Archive for the 'Russia' Category

Igor Panarin: U.S. Will Collapse By Next Year

MIKE ECKEL | Huffington Post | March 4, 2009


MOSCOW — If you’re inclined to believe Igor Panarin, and the Kremlin wouldn’t mind if you did, then President Barack Obama will order martial law this year, the U.S. will split into six rump-states before 2011, and Russia and China will become the backbones of a new world order.

Panarin might be easy to ignore but for the fact that he is a dean at the Foreign Ministry’s school for future diplomats and a regular on Russia’s state-guided TV channels. And his predictions fit into the anti-American story line of the Kremlin leadership.

“There is a high probability that the collapse of the United States will occur by 2010,” Panarin told dozens of students, professors and diplomats Tuesday at the Diplomatic Academy _ a lecture the ministry pointedly invited The Associated Press and other foreign media to attend.

The prediction from Panarin, a former spokesman for Russia’s Federal Space Agency and reportedly an ex-KGB analyst, meshes with the negative view of the U.S. that has been flowing from the Kremlin in recent years, in particular from Vladimir Putin. Continue reading ‘Igor Panarin: U.S. Will Collapse By Next Year’

Cyber Security Expert: Hackers Planning To Steal Election For McCain

Spoonamore says electronic voting machines represent national security threat, Israel, China and Russia have capability to rig presidential outcome

Paul Joseph Watson| Prison Planet | Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stephen Spoonamore warns in a new interview that electronic voting machines represent a national security threat and that hackers are already planning to steal the 2008 presidential election for John McCain.

Spoonamore is a GOP member and a lifelong Republican, having worked on election campaigns with Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. He also has 20 years worth of experience in encrypted and networked communications systems for banks, TV, telecommunications, EMS, Military and other uses.

In an ten part You Tube interview, Spoonamore warns that hackers are planning to steal the election on behalf of the McCain camp and even predicts the margin of victory, that McCain will make a “shocking recovery” and win 51.2 percent of the vote with three electoral votes over Obama.

“This is a national security threat,” said Spoonamore, “it is very possible for a foreign government to begin manipulating that transmission of code just as they attempt to do fairly often with our financial data….we deal with it every day on the commercial side,” he added, noting that China, and not the American people, has a greater chance of choosing the next U.S. president.

Spoonamore also fingered Israel as another foreign government that was planning to attempt to hack the 2008 election. Continue reading ‘Cyber Security Expert: Hackers Planning To Steal Election For McCain’

Does the Cold War Have Lessons for Today?

Carolyn Eisenberg | TruthDig | Sep 19, 2008

Until Russian troops rolled into Georgia in August, the Cold War was beginning to recede in memory, with an oddly sentimental glow. Here was a clear-cut American victory, in which not a single shot had been fired, at least not between the main antagonists. Considering the apocalyptic potential of the 40-year rivalry, the architects of U.S. policy appeared a wee bit wiser than they had looked during the gloomy days of Vietnam. And by comparison to the floundering “war on terror” and the breathtaking incompetence and ignorance of the Bush administration, the predecessors look like wizards.

Indeed, it has become a commonplace for Bush critics to invoke the golden era, when gifted statesmen like Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy, combining “toughness” with skilled diplomacy, kept Americans safe and inspired the world with our nation’s ideals. Throughout his political campaign, Barack Obama has gone out of his way to genuflect to the old “cold warriors” and to imply a return to their sophisticated ways.

And yet for some of us crotchety folks over the age of 50, those old Cold War policies and leaders do not evoke the same positive “buzz.” And there is more than a faint suspicion that the calamities of the present have some roots in that history.

What was the Cold War about? And what explains its persistence? With the declassification of American records and the opening of archives in many nations, including Russia, historians have never been in a better position to answer these questions. And yet the field itself has withered in recent years, with a widening gulf between the monographic studies in the academy and the knowledge of a literate public. Moreover, as left historians have retreated from any subject focused on powerful white men, the field of Cold War history has been largely left to the traditionalists.

Against this backdrop, Melvyn Leffler’s new book, “For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War,” provides a welcome infusion of intellectual energy into a subject that still matters deeply, and which can help us grapple with more recent events. Although sometimes described as a “center-left historian,” Leffler cannot be so easily categorized. In this book, as in his previous work, certain qualities stand out: an encyclopedic knowledge of the literature, an immersion in archival materials, a regard for evidence and openness to contradictory information, a lucid writing style and the habit of asking fundamental questions. Continue reading ‘Does the Cold War Have Lessons for Today?’

East-West: The Origins of a Crisis

Nikolas Gvosdev | Taki’s Magazine | September 04, 2008

A great deal of ink has been spilled over the last month about the proximate causes of the fighting in the Caucasus. Abkhaz, Georgians, Ossetians and Russians have all presented conflicting accounts of who fired first—with timelines that stretch back to the 18th century. Meanwhile, the debate in the West has centered over whether the efforts to enlarge NATO to Russia’s doorstep were foolhardy and provocative, or timely and essential for the preservation of the Euro-Atlantic community.

But even if the Georgian crisis had not occurred, something was bound to happen. Two separate—and unrelated—events that occurred in 2003 set in motion a series of developments that, because they were left unaddressed, help to explain why Russia decided to draw a line in the sand and why NATO’s response has been relatively anemic. Even now, the Western alliance seems unable and unwilling to undertake the frank conversation needed—to define exactly what NATO is supposed to be doing; and in so doing is setting itself up for further failures.

From the Russian side, the road to Georgia began in earnest on October 26, 2003. That was the day Russian president Vladimir Putin was supposed to fly to the ex-Soviet republic of Moldova to sign an agreement designed to end the “frozen conflict” between the central government in Chisinau and the breakaway region of Transdnistria. The memorandum, which had been drafted by Putin’s special envoy Dmitry Kozak, provided for the preservation of Moldova’s territorial integrity but would give the separatist region a great deal of autonomy, by transforming the country into a federation. In practical terms, it meant that the pro-Western aspirations of the central government would now be balanced by the pro-Russia bent of the Transdnistrians. The opening point of the so-called “Kozak memorandum” was that the new federal state would be both neutral and demilitarized. Or, to put it another way, Moldova would be “lost” to the West.

At midnight, Moldovan president Vladimir Voronin contacted Putin to tell him that the deal was off. According to Russian political commentator Alexey Pushkov wrote in The National Interest last year:

As the story goes in Moscow, Voronin came under strong pressure from Javier Solana, the EU foreign-policy commissar, not to sign the deal. According to other sources, Voronin allegedly also had a phone conversation with Colin Powell, then the U.S. secretary of state. The message was clear: The West would not be happy if Voronin signed the Kozak memorandum. Later, U.S. diplomats denied that there had ever been a conversation between Voronin and Powell. Nonetheless, the U.S. ambassador in Moscow, Alexander Vershbow, did confirm to me that Washington had opposed Voronin’s signing the document.

U.S. and European officials vigorously dispute this account, but this is the prevailing view that was believed not only by the Kremlin, but in other capitals of the post-Soviet space. Both Moscow and a number of Western-oriented governments, especially in Ukraine and Georgia, concluded that NATO rejected the idea that there should be a neutral “buffer” zone between Russian and Western interests. Moreover, both the Russians—as well as their neighbors—assumed that the West was playing for keeps—and this was going to be a zero-sum game. This was certainly their conclusion from the decision to go ahead with recognizing an independent Kosovo in 2008.

Continue reading ‘East-West: The Origins of a Crisis’

Who is Wrecking America?

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS | Counterpunch | Saturday, Sept 6, 2008

Does the liberal-left have a clue? I sometimes think not.

In his book, “What’s the Matter With Kansas?,” Thomas Frank made the excellent point that the Karl Rove Republicans take advantage of ordinary’s people’s frustrations and resentments to lead them into voting against their best interest.

Frank’s new book, “The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule,” lacks the insight that distinguished his previous book. Why does Frank think that conservatives or liberals rule?

Neither rule. America is ruled by organized interest groups with money to elect candidates who serve their interests. Frank’s book does not even mention the Israel Lobby, which bleeds Americans for the sake of Israeli territorial expansion. Check the index. Israel is not there.

Continue reading ‘Who is Wrecking America?’

Russia Never Wanted a War

By MIKHAIL GORBACHEV | NYT | Published: August 19, 2008

THE acute phase of the crisis provoked by the Georgian forces’ assault on Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, is now behind us. But how can one erase from memory the horrifying scenes of the nighttime rocket attack on a peaceful town, the razing of entire city blocks, the deaths of people taking cover in basements, the destruction of ancient monuments and ancestral graves?

Russia did not want this crisis. The Russian leadership is in a strong enough position domestically; it did not need a little victorious war. Russia was dragged into the fray by the recklessness of the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili. He would not have dared to attack without outside support. Once he did, Russia could not afford inaction.

The decision by the Russian president, Dmitri Medvedev, to now cease hostilities was the right move by a responsible leader. The Russian president acted calmly, confidently and firmly. Anyone who expected confusion in Moscow was disappointed.

The planners of this campaign clearly wanted to make sure that, whatever the outcome, Russia would be blamed for worsening the situation. The West then mounted a propaganda attack against Russia, with the American news media leading the way.

The news coverage has been far from fair and balanced, especially during the first days of the crisis. Tskhinvali was in smoking ruins and thousands of people were fleeing — before any Russian troops arrived. Yet Russia was already being accused of aggression; news reports were often an embarrassing recitation of the Georgian leader’s deceptive statements.

Continue reading ‘Russia Never Wanted a War’


Eric Margolis | Archives | August 18, 2008

WASHINGTON DC- The Bush administration appears to have pulled off its latest military fiasco in the Caucasus. What was supposed to have been a swiftly and painless takeover of rebellious South Ossetia by America’s favourite new ally, Georgia, has turned into a disaster that left Georgia battered, Russia enraged, and NATO badly demoralized. Not bad for two days work.

Equally important, Russia’s Vladimir Putin swiftly and decisively checkmated the Bush administration’s clumsy attempt last week to expand US influence into the Caucasus, and made the Americans and their Georgian satraps look like fools.

We are not facing a return to the Cold War – yet. But the current US-Russian crisis over Georgia, a tiny nation of only 4.6 million, and its linkage to a US anti-ballistic missile system in Eastern Europe, is deeply worrying and increasingly dangerous.


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