INSURGENTS WILL KILL AMERICANS FOR AS LONG AS RUSSIA YEARNS FOR CONTROL OF MID-EAST OIL!
insurgents will kill americans for as long as russia yearns for total control of mid-east oil!
"A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues."
Back in January of 2006, the Kremlin showed the Ukraine and the world exactly what to expect should they gain total control of the oil and energy reserves flowing out of the mid-east. And as always, the entire oil-dependent free world has left the task of keeping Russian greed and aggression in check up to the United States. Countries such as France, Germany and Japan, as well as, several South American countries would all benefit from the bloodless flow of oil out of the mid-east, for anyone willing to pay a fair price. But just as it was the case in both world wars of the previous century, only the USA has the backbone, thirst for sovereignty and balls to want bare the expense and do the necessary dirty work to accomplish the task that everyone wants done.
This comes as no surprise for choosing the path of least resistance is understandable in human behavior. Lets face the facts here, why fight until a threat is immanent and on our own soil. The French among several other European nations gave the Germans the keys to their countries rather than fight to the last man for their own sovereignty, or even dignity for that matter; in the face of an immanent military threat from Nazi Germany. So why should we expect these countries to help stave off Russian influence in the mid-east even with the January Russian-Ukrainian energy stoppage debacle still clear in the minds of every oil dependent nation in the world?
On another front, Iran will be a problem for as long as the United States refuses to officially recognize that Russia is behind recent Iranian bravado regarding the production of nuclear weapons. If the United States doesn't know by now that Russia will hide behind countries such as North Korea (1950-1953), North Vietnam (1964-1972), rather than own up to their own coercion of said countries to accomplish goals set forth by the Kremlin we will never know; furthermore, why should we expect Russia to be any different in 2006? Moreover, I strongly feel that the USA will be making a terrible mistake if ultimately we do not hold the Russians accountable for Iranian bravado, and do exactly what JFK did when he threatened full scale nuclear weapon retaliation against Russia even if missiles were launched from Cuba. I think the United States of America should treat the Iranian situation in much the same manner should nuclear weapons be launched from Iran against American held Afghanistan or Iraq. The Russians are clearly controlling Iran and Syria in much the same way they controlled Cuba and all of the Eastern European countries under the old USSR regime. JFK was correct in his response to Russian aggression during the Cuban missile crisis, for M.A.D. will surely make even the most foolish of nuclear nations think twice before launching strikes from either their own country or coerced satellite countries such as Iran with respect to their relationship with Russia.
The words and wisdom of United States leaders such as Murtha, Kerry, and Clinton should not and cannot be ignored. However, we cannot ignore the hard and costly lessons from both world wars of the past. Isolationism did not work in WWI, and would not have worked in WWII. Furthermore, I haven't noticed any significant evolutionary leaps towards peaceful human behavior since 1945; have you? And until that happens, aggressive threats from irresponsible nations such as Russia need to be met by the best and the brightest people and resources the free world has as its disposal.
"Controlled, universal disarmament is the imperative of our time. The demand for it by the hundreds of millions whose chief concern is the long future of themselves and their children will, I hope, become so universal and so insistent that no man, no government anywhere, can withstand it."
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Forces: U.S. & Coalition/Casualties - CNN.com
(June 2, 2006)
There have been 2,697 coalition deaths, 2,473 Americans, two Australians, 113 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, three Danes, two Dutch, two Estonians, one Fijian, one Hungarian, 30 Italians, one Kazakh, one Latvian, 17 Poles, two Romanians, two Salvadoran, three Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and 18 Ukrainians in the war in Iraq as of June 2, 2006, according to a CNN count. (Graphical breakdown of casualties). The list below is the names of the soldiers, Marines, airmen, sailors and Coast Guardsmen whose deaths have been reported by their country's governments. At least 18,254 U.S. troops have been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon. View casualties in the war in Afghanistan and examine U.S. war casualties dating back to the Revolutionary War.
Iran warns U.S. on oil shipments
TEHRAN, Iran (CNN 6/4/2006) -- Ayatollah Ali Khameni, Iran's supreme leader, has warned the United States that any "misbehavior" directed at Iran would serve to disrupt Gulf energy shipments.
"In order to threaten Iran, you say that you can guarantee movements of oil through this region," he said Sunday, referring to shipments that pass through the strategic Strait of Hormuz near Iran and other countries.
The United States "should know that the slightest misbehavior on your part would endanger the region's energy security," he said. "You are not capable of guaranteeing energy security in this region."
Khameni did not specify what he meant by disruption or misbehavior.
But he said "we will not start a war. We have no intention of war with any government."
Khameni was speaking on the 17th anniversary of the passing Ayatollah Khomeini, who spearheaded the establishment of the Islamic republic in 1979.
Iran is embroiled in standoff with the West over its nuclear ambitions.
The Islamic republic says it wants to pursue nuclear power for peaceful purposes, but the United States and the European Union believe it harbors aspirations to be armed with nuclear weapons.
Khameni -- who didn't mention the package of incentives for Iran to end its nuclear ambitions -- insisted that the country "is not pursuing a nuclear bomb. This is not true, and it is an absolute lie. We are not pursuing an atomic bomb. We have no plans that would require us to have a bomb. This is against Islamic principles. Building and maintaining a nuclear bomb costs a lot, and we do not need this. "
"We only aspire to building an Iran, which would secure the well-being of its people and serve as a model for other nations. We want to come out from under the humiliation of the last few centuries. This nation has power and dignity, but it has been denied us in the past partly by the betrayal of our own governments as well as by foreigners.
"We are no threat to anyone, but we are dedicated and committed to our national interests and aspirations, but if anyone wants to stop us, they will feel the wrath and anger of this nation."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad, however, has been taunting and rebuking Israel and the Jewish people. He said a few months ago that Israel should be wiped off the map. Iran regards Israel as a threat because of its reputed nuclear program and dislikes its treatment of Palestinians.
On Saturday, Ahmadinejad said his country is ready to hold "fair and unconditional" talks with the West on Iran's nuclear issue, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. (Full story)
On Thursday, six world powers -- the five veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council, along with Germany -- agreed in Vienna to "substantive" incentives in an attempt to coax Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment.
The EU's Javier Solana is expected to leave Brussels on Sunday for a Middle East tour which could accommodate a detour to the Iranian capital. (Full story)
No compromise on enrichment program
Ahmadinejad, who spoke to thousands gathered at the shrine of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, repeated that Iran will not compromise on its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, the news agency said.
In his speech, Khameni argued that Iran is not a threat to the world and cited the support of 116 Non-Aligned Movement nations for Iran's aspirations for nuclear technology.
He criticized U.S. policies in Iraq and the Palestinian territories and compared U.S. President George W. Bush and Ahmadinejad.
"Those people currently running the government of the U.S. should understand and should compare their president with our president. Your president is hated within the U.S. according to your own polls. Your current government is the most hated in the U.S. history from the point of view of the people, whereas ours is the most popular in Iran in the last 100 years.
"Wherever your president goes in the world, there are demonstrations against him, and he is hated in Africa, in Asia and everywhere. In Latin America such as Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela, governments are elected based on the strength of anti-American slogans. The people of the U.S. -- they don't have security in their private telephone conversations.
"The government of the U.S. doesn't trust their own people to allow them to have private telephone conversations and have passed laws to eavesdrop on them. The recent visit of the Iranian president to Indonesia and his predecessors' visits to Lebanon and other countries were all warmly welcomed."
-- CNN's Shirzad Bozorghmehr contributed to this report
Gas Crisis Fueled Ukrainian Patriotism
By MARA D. BELLABY, Associated Press WriterSat Jan 7, 2006; 2:51 PM ET
At the height of a gas dispute this week, anonymous text messages zipped across Ukrainians' cell phones calling for a boycott of all things Russian.
"Remember the Great Famine, Stalin terror ... If you are a Ukrainian, forward this to friends," one message read.
Russia's threats to leave this nation of 47 million shivering through a cold winter triggered an outpouring of anti-Russian sentiment and patriotism, from which President Viktor Yushchenko will likely benefit in March's parliamentary elections.
"Ukrainians saw the face of the enemy and Russia did everything it could to make that face terrifying," said Ivan Poltavets, the head of Kiev's Institute of Economic Research. "But Ukrainians did not get scared. Instead they closed ranks around the idea of sovereignty and democracy."
Yushchenko, whose popularity has plummeted since his 2004 rise to power, desperately needed the boost. Some polls had shown his bloc coming in well behind the Kremlin-backed party that opposed the 2004 Orange Revolution — a weak showing that could seriously handicap his remaining four years in office.
But the complicated agreement that ended the pricing dispute left Kiev paying nearly twice as much for natural gas, which will take a bite out of Ukraine's struggling economy and, eventually, people's wallets. Under the final deal, Ukraine must pay $95 for 1,000 cubic meters of gas, up from $50.
Ukraine's bare-knuckle politics move at a quick pace, making it unclear how long Yushchenko will be able to capitalize on the crisis at the expense of opponents who favor closer ties to the Kremlin.
"From a political perspective, it would have been smart to drag things out a bit," said Ivan Lozowy, president of the Kiev-based Institute of Statehood and Democracy. "I had never seen anything like this ... it was clearly heading toward a huge disaster for Russia. The anger was ballooning and the European Union and the United States were weighing in and not on Russia's side. But it was settled relatively quickly."
As Russia restricted the flow of gas earlier this week, posters, text messages and e-mail chain letters circulated in Kiev, recalling Russia's czarist and Soviet misdeeds and encouraging a boycott of Russian goods.
Television news programs extolled Ukrainians to hang tough and make sacrifices, and talk shows featured Russia's most jingoistic politicians, who referred repeatedly to Ukrainians using a slur deeply offensive to many here — "khokhly" — which refers to the appearance of Ukrainian Cossacks and has come to mean "bumpkins."
The standoff hardened Ukrainians.
"Russia now understands that to bring Ukraine to her knees isn't so easy," said Oleksandr Rudakov, 45, a Kiev engineer. "Ukraine is ready to suffer a bit in the short-term if this will safeguard her independence and sovereignty."
Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov pledged the population would not be hit with higher prices during the year's first quarter — which will get the country out of the freezing winter months and through the parliamentary elections.
Ultimately, though, pain is inevitable. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who opposed the deal, said it could cost the country $4.5 billion this year — 16 percent of the national budget.
Yushchenko's main political opponent, Viktor Yanukovych, stayed mum throughout the dispute — a silence that analysts said was a telling indicator of his weak position trying to balance the defense of Ukraine's interests without offending his one-time political patron, Russia.
Mykhaylo Pohrebinsky, a Kiev-based analyst with ties to the opposition, predicted the crisis "will even further divide Ukraine into two halves — the pro-European west and the pro-Russian east." The Russian-speaking east will blame the conflict on the Orange Revolution team, which has sought to lessen Moscow's influence here, he said.
"Russia wasn't fighting against the Ukrainian people but against the Orange hoard that sits in government," said Olga Serdechnaya, 40, a government worker in the eastern city of Donetsk. "I'm not happy about the situation, but I understand Russia's motives."
Associated Press reporter Yuras Karmanau contributed to this report from Kiev.
Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
From a previous post written and reported by Spartacus back in January/2006:
Russian/Putin's recent gas politics & price gouging in Europe exposed the REAL reason why Americans were sent to die in Iraq!!! January 6, 2006
Every day that the President and Congress fail to tell the American public the real reasons why we are fighting in Iraq, it is another day gone by when a US Soldier or Marine will die with 50% of the Country feeling that their death was in vain.
I am against the accepted practice among politicians of every affiliation that we must avoid directly implicating the Russians, one of our true insurgent enemies, in an effort to lessen the potential for another DEFCON 2 scenario, similar to the one that JFK bravely guided the country through during the Cuban Missile Crisis. With that being said, I also think that America should be wary of every country that had oil deals with Iraq prior to the US presence in that country, namely, Germany, France, ironically England and especially Russia. The so called al qaeda insurgency is to long sustained, and evidently to well organized for would-be Muslim jihadists or even the Russians to do it without help. We are in a very tenuous situation and we must take steps to make our so called friends and foes alike show good faith regarding their intentions during these trying times, and I frankly do not see any of that being done. If they are doing nothing wrong then they should prove it; and before we even ask them for that matter. It is a terrible tragedy that the main players of the alliance that defeated Hitler and Germany during WW2 is possibly now turned inside out and with the United States being the last to know.
Kennedy knew that to not directly implicate the true source of the missiles, and Cuban hostility toward the USA (RUSSIAN INFLUENCE), would surely have enabled and emboldened the Russians to secure nuclear missiles at sites less than 100 miles from American soil. Kennedy turned out to be correct. So I ask all of you now, what is the matter with our current leadership?
In the Associated Press article that I have posted below, we can see on a small scale what the Russian leadership would do if the United States had allowed them to secure one of the world's largest oil reserves in Iraq. Moreover, If an oil dependent Japan saw fit to attack the United States in the early 1940's over an oil embargo that we imposed on them, what wars could result from a scenario not unlike the one we all witnessed between Russia and the Ukraine earlier this week? I would contend that if Russia had a larger stake in the control of yet more of the world's energy supply that such actions would be commonplace, and frankly there would be no limits to the irresponsible and hostile way that the Russians would conduct their energy business practices. Simply put, the Russians cannot be trusted with control of significant energy reserves anywhere in the world let alone between Russia and the Ukraine which, again, they proved to be the case with their actions earlier this week.
"I have one yardstick by which I test every major problem-and that yardstick is: Is it good for America?"
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Forces: U.S. & Coalition/Casualties (CNN.com) 1/4/2006
There have been 2,378 coalition deaths, 2,179 Americans, one Australian, 98 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, two Danes, two Dutch, two Estonians, one Hungarian, 26 Italians, one Kazakh, one Latvian, 17 Poles, one Salvadoran, three Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and 18 Ukrainians in the war in Iraq as of January 3, 2006, according to a CNN count. (Graphical breakdown of casualties). The list below is the names of the soldiers, Marines, airmen, sailors and Coast Guardsmen whose deaths have been reported by their country's governments. At least 16,155 U.S. troops have been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon. View casualties in the war in Afghanistan and examine U.S. war casualties dating back to the Revolutionary War.
Europe's Concerns About Russian Gas Grows
By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jan 3,11:16 AM ET
Russian natural gas surged through Ukraine to countries across Europe on Tuesday, banishing the specter of immediate and prolonged shortages because of Moscow's price dispute with Kiev.
But relief was tempered by the realization that the continent's dependence on Russian natural gas means it is vulnerable to future energy crises. About one-quarter of Europe's gas comes from Russia — 80 percent of that via Ukraine — and the standoff raised fears of serious gas shortages during a cold winter.
European officials sought to dispel anxieties left after some countries saw gas supplies from Russia transiting Ukraine cut by as much as 50 percent — a result of Moscow's decision to halt deliveries to Kiev — before Russia pumped extra gas and deliveries returned to normal.
European Union spokesman Johannes Laitenberger suggested the standoff between Ukraine and Russia was little more than a business disagreement, describing it as "first and foremost a dispute between a gas supplier and (a) transit operator."
"There is no immediate crisis of supply in the European Union," he said in Brussels.
But EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs touched on the Europe-wide insecurity left by a day of energy fears.
"The situation has shown how vulnerable the Union is to shortages of gas supply," he said.
He said a Wednesday meeting of representatives of the 25 EU member states and the gas industry would discuss how they would react to the current crisis and deal with future threats to Europe's gas supply.
"We should be always prepared," he said. "We should be able to supply our citizens with energy resources."
Both Russia and Ukraine showed interest Tuesday in resolving their standoff, which led to Monday's Europe-wide shortages, Russian accusations that Ukraine was at fault for stealing Europe-bound gas and Ukrainian denials. OAO Gazprom, Russia's state-run natural gas monopoly, said talks were planned with Ukrainian officials later in the day aimed at resolving the dispute.
Hungary, Austria, Slovakia and Serbia — where officials contemplated gas rationing after a 50-percent drop in deliveries — were all reporting normal flows by Tuesday.
Moldova's fuel crisis also showed signs of easing after its president said that Turkmenistan had offered to ship his country natural gas to compensate for a Russian cutoff — again over a price dispute.
Before being disconnected Sunday, the former Soviet republic drew all of its natural gas from Russia.
While expressing the relief common to all European countries affected that the crisis was over — for now — Milos Tomic, general manager of Serbia's Srbijagas distributor voiced shared worries about the future, saying: "I cannot guarantee that gas deliveries will be normal in the coming days."
In Italy, the dispute rekindled a debate over the use of nuclear power with Industry Minister Claudio telling the daily Corriere della Sera that without that alternative, "we can't ... be safe from energy emergencies."
And Poland, whose energy dependency on Russia is a legacy of its membership in the former Soviet bloc, launched an urgent search for new suppliers of natural gas in the wake of the temporary cutbacks.
"I've instructed the economy minister to urgently prepare investment decisions allowing us to diversify gas supplies," Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz told reporters.
Even with full deliveries restored, Europe's gas scare reawakened fears over Russia's reliability and potential for belligerence — criticism that comes as the country assumes the chairmanship of the Group of Eight, a position it wants to use to boost its international prestige.
"Ukraine is being punished for its decision to become a European, fully democratic country," wrote The Czech Republic's daily "Lidove Noviny."
Criticizing what it said was past European "obedience" to Russia, Italy's "Il Messagero" said, "it would be shortsighted and dangerous if Europe would continue to act this way considering the events of present days."
Associated Press reporters across Europe contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
Spartacus: wrote the following back on 4/29/2005...
American leaders won't acknowledge Cold War II, thus putting US security at risk!!
The most dangerous weapon in any war is stealth.
Most Americans do not see Russia as a threat. And why should we? For during President Bush #1's tenure in the oval office (1988-1992), he and his cabinet repeatedly told the United States populace and the world about how the USA had finally won the Cold War. In fact, during every political campaign in the United States since 1990, whether it was run on the local, state or federal level, Republicans running for office never missed an opportunity to let their constituents know that it was Ronald Regan and their party (GOP) that was responsible for the downfall fall of the USSR. Recent Russian overtures regarding nuclear weapons in Iran and Syria not only prove that Bush#1 and the GOP were wrong in their assessment of the Cold War, they also neglected 40+ years of contributions and sacrifices of USA military personnel and diplomats who undoubtedly were registered as Democrats, Republicans and Independents. However, Democrats are not without blame regarding premature end of Cold War American chest pounding; for President Clinton also told Americans and the world on numerous occasions about how the world was a better and safer place due to the USA winning the Cold War. Gasconading about winning the Cold War by American politicians could turn out to be a very tragic mistake in the coming months and years for many unfortunate reasons, but none more prominent however than the intricate way GOP bragging in particular has successfully prevented true patriotic Americans in both parties from coming together against the real threat in Iraq and the Middle East which everyday appears more and more to be Russia. Making such a monumental mistake has among other things, succeeded in painting right wing politicians (especially), in a corner of misinformation and political wrangling because of the potential embarrassment and political fallout associated with being wrong about something as significant as the Cold War not being truly over. This unfortunate turn of events is preventing those who sent us to war from telling the American public of a much bigger menace than Sadam or Osama ever was or ever could be, and again, that menace is Russia.
Since all indicators are pointing to the fact that we are really fighting the Russians in Iraq and potentially will be fighting them in Iran and Syria, who has the upper hand in the Cold War at this stage of the game? Right now I would have to say that Russia does for several reasons, but the biggest reason is that Russia is fighting an American adversary that is divided over whether we should even be in Iraq. As a result of our division over this issue, our military enlistment quotas are not being met and support for the war is waning and wouldn't be if only Americans were being told the truth. It's almost as if a perfect propaganda machine was let loose against our country dating back to when Bush#1 began fueling the flames of the current American Iraqi war divisiveness with now proven false proclamations about the end of the Cold War. Now the Republicans, and our country as a whole for that matter, have been backed into a corner of which the only way out is to either tell the truth about our misjudging the end of the Cold War and loosing face but gaining much needed support for our presence in Iraq, or continue with the current charade and potentially give our long time Cold War adversary boundless revenues generated from the oil reserves in Iraq, Iran, and Syria in what is now turning out to be a warmer version of the long time Cold War between our two countries. We better do something quickly because as I type American troops are on the ground dying and over half of them are beginning to question why they are even there which is to say the least, a hindrance to their performance in potentially deadly situations that they are faced with everyday in hot spots in and around the country of Iraq. But how did we get into this mess in the first place? Either the Russian operatives in America are very very smart for finding ways to make us think that the fall of the Berlin Wall was going to be the end of M.A.D. controlled hostilities dating back to the Korean War; or American politicians are very very dumb for allowing our guard to fall. Either way we need to get a grip and figure our way out of this mess, and the only way we can begin to do that is by first telling the truth to the American public.
There is no doubt now that Russia has designs on mid-east oil in a big way, and if they are successful in gaining control of Iraq oil, their use of the revenues generated from the world's 2nd largest oil reserves currently housed beneath the sands of that now war torn country, could potentially be the second biggest weapon Russia has against the United States in this most recent version of the Cold War. I say that Iraq oil revenues would be Russia's second biggest weapon because from those revenues Russia could build more nukes, the biggest weapon of the Cold War or any war in the history of human warfare, not to mention the reason why we were mislead into Iraq in the first place thus giving the word "irony" new meaning.
The only weapon the world has that can match the potential Russian threat is the combined WILL of the entire population of the United States of America. Our factories, our churches, our women, our men not fighting, our ports, and our natural resources that we used to build, fortify, and maintain a devastating military force with skill and single minded determination during 2 World Wars and one Cold War is still unmatched in the history of human warfare in support of troops defending their native land. There is only one country that even came close to US unity, will, war preparedness, and troop support during wartime, and that country is Japan, who we ironically had to use nukes against to end our war against that proud nation and formidable wartime foe. But where is the United States populace support now when American troops are dying everyday in Iraq against a Russian-led insurgency under the guise of an outgunned, undermanned and unorganized would-be muslim jihadist guerilla force? If my initial lack of support for sending our troops into harm's way without a good reason is any indication of the rest of the country's stance on the war, then I would have to say that our support has disintegrated into a cesspool of political games and premature end of Cold War bragging by American politicians who are presently gagged by their now false proclamations. It's evident now that these same politicians would rather see the country fall into division and chaos rather than admit their mistakes. The most egregious offenders in this regard are by far he GOP Presidents and politicians on every level of government. End of Cold War chest pounding helped many of them win elections on every level since 1990. But again, it is unfortunate however that their actions have also been even more effective in preventing constituents of all political parties to unify in support of a war that may have been necessary to fight after all.
In the beginning, WMD lies along with assassinations of weapons experts and journalists helped me make up my mind against this war without hesitation, and to find out now that politicians have bee keeping the real reasons from the public to protect their professional careers and personal gains of their major political supporters which has been the main catalyst for lessened American support is totally unacceptable. If Americans had been informed that keeping the Russians from the Iraqi oil fields required that we send troops into harm's way in Iraq instead of lying about WMD's under the Sadam Hussein regime, the US Government would have garnered 110% support from its citizens and exceeded enlistment quotas from the day we declared war simply by telling us the truth.
If we stop for a moment and take a real good look at how the American economic and military-industrial landscape has changed since the alleged end of the Cold War, we can see run down factories, jobs going overseas (thus further eliminating the need for home based factories), and a declining American spirit which has laid the foundation for Constitutional assassins to get away with abominations to our freedoms on a seemingly daily basis. If I were the ex-KGB American hating Russian President (Vladimir Putin), right now sitting atop my perch in the Kremlin, I would undoubtedly be drooling over the lack of potential for war mobilization in America, his #1 obstacle in the way of Russia attaining exclusive control of lucrative mid-east oil fields. In fact these are same problems we rubbed in the USSR's face right after the Berlin Wall came down which I imagine is further fueling Putin's ambitions, and God knows our small minded politicians gave that ex-KGB agent enough fuel for his vengeance, and it will take all of us to clean up the mess.
Again, the GOP has spearheaded the divisiveness we are experiencing which sheds a whole different light on Tom Delay's connections with Russian businessmen, among many other indiscretions that he has committed. Additionally, lets again imagine how embarrassing and damaging to all of the politicians and former Presidents claiming that the Cold War was over, when in fact Russian overtures in Iran, and now Syria in 2005, give every indication that the Cold War never ended. How many politicians won congressional seats in 1994 based on the fact that Ronald Reagan defeated USSR, and KGB agents such as Vladimir Putin? Not to mention that making such irresponsible claims only succeeded at, again, putting the United States populace at ease economically and militarily thus allowing important auto factories to close, which serve as an economic stimulus for our country in peacetime, and during wartime a never ending source of weapons and equipment when we need it the most. However, the biggest weapon destroyed by bragging and now embarrassed politicians (especially the GOP) is to our unity. Even though America has shown remarkable resiliency in past wars by winning them in spite of being divided in some way, shape or form, I would contend that this is not a position that we want to be in. For example, the Harlem Hellfighters were a black American fighting unit who fought under the French flag during WW1, for a racially divided American population that would not allow them to fight under the American Flag, and that saw the mistreatment of blacks as status quo during this time period. But for as bad as those black WW1 fighters were treated at home, you would not know it by their actions on the German battlefields where their bravery, fighting ability and patriotism for their country was unmatched to the Germans grim surprise. If an apartheid America could come together and win a war against the Germans during that racially divided time period, just imagine what a more racially unified America can do against the Russians or anybody else for that matter in 2005? My god, to fight against the USA in that scenario would be suicide. But victories in the last few decades have been harder to come by due to politicians not being truthful. So unless the politicians who have been lying about our conflict w/Russia in the Mid-East, fess up about the current state of the Cold War, we will stay divided thus making it that much harder to achieve a real peace in that part of the world.
I personally came out against this war at first, but if what the Russians are doing in Iran and Syria is any indication of what their true intentions are, then I believe going into Iraq was justified. I believe that from now on we all must make sure our government officials come clean about the reasons that we go to war for it appears that if given the choice, our leaders will choose to save face and their careers over the security of the United States of America.
JFK set the standard of US resolve in the face of imminent nuclear war during a time when M.A.D. was not enough to keep Russian posturing in check during the Cuban Missile Crisis. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy didn't blame a blockade of Cuba on some Mid-East dictator having nukes pointed at us. It was the Russians who were pointing the nukes, and Kennedy said it was the Russians. Where is that kind of leadership now??? The GOP have to make a decision, either they must be for the USA and admit that the Cold War is not over thus garnering much needed support for our mission against the Russians in the Mid-East, or continue to aide Russian objectives by keeping America divided because they are afraid to loose face politically at home.
"I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him, he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone."
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Putin defends missile sales to Syria (CNN.com)
Thu Apr 28, 2005;10:45 AM ET
President Vladimir Putin, on a historic visit to Israel, defended Russia's planned sale of anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, insisting that they would pose no danger to the Jewish state.
"The system we are going to supply to Syria is short range and poses no threat whatsoever to Israeli territory," Putin told a news conference after talks with Israeli President Moshe Katsav.
Moscow's planned sale of the military equipment to Damascus is one of the principle bones of contention between Russia and Israel, which could threaten to overshadow the first ever visit by a Kremlin leader to the Jewish state.
Katsav acknowledged there were "disagreements" between Israel and Russia on the planned sale of the anti-aircraft missiles, which he said "risked reducing Israel's abilities to fight terrorism".
Putin also pointed out that nine billion dollars worth of weapons was sold to the Middle East from countries across the globe.
"Russia is delivering less than 500 million dollars to the Middle East so what can be the reason for worry by our Israeli partners?" he said. "If they were ever to be used, you would have to attack Syria."
Putin said he had blocked the Russian military from selling far more serious hardware to countries in the Middle East, including Syria.
"We are not planning to do anything that would upset the balance of forces in the region," he said.
"There were discussions and our military had intended to deliver, including to Syria, the latest rocket system, the Iskander," he said. "But I forbade that so you cannot say we are acting irresponsibly -- quite the opposite."
"Despite steps taken by the Russian president to reduce the danger, we feel there is a danger of deadly weapons falling into the hands of Hezbollah," Katsav added, referring to the Syrian-backed Lebanese-based Shiite movement.
According to the Israeli government the short-range Strelets missiles would arm an unfriendly neighbour and could fall into the hands of militants, which at least one official said could pose "a grave danger to civil aviation."
Moscow says it has the right to sell weapons and that the Strelets are of a purely defensive nature.
Georgian Opposition Leader Says Russia Helping Iran Make Nuclear Weapons
Created: 23.03.2005 14:17 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 14:17 MSK document.write(get_ago(1111576635));
The leader of Georgia's right-wing opposition, David Gamkrelidze, has said that Russia is helping Iran produce a nuclear bomb, Russia's Rosbalt news agency reported on Wednesday.
Gamkrelidze was criticizing Kakha Bendukidze, Georgia's minister of economic reforms who is also the head of the Russia's Atomstroiexport corporation — the company building the Iranian nuclear plant at Bushehr.
The opposition politician said Russian secret services had sent Bendukidze to Georgia. Gamkrelidze also added that Bendukidze held a stake in Atomstroiexport — "the company that is helping Iran build a nuclear power plant, but in reality is helping Iran to make a nuclear bomb".
Gamkrelidze went on to say that Bendukidze's business was created with the help of Russian security services, as he claimed it was impossible to do business in Russia in any other way.
Russian business tycoon Kakha Bendukidze was appointed Georgia's minister of economic reforms in mid-2004 after President Mikhail Saakashvili granted him Georgian citizenship by special decree. The main thrust of Bendukidze's economic policy is large-scale privatization, something that has earned him many enemies among the nation's political elite.
Russia tells US: No reason to accuse Iran on nuclear energy
Tehran, May 5, IRNA -- Russia, which helps Iran build a nuclear energy plant in southern Bushehr, on Monday turned down US claims that Tehran had violated international conventions on weapons of mass destruction, the Itar-Tass news agency said
"Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev told US undersecretary of state (for arms control) John Bolton on Monday that there are no reasons to believe at present that Iran has violated its commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency," the agency said.
Bolton is in Moscow mainly to discuss Russia's nuclear cooperation with Iran, which has irked the United States. Rumyantsev visited Washington last month, in which 'he played down US fears that Russian construction of a nuclear power plant in Iran may trigger proliferation and made it clear that Moscow would continue its nuclearcooperation with Iran'.
According to Itar-Tass news agency, Rumyantsev said he assured US officials that "everything will be done in strict compliance with international norms and agreements".
"We tried to remove American officials' fears that Russian construction of a nuclear power plant in Iran may trigger proliferation (of weapons of mass destruction)," Itar-Tass cited Rumyantsev as saying at the time.
"Therefore, our information on cooperation with Iran was apprehended with understanding that we do not violate any international commitments," the minister said.
Rumyantsev's new statements evidently jarred with those in March when he said that US "is always criticizing us, but its close economic partners supply Iran with sensitive technology".
He was referring to media reports that an Iranian gas centrifuge, a sophisticated apparatus able to enrich uranium for both power stations and weapons, was made by Western companies.
Iran said it was surprised by those "irresponsible" remarks of Russian officials. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi reiterated that "the nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic are indigenous and Iran uses its own know-how and possibilities (to build a complete nuclear energy cycle)".
A delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in February inspected the gas centrifuge in central Natanz.
Washington has whipped up its anti-Iran rhetoric after President Mohammad Khatami made public Tehran's plans for a complete nuclear fuel cycle.
The announcement came shortly after US officials were cited late last year as alleging that American satellites had spotted two sites in Arak and Natanz which suggested they could be used for making nuclear weapons.
Washington suspects Tehran's plans, arguing, "Iran's costly pursuit of a complete nuclear fuel cycle only makes sense if it's in support of a nuclear weapons program."
US says Iran's nuclear programs, while the country sits on some of the biggest oil and gas reserves of the world, are questionable.
Iran says it wants the programs as part of the country's bid to generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity to cope with the rising energy demand in the 65-million-nation in the next 20 years, while its gas and oil reserves are becoming overstretched.
Washington also alleges that Russian construction of a nuclear plant in Bushehr could enable Iran to build a nuclear weapon, a charge which both Tehran and Moscow deny.
Russia and Iran: Comrades in arms
October 5, 2001 (By Sergei Blagov)
MOSCOW - For those with cash to spend, Russia has a lot to offer besides crude oil and natural gas. Moscow and Tehran this week signed agreements for further supplies of Russian military equipment to Iran, to be worth US$300-400 million annually over several years.
Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani was due to leave Russia on Thursday after a four-day visit to formalize the arms accord that was outlined during Iranian President Mohammad Khatami's visit to Moscow in March.
On October 2, the defense ministers of Russia and Iran signed a framework agreement on military cooperation. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said that Russia would only provide Iran with "defensive" weapons, adding that such sales would not violate international agreements. The agreement is not directed against third countries, Shamkhani said. He also described Iran's relations with Russia as "historical and long-term". This week's meetings took on new significance in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. Iran and Russia have expressed their willingness to help equip the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance forces, but both countries are concerned about the consequences of possible US strikes into Afghanistan. Iran has warned the US not to use its airspace for any attacks. "Today our cooperation is becoming more urgent. The situation prompts that," Interfax news agency quoted Shamkhani as saying.
Government officials are yet to divulge details of the upcoming deals, but sources and analysts say that they may include spare parts for Russian-made weapons, new fighter jets, and possibly air defense, ground-to-ground and anti-ship systems. Some Russian media outlets have speculated that Tehran is interested in acquiring long-range S-300 air defense missiles, and medium-range Buk M1 and Tor M1 air defense missiles.
Iranian military officials are also reportedly considering purchasing Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets with a range of more than 3,000 kilometers, Iskander-E tactical ground-to-ground missiles with a range of nearly 300 kilometers, and 550 BMP-3 armored infantry vehicles.
Iran also would like to buy supersonic Mosquito and Yakhont anti-ship missiles. The Yakhont missiles have a range of 300 kilometers. The Mosquito missiles, manufactured at the Progress plant in Arseniyev, Primorie region, near the border with China, have a range of 120 kilometers. The missiles fly at altitudes below 10 meters and their designers claim that Russia previously sold them to both China and Vietnam. The delivery of the Mosquito missile system to China was a part of larger, $800 million deal to build two Sovremenny-class destroyers for the Chinese navy.
It has been speculated that the missiles could eventually be deployed in a conflict over the Spratly islands. Rich fishing grounds and the potential for gas and oil deposits have caused the Spratly archipelago to be claimed in its entirety by China, Taiwan and Vietnam, while portions are claimed by Malaysia and the Philippines. All five parties have occupied certain islands or reefs, and occasional clashes have occurred between Chinese and Vietnamese naval forces.
When it comes to armaments, Russian technology still sells. Apart from China, India has purchased submarines and frigates equipped with anti-ship missile systems.
Russian media outlets have speculated that Iran is keen to purchase anti-ship missile systems in order to control crucial sea routes in the Persian Gulf. However, Russian officials have dismissed these fears. "The arms supply agreement is not going to undermine the regional balance of forces." Ivanov was quoted as saying by the Russian Information Agency.
The latest commitment between Russia and Iran is contrary to a secret memorandum signed in 1995 by then US vice president Al Gore and then prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin which obliged Russia to stop deliveries of weaponry systems to Iran by December 31, 2001, and to refrain from signing any new arms deals with the country.
Prior to the signing of this memorandum, Russia had delivered three Project 877 diesel submarines and eight MiG-29 fighters to Iran and sold a T-72 tank production license as part of a series of deals dating back to the 1980s.
Russian experts say that Iran may become Russia's third biggest arms buyer after China and India. Iran's ambassador to Moscow, Mehdi Safari, said in February that Russia could overall earn up to $7 billion in the next few years by resuming full-scale military cooperation with Iran.
Moreover, Russian military experts indicate that Iran wants to use Russian defense equipment on its 1,000 kilometer border with Afghanistan. This would be used to help Iran stop the flow of narcotics from Afghanistan through its territory and limit the losses of Iranian border guards trying to block the drug trade. Russia's Interfax news agency quoted unidentified sources in the Russian Federal Border Guard Service as saying that Shamkhani had tentatively approved a draft to equip all of Iran's borders with Russian surveillance systems.
On Thursday, Shamkhani visited Russia's second largest city and major defense industry hub, St Petersburg. The Iranian minister was due to visit the Northern Warf shipbuilding plant, notably to inspect the so-called Project 20382 naval vessels, with an estimated price tag of $50 million each.
The Kremlin secured a number of deals when Iranian President Mohammad Khatami visited Russia in March, becoming the first Iranian leader in Moscow in 27 years. Khatami met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 12 and they signed a cooperation treaty, the first major accord clinched by the two countries since the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.
The treaty did not make Russia and Iran strategic partners, but aimed at further strengthening partner-like, neighborly relations. The deal stipulates, among other things, that neither nation would allow its land to be used by "separatists" acting against the other nation.
On October 2, Shamkhani warned against what he described as a policy of double standards in the battle against terrorism. When Russia was targeted by terrorists recently, some countries supported them, he said, arguably referring to the United States.
During his Moscow visit Shamkhani also negotiated with Ivanov on how the oil and gas riches of the Caspian Sea should be shared. They avoided any direct reference to the United States in their comments, but indirectly opposed US policy in the Caspian Sea region.
The Caspian settlement "does not require the presence of non-littoral states", Shamkhani said. In response, Ivanov stated that the five littoral nations "do not need outside intermediaries" to settle their differences.
Russia and Iran will not recognize maritime borders in the Caspian until the sea's legal status is settled. The Caspian Sea is landlocked between Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan. Since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Caspian Sea - as well as the region surrounding it - has became the focus of much international attention due to its huge oil and gas reserves. The Sea, which is 700 miles long, contains six separate hydrocarbon basins, and most of the oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea region have not yet been developed yet.
Economic relations between Russia and Iran are experiencing a revival. Annual trade turnover was just $200 million five years ago, while it reached $600 million last year, of which 90 percent comprised Russian exports to Iran.
However, Russia has long come under heavy criticism from the West for its help in building the Bushehr nuclear plant on Iran's Gulf coast. The US claims that the Russian technology could be used to develop nuclear weapons, but Moscow and Tehran argue that the plant will only be used for civilian purposes and will remain under international control.
Moscow has brushed off repeated US demands that it cancels the $800 million 1,000-megawatt light-water nuclear reactor project. The Kremlin has repeatedly argued that it is abiding by international agreements banning the proliferation of nuclear technologies.
Although the West now shares Russia and Iran's opposition to the Taliban's radicalism, it remains to be seen whether an emerging joint stance against international terrorism may silence Western criticism of Russia's arms sales to Iran.
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