Monthly Archives: April 2008

>USSR2 File: Gorbachev joins meeting of political analysts, evaluates Russian elections, denounces United Russia as "degraded copy of the CPSU"

>Last week, as reported by state-owned Kommersant Daily, a group of US, European, and Russian political scientists convened near Paris to evaluate Russia’s recent presidential and parliamentary elections. Mikhail Gorbachev attended, lashing out at the (crypto-communist) Putinist regime and, tellingly, branding United Russia as a “degraded copy” of the (supposedly defunct) Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Well, the geriatric ex-Soviet tyrant should know. In his first book New Lies for Old (1984) former KGB Major Anatoliy Golitsyn warned the West at least five years before the Berlin Wall was dismantled that the Soviet strategists would fake their own demise in order to advance the Leninist plan for global domination. The plan worked . . .

Gorbachev Raised Voice against Elections
April 28, 2008

Big-name political analysts of Europe and the United States as well as Russia’s scientists and chiefs of Science Academy’s institutions gathered late past week in Château-de-Forge estate near Paris to evaluate the recent presidential and parliamentary elections in Russia. Once president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev lashed out at today’s political system of the country. In the last half-year, Gorbachev declared, Russia suffered the biggest rollback in its democratic advance.

The event headlined “Elections in Russia, European Union and the United States in Context of the World Election Standards” was arranged by Alexander Lebedev, ex-member of Russia’s parliament and today’s president of the Institute of Political Culture Comparative Research and owner of Château-de-Forge estate.

Lebedev opened the conference by saying that Alina Kabaeva wouldn’t attend it. For some reason, the host confined his participation to that opening joke. According to Moscow Correspondent newspaper, world’s ex-star of rhythmic gymnastic, beautiful and charismatic Alina Kabaeva is the alleged next wife of Vladimir Putin.

The first shocking speech of the conference was the address of Russia’s Ambassador to France Alexander Avdeev. Avdeev said Russia’s image in France was far from desired and faulted the media for it. In France, they pay attention to the general underdevelopment of the civic society and political system in Russia and it wouldn’t be easy to dispute that attitude, Avdeev made clear.

The ambassador didn’t go into details about the country’s elections, specifying, however, that the notion of administrative resource is absent in France but the French were quick to learn what it means thanks to Russia.

It was Mikhail Gorbachev, who stole the show. The sole president of the USSR, Gorbachev said the recent elections to the State Duma and of president were the biggest rollback in terms of democracy in the last decade and United Russia is the degraded copy of the CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union). Gorbachev urged to immediately abandon novelties of the last years, including the 7-percent ceiling at State Duma elections, new rules for the party registration, the ban on election blocs, exclusion of “against all” line from the ballot and pro-rata election to the State Duma. Without any optimism, the former leader called for direct elections both of governors and the Federation Council of Russia.

Pictured above: Russian President Vladimir Putin, East Germany’s last and only “non”-communist Prime Minister Lothar de Maiziere, German Chancellor Angela Merkel (who belonged to East Germany’s communist youth organization as a girl), and Gorbachev pose prior to talks in Wiesbaden, Germany, on October 15, 2007. De Maizière was a member of the Christian Democratic Union of (East) Germany, which was subservient to the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany through its membership in the National Front of Democratic Germany.

That United Russia is a front for the continuing CPSU is a reality that we have established before at this site. Earlier this month, for example, as reported by Kommersant Daily, representatives of the Ulyanovsk branch of United Russia attended a ceremony commemorating the birthday of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin. In April Russia’s independent and state-owned media analyzed that month’s United Russia party congress, in which Putin was invited to become the party’s “non-member” leader, and provided several clues that expose the link. On April 16 the independent Moscow Times reported:

United Russia dismisses comparisons with the Soviet-era Communist Party, despite similarities in rituals and routine. During the two-day congress, party delegates rubber-stamped every proposal submitted by the party leadership. Not a single delegate voted against the proposals or abstained. Books of speeches by Medvedev and chief Kremlin ideologue Vladislav Surkov were distributed free of charge to attendees. Alexei Leonov, the first man to step out of a spacecraft into space and a senior United Russia official, said the party had many more “elements of democratization” than the old Communist Party.

Two days later, under the title “Creating a New CPSU,” Moscow Times journalist Vladimir Ryzhkov reflected:

No matter what new party we create, in the end, it always turns out to be the Communist Party of the Soviet Union!” This was Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin’s famous phrase that he coined in the mid-1990s to describe the hordes of bootlickers and careerists who rushed to join the Our Home is Russia party. Chernomyrdin, in his trademark style, hit the nail right on the head. It is difficult to shake off a feeling of deja vu after seeing how delegates to United Russia’s ninth annual congress on Monday and Tuesday obediently applauded and stood at attention to the music of the perennial Soviet-cum-Russian national anthem.

The Our Home Is Russia party eventually merged with other potemkin “non”-communist parties to form United Russia in 2001. Russian political analyst Boris Makarenko, who works for the Center for Political Technology, revealed the potemkin nature of United Russia in the April 14 issue of Kommersant Daily: “ER is not an independent political party with an ideology and membership base. Rather, it broadcasts the orders of the presidential administration.”

Several years ago some astute elements of the Western media noticed the neo-Soviet character of “post”-communist Russia’s ruling party. In 2003 the Christian Science Monitor noted: “United Russia’s tactic is to seduce the communists’ traditional constituency by appearing more like the old Soviet Communist Party than the KPRF does. The pro-Kremlin party has stolen the Communists’ anti-big business slogans, its posters feature Soviet-era icons like dictator Joseph Stalin and cosmonaut Yury Gagarin, and its attack ads slam the KPRF for including rich businessmen among its candidates.” The following year the same publication warned that “United Russia increasingly resembles the former CPSU which, at its peak, was a vast ‘state within a state’ where all important decisions were made and then imposed by millions of loyal party members in every Soviet government office, legislature, workplace, school, and military unit.”

In his second book, The Perestroika Deception (1995, 1998), Golitsyn urges Western governments to adopt a counter-strategy that will defeat Moscow’s drive for world proletarian revolution via deceptive reforms in the Soviet political system and the realignment of nations into communist-controlled regional political-military-economic blocs like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the European Union. At this stage, with Russian bombers once again airborne and more entering service, do not expect the White House to implement that counter-strategy. Every US president including and since Ronald Reagan has either fallen for or winked at the Soviet deception. Barack Obama will not deviate from the Kremlin line. You might wish to conduct an inventory of your personal food stocks and ammunition cache and plan your “bug out” route.

>Middle East File: Israel’s MI chief: Palestinians preparing "wide-scale" attack on Independence Day; terrorists meet in Cairo, feign truce

>Even as representatives of Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Popular Resistance Committees, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Popular Struggle Front, and Islamic Jihad converge in Cairo to feign a truce with Israel, military intelligence chief Major General Amos Yadlin warns that Palestinian terrorists are plotting a “wide-scale” attack on the 60th anniversary of Israel’s independence, which took place on May 14, 1948. Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon are openly at war with Israel, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recently stated that the Palestine Liberation Organization is not averse to revitalizing the “armed struggle” against the “Zionist regime.” Pictured above: A huge Israeli flag near Latrun.

‘Terror plans for Independence Day’
Apr 29, 2008 15:11 Updated Apr 29, 2008 19:05
By JPOST.COM STAFF

Palestinian terror groups are planning a wide-scale attack on Israel’s sixtieth Independence Day, Head of Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin told the cabinet on Tuesday.

Yadlin said Military Intelligence had detected preparations among terrorists to combine forces and carry out an ambitious attack, as well as to breach the border between Gaza and Israel, similar to the way Hamas breached the Rafah border with Egypt several months ago.

He said this would be another attempt by Hamas to remove the closure on the Gaza Strip, and that the fear that the next attempt might be directed at the Israeli border stems from the recently reinvigorated motivation by the Egyptians to deter Hamas from trying to carry out another border breach on Rafah.

Last Friday, Egyptian forces beefed up their presence near Rafah following a mass demonstration organized by Hamas near the point where the border was breached. An Egyptian official told AP that the decision to increase presence at the border was meant to prevent any Palestinian activity aimed towards infiltrating Egyptian territory.

Hamas has issued its own warning, with top official Mahmoud Zahar saying that if crossings from the Strip are not open, “all options will remain” in the group’s hands.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

>End Times File: UN Berne summit begs West for US$755 million famine relief; Ortega hosts regional summit; Africa facing near-total crop failure

>UN: One Quarter of World’s Wheat Harvest Presently Threatened by Rust Fungus; Scientists: Puccinia graminis Could Spread to USA, Canada, and Europe

So far this unrest has been directed at rising prices. Actual shortages are still to come.
David Kotok, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Cumberland Advisors

The communist project known as the United Nations, an embryonic world government designed by Moscow Leninists and Western Fabian socialists associated with the Council on Foreign Relations, is begging the West for US$775 million to establish a relief fund designed to aid countries stricken by the current global food shortage. “We consider that the dramatic escalation in food prices worldwide has evolved into an unprecedented challenge of global proportions,” the UN pleaded in a press release, following the organization’s emergency summit in Berne, Switzerland. The World Bank, an organ of the UN, urged countries to refrain from imposing food export bans. “We are urging countries not to use export bans,” World Bank President Robert Zoellick said in another statement. “These controls encourage hoarding, drive up prices and hurt the poorest people around the world who are struggling to feed themselves.” In other words, the representatives of de facto world government are demanding more power to implement Antichrist’s agenda for global dictatorship.

Pictured above: UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon visits Russia’s outgoing President/incoming Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, on April 9, 2008.

U.N. and World Bank say to tackle food crisis
Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:26am EDT
By Laura MacInnis

BERNE (Reuters) – U.N. agencies and the World Bank pledged on Tuesday to set up a task force to tackle an unprecedented rise in global food prices that is threatening to spread social unrest.

The international bodies called on countries not to restrict exports of food to secure supplies at home, warning that could make the problem worse.

“We consider that the dramatic escalation in food prices worldwide has evolved into an unprecedented challenge of global proportions,” the United Nations said in a statement.

This had become a crisis for the world’s most vulnerable people, including the urban poor, it said after a meeting of 27 international agency heads in the Swiss capital, Berne, to chart a solution to food price rises that have caused hunger, riots and hoarding in poor countries.

“Though we have seen wheat prices fall over the last few days, rice and corn prices are likely to remain high, and wheat relatively so,” World Bank President Robert Zoellick told a joint news conference.

Higher costs of wheat, rice, and other staples have put extreme pressure on aid providers such as the World Food Program (WFP), a U.N. agency aiming to feed 73 million people this year.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the international community to provide the WFP all of the $755 million in emergency funds it needs for the crisis.

“Without full funding of these emergency requirements, we risk again the specter of widespread hunger, malnutrition, and social unrest on an unprecedented scale,” Ban said.

Concern about soaring food costs and limited supplies have toppled Haiti’s government and caused riots in parts of Africa.

The task force, bringing together the heads of U.N. agencies, funds and programs, the IMF and the World Bank under the leadership of Ban, will set priorities for a plan of action and make sure it is carried out.

WORLD BANK PLEA

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Food Price Index, measuring the market prices of cereals, dairy produce, meat, sugar and oils, was 57 percent higher in March 2008 than a year earlier.

The surge is due to several factors, including increased demand in developing countries, higher fuel costs, drought in Australia, the use of crops for biofuels, and speculation on global commodity markets.

And developing world farmers, often the poorest in their countries, are not benefiting from the higher prices.

They tend to eat most of what they grow rather than selling it, and higher prices for fuel and fertilizer are putting them off growing more, World Bank analysis shows.

“Even in some areas where people know that prices are higher, they are not planting more because they are fearful that they face very high input costs,” Zoellick said.

There was at least some short-term easing in prices of key commodities on Tuesday.

U.S. rice futures fell more than 2.5 percent, deepening a retreat from last week’s record high as the world’s biggest exporter Thailand said it would release government stocks for domestic use and traders looked ahead to Asian harvests.

The Thai pledge to release 2.1 million tons of stockpiled rice came a day after a trade official said the country’s rice prices were likely to ease by about 20 percent in coming weeks on increased supply from the new domestic crop.

Rice prices are expected to ease as countries rush to boost output, but the market is unlikely to return to levels of recent years, He Changchui, the FAO’s Asia head, said in Bangkok.

India slapped export taxes on basmati rice and other products as the government unveiled a series of moves to tackle inflation fuelled by the rise in food prices.

The World Bank called on countries not to ban exports of food, saying that only worsens the problem.

“We are urging countries not to use export bans,” World Bank President Zoellick said in a statement. “These controls encourage hoarding, drive up prices and hurt the poorest people around the world who are struggling to feed themselves.”

Source: Reuters

The globalist administration of US President George W. Bush appears to agree with the power-hungry cabal at the UN and its World Bank appendage. No export bans have been placed on US wheat reserves, which are at their lowest in six decades and shrinking fast. By contrast, in February neo-Soviet Russia imposed a hefty 40% export duty on grains to stabilize domestic flour and bread prices, but the duty will be lifted tomorrow, creating more hardship for Russia’s citizen-slaves. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation will no doubt use the worldwide, skyrocketing cost of living to assail the potemkin Putinist regime.

When a capitalist country faces crises, the communists will utilize the social and political unrest created to advance the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism. When an established communist state faces crises, the communists are again quick to denounce capitalists, oligarchs, separatists, racists, fascists, imperialists, and counter-revolutionaries as the source of their woes. This was the case on April 23 when Latin America’s red leaders convened in Caracas for an emergency summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (pictured above). Priority Item Number One: Establish a food security fund to prop up the shakey Trotskyist regime of Bolivian President Evo Morales. There Venezuela’s revolutionary dictator took the occasion to identify the “fascist right,” rather than drought, consecutive poor grain harvests, growing populations, expanding middle classes in China and India, and the short-sighted diversion of corn into biofuel production, as the cause of the current global food shortage.

Nicaragua’s stridently anti-USA President Daniel Ortega attended the group therapy session for Comrade Evo in Caracas. Harping on the same theme of the evils of private property accumulation, Comandante Ortega hosted a regional summit of agricultural ministers to address the global food shortage as it impinges on Latin America. The Sandinista leader piously intoned: “The drama of poor nations, where every five seconds a child dies of hunger and malnutrition, doesn’t make the news. When they limit sales of rice in the United States, that is news.” Neo-Sandinista Nicaragua, as we previously blogged, is scheduled to assume the rotating presidency of the UN General Assembly in June.

Nicaraguan president opens emergency meeting on food crisis in Central America
The Associated Press
Sunday, April 27, 2008

MANAGUA, Nicaragua: Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega says Central American food shortages have reached crisis levels and could cause social unrest.

Free trade, market forces, and farm subsidies in developed nations are contributing to the problem, Ortega told regional agriculture ministers on Saturday.

Ortega convened the ministers for what he called “an emergency meeting to take measures in the face of a food crisis, before we have any possible social explosions.”

Poverty-ridden Central America depends on imported oil and fertilizer to fuel its farms. Malnutrition is already common across the region, and soaring oil and grain prices threaten to make things worse.

The aim of Saturday’s meeting was to develop a production and marketing alliance for regional farm goods. Also attending were members of the Venezuelan-inspired Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, a trade and aid bloc known as ALBA.

On Wednesday, Ortega joined the leftist leaders of Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia in creating a US$100 million (64 million pounds) program to fight rising food costs for Latin America’s poor.

International aid groups and the news media have not paid the food crisis enough attention, Ortega said.

“The drama of poor nations, where every five seconds a child dies of hunger and malnutrition, doesn’t make the news,” Ortega said. “When they limit sales of rice in the United States, that is news.”

Source: International Herald Tribune

Not content to jab America in the ribs, unrepentant Marxist Ortega denounced his domestic opponents as “people’s foes” for seeking transparency with respect to millions of dollars received under an oil supply agreement with Red Venezuela and used discretionarily by the neo-Sandinista regime.

Ortega lambasts those who demand accountability for Venezuelan oil
Caracas, Monday April 28 , 2008

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega blasted his critics, who requested him to account for the destiny of million dollars received under an oil supply agreement with Venezuela and used discretionarily.

Last Sunday, Ortega called “people’s foes” those who queried about the revenues from the Venezuelan oil granted by means of a permissive loan, reported on Monday newspaper El Nuevo Diario.

The Nicaraguan Comptroller’s General Office ordered last week to audit Nicaraguan state-owned oil company Petróleos de Nicaragua (Petronic) in order to learn about the management of the funds resulting from the oil received by Nicaragua as a member of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA).

Ortega explained that due to the ALBA membership, Nicaragua had oil and energy available, allowing for low-cost urban transportation.

Source: El Universal

While the Left’s iron-fist-in-velvet-glove prescription for universal prosperity has a poor track record, the entire world is in fact facing a new threat that could lead to a food shortage of truly Biblical proportions. The so-called rust fungus that is preparing to wipe out most of Africa’s upcoming wheat harvest could spread to other continents. Ominously, the story below reports, “Scientists fear that the spores could spread on the wind and reach the U.S. and Canada or Europe.” Presently, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Office, nearly one quarter of the world’s global wheat harvest is threatened by the fungus known as Ug99. Pictured above: Afghan food sellers in the city of Kabul, on April 14, 2008. The price of wheat flour shot up an average of 60 percent across Afghanistan last year.

Wheat Crop Failures Could be Total, Experts Warn
Thursday, April 24, 2008 10:03 a.m. EDT

On top of record-breaking rice prices and corn through the roof on ethanol demand, wheat is now rusting in the fields across Africa.

Officials fear near total crop losses, and the fungus, known as Ug99, is spreading.

Wheat prices have been soaring this week on top of already high prices, and futures contracts spiked, too, on panic buying.

Experts fear the cost of bread could soon follow the path of rice, the price of which has triggered riots in some countries and prompted countries to cut off exports.

David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer of Cumberland Advisors, said the deadly fungus, Puccinia graminis, is now spreading through some areas of the globe where “crop losses are expected to reach 100 percent.”

Losses in Africa are already at 70 percent of the crop, Kotok said.

“The economic losses expected from this fungus are now in the many billions and growing. Worse, there is an intensifying fear of exacerbated food shortages in poor and emerging countries of the world,” Kotok told investors in a research note.

“The ramifications are serious. Food rioting continues to expand around the world. We saw the most recent in Johannesburg.

“So far this unrest has been directed at rising prices. Actual shortages are still to come.”

Last month, scientists met in the Middle East to determine measures to track the progress of “Ug99,” which was first discovered in 1999 in Uganda.

The fungus has spread from its initial outbreak site in Africa to Asia, including Iran and Pakistan. Spores of the fungus spread with the winds, according science journal reports.

According to the Food and Agriculture Office (FAO) of the United Nations, approximately a quarter of the world’s global wheat harvest is currently threatened by the fungus.

Meanwhile, global wheat stocks are at lows not seen in half a century, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Scientists fear that the spores could spread on the wind and reach the U.S. and Canada or Europe.

“It will take five to eight years to genetically engineer a resistance,” said Kotok. “In the interim, U.S. agriculture faces higher risk.”

Kotok is worried that governments around the globe are reacting to the crisis — which he believes is as big of a threat as bird flu — inappropriately by artificially lowering the prices of domestic wheat, and raising export taxes on wheat.

William Gamble, president of Emerging Market Strategies, tells MoneyNews that artificial mechanisms put in place by governments could be as much to blame for the crisis as anything.

“Twenty countries have put food in price controls or export restrictions,” Gamble says.

“Others have restricted futures markets. It is the politicians who are interfering in the markets to protect themselves, and that causes the problem.”

Source: MoneyNews.com

Blogger’s Note: We have created a new news category called “End Times File” in which we correlate current events with various Bible prophecies concerning the end of the church, or present, age. We have recategorized some posts of recent weeks within this new category.

>Latin America File: US carrier strike group sails past Venezuela as Chavez updates Khrushchev’s 1956 rant: "We will bury USA in 21st century"

>While addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow on November 18, 1956, Soviet Tyrant Nikita Khrushchev uttered one of his more memorable tirades: “We are Bolsheviks! We stick firmly to the Lenin precept—don’t be stubborn if you see you are wrong, but don’t give in if you are right. About the capitalist states, it doesn’t depend on you whether or not we exist. If you don’t like us. don’t accept our invitations, and don’t invite us to come to see you. Whether you like it or not. history is on our side. We will bury you!”

Today Venezuela’s neo-communist dictator Hugo Chavez picked up Khrushchev’s mantle when he lashed out at Washington after the US aircraft carrier George Washington allegedly sailed close to his country’s Caribbean coast. “This century,” he ranted, below, “we will bury the old U.S. empire and will live with the American people as brothers, as over 40 million U.S. citizens live on the edge of poverty.” Bring it on, Hugo, bring it on.

On April 22 the USS George Washington and the George Washington Carrier Strike Group participated in the opening ceremony for UNITAS 49-08 in Rio de Janeiro. For nearly 50 years the US Navy has conducted joint “good will” exercises with the navies of South America, including this year with Brazil and Argentina. The fomation of the new anti-US South American Defense Council under the auspices of Latin America’s predominatly leftist regimes, to which Chavez refers below, might bring this partnership to an end in the near future.

Hugo Chavez vows to ‘bury U.S.’ in 21st century
15:1625/ 04/ 2008

MEXICO, April 25 (RIA Novosti) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez criticized Washington on Friday after a U.S. aircraft carrier allegedly sailed close to the South American country border without permission.

“When Americans appear with their fleet – the George Washington – near our shores, then one must not forget, that this is happening at a time when, together with Brazil, we are establishing a defense council in South America,” he told a public meeting.

“This century, we will bury the old U.S. empire and will live with the American people as brothers, as over 40 million U.S. citizens live on the edge of poverty,” the president said.

He also said that Latin America had entered a new era, marked by the creation of a bloc of leftist governments, which included Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Chile and Brazil.

The USS George Washington and the George Washington Carrier Strike Group arrived in Brazil April 22 to participate in Unitas 49-08 naval exercises.

Unitas is 49-year-old annual exercise which aims to train participating countries’ navies to operate as part of a multinational force employing a variety of maritime scenarios. Argentina and Brazil are also taking part in the naval exercise with Chile and Ecuador acting as observers.

The USS George Washington left its home port of Norfolk in the U.S. en route to its eventual new home in Yokosuka in Japan, where it will replace the USS Kitty Hawk.

The USS George Washington’s flight deck is 4.5 acres and has a crew of up to 6,000.

Meanwhile, the Cuban state media reports that “thousands” of Latin American intellectuals–meaning ideologically challenged subversives who despise God, family, and patriotism–are affixing their signatures to a petition protesting the secession of four natural gas-rich provinces in Bolivia, a move that would jeopardize President Evo Morales’ plans to communize his already impoverished country. The petition is yet another attempt by Latin America’s Red Axis to rescue the Morales regime from self-implosion from internal dissent and the regional effects of the global food shortage.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: CSTO military production commission meets in Yerevan; Iceland PM annoyed by Russian bomber probes, demands NATO cover

>The military production commission of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the neo-Soviet military pact that undergirds the Commonwealth of Independent States, is meeting in Yerevan today to coordinate the production of military hardware among member states. State-run Voice of Russia reports: “The military production commission of the Collective Security Pact of seven former Soviet republics is meeting in the Armenian capital Yerevan. It will consider promoted cooperation and integration and polish draft documents that will be signed by the member-nations. The commission is expected to map out ways to meet strategic objectives in military production. The Collective Security Pact brings together Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.” In Kiev, the same source reports, border troop commanders are meeting to coordinate border control operations among CIS member states, ostensibly to combat “terrorism, smuggling, and illegal immigration.” In reality, such operations probably disguise pre-war preparations.

In a related story, in early April Iceland’s Prime Minister Geir Haarde attended the NATO summit in “post”-communist Romania, where he complained about repeated violations and near-violations of Icelandic airspace by Russian bombers. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attended that meeting. The most recent entrance of Russian military aircraft into the Icelandic air observation zone, accompanied by NATO fighter jets, occurred two days ago. The Icelandic media reports on Reykjavík’s response:

Russian Bombers Fly Near Iceland Again
25/04/2008 11:16

Two far-reaching Russian bomber jets entered the Icelandic air observation zone on Wednesday where they remained for three hours. They did, however, not enter Icelandic air space. This has happened before, e.g. in September last year.

According to Fréttabladid, the bombers were followed on radar but nothing else was undertaken.

During a meeting between the leaders of NATO countries and Russia in Romania earlier this month, Iceland’s Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde expressed his dissatisfaction with Russian military jets regularly entering the Icelandic air observation zone without permission.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attended that meeting.

When Haarde met with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday, he told Brown that Russian bombers had flown near Iceland again.

Haarde’s expressions of “dissatisfaction” in Bucharest appear to have been addressed, as we blogged several days ago, by the upcoming deployment in Iceland at the beginning of May of four French Mirage 2000 multi-purpose combat aircraft. Iceland is a NATO member, but has no armed forces. Yesterday PM Haarde was in London where he met British PM Gordon Brown. There the two leaders signed an agreement that requires the United Kingdom to be responsible for Iceland’s defense during peacetime and to participate in NATO’s air space observation around the island country. The source quoted previously reports: “Iceland has already concluded a similar defense agreement with Norway and Denmark and defense talks with Canada are well underway. NATO’s organized air space observation around Iceland begins next month when the crew of four French fighter jets will come to Iceland for supervision and military exercises. Other nations will follow and Haarde said Brown had been very positive about participating in the project.” Thus, the British, French, Norwegian, Danish, and Canadian air forces will assume rotating roles in defending Iceland under the aegis of NATO.

Communist Conquest by Peaceful East-West Convergence: Russia Demands Strategic Partnership to Neutralize European Union/North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Notwithstanding Russia’s open war footing and publicly stated threat of nuclear blackmail, expressed in Putin’s statement last year in which he threatened to target his missiles at Europe, the Kremlin also continues to pursue the more subtle course of East-West convergence. Within this framework global domination can be achieved in the form of a strategic partnership between the European Union, which is a Moscow-guided project to begin with, and Russia. In separate meetings in Moscow this week between Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker and Putin and between Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb and Lavrov, the subject of an EU-Russia merger was broached by the Russian hosts. Yesterday, the Kremlin media reported that “Mr. Juncker said good relations between Russia and Europe were unthinkable without strategic partnership.” Today, the Voice of Russia continued the theme of East-West convergence: “Russia seeks a strategic partnership with the European Union. This implies an appropriate agreement within a short period and a package of road maps for getting closer together in security, legal affairs and culture. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the matter with his Finnish counterpart Alexander Stubb at a meeting with him in Moscow on Friday.”

Not-So-Former Soviet republic Lithuania is holding up partnership talks between Moscow and Brussels by presenting its own terms for discussion, namely, that the Kremlin guarantee Russia’s supply of oil to Lithuania as well as curtail its meddling in the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the breakaway Moldovan region of Transnistria. In view of the fact that Lithuanian PM Gediminas Kirkilas is “ex”-CPSU, Vilnius’ determination to ensure Moscow’s compliance is disengenuous. EU foreign ministers are slated to meet in Luxembourg next Tuesday.

Speaking at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, DC this week, Poland’s “ex”-communist president Alexander Kwasniewski is going further than his neo-Soviet masters by recommending that NATO welcome Russia into its ranks. State-owned Kommersant Daily reports: “According to Kwasniewski, the alliance should evolve further in the direction of collective security organizations and accept states beyond the Atlantic region. He named Japan, Australia and South Korea along with Russia as potential members of the reformed organization.” A total political-military merger between neo-Soviet Russia and EU/NATO, of course, would completely neutralize the Western Alliance, which is one of the chief but unstated objectives of the Soviet strategists. Last month we quoted 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.”

>USSR2 File: Russian Foreign Ministry official, former Soviet apparatchik: Moscow prefers Obama for US president, Hillary 2nd choice, opposes McCain

>In an April 17, 2008 interview with state-run Moscow News Weekly high-ranking neo-Soviet official Yevgeny Bazhanov (pictured below) articulated the Kremlin’s preference for “Manchurian Candidate” Barack Obama as US president. Until now Obama has also enjoyed the endorsement of Fidel Castro, current head of the Communist Party of Cuba and until recently, president of Cuba.

Bazhanov speaks with authority. Born in 1946, he is a graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (1970), the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow (1987), and the Diplomatic Academy of the Soviet Foreign Affairs Ministry (1979-1981). Later, he served as political officer in the Soviet Foreign Affairs Ministry (1970-1972), as Vice Consul of the Soviet Consulate General in San Francisco (1973-1979), as political counselor of the Soviet Embassy in Beijing (1981-1985) and, most notably to those Kremlinologists who subscribe to the Golitsynian thesis, as foreign policy adviser to Communist Party of the Soviet Union General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev (1985-1991). Bazhanov is currently director of the Institute for Contemporary International Studies, as well as Vice President for Research and International Affairs at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Federation’s Foreign Ministry.

Clearly, Bazhanov’s opinion expresses that of the secretly ruling Communist Party of the Russian Federation/Soviet Union. In all likelihood, he is fully aware of the Soviet strategic deception with respect to glasnost, perestroika, and East-West convergence. It should surprise no astute anti-communist that the neo-Soviet leadership desires a leftist in the White House and a Democrat-dominated Congress, both of which will accelerate America’s military demise and political submersion into a Red World Order controlled by the Moscow-Beijing Axis.

In the interview below Bazhanov not only expresses the Kremlin’s support for Obama, but also Moscow’s determination to oppose “U.S. moves to shift the military balance further in its favor, to gain control over Russian neighbors, to determine the destinies of sovereign states, and to unilaterally and arbitrarily ignore international law.” With respect to the Soviet program for East-West convergence and Russian interests in Asia-Pacific, China, and Japan, Bazhanov states that “Efforts will be made to overcome differences with the West and work closer with it. The Asia-Pacific region will also remain a focus of the Kremlin’s attention. Our cooperation with China will intensify while relations with Japan will be moved ahead.”

Bazhanov concludes by noting that the US economy can no longer support Washington’s political-military “hegemony” around the planet. “It is clear that American ability to dictate in the world is limited,” he insists. “U.S. economic potential is also not sufficient to support hegemony in the world.” In recent months and years the US economy has been weakened by the declining value of the dollar, subprime mortgage implosion, unsteady financial markets, growing number of bank failures, and exportation of its manufacturing base, factors that the communists will employ to agitate for full blown socialism in America.

MN: Mister Bazhanov, what are there chances that a new Cold War will erupt between Russia and the West?

BAZHANOV: There are serious geo-political differences between Russia and the West fueled by historical memories and especially by Washington’s attempts to achieve hegemony in international affairs. Russia, with its long great power tradition and huge potential, strongly opposes U.S. moves to shift the military balance further in its favor, to gain control over Russian neighbors, to determine the destinies of sovereign states, and to unilaterally and arbitrarily ignore international law.

However, there are at the same time opportunities for cooperation between Russia and the West, including its leader, the United States. In the security field the two sides face a wide range of identical threats: terrorism, the spread of nuclear weapons, local conflicts that damage the interests of the entire global community, poverty, social injustice, diseases. These are the root problems of many security problems.

In the economic sphere, we see deepening inter-dependence between Russia and the West especially evident in energy supplies, finances, and investments. Human contact grows by leaps and bounds. And finally, ideology no longer separates the former Cold War antagonists. Russia will certainly continue to build a democratic, market-economy society and the West is interested in not distracting Russia from this course.
Consequently, shared values and requirements of globalization will smooth differences between Russia and the West, making them more accommodating in regards to each other as well as in international affairs in general. The Cold War will not be repeated.

MN: Which candidate for U.S. presidency is preferable to Russia?

BAZHANOV: I think Mr. Obama due to his personal convictions and because of the expectations of those liberal Americans who support him will try to make U.S. foreign policy more reasonable and acceptable to other members of the world community. Mr. Obama will certainly face resistance on the part of the military-industrial complex and other hegemonic segments of the American society. And yet Mr.Obama can succeed at least in the partial reorientation of U.S. strategy abroad.

Mrs. Clinton will not be equally innovative but she is also much more preferable to us than Mr. McCain. This man appreciates nothing but sheer force, which Russia can achieve only by engaging in a new arms race. And we neither want, need nor can afford that.

MN: How will Russian foreign policy change under Mr. Medvedev?

BAZHANOV: Basically, Russia will continue its present independent active line of striving for multi-polarity on the U.N. and international law. However, Russian foreign policy will become more balanced, flexible and open.

In dealing with the CIS countries, Moscow will respect more their sovereignty and their desire to diversify foreign relations and will prefer to solve problems in a low-key diplomatic manner rather than resorting to rhetoric and public polemics. Efforts will be made to overcome differences with the West and work closer with it. The Asia-Pacific region will also remain a focus of the Kremlin’s attention. Our cooperation with China will intensify while relations with Japan will be moved ahead.

MN: Is the world going to be unipolar or multipolar in the foreseeable future?

BAZHANOV: Some observers insist that the world is already unipolar and will remain such till at least the middle of the 21st century. I totally disagree with this thesis. If the U.S. is so almighty than how come it cannot force its will on tiny Cuba and North Korea? Why can’t it put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? As a proof of the American supremacy the Iraq’s case is cited. Washington used force against Iraq and no one could stop it.

Well, force was regularly applied in the Cold War by the U.S., the USSR and sometimes by other countries. For instance, Americans invaded Vietnam, Cambodia, Lebanon, Grenada, etc., the Soviet Union dispatched troops to Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan. Despite these actions nobody hurried to declare the world unipolar American or unipolar Soviet. This time Americans invaded Iraq and almost immediately realized that they could not control that country by themselves. They begged for help from the UN and various countries.

It is clear that American ability to dictate in the world is limited. U.S. economic potential is also not sufficient to support hegemony in the world. Another factor is opposition to hegemonic policies of Washington inside American society. And finally we can see that a growing number of states, movements, fronts, parties throughout the world reject American supremacy and more and more energetically challenge it.

Sooner or later the U.S. will realize that it has no choice but to work in concert with others in managing world affairs.

MN: After the proclamation of Kosovo’s independence, will Russia recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia?

BAZHANOV: I hope that our government will not do it. First of all, by acting in such a way, we will join the West in undermining the norms of international law and destabilizing global security. Instead, we should give an example of strict observance of international law.

Second, Russia will get a permanent hot spot near its borders.

Third, we’ll completely spoil relations with Georgia, while there are plenty of opportunities for a close friendship with this neighbour.

Fourth, the move will facilitate NATO’s penetration into the Caucasus and create additional collisions of Russia with the bloc and the West in general.

Fifth, it will further jeopardize prospects of the CIS and induce disintegration processes throughout the post-Soviet space.

Finally, hardly any other state will recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. We’ll be left isolated on this issue.

>Asia File: Red China’s coal reserves to expire in 12 days, some regions less than 1 week; PRC world’s second largest electricity consumer after USA

>According to Xinhua, the official media of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing has only 12 days’ supply of coal, the country’s chief source of energy. Frankly, I’m surprised this news sneaked past the state censor, unless this story is pure propaganda with the intent of feigning strategic weakness. However, if true, wouldn’t this be a great opportunity to give the Communist Party of China a little push over the edge, into the proverbial dustbin of history, and thereby end the West’s pathetic economic dependence on the Communist Bloc? But, no, the US State Department and the West’s Nepmen will fall over themselves to rescue Mao’s disciples, enabling them to save face in time for the Beijing Olympics. Wang Yeping, vice chairman of the China Electricity Regulatory Commission, insisted yesterday that “the government was working to address the shortage,” without offering details. Be assured those details entail another wave of government-sponsored crackdowns on angry and hungry Chinese civilians.

Pictured above: The coal-burning Gu Dian steel plant in China’s Shanxi Province.

China’s coal reserve for power production falls to 12 days amid rising prices
2008-04-23 09:38:58

BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhua) — China’s reserves of coal for power generation was only sufficient for 12 days of consumption, three days fewer than the March record.

The national coal stockpile have dropped to fewer than seven days in some Chinese provinces, vice chairman of the China Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) Wang Yeping said on Tuesday.

The nation’s entire coal reserves slumped to 46.69 million tons as of April 20, down 12 percent from 53 million tons in the early March, said Wang at a news conference on Tuesday.

Coal inventories for plants in Anhui, Chongqing and Hebei provinces were only enough for less than a week, he said.

The government was working to address the shortage, he said, without giving details.

Coal-fired power comprises more than 70 percent electricity consumed in China, the world’s second largest electricity consumer after the United States.

Reasons for the shortages were multi-dimensional, Wang said without elaborating.

Power supplies to energy-intensive industries were cut during the severe winter storms in the first two months of the year, contributing to record coal prices.

Seventy percent of power plants suffered heavy losses due to rising coal prices, said Liu Nanchang, official with the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) on April 11.

The nation in January froze electricity prices to prevent rising coal costs from flowing through to end users and contributing to inflation.

“We need to comprehensively consider the situation before adjusting power prices, to take into account the affordability to both consumers and producers, Wang said.

Lifting electricity prices would push up the consumer price index (CPI), which was already running high, he said.

China produced 569.3 million tons of coal in the first quarter this year up 14.6 percent year on year, according to the Beijing-based China Mainland Marketing Research Co.

The winter storms earlier this year disrupted power supplies, prompting the country’s power grid companies to lift spending on repairing and upgrading their transmission lines.

>Latin America File: ALBA emergency summit inks food security deal to prop up Morales in Bolivia; Chavez blames global food crisis on capitalism

>Neo-Sandinista Nicaragua to Assume Rotating Presidency of United Nations General Assembly in June

An emergency summit of the economic pact known as the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas convened today in Caracas. There Latin America’s paleo- and neo-communist leaders established a US$100 million food security fund to prop up the endangered regime of Evo Morales in Bolivia. “The global food crisis,” ranted Comrade Hugo, below, “is the biggest demonstration of the historic failure of the capitalist system.” In other words, like the revolt of Lucifer and the fall of man in Eden, the global food crisis is Bush’s fault.

Like the national leaders of many impoverished countries worldwide, Bolivia’s Trotskyist president faces the challenges of addressing a food shortage. In addition, Comrade Evo faces a constitutional referendum in May that will possibly expose the deficiencies of his socialist experiment, and an ongoing revolt by four, wealthy, secessionist provinces that are not interested in his utopian vision for Bolivia. In attendance at the ALBA meeting of Marxists were Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage and, cap in hand, Morales himself. Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit was the only ALBA national leader absent from the conference.

Pictured above: Hugo gives Evo a comforting hug: “It’s gonna be all right, Evo. We’ll save Bolivian communism.”

Leftist Latin leaders ink deal on food security
April 23, 2008

CARACAS (AFP) — Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua on Wednesday signed a food security deal and voiced support for politically strained Bolivia at an emergency summit, host President Hugo Chavez said.

Chavez, hosting President Evo Morales of Bolivia, Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega and Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage, set up a food security fund with an initial 100 million dollars.

Chavez said the fund was an “urgent geopolitical issue” particularly for Bolivia.

Impoverished Bolivia is facing a referendum vote in May, in which relatively prosperous eastern provinces are seeking greater autonomy from La Paz and its socialist policies.

Leaders here called in a final statement for “firm rejection of destabilization plans that are aimed at upsetting Bolivia’s peace and unity.”

Meanwhile the global food crisis “is the biggest demonstration of the historic failure of the capitalist system,” Chavez stressed.

The group’s food security plan includes programs to help boost output of grains, especially corn and rice, legumes as well as milk and water, and improve irrigation, he said.

The meeting of the Bolivarian Alternative group’s leaders was missing only the fifth member, Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.

The Cuban state media also covered the extraordinary ALBA meeting to rescue Bolivian communism. The Communist Party of Cuba’s mouthpiece Granma reported Chavez as attributing the Bolivian crisis to “the Empire” (meaning the USA) and the “fascist right” “So it occurred to me,” the Venezuelan dictator explained, “to convene an extraordinary meeting of the ALBA and we have been talking with Brazil, with Argentina, with Ecuador. Bolivia is at the point of exploding and it is the [US] empire that wants Bolivia to explode, and it is the fascist right that wants war, that wants to bring down President Morales.”

Extraordinary ALBA Summit begins in Caracas
By Juan Antonio Borrego —Granma daily special correspondent—
April 23, 2008

CARACAS.—President Hugo Chávez has convened for this Wednesday in Venezuela an Extraordinary Summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) to discuss the dangers and threats to the government of President Evo Morales in Bolivia and the food crisis in the region.

Chávez and Morales during the reception of the Bolivian president at Miraflores Palace.

“After the Pope’s visit (to the United States) Fidel’s final sentence in his reflection on that visit affirms: the peoples of Latin America are at the point of witnessing another tragedy: Bolivia,” Chávez said to Venezolana de Televisión.

“So it occurred to me to convene an extraordinary meeting of the ALBA and we have been talking with Brazil, with Argentina, with Ecuador. Bolivia is at the point of exploding and it is the empire that wants Bolivia to explode, and it is the fascist right that wants war, that wants to bring down President Morales,” he emphasized.

He underlined the dangers of the food crisis for countries in the region and condemned the fact that more than 800 million people are experiencing hunger in the world due to the unjust social and economic model, which is in crisis, because almost double the volume of food needed for the world population is actually produced.

Last night the Bolivarian leader received in Miraflores Palace the Cuban delegation to the Summit, made up of Esteban Lazo, representing the Communist Party of Cuba, and Carlos Lage, representing the government, both of whom are members of the Political Bureau and vice presidents of the Council of State, as well as the Cuban ambassador to Caracas, Germán Sánchez.

“The challenges are great but our capacity to win is greater,” emphasized Lage, who reaffirmed the integrationist strategy devised to confront problems in a united way.

President Evo Morales and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega are also attending the Summit.

Meanwhile, neo-Sandinista Nicaragua, which is vociferous in its denunciations of “US imperialism,” has positioned itself to assume the rotating presidency of the United Nations General Assembly in June. In addition to launching verbal tirades against Washington, expect the organs of the Latin American Red Axis to acquire a lot of mileage from news of the arrest of US-backed Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s cousin Mario. Mario is a long-time presidential confidant who is suspected of ties to that country’s anti-communist paramilitary squads. Yesterday the former Colombian senator sought political asylum in Costa Rica.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Bear bombers, aerial tankers on "routine patrol" over Atlantic; Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet holds tactical exercise

>Kremlin Energy Giant Gazprom Fuels Neo-Soviet Russia’s Remilitarization

Beginning earlier this month, as reported here, Russia’s strategic bombers are, as they did during the First Cold War, now conducting long-range patrols on a nearly daily basis. History proves that countries prepare for war because they either expect it or are planning to instigate it. Pictured here: The power plant technology of Russia’s Tu-95 Bear bomber, which features contra-rotating propellers in conjunction with a rare swept-wing formation, is old but tried. Moreover, many Bear air frames were constructed in the 1990s. By contrast, the air frames of the B-52 Stratofortress, the Bear’s US Cold War-era contemporary that is also still in service, were last built 46 years ago.

Russian bombers patrol over Atlantic Ocean
17:02 23/ 04/ 2008

MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti) – Two Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers and two Il-78 aerial tankers are carrying out routine patrols over neutral Atlantic waters, a Russian Air Force spokesman said on Wednesday.

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.

“During the flights the crews develop their flying skills in northern latitudes, over unmarked terrain,” Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said.

He said the crews also perfect their in-flight refueling techniques, allowing the bombers to remain in the air for more than 24 hours and is considered extremely difficult “especially when the Russian planes are accompanied by NATO interceptors.”

“All Russian Air Force flights are performed…in strict accordance with international rules on the use of airspace over neutral waters without violating the borders of other states,” he also said.

Although it was common practice during the Cold War for both the U.S. and the Soviet Union to keep nuclear strategic bombers permanently airborne, the Kremlin cut long-range patrols in 1992. The decision came as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the ensuing economic and political chaos.

However, the newly-resurgent Russia, awash with petrodollars, has invested heavily in military technology, and the resumption of long-range patrols is widely seen among political commentators as another sign of its drive to assert itself both militarily and politically.

Source: Novosti

Meanwhile, the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet is holding a tactical exercise in the Barents Sea that will simulate an attempt by a mock enemy (meaning no doubt the US Navy) to establish a beachhead on Russia’s Pacific Coast. The Kremlin has published ambitious plans to modernize and expand its navy, including the development of five or six new aircraft carriers, to add to its sole existing carrier, with accompanying “blue water” naval strike groups. It is reported that construction on the new carriers will begin in 2012 or 2013. We rather suspect that the Fourth World War will begin before neo-Soviet Russia completes its carrier strike group expansion. In any event, the Kremlin launched the first of its new generation of nuclear-powered submarines in February.

Russia’s Pacific Fleet begins tactical exercise off Far East shores
23.04.2008, 08.14

VLADIVOSTOK, April 23 (Itar-Tass) – Ships of Russia’s Pacific Fleet have begun a tactical exercise off the shores of the Primorsky /Maritime/ territory, the Fleet’s press service said.

The grouping of the naval war games includes surface ships, submarines, auxiliary seacraft, patrol and sea-based aircraft.

The scenario of the exercise is not trivial this time, as the marine units of the potential enemy force are expected to get through to the coast and organize a landfall maneuver.

The enemy should do substantial preparations for this and the assault ships carrying the marines are escorted by fleet ballistic missile ships and an impressive contingent of anti-submarine ships.

The friendly submarines will have to get through the obstacles put up by the enemy aviation and ships and organize a torpedo attack, thus frustrating the landfall operation.

This is far from the sortie of the Pacific Fleet forces into the sea since the beginning of the year.

The most recent exercise on the Sea of Japan ended at the beginning of April. In the course of it, ship crews did missile launches and artillery firing, including the one from the main anti-submarine weapons system, minelaying and drilling of all types of defense a sea voyage may involve.

At the culmination point, surface ships and submarines did a chasing maneuver, in which they pursued each other.

A submarine of the potential enemy – the role was performed by the Varshavyanka sub – clandestinely approached the friendly forces at a distance allowing of a torpedo attack at a surface ship, while the anti-submarine vessels with the aid of sea-based and patrol aviation hunted it out in the depths of the sea and incapacitated it by a precisely-targeted strike.

Source: Itar-Tass

The neo-Soviet leadership is funding its remilitarization program in large part through the vast revenues generated by its natural gas monopoly Gazprom. State-owned Kommersant Daily reports today: “Price for the natural gas exported by Gazprom are rising much faster than forecast, the monopoly’s management reported today to the board of directors. It is estimated that the profit the company derives from exports will be quadrupled.”

>End Times File: Food crisis USA: Retailers in New York, New England, and West Coast limit flour, rice, cooking oil purchases; prices surge in Russia

>As the specter of famine once again looms in the Third World, two-dollar bagels might become the norm in North America. Historically, the Great Depression was noted for its bread lines and the two world wars were remembered for their food rationing, but starvation was unheard of in the USA and Canada. In the early 1940s, however, gasoline purchases were restricted for civilians since petroleum was diverted to the military and German submarines prowled along the East Coast, seeking tankers to sink.

The current global food shortage, however, is hitting America in earnest at last with food retailers in New York, New England, and the West Coast limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil. While starvation in North America appears unlikely, officialdom is offering few if any assurances on how the global food shortage and price spike will affect Americans and Canadians.

“I’m surprised the Bush administration hasn’t slapped export controls on wheat,” James Rawles, editor of SurvivalBlog.com observed. “The Asian countries are here buying every kind of wheat.” Your resident blogger is not surprised by President Bush’s refusal to limit wheat exports. His failure to do so is no doubt motivated by the same Council on Foreign Relations-molded worldview that refuses to deploy troops to the US-Mexican border to halt the illegal alien invasion.

Rawles warns further: “There have been so many stories about worldwide shortages that it encourages people to stock up. What most people don’t realize is that supply chains have changed, so inventories are very short. Even if people increased their purchasing by 20%, all the store shelves would be wiped out.” Did you catch that? If every American household stocked up their private food supplies, then all of the store shelves in the USA would be empty. The story below reports too: “There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks.” I’m guilty as charged.

Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World
JOSH GERSTEIN, Staff Reporter of the Sun April 21, 2008

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Many parts of America, long considered the breadbasket of the world, are now confronting a once unthinkable phenomenon: food rationing.

Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks.

At a Costco Warehouse in Mountain View, Calif., yesterday, shoppers grew frustrated and occasionally uttered expletives as they searched in vain for the large sacks of rice they usually buy.

“Where’s the rice?” an engineer from Palo Alto, Calif., Yajun Liu, said. “You should be able to buy something like rice. This is ridiculous.”

The bustling store in the heart of Silicon Valley usually sells four or five varieties of rice to a clientele largely of Asian immigrants, but only about half a pallet of Indian-grown Basmati rice was left in stock. A 20-pound bag was selling for $15.99.

“You can’t eat this every day. It’s too heavy,” a health care executive from Palo Alto, Sharad Patel, grumbled as his son loaded two sacks of the Basmati into a shopping cart. “We only need one bag but I’m getting two in case a neighbor or a friend needs it,” the elder man said.

The Patels seemed headed for disappointment, as most Costco members were being allowed to buy only one bag. Moments earlier, a clerk dropped two sacks back on the stack after taking them from another customer who tried to exceed the one-bag cap.

“Due to the limited availability of rice, we are limiting rice purchases based on your prior purchasing history,” a sign above the dwindling supply said.

Shoppers said the limits had been in place for a few days, and that rice supplies had been spotty for a few weeks. A store manager referred questions to officials at Costco headquarters near Seattle, who did not return calls or e-mail messages yesterday.

An employee at the Costco store in Queens said there were no restrictions on rice buying, but limits were being imposed on purchases of oil and flour. Internet postings attributed some of the shortage at the retail level to bakery owners who flocked to warehouse stores when the price of flour from commercial suppliers doubled.

The curbs and shortages are being tracked with concern by survivalists who view the phenomenon as a harbinger of more serious trouble to come.

“It’s sporadic. It’s not every store, but it’s becoming more commonplace,” the editor of SurvivalBlog.com, James Rawles, said. “The number of reports I’ve been getting from readers who have seen signs posted with limits has increased almost exponentially, I’d say in the last three to five weeks.”

Spiking food prices have led to riots in recent weeks in Haiti, Indonesia, and several African nations. India recently banned export of all but the highest quality rice, and Vietnam blocked the signing of a new contract for foreign rice sales.

“I’m surprised the Bush administration hasn’t slapped export controls on wheat,” Mr. Rawles said. “The Asian countries are here buying every kind of wheat.”

Mr. Rawles said it is hard to know how much of the shortages are due to lagging supply and how much is caused by consumers hedging against future price hikes or a total lack of product.

“There have been so many stories about worldwide shortages that it encourages people to stock up. What most people don’t realize is that supply chains have changed, so inventories are very short,” Mr. Rawles, a former Army intelligence officer, said. “Even if people increased their purchasing by 20%, all the store shelves would be wiped out.”

At the moment, large chain retailers seem more prone to shortages and limits than do smaller chains and mom-and-pop stores, perhaps because store managers at the larger companies have less discretion to increase prices locally.

Mr. Rawles said the spot shortages seemed to be most frequent in the Northeast and all the way along the West Coast. He said he had heard reports of buying limits at Sam’s Club warehouses, which are owned by Wal-Mart Stores, but a spokesman for the company, Kory Lundberg, said he was not aware of any shortages or limits.

An anonymous high-tech professional writing on an investment Web site, Seeking Alpha, said he recently bought 10 50-pound bags of rice at Costco. “I am concerned that when the news of rice shortage spreads, there will be panic buying and the shelves will be empty in no time. I do not intend to cause a panic, and I am not speculating on rice to make profit. I am just hoarding some for my own consumption,” he wrote.

For now, rice is available at Asian markets in California, though consumers have fewer choices when buying the largest bags. “At our neighborhood store, it’s very expensive, more than $30” for a 25-pound bag, a housewife from Mountain View, Theresa Esquerra, said. “I’m not going to pay $30. Maybe we’ll just eat bread.”

Source: The New York Sun

In addition to regional/local papers like The New York Sun, wire services like Reuters confirm that Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club members-only warehouse club is limiting rice sales due to a decline in the global rice harvest.

Sam’s Club limiting sales of rice
Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:38am EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s Sam’s Club warehouse division said on Wednesday that it is limiting sales of Jasmine, Basmati and long grain white rices “due to recent supply and demand trends.”

The news comes a day after Costco Wholesale Corp, the largest U.S. warehouse club operator, said it had seen increased demand for items like rice and flour as customers, worried about global food shortages, stock up.
Sam’s Club said it is limiting sales of the rices to four bags per customer per visit, and it is working with its suppliers to ensure the products remain in stock.
Sam’s Club, the No. 2 U.S. warehouse club operator, said it is not limiting sales of flour or cooking oil at this time.
Costco said some of its stores had put limits on sales of items such as rice and flour, but it was trying to modify those restrictions to meet customer demand.
Food costs have soared worldwide, spurred by increased demand in emerging markets like China and India, competition with biofuels, high oil prices and market speculation.
Rice prices in the United States and around the world have more than doubled in the last year, and U.S. rice futures rose to a fresh all-time high Wednesday on worries about supply shortages.
Trade bans have been put in place by India, the world’s second largest rice exporter in 2007, and Vietnam, the third biggest, in the hopes of cooling domestic prices of the staple. Thailand is the largest rice exporter.

Meanwhile, on May 1 the Kremlin will lift the Soviet-style food price controls it imposed last October, a move that enabled the Soviet strategists to maintain both political stability in Russia during the December-March election season and also the fiction that United Russia is the country’s real “party of power.” The price surge that is expected to hit Russia’s citizen-slaves later this spring will provide that country’s open communists with yet another rationale to decry Kremlin gangster capitalism and demand full-blown socialism.

>USSR2 File: Putin’s United Russia worships Lenin: Potemkin "party of power" front for continuing Communist Party of the Soviet Union

>We have on many occasions provided documentation to show that President Vladimir Putin’s support group in the State Duma, United Russia, is a front for the continuing Communist Party of the Soviet Union. United Russia serves two strategic goals relative to the perestroika deception: 1) organize and control the Russian masses according to Soviet communism’s “state of the whole people,” and 2) deceive the West into thinking that Russia is a benign, “post”-communist country, at least until Missile Day. Today state-owned Kommersant Daily reported on the festivities throughout neo-Soviet Russia in commemoration of the birthday of revolutionary Vladimir Lenin:

Quite a few people in Russia mark today the birthday of Vladimir Lenin, who led the country to the Great October Revolution far back in 1917. Members of United Russia didn’t miss the event. Representatives of Ulyanovsk branch of United Russia laid flowers at the monument to the world proletariat leader. The founder of Soviet state, Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) was born in Ulyanovsk April 22, 1870. Until this year, however, only the communists and some leftists had marked the events related to Vladimir Lenin. In addition to Communist Party Leader Gennady Zyuganov, who never misses Lenin’s birthday, some members of the State Duma and Moscow Duma are going to lay wreathes at the Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow today.

Pictured above: Russia’s open communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, worshipping his hero Lenin, on April 22, 2008.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian Air Force to commission new Tu-160 bomber on April 29, 3 or 4 more "White Swans" to be added by Dec. 2008

>When the Russian Air Force takes delivery of a new supersonic Blackjack strategic bomber on April 29, the Kremlin’s fleet of operative Tu-160s will increase by one to 16, at least according to published reports. This particular bomber rolled off the assembly line in December 2007, the first to do so since 1994. First commissioned in the 1980s and widely perceived as a heavier knock-off of the US Air Force’s B-1 bomber, this enormous ALCM platform is variously known as “Blackjack” by NATO and “White Swan” by Russian pilots. By year’s end, it is expected that another three or four Tu-160s will enter service with the Russian Air Force, bringing the total force of Tu-160s to 19 or 20.

Last month, the Kremlin’s air force commander announced that his fleet will be “drastically” increasing its number of overseas missions from two or three to 20 or 30 per month. While for the most part the Western Alliance heaved a collective sigh of disinterest when Russia’s strategic aviation formally resumed its Soviet-era long-range patrols last August, NATO announced several days ago that it will station a permanent squadron of interceptors in Iceland to meet and greet the Russian bombers that are now once again violating that country’s airspace (en route to North America) on a monthly basis.

In an archived New York Times article from 1988, US Air Force Major General Jimmie V. Adams reported that in February of that year two Soviet bombers took off from Cuba and flew along the East Coast of the USA, before turning back to the communist island state. On the same day a third Soviet bomber flew from Russia to a point near Newfoundland, then returned home. The days of Cold War tensions have returned, but our leaders are too afraid or too treasonous to say so.

Russia Air Force to get new Tu-160 strategic bomber in April
19:0422/ 04/ 2008

MONINO (Moscow Region), April 22 (RIA Novosti) – A new Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bomber will enter service with Russia’ Air Force by the end of this month, the Air Force chief said on Tuesday.

“We hope that the 121st heavy bomber regiment [based at Engels airbase in the Saratov Region] will receive a new Tu-160 plane on April 29,” Col.Gen. Alexander Zelin said.

“It is a fully upgraded plane, adapted to new weapons systems,” he said.

He added that another three to four such bombers will enter service before the end of the year.

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

The aircraft has all-weather, day-and-night capability and can operate at all geographical latitudes. Its two internal rotary launchers can each hold 6 Raduga Kh-55 cruise missiles or 12 Raduga Kh-15 short-range nuclear missiles.

The plane bears a strong resemblance to the U.S. B-1A Lancer strategic bomber, although it is significantly larger, and with far greater range, up to 11,000 miles without refueling.

According to official reports, there are at least 15 Tu-160 bombers in service with the Russian Air Force. Russia plans to upgrade the existing fleet and build at least one new bomber every one-two years to increase the number of available aircraft to 30 in the near future.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the resumption of strategic patrol flights last August, saying that although the country had halted long-distance strategic flights to remote regions in 1992, other nations had continued the practice, and that this compromised Russian national security.

Although it was common practice during the Cold War for both the U.S. and the Soviet Union to keep nuclear strategic bombers permanently airborne, the Kremlin cut long-range patrols in 1992. The decision came as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the ensuing economic and political chaos.

However, the newly-resurgent Russia, awash with petrodollars, has invested heavily in military technology, and the resumption of long-range patrols is widely seen among political commentators as another sign of its drive to assert itself both militarily and politically.

Source: Novosti

Meanwhile, NATO is also monitoring the ongoing maneuvers of the Russian Navy’s Baltic Sea Fleet: “An exercise of the Russian Baltic Fleet has attracted the attention of naval intelligence vessels from Denmark, Sweden and Poland, Russian Navy Spokesman Capt. 1st rank Igor Dygalo told Interfax-AVN. ‘Naval actions of the Baltic Fleet attracted attention of naval intelligence units of foreign countries, whose ships have stayed in the vicinity of the exercise area of Russian warships,’ Dygalo said. Some 30 Russian warships, naval aviation and eight supply vessels are drilling tactical assignments at the second stage of the exercise of the Baltic Fleet, Dygalo said.” If the editorial line of the Kremlin media is any gauge of the neo-Soviet leadership’s thought processes, then NATO/NORAD’s mild interest in Russia’s remilitarization under President Vladimir Putin has primarily provoked irritation and bemusement among the “ex”-communists and “ex”-KGB types who govern Russia.

As if American policy makers do not face enough hindrances in terms of identifying, acknowledging, and countering the neo-Soviet threat, the MSM reported several days ago that Northrop Grumman subsidiary Litton Industries provided information about Air Force One’s unique navigation system to a Russian company in 1998. Air Force One is the official aircraft of the US President. The US State Department concedes that “This unauthorized export resulted in Russia obtaining knowledge in developing critical INS software that is specifically unique to Air Force One.” Air Force One’s technology has since been transferred to other communist states such as Angola, China, and Ukraine. How can the West possibly hope to repel a Communist Bloc assault in the light of such staggering incompetence and outrageous treason?

Report: Air Force One Data Given To Russia
Saturday, 19-Apr-2008 9:07AM

WASHINGTON, April 19 (UPI) — Information about Air Force One’s unique navigation system was provided to a Russian company in 1998, a U.S. government investigation found.

The U.S. State Department found a subsidiary of defense contractor Northrop Grumman provided portions of the computer source code of Air Force One’s navigation software, ABC News reported Saturday.

Investigators said the breech by Litton Industries, which Northrop Grumman bought in 2001, “resulted in harm to the U.S. national security”, government documents say.

Los Angeles-based Northrop has agreed to pay a $15 million fine for 110 violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the network reported.

“The United States government has never authorized the export of this critical source code, even to our closest allies”, the charging letter said. “This unauthorized export resulted in Russia obtaining knowledge in developing critical INS software that is specifically unique to Air Force One.”

Officials also said that between 1994 and 2003, the company failed to notify the State Department that the computer guidance system information was also transferred to Angola, Indonesia, Israel, China, Ukraine and Yemen.

>End Times File: Mediterranean Union moves ahead as Egyptian dictator Mubarak begins 2-day summit with Sarkozy; N. American leaders meet in New Orleans

>We have already identified French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Mediterranean Union (MU), or the proposed merger of the European Union (EU) and the states of North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, including Israel, as the revived Roman Empire predicted in Bible prophecy. See maps at left for a comparison of the soon-to-be-realized MU and the ancient Roman Empire at its greatest extent.

According to the prophet Daniel and the apostle John, this political entity will dominate the other power centers of the world immediately prior to the return of Messiah to establish His kingdom in Jerusalem. The final form of this neo-Roman Empire will be a ten-kingdom federation under the reign of a political leader associated in some way with the city of Rome. As late as the early 1980s Bible prophecy students asserted that the European Community was that ten-kingdom federation. However, with the accession of Portugal to EC member status in 1986 as that body’s eleventh constituent nation, a reassessment of current events in the light of Bible prophecy was necessary. While the main thrust of this blog is geopolitical, rather than religious, it is worth noting that the new political entity known as the MU will in fact encompass much of the ancient Roman Empire’s territory. Therefore, we expect that some regionalization into ten separate subunits will occur in the nascent MU.

In the same post linked above we also reported that former British prime minister and Middle East peace envoy extraordinaire Tony Blair is being touted as the front-running candidate for the new post of European President, a position that might very well coincide with that of the final Antichrist. Although obviously a Briton, Blair is in fact associated with Rome by way of his conversion to Catholicism last year and his friendship with Pope Benedict XVI.

However, Sarkozy and Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak are the prime movers, at least in the open, of the MU, slated for implementation with its first summit in July. Sarkozy and Mubarak are pictured below at a 2007 meeting. The EU leadership is seeking to absorb North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean by way of the Barcelona Process, or Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, an inter-regional alliance founded in 1995.

The Kremlin media is watching the planned merger of the Western Alliance with elements of the Communist Bloc that Moscow is once again openly courting, such as Syria, Egypt, Libya and Algeria. The “new European Soviet,” to employ Mikhail Gorbachev’s candid term from 2000, has already swallowed the old Soviet Bloc states of central and eastern Europe.

The Associated Press reports, below, that “President Nicolas Sarkozy sees the Mediterranean Union as a plan to link southern European countries to the mainly Muslim nations to the south and southeast of Europe.” In truth, the Soviets and their Islamo-Marxist proxies could not be more pleased by such a scheme to institutionalize Eurabia or Eurostan, criminalize those few resisters holding to the Hebraic-Christian worldview, and thereby eliminate all resistance to the communization of Europe.

Egyptian president wants to boost economic ties, Mediterranean Union
The Associated Press
Published: April 22, 2008

PARIS: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak urged French business leaders to boost their investment and trade partnerships with Egypt, saying Tuesday that tighter economic ties would energize the plan for a Mediterranean Union that France is pushing for.

France is on track to become Egypt’s No. 1 foreign investor this year with €12 billion (US$19 billion) placed in the Middle Eastern country so far this year, according to French government figures. Mubarak urged even more.

“Do the commercial ties between Egypt and France really match our historic, political and cultural ties?” Mubarak said in a speech at the French employers’ federation, MEDEF.

France was the No. 4 investor in Egypt in 2007, with €3 billion in investments, behind the U.S., Britain and the United Arab Emirates. But then French cement group Lafarge bought Egyptian construction company Orascom Cement this year for €8.8 billion.

French exports to Egypt fell by nearly 10 percent in 2007, while imports from Egypt dropped by nearly 20 percent.

Mubarak vaunted Egypt’s ongoing reforms to liberalize its economy, which grew more than 7 percent last year, and called on French businesses to view Egypt as “the main gate to Mideast and African markets.”

Increased trade between the two countries would also enhance French plans for an association between Europe and nations south of the Mediterranean, said Mubarak, who is on a two-day visit to Paris.

President Nicolas Sarkozy sees the Mediterranean Union as a plan to link southern European countries to the mainly Muslim nations to the south and southeast of Europe.

The union is supposed be launched at a summit in Paris in July. Getting it running would be the highlight of France’s turn as EU president in the second half of this year.

Sarkozy hopes it will help build political ties and tackle issues such as trade, migration and security.

Laurence Parisot, the director of MEDEF, told Mubarak that the recent hunger riots in Egypt underlined the “extreme urgency” of enhanced economic cooperation between wealthy and developing nations.

Mubarak meets Sarkozy later Tuesday for a working dinner to discuss the union and regional issues.

Source: International Herald Tribune

Meanwhile, neo-Soviet Russia’s power struggle with the EU/MU, especially over contrived issues such as Kosovar-Serbian, Ukrainian, and Georgian accession to the latter, will no doubt become more and more pronounced over the next 12 to 24 months. Indeed, these issues as well as Moscow’s political-military support for Israel’s main enemies, Iran, Syria, Palestine, Hezbollah, and Hamas, might very well prove to be the “hook in the jaws” of Gog–to use the prophet Ezekiel’s reference to Russia in the last days of the present age (ch. 38:2-4)–that drags the Kremlin’s military to its divinely appointed destruction in the hills of Israel (ch. 38:18-22).

Meanwhile, the heads of government of the USA, Canada, and Mexico are meeting in New Orleans to advance the economic and security integration of the three countries under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Security and Prosperity Partnership. Although it is officially denied, the political integration of North America’s three largest states is apparently the intent of the North American Union, which is backed by pro-communist billionaire David Rockefeller and his cluster of Fabian socialist think tanks, like the Council on Foreign Relations. The third summit of North American leaders took place in Montebello, Quebec, in August 2007.

North American leaders praise NAFTA, say trade deal crucial to continent
April 22, 2008

NEW ORLEANS — Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave a strong endorsement of North American free trade Tuesday but expressed concerns about congestion at the border.

Speaking at the end of a two-day summit with the U.S. and Mexican presidents, Harper said expanding trade is the key to greater prosperity for the three North American countries.

“It’s clear that greater North American co-operation is our best option to create jobs and to compete effectively with emerging trading blocs elsewhere in the world,” Harper said.

“To that end, I specifically raised concerns about the so-called thickening of the Canada-U.S. border.”

Congestion and more extensive security screening at border crossings have resulted in logjams that impede the easy movement of people and goods between the two countries. Harper said it’s an issue that has been of particular concern to the business community for several years now.

Harper also pointed out Canada provides the United States with a stable and secure supply of energy, at a time when international uncertainties have sent oil prices soaring.

The prime minister made the remarks while appearing for a news conference with U.S. President George W. Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

Bush also spoke in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Responding to criticism of the trade deal from Democratic presidential candidates, Bush said: “Now is not the time to renegotiate NAFTA or walk away from NAFTA.”

Rather, he says, it’s time to make the trade deal work better and to reduce trade barriers worldwide.

The four-year-old Security and Prosperity Partnership among the three countries was designed to cut red tape and increase efficiencies within NAFTA, but U.S. presidential politics and the American economic downturn have conspired to make NAFTA a whipping post.

The Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, have both threatened to pull the U.S. out of NAFTA as a means to pressure Canada and Mexico to negotiate more protections for workers and the environment.

The three countries share the largest trading partnership in the world, totalling nearly US$1 trillion a year.

Although religiously promoted by Western capitalists and globalists, free trade is actually a communist concept, the purpose of which is to overthrow the sovereignty of individual states and exacerbate class warfare across nations in advance of Leninist revolution. On January 9, 1848, in a speech delivered to the Democratic Association of Brussels, Karl Marx declared: “But, in general, the protective system of our day is conservative, while the free trade system is destructive. It breaks up old nationalities and pushes the antagonism of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme point. In a word, the free trade system hastens the social revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen, that I vote in favor of free trade.”

Like French President Sarkozy, faux rightist politicians US President George W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Mexican President Felipe Calderon are facilitating the triumph of world communism by supporting and expanding extant free trade agreements between their respective countries. Ironically, or perhaps not, the communist-backed Democratic candidates in the current US presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, advocate protectionist policies that entail the dismantling of NAFTA for the sake of securing the livelihoods of American workers. In similar fashion, the nationalist left in Canada has long contended against NAFTA, viewing continental integration an attempt by US capitalists to annex and exploit Canada as the “51st State.”

In short, Western capitalists are acting like communists, while Soviet communists are acting like capitalists. In both cases, the world moves closer to East-West convergence and the communist goal of world revolution.

>Latin America File: Paraguay absorbed by regional Red Axis: Communist-backed Bishop Lugo wins presidency, Colorado regime loses 61-year dominance

>In another example of the Third World’s Catholic-communist convergence, six decades of unbroken Colorado Party rule has ended in Paraguay with yesterday’s election of liberationist Roman Catholic clergyman Fernando Lugo, sometimes known as the “Bishop of the Poor” or the “Red Bishop.” AFP reports below: “Lugo’s opponents have said he is in line with left-wing presidents Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Evo Morales of Bolivia.” Just what we need: another domino falls before the advance of the red tide in Latin America. Lugo will assume the presidency of Paraguay on August 15. The Colorado Party was the ruling party during the regime of anti-communist military strongman Alfredo Stroessner between 1954 and 1989.

The Patriotic Alliance for Change, which is the center-left coalition of political parties that supported the not-so-former bishop’s presidential bid, includes the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, Febrerista Revolutionary Party, National Encounter Party, Party for a Country of Solidarity, Christian Democratic Party, Movement for Socialism, Broad Front, Progressive Democratic Party. On March 4 the People’s World Weekly, the mounthpiece of the Communist Party USA, reports that Paraguay’s long-suppressed communist party also loves liberationist Lugo: “The Catholic hierarchy has yet to honor Lugo’s resignation as bishop, constitutionally required for a presidential run. The coalition he heads, the Patriotic Alliance for Change, melds centrist parties, social democrats, far left formations and social movements. Paraguay’s Communist Party is included.” All of the seats in Paraguay’s bicameral National Congress were also contested yesterday.

We will be updating our Red World 2008 map accordingly. It’s not a pretty picture: one color dominates.

Leftist ex-bishop ends 61-year conservative rule in Paraguay
April 20, 2008

ASUNCION (AFP) — A leftist ex-bishop Monday celebrated his historic electoral triumph in Paraguay’s presidential election after defeating the ruling party candidate and ending 61 years of conservative rule.

Fernando Lugo was declared the winner by the Electoral Tribunal with nearly 41 percent of the vote compared to almost 31 percent for Blanca Ovelar of the ruling Colorado Party, crushing her dream of becoming the South American country’s first woman president.

“Today we can dream of a different country,” Lugo, 56, told reporters late Sunday. “Paraguay will simply not be remembered for its corruption and poverty, but for its honesty.”

Ovelar, whose party has been in power since 1947, conceded defeat before the final results were released.

“I recognize the triumph of Fernando Lugo,” she said. “We acknowledge with dignity that the results of the presidential contest are at this point irreversible.”

Another candidate, Lino Oviedo, 64, a retired army chief who helped stage a coup that ended the 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner (1954-1989), trailed far behind in third place with 22 percent of the vote.

Lugo earlier addressed jubilant supporters of his leftist Patriotic Alliance for Change coalition at his campaign headquarters, saying the election showed that “the little people can also win.”

“You are responsible for the happiness of the majority of the Paraguayan people today,” he said as supporters chanted his name.

“This is the Paraguay I dream about, with many colors, many faces, the Paraguay of everyone,” said Lugo, who was suspended from his religious order by the Vatican in late 2006 for his entry into politics.

His supporters began celebrating their anticipated victory setting off fireworks even before polls closed.

The Colorado Party has been in power for 61 years, including Stroessner’s rule. Paraguay chose its first democratically elected president in 1993.

There is no runoff vote in Paraguay. Outgoing President Nicanor Duarte constitutionally could not seek re-election after serving a five-year term.

Turnout was a high 65 percent among Paraguay’s 2.9 elegible voters, said Electoral Tribunal vice president Juan Manuel Morales, who announced the final results of the elections when 92 percent of precincts had reported.

Lugo’s Patriotic Alliance for Change coalition earlier had feared fraud would mar Sunday’s vote, but as 70 observers from the Organization of American States monitored ballot stations, electoral court chief Rafael Dendia said voting went smoothly.

Transparency International, an organization monitoring for voter fraud, reported some cases of corruption.

“We’ve seen voting cards being bought and money going around in some polling booths,” one of the group’s observers, Pilar Callizo, told Channel 4.

“We also saw Colorado Party teams inside and outside some polling stations creating an atmosphere of intimidation,” she added.

Lugo’s opponents have said he is in line with leftwing presidents Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Evo Morales of Bolivia.

But Lugo, while championing the rights of the poor, says he is more centrist as he seeks to overhaul a country with a per-capita income of just 1,900 dollars.

While Paraguay’s formal economy relies on agriculture, corruption is pervasive.

Duarte made little headway in stamping out graft, which also sullied his own administration. Paraguay is a prime source of contraband electronics and cigarettes, most smuggled into neighboring Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia.

After election results were announced, Duarte vowed to help Lugo make a smooth and peaceful transition.

“Today we suffered an electoral defeat,” Duarte told his Colorado Party, but added: “I want to stress that for the first time in Paraguay’s political history, there will be a party-to-party transition without bloodshed, coup d’etat, without violence.”

Officially, Lugo has not been dismissed from the Vatican’s priesthood, merely suspended. Until the Catholic hierarchy formally expels Lugo from its ranks, we will persist in referring to him as “Bishop,” rather than “ex-Bishop.”

Occasionally, in high-profile cases, the popes will slap the wrist of an outspoken priest who subscribes to Marxist-inspired liberation theology. In 2007, for example, Benedict XVI chastised Jesuit priest Jon Sobrino, a Spaniard who has lived for many years in El Salvador, for teaching doctrine allegedly in contravention of the Catholic Magisterium. We have documented before, however, that Catholic social and economic teaching, which is based on Thomas Aquinas’ concepts of a “common good” and a rejection of the involiable right of private property, can accommodate itself to the International Left’s concept of “Third Way social marketism,” or crypto-fascism, as well as, if necessary, various forms of totalitarianism such as, historically, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.

Some Catholic apologists hasten to distance “the Church” from any notion of “Christian socialism.” However, writing in a 1997 issue of the Houston Catholic Worker Michael A. Dauphinais, Jr.: “In the same vein as the Social Encyclicals, the doctrine of the common good rejects both communism and unbridled capitalism. The former deprives the person of ownership of goods and the latter ignores theproper use of goods.” This is another way of saying “social democracy,” which even Mikhail Gorbachev has not hesitated to apply to his political activities since the fake demise of Soviet communism.

>EU File: NATO: "No new cold war," but France deploys Mirage 2000 jets to Iceland for Russian bomber intercept; CSTO holds Moscow air defense drill

>From May 5 to the end of June the French will deploy four Mirage 2000 multi-role fighter jets (pictured here) in Iceland, which is a NATO member state but possesses no armed forces. The purpose of this deployment is to meet and greet Russian bombers that, since the Kremlin’s formal resumption of long-range patrols in August 2007, have circled the chilly island country, en route to North America’s Atlantic coast, on an increasingly frequent basis. Since late 2006, in fact, Russian strategic aviation has approached Iceland 13 times. France, the story below relates, “is the first country to send combat aircraft to the Iceland Air Policing Area under a rotating NATO plan that will involve the United States, Denmark, Poland and Spain in the next two years.” Someone in the Western Alliance is ever so slowly waking up to the neo-Soviet threat, which means the Kremlin, in our estimation, must strike soon to maintain the element of surprise.

International Herald Tribune journalist John Vinocur, the author of same article, notices the irony in the European Union/North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s schizophrenic policy of simultaneously encouraging warmer relations between Brussels and Moscow while at the same time warily monitoring Russia’s remilitarization: “Just as French interceptors arrive to signal, in midair if necessary, that Russian bombers are not pals enough to enter NATO defense areas unannounced, the European Union plans to reopen talks on its dormant ‘partnership’ agreement with Russia.” In addition, Vinocur prudently notes the similarities between the incoming presidential administration of Dmitry Medvedev, a KGB pawn who is billed as a “liberal” and listens to Deep Purple, and Yuri Andropov, a KGB dictator who was also billed as a “liberal” and listened to jazz. “But Putin carries on like the boss, asserting his pre-eminence as prime-minister-to-be by getting himself elected last week as president of the official government political party,” Vinocur states. “The move did not fit the EU ‘partnership’ game plan based on the argument/notion/wish that a non-subordinate Medvedev could be a liberal – remember Yuri Andropov, billed as the “liberal” Soviet leader who loved Scotch and jazz? – ready for reason and business.”

The continuity of Soviet leadership is easy to follow: Yuri Andropov cultivated Mikhail Gorbachev, who cultivated Boris Yeltsin, who cultivated Vladimir Putin, who not only cultivated Medvedev, but also sports the nickname “Little Andropov.” Andropov liked jazz, Medvedev likes Deep Purple, the Kremlin cut the power to Europe 55 times between 1992 and 2006, and France with its Russophile president takes over the rotating EU presidency in July. Comprenez-vous?

Europe’s unlikely dream of a “partnership” with Russia
By John Vinocur
Monday, April 21, 2008


PARIS: There is no New Cold War, the world keeps getting told, and that’s nice news.

Still and all, on May 5, four French Mirage 2000 interceptors will move to Iceland with a mission to meet and not-quite-greet Russian bombers penetrating the neighborhood airspace. France, which is deploying the jets until late June, is the first country to send combat aircraft to the Iceland Air Policing Area under a rotating NATO plan that will involve the United States, Denmark, Poland and Spain in the next two years.

The Russian bombers, whose most recent appearance near Iceland dates from March 19, fly some of the same routes that Soviet aircraft did in the bad old days when they made regular (and presumably nuclear-armed) runs over the North Atlantic.

Bjorn Bjarnason, the Icelandic justice minister, who doubles as the man in charge of the country’s defenses – Iceland is the only NATO member without armed forces – tells of the Russian ambassador to Reykjavik’s being asked to explain the purpose of the current flights (13 all told since late 2006).

The response was Russia Resurgent to the core: Get used to them. Then, Bjarnason said, the ambassador directed his hosts to read a related statement made in August by Vladimir Putin. End discussion.

There are some exceptional ironies here.

The first is that the U.S. Air Force, thinking it had better things to do in a notionally changed world (and ignoring Russia’s drive for influence and energy in the High North), departed its Keflavik base, fighter-interceptors in tow, 18 months ago, ending a continuous presence since World War II.

The second irony is more excruciating.

Just as French interceptors arrive to signal, in midair if necessary, that Russian bombers are not pals enough to enter NATO defense areas unannounced, the European Union plans to reopen talks on its dormant “partnership” agreement with Russia.

France, which takes over the rotating EU presidency in July, could be essential in carrying the ball.

Ah, partnership. The grand notion was this: With Dmitri Medvedev taking office as president of Russia on May 7, what better chance to put a new shine on EU-Russian relations? No more opportune time than now to disregard an election called disreputable by international observers, and Putin’s missile threats and energy extortion aimed at the smaller EU/NATO member states of Eastern Europe.

But Putin carries on like the boss, asserting his pre-eminence as prime-minister-to-be by getting himself elected last week as president of the official government political party. The move did not fit the EU “partnership” game plan based on the argument/notion/wish that a non-subordinate Medvedev could be a liberal – remember Yuri Andropov, billed as the “liberal” Soviet leader who loved Scotch and jazz? – ready for reason and business.

There was even a here’s-how-to-win-friends prompt whispered into Russian ears: Have Medvedev ratify reform of the European Human Rights agreement, ending Moscow’s rejection of changes that would simplify the work of the European human rights court.

Sly subtext: If Medvedev accepted the idea, it would hardly shake the state of non-rule-of-law in Russia, because the court’s 47 judges are now sitting on a pile of 100,000 unresolved cases.

But reality is elsewhere. It says a “partnership” accord will not make it past EU countries like Lithuania or Poland without a tough energy charter that provides rules that would make Russia more hesitant to intimidate its neighbors with cutoffs in gas or oil supply.

That’s a beautiful dream.

As things stand, the Swedish Defense Research Agency says there were 55 politically linked energy supply stoppages by Russia from 1992 to 2006. The Estonian government counted 41 occasions last year when Russia tied political demands to energy deliveries to other countries.

Of course, there is no New Cold War, and that is fine. The problem is that what has replaced it, while no replica, feels familiar.

That was a handsome, unique photo on front pages last week of a pregnant Carme Chacón, the Spanish defense minister, passing troops in review.

There was also, if you read the German papers, a hallucinatory one from The Associated Press: Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in disguise, wearing a scarlet Boston Red Sox warm-up jacket and throwing out a first pitch at Fenway Park.

Steinmeier is a potential chancellor candidate for the Social Democratic Party in the German elections next year. He has continuously tried to distinguish himself over the past two and a half years by an arm’s-length attitude towards America.

In Boston, beyond the baseball pose, Steinmeier got swallowed up in a classic kind of foreign-pol-on-the-loose disingenuousness. He dissed a Harvard audience by saying that the United States is Germany’s essential ally, which sounds precisely the opposite of the equidistant position between America and Russia he advocated for Europe in a speech to Social Democrats in Berlin last month.

The assumption was that the American dummies would never notice. The same way that no one outside of Germany – like Hillary Clinton or John McCain – will have read that this subtle friend of America began his talk in Cambridge with Barack Obama’s phrase, “Yes, we can.”

Or that like any American pol hoping to get his picture in the paper, Steinmeier got back on his plane before the Sox game was anywhere near over.

Once elected prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi invited Vladimir Putin to be his first foreign guest – no big deal, really, because Berlusconi’s overwhelming sense of self-interest insulates Italy from any and all illusions.

Actually, in taking over from a paralytic left-wing coalition, Berlusconi may send an additional Italian brigade to Afghanistan and make its rules for engagement more supple. In exchange for a greater Italian role in European discussions with Iran on its nuclear ambitions, he might even be persuaded to have Italy, Iran’s second biggest European trade partner, join in ad hoc Western sanctions against the mullahs that would skirt Russian and Chinese resistance.

Talking about this possibility, a former Italian official told me it ignored the fact that Italy had two foreign policies. One, he said, involved the government, and the other ENI, the Italian energy giant heavily involved in Iran. In the case of a difference of opinion, he said, he could not remember ENI losing.

Meanwhile, state-run Novosti reports that the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the twenty-first century’s version of the Warsaw Pact, will conduct 20 command-and-staff exercises to improve the security of the airspace over the so-called Commonwealth of Independent States. Specifically, “More than 10 missile, air defense, anti-aircraft, and electronic warfare units will rehearse missions to protect the air space around Moscow and the Central Federal District.” Since neo-Soviet Russia and the USA are “strategic partners,” according to President/Prime Minister/KGB dictator Vladimir Putin and his good buddy US President George W. Bush at their April 6 meeting in Sochi, why is the Kremlin preparing to defend the airspace over Moscow? Unless, of course, the neo-Soviet leadership intends to launch a pre-emptive strike against NATO/NORAD and fears a retaliatory strike from the aggressive “expansionists” in the (communist-infiltrated) Western Alliance. Indeed, that’s precisely the reason.

>Africa File: Chinese ship carrying massive arms shipment bound for Zimbabwe rerouted to Angola, Durban dockworkers refuse to handle cargo

>By refusing to offload arms from a Chinese ship that arrived at this South African port this past week, Durban dockworkers might have prevented a bloodbath in the troubled neighboring country of Zimbabwe. The weapons and ammunition bound for Robert Mugabe’s genocidal communist regime exceeded one million pounds in weight and consisted of 3.5 million bullets, small arms, mortar shells, and rocket-propelled grenades. “This union has a proud history of taking action against regimes which it disapproves of in the past, but this is certainly the first time it has gotten involved in an African regime like Zimbabwe,” declared David Cockroft, general secretary of the International Transport Workers Federation.

The China-flagged An Yue Jiang is now bound for communist Angola to try another landing that will facilitate the flow of Red Chinese arms to the ZANU-PF government. The timing of this arms shipment with dictator Mugabe’s failure to obtain a clear majority in March 29 general elections is suspicious and deserves even more coverage and analysis than that provided below. On Wednesday we blogged about the 10 Chinese soldiers spotted in Zimbabwe’s fourth largest city Mutare.

Zimbabwe weapons ship headed for Angola
updated 7:55 a.m. EDT, Sat April 19, 2008

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CNN) — A Chinese ship loaded with arms and ammunition sailed away from a South African waters and is on its way to Luanda, Angola to unload its cargo bound for Zimbabwe.

South Africa’s High Court ruled Friday the cargo could be offloaded in the Durban port, but it could not pass over South Africa roads to get to Zimbabwe, a country in crisis because of an election stalemate.

Durban’s dockworkers also said they would not handle the cargo, fearing the arms would be used by the Zimbabwean government against its own people.

A South African government source told CNN the China-flagged An Yue Jiang had sailed away from Durban Friday evening before the High Court’s order could be served to the ship’s captain.

The ship was headed to the port of Luanda, Angola, according to the South African Department of Transport.

Zimbabwe is in turmoil after elections last month that saw the opposition Movement for Change party win a majority of seats in the parliament, although Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party has contested 16 seats, claiming the MDC cheated.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission began a recount of 23 of those districts Saturday morning.

The presidential election, however, has sparked much more concern. The government of President Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since Zimbabwe won its independence in 1980, has refused to release results of that vote before a recount.

The MDC says its candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, won the election, but ZANU-PF has claimed the MDC engaged in election tampering. The delay in releasing the vote sparked violence and a government crackdown on opposition members.

“This union has a proud history of taking action against regimes which it disapproves of in the past, but this is certainly the first time it has gotten involved in an African regime like Zimbabwe,” David Cockroft, general secretary of the International Transport Workers Federation, said.

“I don’t think there’s much doubt that the (dock) workers … are very strongly against the Mugabe regime,” he said.

Cockroft said that arms had almost certainly been shipped to Zimbabwe through Durban in the past, but the size of this shipment — “more than a million pounds” and 3.5 million rounds of rifles, small arms, mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades — made it more noteworthy.

Earlier, South African Revenue Service spokesman Adrian Lackay told CNN “that it is commonplace for landlocked neighboring states in southern Africa to use South African ports of entry for the transshipment of goods.”

Lackay indicated that the ship had complied with South African regulations requiring it to disclose the contents of the cargo it is carrying.

A government spokesman, Thembo Maseko, told CNN, “There were arms on the ship.”

The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement in a fax to the Reuters news agency saying that China and Zimbabwe have normal trade relations, that the Chinese government takes a “prudent and responsible” position on arms deals and that it does not involve itself in the internal affairs of other countries.

Source: CNN

>Africa File: Communist Bloc seizes Congo resources as Beijing and Kinshasa’s neo-Lumumbist regime sign US$9 billion copper-cobalt/highway-railway deal

>Neo-Soviet Russia, Communist China, and their allies have since at least the 1960s, when the world’s “wars of national liberation” were launched in earnest to pry Europe’s African colonies from white capitalist rule, hungrily eyed the vast natural resources of the “Red Continent.” After an abortive attempt to subvert the Congo under Moscow stooge Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in 1960 and decades of subsequent military dicatorship under General Mobutu Sese Seko, the neo-Lumumbist regime of red diaper baby President Joseph Kabila and Soviet operative Prime Minister Antoine Gizenga has handed central Africa’s copper and cobalt reserves to the Butchers of Beijing. In return, China will rebuild the Congo’s war-ravaged infrastructure, including 2,400 miles of road, 2,000 miles of railway, 32 hospitals, 145 health center, and two universities. After keeping their part of the bargain and taking into account the current world price of copper and cobalt, the neo-colonialist mandarins of the Communist Party of China will rake in an enormous profit of about $US42 billion.

This is not the first time that Comrade Gizenga has done business with Red China. Following the dismissal of Lumumba on September 14, 1960, then Vice Prime Minister Gizenga organized a rival government in the eastern city of Stanleyville with the recognition of the Soviet Bloc and Egypt’s socialist dictator Gamal Nasser. Gizenga remained head of the breakaway Orientale province until January 14, 1962, when the Congolese army arrested him. During his brief pro-communist counter-counter-coup, however, Gizenga’s government received arms from Beijing.

Pictured above: PM Gizenga address the Democratic Republic of the Congo parliament on February 22, 2007; pictured below: a much younger Gizenga attends the First Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Belgrade, on September 5, 1961.

To this day leftists and assorted revisionist historians deny that Lumumba was a communist, even though the Soviets promptly named their Third World terrorist training center in Moscow in honor of him, a name that stuck until the Patrice Lumumba University was renamed in 1992 as the People’s Friendship University. In The Fearful Master: A Second Look at the United Nations, G. Edward Griffin’s classic treatment of the United Nations and its outrageous invasion of the anti-communist Congolese province of Katanga, proves otherwise. Griffin quotes Joseph Yav, Lumumba’s former economics minister, as saying to a reporter at the time:

Yes, Lumumba is a Communist! I know it. I have proof. This does not mean Lumumba understands the ideological theories of Communism or its intellectual background. He’s never read Das Kapital. He went Red not for mental convictions but because he was bought. On his visit to Russia and East Germany, he was given money, presents, girls and lavish hospitality. He never looked behind the glitter to see the real foundation of these slave states.

Leftists, not surprisingly, maintain that he was assassinated in a CIA-backed coup. In reality, too, it appears that the Belgium government, which until 1960 controlled the Congo, orchestrated Lumumba’s death. Even Wikipedia acknowledges that after the Katangese government seceded on July 11, 1960, Lumumba appealed to the Soviet Union for assistance, “receiving massive military aid and about a thousand Communist technical advisers in six weeks.” Not so coincidentally, China’s tax-free mining concession will be based in copper-rich Katanga.

Pictured below: Patrice Lumumba; at bottom: Patrice’s son Roland meets Venezuela’s neo-communist dictator at the Sixth Social Summit for Latin American and Caribbean Unity in Caracas, in August 2007.

China to seal $9bn DR Congo deal
By Tim Whewell BBC Newsnight, Democratic Republic of Congo

Page last updated at 11:07 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 12:07 UK

It’s a scene that – with just a few changes – you might have found in the central African bush in the late 19th Century.

Ploughing through the long grass is a foreigner in a wide-brimmed sun-hat, scribbling away in a notebook.

Alongside, a deferential African bearing a long pole. The two are barely able to communicate with one another.

You’re reminded, irresistibly, of images of Victorian era explorers such as David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley, hacking their way across the continent.

But this foreigner comes from a country that suffered from colonial exploitation itself.

Biggest deal

He’s Chinese, an engineer, and his assistant’s pole is not for beating down the vegetation. It’s a global positioning tool, taking satellite readings to plot the exact course of a road that’s about to be built.

The pair belong to an advance team of surveyors deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo by a massive state-owned firm based in Beijing, the China Railway Engineering Corporation, or CREC.

And the new road they’re planning will be the first fruit of the biggest single deal China’s ever done in Africa, worth $9bn.

Due to be signed in Beijing in the next few days, it gives DR Congo $6bn of desperately needed infrastructure – about 2,400 miles of road, 2,000 miles of railway, 32 hospitals, 145 health centres and two universities.

In return, China gets a slice of DR Congo’s precious natural resources to feed its booming industries – 10m tonnes of copper and 400,000 tonnes of cobalt.

Infrastructure

It’s a barter deal – what the Chinese side loves to call “win-win”. Not aid with strings attached, like Western powers have given DR Congo over the years, but pure business.

Decades of kleptocratic dictatorship and brutal civil war have brought DR Congo to its knees. Most of its infrastructure barely functions.

“We’ve been mining for two centuries but people only see minerals going out,” says deputy Mining Minister Victor Kasongo.

“People talk about roads, schools, water – they hardly see anything from the huge assets.”

The Chinese ambassador to DR Congo, Wu Zexian, is equally frank about his country’s agenda: “China needs many things. In this world China cannot live closed off which is why we have adopted a politics of openness towards the outside world. We must come to a co-operation that benefits everyone.”

The fine print of the deal was negotiated over two months in Beijing by Paul Fortin, a corporate lawyer based in Monaco who now runs DR Congo’s state-owned copper and cobalt mining company, Gecamines.

He clinched it by finding a mine – in Kolwezi, in the southern copper belt province of Katanga – that had enough proven reserves to persuade the Chinese that it was financially safe for them to begin disbursing a first tranche of money for infrastructure projects – about $3bn – right away.

China’s state-owned Exim Bank, which is financing this deal and many others in Africa, is still taking on a level of risk that few Western banks would consider.

Joint venture

It’ll take about three years, and another $3bn or so of investment, before the disused mine – formerly owned by the Belgian Forrest Group – is up and running.

When production begins, the Chinese companies signing the deal – CREC and Sinohydro – will disburse a final $3bn on roads, railways and hospitals.

The idea is that China will recoup its total investment within 10 years.

Thereafter the joint venture – one third DR Congolese, two-thirds Chinese – continues to exploit the mine.

Paul Fortin believes the deal – and the rapidly rising price of minerals – will jump-start the economy of a region depressed after years of war.

“This was thriving and jumping in the 1920s and 30s,” he says. “Now it has a chance to restart. It’s like you go back to Klondike and say: ‘Hey guys, we’re reopening again.'”

And yet, despite China’s pledge of openness, the deal has still not been published – to the fury of human rights groups.

“Our worry is that it is almost totally opaque,” says Katanga-based lawyer Georges Kapiamba, who eventually obtained a copy.

“It permits a group of Chinese to get more than the Congolese – it’s not a win-win contract.”

Kapiamba says the deal amounts to a licensed plundering of DR Congo’s resources similar to that carried out under the country’s colonial ruler, King Leopold II of Belgium.

A copy of the original DR Congolese-Chinese memorandum of understanding obtained by Newsnight appears to exonerate the Chinese side from all taxes and customs duties until the promised building work is completed.

Victor Kasongo, the deputy mining minister, says DR Congo “will do whatever’s necessary to keep the Chinese on board”.

Scrutiny

But critics say the problem is not just fiscal privileges.

The whole arithmetic of the deal unfairly favours the Chinese. At current world prices for copper and cobalt, they claim, the Chinese side of the joint venture will make a colossal overall profit of about $42bn after all the investment’s been paid.

Paul Fortin of Gecamines dismisses that argument as “rubbish”, because it ignores continuing production costs and interest repayments.

“Without the Chinese,” he adds – pointing to the disused Kolwezi mine – “all this will be just be scenery.”

There’s no doubt about Beijing’s bravado. But until the deal can be properly scrutinised, the doubts will continue.

“We can’t understand why they’re signing under these circumstances,” says the human rights lawyer Georges Kapiamba.

“We need a commission of jurists to consider whether it’s in the interests of the Congolese.”

Source: BBC News

>Middle East File: Yemeni militants ambush, kill ex-communist lawmaker who defected to Saleh’s ruling party; bomb kills 3 policemen, Al Qaeda blamed

>The chaos in Yemen continues, orchestrated by Shi’a Muslim rebels, Sunni Muslim-dominated cells of the Al Qaeda-affiliated Jund al-Yemen Brigades, and disgruntled cadres of the Yemen Socialist Party, the formerly ruling party of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, or South Yemen. Earlier today lawmaker Saleh Hendi and his son were ambushed and killed in northern Yemen. Hendi is an “ex”-member of the YSP who four years ago defected to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People’s Congress. The Shi’ite Muslim politician has survived previous assassination attempts. We can only speculate at this time as to the identity of Hendi’s assassins, but his defection from Yemen’s communist party might provide some clues. The Shi’ite insurgency began in 2004 and has claimed thousands of lives. Pictured above: File photo of Yemen police patrol.

Official: Militants kill a lawmaker in northern Yemen
By AHMED AL-HAJ – April 18, 2008

SAN’A, Yemen (AP) — Gunmen assassinated a ruling party lawmaker along with his son in northern Yemen on Friday, a security official said.

Saleh Hendi and his son were killed when unknown gunmen showered their car with bullets in the northern Yemen province of Saada, the official said.

Four bodyguards who were traveling with Hendi were seriously wounded in the attack, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Hendi — a former leader of the opposition Socialist party who heads a prominent tribe in Saada — has survived several previous assassination attempts. The Shiite Muslim lawmaker left the Socialists about four years ago and joined the country’s ruling party.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. But a tribal official in Saada said the killing could be part of a tribal vendetta. He requested anonymity due to security concerns.

No other details were immediately available.

Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, is home to heavily armed tribes that barely acknowledge the central government’s authority.

A Shiite Muslim rebellion against the government began in the north in June 2004. The country has struggled with the four-year insurgency that has killed thousands on both sides.

Al-Qaida also has an active presence in Yemen, the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden. Militants have attacked and killed foreigners on several occasions including the 2000 bombing of the destroyer USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors.

The Shiite rebellion is not linked to the Sunni Muslim al-Qaida network.

Source: Associated Press

On Wednesday, AFP reports, three Yemeni policemen were killed and four wounded when a bomb exploded near their car in the city of Marib, about 170 kilometers (105 miles) east of the Yemeni capital Sanaa. The Marib attack was the latest in a series of bloody incidents staged since the beginning of the year, responsibility for which was claimed by Osama bin Laden’s deranged henchentities. “The latest bombing carries the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda,” a Yemeni security source confided to AFP. According to sources close to the local government in Marib, the April 16 blast followed a series of attacks targeting a local military commander: “Gunmen fired at the military commander’s car on Sunday, killing his driver and wounding four people. The military chief was not in the vehicle at the time of the attack. On Monday, two rockets were fired at the military headquarters of Marib province, but they landed in an empty lot and caused no casualties. The same sources said that a bomb planted at the main entrance of the provincial government headquarters was defused before it went off on Monday.”

>EU/USSR2 Files: Putin visits Berlusconi, affirms continuity of Russian-Italian relations; meets Palestinian terrorist leader "Dr." Abbas in Moscow

>Following his meeting with Libyan strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi, a long-time Soviet client, in Tripoli, the Don of the Red Mafiya, Vladimir Putin, met his Italian counterpart, good buddy Silvio Berlusconi, on the island of Sardinia today. There Russia’s KGB dictator affirmed the “succession of cooperation betweent the two countries,” in spite of KGB asset Romano Prodi’s impending departure from the post of prime minister.

Putin convinced of further Russian-Italian cooperation
18.04.2008, 14.40

PORTO ROTONDO (Sardinia), April 18 (Itar-Tass) – Russian President Vladimir Putin is convinced that the new governments of Russia and Italy will ensure succession of cooperation between the two countries.

“In the first place, I’d like to note that I’m glad of the opportunity to personally congratulate Mr Silvio Berlusconi on the convincing election victory. I’ll allow myself to extend the hope that the traditional relations of friendship, interaction and partnership will continue after the formation of new government. I believe that the fact of today’s meeting shows our mutual disposition to further strengthening of Russian-Italian partnership,” Putin told a news conference at Porto Rotondo.

“Both Russia and Italy have just ended their election cycles. New governments will be formed in our country and Italy in the near future. It is very important for us that these internal political processes not slow down our cooperation, but, on the contrary, contribute to even more active development of the Russian-Italian dialogue,” Putin noted.

“Russia is interested in expanding varied ties with Italy. As we know, Italy’s political and business circles are of the same opinion,” the Russian president said.

Putin and Berlusconi share some common interests, including shady links to the international criminal underworld. In 2003, The Irish Times reports, “Mr Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, once sat on the advisory board of a property company under investigation by German authorities for alleged links to the Russian mafia. St. Petersburg Real Estate Holding Company (SPAG), a property company listed on the German stock market, is believed to have laundered millions for the Russian mafia. Mr Putin sat on the board for seven years and stepped down three years ago on becoming president.” The same year, reports The Independent, “A close aide to Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, heaped scorn on allegations made in court by a Mafia supergrass that an alliance existed between the Mafia and Mr Berlusconi’s party, Forza Italia.”

In any event, while “Goodfellas” Bad Vlad and Silvio carve out their “markets” in the realm of organized crime, Italy will remain in the Communist Bloc and Italy’s head of state, President Giorgio Napolitano, is still an “ex”-communist.

After he returns to Russia today, Comrade Czar Putin will meet Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian terrorist state and “moderate” Holocaust denier, unlike Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who makes no pretense about not wanting to complete the job started by Adolph Hitler, namely, exterminating every last Jew on the planet. Abbas arrived in Moscow on April 16 to hold preliminary talks with the Kremlin in advance of the upcoming, multi-party Middle East summit, slated to take place in mid-June. Abbas was formerly KGB agent Yaser Arafat’s second in command in the Palestine Liberation Organization. In February we published a recent interview in which Moscow stooge Abbas threatened to reinvigorate the armed struggle against Israel if the “peace process” fails to advance the Palestinian “cause” against Israel’s national security.

Palestinian leader in Moscow for pre-summit talks
April 18, 2008, 20:10

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is in Russia to prepare for this summer’s Middle East peace talks in Moscow. During his three-day visit Abbas is expected to finalise arrangements for the conference, which should take place sometime in mid-June.

Mahmoud Abbas received an honorary doctorate from Moscow State Institute of International Relations and gave a lecture to its top students.

However, the main goal of the head of the Palestinian National Authority is to prepare for the Middle East conference, which he says could save the peace process.

“We feel this will be a vital conference, which should help advance the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis, and promote peace in the Middle East,” Abbas said.

Later the Palestinian leader is set to meet with several important Russian figures, including Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia.

The Russian President and Mahmoud Abbas are expected to discuss the peace process. Palestine is calling for Israel to halt the expansion of settlements and dismantle illegal settlements.

Russia is a member of the quartet seeking to broker Middle East peace, along with the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.

Russia says it will continue to contribute to efforts for peace and stability in the region and Moscow’s role as a host for this June’s peace conference is proof that Russia plays a tremendous role in the overall effort to achieve a settlement acceptable to both the Israeli and Palestinian sides.

Ahead of Friday’s meeting the Palestinian leader stressed Russia’s importance in settling the long-standing Middle East conflict.

“Historically, Russia plays an important role in the sense that it has long dealt with the Middle East peace settlement problem. There are many reasons for that – and one of them is that Russia is located close to the Middle East. In addition, it has become a special member of the United Nations Security Council, as well as a member of the Quartet that is responsible for the peace process and has drawn up the road map. Thus I think it is a must that Russia plays an important role like the United States, Europe and the United Nations,” Abbas said.

Source: Russia Today

As reported above, yesterday Moscow State Institute of International Relations bestowed an honorary doctorate on Abbas. MGIMO is affiliated with Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has therefore openly conferred the neo-Soviet state’s imprimatur upon Abbas’ political objectives. During the early 1980s Abbas studied at the Soviet Union’s Patrice Lumumba University, a training ground for Third World terrorists and Marxist guerrillas. In 1992 PLU was renamed as the People’s Friendship University, which still operates today. In his doctoral disseration Patrice Lumumba alumnus Abbas asserted that the Zionists collaborated with the Nazis to create a rationale for the establishment of a Jewish state and, moreover, that the number of Jews who perished in the Nazi gas chambers was less than one million. The Middle East Media Research Institute explains that “Dr.” Abbas’ intention in his academic studies was to deny the legitimacy of the Zionist state:

A 1982 doctoral dissertation by Secretary-General of the PLO Executive Committee Mahmoud Abbas, a.k.a. Abu Mazen, who is considered second to Yasser Arafat, discussed “the secret ties between the Nazis and the Zionist movement leadership.” Two years later, a study by Abu Mazen based on his dissertation for Moscow’s Oriental College was published in Arabic by Dar Ibn Rushd publishers in Amman, Jordan.

In the introduction to his 1984 study, Abu Mazen referred to well-known Holocaust deniers, raised doubts that gas chambers were used for extermination of Jews, and claimed that the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust might be “even less than a million.” Abu Mazen claimed that the Zionist movement had a stake in convincing world public opinion that the number of victims was high; thus, it would achieve “greater gains” after the war when the time came to “distribute the spoils.”

Abu Mazen’s intention was to undermine the legitimacy of the Zionist movement by proving that during a critical stage in the history of the Jewish people – the rise of Nazism and World War II – the Zionist leadership stopped at nothing to achieve its aim of establishing a Jewish state.

KGB dictator Putin and his Palestinian proxy Mazen: These are the men who will make peace with Israel?

>Latin America File: Brazilian DM visits Chavez, assures regional defense council to have no operational capacity, only coordinate policy

>Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim, who visited Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Monday (pictured here), insists that the proposed South American Defense Council (SADC), will have no operational capacity, but only coordinate regional defense policy among member states. This might be true for now, but I suspect that the ultimate goal of the SADC will be a unified command structure such as that characterizing NATO. Last Sunday Chavez proclaimed: “From Mexico to Argentina, we are one whole nation. If a North Atlantic Treaty Organization exists, why can’t a SATO exist, a South Atlantic Treaty Organization?”

The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, an economic alliance that includes Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Dominica, as well as Brazil–all of which boast communist or leftist regimes–are solidly behind the formation of a new anti-US military alliance in the Western Hemisphere. Jobim intends to travel to Guayana, Suriname, Argentina, and Colombia to enlist the support of these countries in the SADC. Although the Peronist regime in Buenos Aires, which is staunchly pro-Chavez, will likely embrace the proposed regional defense council, Colombia’s involvement would be awkward at best and in truth represents an attempt by the Latin American Red Axis to subvert Washington’s only significant ally in South America.

A future, Red Dawn-style military attack on the USA might very well include the combined communist forces of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, centered around the Moscow-Beijing Axis, and their allies in the so-called South American Defense Council, slated for launch by December 2008.

S. American defense spending not arms race: Brazil
Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:27pm EDT
By Frank Jack Daniel

CARACAS (Reuters) – South America has a right to beef up its armed forces but is not in an arms race, Brazil’s defense minister said on Monday, as the region raises military spending on the back of high oil, food and metals prices.

Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim, who is in Venezuela to discuss a planned South American security council, said the region needed military power to strengthen its presence on the world stage.

“There is no arms race in South America,” he said after meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, an antagonist of the United States who is using oil dollars to modernize his armed forces.

“It is important that countries have weapons. The projection of power by South America depends on its dissuasive powers of defense,” said Jobim.

Brazil, Chile and Venezuela are enjoying a boom thanks to high commodities prices even as Haiti and some countries in Central America struggle to pay record prices for food and energy.

OPEC member Venezuela has bought Russian jets and assault rifles with its oil dollars. Agricultural powerhouse Brazil is looking to buy a nuclear submarine as it revitalizes its large but outdated military.

Some security analysts fear bigger arms budgets and political differences between Venezuela and Colombia could lead to a destabilizing build-up of weapons in the region.

Brazil and Venezuela are leftist allies who want to reduce Latin America’s reliance on the United States, but who also vie for regional influence.

Brazil aspires to a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. It proposed a regional defense group in the wake of a crisis last month that took Andean countries close to war.

Jobim said the group is not intended to have operational capacity but would coordinate defense policy in the region. He said the body, which excludes the United States, will be up and running by the end of the year.

“This is a South American council and we have no obligation to ask for a license from the United States to do it,” he said during the visit to Caracas.

The resolution to a crisis, sparked last month when Colombia bombed a rebel camp in Ecuador, was reached without U.S. involvement and was seen as a milestone for Latin American diplomacy.

Chavez had escalated the crisis by ordering tank battalionsto Venezuela’s border with Colombia.

The socialist former paratrooper increased military spending to $1.92 billion in 2006, up 67 percent from 2003, according to Sweden’s SIPRI group, which tracks arms expenditures worldwide.

Venezuela, which has a fleet of U.S.-built F16 fighter jets in disrepair because Washington will not sell Chavez spare parts, has bought 24 Russian-made Sukhoi jets.

Brazil’s military spending hit an estimated $13.5 billion in 2006, up 13 percent compared to 2003.

Washington ally Colombia, which is fighting a civil war against Marxist rebels, has a bigger arms budget as a proportion of GDP than its neighbors and a modern fighting force supported by the United States.

Jobim, who is due to travel to Guayana and Suriname this week said he would also visit countries from Argentina to Colombia to drum up support for the regional defense body.

Source: Reuters

>USSR2/Africa Files: Putin swaps Libya’s US$4.5 billion Soviet-era debt for contracts with Russia, US State Dept. warns of Al Qaeda revival in Libya

>Although Libya’s long-ruling socialist dictator and Soviet client Muammar al-Qaddafi (“Duck”) has moderated his image since 2003, his place in the Communist Bloc is secure, as witnessed by KGB dictator Vladimir Putin’s first-ever trip to Tripoli yesterday. During meetings between the two leaders, Putin swapped Libya’s US$4.5 billion Soviet-era debt for contracts with Russian companies, including a joint venture between global natural gas giant Gazprom and Libya’s National Oil Corporation that will set up both upstream and downstream oil and gas operations.

State-run Novosti reports below: “Libya’s ties with the West have improved since the UN lifted sanctions against Libya in 2003 after Qaddafi announced he would halt the country’s nuclear weapons program and later accepted responsibility for the 1998 terrorist bombing over Lockerbie in Scotland, agreeing to pay compensation to the victims’ families.” As a result of lifting those United Nations sanctions against Libya, neo-Soviet Russia has found a window of opportunity to reassert its influence over its North African outpost.

Russia cancels Libya’s $4.5 bln debt in exchange for contracts-2
17:4117/ 04/ 2008

TRIPOLI, April 17 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow wrote off on Thursday Libya’s $4.5 billion debt in exchange for multi-billion dollar contracts for Russian companies.

The cancelation of the debt, accrued on Soviet arms supplies, was one of over a dozen intergovernmental trade and cooperation agreements signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.

After the signing ceremony, the outgoing Russian leader told reporters: “We are satisfied with the way we have resolved this problem. I am absolutely convinced that the scheme we have arrived at will benefit both the Russian and the Libyan economies, as well as the Russian and the Libyan people.”

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, who accompanied Putin on his visit to the North African state, told reporters that the size of Libya’s debt to Russia had been brought down by $100 million from $4.6 billion to take into account Russian state bank VTB’s debt to Libyan companies.

The deals signed include a $3.5-billion contract for rail monopoly Russian Railways to build a 500-km (310-mile) section from the city of Sirte to Benghazi, Putin said.

Kudrin said 70% of the equipment and steel products required for the project would, under the contract, be supplied by Russian companies.

Another major deal was closed between Russian natural gas giant Gazprom and Libya’s National Oil Corporation to set up a joint venture to engage in both upstream and downstream oil and gas operations.

Kudrin said the Soviet-era debt had hampered bilateral economic cooperation, whereas now the hurdles would be removed, adding Russia’s position in Libya had grown stronger.

The two countries also signed a military cooperation agreement.

Libya’s main weapons supplier during the Cold War, Russia is trying to regain its position in the country.

Earlier reports said Russia had hoped to sign arms contracts worth some $3 billion with Libya, selling 12 of the latest Su-35 Flanker multi-role fighter and Tor-M2E short-range missile systems, and offering spare parts and maintenance services for Soviet-era military hardware.

Libya’s ties with the West have improved since the UN lifted sanctions against Libya in 2003 after Qaddafi announced he would halt the country’s nuclear weapons program and later accepted responsibility for the 1998 terrorist bombing over Lockerbie in Scotland, agreeing to pay compensation to the victims’ families.

Russia’s president arrived in Tripoli on Wednesday for a two-day visit. This evening he will leave for Sardinia, to meet with Italian incoming-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

State-run Voice of Russia also reports that the two countries have signed a “political declaration” that: 1) promotes a “multipolar world” based on the United Nations Charter and international law, 2) supports the “peaceful resolution” of armed conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, including a political settlement to the “Palestinian issue” that guarantees the “integral rights” of the Palestinian people, 3) advances cooperation in combatting “terrorism, separatism, and extremism,” and 4) advocates the reduction of weapons of mass destruction, especially in the Middle East and the Mediterranean Sea region. Neo-Soviet Russia’s commitment to the communist project known as the United Nations is not surprising here, but its stated intention in collaboration with Libya to oppose terrorism is laughable in view of the fact that both Moscow and Tripoli are unrepentant terrorist-sponsoring states.

Coincidentally (?), the day following Putin’s arrival in Libya, the US State Department released a report titled Libya 2008 Crime & Safety Report, which articulates a concern that Al Qaeda could stage a revival in Libya. The report warned: “The potential for an attack against U.S. interests by the newly merged … entity constitutes the most serious terrorist threat to US interests an personnel in Libya. US Embassy Tripoli reminds all Americans to maintain a high level of vigilance with regard to their personal security and to remain aware of local developments.” We have already documented that Al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden and second-in-command Ayman Al-Zawahiri are proxies for the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB/KGB).

For Bible prophecy students, like your resident blogger, Putin’s trip to Tripoli to resuscitate Soviet-Libyan relations confirms the prophet Ezekiel’s narration of the countries that will ally themselves with Russia (Magog) against Israel during the world’s final conflagration, sometimes known as the Battle of Armageddon. Libya is one of those allies mentioned in chapter 38, verses 1 to 5:

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet.

Persia, the former name of Iran until the early twentieth century, is another ally of Magog. We have copiously documented the extensive cooperation between Moscow and Tehran.

>Africa File: Independent Zimbabwe media: Opposition general strike falters, armed Chinese soldiers spotted in Mutare, army deployed throughout country

>Zimbabwean Tyrant Robert Mugabe, a dedicated Maoist who refuses to concede defeat following his country’s March 29 general elections, has well-established links with Communist China. Prior to the elections he begged Beijing for a loan to prop up his country’s economy, devastated by irrational communist policies and the genocide of Rhodesia’s white farmers. The presence of armed Red Chinese police in the streets of Zimbabwe’s cities is not a surprising development. Mutare, where the foreign troops were spotted, is Zimbabwe’s fourth largest city. The independent Association of Zimbabwe Journalists website reports that the opposition’s call for a general strike to oust the ZANU-PF regime has faltered. Pictured above: In July 2005 Mugabe visited the People’s Republic of China where he was welcomed by fellow Maoist President Hu Jintao.

Armed Chinese soliders police Mutare streets
First published: 15th Apr 2008 11:47 GMT
By David Baxter

HARARE – A general strike called by the MDC to pressure the Zimbabweans government and the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) to release presidential results appeared to have faltered in all major cities despite the despair within the majority over the lack of results, almost three weeks on.

People were seen going about their usual business, maybe due to fear the weight of the state security officers deployed ahead of the strike could descend on them or because the economic crisis does not allow people to drop earnings at all.

Soldiers and police fanned out across Zimbabwe early in the day with army trucks, some equipped with water cannon, moving through opposition strongholds around the cities. The riot police and other officers even set up checkpoints.

zimbabwejournalists’ correspondent, David Baxter, reports from Mutare that it is calm in the city as the MDC stayaway failed to attract many people.

“Residents are going about their normal business despite a call by the opposition to stay at home. Businesses were operating as usual but there was a heavy police presence in the city centre and in all the high density suburbs,” he said.

The police are armed with AK rifles, teargas canisters and baton sticks. Water cannons were being driven throughout the suburbs. There were no incidents of violence as of mid-morning. However, says Baxter, there was a surprise presence of Chinese soldiers armed with revolvers in the city.

The Chinese, together with about 70 Zimbabwean senior army officers are staying at the Holiday Inn, in the city’s central business district.

There are about 10 Chinese soldiers. “We were shocked to see Chinese soldiers in their full military regalia and armed with pistols checking at the hotel,” said one worker.

“When they signed checking-in forms they did not indicate the nature of the business that they are doing and even their addresses.”

No official comment could be obtained from the authorities here on this issue.

>Latin America File: Chavez nationalizes steelmaker Ternium Sidor, appoints communist as labor minister; political violence flares up in Nicaragua

>Disregarding the results of last December’s constitutional referendum in which 51% of Venezuelans declared that they did not want President Hugo Chavez to communize their country, the Moscow-backed Bolivarian revolutionary is moving ahead full steam in his nationalization of the Venezuelan economy and, specifically, the steel industry. To that end he has appointed Roberto Hernandez as labor minister, whose first task will be to negotiate a new labor contract with the union at the Ternium Sidor steel works. Hernandez is a veteran red who recently defected from the Communist Party of Venezuela to help organize Chavez’s ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela. He is also Second Vice President of the country’s National Assembly. The fact that a mainstream wire service like Reuters published this story is encouraging, but more than likely it’s a fluke. Go back to sleep everyone, communism’s dead, remember?

Pictured above: Chavez shmoozes with former US President Jimmy Carter, veteran enabler of communist and Islamic revolutionaries everywhere. Over the years, the Sandinista National Liberation Front and more recently the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and Hamas have been particularly grateful for his services.

Venezuela’s Chavez puts communist as labor minister
Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:25pm EDT

CARACAS, April 16 (Reuters) – Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez named a veteran communist leader as labor minister on Wednesday, days after ordering the nationalization of a giant steelmaker whose workers are fighting for better pay.

The first task facing Roberto Hernandez, a long-term member of the Venezuelan Communist Party, will be to negotiate a new labor contract with the union at the Ternium Sidor steel works.

The appointment was published in the government’s official gazette.

Hernandez replaces former minister Jose Rivero, who was criticized for failing to resolve a fierce labor dispute that caused months of sporadic strikes and bloody clashes between workers and police.

Chavez ordered the take-over of Ternium Sidor after the company refused to raise a pay offer to workers.

Chavez has spent billions of dollars reversing most of the privatization of Venezuelan industries that took place in the 1990s. The government now controls most of the energy, minerals and telecoms sectors.

Ternium Sidor is a giant steel plant on the banks of the Orinoco river in eastern Venezuela that was privatized in 1997. It employs as many as 14,000 workers, but only about 5,000 are unionized.

The union is divided between groups who support the government and others who oppose it and has blocked some steel exports since the nationalization announcement.

The plant’s parent company Ternium is Argentine controlled. Investment bank UBS estimates that the Venezuelan operation is worth about $3 billion.

News of the nationalization has been welcomed by communist parties and left-wing union federations in Latin America.

Hernandez recently left the communist party to help found Chavez’s United Socialist Party, or PSUV.

Political Violence Flares Up in Neo-Sandinista Nicaragua as Moscow-Backed Managua Subverts Neighboring Honduras

Meanwhile, neo-Sandinista Nicaragua, with typical communist hypocrisy, is expressing ideological solidarity with fellow red regimes like Cuba and Venezuela, which recently shipped 45 Iranian-designed tractors to Managua, while at the same time sidling up to capitalist states like Taiwan and the USA. In a series of little-noticed news reports, the Republic of China recently shipped 400 metric tons of rice to Comandante Daniel Ortega and donated US$600,000 to furnish Nicaragua’s Sandinista-controlled army with new uniforms. Although Ortega frequently denounces “US imperialism,” this did not deter the FSLN regime from also inking a contract with MKJ Xploration that will permit the US company to explore and develop oil and natural gas fields off the country’s Caribbean coast. Much as communist states Venezuela and Belarus have established an under-reported visa-free travel regime, the Iranian media reported on April 13 that strategic partners Nicaragua and Iran have likewise created a visa-free arrangement that will no doubt facilitate the entrance of Tehran-backed terrorists into Central America.

On April 5 the Miami Herald reported that “Sandinista efforts to cancel the upcoming municipal elections in parts of Nicaragua’s hurricane ravaged North Atlantic Autonomous Region sparked violence and rioting Friday in the indigenous community of Bilwi, where opposition leaders claim the government of President Daniel Ortega is trying to establish a dictatorship by eliminating their right to elect local officials.” During the riots, three congressmen representing the opposition Constitutional Liberal Party were attacked by regional allies of the FLSN called YATAMA. Several thousand anti-Sandinista indigenous people then came to the lawmakers’ rescue, clashing with the YATAMA group.

Managua is also laboring diligently to rope Honduras into Latin America’s ever-expanding, always-festering Red Axis. On April 11 Ortega and his Honduran counterpart Manuel Zelaya signed a joint declaration in Honduras’ capital Tegucigalpa to strengthen bilateral relations (pictured above). Coincidentally (?), on April 15, following the visit of Nicaragua’s communist president, Honduran leftists initiated a general strike in cooperation with civil society organizations, farmers, teachers, trade unions, and religious groups. The strikers and agitators will terminate their protest march outside President Zelaya’s residence.

>Asia File: China deploys troops in Nepal on pretext of maintaining order in Tibet; red goons in blue guard Olympic torch; USA lauds Maoist victory

>At the end of March Communist China reportedly deployed plainclothes forces with small arms on the Nepalese side of the two countries’ common border, osentensibly to monitor pro-Tibetan protests in Nepal, but possibly to ensure that there are no disruptions as the Olympic torch is carried by a team of Chinese athletes (meaning special forces) up Mount Everest, which is located in Nepal, in early May. A third possibility, which is the most ominous, is that Beijing is closely and approvingly watching the Maoist takeover of the Himalayan kingdom. “This has rung alarm bells in India’s security apparatus,” reports the Times of India, below, “but there’s no official reaction.” Nearly three weeks later there’s still no official reaction.

India silent as China deploys forces on Nepal soil
26 Mar 2008, 0030 hrs IST, Indrani Bagchi, TNN

NEW DELHI: Despite the huge diplomatic snub by China as it summoned India’s ambassador at 2am on Saturday to protest against Tibetan activists breaking into the Chinese embassy in Delhi, the government here is silent on the reported deployment of Chinese troops in Nepal.

According to reports, China stationed forces on the Nepalese side of the border with Tibet last week, in order to keep tabs on protests by Tibetans in Nepal over the past few days. The Chinese forces were in plainclothes, but armed with small weapons, sources said. This has rung alarm bells in India’s security apparatus, but there’s no official reaction.

The government maintained a grim silence on the major diplomatic snub inflicted by China when its foreign office summoned Indian ambassador to Beijing, Nirupama Rao, at 2am to give her a list of demonstrations that Tibetans planned to organize in India.

While this could just as well have been done during working hours, summoning the envoy in the middle of the night is seen here as nothing short of utter high-handedness by the Chinese.

Meanwhile, global strategic analyst Stratfor said Beijing was disturbed by the sight of foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee and US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice jointly addressing the Tibet issue in Washington.

Source: Times of India

The Olympic torch has already made its way through the streets of Beijing, Paris, London (pictured above on April 6), and San Francisco, where journalists noted the constant presence of communication earpiece-wearing Chinese security forces disguised as athletes running alongside the torch bearers. On April 8 the Associated Press revealed that the Communist Party of China’s goon squads are hand-picked from special police units of the People’s Armed Police: “They wear bright blue tracksuits and Beijing Olympic organizers call them ‘flame attendants.’ But a military bearing hints at their true pedigree: paramilitary police sent by Beijing to guard the Olympic flame during its journey around the world. Torchbearers have criticized the security detail for aggressive behavior, and a top London Olympics official simply called them ‘thugs.'” Beijing is obviously trying to cover all the bases in order to avoid a disastrous public relations fiasco.

Nepal, which faces the prospect of a Maoist-led government as a result of last Friday’s Constituent Assembly election, will deploy its own troops on Mount Everest to thwart any pro-Tibetan demonstrations. Nepal is home to 20,000 Tibetan exiles.

Troops to guard Everest Olympic torch climb
By South Asia correspondent Peter Lloyd
Updated Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:28 am AEDT

Soldiers will be stationed on Mount Everest to stop pro-Tibet demonstrations when the Olympic torch is carried to the summit in May.

A Chinese team will take the torch to the summit of the 8,848-metre mountain which straddles the border between Nepal and Chinese-controlled Tibet.

The Nepalese Government has unveiled a security plan never seen before on the world’s tallest mountain.

Troops will be deployed at Everest base camp, and the higher camp two site, to monitor expedition teams to make sure none attempt anti-China protests.

Video surveillance cameras are also to be installed.

Foreign climbers will only be allowed near the summit once the Olympic expedition has passed.

Nepal has been co-operating with its giant neighbour’s crackdown on pro-Tibet demonstrations, lately allowing Chinese soldiers onto Nepalese soil to stop international media crews.

“The Olympic flame is very important for China and we know we have to do everything to help them have a successful Olympics,” Nepal’s Foreign Minister Sahana Pradhan stated, effectively grovelling before the Butchers of Beijing. Pro-Tibetan protests continued today in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, where “Police broke up the fresh demonstrations and took protesters into vans in front of the consulate. Other protesters, including monks and nuns, shouted anti-China slogans as they were chased away by police.”

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) has bolted from the currently ruling Eight-Party Alliance, which also includes the victorious Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), in view of its poor electoral showing. The Associated Press reports today:

One of the major parties in Nepal’s ruling coalition quit the government Wednesday after dramatic elections losses to former rebels last week, officials said. Foreign Minister Sahana Pradhan said she and her colleagues from the Nepal Communist Party (United Marxist-Leninist) handed the party’s resignation to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala after a poor performance in the April 10 election. “All of us in the government from our party gave our resignation to the prime minister, who asked use to reconsider our decision,” Pradhan told reporters after meeting Koirala in the capital, Katmandu. The party was ranking third in the vote count, with only 31 seats – just behind Koirala’s Nepali Congress party, which had 32.

Unflustered by Nepal’s absorption into the Communist Bloc, the US State Department through its spokesentity Sean McCormack, extended its congratulations to the “people of Nepal” for choosing a genocidal Maoist government:

We congratulate the people of Nepal on their historic Constituent Assembly election on April 10. Although there was considerable violence and intimidation during the pre-election period, and some instances of voting irregularities on election day, Nepali voters were able to cast their ballots peacefully in most districts. Over the next days and weeks, as complete results of these polls become known, the United States urges patience and nonviolent observance of the democratic process. We look forward to the formation of an assembly that reflects the will of the Nepali people, ready to begin the important work of framing a constitution that addresses their needs.

Freedom in Nepal was struck another blow today, too, when a Nepal Army representative indicated that the military will obey orders from the Maoist government that will most likely be organized in the upcoming weeks.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: SCO reviews Iran’s application; Russia holds rescue training mission in Arctic; Moscow, Brasilia to build warjet

>Neo-Soviet Russia continues to stoke the flames of international tensions in the Caucasus by offering to protect its citizens in Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by offering consular services, much as Serbia has extended its reach into the newly independent Kosovo. Abkhazia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Shamba, state-run Russia Today reports, declared: “This move is a breakthrough. Our goal is to build closer relations with Russia. We see this decision by President Putin as a breakthrough… We also see it as a decisive step towards the recognition of Abkhazia’s independence. The development of relations is a two-way process, and both sides must show interest and we have certainly shown interest. Russia’s support in social and economic issues is very much appreciated here.” In response, Georgia’s potemkin “pro”-Western government, which is kept in line through threats of a coup d’etat carried out by an active fifth column of communists and Russophiles, organized an emergency security meeting. Tblisi’s Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration, Georgy Baramidze, accused Russia of undermining his country’s sovereignty and demolishing its bid to join NATO.

By far one of the most troubling developments in the Communist Bloc, though, is the potential admission of the Islamo-Nazi Republic of Iran into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the institutional embodiment of the Moscow-Beijing Axis. The SCO leadership is currently reviewing Iran’s application for full membership. “The issue of SCO expansion is important to us, and our organization is open to cooperation with other organizations and associations, but maintaining its efficiency must remain the key factor while considering bids for SCO membership,” Secretary General Bolat Nurgaliyev droned. In spite of the hemming and hawing, we suspect that the Soviet strategists are secretly delighted by the prospective of peacefully ingesting Iran and acquiring their long-sought-after warm-water port on the Persian Gulf, among other strategic advantages over the West.

Pictured above: Iranian and Russian dictators Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Vladimir Putin in Shanghai during the SCO’s 2006 summit.

Shanghai Six regional group considers Iran in expansion plans
16:10 15/ 04/ 2008

MOSCOW, April 15 (RIA Novosti) – The Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s decision on whether to admit Iran will depend on general plans for expansion that could see other states join, the head of the group said on Tuesday.

Tehran, which currently holds observer status in the alliance, has long sought to become a full member of the SCO, a security alliance which comprises Russia, China and four Central Asian states and is seen as a counterbalance to U.S. and NATO influence in Asia.

“The consideration of the bid [by Iran] will depend on a political decision on whether to expand our organization,” Secretary General Bolat Nurgaliyev said during a Moscow-Beijing video conference hosted by RIA Novosti.

He said Iran’s request has already been addressed to Tajikistan, which currently presides over the organization. The other three Central Asian members are Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

Nurgaliyev said several other countries are also considering joining the organization. “We see this as positive evidence that our organization is needed and participation in its activities is useful.”

He said there are no timelines for SCO accession set out in the organization’s documents, but that there are differences among member states on the issue of expansion.

“The issue of SCO expansion is important to us, and our organization is open to cooperation with other organizations and associations, but maintaining its efficiency must remain the key factor while considering bids for SCO membership,” the secretary general said.

Mongolia received observer status in 2004, and India, Iran and Pakistan followed suit in 2005. Besides Iran, Pakistan has also been lobbying for full membership.

The bloc – which primarily addresses security issues 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.”

The issue of SCO expansion will be on the agenda of an expert-level forum in Beijing in May. “I think recommendations by experts and political analysts will be precious for determining our approaches to this issue,” Nurgaliyev said.

Russia and China have been cautious over admitting Iran, embroiled in a long-running dispute with the West and Israel over its controversial nuclear program and alleged support for radical groups in Lebanon and other countries.

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

The SCO Council of Heads of State will hold a regular meeting in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, in August this year. The summit will gather leaders of Russia, China and four ex-Soviet Central Asian states.

Representatives of Iran, India, Mongolia, and Pakistan, as well as Afghanistan and some other states will also attend the meeting.

“The documents for the summit in Dushanbe are being prepared, and the final agenda will be approved in Tajikistan at a meeting of SCO foreign ministers in July,” Nurgaliyev said.

Source: Novosti

Several weeks ago the Russian Air Force announced that it was “drastically” increasing its regular long-range bomber patrols from two or three per month to 20 or 30 per month. A collective sigh of boredom could be heard throughout the shopping mall regimes of the West. State-run Voice of Russia reports today: “In the Arctic Russia’s long-range air force is training in rescuing the crews of sea vessels in distress. In keeping with the manouvres’ scenario the specially equipped aircraft should use on-board radars to spot a ship in distress, after which helicopters will make for such vessel to rescue the crew. That was the way 30 people were rescued in 2004 from a seiner-trawler that was icebound in the Arctic Ocean.”

While this latest mission of Russia’s strategic aviation forces seems harmless enough, neo-Soviet Russia continues to expand its military linkages with strategic partners such as India and Brazil. In 2007 the Russian Defense Ministry announced that it is committed to building a fifth-generation figher jet in collaboration with the Indians, while state-owned Kommersant Daily reports today that the Kremlin is pursuing a similar project with the Brazilians. With these outsourcing endeavors, expect the arrival of Russian “military experts” on site.

Russia to Make G5 Fighter in Tandem with Brazil
Apr. 16, 2008

Russia and Brazil have inked an agreement to jointly develop G5 fighter jets and boosters that will place into orbit different types of satellites.

Russia and Brazil intend to develop the G5 fighter jet, AP reported with reference to Brazil’s Minister for Strategic Affairs Roberto Mangabeira Unger. The agreement also spells out joint production of boosters capable of placing into orbit various types of satellites.

Of interest is that Russia and India concluded a similar agreement for G5 fighters past fall. The G5 fighter will be created by 2009, Russia’s First Vice Premier Sergei Ivanov pledged earlier. Member of Sukhoi Aviation Holding, Chkalov Novosibirsk Aviation Production Association will manufacture the front section and auxiliaries for making the parts from glass and carbon composite. Other enterprises of Sukhoi will focus on remaining components.

Following the Krmelin line of East-West convergence, Russia’s nuclear power agency Rosatom intends to establish a nuclear power plant in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad with the participation of its “European partners” (meaning future victims of neo-Soviet aggression). Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko told reporters: “We are ready to offer foreign partners, primarily European ones, up to 49% in the Kaliningrad Nuclear Power Plant. Whoever offers the best price will be chosen to supply equipment.”

>USSR2 File: Putin accepts invitation to lead, but not join, crypto-Stalinist United Russia; Zyuganov promises to block Putin’s nomination as PM

>With the transfer of Dmitry Medvedev from the post of Gazprom CEO to that of Russian Federation president, the concurrent transfer of Vladimir Putin from the post of president to his old job of prime minister, and the likely transfer of PM Viktor Zubkov to Medvedev’s old slot in Gazprom, the neo-Soviet leadership is once again reshuffling the deckchairs on the ship of state. Be assured, however, there is no fundamental change of course. Comrades Medvedev, Putin, and Zubkov will follow the party line. The Red Team, consisting of open and “ex”-communists and KGB and “ex”-KGB types, stills rules Russia and only awaits the day when the Communist Party of the Soviet Union can safely and openly reassert itself. In order to continue advancing the Soviet strategic deception against the West and the fake “democratization” of the Russian political system, Putin has accepted Boris Gryzlov’s invitation to lead, but not join, the potemkin front for the CPSU known as United Russia (ER, Yedinaya Rossiya). Komsomol graduate Gryzlov is Speaker of Russia’s rubber stamp parliament, the State Duma.

The independent Moscow Times reports today: “President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday agreed to lead United Russia as its new party chairman in a move expected to shore up his political power after he leaves office next month. Speaking at the second and final day of the party’s ninth annual congress, Putin said he was ‘ready to take added responsibility and head United Russia,’ drawing a standing ovation from the hundreds of delegates and guests in the packed hall at Gostiny Dvor, a few hundred meters from the Kremlin.” “Ex”-communist Putin will assume the chairmanship of United Russia after he leaves office on May 7, the day of his puppet Medvedev’s scheduled inauguration. “I promise that I will do everything to strengthen the party’s influence and authority, to use its capabilities in the interests of the country’s development,” Putin intoned. “It [United Russia] should be debureaucratized and cleansed of strange people pursuing only selfish goals.”

In attendance at this week’s ER congress were President-Elect Medvedev, top party brass like former cosmonaut Alexei Leonov–the first man to walk in space–prominent public figures, and several key government officials, such as Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin and Regional Development Minister Dmitry Kozak. ER had repeatedly asked Putin to join its ranks and on Monday ammended its charter to create a new post of party chairman, which allows Putin to become the party’s formal leader without actually becoming a member. “Putin’s decision to chair the party without joining it will allow him to remain a sort of supraparty leader,” explained Sergei Markov, a Kremlin-connected political analyst and ER Duma deputy. “The party would have to cleanse its ranks of unworthy members before Putin could join,” Markov added cryptically. Notwithstanding his occasional potshots at Gennady Zyuganov’s Communist Party of the Russian Federation/Soviet Union, Putin, as we have regularly documented, is in fact a faithful communist cadre and executor of the Leninist plan for world revoultion.

The similarities in ideology and practice between ER and the (supposedly) defunct CPSU are disturbing and have been noted at this blogsite on several occasions. The Moscow Times continues:

United Russia dismisses comparisons with the Soviet-era Communist Party, despite similarities in rituals and routine. During the two-day congress, party delegates rubber-stamped every proposal submitted by the party leadership. Not a single delegate voted against the proposals or abstained. Books of speeches by Medvedev and chief Kremlin ideologue Vladislav Surkov were distributed free of charge to attendees. Alexei Leonov, the first man to step out of a spacecraft into space and a senior United Russia official, said the party had many more “elements of democratization” than the old Communist Party.

Russian political analyst Boris Makarenko, who works for the Center for Political Technology, reveals the potemkin nature of United Russia: “ER is not an independent political party with an ideology and membership base. Rather, it broadcasts the orders of the presidential administration.” Members of Zubkov’s cabinet who are also ER members include Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov, Civil Defense and Emergency Situations Minister Sergey Shoigu, Agriculture Minister Alexey Gordeev, and Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev.

Pictured here: Catching closet communist Putin and open communist Zyuganov in the same photo is always a challenge, but worthwhile in order to depict the secret unity within the neo-Soviet leadership. Here Putin and Zyuganov attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Unkown Soldier’s tomb during the Day of the Fatherland’s Defender in Moscow, on February 23, 2008.

Meanwhile, reports state-owned Kommersant Daily, the leadership of the secretly ruling CPRF/SU and the potemkin Liberal Democratic Party of Russia are urging Putin to form a party government when he becomes prime minister. In that way, Zyuganov and KGB politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky argue, ER, the “party of power,” can be held accountable for government policy. “The person who helped United Russia receive a high result in the parliamentary elections is responsible for the policy that the party implements. In the same way, the party that has the majority should form the government, nominate the chairman of the government [and] bear responsibility for state policy,” stated Ivan Melnikov, CPRF Deputy Chairman and a professor at Moscow State University.

To further the communist-scripted drama in “post”-Soviet Russia, Zyuganov himself as consistently contested the results of both the 2003-2004 and 2007-2008 parliamentary/presidential election seasons. In March, following the “election” of Medvedev to the presidency, Comrade Gennady insisted: “We believe that a special commission of deputies from the State Duma (lower house of parliament), members of the Federation Council (upper house) and the Kremlin administration must be set up to investigate the facts relating to the election’s total falsification.” On April 1 Zyuganov warned that the CPRF will not approve Putin’s candidacy if he continued to pursue his previous policies. “They [Medvedev and Putin] distributed all the powers and responsibilities on December 10. I believe this shows disrespect to the country’s citizens,” the communist leader complained.

Finally, in a rare English-language translation posted at the CPRF website, Zyuganov shares his thoughts with the journal Sovetskaya Rossiya regarding Putin’s participation in the recent NATO summit in “post”-communist Romania, the Western Alliance’s expansion into the old Soviet Bloc including Ukraine and Georgia, US National Missile Defense deployments in Central Europe, and the Bush-Putin mini-summit in Sochi. Intriguingly, Zyuganov comments on Russia’s moratorium on the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty and its resumption of long-range bomber patrols, and duly notes the West’s disinterest in the Kremlin’s open war footing. In so doing, Russia’s communist leader is admitting that the Soviet deception strategy against the West has been resoundingly successful: the shopping mall regimes are sleepwalking while the Kremlin prepares for war.

Zyuganov frankly acknowledges that he views US missile and radar installations in Poland and the Czech Republic as a means to “neutralize” Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces. He also warns that “The CPRF is ready to do everything in its power to prevent an alliance [between Ukraine and NATO] with all the honest and responsible [meaning communist] politicians in Ukraine.” In summary, although Zyuganov frequently laments the policy direction of the Putinist regime, insisting that his colleague in the Kremlin is cravenly subservient to Western capitalist interests, in reality there is a perfect accord between the two politicians. As we pointed out before, everyone is on the Red Team in “post”-communist Russia and, thus, Zyuganov will seize any opportunity to portray open communism as Russia’s only hope against “US imperialism.”

Pictured here: Comrades Hugo Chavez and Gennady during the former’s visit to Russia in June 2007; below: undated photograph of Zyuganov with past Cuban president and current communist leader Fidel Castro. Zyuganov visited Cuba, as well as Mexico and Venezuela, in April 2007.

Unjustified optimism. Gennady Zyuganov interview with Sovetskaya Rossiya
2008-04-12 08:15

– NATO has held its summit in Bucharest, which was preceded by the visit to Ukraine by US President Bush. A Russia-NATO summit has taken place. For the first time in the last seven years Russia was represented by Vladimir Putin, which was seen as his “farewell appearance” as President. The signs are that things were not all smooth in Bucharest. Nevertheless Putin, Bush and NATO Secretary-General Scheffer have said they are pleased with the results. Each of them thinks he has achieved success. What is your assessment?

– As always in such cases all the participants are playing to the grandstand. Outgoing President Putin is pleased that the Bucharest summit failed to give the go-ahead to the accession of Georgia and Ukraine to NATO. Bush believes that he has resolved in his own favour all the issues discussed at the summit: he got the consent of all his NATO allies to the deployment of a missile system in Europe, persuaded them to send more troops to Afghanistan and adopt a decision in principle to admit Georgia and Ukraine to NATO, although he had to agree to postpone the time of admission. He has induced the North Atlantic Alliance to continue its transformation from an alliance intended to defend Europe into a world policeman prepared to launch military expeditions to any region of the world to assert the imperial role of the US. The Germans, French, Spaniards, Italians and Britons are also patting themselves on the backs for not having caved in to the pressure of the US which clamored for an immediate start of Georgia and Ukraine’s admission to NATO. Even Saakashvili and Yushchenko pretend to be pleased: although they were not admitted to NATO at once, they have received firm promises that it would happen soon.

– But what about the results of the Bucharest Summit in general? What message do they send to Russia?

– The results are not comforting for us. NATO continues to advance on our positions. The admission of Georgia and Ukraine has been postponed, but not for long. Some say it will happen at the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in December and some say it will happen during the 60th NATO jubilee next April. They confess that they did not want to publicly humiliate Putin at the summit not to provoke him into emotional reactions, for example, recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and not to complicate things for Bush when he discusses the deployment of antimissile defense in Europe at his meeting with Putin in Sochi. The German Foreign Minister Steinmeyer was candid in explaining that after putting Russia’s back up by recognizing Kosovo independence, stoking up further tensions with the Russians at the Bucharest Summit was not a good idea. The Georgians and Ukrainians can well afford to wait another six months. And once Putin quits they hope that his liberal successor will be more amenable.

– But Putin sounded quite resolute in Bucharest too.

– What he did was lament the behavior of his dear Western partners. He had given up the bases in Lourdes and Kam Ranh and the Baltics and paid all the Russian debts ahead of schedule, he forgave all the debts owed to the former Soviet Union under pressure from Washington and the Paris Club, he is building a massive system of pipelines to ensure Europe’s energy security at the expense of the domestic economy, he continues to dismantle our military — all in order to make things more convenient for the West, he declared what amounts to an amnesty to our thievish oligarchs who have the backing of the leading Western concerns, he keeps the Russian armed forces on a lean diet, he has opened military transit to Afghanistan for NATO without getting anything in return with regard to our transit to Kaliningrad, he has signed an agreement with NATO that would allow its troops on Russian territory… the list goes on and on.

Being aware that society resents all this, the Russian President frets and complains. He orders the strategic bombers surviving since the Soviet times to take to the air. In response the West shrugs and continues to pursue its course. Putin declares a moratorium on the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE) and again it frightens no one. Even though this unequal treaty has been suspended, Russia has been unable to take advantage of the fact. It has neither the resources nor the determination for that. The overall picture is dismal.

The question suggests itself, why is all this happening? Our government seems to have been mending its ways recently, it has been thinking about its patriotic duty and so on. But one should not forget the class nature of the present Russian government. Its patriotism boils down to appeals to the West, i.e. to fellow oligarchs and imperialists, not to mistreat Russia, take at least some notice of the interests of the Russian brothers, not to consider them to be subhuman zombies. In Bucharest Putin launched a direct appeal to the rulers of the Western world: “Fellows, let us be friends, let us at long last be honest, open and fair…” But all that remains a voice in the wilderness.

– Why

Because the capitalist world is a world of the jungle. They are ready to go at the throat of anyone who shows signs of weakness. Take for example Taiwan. It has been separated from China for decades and is to all intents and purposes independent. There was even a time when it was a member of the UN. And yet the West has no guts to recognize it. The reason is simple: they are afraid of China and are even ready to forego their pious rhetoric about freedom, human rights and so on. Yet in the case of Kosovo they engineered its secession and promptly recognized its independence in spite of all the UN resolutions and Serbian and Russian protests. Why? Because they consider Russia to be weak, they are used to ignoring its opinion with impunity. They test the strength of Putin’s Russia all the time. And each time it trembles at the knees and succumbs because the present Russian elite is bin thrall to the West, because its patriotism is pure tokenism intended for domestic consumption while the real core of Russia’s foreign policy consists, as before, in following the policies of those countries where our oligarchs keep their capital, where they have their families and their property and which they hope to find refuge if things in Russia get nasty.

– It is significant that NATO had the gall to warn the Russian President to tone down his rhetoric in Bucharest and not to behave like he did in Munich. He is said to have agreed and tried to leave a good impression of himself, he was afraid to antagonize Bush during their conversation in Sochi. Was it worth it?

– The result in Sochi is somewhat dubious too. All that has emerged is a general document, a “declaration on the strategic framework of Russian-American relations.” Not much, let us be frank about it. Both sides had to admit that differences between Russia and the US still remain. But they tried to look optimistic and said that they might come to some final agreements a little later. In the meantime, they say, they have summed up all the positive achievements of recent years, especially in the sphere of security, nuclear non-proliferation, the fight against terror and the development of business cooperation. Some have hastened to declare the document to be a “road map” for major advances of strategic partnership.

I am skeptical about it. There have been many such documents in the history of our relations with the US, some of them more impressive than the present one. But they only made a difference when the Americans felt that they could not afford to ignore them. Now the situation is different, they are sure they can get away with anything and that Russia must obey them and toe their line. That is Washington’s idea of partnership with Moscow. In Sochi, the two leaders waxed lyrical about the fact that differences on some issues do not influence the overall state of affairs and other areas. I do not know of a single case when America took heed of our objections to its plans. And conversely, the Americans usually get all they want from us. It is a one-way street.

– But the press reports that the key issue in Sochi was the deployment of missile defense in Europe and that on that issue Russia allegedly is adamant, which prevented an agreement from being reached.

– I want you to note that the Bucharest Summit approved the American plans to deploy the missile defense in Europe. A treaty on the building of a radar station in the Czech Republic has been concluded in spite of the widespread protests among the people there. And now read what Putin said in Sochi. He has “guarded optimism” about final agreements. Why? He is convinced that the Americans understand our concerns and sincerely seek to address them. Allegedly, it is all about details and it is important that our experts agree on confidence measures and how to implement them in practice. “If we manage to work together on the global antimissile system at the expert and then at the political level in the same way as we are now reaching an agreement on theatre missile defense in Europe it would be the key and the most important result of all our previous work”, Putin says. From this one can readily conclude that Russia no longer objects to the deployment of the American missile defense in Europe. Attention is to be focused on the so-called “confidence measures”. The chances are that after a bit of bargaining with the Americans the Kremlin will gain some symbolic consolation prize, for example, a promise to allow our inspectors to the Czech Republic and Poland, not to target the radar in our direction, for now, not to put interceptor rockets in silos in Poland, etc. It means that we will cease to object to the deployment of the American missile defense in Europe whose aim is to neutralize our Special Missile Forces. It is amusing that the Americans seemed to have prevailed upon Putin to lift his objections not only to theatre missile defense, but also to the deployment of the American global missile defense. Little wonder that Bush was dancing to the strains of a Cossack band after the talks.

– Other reasons why he was dancing may have been the fact that the decision to admit Ukraine to NATO has been made in principle and that Russia, while it threatens that it could trigger a crisis in its relations with Ukraine and NATO, nevertheless says that to join or not to join NATO is the sovereign right of Ukraine and it would respect the results of a Ukrainian referendum on the issue, whatever they will be.

– Obviously NATO will try to drag Ukraine into its fold very soon. It can only be prevented by a powerful popular resistance in Ukraine supported by a similarly powerful resistance on the part of Russia. Failing that, Russia will most probably “surrender” Ukraine to NATO. We should induce the Russian government to fight and resist NATO not in words, but in deed. We have no time to lose on empty talk and discussions. It is clear that Eastern and Southern Ukraine as well as the Crimea, do not want to join NATO. We must support them, help them to organize and decide their further destiny, that is, to achieve self-determination. It would be a grave and unpardonable crime to surrender Ukraine to the Kiev heirs to SS thugs, the US and NATO minions in Galicia and to allow them to set the Ukrainian and Russian peoples against each other.

The CPRF is ready to do everything in its power to prevent it in alliance with all the honest and responsible politicians in Ukraine.

>EU/USSR2 Files: Moscow anxious to keep Rome in its orbit after Prodi exit, Putin to visit Berlusconi after encounter with Libyan strongman Qaddafi

>In a recent post we insisted that although KGB asset Romano Prodi will be stepping down from the post of prime minister to make way for his designated successor Silvio Berlusconi, Italy will remain part of the Communist Bloc. Indeed, not only have Italian communists penetrated to the highest levels of Berlusconi’s faux rightist Forward Italy party, but also the Kremlin is anxious to keep Rome within its orbit. Accordingly, neo-Soviet Tyrant Vladimir Putin will, only days before he shifts laterally to the post of prime minister in his own country, meet the new Italian PM in Sardinia after his first-ever visit to Libya. State-run Novosti reports below: “Putin and Berlusconi met on numerous occasions during the Italian tycoon’s last five years in office, from 2001 to 2006.” The Putin-Berlusconi encounter will occur immediately after Putin completes his first-ever trip to Tripoli, where he will offer a US$3 billion arms package to long-time Soviet client Muammar al-Qaddafi.

Putin, Berlusconi to meet in Sardinia in mid-April
16:2715/ 04/ 2008

MOSCOW, April 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Silvio Berlusconi, newly re-elected as Italian premier, in Sardinia on April 17 and 18, a Kremlin spokesman said on Tuesday.

“After his visit to Libya, Vladimir Putin will pay a working visit to Italy, where he will meet with Silvio Berlusconi, leader of the People of Freedom party,” Alexei Gromov said.

The meeting will come weeks before Putin steps down as president to make way for his hand-picked successor, president-elect Dmitry Medvedev. Putin and Berlusconi met on numerous occasions during the Italian tycoon’s last five years in office, from 2001 to 2006.

During Italy’s weekend election to both houses of parliament, Berlusconi’s party took 340 seats in the 630-seat lower house, the Chamber of Deputies against 239 for center-left rival Walter Veltroni. Berlusconi will command a 41-seat majority over Veltroni’s Democratic Party in the upper house, the Senate.

Berlusconi, 71, controls most of Italy’s media through his company Mediaset, and owns a diverse business empire that includes the soccer club AC Milan.

Berlusconi will now face a major challenge in turning round Italy’s economic slowdown, with the International Monetary Fund projecting almost zero growth for Italy this year.

In a related story, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko recently travelled to Tripoli to expand linkages between the two countries, which were allies during the Cold War by virtue of Ukraine being part of the old Soviet Union. Regarding the Yushchenko-Qaddafi meeting, the independent Moscow Times reports: “Putin’s visit comes just after Ukraine announced on Sunday that state energy firm Naftogaz Ukrainy had won an agreement to start pumping oil in Libya, following a visit by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to the country last week.”

>End Times File: Sarkozy’s Mediterranean Union fulfills Bible prophecy of revived Roman Empire, includes Israel; summit planned for July 2008

>The Beast and the False Prophet Assume Their Positions on the World Stage

The main thrust of this blog is geopolitical. However, every day on this planet something occurs that contributes to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy in some way or another. Indeed, your resident blogger, a former atheist, never ceases to be amazed by the pinpoint accuracy of the hundreds of prophecies recorded in the Old and New Testaments, a fact that distinguishes the Bible from the “sacred texts” of the religions of the world.

Beginning with the prophet Daniel, the Bible predicts four worldly empires that will span the age between the Flood and the Millennial Reign of Messiah. These empires were Babylon, the first king of which was Nimrod, the architect of the ill-fated Tower of Babel, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. These empires are symbolized first by a statue of a man in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (chapter 2) and then by four beasts in Daniel’s dream (chapter 7). Since the collapse of Imperial Rome in 476 the Roman power, or “beast,” has continued in several forms.

First, the Frankish king Charlemagne (742-814), working in tandem with the Bishop of Rome, established the Holy Roman Empire (800-1806), which lasted as an Imperial-Papal duumvirate from the time of Charlemagne until Francis II. Roman Empire Version 2.0 failed.

Second, French dictator Napoleon I endeavored to reunite Europe with his armies and invaded Rome in order to export the atheistic principles of the French Revolution to the Papal States. Roman Empire Version 3.0 also failed.

Subsequently, German dictator Adolph Hilter and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini endeavored to unite Protestant and Catholic Europe, with the support of the papal concordats of 1929 and 1933, under the aegis of the Berlin-Rome Axis and, more particularly in the case of the Nazis, within the concept of a racist Aryan “New Order.” Mercifully, Roman Empire Version 4.0 failed too, but the revival of Israel as a nation, per the Bible’s predictions, was born out of the Nazi holocaust.

In the post-war era Hitler’s concept of a “New Order” for Europe was revived by the victorious Allied Powers in the form of the European Economic Community (EEC), based on the Treaty of Rome and one of the pillars of the current European Union. In 2008 the EU overtook the USA as the largest economic force in the world. In contrast to earlier attempts to unite Europe, Roman Empire Version 5.0 has been very successful and will in all likelihood serve as the nucleus of that world empire that Jesus Christ will destroy upon His return.

Following the stage-managed collapse of Soviet communism in 1991, however, the Leninist masterminds in Moscow hijacked the EEC project with the intent of transforming Europe into a political federation under covert and then later open Soviet control. In 1987 Soviet Tyrant Mikhail Gorbachev disengenuously referred to the merger of the Soviet Union and the EEC as a “common European home” and in 2000, after its materialization through the Treaty of Maastricht, as the “new European Soviet.” Over the last 17 years the Soviet strategists have lured Europe’s leaders into expanding their federation into the old Soviet Bloc and recently indicated that one day the EU will seek admission to the Union State of Russia and Belarus, a building block for the restored Soviet Union. At least outwardly, though, both the EU and and Russia profess to be at odds with each other.

Pictured here: Pope Benedict XVI and his disciple Tony Blair at the Vatican, on June 23, 2007.

Thus, while Moscow, which the Russian Orthodox Church has long viewed as the “Third Rome,” and Brussels struggle for control over the revived Roman Empire, a new presidential post is being created to assume leadership over the European Union. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who officially converted to Roman Catholicism in December 2007, is the front-running candidate for the role of EU president. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, advised Blair not to reveal his conversion until after his June 2007 papal audience. Blair, as official Middle East “super envoy” for the EU, the United Nations, the USA, and Russia, is also actively involved in securing peace between Israel and its Arab enemies.

The Bible refers to the leader of the revived Roman Empire as “another horn” (Daniel 7:24-26), “the willful king” (Daniel 11:26-45), “that man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), and the “beast from the sea” (Revelation 13:1-2), where “sea” refers to the nations. Beasts in the Bible symbolize Gentile political powers. The world’s last dictator is often also identified as the Antichrist. Indeed, in his first epistle John predicts the manifestation of “many antichrists,” as well as a unique individual called the “antichrist [who] shall come” (1 John 2:18).

However, the term “antichrist,” or antichristos, literally vicar of Christ or a substitute for Christ, has for centuries been claimed by the Roman popes. Revelation refers to a religious leader known as the “beast from the earth” (Revelation 13:11-14), or “false prophet” (Revelation 19:19-20), who will bolster the regime of the world’s last dictator. The false prophet is associated with the false, or state, church, otherwise known as “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH,” which is symbolized by the whore that rides the Roman beast in Revelation 17:1-6. In this chapter, the Roman power, first described by Daniel, re-appears as the “city built on seven hills.”

Revelation 17:16 relates how the European power, or Roman beast, will destroy the harlot church, led by the false prophet, and demand that all worship be directed toward him. In short, the political power will overthrow the religious power with which it was previously allied and claim all obedience from the world’s inhabitants. The beast and the false prophet are therefore both associated with Rome and together will deceive and then persecute the Jewish nation, a period known in Jeremiah 30:7 as the “time of Jacob’s troubles.” The Roman popes have in fact been making peace overtures to Israel since the Second Vatican Council, which in the document Nostra Aetate, or Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions, seeks reconciliation between Christians and Jews.

Finally, the Bible also refers to the Beast’s chief enemy as the “King of the North” and places the latter in the land of Magog, which many Bible expositors identify, we believe correctly, as Russia or a restored Soviet Union. “Ex”-communist President/Prime Minister/KGB dictator Vladimir Putin or a powerful successor, possibly an open communist like Gennady Zyuganov, might assume the role of “King of the North.” We cannot conceive of a weak puppet like Russian President-Elect Dmitry Medvedev playing this part.

Are these Biblical personages and their prophetic fulfillments already present on the world stage? We will let the reader decide.

The Revived Roman Empire Takes Shape in the Form of the Mediterranean Union

Last year, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, who professes to be conservative in his ideology but is allied with the neo-Soviet Tyrant Putin, proposed the formation of a Mediterranean Union that for the most part encompasses the whole territory of the ancient Roman Empire. We last blogged about this subject in March.

On December 20, 2007, the website of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership reports, Sarkozy announced that a summit of national leaders, held in conjunction with a summit of the EU, will occur on July 13, 2008 in Paris, in order to organize the proposed Mediterranean Union. In attendance with Sarkozy (pictured above) were his Italian and Spanish counterparts, outgoing Italian Prime Minister, former European Commission President, and alleged KGB asset Romano Prodi; and Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. “The bloc,” they declared below, “would have a mission to reunite Europe and Africa around the countries along the Mediterranean rim and to set up a partnership on an equal footing between the countries north and south of the sea.” It should be noted that the original Roman Empire embraced precisely these regions, that is, much of Europe, North Africa, Turkey, and the Eastern Mediterranean, including present-day Israel.

The rapidly unfolding, literal fulfillment of Bible prophecy is an exhortation to all men to “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6), before His judgment falls on the sins of nations and individuals.

France, Italy, Spain Announce Mediterranean Union Summit
January 14, 2008

France, Italy and Spain united behind a planned Mediterranean Union on last December 20th, announcing a July summit in Paris of the countries bordering the sea.French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced the July 13 summit at a joint news conference in Rome with the Italian and Spanish prime ministers, Romano Prodi and Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

The three leaders earlier discussed the plan to establish an E.U.-type union of the zone in talks in the Italian capital.

“Convinced that the Mediterranean, crucible of culture and civilization, should resume its role as a zone of peace, prosperity and tolerance,” the three leaders said they had met to “think about the broad outlines of a planned union for the Mediterranean.”

The bloc “would have a mission to reunite Europe and Africa around the countries along the Mediterranean rim and to set up a partnership on an equal footing between the countries” north and south of the sea, they said.

“The added value of the Mediterranean Union should reside first in the political boost it should give to cooperation around the Mediterranean and the mobilization of civil societies, businesses, local communities, associations and NGOs (non-governmental organizations),” the statement said.

The Paris summit will precede by a day an E.U. summit on July 14 in Brussels.

The Mediterranean Union will focus on “peace, development and respect for the environment,” Sarkozy said separately. “It’s a great dream, a great vision, which I’m sure can be realized. We three have decided that this will be a united Mediterranean, a war against despair.”

Sarkozy advocates the grouping partly as an alternative to Turkish membership of the European Union. Italy favors Ankara’s entry into the E.U.

The plan also comes against the backdrop of attacks in Algeria, and other north African states on the Mediterranean, by the group calling itself al-Qaida’s Branch in the Islamic Maghreb.

>USSR2 File: Russian-Belarusian integration advances with more joint war games; Minsk to send military advisers to Caracas in case of war with Bogota

>On April 22 the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which is the military pact undergirding the continuing Soviet Union otherwise known as the Commonwealth of Independent States, will hold command and staff air defense exercises, deploying more than 100 aircraft. The CSTO is in the process of deepening military contacts with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, thereby embracing much of the Communist Bloc in Eurasia in an anti-Western military alliance. Pictured here: The neo-Soviet leaders of Belarus and Russia: Hitler-look-alike Alexander Lukashenko and height-challenged Vladimir Putin.

CIS set to hold air defense exercises in April
12:5514/ 04/ 2008

MOSCOW, April 14 (RIA Novosti) – The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will hold air defense command and staff exercises on April 22 involving over 100 military aircraft, a spokesman for the Russian Air Force said on Monday.

He said the exercises to be supervised by the Russian Air Force commander will be conducted by the joint CIS air defense control bodies under the military block’s joint action plan.

“Over 20 issues relating to strengthening air borders of the CIS countries will be covered during the command and staff exercises. Eight commonwealth countries will take part in the exercises, namely Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan,” Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said.

In late November, CIS defense ministers reaffirmed their plans to develop a joint air defense network and to conduct joint military exercises.

The network was set up by 10 CIS-member countries on February 10, 1995, but so far exists only on paper. Nevertheless, CIS partners, a loose collection of former Soviet republics, regularly hold joint exercises, involving respective Air Force and air defense units.

Source: Novosti

Under the auspices of the Union State of Russia and Belarus and the CSTO, Russian troops are currently stationed in Belarus, which borders “post”-communist NATO member-states Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. Earlier this month, those troops received a delegation of parliamentarians from their homeland. At the time Belarusian politician Nikolai Cherginets, below, stated: “The West forces Russia to undertake retaliatory measures. The US used to say that Nato would not move a single step eastward, but in reality they have made a huge step forward. This is why the statements of the American leadership cannot be reliable any more.” In March a delegation of the Russian Armed Forces also visited Minsk, reports the website of the Belarusian Ministry of Defense, with the intent of pursuing joint defense planning:

A representative delegation of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation arrived in Minsk. Chief of the Main Operations Directorate – Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Colonel-General Alexander Rukshin heads the delegation. Within frameworks the visit issues of joint defence planning, functioning of the regional group of forces of Belarus and Russia, coordination of participation of the Russian Armed Forces in activities of combat training of Belarus’ Armed Forces will be discussed. In the course of the visit the Russian delegation will have an opportunity to visit a number of military units of Belarus’ Armed Forces.
The paleo-communist regime in Minsk enjoys the special protection of Moscow, revealing the true ideological character of the Putinist KGB dictatorship. In March 2008 “ex”-CPSU Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov visited President Lukashenko in Minsk and responded to the diplomatic war between Belarus and the USA by condemning Washington’s sanctions against the former country: “Russia considers this move politicized. Such U.S. actions are at odds with international legal context. We are calling on Washington to revise its policy on Belarus.”

Pictured here: In this undated photograph Lukashenko receives Mikhail Gorbachev, last Soviet president and roving propagandist for the continuing Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In a profile of the Belarusian leader, BBC News notes: “In August 1991, as a member of the Belarussian parliament, he declared his support for the attempted coup by hardliners against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.” However, 15 years later, on the occasion of Gorbachev’s 75th birthday, Lukashenko sent his “best regards.” There is no puzzle in Comrade Alex’s apparent reversal of attitude toward Gorby. Both Lukashenko and Gorbachev are on the Red Team, proving continuity between paleo- and neo-Soviet leadership.

In June 2006 Belarus and Russia, under the aegis of the CSTO, launched their largest-ever joint military exercise Union Shield 2006, consisting of 7,000 Belarusian troops, 1,800 Russian troops, 20 tanks, 180 armored infantry carriers, 140 anti-tank guided missiles, and 30 multiple launch rocket systems. Six Belarusian helicopters and 23 combat planes along with six Russian helicopters and 13 warplanes participated in the maneuvers. Among the Russian warplanes were Russian strateigc bombers such as the Tu-160, Tu-95, and Tu-22M3. In February 2007 Russian Federation State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov, Komsomol graduate and leader of the crypto-Stalinist United Russia party, addressed the 5th session of the permanent workshop of the Union State Parliamentary Assembly, urging that the two militaries deepen their operational coordination:

We believe it is necessary to step up the combat readiness and overall effectiveness of the regional Russian and Belarusian force grouping. The sides should do more joint exercises with field firing and launching of missiles. The potential of Belarusian military installations should be utilized. We believe it is appropriate to pay close attention to programs of comprehensive training and qualification courses of Belarusian cadets and officers in Russian higher education establishments. The participants of the session endorsed the idea of intensification of the Belarusian-Russian integration in all spheres. They are willing to see the relations within the Union State be built in such a way that they could meet the interests of our peoples.

To that end, on April 3, 2008 Belarusian Tyrant Alexander Lukashenko, an ardent promoter of a restored Soviet Union, announced that Belarus and Russia will participate in a joint military exercise called Autumn 2008. He pointed out that the Belarusian army is the first deterrent of the Union State of Russia and Belarus against NATO expansionism in Eastern Europe. “We are not rattling our sabres, this I would like to emphasise,” he assured at the website of the President of the Republic of Belarus, but then continued:

But, unfortunately, today we cannot say that the situation around Belarus is tranquil and there are no problems. This is evident from recent events. The NATO bloc has even laid claims on the republics of the former Soviet Union. I think the admission of Ukraine and Georgia to NATO is a matter of time. And no one is paying the slightest attention to the position of Russia, Belarus and the other countries of the former Soviet Union. The treaty with Russia is a matter of paramount importance. We should be honouring it unswervingly in the same way as Russia is honouring it, providing Belarus with a defence shield, including a nuclear shield.

Following Russia’s potemkin March presidential election, Chairman of the House of Representatives of the Belarusian National Assembly Vadim Popov affirmed that Russian-Belarusian integration will proceed with little disruption under the guidance of figurehead President Elect Dmitry Medvedev: “I am sure that there are no insurmountable obstacles in further development of the bilateral relations. I believe that after the change of power in Russia the formation of the Union State will be continued. The Belarusian and Russian integration will be piecemeal, consistent and will be growing stronger.”

Meanwhile, Belarus, which has already established several joint economic ventures with Red Venezuela, in addition to committing itself to installing a Russian-built air defense system for communist dictator Hugo Chavez, has pledged itself to sending military advisers to aid Venezuela in the event of war with Colombia, a scenario that almost became real in March, during the Andean diplomatic crisis. Yuri Shevtsov, Director of the Minsk Center for Issues of European Integration, revealed: “Military cooperation includes sending of military instructors from Belarus to Latin America. We have prepared to send our military instructors in case of war with Colombia.” The visa-free regime between Minsk and Caracas would no doubt facilitate the transfer of Belarusian and probably Russian military advisers to the South American country should open hostilities erupt between Caracas and Bogota, the only pro-US regime in the region.

Incidentally, Comrade Alex, like many neo-nazis and communists including Soviet communist leader Oleg Shenin, is anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist, to wit Lukashenko’s remarks on state radio in October 2007: “This is a Jewish city, and the Jews are not concerned for the place they live in. They have turned Bobruisk into a pigsty. Look at Israel – I was there. This is a Jewish city… I call on Jews who have money to come back to Bobruisk.” Belarusian ambassador Igor Laschenya, the Israeli media reports, was summoned to the Israeli Foreign Ministry to receive a harsh protest. It should be no suprise, therefore, that Lukashenko rubs elbows with the fuhrer of the Islamo-Nazi Republic of Iran, Mahmoud (“Iwannajihad”) Ahmadinejad.

>EU File: Berlusconi’s red-infiltrated centrist alliance triumphs over "ex"-communist Veltroni’s coalition, faces challenges of EU’s worst economy

>Italian Communists Manipulate Both Ends of Political Spectrum: Berlusconi’s Forward Italy National Party Coordinator Sandro Bondi Is an “Ex”-Red

Although news of the likely defeat of Rome’s “ex”-communist mayor Walter Veltroni and his center-left coalition in today’s general election in Italy is heartening for all lovers of freedom, Italian governments are notoriously unstable and short-lived. The United Kingdom’s leftist Guardian, below, cautions that “Two parties in particular could yet influence the outcome: the Union of Centre and Christian Democrats (UDC), which was allied with Berlusconi, and the Rainbow Left, which takes in Marxists and Greens who were formally united with the centre-left.” Veltroni spokesentity Ermete Realacci has all but conceded defeat: “We know that (our) political platform presumably does not have a majority in the country.”

If Veltroni’s rival, media magnate Silvio Berlusconi, becomes prime minister again, then Berlusconi’s centrist government will face the unenviable challenge of pulling the European Union’s worst economy out of the pit. The Guardian reports that “One issue that helped to doom [Prime Minister Romano] Prodi’s administration was news from the European Union that the Italian economy had been overtaken by that of Spain.” In the immediate term, the most pressing issue facing Berlusconi will be the fate of insolvent, state-run airline Alitalia, which the billionaire wants to keep in Italian hands.

Since the Italian Right–like much of the European Right, including French President Nicholas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel–has been blinded by the Soviet deception, Berlusconi will no doubt nevertheless continue expanding Italy’s economic ties with neo-Soviet Russia. Berlusconi’s faux rightist party Forward Italy, moreover, is infiltrated by hard-core leftists at the highest level, such as “ex”-communist national party coordinator Sandro Bondi. By the end of 2008 Forward Italy and numerous other parties, ranging from the center-left to center-right, will be absorbed by the People of Freedom party by the end of 2008. Thus, we consider Italy sans KGB asset Prodi to be effectively still behind the New Iron Curtain. There will be no change of color for Italy on our Red World 2008 map.

Berlusconi on course for Italian election triumph
John Hooper in Rome
Monday April 14 2008

Early projections today showed the 71-year-old billionaire Silvio Berlusconi and his rightwing allies heading back to power in the Italian general election with a convincing majority.

The projections, based on a small sample of the overall vote, gave Berlusconi’s Freedom Folk party and its allies 44.9% of the vote in the senate, against 38.2% for the centre-left.

If confirmed as the count unfolds, the margin would translate into a majority of seats that would be big enough to allow Berlusconi to govern without needing new alliances.

However, Italian politicians were being cautious in their predictions after their experience in the general election two years ago when the balance of advantage shifted during the evening.

Counting for the lower house, the chamber of deputies, had yet to begin. Exit polls indicated the gap between the two main parties here was narrower, at two percentage points.

Much will depend on the showing of smaller parties unallied with either of the two main contestants. Exit polls commissioned by the Italian state-owned broadcaster RAI gave them 16-20% of the vote.

Two parties in particular could yet influence the outcome: the Union of Centre and Christian Democrats (UDC), which was allied with Berlusconi, and the Rainbow Left, which takes in Marxists and Greens who were formally united with the centre-left.

Both exit polls and initial projections pointed to a triumph for a third party, the Northern League, which is allied to Berlusconi’s movement. The stridently anti-immigrant League could have a big effect on the new government’s policies if the forecasts are borne out.

Polls closed just after lunch at the end of a day and a half of voting and a campaign stretching back to the fall of Romano Prodi’s centre-left government on January 28.

With both of the leading candidates offering strikingly similar programmes, the contest was a lacklustre affair until the final week, when Veltroni appeared to be narrowing the gap on Berlusconi, the clear early favourite looking for another return to power.

In the last few days of campaigning, the 52-year-old Veltroni drew a crowd of tens of thousands in Berlusconi’s home city of Milan while the media tycoon was able to muster only a few thousand in his rival’s home town of Rome.

In his final rally at the Colosseum, Berlusconi appeared to give away votes by criticising the local football hero Francesco Totti, saying he was “off his head” for wanting to vote for the centre-left in the mayoral election, which was also being held today.

Italy’s next government faces the unenviable task of trying to reinvigorate a failing economy, and that was reflected in the campaign’s generally cautious rhetoric.

One issue that helped to doom Prodi’s administration was news from the European Union that the Italian economy had been overtaken by that of Spain. Other symptoms of the country’s failure came together in a rubbish crisis that engulfed Naples and the surrounding region of Campania.

Both of the leading contenders to become prime minister offered a formula involving lower taxes and higher spending, which they insisted could be made to work with a huge programme of public asset sales.

In the short term, the biggest task facing Italy’s next leader will be to decide what to do about the stalled negotiations to sell Alitalia. Talks between unions and the airline’s only prospective buyer, Air France-KLM, ground to a halt after Berlusconi said the Franco-Dutch offer was unacceptable. He raised the possibility of an all-Italian consortium of buyers, but none has yet materialised.

The elections employ a complex system under which ballots do not necessarily translate into seats. This is particularly true in the senate where, in each region, the winning party gets a “victor’s bonus”. Added together, they could have a decisive effect on the overall result.

Projections of the number of seats for each party are not expected until around 6pm BST.

>Asia File: Beijing-backed Maoists lead in polls, form new government in Kathmandu; China tightens noose around India with second joint military drill

>Indian Analyst: New Delhi’s Intelligence and Diplomatic Establishments “Mid-Wifed” Agreement between Nepal’s Seven-Party Alliance and Maoists

The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, a former guerrilla organization that enjoys both the open support of Beijing and which received ex-US President Jimmy Carter’s endorsement in a closed-door meeting in Kathmandu last week, has surged ahead in the vote count following the April 11 election for that country’s Constituent Assembly. This temporary body, which will be dominated by the Maoists, will draft a new constitution for the Himalayan kingdom that will in all probability dump the much-despised monarchy and proclaim a “people’s republic.” “We were partially surprised by the result. We knew we had a good support from the people, but we had not imagined the victory on this scale,” gloated senior Maoist member Chandra Prakash Gajurel. “The country is heading towards the new system.” The “new system” to which Comrade Chandra refers, of course, is proletarian dictatorship under the post-perestroika guise of “state of the whole people,” a tactical maneuver first endorsed by the old Soviet leadership and presently implemented by the neo-Soviet leadership of Vladimir Putin and his henchentities in United Russia.

Meanwhile, the shopping mall regime’s banal political pundits and ideologically challenged ivory tower academics will fall over one another in their endeavor to insist that communism is still dead even though Lenin’s rotting zombie is obviously shuffling around in Venezuela, Nepal, and Cyprus, where voters recently installed a communist president, and numerous other benighted countries like Italy, Belarus, Moldova, and Rhodesia-Zimbabwe. Pictured above: Nepal’s genocidal Maoist leader Prachanda, photographed on April 12, 2008.

Nepal’s Maoists surge ahead in vote count
April 14, 2008

KATHMANDU (AFP) — Nepal’s Maoists have widened their shock lead in historic polls on the Himalayan nation’s political future, election officials said Monday, as the count passed the one-third mark.

The former rebels said the results had placed the impoverished country on track for sweeping change, expected to include the sacking of unpopular King Gyanendra and the abolition of a 240-year-old monarchy.

Of the 601 seats in a new assembly that will rewrite Nepal’s constitution, 213 have been decided or were close to being allocated — with the ultra-republican Maoists taking 104 seats and leading in eight others.

“We were partially surprised by the result. We knew we had a good support from the people, but we had not imagined the victory on this scale,” said senior Maoist member Chandra Prakash Gajurel.

“The country is heading towards the new system,” he said, but warned the embattled king and his allies could yet try to throw a spanner in the works.

“The biggest challenge could come from regressive forces who could try to disrupt the internal security situation.”

The results released so far show the Maoists’ main and more moderate rivals left trailing in their wake — although Gajurel said the ex-rebels would “try to work together with other parties to form a coalition government.”

In Kathmandu, hundreds of Maoist supporters have been celebrating each constituency win — chanting slogans and waving hammer and sickle flags.

The April 10 elections were a central plank of a 2006 peace deal under which the Maoists agreed to end a decade-long civil war — which left at least 13,000 people dead — and enter mainstream, multi-party politics.
That gamble appears to have paid off for the hardened insurgents — who are still classed as a “terrorist” organisation by the United States.

“To the astonishment of many, including the Maoists themselves, they have painted Nepal red,” wrote the Kathmandu Post newspaper in an editorial under the headline “Red Wave.”

Nepal’s largest and oldest party, the centrist Nepali Congress, had won just 30 seats and was leading in four others, the election commission said, while the centre-left Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) had won 24 seats and was leading in the count for nine others.

Other parties had won or were on track to win 34 seats.

The Maoists are pushing for the speedy ouster of King Gyanendra, something that now looks certain following their stunning showing at the ballot box.

King Gyanendra ascended the throne after a tragic and bizarre palace massacre in 2001 — in which the former king and much of the rest of the royal family were gunned down at a party by a lovelorn, drunk, drugged and suicidal prince.

The monarch’s status sank in 2005 when he fired the government and seized absolute power to fight the Maoists — only to push mainstream parties into the arms of the rebels and enter a peace deal that led to Thursday’s elections.

Of the 601 seats in a new Constituent Assembly, 240 are appointed on a first-past-the-post system, and it is those results that are being tallied.

Some repolling will take place this week due to election day irregularities, with final results expected on April 22, Election Commission spokesman Laxman Bhattarai said.

Another 335 assembly members will be elected by proportional representation — a counting method the Maoists are also expected to do well in. It could be “several weeks” before the full results for those seats are known, he said.

The final 26 seats will be appointed by an interim government to be formed after the polls, which the Maoists can be expected to dominate.

Pictured here: Nepali Maoists celebrate victory on April 14, 2008.

Concurrently, Voice of America reports below, India’s United Progressive Alliance-Left Front government has announced that it regards the installation of a full-blown red regime in Kathmandu with optimism, even though a Maoist insurgency rages across one third of its own territory. “No one in New Delhi expected the Maoists to perform so well in a free election,” executive director of India’s Institute for Conflict Management, Ajai Sahni, commented. “Certainly this has come as a shock to the establishment here. It was the Indian intelligence establishment and the Indian diplomatic establishment which had, in a sense, mid-wifed the agreement between a completely emasculated political formation, the seven-party alliance and an extremely violent and dominant Maoist grouping, without really thinking out the consequences.”

The willingness of the communist-backed regime in New Delhi to maintain relations with the up-and-coming “People’s Republic of Nepal” will no doubt also advance the new strategic alliance between India and Communist China, with which New Delhi is presently preparing for a second round of joint military maneuvers. VOA reports: “The Maoists have long called for renegotiating the 58-year-old India-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty. That agreement allows nationals of both countries to freely move across the border and own property. The pact has also effectively placed Nepal under India’s security umbrella and prevented Nepal from making strategic ties with China, its other giant neighbor.” That will no longer be the case: Enter the Communist Bloc’s Beijing-Kathmandu-New Delhi Sub-Axis.

Emboldened by the election of its puppet in Kathmandu, expect the crypto-Maoist regime in Beijing to gradually dispense with its pretense of “market socialism,” upon which the Free World (or what’s left of it) has become pathetically and economically dependent in perfect accordance with the Moscow-Beijing Axis’ design for global domination. “The Indian Government cannot succeed in suppressing the armed revolution of India’s Maoists,” Communist Party of China cadre Zhang Zheng declared at the MaoFlag Website on April 3, 2005. In addition to India, a Maoist rebellion rages in the Philippines and simmers in Bhutan and Peru. In the USA Revolutionary Communist Party leader Bob Avakian, who supports the revolutions in both Nepal and Peru, threatens to topple the federal government.

Maoist Victory in Nepal Could Prompt New Era for Relations with India
By Steve Herman New Delhi
14 April 2008

India is expressing a willingness to work with the Maoists in Nepal, who are in line to form the new government in Kathmandu, based on election results so far. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from New Delhi a Maoist victory could mean a lessening of Indian influence over its smaller neighbor to the north.

India is putting its best face forward in reacting to the Maoists lead in the balloting for Nepal’s special assembly. The results will determine the fate of the world’s last Hindu kingdom. A Maoist victory is expected to doom the monarchy, and may see Nepal pursuing a foreign policy more independent of New Delhi.

India’s external affairs minister calls the results a “positive development” because the Maoists kept their pledge to participate in the election. India’s ambassador in Kathmandu says his government will accept the mandate given by Nepal’s people.

It is not just geographic ties – such as Indian rivers with sources in Nepal, and a porous border – that closely bind the two countries. Many Nepalese are ethnic Indians, and both countries have a Hindu religious majority.

India’s government paid little heed to the growing clout of the Maoists as the rebels fought a decade-long civil war to rid Nepal of the monarchy. The executive director of India’s Institute for Conflict Management, Ajai Sahni, says no one in New Delhi expected the Maoists to perform so well in a free election.

“Certainly this has come as a shock to the establishment here,” he said. “It was the Indian intelligence establishment and the Indian diplomatic establishment which had, in a sense, mid-wifed the agreement between a completely emasculated political formation, the seven-party alliance and an extremely violent and dominant Maoist grouping, without really thinking out the consequences.”

That 2006 peace pact resulted in the Maoists, which the United States still regards as a terrorist group, laying down their arms and pledging to continue their battle through the political process.

Analysts say a Maoist victory in Nepal will boost the hopes of India’s Maoist rebels that they can eventually be victorious, as well.

With that in mind, India’s establishment continued to ally itself with the Nepali Congress Party and the unpopular King Gyanendra, who has been stripped of power. But Congress Party politicians suffered stunning losses to the Maoists in many key districts in last Thursday’s national election.

An intellectual with a history of serving as a middleman between Indian officials and Nepal’s Maoists, Bishnu Pathak of the Conflict Study Center in Kathmandu, says two-way communication is currently under way.

“Maoists will not be that much offensive to this Indian government and Indian people too. Maoist and Indian diplomats are trying to have their improved relations to each other,” Pathak said.

The Maoists have long called for renegotiating the 58-year-old India-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty. That agreement allows nationals of both countries to freely move across the border and own property. The pact has also effectively placed Nepal under India’s security umbrella and prevented Nepal from making strategic ties with China, its other giant neighbor.

>USSR2/Asia Files: Russia woos Japan away from USA with strategic partnership, including peace treaty, military cooperation, civilian nuclear pact

>Although Japan and the USA have participated in the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security since 1960 and, before that, in the Mutual Security Assistance Pact of 1952, the perceived decline of the Soviet threat and the expansion of Japan into a global economic powerhouse has prompted many Japanese, especially of a leftist orientation, to question the necessity of the US-Japanese alliance. Finally, after more than 60 years of being technically at war, Japan and Russia are moving toward signing a peace treaty that will presumably resolve the dispute between the two states over the South Kuril Islands, which have been occupied by Russia since the Second World War, but claimed by Japan. Beginning tomorrow, Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura will visit his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, and Russian businessmen for four days of meetings in Moscow. Komura will also broach the subject of a possible visit to Russia by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda at the beginning of his European tour, slated for early May.

Pictured above: In 2005 Neo-Soviet Tyrant Putin and then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi met at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in South Korea before heading back to Japan for additional talks. Notwithstanding the Kremlin’s peaceful overtures to Japan, in February 2008 a Russian bomber briefly entered Japanese airspace south of Tokyo.

Japan FM to visit Moscow April 12-15 for peace treaty talks
10:14 11/ 04/ 2008

TOKYO, April 11 (RIA Novosti) – Japan’s foreign minister will arrive in Russia on a four-day official visit on Saturday for talks on bilateral cooperation and a peace treaty, a Japanese foreign ministry official said on Friday.

Russia and Japan have failed to sign a formal peace treaty following World War II over their territorial dispute on the South Kuril Islands. Tokyo has moved to step up bilateral ties with a view to signing the treaty with Russia’s new leadership.

Russian president-elect Dmitry Medvedev is to be sworn in next month. Outgoing leader Vladimir Putin will stay in as prime minister.

In Moscow, Masahiko Komura will meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, and members of the Russian business community.

He will also visit a Toyota plant near St. Petersburg. The Japanese auto giant opened the plant last December planning to produce 20,000 Toyota Camry cars a year. Visiting the plant’s opening ceremony, Putin said bilateral trade in 2007 grew more than 40% on the previous year’s figures to $18.5 billion.

Komura will also discuss in Moscow a possible visit to Russia by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda at the beginning of his European tour planned for early May.

In January, the Japanese premier expressed his readiness to improve relations with Russia in all spheres.

Source: Novosti

On April 7 Voice of Russia reported that “Russia and Japan plan a separate summit meeting on the fringes of the next summit of the G-8 on Hokkaido in July. First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov told this to the press after emerging from another round of bilateral consultations about Pacific and global security in Tokyo on Monday.”

Meanwhile, Novosti reports that in Moscow today Chief of the Joint Staff of Japan’s Self-Defence Forces Admiral Takashi Saito met with Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Yuri Baluyevsky to coordinate expanding cooperation between the Japanese and Russian militaries, especially in the East Asia region. Following the meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Baluyevsky declared, no doubt with some relief: “Japan will not join the U.S. global missile defense network in the near future despite close cooperation with the U.S. on boosting its own missile defenses. Japan is not planning to integrate its national missile shield into the U.S. global missile network.”

Japan against joining U.S. global missile shield – Baluyevsky
14:13 11/ 04/ 2008

MOSCOW, April 11 (RIA Novosti) – Japan will not join the U.S. global missile defense network in the near future despite close cooperation with the U.S. on boosting its own missile defenses, Russia’s chief of the General Staff said Friday.

“Japan is not planning to integrate its national missile shield into the U.S. global missile network,” Gen. Yury Baluyevsky said after talks with his Japanese counterpart Adm. Takashi Saito in Moscow.

Under a December 2004 missile defense cooperation arrangement with the U.S., Japan intends to build by 2011 a national missile-defense network comprising sea- and land-based components.

Japan’s determination to boost its missile defenses was strengthened after North Korea conducted a series of ballistic missile tests in July 2006, and an underground nuclear test explosion three months later.

Japan’s Cabinet endorsed in December 2007 a review of emergency missile defense rules giving Self-Defense Forces (SDF) the discretion to fire missile interceptors without the premier’s go ahead.

The government also authorized the use of U.S. SM-3 interceptor missiles as part of Japan’s two-layer missile shield.

The U.S. sea-based SM-3 interceptor missiles are designed to intercept incoming ballistic missiles in mid-trajectory at altitudes up to 300 kilometers (about 190 miles), while land-based U.S. Patriot PAC-3 systems, which will be deployed at four ground-to-air missile units, are expected to shoot down missiles before they hit the ground.

During a test-launch on December 17 last year from the Japanese Aegis-equipped destroyer Kongou, an SM-3 interceptor shot down a simulated target over the Pacific near Hawaii.

However, Japan is opposed to the use of space-based elements in a global missile shield which Washington is proposing.

U.S. plans to deploy elements of the missile shield in Central Europe are expected to cost $1.6 billion over the next five years. The program will later be expanded to include sea-based missiles and missile tracking systems in space.

Washington insists that space-based systems would provide anti-missile protection independent of geographic location, strategic warning or permission to deploy bases, and would make it possible to intercept ballistic missiles in mid-trajectory.

In the area of civilian cooperation, Russia’s Atomenergoprom and Japan’s Toshiba have formed an alliance in nuclear power operations, including power plant construction and fuel production. On March 27 Novosti gloated:

Experts predict that the alliance will become the world’s leader in the nuclear sector. Previously, the market was divided between four players: the French-German alliance of Areva and Siemens, two American-Japanese groups, Toshiba-Westinghouse and GE-Hitachi, and Russia’s Atomenergoprom. The Russian-Japanese alliance will cut the number of players to three. Moreover, Toshiba now owns a 70% stake in Westinghouse.

“If we decide to build a nuclear power plant in Russia’s Far East, as stipulated in the general plan for placing nuclear power plants, it would be logical to invite the Japanese,” Sergei Novikov, a spokesentity for Rosatom Nuclear Energy State Corporation, explained.

>End Times File: Paving the way for the "Final Antichrist," global dictatorship: Food shortages, ballistic prices provoke riots in cities worldwide

>The Four Horsemen of Revelation, representing Antichrist, War, Famine, and Death, are riding throughout the world. The Black Horse, which symbolizes famine, is prominent in current events. For many months the United Nations, which is an embryonic world government created by Western globalists and Moscow’s Leninists following the Second World War, has warned that rising food prices could provoke global unrest and political instability.

Although the UN’s involement in alleviating global famine is self-serving and justifies global dictatorship and the nullification of sovereign nations, the ultimate goal of communism, these observations are accurate. The neo-Soviet leadership is unwaveringly committed to strengthening the powers of the UN at the expense of the national sovereignty of its primary enemy, the USA. State-run Voice of Russia reported yesterday that: “Russia sees the United Nations as the mainstay of global order and the only universal international arbiter. As a founding member of the UN, it pledges even more active effort in support of this all- important world body. President Putin told this to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at a meeting with him in the Kremlin Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Mr Ban heard similar assurances from President Elect Dmitri Medvedev.”

UN warns on food shortage riots
By Europe correspondent Rafael Epstein
Posted Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:35am AEST
Updated Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:34am AEST

A top United Nations official has warned that rising food prices could cause worldwide turmoil and global political instability.

Food price rises of more than 40 per cent in the last 12 months have helped spark riots and unrest in countries like Egypt, Haiti and Uzbekistan.

On Monday there were food riots in Haiti and there have been violent protests in Ivory Coast. Riots after price rises in Cameroon in February left 40 people dead.

In northern Egypt this week, there have also been riots with people angry about food prices which have doubled in less than a year.

And according to UN under-secretary general for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes, we could be seeing even more trouble in more countries.

Mr Holmes, who is also the most senior UN official coordinating relief efforts, thinks we are just at the beginning of the crisis.

“What we are seeing so far is relatively limited, I’m glad to say, but there have been very severe protests in Haiti, for example. [There have been] riots and deaths in Egypt in bread queues and we’ve seen unrest in different counties in Africa,” he said.

“Now I don’t want to exaggerate this or be alarmist about it. When food prices go up for people who are right on the edge of food insecurity of marginal survival to start with, then as soon as they rise beyond a certain point, they have no money to cover their needs or no money for anything else, and that’s why the social unrest arises.”

Mr Holmes believes the situation is getting worse because global price rises have been so steep and rapid.

“Most of the stapes of people’s diet – wheat and rice – have risen more than 50 per cent in the last 12 months and they’ve risen even more steeply than that very recently,” he said.

“There are some fundamental factors behind this. This is not just, I think, a sort of quick blip in prices which will return to normal shortly, it’s because there are these fundamental factors of the population rising, crops being used for bio-fuels, more sophisticated diets in places like India and China.

He also cited: “[A] lack of strategic grain reserves and maybe also the effects of climate change and, for example, the drought in Australia affecting wheat production in recent years. That’s not helped either.

“What we fear is that if this is a long-term trend, then we really could see in the poorest, most vulnerable countries, in the poorest, most vulnerable sections of the population of those countries, real problems, which is a particular problem from a humanitarian point of view.”

He says the World Food Program is already feeding 80 million people a year around the world.

“That’s not really touching everybody who is on the edge of food insecurity. But they could have to face much, much bigger demands than that if the worst comes to the worst.”

Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Since the winter of 2006-2007 food riots, general strikes, and protests, have occurred or are presently occurring in the following impoverished, newly developing, and developed nations: Argentina, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, Uzbekistan, and Yemen. Inflation has also provoked unrest in Bangladesh, China, Philippines, and Vietnam. “Global food prices, based on United Nations records,” reports Reuters, “rose 35 percent in the year to the end of January, markedly accelerating an upturn that began, gently at first, in 2002.” The price surge has also affected India, Pakistan, and Thailand, where troops guard government food warehouses and laws criminalizing private hoarding imposed. “Rice riots” are feared by governments throughout East Asia, including Japan and South Korea.

Pictured above: Guard tower in UN-occupied Haiti torched by angry and hungry protesters, who also stormed the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince, demanding the resignation of President Rene Preval, an ally of Communist Cuba and Red Venezuela.

Food riots are not new phenomena, but the last two years has witnessed an escalation of such outbreaks in countries worldwide, precipitated by several years of lean wheat and rice harvests, restricted exports by panicky governments, high food taxes, the diversion of corn into bio-fuel production, and an expanding consumer class in the two most populous nations, China and India, together containing one third of the world’s population. Yesterday Reuters observed the connection between bio-fuel production, in particular, and the global surge in food prices: “India and African nations are calling on the Western world to rethink the diversion of huge amounts of food for biofuel, which has created shortages and driven up prices in poorer countries. Faced with record-high oil prices, governments in Europe, the United States and Canada are subsidizing the production of ethanol, a gasoline substitute, from corn and other grains.

Although food riots have yet to hit the industrialized nations, sticker shock has already affected North American supermarkets and bulk order outfits. Communists, fascists, professional envy manipulators, and other ideologically challenged politicians thrive in such conditions. Accordingly, expect the Democratic Party, which is openly endorsed by the Communist Party USA and the Democratic Socialists of America, to install their candidate–Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton–in the White House in November. Following Obama’s March 18 speech on race in Philadelphia, Jarvis Tyner, executive vice chair of the CPUSA, gushed: “Barack Obama made a magnificent contribution to the fight against racism and for unity in his March 18 speech on race.” Tyner concluded his praise and worship service for Obama by saying: “The struggle continues, but speaking in the ‘City of Brotherly Love,’ Sen. Barack Obama moved this nation to a better place on its most sensitive question, and by doing so I think he took another step closer to the presidency of the United States.”

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation/Soviet Union, which governs “post”-communist Russia through United Russia and other potemkin parties, has made the cost of living a top priority in its disengenuous attacks against the (crypto-communist) Putinist regime. In January, for example, CPRF cadres and supporters held rallies against the rising cost of food and utilities in Russia and the short-term band-aid approach adopted by the Kremlin’s price controls, imposed last October. In mid-March the independent Moscow Times reported that “The Economic Development and Trade Ministry is sparring with the Agriculture Ministry over legislation they are drafting to control food prices. The bill would introduce a maximum markup on prices for staple foods and open the door to voluntary price freezes and outright price regulation by the state.” The same source concludes: “Long-term price controls would have disastrous consequences. One consequence . . . would be food shortages. That price controls are ineffective and eventually backfire is elementary economics.” From the point of view of Kremlinologists who subscribe to the Golitsynian thesis, namely that the communists still control Russia behind the scenes, this entire scenario of price controls is probably contrived to portray the Putinist regime as a detriment to Russia and the open communists as savior.

The Bible is not silent on the events to occur at the end of this present age. Indeed, it refers to a final world dictator, variously known as “another horn” and “the willful king” in Daniel, “that man of sin” in Paul’s first letter to the church in Thessalonica, “the beast from the sea” in Revelation, and somtimes as “The Antichrist.” This political leader, in collaboration with a powerful religious leader known as the “false prophet,” will emerge from a European superstate, deriving its authority from a city built on seven hills, and together briefly rule the world and persecute Israel before Messiah’s return in glory. Most Bible expositors acknowledge that the “city built on seven hills” is Rome and thus this European superstate is a sort of revived or continuing Roman Empire. The man who can deliver on his promise to feed the world will be worshipped as god.

Global crises such as famine are real. Global threats such as resurgent communism/fascism are real. Now, however, the institutional structures–such as the United Nations, the European Union, and numerous other regional political, economic, and monetary unions–and the appropriate mentalities–such as the politically correct infotainment generation and the ecumenical/interfaith movements–are in place to provide a platform for the so-called Final Antichrist. Intriguingly, for the Bible student, the EU traces its origin to the 1957 Treaty of Rome.

>Middle East File: Blast shakes HQ of Canadian oil firm in Yemeni capital Sanaa, second bomb disarmed; Saleh calls for dialogue with opponents

>Incidents of terrorism and political unrest have occurred throughout Yemen on almost a daily basis for nearly two weeks. Early on Thursday local time, Reuters reports, a blast shook an area near the headquarters of the Canadian oil firm Nexen in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. No casualties were reported and a second bomb was disarmed. Thursday’s bombing followed a mortar attack on Sunday that broke windows at a Sanaa compound housing US and other foreign oil workers. An Al Qaeda affiliate claimed responsibility for the latter. Pictured above: Police checkpoint in Sanaa, on April 10, 2008.

Meanwhile, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a US ally in the War on Terror, is calling for dialogue instead of violence, in response to a wave of riots in the south orchestrated by the formerly ruling Yemen Socialist Party. “Instead of demonstrations, burning tyres and cutting off roads, those who have a complaint or problem are welcome to parliament,” Saleh stated in a speech to officials. “Tampering with national security is not acceptable.” Yemeni Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Megawar related that 22 soldiers were injured and 75 shops and government offices damaged or looted in the unrest between March 30 and April 9.

>MISSILE DAY ALERT: NORAD jets escort four Bear bombers near Alaska today; Putin inspects new civil defense management center; MSM peddles Kremlin line

>During a March 28 interview US Air Force General Carrol H. “Howie” Chandler stated that Russian bombers have on 16 occasions entered the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone since July 2007. Today’s incident must be the seventeenth. The British media reported this week that since September 2007 Russian bombers have been intercepted near the United Kingdom on at least 28 occasions, or once per week. Pictured here: Big bad Bear: Russia’s venerable but hardy Tu-95 strategic bomber in flight.

NATO fighters again accompany Russian bombers near Alaska
12:1109/ 04/ 2008

MOSCOW, April 9 (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.

Four Bear bombers and four Il-78 aerial tankers conducted a patrol mission over the Arctic and the Pacific Ocean and performed aerial refueling, which is the second exercise of Russian bombers near Alaska in three weeks.

“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 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.

Source: Novosti

Last week the Russian Air Force, obviously with extra fuel to burn, announced that it would be stepping up long-range missions from two or three to 20 or 30 per month. In other words, NATO and NORAD fighter jets will very likely be intercepting Russian bombers on an almost daily basis in the near future, but no one in the comatose shopping mall regimes blinks an eyelid at the brazen Soviet threat.

Today, state-run Itar-Tass reports, ten Tu-22M3 “Backfire” bombers carried out a command-and-staff exercise in the Saratov Region, which is located in southern European Russia. “Crews of the Long-Range Air Force practiced cooperation with fighter planes, overcame the air defence of a reference enemy and did the landing at an airfield outside the base, in the Saratov Region,” explained Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky. “Special attention was devoted during the exercise to the training of young pilots.” Pictured above: A Backfire bomber flies over international waters along the coast of Norway in this photo taken by the Norwegian Air Force on August 17, 2006.

In a related story, the Kremlin media reported yesterday that the Russian Air Force will hold a live-fire tactical exercise in East Siberia between April 14 and 19, during which time anti-aircraft units will test-fire S-300 surface-to-air missile systems and employ electronic warfare measures.

Russian Air Force to hold live-fire exercise in East Siberia
12:1808/ 04/ 2008

MOSCOW, April 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Air Force antiaircraft units are to conduct a live-fire tactical exercise in East Siberia, an aide to the Air Force commander said on Tuesday.

“In the course of the exercise, to be held from April 14-19, antiaircraft and missile units will test-fire S-300 SAM systems,” said Col. Alexander Drobyshevsky.

He said Air Force and Air Defense units were redeployed to the Telemba training ground in East Siberia’s Chita region by rail on April 1, while sub-units of an electronic warfare (EW) brigade arrived at the site by road on the same day.

“After they had arrived at the designated areas, the units started making preparations for the exercise,” he said.

The S-300 is a medium-range surface-to-air missile system developed by the Almaz Science and Production Association for use against aircraft and cruise missiles. Later variations were also developed to intercept ballistic missiles.

Source: Novosti

In another related story, long-serving Civil Defense, Emergency Situations and Disasters Minister Sergei Shoigu, a relative of August 1991 coup ringleader Oleg Shenin, hosted Putin at Russia’s new National Center for Management of Crisis Situations. The Kremlin deceptively carries out its pre-war civil defense operations under the guise of coping with natural disasters and terrorist attacks. With a smile, “ex”-CPSU cadre Shoigu informed journalists that “Over the past three months, I spent 23 hours a day here.”

Russia’s CD headquarters is located on Vatutin Street in Moscow, but it is not clear whether this 15-storey structure with helicopter pad is “hardened,” or built to withstand a US ICBM strike on the national capital. In any event, redundant facilities probably exist elsewhere, such as under Yamantau Mountain in the Urals. Pictured above: Putin and Shoigu meet at the Kremlin on April 1, ostensibly to discuss natural disasters such as “spring flooding.” In March the leaders of the civil defense ministries throughout the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which encompasses most of the Not-So-Former Soviet Union, converged in Moscow to swap notes.

Putin visits National Centre for Management of Crisis Situations
09.04.2008, 15.40

MOSCOW, April 9 (Itar-Tass) – Russian President Vladimir Putin came to see the building of the National Centre for Management of Crisis Situations of the Emergency Situations Ministry on Vatutin Street in Moscow on Wednesday.

The presentation of the building will be held. The construction of it will be completed by the end of this year.

Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu said he was proud of the national center.

“Yes, I am proud, and I hope there is nothing comparable to it in the world,” he told reporters.

He explained that before the beginning of the construction specialists of his ministry had taken a look at similar buildings in Geneva, London and Madrid.

“We saw all the best that is available at present, we have taken it into account and a bit overtaken it,” Shoigu said.

The rate of information relay at the centre will be one gigabit a second.

“Decisions on crisis situations can be made and the economy of regions managed from such centre, because the state of heating nets in any residential area can be watched. Crops can be prognosticated, the state of roads can be watched. It can be watched where and how much forest is logged,” Shoigu said. He added that action during terrorist acts could be modeled at the centre.

The construction of the National Centre of Management of Crisis Situations cost almost 2 billion roubles.

“Two thirds of the cost is equipment, 1 billion 160 million roubles. I hope that equipment of the building will be brought to perfection by the end of the year,” Shoigu said.

He talked with journalists on the seventh floor, in the situational room of the Emergency Situations Ministry, where all information about emergencies comes.

The room has tens of plasma screens, and 12 clocks that show time of different time zones of the world

An operator works at a touch panel. By touching the screen he retrieves the image of any area of Russia. Specialists say this system is not yet operable in a real time mode, but it allows mapping a route of rescuers to a site of an emergency.

“We scan the whole space over Moscow, and in a case of harmful emissions we can say with much precision where they occurred and how we should act,” Shoigu said.

“The basis of the centre is making prognoses that depend on accuracy of situation modelling.”

Specialists say that its is enough to ask several questions about a water level in the river, the air temperature and wind direction for the system to recommend rescuers where to pitch a tent camp or in which hospital medical care can be given to people affected by an emergency.

Shoigu will show Putin the situational room on the ninth floor with terminals of the Russian Foreign Ministry, a presidential working group on analysis of security risks of the Academy of Sciences, the Hydrometeorology Committee and the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power.

The chief of the company AFK Sistema, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, told reporters that it took an active part in the establishment of the centre by providing many systems for it.

“Many other countries, for instance, the US and Spain, showed interest in many solutions, and it is not ruled out that we shall even sell technologies,” he said.

Journalists asked Shoigu how often he visited the centre.

“Over the past three months, I spend here 23 hours a day,” he said with a smile.

The construction of the centre continued for 800 days.

The height of the 15-floor building is 49.875 meters.

It is complete with a helicopter pad and 12,000 metres of fiberoptic cable.

The Emergency Situations Ministry rescues 100,000 people each year.

Source: Itar-Tass

Maskarova: Soviet Strategic Deception

In the sixth century before Christ, the Chinese general Sun Tzu admonished: “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.” The Soviet communists, who are allied with the Chinese communists, are also masters of deception, or “maskarova,” in the Russian language. Hence, the lie that Moscow’s Leninist spin doctors have pushed for nearly 17 years, namely, “Communism is dead.”

Since the stage-managed demise of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day 1991, clueless as well as conniving Western news outlets, such as the Council on Foreign Relations-infiltrated Washington Post, have peddled Kremlin propaganda to the effect that the Russian military is in shambles and no threat whatsoever to the Western Alliance. The Soviet manipulation of the MSM continues to this day. For example, Washington Times journalist David R. Sands writes today:

Russia next month will stage its first Red Square parade of missiles, tanks and soldiers since the Soviet times, but the country’s military faces massive crises in manpower, equipment, training and strategy despite the energy revenue windfall of recent years. A panel of U.S. and Russian defense experts yesterday painted a deeply pessimistic portrait of the state of Russia’s military and defense industries, plagued by collapsing morale, inferior arms, a decaying industrial base, and deep divisions among top-level civilian and career military officials over the future.

While it is probably true that sections of the Russian military fell into disrepair after Mikhail Gorbachev resigned from the Soviet presidency, a fact that the Soviet strategists spotlighted during the 1990s to feign weakness, it is also true that, as noted above, President Vladimir Putin has embarked on an ambitious plan of personnel reform, weapons modernization, and civil defense readiness that receives regular treatment in the Kremlin media and which can be readily confirmed with Western sources. The neo-Soviet leadership is no longer shy about projecting its military might through back-to-back strategic aviation maneuvers because NATO, Russia’s principal enemy, has been compromised by the admission of “ex”-Soviet Bloc states and the installment of “ex”-communists at the highest levels of the Western Alliance hierarchy, and no longer expects a Russian sneak attack.

>Middle East File: Pre-dawn grenade attack on southern Yemen checkpoint wounds seven policemen, Yemeni FM to visit Moscow between April 28-30

>At least four police/military checkpoints have been attacked in Yemen since Sunday in an escalation of unrest orchestrated by Shi’a Muslim rebels and cadres of the formerly ruling, Soviet-backed Yemen Socialist Party. Yemen is also the ancestral homeland of KGB/FSB asset and Wahhabi terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and a hotspot for Al Qaeda recruiters and terrorist operations, such as the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. Bin Laden is presumably still huddling in a cave somewhere on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Pictured above: On April 9 Yemen police patrol the southern town of Dhaleh, the scene of communist-led riots for the last 10 days.

Seven Yemeni policemen wounded in grenade attack
April 9, 2008

SANAA (AFP) — Seven Yemeni policemen were wounded on Wednesday in a hand grenade attack at a checkpoint in the southern province of Lahij, the scene of unrest for over a week, a security official said.

The policemen were wounded at around 6:00 am (0300 GMT) when a man hurled a hand grenade at a checkpoint in the town of Habilayn, the official told AFP, requesting anonymity.

He said 15 people were being investigated following the attack, adding that the same checkpoint was the target of a similar attack on Monday in which four policemen were injured.

At least 21 people, including 10 policemen, were wounded on Monday during clashes between security forces and thousands of protesters in the provinces of Lahij and Dhaleh.

Residents had taken to the streets to protest against the army’s refusal to enrol would-be recruits from southern regions.

Opposition sources say that around 150 people have been detained across the south, including members of the southern-based Yemen Socialist Party (YSP) since protests first erupted in the area on March 30.

The turmoil has sparked a war of words between the government and the YSP, the former ruling party in south Yemen before its unification with the north in 1990.

Protests in the south in recent months have focused on demands for greater state aid for the more than 60,000 people retired early from army or civil service jobs following a 1994 bid to restore the south’s independence.

Demonstrators have also expressed anger at rising prices in one of the world’s poorest countries.

Source: AFP

In view of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s crackdown on YSP politicians over the last 10 days of rioting the Yemeni regime is decidedly anti-communist. However, official Yemeni-Russian links, first fostered in the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen during the Cold War, continue to this day. State-run Saba News Agency reported yesterday that arrangements are being made for the pending visit of Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi to Moscow between April 28 and 30. On Tuesday Yemeni ambassador to Russia Mohammed al-Hilali met with the head of the Middle East and North Africa Department at Russian Foreign Ministry to discuss the visit.

>EU/USSR2 Files: Third planeload of Russian humanitarian aid earmarked for Kosovar Serbs arrives in Belgrade, last shipment slated for April 10

>A third planeload of Russian humanitarian aid has arrived in Belgrade, from where it will be shipped to northern Kosovo’s Serb enclave. A final delivery will arrive in Serbia on April 10. The Red Cross will distribute the aid, reports the Kremlin media. The Kremlin has allegedly restricted itself to sending 150 metric tons of food, along with medical equipment, medicines, disinfectants and other healthcare products. We can only assume that, in spite of urgent pleas from Kosovar Serbs, there are no AK-47s or Russian “military advisers” stashed between the canned meat and sacks of rice. Meanwhile, Soviet, er, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insists that Russia sees no need to again send Russian peacekeeping troops to Kosovo, although this scruple has not prevented Moscow from sending its soldiers to patrol secessionist Abkhazia and South Ossetia and combat helicopter groups to conflict-ridden Chad.

Third plane with Russian humanitarian aid lands in Serbia
14:0208/ 04/ 2008

BELGRADE, April 8 (RIA Novosti) – A third IL-76 cargo plane of the Russian Emergencies Ministry carrying 40 tons of humanitarian aid, mostly rice, to ethnic Serbs in Kosovo landed at a Belgrade airport on Tuesday.
A fourth and final shipment of aid including medicines and sugar is to arrive on April 10.

A total of 150 metric tons of food including canned meat and fish, baby food, rice, and sugar, along with substantial amounts of medical equipment, medicines, disinfectants and other healthcare products will be delivered to Belgrade. The supplies are worth around 40 million rubles ($1.7 million).

The aid will be transferred to a local Red Cross department for shipment to Kosovo after April 10, when the final delivery has been made.

Serbian Minister for Kosovo Slobodan Samardzic said earlier that Serbs urgently need humanitarian aid in Kosovo and Metohija. He estimated the number of families in need of the supplies at 8,300.

Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to provide humanitarian aid to Serb areas in Kosovo last month after a request from Serbia’s government.

Kosovo, with a 90% ethnic-Albanian majority, has been recognized as a sovereign state by 36 countries including the United States and most European Union members since it proclaimed its independence from Serbia on February 17. Russia and China continue to back Belgrade’s position that Kosovo will always remain a part of Serbia.

>Asia File: Bombings, assassination disrupt pre-election campaigns for Nepal’s Constituent Assembly, ex-President Carter facilitates Maoist takeover

>A string of bombings and the assassination of a Maoist politician in Nepal today have been characterized by the country’s largest communist party as royalist provocations designed to derail the transformation of the Himalayan kingdom into a glorious “people’s republic.” “It’s a last-ditch effort by royalists and Hindu fundamentalists to disrupt the constituent assembly elections,” remarked deputy Maoist commander Ananta. This could be true, but it could also be an attempt by the communist to thoroughly discredit the King Gyanendra before the April 10 poll.

A 120-member team from the European Union and former US President Jimmy Carter with his entourage from the subversive Arab-funded Carter Center have arrived in Nepal to monitor the election for a new Constituent Assembly that will rewrite the country’s constitution. Carter is a loose cannon who boasts a notorious track record for aiding and abetting communist regimes worldwide, both during and after the Cold War and as a head of state and self-appointed political fixer. In November 2006, for example, the globetrotting international meddler journeyed to Managua to encourage “ex”-Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega in his successful bid to retake Nicaragua’s presidency.

Today, Carter held a closed-door meeting with Madhav Kumar Nepal, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), and Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai, chairman and deputy chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, respectively with apparent intention of urging the genocidal Maoists to “play nice” for the West’s infotainment outlets. Bhattarai is pictured above. The former peanut farmer from Georgia was apparently not deterred by the fact that the US State Department still classifies Nepal’s Maoist guerrillas as “terrorists.” The AFP admits: “The Maoists’ transition from feared guerrilla outfit to mainstream party has not been smooth, and they have come in for a barrage of criticism for their conduct in the lead-up to the polls. The group, including its feared Young Communist League, has been accused of using threats and violence to intimidate voters.”

Yesterday, in an interview with the AFP, Bhattarai demanded that King Gyanendra step down peacefully, in order to make way for the declaration of a republic in Nepal, and threatened a restoration of Nepal’s decade-long Maoist insurgency if Nepal’s royalist forces fail to do so: “Given a choice we would like peace. Our form of struggle has changed. But if they betray us, people will be forced to resist again. The army is still controlled by the king. If they try to stop us from implementing revolutionary change in the society, we will have to resist that.”

The Nepalese media’s first-hand account of Comrade Jimmy’s back-to-back rap sessions with Nepal’s bloodthirsty Maoists is described below:

Carter holds ‘closed-door’ meetings with top leftist leaders
April 8, 2008

Continuing with his high-profile meetings ahead of this Thursday’s election for Constituent Assembly which he would be personally monitoring, former US President Jimmy Carter met CPN-UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal and a CPN-Maoist team headed by its chairman Prachanda in a hush-hush environment at the posh venue of Soaltee Hotel Tuesday.

The co-founder of Carter Center who heads a 60-member international election observer mission to Nepal first met CPN-UML general secretary Nepal.

During the closed-door meeting that went for nearly an hour, the two leaders mainly discussed the problems in holding the elections in a peaceful manner; its outcome and the post-election scenario.

The Nepalnews reporter who was present at the venue said that journalists were strictly barred from entering inside the hotel premises and were made to wait for comments at the gates of the sprawling 5-star hotel. Few media persons who had managed to enter the hotel premises were immediately asked to leave and wait for the dignitaries at the hotel gates.

Emerging from the meeting, UML general secretary Nepal told media-persons that Carter chiefly tried to learn how peacefully the election would be held and what the outcome would be like. In reply, he said he told Carter that if it was found that election at a particular voting center were not fair with instances of rigging or booth capturing then it should be cancelled and a re-election should be done.

Nepal said he drew the attention of the Carter Center that international poll observers had not reached the remote parts of the country for themonitoring purpose and said that there ought to be coordination between national and international election observation to see that this happens. He further said that the Maoist-affiliated YCL and Indian criminal gangs engaged in cross border terrorism to disrupt the polls are the biggest threat towards successful holding of the polls.

When he was asked about the post-election scenario, Nepal also told Carter that an all-party government would be formed regardless of the outcome of the elections.

During the meeting Carter wished that the election be held in a peaceful manner, while stressing on the need for all the stake-holders to play a positive role in making the historic CA election a success.

Immediately after this, Carter sat for another round of meeting with a team of CPN-Maoist party headed by chairman Prachanda and his deputy Baburam Bhattarai.

The meeting also revolved around the same issues as in the earlier meeting.

Coming out of the meeting venue, Baburam Bhattarai said Carter had asked them whether the election would be held in a free and fair manner.

“In reply, we said it would definitely take place in a free and fair manner and we are committed to making the polls free and fair,” Bhattarai said.

Bhattarai further said that in reply to Carter’s query about whether the Maoists are happy with the international election observers coming into Nepal to monitor polls they said that they had nothing against the international observers and that they had welcomed them.

Similarly, asked about the kind of government that would come into being after the election, Bhattarai told him that a “government of consensus” would be formed and which would be lead by the party securing most seats in CA.

“We told him that the people are in favor of change and they should prepare for an unexpected result,” the Maoist leader told reporters. He, however, said that there was no discussion on the issue of removing the Maoists from the terrorist list or whether the party would accept the outcome of the election or not.

>EU File: Key posts in President Christofias’ multi-party cabinet awarded to AKEL communists; Cyprus, UN move ahead with reunification

>On February 29 the Turkish Daily News reported that, not surprisingly, the most important posts in Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias’ multi-party cabinet have been awarded to Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL) cadres: Neoklis Sylikiotis controls the Interior Ministry, Costas Papacostas the Defense Ministry, Kypros Chrysostomides the Justice and Public Order Ministry, and Sotiroulla Charalambous the Labour and Social Insurance Ministry. Education and Culture Minister Andreas Demetriou is described as “AKEL-backed,” rather than a card-carrying communist. Christofias is pictured above.

On April 3 the Communist Party USA organ People’s Weekly World gushed over the new communist regime in Nicosia and its plans to move ahead with the political reunification of the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized only by Turkey:

The stunning election of a Communist president in Cyprus last month promised a new direction for the divided country. Now, newly elected president Dimitris Christofias has taken a historic step toward the long-sought reunification of Cyprus.

On March 21, Christofias met with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and the chief of the UN mission in Nicosia, Michael Moller, to hammer out a path towards settlement of what Cypriots call the “Cyprus problem.”

The “problem” dates back to 1974, when right-wing elements in Cyprus, supported by a Greek military dictatorship, staged a coup, briefly taking power. The right-wingers sought to annex the island nation to Greece. Turkey used the coup and the pending annexation as a pretense to invade Cyprus, ostensibly to protect the ethnic Turkish minority there. As a consequence of these events, Turkey continues to occupy the northern third of the island to this day.

The Turkish media confirms that the United Nations approves President Christofias’ plan to promptly end the division between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. UN undersecretary-general for political affairs B. Lynn Pascoe conferred today with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan today as part of the newly jumpstarted reunification talks. In addition to the Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces Command, consisting of 4,500 Turkish Cypriots, there are about 35,000 Turkish troops stationed on the island. Yesterday, during a rare visit with TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat in the nothern part of the island, Turkey’s top general Yaşar Büyükanıt stated: “We have no doubt that those who govern northern Cyprus including the president as well as officials in Turkey know what sort of peace is fair and long-lasting but their interlocutors should also know this; namely the South must understand this well.”

Büyükanıt’s trip coincided with the April 3 opening of the Ledra Street checkpoint in the island’s divided capital city of Nicosia. Although the removal of this symbol of partition between Greek and Turkish Cypriots was hailed around the world, officials of the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus alleged that Turkish Cypriot police under the command of the occupying Turkish Army illegally patrolled the UN-controlled buffer zone. The next day, cutting short a trip to London, President Christofias smoothed over the incident in the interest of reunification: “I do not believe Turkish Cypriot Leader Mehmet Ali Talat was guilty for the violations. I sincerely believe he doesn’t feel good it. I will try to speak to Talat directly to put an end to this situation that is not at all pleasant.” After a brief closure, the Ledra Street checkpoint was reopened. If a UN-brokered reunification of the island comes to pass during Christofias and Talat’s watchcare, then I would expect the Cypriot presidency to remain under communist control while the vice presidency is handed over to the TRNC’s leftist Republican Turkish Party.

Educated in the old Soviet Union, President Christofias is pro-Moscow, as the following Voice of Russia report from March 26, 2008 reveals: “President of Cyprus Dimitris Christofias believes that exemplary relations have been adjusted between Cyprus and Russia. In an interview with Hellas journal published in Russia he expressed gratitude to Russian leaders for continuous support in the Cyprus issue. Since 1974, after the Turkish troop invasion, Cyprus was divided into two parts.” In summary, a reunified Cyprus will be a red Cyprus and a potential beachhead for neo-Soviet Russia’s military and economic activities.

>Middle East File: Six soldiers wounded overnight in bombing at checkpoint in oil-rich southern Yemen, 7 arrested for Sunday attack on housing complex

>As Shi’a Muslim- and communist-orchestrated unrest enters its second week and spreads throughout Yemen, the US State Department, Bloomberg.com reports, has ordered non-emergency staff and family members from its embassy in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital. Overnight, six soldiers stationed at a checkpoint in oil-rich southern Yemen, where the formerly ruling Yemen Socialist Party enjoys support, were injured in a bomb attack. For the last 10 days former soldiers demanding pension rights, spurred on by YSP cadres, have clashed with government security forces in Aden and other southern Yemeni towns. Reuters reports below: “Politicians have said they are concerned the unrest could be used to drum up calls for the secession of the south, home of Yemen’s oil industry.”

Yemen is the ancestral homeland of KGB/FSB asset and Wahhabi terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. Pictured above: This Sanaa residence housing US and other foreign oil workers was attacked by Al Qaeda operatives on Sunday.

Six Yemen soldiers wounded in attack amid protests
Tue Apr 8, 2008 5:42 am EDT

SANAA, April 8 (Reuters) – Six soldiers were wounded in a bomb attack on their checkpoint in a town in south Yemen where violent job protests have raged for 10 days, a security official said.

“Two of them are in a critical condition … They were wounded in an bomb attack last night (Monday),” the official told Reuters.

Fifteen people suspected of involvement in the attack are being questioned. The official gave no further details about the incident in Lahj province near Aden, the Arab country’s main port city.

Rioting by youths demanding jobs has erupted in several southern towns over the past 10 days.

Politicians have said they are concerned the unrest could be used to drum up calls for the secession of the south, home of Yemen’s oil industry.

One soldier was killed and seven people were wounded on Monday when government forces clashed with protesters in Dalea province.

State jobs or joining the army are among the main sources of employment in Yemen, one of the poorest countries outside Africa. More than half the workforce is in the agricultural sector and one diplomat estimated unemployment at 17 percent.

The interior minister requested permission on Monday to question a lawmaker which it suspected of “seeking to infringe on national unity”. The lawmaker is a member of the Yemen Socialist Party, a Marxist bloc which ruled the south of the country until 1990 when north and south Yemen were unified.

Opposition politicians say the authorities have arrested several party members. Residents said a handful of protesters had carried banners demanding secession in protests last week.

Mohammad Saleh al Qobati, head of the Yemen Socialist Party’s political department, said the charges against the politicians were baseless and the party was not behind any calls for secession.

The south is home to only a fifth of Yemen’s 22 million people but it generates much of its revenue. Up to 80 percent of oil production comes from the area which also has fisheries and Aden’s port and refinery.

Government forces crushed a southern bid to secede in 1994. Aden, the capital of the former People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, remains calm.

More than 10 people were wounded in last week’s protests in which hundreds of youths attacked buildings and businesses.

Government forces have arrested dozens of protesters and deployed armoured vehicles in several parts of the southern provinces to restore order.

In recent months, protests spearheaded by former soldiers demanding pension rights have met a tough response from the security forces, and several people have been killed or wounded.

About 42 percent of Yemenis live in poverty, according to World Bank figures, particularly those in rural areas, where three-quarters of the country’s population live.

Yemen’s per capita GDP was estimated at $723 in 2006, according to a U.S. State Department report.

Source: Reuters

Last night’s pre-dawn attack on the military checkpoint in southern Yemen was preceded by two similar pre-dawn incidents on Sunday, in which suspected Al Qaeda gunmen, as reported by the Iranian media below, fired machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades at eight soldiers. Al Qaeda operatives staged their attack against the Sanaa housing complex on the evening of the same day.

Gunmen attack Yemeni checkpoint
Sun, 06 Apr 2008 06:43:06

Suspected al-Qaeda gunmen killed a Yemeni soldier and injured seven others in pre-dawn attacks against two military checkpoints.

Local security officials said that given the modus operandi, they thought the attacks may have been carried out by al-Qaeda.

The gunmen opened fire with machine guns and then followed with rocket-propelled grenades, a tactic commonly used by al-Qaeda in the country, said a Yemeni security official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The ancestral homeland of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Yemen has seen a series of attacks by extremist networks in recent years.

Al-Qaeda is blamed for the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole destroyer in the Yemeni port of Aden that killed 17 American sailors and an attack on a French oil tanker that killed one person two years later.

The Yemeni government has also placed the onus of responsibility on the terrorist network for several recent attacks against foreign tourists in the country.

Source: PressTV

Meanwhile, the pro-Al Qaeda media outlet Aljazeera is reporting that seven suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack on the foreign housing complex: “A little-known group purportedly with al-Qaeda links claimed on Monday that it was behind the attack, launched allegedly in revenge for the slaying last year of Taliban military commander Mullah Dadullah in Afghanistan.” In March mortar shells were fired at the US embassy in Sanaa but exploded instead at a nearby girls’ school, killing a security guard and wounding over a dozen students.

>Middle East File: Sirens wail on 3rd day of Israel’s largest-ever emergency drill; IDF, civilians prepare to cope with Iranian-Syrian missile assault

>Not content with occupying millions of square miles and terrorizing dissidents from Morocco to Indonesia, the Islamic world and its coaches and suppliers in the Communist Bloc interpret any attempt by the tiny Jewish state to defend itself as “Zionist-imperialist aggression” and grounds for Israel’s annihilation. On January 30, 2008 Iranian dictator Mahmoud (“The New Hitler”) Ahmadinejad threatened: “I warn you to abandon the filthy Zionist entity, which has reached the end of the line. It has lost its reason to be and will sooner or later fall. The ones who still support the criminal Zionists should know that the occupiers’ days are numbered. … Accept that the life of Zionists will sooner or later come to an end.” More than 80 years ago Ahmadinejad’s mentor German dictator Adolph Hitler threatened in like fashion:

If I am ever really in power, the destruction of the Jews will be my first and most important job. As soon as I have power, I shall have gallows after gallows erected, for example, in Munich on the Marienplatz-as many of them as traffic allows. Then the Jews will be hanged one after another, and they will stay hanging until they stink. They will stay hanging as long as hygienically possible. As soon as they are untied, then the next group will follow and that will continue until the last Jew in Munich is exterminated. Exactly the same procedure will be followed in other cities until Germany is cleansed of the last Jew! (quoted in John Toland, Adolf Hitler, London: Book Club Associates, 1977, page 116).

In advance of this week’s ongoing nationwide emergency drill in Israel, therefore, Syria’s fascist-communist regime deployed three tank divisions to its border with Lebanon in mid- to late March, or before. According to the Lebanese daily an-Nahar, “[T]he deployment backs a similar massing of fighters by pro-Syrian Palestinian factions in the Bekaa valley, especially Ahmed Jibril’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) in the Qoussayah area.” The Syrian army’s mobilization also takes place against the backdrop of Lebanon’s repeatedly postponed and hotly contested presidential election, and the divisive March 29-30 Arab League summit in Damascus. On April 2 Stratfor concluded: “The Arab League summit hosted by Damascus in late March exposed Syria’s regional isolation. Syria has been hitting walls left and right in its attempt to restore its sole powerbroker status in neighboring Lebanon. Left with few better options, Stratfor anticipates that Syria will revert to a more aggressive stance.”

Meanwhile, the mostly powerless and ineffective Lebanese government, fearing another conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, which holds posts in Prime Minister/Acting President Fouad Siniora’s cabinet, began to relocate civilians living near the southern border with Israel to points north.

The current civil defense preparations in Israel were organized in response to criticism that the Olmert regime did not adequately defend civilians during the 2006 war with Hezbollah. Commenting on the drills, Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, quoted below, warned arch-foe Iran to consider the implications of attacking Israel: “An Iranian attack will lead to a harsh retaliation by Israel, which will lead to the destruction of the Iranian nation. They are certainly aware of our strength.” In other words, Tehran will become a glass parking lot. Ben-Eliezer continued: “Nonetheless, the Iranians are provoking us through their allies Syria and Hezbollah, [providing] them with much weaponry, and with that we have to contend. I predict that in the opening strike, hundreds of rockets will land in Israel. There will not be a place in the country out of the range of the missiles and rockets of Syria and Hezbollah.”

Israel holds emergency drill amid attack worries
April 8, 2008

JERUSALEM (CNN) — Emergency sirens sounded across Israel on Tuesday as the country began a five-day drill to prepare for possible attacks.

Crews rehearsed how they would rescue people if rockets hit government buildings. Schoolchildren received an hour’s instruction on what to do in the event of an emergency.

The drill unfolded against the backdrop of increasing tensions in Israel, with many Israelis worried about rocket attacks from Gaza or possible attacks from Lebanon, Syria or Iran.

The government scheduled the drill after criticism that it was unprepared during a 2006 war against Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, who fired thousands of rockets into Israel as Israel bombed their positions.

On Monday, an Israeli official said the entire country is at risk of Hezbollah rocket attacks and blamed Iran for “provoking us” by backing Hezbollah, which is listed by Israel, the United States and several Western nations as a terrorist organization.

Israeli Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer warned against an attack by Iran, which he called unlikely.

“An Iranian attack will lead to a harsh retaliation by Israel, which will lead to the destruction of the Iranian nation,” Ben-Eliezer said, adding that Iran “will not attack Israel so quickly because they understand the ramifications.”

“They are certainly aware of our strength,” he said. “Nonetheless, the Iranians are provoking us through their allies Syria and Hezbollah, [providing] them with much weaponry, and with that we have to contend.”

Ben-Eliezer stressed that the nationwide emergency drill “is not aimed at threatening any of the countries surrounding us.” But he offered a bleak scenario for Israel in the face of a future war.

“I predict that in the opening strike, hundreds of rockets will land in Israel,” Ben-Eliezer said. “There will not be a place in the country out of the range of the missiles and rockets of Syria and Hezbollah.”

As part of the drill, the country is to begin practicing its response to a variety of attacks, including rocket strikes and incidents involving chemical and biological agents.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stressed Sunday that the exercise “is only a drill” and has nothing to do with “exaggerated” reports of heightened tensions with Syria.

“I would like to make it unequivocally clear that this is a routine drill,” Olmert said.

“The state of Israel is not intent on any violent confrontation in the north. On the contrary, we have said more than once that we have an interest in holding peace negotiations with Syria,” he said.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the exercise is a direct result of Israel’s 2006 war with Hezbollah militants based in Lebanon, which failed to weaken Hezbollah either militarily or politically.

“The Second Lebanon War created a situation by which the home front is part of the front,” Barak said Monday. “Israel has no interest in escalating the situation in the region.”

Source: CNN.com

Now, if only the US and Canadian governments would follow in Israel’s path by coordinating shelter programs and national emergency drills to provide some hope for surviving a strategic nuclear attack from neo-Soviet Russia. The Kremlin’s bomber fleet is airborne again but, thus far, only one North American city–Huntsville, Alabama–has taken the inititative to sweep out the dust and cobwebs from its Cold War-era fallout shelters.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: RAF fighter jets intercept Russian bombers 28 times since Sept. 2007; Russia quietly builds SIGINT post near Estonia

>On April 1 we posted a story from the Anchorage Daily News to the effect that US and Canadian fighter jets had intercepted Russian bombers near Alaskan airspace on at least 16 separate occasions since July 2007, the month before President Vladimir Putin officially announced the resumption of long-range missions after a 15 year hiatus. Between 1992 and 1999, though, such flights were almost nonexistent, but beginning in the early 2000s until 2006 Russia’s strategic aviation ventured overseas on occasional missions.

Today the Air Force Times reports the Russian aircraft never intruded US airspace proper, which extends 12 miles beyond the Alaskan coast, but rather entered the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends beyond the 12-mile limit. The same source quotes Ariel Cohen, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, who insists that Russia no longer has the capacity to manufacture parts for the supersonic Tu-160 Blackjack bomber. Even if Cohen’s contention is true, Mark Conversino, who teaches courses on Russia and Ukraine at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, nevertheless warns: “The bomber patrols also raise the possibility that a routine encounter between Russian bombers and American fighters could escalate beyond the intentions of either side. Things like this run the risk of an accident or some other unintentional event. There’s certainly a risk there.” This factor alone is worthy of frank acknowledgment and a suitable response from dot.gov.

In addition to probing NORAD airspace, Russian bombers have also been skirting the airspace around the United Kingdom, Norway, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. The British media reports today that since last summer the Royal Air Force has intercepted air-launched cruise missile-capable Blackjacks and Bears on at least 28 occasions, amounting to one incident every week. Disturbingly, Tim Ripley, a journalist who specializes in British defense issues, points out that the RAF maintains only two Quick Reaction Bases, the primary function of which, since the bogus collapse of Soviet communism, is to counter hijackings, rather than deter a strategic nuclear assault from Russia.

FIGHTER JETS IN 28 RUSSIAN SCRAMBLE MISSIONS
08:00 – 07 April 2008

Russian bombers invading British airspace are giving Lincolnshire fighter crews a much-needed workout, according to military analysts. Massive Soviet-era aircraft carrying live nuclear cruise missiles have been intercepted by the RAF 28 times over the last seven months – almost once a week.

Eurofighter Typhoons based at RAF Coningsby have been sent up to shadow Tupolev Tu-95MS Bear-H and Tu-160 Blackjack bombers.

Each is capable of launching several Kh-55 Granat missiles equipped with 200 kiloton nuclear warheads – 10 times more powerful that the weapon which devastated Hiroshima during the Second World War.

Tim Ripley, a defence journalist and Jane’s Training Information aviation advisor, said Coningsby was one of just two Quick Reaction Alert bases in the UK.

“The main purpose of all the QRAs is not to intercept the Russians but to stop hijacks,” he said.

“Up to 2001 there was only one base but after 9/11 they went to two to provide better coverage. The interception of the Russians is not the main cost of the QRAs.

“The terrorist threat is not regular so this is really giving them a chance to practice how they operate. From the point of view of the pilots they are just sitting inside a building on the side of an airfield in Lincolnshire and that’s not very exciting. Instead, they are up there using their training.”

Source: Lincolnshire Echo

Meanwhile, the Union State of Russia and Belarus, a building block for the soon-to-be-restored Soviet Union, is planning another joint military exercise, reports state-run Voice of Russia: “Russia and Belarus will hold joint military exercises in 2009, and the sides have already begun preparations, Belorussian Defence Minister Leonid Maltsev reported during a TV interview Sunday. He added that the exercises are expected to unite both the army and the national military institutions.” The two states, both of which feature “ex”-communist presidents, namely, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko–who makes no pretense about rejecting Marxism-Leninism in his support for Belarus’ command economy–carried out their largest-ever combined forces exercises under Union Shield 2006. Voice of Russia also reports that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has joined warships from Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia, Romania, and Bulgaria in three days of naval exercises off the Georgian port of Batumi on the Black Sea. Drills will include mine sweeping and fending off air attacks.

This open collaboration between Russia, the Not-So-Former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia, which are making a big production about seeking NATO membership to Moscow’s displeasure, and the Not-So-Former Soviet Bloc republics of Romania and Bulgaria, which already hold NATO membership, is intriguing. It suggests that “post”-communist regimes in NATO are equally comfortable preparing for war with their old ally Russia. The inclusion of Georgia’s navy in this multi-force exercise of “ex”-communist regimes is especially intriguing since Moscow and the potemkin “non”-communist regime in Tblisi are allegedly at odds with each other over the issue of Abkhazian and South Ossetian separatism. The collaboration is explicable in view of the fact that the regimes in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus are still under Moscow’s thumb. The Kremlin, for example, supports a fifth column of communists in Kiev, such as former Ukrainian prime minister Viktor Yanukovich and communist party boss Piotr Symonenko, and Tblisi, such as former Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze and communist party boss Panteleimon and son Igor Giorgadze, while the presidents of Romania and Bulgaria are “ex”-communists Traian Basescu and Georgi Parvanov.

The continuing linkages within the Communist Bloc, however, have not deterred the deaf, blind, and dumb shopping mall regimes of the West to sign onto the Open Skies Treaty with Moscow. On the one hand, the treaty will permit a US military aircraft to conduct observation flights over Russia and Belarus between April 7 and 11 but, on the other hand, it will permit Russian “airborne teams” to conduct observation flights over France during the same timeframe. Needless to say, the Kremlin’s top brass have already hidden their most sensitive military equipment and installations underground, like the nuclear war-fighting city under Yamantau Mountain, or in the dense forests of Siberia.

Finally, The Economist reported several days ago that Russia, in an effort to intercept Western communications, has since 2002 quietly erected a signals intelligence post, complete with 20-meter satellite dish and six smaller companions, near its border with Estonia: “A top western security official notes that this is almost the only point in the Russian Federation (aside from the exclave of Kaliningrad) that is within the footprint of one of the most important Inmarsat satellites, Inmarsat 4-F2, which covers the region known as Atlantic Ocean Region-West.” The same source speculates that the Kremlin’s new electronic eavesdropping center is operated by the Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information (FAPSI), formerly the 8th and 16th Chief Directorates of the KGB. The Economist concludes: “The press service of the FSB did not respond to phone calls, emails and faxes seeking comment for this article.” I’ll bet.

>Africa File: Zimbabwe war vets invade 23 white farms today, Mugabe advances to 2nd poll, Tsvangirai holds secret meeting with ANC in South Africa

>Communist thug Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF regime in Zimbabwe have made it very clear that they have no intention of peacefully ceding power to apparent president-elect Morgan Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change. While Zimbabwe’s “liberation war” veterans invaded and occupied 23 white farms today and Mugabe’s henchmen prepared for a run-off election against Tsvangirai, the former ZANU-PF cadre held a secret meeting with Jacob Zuma, the leader of the ruling African National Congress, in Johannesburg, South Africa. In an editorial published in the British newspaper The Guardian, “ex”-communist Tsvangirai urged the International Monetary Fund to withhold aid from Zimbabwe until Mugabe steps down from power.

The Tsvangirai-Zuma conference, about which no details were released, is suspicious since Zuma has opined that national leaders should not remain in power for more than a decade, suggesting that a communist “renewal” with some assistance from red South Africa is underway in Zimbabwe. The ANC has ruled South Africa in collaboration with the South African Communist Party since the West boycotted the apartheid regime out of existence in 1994.

With respect to Monday’s farm seizures, Trevor Gifford, president of the Commercial Farmers’ Union, explained: “In Masvingo where the police have been very cooperative, every time they remove invaders, within five, six hours they’re reinvading. It’s very apparent that this is being coordinated from higher up the chain of command.” It is estimated that there are 300 white farmers remaining in Zimbabwe, down from 4,500 eight years ago, when the ZANU-PF’s land grab program began.

Last Friday police escorted 400 former ZANU-PF guerrillas through the streets of Harare in an obvious attempt to intimidate the country’s opposition leaders and voters. The previous day a proposed meeting between the MDC leadership and the country’s security chiefs fell through when the latter were apparently ordered not to attend. A letter signed by Tsvangirai allegedly offered generous retirement packages to Mugabe’s generals and a promise not to re-seize white farms dispensed to army officers.

Zimbabwe’s Tsvangirai in South Africa
By ANGUS SHAW
April 7, 2008

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Militant ruling party supporters invaded white-owned farms Monday, a day after President Robert Mugabe urged Zimbabweans to defend seized land, fanning fears he would stage a violent crackdown to retain power.

Invasions that began Sunday worsened with intruders entering at least 23 farms in southern Masvingo province and northern Centenary, said Trevor Gifford, president of the Commercial Farmers Union.

“In Masvingo where the police have been very cooperative, every time they remove invaders, within five, six hours they’re reinvading,” he told The Associated Press. “It’s very apparent that this is being coordinated from higher up the chain of command.”

Workers were being rounded up on the farms and forced to chant anthems in support of the ruling party, he said, and many of the farm owners had fled out of concern about their safety.

“The farmers are being told that everything on the farm is the property of those invading,” he said.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who claims to have won the March 29 election outright, was holding meetings in neighboring South Africa Monday, the same day he issued a call for international pressure to persuade Mugabe to step down.

Tsvangirai flew out of Zimbabwe Sunday evening, said Tendai Biti, secretary-general of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, declining to give details.

South African President Thabo Mbeki, who mediated failed pre-election talks between Tsvangirai’s and Mugabe’s parties, was out of the country Monday.

Zimbabwean electoral officials have yet to say whether Tsvangirai or Mugabe won the presidential election, and the two rivals have adopted sharply contrasting strategies in response.

Mugabe is already campaigning for an expected runoff on a platform of intimidation and fanning racial tension. Tsvangirai says he won, and has demanded Zimbabwean courts and the international community support him.

“We urge the International Monetary Fund, at its meeting this week, to withhold … aid to Zimbabwe unless the defeated ex-president accepts the election results in full and hands over the reins of power,” Tsvangirai wrote in an opinion piece published Monday in the British newspaper The Guardian.

“This is also the time for firm diplomacy. Major powers here, such as South Africa, the U.S. and Britain, must act to remove the white-knuckle grip of Mugabe’s suicidal reign and oblige him and his minions to retire.

“How can global leaders espouse the values of democracy, yet when they are being challenged fail to open their mouths?” Tsvangirai added.

A Zimbabwean court postponed until Tuesday an expected ruling on an opposition petition to force the release of the presidential election results. Mugabe’s ruling party has demanded a recount, and a further delay in the release of results.

The court did decide that it had the jurisdiction to hear the case, an aspect that had been in dispute, lawyer Alec Muchadehama said. Even that ruling will decide only whether the matter needs to be handled urgently, Biti said, arguing Mugabe’s party was working to further stall the process. Zimbabwe’s courts are stacked with judges loyal to Mugabe.

Tsvangirai has expressed concerns the state would mobilize the armed forces, youth brigades and war veterans to terrorize voters into supporting Mugabe in any runoff. Mugabe has been accused of winning previous elections through violence and intimidation. Scores of opponents were killed during the 2002 and 2005 campaigns.

On Sunday, Mugabe urged Zimbabweans to defend land seized from white farmers, the state-controlled newspaper said Monday.

“This our soil and the soil must never go back to the whites,” Mugabe told mourners at a family funeral, referring to whites by the pejorative Shona term “mabhunu,” The Herald newspaper reported. “We don’t want to hear this fight is going backward.”

Government officials have dismissed fears of violence.

Mugabe, 84, started the often-violence seizure of white-owned farms in 2000 after he suffered his first defeat at the polls over a referendum to entrench his presidential powers. He said the farms would go to poor blacks. In reality, many of the 5,000 seized farms went to his friends and cronies.

The seizures touched off an economic collapse in the country that used to thrive on exports of food, minerals and tobacco.

Mugabe, who has ruled since his guerrilla army helped overthrow white minority rule in 1980, has seen his popularity battered by the economic crisis.

Unofficial tallies by independent monitors show Tsvangirai won more votes than Mugabe — but fewer than the 50 percent plus one vote required to avoid a runoff.

The law requires a runoff within 21 days of the initial election, but diplomats in Harare and at the United Nations say Mugabe may order a 90-day delay to give security forces time to clamp down.

The government banned most foreign journalists from covering the elections and barred Western election observers. Several foreign journalists, including Barry Bearak of the New York Times, remained in custody Monday after being charged with “illegally observing an election without official accreditation,” according to their lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa. She said the offense carried a maximum penalty of a fine, two years in prison, or both.

Mtetwa said three judges declined Monday to hear her urgent application for the release of the journalists, who are being held at Harare’s central police station. She was at the court trying to find a willing judge.

Source: Associated Press

>Middle East File: Yemen’s chaos: Reds continue riots in south; Al Qaeda attacks US housing complex, Shi’ite rebels clash with pro-regime tribe

>Yemen is descending into chaos. In the northern part of the country a residential complex that houses US citizens and other foreigners came under mortar attack yesterday, allegedly by an Al Qaeda operative. According to Deutsche Presse-Agentur, below, “Security authorities obtained a statement issued by al-Qaeda in Yemen claiming responsibility for the attack on the residential complex.” The three mortar shells that were lobbed at the compound produced no casualties. Pictured above: Chinese Tyrant Hu Jintao welcomes Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh to Beijing in April 2006.

Yemen arrests al-Qaeda man after attack targeted Americans – Summary
Posted : Mon, 07 Apr 2008 14:03:11 GMT

Sana’a, Yemen – Yemeni police arrested an al-Qaeda suspect on Monday, one day after a mortar attack against a housing complex for US citizens and other Westerners in the capital Sana’a, a security source said. The source, quoted by a web site run by the Defence Ministry, said Abdullah al-Raimi was arrested in Sana’a. The unnamed source described al-Raimi as “one of the dangerous al-Qaeda members.”

He said al-Raimi was “suspected to have been involved in several terrorist operations against Yemen recently.”

It was not clear from the source’s remarks whether al-Raimi was linked to Sunday’s mortar attack on the residential complex.

Al-Raimi was among 23 al-Qaeda operatives who escaped from a heavily-guarded intelligence jail in Sana’a in February 2006. He had been serving a 4-year jail sentence handed down by a state security court in 2005.

The men tunnelled their way out of the prison in a mass escape that embarrassed the Yemeni government and dealt a major blow to its efforts to pursue supporters of the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

Earlier Monday, a government official said an al-Qaeda wing in Yemen has claimed responsibility for the Sunday’s attack.

“Security authorities obtained a statement issued by al-Qaeda in Yemen claiming responsibility for the attack on the residential complex,” the official, who asked anonymity, told Deutsche Presse- Agentur dpa.
The official would not say how the statement was delivered.

The attack that caused no casualties, was carried out with three mortar shells fired from the back side of the complex at around 7:30 pm (1630 GMT) Sunday. The attackers fled and were able to escape, authorities said.

One shell struck a window of a building inside the complex, and the other shells landed on the ground.

Western families were seen evacuating the complex afterward, and officials said they were being transferred to hotels.

The high-security residential complex in the Haddah neighbourhood houses US diplomats and other Westerners working for foreign oil companies in Yemen.

Police said the attack only shattered windows of one villa inside the complex.

Source: EarthTimes.org

On the same day 18 people were killed in clashes between pro- and anti-government elements of the country’s Shi’a Muslim population, while guerrillas loyal to Shi’a rebel leader Abdul-Malik Houthi partly destroyed the vacant house of the top rabbi of the Yemen’s miniscule Jewish minority. Most Yemenis are Sunni Muslims.

Yemen rebels clash with tribe, about 18 killed
Sun Apr 6, 2008 8:35am EDT

SANAA, April 6 (Reuters) – About 18 people were killed in fighting between Shi’ite rebels and a pro-government tribe in Yemen from the same sect, tribal sources and residents said on Sunday.

In an apparently unrelated attack, fighters loyal to rebel leader Abdul-Malik Houthi also partially destroyed the vacant house of the top rabbi of the Jewish minority in the Muslim Arab state.

“The Houthis destroyed part of my house and looted it,” Yehia Youssuf told Reuters in Sanaa. The rabbi said all 67 members of the Jewish community in the northern province of Saada fled following threats from the Houthis.

Some locals have said the Jews were threatened because they had been selling wine to local Muslims, whose religion bans the consumption of alcohol. The Jews deny those accusations.

One resident said the rebels attacked the houses of other Jews after attacking the house of the rabbi.

Sunni Muslims make up the majority of Yemen’s 19 million population, while most of the rest are from the Zaydi branch of Shi’ite Islam. There are an estimated 200 to 300 Jews in Yemen.

The conflict in Saada between rebels and the forces of the U.S.-allied government has been raging on and off since 2004.Tribal sources said about six members of the Bakhtan tribe, which blames the killing of its chief in February on Houthi’s followers, were killed in fighting which started on Saturday.

About 12 rebels were also killed in the clashes, according to one tribal source. The fighting continued on Sunday.

Sources from the rebel group were not immediately available for comment.

Source: Reuters

Meanwhile, in the southern part of the country the Yemen Socialist Party, the formerly ruling party of communist South Yemen, continues to provoke riots against the regime of President Saleh, who was the leader of North Yemen before reunification in 1990. At least on soldier was injured in today’s renewed clashes with thousands of protesters incited by the communist agitators. The Saleh regime deployed tanks and troops into the streets of southern Yemen’s cities last week to subdue the rioters. During the first wave of riots 10 people were injured. The ruling General People’s Congress website quoted a Yemeni security source as saying that Salah al-Shanfara, a member of the YSP, was accused of “involvement in the riots and sabotage in the province of Dalea.” Reuters, however, reports that “A senior Yemen Socialist Party official said the charges against Shanfara were baseless and the party was not behind any calls for secession.” Opposition politicians charge that Yemeni authorities have arrested several cadres of the YSP and a related bloc of Marxist parties.

Pictured above: Leaders of Yemen’s allied opposition parties–Sultan al-Atwani of the Nasserite Unionist People’s Organization (left), Mohammed al-Yadumi of the Islamist Yemeni Congregation for Reform (also known as the Islah Party; center), and Yassin Said Numan of the Yemen Socialist Party–hold a joint press conference in Sanaa, in November 2005. Communist Numan was prime minister of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen between 1986 and reunification four years later. In a previous post we chronicled how until at least 1987 Soviet agents indoctrinated YSP cadres in Islamo-Marxist revolution and trained South Yemeni communists in the arts of sabotage and terrorism.

Soldier killed in fresh Yemen job protests
07 Apr 2008 15:54:07 GMT 07 Apr 2008 15:54:07 GMT

ADEN, Yemen, April 7 (Reuters) – One soldier was killed and about seven people were wounded when Yemeni troops clashed with protesters demanding army jobs on Monday in a fresh wave of violent protests in the south of the poor Arab country.


The ruling party of President Ali Abdullah Saleh reported the casualties on its Web site and said the interior minister had requested permission to question an opposition lawmaker suspected of “seeking to infringe on national unity”.

State jobs or joining the army are among the main sources of employment in Yemen, one of the poorest countries outside Africa. More than half the workforce is in the agricultural sector and one diplomat estimated unemployment at 17 percent.

About 42 percent of Yemenis live in poverty, according to World Bank figures, particularly those in rural areas, where three-quarters of the country’s population reside.

Yemen’s per capita GDP was estimated at $723 in 2006, according to a U.S. State Department report.

The ruling party’s Web site, almotamar.net, quoted a security source as saying that Salah al-Shanfara, a member of the Yemen Socialist Party, was accused of “involvement in the riots and sabotage in the province of Dalea”.

The Yemen Socialist Party ruled the south of the country until 1990 when north and south Yemen were unified.

Rioting by youths demanding jobs has erupted in several parts of southern Yemen over the past 10 days and Yemeni politicians have said they are concerned the unrest could be used to drum up calls for the secession of the south, home of the country’s oil industry.

BASELESS CHARGES

Opposition politicians say the authorities have arrested several members of the Yemen Socialist Party, a Marxist bloc, and residents said that a handful of the protesters had carried banners demanding secession in protests last week.

A senior Yemen Socialist Party official said the charges against Shanfara were baseless and the party was not behind any calls for secession.

“These were only slogans raised here and there by some angry protesters, and they do not represent a political goal of any opposition party. They are just an angry reaction to the situation,” said Mohammad Saleh al Qobati, head of the Yemen Socialist Party’s political department.

Government forces crushed a southern bid to secede in 1994. Aden, the capital of the former People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, remained calm despite the violent protests in several towns in the nearby region.

More than 10 people were wounded in last week’s protests in which hundreds of youths attacked buildings and businesses to press for army jobs and government. Government forces have arrested dozens of the protesters.

Government forces deployed armoured vehicles in several parts of the country’s southern provinces to restore order.

The south is home to only a fifth of Yemen’s 22 million people but it generates much of its revenue. Up to 80 percent of oil production comes from the area which also has fisheries and Aden’s port and refinery.

In recent months, protests spearheaded by former soldiers demanding pension rights have met a tough response from the security forces, and several people have been killed or wounded.

Source: Reuters

>EU File: Montenegrins re-elect Vujanovic, president’s "ex"-communist party controls country; Romania’s "ex"-red Basescu backs Montenegro’s EU bid

>Prior to 1991 Montenegro’s ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) was known as the League of Communists of Montenegro, or the Montenegrin section of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. The re-election of “moderate” President Filip Vujanovic, a DPS member who was born in 1954, demonstrates the extent to which Europeans have been anesthetized by communism masquerading as socialism or social democracy and beguiled by the younger generation of “post”-communist Eastern European politicians. The Associated Press reports today: “‘Vujanovic’s victory shows we are leading the right policies,’ declared Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, who wields the real power in Montenegro, where the Socialists have ruled virtually unchallenged for nearly two decades.”

Vujanovic was mentored by Momir Bulatović, leader of Montenegro’s communist party between 1989 and 1990, president of the “post”-communist Republic of Montenegro between 1990 and 1998, and staunch ally of deceased Serbian/Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic, who promoted Bulatovic to the post of prime minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1998. Bulatovic currently heads the People’s Socialist Party. The Assembly of the Republic of Montenegro is dominated by leftist parties.

In the light of yesterday’s presidential election in Montenegro we have updated our Red World profile of that country accordingly.

Montenegro’s President Wins Re-Election
By DUSAN STOJANOVIC
April 7, 2008

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — President Filip Vujanovic won re-election by a landslide, election monitors said Monday, cementing Montenegro’s westward economic and political course since breaking away from Serbia two years ago.

Sunday’s presidential vote — the tiny Adriatic nation’s first since gaining independence — dashed Serb minorities’ hopes of a win by a candidate who could bring them closer to Serbia.

Vujanovic’s main challengers conceded defeat as election monitors said the president won 51.4 percent of the vote, easily beating pro-Serbia’s Andrija Mandic’s with 20.4 percent and Liberal candidate Nebojsa Medojevic’s 15.7 percent of the vote.

Final results are not expected until Tuesday. The independent Center for Monitoring cited a final vote count at polling stations by its own monitors. Turnout was 69 percent, about 22 percentage points higher than in 2003, when Vujanovic, 53, won his first five-year term, election observers said.

Fireworks lit up the sky over the capital and Vujanovic’s supporters honked car horns and waved Montenegro’s crimson-colored national flag after the results were announced over state television.

“Vujanovic’s victory shows we are leading the right policies,” said Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, who wields the real power in Montenegro, where the Socialists have ruled virtually unchallenged for nearly two decades.

Montenegro was an independent kingdom before World War I, then became part of Yugoslavia until that federation disintegrated in warfare in the early 1990s.

Montenegro remained joined with Serbia until seceding peacefully in May 2006. Relations between the two nations since have been chilly.

But Montenegro’s economy has boomed since breaking away from Serbia, with annual economic growth of 8 percent and some $1.6 billion in foreign investment.

Vujanovic, of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists — one of the staunchest advocates of Montenegro’s split from Serbia — said his victory Sunday shows that “a majority of Montenegrins support our policies.”

“I won for Montenegro and its future,” he told cheering supporters. “I will be the president of all the people in Montenegro.”

However, Montenegro’s ethnic Serbs — who make up about 30 percent of the population of 620,000 — opposed the split from Belgrade.

And Medojevic said half of Montenegrins “live on the verge of poverty while their leaders are getting enormously rich.”

Source: Associated Press

Pictured above: In October 2007 President Vujanovic (left) visited Bucharest where his Romanian counterpart, “ex”-communist President Traian Basescu (right), indicated that his country will back Montenegro’s accession to the European Union, Mikhail Gorbachev’s “new European Soviet.” During that meeting Basescu promised to dispatch a coven of advisers to Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro to facilitate that country’s integration into the EU, which is already a fiat accompli for Romania. Vujanovic previously travelled to Bucharest, to attend a “Regional Culture Summit,” in June of the same year. For his part, last week Basescu hosted the 20th NATO summit, where he wined and dined US President George W. Bush who, along with his Council on Foreign Relations-infiltrated cabinet, is in all likelihood privy to the Soviet deception.

By fracturing multinational states like the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia in the early 1990s the Soviet strategists cleverly created a means by which they can stack the United Nations, the European Union, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization with a flood of new states secretly and not-so-secretly (in the case of Cyprus, for example) controlled by communists.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Invasion USA: Kremlin media confirms Bush, Putin to discuss Bering Strait Tunnel at April 6 Sochi meeting

> On March 28 we provided documentation suggesting that the US and Russian governments are quietly pursuing a deal that will see the contruction of a four-lane tunnel under the Bering Strait, linking Siberia and Alaska. Kremlin mouthpiece Russia Today is again confirming that this subject will be a topic of discussion at the final meeting that outgoing US President George W. Bush and outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold at the KGB dictator’s Sochi residence on April 6. Russia Today reports:

A tunnel linking Russia’s Far Eastern Chukotka and the west coast of Alaska in the U.S. will be discussed at a meeting between Presidents Putin and Bush at the weekend, reports The Sunday Times newspaper in the UK. The two leaders are meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Sunday. The proposed 100-kilometre tunnel was first discussed in Tsarist Russia, but was soon abandoned because of a lack of funds. It is estimated that a tunnel linking the two continents will cost $US 30 billion. The Sunday Times is linking Roman Abramovich with the project. But the Chukotka governor, one of Russia’s richest billionaires, has dismissed the claims.

Ostenisibly touted as a corridor through which Russia will supply the USA with natural gas, oil, and electricity, will this tunnel also be the future invasion route for the Russian Army into North America? A cross-strait tunnel could also facilitate the passage of China’s 2,250,000-man People’s Liberation Army into the Western Hemisphere to occupy Canada and the USA.

>MISSILE DAY ALERT: Russia to fly strategic patrol missions 20 to 30 times per month, Kremlin air force commander condemns NATO intercepts

>As state-run Novosti reports below, the Russian Air Force is preparing to “drastically” increase its number of overseas patrol missions from two or three to 20 to 30 times per month, which amounts to about one mission per day. In other words, very shortly Russian bombers will be airborne 24/7, much as the US Air Force’s Strategic Air Command operated until its bomber flights were reduced in 1990, when SAC’s flying command post was placed on ground alert, and then unwisely deactivated altogether in 1992. The rationale, of course, for America’s military drawdown 16 years ago was Moscow’s propaganda coup that the Soviet Union was supposedly no longer in existence and hence no longer a threat to the West. Conversely, the rationale for Russia’s remilitarization under President Vladimir Putin has been NATO’s foolhardy expansionism into the not-so-dormant Bear’s lair, Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, and the Caucasus. Got duct tape?

Russia to fly 20-30 strategic patrol missions every month
18:5204/ 04/ 2008

MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is set to drastically increase its number of strategic aviation patrol flights over the world’s oceans to 20-30 a month, the Air Force commander said on Friday.

“We will be making 20-30 flights a month, not two or three, as was the case until recently,” Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said.

He said that during their patrol missions Russian aircraft are accompanied by NATO F-15, F-16 and F-22 fighters, adding that the military alliance’s planes do not always comply with international rules.

“They behave tactlessly, to put it mildly – they approach too close [in breach of international regulations],” the commander said.

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 has been 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.

The Air Force command earlier 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.

Meanwhile, as part of the Kremlin’s remilitarization and weapons modernization program, the Russian Navy has announced that it will complete testing of its submarine-launched Bulava-M ballistic missile in 2008 and, more ambitiously, intends to add five to six aircraft carriers to its fleet of one between 2012 and 2060. Russia’s sole carrier is Admiral Kuztensov, which is currently deployed to the Northern Fleet and in January participated in multi-branch war games in the North Atlantic Ocean. In a previous post we reported that the Kremlin might cancel delivery to the Indian Navy of another Soviet-era aircraft carrier, Admiral Gorshkov, in order to refit that ship for service in Russia’s fleet. In the light of current events documented at this blogsite, I rather suspect that the Fourth World War will begin well before 2060.

>EU/USSR2 Files: Putin at Bucharest summit: Further NATO expansion "direct threat" to Russian security; Kremlin supports Georgia’s secessionist regions

>In one of his strongest statements against NATO expansionism, Russian President Vladimir Putin informed the press following a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, itself part of the wider NATO summit in Bucharest, that any “further expansion” of the organization toward Russia’s borders would be viewed as a “direct threat” to Russia’s security. In line with the Kremlin push for East-West convergence, Putin, like US President George W. Bush, falsely insists that the Cold War is over and that there are no more ideological divides between Russia and NATO, all the while reaffirming Moscow’s moratorium on the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty and saying little about its resumption of strategic aviation patrols last year. State-run Novosti reports:

The appearance on our borders of a powerful military bloc . . . will be considered by Russia as a direct threat to our country’s security. Our position on the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty had been taken into account by NATO. My impression is that I was heard by our partners on the CFE problem. They are prepared either to ratify the existing treaty or discuss new arrangements. In any event, we have to do something together rather than taking unilateral steps … such an approach has no future. A positive moment in today’s dialogue was that our national security concerns over the possible introduction of the missile shield proposed by our American partners were finally heard. I will continue to discuss the issue over the weekend with US President George Bush in Sochi.

A new Cold War is impossible as there were no more ideological divides in Europe. No, this is impossible. No one is interested in this. No global players, Europe, the United States and Russia, are interested in returning to the past. This is unnecessary. However, Russia will make no concessions to the West at the expense of its own security. Why should we be flexible if it’s a question of a threat to our security?

Putin was not dissuaded from making these comments by the fact that NATO previously announced that the organization would postpone considering the requests tendered by “post”-Soviet republics Georgie and Ukraine to join the military coalition. The neo-Soviet tyrant’s warning is all the more disengenuous and ironic since it was uttered in Bucharest, where the fatally compromised Western Alliance convened its summit. Romania is an “ex”-Soviet Bloc state that, while holding membership in the EU/NATO complex, covertly remains under Moscow’s thumb. NATO summit host Romanian President Traian Basescu, like most Eastern European and Central Asian heads of government and state, is a “ex”-communist. During an informal dinner on the summit sidelines, state-run Itar-Tass reports, Putin invited fellow “former” red Basescu to visit Moscow for bilateral consultations or, in other words, to make sure that the line of control from Moscow to Bucharest remains firm.

In another example of the Kremlin maintaining a line of control to its “former” (meaning current) satellites in Eastern Europe, Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov is visiting Slovakian counterpart Robert Fico in Bratislava. Zubkov and Fico are both, you guessed it, “ex”-communists.

Serbia/Kosovo: Another Soviet Bloc Trojan Horse Prepares to Enter the European Union

In a move that clearly reflects the Leninist strategy of projecting disunity among the Not-So-Former republics of the Soviet Union, fomenting nationalist discord in the “post”-Soviet space, and provoking the Western Alliance, which supports Georgia’s eventual membership in NATO, outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated that Russia will “provide all the necessary support and assistance to Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.” This announcement follows the rubber stamp State Duma’s resolution last month that the Kremlin should back independence for the two secessionist regions. Yesterday, the Russian Foreign Ministry, citing Putin, affirmed: “The Russian president stressed that Russia is not unsympathetic to the aspirations and problems to the two republics’ population, where many Russian nationals live. Any attempts to apply political, economic or especially military pressure on Abkhazia and South Ossetia are futile and counterproductive.” In an interview with Novosti, Abkhazian President and Komsomol graduate Sergei Bagapsh responded warmly to Moscow’s gesture: “Putin’s statement will guarantee security for our republics. This is how I understood it.” The Collective Security Treaty Organization, which is the military alliance undergirding the Commonwealth of Independent States, currently deploys Russian and Soviet peacekeeping troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

In addition to backing the aspirations of secessionists in Georgia, Russia has surrounded the “pro”-NATO regime in Tblisi by reconsolidating its Soviet-era relationship with Armenia, which recently elected “ex”-communist Prime Minister Sergei Sarkisian to the presidency. Following his promotion, Sarkisian dutifully travelled to Moscow where he pledged his obedience to Putin in a new strategic partnership. Russian politician Lyubov Sliska, vice speaker of the State Duma, however, wants to go one step further. Echoing the line of Communist Party of the Russian Federation Chairman Gennady Zyuganov, Sliska is insisting that Armenia and other “ex”-Soviet republics immediately join Russia and Belarus in their union state: “Europe is uniting. If establishment of union state with Belarus is being delayed, then we must move in other directions. We must unite with Armenia or any other state considering us their friend.” In short,

Meanwhile, yesterday Russian humanitarian aid has been delivered to ethnic Serbs living in two Kosovo enclaves, Lipljan and Gusterica, over the objections of the new regime in Pristina, itself an Islamo-Marxist-narco-terrorist foothold in the Balkans. Two days ago Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuci warned: “There is no chance for any goods to enter Kosovo without supervision.” Moscow’s airlift of supplies to Kosovo apparently contains only food and medicine, but Kosovar Serbs have in recent weeks publicly requested Russian arms to support a counter-secession in the northern part of the new state. Intriguingly, in the beginning of March, only several weeks after Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence and only several weeks before the arrival of Russian aid, Serbia abolished visa requirements for Russian citizens visiting that country.

Although the “non”-communist government of Serbia is closely allied with neo-Soviet Russia, bilateral relations have encountered a slight hiccough yesterday when pro-West ministers in Serbia’s caretaker government blocked an attempt by nationalists to launch the ratification process for a key energy agreement with Moscow, that includes Gazprom’s takeover of state-owned Petroleum Industry of Serbia and Belgrade’s involvement in the South Stream natural gas pipeline. Although President Boris Tadic’s Democratic Party is ostensibly “pro”-West albeit affiliated with the Socialist International, while Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica’s Democratic Party of Serbia is pro-Russian, the fact is both Tadic and Kostunica support the agreement and attended the signing ceremony in Moscow in January. One source reports: “Kostunica said that the agreement was ofvital interest for Serbia’s economy, and cited alleged Russian insistence that the deal be ratified as soon as possible. Pro-Western President Boris Tadic had argued that an agreement of such strategic importance must be ratified by the state institutions with full democratic authority after the May election. Tadic’s camp accused Kostunica of using the issue for election campaigning.”

Serbians will head to the polls on May 11 to elect a new government that could be more slavishly Russophile than the current one. The ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party presently holds the most seats in the National Assembly and, according to a Strategic Marketing poll conducted between March 17 and 19, the SRS has a slight lead over the other parties in terms of attracting potential voters.

Serbia occupies a complex role in the Soviet strategy for consuming Europe via the European Union, while at the same time holding the gun of nuclear blackmail to the West’s head. While most Serbian politicians are staunchly opposed to the secession of Kosovo from their country, a move that most EU states support, Belgrade is nevertheless seeking admission to the European superstate. Oliver Dulić, a member of President Tadic’s Democratic Party and speaker of the National Assembly, admitted yesterday: “I have tried to persuade commissioner [Olli] Rehn that the EU is supported by the majority of Serbians. But we must become an EU member state as quickly as possible – or at least let our citizens know that we are making real, rapid progress towards the EU. We could be a candidate country by the end of the year.”

>Middle East File: South Yemen’s formerly ruling communist party leads uprising in Aden, authoritarian Pres. Saleh sends in tanks, arrests red leaders

>Moscow-Trained Cadres of Yemen Socialist Party Find Employment with Al Qaeda, Trouble Authoritarian Regime of President Saleh

In 1990 communist South Yemen and non-communist North Yemen peacefully reunited under a power-sharing arrangement that permitted long-serving President Ali Abdullah Saleh of North Yemen to hold onto the presidency, while the Yemen Socialist Party held onto the premiership of the new state. In 1994, however, southern-based Yemeni communists seceded from the reunited republic but were quickly crushed by the Yemeni military, which is loyal to the Saleh. This past week, the story below reports, the Yemeni government has charged that “subversive elements” have engaged in acts of sabotage and rioting in the southern provinces. The YSP-led riots are fueled in part by the rising prices of staple foods, such as wheat, rice, and cooking oil, that have affected developing and industrialized countries alike, as well as a refusal by the Yemeni government to admit YSP cadres into the army.

New arrests as Yemen government and socialists trade charges
by Hammoud Mounassar
Thursday, April 3, 2008 – 15:30 AFP News Briefs List

Yemeni authorities arrested more activists in the south on Thursday as they traded charges with the southern-based Yemen Socialist Party (YSP) over protests that led to deadly clashes with security forces.

Two security men and a civilian were injured during arrests in the province of Lahj, witnesses said.

A local government source told AFP security forces were tracking down “five prominent political activists” and other people suspected of inciting this week’s protests.

Witnesses said five teachers were arrested in Lahj even though the troubles subsided in the province.

The unrest also died down in Aden and Dhaleh, the two other regions which were the scene of demonstrations since Sunday.

According to witnesses, one person was killed and four were injured on Wednesday when protesters clashed with security forces in Lahj. The interior ministry later denied there had been any fatality.

Dozens of people, including three YSP politicians, were rounded up on Tuesday in a swoop of activists suspected of inciting the unrest, relatives said.

The troubles began after southerners took to the streets to protest at the army’s refusal to admit a number from among them who responded to a recruitment campaign.

The YSP, the former ruling party in south Yemen, accused the government on Tuesday of seeking to “terrorise leaders of the peaceful protest movement” and pledged that peaceful protests would continue.

The charge was repeated on Thursday by the party’s secretary general Yassin Noman, who said the arrests were aimed at “thwarting … the nationalist democratic movement in Yemen.”

The government “deliberately ignores the proposals of (opposition) political forces,” Noman told AFP.

The government has charged that “subversive elements” had engaged in “acts of sabotage and rioting” in southern provinces, “attacking innocent citizens and damaging public property.”

According to witnesses, the properties of some citizens hailing from the north were attacked during the demonstrations.

Several protests have been held in south Yemen in recent months to demand greater state aid for more than 60,000 people retired from the military and civil service, most of whom insist they were forced out of their jobs.

Other demonstrations have been staged to denounce rising prices in Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries, and demand better public services.

Southerners often complain of discrimination since a 1994 secession bid led by socialists, which sparked a two-month civil war and was crushed by northern forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The former south Yemen merged with the north in May 1990.

A senior member of Saleh’s ruling party, the General People’s Congress (GPC), on Thursday accused the opposition of capitalising on social problems to further its aims.

“The opposition is clever at pouncing on problems and speaking about them, but it does not offer solutions,” Ahmad Obaid bin Daghr told AFP.

“The hardships about which people complain are not exclusive to southern provinces … The state is doing its best to reduce unemployment and poverty” in the Arabian Peninsula state, he said.

A GPC statement accused the protesters of trying to “revive the tragic events of … 1994 at the behest of forces that have lost their (privileges) and do not accept to play by democratic rules.”

Although secessionist slogans have been raised during the recent protests, the YSP and other main opposition parties are opposed to secessionist claims.

Source: France 24

This week’s red-orchestrated protests, however, prove that the YSP clearly refuses to surrender its dream of re-communizing this already impoverished country on the Arabian Peninsula. Yesterday, the Yemeni government deployed its tanks and security forces throughout the southern part of the country. The YSP leadership pledges that peaceful protests against Saleh’s authoritarian government will continue. The Socialist International recently upgraded the YSP’s status in that organization to “consultative.” More disturbing still, Evgenii Novikov, writing in 2004 for the Jamestown Foundation, exposes “The Soviet Roots of Islamic Militancy in Yemen” and the radicalization of today’s Islamic terrorists by Soviet ideologues as recently as 1987:

All terrorist training facilities formally belonged to the Yemen Socialist Party, which received Soviet support until 1987. During almost twenty years of Soviet presence in South Yemen, Soviet tutors trained tens of thousands of military, special services and ideological experts–all members of the YSP. Despite becoming the opposition party after the unification of Yemen in 1990, the YSP may have kept the property of the training facilities in the remote areas mentioned above. More importantly, however, experts from the party may have found new employers among al-Qaeda’s leaders. Specialized knowledge and experience of Soviet, German and Cuban state military and security agencies make such individuals very valuable to the terrorist organizations. Their ability, among other things, to hide from surveillance, conduct conspiracy work, produce and plant explosives, fight police and military units is augmented by the anti-American indoctrination they received from the Soviets. Former YSP experts believe the United States to be their main enemy, and this anti-Americanism makes them very comparable with militant Islamists of al-Qaeda and other Arab terrorist organizations.

On October 12, 2000, the USS Cole, a guided-missile destroyer, was damaged by an Al Qaeda suicide attack while harbored in the (formerly South) Yemeni port of Aden. Following this incident, YSP mouthpiece Al-Thawri (disengenuously?) implicated high-ranking military officers in the Cole bombing. Thus, in the covert alliance between the Moscow-trained communists of the Yemen Socialist Party and FSB proxy Al Qaeda we see a perfect example of the Islamo-Marxist nexus that is presently terrorizing the West. The alliance between the hammer and sickle and the crescent moon most visibly manifested itself in the destruction of that bastion of American capitalism, the World Trade Center, on September 11, 2001, the anniversary of the birth of Cheka founder Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, Vladimir Putin’s hero.

The YSP is currently allied through the Joint Meeting Parties Bloc with three other parties in the Yemeni parliament, the Islamist Yemeni Congregation for Reform, Nasserite Unionist People’s Organization, and Popular Forces Unionist Party. In the 2006 presidential election the JMP unsuccessfully fielded their candidate Faisal Bin Shamlan against President Saleh. For more than 20 years communist Bin Shamlan held important government posts in the defunct People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen. On March 12 the YSP general secretary condemned the Saleh regime for temporarily blocking the party website.

During the First Cold War, the Soviet Navy enjoyed access to South Yemen’s port facilities. Linkages between Yemen and “post”-communist Russia continue to this day. The Yemen state news agency reports that on March 17 Yemeni Ambassador to Russia Mohammed al-Hilali met with the Director of Arab and Islamic Studies at the Russian Academy of Science and the Director of the International Policy Institute at Moscow State University to discuss cultural, economic, and investment cooperation between the two states. In view of Russia’s Cold War-ear involvement in Yemen, it would not be unreasonable to conclude that Moscow’s Leninist masterminds have an abiding interest in controlling this strategically located country under the guise of “cultural, economic, and investment opportunities.”

>Africa File: Zimbabwe crackdown begins: Police raid opposition office, apprehend foreign reporters; election commission: results delayed indefinitely

>While we can only speculate about the behind-the-scenes machinations of the ZANU-PF regime following the March 29 general elections, it would definitely appear now, in view of the following developments, that Zimbabwe’s communist tyrant Robert Mugabe was taken by surprise by the extent of support for his opponent Morgan Tsvangirai and the “ex”-ZANU-PF cadre’s party, the Movement for Democratic Change.

On Thursday Mugabe made his first public appearance since last Saturday’s elections. State-run television showed Zimbabwe’s leader meeting the head of the African Union election observer mission, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, at his official residence in Harare. In confirmation of the widespread belief outside Zimbabwe that Mugabe intends to cling to power, the Press Association reports today that the regime’s crackdown on the opposition has apparently commenced:

A top opposition official in Zimbabwe says police have raided their offices at a Harare hotel in what he called the start of a “crackdown”.

Opposition party secretary-general Tendai Biti said police raided and ransacked several rooms used by the party at the downtown Meikles hotel. No one was arrested.

Paramilitary police in riot gear also raided a hotel used by foreign journalists in Harare and took away three or four reporters, according to reports.

Foreign journalists are in Zimbabwe to cover elections in which President Robert Mugabe’s party lost control of parliament.

Earlier the Zimbabwe Election Commission said the outcome of voting for the Senate had been delayed indefinitely due to “logistical problems”.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change fears 84-year-old Mr Mugabe may be delaying the announcement of the presidential results in the hope of finding a way to hang on to power.

Some observers believe that Mr Mugabe plans to use tactics of intimidation and violence during a three-week presidential run-off campaign to ensure victory in any second round of voting.

Representatives of the ZANU-PF regime are adamant in their insistence that Mugabe is not stepping down without a “fight.” Earlier today, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to the United Nations, Boniface Chidyausiku, insisted that his leader had no intention of exiting politics. Speaking to BBC News Chidyausiku referred to Nicaragua’s Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega, who made an unexpected comeback to the presidency after a 17-year hiatus: “Do not write him [Mugabe] off. There’s a possibility of a run off if neither of the candidates gets fifty percent plus one of the total vote, and I’m sure he will take that opportunity if the opportunity presents itself. What has happened to Zimbabwe is what happened to Nicaragua in the 1980s when Reagan unleashed the contras in Nicaragua and had an assault on the economy.” Meanwhile, Mugabe’s Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga, who was also interviewed by BBC News, declared that the 84-year-old leader was ready for a runoff election: “President Mugabe is going to fight. He is not going anywhere. He has not lost. We are going to go hard and fight and get the majority required.”