Panama Papers: Plannetje van George Soros en de CIA om Poetin zwart te maken

Het door George Soros georkestreerde Panama-lek was bedoeld om Poetin zwart te maken, maar onthulde juist hoe Hillary Clinton, David Cameron en andere westerse bedriegers met elkaar samenzweren.

Op zondag maakte de wereld kennis met de Panama Papers. Er werd gesproken van het grootste journalistieke lek aller tijden. De documenten, afkomstig van het Panamese advocatenkantoor Mossack Fonseca, werden gelekt aan de Duitse Süddeutsche Zeitung.

De documenten waren daarvoor in handen van een schimmig netwerk bestaande uit miljardair George Soros en diverse door de CIA gefinancierde organisaties, waaronder het International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) en het Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).Panama Papers: Plannetje van George Soros en de CIA om Poetin zwart te maken mislukt

 

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Rusland wilde drie keer NAVO-lid worden en vrede sluiten, maar Westen weigerde

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Hoezo geld

De rechtszaak die de wereldwijde samenzwering onderuit kan halen en Neil Keenan’s strijd tegen de wereldwijde samenzwering van bankiers.

Eind 2011 diende de Iers-Amerikaanse zakenman Neil Keenan (vertegenwoordiger en gemachtigde van de Aziatische Dragonfamilie) een claim in bij de federale rechtbank in New York. De rechtszaak van Neil Keenan gaat niet alleen over de gestolen obligaties, twee partijen ter waarde van 134.500 miljard en 145.500 miljard dollar. Het gaat om de grootste fraudezaak in de financiële wereld. Het verhaal erachter legt de corruptie binnen de bancaire wereld bloot. Het ontmaskert de betrokkenheid van wereldleiders bij deze corrupte praktijken en de sinistere agenda van de Cabal (heersende schaduw-elite, ook wel illuminati genoemd). En onthult tevens de ware motivatie achter de Tweede Wereldoorlog en 9/11.

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Monitor the World's Hot Spots

Monitor the World's Hot Spots

 

Get both a bird's eye view and an in-depth look at conflicts around the world with the redesigned Global Conflict Tracker from the Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) Center for Preventive Action (CPA).

Global Conflict Tracker

Updated daily, the guide's interactive map plots nearly thirty ongoing conflicts, from the civil war in Syria to organized crime in Mexico. The revamped guide includes news updates, detailed background information, statistics, and additional resources on each crisis.

View one of CFR's most popular interactive guides at www.cfr.org/globalconflicttracker.

CFR's Center for Preventive Action seeks to help prevent, defuse, or resolve deadly conflicts around the world and expand the body of knowledge on conflict prevention.

   

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Zwei Millionen Menschen kämpfen gegen Monsanto

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The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

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Mullen Takes on the ISI

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Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Resigns Over Global Warming

Published September 14, 2011

FoxNews.com

The global warming theory left him out in the cold.

Dr. Ivar Giaever, a former professor with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the 1973 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, abruptly announced his resignation Tuesday, Sept. 13, from the premier physics society in disgust over its officially stated policy that "global warming is occurring."

The official position of the American Physical Society (APS) supports the theory that man's actions have inexorably led to the warming of the planet, through increased emissions of carbon dioxide.

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New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism

  • New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism

    New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism

NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA's Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA's Terra satellite contradict multiple assumptions fed into alarmist computer models.

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Casablanca Wikileak

Classified By: Principal Officer Douglas Greene for reasons 1.4 (B)
AND (D)
1. (SBU) Summary: In Casablanca, Morocco's largest city and economic
capital, prosperity is increasingly on display, raising the question
of where it comes from. Family money, the banking and real estate
sectors, and a strong-performing stock market account for some
wealth. Remittances from Moroccans living abroad, tourism, and
foreign investment, especially from Gulf countries, comprise the
major external sources of money. Illicit sources of income including
drug trafficking, money laundering and endemic corruption play a role
in the growing economy as well. Increased consumption has been a
boon to the economy, but Casablanca's wealth must be shared more
broadly to benefit all segments of society. End Summary.
--------------------------
INTERNAL SOURCES OF WEALTH
--------------------------
2. (SBU) The easily-observable phenomenon of wealth in Casablanca
begs the question of where the money comes from. Many Casablancans
cite family money as one key contributor to the city's affluence.
According to Samir Benmakhlouf, president of Century 21 Morocco, the
textile industry, based in Fez, traditionally drove the Moroccan
economy. In the 1970s and 80s, textile producers relocated to
Casablanca for retail opportunities, creating economic momentum and
bringing money to the city. An article in the Middle East Report on
Morocco's bourgeoisie supports this historical view, though dates the
shift to the end of World War II: "The economic center of gravity
shifted to the coastal cities, especially Casablanca. Enterprising
businessmen left Fez for Casablanca, where they continued to be known
as Fassis." Even today, natives of Fez retain their reputation as
members of a business-savvy elite. One of Morocco's richest men,
Othman Benjelloun, hails from Fez and is Chairman and CEO of BMCE,
Morocco's third largest bank. According to BMCE employees, a 'Fez
mafia' dominates the bank's culture. Benjelloun and others like him
belong to a long-standing, moneyed elite who contribute to
Casablanca's prosperity.
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Riyadh wikileaks

C O N F I D E N T I A L RIYADH 000118 
SIPDIS 
LONDON PASS TO SECRETARY'S PARTY 
NEA FOR ARP 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/27/2020 
TAGS: PREL MNUC PTER PGOV KGHG SENV ETRD SA IR
SUBJECT: SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTRY PRESSING CHINA TO STOP 
IRANIAN PROLIFERATION, CONCERNED ABOUT TSA REGULATIONS 
Classified By: Ambassador James B. Smith, reasons 1.4 (b and d). 
1. (C) Summary: Saudi Foreign Ministry officials told 
visiting NEA A/S Feltman that they are convinced Iran intends 
to develop a nuclear weapon, and that the Saudi Foreign 
Minister pressed his counterpart hard for greater Chinese 
engagement on this threat during the Chinese FM's visit 
earlier in January.  While no explicit deal was discussed, 
Saudi Arabia made it clear it was willing to address Chinese 
concerns on energy security and trade in exchange for 
effective Chinese support to prevent Iranian proliferation. 
Saudi Arabia is also concerned about Iran's unhelpful role in 
Yemen.  While generally very pleased with the state of 
bilateral relations, Saudi officials strenuously - and under 
instruction - complained about the continued negative effect 
of the recent Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) 
regulations that call for extra security screening for Saudi 
Arabia.  The Saudi Foreign Minister will raise these concerns 
with the Secretary in London on January 27.  They noted that 
the Saudi public is increasingly upset by this, and does not 
understand why they were put in the same group with Cuba, 
which has prompted some Saudis to question how special their 
relationship with the United States really is.  A/S Feltman 
urged Saudi Arabia to associate itself with the Copenhagen 
Accord by January 31.  The MFA reported that Saudi Arabia 
donated $50 million for Haitian relief efforts on January 25. 
End Summary. 
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Een Europese anti-slipcursus

Soros in Duitsland (Foto Reuters)

Een frontale aanval. Iets anders valt er niet te maken van de speech die superbelegger George Soros gisteren aan de Humboldt Universiteit in Berlijn hield. In het hol van de leeuw verweet Soros de Duitsers “de Europese Unie in gevaar brengt” met hun dogmatische benadering van het wegwerken van het begrotingstekort. In plaats van een verantwoordelijke rol op zich te nemen, die past bij de positie van Duitsland in de eurozone, trapt Duitsland op de rem.

Duitsland, stelt Soros, behandelt de rest van Europa zoals de Griekse herbergier Procrustes zijn gasten behandelde: zij die te kort waren voor het bed werden uitgerekt en van hen die te lang waren werden de benen afgezaagd.

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There was no Explosion. There was No Torpedo.

* To : Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State

* From : S.C.Shin 

* Date : May 26, 2010

Title : Opinion about Accident of PCC-772

Dear Hillary Clinton U.S. Secretary of State,

Welcome to Korea and I hope you could have a good chance to discuss the Peace in East Asia including Korean Peninsula.

I am S.C. Shin, a civil investigator recommended by Korean National Assembly for the sinking of Cheonan and I'm writing this letter to let you know the truth exactly here in Korea.

I have graduated Korea Maritime University in 1982, served 2 years in Navy as a sailing & gunnery officer, worked for Hanjin Shipping on a containership regular line between Far East & West coast of U.S as a navigator for several years and experienced shipbuilding inspect affair for 7 years in Major Shipyards in Korea such as Hyundai, Samsung, Daewoo and Hanjin Heavy Industry.

I have built 3 bulk carriers of 136,000 tons and 10 container ships of 2,000~4,000 teu in charge of hull structure, shipping machinery and outfittings, paint and nautical equipments including navigation system.

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Goodbye to Europe as a High-Ranking Power

Author:
Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations

May 13, 2010
Financial Times

It is more than a little ironic that Nato has committed itself to defining a new strategic concept at precisely the moment the transatlantic relationship counts for less than at any time since the 1930s.

In part this development reflects Europe's success. While Europe was the central arena for much of 20th- century history and a principal theatre for both world wars and the cold war, it now is mostly at peace. The Franco-German rift has been replaced by a broader integration of the continent inside the European Union, with France and Germany at its core. Europe is to a large extent whole and free. What happens within it will not determine the arc of the 21st century.

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Monsanto and the Future of Food

Reviewed by Erin Wiegand
03.06.05

 What happens when an increasingly small number of corporations control an increasingly large percentage of the global food supply? The future of food, argues a new film by Deborah Koons Garcia, will be determined by how quickly these companies can consolidate and patent the seeds and genetic structure of the most important food crops in the world. Welcome to the Gene Revolution.

As of 2003, genetically engineered (GE) foods could be found on over 100 million acres of land in the United States, and in 60% of all processed foods—mostly in the form of corn and canola. And despite an ongoing struggle to conduct more objective research into the real impact that genetic engineering has on food (and, subsequently, on us), GE foods still require no labeling, little testing, and no corporate liability in the United States. A long-term study to assess the health and environmental risks of genetic engineering has yet to be carried out, largely due to the manipulation of research facilities—mainly in universities—by the industry and supporters within the government. And as Ignacio Chapela, one scientist interviewed in the film, points out, these manipulations of genetic structure are "probably the largest biological experiment humanity has ever entered into." [go here to read an interview LiP conducted with Dr. Chapela, who was denied tenure and eventually forced to leave his position at UC Berkeley after publishing a paper describing how native corn in Oaxaca, Mexico had been contaminated by genetic material from genetically modified corn.]

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Biodiesel threatens cocaine production

Prices of cocaine are likely to triple in Q1 of 2009 following palm and castor oil biodiesel initiatives threatening the production of coca, the feedstock for the production of quality cocaine in Colombia, the long time reliable supplier to millions of art directors, journalists, singers, moviestars, bank directors and politicians in the US and Europe. Poor farmers, who have been relying on coca cultivation for decades, are now forced to leave their plantations by ruthless and violent biofuel producers, by force if necessary.

 

Beaten off their land….the land being transformed, highways pop up, canals and palm oil plantation sites dominate. A complete infrastracture is being destroyed and the government of Colombia stands watching.

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Weltweit sind 250 Millionen Christen verfolgt

Christenverfolgung

Von der europäischen Öffentlichkeit weitgehend unbemerkt, leben weltweit rund 250 Millionen Christen in Angst. In mehr als 50 Staaten werden sie als religiöse Minderheit mit dem Tod bedroht, vergewaltigt, unterdrückt oder vertrieben.

Die Presse

Athen mit Asylbanden aus Afghanistan, Irak und Afrika überschwemmt

7.10.2008

Griechenland

Wenn wir von illegalen Einwanderern hören, ist unser Blick meist südlich nach Sizilien, Lampedusa und Malta gerichtet oder westlich auf die Kanaren und Spaniens Südspitze. Die EU hat aber auch eine Ostgrenze, und dort ist Griechenland das Einfallstor. Man muß nur einen Blick auf die vielen Inseln der Ägäis werfen von Samothrake bis Rhodos, um ermessen zu können, wieviele Einfallstore offen stehen. Den Türken ist das natürlich durchaus recht, sie verhindern nichts. Auf Patmos und ein paar anderen Inseln leben gerade mehr Flüchtlinge als Einwohner!

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Arab Columnists: The Economic Crisis – A Conspiracy by U.S. Government, American Jews

U.S. Government, American Jews

In recent articles, several Arab columnists wrote that the global economic crisis is the result of a conspiracy by the U.S. government, by American Jews, and/or by the Zionists. They claimed that the conspirators were aiming to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, to seize Arab wealth, and to take over the global economy - all as a means of increasing their influence in the world.

Following are excerpts from the articles:

Egyptian Parliamentary Foreign Liaison Committee Head: Economic Crisis "Part of Global Political Conspiracy"

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Gleichmacher-Ideologie als Ursache der Krise

Die linke Gleichmacher-Ideologie hat uns die Finanzkrise eingebrockt und nicht etwa die Spekulanten der Wallstreet. Man kann den Linken zwar nicht vorwerfen, diese bewusst herbeigeführt zu haben, deren Auslöser aber waren sie allemal.

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Syrian Troops Enclose Lebanon, Rice Contacts Hamas

From DEBKA-Net-Weekly updated by DEBKAfile

October 25, 2008

 

As part of the incipient thaw in US relations with Damascus, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has relayed a friendly message to Hamas political leader Khalid Meshaal through Syrian foreign minister Walid Muallem’s aides.

The message, described by Moussa Abu Marzouk, one of the heads of Hamas’ Damascus headquarters, as a “verbal communication.” was received as four Syrian divisions completed their deployment on Lebanon’s borders last week (see exclusive map). In the message, Rice praised the Palestinian terrorist group for halting its missile fire into Israel.

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The Growing Nexus between Drugs and Terrorism

By Michael Jacobson

On July 18, the Washington Institute hosted Michael Braun, the Chief of Operations at the Drug Enforcement Administration, and a career DEA Special Agent who has served in a variety of positions both in the US and abroad. According to Special Agent Braun, the nexus between drugs and terror is growing at light speed. In his view, this is not a new trend -- there have been numerous links identified between drugs and terror over the last twenty-five years. Of the forty-three officially designated foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has linked nineteen of them to some aspect of the global drug trade, and believes that up to sixty percent of terror organizations are connected with the illegal narcotics trade.

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Widerstand gegen Moslemrassismus in Dänemark

Islamischer RassismusWer den Sommerurlaub dieses Jahr in Dänemark verbringt, kann entlang der Autobahnen immer wieder islamkritische Spruchbänder und “gehenkte” Mohammedpuppen sehen. Es handelt sich dabei um den Protest einer anonymen Aktionsgruppe, die mit der Aktion gegen die rassistische Vertreibung von Grönländern aus ihren gemeinsamen Wohnvierteln mit muslimischen Zuwanderern protestiert.

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U.N. scheme to make Christians criminals

Sharia-following Islamic nations demanding anti-'defamation' law

Posted: July 10, 2008
12:00 am Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily


Dozens of nations dominated by Islam are pressing the United Nations to adopt an anti-"defamation" plan that would make Christians criminals under international law, according to a United States organization that has launched a campaign to defend freedom of religion worldwide.

"Around the world, Christians are being increasingly targeted, and even persecuted, for their religious beliefs. Now, one of the largest organizations in the United Nations is pushing to make a bad situation even worse by promoting anti-Christian bigotry," the American Center for Law & Justice said yesterday in announcing its petition drive.

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Food Prices

Author:
Lee Hudson Teslik, Associate Editor

June 30, 2008


Introduction

By just about any measure, global food prices rose significantly over the past two years. The consumer price index (CPI) measuring inflation for retail foodstuffs in the United States is expected to rise from 4.5 percent in 2007 to 5.5 percent in 2008. Those figures pale in comparison to the price increases faced by consumers in the developing world, who more often purchase non-packaged food directly (i.e. corn, not cornflakes) and thus are more exposed to the prices of individual food commodities. The prices of rice and wheat, for instance, have more than doubled in twelve months; for someone subsisting mainly on rice and purchasing it directly, that means food inflation of roughly 100 percent in a year. This jump in prices has led to riots in dozens of poorer countries.

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Treasury Moves on Hezbollah Ties in Venezuela

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated several entities tied to Hezbollah and operating in Venezuela. This is the first time I can find of the U.S. government directly and publicly linking Hezbollah funding activities to Venezuela.

This is part of a larger pattern, including, as I wrote earlier, the penetration of Hezbollah and Iran in Venezuela, with the blessing of the Chavez government.

Not long ago Iran began banking operations in Venezuela as well, in an effort to bypass the international sanctions in place and those that may follow in coming days.

According to the OFAC statement, one of the men designated, Ghazi Nasr al Din, is a Hezbollah fund raiser who has facilitated the travel of senior Hezbollah operatives to Venezuela to raise funds and open Hezbollah-funded social centers.

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Jihad Against Freedom of Speech at the United Nations

By Jeffrey Imm

The United Nations' Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has no problem with its members suggesting that the 9/11 attacks were an "inside job" perpetrated by the United States on itself. The human rights of America's 9/11 victims are not a priority for UNHRC's Richard Falk, the special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, who engages in 9/11 conspiracy propaganda, while working for an organization headquartered in New York City funded by U.S. tax dollars. This is Richard Falk's protected freedom of speech.

Denying the role of Jihadists in the 9/11 attacks is apparently perfectly acceptable freedom of speech for the UNHRC, but criticizing Sharia law is another story.

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Der UN-Menschenrechtsrat gehört abgeschafft

 von Clemens Wergin
21.06.2008 - 15.50 Uhr  

Clemens Wergin meint, dass die UN-Organisation zu einer Geisel von undemokratischen Regimes geworden ist und sich als unreformierbar erwiesen hat. Anstatt Verletzungen der Menschenrechte in Unrechtssystemen anzuprangern, hat sich der Rat in der vergangenen Zeit in erster Linie mit der Situation in Israel befasst.

Am Mittwoch ist die achte Sitzungsperiode des UN-Menschenrechtsrates in Genf zu Ende gegangen. Die dünne Berichterstattung in Europas Medien deutet darauf hin, dass der Westen lieber den Mantel des Schweigens über eine Veranstaltung legt, die zu einer beschämenden Farce geworden ist.

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Linking Venezuela and the FARC

May 21, 2008
Stephanie Hanson
Linking Venezuela and the FARC

A protest against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in the streets of Caracas in February 2008. (AP/Howard Yanes)

Roughly two months after Colombian forces crossed into Ecuador to kill a FARC guerilla leader, INTERPOL certified the authenticity of eight FARC laptops seized by the Colombian government. The finding strengthened Bogota's claims of a link between Venezuela and the FARC guerilla group. Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez rebuffed the forensic analysis and, with characteristic flourish, called the head of INTERPOL a "gringo policeman." Yet leaked emails (Miami Herald) from the laptops indicate evidence of Venezuelan financial and arms support for the FARC. If substantiated, these reports could deal a serious blow to regional security and further undermine U.S. relations with oil-rich Venezuela.

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4 BDB und Pax Europa fusionieren am 17.05.2008 zur Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa

Freiheit erfordert die Bereitschaft, Verantwortung zu übernehmen.

Für europäische Werte & Freiheiten - gegen Islamisierung.

Mit dem BDB und Pax Europa haben sich am 17. Mai 2008 zwei führende und erfahrene Organisationen im Widerstand gegen die Islamisierung Deutschlands und Europas zusammengetan, die auf gleichberechtigter Basis mit überwältigender Zustimmung ihrer jeweiligen Mitglieder die Fusion vollzogen. Während der BDB bislang als Organisation verschiedener Bürgerbewegungen bzw. Bürgerinitiativen agierte, die neben Aufklärungsarbeit zum Islam und seinen Divergenzen zum Grundgesetz und den Menschenrechten im wesentlichen auf lokaler Ebene gegen Bauprojekte wie Moscheen, sog. Kulturzentren und Koraninternaten aktiv war, konnte Pax Europa darüber hinaus besonders Dank Udo Ulfkottes Engagement die Verknüpfungen muslimischer Organisationen offenlegen und so Gefahrenpotentiale darstellen, die die multikulturellen Ideologen bezüglich grundlegender islamischer Bestrebungen europaweit völlig ausblendeten.

Wo sich Organisationen gegenseitig ideal ergänzen, ist ein Zusammenschluss für beide Seiten ein Gewinn.

Als Aufgabe haben wir uns gestellt, der schleichenden Islamisierung unserer Gesellschaft entgegenzuwirken: So werden wir vielleicht eines Tages unseren Enkeln, wenn sie uns fragen, sagen können, wir haben uns eingesetzt um Freiheit und Demokratie gegen eine faschistoide Ideologie zu verteidigen...

Herzlich Willkommen bei der Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa !

Mit dieser erfreulichen Nachricht endet die Seite des BDB e.V. weiter geht es auf www.buergerbewegung-pax-europa.de

Walker's World: French births soar

By MARTIN WALKER
UPI Editor Emeritus
WASHINGTON, April 30 (UPI) -- The news that France has overtaken Ireland to boast the highest birthrate in Europe is intriguing for three different reasons.

The first is that for a Europe that is worried about too few children being born to support the fast-growing numbers of elderly retirees, it suggests that public policy can make a difference. France now pays any mother with a third child about $1,200 in child support, along with massive discounts on train and public transport and subsidized day care. These incentives seem to work.

The second development to note is that INED, France's National Institute of Demographic Studies, has done some detailed research and concluded that France's immigrant population is responsible for only 5 percent of the rise in the birthrate and that France's population would be rising anyway even without the immigrant population.

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The price of food: ingredients of a global crisis

A worldwide increase in the price of basic foods is provoking anger and despair in many of the world's poor countries. Both analysts and policymakers are attempting to rise to the challenge of understanding the reasons for the trend and what can be done, reports Heidi Fritschel.

Prices are surging for food commodities worldwide, posing a tough policy challenge for developing countries - can they protect poor consumers without crushing new opportunities for farmers?

Poor consumers across the globe are protesting about their rising food bills. In December 2007, Mexicans rioted in response to an enormous jump in tortilla prices, which quadrupled in some parts of the country; in January 2008, Indonesians took to the streets to protest high soybean prices; in February, protesters in three major towns in Burkina Faso, angry about the rising cost of food and other basic goods, attacked government offices and shops; unrest linked to food markets has occurred also in Guinea, Mauritania, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.

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What the FARC Papers Show

First, a clarification. The documents taken from the laptop of FARC senior commander Raul Reyes when Reyes was killed had nothing to do with the arrest of arms merchant Viktor Bout in Thailand.

My sources involved in the operation said the operation was underway months before, and documents were not analyzed by DEA in relation to the Bout sting.

But the 36 pages of documents now made public by the Colombian government do provide a fascinating window into how the FARC, the oldest insurgency in the hemisphere, thinks, operates and views the world.

They show a rebel group that moves millions of dollars across the border for safe-keeping and sets up businesses, but is constantly under pressure from the Colombian military, making communications among the different commanders difficult. It shows they have problems with desertions and morale, and are desperate to change their international image.

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India: The Threat in the Northeast - Part II

By Frank Hyland & Animesh Roul


This column is another in the ongoing series on the terrorist threat to India and the surrounding region by Frank Hyland and Animesh Roul.

All seven of India’s northeastern states have been plagued by militancy, with the states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur remaining the most violence-prone states of India, after Jammu & Kashmir State (J&K).

Assam: In 2007, Assam witnessed more civilian casualties - 286 (65%) out of 439 total casualties (State Police Source) due to terrorist attacks, in comparison with the more infamous J&K which garners far more of the media coverage around the world.

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Chad's Future Taliban enters capital while the West is asleep

By Walid Phares

As Americans are debating who among their candidates for the primaries can best confront the Jihadists or at least preempt their offensives worldwide, future Jihadi forces have in one day invaded an African country (under European protection), a key location for the Darfur forthcoming Peace missions. In less than 12 hours the so-called armed opposition of Chad, crossed the entire country from its Eastern frontiers with Islamist-ruled Sudan to the capital N'Djamena across from Northern Nigeria. The latest reports mention fierce battles around the Presidential Palace and back and forth inside the city. But at this stage the geo-political consequences are crucial for the next stages locally, regionally and internationally. The bottom line is that in one day, what could become the future Taliban of Chad have scored a strategic victory not only against the Government of the country (which was supposed to back up the UN plans to save Darfur in Sudan) but also against the efforts by the African Union and European Union to contain the Sudanese regime and stop the Genocide. Today's offensive, regardless of the next developments, has already changed the geopolitics of Africa. Outmaneuvering the West and Africans, those regimes and forces standing behind the "opposition" have shown that they are restless in their campaign against human rights and self determination on the continent. But even more importantly the events of today shows how unprepared are Europeans and Americans in front of Jihadi regimes which seem weak on the surface but highly able to surprise and crumble Western efforts of containment.

Read More »

Another Colombian Drug Lord Found (Dead) in Venezuela

One of Colombia’s main drug lords, who had a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head, has been found dead in Venezuela, where he had been living for some time.

Wilber Varela, AKA “Soap,” was a leader of the massively violent and powerful Northern Valley cartel, a former hitman, who is now suspected of being killed by his own men.

Such is the life in one of the most violent of the cartels. Previous leaders (Ivan Urdinola, Diego Montoya etc.) earned their infamy by chopping up their victims with chainsaws and dumping the bodies in the Cauca River, earning the body of water the title of “River of Death.” This was terrorism in the name of greed rather than religion.

But what is more interesting is that Varela seems to have been living in the Venezuelan city of Merida. This is significant because Chávez government does not cooperate with international drug interdiction efforts and had made not efforts to apprehend him.

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Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb's dilemma

By OLIVIER GUITTA (Middle East Times)
  
The Algerian terror group GSPC (Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat) is the main component of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

In the past few weeks AQIM has scored many successes: pulling off a double suicide attack on Dec. 11 in Algiers that killed officially 31 (but maybe up to 76), killing in two separate attacks four French tourists and three soldiers in Mauritania.

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The Real Issue on the Latin American Landscape

My colleague Andrew Cochran’s post on the threat (or not) to the Panama Canal seems to me to miss the larger picture of the threat from Latin America.

That threat is contained in the recent statements by Adm. James Stavridis, head of the US Southern Command at a recent CSIS conference.

Stavridis warned that “the connectivity between narcoterrorism and Islamic radical terrorism could be disastrous in this region. What I worry about in this region with outside actors coming into it is the potential for those streams to cross, if you will, for the fuel of narcoterrorism to become engaged in Islamic radicalism here in the Americas.”

That is it in a nutshell. It is the Iran-Venezuela-Nicaragua nexus, built on a foundation of already-existing Hezbollah and Hamas operatives who have been economically active in the region for decades.

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Europe faces up to Iranian threat

By Olivier Guitta

United States President George W Bush has just ended a seven-nation tour of the Middle East trying to gather support on the Iranian threat. He does not need to fly to Europe to convince some European nations of the gravity of the threat. In fact, the December US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report did not change a thing in Europe's assessment of the Iranian danger, even though it said Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program years ago.

A not well-known fact shows Europe's determination vis-a-vis Iran: the European Union has gone further than the two United Nations

Security Council resolutions against Iran actually require. It has sanctioned additional entities and banned some additional transactions.

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Darf so einer unsere Kinder unterrichten?

beck.jpgEin lesenswerter Artikel in den Stuttgarter Nachrichten beschreibt die Erfahrungen eines Freiburger Bio- und Chemie-Lehrers, der den Treibhauseffekt als eine große Irrlehre bezeichnet. Seitdem er seine Meinung öffentlich gemacht hat, lebt der 59-jährige Ernst-Georg Beck (Foto) gefährlich. “Man hat mir schon gedroht, mein Haus anzuzünden.” Zweimal schon habe er wegen übler Beschimpfungen seine Mailadresse ändern müssen. Mehr…

Setser: Understanding the Falling Dollar

Interviewee:
Brad W. Setser, Fellow for Geoeconomics
Interviewer:
Lee Hudson Teslik, Assistant Editor

November 12, 2007

Brad W. Setser, a fellow at CFR’s Center for Geoeconomic Studies and an expert on currencies, outlines the factors leading to the precipitous recent fall in the valuation of the U.S. dollar. Setser says expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will make further rate cuts have added to the dollar’s decline, and says more generally that some countries with large dollar reserves are becoming less comfortable sitting on these reserves. He says the Fed shouldn’t attempt to use interest rates to sway currency exchange rates, but should focus instead on guaranteeing domestic economic stability, adding that it would take a “rather extraordinary series of events” to create a situation in which the United States ought to intervene directly in currency markets by coordinating the sale of euros or yen and buying dollars.

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The Criminal/Terrorist Pipeline to the United States

By Douglas Farah

The Justice Department recently unveiled a case that demonstrates the growing nexus between criminal and terrorist organizations.

The case involves corrupt Colombia police officials facilitating the travel of informants purporting to be from the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), the Western Hemisphere's oldest Marxist guerrilla movement and designated terrorist organization. The FARC has, over the past decade, devolved into an organization that concentrates heavily on kidnappings, extortion and the protection of the drug trade rather than any ideological motivation.

What is interesting in the case is that criminal groups are willing to knowingly transport terrorist to the United States, and not simply using the "coyote" route through Central America and Mexico.

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A Massive and Dangerous Shift

The Washington Post had a provocative article on the massive redistribution of oil wealth the new, record prices for oil, is causing.

The reality of shifting resources from one section of the world to another is not unusual, although this shift is the largest in history. Nor is it necessarily a bad thing for new countries to experience the bounty of controlling a vital natural resource. But what is disturbing about it is that it is mostly benefiting countries that wish to do us harm.

Our inability to wean ourselves from foreign oil has long been providing the financing for groups and countries that want to eliminate us, including terrorist organizations fed from the oil-rich nations. Former CIA director R. James Woolsey has been trying to drive that point home for years. The irony of financing our own destruction seems lost on most policy makers.

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Latin America’s Strange Bedfellows

Updated: November 2, 2007
Author:

 

Latin America’s Strange Bedfellows

Colombian President Uribe and President Chavez of Venezuela embrace in light of improving relations. (AP Images/Cesar Carrion, Presidency of Colombia)

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is Washington’s closest ally in Latin America, while Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez is an anti-American firebrand. Yet a recent warming between the two leaders, prompted by Venezuela’s offer to help Colombia negotiate with one of its guerilla groups, is raising eyebrows and provoking questions about the direction of U.S.-Colombia relations. “How long will the honeymoon last?” asks Poder, a Colombian business magazine, in an October report on Colombia-Venezuela relations (IHT). Given the ideological differences between the presidents of the two countries, it’s a valid question.

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Beijing inches towards tougher stance on Iran

By Harvey Morris at the United Nations, Daniel Dombey in Washington and Mure Dickie in Beijing

Published: November 8 2007 17:50 | Last updated: November 8 2007 17:50

China on Thursday called on Iran to “respond positively” to international concerns about its nuclear programme, a day after Tehran declared it had no need to account for itself to “bad tempered” foreign countries.

Beijing’s measured strengt­hening of diplomatic language followed increased pressure from fellow members of the United Nations Security Council to back new sanctions against Iran.

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Indian Intelligence Report Paints Bleak Picture of Pakistani Military

By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Over the past year, I've devoted a great deal of attention to the developing situation in Pakistan (see my recent Weekly Standard cover story, as well as blog entries here and at National Review's The Tank). In my recent Weekly Standard story, I note that Pakistan's military "does not appear to be up to the task of confronting the militants" that dominate in the tribal areas. Now The Times of India discusses an Indian intelligence report that vividly illustrates the challenges that Pakistan's military faces:

 

The Pakistani Army is "bleeding", and quite profusely at that, in its ongoing bloody skirmishes with extremists in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, with a "high" casualty rate as well as "unprecedented" levels of desertions, suicides and discharge applications.

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Bush and Putin Rough out Breakthrough Strategic Deal for Dumping Iran

DEBKAfile Special Report

October 23, 2007, 7:43 PM (GMT+02:00)

From Tehran to Washington

From Tehran to Washington

The first hint that a strategic deal was brewing was dropped by Russian President Vladimir Putin. At a news conference in Tehran last week, he alluded to a shift in the controversy with Washington which might settle his dispute with President George W. Bush on the US missile shield in East Europe.

His comment went largely unnoticed - except by officials in Tehran, who noted his reference to a possible understanding with the Americans – though not with Iran.

Then, on Monday, Oct. 22, Bush and Putin talked at length on the phone and made further progress towards an understanding.

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A Hazy Outlook for Private Oil Firms

October 22, 2007
Prepared by:   

At first blush, the two major stories dominating energy-market headlines seem an odd pairing. Even as oil prices skyrocket—they jumped over 10 percent in less than a week in mid-October, setting new records by surpassing eighty-eight dollars a barrel—news reports indicate that Warren Buffett, considered one of the world’s shrewdest investors, may be selling (AP) the last of his stake in PetroChina, China’s leading oil firm. Activists have long protested Buffett’s PetroChina holdings, saying the investment supports a company that operates in Sudan’s Darfur region. Some human rights groups thus claimed victory (WSJ) at the news of Buffett’s divestment. Yet industry experts poke holes in the idea that Buffett is caving on the Darfur question—similar pressures existed when he first purchased PetroChina shares in 2003—and highlight other, more pecuniary explanations for the sale.

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Russia: Why The Kremlin Likes The CIA

October 1, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Even by the standards of late Putin-era Russian television, the recent "special report" by Rossiya television journalist Arkady Mamontov entitled "Barkhat.ru" (Velvet.ru in English) raised eyebrows. The half-hour diatribe charged bluntly that the CIA, through Western NGOs, was responsible for "velvet revolutions" in Serbia and Montenegro, Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan -- and that now it has set its sights on Russia. (which is old news but apparently doubted by the author)

Mamontov has had a colorful career reporting from conflict zones since the 1990s and was the only Russian reporter allowed on the scene of the efforts to save the doomed crew of the "Kursk" nuclear submarine in August 2000. He was also the journalist behind the notorious "spy-rock" report alleging that British agents had attempted to gather intelligence by placing a large stone rigged with recording equipment on a Russian street. His latest report charges that the United States, having launched a war in Iraq that was ostensibly about democratizing the Middle East but was actually about oil, is engaged in an intricate campaign to snatch Russia's natural resources under a covert effort masked by democratic slogans and rhetoric.

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The Experts Looking Out for Europe's Security

This spring a so-named Group of Personalities in the Field of Security Research is to submit a report to the European Commission that will outline a research program for Europe's future security. It will then lead to a call for proposals for six to eight projects financed to the tune of 65 million euros ($83 million) over a three year period. The sum is tiny compared to the 17.5 billion euro outlay for the EU's sixth research and development program. In the long run, however, it will lay the cornerstones of a "Homeland Security" system in Europe. Members of the group - legislators, businessmen and researchers-were chosen on the basis of their know-how and skills in the security sector. Their work will be coordinated by the Commission's Research and Information Society directorates.

French FM Kouchner: The Iranian nuclear crisis forces the world to prepare for the worst - which is war

September 16, 2007, 10:39 PM (GMT+02:00)

In a series of press, radio and TV interviews, Sunday, Sept. 16, Bernard Kouchner also said he had advised large French companies not to respond to tenders issued by Tehran. DEBKAfile adds: France thus joined the economic sanctions imposed by the US, Britain, Japan and Germany on Iran for refusing to give up uranium enrichment, but implicit in Kouchner’s advice was a word of caution to French companies to stay clear of business complications with a nation on the brink of war.

The French foreign minister, who is clearly focusing on the Middle East, spoke shortly after visits to Iraq, Lebanon and Israel and the Israeli air force operation over Syria ten days ago. Paris sees ominous signals in the expanding Iranian intervention in combat against US forces in Iraq by stepped up weapons deliveries to the insurgents and their training, and the rising military tensions between Israel and Syria – all under the cloud of the nuclear issue.

The Return of Resource Nationalism

August 13, 2007
Prepared by:

In early 2007, Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez gave some of the world’s biggest oil companies a choice (HChron): turn over majority control of their projects to a state-owned company and remain as minority partners, or face a complete nationalization of operations in Venezuela’s Orinoco River basin. The region’s reserves may rival those of Saudi Arabia, so for major oil companies the stakes were huge. Ultimately, Exxon and ConocoPhillips opted to leave, while BP and Norway’s Statoil decided to stay. The move proved especially costly for Conoco, which reported a 94 percent drop in the year’s second quarter earnings—a direct result of losing its Orinoco holdings (FT). Exxon said it was too early to gauge the impact of the seizure.

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General Must Not Lie

By Boba Borojevic
July 17, 2007
Lt.-Gen. Michel Maisonneuve
In his recent interview "The General Who Testified Before Milosevic " By Brian Adeba - published by the Embassy newsweekly in Ottawa on July 11, 2007,  Lt.-Gen. Michel Maisonneuve recalls his testimony against former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic at The Hague in 2002. Canadian Lt.-Gen. Michel Maisonneuve calls Milosevic the "new Hitler". In 1993, the general had served for one year in the UN protection force in the former Yugoslavia as chief operations officer, and in 1998 in Kosovo, where he “witnessed the massacre of 45 ethnic Albanians in a place called Racak in 1999”. Lt.-Gen. Michel Maisonneuve also believes that the proposal put forward by Finnish diplomat Matti Ahtisari for a supervised independence for Kosovo is " the best of a number of bad solutions."
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In West Africa, Threat of Narco-States

July 10, 2007
Prepared by:

Eighteen months ago, fishermen in the West African state of Guinea-Bissau hauled up packages of a mysterious white powder (Telegraph) in their nets. Some reportedly sprinkled it on their crops, killing them, while others—once they discovered the powder was cocaine—sold it and used the windfall to start businesses. When you live in the fifth-poorest country in the world, it’s hard not to look at drug trafficking as a business opportunity, and Guinea-Bissau’s drug business is booming. Western officials estimate $150 million of cocaine flows into Guinea-Bissau per month from Latin America, equal to the country’s annual gross domestic product.

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Russian President Putin’s Interview with G8 Newspaper Journalists

President Vladimir Putin Fields Questions from G8 Member Countries' Newspaper Journalists
VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good evening ladies and gentlemen!

I would like to warmly welcome you.

I would just like to say a few words at the beginning of our discussion. We believe that the G8 forum is a useful and interesting event that allows us to synchronise our approaches to key issues linked with the development of the global economy and on the international agenda. And not simply to, shall we say, synchronise our watches but also to coordinate our positions, positions that can then be formalised in G8 documents and, later on, in the documents of other international organisations, including the UN. And this has occurred in the past.

I am very pleased to see that the agreements that were reached in St Petersburg last year have not been forgotten. Many of our agreements are being implemented. Moreover, the German G8 presidency has not forgotten about the major themes of our discussions in St Petersburg. We see clear evidence of what we discussed in Russia in the documents that are now being drafted by experts and sherpas. Of course, this first and foremost refers to energy. But not only that. This also includes development aid and especially aid to African countries. This includes the fight against infectious diseases. Naturally, this also includes our joint efforts concerning climate change.

Of course we will address all of this and, as I have already said, other serious international issues for Europe, such as the Balkans, and other problems. And I am confident that an open, honest discussion between partners on all of these problems — no matter how difficult they are to resolve — will be a useful discussion.

I would like to thank you for the interest you have shown in our work. And I certainly do not have the audacity or the responsibility of speaking for all my G8 colleagues. But I am ready to explain in more detail Russia’s position on issues that you think are of interest to the public.

That was everything I wanted to say at the outset and I will not waste time in a monologue. I am listening to you. Let’s start working.

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Special Report & Slides Released on Pre-Iraq War Intel

By Andrew Cochran

Sen. Carl Levin, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, today released a newly declassified report of the Department of Defense Inspector General about the intelligence activities of Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, before the Iraq War. Sen. Levin also released declassified slides which Under Secretary Feith used to brief the President and senior staff on the alleged relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda. The slides include a checklist of shared "objectives" with the notation, "Intelligence indicates cooperation in all categories; mature, symbiotic relationship,” and the last page has a bullet point stating, "Multiple areas of cooperation." The IG report confirms that the intelligence community did not find any operational relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda and that “the CIA and DIA disavowed any ‘mature, symbiotic’ relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida.” The IG concluded that Under Secretary Feith's briefings included "conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community," and that his actions were "inappropriate." You can download the IG report here and the slides here. Much of the slide presentation is still redacted as a matter of security. Newsweek released a portion of the slides in a story in January 2006 on the MSNBC site, but this is the first release of the entire slide presentation. You can read a transcript of a Fox News Channel interview in February with Feith on the Fox News site.

This closes one of the last outstanding loops in an issue which has no apparent future. I last posted on this issue on November 3 (with links to previous posts).

Islamic Radicals Seek a Spectacular Slaughter

February 17, 2007:  Police and troops on Sulawesi were put on high alert, because military intelligence had picked up information indicating that Islamic radicals from all over Indonesia were moving to Sulawesi in an attempt to launch a spectacular attack on local Christians. Australia has warned its citizens to stay away from Central Sulawesi, where most of the violence tends to take place. To make matters worse, the Christians are ready to strike back if the Islamic terrorists go after them again. Over the last few years, some 2,000 people have died in religious strife on Sulawesi.  The Islamic radicals need a spectacular operation to revive declining enthusiasm for the cause (of global Islamic conquest). 

 

February 16, 2007: Six warships have been sent to "sand mining" areas (small islands where the sand is put on boats and shipped to other countries for making concrete and other construction uses), to enforce a new ban on sand exports. The ban is mainly directed against Singapore, which is refusing to extradite Indonesians wanted on corruption charges. The accused stole hundreds of millions of dollars, and can thus afford the best lawyers, publicists  and influence peddlers. That works even in Singapore, one of the least corrupt places on the planet. 

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U.S.-Russia Interests on Collision Course

Author:
Lionel Beehner, Staff Writer

Introduction

U.S.-Russia relations during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s tenure have seesawed between mutual cooperation and confrontation. Recently tensions have escalated over American moves to establish an antimissile shield, further expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and encourage the installation of pro-Western governments across Eastern Europe, Moscow’s former sphere of influence. During a biting speech at a recent international security conference in Munich, Putin accused Washington of creating a unipolar world, reviving a nuclear arms race, and demonstrating an “almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations.” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates disputed accusations the United States was reverting back to a Cold War-like atmosphere of bilateral relations.

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EU condemns violent Muslim Albanian rioting in Kosovo

February 12, 2007 12:15 PM

BRUSSELS, Belgium-European foreign ministers on Monday condemned weekend violence by ethnic Albanians in Serbia's breakaway province of Kosovo, as U.N. envoy Martti Ahtisaari briefed them on his proposal for Kosovo's future status

Ahtisaari declined to comment after the monthly gathering of EU foreign ministers, but other participants expressed concern at the violence.

"There is no place in Kosovo for violence to achieve political objectives," EU expansion commissioner Olli Rehn said. "Those who resort to it only damage their own cause."

About 3,000 ethnic Albanians demonstrated Saturday against the plan, pushing for full independence for Kosovo, where 90 percent of the 2 million people are ethnic Albanians, in protests that let to clashes with riot police. Two people were killed.

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The More Things Change...

Several recent events show just how little the world has changed since 9-11, despite promises, proclamations, and flat-out falsehoods that try to paint a different picture.

The two incidents that stand out are the Saudi arrests of 10 “terrorist financiers,” and the continued hate that appears in Saudi and Iranian textbooks.

The charade has gone on since 9-11, and is unlikely to change anytime soon. The current reason that the actions are likely to continue unabated is the Shi’ite resurgence, which is shaking the Sunni regimes of the Gulf to their core. The escalating conflict between Sunni and Shi’ite seems to have launched a new wave of sectarian attacks between the two, carried out in newspapers, TV shows and textbooks so that children learn to hate early.

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Can Iran Be Trusted?

by Michael Rubin
AEI Middle Eastern Outlook
September 1, 2006

Diplomacy to resolve concerns over Iran's nuclear program continues with no clear resolution in sight. Most officials seek to avoid military confrontation. After receiving Iran's refusal to demands that it suspend uranium enrichment, both Moscow and Paris urged Washington not to escalate the dispute.[1] Serious U.S. analysts agree with the costs of military action. The Iranian government could ratchet up its sponsorship of terror, U.S. troops in Iraq could be vulnerable to Tehran's proxy militias, ordinary Iranian citizens could rally around the nationalist flag, and targeted bombing of Iranian facilities could delay the Islamic Republic's program, not end it.

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Evidence of Iran's War Against Coalition Forces in Iraq Unveiled (updated Feb. 12)

By Andrew Cochran

For some time, there have been claims of Iran's direct involvement in attacks against Iraqi and U.S. troops, but without the presentation of sufficient actual evidence to persuade Congress or the American public at large. Congress - Members of both parties and key staff - have been very reluctant to trust any such claims ever since the Iraqi WMD intelligence debacle.

That might change after today, when U.S. officials on the ground in Iraq - not just at the CIA or the Pentagon in Washington - revealed reliable evidence of Iran's direct involvement, from the highest levels in the government, in the attacks. "(O)ne of six Iranians detained in January in a raid on an office in the northern city of Irbil was the operational commander of the Quds Brigade, a unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that trains and equips Shiite militants abroad. He was identified as Mohsin Chizari, who was apprehended after slipping back into Iraq after a 10-month absence, the officer said. The Iranians were caught trying to flush documents down the toilet, he said. Bags of their hair were found during the raid, indicating they had tried to change their appearance, he added. He said the dates of manufacture on weapons found so far indicate they were made after fall of Saddam Hussein -- mostly in 2006. He said the "machining" on the components was traceable to Iran but did not elaborate."

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Putin attacks 'very dangerous' US

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticised the United States for what he said was its "almost uncontained" use of force around the world.

Washington's "very dangerous" approach to global relations was fuelling a nuclear arms race, he told a security summit in Munich.

Correspondents say the strident speech may signal a more assertive Russia.

The White House said it was "surprised and disappointed" by the Russian president's comments.

"We expect to continue co-operation with Russia in areas important to the international community such as counter-terrorism and reducing the spread and threat of weapons of mass destruction," said Gordon Johndroe, press secretary for the White House National Security Council.

Mr Putin told senior security officials from around the world that nations were "witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations".

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EU to Nicaragua: “No Abortions, No Aid”

A quote from Life Site, 9 February 2007

Representatives from the European Union are increasing pressure on the government of Nicaragua to reverse its recent law which unilaterally forbids abortion under any circumstances. According to a report from the Catholic News Agency, the EU representation has threatened to withdraw economic assistance to the country if the abortion law is not reversed. [...]

Marc Litvine, the EU representative to Nicaragua, said that the EU regards legalized abortion as “linked to aid programs against poverty and to the rights of women”.  He expressed hope that “the new government will be capable of opening the debate and discussing it outside the passion of the electoral season.” [...]

Litvine commented on the new government and its support of the pro-life legislation saying, “That’s where I see one of the contradictions of the new government; it claims to be progressive, very modern, and it is going backwards because for us [the pro-life law] is a step back.”

What is Going on in Madagascar?

It is passing strange that Madagascar, the large island off of East Africa, has come up several times in the past week in relation to terrorism and terror finance.

The first was the death of Osma bin Laden’s brother-in-law Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, well-known for his support of radical Islamists. He happened to be on the island as a gemstone dealer.

Seems as though the group that killed him took his computer and some personal belongings, but not the stones that were there. Somewhat unlikely for a robbery. Given Khalifa’s extensive ties to al Qaeda financial activities and various designated terrorist financiers and charities, the connection to the gemstone trade is tantalizing.

From the earliest days of my diamond coverage I was told of a strong al Qaeda connection to rubies and sapphires in Madagascar, begun at about the same time as al Qaeda’s interest in diamonds in West Africa and tanzanite in Tanzania.

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Parties warn Kosovo secession to break up Slovakia

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia-The Slovak senior ruling party Smer-Social Democracy and its coalition partner, the nationalist Slovak National Party, warned independence for Serbia's disputed province of Kosovo could spark secession of Slovakia's ethnic Hungarians, TA3 TV reported Monday.

"The Hungarian minority or its politicians could view Kosovo as a model and this is not a good precedent for Slovakia," Boris Zala, a Smer-Social democracy official and head of the Slovak parliament's foreign relations committee, was quoted as saying.

More than 500,000 ethnic Hungarians live in Slovakia's south and southeast, just outside neighboring Hungary. They account for about 10 percent of Slovakia's 5 million population.

 

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Serbia rejects Kosovo secession plan

BELGRADE, Serbia-The Serbian president on Friday rejected a U.N. plan for Kosovo, saying it "opens the possibility of independence" for the breakaway province.

Boris Tadic received the draft proposal during a meeting Friday with its author, U.N. envoy Martti Ahtisaari.

"I told Mr. Ahtisaari that Serbia and I, as its president, will never accept Kosovo's independence," Tadic said in a statement.

The proposal "does not explicitly mention independence for Kosovo, but it also does not mention territorial integrity of Serbia," the president said. "That fact alone, as well as some other provisions, opens the possibility for Kosovo's independence."

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A new US intelligence report cites civil war for the first time as key element of Iraq conflict

A declassified section of the 90-page report submitted to President George W. Bush and Congress describes the Iraq situation as “perilous” with US troops having very little control over it. Iranian activities lead to increased violence while not a major cause of it. Even al Qaeda is not called a major factor. The war is described as driven primarily by Iraqi versus Iraqi, Sunni versus Shiite - and therefore a civil war.

Unless efforts to reverse these conditions show measurable progress during the next 12 to 18 months, “we assess that the overall security of the situation will continue to deteriorate.”

The report, part of which is due to be released later Friday, Feb. 2, says “US forces levels, resources and operations remain an essential element in Iraq” and a quick US withdrawal would have dangerous consequences, such as an increase in violence, a split in the Iraqi army on sectarian lines and the fall of the al Anbar province to al Qaeda.

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Afghanistan's Local Insurgency

By Seth G. Jones


This commentary appeared in International Herald Tribune on January 31, 2007.

The rising violence and the near certainty of a Taliban spring offensive have triggered calls for an increase in U.S. military forces in Afghanistan. But a military strategy is not likely to succeed. Counterinsurgencies are almost always won by establishing a viable and legitimate government at the local level that can win popular support.

In Afghanistan, all politics is local. The country's history is littered with empires that failed to understand this reality, from Alexander the Great more than 2,000 ago to the British and Soviet empires more recently.

The Taliban and its allies certainly understand the importance of local politics. They have successfully re-emerged by co-opting or threatening local villagers, and promising better governance and security than the current Afghan government. On my most recent trip to southern Afghanistan in January, I saw that the message of the Taliban clearly resonated with a growing number of locals in southern and eastern parts of the country.

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