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Flight 253 Event a Pretext For Yemen War

Obama Blames al-Qaeda for Christmas False Flag, Sets Stage for Yemen Attack

Kurt Nimmo
Prison Planet.com
January 3, 2010

On Saturday, Obama said the Christmas day non-attack over Detroit was the work of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the latest incarnation of the perennial boogieman used by government to frighten people into accepting foreign invasions and occupations and an ever-growing police state grid at home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxDXiZbPpjM

“We know that [Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab] traveled to Yemen, a country grappling with crushing poverty and deadly insurgencies. It appears that he joined an affiliate of al Qaeda, and that this group — Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — trained him, equipped him with those explosives and directed him to attack that plane headed for America,” Obama said in his address to the nation.

Nassir al-Wahishi is the new Osama bin Laden. He was appointed by Ayman al-Zawahiri to run AQAP in Yemen. Al-Zawahiri is a documented intelligence asset. His brother Zaiman al-Zawahiri fought for the CIA in Kosovo and ran terrorist camps under NATO protection in the U.S. zone in Kosovo.

Ayman, according to January 2000 U.S. Congressional testimony, was granted U.S. residence by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. This is almost impossible for many legitimate immigrants to obtain but is often granted to CIA assets that need to get in and out of the country as they perform their assignments.

Ayman al-Zawahiri founded the Egyptian Islamic Jihad with the help of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization long ago penterated and comprmised by British intelligence. The CIA funneled support to the Muslim Brotherhood in an effort to overthrow Egyptian president Gamal Abddul Nasser, considered the father of Arab nationalism.

“The real Muslim Brothers are those whose hands are never dirtied with the business of killing and burning,” Robert Dreyfuss summarized in 1980. “They are the secretive bankers and financiers who stand behind the curtain, the members of the old Arab, Turkish, or Persian families whose genealogy places them in the oligarchical elite, with smooth business and intelligence associations to the European black nobility (Bilderberg) and, especially, to the British oligarchy.”

The Islamist movement and in particular the violent Jihadist movement are creations of the elite and are used for political purposes contrary to those declared by their wild-eyed adherents who are generally patsies and useful idiots.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is but the latest assemblage of fanatics to be used by the elite to further their agenda of global domination and the mass murder and suffering it requires.

If Nassir al-Wahishi is connected to Ayman al-Zawahiri, it is a pretty safe bet to say he is a tool of the CIA as well. Nassir al-Wahishi also had a close relationship to the Big Kahuna of CIA operatives, the late Osama bin Laden.

“This is not the first time this group has targeted us,” Obama continued in his weekend address. “In recent years, they have bombed Yemeni government facilities and Western hotels, restaurants and embassies — including our embassy in 2008, killing one American. So, as president, I’ve made it a priority to strengthen our partnership with the Yemeni government-training and equipping their security forces, sharing intelligence and working with them to strike al-Qaeda terrorists.”

Obama’s statement came one day after Britain’s PM Gordon Brown called an “emergency summit” on “extremism” in Yemen. “Gordon Brown has invited key international partners to a high-level meeting in order to discuss how best to counter radicalization in Yemen,” a statement issued by Downing Street announced. “The prime minister will host the event on 28 January in London.”

“Yemen’s problems are many, and some are already spreading beyond its borders,” the establishment declares from the pages of The Washington Post. “Security and stability are deteriorating. The population is growing rapidly. The economy is collapsing. There are few good options today; things will look worse tomorrow. Immediate and sustained international attention is needed to at least lessen the impact of some problems.”

“While military and counterterrorism operations are critical, long-term development assistance is also necessary.”

Iranian Press TV comments: “Concerns are growing that the same fate as those of Afghanistan and Iraq, suffering violence despite years of foreign military presence, might await Yemen’s Muslim nation.”

 

Obama Administration Prepares Public Opinion for Attack on Yemen

globalresearch.ca
January 3, 2010

Five days after the unsuccessful attempt by a Nigerian student to set off a bomb aboard a Detroit-bound passenger jet, US military and intelligence officials are said to be preparing expanded military action against targets in Yemen, the Arab country where the student allegedly received terrorist training and was equipped with an explosive device.

A series of US media reports suggest that new US-backed military attacks inside Yemen are imminent. Citing “two senior US officials,” CNN reported: “The US and Yemen are now looking at fresh targets for a potential retaliation strike.”

The network said the officials “both stressed the effort is aimed at being ready with options for the White House if President Obama orders a retaliatory strike.” CNN continued: “The effort is to see whether targets can be specifically linked to the airliner incident and its planning. US special operations forces and intelligence agencies, and their Yemeni counterparts, are working to identify potential Al Qaeda targets in Yemen, one of the officials said.”

The network said the Obama administration and the long-time Yemeni dictator, Field Marshal Ali Abdullah Saleh, had reached an agreement to allow the US to fly cruise missiles, fighter jets and armed drones, used for remote-control assassinations, in Yemeni airspace. Talks were still ongoing on whether Saleh will give permission for the entry of US helicopter-borne Special Forces.

The report comes after a series of statements by top administration officials, including Obama himself, pledging that “all elements of US power” will be used in response to the failed attack on Northwest Flight 253. The White House has been under heavy fire from its Republican opponents over the evident security failure, and a military action would serve to divert public attention from the ongoing revelations of how the CIA and other US agencies ignored warnings about the impending attack.

Yemen’s foreign minister, Abu Bakr al Qirbi, told the BBC that his country was seeking stepped up military aid, presumably as part of a package deal—in effect, a bribe for allowing the country’s territory to be turned into a battlefield for US commandos.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration was discussing nearly tripling its military and counterterrorism aid to Yemen in the coming year. US aid jumped from $4.6 million in 2006 to $67 million this year, and would rise to as much as $190 million in 2010, according to “a senior military official.

Reuters, citing unnamed “defense and counterterrorism officials,” reported that “the Obama administration was exploring ways to accelerate and expand US assistance to Yemeni forces to root out the Al Qaeda leadership in the country, while keeping the role of the US military and intelligence agencies as behind the scenes as possible.”

The news agency reported a clash between Yemeni security forces and Al Qaeda fighters in the western Hudaydah province, around the town of Deir Jaber.

The Los Angeles Times cited a Yemeni terrorism expert as the source of an estimate that Al Qaeda has “as many as 2,000 militants and sympathizers exploiting the country’s economic and political chaos to create a base for jihad at the edge of the Persian Gulf.” This is ten times more than other media estimates of the number of such militants in Yemen, and 20 times the number of Al Qaeda forces said by US officials to be in Afghanistan now.

The Times report is part of an effort by the US media to portray Yemen as a lawless hotbed of terrorism and a major threat to the United States, in order to justify in advance an American attack, or even a full-scale invasion.

It was followed by an even more apocalyptic comment by “terrorism expert” Steven Emerson, interviewed Wednesday morning on CBS’ “Early Show.” He said that while the Pakistan-Afghanistan border was still “number one” for terrorist activity, the area surrounding the Gulf of Aden, including Yemen and Somalia, was “fast coming up the ladder.”

    “Yemen possibly could surpass Pakistan in the next year, given the terrorist trajectory for providing a haven for Al Qaeda,” he claimed. In light of the fact that the Obama administration is mobilizing 100,000 American troops as well as hundreds of warplanes and drones for combat along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, such a comparison is extremely ominous.

    Emerson took particular note of “literally scores of American Muslim students studying and being trained in Yemen to this day…. There’s a pool of potential terrorists out there that have Western passports that can board planes without visas.”

The clear goal of such far-fetched claims is to create a pogrom atmosphere directed against all young American Muslims, particularly those of Arab or East African origin.

These comments were made one day after press reports of an alleged abortive attempt by a Somali man equipped with explosive powder and a syringe to board a passenger jet in Mogadishu, the capital city. This is the same modus operandi as that of the Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, aboard Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day. The Somali was arrested by African peacekeeping troops on November 13 and never succeeded in getting on the plane.

The Washington Post, the leading newspaper in the US capital, published an editorial Wednesday noting that in the wake of the Christmas Day bombing attempt, allegedly originating in Yemen, “some are asking whether the United States should launch a military offensive in that impoverished Arabian nation.” The editorial continued: “The answer, of course, is that it already has.”

Citing a series of raids conducted by Yemeni and US forces, the Post praised the Obama administration for having “significantly stepped up US counterterrorism operations in Yemen,” including the dispatch of CIA and Special Forces personnel. But it warned: “Still, Yemen’s steady slide toward failed-state status in recent years means that it, like nearby Somalia, will probably demand concerted and multifaceted US engagement for years to come. More than Special Forces and missile strikes are needed.”

While declaring that “US ground troops are not needed, for now, in Yemen or Somalia,” the newspaper suggested that such forces may well be required in the future. It declared, “in those countries, as in Afghanistan, a strategy limited to counterterrorism will not eliminate the threat.”

Once again, as in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq, American imperialism is preparing a military bloodbath in an impoverished country, using a terrorist attack—in this case a failed attempt—as the pretext. According to reports by the UN and Yemeni government statistics, some 35 percent of the adult population of the country is unemployed. Yemen is the poorest of the Arab countries, has exhausted its very limited oil export capacity, and now faces severe water shortages.

But Yemen possesses, like Afghanistan and Iraq, a highly strategic geographic location, adjacent to Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, and the Red Sea, controlling access to the Suez Canal. Yemen also borders on the Gulf of Aden, the shipping route for much of the oil leaving the Persian Gulf.

US military forces are already deployed across the strait of Bab el Mandeb in Djibouti, the former French Somaliland, which remains a virtual French colony. Djibouti hosts thousands of French and US troops who could quickly move into Yemen if so ordered by Paris and Washington. A large US and NATO war fleet patrols shipping lanes through the Gulf of Aden and south along the Indian Ocean coast of Somalia.

 

Summary of Facts: Flight 253 Event

Examiner
January 2, 2009

The US government who lied for wars in other resource-rich countries are lying about what happened on Delta Flight 253 with an alleged underwear/crotch bomber. Below is a summary of facts reported at this time, along with a 4-minute news interview from Webster Tarpley, followed by an extensive interview of Mr. Tarpley by Alex Jones.:

Before the flight to the US:

    * Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab traveled to Yemen to meet with “terrorists.” However, his mother also lives in Yemen, which could also explain the visit.

    * The alleged terrorists in Yemen had been in Guantanamo Prison. They were released without trial by the Bush Administration even though they were reported as among the most dangerous detainees.

    * The government of Yemen reports that Islamic terrorists there have been arrested who have proven ties to Israeli intelligence.

    * Abdulmutallab’s father, though we are told is a retired “Nigerian banker,” ran their defense industry in close cooperation with Israeli Intelligence (Mossad).

    * Abdulmutallab’s father warned US embassy officials of his son’s dangerous behavior; this is corroborated with other US intelligence of warning.

    * Abdulmutallab’s visa to the US was never withdrawn, though he was on a “terrorist watchlist.” This would make his trip impossible unless protocol was ignored.

    * Flying from Nigeria, Abdulmutallab entered the Netherlands without passing through customs; impossible to do without assistance from an intelligence agency.

    * At the Amsterdam airport, Abdulmutallab was assisted by a man appearing to be Indian, who claimed Abdulmutallab was a Sudanese refugee with no passport (he would not have been allowed to enter the EU without a passport through customs). This man and whoever authorized boarding without a passport are huge stories we haven’t heard. Where is the airport videos of this?

    * Airport security in Amsterdam is contracted to an Israeli company with the most sophisticated technologies who had developed the concept of security profiling.

During the flight to the US:

    * Witnesses reported a man standing ten rows behind Abdulmutallab stand and use his camcorder to film the incident before it began. This important testimony was not pursued to discover the identity and role of this seemingly complicit person.

    * Witnesses report Abdulmutallab was oddly vacant and calm; typical of a programmed

    “Manchurian Candidate.” This might explain the behavior of the person filming: a “handler” who gave the code for Abdulmutallab to perform an act. Manchurian Candidates are now acknowledged historical fact. Research this if you are unfamiliar with the disclosed history.

After the flight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq2gz0Zr0jQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv8sSHphscg

 



U.S. Used Depleted Uranium in Australia, Japan, Puerto Rico

U.S. Used Depleted Uranium in Australia, Japan, Puerto Rico

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5186318043118239136&hl=en#

 



Blackwater’s Child Prostitution Ring EXPOSED

Ex-employees claim Blackwater pimped out young Iraqi girls

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAQs_Q-CraU

 

Obama Continues To Pay BLACKWATER Millions To Be In Iraq

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbTKVGT2tJ8

 



U.S. Imported Taliban in Iraq to Kill U.S. Troops

Western Governments Funding Taliban & Al-Qaeda To Kill U.S. Troops, Destabilize Countries

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
July 2, 2009

Recent revelations concerning the U.S. importing Taliban members into Iraq to foster false flag terrorism is merely the tip of the iceberg when compared to the U.S. intelligence complex’s multi-decade history in sponsoring Sunni Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist groups around the world.

Wayne Madsen recently revealed how Taliban fighters were being imported from Afghanistan into Iraq to attack civilians and U.S. soldiers, as well as how Muqtada al-Sadr’s al-Mahdi Army was being allowed to import materials to make IEDs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swVEdivDTJs

However, this is just one aspect of how the U.S. has used terrorist groups as pawns on the global chessboard, moving them around the globe in line with their geopolitical objectives.

As is voluminously documented, the U.S. first worked covertly with Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan from 1979-1989.

Following this, the Al-Qaeda pawns were moved on to Bosnia shortly after the outbreak of war in 1992 to fight against Bosnian Serbs who were subsequently the target of NATO air strikes.

Following the end of the war, “hundreds of Bosnian passports were provided to the mujahedeen by the Muslim-controlled government in Sarajevo,” according to Lenard Cohen, professor of political science at Simon Fraser University. This all happened with the approval of the United Nations and the United States, who had brokered the peace deal to end the war.

“They also set up secret terrorist training camps in Bosnia — activities financed by the sale of opium produced in Afghanistan and secretly shipped through Turkey and Kosovo into central Europe,” reports the National Post.

Shortly before the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the Sunni terrorist groups moved into Kosovo, Serbia’s southern province, to aid the Kosovo Liberation Army, the Albanian terrorist faction that was being supported by the U.S. and NATO in its terror campaign against Serbs in the region.

“The United States, which had originally trained the Afghan Arabs during the war in Afghanistan, supported them in Bosnia and then in Kosovo,” reports the Post.

With the help of Bin Laden’s terror network, backed up by the U.S. and NATO, no less than 90% of Serbians were “ethnically cleansed” and forced to leave the region, while the international media played its role dutifully in portraying the Albanians as the “victims” of Serbian aggression.

As Professor Michel Chossudovsky writes, “The fact of the matter is that the Atlantic Alliance had been supporting a terrorist organization. The KLA was not supporting the rights of ethnic Albanians. Quite the opposite. The activities of this terrorist organization on the ground, in Kosovo, provided NATO and the US with the pretext to intervene on humanitarian grounds, claiming that the Serb authorities had committed human rights violations against ethnic Albanians, when in fact the NATO sponsored KLA was involved in terrorist acts on behalf of NATO, which triggered a response from the Serb police and military.”

Barely weeks before 9/11, former members of Al-Qaeda who had subsequently joined the Kosovo Liberation Army were airlifted out of Macedonia by U.S. paratroopers.

As German sources reported, “Samedin Xhezairi, also known as Commander Hoxha, joined the Kosovo Liberation Army when armed conflict in Kosovo began, fighting in three operation zones. He was a fighter in Chechnya, trained in Afghanistan and acted as the commander of the Mujahideen 112th Brigade operating in the summer of 2001 in the region of Tetovo [Macedonia]. In August of the same year 80 members of the 3/502 battalion of U.S. paratroopers evacuated him from Aracinovo [Macedonia], together with his Albanian extremists and 17 instructors of the U.S. private military company MPRI which was training the Albanian paramilitary formations.”

“In other words, the US military was collaborating with Al Qaeda, which according to the Bush administration was involved in the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. Yet, the US military was working hand in glove with “enemy number one” barely a few weeks before 9/11, and we are led to believe that the Bush administration is committed to waging a battle against Al Qaeda,” wrote Chossudovsky.

Following the invasion of Afghanistan, MSNBC reported that in November 2001, hundreds of Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters were rescued from Kunduz and flown out on Pakistani air force cargo planes. This could not have possibly happened without the approval of U.S. forces who had secured the region.

With the U.S. now attacking targets in Pakistan under the pretext of going after the Taliban, the lineage of how this situation developed, with the U.S. moving their pawns around the globe at the most opportune times, can be clearly traced.

All the more revealing therefore were the comments of Qari Zainuddin, a former Taliban leader who defected to the Pakistani government, alleging that the Taliban were senselessly attacking civilian targets and that they were working with U.S. and Israeli intelligence. A few days after he dropped this bombshell, Zainuddin was shot dead.

Meanwhile, in Iran, A senior member of the Jundullah terrorist group confessed in an Iranian court case to being trained and financed by the U.S. and Israel.

Jundullah is a Sunni Al-Qaeda offshoot organization that was formerly headed by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Under the 2007 program aimed at destabilizing Iran and fomenting regime change, the U.S. government is arming and bankrolling Jundullah to carry out terrorist attacks in Iran, such as the May bombing of a mosque in Sistan-Baluchestan which killed 25 people.

In addition, the fingerprints of another U.S. sponsored terror group, Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), which was formerly allied with Saddam Hussein in Iraq, have been found in the recent election unrest in Iran. In addition to supporting terror groups from Iraq, the Anglo-American establishment has also staged terror attacks, such as the February 2006 Samarra mosque bombing.

And if there aren’t enough terrorists in supply, why not just dress up and pretend to be them? That’s what two British SAS members did when they were caught dressed in Arab garb with fake beards, driving a car full of explosives while shooting at Iraqi police officers in Basra in September 2005.

After the SAS men were caught in the act and taken to jail, U.S. and British forces launched a rescue operation, blowing up half the prison and allowing 150 inmates to escape.

All over the Middle East and the Balkans, from Afghanistan, to Bosnia, to Serbia, to Pakistan, to Iraq and to Iran, the United States, through black budget programs, has funded and armed Sunni Al-Qaeda terrorist groups to destabilize and topple regimes targeted by the Anglo-American establishment.

This documented fact debunks the “war on terror” as a cruel hoax and exposes how current events in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran are being carefully orchestrated while the media sells the public on the belief that manufactured sock-puppet enemies, and not geopolitical domination and control of resources and the global drug trade, are why these wars are being fought, when in reality groups like Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are firmly in the pocket of the U.S. military-industrial complex.

Iran Finds US-Backed Terrorists in Riots

 



761 U.S. Military Bases Across the Planet

761 U.S. Military Bases Across the Planet

Alternet
September 8, 2008

Here it is, as simply as I can put it: In the course of any year, there must be relatively few countries on this planet on which U.S. soldiers do not set foot, whether with guns blazing, humanitarian aid in hand, or just for a friendly visit. In startling numbers of countries, our soldiers not only arrive, but stay interminably, if not indefinitely. Sometimes they live on military bases built to the tune of billions of dollars that amount to sizeable American towns (with accompanying amenities), sometimes on stripped down forward operating bases that may not even have showers. When those troops don’t stay, often American equipment does — carefully stored for further use at tiny “cooperative security locations,” known informally as “lily pads” (from which U.S. troops, like so many frogs, could assumedly leap quickly into a region in crisis).

At the height of the Roman Empire, the Romans had an estimated 37 major military bases scattered around their dominions. At the height of the British Empire, the British had 36 of them planetwide. Depending on just who you listen to and how you count, we have hundreds of bases. According to Pentagon records, in fact, there are 761 active military “sites” abroad.

The fact is: We garrison the planet north to south, east to west, and even on the seven seas, thanks to our various fleets and our massive aircraft carriers which, with 5,000-6,000 personnel aboard — that is, the population of an American town — are functionally floating bases.

And here’s the other half of that simple truth: We don’t care to know about it. We, the American people, aided and abetted by our politicians, the Pentagon, and the mainstream media, are knee-deep in base denial.

Now, that’s the gist of it. If, like most Americans, that’s more than you care to know, stop here.

Where the Sun Never Sets

Let’s face it, we’re on an imperial bender and it’s been a long, long night. Even now, in the wee hours, the Pentagon continues its massive expansion of recent years; we spend militarily as if there were no tomorrow; we’re still building bases as if the world were our oyster; and we’re still in denial. Someone should phone the imperial equivalent of Alcoholics Anonymous.

But let’s start in a sunnier time, less than two decades ago, when it seemed that there would be many tomorrows, all painted red, white, and blue. Remember the 1990s when the U.S. was hailed — or perhaps more accurately, Washington hailed itself — not just as the planet’s “sole superpower” or even its unique “hyperpower,” but as its “global policeman,” the only cop on the block? As it happened, our leaders took that label seriously and our central police headquarters, that famed five-sided building in Washington D.C, promptly began dropping police stations — aka military bases — in or near the oil heartlands of the planet (Kosovo, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait) after successful wars in the former Yugoslavia and the Persian Gulf.

As those bases multiplied, it seemed that we were embarking on a new, post-Soviet version of “containment.” With the USSR gone, however, what we were containing grew a lot vaguer and, before 9/11, no one spoke its name. Nonetheless, it was, in essence, Muslims who happened to live on so many of the key oil lands of the planet.

Yes, for a while we also kept intact our old bases from our triumphant mega-war against Japan and Germany, and then the stalemated “police action” in South Korea (1950-1953) — vast structures which added up to something like an all-military American version of the old British Raj. According to the Pentagon, we still have a total of 124 bases in Japan, up to 38 on the small island of Okinawa, and 87 in South Korea. (Of course, there were setbacks. The giant bases we built in South Vietnam were lost in 1975, and we were peaceably ejected from our major bases in the Philippines in 1992.)

Read Full Article Here

 



Russian Parliament Votes to Recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia
Russian Parliament Votes to Recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia

Bloomberg
August 25, 2008

Both houses of the Russian parliament called on President Dmitry Medvedev to recognize the independence of two breakaway Georgian regions that sparked Russia’s first foreign military incursion since the Soviet era.

“Today we are faced with, I’m not afraid to say, a historic decision, to call upon the president of the Russian Federation to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” Sergei Mironov, the speaker of the upper house, said in an address to lawmakers in Moscow today.

South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which broke away from Georgia in wars in the early 1990s, have cited Kosovo’s Feb. 17 declaration of independence from Serbia as a precedent for their aspirations. Medvedev — who alone can decide on whether to recognize the territories — has said previously that Russia supports the regions’ decisions on their future status, while stopping short of formally recognizing them. President George W. Bush has insisted the regions remain a part of Georgia.

Both the lower chamber, the state Duma, and the upper house, the Federation Council, voted unanimously in support of independence.

“Medvedev will recognize both regions,” said Alexander Rahr, a Russia expert at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. “There’s no way out,” he said. “This is a consequence of the recognition of Kosovo by the West and Western policy in the Balkans.”

 

Upper chamber backs independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Russia Today
August 25, 2008

Russia’s upper chamber of parliament has unanimously voted to ask the Russian President to recognise independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

As the emergency session of the Federation Council began in Moscow, the presidents of the two breakaway republics have once again said they will never agree to remain within Georgia.

In his speech, the President of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, said that both unrecognised states have more right to independence than Kosovo.

“As President of South Ossetia and on behalf of the South Ossetian parliament and its people, with all gratitude to the President of the Russian Federation I once again call for the recognition of South Ossetia as an independent state,” he said before the senators.

Abkhazian President Sergey Bagapsh, for his part, said neither Abkhazia nor South Ossetia will live as one state with Georgia.

Meanwhile, the Parliament’s lower chamber, the State Duma will most probably back the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, said Konstantin Zatulin, deputy head of the Duma Committee for International Affairs.

MPs have gathered to discuss draft appeals to the Russian President and the parliaments of UN member states in connection with Georgia’s military attack on South Ossetia.

In his address the Speaker of the Duma, Boris Gryzlov, called Georgia’s action a case of genocide and compared it to the aggression of Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union.

Even if Russia recognises Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the entire process will take a long time. There will be a need to decide what form their independence will take.

But if NATO makes a strong push to bring Georgia into the alliance, Russia will recognise both of them instantaneously, says RT’s political commentator Peter Lavelle.
Hard road to independence

South Ossetia, which borders Russia in the south Caucasus, and Abkhazia on the Black Sea had previously attempted to break away from Georgia following referendums which were overwhelmingly in favour of independence. The results were ignored by Tbilisi, which claimed the ethnic Georgians forced to flee the regions were not consulted. The recent conflict in South Ossetia has added further urgency to the demands for self-determination.

The roots of the current discord can be traced back to the divide and conquer policies of Joseph Stalin – himself half Georgian, half Ossetian. Before the 1917 revolution, the ethnic groups of the Caucasus all lived as separate subjects of the Russian empire. However, with the Bolsheviks came the redrawing of the map, with both South Ossetia and Abkhazia becoming parts of Georgia.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, the then Georgian leader Zviad Gamsakhurdia advocated a nationalist “Georgia for the Georgians” policy, re-opening old wounds. Two military conflicts followed, leaving thousands dead and forcing many more to flee the conflict zones.

The ceasefire in the early 1990s brought de-facto independence to both regions with the shaky truce maintained by peacekeeping forces of mainly Russian troops.

Russia has never recognised the independence of either republic, although Georgia has repeatedly accused Moscow of trying to annex its territory.

Since becoming president in 2004, Mikhail Saakashvili has pledged to bring his country closer to the West, which has also motivated his drive to end the territorial disputes.

Ossetians and Georgians have lived side by side for centuries. The two groups share Soviet history and the Orthodox Christian religion and intermarriage is common. But the ties that once bound their cultures have been severely damaged in the trauma of the recent fighting. Kosovo’s self-declared independence in February, too, has boosted these regions’ ambitions.

Most Abkhazians and South Ossetians carry Russian passports and the only valid currency is the Russian rouble. In addition, both self-declared republics have presidents, flags, national anthems, armies and Moscow’s support.

 



Russia Threatens Military Action Over U.S. Missile Shield

Russia Threatens Military Action Over U.S. Missile Shield

David Charter
Times Online
July 8, 2008

Russia tonight threatened to retaliate by military means after a deal with the Czech Republic brought the US missile defence system in Europe a step closer.

The threat followed quickly on from the announcement that Condoleezza Rice signed a formal agreement with the Czech Republic to host the radar for the controversial project.

Moscow argues that the missile shield would severely undermine the balance of European security and regards the proposed missile shield based in two former Communist countries as a hostile move.

“We will be forced to react not with diplomatic, but with military-technical methods,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry did not detail what its response might entail.

Dr Rice, the US Secretary of State, hailed the agreement as a step forward for international security.

After 14 months of negotiations, the US is struggling to clinch agreement with its other proposed partner – Poland – where it hopes to locate the interceptor missiles designed to shoot down any incoming rockets.

Read Full Article Here

 

U.S. plays down Russian warning on missile shield

Olivier Knox
AFP
July 8, 2008

The United States urged Russia on Wednesday to join its planned missile defence as “equal partners” and played down a warning from Moscow that it might react militarily to the system.

“We seek strategic cooperation on preventing missiles from rogue nations like Iran from threatening our friends and allies,” said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe. “We will continue to have a dialogue with the Russians.”

“We want to design a system between the United States, Russia and Europe, with everyone participating as equal partners,” Johndroe said on the margins of a rich nations summit at this mountain resort in northern Japan.

Washington says it needs to base interceptor missiles in Europe to form a shield to stop possible attacks by states like Iran or North Korea.

US President George W. Bush and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev clashed on the controversial plan on Monday, in their first face-to-face talks since the Russian leader took office in May.

And Russia warned Tuesday that it would react militarily if Washington erected installations on its Cold War turf, hours after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed a deal to base some components in the Czech Republic.

Read Full Article Here

 

Russia starts large-scale naval exercise in the Pacific

RIA Novosti
July 11, 2008

Over 20 combat and auxiliary ships from Russia’s Pacific Fleet started on Tuesday a large-scale naval exercise in the Sea of Japan, which includes live firing drills, a fleet spokesman said.

“The exercise is part of the summer combat training program,” Captain 1st Rank Roman Martov said. “More than 20 combat and auxiliary ships will participate in about 20 individual and group drills.”

The core of the naval task force participating in the exercise consists of the Varyag, a Russian Slava-class missile cruiser dubbed ’the killer of aircraft carriers,’ the Bystry, a Sovremenny class destroyer, and a group of missile boats.

According to the exercise scenario, the Russian naval task force and shore-based naval aircraft are tasked with the search and destruction of an ’aggressor force’ attempting to establish a beachhead on the Russian coast.

The ships will conduct a series of live firing drills against ground, surface, and air targets.

During the exercise, the Varyag and the Bystry will test-fire new surface-to-air missiles at a target drone.

Russian strategic bombers continue Arctic, Atlantic patrols
http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080709/113588157.html