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John Robles

Articles and Interviews by John Robles From  01-10-2012 to 08-31-2012 

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On this page you will find interviews with, and articles by: Rick Rozoff, Kristinn Hrafnsson, John Robles, David Couper, Professor Scott Horton, Debra Sweet, Alon Ben-Meir, Gary G. Sick, Michael John Smith, Tim Summers, Eugene R. Fidell, Craig Rouskey, Dragan Antakovic, Elena Svachich, Serbian National Organization #1389, Dale Herspring, Trevor Harvey, Danijela Dragovic, Jovan Deretic, Kris Hermes, Rachael Perrotta, John Cox, Maryam Al-Khawaja, Jacob Appelbaum, Christine Assange, Scott Ludlam, Tim Summers, Francis Gary Powers Junior, Frank Zimring, Jovan Deretic, Andreas Fink, Kristian Cars, Mary Kostakidis, Amos Miers, Tighe Barry, Greg Barns, Kristinn Hrafnsson 

10 January 2012, 11:18    31 August 2012, 18:57

US Defense Act 2012: Open Ended War

Professor Scott Horton

US Defense Act 2012: open-ended war

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Interview with Scott Horton, New York attorney known for his work in emerging markets and international law, an expert in the law of armed conflict, a contributing Editor to Harper's Magazine where he covers legal and national security issues and writes No Comment, a widely read blog about human rights and international law. He also lectures at Columbia Law School and is a co-founder of the American University in Central Asia

I’d like to ask you some questions regarding the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012. Why is a provision that would allow indefinite detention of even American citizens being pushed through in this Bill?

That’s an excellent question. In fact, the Obama administration has been celebrating the success of military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of the president senior advisors talk about a victory over Al-Qaeda, they say the members of the terrorist combatants have been reduced into the hundreds. But Republicans in the Senate had been pushing quite aggressively for a measure designed to declare a forever war, basically war that has no end and to designate the American homeland itself as part of the battlefield and in that connection the both of those matters somewhat controversial but in connection with this effort they’d also introduced sections designed to give a U.S. Statutory basis to the president’s authority to detain American citizens and I think that’s had quite a bit of negative backlash in the United States both among Conservatives and among Liberals.

Why would the U.S. want an open-ended war?

There is no military reason for this and in fact most of the generals in Pentagon consider it to be not very smart. Of course, they’d rather define a war in terms that it could be won, that they could claim victory. So, this is purely a partisan political exercise, which has been driven largely by the Republicans and in this case I think they have a number of different points: one is to prevent the administration claiming the victory in the current conflict; but another is to force Barack Obama to keep Guantanamo open forever to prevent him from his campaign pledge to close Guantanamo, there are whole series of provisions designed to do this. 

Who’s benefiting from this endless war on terror?

The bottom-line here is that people who press an idea: boundless executive power and authority at the expense of civil liberties come up on top because these measures basically undermine the Bill of Rights and the protections in the Bill of Rights by elevating the role of military law and the role of military in the criminal justice system so that Bills has a much more powerful presidency and weakens the position of the judiciary and the normal civil administration of justice.

How does this fly in the face of Habeas Corpus: the 4th Amendment regarding unreasonable seizure, the 5th Amendment, which prohibits the deprivation of liberty, the 6th Amendment, the Universal declaration of human rights, etc.?

It’s all basically designed to establish the precedence of military law that is law of war, law of conflict over civil liberties, particularly the civil liberties that are found in the American Bill Of Rights but also International Doctrines, International Govermenets and International Customary Law.

What’s really going on here?

The defenders of the legislation say they are not doing anything new, that all they are doing is stating the law that already exists and the president has the power to arrest the American citizens who are fighting for their enemy. In war time, of course, during World War II in fact there were Americans who fought on the side of the Germans and the Italians during the war who were captured and held as prisoners of war. I think they are correct about that but the concern we have here is that this war is really rather loosely defined, it’s war against terrorists, the terrorist group, the groups that are associated with them are the enemy and the definition of who would be enemy changes all the time, so I think we get a lot of borderline cases where for political reasons organizations are described suddenly as the enemy and people who had anything to do with them are described as having a provided material support to them and they can be treated as an enemy in this term. So, I think the changing definition, departures from traditional laws of war are what cause the real concern here.

So, I mean, basically they could come in with tanks and just take control of any city if they want?

That’s one of the major concerns civil libertarians have raised about this legislation because at the end of the American Civil War there was the Statute issued, the Posse Comitatus Act, which outlawed the use of the military as a domestic police force in the United States. And I think these measures seem to be undermining the Posse Comitatus Act, they seem to be opening the door for the use of the military for police purposes on the territory of the United States. That’s a big concern. And I think a lot of the procedures we see: American citizens being tried and others being tried before military tribunals. If we look at examples around the world where democratic societies had deteriorated into dictatorships – in Latin America, also in Europe between the wars, and in South-East Asia and other places, it consistently follows the pattern like this when we see a termination or suspension of civilian justice and we see introduction of the military justice procedures, so what’s been done in the Statute is chilling.

We are almost out of time, I am sorry. So, president Obama originally threatened to veto this Bill, then apparently he changed his mind.

He objected to the limitations on his authority as Commander-in-chief, there are also raised questions about some of the civil liberties issues. But the bottom-line is that this is an appropriation’s bill that contains the salary for military officers, their pensions – these questions put a lot of pressure on him to find a way to accommodate and we are expecting, I think, in next couple of days to see a signing statement issued by the president, which is going to state how he interprets it and I think a lot of us now are expecting that he will try to address some of the concerns in the civil liberties area winning sides legislation. If not, there’s going to be a lot of disappointment among his followers. The very important consideration here is Guantanamo: what’s going to happen with this Guantanamo facility. We might call this Statute the Guantanamo Forever Act that seems designed to force the administration to keep Guantanamo opened forever and to send new people there, which I think is very disagreeable to Barack Obama who, of course, pledged to close it but seems to be facilitating political objectives of the Republic

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US and Habeas Corpus: Interests First, Freedoms Second

Debra Sweet

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Interview with Debra Sweet, Director of The World Can't Wait, which is a series of websites and a movement in the US. They are active and attempting to stop, among other things, aggressive wars by the US.

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My first question regards the National Defense Authorization Act, under which an Indefinite Detention Clause was passed, also censorship under the SOPA act. Starting with the PATRIOT Act, it seems like human rights have been stripped away one after the other in the US. Would you characterize the US as a police state?

I don’t know that I would characterize the US across the board as a police state. Certainly, in many other countries and historically there are places where people can’t even gather, not to mention US-backed states, where protesters have been shot and killed during the Arab Spring with impunity. A lot of that comes back to the US backing of very authoritarian governments around the world. One can say that, since 9/11, since the Bush regime used the attack on the World Trade Center as a pretext to unleash an endless war on the world, apparently it’s been continued by the next administration. Civil liberties and the protection of the first ten amendments have been, which are known in the US as the Bill of Rights, has been severely restricted and now we see that what the US instituted 10 years ago, on January 11th 2002, when it opened its illegal prison in Guantanamo, it allowed the US for years to hold men with no access to Habeas Corpus right, no charges against them. And, in fact, there have been very intense court battles within the US to try to get those men any rights at all. And, in fact, 171 are still being held indefinitely. All this has become a model, as a way that the US can keep people indefinitely without charges and now, as you are mentioning, under the law that Barack Obama signed last Saturday, on the last day of the year, there is a situation where the US now, through the President, can hold people indefinitely under custody of the US military. And this definitely includes US citizens, as well as anyone else. This is under charges “suspicion of involvement with terrorism”. You may call it a police state – and it has a real fascist tinge to it, because it’s setting out a situation where people can be grabbed based on what the President thinks you are thinking about and presumably held by the military forever either in this country or outside of it. And we understand that the US has employed “black sites”, third-country prisons, in addition to what it’s done in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in Guantanamo.

As far as I know, Habeas Corpus is gone in the US. For all intents and purposes, the PATRIOT Act addition killed it, right?

I don’t like to make statements like that. There certainly are people who are being charged and tried and there is some due process. People are not literally all the time just locked away. However, there is a direction here and it’s extremely alarming. The attacks on Habeas Corpus began with disallowing people who were not citizens from having those rights. Now, we see citizens suffering, in fact, targeted assassination by the Obama administration. Three US citizens were killed in 2011 in drone strikes in Yemen not on the basis of having been charged, convicted of any crimes, not on the basis of having been sentenced to death by a court by because they were put on a CIA targeted assassination list and that these assassinations were authorized clearly by Barack Obama – and he says that he did it. This is a change. The Bush administration had somebody killed in a targeted drone strike years ago but they never claimed responsibility for it. It wasn’t public, they didn’t argue that it was OK under the international law.

How many people right now are being held indefinitely for crimes that they might commit against the US?

This is exactly why we are having a protest next Wednesday, January 11th, in Washington – because there are probably 2,000 men being held by the US in Bagram, Afghanistan, at a prison at the air force base. And because the Obama administration argues so that these men are being held in a war zone they cannot have Habeas Corpus rights. These men are held without charge. Who knows why they are being held. A lot of Afghani families only learn that their male members have been taken to this prison in Bargam because they cannot find them anywhere else. We don’t have a list from the Red Cross about who they are. We don’t have a list of charges, there is no lawyer who could go in and visit them. And this is in Afghanistan, where the US is “to set up a democratic country.”

This is what’s going on all over the world with the US. I find it extremely disturbing.

You really have to go to ask the question what kind of a government occupies other countries for a decade, which is what’s happening in Afghanistan. I know that the popular idea is that the Iraq war’s over and that the US has withdrawn troops, but clearly the occupation continues. The US has no intention of giving up its sphere of influence in Iraq. It is now making serious threats against Iran. Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain – all of these military governments have been propped up by the US all along. People’s righteous demands for political freedom and just the right to live have not been listened to by the US in any serious sort of way. Note, the US continues to have secret talks with the Egyptian military and prop up this government. So, the US is not in these countries either to bring democracy, to stop the weapons of mass destruction or to do anything than to further its interests as an aggressive imperialistic actor. We have a slogan in World Can’t Wait: Humanity and the Planet Come First.

16 January 2012, 15:17

Time is Running Out for Iran

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir

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Interview with Dr. Alon Ben-Meir, Middle East expert, a professor from the Center of the Global Affairs at New York University

19 January 2012, 12:25

"The price of war with Iran would be enormous"

Doctor Gary G. Sick

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Interview with Dr. Gary G. Sick, the senior research scholar and the adjunct professor of the International Affairs at Columbia University. Mr. Sick has also served on the U.S. National Security Council under presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan and is one of the world’s imminent Iranian specialists.

I’d like you ask you some questions regarding the Iranian situation as things seem to be escalating more and more each day. Can you give us some insight into what the current situation is down there?

The situation is, I would say, extremely complicated right now. The U.S. Congress has passed new sanctions, Iran has indicated that it regards these sanctions, especially if they interfere with Iran’s ability to sell its oil, they would regard that as an act of war. And they have carried out exercises in the Strait of Hormuz and then if their oil is interfered with, they will take action to see that other people pay for it as well.

In reality how ready is the U.S. right now to begin a military campaign in the region against Iran?

Probably the very last thing that president Obama wants to have at this point is a war with Iran. He has had two wars that he is winding down, he has some rather severe budgetary problems on his hands, he’s got an economy that’s in trouble, he is cutting back on the military and he is running for office. And the combination of all those things makes it very unlikely that he wants to start a war at this point. So, I personally think that president Obama is going to do whatever he can to avoid getting into a situation, which is actually counter-productive for everybody. It would not just be bad for Iran or for the United States. It would be bad for everybody in the region and the price would be simply enormous. I think he wants to avoid that.

What would your advice be to the president right now?

I think his path is actually pretty clear. The president has 6 months until those intense sanctions go into effect, that would interfere with the oil sales in Iran, and I think 6 months should be used for negotiations of some form to try to get a start on a resolution to the nuclear problem.

Now they are enriching uranium up to 20%. How big of a threat do you see that, towards nuclear proliferation?

In December, when Secretary of Defense Panetta, who also was the head of the CIA until fairly recently, he was asked, on I think "Face the Nation", a point blank question: “Is Iran building a nuclear weapon?” His answer was very clear – “No”.

He said "no"?

He said no. He went on to say that Iran was developing a capability, where it could produce a nuclear weapon, but it was not actually doing it now. And I think that it is something that tends to get overlooked in almost everybody’s take on this thing. Now the 20% issue: Iran. Ah, we proposed a swap of uranium, which Iran would send out 1,200 kilograms of the low-enriched uranium, and we would provide fuel plates, which are enriched to 20% for their research reactor in Tehran, which produces medical isotopes. That was something that Iran, tentatively greed with that, but at that point the United States said “no”.

Why?

Basically the United States was deeply involved in getting a new round of sanctions adopted, they had put a lot of effort into it and they were afraid that actually getting an agreement would interfere with the sanctions. And I am sorry to say that sanctions became more important than getting an agreement.

Can you tell us anything you might know about the threat made to Khomeini?

I think that was during those conversations in Turkey in Istanbul. The United States apparently delivered a message to the Iranian government, which I fully expect was in fact a warning that if they close to the Strait of Hormuz, the United States would regard that as a redline. That’s very clear. On the other hand, I am sure what the Iranian said was, “Look, first of all, we are prepared to talk to you, and we are prepared to defuse this crisis and, secondly, we are not going to interfere with the Strait of Hormuz unless our oil is cut off. If you cut off our oil, you can’t expect everybody else to be able to go ahead with their oil as if nothing has happened”.

What about the dead Iranian scientist? Can you fill us in, is there anything you could tell us about that?

There are a lot of theories being kicked around, but as far as I’m concerned, as far as I can tell from the evidence, there really is no great doubt that it was the Israelis who carried it out, it was their standard operating procedure, they’ve done this on occasions in the past. This is the, what, 5th or 6th attempt at least in Tehran to get a nuclear scientist. I think that represents (that basically is Israel’ s take on this situation) that the United States was in contact with Turkey and in contact with Iran about restoring the negotiations, and just as they were meeting somebody assassinated a scientist in Iran. That was not helpful for the process, and I think the fact that the U.S. Secretary of State denounced it in very unequivocal terms was a clear signal that the U.S. was quite annoyed by the timing of this operation. But I think that represents Israel’s position, it clearly is unhelpful again in terms of getting to any kind of negotiation.

I see. There were some people saying that this might have been an internal Iranian operation.

That's just propaganda.

You don’t think that’s true?

I don’t think there is any truth to that whatsoever. This guy was the deputy director of their Natanz centrifuge site. They did not have to kill him. They could have fired him. The people who would like to deflect attention from Israel especially when the United States is condemning the action very strongly, that’s when this rumour suddenly appeared “Oh, maybe it was the Iranians who did it?”

So, this is a real unequivocal condemnation by the U.S. government towards Israel, this would be one of the first. This is not just a wink of the eye and a; “You shouldn’t have done it”.

It’s not. The fact is that we have done that on any of the 5 previous attempts. This is a significant change in U.S. position.

Thank you sir.

Thank you.

 Jar2

21 January 2012, 10:28

Embarrassment for London as Powell Admits Spying Plot

Michael John Smith

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An interview with Michael John Smith, a British blogger and intelligence expert and the last person convicted of spying for the Soviet Union.

It was admitted this week that the famous Moscow rock incident was actually a British Intelligence operation. What is your opinion on this Mr. Smith?

Well, if we go back to 2006 when this incident actually happened. If you remember we had lots of denials at the time, and what was wheeled out from retirement was that old relic called Oleg Gordievsky, who actually claimed that this was all 'a KGB stunt'. Now we know that's not true, and in fact this week a man named Jonathan Powell, who was actually in Tony Blair’s office - so you can’t get much higher than that in the British Government - he actually made the statement that he thought the Russians knew about this at that time and they had been saving it up for, quote, "a political purpose". As though it's really all to do with, that it's a 'Russian problem'. We know that’s not true now, and I think it’s a very embarrassing situation for the British Government this week.

What do you think about the timing of the admission? Why are they admitting to it now?

Well, I think, interesting isn't it, I mean the Russian – UK relationships have been, they go through hot and cold periods. I think probably it’s a time when the British Government want to get on better with Russia. They probably need Russian oil, they need Russian gas, and it’s a time for perhaps more friendly relationships, so that we can have more trade between our two countries.

You’ve mentioned Gordievsky being wheeled out again.

Yeah. Well, as I said before John, you remember we discussed this last year, Gordievsky is somebody not to be trusted; he is merely a tool in the armory of the British Intelligence Services. Every time any incident like this comes into the media, Gordievsky comes forward and he makes claims which are anti-Russian and pro the British Intelligence. He is not really playing a useful role, I think, because it is so obvious that the guy is lying, in many ways. He lies about all sorts of things, and he exaggerates, he exaggerates to the point where his point is not considered real. For instance, we remember only a few weeks back, MI5 were complaining about a Russian woman called Katia Zatuliveter.

Yes, we talked about that, sure.

And Gordievsky said without a doubt that this woman was a Russian spy. Well, now she has been exonerated by a British Court as not being a Russian spy. So, what does that say about Gordievsky’s opinion? It says that the guy is not telling the truth.

Would you like to tell us how his testimony affected your life?

Yeah, well, Gordievsky said in my own case, he said that I was a Russian spy, and that from his own personal viewpoint he had inside information about the way that the KGB operated, their methods, and such like. And he said that I must have been a Russian spy just because of the nature of the evidence against me. There was no actual evidence that I had met any Russians or any KGB operatives, but from Gordievsky’s point of view it was all very clear. Now, you know, I look at the way, the evidence he gives in other cases, he lied in my case as well.

Why do you think the incident was denied by the UK authorities at that time?

Denial is a standard British tactic. I mean, if you look back through history, the British have always denied they do these sort of things: it’s not normal, it’s not the British way of doing things. And when they get caught out in this type of incident – it's politically embarrassing. I think what it shows, in many ways, is that British policy - at Government level - is full of hypocrisy.

What surprises me is that the British condemn Russia for having any intelligence gathering service in the world, or in London, or in any country, and they deny that we [the British] do that. But we know that MI6 is operating in Moscow, it's operating in all the world capitals, and why make a big thing of it? I mean, it’s just a part of life, and this paranoia, you know, that goes on amongst the intelligence services in the UK - it's a sign of immaturity I think, it’s unprofessional.

Intelligence services in the UK have played a major part in my life, you know. In fact I believe they're still tapping my phone at this very minute. My niece, I learned only three weeks ago, is going to marry an RAF man who works at RAF Lyneham, in the UK. And what has happened since is that he is now being called in for security clearance checks, because he is marrying my niece. And what's that got to do with me, I've never met the guy? But it’s just a sign of the way intelligence works in the UK. It is paranoia, you know, they think that everybody is sneaking around spying on everything, and particularly Russians, you know. If there are Russians in the UK – they must be spies. This is the way it works.

So, you are saying that your phone is being tapped or something because your niece is marrying an RAF pilot?

Well, he is not a pilot, I think he is a ground man. But, I mean, what it tells me is that they look very negatively on anything from the past that is a black mark against anybody. And particularly me, even though I was convicted of working for Russian Intelligence back in 1992, but even now I’m still considered a risk, you know, a risk even if a person meets me I could in some way "contaminate" them. It's very serious I think, and it’s very damaging for my own family connections.

It sounds like they are violating some human rights.

Well, I thought it was a human rights issue but probably there is nothing I can do about it.

What do you think about the phone thing? Why do you think it’s being tapped now?

Purely because they think I may be conniving to my niece’s new husband, to give secrets to the Russians. I’m sure that's what’s behind it. It seems crazy.

What’s the evidence? Do you have some evidence, that maybe, it's being tapped?

Well, it’s purely by the way... people can’t get through to me, I can’t get a dial tone, I mean there are all sorts of strange things going on. These are exactly the same sort of things that were happening in my case before when, back in the 80s, I was under surveillance by MI5 and my phone was acting very strangely – I couldn’t get a dial tone, I had to go out to a phone box just to phone in to clear the line. It seemed very strange, and when I called the phone company, they denied there was anything wrong with it.

And the same things are happening now?

Same things are happening now, you know, I recognize the signs.

 Jar2

24 January 2012, 15:12

Political Repression Growing in the UK

Tim Summers

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Interview with Tim Summers, a political activist and the former national campaigns officer of the Green Party of England and Wales, in the U.K. He is also a former political cartoonist.

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For over 10 years we’ve witnessed the repression and the erosion of human rights in the west and in the U.K. People, it seems, are beginning to wake up. What’s happening there in the U.K right now?

I would say as a central Londoner that there's nervous feelings about the imminent Olympic Games as the austerity cuts of this government, agreed last year, are now starting to be felt. The police chiefs are fearing more riots this summer. There will be many protest actions and there will be riot police to prevent them. There has been a clear-up of London recently, yesterday the Occupy Saint Paul’s camp was evicted by the City of London Corporation with one week to appeal. That’s a blow. And the anti-war camp outside Parliament for the last 10 years was evicted by police, saving only 3 tents, saved by a protest injunction. So, it is, as you say, a problem about political repression in Britain.

Can you tell us a little bit about the Saint Paul’s occupation and the Afghanistan protest camp?

Yes, it’s been there for 10 years. There was a famous campaigner called Brian Haw, who died last year, who was internationally recognized for camping out for a huge amount of that decade, permanently at Parliament Square, and every attempt has been made to get rid of that peace camp, that was renamed “Democracy Village” the year before last, and all attempts hitherto have failed. A whole piece of, a whole raft of legislation was devised to get rid of it, but failed to get rid of it, and it caused great hilarity. But now the dirty deed has been done - but five tents remain - and the struggle will go on.

You said that political repression is growing in the U.K.

Yes, certainly it has. I’d like to say that there is new and old legislation that the police are using. The Police Reform and Responsibility Act was the new legislation that was used to evict the anti-war camp from Parliament Square last night, and the old Section Five of the Public Order Act is used to suppress free speech, because it acts against anything that might cause threat, alarm or distress - 'might cause'. Complaints don’t have to be received, any provocative placard or speech can be oppressed.

How does all this tie in with the upcoming Olympic Games?

There’ll be riot police, I've mentioned, there'll be a battery of American paramilitary police patrolling, roads will be closed for VIPs.

How does this tie in with human rights though, I mean, in a repression of human rights?

Well, we see, as I think as you started in our discussion, there has been a long decline of standards. I will just mention a few of them, of recency: one U.K. national, called Babar Ahmad, has been left to die in Guantanamo Bay concentration camp; recently the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment was exonerated for its torture at his Basra base that led to the murder of Baha Mousa, by 93 injuries - only the whistle blower was prosecuted. The systematic use of the Basra base by the British Army was exonerated. More recently MI6 officers this week have been exonerated for their involvement in torture abductions to Gaddafi’s Libya. The Saville Inquiry has exonerated the murder of 13 people 40 years ago; it's cost 200 million pounds and 40 years to admit the war crime of 1972. And no better is expected from the current Chilcot Inquiry regarding the invasion of Iraq. So this abandonment of justice, this refusing to bring any kind of accountability of war crimes is a descent to barbarism; it is felt acutely by London’s huge ethnic diversities. The Geneva Conventions of war have now finished, it’s very alarming. The United Nations commitment to the right of self-determination of nations is now in tatters. That’s the world that we now live in and London is, Britain, the United Kingdom, is leading the way in this permanent war. The same thing goes on in America.

You say that the U.K is leading the way, I think it’s the U.S. leading the way, isn’t it?

 Yes, I would agree with you. I mean, for example, the shooting of Osama bin Laden without any attempt at trial, was filmed as a snuff movie for the White House; last week there was film on the television of soldiers, filmed urinating on their dead victims - all the soldiers were exonerated; Wall Street protestors pepper sprayed and brutalized; the Stop Online Piracy Act is a huge threat to freedom of the Internet. President Barack Obama will reduce American troops but increase fire power; will retain the Guantanamo concentration camp. Starting in America, and then to its puppet client state Britain, there is this decline of standards of civil liberties.

What can people do? Is there anything we can do?

Well, I think we have to listen to the three core values coming through this huge diverse movement of protest. This is a sort of diverse expanding universe, but the three core ideas, I think are detectible, particularly democracy - not the phony democracy that we have now, with voting every 4 years, unfair campaign funds, unfair media access - but secular participatory democracy, that the new technology now provides and demands. People want economic democracy for the 99%, not just for the 1% of bankers. This would require public ownership and accountability of some essentials like banks, water, railways, some major industries. Democracy is a key theme. Saving the planet from capitalist ecocide, that’s another common theme uniting this world movement. Stop the wars; stop the resource wars; stop the drug wars - that’s set Latin America alight. All this could be encapsulated in the words “revolutionary, democratic, eco-socialism”. That’s how I'd describe a massive, growing, independent world movement, without any organizing center - and that fills me with joy.

Would you agree that the Internet is a key ingredient in that movement?

Yes, absolutely. It has been shown in the Egyptian revolution  - the power of the Internet and the mobile phones and all the rest, and that the establishment, the system, the governance of the world hasn’t caught up with this yet. So, at the moment, the freedom road is open and people are taking it. At the moment it's been a great advantage to us, obviously, and continues to be.

 

25 January 2012, 13:46

Saakashvili: NATO’s Favorite Little Despot

Rick Rozoff

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Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list, a contributing writer to GlobalResearch.ca, and a regular contributor to the Voice of Russia.

 Jar2

26 January 2012, 18:08

Dereliction of duty?

Professor Eugene R. Fidell

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Interview with Mr. Eugene R. Fidell, a teacher of military justice, a Senior Research Scholar in Law and a Florence Rogatz Visiting Lecturer at Yale Law School

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Photo courtesy of Yale University

I’d like to get your reaction to the Haditha ruling, please.

I hate to fall back on the phrase that it’s complicated. It is complicated, but let me say a few words about where we are and where we should be going from here because that may be constructive. The US military is a very well disciplined, law abiding military force. Nevertheless in any military force of this size there are going to be some incidents that happen that clearly cross the line. In this case, the case did not even get to the jury, instead it was aborted by the commanding general, who made a deal with the defendant, that the defendant would plead guilty to only a minor charge of dereliction of duty and would receive no time in jail.

Why was that?

We don’t know the exact reason why the General made that decision. It’s not a decision made by the central authorities, and the position that I have taken on this matter is that the Government owes the American public, as well as people around the world, an explanation for why this deal was made and why the case did not continue through the trial process. It is the last in a series of cases that have fizzled, and I think people in Iraq are entitled to an explanation. And frankly, I think people in the United States are entitled to an explanation. Maybe there is one, but so far it hasn’t become public.

Let’s just look at the military cases. Now, it is a fact that many of the results of these cases that have arisen in Iraq and to some extent in Afghanistan have been very surprising. We are dealing in the United States right now with the chapter that is only now closing in Iraq. And I think before that chapter closes the American people and people around the world have a right to an explanation and an accounting of how disciplinary issues have come out. Particularly because the United States has elected not to be party to the Rome Statute, the created the International Criminal Court, and that means we have to rely on our own courts to dispense justice. So, I think people, even though it may be an unpopular position, I think people in the United States should be wanting, and I hope many of us do want, an accounting, so, that this is quite surprising outcome can be explained, if it is possible to explain.

This is a good chance to maybe prevent, if we can, some backlash, I mean a lot of people in the world would say that apparently the United States thinks that an Iraqi life is not worth anything.

Look, there is no question that the Iraqi people have a great deal to complain about. The United States has tried to underscore the importance of justice, so that this won’t happen again and so the people who are guilty of war crimes will pay an appropriate penalty.

Ok, sir, you’ve mentioned the word “war crime”, would you qualify this as a war crime?

If civilians who are unarmed died in this conflict, in this particular incident, then it certainly would be a war crime. We don’t prosecute war crimes as such, what we do is prosecute them as whether it’s murder or manslaughter, we don’t use the construct of “war crime”, but I’m using that for this purpose because that’s the common understanding. The defendant here at least complained or contended that the circumstances were sufficiently unclear, that he and the other people who participated in these fatalities should not be punished. I think that’s a hard case to make, given the number of fatalities and unfortunately because of the way the case has unfolded, and the deal that was made between the defendant and the commanding general, we are never going to get a solid answer to that. And that, I think, is going to leave the Iraqi people extremely unnourished and extremely disappointed.

Apparently one of the victims was an old man in a wheelchair, there were women and children, they were in bed. It’s hard for people to find some justification in that.

Right, I have no brief for the people who were charged in this case, none whatever. However I will simply report that their contention has been that they were taking fire from a house or houses in which these deaths occurred, their instructions were to clear the houses and the events moved so quickly that they didn’t have time to ask a lot of questions, they just had to fire. I’m not here to defend that, I’m simply reporting. I think it’s in a way unfortunate that the world has been deprived of a trial at which these matters could be fully ventilated.

In the last ten years and especially since 9\11 the US has moved away from the Geneva Conventions.

There was time under the prior Administration that that contention could be made, however the incumbent President, Barak Obama has made it perfectly clear that the policy of his Administration is to adhere closely to the Geneva Conventions, and I think that but for some frustrations that have been imposed by Congress, which does not do everything that he wants done, such as closing Guantanamo, he has been steadfast in that and his preference indeed has been to try terrorism cases, at least domestic terrorism cases, in the civilian courts rather than through military commissions.

So, you believe he is sincere in his desire to close Guantanamo?

I believe he is absolutely sincere, it’s unfortunate that he hasn’t had the kind of working majority even in the Senate where the Democrats have a technical majority to do what he wants done.

What would you say to critics that say that the US has isolated themselves from the international community, that this case should have been tried in the Hague for example?

No, there is no substantial body of opinion in the United States that this case should have been tried in Hague.

Of course in the United States, there is not going to be any opinion of that.

Well, it’s true that we’ve been quite resistant to that, but I have to point out that under the Rome Statute that governs the International Criminal Court, there is a doctrine of complementarity, which relies on national authorities in the first instance to investigate and prosecute war crimes and we, I think would argue that our military justice system is robust and fair. Whether it has functioned properly in this particular case is a question on which opinions will likely vary.

So, you don’t see the US ever becoming a signatory to the International Court, do you?

At this point I don’t see that happening as a political matter and we’ve been very jealously guarding our sovereignty with respect to war crimes. So, perhaps the next Administration or the one after that there will be some progress but at the moment I think this is an area, where we going to have to be responsible for our own fate.

 

4 February 2012, 21:08

Violence in Russia Would Satisfy US

Rick Rozoff

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Interview with Mr. Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to Global Research.ca.

 

Jar2

Occupy SF

Repression Makes us Stronger

Craig Rouskey

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Interview with Craig Rouskey, an organizer with Occupy SF, an activist, and a molecular biologist.

Can you tell our listeners a little bit about what’s going on there right now and maybe a little bit on what happened in Oakland recently where more than 400 people were arrested?

I would say January 20th was a big day of action for us here in San Francisco we occupied our Financial District otherwise known as Wall Street West. A bunch of affinity groups organized to basically shut down banks and corporations that have not been acting with the interests of the 99% in mind. Events on the 20th ended with an occupation of the Cathedral Hill Hotel which is a 600 room hotel that has been vacant since 2009. We have here in San Francisco 10,000 homeless people on the street, 32 000 vacant units. So, it was addressing that.

Occupy Oakland the following weekend, on January 28th, attempted the same thing with the premise of liberating a vacant building. When the government enacts policies that don’t allow people to save money, I think someone like me, I’m a molecular biologist by trade, I have a master’s degree in molecular biology, I have a job as a scientist. The truth of the matter is, given the cost of living in the United States, I don’t save money, my option is to live paycheck by paycheck and that’s not due to irresponsible spending – I have nothing - it is just a matter of inflation and the cost of living in the US.

So, there are definite real issues that impact people’s lives, that make it difficult to live and even if you are financially responsible. I think the important thing to know is that our society our civilization isn’t set up to help these people. The social services that used to exist in this country have been cut, so we can continue to fund corporations over people and that’s something this movement is really trying to address.

400 people were arrested in Oakland, I understand you were present but you managed to get out of there before you were arrested. Can you tell our listeners kind of what happened there in Oakland?

Yes, definitely. And I think it’s really important to preface this conversation with the fact that in 2011 the American Federal Government allowed for $500 million to be dispersed to local police departments in cities like Oakland or San Francisco, Chicago and New York for militarization.

I’m sorry, how much - $500 million?

$500 million to be dispersed through cities in the US. I think they know that the people have had enough and they are working to make sure the systems of repression are there to stop any broad-based revolution, I mean just the way they deal with the camps – like clearing the camps here violently, it’s the same issue. So, I think, you know, what happened in Oakland is a direct consequence of the militarization of the police force. We had a peaceful march which is something that is promised to us in the Bill of Rights, our first amendment right to peaceably assemble. In Oakland, when the people started marching in the streets, they were kettled by police. I personally was there with members from the Occupy San Francisco community which included a woman pushing her baby in a stroller and a 68 year old woman who has a knee disorder and uses a cane to walk and before we even got to the point of liberating a building, we were kettled and flash grenades were thrown at us and tear-gas was thrown at us. So, what they did to us in the afternoon, was give us a dispersal order, but they were surrounding us and then would not let us disperse. So, we were all under arrest for failure to disperse.

How long are they going to be able to get away with doing stuff like this?

Well, the Oakland Police Department is being taken over by the Federal Government in about two and a half weeks, they have a long history of abusing people in Oakland. This is why the tactics used by Oakland protesters are so different than tactics used by San Francisco protesters. In Oakland for example, they had a group of police officers who called themselves “the rough riders”, these people would go out and beat up young black man, plant drugs and guns on them and then arrest them for being drug-dealers, for example.

And that kind of abuse of authority has been taking place for a long time in Oakland. The interesting thing to me will be - how Oakland looks once the Federal Government takes over. Unfortunately police officers in Oakland will probably still act autonomously against this action. I was personally that the police, uh, one police officer specifically told me that – we hate you people, we will kill you people. So, that’s really disheartening.

I’m sorry, stop. This was a uniformed Oakland police officer, he said: “We - hate you people, we will kill you people”?

Correct.

Oh, my god!

And there was an expletive in there, we “Effing” hate you people, we will “Effing” kill you people.

Can you tell a little bit about the segregation? Does that have anything to do with this?

Yes, there is definitely racial segregation in the two cities, I mean poor black people or poor people in general have been marginalized in San Francisco. And San Francisco is more of white middle class demographic, I mean you have areas that are more poor like the Mission District or the Tenderloin, or Bayview for example where you start to see some color diversity but those are areas that are generally targeted by police. The police presence in Bayview, and in Mission, and in Tenderloin is so much worse, you know, in these neighborhoods as compared to the, quote-unquote “white” part of San Francisco. Oakland is definitely more diverse in terms of race and I believe a lot of repression comes from racial motivation. Yes, I would say, if you go to Oakland the majority of people you see are black.

And most of the Oakland police are white. Ok, there we go.

I think it’s really important to know that the Occupy movement is growing, we are facing police repression and we are working through it. Every act of police repression makes us stronger. And together we are going to make the world that is sustainable and benefits all of us equally.

Thank you.

Thanks.
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http://voiceofrussia.com/2012/02/04/65350643/

 Jar2

7 February 2012, 20:20

Solution for survival of Serbia

Dragan Antakovic - Author

Solution for survival of Serbia

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Interview with Dragan Antakovic, the author of “The Survival Option” and the founder of the People’s Response in Kosovo, in Serbia.

Hello, this is John Robles, I’m speaking with Dragan Antakovic – he is the author of “The Survival Option” and the founder of the People’s Response in Kosovo, in Serbia.

Hello, sir. What exactly is the “The Survival Option” that you wrote?

“The Survival Option” is a set of political, social and economic solutions that are not only desirable but also easily achievable. “The Survival Option” is also known as democratic meritocracy.

Ok, and what exactly does that mean?

Well, it means why this option is called the survival option.

Ok, why is this option called the survival option?

Because the realization of this option provides the only solution for the survival of Serbia as a state and the survival of the Serbian people as a nation with the state and the survival of all other citizens of Serbia as dignified human beings allowing them to have what is called a decent life – it means survival option.

What is the current situation there in Serbia? Can you tell the listeners a little bit about that?

About the situation in Serbia, I’ll try to explain with my not so good English. Serbia is now in total occupation. That means that one part of the occupation is made up of the foreign interests from the West of course. Another part of occupation is made up of the so called tycoons in Serbia – people who make much money but are big politicians. The political scene in Serbia is also occupied. On the political scene we have those who act in interests of interested groups on the West.

Can we talk about “The Survival Option”? Is this a democratic option or what are the politics of “The Survival Option”?

“The Survival Option” is democratic and patriotic option because the “The Survival Option” is the so called original democracy with no parties – it is our idea. We have a lot of forbidden parties but we think that parties are something that we don’t need.

Is this a democratic or anti-democratic option in your view?

Democratic option because it has some kind of original principles of democracy - that is direct voting by name, the right of citizens to control the work of Government and its Assembly, the right of people to freedom of expression – a decent right and all the other rights that are stated in the UN Charter.

What’s the attitude of “The Survival Option” towards Kosovo?

Kosovo or Kosovo and Metohija is our territory which we neither sold nor lost in the war nor gave away as a gift and in which due to arose of local politicians and interference of foreign factors beyond our political will and without consultation with us was created a political entity which is not ours and which we do not recognize as a state. We are aware that our compatriots who live within that entity need every kind of our help, so we are providing it and we will continue to provide in the future.

We do not want to confront with the international community and with the United States as well as any other country or nation. We only ask that our view of the status of Kosovo is appreciated and we are not asked to change it until we, by the will of the majority of our people, decide to do so. We declared our view of the status of Kosovo to be final and on that subject we will no longer ask for or let the repressed or another party enter into negotiations.

We do not reject negotiations and discussing with the legitimate representatives of the Kosovar Albanians stiff at this because we are aware that this is in interests of our compatriots in Kosovo. We only ask that those negotiations and discussion occur first under the patronage of the United Nations mission which will be equally made of the countries that have recognized Kosovo as the state and countries that have not with the mediation of countries like the United States and the countries that are selected as well, and Russia and countries that Russia chooses.

We will agree to any decision made by the United Nations mission or assembly of these countries - mediators unless we were asked to give legitimacy to seizing of our territory that is Kosovo and Metohija. We advocate that the problems in North Kosovo where most of our compatriots are should be resolved under the patronage of the United Nations mission which would consist equally of the countries that have recognized and the countries that have not recognized Kosovo’s independence with the obligatory presence of the United States and Russia in that mission.

Ok, I’ll ask you one more question. Are you for or against joining NATO?

My opinion is my opinion but people have opinion too. NATO Alliance is a military organization which ranks we will join only if people agree with this in our referendum provided that the turn out is at least 60% of all voters. We will hold this referendum only if China and Russia give us their confirmation to join the NATO Alliance. China and Russia respond negatively on this matter – we will absolutely accept their position only if they previously, officially, which means in the UN too, provide and guarantee our status of military neutral country – it’s our opinion.

So, Serbia should be a neutral country in your opinion?

I think that we must be a neutral country because neither United States nor Russia wouldn’t agree with other sides. I never be in NATO, as me as person, but we must be real in this world.

Ok, thank you very much.

That was an interview with Dragan Antakovic the author of “The Survival Option” and the founder of the People’s Response.

 Jar2

8 February 2012, 15:26

Russia's Mediation Could "Save" Iran

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir

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Interview with with Dr. Alon Ben-Meir – Middle East expert and a Professor from the Center for Global Affairs at New York University.

 Jar2

17 February 2012, 14:46

Serbia: 300,000 Displaced, 3,000 Never Existed

Elena Svachich - Human Rights Worker

Serbia: 300,000 displaced, 3,000 never existed

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Interview with Elena Svachich, a human rights worker in Serbia.

Could you tell our listeners a little bit about the mood in the country with the referendum?

The general feeling, as you said, in Serbia is not very well. We have referendum going at our Southern part of our country in Kosovo and we are awaiting the results.

What do you think the results will be?

We do know some results, by 4 pm today there have been 64% voters, so legally it’s done, so we just have to see what they said. That can be expected.

What do you think will happen if the Albanian authorities are deemed to be illegitimate?

It’s very hard to tell but the referendum is legitimate, as much as I know, and they cannot overthrow it without some kind of riot and people at Kosovo are desperate to keep the institutions of Serbia there because that’s the only way that they can survive.

Regarding human rights violations in Serbia can you detail some of those for us please?

First of all, part of our country is occupied. Kosovo was bombed, that’s against humanitarian rights of those people, there is radiation. Then, there has been so many arsons and killings and all kind of violence there with no one to protect those people, transplantation of organs is proved but it’s really amazing that they lost the results of the research.

How is it that they are getting away with what they are doing? I am talking about the organ transplanting, for example.

No one can understand it. Three thousand people are lost at Kosovo and none of the institutions are looking for them, it’s like they never existed.

And you say these are all the people that have been killed for their organs, probably? Yes?

Yes, many of them, but many of them are just slaughtered. And 300,000 had to leave their houses and flee,300 thousand, and you’re in Russia so maybe it’s not such a big figure for you but for us it’s disastrous.

No, it’s a huge amount of people. I think three people would have been too many. You’re talking about 300,000 thousand, and 3,000 missing.

In light of all those data that I gave you that no one cares about those people, they are forsaken, betrayed by their government.

I think we care. It’s not true that nobody cares.

Yes, there still are some people who care because institutions do not care enough.

What can we do to help the situation? What can we do to help these people? What can we do to get the truth out?

This is one way of getting the truth out and we try to get to as many people as possible because the media in Serbia are trying to hush up things that are going on and the economic situation in Serbia is very tough, so people try not to bother with anything that is not directly connected to them.

Who controls the media in Serbia?

Government, of course. And our government is very strange, I mean it’s like they are the first enemies of these people.

Who would you say, regarding the black market organ transplanting, is responsible for this?

I can’t tell you the names but it’s obviously very organized and several governments, we believe, are connected to it.

What governments?

And there is another thing; drug trafficking in amazing quantities. It’s not just few people, those are people who have background in several different countries.

What countries do you think are involved in this?

We can only guess. It’s better that we do not make assumptions.

Are you afraid to talk about this subject? Are you afraid something might happen to you?

Not afraid, not exactly afraid, but, you know, it’s too big to point a finger at someone specific, there are assumptions but we have no real proof.

When you are talking about 3,000 people disappearing, yes that is very big, and that has to be very organized. I mean you can’t just kill people and transplant their organs, you need hospitals, you need doctors, you need professionals, you need a lot of equipment, you need locations. That’s not possible that’s just something small.

We have all kinds of problems there since bishop Artemia was banished from Kosovo, people are left even without the consolation of the church. The Orthodox Church in Kosovo was the safe place to go when things go wrong and now the churches are locked. We do have many data that shows that he is not to blame and that he was framed in many ways and we have data against some other participants who are still working there in public kitchens at Kosovo who are supposed to feed people there, humanitarian organization too, but we do have data that they are misusing the help that they are getting and we are preparing to sue them, it’s better than we don’t mention too many details because it’s not all prepared. For example, the help from Russia that came, we are very thankful to all Russian people and to Ambassador Konuzin who did so much. Help came to Red Cross but we have data from people at Kosovo that only 2,000 packages are given away, 2,000 out of 6,000. Other things are sold in nearby towns, they are not given away to those who are sensitive. We are surprised that no Russian supervisors stayed there to see it given. I wouldn’t say the names because we still don’t have enough to prosecute. We are surprised that there are no supervisors from Russia there. I don’t think it’s Albanians, it’s a private person, who is connected probably with all aspects of government at Kosovo meaning both Albanian and Orthodox church there. It’s very complicated there, you cannot point a finger at one person or one organization without pointing out at many others who ordinary people wouldn’t think are connected.

Did they get the generators and the heaters that the Russian Federation sent?

Generators and heaters came earlier and they are given away and they are doing their job but there have been avalanches and people were killed.

How many people have died?

10 people, I think.

 Jar2

21 February 2012, 22:07

There is No "Real" Dialogue About Syria

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir

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Interview with Dr. Alon Ben-Meir, a Middle East expert and a professor from the Center for Global Affairs at New York University.

 Jar2

27 February 2012, 21:18

Criminals Demand Unblock Road in Serbia

John Robles and  Operations Chief of the Serbian National Organization #1389

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Interview with Operations Chief of the Serbian National Organization #1389.

Can you tell our listeners a little bit about what’s going on there in Serbia along the Kosovo border?

In midnight between 22nd and 23rd of February, around midnight, a group of masked people in black uniforms came and started to destroy tents on part of the blocked road. Protests were organized against placing Albanian Customs and border police, on administration of border crossings called Jarinje. It was a peaceful form of protest with no violence at all. Two or three days before that NATO soldiers, from KFOR, tried to remove the roadblock and the people who barricaded the road block but they couldn’t succeed because guards with some resistance and they could not succeed in what they tried to do. Then Serbian police came, but before the police, a group of uniformed people in black uniforms and masks on their faces came, they did not show any official identification cards.

Who were they? Do you know?

No, I don’t know. It could be some police unit or it could be some criminals. I don’t know. No one can tell who it was.

Was anybody injured? Was anyone shot or did they open fire?

No, some 20 minutes after, regular police came and backed them up, they didn’t support, and the protesters removed themselves because they don’t want to confront the Serbian police. There were some threats like “we will kill you all, we will throw you in the river, we will take revenge on your families” and stuff like that.

Who has said that? The Serbian police?

Yes, the Serbian police. When Serbian police showed up in uniforms, they did not say anything. They just came and just went to people from Northern Kosovo and Metohija territory. But before them those people in black uniforms were making some threats and guards on the barricades assumed that they are police, they are Serbs and they did not try to confront them, it’s unnecessary to make an incident from such politically sensitive territory and politically sensitive moment. So it’s betrayal of Belgrade’s government with Boris Tadic at its head, it’s betrayal of people who live in Kosovo and Metohija, it’s betrayal of all Serbian people. It’s a shame, and all people in Serbia are very frustrated and they dislike this kind of action of Serbian police and armed criminal groups.

Did the criminals in the black uniforms demand anything?

They demanded that the road be unblocked. They demanded to all the protesters to remove themselves from the road and to remove their tents and to remove obstacles they put on the road. It’s very interesting that NATO soldiers came some three or four days before and they had the same demand but when protesters confronted them, they pulled back in their base that’s in the nearby hill and they could not remove them, but then when they could not succeed it, when KFOR could not remove the road block, the Serbian police came and no one wanted to confront them because they are all Serbs and no one wanted to make such an incident on that point.

Is there anybody there blocking the road right now or has everybody left?

No, now there are only police patrols and there are only patrols of Serbian police and only the patrols of KFOR on their territory, on their part of the road.

I see. You said the Serbian police were threatening people. I mean does that happen very often?

No, this is the first time that such activity is done by Serbian police. This was unexpected and this was a very shameful act of Serbian regime and the Serbian President and Serbian part of government. This is controlled by NATO and by European Union. That government doesn’t have support from people in Serbia. Right now the situation is quiet. It a kind of normal situation but everybody is frustrated with the decision of the Belgrade Government to sign an agreement with the criminal institutions in Pristina about placing a border between two Serbian provinces, between Central Serbia and the Serbian Province of Kosovo and Metohija. Everybody is very, very frustrated, people are kind of angry but the situation in normal, no activities from the blocking roads protests are happening right now. No such activities at this moment. Right now Belgrade is cooperating with the European Union and they are really really doing things to fulfill every demand that is put in front of them by the European Union and they are making the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija an independent state. People in Serbia are very frightened that this damage done by Belgrade regime may not be made better in any moment.

Can you tell us, because we had some mixed reports as to the situation of the Serbian Orthodox Church, are there in Central Serbia and Northern Kosovo, any Orthodox Churches that are open and operating right now?

The Serbian Orthodox Church and Monasteries right now on the territory of Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija, north from Ibar River, it’s small part of territory of Kosovo and Metohija, they are working in normal matter but churches and monasteries south from Ibar River, they are systematically ruined and destroyed from Albanians. Serbian people are put in kind of ghetto and they cannot move freely because Albanians are attacking them and KFOR is doing nothing to protect them.

This is horrible, unbelievable. I mean, this is a humanitarian disaster.

Yes, it’s worse than horrible. One must come to see to believe. It’s unbelievable when you talk to people, tell thing to people which they did not see with their own eyes, they can not believe and I understand that they can not believe it. Every Serb in Northern Kosovo and Metohija and Central Serbia will tell you the same thing.

 Jar2

29 February 2012, 10:37

Serbians Against EU Entry

John Robles and Operations Chief of the Serbian National Organization #1389

Serbians against EU entry - spokesperson

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Interview with the spokesperson for the Serbian National Organization 1389.

How is everything going there? Can you tell us a little bit about what was happening in Belgrade today?

There were some protests in Belgrade today. The protests were inspired by the betrayal of the Serbian regime in Belgrade, they were about Kosovo and Metohija matter and about an agreement that part of Government in Belgrade made with Kosovo Albania criminal institutions in Pristine. Also the protests were inspired by joining of Serbia to the European Union. Serbs don’t want to be the members of the European Union, they want to make closer relationships with Russia and Muslim India KUNA organization.

 But the Serbian part of Government and the regime in Belgrade and Boris Tadic as its head want to put Serbia in the European Union and Serbs dislike that and try to hold protests. Large forces of Serbian police stepped in and they broke protests using their repressing methods, they used tear gas, they used brutal force on the Serbian people who came to make peaceful protests in Belgrade against joining the European Union and against the Belgrade regime.

Two points here. I’ve heard reports lately and it seems that the Government, and you correct me if I’m wrong, but the Serbian Government now, would you say that they are not representing the interests of the Serbian people?

Large majority of the Serbian people think that the Serbian Government is not representing their interests in a best way and the Serbian Government is controlled by the European Union and NATO alliance. The Serbian Government is very unpopular in Serbia.

Last time I spoke with somebody about the barricades there, was in fact the Serbian police that broke that up? You said there were clashes between the police and the young people, was anybody injured?

I don’t have any information about serious injuries, but there are some slight injuries from the tear gas. And I have information that one of our activists has broken nose today but it’s not confirmed till now.

What are your organization’s plans for the summer and for the near future? Are you planning more demonstrations or what can you do to put more pressure on the Serbian Government to represent the interests of the Serbian people?

We have a lot of information about the movement reacting on our website, there will be protests against any harmful decision of the Serbian part of Government and Belgrade regime. People will make protests any time if the Serbian regime makes some bad decisions for the Serbian people, any time when the Belgrade regime tries to put Serbia in slavery of the European Union and any time the Belgrade regime tries to make distance with Russia and other relative nations our organization will make some protests.

When are the next elections?

The elections will be in the last week of April and first week of May.

And what do you think of the chances of more sympathetic representatives into the Government?

We hope that this will happen. Now the things are very bad and personally I don’t think that anything can be worse than this. So, I think that the National party will win and elections will view changes. That is an opinion that they cannot be represented in the Serbian parliament, today when the clashes between the protesters and police took place, this was the central news on state television and there was not a single word about those protests.

On state television in Serbia?

Yes, on the Serbian state television there wasn’t a word about those protests today.

Ok, recently on the 23 it was Defenders of the Fatherland Day and as I understand the Serbian Government did not marked this holiday even though that was a very important holiday and Russian Ambassador Konuzin received a lot of e-mails from the Serbian people in support of the holiday. Was there any statement from the Russian Embassy regarding the protests today?

I don’t have any information about this at the moment but if can talk about it later tomorrow maybe I can tell you something more.

Is the Russian Embassy assisting the people there in any way right now?

I don’t know about assisting from the Russian Embassy in making protests, I don’t know if such activity is going on. But there was a humanitarian aid for Kosovo and Metohija maybe a few months ago and it was a great thing which helped people living in Kosovo and Metohija very much and all the Serbs and especially Serbs from there are very, very thankful to this kind of help from the Russian Federation.

Have you been in touch with the European Court of Human Rights in Hague? Are there any international, like the Human Rights Organization, operating in Serbia?

Yes, there is Human Rights Organization here but they took the side. Large majority of Serbs think that this kind of organization would like to help them because they help to the Serbian enemies Muslims, Albanians and they protect the rights of sexual minorities. And I told you that at this moment large majority of Serbs think that only God and Russia can help us, all our hopes are in God and in Russia.

Do you think that the relations between Russia and Serbia will improve if the Prime Minister Putin is elected president?

I think it would be in the best interests of Serbia to make closest possible relations with the Russian Federation and Prime Minister Putin. And personally I have no doubts that Mr. Putin will win this election and I hope the relationships between Serbia and Russia will be the as close as possible, any kind of relations. It is the only solution for Serbia now.

 Jar2

Kosovo: 5 Serbs Arrested for Possession of Newspaper

John Robles

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Five Serbs, three women and two men, have reportedly been arrested in Kosovo after several copies of a Serbian Journal newspaper were found in their car. They now face up to three years in prison.

Five Serbs, three women and two men, have reportedly been arrested in Kosovo after several copies of a Serbian Journal newspaper were found in their car. They now face up to three years in prison. Dragan Vasiljkovic, a Serbian political activist says that, according to the laws of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo, possession of The Serbian Journal is a punishable offence as it incites “racial, national and religious intolerance.”

 Jar2

8 March 2012, 10:00

He Who Has the Biggest Gun Wins

Doctor Dale Herspring

He who has the biggest gun wins?

PART 1  Download audio file    PART 2   Download audio file

Dr. Dale Herspring , University Distinguished Professor in the Political Science Department at Kansas State University and a Russian specialist, speaks on president-to-be Vladimir Putin’s program of modernizing the Russian military sector, Iran’ nuclear program and US-Russia relations in the face of the changing world.

http://m.ruvr.ru/2012/03/27/1304318124/Dale.jpg

 Jar2

27 March 2012, 15:08

Racial Tensions Simmering in US

Trevor Harvey

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Trevor Harvey , chapter president of the Sarasota County NAACP and AREA XI director at the NAACP Conference, talks about the race problem in America on the heels of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager in Florida. Mr. Harvey believes that the US still has to deal with race issues that haven’t gone far away from 1955.

http://m.ruvr.ru/2012/03/27/1304318885/Harvey.JPG

 Jar2

26 March 2012, 21:38

They Killed Pregnant Woman

Danijela Dragovic

They killed pregnant woman - witness

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Interview with Danijela Dragovic, Serbian political activist.

Interview with Serbian political activist Danijela Dragovic about the beginning of NATO campaign in Yugoslavia.

 

23 March 2012, 12:41

Russia’s Nuclear Forces in Danger?

Rick Rozoff

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Interview with Rick Rozoff, the Manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a Contributing Writer to GlobalResearch.ca.


 Jar2

15 March 2012, 18:19

Afghan Killings: Will Justice Be Done?

Eugene Fidell

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Interview with Eugene Fidell, a teacher of military justice, a Senior Research Scholar and a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School.

We talked back in January about the Haditha ruling (http://english.ruvr.ru/2012/01/26/64690437.html). I believe nobody has done any time for anything that happened there. What can be done so this doesn’t continue to happen and what are your views on that?

I do think that we are probably at the time where an accounting can be made of the administration of justice in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Enough time has passed and enough individual cases have emerged that we can begin to draw some lessons. But, in order to draw lessons responsibly, a very careful study of each of the cases and the facts and outcomes in each of the cases has to be undertaken. It hasn’t happened yet but I think we are now at a point where it can happen. We’ve had enough of these things.

Do you see rulings, such as in the Haditha case, affecting new acts against civilians, for example that massacre that just occurred on Sunday and the burning of the Qurans – do you think, had there been a more serious penalty, would this have acted in a way to prevent soldiers from committing any more acts? Or do you think it doesn’t matter?

It’s very hard to draw conclusions, particularly about the current phase in Afghanistan, where we don’t even know the suspect’s name. That at least has to remain a question mark for another few days at least. However, I do feel that a hard look has to be taken at whether American troops have become so desensitized because of the amount of time they have to spend on multiple tours of duty that they have lost focus on the human dimension of military operations. Certainly, it is the case that any armed force in a bad and violent campaign can become brutalized and can lose their moral compass. And I think there’ve been times when that happened here. I’m very reluctant to pamphlet in a very broad Russian say that these views and habits are endemic within the US military. I think the Armed Force is a very law-abiding and is alert to interests and rights of other people. I’m very uncomfortable saying that this lack of sensitivity is to the rights of the people in Afghanistan and other countries, where we conduct any military operations, have been utterly disregarded. I think that armed forces are highly law-abiding and on the whole moral individuals. But it is a case that some of these instances that have come into the public eye are truly appalling. The business about body parts, for example, the business about urinating on corpses, these latest incidents in Afghanistan – these are truly disturbing cases. They have grabbed the conscience of Americans, they’ve obviously grabbed the conscience and anger of people in Afghanistan and we have got to grapple with this and do a very serious reveal and try to draw some broader lessons. And I think that is on the mind of administration. The administration is hardly toned up on these issues and I would expect that President Obama and the advisors would take steps particularly in the light of this last really awful incident.

There was also the case of the SS picture.

It was another one. I want to say one other thing. We have in the US military justice system a doctrine which regulates the exercise of unlawful command. In other words, the senior officials, whether uniformed or civilian, have to be very circumspective about what they say concerning pending cases because in theory we try to have independent and impartial judgments made by judges and jurors in the military justice system. So, there is a sense, in which the president is not as free as he might prefer to a speaker’s line, basically because we don’t want to prevent a fair trial, at which guilty people can be severely punished. So people elsewhere should bear that in mind. The president is not at liberty to tell it completely like it is and to fully express his outrage, which I’m sure he feels, because doing so might be create a legal issue that might prevent the administration of justice or to distort the administration of justice.

Remember, you are talking to a world-wide audience, sir. What is the reaction to incidents, especially this last one, by the American public, if you can give us your opinion?

People in the US are shocked. I can tell you that this story dominated news media of every stripe, newspapers of every political orientation, the internet, television and radio. This story is all over and people are truly aghast and concerned about it. It’s frustrating because we don’t have a lot of facts yet. But the facts that we do have are extremely disturbing.

What are the most serious consequences that this individual or individuals – we don’t know yet if there are other people involved – what are the most serious consequences they may face for the killing of these civilians.

It seems that they say “a single gunman,” so, as far as we know, it’s just one person and he is subject to the death penalty potentially. We haven’t executed anyone as a result of a military trial since 1961. However, I have to say that, given the awful circumstances that have come to light so far, this individual, unless he has an insanity defense or something like that, could well see the next death penalty.

Are you serious? This may be a death penalty ruling when this goes to court?

Yes, I think this case will be charged as a capital case and I think that a military jury could well return a death sentence. Whether that survives a reveal and a years-long process to complete the process… But I think this person is certainly warm as a candidate for the death sentence.

What do you think the reaction would be from the Afghani side if that were to happen, if there were a death sentence?

It’s not going to bring anybody back to life. Certainly, no country would let international political considerations drive the administration of justice. People in Afghanistan are very-very unhappy due to the accumulative effect of these various incidents and I actually don’t know what would allay their concerns because so many of these cases seem utterly inexplicable.

And it seems like justice is not done. From what I’ve heard about it, there was no justification possible for what this individual did.

I find it impossible to imagine but I don’t want to convict him on the radio. We’ll see as we learn more facts. But it’s really a shocking case.

 Jar2

12 March 2012, 14:14

CIA/Al-Qaeda Back on the Track

John Robles

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Interview with Dr. Alon Ben-Meir, Middle East Expert and Professor from the Center for Global Affairs at New York University.

There are reports that al-Qaeda is making a come back in Iraq, in Syria, in Libya. What can you tell our listeners about that?

Well, it is absolutely not surprising. Al-Qaeda has and will continue to exploit any unrest anywhere in the Arab world where they can, so there is no question. They see an opportunity to ignite conflict and violence in Iraq, and they do so. They see certainly great opportunity in Syria and without any question they see the same thing happening in Libya, as Libya still is going through serious conflict from within, the Western part of Libya declared independence from the rest of the country. So, whenever there is a chaotic situation you can count on the al-Qaeda to try to penetrate there and make the chaos even greater.

What is your forecast for Libya and for the country possibly falling into complete chaos?

It is a chaotic situation already and the concern we have is that most western powers in most countries for that matter were thinking that after the so-called revolution in the Arab Spring things can quickly go back to some kind of an order, that there will be elections, there’ll be parliament, there’ll be a new government, but the truth of the matter is this is a long hideous cruel process. It will take years, not months, I repeat, years, be that in Egypt, be that in Libya, even Tunisia that is fairly quiet right now. We do not know what might happen. Certainly Syria is a good example of that. The so-called Arab Spring is going on, as I mentioned probably to you before, it’s going to be a long and cruel winter and it really should be expected because for new political order to emerge it takes time specifically in countries where they have never experienced anything but dictatorship, military rule for that matter, exploitation and so for a new order to emerge specifically of talking about democratic reforms and democratic government, this is a long process and will take time until it strikes deep roots in any given society.

A lot of observers are surprised by President Barack Obama’s calls for peaceful resolutions to the situations in Syria, in Iran lately. What can you tell us about that? Do you think they are sincere?

Honestly, I think as far as Syria is concerned is a wishful thinking. Bashar Assad government is not going to settle for anything less than suppressing completely the uprising in Syria and subordinating the opposition, basically forcing them to submit, to surrender so to say. Bashar Assad has been given many opportunities to take a different course, he has been supported by Russia, by the Chinese, the Russians have been telling him that he has to make better choices and stop the killing but obviously nothing is helping. And so for President Obama to call for peaceful solution it is nice rhetoric in the election year but he is not going to go far enough.

You don’t think so. What about constitutional referendum they had in Syria?

This is really nothing but an exercise in the futility. The so-called new constitution really does not respond to the need of the people in any way, in any significant way. What we are going to need is a constitution that is representative of the people and what the people need and yearned for and to try to pass on a constitution in the midst of violence, and death, and havoc, and confusion it is an exercise in futility as I said and it’s a cynical game that I think the Assad regime is playing.

So, your forecast for Syria is more of the same or do you see a conclusion without military intervention? Do you think that’s possible?

I am really concerned now that Assad apparently is not willing to take significant steps to end the conflict and to end the killing and he is pretty much inviting, eventually, he will be inviting foreign intervention, and the Turks are watching and are very concerned, there are other powers who are very concerned. And so, I am not sure that he has left any chance of actually turning the things around and starting a new order. I think it is probably too late for Bashar Assad at this point.

I see. Can you give our listeners more of a concrete forecast for Libya in particular? The country is being divided, you said the west has declared independence. Where do you see the country in about a year from now, let’s say?

I honestly think the country will continue to experience tremendous amount of uncertainty and evil, but as I said I am not entirely surprised. Libya is a tribal country. Each tribe has its own tradition, its own interest, its own aspiration, and it is very difficult to try to find a general consensus between the various tribes that have been ruled by Gaddafi basically by dividing and conquering. And to suggest that they will be able to sit down and iron out their conflict and their differences – it’s not going to happen. It’s going to take counter-revolutionary movement and unfortunately more and more violence before the matter will settle. A year from today I think we are going to be seeing much of the same.

That’s not very good.

Very quickly let me suggest several things. Number one: I think the United States, Obama administration have now made it much clearer in terms of its position toward Iran. Obama suggests it strongly that it is no longer prevent containing Iran, should it acquire nuclear weapon but preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon in the first place. This was important for the Israelis to hear. Two: when Obama said all options are still on the table and he specifically said including a military component.

 Jar2

2 March 2012, 14:41

The Link Between the Worlds

John Robles

The link between the worlds

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Interview with Kristina Vybornova, a singer, a writer, a composer and a song writer.

Let’s start with your start in music. What was the first instrument you learned? And if can remember, what was your first song you sang in front of an audience? And what got you started in music?

I studied music since childhood. When I was four I loved to sign short songs composed by myself. When I was seven I went to music school where I studied for seven years the piano class and the piano was my first instrument.

What made you decide to study music formally?

I studied music by myself.

What there any individual who influenced your decision to study music?

Those were my parents. I remember when I was a child I loved to listen to the album of Yuri Antonov and I sang along with him. I knew that he writes music and plays several instruments, and I also wanted to learn to play the piano and compose music like he.

What was your favourite song by Antonov?

I loved many, almost all songs.

Does one stick out as a favourite?

My Richness.

Who were your musical inspirations other than Antonov?

Many, many composers and singers. I like classical composers – Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Rahmaninov; and many composers, singers and groups in Russia, they are Antonov, Pahmutova, Kornelyuk, Miladze; and foreign singers such as Mylene Farmer, Smoky, Slade, Nazareth, Deep Purple, Nightwish.

You like Deep Purple! Can you sing Smoke on the Water for us? Ok, I’m joking. What kind of music do you listen today?

Today I listen to all kinds of music. I think that every composer and singer has at least one good song for me.

And what’s your favourite song?

I have many, many favourite songs.

How would you classify your style of music?

I don’t know what my style is. I like various music – pop, rock, disco, ballade. And I write music in various styles. I like to try to compose the song in some new style. Some of my friends say that my style is pop or pop-rock, or sometimes ballade, or classic. It depends on a song.

How many songs have you sang in English?

About twenty.

Can you tell the listeners a little bit about your last disc? And where can we buy it if we’d like to?

Most of my songs are the singles which are not organized into albums. These singles are on the iTunes. But in the spring of 2010 I released a project, my audio book – The Link Between the Worlds. The CD, record is about 6 hours, contains not only my novel but also 16 songs and my music played while I’m reading.

So, you recorded an entire book along with music and your songs?

Yes.

But that’s only in Russian, right?

Yes.

One more time, how I it called? The Bridge Between the World?

The Link Between the Worlds.

And what worlds are we talking about? What did you mean by a link between the worlds?

This is the genre of science fiction, two worlds…

And what are the two worlds? These are two different planets?

Two different planets – the Earth and another world which are connected.

And the book has an audio with it?

Only The Link Between the Worlds, only this novel is in audio format. People can buy my books in the bookshop near the Literary Institute named after Gorky where I studied, in Moscow.

If people want to order it on the Internet, is that possible?

In future, in one or two months I think.

Can you tell us a little bit about any other things you enjoy, other than music?

It will be a long story actually. I have three kinds of creativity. First – I’m a professional writer and author of four published books. And my first book – Kritina’s Tales in the series Semeinaya Biblioteka (Family Library) appeared in October 1996.

These are really big books, people. They are right here in front of me.

Later I graduated from the famous Moscow Literary Institute named after Gorky. And I’m a member of the Russian Union of Writers.

Can you tell us about that? How did you become a member of the Writers’ Union?

They invited me because of my books.

I see. That’s a pretty big honour I think.

Yes. And the second kind of my creativity is composing music. I have written more than fifty songs with Russian and English lyrics. And also I have written musical compositions. My songs were aired in the UK, Holand, Australia, Ukraine, USA and other countries by local and Internet radio stations, especially by the legendary Caroline radio, Bishop FM, radio in Hessen, Play radio and etc.

What is your most famous or most popular song?

This is a song which I composed with Australian poet Michael Paede– What We Found.

Ok, let’s listen to a little bit of What We Found.

[Song]

And that was What We Found from Kristina Vybornova. Before we finish up can you tell our listeners a little bit about plans for the future?

I plan to continue to collaborate with musicians and poets from different countries, to make new songs and I’m also going to publish more books in the genre of science fiction. I also want to make a musical performance by the novel The Link Between the Worlds and I’m going to talk about this with some theatres.

 

1 March 2012, 13:03

Time to Draw a Line for NATO

Rick Rozoff

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Interview with Mr. Rick Rosoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to www.globalresearch.ca Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has written is a white paper regarding Russian security and the upgrading of Russian military forces in response to NATO’s expansion. Can you give us some view insights into this?


 Jar2

28 April 2012, 20:38

The Occupy Movement is Expanding

John Robles

The Occupy Movement is expanding

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Interview with David Solnit, an activist in the direwct action section of Occupy SF

Hello, David! How are you? Can you tell our listeners a little bit about what is going on with the Occupy movement? Because the mass media is not really covering it and a lot of people are with the idea that it’s dead. 

It’s more alive than it’s ever been. This winter the police repressed us. Some of the camps still are good. I’m sitting there outside. Here is a hardy group of people who stay here 24 hours a day. And the police arrest people who sleep in tents. So they sleep in the open air. But mostly what happen is people going back to their neighborhood, to their schools and their workplaces. And they have been going to bring the Occupy movement into our community. Here in SF we’re 12 thousand people in the process of losing homes to the big banks, we’re fighting house by house to keep our neighbors in our homes. Our students are fighting in their schools with the Occupy to keep the teachers and the school funded. There is a massive redistribution of wealth: 99% to the 1%, - that means cutting all our services, our education, our wages and our benefits. For an average student simply to get the education they come out between 25 thousand to 100 000 in debt. And this debt rises because student debt is like mortgage. And credit card debt is completely unregulated. And the problem with that is that the corporation and the banks control governmental politicians.   

When you talk about 100 0000 debt this is for a four-year bachelor’s degree, for example? 

Yes, I believe that an average student comes out somewhere between 25/30 thousand dollars in debt. To end up shackled with a huge debt which grows and grows and is completely unregulated by the politicians. Many students cannot afford that and they’re dropping out. And when they do get out, there is no job. 

It sounds like the Occupy movement is diversifying and starting to help people. Are you better organized than you were a couple of months ago? 

Oh, yeah. We are occupied in campuses, in our neighborhood. We have a huge learning co-work, we’re trying to find out, how is this that the banks take our homes, what’s the process and right now we’re trying to block it. We’re diversifying the options, we’re occupying, we’re doing whatever we can. We’ve actually got neighbors in SF who had been kicked out of the house for protests. And we’re simultaneously pushing for a moratorium. Couple of days ago took we over and disrupted Fargo shareholders’ meeting. 

What are the plans for the summer for Occupy SF and the Occupy movements in California? How coordinated these movements are becoming? 

We coordinate – I would call - emergent intelligent. Like when you see a flock of birds. They don’t necessarily have the central command or the head office, but they intuitively move to the similar direction. We move around education, around housing, around solidarity with work struggles.  And right now we are looking for May Day, next week, on Tuesday . There’s going to be a lot of local unions on strike. 

It should be pretty massive, right? Can you tell us how the police have treated you? Have you been a victim of any police brutality? What have you seen from the authorities? 

I’ve been fortunate, but we’ve had some beatings. In SF the police are much more brutal, but 30 years of organizing and political demonstrations showed that they’re less brutal than in the NY city. We fight for our rights and the police push back. They threaten us. Yesterday and two days ago when we were blocking the shareholders’ meeting, some of the shareholders were attacking non-violent protesters. They would attack, someone would push them over and the police would push them again. Being a professional police force they fought for 100 and 1%. Actually there were a few good apples, but our police force is beating around the tree.

The shareholders don’t get this right. They were attacking the protesters and the police were supporting them?

We’re trying to organize a meeting because in our city we’ve got 12 thousand people being kicked out of homes. The city itself is in audit with a private company, and it found out that 84% of these foreclosures were fraudulent. And that means that 9 to 10 thousand people having their homes taken away illegally. Basically that’s what gangsters do. And nationally we’re talking about 9 million people losing their homes. And for most folks that kind of the retirement plan when they take away your home – you’re going to be penniless when you are older. And it all happens because the banks strict the system.

What do you think of the upcoming elections? How do you think if that’s going to change anything?

We joke that we’ve got to choose between the Goldman Sachs supporting the Democrats and oil companies like Shell that support the Republicans. So would you rather have big oil or facultative capitalism running country? There’s really no choice. Our elections have always served the try to demobilize movements. We only have power, the ordinary people, when we organize ourselves. It’s a big distract. And in respect to other folks who hoped for Obama. I don’t think the question is whether or not he is a good person. I think you or I could have been elected. It’s like getting on a move in train. It’s a systemic problem.  One person can’t change it, only a mass movement with support from industries can. We don’t actually have the facility.  We joke that when people vote saying that this really matters, we ask what do you do other 364 days a year? People really don’t have control over the basic decisions. If you measure up what people are about, people say:  house care or stay in their homes or get the higher education, the actual decisionsreflect 1% of the wealthy elite. There’s really no one you could vote for, I would say that. The proper control of the electoral process representing democracy – for me it is broken. We can self-organize ourselves quite well and the elites are very bad, they make things worse.

 Jar2

26 April 2012, 14:18

Transparency, Secrets, and the Opposition

John Robles

Transparency, secrets, and the opposition

Transparency, is it really something that we all need, or has it become an all encompassing overused catch phrase promulgated by certain governments and special interests as a cover word to strip away rights, sovereignty, and civil liberties?

Transparency, is it really something that we all need, or has it become an all encompassing overused catch phrase promulgated by certain governments and special interests as a cover word to strip away rights, sovereignty, and civil liberties? My belief has always been that when someone starts telling you change something, to simplify a process that really does not concern them or to give up your secrets and allow them into places they really should not be, you had better sound the alarms and take a very hard look at what they are really doing. When the parties in question tie their actions and your compliance to financial aid and other tempting carrots then it is time to call in the security people because you are being had my friend. 

I am not against transparency, as I am sure few are, but there are limits I think to what should be and what should not be transparent. There must also be limits on “transparency” especially when dealing with areas where civil liberties and privacy rights are being trampled on, especially when we are talking about transparency for the government as it fulfills its role in protecting us, upholding the law and guaranteeing our security. This quite possibly most importantly applies to areas such as personal property rights, freedom of movement and association, and other areas where people should be allowed to possess the greatest amount of freedom possible. In order to guarantee our security we should not be trading security for freedom and that is the danger.

Who is calling for the transparency is also important. Is it the government calling for more transparency with regards to the transactions of financial institutions or the banking sphere? Or is it law enforcement wanting more access to people’s bank accounts or personal communications? Or perhaps it is one government or international body calling for the transparency of a certain country’s financial institutions or it political system or it scientific programs? Maybe it is one business group with financial interests in a certain sphere or industry? What are the motivations behind the calls for transparency and who benefits? All of these questions must be asked by officials and those in oversight positions.

If we hold to the tenet that transparency must not infringe on the freedoms or the sovereignty of a people or a country and that such trade-offs usually end with the people losing their freedoms or rights then, once again I must underline that we have to be very careful indeed when one country attempts to impose its will or standards on another with calls for transparency, regulation or other methods of control bringing into compliance with a certain set of standards or norms.  Having said all of that we can look at calls by the US and its surrogates and certain allies and their calls for more transparency in Russia’s internal processes, not only the political system and it workings but also the military, industrial, educational, medical and other spheres.

During the 1990s, a tumultuous period for much of the world and especially for Eastern Europe with the collapse of the Soviet Union, many people and countries looked to the West for guidance and believed that the West had noble intentions and their best interests in mind, unfortunately due the naïveté of much of the world at the time no one really understood that regardless of what is being sold, the rule buyer beware must be tantamount even, when talking about things like accepting observers, reformers, analysts,  and striving for “transparency”.  It was during this period that American specialists were welcomed in Russia and allowed to do almost anything they wanted and almost anything they said was accepted and implemented.  

In those days people like the current US ambassador to Russia were allowed to interface and finance all sorts of institutions and “opposition” groups, even allowed to interfere in the election processes of the country, and people trusted them and took their money and did what they were told to do. I know this is not true for everyone and maybe an oversimplification but it would take volumes to properly address all of the issues that existed in the 90s properly. This could not be more evident or clear as when the aforementioned individual returned to Russia not long ago, seeming to believe that the same cards were on the table and all of the players were still as naïve and trusting as they had been. Almost before even unpacking his suitcase he was meeting with his previous contacts in the Yabloko Party and according to reports in some of the Russian press even handing out payments along with instructions to “opposition” groups and figures before Russia’s presidential elections. All of this taking place against the background of a full-court-press by the West calling for more “transparency” and “democracy” and accusations of unfair parliamentary elections.

With all of their efforts against Vladimir Putin, and of course this is what it was all about, wasn’t it? The “opposition” came out, in numbers which were disappointing for the West, some of the rallies having almost as many members of the press as they did demonstrators. They tied up traffic caused a general feeling of discontent among the population and gave malcontents something to focus on. The “opposition” who have no one to thank but Mr. Putin, many of them, for the very ability to protest, became a fad, unfocussed and with no real alternative, but ready to gather and protest. The results they achieved were not what they were supposed to, however regardless of the low numbers they cost the Russian authorities billions of rubles and distracted and redirected resources and people from locations and events where they could have been better used.

In other areas Russia also spent billions and used resources to stand up to the challenges of the West and set about implementing scores of changes, including the never-before-tried installation of web cameras which filmed the ballot boxes, the allowing of over half a million election observers, new improved ballots, literally “transparent” ballot boxes and more, all done to be more “transparent”, all costing money and resources which could have been used for other things.

So is Russia now more transparent? To whom? To the West? Is all this transparency really necessary? For Russia herself I would say things are pretty much the way they were. All of the steps taken during the last presidential elections changed nothing in reality because the system, even though there were some minor faults and areas that were being abused, was already working the way it was supposed to.

What has now transpired, in my opinion, is that Russia now has one of the most “Democratic” elections systems in the world, no doubt fairer than that of the USA with its draconian districting and delegate counts, its electronic ballot boxes which provide no paper record and worst of all, the complete prohibition on observers.

Yes a prohibition on observers, by the same country that demands to place observers anywhere and everywhere they wish. In case you did not know the US refuses to allow UN or any other observers to monitor their own elections, which is strange really if you think about it.  Many Americans believe this would undermine their sovereignty. So one must ask; why should Russia or any other country for that matter, allow in observers? Is their sovereignty or that of the Russian Federation worth less than that of the US? No. So why doesn’t Russia start pressuring the US to be more transparent? There are in reality so many areas we could start with.

In closing according to RIA-Novosti, recently the deputy head of the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Alexander Pochinok, said that, the yet to be released PACE report on Russia’s presidential elections is realistic while its criticism is logical and the violations in the course of the election were insignificant and did not affect the outcome. Also commenting on the report, the mission’s head, Dutch Senator Tiny Kox, said the monitors stated the March 4th presidential elections “had a clear winner” and were more transparent than previous polls.

Okay Russia has spent billions and its election system has become more “transparent” for those watching from the outside, but once again I ask, were all of the changes really worth it, and for the sake of national security, should we all really be so transparent?

Just some food for thought… Talk to you tomorrow.

 Jar2

24 April 2012, 16:00

Winter Fades as Vacation Flashes By

John Robles

Best of the day to you all, or the night, wherever you may be and whatever the case may

Best of the day to you all, or the night, wherever you may be and whatever the case may be. In the event that you have visited my little corner recently and wondered what had happened to me, I guess I owe you all an explanation, you see, my bosses, in their lovely wisdom, decided to let me take a few days off, and the timing could not have been better.

So many things have happened in the past week that it seems like I have been away for years, but that is how it is these days, isn’t it? The world and all of the events and people in it are moving at lightning speed. Is this good or bad? Doesn’t matter really, it is just the way it is and we have to deal with it, like it or not.

So, I have just gotten back from vacation, and it is nice, in a way. Vacations are good, few would argue and they are right, but idle hands are the Devil’s plaything, but oh how sweet… lounging about, sleeping in, or partying till you drop.  However as with all good things, which end too soon, and too much of a good thing is also bad, it is time to move on, as the world has moved on, so there you have an enigma wrapped in a metaphor.

As the sun comes up I stretch out and bask in the morning sun savoring, relishing, soaking up, and luxuriating in the sunlight shining through my window, the hot sun kisses my skin, strange and pleasant and life giving after almost eight months of virtual darkness, freezing cold, and the brutal elements that go with winter this far north. The sun, so powerful so needed and so able to affect everything around us, brings new life into my old carcass blocking out almost everything else as it heals and nurtures my very soul. Sorry got carried away a little perhaps.

If you are fortunate or unfortunate, as the case may be, depending on how character-building you wish to views such things, and live in more moderate climes. You may say I sound half-cocked, ranting and raving about the sun and the weather as if something so benign could be something worth talking about, but if you have experienced decades of Russian winter you will probably understand me, you would know how weather can be a force which dictates how things are, how they will be and how it can be so powerful as to change your life, your psyche and your very existence.

I remember quite well my first full winter in Moscow, it was a doozy, with no exaggeration I did not see the sun, not even a slight five second glance through altocumulus, altostratus, cirrocumulus, cirrus, cumulonimbus, stratocumulus, or any other type of cloud or frozen or otherwise air-borne precipitation for more than eight months. With days that were less than six hours long, and temperatures that brutally did not move much higher than minus 25 degrees Celsius for months, it may not be too much of a stretch of the imagination to say it was like a frozen hell. But I, mad lover of cold, and things extreme, loved it….Except for one little thing, after six months of not seeing the sun it dampened the spirit…

So the sun has come to Moscow, and this year the transition from freezing winter to shirt sleeve heat took less than a week, I kid you not! The first day of my vacation I was still wearing my heavy winter coat, and there was still snow everywhere, on the third day I was watching rain fall outside the window and opening the windows to get a little fresh air as I walked around in shorts.

Getting used to such a weather change so fast is hard for some (sometimes it really feels as if the blood runs thicker in the winter like a big truck running number 2 diesel) and perhaps a major disappointment for those who invested heavily in spring collections, but it is what we have and I for one am glad.

Happy to be back, talk to you all tomorrow…. Enjoy the spring, or the fall for that matter, depending on where you are… Fall is also a wonderful thing…     

 Jar2

17 April 2012, 11:51

Sympathy for the Devil

John Robles

Sympathy for the Devil

If your sister or your mother, your most cherished, loved and honored persons, were to be brutally murdered in

If your sister or your mother, your most cherished, loved and honored persons, were to be brutally murdered in the street and at the time had (now bear with me here I know this is terrible) some M and Ms, some tissues and say a lipstick in their purse and then some malcontented half-wit decided to create a picture (a work of art) of the killers face using M and Ms, some tissues and lipstick, wouldn’t that be something that would be completely and totally morally reprehensible and an abomination in the eyes of all civilized and peace loving humans?

Now let us take this one step further, or two, or three, or four, and trust me I trying to make a point here, and ask another question. Why can’t we take it one step further, they keep doing the same thing, anesthetizing the masses and getting them ready for even worse, getting them used to accepting even further horrors. Let’s ask a question and include even more sinister and global events, events and deeds destroying the very very fabric of society, global consciousness and humanity. Let’s ask another question, this time involving Afghani children, since they keep getting killed by the dozens, and ponder what the world’s reaction would be if someone had the sick and twisted idea to collect the items from the pockets of the dead children and then used them to produce a mosaic of say an Amercan flag or even George Bush, wouldn’t that be an abomination?

What about if someone took the skulls of dead American Indians, a people destroyed by genocide and driven from their lands, and used them to make book ends, or candle holders, or start secret societies, where hate is worshipped and glorified, and even made into a code of conduct for some twisted and sick secret society bent on world domination through hate and death and manipulation.

Are you feeling ill yet picturing all of these horrors? Not let us take it further, and I feel we must for we must not be allowed to forget and what I have outlined above has been done, what if we collected items from the pockets and the hands of murdered Jews, murdered by the nazis (sic), and used them to produce a portrait of hitler (sic) or a swastika, that would be unthinkable wouldn’t it? Lest we forget or lest the historical revisionists have deleted some of the facts of the Holocaust from the history books, the Nazis did even worse things, they used the flesh of those they held in concentration camps, the Jews and others to make lampshades, wallets, book covers, soap and even cut off tattoos and saved them as tropies in albums, wasn’t all of that an abomination?

So on the eve of the birthday of the biggest monster in the history of all mankind, lest we forget and allow the historical revisionists any leeway, and with all of the historical revisionism and newfound tolerance for racism that is spreading throughout the world like a cancer on the wave of spreading American “democracy”, let me ask you all one more question, okay two; why would we then tolerate a sick individual making a portrait of the killer of Trayvon Martin with Skittles and then pretending to be sympathetic with the devil because he had a history of mental problems?

Not everything American is good and is to be welcomed with open arms and a conspiratory wink of the eye, no matter how cynical or sarcastic one wishes to be, accepting hate and letting it go by unaddressed and allowing it to spread is what happened in Germany in the 30s, it is not a sign of freedom of speech or democracy, for freedom of speech and true Democracy has with a huge responsible and that is to not allow it to be perverted by those cynical, sarcastic and hateful enough to do so for their own ends.

Have we completely lost our way?       

Just some more food for thought and I wish you all the best wherever you may be.    

 Jar2

14 April 2012, 12:13

North Korea's Failed Rocket: Is it a Game of Lose-Win or Win-Win?

John Robles

South Korean people watch a TV screen showing a graphic of North Korea's rocket launch, at a train station in Seoul on April 13, 2012.  Photo: AFP

South Korean people watch a TV screen showing a graphic of North Korea's rocket launch, at a train station in Seoul on April 13, 2012.  Photo: AFP

Last night, while half the world was asleep, dreaming of whatever it is half the world normally dreams about, according to the reports which the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea has released to the world, it attempted to launch a meteorological satellite into orbit, a first for the country and the first time they have attempted to launch a rocket of that magnitude.

The noble deed was meant to raise the spirits of its people and was timed to mark the 100th birthday anniversary of the country’s first leader Kim Il Sung.

Unfortunately, according to Western sources, the rocket broke up a few minutes after take-off and the launch was a complete failure. Or was it? Regardless of what the world is told to believe there are many who will doubt the official version and hold the belief that the missile was shot down by benevolent Western powers who want to protect the world from the Axis of Evil. This could be regarded as a propaganda victory for the West.

On the other end of the spectrum North Korea also has a win to some point, they can claim, and no doubt it is true, that in the face of dire threats and extreme resistance, they stood up to the world’s policeman and launched their little rocket anyway. They can spread rumors that it was Western interference that caused the rocket to fail and continue trying. This, in turn, could be claimed as a propaganda victory by the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea.

Yet there is another aspect that perhaps North Korea, and those watching the situation, have not really thought about, and that is that the West needs North Korea to continue such activities, so regardless of what they do or the results of their attempts at creating weapons or advancing their technology, they will be playing into the West’s hands.

The only thing that North Korea could do, if it really wants to beat the West, is to completely hide its weapons programs, to protect it from a real invasion, and to appear to the world to have disarmed.

The West, in particular the United States and NATO need North Korea and Iran. They need them desperately in order to justify the billions upon they billions they are spending for the development of Reagan’s Star Wars shield and the expansion of NATO and its ABM system into the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific Region. Without these two countries NATO and its entire ABM shield and their global expansion become something unnecessary, something that few would likely support.

Yesterday we touched on the question why the West continues to call for sanctions against Iran and why do they continue putting pressure on the country to do something that they already know Iran is not doing; namely attempting to build nuclear weapons. According to one expert Iran may be dreaming about nuclear weapons but they are not doing anything to get them.  This is well known by the US Government. So why continue the propaganda? Well because NATO and the US need a reason to continue their military expansion and their incursions on the sovereignty of half the world.

In that light the worst thing that North Korea could do now, for the West, is to either completely hide everything they are doing or to completely disarm. If they disarm there is the likelihood that they will be invaded so as to effect a regime change. But the West does not really want this. NATO needs North Korea to continue seeking to improve its technology so they can keep up their global escalation and claim they are protecting the world. For the same reason they need Iran to continue its nuclear program.

If the West decides they do not need Korea anymore to justify their own military escalation, then the country is in for a world of trouble and might quite possibly be the subject of the world’s next military intervention. Just some food for thought, thanks for checking in. 

Russia, India, China urge diplomatic reaction to N. Korea’s failed space launch 

Russia, India and China have called for resorting exclusively to political and diplomatic leverage to react to North Korea’s failed launch of a space satellite. This came in a statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov following the talks of the three Foreign Ministers in Moscow earlier today. Lavrov urged all countries to show restraint and came out against slapping fresh sanctions on North Korea. 

North Korea admits satellite launch proved a failure 

The North Korean mass media have admitted that the recent launch of a space satellite did take place but proved a failure. 

Earlier, the United States and Japan reported the news.

The US air defenses detected the takeoff of the rocket-carrier, of which the first stage fell into the sea some 165 kilometres away from Seoul, while the two other stages are believed not to have detached themselves at all. It was in March that Pyongyang said it would launch a space satellite to mark the birth centenary of North Korea’s first leader, Kim Il Sung. The plan was strongly condemned by many countries, including Russia. The UN Security Council has banned North Korea from launching rockets that involve the use of ballistic missile technologies.

North Korean rocket fails

The launch of the North Korean rocket ended in failure according to reports by the U.S. government and Japan. The Pentagon reported that, according to preliminary data, the rocket broke up shortly after takeoff.

The UN Security Council will meet today in an emergency session to discuss an appropriate response.

Pyongyang’s plans to launch its own space rocket caused sharp condemnation from many countries, including Russia.

The international community fears that under the guise of attempting to place a satellite in orbit, North Korea may be testing a ballistic missile.

Pyongyang claimed that the mission had a peaceful goal, namely the placing into orbit of a satellite was to have performed meteorological functions.

The launch was timed, by the authorities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Koreas, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the country's first leader, Kim Il Sung. 

S. Korea launches search for N. Korean rocket debris: official

South Korea's navy on Friday launched a salvage operation to retrieve the debris from North Korea's failed rocket launch, a military spokesman said Friday.

"We've located where the debris landed and we're making efforts to salvage it," the Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman told AFP. 

China urges 'restraint' after failed N. Korea rocket launch 

China on Friday urged "calm" and "restraint" from all sides after North Korea's failed long-range rocket drew strong condemnation from the United States and its allies.

"We hope all relevant parties can maintain calm and restraint, and refrain from acts that would harm peace and stability on the peninsula and in the region," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said in a statement.

TASS, RIAN, AFP, IF

13 April 2012, 14:10

Quartet Discussing Aid for Palestine

 Dr. Alon Ben-Meir

Download audio file    Moved to Ben Meir Page

On Wednesday the Quartet met on the Palestinian situation. They are calling for 1.1 billion dollars in aid for Palestine. John Robles spoke to Dr. Alon Ben-Meir , a Middle East Expert and a Professor from the Center of Global Affairs at New York University on the issue.

On Wednesday the Quartet met on the Palestinian situation. They are calling for 1.1 billion dollars in aid for Palestine. John Robles spoke to Dr. Alon Ben-Meir, a Middle East Expert and a Professor from the Center of Global Affairs at New York University on the issue.


 Jar2

13 April 2012, 14:08

Trayvon Martin Killer Arrested

John Robles

Trayvon Martin killer arrested

Download audio file

George Zimmerman, the Trayvon Martin killer, has now been arrested on second-degree murder charges. John Robles spoke with Mr. Trevor Harvey , President of the Sarasota County Chapter of the NAACP and the area 11 Director of the NAACP Conference.

George Zimmerman, the Trayvon Martin killer, has now been arrested on second-degree murder charges. John Robles spoke with Mr. Trevor Harvey, President of the Sarasota County Chapter of the NAACP and the area 11 Director of the NAACP Conference.

 

13 April 2012, 13:56

US coming to the Middle East

John Robles

Download audio file

The U.S. is about to announce that they are going to advance their SM-3 missile systems in the Middle East and Asia Pacific region. John Robles spoke with Rick Rozoff , the Manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and the contributing writer to globalresearch.ca.

The U.S. is about to announce that they are going to advance their SM-3 missile systems in the Middle East and Asia Pacific region. John Robles spoke with Rick Rozoff, the Manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and the contributing writer to globalresearch.ca.


 Jar2

13 April 2012, 12:31

Islamic Terrorists Trained in US

John Robles

This story is for you, provided that you are not subject to having to deal with censored news sources and are able to actually receive some information in some small way resembling the truth.

This story is for you, provided that you are not subject to having to deal with censored news sources and are able to actually receive some information in some small way resembling the truth.

If you are able to actually get around all of the censors and media filters and can actually see some sort of real news and have heard about the fact that the US is training terrorist groups inside the US and are actually shocked or surprised by the news, then you are, perhaps as I am, still living in a dream world that does not exist anymore.     

The world I am talking about may have existed in the dreams of the previous generation, it may have existed in our own misconceived notions when we our generation was younger, but it does not exist anymore, if it did at all. That naïve never-never land of justice and truth and peace and human rights.

What exists now and what has existed since 9-11 is a world of endless terror, mindless war to the ends of time and the endless stripping of your every right as a human being by an endless gun at your temple and boot in your face. And it does not matter what you or I want, or whether or not any of the us agree with what they are doing. Why doesn’t it matter? Well, for the main reason that what they are doing, be it torturing hundreds of innocent people, holding thousands without trial and incommunicado, or killing and destroying entire peoples, they are doing for our safety.

What I am getting at now are the endless calls by the US to arm the opposition in countries like Syria, Libya and anywhere else where the toppling of a government or the causing of instability is beneficial to the strengthening of the US position in the area. Calls which are becoming more and more frequent and more and more obvious and ever the more bolder with each passing day. In this case not just the opposition in some far away land but terrorists being trained in the US, and being sent to who knows where.

Recently another Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated in Iran and the entire US News cycle on the event was covered with speculation that it was the Iranians themselves and their “Evil Death Squads” who killed him, most sane people and many experts thought it was Israel, after all they had committed such acts before, but no one, especially, and first and foremost the US media, in no way connected the US with the attack.

Well thanks a Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporter for The New Yorker magazine, Seymour Hersh, we now know the truth, and it is blacker than anyone had imagined. Unfortunately US Officials are able to continue the line that they have nothing to do with such things. After all they only trained the terrorists, but still Hersh has shed some light into a very dark corner.

In an interview with Hersh, Amy Goodman with Democracy Now, reveals that starting in 2005 the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command  was training terrorists from the group Mujahideen-e-Khalq, or MEK, a group which had been on the US State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organization List since 1997, at a secret site inside the contiguous United States in the state of  Nevada. The site is called the Nevada Nuclear Security or National Security Test Site and is a closed area for the general public, it is also the location of a secret air base which was used to fly the terrorists in and out of the country.

What is most revealing in Hersh’s interview is the number of times he negates the fact that the Iranians are attempting to build a nuclear weapon, even claiming to know firsthand at one point that the Iranians do NOT have a nuclear weapons program and this he says is known to Israeli and American Intelligence. Something that many experts have told me as well during the course of interviews, so as Mr. Hersh said, “…the United States is now increasing sanctions and putting all sorts of economic pressure on the Iranians to stop them from making a bomb that we know they’re not making.”

So why is the US really doing everything it can to build the case for an invasion of Iran? The answer may be obvious, but I will let you work it out.

Have a great day (or night) wherever you may be.       

 Jar2

10 April 2012, 19:27

Smolensk Disaster Revisited

John Robles

Today Russia mourns along with Poland a disaster that should never have happened and which hit Russia almost as hard as it hit Poland. At 10:41 GMT a minute of silence was observed and ceremonies were held in both countries.

Today Russia mourns along with Poland a disaster that should never have happened and which hit Russia almost as hard as it hit Poland. At 10:41 GMT a minute of silence was observed and ceremonies were held in both countries.

On April 10th 2010, during an attempt to land in thick fog at Smolensk North Airport, a former military airbase, the Polish President’s Air Force Tupolev Tu-154M Aircraft crashed near the city of Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 people on board. The pilots attempted to land under conditions where visibility was reduced to about 500 meters (or 1,600 feet) and approached too low clipping trees which caused the aircraft to flip upside down, impact the ground, break apart, and eventually come to rest 200 meters (660 feet) short of the runway in a wooded area.

All 96 people on board died including Polish president Lech Kaczyński and the First Lady Maria, the Head of the Intelligence Service, Former President Ryszard Kaczorowski, the Chief of the Polish General Staff and other senior Polish military officers, the President of the National Bank of Poland, Poland's Deputy Foreign Minister, Polish government officials, 15 members of the Polish parliament, senior members of the Polish clergy, and relatives of victims of the Katyn massacre.

All of the victims were en-route from Warsaw to attend an event in Russia marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre at a location approximately 19 kilometers (12 miles) west of Smolensk.

For Russia the disaster came at a time when the Russian Federation and the Russian people were taking unprecedented steps and showing unprecedented openness towards the Polish people and the Polish State in attempting to bring closure to one of the darkest moments in Russian-Polish history.

Unfortunately the intense pressure and the importance of the ceremony at Katyn coupled with the hurried preparations and errors in the cockpit led to a tragedy of historic proportions and another dark moment in Russian-Polish History.  

The death of the so many top officials at one time has no parallel in modern history. Never has such an event taken place causing many to fault the Polish side for allowing the entire top echelon of the Polish Government to be on a single airplane at the same time.

From the beginning many in the Western media and all over the internet pounced on Russia and tried to find fault with the Russian side with conspiracy theories popping up left and right, every breaking detail being twisted to fit into some black scheme or another.

The whole premise that Russian had something to gain from orchestrating such a tragic event in my opinion seemed ridiculous, the entire country was in shock and everyone from the president on down were doing all they could to console and assist the Polish people in their time of shock and mourning but even in such a time of pain and national mourning cynical anti-Russian hysteria reared its ugly mindless little head.

I have spoken to many experts and conducted hours and hours of my own research into the tragedy, part of which included studying and reading dozens of theories on the disaster and my conclusion was the same as that of many top professionals. Blame lies with the cockpit crew and with the events that occurred in the cockpit, including the interference and the influence of passengers on the crew. In the end, however, after all is said and done, no matter what else was happening, with the Captain of the aircraft.    

As for the conspiracy theories, well, there are some that for me could have been developed but for some reason never were and the very fact that they were not can lead one to cast a suspicious eye in that direction.

You know as well as I do that when there is a crime committed, the first place to look is at who benefits, who has a motive. This is a tried and true investigative approach and must be part of any healthy debate or thinking in approaching such events. What I noticed, and I am sure that many would not go there, is that many in the West had more to benefit from the disaster than anyone in Poland or the Russian Federation. 

Now, I am not accusing, or pointing the finger, but just as theories were concocted blaming Russia, based on the flimsiest of evidence, much more could be said for conspiracies involving NATO for instance.

With the US and NATO’s aggressive interference in the internal affairs of nation after nation since 1999 and especially since September 11, 2001, one has to ask oneself some hard questions. In the case of Poland, in which the US had already installed its own regime, (remember “Solidarnost” and Lech Walesa and the “color revolution” there?) the problem for the Alliance was quite an acute one. They saw that Poland was mending fences in a real and significant way and in a truly heartfelt manner which was not in any way conducive to allowing for NATO Missile Batteries to be placed on Polish soil to neutralize Russian Defenses.

If one is to concoct conspiracy theories then one must look at who benefits and if we look at 9-11 and at the Smolensk crash and at a slew of other such events that I do not have the time nor the space to get into here, then we see a pattern that begins to emerge, a pattern that points to a black and evil plan in progress, that the US and NATO have been engaged in for years.  However, we won’t go there. Will we? Not today. We are better than that. Aren’t we?

Today is a day of mourning, my thoughts and wishes go out to all of those affected by this tragedy and are with those who perished, may they have found peace. 

Epilogue:

According to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) annex 13, on Russia befell the responsibility for investigating the accident as it occurred on Russian territory. Russia and Poland agreed even though the flight was flown by a military aircraft and Smolensk Northern is a joint civil-military airport not certified by ICAO.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev appointed a special state commission to investigate the accident and placed Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in charge.

Other parties were also involved in the investigation including the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), accredited investigators from Poland, the USA's National Transportation Safety Board, and the USA's Federal Aviation Administration.

The final accident report was published on the 12th of January 2011and placed the majority of the blame for the accident on the pilots.

Related links:

Interview with Captain John Cox, the Chief Executive Officer of Safety Operating Systems in Washington DC and a world renowned aviation expert, July 16, 2010:  http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/07/16/12497718.html

December 20, 2010: http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/12/20/37263356.html

August 15, 2011: http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/12/20/37263356.html

Smolensk crash remembered: http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_04_10/71207814/

Joint grief:

http://english.ruvr.ru/photoalbum/6325973/6326725/

 Jar2

6 April 2012, 16:41

The World’s Judge, Jury and Executioner

John Robles

The World’s Judge, Jury and Executioner

Dear readers and listeners, if you would like to get a hold of me or comment on anything I have written please visit me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JohnARoblesII.

The Victor Bout case proves innocence is an inconvenient truth for the US, as is jurisdiction, rule of law, human rights, international norms, the Geneva Conventions, the territorial integrity of sovereign nations, etc. etc.

There are so many egregious errors and over-steppings of the bounds of what can be accepted as normalcy in this case that one is want where to begin. To make some sense of the utter magnitude of this international miscarriage of justice is not easy because for all intents and purposes there is no sense to be made here.

The case against Victor is rotten to its very core and its very foundation is so shaky that no sane person anywhere else but in the US would have pursued it. I may be wrong in your opinion but I do not think I am exaggerating or over-stating the seriousness of this matter.

At the core of this case is something that should never have been allowed to stand because it has set such a dangerous earth shaking precedent that there is really little way that the world can go back. The simple premise that the US has some sort of “right” to arrest the citizen of another country, a person who is not and never was any sort of US National, in a third country for a violation of US laws that only apply to the US and its territories which never actually occurred, based on hearsay and circumstantial evidence, is more than just ludicrous, it is insane.     

If this is the case and the first and most basic premise used by the US in the entire Bout case is in fact insane, or shaky if you like, then it must not be allowed to stand by the international community.

This tenet that the US is basing their aggressive wars on, this belief they are using to continue arming rebel groups worldwide, over-throwing governments, targeting for death anyone they wish and more, this twisted self-serving belief that anyone or anything, anywhere in the world, at any time who is against the United States of America is a criminal and can be liquidated, must not be allowed to be used anymore to undermine the integrity of the entire planet. 9-11 is over, they cannot be allowed free reign any longer.

Even if Victor Bout was guilty their case is hilarious. Let’s turn the tables and look at it from the other side and from the precedent this sets. Even if he assisted in some way in delivering weapons to FARC this is not illegal everywhere in the world. SO what jurisdiction did the US have to illegally kidnap Bout in Thailand? Is it a US territory? Thailand allowed this to happen so they gave up their sovereignty because like everyone they are afraid of the world’s policeman, and judge, jury and executioner.

Georgia for example was armed by the US, they killed UN sanctioned Russian Peacekeepers and civilian Russian citizens, that is a crime under international law, so the world’s policeman must arrest; Condelezza Rice, George Bush, and every American that played any role in that act of aggression. What about Iraq and Afghanistan, the same thing?

We saw this first in Afghanistan, and I was shocked that they were allowed to arrest, or kill, or torture anyone who fought back when the US Forces aggressively attacked their country. My thought, and tell me if I am wrong, is that if some soldier comes into my house and starts killing my family you better believe I am going to fight back to the death. But the world’s policeman says this is a crime, (defending your loved ones) if the US wants to kill your father you better not try to save his life, you had better not pick up that grenade to throw it back because if you do you are an enemy combatant and will be taken to Guantanamo and tortured to death. Isn’t that exactly what they did in Afghanistan?

What about Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Egypt, China, Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Iran, Yemen, and every other country where the US has supplied and armed insurgents, rebels, extremists, and fanatics? The killing and overthrowing of governments these people were responsible for were acts which were illegal in all of those countries were they not? So let us call the world’s policeman to arrest every American involved in those crimes.

While we are at it let’s arrest every manufacturer of American weapons, every official, designer, employee and distributor at Raytheon, General Electric, General Dynamics, and so on and so forth. I mean their weapons are used to kill innocent women and babies. While we are at it, if we follow the logic they used to kidnap, torture and entrap Bout, let’s arrest everyone involved is selling and manufacturing at Colt, Smith and Wesson, Remington and every other maker of arms. Why? Well these weapons are used by criminals to commit crimes, to kill cops and the like, so just like Bout, the suppliers of these weapons must also be held responsible. Right?

Wrong! The world’s policeman says so. No matter what country you live in anywhere in the world you must follow US law. If the US wants to sell weapons to Syrian fanatics, or Chechen terrorists, or Albanian murderers this is okay and acceptable. But you must do nothing against US interests, or you will be hunted down, arrested, tortured, or simply taken out by a drone.

Yes I said this too loud and too clear, but this is in fact the reality we are faced with and it is time people all over the world woke up. We can play with words, and be politically correct and make things look nice and not so bad but in reality we have all been enslaved by the US. Or have we? Stand up, or stand down. It’s up to you.

Have a nice day, wherever you may be.

 Jar2

5 April 2012, 12:04

NATO Continuing its Global Expansion

John Robles

Just when humble shell-shocked little-old-you thought it was maybe, sort of, just quite possibly, kind of, a little safe

Just when humble shell-shocked little-old-you thought it was maybe, sort of, just quite possibly, kind of, a little safe to pop your head out of your marginally cozy self-delusional hiding place (a secret place you created to withstand the mind-numbing daily onslaught of images and reports of endless war, violence, genocide, corruption, unrest and the expanded “Democratization” of the entire planet), COMING SOON to a naïve, trusting, albeit; greedy and just morally-repugnant-enough-to-be-pliant  COUNTRY NEAR YOU, A NEW and EXPANDED US/NATO PRESENCE (or its surrogate, doesn’t matter).

According to an Official Statement by Dr. Brad Roberts to the US House Armed Services Committee, dated March 6, 2012, in which he requests funding for US Missile Programs, the US is: implementing the principles of the phased adaptive approach in the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East (regions) and building on the existing foundations of U.S. cooperation. He writes; these regional approaches must be tailored to the unique mix of threat and geography in each region and that the footprint of U.S. military presence is different in each region, and will evolve in different ways over the coming decade.”  In other words what we see now is just part of a long term plan of global domination.

According to the same document, in the Asia-Pacific Region: Japan has acquired its own layered missile defense system, and the United States and Japan are partnering in the co-development of an advanced version of the SM-3 interceptor, the SM-3 Block IIA, and the United States and Australia signed a memorandum of understanding on missile defense cooperation in 2004 and partnership on ballistic missile defense research and development, most notably in the field of sensors. The United States also continues to consult with the Republic of Korea regarding its future ballistic missile defense requirements.  The US also engages in a trilateral dialogue with Japan and Australia and another trilateral dialogue with Japan and the Republic of Korea. This is important because it is the US engaging in talks but it is its surrogate NATO, which will be key in implementing the military structures and presence.

The document goes on to out-line plans for the Middle East including: improving interoperability between U.S. and Israeli missile defense systems and the 2008 deployment a forward-based radar in Israel. It states that the US Administration has requested nearly $450 million for Israeli rocket and missile defense between FY 2010 and 2013 and secured an additional $205 million in FY2011 to procure Iron Dome defense systems. $655 million is just for Israel. In a country faced with an economic crisis with the common people not even able to be provided with healthcare, this is a huge sum just for Israel.

Also, according to the same document, in the Middle East the US is working with a number of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries on missile defense, including the selling of U.S. missile defenses through the Foreign Military Sales program and the US is promoting interoperability and information sharing among the GCC states which they say will allow for more efficient missile defenses and could lead to greater security cooperation in the region.

A very key phrase in the document is one stating that; “… the primary purpose of the phased adaptive approaches to regional missile defense is to build upon a solid foundation to achieve improvements over the coming decade.” This phrase is important because it shows the plans for expansion and the forward thinking that it behind the whole approach. Meaning, to put it bluntly, today we have a few missiles in your face and tomorrow we have you surrounded and neutralized.

Another key figure is the amount that is being requested, and one must keep in mind that this for missile defense only, this does not include other military expenditures by the US and NATO. The document states that; “… the Fiscal Year 2013 budget request is $9.7 billion and $47.4 billion over the next five years to develop and deploy missile capabilities.” The document also claims that the phased adaptive approach is fully in line with the main themes of U.S. defense strategy in a period of budget austerity. They call $47.4 billion in line with budget austerity?!     

These are just two regions that they mention; let us not forget that NATO and the US are expanding their “military footprint” (using their term) in the Arctic, in the Caucuses, in India and even into the Russian Federation itself, with the “harmless” renting of the Uzhni Airbase, a move opposed by the Communist Party and one that must be scrutinized under a microscope if it is to be seriously considered.

Also affecting the situation close to home is NATO’s continued love affair with Georgian President Saakashvili. On April 3rd the NATO-Georgia Commission met in NATO headquarters in Brussels with Saakashvili and Rasmussen both present. Rasmussen, the NATO Secretary General, said “A forceful statement with regard to cooperation with Georgia may be made at the NATO Chicago summit in late May 2012.” However he did not confirm that NATO would grant Georgia a NATO Membership Action Plan at the Chicago summit nor in what way exactly NATO would express its support to Georgia. Rasmussen said that the statement on Georgia will express NATO’s gratitude to Georgia for sending the largest military group of non-NATO member countries to Afghanistan, the alliance will confirm an important contribution of Georgia to trans-Atlantic cooperation and would once again acknowledge and welcome the Georgian wish to join it.

Speaking recently on Chicago Public Media about a NATO debate and calling for the disbandment of NATO, something many believe should have been done when the Warsaw Pact collapsed, NATO expert and anti-NATO activist Rick Rozoff called the Alliance: “… a lawless, aggressive, constantly expanding threat to the post-World War Two international political order and security system … and … a bellicose Western axis launching wars at will as far away from the North Atlantic Ocean as the Balkans, South Asia and North Africa, dividing and destroying nations in sanguinary rampages from the former Yugoslavia to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Libya to the Gulf of Aden. And completing the military encirclement of Russia, with Iran next and China after it, replete with an extension of the U.S.-NATO European interceptor missile system into the Persian Gulf, the South Caucasus, India and the general Asia-Pacific region. “ 

Mr. Rozoff finished a post to his mailing list recently with a simple question which I would like to echo, he asked: “When will the true world community come to its senses and demand that NATO be abolished?” I second that motion and add, isn’t it time we all woke up? Or perhaps it is already too late.

 Jar2

5 April 2012, 11:53

EU Made Serbia a Colony

Doctor Jovan Deretic

EU has made Serbia a colony - expert

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Interview with Dr. Jovan Deretic, a Political Science Doctor, the member of the Petrovskaya Academy in St. Petersburg and the President of the Free Serbia Movement in Serbia.

http://m.ruvr.ru/2012/04/05/1302441286/Petrograd2010.jpg

Can you tell our listeners what are the main points affecting the current struggle of the Serbian people, I mean politically as far as integration with Europe, ties with the United States, ties with Russia, etc.?

Yes, we are having a very bad situation in Serbia since the year 2000 when the Government was started here. We have a Pristine Government or not a Pristine Government and everything that is wrong here is against the Serbian people, against the Serbian state, everything is destroyed in Kosovo and Metohija. Classical defiance of the Serbian acting Government. The people are resisting. We are in a rich country, now people start starving because all the economy is destroyed. And we don’t have the right to produce something because we have to buy everything from the European Union. The European Union has made of us a kind of colony and not thinking straight here, people are very, very hungry.

And now we have an election which is to be held on the 6th of May. But this election is a paper to be stealing, it’s not absolutely free. It’s not absolutely correct. And this carries a big question of what will happen in Serbia in one month, two months and through time. And the European Union will not get Serbia as its member. They have a plan to accept Serbia as a last colony, to destroy our economy and oblige the people to immigrate in other states particularly to make Serbia empty. And our regular people are obliged to follow these policies because they are blackmailed by Brussels. People in power who have money have stolen everything that is given to Serbia as a nation like a good credit. Privatization resulted in stealing, like mafia working.

And now they ask from the people and people do not agree with this policy. People in Serbia will not enter the European Union. People from Serbian look to the east to roots to trust to a new European-Asian Economic Union. And my movement Слободна Србија (Free Serbia Movement) are working on the program for Serbia to join the European-Asian Economic Union as we are the only ones in Serbia who dare to talk freely of this problem. Our media is not free. People don’t watch TV anymore.

Can you please tell me about your political campaign, because as I understand you are running for office? What are your positions?

Our political campaign, we will not be present on this election because it is not free and correct. We boycott this election and boycott the new Government which will come after this election.

Why exactly?

Because they are prepared to steal 2 million votes. Everything is discovered, we know everything what they have done. And this is not a normal election, this is a joke.

I’d like to know why many of the current politicians are not loved by the Serbian people and yet they are in office? How did that happen? Most of the politicians right now are not supported by the Serbian people, why is that?

These politicians now are not supported by the Serbian people, they are supported by NATO and by Brussels. And here we have some Russian diplomats, they say that Russia will keep good relationship whoever will be in the Government of Serbia. We don’t like this because it means that Russia doesn’t care of what is happening here and puts in place to work for better relations between Serbia and Russia people who work too hesitant. I think Russian diplomats don’t understand our  situation.

That’s not very promising to hear that. What would you do if you win office, what do you think should be done to improve relations with Russia and Serbia?

I think we have to join a European-Asian Union with Russia, Belorussia, and Kazakhstan. And we will see what we can do more. And our goal is to bring Serbia into the European-Asian Union.

What steps have been taken so far in that direction?

One of the actions if we will come not as a minority, the first thing – we will stop negotiations with the European Union right away because it does not matter for us and we will start working to improve our relationship with Russia, and prepare Serbia to join this union.

 Jar2

3 April 2012, 13:58

Much Ado Over Nothing

John Robles

Election season is under way in the United States and dirt is being thrown around left and right as Americans love to do. Rarely are positive campaigns fought in American politics, as a rule the focus is on the most minuscule impropriety or immorality, which if cooked and served up right, can take down the strongest of candidates.

Election season is under way in the United States and dirt is being thrown around left and right as Americans love to do. Rarely are positive campaigns fought in American politics, as a rule the focus is on the most minuscule impropriety or immorality, which if cooked and served up right, can take down the strongest of candidates. Sadly it is not even really important if there is truth in allegations, what is more important is how often (the lie) is repeated, for as with any non-truth, if it repeated enough it has a way of becoming truth to the public.

This time the dirt being dug up, if not fabricated, against President Barack Obama, a president who has been attacked by the right wing and its lunatic fringe since day one for everything from his name to his birth certificate, involves not him directly but a contributor to his campaign. Lest it be forgotten the person in question, New York donor Abake Assongba has been accused, not found guilty or convicted. This should be an important fact in the land of so called, “…innocent until proven guilty….”, but it is just a side point as is normally the case.

As anyone who knows me can state, without a doubt, I am not one to defend American politicians, even Obama, however as a champion of fairness I do find it necessary to underline one very important fact here; U.S. President Obama is the only presidential candidate who has released a list of what Americans call "bundlers," those who raise high-dollar campaign funds through friends and associates. This is something Republicans have long been want to do.

This is not the first scandal involving Barack Obama and his contributors. Let’s not forget the case of long-time Clinton family financier, Hassan Nemazee, accused of fraudulently obtaining loans totaling $292 million from three banks to support his lifestyle and make political contributions. He was convicted to 12.5 years in prison in July 2010 on multiple counts of bank fraud and wire fraud. However this case does not involve Obama directly.

What about the Republicans? Well if you do a Google search for the term “Republican Scandals 2012” you will get 68,200,000 results. I did not even know where to start. For the Republicans it is so bad that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched the “House of Scandal” website at: http://dccc.org/index.php/corrupt, which has an interesting feature, Corrupt Republican of the Month, for those interested in dirt.

In contrast to Barack Obama, Mitt Romney is no angel, a Google search for the term Romney Finance Scandals will provide you with 13,300,000 results, including an ABC News piece which turned out to be nothing, but provocatively began: “Although it is not apparent on his financial disclosure form, Mitt Romney has millions of dollars of his personal wealth in investment funds set up in the Cayman Islands, a notorious Caribbean tax haven. …” However as it turned out, like I said, it was nothing.      

The real story here might be about the transparency that Barack Obama has attempted to maintain, as opposed to his opponents obfuscation, because really, with 1.3 million people having contributed to Obama’s campaign, according to Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt, it would be really hard to vet every single one beforehand.

On the other hand the real story here might also be about how American politics has become a simple money game, where the richest man (or woman) wins. Let’s not forget Barack Obama saying he would raise $1 billion dollars for his campaign.

Just like the unprecedented transparency of the recent Presidential Elections in the Russian Federation, and transparency here meant transparent video monitored ballot boxes, among other things, no one in the American mass media really wants to comment on Obama’s transparency, it is all about ratings and dirt and maintaining prejudices and party lines.

With the global economic crisis, the world on the brink of WWIII, the US’ ongoing military campaigns, all of Obama’s broken promises, global warming, unrest over most of the Middle East and much of Europe, famine, disease and poverty and judging from the fact that this is an ongoing US election cycle, I would say that once again, with regards to US President Barack Obama, this latest “scandal” is much ado over nothing.

 Jar2

31 May 2012, 16:57

Occupy

Occupy the World? A Summary of the Occupy Movement

John Robles

I have been covering the Occupy Movement since the very beginning with my first interviewee being Bill Csapo from Occupy Wall Street. Since then I have spoken and interviewed “Occupiers” from every major Occupation. So what has changed and where are these movements today? At the beginning one of my first questions was always: what are your demands?

I have been covering the Occupy Movement since the very beginning with my first interviewee being Bill Csapo from Occupy Wall Street. Since then I have spoken and interviewed “Occupiers” from every major Occupation. So what has changed and where are these movements today?

At the beginning one of my first questions was always: what are your demands? And most of the people could not give a concrete answer. It did not inspire confidence and I thought they would disappear in a week. I asked them about their organizations, and no one seemed to know anything, not even that one of the key organizations that had started the whole things off was in Canada.

Looking back now this is probably what has saved them from being completely shut down, the almost complete lack of organization and centralization that is, as well as the fact that the movement has no clear leader(s).   

Almost a year into this they now have some level of organization and a sort of “Mission Statement” but they still remain loosely organized flexible, and multi-focused, covering and focusing on a multitude of social issues.   

According to Occupy Together dot org the Occupy Movement is: “….an international, people-driven movement of individuals with many different backgrounds and political beliefs.” One unifying statement on the site reads: “…we no longer trust our elected officials to represent anyone other than their wealthiest donors…. occupy empowers real people to create real change from the bottom up”, makes sense.

How big is the movement? Well the occupiers and organizers I have talked to all speak of a global movement, according to the site they are organized in over 100 cities in the United States.”

In the clearest “vocalization” of their goal, if you can call text on a web site that, which I have seen to date, the organizers state: “…the movement aims to fight back against the system that has allowed the richest 1% to write the rules governing an unbalanced and inequitable global economy…”

So what is the Occupy Movement up to? Well, it was daunting task from my little computer over here in my bunker in Moscow, to try to pin down all of these movements and find out what they are doing, that is until I found Occupy dot com. Yes these guys have a dot com.  

In the little space I have left here I will attempt to give you a quick rundown on what they are all doing, well the main events as they have appeared in the press and on the net.

Occupy Chicago

Clearly the NATO Summit protests in Chicago and the arrests on terrorism charges of protestors entrapped by Chicago Police informants (For shame for shame!) has to be at the top of the list of recent Occupy events. Numbers are conflicting but judging by photographs, I would say tens of thousands took part in the Chicago protests.

The organization Inter-Occupy has called the Chicago demonstration “over-policed and extremely violent.” And the US, National Lawyers Guild estimates that 117 people were arrested.

One of the highlights of the Chicago events was when dozens of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, threw away their NATO medals.

Occupy dot com gives us the following information on the most active “Occupations”:

Occupy Quebec

Quebec’s student protest, now in its 15th week, is being described as “the biggest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history.” Demonstrations consistently attract 300,000 to 400,000 people. Focus on a 75% increase in the cost of tuition.

“Occupy” Greece

Greece’s Left Coalition (not officially an “Occupation”) was in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands who protested against NATO. “Fighting against NATO is also a fight in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Arab world who revolt against their dictators,” they wrote.

Occupy Mexico

On May 24th thousands of students protested in Mexico City, for the second time, the way the upcoming presidential election is being run and covered in the media.

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street is suing the City of New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty over the destruction of the People’s Library during a violent raid. The librarians have estimated that missing and destroyed items were worth approximately $47,000.00 this includes computers and

Occupy Minneapolis

On May 25, police from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office abandoned an attempt to evict protestors from a foreclosed home in south Minneapolis, but  arrested 5 protestors the next morning. The protesters have been occupying houses to prevent foreclosures since the fall.

Occupy Oakland

Activists are protesting the city’s decision to ban protesters from carrying items such as shields which are often used by protesters as protection from police.

Occupy London

A court has granted Occupy London one week to build a defense against their eviction from a park in Islington Borough.

Occupy Portland

A dozen Occupiers were arrested in Portland as they chanted and sang outside a post office to demand a full-service facility and the resignation of the current Postmaster General.

Occupy Caravan

Occupy is hitting the road on June 11th and heading out from locations in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, traveling three routes across America to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for a five-day “Occupy National Gathering” culminating in Washington D.C. on July 4th.

Occupy Arrests

Currently, according to Occupy figures 7,240 detentions of peaceful activists have been recorded since the birth of the Occupy Movement.

Occupy Moscow

There is no valid Occupy Movement here as the “Occupy” idea was hijacked by dissatisfied elites whose only target was the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. For some of the elites it became “fashionable” to protest Mr. Putin, although no one has any real demand or alternative vision.

The 1% in the guise of the 99%, these were NOT grass-roots popular demonstrations by the little guys and the people for social justice!

Disclaimer: I wrote this, I am responsible, and as we used to say; I’ll take the shot.

 Jar2

31 May 2012, 09:02 

Obama’s Extra-Judicial Election Ploy

John Robles

The title of a piece by the New York Times’ Jo Becker and Scott Shane, “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will”, sums up for me the whole problem of Barrack Obama.

The title of a piece by the New York Times’ Jo Becker and Scott Shane, “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will”, sums up for me the whole problem of Barrack Obama. Not that Barrack Obama is a problem or a bad president or that there is anything wrong with him as a person, but that he is someone that no one, so far, can really criticize. Which one might say was the beauty of putting a black man named Obama in the Oval Office; if anyone comes down too hard on him they will be branded racist or irrational for having a problem with someone named Hussein.

Perhaps I am wrong but Obama has been one of the least criticized presidents, if not “the” least criticized, that modern history has seen.  

Obama is a man who is always operating on two or more conflicting fronts and is impossible to actually believe, for me anyway. The only thing we can say for sure is that he continues the policies of his predecessor and does a wonderful job of maintaining the status quo for what we can call the 1%.

This fact can be underlined by his Nobel “Peace” Prize, received and kept despite the fact he was waging two wars and, now it is revealed, openly involved in extra-judicial executions.

The first problem with the title of the piece is the naming of the list “Secret”. If it were truly secret we would never have heard about it. Which means the Oval Office has decided to make public the fact of the existence of the list, a fact which in and of itself and brings to mind even more questions, the top two being why and why now?

When there are huge “secrets” revealed in the press and for the world to ponder, such as this one, and in recent memory, such as the mountain of Wikileaks material that in fact did not contain any real secrets in my humble opinion, one has to always wonder why?

The answer to these two questions I think is quite obvious in this case. First of all the answer to the first question “why” is a complicated one but involves the psyche of the American electorate and the fact that for most Americans having a president who can play God and be judge-jury- and- executioner, or in other words a hardcore-cold-blooded-killer, is for want of a better word; “cool”.

I don’t hate Americans, I was once one, and sans uproar and cries for his removal upon knowing about this list, the American public has proven this point themselves. I am well aware that perhaps 99% of you do not agree that this is cool so no hate mail please.

The answer to the second question as to the timing of the release is more simple: Obama is up for re-election, a fact that has even affected his relations with Russia, and sadly for the state of humanity as a whole, the fact that he decides regularly on who the victims of extra-judicial executions are, will help him to get votes.       

To say that the “Kill List” tests Obama’s principles is disingenuous as he could, as the most powerful man in the world, refuse to take part in such an exercise: or can he? And to say it tests his will is even worse, as if there is some insatiable force making him decide on killing people: or is there? More questions…

I have nothing against Obama personally or the fact that he is not white, neither am I, in fact I am darker than Obama, so don’t attack me there, but morally any leader who attempts to step outside of the laws and norms of the law and wield such power, namely the “decider” on extra-judicial executions, deserves to face justice.

For most of the civilized world, executions, even judicial ones, are illegal, but for the United States they are just one of the “tools” available to the president in his “War on Terror”, a euphemism for the killing of poor Islamists on the other side of the world who hate America.

Those who allow extra-judicial executions should also be tried but of course, as we learned with George Bush, justice never comes for American presidents, or his enablers. Unless they are involved in some minor private tryst, as we learned with William Clinton.        

According to the New York Times when US President Obama decided on the killing of an American cleric in Yemen, Mr. Obama told colleagues that the decision was “an easy one”. I think that clears up any questions remaining about his “principles” in this regard.

Ahem... Hopefully he will not add me to his list.

Have a great day!

The opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Jar2

31 May 2012, 02:28

Sedition: Berezovsky (Oligarch on the Run)

John Robles

Sedition: Berezovsky (oligarch on the run)

He fled the Russian Federation with billions of dollars that he amassed in criminal schemes after the collapse of the Soviet Union (Mainly involving Aeroflot but who is keeping track?) and claimed that he was being politically persecuted because the government was seeking to prosecute him for his crimes.

He fled the Russian Federation with billions of dollars that he amassed in criminal schemes after the collapse of the Soviet Union (Mainly involving Aeroflot but who is keeping track?) and claimed that he was being politically persecuted because the government was seeking to prosecute him for his crimes.

With his billions he fled to the UK where he was quickly given asylum and a new identity and quickly began working with MI-5 and 6 against the interests of the Russian Federation. He told them what they wanted to hear saying anything to malign Russia and to paint himself as a poor victim of the system. He also paid millions of dollars to political parties and politicians and to anyone else who could help him and who was willing to take his money to look the other way.

Even though he has a record of funding Chechen terrorists and direct involvement in other criminal enterprises including in the killing of police the UK continues to give him asylum, and they continue to protect him for the sole reason that he helps them to keep their anti-Russian rhetoric and policies alive and well.

In case you haven’t noticed every time it seems that there is a concerted effort by the intelligence services of the West to attack or to attempt to change the political or economic landscape of the Russian Federation, somewhere in the mix Berezovsky’s name inadvertently pops up.

When the Litvienko affair caused Russian-British relationship to almost return to cold war levels, whose name kept coming up again and again? Gordievsky? Yes. Berezovsky? Yes.

When efforts by the West were stepped up right before the latest presidential elections to try to throw the country into a state of upheaval whose name came up and who threw his two cents into the mix? You got it, Berezovsky.

The West has many of their agents in Moscow and their efforts are becoming more open, concerted, active and energetic but the agents they have, have so far proven to be ineffective and the Russian people are much too intelligent to fall for the lies and the provocations that the West keeps putting forward. Whose name keeps popping up? Berezovsky.          

One of the most official bodies of state power, the Russian Investigative Committee, does not do things lightly and takes its responsibilities very seriously. They do not open cases where there is not enough evidence to convict and they have opened two more criminal cases against Boris Berezovsky, this time for publicly instigating mass-scale unrest, or in other words “sedition”.

According to the spokesperson for the Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, in April Berezovsky posted statements on the Internet calling for massive violent riots and for preventing the inauguration of the legally elected Russian President. Not only were there calls for violence but Berezovsky even promised to pay huge sums for evil deeds against the state.

And here we have that word again, “sedition”, for that is exactly what Berezovsky is guilty of. If anyone were attempting to do such things to the US Government, i.e. attempting to overthrow it, the instigators would be targeted by Obama’s hit teams and liquidated, let there be no doubt.

Yet here in Russia, for some reason the government is supposed to tolerate such things; to show that they are “democratic” and allow dissent. Why doesn’t Russia do the same as the American government and sanction extra-judicial executions?   

Russia could also come up with a hit list and the president could also play God like Obama does and decide who lives and who dies. One of the people on the first list could be Berezovsky. Why not? If Obama can do it why can’t Putin or any other president for that matter?

Boris Berezovsky’s candidacy to be on such a list would be backed by almost anyone who loves Russia even the slightest bit. Not just for his calls for the Russian opposition to wreck the presidential vote, but also for attempting to interfere in the country’s internal affairs.

Even Russia’s real opposition leaders such as Sergey Mironov are tired of Berezovsky. Mironov recently said: “Let Mr. Berezovsky mind his own business and not pry into Russia’s internal affairs, he is Russia’s enemy.”

Berezovsky has even alienated Orthodox Christians with his purported attempt to form a party with the word Christian in the name.

“I think Boris Berezovsky must first prove his devotion to Christian values and donate the capital that he has to the Russian Pension Fund or to charity foundations.” Yabloko leader Sergey Mitrokhinwas quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

According to RT a Russian Orthodox Church cleric said Berezovsky should create a “Party of the Antichrist” and mentioned the Vsevolod Chaplin of the Church and Society Relations Department of the Holy Synod as saying Berezovsky’s reasoning sounded like parts from the Gospel that described the antichrist.

Whatever the case may be, and whoever Berezovsky really is, be he Mi-5 tool, Chechen terrorist financier, mafia-boss in hiding or the anti-Christ, few would argue, it is time for the UK to wake up stop harboring the fugitive. Or is it time for Russia to also start drawing up lists?

Just a thought, have a great day.

The opinions and views expressed in this piece are those of the author.

 Jar2

30 May 2012, 21:28

How US Protestors are Detained and Disappeared

Attorney Kris Hermes

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Interview with Mr. Kris Hermes, a Spokesperson for the Chicago Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

 http://m.ruvr.ru/2012/06/01/1292363485/KrisHermes_ASA.jpg

My first question is: on what grounds can the U.S. police detain protesters and what are the most common charges?

Commonly at these types of summits, which our government designates as national special security events, there is any number of charges that can be applied to people protesting. Whether or not the charges are valid and whether they result in the conviction is another story, but commonly parading without a permit is a charge that is often applied. In Chicago here we saw mostly misdemeanors and ordinance violations that included disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and failure to disperse. Those are fairly common charges, as well. Of course, there were certain activists who were charged with much more serious crimes. In fact there were 4 people charged with terrorism related crimes and a handful of others charged with aggravated battery on police officer.

Can you fill us in a little bit about what you know about those terrorism charges?

There is a laundry list of allegations that are being made by the state’s attorneys office but so far we have seen absolutely no evidence of anything. We have not even seen a search warrant or the affidavit of probable cause used to raid the house that they were staying in. What we do know is there appears to be two infiltrators either police informants or under-covered police involved in the case, involved in the operation. We have serious concerns with whether they were set up, whether there was provocation on the part of the infiltrators. We understand that the police allegedly recovered four Molotov cocktails but so far we haven’t seen any evidence of that and we are only going on the accusations of the state’s attorneys office right now.

What percentage of tortures like these are exaggerated or fabricated and what percentage do you think are entrapped?

Unfortunately, in our system of law that isn’t always something that we figure out. It’s not necessarily resolved in criminal cases. For example, there was a federal aid informant that was in the operation that supposedly entrapped three young men at the Republican convention in Saint Paul in 2008. They took plea bargains, they did not take their case to trial, so we never got a resolution as to whether there was provocation and what involvement the informant or the infiltrator had over these three people. And quite often because the charges are so serious and the jail time so daunting, people don’t want to take the case to trial and, therefore, we never really find out a complete set of information regarding the role of the infiltrators.

Could you give maybe as a percentage: half the cases, third, two thirds, whether there are innocent people being convicted?

I can say, my gut feel of this is that the U.S. government is manufacturing crimes in order to justify a very heavy police apparatus and justify the militarization of police at events like this and to justify the terrorism operations of local and federal law enforcement. And it’s no mistake that the three individuals currently being most seriously charged here in Chicago, are from out of town, and that the infiltrators who prayed on them were here for many weeks before these folks came in from Florida to protest NATO and they were approached as vulnerable targets, they did not know the activist community in Chicago and they were easy targets to be able to manufacture crimes if that’s in fact what happened. We hopefully will get to the bottom of that. We are concerned about the implications using infiltrators to arrest and prosecute them and we hope to find more information how we proceed and we will vigorously defend them in court.

How many people do you know or have you heard about that have been disappeared?

The disappeared comment came when we were trying to locate a number of people that has been arrested surreptitiously without any announcement by the police, we tried to track them down for hours unsuccessfully. The police department gave us no information on them. That included the 9 people who were arrested in the house raid in the Bridgeport area of Chicago on Wednesday night prior to the NATO Summit. And there were number of other people that were picked off the street and taken away and we were unable to find them as well. And that was quite distressing to not only our team of lawyers and legal workers but their friends and comrades as well.

I’ve heard and I’ve read cases in the United States since 9/11 of many people (some reports I read about 5000 people) that have disappeared since 9/11 on terrorism-related charges. Under what circumstances could somebody be held by the authorities incommunicado indefinitely?

We just passed a law that allows for secret and indefinite detention of even U.S. citizens at home and abroad. At this point the executive powers available to the president and the justice department are very expansive and people ca be held without notification to their family or friends and can be held indefinitely if terrorism crimes are involved.

Have you heard any numbers as a professional?

I am sorry, I don’t know. As to this law I was referring to just now, the outrageous authority, the level of executive authority given to the president is done so under the National Defense Authorization Act.

As far as I understand right now, he can order even American citizens killed.

Yes, I am sorry, that is actually another provision in the law that they are not able to just indefinitely detain people but also extra-judicially execute them. There is apparently a list that the executive branch possesses that does not have to be disclosed to anybody, so you don’t know who was on this list, how extensive the list is and how they came up with the list.

Thank you, sir. I really appreciate you speaking with me.

 Jar2

30 May 2012, 17:06

Syria: Massacre of Civilians as Reason for Invasion

John Robles

The situation in Syria continues to grow worse and more contradictory by the day, unless one is to accept the premise that the West is and will continue to do everything that it can to bring about a regime change, the more violently and the quicker the better.

Several weeks ago there were reports in the world press that many of the Syrian armed opposition groups were being funded and armed by the West and were even being provided support by foreign mercenaries and even by AL-Qaeda terrorists.

These reports began to come in right on the eve of the Kofi Annan plan, which some experts are saying was all done for the simple reason of buying time for the US as they prepare the further groundwork for an invasion.

Under the watchful eye of UN Observers over the weekend the horrible and tragic massacre of over 100 civilians occurred in the Syrian village of Houla. According to UN Observers the civilians were in fact executed by non-government forces; however the term “Shabiha” has been used to describe the killers. Syrian Forces are reported to have killed several civilians in their shelling of the terrorist positions.

UN Observer reports have served to undo the Western narrative of the events which some are saying was to serve as the impetus for an invasion of the country, or another “humanitarian intervention” ala Libya, etc., by the West and amid reports of Western funding and backing for the terrorists groups perhaps it is way past time that people woke up and realized that the regime of Bashar Assad may not be as completely responsible for the unrest in the country as they have been made out to be.

Despite the UN and official reports that the responsible parties for the Houla Massacre were not connected to the Syrian Government, the West has still stepped up its sanctions and pressure on Syria, apparently following a script that has already been laid out and which the West will stick to no matter what.

Let’s look at the facts; the United Nations itself reports that “most of the 108 victims of the Houla Massacre last week were shot at close range, some of them women, children and entire families gunned down in their own homes,” guardian.co.uk reported quoting Associated Press. The UN has also stated that militants, not Syrian soldiers, were responsible for the massacre. The report cites “witness accounts” but goes on to claim the militants were “pro-government thugs known as Shabiha,” while the Syrian government has claimed the militants were foreign-backed armed terrorists.

If this is true and the “Shabiha” were not connected to the government (one might ask why the government forces were engaging them in battle if they were) this stands in stark contrast to the ongoing narrative of the US, the UK, France and other NATO members countries, a narrative they have now used to begin expelling Syrian diplomats from their countries.

Russia, it appears, it the only country in the world which has called for an objective and fair investigation before judgment is passed, but the West continues to pursue a path it has already decided to go down, and no matter what the facts are, continues it drive to charge convict and execute the Syrian Government.

The Syrian Government can not win if they are facing Western backed forces that will execute whole families and over a 100 civilians for the sake of maintaining an invasion friendly narrative. Something the West has proven time and time again to be doing in Syria.

For Bashar Assad and the Syrian Government it is time to take off the gloves and perhaps use the same tactics that are being used against it by the West, in this case I am talking about funding.

If, and I say “if” because I have also not seen undisputable evidence that this is true, but “if” Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups are being paid by the West to continue the bloodshed in Syria then perhaps there is one things they (the Syrian Governement) might do (this may sound strange but I got the idea when hearing the American Ambassador to Russia admitting that the US had tried to bribe the president of Kirghizstan) and that is upping the ante and turning the tables and paying the mercenary killer terrorist scum more than their “supposed” Western backers are. Again I give the West the benefit of the doubt as I do the Syrian Government.

If the West is this bent on pursuing their own narrative then there is nothing that the UN or the Syrian Government or anyone else will be able to do to bring about a peaceful settlement.

Maybe Syria should buy off the killers. It may be the only resolution left.

Just an idea.

The contents of this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of the Voice of Russia or anyone else for that matter and are the author’s (my) own.

 Jar2

29 May 2012, 21:51

Little Chance for Fairness in Manning Case

John Robles

Little chance for fairness in Manning case

The court-martial hearing in the Bradley Manning case is scheduled to be held in September and according to statements

The court-martial hearing in the Bradley Manning case is scheduled to be held in September and according to statements released by the defense team and a recent filing at the Fort Meade, Maryland military court, they are being hampered by the state’s inadequate response with regards to the production of evidence, including delays and even failure to disclose, that may prove their client’s innocence or significantly reduce his sentence.

The case being as such, less than four months is not enough time for them to properly prepare to counter the arguments and charges of the state which carry the possibility of life imprisonment for their client.

In all Manning is facing 22 charges all related to the release of the mountain of classified and sensitive information that was passed to the site Wikileaks.

The brief history of the case is as follows: in May 2010 Bradley Edward Manning was arrested while on duty in Iraq, where he was working as an intelligence analyst, on charges of having passed classified information to the website WikiLeaks. After his arrest the state broadened the scope of his charges to include several more serious charges which included communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source and the most serious; aiding the enemy which is a capital offense. The state prosecutors have stated that they would not seek the death penalty in this case.

As an analyst for the army Manning had had access to the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet), a system of interconnected computer networks used by the United States Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of State to transmit classified information, up to and including information classified SECRET.

According to information in the public domain the system operates by using a system of packet switching over the TCP/IP protocols in what they call a 'completely secure' environment". SIPRNet is the U.S. Department of Defense's classified version of the civilian Internet and is the SECRET component of the Defense Information Systems Network.

In the latest defense motion, title “Motion to Compel Discovery” lead defense attorney David Edward Coombs makes several statements and accusations that may be surprising in their scope and in the level of negligence the government has shown in not permitting such a high-profile defendant to properly defend himself.

Many experts and human rights workers all over the world see this as only one in a long line of abuses in this case. The case has attracted international attention for many reasons and has reflected badly on the entire U.S. legal system.

Last summer the international community was up in arms over the treatment that was being given to Manning and the way he was being incarcerated, conditions that many say amounted to torture. Among other things he was subject to stress positions and to enduring long periods of time without sleep and nude. There were many who were afraid, including his defense lawyers, that he was being driven mad by the conditions under which he was being kept. At one point this included being asked every five minutes if he was okay.

All of the facts so far do not point to the possibility that Manning will be given the opportunity to receive a fair trial. He was the chosen scapegoat for what the US characterized as a historic intelligence failure, something conspiracy theorists say was an orchestrated release to tie up the intelligence agencies of the world with disinformation and to serve as the spark to ignite the color revolutions of the Arab spring. According to experts these two things were the only real tangible effects of the release of the information that was attributed to Manning.

The brunt of the defense motion has to do with what is called Brady material, named after the name of the case that brought the law regarding discovery into effect. In the motion Coombs said the U.S. government is not conducting the required Brady searches in a diligent and timely manner.

In point 26 he writes that the defense had just learned that on 29 July 2011, the Government sent out a memo to the Headquarters of the Department of the Army requesting it to task Principal Officials to search for, and preserve, any discoverable information. According to a Memorandum for Principal

Officials of Headquarters, Department of the Army, dated April 17, 2012 no action was taken for nine months in response to the Government's request for Brady and other potentially discoverable material. Thus the Defense requests action to taken in line with the April 17, 20l2 government request.

Mr. Coombs continued by saying that the Government has not yet completed a Brady search of its own files (i.e. files which are clearly in the possession, custody, and control of military authorities) even though two years have elapsed since PFC Manning was arrested. This fact does not does not inspire confidence that the Government has diligently conducted a Brady search of other agencies as it was supposed to have done.

ln fact, he says,there are huge questions and inconsistencies in the Government's statements regarding its search for Brady material. For instance the Defense received 12-pages of Brady material several weeks ago, detailing responses by various government agencies that the alleged leaks did little to no damage to those organizations. The Defense was troubled that it was only now receiving such Brody material.

Based on the nature of that Brady material, the Defense believes there is much more similar Brady material out there that the Government has not disclosed. The Defense asked the Government why it was only now receiving such material.  

The answer is clear, it is not in the interests of the government to assist in the Manning’s defense, if he is found innocent and the huge house of cards that has been built up around him comes crashing down many officials at all levels will have to face the piper and while the foxes are guarding the chicken coop assisting someone they accuse is not something that can ever be expected, no matter how much lip service is paid to innocence before guilty.

Have a nice day, wherever you may be.]

 Jar2

29 May 2012, 13:29

Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan Continue Unchecked

John Robles

In Eastern Afghanistan on Saturday night NATO was involved in another “incident”, as NATO calls them, involving the deaths of large numbers of civilians. This time NATO forces killed a family of eight people, including six children, in the Paktia province.

In Eastern Afghanistan on Saturday night NATO was involved in another “incident”, as NATO calls them, involving the deaths of large numbers of civilians. This time NATO forces killed a family of eight people, including six children, in the Paktia province.

Many experts say the “incident” threatens to further strain the already tense relationship between President Hamid Karzai and his Western backers. Some analysts claimed Karzai’s recent trip to the NATO Summit in Washington served to slightly smooth the already tense relationship but this latest incident may cause another wave of violence in the country and force Karzai to have to take stronger steps against the “occupiers”.

According to a local government spokesperson in an interview with the AFP the eight people were killed in a NATO air strike and included a husband and wife and their six children.

The official, one Rohulla Samouni, stated that none of the members of the family had ties with the Taliban or other terrorist group. He said NATO aircraft bombed a house. A man named Mohammad Sahfi his wife and their six innocent children were brutally murdered.

— There have been many similar such cases in 2012 in Afghanistan. For example on February 17, 2012, six civilians, including a woman and a child were killed in a NATO night raid in Dewa Gul Valley, in the Chawki district of Kunar province.

—Then on February 8, seven children and a young adult were killed in a NATO airstrike in the village of Geyaba in the eastern Afghan province of Kapisa.

—March 11, 2012 saw at least 16 civilians, including women and children killed after a 'rogue' US serviceman entered their homes murdered them.

The War in Afghanistan has already lasted for more than 10 years (2001–present) and killed tens of thousands of Afghan civilians directly as well as the deaths of tens of thousands more indirectly as a consequence of displacement, starvation, disease, exposure, lack of medical treatment, crime and lawlessness resulting from the war.

President Hamid Karzai has summoned foreign military commanders and made public statements to warn of the consequences of further Afghan civilian deaths many times.

—"We are not happy. We don't want any more Afghan civilian casualties." "This must not occur again."  President Hamid Karzai, July 2002

—"I don’t think there is a big need for military activity in Afghanistan anymore." "Similarly, going into the Afghan homes – searching Afghan homes without the authorization of the Afghan government – is something that should stop now."  President Hamid Karzai, September 2005

—In May 2006, Afghan President Hamid Karzai summoned the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, to demand an explanation for the deaths of at least 16 Afghan civilians during air strikes.

—In December 2006, a tearful President Hamid Karzai gave a heartfelt speech that brought audience members to tears, Karzai said the cruelty imposed on his people "is too much" and that Afghanistan cannot stop "the coalition from killing our children."

—"Five years on, it is very difficult for us to continue accepting civilian casualties. It is becoming heavy for us; it is not understandable anymore." "We are very sorry when the international coalition force and NATO soldiers lose their lives or are injured. It pains us. But Afghans are human beings, too." President Hamid Karzai, May 2, 2007

—In June 2007, after the deaths of more than 90 civilians in 10 days, President Hamid Karzai accused ISAF and the US-led military coalition in his country of "extreme" and "disproportionate" use of force.

—"Afghan life is not cheap and it should not be treated as such." "Several times in the last year, the Afghan government tried to prevent civilian casualties, but our innocent people are becoming victims of careless operations of NATO and international forces." President Hamid Karzai, June 23, 2007

—On October 28, 2007, in an interview on 60 Minutes, Hamid Karzai stated that he had explicitly asked U.S. President George W. Bush to roll back the use of air strikes, which had killed more than 270 civilians in 17 air strikes to date in 2007 alone.

— In August 2008, President Hamid Karzai ordered a review of foreign troops in Afghanistan after 96 civilians were killed in an air strike in Herat.

—"The continuation of civilian casualties can seriously undermine the legitimacy of fighting terrorism and the credibility of the Afghan people's partnership with the international community." President Hamid Karzai, September 24, 2008

— On November 5, 2008, Afghan President Hamid Karzai asked U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to put an end to civilian casualties in Afghanistan after an air strike on a wedding party, killing 37 people, including 23 children and 10 women.

— In April 2009, American-led military forces killed 5 civilians, including two children and a nine-month-old baby, in a U.S. night raid in Khost province

—In March 2011, Karzai rejected American President Obama's and Gen. David Petraeus' apologies for the killing of 9 Afghan boys ages 7–13 who were collecting firewood. "The apology is not enough," Karzai said

— In May 2011, Karzai issued a "final warning" as more civilians were killed in NATO airstrikes. He said the Afghan people can no longer tolerate the attacks, and that the U.S.-led coalition risks being seen as an "occupying force".

The killings go on.

 Jar2

25 May 2012, 15:29

Who is Serbia’s New President?

John Robles

Who is Serbia’s new president?

For many of the Serbian people the recent election was just more of the same. For all of the conflicting views and opinions most of the population agreed on two things, corruption is too high and Tadic  was not working for the betterment of Serbia.

For many of the Serbian people the recent election was just more of the same. For all of the conflicting views and opinions most of the population agreed on two things, corruption is too high and Tadic  was not working for the betterment of Serbia.

Lackluster voter turnout saw less than 45% of the population coming out to vote with the final election results leaving Nikolic with 49.4% and Tadic 47.4%, thus denying him a third term in office. For many the results were a surprise.

Serbia has a multi-party system and safeguards in place to prevent one party from gaining complete power. In the Serbian system parties must work together and form coalition governments. A party must receive at least 5.0% of the votes for the entire country during parliamentary in order to qualify for seats. What are called national minority parties only have to reach 0.40% of the vote to secure seats in the parliament.

As for the position and the powers of the president of Serbia, according to the constitution, the president has no executive powers, he or she represents the nation at home and abroad, signs and approves laws adopted by the Parliament, names ambassadors to foreign countries, receive and accepts the foreign ambassadors of other countries in Serbia and decides on a number of other state matters. Being as such, much of the country was dissatisfied due to Tadic’s influence and presence being felt in every sphere of government and beyond.

The West’s propaganda machine was all wound up and ready for the results as their candidate, Tadic lost the election, and immediately reports spread that there was a shocking tun of events in Serbia and that the new Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic is a veteran “ultranationalist”. Reports spread like wildfire calling the 60-year-old former cemetery manager, “Toma; The Gravedigger” and citing how he was a loyal follower of Vojislav Seselj whose trial is under way in The Hague, Netherlands.

His support for the Serbian people and Serbia was called supporting “warmongering in the former Yugoslavia” by the western media who also vilify that he fought on the side of Serbia during the war with the Croats. The western press has also made much ado about the fact that Nikolic was the deputy prime minister in Milosevic's government in 1999 when NATO invaded the country.

Stating without a doubt who President Tomislav Nikolic really is and what his real plans for Serbia are is something that it too early to do. Many pro-Serbia activists and politicians, including many of my contacts in Serbia, say that he (Nikoloic) is just another pro-Western instrument and that it is not possible for anyone who has an anti-NATO anti-West position to win office.

Politicians like Dr. Jovan Deretic, who was not certified to run for president and whose supporters claim he was not allowed to do so because of his anti-NATO pro-Serbian views were almost nowhere to be seen during the elections, kept away by those in power. Dr. Deretic and other activists in Serbia claim that up to 1 million votes were stolen; this included but was not limited to: the use of dead people’s names as well as votes counted belonging to Albanians who did not have documents to vote in Serbian elections.

To have an inkling of who President Tomislav Nikolic is we can look at his past statements and his record. In 2008, Nikolic formed his own Serbian Progressive Party but remained staunchly pro-Russian. Many say this was only lip service as he also supported Serbia's membership in the European Union, something he was quick to repeat as soon as he won office. That, and the fact that the president of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, and of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, both issued a statement from the NATO Summit in Chicago, congratulating Nikolic on his victory three hours before the polls closed, points to a candidate placed in power by the West and will do little to help with his credibility and gain him the support of pro-Serbian elements both within Serbia and abroad.

On May 20th in an address to his supporters at his party’s headquarters in Belgrade Nikolic said "Serbia must develop its economy. The things I pointed out during the campaign must be improved. We have to free ourselves of poverty. We must free ourselves of the low birth rates, bribery, corruption and have friends all over the world."

Some experts, such as Dragan Bujosevic the editor in chief of the main Serbian newspaper Politika, predict that Tadic's Democrats are likely to form a new government with the Socialists led by Ivica Dacic which will leave Nikolic without any real power.

One fact that may point to where he is headed is the fact that Nikolic has close ties with Russia and has in the past even envisaged Serbia as a Russian province, according to many press reports. Another is the fact that Nikolic has vowed to keep alive Serbia's claim over Kosovo. Serbia has rejected Kosovo's declaration of independence, as Kosovo is a part of Serbia. By many it is seen as the cradle of the Serbian state, the Serbian people and the Serbian Orthodox Church.

For me this is the key matter as there can be no discussion about Serbia and its future without touching on the subject of the reintegration of Kosovo into Serbia. The west has backed and supported the Albanians who claimed the territory of Kosovo was their own, another example of NATO once again taking the side of one or another belligerent party, something that has done more than NATO’s bombing and occupation to destroy the Serbian people; something that has to stop.

As many Serbians say: “There can be no Serbian history without Kosovo” and "Kosovo is Serbian, Kosovo is Serbia!"

Have a nice day!!!

 Jar2

23 May 2012, 21:30

NATO Loses Historic 1st Debate to "Demonstrators"

John Robles and  Rick Rozoff

Download audio file

Interview with Mr. Rick Rozoff, the Manager and Owner of the Stop NATO website and mailing list.

We would like to do a summary on the debate you had last night. Do you think the format was fair and who originally was supposed to speak and why do you think they were removed? And do you think you were treated in a proper manner? In the beginning you were called “demonstrators”.

Yes, right. You know days before the demonstration, as though our role is simply limited to marching and protests and so forth, that wasn’t fair, I assume that it was inadvertent mistake though I can assure you that had this been a NATO official, they would have dealt with him with a lot more reverence and deference. But overall I would have to say, given the limitations, the fact that it was held in the Pritzker Military Library and was sponsored by the National Strategy Forum, that they dealt with our side better than we’re accustomed to being dealt with.

The moderator, he made a point of saying that there were only 60 people in the audience? Can you tell us a little bit about the security situation, that was going on there?

It was very tight security situation, but the venue was small – could only accommodate about 60 people and both sides as it were, the pro-NATO and anti-NATO forces were allowed inside, were allowed some 35 people, so that is actually more than 60. Somehow or another, it worked out fair evenly. The Rev. Jesse Jackson was there, there were international media but it was very select audience and kept that way, evidently.

We of course, on our end, those opposed to NATO, would have prefered a larger venue, with a larger audience, but these are elite organizations – think tanks and so force, and they live in their own circumscribed world.

Why do you think the original speakers were taken off the schedule, do you think that was planned?

I am glad you asked that. I’d love to know. As you are aware and as you’ve covered in the past, John, the two pro-NATO spokesmen were to have been: the Assistant or Deputy, whatever he is, Assistant Secretary General James Appathurai and former US Ambassador to NATO and State Department Official R. Nicholas Burns… for inexplicable reasons, it was explained to me secondhand, for logistical reasons and problems with the format of the podcast. The fact that it was televised live to a fairly wide audience, I think didn’t please the two pro-NATO officials. Subsequent to that we heard a rumor to the effect that the two former U.S. Ambassadors to NATO Robert E. Hunter and Kurt Volker were to appear. They did appear in events sponsored by the same organization, National Security Forum, earlier in the day where they premiered a video promoting a modern NATO, but they also didn’t show up.

So, they got to say whatever they wanted to.

Yes, precisely, every other event that has been held in Chicago except for small one in the church, a couple of months ago, has been entirely pro-NATO and this includes several events today and I am sure several in the interim between now and the summit itself. For example, if your listeners aren’t aware of this, I live in Chicago, of course, and there was a branch of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, that used to be called the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, in recent years Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and they brought in Madeleine K. Albright the former Secretary of State, they brought in R. Nicholas Burns, the person I mentioned earlier. Albright a few weeks ago went to high school in the south side of Chicago to promote NATO, there have been events held throughout elementary schools, grade schools in Chicago promoting NATO and in recent days, in the suburban communities, even outside Cook County in Chicago, people have been subjected to a barrage of NATO propagandas, so this was the one real opportunity, not to have our side heard but to have two people from each side, it was the only balanced discussion to date.

Can you please, for our listeners, we have some people that don’t have a chance to get on the internet or won’t have a chance to, can you summarize the key points, the key arguments for and against, that took place during the debate, please?

Right, I should tell you who the other three speakers were. On our side a very eloquent, well-informed and heroic young woman named Iris Feliciano spoke. She is a member of the Iraq Veterans Against the War but is a 10 year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, who had served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. She stated that she and her colleagues want to meet with NATO officials to express their opposition to, and condemnation of the wars that have been waged in Afghanistan and Iraq. I incidentally met a number of veterans after the affair and one of whom was a young woman who’d been in the U.S. navy during the war against Yugoslavia in 1999 and she and others intend to return their war medals to NATO during the march on May the 20th. She has a NATO medal for calling in air strikes and helicopter attacks against Serbian/Yugoslav forces in 1999. So, there were number of veterans in the audience too. But Iris Feliciano was extremely poised, extremely well-informed and offered arguments that were impossible for any decent person to refute. On the other side, the very jocular, avuncular and so force, were the former U.S. Ambassador to both East and West Germany and reunified Germany, J.D. Bindenagel and one John Allen Williams. These are both people associated with the universities in Chicago. Williams is at Loyola University and Bindenagel is now at DePaul University, both Catholic Universities in Chicago. Russian officials frequently talk about NATO not being willing to abandon cold war thinking and what I really heard from Bindenagel and Williams was not bellicose and not vicious but nevertheless a complete cold war world view: one where they were celebrating NATO for having stopped Soviet divisions pouring across Europe and things suchlike, which wasn’t true at the time and certainly is irrelevant now in the face of global NATO waging wars around the world. But they seem to be locked, frankly, in a time warp and the veteran, Miss Feliciano, who had spent 10 years on the ground; she knew what she was talking about, she knows what these wars are about and she knows what plight confronts U.S. veterans when they return to the United States. You know she was able to talk about real history rather than academic perspectives on war.

During the debate you mentioned Dmitry Medvedev’s recent statement regarding NATO. How was that taken by the audience?

At the very end of the discussion I made, as I could, an impassioned plea to people: I stated the 25 years after the end of the cold war, 21 years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact I said; who, 21 years ago would have expected that because of NATO expansion and NATO interference in other countries, that the Prime Minister of Russia, until recently the president, Medvedev would make a statement that if countries, we don’t have to name them, we know who they are: they’re NATO nations, if they continue military interference into the internal affairs of sovereign nations, this could lead to full-blown war including with nuclear weapons. That’s a rough paraphrase of Medvedev’s statement and then I acquainted the audience with the fact that the Russian military chief, general Nikolay Makarov, within the last two weeks, stated that if the U.S. NATO interceptor missile system develops to such an extent that it threatens Russia nuclear deterrence capabilities that Russia might be compelled to launch a preemptive strike. And I said, who 21 years ago, who 25 years ago would have believed that you would ever hear statements like that?

How did the NATO officials react when you said these things?

They weren’t really NATO officials, but they were NATO apologists. A lot of quibbling, a certain amounts of false herrings, you know, dragging up Rwanda, for example, at one point when that was never a NATO operation, there is no prospect of it being and then when that was brought to their attention, they did have to acknowledge that that was a poor analogy, but what I find increasingly as a standard NATO argument over the past 17 years is that NATO has intervened to prevent genocide, humanitarian crises and so force and one of the two pro-NATO people raised the United Nations responsibility to protect provision. And I mentioned that shortly after NATO marched into the Serbian province of Kosovo in June of 1999, arm in arm with the so called Kosovo Liberation Army, that within a couple of years, a quarter million ethnic minorities had been driven out of Kosovo: Serbs, Roma, Egyptians, Turks, Gorans and others, who will never return again. And I asked them, where are you, humanitarian interventionists now? Where is your responsibility to protect people now? And also the pro-NATO spokesmen were attempting to suggest that NATO only intervenes for humanitarian and noble reasons and I reminded them that in every single NATO military operation in Bosnia and Kosovo and Afghanistan and in Libya, NATO entered on behalf of one group of armed belligerents against another, in other words, they took sides in a civil conflict, and I said a military alliance, whose collective population is 900 million, and who last year spent over a trillion dollars collectively, on military budgets, with the U.S. accounting for about 2/3 of that, or over 2/3 of that. You know, there is nothing to be proud of that you defeat a nation like Yugoslavia with 10 million people or Libya with 6.5 million people.

What would you say to NATO’s claim that they contribute to security and stability in Europe?

That statement was made repeatedly by the two people I mentioned – Bindenagel and Williams, you know, stating that “look what a great role NATO has done, Europe is at peace, there has been no Soviet aggression” and so force. You know, my response to that was, it’s very easy for me to say somebody presents a threat they don’t present and then when it doesn’t materialize, say that the only reason it didn’t occur is because I stopped it, and to really believe that 100 Soviet divisions are amassing on the border of the two Germanys to invade all of Europe is fool hardy and the Soviet Union had neither the capacity nor the desire to do anything like that, so it was false rational to maintain US military presence in Europe, which remains to this day. And the real, proof-of-the-pudding with NATO is, again in 1991, 21 years ago when the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union both dissolved themselves that NATO far from retiring goes into the business of expanding throughout all of Europe and then starts waging war in the areas far removed from the North Atlantic, and even outside of Europe. This tends to suggest that NATO contained, at the very least within itself, the kernel of military aggression from its very foundation.

Ok, on that point, let’s finish up. Anything else you would like to add?

I can only say it was very heartening. It was very encouraging afterwards; the amount of people who came up and spoke to Iris and myself, and particularly the amount of veterans. I must have spoken to a dozen veterans easily. These are people who are young enough to be my sons, these are people of the age I was when the Vietnam war was raging and they were very well-informed, they were very principled, they were very brave. And veterans like themselves, of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, are going to be leading the march, as you may know, on May 20th . What better reputation of militarism and wars of aggression, than to hear it from the soldiers who were forced to fight?

I think that’s great that veterans are supporting you. That’s super. Anyway, what about demonstrations coming up? I am still interested in predictions on how many people you think are going to be demonstrating?

You know, one always goes out on a limb, when you estimate the size of a demonstration, particularly if it’s one you support. But I can only say, from what I am reading, what I am hearing, what I am sensing, this is going to be a big demonstration, it will be difficult for me to tell you the exact number but I’d be very surprised if it was not in the tens of thousands.

I know the occupiers are really going all out here as well.

Thank you very much, Rick.

Thanks as always for the opportunity.

 Jar2

23 May 2012, 11:28

Georgia/Baltic Countries: Winners at NATO Summit

John Robles

Georgia, the Baltic countries: big winners at NATO Summit

At the NATO summit in Chicago, the Baltic countries proved one of the most successful for NATO in its fundraising drive, with the countries announcing that they are going to increase their contributions to NATO’s coffers.

At the NATO summit in Chicago, the Baltic countries proved one of the most successful for NATO in its fundraising drive, with the countries announcing that they are going to increase their contributions to NATO’s coffers. Of course all of these billions of dollars are not being given for nothing, which is strange because in reality they are selling their souls to NATO and actually paying the devil for the “privilege”. 

In a speech at the North Atlantic Council Barack Obama spoke in golden tones about NATO’s Air Policing Mission over the Baltic States and at the summit it was called “…one of the most successful examples of NATO solidarity.” NATO solidarity? We are talking about an organization designed and born against the Soviet Union. What exactly are they so in solidarity over? As they have no real enemy, then what imagined ones? Or just advancing US interests? What does policing the airspace over the Baltic countries have to do with “solidarity”?

The NATO summit actually did some real work as a total of 13 documents were given the green light. These include the Chicago Summit Declaration and a ten year plan of enhancements called NATO Forces 2020. The members agreed to implement what they are calling “smart defense” and “connected forces” initiatives aimed at improving the use of joint military, financial and technological assets. Under the “smart defense” program come missile defense systems and the Air Policing mission over the Baltics.

The mission over the Baltics is important for Lithuania and the president of the country fawned repeatedly over NATO. According to the press service of the Lithuanian president the country had “…achieved and reaffirmed all the goals it sought to ensure the security of their country and people.” Again the question pops up, against whom? She also said, Lithuania’s membership in NATO is now real and full-fledged and that they have security guarantees that they will be protected and defended.

Georgia is another story, bending over backward and fawning over NATO. Fawning NATO spokes puppet Mihail Sakashvili could not have been more over the top in his almost groveling manner before NATO. He was ever so grateful and vocal at the mere fact that his country was put in the context of being one of three Balkan NATO aspirant countries. He said it was progress and that the aspirant countries would, as everybody knows, join NATO. Despite no real progress he said that Georgia, “…had done its homework did not like to look like the best student in the class that still could not make it to the next year... When will we graduate? We don't know yet," Saakashvili said. He fawned over Georgia being put “…into the basket of Balkan countries,” and that it was a "…geographical coup" putting Georgia into the west.

In the summit declaration, the NATO leaders continue to state that Georgia will join NATO but again no one knows when. Regardless of the fact that he is being led around with a carrot, Sakashvili continued to fawn and even lashed out at the new anti-NATO, Occupy demonstrators calling them "relics of the past" and saying that the cold war relic that is NATO was, “…as relevant now as never before.” The disconnect was not only evident from the Georgian side, NATO reciprocated.

The NATO declaration says that NATO supports reforms in Georgia, in all spheres but  as an almost admission to Sakashvili’s status as what many call a dictator, the alliance stresses, “… the importance of conducting free, fair, and inclusive elections in 2012 and 2013.” The declaration also mentions Georgia’s “full compliance” with the 2008 ceasefire agreement and Tbilisi’s non-use of force promise, and takes a stab at Russia, calling “…on Russia to reciprocate.” NATO repeated, as they did during the 2009 and 2010 summits, that Russia should; “…reverse its recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.”

The declaration states that NATO is grateful to Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Georgia, which “aspire to NATO membership.” “…for the important contributions they are making to NATO-led operations, and which demonstrate their commitment to our shared security goals,” unquote. Again the document mentions abstract ambiguous “shared goals”.

For those of you who have been dozing, this may be clearer by provocative statements preparing the way for increased hostilities with Russia, saying that for the following statement attributed to the “President” ; “The Summit repeats NATO’s focus on the military build-up in Kaliningrad and is prepared to strengthen cooperation with Russia, but that Russia is contradicting its declared aspiration to develop a strategic partnership with NATO.”

Little talk of Iran and who the global missile shield is being built against, “wink-wink”. No mention that Russia has been requesting written guarantees that the intensive militarization along its own borders by NATO is not against its own deterrent. No mention that the US has refused to provide any written guarantees whatsoever, “trust us” wink-wink. No mention that Georgia invaded South Ossetia and killed Russian citizens and peacekeepers, no mention of anything of substance really, more of a reaffirming-back-patting-feel-good-fundraiser. So get out those checkbooks and keep paying for the war and death that is NATO, after all they keep shoving their missiles in Russia’s face and keep protecting you against the phantom menaces that they keep telling you are threatening you. What else can they do as they try to stay relevant?

Have a nice day.

 Jar2

22 May 2012, 16:02

NATO: Blood Money, War, Global Domination

John Robles

$37 million for public relations for a 2 day event, and that is the amount that has been made public. When this amount of money is being spent one has to ask oneself some serious questions.

$37 million for public relations for a 2 day event, and that is the amount that has been made public. When this amount of money is being spent one has to ask oneself some serious questions. This amount of money is not spent for public relations when you have something positive to say or sell and in this case that completely applies.

What they are in fact trying to sell to the American public is an organization that is; no matter how you package it, a war machine. It is not one that can be called a very successful one either, nor is it one that is needed or particularly wanted by the American people. If the over-taxed American people realized that of the almost 50% of their salaries that they are paying for taxes, a large part of it and the over 65 years of debt that is being passed along to their children, is also being spent not only to fund all of the American war machines and the US military adventures all over the world, but it is also being used to provide approximately 79% of the funding for an organization that should have been disbanded over 20 years ago and one that it not even really wanted by the people it is supposed to be protecting Europe.

With the failure of Afghanistan, possibly the fact that more and more people are becoming aware of NATO’s role in supporting the illegal black market organ trade and drug traffickers in the former Yugoslavia, the ongoing provocations against the Russian Federation, a missile defense shield against an enemy (Iran) that no one really believes is a threat, waning public support for the endless “War on Terror” a euphemism for the global endless killing of  members of the Islamic faith (and anyone else for that matter) who are against US interests, and an economic crisis that sees no end in sight soon; Europeans and their countries are beginning to cut their funding for NATO.

$37 million, in the lead up to the NATO Summit in Chicago this is the amount that corporate sponsors and they are many, have publicly admitted to having gathered to promote NATO to the American public. Who are these sponsors? Well the list is long but here are a few of the smaller ones and you may be surprised: Chicago Young Republicans, the National Strategy Forum, the Arab-American Business Association, the Turkish-American Chamber of Commerce, Human Rights Watch (yes, the same one), the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater (What!?!). The big corporate sponsors include: General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, United Technologies, the Atlantic Richfield Company, Xerox, IBM, Security Pacific Bank and State Farm Insurance.   

With an annual budget of what some sources calculate at being close to half a trillion dollars ($500 billion) from the US side approximately $400 billion, this is a hugely profitable cash cow for all of these companies, never mind that their business is death and destruction… That is also good because there are slew of American companies waiting in the shadows to make billions on reconstruction and lucrative business deals on the new “democracies’ they install.

And that it what it is all about after all promoting the US position. Advancing US global domination, securing unfettered access to the world’s oil and natural resources, resources needed desperately by a country that consumes more than 48% of the world’s total.

In a recent statement the Honorable R. Nicholas Burns former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, among his other titles, said the following; “NATO is facing new challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing global economic, political, and security environment.” and quoted former U.S. Secretary of D0efense Robert Gates who in 2011 warned of “a dim, if not dismal future” for the transatlantic alliance, unless member states strengthened their cohesion, coordination, and commitments.     

What are the new challenges that he is talking about? Well in reality, the organization is truly irrelevant as it was originally set up. The changing economics he speaks about are what we have talked about already, Europe is in a crisis and the funding for NATO is not what it used to be, although after 9-11 it has risen to above cold war levels. Europe does not want to pay for an organization that is clearly failing in Afghanistan and other theaters.

Politically speaking NATO should have been disbanded when the Warsaw Pact was dissolved because that was its chief rival and as for security this is also relevant. The new challenges and opportunities exist more for the US than for NATO as the US seeks to increasingly use NATO to advance its interests, in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Arctic, Africa, the former Soviet area and now, if one follows NATO with even a passing interest, it is clear the US wishes to use its proxy to advance its interests in the Asia – Pacific region and in fact anywhere elsewhere there is oil in particular or other resources.

NATO plans to expand globally and is well on its way to doing so. It vision of a single world military organization able to dominate any country or region in the world and strike any target in the world within minutes is close to becoming a reality. NATO does not answer to the UN nor does it answer to any international organization. It is not interested in peace or equilibrium in the world. NATO exists to promote and advance the wishes, the policies, the politics, the interests and the position of a the US and its subservient allies. It is a US tool of terror, death and destruction and it must be stopped.

Have  a nice day!

 Jar2

20 May 2012, 16:33

NATO and US vs Protestors

John Robles

NATO and US vs Protestors

Steadfastly continuing the (perhaps not so) new American tradition of stripping the American people of their freedoms, oppressing them

Steadfastly continuing the (perhaps not so) new American tradition of stripping the American people of their freedoms, oppressing them and if need be eliminating them altogether, all in the name of safety, security and in order to save them from the evil terrorists hiding behind every tree, those evil Russians, the Iranians and North Korea, Chicago prepares to host a showcase summit for the world’s top war machine, an organization that will soon completely dominate and control the entire planet if the architects behind it have their way.   

Do the people in Chicago want the summit? No, but it doesn’t really matter, those in power want it. In the vernacular we will call them the 1%, they are also known as the elites, the globalists and what have you. It doesn’t really matter what you call them, they are those born to privilege who have little value for human life (other than their own of course) and who expertly manipulate and feed off the pain, grief, work, blood, sweat and tears of the common people.

Shamelessly and blood thirstingly profiteering from the death and destruction of what has become non-stop global war, from the illegal narcotics trade that decimates the poor and what they consider to be undesirable segments of the world’s population, and even from the illegal black market trade in human organs, no matter what stage of the bloody circle you focus on they (the 1%) are there, to benefit and profit. Which is why, in a nutshell, the 99% of us must protest, and stand up, before it is my eye they want, or your kidney, or your baby sister’s liver or they decide we are completely expendable without even bothering to harvest our organs.

Lest I digress, let’s look at what they (the 1%) have planned for the peaceful demonstrators who already have to must up huge levels of bravery, and in the words of one Occupier I spoke to; “…be ready to sacrifice my body… for the cause.” But before we do let’s look at who all of these preparations are being planned for.

In case you have been on a deserted island, in another galaxy, or in a country that just doesn’t give a toot about what is going on in the US and know nothing about the Occupy movement let me fill you in real quick. 

For decades the US has been on the verge of a complete and total societal breakdown. It had been repressed minorities, immigrants and the poor who have classically gotten poorer as the rich have gotten richer. These segments of the US population were growing more and more difficult to control and events were needed to crack down. 9-11 was that event. Then the election of a black president kept most of the minorities placated. So the elites, once again emboldened decided to decimate the middle class, classically made up of white Americans, and this gave birth to the Occupy Movement.

The Occupiers are not the radical Black Panthers or the hippies of the ‘60s. They are peaceful, educated and even a little nerdy and are becoming more and more organized and focused. Their addition to number of discontent masses is dangerous for the elites. Together they may now have the power to cut off the profiteering feeding frenzy that the elites have been on for decades.

How will these educated, discontent, and peaceful groups be dealt with? Well, with what the US Government does best, maximum force and violence and the stripping of civil and human rights! Sorry for the rhetorical question. How dare them protest the killing by the elites and their world domination! There will also be an unprecedented campaign of intimidation and “fear mongering” in order to keep the number of protesters to a minimum.

In a preview, the Chicago Police Department, one of the few if not the only police department in the US and perhaps the world as well, to have had to call a moratorium on torture, has began arresting these malcontents. Yesiree Bob, they must be stopped.

So far more than 20 people have been arrested with 3 people who were stopped and intimidated by police being made examples of. Last week Jared Chase, Brent Beterly, and Brian Jacob Church who arrived in Chicago from Florida, were surrounded by several police squad cars and detained for no apparent reason. They were questioned about why they were in Chicago and what they planned to do during the NATO summit. They happened to record the encounter and posted an edited version on YouTube and then the entire video on the internet.

On Wednesday night police raided several homes and apartments and arrested 9 activists. Police broke down doors with guns drawn and searched residences without a warrant or consent. After holding them without charges for 48 hours the police released 6 of those arrested and filed the most serious charges possible against the 3 innocent Occupy activists from Florida, including possession of explosives or incendiary devices, material support for terrorism, and conspiracy. A gas can and some empty bottles in the car led to the explosives charges.

In an official statement released to the press the National Lawyers Guild, an official US wide organization for lawyers, Sarah Gelsomino with the NLG and the People's Law Office, said the following: "The National Lawyers Guild deplores the charges against Occupy activists in the strongest degree. It's outrageous for the city to apply terrorism charges when it's the police who have been terrorizing activists and threatening their right to protest."

The media is also being controlled, in a document titled NOT INTENDED FOR GENERAL DISTRIBUTION. FOR MEDIA GUIDANCE ONLY, the Chicago Police Department has set out rules for the press, targeting independent  journalists in particular with passages such as the following: ”...media access generally will be the same as public access. Credentials will, however, allow media personnel access to media-only areas. No “cutting” in and out of police lines will be permitted, or “going up against their backs.” Those who follow protesters onto private property to document their actions are also will be subject to arrest if laws are broken.” ”Any member of the media who is arrested will have to go through the same booking process as anyone else. Release of equipment depends on what part the equipment played in the events that led to the arrest.”

An Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel has used the event to install permanent changes which strip away even more rights and freedoms from the people. The new measures include:

1.   Authorization for the Mayor to purchase and deploy surveillance cameras throughout the city, without any type of oversight.

2.   Restrictions on public activity, including amplified sound and morning gatherings.

3.   Restrictions on parades, including the requirement to purchase an insurance policy worth $1 million and to register every sign or banner that will be held by more than one person.

4.   The power to deputize many different types of law enforcement personnel other than the Chicago Police Department.

Protests have been drawn from the ACLU, Amnesty International, the Occupy Movement.

The summit has also been designated a National Special Security Event (NSSE) by the Department of Homeland Security thus passing final authority over law enforcement to the US Secret Service.

The Chicago police are armed to the teeth and have even ordered special armor for the horses of the mounted police.

According to Occupy Chicago, they are; “… organizing a week of actions highlighting the violence and oppression of NATO, and calling for the organization to be disbanded.”

Let’s hope for restraint and cool heads from all sides.

 Jar2

16 May 2012, 17:38

Violence at the Hands of the State

Rachael Perrotta

Violence at the hands of the state

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Interview with Rachael Perrotta, an Activist with Occupy Chicago and a Member of the Occupy Chicago Press Team.

Can you tell our listeners a little bit about what’s going on in Chicago regarding policy brutality, intimidation and the upcoming demonstrations on the NATO summit?

The city of Chicago is running a classic fear mongering campaign. People were coming to town, not to cause trouble, but to stand up against the war and violence of NATO. Recently a group of people in a car who have come from out of town were pulled over. The police are here to intimidate and potentially to harm people who are peacefully demonstrating. People who are coming to town right now are experience a phenomenon that’s nothing new to many people in Chicago: the police are at war with many Chicago communities. In fact, the Chicago City Council passed a resolution against torture, not because they’re a liberal body, but because the police of Chicago torture people. It cost the city millions of lawsuits.

What do you mean by tortures exactly?

For over 10 or 15 years here in this city during the interrogations police would electrocute people, beat people. And as I’ve said the defendants want millions of dollars from the city of Chicago because the police were so violent.

What are the police methods they’re using to intimidate people?

There’s very heavy police presence in all of our actions and events. Today Occupy Chicago has not had one violent interaction with anybody in this entire city. The police are the ones with projectile weapons, the police are the ones with chemical weapons. Demonstrators are here to peacefully speak out against NATO. And we think that the city of Chicago and the Chicago police department are completely out of line in the way they’ve been treating peaceful demonstrators and that’s giving the city a black eye.

Don’t you think by going to such an extreme that they’re provoking the response?

I have myself participated in a number of mass-demonstrations. And the only violence I have ever seen in the streets has been at the hands of the police attacking protestors. We’re going to see here in Chicago an example of a militarized police stay, again much … in Afghanistan or Syria face at the hands of NATO. 

Have you been joined by protestors that were supposed to arrive in Chicago for the G-8?

We’ve already seen about 150-200 out-of-town protestors arrive in Chicago, they began arriving at midday.

Are you aware of the debate that’s going to be going on between NATO and protestors on Thursday?

Yes, I am.

I talked to Rick Rosoff yesterday. He said you may be expecting more than 10 000 protestors. What are your feelings on the figures?

It’s so hard to predict numbers. If these protests are going to be huge, it’s not going to be because of out-of-towners, it’s going to be because of Chicago …. There’re already over 6 million people in this area of Chicago in the suburbs. And that’s why we’ve seen this campaign to vilify protestors and to make protests seem dangerous and violent because the Chicago government does not want these people n the street, but nevertheless we’re ready to put our bodies on the line to stand up for those around the world who are being tortured and terrified by NATO.

Can you tell us a little bit about your tactics?

Occupy Chicago seeks to elevate the struggles of our communities to the international level by showing that the money spent by NATO should really stay here in Chicago, in the US to keep our schools open, to keep our clinics open, to make sure that job programs are happening. So that’s sort of our main message that NATO is bad for the world and the NATO summit is bad for Chicago.  

I’ve heard that corporate sponsors have out together 37 million dollars, I believe that is, just for the PR. A lot of schoolbooks could be bought. And a lot of teachers’ salaries could be paid, don’t you agree.

It’s disgusting that so much money is being spent to support an organization that’s so focused on war and death. I can tell you that right now, in the streets of Chicago people are rallying at high-school that’s supposed to be shut down and they’re doing that to show that money needs to stay here for education and not go oversees for NATO’s war and death. So it’s sort of campaign we’re doing to really tight together all the desperate issues in our city under the heading of “Monet for Chicago, not for NATO”.  And so many people and organizations have invested something for this summit, when in fact nothing happens. All of it goes on in conference calls, government meetings. This is a big show that has no purpose and is absolutely destructive to our city and needs of our people.

Why this school is being closed down?

NATO’s manual is absolutely dedicated to destroying our public services: closing schools, firing teachers, it’s also privatizing a lot of institutions, including educational institutions. We say that education should stay public and community involvement and community support is absolutely essential for strong education.

There’s a shortage of schools actually in the Chicago area.

Definitely. Community schools are being decimated not only by neglect and lack of funding, but also by the politicians to say that it’s ok to close them down.

 Jar2

15 May 2012, 15:24

Serbian Presidential Elections Stolen

Doctor Jovan Deretic

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Interview with Dr. Jovan Deretic, a Political Science Doctor and the member of the Petrovskaya Academy in St. Petersburg, he is also the President of the Free Serbia Movement in Serbia.

I’d like you if you could give our listeners a rundown on the recent elections in Serbia? What exactly is going on there in the country?

They are false, people can’t take all right the election. But this is not really an election. People in power have made a blueprint writing down what they need to stay in power. And after they tried to fulfill their blueprint and stolen the election, completely stolen. Nobody see something at this nowhere in the world. What we can do about it – I guess is to let the power not to cover what have happened.

There are reports that the pro-Western Democratic Party stole 500 000 votes in the elections.

That is true. I’ve put in my site in Serbia that they have stole about 1 000 000 votes. They’ve put the people from Kosovo and Metohija, Albanians who don’t have documents of Serbia, into account, to cast ballots. And it is very difficult whether they can profit of it and what will happen. The political party is to recognize that the election is stolen, that’s true.

There’s been accusations that the Democrats took the names 500 000 dead people and listed them as voters. Do you know anything about that?

Right! And we don’t exactly know how much each party got. People from all around of Serbia send me the pictures made on the cameras, and some people recognized that they participated in this kind of stealing. In some towns they gave money to the people who casted ballots into the ballot box. And when they opened the ballot boxes it turned out that inside there was not what they voted for. Now we can’t recognize any power that is to be constituted from this election.

The election chairman, I believe his name was the Spokesman Miodrag Petrovic, he said that there was no possible election fraud and the OSCE observers said it was open and competitive. What can you say about those comments?

These are certainly pro-West company people who supervised election and those people are on the serve of the Democratic Party and say what they like to say because they must stay in power, no matter how because if it loses the power everything will be changed in Serbia.

What’s your opinion on the former Mayor of New York Giuliani, he was in Belgrade on Friday? Some people say he was paid by the Serbian Progressive Party to come into the country. What can you tell us about that?

Right! In 1999 he supported aggression against Serbia and now he comes to Serbia to support some kind of people who are absolutely not qualified for the position they will be given.

He was for bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, I think. It is important.

Yes, he supported bombing. And all this seems as very sick, very bad. What we need in Serbia – we need to clean up all those people who are now in power. There are too much bad people and the situation is very bad. They lie in their speeches…

What can you tell us about the release of the Kosovo’s former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj. He was released from prison.

Yes, the Serbian Tribunal has no proof against him. This man has written a book in which he recognized they have killed people every day. This Tribunal is not a Tribunal, it is just something to ban the Serbians, to punish the Serbians. It is nothing of the tribunal and it cannot even be called a tribunal.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic said that the Tribunal there is one-sided. What can you say about that?

This man you cited is a very bad man. One day he says one thing and the other day he says another thing. He is just looking to be in power, to have a good position. This man played a very bad role in this election. Tadic and Dacic have supervised the stolen election.

Now when Vladimir Putin is the President of the Russian Federation, how will that affect Russian-Serbian relations? Will there be any change do you think?

I think yes, they obviously may change. You know, President Putin is the most popular politician in Serbia. Serbian people trust him and in this respect there will be done something good. We will improve our relations. And we expect that he wouldn’t support these traitors in Serbia.

Like before some Russians said – we will keep good relations with anybody. Don’t make goals like these! If we will keep good relations with our enemy, then what kind of enemy we are? What kind of friend you are if you support our enemy? I think President Putin is a very intelligent man, he has rather big courage like a politician, politically he may say something.

What’s the status of your movement? What is going on? Anything new?

Very good things are going now because we are the only one who tells people what happened. Now people realize that we are the only one who tells truth to the people. And people think of us very good now here in Serbia because there is nobody else to trust. But we are not yet in the power to change the situation. We will be strong enough to make a change.

 Jar2

14 May 2012, 17:33

OSCE to Monitor Anti-NATO Protests in Chicago

Rick Rozoff

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Interview with Mr. Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to GlobalResearch.ca. He will be debating NATO officials in Chicago on May 17th in a first ever event where those opposed to NATO are allowed to voice their concerns.

http://m.ruvr.ru/2012/05/14/1306909047/Rozoff.jpg

I heard that on the 17th of May you are planning to debate former NATO officials and current NATO officials. This is first debate of this type in history I believe. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about that?

Thank you for asking, John. It’s scheduled Thursday evening at 6 o’clock in downtown Chicago at what’s called the Pritzker Military Library, it’s probably an apt site for the discussion of NATO. As I’ve last heard two spokespeople advocating the NATO position, and those are Nicholas Burns, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs in the State Department and current NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary for Political and Security Affairs James Appathurai are going to be presenting the NATO position. I’ve been asked to be one of two what identified in Chicago media as protesters who are going to be speaking against NATO. Initially Andy Thayer who is a leader in the coalition against NATO G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANG8), for short, was to be the other speaker from the anti-NATO position. I now hear that a representative from either Iraq or Afghanistan war veterans, is going to be speaking instead of Andy Thayer, so it will be the two of us.

Can you tell me a little bit of the format?

In my understanding each of the four of us is going to give a presentation and then there will be questions field from the audience. It’s going to be a very select group, there’s going to be 100 people permitted into the library in addition to media.

Who was behind the planning of this event?

It’s sponsored by the local Chicago think tank. Though, it’s my understanding, John, that somehow, I don’t know who contacted whom, the prime mover in permitting a discussion that has both sides being heard was emanated from the White House.

You mentioned before we started something about two OSCE parliamentarians. Are they going to be in attendance?

I heard from another leader of CANG8 that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) announced that they were going to send two, perhaps three European parliamentarians as part of the delegation to monitor the protest in the city of Chicago’s response to that, which would mark only the second time that an OSCE delegation has been sent to the United States, and the previous time was during 2008 presidential election and if in fact that’s true and that materializes, that may in part have led to the White House having them to make a concession to allow some form of public debate on the issue because to be frank with you, there has been none up until now. When the decision was made between the White House and Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel last year there was no debate, there was no discussion with the City Council of Chicago and the neighborhoods that are going to be effected pretty adversely, as no community leaders and so forth were consulted, it was dealt with as a fait accompli.

How did you become involved in this? Were you chosen?

Andy Thayer of CANG8 invited me to join him initially, now it looks like it may be again an Iraq or Afghanistan war veteran and myself presenting the anti-NATO position.

Can you tell our listeners a little bit of what NATO was doing to promote their position in the U.S. and why and where all this money is coming from? So they’ve made a huge PR campaign in the Chicago area, I believe.

There is a host committee for the NATO Summit, which is headed up by former political officials but there is corporate sponsorship that is matter of fact goes to the website for the NATO Chicago Summit, they’ll have the corporate logos of major Fortune 500 type companies that have raised an estimated $37 billion (Mr. Rozoff apologized and asked that billion be corrected to million. Robles)  in corporate moneys for the summit in addition to what the Federal and the City Government are going to spend. The argument that many people make including myself that NATO is essentially the international armed wing of the one percent could not be made any more effectively or vividly than visiting the website for the Chicago Summit and looking at corporate logos that stand behind the NATO meeting on May 20 and 21.

Recently somebody, NATO spokesman I think, said that NATO was the war machine for any percent.

I believe that comment emanates from Ivo Daalder who is U.S. Ambassador and NATO currently and he is somebody who 6 years ago co-authored an article that was published in Washington Post and also on the website of the Brookings Institution where Daalder is on leave as a senior fellow, but the title of article was “Global NATO”. So, we are talking about somebody who in fact envisions, and keep in mind he is the envoy for the most part the member of the military block, the United States, and that somebody that for several years has been touting in exactly those words, the concept of an international worldwide NATO that can intervene (at will) any place it chooses. Any organization that has waged war in three continents since 1999 as NATO has, in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya, is certainly a war machine.

What can you tell our listeners about G8 Summit being moved to Camp David and what’s the relation between that and the NATO Summit happening in Chicago?

The two were to have occured not simultaneously but back to back. The G8 Summit was to have occurred on the 18th and 19th of this month and the NATO Summit on the 20th and 21st. And when the news first broke in spring of last year that Chicago would host them both, the announcement was made simultaneously, it was, if you will, a package deal, then several weeks ago the White House rather abruptly and without any explanations, the accounts in Chicago are that the Mayor himself, Emanual wasn’t even aware of the fact that it was being pulled until he heard it on the news. I can tell you my personal supposition, which is this: that in the interim between the time it was announced both the G8 and the NATO Summit to be held in the United States and the announcement by the White House they were relocated the G8 Summit to Camp David in Maryland, the Occupy movement sprang into existence in September of last year and I would assume that the White House was afraid that the demonstrations against both Summits would be large enough to create a political embarrassment, both for the city of Chicago and for the country, certainly for the Administration and thought that by relocating the G8 Summit they could take attention away form the NATO demonstration. I believe that it has backfired. Instead there will be a large public demonstration on the 20th . I am hoping that it will be possibly the largest counter-NATO demonstration ever held against the backdrop of the Summit. If you recall in Lisbon, Portugal in November 2010, I’ve heard estimates from 10-30 thousand protesters. It would be my sincerest wish that the people of Chicago and the joining states could turn out a force larger than that.

Larger than 30,000 people?

That would be ideal. Larger that 10,000 would be great.

 Jar2

14 May 2012, 14:59

The Opposition

John Robles

Many countries all over the world have serious social and political problems that lead to popular unrest, demonstrations, instability, and in the extreme, to revolutions and the over-throwing of governments.

Many countries all over the world have serious social and political problems that lead to popular unrest, demonstrations, instability, and in the extreme, to revolutions and the over-throwing of governments.

One of those countries, and in fact one of the worst transgressors when it comes to social justice, human rights and personal freedoms is the United States of America, with its dozens of simmering internal conflicts, reasons for massive discontent and massive underlying culture of oppression.

The list is long and it is a daunting task to choose where to begin, but almost any of the issues I would like to mention are enough and would be enough to cause massive strife, if not for the fact that the United States of America is a police state.

Let us start with that then if you will, for it is this fear of the government that will in the end lead to its downfall. The US has for too long tried and for the most part succeeded in ruling with an iron fist, this can be testified to by the percentage of the US population in the prison system or incarcerated at the local level. Imprisonment and the taking away of freedom is one of the favored tools of the American government. This has almost reached a level that can be called out of control since September 11, 2001.

Another fact that must be looked at when making such an assessment is something that no one is allowed to speak about, neither within the format of an internal political or social debate nor when making international assessments, it is taboo, and for the most part fear of point one, and the state control of the media keeps the debate in check. What I am talking about is the institutionalized racism that exists in the US. As members of the white race group love to say, and you better agree because it is a white man’s world, racism does not exist. If a black or other non-white member of society makes such an accusation or dares to speak out, it is usually white judges or white members of the system that come to the finding that racism does not in fact exist, and thus the system keeps the white members of society in power, in all of the top level jobs and in control of the government.

This is a subject that deserves much more debate and careful analysis than I can give it here, but when cases like Trayvon Martin bring the debate to the forefront and comparisons are made where the state of racism in America is said to be at 1950 levels, it is clear this is a still a disease that Americans have yet to deal with openly honestly and with a mind to end it. Of course those who benefit will do anything to make sure this never happens, even the Ku Klux Klan is satisfied with current level of affairs anhd maintains their official stance that when the status quo is under threat they will begin their hangings again.  

Other societal problems include Indian rights, immigrant rights, religious persecution, an educational system that is inaccessible to most of the population, the lack of decent well paying jobs, unfair housing practices, unfair lending and banking rules, police brutality, lack of privacy, lack of real freedom of movement, an unforgiving legal system, no real retirement or social net for the elderly, a nationwide housing problem, homelessness, lack of accessible and affordable medical care, incredibly high taxes and no redress, endless wars against abstract enemies and the list goes on and on, including indefinite detention without trial and even death at the hands of the state if you are deemed an enemy.   

All of the aforementioned are real and existing problems that have affected American society for decades but only now that they are beginning to affect large sections of the white population are they being talked about, thanks to the Occupy Movement. So why am I talking about all of this in a piece about the Russian opposition? Well, because all of these are real reasons for protests and rallies and demonstrations and because Russia has almost none of these problems.

So what is the Russian opposition about? Depending on who you talk to there are many reasons. However no one agrees on anything except that Putin is bad. Why? Just because. They can not offer anything concrete or factual but the accusations are as many as their fantasies allow.

What could they be protesting? Artificially high real estate prices would be at the top of my list, but the opposition will not talk about that because most of the “opposition” are people with their own flats who are able to rent out their flats at incredibly unrealistically high prices and get good credit to buy their expensive cars due to artificially high real estate values. This also keeps young people at home and prevents them from buying a flat and even renting one. That is something else that people could protest. By the way President Putin is already looking at these issues. They could be protesting healthcare which is attempting to follow the US model and become super expensive, without the same level of service, something else Mr. Putin has looked at.

What else? Jobs? Corruption? Pensions?  President Putin has done more to create jobs, fight corruption, and increase pensions than any other figure in Russian politics. So then what?

Maybe there are a few people sucked into opposition rallies who have real beefs, but there are legal ways and means in place in Russia for people who really want to make a difference and the organizers and funders of these events are not interested in such lowly people and their causes. You don’t see exploited workers at these rallies, or people from other cities, or non-Russians, or pensioners, or any of the others who might really have something to complain about. Why because they trust and voted for Putin and they love Putin.

Who do we see at these rallies? Mainly dissatisfied Muscovites, with their own flat(s) who they rent out and don’t pay taxes on, who drive expensive foreign cars, and were empowered by President Putin’s as well as President Medvedev’s policies on business, property ownership, taxation and freedom of speech. Most of these people are followers of Yavlinsky and his Yabloko Party, long funded by the West, and other Western leaning or Western funded “democratic” groups.

What do they want? Exactly what those at the US Embassy want who are funding their activities (according to Russian media) just get rid of the democratically elected and very popular president Vladimir Putin and make Russia look as bad as possible.

What has the opposition done to get what they want? Do they challenge the leadership to debates, or introduce alternative plans, or candidates that are trusted and believed and loved by the people? No! Do they engage in constructive debate or fund and promote peaceful change? Do they formulate workable plans to improve the situation in an area that might be improved? Do they advocate even one position that the people agree on? No? If they do please tell me because I have missed it.

So in reality, please, what have they done? Tied up traffic? Throw rocks at and spit on the police? Exaggerate and promote anything that can cause unrest, civil disorder and problems for the authorities. Nothing positive. Yet we are almost not allowed to speak about them, or it must be done with a disclaimer, lest we be accused by the ever present West of being undemocratic or stifling dissent, by the West, what a joke, the very masters at stifling dissent and shutting up the opposition.

In reality people are afraid to talk back at the opposition, lest they not be given their Shengen or American visas or appear on some US Embassy black list as I have. So I renounced the US. Maybe they are right to be scared. I mean isn’t that what the US is expert at in controlling the masses? First their own American masses and now the world’s masses? Yes sirree Bob, if you bad mouth the US you may be the target of a drone strike. And lo and behold if you dare to go up against the US interference into the affairs of a sovereign nations, you will end up in the worst of places my friend. They will get you. Doesn’t matter if you are not even a US citizen like Victor Bout, they will come and get you wherever you are.   

I think it is time for the “opposition” to wake up but can they? They are so tied into believing a dream propagated by the West, a dream that is not and never will be for them. They have been manipulated by Western mass media into believing the lies and the propaganda of the West to a degree that they are blind to the very facts right in front of them. Or they have been threatened and made afraid to speak their minds or stand up to the West in fear of facing economic, business or other retribution or being denied some privilege like a multi-entry visa. 

So, please opposition, you have been given so much attention and media coverage and have failed to put a message across. Be constructive and organize and work within the democratic legal framework of the Russian constitution if you really have something to say other than parroting the orders of your western masters.

Have a nice day!

Jar2

12 May 2012, 21:43

Too Early to Pass Judgement on Superjet Crash

Captain John Cox

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Interview with Captain John Cox, the Chief Executive Officer of Safety Operating Systems in Washington DC and a world renowned aviation expert

http://m.ruvr.ru/2012/05/14/1306855656/John%20Cox%20Photo.jpg

Hello Mr. Cox.

Hello John! How are you?

I’m very well, thank you. Nice to be speaking with you again. I’d like to speak with you today about the crash of the Superjet 100 in Indonesia. As an expert what can you tell our listeners about the crash? And how do you think this will affect the future development of the Superjet 100?

Well, it is certainly a tragedy that the Superjet accident occurred with the loss of everybody on board. I think they will determine pretty quickly if there are any airplane issues and if there are, then it will be up to the manufacturer to solve those pretty quickly. As far as the future, this is certainly going to affect it in the near term but I’m not necessarily so sure that it will have a negative effect in a longer term. All the aircraft have experienced accidents early in the program and have been able to be very successful. And I think that’s a possible relief for the Superjet 100 as well.

There was an airbus, I believe it was in 1988, crash during a demo flight.

Some of the very early airbus accidents were very early in their program and yet the A320 family of airplanes has become one of the most successful. So, I think that implications here is that the manufacturer needs to be very upfront and very open with the things that they learn about the accident as the investigation progresses. And by being that open I think they will ensure the credibility of the airplane.

Indonesian Airlines are black-listed from flying in Europe. Can you tell our listeners anything you know about the safety situation in Indonesia?

The Indonesian accident rates are some of the highest in the world compared with the industry overall. Yet the Indonesian Government has been making good progress in trying to improve airlines safety in the area. I think this tragic accident will be another push forward for them to continue that improvement in the aviation infrastructure.

The plane that crashed apparently was in a perfect condition. The pilot was one of the best, if not the best Russian test flight pilot. What do you think contributed to the crash?

It is very early to tell. Obviously they were flying in mountainous terrain, so the questions that are going to come up – was there an airplane problem, were they flying where they were supposed to, were they in vehicle communication and flying appropriately with their traffic control. The investigators are going to look to see all those possibilities and they will come up with something very quickly.

The pilot, apparently right before the plane disappeared from radar, he requested to decent to 6 000 feet from 10 000. Have you heard anything about that? Do you know why he did that?

From what I have read, they had circled a mountain there, the 10 000 height mountain. They have circled around it once and they were for making a second turn and that’s when they requested to decent to 6 000 feet. The air traffic control approved that and shortly after that the radar contact was lost. Until they find the cockpit voice recorder and determine exactly why the request was made, I think it is something of an open question that the investigators will look at.

You don’t know of any design flaws or anything in the Superjet 100 that could have contributed to this?

The Superjet 100 had flown at the previous demonstration flight earlier in the day and they did not report any mechanical issues. So, it appears from that, that the airplane had not experienced any problem previous to the accident flight and the crew made no communications of any problems to air traffic control. So, it is hard to say this early whether there was a mechanical issue with the airplane or not but none is apparent at this point.

Some of the experts, can’t remember exactly it was, he said that the pilots may have been pushing the envelope with the plane since there were buyers on board. What do you think about that statement?

I think it is premature to try to suggest what the pilots were or were not doing until we get the cockpit voice recorder and at that point we will notice confidently. Demonstration pilots, test pilots are highly skilled individuals, they re consummate professionals so I would not want to suggest at this stage that what they did or didnt do could have been a contributor.

Thank you very much that could be heard. Any other factors you think may have played into this regarding Indonesia, the terrain, air traffic control there?

I have been in Malaysia and that part of the world is a mountainous terrain in close proximity to the airport. The pilots who fly in and out of there they deal with it on a regular basis. So, the infrastructure of Indonesia is challenging but its airplanes fly in and out of there safely every day. So, I think it is something the investigators will look at. But as far as the contributions the accident causes, I think only the investigators will determine that.

You say it is too early to make any conclusions regarding the Superjet here, right?

The key here, to protect the airplane’s reputation, is for everyone involved to be very open and to get as much information out to the aviation industry as early as possible.

And in your experience, have you heard anything negative about the aircraft?

I know that they had some typical testing issues. I can’t now give you the list of what they were. But I also understand that the manufacturer had been able to resolve all of them.

But nothing major that pilots have talked about?

Nothing I have heard.

We are almost out of time. Is there anything else you would like to add and we will finish up I guess?

I think this is a tragedy. Everybody recognizes that it is also very important because of it being so early in the airplane history that this will be resolved quickly and openly. I think that’s the key thing to take away from this at the stage.

Thank you very much, John. You were listening to an interview with Captain John Cox – the Chief Executive Officer of Safety Operating Systems in Washington DC and a world renowned aviation expert.

 Jar2

7 May 2012, 16:12

President Putin Inaugurated

John Robles

President Putin Inaugurated

As the Russian Federation prepares to celebrate Victory in the Great Patriotic War a new dawn has come to Russia as the country inaugurated its new democratically elected president, a president elected in one of the most closely watched and one of the most unprecedentedly transparent elections  ever held in modern history.

As the Russian Federation prepares to celebrate Victory in the Great Patriotic War a new dawn has come to Russia as the country inaugurated its new democratically elected president, a president elected in one of the most closely watched and one of the most unprecedentedly transparent elections  ever held in modern history.

President Elect Putin, having previously been elected to two four year terms, will be the first Russian president to hold office for a six year term, something now mandated by the Russian Constitution. 

The world is also watching the events unfold here in Russia, and for many countries and many people the world over, it is also a new dawn. Many look to Russia and in particular to Vladimir Putin as the last hope to counter the global expansion and what many see as the subjugation and enslavement of the world by the culturally insensitive and morally destitute west and its surrogates.

As a genius in global politics and the leader of the largest country in the world Vladimir Putin is perhaps the only leader in the world who has the potential and the chance to return the world to its once multi-polar state, something that people all over the world are dreaming of as they become more and more disillusioned with the US and its fast food culture and policy of pre-emptive aggressive war and its blatant global military expansion.

Today when the symbols of presidential power, the presidential badge, copy of the constitution and the presidential standard were passed from President Dmitry Anatolevich Medvedev to President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, Russia celebrated its young and vibrant democracy, a democracy more and more based on Russian ideals and a Russian model than that propagated by the West.

Despite the overall festive and positive mood in the country inauguration day has not passed without conflict as, on the eve, Western backed forces attempted to stage acts of provocation. Inauguration day is a day which must be respected for it is a day which embodies what in fact is democracy, the choosing of a leader by the popular vote of the people, for that is what has taken place in a fair and orderly manner.

The immensely popular Vladimir Putin has been chosen by the people again. A moral, upstanding, humble, intelligent, capable, strong and tireless leader with an immaculate political record, long term vision for Russia and the Russian people and the courage to draw the line when it is necessary, is now to run the largest country in the world once again and to lead it into a bright future and must be supported by all of us.  

I wish President Putin all the best as he takes his rightful office.

Have a great day wherever you may be.

 

Below is a short biography of President Putin courtesy of the President’s site.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born  on the 7th of October 1952 in Leningrad.

1960-68 studied at school #193, then school #281 and graduated in 1970. During his school years Putin proved himself to be a remarkable student especially when it came to studying languages. When he was 11 he entered a wrestling league, engaged in martial arts and judo. Putin became a master sportsman and a champion in Leningrad.

1970 entered juridical faculty of the Leningrad State University and graduated in 1975. He entered the Communist Party when he was a student and stayed its member till its prohibition in 1991.

1975-1990 worked in KGB in the First main directorate (foreign intelligence) and specialized in German-speaking countries.

Sometime around the end of ‘70s beginning of 1980s he graduated from the Moscow KGB Institute.

1981-87 worked in Germany (watched Russian students, controlled Socialistic Party of Germany, investigated anti-socialistic acts).

1987-90 worked as an assistant dean at LSU ( Leningrad State University) with international contacts (watched foreign students). Putin was a KGB resident at LSU.

1990 became a councilor of A. Sobchak, president of Lensovet (Leningrad Central Council).

1991 he was appointed as president of Exterior Contacts Committee (ECC) of the city hall. In the beginning of 1992 he was transferred into active reserve by the KGB.

1992 he became a vice-mayor of Saint-Petersburg still staying president of ECC.

1994, March. Putin was appointed as the first vice-president of the Saint-Petersburg government – president of the Exterior Contacts Committee.

1995, May. He was the chief of the organizational committee of the OHR’s (Our Home is Russia – political party) Saint-Petersburg section. In the summer of 1995 he managed OHR’s electoral campaign.

1996, He joined the Saint-Petersburg headquarters of the Russian movement of the social support of the President (RMSSP), which united organizations supporting the re-election of Boris Yeltsin.

In the spring of 1996 Putin worked with Sobchak’s electoral campaign. When Sobchak lost, Putin retired from all his positions. Soon he received an invitation from P. Borodin, one of the Yeltsin’s managers, to be his deputy. He accepted it and worked in this position from June of 1996 till March of 1997.

1997, March. Putin became vice-president of the President’s Administration. In June he retired from the OHR.

1998, July Putin was designated to the position of the director of FSB.

1998, March he became the secretary of the Security Council of Russia.

1998, August he became the chairman of the Government of the RF

1999, December – 2000, March he took over the duties of president of the Russian Federation from an ailing, and by then, completely ineffective Boris Yeltsin.

2000, March he became the President of Russia.

May 7, 2012 He became the president of the Russian Federation for a third term.

The author can be contacted here: http://www.facebook.com/JohnARoblesII 

 Jar2

6 May 2012, 17:24

Syria: Peace Plan Not Working

Doctor Alon Ben-Meir

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Interview with Doctor Alon Ben-Meir, Middle-East expert and professor in the center for global affairs at New York University.

In Syria what are the prospects for real peace?

I personally don’t see the so-called Kofi Annan plan working. I see the endorsement of the United Nations Security Council, but the truth of the matter is that neither the opposition, nor the Syrian government stopped the fighting.

There’s been some reduction in the violence, hasn’t there?

Only in relative terms. It’s only been happening when the monitors go to some place and the Syrian authorities stop shooting and killing, the moment the UN monitors leave they resume the fighting again. And that really is the problem. My feeling, John, is that even under the best circumstances if Annan plan is to work, Bashar al-Assad and his co-workers, so to speak, they will ask themselves the question: what will happen then? More than ten thousand people have been killed, three or five times as many have been injured. The public is going to demand accountability. They’ve been saying: it’s a terrorist group, a terrorist group. But they’re not really terrorists. This is the public.  So what is the prospect actually of Bashar al-Assad to remain in power and to resume business as usual? That’s the biggest question. And I don’t think that either he, or his military, or his internal security or certainly the intelligence have come to any different conclusion.

Last time we talked there was reelection coming up. What happened there?

Nothing of course. I mean even if there was to be an election - who was going to vote and who are the people to be elected? This is all a lot of talk, but nothing has happened. This’s been in the pattern of this regime. And unfortunately the international community has been inapt so far to do something serious about it. My feeling in the farther analysis is that somebody has to come on with a plan of action whereby Bashar al-Assad and perhaps many of his supporters seek some save place and be able to go peacefully someplace else. Because I don’t think any solution that can be envisioned where he can stay in power is going to work. And I’ve been looking at any scenario. I think it’s just too late at this juncture.

What would you think would be the quickest way to put it into the violence?

Surely the quickest way might be military intervention but I don’t advocate that. What I’m saying is probably a country like Iraq that supports Bashar al-Assad and has a curious interest in the region, might have offered savings for his supporters and tried to persuade him to give up power in this manner. But he will not do so. And that’s where sanctions become really crippling. And I think Iraq with the US and other countries are to increase the sanction. It would basically face with no other options.

There’s another element. Russia so far has been very supportive of him. When Putin comes to power, he may too look at the situation anew and decide that something will have to happen. In the final analysis I don’t think that Russia wants to be accused later on of having been helping Assad. Putin may conclude this time to do something else and encourage Assad to give up power before he is forced to do so by the International criminal court that will make impossible for him to go anywhere.

Why are people in the West so negative and so doubtful that any peace plan would work?

Because it’s not working - it’s not the question of having doubt - when the killing continues, when there’re tanks and vehicles, when snipers are still shooting people, when people are dying. I want to tell you that from the time when Annan plan was adopted, more than 1000 people were killed and 500/600 additional civilians were injured. Many thousands have been seeking refuge in Jordan and about 700/800 defectors went to Turkey. That’s what Kofi Annan took hold of. Can you imagine? So it’s not a question of having doubt. It’s just not working. And again I want to repeat I’m really hoping that once Putin is the President, he might think that the appropriate time has come to try to put it into this. You know, John, what I want to suggest, certainly Russia has an interest in Syria. And we understand that. The Russian may very well work with the US and with the Syrian national council and persuade them that Russia’s only Mediterranean maintenance base in Syria can probably be preserved and make a deal with the Syrian national council that Russia would be prepared to change the pasture if and when they agree to that.

Russia would – if the US would give a little lee-way regarding a military solution.

The US is not going interfere militarily. You can count on that. For no other reason but the presidential election. No military involvement is in the option right now. As President Putin is coming to power next week, his first things on the agenda should be getting attached with President Obama and try to work it out. I think the key to this is the agreement between the US and Russia. Diplomacy is still to be given a chance. And I think with the change of power in Russia there’s a great opportunity to do so. And Russia can take a tremendous credit for bringing an end to this conflict. This is going to take place only next week. Within two-three weeks the new government in Russia can get in touch with the US and make a deal. But part of the deal must be the departure of Bashar al-Assad from power. Russia can still maintain its relations and interest in Syria.

If the rebels completely give up arms and stop fighting – is there any way they can have a political voice in the government?

They say they will be prepared to do so. But then – let’s say – no one is shooting, neither the government, nor the opposition, but they come out in the street in millions, demonstrating very-very peacefully. Can their government or Bashar allow millions of people in the street to demonstrate peacefully demanding serious political reforms? That’s not going to happen. The current system of government in Syria will not allow this kind of development. I hope that President Putin will hear this message and do something about it.

 Jar2

29 June 2012, 16:24

Violence Against Serbs in Kosovo on St. Vitus Day

John Robles

June 28th was a very important day for the Serbian people and for Serbian Orthodox Christians.

On the 28th of June, according to the Gregorian Calendar, Orthodox Serbs celebrate Vidovdan or St. Vitus Day or the Feast of St. Vitus as it is also known, but the day is also very important for other reasons.

The date is also associated with the epic Battle of Kosovo when Serbian martyrs gave their lives to defend Kosovo against the Ottoman Empire on June 28, 1389 and the Serbian Orthodox Church has named it a Memorial Day for St. Prince Lazar who led the Serbs against the massive invading army of the Ottoman Empire and perished. During the battle the Ottoman leader Sultan Murad I was killed by the mythological Serbian knight Miloš Obilić.

So as you see the day is very important for the Serbian people. Historically the day has also seen many significant events take place. For example it is not a coincidence that on June 28, 1914 the Austro-Hungarian crown prince, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated triggering World War I. Another important event on this day was the signing of the Treaty of Versailles which ended the same war.

On June 28, 1921 Serbian King Alexander I introduced what was called the Vidovdan Constitution, for the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

On June 28, 2012 Serbs traveling to and from the site of the Battle of Kosovo and attempting to celebrate the proud day in their history were attacked, persecuted and forced to tolerate disgraceful and degrading treatment at the hands, according to witness reports, Albanian police, thugs, and vicious hooligans under the watchful eye of KFOR.

KFOR and EULEX for their part have apparently made rare statements condemning the attacks but any activity from their side to bring those responsible to justice has yet to be seen.

There are conflicting reports and it is hard to get an accurate picture of the event because of the continuing media blackout and obfuscating by the western press but the events apparently included the following: At approximately 04:20 in the morning a multi-ethnic police checkpoint in a village in the municipality of Bujanovac Dobrosin came under heavy automatic weapons fire from the territory of Kosovo and one policeman was injured by a high-velocity rifle round.

On the approach to Gazimestan members of special units of the Kosovo Police set up checkpoints and subjected the Serbs who were on their way to the celebrations to degrading and treatment. Serbs wearing t-shirt with words such as “Kosovo is Serbia” and anything with Cyrillic writing on it was seized and not given back. There were some reports that Serbian flags were also being seized and that women were made to remove their t-shirts too.

A radio and TV journalist from Serbia Sinisa Mihajlovic said that the Kosovo police forcibly removed her shirt and a reporter with the Voice of Serbia, Goran Maunaga, also was forced to remove his shirt. Mihaijlovic was quoted in the press as saying they were told that they could only stay in Gazimestan until 14.00 hours. Most of those wishing to enter Gazimestan were turned away nonetheless.

Other shirts that were seized had inscriptions which read "Banja Luka - Serbian Republic" and "Brothers, we are with you." According to Mihajlovic, the explanation from the Kosovo and Metohija police was that wearing t-shirts printed in Cyrillic, showing arms or any word that is associated with Serbia is forbidden by law.

One of the worst incidents of the day came at around 08:00 am when a group of fans of the Partisan Belgrade Football Club, which had organized celebrations on St. Vitus day, were stopped by Kosovo police at Merdare and beaten and attacked. 20 people were injured with 10 being listed in serious condition. There are reports that police opened fire on the youths, seriously injuring at least one when they tried to run for safety after the bus they were in was attacked by an Albanian mob.

By far the most disturbing was an attack by Albanian mobs and Kosovo police on two buses carrying approximately 70 Serbs, youth aged 8 to 16 who were travelling to Gazimestan, and near Pristina were turned back by police, according to media reports. Some reports said that the police then escorted the buses to a point where they stopped and were ambushed by an Albanian mob which through concrete block at the buses to break the windows and then threw Molotov cocktails at the buses in an apparent attempt to burn the children inside alive. The subsequent clashes reportedly left 50 people injured.

The attack by Muslim Albanian fanatics came on one of the holiest Serbian national and religious, orthodox Christian holidays, which marks anniversary of 28 June 1389 “Battle of Kosovo”,

The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo, Bishop Teodosije, condemned the attacks and a number of other savage Albanian attacks on the Serbian Christian minority and as Mirodrag Nivakovic, a Serbian reporter, put it, all “under the idle watch of the so-called “stabilizing” KFOR force, and the European “mission of law” Eulex police.

The opinions and views expressed in this piece are the authors own.

Information from the VOR, Tanjug, Serbian Pravda, Kurir, Nezavisne Novine and private sources used in this report. Numbers and details subject to change as there are conflicting reports and updated information is still coming in.

 Jar2

28 June 2012, 19:26

U.S. Double-Standards Crystal Clear in Bahrain

John Robles

Even in today’s world of instant messaging, internet, mobile and satellite communications and worldwide mass media, there are still places that exist, where events take place unbeknownst to the rest of the planet.

Even in today’s world of instant messaging, internet, mobile and satellite communications and worldwide mass media, there are still places that exist, where events take place unbeknownst to the rest of the planet. There exists countries that do not want the world to know what is going on within their borders or there exists countries that try to control the flow of information coming out of areas where their activities are not within the boundaries of what the civilized world would find as acceptable or appropriate.

Serbia and Kosovo are places where such a media blackout exists and those are places I believe need more attention from the international community another is Bahrain.

Officially called the Kingdom of Bahrain, the country is a small island nation situated in the western part of the Persian Gulf and has a population of about 1,234,571 according to a 2010 census. The country ranks 42nd on the Human Development Index, it is also a member of the UN, the WTO, the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.

Bahrain was caught up in what has become known as the Arab Spring on February 14th 2011 when protestors took to the streets demanding more political freedom and an improvement in the human rights situation in the country. Originally there was no threat to the monarchy nor were there calls for a regime change in the country. This all changed however on February 17th when police killed four protestors while attempting to clear the Pearl Roundabout in Manama, the central gathering place for most of the protests taking place in the country.

Since then the response and the crackdowns on peaceful and unarmed demonstrators by police and security forces has been described as brutal. Almost 3,000 people have been arrested and more than 70 have been killed, according to the acting president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Maryam Al-Khawaja, in an interview for the Voice of Russia. There are also wide spread reports of torture, beatings and the denial of medical assistance leading to death.

As with most of the Arab Spring countries there is an internal conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. In Bahrain the majority of the population is comprised of Shiites although the Sunnis control most of the government sectors and politics. There are reports of widespread and institutionalized discrimination in employment, housing and other areas against the Shiites.

According to Ms. Al-Khawaja there exists a media blackout in Bahrain. The most obvious and pervasive form being a system of filtering and blocking internet sites that is implemented and executed by the Bahraini Information Affairs Authority (IAA) and which has a noticeable impact on the overall speed of the internet traffic for the country’s more than 250,000 internet users. According to the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) there are over 1,000 sites currently blocked in Bahrain including their own.

Bahrain has also seriously cracked down on bloggers and regularly arrests people for posting on Twitter and Facebook. The opposition groups views and opinions have no place in Bahraini media so they resort to the internet. One such person Nabeel Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (http://www.bahrainrights.org/en ) who I interviewed last September (http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/20/56438166.html) has been arrested twice and may have been tortured. During one arrest according to the center, he was beaten and blindfolded and in his own words was threatened with rape and kicked when he refused to say he loved the prime minister.

The situation in the country is getting worse with many experts saying that the situation may soon explode. According Ms. Al-Khawaja part of the daily routine for many Bahraini citizens involves being tear gassed and trying to save their children from suffocating.

Human rights organizations all over the world have called for a halt to dozens of widespread abuses in the Kingdom. Some of the most notable being the following: Human Rights Watch has called on the Bahrain’s High Court of Appeal to reject the use of confessions possibly obtained by torture, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint program of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) wrote an open letter to the King of Bahrain to state its concerns about the arbitrary detention of Nabeel Rajad, Amnesty International has issued many statements, in particular with regard to the persecution of medical personnel who were attempting to assist injured protestors, Human Rights first says the persecution of Human Rights Workers is getting worse, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies stated in a report: “The human rights situation in Bahrain in 2011 witnessed unprecedented deterioration at almost all levels, especially in light of the repressive retaliatory action aimed at crushing the popular uprising which demanded far-reaching democratic reforms…”, and the list goes on.

So where are the calls from the U.S. and NATO for a “humanitarian intervention” or for regime change in Bahrain, a U.S. ally that hosts a base for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet? Nowhere. However on May 9, 2012 Hillary Clinton met with Bahraini Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa and expressed that “…much work remains to fully address ongoing human rights issues.” Where were statements like this to Gadaffi or to Assad?

So with all of these reports what does the U.S. do? They sell arms to the Bahraini Government. In February of this year 18 representatives and 3 Senators, all of them from the Democratic Party, wrote a letter of protest to Clinton who in turn, did nothing.

There have been widespread reports that the security forces are using military grade tear gas on protestors and gassing homes, killing civilians. But that is just one of the lesser pieces of equipment and weaponry that the U.S. is selling Bahrain. The entire Bahraini military, called the Bahraini Defense Force and numbering about 13,000, is equipped U.S. hardware, everything from F-16s, to Blackhawk helicopters, to Abrams tanks and even an Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate. But the relationship does not end there, Bahrain hosts the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet giving them a base in Juffair and has signed a cooperation agreement with the U.S. military.

When speaking recently with regards to Syria I think Russia’s plenipotentiary envoy in human rights affairs, Konstantin Dulgov said it best: ““Double standards in human rights is unacceptable and Russia and the majority of the international community reject that”.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter also recently stated something worth repeating with regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; “the U.S. Government’s policies are now clearly violating at least 10 of the declaration’s 30 articles, including the prohibition against “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

So there you go, another example of a double standard and complete hypocrisy from the only country in the world where its leader signs off on a daily kill list. Who shall we kill today?

The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own.

 Jar2

28 June 2012, 12:32

Human Rights Activists Attacked in Bahrain

Maryam Al-Khawaja

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What we’ve seen lately is definitely an escalation of attacks on human rights’ defenders. There were protests in several different areas of the country and my colleague was hit by police. He wasn’t hurt too bad, but several people were injured and one person was critically injured. Most activists are getting arrested. The president of out Center is currently in prison as well.

This is John Robles, you’re listening to the interview with Maryam al-Khawaja, she’s the Acting President for the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Can you give us a little bit of information about what’s going on down there in Bahrain with the activists?

What we’ve seen lately is definitely escalation of attacks on human rights’ defenders. There were protests in several different areas of the country and my colleague was hit by police. He wasn’t hurt too bad, but several people were injured and one person was critically injured. Most activists are getting arrested. The president of out Center is currently in prison as well.

Can you tell our listeners a little bit about your center?

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights was set up in 2002, basically it covers all kinds of human rights’ violations inside the country. So we were one of the first centers in the Gulf region. We also work on women’s rights. Recently it has been covering the violations committed by the Bahraini government.

I talked to your president, I guess it was about a year ago, regarding the US supplying the Bahraini government with weapons that they were using against civilians. How long has your president been in prison? What has he been charged with?

First he was arrested at the beginning of May on his way back from Lebanon to Bahrain. And he was kept in prison for about three weeks, then he was released and then at the beginning of June he was rearrested, he has been in prison since then. Mainly the charges against him are things that he writes on Twitter.

Have you had any similar problems yourself?

I don’t live in Bahrain at the moment and I can’t come back because I would be arrested. That’s why I was able to stay out of prison.

What’s going on with the activists right now that have been detained? What were they charged with?

You have activists who are being charged with illegal gatherings, you have those who are being charged for writing things on Twitter. For example, the former president of the Bahrain’s Center was arrested last year and tortured severely. He was actually charged with taking part in a terrorist organization and attempting to violently overthrow the government.

This was because of his activities with the Bahrain Center?

This was because he is a human rights’ activist. I think that in the Arab region, in the South African region today the worst threat to this regime is not political activists or people with guns, it is human rights’ activists, because either the government is doing the right thing or not, they don’t have any justification. So they are really going out for human rights’ defenders.

What’s going on now with the medical workers?

Of course, medical workers were arrested last year, they were tortured and got from one year to fifteen. There was a lot of international pressure, they actually sent for an appeal. The Court two weeks ago actually sentenced nine of them from one month to five years imprisonment. Governments considered the crime that they treated injured protestors.

What were they supposed to do? Just let these people die?

Yes. When it comes to people who speak out against the government these are not people who deserve to live and so either they kill them on the street or they injure them and force doctors not to treat them.

How many people have died in Bahrain since these crackdowns began?

At least seventy people have been killed in Bahrain from the beginning of uprisings. That’s a very huge number. If Bahrain had the same population as Egypt, 11 000 people would be killed. Bahrain also had the largest quota in what is called the Arab Spring, because almost 50% of the population took part in the protests. Again if to compare to Egypt, it’s like saying 40 million Egyptians came out on the streets.

Is there any possibility that the situation may change for the better? That there may be a regime change?

I think that as long as Bahraini government has immunity internationally just because their Western allies, I don’t think we will see any change soon. Western governments talk about human rights and democracy and their support for that, but they need to actually implement what they say. Right now they don’t. It’s not in their interests.

What do you think people internationally can do to help people there in Bahrain?

There’s more or less media blackout on the Bahraini situation. There are countries in the world where people vote smarter, like in Europe or other places. That’s really the population that convince their government that something needs to be done about Bahrain. People should convince their governments, they should say: if you don’t do anything about Bahrain, if you don’t stop your double standards, we will not vote for you’re the next term. I think that can make a change.

What’s the governmental system right now?

Bahrain is an absolute monarchy, basically the King is the head of all different authorities in the country. He is above the law, above the Constitution. People who work within the Bahraini regime are completely immune, which means that they can torture, they can kill and won’t be charged with that.

What would be a typical day for a Bahraini citizen?

Everyday there’re people put in the streets demanding human rights and democracy and dignity. Usually at night what happens – police go to different residential areas and teargas people for hours, even inside people’s homes. Actually they go up to the window, break it and shoot teargas inside the house. And there’re families who try to keep their children alive as they suffocate to death because of the teargas. This is happening almost every single night. This is more or less routine for Bahraini families.

Do you see change in the near future?

The Bahraini government right now isn’t going to change anything because they think they can continue to commit human rights’ violations and there won’t be any consequences. They don’t have reasons to create any change. And that’s why – as I said – without the right international pressure, nothing will change in Bahrain. The message that’s coming out of Bahrain right now is call for help. Because people lost hope in their government.

Is the UN, in any way, involved with your organization?

I’m in Geneva now and I’ve been attending sessions for human rights. Unfortunately we don’t have a similar institution that actually implements human rights for implementing human rights. Even the UN Human Rights Counsel is very much politicized. At the UN Counsel it’s very difficult to get anything on Bahrain done. And in Bahrain we even don’t have laws condemning human rights’ violations.

And you’re saying this is all because the Bahraini regime is pro-Western and is backed by the West?

Yes. Especially because it’s close to Saudi Arabia and it plays a huge role in keeping Bahrain protected from any kind of consequences internationally.

 

"Assange ...lost faith in justice system."

Jacob Appelbaum

http://m.ruvr.ru/2012/06/26/1294809934/300px-Jacob_Appelbaum_4227.jpg 

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Hello! This is John Robles, I’m speaking with Jacob Appelbaum . He is a developer with the Tor Project and a close associate of Julian Assange. Hello Sir! How are you today? I’m fantastic except for the obvious situation with the dear friend of mine.

 

25 June 2012, 15:44

Media Deliberately Smearing Julian

Exclusive Interview with Christine Assange

Exclusive interview with Christine Assange

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Christine Assange, mother of WikiLeaks co-founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, gives an exclusive interview to the Voice of Russia.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder has been seeking asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and is currently not able to leave the premises. If Julian is given asylum, how will he physically be able to fly to Ecuador? Is there any possibility that the US may try to intercept him if he leaves the Embassy? Are there any points in the press for Christine to counter? Find the answers to these and other questions in our interview with Christine Assange.

Transcript:

This is John Robles, you’re listening to an interview with Christine Assange, the mother of Julian Assange.

Hello Ma’am. How are you?

Christine Assange: I’m okay. Before you rang I was dealing with some journalists in Australia, who decided, I don’t know what the motive is, to make money or they’re jealous or whatever it is, but, to viciously smear Julian. Media. Some elements of the media have been deliberately smearing Julian and distorting the facts when they know it's so different. I am aware of some that are too lazy to actually investigate the facts. Right now we are looking at an increase in deliberate smearing and misinforming the public about what is going on.

Are there any points that are out there in the press that you would like to counter right now?

Christine Assange: Okay. Well I suppose just the ones that have been started in the last couple of days and I’ll work backwards. Ahem, Julian didn’t do a “runner” on people that actually backed his bail, they fully supported the application for asylum, because asylum is actually a legal process, internationally recognized as a last resort for someone seeking justice and to continue that Julian is not trying to get out of being questioned by the prosecutor in Sweden. For the last two years he’s been trying to get this prosecutor to interview him, and she refused to interview him in Sweden, she refused both his offers to fly back in to be interviewed and she’s rejected his offer to be interviewed at some British Embassy or Scotland Yard. It’s actually a holding case for U.S. extradition.

Right.

Christine Assange: She knows that if she interviews him, she’s going to either have to charge him, or drop the case, and she’s got no evidence. That’s why she wants him back in Sweden to interview him so she can lock him up, that’s exactly what will happen. Before being interviewed, once he is extradited, she will pull him straight into a remand prison on indefinite detention. Thus, assuring that he is there to be picked up by a U.S. extradition warrant, and that he won’t be able to continue his work with Wikileaks.

What do you know about the sealed indictment, they say, that the U.S. grand jury, handed down?

Christine Assange: The proof of that is coming from; when Anonymous hacked into the private global intelligence company based in Texas, that has worldwide reaches.

Stratfor

Christine Assange: Stratfor. And ahem, one of the executive officers actually stated that there was a sealed indictment sitting there, waiting for the right moment, to be served upon Julian. Comes via a U.S. grand jury and there is no proper legal process in obtaining that sealed indictment: there is no judge, there are nine different prosecutors, at the moment, there used to be four, and no defense material is allowed and the jury court (pool) is drawn from Alexandria Virginia which has the highest level of military contractors in the U.S.

Just a reminder you are listening to an interview with Christine Assange.

Can you tell our listeners anything about his asylum application with Ecuador?

Christine Assange: Julian has written a letter to the Ecuadorian president, and a submission was being made. The Ecuadorian president has made a number of statements. He’s stated from what he can see… His comment was: If we treated Julian Assange half as bad as he has been treated, we would have been labeled as dictators and oppressors. He’s also said that he believes Julian has every right to ask for political asylum given the way that he’s been treated. Julian is very happy at the Ecuadorian Embassy, ahem, he’s being treated extremely well. They’re nice people, I have spoken to them as well. Warm and a genuine sorts of people. None of the cold officious bureaucracy that you get in the U.K. or Australia or with Sweden. He’s sounding very relaxed, feeling much safer than he has in a long time.

Has anyone touched upon the matter of him, if he is given asylum; how will he physically be able to fly to Ecuador?

Christine Assange: No, no one has touched on that with me yet. I’m not sure how that’s done. I’m not sure whether the U.S., or the U.K., is going to respect the sovereignty of Ecuador, or not. They don’t usually respect the sovereignty of other people’s countries generally. I’d like to think that there is some way that there will be some negotiations that would be respected, but I am not hopeful.

Do you think there is any possibility that the U.S. may try to intercept him if he leaves the embassy compound? Have you heard anything?

Christine Assange: Definitely. And I think the U.S. is quite capable of assassinating him. In fact it’s been written in some articles out of Washington, that were printed in the Australian papers, that Obama is completely out of control. And that he is drawing up personal lists of people he wants to drone and assassinate, and he’s refusing to actually discuss this with Congress or the justice system at all. He’s running off like a loose cannon around the world.

He actually has his own kill list now, that he signs off on every day.

Christine Assange: We call those people dictators.

This is the first I’ve heard of anything regarding assassination.

Christine Assange: In the first week of December 2010, when Julian was arrested, just prior to that, there were many commentators in the U.S. who were calling for him to be garroted, droned, assassinated, hunted down, and so on it goes, talking in quite graphic terms about what they would do to him. The Stratfor e-mails talked about torturing him when he got into a U.S. prison.

I suppose that we’re seeing, ahem, a rapid decline in democracy, at a frightening level. The American Government is no longer in safe hands, for the rest of the world, or the American people. That people around the world need to tell their governments not comply with American demands and intimidating and bullying their countries and I think the American people need to do something similar. To stand up for their civil rights and with it that would be to stand up for Julian and Wikileaks’ right to operate as a free press. Julian remains uncharged anywhere in the world. The U.S. Treasury has stated he hadn’t broken no law.

Do you know anything about the case of Manning?

Christine Assange: Bradley Manning. The last straw for him; when he was asked to arrest 15 Iraqi dissidents, civilian dissidents. Take them to the Iraqi police for torture. When he asked what it was that they’d done, ahem, it was that they’d run around with a piece of paper asking where the money had gone. That was referring to the reconstruction money. And for that great “crime” of asking how the money was being wroughtered away….

That was U.S. money!

Christine Assange: U.S. money, yes. And ahem, and this is something that the U.S. Government and the U.S. contractors do regularly around the world. They make a lot of money out of the wars, then they make a whole lot of money out of reconstruction. And they also make a lot of money on reconstruction after disasters. This is all money that has been wrongfully obtained, it’s often double quoted, as in Katrina, and this is fraud. It’s fraud and intimidation on people’s countries and it needs to stop, and Wikileaks outed it. Rather than trying to shut Wikileaks up, the American Government should be prosecuting those people involved.

Right exactly. Instead they’re going after the whistleblowers. I mean everything has gone completely crazy in my opinion.

Christine Assange: Dealing mostly to me and other people, it’s not actually what the Wikileaks cables revealed, but the response from the U.S. Government to it. That has shown us, that we do not live in a democracy, at all. It’s a façade. It’s a police state, apparatus can be put over democracy, anytime they feel like it, and they are doing it now. Ahem, and it’s frightening at the rate that it’s creeping through people’s countries. For example Russia Today has been very good in showing what has been going on, but we can’t get our own media to do the same thing.

Yeah

Christine Assange: Okay no worries.

Thank you very much, I really, really appreciate it.

Christine Assange: I really, really appreciate it too. It’s a chance to get the truth out.

Stay strong down there.

Christine Assange: I will, don’t worry.

That was an interview with Christine Assange. Thanks for listening.

 Jar2

25 June 2012, 01:59

A Precursor to War: Syria

John Robles

Despite all of the efforts of the UN and Russia and other countries that have influence in the region

Despite all of the efforts of the UN and Russia and other countries that have influence in the region, the West continues to do anything and everything that it can to facilitate and provoke an invasion of Syria and it is clear that those beating the drums of war have no interest in the untold number of lives that will be snuffed out by the hell they are preparing to unleash on the people of Syria, who are already suffering, nor on the very distinct possibility that it will ignite a larger violent conflict in the region.

If you have been following the news I am sure that you have heard by now that over the weekend a Turkish F-4 Phantom Fighter was shot down over the territory of Syria. At first Turkey reported that the aircraft was flying in international waters and almost immediately called for an emergency NATO session under article 4. As Turkey is a NATO member it does have that right to do so. Article 4 states that member countries must meet, “…whenever the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened.”

So here we have it, what anyone who has been watching the situation in Syria has been waiting for: the perfect precept for a Syrian “no fly zone, humanitarian intervention” invasion. Again directed from Washington, carried out by its surrogate NATO and taking place on the Eurasian continent.

The war drums are beating once again, and even though Turkey has now admitted the fighter “strayed” into Syrian airspace, and the wreckage has been found on the bed of the Mediterranean, in Syrian waters at a depth of 1,300 meters, there is no talk of cancelling their call for talks on NATO involvement.

While the western media is full of reports blaming Syria and the like no one thinks to question why in such a volatile area and under the current circumstances Turkey would send, or even allow, their fighter aircraft into the area and then allow it fly into Syrian air-space.

Provocation: pure and simple. And the timing could not be more perfect coming on the heels of developments that undermine the plans of the North Atlantic Alliance. The first being the Syrian government pledging to follow the peace plan drawn up by Kofi Annan and the another being the inclusion of the opposition in the new cabinet and government formed after the country’s first multiparty elections which were held on May the 7th.

This also comes on the heels of reports and the materialization of evidence that the CIA and the West are funding and arming the Syrian “rebels” and a failed propaganda attempt by Hillary Clinton to provoke Russia and again give a reason for military intervention in Syria.

The playbook is the same and follows the script for complete and total global domination that was drawn up by the Project for the New American Century before the events of 9-11, an event which served as the catalyst all of the wars we are living through today and which has pulled the world into an endless global war against phantom enemies.

First there are accusations of human rights abuses, mass killings, weapons of mass destruction, acts of aggression etc., then reports of the necessity to intervene, after which complete obliteration and destruction of the target country, massive casualties and then control of resources, the members of the new ruling class, and massive profits from reconstruction and resource control.

We have seen the same thing before with NATO and the U.S.; Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and Kosovo, it is a formula they seem to have stuck to because so far they have gone unpunished for what in fact are crimes against humanity. Yes, waging a war of aggression is a crime against humanity. Even if it is a “preventive” war as the US loves to go around labeling its bloody criminal killing enterprises.

There are always accusations of terrible crimes and violence that must not go unpunished by in fact they are the worst out-of-control killers, killing thousands and destroying countries to make them exploitable, in what must be called one the worst crimes against humanity that can be committed, and they do so on lies and through media manipulation. They have grown so emboldened that they do so regularly and will say anything at all, now without even the need for proof or backing evidence.

Take Hillary Clinton’s recent accusations against Russia accusing it of selling attack helicopters to Syria, when in fact under old contracts it was selling and servicing what are largely transport helicopters, which of course could be outfitted with guns. We could say the same thing about the US if a terrorist uses an American car, fills it with explosives and blows it up. We could say the US is supplying terrorists with exploding cars. Ridiculous, and for comments like this to be made by the Secretary of State and then for redactions to be made when they are immediately seen for the lie they are would have been an unforgiveable disgrace before 9-11.

Now they are emboldened, running amok and out of control, making statements and fabrications so obvious and so unbelievable to back up their killing machine, that it seems an effort in futility to try to counter such an assault on humanity.

For that is what it is, an assault on humanity, on every thinking, breathing, feeling and conscious being on the planet. When one country is allowed to kill at will, a country with a president who laughs that he has a daily assassination list he signs off on, the world must pull together and cut off the head of the beast even it is the Hydra.

We must not sit idly by while they invade yet another sovereign nation on false evidence, any country that does so even once must be stripped of its weapons and of any right to wage war.

Best wishes.

The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the Voice of Russia.

 Jar2

US Throws Book at Anti-NATO Protesters

Kris Hermes

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Interview with Kris Hermes, an official spokesperson and legal worker for the Chicago Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, indictments against 'NATO 3' protesters.

Hello. This is John Robles. I am speaking with Kris Hermes, an official spokesperson and legal worker for the Chicago Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, which is defending the NATO 3.

Why were you initially denied the indictments by the prosecutors?

We were told by the state’s attorney that we would not be able to see indictments until July 2nd, when the defendants will be arraigned.

Is that normal? You are not going to have any time to prepare.

This is a little time to prepare. Typically conversations happen between the defense attorneys and the state’s attorney for whatever reason. The city has refused to talk with us about this case and so we found out about the indictments just by going to the circuit court clerk’s office. They were apparently made public in the clerk’s office and we happened to be there reviewing other cases and noticed they were there and we were able to obtain them. Why they felt that they didn’t want to let us know that the indictments were public, we are not really sure, why they wouldn’t provide them when we asked at the last court hearing, we are not really sure.

Very strange. So, what is unusual about the indictments?

There are multiple counts of possession of the incendiary device. In addition to the three charges, the three original charges, which are material support for terrorism, possession of incendiary device and conspiracy to commit terrorism, several other charges were tacked on as a result of the indictment including attempted arson, solicitation to commit arson, conspiracy to commit arson and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon. Essentially each defendant now has 11 charges. There is not necessarily anything unusual about the indictment other than the fact that these excessive charges smack of further sensationalism by the state’s attorney to make this a show trial, to create hysteria around these sensational charges and we still have not seen any evidence. We’ve not been given anything other than a proffer, which alleges all sorts of crimes that they’ve provided us no evidence of.

Can you explain to our listeners what’s a difference between for example a grand jury indictment and just charges?

Sure. The state’s attorney had the option when the indictment was issued of putting on evidence and witnesses in a preliminary hearing that is commonly done in criminal cases. But that would involve the defense attorneys, it would involve the ability to review evidence and to cross-examine witnesses. The state’s attorney didn’t want to do that, so the other option was to call a grand jury in secret without the involvement of the Defense Council and get an indictment that way, and that’s what they did.

Is that going to help the defense out later in the case?

I think a preliminary hearing would have been more helpful to the defense. The fact that they issued an indictment in secret doesn’t really help us at this point and I am not sure it will help us in the future. Everything is shrouded in secrecy, the state’s attorney is unwilling to divulge any information so we are pretty hamstrung at the moment in terms of being able to effectively defend our client.

Would you characterize this as some sort of political prosecution?

It’s definitely a political prosecution: the first words out of the state’s attorney’s mouth at the bond hearing were that these were anarchists, part of so-called “Black Block” and their attempt to politicize their crimes is very evident. There is no evidence that we’ve seen that these people hold any particular political belief but certainly there is no crime against having anarchists beliefs or engaging in activism in your community. These young men should not be put on trial for their political beliefs and if that’s what the state’s attorney is doing, this case is going to evaporate quickly.

By putting that staff out in the press before the bond hearing, for example, are there grounds for dismissing the case entirely?

Certainly, it smacks of politicization and it also indicates that the city was intent on discrediting not only these activists but the Occupy Chicago movement or the Occupy Wall Street movement, even greater than that. There have been other incidents around the country, in which the state has tried to discredit the Occupy movement, but also these arrests happened in advance of the NATO protests so they were in a sense trying to discourage folks from coming out and protesting in the streets.

Do you think that was successful?

I think they did achieve short term objective which was to create hysteria, spread fear and intimidation and discourage people from coming out to protest and it’s difficult to say how many people would have come out to protest if these arrests had not been made and this PR campaign and had not been sort of put forward by the state’s attorney, but we believe that some amount of people have been discouraged and that’s a chilling of people’s First Amendment rights.

Do you think if these charges are successful, that other states will attempt to charge other Occupy activists with similar charges?

There is depending case in Cleveland, in which infiltrators were involved and they are trying to also discredit the Occupy Wall Street movement there by attaching accusations of bomb-making to activists in Cleveland. In each contemporary example of people being arrested for explosives-related crimes, they’ve all involved infiltrators, police informants or undercover cops, and there is real serious question as to whether or not provocation and entrapment was at the root of it.

Do you see the stripping of civil liberties and rights in the US for security reasons continuing?

The Pfizer rules from what I understand have just been renewed, which gives the government the right to tap phone lines without a warrant, without probable cause and I think they were definitely not moving in the right direction in terms of maintaining people’s civil liberties. We have a long way to go to reverse course and return a lot of the rights that we had pre-9/11 that have been eroded over the years through executive order and attorney general guidelines.

Do you think that’s going to happen?

I don’t think it’s going to happen without very concerted effort on the part of civil libertarians and activists that are trying to preserve their constitutional rights.

Thank you.

You were listening to an interview with Kris Hermes, an official spokesperson and legal worker for the Chicago Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

 

22 June 2012, 20:43

Australia Gave Up on Assange

Senator Scott Ludlam

Sen. Scott Ludlam: Australia gave up on Assange, Exclusive Interview

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Why is "official" Australian reaction on Julian Assange’s impending extradition indifferent?

Hello. This is John Robles. I am speaking with Senator Scott Ludlam with the Australian Green Party.

http://www.jar2.com/Interviews/Scott_Ludlum.html

Jar2

21 June 2012, 06:46

Kremlin to Launch Social Networking Site

John Robles

Mikhail Abyzov the Minister of the Russian Federation responsible for the work of the Government Commission for Coordination of the "Open Government" initiative has told Izvestia that the Kremlin, along with financers from the private sector, is planning to open a Facebook like site sometime in June.

Mikhail Abyzov the Minister of the Russian Federation responsible for the work of the Government Commission for Coordination of the "Open Government" initiative has told Izvestia that the Kremlin, along with financers from the private sector, is planning to open a Facebook like site sometime in June.

According to Russian media reports the site is to replace a site currently at the url: russiawithoutidiots.rf, which was developed under an initiative from former president Dmitry Medvedev and was designed to accept complaints about the actions of Russia’s civil servants.

One reason for the needed development of such a site was best summed up by President Vladimir Putin last year when asked about the internet in the context of its manipulation by the so called “opposition”. The Russian president said: "On the same internet platform you have to propose different answers … and collect a larger amount of supporters."

This is particularly true in Russian since the internet in extremely popular and has more users than any European country. Also due to the lack of strict regulation of the Russian net and the popularity of the internet with the more affluent Russians and for other reasons, any type of Chinese or even American style censorship is not something the government sees as feasible or as an option to be considered.

The big question is will users flock to a Kremlin based social network? Some officials and critics of the project are skeptical saying no, yet there are millions of people in Russia and I am sure around the world, who support the Kremlin, love Vladimir Putin and would love to have a place to meet people they can share similar views with.

As part of the “E-Government” and “Open Government” initiatives of the Russian Federation such a network makes sense and would allow the Kremlin a unique, real time and useful interface with the masses and could become an indispensable tool for testing the waters when drawing up policy changes or getting a truer reaction to the work of government.

Once again, as with the on-line web cams and streaming video during the last presidential elections, the Russian Government is using the internet as a tool to reach out to the people and to truly provide the people an open and transparent government.

Such a network is seen as an asset if not as necessary for the reason that the “opposition” has manipulated the internet to their own ends, abusing social media to plan actions and spread ant-government propaganda with many “opposition’ leaders having gained their fame through their internet blogs and other activities.

Any government in the world should stand up and pay attention, if they have not already, after social media was used recently to organize the wide-spread so called “color revolutions” and the “Arab Spring”. This should have made it clear to anyone who had doubts that social media has also become a tool by certain government’s intelligence services to foment mass unrest and promote their own agendas in foreign countries.

From an intelligence viewpoint it may be dangerous as any such open public forum would leave open the possibility for the targeting, monitoring and intelligence gathering, by foreign bodies and individuals, of the activities of people who may be innocently expressing their views or partaking information. Such information might be used by trained intelligence operatives or possibly by those want to cause social unrest. But of course this depends on what they are posting, and it is going on anyway on other social networking sites.

Most internet users in Russia today are very savvy and may be hard to manipulate but there is always that danger and it is obvious that this is already taking place all over the world if we look at the abovementioned events.

Things are not all bad and scary however, another good reason for introducing such a project is the unifying quality it may have for the country, as people from all over Russia, and let’s not forget it is a huge country, could have a place to “meet”. People who may differ in everything except perhaps their love or “like” or just plain curiosity of the Kremlin or have similar problems or complaints may finally have a common location to share their views.

So far the government has not released too many details about the interface and how exactly the whole site will work, but we do know users will be able to meet each, share their views, upload media, and chat with other users. There is also no news about what will happen to the current site at that address. Will it be eliminated completely or will it be integrated into the new project? I guess we will have to wait and see.

As for me I hope they have more options than Facebook, for example a “hate” or “indifferent” or a “love” button”, now that would be neat. I will be signing up as soon as it is possible, so see you there and happy networking. Hmmm, I wonder, will President Putin be on-line?

Best wishes, wherever you may be.

The views and opinions expressed here are the writer’s own.
Read more:
http://voiceofrussia.com/2012_06_21/78786328/

 Jar2

21 June 2012, 04:25

Putin-Obama Meeting and G-20 Summit

John Robles

Putin-Obama meeting and G-20 Summit: productive

It was President Putin’s first big international event since being reelected to the post of President of the Russian Federation and the results were positive, productive and constructive.

It was President Putin’s first big international event since being reelected to the post of President of the Russian Federation and the results were positive, productive and constructive.

In a statement following the summit the Russian president answered questions from the press stating that overall he thought that the G-20 leaders came a step closer to mutual understanding, adding that they had worked together smoothly, constructively, fruitfully, and reached compromises.

This was reflected in the bilateral talks on the sidelines and in the G-20 working sessions, said President Putin. The Russian leader also stated that substantial discussion were held on reviving and stimulating economic growth, focusing particularly on the problems of global imbalances and how to reduce developed countries’ debt levels.

President Putin also said that one of the main results of the summit was the decision to increase the International Monetary Fund’s resource base by $430 billion.

There were many issues discussed both in the working sessions and on the sidelines, with the G-20 Leaders Declaration containing 85 points and being over 40 pages long.

Here are some other important points made by Russia’s leader:

On food security

“The working session also examined food security issues. Limited resources, climate change, and volatile raw materials prices are among the negative factors in this area. It is possible to stabilize the situation, including by concentrating efforts on resolving agriculture sector priorities.”

On Russia’s G-20 presidency and continuity

“The issues discussed in Los Cabos will remain on the agenda and develop further during Russia’s upcoming presidency of the G-20. We will ensure the group’s continuity and focus on discussing the problems that the G-20 was established to address.”

On Syria

“We think that no one has the right to decide for other peoples who should come to power and who should be removed from power. Yes, we know that part of Syria’s people, those represented by the armed opposition, want to see President Assad leave. Firstly, they do not represent the entire Syrian people. Secondly, the most important thing is not simply changing the regime itself, but ensuring that if it does change – and this should be achieved through constitutional means only, the bloodshed will then stop and peace will return to the country.”

On the U.S. missile network

“I think the missile defense issue will not be resolved regardless of whether Obama wins the election or not. The United States has been working on its own missile defense system for many years now, and I do not see anything for now that could change the situation. I think that real change in the situation would be possible only if the United States agreed to our proposal that Russia, the USA, and Europe all be equal participants in this process…”

On Jackson-Vanik

"The Jackson-Vanik amendment negatively affects Russian-US trade and economic relations. What more can I say? Our bilateral trade with the USA comes to $32 billion. This is nothing really, zero."

On the Magnitsky list

"As for the law connected to the Magnitsky tragedy, well, if they pass it they pass it. We do not think that this case requires such attention from Congress, but if restrictions are imposed on particular Russian citizens’ right to enter the USA, we will respond with similar restrictions on 'however many' American citizens’ rights to enter the Russian Federation. I do not know who needs all this and why, but if this goes ahead, so be it. This is not our choice."

On the G-20

“I think that more attention could be paid to the key issues the G-20 was established to address. I mentioned this at the start. In other words, the G-20 should focus more on the architecture of international financial relations and the global economy.”

Some reactions from the West

The body language and the seriousness of the demeanor of the presidents was the subject of a lot of the commentary in the American press and media. However both leaders said the atmosphere was businesslike and productive.

According to MSNBC the encounter between the President Putin and the US leader was chilly and cold, like a cold Moscow winter.

In a piece for the AFP, Stephen Collinson characterized the meeting as; “Obama embarking on what may be a treacherous presidential relationship”, a bold and completely negative interpretation. The same writer went on to call President Putin “the former KGB man”, as if this is something bad. Could we say the same thing about Bush Senior being the “former CIA man” as if this is something discrediting. President Putin served his country well, not something to deride him for.

The same writer also made it a point to chide President Putin for as he put it, “jealously guarding Russia's "great power status" and making no secret of his suspicions of the United States, blaming Washington for organizing anti-government protests in Moscow last year”, as if interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign nations is something to applaud and completely normal and standing up for your country something bad. Typical.

NPR’s coverage was more balanced stating, “President Barack Obama met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Mexico on Monday. Their meeting comes at a low point in U.S.-Russia relations. Neither country wants a civil war in Syria, but they haven't figured out a way to work out the issue.”

The Voice of America was also more on the balanced side reporting that “U.S. President Barack Obama said tensions with Russia could be worked out following talks with the Russian president spanning a range of topics, including Syria, Iran and trade.”

The VOA characterized the relationship between the leaders as “prickly of late”, citing the U.S. leader’s pointed delay in making a customary congratulatory call to his Russian counterpart after being elected to the post of president. They also mentioned President Putin’s decision to stay home rather than attend a Group of Eight meeting Mr. Obama hosted at his presidential retreat near Washington.

USA Today, in a piece by Richard Wolf, made a point of the lack of smiles between the leaders and used the piece on the meeting to push false unconfirmed and dangerous accusations that Russia may be providing weapons to the Syrian regime so they can quote, “kill their own people”.

His basis was a report from Interfax that Russia was sending marines to protect a Russian base and Russian citizens, something completely normal and understandable. He also cited a Pentagon spokesman who spoke regarding the supposed weapons deliveries, once again showing the US hypocrisy when they have admitted to arming the rebels.

Such accusations are the basis for an armed intervention according to many experts watching the developments surrounding Syria, and historically we have seen this many times before when it comes to the West and their “humanitarian” interventions.

Overall the meeting between President Putin and Obama was professional, cordial and productive, but there is a lot of work ahead.

The opinions and views expressed here are the writer’s own.

 Jar2

20 June 2012, 18:26

US Provokes Russia to WWIII

John Robles

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Recent statements by Hillary Clinton regarding Syria and the Russian Federation; a provocation or something else?

Hello, this is John Robles. You are listening to the interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager and the owner of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a regular contributor to the Voice of Russia.

I’d like to talk to you about the recent statements by Hillary Clinton regarding Syria and the Russian Federation and the seeming provocation by the U.S.

You are referring of course to the statement earlier this week when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Russia of sending helicopter gunships to Syria, more or less in her words for the expressed and exclusivHello, this is John Robles. You are listening to an interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager and the owner of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a regular contributor to the Voice of Russia.

I’d like to talk to you about the recent statements by Hillary Clinton regarding Syria and the Russian Federation and the seeming provocation by the U.S.

You are referring of course to the incident earlier this week when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Russia of sending helicopter gunships to Syria, more or less in her words for the express and exclusive intent of murdering Syrian civilians. You know an absurd contention but a very dangerous provocation.

Why do you think the U.S. is set on, it seems to me, provoking Russia?

You're using the right word. These are actions that usually, ordinarily rather, are employed against a nation with which the U.S. is at loggerheads and is considering potential hostile actions against. This is wild rhetoric, it's reckless, it’s unjustified of course and it’s not even so much evocative of the Cold War period; in many ways it is even worse than some of what we heard during even the most stressful years of the Cold War.

Why is the U.S. taunting Russia, why is it challenging it, why is it attempting to discredit and humiliate it? I think I am using the right verbs. I can only say that Russia, by standing its ground and maintaining its position on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations and continuing to oppose unilateral and lawless intervention, military intervention in the first place, into the internal affairs of sovereign nations, is an obstacle to U.S. plans for extending its military and political influence globally and to affect in the specific case of Syria and other nations so-called regime change to bring about a geopolitical configuration more favorable to the United States. Russia is standing on the way of that, then, has to be condemned and excoriated by the United States in an effort to win international support against Russia. And any fabrication, any exaggeration, any outright lie that serves that purpose, will be something that U.S.
government officials will not hesitate to employ.

What kind of things are they saying in the U.S. press about Russia right now?

We are seeing the gutter journalism mill churned up of course. There was an article in the Los Angeles Times yesterday by a regular contributor that has a statement to the effect that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Syria in supporting tyranny and dictatorship and so forth are in his genes, that is presumably that as a Russian he is genetically programmed to support genocide and dictatorship and so force.

This was in U.S. press?

This was in the Los Angeles Times, one of the major dailies in the United States. And the fact that filth like this can be published quite openly, and uncontested evidently, is something that truthfully I don’t recall during the Cold War where the U.S. government and its obedient mass media at least attempted to draw a distinction between, let’s say, the Soviet government and the people of the Soviet Union. Now, evidently the actions of the Russian government are attributed to some genetic deficiency within the Russian people. This is horrific, it’s almost evocative of the Hitler period.

Hillary Clinton, as she decided to make some serious anti-Russian remarks during a press conference at the Brookings Institute, you wrote something about the fact that in the background there was an Israeli flag. Do you think it was done on purpose and how was it played out in the Arab countries?

These are both very penetrating questions, so I’ll attempt to answer them. She was speaking at the Brookings Institution, which has given the Barack Obama administration amongst other personnel, on leave from the Brookings Institution, Dr. Susan Rice, who is the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Ivo Daalder who is the U.S. ambassador to NATO and other officials, so that is a venue dear to the likes of Hillary Clinton but she was speaking with Israeli President Shimon Peres and that was the occasion presumably for the Israeli flag being in the background, though I didn’t see an American flag.

She was sitting down when she made the wild accusation that Russia was sending helicopter gunships to be used against Syrian civilians, because that’s what she stated, and in the meantime incidentally waving her arm in the air and almost shaking her fist, I guess for rhetorical effect. The irony or the fact that anyone watching that on Youtube throughout the world and particularly in the Arab world watching her make one of her more provocative statements to date in relation to Russia as she is all but draped in the Israeli flag would certainly send a message other than what she intended I suppose, unless it was intended as you imply. And I certainly can’t answer that.

But we do have to recall that her comment is not an isolated one. It was backed up by her spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, spokesman for the State Department, former U.S. ambassador to NATO incidentally. It was backed up by Jay Carney, White House spokesman, and others who have immediately afterwards made comparable statements indicting Russia for an event that as we now know never occurred.

Every few years there seems to be an intensification of the Russia-baiting initiative. It's generally stirred up the press in the United States and perhaps even more so in Britain. There have been recent articles in the Daily Telegraph, there have been some in recent months in the Guardian, including by Simon Tisdall, who's their deputy editor, and it’s the worst sort of anti-Russian vitriol that, again, I have seen since the Cold War and perhaps worse than anything I saw during that period, and it is clear that the U.S. wants to complete its transformation of the Middle East as they would perhaps refer to as. That is, the overthrow of secular, non-monarchical governments in Arab countries in favor of the U.S.’s dearest military client in the world right now – Saudi Arabia - with whom it signed a $60 billion arms deal late last year as your listeners will recall, which by my calculations is probably the largest bilateral military weapons package in human history, and the fact that the democracy-loving and freedom-promoting and so forth United States (those are all in italics, ironic italics) is siding with the likes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and other monarchic, theocratic regimes in the Persian Gulf and working hand-in-glove with them, much as the United States and Saudi Arabia did against Afghanistan starting since 1978, when the Saudis provided the funds and not a few fighters for the Mujahideen war and the United States provided weapons and advisers.

And we seem to see a resumption of that bilateral strategic, or geostrategic, alliance between United States and Saudi Arabia. Russia stands in the way. First of all, Russia’s government is very principled is demanding adherence to international law, to particularly non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign nations as we’ve talked about, and the United States is the opposite. They feel emboldened to, feel driven by, I would add, the need to interfere in and topple the governments of any number of countries in the world, and because these two nations, Russia and the United States, are so fundamentally opposed on that key principle of international relations, then the United States has to isolate, has to discredit and has to politically if not otherwise crush Russia in order to have its position become the dominant one, one that is uncontested.

Thank you.

You were listening to the interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager and the owner of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a regular contributor to the Voice of Russia.e intent of murdering Syrian civilians - you know absurd contention but a very dangerous provocation.


 Jar2

20 June 2012, 13:33

Original Suspicions About Assange

John Robles

Assange: A snake oil salesman?

Is Assange and Wikileaks a huge disinformation operation by U.S. intelligence?

Hello dear reader, hope you are well. Once again the (in)famous Julian Assange is making headlines and grabbing the attention of the world’s media. Not that I have a problem with this, the only thing is that the circus atmosphere and the constant media attention seems to be taking the focus away from what should be the real story with Julian. But that is the way it seems to be with him, things just don’t add up when it comes to Julian and for me that has been a fact since day one.

If you are a fan of Julian and Wikileaks and believe everything they claim about exposing secrets to bring about accountability and that government secrecy must be stopped etc. read no further.

From its inception the whole thing seemed quite strange, bizarre really. First the name “Wikileaks”, it seemed like an obvious attempt to profit off of and by proxy grant credibility by association by using a name so similar to that other famous and globally trusted “Wiki”, a source of information almost all of us uses from time to time.

For from its outset that is exactly what “Wikileaks” lacked for me, credibility. But as I am one who attempts to always be fair and keep an open mind I tried to believe. Unfortunately the attempt did not work. For starters it seems too glib, too slick, too snake oily. Here was a site asking, openly, without a wink of the eye or an obfuscation of the language for anyone, anywhere to send it the secrets of their governments and just to be even more interesting, of their corporations. And of course, anonymity was guaranteed.

There were already sites out there that were dedicated in one way or another to exposing government malfeasance, war crimes, corruption and so on and so forth, run by people living on the fringes and in fear, getting shut down, blocked, being harassed and some site owners disappearing, having strange accidents, heart failure, being suicided, being stripped of their citizenship or outright killed. Sites like this still exist but their number has dropped considerably. Yes, there were many, all trying quietly to fight for the truth and for the most part existing on meager budgets and with no funding.

During the dark ages of the Bush era and after 9-11 there were thousands which sprang up, all being dealt with one after the other. Just ask any 9-11 Truther about the tactics used by the US Government to shut down, get rid of, and in the end shut up anyone who tried to expose the lies surrounding 9-11 and the subsequent wars of aggression, Guantanamo, and torture incorporated. Behind every one of those sites there was a person, afraid but ready to fight for the truth. And then out of nowhere, BAM!!! Here comes Wikileaks, spouting off and trying to present itself as the be all, end all wholesale clearing house of secret internet information, a MegaMart of truth and secret documents. That’s right, anyone anywhere send us your proof of crimes by your government, anonymity guaranteed, they claimed.

To me and many who had contact with Assange back in the Cypherpunk days, it seemed odd. Who Assange, a hacker with an interest in cryptography, or worse, the front man for a government front seeking to put an end to as many whistleblowers as possible, once and for all? Ask Manning. Even more probable he is simply a snake oil salesman looking to make a quick buck.

This latter version is backed up by documents on the internet, in particular on the site cryptome.org, run by an often harassed and shut down John Young, which has a collection of documents from Wikileaks insiders and Assange himself. In one of the documents an anonymous source going by the code name “Wikileaks Insider” details how Assange bragged about how Wikileaks had ”…no headquarters, no office, no formal structure other than the name and the truth-seeking ideology attached to it.” Yet at the time Assange was seeking $600,000.00, yes dear reader, over half a million, for the overall budget of Wikileaks and $200,000.00 just to, as Insider put it, “keep the lights on”.

In a pledge drive mailing, dated January 7, 2007, the Wikileaks Advisory Board stated, and I quote: “We can succeed at a slower / scale limited way with under $50,000 / year & volunteers, but it is our goal to raise pledges of $5m by July.” That is a lot of money, $5 million in 6 months!

According to “Wikileaks Insider” Assange was prepared to throw Manning to the dogs to cover his own posterior as he and Manning had been planning to sell the Iraq and Afghanistan information to news and media corporations.

Another problem with Wikileaks was their guarantee of anonymity, anyone who knows a little about the internet knows that when you sit down in front of your computer, and even worse go online, there is no guarantee that you are not being watched or monitored. Again according to “Insider”: “Wikileaks is a very serious accident just waiting to happen,they convince the whistle blower that their anonymity is protected, and their data is secured. Nothing could be further from the truth.” Again ask Manning.

If we look at the information released by Wikileaks from an intelligence standpoint and do a damage control assessment using the material that is already out there, then what we see is a lot of smoke and almost no fire.

Even with all of the noise and media attention that the Iraq and Afghanistan files have raised, from an intelligence viewpoint, they exposed no real “secrets” which caused damage to the United States. Sure so and so thought the Ambassador of country “A” was a lout, but is that a state secret? The most damage was done to informants and Afghanis but I suppose they were all expendable to the U.S. and maybe even liabilities to begin with.

All of this talk about damage is irrelevant anyway, when it comes to Wikileaks, because Assange, being the “upstanding citizen” he is, apparently cleared everything with Pentagon vetters before he released anything, which made anything he released useless.

Despite this the media and world intelligence services were ties up for months sifting through everything trying to gain some piece of useful intelligence or secret. All of this pointing, once again, to some tie between Assange and the U.S. and begs the question, “Is Assange and Wikileaks a huge disinformation operation by U.S. intelligence?”

Other facts and inconsistencies in the whole affair also point to a “special” relationship between Assange and the U.S. If we compare the Victor Bout case and Assange’s many more questions arise. First and foremost for me is; if Assange is really wanted by the U.S. and really caused so much damage, why has it been so difficult for them to get him?

Victor Bout was in a third country and was wanted on circumstantial and very weak evidence and his extradition was opposed by the largest country in the world, yet they still illegally, for want of a better word “kidnapped” him and took him to the U.S. Assange is on the territory of the U.S.’ staunchest ally, walking around giving press conferences and we are supposed to believe the U.S. could not get him. The last country anyone with such issues with the U.S. would want to be is in the U.K., but here is Assange, giving press conferences when he should have been in hiding running for his life as he was apparently being hunted by U.S. intelligence services.

Therefore we can conclude that he is connected with U.S. intelligence, why not? Who else would profit from gaining the secrets of the world’s governments. Too bad we can not ask Manning.

On the other hand, if he is not a U.S. agent, asset, or in some other way operating for them, then he is a snake oil salesman who failed miserably in an attempt to sell information to the world’s media. Nobody bought it.

In the middle of all this we are also believe that Assange was set up by someone on rape charges to extradite him to the U.S. from Sweden. Why are we supposed to believe that it would be easier to get him in Sweden? If they had wanted him the best place to get him was the U.K., I am sorry, I don’t buy it.

Now Assange has asked for asylum, but from what country? China? The Russian Federation? Cuba? North Korea? No, these countries with political stances and positions often opposed by the U.S. were not on Assange’s list. Why? Perhaps because they know it is all a crock. So he went to the Ecuadorian Embassy and asked for asylum. Perhaps the intelligence services of Ecuador will believe it all.

Again, the whole thing just does not add up, too bad we can’t ask Manning.

Have a good one.

The views and opinions expressed here are the writer’s own.
Read more:
http://voiceofrussia.com/2012_06_20/78702792/

 Jar2

18 June 2012, 18:35

London Olympics: A War Zone?

Tim Summers

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UK police chiefs are expecting more riots during the Olympics. There is large military personnel stationed in London. And still the media do not wish to dwell on why London must become a war zone.

This is John Robles, you are listening to an interview with Tim Summers – a political activist and the former national campaign’s officer of the Green Party of England and Wales in the UK. He is also a former political cartoonist. 

Hello Tim! How are you today? 

I’m very well, thank you John. 

It’s a pleasure to be speaking with you. What can you comment about skewed coverage by the BBC and British media regarding unrest in the country and in particular about the riots of last year? 

Well, rather grim news about that, really John. The riots started early August last year in Tottenham North London, when the local word spread of the shooting by police of a young unarmed black man, Mark Duggan, on the 4th of August. And even today as I speak the 31 police involved, including the gunman, are refusing interview with the so-called Independent Police Complaints Commission. And the media have largely ignored that whole origin of the August riots. The Independent Police Complaints Commission is already a notorious cover-up stooge organization, regarding its cover up of the murder by police of Jean Charles de Menezes. 

So, when 31 police refuse an interview with the IPCC it really does not look good for them, and particularly when riots are expected again this summer. Last August, it broke out from London, it spread all over London and then all across England, in odd places. It was the affluent market towns, so-called - Croydon that was worst hit - and riots became arson and looting as they tend to. But this was followed, not with a careful examination, but a huge crackdown and very heavy jailing sentences to create a sort of moral panic by the Government and by the media, and in tandem. 

And that the causes, which I think I’ll go into, have not been addressed. Several weeks ago six rioters in Aston, Birmingham, had shot handguns at police and were jailed for a total of 124 years, that’s over 20 years each. That’s a measure of how serious the riots were, and how serious the sentencing is. But, instead of asking the obvious political and economic questions, a huge sycophantic media coverage of the monarch’s Diamond Jubilee party a fortnight ago, or coverage of this great sensational Olympics showcase, diverts the masses consciously from all kinds of questions of social policy. 

Unemployment for example is up, particularly regarding youth and black people. The gap between rich and poor has widened, and continued to widen for years. Private rents, house prices go up, wages stay static, the Government’s austerity cuts (20% of them so far) have removed grants to sixth-formers, capped housing benefit, cut mental health services, huge amounts of public sector jobs, cut social housing. All this is causing very, very deep grief beneath the surface, not reflected in the corporate media’s reporting. Particularly the relations between youth and police continue to deteriorate. Many young people hate the police because police are the interface, the only interface, between them and Government that they ever come across. And there's increased complaints of police racism, currently twelve are being investigated. Homelessness has risen by 30% just during the first three months of this year. 

So, it's becoming very, very harsh social conditions. Therefore, the police chiefs are expecting more riots during the Olympics. They are stationing a huge national police force in London throughout the Olympics. But the Olympics charter, of the unelected International Olympics Committee, declares no kind of demonstration, or political or religious propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas. But what are these other areas - the media won’t tell us? This is a recipe for absolute chaos. 

The London Olympics has deliberately gone out to invite the sponsorship of major corporations – McDonald’s, Coca Cola and even Dow Chemicals, whose chemical pollution caused 25,000 deaths in Bhopal in 1984. And now Dow Chemicals are making drapes for the Olympic Stadium, and there's a ban on demonstrations. This is really absurd. Protests are inevitable, and already planned. So, police have stockpiled 10,000 plastic bullets ready for their first use in London. The mass media and the corporations are related, and allied to British Governments. This is coming out every week in the Leveson Inquiry, where Rupert Murdoch’s News International Corporation is being shown, exposed for its links with Governments and its direct influences. 

Are they similar to the BBC, I mean Murdoch’s coverage, was it in line with the BBC coverage in the country? 

Well, Murdoch’s line is even more harsh, particularly in terms of warmongering, like the Iraq War. He really tells governments what to do. And the BBC hasn’t been so exposed yet, but there's something really bland about the BBC, the way it just blanks out all the important questions and just gives you daily acreage of very, sort of, sycophantic coverage. 

They won’t tell you why the London Olympics has become a war zone, why there are 3,500 military personnel stationed in London over the Olympics, snipers in helicopters. Listen to this – six ground-to-air anti-aircraft missile bases around London. Typhoon jet fighter planes at Northolt Airbase. An unknown force of American armed paramilitaries will be roaming London, plus 10,400 G4S Private Security Guards, 3,000 student stewards, a Royal Navy battleship packed with marines moored in London's Pool, 8,000 volunteer assistants raised by Mayor Boris Johnson. And still the media do not wish to dwell on why London must become a war zone. 

And why is that? 

Well, I think we must assume that some retaliation for Britain’s recent resource wars, and war crimes, is imminent but that could mean Afghanistan, or Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Uganda and recently Britain supplied arms to Syria, via Saudi Arabia and Qatar. That’s eight possible retaliations I've listed, but you won't find them listed in the corporate media in Britain, which, as I say, is so absolutely in bed with Governments. 

So, if you add all this together – you add the riots, the war retaliations, as expected, the protests, the war zone, add to that 11 million extra visitors. Many of London's main roads being closed as VIP lanes, overloaded public transport, all for the huge over heated, vainglorious, unsustainable spectacle, and you have one thing - Apocalympics - signifying and showcasing the whole global decline of the Western powers. Please take my warning because you won’t find it in Britain's media. 

Alright! Thank you very much Tim for agreeing to speak with me. 

It’s really been my pleasure, any time John. 

Ok, thank you Sir. We appreciate it. 

You were listening to an interview with Tim Summers – the former national campaign’s officer with the Green Party of England and Wales in the UK and a former political cartoonist and a political activist.

 Jar2

17 June 2012, 21:13

What is NATO/KFOR Really Doing in Kosovo?

John Robles

What is NATO/KFOR really doing in Kosovo?

What exactly is NATO doing in Kosovo? Who or what are they protecting and what are they stationed there for? When we look at what they have been doing since June of 1999, in reality it does not look good.

We must not forget that NATO is a military organization and military organizations are designed for one thing, the legalized killing of the opponents of a state. No matter how noble NATO tries to paint itself it is an organization that should have been disbanded at the end of the cold war and it has in itself become one of the most destabilizing factors and causes of death and destruction in modern times.

We must also not forget that NATO operates as a proxy for the US in promoting US interests in areas of the world where the US can not rightfully interfere, although this in reality does little to stop them.

Putting aside for the moment the destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and other countries obliterated by Western “intervention” let’s take a look for a moment at Kosovo.

What exactly is the US, I mean NATO, I mean KFOR, doing in Kosovo? What is their objective in the country? Who or what are they protecting and what are they stationed there for?

When we look at what they have been doing since June of 1999, in reality it does not look good.

Wanting to be fair and impartial when gathering material for this piece one of the first places I went to was their own site. Not surprisingly it is filled with the usual western catch phrases and pseudo reasoning that many in the West gobble up to justify the killing and destruction they wreak on the world. Words and phrases like multi-ethnic force, assistance to civil authorities, civil protection, and my favorite sentence, “KFOR is cooperating with and assisting the UN, the EU and other international actors, as appropriate, to support the development of a stable, democratic, multi-ethnic and peaceful Kosovo.” Sounds good, but it is poppycock.

First of all who are these “other international actors”? The drug dealers and traffickers in human organs? The Mafia killers? The US imperial paymasters? The US sponsored war criminals? As for a stable blah-blah multi-ethnic Kosovo, well, obviously that means one free of Serbs, and this my dear reader is what it is all about.

Let’s go back in time a bit to February 2008, this was the month when after protestors attacked the US Embassy in Belgrade, the former Bush Administration finally admitted after; starting two wars of aggression and the subsequent occupations of sovereign nations, the extensive use of torture, extraordinary renditions, the illegal prison at Guantanamo and extensive black sites worldwide, there was such a thing as international law.

The destruction, dismantling and dividing up of Yugoslavia into ethnically pure sections was the crowning achievement of Hillary’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, so the finally seal on the destruction of the former Yugoslavia, namely the “independence” of Kosovo, was something she wholeheartedly embraced. Like Hillary’s famous quote on the occasion of the death of Muammar Gaddafi, “…we came, we saw, he died” her statement on the occasion of Kosovo’s separation from Serbia also showed monumental callousness and complete disregard for human life and dignity.

Pretending to be so wise as to the local language, as her state department did with the “Overload” button disgrace, she used the Albanian word for Kosovo, “Kosova”, she referred to Kosovo by the Albanian "Kosova" and stated; "…it will allow the people of Kosova to finally live in their own democratic state. It will allow Kosova and Serbia to finally put a difficult chapter in their history behind them and to move forward." The only problem, it was ripping the heart out of the Serbian people.

According to Nebojsa Malic at Global Research.ca there can be no doubt that the March 1999 attack on Yugoslavia was illegal, in an article the following articles, treaties and citations were listed.

Violated articles:

Article 2, section 4 of the UN Charter clearly says: "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state…”

Article 53 (Chapter VIII ) of the UN Charter clearly says that: "…no enforcement action shall be taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the authorization of the Security Council".

From NATO's own charter, the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949, Article 1:"The Parties undertake… to settle any international dispute… by peaceful means…”

Article 7: "This Treaty… shall not be interpreted as affecting… the rights and obligations under the Charter of the Parties which are members of the United Nations, or the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security."

Other laws and treaties: the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 for violating the territorial integrity of a signatory state.

The 1980 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties for using coercion to compel a state to sign a treaty i.e., the Rambouillet ultimatum.

Finally Yugoslavia did not attack any NATO member nor was it a security threat to any country in the region. What NATO did on March 24, 1999 was a war of aggression and a crime against humanity.

So if the invasion was illegal, then obviously the ensuing occupation was as well and everything KFOR/NATO/US is doing there is also illegal.

So what does KFOR do in Kosovo? With an almost total and complete media blackout, and I have seen this with my own eyes, there is little news we receive from the area. However the reports we get are of the constant and methodical limitation to the freedom of movement and supplies to the Serbian population, in particular in Northern Kosovo, and reports of the continued practice of limiting Serbs to certain areas or ghettos making them refugees in their own country. This serves to ethnically cleanse and divide the country along ethnic and racial lines, like most American cities, a comparison that I can not help but make.

KFOR also protects, enables and provides support for the belligerent side they have chosen to support in this conflict. What are the reasons, they are many but one of the main ones is money, huge money, which has been filling KFOR coffers for years on end and according to countless media reports going back for years, from countless illicit sources. (That is a topic for a later discussion.)

On Friday there was another incident of KFOR opening fire, this time with rubber bullets, on peaceful Serbs as they blocked an important road and attempted to make Serbs accept Kosovo license plates for their cars, an obvious transparent attempt to make them recognize Kosovo as an independent entity.

A press release from the Raška-Prizren Eparchy stated that they are concerned about KFOR’s latest actions in northern Kosovo and stated “attempts to force the Serbs in the north to accept Kosovo license plates by using combat vehicles and blocking roads that are the main channel for supplies and medicines, are creating a serious humanitarian crisis that could have immense consequences”.

The Eparchy also strongly urged all sides to work constructively to find solutions that contribute to survival of the Serbian people in the entire territory of Kosovo and Metohija.

For the Serbian people, they are fighting for their very existence, for KFOR and the “West”, Kosovo is just another pawn in a filthy game of geopolitical influence and power. As soon as it is used up, or no longer needed, they will throw it away as well.

The opinions and views expressed here are the writer’s own.

 Jar2

16 June 2012, 22:08

UN Suspends Syrian Mission: Tensions Escalate

John Robles

The situation in Syria continues to worsen as tensions mount between Moscow and Washington and the UN has suspended their observer mission in the country.

The situation in Syria continues to worsen as tensions mount between Moscow and Washington and the UN has suspended their observer mission in the country.

The latest development in Syria, the suspension of the UN Mission, comes on the heels of intensified efforts by Moscow and the international community to come to a peaceful resolution to the crisis with Moscow’s recent calls for an international conference on Syria.

According to statements made to the press by the head of the UN Mission, Norwegian Major General Robert Mood, regarding the intensified violence over the last ten days, there is an increased risk to UN observers and as he put it, “…a lack of willingness by the parties to seek a peaceful solution.” Therefore the decision has been made to suspend the UN Observer Mission.

Mood did add that the suspension would be reviewed on a daily basis and that operations would resume when they see the situation fit f to carry out their mandated activities.

Mood repeated that the violence posed "significant risks" to the unarmed members of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), who number 300 but that for now they will not be leaving the country but will stay in their compounds and have halted all patrols.

According to press reports Syria's Foreign Ministry released a statement that it had been told of the decision to suspend the mission on Friday evening and had told Mood that it understood his concerns and blamed the attacks on the rebels who are fighting government forces.

A statement by the Syrian Foreign Ministry said that since the start of the April 12th ceasefire deal "armed terrorist groups" have escalated their "criminal activities, which have often targeted the UN observers."

Moscow continues to call for an international conference on Syria which will involve all of the players in the region. In a telephone conversation on Saturday with UN and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, made on Annan’s initiative, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that this kind of forum could help end the bloodshed and kick-start the peace settlement process in Syria. According to TASS during the conversation the UN and Arab League envoy supported the adoption of an international approach to the settlement of the Syrian crisis.

Speaking of an international conference on Syria to be held in Geneva on June 30th Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters that Russia will participate if its requirements regarding the goal of the conference and countries invited are met.

These requirements include all countries participating in the conference committing their resources to the facilitation of an all-inclusive political process in Syria and that all countries in the region who can influence the situation should attend, including Iran, which the U.S. has spoken against.

Meanwhile tension continue to escalate between the US and Russia with Secretary of State Clinton continuing to issue provocative statements against the Russian Federation. According to Rick Rozoff, at Stop NATO, on June 12th Clinton appeared with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Brookings Institution and stated; “We have confronted the Russians about stopping their continued arms shipments to Syria.” Russia had had contracts going back years before the conflict for the supply of defensive technology (only) to Syria.

She also added “And we are concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria, which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically,” statements which began the entire helicopter scandal and redactions by the US.

Experts say that charges of attack helicopter supplies to Syria are a precursor to implementing, what NATO has used in almost every campaign in the last 10 years, a no-fly zone as they did in Libya to get rid of Gaddafi.

Russian officials said the charges were a crude fabrication and cruder provocation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stating: "We are not delivering to Syria, or anywhere else, items that could be used against peaceful demonstrators. In this we differ from the United States, which regularly delivers riot control equipment to the region, including a recent delivery to a Persian Gulf country. But for some reason the Americans consider this to be par for the course."

Rozoff also said that, “Clinton has been steadily raising the level of anti-Russian invective, vilification and intimidation in recent months.”

The VOR Andrey Iyashenko reported that a “Pentagon official who wished to remain anonymous reported that Clinton has "exaggerated a little bit" the real state of affairs concerning military-technical cooperation between Moscow and Damascus in order "to put the Russians in a difficult situation".

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council are expected to hold talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit in beginning on Monday in Mexico.

Russia will continue to seek a peaceful resolution as it has from the very beginning of the conflict in Syria and apparently the US will continue to use the situation in Syria to increase tensions with the Russian Federation. One has to ask oneself; why?

 Jar2

14 June 2012, 16:22

KFOR Mission in Kosovo: Ethnic cleansing

John Robles

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Interview with Priest-Monk Father Ksenofont from the Orthodox Eparchy of Ras-Prizren in Exile in Kosovo.

Regarding the events of last Friday and over the weekend in Northern Kosovo, what has the church done to help the victims of the KFOR violence?

Well, I can talk as a Priest-Monk of the Diocese of Ras-Prizren in Exile and can't speak on behalf of the whole of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Unfortunately, the events that we’ve seen, the last couple of days are not surprising because it’s just continuation of the politics of the so-called international community led by NATO in Kosovo fighting for enabling and functionality of the independent Kosovo.

Although the mandate of KFOR from the very beginning in 1999 was to establish substantial autonomy of Kosovo, Serbia, or at the time the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, that is Serbia and Montenegro.

From the very beginning they did a big job of helping the Albanian national minority in Kosovo, separating Kosovo from the rest of Serbia.

The small part of Northern Kosovo where the Serbs still combat in accordance to the resolution from 44 not allowing the Albanians to engulf them and to ethnically cleanse even these last parts of Kosovo where Serbs lived with others. So we shouldn’t forget that in Northern Kosovo there is also a number of Albanians, Serbs, Bosnians and other ethnic minorities so that they won't engulf the last parts of Kosovo where Serbs live in prison.  And KFOR puts itself in the role of helping Albanians in doing that.

In this regard you said that they’re more or less involved in ethnic cleansing in Kosovo?

Well, yes, you know, like I told you, the mission of KFOR in Kosovo, the mission of international organisms in Kosovo since ’99, was to establish a peaceful quiet environment. Unfortunately, the whole of Kosovo has been ethnically cleansed from Serbs. And today, paradoxically, nobody poses the question: why Kosovo has been almost totally ethnically cleansed from Kosovo Serbs? So from every city in Kosovo today you would find a handful of Serbs only living in some enclaves around Kosovo, but the cities; totally ethnically cleansed. For example you have, in Pristina, which had a 40,000 Serbian community before the conflict and which has a handfull of Serbs living a ghetto-like life.

They’re all in ghettos, you say?

Most of the Serbs from Kosovo have gone to the rest of Serbia. There are some enclaves in Kosovo, some Serbian villages where still Serbs live so, where now, these clashes with KFOR have been. In the rest of Kosovo the Serbs are some 130 to 150 thousand. For example, I’m one of the people living in the enclaves here with the people in the so called Sredska-Zhupa within Kosovo in the village called Brezovica on the mountain of Šara.

Can you give is a little bit of the history of the Orthodox Church in Exile of Ras-Prizren?

I don’t know how much your listeners are in course of the history of Kosovo itself, the history of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo, especially in the last decade or two. But many of them certainly have heard the name of bishop Artemije who was the Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Ras-Prizren. He was a remarkable man who in the last two decades managed to make a real Renaissance: revival of the monastic and spiritual life in Kosovo and the diocese of Ras-Prizren had a flourishing and monastic life both of monks and nuns. There were more monks and nuns in his diocese a few years ago than in the whole of the rest of the Serbian Orthodox Church. On the other hand, bishop Artemije was a very principled man concerning both the teaching of the Orthodox Church which somehow in the last years was very much compromised by the influence of Eccuminism all over the Orthodox world and Bishop Artemije fought against this influence of Eccuminism which he himself and holy fathers before him called a pan-heresey. On the other hand Bishop Artemije was an outspoken defender of the protection of international law in Kosovo that is keepsaking the Kosovo as the most precious, most holy part of Serbia; and a part of Serbian history, a part of Serbian tradition and a part of Serbian spirituality within Serbia .

Unfortunately, the developments in Serbia in last years which we have been witnessing, that regime in Serbia led by the Democratic Party and these last years by President Tadić was very much inclined to accept many of the blackmails coming from the side of the Western countries who recognized independence of Kosovo.

Bishop Artemije was an outspoken critic of these politics, of many of the aspects of the politics of president Tadic and in 2010, unfortunately some parts of the Serbian Orthodox Church, which were very much inclined to subdue to this secular influence of the Serbian state, understood, or accepted the fact that bishop Artemije represents a very big obstacle to the causes, to the ideas, of finally realizing the idea of independent Kosovo.

A way should have been found to remove bishop Artemije from Kosovo and the supposed financial problems within the dioceses were found and Bishop Artemije deposed. I must emphasize that until today these financial accusations haven’t been proven although they have been in the court for the last two years. Bishop Artemije removed, deposed from his post, many of us monks and nuns and some priests who were his faithful spiritual children decided to follow Bishop Artemije in his spiritual exile opposing ourselves to this injustice and raising our voice. Many of the Serbs today in Serbia, I would say, and with every day even more, understand the just cause and the just fight and struggle Bishop Artemije and his monastics are fighting in Serbia.

What percentage of the population in Serbia and in Kosovo are followers of the Orthodox Church?

I would say some 80% of the population today of Serbia are Orthodox. Kosovo itself represents the holiest part of Serbia with a very rich number of medieval monasteries and churches. One should not forget the monasteries at Gracanica, Visoki Decani, Banjska, the church (Ogroits Tsarevich?) in Prizren because in medieval times Kosovo itself was the center of Serbian state and the place where the Serbian king sat. We have to mention that since the arrival of international so-called Peace Forces to Kosovo we had more than 150 churches destroyed. One third of these churches and monasteries are medieval monuments, some of those really jewels of medieval Serbian Orthodox architecture and art, with many icons destroyed and burned.

The Serbian Orthodox Church is the second oldest Orthodox Church in the world and holds many Christian relics including, I believe, the right hand of John the Baptist.

Yes, the hand of John the Baptist is being kept in the Diocese of Montenegro and there are many others of course. Serbian Orthodox Church has a very old history, a very rich history and very rich spirituality. This is exactly the reason why we have to fight and we have to offer everything, including our lives for protecting this patrimony.

Addendum: Neither the Serbian Orthodox Church nor the Russian Orthodox Church recognize a network of catacomb churches and monasteries, called the Rasko-Prizrenska Diocese in Exile and headed by former bishop Artemije. In May 2011, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill sent a letter to his Serbian counterpart to assure that no Russian Orthodox Church bishop or cleric will contact former bishop Artemije and his supporters.

In February 2010, the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church suspended Artemije from managing the Rasko-Prizrenska Diocese after claims of fraud and financial mismanagement that were in place in this structure. In November 2010, a decision was made to defrock Artemije because he and his supporters “embarked on the road of an open rift.”

 Jar2

13 June 2012, 09:51

U2 Plane Pilot Awarded Posthumously

Francis Gary Powers Junior

U2 plane pilot awarded posthumously

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You are listening to an interview with Francis Gary Powers Junior – the founder of the Cold War Museum and the son of the pilot whose U2 Plane was shot down in 1960 over the Soviet Union.

Hello, Mr. Powers! How are you today?

I’m doing well, thank you. How are you?

I’m fine. Thanks for agreeing to speak with me again. On June 15, at 9:30 a.m. at a ceremony in the Pentagon you farther will posthumously receive the Silver Star. Why has it taken so long for your father to be recognized in such a manner?

Yes, that is correct, he will be receiving the Silver Star on June 15th . Nothing could have been done up to 1998, it was still a secret. In the summer of 1998 there was a big classification conference that showed it was a joined US Air Force-CIA Program that conducted the U2 over flight. So, in 1998 it was discovered and he was a military person at that time, that set up an award ceremony for May of 2000 in which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the POW Medal. So, at that time that’s all we thought was happening.

Ten years go by and in late December of 2010 I’m reading an article about two other pilots who received the Silver Star for being shot down on July 1st of 1960 and then incarcerated in Lubyanka Prison the same time period that my father was. So, in January of 2011 I wrote a letter to the Pentagon asking if this sets precedents for anything for my father. And then about 11 months later, in December of 2011 the Air Force comes back and says – yes, it does set precedents and that he will be awarded with the Silver Star some time in 2012. So, in actuality it only took less than a year, from the time I first wrote the letter of inquiry to I get a decision that he was worthy of this medal. We are all very excited.

You didn’t have to struggle, I mean it wasn’t years and years of battling to clear his name and everything?

No, I started trying to help clear his name back in 1996-1998. And then the classification conference in 1998 really helped to push things forward but I didn’t know that it was possible for him to receive the Silver Star until I wrote a letter in January of 2011. It took only about a year for the Air Force to act on this and update the records, and to embrace him as one of their own.

How did you feel when you learned about that?

We were very excited. My wife, my child, my family and all were very excited, very honoured, very humbled. It is a wonderful distinction to know that the Air Force fully embraces what my father went through indeed for our country back 50 years ago.

Who decided or did the Air Force decide to give the award to your father’s grandchildren, you children?

No, they asked the family who would like to receive it on behalf of the family. And there was just no doubt that it should be given to the grandchildren, for both of my sister and myself.

We talked before that your father was suspected of cooperating with the Soviets and I know you went through some hardships in the past because of that. Can you tell us about that?

Yes, at that time there was a lot of controversy and inventions, and speculation and rumors that were floating around 1960-1962 when he was in prison. There were rumors that he had distracted, that abandoned the plane in attack, that he spilled his guts and told the Soviets everything he knew, or that he haven’t followed the orders to committee a suicide. And all of this misinformation, these inventions and rumors have been cleared up over the last fifty years and it’s now shown that he did everything he was supposed to do under the circumstances he found himself in.

So, he had orders to commit a suicide?

No, he did not have orders to commit a suicide. It is one of the misinformation that still circulates around. All the pilots were given the option of taking a suicide type device with them. It was explained to them that this was an optional device to take and an optional device to use at their discretion in the event of torture. My father wasn’t tortured during his capture, he did not feel that he should have used it. It was also discovered on him after the third strip search. Once it was discovered he said to be very careful with that, he did not want to have a murder conviction on top of the espionage conviction.

You said he wasn’t tortured.

There was no physical torture at all but there was a lot of mental anguish, sleep deprivation, bright spotlights, grueling questions, so it was not a cakewalk by any means.

I know maybe this might not be completely proper comparison to make, but can you compare that with what terrorists suspects are being put through now in Guantanamo etc. Do you think the rules of war used back in those days were more civilized than what we are doing now?

My parents raised me to believe that a torture was the last resort and that America did not participated in those type of activities. Throughout the Cold War that was true, to the most part, we used to use some of our allies in other countries to do that type of work in getting the information from them. Now America is doing the waterboarding and other questioning legal techniques. I’m very troubled by what they are doing and hope that it is for the best and security of our country versus just some whim that it will come back to haunt them in the future.

Would you say that some of these terrorist suspects now are being treated much more harshly than your father was?

Yes, I do believe they are. I’m not privy to what type of interrogations they are going through but I’m assuming they are much worse than what my father went through.

We talked several times before. I remember doing the Chapman exchange. What do you think about modern days spy exchanges?

In regards to spy exchanges, they will continue to take place. It is always advantageous for foreign governments to get back their agents, their operatives, their pilots, their personnel so they can be debriefed and then they can determine if they provide any insight into what the enemy does, how it acts, what the plans are. So, I believe that the spy exchanges will continue to go on as long as there is espionage and I don’t believe that it will end any time soon.

Recently there’s been a lot of spy activity by the US. What would you say about the level of espionage activity going now as opposed to Cold War times? In my opinion it is very high? Why do you think it is so high?

Well, this is a completely different world we live in now. During the Cold War we knew who our enemy was and where they were located. Today the war on terror, the terrorists that are conducting these subversive attacks, we are not always sure where they are located, we are not sure which countries are involved. And so the amount of intelligence gathering has increased to try to find out and pinpoint the headquarters of these terrorist cells. So, it is a much different world we live in and more intelligence is necessary to find out where these operatives and these terrorists are hiding.

Thank you very much, Sir. That was an interview with Francis Gary Powers Junior – the founder of the Cold War Museum and the son of the famous U2pilot whose plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. Thank for listening.

 Jar2

12 June 2012, 20:25

Russia Day 2012

John Robles

The Russian Federation is the largest country on the face of the Earth; a country with a long, rich and great history full of upheavals, wars, tragedies and great victories.

Russia is a country that unites Asia and Europe and has a total area of 17,075,400 square kilometers (6,592,800 sq mi), covering more than a ninth of the Earth’s land area. The Russian Federation extends across the whole of northern Asia and 40% of Europe and is a country that spans nine time zones with times ranging from UTC+03:00 to UTC+12:00.

On the 12th of June Russia celebrates Russia Day. The holiday is still a new one for Russia, and has only been celebrated since 1992. June 12th 1990 was the day when the First Congress of People's Deputies of the Russian Federation adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union the country’s new name was the Russian Federation, adopted on December 25, 1991. Among other changes after the collapse of the USSR was the introduction of the post of president, a new national flag, a new national emblem and a new anthem.

June 12th the day when the declaration was adopted was proclaimed a national holiday by the Supreme Soviet in 1992 and again proclaimed a national holiday Presidential decree of June 2, 1994. Under the presidential decree of June 16, 1998, it was renamed Russia Day, from the previous name of Independence Day, a name which did not really reflect the nature of the holiday.

For many June 12th was a day when, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, they were thrown into poverty, when all of the social guarantees of the Soviet State were taken away and when the greatest country on the planet, the USSR was officially dissolved, for this reason at the beginning many Russians did not celebrate the holiday.  Holiday many did not even understand.

In the last few years many people have begun to celebrate the holiday as a day to demonstrate national pride in their great country. It is a day when the president gives state awards for achievements in science and technology, literature and art, and humanitarian activities. It is also a day when people can watch firework displays, concerts and entertainment events.

This year President Vladimir Putin presented awards in the St. George Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace and according to the press office of the president the recipients were many and the awards were as follows:

In the scientific spheres: for the discovery of large deposits of platinum-palladium on the Kola Peninsula Felix Mitrofanov received the State Prize in Science and Technology, for achievements in Immunology Rem Petrov and Khaitov Rahim received an award, an award was given to Boris Trofimov for a major contribution to the development of organic synthesis along with Valery Charushin and Oleg Chupakhin, for the development and creation of a missile warning Sergey Boev, Sergei Saprykin and Valery Karasev.

The Russian Federation State Prize in Literature and the Arts was awarded to Oleg Dobrodeyev, Sergey Shumakov, and Svyatoslav Belza for the popularization of culture and science achievement and outstanding educational activities; Oleg Zharov, Elena Ankudinov, Nikolai Mukhin for their contribution to the revival and development of traditional cultural and historical values, and Galina Malanicheva for her contribution to the preservation of the national cultural heritage.

A State Award for outstanding achievements in the field of humanitarian work was awarded to Vladimir Spivakov.  

According to the Voice of Russia festival activities include some 1,550 events,  with 20 being held in Moscow, culminating in a five hour concert on Red Square in the evening and ending with a spectacular fireworks exhibition. One of Moscow’s parks has also been used as a venue for a festival of the indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation with participants including traditional folk and dance ensembles and craftsmen.

This year another event that the country’s football fans are focused on is the match between Dick Advocaat’s national team and Poland, with a win guaranteeing Russia moving on to the quarterfinals after tromping the Czech Republic 4-1.

After the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the country has remarkably pulled itself up by its own bootstraps, an upheaval that would have led many countries to fall into anarchy and something that must be applauded and something that points to the resilience and strength of the Russian people.

In this regard alone I believe we must be grateful to President Putin and the pivotal role he has played in doing everything he can to return the country to greatness in the face of truly Machiavellian machinations. He has also made an increase in the living standards and the quality of life possible for all Russians.

Russia is a great country and on Mother Russia’s day we can celebrate her sportsmen and women, like Maria Sharapova (my favorite), her great scientists, her great victories; such as that over nazi Germany, her wonderful food and culture, her music and musicians, her great and beautiful lands, from the Urals to her spectacular Pacific coasts, the great and long religious history, people who are open and seek peace with others and for many the most beautiful women on earth.  

Personally Russia Day has taken a deeper meaning for me as I celebrate the history and greatness of a country that took me and my family in 15 years ago. As a Taino Indian who was born on a small island in the Caribbean I am proud and honored to be a able to write to all of you on this great day here on the Voice of Russia and for me it would be an honor to be called Russian.

Have a great RUSSIA DAY!!!

John Robles II 

 Jar2

11 June 2012, 18:00

Time to End Syrian Bloodshed

John Robles

The Russian Federation continues to call for a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Syria, as Russia has done from the very beginning; however forces in the country are doing everything that they can to derail any chance of peace. In particular what is now being referred to as the irreconcilable opposition and its military wing the Free Syria Army.

The Russian Federation continues to call for a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Syria, as Russia has done from the very beginning; however forces in the country are doing everything that they can to derail any chance of peace. In particular what is now being referred to as the irreconcilable opposition and its military wing the Free Syria Army.

The situation in Syria is approaching what can only be described as an all out armed civil war.

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday a bus carrying Russian experts was fired upon and this came on the heels of a rocket-propelled grenade attack on a building that was housing Russian nationals. The foreign minister was speaking about the violations of the ceasefire by the side of the Syrian militants according to the Russian press.

Russia’s foreign minister once again stressed the fact that not only Syrian President Bashar Assad can be held responsible for the situation in the country. He added that the tragedies in Hula and Al-Kubeyre were made possible thanks to the continued support of armed opposition groups from abroad."

Moscow for its part continues to call for not abandoning the UN-backed settlement plan organized by UN and Arab League Envoy Kofi Annan and is calling for an international conference to be held to finally bring an end to the Syrian conflict.

On Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke about the necessity of holding the conference and was supported by British Foreign Secretary William Hague.    

In another development that may be cause for cautious optimism the head of the Syrian Opposition National Council (SNC) Abdel Basset Saida said that his organization would approve of the military intervention of international forces in the internal conflict only if they have the sanction of the UN Security Council.

Saida also said he was ready to adhere to the settlement plan proposed by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and urged the international community to "act" against President Bashar al-Assad and make sure that the agreement is executed.

While the international community and now even the Syrian opposition itself appears to possibly ready for peace the United States continues to call for more arms and violence and according to Interfax Saudi Arabia and other countries keep supplying arms to the Syrian opposition in defiance of the appeals of the world community.

As if to underline this fact US Senator, John McCain, once again confirmed these accusations in an interview with the CNN television network. Instead of calling for an end to the bloodshed the Conservative Republican has urged the US Administration to embark on a path of direct military aid to the Syrian rebels.

Russia continues to hold to the position that foreign military intervention in Syria is unacceptable. Even with an escalation in the violence and the two recent massacres, the latest being in the Village of Al-Kubeir, a tragedy that even the UN observers do not yet have all the details about, including the  exact number of victims. Experts believe that this was provocation to derail any chnce of peace and that the opposition Syrian National Council will hold official Damascus responsible, the West and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have also voiced accusations in this vein. 

Officially Russia’s Foreign Ministry has called that massacre a provocation aimed at wrecking Kofi Annan’s plan for Syria settlement. In an interview

An analyst from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Sotnikov, has a similar opinion voice to the Voice of Russia. He stated that; "The government forces are not responsible for the Hama massacre. What occurred was an attempt of opposition elements, which have contacts with the Islamist groups and Al Qaeda, to aggravate the situation in the country. Such massacres prepare the ground for a foreign intervention in Syria that could prove helpful in ousting the regime of Bashar Assad."

After the events recently near Hama Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: "The parties involved in the Syrian conflict, including foreign opposition and the Syrian National Council do not want to sit down at the negotiating table with Bashar Assad. They are ready to continue the armed struggle until the UN Security Council gives a mandate for a foreign intervention in Syria.  I guarantee that it won’t give such a mandate."

The coordinator of the Syrian humanitarian project “The Price of Freedom” Ibrahim Naovaf said in an interview with the Voice of Russia that: “More than 80 per cent of the Syrian citizens support the President. Why? The people take into account continued terrorist attacks and terrorists who are building the so-called democracy on their blood. People defend themselves because neither soldiers nor security forces can assume responsibility for the country. Terrorists organize sudden attacks. They can mine a car and escape, and civilians may die in the explosion."

So if the Syrian people want peace, and quite possibly, if one is to give credibility to statements made by the head of the Syrian Opposition National Council (SNC) Abdel Basset Saida, the Syrian opposition want peace and the Syrian Government wants a peaceful resolution as well; why does the West continue to beat the drums of war?

With the lives of peaceful women and children at stake and thousands already dead, it is time for the West to stop playing Geo-Political games of military domination and once again search for that which it has long ago lost sight of, namely the moral high-ground, on which the Russian Federation is firmly standing. For the sake of all it is time for peace, before it is too late.

Compiled from information from the VOR, TASS and INTERFAX.

 Jar2

28 June 2012, 12:32

Human Rights Activists Attacked in Bahrain

Maryam Al-Khawaja

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What we’ve seen lately is definitely an escalation of attacks on human rights’ defenders. There were protests in several different areas of the country and my colleague was hit by police. He wasn’t hurt too bad, but several people were injured and one person was critically injured. Most activists are getting arrested. The president of out Center is currently in prison as well.

This is John Robles, you’re listening to the interview with Maryam al-Khawaja, she’s the Acting President for the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Can you give us a little bit of information about what’s going on down there in Bahrain with the activists?

What we’ve seen lately is definitely escalation of attacks on human rights’ defenders. There were protests in several different areas of the country and my colleague was hit by police. He wasn’t hurt too bad, but several people were injured and one person was critically injured. Most activists are getting arrested. The president of out Center is currently in prison as well.

Can you tell our listeners a little bit about your center?

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights was set up in 2002, basically it covers all kinds of human rights’ violations inside the country. So we were one of the first centers in the Gulf region. We also work on women’s rights. Recently it has been covering the violations committed by the Bahraini government.

I talked to your president, I guess it was about a year ago, regarding the US supplying the Bahraini government with weapons that they were using against civilians. How long has your president been in prison? What has he been charged with?

First he was arrested at the beginning of May on his way back from Lebanon to Bahrain. And he was kept in prison for about three weeks, then he was released and then at the beginning of June he was rearrested, he has been in prison since then. Mainly the charges against him are things that he writes on Twitter.

Have you had any similar problems yourself?

I don’t live in Bahrain at the moment and I can’t come back because I would be arrested. That’s why I was able to stay out of prison.

What’s going on with the activists right now that have been detained? What were they charged with?

You have activists who are being charged with illegal gatherings, you have those who are being charged for writing things on Twitter. For example, the former president of the Bahrain’s Center was arrested last year and tortured severely. He was actually charged with taking part in a terrorist organization and attempting to violently overthrow the government.

This was because of his activities with the Bahrain Center?

This was because he is a human rights’ activist. I think that in the Arab region, in the South African region today the worst threat to this regime is not political activists or people with guns, it is human rights’ activists, because either the government is doing the right thing or not, they don’t have any justification. So they are really going out for human rights’ defenders.

What’s going on now with the medical workers?

Of course, medical workers were arrested last year, they were tortured and got from one year to fifteen. There was a lot of international pressure, they actually sent for an appeal. The Court two weeks ago actually sentenced nine of them from one month to five years imprisonment. Governments considered the crime that they treated injured protestors.

What were they supposed to do? Just let these people die?

Yes. When it comes to people who speak out against the government these are not people who deserve to live and so either they kill them on the street or they injure them and force doctors not to treat them.

How many people have died in Bahrain since these crackdowns began?

At least seventy people have been killed in Bahrain from the beginning of uprisings. That’s a very huge number. If Bahrain had the same population as Egypt, 11 000 people would be killed. Bahrain also had the largest quota in what is called the Arab Spring, because almost 50% of the population took part in the protests. Again if to compare to Egypt, it’s like saying 40 million Egyptians came out on the streets.

Is there any possibility that the situation may change for the better? That there may be a regime change?

I think that as long as Bahraini government has immunity internationally just because their Western allies, I don’t think we will see any change soon. Western governments talk about human rights and democracy and their support for that, but they need to actually implement what they say. Right now they don’t. It’s not in their interests.

What do you think people internationally can do to help people there in Bahrain?

There’s more or less media blackout on the Bahraini situation. There are countries in the world where people vote smarter, like in Europe or other places. That’s really the population that convince their government that something needs to be done about Bahrain. People should convince their governments, they should say: if you don’t do anything about Bahrain, if you don’t stop your double standards, we will not vote for you’re the next term. I think that can make a change.

What’s the governmental system right now?

Bahrain is an absolute monarchy, basically the King is the head of all different authorities in the country. He is above the law, above the Constitution. People who work within the Bahraini regime are completely immune, which means that they can torture, they can kill and won’t be charged with that.

What would be a typical day for a Bahraini citizen?

Everyday there’re people put in the streets demanding human rights and democracy and dignity. Usually at night what happens – police go to different residential areas and teargas people for hours, even inside people’s homes. Actually they go up to the window, break it and shoot teargas inside the house. And there’re families who try to keep their children alive as they suffocate to death because of the teargas. This is happening almost every single night. This is more or less routine for Bahraini families.

Do you see change in the near future?

The Bahraini government right now isn’t going to change anything because they think they can continue to commit human rights’ violations and there won’t be any consequences. They don’t have reasons to create any change. And that’s why – as I said – without the right international pressure, nothing will change in Bahrain. The message that’s coming out of Bahrain right now is call for help. Because people lost hope in their government.

Is the UN, in any way, involved with your organization?

I’m in Geneva now and I’ve been attending sessions for human rights. Unfortunately we don’t have a similar institution that actually implements human rights for implementing human rights. Even the UN Human Rights Counsel is very much politicized. At the UN Counsel it’s very difficult to get anything on Bahrain done. And in Bahrain we even don’t have laws condemning human rights’ violations.

And you’re saying this is all because the Bahraini regime is pro-Western and is backed by the West?

Yes. Especially because it’s close to Saudi Arabia and it plays a huge role in keeping Bahrain protected from any kind of consequences internationally.

 Jar2

31 July 2012, 18:46

Russia as Reflected by the Western Media: Weekly

John Robles

Russia as reflected by the Western media: weekly report

The Western media is full of inaccuracies and biased reporting regarding Russia. In an attempt to counter such information, we will be publishing and countering examples of this on a weekly basis. If you see something in the press and you think it might sound fishy, please let us know and we will include your name in the material.

Even in this day and age of instant messaging, world-wide-web and hand-held wireless communication devices capable of sending and receiving information to and from anywhere in the world, there still exists a huge divide between reality and what is presented as fact in the information and the news that is being broadcast around the world. This is painfully obvious when it comes to information about Russia in the Western Press.

During the past week there have been several topics concerning Russia in the news which have not been entirely un-biased. The main one being the situation in and around Syria, of which the coverage is more often than not skewed in favor of the West’s views and plans for the region. This includes claims that Russia was providing offensive weapons to kill protestors, delivering attack helicopters and the like. All claims were later found to be untrue, yet the West keeps putting them forth.

Russia has, since day one of the internal upheavals in Syria, promoted an internal peaceful resolution to the Syrian conflict and has made many attempts to bring the opposing sides to the negotiating table.

According to Prime Minister Medvedev in the transcript of an interview he gave to the Times newspaper in London, the differences between the Russian stance and the Western one are much less than the world’s media have made out.

Russia has also been a staunch defender of respect for the sovereignty of Syria, something which the West has vilified as many see it as acceptable that certain powers in the West constantly interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.

According to Russia’s Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, “By supporting radical Islamists, the USA aims at impose control over the entire region and points the edge of an extremist dagger at Russia…” and “While making grandiloquent statements about democracy and human rights, the West has been waging naked aggression against Syria.” Also, “The West – that declares war on international terrorists, such as the CIA’s brainchild Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brothers – in fact actively cooperates with them. It is with their help that the undeclared war on Syria is waged today.” Of course these issues have, for the most part, been ignored by the Western media, although any cooperation between the US government and Al-Qaeda should be something that would be scandalous for the American public.

Russia (or the USSR – even worse in their opinion) is also the country of choice by right-wing American commentators and pundits and many politicians when they give example of “evil” countries. For example, on June 29 Rush Limbaugh compared the reporting of job forecasts in the media to Soviet media reporting on wheat production. Why the comparison? Because it is convenient to bad mouth Russia to scare people into supporting some irrational or baseless position in an argument.

Another good example of this was on the June 29 edition of Fox and friends, another in a long chain of Murdoch-owned operations. Co-host Stephen James Doocy asked the question, while speaking about healthcare, “What is this, Russia?” First off, why is affordable healthcare such an evil thing for America’s far right? Second, the Russian Federation has universal healthcare for everyone, including Doocy if he were to become ill here, and people can buy supplemental policies if they want. Nothing evil at all there.

The coverage of the Pussy Riot trial is also another area where the divide is great. For most of the West and the Western media, these are people exercising their freedom of speech. For many in Russia, these are people who went way too far and unjustifiably desecrated the Church. For instance, Western reports are full of claims of large crowds of supporters while balanced news sources and most Russian media report of crowds opposed to these women.

That’s all for this week, if you have any tips please send them to jar2@list.ru Have a nice one, wherever you may be.


 Jar2

30 July 2012, 16:02

Psychology of Guns in US

Professor Frank Zimring

"Psychology of guns" in US - interview

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Interview with Frank Zimring, a William G. Simon professor of law and a Wolfen Distinguished Scholar at the University of California, Berkley Law School. Part II.

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Do you think it’s glorified, as well, in the media. I mean, do you think if there wasn’t so much media attention…

Oh, sure. I mean anything. Look, if the question is why do these people do it? The answer is to get attention, to be important, sure the media helps. But the reason that it doesn’t become a mechanism that increases the chances for the law changing, is because the concern goes away. Even though the time between shootings has been getting shorter and shorter. What happens is that rather than each new shooting, creating higher levels of concern. We worry about it for a week or two, what we could do, and then we stop worrying until the next shooting.

Would you say that there is a culture of violence in the United States?

Yes and no. The majority of American citizens are not that violent. And most of the things, which implicate physical aggression - the way we play football if you will, don’t contribute to homicide. So, I think that cultural violence can be an easy label that may be just as misleading as it is descriptive. But the problem is that sure we pay attention to people who do these things, and that creates for the unbalanced and the ambitious, a way to get the names in the newspaper. Is that really a motive for something as much as taking a life? Yes. And so, in that limited respect the attention we pay to these behaviors becomes part of the motive for people choosing to act in that way. It’s crazy, but it’s predicting.

Going back to the gun control debate. A minute ago you mentioned 25 to 33 percent of the people who are anti gun control, and you mentioned that a large percentage of those people are, you said, arming themselves against the government.

And they care deeply about it. Oh, yes. They are arming themselves against the government; they are arming themselves against dangerous people. A lot of them tend to be older men who aren’t really much at risk, but it gives them the feeling of being powerful, and of being able to stand up to the forces that would otherwise believe them.

Do you think it gives them a feeling of empowerment, because they have power over life and death?

Yes.

What about other forms of protection? I mean, surely there are other forms of self-defense that are just as effective as a killing tool?

You could buy a dog if you worried about burglars.

Sure, a dog.

Sure, but the point is that if you are imagining that you are going to take a stand against the government or some violent gang, the very thing that makes guns dangerous and deadly, also makes them a weapon of choice, if you are imagining extreme self-defense. But again if you look at the people who are doing it, these aren’t the people who live in the worst neighborhoods. These are the people who live in the better neighborhoods. These are not the young men that get killed, these are older white men who live in suburbs and who feel disempowered. So, the psychology of guns, and you can say, oh, but there are less lethal ways of defending yourself.

Sure.

Sure they are. But they are less attractive, because they are less lethal. They make you feel less powerful than the others. I don’t think it’s a good reason to own a gun, but I think it’s a very possible explanation for why a lot of people do own guns.

Now what role do you think… the police becoming more and more militarized, what role do you think that has to play with the escalation of gun violence in society or does it have a connection?

Well, I think it does in one sense. And that is the SWAT team, the people that put on all these fabulous armors and use all the guns on their own. They are responding to the threat that police feel when criminals are heavily armed. The police say we’ve got to do it because they are doing it. So, in that sense the degree to which the general population is armed creates a sort of a counterforce on the part of police.

So, generally all officers are afraid that anyone they stop, or anyone they come across with, could have a gun. Would you say that’s a fact?

Exactly. Let me give you one statistic to put that in frame. More than 90 percent of all the police, who are killed in the United States in the line of duty by attack, are killed by guns. So, the reason they are in armor, the reason they fire their guns quickly, the reason they kill people, is because of the threats they feel from guns in the hands of others.

Now, I know many police departments feel like they are at war with the population that they are supposed to be protecting. Would you say that’s an accurate statement?

It depends on a neighborhood and it depends on the quality of police training. I think bad police are more likely to feel that than good police. And badly trained police are more likely to think in war metaphors than well-trained police. On the other hand, the fact that the large threats are threats of guns in the hands of others does create a situation where police are legitimately fearful of being shot and very much too often. This means that the police themselves shoot first, and then find out that it wasn’t a gun, it was a cell phone, it was a gesture. That’s the problem with lethal force on both sides. And that problem costs more lives than the mass shootings that we’ve been talking about, because it happens so much more often.

Why won’t anyone control guns in the United States, I don’t understand?

Ok. Most of the population would favor more control than we have, but it isn’t imagined as a very large problem. The people who support it don’t care deeply. The people who oppose it care a lot. The minority who cares a lot has more influence in the democratic government than the majority that doesn’t care a lot.

 Jar2

28 July 2012, 13:07

Mass killings: Recurrent American Problem

Professor Frank Zimring

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Interview with Mr. Franklin E. Zimring, William G. Simon Professor of Law and a Wolfen distinguished scholar at the University of Berkley Law School in California. He is also the author of several books, including three books on guns and gun control.

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Looking at the tragedy that happened in the rural Colorado, you are an expert on gun control, why are there so many these mass shootings in the United States, in your opinion?

To begin with, it is a big country and of course the mass killings are not something that is a monopoly of the US. Probably the worst of them in the last five years was in Norway of all places and Scotland, and Australia, and Canada have had isolated instances. The problem however in the US is that these kinds of one person or two persons killing a lot of people in public institutional settings, this is a recurrent American problem. And one of the reasons for that is because the means of one person being able to kill a lot of people, he really do that with explosives when you can kill a lot of people with just one force. But you can’t keep doing it without putting yourself at terrible risk, you can be a suicide bomber. But if are going to do it on a hit and run basis, you can only do it once.

Guns however, you can keep repeating attacks and one person plus an awful lot of guns equals to capacity to destroy an awful lot of people. So, I don’t think we have a more dangerous and disordered people in the US proportionally but we have tens and hundreds of millions of guns. And when you put the guns together with the disordered people, what you have is a persistent vulnerability. You cannot sort of isolate your public institutions and make them gun proof with so many guns, and there is one place that we have made safe, unless you really try and impose a tremendous security.

Do you think the level of availability and ease of the obtainment of guns in the US, do you think that’s a serious problem?

We don’t have any more guns in the United States in 2012 than we had in 2000 but we had plenty then and we have plenty now. The general homicide rate has not gone up, so that rates of lethal violence for America actually somewhat lower than they were in the early 1990’es. But the vulnerability for this kind of mass shooting has remained very high and it is not a coincidence that these are done with guns. Guns create the mechanical capacity for one disturbed person to inflict damage on lots of people and to keep doing it. So, sure, there are people who say that the use of guns here is just a coincidence, it isn’t really a cause to the problem. But I’m just not sure what planet they are living on.

Why are Americans so against stricter gun control?

That’s an interesting question. And it turns out that the majority of Americans actually favour most kinds of gun control. Well, if a majority of Americans favour it and if we are living in a democracy – how can we can’t pass good gun laws? The reason there is an interesting combination of two things. Number one – a minority of Americans, maybe 25-35%, oppose gun control, they think that the more guns they have, the more they are going to be able to protect themselves not only bad people but bad governments. But that’s a minority of the population but they care a lot, they are intensely motivated as a minority. And the 65% of Americans who really would favour more gun controls generally don’t care a great deal about it. That is to say – it is one of fifty different issues that they care about.

The minority is politically, in a situation where they are going to punish people who attempt to support gun control, and the majority doesn’t care much and so doesn’t make the issue a salient one that people who are running for office have to pay attention to. And the stunning thing about that is that we had a ban on the so called assault weapons in the federal law for ten years, beginning in the mid 1990’es, and that law was allowed to expire politically, even though the majority of the population supported because the majority who supported it didn’t care much about it.

Now, the so called assault weapons are essentially semiautomatic guns. They are not used in a tremendous number of ordinary homicides. Handguns that aren’t semiautomatic are as much of a problem or more. But the semiautomatic so called assault weapon is the mass shooter’s best friend because you can put magazines in it and one weapon can fire a hundred different rounds. So, it is an ideal weapon for mass killing which is a very important for supports. And yet even after the Columbine school shootings the political situation was such that the law banning them was permitted to expire.

I’m mentioning this, underline it because it is a wonderful example of how in a democracy the people who care a lot, even if they are in a minority, can continue to be politically powerful when the majority that would support stronger controls is not deeply motivated. What happens in the US is that when you have one of these mass shootings and it is publicized, for two weeks we talk about how can we deal this and it is a real problem and should do something about it…

Do you think it is glorified as well in the media, I mean do you think if there wasn’t so much media attention…

Oh, sure! The question is – why do these people do it? The answer is to get attention, to be important.

You were listening to part one of an interview with Mr. Franklin E. Zimring, a William G. Simon Professor of Law and a Wolfen distinguished scholar at the University of California, Berkley Law School.

 Jar2

28 July 2012, 08:09

VOR Reports from the Olympics

John Robles

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Hello! This is John Robles. I’m speaking with Tim Walklate, he is the Voice of Russia’s correspondent, he is in London and he was at the opening of the Olympics, and he’s been all around London watching the preparations.

Hello Tim!

Hello John!

How are you this evening?

I’m very well. I’m absolutely ecstatic about the beginning of the Olympics. I think it is difficult to be one of the 8 million people leaving in London and not being carried away with the Olympic fever at the moment.

What’s the mood in London, I mean it sounds pretty positive right now? What’s the mood of the Russian team? And can you give us some of the highlights to the opening ceremony?

Well, about you question what the mood like in London… past week I arrived at work on Monday morning in London and it was just absolutely crazy. The mood in London has completely changed. There are so many different people from creeds and cultures that are around and it completely embodying the kind of the nature of the Olympics. Everyone is so happy and cheerful and wanting to help each other, often so excited. Everyone seems so excited over the past week that will lead up to the opening ceremony which as we speak is going on right now. As to the team Russia’s chances, well, I’ve been with a lot of team Russia over the past three days, with Alexander Zhukov who is the Head of the Russian Olympic Committee and sometimes with Vitaliy Mutko who is the Sports Minister today. And at the opening of Sochi Park and Russia Park which are these two kind of visitor attractions where people can come and kind of experience Russian culture and have a taste of what maybe the Sochi Olympics in 2014 will be like.

What kinds of things people can see there?

Sochi Park is more of a visitor attraction, it is kind of selling the Sochi Olympics. So, they can go and have a look at how the railways are developing, go into different interactive zones, play video games, there is an ice-rink at the end. It is a good place where people Russian and not Russian fans can go and chill out and enjoy the spirit of the Olympics Games so to speak.

Russia Park is more kind of a place where officials can meet but also it is open to the public. They can go in and there is going to be concerts there and sort of food tasting sessions. I think even a yoga class will be held there once a day. So, that’s going to focus probably not on the Russian cultural side of things but at those kind of advertise Russia and show Russia to the rest of the world while the rest of the world has its eyes on London. In terms of the Team Russia, I think they really are very confident that Team Russia can really push to try to come close to China and Team USA. There are some absolute class acts in the Russian team. You don’t have to explain that the gymnastics team are out there, synchronized swimming – they’ve got a very good duet this year. Of course you’ve Isinbaeva Elena in pole vaulting will almost inevitably beat the previous world record that she made in Beijing, she is in top four. And of course in Britain we are all focusing on heptathlon with the British hopeful Jessica Ennis. But Russia of course have got Tatyana Chernova how is a real Russia hopeful for the heptathlon. Team Russia has got tons and tons of real gold medal hopefuls. And speaking to Alexander Zhukov yesterday, he was very optimistic about Team Russia’s chances.

What is the mood of the Russian sportsmen and sportswomen? Are they pretty positive?

Obviously we haven’t had too much access to them in the past few days. They are obviously concentrating on what is going on over the next two and half weeks. We will find more after once the competitions end. But at the opening ceremony today several former gold medal winners from the US and from Russia turned up and I spoke to a few of them and they said that at the moment they are really just doing their best to focus and close out all other destructions. And tonight the whole of Britain is celebrating this opening ceremony. So far it has been fantastic. I expect a lot of the athletes that are trying to concentrate on making sure that they get everything ongoing and making sure that everything is done perfectly.

Sounds wonderful! You mentioned yoga. Is this some sort of Russian yoga that’s going to be going on over there or what?

I just attended today the press box and there was a lady doing yoga as the various officials were doing their speeches. And I think it is just an aspect of Russia Park which they are trying to promote and make it a bit more cute, more relaxed so that people can come into Russia Park, have a drink and maybe do some yoga on top of that.

I was just wondering about Russian yoga… was it to the tune of balalaika music or something?

No idea, John. You have to come and try out yourself.

A lot has been made of the security situation in London. Some people have called it – I came to a war zone. Have you noticed any negativity or negative feelings due to the security procedures and measures that have been implemented all over London right now?

I think that the security situation has been kind of the biggest problem that the London Olympics has faced so far. I think that it was the problem. But as I think the Sports Minister of the UK Hugh Robertson has said – it is a problem that is dealt with swiftly and effectively. And there is an issue of late sign of this contract and they didn’t fulfill this contract G4S, the private security firm that then agreed to supply these trips and it didn’t happen. And also it should be said that they did receive a lot of negative media attention in Britain. I think the British media were waiting for that negative thing to happen. And having said that it was dealt with very quickly and I think on the streets there have been absolutely no problems whatsoever. And I can’t say there’s been any problems considering the way things are dealt with so far, my fingers are crossed for that.

Yes, we’ll keep our fingers crossed as well. There’s been also a lot of talks about massive traffic jams and problems getting around for Londoners. Is that a real problem?

That’s too false. First of all, there is the issue of Olympic Games congestion on the streets. And one big issue that has been taken up by the taxi driver, they are saying that this is completely unfair.

That was an interview with Tim Walklate, he is the Voice of Russia’s correspondent and he is covering the London Olympics in the UK. Thanks for listening.

 Jar2

27 July 2012, 16:11

Femen and Pussy Riot: Provocations Against Russia

John Robles

Both marginal protest groups - Femen and Pussy Riot - have several things in common: they are both women groups, anti-Russian, use vulgarity and anti-social behavior to shock as many people as possible, have no clear agenda and offer no alternative policies and they both seem to exist for one purpose, that being to attempt to shame and disgrace Russia and its leaders.

As it is already well known, on Thursday his Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill I arrived in Kiev, Ukraine where he is to stay for three days to mark the 20th anniversary of the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev. The Patriarch’s arrival in Ukraine was momentarily marred by yet another provocation against the Russian Orthodox Church, when Yana Zhdanova, a member of a Ukrainian group calling themselves Femen, rushed the Patriarch as if to attack him, shouting “Get out! Get out!”. She was intercepted within meters of Patriarch Kirill by a priest, body guards and members of the security detail, who within seconds surrounded his Holiness and escorted the screaming woman away.

The attack appears to have been carefully planned and designed to get maximum press attention, as his arrival would be the moment when he would be in the limelight the most. The words “Kill Kirill” were carefully written in large letters on the woman’s bare back in English. To me this was a curious detail no one has really noticed but which makes it clear the act of provocation was choreographed for the Western media. Had it been aimed at Russia or Ukraine the words would have been obviously written in the language of either country. It is also clear she did not act alone.

The Femen women protest group famous for its radical exhibitionism first appeared in 2008. WikiPedia claims that they are receiving the financial support from the American businessmen Jed Sunden. The group also organized a protest action in front of the Christ The Savior Cathedral in December 2011.

Femen also posted a statement on the Internet accusing the Patriarch of encouraging the detention of activists, an obvious reference to members of another provocation group Pussy Riot which on February 21, 2012 desecrated the Christ the Savior Cathedral and are currently detained in Russia.

Some say Femen aims to advance women’s rights but I think the “women’s libbers” of the 60s would not support their tactics, if you are as old as I am, or older you may recall how those “feminists” threw away their bras, high-heels and cosmetics because they were “womanizing” objects and dressed in a sever fashion, yet these women choose to wear sexy lingerie and run around top-less in a bid for attention.

If these two groups really have a coherent agenda we can sympathize with, such as women’s rights, freedom of expression or eliminating prostitution, then I am afraid their message is not getting through. What is getting through is the fact that they have absolutely no respect for any kind of authority and that their tactics are vulgar and socially unacceptable. How they behave is always the focus, not why they are doing what they do, that is assuming they really do have a message and are not just out to insult and provoke Russians and the Orthodox Church.

This time the reaction from the West is a bit more subdued, compared to all of the Pussy Riot hoopla. However, many in the Western press are still attempting to show this in a way which plays down the vulgarity of the display. Had anyone rushed the Pope with Kill the Pope written on their back, well you know what the reaction to that would have been.

Another curious thing concerning both groups is the lack of transparency they possess when it comes to who backs them financially. This is very important because when you want to know what an organization is really about you have to look at who is financing them. Several web searches only revealed the names of a German individual called DJ Hell, one Helmut Josef Geier and Jed Sunden, an American ex-pat living in Ukraine who is the publisher of the English language Kiev Post, as financial backers for Femen. No information on the shadowy backers of Pussy Riot is currently available.

Jed Sunden, a pro-Western American with a history of meddling in the internal affairs of Ukraine, a man who called Lenin statues: “… a disgusting sight Ukraine should be ashamed of….” and was declared persona non grata in Ukraine, might be a good indication of who is behind these groups. If they are being financed by the West, then this would explain many things, among them the level of arrogance and boldness and lack of coherent message they both possess. They also appear to exist for one reason, to provoke Russia.

On July 28, Patriarch Kirill will take part in commemoration ceremonies to mark the day of the Enlightenment of Rus’, a national holiday in commemoration of the anniversary of Kyiv’s baptism and of Saint Volodymyr. After the service, the primate will lay flowers by the eternal flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Hopefully the likes of Pussy Riot and Femen will have the good taste to not attempt to mark the events with yet another vulgar, pointless and silly display of their own foolishness.

How about it girls? Maybe you should all write a coherent argument in the form of a treatise (not striptease), or an essay and distribute it to the masses (after all you do have a publisher as a backer). Here’s another idea: gather a million signatures in support of some change in policy. That is what real activists do. And please keep the vulgarity to yourselves and for crying out loud, keep your shirts on, your message (if you have one) is being ignored and overshadowed by your public nudity and anti-social behavior. Or could it be you have no message?

 Jar2

25 July 2012, 18:48

The Failure of the Arab Spring

John Robles

What has happened in many of the countries that have been hit by the Arab Spring, and this was recently painfully obvious in Egypt, is the coming to power of radical and extremist Islamic elements that had less power or existed only on the fringes before the uprisings in their respective countries.

Expert after expert, time and time again, have stated that the results of the Arab Spring are going to be widespread long-lasting and difficult if not impossible to undo. The U.S. was warned many times that what they were unleashing was not going to go the way of their pie-in-the-sky scenarios but nevertheless they continue to push for regime changes which we have seen have only caused more bloodshed and suffering and not the quick implementation of reforms and the appearance of democratic governments.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the largest Muslim organization in the world, is an example of one such group which had been banned in Egypt, and whose original goal was to bring about Sharia Law and Islamize society. Although their extremist and violent nature have been toned down many experts are worried that their claims and actions which appear to adhere to democratic principles are merely tactical and a way for them to obtain real power.

The Muslim Brotherhood had promised not to front a presidential candidate in Egypt but we have seen that was a lie. What other lies they have presented to garner the trust of the people are yet to be seen but if they went back on one promise they are sure to go back on others.

The Muslim Brotherhood has a long and violent history including bombings, assassinations and attempts at overthrowing governments. It was also a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sayyid Qutb, who laid down the intellectual and theological justifications for the use of jihad, that inspired the leaders and founders of many of the modern day radical, militant and terrorist Islamic groups, such as Al Qaeda.

Tunisia, where Mohamed Bouazizi, the poor street grocer set himself on fire, the event that sparked the Arab Spring, appears may be another failure for the West, even though they claim success there. Laws prohibiting alcohol consumption and forcing women to wear traditional Muslim dress which did not exist before the Arab Spring are beginning to appear in the country.

According to Alon Ben Meir, a New York University based Middle East expert, in an interview with the Voice of Russia: “…without solid economic and other reforms, there is no chance that these countries will be able to develop democratic systems and as long as there is poverty and lack of freedom the radical Islamist elements will be able to recruit more and more of the population and gain power.”

Libya is another complete failure as the country has deteriorated into one where militias fight one another for control of cities and regions and there is still no real rule of law. Many international organizations have complained about the proliferation of weapons in the country and announcements by Islamists that they will be taking part in elections. These are just a couple of reasons for concern.

The opinion of Ben Meir was echoed by Claude Moniquet an expert in the field of regional conflicts and terrorism and the director of the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center, in a recently published book the Arab Spring, an Unhealthy Spring: “… democracy must include respect for the rights of women, youth, labor, and the right to freedom of expression. When that is all there, you can proceed to the election process. To do the opposite - it's like to start building a house from the roof down.”

In other words, you can not just overthrow a regime and have nothing to replace it with and you can not build democracy without a foundation, this is clear in all of the Arab Spring countries and elsewhere such as Iraq.

Bahrain is another complete failure for the West, as they support and supported the regime. It was an unpleasant surprise for Washington that the uprisings spread to Bahrain. How can they claim to support Democracy and human rights and all of the other talking points and catch phrases when they are in support of a brutal regime because it supports the U.S. military complex?

Then we have Syria, which some experts say became the battleground for Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and where it appears the days of Bashar Assad are numbered. With questions as to his whereabouts, high-level defections, the continued arming of rebel groups by the West and a security apparatus that is growing more and more difficult to control, the political elite and those in power are beginning to question their own survival, and when they go, the country goes.

What awaits Syria after Assad? A fair and just society? A Western style democracy? Safety and security for the citizens? Not likely.

Will there ever be real “democracy” in the region without a basis on which it is to be built? It looks seriously doubtful.

The views and opinions expressed here are my own.
Read more:
http://voiceofrussia.com/2012_07_25/The-Failure-of-the-Arab-Spring/

 Jar2

25 July 2012, 14:26

Guns in America: Culture of Violence

John Robles

The numbers say it better than anything; on average 97,820 people are shot every year and approximately 268 every day. That is a huge number of people, individuals with families, dreams, hopes and lives. You may think these numbers come from a country at war, Iraq or Afghanistan, or some violent country in upheaval like Libya, Somalia or the Middle-East, yet these numbers according to the site bradycampaign.org, are the average numbers for victims of gun violence in the U.S.

The world is focused once again on a mass murder in the United States, this time the recent mass shooting in Aurora Colorado, an upscale community in the Denver Metropolitan Area, where a benign harmless looking young man with orange hair dressed in full body armor opened fire on a crowd gathered for a midnight showing of the latest celebration of violence being offered by Hollywood.

When he was done unloading four weapons full of ammunition into the crowd he had taken the lives of 12 people and injured another 58, a total of 70, making it the mass shooting with the greatest number of victims in U.S. history. Had his Smith and Wesson semi-automatic rifle with a 100 round drum magazine not jammed the number would have been undoubtedly much higher.

What may be surprising for some is that James Eagan Holmes had no previous criminal record and had legally purchased all of the guns he used from local guns shops and the almost 6,000 rounds of ammunition in his possession on-line. He did so with an ease that has many people all over the world shaking their heads in disbelief.

Again some numbers, according to the New York Times the US has 49,762 licensed gun dealers and 7,261 pawn shops that are allowed to sell weapons. This does not include department stores and sport shops, in some states, where rifles may be bought over the counter nor those sold by individuals. The point being that guns are a huge business and readily available if one wishes to purchase one.

This latest tragedy, the 60th mass shooting in the United States since January 8, 2011, when a lone gunman killed 6 and injured 13, including a U.S. Congressman, has once again sparked a debate in American society regarding gun control. A country where such jokes as, “the only problem with gun control is keeping your hands from trembling” are common, and more the rule than the exception, and where the pro-gun lobby is one of the most powerful in the country.

To enter into any debate regarding gun control in America we must first delve into the psyche and the culture of violence that exists in America, for this is where the real problem lies. It is not in 2nd amendment rights to bear arms or self-defense or crime, although these are issues the pro-gun lobby in the U.S. always hides behind. The real root cause is in the minds of the majority of the American public, who may feel that a gun gives them a feeling of empowerment, the power over life and death, the feeling that if they want to they can take a life. Something they see glorified in the media every day.

The Departed, Hardboiled, Hot Shots, The Replacement Killers, Heat, The Gauntlet and The Crow are all Hollywood films that vie for the glory of the most shots fired during a single film. Most Americans call this trivia but there is an underlying fascination and feeling of awe for such information. Films such as these only stoke the flames of violence and glorify killing and guns.

This fascination with killing is also evident every time there is a mass murder and the American media goes into overdrive, feeding the masses information about the type and caliber of weapon used and the number of rounds fired and in what duration. Then there are the endless talk shows and articles delving into the mind of the killer(s) and lastly, in many cases, the great pleasure and satisfaction many feel when the killer, who deserves to die, is executed .

The debate on gun control flares up after every such event, yet there is no outcry to outlaw guns, because as many Americans love to say, “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.” Yet no one really wants to look at the causes that lead such individuals to snap and, in their minds, gain their moment of glory and attention. No one wants to debate the culture and glorification of death and violence that is an engrained part of the American psyche, because if they do then they have to take a long hard look at themselves.

The situation in America is a vicious circle of violence feeding itself and escalating as time goes by. U.S. law enforcement has become militarized with many police departments at a seeming “state of war” against the population they are supposed to protect. Why? Because every single person they may encounter during their workday may be packing, everyone from a 12 year old to an 89 year-old grandmother. But do they outlaw guns? No.

Laws covering gun possession and sales vary from state to state but for all intents and purposes almost anyone can buy a gun. If you can’t buy one from a gun shop, then in some states you can buy one in the hunting department of the local department store, in some areas the purchase of rifles does not require a waiting period or a background check. If that doesn’t work then you can go into the bad part of town and buy one from a pawn shop, a petty thief or a drug dealer if you spend a little time looking.

Sure owning a gun might make us feel safer but there are alternatives that are less lethal and just as effective. If the argument is about self defense, there are stun guns, tasers, tear gas and a variety of other options ideal for home or self-defense. Why would anyone need, for example, a 50 caliber Gatling gun to protect themselves and their family?

Countries all over the world, including Russia, need to take a long hard look at America before they even start to consider relaxing laws covering gun ownership and sales. Guns are designed for one thing, to kill people. Is this an ability we want everyone to have?

One of my favorite quotes by Albert Einstein, I think is very relevant: “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." Perhaps it is time to lay down your arms America?

 Jar2

23 July 2012, 13:42

Pussy Riot: Provocation Against Church and State

John Robles

Pussy Riot: provocation against church and state

On Friday the Khamovnichesky court in Moscow extended the pre-trial detention of three members of the group Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Ekaterina Samutsevich, until January 12, 2013 with their preliminary hearing to continue on Monday July 23.

The three members were part of a group of four who entered the holiest church for followers of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Christ the Savior Cathedral on February 21, 2012, and from a sacred area where only ordained priests are allowed to be present, proceeded to sing an anti-Putin song disguised as a church hymn, filled with obscene language and making a mockery of the entire Christian faith.

Their action coincided with other staged and carefully organized anti-Putin provocations which were taking place before the past presidential elections, and like almost all of the other “opposition” groups and individuals, their only goal was to foment hatred towards and do everything possible to damage the popularity of then presidential candidate Vladimir Putin.

The majority of Russians hold the view that the group went way too far in their activities with most people of the opinion that their actions were everything from an act of sheer brainlessness to a carefully planned insult to the Orthodox Church, the Russian people and the Russian state.

This was evident at Friday’s hearing where more people in protest of the group showed up outside the court to protest what many of them see as an attack on morality, family values and their faith.

Supporters of the group, strangely enough, appeared outside the court at the time the women were exercising their constitutional right to defend themselves before the court, holding signs asking for mercy from the same church that those in custody had blasphemed.

Although the women had already been in custody for four months their behavior in front of the court in no way showed remorse for what they had done, nor did the statements and actions of their lawyers who filed almost a dozen briefs and then blamed the court for not being able to deal with all of them in one sitting.

The women were all smiles and as in evident by witness statements, news reports, and video and still footage, they behaved as if the whole thing were a big joke, smiling and looking glib and not showing even the slightest hint of remorse.

Their lawyers told the press, and I am paraphrasing, that the whole process was a circus. Strange when they are demanding the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia and Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill I appear in court as witnesses, although neither was even present or connected with the foolish stunt in anyway.

Sadly, as can now be expected, the Western media and even Amnesty International have jumped on the bandwagon and are portraying the women as innocent victims of evil machinations. The latter saying on Friday that;”…it considers the three women to be prisoners of conscience detained solely for the peaceful expression of their beliefs."

Had the event taken place at the Evergreen Chapel located in Camp David where U.S. President Obama prays or in the Holy See or from behind the pulpit where the Pope addresses Catholic believers, would they be so quick to defend those guilty of such an act of desecration? Even those at war with the West do not dare to, or have enough taste not to, blaspheme the holy places of the people. Why should this event be deemed as somehow being acceptable and a peaceful expression of beliefs when it occurred in Russia?

As more Russians begin to understand the resonance that is being caused by what these women did, the crowds outside the court will no doubt grow larger and the views of those who have been largely quiet will begin to be heard, not in support of these women, but against the affront to all Russians.

 Jar2

3 July 2012, 12:27

West Promoting its LGBT Policies in Africa: Sodomy Can NOT be Called Marriage

John Robles

Liberia, where men are supposed to be men and women are supposed to be women, on Friday held a vote on a constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage. All these same sex marriage debates were not only going on in the US - now Liberia and many African countries are also engaged in such discussion. The reasons are different however. Liberia does not have a huge homosexual community as does the US. There are not millions of LGBTs (meaning lesbian, gay, bisexuals and transgender people) engaged in lobbying their interests or making an in-your-face attempt to force the rest of the population to accept their lifestyles.

The reason this has become an issue in Africa is because the US and the UK have decided to tie US aid to rights issues involving LGBTs. This comes after Obama instructed US government officials to "ensure that US diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, and transgender persons," around the world.

Just for a contrast homosexuality is currently illegal in 37 African countries, with some countries even having life-sentences and the death penalty for homosexual behavior.

When giving his instructions Obama stated that; “…legal, moral, and financial support will be boosted for gay rights organizations, emergency assistance will be sent to groups or individuals facing threats, and asylum in the US will be offered to people forced to flee anti-gay persecution in their countries.”

In a recent speech, full of bravado but lacking real substance or detail, to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva instead of addressing the hundreds of US violations in the area of human rights she made a big show that the US protects gay rights, proclaiming that "gay rights are human rights". She also announced the implementation of U.S. government-wide policies to push for the decriminalization of homosexuality overseas and to ensure US foreign assistance promotes the protection of LGBT rights".

In Liberia, as with many African countries, this set off a firestorm of debate, protests and even made things worse for the “LGBTs” who were in most cases quietly tolerated. These moves by the West, another attempt at imposing their will and bankrupt morality on the peoples of other countries, have caused Obama’s popularity and the level of widespread idolization of the US to fall considerably in much of Africa.

Since Clinton’s remarks many newspapers in Liberia have described homosexuality as "desecrating", "abusive" and an "abomination". Those remarks, coupled with a group of US backed activists, the Movement for the Defense of Gay and Lesbian Rights, who began activities to legalize same sex marriage, led to the constitutional debate.

According to an article by the AFP, up until now in Liberia, although “voluntary sodomy” has been considered a criminal offence, the question of gay marriage had not been expressly addressed in law. Well, it has now.

The Senate of Liberia on Friday voted unanimously to pass a constitutional amendment, under section 2.3 of the Liberian constitution which covers polygamy and incestuous relationships.

The president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was forced to defend her country and in an interview with the U.K.’s Guardian in March she stated: "We like ourselves the way we are. We've got certain traditional values in our society that we would like to preserve."

Sirleaf recently won the Nobel peace prize for her work in advancing women's rights.

In the above interview with the Guardian, which Sirleaf gave jointly with Tony Blair, Blair, sitting beside the composed and quiet Sirleaf, looked furious and uncomfortable in the extreme, behaving as if Liberia did not have the right to make its own internal decisions. Maybe understandably as Blair was a champion for the “LGBTs”, among his achievements lowering the age of consent for gay sex to 16.

I know I might be accused of being harsh to those with sexual identification issues, but homosexuality is a psychological and some say physiological disorder stemming from earlier childhood development issues, trauma, and a hundred other sociological and familial disorders, which causes pain and suffering for those who suffer from it. These people should be helped and the root causes identified.

Same sex marriage, what exactly does that mean? You can be politically correct and call it homosexuality or alternative sexual preferences or even untraditional orientation, but many countries and people’s view this as an abomination and a deviation from accepted norms.

Maybe I am wrong here but a country, such as the U.K. which now allows old men to have sex with boys as young as 16, and another where men are being allowed to marry men, should not be dictating to the world how it should conduct itself.

Perhaps Sirleaf should be dictating policy to Obama and Blair, she has, after all won a real Nobel Prize and perhaps the US needs to look at the roots of the problem and find a way to help those suffering from sexual disorders, instead of trying to get the world to accept it.

The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

 Jar2

22 July 2012, 22:59

US Forcing Former Soviet Allies into NATO

Rick Rozoff

Download audio file

In the second part of an interview with the Voice of Russia, NATO expert Rick Rozoff outlines the U.S. plans to bring former Soviet Republics and allies into the alliance’s sphere of influence and away from Russia, isolating Russia and China, and eventually surrounding them with NATO member countries. Mr. Rozoff also speaks of U.S. plans to stay in Afghanistan

This is John Robles, you are listening to an interview with Mr. Rick Rozoff the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list, and a contributing writer to www.globalresearch.ca

An article appeared in one of the major newspapers. I’ve heard it referred to as the major newspaper in Slovenia, a couple of weeks ago that stated that the largest and worst mistake made by the Government of Slovenia was joining NATO, that what that has entailed is far from defending the territory of NATO’s member states, that it is simply waging wars worldwide. That was followed very shortly thereafter, a couple of days ago, by the Head of the Orthodox Church in Montenegro, the Metropolitan, who made a similar statement. He said the NATO should breakup, that it is guilty of waging aggression upon people throughout the world.

So, I think what you are starting to see even in south-east Europe and perhaps other nations that have been dragooned into NATO without first thoroughly explaining to the population what NATO membership entails. And what it entails in the case of countries like Slovenia and Montenegro is sending their sons and daughters off to some endless and useless war like that in Afghanistan. And what is happening in Pakistan is not too similar to that, it is a case where if a government, if a regime, accommodates NATO demands, they are violating the trust and undermining the wellbeing of their own nation and their own people, and this is in fact what is going on in Pakistan.

We heard a statement by Hilary Clinton before that supply route was opened.

Yes, I haven’t read the complete text by Hilary Clinton but I’d bet anything the substance of it was that she regrets the unfortunate incident or words to that effect that occurred in Salalah where 24 Pakistani military personal were killed last November. But certainly something short of acknowledging that the US had committed a crime. We have to recall that wasn’t too long of Hillary Clinton made a tour to Central Asia where she went to, I believe, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan. And shortly thereafter as your listeners know, Uzbekistan suspended its participation in the Collective Security Treaty Organization with Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Armenia.

So, it appears that the State Department has succeeded once again in pulling a country out of an organization of which Russia is a member and through which Uzbekistan was allied with Russia, to separate it from Russia and China and to pull it into the US orbit. After Clinton left Paris on July 6 we know she went to Afghanistan where she proclaimed Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally of the US meaning they get preferential arrangements with weapons and so forth. But identifying Afghanistan as a strategic American military ally indefinitely. So, that hardly suggests the US intends to leave the area.

But I think even more significant than that was after having left Afghanistan and gone for a one day conference on Afghanistan to Japan, is that she then went to Mongolia, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. And if your listeners are as old as me, or older, they recall that all four of those countries were political allies of the Soviet Union during the Cold War period, Mongolia since almost the formation of the Soviet Union, but in the case of the unified Vietnam and Laos from 1975, and Cambodia after the overthrow of the pro-Chinese Khmer Rouge in 1979.

So, if we need any further evidence of the US far from having ended the Cold War, it is simply consummating its victory of 20 some years ago by moving on the territory that is geographically close, and in many cases, as in Laos and Vietnam, bordering China, and in the case of Mongolia bordering both Russia and China. And recruiting not only political and economic, but ultimately military allies throughout the world, but more particularly now in Eurasia and in the backyard of Russia and China both, Central Asia fits into that pattern. If the five former Soviet Central Asian republics are increasingly integrated into the US sphere of influence, then this essentially isolates Russia and China in Eurasia.

Hilary Clinton said that the US had never planned to leave Afghanistan.

You know, the US’s cards are truly not on the table when it comes to Afghanistan. I heard the same statement and it is remarkable because a few years ago, perhaps when she first became the Secretary of State, about that time, she made what on the surface was one of the more candid statements I’ve heard by any US military official about the genesis of the crisis in Afghanistan. Acknowledging in so many words that it was the US support for the so called Mujahidin forces in, operating out of northwest Pakistan, from the late 70’es through to 1992, that was really the basis for all the disorganization and the conflict that has occurred in Afghanistan since then, she made that statement maybe three or four years ago.

But she then mouthed the conventional American wisdom on the subject saying – our mistake – I’m paraphrasing her – was then to have pulled out and left the country to internal fighting between the US’s former Mujahidin allies, and in fact that occurred as we know after 1992 when they were rocketing parts of the capital of Kabul in rivalry amongst each other. And subsequent to that by four years the Taliban marches in and takes control of the country. So, what Clinton’s most recent statement at the donor’s conference, or the Conference on Afghanistan in Japan, seems to be simply a reiteration of that – we won’t make the same mistake. If we overthrow the Government in Afghanistan and allow our clients to takeover, we will this time stay there and support them, is how I read that.

Moving on to Syria. A Syrian general, Major General Adnan Salo, he was the former Head of the Chemical Weapons Unit of the Syrian Army, he’s made public statements calling for NATO intervention, although he says limited military intervention is needed. He said that they need two airstrikes on the presidential palace to get rid of Assad. Do you think this is going to happen?

I sincerely hope it doesn’t. And I similarly hope that this is simply bravado. But it could be too a trial balloon to see what the world’s reaction is to inflammatory statements of this sort. The idea that you bomb the presidential palace in the name of protecting civilians or humanitarian concerns and so forth shows you just how far down the road to barbarism the world has evolved over the past twenty years. It won’t be the first time that’s happened of course, efforts to bomb the presidential palace in Yugoslavia in 1999. And apparently anything is a fair game at this point.

 Jar2

0 July 2012, 15:36

US Pseudo Political Correctness and the Russian Orphans they Murder

John Robles

Pseudo political correctness western style and Russian orphans

One area where there is no room for rhetoric or for false attempts at being politically correct is the area of international adoptions and the welfare of the smallest and most defenseless individuals among us. We have seen this many times before in case after case of Russian orphans and adoptees suffering abuse and even death at the hands of their American adoptive parents.

Time and time again, in almost every aspect of Russian-Western relations, we have seen anti-Russian hysteria and pseudo-political correctness raise its ugly head. It is something that many are used to and something that more and more Westerners are beginning to notice.

Recently the Children’s Rights Ombudsman of the Russian Federation Pavel Astakhov and Russian Human Rights Envoy Konstantin Dolgov, attempted to visit a “ranch” for adopted children in remote northwestern Montana. The purpose of the visit was to check on the well-being of the reportedly 10 Russian adoptees that were at the ranch and who according to RIA-Novosti were removed shortly before Mr. Astakhov’s visit.

On his official website Mr. Astakhov, who has been diligently fighting for the rights of Russian children worldwide, stated the following: "The very fact of the children being there is shocking. What is it, a pre-trial detention facility? A penal colony? Or a trash can for unwanted children?"

"These children are completely isolated from the outside world, which is grounds for violating their rights. It has not been made clear to us whether the children receive the necessary help and treatment, which is why the condition of the Russian kids at the ranch causes concerns," Astakhov said.

Were the children from any other country these concerns would have been granted the level of respect they deserve, especially when the safety and welfare of children are at their core and everything would have been done to ensure that the issue was properly looked at. Sadly this did not occur.

Instead the pseudo politically correct machine that is the U.S. mass media began an onslaught, not on the ranch’s owner, one Joyce Sterkel, but on Mr. Astakhov and the group of Russian government officials that travelled with him.

The AP published a huge piece of more than three pages in length full of anti-Russian quotes by Sterkel, which are not worth repeating here, with almost nothing about the children or Mr. Astakhov’s concerns, even referring to the ombudsman as “one of them.” (ABCNews)

Six days later the AP published 7 sentences regarding the illegality of Ms. Sterkel’s ranch. Which has not had a license to operate since 2010, has been ordered closed and where inspectors have not been allowed. Other problems at the ranch include a failure to show the structures on the ranch meet the building code, no disaster plan and no background checks on employees.

Again nowhere are the stories about the children in question or regarding their well-being - for the U.S. media they are not even a side issue. It is as if they do not exist.

Sterkel has not only denied the Russian inspectors entry onto the so-called ranch but has also denied the Montana state board any information about the children at the ranch according to board attorney Mary Tapper.

(CitizensVoice.com)

Statements in the U.S. press regarding sovereignty, intrusion, and privacy rights have no place in a dialogue involving the safety and welfare of children, wherever they may be from. However the U.S. is a country where in many cases pseudo political correctness comes first and the rights and safety of children come second.

The Reverend Peter Mullen in his blog on the Mail Online put it well when describing the influence of political correctness on adoptions in the Western system: “The scandal is that our Mephistophelian “caring institutions” would rather a child be aborted than that the mother should give birth and so present them with all these tiresome pseudo-problems derived entirely from political correctness.”

(DailyMail)

Having lived in both Russia and the U.S. for decades I can honestly say that any Russian travelling to the U.S. would be shocked at the number of stories and cases of child abuse and atrocities against children that exist in the United States and that no one hears about in the filtered international U.S. media.

The U.S. culture of death, sex, violence, hypocrisy and perversion is often reflected on the horrors that children become the victims of. The record has shown with regard to Russian orphans that the controls that exist for other orphans are just not there and that many adoptive parents feel that because they somehow “rescued” the children from some “terrible” faraway place they can do whatever they want to the children with impunity.

As for Russia and I can say this honestly and with the insight of an educator, the respect for children is much higher than in the U.S. and the level of crimes and cases of inhumane acts against children are so much lower as to almost be non-existent if one compares them to the U.S.

In the better part of two decades here there have been less than a dozen high profile cases of crimes against children. Once again I can not help but compare the almost daily onslaught in the U.S. media of cases of child abuse, kidnappings, child murders and pedophilia.

Joyce Sterkel did not allow the Russian delegation to inspect the facility in question, nor has she provided the Board of Private Alternative Adolescent Residential and Outdoor Programs any information about the children. She also removed the children from the premises before Mr. Astakhov arrived. What is she so afraid might be discovered? And what is really going on at the isolated and remote Deep Springs Ranch for Kids?

The pseudo-politically-correct U.S. establishment may have a problem asking those questions, but I don’t, and for the sake of the children they must be answered.

The opinions and views expressed here are those of the writer.

 Jar2

19 July 2012, 15:16

Ukraine Forced into NATO

Rick Rozoff

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In a recent interview, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has urged Ukraine to settle the issue of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and remove obstacles in relations with the alliance, in what can be viewed as yet another NATO attempt to steer Ukraine towards the integration of this former Soviet state in the US-led military bloc. Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO, believes NATO is not relented in its ambition to incorporate Ukraine into NATO ultimately as a full member.

Secretary General of NATO Rasmussen is urging Kiev to remove obstacles in relation to NATO. Can you tell us about that?

It’s NATO’s intention to bring Ukraine into NATO’s full membership which is why there’s special NATO-Ukraine commission that was set up roughly 4-3.5 years ago with the expressed purpose of doing that. At the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest, the countries of Ukraine and Georgia both hadn’t received the green light – if you will - to join NATO’s full members, but to be granted with Membership Action Program which is a final stage before full NATO accession. So a compensatory mechanism was set up which is the commission I mentioned both for Ukraine and Georgia. And despite the change in government – Yanukovich replaced Yushenko - NATO is not relented in its ambition to incorporate Ukraine into NATO ultimately as a full member. So Rasmussen’s comments are in line with that policy of NATO. And of course two military exercises in Ukraine have recently been concluded this month including the annual Operation Sea Breeze which is run by the US. It’s supposedly a joint US-Ukrainian military exercise, naval in the Black sea, not too far from the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Given Ukraine’s location, its size, its role and the armaments industry in both Soviet space and so forth - it’s a key acquisition for NATO. It doesn’t surprise me that Rasmussen is laying down these terms to Ukraine.

They talk about human rights, the Timoshenko case, Lutsenko, what do you think about their claims?

They’re going to overrule decisions made by the Parliament in Ukraine, by the President. They’re going to trample in the laws of Ukraine in order to support their clients, Yulia Timoshenko, the gas princess in the first instance. The sort of dictate almost from the West in relations to Timoshenko is all about ordering the Yanukovich government to release her and so forth. It’s a further example of the interference of the US in internal affairs of sovereign nations. They want their allies, their operators, the former Victor Yushenkos and the current Yulia Timoshenko to be free and to operate further on the Western agenda in Ukraine.

Hillary Clinton keeps making statements - it’s kind of become a habit for her – towards Russia. What about her last statement? Can you comment on this?

The most recent is probably the worst. It’s probably too low even for Hillary Clinton. And it’s saying quite a bit. And what we’re speaking about is of course her talk on so-called Friends of Syria Meeting in Paris on July, 6th, where she stated to the representatives of the estimated 100 nations and organizations transparently in attempt to rally them against Russia and China for having the temerity to defend international law and as we just mentioned the noninterference in the internal affairs of sovereign nations vis-à-vis Syria. One has to watch her as she’s making these statements, you know, waving her hand in the air and being almost hysterical. She stated that the problem was that Russia and China were not paying the price for their position in relation to Syria and that they would have to pay a price and that the so-called world community would have to ensure that they do. So, I mean, this is the crudest form of intimidation.

What do you think she meant exactly by ‘paying a price’?

It’s hard to say. Diplomatically, of course. Economically, perhaps. You know maybe what the US and their allies want to do with Russia and China in relation to Syria is the same that they did with several countries including Russia and China in relation to Iran, they increasingly slap sanctions on a country like Iran or Syria and start sanctioning countries dealing with it. Something like the situation obtained in in 2003 when the George W. Bush Administration started accusing perhaps dozens of countries of selling the so-called “dual-use” equipment to the government of Iraq and threatening them with – if you will – second generation sanctions, - if you got to be alluding to that you know economically as well as diplomatically punishing Russia and China. However, the tone of what she stated, suggested that she was talking about something more, almost threatening Russia and China politically, who knows what? But it was a further thing removed from diplomatic language that one can imagine. But given the fact that she is the Secretary of State of the administration that probably proclaims itself in amusing President Obama’s own words “the world’s sole military superpower,” she evidently feels she can make statements like that with impunity and that nobody is going to hold her to account for that. Unfortunately, the world is not. It gets worse, I suppose, with each succession of Secretary of State, but this is a low point. She made a statement in February this year, the second time that Russia and China jointly vetoed the resolution on the UN Security Council aimed against Syria where – to use her own words – she referred to Russia and China as being ‘despicable’. I think that the rest of the world should take notice as to how the US treats even major powers, the world’s second economic power, China, and one of the world’s two major military powers, Russia. If they can be referred to in such derogatory and abrasive terms then you don’t need a WikiLeaks’ revelation to understand what US thinks of the governments of other nations.

Can you tell our listeners about the recent attack on a NATO convoy to Afghanistan through Pakistan?

Being attributor to a Pakistani-Taliban group or the Haghani network – I’m not sure who’s been accused of having torched the 12 NATO tankers - but I would say, John, more than anything else this is indicative, I believe, as a general sentiment within Pakistan which is not in favor of renewing transit NATO convoys from Pakistan into Afghanistan. I’m sure there’s overwhelming opposition to collaboration with NATO for the war in Afghanistan for no other reason than that the people in Western Pakistan don’t relish the cousins on the other side of the border being killed by NATO helicopter gunship attacks or in other military attacks including some of the horrible atrocities that have occurred just this year for example. And what we’re seeing again is that to accommodate NATO is to betray one’s own nation, and one’s people no matter where it occurs.

 Jar2

19 July 2012, 12:46

No Peace in Serbia, No Positive Signs from New President

Dr. Jovan Deretic

No peace in Serbia, no positive signs from the new president - interview

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“We have a very big problem – our government, our authority doesn’t even put any protestation, nothing, they talk, they are for the peace, but what kind of peace is it when 60 people are attacked and injured?” Dr. Jovan Deretic, a political science doctor and a member of the Petrovskaya Academy in Saint-Petersburg, the president of the Free Serbia Movement in Serbia, talks about events in Kosovo, Serbia.

I talked to you near Vidovdan, that was on June 28th . Can you tell our listeners about the events?

Vidovdan is our traditional voyage to the place of the battle of Kosovo. We commemorate this day, and this year like every year before people were going to commemorate this day. Right away, when they crossed the line, the demarcation line, police of Kosovo attacked people, they took off their shirts, caps even from the women and some people stayed without clothes.

The police attacked people?

Yes. Right away, once they crossed the line, they attacked. In the place of the commemoration they used, even their rifles, they opened fire and many people were injured, totally 60 people were injured. And when they were coming back in the buses, one of the buses was filled with children, children from 10-14 years, and they put fire in the buses, and 15 children were burned.

Can you tell me about the bus attack? Now were the Kosovo police involved? Were they watching, were there EULEX observers anywhere, was there K4 anywhere when this was happening?

Nobody did anything from the side of K4, they just watched and went away, the same thing with EULEX, with the police of the European Union, they didn’t even intervene. Nobody intervened. I think the government of Kosovo has given order to the police to do this, the government of Kosovo has blessing from the European Union to put pressure on Serbia to recognize Kosovo.

I see. So, you are saying that the K4 troops, they were there, they saw this happening, the attack on the buses in particular, and they did nothing, they left?

They did nothing, they left, absolutely nothing.

And the EULEX observers also did nothing?

EULEX observers did absolutely nothing.

How many people are still in hospital?

I made some inquiries because our authorities put a black-out on this story, they don’t even publish anything about it and there are a couple of children still in hospital.

They are still in the hospital?

We have a problem. We have a very big problem – our government, our authority doesn’t even put any protestation, nothing, they talk, they are for the peace, but what kind of peace is it when 60 people are attacked and injured? For all governments in the world that is Casuus Belli. I think these people who are now on the way to create a new government, they are all with European Union. The European Union has given an ultimatum to Serbia about Kosovo. Serbia must accept Kosovo the Embassy in Belgrade, and Embassy of Serbia must be established in Pristine. That means complete recognition. We had an election, and this election gave nothing. We have same people in power and people who were prepared a long time before, to continue a kind of policy because the old government was used and there was a possibility of uprising. And they put new people in the place to slow down a revolt of the population.

Last time we talked you mentioned something about Serbia going bankrupt if I remember right.

We are in the economical situation that is very critical. The old government took a loan from every side to pay these employees and these people. Now Serbia must pay 5 billion Euros this year just for the interest on the loan. Serbia does not have this money and we are going to be bankrupt in the next 2 months.

I see.

They talked about reducing the wages of the employees to stop paying the retirement but you know, if it happens, if they really go this way, there will really be an uprising.

Going back to an attack, I had some reports that the Kosovo police were telling the Serb people that Kosovo was Albania. Do you know anything about that?

Yes, they were saying “you have nothing to look over there”. This country is Albania and you go away. They are very strongly encouraged by European Union, very strongly encouraged.

Do you see any positive signs from the new president?

Unfortunately, I don’t see any. This man, he doesn’t know what to do and how to do. He tries something but he’s just scared and weak he does nothing, absolutely nothing. People expect from him to do something, to change something but he has the same policy - betrayal of the state.

Listen, I had some reports that these events on Vidovdan were planned to put pressure on the Serbian people. Do you think that’s correct?

Yes, right. Every bad thing that’s going on is connected to how Serbia must join European Union. Some media, some journalists publish, even in Russia, that in Serbia the majority of the people is for European Union. That is not true. About 80% of the people in Serbia is against European Union.

80%?

80%. If now there is a referendum, European Union can’t pass, nobody will allow this, they know what will be the result. What is important for the United States - is Serbia to join NATO. Strategically that is very important thing. They are not really much interested economically, politically if Serbia joins the European Union or not.

So, they don’t care about the Albanians either, do they?

Albanians are just drug dealers. America has money problems with them. Those people are not yet at European level. They are very backward. They are not interesting in any way for Americans but they are interesting to use against us to put the pressure on us.

I see. Ok, great.

You were listening to an interview with Dr. Jovan Deretic, a political science doctor and the member of the Petrovskaya Academy in Saint-Petersburg and the president of the Free Serbia Movement in Serbia.

 Jar2

18 July 2012, 19:07

Media Bias: U.S. Coverage of Russia

John Robles

Media bias: U.S. coverage of Russia

In the western media there exists a tangible and increasingly obvious media bias towards global events and countries around the world, in particular when it comes to reporting on Russia related issues. For the U.S. media in particular, recent years have seen a decline in readership and a plethora of other problems: scandals about manipulation, plagiarism, intimidation, falling profits and obvious cases of reporting outright lies as fact.

The reasons for this are many and even though there does not exist an official censorship body which controls the media, most U.S. media outlets are the victims of self-censorship or “Market Censorship” as some call it. This occurs due to a desire not to offend or displease their advertisers, owners or the government.

Regardless of the underlying reasons it exists and must be countered. Most readers and consumers of information and news are intelligent and can often judge for themselves how much validity to give a particular source but the majority do not have the time to investigate and take a closer look at the information they are presented. Most of their time is spent in digesting the information they are given and this is exactly what those who wish to manipulate the media count on. Unfortunately this occurs so regularly that media-manipulators have become emboldened and rely on this fact.

One shining example of “less-than-honest-media”, and that is putting it lightly, would be Ruport Murdoch’s Fox News, an outlet so blatantly dishonest that it is rarely taken seriously by anyone who slightly opposes their views or seeks a balanced source of information. The practices of Fox News include everything from having their own goon squad, or “Fox Security” as they call it, which is used to harass and physically intimidate people who oppose the organization, to doctoring photographs of people they target so they appear less attractive. (Wikipedia, Political Cortex, Prison Planet, Dailykos.com, Firedoglake.blogspot.com)

When investigating Western media bias toward Russia some recent shining and blatant examples are impossible not to mention and too often Fox News is right in the middle them. (NewsHounds) The most recent outright falsifications and attempts at cover up involve the events in South Ossetia and the recent demonstrations by the so-called “opposition” here in Moscow. Other areas that are continuously the object of censorship and manipulation include Iran, Syrian, the Middle-Eastern conflicts and Balkan coverage.

One good example of manipulation by the media was coverage of the invasion and bombing of South Ossetia and the murder of civilians by the Georgian Army. The false reporting quickly became clear and obvious as witness reports began to come out. The clearest example being the scandal surrounding the then 12-year-old Amanda Kokoeva who was stopped from telling her story in an interview on Fox News after she began telling how she and her family were saved from the Georgians by Russian forces. (Russia Today)

The numerous doctored photos and even video coverage of the recent demonstrations in Moscow are also another clear example of western media manipulation. These include the usage of Moscow crowd photos from 1991 (TheAtlantic.com) and footage of Greek riots passed along as being in Moscow, (HyperVocal.com) also by Fox News. All of these attempts were engineered to show that the level of violence and the amount of the people involved were much greater than they were in reality.

The reality was that many of these events were attended by more western reporters than demonstrators and that even though they were being funded by the U.S., through NGOs and their agents, (ActivistPost.com) and people were being paid to attend the anti-government demonstrations, (SFGate.com) the actual turnout was nothing to write home about. The fact that the U.S. attempted to interfere in the election of President Putin and organized anyone it could to do everything possible to de-legitimize the election of the popular and well-loved leader is just one more example of U.S. meddling into the internal affairs of sovereign nations.

The internet has, for its part, been helpful in off-setting many attempts at media manipulation. Many incidents would never come to light if it were not for media watchdogs, bloggers and alternative media outlets. For this reason the U.S. has aggressively pursued anyone who does damage to its media manipulations or is too successful in getting out the truth. This was clear after 9-11 and the attacks on 9-11 truth sites and has been epitomized by the U.S. reaction to the efforts of Wikileaks.

The truth is something that criminals and tyrants fear. It is also something that can not be allowed when it interferes with geo-political plans for domination, resource wars, or the military takeover of the planet. We saw this on 9-11 when reputable experts, witnesses and even engineers were gagged by the hundreds, if not thousands, from telling the truth. We saw this in the invasion of Iraq, with yellowcake, WMDs and fake atrocities. We also saw this in the former Yugoslavia, with fake atrocities and the continuing media blackout in Serbia.

Unfortunately that is not all, we continue to see this in Syria and Iran, and other locations where the West has plans in place and the reality on the ground must be made to coincide with their scenarios, even if it means creating complete and total fabrications.

As the falsehoods continue so do the number of dead, this is most obvious in such places as Afghanistan, Syria, Bahrain and other “hot-spots”, even in Egypt, where the U.S. recently did a 180° about face and supported the Muslim Brotherhood.

Once again we see that for the U.S., the truth is a very inconvenient thing and if it does not please them, they will attempt to create their own.
Read more:
http://voiceofrussia.com/2012_07_18/Media-bias-US-coverage-of-Russia/

 

16 July 2012, 17:32

Wikileaks and Datacell: An Inconvenient Truth?

Andreas Fink

Wikileaks and Datacell: an inconvenient truth? - interview

Andreas Fink, the CEO of Datacell has recently won a judgment against Visa which had attempted to block the flow of financing to Wikileaks. He echoed what some say about Wikileaks publishing the truth and he claims they should be supported. Unfortunately, sometimes the truth is an inconvenient thing.

http://m.ruvr.ru/2012/07/16/1296646372/IMG_0015%5b2%5d.JPG

Hello, this is John Robles. I’m speaking with Mr. Andreas Fink, he’s the CEO of Datacell in Iceland.


 Jar2

16 July 2012, 11:52

US Policy in the Balkans: Imperial Ambitions

John Robles

Many questions remain as to the real reasons for the NATO and US bombing of the former Yugoslavia. Was it a test run for an even grander plan of world domination? Was it a political move to draw attention away from a US president’s infidelities? Recently the site Wikileaks began publishing the Statfor e-mails, some of them contain bomb-shells others an inside look into the often twisted thinking behind US policy. You decide which one this is.

Recently while going through some information on the Wikileaks site, as many journalists I am sure do, trying to find something of interest or perhaps a bomb-shell, I came across an e-mail regarding an article by the founder, CEO and self-described chief intelligence officer of the private intelligence corporation Stratfor. The original can be seen here: http://wikileaks.org/gifiles/docs/299114_geopolitical-intelligence-report-russia-kosovo-and-the.html

The reason Stratfor is an important organization to watch, in my opinion, is because they provide intelligence to private individuals and corporations worldwide that is used in the implementation of policy and the formation of plans and goals. Stratfor also closely echoes the official and often un-spoken position of the U.S. on issues that have global impact. Those two points and the fact that Stratfor has, or at least wants you to believe they have, close connections to the U.S. intelligence community may allow the observer to obtain a look at the thinking that is used in the formulation of U.S. policy and/or activities.

As a piece currently published on their site shows Stratfor does not hide the U.S.’ imperial ambitions or its plans at world domination, which brings me back to the subject of the e-mail I mentioned above. The article by George Friedman, about which the e-mail was written, was disturbing as it describes in an open, candid and arrogant manner U.S. policy regarding Kosovo, the Balkans and the former Yugoslavia.

The article itself was written in December of 2007 but is still revealing enough to be of historical significance as it shows the attitude of the U.S. towards Russia as well, during a time when Russia welcomed the U.S. with (for lack of a better expression) open arms.

His first claim regarding Kosovo, is that it is an “archaic topic”, he also says it isn’t regarded seriously and that you “… hear about it but you don’t care.” This is definitely a point that the Serb people would have a problem with and clearly shows a belittling attitude toward the whole conflict.

His comments about Russia are no better and he states that at the time of the Yugoslavia campaign, Russia was weak and its wishes were irrelevant. He goes on to describe how the U.S. intentionally lied to Russia so Russia would end the war the U.S. started, and was apparently helpless to stop, by promising Russia a peacekeeping role in Kosovo which the U.S. never allowed. He also repeats how the events in Kosovo “fly in the face of Russia” as if this alone is reason enough for what they are doing in Serbia.

Mr. Friedman goes on to admit that the so called “atrocities” that were supposed to have occurred in Kosovo and what the Clinton administration said was taking place were all fabrications and that this “was not the point”. So what was the point? The point was that the U.S. and NATO had geopolitical plans for the Balkans and were set on dividing and remaking the region to their own advantage or as Mr. Friedman put it “continue the policy of re-engineering Yugoslavia.”

Regarding supporting the independence of Kosovo he admits in perfectly clear terms that the U.S. and NATO (KFOR) are operating “… without either a U.N. or NATO mandate.”

The arrogance continues with opinions-presented-as-fact regarding Russia and Russian thinking or beliefs. Mr. Friedman also makes several statements and claims regarding what President Vladimir Putin was thinking or feeling as if he had access to the President’s thoughts or emotions. Something completely inappropriate when speaking about a head of state, a leader which it was clear the writer knew almost nothing about.

The piece ends with the following and I quote, “But here is the basic fact: For the United States and its allies, Kosovo is a side issue of no great importance.” I am sure that for the Serbian people, who view Kosovo as an integral and extremely important part of their heritage and country, such a statement and such thinking would be cause for alarm, to say the least.

Neither Mr. Friedman nor Startfor responded to requests for comments or an interview regarding the e-mail in question.


 Jar2

13 July 2012, 18:31

Kosovo police assault Serbian holiday observers - eye-witness

Kristian Cars

Kosovo police assault Serbian holiday observers - eye-witness

Photo: EPA

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Interview with Kristian Kahrs, a freelance journalist and a writer investigating the situation in Kosovo. He is also a former KFOR officer who publically apologized to the Serb people.

Could you tell our listeners a little bit about what happened to you? It was Vivodan which is a very important holiday for the Serb people. Maybe you could give us a little background on that? And tell us about what happened to you with the Kosovo police?

Well, we were talking last Thursday, a week ago, June 28th. The Vivodan is an important Serbian religious holiday. So, thousands of Serbs came to Kosovo this day to pay their respect and to celebrate this religious holiday. But in Kosovo they are quite sensitive about their national identity. Of course you Russians and the majority of the countries in the world did not recognize Kosovo yet. That’s why they are very sensitive about anything that could endanger this national identity.

So, Serbians coming with the Serbian flags and colours, clothing and everything, they were met by the Kosovo police and this property was confiscated and thrown in a ditch. Of course I didn’t come there to provoke. I came there to record but I had some Serbian flags, flags on my T-shirt and on a hat and because I didn’t want to provoke I put that in my luggage. But when I came to the checkpoint before the Gazimestan monument where a couple of thousands Serbs had gathered, the police were searching my bag, found my T-shirt and my hat, and threw them in a ditch in a brutal manner. What happened later, I went up to the checkpoint in Gazimestan and demanded an explanation. Some representatives from the EULEX and from the OSCE – the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe – none of these representatives were available and I could not speak to the spokespeople or the commander of the Kosovo police.

So, the whole thing end up by me being arrested. And last Friday on June 29th I got my sentence and I had to pay a ticket of 500 euro for disturbing the public order and I also was fined because I said that Kosovo has a choice. Kosovo wants to be eligible for membership in the EU, they want to apply democratic values and everything. They can do all that but then I said that they can apply democratic values and respect the freedom of speech or they would be a monkey republic. This was also part of the reason why I was convicted to pay a thousand euro.

Of course it was not the wisest thing for me to say that Kosovo would be a monkey republic but on this day the new state of Kosovo did not show any basic respect for the human rights and the freedom of expression because we also saw women who had normal T-shirts with the Serbian flag symbols at this religious ceremony and they were forced to take them off. So, the Serbs had to attend this religious ceremony only in their bra. So, the Serbian men came without Serbs to the ceremony and the police gave no explanation, no compensation, they just threw it in a ditch and no one was allowed to retrieve their things.

You a filing a class action lawsuit against the Kosovo police. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about that?

The reality is that in Kosovo Serbs and other minorities don’t have the basic human rights like the freedom of expression, freedom of speech and that’s why we are collecting all the victims that were harassed by the Kosovo police to file a class action lawsuit against the Kosovo police for discrimination and harassment.

Can you tell me a little bit of anything you know regarding possible Kosovo police involvement in the attacks on the busses that were carrying the schoolchildren?

There is no doubt that this was pre-planned and I find it likely that the Kosovo police had an intelligence that this would happen. But there is no evidence that KPS was directly involved. However I would like to have an international investigation to find out if the Kosovo police had any official role in this.

Have you heard anything about the children that were injured?

I know that two people were seriously injured. They were at the hospitals in Nis. I have not heard any news that they have died or something like that. But of course it is serious that the state of Kosovo is not respecting human rights and that they are using excessive force when they are trying to protect their national identity. And I hope that there will be an international and independent investigation of these matters to find out if the Kosovo police have intentionally provoked the situation.

When they were harassing you, when they made these women undress, when they went through your luggage, were you aware of any EULEX or K4 troops or officers observing what was taking place?

There were no representatives of K4 there. Kosovo police was responsible for the security. However there were three observers from the EULEX.

What were they doing?

They were observing but they were in no position to give any statements because their spokesman was not there. There were several people who tried to get statements from EULEX but they were completely silent. I think it is important that the police officers who were searching my bag, they told me the following – this is Albania, this is not Serbia. If a normal Albanian would have said – this is Albania, this is not Serbia – it would have been bad and we would have known that this is a nationalistic Albanian. However when the representatives of the rule of laware saying – this is Albania, this is not Serbia – it is an official statement from the state that is supposed to be multiethnic. He could have said – this is Kosovo, this is not Serbia. But the police officer said – this is Albania, this is not Serbia – which is a clear signal that Serbs are not welcome in Kosovo.

Are there reasons to believe that this was planned for this date, this year? I understand last year everything went by pretty quietly.

I’m convinced that this was an intentional provocation to give a clear signal that this is the Albanian land and not Serbian at all. The reason why I’m saying this is that there were riot police there, anti-terror police heavily armed and in light gear and you had also normal police officers, and they were definitely planning this. This harassment was definitely planned by the Kosovo police. This is something I hope will be revealed in our class action lawsuit against the Kosovo police.

 Jar2

13 July 2012, 16:37

Black Moon Rising as Friday 13th Strikes Again

John Robles

Black moon rising as Friday 13th strikes again

Do you suffer from Friggatriskaidekaphobia or Paraskevidekatriaphobia? If you do you are not alone. If you have never heard the words Friggatriskaidekaphobia or Paraskevidekatriaphobia, then don’t worry – you are also not alone. Both words are names for the same irrational fear: the fear of Friday the 13th .

The origin of the two words goes way back. The first – Friggatriskaidekaphobia – is a combination of the word “Frigg” (the name of the Norse goddess after whom Friday was named), and the word “triskaidekaphobia” which means the fear of the number thirteen. The second word is a grouping of three Greek words: paraskeví, which is the Greek word for Friday; dekatreís, meaning the number thirteen; and of course the suffix phobia, from the word phóbos.

There have been many scientists and reputable organizations over the years who have studied statistics and factual data to try and fathom whether the basis for this fear is somehow something more than just a superstition. Although different conclusions have been reached, people the world over continue to fear this day regardless.

For Russians, this day is not seen as being as unlucky as it is in the West, and there is not such a widespread dread of the two digits. For example, buildings have a 13th floor. Hotels, offices, and apartment blocks all have rooms or offices or apartments numbered 13. However there are some in Russia who also have ominous things to say about Friday the 13th . With regards to July 13th 2012, the head of the Russian school of astrology Alexander Zara told Interfax News Agency that this particular day may be an unlucky one.

According to Mr. Zara, July 11 saw the beginning of what is called the “Black Moon” –a term in astronomy that is neither well-known nor frequently used. The term “Black Moon” is used to describe the occurrence of two dark cycles of the moon in a single calendar month. Many who believe in the esoteric and in magic say that during the period of the second dark moon, any magic that is worked is extremely powerful – as are the forces of the spiritual world. He warns not to make hasty decisions and be more attentive on this day.

For people in many countries, Friday the 13th is a day like any other. For some, especially Americans, Friday the 13th is an extremely unlucky event, with some even refusing to drive, go to work, make serious decisions, or even leave their homes.

There are many different arguments and claims to the origin of the fear, among them those based in religion. One popular example is that Judas Iscariot was the thirteenth guest at the Last Supper, while Jesus died on a Friday. The great flood survived by Noah’s Ark is said to have occurred on Friday. Even Eve’s apple-temptation of Adam apparently occurred on a Friday.

In Norse mythology, Loki – the shape-shifting god of mischief – crashed a banquet being held by twelve other gods, bringing the total number of guests to thirteen.

Some say it originates with the arrests of all of the Templar Knights on the order of French King Philip IV, which took place on Friday 13th, October 1307. Others say that the Egyptian belief in the thirteenth stage of life that then became a fear of death was the origin of the fear.

Not all countries are terrified of one particular date in the calendar. For the Greeks and in many Spanish-speaking countries, Tuesday the 13th is considered unlucky. In Italy Friday the 17th is unlucky.

If you do feel a little dread on this day, don’t worry – it’s the last one of 2012. January 13th and April 13th have long since passed. Yet regardless of how superstitious you are, be attentive and careful all the same – there’s a chance they might just be right.

The views and opinions expressed here are the writer’s own. Some information from Interfax was used in making this report.

 Jar2

11 July 2012, 18:14

Russia's Hopes and WTO Reality

Bernard Casey

Russia's hopes and WTO reality - Interview with Bernard Casey

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"The main reason I believe President Putin supported the WTO accession is that it will provide Russian high-tech enterprises non-discriminatory access to foreign markets." - Mr. Bernard Casey, an innovation and modernization specialist for the post-Soviet space said in a Voice of Russia interview.

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Can you give our listeners an update about what is going on with the WTO accession of the Russian Federation?

Ok. Well, the first development today was that the Russian State Duma ratified the agreement for Russia to join the World Trade Organization. There are two main provisions – one is – there will be a reduction in Russia’s average importers. Today, the awaited average tariff rate is 9.5%, this will be reduced to 7.6% in 2013, 6.9% in 2014 and 6% in 2015. And the second main provision is basically the reciprocal action from all 135 WTO member countries meaning they also have provide the same nondiscriminatory access of Russia to these markets at the same awaited average tariff rate.

What is a weighted average tariff rate?

A weighted average, it means it is weighted based on which items have a higher tariff. So, for instance if 90% of your goods have 10% tariff rate and 5% of them have 20% rate the awaited average would actually be much more closer to 10% than 20%. It is the average that’s weighted based on what is the tariff rate for the vast majority of goods that are actually traded.

What are some of the negative effects this might have on Russia?

There will be certainly be a loss of revenue to the Federal Government. It is estimated around 188 billion rubles will be lost in reduced import duties in 2013 and another 237 billion rubles in 2014. This loss of duties will result primarily from serious competition to Russian enterprises involved in agriculture and textiles. Although this would be somewhat mediated by Russia’s initiatives which have an increase in investments and modernization, and increased efficiency of Russia’s agro-industrial complex. There will also be an increased competition in high-value goods like IT, including industrial machinery and agricultural machinery.

However I think even in the worst case scenario, where there are Russian citizens who suffer financial distress, I’m confident that President Putin will step in and mediate any potential suffering, I know there are certainly measures that have been discussed already. We saw for instance, even this past weekend, that President Putin was in the Krasnodar Region offering humanitarian support even before the floodwaters had receded and he has just increased social spending by three times to intercede the very potential decline in private humanitarian aid as a result of the mpending NGO bill.

I think any potential negative effects they will be faced because of the tariff rate will be reduced progressively between now and 2015. Although the Russian Government will be prohibited from certain subsidies of industries, they will certainly not be prohibited from increasing social spending that may be needed.

I guess there are many more positives than negatives?

I certainly believe so. In terms of GDP growth based, on the World Bank numbers; the interest rate of 3.3% in the short term GDP growth in the near term and up to 11% over the long term. Much of this is coming from improving quality and price reduction for goods and services, better access to foreign markets for Russian exporters and an increase in salaries as well. The main reasons I believe President Putin supported the WTO accession are that it will provide Russian high-tech enterprises nondiscriminatory access to foreign markets, and I think that the big one is, really, attracting foreign direct investments in the Russian high-tech enterprises, especially the participation of private investors from foreign countries in the privatization of Russian strategic state assets, like seaports, airports, oil companies, power companies, airlines. We have already seen foreign high-tech enterprises establishing operations and joint ventures in Russia. This will also allow Russian investment in high-tech enterprises abroad which we are already starting to see.

Is this going to open up Western strategic areas for the Russian investor?

Non-discriminatory access, so these foreign countries have opened up the strategic assets to investment from other WTO members. They are now required to allow Russian investors to invest in those enterprises as well. One point I want to mention as well is protecting the rights of Russian investors in high-tech enterprises operating abroad, I mean there was an attempt by Russian investors to acquire Opel of Germany that ended up not going through, but I believe if that would not have been prohibited under the WTO. This is a type of deal that would go through for Russian investors being provided the same non-discriminatory access to the other WTO members allowed under the provisions of the WTO.

Do you know anything about Jackson-Vanik?

This was passed over 40 years ago because Russia had a temporary loss. It was only on the books for one year and prohibited the Jewish intelligentsia from immigrating abroad. But again that was repealed one year later and after the fall of the Soviet Union, it is my understanding, that over 1 million Jews have immigrated to Israel and the US, and other nations. So, it is really not a reflection of the reality today. The Jackson-Vanik amendment prohibits American companies from selling certain valuable high-tech goods to Russia. It precludes permanent normal trade relations with Russia and it actually has to be renewed on an annual basis. So, once the Jackson-Vanik amendment is repealed, which should be happening shortly, then there will be an opportunity for American companies to export high-tech goods to Russia. So, it actually hurts America more than it hurts Russia in that regard.

You are confident it will be repealed soon?

Yes, but I’m not confident that the Magnitsky bill won’t be put in its place.

If a person or persons are prosecuted for his murder, do you think they will continue to try to implement something like this?

Who knows, I mean it seems that they want to replace an anti-Bolshevik law with an anti-Russian law and as I said the whole impetus for Jackson-Vanik to begin with was a law that was only on the books for one year and yet the Jackson-Vanik has been in effect for 40 years. So, I mean even if Russia serves up heads to Washington DC, would that satisfy the Americans? – I don’t know. There seems to be a lot of anti-Russian rhetoric now during the election season, unfortunately.

What about the negative effects for the WTO members?

Increased competition in the US, EU, Ukraine, China, India and Brazil. There is a perception among many that the WTO membership provides benefits to the more developed nations and negative effects to the less developed. And if that’s the case, if someone would accept that hypothesis, then Russia being, as it’s been said one-brick-ahead-of-the-rest, would certainly benefit from more exports to China, India and Brazil than those nations exporting to Russia. Certainly there will be more opportunities because in the US there is a steel quota agreement in place at the moment. And as I said that primarily with the West a lot of impetus for this is certainly to get the investment from the US and the EU, and Russia.

Most of the effects that influence the WTO members will be positive, I mean they will have non-discriminatory access to the Russian market, they will be able to participate and hook up investments in high-tech, mining, oil and gas, automotive manufacturing. And we’ve already seen a lot that in anticipation of the WTO accession anyway. And as I’ve mentioned earlier they will be able to participate in the privatization of a lot of the Russian strategic state assets – the seaports, airports, oil companies, power companies, airlines and so on.

Closing

 Jar2

10 July 2012, 12:01

Influence Bought by CIA in Afghanistan

John Robles

It was supposed to be the big saving face I suppose, but sadly as if to underline the failure of the Western adventure in Afghanistan, a conference by donor countries was recently held not in some free and peaceful city of Afghanistan, liberated by the peace-bringing-humanitarian-intervening NATO, but at a safe distance, in Tokyo Japan.

President Hamid Karzai looked worried and none too pleased. Perhaps he knows that when NATO leaves his chances of staying in power decrease exponentially. Perhaps he is tired of having to pose for photo ops with the same occupiers who have countless times ignored his calls for an end to civilian casualties and who have apologized countless times for the same casualties and the countless horrific acts against his people; acts of mass murder, urinating on corpses, collecting body parts as trophies, torture and much more, a sickening list too long to go into here.

It’s an election year in the U.S. and a pull-out is politically expedient and soon NATO will be abandoning Karzai and the country it has devastated for over a decade, so a saving face plan had to be carried out. On the surface it looks as if the kind and benevolent West is out to help Afghanistan, granting it a special non-NATO ally/special ally status and $16 billion in economic aid. I guess this is supposed to please the Afghan people. Of course the $16 billion will be able to assist the Afghan people in paying all of the Western reconstruction contractors and the special status will only serve to give the U.S. a legal framework for its long term geo-strategic plans in the region. A fact underlined by a statement made by Clinton at the donor summit: “We had no intention to leave Afghanistan. On the contrary, we are building partnerships with Afghanistan, which will continue far into the future."

Far into the future? Is the same in store for Pakistan which also recently received the “special ally” status from the U.S.?

As for the money it is supposed to in some way guarantee that the country does not spiral into complete anarchy once the NATO forces leave, that is their public reason. The real reason for the money may be the buying of continued influence in the country. One reason why the West was so opposed to Iran’s offer to build infrastructure and roads in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile the Taliban have continued to show the world that the U.S. has gotten nowhere in Afghanistan. Shortly after the donor meeting in Tokyo the Taliban launched a huge, albeit not entirely effective, attack on multiple targets in the country; a massive attack according to reports, resulting in 23 dead, 17 of them being Taliban. They were launched in response to the donor meeting which the Taliban saw as an agreement to continue a foreign occupation of their country.

Perhaps they are right, but who is really the worst in this conflict? The NATO/US forces who have killed up to tens of thousands either directly or indirectly, in their “righteous” war, or the Taliban, who have sadly, proven time and time again that they can be just as savage, if not more so, than the occupiers of their country.

Sadly for Afghanistan the future looks bleak. Another recent event in a village called Qol-i-Heer in central Afghanistan, further serves to underline the West's utter and dismal failure in Afghanistan, namely the cold-blooded execution of a poor Afghan girl named Najiba who was in her early 20s. She was publicly executed by the brutal and primitive Taliban for alleged “illegal sex” after she was passed back and forth between two top Taliban leaders. A brutal and cowardly act against all women and civilized people.

Sure the Taliban are brutal, backwards and primitive savages making a mockery of their very name “Taliban”, which means roughly "Students of the Holy Koran", but, who in fact are the worst savages? Those who kill hundreds because of their primitive, brutal and backward beliefs, or those who kill thousands and have press teams, slick-looking uniforms and smooth-talking spokespeople and kill for the primitive motives of domination, or revenge for an attack they may have planned themselves?

Sadly for the Afghan people the answer to this question is not one that can be easily answered, nor if answered, would it help them in any way.

 Jar2

8 July 2012, 17:24

Iran Announces Contingency Plan: If Attacked It Will Respond

John Robles

The Islamic Republic of Iran has announced that they are capable of destroying 35 U.S. military bases within minutes if they are attacked.

This information came in a statement by the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Aerospace Force on Wednesday.

Recently Iran has also stated that U.S. warships are also “easy” targets. The Iranian general also stated that Palestinian lands, a direct reference to Israel, are also easy targets as well.

The statements made by Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh may be an upping of the rhetoric, after what are seen by some in the West as “failed” talks to end the Iranian nuclear conflict, but sources knowledgeable about Iran’s military capabilities say that there may in fact be reason for concern.

Moscow believes some progress was made at the recently held talks in the Russian capital but the U.S. and Israel have stated that there is no more use for diplomacy, meaning that they may be preparing for another military invasion.

For the U.S. Iran’s statements may be their second greatest fear, invading a country that has enough teeth to strike back and do significant damage to its forces and interests. Proof of this can be seen in its military “adventures” in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, an attempt on pressuring Korea and next up in Syria.

Iraq and Libya, for their part, worked with the U.S. and agreed to disarm. Those two countries both agreed to the U.S. terms and attempted to appease the U.S. to rid themselves of sanctions etc. but instead they were eventually invaded, decimated and had their leaders killed.

Afghanistan was seen as easy prey and a primitive country that was living in the Middle Ages and the U.S. believed they would go and wipe everybody out and be out of there in a matter of months, never once looking at the lessons to be learned by the Soviet Union’s operations in the country.

Korea was also supposed to submit in the same way as Iraq and Libya did but decided on its own course and has been for the most part left alone. Iran has also refused to acquiesce to U.S. demands and instead of disarming, stopping its nuclear program and bowing to western demands has done the opposite and has armed itself to the teeth preparing for war against a superior opponent.

Unfortunately for the West this is the now the case and they have no one to blame except themselves. After seeing what happened in Iraq and Libya, and with all of the meddling the U.S. has been up to in the Middle East there are few countries who would dare to disarm for fear of being stabbed in the back and invaded.

Iran has also promised to close the Strait of Hormuz saying that U.S. warships would be easy targets. According to the WND website, citing their own sources, the Iranians are prepared to use an asymmetrical warfare tactic against warships that they called “swarming”, that is using up to 150 small fast and maneuverable boats that can be loaded with missiles or suicide bombers all coming from different directions and quite literally swarming down on U.S. warships.

At the beginning of this piece I mentioned the U.S. second biggest fear, but what is the first? The first and foremost we saw on 9-11, regardless on whom you blame for its planning, and that is an attack on U.S. soil. America is comfortable bombing and invading small, more or less defenseless countries on the other side of the world and this has even become a popular point with American voters, which we saw with regards to the former Yugoslavia.

Will America back off on Iran if it believes it will suffer massive losses? Or will it take the threat of a symmetrical attack on U.S. soil to finally convince the West that peaceful dialogue, mutual respect and diplomacy are the best ways to get along with the rest of the world?

Why does the West feel the need to recreate the planet in its own image? The world is full of countries, peoples and cultures that have their own rich heritages, customs and beliefs, things that can be shared, learned from, and which should be respected.

After World War II the United Nations was created and it was supposed to be the place where differences could be worked out and where we could discuss mutually important issues in an atmosphere of shared respect and as equals. Never again was the world supposed to allow one country to dominate it and subjugate it as Hitler had attempted to do.

So why are we allowing the U.S. to do so in the name of Democracy or humanitarian intervention or security? Iran has decided to stand up against what they know to be a superior force. I know I may sound completely naïve in saying this but why can’t we respect each other, assist each other and just get along?

You may blame Iran and say they have no right to arm themselves, you may say they are a threat to world peace, but in reality they have been pushed into a corner and they feel their country and their existence is under threat. Why is it that only the West can arm itself to the teeth and subjugate the world?

Jar2

4 July 2012, 17:25

"US cutting support for the elderly is a dangerous and nearsighted decision"

John Robles

For senior citizens life in America can be very difficult. The combination of the high cost of living, exorbitant medical care costs and limited social support coupled with decreased mobility, isolation and greater needs makes it close to impossible for many seniors to live full and normal lives.

Sadly assistance and budgeting for seniors is not enshrined in U.S. law but is now the subject of political tennis as budget cuts affecting the level of benefits seniors receive is unfortunately a subject for negotiation.

The main law in the U.S. under which funding is provided for seniors, the Older Americans Act, expired at the end of the 2011 Fiscal Year, yet the U.S. Congress has continued to provide funding for programs under the act.

On January 26, 2012, the Older Americans Act Amendments of 2012 were introduced and were supposed to make changes and continue authorization of the Older Americans Act something which in the past has been done for five year periods. The current bill would extend the authorization of appropriations for most Older American Act programs through FY2017. Yet the current bill has become bogged down with some predicting it passing sometime next year.

Due to the fact that the Older Americans Act is classified as a discretionary program the House and Senate Appropriations Committees is now including it as an area where necessary budget cuts can be made, unfortunately these cuts have a direct impact on the quality of life of seniors.

One area that affects seniors and one program that many American Seniors and caregivers depend on is the meals on wheels program. For many seniors this program provides them with the only hot meal they receive a day. For care providers the meals on wheels program also provides for a means to regularly check on the health and welfare of shut in and isolated seniors.

Food insecurity is a large problem for U.S. seniors and the hardest hit are mostly Black and Latino seniors. Through no fault of their own seniors often require special diets for medical reasons and their incomes are often not enough to pay for food. Programs such as food banks or meals programs at senior centers are often used by seniors and provide many of them with the means to survive.

According to the website Feeding America org there are almost 4 million American seniors who are food insecure. This is due to the high cost of living, fixed incomes with no cost of living adjustments, high medical costs and other factors. These factors often cause seniors to have to choose between eating or paying for healthcare or housing or other basic needs.

Another area to which $700 billion in funding cuts is being proposed is the Medicaid program which provides a small level of medical support for the elderly, the poor and those making smaller salaries.

Some Americans deride social programs, such as they did with Social Security, calling them a step toward socialism, but for many older Americans who worked all of their lives and counted on these programs, cutting their funding or the funding of programs they support is like a slap in the face.

Another area that the Federal Government has proposed cuts to is the Food Stamp program, a program that allows many of the elderly, disabled, poor and for many veterans as well, to eat. The program comes under a larger U.S. farm bill and includes cuts in the amount of $45 billion dollars, which will leave almost a million people with almost $100 less every month to buy food.

In most modern countries social assistance for the elderly and social programs in general are seen as part of the overall system of assistance that the citizenry fund through taxes and are seen as part of their responsibility to their country and their fellow citizens.

For the U.S. on the other hand most responsibility for all social needs including health care, costs associated with bringing up a child, costs associated with job loss, medical problems, disability, housing and more are considered the responsibility of the individual. Of all of these none are considered a right and all are areas where a profit is to be had.

In any society seniors should be protected, honored and supported as it is their work and struggles that have made our lives possible. If a country forgets their seniors, what future can they expect for themselves?

Jar2

4 July 2012, 11:58

Flaws in US General Electric Reactors: Japan Starts Up After Fukushima

John Robles

Japan has restarted its first nuclear reactor since the country shut down all of its reactors amid safety concerns after the Fukushima disaster. On Sunday the Kansai Electric Power Company restarted the no. 3 unit at the Ohi nuclear power plant. With the No.4 unit scheduled to go back on-line later in July.

The decision to start up the reactor was made despite widespread protests and the fact that approximately 70% of Japanese want the government to prohibit the use of nuclear power indefinitely.

According to NHK some 7,000 protesters marched through Tokyo in opposition to the planned restart and to nuclear power, calling for a ban on nuclear power production.

The Ohi nuclear power plant uses pressurized water reactors (PWR) unlike those that melted down at Fukushima, which were boiling water reactors (BWR). They are both classified as light water nuclear reactors. The main difference between a BWR and PWR is that in a BWR, the reactor core heats water, which turns to steam and then drives a steam turbine.

In a PWR, the reactor core heats pressurized water which does not boil but does reach the boiling point. This hot water then exchanges heat with a lower pressure water system, which does in fact boil and turns to steam to drive the turbine.

The BWR was developed in the U.S. by the Idaho National Laboratory and General Electric in the mid-1950s.

The particular model used at Fukushima had inherent design flaws in the containment structure from the outset and engineers predicted the exact scenario that happened at Fukushima.

The General Electric Corporation began constructing the Mark-1 BWR reactors in the 1960s, claiming that they were cheaper and easier to build in part because they used a smaller and less expensive containment structure, and this is where the main problems lie.

A fact sheet published from the anti-nuclear advocacy group Nuclear Information and Resource Service, which is available on the internet, details problems with the design and states that in 1972 an Atomic Energy Commission member, Dr. Stephen Hanuaer, recommended that this type of system be discontinued.

More questions arose about the design in the mid-1980s, after Nuclear Regulatory Commission official Harold Denton stated that the Mark-1 reactors had; “…a 90 percent probability of bursting should the fuel rods overheat and melt in an accident.”

Thirty-five years ago, while reviewing the design for the Mark-1, Nuclear Engineers Dale G. Bridenbaugh and two of his colleagues at General Electric were pressured into okaying the designs for the Mark-1 and were forced to resign after becoming convinced that the Mark 1 was so flawed it could lead to a catastrophe.

The key issue in this piece is, and there is very little detailed information out there on the subject, how many of Japan’s nuclear power plants run the G-E BWR Mark-1 reactors. All of the Fukushima reactors used the Mark 1 containment system while the sixth had the upgraded to Mark 2 system.

Below is a list of all Japanese ВRW reactors.

Reactor Location Type Containment Rating Status Operator

Fukushima I-1 Futaba, Fukushima BWR 439 Meltdown/exploded March 2011 TEPCO

Fukushima I-2 BWR Mark I 760 Meltdown March 2011 TEPCO

Fukushima I-3 BWR Mark I 760 Meltdown/exploded March 2011 TEPCO

Fukushima I-4 BWR Mark I 760 Meltdown/exploded March 2011 TEPCO

Fukushima I-5 BWR Mark I 760 Operational April 18, 1978 TEPCO

Fukushima I-6 BWR Mark II 1067 Operational October 1979 TEPCO

Fukushima II-1 BWR Mark II 1067 Operational April 1982 TEPCO

Fukushima II-2 BWR Mark II A 1067 Operational February 1984 TEPCO

Fukushima II-3 BWR Mark II A 1067 Operational June 1985 TEPCO

Fukushima II-4 BWR Mark II A 1067 Operational August 1987 TEPCO

Genkai-1 PWR 529 Operational October 1975 Kyūshū Electric

Hamaoka-1 BWR 515 Operational March 1976 Chūbu Electric

Hamaoka-2 BWR 806 Operational November 1978 Chūbu Electric

Hamaoka-3 BWR-5 1056 Operational August 1987 Chūbu Electric

Hamaoka-4 BWR-5 1092 Operational September 1993 Chūbu Electric

Higashidōri-1 BWR 1067 Operational December 2005 Tōhoku Electric

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa-1 BWR 1067 Operational September 1985 TEPCO

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa-2 BWR 1067 Operational September 1990 TEPCO

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa-3 BWR 1067 Operational August 1993 TEPCO

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa-4 BWR 1067 Operational August 1994 TEPCO

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa-5 BWR 1067 Operational April 1990 TEPCO

Onagawa-1 BWR 498 Operational June 1984 Tōhoku Electric

Onagawa-2 BWR 796 Operational July 1995 Tōhoku Electric

Onagawa-3 BWR 798 Operational January 2002 Tōhoku Electric

Shika-1 BWR 505 Operational July 1993 RIKUDEN

Tōkai-2 BWR 1056 Operational November 1978 JAPC

Tsuruga-1 BWR 341 Operational March 1970 JAPC

JPDR-II BWR 13 1963–1982

Maybe it is time that all of these reactors were upgraded or shut down. Most have been on-line since the 1970s, and it is doubtful they become safer with time.

The opinions and views expressed here are the writer’s own.

Jar2

4 July 2012, 11:58

Occupy

Update on Occupy movement

John Robles

Occupy Movement is it is an international movement against social and economic inequality. Below you will find a quick summary of what is going on in the Occupy Movement.

I have been covering the Occupy Movement since the very beginning with my first interviewee being Bill Csapo from Occupy Wall Street back on September 17th of last year. Since then I have spoken and interviewed “Occupiers” from almost every major Occupation. Below you will find a quick summary of what is going on in the Occupy Movement. Unfortunately it appears that after the Chicago NATO crack down the movement has grown quieter.

In case you are not aware as to what the Occupy Movement is it is an international movement against social and economic inequality. Different groups have different foci, but among the primary concerns is the claim that large corporations and the global financial system control the world, and the 99%, in a way that benefits the minority, the 1%, and undermines democracy leading to instability

Occupy Chicago

After months of organizing, Occupy Evanston managed to secure an Evanston City Council meeting on divesting from Chase bank. At the City council meeting this Monday, City Council members unanimously authorized the city manager to issue a request for proposals for a local bank that could replace Chase.

Chicago anti NATO protestors remain locked up, according to them; because Mayor 1% Rahm Emanuel and Chief Garry McCarthy needed to justify police harassment, intimidation, brutality, and repression leading up to the NATO Summit. Brian Church, Jared Chase, Brent Betterly, Sebastian Senakiewicz and Mark Neiweem are all being held in Cook County.

Occupy National Gathering

Currently taking place in Washington D.C.

The Occupy National Gathering kicked off on June 30th, 2012 with workshops, speakers, and a march against corporate personhood, making stops at Wells Fargo to protest racist predatory lending, Fox News to confront corporate profit at the expense of the peoples' airwaves, and ended with an attempt to set up a space away from Independence Mall, in a park behind the Second Bank of the United States, located at 4th and Chestnut. This was promptly, and brutally, followed by a National Park Service raid, which included the assistance of the Philadelphia police department, on approximately 150-200 people peacefully assembled for a redress of political grievances. The raid resulted in one arrest.

“Occupy” Greece

Claims that Greek Democracy was re-invented on June 17th .

Inter Occupy

InterOccupy Statement on NATO Protests

The protests in Chicago show that Occupy is a network committed to social change through direct action. Arguably, the policies of NATO benefit Americans the most, so to march against NATO in America is a very strong statement against war and how it perpetuates uneven capitalist development. At NATO, the rich and powerful decide which countries to invade.

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Minneapolis

June 27th, 2012

General Assembly & All Committees Meeting scheduled. The General Assembly is to decide on whether to, and to what degree to support the caravans and the national gathering happening in Philadelphia on July 4.

Occupy Oakland

The 1st General Assembly of Occupy Oakland in the month of July was on Sunday, and there were a number of proposals being put forth, such as:

1. The proposal to endorse and help organize the Occupy Oakland Liberate Everything Conference this summer, geared towards providing a more radical tone and communicating the unique perspective of Occupy Oakland to others and the world,

2. A proposal to jointly plan an Occupy Oakland July 4th action of some sort or another

3. A proposal to deal with the (rather glaring) issue of quorom

The Occupy Caravan plan is officially launched!

Kicks off June 11 from Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles and will travel three routes across America on their way to Philadelphia for the five-day Occupy National Gathering that ends July 4 on Independence Mall.

At each stop, cities will be organizing events to welcome the Caravan which brings with it musicians, speakers and performers -- a traveling democratic road show that educates as it entertains!

Feed-in caravans will be joining along the way, and celebrations are scheduled in half a dozen Hub cities.

Occupy Arrests

As of June 21, 2012 there have been 7,308 arrests of Occupiers in 116 different cities.

Source: Various Occupy web-sites

Jar2

4 July 2012, 10:00

Syria Update: Syrian "Opposition" Rejects Kofi Annan Peace Plan

John Robles

The Syrian Government has agreed to the Kofi Annan peace plan. Why won’t the armed “opposition”? Let’s pause for a minute and look Kofi Annan’s peace plan and at exactly what the Syrian “opposition” is so opposed to.

We have seen it all before and it is becoming so obvious that one would have to live in a cave under a rock to not have noticed it, or one would have to take the words of the U.S. through its international spokesperson Hillary Clinton at face value. If you tell a lie and it is big enough and you repeat it enough the people will believe it. During the Bush years it was the key tool of the U.S. on the American public, now it has been exported, and as America continues to attempt to take over the world on every front, the entire world is now being subjugated to the “big lie”.

Hillary Clinton just can’t seem to get enough of making provocative if not factually challenged statements about Russia, but wait I am getting ahead of myself. What it is that we have seen before is what has become the standard modus-operandi of the United States in invading countries and raping their resources. Make a lot of noise about a humanitarian crisis and if one does not exist make it up or create it (lie 1), make sure the country can not fight back, force them to disarm (Iraq, Libya, Iran and now Syria) or get rid of their defensive weapons (lie 2), if needed arm the opposition in the country no matter who they are and deny it (lie 3), create a reason for a military invasion, this can be weapons of mass destruction, implementing a no-fly zone, etc. (lie 4), take control of an needed resources through front companies, planted officials and the like (lie 5), and make millions on reconstruction of the countries they destroy, for the good of the people of course (lie 6).

Now let’s look at the latest lie by Hilarity Clinton, I do not mean to be disrespectful but how can you not laugh at some of the utterly hilarious things she says; “…we came, we saw, he died.” Outrageousness! This time Clinton continues in the same vein that Russia is arming the Assad regime to kill the poor demonstrators. And of course it must stop and of course it is up to the great world’s policeman to come in and blow the hell out of everything in the country (and pillage of course and rebuild no doubt). Which they can not do yet because guess what? Russia has been selling defensive weapons to Syria. I repeat defensive. Defensive. Defensive. Defensive.

Now in reality Clinton knows this, just like she knows Russia was fulfilling contract obligations when supplying and servicing Syrian transport helicopters, something we talked about recently. Comments she was forced to take back, by the way. But the U.S. needs to make sure that Syria can not fight back before they invade it (Was recent F-4 downing a test case?). It is a cowardly strategy, just like the use of drones controlled from the comfort of some bunker in California, by some guy who doesn’t even have to make sure who he is killing. So Clinton will keep up the big lie about Russia arming the evil Syrian government, whilst her CIA is running arms to the Syrian opposition and importing terrorists into the country to continue the violence and the killing of Syrian civilians.

The Interfax News Agency recently reported that Clinton said it was important that Russia stopped providing Damascus with weapons. She stressed it was of uttermost importance to cut off the arms supply to the Assad regime and continues to ignore Russian claims that none of the weapons it has been ferrying to Syria are used to crack down on protests, saying the US was of a different opinion. Of course you have a different opinion Madam Secretary of State, this does not fit into your prepared scenario, and any weapons of the defensive type must be gotten rid of because the U.S. needs to be able to go in, wipe out the country and suffer no casualties, otherwise the voters back in Iowa might get upset when their boys start coming home in body bags and all of those involved in launching another unprovoked war might have to answer for their deeds.

Given that we know that the U.S. is just itching to launch an attack on Syria, and continue their damn-it-all-cowboy-diplomacy of shoot first and get paid for the clean up later, given that we know that the CIA is backing, funding, and arming the Syrian opposition, it is not surprising that said “opposition”, if you can call armed insurgents, mercenaries and imported terrorists that, have now, lo-and-behold, refused to enter into peace talks and are complaining that participants in the Cairo conference “reject any idea of armed interference to save the people”. This does not fit into U.S. plans for an invasion and they will not rest until they see Bashar Assad brutally murdered, like they did with Hussein, Gadaffi, Milosevic and others.

Let’s pause for a minute and look Kofi Annan’s peace plan and at exactly what the Syrian “opposition” is so opposed to. The text of the six-point plan:

(1) commit to work with the Envoy in an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people, and, to this end, commit to appoint an empowered interlocutor when invited to do so by the Envoy;

(2) commit to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians and stabilize the country.

To this end, the Syrian government should immediately cease troop movements towards, and end the use of heavy weapons in, population centers, and begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centers.

As these actions are being taken on the ground, the Syrian government should work with the Envoy to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism.

Similar commitments would be sought by the Envoy from the opposition and all relevant elements to stop the fighting and work with him to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism;

(3) ensure timely provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting, and to this end, as immediate steps, to accept and implement a daily two hour humanitarian pause and to coordinate exact time and modalities of the daily pause through an efficient mechanism, including at local level;

(4) intensify the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons, including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities, provide without delay through appropriate channels a list of all places in which such persons are being detained, immediately begin organizing access to such locations and through appropriate channels respond promptly to all written requests for information, access or release regarding such persons;

(5) ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists and a non-discriminatory visa policy for them;

(6) respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.

The Syrian Government has agreed to the plan. Why won’t the armed “opposition”?

In an interview with Bloomberg Clinton was asked about article 7 of the UN Charter to which she replied; “…if Kofi Annan comes to the Security Council and reports to us that the government’s not cooperating, that other parties are not cooperating (Does she mean the U.S. will go in and stop the armed insurgents?), that he’s not making progress. Then I think we will have to act.” Chapter 7 of the UN Charter also authorizes implementation of military force to ward off any threat to the global peace.

Very interesting, the single most dangerous country in the world today and the single greatest threat to world peace is the U.S. and their plans for global domination, (The Project for the New American Century anyone?) Article 7in reality could be applied to the U.S. if the world gets together and in the name of world peace rid these homicidal lunatics of their weapons of mass “humanitarian intervention.

Jar2

3 July 2012, 11:03  2 July 2012, 16:28

Why isn’t the U.S. Government going after those guilty of the crimes exposed by Wikileaks? Why are they going after the whistle-blowers and not the criminals that they have exposed? The letter below by Julian’s mother Christine Assange may shed more light on the case.

There have been many bad things written about Julian Assange and Wikileaks and these have grown even more frequent with his request for political asylum in Ecuador. Like many fighters for the truth on the internet, at the beginning I myself was skeptical, for years I had run a similar site, what you might classify as a “whistle-blower website”, along with hundreds if not thousands of others that sprung up after 9-11, and was in contact with dozens of other like-minded individuals.

The problem we had with Wikileaks was the amount of money he was attempting to raise. This cast a shadow on the independence of the resource. For example my site has never, in nine years of operation made me a cent, quite the opposite in fact, and has caused me countless problems and cost me a ton of money, but I have never received a dime from anyone therefore no one has influence on its contents other than myself and I can truthfully call it independent and free.

Looking back at the sheer size and the impact that Wikileaks has had on the world, and in light of the fact that its co-founder, yes there was another individual who founded Wikileaks along with Assange, has been forced to seek political asylum and has been persecuted for so long, this whole argument begs a re-thinking if not a redaction.

Although at the beginning Wikileaks was not transparent in declaring its expenses and in stating where the hundreds of thousands of dollars it had been seeking was going, this has become a mute point in light of the current state of affairs. However I would advise Wikileaks to be more transparent and open when it attempts to raise funds in the future.

During the past few weeks I have talked to many people closely associated with Julian and Wikileaks, and the more I learn, the more I understand that these are people who are sincere in their attempts to get the truth out and to have those criminals who have been turned the world into their own kill-and-destroy-for-a-buck-playing-field, for over a decade, held accountable for their crimes against each and every one of us, their blatant and clear crimes against humanity.

The pressing and urgent question that the world should be asking and which seems to be getting lost in all of the attention be poured on Julian and Wikileaks, is quite simple yet a question that few dare to ask. Why? Are they afraid? That question is: Why isn’t the U.S. Government going after those guilty of the crimes exposed by Wikileaks? Why are they going after the whistle-blowers and not the criminals that they have exposed?

The letter below by Julian’s mother Christine Assange may shed more light on the case:

Open letter to the Australian people from Christine Assange – mother of Julian Assange

There have been many public statements made about WikiLeaks and its Editor-in-chief Julian Assange that are factually inaccurate.

For example, Prime Minister Julia Gillard: "It's illegal." Attorney General Nicola Roxon: "He fled Sweden" and the media generally: "Assange is charged/facing charges" (in relation to Swedish sex allegations).

Some of these inaccurate statements are due to misinformation, but others are designed to smear Julian, to erode his public support, to discredit WikiLeaks work and to prevent the further publishing of uncomfortable truths.

Many Australians including leading lawyers, academics and journalists believe WikiLeaks is a legitimate, ethical and courageous media organisation, and that Julian is an innocent man; a political prisoner persecuted for exposing the US Government and its big corporations for the complicity in war crimes, fraud and corruption, exploitation of the third world, bullying and diplomatic manipulation in other countries, lying to the public and other shady dealings.

They were appalled as the Australian Government stood by in silence as furious US politicians and commentators called for the brutal murder of my son. The Australian Government stood silent when Julian's personal bank accounts were frozen and the US Government cut off 95 per cent of WikiLeaks funding by pressuring credit card companies to refuse to process voluntary donations (this was despite the fact that the US Treasury stated there was no reason to blacklist WikiLeaks).

They are deeply concerned that the Government refuses to protest against the many documented abuses of Julian's legal and human rights in the Swedish extradition case or his right to a fair legal process in an imminent US extradition application.

Moreover, many feel his treatment signifies other wider concerns that the Australian Government has become an echo chamber of the US Government and US big business, which is increasingly dictating Australian policy and new legislation against the interests of Australian security, the privacy and civil rights of Australian citizens, Australian businesses and Australian democracy.

I implore you as a mother and urge you as an Australian citizen to look at the facts I have listed below and to make up your own mind.

Included at the end are links to more factual information, what we are asking the Australian Government to do to protect Julian and some actions you may take to support Julian's right to justice.

Thanking you,

Christine Assange

At the end of her letter she lists some facts in the case. Too many to list all of them here but here are the main points and they deserve proper consideration by all.

FACTS

PLEASE NOTE: Julian has not been charged by Sweden regarding the sex allegations, or by any other country in the world in relation to his work at

1) Sam Adams Award 2010: Julian Assange was unanimously awarded to Julian Assange for "Integrity and Intelligence" for the release of the Afghan War Diaries and Iraq war logs by a panel of senior US military and intelligence officers (ret.).

2) 2011 Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism ; "Today journalists and editors around the world are concerned about the attacks on WikiLeaks. This is an issue of the freedom of the press, people have a right to information through the opportunities provided by the web, and journalists remain ready to fight for the principle of exposure journalism".

3) WikiLeaks acts in accordance with traditional journalism.

4) WikiLeaks redacts its documents; so to date not one person has been physically harmed by its publications.

5) WikiLeaks has a perfect record with information reliability. No Government has denied authenticity of any documents.

6) After the Afghan War Diary release 25/7/10 Julian visited Sweden to obtain residency and base WikiLeaks there. The US was aware of more WikiLeaks releases to come and wrote threatening letters. Julian was warned of entrapment plans.

7) Woman A.A. invited Julian to speak in Sweden at a seminar about Afghanistan in mid-August 2010. Woman S.W. stated she went to the seminar to meet Julian. Both women have stated to the police and media that sex was consensual and non-violent. Exculpatory evidence (texts to friends) show women had no complaints regarding sex until finding out about each other and 100+ texts between A.A. and S.W. speak of revenge, making money and ruining Julian's reputation by going to the press.

8) Woman S.W. was so upset police were going to allege rape she does not finish her interview or sign her witness statement, which was then altered again without her consent. She stated she felt railroaded into making a complaint.

9) In Sweden, consensual non-violent sex can be legally defined as rape.

10) Contrary to Swedish police procedure the women's interviews were not video or audio taped and the first prosecutor, Maria Haljebo-Kjellstrand, unlawfully told the press Julian was wanted for rape. Julian was not interviewed or informed he found out in the tabloid newspaper Expressen that he was, "Being hunted down for double rape". Within hours, there were millions of website hits for Assange plus rape, causing irreparable harm to Julian's reputation.

11) The next day after reviewing the file, Stockholm's chief prosecutor Eva Finne threw out the rape allegation. "I consider there are no grounds for suspecting he has committed rape," she said.

12) For the last three years, the political advisor to the Swedish Prime Minister has been Karl Rove, a notorious, disgraced former Bush administration advisor who orchestrated vicious smear campaigns against political opponents. Karl Rove is a personal friend of the Swedish Prime Minister Fredrick Reinfeldt and of the Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt.

13) Sweden has close ties to the US and was the major arms supplier to the US-Iraq War.

14) Around a week after the dropping of the rape allegation by the chief prosecutor, a politician/lawyer named Claes Borgstrom appealed the decision. Claes Borgstrom and his business partner Thomas Bodstrom run a thriving legal practice based on representing claimants in sex cases.

15) Woman A.A., Irmeli Krans (interrogating police officer of woman S.W.) and both Borgstrom and Bodtsrom are members of the Swedish Social Democrat Party. They all stood together for elections at the same time, one month after the sex allegations were made against Julian, with one of the platforms being widening the definition of rape within consensual sex.

16) Woman A.A. produced new evidence for the appeal. She submitted a condom which she states Julian tore deliberately. Forensic tests showed there was no DNA evidence in the condom from either Julian or herself.

17) Julian was not informed of the appeal and had no chance to make a submission the appeal was successful.

18) Julian remained in Sweden for five weeks seeking an interview with the new prosecutor Marianne Ny. She made excuses not to interview him and gave him permission to leave Sweden for business on September 15th (meeting with Cablegate media partners). He offered to fly back into Sweden for interview on October 9 or 10. Ny refused because it was a weekend. He offered to fly back on October 11th Ny refused because it was too far away.

19) During October and November Julian stayed at the journalist's club in the UK preparing for the release of the US diplomatic cables (Cablegate). During this period, he offered to be interviewed by Marianne Ny via the normal protocol for this situation called Mutual Legal Assistance, (MLA), (via Skype, phone or videolink), Marianne Ny refused all offers.

20) Around the time of the release of Cablegate in late November, Marianne Ny issued a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for questioning stating that Julian had fled the country and a public Interpol Red Notice for his arrest.

21) For the entire 16 months that Julian has been under house arrest in the UK, Marianne Ny has refused all his offers to be interviewed at the Swedish Embassy or in Scotland Yard.

22) Marianne Ny has misled the Swedish and UK public by stating that she was legally not allowed to interview Julian by mutual legal assistance or in the UK.

23) Many legal people investigating the case are of the opinion that the Swedish extradition case is not bona fide but merely a holding case awaiting a US extradition.

24) The European arrest warrant is only supposed to be issued for prosecution not for questioning. Under the terms of the European Arrest Warrant, no allegations can be tested (including the sex allegations against Julian).

25) The European Arrest Warrant was initially meant for the fast-track extradition of bona-fide terrorists but has been misused. It has been subject to much criticism since its inception as it results in the abuse of many citizens legal and human rights (1000 people a month extradited from the UK).

Thank you to Christine Assange for allowing us to publish her letter.

The views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of the author or the Voice of Russia.
Read more: http://sputniknews.com/voiceofrussia/2012_07_02/79993635/

2 July 2012, 16:28

Letter to Ecuadorian President in support of Assange 

Mary Kostakidis

Mary Kostakidis is a 20 year international TV news anchor, a freelance journalist, has conducted a study on the protection of human rights for the Australian government and has written a letter in support of Julian Assange to the Ecuadorian president.

Hello, this is John Robles. I am speaking with Mary Kostakidis, she was a former anchor for SBS World News in Australia. She conducted an inquiry into the protection of human rights and the promotion of human rights in Australia for the Australian government. She is also a freelance journalist.

Greeting

 

1 July 2012, 15:20

Jar2

31 August 2012, 18:57

RNC Unified the People Against a Common Enemy

John Robles

The Republican National Convention will soon be history but the resonance of what occurred in Tampa may live on for a long time. For the first time in decades, police and protestors have found a common ground and mutual respect. Something the elites who met to plan their divisive foreign and internal policies and to continue and expand the influence of their party of exclusion, cannot be at all happy about.

There are still a few people out there who have not forgotten the plethora of crimes committed by the Republican Administration of George Bush even though many people who questioned 9-11 and the aggressive wars launched by the U.S. against countries that had nothing to do with it have been marginalized and written off to obscurity, some are still able to make themselves heard and are still fighting for those responsible for everything from Guantanamo to the Bush torture program to be brought to justice.

Although a majority of the American people are too scared to stand up and protest, there is a growing number of Americans who feel they have nothing to lose and that it is time to take their country back from the rich elites who have gutted the American dream for the many and have destroyed the image of the U.S. worldwide.

Many Americans are waking up and realizing that there is no real Democracy in the United States and that both parties are exactly the same. Despite this the U.S. Republican Party has classically and unapologetically been the party for rich white elitists and has now become the focus of protests by protest groups and the majority of Americans who are truly suffering.

One of these groups, Code Pink an anti-war group composed mainly of women, which has been attempting to make citizen’s arrests of various members of the previous US Administration under George Bush for years, due to the lack of legal entities who are willing to bring charges against the entrenched mostly former officials, has come out in force at the RNC Convention in Tampa Florida.

Code Pink’s methods may seem to be questionable and some might say even outrageous, but they are effective in getting attention and then using the attention to get their message out, in particular attempting to stage what is called in the US: a “citizen’s arrest.”

Along with the Occupy Movement and over 40 other protest groups, they descended on the “Convention of the Elites” who gathered in Tampa to select an already chosen candidate, enjoy looking at beautiful women stripping in front of them, listen to speeches and planning policy demonizing Russia and other “evil” countries and to pat each other on the backs and tell each other how wonderful they are.

Code Pink has been the most active at the RNC, for example at a speaking engagement tied to the Republican National Convention, members of Code Pink organized a protest outside of the venue while Rice was speaking inside. The protestors carried handcuffs and said they had come to arrest the former Secretary of State for war crimes.

The Co-Director of Code Pink Rae Abileah and Code Pink Member Colonel Ann Wright, US Army Retired, managed to enter the building where Rice was holding her speaking engagement and disrupt her speech regarding “compassion”.

At the beginning of the speech the Colonel stood up and began shouting the phrase: "You cannot be compassionate and kill people in the war of choice, the war in Iraq!”. Then Ms. Abileah stood up and shouted, “The blood of Iraqi children is on your hands!” Guard then escorted the women from the building.

 Code Pink later confirmed on Twitter that the activists tried to prevent Condoleezza Rice from making political speeches.

The group also managed to pull off one of the most successful disruptions of their 10 year existence by infiltrating and getting through the intense security of the Republican National Convention and disrupting a speech by the vice presidential contender Paul Ryan.

The group also heckled Rick Santorum pulling off more than the Occupy Movement and the other protest groups who had also gathered to protest at the RNC. According to Code Pink they have: “…become famous for confronting the warmongers, whether in the halls and hearing rooms of Congress, the national conventions of both the Republicans and Democrats, George Bush's fundraisers, the publicity tours of Karl Rove, Condi Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and others and even at Nancy Pelosi's house.”

Code Pink has compiled a long list of Bush era war criminals, available on their site which includes Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Stanley McChrystal, George Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Karl Rove, John Bolton, Michael Chertoff, John Ashcroft, I. Lewis Libby, Alberto Gonzales, John Yoo, Dick Cheney and George Tenet. They are calling for the arrests of all of the aforementioned and more and according to Tighe Barry, the actor and a Code Pink activist in an interview with the Voice of Russia the group has approached and attempt tp carry out citizen’s arrest on all of the individuals on their list.

Although the group is active regarding some of the most serious issues of our times, their tactics, such as the wearing of costumes designed to look like female genitalia, some say does not help their credibility and is actually insulting to women, others say this helps them get attention.

An organizer with Occupy the RNC, a local group which is assisting and coordinating with all of the groups that have come to protest the RNC, including Occupiers from all over the U.S., said there have been few if any incidents of violence between the peaceful protestors and the police. The organizer, Amos Miers, even said that on Thursday the Occupiers at the Occupy camp had run out of food and water and the Tampa Police themselves brought the Occupiers dozens of cases of food and fruit and dozens of bottles of water.

Code Pink activist Tighe Barry also had many kind words for the police who are reported to have been prepared for the worst, and who he said behaved professionally and without the use of violence or excessive force.

Miers said that according to police they had been told that they would be going up against violent anarchists and violent protestors and that the police were surprised at the peaceful and gentle nature of the Occupiers and the other protestors.

The Republican National Convention is coming to a close, and barring last minute and unexpected events, the RNC has accomplished one thing, for the first time in recent memory, the so called 99% have been looked after and have even found common ground with the police and the authorities, who until now appeared to be solely the servants of the 1%.

 Jar2

31 August 2012, 15:46

Resist RNC: Protesting Dems and GOP

Amos Miers

Download audio file

Amos Miers, an Organizer with Resist RNC in the US, shares his group’s ideas and explains why they are protesting against Republicans at the Republican National Convention. Miers says that instead of working for the people, both parties are working for special interests, so it doesn’t really matter for Resist RNC who’s going to win – the Democrats or Republicans.

http://m.ruvr.ru/2012/08/31/1287311711/amos.jpg

What are the main reasons and what are the main points of the Republican agenda that have caused the Occupy Movement and your movement and other protest groups to protest the RNC Convention there?

We're actually protesting the Republicans and Democrats, we're protesting the fact that the two parties aren’t representing the people at all. Without getting into the fine points, the fundamental message is that neither party is representing the people and they're actually duopolies that are beholden to corporate interests and we are trying to get our government back.

Are the Occupiers there? And your organization, are there people involved from all over the country? What’s your relationship with the Occupy Movement and with CODEPINK and with the other protest groups?

There's over forty groups that have endorsed us and endorsed our message. And our main role at this event, we're local here in Tampa, and our main function is to provide support and logistics for the protestors so that they have a safe place to be, that they have food and water, rest rooms, and things like that. Also sleeping arrangements in our camp. So we support all the messengers that are coming and provide them with all the information on where to go and where all the locations are for them of protest. Our relationship with CODEPINK and Occupy Wall Street: we coordinate with their organizers, more so with Occupy Wall Street – a lot of their people are encamped in our location, Camp Romneyville, there's about 80 of them sleeping in our camp.

How many Occupiers are there? And how many protesters overall are there, right now, in Tampa by your estimate?

I think the largest that we’ve seen is thousand people, but tere's only a few hundred currently around Tampa. A little bit larger today because there were a lot of actions, they went over to a power plant and blockaded the power plant., but this year, for a wide range of reasons this was an extremely low turn-out. It almost became a non event. but the reason that - I think there's several reason why we had such a low turnout- one, ah, there’s a lot of infiltration in the groups. With the federal government, there’re a lot of provocateurs that keep groups fighting amongst each other. And then on top of that there’s a lot of fear put out about what the cops are willing to do with this RNC. There's a heavily-militarized-police state environment. Beyond that there was a storm that came through and it scared a lot of people because when a lot of the protesters come, they use a campout, they don’t have means to stay in hotels like the Republicans do. So usually at a protest like this we encamp, and so, the storm scares people off! But beyond that, you know, people in this country are struggling, most of the protesters fighting are now waging, you know, fighting for peace and fighting for justice, and they're struggling. They're on pay check away from becoming homeless themselves. So a trip like this: it's a pretty far distance, you know it's really far south, the South-East corner of the US. It’s a long drive. And the resources are very low. we're in dire straights in this country.

Expanding on that topic. Do you see things are getting better or worse if Republicans come to power?

I think worse. But, to be honest, most of us don’t believe there’s a difference. We believe it's a soap-opera made for people. Yes, there’s a philosophy in the Democratic Party and there's a different philosophy in the Republican Party and Americans argue about the differences, but most of us are seeing that it's a staged event, and all they do: it's the same deck of cards that they reshuffle ever four years and instead of working for the people, they’re working for special interests, so it doesn’t really matter to us who’s in a Democrat or Republican because they’re controlled from the first moment they step into office, so we still see that there’s an agenda being laid down to bring our country to a fascist state and whether it’s Mitt Romney or Obama it’s going to be the same.

Reminder

Who do you think is behind that agenda? Is there some secret group or is it large corporations? Who would you say is behind all that?

There’s an extremely ultra-elite wealthy group of people that run the world and there's some of them that are known, some of them are unknown and corporations themselves. So a little bit of both so when we call it “the 1%”, we’re really saying that the 1% of the people that are controlling the rest of the planet, we're really heavily in this country anyway. And it’s been that way since before the country was founded. When we read the true history of the United States, we find out that 1% of the people controlled the land and really controlled the country, to begin with. You know, they first wiped out the native Americans, and when they couldn't enslave the Native Americans, because they were so anarchist and socialist, they refused to be enslaved they brought in the Africans to come here and work and be their slaves and also the white servants from Europe, so there was 99% of the people being abused from the beginning of this country. And the messages now come back more than 200 years later about who is the threat: it's the ultra-power elite, and that's the message, it doesn't matter what party is in there they’re going to be controlled by the wrong people. P\The people we elect into office don’t represent the people they represent special interests.

What would you say to critics, regarding the Occupy Movement in particular, what would you say to people who say that they exclude minorities and blacks?

Unfortunately, there’s some truth to that. When it first started it really galvanized mainstream America, and there was a lot of mainstream in the movement, but it pretty quickly got to be just the hard-core people. What really kicked off that movement was college kids. We’re told in this country, if we go to school for 18 years and we work hard and get As and we listen to the authorities and we do this or do that and then go to college and get a good degree, that we are set, you know, that our lives are going to be great. We borrow a lot of money. We get into massive student loan debt   And these students come out, you know, spent 20+ years of their lives listening to everyone and they find that the system is fully broken, that there’re no jobs and they have all this debt. And yes, it is really mostly white middle class. They’re just now realizing that hey there some problems, so they have a lot of work to do, to eally engage the minorities and that’s something we have to work on. So I think there’s some truth to it. There’re a lot of different ethnic groups represented in the movement, but I think majority is white middle class. So we have a lot of work to do because that's a privileged class that just beginning to realize that the problem goes much deeper than just how they were affected because if you go to any city across our nation, you’ll find poor areas in every city, there's those poor black communities, there's even poor white communities and there's poor Hispanic communities, in every single city across our nation and they know from birth what is going on in this country. And they know things are wrong. And they don’t’ necessarily have a voice in the movement and that needs to change.

For our world audience, because we are international here, if the upper middle class and the privileged class are suffering that badly in the United States – I mean, you guys can’t get jobs etc. etc., what would you say the situation is like for lower class?

That’s even worse. I mean they don’t even have a place to live. When it rains they get wet! They beg for food. They’re in a very bad situation.

End Part 1

Jar2

31 August 2012, 13:42

CodePink Disrupts Mitt Romney’s Speech at RNC: “Democracy is Not a Business!”

Tighe Barry

CodePink disrupts Mitt Romney’s speech at RNC: “Democracy is not a business!” - interview

Code Pink Activists Tighe Barry and Medea Benjamin. Photo: AFP

Download audio file

The Voice of Russia’s John Robles spoke with Tighe Barry, an activist with the CODEPINK Organization in the U.S. The group staged several protests and interruptions at the Republican National Convention this week, including interrupting Condeleza Rice twice and disrupting speeches by both Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney. Mr. Barry tells why they wanted to disrupt Mitt Romney’s speech. Mr. Barry did the interview in place of the co-director of CODEPINK, Medea Benjamin, who was injured by the delegates during the protest staged during Mitt Romney’s speech.

I understand you’ve just left RNC. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about what happened?

It was exciting to be able to disrupt presidential candidate Mitt Romney from the Republican Party, but at the same time it was distressing, because the people in the audience were violent towards me. One guy gave me a headlock trying to get my banner, but we were able to stand up and say over and over, “Democracy is not a business!” and that Mitt Romney cannot buy democracy and cannot buy the presidency of the US.

So you actually just disrupted Mitt Romney’s speech?

Yes. There were three of us.

And how difficult was it to get into the RNC? Did it take a lot of planning?

It took some planning. We were given some passes, but the security there is very tight. As we’ve been doing for many years – we’ve been actively protesting the money in our politics that’s destroying the democracy and the country of the US.

Wonderful! You’ve just said that co-director Medea Benjamin was injured someway? Was that by the police? What happened?

Not, it was not by the police – it was by the people there, by the attendees. The police actually were able to do their job. They seemed to be very professional and they would just grab you and just pull you out. But it was Republicans around us that got violent.

So the delegates actually were physically violent? Oh my god!

Yes! And they were using use of language, spitting, I mean, they were pretty disgusting!

Spitting? They spat on you?

Yeah! And one woman put gum on one of our other activists. I don’t know how low you can go!

And these were Republican delegates?

Yes. And I mean there were terms used tonight that would make you stomach turn. One of the speechmakers that we had to listen to said that “this is our country and we own it!” Like it’s a piece of estate and you can purchase it!

We?

“We” meaning the Republican party or “we” meaning the wealthy – the way I took it. I mean this is a wealthy person, former Mayor of Carmel Clint Eastwood.

Clint Eastwood said that?! He said that the US is their country and – what else did he say?

And they own it!

And they own it…

And he got a round of applause, a standing ovation for that. “It’s our country and we own it!” And this is the way the politics is going in US, where it’s to the highest bidder. Democracy is to the highest bidder and it’s not the country that I was promised when I was born or where I grew going to my school. And now I’m 50 years old! I was promised a country that is compassionate. And we were united and we all stuck together.

Listen, your people have managed to disrupt the race two times – if I’m correct – and Paul Ryan? Can you tell our listeners a little bit about those events?

Yeah, we went to see Condoleezza Rice, that was an event that she was hosting and we went twice, like you said, we were there to say, “Condoleezza is a war criminal, they used lies to get us into the war in Iraq and now we’re at war with five countries.” We don’t declare wars. But now we have the world’s largest embassy in Iraq and all the drones promised to be taken out of Iraq are now in the hands of the state department. So the group which was supposed to be there for diplomacy and for trade agreements and other such things now has its own private army. And we were there to talk to Condoleezza Rice about the fact that she was part of the war machine that killed over million people and she should be held responsible for that as the Republican Party says it’s the party of personal responsibility and as of yet none of war criminals – George Bush, Dick Chaney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice or Colin Powell – were taken to ask for that. Our President today says, “We don’t look back.” But everyone knows that if you don’t learn from history – you’re destined to repeat it.

Of course.

So I was there in the front line to not repeat it.

Of course. Recently a general called Hillary Clinton “spokesperson for the US military” – what do you know about that?

The actual closeness of the State Department with the Department of Defense – the Department of War as we turn it – is evidential. They’re working together to justify wars around the planets, to justify army people who are not democratic and our dictators such as in Bahrain. We need to educate the American public that our State Department which is supposed to be a diplomatic arm of our government is actually no more than a spokesperson for the Department of War/Defense.

How many officials that are guilty of war crimes has your group attempted to affect as citizens to arrest on?

Every single one of them. We’ve got close to Dick Chaney, Carl Rove – who we also construe as war criminal because his propaganda machine was the one that came to turn on the weapon of mass destruction and instill fear in the American public. I talked to a high official within the Republican party just the other day here in Tampa who stated that “Iran was responsible for 9/11”

Now it’s Iran!

These are attacks that they’re luring themselves to, to bolster their new attacks on sovereign nations.

Who would you say was behind 9/11?

The problem that we’re having as American citizens is amount of transparency that our government is involved in. Today everything seems to be top secret. Everything seems to be not worthy of the American public’s ears. So I can only assume that it was a group of criminals that took down the buildings in NY whether it was conspiracy within our own government or it was al-Qaeda. Who it was I don’t know exactly, but I do know that it was a group of criminals and those criminals should be held responsible and should be dealt with in court of law. And what we mistakenly did – we attacked a country, a sovereign nation and called them the criminals! And a nation is not a criminal! A nation is a nation.

 Jar2

29 August 2012, 21:54

End of US-Russian 'Reset', or Romney's Cold War Thinking as a Threat to Global Security

John Robles

Cold war thinkers have drawn up Mitt Romney’s foreign policy stance and it does not look good neither for the U.S., nor for Russia or the free world. Continuing the rhetoric that Russia is geo-political enemy number one and promising to confront and make Russia cow to U.S. interests the Republicans have once again proven their complete disregard for diplomacy.

Whether or not the Republicans are just playing for their base or are seriously proposing such policies, they have proven that they will be force for more instability and conflict in the world.

Mitt Romney and his vice-presidential running mate, now the official contenders for the White House, will dangerously radicalize U.S. foreign policy in particular they will openly and with extreme prejudice confront the Russian Federation on a number of issues, and advance U.S. interests and geo-political policies and plans regardless of the wishes of the international community.

To say that Romney and his Republican brethren are a danger to world peace would be an understatement. Their “ultra-conservative” views and stances on a number of issues will bring about another era of neo-conservative subjugation for the American people and the world and their backward thinking and confrontational posturing will destroy much of the delicate compromise that has kept the world stable for the last four years.

According to Romney, who not long ago called Russia enemy number one, and his Republican advisors who have approved a program for their party at their convention in Florida, the Russian Federation is the number one geo-political enemy of the United States and a “traditional rival” along with North Korea, Iran and China. They also believe the Russian Government is authoritarian, does not respect human rights, suppresses the press, aligns with dictatorial regimes and the clincher: “was guilty of an unprovoked invasion of Georgia”.

In short all of the prehistoric, cold-war style, holier-than-thou, self-elevating, self-advancing, blatantly false and confrontational rhetoric and talking points that the Republicans are famous for.

To take their points apart one by one is to give them credibility they do not deserve but in case you just arrived from planet Sirius 7, Russia did not invade Georgia but rather prevented the genocide of Russian citizens in South Ossetia by the Georgian Army, the press in Russia is freer than ever, the U.S. is currently supporting and creating more dictators than ever before (Bahrain anyone?), the U.S. is engaged in a program of global domination and instigating regime change wherever they see fit and the U.S. through its military surrogates and NATO is attempting to subjugate the entire planet and bend it to its will by placing it under it military control.

Romney adviser Rich Williamson at the "round table" on the Foreign Policy Initiative, a paper filled with misconceptions laying out Republican Foreign Policy posturing and their political stance, stated that the Romney Administration will end the “reset” and confront Russia on issues such as Georgia, Iran, Syria and others.

Georgia I have already mentioned, Syria and Iran are points of contention for the most part only when it comes to the U.S.’ plans to aggressively invade these two countries and attempt to make the sovereign nations bend to Washington’s will and bring these peoples to their knees.

Williamson also said that Russia has “chosen the path of confrontation rather than cooperation", apparently such blatant lies are more rhetoric for the Republican “base” who as I have already said see no difference between a “Sheik” and a “Sikh”. To say that Russia has chosen such a path when the entire Republican platform is based on and call for confrontation with Russia is disingenuous and a complete and total lie.

Russia has embarrassingly bent to almost every U.S. encroachment on its sovereignty, its geo-political position, its internal functions and its military security since the collapse of the Soviet Union, even going so far as to attempt to repeatedly work with NATO and the U.S. in their plans to surround Russia with their missiles.

To listen to Romney and his Republican like and read how they plan to “curb Moscow”, “confront Russia”, surround Russia with missiles and the like is to get the impression that he is talking about some small third world nation they can just obliterate at any moment and not the largest country on the planet and a formidable nuclear power.

The Republicans shamelessly have also said they will meddle in European affairs and attempt to reduce Europe’s “dependence” on Russian oil and gas, which Europe obtains cheaply. I suppose if the oil and resource starved U.S. succeeds in re-making the Middle East and seizing control of all of the oil and resources in the region they will offer Europe a cheaper alternative.

As for the Asia-Pacific Region Romney has said he will strengthen ties with Asian countries, it seems whether they want it or not, and reduce Russian influence in the region.

Lastly, according to Pravda.ru, “Romney expressed his willingness to be the godfather of the Russian opposition and organize the training for opposition activists at American educational centers.”

As for the RNC Convention Republicans have once again let their hypocrisy shine, with Tampa expecting a wave of strippers and prostitutes who will no doubt “service” the “family values” of the Republican conventioneers. Even a porn star named Lisa Ann, who impersonates Sarah Palin, making millions on Republican’s lustful desires for the Alaska Governor and right-wing propaganda mouthpiece.

Not only prostitutes have descended on Tampa but those opposing the Republican’s narrow minded platform including Occupiers from all over the U.S.

According to Jeffrey Billman at the Orlando Weekly, some issues of import to Americans are Republican plans to gut Medicare, bring back the gold standard, eviscerate abortion rights, ban gay marriage, deport brown people, and more.

The Huffington Post was also not very “optimistic” in a look at the GOP’s extreme positions, in short promising hell not only for Russia but for Americans if these people come to power.

From where I am sitting, even taking into account the fact that Romney is playing to his base, he will no doubt be detrimental to Russian-U.S. relations and will be a "tyrant" and a "threat to global security" if he becomes president.

Hopefully Americans will not let this happen.

The views and opinions expressed here are my own. I can be reached at jar2@list.ru.

 

29 August 2012, 11:36

President of Australian Lawyers Alliance Speaks Out in Defense of Assange

Greg Barns

President of Australian Lawyers Alliance speaks out in defense of Assange - interviewhttp://m.ruvr.ru/2012/08/29/1287542297/greg_barns.jpg

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Julian Assange has finally been given asylum by Ecuador and Greg Barns spoke with the Voice of Russia's John Robles regarding the case of Julian Assange and Australia's slavish relationship with the United States. He says that there is still a lot Australia can do to ensure Mr. Assange's safety behind-the-scenes.

Hello! This is John Robles. I’m speaking with Mr. Greg Barns – he is a barrister (or a lawyer) and the Director of the Australian Lawyers Alliance in Australia.

http://www.jar2.com/Interviews/Greg_Barns.html

28 August 2012, 22:55

US in Afghanistan: Who’s the "Savage"?

John Robles

Another case of US Forces desecrating remains ends with a slap on the wrist for some of the perpetrators while others received no disciplinary action and on the same day the burning of Korans was also brushed off with those guilty also escaping serious punishment. Against the backdrop of increased Afghan on NATO violence and the beheading of 17 partygoers by Islamists, the question as to who really are the "savages" in Afghanistan begs to be asked.

Once again, as with almost every case involving egregious misconduct by US troops who have committed what can only be characterized as war crimes, those involved have received nothing more than the proverbial slap on the wrist, and the cases are in the hundreds if not thousands. We do not know the accurate figures because most such events are hidden and not reported.

This time the events in question could be called benign by US standards. For some reason, probably to minimize the backlash, both judgments came at the same time, namely rulings on cases of soldiers urinating on Taliban corpses and the burning of Korans.

In the case of the urinating Marines some of them received unspecified administrative “discipline,” it was reported on Monday, despite the US claiming that it was a “huge” embarrassment and caused a Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation, as well as condemnation and an apology from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and even US Secretary of State Clinton, who vowed that the culprits would be found and punished.

The other judgment also released on Monday, involved the burning of Korans by US troops, an event which caused widespread riots, multiple deaths and calls from the Taliban and Islamists to kill foreign troops in Afghanistan and Americans in order to defend Islam’s Holy book.

Despite the outrage and deaths caused by their actions nothing “criminal” really occurred, according to the US.

Like I said these were benign events by US standards, after Abu Ghraib and similar events in Iraq, the mass murders of almost 20 civilians while they slept in their homes earlier this year by a “deranged” sergeant, cases of cutting off body parts as trophies (including the cutting off of fingers, noses, ears and even the peeling off of faces), families being set on fire, denial of medical care to mass numbers of civilians leading to their deaths, snipers posing with Nazi symbols, multiple cases of rape, sodomy and massacre after massacre after massacre, sure Marines simply urinating on corpses seems almost comic.

The Taliban are almost no better, however they trail far behind compared to the overall creativity and level of atrocity of NATO’s finest. Their savagery is just as brutal as that committed by some of the NATO forces but less widespread and frequent. The latest event attributed to the Taliban but denied by them and quite possibly carried out by “insurgents,” was the beheading of 15 men and 2 women for having a party with dancing and music, something they view as immoral and un-Islamic.

The Afghan authorities has launched an investigation with President Hamid Karzai saying,”…the attack shows that there are irresponsible members among the Taliban."

The beheading of the partygoers occurred in an area of Musa Qala district which is almost totally under Taliban control. Governor of Musa Qala, Nematullah Khan said, "They were having a music party and the Taliban came and killed them and cut off their heads."

On the same day to the south 10 Afghan soldiers were killed at a checkpoint and 2 NATO soldiers were killed by an Afghan soldier while they were on joint patrol bringing the number of victims of Afghan soldier on NATO soldier violence to 42 this year alone. Now called “green-on-blue-killings” a further sign of the utter failure of almost 12 years of “coalition” occupation.

These are facts the west would rather we did not know because in Afghanistan as in Iraq every move against the citizenry and every bomb dropped has been done illegally. Both of these countries were attacked in illegal acts of military aggression for involvement in events they had nothing to do with, namely the events of 9-11, both of the countries never threatened or even posed a threat to the US, yet they have paid the price and have been illegally occupied so it is not surprising that the people are fighting back.

Going back to the subject of slaps on the wrists for those committing atrocities, for me, the reason they never pay the price for their illegal behavior has been clear for a long time. How on earth could the US judicial system or the US military deem anything their own killing machines do to be illegal if the whole war and occupation of Afghanistan is in and of itself illegal to begin with?

The truth is an extremely dangerous thing especially when it is something that might end plans for world domination, and that is what it is all about, but it looks like they may be failing.

In Afghanistan, a country decimated by close to 12 years of war the truths are hidden on a daily basis and as sites such as Wikileaks have found out (the hard way), reporting on the facts is something the US Empire will not allow.

The destruction and atrocities that the US has unleashed on the Afghan people continue on a daily basis and have been something the US has attempted time and time again to hide. As they continue so will the response from the Afghan side.

In Afghanistan the US obfuscates, hides and doctors the facts at every turn so that even finding an accurate count of the number of civilian deaths in the country is almost an impossibility with numbers ranging from the 10s of thousands to the millions. Yet one thing is crystal clear the US has failed in Afghanistan and there is little likelihood that there is a way out.

One question that I feel truly begs to be answered is quite a simple one: who in fact are the real “savages” in Afghanistan?

 

27 August 2012, 18:42

Kosovo Police's Secret Arrests - John Robles

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"They forced me to sign a confession. And they kicked me out of Kosovo, they drove me to the border. I couldn’t contact my embassy, not EULEX – the European Union legal mission in Kosovo or anyone." - Kristian Kahrs. Mr. Kahrs is a freelance journalist, a writer and an ex-NATO Officer who is suing the Kosovo authorities and investigating the situation in Kosovo.

http://www.jar2.com/Topics/Serbia.html

.

 Jar2

27 August 2012, 14:46

Alleged Hostility Toward Christians in the Far Right’s Manipulation of the US Media

John Robles

Christians are under assault in the United States, claims recent report issued by Family Research Council and Liberty Institute. On the surface it looks like a seemingly alarming serious survey focusing on human and religious rights abuse. But scratch the surface and hidden agenda and manipulation of facts become obvious.

The subject of this report, and its coverage by Fox and the right-wing media may not exactly fall into the category of “media” bias but it does fall into the category of bias and the clever promotion of secret agendas and hate.

At first glance it sounds alarming: US Christians under assault – report, and it would be alarming, were it true. The report in question titled “The Survey of Religious Hostility in America” (not “A” survey but the “The” survey) is deceptive and designed to damage President Obama’s re-election chances and cleverly propagate, among other things, the intolerance of religions not deemed “real” by the U.S.’ fanatical far religious right.

The “report” wastes no time in attacking Obama and does so on page (i). The following 2 pages are designed to impress and intimidate us with the no doubt impressive resumes of the authors: Kelly Shackelford and Tony Perkins, two individuals who have made careers of using their government service and positions to advance their narrow intolerant right-wing views. Mr. Perkin’s self-avowed goal is to “…affirm and defend the Judeo-Christian values…” the US is founded on. Being listed as the leader of a hate group is also among his credentials but that of course is not mentioned.

The report cites case after case of what it calls discrimination against Christians and Christianity but fails to present all of the facts in each case and fails to note that almost every case they mention are related to issues of separation of Church and State. This is very important because it goes to underline one of the goals of the organizations in question, and that is the funding and further integration of the state and the “Christian” faith.

These are the same people who vilify President Putin and Russia because he received the blessing of the Patriarch and scream about the rights of those who in an act of religious hatred and intolerance desecrated the holiest church of the Orthodox faith, instances where they could twist the facts to their own ends and screamed “No separation of Church and State!” For these people twisting the facts or leaving them out entirely is an art.

The report attacks secularism, homosexual rights, abortion, and nowhere does it mention attacks and even the murders of members of the Muslim Faith, which the organization sees as a “Fanatical Religion”.

Who authored and funded the “report” is very important as it shows that the report was biased from its very creation and was designed to support pre-planned positions and reach false conclusions which were known from its inception.

The Family Research Council, or FRC, purports to support “traditional family values”, something few could speak out against, but how they have chosen to go about it is questionable and promotes the intolerance and marginalizing of minorities and all other religions, even Orthodoxy, which they view as not being “real”.

According to Right Wing Watch and other watchdog groups, the group lobbies for state-sponsored prayer in schools, state funding for private schooling (a way for whites to avoid segregated public schools), censorship in libraries, an end to sex education programs in schools, abstinence as the only method of birth control, an end to reproductive freedom, no abortion even in the case of rape or incest and the right to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

Their goals include: “establishing a conservative Christian standard of morality in all of America's domestic and foreign policy”, defunding the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the disestablishment of the Department of Education.

The Liberty Institute claims they advance “the cause of liberty, including religious liberty”. However they only support those who share their narrow views, the same as those outlined above. An extensive search found no cases where they came out in defense of Muslims, Jews, Buddhists or any other religious group or faith for that matter.

The Family Research Council has been listed as a hate group and its leader Tony Perkins as the leader of a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The organization Equality Matters, an organization that fights for LGBT rights also has an extensive data base on the FRC as does Media Matters for America.

In summary the so called “report” is another thinly guised attempt by a hate group promoting intolerance and using some of the same tactics used by white supremacist groups namely the use of provocations to receive a response they can rally against, the omission of facts and the claim of reverse discrimination.

To understand how the Christian faith has been used by hate groups in the US for centuries one must delve into the psychology of the angry white intolerant part of the population of the country and there is quite frankly not enough space in this column for that.

Perhaps some of their points are valid and even I might agree with one or two, but a healthy democracy must include a separation of Church and State, tolerance for other views and other religions and the protection of minorities.

Religion should never be used as a cover to promote hate or killing, as the FRC does, as the KKK does, as Jihadists do, and even as Hitler did. We as intelligent citizens of the world in the 21st century must speak out against intolerance and do what we can to stop the hate. After all, if you believe in a higher power, we are all “God’s” children.

The views and opinions expressed here are my own. I can be reached at jar2@list.ru. Glad to be back from vacation.

 Jar2

26 August 2012, 22:54

Royal Nude Antics: Another Pointless Scandal?

John Robles

As most of the world is being torn apart by economic woes, war, hunger, disasters and impending invasions, Great Britain’s Prince Harry has taken over much of the world’s media attention with nude antics in Las Vegas, Nevada and an offer for him to star in a porno film.

Perhaps it wasn’t his fault that the photos have gotten out, after all he did not sanction the taking of the nude pictures of himself playing “strip” billiards, which are now all over the internet. Some fault may be placed on his security detail which did not properly screen all of the attendees of the “billiard” evening and did not confiscate all of the cell phones with built-in cameras from the attendees. Fault may also be placed on the publicity hungry attendees who actually took the photos. Regardless of who is at fault, such behavior and such “antics” even done in a secure “private” setting, as should have been the case, is not fitting for someone who is third in line to the British Throne.

The media, especially the Western Media, unfortunately loves such scandalous stories for the main reason that the readership eats them up with a manic frenzy. The demand for and the uproar over Prince Harry’s photos has reached such a level that according to TMZ online he has been offered $10 million to star in a porn film already titled “The Trouble with Harry”.

According to the publication the head of the adult-film company Vivid Entertainment, Steve Hirsch, sent Prince Harry a written offer of $10 million to star in the film.

The media “orgy” for lack of a better word, over Prince Harry’s nude escapades, is such that the “responsible” Rupert Murdoch-owned British Newspaper, The Sun, embroiled in phone tapping and bribing scandals, published the photos against the wishes of the royal family.

According to various British newspapers and internet news outlets the rights to the photos, taken by unnamed member(s) of the group of more than 20 people, many of them strangers, who witnessed Harry’s nude escapades, are running as high as $1 million.

This is not the first scandal for Harry who has already been forced to apologize for wearing a Nazi uniform at a costume party and at the age of 17 had reportedly undergone substance abuse rehabilitation at the behest of his father Prince Charles.

Upon his return to the United Kingdom from Las Vegas, he was summoned to a royal country residence 100 miles from London where he met with his father, Prince Charles, and has been reportedly very sternly “told off” by the royal family including the Queen who reportedly: “…reminded him of his responsibilities as a member of the royal family.”

The embarrassment for the Royal Family is severe and the unprecedented offer to a member of the Royal Family to star in a porn film must be making many sick to their stomachs. Yet there are those who are hoping that Harry, whose image was almost rehabilitated and was beginning to be seen as a young and serious maturing prince, will be able to weather the storm. This will no doubt depend on how the British public receives Harry’s upcoming public apology.

With all of the problems in the world and the already tainted image of the West, is another sex scandal, this time by a member of the British Royal Family, who many in the West see as a moral compass, something the world really wants to hear about or deal with? Apparently for the West it is. For the rest of the world let’s close the book on the antics of another rich playboy and continue our coverage of what may be the impending invasion of Syria and other such minor issues.

The opinions and views expressed here are my own. I can be reached at jar2@list.ru.

 Jar2

26 August 2012, 22:49

Shootings Continue: Disgruntled Clothing Designer vs. Trigger Happy Police

John Robles

There has been yet another shooting in the US with multiple victims and innocent people injured. The shooting near the Empire State Building in New York City, after the recent spate of mass-murders and increasing gun violence in America which is causing international resonance, has done little to add to what should be a national outcry for stricter gun control, societal changes and the better training of police.