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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

 



Senate passes $636 billion defense spending bill

Senate passes $636 billion defense spending bill

WSWS
December 20, 2009

With overwhelming bipartisan support, the United States Senate passed a massive $636 billion military appropriations bill for 2010.

The bill includes some $128 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it does not fully fund the Obama administration’s escalation in Afghanistan, making likely further appropriations for war spending next year.

The deployment of 30,000 additional US troops is expected to cost $35 to $40 billion a year. On Wednesday, the Pentagon announced that the first of the new troops ordered to Afghanistan have begun to arrive.

All told, US military spending in 2010 will be close to $700 billion. If one adds the hundreds of billions of dollars in military-related spending included in the budgets of other departments, the total is as much as $1 trillion.

The overwhelming support for the bill, which passed 88-10 vote by the Senate on Saturday morning, demonstrates the bipartisan agreement in Washington on the war policy of the Obama administration. The vote comes shortly after President Barack Obama’s Nobel Prize speech, in which he outlined an expansion of US militarism.

Among the many separate provisions of the bill is the allocation of $80 million to acquire more unmanned Predator drones, currently being used to bomb both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The administration is planning on expanding these operations, including drone attacks against insurgents in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan that might target the large city of Quetta.

The Senate, which is currently discussing Obama’s health care overhaul, is expected to vote in support of the measure later this week.

Added on to the bill was a two-month extension of the anti-democratic Patriot Act, which also has bipartisan support. Other amendments to the bill temporarily extended jobless pay and health care assistance for the unemployed. These measures will be reexamined in February.

Meanwhile, states, cities and school districts throughout the country are imposing cuts to balance budget deficits that add up to a small fraction of the military spending bill.

School districts, in particular, are planning crippling cuts in preparation for the second half of the school year, beginning in January. Below are some examples of measures recently pushed through or planned:

• $550 million in K-12 education cuts in Michigan, leading school districts to lay off staff, close schools and eliminate programs.

• $300 million in cuts to K-12 education in Indiana. This amounts to an across-the-board 3-percent cut in the state’s education budget.

• $101.5 million less for public schools in South Carolina, adding to cuts of $85 million in September, along with $38.3 million in Medicaid cuts.

• $110 million in cuts to the 127,000-student Prince George County School District in Maryland, including 490 layoffs, an increase in class sizes, and teacher furloughs.

• $750 million withheld from local governments by New York Governor David Paterson, including funding cuts of between 10 percent and 30 percent for school districts.

• Plans for up to $470 million in cuts to public education in Los Angeles, California, including up to 8,000 layoffs.

The combined budget deficits for all 50 states this year was about $180 billion, less than one third of the military appropriation passed by the Senate.

 

Obama Approves $30 Billion in Military Aid to Israel Over Next Decade

Antiwar.com
December 18, 2009

As the single largest expense of the 2010 foreign aid budget, President Obama approved $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel, the first payment in a decade-long commitment that will reach at least $30 billion.

Last year, Israel’s military budget amounted to $13.3 billion, so the US funding is a significant portion of their overall expenditure. The US formerly provided both military and civilian aid, but it has since been folded entirely into military aid, at Israel’s request.

The money is not a blank check, however. The US requires that Israel spend at least 75% of the money given in military aid with US military contractors, effectively using the foreign aid budget to subsidize domestic weapon-makers.

In addition to military aid, the US also provides $3.148 billion in loan guarantees to Israel, part of a Treasury Department program aimed at keep Israel’s debt manageable. Ironically, though the US budget is spiraling out of control and America’s own debt continues to rise, there was no serious debate of reducing aid to Israel.

The budget also pledges $500 million in American aid to the Fatah Party’s Palestinian Authority. This aid is contingent on certain requirements, including that the group recognize Israel. This funding is distinct from any funding the CIA may give the Palestinian Authority’s security forces, which would be secret.

 



House Passes $1 Trillion Defense Budget

House Passes $1 Trillion Defense Budget

Alternet
September 28, 2008

On Wednesday, the House passed a mammoth defense bill by a 392-39 vote. It’s expected to clear the Senate with little difficulty next week.

It was part of a trillion-dollar stop-gap measure to keep programs running through next March, allowing lawmakers to skip town without passing a final budget. The Associated Press reports, “The legislation came together in a remarkably secret process that concentrated decision-making power in the hands of a few lawmakers.”

In keeping with the tradition of recent years, Bush held a gun to his own head and threatened to pull the trigger if his demands weren’t met. According to the AP, “To earn President Bush’s signature rather than a veto, House and Senate negotiators dropped several provisions he opposed. They include a ban on private interrogators in U.S. military detention facilities and what would have amounted to congressional veto power over a security pact with Iraq.”

In other words, Congress also maintained recent tradition, swearing not to give Bush a blank check and then whipping out their pens and signing a blank check.

The number that the House sent to the Senate for “defense” — $612 billion for the coming year — is eye-popping. Imagine a stack of 612,000 million-dollar bills. Quite a pile.

Read Full Article Here

There Might Be a Financial Crisis, But the World’s Arms Dealers Are Doing Just Fine
http://www.alternet.org/story/100801/

’If we don’t cut back military spending, the bankruptcy of the United States is inevitable’
http://www.tomdispatc..nson_the_pentagon_bailout_fraud

The Pentagon Bailout Fraud
http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/8379

Bush Administration Adds $4 Trillion To National Debt
http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2008/09/29/couricandco/entry4486228.shtml

 



U.S. Funds Sent To Al-Qaeda

U.S. Funds Sent To Al-Qaeda

Russia Today
September 23, 2008

A former Iraqi investigator said more then $US13 billion of the money allocated for reconstruction projects in Iraq was wasted or stolen, with some of it ending up in al-Qaeda’s coffers.

Salam Adhoob, a former chief investigator for Iraq’s Commission on Public Integrity – which U.S. officials call Iraq’s equivalent of the FBI – was reporting to the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, an arm of the Democratic caucus.

He said many of the projects funded by the U.S. ‘were not needed, and many were never built’ like an electricity project in Nineveh province that an oversight agency found ‘existed only on paper’, reports the Washington Post newspaper.

Embezzlement schemes were widely used for arms procurement, according to Adhoob. In one case Iraqi Defence ministry officials helped set up two front companies to buy combat vehicles and other equipment with $1.7 billion in U.S. funds. The companies were paid, but for some items only ‘a small percentage’ of the order was delivered and, in one case, the delivered bullet proof vests were defective and absolutely useless.

The ex-investigator said the Iraqi government was not interested in investigating such cases and many investigators feared for their lives. Adhoob said 32 of his colleagues have been killed over the three years he worked for the Iraqi agency, and he eventually fled the country himself because of death threats.

Adhoob said he reported the situation to the U.S. agency charged with detecting and rooting out cases of waste and abuse – the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. A spokeswoman for the agency commented that it continues to ‘actively follow up’ on the tip but would not discuss ongoing investigations.

Speaking along with Adhoob was an Iraqi American who worked as an adviser to Defense and State department officials in Iraq for five years. He testified in silhouette by a video link from an undisclosed location because, he said, he feared for his safety. In a modified voice, he accused Iraqi government officials of working with al-Qaeda members at the Baiji refinery to steal oil to sell on the black market.

 

$23 Billion Lost In Iraq

BBC
September 24, 2008

A BBC investigation estimates that around $23bn (£11.75bn) may have been lost, stolen or just not properly accounted for in Iraq.

The BBC’s Panorama programme has used US and Iraqi government sources to research how much some private contractors have profited from the conflict and rebuilding.

Read Full Article Here

Afghanistan Now 15X Deadlier than Iraq
http://ww..BD4BA1FB80B9ABA60042EF7E?diaryId=1936

 



Senate Passes $612B Defense Bill

Senate Passes $612B Defense Bill

Reuters
September 18, 2008

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a $612.5 billion defense spending bill for fiscal 2009, including $70 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As passed on an 88-8 vote, the measure would authorize $103.9 billion for Pentagon procurement, $1.2 billion more than President George W. Bush’s request. Overall, Bush had asked for $611.1 billion for national defense.

Read Full Article Here

Shocking Iraq Incident: 2 U.S. Soldiers Killed by Another
http://www.editorandpub..splay.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003850908

MoD accused of covering up injuries to troops
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new..f-covering-up-injuries-to-troops.html

“We Blew Her to Pieces”
http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/18859

‘US seeks secret bases in Iraq’
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=70001&sectionid=351020201

Satellite Image: Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq Preceded Drop In Violence
http://newsgrist.typepad.com/underbelly/2008/09/satellite-image.html

 



Cafferty: Saakashvili Started This Conflict With Russia

Cafferty: Saakashvili Started This Conflict With Russia


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

 



U.S. and NATO Warships Arrive at Georgia

US warship anchors at Georgian port

Press TV

August 24, 2008

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

The guided missile destroyer USS McFaul has anchored at the Georgian port of Batumi, escalating tensions in the conflict-stricken region.

The US says the destroyer, which arrived at the Black Sea port on Sunday, contains humanitarian aid including baby food, diapers, bottled water and milk, AP reported.

This is while the USS McFaul is outfitted with an array of weaponry, including Tomahawk cruise missiles, which can carry both conventional or nuclear warheads, and a sophisticated radar system.

The US Embassy said the destroyer was the first of five American ships scheduled to arrive this week.

Earlier, Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of Russia’s general staff said that the arrival of the ship and those of other NATO members would escalate tensions, adding that NATO is setting up a naval force in the Black Sea under the ’cover’ of aid deliveries to Georgia.

“Under the cover of needing to deliver humanitarian goods, NATO countries continue to boost their naval grouping,” Nogovitsyn told a news conference in Moscow on Saturday.

The US Navy does not say if the ships are carrying nuclear weapons for security reasons.

Georgian military forces attacked South Ossetia to retake control of the independence-seeking province on August 8. In response, Russia moved its forces to the region where most of the population holds Russian citizenship.

The conflict ended after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a French-brokered ceasefire deal last week.

At least 2,000 people in South Osettia and about 150 in Georgia were killed in the conflict. Also, about 40,000 people were displaced in areas around the conflict zone, according to International Committee of the Red Cross.

 

NATO Ships Enter The Black Sea

IHT

August 22, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lALlXKzkFw

NATO warships entered the Black Sea on Thursday for what the alliance said were long-planned exercises and routine visits to ports in Romania and Bulgaria.

The move is not linked to the tensions over Russia’s invasion of Georgia, which lies on the eastern shore of the Black Sea, about 900 kilometers (550 miles) from the Romanian coast, said officials at NATO’s military command in southern Belgium.

Three warships — from Spain, Germany and Poland — sailed into the Black Sea on Thursday. They are due to be joined by a U.S. frigate, the USS Taylor, later this week.

They are “conducting a pre-planned routine visit to the Black Sea region to interact and exercise with our NATO partners Romania and Bulgaria, which is an important feature of our routine planning,” said Vice-Adm. Pim Bedet, deputy commander at allied maritime headquarters in Northwood, England.

However, the move risks increasing tensions with Russia which has deployed ships from its Black Sea fleet to the Georgian coast.

The NATO flotilla includes Spain’s SPS Adm. Juan de Bourbon, Germany’s FGS Luebeck and the Polish ship ORP General K Pulaski. Romanian and Bulgarian ships will join them for exercises during a three-week deployment which NATO says has been planned for over a year.

Read Full Article Here

 

NATO suspends Russian council, supports Georgia’s government

AP

August 20, 2008

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

NATO pulled its punches against Russia on Tuesday, suspending formal contacts as punishment for the Georgia invasion but bucking U.S. pressure for more severe penalties.

The Russian ambassador to NATO played down the impact of the emergency meeting of the Western alliance.

“The mountain gave birth to a mouse,” said Dmitry Rogozin.

Although the allies said they would not convene any more meetings of the NATO-Russia Council until Russian troops withdraw from Georgia, they bowed to concerns from Europe — which depends heavily on Russia for energy — and stopped short of adopting specific long-term steps to punish Moscow for its actions.

“There can be no business as usual with Russia under present circumstances,” said Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the alliance’s secretary-general, after NATO foreign ministers met here.

“We are not abandoning the NATO-Russia Council, but as long as Russian forces are occupying large parts of Georgia, I cannot see the NATO-Russia Council meeting,” he told reporters.

Russia, which has accused the United States of wanting to dismantle the council, asked for a meeting last week but has been rebuffed thus far.

De Hoop Scheffer said “the future will depend on concrete actions from the Russian side,” but he was forced to add that “no specific decisions on programs or projects (with Russia) have been taken.”

The Russians have agreed to a cease-fire deal that requires a troop pullback, but at the Pentagon on Tuesday evening officials said the latest assessment by U.S. intelligence was that the Russians had shown no sign of beginning a substantial withdrawal. Two officials, discussing the intelligence assessment on condition of anonymity, said separately that Russian forces were holding their positions.

In a small victory for the United States, NATO foreign ministers did agree to show support for Georgia’s pro-Western government by creating a NATO-Georgia Commission to oversee the former Soviet republic’s bid to join the alliance and begin providing military training to its army.

Aid deliveries ’cover’ for NATO build up
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=67384&sectionid=351020602

Russia Warns of Corpse Provocation
http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/1010/42/370269.htm

Russian security source says Georgia planned attack year ahead
http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080823/116236332.html

Iraq invites Russian oil company back
http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D92M5K900.htm

Georgia set for military action – Russian General Staff
http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080822/116215518.html

Russia to keep 500 troops in Georgia buffer zone
http://wiredispatch.com/news/?id=308583

US: Russia must return any US equipment
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5g..mQ9wB4_FnH5KXkA

Russia Seizes U.S. Vehicles
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/23/georgia.russia

Germany’s Schroeder says Georgia sparked fighting
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LG340681.htm

The History of the Georgia, Russia Conflict
http://www.unobserver.com/inde..ayout5.php&id=5057&blz=1

Medvedev Vies With Putin in Word War
http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/600/42/369927.htm

Moscow: U.S. missile shield may spark arms race
http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/29298