Friday, April 23, 2010

NSA domestic electronic surveillance targeted everyone and still does today

NSA domestic electronic surveillance targeted everyone and still does today....

WMR has learned from U.S. intelligence sources that the Justice Department's Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP), the warrantless domestic wiretapping program largely conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA), was a mere bureaucratic contrivance developed by the Justice Department to legally cover the NSA from constitutional oversight hearings by Congress and law suit actions from telecommunication customers over what amounted to total surveillance of the American people.

The NSA operation, code named STELLAR WIND, and known only to a few top officials in the Bush administration, targeted massive collected digital databases of phone calls, emails, faxes, pagers, and other digital communications. The data, known as meta-data, was searched by NSA signals intelligence analysts for key words and phrases using a Google-like search engine.

The STELLAR WIND program was overseen by Vice President Dick Cheney's chief counsel David Addington. In a new twist, intelligence sources report that the plans for STELLAR WIND were put into place long before the 9/11 attacks. Qwest chairman Joseph Nacchio claimed that he and his firm were pressured by NSA six months prior to 9/11 to participate in a program to conduct warrantless surveillance of Qwest customers. Nacchio and Qwest believed the program was illegal and demanded court warrants. Nacchio was later indicted and convicted for insider trading, a move Qwest sources claim was government retaliation for Nacchio's refusal to participate in the wiretapping programs. It is now been revealed to WMR that the program in question was, in fact, STELLAR WIND.

On February 25, 2010, WMR reported: "WMR has learned from sources who worked in senior positions for the telecommunications company Qwest that its former Chairman and CEO Joseph Nacchio was threatened with retaliation after he refused to participate in an unconstitutional and illegal National Security Agency (NSA) wiretapping program after he met with NSA officials on February 27, 2001, some six months before the 9/11 attacks. Nacchio refused to turn over customer records without a court order -- something NSA did not possess at the time it made its requests....

After Nacchio refused NSA's requests on the grounds that it was illegal, sources close to Nacchio reported his legal problems with the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission began in earnest. First, Qwest lost out on several lucrative federal government contracts and second, Nacchio was indicted and convicted in 2007 of 19 counts of insider stock trading. Nacchio was sentenced to six years the Schuylkill federal prison camp in Minersville, Pennsylvania where he is now assigned prisoner number 33973-013."

WMR has learned additional technical details about STELLAR WIND. The NSA was able to conduct key word and key phrase differentiation between various American accents by using sophisticated algorithms. The software used by NSA could determine the spoken word "car" in a Bostonian accent as opposed to the spoken word "car" in a Midwestern or Southern accent. The NSA algorithms could also determine spoken words in New York, Philadelphia, Hispanic, Asian, New Orleans, French Canadian, African American, Tidewater Virginian, and Native American accents, as well as others....


In addition to STELLAR WIND's warrantless tracking and analysis of meta-data containing all the communications of Americans, another super-classified code-named NSA program monitored the communications of U.S. journalists. At least 150 U.S. journalists were subjected to NSA surveillance. There is some evidence that the surveillance was also conducted prior to 9/11....since 9/11 is well known now to be an inside job....

A U.S. intelligence source confirmed that among the journalists monitored were "Sy Hersh, James Bamford, Wayne Madsen, Siobhan Gorman, James Risen, Bill Gertz...."

NSA's "Q Group" security branch maintains a file on many of the surveilled journalists. WMR has learned that the files include the driver's license photos of journalists, including the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles license of this editor. The FBI is an active participant in the NSA journalist surveillance program. The Stasi-like electronic and physical surveillance continues to this day.....

Of particular interest to NSA analysts were the satellite-borne communications of U.S. journalists reporting from foreign locations, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran,Lebanon, Cuba, Venezuela and other countries...


Although NSA's surveillance of journalists would appear to be a major and egregious violation of the Constitution, there is evidence that STELLAR WIND had another, more sinister, off-shoot. The most sensitive program conducted warrantless electronic surveillance of elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as federal and state judges. WMR has previously reported that the communications and transactional data of Governors Bill Richardson of New Mexico and former Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York were subjected to NSA surveillance. The surveillance of the two governors has been confirmed by extremely knowledgeable sources...

The future for NSA's warrantless total surveillance programs appears rosy. NSA is building a $2 billion, 120 acre meta-data facility at Camp Williams in Utah and another similar data repository in San Antonio, Texas. Data storage capabilities are also being expanded at NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland and at NSA's huge signals intelligence collection facility at Menwith Hill, UK. The Congress has made no move to question the NSA's warrantless spying on Americans and President Obama flipped his position when he backed retroactive immunity for telecommunication firms that illegally participated in STELLAR WIND and its affiliated surveillance programs before and after 9/11....the Mega insider job.

OSINT Report 1/2010

This OSINT Report covers topics such as long-term data retention, automatic translation, interactive analytics, intelligence validation and verification regimes, stratetic forecasting and information abundance. It presents key challenges and suggestions on how to best master them.

© 2010 International Relations and Security Network (ISN)



Felix Juhl, Chris Pallaris, Florian Schaurer


Andreas Wenger, Victor Mauer




Bush's lame duck eavesdropping on Obama and Emanuel....

Federal national security sources have revealed to WMR that the FBI electronic surveillance that resulted in the impeachment, expulsion as Governor of Illinois, and indictment of Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges was originally directed by the outgoing George W. Bush administration against presidential candidate and subsequent President-elect Barack Obama and his prospective chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Although the Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney for northern Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald and his team of prosecutors captured "thousands of phone calls" in their investigation of Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris, they chose to only concentrate on those intercepted phone calls that were used to indict Blagojevich and Harris. In fact, WMR has learned that when Obama and Emanuel became aware that their phone calls were intercepted by the FBI, they moved fast to have Fitzgerald arrest Blagojevich in the early morning of December 9, 2009. The White House transition team wanted to ensure that it was Blagojevich who was at the center of the FBI wiretaps. Bush and his team, according to WMR's sources sought to obtain information on Obama and Emanuel that could be used to "blackmail them" in order to ensure that there would be no investigations of the Bush administration's complicity in torture, political prosecutions throughout the United States of Democrats, and other illegal activities.

Fitzgerald maintains that the thousands of intercepted calls were made between October 22, 2008, a few weeks prior to Obama's election victory, and December 9, 2008, the day Blagojevich was arrested without an indictment. After Blagojevich's arrest by U.S. marshals, Fitzgerald took the unusual step of holding a news conference, rife with theatrics, in which he railed that Blagojevich's conduct would make "Lincoln roll over in his grave." Criticisms from legal experts that Fitzgerald was engaged in pre-trial grandstanding to influence public opinion were dismissed by Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald's move came after Emanuel made direct contact with Fitzgerald, ostensibly to inform him that Blagojevich was attempting to "sell" Obama's Senate seat.

WMR has been told that Emanuel was aware of the damaging nature of the "thousands" of FBI intercepted phone calls to him and Obama and wanted to divert Fitzgerald and the FBI away from he and the president-elect to Blagojevich and Harris. Fitzgerald, known as the man who covered up key elements of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and saw to it that the legal ground was laid for a commutation of the prison sentence of Dick Cheney's cef of staff Scooter Libby in the Bush administration's cover-up of the outing by the media of CIA non-official cover agent Valerie Plame Wilson, decided to seek authorization for the early morning arrest of Blagojevich to protect Obama and Emanuel, as well as Bush.

Fitzgerald lived up to his part of the bargain with Emanuel by interviewing Obama, Emanuel, and Jarrett in mid-December 2008 and then green lighting Obama's selectee as White House chief counsel, Greg Craig, to issue a report stating that there was "no inappropriate contact" between Obama, Emanuel, or Jarret with Blagojevich. Emanuel quickly left the United States for a vacation in Africa. Fitzgerald cautioned Obama, Emanuel, Jarrett, adviser David Axelrod, Craig, and transition team spokesman Robert Gibbs to remain silent and not disclose anything to the press. The diversion of attention by the public and the media to Blagojevich and Harris was successful.

On July 29, 2009, WMR reported: "If the Fitzgerald prosecution of Blagojevich is any indication, some GOP U.S. Attorneys may have decided to trade knowledge and influence in return for keeping their jobs. In Fitzgerald's case, it was possibly information he had on convicted Chicago political kingpin Antoin 'Tony' Rezko's links to Obama and his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel that made Blagojevich a useful "sacrificial lamb" to send a message to the Obama camp. In any event, Fitzgerald's plan worked -- he remains secure as Obama's U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois."

In his April 22 motion, Blagojevich's defense team states: "Tony Rezko is one of the government’s main witnesses.8 Mr. Rezko’s credibility is extremely relevant in this trial. In many instances, Mr. Rezko is the government’s crucial witness to prove up their allegations. Mr. Rezko wrote a letter to a federal judge stating 'the prosecutors have been overzealous in pursuing a crime that never happened. They are pressuring me to tell them the 'wrong' things that I supposedly know about Governor Blagojevich and Senator Obama. I have never been a party to any wrongdoing that involved the Governor or the Senator. I will never fabricate lies about anyone else for selfish purposes.' (Exhibit A) However, the defense has a good faith belief that Mr. Rezko, President Obama’s former friend, fund-raiser, and neighbor told the FBI and the United States Attorneys a different story about President Obama. In a recent in camera proceeding, the government tendered a three paragraph letter indicating that Rezko 'has stated in interviews with the government that he engaged in election law violations by personally contributing a large sum of cash to the campaign of a public official who is not Rod Blagojevich. … Further, the public official denies being aware of cash contributions to his campaign by Rezko or others and denies having conversations with Rezko related to cash contributions. … Rezko has also stated
in interviews with the government that he believed he transmitted a quid pro quo offer from a lobbyist to the public official, whereby the lobbyist would hold a fundraiser for the official in exchange for favorable official action, but that the public official rejected the offer. The public official denies any such conversation. In addition, Rezko has stated to the government that he and the public official had certain conversations about gaming legislation and administration, which the public official denies having had."

The reason behind U.S. Judge James Zagel's order that many of the documents related to the Blagojevich indictment remain redacted is that the documents show the extensive nature of the FBI's surveillance of many of those connected to the Obama campaign, including Obama, Emanuel, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, and others.

On April 22, 2010, the Blagojevich defense team, in their motion to Zagel, a Ronald Reagan appointee, to call Obama as a witness in the Blagojevich trial, wrote: "Although it is the defense’s position that all tapes and sealed information be made public, to comply with the Protective Order of April 14, 2009, portions that contain sealed information provided by the government have been redacted. The defense, however, urges this Court unseal the entire motion."

However, Fitzgerald is adamantly opposed to unsealing the redacted documents lest his complicity in a Bush-ordered wiretap of Obama and Emanuel becomes known to the public. Fitzgerald's knowledge of "smoking gun" evidence against Obama and Emanuel ensured that Obama renominated Fitzgerald as U.S. Attorney for northern Illinois. By focusing his criminal probe on Blagojevich and Harris, Fitzgerald is also providing protection for Bush, Dick Cheney, and then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey from potential repercussions from a White House-ordered electronic surveillance program directed against a presidential candidate/president-elect and his top political adviser.

The word from federal national security officials is that the outgoing Bush administration picked up a wealth of blackmailable intelligence on Obama and Emanuel from their wiretaps of the now President and his chief of staff. Obama's sleazy deals with Rezko and his shopping of his Senate seat and Emanuel's contacts with Israeli intelligence officials and his penchant for bizarre behavior at Chicago gymnasiums frequented by the city's professional and affluent gay community reportedly stand at the top of the FBI's "catch..."

Thursday, April 22, 2010


The current problems of the South Caucasus is largely derived from its extremely important strategic value. This juncture of continents, civilizations, geopolitical systems, an important crossroads and communications corridor. In addition, the region immediately adjacent to the richest deposits of hydrocarbons in the Middle East, Caspian Sea, Iranian plateau.

That is why the South Caucasus could become an arena of violent confrontation between states and individuals, and coalitions of states against the use of all available forces and means, not excluding the military. In this case one of the most explosive issues in the region is undoubtedly the Karabakh conflict.


In the spring of 1994, with the mediation of Russia fighting on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, in the border areas of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been stopped. And the fact that there still prevails a lull, however, from time to time broken by skirmishes and clashes, also a direct service of the Russian Federation. It is for all the past 16 years has been the guarantor of peace and stability in this part of the region.

It is in Karabakh Russia has to defend its interests in the South Caucasus and the Caspian Sea. Moscow is well aware that the more passive she behaves, the more will be intensified its competitors. Not surprisingly, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev sought to maintain close contacts with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, trying to achieve early resolution of the Karabakh problem. He made Yerevan and Baku to follow exclusively peaceful means to resolve the conflict by signing with the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, an agreement in the capital of Russia in 2008.

It should be noted that Moscow generally tries to keep a very balanced policy in relations with Yerevan and Baku, because it has vital interests in Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Friendly relations with the two republics is very significant for Russia. For Armenia – the location of military bases of the Armed Forces of Russia, while Azerbaijan is one of the leading suppliers of energy in Eurasia. It should also take into account the presence of Azerbaijani and Armenian diaspora in the Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev continues to strongly defend their views on the Karabakh issue. Armenia advocates for the recognition of independence of Nagorno-Karabakh in return for the cession of territory, not part of the NKR. Aliyev also wanted to return and Azeri areas lost during the war in the early 90’s, and Karabakh as a whole. To achieve its goals, both the president “flirt” with all leading geopolitical players in the “South Caucasus field”: the U.S., EU, Turkey, Russia, etc.

If the “flirt” turn into a serious relationship with a competitor of Russia, and Yerevan, and Baku, may be able to change the vectors of its foreign policy. But in this case, Moscow has more powerful means of pressure on them. It just will not interfere with the national liberation movements Karabakh, Lezgins, Avars, Talysh and raise the level of relations with Iran. And this once and for all close all gas and oil Caspian projects of the West. The geopolitical axis of Russia – Lezgistan – Karabakh – Talysh – Iran – India will be a cold shower for the Euro-Atlantic community, and for Turkey.

NKR – De facto Sovereign States

Presidents Aliyev and Sargsyan not take into account one important point – namely, the interests of the people of Karabakh and the changes in this country. What specifically do you mean?

There was a generational change in Nagorno-Karabakh: there have grown and matured, many thousands of people who do not represent their own republic within another state, including Armenia.

Psychological factor. The war touched almost every family of Karabakh and caused serious psychological harm to its people. Now the fear of being evicted, as Nakhichevan Armenians, or cut forces them to protect and cherish their independence.

The military factor. NKR Army – one of the most capable in the South Caucasus. Youth-Karabakh considers that the independence of their country she needs to make its own contribution. And if it committed aggression against the republic, they will have the opportunity to do so.

Ethnocultural factors. Do Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh, developed a spiritual “filter” that separates the Caucasian-Albanian and Azeri-Turkish culture. The atmosphere of chronic mistrust of Karabakh Armenians to a second type of ethno-cultural growing belligerent statements of Azerbaijan.

Autonomy of Stepanakert. It is still dimly seen today, because the second and third presidents of Armenia – Karabakh representatives. However, this does not mean that the NCI intends to unquestioningly obey the sister republic. Armenia and Azerbaijan are stubbornly unwilling to recognize that Nagorno Karabakh is really an independent state. Therefore, all negotiations which take place without the consent of Yerevan and Stepanakert’s participation would have no real results.

Self-proclaimed Nagorno Karabakh Republic – the de facto sovereign state – the freedom of action of Armenia and Azerbaijan. For Yerevan Karabakh issue key. The sensitivity of the Armenian political elite and the Armenian society in general to this problem is too high. For Azerbaijan, it is also very important. And Baku, and Yerevan want by any means possible to solve it, and preferably in their favor, and this rush forced the authorities of Azerbaijan and Armenia to make a series of strategic mistakes.


First – Baku widely advertised Azerbaijani oil and gas resources and has turned this issue into a tool to solve foreign policy problems. However, drawing attention to its hydrocarbon riches, Azerbaijan – a country with weak infrastructure, and ethnic and confessional problems – automatically becomes a prey to the great powers.

Second – demonstrative rejection of NKR as an independent factor in the negotiation process, as well as the reluctance of Baku to establish bilateral relations with Stepanakert. That is alarming, many representatives of national minorities living in Azerbaijan, and strengthens their separatist sentiments.

Third – the militant rhetoric of officials of Azerbaijan, threatening to withdraw from the negotiating process and settle the Karabakh problem by military means. This position strikes the image of Baku, describes him as an unreliable partner who is not responsible for the signed agreements.

Fourth – Azerbaijani authorities introduced himself and his people astray, believing that they can regain Karabakh by force. Any attempts of military action by the Baku jeopardize the integrity and stability not only in Azerbaijan but also the entire South Caucasus. And this is against the interests of Russia, Iran and China.


In turn, Armenia, seeking to preserve the status quo-Karabakh, also made a number of strategic mistakes.

The first – by selling their businesses, factories, gas, railway companies, etc. Russia, including private capital, Yerevan, believing that all foreign and domestic issues will be resolved automatically. This did not happen.

The second – the Armenian authorities consider that the return of the territory around Karabakh to Azerbaijan and the transfer of the status of Nagorno Karabakh indefinitely solve three problems: a) give legitimacy to its power, which is fighting against the opposition, and b) open border with Turkey, c) will relieve from responsibility for Karabakh. It is annoying not only the Armenian Diaspora, but also the Armenians of Karabakh.

Fearing such action in Yerevan, has intensified its mediation mission to Tehran. He does not want to see on the territory of Azerbaijan, near the Iranian border, international armed forces and most importantly – the creation of yet another military beachhead against the Islamic Republic.

Third – in Yerevan, demanding that the Armenian foreign financial and political support, while ignoring their opinion, thought it would last forever. However, this position has refocused the attention of foreign Armenians to other places of historic Armenia.

These errors are the two states have prepared fertile ground for activism U.S., EU, Turkey, Israel and Iran.

TRUMPS U.S. and the European demarche

The main geopolitical rival of Moscow – Washington is very active, but covert operation in the South Caucasus.

Memorandum by the Deputy Minister of Defense William Lynn on July 9, 2009 amends section 302 (a) of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, ordering the Pentagon to buy only American goods and services. In accordance with this amendment is now an exception is made for nine countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Under this clause the company named above from each state, won the tender held by the U.S. Ministry of Defense, and entered into a contract with him, is obliged to notify about their government. At the same time to warn him that was unlikely to get a new American jobs, if the firms from the United States will not be given greater access to the economy.

U.S. and British intelligence agencies, with the Turkish and European allies are actively working with Armenian and Azeri youth, using all the “humanitarian” representation of Western countries, international organizations and dozens of NGOs in Armenia and Azerbaijan. To carry out this “education and upbringing” process designed to FULBRIGHT Program and FLEX (USA), Caucasus School of Journalists (Tbilisi), the European Students Forum (AEGEE, Ankara), USAID – Agency of the U.S. federal government, the Eurasia Foundation, Southern Resource Center, and t . e. Purpose – reorientation of Yerevan and Baku exclusively on Washington, the withdrawal of Russian military bases in Armenia, squeezing Russia out of the Transcaucasus.

But the Americans have a couple of weighty political trump cards for the Karabakh game. This possibility of recognizing the fact of genocide of Armenians in 1915-1923, respectively (a kind of stick over the head of Turkey) and the independence of Nagorno Karabakh (blackmail and Yerevan, and Baku).

The fact that Washington is preparing for major changes in the South Caucasus, prove two purposes. New deputy head of the Baku office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was Melissa Stone, a State Department employee who worked previously in the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, and the post of U.S. co-chair the OSCE by former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Robert Bradtke. This alerted many Azerbaijani analysts, because it was possible that the United States intend to include the South Caucasus in the framework of the global project “Balkanization-800.

With Americans in solidarity, the EU, which irritates the threat of Baku redirect gas supplies if Brussels will pull to the definition of tariffs within the gas pipeline Nabucco, which must provide the “blue fuel” from Central Asia to Europe, bypassing Russia. The consequences are not forced myself to wait long.

February 3, 2010 The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) has prepared a special report titled “Black Island Azerbaijan: violations of human rights in Nakhichevan (the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic). The document was circulated in Strasbourg at the PACE winter session of the special delegation, organized by the Norwegian Fund RAFTO.

Difficult to “Big Brother”

Turkey – a key player in the Caucasus as a whole. But she had serious internal problems (polity, ethnic minorities, Turks and self-identity, etc.). And at the same time, the international situation allows Ankara attempt to become the leader of the Islamic community. The rift in the Arab world, the identification of his sometimes with international terrorism do not allow any of the Arab countries, professing mainly Sunni, to apply for this role. Like Iran, professing Shiism. The Turkish leaders have advocated for secular Islam and are ready to stand solidly for the rights of Muslims throughout the world. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has clearly demonstrated it in Davos, when defending the Palestinians, had quarreled with the President of Israel, and cut short his visit, left Switzerland.

Particularly shocked Washington and Tel Aviv, close relations between Turkey and Iran. Ankara has promised to Tehran to provide military assistance in case of aggression by Israel.

But such a policy Erdogan confronts Turkey’s General Staff. The antagonism between supporters of secular and Islamic political system is growing. Yield to no one wants.

Against this backdrop, Ankara has serious political, economic and religious issues with Baku. They are, however, crowding a long time but clearly manifested after the signing of a treaty between Armenia and Turkey on establishing diplomatic relations without preconditions. Republic of Turkey, on the basis of their national interests, really wants to establish mutually beneficial contacts with neighbors. And with Armenia – in the first place in the light of pressure from the U.S. and the EU. This is vital for the integrity of the country. However, Baku has accused Ankara of separatist agreements with Yerevan, and made a series of diplomatic demarches. Turkey, in order not to offend their “younger brothers”, began to bind the Karabakh problem with the Armenian-Turkish protocol. And he prepared himself to a standstill.

Do not fold, and gas relations between Ankara and Baku, they still can not agree on the price of gas supplies from Shah Deniz field in the Caspian region to Europe. The unresolved issue of transit of Azerbaijani “blue fuel” through Turkey pushes Azerbaijan to seek alternative routes.

Shares of Baku and Ankara is one more problem – different trends of Islam. The official religion in Turkey – Sunni, as in Azerbaijan – Shiism. So it turns out that the Azerbaijanis profess Shi’ism, and lezginoyazychnye peoples, Avars and half Talyshs Azerbaijan – Sunni. And in recent years of mounting tensions between them. Azerbaijan Sunnis even enlisted the help of the chief mufti of Russia. The essence of the treatment that the Baku authorities do not allow Lesghians have their mosque with Lezgin title. And what to do in this situation, Ankara?

One thing is clear: Afghanistan can no longer count on the unconditional support from Turkey.


Tel Aviv, losing to Turkey as an ally, switched to Azerbaijan. Here he has a vital interest: in addition to gas and oil, this is a common border with Iran.

Israel, along with the United States has long called attention to the Talysh, especially at their place of residence, adjacent to the Azerbaijani-Iranian border. In Lick (Lerik) region, for example, built an underground military facility. On the third floor of the Post Office city Ostoro (Astara) was installed special equipment, where day and night observations were made outside the territory of Iran.

For the Israeli Air Force Talysh – an excellent springboard for attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities and missile bases. Not surprisingly, the Tel Aviv actively supports Azerbaijan in its confrontation with Yerevan and Stepanakert.


Do not stay aloof from the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, and China. In fact he has a good reason – the problem with millions of Turks, Uighurs, who live compactly in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. The suppression of riots in the capital of Xinjiang – Urumqi provoked a strong reaction in Turkey, the Prime Minister condemning Beijing, saying the Chinese authorities as genocide the Uighur people.

After that, the involvement of China in the Karabakh problem has increased dramatically. The purpose of the Middle Kingdom – do not permit the Turkish positions in the South Caucasus, as well as the establishment of Ankara with full control over the region, the U.S. and UK. Beijing understands that the organizers of the riots in Xinjiang are Americans, British and Turks. He knows also that Ankara wants to make southern Mongolia into a springboard for subversive activities against China.


Throughout the Karabakh conflict Iran has sought to maintain strict neutrality. Moreover, he even tried to mediate between the warring parties, but it’s not like Washington, and Iran’s peacemaking initiative to any outcome failed.

Tehran has warned Azerbaijan against hostile steps against him, but to no avail. Senior and junior Aliyevs conducted pro-Turkish, pro-Western policies and this annoyed the southern neighbor of Azerbaijan. Now Iran is especially concerned about intensive relations with Baku Tel Aviv. The leaders of the Islamic Republic fear that the territory of Azerbaijan will be used against the country’s ruling regime. They know how the Americans and Israelis are trying to configure Talyshs (and they live in Iran) to fight with the Iranian authorities. In this regard, Iran has sharply increased interest in the Karabakh conflict.

In this matter, Tehran two allies – Russia and China. But whether Russia, Iran and China oppose scalps US-British-Israeli bloc? Only time will tell.

Thus, the Karabakh conflict today – a problem the entire South Caucasus. Those countries that do not have historical and cultural attachment to the region, trying to “tear” in it for the full program. They do not care about cares, the troubles of the Armenian or Azerbaijani people. They are important their interests, their own welfare and profit. These challenges are and will be addressed.

Vitally interested in the speedy settlement of the conflict countries – Armenia and Azerbaijan – have to forget all grievances and ambitions, to recognize the NKR-party talks and negotiate until it is too late. Otherwise, it will come when foreign armies, has developed a completely different geopolitical configuration and the view of Baku and Yerevan have one worry will not.

Turkey appoints new intelligence director.

Turkey appoints new intelligence director.

It is expected that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) will soon be headed by Dr. Hakan Fidan, who will replace Emre Taner. MİT’s reputation has recently been severely hit by the involvement of some of its personnel in the notorious Ergenekon affair....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The death of the American Century

"The 9/11 Commission was an expensively perpetrated farce, and its Report a not-so-well prepared bundle of utter lies." led by a two-faced traitorous rabbi....

The death of the American Century

By Henry Allen
April 2010;

The dream is dying....

It was this: a belief that the world has a special love for Americans, for our earnest innocence and gawky immediacy, for our willingness to share the obvious truth and light of democracy with people still struggling in the darkness of history, for our random energy, syncopated music and lopsided, baseball-playing grins. Throw in a little purple mountains' majesty and amber waves of grain, and you get the idea.

It's hard to say just when the dream was born. With Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet circling the globe? With Woodrow Wilson's war to make the world safe for democracy? In 1940 Henry Luce, who told Americans who they were each week in Time and Life, proclaimed "The American Century." World War II made it come true.

I acquired the dream from newsreels and Life magazine after World War II when I saw shots of the French and Italians throwing flowers at our troops as we freed them from the Nazis, GIs coming home with war brides, German children staring up from rubble to cheer the American planes bringing them food in the Berlin Airlift.

I was quite young -- born in 1941 -- but old enough to hold these truths to be self-evident: We didn't conquer; we liberated. We were always the good guys. We wore the white hats. Despite their grousing about uncultured big-foot Yankees, everyone else secretly wanted to live like Americans. When they threw flowers they were our friends, not collaborators like those French women whose villages shaved their heads when their German boyfriends left a step ahead of the Americans. The women stayed behind, of course -- nobody wanted to be a Nazi war bride in postwar Germany.

They lost, we won. Nothing makes friends like total victory, the kind we don't even hope for anymore. Why, in twice-nuked Japan, boys took up baseball.

America was going to run the world, not for America's good but -- for the first time in history -- for the world's own good.

What a wonderful dream! It took some hits, but it survived our stalemate in Korea, our utter failure in Vietnam, our retreat from Lebanon, our Blackhawk Down catastrophe in Somalia.

It survived us making fools of ourselves when our Iranian hostage rescue foundered in dusty desert chaos without an enemy shot being fired. We couldn't even bring back all our dead for burial.

We bombed a mental hospital in Grenada while freeing the world from some vague Communist menace. We bombed an ibuprofen factory in Africa in retaliation for an attack on our Nairobi embassy. We bombed the Chinese Embassy in our air war to liberate Kosovo. The dream even survived George W. Bush launching a war to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction.

There were no weapons, but we kept fighting to make Iraq safe for democracy and ended up holding mass torture sessions at Abu Ghraib that produced colorful souvenir snapshots by our GI Joes and Janes. Are Iraqi kids playing baseball yet?

Barack Obama won the presidency with a campaign promising a bigger, better war next door in Afghanistan. As always, under the mandates of the dream, we would invade a country for nothing but its own good. This is the part people don't seem to get.

As in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, which American soldiers abandoned last Wednesday, five years after invading it to bring truth, justice and the American way to Afghans who responded by hating us.

We gave them money, all kinds of goodies. They hated us.

We begged them to let us build a road that would link them with the outside world. They hated the road. And when we didn't get the point, they blew away six members of the road-building crew.

They hated us so much that we had to bribe them to let us leave -- 6,000 gallons of fuel and a crane -- without killing us for the sheer joy of it.

We were foreigners. As it happens, many people hate foreigners. (That's why they call them "foreigners.")

People like foreigners only when they come in small numbers, spend money and leave; or when they come in armies, drive out other, even-more-detested foreigners and leave. I had tea once with an Indonesian village chief's wife. She remembered when the Japanese were cheered for freeing them from the Dutch, until they hauled Indonesian men off to labor camps, and then the islanders cheered the Americans for driving out the Japanese.

There is no special love for us. We have our unique virtues, and we have come closer than any other nation to fulfilling Jesus's command to love our enemies. But we are awakening from the dream.

Still, we cling to it. John Kennedy promised that we would pay any price, bear any burden to make it come true, and Ronald Reagan called us "a city on a hill," with the eyes of the world on us. Obama thrills audiences when he soars into his messianic world-saving rhetoric.

By now, it's as if we wouldn't be America without the dream, and a candidate couldn't win the presidency without believing in it.

Yet Capt. Mark Moretti, commander of our forces in the Korengal, put it this way: "I think leaving is the right thing to do."

The dream is dying. No resuscitation, please.

Henry Allen, who won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2000, was a Post editor and reporter for 39 years.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Afghan hash at an all-time high

Afghan hash at an all-time high
By Julien Mercille

In addition to being the world's leading producer of opium, Afghanistan has now become the largest producer of hashish, according to the first-ever cannabis survey released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) this month. Again, the US invasion is behind the new record.

The 2009 Afghanistan Cannabis Survey revealed that there is large-scale cannabis cultivation in half (17 out of 34) of Afghanistan's provinces, covering a total area of 10,000 to 24,000 hectares every year (lower than opium cultivation, which covers 125,000 hectares). Afghanistan's crop yield is so high at 145 kilograms of resin per hectare that it overtakes other leading producers like Morocco, where cannabis covers a larger land area but whose yield is lower, at 40 kg/ha.

It is estimated that Afghanistan produces 1,500-3,500 tons of
hashish annually, an industry involving 40,000 households. The total export value of Afghan hashish is still unknown, but its farm-gate value - the income paid to farmers - is estimated at about US$40-$95 million, roughly 15% that of opium ($438 million in 2009).

Abundance of supply fuels demand, making hashish the most commonly used drug in Afghanistan, whose more than 500,000 users are mostly men. Marijuana, the other drug that can be obtained from the cannabis plant, is a minor product in Afghanistan as compared with hashish. Farmers choose to grow cannabis mainly because it sells at a higher price than licit crops and even opium, fetching over $3,000/ha compared to $2,000 for opium and $1,000 for wheat. Many farmers grow both drugs but opium is still more important, in part because cannabis has a short shelf life and is a summer crop (when less water is available for irrigation).

The history of the two plants and the ways in which they have supported US foreign policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan is similar, although opium's impact has been more important in scale. In the 1960s, Westerners traveled to the Orient on the "Hippie Hashish Trail", passing through Istanbul, Delhi and Kabul. They found Afghan hashish of such a high quality that they started smuggling it back to their home countries, through syndicates such as "The Brotherhood of Eternal Love", a famous American group. This popularized hashish consumption in the West and generated an enormous demand, which Afghanistan and Pakistan filled starting in the 1970s.

King Zahir Shah (1933-1973), under whose rule cannabis cultivation was allowed in Afghanistan, even encouraged farmers to use fertilizers to boost exports to the West, before outlawing cultivation in the early 1970s under pressure from Richard Nixon, who had just launched his war on drugs. The Afghan police succeeded in eradicating a lot of the cannabis crops, but conveniently, cannabis farms controlled by Afghan government officials were spared, a bias reminiscent of today's situation.

The 1979 Soviet invasion further disrupted cannabis cultivation, which partly moved to Pakistan's tribal areas, where transformation into hashish and export took place, just like poppy cultivation and heroin processing. The US-supported mujahideen used the hashish trade to finance their fight against the Russian invaders.

The Taliban regime used opium to finance itself in the 1990s, but outlawed hashish production, some say because hashish was consumed by Afghans whereas opium was for the unbelievers in the West, although the real reason had more to do with the fact that there would have been an uprising against the Taliban if farmers had not been allowed to grow poppies. The Taliban ban on hashish was extremely effective - the crop persisting only in a few places - just like their later ban on opium in 2000-2001. But the 2001 US invasion changed all that, leading to the spread of cannabis to new areas, especially from 2005 onwards, according to independent experts and UNODC.

US/NATO policy played a role in stimulating cannabis and hashish production in several ways. First, the invasion itself removed the Taliban's ban and empowered Northern Alliance and other drug lords who received the necessary protection to continue and increase their production and trafficking of cannabis and opium, up to this day.

Secondly, cannabis cultivation has also been stimulated by poppy eradication campaigns, which led some farmers to simply switch to cannabis. The latter has been sometimes safer to grow, having been targeted even less than poppies, to which the US and NATO have not paid much attention in any case.

Thirdly, US/NATO's militaristic policies have not helped to contain the spread of hashish production: the UNODC report notes that “villages that had not received agricultural assistance were slightly more likely to have cannabis cultivation”. The problem is that while the US spends about $1 million a year to support the deployment of one American soldier in Afghanistan, an average of just $93 in development aid has been spent per Afghan per year over the past seven years. Put differently, the US alone has spent $227 billion on military operations in Afghanistan since 2001, while all international donors together have spent less than 10% of this amount on development aid.

US/NATO allies in Afghanistan continue to benefit from the hashish industry, as confirmed to this author by a UNODC official involved in drafting the report. The document states that “there is a clear geographic association between opium and cannabis cultivation at the provincial level” as well as at the trafficking level: “a large proportion of cannabis traders also trade opium.” This means that many members of the police, local militias, and ultimately, government officials supported actively or tacitly by international troops, do benefit from hashish production.

Yet, the American government and UNODC continue to have their eyes set on the drugs-Taliban connection. For instance, UNODC chief Antonio Maria Costa declared that “All drugs in Afghanistan, whether opium or cannabis, are taxed by those who control the territory, providing an additional source of revenue for insurgents” - and what about sources of revenue for government forces?

The Taliban-cannabis association is also emphasized by repeating that, over the last few years, cannabis cultivation has shifted away from the north to the south (just like poppies), where the insurgency is raging. Costa can therefore state: "A concentration of cultivation in the southern part of Afghanistan shows that the Taliban and those insurgents that control the southern parts of the country are not only funding themselves by trafficking opium but also by trafficking cannabis. It's the same area."

True, the Taliban tax and control part of the trade in cannabis products. But as the UNODC report shows, cannabis trading centers are spread all over Afghanistan, which means that even though crops are concentrated in the south, hashish is traded everywhere and exported following similar routes as opium and heroin, to Pakistan, Iran and Central Asia. Therefore, although precise numbers regarding the total value of the cannabis industry in Afghanistan are not available yet, revenues are tapped by many segments of Afghan society, from farmers and police forces to warlords and insurgents.

This might give pause to the many pundits who argue that we must fight a war on drugs in order to cut the Taliban's finances. Wouldn't eliminating opium and cannabis crops also cut many other Afghans' income, including government forces', weakening them in their fight against insurgents?

This question has been pondered by Dutch marijuana shop owners post September 11, who have wondered if smoking Afghan hash amounts to supporting terrorism. One of the owners, Nol van Schaik, gave an interesting answer: “If the Northern Alliance are the people on the ground who are going to defeat the Taliban, people who want to defeat the Taliban should buy as much of their hash as they can," Van Schaik said. "It's a patriotic duty to buy their hash."

Whatever one thinks of this solution, it undermines mainstream experts' claims that ignore the fact that those they support are also involved in drugs. There are good reasons to eradicate drugs, but weakening the Taliban may not be the most logical one.

In fact, a double withdrawal could be the best solution for Afghanistan: get international troops out of the country to reduce locals' grievances that fuel the insurgency, and treat drug addicts in the West and Afghanistan to reduce the demand for narcotics.

Julien Mercille is lecturer at University College Dublin, Ireland. He specializes in US foreign policy and geopolitics.