovo’s February declaration of independence. The President of Azerbaijan is Ilham Aliyev, son of the previous president Heydar, Azerbaijan’s KGB chief and former CPSU Politburo member. The Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Artur Rasizade, like Sarkisian, is “ex”-CPSU. As above, everyone’s on the Red Team in the Not-So-Former Soviet Union.

Incidentally, in the first Kremlin-orchestrated outburst of ethnic strife in Nagorno-Karabakh, between 1988 and 1994, 35,000 civilians and troops perished, a figure that is of no consequence to Moscow’s Leninist masterminds in the pursuit of their strategic goals of deception against and conquest of the West. The so-called Sino-Soviet schism of the 1960s was enacted for much the same reason, namely, deceiving Western analysts into believing that there were substantive ideological differences between Russian and Chinese communists. However, the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation implmented in 2001 exposes the ruse for what it was.

Armenian and Azerbaijani troops exchange fire
March 4, 2008, 18:35

Armenian and Azerbaijani troops have exchanged fire in the contested region north-west of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian Foreign Minister, Vardan Oskanyan, has accused Azerbaijan of taking advantage of the current political turmoil in Armenia. Oskanyan has demanded an immediate restoration of the peace. Azerbaijan denies accusations that it’s the aggressor.

A war between the countries broke out in the early 90s, claiming more than 35,000 lives.

In a referendum in 1991 Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence but it was not recognised by any country. Though de facto independent, it remains part of Azerbaijan.

In May 1994 an unofficial ceasefire, mediated by Russia, was agreed between the two countries.

According to the Armenian Defence Ministry Azeri forces are using heavy artillery to shell the Armenian positions in the disputed territory. One Armenian has been killed and several others are injured. According to the Azerbaijan side two people are dead.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry accuses Azeri forces of violating the ceasefire agreement, but shots are fired almost every other day and casualties are not uncommon. However this incident has on a different scale as heavy artillery has been used, as well as encroachment into Armenian territory being registered.

The Azeris insist that the shooting is continuing. They also accuse the Armenians of deflecting attention from recent riots in the Armenian capital when eight people died during one night. They accuse the Armenians of looking for an external enemy.

Source: Russia Today

By cementing the strategic partnership between Russia and Armenia, Moscow has effectively surrounded the disengenuously pro-Western regime in Tblisi, where Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is threatening to join NATO while at the same time, like Sarkisian, currying the Kremlin’s favor. Following a February meeting between the Russian and Georgian leaders at Putin’s presidential palace near Moscow (pictured here), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov summarized Moscow’s position for the press:

The issue of NATO expansion was touched upon. Putin confirmed Russia’s firm position that we do not see any real reasons for this process, and explained in detail what consequences it may have, including for Russian-Georgian relations. Vladimir Putin clearly indicated the conditions normalizing Russian-Georgian relations. He specifically stressed the need to strictly implement all available agreements on the settlement of the Abkhaz and South Ossetian conflicts with full account for the parties’ interests. At his meeting with the Georgian president, Vladimir Putin specified conditions for improving bilateral relations.

On March 20, while addressing the Atlantic Council in Washington DC, Saakashvili continued to belie his anti-Moscow stance by insisting that he seeks “good relations” with Russia’s next president Dmitry Medvedev:

It would be interesting for me to meet the new Russian leader. We are nearly the same age and he, just like me, got educated after the Soviet Union collapsed. It’s a totally different experience. I think he will be a good partner. The Georgians love the Russians, and we’ve tried to explain it to them many times that our desire to cooperate with the West is not an obstacle. If you want to be a democratic country with a free economy, you should be friends with the West, especially with the United States.

The fact that the Russian army closed down its Soviet-era base in Georgia last November, only to re-position its troops in neighboring Armenia, demonstrates that Moscow’s Leninist masterminds have no intention of letting its puppets in Tblisi slip from their grasp. And so the communist-scripted drama in the Caucasus will continue until such time as the Party leadership determines that it is ready to either fully subvert the USA into world government or physically destroy its principal enemy.

>Latin America File: Chavez, Ortega, Lula challenge US power in hemisphere through formation of new military pact, ALBA Defense Council

>In the wake of the March 1-7 Andean diplomatic crisis, in which Venezuela and Ecuador mobilized their armies against Colombia following the latter’s cross-border counter-terrorist raid into Ecuador, the hemisphere’s Red Axis is moving ahead to organize a regional military alliance around the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas. Bolivarian Venezuela and neo-Sandinista Nicaragua quickly sided with the aggrieved neo-communist regime in Quito during the week-long red hissy-fit. The proposed ALBA, or Latin American, Defense Council, will allegedly serve as a counterweight to US dominance in the Western Hemisphere. The communist leaders of Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Brazil are on board for this project and currently participate in strategic parternships with neo-Soviet Russia, which is arming all three regimes to varying degrees.

Yesterday, Venezuelan Tyrant in Training Hugo Chavez visited his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco. There Lula announced that his defense minister Nelson Jobim will officially present the idea to Latin American leaders next month. The mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China, below, reveals that Chavez first floated the idea of an anti-US military alliance among Latin American capitals in 1999, but there was little support. At the time, of course, Lula had yet to be elected to office, which occured in 2003, and Nicaragua’s “ex”-Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega had yet to be re-elected, which transpired in 2006. Now the required support for a communist-inspired, pro-Russian, anti-US combine among Latin America’s capitals has materialized.

Chavez hails Brazilian proposal on S American defense council
11:06, March 27, 2008

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez Wednesday hailed Brazil’s proposal to create a South American defense council, suggesting it could serve as a South Atlantic version of NATO.

Chavez said he regarded the proposal as “extraordinary” when he arrived in Recife, the capital city of northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, for a meeting with his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Chavez said he had favored the creation of a similar entity back in 1999, which failed to be materialized due to lack of enough support across the region.

Chavez also praised the response by Brazil’s Defense Minister Nelson Jobim to U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the creation of such a council during his recent trip to the United States.

“I think that (Gates) asked him what Washington could do for the creation of this South American council of defense, and (Jobim) said ‘nothing, do not do anything because South America will do it. Leave us alone,'” said Chavez.

According to Chavez, the idea is similar to that of the 19th century Latin American hero Simon Bolivar, who liberated five South American countries, including Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, from Spanish control. Bolivar had proposed a political, economic and military alliance in the region, Chavez said.

The proposal for the defense council will be presented to all the countries in the region starting on April 14, when Jobim travels to Venezuela.

During her trip to Brazil in the beginning of March, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had expressed support for the idea, saying the council would provide a better control over the borders in South America and that she trusted in the Brazilian leadership to carry out the project.

Source: People’s Daily Online

The Kremlin media has taken note of the Brazilian president’s proposed ALBA Defense Council, also known as the Latin American Defense Council. The Voice of Russia reports: “Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has backed the idea of creating the Defence Council of Latin America as an alternative to NATO. In an interview with the Argentine television, Mr. Chavez said the council would protect the region from imperialism and preventive military campaigns. The initiative belongs to the President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. He spoke about the council after a diplomatic row between Columbia and Ecuador in early March.”

This is not the first time that we have blogged about Latin America’s Red Axis organizing a regional military pact to challenge US dominance in the Western Hemisphere. The link here was posted in July of last year.

More recently, on January 28 the obsequiously pro-Chavez website Venezuelanalysis.com reported that the communist leaders of Venezuela and Nicaragua spoke in favor of the formation of a “joint military force” for Latin America during a meeting of ALBA in Caracas that month. They acknowledged that the Brazilian president broached the subject the previous December. Chavez identified “US imperialism” as the chief threat to regional security: “The countries of Nicaragua, Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, and now Dominica should work to form a joint defense strategy and start joining our armed forces, air forces, armies, navies, National Guards, and intelligence forces. Because the enemy is the same, the empire. If the USA messes with one of us, they are messing with all of us, because we will respond as one.” Comandante Ortega rushed to his comrade’s defense with the following threat against Washington: “If they touch Venezuela, it will light up the region. No one is going to stand idly by, because to touch Venezuela is to touch all of Latin America.”

Venezuela, Nicaragua Propose Joint Military Force for Latin America
January 28th 2008, by Chris Carlson – Venezuelanalysis.com

(LA PRENSA/AP) January 28, 2008 (venezuelanalysis.com) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega proposed the formation of a joint military force among Latin American countries to defend against outside intervention yesterday. On his Sunday TV and radio show Aló Presidente, Chavez also promised to dramatically increase food production in Venezuela during the inauguration of a “socialist” corn-processing plant.

The Nicaraguan president, in Caracas for the ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas) Summit on Saturday, joined President Chavez on his TV and radio show on Sunday. The two leaders discussed the possibility of creating a joint military force among the member-nations of the ALBA block.

“The countries of Nicaragua, Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, and now Dominica should work to form a joint defense strategy and start joining our armed forces, air forces, armies, navies, National Guards, and intelligence forces,” said Chavez. “Because the enemy is the same, the empire.”

Chavez called on the defense ministers of each ALBA member-nation to begin preparation for an ALBA Defense Council “to unite our military forces and have the nations of ALBA united.”

“If [the United States] messes with one of us, they are messing with all of us, because we will respond as one,” he said.

The Venezuelan president suggested the idea after Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega assured that any aggression against Venezuela would be considered an attack on all of Latin America.

President Ortega made the statement in light of the recent accusations by U.S. officials that Venezuela is a “threat” to the region.

“If they touch Venezuela, it will light up the region. No one is going to stand idly by, because to touch Venezuela is to touch all of Latin America,” said Ortega.

Chavez said that the idea of a joint defense strategy has already been proposed for the South American nations, and that President Lula of Brazil is in agreement.

“In December, Lula said here in Caracas that we are going to create the South American Defense Council. Okay, let’s create our ALBA Defense Council too, but not only a defense council, the ALBA military forces,” said Chavez.

The two leaders aired the program from the eastern state of Monagas, where they inaugurated a “socialist” corn-processing plant and spoke with local agricultural producers. President Chavez promised to raise food production in Venezuela to reduce dependence on imported food.

SNIP

In conclusion we should note that although Lula is frequently portrayed as a “moderate” leftist, his appointed role as prime mover behind the proposed ALBA Defense Council, his known involvement in the formation of the narco-communist-terrorist Sao Paulo Forum, and his presumed involvement in the secretive, ongoing shipment of 31.5 tons of Brazilian-made arms to the Presidential Palace in Caracas belie this deceptive image. No doubt, too, neo-Soviet Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport will be first in line to supply the ALBA Defense Council with the weapons, ammunition, equipment, and training needed to give legs to Latin America’s version of the old Warsaw Pact. If you haven’t watched the movie Red Dawn, then now might be the time.

>USSR2 File: Russian firms with Kremlin links buy out strategic sections of US and Canadian economies; Zyuganov: Putin’s Russia a criminal police state

>In advance of a communist-backed Democratic putsch in the White House this November and Missile Day sometime in the near future, Russian megacompanies with shady links to President Vladimir Putin are buying out strategic sections of the US and Canadian economies. In the latest corporate coup Severstal, Russia’s second largest steel company has purchased the Sparrows Point steel mill, located on the Patapsco River, near Baltimore and a deepwater port. Severstal CEO Alexei Mordashov (pictured here), according to BBC News, “wielded quick-footed and complicated financial deals to secure ownership of Severstal from the rush to privatisation in the 1990s Russia, and is thought to have the ear – and favour – of Russian President Vladimir Putin.” Severstal already owns the former Rouge Steel plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and the SeverCorr joint venture in Columbus, Mississippi. In such instances, there will be no need for Spetsnaz to sabotage America’s (diminishing) military-industrial capacity during the Soviet Union’s Spetsnaz-executed “overture” to the Fourth World War. Instead, the Russian executives who run these US-based businesses can hand the keys to these operations over to the Kremlin . . .

Severstal Buys U.S. Mill for $810 Million
By Robin Paxton
March 25, 2008
Reuters

MOSCOW — Severstal, the country’s largest steel maker, will expand its U.S. presence with the $810 million acquisition of the Sparrows Point mill in Maryland, which ArcelorMittal is selling for antitrust reasons.
Severstal said Friday that it expected to close the all-cash deal to buy the former Bethlehem Steel unit in the 2008 second quarter. The additional capacity is equivalent to about 20 percent of the company’s crude steel output last year.

“We remain committed to growth in North America and believe in the long-term promise of the U.S. market,” said Severstal chief executive and main owner Alexei Mordashov, ranked the world’s 18th-richest man by Forbes magazine.

Severstal is among several steel makers in Russia to have acquired assets in the United States by taking advantage of a weaker dollar to gain access to one of the world’s major steel-consuming markets. The company owns the former Rouge Steel plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and the SeverCorr joint venture in Columbus, Mississippi. But its North American unit was its worst performer in 2007 as a weak market and blast furnace reline hit profits.

Analysts said Severstal, with Merrill Lynch as adviser on the deal, would have to convince investors that the purchase added value, but that opportunities existed to improve plant efficiency.

“The plant is a good addition to Severstal’s U.S. portfolio of assets bought at attractive prices,” UniCredit Aton equity analyst Dmitry Kolomytsyn said.

He said Sparrows Point had average earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of more than $110 million in recent years, then dropping to just $24 million in 2007. Severstal expects 2008 EBITDA of at least $74 million, he said.

Sparrows Point has an annual production capacity of 3.6 million tons of crude steel and has direct access to a deepwater ocean port.

Severstal could potentially plug an annual 800,000-ton supply gap following the closure of an existing U.S. blast furnace with slab from Sparrows Point, Renaissance Capital said.

The plant sold 2.3 million tons of finished products last year and makes hot-rolled, cold-rolled and galvanized sheets, and ranks among the top U.S. suppliers of tin mill products.

The U.S. Justice Department ordered ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel maker, to sell the mill as a precondition for allowing the merger of ArcelorMittal in order to forestall its gaining a monopoly of the tinplate market.

An earlier $1.35 billion deal to sell Sparrows Point to E2 Acquisition Corp, an entity of steel services company Esmark, collapsed in December.

Severstal last week posted a 33 percent rise in 2007 net profit to $1.94 billion as it enjoyed higher steel prices. But its stock fell after pretax earnings missed forecasts, with EBITDA in North America declining to $21 million.

Severstal’s total 2007 crude steel output at 17.5 million tons remained at 2006 levels.

Source: The St. Petersburg Times

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Russian steel/ore/coal/vanadium giant Evraz bought out steel manufacturer IPSCO, which supplies steel to North America’s energy, agricultural, transportation, and construction industries. “This (IPSCO) deal will increase our exposure to the attractive energy and infrastructure sectors throughout the (North American) region,” gushed Evraz CEO Alexander Frolov (pictured here). Indeed. Evraz already owns Oregon Steel Mills, an acquisition that was one of last year’s largest investments in the USA by a Russian company. Millhouse Capital, the holding company of billionaire Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich, has a 36 percent stake in Evraz. Abramovich, like Severstal’s Mordoshov, is a Putin bud.

Russian steel maker Evraz grows in North America
March 14, 2008

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian steelmaker Evraz announced Friday that it has purchased Canada’s IPSCO for $4 billion.

IPSCO, which supplies steel to the energy, agricultural and transportation equipment and construction industries, has about 4,300 employees and an annual steelmaking capacity of more than 4 million tons.

It owns four steel mills, 11 pipe mills, and scrap processing centers and product finishing facilities in the United States and Canada. About 70% of its operations are in the U.S. and 30% are in Canada.

The purchase is the latest move in Evraz’s strategy to consolidate a strong base in North America for steel products, such as plates and tubes, the Russian firm said.

Evraz last year completed the takeover of Oregon Steel Mills for $2.3 billion, one of the largest investments in the United States by a Russian company.

Evraz already owns steelworks in the Czech Republic and Italy.

The company also has extensive holdings in Russia’s coal mining sector.

“This (IPSCO) deal will increase our exposure to the attractive energy and infrastructure sectors throughout the (North American) region,” said Evraz chief executive Alexander Frolov.

IPSCO became a wholly owned subsidiary of Swedish steel company SSAB in July 2007.

Under the terms of the sale, Evraz will acquire IPSCO from SSAB for $4 billion. Meanwhile, Evraz said it has sealed a deal to sell top Russian pipe supplier OAO TMK part of its U.S. holdings for $1.7 billion.

Last year, it took control of Yuzhkuzbassugol after two fatal mining accidents, including a methane blast at the Ulyanovskaya mine that was Russia’s worst coal mining accident in more than 60 years.

Millhouse Capital, the holding company of billionaire Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich, has a 36.4% stake in Evraz.

Meanwhile, notwithstanding the shadowy networks linking Putin to Russia’s oligarchs and Komsomol capitalists, Audit Chamber Chairman and former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin, has complained, in typical communist fashion, that Russia “has a lot more billionaires than its current economy can sustain.” To rectify this situation, Stepashin argues that “The state must develop a professional and effective incomes policy to ward off the risks rooted in property and social inequality.” Communist Party of the Russian Federation Chairman Gennady Zyuganov could not agree more. Earlier this month, Zyuganov (pictured here), referring to Putin’s presidential administration and the United Russia-dominated State Duma, stated: “The country is ruled by a criminal police state which cannot hold fair, truthful and democratic elections. This state, which serves the oligarchs, cannot defend the social interests of its citizens.”

Too many billionaires in Russia – Stepashin
09:01 GMT, Mar 26, 2008

MOSCOW. March 26 (Interfax) – Russia has a lot more billionaires than its current economy can sustain, Audit Chamber Chairman Sergei Stepashin said.

Since economic stability settled in Russia eight years ago the number of dollar billionaires has increased from just a few to more than a hundred, he said.

“Russia has the world’s second largest number of billionaires, which does not measure up to the scope of economy and the level of the country’s development,” Stepashin said at a news conference at the Audit Chamber.

Stepashin also said that since 2000 citizens’ real incomes have been growing at an annual pace of 10%. But the gap in citizens’ incomes has been widening, reaching a critical width. The gap in incomes between the richest and poorest 10% of citizens has widened from 13.9 times in 2000 to 15.3 times in 2006, he said, citing figures provided by the State Statistics Service Rosstat.

Experts of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Central Economics and Mathematics Institute note an even wider gap of 30 times. Moscow’s city statistics service puts the figure at 41 in 2006, Stepashin said.

The gap is a serious threat, which requires special attention, he said. “The state must develop a professional and effective incomes policy to ward off the risks rooted in property and social inequality,” Stepashin said.

Source: Interfax

>Latin America File: Chavez celebrates Exxon-Mobil victory, accuses USA of fomenting Tibet unrest; Quito: Colombians relied on US air support in raid

>On March 18 a British judge struck down a court order, initiated by Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp., that froze US$12 billion in assets belonging to Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), Venezuela’s state-run oil company. Venezuela’s communist dicator Hugo Chavez, in the story below, lauded the legal decision as “a victory against [US] imperialism.” Last year Exxon Mobil sought international arbitration with PDVSA after the red regime in Caracas nationalized a heavy oil project in the crude-rich Orinoco River basin.

Venezuela’s Chavez celebrates legal victory over Exxon Mobil Corp.
The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

CARACAS, Venezuela: President Hugo Chavez on Monday praised a recent legal victory over Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp., calling a British judge’s ruling that favored Venezuela’s state oil company a defeat for Washington.

Judge Paul Walker’s March 18 decision tossed out an order to freeze US$12 billion ($7.8 billion) in assets belonging to Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., or PDVSA, a move Chavez lauded as “a victory against (U.S.) imperialism.”

“I feel like a baseball manager that suddenly has his team in the major leagues, winning against the Yankees,” said Chavez, speaking to PDVSA employees in a nationally televised address.

Exxon Mobil decided to seek international arbitration with PDVSA last year, after Chavez nationalized a heavy oil project in the crude-rich Orinoco River basin. The company later won court orders in the U.K. and other countries to freeze PDVSA’s international assets to ensure it would be paid for the project and lost future revenue.

Earlier Monday, Chavez vowed to soon levy a new tax on foreign oil companies to recoup a larger share of their rising profits, although he said it has not yet been determined what the tax rate will be.

“They’re earning money that they haven’t accounted for,” he said. “Those large additional earnings aren’t a product of any extraordinary effort…. It isn’t that they’ve invested more.” Chavez called it a tax on “unexpected earnings” as a result of sudden rises in world oil prices.

He could approve the new tax by decree if he chooses to, under fast-track powers that the solidly pro-Chavez National Assembly granted him last year. Those powers expire in July.

Chavez has increased state control over the oil industry in recent years, while letting foreign companies stay on as minority partners in oil fields they once managed under contract.

In 2005, Chavez raised royalty rates to 30 percent from 16.6 percent on foreign firms operating heavy oil projects in the Orinoco region, and the government last year assumed majority control of those projects.

Foreign companies operating in Venezuela include U.S.-based Chevron Corp., France’s Total, Britain’s BP PLC and others.

Source: International Herald Tribune

Meanwhile, South America is ablaze with conspiracy theories that pin the world’s misfortunes and the region’s strife on “US imperialism” and alleged US aggression and intervention. Comrade Hugo, for example, has come to the defense of his fellow communists and strategic partners in Beijing by pinning the blame for the recent unrest in Tibet on the White House. “The (U.S.) imperialists want to divide China,” Chavez warned in a speech two days ago. “And they’re causing problems there in Tibet. They’re trying to sabotage the Olympics in Beijing, and behind that is the hand of imperialism. We ask the world to support China to neutralize this plan, which aims to sabotage the Olympics.” Pictured here: Venezuelan Tyrant-in-Training Chavez visits Chinese Tyrant Hu Jintao in Beijing, on August 24, 2006.

Venezuela’s Chavez sees US role in Tibet violence, says aim is tainting Olympics
The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

CARACAS, Venezuela: Venezuelan resident Hugo Chavez accused the United States of promoting violence in Tibet, saying Washington aims to weaken China and sabotage the Olympics in Beijing.

“The (U.S.) imperialists want to divide China. And they’re causing problems there in Tibet,” Chavez said in a speech Monday night.

“They’re trying to sabotage the Olympics in Beijing, and behind that is the hand of imperialism.

“We ask the world to support China to neutralize this plan, which aims to sabotage the Olympics,” he added.

The deadly riots in the Tibetan capital Lhasa this month have been the largest and most sustained in almost 20 years, and China has blamed followers of the Dalai Lama for the uprising. Chavez has built close ties with China and said in an earlier speech Monday that U.S. “imperialism is on the offensive” there. “You see the images of the violence in Tibet. Who is that against? Against China,” Chavez said.

“It’s the (U.S.) empire that wants to weaken China, because China is rising up.” Chavez, who survived a failed coup in 2002, has often accused the U.S. of trying to topple his own government, something U.S. officials deny.

Source: International Herald Tribune

In a related story, the Red Axis’ drumbeats for war in South America have slacked off since the March 7 resolution of the short-lived crisis sparked by the incursion of Colombian troops onto Ecuadorean soil for the purpose of wiping out a base of the insurgent Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Following the March 1 incident in which senior FARC commander Raul Reyes was assassinated, Venezuela deployed 10 battalions of troops to its border with Colombia, which probably amounted to about 6,000 soldiers. Ecuador also deployed troops along its border with Colombia. On March 12 the Chinese state media reported that Venezuela had withdrawn 4,000 troops, using Russian-made MI-26 helicopters, from the international boundary, a story that received little follow-up coverage in the MSM.

Venezuela withdraws troops from border with Colombia
13:09, March 12, 2008

Venezuela began to withdraw some 4,000 troops from its border with Colombia on Tuesday after the nation’s President Hugo Chavez ordered normalization of Venezuela-Colombia relations.

The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry announced the restoration of diplomatic ties with Colombia on Sunday after Ecuador and Colombia agreed to bury their differences Friday at the Rio Group summit in the Dominican Republic.

Venezuela said its soldiers, which had been on high alert after a March 2 mission to the Colombian border, were returned to base by Russian-made MI-26 helicopters and that its diplomats had returned to Colombia Monday.

Ecuador also broke off diplomatic relations with Colombia after Colombian troops entered Ecuadorian territory on March 1 to attack a camp of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Venezuela also condemned the attack and sent troops to its border with Colombia.

Source: XinhuaNet.com

Although the initial deployment of Venezuelan and Ecuadorean troops appeared to be an opportunistic response to Colombia’s attempt to break the back of FARC, rather than a prededitated motion toward military aggression, it is very possible that the red regimes in Caracas and Quito disguised other hostile activities toward the pro-US government in Bogota during the mobilization of their respective armed forces. Indeed, the ideological tensions between Colombia in the one camp and Venezuela and Ecuador in the other camp still simmers under the surface of the MSM infotainment.

Pictured here: Chavez and his “mini me” Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa.

According to the Costa Rican media, a high-level Ecuadorean military official has revealed that most of his colleagues believe that Colombia relied on US air support during the former’s March 1 cross-border counter-terrorist operation. The Ecadorean government argues that the US Air Force employed assets from its air base in Manta, Ecuador, which Washington will lease until 2009. “A large proportion of senior officers in Ecuador share the conviction that the United States was an accomplice in the attack,” the anonymous Ecuadorean official admitted in a March 24 interview. “Since Plan Colombia was launched in 2000, a strategic alliance between the United States and Colombia has taken shape, first to combat the insurgents and later to involve neighbouring countries in that war. What is happening today is a consequence of that.” The same military source insists:
The technology used, first to locate the target, in other words the camp, and later to attack it, was from the United States. An attack with smart bombs requires pilots who have experience in such operations, which means U.S. pilots. That’s why I think they did the job and later told the Colombians ‘now go in and find the bodies’, which is when Colombian helicopters and troops showed up.

Along similar lines, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister María Isabel Salvador declared: “Equipment that the Latin American armed forces do not have was used in the Mar. 1 bombing. They dropped around five smart bombs with impressive precision and a margin of error of just one metre, at night, from planes travelling at high speeds.”

These allegations remain unproven, but Inside Costa Rica, linked above, reveals that on March 6 Admiral James Stavridis, commander of the US Southern Command, informed the US Senate Armed Services Committee that he was monitoring the movement of Ecuadorean and Venezuelan troops to the Colombian border.

The narco-communist-terrorist Sao Paulo Forum (FSP), offspring of the revolutionary minds of Communist Party of Cuba Chairman Fidel Castro and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was not silent on the South American crisis, but released a statement during its under-reported March 17 meeting in Mexico. Information about the FSP is scarce. Google searches reveal few English-language articles and almost nothing about current meetings and activities. The FSP, which embodies Latin America’s Red Axis, appears to meet several times yearly. According to Cuba’s Prensa Latina the region’s communists and leftists excoriated the USA and Colombia for the latter’s March 1 security operation on Ecuadorean territory.

Sao Paulo Forum Slugs Colombia-US Plot

Mexico, Mar 17 (Prensa Latina) Progressive Latin American parties attending a Sao Paulo Forum meeting here voiced their concerned over Colombia-United States military plans and condemned their collusion.

The Forum issued a statement rejecting the bombing of Ecuadorian territory by the Colombian army, and expressed condolences to Mexico for the killing of Mexican nationals in the March 1 incident.

The meeting agreements were informed by Saul Escobar, secretary of international relations of the Sao Paulo Forum, who also confirmed the participation of representatives of 21 Latin American political parties.

Escobar accused the Colombian government of ignoring international law and backing the aggressive projects of the United States president, George W. Bush.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: NORAD jets escort Bear bombers, tankers near Alaska today; Su-25 downed by "friendly fire," fleet no longer grounded

>The Kremlin media is finally covering a Russian Air Force exercise that was initially slated to take place between March 20 and 24. Today “NATO fighters,” by which state-run Novosti probably means US and/or Canadian warplanes under NORAD command, accompanied two Tu-95 Bear bombers and two Il-78 aerial tankers on a 16-hour mission between Siberia and Alaska. Pictured here: Ilyushin Il-78 refuels Russian combat jets at MAKS 1999 airshow in Moscow.

NATO fighters accompany Russian bombers near Alaska
13:2926/ 03/ 2008

MOSCOW, March 26 (RIA Novosti) — NATO fighters accompanied Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers on a regular strategic patrol flight on Wednesday, a Russian Air Force spokesman said. Two Bear bombers and two Il-78 aerial tankers conducted a 16-hour patrol mission on Wednesday over the Arctic and the Pacific Ocean and performed aerial refueling.

“During the flight over neutral waters near Alaska, the Russian planes were accompanied by NATO fighters,” Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said.

Interceptions of Russian combat aircraft by NATO fighters have been a common occurrence since Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August, following an order signed by President Vladimir Putin.

Drobyshevsky reiterated on Wednesday that regular patrols of Russian strategic bombers do not pose a threat to other countries, and Russia always issues prior warnings of their patrols. He said that the main purpose of these missions was to train pilots in instrument flight and aerial refueling.

State-run Itar-Tass and Voice of Russia also covered this latest patrol mission, which is part of Russia’s back-to-back strategic aviation exercises, officially resumed last summer as part of its open war footing against the West. The Western MSM is affording some coverage to the Russian Air Force’s incursions into the penumbra of NATO-NORAD airspace. Reports on today’s interception near Alaska can be found at the following sites: Reuters and others that picked up Reuters’ story, including MSNBC, International Herald Tribune, and Canada.com. Reuters opines: “Analysts say the Kremlin is using its reviving military might to support a policy of projecting Russia’s power again on the world stage. But some military observers say the Russian armed forces are still hampered by a shortage of combat-ready assets and that the exercises are primarily a public relations exercise.” There is probably some truth in all of the comments articulated in this quote, but no acknowledgment whatsoever of the Soviet long-range deception.

In a related story neo-Soviet officialdom is blaming “friendly fire” on the crash of an Su-25 combat jet in Siberia on March 20. In other words, a Russian pilot shot down his comrade. State-run Russia Today mentions that the Russian Air Force’s fleet of Su-25 aircraft are no longer grounded following the completion of the official investigation: “There are reports that a Russian military plane, which crashed last week, was shot down by friendly fire. Russia’s Interfax news agency says investigators believe another plane involved in exercises shot down the SU-25 jet. Investigators say they didn’t find any evidence the plane’s systems had malfunctioned. The incident left the pilot dead. An investigation is being carried out by a commission from the Defence Ministry and Airforce Command. All SU-25 planes are now able to fly after they were grounded following the accident.”

>Middle East/Africa Files: Iran upgrades status in SCO, Russia signs nuke agreement with Egypt, relations with Algeria secure after MiG-29 deal flops

>Even as US Vice President Dick Cheney, who is conducting a Middle East tour that includes Iraq, Israel, and Turkey, accuses Iran and Syria of using terrorist org Hamas of “torpedoeing” Middle East peace talks with Israel, the Moscow-Beijing Axis is preparing to upgrade Tehran’s status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) from observer to full member. According to a March 19 report from Debkafile, the White House is again considering using the military option to “take out” Iran’s nuclear weapons development program. By seeking full membership in the SCO, however, the Islamo-Nazi regime of the mullahs will be safely enclosed within Russia’s protective military umbrella and effectively beyond the reach of White House policy and the US military.

Iran moves to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization
12:42 24/ 03/ 2008

DUSHANBE, March 24 (RIA Novosti) – Iran has lodged a bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that comprises Russia, China and four ex-Soviet Central Asian states, the country’s foreign minister said on Monday.

The Islamic Republic, which currently holds an observer status in the regional security group, has long sought to become a full member of the SCO, seen as a counterbalance to U.S. and NATO influence in the region.

“Tajikistan supports us in this issue,” Manouchehr Mottaki said after a meeting with the foreign ministers of SCO member Tajikistan and Afghanistan, which is another SCO observer along with India, Pakistan and Mongolia.

The bloc – which primarily addresses security issue but has recently moved to embrace energy projects – has indefinitely postponed accepting new members, but pledged closer cooperation with the observer states.

Speaking at the SCO summit in Kyrgyzstan in August 2007, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, “Everyone agreed that the moratorium should be preserved for some time yet,” adding that the alliance “agreed to involve observer states more actively in practical projects.”

Russia and China have been cautious to admit Iran, involved in a long-running dispute over its controversial nuclear program and alleged support for radical groups in Lebanon and other countries with the United States, Israel and major European countries.

Both China and Russia have, however, major commercial interests in Iran. The energy-hungry Asian nation wants Iranian oil and gas and to sell weapons and other goods to the Islamic Republic.

Moscow also hopes to sell more weapons and nuclear energy technology to Tehran. The Kremlin also needs Iran’s endorsement for a multinational arrangement to exploit the Caspian Sea’s energy resources.

This is not the first time that we have reported about the ingestion of Iran by the Moscow-Beijing Axis via the SCO, but now the Kremlin media is conceding that the plan is moving forward. The Not-So-Former Soviet republic of Tajikistan is sponsoring Iran’s application in a perfect example of Islamo-Marxist convergence. Novosti, above, admits that Russia and China have been “cautious” to upgrade Iran’s status in the SCO, but both countries have “major commercial interests” in Iran. Novosti’s portrayal of Moscow and Beijing’s “cautious” approach to this issue is disengenuous at best since the two communist superpowers have no doubt long desired to absorb Iran into the Eurasian Communist Bloc.

After all, the communist Tudeh Party of Iran was involved in the Islamic Revolution that toppled the shah in 1979 and supported the new regime until the reds were purged from government ministries in 1982. Later, in 1988, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a secret order that instigated the mass execution of as many as 30,000 dissidents, including members of the Marxist People’s Mujahedin of Iran and the Tudeh Party. Notwithstanding this post-revolution antagonism between the Islamists and their communist supporters, Iran has since snuggled up to the Moscow-Beijing Axis.

Meanwhile, neo-Soviet Russia is revitalizing its relationship with the socialist dictatorship in Egypt. The long-ruling National Democratic Party, which holds membership in the Socialist International, is the torchbearer of the Nasserist 1952 revolution. On March 25 Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who is secretly allied with Hamas, Syria, and Iran in opposing Israel, traveled to Moscow where he inked an agreement with Vladimir Putin that will permit Russian companies to bid for deals to contstruct nuclear power plants in Egypt. The two dictators are pictured above at yesterday’s meeting.

Russia’s nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly Atomstroyexport, as Novosti reports below, is presenty erecting five n-plants in China, India and Iran, has won a tender to build a plant in Bulgaria, and is in talks to build n-plants in Morocco, Vietnam, and South Africa. With the exception of Iran, all of these Soviet client states are themselves under communist control. See Red World 2008 map and Red World country profiles, accessible via link in this blog’s right column, for more information on communist-dominated states.

Russia, Egypt sign nuclear power agreement
16:57 25/ 03/ 2008

MOSCOW, March 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russia and Egypt signed an agreement on cooperation in the civilian nuclear sphere on Tuesday, allowing Russian companies to bid for deals to build nuclear power plants in Egypt.

Speaking after talks with visiting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at his residence near Moscow, outgoing President Vladimir Putin said the deal “opens up new horizons for bilateral cooperation.”

The agreement, signed by the Russian and Egyptian nuclear chiefs, Sergei Kiriyenko and Hassan Younes, respectively, also envisions personnel training for nuclear facilities in Egypt and nuclear fuel supplies to the country.

A tender for the construction of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant is expected to be announced this year.

The project is estimated to be worth $1.5-$2 billion. Egypt also plans to later build another three nuclear power plants with aggregate capacity of 1,800 MW, or 600 MW each, in a bid to meet its energy needs and diversify energy sources, thereby allowing the country’s hydrocarbon reserves to last longer.

Russia, seeking to develop high tech sectors to reduce dependence on oil and gas exports, has signaled interest in building a nuclear plant in Egypt.

Russia’s nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly Atomstroyexport is currently building five nuclear power plants in China, India and Iran, under contracts worth $4.5 billion overall, and has also won a tender to build a plant in Belene, Bulgaria. The company is currently in talks on building nuclear plants in Morocco, Vietnam, and South Africa.

Following the Putin-Mubarak conference, as reported by state-run Voice of Russia, the KGB dictator indicated that he views Mubarak as a “reliable strategic partner” and believes Russo-Egyptian relations will be preserved under his successor Dmitry “Comrade Puppet” Medvedev, pictured here with the Egyptian president in Moscow yesterday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak that Russia sees Egypt as a reliable strategic partner. President Vladimir Putin said that deep-rooted interests of the two countries are the foundation for such partnership. He is convinced that traditional friendly relations will be preserved after Russian president-elect Dmitry Medvedev takes the post. President Vladimir Putin underlined the need of expanding bilateral economic ties, primarily, in power engineering. In the wake of the talks an agreement will be signed allowing Russian companies to take part in a competition for the construction of Egypt’s first nuclear power station. As for cooperation in international matters, according to president Vladimir Putin, special importance is attached to it since Egypt is a recognized leader in the Arab world.

As we previously reported, despite Algeria’s return of 15 allegedly defective MiG-29 fighter jets to Russia, political and military relations between the Nasserist/socialist dictatorship in Algiers and the Leninist masterminds in Moscow remain firm. Pictured below: Putin with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algiers, in March 2006. Bouteflika is a member of the long-ruling socialist National Liberation Front. Novosti reports:

No threat to Russian-Algerian deal after MiG-29 flop – official
12:23 24/ 03/ 2008

MOSCOW, March 24 (RIA Novosti) – The termination of a contract to deliver Russian MiG-29 fighter jets to Algeria will not affect other contracts under a Russian-Algerian cooperation deal, Russia’s industry agency said.

In an unprecedented move, Algeria earlier decided to return to Russia 15 MiG aircraft delivered in 2006-07 under a $1.28 billion contract, citing the “inferior quality” of certain components and units.

Russian arms export monopoly Rosoboronexport signed the contract to deliver 29 one-seat MiG-29SMT Fulcrum fighters and six two-seat MiG-29UB fighters in March 2006 as part of an $8 billion military-technical cooperation agreement with Algeria.

The termination of the contract “will not threaten other contracts [with Algeria],” the head of the Federal Agency for Industry, Andrei Dutov, said in an interview with the Vedomosti newspaper published on Monday.

Algeria began refusing deliveries from May 2007 and in October stopped payments on other military contracts pending the return of the MiGs. Experts suggest Algeria may have opted instead for French Rafale fighters as France builds up its presence in the North African state.

Commenting on Algeria’s decision, Dutov said it could have been politically motivated. “The reasons for the termination of the Algerian contract are likely to lie in the sphere of politics. It has nothing to do with industry,” he said. “Every country chooses its own allies, and part of the arms trade is the search for such allies,” Dutov added.

In summary, Algeria and Egypt, not to mention Libya, remain important North African allies of neo-Soviet Russia and can be called upon to support the Communist Bloc against the West and Israel.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian MiG-31 interceptors to hold live-fire guided missile exercises in Siberia, Su-25 fleet grounded after crash

>According to state-run Novosti as many as 20 long-range MiG-31 Foxhound interceptors (pictured here) will hold live-fire guided missile exercises in Siberia on March 26. In addition, Novosti, reports, “Russia plans to modernize its whole fleet of MiG-31interceptors, which have been in service for 25 years, and extend their service life with the air force until 2015.” These pilot-training drills are only of many examples that we have documented here of neo-Soviet Russia’s military resurgence under “ex”-CPSU KGB dictator Vladimir Putin and his compliant successor Dmitry “Comrade Puppet” Medvedev.

MiG-31 interceptors to hold live firing exercises in Siberia
13:52 25/ 03/ 2008

MOSCOW, March 25 (RIA Novosti) – Up to 20 long-range interceptors will conduct launches of guided missiles during a tactical exercise in Siberia on Wednesday, a Russian Air Force spokesman said.

The live firing drills, involving MiG-31 Foxhound interceptors from an air regiment based in the Chita Region, will be held at the Telemba firing range.

“During the exercise, MiG-31 interceptors will fire missiles at airborne and ground targets at night and during the day,” Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said. “About 20 combat jets will participate in the drills.”

The MiG-31 Foxhound is a two-seat supersonic interceptor aircraft developed to replace the MiG-25 Foxbat. It is equipped with two D-30F6 turbofan two-shaft engines with a common afterburner and a variable supersonic nozzle, which allow the aircraft to fly at supersonic speeds of up to Mach 2.83.

The interceptor also features unique air-to-air missiles capable of hitting targets at ranges exceeding 200 kilometers (125 miles), including aircraft with stealth capabilities, cruise missiles, and supersonic aircraft.

According to various sources, about 500 MiG-31s have been produced since production began in 1978, approximately 370 of which remain in service with the Russian Air Force.

Russia plans to modernize its whole fleet of MiG-31interceptors, which have been in service for 25 years, and extend their service life with the air force until 2015.

Drobyshevsky also said more than 10 units from the 5th Air Army based in the Urals Military District will participate in large-scale combined-arms exercises at the Kapustin Yar and Ashuluk training grounds, both in south Russia’s Astrakhan region near the Caspian Sea.

The exercises will be held on April 1-10, and will involve MiG-31 Foxhound interceptors, Su-24 Fencer fighter-bombers, Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters and transport planes.

Yesterday First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov revealed that Russia intends to rapidly accelerate its production of conventional weapons: “By 2010, we are planning to increase production by 30%, and by 2015, we expect it to increase 120%.” The Kremlin’s Military-Industrial Commission will meet today to review a strategy for the manufacturing of conventional arms and formulation of defense contracts for 2009. Russia’s remilitarization is being carried out for the most part in stated response to “NATO expansionism.”

Echoing his mentor Putin, for example, President-Elect Medvedev views the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe–itself a ploy orchestrated by the Soviet strategists to generate a pretext for war against the West–as “troubling.” State-run Russia Today reports: “No state can be pleased about having representatives of a military bloc to which it does not belong coming close to its borders. This is something that is even more difficult to explain when the vast majority of citizens of one of the states, for example of Ukraine, are categorically against joining NATO while the government of this state follows a different policy.” In these comments Komsomol graduate Medvedev admits that Kiev’s deceptive interest in NATO membership reflects the ambitions of Ukraine’s (crypto-communist) political leadership rather than the “people.”

On March 19 state-run Novosti announced that the Russian Air Force would commence a two-part strategic bomber/aerial reconnaissance exercise in Russia’s Far East and over the Pacific Ocean to start the following day and to conclude on March 24. With the crash of an Su-25 combat jet in Primorye Territory about 143 kilometers from Vladivostok on March 20, the entire fleet of like aircraft were grounded and nothing more of the scheduled exercises, which involved entirely different aircraft, was mentioned in the media, Russian or Western.

Su-25 combat jet crashes in Russia’s Far East, flights suspended
09:26 20/ 03/ 2008

MOSCOW, March 20 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Air Force has suspended all Su-25 strike aircraft flights following a fatal crash in the country’s Far East early Thursday, an AF spokesman said.

A Su-25 Frogfoot close-support aircraft crashed Thursday in the Primorye Territory about 143 kilometers (90 miles) from the port of Vladivostok. The pilot died in the crash.

“Today, on March 20 at 3:33 Moscow time (0:33 GMT), a Su-25 aircraft crashed during a training flight near the Chernigovka airbase, 143 kilometers from Vladivostok,” Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said. “The commander of the Russian Air Force has ordered the suspension of Su-25 flights,” he said.

An investigation into the cause of the incident has been launched and a special investigation commission has flown to the crash site. “According to preliminary reports, the plane developed technical problems during live firing exercises,” the AF spokesman said.

The Su-25 is a single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau to provide close air support for the ground troops. The aircraft is reported to have experienced a number of accidents in operational service caused by system failures attributed to the salvo firing of weapons.

In the wake of these incidents, use of its main armament, the 240-mm S-24 missile, was prohibited.

In its place, the FAB-500 500-kg high-explosive bomb became the primary armament. Thursday incident is the first Su-25 crash in the past two years.

The most recent crash involving a Su-25 plane occurred in June 2006 in southwest Russia near the border with Ukraine. The pilot died in the crash.

On May 21, 2005, a Su-25 crashed in Tajikistan. The pilot managed to eject from the plane and an investigation later established that the accident had been caused by technical problems.

The Su-25 aircraft has been in service with the Russian Air Force for more than 25 years. In 1999, Russia adopted a program to upgrade part of its aging Su-25 fleet. The Russian AF received the first six modernized planes, Su-25SM, in December 2006.

Moscow Uses Kosovar Independence and the Threat of Abkhazian/South Ossetian Secessionism to Destabilize the Balkans and the Caucasus

Meanwhile, the armed forces of Georgia’s secessionist region of Abkhazia mobilized 4,000 soldiers in an exercise outside the zone presently patrolled by Russian other troops from the Collective Security Treaty Organization. On March 21 Abkhaz secessionists received a propaganda boost when the Kremlin-compliant Russian State Duma, seeking to discredit Kosovar’s independence and block Georgia’s stated objective of NATO membership, adopted a statement a recommending that Russia promptly recognize Abkhazia and another de facto independent republic in Georgia, South Ossetia.

Today Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin lambasted the White House’s decision to supply arms to Kosovo, disengenuously calling the government in Pristina a “terrorist regime” and by extension Washington the aider and abetter of terrorists. “To give former terrorists weapons for the war against terrorism appears at least amusing if not worse,” Rogozin admonished. He continued: “It is well known that those in power in Kosovo came in as the organisers and leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army, which many states recognised as a terrorist organisation.” Rogozin’s remarks are disengenuous because Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is an “ex”-communist formerly associated with the Kosovo Liberation Army.

The USA and the European Union have recognized Kosovo as an independent state, but most countries in the Communist Bloc, with the exception of Albania and Bulgaria, refuse to do so. According to state-run Voice of Russia, Cyprus’ recently elected, Moscow-trained communist president Dimitris Christophias declared today: “Kosovo’s separation from Serbia is in violation of the Balkan country’s territorial integrity. It creates a dangerous precedent that could trigger still greater instability in the region. International law principles should be respected in all cases, rather than selectively.” On February 18 Serbian police issued an arrest warrant against PM Thaci, Kosovar President Fatmir Sejdiu, and Kosovar Parliamentary Speaker Jakup Krasniqi for grand treason

>USSR2 File: Paleo-communist Belarus: Russia’s "go-between" with Venezuela; Minsk busts US spy ring, assists Caracas in air defense system

>In a paranoid mood reminiscent of the coldest days of the First Cold War (1945-1991), the state media in Russia and Belarus are awash with reports of Western spies and traitors spying for foreign powers.

In Russia President Elect Dmitry Medvedev is accusing the British Council, which was forced by the Kremlin to close its regional offices in January, of working hand in glove with British intelligence: “The information that from time to time appears in the press and the reports that I get as one of the leaders of the country show that there is a problem with this. This is not very surprising because these types of organizations are traditionally used for the collection of information.”

In Belarus, where President/Dictator Alexander Lukashenko makes no attempt to hide his communism, the secret police, which are still known as the KGB, claim to have busted a ring of 10 Belarusian citizens who were allegedly spying for the USA. This “revelation” follows on the heels of a diplomatic flap in which Minsk withdrew its ambassador from Washington in protest over US sanctions against state-run petroleum company Belneftekhim and subsequently demanded that the US ambassador vacate Belarus. State-owned Kommersant Daily reports today:

Belarus Reports U.S. Spying on TV
March 25, 2008

The Belarusian Channel One television station reported on last Friday’s news broadcast that the country’s KGB has uncovered a ring of about ten Belarusian citizens spying for the United States. Their names have not been released, nor has the nature of the information they allegedly provided to the U.S. FBI been reported. Uncharacteristically, the Belarusian KGB is providing only a minimum of information about the case. The U.S. Embassy in Minsk is remaining tight-lipped as well. Observers suggest that the extensive attention to the case on television is an attempt to avenge U.S. sanctions against Belneftekhim.

Channel One reported that the spies were well equipped with cameras, binoculars, video cameras and telephones. They reported to an FBI agent working in the U.S. embassy under diplomatic cover, whose identity was also not disclosed. The operatives were forbidden to visit the embassy or have any contact with embassy personnel other than their manager. An apartment was rented half a kilometer from the embassy for meetings with him. The entire ring was uncovered at one time on March 13 in that apartment during a “check of documents.” Last summer, during heightened tensions between Belarus and the European Union, the Belarus KGB uncovered a network of spies working of Poland. Four former Belarusian military personnel and one Russian citizen were arrested on accusation of providing information about Belarusian and Russian air defense. At that time, the case was reported on the air by deputy head of the KGB Gen. Maj. Viktor Vegera and the accused were also shown to the public. It was later revealed that the suspects had been taken into custody in January of that year.

Tensions between Minsk and Washington shot up at the beginning of this month, after The U.S. announced new sanctions against the state Belneftekhim company, which had already been under restriction since last autumn. All Belarusian oil and petroleum product companies in which the state own a share of 50 percent or more are subject to sanction. Before the latest crackdown, only the companies’ overseas subsidiaries were subject to sanction. Minsk recalled its ambassador from the U.S. in protest of that measure. Later, the U.S. ambassador was recalled from Minsk for consultations and the U.S. agreed to a Belarusian demand that the staff of the Minsk embassy be reduced to the same size as the staff of the Belarusian embassy in Washington.

The Kremlin media reports today, too, that in the national capital Belarusian police rounded up oppositionists who were marking the 90th anniversary of the People’s Republic of Belarus, which existed as an unrecognized state between the German Army’s withdrawal from that territory in 1918 and the entrance of the Red Army in 1919. The non-communist People’s Republic of Belarus, also known as the Belarusian National Republic, still maintains a government in exile in Toronto. Today’s march in Minsk (pictured above) was sanctioned by authorities but restricted to a prescribed route.

Pictured here: “Ex”-communists Lukashenko and Zubkov in Minsk, on March 21, 2008. The neo-Soviet leadership in Moscow, meanwhile, has taken sides with its cohorts in Minsk by characterizing US sanctions against the other component of the Union State of Russia and Belarus as “politicized.” On March 21 the Belarusian state media quoted Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, who will be replaced by outgoing President Vladimir Putin in May, as saying:

In its own interests Washington has been increasing the pressure on Belarus instead of building up a dialogue and abolishing sanctions. And all these have been happening while Belarus has been taking positive steps. An example here can be the recent achievements in the development of the market economy in Belarus. Such actions of the USA do not fit well in the international legal context of the interstate relations. We urge Washington to revise its policy towards Belarus and its commercial entities.

Russia’s Middleman: Belarus to Dispatch 10 Military Specialists to Venezuela in 2008 to Coordinate South American Nation’s New Air Defense System

The paleo-communist regime in Minsk serves as an important bridge between Moscow and the red regime in Caracas, with which the Kremlin also collaborates openly. Russia has already delivered an array of weapons to Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez. However, Belarusian strongman Lukashenko also maintains a strategic partnership with the South American country. Piotr Tikhonovsky, deputy head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus, recently revealed that in 2008 10 Belarusian military specialists will take part in the construction of Venezuela’s air defense system. This number will increase until project completion in 2014. The documents undergirding this arrangement were signed in Caracas on December 8, 2007, during President Lukashenko’s visit to Venezuela.

Belarus, in turn, obtains its air defense technology and equipment from Russia. The two countries are allied in a military pact known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which also includes most of the republics of the Not-So-Former Soviet Union. Last year Minsk and Caracas established a mutual visa-free regime that will no doubt to facilitate the transportation of Eastern European “specialists” to the Bolivarian Republic. Pictured below: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez visits Minsk in July 2006.

Belarus to assist Venezuela in developing air defense system
25.03.2008 17:56

Belarusian military specialists will take part in the creation of Venezuela’s air defense system, Piotr Tikhonovsky, the deputy head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus, said at a session of the House of Representatives’ permanent commission on the international affairs and relations with the CIS.

Piotr Tikhonovsky noted that “at present Venezuela has no single system of anti-aircraft defense, there are only separate subdivisions”. The air-defense system will appear in Venezuela within the next six years, he added.

The parliamentary commission has supported two Belarus-Venezuela agreements: on cooperation in creation of the single system of the anti-aircraft defense and the system of the electronic warfare of the National Armed Forces of Venezuela and on the presence of Belarusian military counselors and specialists on the territory of Venezuela.

The House of Representatives plans to ratify the documents at the spring session. They were signed in Caracas on December 8, 2007, during the visit of the President of Belarus to the Republic of Venezuela.

In line with the agreements, the Belarusian side will offer Venezuela support and assistance in creating the single system of the anti-aircraft defense and the national system of electronic warfare based on the scientific project worked out by the Belarusian-Venezuela commission.

Venezuela will undertake obligations on the implementation of the project on its territory. Belarus will send counselors and specialists to help in the creation of the aforesaid defense systems.

The deputy head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus informed that the expenditure related to the sending of Belarusian military specialists will be covered by the Venezuelan side in line with the relevant contracts. In 2008, Belarus is going to send nearly 10 military specialists to Venezuela. The number will increase as the air defense system and the creation of the relevant infrastructure develops.

In line with the agreement, staying on the territory of Venezuela, Belarusian counselors and their families have to follow the legislation of Venezuela and cannot take part in military operations.

“Belarus’ participation in the creation of the air defense system and the national system of electronic warfare of Venezuela is advantageous for our country as it will give an opportunity to efficiently develop other areas of bilateral cooperation,” Piotr Tikhonovsky noted.

Piotr Tikhonovsky said that today Venezuela mostly uses the French and American equipment. However, the Venezuelan authorities “have taken the decision to orientate the East, Russia, probably, China”. Belarus will also supply Venezuela with military equipment, the automatic control system in particular, he added.

The Belarusian media also revealed on March 20 that a Strategic Fund for the Joint Development of Belarus and Venezuela will be established within the next few months. Issues relative to the Belarusian-Venezuelan strategic partnership were discussed at a meeting of representatives from both countries in Minsk on March 17 and 18.

Finally, the communist orientation of the Lukashenko regime is exposed yet again in the formal collaboration between the international communist front known as the World Federation of Democratic Youth, the state-sponsored Belarusian Republican Youth Union (BRYU), and the pro-Lukashenko Communist Party of Belarus. The BRYU consists in part of the old Belarusian section of the Soviet Komsomol and is therefore called “Lukamol” by detractors of President Lukashenko. The 17th World Festival of Youth and Students will take place in Belarus in July and August 2009. Igor Karpenko, second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus, notes below that “cooperation between the Belarusian Republican Youth Union and the World Federation of Democratic Youth would give a new impetus for the development of the international youth contacts and development of the state youth policy in Belarus.” Indeed.

WFYS to promote Belarus’ youth policy
29.02.2008 18:29

The World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) in Minsk will help implement the state youth policy in Belarus, WFYS President Thiago Viera stated at a meeting with the deputies of the World Federation of Democratic Youth in the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus.

“It is important for us to be here and see the efforts took for the development of Belarus. Our visit is an opportunity to show solidarity and exchange the experience. We are confident that joint efforts including the festival will help develop anti-Imperialist campaign,” the WFYS President said.

Igor Karpenko, the second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus, expressed confidence that “the cooperation between the Belarusian Republican Youth Union and the World Federation of Democratic Youth would give a new impetus for the development of the international youth contacts and development of the state youth policy in Belarus”.

The 17th World Festival of Youth and Students under the motto “We are for the World without Wars” will take place in Belarus in July-August 2009. Leonid Kovalev, the first secretary of the Belarusian Republican Youth Union (BRYU), Thiago Viera, the President of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), and Miguel Madeira, the WFDY Former President, discussed conceptions and arrangement plans of the youth forum at a meeting in the BRYU Central Committee.

>EU File: Kosovo War 2: Russia intervenes, counters Bush arms directive: Putin assents to Belgrade request for "humanitarian aid" to Kosovar Serbs

>From covert international manipulation to open solidarity, Russian support for Serbia’s cause against Kosovar independence has predictably escalated to “humanitarian aid.” This comes only days after US President George W. Bush gave the green light for arms sales to the new Islamo-Marxist-terrorist regime in Pristina. Russia’s agents of influence are already present on the ground in Serbia: Kosovar Serbs have called for Russian weapons to protect Serbian interests in Kosovo, while Serbian Radical Party leader and arch-Russophile Tomislav Nikolic, who may be Serbia’s next prime minister, is calling for a Russian military presence in Serbia. To characterize Kosovo Crisis 2, therefore, as an attempt by Moscow to drag NATO into another contrived brushfire war is not unreasonable.

“If humanitarian aid is needed, then let’s provide it, but without political bias. I would ask the prime minister to work on this issue,” Russia’s KGB dictator Vladimir Putin stresses to “ex”-CPSU Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov. The Kremlin has no “political bias” in the Balkans? Yeah, right. The neo-Soviet leadership’s “humanitarian aid” to Kosovo may include more than food and medicine. State-run Novosti reports:

Russia to meet Belgrade’s request for aid to Kosovo Serb regions
16:2424/ 03/ 2008

MOSCOW, March 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will provide humanitarian aid to crisis-hit Serb areas of Kosovo in line with a request from the Serbian government, outgoing president Vladimir Putin said on Monday.


Tensions have been escalating in Serb regions of the largely ethnic Albanian province since Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia on February 17. Rioters clashed with peacekeepers last week in the city of Mitrovica in northern Kosovo, leaving one Ukrainian police officer dead and dozens of civilians and peacekeepers wounded.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the president at a Cabinet meeting that Serbia’s government had approached Moscow with a request for humanitarian aid to ‘Serb enclaves’ due to the worsening situation over the past two weeks.

“They are primarily interested in medicine, medical equipment, long-life foods, and hygiene products,” he said.

Putin said: “If humanitarian aid is needed, then let’s provide it, but without political bias. I would ask the prime minister to work on this issue.”

Kosovo, with a 90% ethnic Albanian majority, has been recognized as a sovereign state by the United States, most European Union members, and several other countries. Russia has sided with Belgrade, which says Kosovo will always remain a part of its territory.

Serb-dominated areas account for about 15% of Kosovo’s territory. Belgrade has proposed that it take full control over these regions from UN peacekeepers.

Serbia today marked the ninth anniversary of the start of NATO’s bombing campaign which forced hardline leader Slobodan Milosevic to withdraw troops from Kosovo.

>Asia File: Beijing sends 80 truckloads of troops to crush Tibet uprising, reporters banned; Putin, Medvedev laud Hu on "re-election," Olympics hosting

>China’s Communist Leadership Imposes Media/Internet Blackout Around Suppression of Tibet Uprising

The ruling Communist Party of China is complaining that recent riots in Tibet were fomented by the exiled Dalai Lama’s government for the purpose of giving China a black eye in advance of the Beijing Olympics slated for August. Tellingly, Fox News reports below, “The International Olympic Committee has said that no country has called for a boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.” Indeed, US President George W. Bush has stated that he will not cancel his trip to attend the Olympic Games. The European Union, moreover, believes that boycotting the games is “counter-productive” in resolving human rights issues in China. These responses only show how comatose the shopping mall regimes have become since the “collapse” of communism in 1991 and the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989.

The communist regime is heavily censoring the situation in Tibet by banning foreign reporters from entering the province, see below, and by blocking the Internet where some people are posting videos of the protest at YouTube.com, which is normally available in China.

Pictured above: Chinese troops lockdown Lhasa.

China Sends 80 Truckloads of Troop Reinforcements Toward Tibet
Thursday , March 20, 2008

BEIJING — China sent additional troops into restive areas and made more arrests in the Tibetan capital Lhasa in an effort to suppress anti-government protests even as the Dalai Lama offered face-to-face negotiations with Chinese leaders.

Government officials acknowledged for the first time that protests against Chinese rule of Tibet have spread to Tibetan communities in other provinces after sweeping through Lhasa last week. It is one of the broadest challenges to Chinese rule in years.

Hundreds of paramilitary police aboard at least 80 trucks traveled along the main road winding through the mountains into southeastern Tibet. Others set up camp and patrolled in riot gear, helmets and, for a few, rifles in the area above Tiger Leaping Gorge, a tourist attraction that usually sees little unrest.

Such scenes were repeated across far-flung towns and villages in Tibetan areas of adjacent provinces to reassert control as sporadic demonstrations continued to flare. Foreigners were barred from traveling there and tour groups were banned from Tibet, isolating a region about four times the size of France.

The protests started peacefully in Lhasa early last week, but erupted into deadly riots on Friday, drawing a harsh response from Chinese authorities.

China’s crackdown has attracted even more scrutiny of its human rights record in the run-up to the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

China says the riots and protests were plotted from abroad by the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader revered by Tibetans, and his supporters. They have denied Tibetan exile groups’ claims that 80 died in the violence and ensuing crackdown.

Authorities say 16 died and 325 were injured.

The official Xinhua News agency reported Thursday that police shot and wounded four protesters “in self defense” over the weekend in western Sichuan province. It is the first time the government has acknowledged shooting any protesters in nearly a week of unrest.

Local Tibetan television in Lhasa aired footage Thursday showing black-clad police arresting 24 men. Handcuffed against a wall, the men, some young, some old, were charged with “endangering national security, beating, smashing, looting and burning,” the report said.

State-run television aired a 15-minute program Thursday night, showing Friday’s deadly rioting in Lhasa but none of the ensuing crackdown. Footage taken from security cameras showed looted, burned shops, wounded Chinese and a knife-wielding Tibetan standing atop a police car.

Buddhist monks were shown throwing sticks and other debris at riot police in a narrow street in a scuffle on Monday, March 10, in an attempt to portray the protests as having been started by monks.

Speaking from the seat of his government-in-exile in Dharmsala, India, the Dalai Lama offered to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao and other Chinese leaders, though said he would not travel to Beijing unless there was a “real concrete development.” He reiterated he was not seeking independence for Tibet.

“The whole world knows Dalai Lama is not seeking independence, one hundred times, thousand times I have repeated this. It is my mantra — we are not seeking independence,” the 72-year-old Dalai Lama told reporters.

“The Tibet problem must be solved between Tibetan people and Chinese people,” he said.

Despite China’s relentless vilification, the Dalai Lama — winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize — remains widely revered by Tibetans, traveling widely and meeting an array of politicians and celebrities.

China has ignored calls for dialogue, casting recent events as evidence that the Dalai Lama could not be negotiated with.

The Foreign Ministry expressed “grave concern” over a planned meeting between British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Dalai Lama, telling Brown not to offer support to the exiled leader.

At a tense news conference, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the government suggested that foreign tourists stay out of western Gansu and Sichuan provinces, the scene of additional clashes earlier this week between Tibetan protesters and security forces.

After a long pause, he added: “But I shall assure you that our government is fully capable of maintaining social stability and ensuring the security of tourists.”

The government’s attempts to portray the situation as under control, however, contrast with evidence and reports of ongoing tensions.

In Sichuan’s Aba county, where a protest Sunday ended in a confrontation, a Tibetan woman reached by phone Thursday said she had heard of numerous arrests of protesters in the area.

“There are many, many troops outside,” she said. “I’m afraid to leave the house,” said the woman, who refused to give her name for fear of retaliation by authorities.

Xinhua confirmed the Sunday protest, saying protesters attacked “shops and government offices”, but made no mention of allegations by pro-Tibet groups abroad that troops fired on protesters, killing several.

Police were checking ID cards at checkpoints and could be heard shouting from loudspeakers for protesters to turn themselves in.

Troops blocked roads also in nearby Serthar, also in Sichuan, confining residents to their homes, said a woman reached there by phone.

The London-based Free Tibet Campaign reported that troops had been sent to the county after local residents blew up a bridge near the village of Gudu.

Protests were reported also in neighboring Qinghai province, which is heavily Tibetan.

Zhang Yusheng, a spokesman for the Gansu provincial government, said a “small number of lawbreakers shouted reactionary slogans, raised the flag of separatism and adopted violent methods.”

Shops, schools, homes, vehicles and government offices in Gansu’s Gannan prefecture — a predominantly Tibetan area — were attacked, posing an “extremely grave threat” to social order, Zhang was quoted by state media as telling reporters on Wednesday.

Reinforcements were brought in and order was restored, he said. He mentioned no arrests.

Despite those reassurances, a hotel receptionist in the regional center of Luqu said employees and guests had been holed up inside since Tibetan protesters marched through the area on Sunday.

“The streets are now filled with police officers. Our hotel is booked out with tourists, but no one feels safe enough to set foot outside,” said the woman, who refused to give her name or that of her hotel for fear of retaliation by authorities.

A police officer in the nearby town of Maqu refused to answer questions about the situation.

The reports confirm previous claims by Tibetan exile groups that the protests had spread. Foreign journalists have been banned from going to Tibet and have found it increasingly difficult to travel to areas in other provinces with Tibetan populations.

The protests have been the biggest challenge in almost two decades to Chinese rule in Tibet, a Himalayan region that the People’s Liberation Army occupied in 1950 after several decades of effective independence.

But authorities appeared to be regaining control in Tibet and surrounding provinces where more than half of China’s 5.4 million Tibetans live. Moving from town to town, police checked IDs and set up roadblocks to keep Tibetans in and reporters out.

On Thursday morning, an Associated Press photographer was turned away from a flight to Zhongdian in Yunnan province. There were 12 policemen, some with automatic weapons, at the check-in counter. The police said no foreigners were allowed to travel to Tibetan areas due to the protests.

The unrest has prompted discussion of a possible boycott of the Aug. 8 opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics and calls for China to address Tibetans’ grievances and engage in direct talks with the Dalai Lama.

The White House said Thursday that China’s crackdown in Tibet is not cause for President Bush to cancel his trip to the Beijing Olympics.

The European Union also opposed a boycott of the Beijing Olympics, saying it would be counterproductive to efforts to improve human rights in China.

Adding to Beijing’s worries, activists said Thursday they would demonstrate in Beijing during the Olympics to press China to help end bloodshed in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Source: FoxNews.com

Neo-Soviet Russia Exposes Its Red Heart through Its Strategic Partnership with the Butchers of Beijing

Neo-Soviet Russia is by no means flustered by the anti-independence crackdown in Lhasa since the Butchers of Beijing are locked into a strategic partnership with their red comrades in the Kremlin. On March 13, three days after the Tibet riots erupted, Chinese President Hu Jintao conversed by telephone with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The subject of their discussion was the Sino-Soviet partnership, which includes the reciprocal Year of Russia in China and Year of China in Russia.

Hu said since Putin took office as Russian president, China-Russia relations have achieved sound, in-depth development with fruitful exchanges and cooperation in all areas. The two countries have signed the Sino-Russian Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation and achieved a thorough settlement of the border issue left over from history, said Hu. Both countries successfully staged the “Year of Russia” in China and the “Year of China” in Russia during the past two years, after the signing of a joint statement on world order in the 21st century in July 2005, he added. Hu spoke highly of Putin’s outstanding contributions to the China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership. Hu expressed belief that with the joint efforts of both sides, China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership will surely be pushed to one new level after another and the cause of friendship between the two countries will bear more fruit. Hu also congratulated on the successful presidential election in Russia.

Putin highly evaluated his close and fruitful cooperation with Hu, reaffirming that Russia and China are strategic partners and that his country attaches great importance to bilateral ties with China. More than 600 events were staged within the framework of the national theme years, he said, adding Russia and China have witnessed steady expansion of bilateral trade and good cooperation in world affairs. He expressed hope that the leaders of both countries will continue close exchanges and further promote the Russia-China strategic partnership.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry concluded its report by noting that “Putin also wished the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games every success.” In other words, the Moscow-Beijing Axis will not be deterred from foisting its propaganda campaign on the world in spite of the blood-soaked streets of Lhasa.

Five days later, on March 18, Russian President-Elect Dmitry (“Comrade Puppet”) Medvedev extended his congratulations to Tyrant Hu on the occasion of his “re-election” as Chinese president, a communist farce with which the Gazprom CEO can no doubt relate. State-run Voice of Russia reports: “The new elected president of Russia Dmitry Medvedev has sent a congratulatory message to China’s President Hu Jintao in view of his re-election. Praising a very high level of the Russian-Chinese relations, he said that he is ready to continue a confidential and constructive dialogue. Thanks to the holding of the Year of Russia in China and the Year of China in Russia the two nations began to understand each other much better. The current Russian President Vladimir Putin has also congratulated Hu Jintao on his re-election as China’s President.”

If you think that the Chinese leadership is no longer committed to Marxism, then consider the following 2004 proclamation from the website of the Communist Party of China: “Hu Jintao, state president and general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has called for upholding the great banner of Marxist Theory, to agglomerate the whole Party and the whole people to strive for the lofty ideal and goal.”

If you think that the Russian leadership is no longer committed to Marxism, then why is the Kremlin staffed with “ex”-communists and “ex”-KGB types who look and sound like Soviet-style communists? If the Russian leadership is no longer committed to Leninism, then why has it linked arms with the openly communist leadership of China in a strategic alliance that former KGB Major Anatoliy Golitsyn described as “one clenched fist” as far back as 1984, if not before? If the Russian leadership is no longer committed to Leninism, then why do Putin, Medvedev, and Communist Party of the Russian Federation/Soviet Union Chairman Gennady Zyuganov work in unison to promote the Sino-Soviet partnership and the Union State of Russia and Belarus, and encourage South American revolutionaries like Hugo Chavez? If you think that the Russian leadership is no longer committed to Leninism, then why is Russia’s bomber fleet airborne again after a 15-year hiatus? Do the addition, then throw your TV out the window and start prepping.

>EU File: Bush gives green light to arms for Kosovo; Russia, Serbia denounce sale; Serbian Interior Ministry officers identified at besieged court

>In a move that will undoubtedly provoke the Kremlin, US President George W. Bush has authorized the sale of weapons to the Islamo-Marxist-terrorist government of Kosovo. In reality, Bush is presenting the Soviet strategists with a pretext for Moscow’s long-planned war against the West. The Western MSM has been silent on the subject of the deployment of Serbian tanks near the Kosovo border, first reported during the week after Pristina seceded. Pictured here: The United Nations to the rescue in Mitrovica, Kosovo/Serbia, March 17, 2008.

Bush OKs supplying arms to Kosovo
Wed Mar 19, 5:59 PM

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President George W. Bush authorized Wednesday supplying Kosovo with weapons, signaling the establishment of government-to-government relations after recognizing its independence, the White House said.

In a memo to the State Department made public by the White House, Bush said: “I hereby find that the furnishing of defense articles and defense services to Kosovo will strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace.”

A senior official said the authorization followed US recognition of Kosovo’s independence and was part of the normal process of establishing relations with a new government.

In a comment apparently meant to allay concerns from Serbia and its ally Russia, the official stressed the military restrictions imposed on Kosovo under a plan by former UN special envoy for Kosovo Martti Ahtisaari.

Under the Ahtisaari plan, which is the basis for Kosovo’s supervised independence, Kosovo is allowed a lightly armed 2,500-person security force under NATO oversight and training.

Kosovo, an Albanian-dominated Serbian province under UN administration since 1999, unilaterally declared its independence on February 17. The United States recognized it on March 18, despite strong opposition from Serbia and Russia.

The US official, who asked not to be identified, said the US weapons deliveries were preparing the ground for the future, adding that the United States had struck similar relations with other countries in the region.

Furthermore, the official said, provisions of defense equipment and services would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The official said that providing military equipment to Kosovo would improve security relations and engagement with Kosovo, promote security and stability throughout the Balkans, improve Kosovo’s capacity to take part in peacekeeping activities, to detect, deter and defeat terrorists, and to deal with humanitarian emergencies.

Source: YahooNews.com

Predictably, the Serbian and Russian governments are denouncing proposed US military aid to Pristina. The policy convergence between Moscow and Belgrade on Kosovar independence has been amply documented at Once Upon a Time in the West. The state-run Voice of Russia admitted on February 25: “Russia has agreed close coordination with Serbia on how that country resists outside schemes to separate Kosovo, in violation of international laws that were over a hundred years in the making. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev told this to the press after emerging from talks with the Serbian Premier Vojislav Kostunica at a meeting with him in Belgrade on Sunday.”

More recently, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica told the Belgrade press today: “Instead of sending more arms to [Kosovo] Albanians, what is really needed is for the U.S. to resume respecting international law and the UN Charter. Kosovo needs new talks and not new weapons.” Kostunica warned that the sale of arms to Kosovo will further aggravate the international violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which guaranteed Serbia’s territorial integrity. On March 18 Reuters reported that Serbia has offered to govern ethnic Serb areas in Kosovo, a proposal that would effectively partition the newly independent state. At the same time, citing security concerns, the European Union has pulled out its advance law and order team from northern Kosovo. Meanwhile, Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, insisted today that he would raise the issue of President Bush’s authorization of military assistance to Kosovo at a session of the NATO-Russia Council.

Serb PM hits out at U.S. over plan for Kosovo military aid
18:49 20/ 03/ 2008

BELGRADE, March 20 (RIA Novosti) – A decision to permit U.S. arms deliveries to Kosovo is “another profoundly mistaken step” by Washington, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, U.S. President George Bush signed a presidential order authorizing military aid to Kosovo, saying that, “the furnishing of defense articles and defense services to Kosovo will strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace.” Kosovo declared unilateral independence from Serbia on February 17.

It has so far been recognized by the majority of Western countries, including the U.S. and most EU member states.

“Instead of sending more arms to [Kosovo] Albanians, what is really needed is for the U.S. to resume respecting international law and the UN Charter. Kosovo needs new talks and not new weapons,” Kostunica told the Belgrade-based newspaper Vecernje Novosti.

He said the decision to launch arms supplies confirmed that “the first state under the NATO aegis” had been established.

Kostunica said the move could aggravate problems caused by the violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which guaranteed Serbia’s territorial integrity, and Washington’s approval of the “illegitimate declaration” of independence by Pristina.

The Serbian premier also said his nation had not forgotten “the policy of force” applied by the U.S. in 1999 when the former Yugoslavia suffered 78 days of bombing as NATO sought to end a conflict between Kosovo’s majority Albanian separatists and Serb forces.

Serbia’s long time ally, Russia, is vehemently opposed to Kosovo’s independence, saying the move could serve as a precedent that could trigger a chain reaction in other secessionist regions.

Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin said on Thursday that he would discuss the decision to authorize military assistance to Kosovo at a Russia-NATO Council session.

The worst violence to hit the region since Pristina declared independence broke out in the north of Kosovo on Monday as rioters attacked UN peacekeepers after an operation to retake a UN court building earlier seized by ethnic Serb protestors.

A Ukrainian member of the UN police force in Kosovo later died of wounds sustained during the violence and scores of people, both ethnic Serbs and UN personnel, were injured.

Source: Novosti

The Serbian prime minister, President Boris Tadic, and opposition leader Tomislav Nikolic have also denounced the military operation in which NATO troops reoccupied the United Nations court house in Mitrovica on March 17. Ironically, a Ukrainian police officer under UN command died in the assault. US diplomat Larry Rossin, deputy head of the UN administration in Kosovo, informed a news conference that “Of the 40 or so people occupying the building, some were identified as Serbian Ministry of Interior officers.” The following day NATO’s Kosovo Force placed Mitrovica under de facto military rule. French, Belgian, and Spanish troops in armored personnel carriers secured the UN compound, and 150 US soldiers were deployed in the ethnic Albanian district of Mitrovica. Yesterday 40 UN police officers resumed their duties alongside 80 members of the local police force. The UN administration in Kosovo, which revealed that it had possessed intelligence of an impending Serbian attack on their facilities in Mitrovica, has temporarily suspended ethnic Serb police officers from duty.
NATO tightens grip on north Kosovo in police vacuum
By Matt Robinson and Branislav Krstic
Tue Mar 18, 3:32 PM ET

NATO troops in Kosovo patrolled the Serb stronghold of north Mitrovica alone on Tuesday after police withdrew following deadly Serb riots.

Kosovo Serb police followed U.N. officers in suspending normal duties in the Serb north of the flashpoint town, under orders from the NATO-led peacekeeping force and U.N. mission still in charge of the newly-independent state.

French, Belgian and Spanish troops in armored personnel carriers secured the area, and 150 U.S. troops were deployed on the southern, Albanian side of Mitrovica.

The town was still tense having been rocked by the worst violence since Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia on Feb 17 with Western backing. Backed by Russia, Serbia has rejected the secession, and Western officials alleged Belgrade’s involvement in the unrest in the Serb-dominated strip of north Kosovo.

A senior U.N. source said the mission was “keeping a close eye” on the growing influence of unofficial Serb security structures in north Mitrovica.
Serb riots involving automatic gunfire and hand grenades on Monday killed one Ukrainian police officer serving with the U.N. and left dozens of U.N. police and NATO soldiers injured.

The Ukrainian officer died of shrapnel wounds.
The violence was sparked by a U.N. police operation to retake a U.N. court seized three days earlier by Serbs. U.N. officials said Serbian police personnel were involved. “Of the 40 or so people occupying the building, some were identified as Serbian Ministry of Interior officers,” U.S. diplomat Larry Rossin, the deputy head of the U.N. administration in Kosovo, told a news conference.
The senior U.N. source said the mission had intelligence that Serbs had been planning to seize control of the U.N.-run police station adjacent to the court, in a fresh challenge to U.N. and NATO authority in the region.
U.N. police and civilian staff were withdrawn on Monday. On Tuesday, three dozen Kosovo Serb police officers carried their holdalls and flak jackets out past Belgian armored cars guarding the perimeter to the parking lot.

“Following yesterday’s events KFOR has taken over authority for north Mitrovica and occupied the northern police station. U.N. police have ordered us to stay at home until further notice,” Captain Milija Milosevic told Reuters.

KFOR commander General Xavier Bout de Marnhac said Monday’s riots had “crossed a red line with the deliberate intent to kill people — you know Molotov cocktails, fragmentation grenades and direct fire” aimed at U.N. and KFOR personnel.

“We are not going to tolerate that,” the general told a news conference in the Kosovo capital, Pristina.

The violence highlighted the risk of the new country’s partition along ethnic lines and cast further doubt on the deployment in the north of a European Union rule-of-law mission in the coming two months.

The main bridge over the river separating the Serb north from the Albanian south remained closed.

Razor-wire and upturned garbage containers on the Serb side blocked the way. NATO soldiers in armored personnel carriers secured the line.

About 120,000 Serbs remain in Kosovo among 2 million ethnic Albanians. Almost half live in the north, adjacent to Serbia and in complete isolation from Pristina.

They reject the incoming EU mission as “occupiers.” Kosovo has won recognition from the United States and most EU members. Serbia has Russian support.

“We have warned that this step would inevitably have negative consequences. It happened,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Moscow.

Rice said: “We do agree that all sides should refrain from violence and that all sides should refrain from any provocation and we are sending messages to all sides.”

Serbia has offered to govern the ethnic Serb areas, senior diplomatic sources told Reuters on Tuesday, in a plan that would effectively partition the newly independent state.

The proposal was made at the weekend by Serbia’s Minister for Kosovo, Slobodan Samardzic, but was rejected by the U.N. mission in Kosovo, they said.

The Brussels-based think tank International Crisis Group said in a report the EU and NATO would have to send a “clear message” to Serbia and Russia that they would not permit Kosovo to be divided and become “another frozen conflict.”

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: NATO fighter jets intercept Russian bombers near Norway today, CSTO civil defense leaders meet in Moscow

>While Russian bombers continue to stage provocative flights near the periphery of NATO-NORAD airspace, the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s emergency situations “czars” converged in Moscow yesterday to coordinate the civil defense programs of the Commonwealth of Independent States. State-run Voice of Russia reports: “Emergency situations ministers of the member countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization will gather in Moscow today to agree on closer interaction in tackling and preventing natural and man-made disasters. The CSTO comprises Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.” War definitely qualifies as a “man-made disaster.” As we have urged for months, when the heads of the neo-Soviet civil defense programs network and mobilize their resources, the West should take heed. Missile Day might not be too far away. Sergei Shoigu, who has been Russia’s civil defense and emergency situations minister since 1991, is related by marriage to Oleg Shenin, August 1991 coup ringleader and chairman of the restored Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Pictured above: Royal Air Force Tornado escorts Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber near Scotland, May 2007

NATO fighters scramble again to intercept Russian Bear bombers
15:3019/ 03/ 2008

MOSCOW, March 19 (RIA Novosti) – NATO fighters scrambled to accompany Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers on a regular patrol over the Atlantic on Wednesday, a Russian Air Force spokesman said.

Two Bear bombers conducted a 16-hour patrol mission Wednesday over the Atlantic Ocean and performed aerial refueling while flying over neutral waters near Norway en route to their home bases.

“During the flight, the Russian bombers were accompanied by NATO’s F-16 and Tornado fighters,” Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said.

Interceptions of Russian combat aircraft by NATO fighters are becoming a common occurrence again, after Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August, following an order signed by President Vladimir Putin.

Russian bombers have since carried out over 70 strategic patrol flights and have often been escorted by NATO planes.

Drobyshevsky reiterated on Wednesday that regular patrols of Russian strategic bombers do not pose a threat to other countries, and Russia always issues prior warnings of their patrols.

Source: Novosti

The Russian Air Force will also conduct exercises in its Far East region and over the Pacific Ocean beginning tomorrow. The first maneuver between March 20 and 22 will include more Bear bombers, while the second between March 23 and 24 will include a squadron of An-30V aerial survey and photography aircraft. Russia’s back-to-back strategic aviation forays were formally announced by President Vladimir Putin last August. “The move is widely seen by the West as a sign of Russia’s increasingly aggressive military stance,” Novosti reports blandly. Uh, like yeah.

The Remilitarization of neo-Soviet Russia Continues with Little Concern from the Intended Victim

In a related story, the independent Moscow Times features this picture, with caption: “Soldiers riding in armored personnel carriers, foreground, and infantry fighting vehicles, background, as they rehearse Tuesday for the Victory Day parade on Red Square. The exercises for the May 9 holiday celebrating the defeat of Nazi Germany took place at a training field in the town of Alabino outside Moscow.” On March 5 state-run Novosti quoted Moscow Military District Commander General Vladimir Bakin as saying: “After a 17-year-long break, the president of Russia took the decision to resume military parades with military hardware.” The May 9 military parade in Red Square will be the first since 1990 and will include BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, BTR-80 armored personnel carriers, T-90 tanks, Topol-M ICBM mobile launchers, and Tu-160 and Tu-95MS strategic bombers. It is an obvious attempt by the Kremlin to demonstrate to the world that neo-Soviet Russia is once again a superpower.

Last month Novosti also reported that in 2008 the Russian defense budget will increase by 20 percent over last year: “Russia has downsized its Armed Forces to about 1.1 million personnel, but military spending has increased dramatically under President Putin. Defense spending is set to total 1.18 trillion rubles ($45 billion) by 2010.” Strategic Missile Forces Commander Nikolai Solovtsov has affirmed that the Kremlin is commited to “building and maintaining” a strong nuclear deterrent and that, accordingly, financing for the SMF has “fully stabilized in the past four years.” “Compared with 2004-2006, spending on combat training, on the maintenance, operation and scheduled repairs of military hardware increased [in 2007] more than five-fold,” Solovtsov revealed. The neo-Soviet leadership, he added, remains resolutely opposed to the proposed deployment of the US missile shield in Central Europe and the eastward expansion of NATO (or western expansion of the Soviet Bloc via NATO’s absorption of the so-called post-communist states of Eastern Europe). The Financial Times reported yesterday that after a meeting of US and Russian officials in Moscow, “Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said after talks with Condoleezza Rice, his US counterpart, and ­Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, that Russia remained opposed to the missile shield, despite assurances from Mr Gates that it posed no threat to Russia.” The same source also reports that Washington and Moscow failed to agree on a replacement of the 1993 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty II that reduces the strategic weapons capacities of both countries but expires in 2009.

In another not-so-unrelated story Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov visited Russia’s Novolazarevskya research base in Antarctica, one of five such installations in the South Pole. During his visit, state-run Moscow News Weekly reports, “Ivanov is also expected to check the work of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) in cold weather conditions. Glonass is Russia’s equivalent to the U.S. GPS system. Designed for both military and civilian use, the system allows users to identify their positions in real time.” The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty II (1979) forced the Soviets to discontinue the development of their Fractional Orbital Bombardment System, which would place North America in jeopardy of missiles that would be launched from Russia into low Earth orbit and then travel over Antarctica to strike the Continental USA from the south, rather than from the north.

>EU File: French Right suffers setback: Socialists, Communists surge ahead in French municipal elections; Sarkozy, Merkel, Qaddafi peddle Soviet script

>The French Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), like conservative forces throughout the world, is compromised by its faux rightist leadership that has bought into the Soviet deception and utilizes every opportunity to snuggle up to the neo-Soviet regime in Moscow in fatal strategic economic and political partnerships that entail the West’s absorption into world communist government. The surge in municipal-level electoral support on March 9 and 16 for the French Socialist Party, French Communist Party (PCF), and other communist formations proves this point. “People rub elbows daily with Communist elected representatives,” gushes PCF cadre Michel Laurent, below. “The result places us in the position of the third political force in France.” What a sobering if not frightening thought for any true French patriot, working class or otherwise.

The World Socialist Web Site reports that “far left” organizations like the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR) and Workers’ Struggle (LO) also picked up votes by attaching themselves to party lists dominated by the Socialists and PCF: “Some of the ‘far left’ Ligue communiste révolutionnaire (LCR) lists have broken through the 5 percent threshold, which will permit it to merge with SP and CP lists and to negotiate with them for representation on municipal councils in return for supporting them in the second round.” As usual, armchair leftists, like those at WSWS, complain that the parliamentary left is thwarting proletarian revolution by joining forces with social democrats and revisionists: “Despite LCR and LO claims to represent a radical left position, they provide a left cover for the SP and the CP and stand in the way of the development of a revolutionary socialist programme whereby the working class can express its interests. This has helped the UMP to keep its defeat relatively small.” In other words, real communists use bullets, not ballots, to crush the hated bourgeoisie.

Pictured above: Ready to rule: The Paris headquarters of the French Communist Party.

French communists still standing
Monday 17 March 2008

By Marie Valla / FRANCE 24

France’s Communist Party managed to halt its steady decline as it won local elections in 89 towns of over 9,000 inhabitants, though it lost several historic strongholds including Calais, Montreuil, Aubervilliers and the district of Seine-Saint-Denis.

In 1976, the French Communist Party (PCF) officially dropped the Soviet goal of overthrowing the bourgeoisie in favour of a more European model. More than three decades later, the PCF is one of the last of its kind in Europe. But if it has long abandoned its global and even national ambitions, French voters are increasingly urging the party to go local.

After 25 years of deteriorating electoral results, the PCF came out of Sunday’s local elections still resisting elimination.

“We did better than resist,” said Michel Laurent, a party official in charge of electoral issues shortly after the first round of the French municipal elections on March 9. “The result places us in the position of the third political force in France.”

Winning only 1.93% of the vote in the 2007 presidential election, the PCF had registered its worst score since the party’s creation in 1920. But growing discontent with French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s politics may have helped the party win a reprieve this time. By retaining almost all their local seats and winning a few others, the Communists showed they were still a force to contend with.

In the first round of the local elections, the PCF managed to win back Dieppe and Vierzon, two strategic regional cities it had lost to the Right in 2001. Overall it has managed to win the race in 89 towns of over 9,000 inhabitants, up from the 86 towns it was running before the election. However, the Communist party lost some of its most loyal and long-lasting strongholds, including Calais, Montreuil, Aubervilliers and the department of Seine-Saint-Denis.

Renouncing national ambitions, but stemming a decomposition

“When Communists convey a sense of coming together, when they listen and stand by the employees to defend their jobs, when they carry their hopes, it works,” Sébastien Jumel, the 36-year-old newly elected mayor of Dieppe, a northern French port city of 35,000 people, told the French daily, “l’Humanité”.

The PCF did well in working class neighborhoods in northern and eastern Paris and in the suburbs of Lyon and Grenoble as well as a few other regional bases in northern France and around Marseilles. “The party has had to renounce its national dimension, but it stopped its decomposition,” explained Dominique Andolfatto from University Nancy-II.

A long, slow decline

The party is a long way from the days of the ‘Front Populaire’ in January 1936, when the Communists, backed by 15% of voters, sat in the government of the then-Prime Minister Leon Blum. After World War II, bolstered by their role in the French Resistance against the Nazis, the Communists became a major force in French politics.

The repercussions of the Cold War and the decline of the industrial sector in the 1970s signaled the beginning of a long fall, which the strategy of alliance with the Socialist Party failed to curb.

Today, France’s Communist Party claims it has voters’ trust on issues such as housing and economic development. “People rub elbows daily with Communist elected representatives,” said Laurent. “They can judge us by our actions on the ground.”

“The PCF seems stuck, as if paralyzed by the questioning of what makes up its identity,” says Andolfatto. “That’s one of the reasons why some party members prefer to focus on local issues, even if it means hiding the red flag in their pockets and behaving as a local landlord.”

Yet, party officials such as Laurent claim that “there is coherence between what we do nationally and what we do at a local level.” A conviction that still makes the French Communist party the last of its kind in Europe.

Source: France 24

Nicholas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, and Colonel Qaddafi Peddle Soviet Script for Regional and World Government

Writing in a March 1990 memorandum to the US Central Intelligence Agency former KGB Major Anatoliy Golitsyn states: “American blindness is diminishing the role of the United States as the leader of the Western world and is offering the Soviets new openings to manipulate erroneous Western perceptions of ‘perestroika’ to the detriment of the Western alliances. The distinction between the American vision of an enlarged Europe based upon Western values and the Soviet ‘vision’ of a neutral socialist Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals, built upon an expanded socialist European Community under Moscow’s effective hegemony, is being lost from sight” (The Perestroika Deception [1995, 1998], page 74).

President Nicholas Sarkozy is not only on good terms with KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin, but also is aiding and abetting the Soviet script for multiple regional governments by floating a proposal for a Mediterranean Union that would effectively serve as a bridge between the European Union and African Union. Sarkozy’s Mediterranean Union, to which fellow faux rightist German Chancellor Angela Merkel has attached her imprimatur, will include Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Palestine, Portugal, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey. Perhaps Sarkozy is overlooking the fact that many of these countries feature democratically elected communist governments (Cyprus, Italy, Morocco, and Palestine) or socialist single-party dictatorships (Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Syria).

Merkel is in all likelihood a KGB asset, like Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi. The German chanellor was raised in East Germany and joined the ruling communist party’s youth wing. Since November 2005 Merkel’s “rightist” Christian Democratic Union has governed in a grand coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which is pushing hard for a more comprehensive strategic partnership with neo-Soviet Russia. The Moscow-Berlin Axis, as we have documented by quoting the writings of KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn, is a core objective of the Soviet strategists themselves, who seek to establish a “neutral, socialist” Europe. On March 4 German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a member of the SPD, articulated the need to set aside “Cold War era” hostilities and boldly advertised the necessity of convergence between the European Union and the (Not-So) Former Soviet Union.

Russia is and remains an indispensable strategic partner if we want to secure peace in Europe. But it’s not only us who need Russia — Russia also needs us. Let us take the (new) president [Dmitry Medvedev] at his word. Let us accept his partnership proposition. Russia’s transformation — it’s as much in his interest as it is in ours. The European Union must develop closer ties with the former Soviet countries in central Asia and the Caucasus, as well as the Ukraine and Belarus, providing the latter agrees to work on its human rights record. We need to enshrine a new charter with Russia, focused on democracy and peace. The Cold War is today definitively consigned to history.

Steinmeier is merely echoing the sentiments of Pavel Borodin, the head of the Union State of Russia and Belarus who believes that one day the EU will join his outfit. On March 8 Merkel made her pilgrimage to Moscow where she met both Putin and Medvedev (pictured above, wooing Angela with flowers). State-run Moscow News Weekly reports that Putin denounced NATO “expansionism” at the expense of supporting the well-established Soviet project known as the United Nations. “An endless expansion of the military bloc under modern conditions when there is no confrontation between two hostile systems – we can see that it is not only unfeasible but harmful and counterproductive,” Putin growled. “NATO does not want to become the second U.N., this is an alliance of absolutely defensive nature that is based on common values,” Merkel cooed in response.

While Sarkozy campaigns for North-South convergence, and Merkel places her head between the jaws of the Soviet Bear in the interests of East-West convergence, venerable Libyan strongman Colonel Muammar Abu Minyar al-Qaddafi (“Duck”) is campaigning for a “United States of Africa.” The last will be built on the bodies of the 500,000 casualties his Liberian and Sierra Leonean Marxist proxies, Charles Taylor (presently on trial for crimes against humanity) and Foday Sanchoh (who died while waiting for trial), produced in the 1990s. Pictured above: Separated at birth candidates: Qaddafi impersonates Hollyweird star Elizabeth Taylor.

Journalist Karamoh Kabba ponders Qaddafi’s latest career move: “Perhaps bored of living life as one of Africa’s longest serving dictators, could Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi be in search of a bigger political stage? He staunchly supports the African Union’s agenda for a ‘United States of Africa.’ This concept may be somewhat attractive to some African leaders and citizens who believe that Africa needs to consolidate its human and natural resources.” Undeterred by the US Air Force, which bombed his residence in 1986, Qaddafi, Kabba relates, has apparently picked up the torch of pan-African solidarity first articulated by Ghanian Marxist dictator Kwame Nkrumah in 1963: “Intriguingly, Gaddafi is traveling with huge entourages complete with a heavy bodyguard presence across the wide African plains and Savannah grasslands, peddling his all-African Agenda. His sponsored rebellion in the region went through the very poorest nations along the west coast of Africa — Sierra Leone and Liberia. But he is now wooing their post-war leaders, who have managed to carry on in fledgling democracies, for support of his newfound diplomatic cause for a United States of Africa.”

>USA File: Number 1 no longer: European Union displaces USA as world’s largest economy; dollar hits record lows, home equity market crisis spreads

>On March 17, 2008 the European Union displaced the United States of America as the world’s largest economy. The Soviet Union, having missed its opportunity during the Great Depression, has waited ninety years to push the USA into the abyss of history. The present convulsions in US financial markets, money markets, banking system, real economy, and real estate–which are being duly tracked in the Kremlin media–followed by a communist coup d’etat in the White House, employing the Democratic Party as its front, may provide the rejuvenated Soviet Bloc with its window of opportunity to strike.

Pictured above: Not fit to be President of the United States: Obama’s mama was a communist sympathizer. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg, as we have previously documented. Democratic US Senator Obama’s racial origin is irrelevant with respect to the man’s ability to successfully lead America.

U.S. loses No. 1 ranking as dollar drops
European Union now has world’s biggest economy
Posted: March 18, 200812:05 pm Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi
WorldNetDaily

The European Union has overtaken the U.S. as the world’s No. 1 economy due to the continued dramatic fall of the dollar, according to a Reuters report.

The U.S. Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, for 2007 is officially estimated at $13,843,800 billion.

The 2007 GDP for the 15 EU countries is estimated at 8,847,889 billion euros, the report said.

That means when the euro yesterday topped $1.56, the EU officially became the largest economy in the world.

In a Financial Times commentary published Monday, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan declared the current financial crisis in the U.S. “is likely to be judged in retrospect as the most wrenching” since the end of World War II.

Greenspan further concluded the U.S. financial crisis will not end until “home prices stabilize and with them the value of equity in homes supporting troubled mortgage securities.”

Dollar in crisis

WND has reported the Federal Reserve is in a dilemma. As the Fed continues to lower rates to stimulate the sagging economy, the dollar is increasingly abandoned, hitting new lows almost every day against other major currencies.

If the Fed were to raise rates to prop up the dollar, most Wall Street experts would expect a broad sell-off of U.S. stocks across the board.

Today, before the opening of the New York Stock Exchange, the dollar was trading at a new low, $1.5787 against the euro.

Just yesterday, the dollar hit a new all-time low in foreign currency exchange markets, closing at 71.44 on the U.S. Dollar Index.

Home Equity Foreclosures Hit Bank Assets

Meanwhile, the crisis in the home equity market is spreading to impact major financial institutions.

Over the weekend, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury intervened, guaranteeing J.P. Morgan Chase’s bargain basement purchase for a mere $2 per share of then in free-fall Bear Stearns, the 85-year-old Wall Street investment bank that had survived the Depression and two world wars.

Today, Wall Street is pressuring the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee to drop rates on federal funds as much as 1 percent, a nearly unprecedented one-time adjustment.

Fed Funds rates, now at 3 percent, reached a high of 5.25 percent in January 2007.

Since September, the Fed has been engaged in a series of rate cuts, trying to keep ahead of the developing financial crisis and economic slowdown that began with the downturn in the mortgage markets in the middle of last year.

The real estate bubble developed as Greenspan kept fed funds rates at a historical low of 1 percent throughout much of 2003 and 2004.

The resulting liquidity pumped funds into home equity markets, stimulating dramatic price increases that continued throughout much of 2006. That resulted in abundant cash for mortgage lenders to fund the risky sub-prime market where typically unqualified home buyers were being offered unconventional loans with artificially low mortgage payments in the initial few months.

The nation is now experiencing the fallout of collateralized mortgage obligations in which mortgages packaged as securities and sold to banks as assets were allowed to count in the banks’ legal reserve calculations.

A wave of home foreclosures across the nation has caused a resulting failure in the collateralized mortgage securities held by banks.

When the collateralized mortgage obligations are marked to market, many banks across the country are finding they do not have adequate non-borrowed reserves to continue operations under current reserve requirements.

Again, the Federal Reserve has stepped in, providing multiple facilities in which struggling banks can borrow on a short-term basis the reserves needed to continue operating.

In a series of unprecedented moves over the weekend, the Federal Reserve has now made many of these same borrowing facilities available to securities and investment brokerage firms as well as commercial banks.

As WND reported, for the first time since the Federal Reserve has published the data, bank non-borrowed reserves have begun to turn negative, reflecting the increased borrowing banks are utilizing to continue operating.

Source: WorldNetDaily.com

>Red World: Nigerian president’s past student: Yar’Adua a "hard-core" communist; Abuja forms strategic energy partnership with Moscow, Beijing

>After several weeks of research we have updated our Red World country profile series (accessible via link in right column). The extent of communist influence in the national capitals of the twenty-first century is more pervasive than even we realized.

Consider the case of Nigeria. After decades of military dictatorship and “emerging democracy” Nigeria has finally fallen behind Africa’s section of the Communist Bloc. Although President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was elected to his first term in May 2007, we only recently discovered that the former college chemistry professor is in fact a Marxist who infiltrated Nigeria’s new centrist ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party. According to BBC News Nigeria’s current president is a “self-confessed Marxist”: “As an undergraduate student in Nigeria’s Ahmadu Bello University, Mr Yar’Adua was a self-confessed Marxist and criticised his elder brother’s ‘capitalist’ leanings.” In a May 2007 interview in the Nigerian press, moreover, Lawal Ibrahim, one of Yar’Adua’s students at Katsina College of Art, Science and Technology, described the former governor of Katsina State and current national president as a “rabid socialist” and “hard-core communist”:

I have known Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua for forty-one years, precisely I first met him in 1966 during the days of Katsina State Student Union when he was the president. From then on our paths crossed in a number of ways including the fact that in 1976 when he just finished his National Youth Service, (NYSC), he was employed by the then Katsina College of Art, Science and Technology in Zaria to teach chemistry and I happened to be one of the students he taught chemistry that year. It was in the class and outside the chemistry that class Umaru taught me communism, because he was a rabid socialist. He was a hardcore and staunch social communist. Then we found ourselves first in different political camps, the NRC and SDP and in 1998/99 we found ourselves in the PDP and before that, K34. So I have known him for 41 years and in the five-year period between 1976 and 1981 we spent at least four hours in a week with each other.

We have been unable to determine, however, whether President Yar’Adua is a secret cadre of the Communist Party of Nigeria, which was legally registered in 2002 and which could be descended from the pro-Soviet Socialist Workers’ and Farmers’ Party of Nigeria that was banned by the military government in 1966. Incidentally, in 2000, during Yar’ Adua’s administration as governor, Katsina became the fifth northern Nigerian state to adopt sharia, or Islamic law.

Since his inauguration, Yar’Adua has snuggled up to the Moscow-Beijing Axis by establishing strategic energy partnerships with both communist superpowers through an under-reported program of stealthy corporate takeovers. In January 2008 the Financial Times revealed that Kremlin-owned Gazprom is seeking to secure access to Nigeria’s vast energy reserves: “A senior Nigerian oil industry official, who declined to be named, said the company was offering to invest in energy infrastructure in return for the chance to develop some of the biggest gas deposits in the world. The Russian move is part of a courtship that saw Vladimir Putin writing to Nigeria’s leader, Umaru Yar’Adua, last year to seek energy co-operation.” In February 2008 UC RusAl, the world’s largest aluminum and alumina producer, launched the Alscon smelter in Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom State. State-run Novosti reports: “RusAl closed a deal to acquire a majority stake in Alscon (Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria) in February 2007, receiving a 77.5% share in a 193,000-ton smelter, as well as a port on the Imo River and a power station. Germany’s Ferrostaal AG and the government of Nigeria remain minority shareholders with 7.5% and 15% respectively.” The owner of UC RusAl is Russia’s richest oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a close associate of President Vladimir Putin.

In February 2008 the Nigerian media also reported that President Yar’Adua intends to establish a strategic energy partnership with Red China that will entail Beijing’s support for Nigeria’s drive to obtain a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. On March 1 Yar’Adua completed a four-day state visit to China. The Nigerian president’s entourage included his minister of finance, foreign minister, minister of energy, and minister of transportation, as well as two state governors and leading representatives of Nigeria’s banking and industrial sectors. Yar’Adua is pictured above with Chinese Premier Wen Jibabo on February 28.

Thus, while academic Marxists burrow into the Nigerian government and place the country’s resources at the beck and call of the Communist Bloc, communist militants continue their attacks against Western oil and gas installations along the coast. The Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF) and the related Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta have been waging war against the federal government and sabotaging foreign oil production facilities since at least 2004. The leader of the NDPVF is a self-declared Marxist and Muslim by the name of Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, born Dokubo Melford Goodhead Jr. Asari has publicly declared his admiration of Osama bin Laden and apparently has financial connections with the Saudi terrorist leader. In June 2007, after completing a two-year jail term for sedition charges, Asari expressed his support for fellow ethnic Ijaw, Nigerian Vice President Goodluck Jonathan: “I am 100 percent in support of him if his activities will be in the interest of the Ijaw and Niger Delta people. As I came out [from prison], I found out that Jonathan has overwhelming support among Ijaw people.”

The fact that Asari was released from jail, on the pretext of suffering from a medical ailment, only two weeks after fellow Marxist Yar’Adua assumed the presidency of Nigeria suggests that Nigerian communists are laboring to subvert their country from above and below.

Country Profile Political Reclassifications

In addition to placing Nigeria within the Communist Bloc, we have reclassified the following countries:

  1. Belize: In February 2008 Belizeans elected a new leftist government.
  2. Cyprus: In February 2008 Cypriots elected a communist president, although the Progressive Party of Working People has exerted considerable influence in that country’s political arena for many years.
  3. Guatemala: In November 2007 Guatemalans elected a new leftist, pro-Cuban government.
  4. India: Since 2004 the governing coalition has contained communists; a Maoist insurgency also operates across one third of nation.
  5. Pakistan: In February 2008 the communist-infiltrated Pakistan People’s Party won the largest number of seats in the parliamentary election and will form a coalition government with a faction of the Pakistan Muslim League.
  6. Sierra Leone: In September 2007 the All People’s Congress, which presided over a socialist single-party dictatorship in this West African country between 1968 and 1992, democratically re-assumed the reins of government after a 15-year hiatus. The APC is still bitter about the military coup d’etat that removed it from power.
  7. Sri Lanka: Since 2004 the governing coalition has contained communists; a communist insurgency called the Tamil Tigers also operates in the northern part of island.
  8. Thailand: In December 2007 the People’s Power Party won the parliamentary election. The PPP and its predecessor, the banned Thai Rak Thai Party, contain former cadres of the Communist Party of Thailand at the highest levels of party and government.
Over the next few weeks we will monitor elections in Italy, the prime minister of which is an alleged KGB asset, to see whether that country remains within the Communist Bloc, as well as elections in Lebanon and Peru.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian, Chinese defense ministries open direct telephone line, promote strategic coordination

>The Russian and Chinese defense ministries claim that their new direct telephone line will promote bilateral relations and “world peace.” No doubt. It will also aid the Moscow-Beijing Axis’ “one clenched fist” in coordinating military operations against the West. Pictured here: Chinese Tyrant Hu Jintao arrives in the Chelyabinsk region of Central Russia to attend the second stage of the second-ever Sino-Soviet military exercise Peace Mission 2007.

Chinese, Russian defense ministries open direct telephone line
http://www.chinaview.cn 2008-03-14 20:56:20
BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua)


The Chinese and Russian Defense Ministries opened their direct telephone line Friday to enhance bilateral cooperation, according to a statement by the Chinese ministry.

In their first telephone conversation over the line, Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan told his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov that the newly opened link reflects the level of political trust and strategic coordination between the two countries, the statement said.

Cao said the line will ensure timely consultations and coordination between the two sides on hot issues around the world, hoping the link will promote bilateral cooperation and world peace.

Serdyukov said the opening of the line is further evidence of the high-level strategic partnership between Russia and China.

He vowed to work with his Chinese counterpart and carry out the consensus reached between the Russian and Chinese leaders to promote military ties between the two countries.

The two defense chiefs frankly exchanged views on bilateral ties and other issues of common concern, the statement said.

Source: XinhuaNet.com

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Four Russian strategic bombers complete patrol missions over Atlantic Ocean and Black Sea last Thursday

>Before the Fourth World War there are news flashes . . .

Rumblings of war in the Middle East, the Balkans, and South America.

The global economy passes through major convulsions as countries threaten to depeg the US dollar, then not depeg, then depeg, then not depeg . . . After decades of warnings from astute analysts, the debt-driven US economy is in freefall.

The US Federal Reserve System props up the country’s fifth largest investment bank Bear Stearns with a cash infusion. On March 15 the New York Post, under the title “US Economy’s Collapse Feared: Plummet Amid Stearns Bailout,” quoted one investment banker as saying: “The firm did not have enough cash to pay its debts at that point in time and would have gone under were it not for the Fed. Regulators felt that Bear Stearns could not be allowed to fail.”

Commodities like gold soar to US$1,013 per ounce, others like oil hold high at US$107. Global food shortages, skyrocketing grain prices, and monthly foot riots in progress.

The US State Department hosts a meeting on the sly to discuss the stealth construction of the North American Union. The US and Canadian armed forces will merge into a new “North American Army” to protect the continent from “terrorism.” The US National Guard withdraws from the vulnerable US-Mexican border, leaving 180 miles of desert unwatched for six months.

Communists, their innumerable front organizations, American Chavezistas (pictured here), neo-hippies, Barack Obama worshippers, and other ideologically disoriented persons protest the US occupation of Iraq in the streets of Los Angeles. At his personal website anti-war activist “Ringo” writes: “Saturday, March 15th 2008, I skipped my usual shower, put on a smelly old t-shirt, grabbed my camera and some cash and headed over to Hollywood to join in the peace parade. As usual, the event was sponsored by the communist front group International ANSWER and co-hosted by numerous other Marxist and Leftist organizations.”

The People’s Liberation Army cracks down on Tibet prosters. Unrest spreads to other Chinese provinces. Russian bombers airborne again after 15 years (article below; pictured above: Russian Air Force Tu-22M Blinder strategic/maritime strike bomber).

The remains of ancient Israel’s First Temple unearthed near Temple Mount. Orthodox Jews poised to build the Third Temple, a prospect that could unleash the Third World War in earnest. Israel to hold five-day emergency drill, beginning on April 6, the largest ever in that nation’s post-1948 history, in the face of Iranian and Syrian preparations for war against the ever-isolated Jewish state.

To those who are familiar with Jesus Christ’s Olivet Discourse, these events are signals of history’s most awful tribulation to come and its glorious consummation: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21: 25-28).

Russian strategic bombers continue patrol flights – Air Force
19:1113/ 03/ 2008

MOSCOW, March 13 (RIA Novosti) – Four Russian strategic bombers flew on Thursday routine patrol missions over the Atlantic Ocean and the Black Sea that lasted over 10 hours, an Air Force spokesman said.

“Two Tu-95 Bear and two Tu-22 Blinder bombers conducted routine [patrol] flights over the Atlantic Ocean and the Black Sea,” Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said. “During patrols, they were not accompanied by NATO fighters.”

Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August, following an order signed by President Vladimir Putin. The move is widely seen by the West as a sign of Russia’s increasingly aggressive military stance.

Russian bombers have since carried out over 70 strategic patrol flights.

Drobyshevsky said that all flights by Russian aircraft were performed by skilled pilots in strict compliance with international laws on the use of air space over neutral waters, without violating the borders of other states.

Source: Novosti

>EU File: Kosovo War 2: NATO troops, UN police attempt to re-take courthouse, Kosovar Serbs respond with automatic weapons, grenades

>Kosovar Serb Leader Calls for Russian Aid in the Form of Weapons and Ammunition

The situation in Kosovo is rapidly spiralling out of control as ethnic Serbs, apparently organized under the auspices of the pro-Belgrade Serbian National Council, attack NATO troops and United Nations police with automatic weapons and grenades. Nearby, just beyond the new international border between Kosovo and Serbia, Belgrade’s tanks lurk. More ominously, beyond the Balkans, Russian nuclear warheads lurk. In confirmation of these realities, the Serbian Interior Ministry used the the state news agency Tanjug to notify the country that the security level on Serbian territory has been raised to a higher level due to today’s street battles in Mitrovica.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin-run media is reporting that Kosovar Serbs are demanding Russian intervention, including Russian weapons and ammunition. Marko Jaksic, President of the Serbian Municipalities of Kosovo, warns that the protests against Kosovar secession will continue until Russian military assistance arrives: “The Serb elections are on May 11. If Tomislav Nikolic wins it will be much easier to keep Kosovo in Serbia. We need Russia but we don’t ask for Russian soldiers. We need Russian weapons. If we’d had the weapons in 1999 the situation today would be completely different.” If Tomislav Nikolic’s Serbian Radical Party leader can secure a clear majority in the May election, then a Russian military presence in Serbia, a prospect that Nikolic has already demanded, is very possible.

Pictured above: French NATO peacekeeping troops protect the UN court compound during clashes in the Kosovar Serbian enclave of Mitrovica, on March 17, 2008.

U.N. and NATO troops clash with Serbs in Kosovo
Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:33am EDT
By Branislav Krstic

MITROVICA, Kosovo (Reuters) – NATO troops came under fire during Serb riots in the northern Kosovo flashpoint of Mitrovica on Monday, in the worst violence in the territory since the Albanian majority declared independence last month.

The riots posed a direct challenge to NATO, the United Nations and Kosovo’s fledgling European Union justice mission, underscoring fears in the West that Kosovo could be heading for ethnic partition one month after breaking away from Serbia.

A U.N. spokesman said the riot “crosses one of the red lines that had clearly been articulated by the U.N. to the leaders of Kosovo Serbs in the north and to officials in Belgrade.” The United Nations said at least 25 police officers were hurt.

But Serbia blamed the United Nations and NATO for heavy-handed action and increased the level of security on its borders, warning that the volatile situation risked provoking a fresh Albanian “pogrom” against Kosovo’s 120,000 minority Serbs.

The Orthodox church said Serbs were “again being killed”.

Serbia’s main ally Russia blamed the “illegitimate” secession of Kosovo for the rioting and urged the international police contingent to show restraint.

“A turn of events which leads to violence and clashes cannot be allowed,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “The international presence should show restraint and act strictly in accordance with its (United Nations) mandate.”

The Serb director of Mitrovica hospital, political hardliner Marko Jaksic, said three people of Serb nationality had been severely injured in the rioting.

“One person has been shot in the head most probably by a sniper. The bullet went right through,” he said. “The person is in very bad condition (in) a hospital in Kragujevac in central Serbia.” Two others were in serious condition, Jaksic said.

The loyalist Serbian National Council of northern Kosovo called on Belgrade to “help Serb people and say that Kosovo is Serbia”, its leader Nebojsa Jovic was quoted as saying.

In an apparent hint at the forced partition the West fears, he said “there is a scenario” if people get killed, which could reach “a point from which there’s no way back”.

LIVE AMMUNITION

The violence began at dawn when several hundred U.N. special police backed by NATO peacekeepers stormed a U.N. court that had been seized by Serbs on Friday, and arrested dozens.

Hundreds of Serbs fought back with stones, grenades and firecrackers, forcing the U.N. police to pull back and leave KFOR to face the rioters. Rioters attacked three U.N. vehicles, breaking doors and freeing around 10 of those detained in the raid, witnesses said.

Police and troops responded with tear gas. Some U.N. vans with detainees were still in the courtyard of the compound, with dozens of Serb protesters outside blocking their exit.

NATO said its troops had come under automatic weapons fire.

“We used automatic weapons to respond but fired only warning shots,” French spokesman Etienne du Fayet de la Tour told Reuters. “We shot in the air, not into the crowd.”

“Eight French KFOR soldiers are injured with grenades, stones and Molotov cocktails,” said du Fayet de la Tour.

U.N. police withdrew “after attacks with explosive devices suspected to be hand grenades, and firearms” a statement said.

Fourteen Ukrainian police serving with the United Nations were injured when “fighters attacked a police station”, Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko told reporters in Simferopol. Poland said 13 of its Kosovo U.N. officers were hurt.

The raid to retake the court coincided with the March 17 anniversary of Kosovo Albanian riots against Serbs in 2004, in which 19 people were killed and hundreds of homes and churches burned in two days of chaos that caught NATO flat-footed.

It was this flare-up that pushed the West to start talks on Kosovo’s final status in 2006. But they got nowhere.

Serbia’s President Boris Tadic warned NATO and the United Nations of the risk for Kosovo Serbs on the anniversary of what he called an Albanian “pogrom”.

Bishop Amfilohije, acting head of the Serb Orthodox church, said “the suffering of our people is continuing this morning in Mitrovica … strongmen are continuing to kill our people”.

The Serbian Interior Ministry “raised the security level in the territory of Serbia to a higher level”, the state news agency Tanjug quoted a ministry source as saying.

In Belgrade, police reinforced protection at embassies and government buildings ahead of planned protests on the March 2004 anniversary.

Source: Reuters

>EU File: Kosovar Serbs seize United Nations courthouse in Mitrovica, hoist Serbian flag, riot police stand down; protesters storm railway

>The United Nations courthouse in Mitrovica, which Kosovar Serbs occupied yesterday, is pictured above. As the BBC News reports below, “UN riot police did not intervene when the crowd seized the court.” The week-long South American crisis, which prompted the Organization of American States to scramble for a solution, temporarily bumped the Kosovo crisis, which prompted the European Union to scramble for a solution, from the minds of North Americans. The crises share a common bond in that that the two trouble-making nations in question, Venezuela and Serbia, are both allies of neo-Soviet Russia. There’s no coincidence here.

The Communist Bloc power networked during both affairs. Following Kosovo’s secession from Serbia on February 17, President Elect Dmitry Medvedev led a high-level Russian delegation to Belgrade where he allegedly offered to place Serbia under Russia’s nuclear umbrella. During Venezuela and Ecuador’s showdown with Colombian earlier this month, moreover, Hugo Chavez communicated by telephone with fellow reds Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, and following the Rio Group summit in Santo Domingo, flew to Havana on March 8 to confer with Cuba’s communist leadership.

Kosovo Serbs seize UN courthouse
Last Updated: Friday, 14 March 2008, 12:56 GMT

Hundreds of Kosovo Serbs have taken over a UN courthouse in the northern Kosovo town of Mitrovica, raising a Serbian flag to replace the UN’s.

The protesters broke into the building in the Serb-dominated part of the city, forcing UN police to retreat.

A Kosovo police spokesman said a UN official was negotiating with Serb leaders to try to resolve the issue.

Kosovo Serbs and Serbia have refused to recognise Kosovo’s declaration of independence last month.

Most EU states and the US have recognised Pristina’s unilateral move.

Tension

UN riot police did not intervene when the crowd seized the court.

“We have returned to a building that belongs to us, and in which we worked until 1999,” municipal public prosecutor Milan Bigovic was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Many of the protesters are reported to be former staff who lost their jobs in 1999 at the end of the war in Kosovo, when it came under UN administration.

Serbs had staged rallies outside the court for several weeks, preventing ethnic Albanian court employees from crossing the bridge over the Ibar River that divides Mitrovica into a Serb-run north and an ethnic Albanian south.

Tension in the region has risen sharply since Kosovo declared independence on 17 February.

Last week, Serbs tried to take control over a railway line in the northern Kosovo.

In February, some 150 Kosovo Serb police officers were suspended for refusing to take orders from the ethnic Albanian authorities in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina.

Source: BBC News

>Asia File: Buddhist monks, civilians riot in Lhasa; cars, Chinese businesses torched; US visitors report gunfire; worst riots in Tibet in 20 years

> The occupation of Tibet by Red China and this week’s riots in Lhasa exemplify the expansionist designs and totalitarian nature of communism. The world communist movement, however, is hypocritically silent on the subject of Tibetan independence. When it does speak, reds worldwide quote their enemies to affirm that Tibet was an integral part of both Imperial and Nationalist China, well before the CPC assumed control over Mainland China. The Communist Party of Australia reprints an article on its site that declares: “It is historically incorrect to claim (as does the bourgeois press and some history books) that Tibet had de facto been an independent state in the period between the collapse of the Chinese empire in 1911, and the founding of the PRC in 1949. In his inaugural address the First Provisional President of the Chinese Republic, Sun Yat Sen, proclaimed the unification of the Han, Manchu, Mongols, Hui and Tibetans in one state as members of one large family.” Ironically, the international “Free Tibet” movement is largely leftist in orientation, albeit of a non-communist variety.

Shops on fire amid Tibet protests
Last Updated: Friday, 14 March 2008, 14:00 GMT

Fires have broken out in the Tibetan city of Lhasa amid reports of rioting, as rare street protests led by Buddhist monks appeared to gather pace.

One eyewitness told the BBC how large groups of people were setting fire to cars and shops and destroying anything of Chinese influence.

The US embassy in Beijing said US citizens had reported hearing gunfire.

Rallies have continued all week in what are thought to be the largest protests against Beijing’s rule in 20 years.

Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, released a statement expressing deep concern, saying the protests were a “manifestation of the deep-rooted resentment of the Tibetan people”.

The Dalai Lama, who heads Tibet’s government-in-exile in India, called on the Chinese leadership to stop using force and begin dialogue with the Tibetan people.

He also urged Tibetans not to resort to violence.

“As I have always said, unity and stability under brute force is at best a temporary solution. It is unrealistic to expect unity and stability under such a rule,” the statement said.

Tear gas

The US-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said at least one police car had been set on fire on Friday.

ICT spokeswoman Kate Saunders said her group had received reports that the Tromsikhang market in Barkhor Street – a busy commercial neighbourhood – was either on fire or had burnt down.

“It seems that lay people have now become involved in the protests,” she said.

An eyewitness told the BBC there was a thick pall of smoke hanging over the city.

Another eyewitness said security forces and monks had clashed on Wednesday and several monks were beaten.

He said about 300 monks had tried to leave the Sera monastery to protest but security forces brandishing clubs stopped them and at least one monk was beaten to the ground.

The protests began earlier this week, when a number of monks were reportedly arrested after a march marking the 49th anniversary of a Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

Hundreds of monks took to the streets to demand their release – and reports say tear gas was used to disperse them.

The police were reported to have sealed off the city’s three main monasteries on Thursday.

Correspondents say there is growing evidence that protests against Chinese rule are intensifying, despite assurances by Beijing on Thursday that the situation was under control.

China says Tibet has always been part of its territory, though Tibet enjoyed long periods of autonomy before the twentieth century, and many Tibetans remain loyal to the Dalai Lama, who fled in 1959 and currently lives in exile in India.

Source: BBC News

The crackdown on Buddhist monks last September in Myanmar, moreover, demonstrates the ideological affinity between that country’s socialist military dictatorship and the Communist Party of China (CPC). Both Beijing and Moscow, BBC News reported at the time, have consistently opposed sanctions against the Myanmar military junta due to their commercial relations with the ruling State Peace and Development Council:

The US and the EU have long imposed a variety of sanctions against Burma’s military regime but, paradoxically, this means that they have relatively few levers to pull to influence Rangoon. The countries that matter more to Burma are India and Russia; both of whom have trading relations with the military regime. Russia even plans to sell Burma a nuclear research reactor. But it is Burma’s biggest neighbour, China, that plays the most crucial role, and as a permanent member of the UN Security Council it can help to limit the relative isolation that the Rangoon regime faces. Both China and Russia, for that matter, vetoed a UN Security Council resolution last January that was critical of Burma’s rulers. China has key strategic interests in the stability of Burma and accordingly strong ties with Rangoon.

>USA File: Surge in Russian bomber flights alarms NORAD, US fighter jets scramble 46 times in 2007; Soviet officers to join Colorado, Alaska exercises

>Since Russia resumed its long-range bomber flights last summer NATO and NORAD spokesentities have downplayed the Kremlin’s open war footing. However, US Air Force General Victor Renuart, commander of NORAD and US Northern Command, is once again complaining that “The Russian bombers are not on any flight plan. They are not complying with the internationally accepted rules of operation. In the post-9/11 environment, it is difficult to have unidentified aircraft flying toward your airspace if you don’t know who they are or what their plans are.” Renuart’s observation that Russian bombers are “not complying with the internationally accepted rules of operation” is noteworthy since Kremlin officialdom repeatedly insists that its military aircraft never violate the regulations for international flights.

Since the “collapse” of communism, both NATO and NORAD have foolishly committed themselves to joint exercises with Russia in order to promote “international understanding.” For its part, NATO is fatally compromised through the admission of “post”-communist states in Eastern Europe into its ranks and the presence of communist functionaries at the highest levels of command, such as General Sandor Laborc, Hungary’s KGB-trained spymaster who will be heading NATO’s intelligence committee this year. The story below reports that NORAD and US Northern Command have invited Russian military officers to participate in command-and-staff exercises in Colorado and Alaska.

This is not the first time that Soviet brass have been welcomed to NORAD facilities. In 2006 NORAD proposed the establishment of a joint air surveillance program with Russia along the Bering Strait, between Alaska and Siberia. The program would expand a Cooperative Airspace Initiative (CAI) currently implemented in Eastern Europe as an agreement among NATO countries and Russia. The initiative was broached when General-Lieutenant Igor Khvorov (pictured above), commander of the Russian Air Forces’ 37th Strategic Air Army, visited NORAD in December 2005. At the time, Khvorov was briefed on a proposal to conduct combined NORAD-Russian training exercises, in addition to expanding the CAI. With similar aims, NATO sponsors the Partnership for Peace, established in 1994 to promote trust between Western Europe and the (Not-so) Former Soviet Union.

The Soviets, usually after feigning disinterest or articulating various “concerns,” gleefully enter such programs with the Western Alliance because these exchanges promote East-West convergence and provide legitimate cover for communist personnel to inspect Western military practices and hardware. There is some indication that the US political elite, especially the Bush and Clinton dynasties, might be aware of the Soviet deception strategy. However, the coven of Council on Foreign Relations advisors, like alleged Soviet agent Henry Kissinger, who haunt the White House, US State Department, and the Pentagon have prevented such analyses from reaching the desks of top brass such as General Renuart and others like US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen.

In summarizing Russia’s aggressive military posture, Admiral Mullen, below, commented blandly: “We will clearly watch this evolution. We’ve got good military-to-military relations with the Russians. My sense is there’s no strategic intent to threaten the United States.” No strategic intent? If you believe that, then I’ve got a bridge in Novosibirsk to sell you. Got preps?

Russian bomber flights alarm NORAD
Tuesday, March 11, 2008 6:27 AM
By Bruce Finley, The Denver Post

DENVER Frequent flying by Russian strategic bombers near American airspace — drawing U.S. fighter jets — has military officials at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs on guard and angling for greater openness and cooperation.

While odds are low that these increasing Russian forays will cause a catastrophe, “there’s more of a risk of something accidental happening,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said yesterday after meeting in Colorado Springs with homeland defense commanders.

“We will clearly watch this evolution,” Mullen said of the Russian flights — not detected in such numbers since the Cold War.

“We’ve got good military-to-military relations with the Russians. My sense is there’s no strategic intent to threaten the United States.”

To prevent problems, the Colorado-based North American Aerospace Defense and Northern commands this month initiated joint exercises with Russian counterparts in Colorado and in Alaska — a return to Cold War-era efforts to manage tensions.

Uniformed Russian officers participated in a tabletop drill testing how each side would respond to a simulated hijacking of a passenger airliner.

Russian “Bear” bombers led NORAD crews to scramble U.S. fighter jets 46 times last year, according to records provided by military officials.

This represents a sharp escalation after a handful of incidents in previous years. After the Cold War, the frequency of bomber and fighter-jet confrontations decreased as the U.S. and Russian governments focused on reducing their nuclear arsenals.

In one incident last month, a Russian Tu-142 bomber buzzed about 2,000 feet over the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier off Japan. U.S. fighters intercepted it south of the battleship.In another, U.S. F-22s tracked two Russian Bear-H bombers lumbering over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands on Nov. 22.

The Russian bombers “are not on any flight plan. They are not complying with the internationally accepted rules of operation. In the post-9/11 environment, it is difficult to have unidentified aircraft flying toward your airspace if you don’t know who they are or what their plans are,” Air Force Gen. Victor Renuart, commander of NORAD and Northern Command, said in an interview.

“There’s a need to identify any unidentified aircraft approaching U.S. airspace.”

NORAD leaders said Russia’s bombers are not visibly armed but that they could be carrying weapons, including nuclear bombs.

The best bet to avoid miscalculations, U.S. officials said, would be for the Russians to file flight plans notifying the U.S. of training flights.

But Russian military officials have rejected this, Renuart said.

“The Russian approach today is that these are military-training flights in unmonitored airspace and that they are within their rights to fly without an international flight plan. While that is at a basic level correct, the potential risk to commercial aviation makes it tougher” to accept, Renuart said.

Source: The Columbia Dispatch

>EU File: Serbian government collapses over Kosovar secession, EU integration, Tadic calls election as pro-Moscow Kostunica, Nikolic maneuver for power

>The MSM frequently portrays Serbian President Boris Tadic as “pro”-Western and an advocate of Serbian membership in the European Union, while Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica is portrayed as opposing EU integration. Both politicians (pictured here) are also opposed to Kosovar independence, but Tadic wants Serbia to stand its ground on Kosovo within the context of EU integration.

The political dichotomy is hard to swallow since Tadic has flown his Russophile stance by facilitating Gazprom’s acquisition of the Petroleum Industry of Serbia (NIS), by accepting Russia’s offer of solidarity over Kosovar independence, and by affiliating his Democratic Party with the Moscow-controlled Socialist International. In last month’s presidential election, moreover, Tadic’s victory over ultranationalist Tomislav Nikolic, who advocates a Russian military presence in Serbia, was very slim. Indeed, as a result of the January-Feburary 2007 parliamentary election, Nikolic’s Serbian Radical Party holds the largest number of seats in the National Assembly.

Taking into account the strategic importance of the Balkans to Moscow’s Leninist masterminds, the political reshuffling in Belgrade may very well trace its origin to the Kremlin. In reality, in one manner or another, all of the key Serbian politicians are aligned with Moscow. On February 25 Russian President-Elect Dmitry Medvedev, who is currenty First Deputy Prime Minister and Gazprom CEO as well as a graduate of the Soviet Communist Youth League, led a high-level delegation to Belgrade that not only finalized the Gazprom-NIS takeover and extended verbal solidarity to the Serbian government over its opposition to Kosovar secession, but also allegedly offered to deploy Russian nuclear warheads on Serbian soil.

With a snap election looming in May, fellow nationalists Nikolic and Kostunica, as the story below relates, could very well combine their forces to form a new government that invites Russia’s military to Serbia and, thus, further escalate political tensions in the Balkans. “In another sign of defiance,” the same story also relates, “Serbia’s minister for Kosovo, Kostunica ally Slobodan Samardzic, said Sunday that Kosovo’s minority Serbs will be allowed to vote in the upcoming Serbian elections ‘to show the fact that Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia.'”

Serbia’s president expected to call new key elections within days
The Associated Press
Sunday, March 9, 2008

BELGRADE, Serbia: Serbia’s president is expected to call early parliamentary elections this week following the collapse of the coalition government over Kosovo’s independence and the Balkan country’s future in the European Union.

President Boris Tadic is expected to make the announcement Monday or Tuesday.

The vote likely to be held in May will determine whether Serbia continues on a path toward the EU or reverts to the international isolation of the 1990s under late strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

“The vote will be a referendum on Serbia’s European perspective or on its isolation,” said Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac, vice president of Tadic’s Democratic party.

Serbian voters “have already delivered their judgment in the presidential elections, but it is obvious that some politicians did not understand what the Serbian citizens want,” he said in an interview published Sunday by the Politika daily.

Last month, pro-Western Tadic narrowly defeated an ultranationalist candidate in a presidential vote seen as a referendum on the country’s membership in the EU.

However, the ultranationalist Radicals, the largest group in the current parliament, could team up with Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica in the upcoming vote.

On Saturday, Kostunica, a nationalist, said his government could no longer function alongside Tadic’s pro-Western Democrats because of the Democrats’ insistence on pursuing EU membership even though 18 of the bloc’s 27 member nations have moved to recognize newly independent Kosovo.

Predominantly ethnic Albanian Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on Feb. 17. Kosovo had been under U.N. control since 1999, when NATO launched an air war to stop Milosevic’s crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists.

But Serbia, which considers the territory its historic and religious heartland, has rejected Kosovo’s move as illegal under international law.

Kostunica insists that EU nations must rescind recognition of Kosovo’s independence before Serbia resumes pre-membership talks with the bloc.

In another sign of defiance, Serbia’s minister for Kosovo, Kostunica ally Slobodan Samardzic, said Sunday that Kosovo’s minority Serbs will be allowed to vote in the upcoming Serbian elections “to show the fact that Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia.”

Tadic opposes tying Serbia’s EU membership to the Kosovo issue and says Serbia has a better chance of fighting for its territorial rights if it is not isolated.

Kostunica said he will convene a session of the caretaker government Monday, which will propose Tadic to dissolve the Parliament and call new elections for May 11.

Tadic said in a statement that he will call early elections because they are a “democratic way to overcome the political crisis.”

The Cabinet, made up of Kostunica’s conservatives and Tadic’s Democrats, was formed last May following months of strained negotiations in the wake of the January 2007 parliamentary elections.

Tadic disputed Kostunica’s claim that their clash was over Kosovo.

“Kosovo is of course an integral part of our country,” Tadic said.

“I believe the issue is that the Serbian government does not have a united position over European and economic perspectives of Serbia and its citizens,” he said.

Source: International Herald Tribune

>Latin America File: Rio Group meets in Dominican Republic to resolve week-long South American crisis; Uribe, Correa shake hands, pledge peace

>The Rio Group, which brings together most of Latin America’s Red Axis as well as the region’s other governments (pictured here), convened in Santo Domingo yesterday with the intent of peacefully resolving the week-long showdown between Colombia in the one camp and Venezuela, Ecuador, and Nicaragua in the other. According to the Santo Domingo Declaration, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa will accept the apologies of Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe for launching a cross-border raid that targetted a senior commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Although not confirmed in the story below, this agreement will also apparently result in Venezuela and Ecuador withdrawing tanks and troops from their respective borders with Colombia. Thus, while the Santo Domingo Declaration will theoretically terminate open hostilities in South America, the ideological war between the Moscow-backed regimes in Caracas and Quito and the Washington-backed regime in Bogota will continue.

Rio Group summit ends with declaration, accept apologies from Colombia
2008-03-08 12:55:25

SANTO DOMINGO, March 7 (Xinhua) — The 20th Rio Group Summit in the Dominican Republic concluded Friday with the approval of the Santo Domingo Declaration, accepting the apologies of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe for a cross-border attack on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The declaration allowed Uribe and his Ecuadorian counterpart Rafael Correa, who were involved in the conflict, to shake hands for peace and end the crisis that started Saturday.

The Colombian president stated in the declaration his commitment on behalf of his country that it would not repeat these actions under any circumstances, but he denied violating Ecuador’s territory.

Correa said he would wait for Ecuadorian judicial officials to investigate eventual violations of Ecuador’s national law after studying documents handed over by Uribe.

The declaration also said the Colombian-Ecuadorian conflict was of deep concern for the Latin American region and reiterated a commitment to peaceful cooperation in the region and among others.

The conflict started Saturday when Colombian military forces and police carried out a cross-border operation into Ecuadorian territory to attack a FARC base.

Shortly after the raid, Ecuador broke off diplomatic relations with Colombia in protest. Venezuela, which also neighbors Colombia, announced the expulsion of Colombian ambassador Fernando Marin and several of his diplomatic staff. Ecuador and Venezuela even mobilized forces to the borders with Colombia.

The Rio Group, which was established in 1986, is a regional bloc of South and Central American countries and is aimed at promoting political coordination and economic cooperation.

Source: Xinhuanet.com

Meanwhile, in an intriguing twist that suggests that the South American crisis might not fade away so quickly, Mexicans are currently absorbing the news that at least five countrymen who were present at the FARC camp in Ecuador were killed by Colombian security forces. Two of the Mexican nationals were students from the National Autonomous University of Mexico; Juan Gonzalez del Castillo was killed during the raid, while Lucia Morett survived. Franco Ordonez reports: “Friends and classmates described Gonzalez and Morett as ‘activists’ and ‘internationalist militants,’ but not guerrilla fighters. El Tiempo, a leading Colombian newspaper in Bogota, quoted Morett saying in a bedside interview that she received explosives training. Her parents denied the report.”

>Red Terror File: Russia’s role in South American crisis exposed: Bout sells SAMs to fake FARC reps in DEA sting; Chavez calls Putin, Medvedev

>The Kremlin media is spinning news of the arrest of “former” KGB major and alleged arms merchant Viktor Bout as a ploy by the US government to cover its own black operations throughout the world. On the one hand, Russia Today quotes Michael J. Garcia, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, as saying that Bout “was apprehended in the final stages in arranging the sale of millions of dollars of high-powered weapons to people he believed to represent a known terrorist organisation, the FARC.” The Kremlin media also admits that “Over the past few years, Viktor Bout has been living in Russia and working in the building business.” On the other hand, Russia Today also quotes Bout’s brother Sergei and a spokesentity from Amnesty International, and observes that “Bout’s arrest comes days after the Columbian government launched a military raid into Ecuador, killing one of the FARC leaders and raising tensions in the region. For Bout’s brother Sergey this is no coincidence.”

‘Lord of War’ is a political puppet – alleged gunrunner’s brother
March 8, 2008, 1:53

An alleged international arms dealer being held in a Bangkok jail faces extradition to the United States. 41-year-old Russian Viktor Bout was arrested in the Thai capital on Thursday on suspicion of smuggling weapons to Columbian rebels.

Bout’s arrest comes days after the Columbian government launched a military raid into Ecuador, killing one of the FARC leaders and raising tensions in the region. For Bout’s brother Sergey this is no coincidence. He said the same thing happened before the war in Afghanistan, before the war in Yugoslavia, and before the campaign in Iraq.

“Now we are seeing another conflict simmering on in Columbia. My brother is like a scarecrow which is used to scare people off and to divert media attention from far more serious things,” Sergey Bout thinks.

“He was apprehended in the final stages in arranging the sale of millions of dollars of high-powered weapons to people he believed to represent a known terrorist organisation, the FARC”, said Michael J. Garcia, U.S. Attorney of Southern District of New York.

Back in the 1990s Bout used to run an aviation business delivering cargo across the globe. U.S. authorities now accuse him of running weapons to Al-Qaida, the Taliban and African dictators and warlords. These allegations have been dogging him for almost a decade, yet he’s never been tried or convicted.

“They have been accusing me since 1998 for all kinds of illegal arms trade in Africa, but since then even with all the powers of American administration, CIA, FBI, satellites and other means like that they were not even able to come out with a certain proof,” Viktor Bout said in November 2006.

Meanwhile, Bout’s attorney Viktor Burobin said he’ll petition for his return to Russia.

“We think Russia is a civilised and strong state today, so it has to review the actions of any Russian citizen on our own territory and we will insist on returning Viktor Bout to Russia,” he said.

Over the past few years, Viktor Bout has been living in Russia and working in the building business.

In an interview with Russia Today in 2006, Viktor Bout said he was tired of being called ‘the lord of war’ or ‘the merchant of death’. He says he wants to be treated like any other law-abiding businessman.

His arrest in Thailand may finally give him a chance to clear his reputation.

Brian Wood from Amnesty International says there may be political reasons about the timing of Bout’s arrest.

He believes there is evidence cargo planes owned by Bout were involved in delivering cargo to American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Why was this operation carried out now, why was it not carried out a few years ago? There are allegations made that for example cargo planes belonging to the fleet of companies that are controlled by Mr Bout have been used by the Pentagon, by the U.S. Defence Department, for example, to deliver cargoes to Iraq.

I mean the trouble is that in the air cargo industry, the part of which would do military logistics, there is a lot of subcontracting, leasing, different companies do certain favours for each other and so on. And therefore it is possible that one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing. So it is possible that the U.S. State Department or the Treasury Department that issued the freezing of Mr Bout’s assets, were doing the one thing, and the Pentagon was doing something else,” Brian Wood said.

Bout is believed to have been the inspiration for Nicholas Cage’s arms smuggling anti-hero in the 2005 film ‘Lord of War’. In real life, Viktor Bout is dashing, overweight and not appreciative of his Hollywood portrayal.

“I feel sorry for Nicolas Cage who starred as Orlov, it’s very silly. This is a bad movie,” Viktor Bout said to RT on Spotlight in November 2006.

The detention of Viktor Bout was thrilling enough to inspire a sequel to the 2005 movie.

Russia Today, as the following US Drug Enforcement Agency press release shows, is absolutely correct in reporting that Thai police apprehended the “Lord of War” on a US warrant for conspiracy to provide surface-to-air missiles to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. The DEA explains that “During a series of recorded telephone calls and emails, Bout and Smulian agreed to sell the weapons to two confidential sources (CSs) working with the DEA, who held themselves out as FARC representatives acquiring these weapons for the FARC for use in Colombia.”

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2008

International Arms Dealer Arrested On Terrorism Charges In Bangkok

DEA Investigation Nabs Victor Bout for Conspiracy to Provide SAMs to a Foreign Terrorist Organization

MAR 6 — DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart and Michael J. Garcia, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the arrest of Victor Bout, an international arms dealer charged with conspiring to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (the “FARC”) — a designated foreign terrorist organization based in Colombia. Bout and co-defendant Andrew Smulian were arrested yesterday on the U.S. charges by Thai authorities in Bangkok.

According to court documents, between November 2007 and February 2008, Bout and Smulian agreed to sell to the FARC millions of dollars worth of weapons including surface-to-air missile systems (SAMs) and armor piercing rocket launchers. During a series of recorded telephone calls and emails, Bout and Smulian agreed to sell the weapons to two confidential sources (CSs) working with the DEA, who held themselves out as FARC representatives acquiring these weapons for the FARC for use in Colombia.

In addition, during a series of consensually recorded meetings in Romania, Smulian advised the CSs, among other things, that Bout had 100 SAMs available immediately and could also provide helicopters and armor piercing rocket launchers. During one of the meetings with the CSs, Smulian provided one of the CSs with a digital memory stick that contained an article about Bout, and documents containing photographs and specifications for the SAMs and armor piercing rocket launchers that Smulian had previously said Bout could provide.

In between his meetings with the CSs, Smulian spoke to Bout over a cellphone provided to him by one of the CSs at the direction of the DEA. During one of these conversations, Bout and Smulian discussed the $5 million delivery fee for the weapons.

Bout and Smulian are charged with conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.

The U.S. plans to pursue the extradition of the defendants from Thailand.

The international law enforcement operation announced today was the result of cooperation between the DEA, the Royal Thai Police, the Romanian Border Police, the Korps Politie Curacao of the Netherlands Antilles, and the Danish National Police Security Services.

Yesterday neo-Soviet Russian dictator Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone to fellow communist Hugo Chavez, apparently expressing hope that the showdown between Venezuela and Ecuador in the one camp and Colombia in the other will be resolved by political and diplomatic means. State-run Novosti reveals: “As well as speaking to Russia’s outgoing president, Chavez also talked with the country’s president-elect, Dmitry Medvedev. ‘Medvedev and Chavez expressed their firm intention to continue developing versatile cooperation based on the groundwork laid in recent years, and agreed to exchange visits in the future,’ the office of the Russian first deputy prime minister said.” No doubt. After Cuba, Venezuela is one of Russia’s most important strategic partners in the Western Hemisphere. And so the South American crisis, in which Latin America’s Red Axis is threatening to launch a military assault on Colombia, takes another turn, one that ultimately leads back to Moscow, where all such intrigue originates.

>Latin America File: South American crisis: Chavez regime: "War has begun"; Nicaragua severs links with Colombia, Venezuela imposes trade blockade

>Soviet Communist Leader Zyuganov: “Comrade Chavez Is a Reliable Partner” in Advancing Russia and Venezuela’s Strategic Alliance

While the Pentagon wrings its hands, the US State Department huffs and puffs, and the Organization of American States proposes to set up a committee to investigate the Colombian security forces’ killing of Marxist terrorist Raul Reyes last Saturday–on Ecuadorean soil–Latin America’s Red Axis is gleefully moving ahead to punish Colombia for its “war crime” with diplomatic isolation, a trade embargo, and a military confrontation. This week Venezuela deployed tanks and troops to its border with Colombia, Ecuador deployed soldiers to its border with Colombia, and Brazil’s communist-masquerading-as-social democrat President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has apparently shipped more than 35 tons of firearms to the Bolivarian Republic. Yesterday Venezuela’s justice minister declared: “War has already begun.”

In a new but not surprising development, MSNBC reports that Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa is currently touring the hemisphere to rally support for the war against Colombia. During his stopover in Managua, Comrade Rafael conferred with co-Marxist Daniel Ortega, who declared: “We are breaking off relations because of the political terrorism being carried out by the government of Alvaro Uribe, not because of the Colombian people.” Correa, who is not satisfied with the OAS’s tepid resolution rebuking Colombia’s raid as a violation of Ecuadorean sovereignty, warned: “This isn’t going to cool down until the aggressor is condemned.”

Pictured above: Ortega and Correa in Managua, March 6, 2008. Pictured below: Venezuelan soldiers inspect a car at a checkpoint in the border town of Paraguaipoa, near Colombia, also today.

‘War crime’ sparks embargo
Rice seeks diplomatic answer as Chavez slashes imports following raid
The Associated Press
updated 1:40 p.m. MT, Thurs., March. 6, 2008

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Billions of dollars in Colombian investments and imports have started to be blocked by Venezuela in response to a Colombian military attack on rebels hiding in Ecuador.Ordered by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the move threatens economic havoc on both sides of the Venezuela-Colombia border.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa demanded international condemnation of Colombia’s government on Wednesday night.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega provided that Thursday, saying he was breaking relations with Colombia.

Ortega announced his decision while sitting beside Correa, who is touring the region to rally opposition to Colombia’s attack on Saturday, which killed a senior Colombian guerrilla leader and more than 20 other people.

“We are breaking off relations because of the political terrorism being carried out by the government of Alvaro Uribe, not because of the Colombian people,” Ortega said, referring to the Colombian president.

In Venezuela, Chavez predicted a sharp fall in the $6 billion annual Colombia-Venezuela trade: “That’s coming down.”

“We aren’t interested in Colombian investments here,” Chavez said, standing beside Correa. “Of the Colombian businesses that are here in Venezuela, we could nationalize some.”

Chavez called the attack by Colombia’s U.S.-allied government a “war crime.” He said Venezuela will search for products from other countries to replace those from Colombia. Noting that Colombia traditionally supplies food to Venezuela, he said now “we can’t depend on them, not even for a grain of rice.”

Though Venezuelan officials express confidence they will quickly find replacements for Colombian goods, government critics say the move is bound to worsen shortages of basic foods from milk to chicken that were an annoyance in Venezuela well before a dispute that has ballooned into one of South America’s most serious diplomatic crises in years. Venezuela and Ecuador have each sent thousands of soldiers to their borders with Colombia.

Rice backs attack on rebels

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that the United States wants to see a diplomatic solution. The United States offered unqualified support to Colombia in the dispute, in contrast to almost every other country in the hemisphere.

“I do hope there will be a diplomatic outcome to this,” Rice said in Belgium. “The situation shows that everyone needs to be vigilant about the use of border areas by terrorist organizations.” One opportunity will be a meeting of the Rio Group, which began with ministerial meetings Thursday in the Dominican Republic. At least 12 Latin American presidents — including those from Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador — are expected to meet Friday.

Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said the ministers would “see what we can do to help find a peaceful solution to this conflict through dialogue,” although he added: “Solutions don’t come overnight.”

The Organization of American States on Wednesday approved a watered-down resolution calling Colombia’s cross-border raid Saturday on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia camp a violation of Ecuador’s sovereignty. It was sending a top-level delegation to help ease tensions, but stopped short of explicitly condemning the attack.

Chavez and Correa warned Wednesday night that the crisis would not end without clear, explicit international condemnation of the raid. “This isn’t going to cool down until the aggressor is condemned,” Correa added.

The bombing and raid killed a top rebel leader, Raul Reyes, and 23 other guerrilla fighters who had set up a base just over a mile from the border inside Ecuador.

Colombia has accused both Chavez and Correa of ties with the leftist rebels, and said that was shown by documents found on a laptop seized at the bombed rebel camp. Chavez laughed as he dismissed the accusations Wednesday.

Uribe, whose decision to attack the rebels reflected his frustration over the ability of guerrillas to find refuge across Colombia’s borders in Venezuela and Ecuador, said he would not mobilize troops or allow his nation to be drawn into war with his neighbors.

Source: MSNBC.com

Pictured here: The faces of the Latin American Red Axis at a meeting of the narco-communist Sao Paulo Forum, from left to right: Correa, Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez, Bolivian President Evo Morales, Chavez, Communist Party of Cuba Chairman Fidel Castro, Haitian President Rene Preval, Lula da Silva, and Ortega.

The new crisis in South America should be analyzed in the light of neo-Soviet Russia’s war preparations against the West (see previous post). In June 2007 President Chavez visited Moscow, where he not only met President Vladimir Putin, but also power-behind-the-throne Gennady Zyuganov, Chairman of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation/Soviet Union. At the time Comrade Gennady lauded “Comrade Chavez” as a “reliable friend” and offered the following analysis of the prospects for the Moscow-Caracas Axis:

Hugo Chavez has visited Moscow five times, so that the relations between Russia and Venezuela have become ever more stronger. And, as it seems to me, we already have foundations for speaking about the possibility of a strategic partnership between our countries. We Russian Communists wonderfully solved all difficulties during our meetings with the government of Venezuela. Especially under the conditions of the incessant opposition and pressure from the United States and its globalization policy.

In April of last year Chairman Zyuganov led a delegation of communists to meet counterparts in Mexico, Cuba, and Venezuela. The previous year he gloated: “Latin America is turning Red.” As a result, Moscow is no doubt keenly watching and probably manipulating events in South America for the purpose of eradicating US influence in the region and forcing America into a defensive posture in a sea of red states.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Naval reconnaissance version of Bear bomber buzzes USS Nimitz near South Korea, less than 4 weeks after last incident

>Less than four weeks ago two Russian Tu-95 bombers approached the USS Nimitz in the Western Pacific Ocean. One bomber made an especially low pass. The Associated Press reports that following yesterday’s incident near South Korea, “The Russian navy confirmed that a Tu-142 anti-submarine aircraft flew over the American carrier, calling it a routine mission over the open sea.” The Tu-142 is a naval reconnaissance version of the venerable Bear bomber.

Officialdom is saying little about the non-incident, but state-run Novosti relates that in this particular incident the Tu-142 descended to 2,000 feet above sea level and within three to five nautical miles of the US aircraft carrier. Russian Navy spokesentity Igor Dygalo droned: “Attempts by U.S. officials to portray almost every flight of the Russian military aviation, including our naval aviation, over the world ocean as some sort of breach are appalling.”

An anonymous counterpart in the US Department of Defense, below, sighed: “We don’t view this activity as threatening or of concern.” Lastly, another anonymous official, this time in the employ of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, refused to provide details altogether. After all, why should the shopping mall regime concern itself over Russia’s resumption of long-range patrols and weekly penetrations of NATO-NORAD airspace after a 15-year hiatus. We are all good capitalists now, are we not, comrade?

Russian aircraft approaches US aircraft carrier operating off South Korea
By HYUNG-JIN KIM
Associated Press Writer
updated 6:00 a.m. MT, Thurs., March. 6, 2008

SEOUL, South Korea – U.S. and South Korean fighter jets scrambled to turn back a Russian bomber that approached a U.S. aircraft carrier during training exercises, South Korean and U.S. officials said Thursday.

The Russian plane flew close to the USS Nimitz in waters off South Korea’s eastern coast Wednesday, but retreated shortly after the fighter jets approached, an official at the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said on condition of anonymity, citing policy.

The official refused to provide details of the fighter jets involved.

Yonhap news agency quoted an unidentified military official as saying two F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters from the carrier and four South Korean F-16 jets were deployed to intercept the Russian plane.

The Russian navy confirmed that a Tu-142 anti-submarine aircraft flew over the American carrier, calling it a routine mission over the open sea.

“Attempts by U.S. officials to portray almost every flight of the Russian military aviation, including our naval aviation, over the world ocean as some sort of breach are appalling,” Igor Dygalo, assistant to the navy commander in chief, said, according to Russia’s Interfax-AVN news agency.

In February, U.S. fighter planes intercepted two Russian bombers, one directly flying over the Nimitz in the western Pacific ocean.

In Washington, a defense official downplayed the significance of the latest incident.

“We don’t view this activity as threatening or of concern,” the official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The official said it was standard operating procedure for Navy aircraft to escort a plane flying near its ships.

To get close to the U.S. carrier, the Russian plane intruded into a South Korean-controlled air defense zone above the open sea, Yonhap reported.

The zone does not belong to South Korea’s aerial territory but was demarcated by the U.S. military a year after the Korean War broke out in 1950 as part of efforts to prevent accidental aerial clashes among regional powers.

In recent years, discord between the U.S. and Russia has grown over American plans to build a missile defense network and expand NATO membership. Russia has sought to bolster political and trade ties with countries in Asia and the Middle East to counter U.S. clout.

The U.S. stations 28,500 troops in South Korea in a legacy of the Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. American and South Korean troops regularly stage joint exercises to maintain their ability to deter any North Korean attack.

Source: MSNBC.com

In a not unrelated story, state-run Voice of Russia reports that on March 4 the top brass of the Commonwealth of Independent States converged in Yekaterinburg to discuss joint protection of CIS airspace: “The meeting is being attended by representatives from Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. Interaction in situations related to the hi-jacking of planes and on-board hostage-taking will also be examined.” The military arm of the CIS is the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which essentially constitutes Warsaw Pact Version 2.0. The neo-Soviet leadership frequently disguises its military preparations against the West under the rubric of “anti-terrorist” exercises, as in the preceding quote.

From Russia With Deception

As a result of following the communist dialectic for over 90 years, the Kremlin Bolsheviks frequently send mixed signals to the West. During the Boris Yeltsin dictatorship, for example, they portrayed the Russian Armed Forces in a state of general decline with low troop morale. In one sense the deception was no deception at all. The Soviet Union apparently lacked the money, fuel, and spare parts to keep its aircraft in the air, its tanks on the battlefield, and its naval vessels at sea. In another sense, by directing the attention of Western analysts toward particularly derelict equipment such as the rusty hulks of ancient submarines, the Kremlin in the meanwhile could allocate funds received from the West to develop road- and rail-mobile missiles, like the to-be-MIRVed Topol-M ICBM presently deployed, and expand its underground nuclear war-fighting city in the Urals, Yamantau Mountain.

During the Vladimir Putin years, however, state media are openly touting Russia’s remilitarization, which this May 9, two days after Putin steps down from the presidency, will include the first Red Square military parade since 1990. Novosti gloats over the ideological continuity between the Red Square military parades of yesteryear, first ordered by “Uncle” Joe Stalin, and their latest incarnation, ordered by neo-Stalinist Putin: “The first Victory Parade was held on Red Square on June 24, 1945 on the order of the then-Supreme Commander-in-Chief, Joseph Stalin.”

Thus we learn too that Sukhoi, which is part of the new state-run United Aircraft Building Corporation, recently conducted a second test flight of the Su-35 Flanker multirole air superiority/strike fighter. Novosti reports: “The Su-35 prototype made its maiden flight on February 18, and two more aircraft are being prepared for similar tests at an aircraft manufacturing plant in Russia’s Far East.”

At the same time, though, Russia’s strategic ally Algeria has returned 15 defective MiG fighter jets, part of a US$8 billion military package drawn up in 2006, to the seller, in what ought to be an embarrassing episode for the steely Putin. It is very possible the aircraft were defective. It is also possible that Russia and Algeria are purposely confusing the shopping mall regime with mixed messages regarding Communist Bloc solidarity and strength.

>Breaking News: Thai police arrest Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, Moscow seeks extradition; KGB major shipped weapons to Taliban, Al Qaeda

>Small victories against the Communist Bloc are seldom, but elusive Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout’s arrest should be relished. Bout is a tight-lipped merchant of death and Lord of War, but the neo-Soviet Union is anxious to extradite the “former” KGB major from Thailand, where he was arrested on a US Drug Enforcement Administration warrant. With typical communist hypocrisy, however, Moscow will not permit the United Kingdom to extradite “former” KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi, now enjoying the legal immunity of the State Duma, on suspicion of murdering his colleague Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. State-run Novosti reports:

Russia may request extradition of ‘merchant of death’ from Thailand
16:53 06/ 03/ 2008

MOSCOW, March 6 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow may request the extradition of Russian businessman Viktor Bout, arrested in Thailand at the request of U.S. authorities on charges of illegal arms trading, a Russian law enforcement source said on Thursday.

Viktor Bout, 41, is a Russian former KGB major and an alleged arms dealer nicknamed “the Merchant of Death”.

“At this time, Russia is awaiting investigation materials from Thailand…After that, a decision to request extradition may be taken,” the source said.

Bout has reportedly been trafficking weapons to Central and West Africa since the early 1990s. U.N. reports say he set up a network of more than 50 aircraft around the world to facilitate his smuggled arms shipments.

He is considered by Western law enforcement as “the most prominent foreign businessman” involved in trafficking arms to U.N.-embargoed destinations from Bulgaria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and other countries.

Recent reports suggest he is also operating in Iraq using front companies and Cargo Airlifts (Airline Transport, Air West, Aerocom and TransAvia Export).

Russia’s Interpol branch confirmed on Thursday that both Belgium and Interpol issued warrants for his arrest in 2002.

The U.S. authorities, which suspect Bout in helping Taliban and al-Qaeda militants, imposed sanctions against Bout in 2005 by freezing his accounts and submitting a list of 30 companies linked to Bout to the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee.

Bout had earlier categorically denied accusations in an interview with Moscow radio station Ekho Moskvy, saying “I have never supplied anything to or had contacts with the Taliban or al-Qaida.”

In 2007, Stephen Braun and Douglas Farah published a book about Bout entitled ‘Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible.’

>USA File: ILWU endorses Obama, plans to shut down West Coast ports on May 1; alleged KGB asset Soros finances CFR politicians

>Obama-nation: Communists and Globalists Manipulate the US Presidential Election

The Hate America Left, in collaboration with elitist, pro-communist, pro-world government outfits like the Council on Foreign Relations, and alleged agent of Soviet influence Hungarian-born US billionaire George Soros, are skilfully and subliminally controlling all of the presidential candidates, both Democratic and Republican. We have on several occasions noted that Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are both CFR cadres. Speculation has swirled about for many months concerning a potential Clinton-Obama ticket in November. Senator Clinton has hinted that this might be a possibility, as reported yesterday by The Raw Story: “Hillary Rodham Clinton, fresh off a campaign saving comeback, hinted Wednesday at the possibility of sharing the Democratic presidential ticket with Barack Obama — with her at the top. Obama played down his losses, stressing that he still holds the lead in number of delegates, and referred to talk of a joint ticket as ‘premature.'”

Incidentally, Republican Party presidential nominee John McCain is also a CFR cadre. According to World Net Daily, faux rightist McCain founded his Reform Institute in 2001 for the purpose of receiving funds from Soros’ Open Society Institute and Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Tides Institute. Both Soros and Kerry can be characterized as leftist billionaires with an axe to grind against the American Right. The Republican Party, it should be noted too, is compromised through its association with the International Democratic Union, an international association of conservative parties that since the “collapse” of the Soviet Union has been stacked with communist-infiltrated potemkin parties from Eastern Europe. The last includes the Czech Republic’s Civic Democratic Party, which traces its origin to the communist front Charter 77 Foundation (see below).

We have already explored Comrade Hillary’s impeccable leftist credentials. Comrade Barack’s linkages to the Hate America Left are also impeccable: 1) in the 1970s Obama was groomed by card-carrying communist mentor Frank Marshall Davis, 2) in the 1980s Obama associated with the Chicago chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), and 3) during his previous campaign for senator and his current campaign for president Obama has received the endorsements of the Communist Party USA, the affiliated Young Communist League USA, the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, and the DSA, all of which have subverted the Democratic Party with their agents. New Zealand blogger Trevor Loudon, at the links above, is to be credited for doing considerable legwork in tracking down Obama’s socialist-communist pedigree.

In addition, on February 6 the Fox News affiliate in Houston broadcast pictures of an office staffed by Obama supporters, in which at least one room sported Cuban flags plastered with communist terrorist Che Guevara’s mugshot (see above). Fox included a disclaimer that the office is not Obama’s official campaign headquarters, but, let’s face it, the flags offer some insight into the ideological orientation/confusion of Obama worshippers.

Affiliates of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations have also lined up solidly behind leftist Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. In particular, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, an AFL-CIO affiliate, is backing the latter. Last summer in Chicago the AFL-CIO sponsored a debate among the Democratic candidates. The debate’s host was AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and the elitist Trilateral Commission. Sweeney is pictured below with Senators Clinton and Obama. The official AFL-CIO blog reports:

ILWU Backs Obama for President
by
Seth Michaels, Mar 3, 2008

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in the presidential race.The 60,000-member union is the fifth one afilliated with the AFL-CIO to back Obama.

ILWU President Bob McEllrath says Obama would be the best candidate on key issues like trade, health care and workers’ freedom to form unions:

America’s working families are ready for a candidate with a fresh approach who will put people first and hold corporations more accountable. Obama met with us, listened to our concerns, and we think he’ll do the best job on the issues that matter most to working families.

Among AFL-CIO afilliates, Obama also has been endorsed by the Boilermakers (IBB), the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA), the Utility Workers (UWUA) and the Transport Workers (TWU), which initially gave an endorsement to former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.).

Two other unions that endorsed Edwards, the Mine Workers (UMWA) and United Steelworkers (USW), have not announced any plans to endorse another candidate for president.

Twelve unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO have endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.): AFSCME, AFT, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Bricklayers (BAC), Letter Carriers (NALC), Machinists (IAM), Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU), Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), Sheet Metal Workers (SMWIA), TCU/IAM, Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and United Transportation Union (UTU).

The IAM and IUPAT endorsements of Clinton in the Democratic primaries were accompanied by endorsements of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the Republican primaries.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the UAW have announced they will not make endorsements during the primary season. The Fire Fighters (IAFF) union, which endorsed Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), has not announced a new endorsement.

In August, the AFL-CIO Executive Council said it would not yet make an endorsement for a 2008 presidential candidate, freeing AFL-CIO unions to endorse candidates for the caucuses and primaries. The AFL-CIO will continue the Working Families Vote 2008 campaign to help elect a worker-friendly Congress and president.

The next contests in the 2008 presidential election will be held tomorrow, with primaries in Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont and Texas, which has a primary/caucus format.

In a related story, on March 2 the Internationalist Group reported that: “In a major step for the U.S. labor movement, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has announced that it will shut down West Coast ports on May 1, to demand an immediate end to the war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Middle East.” The Trotskyist grouping continues: “In a February 22 letter to AFL-CIO president John Sweeney, ILWU International president Robert McEllrath reported that at a recent coast-wide union meeting, ‘One of the resolutions adopted by caucus delegates called on longshore workers to stop work during the day shift on May 1, 2008 to express their opposition to the war in Iraq.’ This is the first time in decades that an American union has decided to undertake industrial action against a U.S. war.” In 1950 the ILWU was expelled from the Congress of Industrial Organizations, on the grounds that it was dominated by communists, and readmitted to the AFL-CIO in 1988.

Although the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan is a short-sighted reaction to Soviet provocations, such as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Hate America Left, which draws together the communist-infiltrated Democratic Party and Big Labor, is using the issue of disengagement from overseas military commitments to seize the White House in November.

George Soros: CFR Cadre and Alleged Agent of Soviet Influence

According to Czech-American writer Honza Malina, moreover, circumstantial evidence indicates that Soros is a long-time KGB asset. Not surprisingly, Soros, like the politicians he funds, is a CFR cadre. Among other “accomplishments,” Soros dollars facilitated the perestroika deception in Eastern Europe by funding Czechoslovakian communist fronts such as Vaclav Havel’s Charter 77 Foundation. In 1990 Miroslav Dolejsi, a former dissident who briefly advised Czechoslovakia’s first “post”-communist Interior Minister Richard Sacher, discovered from Swedish documents that Charter 77 was in fact a KGB-GRU false opposition operation. Malina notes that during the Second World War Soros’ parents collaborated with the Nazis and, later, after the communists seized power in Hungary, “Young George was able to leave the country, he was able to make it through countless Red Army check points, without a passport that would be valid, without a Soviet approved permit to leave the country, without money and without any outside help.” This, Malina contends, was the beginning of Soros’ career as a Soviet asset. In 1952 Soros graduated from the London School of Economics, which was founded by the socialist Fabian Society and which might explain the Quantum Fund founder’s leftist inclinations. In 2003 the New Statesman chronicled Soros’ role in the dismantling of the Soviet Empire:

The conventional view, shared by many on the left, is that socialism collapsed in eastern Europe because of its systemic weaknesses and the political elite’s failure to build popular support. That may be partly true, but Soros’s role was crucial. From 1979, he distributed $3m a year to dissidents including Poland’s Solidarity movement, Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia and Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union. In 1984, he founded his first Open Society Institute in Hungary and pumped millions of dollars into opposition movements and independent media. Ostensibly aimed at building up a “civil society”, these initiatives were designed to weaken the existing political structures and pave the way for eastern Europe’s eventual colonisation by global capital. Soros now claims, with characteristic immodesty, that he was responsible for the “Americanisation” of eastern Europe.

Thus, the Bush-bashing Soros has played an integral role in not only making the world safe for global capitalism, but also Soviet deception. “So why is he so upset with Bush?” the New Statesman ponders. “The answer is simple. Soros is angry not with Bush’s aims – of extending Pax Americana and making the world safe for global capitalists like himself – but with the crass and blundering way Bush is going about it.” In reality, it would appear that Soros and Bush, who surrounds himself with cabinet-level CFR agents, are on the same team promoting East-West convergence.

>Latin America File: Pentagon: War between Venezuela and Colombia unlikely; Brazil to ship 31.5 tons of firearms to Chavez, FARC builds nuke

>Pictured here: Venezuelan soldiers patrol town of San Antonio Tachira, near the Colombian border, on March 4, 2008. The Voice of America reports today: “Venezuelan military officials say they have now sent almost 6,000 soldiers to the country’s border with Colombia. The military said about 90 percent of its deployment to the border is complete.” Today US Defense Secretary and Council on Foreign Relations cadre Robert Gates dismissed reports that Venezuela’s deployment of troops and tanks to its border with US ally Colombia presaged war. “My personal view is that there’s relatively little likelihood of military conflict,” Gates sighed, with a nonchalance typical of dot.gov. Reuters reports:

Pentagon: Venezuela-Colombia armed conflict unlikely

Wed Mar 5, 2008 2:48pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Military conflict between Venezuela and Colombia is unlikely, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday, despite the deployment of Venezuelan forces to the border.

“My personal view is that there’s relatively little likelihood of military conflict,” Gates told reporters.

Asked if the U.S. government or military would assist Colombia — its closest ally in the region — in any armed conflict, Gates said, “The Colombians can take care of themselves.”

Venezuela on Wednesday said it deployed tanks and air and sea forces toward the Colombian border, escalating tensions over Bogota’s weekend raid inside another South American neighbor, Ecuador, to kill Colombian leftist rebels.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, long a political foe of Washington, has in the past raised the specter of a U.S. attack against his country.

Gates, of course, is probably correct that the “Colombians can take care of themselves.” In terms of ground forces, the Colombian Army is twice as large as Venezuela and Ecuador’s combined, better equipped due to its military alliance with the USA and, after decades of fighting against two insurgent Marxist armies, battle hardened. However, Gates apparently overlooked the fact that Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia are endeavoring to build a nuclear bomb, a fact contained on computers seized by the Colombian security forces that bumped off senior FARC commander Raul Reyes on Ecuadorean soil on March 1.

Pictured here: “Codependent” communists Hugo and Rafael cling together.

Meanwhile, the Organization of American States (OAS) has brokered a quick fix to resolve the political showdown between Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and his irate neo-Marxist neighbors, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa. In exchange for Colombia’s compliance to the OAS panel that will investigate the killing of Reyes, the Ecuadorean government will not assert its right of retaliation against Colombia. In any event, former Venezuelan Defense Minister Raul Baduel, who defected from the Chavezista regime last year, inisted that Venezuela’s troop mobilization is a political maneuver designed to bolster the president’s sinking popularity. Moreover, Luis Vicente Leon, director of the Caracas-based polling firm Datanalisis, suggests that Chavez is probably trying to regain his standing in the face of soaring inflation and food shortages, as well as the rejection last year by voters of his proposal to rewrite the constitution.

However, Colombia’s lonely rightist regime is surrounded by leftist governments throughout Latin America that sympathize with the aims of the FARC and the smaller National Liberation Army. Even if Chavez is simply posturing for domestic reasons, the mobilization of the Venezuelan armed forces will undoubtedly unsettle the Colombians and, we would expect, provoke a counter-mobilization along the border, which could very well lead to war. We have already blogged about the strategic partnership between Moscow’s crypto-communist regime and Caracas’ overtly red dictatorship, an alliance that has already included the shipment of small arms, fighter jets, military helicopters, and conventional submarines to the South American nation, the construction of a plant that will manufacture more automatic rifles, and investment and exploration opportunities for Russia’s state-run energy giants like Gazprom. We have also documented the covert transfer of weapons to the FARC by the Red Mafiya and “rogue elements” in the Russian military.

Three days ago World-Check.com analyst Kenneth Rijock revealed a disturbing development that suggests that Brazil’s neo-communist regime, which is quietly allied with Chavez, is this week in the process of filling a rush order of firearms for Venezuela’s dictatorship. Rijock points out “that between 50,000 and 70,000 weapons will be contained in these shipments, which are not consigned for the Ministry of Defence, but are to be quietly delivered directly to the Miraflores Presidential Palace.”

Yet another high-risk indicator for Venezuela surfaces
By Kenneth Rijock, Financial Crime Consultant for World-Check
2 March 2008

If you remember the chaos that surrounded the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), you know that financial institutions simply cannot operate under conditions of street violence. The tenuous situation in Venezuela could soon reach that state, in light of disturbing new developments that have come to light. Read the details below, and decide for yourself whether a civil war is on the horizon in Caracas.

Here is what we know so far:

Four secret flights are scheduled into Venezuela, on TAM Brazilian Airlines, transporting 31.5 tonnes of firearms made in Brazil. The first flight has already arrived, carrying 1.5 tonnes of weapons; each additional flight is scheduled to bring in ten tonnes each.

Whilst the exact types of weapons are unknown, one can safely estimate that between 50,000 and 70,000 weapons will be contained in these shipments, which are not consigned for the Ministry of Defence, but are to be quietly delivered directly to the Miraflores Presidential Palace, on the orders of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez Frias. Why all the secrecy?

In a country where the armed forces and the police are already well-equipped, these weapons can only have one intended use; to arm civilian supporters of the current regime, who will use it upon the opposition in an expected violent confrontation that could degenerate into a civil war.

A civil disturbance would result in the complete shutdown of the financial system in the capital. Watch for any preliminary signs of organised violence, closure of shoppes and businesses, and attacks upon civilians.

While these shipments might indicate that the Bolivarian revolutionary is more concerned about covering his own back than taking on the Colombian Armed Forces, it is possible that Latin America’s Red Axis is preparing for an all-out assault on Bogota.

>USA/USSR2 Files: Globalist Bush congratulates Medvedev on election "victory"; secretive Kissinger-Primakov cabal to promote US-Soviet convergence

>The fact that US President George W. Bush has congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin’s anointed successor Dmitry Medvedev on his election “victory” this past Sunday only demonstrates the extent to which the pro-communist globalists of the Council on Foreign Relations control the White House. In like manner “Comrade Puppet” Medvedev has already indicated that he looks forward to working with the next US administration, no doubt through the secretive Kissinger-Primakov Strategic Working Group, established with the blessing of both Bush and Putin. Even Andrew Wilson, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, refers to Medvedev as “a new president who is the product of an old system.” Wilson urges: “So there should be no race to be Medvedev’s new best friend and no staring into his eyes and speculating about his soul. Instead, we should concentrate on what Medvedev does, not on what he says . . .”

Notwithstanding Wilson’s words of wisdom, the chummy relationship between Washington and Moscow, in the face of the bold re-Sovietization of Russia under Putin, does not bode well for America’s future as a sovereign, independent nation, especially with the roster of CFR-backed candidates lining up to storm the White House this November. In short, I have two words to describe Bush’s friendly overture to Medvedev: outrageous and treasonous.

Meanwhile, Germany’s “conservative” Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was raised in East Germany and joined the Socialist Unity Party’s youth section, will obediently visit the Kremlin this Saturday to cement the Communist Bloc’s Moscow-Berlin Axis.

Bush phones Medvedev after Russian election win
Tue Mar 4, 2008 3:09pm EST
By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President George W. Bush telephoned Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday but appeared to stop short of offering the customary White House congratulations to the president-elect.

Russian news agencies reported earlier in the day that Bush called and congratulated Medvedev, the protege and successor of outgoing President Vladimir Putin, on his victory in a Sunday election that has been criticized by Western observers.

But U.S. accounts of the Bush-Medvedev conversation had no reference to the kind of White House congratulations routinely offered to newly elected foreign leaders.

“I’m not going to get into the word game about congratulations or not-congratulations,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters when asked whether congratulations had been offered.

“Our position about the Russian elections leading up to it (the phone call) has been well-known and our concerns were expressed from the beginning.”

Relations between the United States and Russia have been rocky during Putin’s tenure and the two countries have clashed over issues ranging from Kosovo’s independence to Iran’s nuclear program. Putin steps down in May.

Medvedev was elected with 72 percent of the vote and has pledged to pursue the policies of his mentor Putin, whom he has asked to be prime minister in his new government.

Western observers have criticized the election as neither free nor fair but said its outcome broadly reflected the will of the people.

Russia’s human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, said Medvedev would have to prove he could ensure freedoms when he took over as Kremlin leader later this year.

‘VERY GOOD’ FIRST CHAT

Asked if there was a purpose behind the apparent lack of congratulations in Bush’s conversation and other administration statements, Perino replied: “I don’t know of any purpose necessarily.”

“What the president did today was call the president-elect of Russia. They had a very good first conversation,” she said.

“He did what he routinely does with lots of presidents-elect around the world, which is call to say: ‘Thank you for taking my call and I look forward to working with you.'”

Bush, who is due to leave office in January 2009, does not know Medvedev well, having met him briefly in 2004, she said. Perino also noted that Bush’s relations with Putin have included difficulties that the U.S. president has described as “diplomatic head-butts.”

In a statement on Tuesday, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said Bush had told Medvedev he looked forward to working with the new Russian leader and that he hoped the two could “establish a close working relationship.”

“President Bush said that he had read with interest Mr. Medvedev’s recent remarks on personal freedoms, independent media, rule of law and fighting corruption,” he said.

Russian news agencies, citing Medvedev’s office, said Bush and the president-elect agreed to “continue the tradition of a mutually trustful, fair and open dialogue that existed between Vladimir Putin and George Bush and which was key to the development of Russian-U.S. ties.”

“The two expressed their mutual desire to preserve the positive elements of bilateral cooperation which helps jointly solve problems which arise from time to time in the process of international cooperation,” the agencies reported.

Source: Reuters

As an aside, we are updating our Red World country profiles, especially the ones that we posted in 2006, which mainly cover Africa and Asia. You will be surprised, or perhaps not, by the number of socialist, communist, and “ex”-communist regimes ruling countries in the twenty-first century.

>Latin America File: War in South America: Venezuela, Ecuador deploy tanks, troops to border with Colombia, after Bogota’s execution of FARC leader

>At Once Upon a Time in the West we have predicted for nearly two years that Venezuela’s red dictator Hugo Chavez–a strategic partner of Moscow, Beijing, and Havana–will find some pretext to invade Colombia in order to support that country’s communist insurgents, with which he is now in open alliance. “Some day Colombia will be freed from the hand of the [US] empire. We have to liberate Colombia,” Chavez threatened on Venezuelan television yesterday. If the Colombian government falls to the Marxist rebels, with or without the military assistance of revolutionary Venezuela, then the USA will lose one of its last allies in the region and the Latin American Red Axis, as embodied by the Sao Paulo Forum, will reign supreme throughout the hemisphere.

According to the report below, both Venezuela and Ecuador have moved troops and tanks up to their respective borders with Colombia. This past Saturday the Colombian military, by its own admission, crossed into Ecuadorean territory in order to pursue and kill Raul Reyes, a senior commander in the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) who was operating from a base in the other country. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, like his Marxist mentor Chavez, stridently denies that FARC is a terrorist organization. This weekend’s developments in South America follow only by weeks an earlier threat of war from communist thug Chavez. In our humble opinion, if Comrade Hugo wants to rumble, then Washington should back Bogota with everything it needs to successfully defeat the Venezuelan and Ecuadorean armed forces.

Pictured above: During a press conference yesterday in Bogota General Oscar Naranjo, commander of Colombia’s National Police, displays copies of documents seized by his security forces during the attack on the FARC’s Ecuadorean camp. The documents, which were found on computers seized at the camp, demonstrate that Colombia’s communist rebels were in “close contact and deepening relations” with Ecuador’s leftist president. According to CNN, moreover, evidence from the same confiscated computers reveals that “Chavez recently gave the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia $300 million.”

We have previously demonstrated that Venezuela’s narco-communist regime has funded ruling and non-ruling leftist parties and insurgent armies throughout the hemisphere, including the Party of the Democratic Revolution and the Popular Revolutionary Army in Mexico, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front in El Salvador, the Sandinista National Liberation Front in Nicaragua, and the Justicialist Party in Argentina, as well as rightist parties like Belize’s People’s United Party.

Pictured below: Ecuadorean troops in Lago Agrio, in the northeast region of their country, prepare for deployment to the Colombian border, on March 3, 2008.

Chavez orders troops to Colombia’s border
Sunday, March 2, 2008
IAN JAMES / Associated Press

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez ordered Venezuela’s embassy in Colombia closed and sent thousands of troops to the countries’ border Sunday after Colombia’s military killed a top rebel leader.

The leftist leader warned that Colombia’s slaying of rebel commander Raul Reyes could spark a war in South America and the angry rhetoric sent relations between the nations to their lowest point in Chavez’s nine-year presidency.

Speaking on his weekly TV and radio program, Chavez told his defense minister: “move 10 battalions to the border with Colombia for me, immediately.” He ordered the Venezuelan Embassy in Bogota closed and said all embassy personnel would be withdrawn.

Chavez, a fierce critic of Washington, called the U.S.-allied government in Bogota “a terrorist state” and labeled President Alvaro Uribe “a criminal.”

Chavez condemned Colombia’s slaying of Reyes and 16 other guerrillas on Saturday, saying they were killed while they slept in a camp across the border in Ecuadorean territory. He said Colombia “invaded Ecuador, flagrantly violated Ecuador’s sovereignty.”

“It wasn’t any combat. It was a cowardly murder, all of it coldly calculated,” Chavez said.

“We pay tribute to a true revolutionary, who was Raul Reyes,” Chavez said, recalling that he had met rebel in Brazil in 1995 and calling him a “good revolutionary.”

Chavez said he had just spoken to Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa and that Ecuador was also sending troops to its border with Colombia.

“The Colombian government has become the Israel of Latin America,” an agitated Chavez said, mentioning another country that he has criticized for its military strikes. “We aren’t going to permit Colombia to become the Israel of these lands.”

Chavez accused Uribe of being a puppet of Washington and acting on behalf of the U.S. government, saying “Dracula’s fangs (are) are covered in blood.”

“Some day Colombia will be freed from the hand of the (U.S.) empire,” Chavez said. “We have to liberate Colombia,” he added, saying Colombia’s people will eventually do away with its government.

The U.S. State Department had no immediate reaction to Chavez’s comments.

Chavez maintains warm relations with the Colombia’s largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and has sought to play a role as mediator in the conflict despite his growing conflict with Colombia’s government.

Chavez’s government called the Colombian military attack a setback in efforts to negotiate a swap of rebel-held hostages for imprisoned guerrillas.

Colombia and Venezuela have been locked in a diplomatic crisis since November, when Uribe ended Chavez’s official role negotiating a proposed hostages-for-prisoners swap.

Nevertheless, the FARC freed four hostages to Venezuelan officials last week, and they were reunited with their families in Caracas. It was the second unilateral release by the FARC this year.

Chavez has recently angered Uribe by urging world leaders to classify the leftist rebels as “insurgents” rather than “terrorists.”

The FARC has proposed trading some 40 remaining high-value captives, including former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and three U.S. defense contractors, for hundreds of imprisoned guerrillas.

Source: Detroit News

The White House’s reponse to the political-military standoff in South America is typically nonchalant. President George W. Bush’s spokesentity Gordon Johndroe sighed: “We’re monitoring the situation. This is an odd reaction by Venezuela to Colombia’s efforts against the FARC, a terrorist organization that continues to hold Colombians, Americans and others hostage.” Liliana Fasciani, a legal philosophy professor at the Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas, views Venezuela’s military movements as little more than “nationalist rhetoric”:

Venezuela’s dependence on food imports from Colombia at a time when the country is experiencing widespread shortages of staples like milk and eggs, and the Colombian military’s superior training, make it unlikely that war will break out between the two countries. This is absurd nationalist rhetoric. This is more of Chavez making a racket than any kind of real threat.

Time, of course, will tell whether dot.gov and the talking heads are correct in their assessments. However, they fumbled the ball when it came to the “collapse” of the Soviet Union 16 years ago.

Although Turkey withdrew its troops from northern Iraq on February 29, where it was seeking to dislodge the Marxist guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, Ankara’s top general Yasar Buyukanit is vowing to return to “teach the rebels further lessons.” During the eight-day Turkish military operation against the PKK, the price of oil shot up. If Venezuela, which is a major petroleum producer, invades Colombia, then expect the cost of black gold to climb even higher. Bloomberg.com reports today that “Commodity producers rose as oil climbed to $102.45 a barrel and gold advanced to as high as $992 an ounce.”

>USSR2 File: Soviet strategists install Medvedev as next president; Chinese envoy: Putin’s successor to advance Moscow-Beijing strategic partnership

>Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Nashi Marches on US Embassy in Moscow, Denouncing Washington’s Foreign Policy on Kosovo and Iraq

Not surprisingly Vladimir Putin’s anointed successor, Gazprom CEO, and Komsomol graduate Dmitry Medvedev has won Russia’s presidential election, which means Putin will be appointed prime minister again. Thus, while the KGB dictator will animate his puppet from the background, Putin himself will be carrying out the dictates of the restored/continuing Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Russia’s state-run economy is thriving on revenue generated by oil, natural gas, and arms exports, the “ex”-communist/”ex”-KGB oligarchy is lining its pockets, and the West continues to perceive the Russian “Right,” as personified by Putin’s Chekist administration and United Russia’s domination of the State Duma, as the real powerbrokers in Moscow.

State-run Novosti, below, contends that with a 70% voter turnout and 99% of the ballots counted Medvedev has obtained 70% of the vote, precluding any need for a second round of balloting. By contrast, Communist Party of the Russian Federation Chairman Gennady Zyuganov allegedly won only 18% of the vote, KGB politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky won 9%, and Democratic Party candidate Andrei Bogdanov, the country’s highest-ranking Freemason, won 1%. The CPRF website, however, insists that Medvedev secured only 64% of the vote, while Zyuganov raked in 22%.

In either case, open communist Zyuganov is perceived in the West as a sorry, washed up loser who has petulantly rejected the validity of both the 2003-2004 and 2007-2008 election seasons. In an interview with state-run Interfax Zyuganov is dismissing as premature allegations that he will legally challenge the results of Sunday’s election but has admitted that the CPRF will pursue law suits at the local level with respect to alleged voting violations by the “party of authority,” meaning United Russia, which endorsed Medvedev’s bid.

This question is within the competence of the party’s leadership. The KPRF Central Committee’s Presidium will meet on Thursday evening to sum up and assess the election results. Whether or not to take the matter to court may also be discussed. But the ultimate decision will be made at the KPRF Central Committee’s plenary meeting to be held on March 22. The party intends to sue over the election violations registered by KPRF members. Our activists registered about 200 violations of a criminal nature. We intend to sue in local courts.

Yesterday evening, on the Russia TV channel, Zyuganov also refused to commit himself to supporting Putin as the next prime minister until appropriate consultations have occurred with Medvedev: “The Communist Party (KPRF) has yet to decide on the support of the candidature of Vladimir Putin for office of Russian prime minister. As to the candidate for prime minister and the line, including the composition of the government, we will discuss this with new president and will then make a decision.” In so doing, Comrade Gennady inadvertantly revealed the background role that the CPSU exerts in “post”-communist Russia’s political system.

Former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov was denied registration by the Central Election Commission (CEC) and subsequently denounced the election results: “I couldn’t care less what figures have been officially published, 60-70 or 120%. Today is the day of the conclusion of an operation for the illegitimate transfer of power.” CEC member Yelena Dubrovina admitted to the Ekho Moskvy radio station today that: “We received complaints that people were pressurized by heads of organizations and institutions to go to polling stations and then to report to them.”

Meanwhile, international election monitors from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe admits that Medevdev’s victory reflected the “will of voters,” but questions the fairness of the results in view of Medvedev’s domination of the electronic media, his refusal to debate Zyuganov on television, and the refusal by the CEC to register a number of candidates, as noted above, like Kasyanov and outspoken Putin opponent Garry Kasparov. CPSU Chairman and August 1991 coup ringleader Oleg (“Man in the Shadows”) Shenin was also “denied” registration.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe refused to accept the Kremlin’s invitation to monitor the election, just as it refused to attend the Duma election in December. By contrast, the head of the election monitoring mission of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the international political structure by which Moscow exerts control over her satellites, heralded the election as “free, open and transparent.” Nauryz Aidarov, head of the CIS mission, crowed: “The CIS observer mission states that the election is a major factor in the further democratization of public life in the Russian Federation, and recognizes it as free, open and transparent.” One European observer, who has clearly bought into the Soviet deception and saw only what the Kremlin fixers wanted him to see, gushed: “The vote took place in a wonderful environment and met Western norms.” Yeah, right.

Finally, in another disgusting display of pro-Soviet grovelling, faux rightist President Nicholas Sarkozy has congratulated Medvedev on his “landslide” victory, inviting Russia’s president-elect to visit France as soon as convenient to advance the Paris-Moscow Axis.

PACE says Medvedev won Russian polls, but doubts fairness-2
16:0603/ 03/ 2008

MOSCOW, March 3 (RIA Novosti) – European observers said on Monday that Russia’s presidential elections reflected the will of voters, but questioned the fairness of the polls.

Kremlin-backed Dmitry Medvedev, 42, won Russia’s presidential election by a landslide, preliminary results from the Central Election Commission showed on Monday. With 99% of the ballots counted Medvedev received 70.22% of the votes in Sunday’s elections with a record turnout of 69.6% of the country’s 109 million eligible voters.

Andreas Gross, head of the group from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), said Sunday’s vote was a “reflection of the will of the electorate whose democratic potential unfortunately has not been tapped.”

He said unfair access to media put into question the overall fairness of the vote, adding the election “repeats most of the flaws seen in the parliamentary elections last December.”

Gross said previously voters had a limited choice and pointed to the “insurmountable” difficulties one candidate faced in registering to run in Sunday’s contest.”

“An election where there is not a level playing field for all contestants can hardly be considered as fair,” the PACE team stated before the campaign.

The head of the Central Election Commission said all comments by international observers would be taken into account.

However, he said the commission would hardly be able “to follow all of the contradictory recommendations” made by observers.

European NGO observers said they had no problems with the election and that the vote conformed to Western standards.

“The vote took place in a wonderful environment and met Western norms,” said Bernard Perego [name as transliterated].

He said he had visited four polling stations in Russia and had witnessed no violations.

Another European NGO observer praised the election for being well-organized.

“What we saw was well organized; the turnout was high, and people were voting with pleasure,” said Paul Marie Couteaux.

The CIS observer mission said the election was free and democratic.

“The CIS observer mission states that the election is a major factor in the further democratization of public life in the Russian Federation, and recognizes it as free, open and transparent,” said Nauryz Aidarov, head of the CIS mission.

Medvedev’s nearest rival, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, has 17.77% of the vote, nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky 9.37%, and the leader of the pro-Western Democratic Party, Andrei Bogdanov, – 1.29%.

The overwhelming lead is enough to give Medvedev victory in the first round of voting.

Election officials said that the polls had taken place without serious violations. However, critics pointed to pressure on voters to cast their ballots, especially employees at state-run organizations.

The refusal by the Russian election authorities to register a number of candidates from Russia’s opposition due to ‘irregularities’ in their applications was also cited, as was the lack of media coverage for candidates given permission to stand.

Election officials said that the polls had taken place without serious violations. However, critics pointed to pressure on voters to cast their ballots, especially employees at state-run organizations.

The refusal by the Russian election authorities to register a number of candidates from Russia’s opposition due to ‘irregularities’ in their applications was also cited, as was the lack of media coverage for candidates given permission to stand.

As results came in, Medvedev’s main contenders, Gennady Zyuganov and Vladimir Zhirinovsky, hinted that they could contest the election results in the courts.

Many Western observers, including the OSCE’s main election arm, chose to boycott the election claiming Russia had imposed restrictions on monitors. However, Moscow has strongly rejected the allegations.

Source: Novosti

In the USA the Democratic Party’s front-running candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama expressed reservations about the fairness of Medvedev’s victory. Clinton stated yesterday: “Today’s presidential election in Russia – where the installation of Dmitry Medvedev as Vladimir Putin’s self-designated successor was never in doubt – marks a milestone in that country’s retreat from democracy.” During his February 26 debate with Comrade Hillary Obama commented: “Medvedev’s candidacy is a clever but transparent way for Putin to hold on to power.” These are excellent points, but disengenuous in view of the fact that both Clinton and Obama are committed leftists and members of the pro-communist Council on Foreign Relations, which is one of the prime movers behind the secretive Kissinger-Primakov Strategic Working Group on US-Russian relations. It should be pointed out that front-running Republican contender John McCain, whose commitment to conservative American values is dubious at best, is a CFR cadre too.

The Kremlin’s rent-a-mob is not pleased with the election results, even as Kremlin authorities impose numerous restrictions on Kasparov’s Other Russia coalition, which seeks to protest the election results. Several hundred “protesters” have materialized in the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg. State-run Interfax reports: “Several hundred people are taking part in an opposition rally in St. Petersburg, an Interfax correspondent reports. In Moscow, police have prevented groups of National Bolsheviks totaling about 100 people from staging riots, Moscow Mayor’s first deputy press secretary Mikhail Solomentsev told reporters.”

In a counter-demonstration, the Kremlin-backed youth movement Nashi marched on the US embassy in Moscow, shouting slogans like “Russia Forward!” and “We Will Stand Beside Our Country” and denouncing Washington’s stance on Kosovo and Iraq. Last week other pro-Kremlin youth groups like Young Russia and Eurasian Youth Union travelled to Belgrade to protest Kosovar independence. Not so coincidentally, the street activists arrived at the same time as a high-level Russian delegation led by First Deputy Prime Minister Medvedev, who apparently offered to place Serbia under Russia’s nuclear umbrella.

Medvedev to Advance Moscow-Beijing Axis’ “One Clenched Fist” Per Golitsyn’s Warnings

Pictured here: First Deputy Prime Minister Medvedev visits Beijing, where he meets Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, August 28, 2006.

In the final analysis, the Soviet strategists’ drive for world domination is not altered in anyway by Medvedev’s electoral “victory.” Rather, their plans are strengthened in at least two areas: the Russian economy will continue to expand with the help of Western Nepmen, enabling the remilitarization of the neo-Soviet military, and the Moscow-Beijing Axis, as embodied by the Shanghai Cooperation Organiztion (SCO), will consolidate its gains against the West in preparation for defeating the bourgeois nations. With respect to the former, state-run Russia Today glowingly reports: “With Dmitry Medvedev’s win in the presidential election investors have got what they crave – stability and a clear direction. Analysts are now predicting an investment surge in Russia.”

With respect to the latter, Zhang Deguang, a member of the SCO’s election monitoring team who is also a former executive secretary of the SCO and former Chinese ambassador to Russia, praised the results of the Russian presidential election: “We are positive that the election was democratic, legitimate, transparent, fair and successful.” It is clear, then, that Medvedev will continue Putin’s policy of strengthening the “one clenched fist,” the term that former KGB Major Anatoliy Golitsyn used in his 1984 book New Lies for Old to describe the Sino-Soviet strategic partnership. In his press conference at the Chinese embassy in Moscow today, Deguang reveals that Comrade Dmitry has already played an extensive role in advancing the objectives of the two communist superpowers worldwide:

I am deeply convinced that Russian-Chinese relations of strategic partnership and interaction are sure to maintain their high dynamics. It is noteworthy that Dmitry Medvedev used to head the Russian part of the Organizing Committee for the national years of Russia and China. Medvedev repeatedly visited China, he perfectly knows China, and a profound friendship has formed between Medvedev, the Chinese leadership and the Chinese people. This year, with the advent of Dmitry Medvedev, a number of meetings between the heads of China and Russia both in multilateral and bilateral formats, are planned.

In a related story, this past week the head of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed El Baradei, adopted the Kremlin/Council on Foreign Relations line and urged the USA and Russia to eliminate their nuclear arsenals: “Their continued reliance on nuclear weapons as the cornerstone of their security sends the wrong message. The risk of accident or miscalculation would be dramatically lowered if weapons were taken off the Cold War hair-trigger alert.” For more than 60 years the UN presence in New York City has been the Communist Bloc’s chief base for subversion in the USA. This fact was once again underscored by the recent publication of the memoirs of Russian Foreign Intelligence Service operative Sergei Tretyakov, Moscow’s assumption of the rotating chairmanship of the UN’s Security Council for the month of March, as well as the infiltration by Soviet agents of the IAEA at the highest levels.

Taking into account all relevant factors, we believe that the Soviet strategists will probably remove the Putinist regime’s “non”-communist mask to fully reveal its Stalinist heart when the communist-infiltrated US Democratic Party takes the White House this November. From that point onward, the final disarmament of America will begin in the face of a resurgent Russian military, the budget for which will grow by 20% in 2008, allied with China’s modernized People’s Liberation Army, which the Pentagon admitted in 2007 has evolved into a “nimble quick-reaction force.”

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Bear bombers complete 10-hour patrol mission over North Atlantic; Kremlin: No violation of territorial waters

>On Friday state-run Voice of Russia reported that “Russian Tupolev-95 strategic bombers have carried out another ten-hour patrol mission to the North Atlantic. The crews flew their planes over neutral waters and never violated international rules for such flights. Russia is back to the strategic patrol circuit after 15 years.”

>USSR2 File: British media: Russia’s public-sector workers, governors instructed to hand victory to Putin’s anointed successor Medvedev

>Tomorrow Russia’s citizen-slaves will obediently cast their vote for President Vladimir Putin’s anointed successor, Komsomol graduate and Gazprom CEO Dmitry Medvedev. The Soviet strategists have apparently determined that the time is not yet ripe to place an open communist like Gennady Zyuganov in the Kremlin. However, the MSM has taken note of the fact that Russia’s presidential campaign is, to say the least, “unusual” by Western standards: “Debates are absent, state media cover only the Kremlin’s chosen candidate in depth and critics say the contest resembles a coronation rather than an election.” The Guardian reports that “The Kremlin is planning to falsify the results of tomorrow’s presidential election by compelling millions of public-sector workers to vote and by fraudulently boosting the official turnout, the Guardian has been told by independent sources.” The same source adds: “Governors, regional officials and even headteachers have been instructed to deliver a landslide majority for Dmitry Medvedev . . .” No one who has spent the last two years visiting Once Upon a Time in the West should be surprised by such allegations.

In a related development, oddball candidate Andrei Bogdanov, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Russia and former public relations chief for United Russia, has come under accusations of being a Kremlin stooge. It is hard not to come to this conclusion since the leader of the little-known Democratic Party gushes with praise for Putin: “Putin has done a lot to consolidate society and if he hadn’t done so, then Russia would have gone the same way as the Soviet Union. Democracy in Russia will be even better than in the United States within two or three, maximum five years.” Of course, Bogdanov’s status as Russia’s highest-ranking Freemason is guaranteed to generate its own maze of conspiracy theories.